Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spinach Lasagna and Gingerbread Cookies

Wow! We haven't been updating the blog, have we? Coop's still going strong, though we are currently at 3 members: me, Claire, and Erika. We're working on adding a fourth back in after the holidays.

For Monday, I made a spinach lasagna with tofu ricotta. The recipe came highly recommended by friends and is in Joanna Vaught's The Yellow Rose Cookbook. I liked it; I did not love love it. But it was still very good.

I also made gingerbread cookies, ala the Post Punk Kitchen. These are always delish and the girls had a grand time making some of their own eating raw (vegan) dough.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vaguely European evening

I try to keep meals coherent within one region, so today was Continental European-ish. I served French Onion Soup, baguettes, mushroom-walnut pate, and a salad with roasted chickpeas.

Keeping in mind that I haven't had true French Onion soup in 10 years (since we went vegetarian), I really liked this soup! Perhaps a little salty? But maybe that's a benefit, since you're supposed to float croutons in it. I didn't pre-slice or toast the baguettes, but that was an option. The mushroom pate was phenomenal on the baguettes as well.

Speaking of baguettes, this round (with fresh yeast) was much better than last week's! I also added a smidge more water to the dough, and it rose beautifully. Unfortunately, my oven got too hot, so the tops got too brown. 20 hours of preparation, scorched in the last 5 minutes! They didn't taste burnt, so I served them anyways.

I provided roasted chickpeas with the salad to give it a bit more body, since onion soup is a bit thin, baguettes aren't exactly filling, and there wasn't a ton of pate. I love eating these chickpeas while watching a movie, but it's very easy to eat way more calories than you intended! The recipe is from Vegan Lunchbox.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gumbo with Andouille Sausage, Rice, and Bread

I decided to do a gumbo this week since it was the last week for okra at Boggy Creek Farm. I bookmarked a lot of recipes and eventually decided on this one from VeganDad. Amazing. He used the base sausage recipe from PostPunkKitchen and made it cajun. When we finished steaming them and cooled one down enough to try it, our jaws dropped. Oh my, wonderful. Definitely making these on a regular basis for David's protein fiending! They softened a bit soaking in the gumbo overnight, but they were just perfect right after cooking.

I was going to do southern-style collards to serve on the side, but instead, just subbed collards for the handfuls of baby spinach originally used in the recipe.

I attempted french baguettes using a King Arther Flour recipe, but that was a bust. I probably need new yeast, I don't think I made the dough moist enough, and I don't think I kneaded it enough. All three things combined for a super dense loaf, although the slow rise did make for excellent flavor and a nice crispy crust. Obviously, the faults were not in the recipe, so I will try again in the hope that practice makes perfect!

Cashew Curry

I adore Heidi Swanson and I often turn to her when I have no idea what to cook. So many of her recipes are so simple but yummy. In this particular case, David thought I could have upped the curry powder, but since I wasn't 100% sure at the time that I was adding curry powder since it wasn't labeled, I erred on the side of caution. (It was curry powder). Someday I'll make my own curry blend which is also included in the recipe here.

I served the curry with brown basmati rice, marinated cucumbers and pumpkin muffins (via the Post Punk Kitchen recipe).

p.s. I am so excited because I just ordered Heidi's cookbook, Supernatural Cooking!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

This week's meal was one of my old Red Tent standards. I got the recipe from a vegan forum eons ago, and I have since lost the attribution, but it's simply onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, and lentils, cooked in vegetable broth and fabulously seasoned with curry powder and cumin. Amazing!

I served it with plain long grain white rice, and a side of Browned Onions & Collard Greens from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. I had forgotten how much Graiden loves well-cooked, well-seasoned collards, but he devoured a pile of them, and even Casper got in on the act. After simmering for an hour, they don't require a lot of jaw strength or perseverance to eat! I happily polished off the rest of the bowl.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moosewood strikes again!

Sorry for my lack of posts lately. September was a crazy, heady month. I hope October remains a little more calm.

I wanted to make soup for tonight's meal b/c I recieved a new immersion blender for my birthday. So, I perused all my cookbooks and picked out Moosewood's Golden Split Pea soup. It has undertones of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and turmeric in it, as well as sweet potatoes, yellow split peas and tomatoes. It was served with plain soy yogurt (which I swirled in very prettily and neglected to take a picture of) and chopped cilantro.

I paired it with a papaya salad that was a riff on a mango salad in the same cookbook. The original called for cucumbers, mangos and green peppers. I opted for cucumbers, papayas and pineapple. Mixed in were coconut, a dressing of lime juice and a little brown sugar and a Fresno pepper for a bit of spice.

I was going to send homemade bread with the meal, but got my dough making started too late yesterday to give loaves an adequate rise. Still, I am using the artisan bread dough that keeps in the fridge and the dough looks lovely so there's hope for homemade bread in the weeks to come. Standing in for my bread were fresh loaves of sourdough from the Whole Foods bakery.

Happy October, everyone. Welcome to fall.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


For my meal this week, I made a Fall Chili. It had pumpkin in it, winter squash, black beans, and other ingredients that made it a hearty meal. I opted for TVP chunks to give it that chili taste. I also threw in some chipotle chiles. The chili was flavorful, but I felt it didn't have enough heat in the pepper department. I might add some cayenne next time I make it.

I served the Fall Chili with homemade bread and molasses cookies.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Broccoli Quiche and Waldorf Salad

It's brunch for dinner! I used the Classic Broccoli Quiche recipe from Vegan Brunch and served it with a veganized Waldorf Salad over baby greens. I haven't had waldorf salad in years, but I suddenly craved it with this quiche. A bit of quick googling, and it turns out that it's super easy to veganize. Just substitute the super-tasty Vegenaise for mayo, and voila! I even used the Omega-3 version of Vegenaise, so that makes it healthy, right? RIGHT?

I admitted my time constraints this week and used store-bought crusts, but I really like this brand, so it worked out okay. They're flaky, don't leave a greasy mouth after-feel, and they're only $3.50 for two.

Both my kids enjoyed this meal, and the older went so far as to ask for the leftovers in his school lunch tomorrow. I would have gladly eaten the last piece, but I suppose my desire for easy lunch packing trumps my desire to overeat :)

Curry in a hurry.....

For my meal last week I made curried mustard greens with chickpeas and rice. I also made chocolate pudding for dessert. I like how mustard greens add its own natural spice to a dish. And who doesn't love pudding. Mmm mmm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm back.....

Did you miss me? Hee hee. I am back cooking with the co-op after taking a break during the summer. It is nice to be back with such wonderful ladies and good cooks.

For my co-op meal this week, I cooked New Orleans red beans with andouille sausage, rice, and cornbread. I also made brownies. Simple yet tasty.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Taco salad Tuesday

In keeping with things that can be eaten room temperature/chilled, today I served a taco salad. I made ground tofu with taco seasonings and simple black beans for the protein, served on top of shredded green & red leaf lettuce. I also provided chopped red onion & chopped tomato for garnish. The whole thing was topped off with a "honey" lime cilantro dressing from I did omit the artichoke hearts from the dressing because I just wasn't going to buy a whole jar to use 1 as a thickener! The dressing was a little thin as a result, but still tasty, I thought.

This whole meal was extremely low fat, with no added fat or oils at all. I sauteed onion & minced mushrooms before adding the seasoned tofu to the pan to give the whole shebang a more savory & rich flavor without using the oil I would normally splash in there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Expanding the summer repertoire

In my summer quest to use the oven & stove only when absolutely necessary, dinner tonight was a raw kale salad and a cooked-but-served-cold bean & tomato "salad." I put salad in quotes there because although the recipe uses the term, it is obviously a loose translation. Really, it's more of a curry consistency, slightly saucy & good for mopping up with flatbread. For being so incredibly simple, it had good flavor and was enjoyed by every member of this family. The baby was wolfing down the beans faster than I could separate them out! My 4yo even said "Mama, thank you for making this dinner. I really liked EVERYTHING! Can I have more kale?" Wow! (I never get thank yous. This was jaw-dropping.)

Both recipes were from the internet. Here is the original kale salad recipe. I modified it as follows: halved the oil & sunflower seeds, omitted the currants & gorgonzola. Next time, I might try creating a marinated tofu "feta" to mix in, but I didn't want to get too crazy with a a meal I had to serve to other families too! The beans were from vegweb. I admit I went hunting for a pinto bean recipe since I had just stashed 7 "cans" worth in the freezer & needed to use some to make space for chickpeas! Now that I think about it, I bet it would have been extra delicious (and rich) to put a dollop of the walnut-bread sauce from two weeks ago on top! Maybe I'll try that next time.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beet Hummus and Polenta baked with Tomatoes, Corn, and Basil

There had been quite a buzz on the AM list that spilled over into FB, about this Beet Hummus recipe. I first tried it and took it on my cooking date (fairly daring given he is an Israeli foodie. I'm happy to say he loved it). I was happy to use the co-op as an excuse to make more of it. The other time I made it, I didn't realize I was out of tahini, and though several websites assured me you could make it yourself in a blender, I went through two different processors and a blender before resorting to my mortar and pestle. Worked really well, though with more texture than regular tahini, that's for sure. THis time around I bought tahini, so probably what takes the longest is just boiling the beets before throwing everything in the blender. I served the hummus with more of that yummy flatbread that Claire had served us the previous week with daal. That was what got me to finally join Costco, helped along by a reduced price membership coupon from my Amex card.

The Baked Polenta dish is another of my favourite summer meals from Annie Somerville's Fields of Greens, recipe book from Greens Restaurant. I just had to veganize the polenta, and the cheese topping. Prompted by Claire's suggestion of replacing the cheese in the polenta with nutritional yeast, I went searching on the web, and found this Nutritional Yeast Polenta Cakes recipe. I made the polenta the night before, and the tomato sauce, and then put it together and baked it the next day.

Tomato Sauce
makes 2 cups

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
1/2 tsp dried basil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
1.5 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped (2 cups) or a 16 oz can of diced tomatoes in their juice
1 bay leaf

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, basil, 1/2 tsp salt and a few pinches of pepper. Saute over medium heat until the onion is soft, ~ 7 mins. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 mins. Add wine and simmer 1-2 mins to reduce. When the pan is almost dry, add tomatoes and bay leaf. Cook over low heat ~ 30 mins. Add salt/pepper/sugar to taste.

Polenta baked with Tomatoes, Corn, and Basil
Serves 4-6

Polenta (see recipe link above)
Tomato Sauce (see recipe above)
1 Tbsp butter (I used earth balance vegan stuff)
3 ears of corn, shaved (2.5 cups)
3/4 lb tomatoes, cored and seeded (I used halved cherry tomatoes)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1-2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and thinly sliced (I skipped this for co-op)
2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (~ 2/3 cup) - I used Daiya vegan mozarella shreds

Make polenta. While it's cooling, make tomato sauce. Remove bay leaf. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the corn. Saute over medium heat for 10 mins till the corn is tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt.
While the corn is cooking, cut up the tomatoes and marinate in olive oil with 1/4 tsp salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Cool the corn, toss with the tomatoes, half the basil, and half the chilies (if you are using them).
Pour the sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Arrange polenta triangles or fingers upright in the sauce, using all of the polenta. Spoon the veges into the spaces between the polenta. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover and bake for 25 mins, then uncover and bake 10 more mins. Sprinkle on the remaining basil and serve.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simple Summer Supper

I used Heidi Swanson's recipe for Grilled Tofu and Soba Noodles. I tripled it and found that I didn't need 9 serranoes (so glad I thought before I automatically added them all). I think I used either 6 or 7 and while the dish was too spicy for the girls, David and I really liked it. Also, I didn't need all the oil. I used about 1/2 to 3/4 a cup for the whole triple batch. I think 3/4 x 3 would have been way too much. Last, I didn't purchase enough cilantro so I used spinach in its place which upped the healthy quotient and I think tasted quite good.

Served with steamed broccoli and organic raspberries.

This was one of my cheaper recipes for coop since raspberries and broccoli were on sale and I only bought one bunch of organic cilantro (I already had the organic spinach on hand). I used three blocks of tofu. Biggest expense? Three packages of the noodles, but I discovered that two would have been plenty for four families. I have a big bag of cooked noodles in the fridge, as well as some uncooked noodles in the pantry.

The girls loved the soba noodles sans pesto which felt like a brilliant discovery on my part. Rory actually ate noodles, tofu, broccoli and raspberry.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mock Tuna Salad

It's getting way, way too hot out there to be heating up the house with cooking! I'm switching over to my summer menus, which means lots of fruit, chilled soups, and bean/grain salads. Ideally, in our house, we convert to a "larger lunch, smaller dinner" system during the hot months, but that often doesn't work out, simply because we get too busy! I'm trying to figure out the best portion sizes for the co-op during the next few months, so bear with me.

This week's meal was a mock tuna salad served with iceberg lettuce cups & a fruit salad. It's a favorite lunchbox meal of mine, and we usually eat it with either tortilla or lettuce wraps. Since it wasn't having to survive till lunchtime in a lunchbox, I went with the more delicate lettuce. Next time, I'm going to find some good Bibb lettuce instead of iceberg, but I had to go with what HEB had in stock.

Monday, June 21, 2010


With Father's Day and a child with a broken arm, I needed a simple meal this weekend, per my recent trend. So I used this recipe from the NY Times to make a batch of black beans, using organic black turtle beans from a Bob's Red Mill coop I recently participated in. I even found epazote at CM to add to the beans along with the cilantro (those are the little stick-like things you might see!).

I made a huge batch and have leftovers to now make homemade refried black beans.

I served the beans with brown rice, yellow tomatoes, avocado and CM's organic blue (frito-like) corn chips. And with organic strawberries on the side, on sale this week at CM. I meant to slice the strawberries and marinate them in balsamic vinegar and sugar. If you feel so inclined, give this a try - super yummy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hot weather food!

As we lead into the Texas summer, I've been trying to dig up my "Oh my god, it's too hot to move" recipes. I didn't have a lot of time for cooking this week (or shopping, or anything really) because I was stranded an extra day in San Jose over the weekend. While I'm grateful the plane broke while we were on the ground instead of at 39,000 feet, I had a lot of stuff I needed to get done in Austin!

So the meal this week was Cauliflower Ceviche & a simple Indian Daal with flatbread, both from vegweb. The ceviche was divine! Really really enjoyed it. Next time, I'll add a ton more cauliflower, because it really got lost among all the other veggies, even though I used the lower of the recommended ranges for each. It didn't help that both Casper & Graiden picked out all the cauliflower and left almost none for me!

The daal was a very basic red lentil mush. Both my kids gobbled it up. I left out the hot pepper, and only used 1/4t of cayenne in the doubled recipe.

The flatbread was from Costco, a brand called FlatOut. It only has 100 calories, but has 9g of protein & lots of fiber in each wrap. I gave each meal 3 wraps, cut in half.

Roasted Veggies with pipian sauce, Sweet potato stuffed tortillas and Mango-lime sorbet

Well here are the long ago promised recipes for my mexican cooking night.

First up I made Mushroom and Sweet Potato Stuffed Tortillas. I had found this recipe a few months ago looking for something to different to do with sweet potatoes. I made the first time with Shitakes and that was good, but expensive. Regular mushrooms worked just fine. Last time I added in some diced red peppers. This time I added some black beans (one can, rinsed and drained). It's a nice way to make something quesadilla-like without using cheese. I keep the filling for several days and just cook up a tortilla full when the kids need a snack.

Next was Roasted Mexican Veges in Green Sesame Pipian, taken from Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen, my favourite mexican cooking book. The sauce is a fair bit of work, but I enjoy making it, and it tastes great on a variety of non-vegan dishes too (salmon, chicken breasts, pork...). You can serve it as a side dish with rice, or as a filling for tacos, or even bake it topped with bread crumbs and/or cheese to make a gratin. I've read some short cuts for making a pipian sauce, and will write them in below. There are a lot of alternatives in this recipe. I used chard in the sauce this time, but think I prefer spinach. This year my epazote didn't come back in my herb garden, and I missed its flavour in the sauce too. Some year I'll find hoja santo and see what difference that makes to the mix.

Roasted Mexican Veges in Green Sesame Pipian
(feeds 4-6)

1 lb (~ 11) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2-3 serranos, stemmed (I halved this amount, but they turned out to be pretty hot)
4.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 cups broth or water (I used vege broth)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup hulled sesame seeds
1 sprig epazote, or 8-10 sprigs cilantro (I used cilantro. My epazote bush had died.)
1 leaf hoja santa, or 1/2 cup chopped green tops of fennel, or 1/2 tsp freshly ground aniseed (I used fennel tops)
1 tsp salt
3 medium fresh cactus paddles (I used 2 extra chayote)
4 medium red-skin potatoes, 3/4" diced
1 large chayote, peeled, pitted, and 3/4" diced
2 medium zucchini, 3/4" diced
2 cups lamb quarters, or 3 cups purslane, or 3 cups chard in 1/2" strips, or 3 cups spinach (I used chard because I had some in my farm box. I'd recommend spinach for the faster cooking time over chard.)

Roast the tomatillos and serranos for 5 mins, 4" under a hot broiler, until they blister, darken, and soften on one side. Turn and roast the other side. Transfer along with juices into a blender. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook onion for 10 mins, stirring often, until golden. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 min. Add to blender and blend until smooth. Wipe skillet clean, add 1/2 Tbsp oil, heat on medium high. When hot enough for a drop of puree to sizzle, pour all the puree in at once and stir constantly for 5 mins until it darkens and thickens. Add the broth, boil, simmer briskly, stirring frequently, for 10 mins until thick enough to coat a spoon. Stir in cilantro. (You have made a tomatillo-serrano sauce. You can skip all of this and just buy a jar of green salsa and use 2.5 cups of it.)

In a small ungreased skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for 5 mins, stirring often, until golden. Add to the tomatillo sauce, add epazote (or cilantro) and hoja santo (or its substitute). Partially cover and simmer for 30 mins, stirring frequently. Put back in the blender, cover loosely, and blend for 1 min or more until the sauce is smooth. You can use a mesh strainer if you want it even smoother. Return the sauce to the pan, season with salt (about 1 tsp), add more broth if needed to bring it to the consistency of a cream soup. (You can prepare the sauce up to this point and refrigerate several days ahead. You can use tahini instead of toasted sesame seeds to make things even faster.)

I'm skipping the instructions of what to do with the cactus because I always just use extra chayote. Cactus takes a long time. Heat the oven to 375F. Scatter the potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzled with 2 Tbsp of oil, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat the potatoes well. Roast for 10 mins. Sprinkle chayote with salt, add to potatoes, mix with spatula to turn potatoes and coat chayote with oil. Roast another 5 mins. Salt the zucchini, add to the mixture, and roast till everything is tender, but not overly soft, about 8-10 more mins.

Just before serving, reheat the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the lambs quarters, or equivalent and simmer until tender for 2-5 mins (chard took longer than that). Add roasted veges to the sauce, leaving behind as much oil as possible. Once heated, scoop onto a warm serving dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds, garnish with epazote or cilantro.

Finally, I made mango-lime sorbet, which is my favourite sorbet ever, from the same Bayless book. It's very easy if you have an icecream maker. I make this every summer - it came out a little too sweet this time, but it depends a lot on the ripeness of the mangoes you use.

Mango-lime ice

2.5 lbs mangoes (4 large), peeled, coarsely chopped - about 2 heaping cups
Finely chopped zest of 1 orange
1.25 cups sugar (Sorbets are sensitive to the amount of sugar you use, and the ripeness of the fruit. The mix always tastes sweeter than when it does when it's frozen. The batch I made could have gone with a little less sugar. The only way to do it properly is to have a refractometer to measure the sugar level of the mix. I will own one one day. Well I have one in lab, but it isn't really food safe!)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp vodka (not in original recipe, but I added because it lowers the freezing point of the mix and reduces the ice crystal size when you are using an icecream maker vs the other way to freeze it described below).

Use food processor to combine the ingredients plus 1 cup of water. Process to a smooth puree. If you want to, press through a strainer to make really smooth. (I never bother with this step.) If you have an icecream maker, pour it in and let it do its magic. If you don't, freeze in a stainless steel bowl or 9x9" pan, until the mixture is firm 2 inches in from the sides (about 2 hours). Whip with an immersion blender or process in a food processor until slushy. Repeat the freezing and beating two more times. Freeze for an hour before serving.

Beans and Kale and Gingered Lemon Bars

I know I still owe you last week's recipes. But this week is easy because both recipes are online already.

Cannellini Beans with Roasted Peppers and Kale is one of my fast, easy, yummy meals that I use for the Austin Mamas Red Tent group. I had already entered the recipe on our mamawiki. It originally comes from The Quick Recipe, a Cooks Illustrated cookbook. I usually serve it with crusty bread to soak up the juices (sorry I didn't get around to baking bread like I had planned to), and recently discovered it's pretty damn good served cold as well as served warm.

I found Gingered Lemon Bars on the Simply Recipes website a year or two ago and really liked how lemony they were and the nice kick of ginger in the crust from both powdered and crystallized ginger. I used that recipe for the crust, which I made vegan by just using Earth Balance instead of butter. The lemon filling was another story. I googled around for vegan recipes to see what people used instead of egg to help it set. It seemed the two main choices were silken tofu or agar agar. I had tofu, so that's the one I went with. I used this Vegan Lemon Bars recipe from Savvy Vegetarian to make my filing. It didn't set real well. Not sure if I just needed to cook it a little longer, or what. So sorry they were a bit gooey, but they taste good.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moosewood Meals

We've been in the throes of busy-ness over here for the last few weeks so I have needed simple, one-dish type meals. The last two have come from Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites, a cookbook that I don't often remember I have. To be honest, I've hardly ever made anything from it before though I've had it for years (now, Moosewood Favorite Desserts is a different matter altogether). But I found some simple one-pot meals with a good amount of flavor. I appreciate the low-fat in them also during these hot summer days.

Last week I made black bean chilaquiles, a mix of black beans, veggies, spices and baked tortilla chips, not completely unlike a tamale pie, though I preferred it to the traditional tamale pie. I subbed crumbled tofu for the the cheese to keep in the protein. Sorry for sending the casseroles without lids; I believe David has misplaced them somewhere in the house.

This week's meal was Middle Eastern chickpeas and spinach, served over orzo with a yogurt sauce. Mostly, I tend to prefer simple one-dish meals and this one really fit the bill. I neglected to pick up some coriander while I was at the market, but the cumin and saffron were flavorful enough for me, even if it was mild. I think the yogurt/mint/garlic sauce pulled it together and actually made a creamy addition to the orzo. I fear this meal may not have been flavorful enough for everyone, but I'm the kind of person who could eat beans and rice most every day - simple simple and simple is usually my preference and what I find fuels me best.

I sent along organic watermelon with yesterday's meal. I think this was a particularly good melon and I am so glad I splurged on it at the farmer's market on Saturday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Creole Mushroom and Pepper Stew & that carrot cake

This week the main meal was from Fields of Greens, a Annie Somerville recipe book from Greens restaurant, also in the Bay Area. There's a section of curries and stews in that book and I love every one of them. I made one of my favourites: Creole Mushroom and Pepper stew, with some couscous. I love the way the mushrooms taste in this stew and use this cooking method often in other dishes.

Creole Mushroom and Pepper Stew
(feeds 4 - 6)

2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 3 cups) or 1 28 oz can tomatoes with juice chopped, or 3 lb roasted tomatoes, without skins, chopped.
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb white mushrooms, halved or quartered (about 5 cups)
salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 medium red onion, halved and cut lengthwise into crescents (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into thick strips, then triangles (about 1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cut into thick strips, then triangles (about 1 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into thick strips, then triangles (about 1 cup)
1 medium fennel bulb, quartered lengthwise, cored, sliced 1/2" thick (about 2 cups)
2 bay leaves
2-3 jalapeno or serrano chilies, seeded and finely diced
cayenne pepper
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/2" think (about 2 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

If you're using canned tomatoes, simmer over low heat while vegetables are cooking to reduce acidity. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, pinch of pepper. Sear until golden and browned (about 7 mins). Add half garlic and wine, stir to release pan juices, reduce until nearly dry and transfer to a bowl.

In the same skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add onion, 1/2 tsp salt, dried thyme. Saute on medium until soft (about 7-8 mins). Add garlic, peppers, fennel, bay leaves, chilies, 1/8 tsp cayenne. Saute over medium for 10 mins. Add zucchini and cook till heated through (about 5 mins). Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Simmer uncovered over medium low heat for 20 mins. Season with salt and cayenne if needed. Add scallions, fresh thyme and lemon juice just before serving. If still acidic, add a few pinches of sugar.

Almond-Currant Couscous
(makes 4 cups - serves 4 - 6)
I skipped the nuts in this recipe. You can use chopped dried apricots instead of currants, or pine nuts instead of almonds, or cumin instead of cinnamon.

1/4 cup whole almonds with skins, toasted, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used a vegan substitute Claire suggested and I've forgotten the name)
1.5 cups instant couscous (I used whole wheat)
1.5 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried currants

In a medium-sized skillet with tight fitting lid, melt the butter. Add the couscous and nuts and stir over medium heat 4-5 mins until fragrant and heated through. Turn off heat. While toasting couscous, bring water to boil in small saucepan. Add 1/4 tsp salt, cinnamon, currants. Pour over couscous. Stir. Cover the skillet and let it sit for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season if needed.

To finished the meal off I wanted to use up a big pile of carrots I had accumulated. I went internet surfing looking for something other than just standard carrot cake and came up with Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake, from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Moskowitz. I don't have the recipe book but a number of bloggers had liked it enough to write out the whole recipe. I'm linking to this version of the recipe because it reassured me that cupcakes made from the recipe worked well and how long to cook them for. They almost didn't get made because the raw batter tasted so good it was hard to stop eating it. In addition to the ginger, walnuts (which I used instead of macadamia simply because I had them already), coconut, and carrot, this recipe also has other yummy stuff like pineapple juice and maple syrup. Both kids demanded I make this recipe again soon, and I don't blame them.


Baked madras glazed tofu & strawberry rhubarb galettes

Way behind posting my recipes, sorry.

Two weeks ago was a hectic week. Luckily I had done some prep ahead of time. Like the previous week, the recipes were from the Millennium cookbook.

Baked Madras-glazed Tofu with Saffron Basmati Pilaf, Sauteed Vegetables, and Peach-Lime Chutney

1 yellow onion, cut lengthwise into thin crescents
2 Tbsp canola oil (or 1/4 cup vege stock or water)
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
24 oz extra firm tofu
2 cups Tandoori marinade (see below)
1 tsp canola oil (or 1/4 cup water or vege stock)
4 cups chopped veges
3 cups Saffron Basmati Rice Pilaf (see below)
Peach-lime chutney (see below)
lime slices and cilantro leaves for garnish

Saute onion over medium heat in oil until softened (5 mins). Add curry powder and saffron and saute 2 more mins. Add lemon juice and salt. Remove from heat.

Cut tofu horizontally into 6 sheets ~ 1/2 inch thick. Pour half the marinade into a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add the tofu, coating well. Marinate for at least 30 mins at room temp, or up to 4 hrs in fridge. Grill for 2-3 mins on each side, or broil for 3-4 mins each side (I needed more like 5 mins/side). Slice diagonally into triangles for serving.

In a large saute pan or skillet over high heat, heat the canola oil and saute the veges and curried onions for 5 mins till heated through and crisp-tender.

Serve a mound of rice pilaf, topped with tofu, surrounded by veges. Top with some more marinade and chutney. Garnish with lime slices and cilantro leaves.

Tandoori marinade
(makes 3 cups - could probably get away with half of this)
In addition to being good on tofu, this marinated is good on vegetables, and fruit like peaches or pears.

3 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 cup canola oil (optional)
2 cloves garlic
5 oz silken tofu
1.5 cups soy milk (or water)
1 tsp minced lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

In a dry skillet toast the fennel, cardamom, coriander, and cumin. Grind. Retoast along with the paprika until the mixture smells fragrant and is slightly darker (~3 mins). Blend all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Peach-Lime chutney
(makes 1.5 cups)

1 cup water
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 lime with peel, finely diced
1 Tbsp unrefined sugar, fructose, or Sucanat
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
1/2 serrano chile, minced (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, finely diced
2 firm fresh peaches (or 4 apricots), peeled, pitted, 1/2 inch dice
1/4 tsp sea salt

In a medium saucepan, boil the water and salt. Add lime, simmer for 10 mins. Drain and set aside. In a large saute pan or skillet, cook the sugar and vinegar over high heat until the sugar melts and the mixture is syrupy. Add chile, coriander, ginger, then red pepper, lime, and peaches. Stir well and saute 5 mins. Cool.
Variation: Use 1 cup dried peaches, apricots or figs instead of peach. Reconstitute by simmering in water or apple juice until soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Add with liquid when you would have added the peach. Simmer until all liquid has evaporated.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galettes
(makes 8 - 10 galettes)
(Actually I only used about half the filling - so you could halve it for this amount of pastry.)

1.5 lbs rhubarb finely diced (~4 cups)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 2 Tsp cold water
3 cups unbleached AP flour
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup sucanat
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup soy milk

In a large saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Simmer over medium heat for 5-7 mins till rhubarb begins to break down. Add berries and mix thoroughly. Add arrowroot and cook for 3 mins, while stirring. Pour into a pyrex 9x11 casserole dish and let cool.

Sift flour into a medium bowl, add walnuts, sucanat, salt, and pepper. Drizzle oil over dry ingredients covering as much surface area as possible. Mix lightly with spatula until you form dough balls the size of marbles. Drizzle 1/2 cup soy milk into bawl and stir until the mixture forms a ball. Add more soy milk in small increments if more liquid is needed. Wrap in plastic wrap. Knead lightly and refrigerate for 15-30 mins.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 8. Keep covered with a towel. Roll one piece between two sheets of parchment paper until ~ 6 inches in diameter. Remove the top sheet of parchment to break the seal. Replace the paper on top and flip. Remove the top sheet of parchment. With a paring knife cut a 5 inch circle using a small plate as guide. Remove excess dough. Place 1/4 cup filling in the center of the circle. Fold the sides of the circle over the filling, leaving the center open, forming a square galette. Transfer with a spatula onto the baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Bake for 35 mins or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool slightly on rack. Eat.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day BBQ

Since this weekend is Memorial Day, I made a picnic-worthy bbq dinner tonight. Fat Free Vegan Kitchen has a fabulous recipe for seitan "ribs" that are first baked in the oven and then finished off on the grill with barbeque sauce. They're a guaranteed hit around here, and I make them every couple weeks in the summer. They pack well too, so sometimes I'll wrap everything in foil & we'll head off to the Wednesday farmer's market at the Triangle.

I used Stubb's barbeque sauce on the grill, and it was pretty good. I still think our favorite brand is the "Austin's Own" that you find at Costco every so often. I've never seen it anywhere else, oddly enough.

I served the seitan with a mustard potato salad and carrot/coconut/pineapple salad a la Mr. Natural. I felt a bit weird about having two "salads," but since one was creamy & one was sweet, I figured it worked.

This meal cost about $23.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strawberry Asparagus salad

Last week's meal all came from the fact that I had a large box of strawberries from a trip to Sweetberry farms. I remembered I had one vegetarian cookbook I hadn't used much and always had wanted to, when I pulled it out, it had this strawberry asparagus salad recipe, and so here we are. The recipe book actually turns out to be vegan. Yay. I'll use it all month. It's called "The Millenium Cookbook: Extraordinary vegetarian cuisine", which is based on the Millenium restaurant out in the Bay Area.

The recipes you asked for were the cabbage and the dressing. In addition to them, there were steamed asparagus, chopped toasted almonds, balsamic caramelized baby beets that got cooked too long, chopped strawberries and romaine. Here you go...

Caraway-marinated red cabbage (serves 6 as written here)

1/2 head red cabbage thinly sliced
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted in a dry skillet

Heat a dry saute pan over medium until hot. Combine cabbage, champagne vinegar, sea salt. Add toasted caraway seeds. Wilt half of the cabbage in the hot pan. Mix it back in with the remaining raw cabbage. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes. (I cooked it the night before).

Mint-Dill Dressing (makes 1.5 cups)

2 fresh strawberries sliced (I used about 6-8 smallish sweet ones)
1 tbspn fresh dill, chopped
1 tbspn fresh mint, chopped
1 tspn Dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
3 tbspn raspberry vinegar
2 tbspn champagne vinegar
1/4 tspn black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tspn sea salt
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tbspn sucanat or maple syrup (I used syrup)

Combine all but the oil in a blender until smooth. Gradually add the oil while blending until fully incorporated. That's all.


Tonight I made two kinds of calzones: broccoli & tofu "ricotta," and sauteed mushroom with Gimme Lean ground "sausage." I served it with marinara sauce for dipping and roasted potatoes. I also had time to make chocolate-covered cherry pudding cake for dessert.

The calzones came from the Vegan Lunch Box cookbook. She provides recipes for the multigrain pizza crust and the broccoli/tofu filling. I invented the mushroom/sausage filling. Next time, I will use less oil when sauteing the sausage & mushrooms and I will add some Italian seasoning.

The marinara sauce was straight from the Joy of Cooking, and the roasted potatoes were a bastardization of something I found on the internet. I definitely should have added more garlic! (I'm starting to think that should be my motto.)

My favorite part of this whole meal was the dessert! The Chocolate-Covered Cherry Pudding Cake is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I made it last year for my birthday, and it was just heavenly. I took advantage of the sale on frozen organic cherries to make it for the co-op. I can't get over how low-fat it is! 250 calories and 1g of fat per serving, and each ramekin had two servings. David & I were using our fingers at the end to scrape out the last of the chocolate!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spinach & Rice Casserole

This meal was a bit of a comfort-food one for me.

I made Creamy Spinach, Rice, and Tofu casserole, served with roasted beets and a side salad. I apologize for forgetting to "salt to taste" before putting the casserole in the oven, so I hope everyone was able to bump up the flavor at the table. It was quite bland without the extra salt! Cooking while baby-wrangling is always an adventure.

The beets were the last of the winter harvest from our garden, and were a mix of Chiogga and Detroit Red, which is why some of them looked white after roasting. Chiogga are a beautiful candy-striped red & white when raw, but after cooking, the red fades out and you get an interesting white/off-white look.

I was thrilled that Casper chowed down enthusiastically on this, but Graiden turned his nose up. That never happens!

This meal cost about $15.

Snobby Joes

I used PPK's recipe for Snobby Joes (aka sloppy joes) for the base of this week's meal.

Served with buns, edamame salad and canteloupe.

I might tone down the spice next time b/c my kids actually ate them but found them a wee bit spicy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

African-themed tastiness tonight!

Tonight is an African-themed meal, with Seven Vegetable Couscous from Vegan Fire & Spice and Baked Tofu with Peanut Sauce. Actually, it's only Five Vegetable Couscous, since I left out the zucchini & peas at David's request. I added extra chickpeas to make up for it. Either way, I am *really* loving the spice mix! I kept the cayenne low, and it just has a hint of kick, which will be perfect for Graiden.

The baked tofu is from a recipe I found at, and the sauce is so creamy! It's probably a bit too spicy for Graiden, but David & I ate it up. I modified the recipe by leaving out the suggested okra since we have a main course of almost entirely vegetables. Next time, I will use frozen/thawed tofu to keep the tofu from being so squishy. Right now, there isn't much texture contrast between the tofu & the sauce!

Oh, and I had some extra chocolate chip cookies from a batch I made this morning, so I've included a few with the meal. Not authentic, but always tasty :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mexican Quinoa with Pinto Beans

Aw, yeah, I grilled my own corn, in the husk no less.


I served the corn with Mexican Quinoa with Pinto Beans. This is a recipe I got off of an insert that came with Ancient Harvest quinoa. We loved it, such good flavor.

I omitted the frozen corn because I don't like kerneled corn mixed with other food. The inclusion in the recipe, however, was the inspiration for the grilled corn on the side.

Mexican Quinoa with Pinto Beans

3 cups sliced bell pepper and onions
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cups dried beans yields 4 cups cooked beans)
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups sweet corn
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water (or liquid from cooked pinto beans)

Saute peppers, onions, and garlic in a large skillet or pot using a small amount of olive oil (and/or some of the reserved liquid from the pinto beans). Add chili powder, cumin, and salt, and saute for another minute or two. Add pinto beans, cooked quinoa, frozen corn, and water (or liquid from beans). Bring to a simmer, cover loosely and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for another 10 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mexican spiced tofu & beans

My co-op meal this week was a Mexican spiced baked tofu with blazing pinto beans, tortillas and guacamole. It was a simple meal due to the fact that we were very busy. I was pleased with the tofu and loved the beans. The pinto bean recipe came from a book I am currently cooking from for a review I am writing. Guacamole is always tasty when it comes to Mexican food and we love tortillas around here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chik'n Fajitas with fixins

Tonight was one of our favorite summer recipes: Fajitas!

I used chik'n style seitan with onions, peppers, & cherry tomatoes, generously coated with fajita seasoning. Served with all the usual stuff: tortillas, guacamole, and salsa. I also made some refried beans to eat on the side, or on your fajita, whatever floats your boat.

This is one of our summer staples, and I keep meaning to get a griddle for our grill so I can cook it outside. It can really heat up the kitchen during July, but David adores them (and, I admit, I do too,) so we make them at least once a week.

This meal was also one of my more expensive ones (about $30), the priciest ingredients being the frozen organic peppers & avocados. Frozen peppers are actually one of our biggest food costs around here! David uses them in quick stirfries for lunches, I use them in fried rice or in pepper "steak," and they are about $3/bag. Bell peppers are high up on "pesticide residue" lists, so they're one of the few foods that I always buy organic.

Monday, April 19, 2010

White beans with greens

I improvised a recipe based on a simple idea off of VegWeb that was simply lightly boiled greens sauteed with white beans, garlic, shallots, oil, salt and pepper. My garden had a lot of mustard greens and spinach and I wanted to use that before it went to seed.

So, I love that the greens were fresh. I served this with brown rice, though I wonder if it might have gone better with pasta. But white beans just always make me think pasta. I think I could have used even more greens and probably should have harvested some of the chard I had in the garden too.

This was the first meal for which I didn't have to go shopping - I had the greens growing in the garden and I always keep canned white beans and rice on hand. Since I have spent a fair amount on some of my coop meals lately, I wanted to make this one more economical. In that spirit, I tapped my current resources for a side for the bean and rice dish. I wanted to make something bread-y to go with the meal, which is pretty complete with protein, veggies and grain. I had some Hodgson's Bran Muffin mix in the pantry which I have made vegan before and had it turn out well. I would say these turned out "okay". I was out of ener-g egg replacer, so I used flax seed instead and they were pretty chewy. Also, I didn't add enough oj to add to the flavor too much so they're still pretty branny. At least I added plump raisins and they are incredibly healthy. So, there's that. I think the worst offense of all? They simply don't go with the white bean/rice mix. We certainly didn't eat them with dinner, just munched on them as a snack.

Well, not every week's a win I guess.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Southern Style Mustard Greens & Blackeyed Peas

This week for my co-op meal, I served a Southern style mustard green and blackeyed pea dish. When I was cooking this dish, Josh tried a bit and informed me that it was spicy. After eating it last night, I did not find it spicy at all. Flavorful but not spicy. I added tempeh to the recipe. I think I will try seitan in it next time. I was not very fond of the tempeh in this dish. The greens and peas were served over brown rice with a side of sweet cornbread. It was a recipe I created using mustard greens from our garden. Yay for food travelling zero miles! I liked the dish but think that it would have been better a little more spicy. Maybe a jalapeno would have been nice. The cost for the meal was low, around $12.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Simple spring meal

Tonight's meal was pan-fried mushroom & asparagus with herbed polenta wedges. I served a baked garlic tofu on the side (but I added a splash of red wine vinegar.) All of the parts of this meal were very simple, but I liked the look of it! Polenta always looks so elegant.

Next time I'll figure out how to get more garlic flavor in the tofu. I think some of the slices might have been overdone, so sorry for that!

This meal cost about $19.

Enchiladas, jicama/mango salad, chips y salsa

I used vegweb's soyrizo and potato enchilada recipe and I thought it turned out pretty good - not too spicy and with a similar consistency to a shredded beef enchilada. I used organic wheat tortillas, which I thought might be a little heavy, but they turned out okay. The enchilada sauce was freeform made with whatever tomatoes I had on hand plus onions, garlic and spices. I even threw a jar of eggplant tomato sauce in there so there were some extra veggies in the dish.

I served the enchiladas with a jicama/mango salad, which we really liked and found to be a nice, cooling side to a Tex-Mex dinner, and store-bought chips served with homemade salsa made with fresh cilantro from my garden.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Butterbean Curry

This is a recipe I created some time last year. I like butterbeans and wanted to do something unique with them. I decided to make a curry. The recipe is simple and calls for easy ingredients. I added baked tofu to make it a bit more hearty and served it with a green vegetable for a side. Easy and tasty.
Meal cost: under $20

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tuscan Bean Soup with Leafy Green Vegetables

I forgot to mention to you all, the greens from this soup were all from my garden. Most of the leeks were too. The herbs were also but I didn't have enough (only a small part of the many things that went wrong that day!).

Here's the recipe:

Tuscan Bean Soup with Leafy Green Vegetables
Lean Bean Cuisine by Jay Solomon

1 cup dried cannellini, cranberry, or navy beans, soaked and drained
8 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs. olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, well rinsed
1 cup diced celery
8 mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped white or red potatoes (I microwave them to cook partway--might be better to saute in oil instead)
3 cups mixture of shredded kale, swiss chard, and spinach
3 tbs. tomato paste
1 tbs. dried basil
1 tbs. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried sage
1.2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
2 tbs. dry red wine

Place the beans and water in a large saucepan and cook for 1 hour, until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in another large saucepan and add the leeks, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute for about 7 minutes. Add the beans and vegetable broth, and remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle the soup into bowls and season with salt at the table. Serve hot with Italian bread.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Winter garden special

My winter garden is winding down, so I've been harvesting here & there and trying to find ways to work the extra produce into our meals. Tonight I served an Italian-flavored rice & cabbage dish with beet & greens gratin. The cabbage & beets were from the garden. Since I only planted chiogga beets this year(and supplemented with a bunch of golden beets from Wheatsville,) the gratin wasn't the neon magenta I'm used to. I liked how you could see the cubes of beet mixed in with the ribbons of greens. It probably needed a bit more salt.

I also sent along the extra Cowboy Cookies I made this morning for the mailman (he gave us some of his extra bird netting after we chatted about strawberry-filching pests earlier this week.) This recipe is from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. While some of the recipes seem to be hit or miss, these oatmeal cookies with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips are always a winner.
This meal cost about $20, including the cookies.

Monday, April 5, 2010


For tonight's meal I made chili sin carne al mole from Vegan with a Vengeance. It's a dark, saucy chili, flavored with mole.

My dad is an expert chili maker and I've been wanting to perfect a vegan version that will be my expert recipe in the years to come. Though this is good, I'm not sure it's "it". However, I will definitely take some tips from this recipe. It's good. It was a little spicy for my taste, but my David loved that.

I served the chili with maple corn muffins (I loved this recipe from Vegetarian Times; they're made with corn kernels in the batter) and chard tossed with olive oil and lemon juice (ala Jamie Oliver).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kosher for Passover, as interpreted by an atheist

Since some of our co-op members keep kosher for Passover, our co-op is doing the same. Tonight I served a simple mushroom, kale & tofu dish (modified from Real Simple) over quinoa (which is a seed, not a grain, apparently, and therefore okay.) The side dish was baked sweet potato fries.

I love sweet potato fries, they're so simple & tasty. I know I make them often, so I hope no one else is sick of them :) I did finally figure out why some of them kept coming out mushy though. I was using my airbake pans to roast them, and the pans weren't getting hot enough to really sear the outsides. That's great when you're making cookies, less awesome with vegetables. The ones I made on a standard cookie sheet lined with foil were perfect. Need more regular cookie sheets, I guess!

I feel like I am finally getting back into my stride after a really bad funk the last couple weeks. I know my meals had suffered some, but hopefully that's all behind me now. Sometimes, mama-ing is just HARD.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Giant Chipotle White Beans

I have long-adored Heidi Swanson. This recipe for Giant Chipotle White Beans caught my eye a few months ago and then, literally days later, a friend brought it to my house for dinner so I got a chance to try it.

It had been on my mind to cook it for coop and I jumped on it this weekend. I veganized it by leaving out the cheese and David and I both agreed that we like it better this way. It's a layered dish made up of a base of the bean, kale, adobo and tomato bake with the addition of whole grain breadcrumbs and a drizzle of fresh cilantro pesto.

I served it with marinated tomatoes and bell peppers (due mostly to the fact that the lettuce I had been hoping to use for salads went bad) and crusty bread. I wish I'd snapped a photo of the dish b/c I love the look of it with its enormous white beans but we ate the whole dish before I had a chance to take one. Actually, I ate most of it. David likes the dish, but not as much as me who really really really loves it. :)

One of these days, I'm going to have to break down and get Swanson's cookbook. Absolutely every recipe is wonderful and I love her attentive culinary process. When I make a Swanson dish, I never feel that I'm just slapping ingredients together. Yesterday, with Citizen Cope playing on the player and a Dos Equis on hand, cooking this dish was really fun.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Last night I served a Indian tofu curry to the co-op. It is a recipe I created and it orginally called for seitan, but after it was tried by some of my testers, they suggested tofu. They gave it rave reviews and I have to agree, we thought it was delicious. And even better with the tofu. I served it with brown rice and chickpea patties. The chickpea patty recipe came from vegweb. It had more of a falafel taste to it. Which I was not going for. They were tasty and the boys liked them which is great since Arthur is Mr. Pickypants. Josh loved the meal. Hope everyone enjoyed it as well.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ribollita soup & salad

It was a warm day today! Almost too warm to pull off this soup!

I served a Tuscan-style soup called Ribollita. It means "reboiled," which is reference to the fact that it tastes even better the next day, and in true Tuscan form, it is UGLY. According to The Soup Peddler, their cuisine is usually a bowl of brown mush, and that's exactly what mine looked like! I must have gotten something right, even though I couldn't find the exact recipe. I did my best to recreate The Soup Peddler's version of this soup.

I had hoped to serve this with some sort of baked fruit dessert, maybe pineapple upside down cake, but it was just too hot to turn on the oven this afternoon. I'll manage my time better next week & get the baking done in the morning. Instead of a dessert, I put together a simple side salad. Since the soup is so hearty, and full of vegetables, beans, and bread, it really limits the appropriate sides, but a lighter salad worked well I think. I hope it was enough food for everyone.

The carrots, kale, and herbs in the soup were all from my garden, so this meal cost about $10. (!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's meal sponsored by Wheatsville

Coming off a very busy week and an out of town guest in for the weekend, I really had no time to cook for Monday's meal, especially since I had to go back to work today. So, I used my 10% off owner's coupon at Wheatsville that was expiring yesterday to provide the following meal:

That would be popcorn tofu served with buns, shredded lettuce, orange bell peppers and tomatoes, pesto and pecan white bean salad, a kosher dill pickle and an Endangered Species vegan dark chocolate square.

I forgot to send along a fancy vegan mayo, but I just added regular veganaise to ours. Yum!

It is wonderful to have really good vegan options in town for days like today, when all I could do with the limited energy I had was pack food in containers and send it along. Okay, I did shred the lettuce and slice the peppers and tomatoes, too.

With the discount, it wasn't super expensive - about $37 for all four meals. Plus, I was able to restock my Organic Mexican Velvet Roast coffee, which helped me get out of bed this tired, tired morning.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Stu. Who is Stu? I meant to say "STEW". Ha ha. For my co-op meal this week, I made an Irish stout stew. I veganized the recipe from It was served with mashed potatoes and cupcakes for dessert. We liked the stew. The cupcakes were a bit of a disappointment. The recipe if from VWAV and it is the lemon cupcake recipe. There was not enough lemon in the cupcakes. I was going for a strawberry lemon cake and could not taste any lemon whatsoever. The icing tasted lemony, the cake, not so much. Of course cupcakes are always a hit with the men in my family, so they didn't care whether or not there was enough lemon.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day fare

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I decided to get into the spirit a day early & made a corned "beef" and cabbage dish, served with a brown gravy, baked colcannon patties, and a basic soda bread.

All of the recipes were from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and yet again, they were wonderful! I added too much soymilk to my colcannon puffs, so they flattened out and became patties, but YUM. They were all gone before noon at my house, and my husband ate most of them. He kept asking, "Can I have another?" to which I would reply, "You're eating kale! Have as many as you want!" Casper even chowed down on two of them! Definitely making those again.

I had to make two rounds of soda bread, since the first recipe was an epic fail. Switched to Susan's recipe she lists with the corned "beef," and it worked much better. I'll leave out the sugar next time though. I prefer a saltier soda bread.

All told, the meal cost about $20.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Moroccon it Meal...

Last night I served a Moroccan inspired dish. I made Moroccan baked tofu with a Moroccan spiced salad and sauteed collard greens. The tofu was marinated in spices overnight and then baked. The salad is a rice salad recipe from Vegan Fire and Spice. I made a few changes to my liking and to be more cost efficient. The salad can be eaten hot or cold. The greens were sauteed in a bit of oil and sea salt. Our two little guys loved the rice salad. Which was another "high five" in my book since our picky guy Arthur has been turning his nose up to everything lately. I liked the whole meal and the health benefits from it. I looked up the nutritional value of this meal and it is full of so many great nutrients. Tasty and healthy. Yay!

Cost of the meal-$18

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Bean & Quinoa Loaf

Dinner tonight was a black bean & quinoa loaf, fresh bread, and apple & pineapple fruit salad.

It felt like every time I tried to make anything today I ran into a road block, so lots of things got improvised and some ingredients got forgotten (the almond meal from the loaf, for one!) The bread rose too much the first time around and not enough the second time. I meant to make roasted asparagus for a side, but between Friday & today the price went up from 77c/lb to 2.99/lb, so that plan got axed. Add in a baby who wanted to hold my hands and walk circles around the house for HOURS and today was a bit disjointed!

I hope despite everything, dinner was edible! It seemed okay on our end at least.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So, I've been wanting to do this meal for a while and it turned out to be fun, tasty and healthy. I made bean and roasted veggie burritos, homemade salsa and guacamole. I served additional beans and rice on the side and sent along fresh strawberries.

Not the best picture, but I had to snap one quickly while the kids were briefly settled at the start of dinner.

I can't post to specific recipes since I used a hodgepodge of sites to get me started and mostly made this up as I went along.

My mom's been cooking pintos since I was a little girl and beans with cornbread or tortillas was one of my favorite and most satisfying simple meals growing up. She made a pot of beans or peas most every week. Ala mom, I slow-cooked these with onions and spices (thankfully remembering to soak them overnight Sat night even though I had to get out of bed at 11pm when I remembered I had forgotten to do so). I roasted the veggies (a variety of bell peppers with onions and yellow squash) with olive oil, Mexican oregano, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. For the rice I used jasmine but cooked it in the rice cooker with veggie broth for half of the water, layered in some of the homemade salsa and added limas to the rice served on the side (borrowing from Curra's - I had hoped to mimic the rice served with their meals but didn't quite replicate it even though it was fine).

I thought I was disappointed with the guacamole I made last night (it seemed too oniony) but it tasted great today and made a perfect garnish to the burrito along with the salsa.

Last, even though my salsa wasn't very spicy, I was really pleased with it b/c it was my first attempt at homemade salsa and I loved how fresh it tasted compared to what we purchase even in the fancy jarred varieties. I will be continuing to make my own salsa, adjusting the spiciness especially with my David in mind who loves it the hotter the better. The VitaMix is a salsa-making dream!

The biggest win was that Erin tried everything. She helped herself to salsa and guacamole, rice and burrito. She loved serving herself these familiar foods. And even baby Rory chowed down on the rice.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Mint chocolate chip cookies.

Homemade foccacia fresh from the oven.

I will not be posting a picture of the soup I served to the co-op last night. After sitting down to our dinner table to eat it. I was embarrassed that I sent it as a meal. Wow, did it suck. It was recommended by a friend who raved about it. It was a Tuscan white bean soup. It was more like noodles with a little broth and hidden beans. Terrible, just terrible. It was so bland that our picky guy Arthur ate some thinking it was plain noodles. The only redeeming quality about the meal was the homemade foccacia and mint chocolate chip cookies. I will definitely have to redeem myself next week. I think this meal goes down in the books as the worst co-op dish ever. Wowza!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Seitanic Red Bean Jambalaya

Tonight's meal with Seitanic Red Bean Jambalaya from Veganomicon. This is a repeat, as I've already made this recipe for the first week of co-op, but I figure enough time has passed to make it okay.

Sides are roasted sweet potato wedges and sauteed broccoli w/ garlic. The potatoes didn't crisp up the way I wanted, so apologies on the slight mushy texture. They're still tasty :)

The whole meal cost about $20.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tortilla Soup

I always feel a little shy posting about the food when it hasn't been eaten yet (even by me, though I did take a taste!). But here goes anyway. I made FatFreeVegan's latest recipe: Tortilla Soup with Pinto Beans.

I love tortilla soup and am always annoyed at how difficult it is to find it vegetarian. Mr. Natural makes a good one and I have been known to use the Central Market tortilla soup prep kit to make my own, but I've never ever made it from scratch.

This one calls for roasted dried peppers (I used anchos), chipotle chile powder and Mexican oregano. From what I tasted last night it has a solid bite, but nothing overwhelming. I'd call it flavorful, which is just the way I like it b/c I don't really care for sweating through a meal.

It's served with avocado and lime, of course, and baked corn tortilla strips. I really liked making the latter and feel much better about adding these to the soup instead of the bagged and fried variety. I like that they're heartier and denser than a fried chip but still quite crunchy. I can't wait to get home tonight and put a big bowl of this together for dinner.

Served with soup: spinach, mushroom and red onion salad with dijon vinaigrette and fresh, organic strawberries.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Last night I served enchiladas for my co-op meal. They were avocado cashew enchiladas with a side of Mexican quinoa. The enchiladas were stuffed with avocado, cashews, tofu, cilantro and spices and topped with a homemade tomatillo sauce. I sprinkled them with a bit of FYH cheeze. The Mexican quinoa was a new recipe I created. We loved it. It was simple and tasty with a hint of lime from the vinaigrette. We finished off our quinoa last night, so I am tempted to make some more for my lunch today. Such goodness. The Mexican quinoa is the kind of meal you can eat hot or cold. We really enjoyed last night's dinner. I hope everyone else did too.
I would also like to say "thanks" to all the co-op ladies. I posted a message Monday stating that I would not be cooking this week due to Arthur being so sick. Everyone was so kind and brought meals for my family. Since I was banned from the kitchen I would have been grabbing food from the freezer or eating sandwiches. You ladies rock! Fortunately, Arthur's fever broke and the puke fest stopped so I was able to cook. I just wanted to say thanks again. You are all greatly appreciated. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Comfort Food on a snowy day!

That's right, it SNOWED today. Not just dinky little snow either! It snowed huge fat flakes for several hours, although it never quite got below freezing, and it was 70 degrees two days ago, so the ground was too warm for any actual accumulation. I almost wiped out carrying a baby down the driveway to the car to do this food delivery, though, so it was slippery enough!

Anyways, dinner tonight is Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon, mashed potatoes, white gravy, and steamed broccoli. If there was ever a type of day that demanded white gravy, today was it! In addition to smothered in white gravy, they are excellent between two slices of bread with a smear of Veganaise (manna from heaven, that stuff!) or a smashed avocado. If you're feeling fancy, add some lettuce and onion and tomato.

I'm worried some of the cutlets cooked for a smidge too long, so I'm sorry if any of them are tough. Microwaving them in a damp paper towel can soften them up if necessary!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mardi Gras Meal

Sweet potato cornbread

(tasty dish, ugly picture)

Well a post Mardi Gras meal that is. For my co-op meal I made red beans with a vegan andouille sausage. Some not so dirty rice, sweet potato cornbread and coconut heaven cupcakes for dessert. The meal was quite easy to make. Throw the beans in a big pot and let them simmer all day with spices. I doubled the sausage recipe. After they were steamed I sauteed them in a skillet with a bit of oil. The sweet potato cornbread recipe comes from the cookbook How it All Vegan. And the cupcakes are from Vegan with a Vengeance. We really enjoyed the meal and the cost to make the dish was around $12. You can't beat that price and it fed 8 adults. Yippee!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Italian night

I realize that last night was Fat Tuesday & I should have done something a little more topical, but I decided to make myself a belated birthday dinner from last week. My birthday was Friday, but we were so wrapped up in party preparation for my 4y/o (whose birthday was Wednesday) that my day flew by without even a mention.

Stuffed shells are a favorite around here, although normally too expensive for a co-op meal. The sale stars aligned this week with pasta sauce AND silken tofu both on sale this week, so I was able to get Muir Glen organic sauce for only $2.50 a jar, and boxes of silken tofu for only $1.29 each! Plus, I had about 12oz of baby spinach in my fridge leftover from making spinach quiche for the party.

The jumbo shells were stuffed with basil tofu ricotta, modified from Vegan With a Vengeance and mixed with steamed & chopped spinach. It took a little over 4 boxes of tofu to make enough shells for 4 families. The jarred sauce is poured over & topped with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. I used 2.5 jars of sauce total.

The side dishes were polenta fries from Vegan Lunch Box and garlicky sauteed green beans, two more favorites for me!

I was hoping to make a dessert to round out my birthday meal, but I took a birthday nap instead! Ahhhhh.

The meal cost about $27.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I made "Peccadillo Tacos" from Easy Vegan Comfort Food and served them with corn tortillas, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes. I also made "El Paso Pilaf," a spanish rice-style pilaf from

The taco filling was a TVP-base, and I liked it more than I thought I would. I am picky about my TVP, so we usually do bean tacos around here. It did get a little soggy towards the end, so I probably should have cooked it a few more minutes to evaporate out a smidge more water. David said he would have preferred flour tortillas to the corn, but 10 flour tortillas cost the same as 50 corn, so our bank account overruled him!

This meal cost about $20.


A couple of weeks ago I created a recipe for a roasted poblano chowder. We like it a lot. So, I thought I would share the recipe with the co-op. Since the weather is turning cold, this seemed to be the perfect meal to warm up to. I served it with some homemade bread and a chocolate chip streusal coffee cake. Enjoy.

Roasted Poblano Chowder
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 poblanos, roasted and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 c carrots, sliced
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional, if you like it spicy)
1c pototoes, diced
1c corn
1t black pepper
2t salt
3t cumin
3c seitan, sauteed in oil until crispy, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch cilantro, chopped-use leaves only
8c veg broth
1-12oz container "sour" cream
1c flour
1/2c margarine

In a stock pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add celery, carrots, jalapeno, potatoes, and corn. Saute another 5 minutes. Add poblanos and spices, stir. Add broth, "sour" cream, cilantro and seitan. Bring to a boil, once it starts to boil, turn down to a simmer. Let simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. While the chowder is simmering, in a skillet, melt the margarine. Whisk in the flour, do not brown the flour/margarine mix. Remove 1 cup of broth from the chowder, whisk into margarine/flour mix. Once the cup of broth is incorporated, add another cup, whisk again until well blended. Pour into the stockpot. Simmer chowder for another 5 minutes until it has thickened. Serve with a crusty bread. **To roast poblanos, insert a fork in the poblano and hold it over the gas burner until the flesh of the pablano turns black.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's that smell?

Asparagus! Tonite I served a spicy tofu and asparagus dish with a side salad and dessert. The recipe comes from Vegan Fire and Spice. It was not as spicy as I would have hoped. Actually it was not spicy at all. I added more pepper flakes to my plate. I was happy the asparagus stayed crispy. There is nothing worse than soggy asparagus in my book. I felt the meal was just "okay". I have definitely made better and will remember that if I cook this dish in the future, I will kick up the heat a notch or two or three.

Now dessert, that was my favorite part of the meal. Wow! This cake was delicious. A publishing company asked me to review some vegan cookbooks. The first book they sent was a vegan dessert cookbook. That's a tough job, bake some awesome desserts, eat them and then do a review on it. So, I decided to make the peanut butter cup cake. It was moist and delicious and tasted like peanut butter cups in a cake form. Oh my. I usually make a dessert for the weekend and never during the week. But since I need to bake some of the recipes in order to give the book a proper review, I thought it would be nice to share it with the co-op since all the other ladies have brought us such wonderful desserts. Next week shall be another dessert from the book. Cookies, cake, cheesecake? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Little bit of India

Tonight's meal was Punjabi-style Aloo Gobi, sauteed mustard & turnip greens, dry-cooked garbanzos, and brownies (!).

The Aloo Gobi came from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, which is a great source of authentic international recipes. They tend to be on the more complicated side, with lots of spices added at just the right time, but the results are always amazing!

The dry-cooked garbanzos came from Alternative Vegan, a smaller vegan cookbook with a heavy Indian emphasis. The recipes eschew any "omni-subs" like tofu, soymilk, or seitan, so it's a great way to incorporate more produce & grains into a meal. (Also, apologies for forgetting to remove the curry leaves from the beans. They're just there to impart flavor, not for eating!)

The greens were simply sauteed in olive oil with salt & pepper. The turnip greens were from the store, but the mustard greens were from my garden!

Oh, and the chapatis! They turned out a bit (okay, a lot) denser than I wanted, because I forgot to let the dough rest before flattening & cooking. The gluten didn't tangle/form enough to catch the CO2 bubbles and tough, flat chapatis were my punishment. They seemed to taste good enough, but they were a bit toothsome!

Last but not least, my favorite part of the meal was the brownies! This is a recipe from, and amazingly, these were the lowest-fat part of the meal. Only 2T oil to make a 9x13 pan, and you'd never know it!

This meal cost about $18, with $6 of that for the cauliflower!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


How nice would that be? Sitting on the beach in Jamaica, next to the blue water, the sand between my toes, no laundry to do or house to be cleaned. Now that I am awake from my dream, lets talk about food. Since I couldn't be in Jamaica, I decided to make Jamaican food. The recipe comes from the cookbook Vegan Fire and Spice. I served Jamaican spiced tempeh nuggets with Jamican baked vegetables and a side of brown rice. I overkilled a bit on the vegetables, making way to much. So much that I have a large container in my freezer now. Which is okay for one of those crazy days when there is no time to cook. The meal was a bit pricy for me. I spent $30 which is still cheaper than dining at a restaurant. There is no way you could feed 8 adults for $30. I am just cheap and purchasing an arse load of organic potatoes can be a bit expensive. But, like I said, I overkilled on the veggies making way to much, so it would have cost less if I hadn't made enough to feed an army. I am glad I stayed at $30. I try to make that my cost limit. We really enjoyed the dish. Josh requested that I make it again in the future. I hope everyone else liked it too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tomato & Greens soup, rice, Rosemary Lemon Tofu

This week I made Tomato & Greens soup from Carol Ann Sayle's Eating in Season, served over brown rice, and Rosemary Lemon Baked Tofu from

The soup is SO simple and used up the last of my frozen tomatoes from this summer. I used mustard greens in the soup, but it's very flexible and I've used everything from kale to escarole, and the recipe suggests bok choy or mizuna.

It's 2lbs tomatoes, skins slipped off, simmered with 2T olive oil, 2T tamari, minced garlic for 15 min. Then add 3quarts water, 1 large bunch chopped greens, salt & pepper, 1/4-1/2c apple cider vinegar. Simmer for another 20-40minutes depending on how toothsome your greens are.

We enjoyed the baked tofu, but I think next time I'll use a bit less lemon.

I calculated the meal to cost about $18

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Taste of India....

For my Wednesday night co-op meal, I cooked Indian food. Authentic, probably not. Tasty, yes. I served curried tofu, tamarind lentils and samosa stuffed potatoes. All three recipes come from the cookbook Veganomicon. I am to lazy to type out the recipes, so if you are interested in them. Just let me know and I will have Josh make a copy of each for you. I estimated the cost of the meal to be right at $20. The most expensive item being the potatoes. Thankfully the store sells organic bags of potatoes now. So it kept me under my $25-30 co-op meal range. Josh and Adam really liked the meal. Arthur ate a few bites of tofu. I loved it, but then again, I like curry anything. I hope everyone enjoyed the meal as much as we did.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tunisian Couscous

Tonight's meal was Tunisian Couscous from Robin Robertson's Fire & Spice. I used potatoes instead of turnips, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. I tripled the recipe to have enough for all 4 families.

The side was brussels wraps filled with roasted sweet potatoes in a cilantro-lime dressing. I love the combination of the sweet & tart! Brussels greens are super healthy and are the perfect shape for wraps, like big ping-pong paddles. The greens, potatoes, and cilantro were all from Boggy Creek Farm.

I also included a couple handfuls of dried Deglat Noor dates for dessert/sides to round out the middle-eastern feel of this meal.

This meal cost a little over $25.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday's meal

I'm just getting around to posting about the meal I made this Tuesday. My children have both been going through challenging phases right now and spare time is (even more) limited!

Tuesday night's meal was the Savory Chard Pie from Fat-free Vegan Kitchen. Most of the chard came from my garden. I wanted to do a chard-heavy meal because I knew that even my hardy chard plant wasn't going to survive the brutal freeze that was forecast several nights in a row last week. Poor plant has been with me through 3 seasons, but this winter was its last. Rest in peace, tasty chard plant!

The side was Pineapple Fried Quinoa from I didn't think it'd be as popular as it was! I altered the recipe as written to use only 2c liquid per 1c quinoa, I used vegetable broth instead of chicken, and subbed crumbled firm tofu instead of eggs. I think the recipe's author may have been using low-sodium soy sauce, so next time I will cut back on the soy sauce and add to taste instead of just putting in what the recipe calls for!

I calculated the cost of the meal to be about $23, since I had to buy a couple pie tins to supplement my 3 here at home.

Thursday's Dinner.....

Tonite's dinner is Cholent. It is a Jewish stew. The recipe comes from Veganomicon. I made this dish once before when I first received Veganomicon and we loved it. I like all the vegetables, beans, TVP chunks and the smoothness of the broth. This is a perfect meal for a rainy day. By the way, I had the brilliant (sarcastically speaking) idea to triple the recipe thinking that if I doubled it there would not be enough. Holy cow! Tripling the recipe made enough to feed an army. There is our dinner tonite as well as leftovers for lunch. Plus two containers in our deep freeze. Tripling this recipe is not necessary. I served it along with a side of bread. I used the "Outrageously Big Bread" recipe from vegweb. I also made some chocolate zucchini bread as a treat. The recipe is from vegweb as well. Enjoy. The cost of the meal plus both breads was $25. Still cheaper than dining out or purchasing bread at a bakery.

Thanks to Alison for subbing in this week while Karen is on holiday. The lentil curry dish with rice was delicious. I "heart" curry. I was very happy to have leftovers for lunch today.

Claire's swiss chard dinner pie was terrific as was the fried pineapple quinoa. I had to fight Josh and the boys for the quinoa. Our little bear Adam ate a slice of the dinner pie. Such goodness.

Hope everyone has a lovely day.

peas and love....
Krys and the boys

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday's meal

I stole an entire meal idea from Courtney over at the South Austin Dinner Co-op.

And I have to say, this turned out to be one of my favorites. Courtney mentioned that she mistakenly added the ketchup into the "meet"loaf instead of just using it as a garnish and I thought the mix seemed a little dry so I added it in too. Still, I didn't add much (about a 1/2 cup?) and I was really pleasantly surprised at how moist the muffins turned out (yes, I made my meetloaves into muffins too). I will definitely make this meal again, though I might use mini-loaf pans instead and serve it with gravy on the side (to be added to the loaf or the potatoes).

But, oh, the beet and carrot slaw. That was divine! I'm reposting the recipe here just b/c it was so good it deserves to be seen prior to the jump!

Beet and Carrot Slaw
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium bunch of beets with greens
2 medium carrots, grated

In a large bowl whisk together the juice, oil, vinegar and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Cut the greens off the beets; discard stems and cut leaves into 1/4 inch wide strips. Peel and grate beets. Add to bowl along with beet leaves and carrots. Toss.

This recipe comes from Everyday Food, I'm pretty sure.

Big props to Courtney for putting this meal idea together!

Last, on a slightly sad note, I'm going to miss the co-op for the next few weeks while I take a break. Thankfully, we've got a sub stepping in (and hopefully she'll be blogging here soon). I'm going to miss these dinners and we'll really be looking forward to getting back in the rotation soon!