Monday, November 10, 2014

Giant White Lima Beans with Stewed Tomatoes and Oregano Pesto


 
Giant White Lima Beans with Stewed Tomatoes and Oregano Pesto 

Beans are back in rotation here in SoCal since it has finally started to cool down.  I have a few packages of Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans that I put away for the summer, but I decided the other morning to make a bean dish using the Giant White Lima Beans from Rancho Gordo.  Let me first say that growing up my mom served frozen succotash, which I remember as being corn, peas and Lima beans.  The Lima beans were pasty, starchy and disgusting.  I think I probably picked them out and pushed them to the side.  I say this as an insight to my reluctance to prepare and eat the Giant White Lima Beans.  I knew my Tasting Partner would love the beans, and I was already planning on an alternative dinner for me.  Maybe cake.  I found this recipe from Food and Wine and made minor adjustments to it.  With the knowledge that I have been avoiding Lima beans like the plague since I was 10, let me just say that these Lima beans were FANTASTIC!  They were creamy, flavorful and nothing like what I remembered.  My Tasting Partner, as expected, RAVED about this dish, and I have to agree, these are not your Grandmother’s Lima beans.  I added a green salad and we had a lovely dinner.
recipe after the jump

Monday, October 6, 2014

Focaccia and Pickled Vegetable Sandwich

Focaccia and Pickled Vegetable Sandwich

 I came across this sandwich when we were living in cramped quarters while we remodeled our home.  It was on Food52, called ‘The Scuttlebutt’ and it seemed like a fun sandwich- focaccia, pickled vegetables, feta and boiled eggs and you could make it vegan if you wanted easily by eliminating a few ingredients (the eggs, feta cheese and use vegenaise).  It does take time and planning ahead.  The focaccia dough has to rise in the refrigerator overnight and the pickled vegetables should be in the pickling solution for at least a day.  The vegetables also work well on a green salad, without making a sandwich.  All in all, a great light dinner or hearty lunch, well worth the effort according to my Tasting Partner and our youngest son and his significant other. Thanks to our youngest son for the photo.  Well done.

recipes after the jump

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vegan Picadillo

Vegan Picadillo


This blog originally started as a means to pass on recipes to family and friends that I have made and enjoyed and wanted to share.  Somehow, along the way, it was hi-jacked into an almost all vegan recipe blog since we started eating ‘vegan at home’.  Not exactly my original idea, but one that I can live with, with minimal complaining on my part, and the occasional chocolate, butter, egg dessert.  This recipe is from the New York Times magazine and it caught my eye first because it was made with ground beef.  I love ground beef in sloppy Joes, chili, Bolognese sauce and tacos.  I am reluctant to use soy protein substitute because it seems to have so many ingredients and because I love ground beef, so I normally just avoid making anything that I would have to substitute soy protein for.  However, this recipe, Cuban Picadillo, made me reconsider.  I substituted ‘Veggie Chorizo’ and ‘Veggie Ground’, both from ‘Helen’s Kitchen’, and it was terrific: it is sweet, savory and not too spicy. My Tasting Partner said this was the best dish I had cooked in a long while (or at least since last night) and that I should consider it for my greatest hits.  

 recipe after the jump

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sesame Noodles with Miso Baked Tofu

Sesame Noodles with Miso Baked Touf


We have an independent grocery store in our neighborhood and I am addicted to their sesame noodles, which I have been eating lately because of the extremely hot SoCal days.  I realized I could easily make the noodle salad if I just tried.  I think this recipe is comes pretty close and I added a Miso baked tofu to round out this tasty vegan meal.  My Tasting Partner said the noodles were better than what we get from our local store, and he loved the Miso baked tofu.

recipes after the jump

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Chermoula with Roasted Potatoes and Squash

Chermoula with Roasted Potatoes and Squash
Chermoula with Roasted Eggplant 












It has been months since I last posted on my blog, mostly because we had a number of moves and changes.  After living in the home where we raised our 3 boys for 27 years, my Tasting Partner and I decided it was time to remodel the kitchen.  We started last summer, working with an architect, and then of course, ended up remodeling the entire house, which necessitated a move out of the house, and then when the remodel was finished, a move back in.  Once we settled in, I decided due to the drought in SoCal, we ought to redo our front landscaping to a xeriscape with native and succulent plants, which necessitated tearing up the landscape out front and reworking the irrigation, hardscape and plantings.  As a result, I was not cooking much and had little time to blog.

In late August our middle son was married to a marvelous woman, and the food at the reception was fabulous, prepared by her brother, a chef, and his chef friends.  The menu included roasted potato and squash with a chermoula sauce.  It was delicious, and I have been scouring my cookbooks for a similar taste, and I think I found it.  Chermoula is a spicy Moroccan or Tunisian marinade or sauce, usually used to flavor fish, meat or seafood, and goes extremely well with vegetables.  There are many recipes for chermoula and most include garlic, coriander and cilantro.  This recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Jerusalem.  In his recipe for chermoula, he used preserved lemons and I substituted lemon juice since I don’t normally have preserved lemons at home.  He also made the chermoula paste from the spices only, but I included the cilantro in the paste/sauce since numerous versions I looked at had the cilantro incorporated there.  Needless to say, his recipe as written is delicious, and the changes I made to it only reflected the taste I was trying to capture.  My tasting partner was thrilled with my attempt and I will be incorporating this savory sauce in our vegetarian/vegan menu.


I have included 2 ways to serve this sauce.  The first is tossed with roasted potatoes and squash and the second is with roasted eggplant.  
recipe after the jump 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Roasted Garbanzo Beans with Sautéed Cabbage and Za'atar


Roasted Garbanzo Beans with Sauteed Cabbage
It has been hot in SoCal this past week, so between the heat and the fact that my tasting partner and I living in a small one bedroom condo while we remodel our home, I am not up for cooking or blogging.  I did come across this lovely vegan salad with the Middle Eastern spice za’atar on the web site FOOD52 and I thought it would be nice during our heat wave.  I sautéed the vegetables to softened them, but this salad would be just as tasty served raw.

recipe after the jump

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easy Bean Sloppy Joe’s

Easy Bean Sloppy Joe's
I have been delinquent in posting, mostly because my tasting partner and I are remodeling our family home and have spent every waking hour moving out of our house and into our rental unit.  I have also been trying to sell furniture and other items that we have decided will not go in our redesigned home, so I have not had time to post.  While I was moving my kitchen out, I found some tepary beans from Rancho Gordo and a couple of packets of Lowry’s Sloppy Joe mix.  I decided to soak the tepary beans over night, cook them up in the morning with some carrots, onions and a bay leaf, and then use the cooked beans as the base for the Sloppy Joes.  This is cheating, so to speak, using a spice packet, but who has time to cook in the middle of a move?  And, instead of serving the bean mixture on buns, I served the bean version of Sloppy Joe’s over baked yams.  Delicious! 


recipe after the jump

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cabbage, leek, potato and barley soup

Cabbage, leek, potato and barley soup
Even though we are having an unusually warm and dry winter, the evenings are still cool and a hearty soup is just the answer.  This cabbage, leek, potato and barley soup is filling and it’s vegan.  Fairly simple to make, it goes well with a salad and some crusty bread.  My tasting partner and I enjoyed it one evening in front of a crackling fire.

recipe after the jump

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kale and Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Kale and Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


My tasting partner and I have resolved to lose the few pounds we added during the holidays (the chocolate desserts, the glasses of wine), so back to filling and nutritional salads for us at dinner.  This kale and quinoa tabbouleh salad, from Food52 and changed slightly, meets those criteria.  And it's vegan, dairy free and gluten free.  The addition of kale and quinoa amps up the traditional tabbouleh (a parsley and couscous or bulgur salad) with the oil and lemon dressing that is so refreshing and filling.  I served this salad with hummus, carrots and naan on the side   

recipe after the jump 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vegetarian Pho (fuh) Soup

       
Vegetarian Pho
 A couple of weeks ago I had a 24 hour gastrointestinal virus and after I recovered, I only felt like eating plain starches, like plain spaghetti and rice noodles.  I found this recipe while looking for something different to do with rice noodles and a Pho vegan soup sounded like the perfect dish.  Pho is the national soup of Vietnam.  It is a bowl of rice noodles, fresh herbs, and bean sprouts swimming in a fragrant broth. The anise seed gives the broth a depth of flavor with a hint of licorice, while the ginger adds a kick of heat.  The broth is a bit time consuming, but the fragrance while the broth simmers is heavenly and well worth the effort.  My tasting partner thought I ought to make a large batch of the broth and freeze it in order to have a soup base ready at a moments notice.  I just might do that.

recipe after the jump

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flour-less Chocolate Cake


Years ago, when my tasting partner and I were first married, we were visiting family in Northern California and we went dessert tasting.  It was there that I first tasted a flour-less chocolate cake and was obsessed with making one.  This was before the internet, so I would scour every dessert cookbook I could find for the elusive flour-less chocolate cake.  After a couple of months, I found a recipe and have enjoyed it for years.  It is not vegan and it is not completely flour-less, having 2 tablespoons of flour.  Recently, my sister was in town and she follows a gluten free diet and I wanted to serve a chocolate cake for her final night in town celebration, so I looked for a ‘flour-less chocolate cake’ and this time, with the help of the internet, I found a delicious cake, dense, moist and rich.  I topped the cake with a chocolate ganache for additional chocolate decadence.  One key point, I used good semisweet chocolate from Scharffen Berger.  With this much chocolate it is important to use a quality chocolate.  My tasting partner and sister both had seconds and were considering thirds.
recipe after the jump