Posts Tagged radishes

VeganMoFo: Squashes, Pumpkins and Other Things Autumnal

Welcome to Vegan Month of Food!  If you missed my last post with my plans for VeganMoFo 2010, check it out.  I’m starting out by catching up on some stuff that’s been going on recently.  To get into the spirit of Fall, I’ve been eating as many Autumnal flavors as possible!


This is autumn millet, tempeh, roasted brussels sprouts and toasted pepitas.  I don’t know if I can adequately express my love for roasted brussels sprouts.  I could eat at least three times the amount pictured here in one sitting.  Love!  For the millet, I was inspired by Lilveggiepatch’s Autumn Millet.  I’ve never been a huge fan of millet, because I had never figured out how to cook it correctly, and now I think I’ve found the formula.  Some people say to use 2 cups water to 1 cup millet, which I think turns out underdone and crunchy, and some people say to use 3 cups water to 1 cup millet, which I think turns out wet and squishy.  So, I compromised and used 2 1/2 cups water to 1 cup millet and the texture was perfectly light and fluffy.  I also toasted the millet very well in a dry pan before adding the water, which I think is key.  The tempeh was simmered then quickly marinated in orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, cumin and coriander.  The toasted pepitas totally sealed the deal on this dinner.

When I first saw the frittata recipe from the VeganizeIt! column in the May/June issue of VegNews, I knew I would love it.  The description promised an eggy texture and taste from chickpea flour and kala namak, and while it didn’t seem extremely eggy to me, I did like it a lot.

I served the frittata with roasted pumpkin, cooked in coconut oil and spiced with garam masala and coriander.  I used leek in the frittata instead of the onion which was called for, just because I had a leek in the fridge.  I also reduced the amount of margarine from 1/4 cup to 2 Tbs, because I just didn’t see the need for that much margarine.  The frittata didn’t feel low fat even with the reduced amount, and I was particularly happy with the calorie count – under 150 calories for 1/6 of the whole pie!

I bought a block of Galaxy Vegan Cheddar to try out on some chili, and when I came across (never home) maker’s Smoked Pumpkin Chili I thought it would pair perfectly.  Verdict on the cheese:  It’s…okay.  It’s not better or worse than Daiya or Teese, just different, and I guess I would buy it again if I needed some cheese and it was available.  It did shred very easily, so that’s a plus.

Verdict on the chili:  Delicious!  The pumpkin puree made the broth wonderfully thick, and the smoked paprika gave it a great smoky flavor.  I added a few dashes of cayenne pepper, because my chili has to be spicy.  My only complaint is that the recipe didn’t include any actual chili powder, which to me is an essential ingredient.  I hope to make this soup again sooner than later, and I will probably add a tablespoon of chili powder when I do.

The latest East Bay Vegan Bakesale was last Saturday, and while I didn’t have time to bake for it, I made sure to stop buy and pick up a few goodies.  This is a pumpkin whoopie pie and a sweet potato muffin, and they were both fantastic.  I also bought a mini-banana muffin and scarfed it too quickly to photograph.  There were also brownies, giant cinnamon rolls, cookies, cupcakes and all sorts of other goodies on display, and I used my amazing skills of self-control to not buy it all.  Or, I was broke at the end of the month.  One of those…

For dinner tonight, I baked up a spaghetti squash then tossed the flesh with Vegan Dad’s Alfredo Sauce and some steamed spinach.  I’ve had some major let-downs in the alfredo department since going vegan, but this sauce did not disappoint!  I again reduced the amount of margarine called for, because I just can’t justify putting 1/2 cup of Earth Balance in something that I’ll be eating all by myself.  I can see how the sauce would be more rich with the full amount, but I don’t think it really suffered for taking out some of the fat.  I also reduced the amount of onion powder a bit, and added 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, because everything needs nutritional yeast.  On the side, I had some roasted beets and radishes.  Beets and radishes play surprisingly well together.

I’m so excited to read all of the upcoming VeganMoFo posts from bloggers around the world.  There are over 500 blogs signed up!  A full list will be posted here within a few days:  http://veganmofo.wordpress.com/blog-roll-2010/

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Homework #1

For my Natural Chef courses at Bauman College, I have to turn in a homework assignment at the end of each section.  These homework assignments involve either creating or adapting recipes, preparing at least one of them (I prepare them all), and writing up some different reports such as health benefits, recipe scaling or cost analysis.  I won’t bore you with those drab details, but I do plan on sharing my homework recipes as school goes on.  I always like to give myself an extra challenge, so I am trying to create all my homework recipes from scratch rather than adapting.

For our first homework assignment, we were to create three recipe for one meal – either breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I chose dinner and used some ingredients that had arrived in my CSA box that week.

Multigrain Sesame-Beet Pilaf

I designed this recipe to make for dinner after work, thus the short soaking time for the grains.  If you have more time you can soak the grains for up to eight hours, although they may need less cooking liquid.  The flavor is earthy and almost bland in a good way.

1/4 cup long grain brown rice, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup millet, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup amaranth, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup quinoa, soaked for two hours
1/4 cup arame
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 Tbs minced fresh ginger
4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
greens from four beets, sliced thinly and rinsed
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs tamari
2 Tbs sesame seeds

1. Drain and rinse the grains separately and set aside.
2. Place the arame in a small pot and add just enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, turn the heat off, and allow the arame to soak for 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, Bring the vegetable broth or water to a boil in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add the brown rice and ginger, stir, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low.  The water should be just barely simmering.  Cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the millet, amaranth and diced beets.  Stir, cover and continue to cook for 10 more minutes.
5. Add the quinoa and arame.  Stir, cover and cook for 20 more minutes.
6. While the grains are cooking, place the sesame seeds in a small pan over medium heat, and toast just until fragrant and turning darker, shaking the pan often.  Remove from the heat.
7. When there are only a few minutes left in the cooking time, add the beet greens to the grains and mix well.  The greens will wilt quickly.
8. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and tamari.  Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 310.06
Calories From Fat (21%) 65.12
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.54g 12%
Saturated Fat 1.33g 7%
Cholesterol 1.23mg <1%
Sodium 1191.41mg 50%
Potassium 778.37mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 51.19g 17%
Fiber 9.24g 37%
Sugar 5.81g
Protein 11.1g 22%

Spicy Daikon Slaw

2 medium daikon radishes
2 medium carrots
1 small head of red cabbage
juice of 1 small orange (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 Tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp ground allspice
pinch ground red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the vegetables in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Combine all of the remaining ingredients except olive oil in a small bowl.  Add the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well.  Serve immediately.

Servings: 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 143.53
Calories From Fat (53%) 76.27
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.65g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.16g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 252.63mg 11%
Potassium 524mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 16.6g 6%
Fiber 4.09g 16%
Sugar 8.92g
Protein 2.34g 5%

Asian Pear Crisp with Sweet Sake

300 ml organic sweet sake, or about 1 1/4 cups
1 Tbs agave nectar
4 asian pears, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbs spelt flour
3 Tbs rolled or old-fashioned oats
2 Tbs virgin coconut oil, softened
2 Tbs Earth Balance, softened
pinch sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place five 5-6 ounce ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. Pour the sake and agave nectar into a small pot and stir.  Heat over medium high heat until boiling then reduce heat to medium.  Boil, stirring often, until liquid is reduced by 1/2.  Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
3. Place the diced pears in a medium mixing bowl.  Pour the cooled sake over the pears, and sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg over the mixture.  Mix well.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour, oats, coconut oil and Earth Balance.  Mix well.
5. Divide the pear mixture between the ramekins.  Spoon the oat mixture over each portion, dividing evenly.
6. Bake the crisps for 30 minutes, and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Servings: 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 273.38
Calories From Fat (35%) 95.05
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10.84g 17%
Saturated Fat 6.34g 32%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 106.22mg 4%
Potassium 195.3mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 26.96g 9%
Fiber 5.36g 21%
Sugar 10.15g
Protein 2.97g 6%

I had decided not to take any pictures during class so that I could focus, but luckily for me two of my classmates have taken it upon themselves to take pictures and share with the rest of us, so I will be able to share some of the dishes I am enjoying in class.  There wasn’t much from the first section though, as we were focusing on very practical things such as knife skills, sanitation and culinary math.  I will definitely include some school food pictures in future posts.

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