Monday, August 17, 2015

Spicy Noodles in Garlic Ginger Sauce

Since the acquisition of an iPhone, I admit my attention span has been drastically reduced. I sit and scroll for long periods of time. I find that I don't read as much. I don't take long walks as often. And for some strange reason, my creative juices have slowed. Can anyone out there relate? Is anyone out there? Are you all on your phones?

Well, I have decided to participate, once again, in the Vegan Month of Food (#veganmofo) and that is no small undertaking! I must put down the phone!  Energy and creativity are the name of the game! Usually, the veganmofo organizers ask us to come up with a snappy theme. Last year my theme was "Poesy and Plate" and I blogged about poetry and food. I must admit - I loved that theme. You can see all my past VeganMoFo blog posts by clicking the link on the right of this page....see them over there? VeganMoFo 2012, VeganMoFo 2013 and VeganMoFo 2014.

More about the 2015 Vegan Month of Food as it draws closer. Stay tuned.

One thing I absolutely LOVE about my iPhone, is the camera. Seriously. Who even needs a camera any more with the iPhone? I snap photos of everything!

Here's a random sampling of photos from my phone:

Last night's salad

The Founding Fathers with light sabers

A pretty cow

A storm coming over West Michigan

I'm also constantly clicking and saving various recipe ideas. The bad ones eventually get deleted. The good ones get saved. The excellent ones are made in my kitchen. Some even make it to my blog!

I used soba noodles (I have so many in my pantry right now!) I probably doubled some of the vegetable suggestions. And I served this with roasted broccoli. Leftovers were awesome! Most of the sauce is vegetable broth, which keeps it light and thin. Delicious. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Carrot Top Pesto

You should have heard me screaming with delight (literally) when I pulled these veggies from my very own garden. What a miracle to plant the tiniest of seeds and then to be rewarded with these glorious oranges and purples! I will most certainly be planting carrots and beets every summer from now on - so easy!

One restaurant meal that I want to recreate in my kitchen was one I had at Grove in Grand Rapids a few years ago. I chose it from a special and abundant vegan menu (how thoughtful of them!) and it was so creative. It was simply called "Carrots Three Ways." I love carrots, so I knew I'd love this.... and I did.

I can't honestly remember the entire meal, but I know it started with Ginger Carrot Soup. I know there was a carrot puree and there were probably roasted carrots. Probably there was a salad and some other type of veg.  So simple! Everything was so beautiful ( and orange!)

When my own garden started to produce carrots, I began dreaming of Carrots Three Ways here in my own home. One addition to the restaurant meal will be to include a carrot top pesto. Delicious!

You can see that I served the pesto over our salad. Also on the plate are grilled spicy tofu and fat free oven fries. 

Here's how to make Carrot Top Pesto:
Drop a few garlic gloves into a running food processor. This is a good way to mince the garlic. Add a 1/4 C of sliced or slivered almonds, a bunch of carrot tops (stems discarded), some olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt. Process until kind of smooth. Be ready to scrape down the sides of the processor. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Millet, Tempeh, and Mushroom Patties

Gosh, we've eaten some awesome food this summer. From a spectacular striped bass on Martha's Vineyard to a Beet Reuben in Pentwater, Michigan, our meals have been remarkable. The bass was caught that morning by the chef who prepared it. How could I turn that down? The restaurant was nothing spectacular from the street (Square Rigger, I believe it was called, in Edgartown), and the decor was average, but the food was superb. If you ever get an opportunity to visit Martha's Vineyard be absolutely sure to visit the Polly Hill Arboretum. Even if you don't love trees and gardens, you'll be impressed by the beauty and tranquility of this place.

Beet Reuben was not on my radar to eat, but I decided to give it a try. It tasted exactly like what you are imaging.... sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, swiss cheese and roasted beets. All on a grilled marbled rye. Amazing. And beautiful I might add. Our waitress had never tried it (I got the impression that she was afraid of so many veggies), but she said everyone loved it. Me too.

This millet patty recipe came from a magazine that is on display at the local health food store. I have gotten some of my favorite recipes from that tiny publication!

Here's the magazine photo - you can see why I decided to make it! I love gorgeous food. Look at that tiny slice of shiitake mushroom nestled in the patty.

Mine didn't quite turn out that pretty and you can't even see the mushroom I tried to showcase in my patties!

I thought these were delicious! I served them with a spicy mayo and a heap of mushrooms and veggies from my garden. They were a bit too mushy for my husband's taste. They definitely did not firm up. Even now, I notice the recipe refers to these as 'tender.' That's correct!

Millet, Tempeh, and Mushroom Patties ( March 2013)
1/2 C uncooked millet, rinsed
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 C)
1 1/2 C veg broth
1 T sesame oil
1/2 C sliced shiitake mushrooms
4 oz tempeh, crumbled into small bits
1 small bunch green onions, white and some green parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T soy sauce
2 T mirin

1. Cook the millet, sweet potato and veg broth for about 25 minutes. Covered. Simmer. Mash with potato masher to combine well and distribute the sweet potato.

2. Saute the mushrooms, tempeh, garlic, and onion in sesame oil until brown and delicious.  Deglaze the pan with the soy and mirin.

3. Combine everything and when cool enough, form 'patties.' They will be very soft. Don't bother decorating the patty with a pretty mushroom!

4. Sautee in veg oil till brown. Serve with chipotle mayo.