Wednesday, September 26, 2012

French Fried Onions


2 large onions
2 c. soy, rice, or regular milk
2 c. all-purpose flour

oil (for frying)



1. soak the onions in the milk for 5 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or deep fryer.

3. Take a handful of onions and run them through the flour with a fork to coat.

4. Fry in batches in the oil, stirring as needed to brown evenly.

5. Drain on paper towels and season to taste.

6. Store in an air-tight container.


Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Want to duplicate that green bean casserole from Thanksgivings past, but with a veganized version? Try this!


2 quarts water
1 T. table salt
1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

10 oz. mushrooms(combo of regular and shiitake is nice)
6 cloves garlic, minced
generous pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh pepper to taste
4 T. flour
1.5 c. vegetable broth
2 T. dry sherry
1.5 c. soy creamer, or unsweetened soy milk


1.5 slices whole grain bread
1 T Earth Balance margarine
1/8 t. salt
1/16 t. freshly ground pepper
French Fried Onions (see recipe)


1. Beans: Bring the water to boil in a large pot. While it's heating, cut up the beans. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for  6 minutes. Drain beans in a colander, and then spray for a minute with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water.

2. Sauce: Trim and discard mushroom stems and chop the mushrooms into pieces. Spray a non-stick pan with canola oil and heat it. Add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are very soft and exude their juices. Whisk the flour into the vegetable broth and add to the mushrooms along with the sherry. Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the soy creamer and simmer until thick, about 5-10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir the beans.

3. Topping: Put the bread, margarine, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse untiol crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add the onions. Stir to combine.

4. To assemble: Put the green beans into an oiled casserole dish and top with the onion mixture. Bake at 425 F for about 15 minutes. If you are not serving this right away, refrigerate the topping separately; bring to room temperature before sprinkling the topping on the casserole and baking for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout.

5. Top with French Fried Onions when serving.

From the excellent blog: FatFree Vegan Kitchen: Sinlessly Delicious

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Peperonata & Polenta

From the Mariquita Farm newsletter, compliments of chef Jonathan Miller.

Red PeppersYou can't go through pepper season without making peperonata a few times. So versatile, you can put perperonata on pizza, in tarts, on bread, eat it by itself, or put it over polenta like it's described here. I love my version of polenta, but feel free to make a more traditional style, just with water, and serve it that way. On the subject of peeling tomatoes - my rule is if you are wooing a lover, peel and seed your tomatoes; if you are being paid to make the dish, peel and seed them; if you are feeding anyone else, do whatever you want! Yum!

olive oil
3 sweet red peppers, any variety, julienned
2 tomatoes, chopped (peel if you like)
3 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
1 bay leaf
leaves from 6 branches thyme, chopped
2 c milk
1/2 c polenta

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet, then saute the peppers over high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, and some salt and continue to cook over medium-low heat, until everything is nice and soft, about 10-15 minutes. At this point you can decide to leave it as is, checking seasonings of course, or raise the heat and reduce any remaining liquid to make it a more cohesive sauce. Your choice. Either way, make sure you like the way it tastes when you're done.
In a saucepan, heat the milk to a bare simmer with some salt. Add the polenta, whisking constantly, and continue to cook over low heat until it thickens to your liking, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick you like it. Check for salt.
Spoon the polenta onto a serving plate and top with the peperonata. Finish with some chopped parsley, some shaved cheese, balsamic vinegar, or another herb of choice. Serve warm.

Honeyed Beet Quinoa Summer Salad

(With variations from Fresh from the Farm and Garden by The Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden)

This recipe is reproduced from the newsletter of Mariquita Farm, a large CSA located in Watsonville CA. Lots of good info and recipes in their newsletter - some recipes by "Chef Jonathan" and some by Julia, who, with her husband Andy, owns the farm.

Julia’s note: I make many variations of this salad, with whatever vegetables/alliums/dressing I have on hand. I love using quinoa, but brown rice and couscous also work nicely. Likely other grains too. For this much salad I usually use half the amount of cheese they recommend and half the amount of nuts. Any mixture of the below herbs work well: just parsley, just cilantro, just basil, or any combo... chives, tarragon for a different flavor..... the possibilities are endless and having a salad like this on hand makes healthy lunches/dinners much easier.

6 beets, roasted (or three large)
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups orange juice
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fruity olive oil
3 cups cooked quinoa, or another grain such as brown rice or couscous or??
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, or shredded parmesan, or??, optional
1 cup toasted walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped basil OR cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
6 minced green onions or 3 shallots or other mild allium
lettuce greens, ready for eating as salad

Dice roasted beets and marinate in orange and lemon juice and honey at least one hour. (Julia’s note: I warm up my honey a bit before mixing it in the juices/oil... but don’t make it too hot or it will ‘cook’ the juice and fruity oil!) Combine with other ingredients except salad greens. Chill at least one hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve on bed of salad greens.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lunchtime Tatsoi/Bok Choy Fried Rice

Serves: 4


2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced tatsoi or bok choy
1 1/2 cups leftover cooked rice (at room temp)
1/2 cup leftover cooked meat or substitute


Heat a wok or cast-iron skillet over medium to high heat. Add 1 teaspoon each of the peanut and sesame oils. Add carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add Bok Choy, and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Push vegetables to side of pan and add remaining peanut oil followed by rice meat and ginger and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add green onion. Push contents all contents of pan to the side and add remaining sesame oil.
Crack an egg into center of pan and scramble it. Once egg is cooked, break it up and mix with other ingredients. Add a little chili garlic paste if desired as well as soy sauce. Cook for another minute or two and serve hot.
(Source: “From Asparagus to Zucchini,” Elizabeth Schneider)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Braised Cavolo Nero Kale

Braised Cavolo Nero Kale
Serves 4
Cavolo nero, dinosaur, Tuscan, and lacinato are all names given to a long, leafy, crinkly kale variety. Serve this light vegetable stew over grilled bread or tossed with pasta. Curly or Russian kale can be substituted for Tuscan kale.
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 ⅓ cups)
  • 3 small carrots, diced (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 bunches cavolo nero kale, tough ribs removed, and leaves coarsely chopped (9 cups)
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté onion 7 to 9 minutes, or until golden. Add carrots, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add kale and 1/2 cup water, cover, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale has wilted. Stir in red pepper flakes and garlic, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Add 1 1/4 cups water, and bring to a simmer.
2. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 40 minutes, or until kale is tender, adding more water if necessary.
3. Uncover pot, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 3 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

from Vegetarian Times