Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunshine Soup (Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato)

I had a left-over baked sweet potato and wanted to use it, so I came up with this idea for a soup. My husband named it Sunshine Soup based on its yellow-orange color. The soup has a nice balance of sweet and spicy flavors. I'll do my best to capture what I did....

In a sauce pan heat up (don't let it boil over, it should be cooked on medium-high to medium low for around 35-40 minutes until almost all of the water is gone):
1 cup dry yellow split pea
2 cups water

In a frying pan saute (line pan with olive oil, but don't make it too greasy):
1/2 large sweet onion (chopped up - large pieces okay)
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
a few good size shakes of pepper
a few shakes of seasoning salt
a few grinds of sea salt
a few shakes of paprika
Once the onions start to brown and the olive oil is nearly dry:
add one heaping spoonful of vegan margarine
a few shakes of gravy thickener
Saute until mixture starts to get brown chunks and is no longer greasy. Remove from heat.

In a food processor add the following and blend until creamy:
cooked split peas (if there is a little water left in the pan, add that too)
sauteed onion mixture
1 medium sweet potato (cooked)
a few shakes of tamari
a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper
a few grinds of black pepper
3 tablespoons of yellow miso paste
2 to 3 cups soy milk
If mixture is on the thick side, add more soy milk and blend.

Pour mixture into soup pot. Add more soy milk if soup is still too thick. Add cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste. Add more miso or tamari for a saltier flavor. Cook until thoroughly heated. 

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chicken Fried Tempeh

Last night I was in the mood for a pile of comfort food love. I created a stacked concoction that had herbed mash potatoes surrounded by chicken fried tempeh, with mushroom gravy and sauteed kale on top. It was a beautiful site, but alas no pictures. I'll make this again and get snap shots to post. 

In a large bowl mix up the following dry ingredients: 
- four or five good shakes of parsley flakes
-four or five good shakes of paprika
-three to four good shakes of garlic powder
-three to four good shakes of black pepper
-four or five grinds of sea salt
-a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper
-three to four shakes of red pepper flakes
-three to four shakes of seasoning salt
-three to four tablespoons of flax seed flour (this works as the egg replacer, so if you don't use this, use 2 teaspoons of potato starch)
- approximately one cup of unbleached flour

Once this is blended, start adding soy milk and mix. You'll want a consistency that resembles pancake batter. Keep adding flour and milk to you get the balance right. You should have enough batter to heavily coat one package of tempeh. 

Cut one package of tempeh into 1/2 inch wide sticks and cut the tempeh once down the middle (lengthwise). Toss tempeh pieces into batter and fully coat each piece. 

In a frying pan, coat the bottom with oil. When oil gets hot, drop the tempeh pieces into the pan. Once one side browns, flip over until all sides are done. The last 2 sides of the tempeh might only need to be flipped for a few seconds. Remove from oil and serve. I used very little oil in the pan and the tempeh wasn't greasy at all. 

I would serve this with something to dip the pieces in, unless you prepare an entire meal (like I did) where all the flavors become combined. I would also suggest marinating the tempeh FIRST for a bolder taste. 

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tasty Tomato Soup

It was cold and rainy outside last night and I was craving the warm goodness of tomato soup. I didn't want a runny type of soup. I wanted something a little more hearty. That's when this idea popped into my head. The result was a success and my husband insisted that I add this recipe to my blog. I will try to remember all the proportions I used.

In a soup pot saute the following:
-1/2 sweet onion (chopped)
-a few drizzles of olive oil
-a few shakes of red pepper flakes
-a few good size shakes of pepper (I used a giant container from Costco with big holes. I'm really into black pepper right now)
-a few grinds of coarse sea salt
-a heaping tablespoon of crushed garlic
Saute mixture on medium to medium high heat until the onions become golden brown (don't let the onions get crispy). Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a food processor, add the following and blend until it becomes a slightly coarse yet creamy consistency: 
-1 can of stewed tomatoes with Italian spices (undrained)
-1 can of great northern beans (drained)
-4 or 5 good size shakes of dried parsley
-4 or 5 good size shakes of dried basil (If you have fresh, I'd use that instead. I didn't have any in the house at the time.)
-a cup of soy milk
-the sautéed onion mixture (Put soup pot aside and do not wash; we're going to use it next.)
-a few scoopfuls of sun-dried tomatoes (the wet type in oil): Warning!! The sun-dried tomatoes have a VERY powerful flavor that will overpower the soup, do not go overboard when adding this element. This is where you'll want to get the balance right. You can always blend up more later and add it to the soup if you think it doesn't have enough of the sun-dried tomato flavor. You could also top the soup with a few chopped up sun dried tomatoes when serving. . Remember - you can always add but you can't take away!

Pour mixture into soup pot and cook on medium to medium-high heat. Add the following: 
-A heaping spoonful of vegan margarine
-3 shakes of Bragg's Amino
-1 veggie bullion cube (break it up so it will dissolve faster)
-1/2 cup soy milk
Stir and let simmer on medium-low. If mixture is too thick, add more soy milk until you get the consistency you want. Also, you may want to add some ground pepper as well. 

This soup is pretty hardy. I served it with sauteed green on the side and it was extremely filling. It makes around 4 to 5 good-size bowls.