Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chickpea and Spinach Soup

2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, mined
8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced (approx 4 cups)
6 cups vegetarian broth (chicken flavoured or vegetable)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed & drained
2 bags (5 oz each) baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese or vegetarian Rice Parmesan

In large pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil and add rice. Return to boil then reduce heat and cover to simmer for approximately 30 minutes (do not lift the lid).

In another large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, stirring & cooking until tender (5 minutes). Add garlic, mushrooms, again stirring and cooking until tender (5 minutes). Add broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat.

If after 30 minutes the rice is not cooked (tender), continue cooking for up to 10 more minutes. Stir 2 cups of the cooked rice and the chickpeas into the broth, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes to allow flavours to blend.

Finally add spinach to broth, cooking, uncovered, until the spinach wilts (takes about a minute). Add seasoning and garnish with cheese as desired.

This recipe is enough for 4 people.

(Recipe courtesy of Whole Living / Body and Soul Publication Dec 2007)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baked Beans with Irish Soda Bread

Baked Beans:

We really like this version of home-made baked beans. There is a little advance preparation involved though, in that the navy beans need to soak overnight. Typically, I soak about 3 cups of beans in a large bowl. The following morning, I then cook the beans in a pressure cooker. Alternatively you can skip this part and just assemble the recipe below in a slow cooker and cook the beans for 8-10 hours.

The sauce is as follows:

1 onion diced, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 6 ounce can tomato paste, 4 tablespoons ketchup, 1/4 cup margarine, 2 tablespoons molasses.

Into a large rectangular baking dish (9x13), sprayed with oil, I place the diced onion and then the drained beans. In a small bowl I combine all of the remaining ingredients except the molasses. I pour this over the beans and then using some of the cooking water from the pressure cooker, I pour approximately 2 cups over the beans stirring to thin the sauce and to ensure an even distribution of sauce and beans. Finally, I drizzle the molasses on top and mix in slightly (I like the taste of molasses and it darkens the sauce a little.)

Bake in a medium -low temperature oven for 30 minutes (or less...remember the beans are already cooked).

Tonight I am serving with Irish Soda Bread; recipe courtesy of The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Irish Soda Bread


2 cups nondairy milk
2 tsp white distilled vinegar
4 cups unbleached flour (or 2 cups unbleached + 2 cups whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated nondairy butter, melted


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit; lightly grease a 9 to 10 inch cake pan. Combine milk and vinegar and let stand 5 to 10 minutes to curdle. In large bowl, mix flour(s), baking soda and salt. Add milk and vinegar and melted butter. Combine into sticky dough. You can turn this out onto a floured board and knead approximately 12 fold overs. Place dough in prepared pan and slice a cross onto the surface. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Bread should have a hollow sound when thumped. Cool slightly before serving. (Bread will be good for 2 to 3 days...but it won't last that long. Tastes great toasted too!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January Slump....will not last forever.

Hopefully in a few days, weeks, I will have something worthwhile to say...but for now working on other projects, percolating ideas for 2009! Be back soon.