Sauerkraut Kielbasa Soup

vegan sauerkraut kielbasa soup

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 cups cubed potatoes (yukon gold or red)
1 package Tofurkey Kielbasa – sliced lengthwise, then into 1/2-inch pieces
16 oz sauerkraut, drained (I like Hengstenberg, it’s made with white wine)
10 cups water
3 tbsp + 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken broth concentrate
1/4 tsp ground marjoram
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper, or more to taste

Directions:
In large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add sliced kielbasa, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boiling, cover, reduce heat and simmer 45-50 minutes (or longer), until carrots and potatoes are tender.

Makes about 12 servings.

Vegan Spinach Balls (revised)

vegan spinach balls

Spinach balls are a family-favorite appetizer. The original recipe calls for eggs, butter, and parmesan cheese. These are veganized with golden flax meal (Omega 3’s!), nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese, and Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. The whole cup of Earth Balance (see update below) hardly qualifies them as health food, but they have a lot of protein and no cholesterol, unlike the original.

UPDATE (2/5/12): I reduced the amount of Earth Balance in the recipe to 3/4 cup, with good results. I think I could reduce it even more. The amount of nutritional yeast has also been modified to compensate for the lower amount of moisture. They still disappeared at our latest party.

Vegan Spinach Balls

Makes about 48 balls

Ingredients:
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
4 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing
2 cups minced white onion
6 tbsp golden flax seed meal
3/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1 1/2 half-cup sticks), melted
3/4 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, grease your cookie sheets well.

In a large bowl, whisk flax seed meal with 3/4 cup water. Let stand until mixture thickens.

Add melted Earth Balance, spinach, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Mix well. (It will be thick.)

Add stuffing mix and stir well. You may have to add a bit more water if the mixture is too dry.

Using a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon, or a small ice cream scoop of equivalent size, roll approximately 2 tbsp of the mixture into a ball. If the mixture gets too sticky, wet your hands a bit to make the process easier. Repeat for the rest of the mixture. You should have about 48 balls.

Bake for 20 minutes, until balls are golden. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Balls will be soft when they come out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool.

 

Fast food, fat profits: obesity in America

I’ve been working on a post for many weeks on obesity, and it’s mostly summarized with this video.

If this pisses you off – and it should – remember to vote with your dollars. Stop eating fast food. Eat more vegetables. Teach someone how to cook. Support local farmers.

Each dollar you keep from the corporate food machine is one less that they have to buy away our future.

Quinoa Taters

mushroom walnut loaf, quinoa mashed potatoes, sesame green beans, cornbread

The pinnacle of my dining-out experiences this week was the deliciously square meal pictured above: mushroom walnut loaf and quinoa mashed potatoes topped with delicious vegan gravy. It’s served beside sesame green beans and cornbread. This is one of the best meals I’ve ever had, at the Red Herring or otherwise.

These mashed potatoes… with red quinoa? Yes, please. The next time you think someone’s about to ask, “where do you get your protein?”, put a plate of these in front of them (with gravy, of course) and they’ll be too busy inhaling them to ask. (Quinoa is a protein-rich grain – 8 grams per cup, cooked. A medium red potato with skin on has 4 grams too.)

quinoa taters

Let’s have a close-up shot of those taters, shall we? The camera loves you, baby.

Misato Radishes and Random Nut Cheese

misato radishes and random nut cheese

The little watermelon-like veggies in the box are called misato radishes. I first encountered them locally at an open house for doGood Consulting, where a friend of mine featured local foods prepared by a local chef. I remember having a good time, petting a hairless wonder-cat (adorable!), and sampling these intriguing (and delicious) radishes. I am not a huge fan of radishes. Sometimes they give me an (extremely rare) case of heartburn. I guess pretty food matters!

The misato variety of radish, appropriately dubbed “watermelon radish”, is a winter variety. I was surprised by the lack of information on this variety when searching for “misato radish”. A search for “watermelon radish” reveals a bit more. The taste is much like a regular radish: a mix of sweet and peppery. I peeled my radish before slicing, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I also skipped the very spicy and bitter slices near the end. The outer flesh has a lot more bite, and the end slices which contained most of that flesh weren’t tasty. Radishes have nearly as much potassium as a banana, and are a good source of fiber.

Misato radishes may pop up at farmers markets in the fall, or at your local co-op in the middle of winter. This radish is from Blue Moon Farm.

I enjoyed my radish as a snack with some cucumbers and a vegan cashew cheese spread. The recipe is random, and contains about 1.5 cups of soaked raw cashews, some white miso, garlic, white pepper, rice wine, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, and salt. It’s like a smoky cheese spread.