Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cheesy Potato Chili Gratin

Yet another recipe from Vegan Planet. I liked this one, but it sure isn't pretty to look at. That's Follow Your Heart cheddar-style on top. I knew it wasn't going to melt in the oven since it was set at 375, so I heated some soy milk on the stove and melted the soy cheese into it, then added a bit of flour to thicken it up. One day I'll try this again with homemade sour cream and chili. This time I used the non-hydrogenated Tofutti sour cream and a can of Amy's chili that had been hanging out in the pantry for awhile. I hear that a lot of people can't stand the Tofutti sour cream, but I really don't mind it. Maybe that's because I never ate the regular stuff except in a blintz casserole my momma makes, so I really don't have anything to compare it to.

Not-So-Dirty Rice

This may be our favorite recipe yet from Vegan Planet. It was pretty simple, and the only change I made was to use Gimme Lean "sausage" instead of vegetarian burger crumbles. I thought faux ground beef sounded odd in dirty rice. My boyfriend took the leftovers for lunch and came home saying how much he liked this dish, so I think it's a winner.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sweet Noodle Kugel with Apples and Almonds

For those of you wondering what on earth a kugel is, it is a thick baked pudding, usually made with either noodles (generally a sweet dish) or potatoes (not sweet, as that would be gross). Apparently the word kugel is actually Yiddish for "ball" and I have no idea how it came to be used as it is. This was my first attempt at a vegan kugel. I came across the recipe in Vegan Planet. Of course, I made a few changes: I left out the raisins (call me picky, but I don't like them), used farfalle instead of the broken fettuccine called for (my momma always made noodle kugel with egg noodles, and I thought farfalle looked more traditional), and used peanut butter instead of almond butter (because I did not have almond butter). Overall, this was pretty good, but I personally prefer my noodle kugel a little sweeter. That is an easy fix in the future, though. On the plus side, apparently I don't mind almonds if they're ground up (they're in the topping). I usually don't care for nuts mixed in dishes, but I always wish I did because I know they're so good for you.

Good news: I got a new oven thermostat today. Yay! This was the first dish I made after the new thermostat was put in. Three cheers for non-burnt food!

Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas

That enchilada sauce look so unassuming, doesn't it? Don't let it fool you, though; it is fiery hot and takes no prisoners. It's my fault, though. I have never bought the store-bought enchilada sauce because I've never found one that doesn't contain refined sugar or corn syrup, so I went looking for recipes and came up with this one from vegweb: I really want to write a sarcastic reply to the person who commented and asked why it has peppers in it, as it wouldn't be called "chipotle enchilada sauce" without the chipotle peppers. I will refrain, though. Anyhoo, I really should have added the chipotles one at a time to test the spiciness, but I did not and foolishly added all three at once. I am not exactly sure what qualifies as a "small" chipotle pepper, so I will keep that in mind for future reference and proceed with care.
The idea for these enchiladas came from a recipe title I found in Mastercook (I recently downloaded all of the vegetarian recipes from Mad's Recipe Emporium), but instead of following the recipe, I made up my own.

Enchilada sauce
1 large onion (white or yellow), diced
2 ts olive oil
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 ts oregano
1 ts cumin
1 ts chili powder
8 tortillas (6-8" in diameter)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Sauté onion until soft. Add black beans and corn, stirring occasionally until hot. Stir in oregano, cumin, and chili powder.
Spoon some of the enchilada sauce (from the vegweb recipe, or whatever you choose to use) on
the bottom of a 9x13" glass baking dish.
Warm the tortillas in the microwave (or oven, since it's already on) for 45 seconds to soften them up.
Spoon some enchilada sauce onto a large plate. Dip a tortilla in the sauce, spoon some filling onto the tortilla, then roll it up and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

Yet another recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. You know, as often as I use this cookbook, there are still a ton of recipes I have yet to try. With this one, I took the shortcut and used raspberry jam instead of making the raspberry sauce. This was really because I already had the jam on-hand and did not have any frozen (or fresh) raspberries. It was still very good, though, and with the shortcut I took, it was a cinch to make!

Tempeh and Red Bean Jambalaya with Chipotle Chiles

I bought Vegan Planet a few days ago and this was the first recipe I tried from it. It was really tasty and I look forward to trying more recipes from the book. Instead of the bell pepper that the recipe called for, I used some frozen gumbo veggies (okra, corn, red pepper, etc.) that I had, as I was out of bell peppers and didn't want to go to the store for that one ingredient. My only "complaint" with this recipe is that it said this made 4 actually was more than 6! Granted, I eat fairly small portions, but my boyfriend doesn't. It's not a huge deal, but I am trying to scale down recipes so that we only have one day of leftovers.