FreshTastyValentine · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Soup

Like a Cannonball

Thai Corn Soup

thai_corn_soup

 

Welcome to my first of five posts for #FreshTastyValentine!  I’m starting things off with a simple and delicious soup that’s delicious hot or cold, so perfect for the insane weather that has been happening here on the East Coast.  This soup also works well with my New Years resolution to keep things quick and simple as it comes together super quick – partially because of the fantastic herb pastes from Gourmet Gardens.  Inspired by a vegan soup I made years ago from a cookbook Joe had, one that apparently did not make the move to Baltimore, I knew that that lemongrass paste would be the perfect addition.  I also used the Thai Seasoning paste in place of the curry seasoning (tho I think the original original recipe called for paste) – always better to go organic and natural!

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As a bonus, this soup is super easy to clean up from as the pastes mean no cutting board and the soup is made in one bowl.  Perfect recipe for a crazy weekday (or weekend) night.    I love that with these pastes all I have to do is unscrew the lid – one less step is always welcome.  Huge THANK YOU to Gourmet Gardens for sending me such incredible items.  For your chance to win the Gourmet Gardens herb package (or one of the many other prizes) be sure to check out my intro post to Fresh Tasty Valentine!

 

Quick note that the Gourmet Garden pastes do contain whey so they aren’t vegan but they are gluten free.  However, their dried herb are just that making them vegan, gluten free, and perfect.

Baking · Dessert · Gluten Free · Slow Cooker · Vegan

Of Forever

Vegan Rice Pudding

Vegan Rice Pudding

Welcome to 2014!  I have high hopes for this year, as well as some lofty goals for myself.   In blogging world I’m hoping to up my posting schedule – and with that plan recipes in advance so that events in “real life” don’t effect my blogging world.  I had hoped to do this last year but as usual life got in the way, however I’m starting 2014 on the right foot with six posts mostly written and ready to go!  My ultimate plan for this year is to have three posts a week with 52weeksofcooking posts every Thursday in an attempt to keep that organized.  The first Monday of every month (starting in February) will still be Secret Recipe Club (!!!) with subsequent Mondays featuring other monthly blog challenges, including a return to Dom’s Random Recipes.   With that plan I’m currently looking to join at least two more monthly link-ups, so let me know if you have any suggestions 😀  This will leave one weekly post to highlight whatever ingredient or cooking technique or new toy or restaurant that I’m currently enjoying – which is where today’s recipe falls.

Ever since Joe and I started dated we have rotated off the major holidays with our respective families, and this year we decided to take advantage of (finally) having a dining room and hosting both of our family around the winter holidays.  First on the schedule was Joe’s family, for which I did an Italian dinner featuring a mix of old and new recipes.   One of the bigger challenges for me was figuring out a simple and delicious vegan dessert that could either be done well in advance or using my slow cooker – since I knew my burners and oven would already be occupied.  After tossing around a few ideas I decided to go with a Vegan Rice Pudding, which I could make in my slow cooker and then transfer to the fridge until it was time to serve.

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This recipe was a HUGE hit!  While I was more than a bit nervous about it, since I had never made rice pudding vegan or otherwise before – but it was fantastic.  It was also delicious the next day when my SiL enjoyed the few remains as a post shopping snack.  I can easily see this recipe becoming a staple, and enjoy trying different variations in the future.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store – new city, (hopefully) new job, and lots of new food!

52Weeks · Home Cooking · Italian · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Random Recipes · Vegan

and Roll

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

 Time for November’s Random Recipe entry!   This month Dom at Belleau Kitchen switched things up this month by having us use our birthday to pick the cookbook, instead of a random number.  For me this meant the 7th book on my shelf was the lucky winner, Vegetables from an Italian Garden.

 I got this book last year and it has quickly become one of my favorites, especially since the first section of it is a planting guide for the vegetables featured in the book.  For the winning recipe, Joe picked page 257 which was a picture of a very large pumpkin.  The opposite page gave a full description of pumpkins, including the pages to flip to for pumpkin recipes (304-315).  I went to the first page of recipes and settled on Crema Alla Zucca – Pumpkin Cream Sauce.  The first time I made this recipe, things went wrong along the way and I had to change up dinner plans.  The second time around I made more than a few changes while keeping the basic integrity of the dish for much better, read: edible, results!

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This time the recipe worked MUCH better!  I’m not sure what changes made it work, since I did make more than a few changes.  Make sure to head over the Bellaeu Kitchen for more amazing Random Recipes!

I’m also sending this recipe over the /52weeks since there isn’t any thing more “Harvest” than pumpkin, especially this time of year.  Plus, this recipe is a great way to use up any extra pumpkin, be it canned or fresh.  Also, for more great recipes join GoodLife Eats for the Surprisingly Nutritious Spaghetti Link-Up sponsored by Barilla pasta

Asian · Home Cooking · Vegan

Feel It In

Coconut Soba Noodles

Sometimes the best dishes are the ones that result from emptying out the cabinets and seeing what all is hiding.  I was inspired by last month’s Random Recipes to continue going through my pantry as part of my fall cleaning.  In doing this it turned out that I have a large collection of soba noodles, probably because I only have a few recipes for cooking them and lately fresh ginger has been scarce.  So I decided to start throwing ingredients together, based on some of my favorite ingredients.  The result was a very rich dish popping with flavor and crazy filling, the fact that it came together in no time at all just made it even better.

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One day I’ll get better about keeping my cabinets clean, but until then I’ll be turning to quick and easy pantry cleaning recipes.  I will certainly keep experimenting with the soba noodles, there are a few Thai inspired recipes I want to try as well as another Burmese noodle dish.

Vegan

I Can’t Believe

Carrot Soup

Cooked out from Thanksgiving?  Recovering from Black Friday shopping?  How about something nice and simple and healthy in order to get back on track and ready for the holiday sprint. This is the first time in 9 years where I’m not working or shopping on Black Friday and it was rather strange not waking up at 330 this morning to get ready.  Instead I’m using the time to get the place clean and the dogs washed.  While not the same as racing to the DVD section of Target, washing the puppies still provide a decent workout so low impact cooking is a must.  This soup is about as easy as it gets, and provides a nice break from the turkey coma.

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Joe added some grated Parmesan Cheese to his while I left mine more on the naked side, just adding a dash of pepper.  While this might not cancel out the large slices of pecan pie I have been enjoying, it makes me feel slightly better.

Casserole · Slow Cooker · Vegan

Runaway Train

Sweet Potato Gratin

I really thought I had posted this recipe before, and with that thought that I had a picture.  Yet somehow I have managed to either delete or just forget to post what is easily my favorite Thanksgiving Recipe.  I stumbled across the original version of this recipe many moons ago in the Washington Post and in the years since have modified and adjusted until it is just right.  I’m not even sure if I have the original version written down anymore, but I remembered it involved bacon and pecans and didn’t involve brown sugar, coconut milk, or vanilla.

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To me this dish is the best of Thanksgiving, and I love sharing it with others.

Vegan

It’s My Party

Tofu Curry

Today is the most important day of the year, IMHO, because today is the anniversary of my birth.  My better half made the mistake of getting me a Nook for my birthday and I’m already addicted.  I never thought I would get an e-Reader but I have to admit the thing is rather handy and the battery life is much better than I expected.  It’s also perfect for weekends away and for any longer trips that I’m hoping to make in the next year.

The recipe for tonight is one of my go-to-favorites.  The ingredients used can vary based on what is in your fridge, so great clean out recipe!  It is also great for rainy days because the broth just warms you up heart and soul.  As written this recipe has some heat which can be toned down by removing the peppers while those looking for for more bang, can skip the deseeding process or add more chiles.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1tbsp veg oil
  • 2 thai chiles, partially deseeded
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup thai (or japanese) eggplant, roll cut
  •  8 oz tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

  1. Mix the coconut milk with the curry powder and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat.  Once hot add the chiles, broccoli, eggplant, and tofu.  Cook the vegetables until slightly tender.  Pour the coconut milk curry mixture over top, and mix well.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15minutes.  
  3. Remove from heat, add the tomatoes, and then season to taste.  Serve over coconut rice or thin rice noodles!

This dish is also fantastic as lunch the next day, but be warned that the spice level can increase as the flavors further blend.