Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow and Taxes

It's 3:22 p.m in Morgantown, a whopping 19 degrees and snowing. Brrrr! Both Brian and I have the day off so it's a nice day to be cozy indoors. He did spend a few hours working on the Kharman Ghia, which is running wonderfully, insured, registered and waiting to pass the unforgiving WV inspection. Meanwhile, I made hand made paper with recycled paper from work and red onion peel, nice. When Brian came back indoors I heated up last nights left overs and realized that I forgot to share dinner with you last night so I'll share it with you now. I got a bit crafty throwing something together.
I call this...

My Sweetie is Doing my Taxes Soup
(This makes enough for 4, or for lunch the next day)

2 red potatoes diced
1/2 red onion diced
5-6 stalks celery chopped
2 carrots chopped
3 leaves red chard chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic aduki beans
1 cube organic vegetarian bouillon (I used the Rapunzel brand)
2 Tbs olive oil for sauteing
Salt to taste
5 cups H2o

Heat oil in skillet or wok, add onion, garlic and ginger, sautee for 5 minutes, add potato, carrot, and celery, sautee 5 more minutes. Meanwhile in a large soup pot on medium heat, dissolve bouillon cube in 5 cups water. Add the sauteed veggies to the soup pot. Let simmer 10 minutes. Add the aduki beans, thyme, rosemary, chard, salt and the tomatoes, stir. Let simmer 25 minutes or until potatoes are softened, stirring occasionally.

Super nutritious and warming in the tummy. We ate it with chebe focaccia bread, so good! I went to take a photo but alas the camera had been mis placed while being put in a "safe place" away from the kitten. Isn't that such a funny feeling, putting something somewhere for safe keeping and not recalling where it is? Brian still hasn't found his riding gloves that he hid somewhere when we first moved here.

I hope you are all enjoying the day and the weather isn't too demanding of you, at least the weather here demands that I stay inside and make hot cocoa, really it's telling me that right now and I must go make a pot of cocoa!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rosemary inspiration

It's a call for something warm in the tummy at a freezing 22 degrees Fahrenheit night here in Morgantown, WV. Brrrr. Despite the fact that we received our co-op CSA (community supported agriculture) bounty today, I felt pretty uninspired to make dinner when I walked in the door at 7:45 pm tonight. Well, that aside we must eat and we must eat well, smiley face.
We grabbed some veggies and started chopping, stir frying and cooking some grain. Tonights grain was teff, it's a tiny grain from Africa that is packed full of vitamins, protein and nutrients. It has a very pleasant very nutty flavor, I highly recommend giving it a whirl. Don't let the gelatinous feature scare you, it's quite tasty. I found a site with some teff info for you.

I'm calling this dish.....

Eggplant and Rosemary in love

1 eggplant, quartered and sliced
2 russet potatoes, quartered and sliced
1/2 yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
3 leaves of rainbow chard chopped
1 Tbs rosemary
2 Tbs olive oil
sea salt to taste
dash of ume plum vinegar

1 cup cooked teff grain

Heat olive oil in your wok, on med heat. Add garlic, onion, and rosemary. Cook about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, eggplant and salt, cook till soft, 10 -15 (I check periodically). Add the chard and a dash of ume plum vinegar. Cook till chard has wilted and veggies are thoroughly softened and voila!
Serve with cooked teff and drizzle a high quality olive oil on top (I've been using a Greek olive oil called Theros, it is mouth watering). Delicious, quick and worth a try!

I love experimenting with grains. I've actually only had teff three times, the first time it lacked luster with whatever it was I cooked it with. I had it for breakfast with two over medium eggs and avocado the other day, and that was quite a treat. I'm am currently trying to get Brian to be a dear and make some dessert from our fabulous Flying Apron's cookbook.... but his Star Wars book has pulled him in again and my pleas may be a lost cause. I'll let you know if something gets baking! Yeah for food!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Split Pea Soup On A Wednesday Night

Love happens in the kitchen, this is something I believe. The inspiration for taking up this blog is to express the joy my fiance Brian and I feel when we create meals together. Greg Brown sang, "When the kitchen is happy, love stands a chance." Oh so true Greg, oh so true.

We cook all of our meals, literally we have eaten out at a restaurant 3 times in the past 10 months. Even while we road tripped across the country, we cooked on our Coleman everyday.
I look forward to our meals when I wake in the morning and when I come home from work. We have our standard fixes but are always creating new things. Culinary life is endless for us, even though we are "mostly" vegan, gluten free, soy free, and almost 100% organic. I say mostly vegan because we eat local, organic happy chicken eggs and once in a blue moon we eat goat dairy, and in an even bluer moon we have fish.
Tonight was another late meal. I didn't get off work until 7:30 so dinner started as soon as we got home. It was split pea soup and an amazing recipe at that! Brian cut the onions, bless his heart, they blind me, and we busied ourselves creating a feast for two. I'll share the recipe if you want to give it a go.

Stay Together Split Pea Soup

3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dried split peas
5 cups water
juice of one lemon
smoked paprika for garnish
olive oil for garnish
lemon zest for garnish

Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add the onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaves. Sautee until soft. Add salt, pepper, peas and water. Bring to boil, lower heat, let simmer while stirring often. 40 minutes. Put 1/2 the soup in a blender, blend, return to soup pot,
add the lemon juice. Cook for 10 more minutes.
Serve drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with smoked paprika and lemon zest.

Tonight I only had 1 and 3/4 cups of split peas so I added 1/4 cup of red lentils, a nice addition. We also forgot to get a lemon at the co-op and made due without it.... though I prefer it with the tart sweetness of lemon juice, and the lemon zest really adds flavor!

Oh my goodness, that is gooooood!!!
I spilled some on the rim of my bowl... oops. The bread sticks are a new discovery from a brand called Chebe. They are pretty quick and have good texture and flavor for a gluten free mix. They are mostly tapioca flour and sadly not organic, but that's where the "almost 100% organic" comes to play.
Brian and I spend some serious time in the kitchen, so aside from the actual cooking there is tons of kisses, song singing, and kitchen floor dances, those I love, I even lead sometimes. Life is good, eat well and take care of your body, it's the only one you'll get!