Wednesday, November 24, 2010

thanksgiving, conference, papers and more

A lot has happened since my last blog post. I saw a ton of science in San Diego, wrote a couple of papers, sorta kinda of started a relationship with a good friend (hence the last blog post), missed a therapy appointment which cost me $150, and decided to make thanksgiving dinner for the left behind misfits like myself.

I'm using Thanksgiving break as a way to catch up on my life. I have a paper that is long over due to write, I need to buy a bureau, a desk, a nice sized table, cushions and a few odds and ends, I need to do laundry, I need to clean my apartment, I need to wash my dog, I need to unpack boxes, and I need to sleep.

Here's some of the stuff I've been eating and some of the stuff I'll be making for tomorrow.

2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup H2O
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 cup of salsa
1 red/orange bell pepper
1 pablano peper
1 jalapeno
2 cups black beans
1-2 cups diced stewed tomatos
2 cups corn
salt, pepper and cilantro to taste

1. Cook the onions and garlic int he water on high for 5 minutes.
2. Add cumin and coriander, gook 1 minute
3. Stir in salsa and chopped peppers, lower heat and simmer covered for 5 min.
4. Add the black beans and tomatoes, simmer 10 minutes
5. Add the corn, simmer 10 minutes.
6. Add salt, pepper to taste
7. Serve with cilantro optional.

Creamy Butternut Squash Penne from Chef Chloe

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups roasted butternut squash or 1 14-ounce can organic pumpkin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup (optional for sweeter flavor)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crispy Sage
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 fresh sage leaves, whole
sea salt

1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Butternut Cream Sauce
Sauté the onions with oil, salt, and pepper until they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and let cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. For the cream sauce, puree the onion mixture, butternut squash, tomato paste, non-dairy milk, nutmeg, agave, and 1–1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a blender until smooth. Add black pepper and more salt to taste.

Crispy Sage
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet until a small piece of sage sizzles when added to the oil. Fry the remaining sage leaves 4 at a time, flipping once, until crispy (about 1 minute total). Watch the sage leaves carefully to make sure that they do not burn. Let them drain on a paper towel and season lightly with salt.

Toss hot pasta with Cream Sauce, toasted pecans, and fresh sage. If you like your pasta a little creamier, add more non-dairy milk. Garnish with crispy sage and dig in!

Harvest Stuffed Mushrooms from Chef Chloe

1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In large skillet, sauté the onions and cashews with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)
4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of the stuffing. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)
5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.

Roasted Cruciferous Vegetables from Chef Chloe

brussel sprouts, colorful cauliflower and broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (or 10 grinds of) black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2.To prepare the brussel sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, cut off the stems, and cut in half.
3.In a large bowl, toss the brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Once all of the brussel sprouts are coated in oil, spread them into a 9x13 (or larger) baking dish or sheet tray to roast. Note: You may want to line your sheet tray with foil for easy cleanup because the caramelizing process leaves a sticky residue.
4. After 15 minutes, stir the brussel sprouts around with a spatula or large spoon to even out the browning. After 30 minutes, stir in the maple syrup.
5. Continue to roast the brussel sprouts for about 15 more minutes, or until they are fork tender (about 45 minutes total roasting time).
6. Toss the roasted brussel sprouts with the hazelnuts and devour!

Pumpkin Pie from
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Have ready, one 9" unbaked pastry crust

Blend in blender:
2 c. solid-pack canned pumpkin (if you use home-cooked pumpkin, drain it for
several hours hanging in a cloth bag, so it's thick like canned pumpkin)
1 c. non-dairy milk (preferably a rich soymilk)
3/4 c. brown sugar or Sucanat
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 T. molasses or blackstrap molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice or cloves

Pour the filling into the pastry and bake 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

Pecan Pie from tablespoon
preheat oven to 350

1 pie crust
2/3 cup barley malt syrup
2/3 cup maple syrup
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups pecans
1 tablespoon golden flax meal

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Poke the pie crust all over with the tines of a fork. Pour pecans into the crust and pre-bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven to a rack.
In a medium saucepan combine the barley malt syrup, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes and remove. Whisk in the golden flax meal. Pour the mixture over the pecans.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and allow to cool before cutting with a sharp knife.

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