Sunday, November 30, 2008

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup (Shorabit Yatkeen)

After barreling through the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers (sniff sniff...bye bye mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy!), I wanted to make something low key and easy yet kinda sorta staying with a fall theme. This beautiful yellow-orange pumpkin soup was in order. It's from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks "Olive Trees and Honey". A few of the recipes in the book uses eggs and dairy and I was happy that this recipe was completely animal free. I checked online and found it posted here in case you want to try it.

It's a fairly thick and hearty, warm comforting soup with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg which melds well with the sweetness of the pumpkin (I used butternut squash). I added yellow split peas instead of chickpeas because I realized mid recipe that I ran out of chickpeas which is a far superior bean in my opinion. But the split peas are very nice too. I also added a bit of cumin which is not called for in the recipe because I wanted to add some earthiness to it. It was a good call. A bowl of this and a warm pita was a perfect dinner for me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr. Mouse!

Today is my husband's birthday and I made him his favorite cake: german chocolate. Along with this cake, he's getting a pizza lunch and gifts!

Before he had his cake (for breakfast), he spent a little quality time with Sparky, our lemon yellow budgie. I caught the action on video. Sorry there is no sound but the cuteness factor makes up for it!

You can find the recipe for this delicious cake and frosting at the fatfreevegan blog here. Don't worry! This cake is far from being fat free! It's very rich and decadent.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vegan Thanksgiving No. 2

Well, it's done and I'm so full it's really ridiculous. I need to change out of these jeans and into some sweatpants stat! Things went very well. I did cook all day but I was able to keep it all under control and didn't stress out one bit.

I showed you yesterday what the pie and butternut gratin looked like. And now for the pics of the rest. Please excuse the poor lighting. They were all taken at different times of day.

The awesome tofu veg loaf. This was fantastic with orange herb gravy which you can see on the left. Gravy recipe is at the end of this post. Loaf recipe is here.

Dijon glazed carrots. This was a last minute addition and I wish I would have made a bigger dish of it. It was delicious. A hint of spice from the mustard and sweet from brown sugar melded beautifully in a "buttery" sauce. Recipe to be found here. (Replace the butter with Earth Balance margarine!)

Green Bean Casserole. Enough said. Recipe is here.

And my plate. Starting at top left: Loaf with gravy, butternut gratin and stuffing, mash and gravy, glazed carrots, green bean casserole and cranberry with mandarins.

Food, food glorious food! This was a great 2nd vegan Thanksgiving for me, Can't wait for next year!

Here's the recipe for the gravy. This year I made it a little better by adding a few TB of Earth Balance and a tsp. of miso paste to it. I swear I can't stay away from the miso! This is optional of course. If you don't have it, it's ok. The gravy will still taste great without it.

Orange Herb Gravy

2 cups vegetable broth
1 TB soy sauce (or more)
1/2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp fresh snipped rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TB cornstarch mixed with 2 TB water
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 TB (or more) frozen orange juice concentrate (like Minute Maid etc..)
2 TB Earth Balance * (new addition)
1 tsp miso paste * (new addition and optional)

Bring the veggie broth to a boil in a medium pot or skillet. Add the soy sauce and herbs. Reduce heat to simmer, then add the cornstarch/water mixture, stirring or whisking constantly to thicken. Allow to simmer for a few minutes until thick. Then add nutritional yeast and orange juice concentrate and stir until the concentrate melts. You may add more if you want a tangier, citrusy flavor. *Add the Earth Balance and miso and stir until both are dissolved into the gravy. Simmer a little longer until gravy is hot. Season with more salt or soy sauce if desired.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The big feasting day is tomorrow. I'm so excited. This will be my second Thanksgiving with a table full of vegan food and I can't wait to eat all night tomorrow and into the weekend. I made the pie and the butternut gratin today to save up some time as the oven will be in use for several more dishes tomorrow. I had the house to myself today so it was nice to turn on some music and take my time prepping in the kitchen. Buster rested.

"Did someone say pie?"

"While you're busy, I'll take a nap. Wake me when you're done!"

Butternut Squash Gratin. This dish is so good. It's meltingly tender and flavored with garlic, parsley and sage. Recipe is in The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook.

Very easy pumpkin pie recipe from The Almost No Fat Cookbook. It's gorgeous and vegan! The recipe is also posted online here.

All that's left is the tofu loaf, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and gravy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I spent under $100 for Thanksgiving.

With such high prices for groceries these days I was surprised that I didn't break the bank getting everything I needed for a glorious feast on Thursday. I don't know about you but I love lists. Here's what I got to make the following menu.

Tofu Vegetable Loaf with Orange Herb Gravy (I'm having this. My omni family is having meat.)
All vegan side dishes and desserts:
Mashed Potatoes (made with soymilk and Earth Balance margarine)
Green Bean Casserole (homemade from scratch)
Butternut Squash Gratin
Herb Stuffing
Cranberry sauce with mandarins
Pumpkin Pie
German Chocolate Cake (for husband's bday on Friday)

My shopping list:

5lb. green beans $6.00
5lb. potatoes $2.00
2lb. carrots $1.29
2lb. broccoli crowns $2.00
1 bunch celery $1.00
1 bunch parsley $0.50
1 large package mushrooms $3.00
2 butternut squash $3.00
fresh rosemary $2.00
2 containers firm tofu $3.40
2 cartons plain unsweetened soymilk $5.40
1 carton Vitasoy chocolate peppermint soymilk $2.29 (I've never had this!)
2 cans cranberry sauce $2.50
1 can mandarin oranges $1.00
2 cans pumpkin $3.00
ground cinnamon $1.00
cornstarch $1.49
3 boxes stuffing mix $4.60 (yes I used boxed but I add my own veg!)
1 bag pecans $4.50
2 bags flaked coconut $3.00
2 bags brown sugar $1.60
1 4lb. bag unrefined sugar $1.79
2 deep dish pie crusts $3.00
1 tub Earth Balance $4.00
3 jars gravy (meat based for omni family) $6.00
meat (for the omnis. It's already cooked so I don't have to prepare it.) $14.00

TOTAL: $83.36

Monday, November 24, 2008

You Are What You Eat

I don't know how many of you watch this show or have seen this show but it's highly entertaining. In the US it airs on BBC America and each episode focuses on a person or couple who have been going years and years on the worst diet you can imagine: take aways, junk food, foods high in fat, cholestorol, salt and sugar. Gillian McKeith is a nutritionist who comes into their home and gives their diet a complete overhaul with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts and seeds. The couple have to follow her plan for 8 weeks including exercise and usually by the end of it they look healthier, pounds thinner and full of energy. I always feel really virtuous and not so guilty for eating cupcakes when I see what these people eat in an entire week. Because I know for sure that I don't eat half as bad as they do. A segment of the show features the person's entire week's worth of food all laid out on a giant table. It's astounding to see so many burgers, fries, fried foods, take away pizzas, sweets and other stuff all in one place! Usually the person who has eaten all that food looks at it in disgust hardly believing that they consumed such vast quantities of food in only 7 days.

Here's a video I found online. The quality is not great but gives you an idea on what the show is like:

Anyway, after watching these episodes, I always wonder "What do I eat in an entire week?" I know most of it is sorta healthy but I was curious to see it all in a list so I decided to keep track for a whole 7 days. This is what the list looks like:

1 bowl cheerios w/ 1 cup soymilk
2 shortbread cookies
6 dates
4 apples
2 TB peanut butter
1 wedge veggie pot pie
3 portions pesto spaghetti with veggies
2 bowls oatmeal and raisins and agave syrup
1 banana
1/2 cup Lays chips
2 bulgur pilaf stuffed peppers
1 1/2 portion salad with 1 avocado and poppyseed dressing
2 scoops coconut ice cream
2 whole grain toasts with peanut butter and agave syrup
2 cups green tea
handful of chocolate chips
4 oz. diced pears in syrup
2 pieces tofu fish w/ tartar sauce
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup canned peas
1 tofu fish sandwich on white bread with tartar sauce, vegenaise and soy cheese
1 cup salad with sesame dressing
1 1/2 bean and rice burritos with hot salsa
handful tortilla chips with salsa
8 oz. coke
1 cup bulgur pilaf
1 tofu fish wrap w. flour tortilla, vegenaise and lettuce
4 baby carrots
2 pieces ginger candy
2 cups cranberry orange juice
3 handfuls Fritos
3 cups rice and indian curry
2 handfuls of grapes
2 tangerines
6 small pancakes w. earth balance margarine and maple syrup
2 gimme lean soy sausage pattys
1 portion kale/chard slaw with peanut sauce
1 small baked sweet potato
1 orange vodka cocktail
5 chili lime wheat puffs
2 cups spaghetti and "meat" sauce
3 slices molasses bread and EB
4 squares Ritter Sport with marzipan

After looking at this list, I'd like to include more fruits and fresh vegetables as opposed to cooked. I don't eat enough salads. Also more whole grains would be nice. There's a lot more white bread, white rice and white flour tortillas in there than I wanted. Lots and lots of carbs!!! Too many.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More cooking with Gimme Lean "Sausage".

After being impressed with this meat alternative with last night's pancakes, I decided to use it in the spaghetti sauce I was making for dinner tonight. I really liked the texture. It's nice and firm with great sausage like flavor. It added a good body to the sauce and made it quite flavorful along with mushrooms and red wine. If you are interested in buying this meatless sausage, you can find it at most chain grocery stores in the same refrigerated case where they keep the tofu and other vegetarian products. I bought mine at Vons supermarket.

I sprinkled a little 'Parmezano Sprinkles' (almond/miso/nutritional yeast mixture) on top.

'Sausage' Mushroom and Red Wine Spaghetti Sauce

2 TB olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tube of Gimme Lean Sausage Style, crumbled
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 tsp oregano
1 veggie bouillon cube or 2 tsp. veggie broth powder
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes (or whole peeled tomatoes, blended in blender)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms and saute until onion is translucent. Add the sausage crumbles and cook on med-high heat until nice and browned. Add the wine, oregano and veggie cube. Stir until wine cooks out. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and simmer for 1 hour. If it seems too thick you can add a little water and let it simmer longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mmm, dinner.

I love eating breakfast for dinner. I don't do it often because it just seems too indulgent and unhealthy. I couldn't resist it tonight so I went all out and made Lightlife's Gimme Lean "sausage" patties as well. They are pretty good, quite sausage like but then I don't know, I haven't eaten sausage in almost 2 years. It's nice to know they are FAT FREE and cholesterol free too. Wow. (Actually you fry them in olive oil so the fat comes right back.) The pancake recipe is from 'Vegan with a Vengeance'. I really love these pancakes. They are soft, fluffy, tender and perfect smothered in margarine and drowned in maple syrup.

Mushroom Curry, Farmstand Grapes and Molasses Raisin Bread Gone Wrong

Last night's supper. Mushroom, Chickpea, Potato Curry made creamy with the addition of soymilk in the sauce. 'Twas Good!

Check out these babies! My mom got them from a friend of hers that visited a farm. Here she is holding them up to be photographed. They are so sweet and most perfect.

This is Vegan Planet's Molasses Raisin Bread which didn't turn out that well for me. My oven was way too hot and I overcooked the poor thing! It was not very moist at all and while it looked beautiful and didn't taste too bad, I was still disappointed. Note to self: Get an oven thermometer!

Inside shot. There is cornmeal in the recipe as well which added a crunch I did not want.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Filet O' (Tofu) Fish Sandwich"

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I was out and about most of the morning running errands and by the time I got back in, I was starving. I was going to have a salad for lunch but something else happened. The previous night I made fried tofu fish and had a few filets left over. I got a brilliant idea to recreate a Filet O' Fish sandwich from that fast food joint that everyone knows and loves (or in my case 'hates'). Yes, at one time in my life I loaded up on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and Filet O' Fish sandwiches and bunch of other rubbishy crap. I'm glad I no longer do business with joints like them. Here's my version of their "Filet O' Fish".

I didn't have any buns so I used two toasted pieces of white bread (had to go for something non-nutritional to get the same effect). I used extra Vegenaise on the bread along with the tartar sauce. I also melted a slice of Tofutti American soy cheese on top of the tofu fish filets.

This was damngood and really satisfied that craving! Not the healthiest thing because of the fried tofu fish (it was lightly fried in olive oil at least) and all that fatty sauce but at least the tofu part was full of nutrients. I can happily say that this is far healthier than the fast food alternative.

I still had a nice salad afterwards. :)

Note: You will find the recipe for tofu fish filets and tartar sauce here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bulgur Pilaf Stuffed Peppers

I've been trying to cut back on white rice and incorporate more whole grains into my diet. I am hopelessly addicted to white rice as it's what I grew up on. There is always a large rice cooker of fluffy white jasmine rice in every Thai household and we could go through giant 50 lb. bags of rice in a snap! As a kid I would eat a bowl of rice sprinkled with fish sauce as a snack. That's how much I loved it.

I don't cook with bulgur as often as I'd like so I thought I should today since husband was on his own for dinner (he's alright with super healthy food but not always). Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is usually found in middle eastern dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbe. It's highly nutritious (more so than rice or couscous) and has a mild nutty flavor with a fluffy and slightly chewy texture. I used my Olive Trees and Honeycookbook and made the basic Turkish Bulgur Pilaf and then cooked some onions, eggplant, tomatoes and swiss chard to add to it.

I didn't stop there. I had some yellow peppers (and one red one) in my fridge that needed using up so I stuffed them with the pilaf and baked them in the oven. I made a simple tomato sauce to pour on top that consisted of tomato puree, cumin, lemon juice, agave syrup, salt and pepper.

Beautiful presentation and delicious too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pesto Primavera Spaghetti

Excuse the poor flash photo. This was dinner and may I say it was really yummy. I made my spinach lime pesto during the weekend to put on top of pizza so I had a lot leftover to make this. I cooked up some broccoli, swiss chard, red and yellow peppers and tossed them with multigrain spaghetti and the pesto. I added some fresh parsley, black olives and extra olive oil and garlic as well. This was my first try with the Safeway Eating Right brand of multigrain spaghetti and I actually really liked it. It had a good texture and was unlike any whole grain pasta I've had in the past (gross, dense and just yuck.). It also didn't stick together which was quite nice. I think I will buy this from now on instead of regular spaghetti. One day I'd like to try brown rice pasta as well. That just sounds really good to me and so much healthier.

EDIT: Stupid me, I didn't read the packaging at the store and this brand of pasta is NOT VEGAN. It contains egg whites. Damn! Oh well, guess I'll have to find a new brand.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quick Eats.

I was not in the mood today to cook and after eating pot pie over and over again for the past few days (I have no complaints!), I just wanted something quick and simple. I didn't care what it was. So this was it. It's two sesame toasts slathered with Vegenaise topped with a crispy Boca Chik'n burger with a Tofutti soy cheese slice and bbq sauce. I added some fresh chard I got from the farmer's market this morning and a bit of avocado just to add some fresh ingredients to balance out all the processed stuff. Not bad though I think I should have ditched the bbq sauce as it was too sweet.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Quintessential Comfort Food.

Back in my pre-vegan days I used to make a quick chicken pot pie from a store bought chicken, frozen pie crust, frozen vegetables and a can of cream of potato soup. Not anymore. Today's pot pie was a realization of all the fresh vegetables that I had available. It was also a result of last night's french onion soup leftovers. You see, I was already thinking "gravy" while I supped on the rich and delicious soup. What better way to utilize gravy than in a vegetable pot pie recipe? No need for those condensed and canned soups. I was going for a gravy that was rich and creamy with the flavors and aroma of caramelized onions, miso and red wine (ingredients that were in the soup). Something that would give the vegetables intense flavor. I think I succeeded.

What I did was this. I strained the broth from the onion soup and made a roux with Earth Balance margarine and flour. Then I stirred in the broth and whisked and whisked until it thickened. Then I added plain soymilk little by little while I whisked and let it simmer. I chopped some of the caramelized soup onions and put them in there too. A dash of salt and pepper later and I had my gravy. The filling was all about chopping and dicing: potatoes, broccoli, spinach, green beans, carrots, mushrooms and (frozen) corn. I cooked them over heat with a little water to soften the potatoes and then combined the mixture with the gravy. Then I poured it into the pie crust and covered it with a very lazy top pie crust and baked it for 40 minutes. I say lazy because I used an oil based pie crust which I think lacks the butteryness and that something something that traditional pie crusts have. I could have made one with margarine or shortening to get that flavor/texture but like I said, I was too lazy. But no matter, the pie turned out beautiful. Don't you think? No not really. It's a very home made lookin' pie and for what it lacks in beauty, the taste makes up for it all the more.

Inside shot. The gravy was the best gravy I've ever made.

Pie Hole!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

French Onion Soup

Warm and comforting, soup will make you warm and fuzzy on a cold fall night. That's what I wanted so I made The Chicago Diner's French Onion soup. It has some nice flavors of oregano, red miso and tamari. I added some red wine and nutritional yeast for even more flavor. Very nice. I've got a big pot of it with lots of leftovers. I've had three bowls of it already and I don't know if I'll be up for soup tomorrow. I wonder what I can do with the leftovers. Maybe make a red wine onion gravy out of it? We'll see.

With a floating piece of garlic bread on top.

Monday, November 10, 2008

West African Inspired Peanut Stew

I dig peanut butter in recipes. Whenever I see one that calls for it, I'm there. This recipe I got from the May/Jun 07 issue of Vegetarian Times. You can also find it online here. I've made this once before and I had used canned tomatoes with added green chiles in it and little did I know that my mouth would be on fire after one bite of the stew! I'm Thai and the Thai-ness in me loves hot and spicy food but for some reason I found it a little too spicy. So this time around I used plain canned tomatoes and added a few pinches of cayenne for a subtle spicy kick. I also added about a tsp of sugar and the juice of a small lime. (This must be the Thai-ness in me again...) There's another peanut stew recipe out there that uses kale and pineapple which I've also tried (again, the peanut butter attracted me to it) and it was pretty good as well. If you want something a little different, this rich, creamy peanutty stew with delectable veggies on top of rice might be what you're looking for...

Heaven on a bed of rice.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mac n Cheezy.

There's nothing better than comfort food on the weekend. I was up early today and was watching some quality tv and a cooking show was on. A wife was cooking an anniversary meal for her husband and she made him mac and cheese alongside the obligatory piece of meat. The mac and cheese captured my attention and I knew that I had to make it, like right away. I pulled out Vegan Dad's mac and cheese recipe which happens to be the best vegan mac I've tried by far. It's got a creamy cashew base and is flavored with things like garlic and onion powder, miso paste (my fave) and nutritional yeast. It's freaking delicious. Just look at it!

Perfectly creamy mac n cheez with a side of garlicky baby bok choy.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chickpeas in a Burger.

The good old veggie burger. I love 'em. When I don't feel like eating a highly processed frozen veggie burger (which I do from time to time), I like to make my own. There are so many ways to make them - with various kinds of beans or tofu, grains, nuts, veggies, seasonings and so on. This recipe was supposed to have only red lentils in it but I found that they were too soft to hold up on their own. This is where my beloved chickpeas come in. Great tasting lowfat burger to enjoy in a bun or on a plate with rice and veggies. To go on top of it, I made a quick burger sauce which has all the yummy flavors of your typical burger condiments all in one!

Chickpea and Red Lentil Burgers

3/4 cup split red lentils
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1 TB flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp all purpose seasoning (I used Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute)
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Burger sauce:
3 TB vegan mayo
2 TB ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TB finely chopped onion
2 TB chopped dill pickle
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 squirt of lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients and chill.

Make the sauce and store in fridge to let the flavors combine. Combine lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until lentils are soft and mushy and water is absorbed. Let cool. Mash chickpeas in a large bowl and add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients. If you find the mixture too wet, add a little more flour or breadcrumbs. Chill mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Shape into patties and put them on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, flipping burgers over halfway or until browned and dry on the outside (don't worry, they will be tender on the inside!). Variation: You can also fry the patties in oil if you're not worried about the fat content! They will turn out very crisp and really yummy this way too.

I served mine open face on toasted sesame ezekiel bread with lettuce and tomato. It was delicious.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Breakfast and Lunch.

I woke up this morning with a craving for a tastier breakfast than oatmeal and toast. I made another Monte Cristo but this time with Tofurkey deli slices and Tofutti vegan cheese. Good flavors but weird looks. I wouldn't serve this to an omni.

For lunch and dinner, I made a couple of old favorites of mine vegan style. The first was a sweet and sour tofu and vegetable stirfry which came out rather nice though not the bright red color you see at chinese restaurants. I wonder how they do that. Food coloring? I also tried my hardest to make a Thai style vegan omelette by pureeing tofu in a blender and cooking it pancake style and flipping it over. It was very difficult and I think I would have been better off making a scramble instead. It's tasty though and seasoned with Thai mushroom soy sauce, scallions and tomatoes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spinach Lime Pesto on Pizza and Pasta

Last night on Election night, I wanted to kick back on the couch, turn on CNN and have some take out pizza. But first I needed to whip up this easy spinach lime pesto to put on top!

Isn't it so neon? It really was that color in real life. Pizza is from Grandma Lucia's and has eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and basil.

Tonight I took the last bit of pesto I had left and tossed it with hot pasta, black olives and pinenuts. (Sorry for the flash photo!)

Spinach Lime Pesto

1/4 cup slivered almonds
2-3 handfuls of spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender until it's either a coarse paste or completely creamy and smooth. Your choice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ooh look, a salad!

I don't think I've ever featured a salad on my blog before. If I have I can't remember. The idea for this came when my brother stopped by last night. He had just gone to Trader Joe's for food shopping and bought a bunch of pre-made salads, one of which he had for dinner. It was a BBQ chicken salad. It looked pretty tasty (except for the chicken part of course). I'm attracted to any food with bbq sauce in it and I immediately got the idea to make my own version of his BBQ salad.

I made mine with with tofu chunks instead of chicken. I took four 1/2" thick slices of firm tofu and dredged them in some seasonings. Any combination would do. I used a recipe from the Country Life cookbook called "Country Style Seasoning" which has nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and other stuff in it. I cooked the dredged tofu slices in a hot pan sprayed with oil for 4 minutes per side until they were nice and browned. I then cut them into cubes and tossed them with chopped yellow bell peppers, red onion, corn and thinly chopped zucchini. I dressed them with some vegenaise, bbq sauce, liquid smoke and seasoned it with salt, pepper and a dash of cumin. I let the mixture chill in the fridge for a while before I scooped it onto a bed of butter lettuce and radicchio, red onions, shaved carrots and crushed tortilla chips. Then I drizzled it with some vegan ranch and extra bbq sauce. This was a delicious salad. I can't wait to have it again.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Is it chili or is it stew?

I think it's more of a stew but tastes like chili. I don't think it has enough beans for it be chili but whatever, I love the fall colors and it tasted very nice. I had an acorn squash that I didn't know what to do with besides baking and stuffing and I wanted to use it in a dish that would last a few days. I decided to make a chili with it and this was the tasty end result that I served on top of rice.

Acorn Squash Chili-Stew

2 TB olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 acorn squash, peeled (this was a little time consuming) and diced into cubes
1 14oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 TB chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 TB agave syrup or 1 tsp sugar
1 zucchini, peeled and diced
1 14oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp mellow miso paste (I like to flavor everything with miso!)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a pot on medium high. Saute onions and garlic until they are soft.
2. Add acorn squash and saute for a few minutes then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, cumin and agave. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
3. Add beans and zucchini and continue to cook until zucchini is tender but not mushy. Add miso paste and stir to dissolve it in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot over rice or mashed potatoes.

Edited to add: I had leftovers the next day like so: Cook 8 oz. of macaroni. Add 1/2 cup of the chili, 2 tsp vegenaise and a squeeze of lime juice and toss together.