Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Swiss Chard Pasta

Just got back from a week in South Carolina, where everything is served with bacon or ham in it.  It would challenging to be a vegetarian or vegan in this part of the country, however I did enjoy my first fried green tomato, and fried okra is not so bad either.  My brother-in-law got married out there, and all wedding events were vegetarian, which was impressive and delicious.  After a long trip home, it is nice to be back in San Francisco, where we simply have the best food choices in the world.  We sure are spoiled.  Here's an easy pasta dish to take advantage of the lovely, colorful chards filling the markets.

16 ounces pasta (penne, rigatoni, etc.)
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds (approx. 2 bunches) Swiss chard, washed, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 cup white wine
2 cups crushed red tomatoes
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated vegan parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, to taste

Cook pasta al dente, a couple minutes shy of package instructions. Save some of the pasta cooking water before draining.  In a large skillet, heat the oil and shallots over med-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes and stir in the garlic. Add the chopped Swiss chard and toss to coat, then pour in the wine and stir until the chard wilts.  Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and pine nuts. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and stir in the reserved pasta cooking water. Do not over cook the chard. It is ready as soon as it has wilted.  Add the pasta, salt and pepper, top with cheese and serve immediately.
Serves 4

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

There's no substitute for a warm chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven.  I have to give credit to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, whose book The Joy of Vegan Baking seriously made me joyful when I learned I could have just about any dessert I wanted in a vegan version.  There is absolutely no compromise in flavor or texture here either: I promise.  I mean, just look at these babies!  Tip: with almost all cookies I like to use a Silpat liner.  It keeps the bottoms from burning and sticking and makes clean up a breeze!

4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (eq. of 3 eggs)
6 Tablespoons water
1 cup non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, softened (earth balance)
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
3/4 packed cup organic brown sugar
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached AP flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (my version, hers uses all AP)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegan chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Whip the egg replacer and water together in food processer or blender until creamy.  In a stand mixer (or large bowl) cream the butter, sugars and vanilla.  Add the egg replacer and combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt.  Add to the wet mixture gradually until a dough forms.  Stir in the chips (and nuts if using.)  Drop rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer to a rack to cool.
Makes ~1 dozen...so double the recipe???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grilled & Marinated Zucchini & Squash

It's too hot to cook inside these days (90F!), so we've been taking advantage of the grill while we can here in SF.  We did grilled pizzas this weekend (coming to blog soon), vegan sausages a couple nights ago, and these yummy zucchs last night.  Super simple.

2 organic zucchini 
2 organic yellow squash
4 Tablespoons EVOO
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh organic mint leaves, chopped

Toss zucchini with 1/2 the EVOO and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Grill about 5 minutes on each side.  Place on serving plate and sprinkle with minced garlic and drizzle with remaining oil and the vinegar. Let stand 1 hour (or refrigerate, up to overnight; bring to room temperature before serving). When ready to serve, sprinkle with the mint.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Beef" and Broccoli Bowls

Vegan Beef
It really looks like beef, huh?  I am loving these yummy gardein beefless tips in all sorts of dishes.  The easiest meal is this "Beef" and Broccoli Bowl served over brown rice.  Quick, healthy, surprisingly meaty.  I'm going to try to make a "Beef" Stroganoff with it next: another childhood staple.  I'll keep you posted.  ;)

1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 9oz package gardein beefless tips
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 organic broccoli crown, sectioned and steamed
2-3 cups steamed organic brown rice

While your rice and broccoli are steaming, heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add frozen beefless tips and saute 5 min.  Add soy sauce, turn down the heat to med/low and cover, stirring occasionally so the "beef" doesn't stick, for another 3-5 min until cooked all the way through.  Place the beef and broccoli over rice and serve with spicy red rooster sauce and extra soy sauce.

Serves ~2

Monday, October 4, 2010

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad reminds me of my childhood.  It wasn't nearly this good: we ate a much simpler version with a lot more mayo in it.  I made this for dinner the other night, and it was all I needed.  (Hubby needed a veggie burger to go with it.)  You could also toss some veggie chick'n in it to make it more of a meal.   Perfect for a warm summer night.

1/2 cup yogurt
2 Tablespoons Vegenaise
2 Tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (or 1 Tablespoon dried)
1 teaspoon honey
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large organic apples, cored and chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup organic red grapes, sliced in half
2 celery ribs, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (leaves chopped)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, honey, and lemon zest in a large bowl and season generously with pepper.  Add the apples, celery, grapes and walnuts to the bowl, mix and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Serves 4
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