Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fool Nabed (Egyptian Fava Bean Soup)

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.

Here's the recipe:
I used the skinned fava beans so I didn't need to skin them. Sometimes you'll find the brown fava beans which are the beans with the skin on.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stinkey Monkey Pudding

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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cooking out of the pantry: Falafel Sandwich

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.

Pantry staples used:
1 can fava beans
baking powder
herbs/spices: cumin, salt, pepper
whole wheat pita

Other items:

Ingredients I needed to purchase: none

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Leftovers Burrito.

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.

Cooking out of the pantry: Portobello Tacos, Refried Beans and Rice

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.

Pantry staples used:
dry pinto beans
dried new mexico chiles
tomato sauce
corn tortillas
herbs/spices: cumin, oregano, cayenne

Items from fridge etc:

Items I needed to purchase: 2 portobello mushrooms and avocado

Friday, March 26, 2010

Taco Salad and Pad See Ew

My lunch today: Salad mix, a scoop of leftover chili, tortilla chips, avocado and flax oil french dressing. Mmm!

Whoa, I made Pad See Ew! This is from Buddha's Table cookbook and was so easy to do. It's got cubed tofu and chinese broccoli (aka Pak Kana in Thai) This will be dinner tonight.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cooking out of the pantry: Kidney Bean and Lentil Chili Dogs

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!)

Other items from fridge:
red bell pepper

Items I needed to purchase:
1 pack Lightlife Smart Dogs

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cooking out of the pantry: Breakfast Sandwich

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.

Pantry staples used:
whole wheat bread
herbs/spices: garlic powder, turmeric
hot sauce

Other ingredients:
firm tofu

Ingredients I had to purchase: none

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cooking out of the pantry: Enchilada Casserole and Sweet Corn Cake

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:
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
dried herbs/spices: cumin, oregano, new mexico chili powder
6 whole wheat flour tortillas
masa harina
canola oil

Other vegetables/fruits and fridge items etc:
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
10 oz. frozen corn
Earth Balance margarine

Ingredients I needed to purchase: none

Mmm, casserole!

Mexican sweet corn cake. This was really delicious and sweet.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Time to cook out of the pantry again!

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
aduki beans
salvadorean red beans
mung beans
green lentil
red lentil
yellow split pea

rice noodles
somen noodles
arborio rice
basmati rice
jasmine rice
calrose rice
pearl barley
oat bran
chickpea flour
all purpose flour
spelt flour
corn flour (masa)

Canned Foods:
tomato sauce
diced tomatoes
chipotle chiles
Thai curry pastes (red, green, massaman, panang)
kidney beans
black beans
white beans
Heinz beans

green peas
veggie mix
veggie burgers
corn tortillas
whole wheat pita
sunflower seeds

rice milk
soy milk
peanut butter
maple syrup
tamarind paste
condiments (mustard, ketchup, bbq sauce, HP sauce, hot sauce)
dried herbs and spices

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Belizean Stewed Beans, Coconut Rice and Chocolate Cake

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!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ham and Radish on Rye.

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!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day: A Fricot in Celebration...

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.

Vegan Fricot

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.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pinto Bean and TVP Tostadas

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.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Nibbles.

Baked samosas. Recipe from Vegan Planet. I forgot to photograph the insides! Well, to give you an idea it has mashed orange yams, white potatoes, green peas, curry powder and cayenne.

Eggplant and Walnut Dip from The Greek Vegetarian. Served with carrots and pita crisps.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pad Thai with Tofu

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.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Revamping Leftovers: Black Bean Tostadas

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!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Panera-esque Black Bean Soup & Spiced Pita Crisps

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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gluten-Free Mac n Cheese

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!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roasted Veg and Kale Salad

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.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spaghetti w/ Red Wine and Rosemary Marinara

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!