Category Archives: Vegan

Split Pea Soup

I enjoy soup no matter what the current season happens to be; however, there’s something extra special about a hearty bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day!  Even though I have a pressure canner, I typically freeze my soups and stews since they tend to be recipes I’ve created and are not suitable for canning.  With my freezers still full from last year’s homegrown organic vegetables, I’ve decided it’s time I began canning soup and reserving my precious freezer space for other goodies!

Last December, I began flipping through the pages of my canning books deciding on what soups I would put up.  The first one I am going to share with you is split pea.  The original recipe called for ham, which I immediately omitted; it also listed allspice, which complements the flavor of ham.  I omitted that one too.

Dried herbs are considered a “freebie” when canning; they are interchangeable and you can add as much or as little as you would like.  Remember that this rule only applies to dried herbs and spices.  Some recipes can be safely doubled without challenging the integrity of the finished product, this is one of them.

Split Pea Soup

2 lbs dried split peas, yellow or green (2 cups dried split peas weighs 1 lb, so I used 4 cups for this recipe)

4 quarts of water

2 cups chopped onion

3 cups sliced carrots

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp granulated garlic

2 tsp celery seed

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

Combine (rinsed) dried peas and water; bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot.  Skim off any foam that develops.  Reduce heat; simmer covered for about one hour or until peas are soft.  If a smooth soup is desired, press mixture through a food mill.  I skipped the food mill since processing will generally result in a semi-smooth consistency.  Return mixture to the sauce pot.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, about 30 minutes.   If mixture is too thick add boiling water.

Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a weighted gauge steam-pressure canner: pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds of pressure.  For a dial gauge steam-pressure canner: process pints for 60 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes, at 11 pounds of pressure at sea level.  If you have a mixture of jar sizes, process at quart time.  Turn off the heat.  Once the pressure has dropped to zero, open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Because I doubled the recipe it yielded 4 quarts (or 10 pints).  Should you want to make a single batch (just half all the listed ingredients), it will result in 5 pints or 2 quarts.

This recipe can be frozen; however, to ensure shelf-stability it  MUST be processed in a steam-pressure canner.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration.

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East African Kunde

I’m not someone who makes New Year’s resolutions.  The way I see it is if you’re serious about making personal change then do it; don’t wait for a new year!  I do however enjoy entertaining the idea of New Year’s good luck foods.  Where I grew up, pork and sauerkraut are synonymous with good luck, but since I don’t eat meat, that dish is obviously out of the question.  So instead, I follow the southern United States’ approach and cook up some black-eyed peas!

In the past I’ve made my famous black-eyed pea salsa; this year, I thought I would put an East African spin on my dish-o-luck!  I’m so glad I did because it turned out amazing and is now a favorite recipe!

East African Kunde

1 cup uncooked red rice

2 cups tomato water (if you don’t can tomatoes regular water will do just fine)

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

2 cups corn

1 large onion, chopped

1 quart jar canned tomatoes

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp yellow curry power

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Place rice, a pinch of salt, and tomato water in a medium sauce pan; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer ’til rice is al dente.  Cooking times vary for different types of rice, I think mine took about 30 minutes.

In a large wok, sauté onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat.  Once the onion become soft (2-3 minutes), add the spices and stir well.  Add the tomatoes, corn, and black-eyed peas stirring to incorporate all ingredients.  Pour in the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 30 – 45  minutes, until liquid has reduced.

Pour kunde over rice and enjoy!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.  Recipe adapted from Irreverent Vegan.

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English Muffin Bread

I have an arsenal of bread recipes at my disposal, some are my own, others come from friends, books, and the interwebs.  The bread I am sharing with you today is from the 1977 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book.

I’ve made this bread several times and not once has it disappointed.  It’s a no frills, rustic loaf that is well suited for jam and toast or grilled sandwiches; my most recent favorite is tofurkey, leeks, and Daiya cheddar cheese.  When steam-baked it develops a wonderful crusty exterior and dense chewy interior.

English Muffin Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp active dry yeast

1 Tbsp raw sugar

1-1/4 cups warm water

3/4 Tsp salt

In a large bowl combine flour and yeast, set aside.  In a medium sauce pan heat water, sugar, and salt until warm (115-120°) stirring to dissolve sugar.  Add wet ingredients to dry mixture, stir until a soft dough forms.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Gently press dough down; cover and allow to rise for an additional 10 minutes.

Grease a 1-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Place dough in casserole and sprinkle top with cornmeal.  Cover, let rise ’til doubled in size  (40 minutes) and bake at 400°F for 40-45 minutes.  If the top begins to brown too quickly tent with aluminum foil.  Place loaf on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.  Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book

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Concord Grape Jelly

Two years ago I packed up my belongings and moved out.  I said farewell to a mushroom-growing dirt basement floor, 250 year-old drafty peg windows, and a glorious concord grapevine.  I never realized just how much I would miss those grapes!

While strolling though my favorite farmers’ market last September, I came across a stand that had fresh, locally grown concord grapes.  Knowing just how amazing homemade grape jelly is (it is the only jelly I will eat) I had to buy them!  Besides, if my brother found out I passed up an opportunity to make his all-time favorite jelly, I’d probably never see my niece again!!

Concord Grape Jelly – yields 7 half-pints

5-1/2 cups grape juice.  A good rule-of-thumb is one pound of grapes will yield one cup of juice.

3-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

3 Tbsp low-sugar flex batch pectin

Place washed, de-stemmed grapes into a stainless-steel pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Here is a little insider tip: freeze the grapes before making your jelly.  Why you ask?  When you freeze fruit it breaks their cell structure, which aids in releasing juice.  This is also a good way to store in-season fruit for jam/jelly making later in the season, which is what I did.  Once the grapes have begun to boil reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  While the grapes are cooking I gently mash them with a potato masher.

When your grapes have finished simmering, carefully pour them into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip into a large bowl.  It may take several hours for all 5-1/2 cups to be extracted.  Should you find yourself becoming impatient, you can speed the process along by gently squeezing the bag; however, this will most likely result in a cloudy jelly.  Place the juice on the stove over med-high heat.  Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar with the pectin and add it to the juice; bring the jelly mixture to a hard boil.  Add the remaining sugar, stir, and boil hard for one minute.  Ladle jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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White Grape Tea-Infused Peach Jelly

When peaches were plentiful I canned them by the bushel!  Then, I started making spicy salsas and boozy jams.  I even puréed them into various fruit butters.  Eventually, only a few were remaining, and that was when I realized I had yet to make them into jelly.  Ever.

Typically, my jelly making adventures remain boring and predictable; I stick with grape.  If it weren’t for having a glorious grape-vine in the backyard of my last house, I probably would have never made jelly at all.  Honestly, I’m just not a fan.  I prefer spreading chunks of fruit on my toast, not congealed fruit juice.  But I will admit, homemade grape jelly from homegrown concord grapes is amazing.  Like really amazing!

One of the blogs I closely follow is Food in Jars.  Marisa is a wealth of knowledge and her recipes are inspiring!  The Food in Jars cookbook will be available Spring of 2012, and I can’t wait to flip through those delicious pages!  Marisa also offers canning classes at the Indy Hall kitchen, in Philly, which is a hop-skip-and-a-jump from me!  Early last Fall, I came across a post for tea-infused peach jelly.  It just so happened that I had a handful of white peaches in need of preserving!

White Grape Tea-Infused Peach Jelly

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

3 bags White Grape tea

4 large peaches, sliced

2 tbsp flex-batch pectin

In a large pot, simmer sugar and water; stir frequently ’til the sugar has dissolved.  Add tea bags and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes.  **Marisa used 5 tea bags in her jelly.  Since the tea I selected is quite flavorful, I did not want it to overpower the peaches, so I used three.

Add sliced peaches and simmer for another 10 minutes.  It is a good idea to taste the mixture regularly so you can monitor flavor intensity.  Once the flavors have melded to your satisfaction, strain the mixture through a jelly bag or fine mesh sieve.  Gently press down on the peaches to remove as much juice as possible.

Place the fruit syrup back into the pot and add pectin.  Bring to a hard boil and continue boiling ’til the jelly liquid reaches approximately 220°F.

Remove pot from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight, and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.

Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Test seals and any jars that did not set should be placed in the fridge and used within a week.  Store sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year.

Recipe yields two 1/2 pint jars and one 1/4 pint jar.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.

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Malibu Peach Jam

I miss Summer.  Like, really miss Summer.  I long for the days of sun-kissed skin and endless sunshine.  The blissful aroma of lavender and chamomile wafting through the air.  I want to chase butterflies and dig in the dirt.

When blustery winds and afternoon darkness wreak havoc on my serotonin levels, I turn to my canning pantry for comfort.  Hidden behind those double doors is a cornucopia of Summer’s bounty preserved in jars.  I’m  not sure why, but nothing radiates warm weather and sunshine like peaches and coconut.  They are true mascots of Summer!

Malibu Peach Jam – yields 7 half-pints

4 cups peaches, peeled

3 cups of sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup Malibu rum

Blanch peaches to remove skins.  Discard pits and mash fruit; add sugar and lemon juice.  Over med-low heat, cook mixture ’til sugar is dissolved; continue cooking for 10-12 minutes.  You can test the doneness of your jam by conducting a gelling test.

Once the jam is done, remove it from the heat and carefully stir in your liqueur.  Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, and process in a boiling-water bath according to your recommended altitude time.  For me it’s 5 minutes.  It may take about two weeks for your jam to reach a firm set.

Images and content copyright © 2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Vanilla Pear Jam

Over the Labor Day holiday I took a roadtrip with my mom, this also happens to be the same trip where I acquired Harvest.  While out and about we stopped at several local orchards to pick up an assortment of apples, pears, and peaches.  My original plan was to make an apple-pear sauce, then I found the following recipe by Marisa, from Food in Jars!

Vanilla Pear Jam – yields seven half-pints

8 cups chopped pears, I used red bartlett  (there is no need to peel thin-skinned pears)

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

4 cups sugar

1 packet liquid pectin

In a large pot, combine pears, sugar, vanilla seeds, and beans; cook over medium heat until the pears are soft enough to be mashed with the backside of a wooden spoon.  Remove the vanilla beans and mash with a potato masher.  You can also use an immersion blender, just be careful to not purée the jam, unless that is the desired consistency you want to achieve.  I like my jam to have pieces of fruit in it!

Add the liquid pectin and bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes to activate the pectin.

Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized, half-pint jars; wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Check seals (refrigerate any that did not set) and store in a cool, dry, dark place, for up to a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Cherry Vanilla-Bean Jam

I’m guilty of having a draft box full of unfinished posts.  There are times during the year where I have too much going on to sit down and write!  Other times, I’m just too darn tired!  And it’s usually the latter! ;)  Now that the crush-window of my harvest preservation has passed, I’ve found myself reviewing those neglected (but not forgotten) posts.

I try to keep my posts as seasonally appropriate as possible.  Since it is Spring in Australia, cherries will soon be in season.  Forever the optimist, it’s always Summer somewhere!

Cherry Vanilla-Bean Jam - yields approximately 5 half-pints

4 cups pitted cherries (I use and prefer sour cherries, but sweet will work just the same.)

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

1 cup cherry juice

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice **only if you are using sweet cherries**

2 Madagascar vanilla beans

1 tsp pure almond extract

3 Tbsp flex-batch pectin

Pit cherries over a bowl to catch all that wonderfully delicious juice!  If you want to prevent oxidation where the pit was removed, sprinkle on a bit of Fruit Fresh.

Place pitted cherries in a food processor and pulse several times to chop them up; do not purée them.  I first tried to mash them with a potato masher, but found that method to work best with softer fruits, like strawberries and peaches.

Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  In a large stainless steel sauce pot, combine cherries, cherry juice, lemon juice if using sweet cherries, and vanilla seeds.  Reserve 1/4 cup sugar to mix with the pectin (this helps to prevent pectin from clumping when added to the hot fruit), add the remaining 1-1/4 cups to the fruit mixture and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; stir in almond extract.  Add sugar-pectin mix to fruit and stir to incorporate.  Bring jam to a hard boil, one that cannot be stirred away, and cook for one minute.  Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint jars; wipe rims, adjust 2-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.  Remove jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Check seals, remove rings, and store in a cool, dry place for one year.

Be sure to give this jam a good stir before using, since most of the vanilla seeds tend to settle on the bottom of the jar!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Spicy Quince Apple Chutney

Early October I paid a visit to Nissleys, a favorite local vineyard.  While taking the self-guided tour of the grounds and winery, I ended up getting into a conversation with one of the horticulturists; it was bound to happen, he was wearing a tie-dye shirt and I had on a patchwork skirt.  We talked about stink bugs, a new species of fruit fly, and of course, food preservation.  Turns out he knew a jam guru that puts up thousands of jars a year.  Wow!  While trading insider tips, we ended up on the subject of quince.  I had never seen a quince, let alone worked with one, but it just so happened they were about to go into season!

Quince are a green fruit with a flavor combination similar to an apple and a pear.

Ten minutes after arriving home I was on the phone with my local orchards.  Jack pot!  Cherry Hill had them and they would be ready for harvest in about a week.  This gave me plenty of time for a bit of recipe research!

Spicy Quince Apple Chutney

2 lbs quince, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1″ pieces.  THAT was the biggest pain in my a$$!  Of course, the very next day I happened upon this tutorial.  Thank you Murphy.  You and your law can suck it!  :/

4 lbs tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped  (I used a mix of Winesap and Honey Crisp.)

3/4 cup water

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp mustard seeds

2 Tbsp cracked black pepper  (I used whole peppercorns and my mortar and pestle for this task.)

1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tsp turmeric

half bulb of garlic, minced

3″ piece of ginger, grated

5 Chinese 5-color peppers, seeded and minced  (They are a very small, hot pepper I grew this year.)

2 purple beauty peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cups cider vinegar

1 Tbsp pickling salt

2-1/3 cups light brown sugar

Place quince and water into a medium pot and bring to a simmer; cook covered until soft.  This took me about 40 minutes, but may take as little as 20 minutes or as long as 90, so don’t wonder too far!  Strain and set aside.

While your quince are cooking, begin to prep your remaining ingredients.  Once your ginger is grated, garlic is minced, etc, add the oil to a large sauce pot and turn the heat to med.  Add the mustard seeds and cook ’til they begin to pop.  Add the remaining spices (except for the salt) and stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Important PSA: Keep your face AWAY from the spicy steam unless you enjoy lung-burning, tear-induced, coughing fits, that hinder one’s ability to to breathe for the next 2 minutes.  I’m just sayin’.

Add garlic, ginger, and peppers, cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the apples and mix well, then add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and quince.

Stir the chutney, combining all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  If your chutney is thickening too fast, add a bit of water.

When you have about 30 minutes remaining on your chutney, begin preparing your jars.  Keep hot, sterilized jars in a warm oven (200°F) until you are ready to ladle in your chutney, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, add two-piece adjustable lids to fingertip-tight, and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, or for your recommended altitude processing time.

H2H’s recipe yielded her 8 half-pints, I ended up with 14!  I did not change any quantities; however, I used an apple peeler which resulted in a less chunky 4 lbs of apples.  The end result was delicious and I’ve been enjoying it paired up with pan-fried crispy tofu!!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Hitchhiking to Heaven.

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Eggplant Marinara

The end is near.  Tonight’s forecast is calling for freezing temperatures.  This makes me sad.  Very, very sad.  The only silver lining is the sweet anticipation of those soon-to-be-arriving 2012 seed catalogs.

Knowing my summer-loving nightshade vegetables will not survive after tonight’s freeze,  I began harvesting all the remaining peppers, eggplants and tomatoes.  (I only had one tomato since late blight and flooding really took a toll on my garden this year.)  Now, what does one do will all those veggies?  Why one makes eggplant marinara of course!

Eggplant Marinara - yields approximately 4 quarts of sauce

5 ping tung eggplants, sliced into 1″ rounds, about 2 pounds

4 purple beauty peppers, chopped – these are a smaller variety, so 2 medium peppers will work just as well.

1 onion, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, sliced

1 qt canned tomatoes, I used my Amish paste

1 qt tomato sauce, you can substitute a 29 oz can of tomato sauce if you don’t can your own

6 oz tomato paste

1/3 cup brown sugar

several sprigs fresh oregano, chopped

a handful fresh basil, chopped

1 cup red wine

1 tbsp fresh-ground pepper corns

2 tbsp salt

olive oil

In a large sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium heat; sauté onion and garlic ’til onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Add canned tomatoes (along with their liquid), peppers, eggplant, tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, wine, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before puréeing with an immersion blender.  Ladle into quart containers and freeze.

I really enjoy this sauce on a bed of freshly made pasta, rice, or lentils.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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