Showing posts from June, 2020

Pressure Cooker Vegan Lentil Soup

On the myriad cooking shows I watch they often use pressure cookers. I've often wondered to myself if I need one and if I did have one, what exactly I would make with it.  I never did buy one for myself. I always figured I had the time to wait for the same thing to happen via the stovetop.  But for some strange reason, my mother bought one. She doesn't even like to cook. Perhaps that factored into her decision.  When she fell ill, I found myself with the desire to make good use of this appliance on her behalf. It felt therapeutic to create sustenance from this device that she'd bought so soon before she'd become sick.  Since it's summer and hot, I thought to myself, I can make a complex broth based soup without making the house hot simmering it on the stovetop for a long time.  My absolute favorite soup meal is lentil soup. It's just the ultimate vegan chicken noodle soup analog. It's the food of memories, childhood and comfort. It will give you a big hug. 

Chile and Garlic Tofu Puree

Lots and lots of garlic make this small set of ingredients one of the tastiest things I've ever put in my mouth. Simple is often best.  When there aren't a lot of ingredients, you can ensure that the ones you do use, really shine.  Ingredients 1/2 block silken firm tofu 12 cloves garlic, peeled and destemmed 1 jalapeno, chunked 1 serrano, chunked 3 tbls olive oil 2 1/2 tsps salt Puree in food processor until smooth and creamy.  This puree boasts a big hit of protein thanks to the tofu. It packs a lot of heat and intense garlic flavor. I love it. The olive oil gives it richness. You really have to think about fat when making vegan food. It needs that unctuousness since it's lacking animal fat. A good dose of oil goes a long way to making plant based foods truly delicious.  It has a beautiful light green color thanks to the addition of the chiles.  If it sounds too intense for you, a nice variation might be to roast the garlic first and/or char the chiles. 

Broccoli Puree

If you like broccoli and garlic then you will enjoy this. It's a simple way to turn a few ingredients into something luxurious and satisfying.  It's very similar to mashed cauliflower. It has that rich creamy taste and a kick of garlic and heat to make it sing.  Personally, I could just eat it by the spoonful, but if you can restrain yourself it's a great way to add more flavor and texture to any dish.  Broccoli Puree Ingredients 1 large broccoli crown 1/2 package silken firm tofu 6 cloves garlic 3 tbls olive oil 2 tbls apple cider vinegar 2 1/2 tsps salt 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp cayenne powder 1 tsp crushed pepper flakes Roast the broccoli on a cooking sheet at 400 F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into florets and chunk the stem.  Puree everything in a food processor until somewhat smooth.  Plenty of vegan protein and cruciferous antioxidants.Who could ask for anything more.  

Sweet and Spicy Tomato and Kidney Bean Salad

One of the best things about not eating meat is that you can make meals without having to actually cook anything. Just cut, combine and stir. Whether you're in a hurry, feeling lazy or just want that fresh crunch, a plant based diet gives you the freedom to cook without literally cooking.  Especially as the weather gets warmer, it's convenient to just cut and combine. It's also surprisingly tasty to keep those fresh ingredients in their natural state.  The textures and flavors are vibrant and exciting.  A little salt, a little acid, some  fat, a spice or two and you're all set with a delicious meal.  1 can dark red kidney beans 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1 poblano pepper, diced 1/2 yellow onion, diced 1 long hot pepper, diced 1 serrano, minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbls olive oil 2 1/2 tsps salt 1 1/2 tsps crushed pepper flakes 1 tsp black pepper Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  That's it. You're done. Enjoy your not so hard work. 

Baby Bella Medley with Mustard Sauce

This is just a really simple veg medley with a little wine and french mustard to bring it all together.  Conclusive proof that simple can be exceptional.  1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced 1 poblano, diced 2 jalapenos, minced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1/2 medium spanish onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed 1 can red beans, drained and rinsed 2 tbls dijon mustard 2 1/2 tsps salt 1 tsp black pepper 2 tbls olive oil 1/4 cup pinot grigio Saute mushrooms in oil and salt. Cook the mushrooms down until they are pretty dark. Deglaze with wine. Cook off wine for 5 minutes.  Add onions. Cook down until onions are tender and tramslucent.  Add peppers and garlic. Keep cooking over medium low until peppers are also tender.  Add beans, mustard and black pepper to a large heat safe bowl.  When mushroom mixture is done cooking add it to the bowl of beans. Stir to combine.