Thursday, February 21, 2013

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

If you've followed this blog you know my loves: one-pot wonders, casseroles, tex-mex, asian, spicy, easy, you get the idea. I have several recipes similar to this on the blog but I had to add one more - this one. It was so flavorful and easy to put together. If you try it let me know what you think.
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium summer squash, diced 
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced 
  • freshly ground salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans Rotel, original flavor, undrained
  • 5 ounces Toffuti cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 10 6" corn tortillas, sliced into wide strips and then cut again (see pic below)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Follow Your Heart -this time)

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Heat a 1/4 cup water in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring. Add  more water if needed to keep the veggies from sticking.

Add zucchini, squash and garlic, and cook for about 8 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add more water if needed so the veggies move around easily -- about 2 tablespoons at a time.

Season with salt & pepper, cumin, chili powder, and oregano and stir to coat.

Add the black beans and Rotel. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Drop the cream cheese into the skillet a spoonful at a time over the vegetable mixture, and stir until all of it is melted in and nicely combined.

Finally, mix in the chopped cilantro. Remove from heat.

Lightly spray a 7x11 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place enough of the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the dish to cover the bottom.

Top with 1/2 of the tortillas strips.

Top with about 1/2 of  the remaining vegetable mixture.

Add half of the shredded cheese.

Add another layer of tortillas.

Top with the remaining vegetable mixture.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. 
Top the casserole with the remaining cheese.

  Bake about 7 minutes more, until cheese is melted.

I like to garnish the side of the plate with shredded lettuce, Toffuti sour cream, salsa and pickled jalapenos.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Soup

I had some soy curls I wanted to use and saw a recipe for this soup. I decided it would be a delicious weekend meal. This is my vegan version - this could also be made with seitan or any other "un-chicken" product you enjoy.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced (about a cup)
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced 
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (3 cups water with bouillon cubes)
  • 1 1/2 cups potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 4 ounces soy curls (rehydrated)
  • 5 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot sauce (or to your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (1/4 teaspoon or so)

Heat water in a large pot with a lid. Steam onion, carrot, and celery until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute. 

Stir in flour and cook for a minute. 

Slowly add  almond milk, whisking continuously until there are no lumps of flour visible. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. 
Add vegetable broth, potato, corn, soy curls, hot sauce, dill, basil, pepper, and lemon juice. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer,  and cover. 

Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and more hot sauce if desired.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baked Kofta Balls

One day last week I visited the Hare Krishna's who serve lunch on the campus where I work. I had never heard of or eaten Kofta Balls. I was assured the lunch was vegan. So, I gave the Kofta Balls a try. Man oh man have I been missing out! The following recipe is based on the Krishna version (pan fried) and a baked version I found online. I used a store bought marinara sauce but you could make your own. I am thinking my next attempt at these will be to sub out the Indian spices for more traditional Italian spices to make an Italian Meatball.  Kofta balls are traditionally served with pasta and marinara sauce. I added some garlic roasted green beans with our dinner. You have to try these! You may want to halve this recipe. This is the doubled amount that most recipes use. I wanted to use the entire head of cauliflower and cabbage.
  • 4 cups cauliflower, grated
  • 4 cups cabbage, grated
  • 3 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon hing (asafetida)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pinch cayenne (I used 1/4 teaspoon - we love heat)
  • olive oil
  • 1 (25 1/2 ounce) jar pasta sauce 
Grate the cauliflower and cabbage. I used my food processor!! I encourage you to do the same.

Add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil to a large bowl and add the grated cauliflower and cabbage. Mix until well combined.

Let the mixture sit for about 20-30 minutes so the moisture from the veggies is absorbed by the flour, this will ensure that the mixture will stick together and you can roll it into balls. 

Preheat your oven to 400'F. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch oven proof dish with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil so all of it is well covered. Be aware if you don't do this then these balls will stick.
Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Put the Kofta balls in the oiled casserole dish. Once they are all rolled up spray oil over them to coat the top and sides. Not a heavy coat just a light spray.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. They should be a nice golden color when you remove them.

I only cooked about 12 balls and I froze the rest. To prepare: spread 1/2 of the jar of pasta sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish. Place the Kofta balls on the sauce.

Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Let them sit for about one hour.The Kofta balls will absorb a little of the sauce, making them nice and tender.

Baked for about 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly hot. While they are baking prepare your pasta. 

Serve with your favorite pasta (use one that will grab the sauce.)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This was comfort food at it's finest. Last week after a few trying days at work I just wanted to come home and curl up in the chair with a bowl of comfort. I was thinking of making a pot pie but didn't have anything I wanted to use as the top crust (I never use a bottom crust) -- so I thought why not make the broth a little thinner, but not too thin and this soup was born. If you don't like mushrooms - leave them out.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 6 cups chicken broth (I used 6 cups water & 2 tablespoons no chicken-chicken broth mixed)
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • fresh ground pepper
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
  • 2 potatoes, scrubbed and cubed small
  • 1 package chicken style seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt, to taste

Mix the cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Add the 6 cups of broth to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, thyme, pepper and frozen vegetables and return to a boil.

Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.  

Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, and slowly stir in flour/water mixture, stirring well as you add.

Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste; serve. I served this with saltines since I was thinking and didn't make cornbread. duh!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Quick Miso Soup

The other day I wanted to do some peanut noodles and a side of soup. The result Dan Dan Noodles with this Quick Miso -- ummmm. I enjoyed the flavors of this simple soup. I used kale so I cooked it a little longer than you would if you used spinach. Makes 2 large or 3 regular sized servings.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 leaves kale, stem removed, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 low sodium vegetable broth cube
  • 3 ounces spaghetti (or other thin) noodle, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups water (or more depending or your taste)

In a medium saucepan melt the Earth Balance, cook carrots and garlic about one minute. Add water, soy sauce, vegetable broth cube, ginger, kale, pepper and noodles.

Simmer until noodles are done and kale is tender. Stir in miso paste and serve.