Chili Verde con Jackfruit

I put it on nachos. Because, duh.

Green Chili is a big deal in the Southwest, specifically in New Mexico and Colorado.  I recently went on a road trip that lead me to New Mexico for the first time, and I was inspired to try making my own green chili for the first time.  I know that my version isn’t particularly traditional, which is why I hesitate to associate it with the New Mexico style stuff.

This is a dish I’ve been desperately wanting to make, but the trip was the final spark.  And wow, I am sure glad I did.  I want to eat this always.  Every day.  On everything.  Forever.

Ingredients

  • 3-3.5 pounds of tomatillo
  • 3 hatch green chilies
  • 3 jalapeños (or less, I mean, whatever)
  • 1 pasillo pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 bunches of spring onions, with the thin green tops and stringy bottoms trimmed off
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 head (yeah) of garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 14oz can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 14 oz cans (or ~24oz pre-drained) young jackfruit in water, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Slow Cooker
  • Immersion blender, or other blender to transfer into

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º.  Peel the tomatillos and wash them, all of the peppers, and green onions.  Pat dry and lay out on lightly oiled baking sheets.  Cover the peppers and green onions.  Place the sheets into the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, I  turned down the oven to 350º, flipped everything over, and left it all uncovered.  30 more minutes in the oven, and everything was soft and browned.
  2. While all of that roasting is happening, chop up the half yellow onion and peel the head (yeah) of garlic.  Toss them into the slow cooker on low.
  3. Once everything is out of the oven, pull the tops off of the peppers and give them a rough cut or two.  Ultimately, I used an immersion blender (you could chop everything up really small and then roast it, adjusting times accordingly, or use other methods of blending), so everything was a pretty rough chop.  I tossed all of the roasted goodies into the slow cooker, and blended it up.
  4. Next, I added the drained tomatoes, salt, and cumin.  I let this sit on low in the slow cooker for about 6 hours, but that was just because I still had to run out and get jackfruit.
    1. You could easily just let it sit on high for a few with the jackfruit and cilantro in it so it’s done sooner!
  5. Once I added the jackfruit and cilantro, I turned the slow cooker on high, and let the chunks hang out for about 2 hours.
  6. Finally, shred the jackfruit into bits and stir.  Check for seasonings, and put on top of everything.

Tortilla Soup… Kinda.

Serves 8!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup/185g dry pinto beans
  • 1 cup/185g dry black beans

(soak the beans overnight in water; should be 3-4 inches above beans while soaking)

  • 1 cup/180g quinoa
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 medium-large zucchini
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 cup/180g corn kernels
  • 1 14oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 14oz can no salt added tomato sauce (+1 full can of water)
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon: cumin, coriander, smoked paprika
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, diced or grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make sure you soak the beans overnight!
  2. Put the beans into a slow cooker covered by an inch or two of water.  Set on high, and beans should be cooked in about 3 hours.  Once they’re done, set the slow cooker to low.
  3. Roast the onion, zucchini, carrots, and jalapeño until slightly browned.
  4. Once beans are cooked, add quinoa, tomatoes + water, and chilies.  Add spices and garlic.
  5. Allow quinoa to cook (30-40 minutes, if you turn down to low), and add the roasted vegetables.  Add the corn last.
  6. Soup should be done, but you can allow it to hang out on low for a while in the slow cooker.

Optional toppings (kind of, I mean, you should put them on top):

  • avocado
  • lime juice
  • vegan cheese shreds
  • cilantro
  • dairy free quesadilla!

Warm Lentil Salad with Tempeh Bacon and Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 2

IMG_3875Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or 2 servings of vegetable bullion, which is what I used)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 2 servings tempeh bacon
  • Baby mixed greens
  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1/2 tablespoon of tahini

 

Directions:

  1. Boil the lentils in the veggie stock for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and tender.  Set aside, but keep warm!
  2. Broil the tempeh bacon until it becomes crispy, flipping once.
  3. Sauté carrot, mushroom, shallot, and garlic until the carrots become soft.
  4. Add the herbs/spices and sauté an additional 5 minutes.  Add the lentils to mix.
  5. To make the dressing, put all ingredients into a container (if you find it a little tart, you can add some agave or other sweetener, but I wouldn’t add much!).

To serve:

  • Plate baby greens.  Top with vegetable mix and lentils.  Pour 1/2 the dressing over each serving.  Top with 1/2 of the tempeh bacon each.

Bahn Mi Bowl-o-rama

It’s kind of funny. I cook all the time, but I fail to ever really think I’m creating new recipes or anything worth sharing, so I don’t post here.

I am hoping to change that this year.  Really.

 

I got pretty bored the other day and decided that I had some carrots, cucumber, and radishes that needed pickling, so I figured out how to do that.  Then, I thought, oh man, I could make something like a Bahn Mi with this.  And, the bowl was born.

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Here’s the basic info on pickling that I used.

Note: I used apple cider vinegar and agave, and added a crushed garlic clove, used whole peppercorns, and played around with the herbs/spices.  And I doubled this recipe.  I love spicy food, but they aren’t kidding about the heat, here!

The Bowl

Ingredients (for 1):

  • short grain brown rice (cook however much, but about 1/2 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • pickled veggies
  • fresh cucumber (about 1/4 should be good)
  • fresh carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 package of tofu, pressed, dried, and cut into cubes
  • avocado
  • vegan mayo of choice
  • sriracha
  • lime juice

Really, aside from the pickles, this is a very easy recipe.

Directions:

  1. Make the pickles beforehand, so that they are cooled and pickley!  Also, preheat your oven to 425!
  2. Cook your rice!
  3. While rice is cooking, season your tofu cubes with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until a little browned and crispy!
  4. Slice your carrot and cucumber up and set aside.  Wash and destem kale, then chop into ribbons.  I like to steam my kale quickly, but it will be just fine totally raw, if you chop it up small.
  5. Assemble!  Start with the rice, then kale, veggies (fresh and pickled), tofu, avocado, and mayo.  Drizzle (or pour, no judgement) sriracha and lime juice over the top.

That’s it!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Before I went vegan, I used to make what I thought were the best chocolate chip cookies ever from this Williams Sonoma cook book.  If I could figure out the temperature and time range on the oven, I could get them to be the perfect texture.  After going vegan, I could never achieve that texture again, and I knew it had something to do with the egg replacement options I tried: flax egg and Ener-G.  When Follow Your Heart announced their new VeganEgg, I was really excited, because I’m a huge fan of their products (as well as the Follow Your Heart Market and Café, which I miss terribly!).

 

I had to order the VeganEgg online because I was having trouble getting ahold of it in store.  I decided that I needed to try it as a scramble before I attempted baking with it, and I honestly wasn’t super impressed – it needed seasoning beyond what I would have thought to make it taste more like eggs.  However, the texture and visual appearance were spot on!

 

So, that brings me to needing to bake with it, which was really the entire purpose of me purchasing the VeganEgg.  Naturally, I had to try and recreate the magic of the chocolate chip cookies from my pre-vegan days. I’ve made several changes to the recipe over the last two years, trying to make the flavor more intense in an attempt to make up for the crunchy texture I couldn’t avoid.  Flavor wise, I’ve been extremely happy with the cookies I’ve been making, but a truly great cookie needs to combine both flavor and texture.  I’m really, really happy to report that the VeganEgg has helped me create the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour*
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 VeganEgg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

*You don’t have to use this combination of flours.  You could totally use all all-purpose flour, or whole wheat.  Also, if you have a food scale, I highly recommend just weighing out the flour to 220g.

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (or your stand mixer, if you have one), cream the Earth Balance on high speed until it gets a little “fluffy.”  Them, add the sugars, and beat for a minute or two.  Usually, recipes say that you should beat them until the  mixture is “no longer gritty,” but the evaporated cane sugar usually doesn’t break down enough in this process, so it’s really just until everything is really well mixed. Add the VeganEgg and the extracts, and beat on low speed until well combined.  You’ll probably need to scrape the bowl down a few times during this process to make sure everything gets mixed well.
  4. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix on a low speed, or just with a spoon or spatula.  Don’t over mix; you want this to be just combined (you shouldn’t see any flour anymore).  My dough was very moist, more so than it had ever been in the past.  This is okay.  Trust me.
  5. Add the chocolate chips, and gently fold them into the batter.  Again, you’re trying to stir as little as possible.
  6. Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets, with a decent amount of room between them, because they are going to spread out a bit.
  7. Bake the cookies about 13 minutes.  They might look slightly underdone, but this creates the crunchy exterior and gooey interior that I find so desirable in the cookie.
  8. Let them cool for a few minutes, and transfer onto wire racks, if you have them.

These cookies are soft with a slight crunch and taste amazing.  Seriously.  The almond extract and the cinnamon really make the cookies special, and I really think they’re the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!

Vintage Goes Vegan: Hot-Dog-and-Eggplant Casserole

I’ve been trying to gather inspiration to try out these recipes through ingredients I already have around.  I recalled that several of the recipes in the books used hot dogs, so when I was at the store a few weeks ago, I bought a package of Smart Dogs.  All of the other ingredients are staples in my pantry and refrigerator, anyway, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to make it.

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I was discussing the idea of this one with my friend, and both of us agreed it was an odd combination.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone raving over eggplant and hot dog casserole, so I was a little worried about wasting a whole bunch of perfectly good food.  I knew the eggplant part would be good, but I didn’t know how to feel about the hot dogs.  But, the point of this is to try new things I wouldn’t otherwise try, so I did it!  The verdict?  It was good, and actually got better as left overs!  If you’re feeling like trying something a little off the wall, Hot-Dog-and-Eggplant Casserole may be just for you.

Ingredients:

IMG_6805

1 medium eggplant (mine was a little smaller; in the recipe, it says you should have 5 cups, and I had about 4)
flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 small clove garlic
1 lb frankfurters, cut in 1 inch pieces (I used 6 of the smaller sized Smart Dogs)
1 can (1 lb) tomatoes, undrained (mine was 12oz)
Cooked rice (I used farro, but also ate the left overs on pasta!)

Because of the smaller amounts on some ingredients, this went from 6 servings according to the recipe to 4 generous servings!

Directions:

  1. Peel eggplant. Cut into 1-inch cubes; measure 5 cups (note that mine only measured 4 cups). Toss eggplant with flour to coat lightly.
  2. In hot oil in large skillet, sauté onion intil tender – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggplant, salt, pepper, basil, and garlic. Cook, stirring ocassionally, until eggplant is lightly browned.
  4. Add hot dogs and tomatoes, mixing well. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice (or in my case, farro, or really whatever you want!).

Makes 4 servings

I also made the left overs into a calzone, with a little Daiya, so be creative with your left overs!!!

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A New Endeavor: Vintage Goes Vegan, and the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Bacon Sandwich

A few christmases ago, my mom gave me one of the best gifts ever: a set of McCall’s cookbooks from 1965.  I grew up eating so many recipes from these pages, and had always told her that I wanted her set when she didn’t need them anymore.  To speed up the timeline of receiving them, she searched the internet for a set in far better condition than her own.  It was such a fantastic surprise to receive all 18 books, with the index book and holder, in such great shape.

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Due to many circumstances (especially the whole thing where I’m a vegan), these books have sat in my possession, unused, but remaining in the back of my mind.  Last Thanksgiving, I was talking to my sister-in-law about an idea I’d been playing with – what about taking some of these recipes and making them vegan, or updating them?

Well, it’s taken me nearly a year to get to the point where I felt like I could do this, so here it is: Vintage Goes Vegan.  I’ve gone through all 18 books, and pulled 111 recipes – that’s 6 breakfasts, 5 appetizers, 5 salads, 8 soups, 4 sandwiches, 11 side dishes, 48 (!!!) main dishes, 19 desserts, and a 5-course Thanksgiving menu.  Some of them I’m keeping as close to the original recipe as possible, and some of them are being updated to reflect a more modern food availability.  Remember, these recipes were written in 1965, when I’m fairly certain there wasn’t a single american who had heard of a vegan (and these people really loved their gelatin molds…).

I wanted to start out with a recipe that I could keep close to the original, and one that also gave everyone a good idea of what I was going to be dealing with in this venture.  So, without further ado, here’s a recipe that had me gagging when I read it: the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Bacon Sandwich.

Ingredients:

IMG_6795

1/2 cup creamy or chunk-style peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped crisp-cooked bacon (I subbed LightLife Smart Bacon here, because I knew it would be crispier than tempeh bacon)
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
2 tablespoons chopped stuffed olives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Vegenaise was my choice here, but take your pick)
12 slices bread

For the record, I did cut this down – the measurements you see above are for 6 sandwiches, and since it’s just me, I cut everything into 1/6ths as best I could.  A single sandwich would need:

4 teaspoons creamy or chunk-style peanut butter
about 2 slices chopped crisp-cooked bacon
a little shy of 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, drained
2 chopped stuffed olives
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 slices bread

Do you understand why I would be gagging?  Mayonnaise and peanut butter is bad, but relish and olives?!?!  Yuck.  Who came up with this?!

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients, except bread; mix well.
2.   Use to fill 6 sandwiches. Cut in quarters.

That’s it.  They recommend buttering the bread too, but I went ahead and skipped that step.  I couldn’t imagine why I would need to!

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So, there you have it.  A very simple, and very odd, first recipe for Vintage Goes Vegan.  The verdict?  I’m ashamed to say it was actually not as horrifying as it sounds, although I don’t think I’ll jump at the opportunity to eat it again.