Sep 30

potato carrot mash

Today I have a joke for you, as told by Harrison.

Harrison: Knock, knock.
You: Who’s there?
Harrison: Orange
You: Orange who?
Harrison: Orange you glad there’s carrots in your potatoes?!

Hahahahahahahaha!

Oh wait. Sorry. Harrison just informed me that he would never, ever tell a joke like that. His joke would instead go like this:

Harrison: *glares at you*
You: Um, hi. Can I help you?
Harrison: *walks away*

That’s more like it.

Harrison actually was interested in these carrot potatoes when I made them. But it wasn’t so much in a “oh wow those look yummy” kind of way. It was more of a “hurry up and get out of my kitchen so I can go to sleep on that pile of oven mitts ” kind of way.

He really doesn’t know what he’s missing. These potatoes are sooooo good. You can actually barely taste the carrots, but having them in there made me feel approximately 30% less guilty about eating six servings of mashed potatoes over the course of two days. Carrots cancel out the calories from the potatoes. Right? Just as they do in carrot cake? Right.

Potato Carrot Mash
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Makes 6-8 servings
Printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs of Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup soy creamer
  • 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper

Start off by peeling and slicing the potatoes and carrots. Don’t go crazy over the size, just keep the pieces around 1-2″ inches.

 

Fill two medium saucepans with water and a dash of salt, and bring them to a boil. Cook the potatoes in one pot and the carrots in the other for 25 minutes, until both are tender.

Drain the carrots and potatoes and return them to their original pots.

Use a hand mixer to mash up the carrots

 

And then add the creamer and Earth Balance to the potatoes and mix those up really well, too.

 

Spoon the carrots into the potato pot, sprinkle on some salt and pepper

 

And mix it all together.

Orange you hungry now?

 

Okay, okay. I’ll stop.

Sep 26

ginger candy

Here’s the thing about ginger candy.

It’s ugly.

It’s misshapen and the color is weird. It’s like those animals that look all prickly and freaky because they want their predators to know that they pose a threat. Ginger is the stone fish of candy.

Photo Source

Except ginger candy isn’t poisonous. Okay maybe that’s not a good analogy after all.

Anyway…

Ginger candy.

It’s looks won’t win any awards but the taste certainly will. This is what I like to call a grown-up candy. Don’t give this candy to kids and expect them to like it. It doesn’t taste like the ginger candy that’s sold in the packaging with the cute little ginger dude on the front. This recipe has a kick to it. A chewy, delicious kick in the tongue.

Ginger Candy
Recipe from Ming Tsai  -The Food Network
Makes 25-30 pieces

Printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups vegan refined sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water

The original recipe also includes directions for making ginger ale from the syrup left over after cooking the ginger, which I think is a great idea. How cute would it be to receive a gift of homemade ginger ale and ginger candies?

Directions:
The first step is to peel and chop your ginger. Peeling ginger seems daunting, but I promise it’s not. The skin is very thin and you can use a spoon to scrape it off.

I like using a spoon in place of a knife or vegetable peeler because you save more of the ginger this way.

Once your ginger is peeled, chop it up into pieces that are a little bit bigger than bite-size. They’re going to shrink down when you cook them.

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small pot, bring the ginger, water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to a slow simmer.

Allow the mixture to simmer until it is reduced by about fifty percent. You’ll know it’s done when a thick syrup is formed. It will take roughly 20-30 minutes.

Remove the ginger and coat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

Spread the pieces out onto a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 2-3 hours, until the ginger dries out. You want them to be dry but chewy, so test a piece after 2 hours, and then in 15 minute increments, until you reach the desired consistency.

Remove the candy from the oven and allow the pieces to cool to room temperature before biting into them.

ginger ginger ginger

Oh one more awesome thing about making these candies – your kitchen is going to smell so good!

Sep 20

raspberry buttery spread

Everyone around me is coming down with something. Sneezing. Wheezing. Leaky noses. Clogged up noses.

Let me tell you something, I want no part of it.

Let me tell you something else. I’m going to get sick. I just know it. I haven’t had a cold in ages. I believe that I can thank my veggie-loaded diet for that, at least partly. But I believe my time has come. Any day now. It’s going to hit me.

Sebastian is not sick. Thank goodness! But he has sympathy pains for his dad.

When I do get sick, I want comfort food. More specifically, I want a giant stack of pancakes topped with this raspberry butter. Can you believe this butter?

I saw this recipe over at The Pioneer Woman’s corner of the internet and I wondered if it was possible to pull this off using Earth Balance. I also wondered if it would be possible to pull it off without using a standing mixer, because I don’t have one. As you can see, it worked!

After five minutes of prep time and a 1/2 hour of waiting, you’ll have delicious vegan raspberry butter!

Raspberry Buttery Spread
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces of Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread (1 container)
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries

 

To make the butter, first dump out your entire container of Earth Balance into a large bowl and whip it up using your hand mixer.

When all of the Earth Balance is soft, toss in the berries.

Here’s the tricky part. You don’t want to attack the berries with the mixer because you want them to break up in a pretty way, not a mushy way. So take off one of your beaters and mix the berries on the lowest setting possible. Mix for about 5-10 seconds and ta-da!

Berry butter!

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of a piece of aluminum foil, and plop the butter on top.

Roll the plastic wrap around the butter and knead the plastic until the butter forms a log.

Roll the foil around the plastic wrap and stick the butter log in the freezer for 30 minutes so it can set.

Unwrap and you’re all finished!

Store the butter in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Slice it up and enjoy!

Sep 12

happy two

I have one thing to blab about and then I’ll let you guys get back to the awesome Monday that I know you’re having.

I just want to say Happy Anniversary to this guy.

Thanks for marrying me two years ago.

And thank you for every day since.

Sep 07

my favorite dinners

Sometimes I make recipes that aren’t my own. I know. You’re so confused right now. You feel like maybe you don’t know me at all. You thought that I made three meals a day from scratch, with no outside inspiration. Who am I?

Haha! Of course you never thought that! You know I’m totally lazy. That’s why we’re friends. You accept me for who I am and, in return, I show you kitty photos.

“Hello, my name is Court Kitty. I am absentmindedly resting my face on a jar of sesame seeds. Also note my brother’s foot next to the tomato. He’s asleep, per usual.”

“Hello, my name is Court Kitty. I am sitting on top of the refrigerator while my brother is passed out in the wok behind me. This is normal behavior for us.”

 

Moving on.

Even if I were some kind of recipe-creating-and-cooking machine (I know a few people like that and they are my heroes) I’d still turn to my favorites every once in a while because I’m convinced that I can’t live without them.

These are my favorite meals. They’re my go-to dinners. They keep me (and Moose) full and energized. Oh and they’re also delicious. Let’s begin.

In no particular order…

Toasted Quinoa Mexican Soup from Virtually Vegan Mama

Photo Credit: Jennifer – Virtually Vegan Mama

This soup is award-winning and deservedly so.  There are so many flavors in this soup. Your tongue is going to be dancing for joy. Don’t skip the avocado, it makes it creamy and dreamy.

Hazelnut-Crusted Sweet Chili Tofu from Como Water

I took this photo. It’s not pretty. But I promise this tofu is phenomenal. This recipe is excellent proof that tofu can be delicious when prepared correctly. We dip it into Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce and it’s just so dang good.

Cold Soba, Sesame and Carrot Salad from Faith Durand at The Kitchn

Photo Credit: Faith Durand – The Kitchn

Make a giant serving of this and save some for leftovers. Eat it for lunch. Or breakfast. Once I had it for dinner and then also for breakfast and lunch the following day. I’d do it again, too. Maybe tomorrow.

Hummus Smeared Faux-Dillas from Veggie Terrain

You cannot get any easier than this. Buy a pack of tortillas. And a tub of hummus. Also a jar of salsa. Now spread it all around, toss some other things on there and cook it for a few minutes. These babies are surprisingly filling and very addictive.

3 Ingredient Tomato Sauce from The Baked Life

Photo Credit: Jen – The Baked Life

Admittedly, I only made this sauce for the first time last night. But it’s so delicious, I know that it is now a staple at our dinner table. (If we had a dinner table, that is. Oh the joys of NYC apartment living!) This recipe isn’t vegan, but just substitute Earth Balance for the butter and you’re all set. Jen, who is brilliant, suggests pairing this sauce with rigatoni and some Daiya mozzarella shreds. I say let’s go for it!

And last but certainly not least…

Chickpea Ratatouille from Dreena’s Vegan Recipes

I love traditional ratatouille and Dreena really stole my heart with this one. I like to serve it with quinoa and, in my opinion, it’s even better the next day. You can find this recipe on Dreena’s blog and it’s also in her book, “Vive le Vegan!: Simple, Delectable Recipes for the Everyday Vegan Family”
There you have it. I stand by these recipes. I eat them all the time. If you want to make one of them and invite me over for dinner, Sebastian and I are not opposed to that.

“Hi, I’m Sebastian Bob. I can do no wrong.”