Saturday, June 14, 2008

VCON-athon, part I

I've been cooking like a madwoman lately!

Lunch last Sunday:
Green Onion Egg Drop Soup on the left, and fried rice on the right. (We had leftover rice from dinner out a day or two earlier.) The rice was excellent, but the soup was just okay -- I probably wouldn't make it again.

Yet MORE cobbler:
Straight rhubarb this time. YUUUM. I will be sad when rhubarb season is over for the year. :(

Dinner Thursday night:
Tempeh fajitas! I sliced a package of three-grain tempeh into sixteen slices, and marinaded it for a couple hours along with thickly sliced red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and half a red onion, in the following:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
zest and juice of two small limes
3 cloves garlic, crushed (no need to peel or chop)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
After their soak, I pan-fried the tempeh and veg in a hot cast-iron skillet, and served them in homemade flour tortillas, (recipe from the Joy of Cooking), garnished with Chile-Chocolate Mole, (from VCON,) sliced avocado, and mixed baby greens.

P.S. I used a new kind of flour in the tortillas. My co-op carries all-purpose flour in bulk, but also something called "white flour," which is milled from wheat that has had the bran removed, but not the germ, so it has a better nutritional profile. This may be my new all-purpose flour from now on! It sure made heavenly tortillas.

I've been missing prepared breakfast cereals with my whole "five or less" rule, so I decided to try a new granola recipe:
I've been kind of displeased with homemade granola in the past, but this recipe did not disappoint! This is the best homemade granola I've ever made, the simplest recipe by far, and the closest-tasting to "commercial" granolas, in my opinion. (But without all that extra yukky stuff, of course.) I loosely based it on a recipe for Apricot-Almond Granola from Cooking Light, but with several modifications. Here's my version:
1. Combine in a mixing bowl: 2 cups quick oats, 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, and 1/3 cup golden raisins.
2. Melt 1/2 cup agave nectar and 1/3 cup Earth Balance together. Pour over oat mixture and combine well.
3. Spread the granola in a greased 9X13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheight for fifteen minutes. Stir, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow the granola to cool in the pan before stirring again. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.

And here, finally, is the VCON-athon:
Sauteed chard, Shredded Parsnip and Beet Salad in Pineapple Vinaigrette (from VCON,) Broccoli Polenta (from VCON,) and Louisiana Crowder Peas from the Farmer's Market last weekend. Both the salad and polenta are incredible -- make them NOW, if you haven't already!

Here's the (vegetized) recipe for the peas, if you can get your hands on some:
1. Rinse 1 lb. peas, and place in a pot. Cover with water and soak for 30 minutes.
2. Drain the peas and return to the pot. Add 8 cups of water, 1 canned chipotle in adobo, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, and 4 tablespoons Earth Balance. Bring the peas to a boil, then allow to boil for two minutes. Then lower the heat, cover partially, and allow to simmer for one hour.
3. Saute 1 large onion, chopped, in a small amount of oil. Add to the peas with 2 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs, (I used Fines Herbes,) a bunch of freshly-ground pepper, and 1 clove garlic, peeled. Continue to simmer the peas for 30 minutes, or until soft.

And, I finally, finally, broke out the ice cream maker:
Lemon-Buttermilk Ice Cream from Cooking Light. This is an unusual sorbet-ice cream hybrid, and is addictive and delicious! Sweet, tart, creamy, and refreshing, it sort of reminded both of us of lemon cheesecake. My only complaint is the yield of the recipe -- it made so much, I had to freeze it in two batches! I'll just cut the recipe in half next time.

Stay tuned, because I have more cooking planned for the remainder of the weekend!


Ricki said...

Talk about busy!! Everything looks great. I love the idea of the broccoli polenta--yours are so perfectly shaped, too. I've got a granola recipe on my blog for my standard version (I've been making it for YEARS), but I think I must now give yours a try! :)

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Oh my, that cobbler and granola!! Yum!!

Catherine Weber said...

Ricki, thanks! The polenta is incredible, and super-easy. Isa and Terry suggested pouring the polenta into greased muffin tins to shape, and that's how they became so perfect. :) Quick trip under the broiler before serving was all they needed! And, the granola is AMAZING.

Veggiegirl, thanks! I'm trying to kick the cobbler addiction for now, but it's been pretty tough. :)

Anonymous said...

We are thinking alike-both making that salad! It IS good and totally sweet MMM. I'll have to try that broccoli polenta. Yours looks yummy.

You made your own tortillas-you rule!

Yay-I am so glad you created a granola recipe. I made Vegan Yum Yum's the other day and it was, I am up to trying another one. So now, I need to make your bread AND granola hehe I have a lot of Catherine-inspired cooking coming up!

Anonymous said...

Wow--you HAVE been busy! How was the Mole from V-con, by the way?

Your food looks delicious, and those beans are beautiful! That looks like a great meal.

The ice cream looks perfect! Yum!

I hope you are liking all the V-con recipes!


Hungry Hungry Dancer said...

I feel like I have been seeing so many ice cream posts! (Probably because of the hot weather lately!)

Your oatmeal looks delish... There really is nothing like a hearty bowl in the morning (or night.. or WHENEVER!)

Sarah said...

Oh my! That Vcon marathon is making me hungry! I just went through all the posts, I really need to start looking through my copy cause it is due uh yesterday? That fried rice looks delicious, I might just make that for lunch tomorrow. yum yum.