All posts by AmandaE

and Love

Mustard Potatoes with Chickpeas

spicy_mustard_potatoes_chickpeas

It’s September!!!  That awesome month filled with birthdays, cooler temperatures, and Renaissance Festivals.  Since today is the first Monday in September, in addition to being the 1st of September, that means the month is starting on a high note with September’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was assigned Easily Good Eats, which is stuffed to the brim with delicious recipes – ranging from the sweet to the savory.  I had a rather difficult time figuring out what recipe to pick, at one point I had “narrowed” it down to 10 before realizing that two of the recipes I was drooling over would not be well received by the other member of this house (silly people who don’t like coconut!).    This left me with lots of bean recipes, which isn’t so surprising cuz vegetarians do love their beans.  I debated back and forth between her tomato chickpea pilaf and her spiced mustard potatoes with chickpeas before deciding on the mustard – it was so different from anything else I had tried that I had to give it a whirl.   Since the recipe is already vegan all I wound up doing was adding a bit more curry powder, which could be due to the variety used in her version vs. mine.   I also double the recipe since this was for two instead of one – which still resulted in enough for two dinners and two packed lunches!

and Love

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb butter potatoes, quartered and peeled
  • 2 cups presoaked chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ tablespoon mixed spice such as curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender but not soft. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Heat a deep saute pan over medium heat and toast the mustard seeds for 2 minutes before slowly adding the oil and garlic. Cook for an additional minute, seeds should be lightly golden, before adding the potatoes and curry powder. Stir
  3. Keep heat on medium and cook potatoes for about 6 minutes on each side, allowing them to slightly caramelize. Once all sides have been cooked add the chickpeas and stir well. Cook for a final 5 minutes, stirring to prevent the potatoes from burning.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/and-love.html

 This recipe was fantastic!  Not that I had any doubts as anyone who has over a dozen polenta (!!!!) recipes obviously has fantastic taste.  For more fantastically delicious treats be sure to check out the rest of the recipes featured in this month’s Secret Recipe Club!

 For my regular readers, I’m in the process of writing up a post to go with my vagueblogging from last week – and it should be up shortly.   I’ve also been busy in the kitchen, so hopefully that will prevent any more 3 weeks absences.  August was a rough month but (fingers crossed) September will be better.

Could Cry

Hi everyone!  I wrote this post back in April for Jane of The Heritage Cook.  Things have been a bit rough over here so sharing this now while we attempt to get back on our feet :-) Huge thanks to our family and friends who have helped us out during this not so pleasant adventure.  Will most likely write something up about that soon as well but not quite there yet.  
Hi!  I’m Amanda E and I can normally be found blogging about vegetarian dishes over at DancingVeggies.  I’m in the Secret Recipe Club with Jane, and with that have been following her for a few years now – which is why I jumped at the opportunity to write a guest post.  While I normally stick to the healthier recipes, the crazy weather here in the mid-Atlantic has driven me to the sweeter side of life.
S'More Pie
This past weekend we watched as the weather went from 60 and rainy to below freezing and snowing in a matter of hours – typical for February but not the tale end of March.  Since we weren’t exactly expecting snow at the end of March, all of our firewood was outside which resulted in a minor panic.  See, I’m not a fan of snow and the only positive I can find about winter weather is the excuse to build a fire indoors and make S’mores!  I needed my chocolate marshmallow fix but had no way to safely prepare the marshmallows since we are currently living microwave-free.  In my panic I started rummaging thru the pantry before finding a box of pudding tucked away behind my backup flour.  I then realized what needed to be done – I needed to prepare a S’more pie.  So I got out all my ingredients and set to assembling all my goodies, with the added excitement of being able to show this pie off to the company joining us for dinner.
 
Guest Post

Serves: Yields 1 10inch Pie

6-8

Ingredients

  • 10 full size graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or earth balance, melted
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk (dairy or coconut - almond milk will not set!)
  • 1/2 bag marshmallows (I used Dandies), cut in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Break the graham crackers in quarters and place in blender along with melted butter. Blend until the crackers form small (pencil eraser) sized crumbs. Press the crumbs in to the bottom of an 10inch pie or tart pan.
  3. Blind bake for 15 minutes, crust will solidify and turn a rich caramel shade. Set aside to cool
  4. Once crust has reached room temperature begin preparing the pudding per instructions. After whisking for 2 minutes quickly pour the mixture in to the pre-baked crust before it fully set. Place in fridge for one hour.
  5. Gently press the marshmallows in to the partially set pie crust then place in fridge for a final hour.
  6. Remove pie from the fridge. Carefully use a brulee torch to brown (or blacken) the marshmallows to your desired "doneness".
  7. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/08/could_cry.html
In the future I would hunt down a creme brulee torch (or blow-torch) in order to fully char the marshmallows but we had to work with what we had and it worked out.  I made sure to char a few for my hubby while leaving the rest just slightly cooked per guests’ requests.  In the end, we had the awesome combination of s’mores without the hassle of drying out wood.  Even better is this pie insures that the goodness of s’mores can continue in to the summer months – which is as it should be.
Thanks Jane for letting me do a guest post on your amazing blog!

Two Can Keep

Bean Salad

Bean Salad

Sometimes things work out, and more often then not I have to remind myself of that fact.  Apparently a few months ago I had a special moment and forgot to sign up for August’s Secret Recipe Club reveal – my first miss in two years!!!  Thankfully I was on Facebook at the right time to see a call to adopt an orphan for Group D, so I still get to participate.  The blog I adopted wound up being perfect for me as Dena’s Oh! You Cook! blog is 100% Kosher!!!  That’s right – 100% full of treats not treif :-D  Which meant I could pick any of her dairy, vegan,  or parve recipes and not have to worry about surprise ingredients which was fantastic since I had only a few days to pick and make the recipe.   Since I knew I was hosting another game day over the weekend I decided to look for easy side dishes or dips that would work with out bbq plan.   Which narrowed it down to her Black Bean Salsa, Buffalo Nachos,  Israeli Beet Dip, and Bean Salad.   I really wanted to do her beet dip but struck out at the farmer’s market, and again when I suggested the dip on the meetup page – apparently gamers don’t like beets?!?!  So I decided to whip up her bean salad, knowing it would be the perfect gluten-free and vegan side dish for our eclectic group of gamers.   Some quick changes: used two cans of chickpeas (thought I bought kidney but apparently didn’t) and argula for cilantro since a few of our friends can’t stand the stuff.

Two Can Keep

Serves: Yields 8 cups of bean salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans black beans, well rinsed
  • 2 cans chickpeas, well rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup argula, loosely torn
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard

Instructions

  1. Drain the beans and place them in a large bowl. Toss in the red onion, garlic, argula, and green pepper in with the beans.
  2. In a small bowl whip together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and yellow mustard. Once mixed, pour over the bean mixture and stir.
  3. Refrigerate until time to Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/08/two-can-keep.html

Sure enough this salad was a hit!  Some people used it as a really thick dip, others topped their burgers with it, while a few of us dived in with spoons.  So while gamers don’t like beets – they most certainly LOVE beans!!!!

Think to Myself

Vegan Coleslaw

Coleslaw

It can be a little rough be a vegetarian during cook-out season – more often than not the sides aren’t even veggie friendly!  Since I’ve been hosting a large number of gatherings at my house this year (wahOo owning an indoor grills!) I’ve made it my mission to create and serve sides that work for vegans and meat eaters alike!  This coleslaw is kid, gamer, vegan, and celiac approved so it probably doesn’t get much better.  In order to replicate the texture and consistency of mayo, without going fully over to the soy side, I used a mixture of vegenaise and almond milk based greek yogurt.

Think to Myself

Serves: Yields 5 cups coleslaw

Serves 6-10, as a side

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs cabbage (red or green or both)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (almond, coconut, or dairy based)
  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor or cheese grater, to shred the cabbage in to long thin strips. Place in strainer, wash with cold water and allow to fully dry.
  2. Meanwhile blend together the greek yogurt and vegenaise.
  3. Once cabbage is dry stir in half of the yogurt mixture. Add the vinegar then stir in the remaining yogurt mixture along with the pepper.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Season to taste with additional pepper as needed.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/08/think-to-myself.html

I’ve been switching back between green and red cabbage all summer, and in the end I think I prefer a combination.  The red cabbage adds just a bit of tang while the green cabbage is sweeter, at least when it goes to the local options.   The coleslaw also tastes great the next day, just be sure to keep it well covered!  I’m also sending this over to /52weeks of cooking for there America challenge as nothing says summer in the US so much as having friends over for a bbq – complete with some delicious coleslaw!

In the Way

Black Eyed Pea Cakes

black_eyed_peas_cake

I have to admit that some of my favorite challenges are ones where I’m forced to use things already on hand – such as the Cook from your Pantry challenge on /52weeksofcooking.  Not only do they force me to clean out things that might have been hiding in a back corner, but they also cause me to take stock of what all I’ve got – and what I might need.  In this case I had purchased a few cans of black eyes peas with the intent to make Texas Caviar, which never happened.  So I pulled those out and modified a recipe a coworker had given me a few weeks earlier for Black Eyed Pea Cakes.  The original recipe came with some delicious Vidalia Onions (straight from Georgia!) and featured a few ingredients that weren’t exactly vegetarian friendly (again, recipe is straight from Georgia).

 

Black Eyed Peas Cake

Serves: Makes 10 4inch patties

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 cans black eyed peas, drain with 1/2 tbsp of liquid reserved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor of blender and blend until mashed but not quite pureed. Slowly add more olive oil if needed.
  2. Form 4x2 inch patties on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper then place in the fridge for at last one hour
  3. Cover a deep frying pan with at least 1/2 inch of oil and heat. Oil is ready when water flicked water "dances" across the pan. Add the patties one at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook for 5 minutes before flipping. Cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Remove cooked patty to another cookie sheet, this one lined with paper towels and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/in_the_way.html

These cakes weren’t the most stable when it came time to cook them, even after chilling in the fridge, but they were delicious!  I served them with some coleslaw which added a nice crunch to the dinner.  A green salad would also work – just need to have something with a bit of a bite so that the jaw doesn’t get bored!  They would also make a great appetizer, just shrink the size to 2 inches and enjoy!  With that the cakes could also be prepped the night before, or the morning of, depending on free time.