Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunday Dinner December 11th

On the Menu

Angelique
I am not trying to scare you, but this Sunday all of our dishes are vegan - except the meatloaf.
Mom
I know many of you hear the word vegan and cringe in horror; but vegan dishes can be just as tasty  as any other dishes.  And Vegan simply means that the food  doesn't contain any animal products or by-products [mayonnaise, cheese, chicken broth etc.] at all, including honey [since it's made by bees].
Angelique
I didn't even know what vegan was.  All I know is I see vegetarians eating fake bacon and processed stuff they called sausage. I'm like, this can't be healthy.  You're worried about the hormones in meat, but not about processed faux food?  
Mom
Unfortunately, there is more processed food on the market than not.  That's true whether you eat meat or not.  That's why whenever possible, I elect fresh or dried [rice, beans, etc.] products than any other method.
Angelique
And fresh products are a lot cheaper than cooked, canned or frozen.  I just took the Asian Style Salad with grilled chicken to a potluck luncheon for 20 people and spent $10 on ingredients.  
Mom
I can not emphasize this enough. Grocery stores mark up produce like you would not believe. Find a local farmer's market where you can buy a week's worth of fruit and veggies for 20 bucks.  
Angelique
Mom is so funny.  The day before Thanksgiving, she went into the grocery store and the vegetables were not only old and wilted they were marked up like crazy.  Even the cashier admitted it.  My poor mother, braved 3 hours of holiday traffic on the 405 to get to the Santa Monica Farmers Market for her greens.  I wonder how much she wasted in gas?
Mom
I know you think that’s excessive and you may be right but it was worth it to me, and that’s all that counts!
Angelique
It was worth it to me too.  Them greens were good.  

Soulful Eating!
Angelique and Joyce

Split Pea Soup – Made Easy
Yield 6 - 8 Servings

Ingredients                                               
3 quarts water
1 large bay leaf
1 pound split peas
1 large potato, peeled, quartered
1 large carrot, sliced
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground fennel (cumin or rosemary)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method
Roughly cut potatoes and carrots because they will be pureed
In a large stockpot, add all ingredients. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium low and cover. 
Cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until everything is soft; when soup is done, remove the bay leaf.
Remove pot from the heat; if you have an immersion blender [hand wand] puree soup in the pot.
If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree, then return soup to the pot. 
Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until the soup reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.

 Asian Style Salad
Ingredients
1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1 bunch scallions cut on bias
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
For the Dressings
1 cup grapes seed oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¾ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup tamari
Method
Prep all vegetables and mix together in a large bowl.
Blend dressing in a blender or with an immersion blender [hand wand].
Pour ¼ cup over salad and mix thoroughly, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Use remaining dressing to serve over salad when platting.
You can store any excess dressing in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to 30 days.
 
 Beef Meatloaf
8 Servings
Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
½ cup tomato sauce

Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees

Place ground beef in a large bowl, add the vinegar and salt and mix thoroughly by hand.
With the exception of the tomato sauce, add all remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix by hand.
Place mixture in a loaf pan and top with the tomato sauce. 
Bake in a preheated oven uncovered 45 minutes.
Let loaf rest for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to complete the cooking process and allow the juices to settle.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4 - 6 Servings
Ingredients
2 pounds organic red skin potatoes
Water to cover
1 bay leaf
3 large garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
¼ cup of the liquid potatoes were cooked in
Method
Wash/scrub potatoes and cut them into equal size.
Cover with cold water then add bay leaf and garlic cloves, bring to a boil.
Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Drain potatoes and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Place the potatoes, mustard powder, sea salt, vegan mayonnaise in a mixing bowl with a paddle.
Mix just long enough for potatoes to reach a creamy consistency. Add cooking liquid ¼ cup at a time if needed.
If you process too long potatoes will become sticky and gooey rather than light and fluffy.
You can also use a potato masher to cream the potatoes.  Just be careful not to over mix the potatoes, you want them to be light and fluffy.

Roasted Baby Carrots with Dill
2 Servings

Ingredients
12 ounces baby carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss carrots in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper and herb. Transfer to a baking sheet in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until browned and slightly tender.

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