Tag Archives: Vegan

Herbed Green Bean Salad

23 May

Here’s a healthy and delicious salad for the holiday weekend to mix up the cast of usual salad characters. The fresh herbs with a mustard and white wine vinaigrette add a nice freshness to the green beans.

1 1/2 lbs green beans, ends off and cut in half

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 Tbs freshly chopped chives

1 Tbs freshly chopped dill

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbs + 1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

  1. To start you will need to blanch the green beans. In a large saucepan bring water and 1 Tsp salt to a boil.
  2. Add the trimmed green beans to the boiling water, let boil for 3 to 4 minutes. They should be firm but tender. I like to taste one to make sure it’s cooked the way I like them.
  3. Once they are cooked to your liking, drain and run under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the dressing to the beans and toss until the beans are well coated.

S

Classic Tomato Soup

4 Apr

I only started making soup a few years ago, before that it was Campbell’s. Yup, from a can, now I wouldn’t dream of it. The funny thing is, growing up both my parents were big soup eaters but my Mom never made it from scratch. I guess making dinner for 10 people every night was all the cooking she wanted to do, and in our house soup was eaten for lunch not dinner. Campbell’s tomato soup was a favorite and of course with a grilled cheese sandwich. My Dad always got creative with his, adding leftover rice, noodles or even chopped up hotdogs.

fullsizeoutput_2e82

 

Now that I make my own soup I really wanted to re-create that smooth, tasty flavor of my childhood favorite. I began searching for recipes and realized that many seemed to be watered down versions of marinara or grandma’s Sunday gravy with basil and oregano. They had an Italian flavor profile, but I wanted a classic flavor, so I went to work on my own recipe and here it is…and it is exactly what I wanted! I hope you enjoy it. I figured we could all use a good recipe for comfort food during this difficult time.

And in a nod to my Dad feel free to add in rice, noodles, shredded cheese, croutons and even chopped up hot dogs if you dare!

fullsizeoutput_2e67

Ingredients:

1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes

1 qt vegetable broth

2 Tbs olive oil

2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp thyme

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat, add onions, celery and carrots. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté for just 2 or 3 minutes more.

fullsizeoutput_2e5e

Add vegetable broth and tomatoes. I like to chop the tomatoes up a bit once they are in the pot. Stir to combine. Bring soup up to a boil then turn down to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

fullsizeoutput_2e33

Turn off heat. Using and immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, do what I do, use a blender. Add to blender in batches and put each blended batch into a large sauce pan. Be careful not to fill the blender too much and hold the cover tight so it doesn’t explode from the heat. Adjust seasoning at this point, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

fullsizeoutput_2e42

Heat up over low flame for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly ground pepper.

Peace and good eats. Stay safe and be well.

fullsizeoutput_2e7f

Open Sesame…Noodles that is!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day! This post has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day other than that’s when I’m writing it. Although now that I think about it, I will dedicate it to livestock animals, as this post is a recipe for a vegan dish.

Asian food is a favorite of mine and I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to recreate what I have eaten in restaurants…restaurants in China. Yes, I have been to Shanghi, China many years ago when I was working in the world of fashion. Truth be told I was terrified to go and not for the reasons one might think (there was no Corona Virus scare then either). It wasn’t fear of going thousands of miles away to a strange country by myself, it was a fear of starving. My co-workers had told me horrid stories of the food and how bad it was. I was told about monkey brains, snake and the like.

img_0008

Well, I didn’t see any monkey brains on the menu but I did see snake, duck tongue and noodles. Oh yes, the noodles that were oh so good! And everything I ate was delicious, I most certainly did not starve.

This is a quick recipe that tastes great and easy to make. You can add* protein to make it more a of complete meal or serve it as a side dish, either way it is sure to please. Another great thing about this dish is that it can be served warm or cold. I like mine room temperature.

IMG_0004

Ingredients:

1 lb noodles **see note

1/2 cup scallions or green onions, finely chopped, plus more for garnish

1 tbs sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup light soy sauce or tamari

2 tbs rice vinegar

2 tbs sesame oil

2 tsp freshly grated ginger or 1 tsp powdered

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbs peanut butter

1 tbs light brown sugar

2 tsp sriracha  or chili paste (more or less to your taste)

1/2 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, julienned

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain when done cooking and rinse with cold water briefly to keep them from sticking together.
  2. While the noodles are cooking place the remainder of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl except the cucumbers and red peppers. Mix well with whisk.
  3. Once the noodles are drained, toss with sauce mixture until well coated.
  4. Serve with red peppers, cucumbers; sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

Serves 4 as main dish, 6 as side dish.

*Add-ins can be shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, edamame, tofu, shredded chicken, etc.

**You can use just about any type of noodle: egg noodles, spaghetti, rice noodles or ramen.

Peace and good eats!

Rustic Stuffing with Mushrooms and Leeks

1 Dec

Stuffing (or dressing, as it is not cooked in the turkey) is always a favorite at holiday meals and as much as I love traditional, I’m always on the lookout for something new.  Well, for Thanksgiving I made this version that I found in the Williams-Sonoma catalog and it is definitely a keeper. I always love getting that catalog, especially for the holidays, it is so beautiful and I’ve found several recipes over the years that have become favorites. This recipe is great not just because it is delicious, but it is also vegan.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 2.41.16 PM

 

Now, the recipe calls for wild mushrooms, I used button mushrooms and baby portobellos, that’s what my grocery store had and with everything else I had to get done I didn’t feel like driving around to find wild mushrooms…I’m sure you can relate. And one other thing, I forgot to take a photo of my final product so the image is from Williams-Sonoma…oops!

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter for greasing (I used plant based)

1 large loaf rustic country bread, cubed (about 9 cups)

7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary

1 1/2 lb. mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large leeks, thinly sliced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 1/2 to 4 cups vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and the rosemary. Toss to coat the bread evenly with the oil. Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until dry and firm but not browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour (the amount of time will vary depending on the type of bread and how fresh it is). Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the bread cool to room temperature.

3. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

4. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and salt to taste and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

5. In the same sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Add the leeks, celery, onion and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the leek-onion mixture to a very large bowl. Add the bread cubes and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in the stock 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is completely absorbed into the bread cubes and does not pool in the bottom of the bowl. Taste a bread cube, it should be moist throughout but not mushy. You may not need all of the stock. Fold in the mushrooms.

6. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10 to 12.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Peace and good eats!

 

Artichoke Tapenade…that Ain’t no Choke!

13 Feb

In my last post I wrote about cookbooks and mentioned David Lebovitz, well this recipe is from his cookbook My Paris Kitchen. As I was reading it (yes, reading a cookbook) I saw this recipe for an Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil, there are few things that I enjoy more than a good artichoke dish. I don’t like rosemary oil though, so I used regular olive oil. This is my new favorite, easy to make and delicious!

IMG_5081

 

Ingredients

14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1/2 cup pitted green olives

1/3 cup olive oil + more for drizzle

1 Tbs capers, rinsed and squeezed dry

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Sea salt or kosher salt

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the artichoke hearts, olives, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, garlic and cayenne pepper until smooth. Taste, and season with a bit of salt if necessary. (I did not add any salt, the olives and capers did the trick.)

IMG_5084

Serve drizzled with olive oil or rosemary oil if you prefer, along with toasted baguette, crackers, toasted pita or flat breads for dipping.

IMG_5086

Serves 6 to 8. Will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

 

Shallots: Fit for Confit

6 Jun

I have seen the term confit many times on many menus. I know what it means, sort of…and then I saw a beautiful photo of shallots in oil on Instagram and wondered what it could be. Shallots are one of my favorites in the onion family. The photo was the beautiful beginning of a shallot confit. I knew I had to make it!

IMG_3374

I also knew I needed to know what it really meant. So off to Google I go. Confit comes from the French word confire, which means to preserve. A confit is any type of food cooked slowly for a long period of time as a method of preservation, it is usually cooked in oil or fat. It is a centuries old method that can be used for fruits, vegetables and meats. Meats are typically salted too. A confit can kept for weeks, sometimes even months…not my shallot confit, it was gone in the blink of an eye.

Ingredients:

10 -12 shallots, peel and sliced

2 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp thyme

1 –  2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or medium pot and heat over medium heat, add shallots, garlic, salt and thyme. Sauté until the shallots start to brown and caramelize a bit, lower heat and let cook until the shallots become super tender, almost mushy. I cooked mine for a  total of about an hour. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and eat right away or store in airtight container and refrigerate until your ready to use it.

The confit can be used as a condiment on meats or I like the idea of serving it as an appetizer on slices of a toasted baguette with a spread of cream cheese. I have read that it is also good on a salad…whatever you can think of, it can’t be bad.

IMG_3390

*Recipe from Judy Kim and be sure to check out her Insta and her blog, just beautiful and lots of great recipes.

A Lemony Transition to Spring Soup

18 Mar

As much as we are craving Spring, it’s just not here yet; there is snow on the ground and it’s cold. Now today was beautiful and sunny, it did get up to 42 degrees, but that’s not exactly Spring. During the winter months we eat a lot of soups and stews which I love but I’m ready for lighter and brighter foods, so I went on the hunt for soup that was just that, and I found it! Thanks to the blog Cup of Jo I found the perfect recipe for a soup that warms the body but is light and bright; a Lemony Soup with White Beans and Kale.

IMG_2830

This soup is delicious, especially since I changed it up a bit to make it mine. I used spinach since I’m not a fan of kale and I used orzo instead of Ditilini pasta (not a big deal but that’s what I had in the house). I also used canned beans instead of dry, the last time I tried to use dried beans I ended up with cement not soup…something I need to work on.

IMG_2828

 

I think that other than the fact that this soup tastes so good, is that it is souper easy to make; the flavors of the lemon and garlic are just so good together and it comes together in less than hour.

Ingredients

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 small potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes

6 to 8 cups vegetable stock

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup orzo pasta, cooked

2 cups fresh spinach

Salt and pepper

IMG_2826

Directions

In a large dutch oven or pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat, add onions and potato. Stir and cook until onions are translucent then add garlic. Cook for another minute or two until garlic is fragrant. Add 6 cups of the vegetable stock, lemon juice and beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat till boiling then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

IMG_2827

While the soup is simmering cook the pasta. I like to cook the pasta and add it to each bowl as I serve it, otherwise I feel like it gets to mushy and soaks up the liquid. So cook it and put it aside to add as you serve.

Once you feel the potatoes are done, add the spinach. At this point add more stock if you think it needs it, it’s up to you how “brothy” you like it. I did use all 8 cups.

When it’s ready serve with grated parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated black pepper. Mangia!

IMG_2835

Now if you want to, which I may do the next time I make it, is to leave out the potato and add a second can of beans. And of course if you want to keep it vegan, no cheese. One more suggestion for the gluten-free folks, keep the potato and omit the pasta. Once again one of the reasons I love cooking is that you can always make it your own, there are no rules. So keep on cooking and keep on enjoying!

%d bloggers like this: