Archive | April, 2011

Vegan Enchiladas

27 Apr

The vegan challenge. I’m always happy with the results of my meals, but finding those meals to make in the first place is a little annoying. Alayna’s sister awesomely sent me a cookbook that passed through her magazine, Women’s Day, called “Part-Time Vegan.” I was super pumped. I haven’t given the recipes there a good look yet, but I will and will get back to you. Mainly, a lot of the self-declared “vegan” recipes I find on blogs and vegan cookbooks seem so bland. And it’s not the lack of cheese and stuff. Cooking vegan isn’t that different from how I ordinarily cook. It’s the lack of spices and flavor. I really beg, if you have great vegan recipes please share them by commenting below. I’d love to try them out.

But in the meantime, try out this one for size. Enchiladas. That is one thing I’m discovering actually, that vegan recipes that aren’t self-declared “vegan,” but are actually, vegan, from all around the world (more like Asia here, not how I think of Mexican food…) are totally flavorful and delicious. I should poke East for my recipes for next time. Anyways, this is delicious. I didn’t miss any cheese or meat and Gavin loved it. Very flavorful and filling.

Plate cleaning.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Saute 1 onion in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt until soft
  • Add 1 green (or any color) chopped pepper, 2 normal size summer squash cut in bite sized pieces and 1 tspn of chili powder, 2 dried chili peppers crushed, saute for another 5 minutes on medium heat
  • Add 3 or 4 chopped cloves of garlic
  • I bought this all natural taco seasoning at Whole Foods and added a ton– you don’t have to do this, you can just add 1 tbsp of tomato paste, generous shakes of cumin, onion powder and more chili powder instead
  • Add 1 can of black beans, saute for another 5 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and add lime juice (from one lime)
  • Lightly spray large rectangular baking dish, place a tortilla in front of you and arrange about 1/4 cup of bean mixture (or whatever you think) across the center. Roll up and place seam-side down into the backing dish.
  • You can fit about 4 inside, put extra juice you have from pot on top of the enchiladas and put in the oven for 20 minutes
  • Take out, sprinkle with chopped green onions and add sliced avocado on the side. And hot sauce if you so desire.
  • Enjoy!

Patatas Bravas

22 Apr

I am once again entering the end of the semester, where you’re working all the time and basically end up eating very random things, whether because you just eat what’s in front of you (arepas for breakfast?) or make what you have (patatas bravas stew?). But you know what? Patatas bravas stew is delicious. It’s based off a Spanish dish I used to love when I worked at a tapas bar I worked in after college. Funny story about that: At my graduation party I was telling my (somewhat deaf) grandpa what I was doing (working at a tapas bar) and he misheard me and told everyone I was a stripper. So lesson of the day is use crockpots and enunciate!

Patatas Bravas Stew

  • Put one large chopped yellow onion, 6-10 small red potatoes (in fourths), 6-8 cloves of garlic, one chili ancho, one chili passilla, a handful of cilantro and 5 chicken thighs in a crock pot
  • Cook for 6 hours on high
  • Enjoy!

And THAT is why we make soup!

13 Apr

Hello, blog friends. You may have noticed that lately a lot of the posts lately have been kind of like “oh hey there! here’s the recipe! bye!” without further commentary on flavor. Part of that is because we’re busy and yada yada, but another big part of it is that once you start cooking a lot, you just get… you know… good at it. I’m not saying that Mary and I are master chefs, just that most of the time it’s pretty easy to throw something together and have it taste good. And when everything tastes good, it’s hard to write a gushing post about how good a particular thing tastes.

And that, my friends, is why this is a special soup. It looks like some kind of gross gruel, but this is the first soup I’ve had in a long time where I’ve had my first bite and been like, “Woah….. that is a really good soup”. So I made my roomate try it (as I do with most of my soups) and she was all, “That is really good. You could put that in a box and sell it to Whole Foods for like, $8 a cup”. So then I made my coworker try it, and she was also quite pleased… especially few minutes later when she said something along the lines of “that soup is so good it’s like, haunting my taste buds”. I’m not even sure what was so wonderful about it. It’s very similar to our regular refrigerator soup, but just… different! And that, lads and ladles, is why we keep on making soup. Because sometimes it’s not just good for you, but really really good.

Crazy (Delicious) Cauliflower Soup

  • Melt half a stick of butter in a dutch oven or large soup pot on low
  • Saute in about 4 cloves of garlic until translucent, then add in one chopped yellow onion
  • When onion is fragrant, add in 3-4 chopped carrots and 3-4 chopped celery sticks and cook covered
  • Add in one full head (white parts only) of cauliflower, also chopped, and a box of white (or baby bella… or portabella) mushrooms and two bay leaves
  • Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until most of the way cooked, then cover with chicken broth and simmer for another 15 minutes
  • Remove bay leaves to blend, then add 3-4 generous shakes of nutmeg, juice from one lemon and (if you’re me) another half stick of butter
  • Enjoy!

Avocado & Tomatoes

6 Apr

Welcome back to the vegan challenge! Before I get into the dish, I want to talk milk. Long ago I have dismissed “milk” as a bi-product evil of American food politics and I became suspicious of it. I also have dismissed soy somewhere down the line. Why do I dismiss everything? Anyway, so now I’m onto Almond Milk like everyone else. I don’t drink glass loads, I put it in my coffee and oatmeal. But I noticed the other day that my Whole Foods Almond Milk does not boast “All Natural.” I then read the ingredient list and it’s weird. What should I cream my stuff with? I’m confused. I want your suggestions here. Is there a more natural almond milk to drink? Is milk not that big of a deal? I’m not going to be a super crazy and drink raw milk, that seems extreme. But I’d love to hear your tips. Anyways, now back to vegan challenge.

I know a vegan side dish isn’t the most exciting of posts. But it’s a side dish I’ve been bringing in as my lunch/snack to work nearly every day for the last 2 weeks because it’s so delicious (and avocados have been on sale, if we’re going to be honest) and I felt bad not sharing this with my ladles. Note that when I say “lunch/snack” I mean I tend to eat a procession of snacks instead of a lunch during the day at work. But this would also be just as lovely as a salad or summer side dish. It’s also the easiest, easiest thing to make in the world. And it tastes better than you think, I promise, even if you think it’ll taste delicious, it’ll taste more delicious.

Avocados & Tomatoes

  • Put in a cup of grape tomatoes
  • Put in bite size pieces of 1/2 and avocado
  • Add a tpsn or less of olive oil
  • Add a teaspoon of sea salt (liberal with the salt!)
  • Add a teaspoon of pepper
  • Shake it around. Eat chilled.