Yesterday I made the tacos that I sometimes dream about in the winter, full of summer veggies practically radiating sunshine, tender-crisp, and juicy. I love tacos, but even I can’t eat them every night for leftovers, so this seemed like the perfect solution: taco soup for the freezer and rest of the week.
Cook all veggies using summer tacos recipe found here spices and all, we will add a little more flavor below due to the dilution from the water. While I was charring all the veggies, I set half of each batch into a soup pot to create taco soup for later in the week.
To that add:
- 1 tsp epazote
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1-2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp to 1T chipotle en adobo (sauce), depending on your like of heat
- 2-3 C or 1-2 cans black beans, drained
- 3 cans diced tomatoes, these can be fire roasted or normal diced tomatoes
- 2 cubes veggie boullion
- 4-6 C of water, depending on your thoughts on consistency of soup
Heat all ingredients through give it a taste and adjust the seasonings (salt for sure). Serve warm with a squeeze of lime, vegan sour cream, and tortilla chips or freeze to preserve the summer.
Posted in CSA, Dinner, Fall Food, Fridge Finds, Leftovers, Less is more, Make Ahead, Meatless Monday, Michigan, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Soup, Vegan, Vegan MoFo, Vegetarian
Tagged tortilla soup, Vegan MoFo, vegan month of food 2013, vegan soup, vegan summer soup, vegan taco soup, vegan tortilla soup
This recipe comes from a dear friend and client The Canning Diva who taught my book group how to make and can everything from garlic to pickles to strawberry jam and salsa this year. Check out one of her canning, preserving or food dehydration classes in west Michigan or book a private party like I did and bring the Diva to you.
Before corn season ends and just as pepper season is starting up, I can’t think of anything better than canning a bunch of corn relish then having it retreat to the shelf waiting for winter- a time when I’m hopelessly longing for summer’s sun.
Homestyle Corn Relish
- 4 C white vinegar
- 1 ¼ C raw vegan sugar
- 2 T sea salt
- 8 C corn kernels, fresh is best but frozen corn can be used too
- 3 C red and green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 C jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 ¾ C celery, diced
- 1 C onion, finely chopped
- 2 T dry mustard
- 2 tsp celery seeds
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ C water
- 2 T ClearJel (The Canning Diva has also substituted Liquid Pectin with great results)
In a medium-sized stock pot, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat being sure to stir until all sugar is dissolved. Gradually add corn, peppers, celery and onion being sure to keep everything boiling. Stir often to avoid scorching. Add the spices and stir.
Combine the water and ClearJel, mixing well to create a paste. After making the paste, mix it well into the vegetable mixture while it is boiling. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes being sure to stir often to avoid scorching.
Ladle hot relish into hot jars being sure to leave ½” head space. Wipe rims with a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar and secure lids and rings. Hand tighten.
This recipe can be hot water bathed. Place jars in water bather and cover with warm water. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remember, timing doesn’t start until water has come to a full rolling boil. After
processing, remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes before removing jars.
Posted in CSA, Make Ahead, Michigan, Product Review, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged canned corn relish, Canning Diva, corn relish recipe, homemade corn relish, preserving, seasonal corn relish, The Canning Diva, vegan canning, vegan corn relish, Vegan MoFo, vegan month of food
This is a reblog from Kolene Allen of VeganGR. Periodically they review items for sale that are vegan or accidentally vegan. EcoTrek Fitness bars are available online, sometimes shipped in health/wellness boxes, or if you live in the Midwest…grocery stores and gas stations. My personal fave is the Chocolate Raspberry bar. Tastes too good to be healthy-really, it does.
I would never call myself an athlete, but I do try to keep in shape by running 3 miles 3 times a week. My post run recovery usually includes a green smoothie, normally packed with coconut milk, whatever fruit is in the house, and a handful of spinach or kale.
The times when I’m in a hurry and need something in a pinch, or I don’t feel like fussing with the blender, I reach for an energy bar. There are many on the market, though many of them are not vegan. And of those that are vegan, few qualify as edible due to the taste factor. That all changed when Cari Draft, founder of Grand Rapids based EcoTrek Fitness, sent us a sample of her whole food bars to try out. Cari founded a program that offers outdoor group workouts that integrate cardio, strength training and flexibility. Then she created her very own whole food bar that is packed with 10 grams of protein and created from ingredients of the highest quality nutritional content. There are no refined sugars, artificial sweeteners or genetically modified ingredients anywhere in the bars.
Despite the fact that these bars contain green foods like spirulina, wheat grass and spinach, you would never know it. There are three flavors to choose from and each one is covered in chocolate and tastes like a candy bar! Each one is 100% vegan and made right here in Grand Rapids. There are three flavors currently available. Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and my favorite, Dark Chocolate Raspberry. During my first bite I thought, “There’s no way this is good for me.” I did a double check of the ingredient label, and I was wrong. These bars are packed full of goodness.
You can find EcoTrek Fitness bars at every single Meijer store and at a number of other places in Grand Rapids and Michigan, or buy them online.
For more vegan goodness, check out VeganGR.com
Posted in Product Review, Vegan, Vegan MoFo, Vegetarian
Tagged @VeganGr, Cari Draft, EcoTrek, energy bars, grand rapids, Kolene Allen, no meat athlete, post-workout vegan foods, vegan bars, Vegan GR, Vegan MoFo, vegan month of food 2013, whole food bars
Growing up my family didn’t do a tremendous amount of gardening unless it was in the form of flowers, which my mother has always been extremely fond of. The landscaping of our home was meticulous. My grandma however, had a pretty good size garden which was kinda like a neighborhood garden before community gardens were all the rage. She and her neighbors would plant their favorite veggies between the sticky cherry tree and big tire swing, in front of the pine layer separating her home from the IGA, and just beyond the sandbox so that none of us would “go messin’ with it.” The garden made for two things: 1) the most amazing go-cart racing track was formed from its perimeter, and 2) the amount of tomatoes that came from it in August/September was something of the stuff legends are made.
This is the “grown up” vegan version of the tomato sandwich that we would eat nearly every day in the summer at the peak of tomato season which was comprised of gooey Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, heavy with salt, and layered with iceberg lettuce and fresh, juicy tomatoes. So messy and heavy that you would have to eat the sandwich over the sink or end up changing your shirt after lunch.
- 2 pieces soft vegan bread, toasted lightly
- 1 medium sized ripe tomato of your choice
- 2 big knifefuls of Vegenaise, use BBQ flavor if you want it to really make it sing
- 1 handful, fresh picked greens of your choice, pictured here, arugula
To assemble: spread Vegenaise on bread, layer tomato slices with arugula, smash and enjoy over the kitchen sink.
Posted in Dinner, Fridge Finds, Less is more, Lunch, Meatless Monday, Michigan, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegan MoFo, Vegetarian
Tagged classic vegan sandwich, Michigan seasonal produce, Sandwich, simple vegan sandwich, tomato sandwich, tomato season Michigan, tomatoes, Vegan MoFo, vegan sandwich, Vegenaise
I don’t usually get all political in this blog. Usually it’s a happy place where I tell you about veggies and show you mouthwatering pics of stuff Mr. Wonderful and I eat…but this time, I have to get this out there.
I grew up in a sleepy little village, south west of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a regular village with regular people and it’s home to the regular types of things like a hardware store, a Dairy Queen, pizza joints, antique stores, a fair, a football team, and happens to host a festival annually called The Chicken Broil. I’ve talked about it here a little before, always kinda glazing over the cooking thousands of chicken halves part to bring you radish sammich and coleslaw earlier in this blog’s life. You know the stuff that I don’t get angry about.
It’s kinda a big deal- The Chicken Broil is a summer tradition first organized in the 1950s in which nearly 600 volunteers grill 19,000 pounds of chicken and feed approximately 12,000 guests (SWWCOG). It’s a civic fundraiser that distributes net proceeds to a number of charitable causes in the community. Past funds have gone to public schools, community parks, libraries and other various non-profit groups for items such as playgrounds, high school band uniforms and equipment for local Boy Scout troops (USA Today). It’s a do-gooder thing and very much a part of its midwestern roots. I’m lucky to have benefited in some way from these proceeds growing up I’m sure; however, in growing up and pardon the pun, but in spreading my own wings, I’ve developed a differing attitude to the Chicken Broil in adopting a meat-free lifestyle.
I mention this festival because of the irony that comes when I see in my news feed today that my hometown-home of The Chicken Broil is also home to SASHA Farm Sanctuary one of the most loved farm animal sanctuaries in the midwest that just made national news this week for taking delivery of 100 of the 1,200 hens aero-rescued from a factory hen farm in California-the first time ever that hens were flown across country in a private plane in a rescue effort. They arrived in New York and then were prepped to live out their feathery lives at nine different animal rescues in the US. The 2-yr-old white leghorns are from a battery cage egg farm where they lived in cages so small they couldn’t stretch their wings. When they were 8-days-old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off without pain relief to prevent fighting in cages. And you thought your life was difficult!?
Image: Heather Ainsworth for The New York Times
The remaining 1,850 from the factory farm are available for adoption through Animal Place in California. SASHA Farm will be giving the hens permanent homes. Each bird needs a sponsor to help give them the life they deserve and everything they have been deprived of.
If you were wondering what the fate of the birds would have been without rescue…well, they would have been gassed and tossed like common garbage into the local landfill or ground up and placed in “feed” for other animals, etc as they were “no longer of use” to humans. Now tell me honestly….why are we supporting factory farming and mass consumption of birds and their eggs? To donate to save other farm animals from a landfill as their final resting place, please visit www.sashafarm.org.
Posted in Michigan, Public Policy, Vegan MoFo
Tagged animal welfare, animals, Annual Chicken Broil, cross country hen rescue operation, factory farming, farm animal rescue, food, hen rescue, Manchester Chicken Broil, Rescued Hens, SASHA Animal Sanctuary, The Animal Place, The Animal Place hen rescue, Vegan MoFo
I have no idea how I could have let this recipe go unpublished from my blog for this long. I keep a recipe blog for selfish reasons really, it keeps all my lovely meals in one place so I’m not concerned with the bookmarking madness that is my Chrome browser. So when I went searching for ‘kale salad’ in my own blog and found not one result I became really upset…at…myself. Damn it self!
This little number is a weekly dinner and lunch staple, so my apologies for letting this one slip through the cracks. I also managed to forgot it’s Vegan MoFo! The Vegan Month of Food where veg bloggers are to unite and blog DAILY about vegan noms [OMG, that won’t be a reality for me, but I will try a few times a week this month]. I VeganMoFo’d in 2010 and 2011, but must have lost my mind in 2012 where I can find no archived MoFo posts. Boo.
Luckily, my good friends at VeganGR guest blogged for me today, so I am just one day behind the daily blog for Vegan MoFo 2013. This recipe comes from Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks. I’ve taken a few liberties to veganize her dish but have stayed true to the taste. Not ready to go vegan on this…keep the cheese, and for God sake butter the bread to make breadcrumbs if you are not vegan.
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale [really any kale will work here, if you find it tough, be sure to let the lemon dressing do some work on the kale in a bag or bowl for a few hours to soften the texture – you know, if you are serving the queen or something]
- 2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
- 1/4 cup vegan parm or other salty vegan cheese [Not vegan? Hit it hard with Romano-and thank me later.]
- 1.5-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish [I go lighter on this one adjusting for the lemon juice I net, I hate an oily dressing, I prefer more juice to oil]
- Zest of one lemon
- Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.
- If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.
- Pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, EVOO, lemon juice, lemon zest, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.
- This makes the most excellent lunch for DAYS. Also tastes super yummy with some grilled tofu on the side or mixed in. The tangy dressing will more than make up for the blandness of the tofu so no need to marinate the tofu before hand. Perhaps though add a little extra salt to the tofu steaks when grilling them up to round out the taste.
- Find Heidi’s original recipe and more kale noms here: 101 Cookbooks.
- Wanna get really crazy? Try this with orange juice and orange zest.
Posted in Fall Food, Fridge Finds, Leftovers, Less is more, Make Ahead, Meatless Monday, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Vegan, Vegan MoFo
Tagged @VeganGr, kale, lemony kale salad, rustic kale salad, tuscan kale salad, vegan kale salad, Vegan MoFo, vegan mofo 2013, vegan month of food 2013, vegan salad, vegangr.com
Ever since I began making chickpeas from a dried state, I have been obsessed with them. I eat them by the handful like they are popcorn. They’re delicious, nutty, versatile, freezable, and CHEAP (check them out at a Supermercado near you).
Here’s a super quick, frugal recipe to laugh Asian take-out prices right out the door. It keeps well in the fridge for about a week and tastes AWESOME inside of a flour tortilla too.
Adapted from Happy Herbivore
- 4 C chickpeas
- 1 1/2 C teriyaki sauce, use your fave from a bottle or better yet, make it
- 2 T Szechuan sauce
- 4 C cooked brown rice
- 2 bunches Kale
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- lime wedges
- canned mango salsa
Combine chickpeas, teriyaki sauce, Szechuan sauce in large frying pan or wok. Allow to marinade for 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
In a saute’ pan, heat oil and garlic until sizzling, add the kale. Saute’ until bright green and just wilted.
To plate, take 1/2 cup of brown rice, top with some kale a scoop of chickpeas and a squeeze of lime. I also put a dollop of leftover mango salsa on mine. Delish.
Pictured under the chickpeas is a Boca chicken patty as well.
Posted in Dinner, Fall Food, Fridge Finds, Leftovers, Less is more, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged cheap, chickpeas, cici beans, garbanzo beans, hawaiian dish, lunches for the week, make ahead, take out, vegan, Vegan MoFo, vegetarian
I’m wild about soup. Instead of talking you to death, I’ll just hit you with the recipe pronto. This is a good intro to Fall or kick in the ass to Winter to usher in spring.
Yellow Split Pea Soup
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com
- 2 cups dried split yellow peas, picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 3 cups water
- 1 7-ounce container of greek yogurt (omit if vegan)
- 1/2 cup shredded unpeeled cucumber, (deseed before shredding)
- 1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
- scant 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- big pinch of salt
- chopped olives
- more olive oil to drizzle (I use Fustinis Meyer Lemon for topping)
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the yellow split peas, and cook for 20 -30 minutes, or until tender. Drain, salt to taste and set aside.
Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the cooked split peas and stock/water. Bring to a simmer and let cook for a few minutes. Now remove from the heat. Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree – you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Give the soup a taste, if it needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.
In the meantime make the yogurt topping by mixing together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint, and salt. Set aside.
Ladle soup into bowls or cups, and serve each with a generous dollop of the yogurt, a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of chopped mint (any that was left on the cutting board), and a sprinkling of black olives.
It hasn’t exactly been soup weather here in Michigan (thank goodness)! Yesterday it was 82 degrees, I’m sure we will pay for that later. I love soup so much, that I couldn’t wait until it was cold to make some tortilla soup. Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com has some of the most simple and delicious soup recipes one could ask for, however, when I have extra delicious ingredients on hand or in the freezer…I like to embellish on her deliciousness. Here is my version of Veggie Tortilla Soup.
- 6-8 corn tortillas, cut in half and then into matchstick-thin strips
- a big splash of extra virgin olive oil
- fine grain sea salt
- 20 small yellow or red cherry tomatoes
- another splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cayenne or other spicy red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle en adobo
- 1 small can diced green chiles
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- a few sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup of goat cheese, crumbled (omit if vegan)
Gently toss the tortilla strips with a glug of olive oil and salt. Turn them out onto a baking sheet, arrange them across the pan and bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. Set aside.
I usually do this whenever I have tomatoes that have to be used up in a hurry. I call them “crack tomatoes”. They have so many uses…limitless really as a fridge staple. To make: halve (or quarter) the tomatoes lengthwise and put them in a small roasting pan, oven proof dish, or rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 40-45 minutes (less time if you use smaller cherry tomatoes), or until the tomatoes are shrunken and golden around the edges. The tomatoes keep nicely in a jar for days (refrigerated). If you are going to keep them for a little longer, douse them in olive oil and store them under the oil in an airtight container, I use a Ball glass canning jar.
For the soup itself – in a big pot over medium-high heat cook the garlic and onions in a splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt for just a minute or so. Stir in the spices and then the tomatoes, chiles, chipotle en adobo. Cook down for about five minutes or so, it should thicken a bit. For a smooth soup don’t add corn or beans then remove from heat, add one cup of the broth and puree with a hand blender (or puree in a traditional blender). Add the remaining 5 cups of broth and puree until smooth. Bring the soup back up to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. If you like chunkier soups to mop up, don’t puree, and add the corn and black beans. Serve as is.
Serve the individual bowls topped with plenty of tortilla strips, the roasted and sun-dried tomatoes, and some crumbled goat cheese. Alternately, as I mention up above, you can finish with sliced avocado, cilantro, white onions, and a squeeze of lime. If you like a creamier soup base add a splash of half and half, or stir in some extra goat cheese.
Posted in Fall Food, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged 101cookbooks.com, crack tomatoes, freezer friendly, heidi swanson, tortilla soup, vegan, Vegan MoFo, vegetarian
I felt like experimenting a little today. I grabbed up some Gimme Lean Sausage and combined it with some cooked quinoa I had sleeping in my freezer after I forgot to pack it on a camping trip this summer. Poof. Breakfast Sausage Patties – Vegan Style.
Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties
adapted from Happy Herbivore’s Breakfast Sausage Patties
Super simple prep. Combine all ingredients into a bowl, smash around to combine. Use rounded scoop to get similar sized (walnut size) balls, smash into small patties, fry up on a griddle.
I’m storing mine on parchment paper, in layers with half in the freezer in a Ziplock container in layers pre-formed and the other half into the fridge for consumption during the busy weekday.
Mr. Wonderful says, “these taste like breakfast sausage.” Yes, dear…they do.
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:
- celery greens
- portobella mushroom stems (trimmed and washed)
- red bell pepper (seeds and all)
- carrot shavings (cleaned)
- turnips, quartered
- onion ends & parts
- garlic cloves
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.
Posted in Fall Food, Fridge Finds, Gluten Free, Leftovers, Make Ahead, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged CSA, Doorganics, soup time, veg broth, Vegan MoFo