Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sweet Corn Polenta and Eggplant Sauce

Sweet Corn Polenta and Eggplant Sauce
I was never a fan of polenta.  I like cornmeal made into corn bread, corn tortillas and tamales, but polenta always seemed like a bland, tasteless food and I would never order a dish that contained polenta and I never made polenta at home.  It seemed like too much trouble and it really didn't taste good, in my opinion, and my tasting partner agreed.  Then I saw a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook  Plenty that used corn kernels to make polenta. Interesting, making polenta from whole corn kernels, why not?  This recipe is fresh, vibrant and delicious.  It can be made vegan, or vegetarian, and is not too time consuming.  It is a filling and flavorful meal that my tasting partner and I enjoyed thoroughly.

recipe after the jump

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

Slow Cooked baked beans
My tasting partner and I have been trying to follow a ‘vegan at home’ diet for over a year now.  We have been fairly successful and only break the rules when we are celebrating when one of our boys comes home or during a family holiday.  Beans have become a mainstay of our diet, and our middle son and his lovely girlfriend gave us a “Year of Beans” from Rancho Gordo, http://www.ranchogordo.com/  an heirloom bean company near San Francisco.  I have always liked beans, but have in the past used only canned beans.  You have to plan ahead when using dried beans, and I usually plan my dinner meal when I first wake up- what do I feel like eating that day.  And it seems so time consuming to soak the beans over night and then cook them the next day when a can of beans can be opened and used immediately.  However, I have been converted: every package of heirloom beans that I have used from Rancho Gordo has been outstanding, and I now think a day ahead when thinking of beans.  I recently used some dried white beans called ‘ayocote blanco chico’ from Rancho Gordo to make Slow Cooked Baked Beans and they were delicious.  My tasting partner went back for thirds!  From the Rancho Gordo website, they say that ‘‘because it's a runner bean, these beans can hold its own with some rough cooking, so go ahead and use them in cassoulet or salads. They won't fall apart easily and yet they're soft and creamy.”  Rancho Gordo beans have a limited production and distribution, so I would look for an heirloom white bean if at all possible such as dried navy beans, Great Northern Beans or kidney beans.

Recipe after the jump

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Brownies


Vegan Chocolate Brownies

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that we have been trying to eat a ‘vegan at home diet’ which has mostly eliminated any kind of baked goods, since, in my opinion, the tastiest baked items use eggs, which of course, are not vegan.  And I have tried to eliminated baked goods and desserts from our diet to avoid ‘empty’ calories, which I have pretty much done since I haven’t been able to find a tasty vegan replacement.   Enter our new vegan friends who have some wonderful vegan dessert recipes.  Anxious to try a couple of recipes, I found success with all of them.  The first is a vegan brownie.  I love brownies, (no nuts, please) and I have a homemade brownie recipe that is simple, easy and we can be eating it in under an hour and it is delicious (but not vegan).  I was skeptical at first, but this vegan brownie is moist and delicious, a winner.  My tasting partner and I ate half of them before they had a chance to cool.  And, I can rationalize that they are fairly healthy because they are made with applesauce and flaxseed. 

recipe after the jump