Saturday, January 29, 2011

Broccoli Corn Muffins

Is it bizarre to put broccoli in corn muffins? Mr D thinks so...his exact words were: "that's beyond bizarre". 

...he might be right, but I think you could add almost any veggie and it would be innocuous at worst. Actually, the broccoli didn't add a lot of flavor, but it was fun. I used about 1/2 cup corn kernels and 1/2 cup chopped broccoli, but if I were to make them again, I'd add in about 1 cup of each...they disappeared into the batter somehow. 

Needs more corn and broccoli!

Corn Muffins (makes 6)

1 cup sweetcorn kernels (this is upped from 1/2 c. I used above)
1  cup other veggies of choice, (blanched if desired), chopped small (upped from 1/2 cup used above)
egg replacer for 2 eggs (3 teaspoons egg replacer + 4 tbs water if using EnerG brand)
1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice (vegan buttermilk)
1/3 cup oil or melted Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 vegan sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease and flour your muffin tin. 

Whisk together the egg replacer and water until well combined, add the vegan buttermilk mixture, oil, and whisk. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Toss in the veggies to coat. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and fold in gently until the moist mix is just incorporated. The dough will be thick and lumpy.

Fill muffin tins...I filled mine to nearly full because I wanted a large cap...(didn't work). Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden stick comes out clean.

Bizarre as they may be, they're pretty tasty with a little red pepper jelly.

As I was taking the muffin photos, this guy came running along the sun roof:

View above the corn muffins

(Please ignore the dirt...that's on the outside of the glass and I don't have a ladder tall enough to get up there and clean it, plus I'm afraid I might fall through or something.)

Cheeky watches from below:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wonderful Millet Balls, Bandanas, and Other Eats

Millet ball stir fry? Why of course.  The millet balls are a recipe from Vegan Delights cookbook, which I was lucky to win through a New Year's Eve giveaway over at Mehitable Days blog. It arrived with a group of donkeys:

The millet balls where the first recipe that caught my eye--officially called Wonderful Millet Balls in the book-- and they turned out tasty, if a bit on the delicate side. They're basically 2 cups cooked millet, 1/2 cup ground almonds (I threw in some ground flax too), and 1 Tbsp flour or arrowroot powder mixed with a variety of sauteed vegetables, tamari, veggie broth and seasonings to taste and to achieve a workable consistency. 

I used finely chopped onion, shallot, garlic, celery, shitake mushrooms, broccoli, and carrots...for a total volume of about 2.5 cups of finely chopped veggies. The seasonings can be altered according to what flavor you want to give them...since I was planning a stir fry, I added some brown mustard seeds, ginger, and a little turmeric. Baked in the oven @ 400 F for about 25 minutes, they come out delicate, but sturdy up somewhat as they cool. 

Before baking:

Out of the oven:

The stir fry was green onions, celery, and shitake mushrooms in a sort of teriyaki-style sauce (1/4 cup tamari, 1/4 cup mirin, 1 tbsp turbinado sugar, a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and about 1/8 cup water---thickened with arrowroot. Because the millet balls are on the delicate side, I added them in at the very end.

Speaking of giveaways, I also won this fun pink bandana from Molly over at VeganFlower. She sent some cool stickers and some of her business cards, which are really well done. 

Thanks Molly!! I love it!

Not as wonderful as giveaway winnings or millet balls, but in other food recently... 

...seitan sausages with sun dried tomato, kalamata olives, garlic, fennel, and oregano. I wrapped them in tin foil, steamed them, then uwrapped and browned them in the oven:

....with pasta:

Actually I take back what I said just now, the following is as wonderful as giveaways and millet balls...

Vic's BBQ Seitan Steaks from The Life blog:

You can't really see the seitan with the onions and mushrooms on top, but trust me: it's good.

Also an apple cake that looked nice, but came out rubbery:

Not sure why so was made from 1 pound of chopped apples tossed with 2 cups unbleached flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, and a pinch of salt, then mixed with a puree of 2 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup raw cane sugar, 1 cup oat milk and 1 tsp of vanilla, then topped with apple slices and a drizzle of maple syrup. It might be better with whole wheat flour instead.

Inspired by Shen of Shenandoah Vegan fame, who often tops desserts with a little agave syrup...

...makes it all better.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wild Rice Casserole (or how I saw an ad and it worked)

I saw this recipe on the back page of the Jan/Feb edition of VegNews magazine. It was in an advert for a wild rice blend. I'm not sure what it was about the ad....maybe the photo, or maybe the mood I was in, but it was one of those recipes that I had to make asap.

The casserole is a blend of wild rice, sweet brown rice, black rice, and a couple others baked with granny smith apples, butternut squash, some veggie broth, and seasoned with thyme and walnuts.

Any whole grain rice mix of your own... long grain brown rice and wild rice for example, would work fine.  But, I went out and bought the rice blend to make the recipe... what can I say? Their ad totally worked on me.  (The blend is pretty yummy though.)

I followed the recipe for the most part except that I added celery in with the onions while saute-ing, and used oregano instead of thyme in the saute. I added fresh thyme, walnuts and pecans after baking instead of before.

(Note that the recipe calls for the rice to be cooked beforehand.)  

Great texture, lovely sweetness from the baked apple and the squash, and with the thyme and celery, it tastes sort of like stuffing. Yum.  I ate it for lunch with some steamed greens and fresh apple (cuz they showed fresh apple in the ad...I'm a sucker.). For a hardy meal, I think beans would be a great addition, which I'll probably do with the leftovers...I'm thinking chickpeas.

Anyway, that's all. If it sounds good, definitely check it out.

Have a nice weekend.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Garlic Soup, Obsessed with Salad, and More Soup and Garlic

This soup makes a bigger sensation on the taste buds than it does on the eyes, but if you like garlic and are in the mood for a brothy, aromatic soup that clears the sinuses, this soup hits the spot. I like it this time of year as a warming cup or bowl after a long walk in the cold temperatures--warming and satisfying, but not too filling.

The recipe makes about 4 servings, and I used 8 good-sized garlic cloves, because that's the amount Mr D is generally comfortable with...I think I could go a few more cloves if I were making it just for myself. The sherry is optional, but it really does add a rich dimension to the soup, which I love. Also, the saffron is not strictly necessary...but very nice in this if you have it on hand.

Garlic Soup with Sherry and Saffron
8  good-sized garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil (or veggie broth for fat free)
6 cups veggie broth
salt to taste
pinch of saffron
2-3 tablespoons dry sherry (Manzanilla)
pinch of Spanish paprika to garnish (optional)
1 cup small pasta like orzo, stars, or alphabets, cooked

Put the garlic cloves and oil in a food processor and process until the garlic is finely minced. Alternately, you could put the garlic through a press or plane grater if you want the garlic to be more pureed with no bits. ( I like the bits.)

In a large pot, heat the garlic and olive oil mixture very gently (medium-low) for 2 minutes...just enough heat so it becomes aromatic and warm, not sauteed. Keep an eye on it, because if the garlic gets over heated here it will turn bitter.

Add the veggie broth to the aromatized garlic and bring it up to a simmer. Add the pinch of saffron and salt to taste.  Allow the soup to simmer for another half hour or so.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate pot, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse until cool.

When ready to serve, add the sherry to the soup and stir through. Scoop some of the cooked pasta into each serving bowl and ladle hot soup over it. Garnish with a pinch of Spanish paprika.


On to my latest food obsession: spinach and arugula salad. My mom made some with  Christmas dinner, and I've been eating copious amounts of it ever since. The spicy arugula goes so well with the milder, but spongey/leafy spinach. My favorite combo these days is making it with julienned carrot, red onion, and sunflower seeds. Sometimes I toss in some grapes, walnuts, and radish if the mood strikes. I seem to be craving raw onion these days.

I know, I know, big deal: it's just a flippin' salad. But sooo good, and well, it really is a large portion of what we've been eating lately chez Dandelion.  I've been dressing it with a mixture of Bragg's Aminos, sherry vinegar, whole grain mustard and nutritional yeast (v. yum)...a combo I read about on DirtyDuck's, where you can read about how it came to dress a somewhat unmanageably large salad. :D Thanks for the awesome dressing idea DirtyDuck!!

Another recent dinner was some leek-potato soup with bread rolls, roasted elephant garlic, manzanilla olives, and spicy brown mustard. Maybe, a slightly odd combo, but tasty. (The garlic is in the dish that has the knife sitting on it.)

So, I guess it goes without saying that with all the garlic and raw onions, it's just as well that I'm typing this rather than telling you in person. :0

For dinner tonight, I'm making some of baked onion rings that Sara at Busy Vegan Mama  posted about today...I think they're gonna be good!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts of Love for All Animals

Dr. Tuttle guides a lovely meditation on our connectedness with the earth and all the animals:

Happy New Year to all. May it bring Peace, Love, and Happiness to all of us, our beloved animal friends, and our beautiful and living planet.
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