Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bread Stuffing

Sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and bread stuffing are some of my favorite holiday foods, and they taste every bit as good in January as they do in November. Our dinner tonight was just like Thanksgiving, minus the green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie--and, Eryca says, minus the little nephew eating all the olives!

Here is the recipe for the delicious, traditional bread stuffing we had tonight. We've had some version of this every Thanksgiving for over twenty years. Some years we do the deluxe recipe with chestnuts and Jerusalem artichokes; this is the less complicated adaptation.

Bread Stuffing
1 loaf Brownberry Natural 100% Whole Wheat Bread
1 T olive oil (optional)
1 large onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 lb Gimme Lean (sausage flavored), broken into chunks
1 1/2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
1 T dried parsley
1 t dried sage
3/4 t dried thyme
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place under broiler for 4 - 5 minutes, or until brown and toasty, watching them closely so they won't burn. Saute the onion in olive oil or a little broth. When onions are soft and turning golden, add the Gimme Lean. Saute 3 or 4 minutes, then add mushrooms and saute until soft and brown. Mix the sauteed vegetables and the toasted bread cubes together in a large bowl. Add broth, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Mix in herbs and spices, and mix well. Bake in ovenproof casserole or stainless steel soup pot for 30 - 40 minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Super Bowl Chili, Vegetarian Style

Having vegetarians over on Super Bowl Sunday? Want a spicy, warming bowl of tastiness, minus the animal products? No worries--here are TWO easy chili recipes that are so good, no one will miss the meat!

Veggie Chili

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. water, wine, or olive oil for sauteeing
2 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 large green pepper, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 T brown sugar
2 T chili powder
1 T dried cumin seed or dried cumin
1 T dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/2 t coriander
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t allspice
2 cans kidney beans
1 package Smart Ground* "beef" flavored crumbles, optional

Saute the onion and garlic in 2 T. water, wine, or olive oil. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetables, brown sugar, and all the seasonings; simmer 30 minutes, adding additional water if needed to prevent burning. Add the kidney beans and the Smart Ground (if desired), and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or more.

* The Smart Ground is not necessary, but it does give the chili a "meatier" texture. If you prefer, you can substitute another ground beef analog, such as Gimme Lean, or leave it out entirely.

Slow Cooker White Chili

2 8-oz. packages of tempeh, cubed*
1 T. olive oil
3 cans pinto or canellini beans, rinsed & drained
4 cups vegetable broth (not tomato-based--I like Imagine's No-Chicken)
2 4.5 oz cans diced green chilies, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 T cumin seed
3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
1/2 t ground cayenne
1/4 t salt
1 sliced avocado, optional, for garnish

In a large skillet, saute the tempeh cubes in olive oil until golden.
Place the beans in the slow cooker and mash them slightly. Add the sauteed tempeh, vegetable broth, chilies, onion, cumin, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Serve with sliced avocado.

* Tempeh is a cultured soy product with a chewy, meatlike texture. You can find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or natural foods store, near the tofu. It usually comes in 8-oz packages. Tempeh can be frozen until you're ready to use it. When you take it out of the freezer, put it in a bowl under cold tap water until it's defrosted enough to slice into cubes. It's great sauteed in a little oil and simmered in a flavorful sauce, as in this chili.