Soothing my Soul

Cooking last night was from Post Punk Kitchen. I tried 2 recipes, which turned out quite nicely.

Tempeh Chili… below is a shot off their site of the chili. Mine looks JUST as good, actually. I made it über spicy (on accident) so it’s sort of ”hell fire” chili, but I don’t mind. If you’re not clear on what tempeh is, it’s essentially fermented whole soybeans which make a patty as a result of the fermentation process. Admittedly, it sort of smells like old socks… but when you prepare it properly, the smell lessens. It’s actually good, but I have a really sensitive nose so I have to adjust myself for it, perhaps more than an average person might.

What you need:

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz) tempeh, diced medium
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
1 green bell pepper, diced medium (I forgot this)
1 large carrot, diced small
3 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Couple of generous dashes fresh black pepper
15 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 cup good dark beer (I use Negra Modelo) (I used wine)
15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste (forgot this)
1 1/2 cups water or veg broth
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (forgot this too)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (oh, I forgot this, wow… the list keeps expanding)
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (about a cup, lightly packed)

In a large pot, cook onions, green bell pepper and carrots over med-high heat, until tender and a little brown (15-20 minutes) stirring occasionally.

At the same time, put tempeh in a large frying pan and fill with water until it is almost covered. Add 2 teaspoons soy sauce and let simmer over high heat for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. When water is mostly absorbed, mash tempeh with a fork, so it’s crumbly but still chunky. Lower heat to medium and add 2 teaspoons olive oil , saute for 15 more minutes.

At this point, the twenty minutes for your veggies should be up. Add garlic and saute one minute, then add salt and spices (except cilantro, you add that last) and saute a minute more. Add beer red wine and deglaze the pot. Cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, beans and water. Your tempeh should be done cooking so add that as well. Lower heat to medium, stir it up and cover for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 30 more minutes stirring occasionally. Add maple syrup, lemon juice and stir it up. Add cilantro. Serve.

I also made rice with this. Thank god because it’s so spicy, the rice helps to soak up the pain a little.

Recipe: Post Punk Kitchen

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savoury salivating comforting goodness

So on a whim, I decided that I was going to give making a vegetarian pot pie a try. When I was little, I loved chicken or beef pot pies… flaky crust, creamy insides, cubed potatoes, carrots, and peas… mmhhh.

Initially I wanted to make it vegan, but I was in a hurry and using my mobile and didn’t have time to investigate user comments on the recipes I found. One called for using soy milk and tofu in place of milk, for example. I wasn’t sold on the idea since milk and soy have entirely different viscosity from one another.

In the end, what I opted for was the exact opposite of my and my flatmate’s ideal of “eating healthy”, but hey, fuck it. It was good and I’m proud of how awesome it turned out.

I didn’t follow the recipe closely at all, so bear with me.I would estimate that this will serve 4-5 people (normal portion size)

  • 2 medium onions roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 4 smallish potatoes cut to bite size cubes
  • mushrooms, approx half a package or 1 cup chopped
  • 1 cup organic low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • large tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 c flour (I forgot this so I used a small amount of quiche pastry mix, which worked wonderfully)
  • 2 ready made flaky pastry crusts (defrosted)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • liberal amount to taste of rosemary
  • same with parsley
  • celery salt or 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • Package (1 cup) of veggie chicken or meat (can be crumbles, pieces, etc.. or even real meat, as you like, but cook it first!)

Heat oven and butter your pot pie dish. Place one pie crust into the dish, press it in, and allowing for some hangover, trim off excess dough. Whip 1 egg yolk with a TBSP of water and brush it over the crust. Place in the oven to brown.

In a non stick pan, melt butter and sear onions and carrots for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms, celery and potatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes, add your veggie meat, or meat of choice and season well with S & P, stir together.

Take approx 1/4 c flour and sprinkle it over the veg, and mix it together until the veg is coated, continue stirring for 2 min

Add the broth and mix into veg. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid the milk breaking, continue to stir the mixture until it thickens, about 3 minutes. Top with rosemary and parsley and mix together

Remove the mix from the heat and set aside

Check your crust, remove it when it is browned and spoon the mixture in. When it is full, cover the top with the other pie crust, pinching it and trimming off the excess. Here you can get creative by topping the crust with strips or cut out shapes (leaves, for example). Mix another yolk with a tablespoon of water with a whisk and brush the raw dough. Poke a good sized hole in the center of the pie and place in the oven.

Here you will need to keep an eye on it, and remove when the pie crust is brown, but not burnt. The egg yolk will help brown the crust, so make sure you do that part. Estimated time in the oven, 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the height of your oven rack and the kind of crust that you use.

Remove and allow the pie to set for 5-10 min before serving.

This dish was far from healthy, thanks to the whole milk, butter, and processed pie crust, BUT it was amazing and worth keeping in your recipe files for a cozy night by the fire.

Don’t forget to grab a bottle of red.

Image via: Serious Eats

Recipe via: I forgot… D’oh!

And so it goes…

I feel utter relief that I’ve come to accept that I cannot manage this level 2 Dutch class, my new job, and maintaining something similar to normal human behavior. Of course I say similar to normal as I tend to be slightly outside that category.

As I’m on a roll with cooking, I made another meal today… it was delish. I know it’s easy to say that over and over but I’m serious. I’m a good cook, and apparently I’m choosing solid recipes to start with. So Saturday I started soaking my chickpeas, as I’d known that I wanted to try this recipe for a vegetarian curry. One good thing about using dry legumes is that once you commit to them, it seems like too much of a shame to let them go to waste. Today I knew I needed to use them, so I whipped this bad boy up.

The film of the evening was called, “Änglagård” and it was a really fun film. Makes me want to visit Sweden in the summer! It’s a gorgeous landscape.

Simple Vegetable Curry

(Mine looked JUST like this, except I sliced my sweet potatoes differently)

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Total Time 30 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds (I didn’t use this)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from a 13.5-ounce can)
  • 1 sweet potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • fresh cilantro, for serving (I just happen to have a cilantro plant. Huzzah!)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add mustard seeds and half the onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups water, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer; cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. (Fluff it? I’m no fluffer!)
  2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven (There’s no such thing as a “large” oven in the Netherlands, FYI) or heavy pot, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add remaining onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, 3 minutes. Add curry paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add sweet potato and cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Stir chickpeas into curry and increase heat to high. Simmer rapidly until liquid reduces slightly, 2 minutes. Serve curry over rice with cilantro. (I simmered my chickpeas in the broth for about 20 minutes as they were still quite firm)

via: Whole Living

Bean me up, Scotty

Second: I’m just going to say that cooking with dried beans is certainly a labour of love… I soaked them for 8 hours on Saturday and they still had to cook for another 2+ hours to soften, but the end result is fabulous. I’d do it again for sure.

Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup

  • Yield Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds cavolo nero (also called Tuscan kale), stemmed and coarsely chopped (I bought a bag of pre-chopped boerenkool, which made my life a lot easier)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (I added more)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (same here)
  • 1 dried red chile, crumbled (be careful here, my soup ended up with a lot of heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (I forgot these)
  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock (I used sodium free vegetable bouillion)
  • 8 ounces dried cannellini beans, soaked according to package instructions (I used dry, as mentioned)
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) (I used 2)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 loaf Tuscan bread (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and toasted (I skipped bread all together)

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add kale; cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Plunge kale into ice bath. Drain. I didn’t do this. I did boil it quickly but then I just ran it under cold water.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and fennel seeds; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in stock, beans, and tomato. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Add kale in the last 5-10 minutes if you want it more tender.

Image and recipe: Whole Living