We all bark for bisque!

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

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Sweet Potato & Corn Bisque from Simple Recipes for Joy, served with a loaf of lightly toasted sourdough bread for dipping!

There’s not much else to say about this soup – it warms the belly and is a cinch to make, and that’s enough for me – so here’s a picture of Finnick coveting my dinner from the couch while I snap some not-so-gourmet food photos. (The lighting + my yellow countertops = the ughs.)

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Candle Cafe’s Sweet Potato and Apricot Tzimmes

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

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Orange food is orangey!

With carrots, sweet potatoes, dried apricots, orange juice, and orange peel, among other things. (Namely cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice, with a little extra cinnamon sugar for sprinkling.) Boil, bake, bada bing, bada boom.

Actually I think the boiling is overkill; the carrots and sweet potatoes were so tender after ten minutes on the stove top that I wasn’t sure that they’d hold up to 30 minutes of baking, too. Probably you could jack the temp up from 350F a bit and bake them a little longer in lieu of boiling?

Also, I wonder if maybe I overdid it with the carrots and sweet potatoes; I used the correct amount of each (six and four), but there was no way the recommended ten cups of water would have covered them all for boiling! I used at least three times that much. They barely fit in my 9″x12″ baking pan!

Anyway, the result is super-tasty and a nice departure from my normal side dish routine. Plus they made my house smell heavenly while they were baking, so that’s good too.

Sweet Potato Latke Fail!

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

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After a pretty respectable streak in the kitchen, I encountered an epic fail with the most unlikely of suspects: latkes, which don’t usually prove much of a challenge at all. The Sweet Potato Latkes from Vegan Holiday Cooking – a 50/50 blend of shredded sweet and russet potatoes that looks so amazing in the gourmet food photo from the cookbook – came out more like hash browns. These guys could not hold a patty shape to save their lives. Like, not even close. I put a ball of batter in my palm to flatten it out, and it just crumbled everywhere. Not to mention, they didn’t even rival the neon orange color of the latkes pictured in the book.

Not wishing to waste four potatoes (or all the effort spent grating them), I did the obvious thing: made them into baked hash browns! Basically I followed the alt. baking instructions, adding about 15 minutes to the recommended bake time. Since I needed two cookie sheets to hold all the potatoes, I tried a little experiment: the first cookie sheet I lined with parchment paper, while I lightly sprayed the other with Pam. The results? Nearly identical. Go figure.

You’re supposed to top the mini latkes with a dab o’ almond creme fraiche – but, seeing as the recipe is so similar to the one featured in the Roasted Squash Soup – i.e., the one that already didn’t work for me once – I skipped it altogether. Good thing, since there were no latkes in need of garnishing after all!

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For what it’s worth, the leftover potatoes made a wonderful add-in for a tofu scramble. Pictured above is a scramble with mushrooms, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, and about a cup of hash browns (fried separately for maximum crispiness). So good, I’m not even 100% sure I can call this a fail.

(Sunday Morning) Sunrise Scramble with Roasted Home Fries

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

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I’ll be honest: the tofu scramble recipe from The Oh She Glows Cookbook isn’t my favorite. That said, it’s still a tofu scramble, and tofu scrambles fucking rock.

My main problem? This one’s got both mushrooms and spinach, the excess moisture of which can prove difficult to cook off. As usually happens when I get ballsy and try to put shrooms in my scramble, the tofu ended up a bit wet and mushy.

Plus, this recipe’s a little different from standard scrambles. There’s no tumeric! (I added a dash, hence the yellow eggy color. Couldn’t help myself!) No soy sauce! Only a touch of nutritional yeast! And not a whole lot of spices to speak of!

Still, given the lack of spices this scramble ended up tasty enough. I probably won’t make it again, but I can hardly call it a disaster.

The home fries, on the other hand? Awesome. These are way easier to make than hash browns (I’ve yet to produce a properly crispy batch) and every bit as tasty.

Sweet Potato Soft Serve

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

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Me, always with the not-quite-seasonal recipes. I’m confused: Is this considered an autumnal dish, because of the sweet potatoes, or is ice cream de facto summer fare? Whatever, this is spring, so I’m either a bit early or five months too late. Whatever, I do what I want. Like eat ice cream on Christmas! Yeah, I said it.

Anyway, turns out that sweet potato is a really delicious taste for banana ice cream. Shane downs it by the gallon, and I’m having trouble coming up with new and inventive flavors – so I’m really surprised that I didn’t think of this one sooner. Like, in November!

If you’re a holiday flavor traditionalist, file this one away for next Thanksgiving. Shock and amaze your guests with a quart (or gallon!) of awesomely healthy vegan ice cream. Insert screaming noise here.

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Sweet Potato Soft Serve

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, baked and cooled
3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Scrub the sweet potato clean and then pat to dry. Baked at 425F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until soft and tender. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove the peel. In a small bowl, mash the sweet potato using a fork. Set aside and allow to cool fully.

2. Place the mashed sweet potato in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.

3. Add the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

4. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra sugar and/or spices to taste.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

WAG those greens!*

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

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Another recipe from Nava Atlas’s Wild About Greens: Rosemary Potatoes & Collard Greens with Vegan Sausage. The greens are actually kale, since that’s what I had on hand, but otherwise I followed the recipe pretty faithfully. There are also some sweet potatoes in there, along with Lightlife breakfast links and white wine. (I used like double the recommended amount because SPIRITS!)

Pretty tasty and super-filling, though I think I have a slight preference for the Garlicky Potatoes with Greens & Olives I made last week. The lemon gives the dish a nice tang.

* In the filenames for my food photos, I’ve started including an abbreviation of the cookbook’s name for my own reference. E.g., this photo’s filename is “2012-12-11 – WAG Potatoes & Greens – 0006.”

WAG Potatoes & Greens. Love it!

Straight-Up-Thanksgiving Burgers & Hunan-Style Sweet Potato Fries

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Alternate title: The Obligatory Post-Thanksgiving Food Post.

 

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Since it was just the two of us – and an exhausted and otherwise occupied pair of cooks we were, at that – Shane and I didn’t go too overboard with this year’s food festivities. It was business as usual for most of the day, and then in the evening we made Thanksgiving dinner.

The main course: Straight-Up-Thanksgiving Burgers (recipe via evil junk food genius Joni Newman), topped with Hickory Smoked Tofurky slices and gravy and served on toasted onion rolls.

 

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OMG y’all, these burgers are AMAZING! They’re vaguely reminiscent of the fried mashed potato patties my mom used to make (in a futile attempt to get us kids to eat up the leftovers. In retrospect, I have no godly idea why we’d shun leftover mashed potatoes in the first place. Kids, who needs ’em.), only infinitely better. In addition to mashed potatoes, the burgers are mashup of stuffing, green beans, and French’s fried onions. SO NOMMY.

We halved the recipe, fried up two patties, and then set the leftover batter aside for later. I reckon we’ve enough left for three or four more burgers.

On the side: extra garlic & chive mashed potatoes and stuffing (my own recipes), as well as Hunan-Style Baked Sweet Potato French Fries with Chili Sauce (recipe via the upcoming The Chinese Vegan Kitchen, which I’m in the process of reviewing).

 

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The fries? Off the cuff! (Kids are still saying this. I’m not asking, I’m telling.) You bake ’em halfway and then fry them to finish. During the last few minutes of cooking, they’re coated in this delicious ketchup-soy sauce-chili paste concoction that’s finger-licking good. Though I must admit that I only used a quarter of the recommended chili paste, since I can’t handle hot foods very well. Shane thought they needed more chili paste, but he also thought we needed pie to wash down all those carbs. WHAT DOES HE KNOW?

I accidentally ate so much that I felt like I was going to die. I seriously had to swap my pants for a bathrobe. And we’re not talking jeans here – sweat pants! That’s how stuffed I was. Probably it didn’t help to snack on fried onions while I was making dinner.

My only regret? Aside from the chest pains, that is? I didn’t have any room left for soy chai ice cream. Homemade, yo!