Vegan Food Nerd


Leave a comment

Harvest vegetable stew

20141016_173321I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting very frequently this month. Life has been busy! We’re still cooking lots but I haven’t been taking the time to write down recipes and take pictures. However, this is the perfect season for a nice hearty stew so I wanted to put something together that is easy, yummy and filling that tastes like autumn in a bowl!

We have been getting bounty bags from the Mustard Seed Co-op that include a variety of local fruits and veggies and we had quite a bit left to use up after Thanksgiving, so I came up with this dish. I also used some leftover seitan roast we had made for Thanksgiving, and it went really well here. You can use your favourite veggie sausage chopped up instead, or make your own, or just leave it out! I apologize for not posting this last week when I made it in case you had some leftovers too.

Notes:

  • The tomato paste and balsamic vinegar in this dish really add to the flavour of the stew and will help round out the flavours. The added acidity they add is something I wouldn’t skip!
  • I used a mixture of mushroom and vegetable broths, but would recommend any stronger flavoured broths for this.
  • I wanted to add some chopped fresh pumpkin as well, but forgot that it was sitting on the counter!
  • My stew thickened up really nicely just by adding the lentils into the pot and letting them simmer in the pot for another 5 minutes or so. If you don’t find your stew is thick enough add a little cornstarch dissolved in water.

Ingredients

1 large leek (or 2 medium) cut into strips or small pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger root, minced
1 small acorn squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3-5 small potatoes, cubed
1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
2 celery stalks, 1/4″ pieces
2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs (sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried savory
1 tbsp tomato paste
6 cups veg broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
1 cup leftover seitan, cubed (optional)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1) Saute leeks in 1 tbsp of olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and stir and saute another minute, until fragrant.

20141016_160208

2) Add veggies (squash, sweet potato, potato, parsnip, carrot, celery) and saute 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

20141016_160816

3) Add veggie broth, herbs, smoked paprika, coriander, savory and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmerand cook uncovered about 15 minutes, or until veggies are fork tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If veggies are not tender after 15 minutes, cover and allow to simmer another 5-10 minutes.

20141016_162225

4) Once veggies are tender, add lentils, seitan, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

20141016_165553

5) Heat through, simmering, about 5 minutes more. The addition of the lentils should thicken your stew up nicely. Check for salt and seasonings.

6) Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving to allow flavours to meld together. Serve with crusty bread!

20141016_173316


Leave a comment

Beet soup

20140925_182859I wanted to call this a borscht, but I’m not entirely sure if it can be classified as one. I mean there are some beets puréed into a delicious soup here, but I threw in a few extra veggies I had in the fridge that I don’t think are normally found in borscht. Regardless, this is really, really delicious. I love the earthy flavour beets lend to the soup, as well as the crazy colour!

This soup comes together fairly quickly, as long as you cook your beets ahead of time. I cooked the beets the day before and peeled and cut them as the veggies were simmering away. Delicious soup in minimal time is always a great goal!

Notes:

  • Steam or boil your beats until they are soft. This helps bring out their sweetness!
  • The agave helps to balance the soup flavours – use coconut sugar or other sweetener if you prefer. Or leave it out entirely.
  • My onion was really big – the soup doesn’t get overly oniony or anything though.
  • Feel free to make your own sour cream – I just didn’t have time to!
  • Serve with some crusty bread.

Ingredients

1 large white onion, diced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
3 small carrots, sliced
3 small purple potatoes, cubed
2-3 large stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth (I used mushroom)
4 cups of cooked beets, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp hot paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice from half a lemon
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp agave syrup (optional)
1/4 cup almond milk
Veg sour cream for garnish (I used Tofutti brand)

20140925_17132620140925_1713071) Preheat a large heavy bottom pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, onions and a few pinches of salt and saute until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.

2) Add carrots, celery, red pepper and garlic and continue sauteing for a few minutes longer. Add potatoes, broth, paprika and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and lower heat – allow vegetables to simmer for about 15 minutes or until they are tender.

20140925_174119

3) Add beets, tomato paste, lemon juice and agave and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the beets are heated through.

20140925_174140

20140925_174936

4) Remove from heat and use a hand blender to puree the soup with the almond milk until very smooth. Taste for salt and seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed. If your soup is thicker than you’d like add some more almond milk.

20140925_175913

5) Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow flavours to develop. Serve garnished with more black pepper and a dollop of vegan sour cream.

Makes 6-8 servings.

20140925_18271720140925_182948

20140925_183152

delicious, even if it does start to look a bit like a crime scene as you eat it..


Leave a comment

Garden Corn Chowder

20140821_202123

 

I loooooove summer corn in Ontario. We have been eating ear after ear of the stuff, and after picking up 6 more cobs of the delicious local, non-gmo variety the Mustard Seed has in stock, I decided to try out this chowder recipe from theppk.com. I made a few changes based on what was in the fridge/garden, but it is wonderfully fresh. I wish I took a picture with better lighting as it doesn’t do justice to the yellow colour at all. Try it while the corn is still plentiful in the area!

20140820_102823

Notes:

  • Fresh corn off the cob is best for this recipe, but I’m sure you could try it with frozen if that’s all you have.
  • We tried it topped with various garnishes, so feel free to use what you have and what you like! One night we had chopped cherry tomatoes, basil, and chives. Another night we used what is pictured here: cilantro, chives, basil, and hot cherry peppers. I’ve also had it with no garnishes and it’s still great.
  • If you don’t want any heat, leave out the hot cherry pepper. Although we used just the pepper and not the seeds so it barely had any heat. Add the seeds if you’re looking for more hotness!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cherry pepper diced small, save some for garnish
4 1/2 cup fresh corn (I used 6 cobs, don’t throw the cobs out!)
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (peeled or not based on your preference)
4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon corn starch
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste

To garnish:
– any combination of: herbs (cilantro, chives, basil), fresh garden tomato, hot peppers, hot sauce, raw corn kernels

 

1) Preheat soup pot over medium heat, and add coconut oil and onion. Add a pinch of salt and saute for a few minutes, until translucent.

2) Add garlic and hot peppers and saute for another minute or so. Add corn and carrots and cook for a few more minutes.

20140820_112107

3) Measure one cup of broth into a measuring cup and mix in cornstarch to dissolve, Set aside.

4) Add remaining broth to the pot, as well as the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and add corn cobs (broken in half) to the pot. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes and check for veggie tenderness. Cook a few more minutes if necessary.

20140820_112251

5) Remove corn cobs and add veggie broth/cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook for a few more minutes while it thickens, then add coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

6) Use an immersion blender (hand blender) to blend the soup while keeping it chunky. If you don’t have one you can move the soup to a food processor or blender, but let the soup cool a little bit first. Blend to your desired consistency, but do not puree it completely.

7) Taste for salt and seasonings, garnish and serve! This was delicious with a slice of sourdough bread, but in the summer a simple salad would also go really well with this.

Makes 8 hearty servings.