Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Penne

When I found out I was pregnant, Josh's mom gifted us with a subscription to Parents magazine. If you know anything about this publication, then you know that we aren't exactly their target demographic. It's a mainstream magazine with fairly traditional politics and articles that explain why you should be careful because that frozen meal isn't as healthy as the packaging claims. Ahem.

That said, every month I feel compelled to read it. Often they have cute ideas for craft projects and sometimes creative ways of styling food for kid's parties or packed lunches. Recently, there was a really interesting excerpt on introducing solids that focused on veggies and a much quicker introduction schedule--a technique that's supposed to instill a love of veggies. Anyway, in the same issue, they had a quick weeknight dinner recipe: pumpkin penne. Josh immediately expressed an interest in it, so, after a long day of writing, I went about veganizing it. It turned out pretty good and, along with some cranberry sauce that's been in our freezer since last T-day, it made for a nice early thanksgiving-type meal.
Pumpkin Penne
Adapted from Parents Magazine

1 lb. Penne
1 T coconut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup soy milk
1 heaping T. cornstarch
1 can pumpkin puree
1/4 heaping cup of nutritional yeast
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t cayenne
1/8 t ginger
1/2 t salt
1/2 t fresh coarse-ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook penne according to package directions. Heat oil in sauce pan, add shallots, and saute until they are just starting to turn brown. While cooking the shallots, whisk together cornstarch and soy milk. Once shallots are done, add soy milk mixture, veggie broth, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add spices and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (or do so individually). Pour over penne. Mix in flat-leaf parsley and serve.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chickpea Noodle Soup with Heels of Rye

I was always one of those people who could honestly and rightfully say that I very rarely get sick, but such boasting now seems to be very much a thing of the past. Since I discovered I was pregnant just over a year or so ago, I've been sick four or five times. Between that and the gestational diabetes and the recurring mastitis, I'm pretty sure this kid is trying to kill me (I knew the resemblance to Hitchcock must be some kind of omen).

The good news is that an early freeze has made soup seem perfect. I love soup and living in a place where there are actually seasons makes soup all the more pleasing. So, when I came down with the crud a week or two after the boys did, I knew that chicken noodle soup was in order. I'm sure that this recipe is just an amalgamation of others out there; in fact, I remember seeing Happy Herbivore use chickpeas in one she made last year or so, and Isa also has them in her recipe. But, I threw this together quickly (adding everything that I vaguely remember hearing has healing properties) and thought it turned out good enough to post. Also, a word of warning: I'm not sure why (probably the boatloads of pepper), but this soup immediately made me break out in a sweat and my fever broke later that night. So, I guess that's good?
Chickpea Noodle Soup
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 large stalk of celery, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
6 cups water
2 T Better than Bouillon No Chicken
1 piece of kombu
1 bay leaf
1 T white miso
1 T dried parsley (though I'd use fresh if you've got it)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
8 oz pasta, slightly undercooked
Lots of fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Saute onion, celery, and carrots in a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat until the onions start to turn translucent. Add garlic and saute for a minute more. Add water and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and add bouillon, kombu, bay leaf, and miso. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and pasta. Cook for 5-10 more minutes, then add parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve with homemade rye bread (thanks Peter Reinhardt!).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weeknight Mulligatawny

Last week, the temperatures here were beginning to drop (and rise and drop...) and I was in the mood for soup. I love soup. Almost any kind. But, mulligatawny is one of my favorites and, for some reason, people have come to associate it with me. After a long-ish day of prepping and teaching and performing teacherly tasks, I was hungry and looking to eat in as little time as possible. So, I through together this quick version of mulligatawny out of the items we happened to have left in the fridge in the days leading up to payday.
Speedy Quick Mulligatawny
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 T flour
1 T curry
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t salt
2 T tomato paste
1/3 cup mango chutney
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drains
1 bunch of beet greens, rinsed and chopped

In a small amount of oil, saute onion, carrot, and celery over medium high heat until onions are translucent. Add flour and spices and cook for 1 more minute. Add broth, tomato paste, and chutney. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and add beet greens. Serve with fresh ground pepper and some nooch. And, if you have it, some fresh cilantro is nice.