Posts tagged ‘Veggies’

June 4, 2013

Mac and Trees | macaroni et trees

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New home – new life – new kitchen – new, new, new.

Embracing the new that comes in the form of a transatlantic housewarming gift. A box filled with sentimental value : grandma’s hot plate, American themed dish towels, words of Magic, and a cook book that I have been eyeing for months, without permitting myself to buy it. Appetite For Reduction. Vegan Healthy Eating. Don’t mind if I do.

When you move in together, a lot changes. Good changes, cha cha cha changes like David Bowie asserts. One of my favorite changes? Cooking for two. First it starts at the market on Saturday morning. Then it is cooking together. Eating together. At a table, with place mats, and a fruit basket in the middle of it. Entrée, plat, dessert. Coffee. Dishes. Vaccuum. Lights out. Repeat.

One of the first recipes from Appetite for Reduction, though not the first meal in our new home, this Mac and Trees dish (or mac and feeze : fake cheese as the Beard calls it) was a taste of American home. In a new French home. Well in a new Franco-American home.

This “Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce” is for all of my nutritional yeast lovers out there (I’m singin to you MB). Easy really does define it well though. I didn’t even mind using up the last bit of my hoard of nutritional yeast. If the Amazon Gods shall allow it, I will have to ship some more my way.

First you whip up your cheeze sauzzz while 8 ounces of whole wheat pasta is boiling. Sometimes you do terrible OZ to gram conversion and double the amount, completey forsaking your attempt to reintegrate portion control into your life. Tant pis. (Oh well.) Serve with red wine and then remember how little portion control exists in France when baguettes are so easily consumed in one sitting.

Mac & Trees | Eazy Breezy Cheezy Sauce

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(adapted from Appetite for Reduction)

Makes 6 servings of Mac & Trees and 2 cups of Eazy Breezy Cheezy Sauce

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons broth powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Now what?

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the mustard and beat with a fork to get out all of the lumps and bumps. Bring to a boil in a pot on the stove, stirring frequently on a medium heat. Once it has started boiling, reduce the heat and let it bubble, thicken and cook for about 5 minutes. I stirred constantly to avoid clumpage. It will soon become thick, smooth and cheeze-like. Once removed from the heat, add in the mustard and salt to taste.
  2. In the last five minutes of your macaroni boil, add 1 pound of chopped broccoli to the pot. Once finshed cooking, drain the pastaroccoli, add fresh washed spinach (like I did), smother with fake cheeze (feeze) sauce and serve along a hunk of pan fried tofu.
  3. Respond to adorable questions like “what does the Mac stand for again?” from your perfectly bilingual beard.
  4. Bon app!
October 14, 2012

Crustless Leek Quiche | quiche aux poireaux sans pâte!

I feel like so much has happened in a month’s time.  I am slightly surprised by how time consuming working, going to classes, tutoring and trying to live my life has been.  I feel like I used to have impeccable time management skills in college and all of that went out the window when I got to France.  Maybe I am not used to balancing things.  Maybe this time period has been exceptionally hectic.  Maybe.  Maybe I should be working right now and I haven’t done squat just yet because cooking my lunch for the week seemed much more important.
Because how can I be expected to get things done if my lunch isn’t something that I look forward to greatly throughout the early morning hours of the day?

An amazing person gifted me with a bento box for my back to school days and I couldn’t be happier (and often, he fills it up for me with delicious home-cooked healthy lunches.)  So today I wanted to brainstorm a fairly easy contribution to the bento box in order to fill up his double decker delicious vessel.
And how about a quiche?  Nothing says miam miam like a single serving quiche.  Jam packed with egg protein, moderate cheese deliciousness and leeks.  Leeks were a vegetable I did not know about prior to coming to France.  Now it is something that my quiches must always have! Why crustless, you may be asking?  Well, it is a whole lot of butter and I didn’t have one on hand.  Consider this: quiche lite.  Consider this remorse cooking after eating not one but 2 birthday fondues last night (but my goodness weren’t they so good.)
Though I’d love to sit and chat, I must get back to my work.  But à l’aise fraise will be more attentive….I promise…

Crustless Leek Quiche | quiche aux poireaux sans pâte!

makes four single serving quiches

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 medium leeks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 600 mls milk
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (maizena)
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Gruyère

Now what?

1. Preheat your oven to 350 f / 180 c degrees.

2. Meanwhile, cut off the roots and green leaves of leek.  Cut each leek lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide slices.  Rinse in a bowl of water to get rid of dirt (be sure to swish the leeks around.)  Remove the leek by hand from the bowl of water and drain well.  Toss those babies into a preheated skill with olive oil.

3.  While the leeks are cooking (about 12-14 minutes), combine the eggs, milk, cream, cornstarch and half of the gruyère.  Season this well (I like to add a little cumin for absolutely no explainable reason.)  Whisk together until well mixed.

4.  Butter quiche dishes in order to ensure easy removal.  First, add the leeks equally to the dish or dishes to make sure that each quiche has a fair amount of leeks.  Finally, pour the egg mixture over the quiches and sprinkle with remaining gruyère to get that golden brown top often dreamt about.

5.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before removing. Enjoy hot or room temperature! Put it in your bento box for a quick (originally wrote quichke) lunch!

July 20, 2012

Fried Zucchini Flowers | Beignets de Fleurs de Courgette

When a man wants to fry food for you, don’t let him go.  He’s a keeper.  That being said, the French, who pride themselves on simple and healthy vegetable ridden dishes, can also come out of the woodworks with a fried vegetable dish that will blow your mind.  Who knew that zucchini had flowers and that these flowers are edible? Not moi.  But can we eat them raw? I’m not sure.  But can we eat them fried? Hell yes.  Be wary, this leaves you with a lot of extra batter, which sends you into a frying folly leaving you with fried tofu, and fried eggs for example.  Luckily I was straight out of Oreos; otherwise things would have gotten ugly in that kitchen.

Fried Zucchini Flowers | Beignets de Fleurs de Courgette

What you’ll need:

  • 15 zucchini flowers
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 egg (white and yolk separated)
  • 3/4 cup iced water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil
  • Frying oil (olive oil will work just fine)

Now what?

  1. Mix the flour, egg yolk and ice water in order to have a homogenous batter.  Add cut up basil and salt and pepper.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the whites until firm (with a pinch of salt.) Incorporate the egg whites into the batter and let it sit for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Cut the stem of the zucchini flours in order to remove the pistil of the flower.  It is not a bad idea to rinse the flowers in a little white vinegar and open them up in order to assure that there are no creepy crawly critters inside.
  4. Heat a decent amount of oil in a large covered skillet.  Dip the flowers in the batter until they are well covered and then proceed to frying them in the oil.
  5. Place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain excess oil and then serve!

July 9, 2012

Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad

This recipe is a vegan alternative that I made for a Faux-French-Fourth of July that I was hosting.  The French aren’t necessarily familiar with American food culture and they believe our haut cuisine to be a big mac from McDonalds (sadly, this is no exaggeration.)  It was generally appreciated by all (despite a slight skepticism on the part of the French for all things that are both ‘culinary’ and ‘American.’)

The reason that I like this summer salad is because it is chock full of ingredients that are good for you and because none of them are necessarily annoying to prepare.  If something requires a lot of chopping, I immediately throw in the towel (or as the French say, I throw in the sponge) because I can’t be bothered.  The recipe originally called for brown rice, which I imagine would’ve been good but I only had couscous on hand and it was fabulous nonetheless.  I imagine you could pack more of a punch using quinoa for a little extra protein.  This is delightful, sort of a summer vegetable salad (rather than a winter fruit salad!) And the good news is, the longer it sits in the fridge, the tastier it gets!  Another positive point? My phobia of raw chickpeas dissipates with this salad because of the complex combination of flavors and textures that this dish promises!

Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad

(adapted by VegNews)

Serves 10 (good as an entrée but also as a picnic side salad!)

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Peel of 1 lemon, cut into strips 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 red peppers, cut into wide strips
  • 3-1/2 cups cooked couscous (or brown rice)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 24 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion

Now what?

  1. Preheat oven and broil red peppers on a baking sheet until black and bubbly.   Place the red peppers in a covered bowl for five minutes.  After, it should be very easy to peel off the skin and voila! Roasted red peppers! Dice them up!
  2. Combine lemon juice, lemon strips, olive oil and minced garlic in a bowl as salad dressing.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients (red peppers, chickpeas, couscous, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, parsley and red onion) and coat with salad dressing.
  4. Let it marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator and enjoy cold!

June 29, 2012

Kristin’s Honey & Pepper Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

My sisters were recently visiting Strasbourg and a miracle occurred.  Kristin suggested that she cook us dinner.  I thought I should get my ears checked!  Because Kristin rarely takes to the kitchen in such a manner, I made sure to carefully observe every move she made while whipping up her and Michael’s “secret” creation.  Her recipe is simple but with an extra twist that makes all of the difference.  And when I am homesick, I plan on making this comfort dish in order to feel like I’m with my sisters once again getting a little “taste” of home.

The problem with my version of her recipe was that I didn’t use a strong enough cheese. I made the mistake of buying my cheese in Germany.  Why on Earth would I do such a thing when I live in France, a country where cheese flows freely and stinks strongly? Next time feel free to replace the taleggio with gouda, fontina or even munster and keep in mind that using raclette cheese is not nearly strong enough.  Though even with a mild cheese, the French roommates who generally scoff at all savory American dishes served themselves twice.

Kristin’s Honey & Pepper Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 6 very hungry people or 8 French people (less hungry. All the time.) What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb macaroni (shells are good, think oozy cheese macaroni)
  • 2/3 lb taleggio cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • honey
  • salt
  • black pepper

Now what?

1)   The first thing you have to do is roast your cauliflower.  To do so, mix it with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out the florets on an aluminum lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 f until it is crispy (20-30 minutes.)  In the meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water according to the obvious pasta cooking directions.

2)   Next you need to make a roux.  Roux are one of my biggest enemies. In order not to “roux”in your roux (get it?), you just need to go slowly.  Melt butter in a pot on medium heat.  Add flour and whisk until the mixture thickens.  Once thickened, add the milk slowly (in several intervals) continuously whisking.  It is always easier to thin it out (by adding more milk) than to thicken it up (by adding more flour), so going slowly is very key.  Should something go wrong, you might end up ruing the day you ruined your roux.

3)   Once your roux has a nice consistent texture, dump the taleggio and parmesan into the pot and stir until you’ve got a nice, thick cheese sauce that far surpasses any velveeta box you’ve ever eaten.

4)   Combine your roasted cauliflower, cooked pasta and cheese sauce in a baking or serving dish.

5)   Many people prefer a baked macaroni and cheese and so if you’d like, now you can top it with breadcrumbs and broil in the oven until crispy.

6)   If you choose not to broil, now freely add honey and tons of black pepper to take this macaroni and cheese from comfortably familiar to comfortably amazing!

“cheesus christ this is good!”- Kristin

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