Posts Tagged Vegan Fire & Spice

Beet Hummus, Lots of Veggies, and Pancakes for One

I’ve been pretty busy lately, and I realized tonight that I’m going to be even more busy for the next two or three weeks, so I wanted to make sure to get a post in before I go haywire!

Here’s a CSA delivery I got way back at the beginning of June.

broccolini, rosemary, lettuce & bok choy

blueberries, peaches, beets, potatoes, cantaloupe & cauliflower

With the beets and lettuce, I decided to make beet hummus lettuce wraps, even though I had never had beet hummus before.  It just sounded good.

I topped the wraps with shredded carrot and daikon radish, which was a great idea.  Right around this time, I started counting calories and making an effort to lower the fat content of my meals and include more veggies, so you’ll see a lot of meals like this from me for a while.  That’s why this hummus is low-fat, with no tahini or oil.  I went back and forth trying to decide if I should include at least a little tahini, but in the end the beets made the texture and flavor so nice that it didn’t need any added fat.  I meant to include a clove of garlic but forgot, so that would be a nice addition.

Low-Fat Beet Hummus

1 bunch beets, about three large
1 15.5-oz can chickpeas, or 1 1/2 cups cooked
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 dash cayenne
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp minced fresh dill
3 Tbs water

1. Trim the beets, but do not peel.  Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Add beets to water, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until beets are easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and let cool.  Once cool, peel the beets with the side of a spoon and chop.

2. Place beets and all remaining ingredients, except water, in a food processor.  Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary.  Add water, 1 Tbs at a time, to reach desired consistency.

Servings: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 102.58
Calories From Fat (7%) 7.04
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.84g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.09g <1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 311.27mg 13%
Potassium 334.15mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 20.61g 7%
Fiber 4.61g 18%
Sugar 4.72g
Protein 4.11g 8%

Lunch the next day, with leftover risotto and dried pears.

This is kidney bean and broccoli stem ragout.  I meant to use the broccolini in whole for this dish, but by the time I got around to cooking it, the poor broccolini was looking pretty bad, so I just used the thin stems.

With the ragout, I served rosemary-potato-cauliflower mash.  Adding the cauliflower was a nice way to still have potatoes but cut the calories a little.

Lunch the next day, with persian cucumbers and blackberries.

Next CSA delivery:  lettuce, carrots, zucchini, chard & cauliflower.

Tomatoes, strawberries, plums, cantaloupe, blueberries and nectarines.

With the return of summer and fresh zucchini, I returned to my spiralizer.  This is soba and zucchini noodles with carrot-ginger sauce, mung beans, long beans, cilantro and green onion.  I adapted the carrot-ginger sauce from this recipe, but to be honest I didn’t like it very much.  I think I just don’t like fresh carrot juice though, so if it sounds good to you, give it a try!  One great tip I did learn from this meal is that when you mix cooked soba noodles and raw zucchini noodles, you can barely tell the difference texture-wise.  It’s a fantastic way to extend the volume of soba noodles without adding a ton of calories.

Along with the noodles, I sauteed some purple kohlrabi.  I wasn’t going to have a side dish, but when I saw the kohlrabi at the farmer’s market that morning, I had to have it.  I love kohlrabi.

I had leftover carrot-ginger sauce and mung beans, so I combined them with short grain brown rice, arame and steamed broccoli for another meal.

One pot meals rule my world!  This is tempeh with leeks, carrots, swiss chard, mushrooms, capers, tomatoes, white wine and quinoa.  Delish.

To use up the last of the CSA veggies, I turned to Vegan Fire & Spice.  This is the Kashmiri Vegetable Soup.  Simple yet tasty, I really enjoyed the emphasis on cardamom in the spice mix.  You could add protein and greens to this soup and call it a complete meal.  And, because the veggies are cut into chunks, the prep was really fast.

Soup close up!

To go with the soup, I made Many Bean Salad, also from Vegan Fire & Spice.  This certainly lived up to the cookbook title – it was spicy!  I really liked the combination of beans and the addition of peas, which gave the salad a lovely texture.

A few Sundays ago, Dave left the house ridiculously early to attend a Nascar race up in Sonoma, and when I finally got out of bed I had a mad craving for pancakes.  Seeing as I’m doing this calorie counting thing, I wanted to make filling, relatively low-cal pancakes without having any leftovers.  I googled pancakes for one and came across this Buckwheat Pancakes for One recipe, which turned out fabulously.

I didn’t have any buckwheat flour though, so I used half whole wheat pastry and half quinoa flour.  They were a little gummy in the middle, but I actually like my pancakes that way.  Because I only had to cook one batch, these pancakes were much more quick to make than my usual recipe.  And, my entire breakfast was less than 350 calories, including the 2 tsp of blueberry agave nectar on top.  I will definitely be adding this to my weekend repertoire!

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Vegan Fire & Spice

Firstly…

Yes, yes I am.  The world vegan bake sale is just that, vegan bakesales taking place all over the world during the same week, raising funds, having fun and spreading the joy of tasty vegan baked goods.  The concept was brought to us by Compassion Over Killing, who do great work in animal advocacy.

Our San Francisco vegan bake sales are organized by Melisser the Urban Housewife, Vegansaurus, and the people of The PPK.  We’re holding them next Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th.

Details (both days in San Francisco):

Saturday, June 27th, 11AM – 4PM
3506 16th Street at Sanchez, in front of Ike’s Place

Sunday, June 28th, 11AM – 4PM
800 block of Capp Street, near 24th St (about 1/2 mile from 24th Street Bart)

Proceeds go to Animal Place and East Bay Animal Advocates.  I will only be there with goodies on Saturday (we have baseball tickets preventing me from going Sunday), but there will be amazing stuff both days.  So if you’re in the area go to the website then come by the bake sales!

On to the food.

When I came back from my trip to Texas there was nary a lick of fresh food in the kitchen, nor any cooking inspiration on my part.  So I decided to open up a cookbook and just pick some recipes to make.  My mom got me Vegan Fire & Spice for Christmas last year and while I had read through it a few times, I had yet to make any recipes.  So I got down to business and picked out some meals.

Paella!  Despite the picture trying to burn red holes through your retinas, please take my word that this was good good good.  I think I ate it for five days straight and could’ve eaten more.  I was in major need of protein after eating whatever was available for five days, and this packs a triple protein threat.  And just enough veggies to make it a well rounded one pot meal.  My singular complaint would be that I didn’t like the tempeh in it.  I am a fan of tempeh, but this tasted like big chunks of plain tempeh that didn’t really jibe with the rest of the dish.  I think either cutting the tempeh smaller or putting it in the cooking liquid sooner, or both, would make it better.  Next time I’ll just do chicken-style seitan, seitan sausages and red beans and it’ll be perfect.

This isn’t from VF&S, but I had CSA rhubarb withering away, so I stewed it for dessert.

Cooked down with water, sugar and lemon juice and served over vanilla soy yogurt, this was a tasty and relatively healthy dessert.  I’m still not a huge fan of rhubarb so I don’t want to eat it all the time, but this is a nice way to do it.

Next I decided to try the Texas BBQ Sauce baked on some tofu.

This sauce was quite tasty.  I like that it started with a whole onion and green pepper, and the ingredient list was pretty short and pantry-friendly.  The only problem was that I don’t currently have a working blender and use my food processor for everything, and the sauce started splashing out the top so I had to stop blending too soon, leaving the sauce chunky.  It didn’t coat the tofu like I had hoped but still tasted great.

For my third VF&S meal I went to the Caribbean.

First the Island Rice Salad.  This salad was nice, but not anything I’d go crazy for.  The majority of the dressing was storebought mango chutney.  A container of locally-made chutney ran me $4 at Whole Foods, and I think the flavor of the salad would really differ depending on what kind of chutney you were able to buy or make.  The sweetness of the mango chunks and the crunch of the bell pepper offered a nice contrast.  I think something chewy and smoky would fit in nicely and round it out, perhaps small pieces of baked tofu.

To go with the salad, I made the Jamaican Baked Vegetables.  While the dish was fine, I wasn’t a huge fan.  It baked for a loooong time and rendered all the veggies kind of mushy, and I had a hard tine getting through all the leftovers.  The flavors were nice though, very citrusy and plenty spicy since I used a whole serrano, seeds included.

All in all I was pleased with the dishes I made and I will definitely go back to try more from Vegan Fire & Spice.  I think I’ll also try to do another cookbook-themed post here and there, it’s fun to force myself to go through and pick out multiple recipes.

Randoms:  I made my creamy corn casserole a third time, got it as close to perfect as I think it’ll get, and submitted it to the Vegetarian Times Reader Recipe Contest.

I got a CSA delivery, and can’t really remember what I did with most of it now.

lettuce, parsley, carrots, gypsy peppers

tomatoes, blueberries, canteloupe, peaches

And here’s a very random dinner I made one night when I was in a big hurry without much food on hand.

Whole wheat tortilla with TJ’s soy nugget pieces, diced soy cheese, and a mixture of finely diced broccoli stem, shredded carrot and vegenaise/apple cider vinegar dressing.  Odd perhaps, but good and quick.

Lastly, the blackberry vines in our backyard are bursting with berries!  I have done nothing more than trim back the dead growth on last year’s vines, and I have managed not to kill or harm the plant.  Here are the first few berries I picked when they were just starting to ripen.

The blackberry vines are actually kind of insane.  They’ve grown so thick that I can’t even reach most of the berries, which is sad, but I think I’ll still get plenty off the vines.  Also, blackberry vines are absolutely covered in thorns, which makes it quite painful to harvest.  It’s almost like they don’t want me to have their berries!

The majority of the vines are behind the high fence on the right, all clumped up in a bunch that I can’t get to.

I took these pictures about two weeks ago, and there are way more ripe berries now.  Here are all the very ripe berries I picked just last weekend.

I’ve also been eating the first cherries, apricots and peaches of the season.  Summer fruit is the best!

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