Category Archives: RecipesPosted on October 11th, 2014 by Dan
Summer’s bounty can be overwhelming sometimes. This dish is a great way to use up the last of summer’s vegetables. Feel free to get creative with the types of vegetables and seasonings. If you plan to switch things up, remember to cook your various vegetables appropriately:
Roast the more hardy ones (potatoes, cauliflower or squash)
Steam (broccoli or asparagus) or briefly boil (peas) the greener ones
Sauté – high heat and quick time – the tender ones (mushrooms, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, or green onions)
- 1/2 zucchini (peeled, seeded and cut into wedges)
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 1 carrot (sliced diagonally)
- 1 half bell pepper (sliced)
- 1/4 pound green beans (edges trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces)
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 ears of corn (cut off cob)
- 2 big handfuls of kale (stems removed & chopped)
- 1 tbsp Italian herbs (dried or fresh parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, etc- you get to be creative here)
- On a baking sheet, combine the zucchini, onion, carrot and bell pepper. Toss with enough olive oil to coat and about 1/4 tsp of salt. Bake at 350*F until everything is tender, approx 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Once boiling, add the green beans in for no more than 1 minute and then transfer then with a slotted spoon to an ice water bath. Add the pasta to the boiling water and boil until al dente. Strain the pasta and cover.
- In a large pot (possibly the same as our pasta cooker), heat up some olive oil (~ 2 tbsp) on low and add the crushed garlic along with a pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant (30 seconds), add the tomatoes, cook another minute then add the corn (if the garlic stars to brown before you add the corn, turn the heat down). Cook the corn for 1-2 minutes, then add the strained green beans, roasted vegetables and cooked pasta. Add more olive oil coat everything, stirring really well. Season with additional salt, if necessary, and mix in the black pepper and Italian herbs and warm throughout. Turn off the heat, add the chopped kale on top, put the lid on the pot and let sit to soften the kale for 1-2 minutes. Once the kale is just barely wilted and a brighter green, mix everything and serve.
Also, we accidentally grew microgreens. All our arugula went to seed apparently and after I weeded away the dead cucumber vines and lettuce, these adorable little guys immediately sprouted up. They are so delicious, it’s hard to describe.Posted on August 8th, 2014 by Dan
Many times it’s hard to see pasta past a red sauce, but many of the best pasta dishes I’ve had get an extraordinary amount of flavor and complexity from subtle ingredients that would be otherwise masked by the robustness of a tomato. Such pasta dishes often have an oil based ‘dressing’, if you will, like spaghetti with white beans and garlic.
Here I’ve taken a late season fall gourd, acorn squash, and roasted it along with spinach and caramelized onions. The roasted squash and sweet onions go really well together, offering a sweet and savory infused oil that lingers in your mouth.
- 1/2 pound dry penne pasta
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 2 onions
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock (or just plain water)
- 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (either packed in oil or dry)
- 1/2 pound washed baby spinach (or regular spinach, chopped)
*If you are using the tomatoes that are dried (not packed in oil), place them in the wine to allow them to soften.
- First we roast the squash by peeling it, cutting it in half (lengthwise) and scooping the seeds out. Cut into 3/4″ cubes and put on a baking sheet. Slice the onions and add to the squash. Toss it all with the 1/4 cup olive oil, big pinch of salt, paprika, cayenne and black pepper (might be easier to mix everything in a bowl first then place on the baking sheet). Bake at 400*F until the squash is able to be pierced by a fork (about 20 minutes), stirring everything 2-3 times to prevent the onions from burning.
- Cook the penne in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain, toss with some oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
- While the squash is baking and penne is cooking, heat some oil in a heavy bottom pan over med/low heat and add the garlic. Cook until just lightly browned and fragrant (1 minute). Turn the heat to high and then deglaze with the wine (remove the tomatoes if you were soaking them). Let the wine reduce for a bit (30 secs) over the high heat, then add the stock, tomatoes and spinach. Add the penne and mix thoroughly. Cook until the spinach wilts.
- Combine the squash with the garlic-spinach mixture. Season with additional salt or spices and add some extra olive oil as needed (for me I added an additional 1/8 cup) to make a nice mixture that isn’t overly oily.
- Serve with some red pepper flakes for garnish.
The ancient grains have been gaining popularity lately. It started with quinoa, but now farro, bulgur, amaranth and kamut can be fairly easily found at most major grocery stores. What I love most about these grains, as opposed to rice, is their inherent nutty flavor (like in my bulgur-asparagus recipe) and toothy texture.
This soup has a nice comfort food feel with onions, carrots, sweet potato and lentils with the added kamut grains for a unique chewiness. Kamut can take some time to cook, and the package I have suggests soaking them overnight.
- 1 cup raw kamut (soaked overnight and drained)
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, washed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and 1/2″ diced
- 1/8 cup dry white wine
- 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup green onions/celery leaves/parsley for garnish
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the kamut and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the lentils. When both the kamut and lentils are tender (after about an additional 20 minutes) remove from the heat and set aside.
- While the lentils and kamut are simmering, bring some oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Season with some salt and cook. Meanwhile, peel and chop the sweet potato. After about 15 minutes, add the ground cumin, black pepper and sweet potato; cover; and cook until the potato is just able to be pierced by a fork.
- Boost the heat on the veggies to high, deglaze with the wine for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and 1-2 cups of vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil and add the cooked farro and lentils (and any additional cooking water left over). Simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with parsley, celery leaves and/or green onions.
Yes, we’re all ready for spring after this long winter and it’s starting to make itself evident in Maryland. What we’re most looking forward to is gardening- we’ve started veggie & perennial seeds, we’ve been weeding like crazy, and ordering a bunch of shade loving plants for a big section of our backyard.
Another reason to get excited is the availability of cold weather produce. Radishes, lettuce, kale, spinach and more. I never really use radish, but couldn’t resist a bunch of them being so fresh along with a big bag of spinach.
Since most of our meals aren’t finished until well past sunset (and photographing food under light bulbs is less than ideal), I didn’t get a picture of the final dish. However, it was tasty enough that we plan on making it again and again. We ended up serving it warm by adding the spinach and radish to the warm lentils which resulted in slightly wilted spinach. I can easily see, though, serving it as a cold salad for lunch with warm pita bread or the like.
- 1 cup of onion (about 1/2 large onion), diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup of dried green or brown lentils
- 1.5 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 5-7 radish bulbs, sliced thinly
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves (about 3 handfuls)
- 1/2 cup dried quinoa
- 4 oz chicken style seitan (optional)
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Cook the mirepoix in some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (dutch oven) with some salt over low heat until the veggies and soft and onions translucent. Add in the garlic and cook on high for a few minutes until any residual moisture is evaporated.
- Deglaze with the wine, then pour in the lentils, bay leaf, water/broth and thyme. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are soft. As the lentils cook, stir occasionally and add more water to ensure the lentils are mostly submerged.
- While the lentils cook, make the quinoa according to package directions and make the vinaigrette by whisking together all the dressing ingredients in a jar.
- When the lentils are soft, turn the heat back up to high and cook off any remaining water and then kill the heat.
- If you plan to eat this as a cold salad, cool the quinoa and lentil mixture.
- Stir in the quinoa, radishes and spinach leaves. If you are using the seitan, saute it seperately in a fry pan and then add it into the lentil mixture.
- Drizzle on the dressing and stir to combine before serving. Season with additional salt and pepper.
Doughnuts are the best baked good to celebrate holidays, birthdays or any special day really. I have the fondest memories of my grandmother whipping up batches and batches of doughnuts for Fat Tuesday before Lent. She makes enough chocolate, cinnamon, jelly-filled and cream-filled flavors for all 7 of her sons and their families. I was actually able to get her recipe, but I found it doesn’t veganize as well as my go-to doughnut dough. Never-the-less, as a result, I have a sentimental part in my stomach for deep-friend dough on Fat Tuesday. Last year we were too busy to make doughnuts on Tuesday, so we had Susanna’s niece over to help celebrate Fat Thursday with doughnuts 🙂 (which, coincidentally was Valentine’s Day).
We made up two varieties, a yeasted gluten-free dough from VeganDad. This is more of a cake style doughnut (pictured below). Still deep-fried, still risen with yeast.
The second style was with my aforementioned go-to doughnut dough. With these I was able to make filled doughnuts with a delicious marshmallow cream. Oh, it was so good. Some we added a little peanut butter into the cream too.
Vegan Doughnut Marshmallow Cream:
- 1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup ricemellow creme
- 2 tsp smooth peanut butter (optional)
- Mix everything together with an electric beater until fluffed and slightly runny.
- Use a piping bag to fill the doughnuts, or poke a small hole into the doughnut and drizzle in the creme with a spoon.
Pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin. Yes, we know.
Summer is over and it’s time to take advantage of local pumpkins in Maryland. I’ve made a few yummy pumpkin desserts and soups and such, but haven’t added it to bread… yet. Well, now I have. But first, let me suggest to you, freezing pumpkin, in an ice cube tray. Throw two tablespoons of puree into each ice mold, freeze, then pop them into a freezer bag. The result: 12 cubes of 1 ounce pumpkin which you can use on a moments notice to add in bread, pancakes, milkshakes… the list goes on.
Pumpkin is a bread bakers friend. It can be substituted cup for cup for water and can also be used to enrich dough, in lieu of egg. Ever since I made myself a sourdough starter I have wanted to make sourdough bagels. Originally, I thought my first ones would be sourdough blueberry bagels, but the extra moisture in the blueberries scared me, so those will have to wait until the spring.
These bagels are great. They are rich, slightly sweet from the cranberry, chewy and take really really well to pumpkin spice cream cheese. For the cream cheese, mix about 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and allspice each into an 8 oz tube of your favorite vegan cream cheese and blend.
I hope you make these and enjoy them. They take two days with the sourdough, but worth the time, for sure. Let me know what you think and what else you like to do with pumpkin.
- 5 oz sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 11 oz bread flour
- 3 oz whole wheat flour
- 7 oz warm water
- 8 oz pumpkin puree
- 0.5 – 1 oz water (optional)
- 18 oz bread flour
- 0.5 oz barley malt syrup
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 0.7 oz salt
- 4.5 oz dried cranberry
- The day before you plan to make the bagels, make the firm sourdough starter by mixing the 5 oz of 100% hydration sourdough with 11 oz bread flour, 3 oz whole wheat flour and 7 oz of water. Mix until it forms a ball, knead briefly, then coat the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let rest for 4 hours. Then lightly degas, reform into a ball. Place this ball back into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate over night.
- The next day, an hour before making the dough, remove the starter from the fridge, cut into small pieces, place on a silpat and cover with plastic to allow to warm up a bit.
- Mix the rest of the bread flour (18 oz) with the salt and yeast. Add the pumpkin puree and malt syrup and mix until a ball forms. Add in the cranberries and switch to hand kneading (or use the hook attachment of your stand mixer) and knead until everything is incorporated, all the flour is hydrated and it feels pliable, but not tacky. Add more water if you need to allow everything to mix together, but a firm dough will yield a chewier, more shapely bagel. It is often easier to let the dough rest a few minutes and knead again a few times to ensure everything is mixed and the gluten is developed.
- Immediately divide the dough into 4.5 – 5 oz balls (mine were 4.8 oz) for 12 bagels. Let these balls rest a few minutes, then shape into bagels with whichever method you prefer. For shaping, I like to take the ball of dough and force my finger through the center, stretching it out, remembering the dough with expand and shrink the hole some when it is boiled.
- From here, I brushed the bagels with oil, covered with plastic and let rest in a cool part of the house for 2 hours to bake that day. Alternatively, in theory, you should be able to brush with oil, cover and retard in the fridge overnight. The goal is to not allow them to rise so that they get puffy, otherwise you end up with wrinkly, malformed bagels.
- When ready to bake, bring a large pot of water to boil, dissolve a 1-2 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of sugar in the water. Have the oven at 500°F with a steam tray in place. With my 12 bagels, I decided to bake in two batches, so I boiled my first 6 (two at a time), for 2 minutes (one minute per side). Then I placed these 6 on a baking sheet lined with my silpat and placed in the oven. I immediately threw about a cup of water on the steam tray and closed the door. After 30 seconds, I spray the bagels with a spray bottle of water and closed the door, repeating this 2 more times. After the last time I set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I rotated the baking sheet, reduced the heat to 450°F and baked for an additional 4-6 minutes, until they were golden.
- After the bagels were finished, I removed them to a cooling rack, brushed lightly with melted butter and repeated the process with the remaining 6.
- Let cool and then serve with pumpkin spice cream cheese- vegan, of course.
I get most excited for the first pumpkins to mark the fall harvest. I bought two sugar pumpkins last week and used it all up in a week. Since we did such a great job canning tomatoes, I was hoping to do a lot of pumpkin preserving for the winter. However, I was disappointed in finding out that you can’t safely can pumpkin puree, though you can do pumpkin chunks, which I plan on trying.
Since I immediately pureed my pumpkin, I had to find ways to use it all up (which wasn’t so hard). I made double batches of our pumpkin granola, delicious pumpkin cake (recipe to come), pumpkin red lentil curry, and these tasty cookies.
The cookies are soft and chewy with a hint of pumpkin and spice, though they probably could have taken more of each. The brown butter idea is from some similar recipes I found that used it to add flavor. Since Earth Balance doesn’t have as much lactic sugar as dairy butter, I added some Amaretto to add some toffee notes.
Makes 24 cookies.
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
- 1/4 tsp Amaretto (optional)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp Vegg powder + 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups AP white flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Brown the butter in a small sauce pan on medium-low heat and melt, stirring in the Amaretto. Let bubble for a few minutes (no more than 5) until a slight, but noticeable color change (light brown) and a nutty odor occurs.
- Add the now browned butter to a large bowl (or one of your stand mixer) and beat with the sugars. Add the Vegg powder and water and combine. Then add in the pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Sift in the flours, cornstarch and baking soda and fold with a rubber spatula, then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop tablespoon sized balls on a baking sheet (parchment or silpat) and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are browning (the tops will still seem soft, but they’ll firm up out of the oven).
Start off with the perfect vegetable combination of onions, carrots and celery: mirepoix.
Add chicken-style seitan and a sweet, tangy ginger lime sauce.
Add in toasted cashews and reduce into a delicious glaze.
Serve over cilantro rice.
This is a great recipe that came together super fast and has all the right tastes (sweet, salty, sour and spicy).
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp hot pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 drop liquid smoke
- 1/4 cup water (experiment with orange or pineapple juice)
- 12 oz package of chicken-style seitan strips, roughly chopped
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 loosely packed cilantro leaves
- white rice for serving
- Saute the mirepoix (onions, celery and carrots) in about a tablespoon of olive oil with some salt over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If the onions begin to brown, turn down the heat. Cook until the veggies sweat and are soft.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining everything from the garlic down to the 1/4 cup of water in a jar and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Once the mirepoix is tender, turn up the heat to high and add the seitan, stirring often to brown the seitan.
- Coarsely chop the cashews (I like to leave a few whole) and toast them in a toaster oven (350°F ) or stove top until they just start to brown (cashews will turn from toasty to burnt in seconds. This takes about 10 minutes, but you should check every few minutes and stir occasionally.
- Once the seitan has browned, add the sauce to the pan, keeping the heat high, until it reduces and thickens a bit (add additional water if you’d like a more runny sauce). Turn the heat to low and reduce to your desired consistency.
- Serve on white rice with the cilantro.
Also, we grew a perfectly shaped carrot in our garden. I used it in this dish.Posted on August 9th, 2013 by Dan
It’s been a really good year for our garden this year. One of the consistently producing plants in our garden are sugar snap peas. We’ve got about 24 vines growing up some string and they put out like crazy.
I had little luck finding recipes with sugar snap peas in any of my books or online. The one that I did find in a book was from a vegetable cookbook, which stars veggies, but is far from vegetarian. The recipe was for a shrimp and mushroom curry… gross.
So, here’s a delicious curry that showcases my sugar snap peas and proves they can carry this thick, filling curry all by themselves!
- vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 dried whole red chilies
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp ginger root, minced
- 200 g sugar snap peas, washed, tips and strings removed
- 500 g small mix of red and gold potatoes, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and small diced
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 cup water (optionally, substitute 1/4 cup of the water for coconut milk)
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- Heat oil (~2tsp) in wide cast iron skillet over low heat, and garlic and cook until slightly golden.
- Add the chilies, tumeric, ginger root, and cook for 30 seconds, then boost the heat to medium high and add in the sugar snap peas.
- Season with some salt and cook peas until golden brown (but don’t char them!), then drop the heat back to low.
- Using tongs, remove the pea pods and keep aside. Add in the gold/red potatoes to give them a head start, for about 10 minutes.
- Now, add in the sweet potato, tomato, lentils and water. Increase heat to high to bring the water to a boil, then drop it again to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered, scrapping the bottom occasionally to avoid burning and add more water if it becomes too dry.
- Uncover, and cook until the potatoes are soft and there is not runny water left.
- Kill the heat and stir in the oregano and the cooked peas. Serve with some chopped cilantro or extra crushed red peppers.
Now that summer is in full swing and farmers’ markets are starting to overflow, I need to finally use up all my preserved fruits and vegetables from last year. As of last week, my freezer contained two freezer bags of wineberries, one of black berries, three of strawberries and one of plums, all of which were harvested or bought from a local market. This isn’t even to mention the jars I have stacked in cabinets.
I know it defeats the purpose to use frozen fruit from last year, when in a few weeks I can have it fresh again- I need to get better about enjoying our hard preserving work, instead of harboring it. So, l am now down a bag of plums in the freezer and up two plum cobbler pies. Using guidelines from a recipe from the Kitchn: Summer Recipe: Whole Wheat Plum Crumble Pie, I used up all my plums and made two pies. To share with Susanna’s mom who is experiemnting with eating gluten-free, I made one of them gluten-free. The gf pie was actually a better product; the crust held together nicer and didn’t have any sort of grainy texture or taste. So I thought I’d share the gluten-free version of the recipe I made with some additional changes.
This is a great dessert for picnics or other outdoor summer meal. Depending on your plums, you might want to add or reduce the sugar. Peeling the plums isn’t necessary, since the skins practically dissolve while baking.
Ingredients (makes one pie)
1-1.25 lbs of plums, pitted and quartered or halved
2 Tbl sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
90 g vegan margarine, melted
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp sugar
96 g vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1-2 Tbl cold water
Extra shortening for greasing the pie plate
Before anything, get the crust ingredients cold: weigh out the shortening and put in the freezer, flours in the fridge and put an ice cube in the water.
First, let’s prep the plums. After you quarter and pit the plums, mix them with the sugar and place in a colander over a bowl and place in the fridge for at least an hour or longer.
Meanwhile, make the pie crust. With your cold ingredients, put the flours, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Now put the cold shortening in the processor and pulse 6-8 times to make a sandy mixture. While pulsing, add a tsp of the water and pulse and additional 2-4 times. The dough should appear crumbly and barely hold together when pinched (see simplygluten-free.com for more tips on pie crusts, gf or wheat). Pour the crumbly dough into ziplock bag, compact into a disc, seal and put in the fridge to rest of an hour or up to 3 days.
After your dough rests, roll it out between two sheets of rice floured wax paper until it’s about 1/8-1/4″ thick. Grease a 9″ pie plate with shortening and carefully transfer the rolled out dough onto the dish. It will likely rip, but don’t worry, this buttery dough can easily be pieced back together. Now put the pie plate in the freezer for 45 minutes.
While the dough is in the freezer,preheat the oven to 300°F and make the crumble topping. Use a large bowl to combine the oats, flours, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the melted butter and form clumps, about 1″ big or smaller. The topping will barely form together and that’s okay.
Take the plums out of the fridge and take the juice that has strained out and mix with the cornstarch until it is complete dissolved. Bring the juice to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes. Once cool, add the vanilla extract. Take the pie plate/dough out of the freezer, add the plums, pour the juice over it, sprinkle with extra sugar is desired, then cover with the crumble topping. Bake for 45 minutes at 300°F, then increase the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes. It’s done when the crust has darkened and the plum juice is bubbling over. You might want to place a sheet pan under the pie plate to avoid and plum juice overflow.
Serve with vanilla ice cream!