Tag Archives: cilantro

Pesto White Bean Bowl

I’ve only recently acquired Jae Steele’s two cookbooks, Get It Ripe and Ripe From Around Here. Really, I shouldn’t even call them cookbooks; they’re more like holistic vegan lifestyle books, replete with nutritional information, tips for digestion and detoxification, the ins and outs of the organic and local food movements, and even recipes for make-at-home natural cleaning products! Sometimes it bothers me when the first half of a cookbook is wasted on something other than recipes, but with Jae’s books, I don’t mind. Everything she has to say is genuinely interesting, and I’m better off having read it.

I’m a pretty big fan of bowl-type meals (Anyone remember the Love Bowl?!), consisting of grains, veggies, protein, and a tasty sauce; so I was immediately drawn to the Pesto White Bean Bowl in her first book, Get It Ripe.

Fresh baby bok choy is laid atop a bed of fluffy quinoa, then topped with white beans (I used a mixture of navy and cannellini beans) combined with delicious pesto. Finally, the whole bowl is drizzled with olive oil.  I used Jae’s Cilantro Pesto from the same book; but really, you could use whatever pesto’s sitting in your fridge. For the olive oil, I used some fancy Basil Olive Oil I just bought from Outrageous Olive Oils, here in Scottsdale, AZ. Since I made cilantro pesto, I had to find a way to get some basil in there somehow!

As I knew it would be, this bowl was a slam dunk. My dad and I both loved it. Fresh, simple, and wholesome food at its finest. Given that the one other recipe I’ve made from Get It RipePerfect Peanut Sauce – was, in fact, perfect, I’d say Jae Steele is two for two. I’ll be getting more ripe very soon. :)

Kabocha Soup

Want something cheery to fill up your belly in these cold winter months? Okay, well, it was actually about 70 degrees here in Tempe today, but still–for most of you, I’m sure this sunshine yellow soup would hit the spot.

Plus, it’s made with the king of all squash: kabocha!

Sherried Kabocha Soup with Spiced Pepitas
(from The Vegetarian Times, January 2009)
Serves 6

Spiced Pepitas:
½ cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. agave nectar
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1½ pound kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

To make Spiced Pepitas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together pepitas, olive oil, agave nectar, paprika, and salt in small bowl. Spread on prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Cool. Break pepitas apart, and toss with cilantro.

To make Soup: Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in garlic, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute more. Add sherry, and cook 2 minutes. Add squash, vegetable broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Remove bay leaf, and purée soup in food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve sprinkled with Spiced Pepitas.

This recipe is soup-er easy to make, but with its vibrant colors and fancy pepita-cilantro garnish, everyone will think you’re a culinary genius. The leftover spiced pepitas would be delicious atop salad too!

Blame Apple

Um, yeah, blame Apple that you’re about to see way more photos than you’ve ever wanted to see.

This picture sums up our vacation. EVERYONE in my family on their computer except for me. :( Good thing I had my trusty camera to occupy me.

Since the hard drive on my brand new MacBook Pro peaced out a couple weeks ago, I obviously haven’t been able to blog, and consequently, I have an insane buildup of photos. A rational person might just forget those photos, and start blogging from the current moment, but my holiday photos are so much fun, I can’t bear not to share them!So here it goes. Expect way more photos than text. :)

When my semester ended (well, my semester personally just ended this morning at 3 am when I emailed my English prof my Austen seminar paper that I had to take an incomplete on, but I’m talking about Pomona’s semester), my sister, mom, dad, and I headed off to Philly to visit my dad’s family for a belated Hanukkah.

Our first night there was the giant blizzard (second biggest in Philly history?)

I think we got 23 inches. My uncle even went out to measure it!

Some Hanukkah action:

My wittle cousins, Nir and Tal.

Gorgeous (and incredibly classy) sister!

My mom made Dreena Burton’s Chocolate Banana Pudding Cake because it was my grandma’s birthday too!

My cousin Matt and my dad played some pattycake…

Tal and my uncle Adam made a snow (wo)man complete with a nice rack:

And then, Tal and I took a wee nap.

My aunt Donna made some delicious vegan chipotle chili. It was so spicy, it took me like an hour to eat and my eyes were watering the whole time. ;)

Oh, and this is my dad. Embarrassing.

Fortunately, my family is very supportive of my veganism. Take the following photo as an example. There was a tomato mozzarella salad at our big Hanukkah party, and someone was kind enough to provide me with this alternative:

I’m sorry, I was very touched that they thought of me, but really? Is this a dish that’s really worth veganizing? That was maybe the funniest thing ever.

To be fair, that wasn’t the only vegan option. My grandma ordered a feast from Whole Foods, which included General Tso’s vegan chicken and tons of roasted vegetables.

My mom kept cozy in her socks.

After we were all Hanukkah-ed out, we headed to Long Island, NY to visit my mom’s family for Christmas (yes, my family’s a bit of a cultural hodgepodge).

But first, we stopped in NYC for the day to see a musical–In the Heights–and do some fine (vegan) dining. My mom had made lunch reservations at Candle 79 weeks ago at my request. :)

We shared two appetizers. Polenta Fries

And the Guacamole Timbale: Chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, cucumber-jicama salsa, tortilla chips, ranchero sauce.

I made my dad get the Seitan Piccata because I’d heard so much praise for it, and it seemed like something he’d love (no, I don’t always order for my dad…)

Creamed spinach, grilled potato cake, oyster mushrooms, lemon-caper sauce.

My mom got the Live Celeriac Ravioli: Spinach-cashew ricotta, pine nut pesto, sundried tomato sauce, citrus marinated broccoli raab, olives & capers, which was super annoying because I had originally wanted to get lunch at One Lucky Duck, a raw restaurant, but my mom had said that she didn’t want raw food in the winter. Then, she orders this–the one raw entrée–at Candle 79. What gives, mom?!

Liv got the Burrito 79: Chili-herb grilled seitan, caramelized onions, sautéed greens, chipotle black beans, brown rice, cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream.

My entrée was obviously the best though. ;) The Wild Mushroom Stuffed Tempeh.

Wild mushrooms, sautéed spinach, brussels sprouts, sweet potato sauce, apple-pomegranate salad. They had me at sweet potato sauce.

Finally, we shared a dessert–Chocolate-Peanut Butter BlissChocolate mousse, peanut butter mousse, chocolate shell, berry coulis.

It was good, but 12 dollars for a dessert the size of a pill canister? Really?

While in the city, my dad and uncles and I also visited High Line Park, a mile-and-a-half long elevated park on the West side that’s built on former freight train tracks. It was pretty deserted given that not many people are crazy enough to take a stroll on an elevated, exposed platform on a blustery NY winter day, but I’m glad that we did.

And no holiday trip to NYC is complete without a stop at the Rockefeller Tree!

After a great day, we left the big city (calling it the big apple would be overkill in this post, wouldn’t it?), and headed to Long Island for a quiet(ish) Christmas.

Our first night in Huntington, we were greeted with hugs and heaping plates of pesto pasta made by our uncle Mickey! Walnut pesto, broccoli, and peas on TJ’s brown rice spaghetti. Heavenly!

It was sad not to be with Rupert for Christmas, but luckily, my two aunts had their dogs there to soften the blow. Tucker:

And Chickie:

Despite some minor–but expected–family altercations, Christmas went smoothly.

Can you see me? ;)

We had our traditional Christmas Eve Chinese take-out, but, not so traditionally, my aunt, uncle, and I got ours from a different place: the all-vegan Green Melody! I’m always a little skeptical of the veganness of food at non-vegan ethnic places, even when assured of it, so getting our own separate feast was a huge relief.

My favorite thing was the Rainbow Bowl! Roasted root vegetables in a beautifully carved and steamed kabocha squash! :)

I left PB cookies and soy milk out for Santa, like a good vegan.

And even roasted some chestnuts–though in a closed oven, and not over an open fire…

I got some great gifts this year. Tons of kitchen things–a spoon rest, a spiralizer, a cutting board (my sister got me a personalized one with a picture of us on it!), vintage salt & pepper shakers–and some new cookbooks–The Candle Café Cookbook, Raw Food Real World, and Sweet Freedom (by our own Ricki Heller!). Plus, the cutest Anthropologie dress in the world. Thanks, mommmmm.

My grandma got a Celtics Snuggie to match her pillow. Don’t let her sweet looks fool you–this woman is an avid and competitive sports fan. :)

And a trickster. Every year, she gives my mom the same gift as a gag. A 30+ year old box of petit fours. It’s disgusting and very Miss Havisham-ish, but hilarious.

Chickie got bored watching everyone else opening their gifts…

And then I had wayyy too much fun with my camera, shutter speed, and Christmas lights…

I call this one, “Donnie Darko’s Christmas Tree.”

And then we time warped to next year’s Christmas. ;)

Last, but not least, our decadent Christmas Dinner!

I made Swell Vegan’s Vegan Haggis, and it was a huge hit. Seriously, I knew it would be good, but I had no idea that my family would finish off this baby as fast as they did. :)

Since it was akin to a nut loaf (it also had oats, mushrooms, and root veggies), my mom started calling it a hagloaf. Hahahahaha.

I whipped up some extra-peppery PPK Mushroom Gravy to go with it (though I think a sweet, fruity sauce–like the one A-K made in her post–would be even better).

My sister made some sweet potatoes from Vegan Comfort Food, my mom made some green beans with almonds, and I made Ricki’s Quinoa, Roasted Beet, and Walnut Salad as well (seems random, but with the beets and cilantro, it’s Christmas colors, y’all!)

Mine turned out a lot redder than Ricki’s, but everyone thought it was beautiful and it got gobbled up. My uncle Adam even requested the recipe so he could make it for his New Years party a few days later.

Whew. I’m done. I hope this is the longest post I ever have, and regularly scheduled blogging shall recommence shortly. Book review coming up, too! :)

Thanks for all your kind words on my last post, and for your patience as I got my life back on track! I’m so glad to be back.

Happy Halloween! Quesadaiya and Chocolates!

Happy Halloween, everyone! After Thanksgiving, it may be my favorite holiday. Okay, so I really like Christmas and Hanukkah too–shoot me!

My costume this year is GREAT – I’m being one of my favorite characters in all literature/pop culture: Alice (in Wonderland). I’m so excited to get ready and go out with my friends, although the big 5-college party here, Harwood Halloween, is pretty disgusting (Imagine thousands of drunk, sweaty, scantily clad students in a dark, underground parking garage; liberties are taken). I won’t be getting crunk, as it were, but I do plan on having a lot of fun and looking illegally cute.

What’s the perfect Halloween treat? Orange and black quesadilla, of course! Or should I say, quesaDAIYA?!

Cheddar Daiya cheese +black beans + Food for Life Whole Grain Gluten-Free Brown Rice Tortilla = not only appropriately festive and absurdly delicious, but absolutely allergen-free! Daiya, made of cassava root (a.k.a. tapioca) is free of soy, casein, lactose, gluten, eggs, corn, and nuts, and the tortilla is as it’s named–gluten-free! In other words, move over casein-dillas! There’s no one who can’t enjoy the comforting richness that is a quesadilla! I swear I’m done with quesadilla wordplay.

Of course, being the good little vegan that I am, I added some veggie power in the form of bell peppers, red onions, and fresh cilantro.

I’ve had Daiya on zpizza before, but this was the first time I’d used it myself. I picked up a pack of both the Cheddar and Italian at Whole Foods yesterday, along with the tortillas, craving the microwave quesadillas of my childhood after-school snacks.

Daiya definitely delivered. It literally melted exactly like cow’s milk cheese in the microwave, and tasted phenomenal. The tortillas were great too! I’ve never had them before.

Stringymeltylovelovelove.

CHOMP.

Of course, you can’t have Halloween without candy. But I’m classy, so I went with some fancy vegan chocolates that my wonderful vegan superstar friend Stephanie got me from Whole Foods.

One.

Two.

Three.

The first one was your basic chocolate caramel. Except better, because it definitely had a hint of warm autumn-y spices. The second was also caramelish, but with a nice, crunchy almond in the center. My favorite by far, however, was the raspberry jam-filled apostrophe! (Haha, isn’t that the best way to describe that shape?!) It was not only printed with a gorgeous design, but the gooey, sugary filling was to die for. Plus, it reminded me of oozing, bloody guts, which is perfect for Halloween.

PB and J Bread and Sweet Potato Crepes

Okay, I have wanted to make Celine’s PB and J Quick Bread from Have Cake, Will Travel FOR-EV-ER. I finally got around to it this week, and thank god I did! What a freaking good idea.

I followed the recipe exactly, but I left out 2 Tbs each of the PB and strawberry jam to swirl in at the end to make sure that there’d be some visible ribbons of goodness.

This bread is really nice – just sweet enough, but still simple and wholesome. I liked the oat-y taste as well!

And what’s a PB&J lover to do with PB&J bread? Um, put more PB&J on it, silly.

Maybe that is gluttonous, but it felt so right.

As hard as it may be to believe, I’m gonna move on to something even better. The dish I’m about to show you was possibly the most delectable thing I’ve ever made! At the very least, one of the fanciest, and most presentable. Sweet Potato Crepes with Cilantro-Tamarind Sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance! Isa makes this in the Valentine’s Day episode of the PPK cooking show, but I thought that it’s being Tuesday was a good enough occasion for them, don’t you?

Yes, this recipe took over two hours to make. Yes, with the filling, sauce, and crepe batter, it was complicated. Yes, I had to scrounge up some semi-exotic ingredients. Yes, I toasted and ground my own Indian spices. But was it worth it? YES.

The filling is sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, some toasty spices, and coconut milk. The sauce is primarily cilantro, tamarind, cashews, and maple syrup. The crepes are made with chickpea flour (it called for all-purpose flour too, but I subbed spelt, added a 1/4 cup of extra water, and they were perfect, so it’s a forgiving recipe!). It all came together wonderfully. My mom actually thought the crepes had a pleasant slightly sour taste to them, sort of like injera bread, which is fine because injera rocks.

Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps and Giveaway Winners

Yes, I said winners, plural! I decided I’d give away two boxes of Weil bars given that they’re in anything but short supply around here. The winners are Ruby Red Vegan and aTxVegn. I don’t know how to do the screenshot of the random number generator, so please just believe me! Respectively, their ideal bar flavors were fig/almond and tart cherry/coconut. Simple, but delicious combos, if you ask me!

Oh, and did I say there were two winners? Because there are actually three! Surprise! I decided to pick the final winner based on whose ideal bar most piqued my interest – and my appetite! The best idea for a bar flavor award goes to Pistachio and Cardamom, who in keeping with their name, came up with “pistachio cinnamon fig with white chocolate chips!” I just might have to make that sometime…

Congratulations, guys! As it turns out, you can have any of the five flavors (Goji Moji, Chia-Razz, Banana Manna, Chocolada Walnut, or Pistachi-Oh!) of the Weil bars, so please leave me a comment with your email address so we can connect!

For my post-run breakfast today I had the only thing more refreshing than watermelon: frozen watermelon! Seriously, pop some watermelon chunks in the freezer for 45 min to an hour, and you’re golden (don’t put them in overnight – or if you do, thaw them for a while before eating – or they’ll break your teeth!)

Okay, so I know you all want to see another way to eat God’s gift to earth that is the sweet potato! When I saw the recipe for Ginger-Miso Yam Wraps in the September issue (September already?! Jesus…) of the Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to make it. I mean, sweet potatoes mashed with peanut butter, miso, ginger, edamame, cilantro, and tofu, all wrapped in a deliciously fresh collard green leaf? Um, hello!

Okay, they look like something my dog threw up, but they tasted even better than I’d imagined–the perfect combo of sweet, salt, and even spicy, thanks to the ginger and cayenne. Plus, they were perfect for a light summer meal.

Also, last night I helped my sister and her friends make a berry pie with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, using the Oil Crust recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan. I promised I’d blog it for them, so here you go!

I bought ingredients for yet another sweet potato dish for this week!…