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And then I had leftover crepes with sauteed peaches, coarse raw sugar, cranberry jam, and some malted soy drink mixed with enough water to make a sweet cream. Oh, frugal AND delicious, and even maybe healthy, how ’bout that? I love dinners that revolve around fructose.
Speaking of which, I made a tiny sweet potato cashew cream pie with a lone spud, because it’s just been so damned cold it seems not very weird to make food like this. Plus, it has a pumpkin seed crust a la Extraveganza, which in my weird mind makes it kinda summery. And when you pop it in the freezer and eat slices of it cold like spiced ice cream…… *drooooolz*. Also gives me a chance to use the tiniest fork ever imaginable that I picked up at a garage sale for specific things just like this. Fairy pie technique!
From now on I make my own thai green curry paste. Has anyone tried the yellow variety? I almost did but then I chickened out and returned it for a jar of the classic green, and while it resulted in a slurpily good skillet of hyper-spice, well… I’m still curious about the other variety. Maybe next time I’ll get the yellow (which boasts coriander and white pepper, yum) and just grind up lots of green chiles into it myself. I ended up throwing like, 3-4 extra thai peppers into this one anyway, cause I kind of like my thai curries to practically send off sparks into the atmosphere. Anything less and why bother, I say!
Maple-Mustard-Chili Tofu – this recipe keeps wanting to be made and then I remember I don’t have maple syrup and then I am sad, because the maple flavour is vital and really delicious. The salad underneath it was weird (artichokes and grapes, huh past self? WEIRD!!) but that tofu was addictive.
The latest dish! Sarah’s Baked Tofu on some rice & millet, steamed vegetables, and a lemon-y sesame-thai dressing from the Millenium Cookbook that livened up broccoli like crazy. (It’s the dressing from the Chilled Soba Salad if anyone’s wondering). Straightforward looking, but take a bite from this and it’s got zingy depth. Serve it to omnis. Mention whole grains and steamed veg and lean protein and then let them try it and giggle when they go all “ohhhh. Wait, this is good!” At least, that’s my secret plan. Swell will be my secret recipe weapon, I’ve got the Mole Roasted Cauliflower on the mind to make next.
Gorgeous! Floating rice in big white space! It’s the hunan fried rice from Vegan Fire & Spice, which is actually pretty fantastic. It actually has flavour, and I especially love how the tofu pellets explode with sherry goodness. I switched up the vegetables completely and can see myself pulling out this basic recipe to accomodate any old veg & rice, cause it’s really yum and takes like 2 minutes to bash up.
Equally fast and furious – the snobby joes from the Veganomicon on spaghetti squash with baked paprika yam fries from Extraveganza. I’m so officially hooked on spaghetti squash right now, it’s like noodles except refreshing. It had been so long since I’d had it that I forgot you could actually slurp the stuff, and that became so much the deciding factor in my new love for it. Veg! You can slurp! Everyone wins. :)
Persimmon blondies!! As luscious as they sound and look, they’re a tester recipe for Hannah‘s upcoming book. I am super lucky that things like this freeze well, or I’d have polished off the pan already. :p
And I picked up a cool looking bag of assorted herbs in chinatown the other day. It was only 70 cents and I kind of saw it as a taster pack of a bunch of exotic ingredients I might never get around to trying all in one spot. Like… lotus seeds, dioscorea, dried lily bulb, fox nuts, dried longan and polygonatum. And a big pouch of barley!
I assumed it was for boiling with chicken for to make extra-healthified chicken soup (at least according to my book on asian cooking) so I just skipped the chicken part and boiled it for 45 minutes or so. The funny thing is that I went for a quick grocery run in the middle – yes I am that bad and I leave the stove on while I’m gone sometimes ^^; – and when I came back the apartment smelled so nutty and sweet and… quite like chicken soup. Strange! But not bad. I strained it out because the solids were tasteless, added some tamari, green onion and tofu cube and it was strangely very satisfying. Not a taste sensation or anything, but it felt good going down the throat and I could see myself picking up a pack the next time I get a cold.
You’re also gonna think I’m weird, maybe, but this salad was a great accompaniment to barley broth. I didn’t know that endive, pear and pecan (in my case walnut) was such a classic salad! This is the veganomicon version, but I’m pretty interested in playing around with the components, maybe adding some fermented tofu as a blue cheese element, or tossing in some roasted beets like Emilie did. It’s also so pleasingly in season, I love that. So far, winter hasn’t been half bad!
Best breakfast ever? Why yes!
Mmmm…. I’m actually still licking my fingers from these right now (my computer is getting filthier with each passing day, but it’s all from baking so I really don’t mind). I used the Vcon maple brown sugar pinwheels recipe as a base, but realized I didn’t have maple OR ground cardamom on hand so I turned them into your basic cinnamon-pecan-raisin sticky buns. With the orange left in though, of course. I think I’m adoring everything orange these days. Personally I think I overbaked them a little and it could have used more fat to cut the sweet, but everyone else was going crazy and offering to kiss the ground I walk on (for what? kneading a bit of dough? oh silly), which is a testament to the power of cinnamon buns. Maybe we should just bake cinnamon buns to solve all conflicts. Or some other pat answer to life’s confuzzlements. At the very least we could make kitchens smell nicer all over the world. Righto.
And hoboy… out of the two iced baked things I’ve made recently these are soooooo my favourite. As in, I would actually make them again (and again and again). It’s the Swell Vegan sweet potato tester scones! The scones alone are perfect – just sweet enough to savour slowly with tea, but the optional caramel glaze is pretty much THE caramel goop recipe I’ve been looking for! Sent these to another level. A level of mouthgasm. (and almost virtuous! Because scones are healthier than cookies! Because I say so!)
I love end of term. I love the delirium, and the not-sleeping, and the out-and-out stress of it all. No, actually I hate all those things, but I DO love how productive I get in all other areas that aren’t school. I made a bunny! It’s for my sister, and I’m seriously considering starting an Etsy shop (even though that would mean getting a – *shudder* – credit card). I could see myself sewing on summer afternoons on a regular basis, plus I’d get to make adorable things all the time. Also, supplemental income – always nice. (she’s wearing an apron which makes her OK for a food blog, btw ;)
Onto the white beans! What better than Vcon pasta fazooool to throw together in less than 15 minutes so I can pretend my priorities lie with paper-writing and not in the kitchen? Nothing, it’s totally the best thing! I liked this a lot, though the inclusion of beans in anything pretty much guarantees I’ll be nuts for it. And I totally stand by eating this on spaghetti, it ups the challenge factor, and you can’t slurp tiny pastas as far as I know. (at least, not with the modicum of neanderthal grace I allow myself when I’m snarfing noodles alone, ha!)
And yummy lunch today was Vcon hot-sauce glazed tofu, baked sweet potato and really really cheater baked beans (white beans + bbq sauce). More than enough fuel to proofread. And not get distracted by Harvest Moon. With any luck! Course, I am stuffed and groggy now and could use some time attempting to woo the bartender’s daughter, hee hee. I’m so responsible. :)
(as for the tofu, it was spooky – I could almost sense the tempeh in the store calling out for this marinade, insisting that tofu was way better suited to more delicate things. I only vaguely recall what tempeh even tastes/feels like, but I’m pretty sure it would rock so much more than the ‘fu here. That said I was practically sipping the leftover glaze!)
Yum! Amazing! Could I gush more? I should! I was fortunate enough to be a tester for the very talented A-K of the Swell Vegan blog, and I’ve just fallen in love with her Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers with Millet and Leeks! They’re so delicious, with a sweet note of almond butter, some spicy mexi-kick, a nice meaty bite and very easy to make. I usually douse my burgers in nayo and ketchup, but not this time! Condiments like that t’would be sacrilege in this case, as they’re plenty flavourful enough on their own (though her suggestion of guacamole would be verrrrry nice, I’m thinking). They firm up nice, too!
And yesterday I wanted lentil soup but also not to work very hard, so I made the vcon Ancho Lentil Soup. Which was good, but I kinda wish it were spicier, or the ancho flavour more pronounced (and I used a huge one). Or even had vegetables in it of any kind? The pineapples were a fun touch, though.
Aaaaand, I promised myself a bar of Terra Nostra Rice Milk Chocolate on Zombie Jesus Day but got sidetracked by florentine’d tofu and other foods that AREN’T CHOCOLATE (insane, I know). So I fixed that and bought a bar, and woah! This is some special milky-mouth-melt action! I think dark is still my absolute favourite, but it’s an utter treat to reach into the chocolate drawer (yes, I have one of those – usually 2 or 3 bars open at any given time… for emergencies!) and pull out milk chocolate. *grin*
It’s official. I’m obsessed, and seriously considering trying every single recipe in the Veganomicon. (maybe I’ve just got a thing for crossing off titles in the front of the book with a little pencil, haha).
I made the enchiladas!
Worst photo ever. I don’t care, it’s the most delicious photo, taken by me already slightly tipsy on whiskey-coke and just about mouth-gasming all over the place for the Sour-Cilantro Cream as it mingled with the firey enchilada sauce and by some miracle of chemistry the two together tasted like something quite like but much much better than cheese. This will haunt my dreams for a while, I just know it…
I made the filling with sweet potatoes and black beans, because Ben-sen and Co. are irresponsible vegetarians and they need more protein in their lives, and also, potato? why stop there? Sweet potatoes are sweet, and mexican food without beans seems sacriligious somehow. I really couldn’t imagine this dish without the creamy sweetness and earthy tones that were there. Like, I know it would be awesome, but I’m glad I made it this way.
Also, I used firm (not silken) tofu in the cilantro cream and I left out the oil and just whipped the bejeezus out of it for a long time with a stick blender – the result being a perfect smooth dolloping consistency and I hardly feel bad at all for inhaling the leftovers. Would it be wrong to make a batch, swirl in some salsa, crumble some chips over top and call it soup? I see that in my future, I really do… some summer night for sure.
And here’s the centrefold ——
Kick. Ass. I cut off the tip of my left index finger while making this and I really really didn’t care. The roasting green chiles were punching through the air and I was Kitchen Warrior™, holding my hand at a funny angle to rip apart kale and trying not to bleed all over the place too badly. I didn’t even realize there was part of my nail missing until I closed the oven door and started the timer. What a rush! (this is what happens when you say you can pull off dinner for five in 1.5 hours, oy!)
And dessert? Oh, there’s dessert! I made the Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding from VwaV, since I wanted something low-key to finish with, and I’d never tried rice pudding before, and I am sooooo glad that peoples were too stuffed from dinner to even think about the pudding in the fridge, ’cause now I have bowls upon bowls of luscious, spicy chocolate ricelove to eat all by myself. Chocolate ricelove with cayenne in it, even. Leftovers have never been a more tempting prospect… :o
My new gotten-for-giftmas copy of Eat, Drink & Be Vegan is finally a little warped and cook-stained! I got home from used-book shopping* very VERY starving, but for some reason instead of being sensible and making a sandwich I decided to go Moroccan, because I’m on a severe Morocco kick, I think. I almost bought a jar of pickled lemons. Haha.
So yeah… after about an hour I had a gigantic pot of incredible stew, a quick salad with her Cumin-Cinnamon vinaigrette, a somewhat-okay attempt at a Batinjaan Zalud (maybe deficient due to lack of garnish?), moroccan olives, and the cutest portion of whole wheat couscous you ever did see, prepared in a tiny metal measuring spoon. The flavours were all very good friends on the plate (yet each distinctive), and the stew itself was pure comfort (though it could use more heat and didn’t seem to suffer from lack of celery). It was also suprisingly clean-tasting for something I expected to be heavy, and I’m having a hard time running back to the kitchen to grab another mouthful… mmm. I love Dreena’s food! I can’t wait to make more stuff from this book! Anyone have any recommendations?
~~ ALSO: in an interesting twist of internet-fate, I stumbled across Envirowoman’s Amazing Blog shortly after eating my plastic-wrapped noodles the other day and went, “woah, hey – I really can’t be eating this for reasons of the earth, as well!”. I got inspired. I have a hideous compost container right on the counter now (even though I live in an apartment and don’t actually HAVE a place to put all the rotten-food when it gets fulled up). I started a paper bin. I have no idea what to do with my tin cans. Maybe I’ll just sneak my stuff into other people’s recycling bins in the dead of night, with a ninja mask on, and pretend I’m some kind of bizarro-universe version of Robin Hood…