Menu Planning

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Sweet Potato, Tomato and Chipotle Soup November 12, 2010

Filed under: Main Dish,Soup,Vegan — bhrastich @ 4:14 am
This was an interesting one. With some tweeking it could be more suitable for our family. From past experiences in using chipotles in recipes I knew that 2 would be too much and figured I would be safe with one. Well, one was still on the spicy side and there was no way the kids were going to be able to eat it. Granted, the pepper was on the larger side, so I would say a small chipotle could have made it family friendly or maybe a half with some of the adobo to give it the smokey flavor. Here’s a tip when using chiptles- I know a can is pretty cheap, but being the cheap-o that I am, I freeze all the extras. I would even recommend covering a baking sheet and laying each pepper on there to freeze individually and then throw them all in a ziplock. I also save the adobo sauce since some recipes I have call for it. And again, being a cheapie, I saved a huge amount of the little gerber baby food containers with lids and reused them when I made my own baby food. So I store all kinds of stuff like that in the freezer- like tomato paste which I never use a whole container of and any other freezer friendly sauces. And while I mentioned baby food. The consistancy of this soup was a little too much like baby food. My sweet potatoes were on the large side, so I think I would keep it to medium potatoes or just add more broth/water. It was very good served with some whole grain sourdough from Trader Joe’s! I thought it was a good recipe, just needing some tweeking for our family.

3 T olive oil

  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 14 oz tomatoes, diced
  • 4 c vegetable stock or water
  • ½ c maple syrup (I used 1/4 c and it was plenty sweet)
  • 2 chipotle
  • 2 t salt
Sauté the onions and garlic in oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook about 5 minutes, until softened.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until vegetables are soft, 30-40 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, purée until completely smooth, and serve with a sprinkle of parsley.


Peanut Apple Pretzel Drops

Filed under: Treats,Vegan — bhrastich @ 3:52 am

I finally checked out the vegan cookbooks at our library and found Vegan Cookies invade your cookie jar byMoskowitz and Romero. This duo has 2 other hit books that I can’t wait to check out, Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes take over the world. I also checked out The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone which was very interesting and had a lot of good information. It brought up a lot of interesting points that I’ll have to discuss some other time. On to these cookies….I have no idea why these popped out at me since as a kid there is no way I would have ever picked them out. I guess you can call them a grown up cookie. I think the pretzel is what intrigued me. They turned out great and probably won’t last around the house too long.

2 generous cups mini pretzels, crushed into small pieces

1 cup roasted, shelled peanut halves

4 oz dried apple rings

1 ¾ c flour

½ t baking powder

½ t baking soda

¼ t cinnamon

¼ t salt

½ c non-dairy milk

2 T ground flax seeds

½ c canola oil

1 c dark brown sugar, tightly packed

1/3 c sugar

1 ½ t vanilla extract

 Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine pretzel pieces and peanuts. Using either kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut apple rings into bite-sized pieces. Combine with the pretzels and peanuts.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the nondairy milk and flaxseeds.  Add the oil, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes until the lumps of brown sugar are dissolved and the mixture is very thick. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until the dry ingredients are moistened and a thick dough forms. Fold in the pretzel mixture and stir to completely coat everything with batter.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet. Bake 14-16 minutes until cookies are firm and edges are lightly browned. Move from the cookie sheet to wire racks to cool.


Vegetable Enchiladas

Filed under: Main Dish,Vegetarian — bhrastich @ 3:30 am

I seriously don’t know how many enchilada recipes I have collected through the years. And the funny thing is that I think this is the only one that uses an authentic enchilada sauce. The sauce is the key to this recipe. I had no idea that making my own enchilada sauce would be so easy. Never buy a can of the stuff again! This one was easy to veganize for me. I just filled my tortillas before adding the cheese to the mixture.

2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking dishes

2 teaspoons ground cumin

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup tomato paste

1 can (14 ½ oz) reduced sodium vegetable broth

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3 cups grated pepper jack cheese (12 oz) (you really don’t need this much cheese and any type will do)

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained (I add an extra can)

1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dried (If I have some fresh on hand I’ll throw some in)

1 box (10 oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed

6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

16 corn tortillas (6”)  (I use flour tortillas, the medium size)

Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, flour, and tomato paste; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and ¾ cup water; bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

 Make filling: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, spinach, corn, scallion whites, and remaining 1 teaspoon cumin; season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8 inch square baking dishes (I usually end up with a 9×13 and another 8×8), set aside. Stack tortillas and wrap in damp paper towels, microwave on high for 1 minute. Top each tortilla with a heaping 1/3 cup of filling; roll up tightly and arrange, seam side down, in prepared baking dishes.

Dividing evenly, sprinkle enchiladas with remaining cup of cheese, and top with sauce. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; serve garnished with scallion greens.

From Everyday Food