20 July 2011

Olive Lentil Burger

My friend, Beard Matt, gave me a ride home the other day, and in order to pay him back, I asked if he wanted to come and partake of our dinner. We wanted to put these on the grill, but they are waaaayyy too soft for that. After baking or cooking in the cast iron skillet, we put them on the grill for a few minutes.



I followed the instructions on the Post Punk Kitchen Blog.

Notes
We tried both baking and cooking in a cast iron skillet. I think I prefer these in the skillet, rather than baked, only because they came out much faster.

These burgers were really good. They were even better the second day. I will be making these again and again. Note the long times until dinner is on the table. We made the lentils the night before so we didn't have to wait for them to cook on the day of. I want to mess with the texture because we added a ton of bread crumbs to the mixture and even an egg to see if we could get it to form up better, but it did not. Once it was cooked, it held up fine on the bun, but it was soo soft before cooking.

19 July 2011

Orzo Pasta Salad and New Lunch box!

I like to bring my lunch to school everyday, partly because I don't like any of the restaurant choices here and partly because it is cheaper. I have been on the look out for a good, useable lunchbox for a while now and I think I have found one that is fantastic. A Planetbox!

So far I have only used it for one day, but I really really enjoy it. There is room enough for food for my lunch and an afternoon snack. My husband also said that he had more than enough food for him. So it is not just for children! I wish that the carrying bags came in other colors, but that is a minor fault.



Ingredients
Orzo
onions
garlic
cremini mushrooms
sun-dried tomatoes
kale
basil
lemon juice
sriracha


Method
Boil the orzo until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Sauté the onions until softened, add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until those are soft. Add the drained orzo and kale. Mix around until the kale is wilted and the orzo has taken up some of the oil in the pan. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and sriracha. Stir to combine and garnish with fresh basil.

Eat immediately or cool in the fridge and eat at room temperature.

Notes
This was a perfect lunch box salad. It tasted great at room temperature and held up well in the container.

Also in my lunch box is homemade hummus, black olives, plums, carrot sticks, and Late July mini peanut butter cookies.

Once again, my lunch box rocks. It even has rocket magnets on the front. I love it.

18 July 2011

Epic Taco Salad

Last Sunday, my husband decided to spend his day hanging out at the local pub, drinking beer, reading Harper's, playing darts, and chatting with people there. I decided to spend the day with the house to myself and made a super awesome epic taco salad.



Ingredients
Lettuce
TVP (water, chipotle powder, salt, pepper)
black olives
onions
tomato
avocado
sriracha sauce
lime or lemon juice

Method
Boil about 1/2 cup water (for one serving) and take off heat. Add the TVP (about 1/2 cup for one serving) and spices. Put the lid on and set aside while preparing everything else.

Wash and tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. Chop the onions and sauté in a little bit of olive oil over medium heat until soft. Chop the olives, tomatoes, and avocado into bite sized chunks.

Arrange the lettuce on a plate or in a bowl. Add everything else on top. Sprinkle with lime or lemon juice on top. Devour.

Notes
I did not know if I could finish a whole plate of this, but I did and it was fantastic. I always forget how much I love salads. And with lettuce being all over the place at the farmer's market, I can satisfy that love with awesome greens.

17 July 2011

Pieluck!


Grapefruit and plum tarts


Grilled Peach Pie


Last Saturday, my husband and I had some people over for a pie cook off. My husband had also brewed his own hard cider, so this was also the unveiling for that. I sent out the e-mail for the pie cook off saying that there would be a vegan category and a non vegan category to enter into. We had one pie in the non vegan category (congratulations, Robert! You won!) and 2 tarts and 3 pies in the vegan category. It was so much fun.

The other two pies were Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the Post Punk Kitchen and a raw berry/nut pie that tasted like yogurt and granola.

Notes
My husband was really excited about his grilled peach pie. He grilled the peaches before baking and then put them in the pie. It was too bad, but you couldn't really taste the grill-ness of the peaches. It was good, just not grilled good. My tarts were simple and fresh.

Hands down, the winner was the strawberry rhubarb pie. Allison made it with rhubarb from her garden and half of the strawberries were also from her garden. It was probably the most delicious pie I have ever had.

Our next cook off is going to be a pizza contest and we are going to break out the beer that is currently brewing in our closet.

16 July 2011

Grilled Pizza

Yes, another pizza post. This time, we grilled the pizza!




Ingredients
We used similar toppings as in the last post: tomato sauce, potatoes, olives, onions, rosemary, salt, pepper

Method
We tried both parcooking the crust and not parcooking and I liked it both ways, but my husband preferred to not parcook the crust.

Roll out crust in circle, place on a clean grill over hot coals. Add the tomato sauce and toppings. Put on the lid and cook until the bottom is browned and toppings are cooked through.

If you want to parcook, place the crust on the grill, cover with top. Cook until brown on the bottom, turn over and put sauce and toppings on. Cook until everything is browned and warmed through.


Notes
We both really liked this a lot. The grill marks and flavour from the grill is amazing. I would like to do this again!

15 July 2011

Thai Green Curry

I had been wanting to make my own curry paste for a while and when I saw this on the Fat Free Vegan blog, I decided it was time to do it.



I followed the recipe pretty closely from the blog.

Notes
Making curry paste is incredibly easy with a food processor. Put everything in and pulse until combined.

I did not use tofu in my curry and for vegetables used potatoes, carrots, and onions. I also used a can of coconut milk and kale.

I served with jasmine rice.

We both really enjoyed this a lot. The curry paste has a fantastic taste and I used about twice as much as was called for in the recipe. I like things hot!

14 July 2011

Fauxstess Cupcakes

The last couple of weeks, I have been craving sugary foods and decided it was time to make the fauxstess cupcakes from Vegan with a Vengeance.



You can find the recipe here.

Notes
My "fluffy white icing" did not become fluffy or white. I think it was because I made it with natural sugar instead of the plain white stuff and my shortening was slightly melty from it being so hot here in New Hampshire.

I could not find black cocoa powder, so I just used Dutch Processed and they came out fine.

My husband and I each had one and then gave the rest away to people at school. This was super duper sugary, but good. I don't think I would make them again.

13 July 2011

4th of July Barbecue!

Both my husband and I had the day off for the 4th of July and we decide to be 'merican and grill us some grub. I don't think that this is what most people barbecued.






Ingredients
Field Roast Sausages
Corn on the cob
Onion/bell pepper/cremini mushrooms on lemon grass sticks
Sriracha Tofu
grilled lime
grilled nectarines

Method
Light charcoal and wait until they are covered in a white ash. Place delicious food across the grill. Cook until grill marks appear and food tastes smokey. Devour.

Notes
My friend Meghan sent me the recipe for the Sriracha tofu because of my deep love for the tasty sauce. I had to make it as soon as I could and it did not disappoint. It was spicy, sweet, and really hot. My husband said it reminded him of fermented fish paste he had when he traveled through Thailand and Cambodia. As in, it tasted exactly like that. I used tofu that was already in cubes, so I just wrapped it in foil and put in on the grill.

I got the idea to make the skewers on the lemongrass sticks from the cookbook Fresh and Fast Vegan Pleasures, and it sounded like a good idea, but putting the veggies on it was a pain because I had to use an actual skewer to make the hole before I could place it on the lemongrass. Also, it did not impart much flavour. Would not recommend.

Oh my goodness, has anyone tried Field Roast products before? I think I had maybe one item when I was living in Portland, but since moving to the east coast, I haven't seen any of their products carried out here. At my local hippy store, I saw a package of the sausages in the freezer and decided to try them out. Oh man, sooo good. They are unlike any other analogues I have had. They are even better than the ones I make at home.

Barbecuing limes offers an amazing flavour. Put the cut side on the grill until grill marks appear and then squeeze over food. It gives everything a smokey lime goodness.

Barbecued nectarines are not as tasty as grilled peaches, but they were still pretty tasty.

All in all, a successful 4th of July dinner!

12 July 2011

Risotto



Unfortunately, I made this about a month ago, and I can't remember how I did it. I do remember it being freakishly tasty though.

Looking at the picture I believe the ingredients are:

Arborio rice
Better than bouillon vegetable paste
shiitake mushrooms
onions
garlic
kale
fresh oregano

I know that I followed the standard recipe for risotto - heat up a pot of broth to simmer and add 1/2 cup measures to the rice/vegetables. Maybe it was using the farmer's market veggies that made it so tasty.

I remember us talking about this meal all evening and my husband telling the guys on the game he plays how tasty it was. So make risotto, it is good.

11 July 2011

Thai Tofu Cake

I have curry paste kicking around in my fridge from making the green curry the other day, so today I decide to make another recipe from the Fat Free Vegan website.



I followed the instructions as given on the blog.

Notes
First off, this was really really really tasty. I added about double the curry paste. I used panko bread crumbs for the breading. I used hijiki instead of arame seaweed. For the dipping sauce, I used white balsamic vinegar. I baked half of the cakes and cooked the other half in my cast iron skillet. I think I liked the texture of the ones baked better. Also, I think next time, instead of adding the full 1/2 cup of broth to the tofu mixture, I will just add enough for everything to hold together. It became pretty runny after adding the broth and hard to handle. I don't think I let the mixture sit in the fridge for the recommended 30 minutes and maybe if I had, then it would stick together better.

The leftovers from this went into the lunchboxes for tomorrow. Seriously, this was really good.

EDIT: My husband also thought that these were magically delicious.

Polenta with chickpeas, spinach, mushroom

I just threw this together based on what I had in kitchen and it came amazing. This was my first time making polenta and it came out tasty, but I am not planning on making more any time soon.



Ingredients
2 cups water
vegetable better than bullion paste
3/4 cup polenta
5 oz shiitake mushrooms
1 cup frozen spinach (I used frozen because that is what I had, but feel free to use fresh)
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
fresh oregano

2 heads of garlic

Method
Boil water and the bullion paste. In a slow and steady stream, whisk in the polenta. Continue to whisk nearly constantly until it comes away from the sides of the pan and has a "shiny" texture. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes.

When the polenta is done, place the polenta in an 8x8 pan and smooth the top. Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or preferable longer. When the polenta is cooled, it sticks together.

Roast the garlic: chop off the top of the head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and place in a preheated 350F oven for about 40 minutes, or until brown and soft.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and add some olive oil. When the pan and oil are heated, add squares of the polenta and cook until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes.

While the polenta is cooking, in another skillet over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and cook the mushrooms until softened. Add the spinach and chickpeas and heat through.

Place a piece of polenta down and top with the mushroom mixture. Garnish with the fresh oregano and roasted garlic.

Notes
This was crazy delicious. I had the problem of the browned part of my polenta sticking to the bottom of my pan when I went to turn it over, but I think it was because I had not allowed the polenta to cool sufficiently. I made this a while ago, but I am pretty sure that my husband liked it as well.