Archive for Carrots

Squash, Kohlrabi and Barley Soup

 

This soup is truly the child of the CSA. In opening the refrigerator and seeing piles upon piles of squash, along with a couple heads of kohlrabi, I knew I had to do something with them before they started going bad on me. In remembering that I had barley in the cupboard and that it was amazing in soup last winter, I decided to go ahead and make soup once more. I was also motivated by having a large pot of food to come home to and be able to sit and eat without putting a lot of effort into (working in the pharmacy is wearing me down!). Plus, the days are slowly getting colder here in Buffalo as we descend sadly into winter, and having a bowl of hearty soup is one of the most enjoyable things ever.

I started by cooking the barley. While I love this grain, I don’t enjoy the smell of it cooking to much. But that’s okay, but it is totally worth it when it comes together in the soup. While the barley was cooking, I started cutting my vegetables, included 1 small onion and 1 minced clove of garlic,  2 stalks of celery, 3 carrots, 1 cubed kohlrabi, and one diced kabocha squash. The kabocha squash goes wonderful in the soup because it gets amazingly soft and the skin is edible.

 

Then, I sauted the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, and then added the veggies, followed y the vegetable stock and barley. I threw in some salt and pepper, a dash of cinnamon, and some fresh parsley and basil from our herb pot. It all smelled wonderful together, and looked great too!

Altogether, this soup was fantastic. It was warm and filling, and had a great variety of flavors and colors. The carrots, squash and celery all got unbelievably soft, while the kohlrabi maintained just enough of a firmness to resemble a potato. The squash was the perfectly sweet and essentially melted in your mouth, while the barley was tasty, chewy and hearty.

The next day we, of course, had leftover soup for dinner. We had to add a little bit more water as the barley had continued to absorb some of it over night (which can probably be avoided by soaking the barley for a couple of hours beforehand), and then to spice things up a little bit we threw in some chili powder and a package of Boca TVP crumbles. It was awesome like this too! I love versatile things like this, especially when I get a couple of meals out of them too!

Butternut Squash Soup

Well worth the effort

Let me apologize in advance for the lack of pictures here. Some how the boyfriend and I neglected to take a good amount of them of the soup, but that is not to say that the soup did not turn out amazing, because it totally did.

The farm share has left us with so, so, so many squash. Delicata, kabocha, butternut, acorn, tons and tons of squash that are overflowing our kitchen table and fridge. It really is almost ridiculous the amount we have, which has me on the search for more squash recipes. That being said, expect a good handful of squash-related entries over the next few days. But hey, it is the fall, they are in season and plentiful, and it is good to be challenged cooking-wise.

Our squash center piece

As it turns out, it is a lot of working making butternut squash soup. After peeling and cutting the squash alone I almost wanted to call it quits. I even took a little break after cutting up the squash, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. There was a point when I thought, “I will never make this again!” After all is said and done, I will though. Because it’s delicious and because we have far too much squash.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 apple, diced
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)

After preparing all of your veggies (and the apple!), saute your garlic, ginger and onion in a soup pot for three to five minutes. Then, add the celery and carrots, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the squash, apple, broth, sage, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Let this cook for 25 minutes or until all of the vegetables are soft. Then, in batches, I placed the soup into the blender and pureed until everything was blended well, and was smooth. I then added soy milk to each batch to make the soup just a little bit more creamy. I returned it all to the pot, waiting to reheat when we were ready to eat dinner.

I love this soup. It had a great taste of ginger, cinnamon, and of course, the sweet taste of butternut squash. It is warm and deceptively filling, something I can appreciate now that I am living on my own and the days and nights are getting colder. Other than being sweet and creamy, it is also a brilliant yellow-orange color, basically begging you to eat it. I think I would even classify it as a comfort food. If you wanted to make it even MORE hearty, you could easily throw in some brown rice, greens (such as spinach or kale), or beans, after everything has been mashed or pureed.

Despite being fairly time consuming, I would make this again. It’s just too good not to!

Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits

Hello, my new favorite dinner.

Yep, that is it. I am waiting to try a recipe from the Veganomicon that disappoints me, but I have yet to. The farm share left me with tons of leeks, which I have never cooked with. I turned to my cookbooks to find a recipe to use them in, before they ran the risk of spoiling.

I stumbled across the leek and bean cassoulet  in the Veganomicon. I really love stew-like dishes as they are warm, savory, and stick to your insides. This recipe seemed like it had to be a winner, and any of the pictures I found of the dish on other blogs or recipe sites simply looked amazing.

I got to work cutting all of the vegetables, boiling the potatoes, and getting the dough ready for the biscuits that would be placed on top. The majority of effort put into the dish really goes in the prep of the veggies, but other than that it is fairly simple and only requires you to have the patience to wait while it cooks (which is harder than you would think, given how great this smells). I knew it was going to be delicious even when I was mixing the leeks, potatoes, beans (I ended up using butter beans rather than white, as the recipe calls for, along with string beans) and carrots over the stove in the vegetable stock.

After it was done cooking over the stove, I placed it into a 9×13 Pyrex casserole dish and placed the biscuit dough on top. After popping it into the oven, I was excited. I knew it was going to be fantastic, and I had a hard time forcing myself to let it cool after before eating it. This is such a great fall/winter casserole. It is warm and comforting, and colorful as well. The potatoes, carrots and string beans come out perfectly soft with just the right amount of bite left in them. The leeks, which I thought were going to be overwhelming in the dish, give the gravy the perfect amount of flavor without making everything taste too onion-y. I ended up stirring the biscuit in with the gravy and vegetables, getting bites of it with every couple of spoonfuls. It is amazing with the gravy, and adds just a tiny bit of sweetness and richness to the dish, contrasting well with the hearty vegetables.

I can’t wait to make this again. It really isn’t too difficult of a dish, and could be made the night before to be put into the oven when ready to eat. It is fairly inexpensive, especially with some our vegetables coming from the already purchased farm share, and has a ton of servings, especially if you are making it for just yourself. Even for two I think you would be able to get at least two dinners out of it. I even had it for breakfast before work one morning, it was great even then!

Borscht

So much cabbage....

and so many beets!

The farm share has provided us with a TON of cabbage and beets. While we baked a good amount of beets in an orange glaze and ate them on their own, we still had more than you can imagine left, as well as cabbage, since we don’t cook with it all too often. Due to this, I decided to get in touch with European heritage (and surely the boyfriend’s Ukrainian one as well, as it is a traditional Ukrainian dish) and make borscht. And I made a ton at that, knowing the fall and winter days are ahead, and having soup in the freezer is always a good thing.

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 Large beets (or 6 medium/small)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 small/medium green peppers
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (you can used canned, I used some from the farm share)
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of dill
  • hot sauce to taste

First, you see that large dark green pepper in the foreground there? I don’t know what I was thinking but that sucker was HOT. As in, not realizing it, I cut it up and my hands BURNED for hours after. My cuticles were on fire and nothing would make it better. The burning of my hands cued me on to the intensity of it, so shortly after throwing them into the cooking borscht I was fishing them out, as I didn’t want a soup that would be so ungodly spicy. But hey, we all make mistakes.

Anyhow, you want to begin by baking the beets for an hour (or until soft), wrapped in tin foil at 35o degrees. While the temptation may be there to eat them, because who can deny the goodness of warm beets, don’t do it, and instead peel and chop them for the soup.

Then, in a large pot – seriously large though, this makes A LOT – heat the vegetable oil and saute the garlic, followed by the celery, carrots and onion, until they are tender. Then add the beets and saute for another minute.

Following this, you will add the broth, water and tomatoes, followed by the cabbage, vinegar, salt and spices. If you’d like, you could also add a can of beans, but I think the borscht is hearty enough without them. Let the pot simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. It will smell fantastic.

I love the color!

I’ll admit, at first I didn’t really think I would be a fan of borscht. Something about cabbage and beets together in a soup seemed to turn me off. That was before I smelled and tasted this soup. The carrots and celery are perfectly soft, right along with the beets, and even the stock of the soup as well is delicious. As I was placing containers of soup in the freezer for another day, I had warm thoughts of sitting down with this soup, wrapped in a bathrobe after just coming inside from the cold, and it all seemed too right.

Carrot-Raisin Muffins

Gooooood morning

Vegan with a Vengeance really knows how to do breakfast/brunch. In flipping through my recipe books (I do this way too often), I saw this recipe and knew I had all the ingredients. Plus, the spices and carrots have a good autumn feeling to them. I recently bought a huge canister of raisins since they were on sale, so this was a good chance to use them.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I added a little more, as said, I like cinnamon)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrot

Grated carrots are a gorgeous thing

Begin by preheating the over to 400 degrees, and prepare your muffin tin. After this, get out a bowl of hot water to soak your raisins in. This will let them plump up, so they will be juicy and chewy in your muffins. I did this with the dried cranberries in the Zesty Cranberry Crumb Muffins from My Sweet Vegan and it makes the dried fruit so much better.

Then, mix together the baking powder and soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt. After this is thoroughly mixed, add the milk, oil and vanilla. Mix this until it is just fully combined. Drain the water from the raisins and gently fold them into the mixture.

Fill the muffin tins to be about three-quarters full (you’ll get about a dozen muffins). These will rise (and look) nicely for you! Let them bake for 18 to 22 minutes, cool, and enjoy!

mmm!

I love these! They are so addicting though. Whenever I even set foot in the kitchen I thought about eating them, so needless to say they didn’t last long at all. They were perfectly moist (especially with the plump raisins) and you could really taste the carrot, yet without it being very overwhelming, which combined with the cinnamon and nutmeg was glorious. It was not over-the-top sugarly like some muffins, which is never something I want in the morning, or out of muffins in general. I know the quality of the pictures isn’t that stunning since the lighting was down right terrible in my kitchen at the time, but these muffins really do have a gorgeous color as well, very golden brown, with shreds of carrots  I can’t wait for there to be more carrots around the house so I can make these again.

Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

I love tempeh. I know I said it before, but I really wish it was used more. When I found this recipe for Orange pan-glazed tempeh I was excited – I had all the ingredients, and the recipe called for orange juice and maple syrup, which are two of my favorite things, especially together.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lime (I used the lime juice equivalent)
  • a handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 carrots, diced

First, combine the orange juice and grated ginger into a bowl. The original recipe said to squeeze the juices from the ginger and discard the pulp, but I threw it all in because I really like the taste of ginger. To this, add the soy sauce, mirin, maple syrup, ground coriander and garlic. Mix it all together and set it aside for now.

I crumbled the tempeh up rather than cutting it into neat little triangles, and placed it into the pan with the olive oil, frying it until it turned golden brown, for approximately 12 minutes. Then, pour the glaze over the pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes, letting the sauce thicken.

I served the tempeh with some sauteed carrots and green peppers, because carrots always go well with orange juice and maple syrup.

It was delicious! I swear, orange juice and maple syrup were made for each other. I’m really happy I added carrots to the mix because I think the went really well with the glaze. This was a perfect dish on its own, but I could also see serving it with rice or quinoa also!

More sweet than sour

Pineapple and tofu were made to be together. I am even more of a believer in this ever since I made Sweet and Sour Tofu following a recipe from Nasoya’s website, to go along with some left over Jamaican Tempeh Patties with the things I had in the refrigerator or cupboard.

I was pleasantly surprised! This ended up being super good (but how could it not, with pineapple in it) and really filling, and it went well the patties. It also came together relatively quickly, which is always a good thing. It also fed me for about 5 meals as well, which was great seeing as how I never want to cook right when I get home from work. Here’s the recipe:

1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 tbls vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, chopped

After running outside and pulling onions from the garden, which I LOVE being able to do, I started cooking.

First, you dissolve your cornstarch in 2 tbsp of water, and then drain the pineapple while saving the juice. Mix the juice with 1/4 cups of water, your vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Then, in a large skillet saute the onion in the vegetable oil for 3 -5 minutes. Toss in the green peppers and carrots, and saute for another two minutes. Then add in the tofu that you have sliced into bite-sized cubes, and add to the skillet, cooking until the tofu has browned. Then, cover your skillet, reduce heat to low and let it simmer until the carrots are soft. Once this occurs, and 2/3 cup of pineapple chunks to your liquid and spice mixture. Continue cooking until your sauce has thickened.

 

Mmmmmm

While I served this with the leftover patties, it would be great with noodles, rice or even quinoa. It was the right amount of sweet from the maple syrup and pineapple, and the ginger really rounded out the dish. Plus, the aroma of it was enough to get me to make it again. In paging through other Nasoya recipes, many of them seem tasty, so keep an eye out for more tofu dishes!

Oh, curry powder, how I love thee

I will readily admit to you that I am a far better baker than I am a cook. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy cooking though – because I definitely do. A bundle of fresh veggies and multiple packets of tempeh that are marked to 99 cents because they are about to hit their expiration date (can you imagine the smile on my face to see this??)  is enough to get me cooking. After finding this recipe, Jamaican Tempeh Patties, on the Vegetarian Times website I knew what I was going to be making. Plus – making crust is kind of like baking after all.

I love tempeh. I think it is very underrated and that people are for some reason afraid of it, which is beyond me. It has a great taste and texture, and when cooked appropriately can have a really meaty taste, if that is what one is going for. In addition to this, I really, really love curry powder. I love the smell, the color, the taste, everything (except for the one time I tried to put it on pizza, not so great there, but hey, I was feeling adventurous) about it. That’s how I knew I had to make these. They resembled the patties I get every once and awhile from the Rasta Rant on Main Street, which are delicious.

The original recipe says it makes 12 patties. I happened to want mine bigger and with more filling, so that is what I did, and it made slightly less.

Crust:

Makes 12 patties

Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 oz. vegan margarine, cut into pieces

Filling:

  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup) I used ones straight out of the garden!
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots (this and the broccoli I added on my own)
  • 1/2 cup broccoli

To make the crust: Mix the flour, curry powder, salt and baking soda. Then add the margarine and mix until it resembles a coarse meal. Then, add 3/4 cup cold water (I ended up adding slightly more), and mix until dough forms. Wrap this in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To make the filling: Heat oil in a skillet and then add the onion, sauteing for 7 minutes. Then add in the garlic, tempeh, curry powder, chili powder, oregano, thyme, broccoli, carrots and 1 1/2 cup water. Let this cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Then add the rum!

The filling cooking - smelling marvelously like curry!

I then rolled out the dough into 1/8 inch thickness, and cut it into about 8 inch circles. I then placed enough of the filling in the patty to make it puffy but still allowed it to be closed, by folding it in half and pressing the edges together with a fork. I then placed them in the refrigerator over night, as I didn’t want to cook/eat them until the following day. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the patties on a greased baking sheet, and then bake them for about 20-25 minutes, until that are golden in color.

The boyfriend and I ate them with some Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce (because it’s amazing). While the patties were awesome (And my dad complained that the house smelled like curry, which I considered a success), we both decided that they were a little dry. Perhaps next time I would add more margarine to the dough – but this might have simply been a result of the patty not being cooked the same day it was made. Either way, they tasted great, even when reheated a day or two later!