22 April 2011

White bean and Artichoke Tortillas

In my effort to try and stick to my menu plan as much as possible, I have been using my cookbooks a lot more. One of my favorite books currently is Supermaket Vegan. The recipes are simple and delicious. It is a good book for everyday cooking.

This is supposed to be some sort of "quesadilla" where the white beans take the place of the cheese. I would just call it white bean hummus on tortillas.

3 - 4 garlic cloves chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 cup white beans (cooked in the crock pot)
6 jarred artichoke hearts, chopped
4 soft taco tortillas

Heat the garlic and rosemary in a small pan with a small amount of olive until brown and fragrant. Add the white beans and mash up most of the beans while mixing in the other flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Place a tortilla on the pan top with half the bean mixture, three of the chopped artichoke hearts, and a few squirts of sriracha. Put the other tortilla on top and heat through, turning once. Repeat with the other tortillas and top with fresh basil.

The recipe also called for sun-dried tomatoes, but I used up the last of mine in the sun-dried tomato pesto the night before.

I am super pleased with how this turned out.

The husband thought this would make a good spread to go on bread or pita instead of the tortillas.

21 April 2011

Gnocchi with Sun-dried tomato pesto

My husband and I went to the Orchard Street Chop Shop for drinks a few weeks ago. The bar area upstairs is pleasant and I thought for sure I would be able to get a hot toddy. It turns out they don't have hot water at the bar (?), so I just had a shot of whiskey anyway. Anyway, as we were sitting there, we decided we should probably eat. I didn't think that I would find anything I could eat, but they had gnocchi as the token vegetarian dish that night with smoked carrots and beets. Oh man it was so good. I decided to try making my own at home.

Both of the recipes are from Vegan with a Vengeance.

It did not really photograph that well

Potatoes (I cooked three in my slow cooker, but you can bake them in the oven. Do not boil because it will bring too much liquid into the mixture)
1 head roasted garlic
olive oil
1 1/2 C white whole wheat flour

Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel off the skin and place in a large bowl with the garlic. Add enough salt and olive oil until you get creamy mashed potatoes. Start adding the flour by handfuls until a dough starts to form. Knead on a floured surface until the dough is non sticky, but not dry.

Bring a salted pot of water to boil.

Divide the dough into three sections and roll each section into a log. Cut off about 1 inch pieces and roll the pieces into a ball. You can use a fork to add the traditional lines on the dumplings.

Add the gnocchi in the salted boiling water. They should rise to the surface after a couple of minutes. Let them continue to cook until they start to look "whiter". I then transferred them to a heated cast iron pan and browned them on both sides. Top with the pesto and eat with fresh bread.

Sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup water
1/4 cup almonds
roasted garlic (I had some leftover from the gnocchi)
olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in warm water for about 10 minutes then add the tomatoes, the soaking water, almonds, and garlic to a food processor. Blend until a chunky paste is obtained. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste and for consistency. Chop the basil and add at the end.

I wish I had added the basil in the processor so it wasn't so chunky in the pesto afterwards. Also, next time I will be adding more liquid (water or oil) to make it less thick.

The gnocchi was not as good as the Chop Shop. It was good though. I have a bag of frozen gnocchi in the freezer, maybe next week, I can try cooking them again and see if they turn out different.

The husband thought this was good.

20 April 2011

Pad Thai Salad

A few weeks ago I went to a Women in Science Potluck at my school. There was a panel of four people talking about being a woman in the sciences and how to handle life/school/career/family at one time. Afterwards, there was much sharing of food. There was a surprising amount of food that I could eat there, minus the bacon quiche someone brought. Most everything was vegan friendly!

I found this recipe a while ago on Veggie Bon Vivant and I thought it would be perfect for the potluck. It is from Appetite for Reduction. I am reproducing the recipe below.

8 C chopped romaine lettuce
4 C bean sprouts
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and grated
3/4 C chopped smoked tofu
1 recipe Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing
1/4 C roasted peanuts
1/2 C lightly packed fresh cilantro

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuce, sprouts, red onion, carrot, and tofu. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Distribute the salad among four bowls. There will most likely be dressing left over as it is fairly thin. Distribute the dressing among the bowls. Garnish with roasted peanuts, cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing

* 1/2 C roasted peanuts
* 2 T chopped shallot
* 1/4 C squeezed lime juice
* 1/2 C water
* 2 T agave nectar
* 2 T soy sauce
* 1 tsp Sriracha (I added about a tablespoon)

Pulse 2 T of the peanuts and all of the shallot in the food processor, just to chop everything up. Add the lime juice, water, agave, soy sauce, and Sriracha, and blend until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides a few times. Now add the remaining 2 T of peanuts and pulse for a bit. These shouldn’t be blended smooth, just chopped up small. The dressing will be thin. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container until ready to use, up to 5 days.

This salad went over really well at the potluck and was almost completely gone when I left. I will be scaling back the recipe and making it again for just my husband and myself. Delicious!

19 April 2011

White Bean Sauce with Sage on Linguine

I have been really trying to stick to a menu plan this week because it saves on grocery money and the inevitable question "what are we going to eat?". This recipe has been on the menu list for the past couple of weeks and I finally made it last night. I don't know why I waited so long, it was was delicious and super fast.

I adapted this from Vegan Planet which is an amazing cookbook.

1/2 of an onion chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh sage
1 cup cooked white beans (I had used my crockpot to cook a batch of beans earlier this week)
1/2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable broth
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
linguine or other pasta
fresh sage for garnish

Start cooking the pasta according to package directions. Drain and place back in the pan you used to cook it in and add about a tablespoon of oil so the pasta does not stick together.

Sauté onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until browned and delicious. Add the fresh sage, beans, and vinegar and stir to mix the flavors. Transfer this mixture to a food processor and blend with enough broth, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to bring to your desired thickness. I used about 1/4 cup and the sauce was fairly thick. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix until everything is coated and warmed through.

Serve with delicious bread and a Pinot Noir rosé.

This came together in about 20 minutes and is really open to inspiration. Don't like sage? Try another fresh herb. Want to try another bean? Go for it! Although, I think the white navy beans I used worked really well.

My husband gave this the two thumbs up.

There I am reading the cookbook in our small kitchen