Archive for March, 2011

March 28, 2011

Rainy-Day Cajun Style Soup

by cillefish

It’s been raining a lot, so my vegan-for-a-few-weeks housemate Angel was in the mood for something like pea soup, but Cajun-ish. This rich gumbo-style soup is what she put together:

Angel’s Rainy-Day Cajun Style Vegan Bean & Vegetable Soup:

makes: a LOT

  • 1 bag (1lb) dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 cans vegetable broth +2 cans water
  • 2 cubes vegan bouillon
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 can corn (or 2 c normal corn)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (or 2 c chopped tomatoes)
  • 8 carrots, chopped
  • 6-8 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 to 1 whole bunch fresh parsley, removed from the stems and minced
  • “lots” of cayenne and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp hickory “liquid smoke” flavoring, to taste (find this near the barbecue sauce)
  • 1 “Field Roast” vegan Italian sausage (or 4-5 Yves Italian “sausages”), chopped

Soak beans overnight (or place them and water-per-package-directions in a pot, bring to a boil, cover, and set aside for 40-60 min). Rinse out cooled beans, replace in pot with vegetable broth + water, bay leaf, boillon, carrots, celery, corn, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes, until beans are noticeably soft but not mush. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil.
Remove bay leaves and mix into pot o’ beans: onion, parsley, peppers, liquid smoke, and “sausage.” Simmer another 15 minutes. Serve with steamed brown rice and / or fresh cornbread.

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March 14, 2011

Honey-Ginger Eggplant 4 Ways

by cillefish

I made the 3rd version over the weekend for my lunch today. On top of wilted spinach with sauteed onions and toasted walnuts, it was pretty great but a little over-sweet, so I’ve adapted it below (original recipe, Option A, was from: Modern Spice by Monica Bhide). The 3rd option came out to a nice, juicy softness with a bit of firmness and just a hint of crispiness on the outside.

The Marinade:

Mix the following ingredients in a small jar and keep stored in the fridge until you need it:

  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and grated to a pulp (on the small grater that looks like someone tried to punch their way out of it using a ballpoint pen)
  • 1/4 cup warmed liquid honey (microwave on 1/2 power for 15 seconds, no cap!)
  • 3 tsp red chili flakes, or 1 1/2 tsp good cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (find at Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern stores / cafes)
  • 1 Tbsp olive or peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon/lime zest
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (2 or 3 tsp)

The Other Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size eggplant* sliced in 3/4″ to 1″ discs
  • 1 package fresh spinach (normal salad-bag size)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped to 1/2″ size bits
  • 2 smaller cloves garlic, or 1 big one, smashed & minced
  • 2 Tbsp small-chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Warmed Jalapeno bread or spicy-garlic naan (or just 2 c cooked plain rice)

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March 8, 2011

Perfect Double (or Triple) Chocolate Cookies

by cillefish

These are amazing. Not too tricky, not too cakey, not too chewy. Word of caution, though: they’re rich enough that it’s tough to eat more than one, so they’re the kind of cookie you leave out all afternoon so people can recover from them a bit before they go for another one.

The only marginally tricky part is melting the chocolate, but I tried the on-the-stove option (what my mom calls a “bain marie“), and it was easy & involved no mess-ups. See the bottom of the recipe for microwave & stovetop chocolate-melting instructions.

Perfectly Thick & Chewy Double / Triple Chocolate Cookies:

adapted from recipe in “Here in America’s Test Kitchen”Ghirardelli Baking Ground Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 2 c (10 oz) unbleached flour (I used all whole-wheat)
  • 1/2 c Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
     
  • 16 oz semisweet chocolate,
    chopped to large-pea size or smaller
     
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp finely ground instant espresso powder
    or instant coffee powder
     
  • 10 Tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, sliced & softened
  • 1 1/2 c (3 1/2 oz) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 c (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
     
  • Optional: 1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips (for triple chocolate. For double chocolate, omit these)

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March 1, 2011

Myth Muffins

by cillefish

I got a muffin pan today for 50 cents at the big Goodwill, and I’d been just waiting for a chance like this to try out this muffin recipe. They’re “real” muffins – no butter & not oversweet; they’re filling and have “oomph.”

Click the “read more” link for a vegan version: a pumpkin pie spice muffin recipe my housemate & I thought up.

Basic Muffins

The creator’s suggestion is to freeze them and grab one in the morning as breakfast.
Makes: 12 large muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple sauce (use the kind that doesn’t show sugar / corn syrup in the ingredients list)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water*
     
  • 3 cups wheat bran (available at most natural foods stores – I get mine at the co-op on Broad)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup loose packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
     
  • 1 cup fresh fruit or 1/2 cup dried fruit, pre-soaked
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