Monday, November 28, 2011

Quick Corn Stew

Once again, far too simple but oh so delicious.  It looks complicated, but it was only a handful of ingredients!

I had leftover carrots and broccoli from the Colorful Pasta Salad, so I think I put them to good use.  Toss in the secret ingredient, creamed corn, and it became a quick stew in record-time.  Buahahaha... Iz so slick...

Oh yes, Kristin brought out the ICHC image.  That's right.

2 servings

2 cups broccoli and carrots
1 can creamed corn
1 TBS dried basil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cayenne

1. Steam carrots and broccoli in 1/4 cup water for about 7-10 minutes.  Add water if it evaporates all the liquid.  And cover it so it doesn't evaporate... The picture shows no lid for clarity.

2. Chuck in the creamed corn, basil and salt.  Stir until heated through.

3. Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne!  I bet some plain sour cream would have been a nice addition... I recommend it if you have some!
Mmmm... fast and easy... just like it like 'em...

'em being my lunches.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Candied Pecans

I have always loved pralines, or candied pecans.  Candied walnuts... candied almonds... yep, all good. 
So in the latest issue of VegNews there was a section on homemade candies.  You better believe I flipped to that section immediately and began a mental tally of what's in the pantry and what I can get away with subbing, and what I'd be forced to buy since I can't very well let those recipes go to waste.  

I kept going back to the candied pecans.  I didn't have pecans.  I didn't even have walnuts.  Cashews, as you know by now, I did have but didn't really think they'd work (but who am I kidding, I'd give 'em a try).  So, sadly, I tucked the magazine away.

Then I went to the Saturday market.  Buahaha, local pecans! Thank YOU Mr. Fruit n' Veggie Reseller.  I say this purposefully because many of the stands there aren't actually growers of produce, they resell from who knows where.  I boycotted that market for a few months when I found out my "Carrot Man" was just grabbing more from the big bag of Bunny Loves in his trunk.  Sigh.  Now, in defense of those who do grow, Turkey Hill is always there and they are awesome. A few others are actual farms, but a lot of them aren't.  

But I digress.  The prices tend to be cheaper than the supermarket, so I got me a bag of pecans.

Skipping all the way home, in my mind because I drove in the physical world, I couldn't wait to get on this recipe!  I was giddy for hours until I could get started.

And started I got.

For the record, this recipe is REALLY simple, it just take a while to bake.

*modified slightly from VegNews' recipe*
Lots of servings... but they're irresistible it's almost futile to try and count. But I'd say about 3 cups or so in total, so roughly 18 servings?  Wow... this little piggy went to town!

12oz shelled pecan halves
1 1/2 tsp ground flaxseeds
2 TBS water
3/4 TBS vanilla extract
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS light corn syrup

1. In a medium-large bowl mix the flaxseed meal with the water and vanilla.  Mix well and then let it sit about 5 minutes or so to thicken.

2. In the meantime, mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon in another bowl.

3. Heat the oven to 250F.  When the flaxseed mixture is ready, add the corn syrup and mix.  Then add the pecans and toss really well to coat thoroughly.

Keep mixing... I just want to show the picture below too...

4.  Add the sugar to the pecans and mix, toss, shake, stir super well til ultra-thoroughly coated.  

5. Line a cookie/baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the pecans as evenly as possible.  It'll get messed up later. 

6.  And now you play the waiting-but-attentive game.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  The first three stirs will seem redundant, because they'll still be sticky.  It's that last one that really dries them out, so be patient.  Let them cool completely when they are done. 

Store them in an airtight container if you aren't eating them all in one sitting.  It's tempting, believe me. 
 Yum.... I miss them already... but I think I'll try walnuts next... teehee...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sesame Crusted Chick'n

Ooooooo, this was a good one.  See, Gardein is awesome stuff, a real cthulu-send to vegans, but it's just the beginning.  You can bam it up a notch by breading, marinating, mincing, just get creative!  Here's a great example of what I mean.  Take some gardein chick'n filets, bread with a special mix, saute and viola! Pretty nifty.  I'm a big fan of sesame seeds, which are a great source of iron by the way.  So, while I was sauteeing the filets I thought to my self, 'Self, make something up!'  Notice how a lot of my recipes end up that way?  And I did.  And it was good.

2 svgs

There will probably be extra breading & coating... but better to have more than not enough in cases like these!

2 TBS sesame seeds
2 TBS corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS tahini
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS milk

1. Toast the sesame seeds in a heated pan (the same pan you'll use to cook the rest of the meal).  Keep an eye on them. They'll hold out on you and then suddenly start toasting real quick when you're not looking.
2. Meanwhile, mix the coating ingredients in a small bowl: tahini, fresh ginger, garlic and milk.  
3. When the sesame seeds are ready, remove them from the pan and set them aside on a low, rimmed plate.  Heat some oil in the pan and cook the filets about 5-7 minutes on each side-- you want to heat them through but they don't have to be perfectly browned.
4. Mix the sesame seeds with the corn flour and salt.  Wait for the filets.  When they are ready, remove the pan from heat.  Take the filets aside and counsel them.  Let them cool a bit before handling, about 3-5 minutes.  

5. Return the pan to the burner and heat some oil--but be mindful not to burn the oil.  Get your assembly line on!  Dunk the filet to evenly coat with the liquidy coating.
Then dredge in the dry seed mix to evenly cover. 
Saute about 5 minutes per side til toasty brown.
6. Marvel at your creation!

No... seriously... marvel at it...

I used the leftover coating with some flour and margarine and made some bisquits.  Waste not, right?  Yum!!

Wait for it... Marvel at the dish!
Get it...? Marvel comics background?  Heh.  I served with a side of sauteed mushrooms and a little veganaise, plus the quick bisquit.  All in all, quite yummy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cheeze Sauce

I have posted recipes that use Daiya, and recipes that include "nooch".  Here is my go-to recipe to make a quick cheeze sauce.  I will link back to this recipe and mention any modifications.  This tends to be the base of any good cheeze sauce I make... But I usually switch some things up as I go along!

approx. 4 servings, 1/4 cup each

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup water
2 TBS spicy brown mustard
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS flour
1 finely minced garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic granules

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the nutritional yeast through the soy sauce.  Let it head and bubble.

2. Mix in the garlic and slowly add the flour if it needs thickening.  Let it bubble about 10 minutes, thickening. It will continue to thicken after the heat is turned off.

3. Add it to any delicious meal you have!

I've used it several times...
Cheeze sauce and...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Elektra Nachos

Craving junk food?  Something salty, cheesy, and with enough vegetables to pretend that it's remotely healthy?  Then look no further!  I present you with nachos, Elektra Nachos to be precise:

I was going to make a casserole, but then tortilla chips came up in conversation and that's it, there was no escaping this.  Named in honor of:
And find me she did... My tastebuds that is!

one big bowl.

1 bag tortilla chips of your choosing
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 small red onion chopped
1 cup of black beans
3 cups spinach (baby leaves make it easier, or chop adult ones up)
3/4 c-1 cup pepperjack daiya cheese
sour cream to serve

1. Heat oven to 350F. Chop all your veggies if you haven't.

Rinse and drain the beans and get the tortilla chips out.

2. Start layering!  Start with a base of tortilla chips in some sort of casserole dish.  Something deep or at least with high sides.
3. Then add some spinach, followed by tomatoes and onions and beans.  The spinach should go next to create help create a bed where the smaller chopped veggies and beans won't fall through. 

4. Sprinkle on some Daiya, about 1/4 cup

5. Repeat the layering until the bowl is full.  Definitely leave a cheesy layer on top.  Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. 
Remove from oven and cool about 3 minutes or so or you will burn your tongue. 

Truly delicious!

And, because I can't resist, let me picture it with the kick-ass coffee table. 
 Yummy... I'm getting hungry just looking at this!

Some of you wonder, what "sour cream" do you use? And what the heck is "Daiya".  Nothing like a picture to show you:
There are other sour creams out there, Follow Your Heart makes a really good one, but Publix only has Tofutti. Not that I'm complaining, because they at least have it!  And, specifically the non-hydrogenated version which is excellent.  They also carry Gardein!  Now if they carried Daiya, we'd be set!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Focaccia Fantastica

I was hunting for a quick bread... and I should have read all of the directions BEFORE starting this one... it does require 1 hour to rise.  Which, seeing yeast in the ingredients, you'd think I would have realized it was too good to be true.  I finished mixing and kneading and I let it rise.  And it was the best dang bread I think I've made in a while.  There is advanced prep to roast garlic if you don't have any on hand.  You can also just use regular raw garlic, but I had some roasted cloves that are awesome in this.

3 cups unbleached white bread flour
8 tsp olive oil (1/4 c + 2 tsp)
1/2 TBS each dried basil, oregano, rosemary (crushed)
6 roasted garlic cloves
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 TBS warm water
1/2 tbs sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and set aside until it foams.

2. Mix the flour and salt, add the oil and mix as well as you can. Add and mix the dry herbs and garlic cloves.

You're not adding the salt until later by the way.

(above, that is one of the roasted garlic cloves! Yummers...)

3. Add the yeast and water and mix together.  Add more water as needed to make a flexible dough (I think it was about 1/2 cup or so).

4. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface, until smooth and elastic.

5. Give up after about 5 minutes...

6. Oil the dough lightly and put it in a lightly oiled bowl to rise.

Cover with a damp cloth and rise until doubled in size, (APPROXIMATELY 1 HOUR), in a warm spot like on top of the fridge or on the warm stove from having roasted the garlic.

7. Punch down and knead briefly.

 Roll out on a floured surface into a circle.

(Ok, that's not a circle, but it's what it looked like after taking it out of the bowl, post-punching.)

8. Transfer to a baking sheet with parchment paper or oiled or somehow prepared.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and schmear it around.  Sprinkle the salt on top and add more herbs if you'd like.

9. Cover and let rest about 15 minutes.  Heat the oven to 350F.

10. Bake about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and let it cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes before slicing.


YUM... Can't get enough!  It's good alone, with some margarine or as sandwich bread.  Oh yea, that's what I'm talking about!