Tuesday, November 30

Vegan in Kauai, part 2

Final Vegan Mofo post! I really enjoyed the inspiration and motivation to post every weekday for a month, even if I missed one day and had two slacker days on vacation. Overall the experience has really given new life to my cooking, eating, and blogging.

Yesterday, on the way to Waimea Canyon, we ate at Hanapepe Cafe. I think it bills itself as vegetarian, but they do have a few fish items (fish sandwich, tuna melt) on the menu. I had a Boca burger with teriyaki sauce and pineapple on it-- quite nice-- and they had gluten-free bread for no additional cost. While I know Bocas are not gluten free, it was nice to have the bread for lower-gluten content (if that's an option for you). A true vegan, gluten-free option would be their roasted veggie sandwich on the gf bread, and it looked delicious. They also had a couple of gluten-free bakery items, though none were vegan. Erik really enjoyed their gluten-free brownie.

Vegan personal pie at Hanalei Pizza

Tonight's dinner was pizza at Hanalei Pizza in the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei. I had a caramelized onion, pineapple, and caper pizza that was really nice-- the highlight was the nice tomato sauce made with shiraz. Sadly, they do not have a gluten-free crust. They serve the pizzas on baking stones, a nice touch that keeps the crust crispy.

My favorite food here has definitely been shave ice. I've currently tried four different places, but none have yet earned my loyalty. Best so far was the place next to Kauai Outfitters where we were kayaking today, although I had it only once, on our first full day here. Second place so far is Brenneke Deli, suggested by our kayak guide and enjoyed today. I'm sad to have missed the two best places on the south shore (our first few nights), but we're close to two now here on the north shore (our last few nights) that I hope to try.


Monday, November 29

Vegan in Kauai

I'm in Kauai for a nice, long week, so I missed a few days posting for Vegan MoFo. While I'm not cooking here (unless making stovetop popcorn and putting together sandwiches count), I am eating, so I thought I'd post about some of the places we've had good meals. Unfortunately I've been remiss at taking photos of food, but I did manage one snap of a particularly good dish, most of the way through. Hey, I'm on vacation!

Vegan plate at Josselin's Tapas

This lovely dinner was a special vegan plate made up for me at Josselin's Tapas Bar & Grill in Koloa, in the fancy shopping center near our condo. A couple of the tapas might have been vegan-izable, but I was very happy to have a big plate of well-roasted/grilled veggies, including potatoes, heirloom carrots, squash, eggplant, and fresh tomatoes served over naan bread. They originally brought a plate loaded with mushrooms, which I unfortunately had to send back (I had specified that I'm allergic). $21 for a huge, satisfying meal is not bad at all in Hawaii, especially at a fairly fancy restaurant. Without the naan, this would be gluten-free.

Another memorable meal was the tofu satay plate at Mermaids Cafe in Kapa'a. Erik and I shared the large plate of brown rice, chewy fried tofu and veggies in a nice, mild peanut sauce. They also have Thai iced tea available with coconut milk. Service was slow but it seemed to be because the place was so popular. There's a coffeeshop next door with a sign proclaiming vegan and gluten-free treats, but they were sold out when we were there-- around 2pm on Sunday. Hopefully we'll swing by again and get to try them.


Thursday, November 25

Kitchen sink stirfry with peanut sauce

Please forgive this post in advance. I'm writing it from my phone, at the airport. In an effort to prepare for this vacation, I cooked and baked up a storm, trying to use everything in the fridge that might go bad while we're away-- namely all the produce.

The night before, I chopped up an unbelievable amount of broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, green onions... and the kitchen sink. Just kidding, but it sure felt that way. With all the prep work done, all I had to do for dinner was whip up a sauce, boil noodles (or rice), and stirfry the veggies. I also made a huge batch to try freezing it; this dish is a good candidate for long-term saving. We'll see how that turns out.

Kitchen sink stirfry with peanut sauce

Quick peanut sauce

vegan, gluten-free

serves 8


  • 1 tsp sesame or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, run through press or diced
  • 1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1/2 C wheat-free tamari
  • 1/3 C rice wine vinegar (I like mine tart!)
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


  • Fry garlic in oil in a small saucepan over medium heat til fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in peanut butter til warmed through and more pliable. Add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, mix thoroughly.
  • Mixture will thicken. Slowly add water, about 1/4 C at a time, stirring to incorporate. When you reach desired sauce consistency, turn off the heat. The sauce might continue to thicken, but you can keep adding water a little bit at a time.
  • Prepare stirfry and rice or noodles. Add sauce to stirfry pan and stir to coat.

Wednesday, November 24

Apple pie- crumb cake muffins

We were at Costco when I saw a giant box of my very favorite, short-season apples: honeycrisp. And they were local. But we were leaving town in a few days. What to do?

Well, I bought them with plans to eat one a day (check) and make an apple cake or muffins (check, although I still have eight apples). Turns out the cake involved making applesauce first, which I didn't have time for. So after much internet and cookbook research, I decided to make the temptingly-named apple pie-crumb cake muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance.

Apple pie- crumb cake muffins

To make these gluten free, I saw that the recipe called for a total of 1 3/4 cups of flour. So I mixed 3/4 C of Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour, plus 1/4 C each quinoa flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and white rice flour. After thoroughly mixing those, I took out 1/4 C for the crumb topping, then added 1/4 tsp xanthan gum to the rest of the flour, to be used for the muffins.

To make fluffier mufins I used about 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in with the 3/4 C apple cider in the recipe. I also used about four times the amount of apple called for-- I just diced two big apples. It seemed overwhelming in the batter, but you can barely taste the apple in the muffins, so I'd use that much again. Although the "crumb" topping was runny at first and seems to have be absorbed back into the muffins, I will definitely make these again-- just using my own crumb topping instead.

Tuesday, November 23

Baked tofu and broccoli slaw

I will never forget the night my sister-in-law (hi Shetha!) had us over for dinner and served this meal. I had never heard of broccoli slaw so I thought she spent hours julienning veggies, and it tasted like she sprinkled magic into the sauce. Something really comes together with the flavors and textures in this meal, and makes more than the sum of its parts. Erik and I ate an unseemly amount of it, and I vowed to recreate it at home.

This recipe is a simple one but it requires some prep work. I highly recommend pressing the tofu. If you do that the night before, you can marinate the tofu in the morning and it should be ready to bake when you get home from work.

Baked tofu and broccoli slaw

Baked tofu and broccoli slaw

vegan, gluten-free

serves 4


  • 1 box firm, water-packed tofu (should be about 14 oz. You can use extra firm or soft if you like.)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, run through a press or diced
  • 1/4 C wheat-free tamari
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • juice of 1 big lime
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 C uncooked short-grained rice (white or brown)
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw (approximately 12 oz)
  • sesame seeds and sliced green onion for garnish


  • Press the tofu overnight. You can use a tofu press or fold a few paper towels above and under the tofu, and weigh it down with a plate and a couple of cans.
  • Mix everything from the sesame oil through the rice wine vinegar in a wide, shallow container. Slice tofu into 12 equal slabs, place in mixture and marinade for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cook the rice according to package directions.
  • Oil a baking sheet, place tofu in a single layer, with plenty of space around each. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, bake for 15 minutes more.
  • Pour reserved marinade and broccoli slaw in a bowl, mixing carefully to coat. Mix again every 10 minutes while the rice is cooking and the tofu is baking; this will help "cook" the slaw a little.
  • Serve a scoop of rice, three slices of tofu, and a bunch of slaw, drizzled with extra marinade. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Monday, November 22

Black bean and roasted corn soup

For my soup this week, I was ready to branch out and go non-Latin. Then my father-in-law brought over a huge bag of fresh sweet corn (corn on the cob). How else to use six ears of corn but to make soup?

My first thought was a nice roasted corn and black bean soup... but we only had refried black beans. So instead of a chunky black bean soup, this is more of a pureed (although it's not), smooth soup. That means it goes even better with a grilled cheeze sandwich!

Black bean and roasted corn soup

Black bean and roasted corn soup

vegan, gluten-free

serves 6


  • 6 ears of corn (or about 2 C frozen)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, run through a press or diced
  • 1 can refried black beans (or just black beans)
  • 1 can chopped green chiles (the small ones-- about 4 1/2 oz)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 C vegetable broth, stock, or water
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • salt


  • Prep the corn. If you have fresh ears, remove husks and stringy bits, place cobs on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast for about 20 minutes (turning halfway through) on 375. After the cobs cooled, I grated them into the soup at the appropriate step. It's a pain, but it's really nice to have only the digestible part of the corn, and it keeps the smooth texture of the soup. You can also slice the kernels off with a knife. If you have frozen, roast for 5-10 minutes (or until golden brown) on 375, try to flip as many kernels as you can, and roast on the other side til golden brown-- much shorter, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Saute onions in olive oil in a large pot on medium heat until they start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, saute another 2 minutes.
  • Pour in refried black beans, stir until everything is well-mixed and the bean mixture is heated through.
  • Stir in chiles and tomato paste.
  • Slowly add the vegetable stock, stirring to keep things smooth.
  • Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until soup thickens to a consistency you like.
  • Add the fresh lime juice, spices, and salt to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro if you like.

Friday, November 19

Restaurant review: Portobello

Really, this post isn't fair. I didn't take my camera and I didn't take any photos with my phone. That, and I've been to Portobello, a vegan trattoria just at the end of my street, quite a few times. Tonight we were there to celebrate Ann's birthday, and if I were going to be around for mine, we'd be eating there again.

Portobello is amazing-- the menu changes constantly, you can get small or large portions to facilitate sharing, and gluten-free (and soy-free and nut-free) options are clearly marked on the menu. They have a few pasta dishes, but emphasis is often on seasonal and unique vegetables, and other types of Italian cuisine. Tonight we had a pan-fried polenta appetizer with an amazingly fresh tomato sauce, and Erik had a gluten-free pizza, while I went gluten-y and got the pumpkin rustic ravioli in cashew cream sauce with hazelnuts and sage. It's difficult to not just always get the gnocchi, because theirs is tender, pan-fried, and obviously handmade with love and care. In fact, I can't remember a single dish I've eaten there where the love of the ingredients and final product doesn't shine through.

Save room for dessert, though. A stand out is their toasted pound cake with cherry ice cream and marcona almonds. Hot and cold, soft and crunchy, this dish has everything. I order it every time it's on the menu. The wine list is also good, and the alternative drinks are quite inventive. Really, you can't go to Portobello and come away unhappy. It should be a first and frequent stop if you visit Portland, and especially if you live here.

Thursday, November 18

Choosing cheezes: sharp cheddar

For my third homemade cheeze, I wanted to find an agar agar based recipe, something very different from the three-day-long process I've used for cheezes so far. Years ago I took a class through the community college called "David's Vegetarian Kitchen" focused on such cheezes, but when I found the cookbook I bought from the class, there were no such recipes.

After a quick web search, I found a good candidate. I whipped it up while waiting to pick up some friends visiting from Alaska, and put it in the fridge to set while we were at dinner. We ended up going to a movie, so I just now got home with only 30 minutes to get my Vegan MoFo post in! Hence the truly un-artful photo.

Sharp cheddar cheeze

The flavor of this cheeze is amazing-- spot-on sharp cheddar. The coconut oil gives it a full, fatty mouth-feel. The texture of is very much like soft, artificial Velveeta. Next time I'd use more agar agar to make a firmer texture. Actually, I would use this recipe without the agar agar for cheeze sauce-- it tastes great! I really like the way the author breaks down the "macros" of why dairy cheese tastes the way it does, and how to recreate that with non-dairy items. That intense scientific method pays off. This is the best cheeze I've had yet.

Wednesday, November 17

Sweet potato chipotle bisque

After making quinoa-corn chowder from Viva Vegan!, I had to go back and make the recipe that first caught my eye: sweet potato chipotle bisque. Mine's not really a bisque as I didn't blend it smooth, preferring to leave some chunky texture. I made it on Sunday but we didn't get around to eating it until tonight, when Ann came over to watch The Girl Who Played with Fire. First we had a roasted baby beet, spinach, hazelnut and feta salad while we waited for the gluten free baguette that Ann brought from New Cascadia bakery to warm up in the oven.

Sweet potato chipotle bisque

I topped the soup with marinated, pan-fried tofu to add some substance, and a dollop of Tofutti Sour Supreme (also brought by Ann). This soup is really good-- spicy, sweet, and the addition of white potatoes adds an earthy complexity. I will definitely make it again, maybe with chickpeas or another bean, spinach or a hearty green, and cilantro.

Tuesday, November 16

Open-face veggie burgers

Although I spent five hours in the kitchen on Sunday, I made mostly smooth, saucy things that don't photograph well: tomato sauce, sweet potato chipotle bisque (from Viva Vegan), pureed roasted pumpkin, and chocolate chip cookies (from Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix). And tonight when we got home at 8pm, we needed dinner fast. It's not very photogenic either, although it sure beats purees. So here are the open-face veggie burgers (SprouTofu Veggie Burger) I had for dinner-- on a spelt bagel (we're trying spelt, although it's related to wheat, to see if Erik is sensitive to it), with Veganaise, spinach and pickle slices. One burger has barbeque sauce on it and the other has salsa. Served with frozen waffle fries, which are the reason this is a 15 minute dinner rather than a 10 minute one.

Open-face veggie burgers

Monday, November 15

Coconut chana masala

Chana masala is our favorite Indian curry around these parts, but we wanted something a little different. Less tangy, more creamy. I decided to use coconut milk instead of the usual tomato and margarine base. It's a bit more mild and came together even quicker. The coconut adds a subtle, exotic flavor so this seems more of an Indonesian curry than an Indian one. You can use your favorite beans instead of chickpeas, and any vegetables you have around.

Coconut chana masala

Coconut chana masala

vegan, gluten-free

serves 4


  • 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1/2 large or 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, run through a press or crushed
  • 2 tbsp curry powder (use a pre-made chana masala powder or make your own)
  • 1 tbsp amchur powder (or a squeeze of lemon or lime for tartness)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 C spinach, chopped
  • 2 C faux chicken, torn into bite-size pieces
  • salt


  • The fatty part of the coconut milk will have risen to the top, so be careful not to shake it up when you pour just enough to cover the bottom of a medium pot. Heat on medium til the center starts to bubble.
  • Add onions and saute til soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, saute another 2 minutes.
  • Add curry and amchur powders, mix in and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste, mix, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chickpeas, stir, cook til heated through or about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the rest of the coconut milk in, mix thoroughly, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add red pepper, spinach, and pre-cooked faux chicken.
  • Salt to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro if you like.

Friday, November 12

Choosing cheezes: Veg Times almond feta

There are very few things I miss about dairy, especially with the amazing assortment of good vegan parallel products. There's just one little thing... something so seemingly insignificant that it's most often treated as a garnish. Feta! Stinky, salty, tangy goat cheese. This void is why, after dipping my toe in with last week's cashew cheeze, I was very excited to try Vegetarian Time's almond feta. Mostly because I've been dreaming of a roasted baby beet, spinach, hazelnut and feta salad dressed with fancy olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spinach, roasted baby beet, hazelnut and feta salad

This cheeze was much easier to make than the previous one. With more water added at the blending stage, I got a beautifully smooth, fluffy whipped cream consistency. It also gave up a lot of water from the cheesecloth stage, and emerged quite cleanly in a cohesive ball. Baking gave it a nice, crusty texture. I skipped the whole herb oil part, but that would add a nice fatty mouthfeel and earthy herb flavor. Despite the amount of salt, my finished product tasted strongly tangy from the lemon juice, not salty at all. I will definitely make this again-- with more salt and less lemon juice.


Oh yeah, I also made these No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies. I'd never made a no-bake cookie before, and after a run with Ann during which we discussed peanut butter confections at length, these sounded perfect.

No-bake oatmeal chocolate peanut butter cookie

I didn't have quick oats, so I used regular rolled oats. I only made a half batch (but didn't halve the cocoa powder) just in case they didn't turn out. These were ridiculously easy to make, but absolutely must be refrigerated before consumption. I loved the creamy, salty peanut buttery fudge acting as glue to hold the oats together. The oats were a bit chewy and al-dente, which would probably be solved by using the called-for quick oats. I might make this again without the oats, just as fudge. It would be nice if it stayed solid at room temperature though.

No-bake oatmeal chocolate peanut butter cookies

Thursday, November 11

Quinoa-corn chowder with aji amarillo

Viva Vegan! has been getting lots of praise lately. I preordered the book but haven't made more than one or two things from it-- basics, really, not even a full recipe. But then I saw Lisa from Sweetpea's post, and remembered that I had planned to make one soup a week during Vegan Mofo.

I leafed through the cookbook and saw a number of recipes that looked good, but most of them required ingredients that exhausted me with the thought of trying to acquire them. That is, until I saw the quinoa-corn "chowder" with limas and aji. I had three of the year's last ears of sweet corn crying to be used, so I read up on aji and set out to find it.

Soup ingredients

Unable to find the paste, I bought two kinds of dried aji peppers-- amarillo and panca. Following directions from the book, it was easy to make my own aji paste.

After boiling (2 minutes in heavily salted water) I grated the corn into the soup, per a suggestion in the beginning how-to section of the book. I liked that it made for an all-over sweet taste and left most of the indigestible covering of the kernel on the cob (you can really appreciate that part later). I also used northern beans instead of limas, because that's what I had on hand.

Prepping aji amarillo

This soup was delicious. I would definitely make it again, although I'd try some variations like using chickpeas instead of limas, adding spinach or another green, and making more aji paste! Even my spouse, who claims to dislike quinoa, enjoyed this soup for multiple meals. The quinoa really becomes a seamless part of the soup, so if you know someone who hates the texture of small starches like couscous and grits, you can safely feed them this quinoa-corn chowder.

Finished soup

Wednesday, November 10

Baked potato with ham and broccoli cheeze sauce

Baked (or jacket) potatoes are the ultimate comfort food... and they're especially versatile as the base for a gluten-free meal. Although Alton Brown's one hour baked potato recipe is hands-down the best-tasting, my friend Kari convinced me to get past the fear of nuking vegetables and give my potatoes a pre-bake boost in microwave. Now, instead of a labor of love, baked potatoes are a quick weeknight dinner.

Baked potato with ham and broccoli cheeze sauce

The only "must" for this meal is russet potatoes. They make the fluffiest, best-textured baked potatoes. By all means try other toppings: canned veggie chili, instant Indian curries, and leftover shepherd's pie filling all make excellent, quick meals over a potato.

Chopped broccoli

Baked potato with ham and broccoli cheeze sauce

vegan, gluten-free

serves 4


  • 4 medium (or 2 large) russet potatoes
  • 2 C chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 C diced faux ham
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • A batch of this cheeze sauce-- substitute cornstarch for the flour and tamari for the soy sauce
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Russet potatoes


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. I place a cookie sheet on the bottom, below the rack, to catch any drips.
  • Scrub each potato and poke all the way around with a fork (about 10 times). Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 5 minutes. Flip potatoes and squeeze to estimate done-ness. If they don't give at all, microwave for another 5 minutes. If they give a lot, try 2 minutes. Practice makes perfect gauging the time for this step.
  • Chop broccoli and faux ham while potatoes are in the microwave. I like a pretty small dice so that the pieces flow with the sauce. Don't worry if it takes you longer to chop than the potatoes take-- it's good to let them sit in the microwave and steam for about 5 minutes after they're done cooking.
  • Remove potatoes from microwave, drizzle with olive oil, then very carefully use your hands to rub the oil over the entire skin. Another reason to let them sit for a few minutes-- they're HOT! Sprinkle with salt and place on the oven rack.
  • Make the cheeze sauce.
  • Turn potatoes.
  • Add broccoli and faux ham to cheeze sauce, along with a bit of water to thin out sauce if needed. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until broccoli is tender.
  • Remove potatoes, let sit for 5 minutes. I like to cut them once lengthwise and three times across, then squeeze them open-- I think I got that from Alton Brown. Cover with cheeze sauce, garnish with black pepper, and enjoy!
  • *If you make more than you need, these are great reheated for lunch-- you can even microwave the whole thing!

Tuesday, November 9

Green spaghetti

Remember those sad, unripe green tomatoes salvaged from the garden? I roasted and pureed them for later use, which was great last night when I wanted a quick dinner.

I was going to make a more traditional spaghetti and meatballs, but with no meatball material in sight, I settled for little faux chicken balls. They went really well with the simple, tangy, but mellow-roasted sauce and Daiya melted over the top-- the perfect rainy night meal with an offbeat twist.

The moral of this story? Keep it simple and use what you've got!

Green spaghetti

Spaghetti with green tomato sauce and faux chicken meatballs

vegan, gluten-free

serves 3


  • 1 box gluten free spaghetti (I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa spaghetti)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced or run through a press
  • 2 C pureed roasted green tomatoes (tomatillos or red tomatoes will work, too)
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil (dry or fresh. Fresh tastes better, but it's November, sheesh!)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (okay, I might have added 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • faux chicken product, rolled into balls and pan-fried until golden on two sides. I buy a frozen block of faux chicken paste at the Asian mega-mart, which is gluten-free and perfect for this
  • Daiya or other vegan cheeze for garnish
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  • Prepare the pasta according to box directions. Prepare the meatballs, too.
  • In a medium sauce pan, saute onions for about 5-7 minutes, until just turning golden. Add garlic and saute another minute or two.
  • Add tomato puree and stir occasionally til it starts to heat up and bubble, maybe 10 minutes.
  • Add the basil, vinegar, and salt. Stir and adjust seasoning. If you want to go Mexican-ish you can add oregano, cumin and coriander here.
  • Top spaghetti with sauce and meatballs, sprinkle with cheeze and place under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until the cheeze just melts. Grind black pepper over top to your personal heart's delight. Simple &l yum!

Monday, November 8

The best pancakes

I used to love making pancakes on the weekend, especially once I found this not-quite-easy but absolutely delicious recipe on 101Cookbooks. It's not vegan, but it's easy to substitute margarine for butter, and soymilk (or other non-dairy milk) plus 1 tbsp vinegar per cup for the buttermilk.

The best pancakes

Since we got rid of wheat, though, I also removed the idea of yummy, fluffy pancakes from my mind. That is, until last week when I really wanted pancakes. I made a batch (I always halve the recipe) using a combination of flours, and it was okay. This weekend I decided to try again, and I hit the jackpot.

The winning combo: 1/4 cup each of quinoa flour, tapioca flour, potato starch and white rice flour, plus 1/8 tsp xanthan gum for one cup of wheat flour. The results were amazing-- fluffy, light, almost eggy interiors with crisp outer crust. I can't wait to make these pancakes again!

And if you're allergic to maple syrup like my husband, try agave syrup or heat up some strawberry (or other fruit) jam.

Friday, November 5

Kale chips and the sadness of green tomatoes

This is going to be a short post, since I'm still at work at 6pm on a Friday night.

I keep reading about kale chips. They pop up on the interwebs in the strangest places, everyone raving how delicious and easy to make they are. I already like kale, so to read this high praise from avowed kale-haters was actually a turn-off. But then I discovered a bunch of kale in the fridge that needed to be used right away.

Tuscan kale

I used half for dinner and the rest for chips. After researching a few recipes online (see Smitten Kitchen for a lovely example), I coated my chopped kale with 2 tbsp olive oil and a healthy portion of salt, and baked it for 8 minutes at 300 degrees.

Kale chips

That turned out to be way too much-- maybe because my oven is gas? Next time I'll have the temperature much lower and check sooner. The non-brown ones tasted great but the brown ones were bitter.

Green tomatoes

I had more green tomatoes left in the garden than I ever got ripe over the course of this year's cold, wretched summer. So while putting my garden to bed for the winter, I decided to keep the tomatoes and roast them.

Roasted tomatoes

After roasting I pureed in the blender. Use as you would [a can of] regular diced tomatoes-- you can even mix the two but then you won't get the lovely green color. It makes a mellow, tart tomato sauce for pasta or pizza.

Photos, original recipes and text © Susan Kelley 2012. All rights reserved. Please credit me and link back to this site, or ask first.

Always read ingredient labels carefully (and re-read periodically) to make sure that products actually are vegan and/or gluten-free.