Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Turkey" Noodle Soup

(recipe from Whole Foods Market, but I made it vegan)

1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme (I used several teaspoons dried)
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
2 cups whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1 package seitan, shredded (about 2 cups)
salt & pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in 1/2 cup broth or water for 6 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.  Stir in broth, 4 cups water, and thyme and bring to a boil.  Add kale and macaroni and return to a boil.  Cook about 5 minutes or until macaroni is al dente.  Stir in seitan, salt, and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until seitan is heated through.  Remove thyme sprigs before serving.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ethiopian-Spiced Pumpkin Bisque

(recipe from online site Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen)

1 small (about 3 lbs.) pie pumpkin or winter squash (about 3 cups cooked pumpkin)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2-4 tsp. berbere spice mix (recipe follows)
1/2 to 1 cup non-dairy milk, as needed (I used almond milk)
2 tsp. lime juice
salt & pepper, to taste
pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional

To make the berbere spice mixture:
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground fenugreek
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (use less to decrease spiciness, or substitute paprika)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground sea salt (optional)

(This makes 4 Tbsp. of seasoning, but the bisque only calls for 2-4 tsp.  Store the leftover seasoning in a spice jar in a cool, dark place.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut the pumpkin or squash in half and scrape out the seeds and strings.  Place cut-side up on a baking sheet and cover with foil (or place in a large, covered baking dish).  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until flesh is very tender when pricked with a fork.  Remove and allow to cool until it can be handled comfortably.

Cook the onion in a large, non-stick pot over medium-high heat until it begins to brown.  (If it starts to stick, add a Tbsp. of water and stir well.)  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add a splash of the broth to deglaze the pan, and then pour into a blender.  Scrape the pumpkin out of its shell and add the flesh to the blender, along with the remaining broth, tomato paste, and berbere spice mix.  Blend until smooth.

Pour the contents of the blender back into the pot, cover, and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Add the non-dairy milk, using as much as needed to reach the right consistency.  Add the lime juice, salt, pepper, and simmer for about 5 more minutes before serving.  Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, if desired.

(1/8/12  Used the last of my frozen 2010 Halloween pumpkin puree!  I like that this soup is savory, not sweet as pumpkin soups often tend to be.  It is spicy!  Be careful with the berbere mix - add to taste.  Brought to work in canning jars for my lunches for the week, and enjoyed it every time.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012


(recipe from Nigella Lawson)

1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
1/2 cup Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or other orange liquer, chilled
2 cups cranberry juice, chilled

Mix all together in a large pitcher and serve!

(These are lovely and easy.  My cocktail for Christmas 2011.  Served with cheese and crackers and appies for Joann, Alison and Josie the Thursday before Christmas.  Served Christmas day with Ben, Laura, and Justin.  Served the day before New Year's with mom, dad, and Sage.  A hit! - Nigella will never lead you astray.)

New England Cranberry Relish Stuffing

(recipe from Stonewall Kitchen)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 lb. vegetarian sausage, crumbled (I adore Gimme Lean)
1 small yellow onion, medium dice
1 large celery stalk, medium dice
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups vegetable stock
1 loaf day old bread, cut into cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Heat large sauce pan on stove.  Add oil.  Heat one minute more.  Render sausage until lightly browned.  Add onions, celery, cranberry relish, and Old Bay to the pan.  Sweat for about seven minutes, until the onions become translucent.  Add stock and bring to a simmer.  Place cubed bread in a large stainless steel bowl and pour above mixture over it.  Mix well.  If stuffing is too dry, add more stock.  Place in a casserole dish, cover with foil, and cook in the oven at 375F for approximately 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm and enjoy.

(I made this Christmas day for dinner with Justin, Ben and Laura.  It was absolutely delicious.  We also ate crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller, baked yams, brussels sprouts, and an almond ring for dessert.  Cheese & crackers and Poinsettias before dinner.  A game of Clue after dinner.  It snowed lightly all day.)