Monday, June 30, 2008

at least the food tastes good.

"easy, cheap, and quick." i say as i plate the kale, white bean, tofu on top of brown rice and place it in front of thedalyn.

"just like my boyfriend." she returns.


kale with with beans, tofu and brown rice:

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water

get the rice going ahead of time. i can never figure out brown rice. it's either super undercooked and way nutty tasting, and i get impatient and eat it anyway, or it's mushy. i've yet to get it exactly right. except my now defunct rice cooker. if you can have the rice done before you start the other stuff, that's a bonus, so it'll cool down a bit.
you could also use any other kind of rice for this part, but we've been trying to use brown rice more than white, just cos...well, whitey must pay and all that.

other stuff:

1 bunch of kale--rinsed well, torn into bite sized pieces. i like to leave a little stem, to add some crunch.
1 block of tofu--the hard stuff--cubed into 1/2 inch blocks
1 can white beans-your choice--drained and rinsed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast--or more, to taste.
1 large shallot--chopped
3 cloves garlic--chopped
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
oil for sauteing

spike, soy sauce, earth balance can all be added to suit your taste. add these at the end.

once you've gotten the rice going/done, heat some oil for frying. saute the tofu until it's brown on at least two sides. add the garlic and shallot at this point, and stir so as not to burn the sensitive shallot and garlic.
once your kitchen smells nice and onion-y, toss in the beans and stir to mix everything around. it's ok if the tofu gets crumbly.
after a minute or two, add the kale, and cover without stirring for a minute or two, while the liquid from the other ingredients steams the kale. this will wilt it, and it won't take up nearly as much room in the skillet, which makes it easier to stir without sending kale off in all directions.
once it's wilted and manageable, stir it around to coat it. add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and any of those optional ingredients...

top the rice with the kale mixture, and enjoy.

oh, and if you time the rice cooking time right, then your kale won't be as brown grey as mine. it still tastes good, though.

The Fridge

There's a reason I haven't been posting lately:
After the BBQ last weekend, over-shopping, and not wanting to turn on the oven, we had a fridge full of food that needed to be eaten. So, the past week has mostly been variations on leftovers and sandwiches/wraps of some kind. Here are the highlights:
BLTA on a Jalapeno Cilantro Bun with "Tuna" Salad (from SBITK)
Easy Stir Fry with TJ's Harvest Grains Blend (based on Vegan Yum Yum's Sesame Soy Curls with Asparagus and Quinoa) Birthday Pizza!!!!

Vegetable Stock

Though I haven't been posting, I do feel like I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen. And, apparently, I'm not the only one to think so. Josh had a couple of friends over on Saturday to do some print screening and I took advantage of the time to tinker around in the kitchen. Nothing big, mind you, just cleaning, cold-brewing some coffee, making iced green tea, grinding cumin and coriander, refilling spice jars, making some egg salad and tuna salad, throwing together some veggie stock, and then finally putting together an easy stir fry for dinner. All in all, I probably spent 4-5 hours in there just getting little things done that I'd been putting off. It was nice, actually. However, my time in the kitchen didn't go unnoticed.

Dan: "You know, for a liberal, you sure have your girlfriend in the kitchen a lot."
Josh: "I let her out when you guys leave."

At least I wasn't barefoot too. The kitchen floor is STILL too dirty for that.
Crockpot Veggie Stock
(This is all approximate since I throw veggie trimmings and whatnot in a freezer bag to use later, so whatever I have goes in: asparagus, kale stems, etc. These are the basics that I add to.)
1 potato, quartered (or peels if you saved them)
1 small parsnip (mine is in the form of peels and trimmed off ends)
1 onion, quartered
1-2 carrots
1 small stalk celery
1 stalk of broccoli
5-6 sprigs of parsley
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
a couple tbsp. tamari
some peppercorns
enough water to fill the crockpot

Put all the ingredients in the crockpot (6 quart works best), then fill the rest of the way with water. Turn crockpot on low and leave overnight/24 hours. If the broth is strong I sometimes spoon some out, add some more water, and cook a while longer--stretch it out, if you will. Fill cream cheese containers (which hold exactly one cup) and freeze. To get the stock out, let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes, then simply pop out the frozen cup of stock.

Here, in the only organized corner of my freezer, you can see the 1 cup servings of stock and the freezer bag full of trimmings (on the left).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wilted Kale Salad

So, Vegan Tickles tried out this recipe and gave it a big thumbs up, so I thought I'd try it. The dressing is, as she points outs, divine. I actually wish I hadn't added it to the kale. The salt in this recipe--which is used to wilt the kale--was so overwhelming, it was almost inedible. And don't let the recipe fool you: 4 bunches of kale is indeed a shit-ton of kale (which is why, I'm assuming, it calls for 2 tablespoons of salt!).

I thought/hoped/wished that adding the kale to something else would diminish the saltiness a bit, so I made a wrap using toffutti sour cream, kale salad, pinto beans, and cholula. Tasty. But, still waaaaaaay too salty. And I have a whole lotta kale salad left. I'm not sure what to do with it...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chickpea Chimi

As with most things, my intentions started out good. I went for an easy four mile run, ate a healthy lunch, and then went downstairs to do some work--only to encounter technology problems. Which, I guess, is just as well since the run kind of made me tired anyway. So, I laid down for a nap instead and slept with the cats for an hour (speaking of, have you seen our newest member?). I woke up renewed and decided that burritos sounded like a good idea for dinner. Perhaps even ones that make use of chopped up cauliflower instead of rice. The cauliflower worked wonderfully. I felt good about making healthy choices. I tasted the burrito filling...and decided it would make an even better chimichanga. Sigh.
Chickpea Chimi's
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 head cauliflower, obliterated by the food processor (it should be in little chunks)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1-2 cups 505 green chili sauce
1 can diced roasted green chilis
1 1/2 tsp. cumin (fresh ground if possible)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheddar
4 flour tortillas
Oil for deep frying

Saute onions in oil until they begin to become soft. Add bell pepper and continue sauteing until cooked. Add cauliflower and a couple of tablespoons of water. When cauliflower begins to soften, add 505, chilis, cumin, and garlic powder. Let cook until most of the liquid is gone. Stir in chickpeas and shredded cheese. Heat through. Remove from heat and mix in cilantro. Roll in flour tortillas and deep fry (you could also eat this as a burrito but it really is better as a chimi). Top as you like. Enjoy.*

*I can't help but feel that this recipe is missing something. I liked it but it was slightly bland to me (which is why I added the cheddar which I don't like all that much). If you have any ideas, I'd be happy to hear them...

Soundtrack: Momofuku by Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Catching Up. Kind Of.

Between going to California, recovering from the Mud Run (which I'll blog more about in a bit), having a birthday, and life, I haven't been doing nearly as much of, well, anything. So, I thought I'd at least throw a few tasty morsels your way in the mean time. First, I can not overemphasize how much I liked the Coconut Green Curry from the last post.In fact, I made a stir-fry with the leftover sauce and served it with wontons .For my birthday, Josh said he'd cook whatever I wanted. I wanted pizza. The problem is that I finally decided what I wanted at 6:30 on the night of my birthday and the Teese and sausages were still snug in the freezer. He's promised to make me pizza sometime later this week and I instead settled on the Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry from Veganomicon since we had everything to make it. He even went all out and made the Roti to go with it, which I had already almost finished when I remembered to take the picture.
And, since I just got back from a run--albeit a fairly easy one--and I'm once again trying to get my ass into shape, I made the "Tuna" Salad from Skinny Bitch for lunch. It's one of my favorite recipes in the book.Now I just have to get through the rest of this summer class, a visit from Aspen, and a dissertation proposal by August. No sweat.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cauliflower Cakes

I left for California last Thursday and returned yesterday morning just in time to teach my class. During those 3 days or so, Josh was left to fend for himself (as were the cats apparently). Fending for himself generally means eating bags and bags of chips with whatever he can find to dip them in: 505, salsa, hummus, you name it. However, he managed to go a step further this weekend.

Some time ago, Josh bought a generic can of tomato sauce from Costco and then froze the entire thing in our freezer thereby turning it into a tomato glacier. I often wondered how he'd portion it. Now I know: he didn't. Apparently, all he ate this weekend was pasta (the pasta I like of course--not the pounds of elbow macaroni he bought on sale that I won't eat) and that glacier. Unfortunately, the mushrooms, onions, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, nor spinach made it into the pasta he made. So, I arrived home to find a fridge full of nearly rotting produce and Josh not feeling so well (shocking). Fortunately, Vegan Tickles had a post about these cauliflower cakes. After much thought, I decided to serve them with this coconut green curry sauce which I made with soy milk and a little corn starch to thicken it up. The sauce was much more sophisticated than our normal green curry mixed with coconut milk and the cakes were filling and delicious with a delicate flavor. Now I've got to muster up the energy to freeze all those blueberries that didn't get eaten and figure out what to do with the broccoli and squash tomorrow...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tuna Casserole

Ok, it's not a tuna casserole, but I decided to make this because it reminds me of the tuna casserole (tuna, cream of chicken, corn tortillas, a jar of salsa, milk, and a whole lotta cheese) my mom used to make that I loved so very much. I tried to replicate it once with Tuno, but it was a disaster. I wouldn't even let anyone else try it. This recipe, however, came really close. I think it needs a bit of tinkering, but it definitely satisfied the craving. Josh loved it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

BBQ Sandwich...

...a test recipe from Happy Herbivore's upcoming cookbook.
But the fries are no secret: sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, hot paprika, and olive oil baked to perfection.


I've been totally slacking for the past week or so--mostly because I started teaching again. Unfortunately, I had to prepare for a new class (sadly, no more TV class) and I sacrificed cooking. However, I was struck with the rare (we're talking Chinese White Dolphin rare) craving for something sweet last week. It was so bad that I was even almost undone by the blueberry coffee cake at Starbuck's (yes, we were at Starbuck's after entering an unknown part of the burbs on our bikes--it seemed to be the only choice). So, I promptly--after 2 days and a total loss of willpower--made the blueberry coffee cake from VwaV. Totally worth the wait.
I followed that up with a delicious date shake (soy vanilla ice cream, almond milk, and medjool dates), which effectively alleviated my desire for anything sweet for about the next year and half.