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.