Archive for October, 2009

Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Mayo

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Nothing is easier to make than a batch of oven fries. Cut up potatoes, put them in the oven, take them out of the oven. Voíla!

In this recipe, the sweet potatoes are tossed in a bit of oil and spice to add a subtle spice to the sweet flavour of the potato, and they are served (if you like) with a super-simple spicy mayo dip (because if you aren’t going to deep-fry your potatoes, you should at least serve them with mayo, right?).

We like to eat these as a side dish with all manner of entrees, from burgers to baked tofu to chili. It’s a fun and simple way to enjoy what is, in my humble opinion, one of the best winter vegetables out there.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Serves 4

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb.
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Cut potatoes into long, thin strips. Try to make them as even as possible so that they will all finish cooking at the same time.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, oil, and chili powder.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 – 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. (20 minutes should be long enough for them to cook through, 30 minutes should make them a bit crispy on the outside. Test a few with a fork to make sure they are done).

Sriracha Mayo
Makes ½ cup

½ cup mayo or vegan mayo (I really like vegenaise)
½ Tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh chives (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days.

October 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Ethiopian Lentils and Crepes

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This week, I solved two of my long-standing culinary dilemmas. First, what to put in dinner crepes besides sauteed veggies and cheese, and second, how to enjoy Ethiopian food at home without the traditional flatbread injera, which is so central to Ethiopian cuisine. When the problems are posed together like that, the answer is simple of course: serve Ethiopian dishes in crepes!

I tried it this week and it was delicious! The crepes stood in beautifully for injera and the lentils made a scrumptious filling for dinner crepes. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making crepes, this particular lentil dish is also really good with couscous or even served on rolls like sloppy joes.

Savoury Crepes
Makes 16 crepes, Serves 8

3 eggs (ener-G egg replacer also works well here)
1½ cups soymilk or milk
2 Tablespoons oil
1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Using an electric mixer or blender, mix the eggs (or egg replacer) and milk until frothy.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine well.
  3. Let chill for at least 1½ hour before using.
  4. After chilling, lightly grease a medium pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  5. When the pan is heated, pour in about ½ cup of batter and tilt the pan until the batter covers the bottom.
  6. Cook until the edges are solid and the crepe begins to bubble, about 1 minute.
  7. Flip and cook the other side about 30 seconds. Set aside and repeat, greasing the pan between every three crepes or so.

Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Puree)
Makes 8 Servings

¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ lb. red lentils
3 cups water

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot (the lentils will expand quite a bit; you need a bigger pot than you might think). Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add spices and stir to coat the onions. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the water and bring to a boil. When it is boiling, add the lentils and stir to prevent sticking. Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender and mushy and the water is absorbed.
  4. If desired, you can puree the mixture (an immersion blender works especially well for this).
  5. Place about ½ cup of lentil mixture in each crepe just before eating and roll them up. Serve topped with yogurt and hot sauce, if desired.

October 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

Beet and Spinach Soup

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It’s tempting (at least for me) to call any beet-based soup a borscht, but this one doesn’t quite fit the bill. For one thing, it is has fewer beets than a traditional borscht recipe, which allows the flavours of the other vegetables to shine through a bit more. For another, it has a great deal of spinach in it, which adds a contrasting texture and contributes to the iron content of the soup.

This is the perfect meal to make as fall sets in. Hearty and warming, it takes advantage of the winter vegetables that are starting to show up in markets and lets you enjoy a bit more spinach while it’s still around, too.

Beet and Spinach Soup
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 small onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
1 large carrot, finely diced (about ½ cup)
2 celery ribs, finely diced (about ½ cup)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large beet, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed (or 4 cups fresh, finely chopped)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon dried dill
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
plain yogurt for garnish, optional (about 2 Tablespoons per serving)

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in 1 Tablespoon of water (or oil, if you prefer). Cook until the onions and garlic are translucent.
  2. Add beet, spinach, broth, dill, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve.

October 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.