I have a pantry full of delish Asian ingredients which I use to make varied marinades, dressings, etc. You would be shocked how great chickpea miso, oil, vinegar and some Sriracha sauce are as a salad dressing in a pinch. The ingredients are flexible, tasty and many of them vegan. This weekend we got together with Chef Dewicki and Andrea which means amazing food shall be had and this time was no exception. I opted to use all ingredients from my house, meaning no trips to the grocery store which challenges me in a very, very good way. Taking a cue from a recipe I’ve been eyeballing over on Pinterest, here is a marinated tofu recipe that I dropped atop peanut noodles and then added grilled veggies and roasted Urban Mushroom CSA goodies from their last delivery for a quick pasta salad.
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Drop in your pieces of tofu or tempeh, let soak for about 20 minutes, turning once at 10 minutes to cover all pieces. As I was roasting mushrooms anyway, I put the tofu pieces on a foil-covered roasting pan in the oven with the excess sauce at 375 for about 40 minutes. You want it firm and cooked, all marinade soaked up, but not dry. So keep an eye on it. I cut up my barely pressed tofu into matchsticks so they roasted pretty quickly. This method yields pretty concentrated flavor in the tofu, so go easy on the seasonings of the salad, wrap, pita or pasta you drop it on as you don’t want to make a salty mistake.
**Roasted mushroom images here to make you a little jealous. Although they would taste super yummy in the marinade too.
I have a small problem: I bite off more than I can chew. This would explain a few things: 1) my 15 lb weight gain in the last two years, 2) my zest for ordering multiple appetizers and never being able to eat an entree at a restaurant, and 3) subscribing to multiple CSA’s in the summertime and then freaking out when it gets to July/August and I have like, triple of everything.
I hate letting good food go to waste so I act as veggie broker to my friends giving them extras of my goods that Mr. Wonderful and I will just watch shrink and die in the confines of our fridge. In the case of eggplants, luckily I can broker all of them off to friends. It’s the only veggie I do not like, well, at least I thought I didn’t until my friends at VeganGR got a hold of my surplus and made eggplant into gravy!
I told Jon Dunn to write a guest post for me and then I could keep my own mouth shut up there, so here’s what he has to say:
There are lots of advantages to being friends with Adrienne and Derek. But the best is that they give us veggies. LOTS of veggies.
Seriously, Adrienne has admitted she’s been overwhelmed with the summer haul from her three (3!!) CSA shares. So, she’s been kind enough to share the wealth. The only requirement was that we blog about what we did with them.
So today, let’s talk eggplant. Adrienne is not a fan, so it was an easy decision to slough them off on us. It’s a good thing, because I can’t get enough of them! I thought I’d share with you a unique recipe I created one time that was kind of an accident.
I had an eggplant, wasn’t sure what I was making for dinner, but threw it in the oven. Then I started making other foods that were ENTIRELY unrelated to an eggplant. So here I was, with a beautiful roasted eggplant and mashed potatoes. So naturally, I made gravy.
Combined with cashews, garlic, and a bit of herbs, the eggplant comes together in a really silky smooth gravy when you blast it in a high power blender. Make sure you fully roast that nightshade. Hopefully for those of you that hate this wonder-veg, that dread of seeing the eggplant in the CSA box will vanish with this recipe!
2 medium eggplants
½ C raw cashews (these need to be soaked if you’re not using a high power blender such as a vitamix)
1 C water
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt (more to your taste)
½ tsp thyme
pepper to taste
Cut your eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the skin, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roast the eggplant in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the skin looks all nice and toasty.
Remove eggplant from the oven and remove the skin (let that sucker cool a bit before you go burning yourself!).
Drop all the ingredients into your blender, set it to high and let it go for a couple of minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready when it’s all silky smooth.
Serve over mashed potatoes, baked tempeh, chicken fried tofu, or any other amazing food that begs for a nice home-style gravy.
Who can really argue with the taste of a Michigan tomato in July? I can’t. So in taking all the mystery out of this post…some nights you simply eat tomatoes for dinner. Shown below are heirloom varieties Green Zebra and Beefsteak from Good News Farm.
Slice, cube or dice. Salt and pepper to taste. Noms.
The zucchini from two CSA’s and and Doorganics has nearly won. I struck back today making a double batch of vegan zucchini bread. Nice try zucchini.
3 Tbs ground flax seed
1/2 C water
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbs white distilled vinegar
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
2 C grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips (Ghirardelli’s semi-sweet chips are accidentally vegan)
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease two 8x4x2″ loaf man, 4 mini loaf pans or 2 muffin tins. In a mixer, combine the flax meal and water and blend until thickened. This is your “egg” portion of most recipes. Add the oil, vinegar, and sugar, and combine. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add chocolate chips. Stir the entire bowl to make sure no dry areas are left. This is quite a bit of batter. Divide the batter evenly into the two loaf pans (or pans of choice) and bake for 60-70 minutes. (40-45 mins for mini loaves; 30-35 for muffins).
I snuck in a picture of the cutest Bagel in the world, Walter too. He was sleepy after a vegan treat.
I haven’t posted in two weeks!!!!! Eek! I have so many backlogged I must remedy this situation immediately. I’ll start with one of my fave items from our first CSA jackpot from Blandford Nature Center. Bok choy.
There are about a thousand ways to spell this little veggie wonder. I’m going with ‘bok choy’ for purposes of this post. High in vitamin C, antioxidants, folic acid, and potassium yet low in cals and carbs makes bok choy an eat-until-you-are-stuffed candidate for low guilt and high yum.
3 baby bok choy, cut in half length wise
1 T roasted sesame oil (garlic oil, chili oil, walnut oil, anything would be great here)
1 tsp hot pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
This is a no-brainer. Heat grill to let’s say, hot…I just turned it all the way to high and waited like 5 minutes. I know, scientific eh?
Drizzle bok choy halves with oil, sprinkle hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper on top. Toss on HOT grill until charred. Mr. Wonderful said, “if more people could experience charred greens, they would LOVE them.” I would have to agree.
I served this next to brown rice, mandarin orange chick’n and a few crushed up cashew bits I had lying around. Quick meal, as the rice was in the freezer just waiting for a chance to shine.
It has been a busy few weeks at the nonprofit I work for, so mostly dinner has been take out or warming up stuff out of the freezer, and plenty of veggie burgers (on buns, on tortillas, on naan), not a ton of creativity going on in the kitchen. With that in mind, my CSA share and Doorganics delivery look limp and sad, but not rotting in my fridge, I decided to get ahead of the game and make veg broth to store in my freezer for the upcoming soup season. Making your own veg broth is cheap, and a good way to use up items that are unsavory for cooking at face value but are still wonderful for a broth base. During the summer, I keep a freezer bag full of items that would make good broth like the stems of mushrooms, the tops of radishes, celery greens, washed carrot peels, the ends of onions, parsley and the like then when I get a few extra seconds, I dump it in a soup pot cover it with water, add whatever fresh herbs I have in the fridge if any, and let it boil away. I store it in 2-cup measures in freezer bags marked with the date and freeze flat, that way whenever I need a quick base for soup, I have a lightly flavored, sodium free, cheap alternative to store-bought broth. Since the consistency of the veggies doesn’t make a difference in the taste of the broth, the freezer step doesn’t hurt, I promise.
My current batch of broth has in it:
portobella mushroom stems (trimmed and washed)
red bell pepper (seeds and all)
carrot shavings (cleaned)
onion ends & parts
Put all the items into a soup pot, cover with water and let it simmer away for an hour or so. Remove from heat, let cool for hours and hours, then pour into labeled freezer bags (label them before you pour into them) and freeze flat. Remember this will not have salt added as is, so when you add to soups be sure to season well.
Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of ‘payday isn’t for 2 more days, so use what you have in the fridge’. This recipe comes from precisely that situation. Thank goodness Trillium Haven Farm CSA and Doorganics day was yesterday, so at least there were fresh veggies from which to create goodness. The result is Vegan Zucchini Pancakes not to be confused with a prior post, Zucchini Fritters which are definitely NOT vegan (goat cheese).
Vegan Zucchini Pancakes
Cucumber Salad (topping)
1 lb tomatoes
2 small cucumbers
1T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp EVOO
1 1/2 zucchini or summer squash, shredded
1 medium, sweet yellow onion
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste…err on the side of less)
2 T Parmesan cheese (if Vegetarian, do not include for Vegan)
1. To create the cucumber salad chop the tomatoes and cucumbers coarsely and top with EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
2. Grate the zucchini and onion, roll up in paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze until it is fairly dry.
3. Combine the pressed zucchini and ionion with garlic, salt, basil, nutmeg, fake eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Pour 1/4 C of the batter into the oiled pan. The batter will be lumpy. Let the pancake completely brown on one side then flip to brown the other side. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels.
5. When you are ready to serve, top the pancakes with the cucumber salad and enjoy.
Thanks to a reader for writing in that the original recipe for these pancakes were too salty! I’ve changed the recipe to account for her feedback. If you are putting these on a bun or in a flatbread, you will need additional salt, but if just eating as a pancake, please follow the change in added salt. Thanks!
…in my CSA bag for 3 weeks in a row. I admit, even though I’m a well-seasoned vegetarian, this odd vegetable stumped me for uses and it was necessary to run to Google and figure out finally, after 3 weeks, what in the hell to do with multiple kohlrabi (is that the plural? So confusing.).
While strange looking, sorta like a hot air balloon while it grows, kohlrabi possesses many attributes worth notice:
Low in calories, only 19 for a half cup raw, sliced
High in dietary fiber, 2.5 grams for one-half cup
Potassium content peaks at 245 grams for one-half cup
Vitamin content for that same one-half cup includes 25 I.U. vitamin A, 43.4 mg. vitamin C, 11.3 mcg folic acid, and 16.8 mg. calcium.
Turns out, this little guy is also known as a German Turnip and is the bee’s knees in Kashmir where it is the most consumed vegetable (food must really suck in Kashmir). Everywhere I searched, the claim is that kohlrabi is delish both raw and cooked. Well, I’m here to tell you people, while there are several varieties of this alien veggie, I apparently got the two that suck raw. Both white and purple variety of kohlrabi, are dare I say it, horrible raw…so off to the interwebs I went in search of a way to browbeat this veg into submission. I found the perfect solution: empanadas! Pie crust can make ANYTHING taste better. I present to you: Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Empanadas.
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
2 tsp coriander, ground
2-3 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large sweet potato, cooked and smashed
2 large scallions, both white and green parts, finely cut
1 radish, minced (optional)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 box of pre-made pie crust or one batch homemade*
In a medium skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger to brown. Add kohlrabi cubes, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Toss well and cook 3 or 4 minutes until kohlrabi are softening a bit. Add potato mash and continue to cook for 4 more minutes. Add scallions, radish, nutmeg, coriander and another pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for one minute before removing from heat. Set mixture to this side to cool. It should be a very, very dry, looking mixture. Moisture equals disaster for empanadas.
Roll out dough to be a little thinner than pie crust typically is. If you are using pre-made crust from the store, run your rolling pin over it once or twice. Using a cereal bowl or large circular cookie cutter, cut out 6 inch-ish circles from the dough. It should yield about 15, give or take depending on your cutter and dough thickness.
Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare egg wash by beating egg with a teaspoon of water and set to the side along with a small bowl of water.
To make the empanadas, spoon one teaspoon of kohlrabi mixture into the center of a circle of dough (it’s better to have less filling than too much or the empanadas won’t hold together. Feel out the right ratio that allows you to close off the dough without any filling popping out.). Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the outside edge of the dough. Fold dough over the filling to create a half circle. Press down edges. Carefully pick up the dough pocket and pinch edges or use a fork, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with the egg wash. The video below shows how to appropriately fill and thus seal an empanada. Caution: it only LOOKS easy. By the time you have made all of your precious empanadas your last one will look like this person’s first one; it is however, well worth the effort.
After you assemble the dough pockets, pop them into the preheated oven, cooking for 8 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on a rack so they don’t get soggy. I served mine warm with what else, Frank’s Red Hot.
It’s a rare opportunity when you can shake the hand of the person who not only planted, but harvested and DELIVERED your fruit and/or veggies to, your, door. I don’t want to ruin the fantasy I have playing in my head about him digging up my little french radishes, putting them in a cooled green bin and driving them over to me personally just to say hi…but he basically did just that.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Doorganics delivered today, thus, these tacos were created from my bin. Go online, hook up with Doorganics and be pleasantly surprised. I was.
I give you Doorganics Tacos.
1 tablespoon, vegetable oil
2 cups fresh white or yellow corn kernels
1 cup chopped white onion
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 bell pepper, diced ( I used purple)
4 french radishes, finely diced
4 green onions, green parts diced only
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 large zucchini, diced
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 warm corn tortillas
1/4 cup salsa
goat cheese or Daiya to taste
Heat half of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Toast corn 5 minutes, stirring; season with salt. Remove corn; set aside. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Cook onion, stirring, until it caramelizes, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, both peppers and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until warm-I like ’em crunchy still. Add zucchini; cook until tender but not mush, 6-10 minutes; season with salt. Add corn, beans, oregano and pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Split filling among tortillas; top each with 1 1/2 tsp salsa, a few bits of radish, green onion and 1 tsp cheese. This makes a TON more than 8 tacos worth. I’m taking it to lunch tomorrow sans shells.
My previous post discussed the ever important Village of Manchester Chicken Broil in all of its glory. Something I remember more than the chicken dinner, were the leftovers from the dinners and what my Grandma Helen used to make from them (we always ate Chicken Broil at Grandma’s house). In case you neglected to read the links provided in that post, let me briefly recap: the dinner is comprised of a half chicken, roll with butter, fresh made cole slaw with secret local recipe, radishes, chips and beverage. What was always leftover besides chicken (which was made into chicken salad)? Rolls and radishes. No one EVER ate the radishes until my Grandma made them into ‘sammiches’ with the neglected butter pat.
So just what in the hell am I getting at here, talking about chicken for the last 2 posts? Well my point is….in my CSA share bag for the last few weeks, I’ve had radish overload, so I grabbed some slider buns and made a delish lunch of radish sammich and Parmesan cheese, pictured below. Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it. Besides, what the heck else are you going to do with those radishes? You can thank me later.