Thursday, September 2, 2010

how it all vegan...

(I couldn't resist, there are so many cookbook that use that kind of humor in their title....dumb)

so yesterday was day one of vegan living for the Baumgarts.  yep, you heard me right, the whole gang is joining in.  i asked them all if they wanted to be a part of it, and not just at home when i cook, but out in the world...and they said they wanted to try it for at least a week.  i think jamie, my husband, is going to be vegan all month with me.  i hope the kids choose to as well, after this first week.

when asked how the first day went, here are their answers:
Lily-"it didn't feel any different."
Levi-"it didn't feel any different."
Tallulah-"I don't like being vegan."
Jamie-"i thought it was great, soy creamer is kinda beat though.  Indian food was killer, didn't even know it was vegan."

yesterday started with no coffee...and it wasn't too bad.  i didn't have any soy milk and boo for black coffee, i just don't feel it.  i found the recipes i wanted to cook by looking through some food magazines and searching online.  Tastespotting is a great website that compiles recipes from millions of blogs.  i go on and search, for example, pinto beans...since i had soaked some the night before and knew i wanted to used them in my dinner.  i also searched vegan and got some good ideas, but i have to say, when i did the vegan search...most of the stuff is something i feel i can totally just do on my own.  it was fun to find a recipe in Bon Appetit for the curry, because it was not in a vegan category, just a "hey, this is flipping delicious" category.  so i picked my dishes to make and got a list together and off to the co-op i walked, i know, so green.

the shopping trip was refreshing, and not just because of the triple soy latte i ordered.  there were so many areas i didn't even have to look at...meat, cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt (cause let's face it, soy yogurt sucks.)  i don't know why, because when i tried to explain to jamie last night he didn't get it, but as i turned the cart past the yogurt...i felt a sense of lightness and ease.  maybe it wasn't the yogurt, i don't know.  i doubt yogurt could have been the source of unease in my life before vegan month.  and now back to the "walk to the co-op" was hard to limit my shopping, and i had to carry 4 super heavy bags (yes, you guessed it, i brought my own canvas bags) home.  luckily i live less than 10 blocks from the market, and it wasn't as bad as i thought it was going to be.

I got home around noon and was a mad cooking machine until 3pm when i had to go to work.  where were my kids all this time you may be wondering?  playing with the of the many things i love about apartment living.  oh and maybe watching their new favorite cartoon, Avatar-the last airbender...not to be confused with the blue people avatar.  anyway.

I made these two recipes:

Tbikha Kale with Pinto beans and Roasted Red peppers 
( from 64 sq. ft. kitchen blog)
*this blog also lists recipes in French...just for you, Dina!

Recipe: Serves 4
- Two bunches of Tuscan Kale (or curly kale)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (or whole depending on your taste)
- 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and finely diced
- The juice of 1/2 lemon

Wash the kale and remove the stems. Chop roughly and set aside.

Pour the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, cover and cook until translucent but not browned, stirring frequently. Add garlic, jalapeno pepper, cumin, paprika and herbs and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the chopped kale, cover and cook until wilted and the leaves turn bright green. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beans, drained, and the roasted red pepper. Stir, cover and let cook for another 10 minutes for the flavors to infuse.

Serve in a plate drizzled with some good olive oil, the lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped coriander and green onion.

B'ssahatkoum (To your health!)

and this one from Bon Appetit magazine

Summer Vegetable Ragout with Exotic Curry Sauce
This vegetarian entrée would also be delicious served with lamb or shrimp.
4 servings
Recipe by Quinn Hatfield, Hatfield's, Los Angeles, California
September 2010

Curry Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small carrot, peeled, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, coarsely chopped and pounded with meat mallet to flatten slightly
1 1-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons curry powder (preferably Madras)
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups fresh carrot juice
(*i added 1 can of coconut milk at the end)
1 1/2 pounds eggplants (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound assorted summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow crookneck, and pattypan), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound green beans, haricots verts, and/or yellow wax beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
4 ears of corn, husked
1 15- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 cups (packed) arugula
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
What to Drink; Pour a light red.

Test-Kitchen Tip
To release the most flavor from the lemongrass stalk, it's important to coarsely chop and flatten it.

Curry Sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, lemongrass, and ginger; sauté until slightly softened but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add apple and curry powder; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then flour and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in carrot juice; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to generous 2 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Strain sauce through fine strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. 
(I didn't end up with 2 1/2 cups, so i added the coconut milk...and i just remembered i forgot the ginger!)
DO AHEAD Curry sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place eggplant cubes in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and toss to coat; sprinkle with salt. Spread eggplant cubes in even layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Toss squash and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Spread squash in even layer on another large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until squash and eggplant are light golden and tender, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes for squash and 40 minutes for eggplant. Remove baking sheets with vegetables from oven and set aside. 
Fill large bowl with water and ice. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on size of beans. Using tongs, transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Maintain boiling water in same pot; add corn. Cook until corn is just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain corn. Cool slightly. Cut kernels off corn cobs; discard cobs. 
DO AHEAD Vegetables can be made 4 hours ahead. Combine all vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix garbanzo beans into vegetables; bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Combine hot vegetables and hot curry sauce in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in arugula and basil.

i made the dishes for some really dear friends that are going through a challenging time in life, and i saved some for my family too.  luckily i didn't save too much for us, because the kids hated it.  Tallulah even went as far as to call me at work to tell me she didn't like the dinner and her papa was making her eat it.  seriously!?  i was called me at work to tell me this? better get off of this phone, girl!

i had quinoa and kale for dinner, but i have that a lot.  no nothing different there.
hope you try one of the recipes...let me know if you do.
and now off to the storage unit.  man, i am getting nervous about being ready for the yard sale.

xoxo melissa


Tova said...

Just like the old days! Going to try the curry recipe...sounds good.

Sea said...

Hi, Melissa,

I read your blog every month and always love it. Just thought I should let you know.


Melissa Baumgart said...

totally, Tova. i got this vegan thing down. it all comes back so easily. makes me think of the 1215 days :)

and sea...thank you so much. that means a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

They both made me so-so hungry, you're such a great cook! Love Mom

Lucy said...

Great recipes. I love the fresh herbs and spices and veggies.

Melissa Baumgart and Amy Baranski said...

thanks, Lucy! they both turned out pretty good.