Archive | August, 2009

Soup in a Jiffy

12 Aug

Ah, soup. The perfect way to use up vegetables one has no clue what to do with and that are not the freshest in the bin! I have been obsessing about how I am going to use up the rest of my pack of celery before it decomposes. And those poor left over organic carrots that would be atrocious to throw out. What to make, what to make?

Soup!

And not just any soup – creamy sweet potato soup! Based on the versatile yet simple vichyssoise, but altered and bumped up to excellent, this simple (and cheap) soup is quick and easy to make and bound to make you come back for seconds.. or thirds (or if you are my boyfriend, just finish the entire pot :))

Here it is:

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

(makes about 4 generous servings)

1/4 C butter

1/2 C diced onion

1 C diced celery (3 medium/large stalks)

1 large sweet potato or yam (the orange fleshed kind), peeled and cubed into 1/2-1″ cubes

3 small (1/2 inch diameter) carrots, peeled and cubed into 1/2-1″ cubes

1 Tbs vegetable broth powder dissolved in 3 C hot water

1 C unsweetened soymilk

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large soup pot. Add onion and celery and cook until aromatic.

Add cubed carrots and sweet potato. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add vegetable broth and cook until sweet potatoes and carrots are soft.

Transfer to blender and blend until smooth.

Transfer back to pot and add soy milk and season.

Cook for another minute. Let sit for a couple minutes and serve.

This is also tasty poured over some cooked brown rice. Soup is mildly sweet and very creamy.

Enjoy!

– Mags

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Pizza Palooza!

6 Aug

D. (my better half) and I decided to have a cooking night together yesterday. After brainstorming during the drive home (and enjoying the phenomenal light displays of Tucson monsoon lightning) we both decided on home-made pizza. To expedite the process, we decided to buy some things pre-made:

Our local Sunflower Market had pizza dough on sale – so we got one for D. However, there were no pre-made gluten free pizza doughs or crusts (asides from ones that were not only expensive, frost-bitten but also contained eggs, which I chose not to eat for ethical reasons.) After scouring the store, refusing to give up and have to either spend an exorbitant amount of money on a gluten-free Amy’s Organics frozen pizza or be reduced to making my pizza on corn tortillas, I finally came upon Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Mix (hallelujah- Thank YOU BOB!) AND, joy of joys, although my heart sunk when I saw eggs in the recipe list, I also noticed a little asterix with the recommended amount of flax seed to add instead of eggs. I could have done a little jig right there and there! 🙂

D. and I decided to make the remaining additions from scratch – well, semi-scratch. We bought organic tomato sauce – OK here is a hint to all of you. Sunflower Market has a section, in the back, were all the discards (usually banged up, bent cans, dirty, scratched or torn cardboard boxes, abandoned bulk goods, etc.) live. These are usually marked down to “steal” prices! For instance, yesterday, D discovered a banged up organic tomato sauce can (normally costing around $3,80) for $0.79! Add this along with some more canned tomato puree, tomato paste, fresh basil (from our basil plant), to some chopped onions, garlic sauted to golden in a saucepan. Add more basil (dried) and salt and pepper and simmer until thickens. There you have your sauce.

While D. was making this, I got to putting together the gluten-free pizza dough. I followed the instructions on the bag; I am still learning how to bake gluten-free, and decided to freeze half of the ball. While my dough was rising, we prepared D.’s pizza.

We made D.’s pizza deep-dish style, seeing as we had forgotten to get aluminum foil and do not (yet) own a pizza stone, by spraying a glass casserole dish with cooking spray and lining it with the dough. D. made his own pizza by layering sauted button mushrooms with left over chicken, cooked ground beef, tomato sauce and lots of grated cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan (all in that order). We baked it at 425F until it was starting to golden. It rose to fill the casserole dish past half way, and D. (being the carnivore that he is 🙂 ) enjoyed it tremendously.

I assembled my pizza in much the same way, also in the casserole dish (after thoroughly washing it out) – spray the dish, spread dough out with wet hands (to prevent sticking to fingers and not the dish). Bake in 425F oven for 7 minutes, as outlined in instructions. I lined my pizza with tomato sauce, then layered it with dry-sauted button mushrooms, olive oil-sauted sliced okra and kale (seasoned with salt, pepper and basil), then topped it off with grated cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan. Into the oven for 17 minutes and it was ready to eat!

The best part of this evening? Cooking with my hunny – well, and tasting my first gluten-free pizza!!!

Peace to all!

– Mags

Oh and by the way, that entire dinner cost probably (rough estimate here) around $10-12 TOTAL – plus we both had left overs. And we got to spend some great time together. Just FYI 🙂

(side note (May 2010) – Summer of 2009 I discovered I had a gluten intolerance, and took back dairy for a couple of weeks being concerned that I couldn’t get enough protein. After those couple weeks, I was miserable and took up to the challenge of being gluten-free AND vegan. Recently, I have taken back most wheat products and some gluten containing products, still eschewing others. I think it could have been a side effect of all the damage I did to my digestive system while acting out in my eating disorder, and now that I am taking better care of myself, I can handle it better. Who knows?)

Taco Tuesday!

5 Aug

C and I got together last night at my house, for the first time in a long, long time (due to excruciating heat and lack of central air-conditioning at our humble casa), and partook in a fantastic, simple, moderately time-consuming and ever so rewarding feast, dubbed Taco Tuesday! Sadly, my camera was also as hungry as we were (aka. dead-battery) and we did not record the joys of the evening. Here is a quick run-down of what was made. C and I will add the recipes for the Spanish Rice and others later.

Home-made taco shells (corn tortillas fried in olive oil) – thank you dearest D. for sacrificing your tender hand and arm hairs for this – I will invest in some tongs in the nearest possible future.

Refried pinto beans

Skillet-grilled yellow squash and zucchini

Pan-fried seasoned tofu

chopped fresh sides (green onions, tomato, lettuce)

Spanish Rice

Grated cheddar

It was a phenomenal feast! Only thing that could have made it better – avocado; but since the avocados here have been hugely over-priced and sickly looking, of late, we chose to pass.

Peace and good tidings to all!

– Mags