Northstar Cafe beet and black bean burgers

May 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Root vegetables, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog, Winter recipes)

I’ve never eaten at Northstar Cafe, but when I went looking for a veggie burger recipe I found tons of people raving about their veggie burgers, which are made with beets and black beans.  A number of people have even tried to reconstruct the recipe.  I decided to try the recipe from Read the rest of this entry »

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Bok choy, fennel, and leek

May 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Dark leafy greens, East and SE Asia, Other, Vegetable dishes)

I pulled out the Rancho La Puerta cookbook (by Bill Wavrin) this week and started looking for a new recipe to try.  Many of the recipes call for ingredients I can’t get here in Germany.  I did, however, find one recipe with “German” ingredients that intrigued me.  The recipe is titled  bok choy, fennel, and spinach, but it also calls for four leeks, a chile, star anise, garlic, ginger, and fresh rosemary.  The flavors are pretty typical Asian flavors except for the rosemary, which seems odd here.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Thai tofu salad

May 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), East and SE Asia, Other, Salads, Tofu)

This is another recipe from the cookbook Buddha’s Table by Chat Mingkwan.  I bought mint and cilantro for a recipe, but then forgot which recipe I had bought them for.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the herbs and decided to make a deconstructed Vietnamese spring (summer?) roll salad. But at the last minute I saw this recipe for a minced tofu salad, which calls for mint and cilantro, and decided to try it instead. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oatmeal cookies with steel cut oats, coconut, and raisins

March 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cookies, Dessert, Website / blog)

I was trying to use up a container of very fine ground steel cut oats before Passover.  I thought it would be interesting to try to use the steel cut oats to make oatmeal cookies, but I couldn’t find many such recipes.  There are a few out there that call for a small portion of steel cut oats that are cooked before adding them to the cookie batter.  I was looking for a recipe that used a larger quantity of uncooked oats.  In the end I used a combination of these two recipes from the Anson Mills website:  oatmeal coconut cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies.  I didn’t have a full cup of coconut (and mine was unsweetened), so I added some raisins to compensate.

The cookies came out huge. They actually looked just like the cookies in the picture.  The texture was very light and fluffy, and the taste was oaty but not very sweet.  Derek said that they tasted more like scones than cookies.  Maybe, but the recipe called for way more sugar than a typical scone recipe.

I served these cookies to guests at our poker game.  I thought they tasted too healthy and no one would eat them, but all but two got eaten up.  I sent the last two home with a guest who had really enjoyed them.  Then the next day Derek asked where the cookies were.  I told him I’d given the last two away since he didn’t seem to like them, and he about-faced and claimed that he did indeed like them and was not at all pleased that I’d given the last cookies away!

Still, I don’t think I’d make these cookies again.  They were okay but they’re not healthy enough to be real food, and if I’m gonna eat a cookie it might as well be a marvelous one.

Rating: B-

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California-style vegetarian tortilla soup

March 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm (101 cookbooks, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Mexican & S. American, soup)

Visitors from Austin brought us 90 perfect corn tortillas from El Milagro in Austin.  Despite languishing in lost baggage for two days, they arrived in Saarbruecken in perfect shape.  They were so fresh and corny tasting, I think our visitors must have purchased them right from the factory.    Derek and I ate most of the first 30 ourselves, just plain or with refries or scrambled tofu.  I froze the second and third batches.  Before the last few tortillas in the first package were gone, I decided I wanted to try to make tortilla soup with homemade baked corn “chips”. I love Peter Berley’s miso-based tortilla soup, but I wanted to try something a little different today.  I decided to try the california-style vegetarian tortilla soup from 101 cookbooks.

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Campanelle with two mushrooms and rosemary

February 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Italian, Jack Bishop, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

I asked Derek what he wanted for dinner, and he very quickly replied “mushrooms”.  Perhaps his decision was influenced by the very tasty mushroom soup I made last week.  I got out the cookbooks and started looking for mushroom recipe.  I found a bulgur mushroom pilaf that I plan on trying, and a pasta dish in Jack Bishop’s Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, which I’d made once before.  Based on the note in the cookbook I hadn’t been that excited about it, but I wasn’t sure how carefully I had followed the recipe, and I decided to try it again.  Below is the recipe, with my modifications and my version of the instructions.


  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms
  • 3/4 pound campanelle, orecchiette, or small shells
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about .8 ounces)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish


  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for cooking the pasta.
  2. Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup hot water.  Soak until softened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Chop the onion, garlic, and rosemary.  Start cooking the onion.  In a large saute pan heat the butter and oil.  Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute more.
  4. While the onion cooks, thinly slice the mushrooms.  When the garlic is done cooking, add the mushrooms to the saute pan.  Saute until golden brown and the liquid they give off has evaporated, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, add salt to taste and the pasta.  Cook until al dente and then drain.
  6. While the pasta cooks, prepare the porcinis.  Carefully lift the mushrooms from the liquid.  Wash them if they feel gritty.  Chop them.  Add the choped porcini mushrooms to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to release their flavor.  Strain the soaking liquid through a sieve into the pan, and bring to a boil.  Cover and remove from the heat.
  7. When the pasta is done, add it to the mushrooms along with the cheese and parsley.  Toss over medium-low heat just until the cheese melts and the pasta absorbs the liquid in the pan.  Serve immediately.

My notes

Based on the post it note comment I had stuck in the cookbook, I upped the garlic from 2 medium cloves to 2 large cloves, and increased the rosemary from 1 tsp. to 1.5 tsp.  The recipe recommends orecchiette, but I didn’t have any so used campanelle instead.  Also, the original recipe calls for 1 pound of pasta, but we always find that the pasta to sauce ratio in Bishop’s recipes is too high, so I reduced the pasta to 3/4 pound.

The recipe worked fine.  All the instructions seem correct and the recipe came out as (I imagine) it was intended.  But I didn’t care for it.  Even increasing the rosemary and adding more as a garnish, I couldn’t taste much rosemary flavor.  The flavor of the mushrooms didn’t excite me, and I found the dish overall a bit boring.  I had to add more cheese to get it to taste like much at all. I also tried adding a little soy sauce, but it was too strong for the delicate flavors.  My post it note from my last attempt sums it up:  “Okay, not great.  Bland at first, improved by adding more rosemary.  Recipe calls for too much pasta, use 3/4 pound.  Not creamy enough to warrant all that butter.”  I’ve tried a number of mushroom pasta dishes in the last few years, and none of them has excited me.  Maybe I just don’t like mushrooms and pasta?  Or maybe (as Derek claims) I just don’t know how to cook mushrooms!

Derek liked it more than me.  He happily went for seconds, and said I should make it again.  I froze the last serving and Derek ate it for dinner the night we got back from our overseas flight from Austin.  He said it was still good, even after it had been frozen and defrosted in the microwave.

Rating: B-

Derek: B

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Broccoli, carrot, tofu stir-fry in ginger sauce

February 8, 2010 at 1:09 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Chinese, Cook's Illustrated, Cruciferous rich, Tofu, Vegetable dishes)

I cannot make Chinese food to save my life. My special talent is ruining stir-fries.  Yet I keep trying.  Today I started with a recipe for stir-fried tofu and bok choy in ginger sauce from Cooks Illustrated’s The Best Light Recipe and modified it to fit what was in the fridge.  I ended up with a tofu, broccoli, carrot, scallion, ginger, garlic stir-fry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tofu and millet patties

December 27, 2009 at 11:10 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Grains, The Vegan Gourmet, Tofu)

I wanted to use up some leftover millet, and decided to try a variation on the tofu patties in The Vegan Gourmet.  I figured I’d try out one more recipe before passing it on.  The recipe calls for bulgur rather than millet, but I figured the two grains are similar enough, and the substitution should work okay.

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Cornmeal cookies

December 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm (Alice Medrich, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cookies, Dessert, Necessarily nonvegan)

Derek wanted to make almond crescent cookies, but we didn’t have enough almonds, or his mom’s recipe.  We decided to try these delicate cornmeal cookies instead.  The recipe is from Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich.

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Spicy cauliflower simmered in red wine

December 25, 2009 at 11:17 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Italian, Jack Bishop, Vegetable dishes)

I love cauliflower, but other than cauliflower curry, I actually don’t have any standby recipes for it.  I was looking for something new to try, and I found this recipe in which the cauliflower is simmered in red wine instead of water.  It sounded interesting, and, as an added bonus, it would give me a chance to use up the red wine that we often have lying around from unfinished bottles. The recipe is from Jack Bishop’s The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook.

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Polenta with white beans, chard, and celery

December 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Meyer & Romano, Other, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

I asked Derek what to make for dinner and he suggested making something out of Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe, which we haven’t used in a long time.  There’s not much vegetarian in the main course section, but we found two yummy looking recipes in the chapter on sides.  The first recipe was a relatively light recipe for soft polenta with white beans and veggies.  It didn’t call for any butter or cream or cheese, just olive oil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tofu in garlic-thyme vinaigrette

December 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm (Baked tofu, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Peter Berley, Tofu)

I really like Berley’s recipe for tofu baked in white wine, mustard, and dill.  The recipe directly opposite that one in Berley’s cookbook is a similar recipe for tofu baked in a garlic, thyme vinaigrette.  I vaguely remember trying it once before, and not finding it all that exciting, although Derek liked it quite a bit.  Since I have no record on my blog or notes in my cookbooks, I decided to try it again.

The vinaigrette calls for olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt, red pepper flakes, and “2 bay leaves, crumbled”.  I’m not sure exactly how you crumble bay leaves, but both times I tried this recipe I ended up with jagged pieces that were not pleasant to eat.  I thought maybe I should have tried to remove the pieces of bay leaf, but there were enough pieces that it would have been a pain, plus the recipe doesn’t mention removing them.

Other than the prickly bay leaves, the recipe was fine.  I wouldn’t make it again though.  The tofu seemed a bit greasy to me, and it doesn’t end up very flavorful.  Even after baking it for a long time, the center of each piece was still white and bland and kind of raw tasting.  The marinade didn’t infuse the tofu with flavor like the Greek marinade does.

Derek liked this recipe more than me, both times I made it.  He scarfed it down happily.  I didn’t ask him for a rating, but he would have probably said B or B+.

Rating: B-

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Autumn tempeh and winter vegetable stew

October 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Peter Berley, Root vegetables, Starches, Tempeh)

I felt a little guilty that I criticized this recipe when I deviated so much from the instructions, so I added it to my list of “to try again” recipe. But I wasn’t in a particular rush to make it again until friends of mine (who bought the cookbook on my recommendation) started raving about it. They don’t read this blog, and so their attempt and opinion were both entirely independent of my own. When they started gushing about how good the recipe was, I decided I had to try it again. Derek tried to discourage me from making it when we had company over, but I could not be dissuaded.

This time I made every effort to follow the recipe exactly. I used my heavy, cast iron, 6-quart dutch oven. I used all the butter and oil and soy sauce, and I added the kombu and scallions this time. I used just rosemary, but put in more than last time (I’m still not sure exactly what a “sprig” is.) I used butternut squash instead of Kuri since we disliked the Kuri squash so much the last time. I again forgot to make the pilaf, however.

I was cooking with my friend Alex, and we made sure to bring the mixture to a boil before putting it in the oven. Yet when we pulled it out of the oven the vegetables were still undercooked, and even raw in places. My only possible explanation is that we didn’t actually bring it to a full boil. So I put it back on the stove, added another 1/2 cup of water, and this time left it until steam was pouring out underneath the lid. I put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. At this point everything was cooked, but there was surprisingly little liquid (even after adding the final cup of water + soy sauce at the end). It certainly didn’t seem to be a stew, and it didn’t taste like it had been “simmering on the stovetop all day”, as Berley claimed. The overall flavor was much better than my previous attempt, however. I attribute this mostly to the extra fat and salt and rosemary. It tasted a little like gravy/Thanksgiving, but the ginger and soy sauce and kombu gave it a slightly Asian attitude.

Still, however, I was disappointed in the vegetables. The butternut squash (despite being cut in 2-inch pieces), was almost falling apart. I thought the thick, wormy onion rings were kind of disgustingly slimy. The carrots and parsnips held their shape, but they weren’t nearly as tasty as roasted carrots and parsnips. Again, they almost tasted boiled/steamed. I really prefer them caramelized and roasted. I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to eat the Kombu or not. Derek tried a piece and said it didn’t taste like much–a mild seaweed flavor.

Even after all my corrections, Derek wasn’t too excited about the dish, but then he said “well I must like it more than I thought because I want seconds”. He gave it a B rating, but he wasn’t too interested in the leftovers. I’d give it a B-. It tasted okay, but I’m pretty sure I won’t make this recipe again.  I’d just rather have all those yummy winter veggies roasted, or use them to make a nice, country Thai stew.  In fact, I couldn’t eat the leftovers at all–I ended up tossing them.  Something about the dish gives me the heebie jeebies.   I might, however, try just cooking the tempeh on the stove top with ginger and garlic and rosemary and soy sauce, and then serving it with roasted veggies.

Original post: Oct 3, 2009

Fall is here, and parsnips and winter squash are finally in the stores again!  I decided to celebrate by trying this recipe from the fall section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast.

In a medium dutch oven you melt together butter and oil, then add kombu, garlic, ginger, and rosemary or sage.  On top of this seasoning layer you place 1 pound of tempeh cubes.  The tempeh is then covered with a mixture of water, soy sauce, and maple syrup.  Then come the remaining layers:  onions, winter squash, parsnip, and carrots, all cut into thick slices or chunks.  The casserole is covered, and the stew is brought to a boil, then transferred to a 400 degree oven where it bakes for 25 minutes.  Once everything is cooked, the vegetables and tempeh are transferred to a serving bowl, and a mixture of arrowroot and water and soy sauce is mixed in with the juices remaining in the pan, to make a sort of gravy.  The vegetables are topped with the sauce and some scallions, and served over a bulgur and buckwheat pilaf.

I didn’t have any kombu, so I just left it out.  I cut the olive oil by half, the butter by 25%, and used less soy sauce.  I didn’t make the pilaf since I felt like the dish had plenty of starchy vegetables already.  I used rosemary for the herb, and Hokkaido (red kuri) for the winter squash. I forgot the scallions.  Otherwise I followed the recipe’s ingredients exactly.

The first mistake I made was using a 3 quart casserole pan.  I only have a 6 quart dutch oven, and that seemed too large.  But the 3 quart pan was not large enough.  Once all the veggies were layered in the lid couldn’t quite close.  I tried cooking it anyway, with the lid mostly closed, but after 25 minute the parsnips were still hard in spots, so I left it in the oven for a while longer, maybe another 15 minutes.

In the end the vegetables were definitely cooked, but they tasted more like boiled vegetables than roasted ones.  The onions were particularly slimy and unappealing.  The starchy vegetables weren’t overly soft, just bland and not very flavorful.  The Hokkaido was particularly unpleasant–overly dry and starchy tasting.  Maybe I should have added more salt, but I don’t think that alone would have been transformed the vegetables from unappetizing to delicious.   I can’t imagine that Berley intended the vegetables to come out as they did.  They were just too gross.  Could I have really screwed up the recipe somehow?

Despite the dish’s name, the final product was not anything like a stew.  There were only about 1.5 cups of sauce for almost 3 quarts of vegetables–not even close to a stew in my book.

The tempeh wasn’t bad. It had absorbed all the fat (the vegetables didn’t get any), and was sweet (from the maple syrup and veggie juices) and salty (from the soy sauce).  Plus the garlic and ginger added lots of flavor.  However, I couldn’t taste the rosemary.

Derek and I ended up eating all the tempeh out of the “stew”, and then I pureed the vegetables together to make a creamy soup.  I added some spices and the soup tasted okay, but not great.

Stew: D

Tempeh: B-

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Skillet green beans with garlic and lemon

September 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cook's Illustrated, Vegetable dishes)

I wanted a quick, flavorful green bean dish for dinner last night, and I decided to try this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated “Best Light Recipe” cookbook.


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (C.I. calls for chicken broth)
  • 1.5 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan


  1. Heat the oil, garlic, thyme, and cayenne in a 12-inch skillet, until fragrant.  Then add the broth and green beans.  Turn the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until the green beans are not quite tender, 6 to 9 minutes.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry.  Push the green beans to the side of the pan, and add the slurry to the empty side.  Cook until the slurry starts to simmer, then mix it with the green beans.  Cook until the green beans are tender and the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat, and add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the parmesan before serving.


I only had about 1 1/3 pounds green beans, but I used the full amount of ingredients.  Despite skimping on the beans, the sauce wasn’t too strong. I used arrowroot instead of cornstarch, but otherwise followed the recipe.  The green beans tasted fine, but the sauce was very mellow.  With all that garlic, I was expecting something with a little more bite (like the lemon/mustard green beans in Modern Vegetarian Kitchen).  Derek said that part of the problem was that I overcooked the beans.  Although I would have preferred them a bit more crisp, I didn’t think they were very overcooked.  They were just very mild tasting.  The parmesan and cornstarch really mellow out the bite from the garlic, and the lack of much oil made the whole thing taste just a little wan.   Also, I’m not sure why the salt is added at the end instead of with the vegetable broth.  The thyme was fine, but not quite the right seasoning for green beans I think.  I don’t think I’d make this recipe as is again.  At the very least I’d save some raw garlic and throw it in at the very end.  Also, I would serve it with rice or another grain to soak up some of the sauce.  However, if you like more mellow flavors, and are looking for an easy, very low calorie vegetable side dish, then give this a try.

Rating: B-

Derek: B-

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Summer rice salad

July 19, 2009 at 6:45 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Italian, Jack Bishop, Salads, Starches, Summer recipes)

I was looking for something to do with some yellow and red bell peppers, and I found a recipe in Jack Bishop’s Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook for a summer salad made with arborio rice.  I normally just use arborio rice for risotto, so I was excited about trying something new with it.  The rice is boiled in salted water like pasta, until al dente (about 16 minutes), and then mixed with a vinaigrette and allowed to cool before the vegetables and herbs are mixed in.

Bishop says to peel and seeds the tomatoes and cucumber, but I just seeded the tomatoes, and peeled neither.  If I made this again, I wouldn’t even bother to seed the tomatoes. I think the pulpy parts would add more tomato flavor.  My cucumbers were the little tiny ones that have small seeds–maybe if you have big, waxy American cucumbers it would be worth seeding and peeling them.   I didn’t have fresh parsley, but I doubled the basil to two tablespoons.  I also forgot to add the one garlic clove that Bishop calls for. The salad tasted okay, but was a bit boring, and the ratio of rice to vegetables seemed too high.  I added one red bell pepper, another kirby cucumber, and two more small tomatoes to the salad.  The extra veggies helped, but it was still a little boring.  Derek thought it needed pesto, and I agree that it definitely needed more than 2 Tbs. of herbs.  After my tweaks the salad was pleasant eaten with scrambled eggs and garlicky chard for lunch, but I wouldn’t make it again without making some additional changes.

Here are the ingredients, with my suggested changes:

  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • salt
  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 small, ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 small kirby cucumbers, diced
  • 10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Tbs. minced parsley
  • 2 Tbs. minced basil leaves

Rating: B-

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Egg salad

January 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm (101 cookbooks, breakfast, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Necessarily nonvegan, Quick weeknight recipe)

I’ve never been a big fan of eggs, but for some reason I was tempted by Heidi Swanson’s egg salad sandwich recipe.  She says it’s the only egg salad she likes, which seemed like a good sign.  I followed her instructions for boiling the eggs, but when I tried to peel them I couldn’t get the peel off without taking off some of the egg white as well.  I’m not sure what I did wrong.  The yolks seemed cooked, so I don’t think I undercooked the eggs.

The one change I made to the recipe was using yogurt instead of mayo.  Heidi has another recipe for curried egg salad that calls for yogurt, so I figured it was a reasonable substitute.

The egg salad looked pretty, and it tasted okay, if a bit bland, but it kind of grossed me out.  Something about all those eggs…  Derek didn’t like it much either.  He ate it when I gave it to him, but he didn’t really like it.  He says he never really liked egg salad.

Rating: B-
Derek: C

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Ethiopian inspired vegetable stew

January 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm (Beans, Beans and greens, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Dark leafy greens, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog)

Derek really liked the last red lentil dish I made from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and I love Ethiopian food, so I thought I’d try SusanV’s Ethiopian inspired red lentil soup.

The recipe calls for a non-stick pan, but I used my stainless steel 3 quart saucepan, and added a tsp. of olive oil to saute the onion.  My choice of pan was a mistake however, as this recipe makes about 4 quarts of stew!  I wish SusanV had mentioned this when specifying a pan.  Once the lentils were done cooking and I had to add in all the vegetables I had to move the stew into my 6 quart casserole pan. I used frozen green beans and frozen spinach and canned tomatoes, but even so making the stew took longer than I had expected.  I didn’t want to mix up a large batch of berbere, so I thought I’d just add each spice directly to the pot.  SusanV says to add 1/8 tsp. of each spice, but that would only add up to about 1/2 Tablespoon of berbere, whereas the recipe calls for 2 to 3 Tablespoons.  I’m not sure why her numbers are off, but I added about 1/2 tsp. of each spice.  I added less than a quarter teaspoon of cloves and allspice, as these spices are much stronger than the others.  I was surprised that the recipe calls for them in the same quantities as the other spices.

The final dish is more like a thick, creamy vegetable stew than a red lentil soup.  The stew tastes very healthy and is pretty filling, and the flavor is fine, but the dish is a tad boring.  I served the dish with dosas and raita, and Derek said it was okay as a dosa filling, but not tasty enough to serve for company.  It’s possible that if I had made the berbere mix and put in the full amount of all the spices the flavor would have been better, but I doubt it.  It was actually pretty strongly seasoned, just not a terribly interesting seasoning.

Rating: B-

Derek: B-

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Roasted Okra

November 9, 2008 at 9:46 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Quick weeknight recipe, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog)

I came across a recipe for roasted okra online at fatfree vegan kitchen, and decided to give it a try.  The recipe sounded novel yet simple to make, and I’m always looking for new ways to cook okra.  Derek liked the roasted okra quite a bit: he had seconds and then thirds.  I found the roasted okra a little odd, but tasty.  The pods became very soft–so soft you could even eat the tops, which are normally too hard and prickly.  Some okra pods were stringy, and difficult to bite through or even cut through with a butter knife, but they all had that great okra flavor.

Derek: B+

Rating: B-

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Truffled celery root and potato gratin

October 5, 2008 at 7:06 am (101 cookbooks, Beverage, C (2 stars, okay, edible), My brain, Root vegetables, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

I was trying to figure out what to do with a big piece of celery root in the fridge, and Derek suggested roasting it in the oven.  I had already julienned it, so I decided to make a casserole of sorts with potatoes and onions.  I was inspired by the Spanish omelet recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance, and tried to make a kind of creamy sauce to fill in the cracks between the vegetables, and hold the whole thing together.  I was also inspired by the Greek lemon and garlic potatoes from Cook’s Illustrated, and seasoned the dish with garlic, lemon, and fresh oregano. The final dish ended up sort of like a cross between a gratin and a frittata.

  • 1.5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 3/4 pound celery root, julienned
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 Tbs. fresh oregano, minced
  • 1.5 ounces feta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lowfat milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Heat the olive oil on medium-high in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet.  Add the potatoes, celery root, leek, onions and salt and pepper, and cook until the potatoes start to soften.  Add the garlic and oregano and cook on medium for another 3 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and zest and feta and off heat.
  3. Beat the eggs with the milk, then pour over the vegetables.  Stir to distribute the egg mixture evenly.
  4. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the eggs are set.  Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes.

Derek liked this casserole quite a bit, although he said he wished there was more celery root and fewer potatoes (which were undercooked in his opinion). He also thought there was too much lemon juice. I also found it too acidic from the lemon juice, although I liked the lemon zest a lot. I couldn’t taste the oregano very much, and I thought it was a tad too salty.  The celery root was julienned so finely that it cooked much faster than the potatoes.

I think if I try this again I’ll use 1 pound each of potatoes and celery root and onion, and I’ll cut the celery root into a thicker julienne.  I’ll use half as much lemon juice and twice as much zest, and substitute thyme for the oregano, and an Italian pecorino-style cheese instead of feta.  I’d also like to add something with a bit of color, as this dish is very white.

When we were in Burgundy last month we had a celery root tart that Derek really liked.  It had a buttery crust, and the filling was a mix of gorgonzola, eggs, grated celery root and pear (or maybe apple).  This dish reminded me of that tart a bit, although the cheese was milder.  Celery root goes so wonderfully with fruit, another option would be to add in some pear or apple and use a sharp cheddar cheese.

Rating: B-

Derek: between a B and a B+

Update October 30, 2008:

I tried to make another version of this recipe, using some ideas from this recipe for truffled chantarelle, celery root, and potato gratin. I sliced potatoes and celeriac thinly on my mandoline.  I added a small pat of butter to a casserole pan, and cooked up a big bag of white mushrooms (sliced), adding white wine and truffle salt as well.  I added fresh nutmeg and thyme to the dish, but apparently not enough to taste them in the final casserole.  Once the mushrooms were starting to cook I added in the potatoes and celery root, and about a cup of water.  I let the vegetables simmer while I made the cashew cream sauce given in Heidi’s recipe.  I added about 1 cup of the cashew cream sauce to the vegetables, and grated a bit of gruyere over the top of the casserole.  I baked it at 375 until the cheese was melted and browned on top.

Derek really liked the final dish.  It was rich tasting and homey and he said there was a deep, roasted flavor he couldn’t identify (the truffle salt I think).  The celery root didn’t add a strong celery flavor. I’m not even sure I would have noticed that there was celery root in the dish if I hadn’t been paying close attention. I liked the taste of the cashew sauce (pretty simple, tasting of cashews), but found the texture a bit gritty.  It’s definitely something I’d like to play with in the future.

I enjoyed the casserole as leftovers, but Derek didn’t like it as much as he had the first night.

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Chewy falafel burgers

June 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), My brain, Quick weeknight recipe)

I had mixed feelings about the chickpea burgers I tried a while back, but I really liked the idea of using gluten flour in a veggie or bean burger to add a chewy texture. This is my attempt to create a burger recipe that’s a little less bland boca and a little more vibrant veggie.  It’s basically a combination of Isa’s chickpea cutlet recipe and the cook’s illustrated falafel recipe.

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.75 cups cooked chickpeas, from one can
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed parsley
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 3/4 cup matzoh meal
  • 3 scallions, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • olive oil for pan frying
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, briefly process the garlic.  Add the chickpeas, soy sauce, parsley, salt cilantro, cumin, cinnamon, and olive oil, and pulse a few times, until the mixture is thick and chunky, but there are no whole chickpeas remaining.  The mixture should be substantially thicker and lumpier than hummus.
  2. Move the chickpea mixture to a mixing bowl, and add the matzoh meal, wheat gluten, scallions, and liquid.  Mix with your hands until all the meal and gluten are incorporated. Knead the mixture for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
  3. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the  dough into 8 equal pieces, and form a thin patty out of each piece, the thinner the better.
  4. Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.

My Notes:

Unfortunately, my experiment was not a success, with regards to either texture or flavor.  When I shaped the patties the texture felt right–not as springy as last time, but they definitely held together well.   They browned up nicely in my cast iron skillet, but the inside was soft and doughy, almost unchanged from the raw dough.  I think making the patties thinner would help with this. I also would bump the gluten up to 3/4 cup.  After the patties cooled off the inner texture firmed up, and they seemed more cooked and cohesive.  They weren’t bad dipped in ketchup.

Despite my efforts, these patties were very bland!  The only seasoning I really could taste was the cinnamon, which Cook’s Illustrated calls for but I don’t recall having a presence in normal falafel. The number one problem: I clearly did not add enough salt.  I think the recipe needs another 1/2 tsp. or more of salt.  I couldn’t really taste the cumin, cilantro, or parsley, although I could definitely see the bright green herbs.  Maybe more salt would have brought out these flavors, but certainly the patties tasted nothing like falafel.  I can try again, doubling all the seasonings, but I’m not sure that will turn these from bland burgers to falafel taste-alikes. Another problem was that the patties were missing any hint of hot, which I somehow didn’t notice when putting together the recipe.  I went back and checked the Cook’s Illustrated falafel recipe and it calls for black pepper, but I think I’d prefer something with even more zing, maybe jalepeno or cayenne.

Rating: B-

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Almond Torte with Sugared Fruit

June 14, 2008 at 10:59 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cake, Dessert, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Website / blog)

Katrina picked a an Almond Torte with Sugared Apricots, from the blog Orangette, for our next cooking club recipe. I wasn’t too keen on the apricot idea, as they’re not my favorite fruit, and I’m trying to clean out my kitchen in preparation for my move. So instead of using apricots I decided to use frozen cranberries. Since cranberries and orange are one of my favorite combinations (I’ve been making a cranberry orange smoothie for breakfast every day this week), I also added 1 Tbs. of frozen orange juice concentrate to the batter, and drizzled another Tbs. of concentrate over the top of the cake along with the cranberries, then sprinkled with 1 Tbs. sugar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chickpea burgers

April 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Isa C. Moskowitz, Quick weeknight recipe, Seitan)

My friend Katrina picked this recipe for chickpea burgers for our first food club challenge. It’s a recipe from Veganomicon that’s been all the range on the vegan blogosphere.  Below I’ve posted my comments, as well as those of the other members of our newly started cooking club.

My comments:

I made these chickpea burgers when visiting Derek in Germany.  As soon as I took my first bite I thought “these are seitan burgers, not really veggie burgers.” They had the distinctive chewy, stringy texture of undercooked seitan. I didn’t find it altogether unpleasant, but neither did it excite me. I thought the patties had little flavor: I couldn’t taste the sage or other dried herbs at all. I cooked the first four with 1 Tbs. of oil in a large skillet, and Derek and I thought that the crispiest patties were the best, so the second batch of 4 I cooked with 2 Tbs. of oil. They turned out oilier, but not any better, I thought. I could see how someone who really likes greasy food would like these patties cooked with a lot of oil though. I only used 3/4 of the soy sauce as I was worried they’d be too salty. With 3/4 they were fine.

I like that the recipe is novel: I’ve never seen a veggie burger recipe that calls for gluten flour before. However, I would have preferred more chickpea flavor and less seitan texture, so if I make these again, I think I will try replacing half of the gluten flour with besan (chickpea flour). I may also try adding different seasonings to make them Indian tasting, or perhaps Mexican spices.

I don’t think these would work very well on a hamburger bun with all the fixings, because they are a bit dry and quite starchy, and bland. I think they would be better served as Heidi Swanson suggests serving veggie burgers: use the burger as the bun, slice each one in half and fill it with tomato and lettuce and whatever other toppings you like to add to your veggie burgers. Or just serve them as I did: with a creamy, spicy sauce.

My rating: B-

Derek’s response:

The first time I made them Derek commented that they tasted like cheap veggie burgers, kind of like boca burgers. He said the texture was soft and cardboardy. When I objected that cardboard is the opposite of soft, he said “like wet cardboard.” Then he asked for a second one, and he ate half of one of mine as well. He claims that he ate so many of them because they were a good carrier for the sauce I made, which was yogurt mixed with amarillo pepper sauce and lemon juice. “Aaaah, lemon juice,” he says. I had doubled the recipe and stored half of the dough in the fridge for two days. When I made the second batch, Derek said they had gotten chewier and stretchy, but the flavor was still fairly bland. He gives the recipe a C+.

Katrina’s comments, as transcribed by me (Katrina broke her thumb so I offered my typing services. This is only approximate however–Katrina was much more eloquent in real life.)

I made the mistake of grinding the chickpeas too finely–I wished there were bigger pieces of chickpeas. I would almost consider using more chickpeas and grinding some up and leaving some in chunks. I also liked Rose’s idea of using some chickpea flour. I thought they had an interesting texture and the idea was really nice, to have a bean burger that holds together and isn’t just beans and rice. But the taste wasn’t that exciting. I felt like they needed some more seasoning of some sort. You could probably go any way with it, Indian spices, Mexican spices–you just have to do something. I think it would be good with parsley or cilantro or something. I’ve seen online you could use it sort of like a parmigiana topped with a tomato sauce, and it would probably work pretty well with that as it has kind of a bready texture. You could probably even include some vegetables in it if you wanted. I don’t know if it was the high gluten content or what, but they just felt like a rock in my stomach. It was just a really dense food, which was kind of weird. I would certainly make something along these lines again, something with beans and gluten and seasoning made into some kind of pan-fried burgers, but I wouldn’t follow the recipe. I’d like to try it with a different type of bean as well.

Katrina said she used all the soy sauce but low sodium, and the salt level was fine.

Susan’s comments:

I doubled the recipe and made them into round burger shapes instead of cutlets which made 9 instead of 6. It is necessary to cook them on medium or they will burn. I used 1 tsp of oil per 3 to fry them in.

I thought the texture was good and they held together very well. There was too much sage taste for me and I think I would use something else next time.

Hanaleah said they were okay when she took a bite, but then came back and finished the whole piece.
I made them for a potluck. They all got eaten. This is a good thing, no? They liked the texture but not much taste. They needed a bun, tomatos, mayo, onions, etc everyone said. And when I ate mine 3 hours after I made them, you couldn’t tell that they had sage. It disappearred? At our potluck there was a red pepper salsa that was delicious and when eaten with the burgers helped immensel

Kathy’s comments

Chickpea Success!!! 🙂

A few of us here in Geneva attempted the Chickpea Patty recipe with a bunch of modifications, and it was a definite success. I’ve cc’d the co-creators/tasters and my chickpea consultant, spoons.

First: what will we do with the cutlets? I was talking to Spoons about this on the phone, and he was confused about why we were making chickpea patties in the first place — why not just make chickpeas, themselves, with good seasonings? Then we decided that one of the only reasons we could think of to make chickpea patties instead of chickpeas was that chickpeas would probably fall through a barbecue grill. So, I decided to go towards real chickpea burgers — the kind of thing that you could bring to a BBQ and toss on the grill.

So, how did we change the original recipe?

We made a double batch, which turned into 8 burgers.

We replaced half of the gluten with chickpea flour, and made sure to knead it lightly. We kneaded about one minute after it came together, not too vigorously. Toyoko, who had made this same recipe in Geneva before, blamed her patties’ too-dense texture on gluten + too much kneading.

We left half the chickpeas whole, or barely crushed, to add some more chunks. I wouldn’t do it that way again, since the burgers sometimes had fault-lines develop near the chickpeas, and I would be afraid the patties might break up. I might chop the unground half of the chickpeas about as finely as we chopped the garlic (not *that* finely).

We left out:
# 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
# 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
# 1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

but put in a bunch of paprika and some soy sauce, and a drop of lemon oil (which like zest, but what I use when I forgot to buy a lemon). For vegetable broth, we used Veggie “Better than Bouillon” which has a very savory flavor.

Then, we cooked the burgers in a really hot cast iron skillet with some oil.

You can see the result!

There is a patty on the left, so you can see how it looks, and then another inside the bun. We topped the burgers with carmelized onions, and usual burger stuff like lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup. Next time I might put the carmelized onions INSIDE the burgers.

The other things on the plate are chickpea fries (delicious!) and a yogurt-cucumber salad that went really well with the chickpeas. We had dates, pitted with almond butter inside, for dessert, and those were excellent too. 🙂

With these modifcations, the taste and texture of the chickpea burger were both great. The taste was mostly hummus-like (chickpeas and garlic and paprika!) and the texture wasn’t at all boca-burger or seitan-ish. It held together pretty well.

I had some leftovers the next day, warmed up in a pan with some veggies and sausage, and it was OK but certainly more bread-like as it was reheated with steamy veggies. I think the hot searing of a skillet/broiler/grill helps the patties seem more protein-y and less bread-y.

So, your suggestions worked out well! I would definitely make this again, especially as a summer-time BBQ food.

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Vegan Cabbage Noodle Kugel

March 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Jewish, My brain, Pasta, Starches, Tofu)

I was trying to decide what to make for dinner last night, and my friend Katrina suggested a casserole. I said I never really make casseroles, and asked for ideas. She rattled off a bunch of recipe ideas from The Passionate Vegetarian, including a recipe for a cabbage, apple, sauerkraut, noodle casserole, seasoned with applesauce and paprika. It reminded me of a dish my college roommate’s Hungarian grandma used to make for us all the time: “cabbage noodles,” which were spiral noodles and sauteed cabbage and lots of oil and salt. They were simple, greasy, and delicious. The casserole also sounded reminiscent of a traditional noodle kugel.

I used to love my grandma’s noodle kugel when I was a kid. Many noodle kugels are sweet, with cinnamon and sugar and raisins, but my grandma’s recipe stood squarely in the savory camp. Her recipe called for 3 cups egg noodles, 1 cup full fat sour cream, 3 eggs, 3 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup cream, 2 Tbs. butter and 1/2 pound full fat cottage cheese, and just a Tablespoon of sugar and touch of salt. All that dairy fat made it rich and delicious, and the sour cream made is just a tad sour, which I loved. Sadly, her recipe, and most traditional noodle kugels, have few redeeming features from a nutritional standpoint. Not only would her recipe appall the the very-low-fat Dean Ornish types, and the no-carb Atkins types, but it would also be a no-no to the more modern low-animal-fat-and-white carbs (but lots of veggies) types. I think the only one who might approve is Michael Pollan, as most of the ingredients do seem like “food” (although I haven’t read his most recent book yet so I’m not positive that these ingredients would qualify). I’ve been wanting to experiment with Isa’s technique of using pureed silken tofu in place of eggs in baked dishes, and decided this was the perfect opportunity: I would try to create a savory vegan cabbage noodle kugel using tofu in places of the dairy and eggs.

  • 11 ounces of whole wheat fusilli
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 pound red onions (about 2 medium or one very large)
  • 1.5 pounds shredded savoy cabbage (about 10 cups)
  • salt (maybe 1 tsp? I forgot to measure)
  • 2 twelve ounce packages of dry-packed silken tofu (or 1.5 packages water-packed soft tofu)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbs. paprika
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, slice the onions (I did both the onions and cabbage using the slicing blade on my food processor, but I had to do the cabbage in two batches as it wouldn’t all fit at once.)
  2. Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a large 12-inch skillet or large dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute until softened. While the onions are cooking shred your cabbage, and add it in to the skillet in batches, along with a 1/2 tsp. of salt. You want to cook the cabbage and onions until they start to carmelize. Use a little water from the pasta pot if the veggies start to burn or stick.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375. When the water comes to a boil, salt it and add the pasta. Cook until just al dente (remember that the noodles will cook more in the oven). Drain the pasta and add back to the large pot it was cooked in.
  4. While the cabbage and pasta cook, blend your tofu in a food processor, with the last Tbs. of oil, the cayenne, cinnamon, and paprika, and another 1/2 tsp. of salt.
  5. Add the cabbage and onions and the tofu puree with the noodles. Mix to combine. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 casserole pan, and bake for 40 minutes.

My Notes:

The kugel came out all right, but not great. It holds together pretty well, looks like noodle kugel, and the taste isn’t bad, but it’s a bit stinky from the cabbage. I was hoping that by carmelizing the cabbage and onions I’d avoid any sulfur odors, and bring out their sweet sides. It didn’t quite work. I think that a sweet version might be a better choice. The cabbage and onions already make it a little sweet, and the little bit of cinnamon I added reinforces the sweetness, but it’s not quite enough. Next time I would add the traditional raisins, use slightly less cabbage perhaps, and add some sweetener (and maybe copy Dragonwagon and add a bit of apples or applesauce as well). I added the paprika to give the pureed tofu more flavor, and to go with my Hungarian theme, but I suspect it just ended up muddying the flavors more than enhancing them. Next time I would just use more sweet spices like cinnamon.

The tofu didn’t work as well as I would like. In Isa’s potato omelette recipe the soy flavor is not detectable, and the tofu gets all puffy and egglike. That didn’t happen here, I’m not sure why. In the baked kugel the tofu has the texture and taste of raw blended tofu. Perhaps the tofu needs more room to expand, and my casserole was packed too tightly? I do think that the tofu was useful in helping the casserole hold together, and giving it a slight creaminess. However, next time I would try cutting back on the amount of tofu a bit, maybe try just 16 ounces, which would help reduce the soy flavor. Also, the kugel is not quite rich enough for my taste, so I would add another tablespoon of olive oil and possibly some nuts as well.

If you’re very efficient the prep work will take about 30 minutes, otherwise more like 45 minutes. There’s quite a bit of clean-up as well, as you’ll have a large pot, large skillet, strainer and food processor to wash. I recommend grating some extra cabbage in the food processor, as long as you’re dirtying it, and using it for another dish, perhaps cole slaw. (And that way you’ll get both the benefits of cooked and raw cabbage!)

Rating: B-

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Seitan O’Greatness

December 31, 2007 at 2:17 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Seitan, Website / blog)

I don’t read many food blogs regularly; I’m have more of a search-for-an-ingredient-or-recipe approach to browsing the blogosphere. So I missed the whole Seitan O’Greatness epidemic that apparently raged through the vegan blogging world like influenza through a chicken factory farm. I first heard about it when browsing at Isa Chandra’s blog, and apparently since then the recipe has continued to fell every innocent vegan blogger it touches. What is Seitan O’greatness you’re probably thinking. It’s a seitan made from vital wheat gluten, mixed with lots of spices and other ingredients, rolled into a log shape, and baked in tin foil. What comes out looks an awful lot like salami, at least to someone who never looks at salami without squinting and crossing her eyes (to make it appear blurry and not as distinctly dead-piggish).

I made a version that combines a few different bloggers’ recipes, as well as my own experience with marinades for frozen tofu.

Dry ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs paprika
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch allspice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground fennel

Wet ingredients

  • 3/4 cups water
  • 4 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 325°. In a small mixing bowl mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the liquid ingredients in a large mixing bowl until the peanut butter is completely dissolved. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for just a minute or two.

Form into a log (6”-8″ long), and wrap tightly in foil, twisting the ends. Bake for 90 minutes. Eat immediately, or unwrap and let it cool, then wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate.

My Notes:

Even with just a pinch of cinnamon, when I smelled the dough it smelled strongly of cinnamon, so I was surprised that the cinnamon wasn’t detectable in the final product. I couldn’t taste the peanut butter distinctly either. I was worried that my accidental use of 2 Tbs. paprika rather than 2 tsp. would be problematic, and though the seitan did have a strong smoky taste, it wasn’t overpowering. I might cut it to 4 tsp. next time though.

The texture was unlike any seitan I’ve made before–more breadlike, with a very fine and delicate crumb. The texture and flavor actually reminded me a lot of those fake vegan hot dogs you can buy at the grocery store (perhaps because of the smoke seasoning?). After letting the seitan cool the outside became a bit dry and tough—I liked it better more moist, as it was right when it came out of the oven.

I enjoyed snacking on it, but beware, it’s way more filling than it looks (it’s basically pure protein). I sliced it thinly and put it on a sandwich with avocado and julienned carrots, and it was reasonably tasty but a bit dry.

Derek said the flavor was pleasant, and not bad for a sandwich filling, but that the texture wasn’t quite right–too chewy. It would be better if it were a little tougher, like salami. It should tear. Also, he objected strongly to the name: “It should be called Seitan Salami, after all, it’s not that great.”  He ate the seitan if I served it to him, but he never asked for it.

Other versions online include nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, and almond butter. I’m looking forward to playing with the seasonings to optimize the flavor.


Derek: B-
Rose: B-

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Roasted golden beets and brussels sprouts with thyme

September 30, 2007 at 7:12 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog)

A friend sent me a link to this recipe for roasted golden beets and brussels sprouts with thyme, and since I found both golden beets and sprouts in the market today I decided to give it a try.

My beets were medium sized, maybe about 2 inches in diameter on average. I sprinkled salt on them and wrapped them individually in aluminum foil, then baked at 425 for an hour and a half. I checked them at that point and felt that they still weren’t done, so upped the heat to 500 and baked for another half hour. I was surprised to see that even after two hours they were still a little firmer than I would have liked, although the peels came off easily. I couldn’t taste the salt at all, so I think that was a useless step.

I followed the recipe exactly, except that I couldn’t find the shallots I was sure I had bought, so I had to use an onion instead. After tasting the dish, I was a disappointed. I found the dish too greasy, and I couldn’t taste the thyme much at all (even after a threw in a bit extra). It wasn’t bad, I mean basically it’s beets and sprouts so if your veggies are tasty this will be tasty, but I don’t think I’d make it again. If I was to make the recipe again I’d increase the vegetable amounts because I had plenty of room in my pan, and this only makes enough for about three people.

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Orange-Glazed Seitan with Watercress

July 14, 2007 at 7:28 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Dark leafy greens, Other, Seitan, Spring recipes)

At Candle Cafe, and more recently at Blossom in New York, I’ve had these marvelous seitan cutlets which are thin and tender and come in some sort of great tasting sauce. I really want to know how to make this type of dish, but my seitan in the past has come out tasting more asian, and not nearly as tender. So I decided to take a seitan class with Myra Kornfeld at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School in New York. Unfortunately, we didn’t make anything quite like I was hoping for, but this was the recipe that was most similar to what I’ve had at restaurants. You have to use homemade seitan for this recipe, because you need large cutlets not small chunks.

  • 1 pound seitan sliced into 1/4-inch cutlets
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup shoyu
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sake, mirin, or sherry
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches watercress, washed and thick stems removed
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  1. Pepper the seitan cutlets. Pour the orange juice into a medium skillet. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and and simmer rapidly, uncovered, to let the liquid evaporate. You don’t need to stir. Reduce until you have 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the orange juice to a small bowl along with the shoyu, water, and sake. Add the scallions to the bowl.
  2. Place the flour on a plate. Heat a large heavy-bottomed non-stick skillet on high. Add 2 Tbs. of the oil. Immediately press each cutlet into the flour, making sure both sides are completely dusted, and quickly add the seitan to the pan. Turn the heat to medium, and saute 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until both sides are lightly golden. Divide the seitan onto four warmed plates. Add the remaining tsp. of oil plus the garlic cloves to the pan saute about thirty seconds until lightly browned. Add the orange juice marinate to the pan (be careful, it will steam quite a bit) and let cook and thicken about one minute. Pour over the seitan.
  3. Add the watercress to the pan, and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sesame seeds, and add a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil over the watercress and mound the watercress on the side of the seitan. Squeeze some lemon over each cutlet and serve.

My Notes:

I liked this dish when we had it at the class, but I didn’t love it. The sauce certainly wasn’t as good as the ones at candle cafe and Blossom. I decided to take my extra seitan and make it for Derek and his mom. I didn’t have coconut oil, so I just used olive. I’m guessing she uses coconut because she wants to heat it extremely hot, and doesn’t want to denature the oil. So I didn’t get my oil as hot, and I only used 4 tsp. rather than the 6 tsp. called for, and for less seitan (I only had about 2/3 of the amount in the recipe). My seitan didn’t get as browned, but I’m not sure that made a big difference to the taste. My sauce, however, tasted a bit different than the one at the class–I think it’s that we used sherry and they used mirin. I preferred the lighter mirin flavor I think. We used reduced sodium soy sauce, but I still found the sauce a bit over-salted. The idea of serving the cutlet over watercress was quite nice, but we thought the recipe could use about twice as much watercress, or maybe watercress + another green if 4 bunches of watercress is too expensive. I tried to present this dish as Myra did, laying the cutlet over a mound of watercress, and drizzling it with the sauce, but it came out looking pretty terrible. Presentaiton is clearly something I’ll have to work on if I make it again. Derek really enjoyed this dish–he had thirds.

I’m a bit mystified why the recipe calls for you to reduce the orange juice, then add water. I’m going to email Myra and ask her. It seems like you could just use orange juice concentrate, but maybe the cooking stage makes it taste more carmelized?

The other seitan dishes we made in my class were

  • seitan-portobello mushroom sloppy joes, which I didn’t care for–the seasoning seemed off
  • avocado cucumber jicama salsa was sweet, crunchy, and tasty
  • seitan fajitas–this was a pretty standard dish of grilled peppers and onions, with the seitan added, and a little oregano and garlic for flavor. It was served with a creamy avocado sauce on tortillas. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure how much the seitan added. It would have been tasty with just the sauce and veggies.
  • moussaka–this recipe has about 10 million steps, and I was pretty skeptical, because I’m not an eggplant fan, or a mashed potato fan. But I loved the dish! I even liked the eggplant layer! The top of the moussaka was covered with a vegan bechamel sauce, which I tasted and thought it tasted pretty awful–nothing like a bechamel sauce, too much soy and sweet taste. However, I didn’t notice the weird flavor in the final dish at all, it just tasted creamy and rich and savory and delicious.

If I make any of these dishes in the future I’ll type up the recipes.

If you can find early watercress, and still have access to late winter oranges, this makes a nice recipe for late Spring.

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Mashed Rutabaga

February 13, 2007 at 10:09 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Derek's faves, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Root vegetables, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

Derek had some rutabaga puree at the Hopleaf, that he loved. I tasted it and thought it was okay–it certainly had a great thick, rich, luxurious texture. I decided to try to make something similar at home, and I thought a good place to start would be the mashed sweet potato recipe from the the Cook’s Illustrated The Best Light Recipe cookbook, since those sweet potatoes also ended up thick and luxurious. Here is that recipe with rutabaga in place of the sweet potato

  • 2 pounds rutabaga (2 large or 3 medium), peeled, quartered lenghtwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 Tbs. organic half-and-half
  • ground black pepper
  1. Combine the rutabaga, salt, sugar, and water in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rutabaga fall apart when poked with a fork, 35 to 45 minutes.
  2. Off the heat, mash the rutabaga in the saucepan with a potato masher. Stir in the melted butter and half-and-half with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Season with pepper to taste.

I only had 1.25 pounds of rutabaga, so tried to adjust the recipe accordingly. I used about 1/4 tsp salt, the whole tsp. of sugar (since I figured rutabagas aren’t as sweet as sweet potatoes), about 1/2 cup of water, no butter, and 4 Tbs. half and half. This made about 1.75 cups of mashed rutabaga.

My Notes

After about 30 minutes the rutabaga was pretty soft. I mashed it with a potato masher but the puree was quite wet, not the thick luxurious texture I was going for. I turned the heat up and removed the lid to try to evaporate some of the excess moisture. I guess I should have used less water to begin with. Also, I chopped the rutabaga into large pieces, but in retrospect I think I should have left them even larger, which maybe would have helped with the moisture problem. The final mash was still a bit wet, but Derek loved it. He kept asking for more and more. I had one 1/4 cup serving, and thought it was okay. I liked the rutabaga flavor but not the turnip undercurrent.

Rating: B-
Derek: A

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Couscous salad with dried tomato vinaigrette

December 31, 2006 at 6:27 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Grains, The Vegan Gourmet)

I bought whole wheat couscous ages ago, but I never used it because… I never cook with couscous. Trying to clean out my pantry for my move I dug up this couscous salad from the Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Minday Toomay. I needed a potluck recipe and it seemed promising.

The dressing

  • 1/3 cup minced dried tomato
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 Tbs. mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

The salad

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and diced
  • 2 cups dried couscous
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  1. Roast the bell pepper.
  2. Mince the dried tomatoes. If they are too dry to mince, soak them in hot water 15-30 minutes. Drain the tomatoes well then mince them.
  3. Well ahead of time, make the dressing so the flavors can blend. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and cayenne. Place the mustard and cumin seeds in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan frequently for 1-2 minutes, until the seeds begin to pop. stir the hot seeds into the oil mixture (they will sizzle). Add the dried tomato and cilantro. Stir, cover, and seet aside at room temperature for up to several hours, until you are ready to assemble the salad.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 3 cups of water in a covered saucepan until boiling. Stir in the couscous, salt, and garlic. Immediately cover, remove from the heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Transfer couscous to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the roasted red pepper to the bowl. Grate the cucumber into the bowl and add the onion. Toss together the vegetables and couscous. Stir the dressing vigorously and add to the salad. Toss to distribute everything.
  5. Makes 6 side-dish servings.

My Notes:

I didn’t have cucumber so julienned some radishes instead. This salad was actually quite similar to the Southwestern Quinoa Salad I’ve posted to this blog, but despite their similarities, I didn’t think this recipe is as good. I found the flavors to be a little harsher, and it seemed a tad greasy. Also, I missed both the nuts and the beans. My friend enjoyed it though, and I took it to a potluck and it all got taken–of course I don’t know if it was actually eaten.

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Simple Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw

December 25, 2006 at 1:54 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Mom’s recipes, Quick weeknight recipe, Salads, Soymilk, Website / blog)

This is adapted from a recipe from Rachael Ray off the Food Network website. I needed some simple coleslaw in a pinch, and this sufficed quite well. It was light and refreshing.

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 16 ounces, shredded green cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Mix vinegar and sugar. Add oil. Add cabbage to dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.

My notes: For the vinegar, we used white balsamic, although the original recipe called for red wine vinegar. We also reduced the sugar and salt from the amounts in the original recipe, and added carrots.

Rating: B-
Derek: B

Here’s my mom’s vinegar coleslaw recipe:

Mix together in quart jar:

  • oil 1/3 cup
  • vinegar 1/3 cup
  • sugar 1/3 cup (less if a sweet vinegar)
  • salt 1/2 tsp.
  • pepper 1/8 tsp.
  • water or 1/4 cup
  • soy milk (amount?)

Finely shred (slice thinly)

  • 1/2 large head of cabbage or 1 small head (should be about 6 cups shredded)


  • 2-3 carrots.

Shake sauce well, pour sauce over cabbage and carrots, then toss.
Another vegetable I sometimes add to coleslaw is grated jicama.

Update Jan 2008: Tonight I made a coleslaw with a bit of cabbage, 2 carrots, seeds and juice from 1/2 a pomegranate, a couple spoonfuls of currants, 3 Tbs. of white balsamic vinegar, and a few teaspoons of olive oil. It was quite tasty, and nicely colorful.

Update March 2008: Tonight I made a more asian inspired slaw. I used about 12 ounces of shredded savoy cabbage (about 6 cups I think), and 8 ounces of grated carrots (about 2 cups?). I added 4 Tbs. rice wine vinegar, 2 Tbs. white wine (I wanted to use mirin but was out), 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1/2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil, 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, 2 sliced scallions, 2 Tbs. currants, 2 Tbs. Trader Joe’s chili lime roasted peanuts, and some minced pickled ginger and wasabi leftover from sushi.  Other nice additions might be crushed red pepper (1/2 tsp?), cilantro (2 Tbs?), and toasted sesame seeds (1.5 Tbs?) instead of peanuts.


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Waldorf Slaw

November 17, 2006 at 6:50 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Quick weeknight recipe, Salads, Website / blog)

This recipe got 5 stars by two individuals on the Cooking Light website.

2 cups chopped Braeburn, or other crisp apple (about 1 large apple)
1 cup chopped peeled Bartlett pear (about 1 pear)
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 (16-ounce) package cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.Combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, rind, juice, salt, and pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle mayonnaise mixture over cabbage mixture, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Yield: 10 cups (serving size: 1 cup), About 100 calories per cup.

My Notes

The dressing did not taste quite like I expected–neither very creamy nor very tangy. It’s not bad, but a bit bland perhaps. I think it could use more lemon juice and maybe a little apple cider to make it taste a bit more like my Last Supper Salad dressing. The raisins and nuts are sparse, but when you get one it’s a pleasant, sweet surprise. I added a bit of cinnamon to this recipe, which makes it less waldorf slaw like and more apple salad like, but helps add a bit of flavor. Overall, not a bad recipe, but not great either.

Oops, I I think it’s possible that I mistakenly used low fat sour cream instead of mayonnaise?

Rating: B-

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Kale and Tahini Sauce

November 11, 2006 at 7:29 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Dark leafy greens, Other, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing, Vegetable dishes)

This is an update of a post from 2006.  Kale season is finally here in Germany, and I bought a huge bag of curly kale last weekend.  I steamed it (without salt) and served it with a homemade tahini sauce.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.  The kale stayed bright green without being tough, and the tahini sauce complemented it very well.  Even though the kale wasn’t salted, the tahini sauce was salty so the whole dish tasted balanced. Read the rest of this entry »

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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Carrots and Rutabaga (B-)

October 8, 2006 at 2:31 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Crescent Dragonwagon, Cruciferous rich, Vegetable dishes)

I got acorn squash this week from my CSA. I like them stuffed, but I never know what to stuff them with. So I went scouring for recipes. This one is actually called Suzie Pryor’s “Perfectly Delicious” Stuffed Acorn Squash, from the cookbook Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon. When I saw the rutabaga in the ingredient list I had to make it, as I had a rutabaga languishing in the fridge, and just the one rutabaga recipe in my repetoire.

  • 4 small-to-medium or 2 medium-large acorn squash, prepared for stuffing
  • 2carrots, chopped
  • 1.5-2 cups chopped rutabaga
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • a few gratings of nutmeg
  • 1 cup peeled, finely diced apple
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice a 1/2 inch top hat from the stem end of each squash. If the bottom of the squash is not flat, remove a very thin slice so the squash can stand upright. Scoop the inner seeds and stringy pulp from the cavity.
  3. Spray a 13-by-9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Place the squash, cut side down, in the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and check if the squash are tender. If not, turn the squash right side up, re-cover, and bake for another 20 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and carefully scoop out most of the squash flesh, keeping the outer shell intact. Place the flesh in a mixing bowl. Setboth the squash halves and the flesh aside. Do not turn the oven off.
  5. As the squash cook, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the carrots and turnips. Simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain (reserve the water for use in stock, if desired). Add the vegetables to the bowl with the squash flesh.
  6. Using an electric mixer, whip the three cooked vegetables together with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Stir in the apples. Divide the stuffing equally among the squash shells. Return the stuffed shells to the baking dish.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

My notes

When I poured out the carrots and rutabaga they smelled an awful lot like turnips. I snagged one of the rutabaga pieces to taste it, and thankfully it didn’t taste like a turnip. It was more sweet and yellow tasting. The idea of using a handheld mixer to combine the vegetables into an almost smooth mash is interesting. However, the turnips and carrots weren’t cooked quite enough for this to happen. They stayed rather lumpy. I’m not sure my squash was cooked even after 50 minutes; maybe I didn’t have my tin foil sealed well enough? The final mixture wasn’t bad. The addition of the carrots was nice, but it was still a bit turnipy perhaps. Plus it needed more cinnamon and a little more butter I think. The results weren’t worth the rather complicated recipe, unfortunately. I’m still looking for a good, healthy, stuffed acorn squash recipe. Any suggestions?

Rating: B-

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Red Lentil Pate (B-)

October 2, 2006 at 5:19 am (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe)

This recipe for red lentil pate is from the cookbook The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.

1 cup large or small red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. In a 3-quart saucepan (I used a 2 qt pan) over medium heat, combine the lentils and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Skim and discard any foam and add the bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain.

2. While the lentils simmer, in a small saute pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and pine nuts and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion softens and the pine nuts begin to color. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, coriander, caraway seeds, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Continue to saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice to deglaze the pan.

3. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the cooked lentils and onion mixture and puree until smooth.

4. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at once or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

My Notes

I admit, I didn’t follow the recipe completely. I only used 1 Tbs. olive oil and 2 Tbs. pine nuts. The dip was so thin I added maybe 1/2 cup chickpeas to thicken it up.

I tasted it after it was done and the lentils had a nice subtle sweet flavor, but otherwise I thought it was very bland. So I added a bit more caraway a bit more tomato paste, the zest from the whole lemon, and the juice from the other half of the lemon. It ended up very lemon-y tasting. I still wasn’t that fond of it, personally, but others seemed to like it quite a bit.

Rating: B-

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Cream of Shiitake and Broccoli Soup

September 16, 2006 at 6:47 pm (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Cruciferous rich, Miso, Rebecca Wood, soup, Vegetable dishes)

This recipe is from the cookbook The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood.

2 stalks broccoli
1 tsp. unrefined toasted sesame oil
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 small onion, diced
3 shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
5 Tbs. oatmeal
6 cups vegetable stock
6 Tbs. white or yellow miso
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
lemon juice

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the coriander and saute for 1 minute, or until aromatic. Add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the shiitake and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the broccoli stems and the oats and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli stems soften slightly. Add just enough stock to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the broccoli is very tender.
2. Put the miso in a bowl, add 2/3 cup of the remaining stock, and puree with a fork. Set aside.
3. Pour the soup into a blender and puree. Return to the pot. Add the remaining stock, broccoli florets, thyme and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-hihg heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the florets are just cooked. Stir in the miso puree and a dash of lemon juice. Simmer for 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

My notes
I used 1 tsp. of olive since I’ve heard it’s bad to heat up sesame oil, then added the sesame for flavor at the end. I wasn’t sure what she mean by trimmed mushrooms, but I cut off only the tips of the mushroom stems. Again, I wasn’t positive what “5 Tbs. oatmeal” meant, so I used rolled oats. I didn’t have fresh thyme, so used a number of stalks of thyme that had been dried very recently. I thought 6 Tbs. of miso sounded like way too much, so I started out with just 3 Tbs. The soup was sufficiently salty for me, but perhaps one more Tbs. would have enhanced the flavor even more.

I was intrigued by the combination of coriander and thyme. In the final product, I’m not sure I would have been able to pick out either spice, but the flavor was pleasant. I used a stick blender, and so the texture wasn’t totally uniform, but the chunks didn’t bother me. I’m not sure about leaving the florets unblended though. They very quickly started to turn a putrid green from sitting in the hot soup and I found the texture a bit distracting. Maybe if I had cut the florets into smaller pieces?

Rating: B-

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Tomato and Mint Chutney (B-)

September 8, 2006 at 10:10 am (C (2 stars, okay, edible), Indian, Madhur Jaffrey, Quick weeknight recipe)

This chutney is from the cookbook From Curries to Kabobs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail by Madhur Jaffrey.

1 cup mint leaves
4 to 8 hot fresh green chilies, chopped
2/3 cup chopped tomato
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. ground amchoor or lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt or to taste

Remove the leaves from the mint stalks and wash well. Leave them with the water that clings to them naturally. Put the tomato into the blender first and blend to a paste. Now add the mint and all the other ingredients. Blend to a paste, pushing down with a rubber spatula whenever necessary. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

My notes
I used my stick blender to blend this, which was extremely easy and fast. I felt the chutney was a bit too watery and salty, but the mint flavor was pleasant. I think I prefer the mint and cilantro yogurt chutney I’ve made from Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East cookbook to this one though. It was fine, with a good spice level, but not exciting ultimately. Derek tried it once and didn’t want seconds.

Rating: B-
Derek: B-

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