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Sunday, August 23, 2009

rhubarb sour cream cake

if you like rhubarb, this is just yum yum yum. my mom gave me this recipe, and i made it vegan with sour supreme, lemon juice and earth balance.

2 cups diced rhubarb
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour supreme
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
earth balance
nutmeg to taste

1. mix rhubarb and 1/2 cup sugar. let stand 30 minutes.
2. mix baking soda, sour cream and lemon juice. mixture will almost double.
3. sift salt, flour, and 1 cup sugar.
4. combine all and stir a little - don't overmix. mixture will be thick.
5. spread in a 9" pan.
6. sprinkle sugar, nutmeg, and dot with earth balance.
7. bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (until cake springs back when touched).

Monday, August 17, 2009

east african nachos!

thanks, sherri, for putting me on the list! i've been lurking here a while stealing recipes, and i thought it was just about time i gave something back...

this was an accidental fusion experiment that turned out to be a new favorite comfort food dinner at our house - especially when i haven't been to the store in a while.

the heart of these nachos is the lentil dish below, found in "1,000 Vegetarian Recipes" by carol gelles. i've made modifications to the original recipe to make spiced more like an ethiopian dish. you could use other types of lentils, but i like the taste and texture of french lentils in this. i've put most of the added spices 'to taste' because i tend to throw a few pinches in of each until it tastes like a good balance of what i like. you can even omit the 'to taste' spices altogether.

lentils in tomato sauce
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 medium to large chopped onions
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
1 or 2 chopped fresh hot peppers (i like jalapeños)
1/2 cup water
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ground red pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
to taste:
ground nutmeg
chili powder
ground black pepper
ground cloves
berbere spice mix
3 cups cooked french lentils

1. in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. add onions, garlic, and peppers, stirring until softened.
2. add water, tomato paste, salt and red pepper; stir until combined.
3. add lentils; cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes. spice it up with the 'to taste' spices until mixture tastes balanced to your palate.
4. puree until smooth.

to make the nachos, i put toasted quinoa over corn tortilla chips, and the lentils over the quinoa (i know it sounds weird, but it's good!), and then add whatever nacho toppings i have on hand, such as melted vegan gourmet cheese, soy sour cream or plain yogurt, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cilantro, chives, avocado, hot sauce, etc. sautéed greens are an excellent additional layer as well.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just Drool, Hawaiian Style.

Gluten Free Vegan Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:

* 1 bag Mrs. Leepers Corn Rotelli, cooked, drained, rinsed and chilled.
* 1 1/2 c Veganaise
* 1/2 c teriyaki sauce (see my recipe if you want to make it yourself)
large handful of shredded carrots
* 1 bunch green onion ~ chopped fine
* pepper

Combine everything and let sit refrigerated in a covered bowl overnight if possible.

Vegan, Gluten Free Kalua "Pork"

2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of Butler Soy Curls
2 Tbs of Nutritional Yeast Flakes (ground into powder)
2 tsp of Garlic Powder
2 tsp of Onion Powder
1 Tbs of Bacos (soya bacon bits) ground into powder
1/4 tsp of Salt
1/4 tsp of Pepper
1/4 tsp of Spanish Smoked Paprika
3/4 cup of Water
1 ring of fresh pineapple, chopped
1 tsp of Liquid Smoke
1 tsp of Garlic Olive Oil
1 Tbs of Tamari Wheat Free Soy Sauce

Combine all ingredients and cook over low to medium heat until curls are soft and pliable. Serve over steamed rice topped with Teriyaki Sauce.

Teriyaki Sauce:

* 1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
* 1-2 tablespoon Agave syrup
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/4 cup cold water

Combine everything except last two ingredients into a small saucepan and heat until warm, mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl to dissolve the starch then add to sauce until thick and bubbly, remove from heat and pour over rice.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Egyptian Kushari

I was watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations: Cairo yesterday and he was waxing poetic about a super simple dish called "kushari" that is essentially Cario's fast/comfort food. There are a few variations of kushari throughout the region, and I remember having this a number of times but not knowing what it was called--just remembering how damn good it was. Extraordinarily cheap, rapid and very easy to make, it can be very high carb, but is also very high in protein. I skipped the make-the-hot-sauce portion and used Trader Joe's fab spicy tomato chutney which is a) great, b) pre-made, and c) rather close to the way I remember the sauce tasting when I first had this dish, so again, TJ's FTW.


  • 1lb dried brow lentils
  • 1 12oz can garbanzos
  • 2 cups dried short-grain rice of choice (but I see quinoa working well here too)
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti of choice
  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni of choice
  • 1 extra large or 2 med sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive or peanut oil
  • 1 bullion cube
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pint apple cider (or white) vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
Sauce Options
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp-tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Trader Joe's Spicy Tomato Chutney
  1. Prepare pastas per package directions and set aside.
  2. Prepare rice per package directions, but dissolve bullion cube into cooking water before adding rinsed rice.
  3. Peel and chop garlic and add to bottle of vinegar, along with brown sugar. As this ages, it will get a more intense garlic flavor.
  4. Prepare lentils per package instructions.
  5. Heat garbanzos in stove-pot or microwave to cook through and slightly soften.
  6. Using a mandolin or by hand, slice onion(s) thinly and fry in oil until dark brown and caramelized.
  7. If making hot sauce, simmer tomato sauce in a pot with seasonings added.

In a large bowl, add rice, then pastas. Spoon lentils to cover half the bowl, then garbanzos on the other half. Top liberally with fried onions and tomato sauce. Serve hot with vinegar condiment and a lemon wedge.

Yes, it's carbapalooza, but also has a great deal of protein with the lentils and garbanzos. I think you can reduce the carb impact by using brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Bourdain says it sits in your stomach like a bag of nickels. I don't see that as a bad thing...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Balsamic Tempeh & Quinoa

More Food Porn - really, this is just my way of gloating about something delicious I made so I can figure out the recipe later. Is that obvious?

Tonight was a discussion at the Dharma Center and we include some potluck food to share for our dinner. I've been trying to make something fairly hearty so we don't end up feeling hungry during meditation afterward. Plus if no one else remembers to bring anything vegan Christie and I have something for us.

She made chocolate chip cookies earlier today. I was in charge of "dinner".

First was to chop up all the cucumbers in the fridge and add in some vinegar. This was really was to get them out of the fridge to make way for the 1 "boothy blonde", 1 suyo, and 7 lemon cucumbers that Chrsitie picked yesterday!

For the real meal I thought of using the last of the leftover red qunioa. In the afternoon I grilled up all the summer squash from the garden on the cast iron, let it cool and diced it up. In went thinly chopped up Italian parsley and the last of the slightly limp looking basil.

I sauteed half a sweet onion and diced tempeh, added a little red bell pepper, and when that was all fried up nicely I roughly chopped up a large, over-ripe, heirloom tomato the neighbor had brought over yesterday. This immediately turned into a thin sauce coating the temepeh. All of this went right into the qunioa, squash and herbs.

For a dressing some balsamic and white wine vinegars whisked up with raw tahini, rice milk, and a little whole-grain mustard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When the Garden Gets Going...

...the Going Cook Creative.

Uh, yeah. Or something like that.

This week I've made gaspacho and tonight something I've dubbed "tabouli-esque" in response to the ever increasing amount of produce coming out of the back yard garden. Tonight I forced cucumbers on the neighbor and sliced up about 2 quarts worth of them to put into rice vinegar before they got all mushy.

I haven't even been able to deal with what's in the fridge and Christie asked me, "Did you go pick some more?"

The gaspacho involved a quart of veggie juice, about a half cup of little pieces of all the cherry & grape type tomatoes that are going crazy, 1 long cucumber ("Suyo", a fave of mine), 2 cloves of garlic, 2 stalks of celery, half a red bell pepper, some sweet onion, white wine vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Then I forgot that it is a Spanish dish, or ignored it because the basil in the fridge was wilting, and tossed in about 1/3 cup basil cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade). I thought it was awesome and then recalled the whole Spanish Dish thing and decided to garnish with smoked parprika. Wow, was this good!

Tonight's dish involved more tomatoes and was topped by the cucumbers I chopped up then put into seasoned rice vinegar. I had leftover red quinoa and decided to try that out in place of bulghur wheat for tabouli. I had a lemon and some Italian parsley on hand in addition to the tomatoes, so it seemed perfect. To make it even a little more hearty & filling for dinner I cooked up some green lentils and tossed those in there as well (which reminds me of an Ethiopian dish that reminds me of tabouli with brown lentils in place of bulgher).

Kind of went a little off the track with the tabouli, aside from the quinoa & lentils, and added a little balsamic vinegar to the mix in addition to the lemon juice, sea salt & black pepper. Sliced up the remaining grilled summer squash from last night (also from garden) and topped it with some diced avocado (because there was some of that leftover too).

The garden's been pretty exciting this year. I suspect this is the first of many posts about creative dishes. We're a little scared of all the winter squash looming at the back of the garden, trying to push the fence down. Be prepared for all kinds of creativity around that crop! Types of winter squash planted: spaghetti, delicata, sweet dumpling, and hubbard. We may also get a watermelon and will have a few cantalope too!

I'll write down the actual recipes and post... sometime this month, maybe (lots of travel).