Posts Tagged ‘Roasting’

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Fresh and Fun Vegetarian Fajitas

March 13, 2011

Zut alors!  It has been quite a while since our last post.  In all honesty, I meant to post something up but simply kept procrastinating. <(-_-)>  I’ve been juggling a lot of recipes in the R&D department lately, most of which are still works-in-progress.  The recipe I wanted to share today I’ve tweaked a couple of times, and think I’ve finally got it to a share-worthy stage.

Since becoming a vegetarian, there are naturally some “off-limits” foods that I crave.  But, while it is occasionally a craving for the meat (OMG pork chops), more often than not, it is the spices and depth of flavor of the dish that I crave.  One of my favorite classically meaty dishes was fajitas.  I love the sound and scent of the sizzling plates, the gentle spiciness, and flavors reminiscent of citrus.  Now, while I do love me some veggie protein substitutes when it comes to tacos and such, I really didn’t want to rely on “meat” to bring this comforting dish to life.  For this recipe I enlisted the help of a trusted friend, butternut squash.  It’s slightly sweet, vibrantly orange — always a good decision.

Thoughts:

-You can use your favorite fajita seasoning (packet) if you don’t have all these spices on hand. However, all of these spices (perhaps sans ground coriander) should be in your cabinet. <(>.>)>

-Speaking of ground coriander, I used it here because my parents aren’t the biggest fans of cumin. I find that the coriander softens the pungency of the cumin, while enhancing the citrus flavor. P.S. Ground coriander is the seed of the lovely cilantro plant. ❤ Cilantro.

-Add more or less cayenne based on your fire threshold. This recipe should rank about a 2-3/10 on the spiciness scale.

-If you want to add a bean component to your dish, serve with some black beans jazzed up with chopped green chilis, diced onion, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and diced tomato.

-You can garnish these fajitas with the typical fare, or opt for the Sweet and Spicy Sour Cream-y Cole Slaw — yes, it’s a mouthful but sooo worth it! — we whipped up (Recipe below).  It really offers a nice cooling contrast to the warm richness of the fajita veggies!

*disclosure: all photos are from recipe version 2.0 before addition of green peppers and coleslaw. Still delicious however.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Fajitas

  • 1 ½ lb butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 sweet onion, cut in half-moon slices
  • 1 bell pepper of choice, sliced
  • 1 pkg of cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 lime (zest+juice)
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Flour or corn tortillas (I favor the corn)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Yah for shake and roast!

In a large bowl or a gallon size plastic bag toss in all ingredients. Mix/shake vigorously to get every bit nicely coated. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender and aroma irresistible.

So colorful! (well even more colorful with green peppers)

Scoop roasted veggies into a tortilla (or several) and top with your desired fixin’s. The cole-slaw topping was a nice addition by Josie that really makes this dish some good noms. P.S. This recipe is vegan friendly, well minus the sour cream, woot woot!

A before picture of the fajitas. I took an after but it was just an empty plate so...yeah. <(^_^)>

Sweet and Spicy Sour Cream-y Cole Slaw

  • 1 head green cabbage*, shredded
  • 1 head red cabbage*, shredded
  • 2 large carrots*, julienned
  • 5-6 radishes, julienned
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

This recipe yields A LOT of cole slaw.  Reduce everything by half if you want a more managable amount, or see the following option:

*If you’re in a hurry, you can use a pre-packaged cole slaw veggie blend in place of the cabbage and carrots, in which case halve the sour cream sauce.

~Josephine and Erik <(^_^)>

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B is for Beets; and Borscht, Coincidentally

December 2, 2010

The second ingredient of the recipe exchange is beets! Oddly enough, we’re two for two in terms of ingredient+recipe alliteration. First annatto+Andean potato stew and now this. Wonder how long it will continue on? Regardless, the colorful red root veggie was Josie’s choice for us and it was actually really interesting to work with.

I know what you are thinking. Eww. Gross. No. I was thinking that too. I’ve always seen beets as those sweet and sour red things at the salad bar. I tried them when I was little, but never really developed a taste for them. I just remember them being slightly sour and that they were bleeding into the mushrooms and boiled eggs lying adjacent to them on my salad plate.

So yesterday I went to the nearby Harris Teeter to procure some of these crimson orbs. I had seen them before in the produce section but never paid too much attention. When picking my bunch, I was shocked by how large the beet plus all the greens were. They barely fit in the bag. Fast forward to me in the kitchen. I had heard tales of the staining power of beets, but thought to myself “meh, I got this. I’m pretty graceful.” Haha. Good joke…hopefully those red droplets wash out from my orange Piggly Wiggly T-shirt. <(-_-)>

So the recipe that went along with the beets was for a vegetarian borscht soup. I liked where it was going, but of course changed everything around a bit. The ingredients are about the same, just changed the cooking method.

Thoughts:

-Roasted vegetables are always amazing to use in soups, IMHO.

-Next time I would try using extra seasonings in the soup to spice it up such as caraway seeds. While tasty, it could definitely use something extra/I wish I had some caraway…

-Potatoes would be a much-welcomed addition.

-I love mushrooms. ❤

Such a wonderfully deep red. Be careful, it stains!

Roasted Vegetable Borscht

  • 1 lb fresh beets (no canned junk)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 lb cabbage, shredded finely
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large portabella caps
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • lemon juice
  • chives
  • sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Clean the beets well to remove any dirt and grit. Chop off the leafy stems and set aside (you can cook these later). Using a peeler, remove the tougher outer layer from the beets. Set one smaller beet aside. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Peel carrots and cut in half, then dice. Cut the onion into half moons and slice thinly. Toss all the root vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

While the veggies are roasting, heat the broth until boiling. Add in the roasted vegetables and shredded cabbage. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. While soup is simmering, roast the portabella caps upside down with olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender.

When soup has simmered, take the reserved beet and grate it into the soup. This will brighten up the color even further. At this point add the juice of ½ a lemon or a tablespoon or two. You want just enough to balance the sweetness from the beets. Let simmer for 5 more minutes. Adjust flavor to you liking with additional salt, pepper, and or lemon juice.

To serve, top with a dollop of sour cream, some slices of the roasted portabella, and a sprinkle of chives. Enjoy this deliciously sweet n’ sour warming winter nom.

~Erik <(^_^)>

P.S.

In case you were wondering about how to prep the beet greens:

Clean the stems and leaves to get rid of all the dirt and grit. Chop up the greens and put in a medium sauté pan and fill with about ½” of liquid be it broth or water. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice. Cook on high uncovered until the greens have cooked down to about nothing. Season as desired and enjoy. (Note be careful with the lemon juice…I may have gone overboard with my first attempt and the sourness was overpowering and couldn’t be overcome…wamp wamp<(>_<)>).

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Tofurkey Discussions

December 1, 2010

So we tried it. The infamous tofurkey. And the results: it was tasty. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it was my favorite meat substitute in the world, but it did fill that void left by the glorious turkey (by void I mean something to eat my cranberry jelly with).

The flavor itself was a little saltier than I would have liked. It also felt strange using a serrated knife to carve this vegan treat. By strange I mean wrong. It definitely had a very “meaty” chewiness to it. All in all, I would probably indulge in this vegetarian butterball once a year on Thanksgiving if that. Oh also, the stuffing inside was tasty with wild rice. The best part of the tofurkey was the gravy with tofu “giblets.” I’m not usually a fan of gravy, but this stuff was delicious. Better than the tofurkey.

That being said I think this was my favorite Thanksgiving of the week. I had three and all had their special flair but this one too me was the best in terms of the culinary output. We made sweet potato casserole, stuffing with soysage and pecans, horseradish mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, yeast rolls, brown sugar carrots, canned cranberry (hell yes), and pineapple cheese casserole. Here are some pics of the tastiness.

PICTURES WILL BE UP SOON I PROMISE.

(CAPS LOCK KEY—Found it!)

Edit: 12/22/10

Wow these photos are not the best (stupid dumb cheap camera) and almost a month later  but regardless here they are:

The Tofurkey in all its synthetic turkey glory! Complete with potatoes, butternut squash, and gravy with real tofurkey giblets! Yah!

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Brown Sugaa Carrots, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Yeast Rolls, Pineapple Cheese Casserole (so weird its good), Sweet Potato Casserole, and Stuffing with Soysage and Pecans

I believe my favorite part of the meal had to be the roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. It sounds kinda funky I know. It’s a  bizarre pairing but it works so well and it is seriously good noms.

Thoughts:

-Great combo together as the squash keeps the sprouts nice and moist. The flavors play very well off of each other as well. The sweetness of the squash works so well with the delightful bitterness of the sprouts. This is definitely going to be a staple of my Thanksgiving table.

Pre-roasting: So colorful! <(^_^)>

All Roasty and Delicious. Note: not all of it made it to the dish...om nom nom

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

  • 1 ½ lbs of fresh Brussels sprouts, or 1 stalk
  • 1 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • A good drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400° F. To prep the Brussels sprouts cut off the rough bottom or cut from the stalk and slice in half. Place the prepared sprouts and squash on a foil lined cookie sheet and give it a good dousing of olive oil. Grind some pepper and sea salt over the veggies. Be generous. Finally top off with the chopped pecans. (These will get nice and toasty! <(^_^)>) Put into the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and the sprouts are tender and browned. Enjoy and try to share with others!

~Erik <(^_^)>

P.S. On a random sidenote: While trying to spell tofurkey for this post I accidentally spelt it as “tofukey” multiple times and proceeded to lol while proofing.