Savory Acorn Squash Bread Pudding

14 Oct

Without further ado: Get ready to have your taste buds blown. Yes, this is a fairly simple recipe. But it’s that delicious. I adapted this recipe from a blog with a rad sounding name (Sounding My Barbaric Gulp!), and I think it would be equally as good with say a butternut or other hard squash. Onto the recipe!

Savory Acorn Squash Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups artisan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 small acorn squash, seeded, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 8 oz. vegan Italian sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces and browned
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of Lacinato kale, finley chopped
  • 3 “eggs” (made from powdered replacer)
  • 2 cups plain non-dairy milk (I used a rich brand of almond but soy would work equally well. Just make sure it’s plain, not vanilla.)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese+some for sprinkling (I love Daiya)
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil (for pans)

Instructions:

1. Roast those squash! Arrange your diced squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with olive oil. Grind a little salt and pepper on top, toss to coat. Roast for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

2. Thinly coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Warm over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions. Stir occasionally until caramelized – about 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside.

3. While your onions are cooking, place your bread cubes in as large a bowl as you can find.

4. After your onions have reached a nice dark golden brown, put into a separate bowl to cool.

5. Rewarm skillet over medium heat, add a little more olive oil and add your chopped “sausage.” Cook until browned – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from skillet and add to the bowl with the onions.

6. Re-warm same skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of water and cook kale until wilted – about 5-7 minutes.

7. Turn oven to 350 degrees. Add cooked squash, “sausage,” kale, 1 cup of shredded “cheese”, oregano and s&p to taste to the bread cubes in your large bowl. Stir well to incorporate.

8. Add “egg” mix to non-dairy milk and whisk to combine. Pour into bowl over bread mixture. Stir well to coat (about 2 minutes). Taste and add more salt and pepper if need be.

9. Pour mix into a 9×12 baking pan. Once pudding mix is in the pan, sprinkle with additional “cheddar.”

10. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and dig in!

Coming Soon: Acorn Squash Bread Pudding

30 Sep

Image

 

This is a bit of a teaser – I know my poor blog is terribly neglected, and I always seem to be more inspired to keep it up in the fall and winter months. Probably because I have more time inside to cook!

Living with a full-time baker has many perks, one of which is that he brings home artisan bread almost daily. We had an excess of French bread this week, so what better way to put that to use than to marry it with some lovely organic produce from our CSA?

Thus, Acorn Squash Bread Pudding was born. The most accurate recipe title should be Acorn Squash, Sausage, Kale, Carmelized Onion and Cheddar Bread Pudding, but that’s a bit much.

I have more photos and the full recipe to share in the next few days. It tastes as good as it looks, so standby…

French Onion Soup

19 Jan

It’s such a bummer, when you take the time to get nice photos of a recipe process and the finished product, and your card reader kicks the can. *sigh* The lovely pictures of my finished soup are trapped inside my Compact Flash card for the time being, so we’ll make due with Lucio’s photo from Facebook.

Does a body good.

Beyond the time it took to slice the onions, this soup was quick and very easy to make. I found and borrowed this recipe from fellow runner/foodie blogger (never home)maker. I’ve made french onion soup before since going vegan, but I don’t remember it being spectacular. THIS recipe is just about spectacular. I swear, it’s the olive oil/whole wheat flour roux at the end. (Unsure what a roux is? Read up here!) If you’re anywhere in California or the PNW, you’re likely experiencing some nasty winter weather. I know we are. This soup, along with some lightly toasted bread croutons, is the perfect winter evening soup.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

  • Bag of yellow onions (2 pounds), sliced thinly
  • A couple cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • Wholegrain sourdough bread (or your favorite), cubed

Instructions:

  1. After you’ve sliced your onions, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 8 to 10 minutes — stirring often — until softened.
  2. Add in the maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Stir well — being careful not to burn the onions — for 20 minutes, until golden.
  3. Add in the garlic, coriander, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. During those last 10 minutes of waiting, heat the olive oil into a shallow pan on medium-low and wait for the it to get to a hot, but not too hot. Don’t let it smoke!
  5. Add the flour to the 1/4 cup oil and stir continuously for 10 minutes — until the roux is deep brown and smells nutty.
  6. Add roux to the soup, stir well and let cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with cubed bread and enjoy!

I’m curious how this recipe compares to omnivore versions with beef broth. Try it out and let me know!

Handmade Flour Tortillas

15 Jan

I’m going to say right up front here that I’m not the genius behind these tortillas. They were adapted from this recipe, and Lucio is the tortilla master. All the gorgeous gluten related things in our household come from him. I will take credit for all of the photos in this post though.

If you’re anything like me, nothing beats warm tortillas, beans and rice. But dang man, flour tortillas at the store get expensive, especially when you can hoover down a few a day. It may seem intimidating to make your own flour tortillas, but it’s actually a very easy process. The dough kneading and rolling out of tortillas is time consuming, but completely worth it. They really do taste better than store bought, and are a lot of fun to make. You don’t need fancy cooking stuff like a tortilla press or other tortilla heating contraption – we use a wooden rolling pin, and cook the tortillas in a simple cast iron skillet.

Go get your gluten on!

Handmade Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of unbleached flour (we’ve used regular ole white flour and a “best bread” white flour – both with great results)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4-6 tbsp. vegan butter/margarine
  • About 1 1/4 cup warm water
Instructions:
Mix all of your dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the butter.
Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter or just do it the old fashioned way and use your hands.
Make a little well in the center of your mixture. Add a little bit of warm water at first. Start with about 1/2 cup. Use warm, not hot water.
Gently dump out your dough onto a clean workspace. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Pause occasionally, and add water a tablespoon at a time. You are going for dough that is soft and not sticky. *When you add water, you might worry that you’ve gotten the dough too wet, but just knead for a minute and the dough should absorb the water and get the texture you’re looking for.*
Once your dough is soft and not sticky, form it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.
After your dough has had its cat nap, shape the dough into a thick log.
Cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.
Pre-heat your skillet to medium while you roll out the dough balls. Flour your work surface (and dough balls) a bit, and roll them out until they’re thin and circular. If they’re not perfectly round, who cares? They’ll still taste delicious.
Have a clean towel on standby. Once you’ve got a few tortillas rolled out, place one in your skillet. When it begins to bubble, flip over with tongs or your fingers (just don’t burn yourself!). Cook until lightly browned in spots, but don’t overcook or it will have the consistency of a cracker.
As a tortilla comes off of the skillet, place inside your waiting towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas!
Dig in and enjoy! These don’t have a long shelf life, so enlist some friends and loved ones and have a tortilla fiesta. Bon apetite!

hi 2012!

12 Jan

Man, I’m a bit mortified. I started this blog with the best of intentions, and I really do love it. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that my new job keeps my busier/on my toes more, or the fact that I work from home and thus want to be away from my computer the moment the work day is over…but whatever it is has translated into major neglect in veganrahrah land. Sad! I doubt I have many readers or followers or whatnot, but I do love contributing my thoughts and recipes here, as simple and modest as they may be.

With that, I vow to bring this blog back to life this year. I’ve certainly ended 2011 and started 2012 on a foodie kick.

For example:

My Thanksgiving plate: Fennel "Sausage" Stuffing, Green Beans with Miso and Almond, Mashed Potatoes and Tarragon Mushroom Gravy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry-Orange Chutney with Cumin and Fennel Seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I make/eat vegan monkey bread for Christmas? Is it rude if I say “Duh!”?

Monkey'ing around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My bestest dude has revolved to bake every day this year.

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only have I been treated to freshly baked artisan bread daily, I’m getting treated to homemade pasta delicacies like this.

Handmade roasted Hubbard squash ravioli in an arugula cream sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you can obviously see that I’m not starving here, nor starving for inspiration in the vegan foodie realm. My wonderful mother outlaw gave us a gorgeous new knife set for Christmas, and let me tell you: A set of really nice knives makes a world of difference when you cook. Truly.

Not only did I do it up right around the holidays, but I’m doing a really good job of making the most out of our bi-weekly produce orders. I made this “kitchen sink” barley/Yukon gold/collard greens/carrot stew last week, and this week I’ve been picking away at the monster Hubbard squash we got.

Oh, you haven’t heard about old Mother Hubbard? (I literally just came up with that joke/reference. How sad) I do the ordering for our produce co-op, and I thought Hubbards were normal size squashes, something like an acorn? Maybe delicata? WRONG!

Trying to wrestle the beast into submission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a bit tough to tell from photos, but this squash was huge. Maybe 20 pounds? It definitely weighed more than our Boston Terrier. Anyway, long story short, after those glorious ravioli made their way into my stomach, I threw together a nice, simple roasted squash soup, and tonight we’re going to make rice in the new rice cooker (thanks Mom!), along with a roasted squash/lentil curry. Innovation!

I love sharing delicious food and recipes with folks, and vow I’ll have something to say/share here at least once per week. Once a day is pushing it (I have a life, you know), but I’m back, and I’ve got goodies to share.

Onward and eat well!

Chickpea and Shiitake Mushrooms with Tahini Sauce

23 Apr

I’ve been alone for the past week, as Lucio’s been driving all over the Pacific Northwest with his younger brother, checking out schools. I’ve thankfully only had one job going on during this time, leaving me lots of time to make sure my dog beasts get exercised, and to create good food for myself. I have no problem surviving on popcorn and peas (and believe me, I had it at least twice this week), but on Thursday night I wanted something with a little more substance and nutritional value.

This is one of those “what do I have in the fridge” meals, and I feel could easily be adapted using a different green, type of potato, mushroom or bean. The tahini sauce and mashed potatoes are really what make this meal memorable.

Chickpea and Shiitake Mushrooms with Tahini Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the meal:

  • 1 pound of fingerling potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15 oz. can
  • your favorite non-dairy milk, “butter” (I like Earth Balance) and S&P to taste

For the sauce (adapted from La Dolce Vegan):

  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water combined with 2 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot

Instructions:

  1. Prepare a pot of salted water over high heat. Once boiling, add potatoes and cook until easily pierced with a folk. Drain and return to pot. Mash cooked potatoes with non-dairy milk, Earth Balance and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Saute onions and garlic on sesame oil in a small sauce pot over medium heat until translucent.
  3. Blend onions and garlic in blender with everything from lemon juice through vegetable broth. Blend until smooth.
  4. In same small sauce pot, warm blended sauce over medium/low heat. In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup water with 2 tbsp. cornstarch. Pour cornstarch mixture into sauce. Stir often, letting sauce thicken, for about 10 minutes.
  5. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook until warm.
  6. Divide chopped romaine evenly among 4 bowls. Add some mashed potatoes, add the mushroom/chickpea mixture, and drizzle warm tahini sauce on top.

Miso Soup: Simply

6 Apr

Amid beer and whiskey creeping their way back into my life after finishing my second marathon this month, I knew last night that I wanted to have a light, healthy and comforting dinner. My mom turned me on to this beautiful website 101 Cookbooks (her photography is lovely), and she has over 130 vegan recipes that she’s tried. I’ve been wanting to try out one of these recipes since I discovered the blog, and when I came across the recipe for Miso Soup, I was sold.

I’ve mostly worked with miso paste when making my tried-and-true “sickie” soup Chickpea Noodle Soup (a la Veganomicon), so I was excited for a chance to try a new paste variety. I’ve used and loved brown rice miso in the paste, because it has this fantastic, fermented, almost earthy flavor. I wanted something a little lighter yesterday, and went with organic “mellow” white miso.

For vegetable additions, I went with: carrots, green onion, porcini mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts and spinach. Hearty yet light, and feels like a kick of health straight to the booty.  If you’re feeding more than one person for more than one meal, I recommend doubling the recipe. Enjoy!

Miso Soup

(Recipe courtesy of 101 Cookbooks)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces dried soba noodles
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
  • 2 – 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
  • a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
  • 2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
  • a small handful of cilantro
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste – so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.
  3. Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

 

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