Vegetable Rolls

I bought the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook more than a decade ago. It was our primary cookbook for a number of years, then it slowly fell out of favor when I stopped eating gluten and dairy. Recently, however, I was thumbing through my cookbooks, looking for inspiration.

I seem to have fallen into a vegan, gluten-free way of eating over the past year. If you’ve tried eating vegan and gluten-free and were raised eating pasteurized processed cheese food and bacon sandwiches on white bread with butter and mayonnaise as I was, you know it requires a lot of inspiration.

What I discovered in my aimless thumbing was the “vegan list” in the back of the cookbook. I spent a morning looking up each recipe, checking it for gluten and for likely acceptance by my family, and making a nice, long list of new recipes to try.

One of these was very simply named “Vegetable Rolls.”

CIMG9328

I’ve tried making spring rolls before using raw vegetable fillings, and they were kind of ho-hum. These Vegetable Rolls are not ho-hum. The vegetables are lightly sauteed, dressed in a basic sauce, and mixed with fresh tarragon and basil before they’re rolled in the rice papers. The result is a tasty, fresh, satisfying meal that’s well worth the time it takes to prepare.

My husband loved these, I loved these, my 7.5-year-old daughter opened hers up and ate the filling, and my 3.5-year-old refused to even taste them. That’s about the best we’re able to do these days. I’ll take it. I made them again later on in the week to use the rest of the mushrooms we’d bought.

The recipe includes a hoisin dipping sauce, but I couldn’t find any gluten-free, sugar-free hoisin sauce, so I made up my own little sauce out of tamari, water, rice vinegar, garlic, hot pepper sesame oil, and a little ginger. I can’t tell you the ratios because I really didn’t pay close attention, but if you play around with those, you should be able to come up with a yummy sauce. If you make your own sauce, you also might want to add a little sweetener (agave, sugar, honey).

Vegetable Rolls

Reprinted with permission from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2001.

Serves 4 to 6; Total time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 ounces bean thread noodles

1 T peanut or other vegetable oil (I used sesame)

2 c grated green cabbage

2 c sliced mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 T grated fresh ginger root

1 c peeled and grated carrots

1 c thinly sliced red bell peppers

1/2 c finely chopped scallions

2 T soy sauce (I used wheat-free tamari)

1 T rice vinegar

1 T chopped fresh tarragon

2 T chopped fresh basil

12 rice paper discs (8 inches across)

1/4 c chopped peanuts (I didn’t use these)

Directions:

Soak the bean threads in warm water until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the cabbage for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and ginger and continue to saute on medium heat for another 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Add the carrots and bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes more, until hot but still slightly crunchy. Remove from the heat.

When the bean threads are soft, drain them and cut into 3- to 4-inch lengths with scissors or a knife. Add them to the sauteed vegetables with the scallions, soy sauce, vinegar, tarragon, and basil. Stir to combine and set aside.

Moisten the rice-paper discs a few at a time at a time by immersing each one in a large shallow bowl (I used a pie plate) of warm water, transferring it to a clean towel, and laying it flat (I just laid them one at a time on a clean cutting board. It was pretty wet, but I just didn’t let them get completely soft before taking them out of the bath). Let them soften for a few minutes. Soften more as needed and as space permits.

Place about 1/3 cup of filling on the bottom half of a softened disc, fold over the sides, nd then roll up from the bottom, as tightly and gently as possible. Place seam side down on a platter and repeat with the rest of the filling and discs.

Serve with Hoisin Dipping Sauce (see below—or your own improvisational dipping sauce) and a sprinkling of peanuts.

Hoisin Dipping Sauce

(which I did not make)

1/4 c hoisin sauce

1 T water

2 T rice vinegar or lemon juice

1 t dark sesame oil

1/2 t Chinese chili paste (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

Super-Secret Vegetarian Lasagna. Part Two: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

This one has the approval of vegans and dairy-eaters alike, but if you eat gluten and dairy (and love lots of cheese), also check out my Super-Secret Vegetarian Lasagna!

I have been trying since 2004 to make a yummy vegan lasagna. Back when I could still eat dairy, I would top the ones that weren’t yummy with a thick layer of melted cheese and that would make them palatable. Now that I can tolerate neither gluten nor dairy, the stakes are higher.

This weekend, however, I seem to have broken the code. This lasagna had me going back for seconds (and thirds, if truth be told). For the first time ever I didn’t spend my meal wishing I was eating the gooey cheesy lasagna on my husband’s plate rather than my own.

It was a red-letter day. And I got to serve yummy lasagna to the vegan friend who was over, which made me quite proud!

CJ’s Kick-Butt GF Vegan Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 batch of sauce (see Saturday’s post for the sauce recipe)

1 pound gluten-free lasagna noodles (uncooked)

1 package extra-firm tofu

1 bunch spinach (washed very well)

1 bunch basil (washed well as well)

1 T olive oil

1 yellow summer squash, sliced into half-moons

1/2-pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 generous dash each, oregano and garlic powder

1 package mozzarella-style vegan cheese (Daiya is gluten-free and not awful, but it seems like everyone’s got their favorite brand. Use what you like.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the basil and spinach into thin ribbons and combine in a large bowl. In a food processor, process the tofu until it’s smooth and creamy, like ricotta cheese, about 30 seconds. Spoon tofu into the basil and spinach mixture and stir until incorporated evenly.

Spinach/basil/tofu mixture

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced squash and mushrooms along with the oregano and garlic and saute until the mushrooms have released their juices and the squash is just softened.

mushroom/squash/garlic/oregano mixture

Now you’re ready to assemble your lasagna.

Put a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Getting artsy with my layering.

Put a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on top, using broken pieces to fill in the space at the end of the pan, if necessary. Spread half of the spinach/tofu mixture on top of the noodles and top that with half of the mushroom/squash mixture. Add another layer of noodles and cover the noodles with a generous layer of sauce. Add remaining spinach mixture and then mushroom mixture, and then cover with another layer of noodles. Cover the top layer of noodles with a generous portion of sauce and sprinkle with vegan cheese.

Cover the lot with a layer of foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and vegan cheese is melted.

Ready for the oven! (once I put the foil on)

Super-Secret Vegetarian Lasagna. Part One: The One I Can’t Eat

For you gluten-free and/or dairy-free types, check out my Super-Secret Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagna!

I always loved my mom’s lasagna when I was a kid. Then I grew up and became vegetarian and had to modify the recipe so it didn’t include beef. Then I started eating meat again, but by that time, I loved my lasagna so much without meat, I never bothered to add it back. Plus, with darned near four pounds of cheese, who needs meat?

Then I stopped being able to tolerate gluten and dairy. I’ve not eaten this lasagna in more than three years. I’ve only recently started making it for my family again. I would make it to drop off to friends, but I didn’t want the yummy smell of bubbling cheese, slightly browned on the edges, to tempt me into eating something that would make me feel awful for days.

This story has a happy ending, though, which I will reveal in Monday’s post.

For those of you who can eat gluten and dairy without pain, this one’s for you. For those who can’t, patience, my friends. Monday’s post will bring you wonderful news!

Because of its awesomeness, I’ve been keeping this recipe a secret thinking that sharing it would cause everyone to make lasagna as awesome as mine and then mine wouldn’t be special anymore. But then I realized that not only is it selfish to deny people kick-A lasagna simply because they don’t live near enough for me to make them one, but that even with a “recipe,” this lasagna is likely not reproducible exactly anyway. I’ve done my best to write down just how I make it, but really, I just toss things in without measuring. Maybe one day I’ll post a video of myself cooking lasagna, and you can copy my technique precisely, down to the Skip James songs I sing while cooking (tonight it was “Be Ready When He Comes,” because I was thinking that I wanted to make sure the lasagna was ready when our guests arrived). Until I get the video made and get over my phobia of posting images of myself online, hopefully this recipe gets you close-to-awesome lasagna.

Oh, and you could certainly use a meat sauce with this, if you’re so inclined. I just, as I’ve mentioned, don’t see much need for it.

CJ’s Kick-Butt Vegetarian Lasagna

If you wait a little longer to cut it than I do, the molten cheese won’t goo together this much.

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1-2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 15-oz cans of tomato sauce OR 1 jar spaghetti sauce (any variety; I usually use 365 or Muir Glen marinara).

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

generous amounts dried oregano, rosemary, basil, garlic powder, dill, crushed red pepper (I use a LOT…like ~2 T of each (except the red pepper…that’s more like 1 teaspoon). If you use jar sauce, you likely won’t need this much. Adjust to your taste. I also grind the dried rosemary leaves with a mortar and pestle so they don’t poke me in the gums. If I use fresh garlic, I press about 1 bulb (yes, bulb) into the sauce.)

 Other ingredients:

1 lb lasagna noodles (uncooked)

1 lb ricotta cheese (lowfat is okay)

1 bunch fresh basil leaves, washed

1 bunch fresh spinach leaves, washed

1 12-oz package provolone slices, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch squares

1 pound shredded mozzarella

1 pound parmesan, shredded

Sauce

Heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped onions and saute for a few minutes until translucent. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Bring nearly to a boil then simmer gently for, I don’t know, 30-60 minutes? Longer if you’ve got the time. Add up to 1 cup additional water during simmering. It’s OK if the sauce is a little thin because the lasagna noodles will soak up some of the liquid.

Preheat oven to 375. Unless you like cleaning your oven, you may want to place a sheet of aluminum foil or a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any spills while the lasagna is cooking. While the sauce simmers, gather the basil and spinach leaves together and slice into thin ribbons. Make sure the spinach is very well rinsed before slicing. There is nothing worse than gritty lasagna.

Ricotta not yet incorporated into the spinach and basil.

Combine the basil, spinach, and ricotta in a large bowl, and mix well. The ricotta will need a fair amount of working in to incorporate it evenly through the greens.

Spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan (a relatively thin layer…this is just to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom). Place a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, leaving a little space between the noodles to allow for expansion. Break a noodle or two if necessary to fill space at the end of the pan.

Spoon 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over noodles and spread as best you can. Cover with a layer of about 1/3 of the mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan.

Ready for the oven.

Add another layer of noodles as before and cover liberally with sauce. Add the rest of the ricotta mixture and another 1/3 of the cheese. Top with another layer of noodles, a final layer of sauce, then the remaining cheeses. I like ending with parmesan because I like the way the shreds look, but that’s a matter of personal taste. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes, or until sauce at sides of pan is bubbly and cheese on top is browned to your taste. (If you don’t like browned cheese, start checking it around the 40-minute mark.)


Huevos y Espinicas Rancheros

On my not-crazy diet, I’m supposed to eat a boatload of green veggies every day. I’m also supposed to eat lots of beans, and because I’m nursing I’m allowed to eat a small amount of animal protein each day (in the form of eggs or fish).

Tonight we decided to have eggs. But because of the need for leafy greens, I decided to have green eggs. And because of the need for beans, I decided to add black beans. And by that time it was near enough to huevos rancheros, I decided to just make a ranchero sauce and heat up some stone-ground corn tortillas (I’m allowed to have small quantities of corn).

I combined two recipes from Feeding the Whole Family in a kind of culinary Flintstones-meet-Jetsons (follow the links above for the recipes). I layered on a plate: warmed corn tortillas, green eggs, black beans, and ranchero sauce.

It was very pretty, so I took a picture of it.

And it was darned good, too. My husband didn’t even put cheese on his, so you know it must have been tasty.

If Loving Bok Choy is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right

I love bok choy.

I love it in stir fries, I love it in soups, I love it sauteed up with a little sesame oil. I don’t love it raw, but I love it lightly cooked so it’s crunchy and juicy and satisfying.

Yakisoba is one of the many ways I love to cook bok choy.

This recipe is a favorite at our house. My kids love it and just tear into it as soon as I put the bowl in front of them.

It’s yet another recipe that originates from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. I’ve made a few changes, including serving it over brown rice rather than soba noodles, using chicken broth/stock instead of water, and doubling it, but it’s essentially her recipe. If you’re avoiding gluten, be sure to get 100% buckwheat soba noodles (a little pricier than the regular ones) or substitute brown rice.

The version below is the doubled version. Cut in half if you’ve got a smaller family and/or don’t like leftovers.

Bok Choy and Buckwheat Noodles in Seasoned Broth (aka Yakisoba)

Reprinted (modified) from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008) www.cookusinterruptus.com

Prep time: about 30 minutes

Serves 8 (or 4 with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day)

Ingredients:

1 pound soba noodles, prepared according to package directions (or 1.5 cups brown rice cooked in 3 cups water)

4 T toasted sesame oil

1 large onion, cut into thin half-moons

4 to 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 to 4 carrots, cut into matchsticks

10 shiitake mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces

8 c water or broth (I use 4 c broth and 4 c water)

2/3 c tamari (wheat-free if you want this dish to be gluten-free)

1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 T freshly grated ginger

1 bunch bok choy, rinsed and chopped

4 scallions, sliced thin for garnish

Heat oil in a 4-quart pot. Add onion and garlic; saute over medium heat until onion begins to soften. Add carrot and mushroom pieces; saute a few minutes more. Add water, tamari, tofu, and ginger. Bring heat up until mixture begins to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add bok choy and simmer until leaves are bright green.

Serve this dish by placing a handful of noodles or scoop of rice in each serving dish. Ladle broth and vegetables over the noodles/rice. Garnish with scallions.

Emerald City Salad

I’ve been thinking about making this salad since I got my copy of Feeding the Whole Family. But frankly, I was scared. I was afraid of the raw dark leafy greens. But, looking for a quick-ish side dish and a variation on a green salad, I finally tried it.

Oh, man, is this a salad. My husband’s review:

“This salad is so good! I could eat this all day!”

My son tried it, my daughter refused to. You can’t take their word, though; their combined age is less than eight. I loved it, and I will be making it again. It seems like something that would be very easy to pack for a lunch at the park. And the kids won’t ask to share it, so more for me!

Speaking of kids, I did, in fact, keep my resolutions today. I played on the floor with them (I read the same Curious George story three times, which I think gets me extra credit), I took photos of them, I got goofy with them (a little. It’s only March 1st. I need to pace myself).

And I even kept track of the cute things they did. My son tried to give a block to a little one-year-old. He put his hand gently on her head and then put the block in front of her face. When she didn’t take it, he tried to hit her in the head with it, but I got there in time. He also managed to make me understand that he was asking for ketchup by repeating, “Det-dut!” over and over again, getting increasingly frustrated at my ignorance. My daughter built a dwelling for her stuffed toys out of materials she found in the yard to replicate the homes of early farmers. And she carried around her Andean Condor feather to show to everyone we met, but she was too shy to tell anyone what kind of feather it was. That was my job.

And I made a kick-A salad. There’s a great video of this on cookusinterruptus. Check it out, then go make yourself a salad. Oh, and I used red bell pepper and green kale, and I used olive oil instead of butter. And I used no cheese (and my husband didn’t add any to his serving! That’s how good this salad is!).

Emerald City Salad


Recipe reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family (third edition) by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)

This colorful salad is inspired by the beautiful deli salad at Puget Consumer’s Co-op, Seattle’s beloved chain of natural foods grocery stores. It is so popular that I have filled many classes with the mere mention that I would be demonstrating how to make this salad.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups water or stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 cup wild rice (black; ½” long)

¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chopped fennel bulb, core removed
½ of a red or yellow pepper, diced
½ cup chopped red cabbage
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cups very finely chopped dark leafy greens (6-7 leaves of chard, kale, or collards)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino or gorgonzola cheese (optional)

Bring water or stock to a boil.  Add butter, ½ teaspoon of the salt and rice.  Bring to boil again, cover, lower heat and simmer 60-65 minutes.  Check to see that until all water is absorbed by tipping the pan to one side.  How to cook wild rice is described in a separate video.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt in a large serving bowl.  Add fennel, red pepper, cabbage, parsley and then the greens.

Once rice is fully cooked, cool until it quits steaming but is still warm, and then spread like a banket on top of the greens.  When the rice cools to room temperature, toss rice, vegetables and dressing together. Taste the salad and adjust seasonings, some extra salt and/or lemon may be required.  Garnish with cheese if desired.

Preparation time: 1 hour for wild rice, 20 minutes for salad
Serves 6-8

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Spanish Omelet from my Spanish Grandpa

One of the reasons we visited Florida this month was to visit my paternal grandparents. I always love visiting Grandpa, and not only because it’s such an odd sensation to see someone who’s almost 86 years old with the same mannerisms and patterns of speech as my 60-year-old dad. Grandpa is from Spain, but he was born in Indiana. As I understand it, things were heating up Spanish Civil War-wise, so his parents made it a point to give birth to US citizens. This proved to be a great benefit when Grandpa was thirteen and staying in Spain became unwise and US citizens were evacuated. (According to Grandpa, when they were waiting for the boat, he met a fellow who said his name was “Ernesto” and that he was from Oak Park, Illinois. Grandpa’s pretty sure “Ernesto” was Ernest Hemingway.)

For decades, Grandpa refused to talk about Spain or even to speak Spanish. Then into his 70’s, this started to change. He started telling about his family and about his time in Spain, during which one side of his family turned against the other. (This was in response to my husband’s question about why Grandpa’s never returned to Spain.)

While my dad was growing up, Grandma and Grandpa had a restaurant across from Timken Rollerbearing in Canton, Ohio. They benefitted from the lunch crowds that came in during each shift at the factory.

Grandpa still works seven days a week at a club in Sarasota, walking the grounds from 7 to midnight every night, a total of about 5 miles each evening. It’s universally accepted among those who know him that this is what keeps him so sprightly. Grandpa does not look nearly 86 years old.

Grandpa’s something of a low talker. Grandma says, “For someone who can’t hear, that man talks quieter than anyone I know.” Between that, his accent, and his circuitous storytelling style, it isn’t always easy to follow all of the details of what Grandpa’s saying. But I’ve pieced together a family history for him that I like and that makes sense to me, so until I find out something to change that (like when my Grandma said Grandpa was a twin, and then Grandpa said, “Oh, that. My brother was born seventeen months after me and we looked alike, so everyone thought we were twins.”), I’m sticking with the version I have. Family histories are remarkably difficult to assemble.

Luckily, I was there when he made the Spanish Omelet, so I was able to observe him in action rather than just listen to the story and hope I understood him right.

Spanish Omelet is very easy. It’s very much a wing-it type of recipe. I’ll see if I can talk you through it.

Ingredients:

potatoes (I used 5-6 small russets. That was too much. Maybe 2-4 would be more reasonable, depending on how big an omelet you want)

onion, about one medium, chopped

eggs (I used 5. That was about right for the amount of potato I used)

olive oil

salt

pepper

First, cook your potatoes. Grandpa’d already done that before we arrived. I think he microwaved them. So that’s what I did, using the “baked potato” setting on the microwave. Then I peeled them and mashed them up, like so:

I ended up using only about two-thirds of these potatoes.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet (enough to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of oil). I used a 10-inch non-non-stick skillet so I could be sure the omelet got well browned. Add the onions and saute until translucent.

Add the mashed potatoes and some salt and pepper, and saute for a minute or two more, stirring well and adding more olive oil as the potatoes suck it up.

In the meantime, beat your eggs well in a separate bowl. Add some salt and pepper, beat again, then pour the eggs over the potato and onion mixture. Mix the eggs in with the potatoes gently. Babysit the skillet and pull the egg in towards the middle with a rubber (silicone) spatula, keeping the forming omelet in a mass in the middle of the pan.

You’ve got to kind of use the Force to know when to flip this baby over. You want it to be firm, basically cooked through (the top will be raw still, though), and browned on the bottom. This takes several minutes. You can kind of tell when the browning is happening by the smell. Slide your rubber spatula under the edges to loosen them, and you’ll get an idea of the firmness of the omelet. At some point, you just need to make the leap and flip it.

Here’s how:

Take a large plate and invert it over top of the omelet in the pan:

Very carefully, flip the omelet and the plate over so the plate ends up on the bottom and the skillet ends up on top (with the omelet on top of the plate and under the skillet). Put the skillet back on the heat and gently slide the omelet back into the pan from the plate:

Then just put this gooey plate in the wash while the other side of the omelet browns. This will take a couple of more minutes. You might need to add more olive oil at this point, just lifting the edges of the omelet to get the oil underneath. When you’re pretty sure the omelet is cooked through and the other side has browned, slide it onto a clean plate to serve (or you can flip it again to make sure it’s brown on the underside).

Cut the omelet into wedges and serve. Grandpa served his with some cold ham. That was tasty. He said that chorizo, sliced thin and added with the onions, was a really good addition. This had been my plan with this omelet, but chorizo seems to be one of the items that’s not in every Utah grocery store. I’ll need to make a special trip to get some, though, as chorizo sounds awesome with this.

Grandpa also says this is great leftover in a sandwich. We didn’t have any leftover, so I couldn’t say.

I can’t speak to the authenticity of this Spanish Omelet, but as my Grandpa’s Spanish and he said it was a Spanish Omelet, I’m going with it. Much like I do with our family history.

Garlic Roasted Green Garbanzo Beans, Non-Crispy Version

I made the non-crispy green garbanzo beans Wednesday. My friend Timbra tried them, and they got her seal of approval. My family all loved them, too. The baby signed and said, “Mo! Mo! Mo!” almost as soon as he put a bean in his mouth. Of course, he also eats cat food, so you might want to take Timbra’s word for it rather than his. If she eats cat food, it’s news to me.

These are more of an “eat with a spoon” dish than a finger-food because they’re a little greasy. I’m thinking you can use much less oil than the recipe calls for (I decreased it myself from the original, but I think you could decrease it to 1/2 cup or less and have it be fine).

This recipe is based on the Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard Recipe at Epicurious.com

I didn’t make the swiss chard part, but I’m betting it’s great, too. Click the link above for the original recipe, including the swiss chard part.

Garlic Roasted Green Garbanzo Beans, Non-Crispy

3 c frozen green garbanzo beans

10 garlic cloves, peeled

2 large shallots (the original recipe didn’t specify what exactly to do with these. I used 1 mondo one and peeled it and halved it before adding it to the beans)

3 small bay leaves

1 t fennel seeds (For some mysterious reason (perhaps because it seemed like a good price to buy them in bulk), I bought a pound of these about two and a half years ago. I’m glad to have another recipe to use them in.)

salt and ground pepper

1/2 to 1 c extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 cup, but I’m thinking less might be better)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place everything but the oil in a casserole dish that’s about 8 inches square. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pour the oil over the mixture and cover the casserole with a glass lid or aluminum foil. Cook until garlic is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain off excess oil and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Garlic Roasted Green Garbanzos, Crispy Version

A few months ago, we sampled some green garbanzo beans at Costco. My husband liked them, the baby liked them, so I bought a bag. It’s been sitting in our freezer since. We’ve made up one batch just plain, but I actually prefer the flavor of non-green garbanzos. So I set about finding a recipe to make them yummier to me.

A couple of years ago, I had some garlic roasted garbanzos at a friend’s house. I didn’t get the recipe from her, so I had to

Ready to go into the oven.

start with a Google search. I found two recipes to try, one for crispy garlic roasted garbanzos and one for not-crispy ones. I’ve made the crispy ones twice so far, and they’re a hit with the whole family (well, I’m not sure about my husband. The kids and I finish them before he has a chance to eat any).

The recipe:

Crispy Garlic Roasted Green Garbanzos

Modified from Ptitchef to use frozen green garbanzos

3 c frozen green garbanzos

1/4 c garbanzo/fava flour

1 t garlic powder (more to taste)

1/2 t salt

1/4 t ground pepper

Preheat over to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place frozen beans in a colander or fine mesh strainer and run under warm water to thaw. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients thoroughly. Shake the excess water from the beans and pour into the dry ingredients. Toss to coat completely. Arrange coated garbanzos on prepared baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the beans are golden brown and crispy.

The finished beans

These are best enjoyed the same day as they’re baked. They don’t seem to retain their crispiness overnight.

Oh, (Vegan) Fudge!

 

What do you mean, you thought it made two pounds? Isn't this two pounds of fudge?

This is a recipe entitled “Old Fashioned Vegan Fudge” from vegweb.com. While I don’t think there’s anything old fashioned about soy creamer, this is yummy vegan fudge. I made it and I ate (most of) it. I recommend having someone in mind with whom to share this fudge before you make it. Two pounds is a lot of fudge.

 

Old Fashioned Vegan Fudge

(reprinted and very slightly modified from Christine P’s recipe on http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=25962.0)

Makes 2 pounds.

Preparation time: 10 minutes and 1 hour+ cooling time.

Ingredients

5/6 c soy creamer (I used original Silk creamer)

2 1/4 c sugar

1/4 c vegan butter (I used half a stick of Earth Balance buttery sticks)

18 ounces vegan chocolate chips (I used a bag and change of semi-sweet chips and then an ounce of Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chocolate)

1 t vanilla

1 c chopped walnuts, if desired (I desired them but my daughter didn’t, so I didn’t use them)

Prepare an 8×8 pan by either greasing it or lining it with foil or parchment paper.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, combine cream and sugar. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil then lower heat to medium and continue boiling and stirring for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and chocolate. Keep stirring until satiny (or until your arm gets too tired, which is how long I stirred it). Add vanilla and nuts, if using. Immediately pour into prepared pan. Cool completely at room temperature before cutting.

A note about stirring the fudge: Some people warn against stirring fudge and toffee while they’re cooking. In my experience, the key is to not stir too vigorously. You’re just trying to keep the bottom from scorching. If you stir too vigorously, something happens that assume can be explained by physics or chemistry that causes the sugar and fat to separate out. Just stir gently and no too fast and you should be fine.