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Posts Tagged ‘Spicy’

Melanie has been making several soups of a curried nature, and it really has me craving soups and curries. So here’s a little something I threw together inspired by her latest, delicious creations! This recipe makes about 6-8 servings, depending on your serving size and how much liquid you add to thin out the soup.

Ingredients:

2-2.5 C dried chickpeas; soaked and cooked [save some of the cooking water to use for the soup]

1 medium butternut squash; roasted (375°F, ~30 min) and roughly chopped

1 medium sweet potato; roasted (375°F, ~30 min) and roughly chopped

1 raw Serrano pepper, roughly chopped

1 small shallot, raw, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp each paprika, ginger, and sage

4.5-5 C bean cooking water or broth (enough to make a smooth, soupilicious consistency)

salt & pepper to taste

green chili sauce, to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Puree together all ingredients and spices until smooth. I used an immersion blender, but you could also use a food processor. Adjust consistency to preference adding 1 C of liquid at a time. I started with 2 C (to get the process going) and added slowly until it became the perfect thickness.

2. Garnish with homemade croutons and sprinkled paprika.

Happy Cooking!

On this day in history: Pizza, Ti voglio bene!

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Tex-Mex meets New-Mex Fiesta

Here’s a menu I created for Jo’s post-dissertation defense (“Dark Matter”) party Spring 2008. It was a huge hit for both the vegans and omni’s alike. It served about 40 people buffet-style, with plenty for morning-after leftovers. I used about 3 doz tamales and made about 2 dry C of the quinoa. I didn’t scale up any of the recipes (except for the quinoa and the margaritas). It was BYOB, and we had a house Sangria for the guests, but naturally some wanted my wonderful margaritas. So we went through about 2-3 full pitchers, which used a total of a full bottle of tequila and about 1.5 bottles of triple sec.

This menu would also serve nicely as a buffet at a big Super Bowl Party this coming February! 🙂

Main Munchers:

Basic Roasted Vegetables (Roasted Red Bell, Corn, Zucchini, Red Onion) served with tortilla chips
Black Bean tamales with Tomatillo Salsa and Pico de Gallo
New Mexican Veg & Quinoa (with Tomatillos, Green Chilies, Black Beans, Corn, and Spinach)
Spicy nuts and seeds
Jo’s Favorite Roasted Potatoes
Zucchini fritters – my secret recipe, sorry folks – maybe I’ll let it go one day when we put out a Primate cookbook 😉
Fresh fruit salad

Dessert and Drinks:

Sugar Cookies (in drop form, not specially shaped)
House Sangria
Margaritas (Pitcher)

Happy Hosting!

On This Day In History: Classic 3-Bean Salad

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Here’s a soup that will warm you from your head to your tootsies on these cold winter nights! A spicy soup, reminiscent of my velvety tomato soup..but with a wonderful flavor addition of roasted red bell peppers! This recipes makes about 4-6 servings. It would be supreme topped with some homemade croutons!

Ingredients:

1 TBSP (or so) canola or olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 medium golden potatoes, small diced
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 jar (454g) roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 C vegetable broth
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried garden sage
1 tsp dried garden oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh ground coriander
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP minced ginger
1 tsp cayenne *if you’re opposed to too much spice, start with 1/2 tsp and work up from there

Directions:

1. Warm oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Dice onion and potato. Add to warmed oil. Let saute a few minutes, then add the canned diced tomatoes.
2. Roughly chop the red bell and mince the ginger. Add to pot.
3. Add in herbs and spices, stir to combine. Let saute a few minutes, maybe 2 or 3, then add the broth.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer approximately 30 minutes. Puree with a stick blender, or transfer to a regular blender to puree until smooth. Top with croutons or serve with a slice of Earth Balance buttered toast, and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

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Curry Spice Blend

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of pre-blended curry powder you get at the grocer – I don’t feel it gives an accurate “curry” flavor. While it suffices for those who have no idea how to throw together your own blend of spices for a curry flavor, those of you who follow the Primate now have no excuse not to have the best homemade curry this side of the Pacific. This recipe makes about 1/4 C – which is just perfect for several recipes worth! Check out Jo’s Chickpea, Cauliflower, and Kale curry or my Indian-spiced String Beans, not to mention a perfect Autumn delight: Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup!

Ingredients:

1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tsp fenugreek [optional]
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorn
2 allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom seed [optional]
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBSP turmeric powder

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and grind to a fine powder in spice mill or grinder – or if you’re cool for old-school like me, use a mortar and pestle 😉 . Use in place of ‘curry powder’ called for in ANY recipe!

You want to keep this covered tightly, and away from light and heat. This will make it last longer, so you can have fresh curry flavor at a moment’s notice!

Happy Grinding!

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VeganMoFo 2009

Two of my favorite things in the wintertime are chili and chocolate…so here’s a delicious way to combine the two! I don’t know if it’s purely for the love of things spicy and love of things sweet, or if it’s because in Texas we never actually had cold winters (and hot soup with windows open just seems wrong) – and here in KC I can actually use soups to warm me, cuddled up under a blanket (or dog)! This would be excellent followed up by a cup of Double Chocolate Diablo – if you’re having a wicked chocolate craving 😉 A little bit about mole (pronounced mole-ay, not like the animal or spy)… During Dia de los Muertos, mole is a popular offering to dead loved ones, because of its many ingredients. Since mole is eaten on special occasions, many see it as a fit offering – and we all know that is coming up, right after Halloween!! This recipe makes about 4 servings.

Ingredients:

4 C veggie broth
1 small can tomato sauce
2-3 TBSP canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 C diced golden potatoes
1.5 C cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 TBSP cocoa powder
2 TBSP chili powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne *optional
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
fresh black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Warm the canola oil over medium heat, in a large stock pot. Dice the onion.
2. Add onion and minced ginger to warmed oil, and cook about 3-5 minutes, meanwhile dice the potatoes.
3. Add in spices (cocoa powder, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper), and stir. Add in tomato sauce, potatoes, chickpeas, and broth.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes (until potatoes are cooked through). Serve with cornbread, tortillas, or tortilla chips. Enjoy!

chili mole1

**I would also recommend adding in some diced tomatoes, just to round out the tomato flavor!

Happy Cooking!

On This Day In History: Casper the Friendly Cupcake!

ghost cupcakes

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VeganMoFo 2009This chili recipe is known throughout the Underworld, and revered as the quintessential ‘Red Ribbon’ (since it’s hot down there, they don’t have blues..they have reds) Chili – and would you expect anything less from Persephone – the wife and Queen of the big man himself, Hades!? Of course not.. So here is a chili that is hot enough to burn the tongues of those banished to the Underworld, such as The Titans or Tantalus, not to mention those who choose to inhabit it, such as Charon or Cerberus. So take a temporary little trip to fiery hell, without actually going there 😉 The heat of the jalapeños won’t linger, so don’t be afraid. However, if you can’t take the heat….reduce it to 1 jalapeno. And only for the bravest of souls, adding a bit of cayenne will banish all those demons back to the hell they came from…

Ingredients:

1/3 dry C each of 4 beans, soaked overnight and cooked (or use about 3 cans of beans: black, pinto, and kidney or cannellini)
1 med onion, minced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 jalapeños, minced
2 TBSP chili powder
1tsp each garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt
1 8oz can tomato sauce
4 C broth

Directions:

1. Soak and cook the beans.
2. When ready to make the chili, heat 2 TBSP canola oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Mince the onion, garlic, and jalapenos. Add to the hot oil, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook about 8 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
3. Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine (it will become very dry at this point). Add the tomato sauce and broth. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
4. Simmer for 30 minutes, serve sprinkled with cornbread, and enjoy!

Persephone's Chili

**I’ve been known to serve my chili with cornbread (as above) or tortilla chips, but my personal all-time favorite accompaniment to chili is a flour tortilla, rolled up so I can dip it into the chili! Oh, it’s sooooo good!

Happy Cooking!

On This Day In History: Veggie Sushi

sushi5

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Tex-Mex Rice

Growing up we called this Spanish rice, but after investigating recipes for traditional ‘Spanish rice,’ this did not fit the bill.  So here’s the Tex-Mex version of a Spanish-style rice 🙂 This goes great with Green Enchiladas and Papas Refritas, or Roasted Veg Enchiladas and Refried Beans, or any other Tex-Mex or Mexican meal. I suppose we could put this in the SOP category, as an all-purpose side to any mexican-inspired meal. This recipe serves about 4.

Ingredients:

1 C brown rice
1/2 large yellow onion (or 1 small-medium) diced
1-2 cloves garlic – you just want accent garlic, not overwhelm garlic
2 TBSP canola oil
1.5-2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
2 C water or veg broth
juice of 1 lime
cilantro for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Heat canola oil in a large deep-sided skillet/pan. Saute onion and garlic until garlic begins to soften, about 5-8 minutes. Add rice and toast lightly for a few minutes.

Tex-Mex Rice1Tex-Mex Rice2
2. Add spices, broth, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for approximately 45 minutes (or if using white rice, adjust time accordingly).

Tex-Mex Rice3
3. When all liquid is absorbed, let sit 5 minutes, covered. Drizzle with lime juice and stir in a handful of chopped cilantro. Serve with more cilantro sprinkled on top and enjoy!

Tex-Mex Rice4

Happy Cooking!

On this day in history: Double-Blueberry Drop Scones

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Green-Yellow beansI’m not normally a huge fan of peanut sauces, though I’ll eat them. The problem I find with most peanut sauce recipes is that they are overwhelmingly peanut buttery. If I want to eat peanut butter, I’ll slather it on a bar of Endangered Species or Dagoba chocolate – not on pasta 😉 But if you want a sauce that tastes like peanuts and not like peanut butter + spices, this is the one for you. I’ve adapted the recipe from Vegetarian Classics by Jeanne Lemlin. The recipe serves 4 as a main course, and I bet it would be excellent served with a spring roll appetizer. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the name of the dish..one of my lady’s has been on me to post a peanut sauce practically since the inception of the blog…so here’s to you Dr. Zeigler!! (Oh and don’t feel sorry for her wait..she’s also one of my taste-testers, so she’s been compensated for waiting 🙂 )

Ingredients:

Sauce:Sauce-preblended
1/4 C shoyu sauce (*GF: double check your sauce if you need GF)
2 TBSP canola oil
2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 TBSP peanut butter – creamy or crunchy, whatever you have on hand
1 TBSP brown rice vinegar
3-4 garlic cloves
1 TBSP minced ginger (fresh or the stuff in the jar)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or be bold like me and put in 1-2 bird’s eye peppers (seeds and everything – I used 2 small peppers and it resulted in a “medium” heat..and it didn’t linger. The PB helps mellow the heat…so don’t be afraid to try out a pepper or two)
1/2 tsp salt

Pasta/Veg:Cuc-ChocBell
1 pound penne, or other short noodle like rigatoni or fusilli (for GF use an appropriate noodle. I used a Brown Rice Penne)
8 oz green beans, or a mix of green and yellow – if you can find purple, even better – cut into 2-inch sections (for easy bites)
2 red,purple, orange, or yellow bell peppers, julienned – aside from tasting good, they provide color to the dish
3 scallions
1 cucumber, peeled, cut lengthwise, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
1/2 C roasted cashews, ideally unsalted, roughly chopped
*optional: fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil for the noodles. If you’ve got a strainer or steamer basket that can fit on top of the pot, you can do the noodles and the green beans at the same time.
2. Meanwhile, place all sauce ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth; set aside. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cooking according to package directions (for my rice penne it took about 8 or 9 minutes). In a steamer basket, steam the beans lightly for no more than 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking of the beans – to keep them crunchy. When the noodles are done, rinse them under cold water as well.
3. Place the veg, nuts and noodles in a large bowl, top with sauce and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to chill out and marinade for about 30 minutes. If the pasta gets too dry whilst marinating, drizzle with a little more toasted sesame oil just to give the moisture content a little nudge. You can also reserve a small amount of the sauce for refreshing it just before serving.

Zeiglers Spicy Peanut Penne2Zeigler's Spicy Peanut Penne1**Feel free to add in any other veg of choice, like bean sprouts or julienned zucchini!

Zeiglers Spicy Peanut Penne3

Happy Cooking!

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jalapeno corn muffin1I wouldn’t normally make cornbread (regular or muffins) in the summer, since I mostly associate cornbread with chili..and chili is a winter dish. However, at the Farmers Market last week I stumbled onto gold! Or more accurately…a boat load of jalapeños! I was at the stand where I normally get my tomatoes and onions, and I noticed a box of jalapeños just sitting there, all sad and lonely (well, it had fellow jalapeño boxes to keep it company). I asked my lady how much..and she responded with $1.00. I nearly lost it, one dollar for all those jalapenos – “Yes,” she said. “I’ll take it. I don’t know how I’m going to use them all, but I’ll find a way. I have no doubt.” I didn’t want to tell her she was crazy for letting all those jalapeños go for so little, but then I remembered where I was (Kansas) where spicy is a farcical term – not in Texas where spicy is not only accurate, but separate from descriptions such as ‘oh, it’s habanero hot’ or ‘fire hot’ ..”spicy” is often considered medium in certain places, and only the brave ask for hot. But I digress.. where was I, oh yes..don’t normally make cornbread in summer..yada yada.. so here’s some jalapeno cornbread!

Ingredients:

1 batch Texas Cornbread
2-4 (or if your peppers are on the mild side, go for 6) jalapenos, lightly roasted in the oven

Directions:roasted jalapenos

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast jalapenos about 5 minutes on each side, until the skin starts to bubble up and look like yummy roasted goodness.
2. Meanwhile, mix up the batch of Texas cornbread.
3. When peppers are done roasting (and are cool enough to handle), slice down one side and remove some of the seeds (if necessary for the mild eaters). I used the full seeds of 1 diced jalapenospepper, and half the seeds of a second – out of 4 peppers total. I would classify mine as a medium to hot heat, which was perfect for me! Turn down the heat to 350°F.
4. Dice the peppers to your size preferancy – I don’t like huge chunks of jalapenos, so I diced mine to a small dice. But some are down with bites of pepper, that’s cool too. Stir into TX Cornbread batter. Butter and flour the muffin tin or 9X13 pan, and aliquot into B&F’d pan. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes for muffins, or 40-45 minutes for 9X13 pan. Enjoy!

jalapeno corn muffin

*Note: I enjoyed mine with a tall glass of Orange Pekoe Ice Tea.

On this day in history: Cherry Almond Sorbet

Happy Baking!

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These potatoes are VERY spicy, because New Mexican Green Chili is VERY spicy. If you’re not a New Mexican, or have never been there, green chili sauce is pervasive. The official state question (no, really) is “red or green?” They make red chili sauce too, but the green is clearly superior. 😉 Anyway, my favorite source of green chili (El Patio) doesn’t sell theirs online, but if you can’t buy any green chili where you are, a very tasty second choice is 505 Green Chili Sauce.  The chili is really the focus of this dish and not just a subtle flavor booster; the potatoes are just serving as a vehicle for chili consumption.  Why would I do such thing?  Because I love green chili!  And I live on the East Coast now, and am deep in withdrawal.  But on Friday a case of chili arrived (thanks, Sharon!) and I just want to drink the stuff.  Yes, your lips will burn.  Yes, you’ll break a sweat.  But then (after the pain subsides), you will experience a green chili high.  And it will be awesome.

Ingredients:

GreenChiliTaters1

3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cubed small

1 medium onion

3-4 cloves garlic

1 jar New Mexican Green Chili

1 TBS canola oil

1-2 tsp salt, to taste

Instructions:

1.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium.

2.  Add potatoes and fry for 10 minutes, without stirring them.

3.  Toss in the onions, garlic and salt.  Stir it up.  Cook an additional 5 minutes.

4.  Stir in the green chili.  🙂  Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

5.  Let sit for 15 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken up.

ChiliTaters

On this day in History: Jamaican Pineapple Tango

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