Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Black Bean Chili

Chili makes for a very filling and healthy meal and I am always looking for new variations. I find that the recipes in most of my vegan cookbooks usually call for some kind of mock meat. I am not fond of mock meats. Honestly they freak me out a bit. I understand why many vegetarians and vegans rely on them but I usually avoid or alter recipes that call for them. This is a mock meat free vegetarian chili recipe from Emeril Lagasse and it is full of veggies and beans and is delicious! I garnished it with chopped avocados and onions.

I haven't felt very inspired lately in the kitchen. Perhaps this happens to
all of us. I look in the cupboards and refrigerator and nothing seems appealing to me. So I have been searching my cookbooks, the vegan blogs and the web for inspiration. I came upon a contest that Chocolate Covered Katie is having that seems perfect when you are in a cooking slump. You have to try a new food or one that you haven't tried in awhile and will be entered in a drawing for some vegan goodies-see her rules here. So I bought some adzuki beans which I have been wanting to try. Now I just have to find a recipe.....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Oprah did a great special today for Earth Day. If you go to, you can download coupons or get the codes for 20% off SIGG (their website can't seem to handle all the new traffic so you might want to wait a day or so) products, 20% off To-Go Ware and a free lunch tote from Whole Foods.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mayan Spiced Chocolate Pudding

In this month's issue of Vegetarian Times, there is a recipe for Mayan spiced chocolate pudding that has no tofu in it!! It seems so many vegan pudding and mousse recipes rely on tofu, which is ok, but I can always taste the tofu in it and many people can't eat soy. This ones uses coconut milk and cornstarch as a thickener. It is really good and I love the spiciness that the chili powder and cinnamon add to it. Mine came out a bit lumpy because my cornstarch had little lumps in it that I didn't make sure dissolved. I am going to try this with arrowroot as a thickener next time instead of the cornstarch.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spicy Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is one of those strange looking vegetables that is not often called for in recipes. I bought some kohlrabi at the farmer's market this week but wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Every once and awhile I buy something that I have no idea what it is or what to do with it-it makes me break away from the same old recipes I make over and over again.
I found a recipe for spicy kohlrabi at RecipeZaar that uses the kohlrabi bulb and the greens. It turned out really well. If you don't have kohlrabi, I think it would work well with any kind of greens by themselves or greens with turnips.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Not the freeway kind, although we do have plenty of those in Los Angeles!

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are only in season for a short time in April and May. They have a garlic/onion flavor and are delicious. If you get a chance to try these, you really should. I usually use the green part raw but it does have a really strong flavor. The white bulb part I tend to cook and use it as I would garlic.
Purple potatoes with ramps

Ramps should really be the focus of the dish so you can enjoy their flavor, so best to pair them with milder ingredients. The green leafy part, for me, is best raw and the white part is better cooked since it has such a strong flavor. I really like the fresh green leafy parts chopped up and added to potatoes. You could saute the white part with potatoes or mushrooms then add the green part raw for extra garlic/onion goodness. Ramps are great on pasta too. Saute the white parts with some olive oil and hot pepper, add to pasta then stir in the leafy parts. I have read that they are wonderful charred on the grill but have yet to try that.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Field Peas???

I had never seen field peas until last year. They look like black eyed peas but are not. I can only find them frozen and only at a few stores here in Los Angeles. I think they are more popular in other parts of the country??? I really like them but I need more recipes for them.

I cooked them according to the package directions, basically simmering in water for 40 minutes. Then I drained them and seasoned them with olive oil, salt and lemon pepper. That is probably not a typical way to season them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Forgotten Turnip

Some very dirty turnips from the market

Turnips really don't get a lot respect in the vegetable world. There aren't many recipes for them, they are rarely on menus and if they are in a dish they are never the main ingredient. I love turnips. Turnips have a mild sweet flavor and they get so tender that they practically melt your in mouth. I prefer to prepare them simply. Peel and thinly slice the turnips, saute in Earth Balance or oil until tender and lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes. You can also roast them in a 400 degree oven for about a half an hour.

Bianca of Vegan Crunk has quite a few turnip posts. If anyone has any turnip recipes, let me know.