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Monday, October 18, 2010

Peppers At Last...

I've been craving Stuffed peppers lately. You remember those - the beef-and-rice stuffed pockets of comfort food from a long time ago? Well, I guess I never really ate them often, but I did enjoy them. Do enjoy them, just sans meat!Surfing around, I found this recipe on The Blooming Platter for Vegan stuffed peppers.
They looked wonderful: crammed with Spaghetti squash, Couscous, seitan, vegan cheese sauce, and veggies.
So good...
So I adapted the recipe to fit both my refrigerator and my laziness!

Vegetarian Crammed Peppers (For 2)
1 large pepper, I used red1 cup spaghetti squash, roasted and skinned (so jut the spaghetti)
4oz tempeh (about a half of a package, per Light Life brand)
3/4 cup yellow and zucchini squash, sliced and diced
1/2 cup Kale, chopped
*And maybe some chopped apples and onions...
plenty of pepper, garlic powder, herbs de provence, celery seed; a splash of smoked paprika, and anything else that looks tempting...
Sauce:
1/4 cup or so of Nutritional Yeast (probably closer to 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup milk (dairy or otherwise)
any herbs (above probably) that would suit your mood...
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flower

Other...Olive Oilvegan or dairy cheese
pepper
Halve and clean the pepper(s). Sprinkle with olive oil, pepper, coriander, and some garlic powder. Bake in oven-safe dish for 25 minutes, open-side up, at 350 degrees.
Whisk all sauce ingredients together for about a minute (it should start to froth a bit).
Saute tempeh (crumble it up!) with oil and some garlic, adding in the yellow and zucchini squash and any spices you like. Combine the squash, all/any vegies, tempeh, cheese sauce, and spices in a large bowl.

Scoop into the peppers (now pre-roasted) and bake covered (tin foil? a covered dish should work too) for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Don't forget to garnish with any pepper, cheese(ze) or other article of flavour enhancement!
At the end of baking, uncover and bake or broil for another 5 or so minutes, avoiding drying, to allow for browning.
Serve with a nice grain, salad, or other concoction of your liking...
Enjoiy

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Classic...

No, no sports here (as much as I love baseball above all other sports). Rather, I cite an event marking my leaf peeping season.

THE TRIP TO PARKER's MAPLE SYRUP BARN!
A small but well renown spot in New England, it's visit tells me fall is here to stay. Whether you enjoy gratuitous omlettes, thick home-baked toast, and baked beans (alas, they are not vegetarian...) or fluffy Pumpkin, buckwheat, blueberry, and seasonally inspired (Apple-Cinnamon this month) pancakes you'll find something to enjoy. Their trademark maple syrup contributes to both the savory and the sweet, so try it; maybe buy some at their tourist-trap country store.
I had a Pumpkin-Blueberry Buckwheat pancake combo with a mug of tea, and found much happiness, if only momentarily.

They're open year-round, so check them out if you're ever in the area (Mason New Hampshire). Visit their website and check on the monthly special before you go!
And stop at one of Hollis' farm markets on your way, they're always good!

A Series of Test Kitchen Fall Concoctions...

Of Which I will supply only thoughts, no recipes. They're not done, so why not experiment yourself ?
:)
Yes, the fall excites me, so naturally I try a lot of different pumpkin-apple-squash-spice combinations without really thinking anything out.

So first was a Sweet-Potato Terrine of mashed sweet potatoes combined with milk, a bit of butter, pie spice, garlic, and Herbs de Provence. Layered wit h blanched carrot and Zucchini slices and topped with an Apple Cider reduction, it was a bit too sweet despite a lack of any processed sugars or significant rich foods. I served it up with haddock baked atop cheesy (Parmesan mixed with nutritional yeast constitutes "Cheesy" as opposed to Gratin) penne and spinach. An old favorite of mine from Bertuccis early years...Moving on, I had the pleasure of devouring a dinner of Mashed Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts sauteed with apples, and an Amy's Veggie burger today. The first truly Fall-ish day thus far (didn't top 55) and warm comfort food sounded ideal.
I confess, I didn't make the squash but it was a simple peel-boil-and-mash scenario. Seasoned with nothing but cinnamon, pepper, and ginger it hit the spot. The Burger speaks for itself, so I conclude with the Brussel Sprouts, which really came out very well and will certainly see future experimentation.
Quartered and peeled, I simply browned the sprouts with some olive oil, garlic, and pepper. Reducing heat, I let the cabbage steam with a few dashes of lemon juice, about a quarter cup of water, and a few dashes of white-wine vinegar. Adding a few tablespoons of chopped walnuts, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Mixing in some already sauteed cinnamon apples (diced, unpeeled, I cant stand the removal of skins from veggies, it's where the nutrients are!) I let the mess simmer and steam.
Other than being a bit undercooked, the sprouts came out well. A nice blend of flavors - like the classic Oktoberfest dishes I keep seeing sans sausage or other meats popular in the European cuisines of the period.
As I make progress with the recipes, I'll post them.
Until them, gute nacht.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thank You Kashi...

Kashi produces some of my favorite whole grain snacks and cereals. It's no Bobs Red Mill, but to compare the two is comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes. Despite their being under the control of behemoth Kellogs, Kashi has managed to remain a purveyor of generally healthy foods. I'm partial to their snacks, frozen dinners (the vegetarian on par with Amy's) and their ready-to-eat cereals.
So, looking for Kashi coupons to fuel my stomach, I noticed Kashi was giving away free samples. Hoorah!
Just entering your name, address, and other pertinent information, you can pledge to trade in your processed, your inadequate, your bland, texture-less snacks for whole grain goodness.
I just got my free trail-mix bar in the mail, and it even came with a coupon. Personally I'm partial to the pumpkin fruit and nut bars, but hey, anything is fine with me!
And Thank you, Kashi.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dualism...

Well, here's a double post. Life has been hectic and I guess I finally fit something in that I wantedto do (or rather 2 things).
First, I visited the Nourish Inc. Restaurant in Lexington Mass. It's all about sustainable eating and the like so naturally a good deal of vegetarian, vegan, and pescetarian options grace the menu. I had a deliciously spicy, savory, Vegetable-Tofu Tagine over Whole-Wheat Couscous. My better half had a turkey burger (I know, she's not vegetarian, but it did look good). We split a serving of Phyllo Rolls stuffed with a light cheese and vegetable mixture - reminiscent of Spanikopita. Despite a very tempting Carrot Cake Special, we sided on two cups of excellent loose-leaf tea (green and Rooibos) for desert.
Sound good? besides the many tofu, tempeh, and sustainable options involving fish, our waiter was terrific; attentive and helpful if not a bit overly influential. But hey, that's part of the job, no?
There's even a healthy selection for the carnivorous consumer.

So, now part deux...
I haven't baked for a while, so seeing the dismal remnants of a tropical storm outside my window, I decided to whip something up for my dad who just the other day said he had a hankering for brownies. I saw an excuse to experiments and declared Carpe Diem!
So over at Vegan Dad I think it was (but I may be wrong) I found a link to these Brownies.
They're fudgy, sweet, and perfect. They seem so healthy, but the enormous quantities of chocolate make me wonder...
Ah well, they taste good!


Have Cake Will Travel's Chocolate Brownies
(Butterscotch (or White) Chocolate Fudge Brownies)

Non-stick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups (263 g) mix of nondairy butterscotch (or white chocolate) and semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

I used solely Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, by the way...

1 cup (255 g) sweet potato purée

And I used Pumpkin Puree, too - Cans are just so convenient
2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil
2 tablespoons soy creamer or nondairy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (30 g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (60 g) light spelt flour
2 tablespoons (10 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (88 g) mix of nondairy butterscotch (or white chocolate) & nondairy semisweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with spray.
In a large bowl, combine melted chips, sweet potato purée, oil, creamer or milk, and extract.
In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
Fold dry ingredients into wet, being careful not to over mix. Fold in optional extra chips.
Place and level batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 28 minutes.
Let cool in pan, on a wire rack. Let cool completely in fridge before
slicing.
Enjoy cold, store in fridge.

Yield: about 12 brownies