Vegan Slow Cooker Posole

To keep with my commitment of eating more vegan recipes, and leftovers, I attempted Vegan Posole this weekend. Part of the inspiration came from the Engine 2 book Diet book recipe for Mexican Lime Soup. I considered just cooking on the stove top, but Sunday in Richmond was 60+ degrees, and I figured it was the last warm day for a while, and I wanted to enjoy it. So into the slow cooker it went. Delicious hearty soup, with leftovers.

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Vegan Slow Cooker Posole

– 1 Large onion, chopped
– 8 ounces mushrooms quartered
– 2-3 Cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
– 2 roasted peppers, I used 1 cubanelle and 1 jalapeno ( I did seed the jalapeno), dry roasted for 20 min at 400. You could also use canned green chiles
 – 2 or 3 dried pasillo or really any mild mexican chili, dry roast with the other peppers
– 2 ears of corn, husks removed and cut into rounds, I threw these into roast as well, you can use frozen corn
– 4 medium red potatoes, cut into cubes
– 2 tsp cumin
– 2 tsp organo or fresh to taste
– salt and pepper
– 32 oz of vegetable broth
– 1 can fire roasted tomtaoes

cilantro, lime, radish, avocado and chips to garnish

I roasted the peppers in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes, I diced and added the cubanelle and jalepno to the crock pot with the other ingredients, stock, tomatoes and roasted corn.

Remove the stems and seeds form the dried and roasted chiles  dried chiles, crush and added to about 1 cup of hot water and let steep for about 30 minutes. Blend (or use an immersion blender) to get a paste, push through a fine mesh sieve and add to the slow cooker.

Let it cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. Garnish with cilantro, radish and avocado and serve with chips or a regular corn tortilla.

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Happy New Years!

I will try not to make this a post about resolutions, eating better, working out  more and things like that; BUT, I have committed to adding more vegan meals to my diet, eating leftovers (I usually avoid leftovers, I know, silly), and generally trying to improve my overall health ( I had a rough few months at the end of 2014).

So, to start off 2015, I took a long overdue spin class at Boho Cycle Studio, one of my favorite placed to work out (if you haven’t been your first class if free!), signed up for a barre class at Pure Barre, as well as buying a package of classes for Pound from CO2 Fit  ” POUND™ is a great effective program that can appeal to people at every fitness level.  Similar to the popular Zumba classes, in POUND™ you can get fit while feeling like you are at a party.  But you don’t even have to be a good dancer, you just need to POUND the Ripstix™ while rocking out to great music.” Also, I am really looking forward to new fitness classes as well as the Monument Avenue 10K with the awesome folks from Strangeways Brewing.

For New Year, in the Southern Tradition, I made Collards and Hopping John with cornbread; it is supposed to bring money and prosperity for the new year, plus it is darn tasty. I did make mine vegan, of course more traditionally you would use pork or ham hocks. I hope your New Years celebrations were wonderful and luck and prosperity comes to you in 2015.

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Vegan Hoppin’ John

– 2 cups dried black eyed peas

– water to cover

– 2 carrots diced

– 1 large onion diced

– 1/2 green and red bell pepper diced

– 2 ribs celery diced

– 2-3 cloves garlic minced

– 1-2 TBS red pepper flakes

– 1 TBS Italian seasoning

– salt and pepper to taste

– 32oz veggie broth

– 1 large can diced tomatoes

You can soak your black eyed peas overnight (discard that water when done) or simmer on medium until fork tender (about 60-90 minutes) stove top ( drain and discard cooking liquid). Saute veggies, garlic and spices. Add soaked black eyed peas and veggie broth and tomatoes simmer for about 2 hrs or until the black eyed peas are tender. If needed throughout cooking you can add a little water. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Collard Greens

– 2 large bunched of wash and chopped collard greens

– 1 medium onion diced

– 2-3 cloves garlic minced

– 2 TBS red pepper flakes or you can use a diced hot pepper (make it as spicey as you like)

– Salt and pepper to taste

– Apple Cider Vinegar to taste (I would start with a 1/4 cup)

Wash the collards in a large sink full of water, letting any grit fall tot he bottom of the sink. Saute the onion, garlic, pepper until translucent. Add washed greens to the pot, do not worry about drying them off, the liquid will help form the “pot licker”. Saute until the greens are tender (45 or so minutes). about 1/2 way through I add the vinegar, you may want more at the end. Serve hot with your Hoppin John and cornbread and ENJOY!

Key Lime Bars, Dairy Free

It is strange that I make dessert all of the time, but I don’t necessarily eat it. With a lot of friends and family with dietary restrictions, I am always looking for new ways to make a recipe. I started reading up on dairy substitutes and  egg substitutes. I came across an article with ideas for different ways to replace dairy, even sweetened condensed milk.

Off to the grocery store to find “Cream of Coconut”  which is different form coconut milk, just like condensed milk, most of the water has been removed. Supposedly a 1:1 substitution… well it was.

There was no real coconut flavor, I think the fresh Key Lime juice may have overpowered it. As you can see I also used coconut oil instead of butter in the crust.  I considered an egg substitute to make it completely vegan, but I 1 substitution seemed enough.

Dairy Free Key Lime Bars

(adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe)

  • 1 cup ground graham cracker crumbs (you could use GF )
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 5 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated key lime zest
  • 2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (I chose to use fresh key limes, but the Nellie and Joes would work as well)
  • 1 can Cream of Coconut (14 ounces)
  • key lime slices for garnish

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For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and coconut oil in a small bowl. Press into an 8-inch square glass baking dish, tying to get it even. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, 4-5 minutes. Reduce speed, add cream of coconut (you will need to stir this first, it separates) in a stream, mixing constantly. Mix on high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and add lime juice, mix until combined.

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Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake, about 40 minutes rotating dish halfway through. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).

You need to let the bars come up to temperature or dip the bottom of the pan in hot water to help loosen the crust from he pan before cutting.

Garnish with lime slices, and zest if  you have any left.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

So making soups in the crock pot on Sunday has become a routine. Putting everything in the crock pot right after breakfast is easy and I have the rest of the day free.

I have read several recipes for this dish, some with ground turkey, or veggie crumbles, but, since I am trying to watch processed soy products I chose to keep it simple.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

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–  2 Sweet potatoes (medium size)

– 2 cans, approximately 30oz (cans of no salt added fire roasted diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen because I can usually find them on sale at Whole Foods and this week there was a coupon as well)

– 2 cans of black beans, or you can make your own, I happened to have 2 cans

– 2-1/2 of diced bell peppers (any color will work)

– 1 diced onion ( yellow or purple, I used a Spanish yellow because that is what I had)

– 1 tbls cumin

– 1tbls chili powder

– 1 tsp cayenne (optional – I was making this for the 8yo too, so I just spiced up my bowl with siracha)

– S & P to taste

Wash, peel and cube the sweet potato, dice the onion and peppers. Add to a crock pot with beans tomatoes and spices. Put on the top, let simmer on  low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. I did add a (1) cup of water about 1/2 way through, you can judge how thick you would like it.

Serve with cornbread, or tortilla chips, if you like, add a little hot sauce of your choosing and Enjoy!

Sugar Snap Peas and Pasta with Ricotta, Pepper and Lemon

I admit, I am not a fan of peas. When they are in a soup or a dish, I will eat them begrudgingly, but a whole pile of peas? No way (see also cooked carrots, blech!).

Yep, I am picky about vegetables, it is a textural issue.

So we got Sugar Snap Peas in our Dominion Harvest Box, which had been sitting in the fridge for a few days, mainly because I had no idea what to do with them. After a little reading, I decided on combining a few recipes together and here is what I came up with.

Sugar Snap Peas over Pasta with Ricotta, Pepper and Lemon

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fresh sugar snap peas, about 1 lb

2/3 cup ricotta (whole or part skim)

1 lemon, zested and juiced

salt

fresh ground black pepper to taste

4 servings Penne pasta ( I used Gluten Free)

basil (I added this at the last minute because I have a ton in the garden)

 

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Wash and snap the peas removing the string from 1 side and slice on the diagonal. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the peas and let cook for 3 minutes, remove, rinse in cold water. Add the pasta to the same pot and boil according to directions.

Add pasta, peas, ricotta, lemon zest, generous amount of pepper, basil, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Adjust for salt, Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Citrus Beet Salad with Feta

This weeks salad, brought to you by the letter “B” for beets. I can say it is only recently that I have learned to like beets, but now, roasted beets are a regular occurrence on salads, and I have been researching a few pickled beet recipes.

Citrus Beet Salad with Feta

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1 bunch beets, washed, peeled and quartered (reserve the beet tops for another salad)

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 lemons, zested and juiced (or an orange)

salt and pepper to taste

feta – I used Lovers Retreat Feta from our harvest box

Bibb lettuce

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Melt coconut oil and add 1/2 the zest to it. Toss beets with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for approximately 15 minutes, stir, roast 15-20 minutes longer until beets are tender

Let them cool, toss with the lemon or orange juice and remainder of the zest, serve with crumbled feta over lettuce (I used lovely bibb lettuce from our harvest box)

Serve and enjoy! You should also roast more beets and store them for salads that week.

Curry

A few weeks ago Steve had “family meal” at Mekong (probably our favorite place for a beer) which was a Vietnamese curry chicken. After much searching we found a recipe that seemed similar. Steve said it was pretty good with the chicken, so I decided to make it with tofu ( I had a lot of homemade curry spice over).

I came across this recipe in Vegetarian Times;

Lemongrass Curry with Tofu and Broccoli

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I tried something different

I usually stick to making meals and desserts, but I came across this recipe for “Three Seed Rosemary Crackers”  from Wayfaring Teacher while perusing Tastespotting  ( have you checked out Tastespotting? no? Go Now!)

The crackers were good, although I need to make them a little thinner next time, but a schmear of garlic cream cheese (or it may have been even better with goat cheese) made them extra tasty.

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