Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup

The idea for this soup came from a similar soup that they serve at Whole Foods Market. As you all know, Stella loves anything that contains beans, and she's developed a taste for the spicy as well. She loves this soup from WFM, and of course was thrilled to have it prepared for her at home!!

Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup
2 cups dried black beans
1 Tbs Cumin
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup onion, roughly diced
1/4 cup celery, roughly diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 Tbs adobo sauce
4 cups vegetable stock

Rinse beans, cover with water and soak for 8 hours, or over night. When ready to prepare soup, drain beans. In medium sized soup pot add soaked beans, cumin, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook beans for 30-45 minutes, or until done. In meantime, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and saute until beginning to brown. Add garlic, stir and cook a minute more. Add chipotles, adobo sauce and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. When beans are cooked pour beans with their cooking liquid into soup pot, stir to combine, then puree with a hand blender (or in batches in your food processor). Serve with a dollop of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, and a few avocado slices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chipotle Portobello "Burgers"

I was flipping through the channels the other day and came across this grilling show on PBS. I don't typically stop on grilling shows, as they are very meat centered, but as I was watching I realized that this was an entire show dedicated to "Vegetarians at the Grill".

I was so excited, and as I watched in excitement they cooked up this delicious portobello burger. I love portobello burgers of all types, but I have to say, I think this one was my favorite!! And to go along with it I whipped up some Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Soup (watch for a post to come). Get some portobellos and get grillin'.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thai Curried Squash and Vegetables

I apologize for my absence, I've had a lot going on, and very little time to set at the computer and do my real job, let alone blog about my cooking!! Not to mention, I wasn't able to download the pictures from my camera for a few days.

After 18 months of teaching yoga things have fallen into place, and I'm finally working toward the certification I've been wanting for so long. So, as you can imagine, there's a lot of reading and a lot of study involved. Therefore, my blogging may not be as frequent.......however, I could surprise you, I do love blogging about all of the great vegan food we eat, so just keep me on your feed list, even if the posts get few and far between!!

Anyway, the photo posted above is a dish from a week or so ago. I had 2 sweet dumpling squash from the CSA that I needed to use, but I didn't really know what to do with them. The Urban Vegan had a post a while back about stuffed squash, so that's what I decided to do with it. However, Rob isn't really a fan of squash, but he is a fan of curry, so I just whipped up this Thai style curry using green curry paste, coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice and a big mix of veggies (including the squash that I cut out of the bowls), and served it all inside these cute sweet dumpling squash bowls.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Question for the Vegan Community

Hello vegan friends......I have a quick question for you all. Have any of you ever tried Better Than Milk powdered soy milk? We are leaving on vacation to Cancun in a few weeks. I've just checked with the resort, and they inform me that they do not have soy milk or dairy alternatives available. Last year we traveled with our own individual serve boxes of Soy Dream and Rice Dream, for cereal, coffee, etc. However, I thought this year we may take some milk powder along, as it will take up less room in the luggage, produces less waste, and is also less likely to cause an incredible mess on our clothes should something happen to the packaging.

Problem is, I've never tried the stuff, and it's a bit pricey. I can get it from our local HFS, but it costs $16, and that's a lot of money to spend on something that tastes horrible. So, I'm wondering from my friendly readers, do you think it's worth the money, or should I risk bringing along individual drink boxes??

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Peek Inside

I haven't made much food beyond tofu scramble and spaghetti since Tuesday's big victory. So, since I don't have any food to report I thought I'd give a peek inside my vegan refrigerator. Don't you all just love snooping around other people's things??
So, here we go, I'll start with the bottom drawer of my freezer (I have one of those fridges with the freezer on the bottom). The pictures aren't too clear, but on the right half of the drawer you see all of my frozen veggies. There are a lot of greens (kale, spinach and mustard) that came from the CSA this summer. Plus there are chopped and frozen bell peppers, frozen snap peas, corn, peas and broccoli. On the left half, in the containers with green lids are frozen stock (there are 14 cups of stock there). The blurry bag you see is a gallon sized bag filling with veggie scraps to make stock. And the black lid is my coffee canister.

On to the top shelf...On the right, you see stacks of frozen tortilla (corn and flour), we eat lots of tortillas. Stacks of frozen beans, mostly black eyed peas and pintos at this time. The green lid canister is black beans, the ball jar behind that is vital wheat gluten, as is the bag to the right of that, the container behind the wheat gluten is bread crumbs. That bag of wheat gluten is sitting on top of a box of phyllo dough, and in front of that is a bag of ginger root. On the left side of the drawer you see a container filled with stuff for smoothies (there are blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and bananas). In front of the smoothie stuff are stacks of frozen pancakes, next to that are teething rings. Behind the teething rings in the purple lids is frozen pumpkin puree (2 cups there, but I still have 2 pumpkins on the counter that I need to cook, puree and freeze). Behind the pumpkin is a baggie with seeds left over from planting the garden this year. And ice packs for lunch boxes behind that.

Now the refrigerator. This obviously is the main section of my fridge. Here we keep yeast, coconut milk yogurt, gelatin free "jello", silk creamer, flax oil, flour of all types, tahini, Better Than Sour Cream and Better Than Cream Cheese, flax seeds, citrus fruits, avocados, applesauce, Earth Balance. Looks like there are some mushrooms there and also some cider. And of course, containers of left-overs In the drawers are my fresh herbs and veggies, tofu, Tofuky deli slices, tortillas and pitas.

And, in the door, various sauces and jams, soy milk, rice milk, water and wine. Plus, Earth Balance Shortening and Buttery Sticks.

So, that's it. That's what this vegan keeps in her refrigerator. I considered showing you my pantry but it's such a disaster. Maybe this will motivate me to get in there, clean it out and snap a photo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night in America

WOW!! What an exciting night. I've never, ever felt so excited about an election. It's not over yet, but it sure is looking good for us Obama supporters! I really believe that Obama is going to do something wonderful for this country, I can't wait to witness it.

To celebrate election night and support our candidate, I baked up some "Elitist, Chicago Style" Deep Dish Pizza. I used my usual crust, baked in 8 inch cake pans, and topped with crushed tomato, shallots, artichokes, red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, sliced mushrooms and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. What a delicious way to celebrate what appears to be a victory for us liberals!!

Catching Up

Honestly, I don't know what I've been up to that got me so far behind in my blogging. I guess we had Halloween, and I had a birthday, and then we had a lovely weekend, all during which I didn't feel like sitting at the computer!! So, I guess I'll just start where I left off.

Let's evening last week I made up a big batch of falafel, and some Hummus en Fuego to go along with it. I got the idea for the hummus from the 101cookbooks blog, but I didn't follow Heidi's recipe exactly. Basically I just made my regular hummus recipe, adding in a few tsp of hot chili oil. Then, I drizzled it with a few more tsp of chili oil when I served it. This hummus was delicious. Stella, my 2 year old, loved it so much she was eating it with her hands!! She loves everything HOT!!

For Halloween I wanted to have something that I could get ready and feed the kids early (read: before they went trick or treating), but that would still be tasty later when Rob and I were ready to eat. Plus, I wanted something to kind of fit the season and the theme of Halloween. So, this Black and Orange Chili is what I came up with. In my haste to get dinner going I didn't write down a recipe, but basically this chili is started by sauteing onions, celery, carrot and garlic. Then I added in some diced sweet potatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano and about 4 cups of vegetable stock. Bring chili to a boil, allow sweet potatoes to start to soften, then add LOTS of black beans. Heat through and serve. The kids really liked this, and I felt good that they'd filled up on something healthy before trick or treating!! Of course, Stella can't eat any of the candy she collected, and I did allow Mairin a few pieces of non-vegan chocolate from her stash. Since then the candy has been sitting untouched in the closet.

And finally, I just wanted to share with you one of the lovely birthday presents the kids gave me. I got this beautiful cupcake tree, and some fantastic heart shaped muffin cups. The muffins you see on the tree are chocolate chip muffins that I've shared the recipe for before.