And again, another vegetable that us vegetarians over here don't particularly care for. Escarole. If you remember last year, we tried it and promptly decided to eat something else. But this one topped the cake.
Side note: I am watching Top Chef Just Desserts right now and drooling, you may see something pumpkin and chocolate coming up soon.
Escarole belongs to that class of bitter vegetables that apparently we Americans are not all too fond of. I think the trick in this soup was not only the simmering of the greens, but also the strong flavored ingredients which must balance out the bitter. I also think that the addition of a bit of acid helps plead escarole's cause. Even if you don't like escarole, please make this and let me know what you think!
White Bean Escarole Soup (based on Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
6 c vegetable stock
2 t fennel seeds
1 head of escarole, sliced into 1" strands, then chopped
3 T tomato paste
rind of parmesan
1 T dried basil
salt and pepper
seperately sauted sausage (we love morning star farms breakfast sausage)
Heat T of oil in a large pot, then add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the broth, parmesan rind, and escarole. Saute for 2 minutes. Add broth, rind, and escarole, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about a 1/2 hour.
If using sausage, especially vegetarian sausage, I strongly suggest cooking it until browned in a seperate pan, then adding to each bowl right before serving. Imitation meat tends to soak up all the liquid so it should be left out till the last minute. But, if you use vegetarian sausage- no cholesterol! And no leftover parts used!
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
But OH.MY.GOODNESS char-grilled eggplant was amazing. I grilled up some eggplant, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms and topped it with my regular staple lentil salad. This idea was supremely better than putting it on top of spinach.
So go ahead, try lentil salad on top of some grilled eggplant, and maybe even learn to like eggplant a bit more ;)
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The last time we had these grits we tried them with fried green tomatoes...that didn't work out so well but boy those grits were tasty.
Cornmeal Crusted Tofu (from Veganomicon)
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (frozen then defrosted for ultimate texture)
1 c almond or regular milk
2 T cornstarch
1 c cornmeal
2 T chilie powder
1 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne
1 T lime zest
1 1/2 t salt
Slice the tofu into 8 slices. Combine milk with cornstarch in a shallow bowl and mix well. In another bowl, toss cornmeal with the remainder of ingredients.
Heat about 1/4 inch or less of oil in a large skillet (I love my big rectangle electric skilletfor this) to medium heat. Drop one piece of tofu into the milk mixture then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Cook the tofu in batches if necessary so you don't overcrowd the pan. Fry the tofu for about 3 minutes per side till browned on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Jalapeno Cheddar Grits
1 c grits
3 jalapenos, diced
3/4 c sharp cheddar
Cook grits according to package directions. When there are 5 minutes left in cooking, stir in the jalapenos and cheddar. Easy peasy.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I wavered in what to serve mostly meat-eaters, and not knowing if my group would be 8 people or 15. After thinking about a traditional bbq menu with fake hotdogs or grilled pizza, I settled on a quesadilla bar. I bought a ton of cheese and tortillas (of which we are still eating leftovers), and served a plothera of fillings like beans, tomatoes, sour cream, mushrooms, and onions. All in all it ended up working in my favor as we had an unexpected vegan in the mix yet the meat-eaters still seemed to enjoy it. On the side I made a black bean sald, mexican rice, and friends brought chips and salsa.
The black bean salad was heavy on the farm-veggies with tomatoes, onion, and peppers either from the farm or my garden. I mixed black beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and red onion with salt, pepper, olive oil, cilantro, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Nothing fancy to let the veggies take center stage.
Party-goers assembled their quesadilla at the table on a plate, the plopped it on the grill which was on for two rounds of quesadilla making. Overall this was a great party idea, and very veg friendly as everyone made their own quesadillas.
What are your ideas for when vegetarians/vegans come for a meal? Or vice versa, what are your ideas when picky or meat-eaters come to a meal?