Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

VPS – Salsa, Spinach, Green Peppers, Red Onion, Basil

December 7, 2009

It’s that time again – Vegan Pizza Sunday. Our stash of Daiya is holding strong and are love of pizza seems undiminished.

VPS - Salsa, Spinach, Green Peppers, Red Onion, Basil

The fridge was a bit bare this week – busy at work – so it was pretty easy to make a pizza. We used everything we had! In place of tomato sauce we used a fresh mild salsa (Publix makes one very similar to Garden Fresh) topped with spinach, Daiya, green peppers, red onion and fresh basil (still good after two weeks!).

It was cold in the house so we had some difficulty getting the dough to rise. Until, that is, we put it on the fireplace mantle (with a fire rolling, of course). It rose in no time and we were ready to go. I’m still sticking with half high-gluten white and half whole wheat and it’s been working just fine. Maybe next week I’ll try adding some spelt or kamut into the mix.

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Red Rice, Yellow Squash, Spinach, Mushrooms

November 23, 2009

Red Rice, Yellow Squash, Spinach, Mushrooms

We’ve been on a uncommon grain kick lately. Trying all sort of cool sounding, and looking, grains that are more than just what, rice and pasta. Queue red rice.

We had been browsing over at Sevananda and saw the package and figured “why not?” so we picked up a pack. Well, we’ve since bought several more packs as it’s been that good. A little less chewy than barley but with a lot more texture than even brown rice and a ton of “earthy” flavor.

It paired very nicely with some yellow squash my wife received from a woman at work. Some garlic-sauteed spinach and baby portabella mushrooms and a complete meal was born.

Vegan Pizza Sunday – 11.15 – Pesto, Roma Tomatoes, Spinach, Red Onion, Artichokes

November 16, 2009

VPS - 11.15 - Pesto, Roma Tomatoes, Spinach, Red Onion, Artichokes

A tradition we’ve started when football season got underway is Vegan Pizza Sunday. Every Sunday (that I have off from work) we sit around all day watching football and I make some kind of vegan pizza. I’m going to try and make it a regular feature here as well.

Pizza for us is like the soup of the day at a restaurant – a way to use up the odds and ends we have in the fridge. We have yet to hit a bad combination of toppings and tonight was no exception.

I started with a half whole wheat crust (all whole what just doesn’t work out the same way it does with all high-gluten flour) that had some basil pesto incorporated to give it some more flavor.

I don’t typically use a tomato sauce, opting for some kind of roasted tomatoes, fresh tomatoes or pesto. Tonight I had some oven roasted roma tomatoes that were strategically placed around so that each slice would have one. I brushed pesto around the tomatoes and covered the whole thing with spinach.

I had a little bit of Teese leftover so I used that, but it was mostly Daiya. I grabbed a 5 pound bag from Cosmo’s so I’ll have plenty in my freezer to use.

Some julienne red onion and artichoke hearts finished the whole thing off.

Baked on 500 for 25 minutes it was perfect. Everything was soft tender and flavorful. Another winning combination, but it’s not likely to be duplicated.

Quinoa Burritos

November 13, 2009

Sometimes, no matter how much we plan, something wholly unexpected happens. And sometimes it was better than the original plan. This is one of the those times.

I had been planning on making a quick vegetable stir-fry to put over quinoa for dinner. I already had the quinoa mostly done when my wife arrived home from work and asked what was for dinner. It didn’t really matter what I would have said, because she had a craving for burritos. Thinking on my feet, I switched gears entirely and came up with these.

Quinoa Burritos

As I said, the quinoa was almost done already, but I had time to add some cumin, which is all you really need to make anything taste Mexican. I had one remaining can of refried beans (the last can as I’ll be making them from scratch moving forward), so I got those hot as well.

Some baby spinach which would have been in the stir fry got marinated in a little bit of peach-mango salsa. This was our first time trying it and it was a success – we’ve purchased it many times since.

Then it was time to build the burritos. Whole wheat tortilla, spread a little Tofutti sour cream, refried beans, marinated spinach and the cumin-infused quinoa.

As I said, this wasn’t planned but it worked out way better than I was planning on making. We will certainly be having these again.

Jasmine Rice, Kumquats, Mixed Vegetables

July 8, 2009

Jasmine Rice, Kumquats, Mixed Vegetables

It’s simple meals like this that keep me sane. A ton of my favorite foods all come together to create something, simple, flavorful and filling.

In this case, it was the gorgeous-looking kumquats at the grocery store that provided the inspiration. As soon as I saw them, I knew they could be passed up, so I bought them with no plan for using them.

I’ve loved kumquat since the first time I tried them – sour, yet sweet with a great texture they’re hard to beat when their ripe and in season.

I quickly looked through my cupboards and fridge and came up with a quick stir fry of vegetables with jasmine rice with the kumquats.

Jasmine rice is soft, fragrant and flavorful, but the best part is how quickly it cooks. Fifteen minutes on the dot and you’re ready to go. I wish I had thrown in a few kumquats while it was cooking instead of adding them later, but I’ll know for next time.

The vegetables were just a medley zucchini, yellow squash, baby carrots and spinach chiffonade with some dried cilantro all quickly sauteed with some roasted garlic oil, salt and pepper. Easy.

Gnocchi, Spinach, Italian Bread

July 8, 2009

Gnocchi, Spinach, Italian Bread

Now, I’ve blogged about gnocchi before, but I really just wanted to talk about this bread.

This bread, you see, has revolutionized my bread-making abilities. Ok, revolutionized may be a bit strong, but it certainly has changed how I’ve made bread going forward. What was the big discovery? Dried herbs.

It sounds so simple, no? It is, but you get such an amazing effect from them it’s almost a waste not to use them. They’re cheap, don’t go bad (well, eventually) and pack a ton of flavor.

That also leads me to the perfect bread recipe. I mean perfect.

6.5 cups of flour (use any kind you want, just make sure that 4 cups of it is high gluten – whole wheat or even all purpose. The full 6.5 cups of something like spelt flour or barley flour just won’t work).
2 tablespoons of yeast
2 tablespoons of salt
.5 cup of olive oil (or any kind of oil, flavored or otherwise)
3 cups of water (lukewarm, but don’t stress the temperature too much)
Seasonings to taste – I’ve yet to add too much

Combine all ingredients and store in a non-reactive container (I use a stainless steel bowl) lightly covered. On the day you want to bake, just pinch off the size of loaf you want and form into the shape you want. Bake on 400 degrees until it’s nice and dark on the outside. If the bread is sticking to your hands while you’re shaping, add more flour (whole wheat or all-purpose) until it stops doing so. You should let the bread rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into it – no matter how tempting it may be.

Veggie Burgers

June 15, 2009

Built

Sometimes you just can’t phone it in. So I didn’t.

I knew I wanted veggie burgers – I had been craving them for a while. What I didn’t know was what they would become after our trip to Publix. While there the ideas just kept coming. Spinach? Yes, please. Caramelized onions? Of coures. Mushrooms? Uh, ok (I don’t like mushrooms, but made them anyway. Check that, I didn’t like mushrooms).

I still had some Klaussen pickles leftover from somethingorother as well as some delicious roasted tomatoes we picked up at Harry’s (same as these). They’re expensive, but oh so worth it.

The veggie burger mix we use is no longer in production (previously manufactured by Archer’s Midland Harvest, this was the exact mix that Cafe Sunflower uses for their “World’s Best Soy Burger”). It seems as though another company bought the formulation rights and plans to distribute it, just not yet (Ed. I spoke too soon! and will be placing my order just as soon as I finish this post).

So, I got all of my mise en place cut, sauteed and seasoned while the burgers were “marinating”. They take 15 minutes after you mix with water. A quick sautee on each side and the burgers were ready for assembly.

Mise en Place

The buns were something new for us. made by Arnold they are called Sandwich Thins and are great when you don’t want a lot of bread (a rarity for me, but with so many delicious ingredients I didn’t want anything that was going to overpower).

Piled High

Anyway, I layered up the veggie burgers with all of my garnishes and was off to the races. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Mmm….veggie burgers….

Avocado (Tempeh) BLT

April 12, 2009

Completed Avocado BLT

I had some avocados that need to get used up soon. I had been struggling with a way to use them that wasn’t the same old-same old (guacamole, salsa, etc). When I mentioned it to a co-worker, he suggested making some kind of sandwich on my “fancy homemade bread”. And suddenly, it all hit me – an avocado BLT.

The only thing I was missing were the tomatoes, but a quick stop at Publix and I was good to go.

The first step is baking the bread. I know it says 5 minutes a day, but it certainly takes longer than that! But while the bread was baking I got everything else ready. As soon as the bread was in the oven, I tossed the baby spinach with some of Garden Fresh Artichoke Garlic Salsa to let it marinate for a little bit.

Salsa-Marinated Spinach

I sliced my surprisingly-ripe tomatoes and marinated them with a little kosher salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. The avocados weren’t as ripe as I thought they were (we got them from a friend of my wife’s grandparents – a story for another day), but I managed to get some good pieces out of them. A little lemon juice to keep them from turning and it was time to sear the tempeh.

I’ve only just begun using tempeh and I’m still trying to figure out the optimum way to sear it, but I think it came out really well this time. As soon as the tempeh was done, I had to assemble quickly or the sandwich wouldn’t be warm at all, but I wanted to sautee my spinach a bit. After my last turn of the tempeh, I shut off the gas to the burner and as soon as the pan was clear I added my spinach. I didn’t want to cook it all the way – just wilt it – so I stirred it really quickly and put it back in the bowl.

Luckily, the freshly-baked bread was still warm so it wasn’t a cold sandwich after all, so I started by layering up the tempeh and tomatoes a few times and added my avocado.

Tomatoes and Tempeh

Topped the whole thing with the wilted spinach and I was ready to go.

With Spinach

I snapped some blurry pictures and quickly devoured the simply amazing sandwich. So many delicious flavors working together, I cannot wait to make it again.