Sunday, March 21, 2010

Creamy Potato-Chard Soup

Creamy Potato-Chard Soup6

My latest foray was the Creamy Potato-Chard Soup on page 178 and I really liked it. I did like it better after it sat for a while but it was still good fresh.

The soup was easy to put together. The cleaning/chopping of the potatoes, onion, celery and of course chard took a bit but the soup itself comes together in about 45 minutes.

The garlic was a bit small this time around so I added a few extra cloves so that was the only change I made.

I'm enjoying these various creamy soups and they are so easy to make and by placing them in a storage container and freezing you'll always have something on hand when there's no time to cook or just don't feel like what's in the cabinet.

~~Gymmie

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

I'll admit right now that lasagna is my "go to" dish to make when I can't think of anything else. It's easy and makes a ton so there's leftovers the next day. I normally make a simple lasagna with just tofu ricotta because I think I've been scarred by terrible vegetable lasagna in the past where the vegetables were totally undercooked and not seasoned. Roasting vegetables is my favourite easy method so I thought, hey, why not combine the best of both worlds and make the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (page 216)?

The great thing about lasagna is that you can just throw in whatever you want. Robin suggests zucchini, eggplant and red bell pepper which do go together really well. Our terrible grocery store was of course out of eggplant (I don't think I've ever seen it there) so I opted for a vegetable mixture of onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini and red pepper. Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest things to do and the flavour is so much better than steamed or sauteed. Just toss or drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and any other herbs & spices that you want and then throw in the oven. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I did sprinkle on some onion and garlic powder and roasted it a little longer than the recipe suggests because I like my vegetables really caramelised.

The tofu ricotta is also simple to make. Just crumble, season and away you go. I ended up using two packages of extra firm Nasoya tofu and added just a spoonful of lemon juice for a bit of acidity to the ricotta along with the parsley, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.

For the noodles, I chose not to cook them first. For years I used to cook them first but now I just soak the noodles in cold water (don't use hot, it will release the starches and make them stick together) while I'm prepping the other ingredients and then use more sauce than called for. For store bought, I use two large jars — one full jar of sauce at the bottom of the pan and one full jar on the top. The noodles are perfectly cooked during the usual cooking time and it saves me from washing another pot.

For the layering, I opted for a single layer of vegetables and a single layer of tofu ricotta rather than split them both into two layers. For the topping I went with straight nutritional yeast which is usually my standard lasagna topping since I never have vegan parmesan and always forgot to make some.

The finished lasagna was delicious. The roasted vegetables added a great flavour to the entire dish and was so much better than just plain vegetables and the leftovers were even better the next day. Not sure why I didn't think of roasted vegetables in lasagna before but now I think this will be added to my regular rotation.

— Ms. Veganorama

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spicy White Bean and Tomato Soup

Spicy White Bean and Tomato Soup5

Although Spring is right around the corner and we enjoyed weather in the mid-70s here in Texas today I still wanted some soup. Hey soup is comforting and fine all year round right :).

This soup came together quickly and easily. I had some jalape├▒os to use up so I added those to the soup since my store only has the mild chilies. I wanted that extra punch of the hot chilies.

As usual, using canned beans keeps the cooking time short unless you're mean and have a Fagor (I'm looking at you and you know who you are :p).

The jalapen├▒os added the punch I was hoping for and the soup is really good. This soup also adds peanut butter which I did have to refrain myself from putting the entire jar in. YUM Peanut Butter :).

Another very good soup that takes under an hour with ingredients you probably already have on hand :).

~~Gymmie

Silician Stuffed Tomatoes

Silician Stuffed Tomatoes3

first learned about Couscous when I was an Omni. Someone had brought some for a potluck at work. I had never made it although I really liked what he had made. After I became Vegan I finally tried to and kicked myself over not making it before. It literally takes the time to boil water and 5 minutes to "cook" to make. And of course you can do all sorts of things with it.

So in seeing that this recipe used one of my favorite grains I had to make it. The prep time for the various chopping of ingredients and took under 30 minutes. The bake time about 20 minutes. This was my first time making a recipe where you stuff a vegetable so I'll definitely work on that!

It may have been the size of my tomatoes as well but I did have extra stuffing so if you have a good sale on tomatoes get extras!

There wasn't anything that I'd change other than more raisins and nuts as I love them :).

~~Gymmie
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