Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lotsa Veg Chowder

That's dill sprinkled on top of the soup. Extra bump of flavor. 

Here is a super easy and very quick soup for a week night meal; be sure to include something hearty like my basil-butter bread to round out the menu. I also made a simple onion and fresh tomato relish to serve on the toasty bread. Excellent. We ate every crumb and slurped every drip.

Lotsa Vegetable Chowder (from “Forks Over Knives” by Del Sroufe, pg 94)

Here’s what you need:
8 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ small onion, peeled and chopped
3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed, cobs reserved
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
½ C chopped red bell pepper
1 C chopped broccoli and cauliflower stalks – remove the fibrous outer parts
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 T fresh thyme or ½ T dried thyme or to taste
2 t ground cumin or to taste
3 T fresh dill or ½ T dried dill or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:
Prepare all the veggies. Place the potatoes, onion, corn kernels, corn cobs, carrots, celery, red pepper, broccoli/cauliflower, garlic, thyme, cumin and 6 cups of water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes or until all the veg is very soft.

Remove the corn cobs and use the back of a knife to scrape out the starchy corn bits still left in the cob. Discard the cobs and add the creamy corn starch back to the pot. Remove 1 cup of soup from the pot and mix in a blender until totally smooth. Return to the pot. If you like a smoother, creamier soup, you could blend 2 cups of soup.

Season with salt, lots of cracked pepper and lots of dill. I allowed the soup to simmer for another little while to thicken it more. I also seasoned it with some vegetable stock concentrate. 

For my Basil-Butter Bread I simply creamed some pesto from my freezer with some Earth Balance butter and smeared it over a crusty loaf of bread. Bake. Broil. Toast. Cut in slices. 

For my Onion-Tomato Relish I simply warmed sweet onions and sweet tomatoes over a very low heat until all juicy and melty. 

(printable recipe)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Three Things and a New Dog

I have this queer habit of lying in bed at night, reciting three things aloud, and yes, my hubby hears this every single night:  my lesson plans, what I am going to wear, and what’s for dinner. Leave one of these elements out of the nightly routine and I am a mess come morning.

Lesson plans: “Should I begin the unit on Robert Frost or Science Fiction tomorrow?” (You can see how important it is to know what to teach to a room full of 8th graders.)

Wardrobe: “Should I wear my sleeveless blouse or my black turtleneck sweater.” (You are thinking I am joking, but that’s how often the weather changes up here in Michigan, seriously. I am addicted to the Weather Channel.)

Menu: “Should we eat a real meal on plates or just grab any old can from the pantry and call it good?” (You probably now understand that I am a control freak.)

So lately, I haven’t really been going through my famous three-point-nightly-plan and it’s gotten pretty ugly around here. Bringing up the poetry lessons instead of the Asimov lesson; arriving to my freezing cold school building with a short sleeve shirt; and coming home to an empty fridge. So sad.

But NOT this week! I have tons of great lessons planned; all the summer clothes are tucked away and sweaters are out and at the ready; I MADE A MENU! (big announcement!) Everything comes from Del Sroufe’s excellent cookbook “Forks Over Knives.”

                Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Ponzu Sauce, brown rice, raw veg salad

                Quesadillas and refried beans, Nacho cheese, roasted tomatoes from the freezer

                Broccoli Rice Casserole, Gardein Chicken Nuggets (LOVE those things), salad

                Lotsa Veg Soup, garlic toast, bruschetta

     Red Lentil Dahl, white rice, green beans from the freezer

One reason I have been so off kilter these past few weeks is this pretty girl, named Lucy. We rescued her from the pound a few weeks ago and my life has been filled with long walks, training, and trips to the Chow Hound for dog food. This girl can EAT!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jalapeno Sour Cream Sauce

Those are veggie burritos under there. Toasty on the top and chewy on the bottom. 

If it’s covered with a sauce, I love it. That goes for pasta, pizza, grains, beans, salads, sandwiches, desserts and even breakfast (think honey sauce, yogurt sauce, fruit sauce). Love them all. Tell me if there is anything better than a huge sandwich smothered in spicy mayo and coleslaw and totally dripping in sauciness. No. There isn’t.

I know this looks totally decadent and creamy and full of fat and calories, but it’s mostly veggie broth – so relax and have a second helping. This recipe really put vegan ingredients to the test and I think they passed with flying colors. You could, I suppose, use dairy sour cream and dairy cheese, but why? Be good to your heart and the earth and the animals and go vegan.

I sprinkled dried cilantro and sliced tomatoes on top before baking. Those black things on top are escaped black beans and sliced zucchini. 

Here’s what you need:
2 T Earth Balance butter
2 T flour
1 C vegetable broth or stock
¼ C non dairy sour cream (Tofutti brand)
1/3 C grated Daiya Jack or Cheddar cheese
Black pepper
¼ C minced pickled jalapeno peppers

Here’s what you do:
Melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute, whisking constantly. Don’t let it brown. Add the veggie broth and keep whisking until it is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, cheese, black pepper and jalapenos. Stir until it is all well incorporated. Adjust for seasonings and thickness…..meaning add more peppers or broth to your taste. Pour over whatever type of burrito or enchilada you got  goin’. Bake and enjoy!