Posts tagged ‘Blender’

Wintertime BBQ Tacos

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Back to school! That means simple, hearty recipes that will keep us going all day long, and tacos are among our favourites. This recipe may look a bit complicated, but don’t be fooled! It’s actually really simple to put together and it makes lots, so you can enjoy it for a few days after the initial work. Each of the elements in these tacos are also delicious on their own. The coleslaw makes an excellent side dish that travels well to picnics and potlucks, and the bbq peppers and tofu are great as a main dish served over rice or couscous. They are extra delicious in these tacos, though, where the tang of the coleslaw stands out against the subtle sweetness of the BBQ sauce, and the yogurt provides a creaminess that makes it all come together.

Wintertime BBQ Tacos
10 small corn or flour tortillas
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup prepared salsa
1 recipe bbq peppers and tofu (below)
1 recipe cilantro-lime coleslaw (below)

  1. Prepare the BBQ Peppers and Tofu. While they are cooking, prepare the coleslaw.
  2. Fill each tortilla with some of the peppers, tofu, coleslaw, yogurt, and salsa. Fold and enjoy!

BBQ Peppers and Tofu
1 lb. tofu, cubed (about 2 cups)
2 bell peppers, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup BBQ sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Slice the peppers and onion and cube the tofu.
  3. In the baking dish, toss the veggies and tofu with the BBQ sauce.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw
4 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (or 1 bag of shredded cabbage)
1½ cups cooked or canned black beans
1½ cups cooked or canned corn
½ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
¼ cup olive oil
1½ cups cilantro leaves (1 bunch of cilantro)
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a blender (or using a hand blender), combine the lime juice, oil, cilantro, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper and blend until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, corn, and beans together with the dressing.

BBQ Peppers and Tofu recipe borrowed from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas.

January 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm 1 comment

Simple Potato Soup

This is the soup that my family eats every year on Christmas Eve or sometimes on New Year’s Eve. It’s a super-simple soup with very few ingredients, and part of the fun is adding garnishes to your own bowl at the table. If you want to forego the garnishes, though, it’s still delicious and warming – especially with a bit of green salad and a hunk of crusty bread.

By the way, I’m sorry my posting has been so sporadic this semester. I’m hoping to get back to regular posting now, but we’ll see how this next semester goes!

Simple Potato Soup
Makes 4 – 6 Servings

1 large leek, washed and sliced (white and green parts) – about 1½ cups
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and chopped (unpeeled if you like) – about 3 cups
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup soymilk or cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes:
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced green onions
fresh (or dried) dill
sour cream or plain yogurt

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the leek, stirring until the green parts are wilted and the white parts are translucent and separated (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft enough to be mashed easily.
  3. Blend with an immersion blender or potato masher until smooth.
  4. Add cream or milk (if using) and salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish as desired.

December 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

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Heading out on one last picnic before the weather turns cold? Or maybe you need something to munch on at work or school? Wherever you enjoy it, this easy spread makes a nice, healthy treat that works equally well as a sandwich spread or a dip.

The texture of the spread is similar to hummus, thanks to the white beans that provide its base, but the flavour is something else. The artichokes lend a creaminess that balance the rich flavour of the sundried tomatoes, while the garlic steps in with its own unique kick.

I especially liked this as a dip for veggies and pitas, and in veggie sandwiches (with cucumber, tomato, and spinach). I hope that you will enjoy it, too!

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
Makes 1½ cups

1 cup white beans (such as cannellini beans or navy beans)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup artichoke hearts
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until creamy. (I like my Cuisinart immersion blender for things like this. It is a bit of an investment, but I got it as a gift a few years ago and I use it almost every day for blending dips, spreads, smoothies, and soups).
  2. Serve with veggies or crackers, or as a spread in sandwiches.

Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

September 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Garlic Grape Gazpacho

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I didn’t mean for this to be a blog recipe; I really didn’t. I had every intention to just follow the recipe in my new issue of Vegetarian Times for a quick, easy (and oven-less!) dinner. Despite my intentions, though, I revised the recipe pretty heavily as I went along – substituting more grapes when my cucumber proved too small, and adding blended arugula to the soup itself. I also amped up the garlic, switched out the almond milk for coconut milk, and well… generally created a new recipe in the process.

I’m sure that the original recipe was excellent, too, but since we enjoyed this revision so much, I thought I ought to share it with you. It was super-simple to whip up and it made a perfect, refreshing (but filling) summer meal. And did I mention that I didn’t have to turn on the oven, or even a burner?

Garlic Grape Gazpacho
Serves 4 – 6

2 cups sliced almonds, divided
1 large cucumber, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cups green seedless grapes (plus ½ cup for garnish)
½ cup onion, chopped
1 cup baby arugula (plus 2 cups for garnish)
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon sherry
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon for garnish)

  1. Place almonds in toaster oven and toast 10 minutes at 350F, or until lightly browned. Don’t let them get too dark, because they will continue to cook  a bit, even after you take them off the heat. Set aside to cool. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can toast nuts in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat until lightly browned.
  2. In a blender or food processor (or using a hand blender), combine 1 cup of almonds, with the cucumber, grapes, onion, garlic, arugula, coconut milk, sherry, vinegar, and oil. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately, or chill 2-3 hours to let the soup get cold.
  4. Garnish each bowl with a small handful of arugula, 4 halved grapes, 2 Tablespoons of toasted almonds, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread, if desired.

August 22, 2009 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush

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I brought home a bag of baby eggplants the other day to make the eggplant and goat cheese pizza that I posted last week, but it soon became clear that I had too many eggplants for just one culinary project. Falling back on an old standby, I decided to whip up a batch of baba ganoush, a Mediterranean dip similar to hummus that I like to use as a dip for veggies and crackers. It also makes a great addition to sandwiches and wraps.

I roasted my eggplants and then opened my cupboards, and found that I was missing two out of the five ingredients for this extremely simple recipe. Time to improvise! I substituted balsamic vinegar for lemon juice, basil for parsley, and pine nuts… well, those I just threw in for fun. In the end, I had a dip very much like baba ganoush but different enough from the original recipe that I thought I should share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush
Makes about 2 cups

1 lb. eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant or 3 baby eggplants)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place face down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and the flesh is soft and browned. Let cool.
  2. When the eggplant is cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a blender or food processor.
  3. Add other ingredients to blender (or food processor) and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

August 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Eggplant Pesto Pizza

Eggplant Pesto Pizza

It may surprise some of you to learn that I had never heard of eggplant as a pizza topping until a few years ago, when Sean and I visited Rome. It was there that I first experienced what the smoky flavour of a thinly sliced, roasted eggplant can do for a pizza – and I was impressed.

It wasn’t until we moved to New Haven, though, that I really fell in love with eggplant on pizza. Here, the eggplant is breaded and fried and often (at least in our circles) combined with the piquant bite of pickled cherry peppers.

For this recipe, I combined the flavours that we remember from Rome with the combinations that we’ve come to know in New Haven. I roasted the eggplant, both for health’s sake and because this method really allows the smoky flavour of the eggplant to shine through. That flavour is complimented here by the piquant peppers and the creamy goat cheese, while the mellow, melty mozza ties the whole thing together.

Eggplant Pesto Pizza

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 prepared whole-wheat pizza crust
1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces)
olive oil cooking spray or a spray bottle of olive oil
½ cup pepperoncini, cherry peppers, or other pickled peppers, sliced
½ cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

  1. Place all basil, oil, and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice the eggplant as thinly as possible, leaving the skin on. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and spray lightly with oil. (Putting oil in any clean run-of-the-mill spray bottle works well and it’s cheaper than cooking spray).
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Place eggplant in oven while it’s preheating.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the peppers, shred the mozzarella, and crumble the goat cheese. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface.
  5. When the oven has preheated, remove the eggplant. Place the pizza dough on the cookie sheet. Spread with pesto, and layer eggplant on top, grating pepper over the eggplant. Sprinkle with goat cheese, peppers, and mozzarella.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until mozzarella has melted and crust is browned.

August 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Peach Smoothie

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As has probably become apparent by now, smoothies are my favourite way to start the day. They’re delicious and easy to make, they’re full of fibre and nutrients, and they provide a great way to pack the reccomended servings of fruits and vegetables into your day. This particular smoothie is a great way to use up peaches that have gone a bit soft, but you can also use frozen peaches to enjoy this recipe year round. In fact, keeping a bag of frozen fruit around can make it even easier to whip up a morning smoothie, even on busy days.

Peach Smoothies
Makes 1 large or 2 small servings

1 banana (about 1 cup)
2 small peaches (about 1½ cups)
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup soymilk
pinch of cinnamon (optional)

  1. Peel and chop the banana into a few large chunks. Remove the peach pits (you can leave the skin on), and chop the peaches into large chunks.
  2. Combine the fruit, juice, soymilk and cinnamon (if using) in a blender, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

June 20, 2009 at 11:41 am 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.