Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Forget Lettuce Soup, I Like Pumpkin Soup!

I had a bunch of little pumpkins sitting around in my kitchen so I decided to roast them and make soup with them. I found a couple of recipes on the internet, and since my vegan daughter was visiting I merged the two recipes into one and came up with a very yummy vegan version. Basically, I took these two recipes: Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Soup from and Spicy Pumpkin Soup from Simply Recipes and combined them based on their seasonings and vegan-ness. I felt the Spicy Pumpkin Soup had more to offer in the seasoning realm and I sought to incorporate the vegan recipe into the non-vegan one. The end result was delicious!! Even my meat-and-potatoes husband loved it. The final recipe involved substituting one 14-ounce can of coconut milk for all of the milk and heavy cream listed in the spicy pumpkin soup recipe and of course substituting vegan margarine for butter as listed but staying with the seasonings. I have to say, it was "to die for." Oh, and I did use 6 cups of roasted pumpkin as opposed to the 3 cans of pumpkin puree which is the alternative. I think fresh pumpkin is definitely the way to go taste-wise. And it's not that hard to do if you have a nice, sharp knife.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spinach is beautiful

Last night for dinner I made the eDiets version of beef stew, which means it had a few pieces of beef in it as well as a few chopped potatoes and a lot of carrots, mushrooms, onions, and vegetable broth. Not very tasty but it can be doctored. And doctor it I did. First, I decided to add a bag of spinach when it was ready to serve just long enough for the spinach to wilt. I also added a nice amount of freshly ground black pepper and some liberal dashes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce. It was excellent and not at all the high-fat and calorie-laden type of beef stew that we all love (we beef eaters, that is). The point of this is, spinach goes with everything and really added a lot to that otherwise lean version of beef stew. I think I will see what else I can add a bag of spinach to.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hey, where'd I go?

Well, it looks like I am posting about once a month these days. But it does seem true that when my mother is staying at my brother's house, I don't spend much time concocting and preparing new recipes. Now she's back at my house, and I am working in the kitchen again!
I found a recipe for Parsnip Fries, done in the oven, that I was eager to try. I like parsnips, they have their own unique taste. They are cousins or something along those lines to the carrot. So now I can identify them as looking like "white carrots." I used to get parsnips and turnips mixed up, maybe because I was never served parsnips or turnips as a child. At any rate, I just happened across a recipe for parsnip fries which when I read it I realized wasn't really a recipe at all, just common sense. Basically, you slice your parsnips into sticks, toss them with some olive oil and seasoning, and bake in the oven. The recipe I followed suggested 3 T. of olive oil with 2 pounds of parsnips, and I objected to that much olive oil. I only used 1 or 1-1/2 T. which I think was a mistake. I should have used more. They just didn't get browned enough on the outside. Plus, the recipe said to bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I had to bake them for 40-45 minutes; I think the oven should have been at 400 or 425 degrees. The parsnips just weren't soft enough on the inside. So a hotter over might be needed. The recipe said to use salt, pepper, and chili powder. I think it should be doctored a bit more because I couldn't really taste the chili powder; plus, the parsnips are so sweet that you need more savory-type seasoning but that should not be all salt. So I will try again with these few changes and possibly I will season the parsnips with some Adobo seasoning. One good sign: my husband liked them but felt they should have been more soft inside (again, the lack of a good, hot oven). So there is hope that in the future we will be trying parsnip fries again soon!
Now that I have bored you with tales of parsnip fries, I am off to look for more vegetable recipes, preferably soups. Lettuce soup to be exact. This is the start of soup season for me! Later!