Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Anasazi Bean with Yellow Carrot and Garlic Scapes (No Added Fat)

I had some of my Anasazi bean dish leftover from a few days ago and needed to put a quick meal together. We picked up some tasty yellow carrots at the local farmers' market today. I waterlessly cooked in a Saladmaster stock pan, in this order: garlic scapes (cut into 1/4" lengths), yellow carrot (cut into 3/8" lengths), the beans, and frozen greens (mustard, kale, and collard). 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 15 minutes. I mixed in a little lime juice and salt.

I served this with bok choy leaves, radishes (also bought today at the farmers' market), and brown rice noodles. It was good - the main dish was nicely reinvented!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I love ramps and was delighted to find them in the store yesterday! They are difficult to find where I live and I only find them at most a few times a year. I wanted to make a simple dish to let the ramp flavor dominate.

  • 10-12 medium crimini mushrooms cut into thirds (or one portabello cut into approx. 1/2" cubes)
  • 6-8 ramps; very ends removed then rest, root and greens, cut into 1/2" lengths
  • 4 ounces seitan (I used a chorizo seitan that was chopped, but larger pieces of seitan chopped or at least cut into 1/2" or smaller pieces would be fine)

I sauteed all the ingredients together in a cast iron pan with no added oil, except maybe 1/4 t of oil that I put on and wiped off to give a very thin coating. I also served a baked potato (cooked in my Instant Pot) and charred and salted shishito pepper over a tomato slice.

Dinner was good. How could you go wrong with ramps?!

Ideas for the future

I wish that we could more commonly find ramps! It would be fun cooking them with other vegetables and maybe even using them in soups.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Grand Shell Brown Rice Pasta with Beans, Potato Salad over Kale (Almost No Added Fat)

I made a simple pasta with bean dish, along with some tasty potato salad that I had purchased from Deep Roots Market Cooperative Grocery when I visited a few days ago in Greensboro, NC. I used Tinkyada brand "grand shell" brown rice pasta.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baby Navy Beans with Olives, Jade Pearl Rice with Kale (No Added Fat)

I made a simple bean dish accented with olives. Here is what I did.

  • 2 cups baby navy beans (dry), rinsed and soaked for about 8 hours or more, and then rinsed again
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • Vegan bouillon cube (I forgot but this would have been a good addition)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 1/4 cup finely (less than 1/4") chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas
  • 1/2 cup pitted and quartered olives (it took about 20 medium olives)
  • 5T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 2t chopped basil (I used frozen cubes)
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  1. I put the beans, water, bouillon cube, and garlic in my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 25m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then opened the pot.
  3. I mixed in the onion, peas, olive, nutritional yeast, oregano, basil, turmeric, salt, pepper, and lime juice, and served.
I served with some Jade Pearl rice cooked with a vegan bouillon cube and hand-torn kale leaves.

Dinner was good! My daughter encouraged me to add so much nutritional yeast, and I think that flavor nicely complimented the dish.

Ideas for the future

I could have put more onion in but, at the urging of my onion-averse daughter, used just a quarter cup. The dish could have had more olives. Squash pieces would have gone well with the bean dish, as well.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Brown Lentils with Edamame and Mung Bean Sprout Fettuccine (No Added Fat)

I love Edamame and mung bean sprout fettuccine  and wondered what it would be like with lentils. Even better, how about if I cooked the pasta not separately, but together with the lentils? They might get overcooked, but it's worth trying! Here is what I did.

  • 1 1/2 cups green or brown (I used brown) lentils
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t turmeric 
  • 1 cup carrot (2 medium carrots) cut into 3/8" slices - 20m
  • 1 cup Edamame and mung bean sprout fettuccine (or other pasta, but cooking time may have to be adjusted) cut into approx. 2" pieces
  • Medium shallot cut into approx. 3/8" cubes (few tablespoonfuls)
  • ginger
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  1. I put the lentils, water, cumin, turmeric, and carrot into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 20m (green or brown lentils cook with a 1 to 1.5-2 part ratio lentil to water for 15-20m; I wanted this to be thick so went for minimum water and maximum cook time).
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure. The pasta takes about 8m of cook time, but I wondered if it would cook in the residual heat of the Instant Pot, especially as smaller pieces (it did!), so just mixed in the pasta, as well as the remaining ingredients (shallot, garlic powder, and salt). 
  3. I let the pot sit, covered, for about 5-8 minutes, then served.

I loved the dish! The pasta cooked just fine and went well with the lentils. The moisture and texture was all great!

Ideas for the future

My daughter doesn't like this particular pasta, unfortunately, but I should explore more dishes of lentils and pasta. Dried lemon and/or citrus zest would go well with lentil dishes in general, and I should try it.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Pressure-Cooked Risotto with Artichoke and Asparagus (No Added Fat)

It's been, I think, almost 10 years since I've made risotto. We quite like risotto, and I make a "conference call risotto". I had the idea of making an artichoke and potato risotto and thought I'd see what the Instant Pot pressure cooker could do in terms of risotto. I readily found one of Laura Pazzaglia's many Hip Pressure Cooking recipes, Easy Pressure Cooker Risotto. Here is my version of it - the first time I've tried a no-oil risotto.

  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 3 medium crimini mushrooms cut into 1/2" cubes (1 cup)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 or 2 T red or white wine (I used port)
  • 1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) artichoke heart quarters
  • 1/4 cup chopped (1/4" squares) bell pepper
  • A bit less than 2 cups of water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup asparagus cut into 1/2" lengths (about 4 thick stalks; it probably would take 6-8 regular thin stalks)
  • Medium baking potato cut into 3/8" cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  1. I put the onion and garlic into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on low saute for a minute or so, then added the mushrooms.
  2. I cooked for about 3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onion was clear and the mushroom cooked down a bit.
  3. I then added the rice and gently toasted it. Since I didn't use oil, the grains didn't absorb the oil and didn't really become translucent, but, stirring occasionally, I started seeing a bit of golden color in the grains after about 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. I then added the port, stirred, and let the wine clean up any residue on the bottom of the Instant Pot container.
  5. I added a cup of water then put the artichoke and bell pepper in the cup measure and filled the measure with water to total another cup, adding this water, artichoke, and bell pepper to the Instant Pot.
  6. I added the bouillon cube, asparagus, potato, salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast.
  7. I pressure cooked for 5 minutes.
  8. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed the risotto.
I served along with some sautéed (in a cast iron pan with no added oil) seitan and bell pepper.

Wow, Laura Pazzaglia's recipe pointed me in the right direction! It is easy to make tasty and creamy risotto in the pressure cooker. My whole family loved the dish; it was filling, satisfying, and tasty. Even my daughter, who doesn't like asparagus, enjoyed the bit of asparagus in this dish (it must have been the taste in combination). The moisture was just about right - any less and there would be too much sticking to the pot (next time, I might err on the side of a just a bit more water).

Ideas for the future

I should consider trying risotto like this again soon after making my tried-and-true "conference call" version to better compare. Next time, including one more strongly flavored ingredient and a bit more water would be interesting. Grilled artichokes would be an improvement, and non-frozen (grilled or not) artichokes that I could cut into pieces would be good. Olives would be nice, as would more mushrooms (maybe oyster mushrooms or large chunks of Portobello mushrooms). Sweet potato (instead of potato) and/or some greens would be great. Roasting the bell pepper would be good. A little more wine (not port) would add a nice flavor. Fresh herbs or citrus zest would be good garnishes.

I have, unfortunately, never had a whole-grain risotto, but just looked and, indeed, there are recipes for it. I found an interesting article from the Washington Post from this past February that sounds promising. It's great that I can make a no-oil risotto; I should try a no-oil whole-grain one!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Vegan Macaroni and "Cheese", Leftover Black Bean Salad (for kiddo and me)


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Black Bean - Avocado - Tomato Salad, Multigrain Bread with Kalamata Spread and Tomato, Quinoa (Almost No Added Fat)

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