Sunday, October 30, 2011

party food

We always go overboard on the food whenever we have people over for a party, so here is a list of what we SHOULD make/get for next time:

FOR "AFTER DINNER" PARTY OF 20-25 people:

-- 3 bottles red wine
-- 1 bottle white wine
-- 12-18 beers
-- 1/2 batch mai tais
-- 1 batch veggie chili
-- 3 nice cheeses, 1 or 1.5 inch wedge of each one
-- the hummus hardly got eaten at all, don't need need to make that next time
-- 30 samosas
-- 2 loaves baguette, OR 1 loaf and raincoast crisps
-- assorted candies and chocolates, good to have but not necessary

Just making notes for next time. We had a jack o lantern out, the neighborhood kids stole it :(

Mona


Friday, October 28, 2011

Our vegetarian chili

We make this chili every Halloween, and it just gets better and better every year. Based on the moosewood recipe, but altered quite a bit:

INGREDIENTS

6 cups mixed cooked beans (we usually use equal parts black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans)
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced squash (I usually use butternut squash because it is easiest to peel and cut up)
1 cup diced green pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup tomato juice or tomato sauce (optional)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon cumin ground
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Chile powder-you choose the heat level
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a sauté pan heat the olive oil and add half the cumin to the olive oil, toast a little bit until fragrant.
2. add the onion and garlic, sauté till soft.
3. Add the carrots, celery and squash and sauté 7 minutes till vegetables are tender.
4. Add the peppers and tomatoes and sauté 5 minutes more.
5. Now add the beans and the rest of the spices. Taste and adjust for heat. Add water if you need it to be more saucy. 
6. Serve hot topped with some chopped red onion and chopped raw tomato and some shredded cheddar cheese.
7. This recipe serves 8-10 people.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Greek Salad Rolls

This is one of our favorite vegetarian wrap sandwiches!

GREEK SALAD ROLLS

for 4 rolls (dinner for 2)

Ingredients:

-- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
-- 4 tortillas
-- 2 tomatoes, chopped
-- 4 small cucumbers or one large cucumber, chopped
-- 15 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
-- a 1x2 inch chunk of feta cheese, crumbled
-- 2 Tablespoons of red onion, sliced thin
-- 1 large handful curly parsley, minced
-- Chopped lettuce (optional)
-- salt and pepper (go easy on the salt because the olives and feta are salty!)
-- Little Creek salad dressing, Original (or just some lemon juice)
-- Red Hot sauce!!!

1. Toast the tortillas on a frying pan until warmed through but still flexible
2. Mix everything else together except red hot sauce.
3. Put about 1 1/2 cups filling on each tortilla
4. Add red hot sauce on top
5. Fold the bottom up, and roll each tortilla tightly into a wrap. Previous experience making breakfast burritos at McDonalds helps with this step greatly.
6. Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The best hummus

This is another recipe I was searching for for a long time. I wanted restaurant-quality hummus, and finally I found a recipe that makes it. I often bring this to parties, I like it because it's healthier than most party dips. Whenever I bring it anywhere someone almost always asks me for the recipe, now when they do I can tell them to check my blog!

Hummus
originally from Allrecipes.com

2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained (roughly 1 can)
1/3 cup tahini (this is fermented sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch paprika
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (I almost never put this in)

1.  Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic in
a blender or food processor, blend until smooth, adding a little water
if necessary (I usually have to add about a half cup of water in)

2.  Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.  Make a well in the center
with a spoon, drizzle olive oil in the center and sprinkle paprika and
parsley around the outside.  Makes 2 cups.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Parsnip, carrot, and sweet potato curry

I didn't grow up eating parsnips, and the few times I have tried to cook them over my adult years they have pretty much always tasted sort of like a bland carrot that has a bitter, sour undertaste that, in my opinion ruins anything you put it in.

Enter the 2011 CSA box, which has been providing us with a surplus of parsnip lately. The first shipment I added into one of our favorite soups, the carrot-rutabaga soup, and sadly, it ruined it. I wasn't too excited about cooking up the second shipment, so I decided to ask the internets for some suggestions on how to make parsnip taste good. "Parsnip curry" and "roasted parsnip" were what came back. So I googled this recipe, and cooked it up today with some modifications. I had decided that if this recipe came out bad I would give up on parsnips forever.

Happily, it came out very good! None of the "yuck" factor I associate with parsnip at all. Also, I think it can be made with many different combos of root vegetables, squash would be good in here, or potato, whatever you have on hand (maybe not beets though).


Sweet potato, carrot, and parsnip curry

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 large onion, sliced (or 2 medium onions, sliced)
  • 280ml/10floz coconut milk (about 1/2 a can)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon trinidadian curry powder (can substitute with more tumeric)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • Half a teaspoon fenugreek (also called Methi) (can leave out if you don't have this)
  • 2 teaspoons red hot sauce (optional)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips and cut into thick chunks.
  2. Fry the onion in oil until soft, then add the spices and cook gently for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips and stir well.
  4. Add the coconut milk, heat to simmering point and then cook gently for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. You may need to add water to prevent it from burning. Also feel free to add water if you want the curry more saucy. And don't we all love saucy curries.
  5. Add salt to taste, and red hot sauce at the end for a bit more zing.
  6. Enjoy!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Health Nut Blueberry Muffins

As I have ranted about previously, muffins are one of the most sneaky foods out there. They look all yummy, handheld, breadlike and fruit-and-oaty, when really most recipes are repositories of so much oil and sugar they are nothing close to as healthy as they seem. Most muffins are basically handheld cake -- not appropriate for an everyday breakfast or casual snack. So for the last several years I have been on the hunt for a healthier muffin. I had to make many terrible healthy muffins before I came upon this version, which is very good and very healthy! Adapted slightly from this version.

 

Like almost everything I make, this recipe is extremely variable. I have substituted cherries and plums for the blueberries with good results. Enjoy!

 

Health Nut Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup oat bran (sometimes I substitute flax meal for oat bran or wheat germ)
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries (or any fruit you like, chopped small)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or any kind of nuts, or no nuts)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 cup yogurt (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, or line with paper muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, oat bran, quick-cooking oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir in the blueberries and walnuts. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed banana, buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix just until blended. If you overmix the batter, the muffins will be tough.
  4. Spoon into muffin cups, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle a bit more sugar on the top of the batter.
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.