Black Bean and Polenta Stuffed Peppers

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The grandsons have (variously) settled into their new house in Tennessee, finished the Little League Baseball Tournament, gone to Theater Camp in NYC. and returned home to prepare for Middle School in Mississippi. “Da and Dhedah”, alias Glyn and Will, are back home and cooking once more. We are also distressingly aware of how completely most of American Cooking relies on meat. After several disappointing meals on vacation at “vegan friendly” Mexican Restaurants, we decided to “do it ourselves.”

It really shouldn’t be all that difficult to produce a first-rate vegan dish with from all the incredible elements of Southwestern and Central American cooking. After all, that cuisine has given us some of the most satisfying and exciting of recipes (remember the recipes in “Like Water for Chocolate”??) So here we go! This hearty and savory one dish meal is meltingly tender while bursting with the flavors of the Southwest. The chocolate chips add an unexpected note of sweetness to balance the tartness of the cranberries, and the heat of the chipotle chili powder is a great foil for the potatoes and black beans. And the whole dish is held together by cornmeal. What more could a gourmand desire?

Serve with a green salad and sit back to receive the applause of your dinner guests. ~ Glyn and Will

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup `water
1 herb-ox vegetable bouillon cube
2 green bell peppers, halved and blanched
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup salsa
1/8 tsp Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce

 

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Procedure
1 blanche the peppers in boiling water
2 cook the cornmeal in the water with the bouillon cube until thickened
3 combine the diced potatoes, beans, onion, garlic, cranberries, chocolate, nuts, spices and salsa with the cooked cornmeal
4 place the pepper halves in a non-stick covered casserole
5 divide the stuffing among the four pepper halves
6 pour the tomato sauce around the peppers drizzling some over each pepper as well
7 cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes
8 remove the cover and cook an additional 15 minutes

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Servings: 4
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (12.4 ounces).

black bean polenta stuffed peppers
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

We Haven’t Disappeared!

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We haven’t disappeared! We’re just offline for a bit while the grandchildren visit! We’ll be posting again in the second week of August after the tykes take off for home! ~ Glyn and Will

Mushroom Walnut Pilaf with Sorrel & Arugula Sauce

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Mushroom and Walnut Pilaf with Sorrel and Arugula Sauce
The earthy taste of mushrooms are the perfect counterpart to the tart green spiciness of the arugula and french sorrel. This dish is low in fat but very high in taste, savor, texture and comfort. Be sure that your casserole has a tight-fitting lid and don’t cook the rice more than an hour.

Ingredients
8 oz. mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 cup long-grain rice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups hot water
2 herb-ox vegetable bouillon cubes
2 tsp. Earth Balance Vegan Margarine (optional)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning 1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the Sauce
2 cups lettuce (french sorrel)
2 cups lettuce (arugula)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp. water

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Procedure
For The Pilaf
1 Preheat the oven to 350
2 Dissolve the bouillon cubes and the vegan margarine in the hot water
3 Combine the sliced mushrooms, shallots, garlic, bouillon, salt, pepper and rice in a covered casserole, stirring well.
4 Cover tightly and bake for one hour.
5 Uncover, fluff and add the walnuts
For the Sauce
1 Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add water if necessary to thin.

Servings: 4
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (11.6 ounces).

nutrition mushroom walnut pilaf
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Grains, Main Dish, Sauce, Side Dish

Vegan Pesto

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Make your own Pesto in five minutes! Serve it with your favorite pasta for a really quick and luscious meal. We have our own basil plants by the kitchen door and enjoy their aroma and flavor all through the growing season. At harvest time, we make and fresh our own pesto, omitting the cheese substitute until cooking. If you are concerned about calories, the oil can be reduced by half, but the taste will suffer for it. We find it best to reserve this dish for time when we have had a light lunch and can indulge at dinner. Glyn and Will

Ingredients
1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (first cold pressed)
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup Go Veggie Parmesan Cheese Substitute 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup canned, drained cannellinni beans
4 oz pasta, dried

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Procedure
1 Combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, salt, peppers and water in the blender.
2 Process thoroughly stopping when necessary to scrape down the side of the blender.
3 Transfer to a small saucepan and heat till hot but not boiling,
4 Stir in the parmesan and the beans.
5 Adjust the seasoning and keep warm.
6 Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and combine with the pesto.
7 If desired, add a bit more water to slightly thin the pesto.

8 Serve at once.
Servings: 2
Yield: 1/3 cup
Degree of Difficulty: Very easy
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (7.2 ounces).

nutrition vegan pesto
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Pasta, Sauce, Vegan

Barbecued Tofu (serves 2)

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It takes a bit of time to prepare the tofu. But you can always press and freeze several boxes of tofu in advance and have them on hand for later. The first pressing will remove about half a cup of water; but it is really important to press it once more after thawing. The second pressing will remove up to another half cup of water and will cause to tofu to absorb nearly all the marinade. A two inch thick cake of tofu ends up slightly less than an inch thick. Once the frozen tofu is thawed, and pressed once more, you only need to add the marinade and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to grill or bake it. Most barbecue recipes are extremely high in sugar, but this one uses just 1 tbsp of molasses, which adds color and depth as well as taste. And the 1 tsp of oil is necessary if you are grilling the tofu but can be omitted if you are baking it in the oven. This goes really well with potato salad and grilled corn, or with whatever you might normally serve at a cook-out. The barbecue/marinade is best with fresh ginger and garlic, but in a pinch, the powdered variety will work — perhaps with a bit of liquid smoke, too. ~ Glyn and Will

 

DSCN3447            DSCN3448
Ingredients
14 oz extra-firm tofu, pressed, frozen at least 12 hours, and thawed
1 tbsp molasses (unsulfured)
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. finely minced garlic 2 tsp. prepared spicy brown mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
1/16 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp tamari (gluten-free) or Bragg’s Aminos

DSCN3449            DSCN3450

Procedure
1 Thaw the pressed, frozen tofu.
2 Press once more — for one hour.
3 Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce and mix well.
4 Cut the pressed tofu in half lengthwise.
5 Combine the tofu and the barbecue sauce in a zip-lock bag, expelling as much air as possible.
6 Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
7 Remove from the marinade, reserving any marinade for basting.
8 Grill on medium-high on an oiled grill for 3-5 minutes per side or bake at 425 for 20 minutes, turning once.

DSCN3451            DSCN3446
Servings: 2
Yield: two tofu steaks
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Oven Temperature: 375°F
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 24 hours
Total Time: 24 hours and 45 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (8.3 ounces).

nutrittion barbecued tofu
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Sauce, Vegan, Vegetables

Persian Style Stuffed Eggplant with Cashew Ricotta and Pistachios (serves 2)

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Persian Style Stuffed Eggplant with Cashew Ricotta and Pistachios
I love cooking with middle eastern spices, and when I do I always think of my friends Rita and John. Originally from NC, Rita moved to Tehran in the 1970’s to marry John. As Christians, they returned to the US just before the revolution. Over the years that we were young wives and mother’s together, Rita shared so many of her mother-in-law’s recipes that I felt like I’d been adopted into the family. This dish is one of my own creations based on Iranian flavor layering techniques and employing the Baharat Spice my own son and daughter-in-law introduced me to. It’s a bold, savory, approach to eggplant with enough heat to warm your heart and enough lingering and spice to mellow your heart. Prepare it with love in your heart and dine on it with joy! ~ Glyn and Will

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Ingredients
1 lb. eggplant
1 cup diced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups diced potato
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup tomato, diced
2 tbsp. raisins
1 herb-ox vegetable bouillon cubes
6 oz. water
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. baharat dried spice or curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. pistachio nuts
1/4 cup Cashew Garbanzo Ricotta

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Procedure
1 Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and bake cut side down on a lightly oiled cooking sheet at 425° for 20 minutes.
2 Remove from the oven turn over, and let cool slightly.

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3 Meanwhile, saute the garlic, pepper, potato and onion in the olive oil until lightly browned.
4 Add the tomatoes and raisins. Cook 3-5 minutes.
5 Add the bouillon cube, water, mint, baharat (or curry powder), salt and pepper.
6 Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
7 Place the roasted eggplant, cut side up in a non-stick casserole.
8 Pour 1/4 cup water into the casserole.
9 Score the cut surface of the eggplant and gently push the flesh to the side, making a hollow.

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10 Spoon the filling into the hollow.
11 Top each half with 2 tbsp of the cashew garbanzo ricotta.
12 Sprinkle with the roasted pistachios.
13 Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes.

Servings: 2
Yield: Two entree sized portions
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Oven Temperature: 425°F
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (25.4 ounces).
nutrition persian eggplant with cashew cream

Glyn’s Penultimate Tofu Burgers (makes 8)

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Glyn’s Penultimate Tofu Burgers
These tofu burgers are labeled “pen-ultimate” because I am a firm believer that there is always going to be something better to come along and it’s important to leave room for it when it arrives. We are making these for a 4th of July cookout and are trying them out on non-vegan friends. ~ Glyn and Will

Ingredients
14 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed
1 1/2 cups cooked drained black beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup walnut halves
3 herb-ox vegetable bouillon cubes (dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water)
1 cup panko
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. dried cilantro

DSCN3443            DSCN3444

Procedure
1 Combine the drained beans, onion, garlic, walnuts, and sweet red pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a moderately fine crumb.
2 Crumble the pressed tofu, and mix thoroughly with the herbs, spices, bouillon and nutritional yeast.
3 Combine the tofu mixture with the bean mixture. Mix thoroughly.
4 Add the panko and mix well.
5 Form into 8 firmly packed burgers and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
6 Transfer to a parchment lined cooking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes on a side.
7 Alternatively, these may be grilled on a slow grill. Lightly oil the grill and the burgers to prevent sticking.

Servings: 8
Yield: Eight burgers
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Oven Temperature: 400°F
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (5.2 ounces).

nutrition penultimate tofu burgers
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Vegan, Vegetables

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