Sunday, October 28, 2007

Veg Times

Fall issues of Vegetarian Times tend to be favorites for me since they are usually loaded with lots of savory rich hearty meals involving root veggies and gourds in particular. Here are the recipes we tried from the latest 2 issues (all of it was terrific):

Hoppin' John with Collard Greens

Harvest Vegetable Medley

Herbed Winter Vegetable Roast


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Attack of the Killer Squid

Ever since the spring a package of vegan squid has been staring me down from the pantry. I bought it on a lark when we went to NYC earlier this year and went on a shopping spree in the May Wah vegetarian grocery, which has a veg version of just about anything under the sun. I bought the squid because it was there and I figured I'd find a use for it eventually. Finally, I gave it a purpose and tried my hand at calamari. I used a recipe I found on another food blog and it turned out surprisingly well. We served it with some homemade cocktail sauce and a completely delicious caponata-like dish from Cookthink.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Who Needs Take Out?

You can throw the Chinese take out menus away if you've got this Kung Pao recipe in your repertoire. It beats any of the greasy slop you'll get at most take out joints in terms of deliciousness and making it yourself probably means its going to be better for you too. To make our version veg, we used soy chicken and soy sauce instead of chicken and oyster sauce. One word of caution: this recipe is HOT HOT HOT, much hotter than anything you'd get at a typical Chinese restaurant. If you do not have a high tolerance for spicy reduce the amount of peppercorns and peppers and recipe calls for.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Greens n Potatoes

This Colcannon recipe by vegan yum yum is the ultimate in comfort food. It combines creamy rich mashed potatoes with greens and seitan making for a hearty, filling, salty, garlicky, buttery, savory dish that's perfect for fall.

Monday, October 8, 2007

From Russia With Love

Matt's 82 year old Russian grandmother is a fantastic cook. She makes the best soup I've ever eaten in my life and ever since my first bite I was after her recipe. The trouble with his grandmother's recipes is that they aren't hidden away in a cookbook or even written down, they're all in her head, and the only way to learn to make any of her recipes is to watch and take notes. If you ask her "how did you make this?" the answer is always something like "I just put some stuff in a pot." If you want to know what stuff, for how long or in what order you've got to see it for yourself. So one afternoon I went over to her house to watch her make borscht and here's how it goes:

2 onions chopped finely
2 Tbs olive oil
5 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
handful of parsley
2 bay leaves
handful of basil
several shakes of dried Italian seasoning (thyme, basil, oregano)
several cloves of finely minced garlic
3 carrots, chopped finely
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped finely
3/4 cup barley
2 cans chopped tomatoes
3/4 head of green cabbage, julienned
1 can sliced beets, chopped finely, in their juice
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp sugar
coriander and curry powder to taste
2 packages of veggie ground beef

Sautee the onions in 2 Tbs olive oil. Add the celery, cover and cook until onions are translucent, then add the stock, parsley, bay leaves, basil, Italian seasoning and garlic.

When the soup begins to boil add carrots, potatoes and barley. Reduce to a simmer and add 2 cans chopped tomatoes along with their juice.

Once the barley is tender, add the caggage and beets (including the juice the beets came with). Add the ketchup sugar, curry powder, coriander and veggie ground beef. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Notes: The original recipe contained real ground beef and chicken stock. I am not sure how it works with real ground beef but if that is an ingredient you are used to working with you can probably figure it out. Matt's grandma has been great about using veg substitutions in her original recipes. Everyone should be so lucky as to have such a cool granny!