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).