Part of my goals for VeganMofo was to cook out of cookbooks and cook French food. Both of which I’ve done a pretty good job of for once. I still have Around My French Table from the library (which I should really just buy) and made this stuffed pumpkin from it. The recipe is also posted on NPR here. Obviously I left out the bacon, cheese, and cream. I had some leftover stuffing mix – you know, the crappy bag of MSG laden bread cubes that sells for $.99 after Thanksgiving and my boyfriend loves so I’ve had a bag in the cupboard for a year now because I hate packaged stuffing. Well it was perfect here. I mixed up half a bag of that with a chopped onion, salt, pepper, garlic, a big handful of Daiya cheddar, and some vegetable stock so moisten everything a bit. I stuffed it into a really pretty blue-green squash. I never found out what type of pumpkin/squash it was but that’s ok because I didn’t love it. It was a little dry and stringy for my tastes, I’ll stick with my preferred kabocha squash. It was still a fun experience though.
I love squash. I know I went on about it in a previous post, but really. It’s just awesome. It’s sweet, it’s savory, it last forever, its easy to prepare. I can’t get enough of it. Which is fortunate because I have two beautiful ones on my table night now. One is a Long Island Cheese that I got in our CSA today. Have I mentioned how much I love our CSA? I got a seven pound squash from them today and I was so excited they took my picture with it. The other one is a bit of a mystery and may need a photo to help identify it. The skin is a dusky green-blue and it’s probably 4 pounds with really deep ridges. It kind of looks like the Australian Blue Pumpkin. Either way, it’ll be delicious stuffed!
The other more recent squash was a kabocha. They are my favorite, the little ones are perfect to split for dinner. I split this one, scraped out the seeds, put cut side down on a baking sheet and roasted at 375 while I baked focaccia bread. When it was done I let it sit for a while and the rind sort of steams off and can be pulled away. I ate a quarter of it with my frankenbeans and then had more later for dessert with maple syrup and cinnamon.
Those frankenbeans are a frank/hot dog-less version of the recipe in Please Don’t Feed the Bears. If you don’t have that yet you should really get it. It’s awesome and hilarious. Not always the lowest calories since more than half the recipes rely on peanut butter, pasta, or potatoes, but everything I’ve had from it has been great. Because it can be a little hard to navigate I tend to find lots of recipes that seem new and require a bookmark. I love just leafing through it until something jumps out. When I was roasting my squash I wanted some sort of beans to go with it and needing something sweet and saucy I knew Bears would have something for me. I didn’t have everything the recipe called for and added a few things of my own.
Frank-less Beans Inspired by PDFT Bears
1 tbsp. oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c. ketchup
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. granulated garlic
dash of liquid smoke
Saute the onion in oil. When it starts to brown add the rest of the ingredients and a little water, let simmer until thick.
I’ve seen a lot of vegan mofo posts showing the contents of freezers. I whipped out my camera and opened the freezer only to realize there was no way I was going to show off its contents. First of all, I share the freezer with my mom. So my frozen tofu is right next to her bag of shrimp. Instead I bring you, the vegan cupboard.
My mom got sick of my stuff taking over so she gave me one cupboard all to my happy little self. The bottom shelf is mostly spices and staples like vinegars and canned food. The second shelf is grains/flours/ carbs of different varieties. And the top shelf is everything else that doesn’t get used too often, which the exception of the coffee and nooch. Now those spices on the bottom are just a sample. Here’s some more.
These are mostly my Indian spices and some random others. There is another drawer and shelf in the kitchen full of spices. I know, I need help. But I never have bland food! An example: buttercup squash-chickpea curry with seeds of cumin, coriander, mustard, kala jeera, fennel, ajwain, and some maharajah curry powder. And some shaved up asafoetida. Salt and pepper of course.
There’s a bit of a challenge on the PPK going on right now where for a week you use a cookbook that for some reason has fallen by the wayside. This week is Vegan Planet, which was actually my first vegan cookbook. But I was so overwhelmed I made a handful of recipes before putting it away. I’m really liking it now though so I doubt it’ll get shoved to the back of the shelf again.
The first thing I made was the adzuki bean and winter squash saute. The nice thing about this book is there is something for whatever ingredients you have on hand at the time. And this is what I had on hand. I fiddled with the spices a bit, because I always do that. Spices shouldn’t be listed in measurements, just ideas.
Tonight I made the Indian spiced quinoa with raisins and pinenuts. A few months ago I got some red quinoa from Paul’s Grains. Probably the cutest farming family ever. The dad once told my friend and I “A day without cornbread is like a day without sunshine.” They have all sorts of grains and cereals, all organic. But back to the food. Delicious. The raisins make it awesome. I also added split green peas, leftover adzuki beans, and some carrots.
And here’s the taco salad I made last night. I was lazy and this was easy, perfect combination. Just a pile up of lettuce, beans, red peppers, onions, salsa, and chunks of FYH Monterey Jack. This is from the first package of vegan cheese I got. I really liked it in sandwiches and salads. I want to try other brands now.