lemon soufflés with raspberry sauce

Happy Vegetarian Monday!

The following recipe is probably more suited for summertime, but it’s equally good in the dead of winter. Surprisingly easy, too – I’ve been scared of soufflés, hearing they fall and are ruined quite easily, but these were fairly easy to make and they turned out beautifully: light, fluffy, and delicious.

the INGREDIENTS:

for the raspberry sauce:

8 oz. frozen raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice

for the ramekins:

2 to 3 tbsp butter, softened
3 to 4 tbsp granulated sugar

for the lemon pastry cream:

4 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 oz. (1 tbsp) butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

for the meringue:

8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 oz (1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar

the RECIPE:

  1. Make the raspberry sauce first – you can simmer it while you make the lemon pastry cream and meringue. Combine the raspberries, lemon juice, corn starch, and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. The original recipe called for it to cook for only 1-2 minutes; I cooked mine down for 20 or so. Either way, it’ll turn out well.
  2. Get the ramekins ready! Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter the inside of eight 6oz ramekins (or six slightly bigger ones). Coat the insides with sugar, knocking out any excess.
  3. Make the pastry cream. Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt in a saucepan. Over medium heat, whisk until the mixture starts bubbling. This should take about 5 minutes – don’t worry if it’s still lumpy. Continue simmering and whisking until the mixture is smooth and thick, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla until smooth. Take your saucepan and place it in a larger bowl full of ice water, and whisk often until the mixture is cooled to room temperature.
  4. Begin making the meringue while the pasty cream is cooling. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) on high speed until foamy. This should take 30-45 seconds. Add the cream of tartar while mixing, and continue beating until the bubbles become smaller and the whites start to form soft peaks, which should happen after another 30-60 seconds. With the beater still running, start adding the confectioners sugar 1 tbsp at a time and continue beating until the egg whites start forming glossy, pointed, stiff peaks when you remove the beater. This should take an additional 30 seconds or so. After this, if your egg whites still aren’t forming stiff peaks, finish whisking by hand to avoid over-beating. Stir the pastry cream with a silicone spatula to loosen it, then stir in a third of the meringue until combined. Gently fold in another third of the meringue by starting at the edge of the bowl and slowly bringing the spatula up through the middle of the pastry cream and then back to the edge of the bowl, rotating the bowl and repeating this motion until the meringue is mostly incorporated. It’s okay if there are a few white streaks at this point. Add the remaining meringue and fold until just combined, leaving no white streaks visible.
  5. Assemble soufflés. Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Put the ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of a soufflé comes out with just the tip still wet. Serve immediately with the sauce.

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Great Sage.

I have been wanting to go to Great Sage, a vegan restaurant in Clarksville, for a long time. The menu looks delicious, and it’s not apparent it is, in fact, a vegan restaurant until you read it on the inside of the menu sitting in the place. (Unless you go on their website, because it says VEGAN RESTAURANT in a giant banner across the page.)

The food was delicious, please admire the wealth of food I ordered with my Mom one lovely lunch outing. Although the atmosphere was a bit snooty, the food was definitely worth it. I can’t wait to go back to try one of their green lentil and butternut squash burgers.

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Spring Rolls

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Chai Latte with choice of soy, rice, or coconut milk

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Raw Falafel

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Samosas!

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eggplant parmigiana with vodka sundried tomato sauce

Happy Vegetarian Monday! It’s the start of a brand-new week and, unless you’re Dani, you’ll be at work for most of it. To keep up your strength, you should eat. A lot. Start with this week’s delicious eggplant parmigiana!

You will need:

  • two ripe eggplants
  • a large can of plum tomatoes
  • a small can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes
  • black pepper & red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • shirataki tofu noodles
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • panko bread crumbs
  • makings for garlic bread – earth balance butter, heaps of garlic, a loaf of crusty french bread

1. Mince the garlic. In a medium sized pan, toast the garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. While the garlic is browning, blend the plum and diced tomatoes (with juices) with the sundried tomatoes in a blender. When the garlic is done, add the tomatoes to the pan, and add the vodka. Add a dash of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir and let simmer for one hour.

2. While the sauce is cooking, peel and slice the eggplant. Coat each piece with olive oil, then coat with panko bread crumbs.

3. Fill a frying pan with olive oil for frying the eggplant. Cook each piece until lightly browned.

4. Open the bag(s) of tofu noodles. Pour the noodles, along with the water in the bag, into a pot and cook on low until hot.

5. Cut the french bread into thin slices. Spead the earth balance butter liberally over the slices, and either mince approximately six cloves of garlic or put them through a garlic press. Slather the bread with garlic. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.

6. Put the noodles on a plate, lay the eggplant slices on top, and pour the sauce over top. If you like, top with daiya mozzarella style cheese or leave plain. Enjoy with one or two (or ten) delicious pieces of garlic bread. And wine.

Happy eating!

the senoritas

Moosewood: Vegetarian Vernacular

Happy Labor Day! Katie is in Vermont, and I spent the weekend in the lovely town of Ithaca, surrounded by waterfalls, hippies, and vegetarian cooking. More specifically, Moosewood, a world famous vegetarian restaurant.

Moosewood came to be in 1973, and was one of the first restaurants of its kind, focusing on nutritious, natural, vegetarian food. It was named one of the “thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century” by Bon Appetit magazine, and has written 12 internationally acclaimed cookbooks. The restaurant is run by Moosewood Collective, a group of 19 individuals who share responsibilities and tasks to run the company.

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I was so engrossed in the food, I forgot to get photos of our entrees, and the best part of the whole meal: the vegan chocolate cake.

Not only were the cocktails excellent and food delicious, but our waiter (Todd) was very pleasing to the eye. *sigh. It’s a shame to leave Ithaca and the Moosewood behind.

lettuce.

Iceberg lettuce is a waste. It should be banished to the nether regions of the vegetable kingdom, where its watery carcass will be left to rot and reflect on its pointless existence.

On the other side of the lettuce spectrum, however, we have beautifully green, tasty, crunchy leaves, full of nutrients and vitamins and goodness. Green leaf, red leaf, romaine. There’s also something called asparagus lettuce, which is a mystery.

THIS is lettuce.

Home-grown (by our dad in his vegetable garden), it’s what we’ll be eating all week in our salads. He brought it over this morning, handing us a large bag filled with lettuce he’d handpicked an hour before and, excitedly, we each grabbed a handful and stuffed it in our mouths. Unfortunately, he hadn’t washed it, so we each ended up with a mouthful of dirt.

homemade vegetable pot pie

Perfect for a rainy Monday night.

You will need:

  • 3 small onions, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 small yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • 8 oz frozen peas
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (we use a delicious vegan bouillon from Whole Foods)
  • Course ground black pepper and sea salt
  • Several pinches of flour to thicken
  • 1 box of amazing pie crust from Whole Foods (picture to follow)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Peel carrots (but not the potatoes, the skin is tasty), and chop them into pot pie sized wedges, about the size of a nickel. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and course ground black pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, covered with aluminum foil.

2. While the potatoes and carrots are roasting, sauté the minced onion, garlic, and celery in a saucepan/pot for 15-20 minutes. Add the freshly chopped herbs, sauté for another 5 minutes.

3. After the potatoes and carrots are done roasting, add them to the pot with the vegetable broth and remaining vegetables. Add several pinches of flour, and simmer for about 40 minutes until it has a nice, thick consistency.

4. You should now have a lovely stew-like mixture of deliciousness to top with the crust of your choosing.

We would give you our homemade crust recipe, except we made it out of buckwheat flour and it tasted like gritty sh*t. Does anyone out there have a good vegan crust recipe that doesn’t use an artificial ‘buttery’ spread?

roasted sweet potato & carrot soup

Welcome to soup-er Monday! I had to work late every night this past week – which, with a commute like ours, makes for a very, very long day. Luckily, Dani was wonderful and greeted me at the door each evening with a glass of wine and a delicious homemade dinner.* One night, I walked in the door to roasted sweet potato and carrot soup, which Dani made using really fresh produce we’d picked up at the farmer’s market. To make this scrumptiously simple soup, you will need:

  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 enormous carrots
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • cinnamon (~4 shakes)
  • a blender
  1. Cut the sweet potato and carrots into small pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. While the sweet potato and carrots are roasting, saute the onion and cinnamon in a pot on low/medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes and carrots are roasted, add to the pot with the onions.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Puree the mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary, and reheat.
  6. Eat and enjoy – preferably with a good book and a glass of wine.

* beaver helped cook, or so he claims. I don’t believe it – I’m positive he pretended to help just so he could attack the undersides of the kitchen cabinets.

quinoa à la senoritas

Beaver doesn’t like quinoa.

As we settled down for dinner last night, a big bowl of quinoa nestled nearby for seconds, beaver was lurking in the corner of the room, suspicious. He was not in a particularly good mood, having seized a box of graham crackers the night before and eaten them all, mistaking them for wood chips. After moaning piteously and making an enormous scene in which he demanded special attention and extra chopsticks for comfort, beaver had disappeared into his blanket and refused to come out for the rest of the night.

So there we were: the two of us, the bowl of quinoa, and beaver. To allow beaver his privacy, we switched on new girl and watched him from the corners of our eyes. He crept closer and closer, until finally he leapt, throwing himself on the bowl of quinoa and, after stuffing his cheeks like an oversized chipmunk, scuttled back to a corner to eat his treat and gloat, no doubt, about his victorious food snatching.

We were watching him carefully at this point, to see his reaction, as beaver had never eaten quinoa before. A look of disgust spread over beaver’s face as he chewed, and he started spitting the quinoa onto the floor. “Beaver, no!” we shouted as we rushed towards him. “Not on the floor!” Instead of listening, beaver flung himself towards the bathroom, leaving a trail of half-chewed quinoa in his wake, his little legs moving doubletime to escape our outstretched hands as we ran after him. We finally cornered him, squeezed behind the toilet, eyes wide and a triumphant smirk on his whiskers. He was filthy, covered in quinoa bits, so we gave him a bath and settled him into bed with his blanket and a wooden coaster.

Beavers are not easy pets.

And finally, our quinoa recipe – not fit for beavers, but tasty for humans!

You will need:*

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup of pre-rinshed quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (we like vegan vegetable bouillion by rapunzel)
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh (or dried) parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh (or dried) thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add in the quinoa and onion. Cook together for 10-15 minutes, until both quinoa and onion are browned.
  2. Stir in the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Toss the quinoa and onion mixture with the garlic, salt, thyme, parsley, and fresh lemon juice.
  4. Enjoy!

Prep time: 20-25 minutes. Serves 3-4 (or two if you are hearty eaters).

Happy eating!

the senoritas

*recipe adapted from this one.

put your berries where your mouth is.

Happy Vegetarian Monday! Every morning, Dani and I make berry shakes, pour them into to-go cups, and take them with us to the train station. Except on the weekend, of course, when we sip them leisurely out of coffee mugs. We don’t have an actual recipe; we just toss a random mix of things into the blender and they taste slightly different every day, but always delicious. They’re super healthy and a great way to start the morning.

You will need:

  • 2 cups frozen fruit (mango, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, etc)
  • a handful of chia seeds
  • a tablespoon of almond butter
  • 3 cups of hemp milk (or soy or almond – we like the flavor of hemp milk the best)
  • a squeeze of agave nectar
  • several squeezes of flax oil
  • fresh lime juice

* All measurements are approximate.

The cast of characters:

1. Put everything in the blender. Play around – use more raspberries one day, and more blueberries the next. Put in less almond butter. Add more agave nectar.

2. Blend, pour, and go! Oh, and enjoy!

happy breakfasting!

the senoritas