Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto

Greetings, all! Just thought I'd share a simple and delicious recipe with you that I found in this month's issue of Veg Times. The whole theme of this month's issue was to incorporate more broccoli into your diet. (As if that's a challenge... pfft.) The first thing I thought when I tasted this recipe was, "This is the ideal recipe to trick your kid into eating their broccoli." Though, I gotta tell ya', as a kid I never understood why broccoli was the dreaded vegetable. I tagged this recipe as pretty innovative because I had never thought to make a pesto with anything other than a green leaf of some kind. You obviously can't tell the difference in texture because it's pulverized. Tybrus and I topped it with some shredded Daiya mozarella. NOM. (More to come on our most recent Vegan Essentials purchase!)

Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto

6 tbs blanched hazelnuts, plus more for garnish (I used walnuts because they're cheap)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves (I used 4 tsp dried parsley)
1/4 plus 2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (I ommitted)
1 1/2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained, optional
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
12 oz farfalle pasta

Toast hazelnuts in skillet 3-5 minutes. Cool, chop, and set aside. Bring large pot of water to boil and blanch broccoli. Rinse, drain, and cool. Pulse broccol, nuts, parsley, mint, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and oil until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook farfalle according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water before draining. Mix pasta, pesto, and cooking water. Garnish with nuts/cheese and serve.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Collard Wraps

I've been on a bit of a greens kick ever since visiting my mom a couple of weeks ago. Mustard greens are common vegetable side in her house and she's even growing them in her garden this year! (Along with a few other select spices and squash upon my request.) It's great to have parents who garden when you live in an apartment. I got this recipe from Fat Free Vegan. It was simple, delicious, high in protein, and pretty healthy. That is what we call a quadruple whammy. A delicious quadruple whammy. It only took about an hour to prepare and and cook if you have your beans and brown rice prepared. The recipe is supposed to yield 12 wraps, but I got an awful bunch of collards and 3 were damaged to the point that they could not hold the rice and bean filling. Hopefully now that Spring is picking up, you'll have better luck finding some suitable greens.

P.S. Susan moved her site, so everyone should be sure to keep up with the new one!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

This recipe is almost entirely based on It Ain't Meat, Babe's Broccoli Rice Casserole. As described in Jo's post, this is a great and comforting meal to make when you've had a long day and don't feel like being in the kitchen all night. Cauliflower got added to the equation when I had a bit leftover from pickling. The original recipe says to cook the rice before you add it to the baking dish, but you can just cover it with foil when you bake it. The only things you really need to cook are the garlic and onion. The tahini-nutritional yeast sauce simulates cheese better than any other homemade cheese sauce I've ever made! The creamy texture, the combination of the nutty flavor the tahini yields and the naturally cheesy flavor of nutritional yeast-perfect. This recipe is really great for feeding a group with minimal effort or keeping leftovers for a few days.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Zucchini Risotto

This was definitely one of those meals in which I ask myself "Self, what produce do you have lying about that is going to expire any day now?" Risottos are great because it's one of those dishes that you can just incorporate whatever produce you might have and it will definitely be delicious. I've been on this bazaar zucchini kick lately, and despite the season, it's been pretty easy finding good squash around here. Most people that I talk to are a little intimidated by risotto because it's kind of notorious for needing a lot of attention. No, don't retreat! I promise it's worth the effort.

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Zucchini Risotto

1 medium yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil for sauteing
1 cup arbrorio rice
1 bunch asparagus, rough ends discarded
1 medium zucchini, diced
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste
broth amount will vary

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat in a large pot until onions become translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and cook until they begin to give off juices. Add rice and coat with oil and juices from the vegetables, then add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and spices. Reduce heat a tad. When rice begins to absorb broth, add in another 1/2 cup broth. Repeat this step until rice is soft and risotto has achieved desired creamy consistency. DO NOT COVER YOUR RICE! It won't cook correctly if you do. You're looking at adding 1/2 cup broth in about every 5-10 minutes, so just keep an eye on it. It's a great one pot meal.