Thursday, December 8, 2011


Just found out I won a copy of Hannah Kaminsky's book, Vegan Desserts, from the wonderful people at Allison's Gourmet!  Just a quick post to say I'm excited!  Hannah did a wonderful presentation for us at Vida Vegan Con, and pointed out a recipe in her book for macarons, which I have been dying to make ever since.  This is such a wonderful treat.  Thank you guys!   

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Polenta-Kale Cutlets with Basil Aioli

I would like to think that I am a pretty decent chef at this point, but I don't want to scare people off from cooking by pretending everything I make is always perfect.  We're all learning as we go, and yesterday was a perfect example of that.  The blog post I got the recipe from described it as "simple to make," but I must be missing something because it was oh-so-not-simple for me. 

But isn't the picture pretty?

I followed this recipe, because I loved the idea of cutlets filled with greens.  Any chance to get more greens....  In the end I didn't love the flavor of the cutlets (though the aioli is great and I'm excited to add that to my repertoire), but more importantly, I just had all sorts of trouble.  "Simple" would be the last word I would use to describe the recipe.  I kept the polenta reducing for at least 45 minutes, and it still seemed to have too much moisture.  Any recipe this time intensive is already on the outs for me, and then on top of that when I tried to fry them it was hard to keep them together, although they ended up coming back together in the end.

If you give this one a shot, let me know what you think I might be missing.  I still love the concept. 

Most importantly, I wanted to post as encouragement to the newer cooks out there.  Not everything will come out perfect all the time, and that's ok.  You'll learn from it, even if it's just learning that recipe isn't for you.  :)  And the next time around I bet you will turn it into something awesome.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Miso Vinaigrette Snow Peas

Look at me blogging 2 days in a row again!  Trying to get better, and I just had to share this.  Two nights ago I went out to dinner at one of my favorite sushi restaurants (I get veggie rolls - love veggie rolls!), with someone who doesn't eat sushi, so he ordered chicken teriyaki instead.  Under the pile of chicken was a plateful of beautiful beautiful snow peas, and I wanted to steal one so badly.  Given they were smothered in chicken I didn't, but man I wanted snow peas after that, so yesterday I went out and bought them.  I could have just eaten them raw, or sauteed them up plain, but I was curiuos what other things I might do with them, so I went on a search through my Google reader.  (Have you started tracking your favorite blogs in a reader or some similar tool?  Best thing ever to keep up with what you want to read.)  Found and was inspired by this post, but since there's no recipe I had to make it up myself.  I think I did a pretty great job!  You'll have to give this a shot and see for yourself.  :)

Miso Vinaigrette Snow Peas

2-3 C snow peas
1 T olive oil
3 T miso
1 T apple cider vinegar (err on the side of less is more)
1 T water
1 t chopped garlic
(measurements approximate - add more to taste / consistency)

1. Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium low heat.  When hot, add peas and saute until beginning to soft and brown.

2. Meantime, mix miso, vinegar, water, and garlic in a small bowl.  When peas are ready, pour mixture into pan and saute for another minute or 2, allowing sauce to warm and caramelize a bit.

3. Enjoy!

Technically serves 2-3 as a side, but I'm pretty sure I could've eaten the whole thing...!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin curry

Ok this isn't curry at all... but yet that's what I keep calling it in my head, so that's what it shall be!  :-)  Today's post is an example of what wonderful things can be created when you play "What on earth can I make to use up the random bits of things left in my fridge?"  This is one of the best things I've ever made.  Seriously.  Really it's a riff on the stuffed pumpkin dish my mother makes, but I didn't even realize that until after it was done, because it's nothing like it at all!

Pumpkin Curry

2 C mashed potatoes
1 package ground beef substitue
3/4 C golden raisins
1 t cinnamon
(measurements very approximate)

1 C mushrooms, chopped
Earth Balance coconut spread

1/2 C pumpkin puree
1 can coconut milk, chilled (for a few hours, this helps the water and cream to separate) and most of the cream scooped off for another use - so use mostly just the coconut water, with a little bit of the cream included
dash cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste (~1 t)

1. Heat large saute pan over medium heat.  Add coconut spread and melt, quickly add mushrooms.  Lower the heat a small amount and saute mushrooms til browned.

2. Meanwhile, mix potatoes, ground beef, raisins, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. 

3. When mushrooms are ready, lower heat to medium low and add pumpkin puree, coconut water, cayenne, and salt.  Mix together.

4. Add potato mixture.  Simmer for 10 minutes or so to allow flavors to meld.

5. Serve over brown rice.