Asian and Vegetarian

New Addition; Veggie Burger

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

Building the ultimate flavorful protein-rich veggie burger appears exhausting; the consistency and texture being quintessential; satisfying.   Most recipes require a zillion steps or ingredients which I don’t enjoy collecting.  Compiling condiments like fresh, juicy tomatoes, MP's homemade pickles, lettuces or cheese and avocado carry a wholesome burger to rest on a perfect soft bun.

Cooking Light zeroed in on a Buffalo Quinoa Burger that doesn’t turn to mush; the spicy sauce provides a flavor intensity pleasing those who crave heat.  A few ingredients matched in two preparations combine star quality quinoa and chickpeas, shaped into good-to-go patties. Chilling for a few hours or days even, brands this a super make-ahead method.

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Well-seasoned sautéed onion, carrot, and garlic simmered with quinoa and water begin the process.

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This would make a tasty stand alone side dish...

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Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), flaky dry breadcrumbs, and egg bind the two mixtures.

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Shape into four patties and refrigerate

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before browning burgers in a hot cast-iron skillet.

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The first go around we used our own homemade red pepper sauce which added savory tang and creaminess but, lacked a punchy kick.  Don’t leave out the buffalo, mkay?

 

 

 

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Cool Beans

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Asian and Vegetarian | 1 comment

 

 

So, you stocked up on beans of every shade, shape, and authenticity when expert NASA climatologists warned us of “Godzilla" El Niño, on track to drench our parched land. Turns out we missed out in SoCal; temperatures soar and our gardens wither like biblical chaff.

 

At the first sign of a dopy drizzle on Wednesday, Ellie Krieger’s Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange climbed into my soup pot—regardless of summer like conditions.  Seemingly redundant; one more healthy veggie black bean chili.

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Look you have most of it, right? (Furthermore, notice canned ingredients have upscale influence over pedestrian brands).

Although this will be ready to eat after 20 minutes on the fire, consider simmering it for 3-4 hours adding glugs of water if it gets too thick. Or, yet another time-efficient method of developing deeper levels of flavor is to simmer it in a slow-cooker.

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Saute the onion and red pepper (seasoned to taste with a good pinch of salt and pepper) over low heat longer than usual—8 minutes.  Then, when the veggies are softened, stir in the garlic, spices, and paste.  Give it a good push around the pan for one minute. This blooms the spices and releases concentrated rusty tomato flavor.

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Lastly, add in tomatoes, 2 cups water, and honey,

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beans, and strips of orange peel.

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I used a medium blood orange and squeezed in the juice here as well.  Bring the chili to a simmer and taste it again.  As a precaution, use ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper initially; adjust seasonings here.  Cover and stir occasionally, adding more water as needed. The longer it cooks the deeper, more flavorful and stellar it becomes.

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Then MP messaged me—not home for dinner.

old maid

Let it rain; supper for one happy girl.

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  Add this recipe to your one pot wonder rotation—it is o’so not jailhouse chili!

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Indie-style in the Pot

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Asian and Vegetarian, Soup | 0 comments

 

Lucky Peach is a food and lifestyle journal that explores various themes outside of mainstream thinking; through indie style, art, photography, essays, and food too. Food & Wine gave a nod to LP Asian takeout favorites like Hot-and-Sour Soup which truly is reminiscent of pleasing spicy Chinese homebrew from a carton.

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The tough part is collecting all the stuff—then it cooks up quickly.

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Wood Ear mushrooms are elusive—so I chose a single cluster Maitake mushroom to pull apart and toss into the soup. I also tread lightly with the vinegar and Sriracha using only half of the amounts called for.  More of each can be stirred in to liven up individual bowls.  Pork shoulder doesn’t hang around my kitchen, but a half pound of MP’s homemade wild boar sausage stepped up.  Then of course, if tofu isn’t on your protein dance card, simply leave it out and use 8 ounces of another.  One pound of deli-style chicken could easily be a nominee for both.

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Now, just chop up the fresh aromatics and sauté them

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with the meat in a neutral oil (I used coconut) and cook until softened and the meat has lost its pinkish color.

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Add stock, bring it to a boil; then stir in tofu, vinegar, soy etc.

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Stir in the mushrooms. I added a few wedges of tomato too.

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Drizzle the eggs over the soup, stirring with a fork forming eggy strands.

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Taste and adjust the sour and heat.

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 When the eggs are set, divide and devour while catching up with Chip and Joanna at Magnolia.

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Happy Dance French Version

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Asian and Vegetarian | 3 comments

 

Okay, Green Kitchen Stories, is the darling of vegan and healthy vegetarian food blogs (and cookbooks) for an abundance of tantalizing rainbow-like creations and splendid award winning food photography; a delectable pot of gold for veggie lovers.

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Not every recipe grabs me, but Vegetarian Bouillabaisse teeming with French flavors like white wine, aromatic fennel, garlic, exotic saffron, and sweet winter root vegetables slow cooked, truly exalted my expectations.

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Fennel, parsnip coins, sweet carrots, yellow tinged potatoes paired with soft white beans, fresh thyme, and San Marzano tomatoes, crosses the line; seeming floral but, more provocative.

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A sheet of Nori melts into brilliant ocean brininess;

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magic fennel pollen creates a roasted anise-scented crown.

I hoarded (is that a word?)

each remaining Provençal kissed morsel

for discreet lone lunches.

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Amazing alone;

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or serve amped slices of bruschetta topped with Kalamata olives, heirloom cherry tomatoes, fruity olive oil, garlic, and basil alongside;

then put on your French Dance Pants!

 

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Egg and Spicy Veggie Soba Bowl

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

You’ve heard it said, “I could eat Mexican food every day; or breakfast three times a day.”

Soup is what I’m talking about.  Especially, Asian inspired vegetable soup with earthy mushrooms, light but spicy, complex broth and copious noodles to drag up from the bottom of the bowl.  On this occasion, it began with a magazine photo and absent ingredients.

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My bowl unfolded in this way; with less broth and a heap of deep fruity heat; which can easily be tamed by removing the seeds from the pepper or adding only a smidgen.

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Blanching the broccoli and snow peas ahead locks in the green color and prevents overcooking.

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Saute a box of clean shiitake mushrooms and carrot slices in a little dark sesame oil.  Season; add garlic and serrano pepper to the mix.

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These browned tidbits are ready for broth; deglaze the pan with two cups, scraping up the bottom.

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Add rich brown flavor; a tablespoon each of tamari and rice wine vinegar to start. Then, of course, taste it before taking it to the finish line.

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Drop in two or three ounces of noodles.

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While the noodles simmer, fry two eggs;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stir the reserved broccoli, snow peas, baby bok choy and leafy Chinese broccoli into the noodle dish.

Without hesitation lift a generous portion of noodles and veggies into a bowl...

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Gild the lily pad with a sunny egg with crispy edges; settle in with the remote—

it’s almost Christmas!

My Hallmark movie pick of the season?

Crown for Christmas.

 

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Last Minute Potluck

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

It seemed like a silly name; Free-Form Enchilada Verde. Nonetheless, Real Simple had me at store-bought and nearly all the ingredients were there on the shelves at Trader Joe’s or Target.  Make it ahead; even the night before.

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Eighteen small tortillas are a confusing ingredient.  After building my version, I realized 3-inch tortillas are the type called for in the recipe.  One dozen cut to fit the dish works as well.

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If wrestling a butternut squash is not your idea of effortless; cubed squash packages are easy to grab too. I fancy fresh squash.  The dense cubes are full of flavor and less watery. Microwave the squash for a minute; when it is cool enough to handle it peels quite easily.

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Whack it in half and scoop out the seeds.

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Then, it is mindless construction repeating the layers.

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My casserole of stacked tortillas, black beans, salsa, squash, and cheese wasn’t styled quite like the photo in the magazine

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—because I toted ours to a dinner across town and we garnished it with scallion, avocado and lime on the plates.  Half of us loved it; the others balked at squash, claiming an issue with texture.  The simple premise stands; substituting sweet potato for the squash or adding rotisserie chicken would have been a delicious alternative too.

Warm, creamy, filling, and tasty--it was all gone.

Real Simple!

 

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