More (vegan) Cooking in Bushwick

More (vegan) Cooking in Bushwick on Get Sconed!

After a few years off, I found myself visiting the ‘ol home state not once but twice in late 2012. I’d been perusing those tempting fare alert emails, talking snow withdrawal with J. Legume, and the next thing I knew, we … Continue reading

birthday lasagna

birthday lasagna

In the after-math of a year that included organizing a culinary competition and that con thing, I didn’t even let myself contemplate my 29th birthday’s existence until mere days before. I kept things calm with a tiny handful of friends, … Continue reading

Pesto-stuffed Chickpea Cutlet Balls & Television

So, I’m a television fanatic. It hails back to my days of sharing a bedroom with my younger siblings and quietly watching The X-Files while sitting a foot away from the  television screen (seeing both films on opening day), and evolved into obsession via the same small television set with the first episode of Buffy during my freshman year of high school. I may have just as many memories of Xander and Willow as I do my real life friends, woops. There aren’t many shows I watch on a dedicated, weekly basis now (or that I’d admit so quickly). I still resist Hulu for the most part and can instantaneously open my out-dated rant about how the real LOST fans are those who were watching during Season 1 and went insane the rest of the week for six onwards years – and even worse, during summer hiatus – and then, the writer’s block. The suspense! The attempt at patience! The gift of a new episode!

This is pretty normal Jess-in-person ranting and it would be out-of-place on this here post if it wasn’t for the following connection – my new found-love for Bob’s Burgers. I adore Home Movies – it’s one of the few dvd sets I actually own, so I gave it this new series a chance, and I’ve been hooked since week one. It’s pretty damn nostalgic to find myself looking forward to Sunday evenings again! I’m a sucker for the parents’ sweet antics and accents, and these may be the most entertaining kids I’ve seen on television since Brendon, Melissa and Jason, of course. Back to the point – on the latest episode, a spaghetti and meatball dinner was featured, and 24 hours later, I was sitting down to this vegan version.

Bob's Burgers inspired dinner: baked pesto-stuffed chickpea cutlet balls, homemade marinara, multi-grain spaghetti, steamed kale

The chickpea cutlet recipe is from Veganomicon, no surprise. I’ve baked the dough as balls many times in the past, and I usually add marjoram and basil into the mix. This time, I flattened circles of the dough and added a small dollop of homemade raab pesto, carefully formed it back into a ball, and baked them at 400F for 20 minutes, flipped the balls, and baked an additional 15 minutes at 425F. I would declare “Bon Appetit!”, but Gene’s not here to usher us out with a dramatic keyboard solo.

P.S. Admittedly, I have gone and blogged many LOST-obsessed meals. Speaking of, Jorge Garcia making almond milk = be still, my freaking heart.

I’ll likely find myself making some Bob’s inspired veggie burgers soon!

Sunday Supper: Patak’s Madras Chickpea Curry

Patak's Madras Curry Paste

I came to the soul-tingling realization yesterday in New Seasons, that if I allow myself to buy quality curry pastes for Thai cooking, I could try the same, just once, for Indian cuisine.  Perhaps it would prove handy and delicious over lazy and under-spiced, right?

Ridiculously, I had stocked up on various curry-related spices earlier in the day, but knowing my curries never quite taste how I want them to and that I didn’t have quick access to a few unique ingredients I had yet, and intended to incorporate, I rationalized the whim and picked up a jar of Patak’s Madras Curry paste. My dedication to making nearly everything from scratch be damned, I made a satisfying and spicy Madras curry for dinner and the teaspoons stayed hidden. Plus, the sweet and golden diced potatoes helped counter the heat of the curry. I loosely followed the recipe on the back of the jar (which was a hoot to do), substituted cooked chickpeas, red pepper and carrots for beef [using extra vegetables], and pureed Muir Glen tomatoes for diced.

Madras Chickpea Curry over basmati rice

Roasted Yukon & Sweet Potatoes with sea salt, pepper & fresh parsley

So, there ya go. Sometimes I’m a little bit lazy. Or normal.

sweet & savoury & colorful

The Sweet: White Chocolate Chip & Orange Biscotti

Recipe modified from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. White Chocolate Chips from Pangea’s VeganSweets line, via Sidecar in Seattle.

 

The Savoury:

Roasted Chickpeas with tamari, nutritional yeast, olive oil, cayenne, lemon juice, cumin and smoked paprika.

The Savoury & Colorful:

Cornmeal Crusted Tofu with maple roasted red beets, burdock and purple carrots and black-eyed peas & greens (from AFR).

This is Trader Joe’s extra firm tofu marinated in red wine, tamari, vegetable broth, garlic and herbs, and coated catfish-style with cornmeal, flour, sea salt, nutritional yeast and black pepper. Easily baked or pan-fried.

The Colorful:

Pre-roasted purple carrots, long red beets and burdock with sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, vegetable broth & maple syrup.

Also Colorful:

Ready to go: Savoy cabbage, purple carrots & sesame seeds. Both vegetables from one of the last Saturday farmers markets. Sniff.

Yellow Curry & Butternut Squash Hummus (or Sweet Potato)

Imagine if President Obama were vegan! He would look like this….

Political Hummus Creation and Image Credit: Sabra Hummus and Kirk Rademaker

Actually, I simply don’t have an accompanying photo for this recipe, and I googled “hummus monster” and the hummus John McCain turned up, and I went from there.

Onto the dip!

I first made this Yellow Curry &  Squash Hummus on a whim for a I LOVE 2002! party last month.  I was already making Smoked Paprika Hummus from The Urban Vegan, had more chickpeas, and beans dips are easy, inexpensive party food. You can go classic, or you can go creative.  My brain went…..remember a week or two ago when you made Yellow Curry Squash soup?  Let’s work with those flavors and add chickpeas!  You’re out of tahini anyway so use you have to use peanut butter.  And it happened.

I decided to make it again and play with the recipe for the refreshments table at my presentation on Local & Vegan Eating at the library recently because a) it’s fairly creative b) party food for a crowd! and c) hummus is SO vegan.  I easily subbed mashed sweet potato for the squash on round #2, since I had it on hand.

Yellow Curry & Butternut Squash (or Sweet Potato) Hummus

(aka what would happen if you pureed yellow curry with chickpeas)

Serves: Many!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of rinsed chickpeas (canned or cooked)
  • 1/2 peanut butter OR 1/4 cup tahini + 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1.5 cups roasted sweet squash (or sweet potato – roasted or canned)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons yellow curry paste (I use local Thai & True brand, also available from Food Fight! online)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon – 1 tablespoon ginger (if you like more, use more)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek or other heat source (crushed red pepper, hot sauce, etc.)
  • 1/4 water or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup tamari (you can obviously sub soy sauce, but this keeps it gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon agave or brown sugar
  • pinch of dried basil, or a few leaves of fresh basil
  • optional: 2 tablespoons flaked coconut (especially if you’re not using the coconut milk)
  • generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • dash paprika
  • Dipping instruments, such as pita bread, tortilla chips or crudites

Directions:

  1. Puree oil, chickpeas, peanut butter or tahini and peanuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender, until smooth.  Use a spatula to wipe down the sides a couple times.
  2. Add everything else, blend well!
  3. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish.

Garnish: Toasted sesame seeds, diced fresh basil

Garnish, if you’re not me: sliced green onions, cilantro

Remnants:
after: the food table

And one more thing - Crossant with chocolate chips from Back to Eden Bakery & Boutique =

Out of this World, Vegan Awesome.

chickpeas are cheap: an outpouring of thoughts about the garbanzo and dried beans.

Roasted Chickpeas with Nutritional Yeast, Oregano and Sea Salt

As usual, my history with using dried beans is linked to the Post Punk Kitchen.  I remember a blog post years ago, challenging people to soak their own beans and base meals around the outcome.  When I finally had the balls to soak my own, I was thrilled x 40 at the results, and most importantly, how far it stretched my initial, mere investment. It’s so resourceful, healthy and cost-effective!

There are definitely occasions I’m short on time or stockpiling a bit for an apocalypse, and I’ve yet to make the move for a pressure cooker, but a simple colander, large pot and time are all I need to bring beans to life in my kitchen. FYI, they’ve never spoke to me.

Quick & obvious notes on using dried beans:

  1. Buy dried beans in bulk. In Portland, you can go to co-ops, farmers markets, New Seasons, Fred Meyer, and I think even Safeway has a bulk area.  You can buy dried beans in bags  at most stores, of course, but it’s more fun and economical to buy them by the pound.
  2. Pick out any really noticeable crud. I just give my beans a quick look over, and toss a couple times.
  3. Soak them during the day, 4-8 hours, while you’re out working or counting leaves (clearly the only two things I think people do during the day).
  4. Rinse in a colander (one the beans won’t fall through).
  5. Cook according to bean specifications. There’s a guide halfway down this page, and one in Veganomicon, which I’m sure you own. I normally don’ t need more than 1.5 hours for chickpeas.  I usually just cook in water, but you can always play with broth with herbs and alliums.

I spent this past Friday night wildly cooking chickpeas and prepping for the next day’s event.  FYI, I store my cooked beans in pitchers, and change the water every couple days.

Over the course of the weekend, the chickpeas went into Yellow Curry & Sweet Potato hummus, 40 Cloves Chickpea & Broccoli, and Chickpea Cutlets.  I try and save money, bringing lunch to work, as boring as it can be.  I’m sure I’ll do much more  with these little pieces of protein over the next week or so, and extra will go bagged into my freezer!

Ten Chickpea-y Ideas:

  1. Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. I always bake these, and I’ve been known to mold them into ball-form as well to serve with marinara. There are gluten-free versions floating around the internet.  I’ve had ones my friend Michelle has made, they’re really good!
  2. Roasted Chickpeas. This was the first way I ever cooked chickpeas, back in college, when I spent a lot of time playing around on Vegweb.com.  Dreena Burton’s Tamari Roasted Chickpeas is an easy way to start if you’ve never made them before.
  3. Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf - again, from Veganomicon! Really versatile. Quinoa + Chickpeas = nutrition!
  4. One word: Falafel
  5. Pasta: There are recipes for this on every cooking website that exists. Lightly saute in extra virgin olive oil with minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and spinach, and serve over pasta with sea salt, fresh pepper and nutritional yeast to your liking.
  6. Add to Bowls: ala Joanna’s Almighty Bowl style post or Blossoming Lotus
  7. Another one word: Hummus. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are entire cults based around this dip. I’m going to post the recipe for the Yellow Curry inspired hummus this week.
  8. Gravy: I’ve actually never made the famous Punkrock Chickpea in Vegan with a Vengeance, but I have made a Silky Chickpea Gravy in testing for Isa’s new low-fat book.
  9. Chana Masala: The Indian Classic. I love when this is in the lunch special at Bombay Chaat House!
  10. Add to Soups: add to any soup that calls for beans, or you’d think would work in. Who makes vegetable soup without beans?  huh? Years ago, I tried and liked this recipe for Chickpea Garlic Soup from The Angelica Home Kitchen.

Runner Up: Chickpea salads. These aren’t really my thing, but I have caught myself with no time and lack of ingredients, snacking on chickpeas + nooch + sea salt…

Fun fact: There are white, green and black chickpeas.

Wow, that was so About.com of me.

Chickpea-usage, the photos!

40 Cloves Chickpea & Garlic - a tester for Isa’s new book (second time I’ve made it!)

Chickpea Cutlets - I made these in my food processor, but they’re super easy to make without it.

Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Cutlet Balls

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Chickpeas in a really colorful Tofu Scramble

Baked Tofu and Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf

Chickpea Pitcher

chickpea pitcher

I wish my photo did this more justice, clearly I was in a rush to dine.

Chickpeas added to Pasta e Faglio, from The Urban Vegan

Comforty, Lower-Fat New Farm Mac & Cheeze, Gluten Free, and thickened with Chickpea Flour

Chickpeas Romesco from Veganomicon

Baked Falafel from Vegan with a Vengeance

And a plate of fresh vegetables, with store bought pita and stellar hummus from Barbur World Foods. For the record, their fresh baked pita is one of the best things in the world. Lunch@work.

P.S.

Thanks to anyone reading this who came to the presentation at the library this past weekend!  There was a huge turn out, which delighted both the library staff and myself! I had a blast talking about a topic I adore – Local & Vegan Eating in Portland, OR.  Totally makes me want to visit the People’s Farmers Market this week! I just love the Portland vegan community.

sorta boring, mostly great & a segue

Roasted Blue Potatoes, Golden Beets and a single Russet, with coarse sea salt, olive oil and pepper. Roasted Colors

I’ll take golden beets over red any day, any place, any time zone, as long as there’s a working oven.

Huckleberry’s Bistro style Tofu Scramble with Italian kale, green cabbage, kalamata olives, yellow bell pepper, creminis, lemon juice, shoyu, garlic and spices.  I like this style because it channels the scrambles I used to make as a young vegan, over-relying on soy sauce for flavor!

olive, lemon veggie scramble

Lightly fried rice with broccoli, carrots, Zesty Lemon Tempehtations (in my freezer from an old product review), leftover brown rice, sesame oil, almonds, tamari, garlic and white pepper.  Definitely a ‘what do I have to work with??’ type of dinner.

light fried rice with tempeh

Total Hodgepodge dinner.  Steamed spinach, baked tofu, kalamata olives and roasted chickpeas (loosely based on Tamari Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan).

hodgepodge

Not boring – just great! Lazy Samoans (with even lazier chocolate drizzlin’ and dippin’) from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

lazy samoans

My recent flickr stream informs me that I’ve been saving money by cooking at home lately!  As much as I enjoy visiting new and old favorite establishments and socializing, I’m part hermit cat lady and have been spending time the past couple weeks enjoying fortunate holds on dvds the library (30 Rock! LOST! The Departed!)!

Isn’t that a swell segue for mention of a presentation I’m giving on this site and Local & Vegan Eating in Portland later this month at the library? Sure! I’m flattered that the library likes vegan bloggers! I’m flattered if one of my friends even half considers going!

Here’s the Multnomah County Library Events listing and the Facebook Event. I’m working on my comical winks all afternoon in preparation.