Thursday, March 27, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Leek Soup

The annual spring cold that has been going around lately finally made an appearance at our house.  I had a little touch of it but my husband is absolutely miserable!  So, in addition to a homemade juice involving lots of ginger, garlic, kale, and other cold-fighting foods, we enjoyed this soup along with a simple baguette and butter for dinner last night.  The house smelled amazing from all the garlic in the air  and the soup was a big hit with everyone.  Our two-year old even went back for seconds!


* Used Earth Balance for the butter and Better Than Bouillon's No-Chicken for the broth

4 bulbs garlic, large
olive oil
6 TBSP butter
4 leeks, chopped
1/2c yellow onion, chopped
6 TBSP all-purpose flour
4c chicken broth
1/3c dry sherry
1/4 tsp. white pepper
fresh chives, for garnish

1.  Preheat oven to 350*  Cut off tops of garlic heads, exposing the cloves.  Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven approximately 1 hour.  Allow to cool and squeeze to remove the cloves.

2.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add garlic, leeks, and onion.  Break up the garlic with your spoon and stir frequently until leeks and onion are soft.

3.  Add the flour and stir quickly to thicken.  Pour in the broth, sherry, and white pepper.

4.  Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer approximately 20 min.  Adjust the seasoning, to taste, top with chives, and serve hot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vegan Teriyaki Chicken

Last night's dinner of my vegan version of teriyaki chicken, served over rice, and with a side of sautéed green beans was devoured by everyone, even our super picky 2-year old.  

Note:  For the "chicken", I used Beyond Meat which is easily the best chicken substitute available right now, in my opinion.   

1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP water
1/2c white sugar
1/2c soy sauce
1/4c apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 pkg. chicken substitute, chopped into bite-size pieces

1.  Preheat oven to 425*

2.  In a small saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients except the chicken.  Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened.

3.  Add chicken to a prepared 8x8 baking dish and baste generously with the sauce.

4.  Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 min., turning and basting with extra sauce every 10 min.

Hint of Coconut Cookies

Even my non-coconut eaters raved about these cookies!  It may seem like a lot of coconut but for some reason, the flavor is pleasantly mild and not at all.  And the texture
is just the right amount of chewy goodness!

Here's the recipe:

1 1/4c.  all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. flaked coconut
1.  Preheat oven to 350*
2.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3.  In a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar on medium speed until smooth.

4.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.

5.  Gradually blend in the flour mixture, then mix in the coconut.

6.  Roll into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet a few inches apart.  

7.  Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for about 30 min.

8.  Remove from the refrigerator straight to the oven.  Bake for approximately 12 min. or until lightly toasted.

9.  Cool on wire racks.

My most adamant coconut hater kept trying to sneak cookies while I was making dinner.  :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Beer Braised Collard Greens

Today is March 17th, which means today is all about all things green.  People are clad in green, wearing shamrocks, and drinking green beer so it seems only right that today's recipe is one for, you guessed it - greens!

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2c yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh collard greens, cut into 2” pieces and stems removed
1 (12oz.) light beer
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste

1.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes or until onion is softened and garlic is light golden brown.

2.  Add collard greens, beer, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.

3.  Allow to simmer 30-45 minutes or until collard greens are wilted and beer is reduced slightly.

4.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vegetable Tortellini Stew

Open a bottle of red and get ready to make a hearty and delicious stew!  This is what we had two nights ago along with some herbed biscuits for dipping.  Don't worry about leftovers.  This stew freezes really well!
2 TBSP olive oil
1lb. vegan sausage (Match Meats makes a really good one)
3/4c. chopped onion
1c.sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
5 c. vegetable broth
1/2c. red wine
1 (14.5 oz.) can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, with liquid
1c. ketchup
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup zucchini, sliced
1 pound fresh tortellini pasta
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large pot, heat approximately 2 TBSP olive oil and brown sausage.

2.  Add onions and saute until tender. Add carrots, celery, vegetable broth, red wine, tomatoes, ketchup, Italian seasoning, and garlic.

3.  Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, in a separate pan, prepare tortellini according to package directions; drain and set aside.

5.  Stir in in the zucchini, tortellini, red bell pepper, and parsley.  

6.  Simmer, covered, for about 25-30

7.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Savory Stuffed Red Potatoes

I recently found myself with half a bag of baby red potatoes and no real plans for them.  A few more days and they would go out with the trash.  That seemed wasteful though and I'm trying to make more of an effort to actually use all the produce I buy.

Roasted corn and poblano soup was already on the menu so I decided to try these little potato bites on the side.  The two dishes paired really well, which was a relief because the potatoes can take awhile to prepare.  It's a simple recipe but the scooping out of the potatoes (without tearing the skins!) is what is most time consuming.  Worth it though.

* I used vegan substitutes for the sour cream and butter.

8 red potatoes, bite size
1 TBSP sour cream
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. green onion
2 TBSP cheddar cheese, grated
olive oil and sea salt

1.  In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and boil until tender.  The amount of time needed here will depend on the size of your potatoes.  Mine were on the small side and I let them boil about 15 minutes.  Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.

2.  Cut potatoes in half and carefully scoop out the inside, leaving a little edge all around.  Spray a little olive oil on the skin side of each potato and sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.

3.  In a medium size bowl, combine the scooped out potato, sour cream, butter, seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, green onions, and cheese.

4.  Spoon the mixture evenly back into each potato skin and top with a little extra cheese.

5.  Bake approximately 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.


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