Tag Archives: carrots

Thai Peanut Veggies with Pasta

Pressed for time and tired of take-out?  Want somethin’ yummy using stuff you already have on hand?  Love the hot nutty wonderfulness of a Thai peanut sauce?  Look no further, my vegan friends; dinner will be chopstick-ready in no time.  (And for you non-vegans, stir in some rotisserie chicken if you like, but I’m thinking you ought to try it as written here–you won’t miss the meat!)

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This is another fabulous recipe from The Fat Free Vegan.  If you’re vegan and not following her blog or Facebook yet, go do that now!  (I’ll wait here until you get back.)  I’ve altered the recipe slightly, dropping the oil, adjusting to veggies I had on hand, and adding peanuts and cilantro for toppings/garnish.

ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta, prepared according to the package (I used udon noodles)
  • 4-5 cups mixed, chopped veggies (I have red onion, broccoli, two kinds of cauliflower, zucchini, and carrots here)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder or 1 tsp fresh grated
  • 2-3 TBSP natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky  (I used chunky)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8- 1/4 tsp cayenne  (I used 1/4 tsp–we love spicy!)
  • 2-4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Start heating water for your pasta and chop veggies into similar sizes.  Drop the pasta into the boiling water and saute veggies in a large pan, using veggie broth to keep them from sticking.

saute veggies

As the veggies and pasta cook, saute garlic and ginger in a bit of veggie broth for a minute or two–until aromatic.

saute garlic and ginger

Stir in peanut butter and cook until heated through and combined.  This will start sticking quickly; not to worry–the next step will release it from the bottom of the pan.

add peanut butter

Stir in water, soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne.  Mix until smooth–as smooth as you can get with chunky peanut butter, that is!  Add more water or more peanut butter to adjust the thickness to your liking.

add liquid and cayenne

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce.

toss with pasta

Stir/toss in the veggies.

toss with veggies

Serve with sliced green onions, peanuts and cilantro.  How easy was that?!

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Perfect for a busy weeknight, fabulous for company, special enough for date night.  Delicious and more spicy for lunch the next day!  Yummy!  We love to use chopsticks for Asian foods…do you?

 

 

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Lentil, Mushroom and Rice Cabbage Rolls with Mustard Sauce

St. Patrick’s Day is lurking right around the corner; the time of year this Norwegian starts callin’ herself Fiona and enjoys doin’ the Irish thang: the wearin’ of the green, drinking beer, eating corned beef and cabbage…..Wait!  What’s a vegan to do about that last thing?!  Cabbage Rolls!  Cooked just like corned beef and cabbage, spices and all.  Served with Irish Soda Bread and a stout beer.  Who needs the corned beef?yum4

In spite of the use of a slow cooker, this meal is time-intensive.  If you don’t have all day, cook the cabbage to “harvest” the leaves and make the filling the night before or even on multiple nights before.  The mustard sauce can also be made in advance.  Bake the soda bread right before serving dinner for maximum yumminess.

My go-to vegan blog, FatFree Vegan Kitchen got the cabbage rolling, my recipe is based on hers.

ingredients cabbage rolls

For the cabbage rolls:

  • 1 large cabbage
  • 3 cups cooked lentils (from 1 1/4 cup dry–follow package instructions, adding 2 minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to the pot)
  • 1 cup cooked rice (or other cooked grain of your choice:  bulgur, quinoa, barley,….)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  (4 cloves shown, because you need 2 for the lentils)
  • 1 package mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Added to the crock pot to make a whole meal:

  • 4 or 5 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 3 or 4 potatoes, cut into chunks (peeled or not)
  • 1 celery heart, chopped
  • 1 TBSP pickling spices
  • 1 stout or porter beer
  • No Chicken broth, for the pot and to saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms

Cook the lentils and rice (separately) according to package directions, adding garlic, salt and pepper to lentils as they cook.

simmer lentils

Cutting at an angle, remove the core from your cabbage, along with any outer leaves that look a bit gnarly.

remove core

Place the cabbage, core-side up in a large pot and fill with water until the cabbage starts to float, or is covered.  Bring to a boil and simmer, carefully pulling off leaves with tongs as they begin to loosen.  I helped some of mine to loosen using a knife near the core end.

simmer cabbage, core up

Collect 10-12 leaves if large, up to 14 if you end up with some smallish ones.

collect leaves as they loosen

Saute onions and garlic in broth until onions start to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes, adding more broth as needed.  Add mushrooms and saute until softened and water that the mushrooms give off has cooked off.

saute onions garlic and shrooms

Combine lentils, rice, mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and spices in a large bowl.

mix filling

Trim the thick stem on each cabbage leaf to allow for easier rolling.

trim thick stem

Place about 1/3 cup of filling near the stem end of a cabbage leaf.  I measured for the first leaf, and eyeballed it from there.

place filling near stem

Fold the stem end over the filling.

fold stem end over filling

Fold in each side.

fold sides in

And roll tightly, placing rolls seam-side down in the bottom of your crock pot.  I didn’t have some of mine rolled tightly enough and some of the rolls came apart while cooking.  (Lentils on the loose!)  I would recommend refraining from overfilling your rolls (my tendency) so you can get the cabbage to roll a second time over the filling, or to fasten the rolls with toothpicks.

roll up tightly

Keep rolling and packing.  It’s best to try to squish them all on the bottom in one layer.  My crock pot is smallish and making two layers added to the issue with the rolls coming apart–I think.

place in bottom of cooker

Place carrots, potatoes and celery on top of the rolls.  Sprinkle with pickling spice or place the spice in a tea ball or cheesecloth bag if you want to contain them.  Pour the beer over the top; add No Chicken Broth to cover.

add potatoes carrots celery spices and liquids

Place crock pot on high for 4 1/2 hours.  Sometime during the slow cooking, make the mustard sauce:

ingredients gravy

  • 2 cups No Chicken Broth
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 TBSP miso (white or yellow)
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP soy
  • 4 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • ground pepper

Place broth in a medium pan and heat to a simmer.  Dissolve cornstarch in non-dairy milk, whisk into the simmering broth.  Whisk in miso, nutritional yeast, soy and Dijon.  Add pepper to taste.  Beware–watch this sauce carefully while heating it.  It boils over quickly and will leave quite a mess for you to clean up.  Not that I’ve ever done that……

simmer until thick

Make soda bread right before the cabbage rolls and veggies are ready, open up a nice, cold, dark beer, top everything with a bit (or  lot!) of the mustard sauce and TADA!

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This meal totally has the feel of a corned beef and cabbage meal–just as savory, hearty, filling and yummy!

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I made everything in one day and felt like I’d spent all day cooking and washing dishes.  The meal was so worth it, but I’m using the cook some of it ahead of time method next year!  Happy St Patty’s Day!

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Louise’s Creamy Chipotle Carrot Soup (and Cauliflower Steaks)

We have such great friends.  Friends who welcome us into their house even if they’re not there.  Friends who adjust dinner menus according to our newly vegan ways.  This amazing creamyspicysmokyhearty soup pleased everyone at the table.  A perfect soup for chilly weather.  And actually, pretty tasty chilled.  And, as most complexly-flavored foods are, better the next day.  Mmmmmm….yummy!

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Run out to the garden or the produce section to gather up what you need:

soup ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of carrots, peeled and diced (about 6 large-ish carrots)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce), minced
  • 1 TBSP adobo sauce (from the can)
  • 2 cups No Chicken broth , plus more to saute veggies
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced scallions to garnish

In a large, deep pot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in 2-3 TBSP of the broth.  Cook until starting to caramelize, about 10-12 minutes–adding additional broth as needed to prevent sticking.

saute onions and garlic

Add the carrots, potatoes and chipotle.  Cook for 5 more minutes.

add carrots potatoes and chipotle

Add 2 cups broth and adobo sauce.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

add broth and adobo

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender.

remove from heat and blend

Keep blending until smooth.

blend until smooth

Return to low heat and add the non-dairy milk and season to taste.

add soy milk and season

Serve garnished with chopped scallions and roasted cauliflower steaks.  (Recipe below.)

serve with cauliflower steaks

The Roasted Cauliflower Steaks couldn’t be simpler!  All you need is:

ingredients for cauliflower steaks

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchement paper, silicon mats or cooking spray.

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and cut the stem off so it will sit flat.

remove leaves

Cut the cauliflower in half, then make two 1/2-inch slices from each side, through the stem so the pieces hold together.  Save the rest for a salad or something….

slice in half then into steaks

Place the steaks on the prepared baking sheet.  Spray lightly with cooking spray, add salt and pepper.  Flip the steaks over and do the same to the other side.

place steaks on prepared pans and season

Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, carefully flipping about halfway through the cooking time.  Serve along side the soup for a perfect pairing.  Yum!  Roasted cauliflower is so sweet and tender.  Yummy on it’s own, alternating bites with the soup, or even dipped into the soup.

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I love, love, love the balance of smoky-spicey from the chipotle, sweet from the carrots, and hearty from the potatoes in this soup.  Perfect as an appetizer or with the cauliflower steaks as a meal!  Yummy vegan-wonderfulness!

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You’d Never Guess it’s Vegan Potato Soup

Not long ago I was strutting about with the perfection of my Best Ham and Potato Soup Ever.  Oh how I loved the ham hock that slow cooked with the potatoes, surrounding them in rich, smoky wonderfulness.  The tender pieces of ham.  The sprinkling of cheese melting into the top.  Yup.  Then Michael and I decided to be vegan for health reasons.  But baby, it’s cold outside!  I wants me some comforting potato soup!

Challenge accepted.

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The changes: milk–becomes unsweetened almond milk, broth becomes “No Chicken Broth”, butter becomes broth, ham hock becomes Hickory Grill Shaker.  Vegan.  Fat-free.  Yummy.

ingredients

  • secret weapon2 -3 TBSP hickory flavoring (I used Hickory Grill Shakers, which also contain salt–add 1 TBSP at a time and taste after to avoid over-salting)
  • 6-7 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 celery heart, chopped, leaves too
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 quart no-chicken broth or veggie broth
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 TBSP broth
  • 2 TBSP flour (Make this gluten-free by using rice or garbanzo flour, or by using corn starch.)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or soy or oat milk….)

Place 1 quart of broth in large pot over medium high heat.  Mince the garlic, chop the celery, onion and carrots and add them to the pot.

chop onion carrot celery garlic

Then chop the potatoes and add them to the pot.

dice potatos

Add hickory flavoring and season with black pepper to taste.  Add water or additional broth to cover the ingredients if needed.

all in the pot

Cover and cook for half an hour, then transfer everything to a crock pot.  Cook on high for an additional four hours.  This is when your house will have that warm and inviting comfort food aroma.  Mmmmmmm!

Place 5 TBSP broth in a pan over medium heat.

roux

Whisk in flour until it forms a “roux.”  Continue cooking for a minute to cook the “rawness” out of the flour.

Whisk in the almond milk, one cup at a time, and continue whisking until it comes to a boil.

add almond milk

Add milk mixture to the crock pot.

add thickened milk

Ladle up a nice big bowl-full and garnish with a bit of nutritional yeast (nice cheesy flavor, thickening) and fresh chopped green onion.  Maybe toast  a couple pieces of a nice crusty bread.  Now there ya go.

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A wonderful creamy, smoky, comfort-food-yummy soup.

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Both Michael and I were super pleased with how this soup came out.  Mr18 gave it an 8 out of 10, with 10 being the potato soup with ham.  Like most soups, it’s better and thicker the second day.  We had soup and “burgers” tonight–perfect!

We discovered and unexpected bonus while doing dishes.  The crock pot essentially wiped clean!  When I make the soup with ham, regular skim milk and chicken broth, I have to soak and scrub to get the crock pot clean.  This makes me wonder what I’ve been adding to my arteries all these years, and see how a fat free, vegan diet might just clean them all out–just like the studies say!

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Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Just in time for St. Patty’s Day–classic Irish comfort food that practically cooks itself!  The March 2012 Everyday Food is full of awesome recipes, including this one.  Can you say yum?

Corned beef briskets are on sale pretty much everywhere right now, making this not only easy, but economical!  Gather everything, and toss it into the crockpot; you’ll have time to try to catch a leprechaun!

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges, root end intact
  • 1/2 pound small potatoes, cut in half if large
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 corned beef brisket (about 3 lbs) and spice packet, or 1 TBSP pickling spice
  • 1/2 head cabbage, Savoy if you can find it, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • grainy mustard for serving

Prepare celery, carrots, potatoes and onion.  Place them in a crockpot with thyme.

Place brisket on top, fat side up.  Sprinkle with spices and add enough water to almost cover the meat.  (This completely filled my crockpot–forcing an adjustment later….)

Cover and cook until corned beef is tender.  4 1/2 hours on high, or 8 1/2 hours on low.

Arrange cabbage over meat.  I moved the whole kit and kaboodle to a large pot on the stove–worked just fine.  Cover and continue cooking until cabbage is tender.  45 minutes on high, or 1 1/2 hours on low.  While the cabbage was cooking, I had enough time to make a loaf of Irish Soda Bread!  So fast,so  easy, and the perfect yummy addition to this comfort food meal!

Remove everything from the pot, carve the brisket and serve!  How ’bout a nice, cold, stout beer with this meal?!  Mmmmmm–perfect!

I ended up with not much left over, but plenty of brisket and potatoes to make a corned beef hash to have with over-easy eggs the next morning!  Yum!

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Pork Potstickers

Like a lot of people, Michael and I went to a Super Bowl party yesterday.  I knew about this party well in advance, and knew I needed to bring a munchie of some sort.  Yesterday morning (yup, the day of the party), I finally came up with what that munchie should be.  Nothing like bringing it down to the wire to bring on a healthy dose of inspiration–potstickers!

Our whole fam loves them, so everyone at the party should, right?!  Right!    Good thing this recipe makes a whole bunch!

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots (I started with shredded carrots.)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp catsup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 packages wonton wrappers
  • 1 1/3 cup chicken stock, divided
  • 3-4 TBSP olive oil

Place pork, veggies, egg, sauces and spices in a bowl.  Work the ingredients together until evenly combined.

Preheat a 12-inch pan over medium-high heat.  Brush with oil.

Place a rounded 1/2 tsp of pork mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper. 

Use a finger to brush a bit of water along the edges, fold the wrapper over diagonally and seal, making little pleats if you like. 

Make 8 potstickers and place them in the heated pan.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Carefully (Splatter alert!) add 1/3 cup of chicken stock to the pan and cook potstickers for another 2 minutes.  The chicken stock will cook off completely.

Lift potstickers out of the pan with tongs, using a bit of water poured into the pan to deglaze and loosen the stickers if needed.  Potstickers will be browned on the bottoms.  Wipe the pan with a paper towel, brush the pan with oil and keep on cooking your potstickers until you have a whole bowl full!  I could make 8 potstickers in about the same time Michael cooked a batch.  I’ve made these without help before, but it was easier with help; and more fun, too.

These are especially yummy with Michael’s secret sauce–I can’t make it, but I’ll tell you what’s in it:  hoisin sauce, dijon mustard, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar.  He combines some of each of these adding more of this or that until it tastes right to him.  Use whatever you’d like to dip the potstickers in, or eat them as is!

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The Best Ham and Potato Soup Ever!

I don’t know what got me thinking about potato soup.  It’s not something I make all the time, and not usually something I make especially well.  In fact, Mr17’s Dad is the potato soup master.  He doesn’t measure or anything, just throws things in and it turns into the perfect cold-weather comfort meal.  Well! (Stands proudly, hands on hips, much like Yul Brynner in the King and I.)  I think I have him beat.   (Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.)

Oooohhhh yeaaaahhh.  I have a new favorite ingredient and a combination of stove-top and crock pot that brings it over the top!

  • 1 package smoked ham shanks
  • 6-7 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 celery heart, chopped, leaves too
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 TBSP butter
  • 5 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups milk

Ham shanks are my new favorite ingredient for soups that usually have ham in them.  Cook them in with the soup, bones and fat and all.  You will be rewarded with bigger pieces of super-tender ham along with a richer broth.

Place the ham shanks and chicken broth in a 6 quart pot over medium heat. 

Meanwhile, mince the garlic, chop the celery, onion and carrots and add them to the pot.

Then chop the potatoes and add them to the pot.

Season with black pepper to taste and add water to cover the ingredients if needed. 

Cover and cook for half an hour, then transfer everything to a crock pot.  Cook on high for an additional four hours, while you go see a movie.  I recommend The Decendants.  With George Clooney.  In Hawai’i.  (Really, really good movie, plus it takes place in places I’ve been so it seemed like a vacation!)

Come out of the theater into the greyness of a typical January afternoon, drive home, open the door and rejoice in the amazing aroma of the best ham and potato soup that is almost ready!

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.

Stir in the flour to create a roux.  Cook until it bubbles.

Then add the milk, 1 cup at a time.  Use a whisk if lumps start to happen.  Remove from heat when thick and smooth.

Remove the ham shanks from the crock pot and separate the meat from the fat and bones.  Shred the meat with a fork.

Add the milk mixture to the crock pot, and then the ham meat.  Stir to combine.

Ladle up a nice big bowl-full and garnish with a bit of shredded cheese and fresh chopped chives.  Maybe toast and butter a couple pieces of a nice crusty bread.  Now there ya go.

Maybe if you get close enough to your monitor you can smell the wonderful creamy, smoky, comfort-food yumminess of this soup. 

Maybe you’ll just have to take my word for it, until you make some for yourself.  And then—shhhhh don’t let your family hear—hide any leftovers in the fridge for YOUR lunch.  Mmmmmm, yummy!

This soup got an “Oh. My. Gosh!” from Mr17 on his way to get his second bowl.  I couldn’t get him to commit on whether my soup is better than his Dad’s.  Well played on his part, even though mine IS yummier!

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