A post about SUMAC

Sumac, the best spice ever invented. Sumac is pretty hard to find in our area, so the one place had it in large bags. I am so lucky that I had to buy so much.  Tonight, we made Turkish lentil soup and stuffed Swiss chard rolls.

We followed the lentil soup recipe as posted, except that we only had fresh mint (thanks, Anna!) This soup is the best. Try it.

This roll looks like a frog.

Stuffed with hummus (with sumac!), sauteed mushrooms, green onions, and chard stems. Place in a lightly oiled dish with about 1/2 cup water, sprinkle tops with paprika and extra drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes until leaves are cooked through.

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Chickpea soup and apple, celery, radish salad

What do you eat when you feel a cold coming on? In the past, we’ve made Sick Girl Soup, variations on miso soup, and potato soup (which sadly, we didn’t blog about). There was also the Great Soup Tragedy of ’09, when someone made a soup that actually made the sick person sicker due to horrible indigestion…Beware, dear readers, if you have a stomach ailment, do not fill your soup with onions and garlic.

Anyway, lesson learned, which brings  us to Chickpea Soup! This meal was so good, we made and ate it two days in a row, and S ate the leftovers today for lunch. YUM.

Now to the recipe.

Chickpea soup

2 16 oz. cans chickpeas

1 carrot, sliced

1 celery, sliced

3 small Yukon potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 not-chickn bouillon cube

3 TBL fresh parsley

1/2 c. green onions, diced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 c. cold water

1 TBL lemon juice

In a dutch oven, heat a small amount of olive oil and saute garlic until brown over medium heat. Meanwhile, blend 1 can of chickpeas with liquid and 2 cups of water until smooth. (We used the immersion blender in a 4-cup measuring cup). Set aside. When the garlic is toasted, but not burnt, add in celery, carrots, and potatoes. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the potatoes start to change color. Add in a little salt, pepper, and the chili flakes and cook for another minute. Drain and rinse the other can of chickpeas. Add in the pulsed chickpeas, whole chickpeas, and bouillon cube. Add extra water if you need it. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Add parsley and green onions, cook for another 10, or until the vegetables are to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We love radishes, and we’re obsessed with this very loose vegan interpretation of a Waldorf Salad.

Crunchy salad for 2

1-2  swiss chard leaves

4 radishes, with leaves

1/2 pink lady apple

1 celery stalk

1-1.5 TBL tahini

2 TBL lemon juice

1 TBL water (or more, depending on the consistency you’re going for)

Dash of salt and pepper

Slice the vegetables into thin, bite sized pieces. Combine the radish leaves with the swiss chard and toss the other ingredients together.

Mix together the tahini and lemon juice until it is well blend. Add water until the dressing is  as thin or thick as you like. Add salt and pepper. Mix in with the salad.

Mattar tofu and spicy, crunchy salad

We were planning to eat palak tofu paneer and finally use up a bag of frozen spinach. Then we opened the freezer and realized we had already eaten the spinach. Luckily, we had a bag of frozen peas, which are much more exciting anyway. Frozen spinach just does nothing for us lately, particularly in contrast to beet greens, kale, chard, or collards.

Mattar tofu

1/2 block firm tofu, sliced, pressed for 10 minutes and dried

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp Earth Balance

1 onion diced

2 TBL tomato paste

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ginger

3 TBL cilantro (we had some in the freezer)

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1.5 – 2 cups rice milk

3/4-1 package of frozen peas (we had most of a package)

salt to taste

After you have pressed the tofu, pat it dry, and cut into bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, when sizzling, fry tofu with a little salt until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add Earth Balance to the pan and saute onions until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add spices and tomato paste, cook 2-3 minutes. Add rice milk and bring to a boil. Add tofu and peas, return to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This crunchy salad contains sliced radishes, carrots, green onions, as well as grape tomatoes and avocado. The dressing is our special mixture of Siracha, Tofutti, spices, lemon juice, and vinegar.

Vegan potatoes au gratin, smothered collards with radishes, and red beans

Potatoes au gratin

4 red potatoes, sliced thinly

1 c. rice milk

1 c. water

1/2 c. nutritional yeast

1 TBL parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp miso

2 TBL tahini

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne

3 TBL cornstarch

salt and pepper

Slice potatoes thinly (about 1/4 of an inch), then soak in a cold water about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a casserole dish with a small amount of Earth Balance or olive oil. Whisk together sauce ingredients. Rinse potatoes and add one layer to the the casserole dish. Cover with 1/4 cup sauce, repeat 3 to 4 times until all potatoes and sauce are used up. Make sure to end with sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5 until the top layer is brown. Garnish with extra paprika and cayenne. Cool at least 10 minuets before serving.

This basically collards cooked down for hours with hot sauce, bouillon, liquid smoke, garlic, green onions, and some radishes. The secret is the slow cooking.

I forgot to take a picture of the red beans before I finished the last of them today for lunch. Imagine delicious, red beans in a spicy tomato tomato sauce, with green bell peppers and green onions to add a little color. We also veganized Dorie Greenspan’s (via Smitten Kitchen) corny corn muffins, but forgot to take pics of those too. Another time.

Red beans
2 yellow onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 celery ribs
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups not-chikn bouillon
4 cups crushed tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 tsp pepper
2 TBL Creole seasoning
3 tablespoons hot sauce (Tobasco or other exciting brand)
1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package red beans, soaked overnight then cooked (or 3 cans ready-to-eat red beans)

In a dutch oven, sauté onions, bell pepper, celery, and salt for 10-15 minutes, until very soft and fragrant. Add remaining ingredients except the beans, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add beans, continue simmering for 1 hour. Serve with rice or cornbread.

Vegetarian Italian bean and vegetable soup

With the freezing monsoon weather, it was definitely another night for soup. Following a confusing conversation about making matzah ball soup, S and I went for an Italian style soup, reminiscent of minestrone, without the pasta and some other key ingredients. Oh, and we got to use our new immersion blender, which is so much better than the old one!italian soup

½ package vegetarian bacon, diced

1 onion, diced

3 celery stalks, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 small potatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper

2 cups swiss chard

1.5 cups chopped tomatoes

1 can white beans, with liquid

1 can kidney beans, with liquid

4-5 mushrooms, chopped

2 TBL miso

32 oz water (or to cover)

1/2 TBL parsley

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp thyme

1 TBL basil

1 TBL oregano

3 green onions, chopped for garnish

In a large pot, saute vegetarian bacon, onions, garlic, celery, salt and pepper with some olive oil. When the vegetables begin to soften, add in potatoes and saute 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except spices. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Add spices and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 30-40 minutes. Pulse about half the soup with an immersion blender for a creamy texture. Serve with chopped green onions.

 

Avocado 4 Ways

1. Fresh Fava Bean Salad with mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, red bell pepper, green onions and basil.

2. Grape tomatoes and sliced avocado with salt, pepper and garlic.

3. Cucumber gazpacho (recipe below)

4. Five-layer Mexican dip with cilantro black bean dip, vegan cheeze, jalapenos, diced tomatoes and whipped avocado.

Cucumber Gazpacho:

3 cucumbers
4 tomatillos
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 yellow bell pepper (any color), chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 chopped cup fresh cilantro
1 avocado
1-2 serrano pepper or jalapeno
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Purée cucumbers in a food processor. Continue to purée, add tomatillos next, then other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill overnight.