Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brussel sprouts score!

I have tried eating brussel sprouts in the past - my mom and sister both have tried various recipes for family get-togethers. However, try as we might, we have never been crazy about them. I want to like them - they are so adorable! So, when I discovered fresh home-grown ones at the farmers market, I decided I needed to give them another try. These were petite and supposedly sweeter and less bitter. I had a recipe I had been wanting to try - Cornmeal Masala Crusted Brussel Sprouts (Veganomicon) - so I gave it a try. The first couple bites were good but different. They were not bitter and were quite pleasant. However, after I finished my meal, I was pretty tired of them! The crazy thing is, the last couple of days I have been craving them!! Ha! I guess I would try this recipe again and I think I will venture out and try some other brussel sprout recipes! Along with the brussel sprouts, I made fresh sweet corn, sweet potato fries (sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil, coarse sea salt, and cumin and roasted in the oven - a favorite in our house!!), and Crispy Sesame Kale (Vegan Yum Yum). A very yummy veggie-ful lunch!!

Cornmeal-Masala Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Source: Veganomicon)

8 T peanut oil
1-1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 T chickpea flour
1 t salt
1 t garam masala
½ t ground coriander
¼ t ground cumin
¼ t ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare baking pan by pouring 2 T peanut oil onto it and spreading it around bottom of pan. Trim and wash sprouts, shake off excess water and pat dry. Cut any very large sprouts. Combine sprouts with a sprinkle of salt and 1 T chickpea flour, tossing to coat. In a small bowl, mix together the cornmeal, remaining chickpea flour, spices. Add remaining 6 T oil and mix together with your fingers to create crumbs. Add sprouts and toss to coat, pressing as much crumb mixture onto them as possible. Pour sprouts and crumbs onto baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 min or until the sprouts are browned and tender. Every 10 min during cook time, stir them around a bit to allow browning on all sides.

Crispy Sesame Kale (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)
1 head of kale, washed and deveined
1 T sesame oil
1 T sesame seeds
1 pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces and spread out evenly on a cooking sheet covered in foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle oil on top and then scrunch kale with your fingers until the oil is evenly distributed over the greens. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. Bake in oven about 10 min or until the leaves are crispy but still dark green.

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Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.