Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

I think we got more rain after Hermine passed than the initial blast.  That made riding the bike around just impossible.

Well, when it rains and is crappy out, you have to find shelter.  Where else better than a kitchen with a gallon of good beer?  Oh yeah, and food.

I was going for Eggplant Parmesan, but I decided to get creative and make it into a chili too.

Start with skinning & dicing two small eggplants.  Throw some salt on it & get it to “sweat” the bitterness out.  You can put it in a colander so that the liquid drains easily.  Let that sit for about twenty minutes and saute it in a pan with a little bit of oil until it’s browned.

In a large pot, take a diced yellow onion, four chopped tomatoes, a minced clove of garlic,1t salt, 2T of oil and set the pot on medium, mixing occasionally.  It will eventually be a base marinara(stop there if you want marinara).

This stuff is going to be marinara soon.  Then chili after.

This stuff is going to be marinara soon. Then chili after.

Mince up a couple of your favorite peppers(I used a Hungarian wax & a datil), grab 2T of Italian spices(oregano, basil, thyme, sage, etc.) and throw those in the pot with the marinara.

Fresh from the garden.  Doesn't get much better.

Fresh from the garden. Doesn’t get much better.

We're getting there.

We’re getting there.

Once everything is incorporated nicely, add 4C water, 3C cooked pinto beans, & 3T chili powder.  Cover it up and let it cook for a long time.

The water will reduce some.

The water will reduce some.

From there, you’ve got a bit of time…probably an hour or so, so just grab a beer and watch the storm roll in on a preferably enclosed porch.  Maybe even look down to see a friend with you in the kitchen.

I looked down.  He looked up.  He also had onion paper on his nose.

I looked down. He looked up. He also had onion paper on his nose.

After you’re finished spending an hour however you’d like, add the sautéed eggplant from before to the mix.  It should be noticeably chunkier now.

This is noticeably chunkier than before.

This is noticeably chunkier than before.

Let that simmer for another ten minutes while you cook some noodles or rice or whatever you like with Eggplant Parmesan Chili, not that you’ve had it before, but get creative….that’s what a kitchen’s all about.

Put the mix on top of whatever you’ve decided on & follow-up with some almond Parmesan or just plain ol’ nutritional yeast to get a little veg cheese action going.  It might look like this:

Now that's some storm comfort food there.

Now that’s some storm comfort food there.

Once the storm is over, hug your fur babies and get some incriminating pictures of them.

Okay, it's not incriminating, but it's pretty cute what Cinder's doing here.

Okay, it’s not incriminating, but it’s pretty cute what Cinder’s doing here.

….aaaaand that’s how you enjoy some time in a tropical depression.  Or in this case, a humid sadness.

Just kidding.  Hope everyone’s okay & has electric back and such.  I’m glad it didn’t hit as bad as what a lot of the meteorologists were freaking out about Hermine, but they’re all out there for the big scoop and the exaggeration.  Now, enjoy some Chili.  Or Eggplant Parmesan.  Or whatever you want to call it.

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Wow.  It’s been some time since I’ve written here, mainly because I’ve been acclimating to a better life and celebrating how much I’m liking it(trust me, I’ve been celebrating a lot lately).

Both jobs are great, both pups are still awesome, and I’ve been in the kitchen more than I’ve been in my life.  This gives me a lot of time to imagine new recipes and weird food combinations that make what I do so much more fun to me.

There’s waaaay too many “I”‘s in those paragraphs.  Here’s a picture of pups:

He made a shank, and proud of it.  I think he's trying to tell me something.  I better give him more food.

He made a shank, and proud of it. I think he’s trying to tell me something. I better give him more food.

Okay.  Now that is out of the way for now, let’s talk barbecue.

One of my friends had this great idea about using Portobello mushroom stems for barbecue.  I haven’t had the opportunity to try it, so I figured I would give it a go.  It turns out it’s really easy.

Start out with the stems:

You'll obviously cut & clean them before cooking them.  Unless you like gritty BBQ.

You’ll obviously cut & clean them before cooking them. Unless you like gritty BBQ.

Shred them between your hands.  The easiest way is to roll them in between your hands, but you can also just pull them apart.

Shredded!

Shredded!

Add about 2T of oil to the 4C of shredded stems.  Don’t use too much, because the mushrooms will exude liquid too.  Dump a diced onion in there, mix up real good and heat on medium heat.

Okay, I like chopped onion, but if you like it diced, go for it.

Okay, I like chopped onion, but if you like it diced, go for it.

Once the onions start to get a little translucent, add some spice.  I’ve never been one to settle for a pre-made BBQ sauce if I have some spices on hand, so I used 2T brown sugar, 1T salt, 1T pepper, 1T paprika & then added a minced garlic clove.  It might look like this:

Chef Cinder supervises most things involving food in the kitchen.

Chef Cinder supervises most things involving food in the kitchen.

Stir every so often so it mixes well & doesn’t stick to the pan(it shouldn’t with the oil in there).

Sous Chef Little Baby Alec Baldwin is always around for cleanup.

Sous Chef Little Baby Alec Baldwin is always around for cleanup.

That’s it.  Like most of the recipes here, it’s super simple and ultra-tasty.  Throw it on a bun, eat it on its own, or top some mashed potatoes with it(that’s what we did).

That’s all for now, I’ve got to head to this college course I’m leading and then hunker down for the impending storm that’s about to hit Florida.

By hunkering down, I mean grabbing a bunch of beer.  I think some vegan eggplant parmesan is in the forecast too.

Oh yeah, the college course is through Florida State College at Jacksonville.  It’s a continuing education course devoted to a plant-based lifestyle.  This should be a breeze teaching:)

Have a good one!

 

It’s Christmas Eve!!  Or Holiday Eve.  Or December 24th.

Whatever you call it, it’s dead in the middle of winter.

And I’ve got my front door open, a window open in the kitchen, & the breeze is amazing.  Not to rub it in anyone’s face.

If it’s cold in your vicinity, just cuddle up to a couple pups.  That’s what I’ve been doing for the most part when it gets cold here, which it does sporadically.  I’m also a fan of dressing pups up when it’s cold, considering one of my pups is a smaller breed & gets cold easily.

It's not that they're begging to be dressed; I'm pretty sure I've got some morsel behind the camera.

It’s not that they’re begging to be dressed; I’m pretty sure I’ve got some morsel behind the camera.

So it does get cold here.  Just no white Christmases.

I’ve been kind of playing around with pop tart ideas & finally figured an easy recipe out.  Just something fun to eat & even more fun to prepare.

Start with about a cup of flour, 1/4t of salt, 1/2t of sugar & mix in about 1/3 of a cup of coconut oil in its solid form.  Mix it around until you’ve got a crumbly texture to the mix.

Add ice water, first a quarter of a cup, then tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing thoroughly until you have a dry dough that feels almost like a hard lump of play doh.

Roll that dough out with a rolling pin & cut to whatever shapes you want.

I'm insanely boring, so I just cut rectangles.

I’m insanely boring, so I just cut rectangles.

You can opt to use any jam or even preserves if you’d like for the filling.  I simmered strawberries that I pureed with a little bit of cane sugar to make a homemade filling.

Just spoon a little bit of the filling onto the shaped cutout dough.  Don’t do it all the way to the edges, keep in mind the filling will spread when you put the other cutout on top.

As you are about to put the top piece on, wet the edges of the dough so that the pieces will stick together when you stamp them together with a fork.  You’ll also want to remember to poke vent holes in the top.  You wouldn’t want these guys to blow up.

Okay, it's not perfect, but this was a picture of my first attempt.

Okay, it’s not perfect, but this was a picture of my first attempt.  You can see the filling was a little bit on the wet side & seeped out of the corners.  It still tasted really good.

 

I'm convinced I need to start a vegan breakfast joint.  With pizza.  & vegan booze.

I’m convinced I need to start a vegan breakfast joint. With pizza. & vegan booze.  Where pups are allowed.

For added yumminess, wet the tops of the tarts & sprinkle a little more sugar on there.

Preheat the oven on the high broil setting or bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yeah, so I ate one almost immediately out of the oven.  I'm smart when it comes to cooking the stuff at least.  I also made a strawberry empanada that was delicious.

Yeah, so I ate one almost immediately out of the oven. I’m smart when it comes to cooking the stuff at least, even if that does mean I’m not smart when it comes to eating food that will inevitably burn my mouth. I also made a strawberry empanada that was delicious.

So that’s it.  Easy stuff & a really fun project if you’ve got some helping hands around the house, which I did.

No I wasn’t talking about the dogs.

Here’s a couple more pictures of them though, as is the usual.

I'm all better from the illness I had.  Baldwin still sleeps a lot.

I’m all better from the illness I had. Baldwin still sleeps a lot.

I mean, they both sleep a LOT.

I mean, they both sleep a LOT.  Cinder usually dozes most of the time.

Well, they sleep a lot except when there's a lightning storm.  Then they are as close to my head as they can get.  Cinder was laying beside me in this one.

Well, they sleep a lot except when there’s a lightning storm. Then they are as close to my head as they can get. Cinder was laying beside me in this one.

That’s it from me/us.  I hope everyone has a great holiday season or whatever you call it.  Just be great to others, that’s what this time of year is all about, no matter what you call the day.

See you next year!

 

So in a couple of days my partner & I are going to Ohio for a wedding and to visit our families for about a week.  We typically take turns on vacations to make sure our canine companion Cinder doesn’t get too lonely or anxious, but we are both going this time.

A little bit on Cinder’s history….

We found her at the Humane Society back in Ohio in 2009, already four years & a few months old and a Hurricane Katrina survivor.  The shelter in our county had four such canines & I can only imagine how many more were distributed to all of the shelters across the nation after that horrible storm.

To this day, Cinder still shows a lot of fear when storms come through(more fear than any dog I’ve met, and there are a lot of pups I’ve known) & absolutely freaks out when my partner & I leave, despite not making a big deal of comings & goings or trying to ignore a hopping, licking, fifty pound ball of happy to relax her.

She has gotten a lot better mannered in the four years we’ve been with her, but she still shows signs of the past unknown.

Which is why I was very hesitant, if not completely against the idea of boarding her for the time we were gone.  There were talks of these “paradise” places & just awesome boarders, but I couldn’t see Cinder being comfortable at all & I’d hate to undo all of the work we have done together to get Cinder to have a relaxed & relatively care free life.

Just not a good idea.  At all.

Then the idea of one of our friends staying with her came up.  We have some friends that could do it, but considering how anxious she gets with us & her occasional messes on the floor, I’d hate to put our friends through a week long janitorial training program while fending off that fifty pound lick machine mentioned before.

Just so everyone knows, I love coming home to such an enthusiastic, loving friend on a daily basis.  It makes for a perfect end to a long workday.  So when I made it a point to say that she should go on the trip with us, I had all the right answers.

Partner:  Where will she stay?

Me:  I’ll get a hotel if she can’t stay with family.

P:  What about the wedding?

M:  Our cousin loves her, he wants her to stay with him.

P:  What about food or eating out?

M:  I like picnics.

And on and on.  There is just no way I can leave Cinder behind and wonder what she is doing for a week, so she just has to come with us.

It’s just non-negotiable;  where I go, she goes.

Except for work, but someday I’ll have a job where she can hang out with me all day long.

Now, here we go with some easy vegan pizza dough!

Start with 1 1/2C of warm water and 2t of fast rising yeast.  Let that sit while you get all of the rest of the ingredients set up.

Mix 4C of flour & 1/2t of salt in a mixing bowl.  Mince about five cloves of garlic and set aside.

By now the water/yeast mixture should be decently mixed.  Add 1/4C of olive oil(I’ve gotten to like coconut oil in this too) and the garlic to it, mix well & add to the flour mixture.

Knead that combination until it is pretty well mixed & soft.  It should still be just a bit sticky.  Cover with some saran wrap & set aside for an hour or until it has doubled.  While I wait, I usually make my sauce & chop my veggies or season my tofu.

Take the dough & spread it in a greased pan evenly, trying to move everything to the border of the pan.  Throw your sauce & toppings on top, throw it in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350 & enjoy!

You can make alternatives to pizza as well with this dough recipe–calzones, bread sticks(top with vegan margarine for extra yum), or even make small loaves of garlic bread!  The minced cloves of garlic give the bread just enough of a hint of garlic to make it tasty but not overbearing.

Well, that’s it for me for a couple of days.  I might write a couple of these on the road because I do love coming across cool vegan spots on road trips, so keep an eye out for that!  Ohio does have some awesome places to eat, you just have to find them:)

I’ve always been a fan of reubens, and any time I can find a vegan version anymore, I pretty much have to try it.  The only problem is the that sightings of vegan reubens have long periods of time in between them in my experience.  Not a problem, you just have to get creative & enjoy twists on recipes.

I also enjoy fast & simple recipes, so here is a simple, fast, creative twist on a reuben…That is vegan.

Things you will need:

-Tempeh

-Avocado

-Jalapeno

-Sauerkraut

-Tortilla wraps of your choice

-Soy Sauce

-Pickles

-Salt

-Old Bay Seasoning

-Mustard

-A lemon if you really want to get crazy

Oil a pan & let it get hot while you prepare the tempeh.  I usually cut it into small strips, but it can be crumbled as well.  Toss the tempeh in about 1/2 cup of soy sauce to cover it.  I like to sprinkle a little Old Bay Seasoning on it, just season to taste on that.

Once the pan is hot, throw the marinated tempeh in & flip every so often.  While that is cooking, start mashing the avocado in a bowl.  Mince about a 1/2 cup of pickles, mash them with the blade of your knife, mix them into the mashed avocado and add salt & mustard to taste.  If you have a wedge of lemon, squeezing that into the mix wouldn’t hurt.

Drain the sauerkraut(canned, jarred, or bonus points for home made) & dump onto the browned tempeh.  Put the pan on about medium heat now.  Mince a jalapeno & throw that into the mixture.

Grab whatever wrap you can use & spread the avocado relish on a full half of it.  By now the jalapeno sauerkraut should be browned & should be mixed well with the tempeh.  Just put some of that on the tortilla, pull the end over, one side over, the opposite side over, & enjoy with a good beer.

Pretty easy, right?  I made this in about twenty minutes.  There aren’t any definitive measurements because not one of our tastes are exactly the same, so mix away, be your own Rembrandt in the kitchen.  That is, after all, what this food thing is about when it comes down to it: art.