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Hello everyone!  This past weekend I made some seitan which turned out delicious!  I used the seitan recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance with a few modifications.  I was looking to make a stringy seitan and I attempted to do that by kneading the seitan dough and then I stretched it and repeated with the kneading for about 5 minutes.  I think the stretching made a great difference in the texture of the seitan.  I really enjoyed the texture of this seitan and I will try to continue to experiment with the texture.  

Moving on to the recipe!  My grandparents were preparing to cook some stewed green beans with beef.  I asked my grandpa if he needed all the green beans and he said no, so I took about two cups of the green beans.  I really wanted them to make the dish with seitan but they were not fully convinced.  They have both tried seitan a few times but are still not convinced to use it in their dishes yet.  They always laugh at me when I tell them I am making “meat” from flour!  I keep explaning to them that it’s so pure and simple it’s just wheat gluten, a couple of spices, broth and that’s it.  I really want to get them to eat seitan instead of meat but that were probably take so long as they don’t like to explore many different foods.  Anyway I decided to make a delicous vegan adaption of their dish they were making!  I really enjoy stewed green beans and I have blogged about them before.  This time I decided I wanted to step it up a notch and add some seitan!  Stewed Green Beans is a very popular Albanian dish that my mom would make all the time when she cooked, she usually made it with smoked meat.  That is where I got the idea to flavor my seitan with some liquid smoke and smoked salt for a delicious smokey taste.  The smokey seitan really give the recipe some kick!  I like adding potatoes to my stewed green beans which I learned from my grandma.  As the potatoes cook they thicken the sauce really good.  I really enjoyed the taste of this stew!   

Stewed Green Beans with Smokey Seitan

Albanian Style Stewed Green Beans and Potatoes with Smokey Seitan
Serves 2 people
This Stewed Green Bean recipe is a great flavorful way to use green beans! The recipe makes enough for two hungry people, so if you have more people at home double the recipe. The recipe uses three tablespoons of olive oil so if you want to make this lower fat feel free to reduce some of the oil.  I use smoked salt in this recipe which is very tasty and perfect for creating a smokey flavor in addition to the liquid smoke. 

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of Seitan, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups of Green Beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 small red potato, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
3-4 garlic cloves
1 medium tomato or one half of a large tomato diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth or water ( You may need to add more liquid)
3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons – 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke (My liquid smoke was a bit weak flavored so I had to use more until I got the right flavor, so adjust to your taste)Smoked salt to taste (Optional, if you don’t have smoked salt feel free to use regular salt)

Heat a medium pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot enough, add the seitan and saute until golden on all sides about 4-5 minutes. Towards the end at the liquid smoke and Smoked Salt. Remove from pot and set aside.

Now add about 2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil to the pot. Add the onions and saute for a good 8 minutes until they are translucent and tender. If your pot has burned pieces from the seitan, deglaze it with a bit of vegetable broth. Add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Now it’s time to add the green beans and potatoes. Saute the green beans and potatoes for about 5 minutes.

Now add the tomato, paprika, oregano, chili flakes and season with salt and pepper. Saute for another two minutes. Add the vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil and then to a simmer. After a couple of minutes add the seitan that you have set aside. Simmer the stew for about 45-50 minutes until the green beans and potatoes are tender. If the stew starts to get dry simply add some more broth. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Remember to not go heavy on the salt because the Smokey Seitan is salt already from the smoked salt. Let the stew sit for 15 minutes or you can eat it has soon has it finished cooking. 

I like to serve these stewed green beans with some rice, bread, and a side salad or vegetable.

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This week I made some really tasty things!!  The inspiration for this week’s dinner came from Isa’s Blog.  For the House of Dreams benefit dinner, Isa made Temeph over Kale, with mushroom ragout, and stuffed acorn squash. I really wish I was in Portland so I could have went to this dinner.  I decided to recreate what Isa made myself based on that photo.   I made the best tempeh I ever tasted!  It was so tasty.  I made a simple marinade to marinade the tempeh in and I boiled it in a soy sauce and water mixture which I think really helped the flavor.  I then panfried it until nice and golden!  I served the tempeh was a mushroom ragout which really complemented the tempeh.  I also had spinach under the tempeh.  Here’s the recipe for the tempeh and mushroom ragout below.

Pan Fried Tempeh, Mushroom Ragout, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Spianch

Pan Fried Tempeh, Mushroom Ragout, Stuffed Acorn Squash and Garlicky Spianch

Panfried Tempeh
Serves about 4

Ingredients:
For the marinade
3/4 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce plus 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
half a lemon squeezed
2 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

2 packages of tempeh
Olive Oil for frying

Cut each block of tempeh in to 4 triangles. First cut it across in the middle then cut the two squares diagonally, into triangles.
Bring a pot of water to boil and add some soy sauce to it about 2-3 tablespoons to the water. Add the tempeh and boil on medium for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients for the marinade.
After 10 minutes add the tempeh to the marinate and marinate for about an hour or more if you want.
After it has marinated, heat a pan over medium high heat with olive oil for pan-frying.
Pan Fry the tempeh until golden about 2-3 minutes per side.

Mushroom Ragout
Ingredients
1 pound of cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
About half a cup of white wine or vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2-3 medium Shallots minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
A pinch of dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Heat a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about 5-8 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the herbs and tomato paste. Then add the mushrooms and wine or vegetable broth and saute for about 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced. If it seems a little dry add more wine/vegetable broth. Season with Salt and Pepper.

For my acorn squash, I used Isa’s recipe for Cornbread Stuffing with Pears and Pecans and just substituted some ingredients based on what I had.  For example I use rosemary instead of thyme, apples instead of pears, and shallots instead of onions.  I also added some carrots and celery and omitted the celery seed.  Oh and I halved the recipe.  I really suggest Isa’s recipe for cornbread stuffing, it was so tasty!  I will defiantly make this stuffing for Thanksgiving!  Now let’s talk about the acorn squash itself.  It was my first time having acorn squash.  I was very surprised with the taste, it tasted so different from the other squashes.  It was good but I think next time I will roast it with earth balance and maple syrup for extra goodness!

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I also made some awesome baked goods this week.  I made a really awesome bundt cake from Veganomicon.  I made the Coconut- Lemon Bundt cake.  This bundt cake was so moist and full of lemony and coconut flavor!  I think it was the most moist cake when I have ever had.  I will defiantly make this again! 

Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

 

I made my very first apple pie! It came out really good!   I even made a lattice crust for it.  The only thing I will probaly do next time is reduce the spices I used in the apple filling.  I need to work a bit more on my crust though.  This apple pie went really fast.  I only had a slice and I wanted more!!  I can’t wait to make this again for Thanksgiving. 

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

This fall I made a resolution to try all the winter squashes out there.  Last year I didn’t cook much with squash, so this year I really want to master cooking winter squash!  I already made something with butternut squash for Vegan MoFo.  I made the Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cream.  When we went to the supermarket we bought 3 butternut squashes, 2 acorn squashes, and one pumpkin.  Last night I used one butternut squash to make a wonderful Rosemary Scented- Butternut Squash Risotto.  The result was amazing.  The Rosemary gave the risotto a complex flavor.  Sage would have also worked in this risotto.  The butternut squash were roasted until tender and then cooked for a bit in the risotto.  I love making risotto!  My favorite thing is stirring it, I think that’s awesome!  My mom was a big fan of this risotto, she had like 3 servings!  I think I am going to make this for Thanksgiving.  This is a great dish to serve in the fall!  Here’s the recipe.  

Rosemary Scented Butternut Squash Risotto

Rosemary Scented Butternut Squash Risotto

 

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes
5.5 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cups chopped shallots
1 rosemary spring
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine ( I use Ariel Non  Alcoholic Wine, from Trader Joe’s)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Earth Balance (Optional)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prep the squash and then place it on a baking pan. Toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable broth

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sautee for about 8 minutes, until translucent but not browned. Add the rice and sautee for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rosemary spring. Now add a ladle or two of vegetable broth and stir. Cook until the risotto starts to become a bit dry. Keep adding a 2 ladles of vegetable broth. Stir every 2 minutes or so. When the rice is 3/4 of the way done add the butternut squash. Cook until the rice is al dente. It should take about 30 minutes. Off the heat you can melt about 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance into the risotto for extra richness.

A couple of days ago I made the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Veganomicon.  At first I wasn’t crazy about them but the next day they were really good!  I ate like 10 in one sitting.  Next time I would probaly reduce the spices just a bit, I though they slightly overpowered the cookies.  That was the only problem, other than these cookies were good!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Hey everyone!  Yesterday I made Pecan Crusted Seitan and I served with my leftover Creamy Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce and Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook.  This month I am sampling some dishes I want to serve on Thanksgiving.  I am post likely going to serve this Pecan Crusted Seitan or a Seitan Roast for thanksgiving.  And I am defiantly serving the mashed sweet potatoes and possibly the asparagus.  This dinner was really good, every thing shined on the plate!  I really liked the texture of the seitan, it has been one of the few successful seitans I have made.  I used the recipe for the seitan cutlets from veganomicon, I just added some nooch and that’s it.  The seitan cutlets had a great texture.  It was so tender, I didn’t even need a knife!  I think I can officially say that I like seitan!  I think the only thing I would change is flavor them a bit more when I baked them probably use some herbs or something.  Anyway,  I then marinaded them in a simple marinade consisting of soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and wine.  I then breaded them in a Pecan Rosemary Panko mixture.  Frying was a bit of a pain because some of the cutlets slighty burned, I don’t know why.  The oil got too hot and the cutlets browned very quickly.  Then, I also made mashed sweet potatoes for the first time but I gave it a little twist!  I used coconut milk instead of soy milk, and wow the coconut and the sweet potatoes were amazing together!  I usually just roast asparagus but I was looking for a little something new so I grabbed my Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook and I saw this great recipe for asparagusin orange sauce.  It was really simple to make just take some fresh orange juice, wine, and vegetable broth and reduce it.  I boiled the asparagus and then poured the sauce over it.  At the end I had an awesome meal! 

Pecan Crusted Seitan with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Pecan Crusted Seitan with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Here’s the recipe for the Pecan Crusted Seitan, Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Asparagus in Orange Sauce

Pecan Crusted Seitan
Serves 4-5
These Pecan Crusted Seitan Cutlets are awesome. They are a great main course to serve while entertaining. They would be perfect for a Holiday party! These are great served them with the Cashew Mustard Cream Sauce, but you can serve them with any sauce you wish.

Ingredients:
For the marinade
1/4 Cups Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/3 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
half a lemon squeezed
3 garlic cloves minced

For the breading mixture
1 1/4 cup pecans
3 tablespoons panko
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

5 seitan cutlets (I used the recipe from V’con)
Oil for Pan Frying

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the seitan in a small casserole dish or ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it. Marinade it for about an hour in the fridge.

After one hour, start making the pecan mixture. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Dip a seitan cutlet in the marinade and then bread it with the pecans. Make sure to press the pecans well into the seitan cutlet. Repeat with all of them.

Heat a pan over medium heat with oil. You need just enough oil to pan fry, you are not deep frying. Pan fry the seitan until nice and golden.

Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes
The mashed Sweet Potatoes are perfect to serve anywhere where regular mashed potatoes are served. They would be perfect for Thanksgiving!
Serves 4-5 people

3 medium sized Sweet Potatoes peeled and cubed into large pieces
Half a cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a pot of water. Add the sweet potatoes. Then salt them generously with salt. Bring it to a low boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender. When the sweet potatoes are done drain them. Add them back to the pot. Add the maple syrup, Earth Balance, and coconut milk. Mash until nice and fluffy.

Asparagus in Orange Sauce
From the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds of pencil thin asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the asparagus for 3 minutes. Run them through cold water.

Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, wine, and broth and bring it to a boil, reduce to 1/4 cup. Pour over the asparagus, and then season with salt and pepper.

Today I made the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from V’con.  I will post the pictures hopefully tomorrow.

Hey everyone!  Today for dinner I made some Paprika Stewed Green Beans with Potatoes.  When I went to my grandma’s house a couple of months ago she made these green beans too.  My grandma is an awesome cook.  She makes some of the best Albanian food out there.  I really forward everytime I go to my grandma.  My two most favorite things from are pan-fried french fries (She makes the best period) and these green beans.  The green beans I made today were awesome just like my grandma’s.   I really like the flavor the paprika gives to the green beans and potatoes.  I had the stewed green beans with a side of salad and bread.  It’s very filling!  Here’s the recipe:

 Paprika Stewed Green Beans and Potatoes

papkira green bean, potato stew
 
Ingredients:
1 pound green beans trimmed
2-3 potatoes medium size ( I prefer to use young red skinned for this recipe)
2 teaspoons of paprika (more or less depending on your taste)
1 tomato diced
1 onion thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and saute for a good 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Then add the green beans and potatoes and saute for a few minutes. Add tomato. Add the paprika, water, and season it with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour, until beans are nice and tender. The green beans are going to have a nice thick sauce from the potatoes. If you the green beans don’t have alot of liquid feel free to add more early in the process.

I also made Byranna’s Tofu Feta again. I just love this Feta so much. This time I added a bit more lemon and salt. This is seriously the best Feta Cheese, so good!  Byranna is the best for inventing this awesome recipe!

Tofu Feta
Tofu Feta Cheese

I look forward to this week as I got a lot of awesome things to make like Pecan Crusted Seitan, Pistachio Crusted Tofu, Tempeh with mushroom ragout, Butternut Squash Risotto, and Pumpkin Waffles, to name a few.

Slow Oven Roasted Vegetables

Slow Oven Roasted Vegetables

Hey everyone! Today was the last day of Vegan MoFo. It was a really great experience for me. I discovered so many new blogs that I enjoyed reading so much! Vegan MoFo has kept me moviated to post at leat 5 times a week and I will try to contuine that throughout the year. I hope you all had a great Halloween! Today I wanted to make something fall/ Halloween like, the problem was I didn’t have any fall type vegetables. I only had summer ones like eggplant and zucchinii. I quickly threw whatever vegetables I had in my fridge into a casserole dish. I flavored the veggies with fresh mint, thyme, and salt and pepper. I also added tomato sauce to the vegtables. I then slow roasted them for a good one and a half hours. The result was awesome tender roasted vegetables. It was really good.

Hey everyone!  I loved making food from all types of cultures.  Whenever I am eating a foreign dish I feel like I am transported into that country.  It’s an awesome experience!  Yesterday I made a  Moroccan Vegetable Tagine from VwaV.  I’ve wanted to make this recipe for so long, ever since I gotten vwav.  I finally made it!  I was a bit skeptical because their were so many spices and herbs going in it.  I got a little worried when the recipe listed raisins and cinamin because I didn’t know how it would work in a savory dish.  I added a few extra vegetables like celery, peppers, and broccoli.  It worked out perfectly.  When I tried it tasted a bit like curry, probably because of the turmeric.  The tagine came out well and when I added lemon it was even more awesome!  The raisins really made it interesting and the cinnamon added a nice back-round flavor to it.  The couscous I served it with was also great.  Today it was even better becasue the flavors settled perfectly.  This is defiantly a   The tagine wasn’t that photogenic but it was sure tasty!

Moccroan Vegetable Tagine

Hey everyone!  Its been a couple of days since I posted something up.  Well tonight I am going to post some things I have cooked up. 

On Friday I made a lot of things.  My aunt and her family came on Friday and my mom was at work.  It was me, and my grandparents at home so I offered to make some of the food.  I wanted to make some type of cookie but I was a bit low on baking ingredients like the brown sugar and chocolate chips.  I went to Isa’s old blog and saw Vegan Milano cookies.  I had most of the ingredients except for bittersweet chocolate, I had only unsweetened but I fixed that up my putting some sugar in it.  These cookies were good but it took forever to bake them because my oven keeps shuting off!! 
vegan milano cookies

Well anyway I made 3 more things that night.  I made the famous chickpea cutlets baby size!  I wanted to make mini versions of them so my aunt and her family would be more willing to try them.  They went really good as always.  Their were no leftovers. 
chickpea cutlets mini
I also made my favorite broccoli recipe from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook.  It’s the best broccoli I have ever had, its called Sicilian Style Broccoli.  Basically you simmer it in vegetable broth, garlic, and capers. Its so so good! 
brocoli
Lastly I made some rice pilaf which I adapted from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Cookbook. 
rice pilaf
I also served my mom’s Albanian Beans, which my mom made this time.  My grandpa also had to have meat as he thinks you have to serve people meat.  Oh well at least everything else was vegan!  

Saturday I made some hummus!  I love hummus!  Its seriously my favorite food, I could eat it all day and I have done that a few times!  I am still working on the perfect recipe.  I finally achieved the creamy consitensity.  Today it was super creamy.  It was a bit dense because I added a bit more tahini than normal like 6 tablespoons.  I used the v’con recipe this time and I liked it but I still think it needs more lemon.  I just love lemon and can’t get enough of it.  Overall the hummus was great!  I ate the whole bowl below for dinner!  I ate it was some Ritz crackers!  It was awesome!!  Tonight I found an awesome blog all about hummus!  It’s so cool.  It has very good information about hummus making! 
hummus

Hey everyone!  Kelly from The Pink Apron tagged me for seeing what’s in my freezer.  Thanks Kelly for tagging me!  I use my freezer as a storage center for some of my spices so they don’t go bad as I bought them in bulk. My freezer doesn’t have meat and it rarely has meat since my family doesn’t eat a lot of meat since I became vegan. I’m glad because I am saving so many animal!

my freezer

my freezer part 2

I am tagging the following awesome bloggers to show their freezers

1) Show Me Vegan
2) La Vegan Loca
3) Vegan Eats & Treats
4) Mobetta Vegan
5) Sweet Potatoe

Also today I made some pasta with what ever vegetables were in my fridge.  I have been going on a pasta overload but its OK, because they are so good!  Today I had penne with capers, zucchini, spinach, shallots, broccoli, balsamic vinegar, and garlic!  It was so good and simple!

Pasta Primavera

Hey everyone!  My mom bought quite a few vegetables this week.  They all screamed Soup to me all week long so that’s what I made today!  I love making making soup.  I think what I love most is chopping all the vegetables, I think this is like the best part and eating it too.  Today I made a Minestrone soup which is a soup with beans, pasta, and vegetables.  I made a lot, by a lot I mean a pot overflowing with soup.  I will have leftovers for a while.  I love eating soup the more it sits, it just gets better and better.   Minestrone Soup is one of best soups and it is so simple to make, I throw whatever vegetables I have on hand, some beans, some pasta, broth, tomatoes, herbs, and that’s about it.  It’s that easy.  My mom has taught me everything I need to know about making a vegetable soup, that I can make it with my eyes closed!  I wrote a recipe that describes what I do most often when I make this soup. 

My Recipe for Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup 2

I use whatever vegetables I have on hand. Some of my key vegetables to include are cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes canned or fresh, and spinach. Feel free to add whatever you like. I add the vegetables that take longer to cook like potatoes, cabbage, carrots in the beginning and vegetables that take a shorter time to cook like zucchini in the end. This is a very verstile recipe, you could play around with it!

The Ingredients:
2 medium bell peppers diced small
1 onion chopped
4 garlic gloves
2-3 carrots diced small
2-3 stalks of celery diced small
2 small zucchinis diced Small
1/2 head of cabbage shredded
2 medium potatoes
1/2 pound of spinach
1/4 cup parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
2 bay leaves
8-10 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of white beans or more if you like I used fresh beans which is about 2 – 2.5 cups
28 oz can of tomatoes or 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes
1/2 cups short tubed pasta like elbow, I used orzo this time because it was all I had.
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

First you shred the cabbage, I shred it with a knife because the cabbage shreds better than in the food procceser.
prep for soup 1
Chop the onions, carrots, and celery.
prep for soup 2
Heat a soup pot with oil to medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile start chopping the rest of the vegetables.
cooking soup 1
Add the bell peppers. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the potatoes and cabbage. Also add the bay leave, oregano, thyme, salt/pepper and sage. Now you can add the broth and bring it to a boil. When it’s up to a boil bring it to simmer. Simmer it for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
soup cooking on the stove
Add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes. Now add the spinach and beans. Cook for 5 minutes. Finish it off with the fresh parsley. Enjoy!

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