snugglekitty: (food)
It all started with some marinated portabellos. They were left over from my making a fancy dinner for [ profile] tsuj last night. I knew I wanted to have them for dinner.

2/3 c cooked portabellos
1 onion
1/4 c olives
1 c dry barley
2 c water
1 small package andouille sausage of any variety (including vegetarian)
8 shrimp OR small jar roasted red peppers
red wine
olive oil
garlic, salt, pepper

Add barley and water to a pan. Cook on high heat until boiling, then cover and simmer until done. In another pan, sautee onions and sausage in olive oil over high heat. When brown, add shrimp or peppers, cooked barley, olives, and seasoning. Allow barley to brown. When it is sticking to the pan, deglaze with red wine. Serve hot. Serves 4.

This was astonishingly good. What was most interesting is that it evolved - first the mushrooms, then the barley, then the sausage and olives, and suddenly I realized I was but a few short steps from a paella. :) Maybe my subconscious was steering, but I had no idea.
snugglekitty: (silly quinoa)
When first I heard the phrase, I knew it had to be mine.

"Quinoa tabouli."

I just finished making a homemade batch and eating a big bowl of it. Delicious!

Inexact recipe. )
snugglekitty: (silly quinoa)
A few weeks ago I had a fantastic quinoa salad with grilled veggies on the side, from the Cambridge Brewing Company. I wanted to try the salad part at home. My first attempt was tasty (and the leftovers were devoured by [ profile] nessur and [ profile] jenaflynn before they could even leave the table, for proof!) but did not resemble the initial salad. My second attempt did, and is behind the cut.

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (food)
This recipe is even better than the last carrot salad recipe I posted. "How?" you want to know. "How could it possibly be better?" Cherries and curry, my friends. Cherries and curry.

I had carrots left over from making the tasty ginger carrot pickles, so I decided to try my hand with another carrot salad. I had cherries left over from a big bag I got at the store last week, and I thought, "Why not?"

3 quarts peeled chopped carrots (I used rounds but sticks would work too.)
1 2/3 c fresh cherries
1/3 c vanilla yogurt (add more or less as desired)
1/3 c walnuts
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T mild curry powder
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 t salt
1 t cornstarch

Rinse the chopped carrots in a Pyrex dish. Put in microwave on high for two minutes. This will keep them from stiffening up when they get wet. (If you don't like microwaves or don't have one, just steam or parbroil them for a similar amount of time.) Stem, pit, and quarter cherries. In a small bowl, mix yogurt thoroughly with cornstarch to maintain texture. Let sit for a few minutes. Then add vinegar, mustard, and seasonings. In a large dish, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until chilled.

To make this dish vegan, substitute soy yogurt or cashew butter for the yogurt. I think it would be yummy with the cashew butter, although I might substitute something else for the walnuts in that case. Crisp Granny Smith apple, perhaps? Tart dried apricots? What do you think?
snugglekitty: (pickles)
1) Possible.
2) Delicious.

I could not find a single recipe online or in a book for naturally fermented watermelon pickles. I wanted to try making watermelon pickles, but I also wanted the health benefits of naturally fermented food! I persisted in believing they were possible. With a little help from The Joy of Pickling and a lot of help from [ profile] mrpet, I have created a batch of these wonderfully sweet, tangy treats.

Here's how. )

A few days later, you will have delicious watermelon pickles! Yum! I'm taking mine out tonight. They are sour and sweet and chewy!
snugglekitty: (Default)
This weekend I made the best carrot salad I've ever made. Possibly the best carrot salad I've ever had. If you've ever wished that carrot salad would be more like carrot cake, this is the recipe for you.

1/2 bag baby carrots
handful golden raisins
handful walnuts
2 T dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup water
olive oil
raw apple cider vinegar
Dijon mustard

Slice the carrots finely into a bowl. Microwave or parbroil in water for 30 seconds. Pour water into a small saucepan. Add olive oil, vinegar, mustard, ginger, salt and honey to taste. (I know that's imprecise, but these things are personal! I probably used 1 Tbsp of olive oil, two of vinegar, a teaspoon each of mustard and honey, and just a sprinkle of salt.) Add raisins, walnuts, and coconuts to carrots. Cook down dressing mixture until it is a thickness and flavor you like. Add to salad and serve warm. Serves two as an appetizer. Prep time is around 15 minutes.
snugglekitty: (silly quinoa)
My goal: to make the best vegan meal I've ever made. (I'm enough of a realist not to have hoped to make the best vegan meal I've ever tasted. I'm good, but not that good.)
My inspiration: Hangawi, the vegan Asian restaurant in NYC I visited last October. (Thanks to [ profile] trouble4hire for tracking it down.)
My grade: A+!

I often wish that meals with multiple components had their recipes broken down into their components, so I've done that here. They are listed in order of cooking time, so if you're making the whole thing, do the first part first, etc.

Five pans. So worth it. )
snugglekitty: (squash soup)
I woke up yesterday thinking for some reason that I really needed to make coconut carrot soup. For me, the desire to cook is a sign of emotional well-being, so I decided to do it even though I am still sick. First, I reality-checked this plan by checking the internet. It seemed that people DO actually make coconut carrot soup, after all, and we had almost all of the necessary ingredients in the house, so I decided to give it a try. Special thanks to [ profile] trouble4hire, who showed up at the perfect moment with needed scallions and got a bowl of soup for her trouble.

Read more... )

This is a relatively quick soup, since it's made in a small batch. There's also not a lot of prep time. The downside is that it only makes a few servings - probably three to four as an appetizer, or two as a main dish. I was limited by what we had in the house, but it would be pretty easy to scale up.
snugglekitty: (apples)
but still, I felt compelled. For our Samhain dinner tomorrow night I made braised cabbage with leek and apple. It seems to have turned out very well, despite my lack of a recipe or cabbage experience. Sometimes you just have a vision.

1/2 large cabbage
1/2 large apple (I used a Honey Crisp but it would be great with a Granny Smith)
1 leek
1 onion
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 pint water
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
salt, mustard, and ginger to taste

Freeze your onion for a few minutes before cutting, to prevent eye irritation. Slice into wedges. Wash leek and slice into medium rounds. Warm olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Brown onion and leek while grating cabbage. (It would also be fine with the cabbage in thin slices.) When onion and leek are browned, add cabbage and stir. Chop apple, leaving skin on. Add to mixture. Add seasonings to taste. Cook covered over low heat for two hours, stirring occaisionally. Add butter after heat has been reduced. Serves six as a side dish.
snugglekitty: (food)
Last week's casserole was such a success, I had to do it again! Today's casserole was polenta with squash and kale, and very well received. I couldn't find the recipe I wanted, so I just made one up.

You know you want to. )
snugglekitty: (food)
Yesterday I made a five cheese mixed root veggie gratin, with enormous help from [ profile] f_butterfly.
The thing that made this easy was having a mandolin. If you do not have a mandolin, it will take much longer and the layers will be thicker.

Read more... )
snugglekitty: (food)
I've made warm pea tendril salad before, but this time I used different ingredients than usual and it was especially good. I shared this meal with our new roommate [ profile] syprina.
For those who have not tried them, pea tendrils are the leaf, flower, and upper stalk part of the pea. They have a crunchy texture like kale, but a subtle flavor of pea. They're not normally sold in stores, but you can get them at farmer's markets or from your own garden if you have one. This time, I also discovered that they can sit in your fridge for more than a week without suffering any ill effects - robust!

1 bunch pea tendrils
1/3 jar of beets
1/8 cup toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons aged shredded gouda
1 small pear, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
red wine vinegar

Wash and dry pea tendrils in a salad spinner. Remove the stalks up to the bottom leaf on each tendril, and any leaves that look thick and woody. With a sharp knife, chop the tendrils into pieces 1 1/2 inches long. (Preparing the pea tendrils is actually longer than any other step.) Coarsely chop garlic. Put a large sautee pan over low heat. When it comes up to temperature, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and salt. When garlic is coated in oil, add pea tendrils. After just a few minutes, the tendrils will turn soft and dark green. Take them off the heat before you think they're completely done, so they maintain a bit of crunch. Add vinegar to taste. Top the greens with beets, walnuts, pear, and cheese. Serve with bread or crackers. Serves two for a meal, or four as an appetizer.
snugglekitty: (food)
Over the past month, we have been getting a few green peppers in our farmshare every week.  Eventually, you can no longer give them to your friends, and instead, you must consume them yourself.  I decided to try making stuffed peppers.  My rice allergy is what makes this interesting.

Other than the peppers, not many farmshare veggies were left in the house, since tonight we'll get our new shipment.  So I went with what we did have.

3 bell peppers
1 cup dry quinoa
4 c water
3/4 cup dry lentils
1/2 large tomato (from <lj user="desiringsubject">, in this case)
2 small onions
1 bulb fennel
1/2 c walnuts
1 portion bouillion
grated sharp cheese (I used asiago, parmesan or cheddar would probably also work)
stale croutons

Cook lentils and quinoa in weak stock on stove until al dente.  Finely chop and sautee onions and fennel.  Slice peppers in half lengthwise.  Mix quinoa, lentils, onions, fennel, tomato, and walnuts.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grate cheese onto the mixture and stir.  Stuff each pepper half.  Place in a baking dish and use remaining stuffing to surround peppers.  Grate additional cheese over the peppers, and top with croutons.

Here's the cool experiment part - I put two of the pepper halves in the microwave, and four of them in the oven.  Different recipes called for different things, so I wanted to try both.  <small>And not all of the peppers could fit in one dish...</small>  The stove-made stuffed peppers were much, much better in terms of texture, both inside and outside, though both kinds were tasty.  You could probably use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven, though, if it was really hot.  Or if you didn't have an oven.

Anyway, since this is my recipe, and I think that the oven peppers came out best, that's what I recommend.  When oven reaches temperature, slide the baking dish in.  Bake for 30 minutes, then check.  If the top is not brown and slightly crunchy, turn the oven up to 400, and bake for another ten minutes.  Remove baking dish from oven and let cool.  Enjoy!

If you wanted to get fancier with this, a sauce to drizzle over the top might be nice.  <i>(ETA: Something cheesy and rich, maybe.  Or sweet and tangy.)</i>  Another option is to coordinate the stuffing more - ie, Mexican style stuffed peppers with rice, beans, and salsa, or Middle Eastern style peppers with artichokes, olives, and feta.  But for being the first stuffed peppers I had ever made, and the first I had eaten in at least ten years, I think they came out pretty darned well.

My roommate and I both ate two halves, so one pepper per person seems like a pretty good rule of thumb.  This recipe would be easy to scale up.

<i>ETA: Next on my list of things to cook is pea tendrils with beets, cheese, and walnuts.  We'll see if that actually happens, though.
snugglekitty: (Default)
While in Portland, ME with [ profile] mrpet, [ profile] hanseth, and [ profile] sylvan_strom last weekend, I consumed a delicious vegetarian hash. With further encouragement from [ profile] hanseth I decided to try my hand at making my own this morning.

I remembered the hash as having potatos, broccoli, carrots, and tempeh, along with parsley. However, we had none of those ingredients except potatoes. So, I improvised based on what we did have in the house, mostly farmshare veggies:

2 small potatoes
2 small onions
1 summer squash
1/2 tomato
1 small bunch rainbow chard
olive oil
black pepper
grated cheese
chopped scallions

Wash potatoes, poke holes in the skins with a fork, and microwave for one minute. Turn over and microwave for another minute. If using one large potato, cut it in half first. Sautee onions and squash in olive oil until mostly tender. Add potato, salt, and pepper and continue sauteeing. Cook tomato and chard separately, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Combine cooked ingredients in blender or food processer. Use "grate" option and stir frequently until food is in small pieces. Grate cheese and slice scallions for garnish.

For a "first time ever" I was pretty happy with how this came out. It wasn't perfect - a little wet, and maybe it could have been cooked a bit longer - but still, there were no leftovers. My roommate said it tastes like breakfast (yay!) And it's actually very different from the "home fries piled with veggies and cheese" experience that is a staple of my brunch life.
snugglekitty: (food)
Yesterday I made a veggie salad with ingredients from our farm share and others that we just happened to have in the house.

Green beans, chard, and cheese, oh my! )

Today, I'm planning a green salad, and summer squash will be sauteed in my near future, too.
snugglekitty: (food)
This afternoon I was meeting [ profile] 7j in the park for a picnic lunch, lunch provided by moi. I realized that what I desperately wanted to serve was pear sandwiches with greens, brie, and walnut pate.

I soon discovered that Pemberton Farms does not carry walnut pate. Not to be discouraged, I decided I would make it myself. I looked at some recipes online, but they weren't what I wanted - long ingredients lists, tons of dairy, tofu, or meat, long preparation times - so I decided I would just do it the way that I thought made sense, and if it didn't work out, so be it.

Read more... )

This was terrific. Especially awesome in the sandwich mentioned above.


snugglekitty: (Default)

August 2011

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