Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

so the traditional meal on new years eve involves black eyed peas - they supposedly bring good luck in the year to come.  browsing recipes for black eyed peas we discovered the other long-standing tradition of cooking with bacon, beef bones, pork fat and other large hunks of meat.  no thank you.
we opted for something less animalcentric.

 Creole Black Eyed Peas (our adaptation based on a recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen):
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Southwest Spice blend (to taste)*

*recent gift from my mother who visited the Spice House in Milwaukee.  let me just say that the difference between the store-bought dried spices and the freshly ground spices is phenomenal.  due to our dependence on spices in our meals, we have made the decision to use only freshly ground spices going forward.

Here we go:
Saute onion, pepper, celery, and garlic in olive oil.
Add black eyed peas, tomoatoes, water, and spices.
The liquid in the mixture should cover the black eyed peas by about 1 inch.

a note on the peas: you can used dried but you have to soak them overnight. we used fresh so we were able to throw them right in the pot

Allow this to simmer for roughly 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the peas are tender.
It was still a little watery after 2 hours so we added 3 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and allowed it to simmer for an additional ten minutes.

We served our black eyed peas with brown rice and jalapeno corn bread muffins.

Jalapeno Corn Bread Muffins:
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cups yellow corn meal
1/4 cup natural sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nondairy milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 whole jalapeno (minced)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin pan. Combine and mix dry ingredients.
2. Stir in milk, oil and cornstarch mixture, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in minced jalapeno. 
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Bean Fritters and Roasted Winter Vegetables

Hello everyone! Yes yes we are horrible bloggers. I know this. I have felt guilt for this but that is over now. For Christmas Laurin got me a beautiful Nikon D3000 camera that will make taking pictures of our food much more enjoyable. Compared to the old point and shoot we were using this camera is amazing. So no longer will frustration at lack of focusing abilities prevent us from sharing delicious vegan recipes :)

Now on to the food -
This Thursday we wanted something light for dinner but not a salad. After the heavy richness of our holiday food; lentil meatloaf, tofu manicotti, calico beans and stuffing, we just wanted straight up veggies with not too much fuss.
So we roasted some veggies. This is simple and easy and delicious. Choose your veggies. We went with onion, carrot, brussel sprouts, turnip, parsnip, rutabaga and sweet potato. Get to chopping. This is the hardest part of the meal and Laurin is quite good at it. So I let her handle it. I used the hour she spent chopping to catch up with my friend in Colorado on the phone. I felt a twinge of guilt. It passed.
So you've got your veggies chopped.
Now spread them out on baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil and garlice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix around a little so that the oil covers them. Bake them in the oven at 350 until tender. Depending on the size of the vegetables it could take up to an hour. We like them crispy so bake them a little longer.

For our protein we made Spinach and White Bean Fritters.
Using a recipe we found on
Here it is:

1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 (4-ounce) jar spinach baby food (or 1/2 cup cooked chopped spinach, tightly packed)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup ground walnuts
3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs, plus more if needed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. In a bowl, mash the white beans. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until well mixed.

2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Shape the mixture into small patties (you can dredge in extra bread crumbs, if you like) and cook in the hot skillet, in batches if needed. Flatten with a metal spatula and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip the fritters and cook until the other side is golden brown. Serve hot.

The fritters didn't turn out exactly as we had hoped. They were a little, well, blah. The texture was okay but flavorwise they left a little to be desired. So we made a "sauce" to put on them.
Grey Poupon
Lemon Juice
Mix to taste.
We topped the fritters with it. It was yummy.