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$6 spent, makes 12 small or 6 large

I like cornbread in muffin shapes, though you could easily plop this batter into a pan to enjoy in squares.  This recipe is moist, savory and with a slight sage and onion flavor, (though not too onion-y for breakfast.)  Enjoy.

Tip: If you have a supply of cornbread pancake/waffle mix lying around, you can use that in place of the cornmeal and flour.  Works just as well and you can skip the baking powder and soda.  Just keep adding the mix until the batter isn’t runny.

  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 regular sized can of cream-style corn
  • ⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder or finely chopped scallions
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavor)
  • 1 Tsp Sage (Or more if you want it to be more savory)
  • dash or two of turmeric (for color)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat  muffin pan with cooking spray or olive oil

2. Combine soy milk and vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes to let the soy milk curdle. Whisk in canned  corn, oil, and onion powder (or scallions); then set aside.

3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, then add the wet ingredients. Mix well.

4. Pour batter into pan, and bake 40 minutes, or until edges brown a little.

I hope you enjoy my new photo at the top, it’s a shot of the view from the South beach of Look Out Cape – our Memorial Day hike.
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I knew it was summer when someone at work offered up their abundance of rhubarb stalks to the entire office in a big paper bag, With black Sharpie letters stating “Garden-Fresh!- Take Some!”.  I gluttonously grabbed half the stash – and felt a little guilty.  A nice co-worker walked in to top off his coffee and I asked him: whose garden did this rhubarb come from?  He had no idea.  I decided that if I ever found out, I’d share a slice of pie with them.  Because the stalks were destined for pie.

This is one of my favorite pies. It cost me 3 dollars because I made the crumb crust from scratch, and bought the strawberries from the farmers market.

  • 3 cups rhubarb, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2/3 cups brown  sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 1 Tbs warm water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (you can use orange juice in a bind!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ready made or homemade pie crusts (i was going to do a solid top, but it fell apart, so I crumbled it into a crumb top. It happens.)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients (except pie crust) together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add filling to the prepared pie shell and top with the other pie crust (whole or crumbled,).
  4. If using a solid top, poke a few holes in it to let steam escape.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 F. Lower heat to 350
  6. Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, filling should be bubbling and the top should be golden.
  7. Remove and cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

 

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As far as I can tell, you’ve accomplished  the dish known as “Chilie Relleno” as long as you stuff a peeled poblano with cheese and beans, bake it, and eat it whole,cutting it up with knife and fork.  Feel free to wolf down this BIG pepper baked with vegan cheese and salsa/beans inside, or convert it into a breakfast dish by stuffing it with your favorite tofu scramble (plus quinoa maybe!)  Keep some salsa and hot sauce handy!  Poblanos will be your favorite pepper if it isn’t by now.  I enjoy them for their deep flavor that surpasses green bell peppers and gives off a little more heat.

Bottom Line:  Enjoy these in many formats, just be sure to blister and remove their outer skin first!

$ Money-Wise $ : They cost as much as green bell peppers.  So buy em’ up!

Prepare your Poblano:

  1. Rinse, then cut off the stem, keeping the poblano as whole as possible, then hollow out the seeds and veins.
  2. Set oven to broil on high
  3. Rinse the peppers under the tap just prior to placing on a baking sheet – then put under the broiler.
  4. Keep under the broiler (don’t leave the kitchen!) for 10-15 minutes. Watch them. Make sure they don’t smolder. The skin needs to blister up. You can turn them if you like, to make sure they blister all the way around.
  5. Once the skin is blistered up and black, remove from the oven and place the peppers into a paper bag or enclosed Tupperware for 20 minutes.  This will allow the skin to slough off.
  6. Peel the outer skin off by hand, then stuff with your preferred stuffing and bake for 10 minutes, or cut them in half and top with tofu scramble or your preferred topping.
  7. Serve with a knife and fork, especially when serving whole and stuffed.

BONUS: A great way to enjoy these is by removing the skin as instructed, then cutting them into strips, dotting with hot sauce, sprinkling with vegan cheese, and melting the cheese under the broiler.  Then serve the strips with toothpicks as an appetizer.  Yum!

The actual “Chili Relleno” is the poblano stuffed and deep-fried in some sort of batter – which pulverizes the skin.  But there’s no need to deep-fry this pepper, adding calories and plaque to your arteries.  It is so delicious as it is, simply broiled.  If you want the real deal, go to a Mexican place and see how they do it.  If you’re like me, the only time you eat anything deep-fried is on rare occasions, out.

IMG_8136From the Epicurean Vegan!  A lovely Vegan Party Cheese Ball that incorporates bell peppers and pimentos. 

Price: Kinda spendy because of the nuts and special cheeses. $9-12 depending on where you live. Serves about 5 people if they fill up 3-4 crackers or toasts.

Since I used her recipe exactly, I will link directly to her post.  This is a fantastic, veggie-flavored cheese ball, (think pimentos and bell pepper flavor.)  It’s  perfect for a wine tasting or holiday get-together.  I take no credit whatsoever. Dee-licious! (I only changed the shredded cheese brand to be totally vegan.)

I served this cheese ball with those little “toasts” pictured.  They are so good.  I found them at New Seasons. :) Cheers!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12-oz vegan cream cheese (toffuti or daiya or follow your heart)
  • 2 1/2 C vegan shredded cheese, cheddar flavor
  • 2Tbs pimento, chopped
  • 2 Tbs green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbs onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce (Wizard brand is vegan)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped

Note: If you’re not a huge fan of walnuts, I recommend rolling this ball in breadcrumbs and/or sage, rosemary and thyme – OR slivered almonds.  The walnuts can be so strong that they detract from the flavor of the cheese ball entirely.  I have to say that I preferred it with a combo of slivered almonds and herbs.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine vegan cream cheese and vegan cheddar in food processor, just to blend.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except walnuts and mix well.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and chill overnight.
  4. Shape into a ball and roll in walnuts.
  5. Serve with crackers and wine, and enjoy!!!

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A little diversion from our standard weekend breakfast of tofu scramble – based on an ovo-lacto breakfast I read about which was comprised of: broth-cooked quinoa, avocado cubes, eggs and sriracha. This twist on our usual feels complete with the addition of the grains.  It can also be wrapped into a tortilla or collard leaf.  Enjoy.

The Pieces (serves 2):

  •  One batch of your favorite tofu scramble for two (tofu scrambles are very personal. But you can use ours. Or our other improved version.)
  •  1 cup of quinoa cooked in veggie broth – add a little olive oil or earth balance at the end. (the 1 cup of quinoa is the measurement after its cooked, btw.)
  •  12 oz baby bellas.  sauteed with Earth Balance and a little salt until nice and soft – or go even further and brown them.
  •  One avocado, cubed
  •  One Finely diced Shallot
  •  One seeded, minced fresh jalepeno (remve veins/seeds before mincing)
  •  As many diced baby tomatos as you want
  • Your favorite hot sauce
  • Your favorite chopped herb (I used cilantro)
  •  Lemon slices, and a little fresh lemon juice on the side to add to bowl

Directions:

  1. Combine sauteed mushrooms, jalepeno,tomato, chopped shallot, lemon juice to taste and  cubed avocado to the HOT cooked quinoa.  Mix well.
  2. Place quinoa mixture in bottom of two bowls
  3. Top with tofu scramble, herbs, and slather with hot sauce. (wrap this in collards or tortillas if thats how you’re doing it.)
  4. Stir it all up and  Eat! (Or leave as it is in layers and eat.)

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I follow Scott Simon on Twitter.  He’s one of my favorite NPR hosts and he seems to relish the aspects of social media, so I enjoy his 40-character musings on family, work, and sometimes food.  He mentioned enjoying some roasted padron peppers in Spain, so I did a little research.  One pepper that came up as being related was the Japanese shishito. Both are commonly served roasted in the simple manner of : oil, salt, blister.  I vowed to try them the second I came across either species.  Happily, while at the large Asian grocery in Beaverton, I found a barrel of these beauties.  Brought them home, blistered them in oil and salt in the cast iron skillet, and munched.  Perfect as a wine appetizer.  I would say their spiciness level is about the same as a strong pepperoncini, so don’t worry.  Delicious flavor, medium heat.  I look forward to trying their Spanish cousin.

In other news, Spring is in full force in Portland.  Bulb flowers, Dogwood, Grape Hyacinth, Lawn Daisies, Tulips, Daffodils and so many other flowers are showing up.  Cherry and plum blossoms are shedding now.  Apple and pear blossoms are on their way.  Forest Park looks lush.  Happy Spring.

Hearty enough for an Oregon lumberjack. About $4.50 per serving

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You get to make your own BBQ sauce too! 

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These pub buns are the best. Local is just the first reason why.

My favorite recipe for a vegan BBQ sauce originally came from The Veganomicon, which is still the basis of my own recipe.  Then after hubby and I enjoyed a scrumptious vegan BBQ plate at Blossoming Lotus, I stole their idea of adding apples to the coleslaw.  And after stuffing our faces at Home Grown Smoker, I switched from using seitan to soy curls.  I still can’t get my soy curls to be as full and lucious as theirs, (I’m sure they have access to restuarant-quality curls.)  But I’ve got my own strategy.  Seitan is still a great option, so I’ve included it here for you!

You can even use canned jackfruit as a different shredded-style “meat” option, as I learned from Luminous Vegans.  I will definitely try that next time.

Prepare to get your face messy after inhaling this creation.  Have napkins standing by.

Another option: instead of the cabbage/apple slaw, fill with my collard slaw!  You won’t know the difference and you’ll reap the nutritional benefits of raw collards.

Makes about 3-4 servings

Cabbage-Apple Slaw:

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 red apple, shredded in food processor or with vegetable peeler
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of soymilk
  • lemon juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • dash or two of dried dill
  • salt/pepper to taste

Directions: Whisk everything from the vinegar down in a small bowl, then pour over the shreds and mix. Let sit while you prepare everything else.  Adjust to taste.

Homemade BBQ Sauce:

  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic – smashed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly cut
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomato
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • generous dash of vegan worchestershire (optional)
  1. Sautee onion and garlic in pan with generous splash of olive oil on medium until the onions are soft.
  2. Add everything else except the mustard, liquid smoke and worchestershire. Turn heat to medium low.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Prepare “meat” while waiting.
  4. After “meat” is ready, add the liquid smoke, mustard and worchestershire to the sauce.  Add more balsamic vinegar if you require more tang.
  5. Remove sauce from heat and blend in a food processor. (If you want to use a blender, you can, but you have to wait until the sauce is cooled.  Hot sauce CAN go in the processor, but not in a blender.  See: Mt.Vesuvius.)

Choose and Prepare 2.5 cups of your “meat”

If using Soy Curls: Pour hot water over them to hydrate.  Once they’ve absorbed the water, drain and press to remove excess water and lightly brown in a pan with a sprinkling of salt.  This way they will be both plump and dry.  Once browned a bit, mix into hot BBQ sauce until curls have slightly absorbed the sauce.

If using Seitan:  Cut into long strips and lightly brown in a pan.  Cover with BBQ sauce in an oven safe dish and bake until the sauce sticks to the strips.  Add more sauce when adding to sandwich for more moisture.

Assemble sandwiches: spread veganaise on both sides, slather some BBQ sauce, then fill with coleslaw and sauce-covered”meat”.

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