Posts Tagged sweet potatoes

VeganMoFo: Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Polenta Rancheros from Vegan Brunch

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes from Appetite for Reduction

Goddess Nicoise Salad from Appetite for Reduction

Tempeh Pot au Feu from Vegan on the Cheap

Brussels Sprout-Potato Hash from Appetite for Reduction with leek & dill quinoa

potatoes with pumpkin-cheese sauce, bacon bits and green onion

Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry from Appetite for Reduction

Creamy Picatta Pasta, roasted vegetables & swiss chard

Kidney Bean & Sweet Potato Jamba Stew from Appetite for Reduction

Ye’abesha Gomen, Mushroom Tibs, and Ethiopian Millet from Appetite for Reduction

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Appetite For Reduction – Review & Giveaway

When I first heard about Appetite For Reduction, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s latest cookbook, I knew it would be right up my alley.  The recipes are similar to how I usually cook – whole foods, high flavor, low fat and calories.  I bought the book a few weeks before Christmas and having been cooking from it since.  Most of the recipes I’ve chosen so far have been based on what has been in my CSA deliveries, and there are a lot more recipes I look forward to trying.

Broiled Blackened Tofu.  You just coat the tofu with the spice mix and broil it.  Simple and tasty!

Butternut Coconut Rice.  Mixing in mashed butternut squash is a smart way to make rice yummy and coconutty without adding a lot of fat.  The only thing I would change with this recipe is to dice the shallot instead of slicing it, because the long slices were  kind of weird compared to the texture of the rest of the dish.

Pineapple Collards.  This maybe doesn’t look too appealing because my ginger was stringy, but the flavor is great.  I just wish I had used more collards, because the pineapple/garlic/ginger combo was a little overpowering.  Plus, I wanted to eat more of it.

All packed up to take for lunch.

Curried Cabbage & Peas, served with quinoa.  The texture on these veggies was great – they were cooked enough to be tender, but still have a bite to them.  The curry flavor isn’t incredibly complex, but the dish comes together really quickly, so I’m not complaining!

Not from AFR – I ate this Romanesco Carrot Salad with the curried cabbage.  The recipe was in my CSA’s newsletter, and it was a nice way to use the romanesco.

Irish Stew with Potatoes & Seitan.  This was a bust for me, but not due to the recipe.  I used the steamed white seitan from Viva Vegan, and even after being sauteed the seitan was squishy like raw dough, and really unpleasant to eat.  I’ve heard about other people having trouble with the seitan recipe, and also others who have had success, so perhaps it was just me.  I picked all the seitan out, and the stew was pretty good.

Tempeh Helper.  This is one I was really excited about.  The recipe is posted here, on The PPK blog.  This is super good!  It tastes like junk food from a box, but isn’t junky at all.  I was skeptical about the technique – you cook the pasta and other ingredients in a pan with a smaller amount of water than normal – but it worked out well.  The pasta came out al dente, and the water cooked off without the dish getting dry.  Next time I want to crumble the tempeh more finely so it’s spread throughout the dish.

The Gravy Bowl, slightly modified.  I know how to put together a “bowl” on my own, but the suggestions in the three-page bowl section are good when you’re looking for something easy to throw together.  Brown rice, baked tofu, steamed kale and collards and silky chickpea gravy.  The gravy is not as flavor-intensive as some gravies, but for a gravy made with 1 teaspoon of oil it’s darned good.

Sushi Roll Edamame Salad.  I’m no stranger to the sushi salad.  I had tried this salad previously at a potluck, so I knew how good it was, which is why I was surprised that mine didn’t taste as good.  I think I put too much green onion in the dressing (maybe my onions were particularly strong), and then added more as garnish, and the onion overpowered the whole thing.  Less green onion next time, and it will be great.

Orange-Scented Broccoli, which I served alongside the sushi salad.  This one was not my favorite; it tasted like ginger, garlic, broccoli and orange separately, as opposed to coming together as one big flavor.  It was more cohesive as leftovers the next day, after the flavors had a chance to meld.  Still, next time I would probably just steam the broccoli.

Morrocan Chickpeas & Zucchini served with Caulipots.  I used some early-season, tender zucchini in this dish.  The flavor in this soup is fantastic.  It’s really easy to make, and turns out with a really wonderful spiciness throughout.  The caulipots (mashed potatoes made partly with cauliflower) were a nice, creamy counterpart.  I looked forward to eating these leftovers each day.

Butternut-Apple Soup and Fresh Corn & Scallion Cornbread.  Sadly, this soup was another dud for me.  It’s not a bad recipe by any means, just a matter of taste.  I think I’m learning that I just don’t like apples in soup.  The cornbread was nice dipped in the soup, and the whole corn kernels made for good texture.

Lastly for today, Yam & Black Bean Soup with Orange & Cilantro.  I wasn’t expecting anything amazing from this recipe, so I was pleasantly surprised that it tastes amazing!  The simple ingredients combine to make one wonderfully tasty soup.  The two serrano peppers really turn up the heat, and the orange juice keeps it fresh.  I baked some corn tortilla chips for dipping.

Considering how much I’ve enjoyed the recipes I’ve made so far, this might be the first cookbook that I end up making almost every recipe from.

Luckily for you guys, my mom is an excellent present-buyer.  She also knew that I would love AFR, and bought me a copy for Christmas, which I am now passing on to one of you!  And, I got the book signed when I had the pleasure of attending a cooking demo that Isa did a few weeks ago.  She made the Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry and Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits, both of which I now want to make myself.

To enter to win this copy of Appetite For Reduction, leave a comment on this post with a healthy cooking tip.  It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just any tip for cooking healthy vegan food.  The contest will be open until midnight PST this Wednesday, March 9, and I’ll pick a comment at random.  Please be sure to include your e-mail address (unless I’m able to find it by following a link to your blog).  I’ll be back on Thursday to announce the winner and show you a few more recipes I’ve made from AFR.  Good luck!

PS – I should mention that this is open to residents of the US and Canada only.  Sorry, everyone else!  If shipping was less costly, I would love to send it around the world!

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VeganMoFo: The Dregs of My Fridge

And so we come to the end of VeganMoFo 2010!  I didn’t meet my goal of blogging every weekday, but I did write make-up posts on the weekends when I missed, so I am still declaring my goal met.  I’ve really enjoyed reading lots of the other MoFo posts.  Sadly, I barely had enough time to keep up with the blogs that I already read, and I didn’t have much time to check out new blogs.  I’ll be reading through all the other blogs now that things are slowing down.

My themed weeks were really fun – Other Bloggers’ Recipes Week, Vegetarian Times Week, and Flavor Bible Week.  I don’t cook from recipes as often as I like, nor do I force myself to work with ingredients I’m not used to, so it really took me outside my comfort zone.  The unfortunate side effect was that I mostly ignored my CSA deliveries in November, letting the fruits and veggies wither away.  Here are the contents of the latest box.

napa cabbage, broccolini, kohlrabi, lettuce and spinach

pears, cranberries, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, radishes, beets and radicchio

So, while MoFo was fun, I’m looking forward to going back to using my CSA deliveries well, going to the farmer’s market, and bringing my grocery budget back into a normal range.  Tonight I used some of the sad vegetables to make dinner.

While it doesn’t photograph well, this casserole has everything I want in a one-dish dinner:  protein, green veggies, complex carbs, healthy fats, creamy and crunchy textures, and a good calorie count.  I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but as I kept eating the flavors totally grew on me.  This casserole may not be for you if you don’t like cabbage, tempeh and sweet potatoes because, well, that’s what it’s made from!

Creamy Cabbage & Tempeh Casserole with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 Tbs cashew butter
1 Tbs white miso
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs canola oil
medium leek, light green part only, halved, rinsed and sliced
large carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
medium head green cabbage, shredded
8 oz package tempeh, crumbled
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place 1 cup of the milk in a measuring glass or small bowl.  Add the cashew butter, miso, Dijon mustard, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  (If using water instead of vegetable broth, add a pinch more salt.)  Whisk together – It’s okay if there are a few small lumps of cashew butter left.
3. Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the leek, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are starting to soften.
4. Add the cabbage and increase the heat a bit.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until most of the cabbage is wilted.  Stir frequently so that the cabbage doesn’t brown too much.
5. Add the tempeh, chickpea flour and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring very well to fully incorporate the flour.
6. Re-whisk the milk mixture and add to the pot, stirring well.  The mixture will be absorbed quickly.
7. Add the vegetable broth or water and mix well.  Continue to cook and stir until there is little liquid at the bottom of the pan.
8. Transfer the mixture to a 9 X 9 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 10 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
10. Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the pot, adding the remaining 1/4 cup milk and a pinch of salt.  Mash well.
11. Uncover the baking dish and carefully spread the sweet potatoes over the top, trying not to disturb the cabbage mixture.  Grind some black pepper over the sweet potatoes.  Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
12. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  To serve, cut each portion with a knife then transfer to plate with a spatula.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 431.67
Calories From Fat (33%) 144.56
% Daily Value
Total Fat 16.93g 26%
Saturated Fat 2.73g 14%
Cholesterol 0.62mg <1%
Sodium 910.7mg 38%
Potassium 1240.32mg 35%
Total Carbohydrates 53.99g 18%
Fiber 12.42g 50%
Sugar 13.32g
Protein 22.88g 46%

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VeganMoFo: Other Bloggers’ Recipes Week – Vegan Crunk

Welcome to Other Bloggers’ Recipes Week!  I couldn’t think of a better name, and from now on it shall be referred to as OBR.  This week, I will be featuring five of my favorite vegan bloggers and their recipes.

To get started, I chose the fabulous Miss Bianca of Vegan Crunk fame.  Immediately upon starting to read her blog a few years ago, I got the feeling that she and I would be fast friends.  We’re both southern-born and raised, about the same age, and into healthy food but also “junk food” and indulgences such as beer, in moderation.  In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting Bianca when she was in San Francisco on a business trip back in January.  We dined at Millenium, because really, if you can have one meal at one vegan restaurant in SF, it has to be at Millenium.  I don’t seem to have blogged about it for some reason, but Bianca did here.  I’m starving now after reliving that meal!

Bianca doesn’t give out many of her recipes because, understandably, she is hoarding them for her upcoming cookbook.  (Which, by the way, I am totally psyched for.)  I decided on her Sweet Tater Bread, which she had posted as a sneak peak.

I grew up eating my mom’s pumpkin bread every fall and winter, and actually tried once to veganize and healthify it (fail), and I was hoping that Bianca’s bread would fill this void in my life.  It totally did!

For starters, I cheated and used a can of sweet potato puree instead of cooking the sweet potatoes myself.  Not that it’s that hard to cube and boil some sweet potatoes, but it definitely made my life easier on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This picture was taken soon after the bread came out of the oven.  If you can stand it, you should probably let the loaf cool completely before digging in, but obviously I couldn’t stand it.

Here’s the bread a few days later.  It firmed up after resting, but still remained moist and dense and wonderful.  The addition of ginger to the spicing was an unexpected and lovely touch – we’re not messing around with nutmeg and allspice here, people.  Also, I love that the pecans were toasted before adding them to the batter, which really made their flavor pop.  The bread made for a fantastic breakfast or snack throughout the week, and it kept really well.  If this recipe is an indication of what’s to come in Bianca’s cookbook, we’re all in for a treat!

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When Life Gives You Lemons…

When I finished classes at the beginning of March I had grand plans – plans to complete my required externship hours as soon as possible, plans to get back to creating new recipes and use my CSA deliveries creatively, and then…life happened, as it tends to do.  I woke up last Sunday and thought that my face felt a little funny.  At first I chalked it up to sleeping in a weird position or something, but after a few hours when I noticed that it was difficult to eat and one of my eyes wasn’t blinking properly, I really started to freak out.  Dave took me to the ER and I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition where the nerve that motors one side of your face becomes inflamed.  The visible symptom is that the right side of my face is mostly paralysed – it looks like I’m winking at everyone!  It is certainly no fun, but Bell’s Palsy usually cures itself after a few weeks to a few months, so I’m trying to take it easy and hoping for a speedy recovery.

How this relates to food is that I’ve found it a little difficult to eat, what with half of my mouth not really opening or chewing very well!  So, I have been making foods that I can eat with a spoon or through a straw that don’t require too much chewing, while still trying to take in a good amount of nutrition.  I have been able to eat some solid foods by cutting them into small pieces, but it’s really much easier to just slurp something up.

Mushy is easy for breakfast…

Good ol’ grits with nutritional yeast.

Amaranth with strawberries and coconut kefir.

Super smoothie – First I juiced some red cabbage, celery, ginger and swiss chard, then I blended the juice with a banana, kiwi, frozen strawberries and mango, hemp protein powder and coconut kefir.  Odd maybe, but good!

A coworker mentioned that when her mother had Bell’s Palsy she ate a lot of applesauce, so I took applesauce to the next level.  This is store bought applesauce, warmed up, topped with peanut butter, ground flax and maple syrup.  It was like a warm pb & apple butter sandwich without the bread.

Luckily, I’ve been able to work from home since my diagnosis, so my lunches have been quick and simple.

Broccoli-Avocado-Lemon Soup.  I steamed a bunch of broccoli well then processed it with three small avocados, the juice of one large lemon, dried thyme, garlic powder, salt, white pepper and nutritional yeast.  Yeah, perhaps it looks like something from The Exorcist, but it tasted nice and simple.  I wanted to bulk up the soup, so I toasted a piece of Ezekiel bread, tore it into small pieces, and soaked it in the soup until soft.

Purposely overcooked brown rice pasta with jarred sauce and nutritional yeast.  Appetizing, no?

Dahl for dinner.  I’d never made dahl before (and I was out of curry powder – doh!), so this was my thrown together version with garlic, ginger, fenugreek seed, mustard seed, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cilantro.

With the dahl, I had some of the best mashed potatoes I have ever made.  I cooked baby red potatoes until very soft, then mashed them with a few spoonfuls of Cheddar-Style We Can’t Say It’s Cheese.  So good!  Now I understand why people put cream cheese or sour cream in their potatoes.

And for dinner tonight, to use up some sweet potatoes, I made Sweet Potato-Lentil-Wild Rice Stew, seasoned with ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin and coriander.  Ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties, so I’m telling myself that eating them will help my swollen nerve calm down!

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Weeknight Meals

May is a busy month for me this year – I’m going out of the state twice, once for fun and once for work, my birthday falls in between those trips, and there’s the usual baseball games and other stuff going on.  So I haven’t had a lot of energy to focus on my cooking.  I still eat well I suppose, but it’s been more of a matter of just getting decently healthy food in my belly.

I’m calling this Cheater’s Channa Palak Masala.  Method:  Steam-fry or saute a diced onion, add minced fresh garlic and ginger, add chickpeas and a can of diced tomatoes, put in a whole lot of whatever seasoning you find appropriate (I used curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, dry mustard and cayenne), and add spinach to wilt at the end.  Delicious, quick, easy, and nutritious.  I was going to serve this over rice but was too hungry to wait the hour for brown rice, so I used whole wheat orzo, which didn’t really go with the masala that well.  On the side are roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with coriander.  The coriander is a tip I picked up from Vegan With A Vengeance’s sweet potato fries, and I will probably never roast sweet potatoes without coriander now because it’s so good.

I had a laugh when I saw that Lindsay from Happy Herbivore made Channa Masala just a few days after I did using about the same recipe, with an option to add spinach.  This was even funnier because as I was making mine I decided to steam-fry the dish with water rather than using oil and this made me think of her.  Great minds think alike!

One of my favorite ways to use up random veggies, tofu scramble!  I don’t follow a recipe, nor do I write one down, but my scrambles usually involve turmeric, about a ton of nutritional yeast, yellow mustard, a splash of soy milk and maybe some soy sauce.  This one also had zucchini, carrots, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms and fresh basil.  Yum yum.

I had planned to also make strawberry corn pancakes (a la VCON blueberry corn pancakes) and have full on breakfast-for-dinner, but by the time I got home I had neither the energy nor the patience to actually cook two things.  So I threw together this fruit salad, which made me realize that I don’t eat fruit salad enough.  I always have singular fruits and rarely put them together.  I liked adding the orange sections because the juice acted like a dressing and kept the bananas from turning brown.

I found myself with a lot of fresh herbs in the fridge threatening to go bad, so I had decided to make some pesto pasta.  But then that day I got a MAD craving for tomato sauce, so I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to have both marinara and pesto, and whether that was even a good idea.  Turns out it is!

I made this meal completely from what I just happened to have at home.  The pesto was made with a little bit of mint, thyme and oregano, a lot of parsley, pine nuts, and no basil whatsoever.  The crumbly stuff on top is supposed to be tofu ricotta but I used frozen and thawed tofu, which I knew wasn’t a great idea from the beginning.  I wanted tofu ricotta though, and the frozen tofu was the only tofu I had.  So the tofu stayed crumbly and spongy and didn’t get creamy like normal, but bf said that he actually liked it that way, so go figure.  (On a side note, bf ate what I ate for dinner TWICE last week.  I think it was a freak coincidence, or that he was just feeling lazy and cheap.  Fine with me!)

Anyway, I mixed cooked whole wheat spaghetti with organic jarred sauce, layered it in a casserole dish with the pesto and ricotta, and baked it for 20 minutes.  I’m calling it spaghetti casserole.  I wasn’t sure how this would turn out – I knew it would be edible, but didn’t know how great it would be.  It was great!  The pesto really did the trick.  Parsley pesto is good.  Oh, and this dish totally reminded me of the spaghetti pie my mom used to make with leftover spaghetti when I was young.  Vegan spaghetti pie?  Hmmm…..

With the bisketti, I had a side salad from whatever-I-could-find-in-the-fridge:  lettuce, carrots, radishes, corn kernels, clover sprouts that surprisingly had lasted a long time, and goddess dressing.  A fine side salad, indeed.

Here’s a weeknight meal made out of necessity, but then actually remade and written down cause it was so good.

This is  Salad Stirfry, and I’ll write more about it soon.  I love how colorful it is!

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Cajun Spiced Tofu

I made another recipe from my healthy list.  The Cajun Spiced Tofu from Yellow Rose Recipes has received good reviews around the internets, so I gave it a try.  For the sides I chose roasted brussels sprouts and the Sweet Potato Fries from Vegan with a Vengeance, which are always a winner.  Although this time I used the mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes, so they came out a little too thin to be considered “fries”.

Verdict:  Cajun Spiced Tofu is really, really good.  It takes minimal preparation and minimal baking time, and the results are fantastic.  I especially liked the texture of the coating.  I normally fail to some extent with breading things, so I was happy that the breading sticks very well.

The recipe provides a cajun spice mix to make yourself, but I already had a homemade blend in the cabinet.  I didn’t realize until sitting down to dinner that my spice mix has no salt in it!  While lacking in the salt department, the tofu was still plenty tasty.  The recipe includes salt, thank goodness.

This tofu could be enjoyed many ways – as “fingers” with ketchup or hot sauce, or on a sandwich as seen below.  I actually had the last piece for breakfast.  The cornmeal crust reminded me a little of fried catfish, so I think next time I might throw in some seaweed flakes and see what happens.

And here are my lunches from last week…

12-1 sweet potato chili, cornbread dressing with gravy,
red bell pepper & celery, pumpkin pie brownie

12-2 veggie burger with mustard, ketchup & pickles,
stir-fried broccoli, grilled potatoes, clementine

12-3 cajun spiced tofu, mini wheat bagel with apricot jam,
roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, grapes

12-4 cajun spiced tofu sandwich on wheat with makeshift tartar sauce,
more roasted brussels, sweet potatoes & grapes

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