On an impulse, I threw a bag of dry, skinned fava beans into the crockpot at 10pm last night. Had no idea what I was going to do with them nor how they would turn out the next morning. At about 8am, they were really overcooked and in tiny bits. Couldn't do much with them except make a soup.
Found this Egyptian Fava Bean soup recipe in my "Classic Vegetarian Cooking from The MIddle East & N. Africa" cookbook. I pureed the bean bits and heated them up with cumin, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I had a little bowl for breakfast. Creamy and very flavorful! Will have this again at dinner with some whole wheat pita.
I consider myself a lucky duck getting a chance to sample this wonderful pudding by a company called Stinkey Monkey. The name may be cute and silly but the pudding is serious stuff! I got to try the vanilla matcha flavor and it was amazing. I wanted to go slow and savor it but I couldn't help it, I dove in and in a few minutes (seconds?), it was all gone. This stuff is made with quality ingredients and is dairy free, gluten free, soy free and low glycemic. The vanilla matcha pudding is made from raw coconut meat, organic coconut milk, organic palm sugar, organic matcha powder, organic raw vanilla bean, love and laughter! It was deliciously creamy and a little fluffy with the wonderful flavors of coconut, vanilla and matcha. All the flavors mingled perfectly with no one flavor dominating the other. I wish I could have eaten more. These decadent puddings are available at Rainbow Acres in Culver City and the Silverlake Farmer's Market. Try some soon, you will love it.
Found a lonely can of cooked fava beans in my pantry which I don't think I noticed before. Decided to make falafel with them as I did not have any canned chickpeas. It's very easy, I just mashed up the drained beans, added some chopped onions, cilantro, a tsp. each of flour and baking powder, cumin, and bit of salt and pepper, formed them into little patties and fried them up in olive oil. I served them with whole wheat pita along with tomato, lettuce and avocado. The sauce is a garlicky tahini-mayo which I made out of Vegenaise, tahini, lemon juice and garlic powder.
Wanted to show you what I did with all the leftovers today (which wasn't very much!). I made a beautiful burrito stuffed with the refried beans, rice, portobellos, lettuce, cilantro and onion. I covered it with the red chile sauce and topped it with guac. SO GOOOOD.
Check out my lunch today. It was superb! Portobello tacos, rice and beans. I wanted to make refried beans from scratch weeks ago but never got around to it because I had other things in mind. This weekend seemed just right for it. The bag of pinto beans in my pantry was calling my name as well as another item from my pantry that I forgot to add to my list: a bag of dried New Mexico chiles. I have a book called "The Power of Ancient Foods" and there is a recipe for red chile sauce that I planned to make along with the refried beans. I cooked my pinto beans in the crockpot overnight so they'd be ready this morning. (My crockpot has a new name: "The Bean Machine". I don't use it for anything else anymore.) So anyway back to the beans, I sauteed some onions and garlic in olive oil, added the cooked and drained beans, mashed them up and let them simmer with salt, pepper, about a cup of the bean cooking liquid and a touch of liquid smoke. I don't think I can enjoy canned refried beans ever again! The beans were stellar, just like in a restaurant. The rice was wonderful as well. Fresh guacamole and lime wedges made it all complete.
I've never had mushroom tacos before and I'm glad I tried this. They were so meaty and juicy. The red chile sauce was really nice.
Portobello tacos recipe here. Mexican rice recipe here. This short video shows pretty much how I made the red chile sauce.
I was in the mood for chili dogs today and I knew that I would have to go out and buy the veggie dogs but I didn't mind because the chili part was all coming out of my pantry. I didn't really follow a recipe, just threw a bunch of stuff in a pot and called it chili. I didn't use a lot of lentils only 1/4 cup or so for a bit of a different texture. I had one for lunch and it was really yummy with sauerkraut and a bit of ketchup. I'll have another for dinner.
Pantry staples used: brown/green lentils 1 can kidney beans 1 can diced tomatoes 1 can tomato sauce herbs/spices: cumin, chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika hot dog buns (my husband bought these yesterday. Score!) sauerkraut ketchup
Other items from fridge: red bell pepper onion garlic jalapeno
Items I needed to purchase: 1 pack Lightlife Smart Dogs
Simple tofu scramble between two slices of whole wheat slathered with vegan mayo and topped with ketchup and hot sauce! I didn't have to delve too much into my pantry but it was nice to have these few ingredients for this delicious breakfast.
So, day one of cooking from my pantry! I was lazy today to look for a new recipe so I reverted back to my old standby. This time I added tvp to the filling to bulk it up a bit. To go with the casserole, I made a side dish of mexican sweet corn cake which is a recipe from The Tropical Vegan Kitchen.
Pantry staples used: quinoa 1 can black beans tvp 1 can diced tomatoes 1 can tomato sauce dried herbs/spices: cumin, oregano, new mexico chili powder 6 whole wheat flour tortillas masa harina cornmeal sugar canola oil
Other vegetables/fruits and fridge items etc: 1 red bell pepper 2 cloves garlic 1/2 onion 10 oz. frozen corn Vegenaise Earth Balance margarine
Ingredients I needed to purchase: none
Mexican sweet corn cake. This was really delicious and sweet.
No food post today because I've got mounds of leftovers to eat. I've been thinking about what kinds of things I can make out of what's in my pantry in order to save money on groceries. In the next month or so I am going to be budgeting big time and I know that I spend a lot of my money on food. I've made a list of everything in my pantry listed below. What I plan to do is create delicious and nutritious meals out of these things along with any fresh produce that I can afford through the weeks. We'll see how it goes! I'm serious about sticking to this this time around. I always start and then forget about it and go out to eat! Not so good for my wallet. So here's to a good month of pantry eating!
Dry Legumes: fava beans black beans pinto beans kidney beans chickpeas aduki beans salvadorean red beans mung beans green lentil red lentil yellow split pea
Grains: pasta vermicelli rice noodles somen noodles arborio rice basmati rice jasmine rice calrose rice quinoa couscous bulgur millet pearl barley oats oat bran chickpea flour all purpose flour spelt flour cornmeal corn flour (masa) farina
Daaaaamn! This was so delicious! I've never had authentic Belizean food before but I wanted to give it a try when I learned that they use coconut milk in a lot of their dishes. My kinda food, I said! I looked up a lot of recipes online and kept coming across "Rice and Beans" so many times. In that recipe, the beans are cooked together with the coconut milk and rice. I decided to do it seperately by pre-cooking my kidney beans in a crockpot the day before and then today sauteeing onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper then adding the beans (with the broth it was cooked in) and the coconut milk and letting it stew for about a half hour. Wonderful on top of coconut rice and with a side of fried plantains and coleslaw. Here is the beans recipe that I worked from. I omitted the pig tail for obvious reasons.
Coconut Rice recipe (I don't know where I got this recipe. I wrote it out on a piece of paper and failed to note where it came from!)
2 cups water 1 cup basmati rice 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup coconut milk cinnamon stick
Rinse rice if you want (I did not.). Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice, salt, coconut milk and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil again. Lower heat and cover for 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and fluff rice with fork before serving.
For desert I continued with the use of coconut milk by adding it to this basic chocolate cake. I think it would have tasted more like coconut if I hadn't poured the rich chocolate ganache over it! Oh well, it was still very very moist, just very chocolatey.
Vic from The Life blog inspired me to make this cake when I saw a photo of his crazy delicious looking cake. Thanks Vic!
I received some coupons from the folks at French Meadow Bakery to try out some of their products. All their products are made with natural organic ingredients and if you want to find them at your local health food store, you'll find them in the refrigerated/freezer section. I picked up a loaf of this really nice rye bread with whole grain and used it for my sandwich.
A thin slice of dense rye bread slathered with vegenaise, german mustard and topped with a slice of Yves veggie ham and radish slices. This was really delicious. I liked the bread a lot and it reminded me of the Mestemacher German breads that I also like. My next sandwich with this bread will be grilled rye with veggie ham and melting Daiya cheese!
Fricot is not an Irish dish but I decided to make it today in honor of my late mother-in-law Pauline, who was a proud Acadian/Irish lady. She made a delicious chicken fricot, which is a traditional Acadian stew/soup that my husband loved and remembers fondly. A few months ago, I made a vegan style fricot made with tofu instead of chicken. It has all the other traditional ingredients: onions, potatoes, carrots, turnips, summer savory as well as a few extra ingredients that I added to balance the flavors from the absence of meat. This delicious and simply flavored stew is what's for dinner tonight to celebrate St. Patrick's Day as well as a wonderful woman who was a very important part of our lives.
2 TB Earth Balance margarine or olive oil 1/2 tsp. Vegemite, optional 1 large onion, cut into chunks 3-4 carrots, sliced 2 small turnips, peeled and cut into chunks 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks vegetable broth or water (if using water, also 3 TB veggie broth powder) 1 tsp. white miso 2 TB olive oil 1-2 TB summer savory salt and pepper to taste 1 TB cornstarch mixed with a little water to dissolve 4 1" thick slices of firm tofu
Heat margarine and Vegemite in a large pot until it melts. Add onions, carrots, turnip and potatoes. Stir around and then add water or broth to cover. Add veggie broth powder if using water. Add miso, olive oil and summer savory. Bring to a boil and then add the cornstarch/water and lower heat to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the tofu slices. Heat olive oil in a non stick pan and brown tofu on both sides. Cut into cubes and add to stew.
Something I threw together after work. I just sauteed some chopped onions, garlic and jalapeno, added shredded kale, tomato sauce, rehydrated textured vegetable protein (for that ground beefy texture), pinto beans and spices like chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder and cumin. So yummy.
Ok, so I'm Thai and I've never made Pad Thai before! How dare I not? The reason being is that I always thought it was so hard and tricky. At least that is what my mother tells me. But I instilled some confidence in myself and with the help of my vegetarian Thai cookbook "Buddha's Table", I went to work. Yes, it's tricky because you have to move fast and also you want to stirfry it enough so that the noodles soften and cook but no overdo it so that the noodles might overcook. I think I did ok for the first time. But I was moving so fast that I forgot the vinegar as part of the ingredient list. Woops! Tastes good anyway. I will definitely make this again.
Mmm, looks good doesn't it? The black bean soup from the weekend got very thick overnight in the fridge so I decided to use it for these delicious tostadas. I fried up a couple of corn tortillas, topped them with the beans, added shredded lettuce, chopped red onions, sliced radishes and hot sauce. They were great!
I'm so bad about using up the dried beans that like to hang out in my pantry. I usually go for convenience and use canned beans. But this weekend, I decided to put a bag of black beans to good use by making this soup. I've only been to Panera Bread once and had the black bean soup in a bread bowl. My husband wasn't fond of the food there but I really enjoyed my soup. Since he doesn't ever want to go back, I thought I'd re-create the soup at home. Luckily I found a recipe online to guide me. I did a few things different, one obviously being the use of dried beans instead of canned and adding carrots to the mix instead of the red bell pepper. I also added more cumin, threw in some cayenne, lemon pepper and black pepper. It was beautifully thick and perfect with the spiced pita crisps. The crisps recipe is from Veganomicon in which I used whole wheat pita, chili powder, garlic powder and salt.
Note: I cooked the dried beans the day before in the crockpot. 1 lb. dried beans plus 8 cups of water in the crockpot on low for 8-10 hours.
Sometime last year I went to Big Lots and found this gluten-free corn pasta at about $1.50 a bag. I should have gotten more because this pasta tastes great! It has a similar texture to that of wheat pasta and doesn't taste very "corny" at all, especially if it's covered in a creamy sauce like the one I made. The sauce is just a quick thing I whipped up that has garlic, olive oil, margarine, nutritional yeast, miso paste, water, salt, pepper, mustard powder, lemon and paprika. Duh-licious!
Beautiful roasted potatoes, butternut squash, red peppers, onions, zucchini and carrots with thyme, rosemary, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Kale salad with spicy peanut sauce. It's a knock-off of M Cafe's kale salad that I absolutely love. I'll repost my recipe here:
My Interpretation of M Cafe's Kale w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 1/2 tsp minced ginger 1-2 cloves garlic, minced pinch of salt 1 TB or more of red wine vinegar 1 TB or more of agave nectar 1 TB or more of soy sauce water (to help thin out sauce if too thick) 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne extra red pepper flakes
Whisk all ingredients together or blend. The measurements for the vinegar, agave, soy sauce etc. are loose because I was basically adding them from the bottle a bit at a time while whisking all together. I also tasted it as I went along until it was just right. You should do the same. It should be creamy, peanutty, slightly tangy and sweet with a spicy kick. The consistency of the dressing should be smooth, creamy and not too thick where you can't pour it. Blanche a big bunch of kale in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove kale and submerge immediately in ice water. Squeeze out all the water and pour sauce over the kale. You will probably have a lot more sauce than you need. Use what you want and save the rest for another dish! Toss lightly and add sliced red onions and chopped peanuts. Chill.
Made dinner with help from my new cookbook 'Vegan Italiano' tonight. Very simple sauce that came together in under 30 minutes. I added lots of fresh basil and zucchini. I topped my portion of pasta with a blob of creamy cashew cheeze sauce that I got from work (sorry can't give you the recipe). The sauce was great when mixed in with the pasta, it made it very creamy and so yummy!
Why, yummy food of course! As a vegan who does not eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy, I get asked this question hundreds of times. I plan to fill the contents of this blog with the answer to that question and to prove that vegan cuisine is full of variety, flavor and abundance.