I always forget that pickling veggies is the easiest thing to do and offers the most reward! I’ve been pickling carrots with ginger ever since Sweet Roots inspired me to make crispy tofu bahn mi. What a fulfilling, easy dish for these cold nights! It also rekindled a love for food that had been MIA for a while (which explains my absence, I got kinda sick). Nothing says “welcome home” like a hearty sandwich and a bed of greens.
This recipe is adapted from my all-time favorite, Smitten Kitchen. I reduced the amount of sugar and took out the garlic, although the garlic would be very tasty with the ginger! Be sure to use an airtight container or else your fridge will begin to smell ripe after a week or so. Over the weekend, when you have a half hour to spare, send those carrots through the julienne blade of your processor and get those carrots a’pickling.
Pickled Ginger Carrots
1 pound carrots, cut into 3 1/2- by 1/3-inch sticks
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar (for a sweeter brine) or plain vinegar (what I prefer for pickling)
2 tbsp sugar
1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
Place the carrots in a heatproof container.
Bring the water vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the liquid over the carrots. Cool, uncovered. remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over carrots and cool, uncovered.
Seal with an airtight container and enjoy after a few hours. They should keep for up to a month but I doubt they’ll last that long!
Update 10/05/13: I’ve gotten a million times better at writing recipes- probably because I’ve been copyediting recipes nonstop for the past 5 months. So, I readjusted the recipe a little and fixed any typos or unintentionally omitted ingredients in the directions. Also, this recipe is awesome if you split the ingredients exactly in half. Add sautéed spinach or Swiss chard or chickpeas for additional mac ‘n cheez awesomeness. And as I mention below, you should totally buy 1,000 Vegan Recipes. It’s such a great guide to tasty vegan dishes!
Original Post 03/2012: My favorite mac ‘n cheez recipe comes from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. The roux is made with soy milk, liquid aminos, nutritional yeast, mustard and other goodies. I’ve adjusted the recipe to my liking but I highly recommend buying this book for the original plus many other incredible recipes!
What is your favorite vegan mac recipe?
Vegan Mac ‘n Cheez
1 lb of your favorite whole wheat pasta
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 cup vegetable broth
2 + 1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 1/2 cup soy milk
1 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
2 tsp miso paste (I used sweet brown rice miso)
2 tsp mustard (I used sweet hot mustard)
1 + 1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp cayenne
Bread crumbs (look for whey on the packaging- whey is NOT vegan. I made breadcrumbs by chopping homemade croutons)
Preheat the oven to 375.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
In a small bowl, combine the flax and vegetable both until slightly thickened. Set aside.
In medium saucepan, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and nutritional yeast, cook for 1 minute.
Reduce heat to low and slowly stir in the soy milk, until the mixture thickens.
Slowly stir in liquid aminos, miso, mustard, 1 teaspoon paprika, turmeric, salt and cayenne.
Stir in the vegetable broth and season the sauce to taste (more salt, paprika, etc).
In a 9×13 casserole dish, toss the cooked pasta with the roux. Top with bread crumbs and remaining paprika. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and the breadcrumbs are browned. Enjoy immediately!
This cool weather has inspired me to raise the heat in my kitchen. The Thai chilies in the garden have been thriving all summer long- between that and the CSA, I have an abundance of hot peppers around me.
I love spicy food. Well, I should say that I love spicy food that has flavor. It’s fun to test yourself to see how much heat you can handle but I prefer to actually be able to taste food and not be crying afterwards. I was smart enough to cover my hands albeit not smart enough to think about the air quality of the apartment. Luckily the spicy air is helping my roommate with her cold. My nostrils feel like they’re on fire.
Anyway, this chili sauce is pretty good! I used an emulsion blender so it’s not the consistency you’d find in the sore. With a bit of garlic and sugar, these chillies go from being tear-jerking tasty to delicious sweet spiciness! I give full credit to Andrea Nguyen‘s adaptions of Lili and Chuck’s (I can’t find a site for them.)
Thai Chili Garlic Sauce
13-15 Thai chilis, stemmed and chopped (seeded or half-seeded to taste)
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Combine the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until coarse. Transfer to a small pot.
Simmer over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes, until softened.
Transfer to a container and allow to cool. Store in the fridge.
I’m in a serious cooking rut right now. I’m not sure what’s happening but I seem to be unable to effectively prepare a meal with heat. I’ve burned quinoa (who does that!?!), peanut butter cookies and beans. I’ve decided that most of my food this week is going to be raw or slightly seared. Other than that, no complex dishes for me!
I made one dish with an eggplant from my garden before the curse settled in. What a rewarding and colorful treat!
In addition to being a huge fan of eggplant, I’m a huge fan of grains especially the hearty ones. Next week at the market, we’ll be talking all about wheat berries. They’re easy to prepare and incredibly healthy. The wheat berries are from Lucky Dog, an incredible farm in Hamden, NY. You can meet the producer, Richard Giles at Fort Greene greenmarket on Saturdays. Come visit!
Broiled Eggplant and Wheat Berry Caprese
1 medium eggplant, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup wheatberries
1 cup water/vegetable broth
2 oz fresh mozzarella
4 grape tomatoes, halved
4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the wheat berries in a rice cooker or a saucepan. Cover and cook for 60 minutes, until tender and the water has evaporated.
Preheat the broiler unit. Move the rack 4 inches from the heat source.
Brush the eggplant generously with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Broil the eggplant for 2 minutes on each side, watching carefully so that it doesn’t catch.
Toss the cooked wheat berries with the mozzarella, basil, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Serve with the eggplant. Enjoy!
I get questions about kohlrabi all the time. What is it? What does it look like? What does it taste like? What do I do with it?
This lovely veggie looks a bit extraterrestrial- it has a green or purple bulb with long stems shooting out from it with wilty leaves at the very top. Once you see it, you’ll never forget it. I could say the same about the taste!
I have a soft spot for strange veggies. Kohlrabi, though, doesn’t taste strange at all. Some people say it’s what would happen if a cabbage reproduced with a turnip- it’s kind of sweet but very starchy. They’re great for fritters and delectable in stir fries. An easy way to give it a try is to use it in a slaw.
Kohlrabi Slaw with Peanut Dressing
1 medium kohlrabi, outer layers peeled, shredded or julienned
3 medium carrots, shredded or julienned
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp honey or agave
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or liquid aminos
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2-4 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated (1/4 tsp dried)
2 tbsp olive oil
Prepare your dressing by whisking together the honey, rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, peanut butter, hot sauce and ginger until well combined.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil until completely combined. Taste and add more peanut butter, tamari or oil as needed. If you’re looking for a real peanut butter flavor, add 1/2 tbsp more and 1/2 tsp sesame oil.
Toss with the kohlrabi, carrots and scallions. Serve cold. Enjoy!
Note: It’s important that the outer layers of the kohlrabi are completely peeled away. You can tell if you did it right by looking at it closely. If it looks like fibers, keep peeling. It should be smooth like a turnip.
Eggplant is the sponge of the vegetable universe- it’s so versatile and takes on other flavors very well. I like to think that makes up for it not having a ton of nutritional plus sides. One of my favorite recipes (not fried or covered in breadcrumbs!) is to make it into a simple relish. I usually make this for dinner parties or just to top on my pasta. It’s a great sauce substitute and is easy to make, despite the number of ingredients. Add 1 tbsp of capers if you please- I never have any on hand but it does make it tastier!
2 small eggplants, peeled and sliced into thick half moons
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Red chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Salt the eggplant slices and let sit for 10 minutes.
While the eggplant is sweating out the bitterness, generously brush the peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes until tender. Transfer to a bowl.
Pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel and place on a greased baking sheet. Generously coat with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the eggplant to the bowl.
Mix the vinegar, the tomato paste, the chili flakes with the roasted vegetables. Blend with an emulsion blender or food processor until mostly chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature with crostini or pita. Enjoy!