Last dinner of Vegan MoFo! Homemade bean snausages, roasted delicata squash and red onion, steamed kale and cabbage, and white bean gravy with basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
White bean and sweet potato soup with kale and spices
The boyfriend is sick, and it’s finally fall, so I figured it was a soup night. Here’s what went in the pot:
- 1 big yellow onion, minced
- 1 fat green jalapeno, minced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½" pieces
- ½ red bell pepper, diced (leftover from yesterday’s stir-fried noodle dinner)
- Heaping spoonful of ground coriander and cumin, half a teaspoon of paprika, and a pinch of allspice
- 4 cups of water – let everything cook until the sweet potato is tender
- 3 ladles of cooked white beans (I don’t remember the variety, it’s somewhere between pinto and cannellini)
- Half a bunch of lacinato kale, roughly chopped
- Nub of fresh ginger and three cloves garlic, microplaned right into the pot at the end (this is one of my favorite things to do; it often helps the garlic really pop vs. cooking it from the beginning with the onion)
- Splash of tamari and pinches of salt, to taste
- Several sprigs of cilantro, rough chopped
- 1 stripey heirloom tomato, diced
- Juice of half a lime
I’m pretty pleased. It’s warm, a bit spicy (though not that much), colorful, comforting.
Hottie greens and black eyed peas from Appetite for Reduction over polenta.
When I don’t have it in me to make a more complicated savory breakfast and I don’t feel like pancakes (as sacrilegious as that may sound), the Swiss chard tofu frittata from Vegan Brunch is a go-to. Comes together super fast and bakes up in 20 minutes. Also makes a good weeknight dinner in a pinch, with salad and bread.
Mushroom-cherry tomato sauce with spaghetti and wilted pea shoots
- Olive oil and flour whisked together over medium low to make a roux
- One big diced shallot and a pinch of salt sauteed with the roux
- Then a few minced garlic cloves and a pinch of dried thyme
- Add a whole bunch of sliced cremini mushrooms and keep stirring until things wilt
- This also required a little more salt, a little more oil, and a splash of white wine, some more wine (hell, the rest of the bottle; there wasn’t much), and some water just trying to get the damn thing to a sauce-like consistency
- Somewhere in there I threw in half a pint of cherry tomatoes, the bigger ones cut in half, and let them cook until they exploded or got squished on impact
- When everything looked pretty good, a few splashes of balsamic vinegar got mixed in
- After the pasta cooked, I put a bunch of nutritional yeast in there (NOOCH IS LIFE) and some pepper before mixing the pasta in with the sauce
Also threw a half pound bag of pea shoots in a pan with a little oil and a tiny bit of leftover pasta cooking water ‘til they got wilted.
This was actually pretty tasty, despite some questionable stages during the saucing process.
Late work thing where they served pizza. Pfft. I had to wait until I came home to make food. Which turned out to be somewhat overcooked broccoli with garlic and chickpeas ove brown rice. The simplest thing I could muster.
Fresh San Marzano tomato sauce, tempeh sausage crumble, wilted kale, and cherry tomatoes pizza. Needs a fork. Yum yum.
Winning at veganism with a slightly modified brussels sprout fried rice from The PPK* and ginger beer tofu from Salad Samurai.
Kale salad with kabocha squash and sprouted lentils (roughly based on the one from Isa Does It) and some shells and cheesy sauce on the side. Homemade sauce of roux, garlic, leftover cashew cheese, white wine, and nooch. So much whisking.
Green tea chocolate chunk cookies with walnuts â€” just the basic recipe from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar with matcha powder added in with the wet ingredients and a handful of walnuts with the chocolate chips is my favorite trick.
It’s late summer, and the farmers’ market is full of inspiration. There’s still berries and corn and tomatoes, but also brussels sprouts and apples and pomegranates. Some serious best-of-both-worlds stuff.
Anyway, among the things I picked up today were fresh dried black beans, dark red poblano peppers, San Marzano plum tomatoes, and squash blossoms. Some of these are not exactly weeknight-quick ingredients, so I wanted to use them today.
First I set the beans a-soaking, along with a couple handsful of cashews to make nut cheese (with a bit of white miso, one chopped scallion, nutritional yeast, and water, spun in the food processor until smooth and creamy). After a couple hours, the beans had doubled in size, so I cooked them until tender, then added a chopped onion, salt, and a little ground coriander and kept simmering until everything else was ready to eat.
Then I roasted the salsa veggies.
Once brown and beautiful, I threw it in the blender with a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, and a splash of white wine vinegar.
Next, it’s stuffed squash blossom time. Definitely a Sunday thing, way too much work for any other day. But worth it. I rinsed the blossoms and mixed up some flour, salt, and pepper to dredge them in. Scored the blossoms, pried them open, spooned in some cashew cheese, closed it back up, got some flour mixture on the outside of the blossom, and threw it in a hot oiled cast iron pan for a few minutes on each side.
Last, I shredded half a bunch of curly green kale and a chunk of red cabbage and green cabbage, massaged it a bit to break down the kale, and tossed it with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of white wine vinegar and olive oil.
To serve, I put the beans on the rice, the blossoms on a bed of kale, and the salsa on top of everything. Really, it all gets mixed around anyway.
Of course, Sunday dinners always become a late afternoon affair. Breakfast I enjoyed some prepared goodies: oatmeal scone and cocoa noir almond milk cold-brew coffee. Sunday mornings are when I make the ritual visit to the farmers’ market and, because it’s convenient, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as needed. The market haul was beautiful, with everything from late season bi-color corn to brussels sprouts on the stalk stuffing three cloth bags. This is my church; I take it seriously. Carrying that much food requires energy.
Now I’ve got fresh-dried black beans and cashews soaking and a notion about making roasted ancho chile and tomato salsa. Plotting some kind of cashew cheese-stuffed squash blossoms with black beans and rice. Need to plot how to incorporate more green vegetables.
All this and so much good TV to watch: last night’s Doctor Who and Outlander; tonight’s Good Wife season premiere. Sundays are indulgent. More later.
The usual Saturday morning pancakes with a hint of nutmeg, served with apples and walnuts cooked in brown sugar and lemon juice
You may have observed that all my food ends up as a “bowl.” It’s not that I never do anything more elaborate; weeknights just don’t lend themselves to it, in my experience. It’s enough to throw things in a pot/pan/oven and give it a little sauce to pull it together. That’s more than a lot of people bother with, I think. It’s just not terribly photogenic.
The red beans and rice started with minced onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper, then a little red pepper flakes and oregano. Added three cups of water and one and a half cups of germinated brown rice, cooked it down a while. Added some hot sauce, coriander, and a can of kidney beans. Cooked until the water was absorbed; seasoned with a pinch of salt.
Steamed greens…self explanatory. Collard greens and a little purple cabbage, chopped and thrown in a steamer basket. Because I gotta.
Salsa is also fairly basic. The following ingredients entered a small plastic container with a screw-top lid, suitable for shake-mixing:
- One big fat heirloom tomato, diced small
- One dark green jalapeno, minced
- One clove of garlic, microplaned
- A few cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped
- One long green onion, green and white parts chopped
- Juice of half a lime
I just wish I had an avocado. This cries out for avocado.
Making dinner for myself again tonight and I didn’t want to wait on rice to cook, so I made this tofu stir-fry to go with some wilted greens.
Tofu: pan-fried in my trusty cast-iron skillet with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, then set aside.
Greens: shredded green cabbage and half a bunch of kale, just wilted in another skillet with a little oil or water.
The rest: minced shallot, red bell pepper, and a handful of whole cashews sauteed/toasted in the cast iron. Juice of one orange, two microplaned garlic cloves, and a splash each of soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and hot sauce make up the sauce, which gets a quick simmer in the other skillet before adding in the sauteed shallots and bell pepper, cashew, and tofu cubes. Finished with two green onions and a few sprigs of roughly chopped cilantro.