Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Veggies

It has occurred to me that I've been neglecting this poor blog but I guess that's what happens when you have a 15-month old. Our meals these days often consist of a quick pasta, or sometimes just something frozen. This particular meal isn't necessarily something to write home about (and maybe not something to write a blog post about) but it's all I've got at the moment. Actually it was very tasty. And a good way to use a bunch of fresh veggies from our CSA. We got corn and fresh lima beans together and I thought of succotash again, but then at the last minute I decided to cook the limas with squash instead of corn. Either way they're much better than frozen lima beans. I also used up a bell pepper by slicing it and frying it with tempeh slices. At the end I poured on a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup, ketchup and a dash of liquid smoke. Probably better to marinate the tempeh first but this was the quick method and it turned out good. Finally, we had a simple tomato salad on the side, which is something we've been having a lot of these days and never tire of. Simple is best here - chopped tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Black Bean Baked Pasta

Here's a recipe I've been meaning to post for a different sort of baked pasta. I came up with this one night while pondering how to use up some yellow squash from our CSA. I ended up using too many bread crumbs for the topping but I think I've rectified that in the recipe below.

1 lb. pasta
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 lb. yellow squash, cut into large dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 c. cooked black beans (or 1 can)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs. tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste

For the topping:
3 Tbs. Earth Balance, melted
1 1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. chili powder

Cook pasta according to package directions in plenty of boiling water. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for a couple minutes then add squash and cook until squash is just getting a little tender. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper and cook for another minute. Add black beans, tomatoes and tomato paste and mix until well combined. Combine all this with the pasta in a large bowl. Pour into a lightly oiled 9" x 13" baking dish. Combine all the topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread on top of the pasta. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes until the topping is getting brown.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Product Review: Bountiful Vegan cookies

I admit it. I'm a total cookie fiend. So when the folks at Bountiful Vegan asked if we'd like to sample their vegan cookies I jumped at the chance. They come in four flavors (or themes as you'll see if you follow the link). No sooner had they come in the mail than we were scarfing down the Well-Being cookie, which is Coconut Pineapple flavor. It was quite big enough to share as were all the others. I didn't get a strong coconut flavor from this one but still it was delicious. I really enjoyed the flavor combination in this one and in the Chocolate Chip-Orange and Lemon Snickerdoodle. And who doesn't like Chocolate-Chocolate Chip? The Chocolate Chip-Orange in particular has inspired me to throw in some orange zest or orange oil the next time I make chocolate chip cookies. What an amazing flavor profile! All of these cookies were a little more crumbly than I generally like my cookies but I think that mainly means they're not loaded down with fat, and anyway the flavors more than make up for that fact.