This weekend it was nice to start cooking non-Thanksgiving food! My house was practically wiped out of vegetables and staples but we managed to come up with enough to keep us happy and well fed.On Sunday I made Fennel Breakfast Risotto, a recipe from Vegan Brunch. I made a lot of little changes to pump up the flavors because it was a little lacking but with more seasoning, nooch, and vegeta it turned out wonderful, especially since I made the smokey mushrooms on top. I think the mushrooms were very important and should always be a part of the recipe not optional!
We also made crepes over the weekend, again from Vegan Brunch. I just adore this crepe recipe, they are the best one I have found since going vegan. We stuffed them for lunch with Kittie’s recipe for Atar Allecha
I was a little disappointed because the recipe said it would serve 6 to 8 but I should have realized that would only be true if you were making a traditional Ethiopian feast of many different dishes because it wouldn’t have served the two of us without the last minute addition of steamed broccoli. I am excited to try the other recipes she has for Ethiopian food now that we have the niter kebbeh made. Later that night I stuffed the crepes with bananas and white chocolate and the were amazing.
And speaking of Ethiopia, I won a cookbook called The New American Table by Marcus Samuelsson. The author was born in Ethiopia but grew up in Sweden and then moved to the US as a young man. He fell in love with all the different styles of food coming together here and became a chef. I love this book, it is really big, with tons of really interesting recipes and has the most beautiful pictures. Even though there is lots of meat and dairy he also has plenty of completely vegan recipes since he focuses on new twists of immigrant food. He even cooked a vegetarian feast for President Obama and the Prime Minister of India at the white house! I wonder what I would cook for Obama. Probably I would have a total panic attack trying to decide and then end up making something really stupid that was inspired by the White Sox. Like crepes that are shaped like socks stuffed with polish sauasges and sauerkraut.
Anyway, I have found the book very inspiring and am excited to try some of the ideas like tea-poached bok choi. Mr. Smurf made the vegetable soup last night and it was amazing, the flavors were kind of Asian but Italian too. I didn’t make it so I don’t remember everything that went in it though! It had amazing depth of flavor. We will make it again I am sure.
One of the reasons that I picked this recipe was because we had almost everything we needed on hand except for the avocado. On the way home from the gym I stopped by the store to pick one up and they gave it to me for free! So I didn’t spend one cent over the four day weekend. I am proud because I have to save up for Miami for New Years, Chicago for Serbian Christmas, and maybe London for a wedding in February! So expect a lot of cabbage, rice and potatoes in the weeks ahead.
Growing up Serbian Orthodox you always celebrate holidays a few weeks after the rest of the country which always made me feel a little important somehow; like my holidays were more authentic then these silly neighbors of mine who would celebrate their holidays on any old day the man told them to. Yes, I was self important even as a child, but you know, Orthodox Lent is really 40 days of veganism and vegans are known as self-important so maybe it was a natural fit. The 40 days is usually finished off with killing a lamb. I didn’t kill any lambs this year for Pascha (Easter) but I did make some vegan crepes (or Palachinke in Serbian) with the finest Spring ingredients. I found green garlic, ramps, baby Swiss chard, and oyster mushrooms at the farmer’s market so I wanted to use them. I was disappointed that another Spring was about to pass by again without me getting to try Fiddlehead Ferns but then I found them at central market! I was so excited. I baked all the vegetables in a 400 oven with earth balance and salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. And they turned out delicious, what a brilliant combination. The ramps were like leeks but different enough to have a flavor all their own. The fiddlheads tasted like asparagus, a curly, snappy version of asparagus.
I used the recipe for the crepes from the voluptuous vegan and it once again proved to be a winner. I also made the baked tofu recipe from the voluptuous vegan and it was really good, creamy and flavorful but fast and easy and so it was a perfect match for these easy crepes.
I had earlier gone to the Texas Food and Wine festival and at a cooking demo I realized that I don’t eat enough parsley. It is the perfect complement to a Spring dish, the flavor is really fresh and just kind of zippy. I did a little epicurious search and found a parsley pesto with toasted pepitas and decided it would be perfect, without the parmesan of course and adding a little citrus. It was delicious! Parsley is one of those foods that I didn’t used to like but now I am finally coming around to it. If you want to move into a new phase with you relationship with parsley I recommend this recipe. The creamy pepitas really added a nice element to the strong parsley and toned it down. I could eat this pesto buy itself or just on bread because it was so good. Maybe I will make it with pasta tonight. The perfect pepita parsley pesto pasta. The whole crepe came together really nicely. Mr. Smurf used at least 4 reallys when he was complementing the final dish. If you find these fiddlehead ferns and the farmer’s market definitely try some.Here is the recipe for the pepita parsley pesto
1/3 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 small garlic clove
2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBSP of Lime
Process the garlic first, then add the pepitas and process a little more. Add the rest of ingredients, process until pesto consistency and add salt and pepper.
This post was brought to you by the letter P and the following sponsers:
I haven’t had a lot of luck with vegan crêpes until now. The recipe from the Voluptous Vegan will now be my go to recipe, every single one turned out perfect, no sticking, no splitting, and the crepes were the perfect consistancy. Since they were made with chickpea flour and chives they tasted super, a little Indian even.
I also used her recipe for White Bean and Garlic sauce which was fantastic. The directions didn’t say to blend it, but I thought it would make a more appealing sauce but really it tasted like the world’s greatest vegan gravy. All you do it chop two onions and cook them for 7 minutes, add 8 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for another minute, add a can of white beans, a bouquet garni of 5 sage leaves, a bay leaf, and a sprig of thyme, and 2.5 cups of broth. Let it cook for about 15 minutes, remove the bouquet garni and blend. It was easy, healthy and delicious.
For the vegetables I just chopped up broccoli, cauliflower, a red onion, a sweet potato, and some garlic, sprinkled it with seasoning and oil and roasted in a 375 degree oven. It was a great combo but whatever mix you have will probably work. I am excited because I have extra vegetables and more crepes and more gravy so no cooking tonight! It was really a fantastic meal and so easy to do. I want to remember to make it the next time I have company and don’t have anything prepared since everything I used was a pantry stable.