Archive | December, 2008

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins

31 Dec

Another Vegan with a Vengeance winner. These were practically dessert. And you can find the whole recipe on the PPK! It is tasty and everyone should make it.

-Bret

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Spanish-Style Rice with Winter Vegetables

30 Dec

I went home for a couple of days for Christmas, and it was nice to see my family people.  The last time I was home was before Thanksgiving.  My mom, not accustomed to having someone around that doesn’t eat most animal products, only had butter and cream cheese and regular milk around for breakfast type things.  I made a crack about having to eat dry bread, which must have made her feel bad because before I came home for Christmas she let me know that she had bought me a jar of marmalade so I didn’t have to eat dry toast this time.

I appreciated it.

She also found a recipe that we could make together and take to Christmas dinner.  Ham and roast beef were on the menu, so I was pretty out of luck.  I usually make something meatless to share.  Sometimes people like it.  Sometimes it scares people, like the Three Sisters Casserole I made for some holiday.  I had topped it with a poor attempt at polenta and then tried to get it brown and crispy but it just ended up oily and gross looking.  It tasted good!  But it sure was hard to get people to try it.

Anyway, my mom said she found a recipe for a rice and vegetables dish with saffron or Spanish paprika in it.  She had looked for saffron but couldn’t find any, and I had Spanish paprika so I brought that home with me.  The recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens and it’s a Mario Batali recipe.  He’s a pretty cool guy.  Thanks to him and my mom I had some awesome vegan Christmas food.

The recipe makes a ton and is a good dish to make and share or freeze leftovers for lots of lunches.  It cooks like a risotto and ends up nice and creamy.  I’d like to try it again with saffron!  This, along with the roasted Brussels sprouts and parsnips with pecans that my mom also made were a great dinner.

I

Spanish-Style Rice with Winter Vegetables

Ingredients

1 – 2 tsp saffron threads or Spanish paprika
7 – 8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups Arborio rice
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
½ medium rutabaga or 1 small – medium turnip, peeled and cubed
½ small acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
¼ cup olive oil

Directions

Combine saffron or paprika and 1 cup water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
Put vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and keep warm.
In a large skillet combine the rice and the saffron or paprika mixture; bring to a boil over high heat.  Simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Add the carrot, pepper, rutabaga or turnip and acorn squash along with 1 cup of the broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Let simmer and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender (about 5 cups of broth total).
Add the onion and zucchini and 1 cup broth.  Cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1 – 2 cups of broth, stirring and simmering until each cup is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Remove from heat and stir in the olive oil.

The recipe above is as we made it.  The original recipe calls for mushrooms and green onions instead of a yellow or white one.  There was lots of chopping and stirring but this came together pretty quickly.

Vegan Macaroni and Sheez

30 Dec

Hey two posts in a day. I’m trying to clear out my backlog of entries I wanted to make before the New Year, though. Ellen and I are talking about getting on some kind of consistent schedule since we are definitely making good food (last night was Tofurkey roast and I had an adventure making my own pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes and etc. etc.) and I’d like to do it with this New Year. We’re making some snacks for a New Year’s Eve party so maybe it’ll be about that. And then I go away for a week to meditate but I’ll be back.

But hey what does that have to do with vegan mac and sheez? Okay, so I have this book called The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook that my original vegan mentor recommended to me a long time back. I made one recipe out of it that was pretty crappy and never looked at it afterwards. Well a little while ago Ellen picked it up and flipped through it and started talking about how awesome it was. She was right. It’s awesome. So I decided to try out the mac and not really cheese recipe. Okay, first of all, it’s really really rich and fatty. Second, it’s pretty dang tasty. I didn’t get any pictures of it in a bowl but check this out. That on top is not cheese. It was good. But yeah, it’ll be 2010 before I make it again.

 

 

-Bret

Pre-GWAR Dinner at Taj Restaurant: Binghamton, NY

30 Dec

Me and Ellen went to see GWAR awhile ago and we wanted to get food before we went, so we found this Indian place on the internet. Indian is pretty much always a safe bet for vegetarian if not vegan food. We pulled up and it was this tiny little place that sold some Indian food and some Mediterranean food and there was this guy in the dining area watching Indian talent shows on the TV and clapping and laughing loudly. I liked that guy a lot.

We ordered two veggie curries which were pretty much our only option, but then the waiter was like, “Want us to make two different curries and then you can share?” Thanks, guy. That’s awesome.

So, let me put this out there. The food was really inexpensive and it was good. It wasn’t the greatest ever but I’m used to paying twice as much as I did for a curry. The food was a little buttery and so it made Ellen sick because she doesn’t really eat stuff with butter. Umm maybe she can write about what she thought because I don’t want to speak for her.

But I really liked the place. The one curry kind of tasted like Campbell’s vegetable soup but the spinach curry they made was really good and you could get samosas for super inexpensive. It was basically cheap but pretty tasty Indian food.

-Bret