Archive for Vegan

Strawberries

Last week made my heart sad.  Unexpected, tragic events have the ability to make you focus on all of the negative in the world – sort of that “when it rains, it pours” mentality.  There are so many questions and there is a struggle to understand why, but there will always be unanswered questions.

I think Patton Oswalt said it best when he said “The good outnumber you, and we always will” (If you haven’t already, you can read his whole response to Boston here).  This is something I whole-heartedly believe: that good will always win.

In the hopes of keeping things light today while I get back into the swing of things, I thought I would share something delicious with you all.  This isn’t so much a recipe as something you should try.  I only tried this a few weeks ago at my in-laws’ house but since then, I’ve been hooked.  I come home with strawberries whenever I find a good batch at the grocery store.

20130422_strawberries4 http://popcornonthestove.com

So… about once a week.

Now that it’s sort of strawberry season, I think this would be the perfect time to share this ‘recipe’.

20130422_strawberries1 http://popcornonthestove.com

Directions:

1)  Cut up strawberries into quarters (or smaller if they are large strawberries).
2)  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar on top of the strawberries and then drizzle a little bit of water over them.
3)  Place the strawberries in a sealed container.
4)  Wait two days before eating.

20130422_strawberries2 http://popcornonthestove.com

You can eat them the next day, but it’s definitely worth waiting until the second day.  By that second day, there will be some wonderful strawberry juices at the bottom of the container.  If you can make it to the third day then you’re pretty much golden (and you’ve totally impressed me because we cannot make it that long, although I bet it’s worth it).

20130422_strawberries3 http://popcornonthestove.com

The great thing about this is that it makes a great snack or dessert – and it’s something everyone can enjoy.  It’s also a wonderful treat to bring when you’re going over someone’s house.  We usually eat it right out of the container or drizzled over chocolate cake.  I believe this would also be delicious with some homemade whipped cream.  One day, I intend to have it as an ice cream (so, probably this weekend seeing as it’s finally sort of warm out).

So, let’s hear it: how do you prefer to eat your strawberries?  With chocolate?  Ice cream?  Do you hate strawberries but love strawberry flavored treats?  Anyone contemplating giving this ‘recipe’ ago with other fruits?

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 10 Comments

Updating an Old Favorite

Before I went away to college, I was fairly hopeless when it came to cooking.  No joke, I had to ask my mom how to boil an egg.  Safe to say that the kitchen was not my domain.

For my Junior year, I moved off campus and into an apartment with an actual kitchen.  Gone were my days of dining hall food, only to be replaced by my concoctions.  Not everything was a success, which is weird since the majority of my meals were pre-made items that you only had to add a few ingredients (like pancakes or those Knorr (Lipton) side dishes).  Like I said, I was not a natural-born chef.

The year I moved off campus was also the year Joe and I got together.  He and I ended up cooking together often (which is one reason why I ended up being a decent cook).  This was also the year I got my first cookbook: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis (which is the other reason why I got it together in the kitchen).

One of our favorite recipes from the book was the farfalle with turkey sausage, peas, and mushrooms – which you can check out here.  I highly recommend it.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s a quick and easy meal to make that’ll give you plenty of leftovers.

Sadly, I won’t eat this anymore since I don’t eat turkey but the other night, Joe was able to create something very similar.  Instead of using sausage, he used tofu ricotta (recipe found here).  I loved it so much that I ate it for dinner, brought some in for lunch, and ate the rest at dinner.

20130306_pasta http://popcornonthestove.com

If you’re interested in making the vegan version, it’s pretty simple.  All you need to do is chop the mushrooms and cook them in olive oil until the water has evaporated, add the frozen peas and let them cook together.  When that’s done, add the tofu ricotta mix in and then mix it in with the cooked pasta.

Next time, Joe and I are going to play around with different seasonings, like fennel, in hopes of giving it the same flavor as the original recipe.  Either way, it’s nice being able to add a new updated recipe to our repertoire.

Have you played around with recipes as your tastes change?  And when did you learn your way around the kitchen??

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 13 Comments

Veggie Chili

It’s not really a secret that the only meat I eat is from the sea, but I am able to admit that I am always jealous of the beef chili Joe makes every week.  It makes the entire apartment smell wonderful and looks delicious.  Unfortunately, I cannot bring myself to eat it.

Thankfully, I don’t have to because Joe is a wonderful husband and made me a vegetarian version of his chili!  I can honestly say that this is the best bean chili I have ever eaten.  To make it even better, I’ve been serving it over brown rice – which is great touch!

I highly recommend giving this recipe a go, especially if you’re not sure what to do for a meatless Monday… or you’re looking for a way to warm up during this cold spell!

20130123_veggiechili http://popcornonthestove.com

Veggie Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Chili powder to taste

Directions:

1)  Add a little bit of olive oil in a pot.  Once it’s heated, throw in the diced onions, garlic, and pepper.  Cook until it’s fragrant and softened a bit.

2)  Add the cans of crushed tomato, followed by the beans, and the spices (I would recommend adding less first, because you can add more later).  Stir everything together.

3)  Allow the chili to come to a boil for five minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for at least an hour.  If you would like to add more spices, do so now.

4)  Enjoy!

PS – You can see more of our recipes here.

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 6 Comments

Wife Points

I earned some major wife points this weekend.

The first point was scored when I did our laundry – which was two IKEA bags worth.  I lugged it to my parents’ house in New Jersey and took the opportunity to hang out with my nanny.

The second point was scored when I stayed up until 3AM waiting for Joe to get home.  Nope, he was not out partying… he and his brother had gone camping but decided to come home early because Joe forgot his cot & sleeping pad (so it was very uncomfortable out there).  I stayed up – or rather tried to – because Joe didn’t have his house keys.

The third point I earned was because I made dinner on Sunday.  Usually, Joe is the chef of this apartment because he gets home so much earlier than I do.  For dinner, I decided to try and replicate one of my favorite things – the Tuscan White Bean soup from Au Bon Pain.  I didn’t exactly get it right, but I really enjoyed what I ended up with.  This is a soup we’ll definitely have again, especially as it’s starting to get colder (and we are still without heat!).

White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small bushel of escarole
  • ¼  dried basil
  • ¼ dried bay leaves
  • ¼ crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼  dried oregano
  • ¼  dried rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1)   Heat up the olive oil in the pot of your choice (I used our le creuset).  Once it’s heated up, add the diced carrots.  Stir to keep the carrots from burning.  Once the carrots have started to soften, add the diced onions.  Stir.

2)   Once the onions have softened (they don’t need to be completely transparent), add the diced garlic.  Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add 5 cups of water.  Stir everything up to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.

3)   Add in a can of diced tomatoes.  Stir.

4)   While everything is melding together, add the basil, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, oregano, and rosemary into a mortar and use the pestle to grind it all up (you can do this however you want).  Add it to the pot and stir.

5)   Rinse and dry the escarole before chopping it up and throwing it into the pot.  I used about ½ to ¾ of the escarole I picked up – but you can use as much or as little as you’d like.  Stir it around to make sure the escarole is mixed in there and almost entirely covered by liquid.

6)   Open up the can of cannellini beans and stir them into the pot.   *Note: I imagine it tastes better if you use dried beans but since I’ve never gone that route before, or made this soup for that matter, I thought it would be safer to go with the canned version.

7)   Place the lid on the pot and drop the heat from medium to low (a simmer) so the escarole has some time to cook down.  We left ours on the stove for about 30 minutes, checking every 10 or so minutes to make sure the escarole had cooked down nicely.

8)   Once the escarole has cooked down to how you’d like it, remove the lid from the pot and allow it to simmer for an additional 40 or so minutes (you can go as short or as long as you want – but the longer it cooks, the more the liquid cooks down).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

9)   Enjoy!

So, did you earn any wife or husband points this weekend?  Maybe try a new recipe (if you’re looking for one, you can check out more of our recipes here!)?

Posted in Details, Food, Recipes, Vegan | 9 Comments

When the Moon Hits Your Eye…

Now that you’ve all got a song stuck in your head (I know I do), we can get down to business.  On Saturday, Joe and I decided to make pizzas using our fresh herbs.  We’ve used the basil before but not the oregano and it was about time.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Of course, now our garden has undergone a bit of a change:

The basil looks so sad now.  I didn’t photograph the oregano because it looks exactly the same.  Guess we’ll have to use it more often.

When it came to pizza-making, Joe and I pulled out the laziness card and bought two packages of pizza dough (not the pre-made crust) at the local grocery store.  I like to think it’s okay since it was the weekend.  We got one for each of us because when we just use one, we end up over stretching the pizza and it’s a disaster.  Using two pizzas meant that we could each do whatever toppings we wanted.  We Joe did make the sauce, though.  No short cuts on sauce in this house!  It was also great making our own sauce because it allowed us to preheat the oven (and pizza stone) while the sauce was cooking.

Ingredients:

  1. One can of crushed tomatoes
  2. Olive Oil
  3. A Bunch of Basil, chopped
  4. A Few Sprigs of Oregano, chopped
  5. Two Cloves of Garlic, diced (more or less depending on how much you like garlic)
  6. A Pinch of Salt
  7. Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat up the olive oil i a saucepan.  When heated, throw in the diced garlic.
  2. Let the garlic cook for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant (you don’t want it to brown).  Add in the can of crushed tomatoes and stir.
  3. Add in the diced basil and oregano.  Go light in the beginning (you can always add more after you’ve done a taste test).  Add a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity.
  4. Allow the sauce to cook on a low-medium heat for at least 30 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

First up was Joe’s pizza.  For Joe’s pizza, he used fresh mozzarella and prosciutto.  I tried the butt of the mozzarella (in my opinion the best part) and it was totally worth the stomach ache later on.

My pizza was boring in comparison but made me very happy. I went the plain route but my cheese was the vegan ricotta (it’s made with tofu).  The pizza turned out beautifully.

Both pizzas were gone by Sunday afternoon.  Oops.

Just kidding – I’m not sorry about that.  Those pizzas were too delicious to not eat the left overs the next day.

It was a lot of fun using out pizza stone.  When we first used it, the pizza crust just got stuck to it (such a nightmare).  Our pizza stone perpetually lives in our oven and I think that’s helped it age or do whatever it is that it’s supposed to do so pizza doesn’t stick.  Now it works like a charm.  I’d like to figure out more ways to use it, like when we bake bread or something.  That’ll just get added to my to-do list.

Do you have any tricks for using pizza stones?  Found any other things to use them for?  Anyone else prefer making pizza at home rather than getting them at the pizzeria (or maybe vice-versa)?  What are you favorite toppings?

Posted in Details, Food, Garden, Recipes, Vegan | 23 Comments
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