Sunday, April 30, 2017

White Bean and Hemp Herbed Burgers

This post doesn't have a photo, and not because the food was ugly; it was really pretty. But it got eaten so fast that I didn't make it with the camera!

I had about a cup and a half of white beans in the fridge, and with some herbs and other delicious things the whole thing was transformed into beautiful green burgers, reminiscent of falafel, which were delicious with hummus and vegetables. Here goes:

1 1/2 cup white beans
2 tbsp each: dill, parsley, cilantro
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp polenta
4 tbsp hemp seeds

Heat up oven to 375. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined. If too wet, add polenta and hemp seeds. Form four burgers and place on a baking sheet with a silpat mat or waxed paper. Bake for about 20 minutes and serve hot.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Orange-Clove Cookies

Delicious and easy to make!

But first, a kitchen gear recommendation: If, like me, you bake very infrequently, you might appreciate having a small hand mixer that doesn't take up a lot of room. I'm really enjoying this one.

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 tsp orange zest
7 cloves
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Heat oven to 375 and prepare a baking sheet with a silpat mat on it (or waxed paper with a bit of grease on it.) Cream the coconut oil and maple syrup. Then, add zest, cloves, nuts, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Dough should have soft play-doh consistency. Make little balls, place on baking sheet, and flatten a bit at the center with your thumb. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are golden.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Butternut Squash with Beans and Leeks

It's always a special day when we get a big delivery from Rancho Gordo, purveyors of delicious and unique heirloom beans. Sure, you can open a can of beans (I do that sometimes, too!), but cooking your own beans from scratch yields a much more flavorful and textured batch. So every week we cook a pound of beans--different beans every time--to use in that week's cooking.

This week we cooked Domingo Rojo beans, which were delicious, but I'm sure this recipe would work with any red or black bean. The combination of creamy, baked squash with the beans is comforting and satisfying.

1 small butternut squash
1 cup cooked black or red beans
1/2 cup chopped leek, white and green parts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
1 tbsp ras-el-hanout

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy innards, and place in a 375 degree oven, face down, for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft and creamy throughout. At this point it should be easy to peel. Cut the peeled squash into 3/4-inch cubes.

While the squash is cooking, saute leeks and garlic in a little bit of vegetable broth. After about 3 minutes, lower the heat and add the beans and the ras-el-hanout. Cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Gently mix in the squash cubes.

Marjoram-Pepper Pasta Sauce

At the end of yesterday's faculty meeting, my colleague Marsha hollered: "Anyone here cook?" I immediately waved my hands and hollered back: "Me me me!" Marsha very graciously gifted me with a big bag of fresh marjoram from her garden. It turns out that the crows eat all her other herbs, but leave the marjoram alone. :)

Well, I don't know about the crows' taste in herbs, but I *love* marjoram, and its wonderful aroma and flavor are showcased at their best in this recipe - a vegetable-packed, spicy pasta sauce. I served it atop spiralized zucchini, but you can of course substitute the pasta of your choice.

1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
1 cup leeks--green part or mixed
3 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
1 small eggplant
about 8 green olives, pitted
2 tsp capers
generous handful of fresh marjoram
pinch smoked paprika
optional: tofu cubes or chickpeas

In a wok or skillet, heat up water or broth and add sliced leeks and garlic cloves. Saute until fragrant. Then, add peppers, eggplant, and tofu cubes or chickpeas. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes, olives, capers, marjoram, and paprika. Lower the heat and continue cooking until the peppers are soft and the tofu is flavorful. Serve atop the pasta of your choice.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Vegetable-Based Mac 'n' Cheese

This vegan "cheese" sauce is very easy to make and absolutely delicious. And the surprising part is - no soy or cashew is involved!

The recipe comes verbatim from Brand New Vegan, where you can find many such delights. I simplified it a bit for you and upped the carrot content at the expense of the potatoes. This will have a fair amount of protein on account of the nutritional yeast, but if you'd like more protein you can make lentil pasta to go with it.

2 medium-sized potatoes
5-6 medium-sized carrots
1/2 water from cooking the potatoes and carrots
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp quince vinegar (the original recipe called for apple cider vinegar, but we ran out
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic 
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1/4 tsp turmeric

Cut potatoes and carrots into cubes and boil in water for 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer potatoes and carrots to blender and add 1/2 cup water from the pot, and pulse to mix. Then, add all other ingredients and blend until smooth.

Cook pasta (I like lentil pasta for this - nutritious and yummy) and drain; return pasta to pot. Pour sauce over pasta and mix well.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Chocolate-Quince-Plum Cookies

These cookies, an emergency adaptation from the classic Veganomicon, came into existence because I forgot to buy treats for friends who came over to work on an organ with Chad. They are working on the instrument down in the garage, and Chad asked me to buy some vegan cookies on the way home from aerial class. Whaddya know--flying upside down on a hammock is so exhilarating that one forgets things! I bought lots of fresh vegetables and forgot the cookies.

But have no fear: this recipe uses a bunch of stuff that I had lying around in the fridge and pantry and the cookies came out fantastic: chewy, moist, and emitting an irresistible aroma of chocolate and fruit. They have less sugar than the original Veganimicon recipe. Here's the deal:

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup preserves (I had plum puree and quince marmelada from Vermont Quince)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Sift dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until combined. Dough will be soft and pliable. Roll small balls--about walnut-sized--and place on baking sheet, flattening each ball a bit with your thumb. Bake for ten minutes.