April 2012 archive
I am not winning any awards in naming my recipes. Seriously, I think this is one of the most difficult things about posting recipes; there is a fine line between being descriptive and being dull. That being said, this is what you get for this bad boy: a shroom sammy with jalapeno cheddar sauce because… that’s exactly what this sandwich is.
After I saw ‘The Sexy Vegan’ slice his shrooms horizontally… I wanted to do it! I was originally dreaming of doing a philly cheeze steak (wit whiz of course) but then I had all these jalapanos that I needed to eat up so into the sauce they went. And out came a meaty, spicy, sloppy, man sandwich!
It also doesn’t hurt that I made homemade dutch crunch rolls to go with. Besides trying to win a girlfriend of the year award, I have been trying to make my own bread as much as possible. Why? Because it’s FUN and I seem to enjoy spending every last drop of my non-working time in my kitchen. For all of you not-near-the-bay area folks, dutch crunch bread is out of this world! Hands down my favorite sandwich bread, I usually top this with avocado, fresh summer tomatoes and sprouts. I used this recipe from The Baking Barrister and used almond milk. It turned out perfect!
This bread definitely helps to make the sandwich but you can sub store-bought if you don’t have an extra 3 hours to make dinner.
3 large portabello mushroom caps, cleaned
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Combine the above ingredients together and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven (or the grill- it is getting to be grill season!) to 400 degrees. Place the mushrooms in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool until just slightly warm.
Now you are ready to slice. With a very sharp knife, thinly slice the mushroom cap horizontally, creating thin ‘beef-like’ strips. Do this to all of the mushrooms.
Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add 1 yellow onion, sliced very thinly. Cook for a few minutes until slightly caramelized. Add the sliced mushrooms and homemade Philly-BBQ sauce (below). Cook for 5-10 minutes until warmed through and reduced.
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup BBQ sauce- purchased or homemade
Jalapeno Cheddar Sauce
3 tbsp. Earth Balance Margarine
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup soy or almond milk
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped Jalapeno peppers
Melt margarine over medium heat, stir in the flour and wisk to combine. Heat for a few minutes until it becomes golden-brown and smells nutty. Add the milk, nutritional yeast, jalapenos, garlic powder to the flour mixture and bring to a boil. Keep wisking the mixture the entire time you are heating it. Reduce heat to medium-low and let sauce thicken. Stir in agave and rice wine vinegar.
So serve your Sammies:
Top dutch crunch roll with sauce, layer mushrooms on top. I added some mixed greens to mine but dress up how you like it!
What’s your favorite manly sammy?
I think Northern California bypassed Spring and went straight to summer. Most of March was rainy and windy until recently when temperatures hit 90 for most of the week. Don’t get me wrong, the gorgeous weather is one of my main reasons for living in Sacramento, but I do miss the drawn-out seasons on the east coast.
Belonging to our awesome CSA helps us eat more in line with the growing seasons. I strive to eat seasonally as much as a I can, a task that isn’t easy when all types of produce are available year-round. However, I find that I appreciate foods more eating this way and the taste cannot be beat. Especially when it comes to fresh spring and summer crops: corn, berries, greens, tomatoes. They just don’t have the same taste when eaten at other times of the year.
This month’s Recipe Redux is all about the first shoots of Spring! Think ramps, garlic scapes, pea shoots, asparagus and more. My recipe focuses on my favorite spring items: spring onions, green garlic, and garlic chives. This soup really does taste like spring! Unlike heartier winter soups, this comes together very quickly, perfect for weeknight dinners.
Red Spring Onions (closest): similar to scallions they have a milder flavor than larger onions. I love them in soups and stir fries as they don’t overpower the other ingredients.
Green Garlic (middle): milder flavor and less bitter bite than bulb garlic. This garlic also becomes slightly sweet when cooked and can be eaten raw.
Garlic Chives: You know this Italian loves her garlic! Chives with a delicate garlic flavor.
Spring Green Soup
1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
2 heads green garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 cups good quality vegetable broth
1″ piece ginger, finely chopped or grated
4 oz. buckwheat Soba noodles
1/2 cup garlic chives, thinly chopped
Salt/Pepper to season
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the spring onion, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger, green garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 more minutes.
Stir in the rice wine vinegar and add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the buckwheat noodles, cooking until tender. Add the spinach, stirring a few times until the spinach turns bright green and has wilted slightly- about 2 minutes. Stir in chives and salt/pepper to taste.
Enjoy! What are your favorite Spring shoots?
I love the idea of buffalo-sauce coated anything. Seriously, the heat and buttery goodness taste amazing on any food: tofu, tempeh, or straight out of the bottle. BL and I are huge buffalo fans and make nuggets often during the fall for football games. A big pile of those, homemade ranch, and beer is my favorite way to spend a lazy saturday. But, health reasons included, those days are very far and few between.
My sister was visiting a few weeks ago and as a somewhat new vegetarian I was showing her how to use tofu multiple ways. I started of with this version, the easiest and most impressive, lightly fried. As a fellow buffalo sauce freak we decided to make Buffalo Chix Salad because as everyone knows, eating lettuce with your fried tofu makes for a very healthy meal.
Buffalo Chix Salad
1 16 oz. container extra firm tofu
1/2 cup corn starch
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup oil
Lettuce- enough for 4 salads
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup Buffalo Chicken Sauce (like Frank’s)
3 tbsp. Earth Balance Margarine
(I use this version from Morgan at Little House of Veggies. I add lemon juice to it as well. It’s so addictive we affectionately call it vegan crack in my house).
Start by pressing the tofu. There are lot’s of ways to do this, I just drain the water from the tofu, wrap the block in a kitchen towel, place it on a plate and set a sauce pan with heavy cans on top. Keep it like this for 10-15 minutes while you shred the carrots, prep the salad and make the dressing.
Prep salad: combine shredded carrots, lettuce, avocodo and whatever other vegetables you want.
Make the dressing: follow directions from LHOF.
Unwrap the tofu and cut into small, bite size cubes. Combine the corn starch and salt on a large plate.
Heat a skillet, I like my cast-iron pan for this, to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1/4 cup canola oil.
Dredge the tofu in the corn starch mixture and place in the skillet. Let cook until golden on one side and flip with tongs, continue to cook the rest of the tofu mixture like this.
Place on paper-towel to drain when finished.
Melt the butter and combine with the buffalo sauce. Toss the cooked tofu with the buffalo chicken sauce.
Assemble: Salad, ranch dressing, buffalo chix. Dig in and smile.
Press releases that target miracle foods are a dime a dozen. Just this week we learned that people who eat chocolate are thinner (not so fast…the study had no controls and made very lofty conclusions) and that popcorn contains more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables.
I’m skeptical when it comes to most food headlines as I find that sifting through what is posted and what actually happened in the study can be two very different things. Today we are talking about popcorn and the claim that it’s not only good for you; it’s also high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Polyphenols are found in foods derived from plants like dark chocolate and red wine. Antioxidants are thought to repair damage caused by free radicals- unstable molecules in the body.
The study focused on plain popcorn kernels, not the delicious treat you find in a microwavable bag or doused in butter and salt in the movie theatre. Those are still not the healthiest choice; the average movie theatre popcorn bucket contains 1100 calories and 62g fat.
The study, presented at the American Chemical Society in March, tested four brands of popcorn kernels by grinding them up and analyzing them. The results showed that most of the polyphenols came from the hull, the insoluble part of the kernel. That’s the part that gets stuck in your teeth, not the fluffy white part. Yes, the polyphenol amounts in the hull surpassed fruit and vegetable levels but that’s also the part we can’t digest. We need to analyze the amount of antioxidants we absorb from the hull using human subjects; it is almost impossible to speculate the benefits without taking a closer look at absorption rates during digestion.
Now, with that being said, plain popcorn is a low-calorie food, containing whole grains and fiber. It can also be a very inexpensive snack compared to chips and pretzels. My favorite way of cooking it involves a microwave and paper lunch bag. Just toss ¼ cup organic popcorn with 1 tsp. olive oil and whatever seasonings you like (try curry powder! Seriously, it’s weird and awesome). Place in a paper bag, fold the top over and either staple or tape. Place the bag in the microwave for 2 ½ minutes or until popping stops.
What seasonings do you like on your popcorn?