Monday, July 18, 2011

Recipes from the weekend

I got to do a fair amount of cooking over the weekend, some of it turning out quite good. I'm not very good at plate presentation, so I didn't take many photos.

Quinoa with Almond "Cheese" Sauce

I made a batch of the "Basic Vegan 'Cheeze' Sauce" from the link above, using almonds instead of cashews (because that's what we had on hand). This was mixed in with some steamed quinoa. I thought it was really good, but my wife wasn't into it. It seems she just doesn't like nutritional yeast.

While it's quite healthy, the cheese sauce is also very calorie-dense. So if you're concerned about that kind of thing, you'll want to take it easy. I had to finish my wife's serving in addition to my own, and what little was left went on top of my salad. So I ate the whole thing in one meal. Oops.

Black-eyed Pea Masala over Quinoa

This was just a way of using up the leftover quinoa and a half a bag of black-eyed peas that have been sitting in the pantry for a while. It was well received, at least by my wife and me. It isn't the kind of thing that the kids are into.

Roasted balsamic onions

Inspired by a similar dish they served for lunch at work one day, I made this with young onions from our garden. I didn't try giving any of this to the kids either, but my wife and I both enjoyed them.

Onions from our garden

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

We had a baked butternut squash in the fridge that needed to be used, so I pulled this recipe out of my bookmarks. I had just started to prepare supper when the power went out, so after a good deal of grumbling, I got my improvisational juices flowing.

Since the squash was already cooked, I expected to deviate from the recipe's instructions. I sliced the apples (using just 2 Galas) and planned to saute them in Earth Balance and cinnamon. Fortunately our gas grill has a side burner, so I moved the cooking operations out to the deck.

After the apples cooked for a little while, I added the squash and a tablespoon or so of rehydrated dried onion flakes to the saute pan, along with 1/2 cup of water. Once that had cooked for a few minutes,  I added 2 cups of Rapunzel broth and the other seasonings, minus the black pepper and plus a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. I wanted a little sweeter flavor, and I'm a total blackstrap addict.

All of that was cooked down pretty well, but far from smooth. Fortunately the power came back on just in time to puree the soup in the blender before serving. Even my 21-month-old son loved it, eating a couple of bowls of soup while largely turning up his nose at the PB&J sandwich served on the side.

Turkey Hot Dog Stirfry

Hot dog stir-fry
This is something my daughter and I have made together a couple of times over the past week. We used her favorite vegetables - baby carrots, bell peppers, and spinach - along with the chopped hot dogs. The carrots (julienned) and peppers (finely chopped) go in first, with a tablespoon of oil. When they start to become tender, add the hot dogs. After those are heated through and starting to brown, put in about 1/2 cup of water, maybe less, and a couple of handfuls of spinach. Cover and cook until the spinach is fully wilted. Then remove the lid and continue to cook until the water has evaporated.

Since this was just for the kids, we didn't use any seasonings. My son picked the hot dogs out and left the vegetables, but my daughter had no trouble cleaning her plate. So while I have no idea what this tasted like, I guess it was good enough.

Overnight Oatmeal

I love having oatmeal for breakfast, but during the summer a hot breakfast isn't always what I want. So what could be better than cold oatmeal? There are endless variations, but this is what I did most recently:
  • 1/2 cup old-fashion oats
  • 1 cup sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
Just put that in a bowl, stir it up, and stick it in the fridge overnight. When you wake up in the morning, a tasty, filling bowl of cold oatmeal is waiting for you.

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