Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broccoli Soup Makes My Vegan World Go Round

My take on Broccoli Potato Soup with Fresh Herbs from Veganomicon (didn't use the fresh herbs or even dried versions except the tarragon...my palate is just not advanced enough to put mint in broccoli soup, I had some, but it didn't sound at all appetizing and added nooch and tahini, served with raw pumpkin seeds, more nooch, and hot sauce) and whole wheat Fettuccine with Red Lentil Sauce from Vegan Planet (I used whole wheat spaghetti and added kalamata olives).

It is no secret that I adore lentils. They are so easy to cook, packed with nutrients, and so versatile. Red lentils are a great way to add nutrients, including protein and iron to pasta sauce since they break down and don't keep their shape as other lentils do. Robin Robertson's recipe in Vegan Planet is a great way to dip your toe into the wild world of lentils in pasta sauce.

I was eating some leftover Broccoli Potato Soup the other day during a rare moment of solitude and reflection. It was so incredibly comforting and satisfying that I decided that Broccoli Soup makes my world go round. I love food and soups warm my heart fall through spring, but for some reason that day, this particular soup was one of the very best things I ever remember eating. It fed my body and my soul. I am thankful for Broccoli Soup. I'm dropping the potato because I doubled the recipe, but didn't double the potato (more broccoli, yum!) and the broccoli is the star. Our local farmers have reduced their price on broccoli so we've been buying as much as we can carry on our bikes. We cut it up into florets and freeze some, but that seems wasteful so I made as much of it as I could into Broccoli Soup. It truly makes my world go round.

I know, Queen again, what is with me lately? I guess growing up with a brother 8 1/2 years older than me and having a husband 9 1/2 years older ages my taste in music.

This one is more in my generation, but which one do your prefer? Tough call. Stick with the soup.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Taco Night

Taco night? I don't do taco night.* Well, the other night I did, but don't think that makes me some Susie Homemaker or some boring stable married woman or something. I can still run from the law and keep myself stocked with clean tank tops and know how to keep my pits clean-shaven on a semi-deserted island after a plane crash. Don't even get me started about polar bears, black smoke monsters, and time travel. Where the heck was I? Oh yes, taco night. I don't think the kids have eaten tacos before. They don't remember ever eating them, but they saw the taco shells at the store the other day and asked for them. I saw no reason to say "no" so I plopped a couple packages in my cart and went into a daydream about secret identities, complicated (are there any simple ones??) love triangles with slightly scruffy looking heart throbs, and major father issues. Sigh. I was always more of a burrito gal than a taco fan growing up, but it is nice to spice things up once in a while. I made the Vegan Tempeh Sausage from Vegan Brunch, which I now use in almost everything with great success. Added shredded some FYH cheese (bought on sale), salad mix from the farmer's market, and Newman's Own peach salsa. Rob made Parker's Favorite Turnip and Kale Soup and I made Pear Apple Sauce. The verdict? Parker decided that tacos were too messy for him, Dema and Josie enjoyed them, but Rob and I stuffed ourselves silly. I mean we really could not stop eating them. I guess vegan tacos are so much better than pregan ones. Mmmm vegan tacos (said in a Homer Simpson voice).

*For Lost fans, Kate's line from Season 3 Episode 6 "I Do" right before she leaves a drugged Kevin (flashback to her marriage before the crash). For some reason this line totally cracks me up and I can't think of tacos without thinking of that scene. Not a Lost fan? What is wrong with you? Are you living in a cave? We don't even own a TV and I've seen every episode.The leftover tempeh sausage and FYH cheese was a great addition to whole wheat spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There is No Such Thing as Too Much Ginger

Or maybe there is. I was on my way out the door for a girls only evening as Rob arrived home from work the other day. I had no idea what I was going to cook, until I started to get out the pans. I flipped through Everyday Vegan by Jeani-Rose Atchison. This cookbook just sits on my shelf most days because she doesn't include things like how many a recipe serves or cooking times, but it caught my eye on this night. Rob had bought several butternut squash from the farmer's market the previous weekend so I settled on Gingered Butternut Squash Soup. Rob entered the door as I was ready to add the ginger so I asked him to peel and grate some ginger root. He had no idea what I was making and we love ginger so he went heavy on the ginger. I threw it in (it doesn't get sauteed or anything so it is pretty much straight ginger. If finished up the soup and left. Well, it was a tad "spicy" for the kids and I don't blame them. I enjoyed it the next day, but I am a ginger lover. Josie will eat raw ginger and eat ginger chews like nothing so she joined me eating the soup, but the boys passed. I also added pear along with the apple it called for since we had one getting a little too ripe and topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. I'd make the soup again, but I would watch the ginger.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pasta, Pumpkin Seeds, Pancakes, and Pirates

These pirate pictures are from a month or so ago, but I had to share them. I've talked about my great neighborhood over and over, but I really can't stress enough what wonderful neighbors we have. One warm fall weekend, the kids were invited over to our neighbor Gail's house (her child is college age now) for an impromptu crafting session. They came home with these amazing pirate hats made out of newspaper. How cool is that?

I just had to share another picture of this pose of Parker's. He is not my usual child who goes for the "pirate look", but he really loved it and they had hours of fun. The hats are still in great condition and used often. Gail rocks!
This meal was based on Squashed Macaroni from Mothering mag e-mail. I don't subscribe to Mothering magazine anymore, but I still get their emails and sometimes the recipes catch my eye. I tagged this recipe as one to make and finally did the other day. Obviously, I used whole wheat fusilli instead of macaroni. I didn't have any walnuts to sprinkle on top so I added raw almonds to the sauce instead. I think the walnuts would be better, but the almonds were fine. I skipped the parsley and kelp, but added steamed kale and peas. I'll make this again as this is a great way to use squash. This time I used an acorn squash leftover from our CSA, but any squash would work.
We've been roasting a lot of pumpkin seeds from the many pumpkins we carved for Halloween. I usually roast pumpkin seeds with much of the same seasoning I use to bake tofu; Bragg's amino acids, olive oil, blackstrap molasses, and curry powder. Many batches are just eaten right out of a bowl, but if there are any left I like to add a few to everything we eat. Salad mix from the farmer's market, raisins, and pumpkin seeds (added homemade tahini dressing before eating).Pumpkin Pancakes from Vegan Brunch. Rob played chess after work one night so I decided we should have pancakes for dinner since it was just the kids and me. I decided on the Pumpkin Pancakes from Vegan Brunch because they included a vegetable (a stretch, I know). I topped them with homemade apple/pear sauce and walnuts. They didn't need syrup. We had soy yogurt with the last of our farmer's market blackberries we froze (I need to buy more next year so maybe we can make it until winter). To round off the meal and to make me feel better about pancakes for dinner, we had baked tofu sandwiches with avocado on Veggie Seed bread from Strawberry Fields. The pancakes were very liquidy and cooked up very thin, almost crepe like with a great taste and actually perfect for a fall dinner.