Monday, December 27, 2010

Potatoes Two Ways

Here is our simple Christmas breakfast. I read somewhere about grating potatoes and putting them in a waffle maker and this is now my new favorite hash brown method. Next time I'm going to add in some grated sweet potatoes or winter squash. Also on the plate is a simple fruit salad of grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, and raisins and the wonderful Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches from Fatfree Vegan.


The last few weeks we've received red white and blue potatoes in our CSA box. I watched the Barefoot Contessa in London Christmas special and she made these gorgeous sliced potatoes. I didn't read her recipe before I made the potatoes the first time but I remembered her method for cutting the potatoes. After making the recipe the first time I went to look at her recipe. I used 2 Tbsp olive oil and she used 1/3 cup; I used 1/2 tsp. sea salt and she used 4 teaspoons for the same amount of potatoes. The first time I made them I used rosemary but this time I used a combo of fresh thyme and fresh savory which I preferred. I also was glad I used a cast iron frying pan to roast them instead of a cookie sheet because they do splatter. But this recipe is pretty versatile; the  neat thing is the way the potatoes are cut.

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. small red, white, and blue potatoes, well-scrubbed
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt or to taste
2 Tbsp. minced mixed fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, chives, or savory
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Scrub potatoes well. Cut a slice on the bottom of each potato so they will stand up. Carefully cut a slice every 1/4" on the top of the potatoes as shown. In the original recipe she just cut a slice (and they will open a bit during roasting) but I actually cut out a sliver so you could better see the pretty blue interior of the blue potatoes and so the minced herbs will fall in the sliced sections. In her recipe she says use a spoon to cut the potatoes to ensure you don't cut all the way through but I didn't do that (and yes, I accidentally cut through one).

Put potatoes sliced side up in a cast iron skillet. Add olive oil and mix so that oil completely covers each potato. Bake for 15 minutes. Add herbs and salt to taste. Bake another 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and bottoms of potatoes are golden brown.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Italian Christmas Menu

Holiday Organic Fruit Box from Los Poblanos Organics CSA

I'm still working on the menu for an Italian vegan Christmas feast. I'm still not sure if the main dish will be lasagna or stuffed shells (sometimes I have trouble finding large pasta shells here in New Mexico) but I do know that I'll do half with marinara sauce and half with pesto.


Pizza Hummus from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's brand new book with some breadsticks I received in an Italian pantry basket from Dean & Deluca


Mixed Vegetables in Vinegar/Giardinetto di sott'aceto from Paola Gavin's Italian Vegetarian Cooking

Stuffed Zucchini Florentine (also from the above book) w/ a non-dairy bechamel

Sardinian Artichoke Pie w/Daiya cheese from Cooking from an Italian Garden by Paola Scaravelli/Jon Cohen


Shells or Lasagna


My Rosemary-Garlic Pan Rolls


A big honking green salad w/homemade roasted red pepper dressing


Fruit salad using all the wonderful fruit we received this week from our CSA. 

I hope you have a lovely holiday - here is a shot from the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort on Santa Ana Pueblo where we go every year for DH's office Christmas party.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookie Bites

I'm a huge fan of the Frontier Coop baking extracts. I own most of them and use them all the time in everything from muffins to smoothies to hot drinks. They are so much tastier than the store-bought extracts I used to buy.

I've been craving the combination of chocolate and peppermint lately. I nearly told DH to bring home a box of Candy Cane Jo-Jos from Trader Joe's but managed to avoid temptation.
The craving continued and I realized I had some Frontier peppermint extract. I knew I had to make some cookies. Because of the whole wheat pastry flour they are a bit healthier than your average cookie plus I make them smaller to discourage overeating.

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookie Bites

Makes about 44 small cookies

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (Trader Joe's version are dairy-free I think)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup soymilk or other non-dairy milk
1/3 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with vegetable cooking spray. Mix flours, chips, baking powder, soda and sea salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix soymilk, sweetener, oil and peppermint extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry.

Transfer heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto prepared cookie sheet. (These cookies don't spread out while baking so you can put them an inch apart.) Bake 8-10 minutes or until tops of cookies are just browned. Cool on wire rack and try to resist.

Here's a photo of a birthday breakfast I made recently for DH. I made the vegan migas from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers with more tortillas, green olives, and chiles, my Papas Con Chile Colorado from Fiesta Vegan, Isa's Best Pumpkin Muffins, my Easy Chipotle Salsa, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Because I'm in a year-round CSA, I am always looking for good ways to use up stray vegetables. We eat a green salad daily and I make a lot of soups but I still end up with extra vegetables.

Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorite ways to clean out the refrigerator. Shepherd's Pie is traditionally a casserole of ground meat and veggies topped with mashed potatoes but it really works well with just veggies. I've tried Shepherd's Pie many ways - with veggie meatballs, veggie burgers, TVP, etc but my favorite recipe is pretty basic. In a 9 by 13" casserole dish I dump a can of pinto beans, a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, some frozen peas and corn, and whatever else I can find. In this case I had some extra diced pumpkin and collard greens so I steamed them both lightly and added them to the dish.

Then I top the whole shebang with as much mashed potatoes as I can fit and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. We don't buy non-dairy margarines a lot but when we do have it we put some on top before baking.  DH likes to eat his Shepherd's Pie with plenty of Valentina hot sauce.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

World Series Dinner

I've had the wildest past week involving a surprise houseguest, both DH and I battling the flu, a windstorm so violent it knocked off the wood stove chimney, and of course the exciting World Series. (Well perhaps only exciting if you like baseball and if, like me, you enjoy the pitching duels.) 

Here's a meal I made for baseball viewing - it is heavy on carbs but I also wanted to bake something for breakfast for our houseguest. I made minestrone, a version of my Rosemary-Garlic Pan Rolls (I topped them with some non-dairy mozzarella cheese), salad from our CSA, Isa's Magical Coconut Cookie Bars, and some blueberry muffins.

I'm addicted to pumpkin lately. I made Isa's Pumpkin Ziti (from the book Veganomicon) and the Happy Herbivore's delicious pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies. Bubbles my pet house rabbit also is quite fond of pumpkin as you can see.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cookbook Review: Cooking from the Garden

I don't buy many non-vegetarian cookbooks but I am reading through a galley copy of Cooking From the Garden: Best Recipes from Kitchen Gardener and I found a lot of recipes that would work for me. Because I'm in a year-round CSA and always have a kitchen full of vegetables, this book will be very helpful when I'm trying to figure out what to do with all those turnips.

Cooking from the Garden, edited by Ruth Lively, reminds me quite a bit of the early Moosewood cookbooks with drawings in lieu of photos. The book includes more than 200 recipes from Taunton's Kitchen Gardener from cookbook authors such as Deborah Madison, Rick Bayless, Jesse Cool, and Ken Haedrich along with informative sidebars discussing water bath canning basics and cooking with chiles. I appreciate that they include the calorie, fat, and sodium content for each recipe.

Some of the recipes don't have excessive amounts of veggies - the parsley gnocchi recipe uses only 1 cup of parsley and one scallion but this cookbook is a valuable resource for anyone in a CSA, with a large veggie garden, or who just loves vegetables. A lot of similar books are divided up into seasons but because I always end up having to search in two seasons for relevant recipes, I prefer the way this book is organized into chapters such as Sauces, Salsas, and Vinaigrettes, and Pasta, Grains, and Beans. Cooking from the Garden does include a listing of seasonal menus at the back of the book.

I tried a few recipes from the book. The first, Apple Chipotle Salsa, was a unique twist on salsa. If I make it again I'll use only one chipotle though instead of two.

I also made the Coleslaw with Ginger-Mustard Vinaigrette. I reduced a lot of the olive oil and I really liked the addition of fresh ginger.

For some reason I'm not able to access their web site right now but the coleslaw recipe and some others from the book are available at . I have a list of other recipes from the book I'd like to try including the Chile Oil, Potato-Onion Focaccia, White Bean Salad with Rosemary-Balsamic Vinaigrette, Quick Fried Zucchini with Toasted Garlic and Lime, Potato and Chickpea Stew with Romesco Sauce, Zesty Pickled Garlic, and the Peach Crisp with Lavender.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Chives

This recipe is my adaptation of an Alice Waters recipe. The potatoes are thinly sliced and braised until they become so tender they practically melt in your mouth.

Serves 4

1 lb. fingerling potatoes, well scrubbed, peel on, sliced into 1/8" rounds
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. non-dairy margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Put potatoes, water and salt in a cast iron skillet. Cut a round of parchment paper to cover the potatoes. Brush one side of the parchment paper with some margarine. Dot the top of the potatoes with the rest of the margarine.

Arrange parchment paper on top of the potatoes and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with chives.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels

I really love making big soft pretzels and this recipe that uses the food processor is pretty simple.


Makes 12 pretzels

1/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. baking soda
soy milk for brushing
Coarse salt

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, mix yeast with 1/4 c. warm water and agave nectar and let stand until bubbly. Add both flours and sea salt. With processor running, add enough of the additional 1/2 c. warm water until the mixture forms a ball that cleans the inside of the bowl. rocess until ball turns around bowl around 25 times. Turn off p rocessor and let dough stand several minutes.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball, cover, and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 15" strand and form into a pretzel shape. Let rise on a greased baking sheet for 30 minutes until almost doubled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, bring about 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. baking soda. Gently pick up the  pretzels (I use my fingers but you can also try a wide pancake spatula) and drop them in the boiling water 2 or 3 at a time. Let boil 15 minutes until they puff up.

Put pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush lightly with soymilk. Sprinkle coarse salt on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

I really like these served with ballpark mustard.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vegetarian Enchiladas

I just finished assembling this recipe from Native American cuisine expert Lois Ellen Frank in New Mexico Magazine. I chose it because it uses a lot of vegetables and a lot of green chiles. The recipe is HERE in an article about clay pot cooking - I substituted my own green chile sauce from Fiesta Vegan for the bottled sauce and I used two FYH vegan cheeses in lieu of the cotija. I'm going to end up cooking it in the microwave as it is still too hot here to turn on the oven. (It is actually cooling a bit outside but unfortunately it is still extra-hot in our house because the passive-solar design seems to collect more heat as the sun is lower in the sky with the change of seasons.)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll need some wood from our woodpile soon. Actually very soon as I'm dying to do some baking. I'm looking forward to Top Chef Desserts starting this Wednesday and I plan to cook a dessert I've never made before each week to go with the show. This week's dessert is going to be the Sticky Toffee Pudding from the vegan dessert book Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik. I bought the Kindle version of this cookbook and everything looks just wonderful. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Green Chiles from Hatch, New Mexico

The green chile harvest from the town of Hatch in southern NM has arrived all over the state. Hatch chiles are not a specific variety of chile pepper; there are different varieties grown for mild, medium, hot and extra hot. This year we bought two 35 lb. bags but I think we're going to get another one to last us through the year. We also get bags of roasted green chiles from our local CSA. Occasionally we buy them fresh and roast our own - HERE is a blog post on how I do that.

After each 35 lb bag is roasted, they are put in a plastic bag in a box. This steams off the skins and if you leave the chiles like that for a few hours, you'll get a nice smoky flavor as well.

Most people here just put the whole chiles, skins and all, in freezer bags and freeze them. They're really easy to peel once thawed. I learned in a class at Santa Fe School of Cooking to NEVER rinse them while peeling and seeding because you do lose some of the wonderful roasted flavor.

If you'd like to see what the process of roasting them looks like, I did a post last year that showed that - 70 Pounds of Hatch Green Chiles . My southwestern cookbook, Fiesta Vegan (available in print at Amazon and as a less expensive ebook on Lulu) has some recipes that use green chiles like my Green Chile Enchiladas with Chard, Chile Rellenos, and Pinto Beans and Calabacitas. I also have a few recipes hereon the blog that use green chiles: Hatch Green Chile Stew and Zucchiny and Hominy Soup.

More Ideas on What to Do with our Wonderful Hatch Green Chiles:

1. Eat them plain. Once at Santa Fe Farmer's Market a woman was putting chile pieces on crackers and sprinkling them with garlic salt. Anywhere they're roasting chiles you'll see plenty of customers taste-testing the whole roasted green chiles to make sure they get the amount of heat they want.
2. Rajas (caramelized onions with chile strips)
3. Pizza - by far my favorite way to eat green chiles
4. In rice and beans
5. In tofu migas and tofu scrambles
6. Chile Rellenos - I stuff them with a mashed potato mixture (recipe in Fiesta Vegan) but we've also used non-dairy cheese They're also good with non-dairy cream cheese inside
7. Lay thick strips inside homemade tamales
8. Enchiladas
9. Green chile sauce
10. Green chile stew
11. Posole
12. All types of bean and veggie chilis
13. Macaroni and Cheese with green chiles
14. Green chile risotto or a Mexican green rice w/cilantro
15. Grilled cheese and green chile sandwiches
16. Chili Mac
17. Cornbread
18. Yeast breads - I have a green chile cheese bread (not vegan) in my 1st cookbook 'Tis the Season.
19. Burritos - breakfast burritos, bean burritos, veggie and cheese burritos
20. Quesadillas
21. Salsa and Salsa Verde
22. Mashed potatoes with green chiles
23. Three Bean Salad
24. Tortilla Soup
25. Tostadas
26. Chimichangas
27. Calabacitas - zucchini with green chiles and corn
28. Chilaquiles
29. Guacamole
30. Finally, I've seen recipes for green chile apple pie which I need to try this fall.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Santa Fe Farmer's Market

I thought you'd like to see some photos from the Santa Fe Farmer's Market, voted one of the Top Ten Farmer's Markets in the US by USA Today. We went last Saturday when it was very hot and very crowded. (If you want to see any of these photos larger, just click on them.)

Many vendors sell jams and jellies; here in NM they often add chiles. My personal favorite combination is raspberries and chipotle.

This is the first time I've ever seen sugar cane at the Farmer's Market. Many vendors were selling Shishito Peppers and a few places had samples fried in oil for people to taste.

I really should have purchased some of this garlic; they had about 10 different varieties on hand.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Goddess Dressing

If I don't eat a big leafy salad every day, I feel weird. I am jealous of other people who can eat all sorts of junk food but I think salads are necessary to my existence.

My usual homemade salad dressing involves Trader Joe's lowfat vegan mayonnaise, low-sodium catsup, pickle relish, onion powder, and water to dilute it a bit. But I like variety so I am always looking for more recipes for homemade salad dressings, especially those without a lot of fat and salt.

I saw an interesting recipe in the current issue of Sunflower Farmer's Market magazine (free to shoppers at Sunflower Market) and here it is with a few modifications.

Green Goddess Dressing

Makes about 3/4 cup

3/4 cup thawed frozen peas
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. vegan mayonnaise (such as TJ's lowfat mayonnaise, Vegenaise, or Nayonaise)
1/4 cup fresh chives (I used garlic chives from my garden)
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Non-dairy milk to dilute to desired consistency
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender (except non-dairy milk) and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Add enough milk to make your salad dressing the right consistency.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Uptown Grower's Market

This morning we went to the Farmer's Market at ABQ Uptown. It may still be a little early here for a huge selection of veggies but the bird houses were quite spectacular.

The market was located in a parking lot just north of the uptown Trader Joe's.

I sampled some really hot green chile sauce and I nearly bought some watermelon juice.

After we checked out the market it was time to go to my happy place and ogle the copper cookware.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cazuelas, Sopes, & my CSA

Here are my purchases from my recent trip to the Spanish Table in Santa Fe. I bought two cazuelas (they need to be soaked in water before using but they said that after an overnight soaking you can even use them on the stovetop), a cute pitcher, and some beautiful spoons.

A while ago I bought some frozen Cacique brand sopes at Pro's Ranch Market in Albuquerque. I'd never tried them before but the package instructions said to deep fry them so I did. I'm not actually sure that was necessary; next time I want to try making them from scratch.  I served them topped with some Daiya vegan cheese, homemade pico de gallo, and pinto beans sauteed with Swiss chard from our CSA.

It is so ironic that the one time of year it is too hot for any fancy activities in the kitchen that we get the best produce from our CSA. Those are our first tomatoes of the year and those yellow round things are lemon cucumbers. They don't taste like lemons but do kind of look like them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Spanish Table in Santa Fe

This weekend I went to the Spanish Table in Santa Fe and they kindly let me take some photos of their beautiful tableware and cookware.

They have all sorts of wooden utensils and mortar and pestles.

They also stock a lot of Spanish cookbooks.

They also sell a lot of olive oils, olives, smoked paprika, peppers, etc., along with paella pans in all sizes.

I bought some cazuelas which I'll show you next time. I want to try a tapas menu soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lots of Cookbooks

I've been meaning to mention some of my new vegetarian cookbooks. If  possible, I buy cookbooks for my Kindle. I like being able to search easily through all my cookbooks for recipes using pineapple for instance and I also like not having a house full of overstuffed bookcases.


1. One of my favorite new cookbooks is 30-Minute Vegan by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray. So far I've made their Coconut-Lime-Banana Bread (seen above) which is seriously good. I had been looking through it and wasn't sure I wanted to buy it but I'm really glad I did. The recipes are heavy on the fruits and veggies which I like a lot.

2. Local Bounty: Vegan Seasonal Produce by Devra Gartenstein is filled with some great ideas to help me use up our CSA produce. Any cookbook with 8 recipes for collard greens is definitely going to come in handy in this house! The Kindle version does have some formatting issues with text sizes but I've also transferred the book to my laptop where it is easier to read.

3. The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest For Every Occasion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This book is divided into party menus and I was thinking of doing one of her menus for Fourth of July but was too busy. I look forward to trying some of her wonderful pizza recipes very soon.

4. American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen by Marilyn Diamond. I bought this when it was on sale for $2.99 and I think the recipes look good. I need to try her version of cashew whipped cream to go with all the berries we've been purchasing lately.


1. Viva Vegan: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers by Terry Hope Romero is a fascinating read. I plan to make a list of interesting ingredients from the book the next time I go to Pro's Ranch Market. I hope to start trying the recipes from the book soon. (It is still a little hot here to spend much time in the kitchen.)

2. Naturally Gourmet by Sandra Houghton is a self-published book to go with the tv show of the same name. It is a plant-based cooking show from the Seventh Day Adventist Hope Channel (Directv's channel 368). The book is large and spiral bound with color photographs of all the recipes. So far I've tried the veggie sandwiches with kalamata olive pesto.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Barbecue Cook-Off & Adobe Oven Bread at Isleta Pueblo

Today we went to a BBQ and chili cook-off at Isleta Lakes Recreation area south of Albuquerque. DH had some barbecue and I had a snow cone. 

Here is a little tractor rigged up to churn ice cream.

When you live in the hot desert, any amount of water can make you insanely happy.

When we were leaving the reservation we were fortunate to find a woman selling adobe oven bread. Most of the pueblos in New Mexico sell bread that is baked in outdoor horno ovens. It is a soft bread that usually has shortening in it. The baker called herself Doe to Go and was also selling sweet bread and pies.

Doe said her husband liked to shape the adobe bread into a lion's head shape. For more information on the adobe oven bread of New Mexico, HERE is an article that shows the process at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. If you'd like to try to make your own adobe bread in a regular oven, HERE is a good recipe.

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