Hump Day Fronch Toast Glory with Bacon Seitan & Miso-Coconut Palm Sugar Caramelized Figs

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In continuation of the golden, pan-fried bread for hump day tradition, here’s a closer to look at how a ridiculously delightful, recent brunch came together. Indulgent? Check. Utilizing slices from a loaf of bread that wouldn’t hold up to sandwiches? … Continue reading

photo essay: potluck weekend

Why, I had quite a pepper, courgette, culinary productive & smiling vegan-filled weekend.  I’m allowing this stateside use of courgette, since I assembled a Gordon Ramsay recipe using said squashes on Saturday.  It’s a shame that I don’t have photos of my personal, colorful (finally!!) Saturday Farmers Market haul, or of the actual potlucks and smiling, socializing vegans, but I do have a few from the market and proof that my dishes happened.

Look! It’s tomatoes that likely have flavor!

The best deal on lovely, organic jalapeno at last Saturday’s market – 5 for $1 at Gathering Together Farm

If I hadn’t already been at the market with the mission of buying chili peppers, the sight and smell of these fire roasted chilies would have done me in.

A delight of freaky outy proportions: black jalapeños!

What I made with my hot peppers is coming, but first, let’s get to the dish I brought to my friends’ beautiful -and – all vegan – weddingcamp reception: Stuffed Courgette Rolls.

I veganized Gordon Ramsay’s (Inner Monologue: 1) holy moly, I watch a lot of his American shows and I adore him. 2) I have holds on 2 of his books at the library, which brings me to 3) how the hell have I never veganized/made one of his recipes before?) recipe from BBC Good Food. Instead of the dairy ricotta, I pureed a Vegan with a Vengeance-style ricotta of firm  tofu, fresh basil, red miso, minced garlic, roasted garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and soaked pine nuts. It’s topped with balsamic vinegar, marinated fresh, chopped tomatoes & basil, and toasted pine nuts.

I peeled! I rolled! I’m proud. And I only lost 1/4 a fingertip (and started over! and cleaned up! calm down)

With that, let’s get to the peppers.

Stuffed, open-faced jalapeno and cherry bomb peppers.

These open-faced peppers are stuffed with spicy, roasted vegetables and pinto beans. Baby potatoes, sweet corn, zucchini (of fucking course), bell peppers, jalapeno, shallots and other things I’m forgetting were chopped and roasted with a whole lot of minced garlic, olive oil, chipotle powder, chili powder, sage, oregano, black pepper, sea salt and hot paprika. I added sliced cherry tomatoes and pinto beans towards the end. I considered mixing everything together with the spicy tomato, tofu, garlic & smoked paprika cheese, but decided to go this route. All in all, one of the spiciest things I’ve ever made. I’ve never made anything like it before, and was trying to clean out the fridge of my produce before embarking on business trips the next 2 weeks, so it’s pretty mish mash. Next time I make something similar, I’d chop smaller and cut down on the spices a wee bit!

Baked:

Plated for Isa’s Vegan Chili Potluck, with lemon cucumbers.

Fun fact: Zucchini squashes are the swollen ovaries of female zucchini flowers. Thanks, Wikipedia entry on Zucchini! From, a girl who doesn’t have a garden.

New York State of Mind: Knishes

These are almost offensively non-traditional, but I’m proud, all the same.

knishy

Since returning from vacation, I’ve been feasting on a few magnificent, toasted bagels, all the while, being briefly haunted by another traditional food from my New York heritage – knishes.  I have really fond memories of my very Italian family visiting Jewish delicatessens, and slurping bowls of chicken noodle soup after an obligatory knish.  Throw a pickle in for good measure.  Please.

I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon making these knishes.  They’re made with love, and filled with boiled, mashed potatoes,  mixed with olive oil, a ton of sauteed garlic and shallots, various greens, salt and freshly ground pepper.  The jellyroll style knishes (I was having fun with this) have added roasted garlic, nutritional yeast and a bit of miso in the filling.  All are brushed with a mixture of soy milk and olive oil.  I overbaked them a bit, cause that’s what I do.

Knishes

knish party

The dough recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance, of course.  The knish recipe from that book is one of the first couple things I ever made from it!  I simply didn’t have the patience to roast my potatoes this time, and was winging the filling.

<3 Po-ta-toes

knish.

And hey, bagel talk, coming soon. Straight from my bagel shaped heart.

BAGELS

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.