Pumpkin-Chickpea Scramble

My wonderful friend Simone is here visiting me this weekend! The morning before she arrived, I made a batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. Whenever I make those muffins, I end up with the rest of the can of pumpkin and I have to figure out something new to do with it. I often like to make Pumpkin Tofu Scramble for breakfast, but today I wanted to try something different, and I was really in the mood for chickpeas, so I got the idea to adapt it for a chickpea scramble. Here it is!

close-up on a bowl of pumpkin-chickpea scramble with spinach leaves and brown basmati rice, and a fork

1 Tbsp or so olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can chickpeas (~2 cups cooked chickpeas), drained and rinsed
a few tablespoons apple cider vinegar
some form of soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 Tbsp powdered sage
2 tsp powdered thyme
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast or more if you feel like it needs it
hot sauce, chili powder, whatever you like to use to make things hot (I use Vulcan’s Fire Salt or nothing at all if you’re not into that
a few handfuls of spinach leaves or whatever veggies you like in your scramble

Heat the olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Saute the onions for a few minutes. While the onions are sauteing, put the chickpeas in a bow with some apple cider vinegar and soy sauce or liquid aminos, and mash them up. They don’t have to be completely mashified, just as mashy as you want them. Add the garlic to the saute pan, give it about a minute, then add the chickpeas and the spices (including hot sauce if you’re using it). Stir this all together. Add the pumpkin puree and some more apple cider vinegar and/or soy sauce, and the nutritional yeast. Continue stirring and adding liquid and/or nutritional yeast until it reaches the texture you want. Stir in the spinach leaves (if you’re using tougher veggies, you might want to add them sooner so they have a chance to cook more). Serve with toast, rice, or whatever grainy thing you enjoy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Toasted Sesame Infused Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always love chocolate chip cookies, and I always love finding little ways to make them just a bit more interesting. This was today’s adventure.

I got exactly 15 cookies out of this recipe.

1/2 cup soy butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or equivalent amount of additional soy butter)
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
3/4 cup sugar (I used about half brown, half white)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (maybe a little less than that, definitely not more)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Soften the soy butter and coconut oil. Combine thoroughly with the sesame oil and sugar. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract, stirring all ingredients together to make a creamy batter. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Once these are all stirred in, add the chocolate chips. Scoop approximately-tablespoon-sized blobs of batter onto a cookie sheet, leaving room between the blobs as they will spread quite a bit. Bake for 10-14 minutes.

Posted in food | Leave a comment

Mushroom-Barley-Veggie Soup (for slow cooker!)

I’m not doing VeganMoFo this year because I didn’t feel like I could commit to posting regularly enough to do the whole month thing. But I’m still here and I’m still cooking!! I got a slow cooker recently and I’m so in love with it. Here is my newest recipe, slow cooker style!

1 onion, diced
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 medium tomatoes (~1 14.5oz can), diced, with their juices
4 cups portabello mushrooms (or any mushrooms you like), sliced into bite-sized pieces
2-3 medium potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup pearl barley
½ cup black (beluga) lentils (optional, or use some other kind of lentils if you don’t have these)
4-5 cups veg broth
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp dill
½ Tbsp sage
½ Tbsp black pepper
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminos)
several handfuls of chopped greens (I used collards)
lemon juice to taste
nutritional yeast (optional)

Note: I used dried herbs, so proportions are noted accordingly. If you’re using fresh herbs, you’ll want to adjust as needed.

Put all ingredients except the greens and lemon juice in the slow cooker. Cook for 6 hours on low. Add greens and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired, then cook for another 30 minutes on low. Add nutritional yeast if desired.

Posted in food | Leave a comment

Guacazpacho Noodle Soup

The idea for this recipe has been simmering (so to speak) in my head for a few days now! I had a bunch of avocados on hand that I needed to use, and I wanted to do something more interesting than just making a smoothie or guacamole. I’ve also been really wanting to come up with some cold soups for summer. I love the idea of gazpacho, but I can’t eat bell peppers, so that’s not for me. So I came up with this recipe that uses the theoretical idea of gazpacho (cold soup, tasty vegetables, most of the “cooking” is just “everything sits together in the fridge”) and the flavor profile of guacamole…plus some other stuff that seemed like it would go well in there, like coconut milk and black beans and noodles!

You can actually make this recipe without cooking anything. I prefer garlic and beans cooked, so my soup involved cooking, but if you don’t want to cook them, just ignore the olive oil, put everything except the beans and noodles in the blender raw, blend it up, add the beans and noodles, and then refrigerate it all. TA DA! Raw soup!

But if you want to cook your soup, you can follow the instructions below.

olive oil
10-12 cloves garlic, minced
3 avocados
1 can (15oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 cup tomatoes, diced (including juice)
a handful of cilantro (omit if you hate it)
⅓ – ½ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
hot sauce to taste
salt, soy sauce, or Bragg’s liquid aminos to taste
noodles as desired (i used green bean flour cellophane noodles)

Preheat a soup pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the minced garlic, stirring frequently till it starts to brown (turn down the heat if necessary so it doesn’t burn!) Squeeze in the avocado meat. Make a big mess. This is the best part. Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, and cilantro. Stir till well-combined.
Put the contents of the pot in a blender. Blend till thoroughly liquefied. Pour it back into the pot.
Stir in the nutritional yeast and lime juice.
Set the pot back on the stove. Add the black beans and turn the heat to medium. Make sure to cover the pot now, unless you enjoy getting splashed in the face with hot soup! When it starts to splash up against the pot cover, turn the heat down to low. Cook it like this for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the noodles. Refrigerate. Serve cold.

Posted in food | Leave a comment

Kalamata Pesto!

I’ve just moved into a new apartment and, thanks to my fabulous Grandma, I now have a food processor!! I’ve been wanting one for years and finally I have it. I am SO EXCITED.

Naturally I wanted to celebrate by making pesto! I adapted this recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s “Bestest Pesto“.

I used the greens and herbs I had on hand, but if you have more basil than I had, I recommend using more of that, and maybe less of something else. Also, if you hate cilantro, leave it out and put in more basil or spinach or anything else leafy and green that you like.

Note on garlic: I’ve been having a weird reaction to raw garlic lately, but I’m totally fine if it’s cooked for even just a few seconds. No idea what’s up with that, but since I love garlic more than life itself, I’ve gotten in the habit of cooking all my garlic for a few seconds.

Note on nuts: I recommend at least half your nuts be pine nuts if you can afford them. I couldn’t today, so I used walnuts and pecans, which turned out great anyway! But, if you can get pine nuts, use some!

I think I ended up with about 2 cups of sauce from this recipe.

½ cup nuts (I used ¼ cup walnuts and ¼ cup pecans)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Earth Balance soy butter (or just use more olive oil and a pinch of salt)
2/3 cup basil
1 cup cilantro
1 ½ cup spinach
1-3 Tbsp fresh herbs (I used oregano, Isa likes thyme…go ahead and experiment!)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 Tbsp lemon juice (add more as needed)
salt and pepper to taste

First, toast the nuts. Heat up a (dry!) pan on medium-low, then put the nuts in it for about 10 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every couple minutes so the nuts don’t burn. When your nuts are nice and toasty, dump them right into the food processor.

If you’re cooking your garlic, you can now use that same pan. Melt the Earth Balance (or just put the olive oil right in the pan), then add the garlic, toss it around for 30 seconds to a minute, then dump all that in the food processor too.

Pulse the nuts and garlic a few times. Add the greens and herbs, and the nutritional yeast. Puree thoroughly, adding the olive oil as you go. Add the olives and lemon juice and whizz it up some more till the olives are completely mixed in. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with spaghetti…or whatever you like!

Posted in food, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Simple Coconutty Mushroom Spinach Soup

This soup was inspired by a recipe from my friend Joan’s family. It comes together very quickly and is so rich in flavor! If you don’t have coconut oil, you could use olive oil or Earth Balance instead. 

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped 
8oz mushrooms (I used portabello)
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 Tbsp ginger root, chopped
1/4 cup water or veg broth
10oz spinach leaves
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper
salt, soy sauce, or Braggs liquid aminos to taste (optional)

Melt the coconut oil in your soup pot. Stir in the onions and mushrooms, and let them cook on medium for a few minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and water or veg broth. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach, then cover the pot again and give the spinach a few minutes to cook down, adding a little more water if necessary to keep stuff from sticking. Add the coconut milk and blend till smooth, using a food processor, standing blender, or immersion blender. (If you need to do this in batches, you can add the coconut milk 1/4 cup at a time.) Return it to the pot if you’ve taken it out, and add the nutmeg, pepper, and your choice of salty ingredient if you want it saltier.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Peanut Butter Pecan Cookies with Chocolate Chips

yields: about 30 cookies

6 Tbsp soy butter
6 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp applesauce
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
pinch of cloves
1 ½ cups + 3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup crushed or chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350F. Soften the soy butter (either leave it sitting out, or microwave it for 15 seconds). Combine the soy butter, peanut butter, and sugar in a large bowl, then beat them together with a hand mixer. Add the applesauce and extracts, continuing to mix into a creamy paste. Add the spices and mix them in. Add the flour and baking soda together, then the chocolate chips and pecans. Combine thoroughly to form your dough. Spoon large tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets, leaving room for the cookies to expand. Bake for 10-14 minutes (12 was perfect for me), then let cool for at least 5 minutes on the baking sheet.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment