Plov: Vegetarian Style
Sometimes I make a dish with no idea what is going to happen at the end – to include if it will even be edible. I had heard of Plov before, thanks to Silk Road Bistro, but wanted to make it more of a main dish without the standard lamb. Lots of googling gave me a good list of vegetables to start with: carrots, onions, and garlic – along with the addition of some variety of currant. When it came to the main protein all I knew is that I didn’t want to go with tofu, I wanted something with a firm bite to it as a contrast to the soft vegetables. I decided to go with chickpeas since their origins in Turkey led me to believe they would have easily spread to the Central Asia region that I was focusing on for this dish.
Another thanks to /r/52weeksofcooking for sending me on another delicious food journey – I’ve learned so much in doing these weekly challenges and can’t wait til the next one! Though of all the dishes I’ve made for this challenge, this one is easily in the top 5 as the ingredients are all standard ones making it super easy to prepare. Ever since Wegmans added cranberries to their bulk food section I’ve had a fresh supply in my pantry – and while they aren’t burberries they are delicious.
I’m a huge fan of spring – warm weather, colorful flowers, and all sorts of delicious vegetables popping up to be enjoyed. Last weekend we were fortunate enough to get a huge bag of asparagus, and I went straight to work figuring out how best to use them. There are so many amazing recipes out there from soups to tarts to dips – the possibilities are endless! In the end I decided to take inspiration from our amazing honeymoon, seeing as how it was almost 2 years to the day it just seemed fitting. Our meal at Steirereck still ranks as one of the best, if not THE best, meal of my life and part of that fantastic meal was a bowl of Spargelsuppe or Asparagus Soup. While theirs included tuna tartar, I kept things simple and basic – and vegan!
Curry Cauliflower Soup
Finally reaching the end of hot soup season – time to put away the stock pot and the dutch oven and get ready for fresh vegetables and cool dishes. However Mother Nature seems to be wishy-washy right now, and a few of these rainy days have been downright cold! So brought out my reliable pot and got to work creating a dish that would warm us up, while taking advantage of the early spring produce. Early spring is the only time I ever get cauliflower, as much as I enjoy the stuff the price is more than a bit insane the rest of the year. So for these few weeks I will enjoy this pale beauty and figure out how many different ways I can prepare it.
For those of you that do “normal” dairy I still recommend using the coconut yogurt as it really adds something to the soup. While the coconut yogurt isn’t as strong as standard coconut milk (or creme) it still adds enough of a hint to really make the curry POP. I enjoyed this along with some crusty bread so as to insure that no soup was left behind.
Vegetable Gnocchi Soup
It’s hard to believe that April is here with the cold weather we have been having. Normally the trees are in full bloom and flowers are everywhere, instead I’m waking up to frost on the windows and the chill of winter STILL in the air. The only positive I have found about this dreary weather is that it has extended soup season, which is pretty awesome. Since being told to cut back on my dairy intake I’ve been doing more and more broth based soups. This soup is the product of not wanting to go to the grocery store and being forced to come up with something based on what was in my pantry and fridge. The gnocchi is based on this recipe, since I had originally made the gnocchi during Passover however they are vegan friendly so win-win situation! I didn’t have enough to make two full servings of gnocchi but in combination with spinach, broth, and tomatoes I had more than enough for some delicious soup.
I’m still working on cutting back on my waste, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the various leftover dishes I’ve come up. They might not be as creative as those featured on Chopped (which I might have been watching while making this dinner), but they are simple and filling which is really all that matters.
French Onion Soup
We survived Sandy! Unfortunately so did the annoying holly tree in our front yard, apparently my totally authentic tree removal dance wasn’t very effective. On a positive note we did keep power throughout the Frankenstorm so we were able to have a mini-Harry Potter marathon which will hopefully continue tonight/tomorrow. Before the storm hit I went on a baking rampage, figuring if we were going to be stuck in a cold house without power we would need certain supplies. So with that thought in mind I made a double batch of cookies and some Sourdough Bread, first time using our starter Gunther. I had made sourdough bread once before using a kit which resulted in bread that was far from sour. I decided to take advantage of being stuck at home last week for less than pleasant reasons, and finally make a sourdough starter. Gunther isn’t very fancy, no buttermilk or cream was used in his creation, but he has survived an entire week and produced his first loaf of bread so we are off to a promising start.
With the creation of the sourdough I wound up with two loaves of bread and decided I needed a recipe that would take care of a few slices. I also needed a recipe that would keep me off my feet, since the medication I was on at the time made me a little wonky. Enter: French Onion Soup. The original plan was for me to start the soup and then hubby would take over, but the potent (and delicious) Spanish Onions caused him to retreat from the kitchen area. Luckily French Onion Soup requires lots of sitting between steps so everything turned out perfectly!
In order to keep it vegan friendly, I used the last of my oregano bread and left the sourdough for another day. Another option for toasting the bread would be broiling it directly on top of the bowls of soup, using French Onion Soup bowls or other oven-to-table safe serving dishes. I decided to not use my FOS bowls at the last moment due to MIA oven mitts.