The eggplants at the coop looked so good that we couldn’t pass them up. Tonight I used our find to make a favorite meal of spicy eggplant served over a bed of vegetable rice. There are a few steps to this dish but it is well worth the effort.
I listed the recipe below so you can try it for yourself.
1 large eggplant one or equivalent – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion – diced
2 TBS Sesame oil
2 TBS Coconut oil
6 garlic cloves – chopped
4 TBS minced ginger (I used jarred)
3 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS sriracha
2 TBS sambal oelek (or chili garlic sauce)
2 tsp molasses
3 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used tomato powder from last growing season hydrated in 1/2 cup of water)
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Crushed red pepper
1/2 cup water
Heat 2 TBS sesame oil in a pan & add the eggplant. Add a little salt & some crushed red pepper. Sauté over medium heat until tender but not mushy. Maybe 5-8 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Using the same pan, heat 1 TBS coconut oil & saute the onion with a bit of crushed red pepper. When soft – add to the bowl with the eggplant.
In the same pan, heat 1 TBS coconut oil. Add 2-3 TBS sesame seeds, garlic and ginger. When the garlic begins to brown add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, chili garlic sauce, molasses, soy sauce, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and water. Simmer over med-low heat for ten minutes.
Add the eggplant and onions then simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve over rice garnished with additional sesame seeds.
It appears that the spring is going to be just as unpredictable as the 2015 winter. Last week it was in the 70s and we started yard work, took the plastic off the chicken’s winter run (they are a bit puffed up today since the wind break is down), and moved the veggie seedling trays to the sun porch. Today it was in the 30s with rain that changed to sleet and then to snow and back again.
With all of the lovely weather we were blessed with over the past few weeks I had planned to change to our spring menus and clean the wood stove for the season. The weather today and the what is now promised for the balance of the week actually had me to start the wood stove, and brush off a couple of winter favorites for dinners this week. Today I made a pot of vegan red beans and rice with a side of pumpkin cornbread. The red beans have a very rich flavor with just a hint of spiciness created with fresh vegetables, veggie stock, creole seasoning, and a nice bunch of kale.
If you like red beans and rice but would like to forego the animal fat in the traditional recipe than you may want to try the following.
1 cup of dried rice
1 cup dried red beans, picked over
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, chopped fine
1 large celery stalk, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
5 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp creole seasoning
1 bunch of fresh kale, roughly chopped, or 1/2 cup of dehydrated kale
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of water.
Rinse and drain the beans.
Add the beans, onion, carrot, celery, jalapeno, creole seasoning, and vegetable stock to a medium-sized crock pot, and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Taste the broth and adjust seasoning as needed.
Cook rice according to package directions.
Add the kale to bean mixture and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve the beans over 1/2 cup or so of rice with a side of cornbread.
We have been blessed with another sunny winter day so I decided to make some low sugar bran muffins as a treat for my honey. For some reason the chickens decided that they wanted to take a rest from laying so we have no eggs in the house. Since there was a missing ingredient I used flax eggs for recipe which reduced the calories and made the recipe vegan. The resulting muffins were light and tasty so I thought I would share the recipe.
1 1/4 cups bran cereal
1 3/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
5 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries (use the ones sweetened with apple juice if possible)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare two 12 cup muffin tins (I like to use silicone muffin tins — they do not have to be oiled and are reusable)
In a small bowl stir bran cereal into 1 cup of apple juice and set aside for 15 minutes to soften.
In a large bowl, combine flours, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat flax meal with the remaining 3/4 cup of apple juice and beat for about a minute. Blend in oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the bran and apple sauce mixture.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just incorporated — do not over mix.
Divide the mixture among the muffin tins (an ice cream scoop makes quick work of this).
Bake for 7 minutes, turn the tins and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle come out clean.
Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Freeze any muffins not consumed the day made.
We woke to a cool morning so I decided to do a little baking before the heat of the day set in. I made a couple of fat-free quick breads that allowed me to use some of our garden harvest and a few over ripe bananas that we had hanging out in the freezer. I made mini zucchini chip and banana breads. Both breads are fat free, vegan, low in sugar and super most and favorable. The recipe for the zucchini bread can be found below and the banana bread can be found here. Substitute organic eggs for the flax eggs in the recipes if you are not concerned about eating vegan.
My honey cut into the large loaf of zucchini bread before I could take the picture 😦
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat cake flour
The cool wet weather that we received this summer encouraged many of our vegetables to provide us with bumper crops. One of those vegetables was bush beans. After canning 30 pints and making copious amounts of four been salad, I decided to convert a childhood ham and beans recipe to a flavorful vegan dish. With a bit of experimentation a dish of juicy green beans with soft potatoes and a rich flavorful smokey broth was created. An added bonus of the dish is that it takes a little effort to prepare and can cooked in a crock pot started in the morning before work or prior to an event.
If you have some extra beans in your garden or the local market has fresh beans on sale you may want to try the following recipe.
10 cups of green, yellow and/or purple beans cunt into bit sized pieces
4 medium-sized potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of water
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbs chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Spray the bowl of the slow cooker lightly with cooking spray
All all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir
Cover pot with the lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours
Enjoy with some hot water cornbread or crusty rolls
The unusually cool and wet summer that we received this year has encourage our herb gardens to flourish. This bounty has encouraged me to seek out new recipes and storage methods for the different herbs and spices from the garden. Today I made a cherry chutney from some of the fruit from our trees. I will be using this dish to complement an afternoon snack of cheese and crackers.
June is turning out to be a very busy and wet month. Between rain storms (needed April showers turned up two months late) we have spent a large number of daylight hours splitting and stacking wood for next winter, caring for the vegetable gardens and our animals. The time spent outside has been wonderful, but has left little time for meal preparation.
One of my favorite go to meals during busy periods like this is an enchilada rice bowl. The yummy, filling meal can be prepared in about 10 – 15 minutes if the rice and enchilada sauce are prepared the night before. After a long day of physical labor it is so nice to sit down to a warm tasty meal. I hope you enjoy the recipe…
1 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheese
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
In large saucepan cook rice in 1 1/2 cups of water. (Rice can be cooked the night before and refrigerated.)
Prepare the enchilada sauce according to the recipe listed below. I have a tendency to make a double batch and freeze the sauce in portion sizes that can be defrosted the morning before the dish will be prepared.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
Stir in rice, corn, black beans, enchilada sauce and oregano until well combined ans heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover until cheese has melted.
Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Red Enchilada Sauce
4 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
4 Tbsp flour
8 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
4 cups vegetable stock
Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium high heat.
Add flour and stir together over heat for a minute or two.
Stir in all of the dry seasonings.
Gradually add the stock, whisking constantly to remove lumps.
Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick.
Use immediately, refrigerate in sealed container for up to two weeks, or freeze until needed.
Today was so full of work and errands that I needed to make something quick, but tasty for dinner. After a quick look through the refrigerator and pantry, spicy noodles came to mind. The entire dish take about 20 minutes to prepare and is packed with flavor.
6 ounces of noodles of choice
1 cup of your favorite green vegetable, chopped into bit sized pieces
1 large carrot, small julienne strips or a large grate
1/3 cup smooth, natural almond or peanut butter
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 cup veggie broth
1/4 cup low salt soy sauce
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
2 Tsp siracha sauce
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs black sesame seeds
1 Tbs cilantro, chopped
2 scallions, sliced thinly
Cook the noodles following the package directions, omitting salt, and using a tablespoon of low salt soy sauce in the water instead.
Heat the veggie broth almost to boiling.
Put nut butter and maple syrup in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of the hot broth and stir until smooth and blended.
Add soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, siracha, sesame oil, ginger and garlic, ad stir together.
In a large bowl stir together cooked noodles, green vegetable and carrots.
Pour the sauce, scallions, black sesame seeds, cilantro and over the top of the noodles. Stir everything together gently, and if need the other 1/4 cup of veggie broth.
I was asked if I could make version of Beef stew because my honey was starting to miss meat again. After looking around a bit I found a substitute I found Gardein beefless tips that did just the trick. The final product was very rich, flavorful and the beefless tips were a consistency that would be hard for some people to tell it was not an animal protein.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp marjoram, crumbled
4 cups mushroom stock (vegetable stock would also work)
1 1/2 cups potatoes, cubed
1 cup carrot, cubed
1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 tbsp honey (optional)
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1 package Gardein beefless tips
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a covered casserole with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion, stir and cook until soft.
Stir in sweet and smoked paprika, and garlic, cook slowly for 1-2 minutes.
Woke up to a beautiful day, fresh sow on the ground, bright sunshine and deer and wild turkeys in the yard. What a great day to spend in the kitchen preparing foods for the week.
This week we will enjoy:
Some fresh baked breads – made a sprouted grain bread for this week.
Curried red lentil soup with chickpeas and quinoa – I found this lovely gluten-free vegan soup on the Zesty Cook blog. I replaced the yogurt with cashew cram and the chicken broth with a nice vegetable stock.
Life has been so busy around my house recently that there has been little time to make tasty meals. Thank goodness the freezer was full of items that could just be taken out and warmed. This weekend I did work in making the bread for the next few weeks, but that was about it. Monday we had pesto made over the summer and lentil meatballs over rice pasta, but with the amount that was left on the table I knew that I needed to make something fresh today. I pulled out an old standby recipe that is healthy, tasty and low calorie — a carrot soup that I haven’t made in ages… good thing the soup was low in calories, because I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches that were served on the pumpkin-rosemary bread with biga that I made with teff flour (from the gluten-free & vegan bread book) — which wasn’t that low in calories, but oh so tasty.
Since the soup only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and another 25 minutes to cook, I thought I would share the recipe with you.
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp curry power
2 pounds carrots, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth (I like to use mushroom broth)
Heat the oil in a medium to large pot over medium heat.
Saute onion until tender and translucent.
Stir the curry powder into the onion.
Add the chopped carrots, and stir until the carrots are coated.
Pour in the vegetable broth, and simmer until the carrots are soft.
Transfer te mixture to a blinder, and puree until smooth.
Pour back into the pot, and thin with water if you prefer a thinner soup.
We are just starting to recover from heavy snows and temperatures in the negative digits. The snows provided promises of lots of outdoor fun, the wonderful sunshine beckoned us outdoors, but the negative temperatures plus the wind chill of -25 degrees kept us in the house with the wood stove burning and the kitchen full of wonderful aromas.
Driveway after a quick plow
A little fun with the dogs between shoveling activities
View of the back yard out the kitchen window.
Heavy snows are a bit much for the young trees. Will have to cut this one down in the spring.