Monday, October 29, 2007

Tamale Pie Revisited from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates Cookbook

I read my cookbooks on train to and from work.. Yes.. I'm that one you see with her nose in her books, reading recipes like tantalizing novels. Today's commute was with Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates Cookbook. A fantastic assembly of vegetarian menus for celebratory events around the year.

I highlighted a couple of recipes I thought sounded amazing, namely the Tamale Pie. I realized I had most of the ingredients at home and did it. It was absolutely amazing. I had to have seconds, it was so delicious.

Here's my version of the recipe with my replacements since I was missing a few of the ingredients. I replaced the corn and the fresh green chili with hominy and a mix of powdered chlli and Chipotle Tabasco sauce. I also replaced the water with vegetable broth. The vegetable oil was replaced with Avocado oil and the buttermilk with milk and a tablespoon of rice vinegar. So essentially... A couple of replacements...

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 15ml chipotle tabasco sauce
  • 10ml chili powder
  • 5ml hungarian paprika
  • 15ml avocado oil
  • 10ml ground cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup stemmed and diced green beans
  • 1 cup cubed potato
  • 2 cups sweet potato
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 7.5ml baking powder
  • 2.5ml baking soda
  • 2.5ml salt
  • 1/2 cup canned hominy (I'm sure corn would have been a million times better)
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 110 ml milk + 15ml rice vinegar
  • 30ml avocado oil

Preheat your oven at 350F. In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil and cook the onions, garlic, tabasco sauce, chilli powder and paprika until browned, about 10 minutes. Add in the cumin, sweet and regular potatoes, green beans and broth stir and bring to boil. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.

In a seperate bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, red bell pepper and hominy. Set them aside. Mix your eggs, milk and vinegar and oil.

When the mixture in the skillet is cooked, take off from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, then sprinkle with the cheese and set aside.

Combine the cornmeal mix with the egg mix with a spatula. Pour over the vegetables and cheese and spread to cover evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the topping comes out clean.

Serve hot. I added a few dashes of tabasco for an extra kick.

Simply amazing!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Creamy Vegetable Barley Risotto

Barley is one of those grains that we don't use enough in our diets. It's either rolled out flat and made as oatmeal, used in stews or is baked into cakes and breads. It's high starch content makes it a perfect candidate for risotto. It will keep its shape, have a slight resistance but will also have the creamy consistency that arborio rice would typically impart. Using a pressure cooker makes this dish a snap to make - without the stirring!

For this recipe, you will need:
  • 1.5 liters of stock (vegetable or chicken works)
  • 375 ml of white wine - something nice enough to drink - or else it won't impart a good flavor - maybe a nice Burgandy.
  • 1 3/4 cup of pearled barley (it's more refined than pot barley - use pot barley for stews)
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup diced sweet potato
  • 1 cup diced kabocha squash (or 2 cups squash if you don't have sweet potato, or 2 cups sweet potatoes if you don't have squash)
  • 2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced.
  • 5 ml dried sage
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 125 ml freshly grated Parmesan (please, none of that powdered stuff.... blerch)
In your pressure cooker, heat your olive oil on medium heat. Add in your garlic and quickly stir around the pot. Add in your potatoes and squash and stir to cover with oil. Add in your barley, broccoli, mushrooms, sage and liquids. Snap on your lid, put the pressure on and bring to boil. Then simmer at the right temperature to keep your rocker on a good rhythm for 12 minutes. Let the mix cool down. When it's safe to open the pressure cooker, add in your Parmesan cheese and stir. Serve immediately. It will serve 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Veggie Pate

Due to popular demand, here's my vegetable pate recipe.

You'll need:
1 cup sunflower seeds (husks removed)
1 cup whole meal flour
1 cup oatmeal
2 medium sweet potatoes coarsely chopped
1 cup cubed kabocha squash
3 medium carrots coarsely chopped
1 large onion coarsely chopped
2 celery sticks coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper coarsely chopped
125 ml vegetable oil
1 cup vegetable stock
5ml lemon juice
5ml garlic powder
5ml onion powder
10ml chili powder
30ml herbe de provence
5ml pepper
60ml tamari
5ml mustard powder

Preheat your oven at 350F. Oil a 9"x9"x2" baking dish. In a food processor, blend the seeds until ground into a fine powder. Remove and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour in the mixing bowl. Blend the oatmeal in the food processor until ground into powder and place in mixing bowl. Blend the sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, onions, green peppers and celery until pureed - at this point, you can use some vegetable stock to help thin the puree. Add to seed and flour. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. At this point, you can taste the mixture and correct the seasoning. Place mixture in oiled baking dish, and bake for about an hour.

It will keep for about 10 days in the fridge and it freezes extremely well. It's amazing on toast and in wrap sandwiches with some sprouts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Home made fajitas

Fajitas can be very easy to make, without the need of the premade fajita seasoning mixes. This recipe works well for two people as a main course, or four if you have another side dish.

You'll need for the filling:
  • 2 mock chicken breasts, sliced into long thin strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 60 ml liquid chicken stock
  • 15 ml tomato paste (get the tubes that you can squeeze a bit out of it when needed and keep in the fridge, instead of opening a tin of paste)
  • 5 ml chilli pepper
  • 5 ml cumin powder
  • 5 ml coriander powder
  • 5 quick dashes of Tabasco sauce (I used the chipotle pepper kind)
In a skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add themock chicken strips and cook until done. Add in the powdered spices and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add in the stock, tomato paste and vegetables. Lower heat to medium low and stir pan until vegetables are cooked through. Add Tabasco sauce and stir until combined.


  • 4 tortilas breads
  • some grated cheese (cheddar or montere jack will do)
  • yogurt or sour cream
  • chopped green onions
  • salsa
Using one tortilas, place a quarter of the filling, add some cheese, a spoonful of yogurt, some chopped green onions and salsa. Repeat with three other tortilas. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ode to the bountiful and colorful squashes and pumpkins

It's that time of year again.. Squash and pumpkin season.

Here are a few of the recipes I have featuring this wonderful colorful vegetable fruit.