Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

A Delicious Mistake: Confused Stew

The weather was amazingly rotten yesterday so it was an easy decision on what to make for dinner – stew!  Of course, it had to be veggie stew and somewhat healthy.  I put my brain to work and came up with a shopping list for a recipe based on one main ingredient:  Anaheim chilies.  Truth be told, I didn’t actually know how it was all going to come together, but I knew what I wanted it to be so all I could really do was hope.

Then I ran into a big problem.  Something that happens to me more than I would like at our neighborhood Whole Foods.

There were no chilies.  I scoured the produce section only to find jalapenos, poblanos, and bells, but no Anaheim.  Their chili pepper section was a sorry sight and they should really be ashamed, but maybe it’s not chili season.

I was super annoyed now.  It was raining cats and dogs outside, I was already spending way to much money on the few things I had in my basket, and now I had to come up with a new plan.

I decided that I would just grab some canned chilies and be done with it.  I headed over to the Ethnic Foods Section where I found rice, beans, canned jalapenos, enchilada sauce, and salsa.  But no chilies!!!  WTF?  Where have all the chilies gone?

And this is how Whole foods continues to screw me, time and time again.  They only have one brand for many things – and it’s never the brand that I want – and it’s always the most expensive brand.  But of course I still shop there because it means that I don’t have to wear my bullet proof vest like I do when I shop at the Safeway on Potrero Hill and most of their stock really does kick ass.

But I digress…I cursed a few times under my breath and grabbed a can of Hatch Green Enchilada Sauce and I was on my way.  The end result of the catastrophe was a stew that was slightly soupy, but still thick enough to be a stew.  Oh yeah, and it was good!  Well it was good enough for my simple pallet, and even pretty healthy.

Serves 4-6
1 sweet potato or yam thinly sliced
I can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup hatch green chili enchilada sauce
vegetable stock
2 tsp chili powder (use less and then add more if you’re spice sensitive)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can black beans
1 baking potato peeled, chopped into bit size pieces
1 sweet onion diced
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste
Sour Cream (optional garnish but so good!)

Toss the yams in a bit of olive oil (about 1/2 tsp) and lay on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper.  Roast for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees on each side (make sure you check on them because I forgot to check my timer and I may be off here…)

When the yams are nice and browned, toss them in a blender with about 1 cup of green chili enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of vegetable stock.  Puree and season with chili powder and salt and pepper and oregano.  It should be pretty thick. Set aside.

Place the baked potato pieces in a pot and cover with vegetable stock.  Boil and cook until they’re just under-done.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat and then pour in the baking potato and about half of the stock that you cooked them in.  Mix in the yam mixture and then add the black beans, remaining diced tomatoes, and corn.

Season to taste and let simmer for 30 minutes or more…stir occasionally.  It should now turn a bit more “stew like”.

Pour into bowls and top with sour cream, cheese, avocado, onions, whatever you like.  I mixed in a bit of sour cream and that seemed to be all that was needed.


Vegan and Low-cal: Creamy Corn Chowder

I know the title may sound a bit hypocritical.  I have the words “Vegan” and “Creamy” in the same title along with “Low-cal” and “Chowder”.  I assure you that this corn chowder is vegan, only has about 135 calories per serving, and will knock your socks off.  Especially if you eat it when it’s storming so hard out that you wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if your roof was ripped right off (taking your upstairs neighbor with it).

I served this with some crusty stale whole wheat bread that I bought at whole foods and a simple butter lettuce and arugula salad.  boston-lettuceI’m completely hooked on this hydroponic lettuce they sell at whole foods – I think I eat about one package a day.

I apologize for not having a photo – I’ll try to post one later today after our camera is charged and I heat up more of the soup to have for lunch.  I was far to hungry last night to fiddle with photos.  I had to eat as soon as it was finished cooking.  There was no stopping me.

I left my soup chunky, and it turned out thick.  Really, really thick.  If you’re not down with the chunky then you can certainly throw the finished product into a blender (just be sure it’s not too hot or you may burn the crap out of your hands).  Also, if you decide to blend it you may want to add more vegetable broth or soy milk and less potato flakes.  Yes, I said potato flakes.  Here’s the recipe:

Serves 6 (or 4 if you’re a piggy like me)

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 medium/large sweet onion finely chopped (depends on how much onion you like – I like A LOT!)

1 1/2 cups celery finely chopped

1 cup carrots finely chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

2 cups GOOD vegetable broth

2 1/2 cups frozen corn (or use fresh, whatever you have)

2 cups soy milk

2/3 cup potato flakes (I used Whole Foods brand which has 70 cal per 1/3 cup)

1/2 cup chopped scallion

salt and pepper to taste

This is a one pot meal so break out a large soup pot.  Heat the olive oil over medium heat and toss in the celery and onion.  Saute until translucent and soft, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the carrots and the garlic and cook, constantly stirring, for about 5-6 more minutes.  Pour in your vegetable broth and heat for about 2 minutes then add the corn.  Give the corn about 2 more minutes in the pot and then add the soy milk.  Stir it up and raise the heat so that it comes to a slight boil.  Immediately turn it down to med-low and stir in the potato flakes.  (This makes it “chowder-like” so you may want to start out with less and gradually add more.)  You have your choice now to add the scallions or you can wait and use them as a garnish.  I added them to the soup while cooking and I think I made the right decision.  Add salt and pepper to your liking (who am I kidding? add LOTS and LOTS of fresh cracked black pepper!) and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  You can let this sit as long as you need to actually, just make sure you stir it occasionally.

Pour yourself a very large glass of wine, pop a Netflix in the DVD player, and enjoy!

Nutritional breakdown per serving: (the salt is not included because everyone uses a different amount. If you’re watching your salt intake then make adjustments as needed.)

Calories 135.5
Total Fat 6.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 0.7 mg
Sodium 357.0 mg
Potassium 432.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 3.7 g