Saturday, November 30, 2013

Roasted Broccoli with Tahini Sauce

A few weeks ago I made these Cashew Rangoons, which I thought turned out to be really good. They used tahini, so I bought some but had never used it in anything else before. I had the whole jar, so I searched for something else to use it in, and found this broccoli recipe, I thought it looked different so I wanted to try it.

This recipe is from Lisa's Kitchen Food and Spice.

-head of broccoli
-2 tablespoons sesame oil
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup tahini
-1 tablespoon rice vinegar
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
-2 teaspoons honey
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
-dash of ginger

Preheat the oven to 425.
Toss broccoli in the sesame oil, bake for 20 minutes.
Mix the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. When the broccoli is cooled, top with the sauce.

The original recipe called for miso, but I couldn't find it at the grocery store, so I just left it out. I think that would have made this sauce thicker, and that might have made it better. I thought the taste was a little boring, but not bad, this could make a good side dish.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Creamy Asparagus, Potato and Leek Soup


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was crazy, I picked up a seasonal job to make some extra money and it was insanity. Working retail is something I have never done before and starting on Black Friday was quite the experience. Today I'm making the two hour trip to see J's family for Thankgiving. Wish me luck!

Adapted from Tasty Yummies.

-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 medium white onion, diced
-1 large leek, rinsed very well, slice thinly white and light green parts only
-1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
-2-3 medium size russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
-4-5 cups vegetable broth
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-Bunch of fresh chives, sliced thin
-Additional olive oil to drizzle over top
-2 slices of vegan bacon crumbled.

Make sure to clean the leeks well because they are sandy and no one wants sand in their soup!

Heat the oil in a large pot, saute the onion and leeks until soft.
Add the asparagus and potatoes and cook for about 8 minutes.

Add the broth and crushed red pepper, simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. 

Top with chives and crumbled vegan bacon. 

Add a drizzle of olive oil for extra flavor.

The color of this soup was unfortunate, the original blog had soup that was closer to potato soup in color. Aside from the pea soup color the soup tasted good. The potato was a nice base for the asparagus, the vegan bacon added color and a saltiness. It had the right amount of seasoning. The only issue was that I needed to add more liquid to soup, this soup was too thick to be used for was more the consistency of mashed potatoes. I would make this again though, just with more vegetable broth as a base.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cornmeal Bundt Cake with Pecan Pie Swirl

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so glad all of the recipes we did for Thanksgiving turned out so well, check them all out below. This one was a nice twist to a classic pecan pie, it was good in cake form, and still sweet enough for a fancy dessert.

A Turkeyless Thanksgiving Recipes:
Appetizer: Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Cocktail: Wicked Autumn Sangria
Side Dish: Pomegranate Hazelnut Salad with Maple Bacon Dressing
Main Dish: Sweet Potato Pizza with Kale & Caramelized Onions

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times.
Thanks again to Kayla for all the great pictures!

Swirl and Topping
-6 oz. softened cream cheese
-1 large egg
-1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
-½ tsp. vanilla extract
-½ cup sugar
-1 Tbs. lemon juice
-1 cup chopped pecans
-⅓ cup powdered sugar

-2 ¼ cups flour
-¾ cup fine cornmeal
-1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp  rosemary
-2 tsp. baking powder
-½ tsp. baking soda
-1 ¼ tsp. salt
-1 ⅓ cups sugar
-1 cup plain yogurt
-3 large eggs
-¾ cup olive oil
-1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine sugar, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of water over
medium heat for 5 minutes. Add pecans.
Half of this mixture goes in the cake, and half is used on top
mixed with powdered sugar as a glaze.
Mix cream cheese, egg, cinnamon an vanilla. Later combine the 1/2
of the cooled pecan mixture.
 This will be the swirl.
Mix together flour, cornmeal, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix sugar, yogurt, eggs, oil, and vanilla in another bowl.
Combine the this with the dry ingredients.
Pour the mixture in a bundt pan sprayed with baking spray.
Pour the swirl on top, and use a toothpick to mix it in.
Bake 55 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
Drizzle with the powdered sugar pecan mixture.

This was a pretty good Thanksgiving dessert. I could taste the cornmeal, it was a little more gritty than a traditional cake. The glaze was the best part I thought,I would be a little more generous with this glaze.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Latkes Sandwich

It's the last Sandwich Wednesday, check back next week for the beginning of Soup Wednesday. I think out of all our Wednesday series, soup might be our favorite (if not, it's a close second to grilling). There are so many recipes for soup and in Ohio soup is something delicious to help get you through the cold.

Happy Hanukkah!! I chose to put together this sandwich as a nod to the Jewish holiday. The crunchy lakes paired perfectly with the cream cheese and chives. It's a little twist on the classic.

The latkes recipe is adapted from Food Network

-2 pounds russet potatoes
-3 tablespoons flour
-1 large egg, lightly beaten
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-2 teaspoons kosher salt
-Vegetable oil, for frying
-Cream cheese
-Chives, minced
Grate the potato. 
The potato will be watery, drain if possible to release the extra moisture.

Mix in the flour, baking power, salt and egg.
Fry 1/4 of a cup of potato mixture at a time.
Make sure to press down to flatten.
Drain on a paper towel. 
Smear the inside with cream cheese and top with chives.
Top with another latke and enjoy.

Crispy and delicious. 
This latkes recipe was delicious. The latkes were perfectly seasoned with salt and fried to a nice crisp texture. The cream cheese added a coolness to the latkes and the chives added a slight oniony bite. This is a pairing I will be using again, both in sandwich form and open faced.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sweet Potato Pizza with Kale & Caramelized Onions

It's day four of a Turkeyless Thanksgiving. In searching for recipes for this series I really wanted something that was different. As a vegetarian sometimes it's hard to find a good holiday main dish and I also wanted something that highlighted the colors and flavors of fall. This pizza pairs nicely with the first three dishes of our series and would be great alone -- a bonus, it's very easy to put together.

A Turkeyless Thanksgiving Recipes:
Appetizer: Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Cocktail: Wicked Autumn Sangria
Side Dish: Pomegranate Hazelnut Salad with Maple Bacon Dressing

Check back on Thanksgiving for dessert! 
Thanks as always, to Kayla for collaborating with us on this project: you can view her photography blog here.

This recipe comes from Oh My Veggies.

-1 large sweet potato
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1 large onion, thinly sliced
-1 cup chopped kale
-3 tbsp. milk
-1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
-1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust
-1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
-salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the sweet potato several times and bake wrapped in foil for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet.
Add the onions, season with salt and cook them low and slow until caramelized. 
Cut the kale into bite sized pieces.
Cook until wilted.
Scoop out the inside of the sweet potato once cooked, mix with the milk, sage and salt.
Stir until smooth. 
Spread the sweet potato mixture onto the pizza crust.

Top with the grated fontina cheese, kale and caramelized onions.
Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Slice and serve. 

Even though I'm a foodie I am always the first person to admit when I don't like something -- truthfully, I hate sweet potatoes. My intention with this recipe was to just have a small slice to taste it and to let everyone else enjoy. The sweet potato in this dish was mild though, there was no overwhelming flavor, the crispy kale and mellow flavor from the caramelized onions went perfectly with the sweetness of the sweet potato. This surpassed all of my expectations for both presentation and taste. This is something I would make again.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pomegranate Hazelnut Bacon Salad with Maple Dressing

Salad is always a good side dish, but sometimes it just looks plain. This one has tons of color and is easy to make, so it is a great one to serve when you have guests to impress.

A Turkeyless Thanksgiving Recipes:

This recipe idea is from Lauren's Latest.

-4 cups Mixed Greens
-4 slices Vegan Bacon
-1/2 cup Hazelnuts
-1 whole Pomegranate - cut, soak in water, and get seeds out

-1 Tbsp Olive oil
-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
-2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
-Salt And Pepper

Toast the Hazelnuts.
Cook the vegan bacon until crispy, and crumble it.
For the dressing, simply combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Top the mixed greens with the hazelnuts, crumbled bacon,
pomegranates, and dressing.

The pomegranates on this salad were really really good. Not only did they have a good color, but the juiciness was a perfect match for this salad. The dressing we were a little unsure about, it wasn't bad, but not the best dressing I have ever had, I might try a new dressing next time.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wicked Autumn Sangria

I've had this recipe on my Pinterest for a while and have been waiting for the right time to make it. I thought the fall flavors would pair perfectly with our Thanksgiving dinner plans.

A Turkeyless Thanksgiving Recipes:
Appetizer: Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Check back the next three days for the other recipes.
Below find the link to the appetizer.
This was a chance for us to collaborate with our friend Kayla, check out her photography blog here.

This recipe comes from South Your Mouth.

-1 cup vanilla vodka
-1 cup sugar (or to taste)
-2 cups apple cider
-1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
-2 honeycrisp apples
-2 pears
-1 large orange
-2 bottles pinot grigio
-Cinnamon sugar, for the rim

Mix all of the ingredients together, except the cinnamon sugar, in a large bowl.
We had to mix it in the bowl of my stand mixer in order to get it to fit.
Let sit for 2-4 hours.

Prior to serving, wet the rim of a glass or jar and twist into the cinnamon sugar.

Ladle in the sangria and enjoy.

This drink was bursting with fall flavors, the pumpkin pie spice added a depth of flavor with the allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. The apple cider and sugar helped to cut down on any bitterness from the alcohol. This drink was pretty sweet, but it was colorful and a really good pairing for a fall dinner.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Goat Cheese & Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

This is the first day of Turkeyless Thanksgiving, check out the picture below for a sneak peak of what is to come the rest of the week.We will go in the order the dishes are numbered in the black and white picture. There some other great recipes coming up soon, and this first one is a Thanksgiving appetizer. I'm not normally a fan of mushrooms, but these just looked so great and colorful, I think anyone would like these served to them.

Thanks to Kayla for all the great photos in all of these Thanksgiving blogs!

This is the second year of Turkeyless Thanksgiving, here is last year's A Turkeyless Thanksgiving dinner.

This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens.

-12 large fresh button mushrooms, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter
-1 tablespoons olive oil
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 tablespoon butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
-1/8 cup dry sherry
-1/2 cup panko
-1 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
-1 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (4 ounces)
-1/8 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400.

Cut the stems off the mushrooms.
Brush the mushroom caps with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
and sprinkle with a little salt.
Toast the pine nuts for a few minutes on medium heat.
Combine the rest of the olive oil with the butter and heat
to medium. Add some of the stems from the mushrooms,
the shallot, garlic, thyme and salt, heat for 8 minutes. Add the sherry.
Cool for 10 minutes, then add panko, chives, lemon, cheese and pine nuts. 
Fill the mushroom caps and bake for 15 minutes.

I think this would go well with any meal. We picked this because it was an appetizer that didn't have a lot of bread and starch like a lot of appetizers, so it can be paired with a starch in the main or side dish. Everyone really enjoyed these, there were no leftovers. The lemon flavor paired well with the goat cheese and chive flavors. Very good.