Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rich Vegetable Stock

Making homemade vegetable stock for the first time is always an event worth documenting. I used this stock in a Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie for Thanksgiving. Though you may be tempted to use a boxed veggie-broth, making it yourself will produce an exponentially more tasty outcome.

This recipe is from Gourmet magazine's "Resetting the Table" November Edition.

Rich Vegetable Stock

1/4 lb mixed portabella and cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 onion, left unpeeled and cut into wedges

3 carrots, cut thickly

1 red bell pepper, cut thickly

2 garlic cloves. coarsely chopped

4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs

3 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

4 cups water

1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss vegetables, garlic and herbs in olive oil in a large roasting pan. Roast for 35-40 minutes.
Straddle the pan across two burners on medium heat. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring 1 minute. Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up the brown bits for 1 minute.
Transfer vegetables with juices to a 4-qt pot. Add water, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on and then discarding the solids.
Stock keeps, chilled, 1 week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Singin' the Turkey Blues

Last year, the task fell upon my sister and I to create an entire Thanksgiving meal, including a turkey, several side dishes, delicious desserts, wine and even a table scape. Though we had several incidents occur during our cooking ordeal, we were able to turn out a pretty impressive feast!

Read about our Turkey-saga on my sister's blog, (The Printed Thought), with instructions on how to cook your own perfect turkey!

Good Luck in all your Thanksgiving endeavors!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Angelic Apple Crisp

Apple crisp, (referred to as apple cobbler by some), is a comfort dessert that takes little effort to make, but is always a pleaser. Pair this with some vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel if you are feeling snazzy. I also advise serving the crisp immediately after you take it out of the oven so the ice cream melts from the heat. And yes, this treat is suitable for breakfast as well as dessert.
(Picture from

Angelic Apple Crisp
From How It All Vegan

6-8 apples, (I used Gala with great results)

1/3 cup apple juice

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup butter or vegan margarine

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

dash of salt

dash of nutmeg

1 box vanilla ice cream, (or soy ice cream for vegans)

caramel topping (optional)

Core and slice the apples into small chunks. Place into a lightly oiled baking dish. Mix together the apple juice and maple syrup in a small bowl and pour it over the apple mixture. In another bowl, combine the sugar, flour, spices and butter. Make sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout the dry mixture. Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the topping is browned and crispy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

In my obsession with all things pumpkin this month, I am posting a recipe that will be of use to many in a few weeks: Pumpkin Pie! After my newly-formed vegan friend made this delicious cold-weather treat, I was so flabbergasted that it was made without animal products that I demanded to be sent the recipe. I was promptly directed to a fantastic website,, that gives great tips on how to live a cruelty-free lifestyle. And bonus: the website just so happens to be produced by Alicia Silverstone! Who knew the former star of Clueless was vegan?

Now go get pie-faced.

Pumpkin Pie

1 can pumpkin puree, (16 ounces)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2-3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 package silken/soft tofu

1 9-inch unbaked vegan pie shell, preferably sugar-free

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Blend the pumpkin and maple syrup together. Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 60 minutes.
Chill and serve.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Potluck Pumpkin Pizza

For a potluck dinner recently hosted at my house, my roommate and I brainstormed a fall-esque recipe that would really impress our friends. Though we dabbled with the idea of make risotto, we were turned off by the idea of stirring over a hot stove for an hour.

We came up with what we called the pumpkin pizza. Sounds odd, but when you deliver this healthy, bright orange disk to a table chock full of great people, the "oooohs and ahhhhs" will come in droves.

Pumpkin Pizza
Serves 8
1 whole wheat, thin pizza crust (Find a good one in a natural foods store)

1 can pumpkin puree

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 small gala apples, cut into thin slices

1/2 log goat cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven according to the package directions on the thin crust. Smear a big layer of pumpkin puree all over the crust. Take sliced apples and layer them over the pumpkin. Sprinkle the walnuts over the pizza, making sure they stick to the pumpkin puree. Place the pizza in the oven, keeping an eye on it to prevent burning. About 30 minutes later, remove the pizza. Dot the entire pie with goat cheese while the pizza is still hot. Slice into 8 servings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Quick Word About Dirt

Late last night, way past the hour that I should have eaten, I was fixin' for a good dinner. Having eaten pretty much the same thing the past few nights, I decided to cook a lovely, refreshing, hearty meal. So off to the supermarket I ventured, and found among other things, a beautiful, dark green head of leafy kale, on sale no less! Estatic about my find, I was so excited to steam it that I merely bypassed the washing phase of the process.

Now somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind there was a voice urging me to give this lettuce relative a good rinse. But in my zeal, it was promptly ignored. In went the kale with a saute of onions, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. A perfect combination if you ask me. There may have even been a clove or two of garlic in there also. But as I took that first bite of what I thought would be satisfying, my mouth was filled with the sediment-y, crunchy sensation one only knows as dirt.

To spare yourself the horror of ruining a perfecly good dish, I warn you, wash your kale!

Chickpea Kale Saute
(these values are loose and can be altered according to taste)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can chickpeas

1/2 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 bunch chopped and WASHED kale, (about 2 huge handfuls)

1 splash lemon juice

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 splashes balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium. Saute chopped onions until soft. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Dump can of chickpeas into saucepan. Add tomatoes. Cook for around 5 minutes. Add kale to pot. Add 1/4 cup water and lemon juice. Cover. Cook until the kale is completely wilted. Remove from heat and drain mixture. Place in bowl. Splash with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.