Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin and Azuki Beans

My son brought home a small pumpkin after a field trip to the pumpkin patch the other day. For the first time I considered that a pumpkin could actually be eaten, and that not all pumpkin made for consumption comes out of a can only to be made into a pie. I had bought azuki beans at the beginning of my vegan journey after reading The Kind Diet knowing there was some recipe in the book that had to do with them. I can't get my hands on a Kobacha squash to save my life, so I thought why not use the pumpkin? I'm sure butternut squash would be lovely as well. After reading reviews of the recipe, I thought adding a few ingredients might be nice. The toasted sesame seed oil adds a nice touch, and I think the cilantro is probably essential for a little brightess. I really enjoyed this. It's a nice warm bowl of goodness for a fall day.

Pumpkin and Azuki Beans
Recipe adapted from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

1 cup dried azuki beans
2 cups pumpkin or kabocha squash, cut into large chunks
1 4-6 inch pieces of kombu
1-3 t. Shoyu
1 T. Toasted Sesame Oil
chopped fresh cilantro

1 Chopped Yellow Onion
4 Garlic Cloves Chopped
1 Inch Piece of Ginger, grated on microplane

Combine the kombu and beans in a bowl and cover with water by an inch or two and soak overnight. Drain the kombu and beans and rinse. Cut kombu into inch squares. Add to heavy duty pot. Add azuki beans, and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, and skim off foam. Reduce heat to low, and cover the pot. Simmer about 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime, warm olive oil and add onion to the pan with a sprinkle of salt. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook until browned and carmelized, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until cooked through.

After 25-30 minutes, add pumpkin or squash to the top of the beans. Make sure water is still covering beans. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes, until beans and pumpkin are to your desired texture. Add cooked onions, garlic and ginger. Stir in toasted sesame oil. Stir in Shoyu 1 t. at a time to your desired taste (I think I ended up adding a little over 1 T. in the end), and cook an additional 5 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vegan Veggie Chili and Cornbread by Morgan

I think this is the last day for a while that I'm going to borrow recipes from other blogs....I think. The problem is that no matter how little I read this or that blog, there is alllllways something I want to try. Being fall and all Morgan's Veggie Chili and Cornbread were calling my name. I hadn't made a vegan chili yet, so this was the perfect recipe to try. This was also the first time I have used Yves Meatless Ground. I was really happy with it, and will try it in something else soon. The cornbread was a delicious addition as well. The only thing I changed about the chili was to add a few teaspoons of smoked paprika (as I'm inclined to do in most chili recipes.) It adds a nice smokiness to chili. Oh, and I added an additional can of beans, and summer squash. You don't have to change a thing though, but I can't help myself when I'm in arm's reach of other random ingredients to add to an already great recipe. Thank you for all the awesome recipes Morgan! I can't wait for you to publish, so I can have a cookbook full of them :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vegan Breakfast Burritos To Die For

I'm so depressed that this picture is so bad because this burrito was SOOO good! I so admire Morgan from Little House of Veggies. Pretty much everything that is ever served at her table is incredibly delicious. She doesn't obsess about sugary cupcakes like the Vegan Piggy here, but usually finds a way to make everything with a healthy twist using super creative ingredients. This here was Morgan's recipe for Breakfast Burritos with Potatoes and Bacon. I took the suggestions of a few local vegans and bought some Central Soy Foods (a local brand which is total bonus) Nigari Smoked Tofu. The crispy potatoes and "bacon" mixed with the veggies and smokiness of the tofu made me one happy girl. The only thing I changed was to use mushrooms (because I'm a mushroom addict) instead of carrots. I also had the fortune of having a little leftover guacamole that I made from last night to throw on top. The recipe says it serves 4, but I ended up making 8 smaller burritos. I'll see how they freeze. The only problem with this meal, was the ridiculously enormous mess I made. Despite the kitchen explosion, I will definitely make these again!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was so happy to find A Fresh Dille the other day. I love the blogsphere. There's never an end to inspiration or the likely-hood that you might bump into like-minded people. I love that the blog's focus not only on food, but fashion amongst other topics. What a lovely combo! I had been dreaming of chocolate chip cookies, and it happened to be my lucky day because I found just the perfect recipe as I perused the archives. The original recipe comes from Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies, and is just what I had been looking for. I love that this recipe only makes 12 cookies. There's less likely-hood to go off the deep end in a family of 4 with only 12 cookies. I have been out of maple syrup for a few weeks, so I had the mind to substitute brown rice syrup instead. They turned out beautifully. I love the tad of molasses. It adds just the right touch. I will try this recipe in its original form once I get the maple syrup, but I was happy the way they turned out with brown rice syrup.

Edit: I re-made these cookies exactly according to the recipe with the maple syrup this time. I have to tell you, these really were perfect. I liked them the last time, but I loved them this time so much more. And they're so easy. No creaming butter. Just mix with a spoon. So much less time consuming than non-veg cookies. You have to try these!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No camera = No posts

I haven't fallen off the vegan wagon, I promise. This perfectionist did however lose the camera battery charger. I'm unfortunately one of those creative/disorganized people who generally loses something of importance weekly. I really don't like posting pictures I'm not proud of hence the lack of posts. Lame right? Tell that to my neurotic brain. I ordered a new charger, so hopefully I'll be back up and running ASAP. I had to snap a picture of these cupcakes though. While the toppings might not be totally vegan (or at least I don't think they were) they were so pretty, so I had to share even if I had to use my crap cell phone camera. The recipe was marble cupcakes with fluffy vegan buttercream frosting from VCTOTW (as Amber from Almost Vegan likes to abbreviate.) I hadn't made this frosting yet, and it was indeed fluffy. It was just the right consistency to pipe huge cloud like mountains atop these yummy little cakes. The marble cake was yum too! I'm kind of craving these again just thinking about them. Hmmm....