DDD #52 – Vegan Pasta & Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Creamy “Gorgonzola” and Pear

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

I saw these odd looking apple pears at the awesome Super King (the one in Van Nuys is FAR roomier than the San Fernando location & much more civilized) – and thought they would make a nice pizza topping.

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Ultimately – I burned out on pizza before using them so – using what I already had around – I came up with this pasta.

Anyway – this comes together in the same time it would take you to cook some dry pasta & it is full of surprising flavors.  The garlicky Brussels Sprouts & the sweet pear & the creamy cheese – it is really yummy.

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You can control how much cheese to use.  Blue cheeses are really powerful & I recommend going light-handed with them – and then you get the added benefit of a fairly healthy dish that still tastes decadent.

Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Gorgonzola and Pears

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

1 pear – any variety – seeded & cubed

10 Brussels Sprouts – sliced thin

2 garlic cloves – minced

Vegan Gorgonzola or other vegan blue cheese (or even vegan cream cheese) – in the quantity that suits your taste

Olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your pasta.  Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile – heat a little olive in a pan that is large enough to hold all the ingredients – including your pasta.  Saute the Brussels Sprouts over medium heat until they begin to brown – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & pear & saute another minute or so.  Stir to warm through & then add the pasta.  Cook long enough to incorporate & warm everything & then stir in the cheese.  Stir to get the cheese creamy & incorporated & then season with S&P.

Serve!  See?  EASY!

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DDD #51 – Vegan Red Coconut Curry Pad Thai Noodles with Crispy Garlic Tofu

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board HERE.

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

Red Coconut Curry Pad Thai Noodles with Crispy Garlic Tofu

serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 lb tofu

oil

3 TBS red curry paste

1 15 oz can lite coconut milk

1 TBS fresh ginger – minced

2 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS soy sauce

for the marinade

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS crushed red pepper

for the noodles

1 lb noodles (either fresh Pad Thai noodles or a pound of cooked & drained noodles of your choice)

1 small onion – diced

1-3 jalapenos – sliced

Your mix of fresh vegetables (I used 1 15 oz can of baby corn, 1 small can diced water chestnuts, 1 cup broccoli florets, 1 cup chopped purple cabbage, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup sliced snap peas, 1 cup frozen peas)

Garnish: lime wedges, cilantro, sesame seeds and maybe another can of warmed coconut milk with red curry paste whisked in to use as a gravy over the noodles – for those that like a saucy dish)

DIRECTIONS

Optional – cut the tofu in half so you have two large squares about 3/4 inch thick.  Put them between paper towels & cover with a heavy pan for 30 minutes to release some moisture.

Cube the tofu.  Whisk the marinade together & marinate the tofu for 30 minutes or longer.

Heat a TBS or oil & over high heat – fry the drained tofu.  Let it sit a few minutes on each side before turning until it is well browned.  Set aside.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a pan & saute the onion & jalapeno.  When soft, add the remaining vegetables (retaining the frozen peas to add later) and saute a few minutes.  Add garlic, ginger & soy sauce.  Stir to combine.Add curry paste & coconut milk.  Stir & add fresh or cooked noodles.  If it gets too dry – add some water.  Heat through.  Stir in the frozen peas & heat through.

Plate each serving & top with the crispy tofu.

Garnish as you desire.

I warmed another can of coconut milk & whisked in more red curry to drizzle over each serving.

Devour!

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pretty much everybody has a pumpkin or two around at this time of year.  After they have served their Halloween purpose – there are a lot of great reasons to re-purpose them.  Reason number one – fresh pumpkin puree (seen above).  That can be used in many recipes – soup, pasta sauce, pie filling, panna cottagnocchi, dog biscuits, dog treats, and even as a healthy additive to your dog’s dinner.  Pumpkin is a great canine diarrhea cure.   You can toast the seeds (seen blow) as a healthy snack.  The recipe for toasting the seeds is HERE.

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So – today I made this dish.  It is delicately flavored & creamy & delicious.  I made this vegan but real cheese would also be nice.  You could use canned pumpkin but I made mine fresh.

Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pumpkin (I used two small pie pumpkins & got about 4 cups of puree from them)

Water

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops off & then pumpkins in half (or quarter them, if your pumpkin is large), seed them (keeping the seeds for roasting!) & roast for about 40-50 minutes or until the skin is soft & the meat is fork tender.

Let them cool a bit & then scoop out the meat & puree in a food processor or blender.  I added about 1 cup of water to mine to thin it enough to blend.  Add a bit of S&P.

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked & drained

3 cups pumpkin puree (recipe above – or canned unsweetened)

20 fresh sage leaves

4 oz (vegan) cream cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup of (vegan) Parmesan

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

2 TBS (vegan) butter (or olive oil)

2-5 oz coconut milk

1 – 3 tsp crushed red pepper (optional or to taste)

S&P

Potential garnish: some reserved fried & crumbled sage, chopped parsley, grated (vegan) cheese or Parmesan

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DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter & fry the sage a few minutes being careful not to burn it.  Drain them on a paper towel.

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Add the pumpkin puree to the sage butter & add the rest of the ingredients – except the coconut milk – and maybe reserving some fried sage for garnish.  Once the other ingredients are combined – add as much coconut milk as you like – either to taste or to achieve the level of creaminess you desire.  My puree was pretty thin so I only added about 2 oz of coconut milk.  Season with S&P.

Add the pasta & heat through.

Serve with garnish of choice.

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Vegan Fried Tofu Tacos with Purple Cabbage & Heirloom Carrot Slaw

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Tacos are kind of like pizza in that they are endlessly customizable & virtually everyone loves them.  I have no great revelation here except that it is kind of hard to pan fry breaded tofu & have it look pretty but who cares?  These are TACOS & nobody cares what they look like – only what they taste like.  And these were very tasty.  Because the tofu was fried & I added avocado – I wanted to keep the rest pretty light – so I added no cheese or cream sauce but you certainly could. I made a very simple slaw with very little vegan mayo in it & it worked great because it added color & crunch but not much in the way of calories.  If calories don’t concern you, you could make the slaw with a creamier dressing, add more mayo or even use a different dressing altogether  – like an Asian miso salad dressing or something.  As I said – tacos are endlessly customizable so make these to suit yourself.  One pound of tofu will likely fry up to make enough filling for 6-10 tacos – depending on the size of your tortillas & your appetites.  Like with pizza – I am just making suggestions here as to ingredients but you can add ones you want, lose ones you hate, and fill them as densely or sparingly as you please.  They are tacos – almost impossible to fuck up.

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Purple Cabbage & Heirloom Carrot Slaw

Makes enough slaw for 6-10 tacos

INGREDIENTS

1/4 large head purple cabbage – chopped or grated (I used the grating blade in my food processor)

5 heirloom (or regular) carrots – grated (I used the grating blade in my food processor)

5 scallions – sliced finely

1 small bunch cilantro – chopped

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 cup vegan mayo

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Mix everything up & season with S&P.  Add more mayo if you like a wetter slaw

Set aside.

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Vegan Fried Tofu Tacos

makes 6-10 tacos (as far as tofu goes – the other ingredient ratios are up to you)

1 lb extra firm tofu – cubed

Corn tortillas

Avocado – sliced

Tomato – diced

Cilantro

1 TBS sriracha

1 TBS agave nectar

1/2 cup corn meal

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

S&P

1/4 cup olive oil

Potential garnish:  grated cheese, sour cream, diced onion, corn, black beans, cilantro, jalapenos, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the cubed tofu in the sriracha & agave.  In a large bowl, mix the corn meal with the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder & some S&P.  Toss the tofu in the corn meal until it is well covered.

Heat the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all the tofu – or do it in shifts.  If the tofu is too crowded – it might start breaking up.  Fry – carefully tuning once in a while – until it is all browned.  Never fear if some breading falls off.  You are gonna drop lots of goodies on top of the tofu so pretty is not important.

I like to warm my corn tortillas over the burners of my stove until they get some char marks.  You can do this – or not – but I recommend it.

Assemble your tacos! Layer some slaw, then tofu, tomato, avocado & cilantro and/or whatever toppings you have chosen.  Shove them in  your face.  Swill a beer.  Eat more tacos.  Have no regrets!

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Vegan Crispy & Creamy Roasted Potatoes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Potatoes.  Is there anything more amazing?  Fried.  Mashed.  Roasted.  Baked.  Stuffed.  Inexpensive.  Yummy!

These guys today are crispy on the outside but creamy to the point of melting in your mouth on the inside.  I, personally, think thyme is an under-appreciated herb – and fresh thyme is critical here.  I used Earth Balance vegan butter & truffle bouillon – but any flavor stock will do.  *NOTE: Cut the potatoes thicker than I did & you will have more distinction between the crispy, crusty edges & the creamy centers.  This is an easy dish & a lovely side to almost anything.  I pan-fried the leftovers to restore both heat & crispiness.

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Vegan Crispy & Creamy Roasted Potatoes

Feeds 4-6 as a side – depending on appetites

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 to 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled or not – I did not peel them) Yukon Golds are creamier than other white potatoes but other potatoes could work – especially naturally creamy sweet potatoes.

4 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS fresh thyme (extra for garnish)

1 cup vegan stock

1-4 garlic cloves – minced (optional)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.   Slice the potatoes 1/2 to 1-inch thick – depending on how how much creamy center you like.  I cut mine at about 1/2 inch – and I think I will go thicker next time. Cut & toss the round ends away so that all your slices are flat on both sides.

Melt the butter with the thyme & add some s&p.  Toss with the potatoes  Lay the potatoes in a single layer on a metal cooking sheet with a rim.  Roast for 20-22 minutes – depending on thickness – until the bottoms begin browning upward.  Flip them & return to roast another 10-15 minutes.  Flip them again & then add a thin layer of stock (you might not need it all) & the garlic (if using).  Cook another 10-15 minutes or until the brother has reduced a bit & until the potatoes are cooked through & the tops & bottoms are golden.

Serve with more fresh thyme.  The sooner you serve them – the more they will retain the crispy/creamy contrast.  You can drizzle some warm stock on them, too, but that might reduce crispiness.  Still – it will enhance creaminess – so it is your call.  Add more S&P.  Devour!

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Potato Pizza with Rosemary & Garlic Thyme Beurre Blanc and a BONUS – Crispy Baked Potato Chips!!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – so – I will post my accidental first homemade chip recipe.  I was roasting some thin-sliced potatoes for my potato pizza & accidentally overcooked them.  WAY to crunchy for a pizza but amazing just on their own.

Homemade Crispy Salt & pepper Baked Potato Chips

1 medium potato makes one serving of chips

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes – sliced about 1/8 inch thick

Olive Oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss with just enough olive oil to coat & some S&P.  Lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer – no overlapping.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes – depending on the thickness of the chips & the variety of potato you used.

They are done when they look about like this & are crispy as they are supposed to be.  They are ready right out of the oven.

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Potato Pizza with Rosemary & Garlic Thyme Beurre Blanc

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I use this HERE)

Grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative) – I used about 1 cup

Olive oil

1 potato – washed & sliced 1/8 inch thick

Fresh rosemary

4 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

1-2 shallots – minced (I used about 1/4 of a small red onion)

4 garlic cloves – minced

Fresh thyme

1/4 cup white wine

1 TBS fresh lemon juice (never use that chemical stuff they sell jarred or in that plastic lemon)

1 vegetable bouillon cube

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss with just enough olive oil to coat & some S&P.  Lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer – no overlapping.

Bake for about 20 minutes – or until they are soft & JUST beginning to brown a bit – maybe a tad browner than I let mine get (as I was spooked my the chip mishap – despite the happy ending).  Remove from heat & set aside.

Increase oven heat to 500 degrees (or the highest temperature it goes to).

In a stock pot, melt ONE TBS of the butter over medium heat & add the shallot (or onion), garlic & thyme.  Stir & let it cook until it begins to brown.  Add the white wine, bouillon cube & lemon juice.  Let it reduce a bit & get thick.  Then – add the remaining 3 TBS butter – one at a time – & whisk them in.  Set the beurre blanc aside.

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Assemble the pizza!

Grease a cooking sheet or use parchment paper.

Roll out the dough & put it on the cooking sheet.  Pierce the dough here & there to avoid it bubbling up too much.

Layer with the beurre blanc, then cheese, potato slices & some rosemary.

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Bake this for about 10-12 minutes or until the crust is crisp & golden & the cheese is melted.

Slice it up & rejoice in this garlicky goodness!

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Vegan Crispy Chickpea, Caper & Lemon Pasta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Some recipes are hard to photograph.  This one should not have been but I cannot help but feel I haven’t succeeded it translating visually how simple & delicious this is.  A few simple & easy-to-find ingredients & this is the kind of dish movie characters whip up in their kitchen late at night after a romantic dalliance.  The ratio or capers to chickpeas to lemon is kind of a matter of personal preference but I will tell you how much I used.  I LOVE lemon & I LOVE capers so – keep that in mind.

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Crispy Chickpea, Caper & Lemon Pasta

Feeds 2 well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta

1 cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas

1/2 cup panko

1/4 cup capers

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS lemon zest

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

olive oil

S&P

Parsley and/or basil – chopped as garnish

Caperberries – as garnish (optional)

Parmesan (or vegan Parmesan) – optional but I did not use any cheese

Crushed Red Pepper – optional if you prefer some heat

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

I am IN LOVE with parchment paper!  It makes clean up so easy & NOTHING sticks to it.  If you have some – line a cooking sheet with it.  Otherwise – treat the pan with cooking spray.

Toss the chickpeas, garlic, panko & capers in a drizzle of olive oil – maybe 1 TBS or so.  Bake at 400 for twenty minutes.

Cook the pasta as per box & drain.

Toss the hot pasta & the warm chickpea mixture together with the lemon zest & juice.  Add S&P to taste.  Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.  Serve garnished with the chopped basil and/or parsley & some caperberries – if you so desire.

You can add Parmesan (or vegan Parmesan) or crushed red pepper if you are of that mind.

Eat that shit up!

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