DDD #143 – Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili for a Chili Cook-Off – for the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

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

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So – this weekend, I entered a Chili Cook-off!  There were only two vegan entries of the 14 adults competing & it was meat chilis that won the chili titles but I won for best presentation.  Check it out!

Click the image below to watch this on my Youtube channel.


It was a lot of fun & it raised money for the Downtown Women’s Shelter.   Kids competed, too!

Homemade Chili Powder

2 TBS smoked paprika

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix & store in a jar.

Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili 

Serves a fuckton!

INGREDIENTS

1 TBS olive oil

2 each – Anaheim, Pasilla & Jalapeno peppers (I used 3 large jalapeno peppers)

2 small sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 ears of unshucked corn or 2 (15 oz) cans of corn kernels

2 celery stalks – chopped

1 large onion (I used 1/2 white & 1/2 sweet onions) – diced

2 red bell peppers

1 TBS chili powder (recipe for homemade is above)

28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

2 TBS hoisin or BBQ sauce

2 TBS chipotle in adobo – minced

2 TBS vegan bouillon (I used vegan beef bouillon)

1 (4oz) can hot diced jalapenos (optional)

1 (4oz) can mild diced chilis

5 (15oz) cans of beans (I used a mixture of chili beans, light red kidney beans & black beans)

3 lbs vegan ground beef

8-10 large vegan sausages (Beyond Meat are the best)

2 (12oz) tubes vegan chorizo (soyrizo)

4 cups of water

GARNISHES: chopped cilantro, shredded vegan cheese, diced onion, chopped scallions, crushed corn chips, rice, corn bread, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

I charred all the peppers (Anaheim, Pasilla, red bell & jalapeno) on a grill until the skins were black.  I did the same with the corn.  I put the peppers in a closed container to cool & then peeled & seeded them under cold water.  I shucked the corn.  You need not roast the peppers & corn but it adds a lovely smokiness.  Cool & chop.  Cut the grilled corn from the cobs.

I cooked the sausages on an outdoor grill.  Cook yours as you please.  Cool & chop.

Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot or on the stove.  Saute the onions & celery until soft.  Add the chili powder & saute a minute.  Add the ground beef & brown it.

If using a slow cooker, transfer the meat from the stove to it.

Now – add everything else or as much as fits in your slow cooker of Instant pot (minding the maximum capacity line).  If it all cannot fit – leave out a few cans of beans.

Slow cooker – cook on high for 4 hours.  Add remaining beans – if they fit – & heat through.

Instant Pot – pressure cook for 45 minutes.  Add any beans you have left & stir to heat them through.

Serve!

 

DDD #136 – Keto Vegan Sausage & Kale Soup with Spinach

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

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.

Keto Vegan sausage & Kale Soup with Spinach

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

8 or more vegan sausages (I used Beyond Meat)

1 head kale – tough ribs removes & the leaves chopped

1 pound spinach

2 TBS olive oil

1 onion – chopped

2 red bell peppers – seeded & chopped

2 poblano peppers – seeded & chopped

8 celery stalks – chopped

2 tsp dry basil

1 tsp dry oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

8-10 cups vegan stock

S&P

Fresh basil as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Cook the sausages (removing skins if you prefer) in a skillet until browned.  Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, bell peppers, celery, and poblano peppers & saute until soft.  Add the dry basil, cumin, oregano, crushed red pepper, and rosemary and stir to combine.

Add the sausage, kale & stock & heat through.  Season with S&P.

When ready to serve, put a handful of raw spinach in each bowl & ladle the hot soup on top.  Garnish with fresh basil.

 

 

DDD #132 – Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

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 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.

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To watch the video – click the image above.

There are about an infinity of ingredients in this stew – most of which can be eliminated without a negative impact on this dish.  I happened to have all but mushrooms, an onion & carrots on hand.  If you are missing an ingredient or two (or three) – I think you will still like the results.

I used those vegetarian bouillon cubes above but I am going to stop buying them.  They contain palm oil & an obscene sodium content so – I will be moving on to Better Than Bouillon, when my supply of these runs out.

I served my stew over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

**NOTE – I made this in a slow cooker (on high) while I hiked.  It was pretty much done when I returned 2 1/2 hours later.  You could make this just as easily stove top – maybe in less time.  Just bring to a boil & simmer until the veggies are cooked.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.

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Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6 or more

INGREDIENTS (VERY flexible – both in what you use & quantity)

Olive oil (or the cooking oil of your choice)

1 (9 oz) vegan ground beef (or more) – I recommend Beyond Meat

1 package (or more) of Gardein Beefless Tips (or your favorite vegan cubed steak)

1 onion – diced

2 Portobello mushroom – cut up (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)

4 carrots – sliced

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1-2 cups cubed white-fleshed potato of any variety (I don’t peel my potatoes)

1 small sweet potato – cubed (I don’t peel my potatoes)

2 celery stalks – chopped

4 radishes – cubed (I only used them because I had them so they are very optional)

2 tomatoes – diced (or a cup of canned diced tomatoes)

2-6 garlic cloves – minced

5 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dry red wine (optional) – or another cup of stock

6 oz lima beans (I used frozen)

1-2 cups peas (I used frozen)

1 cup corn (I used frozen)

1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Rao’s but you can use your favorite or omit it)

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid aminos OR soy sauce OR tamari

1 TBS dry mustard

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS Kitchen Bouquet (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

Few squirts Maggi  (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika

2 bay leaves

6 whole coves

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup corn starch (or more)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

I really prefer slow cooker recipes that require ZERO prep.  Recipes where you just dump the shit into the cooker & go away.  But – I really wanted a stew-like flavor here so – I thought cooking the onions & bringing their flavor – & the flavor of the sauteed mushrooms were important.  Also – browning the steak cubes assists in the visual presentation.  You could certainly just dump it all in & would probably be just as happy with the result.  Your call.

So – heat 2 TBS or so of oil & saute the onions & the beef cubes.  When the onions start to brown.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the wine (or stock) and quickly deglaze the pan.  Put this into the slow cooker.

In the same pan, add another TBS or so of oil & saute the mushrooms until they begin to sear.  Deglaze the pan with a tiny bit of water & add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.

If you are going stove top – do the steps above & then put those things & the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into a huge stock pot, bring to a boil & simmer until the vegetables are tender – not more than 1/2 hour.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you are slow cooking it – dump the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into the slow cooker & leave it covered & on high for 3 hours or so.   To thicken it – remove the lid. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Leave the top off until it thickens.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you have am Instant Pot or pressure cooker – Cook for 15 minutes.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or – as I did – over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

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DDD #117 – Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice & Sausage

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

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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Photo from The Iron You.

Click the image above to watch the video.

The photo just above is from the wonderful blog – The Iron You.  It is their Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole and it is that recipe that inspired mine here.  There are a few subtle changes but the primary difference is that I used cauliflower rice rather than real rice and I made it vegan.  That way – this dish is very light & nearly guiltless.  Is is very easy to make & comes together in less than 45-60 minutes – 30 of which are in the oven.  It is a surprisingly tasty recipe & chock full of fresh vegetables.

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Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower

2 eggplants – cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil

1 cup basil – chopped

2 large shallots (or 1/2 small onion) – diced

2 cups cherry tomatoes – quartered (reserve a few extra to garnish)

2-3 cups vegan mozzarella – according to your preference (I used 3 cups)

1-2 cups grated vegan Parmesan – according to your preference

S&P

1 TBS oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

1 cup vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce

3 (or more) vegan sausages – cooked

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

If you have a grill or grill pan, spray some olive oil on the eggplant (or toss them in a light coating of olive oil or dressing) & grill on each side until a bit charred & soft.  Set aside.

If you do not have a grill or grill pan – follow Iron You’s oven method directions:  Preheat oven to 400°F  and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add eggplant slices and let them sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.  Fish the eggplant slices out of the water, pat them dry, and arrange them on a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the slices turn deep brown on top.
Remove the slices from the baking sheets and carefully transfer them on a plate to cool.

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Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cook sausages & chop.

Cut the florets from the cauliflower & either grate them on a box grater or using the grater of your food processor (the FAR neater way to go).  Set aside.

Toss the tomatoes with basil, a pinch or S&P & the oregano & crushed red pepper & set aside.

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Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a large frying pan (large enough to hold all the cauliflower rice) & saute the shallots or onion until soft.  Add the cauliflower rice & the stock.  Over high heat – saute until the cauliflower is soft & the bulk of the stock has evaporated.  Stir in the tomato & basil mix and the sauce.

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Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray) and layer 1/3 of the rice on the bottom.  Top with half the eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese and 1/2 the sausage.  Add another 1/3 of the rice, remaining eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese & the remaining sausage.  Top with a final layer of rice & cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the casserole is heated through.

Let sit for 10 minutes & then serve with parsley or basil & maybe extra diced tomato.

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DDD #99 – Vegan Beyond Sausage & Lentil Stew

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

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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2 images above courtesy of Beyond Meat.


Click the image above to watch the video.

Vegan Beyond Sausage & Lentil stew

Serves 4 very well

INGREDIENTS

6-12 Beyond Sausages or your favorite vegan sausage

1 lb cooked lentils

1 medium onion – diced

1-8 garlic cloves (to taste) – minced

4 carrots – sliced

4 celery stalks – chopped

1 parsnip – chopped

1 sweet potato – cubed

1-2 jalapenos – diced

1 lemon

1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 cup salsa (optional)

4 cups stock

1 TBS mild harissa (optional)

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 tsp ground cumin

1 TBS sweet paprika

1 TBS cayenne (or less if you are intolerant of spicy foods)

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cook the lentils & set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot & saute the onions & celery until soft.

Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the can of tomatoes.  Combine.

Add the salsa, harissa, cumin, paprika, cayenne & the juice of the lemon & combine.

Add the carrots, parsnip, sweet potato & jalapeno & 4 cups of stock.

Bring to a boil.  Lower heat & simmer for about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.  Stir in the cooked lentils & season to taste with S&P.

Cook the sausages & serve either sliced or whole.  You can stir the sausage into the stew or serve it on the side to add as garnish to the stew.

Enjoy!

 

DDD #84 – Vegan Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

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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Click the image above to watch the video.

This is another very easy dish.

Vegan sausage is usually pretty nasty but I keep hoping I can find a way to doctor it up & make it edible and, finally, with this dish – I SUCCEEDED!  The secret was a pinch of fennel & a shit ton of crushed red pepper.  The filling in these shells was so delicious – I kept eating it directly out of the pan.  A few simple ingredients, a half hour in the oven – and you are neck deep in heaven.  Trust!

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Vegan Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells 

(This makes enough to fill three pie dishes)

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry fill-able pasta shells (any variety works)

Olive oil

4 vegan sausages – chopped

1 lb fresh spinach (or kale or arugula or other greens of your choice)

4-10 garlic cloves (depending on the size & your passion for garlic) – coarsely chopped

2 (10 to 15 oz) cans chopped tomatoes (I used Rotel & fire roasted tomatoes)

1 lb vegan ricotta

8 oz or more vegan mozzarella

1/2 cup grated vegan Parmesan

1 tsp dry fennel

1 tsp dry oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (I used closer to 3 TBS but I love spice)

1-2 cups red pasta sauce (I used some spicy Rao’s & spicy Guy Fiery sauces but homemade would be even better)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta until al dente – or maybe a minute less than the package suggests.  Drain & run under cool water.

Heat 1-2 TBS of olive oil in a large saute pan.

Saute the sausage with spices (fennel, oregano & crushed red pepper) until it is begins to brown.

Add the garlic & spinach & tomatoes.  Cook until the spinach is just wilted.  Season with salt & pepper & blend them in.

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Put the mix in a food processor & puree it.  Add about 1/3 of your mozzarella & the ricotta.  The blending is not strictly necessary but it makes filling the pasta easier if the filling is mushy.

Put some of your pasta sauce on the bottom of a casserole or pie dish.  Fill the pasta shells & place them on top of the sauce.  Sprinkle with whatever amount of mozzarella appeals to you and additional sauce, if you like a wetter dish.  Maybe sprinkle some vegan Parmesan on there, too.  Put it in the oven & bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly & the pasta is brown in spots.  If you want to freeze some – wrap the dish in foil & freeze – UNCOOKED.

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Vegan Sausage, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche with Tofu & Fried Sage

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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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This quiche is very dense with the vegan sausage – and it was quite tasty!  I bet if you told someone it was egg whites rather than tofu – you could fool a bunch of folks.  You might not want so much sausage in yours and – if that is true – just use more broccoli to make up the gap.

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Vegan Sausage, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche with Tofu & Fried Sage

INGREDIENTS

1 lb extra firm tofu

14 oz vegan sausage (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean)

1/2 large onion – diced

1 small head broccoli – chopped

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

3 (or more) slices cheese of your choice (I used Field Roast Chao Tomato Cayenne)

10-15 sage leaves

1 vegan pie crust

5-10 cherry tomatoes – quartered

Olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 1 TBS olive oil to a pan & flash fry (just a minute or so) – the sage – being sure not to burn it (see above photo).  Drain on paper towels.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan & brown the sausage.  Add the onion & saute a few minutes & then add the broccoli & saute until the broccoli is softened.

In a blender or food processor – pulse the tofu, jalapeno, cheese, fried sage & some S&P until well blended.  Add this to the sausage & broccoli & mix well.

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Press the crust into a pan & fill with the sausage etc.  Crinkle the edges – if you care to – and top with tomato pieces.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the crust is nice & golden.  My oven heats unevenly – hence the unevenly cooked crust.

Let it sit 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Devour!

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Vegan Beef & Sausage Breakfast Hash

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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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This is a very easy & very forgiving recipe.  I used what I had around – but you can add or subtract things as you wish.  It is basically a breakfast stir fry.  If you eat eggs, a poached egg would be lovely on top.  Or serve this alongside a tofu scramble – or wrap it all up in a tortilla.  Easy & yummy!

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Vegan Beef & Sausage Breakfast Hash

Serves 4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

5 red potatoes – cut into 1/2″ small cubes

Olive oil

1/2 onion – diced

1/2 bell pepper – diced

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

2 (or more) sausage patties (I used Morning Star sausage patties – which I just discovered on 10/30/15 – are NOT vegan – see ingredients list in the COMMENTS below.)

1 cup (or more) beef crumbles (I used Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 TBS dry parsley

S&P

Fresh parsley as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a saute pan.  On high – cook the potatoes until they are softening & about 1/2 browned.  Add everything else (except the fresh parsley) & saute until the onions & bell pepper are soft & browning.  Season with S&P.

Serve with fresh parsley.

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Vegan Pasta with Sausage, Arugula & Tomatoes

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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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I eat way too much pasta.  Pasta & pizza but there are so many yummy ways to make them – who can resist?  I made this pasta last night because I had this stuff laying around.  I really enjoy trying to invent something using stuff I need to get rid of.  I used these little Field Roast sausages you see below.

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I have to admit, that while they are cute – I find them a tad sweet or something.  They did not really satisfy the sausage craving I developed as I cooked this.  Still – you might like them – or you may have another brand that you like.  Clearly – if you are a meat eater – real sausage could be used.

This is another easy one that comes together in about as long as it takes to cook the pasta.

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Vegan Pasta with Sausage, Arugula & Tomatoes

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

12-16 oz pasta

Olive oil

1-3 jalapenos – diced (or crushed red pepper to taste)

5+ oz vegan sausage

7 oz arugula

1 TBS fresh thyme – chopped

3 garlic cloves – minced

1 large tomato or a dozen cherry tomatoes – chopped

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Vegan Parmesan (optional)

S&P

Parsley or basil as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta.

Meanwhile – heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the jalapeno (or crushed red pepper) and the sausage.  Cook until the sausage begins to brown.  Add the garlic and thyme & cook one minute.  Add the tomatoes – stir.  Add the arugula (in increments – if your pan is too small) & stir until the arugula wilts.  Add the lemon juice & season with S&P.

Toss with the pasta & Parmesan (if you are using Parmesan) & garnish with chopped parsley or basil and lots of freshly cracked pepper.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

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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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Pizza.  Everyone loves pizza.   So many ways to top them – and I have posted dozens.  Look HERE & scroll down for a recap.

This one I am posting today was quite a show stopper.  I used broccolette – which Wikipedia describes as “a cruciferous vegetable derived from a cross between broccoli and the Chinese kale called gai lan. Also known by the trade names broccolini and aspiration, broccolette has a milder, sweeter taste than broccoli and features thin, tender stalks that can be cooked whole without peeling.”

It looks like that there – next to my shaved Brussels sprouts.

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You could use regular broccoli – if you prefer.

I used Farmers Cheese because I had never seen it before & I was curious.  Look at it there.  Doesn’t it look delicious?

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Here is what Wikipedia said about this cheese: “In the United States, farmer cheese (also farmer’s cheese or farmers’ cheese) is pressed cottage cheese, an unripened cheese made by adding rennet and bacterial starter to coagulate and acidify milk. Farmer cheese may be made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats, with each giving its own texture and flavor.”

In fact, it is sorta like a denser cottage cheese & very mild in flavor.

I also used herbed goat cheese & one of these vegetarian sausages.

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I also used that micro arugula because I LOVE arugula, that micro shit is pretty & it has a really powerful flavor.  Regular arugula would be fine – just not as pretty to look at.

So – like with most of my pizzas – I only list ingredients here – because topping quantities are up to you.  I like thin crust – you might like thick.  I like light amounts of sauce & cheese – you might prefer to go deep dish.  So – I will just leave it up to you.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I always make THIS)

Vegan sausage

Broccolini – chopped small

Brussels sprouts – shaved

Mushrooms – sliced

Tomato sauce (I used a really chunky homemade one I had left over – but you use your favorite one)

Goat cheese (or vegan alternative)

Farmers cheese (or vegan alternative)

olive oil

garlic – minced

S&P

Semolina flour (for rolling the dough) – VERY optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil & saute the sausage, broccolette, Brussels sprouts & mushrooms until soft.  Add the garlic & saute another minute. Add some S&P.

Roll out the dough in some semolina or other flour.  Semolina will give the crust the speckled look you see here & really seems to add some crunch.  Regular flour is fine, though.  Put the dough on a greased cooking sheet or on a cooking sheet topped with parchment paper.  Top with sauce, add the sausage & veggies.  Crumble some of the cheeses on top.

BE SURE YOUR OVEN HAS REACHED FULL TEMPERATURE.  Cook for about 13 minutes – but time depends on your oven & the density of your pizza & your own preferences.  When it looks golden & the cheese are browned & soft – it should be done.

Top with arugula & eat that bad boy.  Alone.  Rejoice!

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Sausage Pizza Roll-Ups – Vegetarian or Vegan or Not!

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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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There are still a few left! PERFECT book for your anti-Valentine’s Day book club meeting!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your Valentine’s Day gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

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So – the badass Miles Miller was in town for Christmas.   Those of you that know him and my regular readers know that he lives almost exclusively on meat.  I eat none.   So, meals can be tricky.  But these roll-ups proved to be a perfect compromise.  He made his with real sausage & I used vegan ones.  Problem solved.

These are really easy & be customized to suit almost all tastes.  Vegan?  Use vegan cheese.  Want some veggies?  Add chopped spinach – like the filling I used in my Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells (Vegan – Vegetarian – Or Not).

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You could add anything, really.  Just saute your selections with whatever sausage you are using.  I used a homemade pasta sauce and I have posted lots of recipes in the past for sauce.  HERE is a 5 minute arrabiata (spicy red sauce) and HERE is a marinara.  You can make a sauce or use your favorite brand.

I used homemade pizza dough – from this recipe HERE.  You can use that (I use it the same day despite the instructions) or make another kind or use a store bought variety.

This post is really just a guide rather than a recipe.  The ingredients are up to you as is the quantity you use – of sausage or cheese or sauce.  Whatever you decide to do – I can promise these will be crowd pleasers.

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Sausage Pizza Roll-Ups – Vegetarian or Vegan or Not!

Two of these little roll-ups will typically feed one person.  One recipe here can be cut up to make 6-7 roll-ups.

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough

2 sausages – (vegan or not) – sliced

1 pinch fennel

1 tsp dry oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

2 garlic cloves – minced

Red sauce

Grated cheese (I used a Mexican mix) – (vegan or not)

Mozzarella – sliced – (vegan or not)

Fresh basil

Olive oil

Cooking spray

Flour to roll the dough out on

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Saute the sliced up sausages.  If using vegan ones – you will need olive oil to keep them from sticking.  If using real sausage – adding spices might not be necessary but I think they REALLY help the vegan sausage.   If you care to – add the fennel & oregano & crushed red pepper.  Once the sausage is browned & ready to go – add the garlic & saute another minute but be VERY careful not to burn the garlic.  Burned garlic is bitter.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface.  Roll it pretty thin.  Top with sauce (reserving some sauce to serve with the roll-ups) & sausage & grated cheese.  Roll up & slice.

Place the roll-ups in a pie pan (or other pan) treated with cooking spray.  I then sprayed the rolls themselves to aid in browning them.  Add some grated cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until they just begin to brown.

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Warm the extra red sauce on the stove.

Take the roll-ups out & top with mozzarella & cook another 10 minutes or so or until the cheese is properly melted.

Serve with warmed red sauce & chopped fresh basil.  Bust out the bag of wine & get down to the serious business of chowing the fuck down.

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Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells (Vegan – Vegetarian – Or Not)

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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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This is another VERY easy dish.  I used vegan sausage but real sausage would work, too.  I added a half cup of ricotta because I had it around but a vegan alternative would work – or it could just simply be omitted.  I used a homemade sauce I had left over but your favorite sauce, homemade or not, will do.  Even a white sauce would work – if that is what floats your boat.  Whatever your dietary fancies might be – this dish will please you – I promise!

Vegan sausage is usually pretty nasty but I keep hoping I can find a way to doctor it up & make it edible and, finally, with this dish – I SUCCEEDED!  The secret was a pinch of fennel & a shit ton of crushed red pepper.  The filling in these shells was so delicious – I kept eating it directly out of the pan.  A few simple ingredients, a half hour in the oven – and you are neck deep in heaven.  Trust!

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Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells (Vegan – Vegetarian – Or Not)

Feeds two very well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb dry fill-able pasta shells (any variety works)

Olive oil

2 sausages (vegan or otherwise) – chopped

1/2 lb fresh spinach

4-10 garlic cloves (depending on the size & your passion for garlic) – coarsely chopped

10 oz can chopped tomatoes (I used Rotel)

1/2 cup ricotta (or vegan alternative) – optional

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative)

1 pinch fennel

1 tsp dry oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (I used closer to 3 TBS but I love spice)

1-2 cups red pasta sauce (I used 1 cup but if you like wetter pastas – use more)

1 handful of grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta until al dente – or maybe a minute less than the package suggests.  Drain & run under cool water.

If you are using real meat, you probably won’t need olive oil as the sausage will provide that fat.  If you are using vegan sausage – add 1-2 TBS of olive oil to a large saute pan.

Saute the sausage with spices (fennel, oregano & crushed red pepper) until it is cooked (cook thoroughly if using real meat – or heat it through, if using vegan meat).

Add the garlic & spinach & tomatoes.  Cook until the spinach is just wilted.

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Put the mix in a food processor & puree it.  Add the Parmesan & the ricotta (if using it).  The blending is not strictly necessary but it makes filling the pasta easier if the filling is mushy.  Season with salt & pepper & blend them in.

Put your pasta sauce on the bottom of a casserole or pie dish.  Fill the pasta shells & place them on top of the sauce.  Sprinkle with whatever amount of mozzarella appeals to you.  Put it in the oven & bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly & the pasta is brown in spots.

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One-Pot Vegan Sausage and Broccoflower Pasta with Chickpeas

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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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One pot dishes are so satisfying.  Almost as satisfying as crock pot recipes.  This one could be done a variety of ways.  I chose to cook the onion & sausage together first & then put them aside & cook pasta.   If the texture (al dente or whatever) of your pasta is critical to you – cook the pasta first, drain it & then add it to the pan after you cook the sausage up.

You could use real sausage but I don’t eat that shit – so – I used these guys.

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They are labeled vegetarian but their website refers to them as vegan.  Are they as powerfully flavorful as a pork version would be?  No.  But when you consider that – when you buy vegan sausage – nobody who started life looking like this – (photo snagged from Google)

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was then forced into brutally inhumane living conditions & tortured their entire life & savagely slaughtered – well then maybe you might find the flavor concession a small price to pay to be able to eat “sausage” and still look this little guy in the face guiltlessly.  That was a confusing run-on sentence but I think you get my meaning.  The other advantage is that these are far less greasy & lower in calories.

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I used broccoflower because I had it but broccoli or cauliflower would work, too.  I love chickpeas & they are very good for you – so I added them – but they are not critical.  I just like to load my pasta dishes with a lot of filling & healthy extras so that I end up eating less actual pasta.  This is just a personal preference – and – I am trying to drop a few pounds before I go off to shoot a film in Mississippi next month – so – broccoflower was a perfect addition here.

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One-Pot Vegan Sausage and Broccoflower Pasta with Chickpeas

Serves 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb dry pasta

1/2 onion – diced

2 (or more) large vegan sausages

1 head broccoflower (or substitute of your choice) – cut into bite-sized florets

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained

4 garlic cloves – minced

Olive oil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (I used three – but I love spice!)

3 cups vegetable stock (or water & bouillon)

1 TBS lemon just & 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

1/2 cup shredded basil – as garnish (parsley would work, too)

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

OK – so – as I said – this can be done by either cooking & draining the pasta & broccoflower first & adding it later or, as I did, cooking the sausage & onion first.  Cooking the pasta first allows you to better control how well it is cooked but doing it second infuses the pasta with veggie stock – so – your call.  I am gonna list the directions as I did it.

In a large pot, heat 1-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat & saute the onion, sausage & crushed red pepper until the onion is soft & the sausage begins to brown.  Not a science – just eyeball it – and when you think it is done – add the garlic & stir it in for about a minute – then set it aside.

In that same pot, add the vegetable stock, chickpeas, pasta & the lemon juice & zest.  Bring to a boil & cook it according to the instructions on your pasta label – BUT – 3 minutes before the pasta is supposed to be done – add the broccoflower & cover.   You MIGHT have to add a bit of water to keep things from drying out – though I did not.  Cook the remaining time left of the pasta.  Check it now – by testing the doneness of both the pasta & vegetable.  I like my veggies with some crunch – so – this timed perfectly for me.  If you feel it needs more time – keep cooking it & even add more water – if you think it needs it.  If it is too wet, cook it down.  When it seems ready – add the sausage & onion & stir to incorporate it.  Serve with basil or parsley & shove it in your pie hole with no regard for decency.  Look up pictures of cutie piglets & feel superior.  You earned it.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Baked Egg & Sausage & Cheese & Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast Cupcakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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

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OK – I have tried these several times in different ways with different levels of success.  These are still imperfect but I am going to post them because, if I don’t, I am gonna keep trying to perfect them & I just don’t want to be eating so many eggs & biscuits.

These could be made with any variety of these bready roll things.  You can scramble the eggs before putting them into the cupcake pan or just carefully break an egg in there in tact.  I used vegetarian sausage patties which look so tasty here all hard & freezer burned, don’t they?

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I also used this Tillamook cheese but any cheese you like will do.

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I also used these eggs here –

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and while it is hard to make out – they are not just free range – they are PASTURED – which means they really are free range and not just in a huge hanger with a million other desperate chickens.    Watch this video of some rescued free range chickens & see if you do not agree that – if you are gonna use eggs – it is worth finding & paying for pastured ones.

 

That said – these are really just omelettes in a cupcake pan with a little biscuit underneath.   I would suggest – however – that if you have a cupcake pan that makes 12 or 18 cupcakes – use one like that and space these bad boys out in the pan so they do not bleed together like this:

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Baked Egg & Sausage & Cheese & Buttermilk Biscuit Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

Buttermilk biscuit dough (or other variety)

Pastured eggs

Cheese

Sausage (I used veggie ones) – cooked

S&P

Parsley – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

Cook the sausage & chop it up.

Grease a cupcake pan.   Press some biscuit dough into each – spacing them apart from each other, if you can.   Press the dough in so it reached up the sides of the cupcake pan.  I haven’t tried this with cupcake liners but I cannot imagine they would be a bad idea.

Add crumbled sausage & grated or chopped cheese & then either carefully crack an egg in each or scramble some eggs & pour a bit in each.  Cook for about 25 minutes (which should cook the scrambled egg & cook a whole egg while still leaving the yolk runny) – or cook it until the eggs are done to your satisfaction.

Let rest a few minutes & then carefully run a knife around each cupcake & remove them.  Add S&P & some chopped parsley & eat’m up!

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Sock-It-To-Me Vegetarian (or not) Spicy Sausage & Mushroom Pasta – Gangnam Style

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

It has been more than two weeks since I posted anything but that doesn’t mean I am not cooking up a storm out here.  After my Orlando trip – my Asian food obsession continued.  I have been trying all kinds of new ideas out but, while most of them tasted pretty good, few LOOKED very pretty.  And none really blew my socks off flavor-wise, either, so I held back posting the recipes.  One dish that I liked very much was a seared shiitake mushroom & grilled tofu dish.  I am not a big fan of shiitake mushrooms as I think they have a gummy, fishy texture that is icky.  But I pan-fried the beJesus out of the ones I had used (and reserved) to make the stock for my Hot & Sour Soup recipe and they became chewy & more pleasant.  Here are some pics:

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The final dish looked like this:

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The primary reason I didn’t post THIS dish was that it was dependent entirely on this sweet & hot BBQ-y kinda sauce I found at the Korean market:

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Sweet & hot as promised – this stuff is delicious but I have no idea what it is or how to send folks out to find some.  And – for all I know, it is made of giant water bugs like the paste I accidentally got at another Asian market a while back.  This Korean stuff is sorta similar to this stuff from my childhood:

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which I still ADORE – despite the fact that it has about 3000 calories in a tablespoon but the Korean version is not as thick & smokey.  At any rate – the Korean stuff was critical to the dish – so I didn’t post the recipe.

Additionally – I made a garlic eggplant dish which was delicious but looked like melted tar due to the dark soy sauce (think Texas tea) I used.

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I made a green bean dish & a lemongrass shrimp thing:

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This is the marinade for the shrimp.  At least IT looks pretty.

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I tried this can of vegetarian “meat” in the green beans:

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It looked like ground pork but smelled sweet & disgusting.  I pan-fried the shit out of it & saturated it with spicy sauces (a black pepper sauce & hoisin & sriracha etc) until it was chewy an unrecognizable.  I made a faux pork & garlic green beans – Asian style:

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But i wouldn’t recommend this dish at all.

I made an orange chicken using seitan:

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Also underwhelming.  I made two kinds of tofu satays – both failures.  Here is some pressed tofu in a satay marinade:

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It fell apart on the grill.

I photographed everything – hoping I’d come up with at least one keeper – but no.

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Delivered Chinese would top all those dishes & be cheaper & WAY easier.  The learning curve on this Asian stuff is brutal.  So disappointing because the Asian markets are such wonderlands of opportunity.  Speaking of which – if you ever see keffir lime leaves – BUY THEM & then go home & Google a recipe using them.  This little packet BURST with the aroma of a Thai restaurant the second I opened it.

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These Thai chilis are fun, too.

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Now – researching recipes for inspiration – I kept coming across a Korean hot paste that intrigued me.  It is called “gochujang” and none of my Thai stores had it – or even knew what it was.  So – last week – I hauled my ass to Korea Town in search of a Korean market.  I found one.

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Once again – these Asian markets do not disappoint!  This one was a wonderland of crazy, fucked up looking shit & then products we all know but with entirely Korean labeling.  The only English I could find – at first – was the aisle markers.  I saw one that said “sauces & spices” or something so I went there.  They seemed to have even more options here than at my Thai market but I could not find GOCHUJANG.  Lost, I spotted a woman in the aisle with me.  I Googled gochujang & brought up images & approached the woman.

“Excuse me,” I said.

She looked at me in surprise & with supreme distaste – as if I’d just walked up to her & cut a loud, wet fart.

“I’m sorry, but do you know where I can find this?” I asked & held my iphone out to her.  She literally recoiled from my gesture, maintaining her offense at my approach.

Undeterred – I pushed the phone closer to her face.  She started to say no – as if she thought I was giving her my phone & then she saw the images.  “Oh, over here,” she said & led me to a HUGE aisle-end stand stacked with tubs of gochujang – but the word “gochujang” appeared NOWHERE.

She waved her arm over the display.

“Very spicy!” she warned.

“OK, thank you,” I said and looked at the mountain of product, confused and scanning for the word gochujang.

“VERY SPICY,” she insisted.

“Yeah, OK.  Thank you,” I said & she walked away from me – her disgust with me only partially abated.

I picked up a tub of it & finally found the word gochujang in teeny tiny print on the front.  I put it in my cart & decided to tour the rest of the market – hunting for inspiration.

Now – I don’t know how familiar you are with Korean food – but it is like those folks are from a different planet – with an entire planet’s worth of bizarre & exotic culinary options.  I have been to Korean BBQ restaurants – which are lame for me because they are really all about meat – but wtf?  What ARE those marinating meats?  And more bizarre – what are those unidentifiable non-meat things they have on the raw bar for grilling?  I can’t identify a single item up there except for shrimp.   All kinds of seaweedy looking things & grasses & sprouty things.  Everything vegetarian looks grey & gelatinous and all the meat looks shredded intentionally to render them as unidentifiable as the vegetarian fare.    Hmmm….I’m no food-o-phobe but those Korean options spook me.

Similarly – this Korean market had a gauntlet of pre-made things on a self-service bar.

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Not even a KOREAN explanation for what any of it was – though I will admit – lots of it looked pretty tasty.  But – after my waterbug close call – I shan’t eat anything Asian – the ingredients of which are not clearly explained to me beforehand.

Next to this smorgasbord – was the seafood counter:

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Next time you get a craving for fish heads – you can thank me for showing you where to buy them.

Everything is just all out & floppy & looks SORE and sorely unhygienic but what do I know?  They did have shrimp on sale for $3.99 a pound with a two pound limit – so I stocked up.  I watched a woman bag some & hand it to the fish monger guy to weigh & price.  I did the same & am proud to say that my best guess at 2 pounds weighed in at 2.1 lbs.  The fish monger let me slide.

On a side note – the vein in these shrimp was on the under side of their curve – rather than along the “spine.”  Not sure what that was about but they tasted fine & I didn’t get sick.  So – there.

Another curiosity was the sweet potato vendor.  Who knew there were sweet potato fetishists out there?

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The meat department proved disappointing after the horror show of a seafood department.  Mostly, I learned that ox tails are not cheap.

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Which brings me now to today’s recipe – Sock-It-To-Me Vegetarian (or not) Spicy Sausage & Mushroom Pasta – Gangnam Style.  I made this with various produce I had laying around, my precious gochujang & some vegetarian sausage.

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Gochujang is like a spicy tomato paste – but not so spicy that I needed to be warned TWICE by that cranky woman in the Korean grocery.  I’m calling this dish Gangnam in honor of my hero – Psy – and his amazing dance-craze video:


Here is what Wikipedia had to say about it (among other things):

“Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district[16] of Seoul,[17] where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed “class”. The term was listed in Time‘s weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul’s Gangnam district.[18] Psy likened the Gangnam District to Beverly HillsCalifornia, and said in an interview that he intended a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be “Gangnam Style” when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class.[19]

People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are—it’s only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are “Gangnam Style”—so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something that they’re not.
—Psy[20]

 

At any rate – this came out VERY meaty for a non-meat dish but you can certainly use real sausage if you prefer.   I also used leftover (frozen) arrabiata sauce in this.  You can use your own arrabiata or a jarred version – if you like.

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Sock-It-To-Me Vegetarian (or not) Spicy Sausage & Mushroom Pasta – Gangnam Style

INGREDIENTS

2 shallots – diced (or a second onion if you have no shallots)
1 sm onion – diced
1 large tomato – diced (reserve half for garnish)
6 garlic cloves – diced
15 mushrooms – sliced
2 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS Gochujang Korean paste (more or less – according to your taste)
Sesame oil – as garnish
3 TBS sesame seeds
16 oz or more of arrabiatta or other spiced tomato sauce
olive oil
1 package Gimme Lean veggie sausage or equivalent amount of real sausage
1 lb pasta – I used spaghetti
Parsley or chives – chopped as garnish
Grated cheese as garnish
DIRECTIONS
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan & saute the onions, shallots & garlic until the onions start to brown.  Add the mushrooms & saute until the mushrooms begin to sear & turn brown.  Remove from pan & set aside.
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Add more olive oil to the pan & saute the sausage (use more oil for veggie – way less for real meat) until it begins to brown (or in the case of real meat – until it is cooked thoroughly).
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Add the mushroom mixture to the sausage & stir.  Add the tomato sauce, some of the chopped tomato (reserving half for garnish), gochujang and soy sauce & simmer over low heat for 30 minutes so flavors can blend.  I added probably a cup of water to thin this sauce to a consistency I liked.  Add water at your own discretion.
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Meanwhile – in a dry frying pan – toast the sesame seeds until just golden.  Remove from heat.
Cook the pasta to your liking.  Drain.  Toss with about 1/2 of the mushroom & sausage tomato sauce.  Arrange servings on plates & top with more sauce, chopped tomato, toasted sesame seeds & chopped parsley or chives.  Drizzle a tiny amount of sesame oil on top, add some grated cheese & serve.
vegetarian
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Veggie Sausage, Mushroom & Mozzarella Stromboli – or – Leftovers Rolled Pizza

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

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Veggie Sausage, Mushroom & Mozzarella Stromboli

OK – this effort was born of my need to use up the odds & ends I had in my fridge.  I had pizza dough (duh) and homemade arrabiatta (spicy tomato) sauce, mushrooms, onions, one ball of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil & a tomato.  Tired of pizza – I decided to try a rolled pizza – or – a stromboli.  This is what I did with my ingredients….COMPLETELY winging it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

INGREDIENTS

1 package of Gimme Lean veggie ground sausage (http://www.lightlife.com/Vegan-Food-Vegetarian-Diet/Gimme-Lean-Sausage) – though you could use real sausage if you wanted.

6 big mushrooms – sliced

3 TBS olive oil

1 medium brown onion – diced

1 clove (or more) garlic – chopped

1 tomato – chopped

1/2 cup to 1 cup or so of tomato sauce

1 two-inch ball fresh mozzarella – sliced

10 basil leaves – shredded

1/3 – 1/2 prepared Pizza dough recipe (https://delightfuldeliciousdelovelyblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/pizza-dough-5/) – or other dough of your choice

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Saute the onion & garlic for a minute or two.  Add the mushrooms.  When the mushrooms soften – add the sausage.  Saute until the sausage begins to brown a bit.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.

Roll your dough out to about a 12 x 16 rectangle.  This is NOT science.  You can go bigger or smaller.

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Spread the tomato sauce over this leaving a clean barrier at the edges – especially at one end.

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Top this with the mushroom-sausage-onion mixture.

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Add the sliced mozzarella.

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Top with chopped tomatoes & the shredded basil.  Grind some fresh pepper on top.

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Now, start at the end opposite the clean end & begin rolling this sucker up.  Some stuff might leak out the sides or squeeze toward the end.  Just before you get the the clean barrier – wipe away any contents that scooted out & then roll the stromboli on top of the clean end.  Let the weight of it create the pressure needed to seal it.

Take a cooking sheet & either spray it with cooking spray or wipe it with olive oil.  CAREFULLY transfer your stromboli from your work surface to the cooking sheet.  It will look like a beached platypus.

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Brush a little olive oil over the surface of your stromboli then bake this guy in the oven for 30 minutes or so.  Check after 20 minutes – and maybe spin the pan so you get an even browning.  Your oven may be hotter or less hot than mine – so – cooking times are never exact.  Be sure that your oven was to temperature before putting the stromboli in.

Once it looks nicely golden – remove it from the oven & transfer it to a cutting surface.

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Use a serrated knife & carefully slice your stromboli & serve.  This guy could have easily fed four people VERY well, probably more.  You can fill these with just about anything, so, let your imagination take you where it will.

Cheers~