Posts Tagged beets

Food Network Friday

First, my CSA delivery from two weeks ago.

Green stuff:  parsley, broccoli, leaf lettuce, pea shoots that went bad before I got to use them, and collards.

Red-stemmed stuff:  beets and chard.  To show how big the beets were:

As big as my fist!

Other stuff:  mushrooms, grapefruit, red onions, carrots, and tangelos.

I also went to the farmers market to supplement.

 Red and gold potatoes, yellow onions, grapes, fuji apples, garlic, asparagus, a sweet potato and a turnip.

I happened to make two Food Network recipes recently, so I thought I’d join Tami from Vegan Appetite’s Food Network Fridays.  She’s been veganizing a Food Network recipe and posting every Friday for a while now.  I could be considered a fan of Food Network;  I don’t love any of the shows in particular, but I love that it’s a network dedicated entirely to food.  Many a Saturday I’ll turn the tv on FN and just leave it on all day while I go about my business.  Even during the shows I don’t really like, which is how I came to make this first dish:  Sunny Anderson’s Pork-Stuffed Collards.  It was a dish she first had in Hawaii I think.  I just so happened to have a bunch of collards that needed using, so I decided to make it.  Thing was, the pork really was the main component of the dish.  My first thought was to replace it with tempeh, but the “meat” really needed to be able to hold itself together in a patty.  So I decided to use Gimme Lean Sausage, until they didn’t have it at the store and I bought the beef instead.

On the side I made a simple steamed root veggie soup from carrots, a sweet potato and a turnip.  I couldn’t decide how to season it, so I threw in a little of everything and the flavor ended up being confused.  Bay, sage and curry just don’t go together.  Don’t know what I was thinking!

Luckily I liked the Beef-Stuffed Collards much more than the soup.  Although the “beef” was really well spiced and the recipe was very easy to make, all together the meatiness was a little much for me.  I would’ve enjoyed it much more with the sausage.  If I make this again, which I may, I think I’ll try to make some sort of mixture with tofu or tempeh, veggies and bread crumbs and see if I can get it to hold together.

The next FN recipe I made, I actually searched for on foodnetwork.com:  Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Beet Salad with Bleu Cheese.  There were many roasted beet salads, but this one looked the best and allowed me to use up some of my tangelos.

So, the thing about great salads is that you use different flavors, textures, temperatures etc…The components of this salad somehow found a way to dull each other.  I couldn’t figure it out, because on their own the ingredients were all good – roasted beets, Sunergia soy bleu cheese (which I like a lot), baked tortilla strips that I subbed for the almonds called for, lettuce instead of spinach, and the tangelo reduction dressing which was the best part.  It had the texture of honey, which I thought was pretty neat.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice salad as salads go, but…I’ve come to expect a good salad to be a flavor explosion of sorts, and this one didn’t meet the mark.

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CSA Dinners

Another glorious CSA delivery, more glorious meals.

broccoli, collards, brussels sprouts, fennel, celery, baby bok choy & leaf lettuce

beets, a yellow onion, apples, oranges & radicchio

I was supposed to get romanesco, and I was really excited because I’ve never had it before, but they ran out and gave me broccoli instead.  Which is fine, because I like broccoli and I was going to use the romanesco to replace broccoli in a recipe anyway.

This is the Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Casserole from The Uncheese Cookbook.  It is super tasty and super easy to make.  You pretty much mix together five things in a casserole dish and stick it in the oven.  Although if you want to use brown rice instead of white you should precook it a bit first, which I kind of knew beforehand but tried to get away with it anyway.

I served the casserole with shredded raw beets over leaf lettuce.  The beets were dressed with orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce and agave nectar.

I’m still not a huge fan of radicchio, but I’m finding I like it cooked and paired with something sweet.  I was happy to find this recipe for Sausages with Caramelized Red Onions & Radicchio.  I envisioned making it with homemade seitan sausages, but that just wasn’t in the cards for a weeknight meal.

I halved the recipe but followed it almost exactly, subbing Earth Balance for butter and Tofurkey Italian Sausages for sausage  I also added a bit of sesame parmesan.  This dish was very tasty, but the caramelized onions were so good and sweet that they overshadowed the other ingredients.  Which meant I couldn’t taste the radicchio, so I guess it was okay.

The sausages were served atop polenta with beet greens.  The polenta was jut okay.  It’s the first time I’ve made polenta not from a recipe, so hopefully I’ll be better at flavoring it next time.

I used the bok choy, as per usual, in a stirfry.  A fancy, tasty stirfry based on a recipe.  I loosely followed the Curried Udon Stirfry from Veganomicon, and the sauce totally made the stirfry.

I am definitely interested in making the recipe as is sometime.  I was nervous about the roux not working, but it worked perfectly.

Some friends moved into a new house a few weeks ago, and they are now lucky enough to have a lemon tree, flowers, herbs, and among other things, a kaffir lime bush.  With kaffir lime leaves!  They smelled so good that I felt the need to steal some and make green curry.  So I did.

I used this recipe from Food Network, subbing extra firm tofu for the chicken.  I added steamed broccoli, cauliflower & sweet potatoes, and just a bit of sugar toward the end of cooking.  And I couldn’t find Thai basil, so regular basil was a fine stand in.  It doesn’t look like a green curry, but the sauce is under there somewhere, I promise.  The only change I would make next time is to not add the extra 3/4 cup of liquid with the coconut milk, as the sauce wasn’t as thick as I would’ve liked.

And because a new CSA delivery came today, a clean-out-the-fridge stew for dinner tonight.

Ingredients:  onion, leek, carrot, celery, green pepper, jalapeno, garlic, bay leaf, liquid smoke, cooking wine, tomatoes, black eyed peas, lentils, collards and wild rice blend.  Perfect except that I added a wee bit too much liquid smoke.

I’m all caught up on posting!  Finally.  I may try to go back to more singular posts, as opposed to throwing five meals together in one.  Or I’ll get way behind again.  We shall see.

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VeganMoFo: Farmers Market Meal

I cooked a pumpkin that had been waiting patiently for over a week this morning with intentions of trying to recreate my mom’s wonderful pumpkin bread.  Alas, the day has run its course and I have to get up early for an interview tomorrow, so the bread will have to wait.  In the spirit of VeganMoFo, which I have not been doing too well with lately, I’ll show you what I DID manage to do today.

Searching for farmers markets in the area, I came across the downtown San Leandro farmers market, and sadly learned that today was the last day until next season.  There is supposedly another one on Saturdays, but this seemed to be the main one so I had to check it out.

I have to say, it’s a pretty good farmers market!  Maybe even better than the one I used to go to in Gainesville.  I was surprised at how much summer produce was still around – tomatoes, zucchini and such, but there was also a good representation of fall produce.  Here’s what I got for just over $17.

Rainbow chard, navel oranges, beets and three kinds of apple.

Romaine, red bell pepper, assorted mushrooms (I think it was a mix of button and cremini), strawberries and garlic and black pepper tofu.  I’m mucho excited to try the tofu, I hope it’s as good as I expect!

For dinner tonight I stuck with the veggies.  Pardon the lighting.

Rainbow chard and quinoa, VWAV orange glazed beets, and sauteed mushrooms.  The orange glazed beets were good, but I’m not sure they’re worth the time it took to let the glaze reduce.  I think next time I’ll go back to plain ol’ roasted beets.  The surprise standout of the meal was the mushrooms!  They were simply sauteed with a bit of canola oil, some tamari and a generous amount of black pepper.  Sometimes simple is best.

Tomorrow, a hopefully successful veganization of mom’s pumpkin bread.  Goodnight!

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