Sunday, May 30, 2010

Enchiladas with Black Beans, Corn-off-the-Cob with Lemon

I'm looking forward to seeing my wife and daughter tomorrow. I've never been away from my daughter for more than a day till now!

My wife and I generally share similar tastes in food, except I enjoy Mexican food, and she doesn't. I haven't made enchiladas in years, and tonight made them for myself with corn tortillas and the new Daiya vegan cheese. I put a little bit of olive oil in a cast iron pan and briefly, maybe 7 seconds per side, heated the tortillas so they were softened a little.

I filled each tortilla with a little cheese and onion, along with a little bit of black beans (I rarely use beans in my cooking; they sometimes upset my stomach, but lately I seem to be doing okay with them) and roasted garlic. I rolled each tortilla and put it in a casserole dish. Once all five rolls were prepared, I spooned about half of a 16 ounce can of enchilada sauce over them. I covered the casserole dish and baked in a preheated 375°F oven for about 20 minutes, till the top-most parts of the top layer tortillas were getting a little crispy.

I served it with avocado slices as well as corn-off-the-cob, mixed with Earth Balance margarine, a little bit of salt, and a little lemon juice. It was a good dinner!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Leftover Curried Collard Greens, Malaysian Style Dal Parantha, Hashed Brown Potatoes

I made a simple dinner tonight. I finally finished the large amount of curried collard greens with sweet potatoes that I made recently; I heated it and served it with hashed brown potatoes, some grape tomatoes, and Malyasian style Dal Parantha (bread stuffed with lentils) made by Deeps Foods.

My wife and baby return from Wisconsin on Monday night. I sure miss them, especially my daughter!

I am hoping to make some dishes the next few nights that I can enjoy that I suspect my wife won't like; she never liked cheese, and I'm excited about the new Daiya non-soy vegan cheese. I have been thinking of making simple enchiladas, which I've not done for years. (Maybe I'll try a more sophisticated version, inspired by a vegetarian restaurant in Ann Arbor called Seva, which has stuffed squash mixed with [vegan, in my case] cream cheese a the filling; I could experiment with something other than cream cheese.)

I love wife Vicolo Pizza organic cornmeal crust pizza shells - she likes them, too, but I love them! I hope to make a good pizza the next few nights.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Leftover Curried Collard Greens, Crispy Seitan with Zucchini

I heated the curried collard greens from a few days ago and served them atop some mashed potatoes. I made a nice saute of crispy seitan with zucchini, and served English Peas.

This collard green recipe is very good! I made so much that I had enough to take to a potluck this weekend, as well as tonight's dinner - with still some left! It tastes even better than when it was freshly made, as the flavors have had a chance to nicely commingle. We really enjoyed the seitan, as I sauted it for long enough to get very crispy. It was a good dinner!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Curried Collard Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Chick Peas, Oyster Mushroom Saute

I rarely cook from recipes, but did a quick google search to see if I could get some new inspiration for cooking with collard greens, and found a curried collard green recipe from a group,, that focuses on a Judeo-Christian ethic of being vegan. The recipe sounded so healthy and good, I had to try it! I followed it with a few substitutions and omissions.

I made a bed of brown rice for the collard greens to be served upon. I also made a simple oyster mushroom saute with 3/4" matchsticks of green onion, and dinner was rounded out by (not so great) canned artichoke hearts with lettuce.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Melissa's Gazpacho Soup, Tempeh and Red Bell Pepper, Hummus on Whole Wheat Toast

We had a full day enjoying Mother's Day, including trying the new child trailer we bought yesterday on our tandem (fun!). Neither my wife nor my parents wanted to eat out, so it was around 9:30p and we were just getting home. I decided to use the gazpacho soup that my wife got this week from the local woman who makes delicious soups for sale each week.

I also made a nice tempeh dish by cubing into 1/2" cubes a little over a half 8-ounce package of tempeh. I started sauteeing over medium-high heat and as the tempeh started showing a little browning after 5 minutes or so, I added similarly cubed red bell pepper (using maybe half of a pepper) and thin slices of a small shallot. When the tempeh was nicely browned after another 5 minutes or so, I transferred the vegetables and tempeh to a bowl, mixed in a little low-sodium tamari sauce and dried oregano, and served.

Finally, I spread some hummus over toasted whole wheat bread. Topped with lettuce and fresh tomato, it was also tasty!

Leftover (restaurant) Penang Curry, Corn-off-the-Cob

My wife went last night to a Mother's Night Out for Thai food. She had an excellent Penang Curry, and brought enough leftovers home that we could enjoy it for dinner tonight. I made some brown and wild rice to serve the curry atop, and some corn-off-the-cob.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Daiya Mozzarella Style Cheese Pizza, Fries

I believe it was this past autumn that I became aware of a new cheese, Daiya, that is vegan and soy-free. It was only available wholesale, and I first had it at a diner in Raleigh that seems to be 1/3 vegan. It's also available at a pizza chain called Z Pizza.

Well, a few weeks ago, our local Whole Foods stores started carrying it. It comes shredded in a cheddar style and in a mozzarella style. I loved the cheddar and now purchased the mozzarella.
My wife was out at a Mom's Night Out and, after my daughter went to bed, I used frozen Vicolo Pizza organic cornmeal crust pizza shells that I am so fond of. I spread some tomato sauce and onions on the crust, then topped generously with the mozzarella and baked for about 15 minutes on my pizza stone that had been heated in a 425°F oven. The pizza was very good! I love the cheddar, and also like the mozzarella!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Strozzapreti Pasta with Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Vegan Apple-Sage Sausage

For tonight's dinner, I made a simple pasta dish, featuring tasty Monterey Farms' Herbal ArtiHearts (grilled artichoke hearts). I got some marinara sauce prepared with portabello mushrooms simmering, and added a clove of finely diced garlic, a fifth of a medium onion diced to a little less than 1/2", four green olives cut into 1/3" or so pieces, about half of the six ounce package of grilled artichoke hearts, some rosemary and oregano, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoonful or so of crushed red pepper.

As I mentioned in May 2008, "there are a number of theories why strozzapreti pasta [which I used in tonight's dinner] is named as a 'priest choker' pasta, such as that priests in Italy would gorge themselves on these rolled towel shaped pasta pieces and choke". I prepared the pasta and, when it was done, served it with the sauce on top. I also briefly cooked in very little oil Field Roast Grain Meat Company smoked apple sage artisanal vegan sausage.

Chickpea Burger, Leftover Noodles

My wife had a bit over a cup of dried chickpeas soaking, and I decided to try something rather ad hoc with the chickpeas and the Vitamix blender. I put the chickpeas into the blender, along with about half a dozen small English peas in the pod (I just cut off the stem end, but otherwise used the whole pea pod), a small frozen carrot, a half dozen grape tomatoes, a little less than a tablespoonful of tahini, and a clove of garlic.

I ran the Vitamix at 4 out of 10 on the variable speed setting till everything was blended together (maybe 30 seconds). Then I added 1/2 small onion, and blended again a few more seconds to integrate the onion. I added a dash of salt, paprika, and dried Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, and a few other herbs), and briefly ran the blender to mix these in, as well.

I used my hands to make three patties (I served two medium sized ones and saved one large one), coated them with bread crumbs, and sauteed first one side then the other over medium-high heat till both sides were nicely browned (perhaps 4-5 minutes per side). I served over mixed greens with a small dollop of tahini, a slice of tomato, and a drizzle of hot sauce. I also served leftover noodles from a few days ago.

The burger turned out good! I was wondering if it would taste like falafel; it didn't, and didn't have a strong flavor, but my wife and I both liked it. I would like to try making something like this again, but perhaps adding some additional vegetables or even vegan sausage for stronger flavor. But it was a successful and tasty experiment!

Incidentally, I had a papaya waiting to be eaten, and also used the Vitamix for what turned out to be an excellent thick juice. I put half the papaya in (without seeds or skin) the blender, as well as a 1/4" thick slice of organic lemon, peel, pith, and all. I also added about a half dozen frozen cherries, a Minneola tangelo (peeled), about a half dozen raw macadamia nuts, and 3/4 a tray of ice cubes. (I forgot, but should have also added flaxseed.) I blended on high till smooth, then reduced to 40% or so power and let the remaining ice from the tray be made into an icy, gritty accompaniment. The juice was surprisingly good!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Monday, May 03, 2010

Potato and Greens, Leftover Avocado Bisque, Toast w Tahini and Hot Sauce

We had a lot of greens, so I made a simple saute with the greens, mushrooms, and potatoes. I soaked some rice noodles in hot tap water for 15m or so; after draining the water, I added the noodles in the last few minutes of the saute. I also served leftover avocado bisque and a raw avocado.

Perhaps ten years or so ago, I got into a phase of enjoying as a snack lightly toasted bread smeared with a bit of tahini and just a bit of thinly sliced onion, topped with hot sauce. I made this as a side dish for tonight's dinner - yum.