Root vegetable soup

36189115_1999281686748843_5251876771074146304_nThis soup may not look pretty, but it certainly tastes good. I needed to use up some root vegetables that were starting to get soft, as well as some wilting kale.

Ingredients

  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3-4 diced carrots
  • 1 diced white turnip
  • Chopped kale
  • Red kidney beans
  • A handful of dry rice
  • Vegetable stock
  • Thyme & sage
  1. Saute the onions, carrots, and turnip. Once browned, add the diced garlic
  2. Use enough stock to just cover the vegetables. If the soup becomes too thick, you can always add more stock.
  3. Add chopped kale, red beans, and dry rice
  4. Season to taste, and simmer until the vegetables and rice are cooked.

 

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Vegan shepherd’s pie – of a sort

My contribution to my choir’s annual potluck supper this year consisted of a vegan shepherd’s pie. I use the term shepherd’s pie loosely, as the dish I prepared takes a view liberties with the classic definition.

The Filling

  • Gardein Beefless Ground
  • Diced onions
  • Diced garlic
  • Diced zucchini
  • Diced carrots
  • Peas
  • Salsa (I use the mild variety, but you can get as spicy as you like)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Dried oregano

I sauteed the onions, then added the zucchini and garlic and cooked until browned. I added the rest of the ingredients and simmered for about 45 minutes. I used the tomato paste to absorb any liquid, as the filling should not be runny.

Topping

  • Potatoes
  • Vegan margarine (I used Becel Vegan)
  • Soy cheese
  • Shredded vegan cheddar (I used Earth Island; known as Follow Your Heart in the U.S.)

Mash the potatoes with the ingredients above. Salt to taste.

Place the filling in a casserole and top with the potatoes. Bake until the top is browned.

 

 

Lentil and oat soup

This soup features what is perhaps an odd combination of lentils and oats. I had planned to make a simple lentil soup, but I came across a small bag of oat groats that I had received as a sample, and decided to toss them in the soup. I had no idea what to expect, but this sums up my approach to cooking: Experiment, enjoy, and learn from the results. The picture is not good, as it was taken while the soup was cooking. I didn’t take one of the finished product, but it thickened nicely. Measurements, as always, are approximate, since I never actually measure anything when I cook.

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Ingredients

2 cups dried green lentils

Enough vegetable stock to cover the lentils. I make my own stock, but use what you have.

Chopped broccoli

Diced carrots

I cup oat groats

Crushed tomatoes. I used half a 280z tin.

Thyme and sage

Salt to taste (and pepper, if you like it)

Ras el hanout spice mix. If you don’t have this, you can add some cumin, ginger, and cayenne).

Preparation

Bring to a boil, the simmer until the lentils and oat groats are tender. The soup will thicken, so add some water, if needed.

 

 

Penne with cabbage and collard greens

This is a rather weird combination of ingredients, perhaps, but it works. Like most of my recipes, it’s based upon what I need to clear out of my fridge. In this case, I had some collard greens that were starting to wilt. I always have cabbage in my fridge, as it’s one of my favourite vegetables. I needed to use up some vegan sour cream, as well.

penne

Ingredients

  • Thinly-sliced green cabbage
  • Diced collard greens
  • Diced shallots
  • Diced garlic
  • Sliced shitake mushrooms
  • Sweet corn (I used frozen)
  • Vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Penne
  1. Steam the cabbage, collard greens, and corn  (if using frozen), until tender.
  2. While the penne are cooking, saute the shallots until transparent, then add the mushrooms and garlic.
  3. Add the steamed vegetables to the shallots and mushrooms. Season to taste.
  4. Add sour cream to the vegetable mixture until heated. If necessary, add a little soy milk to thin.
  5. Toss the sour cream sauce with the penne.

I don’t like my food spicy, but if you do, some chili or hot peppers would work well.

 

Roasted butternut squash with sage

I love winter squashes, preferably roasted. Tonight I used butternut squash, which has a lot of flesh, and is thus a good candidate for roasting. I brushed each half of the squash with a combination of olive oil, sage, minced onion, garlic powder, and salt. After roasting at 400 for thirty minutes, I filled the cavity with sweet corn, then roasted for another thirty minutes or so. I served the squash with steamed rice and kale. Delicious.

 

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Roasted cherry tomato and vegan cream cheese pasta

I had intended to make a simply pasta sauce with roasted cherry tomatoes but, as usually happens with me, I added some other ingredients at the last minute based on what I had in the fridge. Serendipitous cooking is always so much fun, and I’ve been doing it long enough to know that it rarely fails. The ingredients below were for a single serving, so modify as necessary. As always, measurements are approximate.

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Ingredients

  • Pasta of your choice. I used spaghetti this time, but most types would work.
  • Cherry tomatoes. You could  use regular tomatoes, but I like the sweetness of cherry tomatoes. I used about 2 cups, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Olives.  I used large pitted green olives this time, but use whatever types you like.
  • Green onions, diced
  • Fresh peas (frozen if fresh are out of season). I used up what I had in the fridge, which came out to about 1 cup.
  • Cream cheese. I had a container of Daiya chives and onion vegan cream cheese. I used two tablespoons.
  • Soy milk, as necessary, to thin the sauce.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half. Toss in olive oil and salt, and roast at 400F until they are soft and lightly charred.
  2. As the pasta cooks, saute the green onions, sliced olives, and fresh peas in olive oil. I don’t steam the fresh peas in advance, as I prefer to retain their natural sweetness and bite.
  3. Add the roasted tomatoes to the onion mix. Add the cream cheese, and mix well. I needed to add a touch of soy milk to thin the sauce. Do NOT use almond or coconut milk, as their flavour simply will not work in the sauce.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and mix well.

 

Tofu pot pie

I didn’t take a photograph of the finished dish, for some reason, but I have in-process pictures that I’ll use instead. I used frozen peas, corn, and carrots for this recipe, as I wanted it to be quick and easy, but by all means use fresh if you like. I don’t tend to use fresh peas for baked recipes, as it seems a waste of the tender taste of the fresh version, especially since they will be covered in gravy.

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Ingredients

  • 2 vegetable pastry shells.  You can make your own, but I bought them prepared.
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups corn (I thawed from frozen)
  • 2 cups peas and carrot mix (I thawed from frozen)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Gravy

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • soy sauce to taste
  • gravy browning
  • onion powder to taste
  • garlic powder totaste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preparation

  • Saute the onions in olive oil until softened.  Add the remaining vegetables and season to taste.
  • In a blender, add the gravy ingredients and mix well.  Use enough gravy browning to ensure a nice deep colour.
  • Cook the gravy over medium heat until it thickens.
  • Mix enough gravy into the vegetable mix to coat thoroughly.
  • Place the vegetable mixture in the bottom pie shell, and cover with the second. Cut some air vents into the top.
  • Bake at 400 until browned

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