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Don’t Call It a Comeback: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili February 6, 2012

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dairy free, good for a group, quick meal, soup, vegan.
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Oh, hi.  Long time no recipe.  I almost don’t want to post this because it’s been SO long since I posted a recipe, and this is just a chili recipe.  With an iPhone photo, taken of chili leftovers in the kitchen at my work.  It’s not glamorous or exotic or even all that exciting, but it is good, and that’s what counts with food, isn’t it?  I use this blog a lot as my own personal recipe collection, and even if it’s not the most exciting recipe in the world, it’s one I will want to make again, so I’m putting it here for safekeeping, and for sharing.  Because you can never have enough chili recipes!  I made this last night for three non-vegetarians and everyone devoured it.  It’s a keeper for sure, and super easy, which is my main criteria for recipes these days.  I was able to get it in the slow cooker in about 5 minutes time, and let it simmer there for the better part of the afternoon until it was time for dinner.

Next time, I’ll try to come back with something a little more interesting—but no promises!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
½ small can tomato paste
1 small can diced green chiles
½ onion, chopped and sautéed
½ red pepper, chopped and sautéed
½ green pepper, chopped and sautéed
1 cup water
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tsp smokey salt

Method:

Saute your onion, red pepper, and green pepper in a little olive oil until tender. Throw everything in a slow cooker and simmer on low for at least 3-4 hours.  Taste for spice level—as made, this is not a spicy chili but you could easily up the spice factor with some cayenne or hot sauce.

Topping suggestions: diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips, shredded cheese.  The more, the better!

Veggie Pasta Salad with Peanut Soy Sauce August 19, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dairy free, quick meal, vegan, vegetarian.
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What’s this??!!? A new post!  If you didn’t know, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a little over a month ago.  You can follow his adventures on Hey Emitt! if you so choose.  Between caring for a newborn and following a new diet (I had to cut out dairy because it was giving Emitt all sorts of tummy trouble; you can read about it here), I have been really, really bad about cooking anything new.  It’s been a little tough figuring out dinners that Ryan and I will both want to eat.  For my part, I’ve been living mostly on cereal and almond milk, toast with peanut butter and jelly, hummus, granola bars (thanks to my friend Grace who made me a big batch of amazing granola bars!), vegan cookies (thanks to my sister-in-law and mother-in-law), pasta, quinoa, rice and beans, avocados, spinach salads, and fruit. I’m also a little addicted to this vegan ice cream and will probably buy out the stock at our local natural foods store.

Still, I feel like I’ve been mostly just getting by rather than really enjoying food lately.  If I had more time, I would love to cook some delicious vegan meals and try new things out but until we get into more of a routine over here (or until Emitt can chill in his baby carrier for more than a few minutes), it’s mostly eat-what-you-can-grab, although we have slowly been making some better meals (pizza, polenta lasagna, and kale chickpea casserole all translate well to vegan form if you use a little Daiya cheese in place of the mozzarella in the original recipes) in both vegan and with-cheese options. I unearthed two small glass Pyrex mini casserole dishes in our cabinet this week that are perfect for making two small separate servings.

Until yesterday.  My next-door neighbor brought by a container of freshly picked veggies from their family garden.  A nice-sized cucumber, a few carrots, two green peppers (which went into fajitas!), and a bunch of super sweet cherry tomatoes. Every time I have a cucumber in the house, my first thought is to make sesame noodles. Every time.  I love cold pasta with sesame sauce, and I wanted to make a variation on that using the rest of the veggies and some odds and ends I had in the house.

It turned out really well and gave me three nice meals to look forward to. I ate it when I first made it warm, and then ate it cold for lunch the next two days, and both ways were tasty. If I wasn’t watching what I was eating for Emitt, I would’ve dressed it up with some sriracha, but for the spice-intolerant, this was a good meal!

Veggie Pasta Salad with Peanut Soy Sauce

Ingredients:

8 oz dried pasta
1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, whatever you like)
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup hot water
1 tsp fresh ginger (optional)
A little sriracha (optional)
Vegetables: I used one cucumber, a few small carrots, some cherry tomatoes, and green onions.  Improvise with what you have!

Method:

Bring a pot of water to a boil. While you are boiling the noodles, prepare the sauce and chop the veggies.  To make the sauce, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hot water, ginger, and sriracha until smooth. Chop up the veggies, and mix well with the sauce and cooked pasta.

Jerk Tofu (or Chicken) Stir Fry January 31, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in meat, vegan.
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Whoa, a new post!!!!! I swear, I have been cooking. Just not anything new or exciting. The old standbys. Which are great, but not great for blog entries. I spent some time in the kitchen this weekend have three new posts to write now! The first, our Friday night dinner. This is kind of like one of those Sandra Lee “semi homemade” recipes. I didn’t make my jerk sauce from scratch. I know. Kind of cheated on this one. But I made the rest of it from scratch! So it kind of counts. Get yourself a nice bottle of jerk marinade, and you will be all set.

I made two pans of this, one with tofu and one with chicken.  If you are just doing one or the other, it’ll be easier for you.

Jerk Tofu (or Chicken) Stir Fry
(Printable Recipe)

Jerk Tofu Stir Fry

Jerk Tofu Stir Fry

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 lb tofu, extra firm, drained and pressed OR 1 lb chicken, cut into stir-fry sized chunks
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 bunch kale, leaves pulled from the thick stem and diced
1 can black beans, drained
3/4 cup jerk marinade

Jerk Chicken Stir Fry

Jerk Chicken Stir Fry

Method:

Start your rice, cooking either in a rice maker or on the stove top, covered, over medium-low heat. While the rice is cooking, prep the rest of the meal.

Dice your onion, carrots, and bell pepper.  In a hot saute pan, saute the onion in a little olive oil over medium high heat until translucent.  Add the carrot, saute another 2-3 minutes, add the bell pepper, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Remove the veggies from the pan, and place to the side in a bowl.  In the same pan, heat a little more olive oil and cook the tofu (or chicken) until browned and cooked through.  The tofu should be crispy on the outside, and the chicken shouldn’t be pink in the middle. Add the veggies back to the pan, add in the chopped kale, drained black beans (don’t leave the beans out!  They are a really nice addition) and stir in the marinade.

Serve over brown rice.

Sick Day! No-Chicken Noodle Soup December 13, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in soup, vegan, vegetarian.
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chickpea noodle soup

I felt progressively worse every day of the weekend, going to sleep Sunday night drained of energy, foggy head, sore throat, all around not feeling top notch.  I stayed home today, and made myself a big batch of “chicken” noodle soup (minus the chicken, plus some chickpeas!) for lunch. There are plenty of recipes for chickpea noodle soup on the internet.  Two good ones can be found at 101Cookbooks and in the cookbook Veganomicon.  I totally winged this, though, just going off what I had, what is usually in chicken noodle soup, and what would make me feel better.  This soup has a lot going for it for a sick person—miso, garlic, warm broth, plenty of veggies, protein from the chickpeas.  I ate two bowls around noon, and am going back for a third any time now.  I used egg noodles because I love egg noodles in soup, but if you swapped out the egg noodles for another type of noodle, this soup would be vegan.

No-Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
6 cups vegetable or no-chicken broth
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
6 oz (or two handfuls) egg noodles
1 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp celery seed
salt & pepper
1/3 cup miso

Method:
Chop the onion, carrots, and celery.  Heat a glug of olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onions, and cook until translucent.  Add the minced garlic, cook another minute or so, and then add the carrots and celery.  Continue to cook the carrots and celery for 3-4 minutes.  Add the broth, spices, and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil.

Once the soup is at a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and add the egg noodles. Simmer until the noodles are tender.  Keep the soup at a medium-low heat, stir in the miso until it dissolves.  Taste for spice levels, adjust if necessary, and then eat!

A Pumpkin Feast for Two October 10, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in bread, dinner, good for a group, soup, vegan.
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The weather has been gorgeous in Michigan all weekend.  Temperatures in the upper seventies and clear sunny skies.  It doesn’t seem like the middle of October—more like the middle of August, prime grilling season.  I am completely in the fall spirit, though, and spent Saturday evening decorating the house for Halloween and cooking up a few pumpkin dishes for dinner despite the unseasonably warm temperatures. If the calendar says it’s mid-October, it’s pumpkin time, no matter what the weather might be saying!

Since it is autumn, you’re probably starting to see these appear on grocery store shelves:

pumpkin puree

100 percent pure pumpkin.  No spices, no filler—just pumpkin, pureed and ready to be put to work.  You could buy a pumpkin, seed it, peel it, roast it, and puree it…but in this case, I prefer to let Trader Joe do the heavy lifting and just buy the can of puree, ready to be used in so many recipes.

This one can was split and used in both recipes I made last night, pumpkin chili and pumpkin knots.  Both recipes were modified from/inspired by a great blog, (never home)maker. I tweaked both slightly and will be putting my modified versions here, but please visit (never home)maker to see the recipes in their original, intended form, with really beautiful step-by-step photos and write-ups.

This meal was hands down one of the best we’ve had in a while.  The pumpkin knots are out of this world delicious. They take a little bit of time to prepare but it’s largely hands-off time, and if you have a stand mixer, these come together in a snap.  If you don’t, you’ll just get a little extra arm work-out kneading them by hand! 🙂

Pumpkin Chili
(Inspired by (never home)maker)
(Printable Recipe)

pumpkin chili

Ingredients:

1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 can pumpkin
1/2 cup ( or a little more) pumpkin beer
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt

Method:

Finely chop your onion and peppers. Saute in a dutch oven or large pot until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients (everything, as described above in the ingredients list) and let simmer over low heat for at least 30-45 minutes.  Taste and add more spices if you like more heat.

Pumpkin Knots
(Ever so slightly modified from (never home)maker)
(Printable Recipe)

pumpkin knots

Ingredients:

1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup warm (110-120F) water
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 tbl olive oil
Spices: a pinch of each—oregano, thyme, and sage
Additional olive oil and parmesan for finishing

Method:

Start by proofing your yeast.  Put your warm water in a bowl, and stir in the packet of yeast and teaspoon of sugar.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.  It should start to get foamy on top—that means the yeast is working.  If you don’t see the foam, your yeast is probably old and should be replaced.

While you are proofing the yeast, mix together the bread flour and salt in a large bowl (if you have a stand mixer, do this step in the mixer bowl).

When the 10 minutes is up and the yeast is ready, stir the olive oil, pumpkin puree, and spices into the water/yeast/sugar bowl.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients on to the flour/salt.  Using a spatula, mix until the ingredients are combined.  At this point, if you have a mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough with the mixer for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is elastic and has a sheen to it.  If you don’t have a mixer, knead by hand for about 10 minutes until you get the same result.  Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise for two hours.

When the two hours is close to up, pre-heat your oven to 425F with a baking stone or baking sheet inside.

You will notice at this point that your dough has expanded and you now have a HUGE amount of dough.  You can do a few things with this:

  1. Make a giant batch of pumpkin knots
  2. Divide it, and put half in a storage bag or container in the fridge for use in the next day or so
  3. Divide it, and put half in the freezer for use in the next couple of weeks
  4. Divide it, and give half to a friend
  5. Divide it, and make half pumpkin knots, half pizza dough with it

Start making your knots.  Break off a piece of dough (go by feel with this—it should be maybe the size of a golfball) and roll it between your hands to make a cord of dough.  Tie it into a knot, and set aside. Continue until you run out of dough.

pumpkin dough

Bake the knots on your pre-heated baking stone or cooking sheet for about 12 minutes.  They will start browning on top when they are done.

While the knots are baking, prepare a large bowl with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and some garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic if you are brave!).

Remove the knots from the oven, and while they are still warm, toss them in the bowl with the olive oil and garlic.  Crush them around in the bowl to make sure they are evenly coated. Sprinkle parmesan cheese in the bowl, and toss again.

These are SO GOOD.  Try them!  Eat them two nights in a row! And then for lunch again the next day!

October Cooking Club: Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna October 8, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in cooking club, dinner, good for a group, vegan, vegetarian.
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butternut squash

Last night I attended the monthly cooking club that I am a part of with a group of friends. Each month, the host comes up with a theme, and each person prepares a dish to bring and share, and then we all swap recipes over email after. This month’s theme was (appropriately) orange—meaning plenty of squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, cider, and other delicious autumn food!

I made a tried-and-true favorite from last fall and winter: a butternut and spinach lasagna.  My friend Sarah shared this recipe with me last year, but I am not sure of the original source.  The butternut squash is roasted with a bit of balsamic, and the spinach is cooked down with red pepper flakes, which adds a nice savory/sweet vs. slightly spicy taste dimension to the whole thing.

Squash and root vegetables are so affordable right now at farmers’ markets. I can hardly wait to go to the one near me this weekend to pick up another butternut, a rutabaga (one friend made baked rutabaga chips with curried mayonnaise last night that were so delicious!), a spaghetti squash, and maybe a few small pumpkins to use as edible soup or chili bowls. I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for chili baked in pumpkin bowls on the internet lately that I’d love to try. I LOVE this time of year!

(For past cooking club contributions, click here.)

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup minced shallots
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
8 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 (6-ounce) bags fresh baby spinach (or 2 10 oz. bags of “regular” spinach, tough stems removed and coarsely chopped)
12 cooked lasagna noodles (8 ounces uncooked noodles) (I used the Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles; there were too many in the box—only needed 12 and the box has 16—but they worked really well!)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Italian blend cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Peel and dice your squash.  I like to cut the top and bottom off so it’ll stand up properly, then peel the skin using a sharp vegetable peeler.  Remove the seeds and strings (saving them to roast if you’d like!).  Dice the peeled squash into small, 1/2 inch or so cubes.

peeled and diced squash

Place squash in a large bowl. Add vinegar; toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and thyme. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

roasted butternut squash

Cook milk in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat; keep warm.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Melt butter in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 2 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat; add flour to pan, and cook 5 minutes or until smooth and golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add about 2 tablespoons warm milk to flour mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add remaining warm milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat but keep warm.

Combine remaining 1 teaspoon oil, red pepper, and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add spinach, 1 bag at a time; cook until wilted, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Spoon 1/3 cup milk mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over milk mixture; top with spinach mixture, 2/3 cup milk mixture, and a third of the cheese. Arrange 4 noodles over cheese; top with squash mixture, 2/3 cup milk mixture, and a third of the cheese. Arrange remaining 4 noodles on top of cheese; spread remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

layered lasagna

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

(Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a good photo of the final product!  I’ll be making it again at home, soon—when I was putting it together to take to cooking club, Ryan asked if we could make it at home sometime soon.  Maybe for next week’s Fringe with Friends!  I’ll make sure to get a nice photo then.)

Vegan Option

vegan squash pasta

For the vegans in our cooking club, I saved a portion of the roasted squash and tossed it with fusilli pasta, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh baby spinach, pine nuts, thyme, and salt & pepper. I had leftovers of this version for lunch today but since I am not vegan, I tossed a little blue cheese in the mix, which was really good.  I’d make this version again , for sure.

Tofu with Peppers October 6, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, vegan.
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Tuesday nights used to my main cooking night.  For a long time, we had friends over every Tuesday and I’d make a big meal for our weekly Lost viewing parties.  But the Tuesday night routine has changed a lot in the last few months.  Ryan eats early, before band practice, and I eat pretty late, after the gym.  So Tuesdays have now become the day when I throw together something for myself late in the evening, more often than not absolutely famished and wanting food NOW.

I had four really beautiful bell peppers from a trip to the farmer’s market over the weekend. I saved the red one for making soup later in the week, but used the other three in this stir-fry with tofu.  To save myself time after the gym, I julienned the peppers, sliced the scallions, and mixed the sauce before leaving.  That way, when it was time to eat, I just had to boil some water for the noodles, cook the tofu, and stir fry everything together.

Tofu with Peppers
(Printable Recipe)
(Adapted from the New York Times)

tofu peppers with noodles

Ingredients:

8 oz thin rice noodles
1 block of extra firm tofu
2 bell peppers (any color), julienned
1/3 cup broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Golden Mountain sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves minced garlic
1 or 2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup (about 2 scallions) scallions, thinly sliced|
Sriracha, as a garnish
Sesame seeds, as a garnish

Method:
Start by prepping your ingredients.  Start with the vegetables.  Slice at least two scallions and julienne the bell peppers.

sliced peppers

Cut your block of tofu into small dice and gently press out excess water with a paper towel or tea towel. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet (at least 12 inches big) and add the tofu to the pan when the oil is nice and hot.  Pan fry it until it is golden and has a slightly crispy exterior.  Add a little soy sauce (just a few shakes of the bottle) to the pan at the end and stir the tofu around in the soy sauce to give the tofu cubes a darker golden color.

While the tofu is cooking, start boiling a pot or tea kettle of water.  Place the rice noodles in a big bowl. When the water comes to a boil or the tea kettle whistles, pour the hot water over the noodles and let them sit until the noodles have softened. Drain, and set aside.

Also, while the tofu is cooking, make the sauce by mixing together the broth, soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce (if you have it–if you don’t, double the soy sauce and rice vinegar), rice vinegar, and sesame oil.  Whisk or shake it up well.

Mix together the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and minced ginger in a small bowl.

When the tofu is done, add the bowl of red pepper/ginger/garlic to the skillet with the tofu.  Stir fry for 10-20 seconds.  Add the peppers, and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the scallions, sauce, and sugar, and stir fry for another 2 minutes, until the sauce has cooked down a bit and everything is thoroughly mixed.

Serve with sriracha and sesame seeds as a garnish.

Kale Peanut Salad September 28, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in salad, vegan.
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Sometimes, after a weekend of eating pasta, fajitas, cookies, and maybe a few beers, Monday night rolls around and the only things that sounds good are VEGETABLES.  I ate an entire head of kale for dinner last night and I’d do it again tonight!

The original basis for this recipe is from a dish served at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. It was sent to me by a friend of a friend, and there used to be a video of the chef at M Cafe making this dish online.  It seems to have disappeared, though.  Over the course of making this quite a few times, I’ve changed and simplified the recipe down to the bare essentials.  The original called for boiling & blanching the kale, but I think steaming it is quite a bit easier and holds the structure of the kale leaf better in the end product.  The original was also garnished with shaved carrot and red onion, but I don’t usually do that—sesame seeds and sriracha for me!

Kale Peanut Salad

kalepeanutsalad

Ingredients:
1 head of kale
For peanut sauce:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbs sriracha (or other hot sauce, or a few pinches of cayenne pepper)
2 tbs Golden Mountain sauce (optional)
1 tsp ginger (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

Chopped peanuts for garnish
Sriracha for garnish
Sesame seeds for garnish

Method:

Prep your kale by rinsing thoroughly to remove any grit from the leaves. Remove the thick stem from the middle of each leaf, and rip or chop into smaller pieces.

chopped kale

Assemble your ingredients for the peanut sauce.  I think you can make a perfectly fine peanut sauce with just four ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha.  You can certainly add in any of the optional items above to fancy it up a little but in a pinch, four ingredients will be just fine.

peanut sauce ingredients

Put your kale on the stove to steam.  I use a metal steamer basket in my largest pot.  If you don’t have a way to steam it, you can blanch the kale in boiling water for half a minute of so, and immediately remove it from the boiling water to an ice bath (a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes) to stop the cooking process.  If you do it this way, make sure to press as much water out of the leaves as you can. You don’t want the kale to be too soggy.  I find steaming it to be much easier!

While the kale is steaming, put all of your peanut sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend it up.  Taste, and adjust any seasonings you might need to tweak.

When the kale is done (it should be bright green and easy to chew–not too tough but not limp), plate it, drizzle the peanut sauce on top, and garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and a little more sriracha.

If you have any leftovers, this is good as a cold salad the following day!

Dill Summer Squash Soup with Lemon August 16, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in soup, vegan.
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I made this soup almost a week ago, and am just now getting time to write it up!  I went out to lunch at Sweet Lorraine’s with my team at work early last week.  Three out of the five of us ordered the soup of the day, a dill summer squash soup served with a paper-thin slice of lemon in the bowl.  It was delicious, and when a bright yellow squash appeared in our work kitchen the very next day (co-workers with gardens have been very generous with sharing their bounty this year!), I went home and played around, trying to get as close to re-creating it as possible.  Here’s what I came up with.  It’s great—not exactly what I had at the restaurant, but a nice homage to it, at least.

Dill Summer Squash Soup with Lemon

Dill Summer Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium potato (the waxy type—like a yukon, not a baking potato), peeled and chopped
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, sliced
2 tbs dill (or ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped)
2 tsp oregano
¼ cup lemon juice (or juice from one lemon)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Method:

Chop your onion, and cook it over medium heat in a large soup pot (or dutch oven) until translucent and slightly browned.  Add the chopped carrot, and cook for a few more minutes.

Pour the vegetable broth over the onions and carrots, add the chopped potato, and simmer until the potato and carrot are tender enough to be pierced with a fork.  Add the dill, oregano, squash, and zucchini, and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.  Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the soup from the heat.  With an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree it in batches in a normal blender.

Squeeze in the lemon juice, and taste the soup to see if you need more lemon, dill, or salt/pepper.  Serve with a little added dill sprinkled on top.

Cooking Club: Spicy Lemongrass Soup July 23, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in cooking club, soup, vegan.
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I look forward to cooking club so much!  Even though I’m sure I gain 5 pounds every time our cooking club gets together, it’s one of my favorite nights of every month.  This month it was hosted by Kirsten of I Eat Veg, and the theme was Asian.  I choose the soup course this time around, and put together a spicy lemongrass vegetable soup.  Check out Kirsten’s blog in the coming days for some amazing recipes—vegan spring rolls, delicious fresh rolls, tofu peanut noodles with veggies, steamed dumplings, an assortment of dipping sauces, oh-so-good but oh-so-dangerous Mai Tais, and  Asian pear & grapefruit with sake granita and pear sorbet (so fancy! so tasty!).

This was my contribution.  I hope you enjoy it!

Spicy Lemongrass Soup

spicy lemongrass soup

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk
4 cups veggie broth
2 stalks of lemongrass, grass cut off and white parts cut/bruised with knife
1 tablespoon curry paste
1 tsp sugar
1 inch ginger
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
4 oz mushrooms
1 package baked tofu, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Golden Mountain sauce (if you have it—if not, no biggie)
lime for garnish
sesame seeds for garnish

Method:

Heat the coconut milk and veggie broth in a pot.  When it’s warm, add the bruised lemongrass, knob of ginger, curry paste, and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes.  When you have simmered at least 30 minutes, fish out the lemongrass and ginger knob before adding other veggies—otherwise it’ll get lost in the pot!  🙂

Add the carrots first.  Simmer until they are tender but not mushy.  Add the red peppers next, then the mushrooms, then the tofu, and the broccoli last.  Stir in the soy sauce and Golden Mountain sauce (if using).  Taste, and add more soy/Golden Mountain/or minced ginger, if necessary.

Garnish with sesame seeds and squeeze fresh lime juice in right before serving.