Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pasta Stir Fry with Beet Greens

We've gotten beets several times from our CSA and thankfully the greens have always been included. You can use beet greens in any recipe that calls for greens. They're a little more delicate than kale or collards, though they don't cook quite as fast as spinach. We got shiitake mushrooms once too so I threw together this stir fry one night and we had it with pasta.

1 lb. pasta, cooked
2 Tbs. peanut oil
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
1 bunch beet greens, sliced
3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 spring onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced ginger
cilantro for garnish

For the sauce, whisk all this together in a small bowl:
1 c. veg. broth
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. maple syrup
1 Tbs. cornstarch

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large wok or skillet. Add carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add beet greens and mushrooms and cook several more minutes until all the veggies are starting to get tender. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Stir in the sauce and cook just until it starts to thicken. Finally, add the pasta, mix well and turn off the heat. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

Almost every week so far from our CSA we've gotten two heads of Bibb lettuce. So yes, we've been eating a lot of salads but we also realized early on that the shape of this stuff lends itself perfectly to lettuce wraps. The first time we did them they were totally raw, the next time the filling was cooked. The raw filling recipe we used was the Garden Pate from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. We found this book at our library a while ago and really enjoyed this recipe so I wrote down the ingredient list. I don't remember if there were more detailed instructions but all I do is buzz all this stuff in a food processor until it's well blended:

1 c. raw almonds, soaked in water for several hours then drained
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
3 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. raisins

We also did lettuce wraps with tempeh. I went the quick route and didn't marinate the tempeh first but you might consider marinating it in the soy sauce/maple syrup/lime juice/chili paste mixture. You can use the other half can of bamboo shoots in a stir fry another time.

Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

1 Tbs. peanut oil
1 can water chestnuts
1/2 can bamboo shoots
1 stalk celery
1 medium carrot
8 oz. package tempeh
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. lime juice
1/4 tsp. chili paste
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. sesame oil

Cut the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, celery, carrot and tempeh into a small dice. Heat the peanut oil in a large skilllet or wok and cook all of the above for 5-10 minutes until the tempeh is starting to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook another minute. Then add the soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and chili paste and cook several more minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and stir in the cilantro and sesame oil. Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Product Review: WK Pacs (or Indian cooking made easy)

Recently the folks at Waverly Kitchens asked if we'd like to sample their WK Pacs, which provide a foolproof way to create an authentic Indian meal at home. Not being ones to ever turn down a good Indian meal we were happy to oblige. The WK Pacs include the spices and instructions you need to cook your own three course Indian meal. Ours included the Chola (chickpeas), Potatoes & Peas (a sabji, or dry vegetable dish) and a Spinach Raita (yogurt dish, or soy yogurt in this case).

I've dabbled in Indian cooking before and have even learned some tips from Indian friends in the past but this was probably the most authentic tasting Indian meal I've made. It's all in the spices and that's what you get from the WK Pacs. Plus a shopping list and straightforward instructions. Honestly, I'm not sure if we'll sign up for a subscription but this allowed us to enjoy a great home-cooked Indian meal and there's certainly something appealing about doing that every month.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back Soon!

I've decided to end the hiatus so I hope we have some readers still out there. Within a week of putting the blog on hiatus we decided to sign up for a CSA for the first time and I've really been wanting to write about the produce we're getting and what we've been doing with it. For starters, we've been getting a lot of lettuce and some nights we'll just have a big salad for dinner. Like this one with two kinds of lettuce, arugula, spinach and radishes all from the CSA, plus carrots and Tofurkey sausages.

We've also done lettuce wraps a couple of different ways. Stay tuned for recipes. Another thing that has inspired me (and all the rest of the vegan world) to cook recently is the release of Vegan Brunch. I'm hoping to find time to delve more deeply into this incredible book but not long ago I did manage to make an awesome tofu omelet with spinach and mushrooms.

Finally, we've had the opportunity to review some cool new products recently so stay tuned for some product review posts as well. Our little guy is 13 months old now and keeping us as busy as ever but I'm hoping to get posts up at least a few times a month. Thanks for sticking around!