Tag Archives: Beets

Riso Rosso and Roman Beans

Last night I made the best beans from a can…ever. Maybe not ever but certainly in the last few weeks. The funny part is  (and by funny I mean disappointing but not that sad) that I was more excited to make the Riso Rosso, from Olive Trees and Honey, than the beans which were quickly thrown together. The Italian “red rice” was basically made by boiling beets and then making rice and adding some of the beet cooing water in to turn the rice red and adding the beets at the very end. What would have been better, I think, would have been to caramelize the beets and onions and then make the rice in that pot because it was pretty but boring. Next time!

The beans on the other hand were fabulous. I decided to use Roman beans to keep up the Italian theme. Since the rice recipe wasn’t using any garlic it seemed like a good idea to use a whole lot in the beans and then I added some spices and cooked them in a little brothy sauce They were fantastic, the garlic wasn’t totally overwhelming even though there was a lot of it because I cooked it for a while and the spices were perfect. I have to remember to make them again because they were so simple.

Roman Beans

1 can roman beans (or white beans) drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of tarragon

saute the onion until it changes color in olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook at a slow simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Enjoy with the garlic sauce on top.

 

Golden Beets with Beans & Greens

Beets are in the Amaranth family and related to swiss chard, spinach, and sugar beets. The red ones are fun if you want to make Klingon Gagh or a stew but overall the golden variety is a lot easier to work with because you don’t have to worry about beet juice staining everything. I love buying beets because I feel like I am really getting my money’s worth since I can often stretch a bunch over several meals. The beet greens are the added bonus. They are easy enough to cook with a little garlic and olive oil but I was inspired by a post on the ppk to use oranges and sesame oil as well. I wanted to make something very healthy and filling so I added some quinoa, edamame, and peanuts. It was terrific and quick!

Golden Beets with Beans & Greens

preheat oven to 400F

bunch of beets, cleaned and greens separated, hard parts discarded.
peanut oil
1 onion cut in half moons
4 cloves garlic
1 cup edamame
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 & 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
handful of peanuts
dash of dried red chilies

Cut the beets in half. Place 2 halves on a piece of foil and drizzle on peanut oil, wrap up, and bake in the over 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile saute the onions in oil for a couple minutes, add the garlic and the chopped beet greens and cook about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and cook for another minute or 2. Add the edamame, the OJ and the water. Cover, and cook about 20 minutes until the quinoa is done. In the meantime toast the peanuts with the chile peppers on the stove in a small pan until slightly brown. When the beets are done, chop one and add it to the quinoa pot. Slice the rest into half moons and arrange them on the bottom of the bowl. Add the sesame oil and soy sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary and scoop a serving on top of the plated beets. Top with peanuts and green onions. Enjoy!


Iraqi Beet Stew with Meatballs

Maybe this dish is evil. It  has been summoning me for weeks. I have copies of  Saveur magazine all over my house because it has lately become the only magazine I subscribe to. Since the food isn’t quite as American & Western Europen as other magazines it is really inspiring to veganize their recipes. They still usually put a big ole’ hunk of meat on the cover which means I try and keep my copies face down but I forgive them because Saveur even mentioned our local Boggy Creek farm as the best farm in the country. They have really amazing food photography. One of the photographers, Penny De Los Santos, is based in Austin and I love looking at the blog of her travels and photography, she is amazing.

It was actually the picture of this meal that really got my attention. I love beets and the stew was already vegan so that would make it really easy. I also liked that the meatballs had a lot of strong flavors which I thought would lead to a better seitan. For the first time I made vegan foil sausages in little balls instead of tubes. It worked phenomenally. I think I liked it better than the regular style. This was one of the best seitans I have ever made. Maybe the best! I want to make them again for an Italian style meal. I am so excited by how the stew turned out as well, usually meals that contain beets have such a strong beet flavor & you really can’t taste much else. That is great if you like beets, I love the beets and greens pasta that I make sometimes, but I have never had a beet stew where the flavors all melded together into something else entirely. This was really an amazing meal and didn’t even take that long to make considering I made the seitan. And it was healthy so I definitely want to make it again. You should too so I am going to write out the recipe. Maybe it will start to summon you.

For the beets

First, Split 6 beets into sixths & start to Cook in 6 cups of water. You can remember this at the 666 step! When the beets are soft you are going to add them to the stew but if you do that early make sure you save the beet stock.

For the Rice

Next steam your rice in a small saucepan or rice cooker I used

1 1⁄2 cups brown basmati rice
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. turmeric

For the Seitan

Next Mix the seitan ingredients, I mash everything together so it is kind of like a paste in a mortar & pestle & add the Vital Wheat Gluten last.

1/2 cup chickpeas
1 cup broth
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 Cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup raisins, sliced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 TBS pine nuts
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
salt &  pepper

Split the dough into 6ths & wrap it in foilPlace the foil balls in a steamer. I put my bamboo steamer on top of the beet pot. The seitan will need to steam for 40 minutes

For the Stew

Make a spice paste in a mortar & pestle or food processor

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1⁄2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
3⁄4 tsp. paprika
1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄8 tsp. cayenne

In another pot heat up some olive oil and saute

1 medium onion, chopped

Once the onion is browned add the spice paste & 1⁄4 cup tomato paste & cook a couple more minutes until brown

Stir in the reserved beet juice, the juice of one lemon, and 2 TBSP sugar; simmer for 5 minutes

Once the meatballs have steamed for 40 minutes unwrap them and carefully place them in the stew potCook about 8 minutes. Skim surface of stew, add reserved beets, and cook for 2 more minutes. To serve, fluff rice with a fork and spoon it into serving bowls along with ladlefuls of the stew and meatballs; season and garnish with parsley. Invite me over and Enjoy!

Star Trek Feast

I can’t find the picture that I have of the 7th grade version of me dressed in full Star Trek the Next Generation starfleet uniform. I really wanted to post it. I am surround by two Klingons that are dressed so well you would think they stepped out of the future. When I was in 6th grade my best friend, Amanda, and I even reenacted an episode, casting all of our (girl) friends as Picard and Riker etc. I was a very belieable Worf, well as believable as a 6th grade girl can be.

So yeah, I was am a nerd. I don’t go to Sci-fi conventions any more but I did live in my mom’s basement for a while. And you know what? Now I blog about food that I made. So if you see me walking down the street you can yell “NERD” all you want and I will take it as a compliment. There aren’t many people, I would wager, who simultaneously had a crush on Captain Picard AND Wesley Crusher. I can also identify the season of the next generation by the shape of Riker’s beard.

I have been recently revisiting my Star Trek roots in anticipation of the new movie, listening to podcasts, watching the original series on the Roku and Deep Space 9 on DVD from Netflix (why do they have to be so expensive?). I have also been thinking about all the food and how good it would be. I was lucky enough to see the new movie with a glass of Romulan Ale in my hand (thank you Alamo Drafthouse) following this feast.

I made Bajoran Hasperat. It is based on Lolo’s version at Vegan Yum Yum except with the addition of a large sausage shaped chikpea cutlet, some extra spices (sumac & smoked paprika) and golden beets instead of carrots. Everyone really liked them and the guys even had them for breakfast the next day.

I also had gaeta olives on the side that were supposed to be in the wrap. Mmm Gaeta.

I roasted Ferengi Tube Grubs (Fiddlehead Ferns) and Asparagus for the side dish that were made palatable by the addition of Cardassian Yamok Sauce

the sauce was basically white beans sauteed with garlic, onions, tarragon, and lemon and then blended with a few green olives.

We had it on potatoes too, I loved it and it inspired the next night’s meal. I will post the recipe if anyone is interested it was perfect for the season.

Here is Amanda and I forcing her boyfriend to give the Vulcan salute,  it is sad that neither of our boyfriends are Trekkies, they have thier own nerd activities though, I promise.

My favorite part of watching the new movie was that Amanda was sitting next to me and every time someone gave the customary hand greeting Amanda did it too. (NERD!!!!)

The best part of the whole meal, though, was the Earl Grey cupcakes, they are an alteration from the chai cupcakles in Vegan Cupcakes take over the World. I made the frosting from the book that uses Agave and coconut butter instead of sugar and margarine and it was divine. Mr. Smurf doesn’t even like frosting on cakes usually and he was eating the leftovers with a spoon.

It was a good meal.

What are you a nerd about?

PS- the cupcake background is from http://hubblesite.org/gallery/wallpaper/ they have lots of great images

Vegan Klingon Gagh

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip . ..

Tom Robbins Jitterbug Perfume

Does that mean that Beets are inherently Klingon? Especially when you consider that the Kingons were based on the USSR….

Obama doesn’t like beets but I think they are a perfect food, they are even the name of a fake pop band. Eastern European countries are especially known for their love of the beet, most notably used in Borscht. Most Westerners usually roast them in the oven or cut them up into salads or they roast them and then add them to salads.  Beets are also used to sweeten some dishes.

Healthy types enjoy beets not just because of their taste but also because they have many desirable nutritional qualities.

RawVeg.info says they are both detoxifying and full of antioxidants

Beets are another high-antoxidant veggie, with an ORAC score of 1840, and a total antioxidant concentration of 1.98. They contain many healthful substances: betaine (aka: trimethylglycine, TMG), betalains, betacyanin, betanin, folate, iron, and fiber. Betaine helps convert homocysteine into methionine, preventing heart disease.

Beet fiber seems to be particularly health-promoting. Pectin, a soluble fiber in beets, binds toxins, heavy metals, and excess hormones that have been dumped into the gut from the liver. The toxins are passed out instead of being reabsorbed.

Some people say that beets can even extend your life.

I like to buy them at the farmer’s market with the greens attached because then it is two meals for the price of one. The beet greens have a similar nutritional profile to Swiss chard and mixed with the beet root they are pretty much an unstoppable force of goodness.

Cruising the net the other day I came across a very strange recipe that utilized both the root and the leafy part in a pasta dish. Beets and Greens pasta moved to the top of my list of recipes to try since I just got some at the farmer’s market on Saturday. The meal was quick, easy, and fantastic. Mr. Smurf gobbled it down like he had been standing in a line all day waiting for beets.The noodles turned intensely fuchsia from the beet juice which might even make it kid friendly. Beets are very earthy tasting though so maybe not.

I changed the recipe just a little bit and later realized how much it resembled a certain Klingon dish so I give you:

Gagh

Ingredients

1 bunch beets, with greens, divided and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1  small onion, diced
.5 tsp dried red pepper flakes
5  garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1  cup vegetable broth
3  Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2  Tbsp. each of  basil and chives
Salt & pepper
½ lbs linguine

First, get a pot of water going for the pasta and then prep all the other ingredients. When the water is boiling add cook the pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, saute the onion and red pepper flakes until the onions are soft. Then add the garlic and the beet roots. After another minute or two when the beets are soft add the broth, the zest, and the beet greens. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted. Add the herbs, the lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for another minute before you toss with the pasta.

Enjoy with (vegan) Bloodwine!

The Daily Juice Cafe

Suddenly Austin is having an explosion of Raw Food. It used to be that the only all vegan places in town were Casa de Luz and the raw vegan bar at Whole Foods.  Now another place opened on 6th street called Borbloleta and a Cafe called Beets is still set to open as well on 5th street. I did a raw diet for a while back when the original Daily Juice was the only game in town. At their original location on Barton Springs they had a takeaway service with some raw sushi and a couple other items. It must have done really well for them because they opened a couple other locations including the Daily Juice Cafe in Hyde Park.  I went for the first time a couple weeks ago with my Mom and we really liked it so when I had the day off yesterday I took Mr. Smurf for a wild romp up to North Austin. I wish I would have taken some pictures of the interior, it is really nice and soothing with concrete floors, wooden tables, and natural light from big windows. It reminded me of Costa Rica it has a strong hippie vibe complete with a chill room and outdoor seating. There is a huge menu of mostly juice and smoothies and a little menu of entrees that has maybe seven items, including salads and they also have a couple of different specials. We got soup to start that was coconut curry, it was very Indian inspired a as you can see from the pictures turmeric was a key player.

Mr. Smurf got the BBQ coconut meat sandwich on Chia Seed bread. The cracker was a little too intense for me but I loved the coconut meat flavor and the sprouts were a nice contrast.

I was going to get the Thai Noodle bowl but it sold out right before I ordered which made me really sad so instead I got the enchilada plate which turned out to be the best thing we ordered. I had a very strange moment when they asked me if I wanted the mole filling or the cheese and I said “cheese”, but don’t worry it was sprouted sunflower seed cheese so it was vegan and completely delicious. I really want to try and make it at home. I have tried to make quite a few cooked cheeses but have stayed away from raw seed cheeses for a while and I can’t figure out why. They are so good and much better for you then soy products. There is a macadamia nut cheese in Raw Food Real World that I remember being really great. I would love to have the recipe for this one. The sauce on top was unrecognizable to me but it was very good and perfectly contrasted with the crunchy kale. The coconut cilantro tortillas were fantastic. I liked them a lot more than the sandwich bread. But it was altogether way too much food. I only ate half the plate and a couple bite of soup before I was ready for a nap.

All and all it was a great meal but next time I will go for the half portions so that I don’t spend the next two hours in a food coma.  I can’t believe two more raw places are opening! They are going to have a tough time if they want to be better than the Daily Juice.

VeganMoFo- I already miss summer cooking

In Texas it is hot in the summer. Maybe some of you haven’t ever even really experienced what “hot” can be. The warmest day in Portland is maybe 90 degrees when here in Austin 90 degrees means you wear long sleeves at night! This summer we finally got a grill off Craig’s List and could cook without heating up the whole house although it was still impossible to cook without sweating. Unfortunately, since I was in charge of cooking that meant I was not in charge of the fire which led to this.

I had lot of fun making Susan’s Ribz several different times

The smoked Tempeh from the Veganomicon & Creole Style Black Eyed Peas was really good. Using fresh black-eyed peas is so great. They are just so creamy and delectable.

In Texas there is no type of food more important than BBQ and I feel like as a vegan you can appreciate BBQ sauce more when their isn’t a bunch of fat and gristle in the way

Baked BBQ Tofu with sweet corn and collards

BBQ Black-Eyed Peas wrapped in Collard Greens

and a BBQ Seitan Sandwich from Whole Foods because sometimes it is really nice to go into a freezing cold grocery store and have some vegans cook for you!

We also eat a lot of Mexican inspired Dishes here in Austin. I made these tacos one night when I wanted something quick and easy

And I made Phish Tacos using the fish stick recipe from Vegan Lunch Box (a great recipe) and a Beet & Jicama slaw

And the delicious Pasta De La California with an heirloom tomato Serbain salad. Who would have thought that Avocado could literally be added to any dish and make it better.

Also another Southern style dish. I don’t know how they do it but the tofu at our co-op is so good that you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t like it.

Southern Fried Tofu from Wheatsville Co-op with Black Eyed Peas

From this photo essay I have really learned that I need to get some different plates if I am going to be a food blogger! I can’t believe all the things I didn’t cook when I had the chance; I never once made Watermelon Gazpacho or Tomato Pie. I guess I will have to wait for next year. But now we get to move onto the most fun cooking of all HOLIDAY COOKIN!