Thursday, February 21, 2008

Recent Eats

'Potato Chips' are classic. These are a healthier version and take only a little time to prepare.

You'll need 2 baking potatoes, 2 tablespoon olive oil, sea salt & freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (from our AeroGarden)
Preheat oven to 400*. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick and toss with oil to coat. Season with salt & pepper. Bake until crisp and browned. Transfer to coffee filters and top with fresh herbs and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

Recently a friend asked me "What do vegetarians eat on St. Patrick's Day?"
Hmmm, I've never really thought about that, and didn't have an answer until receiving the March '08 issue of Vegetarian Times. I counted all the recipes, and of 37, 17 are vegan. This is one of those, featuring seitan (I used White Wave), stout beer (Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale), butternut squash (organic), edamame, and fresh thyme (Aerogarden). Yume!

'Updated Irish Stew ' plated up with steamed collared greens, an Idaho potato (with chives from Aerogarden) and Earth Balance, and sliced baby orange bell pepper.

This was good enough to become a new tradition as I've never actually had Irish stew.

I was skeptical of 'Carrot-Pineapple Sunshine Muffins' from Veganomicon from the get-go, and only made them because I was out of stuff for the other muffins. The description says, "These muffins don't rise very high, preferring to have a flat, crisp top instead."

Ahhh ha! I'd found a dud recipe from Isa. Everybody knows the muffin top is the best.

But Liv really wanted to make breakfast muffins and was the prime motivator for our kitchen adventure. We found out she's quite talented at straining pineapple juice.
Art snagged a muffin while they were cooling. "What're these?" And after much munching and "mmmmm-ing" He proclaimed that these were the very best thing I've made since Chocolate Mint Melties (eat, drink, & be vegan). So glad I gave these a try, you should too! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! (food is the way to a heart)

For these chickpea tacos, I started out making my newest addiction 'Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas' from eat, drink, and be vegan. As ususal, with coconut oil and lime juice. This recipe is memorized.

Next, the shells received avocado, tomato, and black olives. I didn't even use salsa. The flavor of the garbanzos carried these taco all the way.

I thought making sugar cookies would be a fun thing to do in the afternoon, but feeling slightly lazy, I busted out a
Cherrybrook Kitchen sugar cookie mix.

I've tried most of their products, and each time I've been very pleased, this is no exception. I'm still impressed at the idea of having vegan convenience.

Italian Basil is the first official harvest from the Aerogardens we won in PeTA's Cooking with Kid's Contest. (I'm still glowing)

Just enough to make '
White Bean Hummus with Fresh Thyme & Basil' from eat, drink & be vegan. Imo, Dreena is pretty much the queen of dip, nibblers, spreads, & appetizers...

And this was a yummy dip, although Art said it was too strong for kissing. Just eat up, then go brush.

I'll tell more about the
AeroGardens in another post, but here's a sneek peek at what's "growing on" around here: mint, Italian basil, dill, thyme, parsley, purple basil, chives, and 3 cherry tomatoes.

It's great having some fresh greens to eat in the dead of winter. The girls are completely fascinated with the quickly growing plants.

Last week, Art bought me these pretty roses --- before Valentine's day, and before I made these cookies. Just because. What a sweetie!

I made 'Oatmeal Raisin Cookies' again from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I used whole wheat pastry flour and subbed semi-sweet chips for the raisins. These cookies were great, and more on the healthy side. How do I love this cookbook, let me count the ways......

Thursday, February 7, 2008

couple kinds of soup for my (wonderful) in-laws

As Martha might say, "soup is a good thing to have on hand with guests." It fills the house with an inviting aroma, and it's easy to warm-up upon desire. My in-laws were in town to help celebrate a certain someone turning 5 years old! Hard to believe.

This is 'Split Pea and Parsnip Soup' from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.

Here are the ingredients for the soup ready to go minus some chopping. This was my favorite of the two soups for a couple reasons. Foremost, I enjoyed the flavors, though I think the parsnips may have turned some off. Parsnips have a strong, earthy flavor that may be unfamiliar. For me, however, after carefully choosing, peeling, and cutting them into half moons, I was already fond of them.

Secondly, I enjoy the ease of my Crock Pot. Simply prepare the ingredients, and press a button. Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker is a wonderful cookbook, and may as well have the word "vegan" in the title, as I've never run across a recipe using dairy.

And, if possible, this recipe is even easier if you have a helper to pick over and rinse the split peas.

Here is the making for my in-law's favorite soup, 'Roasted Butternut Squash Soup' from Vegan with a Vengeance. I make it for them each time they come to town, and they keep on coming!

The hardest part of this soup is peeling the 5 pounds worth of squash. Maybe I'm a wimp, but my arm was sore afterwards!

Here it is after the fun part - pureeing everything in the food processor. The kids gather around, and I always have an audience for that part!

Each bowl served had a drizzle of maple syrup on top, which put the flavor factor over the top.

Soup. It's a good thing.