Wednesday, September 13, 2006

i <3 new cookbooks :)

I FINALLY bought Vegan with a Vengeance the other night, and was so excited to cook from it. It looks like it is going to be a good book - nice flavors, new ingredients, and simple, straightforward recipes. Chris picked out a stuffed pepper recipe to start with, which I liked a lot. I guess the recipe is inspired by one that was found on the back of a box of veggie crumbles - - but because the cookbook is made without the use of prepackaged faux meat ingredients, she used quinoa and black beans instead - yum! The quinoa/black bean combination is not only a great source of protein, but it also tastes really good together, it's fast and easy to cook, and provides a nice textural appeal. As Giada would say, "...oooh....the beans are so smooooth and chrrreamy....and the toasted quinoa gives a little crrunch in your mouth." (that's for you, EBM)

Black Bean, Mushroom, and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
slightly adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance

4 large bell peppers (any color)
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 minced cloves of garlic
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 T. chile powder
1 t. salt
1/4 c. water
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 c. quinoa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
(optional) 1 t. maple syrup
(optional) fresh cilantro or parsley

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the stems, seeds, and ribs. Decide if you would like to stuff the peppers whole standing up (nice presentation but not practical) or in halves laying down (not quite as pretty but much more practical) and slice or not slice accordingly. Place the peppers in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, remove, drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the onions and saute until the onions are becoming transluscent. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and saute for about 5 minutes more. Stir in the chile powder and salt, then add the quinoa, water, and 1 c. of the tomato sauce. Stir well to combine, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes, stirring once. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the beans and optional syrup to the quinoa mixture, then taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. At this time, you can also add a small handful of chopped fresh herbs
to the mixture if you would like. Stuff the peppers, top with the remaining sauce and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and top with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

Curried Carrot Bisque
I had to pick out a quick side to go with the peppers, and since it has been so grey lately, I was drawn to this sunny soup. It's got an amazing flavor, vegan or not - I just LOVE anything made with coconut milk and curry powder. It's really easy to make - if you want to be super lazy you can even just buy grated bagged carrots and use those with barely any prep work. You can get this recipe at the Post Punk Kitchen site, which has a lot of other recipes from the book (and elsewhere). I highly recommend this, so go right now.

In other news, in case you haven't read the Dining Out section of today's NYTimes, I just wanted to draw your attention to these great articles on tea (yay for new and improved tea bags!), coffee (yay for artisinal latte patterns!), and the Eating Well section (yay for spraying viruses on cold cuts instead of cleaning the factories!).


Giada said...

MMM. That sounds wonderful. I'd love to wrap my big oversized mouth around that and talk about how inccchredible it is. May I suggest a nice par-may-jiano rej-ay-ano? Or perhpas a marrrrs-ca-poh-nay to really sweeten up the dish? Mmm Mmmm Mmm-faaannntastic.
Thanks for the shout out.
Hugs and kiss!

auntie jeanne said...

Shouldn't you be doing your homework?

I thought you'd be cooking and writing less once school started?

Just kidding, it's nice to know you can balance your life out, after all the brain works MUCH better when well nourished. Will you let my daughter come live with you for a week and maybe YOU can transform her?

Mr. Clean said...

Uh-oh! None of us are safe from the perils of dirtiness and disease! Look at this recent article! They've gone after spinach... what's next?!

Erin said...

You caught me! Funny how I really was supposed to be doing a homework assignment when I posted this...I'm a procrastinator...what can I say? It's hard work, but I am so thankful to be out of my "cranial hibernation" that I was in for the past couple of years. Tell Syd she can come out to the midwest anytime (although I have trouble believing she needs a lot of help considering I could barely get her to take her nose out of a book to say hi to me :)

Mr. Clean, you sound like my uncle John, whose proud method of starting the summer at the lake (when the cabin was essentially plumbing-less) was drinking a liter of lakewater on the first day, getting the major runs, and then being ok for the rest of the summer...I bet you would like that, wouldn't you?