Tonight we are having a big bowl of comfort food- mashed potatoes. Neil received a big bag of potatoes from a guy at work and now we have to use them. The plan is to make some yummy Montreal Chicken Spice Mashed (rather whipped) Potatoes. They will then be topped with vegan gravy, french fried onions and to add a little green we will have some salt and pepper roasted brussel sprouts on the side. I know not the most well balanced meal but we have been craving something warm, creamy and comforting in these last few cold and rainy days in VT.
Vegan Gravy (adapted from Vegetarian Gravy on http://www.vegcooking.com/) 3 Tbsp. Earth Balance 3 Tbsp. corn starch 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I like to use Veggie Better than Boullion) 3 Tbsp. dark soy sauce salt and pepper to taste • Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the cornstarch. Stir over moderate heat for a few minutes until the flour turns brown. • Pour in the water or stock and stir slightly until thickened. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the soy sauce and a little seasoning to taste, if desired
For the Potatoes: 4 potatoes, diced 3/4 cup soy milk 2 Tbsp. margarine 1 T Montreal Chicken Spice (trust me makes all the difference)
Cook the potatoes and then add the remaining ingredients and whip with electric beaters.
For the Brussels sprouts: 1 bag frozen sprouts (fresh if you can) 1t salt 1/2t pepper 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil • Defrost sprouts slightly and then cut them in half, arrange in a baking dish, and set aside. • Mix the salt, pepper, and olive oil and pour the mixture over the Brussels sprouts. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turn after about 15 minutes to ensure even cooking. Makes 4 servings
Place soy curls in a bowl and cover with boiling/near boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to re-hydrate. Once hydrated, squeeze out any remaining liquid. Heat a wok over high heat and add oil. Add soy curls and stir-fry until browned. Remove curls from the wok and add garlic, chili and veggies (using more oil if needed). When asparagus is bright green and tender-crisp, add soy curls back into the wok. Add soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and toss well. Drizzle sesame oil over the top. Taste a soy curl and adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve over Roasted Garlic Couscous
I am using Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous
With fall quickly approaching (if not here in all but date only), Lindsay and I have been looking forward to making good, hearty, stick to your ribs type of meals with all the lovely food we have been able to get at the local farmer’s market as well as from our own garden.
As I’ve gotten older, fall has definitely become my favourite season. I love the crisp smell in the air, the changing colours of the foliage (and now that I’m in Vermont, it’s even more beautiful than back home in NB), cuddling close to my lover to keep her warm at night and not to mention being able to wear sweaters and long sleeve shirts again.
Lindsay had a couple of her girlfriends down visiting from Burlington today and we decided to take advantage of that and go all out and make a four course meal featuring all kinds of different local goods. After some searching online, Lindsay found a good inspiration for our fall feast on Vegan Yum Yum. We spent the morning at the Farmer’s Market in Montpelier picking up the rest of what we needed to prepare our feast for our guests.
To start, Lindsay made a green salad using mesclan mix and spicy sprouts and a maple vinagrette made from Vermont maple syrup, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar. It was a nice light start to the meal.
For the second course, I made a roasted squash soup out of three different squashes that we had grown in our (organic) garden at Lindsay’s parents house in Waterville. The three varieties of squash we used were acorn, buttercup, spaghetti. We cut each of the squash in half, drizzled olive oild over them, and roasted them in the oven for 45 minutes at 425 F. I started the soup by sautéing a medium sized onion and four large garlic cloves (from a local organic farm at the Rutland, Vt farmers market) until they were tender, being careful not to burn them. At this point I added the squash, fresh thyme, fresh sage and vegetable stock and let the soup simmer for some time allowing the squash to become more tender and the flavours to come together. At this point, I used an immersion blender to puree the soup and then added soy cream (which I made using soy milk, flour and some sugar) as well as Vermont maple syrup. After mixing that in, I seasoned the soup with sea salt and fresh pepper to taste. I made the soup a five or six hours before dinner which allowed the soups flavours to develop even more. I think the mix of the different types of squash gave it a nice flavour that you wouldn’t experience if using just one type of squash.
Following Lindsay and I made a variation on Shepherd’s pie using lentils rather than ground meat (obviously) or a meat replacement. The base of the meal was sort of a stew made using lentils, peas, veggie stock, fresh sage, fresh thyme, garlic, carrots, and onions (the last three all from the local farmer’s market). She used a flour and water slurry to help thicken the stew. We topped the stew off with a couple scoops of whipped yellow potatoes that we had gotten from the farmer at the Rutland Farmer’s market the weekend before. It turned out really well and is something we would definitely make again (and I’m really looking forward to eating the leftovers)
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert. And no fall dessert is complete without pumpkin (well, I think so at least!). For our final course, Lindsay had prepared Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from a recipe that she had gotten from Vegan Yum Yum. They turned out better than I ever could have imagined. I think Lindsay was most excited by the fact that she finally got to put our kitchenaid to good use. The flavour for the cookie batter came from the pumpkin puree, molasses, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. She then made a cream cheeze frosting using vegan cream cheeze and icing sugar. Of course being the loving husband that I am, I volunteered to taste test the batter. It reminded me of a molasses cookie but more sweet and rich. The whoopie pies were a great finish to the evening and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow 🙂
We have decided to sign up as members of a CSA with Pete’s Greens and are looking forward to making the most of all the amazing fall and winter vegetables that we will be getting from them.
Tonight for dinner we tried out a recipe we both have been dying to try because we love hot sauce! We made up some yummy tempeh hot wings, rosemary roasted potatoes and a green salad of sweet endive tossed in Amy’s Tahini Tomato Dressing. It was a wonderful, light and satisfying meal.
(Photo to come)
Recipe: Buffalo Tempeh “Wings” (courtesy of 28 Cooks) 1 (8 oz) pkg tempeh 1/3 c soy milk 1/3 c flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp thyme leaves 1 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp garlic powder Freshly ground pepper to taste 1 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs (I was unable to find Italian seasoned panko crumbs that were vegan so I used plain ones that I seasoned with a bit of oregano, salt, pepper, and basil.)
Wing Sauce 1/2 c Louisiana-style hot sauce (I used Franks) 2 tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance) 1 tbsp ketchup
Bring 4 cups of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, remove tempeh from package. Slice into 8 strips. (If you are a first time tempheh eater and have texture issues, I recommend slicing into 10-12 strips) Once water is boiling, lower heat to medium high, add tempeh, and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set out 3 bowls. In one, pour in soy milk. In the second, combine flour and seasonings. In third bowl, add panko crumbs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place each strip in milk. Coat in flour mixture, then briefly re-dip into milk. Toss with panko crumbs, coating well. Set on slightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tempeh strips. Once all are coated and on baking sheet, lightly spray all “wings” with cooking spray. Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip “wings” over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. While they are baking, place wing sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cover with Saran wrap and heat in microwave on medium high setting for a minute and a half. Remove from heat and whisk ingredients together. When wings are finished baking, toss with sauce. Serve immediately.
For the Rosemary Roasted Potatoes I cut 3 red potatoes into wedges and tossed with a tablespoon of canola oil and tossed with minced garlic and dried rosemary (use fresh if you have it).
The salad was simply greens in this case sweet endive and our favorite dressing (Tahini tomato) but feel free to use any you like!
Tonight I decided to make curry noodle bowls for dinner and our lunch tomorrow. I found that there could be some improvements made to this dish next time around. I used soba noodles for a change and decided that a nice udon noodle would have worked much better in the dish. Also I used a red curry and it seems that it would be nicer with a yellow curry but we will see next time how I like that versus the red. Lastly I chose to use morningstar chik’n strips and they did not hold up well in the curry for the future I would use tofu or try a fake chik’n that holds up better such as Yves chik’n strips.
(Picture to come)
CURRY NOODLE BOWL (adapted from Hooked on Heat) Prep time: 15 min Cooking time: 15 min Serves: 4
1 lb noodles of choice 1 cup morningstar chik’n strips 1 small onion, thinly sliced 2 cups chopped napa cabbage 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms 1 tbsp crushed garlic 2 tbsp red curry 1 stalk lemon grass, bruised and cut into 2-inch pieces 1 can coconut milk 3 cups light flavored vegetable stock 1 tbsp light cooking oil salt & pepper, to taste fresh coriander leaves, chopped chillies and lemon wedges, for garnish (really makes a huge difference so make sure in include!)
HEAT oil in a deep pan, and saute garlic and curry paste till fragrant. Add in onions and chik’n, and saute till lightly brown.
ADD in coconut milk, stock and lemon grass, and let it come to a boil on low heat. Add in musrooms and noodles, and cook covered till noodles are tender and done. Stir in napa cabbage, and cover cook for 5 minutes.
SEASON with salt and pepper, add garnish with coriander leaves, chillies and a dash of lemon juice. Ladle in large bowls and serve piping hot.
Neil made me this one night for dinner and then we made it for my parents while they were visiting. We just use our favorite veggies and tofu and it is so good.
20-Minute Pad-Thai-Style Noodles- vegcooking.com
You’ll find most of these ingredients in your pantry and fridge. In the time that it takes to boil pasta, you’ll have a delicious meal!
For the Sauce: 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 1 cup hot vegetable broth 1/4 tsp. ground ginger 1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce (or more, to taste) 2 Tbsp. sesame oil 2 Tbsp. flour
• Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
For the ‘Pad Thai’: 1 pkg. fettuccine noodles 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic 1/3 cup sliced red onion 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 broccoli crown, cut into florets 1/3 cup shredded carrots 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
• Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain. • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. • Add the onion, mushrooms, and broccoli. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. • Stir in the carrot, bell pepper, prepared sauce, and cooked pasta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the dish is heated through. • Top with the crushed peanuts before serving.
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