lacking…

So I’ve been away. Far far far away. I’ve been busy, I’ve been battling, I’ve been so far from this computer it’s not even funny.

For the last week or more, I’ve been battling a sickness so fierce it rendered me to my bed for days, watching endless episodes of the Big Bang Theory and sipping on ginger ale and organic orange juice. I haven’t felt like doing anything whatsoever. My garden is probably thinking I’ve forgotten about her and my poor house was probably depressed without the sweet, sweet smell of garlic and onions cooking on a daily basis. Good thing I had decided to order Big Vegan by Robin Asbell and Kate Sears approx 3 days before I became infected with the plague. Amongst that and seasons 1 and 3 (yes I know I skipped 2) of the Big Bang Theory, I have successfully recovered and am diving back into the blogging world.

Yesterday, I had planned on making and later baking the ‘better love your beans bake’ from Hearty Vegan Meals… and although I did indeed MAKE it, I just got around to baking it today and am currently scarfing a bowl of it down, along with 2 slices of my favorite multigrain bread from Heidelburg Bakery. I’m not sure if ya’ll have access to this bread, but my gosh, it’s delicious. It’s nutty and chewy and oh so yummy. Unfortunately, the only place I know you can buy it in my area is at a co-op about 50 minutes away.. but it’s sooo worth the drive just for this bread alone. So anyways, back to the ‘better love your beans bake’… against my prior planning, I do not have any pictures of this dish, but let my words stand alone to tell you how good it is. Essentially it’s a mexican style noodle bake, with some sort of delicious bean spread/whatever you wanna call it, on the top. Essentially, IT’S GOOD. MAKE IT, EAT IT, YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

By the way, did I mention how much I love Big Vegan? I’m obsessed right now, dare I say it’s my favorite cookbook as of this moment?

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kale!

So I’ve got a garden in my backyard, a magnificent glorious bountiful garden that I absolutely adore. This year I grew some veggies that I’ve never done before… like kale and celery and red leafed lettuce. I also grew you know, the usual… green peppers, green beans, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, jalapenos and tomatoes.  Unfortunately, my tomatoes developed some sort of disease this year and I wasn’t able to salvage any of them. BUT, the other things?! BOUNTIES. TONS. I had an over flow of beans and cucumbers and right now, KALE.

So this was in August, imagine MORE. Like a TON MORE.

What do I do with all this kale?! I mean seriously, I’ve made soup, soup and more soup. I’ve made stir fries, dips, I’ve mixed it into rice and pilafs and eaten it just straight up outta the garden. I’ve given a ton away, I’ve made little salads. I’ve devoured so much kale I think it’ll probably start sprouting out my ears!

So anyways, I also receive a kind of embarrassing amount of food/cooking/gardening magazines in the mail each month and tonight I decided to concoct something out of Vegetarian Times that uses KALE. This recipe came out of the October 2011 issue on page 44.

Autumn Vegetable Roast with Orzo via Vegetarian Times, October 2011 page 44

1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved

1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets

2 medium onions, thickly sliced

8 oz celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 small fennel bulbs, cut into 1 inch pieces

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 12 oz bunch kale, coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups orzo

¾ cup cooked or canned chick peas

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400, spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Toss all veggies, excluding kale, with 3 tbsp olive oil and the Herbes de Provence. Arrange on the baking sheets. Roast for 1 hour, mixing and rotating pans half way through.

Stir kale into the vegetable mixture about 5 minutes before you pull the roasted vegetables out.

Meanwhile, cook orzo in a pot according to directions… about 2 minutes before final cooking time, throw in the chickpeas to heat through. Drain and stir in parsley and remaining olive oil.

Serve vegetables over orzo, drizzling lusciously with balsamic vinegar.

I made a few changes… the directions told me to boil the kale before roasting. HOG WASH. Why? Waste of time and a pot and blech, I don’t like boiled kale. Also, I didn’t have orzo (shame on me!) so I used baby tiny wittle shells, they’re so cute! I also couldn’t find celery root, so I substituted carrots because roasted carrots are tasty. Oh yeah, and, I halved the recipe since there’s only 2 of us!

ps: there’s a friend in my salad!!!!!!

a busy week/weekend

Alright, so I’m finding that October is like the busiest month ever and that starting a blog this month may have been harder than I imagined. October is full of birthdays, and apples and soooo many crisp leaves and delicious breezes that I find it harder and harder to sit down at my computer stationary for even a minute or two to post. BUT, I’m going to try my best!

On Thursday, I attempted to make the Scalloped Potato Pie recipe from Hearty Vegan Meals and let. me. tell. you.

OH MY GOSH. If it wasn’t for my numerous mistakes on thinking this was a dish I could whip up in seconds and have on my plate in minutes, I would have ingested this so much earlier. It’s got a long cook time, and it requires sort of a lot of prep but dammmmn was it delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Scalloped Potato Pie via Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites pg 122

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen vegan puff pastry

22 ounces (or about 3 large) russet potatoes, thinly sliced

2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup caramelized onions

for the Bechamel:

1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

4 ounces nondairy cream cheese

2 large cloves garlic

1 medium size shallot

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper, plus extra for each layer

1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

Thaw pastry 40 minutes prior to rolling out.

To make bechamel: combine all ingredients to a saucepan and cook on low heat until the cream cheese is melted. Then using an immersion blender, blend.

Pre-heat oven to 375 and lightly coat a 9inch round baking pan with oil.

Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Place in prepared pan and lightly prick with a fork. Fold overhanging dough into a neat little crimp (or you know, just do whatever with it because I’m certainly not concerned with the looks, I just want to stuff my face).

Evenly arrange potatoes in a neat little layer and season with pepper. Sprinkle half the onions on top and spread half the bechamel sauce onto potatoes. Repeat this process once more using the rest of the potatoes.

Bake for 45 minutes, until brown and bubbly, let cool and then devour like the mad fiend that you are and praise yourself for making something so gosh darn delicious.

Let me say… I pretty much have every cook book that Celine Steen has put out, helped put out, has her name on it etc etc and I have never ever once been disappointed by a recipe. This dish was way worth the messy kitchen, the hassle of getting out not only my food processor but also my immersion blender and it was deeeeeeelicious!

I served it with a nice big salad with my favorite salad dressing from Newmans Own.

So the next day (Friday) I just made a quicky dinner (had too many errands to run) and then made a delicious apple pocket dessert type thing with my left over cream cheese and puff pastry that is strangely enough, still in my oven waiting to be devoured.

Annnnd, now I have to get back to real life and continue to clean house and decorate for my lovely room mates birthday/halloween party and clean up after 5 cats. Enjoy!

my first (failure) post

So today I had all these super awesome plans to go apple picking and come home and make scalloped potato pie out of Hearty Vegan Meals and then complete it all with wonderful homemade apple crisp. I wanted to get some errands done, buy my roommate a birthday present and be in my comfy bed with my three kitties by 10.

Well, THAT didn’t happen.

Instead, we got off to a late start, made a bunch of unplanned stops, spent too much time at the grocery store and then at a friend’s house and didn’t get home until 7pm. Which in my book, is too late to start any kind of labor intensive meal.

Don’t get me wrong, apple picking was a blast. The boy and I shared a cider slushie (entirely too cold for New York weather right now, but hey! It’s apple cider, in slushie form… who could go wrong?!) and picked a good twenty pounds of apples.

So instead of having this awesome first post about this super yummy scalloped potato pie and delicious apple crisp, I fail and bring only the apple crisp, which isn’t anything that interesting.

I found this recipe over at Yeah that Vegan Shit.

 

APPLE CRISP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INGREDIENTS:

For the apple part:

  • 5-6 apples, sliced in 1/4-inch slices or so
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. allspice
  • 1/16 t. cloves
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar + 1/2 c. water

For the crisp part:

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/6 c. canola oil (or 1/2 of a 1/3 measuring cup)
  • 1.5 T. soy milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/8 t. salt

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to about 375. Mix together everything for the apple part except for the apples. Place the apples in your bread-loaf pan and then drizzle the mixture all over the apples. In a separate bowl, mix together everything for the crisp part. Sprinkle this mixture on top of your apples. Cover with tin foil–bake for 10 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Serve with soy ice cream.


It’s boy approved, nose worthy and absolutely delicious!!!!!