Corn Pudding

Work has been keeping me busy (and leaving me quite exhausted at the end of the week), so I haven’t had time or motivation to post anything for a while. I’ve been looking for another vegetable side to pair with my regular dinner rotation of beans/greens/grains/vegan protein, and this one seemed like a great addition.

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding 1

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen yellow corn, thawed, divided
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (or use green pepper for less heat)
  • 1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • cayenne powder, salt, and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish/pan and set aside.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup corn, tofu, and non-dairy milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water. Add the onion, jalapeño, and ginger and cook until the onion becomes translucent.
  4. Add the onion/jalapeño mixture and all remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl that contains your corn/tofu/milk mixture. Stir together and pour into the pie dish/pan, spreading with a spatula as needed.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pudding is fully cooked and bright yellow.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Using whole wheat flour in this recipe resulted in a browner colored pudding (and slightly different flavor) than you’d get if you used another type of flour. If you want a brighter yellow color try using a lighter colored flour. The original recipe suggests using quinoa or chickpea flour.

The jalapeño really provides a lot of the flavor in this dish, but it was just too darn spicy for me. Next time I’ll opt for green pepper and some additional seasoning to kick the flavor up a bit.

Source: Adapted from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

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Broccoli Asparagus Soup

Weather in Minnesota, particularly in the spring, is somewhat unpredictable. We’ve been on a weather rollercoaster of sorts over the past few weeks, with highs ranging from low 50s to low 80s. Today it’s hot, humid, and breezy as we’re expecting storms later, but a cold front moves in tomorrow and we’re only supposed to have highs in the mid- to upper-40s. I might have to get my wool coat out again…On the positive side, tomorrow is the perfect day for soup, and this one uses one of my favorite spring vegetables, asparagus.

Broccoli Asparagus Soup

Broccoli Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 (1-pound) bunch asparagus, woody stems snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp round cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • a sprinkling of chives (optional topping)

Instructions

  1. Cut the leek in half and pull back and rinse the outer layers. Put the layers back together as best you can and slice the leek. Place into a large soup pot with 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth. Simmer on medium heat until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, potatoes, and the remainder of the broth. Bring to a boil and then add the broccoli, asparagus, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil again, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Once the vegetables are tender remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into bowls, sprinkle with chives if desired, and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Whole Foods Market

French Onion Soup

My first experience eating French onion soup was memorable, and not in a good way. I was on a field trip with my French class, and French onion soup was one of those things we just HAD to try. I don’t remember if we got to pick our food option or not, but I don’t know that it would have mattered much as I had never had it before. It looked gross, all brown with a hunk of congealed-looking cheese on top; and it tasted gross, which may have had something to do with the fact that the cheese on top was probably Gruyere, which is definitely not my favorite. I’ve seen French onion soup on many a menu since then, but haven’t been gutsy enough to try it after the experience I had as a youngster.

After eating a bowl of this soup (with a thick slice of lentil bread and some melted mozzarella cheese on top), I’m convinced that I can like French onion soup. In fact, I would probably eat this for every meal forever if it didn’t take so much time to make and if it was a bit more nutritionally sound.

French Onion Soup

FOS 2

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy spread (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 thick slice of bread, cut in half
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut the onions in half top to bottom and peel off the outer layer(s) of skin. Thinly slice each half and then cut the slices in half. Transfer cut onions to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the non-dairy spread with the oil in a large saute pan or soup pot over low heat. When it starts to sizzle add the onions and stir to coat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover the onions and stir in the salt, black pepper, and sugar. Cook, uncovered, over low to medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently and lowering the heat if they start to scorch. You can add a bit of liquid or oil to the pan if they seem to be sticking or scorching a lot.
  4. When the onions are golden brown heat the vegetable stock in a separate pan. Stir the flour into the onions and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add the hot vegetable stock, bay leaves, and thyme to the onion mixture. Cook the soup over low heat, partially covered, for an hour or until it’s as thick as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. If you’re going to add bread and cheese to the soup, now’s the time to do it. If you have oven-safe bowls you can place the bread and cheese right on top of the soup, otherwise place the bread on a baking sheet and top with the sliced cheese. Broil on high until the cheese gets bubbly and starts to brown.

You can make this vegan by not using the mozzarella cheese, or by using a non-dairy cheese alternative.

Source: Adapted from the kitchn.

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are another of my favorite fall/winter vegetables. They’re versatile, delicious, and pretty easy to prepare. When I’m in a hurry I’ll wrap one in a wet paper towel and put in the microwave, but these taste best when they’re given plenty of time to cook, like in this crock pot recipe.

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potatoes 1

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter substitute (Earth Balance, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for about 4 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Add more liquid as needed. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer until they’re as smooth/lumpy as you’d like. Taste and add more brown sugar/cinnamon if desired.

Source: My own culinary genius, with a little inspiration from Six Sisters’ Stuff

Acorn Squash and Pecan Soup

I’ve mentioned my love of squash before, so it’s no surprise that I always seem to have one sitting around waiting to be used in some recipe or another. This time it was an acorn squash, and I wanted to use it to make something fit for a Minnesota winter (usually pretty cold this time of year, but we’ve been experiencing  a warm streak), something warm and comforting, AKA soup.

 Acorn Squash and Pecan Soup

Acorn Squash and Pecan Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans, drained and puréed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Mix the olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp chili powder, and 1/4 tsp cumin together in a small bowl. Brush the squash halves with the mixture and set cut side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Once the squash has cooled scoop it out into a blender or food processor. Add the pecans, vegetable broth, agave nectar, and remaining spices. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and stir in the puréed cannellini beans. Cook over medium heat until heated through.

Source: Adapted from Food 52

Vegan Baked Beans

Baked beans are not the healthiest thing ever, but they are delicious. Most canned baked beans have meat or meat products in them, and even the vegetarian variety are loaded with sodium. I wanted to make a vegan variety and found this relatively simple crockpot recipe. You can further reduce the sodium content by using reduced sodium broth in this recipe.

Vegan Baked Beans

Baked Beans 1

Ingredients

  • 1 pound small white beans (I used Great Northern beans)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Soak the beans for a minimum of eight hours or overnight, according to package directions. When they’re done soaking, rinse and drain the beans and set them aside.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except the beans and bay leaf to your crockpot. Mix together. Add the beans and bay leaf and stir.
  3. Cook for 8-10 hours on high or 12-14 hours on low, checking to make sure there’s enough liquid in the crockpot after a few hours. Once everything has come together and beans are as tender as you’d like, remove the bay leaf and serve.

These finished cooking fairly late at night so I didn’t get the chance to try more than just a bite or two until today. They’ve got a bit of a kick to them (though I’m kind of spicy-averse these days, so take that how you will) but they’re really good. You could add a touch of maple syrup to them if you’d like, to add some sweetness and/or combat the spiciness.

Source: Adapted from Kitchen Treaty

Butternut Linguine with Crispy Sage

I’m sticking to my (mostly) vegan diet, and also trying to incorporate dietary restrictions due to a somewhat recent rosacea diagnosis. I’m still trying to figure out what my food triggers (things that make my face flush/make my rosacea worse) are, but I’ve heard that tomatoes are one food that can make rosacea worse, and I’ve had mixed results when I’ve eaten tomato products. It’s a tricky disease to figure out.

Anywho, I’ve been avoiding most tomato products for some time, which means no pasta with red sauce (one of my favorite things!). I stumbled upon this pasta recipe a few days ago while searching for ways to use up the butternut squashes sitting on my counter. While it’s definitely different than a tomato-based sauce, it’s still delicious. And, now I want to put crispy sage ON EVERYTHING. So. Good.

Butternut Linguine with Crispy Sage

Butternut 1

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and/or kosher salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces whole grain linguine
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the sage and toss it around in the skillet so it’s coated with oil. Crisp it up, then remove from the pan and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Set aside for later.
  2. Add the squash, onion and garlic to the skillet. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is nice and soft, 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, until it’s al dente. Drain the pasta.
  5. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let cool a bit. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Keep the skillet handy because you’ll be using it in just a bit.
  6. Combine the pasta, squash purée, and ¼ cup water in the skillet and toss until the pasta is coated, adding more water as needed. You could also use almond milk for a creamier, nuttier pasta sauce.
  7. Top the pasta with the crispy sage before serving.

I can’t do spicy foods anymore, but if you want a bit more flavor feel free to add black pepper, cayenne, or whatever other spices suit your fancy.

This recipe makes A LOT of pasta. The original recipe says it yields four large servings but you could easily get six servings out of this (or more if you add a side like a nice spinach salad).

Source: Adapted from Cookie and Kate