Tuesday, April 20, 2010

my vegan sancocho

a different twist on the winter staple in my grandmother's house.

1/4 lb of field roast (found in the refrigerated section of the health food store)
4 quarts of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of sofrito
1 cup tomato sauce
1 lb each pumpkin, yautia, yam and cassava peeled and diced in 1 inch cubes (during the off season you can find all of this in the freezer section. My local Cuban grocery store was the best find
2 green platanos peeled and cut in 2 inch pieces
corn on the cob in small pieces (can be found in the freezer section)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 quart of water

In a big soup pot, combine the first 5 ingredients, including all the root vegetables.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to another boil.
Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
10 sweet chili peppers, tops removed and seeded
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 onions, cut into large chunks
3 medium heads garlic, peeled
75 cilantro leaves with stems or how many you can get your hands on
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

In a food processor, combine green peppers, red peppers, sweet chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Add cilantro, salt, and pepper. Process to the consistency of semi-chunky salsa (not watery). Place in a ziplock freezer bag, and use as needed, or freeze in portions.

I finally perfected the sofrito of old without the lard and ham. and tweaked a bit because in California I am not lucky to find the recao.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pinto Picadillo

Right now I am soaking 1 lb of pinto beans and will put it in the slow-cooker overnight (about 8 hrs on low). In the morning while waiting for the water to boil in my teakettle, I heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 chopped yellow onion, 1 red pepper seeded and chopped, covered and cook for about 5 minutes. It will save you lots of time in the morning if you chopped and minced and in the freezer over the weekend. Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups slow-cooked or 2 cans of pinto beans, 1 small can diced green chiles, 1 peeled, cored and chopped granny smith apple, 1 cup of vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hrs. 10 before serving, stir in 2 cups of cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup of golden raisins, 1/4 cup sliced black olives, fresh parsley leaves and toasted slivered almonds.


recipe from the Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson

introducing my new BFF....slow cooker

Dusted off my 6qt slow cooker a few weeks ago and have been cooking faithfully Monday-Friday using recipes from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. I forgot how much I love that darn thing and loving even more how functional it is and it works for ME. I made so many leftovers and have been packing it in freezer bags that I have no more space in the freezer which means I will catch a break and not cook for next week and maybe the week after.

I cooked black bean soup, Moroccan-style lentil and chickpea soup, sweet and spicy lentil stew, farm-stand chili with chickpeas, spicy black bean chili, three-bean chili with chive-flecked cornmeal dumplings, chipotle-kissed red bean and sweet potato chili, spicy white bean and sweet potato stew with collards, maple baked beans, Greek big beans, what a Dal, sloppy lentils, and pintos picadillo.

All I really needed to do was saute a few onions, garlic and bell peppers then dump into the slow cooker with the other key ingredients. I then either baked bread for the chilis or brown rice for the beans.

There is planning to be done. I continued with my weekly planning and shopping trips. After I put everything away I washed and chopped or minced the veggies. Soaked dry beans overnight and cooked the night before.
Why did I do this? Time has to be set aside to cook wholesome meals. If you are busy with school/work you really don't want to end up going through the drive-thru or coming home and opening the fridge/pantry/freezer trying to find something to feed your family.

I ain't going to lie when I tell you that the kids are picky but I make them try the meals. They do end up liking some and not liking all. They either eat it or make a sandwich. My youngest is very picky and has texture issues and if it's either too tastey or too bland. Nothing makes her happy but she does like some of the beans which is a huge plus. Veggies are eaten raw or cooked. Whatever. Most days what I cook is good enough.

Having a vegan ice cream sandwich is a great incentive.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

stay tuned

Your crockpot can be your bestfriend....

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