Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tempeh and Sweet Dumpling Squash over Tricolor Quinoa, Broiled Belgian Endive

I made a simple meal that my wife loved tonight. I had half of a baked sweet dumpling squash leftover from a few days ago. I sauteed half of a package of tempeh, cut into cubes, adding a diced medium shallot a few minutes into the cooking, and the cubed squash a few minutes after that. When the tempeh was nicely browning after maybe 5-6 minutes or so, I added a fifth of a bell pepper cut into small pieces.

About two minutes later, I removed the mixture to a bowl, mixed in a little salt, dried tarragon, and a tablespoon or two of a Key West Mojo Criollo marinade. I kept it warm in the toaster oven till I served.

In the meantime, I prepared tricolor quinoa - it's so easy to cook this nutritious "perfect" food whose nutritional composition matches exactly what we need. I put in a measure (in this case cooking for two and a little extra for my daughter's lunch tomorrow, about 2/3 of a yogurt cup) of quinoa and twice that much water into a sauce pan, along with a vegan bouillon cube, brought to a boil, and simmered for 3 or 4 minutes, covered. I turned off the heat and let the quinoa continue to cook and absorb liquid till little liquid was left and the quinoa had the characteristic spiral shape. I served the tempeh and squash mixture atop the quinoa.

Similarly to what I did in March 2009,  I also broiled Belgian endives. I took two endives, cut them lengthwise into thirds, and lay the endive pieces on a plate. I chopped into long pieces a small shallot, and arranged pieces atop the endives, then sprinkled a little garlic-flavored extra virgin olive oil on top and broiled in a toaster oven for about 3 or 4 minutes till the endives browned a bit. I served with a little dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Organic Cornmeal Deep-Dish Pizza

I teach a fun baby photography class as a childbirth educator at UNC Hospital, and had a session tonight. I often eat out when I teach at night, but came home right after class tonight. By the time we got my daughter to sleep and my wife and I took some time to talk, it was around 11:30p and I hadn't eaten. My wife had made something for herself, so I just had to get a meal together for myself.

I love Vicolo pizza organic cornmeal deep-dish pizza shells. I used one of a pack of two while my daughter and wife were away last weekend, and decided to use the second tonight. I did a quick saute of a chopped Field Roast Grain Meat Company apple-sage vegan sausage in garlic oil (extra virgin olive oil with garlic flavoring), adding maybe a sixth of a green bell pepper cut into thin strips. I mixed in some organic eggplant marinara sauce and topped the crust, adding cheddar-style (with a little bit of mozarella-style) Daiya vegan cheese, and baked in a 425°F oven for about 15 minutes, then served with a quick mixed greens salad with carrot.

Dinner was fast (less than a half hour from beginning of preparation to eating) and tasty! I even had several slices for leftovers, and a small slice for my toddler's lunch box.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tempeh and Bell Pepper in Radicchio, Whole Wheat Toast with Garlic Oil, Arugula with Tomato

My wife came home today with salad ingredients that I only occasionally buy, radicchio and Belgian endive. I decided to take advantage of the pretty radicchio leaf - most of us don't get enough bitter food in our diets, anyway.

I made a simple saute of tempeh, bell pepper, and onion, and filled a radicchio leaf. A simple arugula and tomato salad, as well as toasted whole-wheat bread with garlic oil drizzled atop, completed the colorful and tasty meal.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pesto and Fresh Tomato over Brown Rice Angel Hair Pasta, Vegan Apple-Sage Sausage, and Rosemary Sourdough Bread with Golden Raisins

My daughter and wife are enroute home from a lovely vacation in Cape Cod, spending the day today in Boston. I ended up missing a nice trip, including my cousin's wedding, when I hurt my toe late last week. I've missed my wife and daughter, but they'll be back in a few hours!

Today in the store, I found a new pasta, DeBoles' angel hair pasta with golden flax (gluten-free, made with brown rice) with golden flax. I've recently been craving a simple angel hair pasta with a rich but basic marinara sauce. No marinara today, but I whipped up a little pesto to top the pasta, and mixed some fresh tomatoes in. A grilled Field Roast Grain Meat Company vegan apple-sage sausage was a hearty accompaniment.

Yesterday at the annual meeting of Weaver Street Market, they unveiled a new product. They make great breads and now will be making a new variety, rosemary sourdough with golden raisins. It's quite good - and I served a piece of it with tonight's meal.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I often make uttapam, a South Indian crepe, for my daughter - it is her favorite dinner. So we almost always have batter around (I blend in our VitaMix blender rice and then lentils that have been soaking then let the batter ferment; I should post sometime details, including ratios, time to soak, time and how to ferment, etc.). I put vegan Daiya cheese on her uttapams - not traditional, but fun and interesting. I also put a little ginger and bell pepper.

Tonight, cooking just for myself, I made an uttapam. The toppings I used were Daiya pepperjack vegan cheese, bell pepper, and shallot. It came out well!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Limed Seitan with Chard and Brown Rice Noodles, Quinoa, Corn-off-the-Cob

We were enjoying a nice playdate that was ending so another fellow Dad could go home and prepare dinner for his wife, when I suggested that she come here and that I make a meal for us all. So we had a nice meal with another couple and another toddler!

I cut a box of seitan into bite-sized chunks and marinated in a Key West Mojo Criollo marinade. I started sauteeing over medium-high in Persian lime-infused extra virgin olive oil a medium onion cut into 1/4" half moons and one small diced shallot. As the onion started becoming clear in a few minutes, I added the seitan.

In the meantime, I soaked a large handful of brown rice noodles in very hot tap water in a bowl and hand tore leaves from a stalk of chard and finely diced the stems. As the seitan started just showing signs of browning, I added the chard stem pieces. A few minutes later as the seitan browned more, I added the leaves, which I roughly hand tore into approximately 1/2" pieces.

I drained and washed in cold water the now softened noodles. As the chard leaves cooked down in another two or three minutes, I added the noodles, stirred till they were cooked (about 2 minutes), turned the heat off, and mixed in a little salt, lemon pepper, and fresh basil and lemon sage from my garden (maybe 4 leaves of basil, cut into quarters, and leaves from about 1 1/2" length of the lemon sage). It came out very well!

I also served corn-off-the-cob with juice of about 1/16 slice of Valencia orange, and a little Earth Balance margarine and salt. Multi-colored quinoa cooked with a vegan bouillon cube (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, brought to a boil and simmered for a few minutes, then removed from heat and covered for 5+ minutes till the moisture was absorbed and the quinoa exhibited its characteristic spiral) and a small salad completed the meal.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Delicata Squash with Persian Lime Vegan Sausage, Fingerling Potatoes, and Sweet Potato

Our online farmer's market, Papa Spud's, delivered several delicata squashes and a few large sweet potatoes, so I got the temptation to bake them. I did just that in a 350°F oven, and threw in a few fingerling potatoes, as well. I baked the squash cut in half with the flesh face down in a plate with a little water. The small potatoes and squash were done in about 40 minutes, and the sweet potato took about an hour.

I also cooked a stuffing for the squash by sauteeing, in Persian lime infused extra virgin olive oil, two vegan apple-sage sausages cut into 3/8" slices and then quartered and a shallot. When the onion was just carmelizing and the sausage was browned, I added a dozen or so baby spinach leaves and about a quarter cup of eggplant marinara sauce. After a few minutes when the spinach had cooked down, I added some fresh lemon sage from the garden, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

We enjoyed the meal! I used a version of what I made to put together my daughter's lunchbox and hope she'll enjoy her lunch tomorrow. Oh, in her school, the children bake bread every Wednesday - that's her bread in the plate. It is a nice and slightly sweet bread.