29th December 2008

Manzana Chili Verde and Firecracker Cornbread


Another set of recipes in our trying-to-keep-it-light, post-holiday trend… I made this stew from Veganomicon and Lisa made an awesome cornbread adapted from a recipe @ 101 Cookbooks.  The chili has too many green vegetables to count, plus Granny Smith apples!  The cornbread had a nice little kick that went really well with the chili.

Lisa says:

Hey, this is a little spicy… and… sweet? Hmmm…

Chris says:

Well yeah, it’s a *little* sweet… there’s apples in it. But it’s not overly so. There’s a lot going on.

Lisa says:

You’re right… I’m adding a little bit of salt to mine.

Chris says:

The cornbread is awesome. Those peppers in it keep it pretty moist — I don’t need to slather my piece with butter.

Lisa says:

Hm, I *really* like this chili, it’s growing on me with every bite.

Chris says:

I couldn’t believe how many green things went in this… tomatillos, apples, cilantro, poblanos, jalapeños, green onions…

Lisa says:

…don’t forget avocados!

Chris says:

That Kermit was full of it — seems like it’s pretty easy being green.

Manzana Chili Verde
1 lb baby Yukon golds, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
3 jalapeños, seeded and sliced thinly
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped into 1″ pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb tomatillos, papery skin removed, washed, chopped into 1/2″ to 3/4″ pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered, and sliced thinly
2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shopped scallions
1 15-oz can small white beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
Avocado slices for garnish

Place the chopped potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for a little less than 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, jalapeños, and poblanos in oil for about 10 minutes, until everything is softened and the onions are slightly browned.
Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Saute for 1 more minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the wine reduce and the tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes.
Add the apples, vegetable broth, scallions, and 1/2 cup of the cilantro. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to partially puree everything, or transfer half the chili to a food processor and puree, then return to the pot.
Taste for tartness: if bitter, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to level things out. Add the cooked potatoes and the beans, simmer for a few more minutes, until everything is heated through.
Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the avocado and scallions, and serve.

4-6 Servings

Firecracker Cornbread

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup fine-grain cornmeal
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 cup almond milk
1 large egg
1 4-oz can mild green chilies

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees, with a rack in the middle.
Just before you make the batter, in a small saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the red pepper flakes, and pour into a 9-inch pie tin or baking dish. Place in the hot oven.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the almond milk, egg, and chilies. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just combined. Now very carefully remove the hot pan with butter from the oven. Fill it with the cornbread batter, pushing the batter out to the sides if needed. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is just set.

Makes 10 slices.

posted in Breads and Muffins, Main Dishes, Veganomicon, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

28th December 2008

Barley Risotto with Grapefruit and Arugula

We’re trying to eat lighter meals now that we’re back from vacation, and this one from Super Natural Cooking seemed to be on the lighter side, yet filling. Rather than arborio rice, this risotto uses pearl barley, and get its citrusy flavor from lemon zest and grapefruit.

Chris says:

Not going to get scurvy from this dish — the citrus flavor is subtle, but there…

Lisa says:

I actually think it could use a little more flavor — maybe next time I’ll use chicken or veggie broth instead of the water and a little more wine.

Chris says:

I’m always on board for more wine!

Lisa says:

I do like that she’s pretty accurate with the number of servings for recipes in her book.

Chris says:

That’s always a bonus; nothing worse than making a recipe and realizing the dish that’s supposed to serve six would barely serve the two of us…

Lisa says:

This would also work well as a side to something else. I’m enjoying it okay, but I want something else with it.  I’m not sure I’d make it again as a main course.

Chris says:

Maybe next time we’ll try the barley risotto recipe I found with pancetta — should be a lot of flavor in that one!

Barley Risotto with Grapefruit and Arugula
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
2 cups pearl barley
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
1 grapefruit
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 big handfuls arugula, coarsely chopped
Handful of chopped toasted walnuts, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, then add the onion, shallots, garlic, and salt and saute, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.
Add the barley and stir until totally coated. Add the white wine and simmer 3 or 4 minutes, until the barley has absorbed the liquid a bit. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer.
In stages, add about 6 cups of water, 1 cup at a time, letting the barley absorb most of the liquid between additions; this should take around 40 minutes altogether. Stir regularly so the grains on the bottom of the pan don’t scorch, and continue until the barley is cooked through and tender-chewy.
Meanwhile, grate the zest of the grapefruit, then peel and cut the grapefruit into segments. Cut the segments in half, reserving any juice that leaks out. When the barley is tender, stir in the zest, segments and juice, Parmesan, and sour cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then stir in the arugula. Garnish with the toasted walnuts before serving.

4-6 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Super Natural Cooking, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

26th December 2008

Guest Post: Salmon Chowder


A very special guest post this evening from Lisa’s brother Chris (yes, another Chris…) and his girlfriend Jenn — a delicious Salmon Chowder from The Ultimate Soup Bible. C&J made an enormous cauldron of the chowder that fed nine or ten lucky souls over the course of two nights. I only had my point-and-shoot camera with me, so I wasn’t able to get as good a picture of the chowder as I normally would — guess, we’ll just have to make it ourselves! (As if we really needed an excuse…) We served the chowder with a few sides and salads we’ve made before, including these roasted yams, a salad featuring arugula and roasted bell peppers, and one featuring layered beets and avocados.


This is wonderful, who made this?

I really like that the broth isn’t super-thick like in a lot of chowders.

Tell Chris this chowder is better than a few others I’ve had recently…

Oooh, I like the corn in this. Good addition!

The dill is great — perfect amount.

Great success!


Salmon Chowder
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
7 cups chicken stock
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 can corn, drained
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion, leek, and fennel and cook for 6 minutes until softened. Stir in the flour and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock and potatoes to the mixture in the pan. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat , cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the salmon and simmer gently 3-5 minutes until just cooked. Stir in the corn, milk, cream, and chopped dill into the pan. Cook until just warmed through, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. To thicken, smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot. Adjust the seasoning to taste, then ladle into warm bowls.

4 (large) Servings

posted in Main Dishes, The Soup Bible | 2 Comments

22nd December 2008

Sweet Potato and Kale Enchiladas

This was another of those “let’s look for a recipe that uses the veggies in the CSA box” nights that turned out really well. The original, in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook called for red or yukon gold potatoes, but we had sweet potatoes on hand and I thought they made a nice contrast to the spicy homemade enchilada sauce.
Chris says:

We’re becoming kale fiends!

Lisa says:

I know it… we never cooked with it at all until this year…

Chris says:

Well they certainly love giving it to us in the CSA box… not that I’m complaining. Anyway, what do you think?

Lisa says:

I like it — I didn’t think I’d like the sweet potatoes, and I still want to try this again with regular spuds, but the taste is really good. What do YOU think?

Chris says:

I think it’s hard to take a good picture of enchiladas.

Lisa says:

Hmmm…. don’t worry about it. I think people know enchiladas aren’t that photogenic.

Chris says:

Maybe. Anyway, I love these things. I’d probably puree the enchilada sauce a little more next time, but I like the combination of flavors.

Lisa says:

The guacamole you made goes really well with it too. I heart guac.

Chris says:

I’m really liking the recipes from this book. They certainly don’t scream “vegan”.

Lisa says:

I agree! They’re just good.

Sweet Potato and Kale Enchiladas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 hatch chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped coarsely
2 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

1 lb sweet potatoes
1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, and chopped finely
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
3 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp salt

12–14 corn tortillas

Peel and diced the potatoes, then boil them until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a shallow casserole dish, at least 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches.
Prepare the enchilada sauce : In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions is oil for 4 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer, and remove from the heat. When the mixture has cooled enough, taste and adjust the salt if necessary. Puree with an immersion blender until the mixture is smooth and even.
Prepare the filling: Cook the olive oil and minced garlic in a saucepot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is sizzling and slightly browned. Add the kale, sprinkle with a little salt, and raise the heat to medium, stirring constantly to cover the kale with the oil and garlic. Partially cover the pot to steam the kale until it has wilted, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove the lid and mix in the potatoes, vegetable stock, lime juice, and salt. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash some of the potatoes. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until the stock is absorbed. Add more salt or lime juice to taste.
Ready a plate filled with about 3⁄4 cup of enchilada sauce, a casserole dish, a stack of corn tortillas, a heated cast-iron pan, and the potato and kale filling.
Ladle a little bit of the enchilada sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish and spread it around. Take a corn tortilla, place it on the heated pan for 30 seconds, then flip it over and heat until the tortilla has become soft and pliable. Drop the softened tortilla into the pie plate filled with sauce; allow it to get completely covered in sauce, flip it over, and coat the other side.
Now, place the tortilla in the casserole dish, place some of the potato filling down the middle and roll it up. Continue with rest of tortillas, tightly packing enchiladas next to each other.
Pour about a cup of sauce over the top (reserving some for later), cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until edges of the tortillas poking out of sauce look just a little browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Top individual servings with any remaining enchilada sauce, warmed slightly.

Makes 12-14 enchiladas

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Veganomicon | 2 Comments

21st December 2008

Quinoa with Corn, Kale, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes… and more…


Lisa spotted this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink quinoa recipe over at 101 Cookbooks, where it’s titled “Heather’s Quinoa”. We’re glad that Heidi decided to post this mish-mash, we both really enjoyed all the different tastes and textures. We had a small block of Gruyere left in the fridge, so we also invited that little guy to the party.
Chris says:

Holy; what *isn’t* in this quinoa?

Lisa says:

Not much, isn’t it awesome?

Chris says:

Yeah — I like all the surprises. Also, it’s surprisingly filling.

Lisa says:

I’m sure the biscotti we’ve been eating all afternoon contributed to that.

Chris says:

Well yeah, somewhat…

Lisa says:

Wow — I just realized that even Abbie could eat this — there are no “gross vegetables”

Chris says:

Oh please; you would have had her at pesto

Lisa says:

Well, we’ll have to make it at least one more time then!


Quinoa with Corn, Kale, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes… and more…
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
brown sugar, spoonful
1 shallot, minced
2 cups quinoa
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
2 cups firm nigari tofu, browned
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup pepitas
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Roast the cherry tomatoes: Heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each tomato in half and arrange in a large oven-proof baking dish. Add a splash of olive oil, a spoonful of brown sugar, and some few pinches of salt, and pour over the tomatoes. Toss to coat the tomatoes, and flip them so they’re cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the tomatoes look shrunken and delicious.
While the tomatoes bake, rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa and 4 cups water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when completely tender. Drain any extra water and set aside.
In a dutch oven heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallot and cook for a minute or two. Add the quinoa and corn and cook until sizzling. Stir in the kale and the tofu, cooking until tofu is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the pesto and pumpkin seeds. Stir until the pesto is well incorporated. Transfer onto a platter and top with the shredded Gruyere and cherry tomatoes.

Serves 4 – 6

posted in Main Dishes | 5 Comments