Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eggplant Jambalaya

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup unsalted butter
3 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayanne pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 TB tom paste
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 TB Bragg's Amino Acids
1.5 cups white rice
3 cups veg stock
Beyond Sausage, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Heat oil an butter over med high heat.  Add celery, peppers, onion, salt and 1 tsp of Paprika.  Cook, stirring occasionally until veggies are browned (10 minutes). 
  2. Add eggplant, Thyme, Pepper, cayanne and remaining paprika.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring, until the eggplant softens (and begins to "melt").  
  3. Stir in garlic and tom paste and cook for 1 minute.  
  4. Add the amino acid, sausage and tomatoes, stir, cook 1 minute.  
  5. Add rice and stir to combine.  Add the veg stock and bring to low boil.  Remove from heat, cover and place in oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven (DO NOT UNCOVER) and let sit away from heat for 10-15 minutes.    Fluff with fork. 

Serve with crusty baguette and hot sauce. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Vegetarian/Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

Last week I realized I hadn't had Italian Wedding Soup since I stopped eating meat.  All the recipes I found used "vegan meatballs" and I didn't want that.  My favorite non-vegetarian version of this soup had chick pea sized meatballs and that got me thinking: WHY DON'T  I USE CHICK PEAS IN PLACE OF MEATBALLS?!?!?!?!  Here is what I came up with.  It took under an hour from start to finish.  The end result is a hearty vegetable soup that, with a salad and garlic bread, makes a satisfying meal.
extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, two minced
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced basil
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked ditalini or orzo pasta
1.5 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed until water runs clear *
1 8 oz package of spinach +
salt and pepper

  1.  Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onion and  the two minced garlic cloves and cook about 5 minutes.  
  2. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the oregano and basil and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the stock and parsley and bring to boil and reduce heat.
  4. Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the chick peas and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. In a saute pan with high heat add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the last garlic clove.  After clove starts to color, about 3-4 minutes, add all the spinach and cover.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Turn heat off and using tongs stir the spinach.  Cover and let sit off heat for another 2 minutes.
  6. Remove garlic clove from spinach and add the spinach to the soup.  Simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with grated Parmesan or Percorino cheese. If you don't add cheese this is a vegan recipe.

* This may seem annoying, but 1 can was not enough and 2 cans seemed like too many.  Use your left overs on a salad or something.  Or roast them.  Or just put 2 full cans in the soup.  It's up to you, I don't care. 

+ You could also use a pack of frozen chopped spinach.  Thaw it and then drain the water.  Skip step 5 and just add the thawed spinach to pot in step 6.