Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cannellini Beans with Green Garlic, Soba Noodles, and Grilled Artichoke Heart Salad (No Added Fat)

I was happy to have a cousin in town today who came over for dinner after his business day. I thought I'd make a bean dish and was originally thinking of cooking cannellini beans then mixing vegetables and soba noodles into them. I ended up instead serving soba noodles as their own side dish. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups cannellini beans soaked overnight (I got away with soaking for maybe 3 hours and it worked out okay, but I think I'd get softer beans if I soaked for longer) then rinsed and drained again
  • Enough water to just cover the beans
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 3/4 cup compressed cup kale leaves, roughly hand separated from stems into approximately 3/4" squares
  • 3 medium carrots cut into large sections approximately 1/2" in size
  • Garlic to taste; 2 cloves finely (1/8" or so) chopped garlic would be good, but we had fresh green garlic, and I used at last a tablespoonful cut into larger 1/4" or so pieces
  • 1t grated or finely (1/8" or so) chopped ginger
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1t lime juice
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
Process
  1. I put the beans, water, bouillon cube, kale, carrot, garlic, and ginger into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 20m. (The carrot and ginger could have cooked in much less time, but this was convenient for setting the cooking up while I was doing other things and then coming back to finish later.)
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lime juice, and spices.
I prepared the soba noodles by boiling for just four minutes as per the package, draining, then serving topped with a bit of black sesame seed, a slice of roasted red jalapeno pepper, and slices of green onion, as well as some coconut aminos (or soy sauce). I made a salad of grilled artichoke hearts, tomato, ume plum vinegar, a little lime juice, kalamata olives, a little salt, and black pepper.

Results

Everybody seemed to enjoy the meal, and I even packed some for some neighbors. I thought that everything came out well. The main course was a good combination of flavors and was creamy (thanks to the cannellini beans) and satisfying. I had everything ready an hour or so before my cousin, delayed in meetings, arrived and was impressed at how easily the soba noodles were to work with; rather than sticking together, they easily re-separated with a quick light fork agitation.

Ideas for the future

I should use soba noodles more often! Cannellini beans always seem to result in a luscious and, of course, healthful meal, and I should use them more often, as well. I wonder what these beans would be like with artichoke or green beans.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Leftover Canellini Bean and Brussels Sprout Lasagne

I made lasagne; my daughter really liked the manicotti that I recently made and I had some of Miyoko's vegan smoked "mozarella" cheese that I had used. I put four layers of lasagne down, then added leftover canellini beans with Brussels sprouts, plus some of the vegan cheese and sauce. I put down four more layers, then sauteed onion and garlic, plus mushroom and Swiss chard and more sauce. I put down a final four layers then sauce, and baked in a preheated 375°F for 40m.

Results

Dinner was good and I was pleased at "reinventing" the leftovers this way. Though it wasn't no added fat, I didn't use a lot of the vegan cheese, so it was reasonably low in fat.

Ideas for the future

It's not so difficult to make lasagne, though it does take a bit of time. One puts sauce down in a baking dish (I used a 9"x13" glass one) then boils four lasagne noodles at a time (these wheat ones cooked in about 5 minutes) and places them on the sauce. Fillings go next, then four more freshly cooked noodles, etc. I should experiment with more types of lasagne; certainly today showed that the right kind of leftover can be a good filling. I should try eggplant to get something like a moussaka lasagne.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Brussels Sprouts with Canellini Beans (No Added Fat)

I wanted to cook with canellini beans - they're soft and creamy. I bought some organic Brussels sprouts yesterday and thought that they would go well with the beans.

I soaked the beans overnight then pressure cooked for 15m after just covering with water and adding a vegan bouillon cube. In the meantime, I sauteed halved Brussel sprouts, shallot, and garlic; when almost done (I cooked with no oil in a cast iron pan), I stirred in some red onion slices and cooked another few minutes.

I mixed the cooked beans with the sprouts, garlic powder, salt, chopped jalapeno, dried sage, and lime juice. It came out well!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tempeh with Swiss Chard (No Added Fat)

I was cooking just for my wife and myself, so used tempeh, which my daughter doesn't like. I sauteed tempeh with onion and, when almost done, added Swiss chard and cooked down a bit. I also made asparagus and served a tomato and avocado sandwich.

Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Black Bean and Corn Pupusa (prepared), Brown Basmati Rice with Swiss Chard

I saw an interesting looking product in the store and picked it up, Tres Latin Foods' pupusas, and picked up their black bean and sweet corn variety, which I thought I'd use today, as well as their kale and pinto bean pupusa. Pupusas are a traditional dish from El Salvador; I love corn masa and bet these are good.The ingredients look great:

  • (Black bean and corn pupusa) organic corn masa, water, black beans, corn, olive oil, and salt
  • (Kale and pint bean pupusa) organic corn masa, water, pinto beans, olive oil, kale, salt, chili powder, chipotle powder, and onion powder
... and each pupusa only has 3.5g of fat.

I cooked the pupusas at 400°F for 10m then pan sauteed on a cast iron pan for a few minutes per side to get them a bit crispy. I served with some stewed tomatoes and raw red onion

I also made brown basmati rice (1:2 ratio of rice to water, plus a vegan bouillon cube, and I also mixed in frozen chopped Swiss chard, then pressure cooked it all for 25m) and steamed broccoli and mixed it with sauteed onion.

Results

These pupusas are good. They're not strongly flavorful but certainly satisfying and filling; one was enough for me.

Ideas for the future

I look forward to serving more of these prepared pupusas, and would like to top them with a spicy salsa and fresh avocado and onion. It would be fun to learn to make pupusas!

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Monday, April 09, 2018

Smoked "Mozzarella" Manicotti with Spinach and Peas, Bell Pepper with Seitan, Corn (Gluten Free)

I recently found vegan smoked "mozzarella" from Miyoko's Creamery I had some brown rice manicotti shells and decided to make manicotti. The vegan cheese is a bit high in fat (it's an 8 ounce package and has 5g of fat per ounce), so I thought I'd make manicotti with half the cheese, but ended up needing about 3/4, so the total fat from the cheese (and nothing else contributed significantly more fat) was 30g of fat. The 9"x13" baking dish was heavy with the 16 filled shells and sauce; I anticipated that we'd each eat 3 shells, so have about 30g of fat x 3/16 = about 6g of fat. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 7 ounce box of manicotti shells, prepared according to directions (I used a gluten-free brown rice shell that had 16 shells that I boiled for 4 minutes)
  • About 40 ounces (I used 25 ounce jars, so went through almost two) of a favorite marinara sauce
  • 6 ounces of vegan smoked "mozzarella cheese" roughly cut into 1/2" or smaller pieces
  • 1/3 cup onion cut into approximately 1/4" cubes
  • 1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) chopped spinach
  • 1/2 pound frozen (or fresh) peas
  • (optional) Few T of nutritional yeast
  • Ingredient 2
  • 8 ounces of seitan
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot cut into 3/8" slices (3 small-medium carrots)
Process
  1. I put a thick (maybe 1/4") layer of marinara at the bottom of a 9"x13" 3-quart glass baking dish.
  2. I mixed the cheese, onion, and spinach together to make the filling.
  3. For each prepared shell, I stuffed (well, my daughter helped and she did the stuffing!) half way with the filling, then put enough peas in to leave only 1/3 of the shell empty; that I stuffed with the filling.
  4. I placed each stuffed shell in turn onto the sauce in the baking dish.
  5. Once the shells were all placed, we spread the remaining sauce on top of the shells, then my daughter generously sprinkled nutritional yeast atop.
  6. I baked the (heavy!) manicotti for 40m, covered, in a preheated 375°F oven.
I also made a simple side dish of bell pepper, onion, garlic, and seitan (I used a crumbled chorizo seitan), as well as corn.

Results

Dinner came out well. My daughter especially loved the meal. I couldn't believe that she ate 5 manicotti shells and kept saying that she wished that she had room for more. I ate 2 and was quite full.

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Monday, April 02, 2018

Whole Wheat Pearled Couscous with Tempeh and Mixed Vegetables (No Added Fat)

We had a Kindergartener friend over for dinner and I thought I'd make a simple whole wheat pearled couscous meal. The couscous is easily made in a ratio of 1 : 1.5 of couscous to water. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pearled cousous
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen mixed chopped vegetables
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 8 ounce packet of tempeh cut into thin rectangles maybe 3/4" x 1/2" x 1/4"
  • 1/8 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes (I used both red and sweet onions)
  • 1-2 T coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
  • (optional) 1/2 t dried chives
Process
  1. I dry sauteed the garlic for a minute in a large Saladmaster stock pan with no water or any other item.
  2. I then added the water and couscous, along with the vegetables, bouillon cube, and salt, and brought to a boil.
  3. Once at a boil, I reduced the heat to low and simmered, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. While the couscous was cooking, I sauteed the tempeh and 2/3 of the onion on a cast iron pan with no oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh was lightly browned (maybe 7-9 minutes).
  5. I then put the tempeh and onion into a bowl, and mixed in the remaining raw onion, coconut aminos, and chives, and kept warm in a toaster oven.
  6. When the couscous was done, I served with the tempeh; for the children, who may not like tempeh, I served with beans.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Baked Potato with Mushroom Gravy (No Added Fat)

I had some prepared vegan gravy and made a simple meal. I simply poked Russet potatoes a few places (to make sure that pressure wouldn't cause them to explode) then put them in my Instant Pot pressure cooker atop the trivet with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and pressure steamed for 20m. I mixed in mushrooms and cooked the gravy down a bit, then served atop the potatoes. I also had a massaged kale salad and baked beans.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Brussels Sprouts with Baby Lima Beans, Forbidden Rice Pad Thai Noodles with a touch of Peanut Satay Sauce, Grilled Artichoke Heart - Tomato Salad (No Added Fat)

Brussels Sprouts are on sale and I had a 1 pound bag of them. I thought that I'd use the Sprouts and cook them with baby lima beans, starting with a gentle saute of the Sprouts. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts (I counted 34), outer leaves and ends trimmed and then halved (almost 4 cups)
  • 1/4 + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 t salt
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 cups frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot (I used one large carrot) cut into approx. 3/8" slices
  • 1/2 cumin seed
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1 T dried chives
  • 1/2 cups onion cut into 3/8" cubes
Process
  1. I put the garlic, onion, and Brussels Sprouts into  my Instant Pot pressure cooker and used the saute function to saute, waterlessly, frequently stirring, on low for about 5 minutes till the onion was lightly browned.
  2. I added 1/4 cup water, salt, and the bouillon cube, and reduced the saute to low. I continued stirring but less frequently for about 3-4 minutes until the water was absorbed.
  3. I then added 1/2 cup water, the lima beans, carrot, cumin seed, garlic powder, turmeric, and chives; I mixed and cooked on low pressure for 3m.
  4. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion.
I made a grilled artichoke heart - tomato salad with black pepper, ume plum vinegar, and lemon juice. As a side, I had some organic forbidden rice pad thai noodles (just brown and black rices; it cooks in a 5m boil), which I served. I had a little peanut satay sauce leftover; my family loves the sauce. I put a little sauce on their noodles and even less on mine (I was going to  call dinner "almost no added fat" but I put so little sauce on that I'll go with "no added fat").
Results

We all enjoyed dinner. The main course was better than I expected but a little softer than I had wished for.

Ideas for the future

I should try cooking Brussels Sprouts this way again, but should go with just 1 or 2 minutes of low pressure cooking.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Brown Lentil Dhal with Potato (No Added Fat)

I thought I'd make a brown lentil dhal; lentils cook under pressure in a ratio of 1 to between 1 1/2 and 2 for 15-20 minutes; I wanted a souply dahl so thought I'd go for a 1:3 ratio for 20 minutes. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups Russet (or other) potato cut into larger 1/2" cubes (a medium potato)
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (< 1/8") minced
  • 2 cups carrot cut into 3/8" slices (about 3-4 small carrots)
  • 1 packed cup kale, roughly hand-torn into approximately 1" pieces (stems excepted) and then cut down into approximately quarters via knife
  • 1 cup frozen sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t black salt
  • 1/2 t cumin seeds
  • (optional) small piece of organic Meyer lemon, skin and interior intact
  • Another 1/4 cup onion, this time cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1T lemon juice (I used Meyer lemon juice)
  • (optional) 2 T organic Meyer lemon skin, cut into 1/2" pieces
Process
  1. I put the lentils, water, potato, 1st batch of larger cut onion, garlic, carrot, kale, mushroom, turmeric, salt, cumin seed, and lemon into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 20m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed
  3. When I was ready to serve, I opened the pot slowly, and added the additional 1/4 cup onion, lemon juice, and lemon pieces. 
I was out of brown rice, so used white Jasmine rice on the side, as well as peas and carrots.

Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Potato - Eggplant Jumble (No Added Fat)

I had some friends over and had made a very early dinner for them when my daughter and wife came home, so I had a fun, extended cooking time, launching right into our own dinner. I used pans that I had just used for the earlier meal, so I didn't have extra cleanup. I wanted to get a meal going and served quickly, so decided to make a waterless meal. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8" or so) chopped
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes (just under 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup eggplant, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 of a small (about 14 1/2 ounce) can of diced tomatoes (i.e., about 7 ounces)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, potato, eggplant, and spinach into a small Saladmaster stock pan; it almost filled the pan. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. I mixed in the diced tomato, salt, and black pepper, and served.
I also made some quinoa (1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, simmered with a vegan bouillon cube, and cooked with edamame and bell pepper). For a salad, I diced tomato and cucumber, and mixed in Meyer lemon, black salt, ground cumin, and freshly ground black pepper.
Results

Dinner was good, but I think my family enjoyed it more than I did. My daughter doesn't like quinoa, so even the small side dish was more than enough for her. Surprisingly, she said that my potato main dish would be a great Thanksgiving dish, but I do think that is way overrated. Unlike when I pressure cook, the eggplant did contribute some flavor, but it wasn't strong.

Ideas for the future

I should try more waterless dishes with potato, and include ingredients like beans or maybe tempeh. I wonder what a vegan cheese sauce might be served atop such a dish, maybe tasting a bit like a "loaded" baked potato. Adding roasted or baked eggplant cubes or slices at the end might also be a nice touch.

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Sunday, March 04, 2018

Lemony Cauliflower with Black-eyed Peas and Turnip (No Added Fat)

I had a half head of cauliflower that I wanted to use and found that my wife had cooked some black-eyed peas. I also had a turnip that needed to be used. I decided to make a waterless main course, and serve sauteed plantain slices on the side, along with a lovely purple carrot and icicle radish slices. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (< 1/8") minced
  • Medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
  • About 2 cups of cauliflower florets (about half a head)
  • 1/4 of a medium Meyer lemon juiced and remainder chopped into 3/8" cubes (only if organic; if a non-Meyer lemon or lime is used, use just the colored outside zest)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/8 t dried oregano
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, turnip, cauliflower, and black-eyed peas into a large Saladmaster stock pan. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. I then opened the pot, and mixed in the lemon juice and lemon pieces, salt, pepper, turmeric, and oregano.
Results

Dinner was good! I added a bit of jalapeno to my serving. I couldn't taste the turnip, but the cauliflower and lemon worked well with the black-eyed peas.

Ideas for the future

I have not been very good with constrasting colors in presenting my meals. I wish that I had some roasted red bell pepper on hand, as that would have added to the visuals. The main course was good but could have used a little more flavor, perhaps capers or olives. Mustard seed and maybe ground cumin would have been nice, too.

I should explore more ways of cooking with turnips. This was fine to enjoy the nutrition of turnips, but there was no flavor that I could detect coming from the turnips.

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Thursday, March 01, 2018

Edamame and Eggplant with Whole Wheat Orzo

I have a little Miyoko's Kitchen vegan mozzarella left and thought I'd make an eggplant dish with some cheese. Eggplant cooks nicely (in just 3 minutes!) in the pressure cooker, so I started that going. By the time the eggplant was done, it tasted great with no cheese, so I skipped the cheese. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 5 cups eggplant (skin intact) cut into 1/2" cubes (maybe 4/5 of a medium eggplant)
  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • 2 packed cups kale, hand-ripped into roughly 1" squares
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (< 1/8") minced
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1/2 t tarragon (I couldn't find my tarragon so used oregano instead)
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t salt
Process
  1. I put the eggplant, edamame (I used frozen; if fresh, I'd just mix in at the end), kale, garlic, bouillon cube, and water into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for just three minutes.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the onion, oregano, pepper, and salt.
I served with whole wheat orzo and a salad.
Results

Dinner was quite good! I really liked the eggplant dish; though I like the taste of eggplant, it changes to be more a background matrix when pressure cooked. It served the firm bite of the edamame well.

Ideas for the future

My original idea would have worked if I had integrated tomato into the cooking, maybe making some sort of ratatouille or caponata. I should try a Turkish Imam Bayildi dish sometime!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thick Potato Leek Soup with Spicy Seitan (No Added Fat)

I had a little potato leek soup leftover and had purchased a head of cauliflower today. I thought I'd make a soup with cauliflower and seitan (I had some chorizo seitan from Upton's that I also bought today).

I steamed about half the cauliflower, cut into florets, for about 3 minutes, covered, then removed the water, put about a cup of the soup base in, as well as 1/4 of the seitan package (about 2 ounces), 3/4 of a bell pepper cut into strips, a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, a pinch of salt, 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper, and 1/2 t garlic powder. I simmered, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes, then served, along with cucumber slices and crackers. Simple, fast, and nutritious!

Results

Dinner was good. I like thick soups, but this also would have been good with more of the soup base. nding

Ideas for the future

Chunks of potatoes would have been good, as well as chives. I was in a bit of a rush to put dinner together, so something more "interesting" than crackers, such as a vegetable dish, would have been nice, but, in any case, dinner was filling.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fava Bean and Potato Soup (No Added Fat)

I enjoy fava beans but don't find it easy to remove the skins when I cook them. I was recently in a Lebanese restaurant, Neomonde, and found split fava beans, both large and, what I bought, small. I found an appealing sounding fava bean recipe, which inspired me for a soup I made with four times as much water as beans. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups dry small split fava beans, rinsed, soaked overnight, and rinsed again (it ended up being about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 8 cups water (the recipe I referred to used a 1:4 ratio to water, but it wasn't clear if they soaked the beans, so I decided to go with between 6-10 cups and used 7 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about half of a large 28 ounce can) canned chopped or diced tomatoes
  • 3 1/4 cups Yukon Gold potatoes cut into approximately 1/2" cubes (4 medium potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 3 medium) carrots cut into large 3/4" chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cumin seed
  • 1 t fennel seed
  • 4 scallions cut into 1/2" lengths
  • 1/2 t salt
Process
  1. I put the beans, water, tomato, potato, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, cumin seed, and fennel seed into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 10m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the scallions and salt.
I served the soup with whole grain toast, lightly topped with an olive tapenade, then with tomato. I also served fire-roasted corn.

Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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