Beyond Meat Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili with Beyond Beef – Frozen Dinner – Part 3

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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.

4-27a-16 (24)

4-27a-16 (26)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-5-16 (18)

Ever have a bad day?  Did your dog die?  Your woman left you for your best friend?  Your horse run off with that wild stallion?  Broke your last git-tar string?  Coffee run out?  Whiskey, too?   Dusty trail whipping sand in your face & tumblweeds frolicking ever-where – mocking your pain?  Ten gallon hat feeling 5 gallons flat?  Feeling slow on the draw?  Plum outta chaw?   That saloon whore left you feeling itchy in places nobody wants to be itchy?  Has your get up & go just got up & went?  Has one final-straw motherfucker used the phrase “assless chaps” – as if ASSLESS was not the fucking DEFINITION of chaps – otherwise they’d just be called fucking PANTS?

Need a little comfort food to go with your moonshine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well – giddy-up, cowboy!

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili here today.

4-27a-16 (1)

4-27-16 (32)

4-27a-16 (6)

4-27a-16 (14)

Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  And an even lower calorie count (compared to the Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass) – with only 270 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a squirt (or ten) of Crystal hot sauce to this & it was perfect!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was hearty for 270 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  Tough to cook on a campfire but you are probably glamping, anyway.  So far – Beyond Meat has hit it out of the park with the three I’ve tried.  My review of the fourth coming soon!

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count.  Win-win-win!

4-27a-16 (3)

4-27a-16 (9)

4-27a-16 (21)

4-27a-16 (27)

Beyond Meat Vegetarian Vietnamese Lemongrass with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 2

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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.

4-26-16 (24)

4-26-16 (31)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-5-16 (18)

Ever have a bad day? Just found out you need a root canal? Someone blurted out a spoiler for your favorite show? Donated all your “skinny clothes” because you finally accepted that they will never fit again (or even ever come back into fashion)? Somebody put a big dent in your car & didn’t leave a note? Huge zit appeared the day before a blind date? Saw an old photo of yourself that you used to HATE & now you wish you still looked half that good?  Tried to twerk & threw your back out?

Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Vietnamese Lemongrass here today.

4-26-16 (21)

4-26-16 (35)

4-26-16 (22)

Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  Despite the slightly higher calorie count (compared to the Korean BBQ) – but still only 350 calories – it was lighter than the BBQ dish.  I like my food spicy so I added a TBS or two of sambal oelek to this & it was perfect!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 20 grams!

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count.  Win-win-win!

4-26-16 (23)

4-26-16 (29)

Beyond Meat Korean BBQ with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 1

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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.

4-25-16 (87)

4-25-16 (86)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-5-16 (18)

Ever have a bad day?  Flat tire on a rainy night?  Take the blame for someone else’s error at work?  Not get that job you really wanted?  Stuck in traffic for hours?  Diet all week & step on the scale only to discover you have gained two pounds?  Spend the day trying on bathing suits & now you feel like jumping off a bridge?  Run into an ex with their amazing new “other half” and you haven’t showered in two days?   Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Korean BBQ here today.

4-25-16 (80)

4-25-16 (81)

4-25-16 (89)

Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  It has just the right level of sweet meets mildly spicy & loaded with chunks of Beyond Chicken, rice, edamame & kimchi.   Only 320 calories & it is easy, quick & delicious!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!   And it is surprisingly filling for such a low calorie count.

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!

4-25-16 (82)

Annie & Dan Shannon’s Vegan Yankee Pot Roast Dinner

3 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

images (1)download (1)

~

5-5-15 (20)

5-5-15 (32)

bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

5-5-15 (10)

So – I got this awesome cookbook you see above and I am very excited to present to you the first recipe that I tried from it – their Yankee Pot Roast Dinner.  The book is full of gorgeous photos & easy to follow recipes but it was the image below that set my mouth to watering immediately.

5-5-15 (18)

That looks so much like meat!   It looks so warm & comforting and VEGAN!  So – I made it today.  Easy!  Very easy.  (Please note – the photo above is from the Shannons’ cookbook – the rest are pictures of my effort to recreate that.)  I only made two modifications to the recipe – in that I used truffle bouillon rather than vegan beef (because I had it) and I added some Earth Balance butter to the top as it baked because it wasn’t browning the way I wanted it to.   Oh – and I used a full pound of baby potatoes which was a good thing because I nearly ate them all as the “roast” baked.  This is a delicious recipe & the leftovers could make a nice sandwich.  To those unfamiliar with meat made from vital wheat gluten – the texture is more like a dense stuffing than any real red meat but the flavors are earthy & aromatic and, ultimately, very satisfying.  Loads of gravy might be a nice addition – so if you have a favorite vegan gravy recipe – maybe whip some up.  Or use my VERY easy vegan gravy.

11-29-13-30

5-5-15 (36) 5-5-15 (41)

5-5-15 (9)

Annie & Dan Shannon’s Vegan Yankee Pot Roast Dinner

INGREDIENTS

Above – in the book.

5-5-15 (7) 5-5-15 (8) 5-5-15 (11)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the over to 400 degrees.

The instructions for the vegetables can be seen in the book above.

To make the roast – in a large bowl – combine all the ingredients from the vital wheat gluten through to the sage.  In another bowl – whisk the remaining three liquid ingredients together.  Blend the wet & dry ingredients by hand until you have a spongy, springy ball of dough.  Form the dough into a round, flat loaf  & carefully place it on top of the vegetables so it is slightly covered by the boiling broth (my broth was not deep enough) – cover it & simmer it for about 15 minutes.

5-5-15 (13)

5-5-15 (15)

5-5-15 (17)

5-5-15 (19)

Add a ladle of broth to a separate casserole dish & carefully transfer your roast into it using oven mitts & spatulas.  Bake the roast for about 15-20 minutes.  The book says, “Monitor the roast, basting it a few times with the broth while it’s baking.  Remove the roast from the oven once it develops a crispy golden-brown crust, 15-20 minutes.”

I cooked mine for closer to an hour & added vegan butter to the top of it 20 minutes before I took it out – to aid in browning.

Serve with the vegetables & few ladles of broth.

I found this recipe to be very easy, my house smells like Thanksgiving & I have a big casserole dish of yummy, vegan comfort food.  I cannot wait to try another recipe from the book.

If you want to buy the book – it is available many places – including Amazon.

The authors can be followed at:

www.MeettheShannons.com 

Vegan Foods = Joy! on Facebook

@AJShannon on Twitter

@MeettheShannons on Instagram

5-5-15 (34) 5-5-15 (39)

5-5-15 (21)

New England Irish Boiled Dinner (Corned Beef & Cabbage)

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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

images (1)download (1)

~

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.

~

Image

I am a vegetarian.  Not the strictest ever – as I will eat Worcestershire sauce (anchovies) and that sort of thing & I do not get all freaky if my veggie dog kisses a real hot dog on the grill.  But I haven’t had boiled dinner (as we called it when I was growing up) in a good 35 years or more and I certainly have never made it.  I wasn’t going to make it yesterday, either, but I had a small group to feed and a few very finicky palates.  I couldn’t find anything that one guest and I had in common – food-wise – except pizza & spaghetti and I didn’t want to do that for a St. Patrick’s Day meal.  I decided to make the Smoky Guinness Mac & Cheese with Crispy Fried Onions

Image

and I was considering some sort of vegan colcannon and maybe a vegetarian Irish stew but it was already 80 degrees in LA yesterday by 10AM.  All that cooking seemed oppressive in the heat.  Then I saw the brisket/corned beef thingies and saw that I could buy 4 lbs of the stuff for $10.  Fuck it, I thought.  The directions literally read “Boil for 2 hours.”  I knew I could pull that off.  So – I put it in my basket with some potatoes, carrots, cabbage & turnips & headed out.

My 4 lb piece of meat fed 6 people – what with the mac & cheese and the boiled veggies.

The recipe is thus:

Corned beef with spices in the bag

Cabbage

Carrots

Potatoes

Turnips

Put the meat (and whatever “juice” and spices (usually pepper corns & bay leaves) in a pot with enough water to cover it by an inch.  Bring to a rapid boil & reduce to simmer for two hours.

Peel your veggies & cut them into big chunks.  I cut the cabbage into 6 wedges with the core in tact.  When you are about 20-30 minutes from eating – add the veggies to the meat & let simmer until tender.

I cooked some veggies separate with a vegetable bouillon cube or two, peppercorns & bay leaves so I could eat some.

Then – cut the meat in the opposite direction from the grain.  Put it on a platter with the boiled vegetables & serve.  When I grew up – the traditional condiment for this dish was French’s yellow mustard.  Period.  Seriously.  Yesterday – I ate my veggies with a jalapeno mustard.  All the charm of tradition with just a little kick.

And there you have it!

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!

Image

Image

Image

Kraft Cauliflower No-Mac and Cheese

6 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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.

~

I had this idea in the bathtub last night.  Relaxing & sipping wine in candlelight – I sat up with a start!

Image

What if I made my favorite crack-like meal – Kraft macaroni & cheese – but used ONLY cauliflower?   I Googled the idea a bunch & tried to see if someone else had done it.  What I found is some scandal that Kraft puts powdered cauliflower in one of their boxed dinners.  I’m not sure if folks are mad that something that could be touted (in a stretch) as “healthy” is being added to the toxic soup that is a Kraft Mac & Cheese dinner or if they are mad that Kraft is claiming that powdered cauliflower counts as a veggie – nor do I care.  WTF, people?  If you want your kids to eat veggies – fucking feed them veggies.  And – anyone that goes to MacDonalds or eats Doritos or Funyuns or Kraft diners (as I sometimes do – as much as I try not to) and then whines that the food isn’t healthy enough or made them fat – to you I also say, “What the fuck?”  Didn’t the minor chemical burns in your mouth from eating those things (especially Funyuns) tip you off?  Or Morgan Spurlock’s near liver failure after 21 days of eating McDonalds?   Or pop artist, Ron English, & his supersized Ronald?

Image

(photo stolen from the internet)

If you are unaware of Ron English, by the way, you should change that.  He is an incredible fine artist & social satirist & street artist.  From billboard pirating to vinyl dolls to tremdous paintings – he is a prolific genius.  Some more samples (photos from Ron’s site –  https://www.popaganda.com/ ):

ImageImageImageImage

At any rate – those junk foods are as widely known to be JUNK as cigarettes are known to cause cancer.   So – save your whining for the real food issues out there – like GMO labeling etc and a corrupted FDA and – either embrace the poisons & their glorious nutrition vacuums or eschew them.

OR – do what I did and keep ALL the cancer-causing dyed toxic powder waste of a Kraft “cheese” packet & then save a few calories by losing the only actual food item in the box (the macaroni) and replace it with a real, live, honest to God VEGGIE!

I am telling you – I was so excited about this idea that I left directly from my 8:15am tae-bo class & headed, looking like a drown rat, to Ralph’s & bought the things I needed – namely the cauliflower & milk – as I always have Kraft & butter in my house.

And – when this was all said and done & I sat down to shovel it into my face – the only regret I had was that I hadn’t used the entire head of cauliflower.  I used half – trying to match the bulk that the macaroni would have provided.  As it turned out – I feel there was enough of the buttery sauce to accommodate an entire medium head.  The sauce did seems a tad watery, though.  Maybe the starch from the pasta thickens that up.  In an effort to remedy that, I added about 1/4 cup of a mixed grated cheese (mozzarella & cheddar) that I had.  I didn’t notice much of a difference & decided not to add more – lest I do serious damage to the integrity of my experiment.  Still – after I photographed the bejesus out of my erotically orange results (Yes.  Yes – I feel that way about Kraft dinner.  Live with it.) – I noticed that the remaining sauce in the pan I used to mix it the whole shebang up in had thickened a bit.  So – I added that to my neon-colored cauliflower before I devoured the whole thing.  And then – I began to actually drink the sauce that was left in my bowl once the cauliflower was gone – like one would drink the milk left behind in a cereal bowl – until I realized I was really just drinking chemical-enriched butter & reluctantly put the bowl in the sink.

So – all in all – I would recommend this very much.  I ate the whole of that once-powdery then buttery orange nectar (or the bulk of it) and I sit here writing now, an hour later, without a stomach ache nor a sense of bloat nor am I awash with the traditional accompanying guilt.  If you like Kraft & you like cauliflower – you must try this.  Or – if you are a parent really trying to get kids to eat veggies – this might be just the culinary training wheels required – especially if you include the pasta.

Image

Kraft Cauliflower No-Mac and Cheese

INGREDIENTS

1 box Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

4 TBS butter

1/4 cup milk (or less)

1/4 cup (or more) grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella or something else bland) – OPTIONAL

1 medium head cauliflower – cut into florets

Image

DIRECTIONS

Boil the cauliflower until tender.  Five minutes or less.

Image

Melt the butter in a sauce pan & add the milk & grated cheese (if using) and the glorious Kraft cheese powder.  Whisk smooth.

ImageImageImage

Drain the cauliflower & return to the pan.  Pour the sauce over it & mix to blend.  You might want to let it sit a few minutes to thicken.  S&P to taste & you are off to the races!

Image

Image

Roasted Salmon & Potato Hash with Hominy & Poached Egg

2 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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

~

This is my kitchen – where I attempt to make the magic happen.

Image

I am VERY lucky because it is huge & I designed it myself 16 years ago & it serves me extremely well.  It is a very inspiring place to hang out & in the 16 years I have lived here – I have collected nearly every cooking thingamajiggy you can imagine.  But the dish I present to you today requires only the basics.  A working stove & oven, a roasting pan & a frying pan.  If you are not a confident cook but you want to try one of my dishes, I would recommend this one highly – just maybe substituting fried eggs for poached.

This dish is so delicious, I was astounded.  I came up with it because I was hunting for new things to do with hominy – things that would not involve a ton of cheese.  Hominy seems most often used for breakfast scramble kinds of things and pozole (a traditional Mexican soup – which I will also attempt soon).  I am also still a tad fixated on the idea of poached eggs on things, probably because I haven’t yet mastered the art of poaching eggs nor have I gotten one of those glorious shots of dripping, oozing yolks bleeding yellow onto plates.  Another reason this dish was a perfect choice last night is because I had roasted a hunk of salmon & dressed it with lemon & dill but I didn’t like how it looked – so I couldn’t use it for the blog.  See?  Here it is:

Image

Not so impressive to look at.  Salmon is cooked when the white fat in it bubbles to the surface.  I tried to wipe it away to make a prettier presentation – but I still didn’t like how it looked enough to post it here as a stand-alone recipe.  Monomaniacally obsessed with only making foods I can use for this blog, I didn’t want to eat that salmon as it was (though it was delicious) because it seemed like a waste of a great blog opportunity.  So – I wrapped it up & left it in the fridge until I figured something out.

This dish could be made with any meat, leftover or otherwise, or without the poached egg.  Lord knows, I ate half the friggin’ potatoes I’d made by simply grabbing a bit every time I passed the stove because they were delicious!  Same with the cold salmon.  But when I tasted it all together with that egg yolk blended in – I was blown away.  The potatoes were savory & delicious & the hominy added the nicest little crunch.  The salmon (which was just a bullshit piece of frozen fish from Trader Joe’s) was clean & fresh & the egg was rich & decadent.  Oh!  And some totally unnecessary $5 micro kale!  This dish is one of my favorite inventions ever.  And – except for the egg poaching – it is EASY!  If poaching the egg intimidates you, maybe fry them instead, but definitely try this dish.  I had it for dinner but it would make an amazing brunch option, too.  You can roast both the salmon & potatoes up to a day ahead & just assemble it last minute.  It is a genuinely easy dish with a few easy-to-find ingredients.  Try it!  Oh!  And here is a great idea to serve with it!  This is equal parts chardonnay & frozen berries – blended.  YUM!  The perfect pre-workout smoothie!

Image

Image

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Roasted Salmon & Potato Hash with Hominy & Poached Egg

feeds between 2-4 depending on your appetites

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs per person being served

2 yellow potatoes – cubed

5-6 red potatoes (or any other potato combo you desire) – cubed

1 medium onion – diced

1/2 lb salmon

2 tsp dry thyme

olive oil

butter

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

1 cup hominy – or the full can

1/2 lemon

S&P to taste

Dill or parsley – chopped – as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450.

Blend a TBS or so of butter with a TBS or so of olive oil & smear some onto your salmon.  Sprinkle with S&P.  Cook the salmon about 10 minutes – maybe more, maybe less, depending on how thick yours is.  Salmon is ready when the fat bubbles to the surface.  Remove from heat, squeeze some lemon juice onto it, cut it up into cubes so it cools faster & doesn’t continue to cook & set aside.

ImageImage

Toss the cubed potatoes in about 2 TBS olive oil & season with thyme and S&P.  Roast at 450, stirring every ten minutes, for 30 minutes or more or until golden.   Remove from heat & set aside.

ImageImageImageImage

In a frying pan, heat 2 TBS olive oil & saute the onion & jalapeno until the onion softens & is translucent.  Add the potatoes & hominy & heat through.

ImageImageImage

Add more S&P if you think it needs it.  In the last minute before you serve the hash, add the salmon & cook it just until it is warmed.  Do not overcook the salmon.  Set aside on low heat while you poach or fry the eggs.  HERE are some tutorials on poaching.

To serve, simply arrange some hash on each plate, top with your eggs & some dill or parsley & fresh ground pepper.  Devour!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Image

Vegan Broccoli Soup with Avocado & Jalapeno or Basil oil or Gremolata

5 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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

1-8-13 (35)

This recipe makes a lot  A LOT – of soup.  Be prepared to freeze some.  I had a 3 pound bag of broccoli from Costco & it had to be used & used fast.  I find freezing fresh vegetables renders them a yucky, mushy, unappetizing mess – but freezing dishes MADE with vegetables works out just fine.  I suppose you could cut this recipe in half easily – so maybe consider doing that.

This soup would be amazing with a homemade vegetable stock (there is a recipe at the bottom of the post HERE) but it works out just great using bouillon, too.

Image

This soup can be served with all sorts of little garnishes from the avocado-jalapeno combo to the basil oil drizzle I show here to the gremolata that I also show here of with crispy bacon crumbles or some blue cheese crumbles or feta cheese.  Use your imagination!  Add some corn or steamed broccoli or tortilla strips.  Go nuts!  I found these red jalapenos at an Asian market & I love them because they are so PRETTY!  But green ones work just as well.

Image

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Vegan Broccoli Soup with Avocado-Jalapeno or Basil oil or Gremolata

INGREDIENTS

2 large heads of broccoli (or two pounds florets)

2 large onions – chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1 large potato – cubed

8-10 cups of vegetable stock – depending on how thin or thick you like your soup

S&P to taste

2 TBS olive oil

ImageImageImage

GREMOLATA

1/2 cup parsley – chopped very fine

4-5 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup lemon zest

ImageImageImageImage

OR BASIL OIL

1 packed cup of fresh basil

3/4 cup high quality olive oil

Salt to taste

JALAPENO -AVOCADO

Sliced avocado

diced jalapeno

cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Cook the onions until they are soft & translucent.  Add broccoli, potato, parsley and the stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & simmer.  Once the broccoli & potato are tender – puree in batches or use an immersion blender.  Blend until very smooth.  If the soup is too thick – add a bit of water.  If it is too thin, cook it over med-low heat until it reduces to the thickness you prefer.

Zest the lemon, chop the garlic & parsley.   Blend them in a small bowl.

OR

BASIL OIL –

Blanch the basil in boiling water for 10-20 seconds than plunge into ice water.  Squeeze out the water & puree in a food processor with olive oil & salt to taste.  Go light on the salt.  Set aside.

Serve the soup with either the avocado/jalapeno combo or a drizzle of basil oil or a hefty portion of the gremolata.  MMMMM!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Image

Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream, Cilantro & Lime

8 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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

I apologize for posting so many straight recipes & no adventures lately.  Year end expenses etc have kept me pretty much at home and alone nearly every day & night for at least the last month.   If I blow off the gym, as I did in the week between Christmas & New Years, I can go days & days without ever seeing another human, outside of Ed, my early morning donut dealer.  As fascinating as I’d like to consider myself – a month of watching Maury reveal paternity results & MSNBC squawk on & on about fake crises like the fiscal cliff & the debt ceiling has left me with something akin to a test pattern humming in my head & my jaw slack.  And weekends are worse. I fucking hate “Caught on Camera” which is MSNBC’s new weekend wall-to-waller for injury fetishists.  And SOMEHOW it got DVR’ed – so the fucking series is getting recorded every time it plays and I cannot figure out how to cancel it.  And Lock Up?  Seriously.  They run Lock Up marathons on MSNBC sometimes from Friday night at 7 through Sunday evening, only breaking for the insufferable Meet the Press.  Who watches six hours of prison inmates with tattooed faces & then thinks to themselves, “You know what I am in the mood for now?  Another hour of prison inmates with tattooed faces, bitchez!”   Ugh.

So – I sit in my kitchen & stare blankly at my TV and simultaneously play the 40 million Scrabble & Words with Friends games I have running – 30 million of which are with my mother who is the best GD word game player ever – in real life.  But on the iphone apps – she mostly just phones it in (get it?) – and I feel like I am doing endless homework way beneath my intellectual ability.  I am a hamster stuck in a Habitrail repeating the same limited and mindless actions ad infinitum just waiting for death or for someone to get close enough so I can bite them.

So – I drink wine so that I at least have an excuse for the stupid look on my face and I cook.  And cook.  And I eat some and freeze more & then I cook.  I wish I had more mouths to feed here & more money to do it with because the cooking is the best part of my days but I can’t just endlessly cook food in quantities I cannot possibly consume just so I can be distracted & then take some pretty pictures.

Aren’t you glad NOW that I have been keeping to myself?

OK – so – yesterday I had a bunch of fresh corn to use.  Again – I challenged myself to make a dish that didn’t require a grocery store run.  I wanted to make a corn chowder but I had no dairy or soy milk or anything like that in the house.  But I DID have cans of both coconut milk & coconut cream.  Not knowing the difference (having never yet used coconut cream) – I opted to use the cream version.  I still don’t know what the difference is.  Once I broke up & blended the solid chunk of whatever at the top of the can – it looked & tasted like coconut milk to me.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. The difference is mainly consistency. It has a thicker, more paste-like consistency, while coconut milk is generally a liquid. Coconut cream is used as an ingredient in cooking, having a mild non-sweet taste.

Image

Anyway – coconut cream/milk is a perfect substitute for the dairy in  this chowder.  The fresh corn is the real key here so try to use fresh corn rather than canned or frozen.  The fresh corn is far sweeter than the coconut cream & overpowers the coconut almost completely.  In fact – my boyfriend says he hates coconut but I bet if I served him this chowder – he would never guess what it was made from.

This is easy as pie.  And really good!  If you do not like spicy food, omit the jalapenos & hot sauce.  If you cannot find red jalapenos (or are eschewing them entirely) add some diced carrots or diced red bell pepper – just for color.

Image

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream & Cilantro

INGREDIENTS

8 ears fresh corn on the cob

1 13.5 oz can of coconut cream or coconut milk (light version if you prefer)

1 large potato – peeled & diced

1 large onion – diced

2 (or more) jalapenos (red if possible) – seeded & diced (use a red bell pepper here if you do not like spice)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

1 lime

fresh cilantro

olive oil

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cut the corn from the cobs.  Take the dull side of a large knife & run it down all sides of each corn cob with a bit of pressure – over a bowl.  This is called “milking the corn.”  Reserve this corn milk.

ImageImage

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a stock pot.  Add the onion & jalapenos & saute until the onions are soft & translucent.  Add potato & corn & stir.  Add the stock, hot sauce, corn milk & the coconut milk.  Stir.  Add about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potato & corn are tender.

ImageImage

See the corn “milk” mush on the top??

Image

With a slotted spoon, scoop out some (maybe a cup or two) of the solid veggies & reserve in a bowl.  You will use this later to garnish the soup when you serve it.

Image

With a blender or food processor or immersion blender – puree the remaining soup.  Add S&P to taste.  At this point – you can squeeze in the juice of half a lime – or you can opt to serve the soup with lime wedges & let folks control the amount of citrus in their chowder.

To serve – ladle some puree into bowls.  Top with a spoonful of the solid veggies & some more chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley) and a wedge of lime.  Fresh cracked pepper – more hot sauce?  Your call.

Some crispy fried shallots would be pretty nice on this – as would a good drizzle of basil oil.

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Image