Tag Archives: vegan

Fruit-Infused Vinegar

I can’t believe almost a month has passed since my last post, which by the way, was only a picture!  Lame, I know!  What can I say, life has taken a turn and unfortunately it isn’t in the direction of my garden.  When I take something on I throw everything I have at it.  In the past it was sewing, then food growing, and now my career.  I also happen to be someone who refuses to fail; when I’m told I can’t do something I will stop at nothing to prove you wrong.  Well, I finally hit a wall.  I’ve been struggling for months, refusing to admit what everyone else has been telling me.  I. can’t. do. it. all.

I can’t work 14 hour days, take on custom orders for PixyPatch, blog, and maintain close to 2000 square feet of growing space.  There I said it.  –>Insert HUGE sign of relief (and defeat).<–  Something has got to give and unfortunately it’s the garden.  Fear not friends, I’ll still be around, I’m just scaling back.  Way back.

Over the past month I’ve done a bit of canning, dehydrating, and cooking.  As to when those posts will actually make it onto OGT has yet to be determined.  I whipped up a delicious vanilla-ginger rhubarb jam several weeks ago and I’d love to share it while rhubarb is still in-season, but I make no promises! :)

I am however going to share a quick recipe for fruit-infused vinegar.  It is the perfect addition to all those fresh-from-the-garden salads!

Strawberry-Infused Vinegar

2 cups fresh fruit: I used strawberries but plan on trying cherries, blueberries, and peaches!

2 cups distilled white vinegar

Place fruit and a bit of vinegar in a food processor and purée until smooth.  Combine liquid fruit and remaining vinegar in a sterilized quart jar, add lid and shake.  Allow mixture to sit in a cool dark place for 10 days; shake daily to blend flavors.

Strain vinegar through several layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters and discard solids.  Vinegar will keep at room-temperature for up to a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Put ‘em Up.

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Hello, it’s me again.

I’m baaack!!  Well, kind of.  Life has once again gifted me with a crazy twist of fate.  I’ve been traveling for work; so much so that my only free time is now on the weekends.  I’m also relocating.  The when, however, is very much up in the air.  All of this is completely my doing, kind of.  I could have stayed where I am, content, but teetering on “what if”.  I’m someone who craves change, like shake-up-your-snow-globe change.  If I were not standing on the cusp of a brand new growing season, my bags would be packed and a POD would be in-route.  But I blame my gardens and the state of nirvana which they provide.  Dirt therapy grounds me and I enjoy my sanity!

So, with that being said I can finally admit that am sooooo far behind with this year’s gardens.  My tiller remains in the shop, I killed a third of my cold-weather transplants, and my warm-weather seedlings still have their cotyledons!  So yeah, you could say I’m freaking out… in an overly calm, Danielle kinda way.  I think the only thing that has kept me from losing my shit is the fact that I’ve been harvesting carrots, mustard greens, radishes, lettuce, and kale since early March; that, and my kitchen looks like fermentation nation! :)

I haven’t done much “new” weekend cooking, it’s all been quick and dirty.  I’ve been focused on using my stock-pile of frozen veggies for one-pot curry meals, and lots of last winter’s canned bean, veggie, and pea soups.  Although, several weeks ago I managed to whip up a quick preserved lemon couscous.  Unfortunately, it has taken me almost 3 weeks to share!  Looking on the bright side, if any of my readers decided to preserve some of their own citrus fruit, you only have to wait another 10 days or so to give this recipe a whirl! ;)

Salt-Preserved Lemon Couscous

4 salt-preserved lemon wedges, diced (I used my Fancy Schmancy ones.)

1 cup couscous

1-1/4 cups water

1/2 cup toasted nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

lots of kale, de-ribbed and cut into ribbons

lots of mustard greens, cut into ribbons

1 onion, chopped

2 cups napa cabbage petioles, chopped

2 cups carrots, cut into sticks

1 red pepper, diced

Bring water to a boil, add couscous and stir; remove from heat, add salted lemons and cover.  Heat a small cast-iron pan over medium heat, add nuts and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes; transfer nuts to a bowl and set aside.  Place a touch of oil in a large wok and sauté carrots and onion over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes.  Add cabbage petioles and red pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Wilt mustard greens and kale over crisp-tender veggies and season with a bit of pepper.

Place a bed of lemon-salted couscous on a plate, add your veggie medley and top with a sprinkling of toasted nuts. Enjoy!

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

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Happy Accidents

Had I known the chore of cleaning out the fridge would provide such a delicious meal, I probably would not have put it off all weekend long!  Typically, when I have fresh veggies in need of use, my go-to dish is a curry concoction.  Since my cabinets were lacking coconut milk, I had to come up with something else.

Last winter, while I was canning soups, I had also planned on canning some of my dried beans.  Well, I never got around to it but I did end up freezing some after over estimating and cooking up way too many for another recipe.  After taking inventory of some use-‘em-or-lose-‘em fridge items, I began creating what I call a happy accident!

Tortilla Lasagna

6 fajita-sized tortillas (I used a mix of multi grain and whole wheat)

1-1/2 pints Tomatillo Salsa

4 cups ready-to-use black beans

3 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a quart of canned)

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 pkg Daiya Cheddar Cheese shreds

Ground Cumin, Salt, & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil and place a layer of tomatillo salsa on the bottom.  Place two tortillas on top the salsa; add half the carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans and season lightly with cumin, salt, and pepper.

Sprinkle on a bit of cheese and cover with two more tortillas.  Add the remaining carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans, season again and add another layer of tomatillo salsa.  Place the remaining tortillas on the top of the “lasagna” and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Cover dish with tinfoil and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove tinfoil, sprinkle on more cheese, and place back in the oven until cheese is melted and begins to brown, approximately 10 minutes.  Allow lasagna to rest for 10 minutes, this will help the layers stay together when serving!

This recipe yielded me about 10 servings, most of which were placed in the freezer for work-week lunches.  I was pleased to find it freezes really well!

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

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Game Day Dip

I’m a lot of things, but a sports fan is not one of them.  If it weren’t for all the media hype, I’d be completely clueless that tomorrow is the “Big Game”.  Even if I had television, I would not be tuning in; well, maybe I’d catch a glimpse of the half-time show, and a commercial or two.  But overall, I couldn’t care less.

One thing I am a fan of is dip.  Spicy, savory, bean, or vegetable, it doesn’t really matter much to me, I love them all!  I whipped up a last-minute spinach dip last night when a friend stopped by to visit.  Should you find yourself in need of a quick crowd-pleaser to serve those snack-happy football fans, this dip is sure to do the trick!

Spinach Dip

1 16-oz bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 envelope mushroom and onion soup mix

1/2 container tofutti sour supreme

1 cup veganise

1/2 red onion, chopped

3 small black radishes, minced

1/2 block Follow Your Heart Mozzarella, shredded

1 tbsp fresh horseradish

a “healthy” squirt of sriracha

Combine all ingredients in a 2 qt casserole dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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

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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

There is something magical that happens when you pair black beans along side sweet potatoes.  It’s like they are truly meant to go together!  So when the December issue of Vegetarian Times featured a drool-worthy enchilada recipe combining those two ingredients, it jumped to the front of the menu line!  Making only minimal changes to incorporate what I had on-hand in my canning pantry, along with a few vegan substitutions, the dish turned out absolutely delicious!

Since the recipe can be made the night before, it’s a great go-to potluck dish!  And because it makes several servings, it is the perfect take-to-work-lunch.  I simply portion out and freeze single servings, then pack my fresh garnish the morning of.

(Despite my less than appetizing photograph, they really do taste better than they look!)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

For the Sauce

1 15-oz can of tomato sauce

1-3/4 cup vegetable stock

1 tsp cayenne powder

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

For the Filling

olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 quart canned tomatoes, chopped

1 pint salsa

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups cooked black beans

1 ancho chili pepper, minced

8 oz daiya cheddar style shreds

1/2 cup water

For the Enchiladas

olive oil for brushing the baking dish

16 whole wheat tortillas (I used the fajita size)

2 limes cut into wedges, for garnish

1 avocado, sliced for garnish

1/2 cup tofutti sour supreme

cilantro sprigs for garnish

To make Sauce: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk to combine, then remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make Filling: Heat oil in a separate sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onion, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.  Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salsa, garlic, chili, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.  Mash mixture with a potato masher until combined.  Add black beans, and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in half of the cheddar shreds and remove from  heat.

To assemble Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in bottom of dish.  Fill tortillas with filling.  Roll and pack close together seam-side down in baking dish.  (My baking dish only held 10 enchiladas, so I placed the rest of the filling in a container and ate it as is.)  Top with remaining sauce and cheddar shreds.  Bake 15 minutes.

Adjust oven to broil.  Broil enchiladas 5 minutes or until cheddar shreds begin to brown.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with lime wedges, avocado slices, sour supreme, and cilantro if desired.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Dec 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times.

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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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Ketchup and fries? Yes, please!

When August gifted me with well over 100 pounds of tomatoes (all at once, mind you), I had to get serious about putting them up, and fast!  I immediately headed to the library and checked out every post millennial book on food preservation not currently housed in my collection.  Because food safety guidelines are constantly changing, anything written before 2000 is now considered out of date.  **See note at the bottom of the post**

While flipping pages contemplating recipes, I came across one for catsup.  I find ketchup (or catsup) to be a take it or leave it condiment.  I’m just not a huge fan.  In college, I dated a guy who put it on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  Gross.  Honestly, I find it to be too sweet and lacking in, oh, I don’t know, maybe TOMATO flavor!  I thought the time had come for a little ketchup redemption, especially since the first listed ingredient would not be HFC!

Catsup

1 cup white vinegar

1-1/2 inch stick of cinnamon, broken into pieces

1-1/2 tsp whole cloves

1 tsp celery seed

8 pounds of paste-type tomatoes

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 tsp ground red pepper

1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sure jell cook-type

In a small saucepan combine vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves, and celery seed.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat; transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Wash tomatoes.  Remove stem ends and cores; cut the tomatoes into quarters and place into a colander to drain.  You can discard the liquid or keep it for cooking purposes, which is what I did.

Place tomatoes in a large stainless steel pot, add onion and ground red pepper; bring to a boil, cook uncovered, stirring often for 15 minutes.  Press tomato mixture through a food mill or sieve; discard seeds and skins.  Return pureed tomato mixture to pot, stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Boil gently, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.

Strain vinegar mixture into tomato mixture; discard spices.  Add lemon juice and salt.  Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or ’til desired consistency is achieved.  After I did the final cook-down, my mixture was still too runny for ketchup.  If I continued cooking, I would have ended up with one half-pint, so I added 1/4 cup cook-type sure jell.  Because sure jell tends to clump when added without mixing with sugar, I used my immersion blender to blend everything into a smooth consistency.  I continued cooking on med-low heat ’til the sure jell thickened, about 5 minutes.

Ladle ketchup  into hot, sterile half-pint jars, leaving 1/8 headspace.  Wipe rims; adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and cool on wire racks, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.  Yields 4 half-pints.

Rosemary & Garlic Potato Wedges

4 med potatoes, unpeeled

3 cloves of garlic, minced

large sprig of fresh rosemary, minced

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.  *KITCHEN SHORTCUT*  Using an apple slicer/corer, cut potatoes into wedges, slice the “potato core” in half, lengthwise.  Place potato wedges, garlic, and rosemary into a medium bowl and drizzle on a bit of olive oil.  Using your hands, lightly toss to coat evenly; sprinkle on salt and pepper and gently toss again.  Lightly grease a 4-sided baking sheet (or baking dish with olive oil), arrange potato wedges in a single-layer, and bake for one hour, turning half way through.

**The USDA/NCHFP’s guidelines are constantly evolving due to repetitive laboratory testing.  What were once acceptable canning practices, like using flour as a thickening agent or adding dairy products to pre-canned recipes, are no longer considered safe.  If you do use an older recipe, make sure all ingredients and directions are compatible with current acceptable canning procedures.  If you are unsure or have a question, be sure to check with your local extension office.  Remember, safety first!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden Presents: America’s All Time Favorite Canning & Preserving Recipes.

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Cajun Stuffed Summer Squash

This year I grew zucchini patisson strie, which are beautifully striped scalloped squash.  When fully grown their skins are quite tough, so it is recommended that you eat them when they are small; however, their bold colors do not develop ’til just before maturity.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Having grown them specifically for their aesthetic qualities, I needed to find a way to enjoy them when fully grown.

I’ve seen several recipes for stuffed winter squash, so I thought I would put my spin on it with this tough-skinned cousin!

Cajun Stuffed Summer Squash

4 med scalloped summer squash

1/2 cup dried black beans

1/2 cup dried kidney beans

1/2 cups dried northern beans

4-1/2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 med onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 purple beauty pepper, chopped (any bell pepper variety will do)

For the Cajun seasoning I used equal parts salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper (hot), garlic powder, and chili powder to one part smoked paprika.

Place squash in a very large pot with about an inch of water, cover and bring to a boil.  I had to use foil to cover mine.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until squash skins can be pierced with a fork.  Remove from pot and allow to cool so that you may touch them.

While squash is cooling rinse beans and place in a pressure cooker with water and olive oil.  Cook for 25 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.  Quick-cool beans by running pressure cooker under cold water, drain, rinse, and set aside.  If you do not have a pressure cooker (get one) soak beans overnight, then bring to a boil; boil hard for an hour (adding water as needed), check for doneness.  If beans are still hard, continue boiling ’til soft.  Like I said, get a pressure cooker, life with dried beans is so much easier! ;)

Once squash has cooled to the touch, slice off the top and scoop out seeds.  With an ice cream scoop carefully remove cooked squash leaving approximately 1/4-inch flesh on the inside.  Chop the cooked squash into chunks and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large pot sauté onion, celery, and pepper over med-high heat for about 5 minutes; add garlic, squash, and seasonings, stir well to incorporate and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add beans, cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Place the squash shells into a large baking dish and stuff them with bean mixture.  Don’t be afraid to pack them full!  If any stuffing is left over it can be piled into the baking dish between the shells.  Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes, or until the tops start to brown.

Since I have so many of these squash, I’m going to make more of the stuffing and use it as a burrito filling.  I’ll just add a bit of cheese to each tortilla, roll them up, and wrap each one individually and then freeze them.  This way when I am short on time I can just defrost and reheat!

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Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Batch cooking is something I tend to do a lot of, especially when I know I am going to be short on time.  Harvest season is definitely a race against time and these burgers are a quick fix when you need to silence those pesky hunger pangs!  Just pull your anticipated meals from the freezer and place in the fridge.  Then, when you are ready to eat, just re-heat in a skillet or in the microwave!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (this recipe makes a lot!)

2 cups rehydrated & cooked black beans (one 15oz can, drained, will work as well)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup veg stock or water

5 med carrots, shredded (I used my food processor)

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup wheat gluten

**The following measurements are only approximates of what I used.  When cooking, I tend to take the tasting approach; I add spices, taste, add more spices, then taste again, etc.  Feel free to adjust for your own personal tastes!  Cooking is all about experimenting with flavors!

2 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp paprika (smoked paprika is a nice addition too)

2 Tbsp onion powder

2 Tsp cayenne powder

2 Tsp salt (if using canned beans I would omit the salt since they already contain sodium)

1 Tbsp pepper

olive oil

Cook beans using your preferred method: overnight soak, quick-soak, or pressure cooked.  If using canned beans, heat on the stove over med-high ’til hot throughout, drain, then set aside.  Place quinoa in a small sauce pan with veg stock; bring to a boil, then simmer ’til liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.  Stir often to keep the bottom from sticking and burning.  Remove from heat.  While quinoa is cooking, shred carrots and mince garlic.  Place black beans in a large shallow bowl and mash with a potato masher or place in a food processor (several scoops at a time) and give them a quick pulse to break them up a bit.  In a large bowl combine mashed beans, quinoa, garlic, shredded carrots, and spices; mix well.  Stir in wheat gluten.

Pour a touch of olive oil into your skillet and turn the burner to med-low heat.  Shape burger mixture into patties and cook each side ’til browned and crisp, approximately 5 minutes per side.  Sandwich burgers between fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits, toasted whole grain bread, or place on a bed of crisp lettuce.  Top it off with a few sun-dried tomatoes, a bit of onion, and some cheese.

One word of caution, they may fall apart.  Even with the added wheat gluten, I still have problems when it comes to keeping my bean burgers together!  At least they taste AWESOME!!!

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