Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Yesterday was not too hot and after overeating during my trip to Toronto I decided to cook something fast, simple, and light. I browsed several recipe sites to get an idea of what I can put in my gazpacho. I have to admit that I have never had gazpacho before. Probably there are rules and regulations on what you can put and what you can not but I just went with my appetite and taste to make this:
6 medium-size tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
2 small cucumbers (they are sold here as Lebanese). If you don't have small cucumbers use the regular ones
2 garlic cloves
2 purple shallots (I know those are rare to find. Do not hesitate to use either purple onion (1/2 or even 1/4 should be enough) or regular shallots)
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 ripe avocado
3 cups of vegetable juice (I used V8)
1 tsp sherry vinegar (you can use lemon juice instead or even white balsamic vinegar)
5-7 springs of cilantro
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Peel tomatoes. To do so, make an x-shaped cut on the bottom of each tomato. Put them in a sauce-pan and cover with boiling hot water. Wait for 2-3 minutes. You will notice that the skin next to the cut is peeling off and all you have to do is remove tomatoes (careful not to burn yourself) and peel off the rest of the skin.
Coarsely chop the pepper, cucumbers, onions, and garlic. Combine them with tomatoes in a big soup pot.
Using hand-held blender, blend vegetables until smooth. You can also use a regular blender for this purpose.
Add cumin, vinegar, sugar, cilantro, and avocado. Blend until smooth.
Add V8. I would recommend adding it slowly and mixing throughout to give the soup required consistency. Also try the soup to adjust for seasoning.
Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices. You might want to check out this website for some unsual Gazpachos, such as Oriental or White Gazpachos.
P.S. The picture of purple shallots comes from the Muffintop blog
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Check out The West Island Chronicle. The article is called: "Have a very vegan day" and is part of the food column by Elyse Amend. Once I'll get rich and famous I would hire Elyse to do all the writing and editing for my blog. I can also show her some other vegan recipes.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
But Monday was different: Monday I went to the grocery store, picked up a lot of veggies, brought 4 huge grocery bags full of goodies home, and started chopping.
My sister wanted something light and cool for the hot summer evening. After checking out my extensive recipe collection I decided to make salads and soup (my dad loves soup and even if he would not like the Asian flavor of edamame salad he would definitely enjoy my green pea soup).
First on the list was a tried and true veganized recipe of a “Greek Dinner Salad” (do not confuse with The Greek Salad, they are completely different). The recipe comes from a 2005 issue of Eating Well magazine.
Greek Dinner Salad
1 medium zucchini, finely diced (2 cups)
1 large bell pepper, finely diced (1 ½ cups)
1 bunch radishes, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained
Boston lettuce leaves for serving
- To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until creamy
- Toss all the ingredients (apart from lettuce leaves) in a large bowl. Pour over the vegetables, toss gently. Spoon into lettuce leaves for cups and serve.
Edamame and Greens with Sesame Dressing
1 ½ cups edamame
4 cups salad spring mix
1 cucumber, sliced
8-oz baked teriyaki tofu, cubed
1 green onion sliced
toasted sesame seeds
1. To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until creamy.
2. To make salad: cook edamame according to the package instructions (boil for 2-4 minutes). Rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well.
3. Divide spring mix among 4 plates.
4. In a medium bowl combine edamame, greens, cucumber, tofu, and green onions. Pour over 1/4 of the Sesame Dressing and mix well. Scoop the salad on top of the greens and drizzle with the reamaning dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
I could not find any baked seasoned tofu (usually I get Asian flavored one) so I decided to try the mock chicken breasts (I don’t remember the name of the company that makes them – I’ll update this post from home with the brand name andmaybe even a picture). I pan-fried them for couple of minutes, cut it in cubes and added to the salad. All in all the chicken breasts were very good. I would definitely use them again in salads or sandwiches. I also think they would be delicious under gravy or sauces with a side dish of rice/mashed potatoes.
If you are not sure where to find edamame, try any Asian stores. They usually have them in frozen section and they come shelled or not.
This is how both of the salad looked:
Pea and spinach soup with coconut milk was a big hit. My dad enjoyed it so much that he asked me to prepare it again. The original recipe, which comes from one of the special issues of “Fine Cooking” 2006 calls for fresh peas, I didn’t have any fresh ones so I used frozen but the result was great. One great thing about crème soups is that you don’t have to care about sizes of cut vegetables.
Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk
2 large leeks, white parts and pale green, quartered and sliced (try using spring onions if you don't have leeks)
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp basmati rice (use quick cooking rice if you want to speed up the cooking process)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups of peas
4 cups coarsely chopped spinach, any thick stems removed
1 cup coconut milk
1. In a soup pot, heat up oil and stir in rice. Add leeks, salt, curry powder, cilantro, and 1 cup of the stock
2. Cook over medium-low heat at a vigorous simmer for about 12 minutes (if you are suing quick-cooking rice, cook for 3-4 minutes).
3. Add the remaining 3 cups of broth, the peas, and the spinach and bring to boil.
4. Boil for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir I coconut milk.
5. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Taste for salt, season with pepper and garnish with cilantro leaves.
If you prefer a soup with more texture, puree 1 cup and return it to the pot, season, garnish, and serve.