Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hearty New England Chowder

I know Memorial Day weekend doesn't scream hot soup but we made this a few months back and since we haven't been able to cook in our kitchen for the past two months, we had to dig in the archives.  This soup is from a fun new cookbook I bought that takes recipes from the Betty Crocker cookbook and makes them Vegan.  I'm excited to get back in the kitchen because I have at least 20 more recipes earmarked!

Hearty New England Chowder
(Betty Goes Vegan Cookbook)

2            tablespoons olive oil
              dash of liquid smoke
1            large red onion, diced
3/4         cup sliced oyster mushrooms
1            tablespoon white wine
1            teaspoon fresh thyme
3            stalks celery, diced
2            russet potatoes, baked and cubed
1            cup vegetable broth
1            teaspoon onion powder
1/2         teaspoon dill weed
1/2         teaspoon celery seed
1            teaspoon crushed black peppercorns, plus more as needed
1            teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1            14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2         teaspoon sea kelp or seaweed granules
1            tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1            cup soy milk
1            tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
              salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and liquid smoke over medium heat. Toss in the red onion and oyster mushrooms once the oil gets warm. Cook, stirring occasionally.

Once the onion is tender, toss the white wine, thyme, celery, and baked potatoes into the pot and gently mix. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the potatoes start to break down a little. Then stir in the broth, onion powder, dill weed, celery seed, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper, and the vegan Worcestershire sauce with a wooden spoon.  Once the chowder begins to boil, stir in the artichoke hearts, sea kelp, fresh parsley, soy milk, and Bragg’s.

Simmer another 5-7 minutes. Give your chowder another taste test and add any needed salt or pepper.  Once the soy milk thickens, remove soup from the heat and enjoy.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Walnut Brownies

We are still not finished with kitchen remodel so we are digging into our archives.  We made these brownies a few months ago when I purchased the Forks Over Knives cookbook.  We love the touch of molasses mixed with maple syrup.

Walnut Brownies
(Forks Over Knives Cookbook Recipe)

3            ounces extra firm silken tofu, drained
1/3         cup pitted prunes, rough stems removed
1/2         cup plant-based milk, heated until very hot but not boiling
3/4         cup 100% pure maple syrup (I didn’t have enough so I supplemented
1/4         cup of molasses.
1/2         cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4         cup water, heated until very hot but not boiling
2            teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1            cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup walnuts, roughly chopped (I probably used more)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with a 10” square of parchment paper.

Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the prunes. Pour in the hot milk and puree for about 30 seconds. Add the maple syrup and puree until relatively smooth. Some flecks of prune are okay, but there should be no chunks of tofu left.  Scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula and make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Sift the cocoa powder into a mixing bowl.  Add the hot water and mix with a fork until well combined. It should look like a thick chocolate sauce.

Add the tofu-prune mixture to the chocolate in the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Mix in the vanilla.

Sift in half of the flour, and add the baking soda and salt. Mix well. Mix in the remaining flour an fold in the walnuts.  Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. 

Bake for 17-20 minutes. The top should be set and firm to the touch.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lentil Tacos with Fresh Salsa

We have been on a Mexican food kick lately and I'm always looking for new taco recipes.  I would play with the spices a bit in this recipe.  Add some hot sauce or chill pepper to lentil mixture to give it a bit of a kick.  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Lentil Tacos with Fresh Salsa
(Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin)

4          cups water
1          cup dried green lentils
2          tablespoons diced white onion
2          tablespoons olive oil
            salt and pepper, to taste
            chili powder or hot sauce to taste (** lentil mixture needed a little kick**)
2          tablespoons tomato paste
2/3       cup diced cherry tomatoes
2          tablespoons finely sliced red onion
1          garlic clove, minced
1/4       teaspoon diced jalapeno pepper
3          teaspoons lime or lemon juice
1          tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
4          corn tortillas
1          avocado, sliced
1/2       cup shredded lettuce

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and white onion. Return to a boil and then reduce heat, cover,  and simmer until soft, 30-40 minutes.  Drain any remaining water, and place half of the lentils in a blender or food processor.  Process while drizzling  1 tablespoon of the oil into the mixture.  Season with salt , pepper,  and chili powder or hot sauce to taste.  Add the tomato paste and puree until combined.  Put the lentil mixture in a medium bowl and stir in the remaining lentils.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime or lemon juice, cilantro, and remaining oil, for the salsa.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat a small frying pan over low heat, and quickly warm the corn tortillas on each side.  Spread the lentil mixture on top.  Top with the sliced avocado, salsa, and lettuce.