Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sweet Potato Butter

I know pretty much everyone has had apple butter on a biscuit or English muffin. Many years ago I bought a jar of Sweet Potato Butter at a Williams-Sonoma Outlet store. Oh boy, I had to make that. It's been years since I made this but in my latest blog posts I have mentioned the CSA we joined. Well, for the last 3 weeks we've been getting sweet potatoes. I always pick out the biggest ones I can knowing I was going to make this butter. Here it is....
  • 8-9 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 cups unsweet apple cider
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Rub with a layer of oil and place in a roasting dish. Cover fairly tightly with foil and bake at 350 until potatoes are tender. (Remember I had goliath potatoes it took them 3 hours to roast til tender) Use your judgement from baking your potatoes in the past, it all depends on size.

Combine the potatoes, sugar and apple cider in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring almost constantly until the sugar dissolves.

Reduce heat, add cinnamon and cloves. Simmer, uncovered about 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently.

If you are going to keep this in the refrigerator (you should reduce the recipe unless you have a huge frig, or plan to give some away immediately) just spoon into containers. Let cool. Place in frig for at least 24 hours before serving.  If you are canning follow directions for your equipment. My canning pot is is NOT a pressure canner. So, I ladle up the butter leaving head space. Have my water boiling in the canner. Add the jars and process for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and allow to cool. The popping sound of the lids let you know they are sealing.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chili Sauce Tofu with Peanut Butter Sauce

I saw this recipe over at Olives for Dinner - Grilled Sambal Oelek Tofu with Peanut Butter Sauce.  I have not found Sambal Oelek anywhere, but I always have Chili Sauce with Garlic in the frig. I have to give FULL credit to Erin for the recipe - I'm posting it on my blog with the one change I made. But head over and check out her site.
for the tofu
  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu (I use Tree of Life - it doesn't require pressing)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce with garlic (I ended up adding about 4 more tablespoons) we love hot

for the sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • sesame seeds, chopped peanuts and sliced scallions, to serve

Cube the tofu then toss it with the olive oil and set aside.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. While it is heating up, prepare your sauce by whisking together all of the first six sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Place the tofu cubes into the skillet and brown until brown and crispy on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, wait a few minutes for the pan to cool a bit, then add the chili sauce with garlic while everything is till warm, then stir until well-coated.

Pour the peanut butter sauce into small serving bowls and garnish with the sesame seeds, chopped peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately with the tofu cubes.

Since it was just Jack and I we left the sauce in the bowl I made it in and used cocktail forks to dip each piece of tofu into the dip before devouring it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Last weeks CSA share had 2 bunches of baby bok choy and 1 bunch of some other type of choy and the name escapes me. I can't find it on Google either. So for this recipe I used all the choy and you should use what you can get, baby bok choy, bok choy, Chinese Napa Cabbage, you get the idea. This made a huge batch so feel free to cut the recipe in half. I polished off the last of it for lunch today. Ummmm.
For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 4 tablespoons natural sugar (raw sugar)
For the Stir-Fry: 
  • 1 box fettucini
  • 1 tub extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 bunches baby bok choy, sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 3-5 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced

Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and return them to the pot, add cold water and let sit until you are ready to add them to the stir-fry. This will keep them from sticking together.

Cut the tofu into cubes (I cut it in half lengthwise, then each of those in half for a total of four slabs. Then I cube those slabs of tofu to get about 5 cubes per 1/2 slab. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast iron skillet til hot. Add the tofu and brown well on all sides. Set aside until needed.

Heat the remaining oil in a LARGE non-stick skillet (unless yo have decided to divide the recipe in half.)  Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 mintues.

 Add the bok choy, water chestnuts, scallions and mushrooms to the skillet and stir-fry about 3 minutes.

Stir in the cooked noodles and tofu. Gently toss.

Give the sauce a good stir and drizzle the sauce over the dish.

Give the dish another good toss and serve with extra soy sauce and/or black bean sauce if desired.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Everywhere I turn it's pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. So I thought I'd better jump on this bandwagon. Honestly I bought canned pumpkin (not pie filling) last year after Christmas for $1 a can. It's easily $2.50 normally. I checked the expiration date it's May of 2014 -- so I stocked up. I also bought fresh cranberries, brought them home and put them in freezer bags. So, I didn't even have to go shopping to make this bread. It's flavorful and good for breakfast, snacks or a dessert.
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup cranberries, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix pumpkin and sugars in a medium bowl. Whisk together the flaxseed meal and orange juice.

Add this mixture, the vanilla and oil to pumpkin mixture.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.

Add the dry mix to the wet ingredients.

Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lasagna Rolls

Just about everyone loves a good dish of lasagna. I decided to make rolls instead of large casserole dish. I've seen several recipes online and I made smaller versions of these (my pre-vegan days) for a shower. These were so delicious and leftovers were a breeze to reheat. You should try this simple recipe. I used Tofurky ground beef  however you could crumble some vegan Italian Sausage and I know that would be awesome. I served these with a mixed greens salad that I received from the CSA I recently joined.
14-18 lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves  garlic, minced
1 14-ounce package  extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained, rinsed and crumbled
3 cups  chopped spinach 
1/4 cup  vegan parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon  crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1 package Tofurky ground beef 
1 25-ounce jar  marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium, divided
1/2 cup  Diaya shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse, return to the pot and cover with cold water until ready to use. I usually cook a few more noodles than needed incase some fall apart during cooking. (I only had a partial package and used what I had.)

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. 
Add tofu, ground beef and spinach and cook, stirring often, until the spinach wilts and the mixture is heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan, crushed red pepper, salt, Italian seasoning and 2/3 cup marinara sauce.
Spray an oval casserole dish with cooking spary and coat the bottom with some of the marinara sauce. To make lasagna rolls, place a noodle on a work surface.
Spread a heaping 1/4 cup of the filling along it. 
Roll up.
Place the roll, frilly sides up, in the pan. Repeat with the remaining noodles and filling. (The tofu rolls will be tightly packed in the pan). 
Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the rolls.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 
Sprinkle the rolls with mozzarella and cook, covered, until the cheese is melted and the rolls are heated through, about 5-7  minutes.
Serve hot.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Beer Brat Chili

When the weather cooled off last week I decided it was time to try a new chili recipe. The idea for this came from a recipe I saw in Taste of Home. This slow cooker version is great.
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 package Tofurky beer brats, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

In a 5 quart slow cooked, combine all ingredients except brats. Cook, covered on low 5-6 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving brown the brat circles in a non-sticket skillet sprayed with cooking spray until brown on both sides.

Ladle up a bowl of chili and top with browned brats.

Enjoy! Serve with some Frank's Hot Sauce for extra kick.