Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Two-Bean Salad with Tarragon Dressing


1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 6-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup sliced red onion

Tarragon Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic or tarragon vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh tarragon

To make salad: fill large pot with 1 inch water and set steamer basket in pot. Cover, and bring water to a boil. Place green beans in steamer basket. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and steam 2 to 3 minutes, or until green beans are crisp-tender. Cool.

Toss green beans with all remaining salad ingredients in large serving bowl.

To make Tarragon Dressing: blend vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper in blender or food processor until smooth. With machine running, gradually add oil and tarragon through feed tube, and blend until smooth. Pour dressing over salad, and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature.

(taken from the April 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times)

Vegan Gummi Bears (review)

I bought some vegan gummi bears at Organic Roots yesterday (the "classic" flavour). They were very, very sweet. A bit too sweet. And the texture was a bit granular (it felt like eating sugar). They're not bad, but I don't think I'll buy them again (unless it's to decorate a cake or something).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pasta Puttanesca Salad

I'm a puttanesca puttanesca, what can I say.

1.5 cups dry pasta (farfalle works nicely)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
6 large green olives (preferably garlic-stuffed), halved
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic
4 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp olive oil

Cook pasta. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Toss with tomatoes in a medium bowl.

Pulse olives, capers, garlic, and basil in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add olive mixture and olive oil to pasta, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to eat.

(taken from the April 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times)

--I added a bunch of leftover artichoke hearts and some spinach leaves. My 11-month old absolutely loved this salad!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Coconut Heaven Cupcakes

QueenOfDrama987 (my lovely daughter/cooking partner-in-crime) and I made these the other night. We ate 4 right away (quality control, of course), and the rest disappeared soon after.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup coconut milk (we used lite)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 cup unsweetened coconut

Bake the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a twelve-muffin tin with paper liners, set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl combine the oil, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of unsweetened coconut. Fill each muffin tin about two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-22 minutes; the cupcakes should be slightly browned around the edges and spring back when touched. Remove them from the muffin tin and place on a cooling rack.

Make the frosting: Cream the margarine until light and fluffy. Add the coconut milk and vanilla and combine. Add the sifted icing sugar and mix until smooth (use an electric mixer unless you're a masochist). Add the unsweetened coconut and combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Frost when the cupcakes have completely cooled. You can sprinkle a little more unsweetened coconut on top if you like, or put a berry on them for a little colour.

(taken from Vegan With A Vengeance)

Artichoke Heart & Basil Pasta

dry pasta, enough for 2 people
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
1 6-ounce (170-mL) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Boil the pasta in a large pot of water. While pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan on medium-low heat, saute the pine nuts and garlic in oil until garlic starts to soften. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn. Add the tomatoes, artichokes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and heat thoroughly. Drain noodles and return to the pot. Add the sauce to the noodles and toss together well. Serve immediately.

(taken from La Dolce Vegan!)

--I did not toast the pine nuts, but it was yummy anyway.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

1 (12-ounce) can whole tomatoes (in juice, not puree)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp salt
10 cups fresh spinach, well rinsed and chopped
4 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained (or 2 - 15 ounce cans)

Prepare the tomatoes by removing them one at a time from the can, squeezing out the juice, and tearing them into bite-size pieces. Place the prepared tomatoes in a bowl and reserve the juice in the can.

Preheat a medium-size saucepan over moderate heat; pour in vegetable oil and then the mustard seeds. Let the seeds pop for about a minute (you may want to cover the pot so that the seeds can't escape), then add the onion; turn up the heat to medium-high and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until the onion begins to brown. Add garlic and giner, and saute 2 more minutes. Add spices, salt, and 1/4 cup of the reserved tomato juice; saute one minute more. Add tomatoes and heat though. Add handfuls of spinach, mixing each addition until wilted. When all the spinach has completely wilted and the mixture is liquid-y, add the chickpeas. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, and adjust the spices if necessary. Simmer uncovered for about 10 more minutes, or until a thick, stewlike consistency is achieved.

(taken from Vegan With A Vengeance)

-I had to add more liquid than the recipe called for, but this might be due to my error. We'll see what happens next time!

Chopped Black Bean-Avocado Salad

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup black beans (adzuki beans work well too)
1 cup corn
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup sweet red pepper
1/4 cup diced celery
2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Whisk together lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl. Add oil, and whisk until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients, and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

(taken from the April 2007 issue of Vegtarian Times)

Lentil Salad

1 cup dried lentils
1 medium-size carrot, finely diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils, and reduce heat to medium low. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Drain well. Spread lentils on large baking sheet to cool.

Toss lentils, carrots, green onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

(taken from the October 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times--I modified it a bit)