Tag Archives: dinner

Golden Beets with Beans & Greens

Beets are in the Amaranth family and related to swiss chard, spinach, and sugar beets. The red ones are fun if you want to make Klingon Gagh or a stew but overall the golden variety is a lot easier to work with because you don’t have to worry about beet juice staining everything. I love buying beets because I feel like I am really getting my money’s worth since I can often stretch a bunch over several meals. The beet greens are the added bonus. They are easy enough to cook with a little garlic and olive oil but I was inspired by a post on the ppk to use oranges and sesame oil as well. I wanted to make something very healthy and filling so I added some quinoa, edamame, and peanuts. It was terrific and quick!

Golden Beets with Beans & Greens

preheat oven to 400F

bunch of beets, cleaned and greens separated, hard parts discarded.
peanut oil
1 onion cut in half moons
4 cloves garlic
1 cup edamame
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 & 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
handful of peanuts
dash of dried red chilies

Cut the beets in half. Place 2 halves on a piece of foil and drizzle on peanut oil, wrap up, and bake in the over 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile saute the onions in oil for a couple minutes, add the garlic and the chopped beet greens and cook about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and cook for another minute or 2. Add the edamame, the OJ and the water. Cover, and cook about 20 minutes until the quinoa is done. In the meantime toast the peanuts with the chile peppers on the stove in a small pan until slightly brown. When the beets are done, chop one and add it to the quinoa pot. Slice the rest into half moons and arrange them on the bottom of the bowl. Add the sesame oil and soy sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary and scoop a serving on top of the plated beets. Top with peanuts and green onions. Enjoy!


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Taco do Sul

OK, this picture is so awful but the tacos were really good and easy, a great summer taco, so I had to post about them!  First I made a quick marinade of a tablespoon of  Mexican oregano, 10  Kalamata olives, a small sweet orange pepper, and 1/2 cup of red wine. I steamed the tempeh for ten minutes then marinated for about and hour. Meanwhile, I made an orange-onion salsa with red onions, cumin, and oranges. Then, an hour later I sauted the tempeh in oil until it browned, added the marinade to the pan, reducded for a minute or two and then piled the tempeh into corn tortillas with spinach, and the orange-onion salsa. The olives rebounded so well with the peppers and the cumin sang its little cumin song of happiness in the background while the tempeh grounded everything in the way that only tempeh can. If someone makes these tacos and takes a better picture I will replace the picture and send you a gift from Lazy Smurf’s headquarters.  So make them! Eat them! and Enjoy!

Pascha Palachinke

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:

Asparagus with Peanut Sauce

I was not really able to stick to my menu plan starting almost immediately after I got home from the store. I was scheduled to make a tofu dish but I was really feeling noodles and I also didn’t feel like following a recipe so this is what I came up with. It was so delicious! I used the peanut sauce from Get it Ripe which was delicious, maybe the best creamy peanut sauce recipe that I have tried. Unfortunately, it used coconut milk and a lot of peanut butter so it was probably very fattening.

All I did was stir fry some onions, garlic, and asparagus while I cooked the udon noodles. When the noodles were done I mixed them with the peanut sauce, topped with the asparagus stir fry, cilantro, lime, and spring onions. It was a great fast meal.

A Newflower in town

I have been eagerly waiting for the new grocery store to open close to my house and yesterday was finally the grand opening of Newflower in Austin so I ventured down there into the craziness, it turned out I wasn’t the only one excited about a new store. See, South Austin is the superior part of Austin in many ways but we are far enough from Wheatsville Co-op that I can’t just hop over there every time I have a craving for popcorn tofu. We have a lot of grocery stores but they all have their problems, sun harvest and randalls both have limited selection and are over priced. Central Market is fantastic but it isn’t a place you can just drop in easily and it is too easy to buy unncessary gourmet items (I am looking at you aztec dark chocolate at 12.99 a pound). HEB is the cheapest and they have the freshest produce and nearly everything I need but I hate going there because it is so crowded with children, shopping carts, hookers, and people doing their shopping for the next year that it can be an all day afair. And you can’t turn left from the parking lot and I don’t have a left turn signal so it is really the antithesis of fun.

It turns out that I have never been to a grocery store for its grand opening before and I don’t think it is something I would ever do again. Sure, there were some great deals (Boulder potato chips for $1.50! 10 limes for a dollar!) and we got a free reusable bag and a flower but I had to stalk a women with her children in order to get a parking spot and you could hardly manuver through the store because people were standing in line almost to the back of the store waiting to check out! And it is a big store. Did you know that they make seperate bread for men and women now?

Don’t worry gender neutral, transexual, and other readers there is bread that isn’t as gender defined as well as vegan at newflower. Their produce seemed really well priced, right up there with HEB and they had a full organic selection. In fact, the whole place kind of reminded me of an HEB if you just took out the junk food aisles, the candy aisles, the aisles of shaving cream, the aisels of holiday junk, and all the other stuff that makes it a “normal” grocery store. They didn’t seem to have any fresh vegan deli items or products but they did have the normal standbys, garden burgers, tempeh, seitan, tofutti, earth balance, vital wheat gluetan,  amy’s meals etc but sadly nothing new and exciting. The bulk section had really well priced nuts and flours and there was a small wine and beer section as well. Overall it was more of a “grass fed beef” place then a vegan place but if I can park there and not spend a million dollars on organic avocados I will be a happy vegan.

I felt silly taking a picture of my groceries!

I felt silly taking a picture of my groceries!

When I got home I didn’t know what to make. This is what happens when you go to the grocery store with no definite purpose! I decided to make something with the eggplant because sometimes I forget about eggplants and I made a Pakistani dish from World Vegetarian that used the Panch Phorum and amchoor that I got last week. I also made some Lemon Rice from Heaven’s Banquet which was good, but should have been a little less lemony.It doesn’t look beautiful even with the sunflower they gave me! Dan wasn’t impressed with the eggplant but I thought it was great. Instead of draining the eggplant while you salt it, the recipe called for soaking it in salt water which lead to a texture similar to cooked mushrooms. I also threw in the spinach because the meal was noticeably lacking in greens. The rice was really good and you don’t add the lemon until the very end so if you want to try it add a little at a time and see how you like it so next time I will do that. If anyone want the recpies just let me know and I will add them to the post.

Vegetable Love – You sexy mother dumpling

Is food sexy? Should food be sexy? If cooking for someone is love and love is sex does that mean that cooking for someone is seduction? Here is what prince has to say about it:
(you should listen to the song while you read this post, but I didn’t want to force you to)

We need to talk about things
Tell me what cha do, tell me what cha eat
I might cook for you
See it really don’t matter ’cause it’s all about me and you
Ain’t no one else around
I’m even with the blindfold, gagged and bound
I don’t mind
See this ain’t about sex
It’s all about love being in charge of this life
And the next
Why all the cosmic talk?
I just want you smarter than I’ll ever be
When we take that walk

Come here baby, yeah
You sexy motherfucker

These are the questions that were circling my mind last night as I made the sexiest food I could think of.  Susan over at Fat Free Vegan is having a Vegetable Love contest. The idea was to make a sexy dish for Valentine’s day and just the idea of it sent my head spinning. My first thought was asparagus and then quickly followed by mangoes. I thought about Oysters, I remember Dan Fielding was always seducing his conquests with oysters on Night Court but obviously they fall into the not vegan category. I knew I wanted to make some sort of dumpling as well so that the meal would be squishy and bursting with flavor but it also had to be spicy so I decided to stuff my dumplings with some sort of mango Thai fry. I thought about making a seitan sausage but I quickly decided that would be too much work and it would overpower the filling. I didn’t want to use tofu because that is such an easy way out! Then, inspiration hit me in such a way that if I were a cartoon a light bulb would have burst over my head: Oyster Mushrooms! It occurred to me to wrap the dumpling like a giant tortellini around an asparagus and finish them off on a bed of coconut rice. I went to the store thinking about how I was going to create something that could truly be called food porn. 

Making the meal was certainly a labor of love but once I tasted it and Dan said, “I can’t believe you came up with this whole dish” I knew it was all worth it. This was one of the best meals I have ever made.

Asparagus Mango Dumplings with Coconut Basil Rice

For the Dumpling Wrappers:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of boiling water

Add the water to a bowl with the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon. If it is too sticky you can add more flour a tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry you can add more water a tablespoon at a time. Knead for 10 minutes until a hole poked in the dough fills back in. Let it rest in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:
*save your onion, garlic, scallion, and cilantro scraps for the steaming water
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, chopped
2 red chili peppers, chopped
1/2 lbs of oyster mushrooms, separated into smaller pieces
1/2 cup of mango pineapple juice (or one or the other)
1 mango, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a bit of oil or broth in a large skillet or wok on high heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for about three minutes. Add the spices wait a minute, stir, and then add garlic, chilies, and ginger. Stir for another minute then add the mushrooms and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the juice and add the mango. Sauté for another minute or two then add the scallions and cilantro and remove from the heat.

For the Rice
1 teaspoon of coconut butter
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of basil, reserve some for plating and chop the rest
1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of Vegeta or broth powder

Melt the coconut butter over medium heat making sure that it doesn’t burn. Add the garlic and scallion and sauté for about three minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, the rice, and the basil and cook another minute. Finally, add the water and the broth powder, mix well, reduce heat to low, cover and steam rice for about 30 minutes.

To Assemble
6 asparagus, end removed
red cabbage leaves to line the steamer
2 limes, quartered

Fill your steamer pot with water, the leftover trimmings, and the limes. Line your steamer tray with red cabbage leaves. I have a bamboo steamer that has two layers, you could use a steamer insert though and just do three at a time putting them upright and then keeping them warm in the oven. Roll out your dough into a rope and tear of fist sized portion. Roll the dough into a ball and then press it together between to parchment sheet. Roll it into a thin flat disc, about 7 inches in diameter. Scoop two tablespoons of filling into the middle of the disc and then seal into a half moon shape. Place the asparagus with the bottom in the middle of the dumpling and fold the two corners over it and seal the edges with water if necessary. Repeat until you have 6 for two people. I made extra dumplings with the leftover filling for later and just folded them into half moons without the asparagus. Bring the steamer water to a boil and place the dumpling in the tray. Alternate the trays after about 5 minutes of cooking. Remove the dumpling with tongs and if the rice isn’t ready put them in a warmed oven until you are ready. For plating I put the steamed red cabbage leaves and some basil leaves on the bottom of the bowl, I molded the rice into a smaller bowl and inverted it in the center of the dish. I topped arranged the dumplings on top, and sprinkled some sesame seeds and a mix of soy sauce, lime, and siracha. Enjoy!


Thanksgiving Leftovers: A slice of Thanksgiving

I don’t know if I made it very clear that I love Thanksgiving. Now that the big meal is over I keep having all these flashes of different things I could make with the core ingredients. As I side note, I think it is really weird that the internet at the papers are filled with “what to do with all this leftover turkey” I mean, how hard is it? It is roasted poultry, just cook anything? Since becoming vegan I realized that the turkey is not the flavor if Thanksgiving. The key, really, is the mix of gravy, potatoes and cranberries together that is so unique and representative of the meal. And stuffing. Oh I love stuffing. I love it and I am not afraid to admit it.

So I was thinking about eating the potatoes, roasted, for dinner (we had already had the leftover seitan for lunch) I wanted to slice them thin and utilize Brussels sprouts and then I starting thinking how nice it would be if they were roasted together on a pizza. When I thought of making a gravy as the base a lightbulb went off and I went to the kitchen to work on the pizza. First I used I made the dough using a standard recipe and adding chopped sage and rosemary into the crust. Next, I started to caramelize a sweet onion and sliced and prepared the rest of my toppings: potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pearl onions, garlic, pecans, and green beans. When the onion was finally done I added a dash of celery seeds and pinch of sage and then set it aside while I made a roux in the same pan with a little earth balance and flour. I added about a half a cup of stock, added the onions back in, and threw the whole mix in the food processor to blend it into a paste. I smoothed it out over the crust, topped it with the vegetables and put the whole shebang in the oven for about 20 minutes. When it came out, I topped it with dollops of leftover cranberry sauce and then enjoyed it to an extent that I can not convey to you. It was all the wonder of the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich but toasty, roasty, and better.

I was worried that the pizza was going to suffer from the absence of the stuffing element but I think the crust and the celery seeds in the gravy perfectly melded into the correct flavors and even a similar texture.