Monday, August 24, 2009

Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce

Last Tuesday, I made Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce from the Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Taste:
4.5 (yum yum yum!)
Ease of Preparation: 3 (very putsy recipe)
Nutritional Value: 4 (kale woohoo!)
Maddie Friendliness: 2 (she ate one of the leftover corn tortillas)
Cost of Ingredients: 3
Overall: 3.3

This recipe turned out really well, but took forever to make. So many steps! I think if I did it again, I could make it faster, but a lot of it was just how the recipe was written. It wasn't really clear what should be cooking and when.

Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce Recipe

Enchilada Chile Sauce:
3 large green chiles (I used Anaheim)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
2-3 tsp chile powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp marjoram
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I didn't have diced tomatoes so I just pulsed whole tomatoes in a food processor)
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt

Potato and Kale Filling:
1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and diced (prepare these first)
1/2 pound kale, washed, stemmed, and chopped fincely
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
3 tbsp lime juice (I used the juice of two small limes)
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (I used pine nuts because I had them around), chopped coarsely
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
12-14 corn tortillas (I used 12)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a shallow casserole dish.
  2. Roast the chiles in the oven (cook at 425 for 20 mins).
  3. Boil a pot of water.
  4. Boil the potatoes for 20 mins.
  5. Prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  6. Saute the onions in oil for 4-7 minutes, until softened.
  7. Put the onions and the rest of the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  8. Remove the peppers from the oven. Reduce oven temp to 375.
  9. Peel the roasted peppers and add to the ingredients in the food processor or blender.
  10. Puree until smooth.
  11. Drain and set aside the potatoes.
  12. Cook the olive oil and garlic in a large saucepot/saucepan over emdium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is slightly browned.
  13. Add the kale, sprinkle with a little salt, and stir to coat with oil and garlic.
  14. Raise the heat to medium.
  15. Cover the kale and steam for 4-6 minutes.
  16. Remove the lid and mix in the potatoes, vegetable stock, lime juice, pumpkin seeds, and salt.
  17. Cook another 3-4 minutes, until the stock is absorbed.
Assemble the enchiladas:
  1. Fill a small pie plate with 3/4 cup sauce.
  2. Prepare the assembly line with the pie plate, the enchiladas. the potato/kale mix, the tortillas, and a heated griddle or greased pan.
  3. Ladle some enchilada sauce onto the bottom of the casserole pan.
  4. Take a corn tortilla and place it on the heated griddle for about 15 seconds per side until it's soft.
  5. Soak the tortilla in the enchilada sauce in the pie plate.
  6. Place the tortilla in the casserole pan.
  7. Add the potato/kale mixture and roll it up.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 until all the tortillas have been used.
  9. Pour about a cup of sauce over the top. Reserve the leftovers to top the enchiladas when served.
  10. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil.
  11. Bake 25 minutes.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes until the edges of the tortillas look a little browned.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Black Bean Burgers from The Veganomicon

Taste: 3.5 (Good, solid, bean burgers...not terribly interesting by themselves but better than Boca!)
Ease of Preparation: 4 (very very easy)
Nutritional Value: 3 (black beans are good protein, but I rank higher for more varied nutrition)
Maddie Friendliness: 4 (she actually ate a burger!!!)
Cost of Ingredients: 4
Overall: 3.7

Overall, a good solid bean burger, though I definitely I like the spicoli burgers more.

Black Bean Burgers

2 cups cooked or 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed (I used the can of black beans)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs)
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste (or ketchup)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 small onion (grated using the large holes on a box grater, or in a food processor)
olive oil

  1. Mash the beans with a fork.
  2. Add everything except the olive oil.
  3. Mix well with your hands until the mixture comes together.
  4. Form into six patties (I made them about 3/4 inch thick).
  5. Fry in a small amount of olive oil for five minutes on each side.
  6. Serve!

Weekly Menu for the Week of 16-Aug-09

Sunday: Black Bean Burgers (veganomicon pg 98), corn
Monday: New Potatoes and Spinach (660 Curries pg 580)
Tuesday: potato and kale enchiladas with roasted chile sauce (Veganomicon pg 162)
Wednesday: Braised Seitan with Brussels, Kale, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Veganomicon pg 182)
Thursday: Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli Rabe with Rotelle
Friday: pizza

I got a new cookbook called The Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero! So this is the week to try some of it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Spaghettini with Green Sauce

Tonight we made a very simple pasta dish. It's literally one of those chop, saute, and serve kind of dishes. Took me less than 15 minutes to make, total.

Taste: 3 (It was good, nothing spectacular)
Ease of Preparation: 5 (Really, unless it's pre-canned, it doesn't get much easier)
Weight Friendliness: 5 (5 Weight Watchers points per serving if you assume 6 servings)
Maddie Friendliness: 3 (She ate the noodles, though she tried very hard to pick off the parsley)
Cost of Ingredients: 4
Overall: 4

Recipe from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used only 1/8 of a cup)
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups packed, fresh, flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth, preferably homemade (I used veggie bouillon and some water)
Salt, preferably the coarse variety, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz spaghettini or other thin pasta (we used cappellini)

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to a warm serving bowl.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, in a medium, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned (about 4-5 minutes)
  4. Add the parsley and broth and stir until just combined.
  5. Immediately remove from the heat and season with coarse salt and pepper.
  6. Add the parsley mixture to the pasta and toss to combine.
I served this with a mixed green salad with an easy homemade vinaigrette.

Paradise Casserole

I made the Paradise Casserole from The Candle Cafe Cookbook last night. It one of the most filling things I've ever made. The recipe says 6-8 servings, but I cut it into 12 pieces and G and I could only eat one. I had one piece for lunch today and I was almost too full halfway through the afternoon to eat the gorgeous grapes I'd brought.

Breakdown:
Taste: 3.5
Ease of Preparation: 2 (not hard I guess, but it's at least two hours until on the table)
Weight Friendliness: 5 (only 4 points a slice)
Maddie Friendliness: 3 (She ate the millet and poked at the sweet potato)
Cost of Ingredients: 3
Overall: 3.3

Recipe adapted from The Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson, Bart Potenza, and Barbara Scott-Goodman

4 Sweet Potatoes
1 tbsp sweet white miso
1 tsp umeboshi vinegar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup black beans soaked overnight with a 1-inch piece of kombu, drained (full disclosure, I totally forgot to soak the beans so I ended up using two cans of beans and skipped to step 8)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tsp cumin
pinch of crushed red pepper
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups millet
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Do this first.)
  2. Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a fork. (While the sweet potatoes are cooking, start the beans [step 7] and then start the millet [step 11].)
  3. Cool the potatoes until they are cool to the touch.
  4. Remove the peels. (This is easy, the skins literally just come right off)
  5. Place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and mash them with a potato masher until smooth.
  6. Combine the miso, vinegar, and cinnamon with the potatoes.
  7. Put the beans in a large stockpot and add cover with water by two inches.
  8. Over high heat, add the garlic, onion, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt and bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the beans for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  10. Drain the beans and set aside.
  11. Put the millet and 4 cups of salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  12. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Set aside.
  13. Lighly oil a large baking pan or casserole (I used a regular 13 by 9 cake pan).
  14. Spread the millet over the bottom of the pan.
  15. Spread the black beans in an even layer over the millet.
  16. Top with the sweet potato mixture.
  17. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Penne with Sweet Pepper and Tomato Sauce

This was a nice pasta dish. The cooking time was long, but the prep time wasn't terrible. Lots of sitting down and playing with Maddie for 15 mins. The sauce turned out this lovely shade of orange. With the flecks of basil it was a very pretty dish. Garison described the flavor as creamy.

Taste: 4
Ease of Preparation: 3
Weight Friendliness: 4 (6 Weight Watchers points if you assume 6 servings per recipe)
Maddie Friendliness: 3 (She ate a little of it)
Cost of Ingredients: 4
Overall: 3.6

Recipe from The Mediterannean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein

2 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 tbsp)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I used 2 very small onions)
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (for information on peeling and seeding tomatoes, see these instructions at The Veggie Table)
1 large red bell pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
2 to 3 tbsp vegetable broth or water (I used water)
1 pound penne or other short tubular pasta

*Note: The sauce for this recipe takes a long time to cook, so don't start boiling the pasta until you are simmering the tomatoes and peppers. Cook the pasta following the package directions until al dente around halfway through the simmer time for the tomatoes and peppers.

  1. In a large nonstick skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and raise the heat to medium.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion begins to caramelize (about 5 minutes). [I didn't so much stir constantly as occasionally and it was fine.]
  5. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
  6. Raise the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  8. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is very soft (about 15-20 minutes).
  9. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Return the mixture to the skillet.
  11. Stir in the basil.
  12. Reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, adding the broth or water as needed.
  13. Toss the sauce with the pasta. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve at once.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cellophane Noodle Salad

Garison and I love to go out for Asian food of all kinds. One of our favorite dishes is always the noodle salads. This recipe is a little different from what we usually get at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Mostly because it's cabbage-based and not lettuce-based.

Taste: 4
Ease of Preparation:
4

Weight Friendliness:
4 (8 Weight Watchers points)
Maddie Friendliness:
3 (She ate the rice noodles and the mock duck)
Cost of Ingredients: 4
Overall: 3.8

This is actually a recipe I've tried several different versions of. This is closest I've gotten to the taste of the restaurant without fish sauce.

The recipe follows (adapted from Quick-Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson)

Salad:
4 oz cellophane noodles
1 8 oz package shredded cabbage (I used about 3/4 of a regular green cabbage, shredded)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 English cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced (I used a plain old ordinary cucumber)
3 scallions, sliced (omitted and replaced with one small onion, sliced and caramelized to closer replicate our restaurant's version)
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I goofed here, I had cilantro from last week that I was going to use without realizing it had already started to liquefy in my refrigerator. I had a tube of cilantro paste in my refrigerator, which I mixed in with the dressing)

I also heated up a package of stir-fry seitan strips with the carmelized onions to give it a little more staying power.

Dressing:
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (or the juice of one lime)
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp brown sugar (I used heaping teaspoons because I love how sweet the salad at our local restaurant is with the fish sauce)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili paste (I combined the garlic and chili paste and used a garlic chili paste I had in my refrigerator)
2 tbsp water

Garnish:
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

The directions are easy: Mix the salad ingredients together. Mix the dressing ingredients together. Toss to combine and top with peanuts.

Menu for the Week of 2-Aug-09

Sunday: cellophane noodle salad with mock duck (Quick-Fix Vegetarian pg 71)
Monday: Penne with Sweet Pepper and Tomato Sauce (Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen pg 116)
Tuesday: Paradise Casserole (The Candle Cafe Cookbook pg 110)
Wednesday: Spaghettini with Walnut-Garlic Sauce (Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen pg 120)
Thursday: Quick Farmer's Paella (Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen)
Friday: pizza with mozzarella and fresh basil