March 29, 2009

vegetarian baked beans with cornbread

When I think of baked beans I usually think of cans, cowboys, and family gatherings. Now I also think of slow cooking at home.

Serving Size: 8

Vegetarian Baked Bean Ingredients:
2 1/2 c. navy beans, dry
4 c. water
2 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. sorgham molasses
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. canola oil
1 T. liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
1 t. brown mustard seed, ground
1 t. black pepper
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Cornbread Ingredients:
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. plain soy milk
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. canola oil

To start the baked beans, soak the navy beans for a few hours. Then cook the soaked beans until they are just starting to get tender. Drain and rinse the beans.

In a large pot or crock-pot, saute the onion, ground mustard seed, black pepper, salt and cayenne in canola oil until the onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 hours or until the beans are really tender and flavorful.

Mix the dry cornbread ingredients together. Mix the wet cornbread ingredient together. Stir wet and dry ingredients together. Bake in a greased cast iron skillet or a 9x9 pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Side Note:
We used sorghum molasses instead of regular molasses because for us sweet sorghum can be grown more locally than sugar cane.

March 21, 2009

sun dried tomato hummus with homemade pitas

H-U-M-M-U-S! Hummus! You can find it at Middle Eastern restaurants, vegetarian friendly sandwich shops, potlucks, and the supermarket. There are many variations to the basic recipe - sun dried tomato, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, cracked pepper, eggplant, etc, etc.

Serving Size: 12 pitas with hummus

Hummus Ingredients:
2.5 c. cooked (1 c. dry) garbanzo beans
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes (reconstituted in the lemon juice)
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 t. cumin
1/8 t. cayenne
1/3 . olive oil
3 cloves garlic
salt and black pepper to taste

Pita Ingredients:
all-purpose flour (3 c.)
instant yeast
olive oil

Blend all of the hummus ingredients, in a food processor. When parsley is in season, throw that in as well. Adjust seasonings and consistency as desired. Top with paprika and olive oil.

To make the pitas, we followed a recipe in "The Bread Bible" which I totally recommend. The basic gist is that you mix the pita ingredients, knead the dough, let it rise, divide it into 12 balls, flatten the balls into 1/4" disks, and bake for 3 minutes at 475 degrees.

March 15, 2009

corned seitan and cabbage

Growing up, my mom made corned beef and cabbage every year for St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef is one of the few meats that I miss since becoming a vegetarian. Well, at least I can still celebrate St. Patrick's Day with some corned seitan and cabbage!

Serving Size: 6

1/2 "corned beef" seitan from Everyday Dish, sliced
1/2 cabbage head, wedged or sliced in long strips
3 red potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 yellow onion, wedged
1 can of beer
remaining seitan cooking liquid
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

I followed the recipe on Everyday Dish for no-knead "corned beef" seitan. To achieve a tougher, less spongy seitan, Everyday Dish has you wrap the seitan in cheesecloth so that during the boiling process it cannot expand much. Overall, I was pleased with the results of their recipe.

As you finish with the Everyday Dish recipe, remove the seitan from the cooking liquid. Reserve the cooking liquid. Slice the seitan into strips 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick and 1 - 1.5 inches wide. If you want, you can make the seitan the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight.

In a large pot or crock, alternately layer pieces of cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and onion, adding salt to each layer. Add in a bay leaf and a can of beer, any kind. Add some or all of the reserved seitan cooking liquid. Bring the veggies to a boil and simmer for about an hour, until the cabbage and potatoes are soft. Drain the extra cooking liquid. It can be frozen and used later to make more seitan, or for a soup base. Add the seitan strips to the veggies, mix up, and serve.

Cooking the seitan separately like this prevents it from expanding and getting more spongy. Next time I might try cooking the veggies while simmering the seitan in the cheesecloth.

Side Note:
The "corn" in "corned beef" refers to large grains of salt used to cure the beef. More info straight from Wikipedia: corned beef was never consumed in Ireland, but was picked up as a substitute for bacon by Irish immigrants in New York City from their Jewish neighbors. [source]

March 8, 2009

tempeh sauerkraut sandwich

This is an old standby of ours. It is quick, easy and totally satisfying. It is sort of like a tempeh reuben but without the cheese or thousand island dressing since we do not regularly have those items in our house.

Serving Size: 1

2 oz. tempeh
2 T. canola oil
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. paprika
1/8 t. dill
rye bread

Slice tempeh lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips. In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the tempeh strips and sprinkle each side of the strips with salt, paprika and dill. Cook until both sides are golden.

Toast the rye bread. Slather on some tahini. Top the tahini with as much sauerkraut as you see fit. Add the golden tempeh strips and proceed to feast!