Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Black Bean, Bulgur, and Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole

Sometimes the  hardest part about getting dinner on the table is deciding what to make. That is why I am a fan of 'theme days' like Taco Tuesday. I don't usually make tacos on Tuesday, but I do make Mexican food pretty often. Last night we had this delicious enchilada casserole. I made it with bulgur and black beans, but other grains and beans would work as well. In fact, I wanted to use quinoa, but I didn't have enough so I used bulgur instead. Also, any veggies you have on hand will work, but I will list what I used this time below.

Black Bean, Bulgur, and Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole

Corn tortillas
chopped onions or green onions

for the veggies: 

1 small head cauliflower
1/2 orange bell pepper
2 small carrots
1 onion 
2 button mushrooms (use more if you have them, I only had 2)
2-3 tsp olive oil
chili powder
Mexican oregano

for the bulgur:

1/2 cup dry bulgur
1 cup veggie broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Cut up the veggies as desired and toss with the olive oil and seasonings to taste. Roast in a 350 oven until done, about 25 minutes.

Bring the broth to a boil in a small sauce pan. Stir in the bulgur, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered until done, about 15 mintues. Stir in the black beans.

To assemble: 

Ladle about 1/2 cup of sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 or similar baking dish. Put down a layer of tortillas. I usually tear them in half and put the cut side out to make them fit better in the dish. Then another layer of sauce, a layer of the bulgur, a layer of the veggies, a sprinkle of onions, more sauce. 

Repeat until you are out of stuff, ending with a layer of tortillas covered with sauce. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Let sit for a bit before you cut into it. Serve it with whatever toppings you like.

Red Enchilada Sauce

This is a quick and super-tasty homemade enchilada sauce using dried chilies. My favorite canned enchilada sauce is Hatch brand, and it costs about $4.00 per small can so making this sauce at home is very cost efficient. I have tried recipes for enchilada sauce that use flour and chili powder, but this one is much better in my mind and at least as easy, if not easier to make. If there is any leftover, I store in in a mason jar in the fridge and it keeps well for at least a week.

I forgot to take a picture until I was nearly done, but this is what it looks like when it comes out of the blender.

Red Enchilada Sauce

6 dried chilies  for example : Anchos, Pasillas, Guajillos (or any combination)
1/2 an onion, peeled and left whole
1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 tsp neutral oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
pinch Mexican oregano

Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over high heat. Heat up the chilies, turning frequently, until they are softened, about 4 minutes. Also place the onion, cut side down, and the garlic in the skillet, also turning frequently, until they are kind of charred. 

Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. No need to be neat, you can cut or rip them up. Place the chilies, the onion and the garlic in a medium pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it steep for at least an hour. Longer is fine.

Place the solids in a blender with about 2 cups of the soaking liquid and blend on a high setting until it's very smooth. You may need to add more of the liquid. Pour the sauce into a strainer over the same pot and stir/push through.  Stir in the oil, cumin, salt, and oregano and simmer for about 5 minutes. Use now or store in the fridge.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hot and Sour Soup from Thug Kitchen

I recently got this awesome Thug Kitchen cook book and the first recipe my husband wanted to try was the Hot and Sour Soup. And so we did. He thought it needed more sour, so we added more vinegar than the recipe called for. I also had regular green cabbage from the CSA, so that is what we used instead of the Napa cabbage called for in the recipe. Because Napa cabbage cooks more quickly, I added the cabbage in earlier on, like step 1.5 so it would have time to cook. We both really enjoyed this soup!

The scallion pancakes were also delicious, and that recipe came from America's Test Kitchen.

Hot and Sour Soup from Thug Kitchen

2 tsp neutral oil
1 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms (I used button)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp minced or grated ginger
5 cups vegetable broth (I also ended up adding some additional water)
1/4 cup rice vinegar (we added at least 1 Tbsp more)
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp chili garlic paste
1 tsp agave syrup
3/4 cup thinly sliced bamboo shoots ( I used 1 small can)
1 block extra-firm tofu cut into dice-sized cubes
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (I used regular green cabbage, and probably closer to 3 cups)
1/4  cup sliced green onions (I think I used about 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Ground pepper to taste

1.  Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, stirring the entire time. Add the broth, vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, and agave and bring to a simmer. Stir in the bamboo and cabbage and simmer for about 5 minutes

2. Combine the corn starch and the water in a small bowl or cup, stir well with a fork or small whisk. Stir this mixture into the soup until it starts to thicken, about 3 or 4 minutes. 

3. Stir in the tofu, green onions, and sesame oil. Simmer until you are ready to eat and the flavors come together, at least 5 minutes. Check for seasoning, add more soy, vinegar or some pepper as needed. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Vegetable Bean Soup with Bulgur

I feel like I should post this soup because it really is a staple for me. More a method than a recipe, I eat this almost every day. I literally use whatever veggies I have in the fridge, I will try to post some types and quantities below.

Vegetable Bean Soup with Bulgur

2 tsp Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced or sliced
1-2 stalks of  celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use no-salt added)
1/3 cup uncooked bulgur
1 14 oz can beans of choice, rinsed (kidney, white, pinto, black, whatever you have)
4 cups kale, cabbage, spinach or other greens of choice
8 cups water
4 tsp (or to taste) Better than Bouillion Vegetable base, or 1/2 water 1/2 veggie broth of choice

Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until pretty soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and paprika, cook and stir for an additional minute.

Add water, tomatoes, and bulgur and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Add the greens and beans, and simmer for about 10 more minutes. Taste and add Better than Bouillion to taste. If using broth and water, use 1/2 water 1/2 broth instead of 8 cups of water. Adjust salt as needed.

I like to keep a big batch of this soup in the fridge pretty much all the time. I eat it for breakfast most days. You can easily vary this by using different veggies, adding herbs, and using different grains.

Zoodle (or spaghetti squash) Chow Mein

I love noodles! All kinds of  noodles! In soups, with Asian flavors, with Italian flavors, I love them all. But when I started cooking and eating more vegan food, my goal was also to eat fewer processed foods and more whole foods.

SO...I have turned to some veggie noodle-alternatives with pretty good success. I love spaghetti squash, but to me it's not really noodle-like. I do eat it a lot, especially in winter, but it doesn't really feel like a noodle-replacement to me. Zoodles (spiralized zucchini or other summer squash) on the other hand, totally do it for me. Lightly sauteed in olive or sesame oil, depending on the final application, they mimic the texture of real pasta enough to satisfy me. If you haven't yet, I think you should give them a try.

I have suggested some veggies in the recipe below, but you can use pretty much anything. For me, the bean sprouts are imperative. If you don't have them, you can still make this dish, but call it 'Zoodle Stir Fry' or 'Amazingly Awesome Asian Veggies' or whatever you want. :)

Zoodle (or spaghetti squash) Chow Mein

1 tsp neutral oil
2 1/2 cups zoodles or cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 carrot, sliced
2 cups bok choy or cabbage or napa cabbage (or whatever greens you have in the fridge)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger (or 3/4 tsp dried)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
2 tsp brown sugar or other sweetener of choice
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Combine the sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic.  Add your greens (and any other veg you are using, and cook until nearly done, but not quite. Stir in the zoodles or spaghetti squash and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the sauce and the bean sprouts and you should be good to go.

Spicy Asian Grilled Tofu

It's been years since I have posted any recipes on this old blog. Recently I have been into cooking a lot of vegan food, and posting photos on Facebook. I guess most of them look pretty good, because many of my friends have been asking for the recipes. I am going to make an effort to get these vegan recipes posted here and also post any new ones I make.

This spicy Asian grilled tofu is one of the most-requested, so it is the first one I am putting up. If you make it, please let me know how you liked it. Thanks!

Spicy Asian Grilled Tofu

1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp sweetener (brown sugar, agave, white sugar)
1/2 Tbsp chopped ginger (or powdered if that is all you have, probably 1 1/2 tsp if dried)
1 - 2 tsp chili garlic paste, depending on how spicy you like it
1 Tbsp sesame oil
 1 Block of extra-firm tofu sliced into about 1/2 inch planks, then pressed*

Whisk the soy sauce, sweetener, ginger, chili garlic paste, and sesame oil in a pie plate or other container suitable for marinating the tofu planks.  Add the tofu planks and turn each one over a few times so that it is well covered in the marinade. Let is soak for as much time as you have, up to several hours (put it in the fridge if it's going to be more than 20 minutes or so).

Heat up a grill pan (or grill if you're cooking them outside). Make sure it's hot and WELL GREASED or these will stick. I also recommend spraying or brushing the planks themselves with a little oil to prevent sticking.

Place them on the hot, well-greased grill and cook for about 4 minutes. To get the cross-hatch grill marks turn them 1/4 turn and cook a further 4 minutes or so. Flip them to the other side, and repeat the process.

*I usually put a clean towel on a cutting board, put the planks on that, either fold over or put another towel on top, followed by another cutting board and something heavy like a few cans. Leave that sit on the counter for a while until a bunch of the water is pressed out

Monday, April 1, 2013

Red Russian kale soup with sausage and rice

 Ever since I started home-schooling my son, I have not looked for any time to work on this blog. I am still cooking, even cooking new things, I just haven't taken the time to write down what I am doing.

I was inspired by my neighbor to take it up again, and had posted a few soup pictures on Facebook. One of my friends wanted the recipe for this soup, and since I just made it today, I figured I could at least write down what I did with some degree of accuracy. It's soup, though, and by nature very forgiving, so the amounts aren't super-duper important.

Red Russian and Kale Soup with Sausage and Rice

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 links pre-cooked spicy Italian sausage (or other variety of your choice), sliced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
5 cups veggie broth
2 cups water
4 cups or so chopped red Russian kale
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and carrots and cook for another 5-7  minutes. Add the garlic, cook and stir for one minute. Stir in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the kale and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes longer.