Veggie Bean Wonder Waffles!! (Vegan and Gluten Free)

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Guess what guys ….I got myself a sick vintage waffle/ griddle iron. I couldn't be more thrilled!!! I found this thing at the local recycled goods store the other day, along with a very beautiful old white pyrex mixing bowl. It was one of my best thrift store scores! (Checking out the inventory and the condition of all the old things that day, I would say an old lady had just died and all her perfectly keep, mint condition kitchen stuff had just been donated.  But it's cool, cause I get the feeling that she was at least 90, with a big loving family, and was happy until the day she died. And I am sure she would be pleased that I have taken over the waffle maker. Thanks old lady!)

 And now I am pretty sure that  everything I make for the next week will be cooked on said waffle/griddle. I am serious, I already have a list of things to try and cook on it; cookies, biscuits, granola bars, potatoes, fruit, some type of pasta situations…. the list of possibilities is endless and I bet that at least 1/2 of these things will be totally awesome and amazing.

But first thing first. I need to make dinner.

So waffles for dinner!! 

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Note. These waffles are completely 100% fantastic for any meal you want to make them for. They consist of nothing more then beans, a shit ton of veggies, and just a bit of cornmeal. But don't let that fool you because they are super packed full of so much flavor, have a really soft tender inside, with a nice crispy outside and are so super pretty. They are wonderful! The stuff. First, we got a big old pile of shredded up veggies which include; carrot, beet, sweet potato, onion, parsnip, celeriac, and a little bit of kale.  A we got a bowl of rinsed and strained white beans, a little bit of cornmeal and salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

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The makings of something amazing!Before you do anything. get your waffle iron out and preheat it. 

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While thats going on, take you beans,  add 3/4 cup water and puree until smooth with whatever blending device want to like to use. (I used my hand blender…less to clean)Now collect all the shredded veggies and dump into a big bowl with the bean puree, the spices and the cornmeal. Mix until combined. The batter should be thick, but not dry. If its seems to wet, add more corn meal, or too dry, add a little more water.

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Note how my batter turned a magical pink… I love beets, they make everything pretty! And check out that bowl!When your waffle iron is preheated, oil it if needed (if your not sure, add a little oil just to really make sure your waffles don't stick) and take appropriate size spoonfuls of the batter and stick on iron. Close it and wait…..My iron has a little light that turns on when the waffles are done cooking, so I waited patiently (ok iI did open it a few time) until light tuned on and removed the perfectly cooked waffles.

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Did I mention how awesome my new/old vintage iron is?

SO AWESOME!!

I made a little gaucamole and gave the mister and little bowl of plain Greek yogurt with lemon juice, but feel free to top, drizzle, or dump whatever you want onto these beauties… 

Happy waffle Wednesday!!!

-C

Veggie Bean Wonder Waffles

Makes 8-10 waffles (in my iron) feeds 2-3 peeps

  • 1 small carrot shredded
  • 1 small parsnip shredded
  • 1/2 a small celeriac root
  • 1 small beet shredded
  • 2 kale leaves chopped into tiny bits
  • 1/2 an onion, shredded
  • 1/2 a small sweet potato shredded
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups(or 1 can) cooked, rinsed and strained white beans
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • oil for iron(if needed)

Note on veggies… I used what I had in the fridge and shredded, it came to about 3 cups. If you don't have these specific veggies or only want to use a few.. go for it. Just make sure to have 3 cups of whatever veggies you use.

Take you beans and blend them up with whatever device you would like to use. Once creamy, add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir until combined.

Once the waffle iron is preheated, oil it( if needed) and place the recommended amount of batter right on it there. Close and cook until golden brown and waffly.

Serve on a plate with topping of your choice, A few suggestions.. Guacamole, salsa, hummus, mustard, greek yogurt… anything that tastes good to you.

Eat as breakfast, lunch or dinner...

Fork into face

Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls

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My contribution to last nights dinner at my sisters.... Freshy fresh veggies spring rolls.I had about 30 minutes between work and getting over to my sisters house to throw something together so it needed to be something fast, easy, and something I could make without going to the store. She was making the main course (some teriyaki situation and rice) so I was doing up the veggies.

I had just bought a package of spring roll wrappers…. Bingo! The perfect and logical choice. I grab the wrappers, a variety of veggies and after spending 12 of my 30 minutes trying to scrub the oil based paint off of my face and hands, I still managed to completely prepare, construct, and take pictures of these lovely tasty spring rolls. and get over to my sisters in time for dinner.

Impressed?  

Damn right!

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The stuff. Carrot, beet, asparagus, red cabbage, and kohlrabi, which all (except asparagus, which I just cut into thirds) got cut into matchstick sized pieces with my mandoiln. Then there are the rice spring roll wrappers that we need to make the veggies into rolls. Also a bit of red wine vinegar to drizzle onto the veggies for a little extra zing. And lastly, soy, fresh ginger, and a couple cloves of garlic for a spicy salty dipping sauce.Start by having everything set out and ready to assemble. Fill a large shallow dish or baking sheet with really warm water. Working with one at a time,place a rice wrapper into water and let sit for about 10 seconds or until the paper starts to soften. Remove from water and place on a damp surface (just splash a little water on the counter) Take a little bit of everything and and place on the lower middle part of the paper. Fold in the sides first, then tuck and roll the wrapper as tightly as you can without ripping the wrapper.

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Repeat until you have used up all you veggies.For the dipping sauce. Finely grate ginger and garlic and add to soy sauce. Stir… and it's done.Freshy, pretty and fantastically delicious. And for real, took about 8 minutes to make. (I even had enough time to wash the dishes before we left!)

I am so awesome!

Hump Day Pow!!!!!

-C

Fresh Veggies Spring Rolls 

Makes 8-10 but can easily be increased or decreased to desired amount 

  • 8-1o rice spring roll papers
  • Splash of Red wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoon  freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage
  • 10 thin fresh asparagus
  • 1 small kohlrabi

Note… I used the veggies that I had in the fridge at the moment. If you have a bunch of veggies but not these particular ones, use what you have. Pretty much all veggies taste good inside a spring roll!

Gather your veggies and prep by either using a mandolin, a grater, or some sick knife skills, and julienne, shred, or slice you veggies into thin match sticks. Once all the veggies are prepared, sprinkle a little vinegar over the top.

For the rolls...Grab a large shallow vessel  (a rimmed baking sheet works great) and add in warm water. Working  one at a time, place the wrapper into the water for about 10 seconds or until the wrapper starts to soften. Remove and spread onto a clean, damp work surface. Gather a bit of each veggie that you are adding and place towards the bottom  middle of the wrapper. Now fold the sides in over the pile of veggies. Then with the side closest to you, tuck and roll wrapper away from you, trying to keep it tight, but not to tight that it rips.. (Hopefully that makes since.) Place finished rolls onto a damp surface to keep from sticking and if not serving right away, drape with  a damp towel or paper towel to keep from drying out.

For the soy ginger dipping sauce. Add grated ginger,  minced garlic, and soy into a bowl and mix together.  Serve with spring rolls. 

Eat one, two, or a plateful. It's nice to share but not a necessity.

Kohlrabi Apple Walnut Slaw

IMG_0405Before we left for the weekend, I was was trying my hardest to empty the fridge out of all food with the intention of leaning it empty so I could leave it open to defrost while were were gone. Unfortunately I was not able to make it happen. What I did make happen was emptying it almost completely so that when we got home, we had pretty much no food in the house, except for a few things that probably should be eaten.  Plus one of the last things that I want to do after sitting in a car for 6 hours is go to the grocery store, or anywhere for that matter, so I was determined to make with what wet had in the fridge:

  • Carrots
  • half of a gigantic kohlrabi
  • soy milk
  • iced tea
  • bananas that needed to be frozen
  • strawberries

Perfect!  A few carrots and half of a gigantic kohlrabi.. plus at the hotel we were staying at, there were fruit bowls in he lobby full apples. Every time I went past the apples (which was a lot) I grab one or two, so I have a few apples (I actually have a lot of apples now). All the things I need for a super awesome salad slaw. Apples with their  nice sweet crispiness and kohlrabi with its cabbagey, crunchy earthiness, tossed together with some vinegar, some toasted walnuts and some carrots, I mean, so freaking good. And to make it a bit more of a meal, I made some lentils to go with it. But the best part was there was no need to leave the house!!

 IMG_0361    IMG_0364The stuff… A huge hunk of a bigger then my head kohlrabi (or 2 normal bulbs). A carrot, an apple, toasted walnuts, red wine vinegar, and some salt.

Pretty simple stuff going on here. Just peel and julienne the kohlrabi, carrot and apple. (no need to peel the carrot or apple unless you want too) and stick it all into a bowl.  I used my mandolin, which is one of my favorite kitchen tools ever, but if you don't have one, a box grater works too.IMG_0372Sprinkle with salt and a good glug glug of red wine vinegar. Chop up the walnuts (some big chunks and some very small pieces makes for good eating), toss it all together and, well that's it. But wait…. let it sit for a few minutes before serving to really let the flavors draw out.IMG_0393And there we have it. Super fast, full of flavors and crunchy texture. A salad slaw after my own heart.

Serve it as it or add to a bed of greens, rice, or lentils… and make sure to save at least as little… cause its an awesome little pre-bed snack.

Happy Week!!

-C


Kohlrabi Apple Walnut Slaw

  • 2 medium sized Kohlrabis 
  • 1 medium apple   
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt

In a large bowl, julienne kohlrabi (after peeled) apple and carrot. Sprinkle with salt, add in vinegar. Rough chop walnuts and toss the whole bit together. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, if not longer before serving. (A great salad to make ahead of time)

Eat as is, or toss onto a bed of greens, plate of rice or a bowl of lentils.

Any left overs only end up tasting better the next day.

Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup

IMG_0207 I'll let you know now, I am a make and eat soup all year long person. I can think of few things better then sitting outside, basking in the sun, hopefully with a light wind, a book in hand, enjoying a nice big cup of some good homemade soup. (Doesn't that sound so freaking lovely?) This soup right here is perfect for just that. Parsnips are the best, kind of like a big white sweet, yet starchy carrots. And cooked together with a little bit of light and lemony thyme, rich earthy turmeric and a couple more chopped veggie….. you got yourself a nice thick and fragrant bowl of happiness that fills you up without weighing you down. It's food you can eat that fills you up, leaves you feeling cozy, yet still wanting to hop on a bike or lace up the running shoes.  Hearty without the feeling of all the heaviness.

A perfect soup for spring! (or summer, winter, or fall)

IMG_0156The stuff. Parsnips, carrots, onion and garlic. Thyme and turmeric, salt and pepper. the tinniest bit of oil and water (water not shown)IMG_0171Chop all the veggies and the garlic, drizzle a dutch oven or a pot with oil, toss in the veggies. Add the turmeric, the thyme, and 1/2 cup of water. IMG_0185Sweet sweating the veggies. Turn pot on medium and cook until the water completely cooks out. When the veggies start to brown and stick to the pot, deglaze with water. Give a good stir and keep cooking. Repeat the deglazing process until the veggies are super soft and ready to blend. (I did this 4 times.. it only took 10 minutes)IMG_0199Add enough water to cover the cooked veggies. IMG_0206And now blend the heck out of it.. Go as smooth or chunky as you want. I blended as smooth as I could get with this crappy immersion blender. (Blender on loan until I finally decide on, and buy a new one)IMG_0214And there you have it. Scoop into bowls, add lots of cracked black pepper, and go to town. I made enough to save a bowl for later…  it didn't last for later. 

Soup so good. 

-C


Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup 

  • 4 large parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 whole onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric 
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • water

Dice up the parsnips, carrots, garlic and onion and place into a large dutch oven or pot. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil,  sprinkle on the spices, salt and pepper and add about 1/2 cup of water. Turn heat on medium and start cooking down the veggies. Once the water evaporates and the veggies start to caramelize, deglaze pot with about a 1/2 cup of water. Give pot a stir, and continue to cook until water evaporates.  Repeat this 2-3 more times until the veggies are super soft and fragrant. 

When the  veggies are ready, add enough water to the pot to submerge the veggies. Bust out the immersion blender or dump into a blending device and blend until smooth (or the consistency that you want) Have a cup of water ready to thin out if needed. When blended, taste for salt and pepper, add more if you want, and cook on low heat until you are ready to serve.

Garnish with a lot of good cracked pepper

Eat from a vessel, use a spoon

Baked Navy Bean Polenta with Chunky Veggie Tomato Sauce

IMG_3584Is it really for real April? Where has all the time gone and where the hell is the warm weather? It's not funny anymore. I am officially OVER winter!  Ok, so now that I got that off my chest…..

Last night the misters Dad came over for a long awaited dinner accompanied by talk of life goals and what her referred to as "narratives" or the story of our lives. Some deep shit to be talking about at dinner, especially with zero alcohol to be had.

Me, being so super awesome, was all up in taking charge in making the food. Except that  last night I didn't have a bunch of time and honestly, much energy to be doing anything.  And sure, I could have just made a pot of spaghetti, but that just felt like cheeping out. So Polenta it was. And because I just made a hug pot of navy bean, those were going into the polenta too.

Beany polenta baked in the oven with a tomato sauce cooked on the stove. About 5 minutes of hands on time and an hour to cook it all. It's the perfect meal to make when you have guests coming over. Fast prep, into the oven and on the stove, and then you have an hour to clean and make yourself presentable. See, I am a thinker. (I ended up skipping the making myself presentable part… I stayed in my gym clothes.. no need to impress family right?) Then after about and hour you end up with a hearty healthy pretty meal, all from scratch, that seems like you spent the afternoon cooking. When in fact you spent the past hour vacuuming and watching Gilmore Girls. 

IMG_3538The Stuff. Cornmeal, water, navy beans and parmesan for the polenta. Crushed tomatoes, garlic, dried basil, onion, carrot, zucchini, and summer squash for the sauce. Salt, pepper, and olive oil all around.

IMG_3558Cornmeal and water go into a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe dish) with a pinch of salt and pepper. Give it a little mix and stick it into the oven at 400 degrees .

IMG_3544Once the polenta is in the oven, make the sauce. Chop up all the veggies and stick into a dutch oven or sauce pot with a pinch of salt, the basil and a good drizzle of olive oil. Stick on medium heat and let veggies cook down a bit.  When the veggies are tender, add in minced garlic, crushed tomatoes and another drizzle or oil.  Turn burner to lowest setting and simmer (giving it a stir every now and then) for about 45 minutes or until the polenta is done. IMG_3568After about 30 minutes when the water had pretty much all cooked down, take the polenta out of the oven and stir in the beans, the parmesan, a tablespoon or two of olive oil and salt and pepper. Smooth top out and sprinkle with more pepper, parmesan and drizzle with a bit more oil. Stick back into oven for another 1/2 or until polenta  has formed a crust and no longer giggles when you wiggle the pan.

IMG_3630Pull polntna from the oven and let sit for at least 1o minutes. IMG_3605

Two big spoons and a pile of plates. Have the people serve themselves!

Have a Happy Day! 

-C


Baked Navy Bean Polenta with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Serves 4 hungry people

For the Polenta

  • 1 1/2 Cups Course Ground Corn Meal
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 3 Cups Prepared Navy Beans (Or just use to cans)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese or Vegan Parmesan (Optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Sauce

  • One 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 large Carrot
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 4 (or more ) Cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Small Zucchini
  • 1 Small Summer Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400

In a large skillet, mix together the cornmeal and the water and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place into oven for about 30 minutes or until the polenta starts to congeal at the edge of the skillet nd most of the waster has cooked down.

Remove skillet from oven and with a whisk or wooden spoon, mix in the beans, the parmesan (if using) and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Smooth out mixture, sprinkle with salt, pepper, parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Stick back into oven for another 30 minutes or so.  Polenta is done when it no longer wiggles when you giggle the skillet.

For the sauce

Small dice the carrot and the onion and stick into a medium dutch oven oor sauce pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Place on medium heat and cook until the veggies are tender. Add in tomato, minced up garlic and basil. stir and let simmer on stove top for about 45 minutes. When you place the polenta back into the oven for the second bake, dice up zucchini and squash and add to sauce. Stir and keep on simmer until ready to serve.

Once the polenta has completely cooked, remove from oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes…10 is better to solidify.

Spoon big piles of polenta on a plate or in a bowl, top with a big heap of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a little more parm  and maybe another dash of pepper .

Eat…..Spoon or fork is recommeded.

Happy Food!

Whole Grain Mustard

IMG_2795    IMG_2818 I love mustard, and when I say love, I mean LOVE. I eat it on anything and everything. And not just small quaintites, I buy jumbo sized containers of the stuff because I go through it so fast.  Over the past few years I even  started taking down others with my mustard eating obsession. Sisters, brothers, even some of the littles are now mustard eating feens.  One of my little nieces is now just as bad as me. I don't think I have seen her eat a single meal without a side of mustard. Her favorite snack, clementines and mustard,  although sometimes she skips the clementines and just goes in with her fingers. Oh so good. I think that child could possible be mine.  And yes, it's mostly the yellow grocery store variety of mustard being consumed, but yellow mustard is just the tip of the ice berg. There is a whole world of flavors, textures and colors when it comes to the humble mustard seed. Whole grain mustard, to me, is one of the best and easiest to adapt to any persons specific taste. You can make it plan or add in just about any spice, vinegar, even a little sweetness that you might like. One of my favorite variations of this mustard is to skip the vinegar and use picked jalapeño juice. Aah, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So if you are anything of a mustard connoisseur, you really must, at least once, make your own batch.(It's so easy!) And you will love it and share it with all your friends and they will think you are a bad ass for making your own mustard and your life will just be so great. All because you are now a mustard maker.  Yes. 

IMG_2644Yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar and salt. The most basic ingredients.

Note- If you want, add in a pinch of any spice that you want.. Chili flakes, granulated garlic, turmeric.... And you can use the vinegar of your choice. I like apple cider because its mellow with a slight sweetness but white or sherry or any vinegar would be great. Even left over picked juice is fantastic too.

IMG_2678   IMG_2791 In a large jar, combine the mustard seed , twice as much vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cover and let sit for on the counter overnight until the seeds have soften and look almost like caviar. 

IMG_2800Now blend those seeds. You might want to add another splash or two of vinegar to help  blend and to thin out a bit. Chose how creamy or seeded you like you mustard. I like to make it creamy but seedy so I blend it half way to creamy.

Taste and add another pinch of salt if its needed and……..

IMG_2812You have got mustard! Make sure you have a good snack ready to eat with it.. My go to is carrots. I could eat this all day long.  

Enjoy and have a great Tuesday full of mustard and stuff!

-C


Whole Grain Mustard

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Optional..A pinch of  Garlic Graduals, Red Pepper Flakes, Curry Powder (Anything you want) 

Combine all ingredients into a large jar that has at least a few extras inches for the seed to expand.  Leave on counter for 8-12 hours.

Once seeds are nice and soft and have expanded, either eat as is (Mustard seed caviar) or blend the seeds to desired consistency (I like it half smooth, half seedy) Add a pinch more or salt and another splash or two of vinegar to help blend.

Refrigerate and use on anything and everytihng.