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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

I got a bunch of local grapes last week from Greenling, but they weren’t very sweet and were full of seeds. So, I had to find a way to cook them, and fast, before they went bad.

This jam is not only quick and easy (it took less than 25 minutes to make), but has some wonderful fall flavors from a bit of nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice, and cloves. In the picture above it was still warm and fresh from the stovetop, but as it cools it thickens to a more jam-like texture. I think I’m going to use it as a glaze over pork chops.

I adapted this recipe from the Wild Grape Butter recipe that came in the Greenling box ingredient list last week – I just made some tweaks based on my own tastes.

Quick Spiced Grape Jam

About 1.5 cups grapes, pulled from their stems
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3-inch piece of orange peel
Dash each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cloves

Combine grapes and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Pour grapes and juice into a strainer over a large bowl. Using the back of a large spoon, press grapes through strainer. The pulp will go through and the peel and seeds will stay behind.

Pour pulp and juice back into saucepan. Add peel and spices. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency. It’ll bubble a lot at the end. Use warm as a glaze, or cool to spread on toast.

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Grain-based salads are filling, versatile, and wonderful picnic foods. For this one, I mixed barley with some maple-roasted carrots and tomatoes and pan-glazed tempeh, and then sprinkled with a bit of sliced basil to brighten up the flavors a bit. It’s just slightly sweet. Wheat berries would also work instead of the barley, or even brown rice. If you’re not a fan of tempeh, just use chicken instead.

Barley Salad with Sweet Roasted Vegetables

1 cup barley
3 cups water

8 oz carrots, cut into small pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz tempeh, cut into thin slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sliced basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine water and barley in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 40 minutes. If there’s any water left in the pan, drain it off. Set the barley aside in a large bowl.

Combine vegetables, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until veggies are browned and tender. Add to the barley.

In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, broth, salt, and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and fry about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add vinegar mixture and cook, stirring as necessary to keep tempeh from sticking, until liquid thickens into a glaze. It’ll take about 10 minutes.

Add tempeh to barley mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Fruit salsas scream summer. I love the combo of sweet peaches and mangoes with spicy peppers, and it goes well with more than just tortilla chips. Try this salsa on grilled chicken or pork, or as a dip for mild vegetables like squash. I like salsa spicy enough to make my nose run, so if that’s a little too hot for you, remove the seeds from the jalapenos before you add them, or just cut down on the amount of peppers you use.

One more thing — I didn’t peel the peaches for this recipe, although you are certainly welcome to. It’s kind of a pain, but if you want to go the extra mile, check out my peach-peeling instructions at the bottom of this post. I don’t mind a little peach fuzz, and once everything’s mixed up you don’t even notice it. If I was cooking the peaches I’d peel them, but for this recipe it’s not necessary.

Fresh Peach-Mango Salsa

1.5 lbs peaches, pitted and chopped
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Chill at least an hour before eating. You can eat it right away, but chilling for a little bit lets the flavors combine nicely.

How to Peel Peaches (or any stone fruit, or tomatoes, for that matter)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut an X on the bottom of each peach. Fill a large bowl with ice water. When the water reaches a boil, drop the peaches in and let them boil for 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately drop into the ice water. Wait a few minutes until you can handle them, then peel. The skin will start to pull away at the X you cut, and it’ll slide right off.

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I really, really don’t like mayo, so I don’t eat most people’s versions of potato salad. This one, however, is perfect. It’s fresh, easy, and absolutely mayo-free, coated instead with a dressing made of whole-grain mustard, spring onions, and olive oil. If you are still finalizing your Memorial Day menu (like me), try adding this salad to the list.

Red Potato-Green Bean Salad (adapted from Epicurious)

8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
2 tablespoons champagne (or white wine) vinegar
1 spring onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon whole-grain (or Dijon) mustard
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes* and boil about 15 minutes, until tender. Add green beans to the water about 4 minutes before potatoes finish cooking. Empty potatoes and green beans into a colander to drain.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Combine onion, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small food processor and process until smooth. Place potatoes and green beans in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. You can make this a day ahead, but I like it warm.

*I used to avoid boiling potatoes because I hated getting splattered by boiling water when I dropped the potatoes in. Then, I realized that if I used a small strainer like this to lower the potatoes into the water, I’d stop being splattered. Now, my family gets mashed potatoes a lot more often. Try it if you have a strainer laying around and are also tired of being splattered.

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I don’t consider summer to have fully arrived until it is so hot out that all I have to do is step outside to break a sweat. This week was full of days like that, and after spending some time in my garden today, you couldn’t have paid me to turn on my oven or stove.

Enter this simple salad. It’s for arugula lovers, and is full of that green’s peppery bite. I used raspberry white balsamic vinegar for the dressing, which I found at HEB, but if you can’t find it, substitute regular white balsamic or red wine vinegar instead. Add grilled shrimp to make it an entree.

Arugula and Pea Salad (adapted from Recipezaar)

2 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup green onions, cut in 3 inch strips
6 cups arugula or baby spinach
4 cups Swiss chard
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add peas, return to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Combine peas, green onions, arugula and Swiss chard in a large platter or in a serving bowl.

Whisk together raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper until well-combined. Drizzle over salad.

Makes 6-8 servings.

*If you aren’t planning to serve the salad immediately, wait to dress it until it’s time to eat.

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I’ve been getting a ton of baby carrots in my box lately, as opposed to full-sized adult carrots. Rather than spend a lot of time chopping them up to use as a base in other dishes, I tossed them together with a few other ingredients to create this sweet, simple side dish.

You can probably leave most of the carrots whole, but cut the larger ones in half lengthwise to ensure that they all cook evenly. Also, when you trim the carrots, you can certainly cut the tops off, but I left them on because I like how they look. I added leftover carrots to my lunch salad the next day.

Maple-Glazed Roast Carrots

1 large bunch of baby carrots, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to coat carrots evenly with syrup. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Spread carrots on the sheet, place in oven, and bake 20-25 minutes, stirring once, until carrots are tender. You should be able to slide a fork easily into them. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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I love me a good slaw. This one has extra crunch from both jicama and green apples, and a citrusy dressing provides just the right amount of tartness. You can find jicama by the potatoes in the grocery store, and it does kind of look like a russet potato. It has a very mild flavor, so it’s great for recipes like this where you just want something that adds a bit of crunch but doesn’t overpower the dish.

If you have a food processor, this recipe will come together in about 15 minutes. I use mine all the time, and you don’t need to go all Williams Sonoma and spend $500 on one. I’ve used my cheapo Black and Decker for about 10 years with no problems. I couldn’t find a link to mine online (like I said, it’s old) but this one is similar. If you don’t have a food processor, use the large holes on a box grater to shred the veggies.

Anyway, enjoy this slaw with grilled shrimp or grilled bbq tofu kebabs. Or pretty much anything else grilled. Heck, it was so good I just ate a big bowl of it as a snack.

Jicama, Apple, and Cabbage Slaw

2 cups shredded cabbage (I used green, but Napa is fine)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and shredded
1 jicama, shredded (about 12 oz)
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup sliced spring onion tops (or green onions)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice of two oranges (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of two limes (about 4 tbsp)
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine cabbage, apples, jicama, carrots and onion tops in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, lime juice, and olive oil. Pour over veggies and toss to combine.

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Anyone else get the Whole Foods e-newsletter? It is always full of great recipes and is how I came across this intriguing dish. It’s a vegan main course, stuffed with quinoa and chickpeas for protein, and mushroom and peas as the main veggie content. As I made it, I imagined that this would be something you could find on the menu in a restaurant in The Haight with this song playing in the background.

Anyway, the chickpeas and rolled oats serve as the binders in this loaf, replacing the breadcrumbs and eggs you usually find in meatloaf-like recipes. The original calls for frozen peas, but I got some fresh ones this week and am using them here. Because of that, I recommend blanching them for a few minutes in boiling water before adding them to the mix (frozen peas are already blanched). The Whole Foods site recommends serving leftovers sliced on toasted bread, like a veggie burger. I think that’s going be my lunch tomorrow.

Quinoa Loaf with Mushrooms and Peas (from Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 cups cooked quinoa (how to cook quinoa)
1 cup fresh green peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and/or 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
10 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped red onion

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch loaf pan with oil; set aside. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to boil. Add peas and cook 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. (If using frozen peas, you can skip this step.) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, put beans, oats and 1/2 cup water into a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, bean mixture, quinoa, peas, parsley, tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan, gently pressing down and mounding it in the middle. Bake until firm and golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Set aside to let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks. I made a few changes, of course (I guess I just can’t leave well enough alone, ever) — not the least of which is the addition to meat to a version of this recipe.

The original recipe uses tempeh as the protein, but I created a pork version for Mason (even though he, the committed ominvore, liked the tempeh). While the flavor of the glaze is perfect, I found the tempeh to be really dry, especially when reheated. I like this served over a nice whole grain (the last time I made it, I put it over black lentils mixed with chopped kale — mmm), and I wanted more sauce to soak into the lentils, rice, etc.

So, I doubled the sauce ingredients, lengthened the cooking time slightly, and voila! Delicious pork/tempeh with enough sauce to coat the grains. Even with the slightly longer cooking time, this is still a great weeknight meal, as it comes together quickly. Both versions are below.

Maple-Orange Tempeh

2 cups orange juice
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tablespoons mirin
4 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground coriander
4 small garlic cloves, crushed
8-10 ounces of tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tbsp)
1 cup cilantro, chopped

Put the orange juice in a bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the tamari, mirin, maple syrup, coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh into bite-sized pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced somewhat to a glaze. It will have the consistency of slightly runny maple syrup. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.

Serve the tempeh over your favorite whole grain, drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Maple-Orange Pork

2 cups orange juice
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tablespoons mirin
4 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground coriander
4 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb boneless lean pork, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used cutlets from Richardson Farms)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tbsp)
1 cup cilantro, chopped

Put the orange juice in a bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the tamari, mirin, maple syrup, coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the juices have evaporated.

Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has reduced somewhat to a glaze. It will have the consistency of slightly runny maple syrup.

Serve over your favorite whole grain, drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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This recipe started out as the Szechuan-Style Tofu with Peanuts recipe in this month’s Cooking Light. I made several tweaks to use ingredients I had on hand, including my giant cabbage, and to make this vegetarian. The quinoa adds protein, a nutrient I’m always keeping track of because I don’t eat meat. I also loved the method of broiling the tofu, which gave it a great texture.

By the time I was finished with it, it didn’t look much like the original. But it had a bright, Thai-style flavor and a nice crunch from the peanuts. It has a nice punch of heat, too, so if you’re one of those people who thinks ketchup is spicy you’re going to have to cut back a lot on the chili-garlic sauce.

Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry with Peanuts and Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water
1 lb extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz sliced mushrooms
6 oz Napa cabbage, chopped (it’ll look like a lot, but it cooks down quite a bit)
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice from two limes (about 3 tbsp)
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and simmer 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes, place on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and broil 15 minutes or so until it’s golden brown.

Combine broth and next four ingredients (through black bean sauce).  Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Add salt, mushrooms, and cabbage and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to wilt.

Stir in carrots and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add broth mixture and cook 30 seconds or until sauce thickens.

Remove from heat; stir in onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve over quinoa.

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