Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Olive, Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us!

I was recently asked by my editor over at Elephant Journal to post a vegan Thanksgiving menu. Check it out!

Here is a recipe that will make a great starter, for Thanksgiving or anytime!

Olive, Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade
1/4 cup pitted calamata olives
1/4 cup stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup roasted red and yellow peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup artichoke hearts
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp. brine from the olives or the artichokes
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
Process the olives, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and artichoke hearts, in a food processor, until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix in the remaining ingredients. Garnish with parsley and serve with crackers or french bread.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Savory Pumpkin Stew

So many pumpkins are thought to be "only for decoration." But did you know you can actually eat all those gorgeous varieties?
Two medium sized white pumpkins survived the Halloween carving carnage this year and were roasted up to make stew, cupcakes and pie filling. We certainly have more pumpkin than we could use all in one day, so some of it went into the freezer for future usage.
This savory pumpkin stew challenges the idea that pumpkins are only for sweet recipes.
To roast your pumpkins, simply gut them, slice in half and roast open side down at 375 until soft enough to puncture the skin with a fork. Use an ice cream scoop to get the "meat" out and discard the skin.
You will also need raw pumpkin chunks for the soup. Simply chop and cube a raw pumkin, discarding the skin.
Savory Pumpkin Stew
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup pureed pumpkin (you can use canned, as long as there are no added ingredients in it)
1 cup cubed raw pumpkin
1/2 cup mashed potatoes (optional-it makes the soup creamier in texture but is not necessary)
1 large carrot, sliced into disks
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped anise stalks (you can use an alternate herb, if desired)
Seasoning Blend, such as Trader Joe's "21 Seasoning Salute" or Mrs. Dash.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper until soft. Add the broth, water and whisk in the mashed potatoes and the pumpkin puree. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin chunks are soft.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A New Take on Twice Baked Potatoes

Call me un-American, but I've never liked twice baked potatoes. Plus they're not very healthy and I was looking for something a little easier on the waistline...

I finally came across an idea that, after tinkered with, came out simply delightful.

There are two variations, one for grownups (savory salsa filling) and one for the littles (cottage cheese and fruit).

To bake your potatoes, puncture them with a fork a few times, rub in oil and salt and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour.

Let them cool a bit, then slice them in half, scoop out the insides (reserving for mashed potatoes?) and turn the halves skin-side-up. Cook another 10 minutes or until crispy. Let cool.

Savory Salsa Filling

For the first variation, combine 1/2 cup mashed mixed beans, 2 green onions, chopped, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1 clove crushed garlic with 3 tbsp. salsa. Line the potato halves with fresh spinach leaves and fill with topping.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit Filling

Sweet and savory at the same time! Add 1 chopped apple to 1/2 cup cottage cheese and toss in 2 chopped stalks of celery. Mix well and fill the potato cups.