Wednesday, April 28, 2010

grilled nachos

it's officially grilling season in the heart of the midwest.  i love throwing anything i can find on the barbeque grill, from the standard things like burgers and kebabs, to the more daring items like pizza.  this was also a more interesting grill item. nachos were already on the menu for dinner, but the grill idea came from a 'slimcado' i had purchased, which is basically just a florida avocado.  it's firmer than the creamy hass avocados, so it can withstand the grill basket without turning to mush.

  • 1 15oz. can red or black beans
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 2oz. can green chilies
  • 1/2 florida avocado
  • 1 small can black olives, whole
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • tortilla chips
  • vegan queso

first, you need a grill basket with small holes like this one so you won't lose your beans or chilies. cut your tomatoes, avocado and chilies into larger pieces and toss in the basket with the beans and spices. this only needs to cook for about 5-10 minutes depending on the grill temperature. use a metal spatula to toss the mix occasionally.

scoop mixture on top of a bed of tortilla chips, and add your favourite vegan cheese or queso.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

fusilli with butternut squash

the lack of posts lately are due to a combination of nice weather and some much needed vacation. i recently went to austin, tx to visit my aunt and walked a 10k with my grandma (who is almost 80!), my mom, and aunt. i had tons of vegan food while i was there (austin rocks for vegans). the night before the 10k, my aunt (who is a fabulous chef) whipped up this delicious pasta dish so we could carb-load. she made a goat cheese sauce for the rest of the family, but set aside some for me.  i added some raw parmesan and it was delicious!

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parma raw parmesan

first peel and cube the butternut squash. place on a foil-lined baking and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, making sure each piece is coated. please in an oven at 425°f for 40 minutes. while the squash is baking, slice your onion and drizzle with olive oil on another foil-lined sheet. place in the oven for 25 minutes (with about half of the squash time left). honestly, i'm not a huge fan of onions, but they work well in this dish. ours got a little burnt, but i actually really liked the crispy flavor, so cook the onion to your preference.

while both of these are roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients. cook pasta according to directions. chop walnuts and place on a baking sheet - these will need to roast in the oven at 425°f for about 5-6 minutes. wash and chop the basil.

when the pasta is done boiling, combine all the ingredients in one bowl and toss. i used some of the olive oil from the butternut squash pan to coat the pasta. finally toss in the parma, or your favourite vegan parmesan, and serve!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

chile verde

crock pot chile is great for days when it's too warm to cook a lot inside, but gets a little chilly in the evening. this was my first time working with tomatillos - i get so excited when i try a new ingredient.  i wanted to make this recipe this because i *love* salsa verde, and what could be better than big bowl of it for dinner?  typically chile verde is made with pork, so i modified my pork chop recipe and used it in this recipe.  it was a fantastic addition, so don't forgo it!

for the shredded pork:
  • 3/4 cups wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy
  • 2 tablespoons cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
for the chile:
  • 10-12 small-medium tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 serano pepper 
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 small onion, finely minced
to make the shredded pork, mix the dry and wet ingredients (use only 1/4 cup of the veggie broth) in two separate bowls, then mix wet into dry and kneed for a few minutes.  once the gluten starts to form, create a large flattened 'chop' and place in glass baking dish with the 1/4 cup of veggie broth (to prevent sticking).  bake at 375°f for 40 minutes.  pull out and set aside.

peel the paper husk of each tomatillo and rinse thoroughly.  next, drill out the small core of the tomatillo and slice long-wise into thirds.  each slice should be no more than a 1/2 inch thick.  place the slice on a large foil-lined baking on 375°f for 20 minutes.  during this time, they will release a lot of water, so when they are done baking, i pull them out drain as much water off the pan as possible.  then turn on broiler, and broil for about 6 minutes until they start browning in spots.

next, de-seed the poblano, serano and jalapeno peppers and slice each pepper into quarters.  move the tomatillos to a separate dish and lay the other peppers on the baking sheet.  also, place the seitan pork with the peppers and broil for 10 minutes, flipping the pork at the 5 minute mark.   the seitan will start to bubble and crisp on the outside (don't let it burn), which makes for a nice texture in the chili. once the setian pork has cooled, cut it into bite size pieces.

put tomatillos and rest of peppers in a food processor and chop for about 20 seconds - until no peppers left. in a 3 quart sauce pan or small crock pot, add the blended peppers, rest of chili ingredients and cubed pork.  simmer on low for a minimum of 3 hours.

don't be scared off by all the peppers, it was surprisingly mild (with just a little heat).