Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Edwards and Sons Product Review

This review can also be found to the right of the screen but I figured I would feature it here first. Enjoy!

I was completely thrilled when a wonderful representative from Edwards and Sons recently offered to let me review some new products. When I first tried Edwards and Sons wonderful offerings (several months ago), I was delightfully pleased with EVERY SINGLE item! Delicious! Needless to say, I was eager to try the Canned Organic Grapefruit, Canned Cremini Mushrooms and Canned Portobellas when they arrived in the mail the other day. Once again, I have been thoroughly pleased! I loved mushrooms soooo much but my family isn't fond of them so I don't eat them nearly enough! This was the perfect opportunity to whip up a simple meal for myself (my hubby was working and I made sandwiches for the boys!). I threw together some mashed potatoes (a bit of butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper transformed some boiled potatoes). Next I lightly sauteed my little can of creminis in a tad of butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper (I know, sounds redundant!). I piled the mushrooms on a mound of potatoes and dove in! They were amazingly fabulous - chewy, flavorful, and downright yummy. They didn't need a fancy or exotic dish to shine - they were wonderful with just a little added flavor and a mild partner (the potatoes!).

I tried the grapefruit yesterday - it was gorgeous! I opened the can and thought I must be staring at oranges, not grapefruit! The segments were perfect and bright orange - surrounded by slightly sweet, 100% grapefruit juice. Yummy! If you like your grapefruit sweet, I would recommend a light sorinkling of sugar as these tender segments are bittersweet - just like a grapefruit should be in my opinion! What a wonderful thing to have in the pantry all year round!

The portobella mushrooms were just as delicious as the creminis! I was so excited to try them in a skillet of seitan stroganoff yesterday and they were fabulous. It was so nice to pull out the can, open it, and add them without any cleaning, chopping or extra cooking needed! Just a quick stir into the stroganoff and the dish was complete. Yum!

"Beef" Stroganoff

1 package Gardein beef tips, each piece cut into 3rds or 2 cups chopped seitan
1 large onion, diced
2 T olive oil
6 T nondairy butter
6 T flour
1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened soy milk (depending upon desired thickness)
2 t faux beef boullion
2 t vegan Worcestershire
2 t ground black pepper
3/4 t garlic salt
1-2 cans Edwards and Sons portobella mushrooms
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
Hot cooked noodles

In large skillet, heat oil. Add onions and cook 3-4 min or until starting to brown. Add Gardein. Cook until onions and Gardein are nicely browned. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt. Stir to combine. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour to form a roux. Slowly add milk until desired thickness is achieved. Add boullion and Worcestershire and stir to incorporate. Add sauce Gardein and onions. Add more milk if sauce is too thick. Stir until bubbly. Add mushrooms and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. Serve over hot noodles.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Easy Cornmeal Scrapple, Product Review, New Menu and More!

I haven't been real successful in getting back into the routine of blogging this week! I have been very busy getting our house and routine back to normal after our 2 week vacation and my blogging has taken the back burner. I have a couple things to post and a couple updates to share so here it goes!

A week from tomorrow, I will be starting on an exciting journey - homeschooling my 5-yr-old! We are so excited and a little overwhelmed too! This means, my time to do things like blogging will be greatly reduced. I will still be posting regularly but not nearly as frequently as I have done in the past. Still look for new and delicious recipes though, as I will be working on finding fast and easy dishes that will be doable in our new schedule!

I have posted a new menu! Since my time in the kitchen will be more limited in upcoming days, I will be making a lot of recipes that I have tried in the past - and therefore I won't be posting as many new ones. Thus the short list of new items on the menu!

I just received a new package of goodies from Edwards and Sons! Look for a new product review in the next few days. Just look under product reviews at the right of my blog!

I got to enjoy a fun vegan sandwich from a little restaurant in San Diego one of the days we were on vacation. The shop was called Devine Pastabilities and they had a very fun and delicious creation. It was a sub roll stuffed with penne, vegan meatballs, spinach, garlic and marinara sauce. Very funny combo but super yummy!

Yesterday I tried a new breakfast recipe that turned out so good! I modified the recipe to make it even easier. The recipe comes from my beloved Urban Vegan cookbook!

Easy Cornmeal Scrapple (adapted from Urban Vegan)

3 1/4 cups veg broth
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 t sage
1 t fennel seeds
1 1/4 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
14 oz breakfast style vegan sausage

Bring broth to boil. Combine cornmeal, flour and spices. When broth is boiling, slowly whisk in dry ingredients and stir until smooth and creamy. Continue to stir for about 5 min. Meanwhile, slice or crumble sausage into a skillet and cook until browned. Add browned sausage to cooked cornmeal mixture. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T oil. Drop large spoonfuls of the cornmeal mixture into pan and cook on each side until browned. Serve.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm Back!

I am back from vacation - we had a fabulous trip to California and Oregon but it's also great to be home! I did take some pictures of some of the vegan delights I tried but I am still in the process of getting pictures uploaded. I did take a picture (and have it uploaded!) of a delightful fruit salad I made at my Aunt's house in Lewiston, CA. We picked cups and cups of wild blackberries while we were there and this salad shows of their beauty. I also got the privilege of gathering apples from my Aunt's tree and chopping them into this salad as well. Yum! I am working on putting together a menu of delicious new items but it is yet to be completed! Stay tuned...

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.