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Rabbit Food

Cooking Veg food with Nutmeg the bunny rabbit.

Updated: 2018-03-06T09:42:00.613-06:00




Long time no blog. Dipping my toe into the blog pool with a post of some pictures. All stuff I was going to post and never did.Spicy Peanut Miso SoupBasically mild miso with peanut butter, Sriracha, veggies and tofu. Really easy, really good.Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut SauceLemon Almond Poppyseed CookiesThese are my favorite cookie. Someday I will post the recipe.Roasted Veggies with Quinoa and Tomatillo SauceBlue Hubbard Squash SoupAnd finally a shot of Nutmeg looking sweet. But don't believe it. She's a demon bunny who chews on furniture.[...]

Ms. Jenny and The Springtime Stew Stumper


It was a cold and lonely night when I logged into my blogger account. My senses were dulled by one too many pomegranate martini, but even so I noticed that something was amiss. An unfinished entry dated March 8, 2009 stared me in the face. I blinked. I rubbed my eyes. I drank a pot of coffee to sober up, but that post was still there, like an uninvited guest who couldn't take the hint that it was time to scram. I stumbled to bed, tired but jittery from caffeine, and fell into a fitful sleep.The next morning I woke up hoping I had dreamed the whole thing, but as I waited for my computer to boot up, I became certain it was all too real. Sure enough, the post was still there. Three pictures and the title 'Spring and Stew'. No notes. No recipe. I closed my eyes and searched my memory...yes...there it was. I did make this stew. I remember the smell of spring in the air. The flowers were starting to bloom, and the weather was beginning to turn warm. I remember the smell of onions, the texture of brown rice, the sharp aroma of fresh parsley, the sweet tang of balsamic vinegar. I remember... Okay, done with the blog noir. But seriously, I don't remember starting this post. I do remember making this dish, but the specifics are a mystery. I distinctly remember using my pressure cooker, but it appears that I seared the tofu. I see potatoes, carrots, onions, and what may or may not be celery. I also associate balsamic vinegar with this meal. Judging from photographic evidence there was brown rice and a fair amount of parsley involved. When winging it I usually use some dried rosemary and thyme. There's probably garlic, because I love it.So here's what I'm thinking...Springtime Potofu Stew (potato+tofu=potofu, duh)Heat some olive oil in pressure cooker.Add tofu cut into triangles and some Braggs or salt.Sear tofu on both sides. Add a bit of balsamic vinegar to tofu.Add diced onion, celery, and carrot, along with some dried thyme and rosemary.Saute along with tofu for a couple minutes. Add diced garlic.Add some chopped potato. (it appears I used red skinned potatoes)Add some water, attach lid to pressure cooker and bring to full pressure.Lower heat and use common pressure cooker sense. Cook a bit.Release pressure and remove lid. Add lots of chopped fresh parsley.Taste for salt and overall deliciousness. Add whatever is lacking.Perhaps a drop of Tabasco?Serve with brown rice.Enjoy.I will now consider the Springtime-Stew-Stumper solved.[...]

Hello Again


A few of you may have noticed that I have not blogged in quite some time. My mother passed away last May, and I have not been in a blogging mood since. I haven't been in a cooking mood, either. There's been a lot of frozen prepared food, canned soup, and frozen vegetables with frozen rice going on around here. So between not wanting to blog, and not having anything to blog about except prepared veggie burgers and potato chips, several months have flown by.However, for reasons of emotional as well as physical health, this cannot go on. Also, I'm wasting tons of money on all this prepared stuff. So tonight I made my favorite vegetable casserole. Easy to make, and so good. I could feel the vitamins seeping into my cells.I made this tonight with the vegetables listed below, but you can use broccoli, sweet potato, or anything you like. I got the basic recipe from a generic vegetarian cookbook I was given years ago. It has a green cover and is called something original like 'Vegetarian Cookbook'. I am a lover of condiments and seasonings, so was therefore skeptical of this casserole the first time I made it because paprika, onion, and garlic didn't seem like enough seasoning. It's very good, though, and you can really taste all the vegetables when they're not hiding under lots of hot sauce, mustard, and whatever else I always slather on my food.Jeff the hand model with Vegetable CasseroleVegetable Casserole with Herbed Dumplings1 Onion2 cloves of garlic2 tsp. sweet paprika2 potatoes (I used Russet)3 Carrots1 can diced tomatoes1 1/2 cup water or veg. stock2 zucchiniA bunch of frozen green beans (I didn't measure)for dumplings1 cup flour (I used a mix of millet and spelt)pinch of salt1 1/2 tsp. baking powder1 1/2 Tbsp. margarine or olive oil1/2 tsp. dried thyme1/2 tsp. dried rosemary2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped1/3 cup soymilkPreheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion in a little olive oil till soft, then add paprika and garlic and saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes, water or stock, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to simmer and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and continue simmering until vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a large casserole dish.Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the margarine or oil and work into the flour with your fingers until it resembles very fine bread crumbs. (I also add a little flax meal 'cause it's good for you) Mix in the herbs. Stir in the soymilk until the mixture just comes together. (You may have to add a bit more flour depending on the kind you use) Divide into 8 pieces, and roll into balls.Distribute the dumplings evenly over the top of the casserole. You'll want them to absorb the juicy goodness, so get them nestled down in the casserole a bit. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when you stab a dumpling. I spoon a little juice over the dumplings a couple of times while it's baking to help keep them from getting too dry on top. Throw on some more parsley and eat it up.Ready to eat with baby greens and herbsNutmeg is doing well and wants to say hello. She was so excited to be blogging again that she rushed the camera. I'll get some better pictures when she has calmed down from all the excitement.[...]



This sweet little fruit tree makes it's home in my front yard. When we first moved in I had to ask a neighbor what it was. The answer was a Loquat tree. I then had to ask what in the heck a loquat was.The tree flowers in the fall, and puts out fruit in early spring. From what I understand, loquat vary in color and flavor. Mine have yellow skin and white flesh with one or two large seeds in the center. The flavor is sort of peach, sort of cherry. But not exactly. When fully ripe, they are extremely sweet. I almost prefer them a little unripe, when they are a bit tart.Loquat are native to southeast China, have been cultivated in Japan for over 1000 years, and in the States are mostly grown in California and east-Texas/west-Louisiana. I think you can find them canned in some Asian markets, but I'm pretty sure the taste and texture will be very different. Around here, this seems to be a fruit that people either happen to have growing in their yard, or have never heard of.The past few years, the birds have beat me to the loquat, and left me with only a handful to munch on. This year the birds lost out big time, because I picked them all the minute they seemed ripe. I don't usually have so much fresh fruit in the house, so it was fun to decide what to do with it. Tarts, crisps, cakes: all would have been good, but I was worried I still wouldn't use them all before they went bad. So in the end I decided to make loquat jam.I kept fretting over how to go about making this, spending way too much time comparing recipes on the internet. In the end I just winged it, and it came out perfect. I made two batches; one with ginger and one without.Loquat JamLoquat JamHalve loquat, removing seed and membrane. You can leave the skins on.Blend in food processor to desired consistency. I like mine pretty chunky. Transfer to a large pot.For each cup of puree add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1-2 tsp. minced crystallized ginger if desired. Add cold water just to cover.Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened considerably.Transfer to a clean jar and store in the fridge.Quinoa Biscuits with Loquat JamI made these biscuits the same night and we consumed an alarming amount of them with lots of the jam. The lavender in these really goes well with the loquat.Quinoa Lavender Biscuits1 1/2 cup flour (I used spelt)1/2 cup quinoa flakes*2 tsp. lavender2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. baking soda1/2 tsp. salt3 Tbsp. olive oil or melted margarine1 cup milk1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar1 Tbsp. flax meal (optional)Mix wet ingredients and flax. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir till just combined. Drop by spoonful onto oiled baking pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until biscuits are firm and slightly browned.*I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes. Rolled oats would work as well. Or, you could just omit and add an extra 1/2 cup flour.[...]



I love food that is stuffed or filled. I think it's the contrast of textures and flavors. In addition it's always cooking and crafting at the same time. Here's a couple of tasty stuffed things I've made recently.Stuffed With FennelThese filo pockets are delicious. I wanted to use the filo dough that had been sitting in my freezer, and I had some lovely fennel in the refrigerator. The rest of the recipe came together when I thought about a Coconut Corn Fennel Chowder that I like to make. The flavor combination is wonderful.Fennel Corn Filo Pocketsfrozen filo dough, thawedone onion, diced3 cloves garlic, diced1 fennel bulb, stalks removed, quartered, and thinly slicedpinch of red pepper flake1/4 cup vegetable stock1 1/2 Tbsp. shredded coconut2 Tbsp. coconut milk1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)1/2 cup firm tofu, crumbledsalt and lemon juice to tastefeathery greens from fennel stalksHeat a little olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and fennel. Saute until the onion is beginning to soften. Add the vegetable stock and pepper flake. Cover and steam until the fennel is tender. Remove from heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, reserving some of the fennel greens for garnish.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.You will need a large working area for assembling the pockets. Lay the thawed filo out flat, and cover with a clean kitchen towel or wax paper to keep from drying out. Remove two sheets of the filo and lay them (stacked one on the other) on your work surface. Spray them with a little oil, sprinkle the whole thing with some more shredded coconut, and cut into 5 even strips (about 3 and 1/2 inches or so wide). Place a small mound of the filling at the end of one of the strips of filo. Fold the bottom right corner up to meet the left side to form a triangle. Continue folding until you get to the end of the strip. Spray the whole thing with some oil and move to the prepared baking sheet. Continue like this until you use all of the filling.Bake in preheated oven until the filo is crisp and slightly browned. Garnish with the reserved fennel fluff and eat! I really think this is one of the tastiest recipes I have ever come up with.Stuffed with Strawberries and Bean PasteI have a love/hate relationship with Asian sweets in general, and red bean paste in particular. During a two month trip to Thailand and Malaysia several years ago I was always being confronted with desserts that my taste buds and eyes just had no reference for. I still cringe at the thought of a bowl of black gelatinous cubes in a sweet liquid with shaved ice that my kind and gracious host set before me. I'm still not sure how I managed to eat it.When I saw Kittee's post about Ichigo Daifuku, though, I was intrigued. Ichigo Daifuku is Mochi (a chewy cake made from glutinous rice) stuffed with red bean paste and strawberries. Not only was it pretty, but I love strawberries and Jeff loves red bean paste, so I decided to give it a try. These were really fun to make, and while I'm not ready to call myself a lover of red bean paste quite yet, they were somehow very tasty. I saved the stems and leaves from the strawberries I used and stuck them on the finished mochi. They turned out better than I expected! For directions and pictures, see Kittee's original post.Mochi waiting to happenSpeaking of Kittee, she tagged me! So I now have to tell you five things about myself, and then tag five more people to do the same. Here goes...1. I grew up in the Midwest. Indiana to be exact. The thing I miss most is the 4 distinct seasons...winter, spring, summer, fall. (they all seem to blur together in the South).2. Jeff and I sometimes make music...and videos. Check it out if you dare.3. In addition to Nutmeg the bunny, we share our house with Spiralina the mourning dove (rescued as a baby from the mean streets of the french quarter, New Orleans), and Castor the[...]

Cheddary Tofu Quinoa Pie


I make some version of this 'pie' on a regular basis. This was the first time I have used the cheddar or the quinoa in this dish. The fact that I call this a pie is getting me thinking it would be good baked in some kind of crust...puff pastry maybe?Cheddary Tofu Quinoa Pie 1 lb. firm tofu (chinese) 1 tsp. mustard1 Tbsp. tahini1 onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, pressed or dicedlots of black olives*pinch of turmeric and paprika*dried thyme*1 Tbsp. lemon juice1 cup FollowYourHeart cheddar (soy cheese)1 /2 cup cooked quinoasalt to taste fresh basil and chives*In a large bowl, mash the tofu (I just use my hands) and mix in the mustard and tahini. Set aside.Saute the onion and garlic in a little oil. When the onions are soft add the olives, turmeric, paprika and thyme. After a couple of minutes the olives should be getting toasty and it should be smelling really good. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat.Combine the tofu with the onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix well. Turn into a lightly oiled pie pan and press into shape. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it's hot in the center and starting to brown on top. Put under the broiler briefly to brown it a bit more. Be careful, it will burn fast! Let it sit for several minutes until slightly cooled. Cut into slices and eat it up. Sometimes it falls apart all over the plate, but it's just as tasty.*I never measure for things like this unless it's important to the recipe. The only rule is that it's better to use too little than too much (except can't have too many olives).Served with baby yellow beets and their greens, and more quinoaP.S. Spring is here![...]

Eggplant Burgers


For this I started with a recipe from Crescent Dragonwagon's "Passionate Vegetarian" and modified it to suit my needs. The resulting eggplant cakes are my new favorite thing. There's really not much else I can say about these. You simply need to try them. They were twice as good as I was expecting.

(image) Eggplant Burgers

2 eggplants sliced into rounds
3 Tbsp. Braggs or soy sauce
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 small slices of bread torn into pieces
1 Tbsp. tahini (or more)
1 teaspoon Chipotle sauce (or more)
1 1/2 cups dry textured vegetable protein

Bake the eggplant on an oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees until tender, turning halfway through. Remove from oven and transfer to a food processor.

Add the Braggs, garlic, bread, tahini, and chipotle sauce. Blend until smooth, then add the textured vegetable protein. Blend to mix well. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Blend again briefly and taste for seasoning.

Form into 8 patties (approx. 3 inch). When I am making patties from something sticky like this I find it helpful to form the patty between two layers of plastic wrap so they don't stick to my hands. Bake the patties on an oiled baking sheet at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through. If you would like the burgers a little crispier, put them under the broiler for a few seconds on each side.

Serve as is, with the sauce of your choice, or on a bun with greens, tomato, Veganaise, and spicy ketchup.


Apricot Almond Cookies


I recently purchased a mold for making mamoul, a traditional Lebanese cookie. They are a bit like shortbread in texture, and have a date, walnut, or pistachio filling. They are also some of the best cookies I have ever eaten.The first thing I made using the mold, however was not mamoul at all. I didn't have everything I would need for mamoul, and didn't want to make something with as much fat as mamoul would require. Instead, I came up with these soft almond cookies with an apricot filling. Using the mold was so much fun that I turned right around and used it to make a coconut cookie.You don't need a mold to make these cookies. It's easy to shape them in your hands, but if you can find one you will have twice as much fun making them. Mine was under 5 dollars at Mona's Cafe; a Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant that also houses a small International market. They just recently opened a location near my house, and not only does it make my life easier to have such convenient access to falafel sandwiches, tahini, grape leaves, split fava beans, giant glass jars of tomato paste, dried figs, mamoul molds, etc., but I think it's important to support small independent ethnic markets and restaurants. My local Vietnamese, Korean, and Middle Eastern markets are usually less expensive then the supermarkets, and shopping there challenges me by introducing me to foods I am unfamiliar with. Now, on to the cookies.Apricot Almond Cookies2 Tbsp margarine, softened 1/4 cup soy milk 1 Tbsp flax meal1/4 cup applesauce1 tsp almond extract 2 Tbsp sugar1 1/2 cup flour ( I used spelt)Combine everything but the flour and mix well. Stir in the flour. The dough should be firm and dry enough to handle. Add more flour or soy milk if necessary.For the filling puree some dried apricots with a teaspoon or two of agave nectar and just enough water to moisten and make a paste. Sorry, but I didn't measure any of this. If you make too much it just means you will have to make more cookies!Lightly flour the mold. Press a small amount of dough into the mold, making an indentation for the filling. Fill the indentation with the apricot filling. Form a disc large enough to cover the filling and press firmly into place so the apricot will stay sealed inside.Turn the mold over and give a firm tap on the counter or into your hand to release the cookie. If you floured the mold it should come out easily. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Make sure to flour the mold each time or the cookies will stick.Bake at 350 degrees until browned on the bottom. These are tasty as they are or lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Makes approx. 18 cookies.Sadly, I didn't get a picture...but I gave Nutmeg a bite of one of these cookies, and she gave them her highest rating.[...]

Eggplant Rollatini


I'm way behind on my posts, but I'm still here cooking and taking pictures. I made one of Jeff's favorites on Valentine's day, Eggplant Rollatini with Corn Bread Stuffing from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. This is a book I turn to again and again, not just for recipes, but for detailed information on how to store, handle, and prepare vegetables. I should warn you that there is a whole section on cheese, and that Madison states that she is an occasional meat eater. But in any case, this book served as my biggest help in the kitchen when I went veg. I served the Rollatini with a red wine tomato sauce from the same book. The sauce is so rich and good, and it's character changes depending on which wine you choose to use.Eggplant Rollatini with Corn Bread StuffingThis Rollatini is not difficult to make, but is rather time consuming with making the cornbread, then the stuffing and the sauce, salting and cooking the eggplant, stuffing the eggplant, and then baking your final Rollatini. The flavors are so wonderful that it is well worth the time it takes.Start with 2 large eggplants. Slice them lengthwise no thicker than 1/3 inch, salt and let sit for an hour, then rinse and blot dry. Meanwhile start on the stuffing and the sauce.For the stuffing, fix your favorite cornbread (preferably not a sweet one). Then chop and saute an onion with 1 tsp. dried sage and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano. When the onion is soft and a little brown mix in 2 cups crumbled corn bread and just a tiny bit of liquid (water, soymilk, whatever) to help moisten it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.For the sauce saute two small grated onions with bay leaf, thyme, oregano, savory, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir often for about fifteen minutes, adding 3 minced garlic cloves near the end. Add 1 cup of red wine and 1/2 cup water, raise the heat and simmer till reduced by half. Add a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and salt to taste. Simmer till sauce has thickened.Brush the eggplant slices with oil and bake, fry, broil or grill them till tender. Then roll each slice around about 2 tbsp. of the stuffing and put seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish. You could secure them with a toothpick if they want to unroll. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with the sauce and fresh basil.Closeup of the goodnessAnd a big thanks to Jenn The Leftover Queen who hosts the Foodie Blog Roll (see my side bar) for promoting Veg blogs (mine included!) in her most recent Finest Foodies Friday post. She is putting out the call for more Veg bloggers to join the Blog Roll, so if that interests you, do it![...]

White Bean, Tomato and Pasta Soup with Herbed Focaccia


It's been rainy and cold here, so I have been craving soup. Sometimes I use a recipe, but what I love about soup is how easy it is to improvise. For this soup I started out by sauteing some onion, celery, carrot, parsley, and garlic in olive oil. When the vegetables were soft I added a little red wine. Then I added vegetable stock, a large can of crushed tomatoes, and dried thyme and rosemary. We were trying to clean out the fridge, so a little spicy salsa went in as well; not in my original plans, but it worked nicely. I added some great northern beans that I had cooked earlier in the pressure cooker and let it all simmer for twenty minutes or so. Then I threw a few handfuls of rice pasta twists into the pot, and continued to simmer until the pasta was tender. I also added some fresh basil a minute before I took the soup off of the heat. A little sea salt and it was ready.

I also made herbed focaccia, and I was excited to find another use for my lavender here. I just added some in with the other dried herbs. I used thyme, rosemary, and the lavender. It tasted great, and really went well with the strong tomato flavor of the soup.


(image) And finally, here's a picture of Nutmeg taste testing the fresh herbs. She was getting a bit cranky after several posts without any pictures of her. She kept looking at me like...hello! RABBIT food?!

Chocolate And Lavender Cookies


(image) Recently I was at the store looking for some thyme when I noticed the lavender. It was so pretty that I snatched it up. Then I realized I was going to have to figure out what the heck to do with it. I did a little searching through recipes for inspiration and came up with these flowery bites. These are 'healthy' cookies due to the small amount of fat used. If you wanted to make these 'unhealthy' you could up the fat, add some more sugar, and just decrease the amount of applesauce accordingly.


Chocolate and Lavender Cookies
Makes 24 small cookies

Mix the following:
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. agave nectar (or other sweetener)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp. lavender
1 egg sub. (I used flax--1T ground flax+3T water)
2 Tbsp. soy milk
1tsp. vanilla

Mix together in a separate bowl:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 3/4 cup flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (I chopped a dark chocolate bar)
3 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger

Earth Balance and Lavender

Mix wet and dry together. Drop onto oiled baking sheet by teaspoonfuls. Press down slightly with your fingers (they will pretty much hold whatever shape you give them). Bake at 350 F for...oh...a little while. You want them to set and brown on the bottom. Because of the low fat content they won't get very dark on the top, so be careful not to overcook them waiting for them to brown, or they will be dry.

We loved these. On the first bite I worried they were too flowery, but then the other flavors kicked in and it worked really well.


Chickpea Cutlets, and Chickpea Patties, and Chickpea...


Two new cookbooks recently showed up on my doorstep. Eat, Drink And Be Vegan, and Veganomicon. I haven't done much cooking from them yet, but have spent a lot of time with them just reading, and I really like them both.The first thing I had to try was the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. I've read a hundred places online about how good they are, and wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. I've also never cooked with vital wheat gluten before, so I was curious. I opted to bake rather than fry. I really liked them, but wouldn't make them quite as thin again, because it was hard to find the right spot between done and burnt. I would also double the recipe, because it seems crazy to only make 4 cutlets. I would have gladly warmed these up for lunch the next day.I made the 'Red Wine Roux', also from V-con, to go with. It was tasty, but I wasn't thrilled with the way it looked...sort of a grayish purple hue. If I make it again I would use a wine that doesn't have such a deep purple color. The sauce was also good on roasted carrots, turnips, and parsnips with a little olive oil, sea salt, and some parsley tossed in. For anyone averse to or inexperienced with turnips and parsnips, roasting is the way to go. Both, by themselves, are a bit too much of a good thing for me, so I like to mix them with other vegetables.I had some chickpeas left from this recipe, so I decided to try them once again in patty form. First I sauteed some green pepper and shallot. Then I mashed the chickpeas (about a cup) and added a few tablespoons flax meal, some bread crumbs, thyme, chopped scallions, sea salt, garlic, a bit of spelt flour, and some oil. I mixed in the green pepper and shallot, and added just enough water to bind everything. I made small patties and cooked them in my nonstick skillet with just a little olive oil. I was unsure how these would turn out, but they were fine. I loved them.We had them with the leftover Red Wine Roux, some quinoa (a delicious grain that just happens to be a complete protein) , and more roasted veggies. This time it was turnip, potato, carrot, onions and garlic with olive oil, sea salt and chives.I have noticed that there is a recipe in Eat, Drink And Be Vegan for 'Chickpea Sensation Patties', so it looks like there are more chickpea patties in my future![...]

Magic Leftovers


The other nig(image) ht I threw together one of our favorite quickies-beans and rice. Brown rice cooked with tomatoes and spices, refried beans, lettuce, fresh tomato, and plenty of salsa, olives, and (tofu) sour cream. Simple stuff, but nourishing and delicious. I fixed quite a bit of both rice and beans, so we had a lot left over.

In one of my recent posts I mentioned that I love leftovers. The only time I don't like having leftovers is when the food wasn't any good to begin with. Otherwise, what's not to like about having tasty food cooked and ready to go? It's also easy to transform leftovers into something a little different.

I was pondering the possibility of making a casserole using the beans and rice when I decided to press the rice into a glass pie dish. The rice was fairly sticky, so it pressed into shape perfectly. I brushed the rice with a little olive oil to keep it from drying out and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to try to help it firm up a bit. Then in went the refried beans, and some frozen mixed vegetables that have been hanging out in the freezer (mostly corn with bits of cauliflower, broccoli, and red pepper). I steamed the frozen veggies briefly in the microwave and seasoned them with a little chili powder, Bragg's, and chipotle sauce. I also had half a can of diced tomatoes left in the fridge from making the rice the night before, so those went in with the vegetables.

I put it in the oven till everything was nice and hot, and that was that. I was hoping I would be able to get pretty slices out of it, but it was fairly messy looking on the plate. When I do this again I will play with the crust (flour, flax?) and let it set a little longer when it comes out of the oven. But that's just being picky, because it was delicious. The textures all worked well together and the rice was nice and crusty around the edges.

Magic Leftovers



Jeff has been asking for enchiladas for a long time. On one of our last trips to the grocery he picked out a jar of enchilada sauce, followed closely by everything else we would need for enchiladas. He was tired of waiting.I don't even remember the last time I had enchiladas, if ever, so I hadn't seen any reason to rush. You can't miss something you've never had. As of last night that has all changed, because these were good in a serious way.For the filling I chopped and sauteed an onion, then added a package of Morning Star Farms Chik'n Strips that I had pulled into shreds. When they had started to brown I added crushed black olives and a little sea salt. Then I transferred the filling to a bowl and added some soy cheese and enough enchilada sauce to help everything stick together.It's traditional to dip corn tortillas in hot oil (or lard) before filling them, but I sprayed them on both sides with a little cooking oil and heated them in a nonstick skillet. While the second tortilla was heating I spooned some of the filling onto my first tortilla, rolled it up tightly, placed it in a baking dish into which I had already added a thin layer of enchilada sauce, and continued with more tortillas until I had used all the filling. I had enough for eleven tortillas. Naked enchiladas. After pouring the rest of the sauce over the filled tortillas and covering them in soy cheese and more black olives, they went in the oven at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes.Clothed in their Sunday best.I served them with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, tofu sour cream, and cilantro. For the tofu sour cream I just blend some silken tofu with a little lemon juice (or vinegar), and salt. It's pretty runny at first, but sets up in the fridge. While not delicious by itself, it's great on the enchiladas (or tacos etc.) as a cold and creamy counterpoint to the spicy sauce.Now that I have known enchilada bliss, I'm excited to try again with different homemade sauces and vegetable fillings. However, these were so good that I will definitely be happy to fix them this way again.[...]

Luck and Money


I'm not superstitious. Many in the south, however, will tell you that if you don't eat your Peas and Cabbage on New Year's Day you will have no luck in the coming year. The black-eyed peas are for luck, and the cabbage is for money. Like I said, I'm not superstitious...but I love me some cabbage and black-eyed peas.

Nutmeg also loves her some cabbage.(image)

For the black-eyed peas, I started out by sauteing an onion in my pressure cooker along with some diced carrot, celery, green bell pepper, and a couple cloves of garlic. While that was going on I sorted and rinsed the dried peas. I'm always tempted to skip the sorting part, but considering that I found a rock in with the peas this time, I'm glad I didn't. I added some bay leaf, thyme, chili powder, and a touch of allspice. Then the peas and about 6 cups of water. I let these cook under pressure for about 20 minutes. They get soft before that, but I like 'em starting to fall apart. Then all they needed was lots of salt and Tabasco.

I decided to do the cabbage a little differently than I usually would. I sliced it into sections, and set them in some vegetable broth in a covered skillet to steam. Once they were tender I moved them to a baking sheet. I sprinkled on a little dill+salt+some grated soy cheese and put it under the broiler until the cheese was browned. This turned out better than I expected. I highly recommend it.

I wanted cornbread. I didn't have any cornmeal. Walgreens is a block and a half away. No cornmeal, but there was Jiffy. Cool, that will work. WRONG! I didn't think to read the box until I had poured it's contents into my mixing bowl. I now know that Jiffy contains lots of animal shortening. For some reason it just didn't occur to me that this could be the case. So that was wasted. BUT!! ...I made a modified batch of Deborah Madison's Basic Buttermilk Muffins, and they turned out great. So in the end we were happy, and at least I can say everything was homemade.

Luck inducing? Maybe not...but tasty.

Split Pea Soup


It has been cold lately...well, as cold as it gets in Louisiana. I'm from the Midwest where I'd be shoveling snow about now, but I get wimpier each winter I spend in the South. Anyway, it's cold, so it's time for soup. Split pea soup is perfect for cold weather. It's also easy to make, especially if you do it in the pressure cooker like I do. If you're scared to use a pressure cooker, you should look into the new models. They are much safer than the old ones, where you hear stories about housewives being permanently scarred from exploding split peas.

I dice an onion and saute it with a little olive oil in the pot. I'm sure the onion would cook just fine if I skipped this step, but it gives me some time to sort and rinse the split peas. Normally I would add some diced carrot and celery, but I was hungry, and thus in a hurry. Some garlic, thyme and rosemary go in next, and then one package of sorted and rinsed split peas along with 6 cups of water. On with the pressure cooker lid, and 15 minutes later it's ready. Then I taste it and add salt, Braggs, Tabasco (i like the smoked chipotle kind), or whatever sounds tasty. You could also add some diced tomato or roasted red pepper, or...anything really. Sometimes I add a little water to thin it, but it's usually about right. Nothing else tastes like split pea soup, and nothing else is quite as warming to me on a cold evening.

I ate it with toast and pepper jelly. If you like sweet, and you like hot, and you haven't tried pepper must. I was skeptical until I tasted it, and now I can't imagine going without it.

Christmas Dinner


I hope everyone had a merry one. I had a three day weekend, so I had a lot of time to play in the kitchen (and to sit around and do nothing). I made the squash version of Kittee's Crispy Crunchy Stuffed Tofu a few weeks ago, and Jeff and I loved it so much that I really wanted to try the spinach version. If you haven't made these yet, you really should, because they are just SO good. I also made mashed potatoes with chickpea gravy from Vegan With A Vengeance, and roasted some sweet dumpling squash.The chickpea gravy is always delicious. I could eat a whole bowl of it. We don't use nutritional yeast around here, so I always substitute some tahini in it's place. To me it has that rich, 'cheezy'flavor that you're going for by adding nutritional yeast. Anyway, I pretty much sub it in any recipe calling for nooch (nutritional yeast for those in the know...).Gravy simmering.These cute squash have been sitting around wondering why, oh, why weren't we eating them? I started wondering the same thing considering how easy it is to roast squash. I peeled them and cut them into bite size pieces first, then tossed with some olive oil, thyme, and rosemary. Roasty toasty, tasty.Sweet Dumpling SquashThe filling for the tofu smelled, tasted, and looked wonderful. I used the last of my cumin in the gravy (I use cumin every other day, so running out puts me on edge...yikes.), and don't currently have any Tony Charchere's, so I added some Sriracha hot chili sauce (the bottle with the rooster) and a little of whatever happened to be by the stove at the moment. I also didn't have any cilantro...yeah, there may have been a lack of planning here.Spinach stuffingTofu ready for breading.I had never breaded anything the way Kittee instructs before. Why!? Somehow it has eluded me all these years, and it is a sad thing, because it comes out so thick and crunchy! I used a combination of puffed millet and a cereal called Nutty Rice for the 'crunchy stuff'. What I love most about this recipe is how crispy the it turns out with so little oil.Half gone before it made it to the table.This was a home cookin' kind of meal. Rich, satisfying, tasty without appearing fussy. I was just cooking for the two of us, so there were leftovers, which always makes me happy. I've never understood people's aversion to leftovers. Midnight snack? Lunch the next day? Perfect.Multiple vanity shotsNutmeg didn't eat tofu or mashed potatoes, but don't worry...she was happy and well fed.Fruity Rabbit[...]

Eggnog Apple Walnut Pancakes


Pancakes are one of my favorite things. Pancakes made with eggnog, apples, walnuts, and drizzled with caramel sauce are now my all time favorite pancake...ever.This was one of those "I wonder..." recipes. We wanted pancakes. And we had eggnog. What would eggnog pancakes be like? And the rest just fell in line. I have since discovered that there are a bunch of eggnog pancake recipes online, but none with apples and walnuts that I could find...and they are what really make these pancakes work. These turned out fluffy and tender, and the eggnog makes them incredibly rich. We ate them with tofu bacon strips from Vegan With A Vengeance.1 and 1/2 cup flour (I used spelt)1/4 tsp. salt2 tsp. baking powderfreshly grated nutmeg (NOT the rabbit)substitute for 2 eggs (I used flax eggs- 1 Tbsp. ground flax + 3 Tbsp. water = one egg)1 and 1/2 cup soy eggnog1 and 1/2 Tbsp. melted Earth Balance (or other margarine)1 apple (I used a Cameo) thinly sliced and choppedChopped Walnuts--I just added a couple of big handfulsGiant Pancake of Doom Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients. Stir the wet into the dry until just combined. Add the apples and walnuts and give it a few more stirs. Cook on a nonstick skillet (or whatever) and serve with crushed walnuts and caramel sauce. Don't add any sugar to the batter, because the eggnog is plenty sweet already. For the sauce I just heated up some Earth Balance and sugar until the sugar was dissolved, and thinned it with a little soy milk. These were so good that the two of us ate the whole batch. Hey, we were really hungry. So if you are cooking for several people you might make extra.I only use Nutmeg approved apples. The best pancakes ever.[...]

Baba Ghanoush


I bought an eggplant the other day, and had to do something with it before it went bad. My eggplant repertoire is lacking, so I wanted to try something I hadn't made before. baba ghanoush was perfect for today, because while the eggplant was baking I was able to do some of the many other things that need done around the house. The first time that I remember eating baba ghanoush is at a Mediterranean restaurant in the town I grew up in. It was a fairly small town, so having a place you could get falafel and spanikopita and hummus and baba ghanoush was pretty special. Angele made the best everything, including baba ghanoush. (I waited tables there for awhile, so I may be biased.) This however was my first attempt to make it myself, and I found myself somewhat intimidated. There was no reason to worry, because this was so easy. The Eggplant went in the oven at 425 degrees until it was falling in on itself, and it's skin was just starting to blacken in spots. (This helps give it a smokier flavor.) Baked Eggplant on the Operating TableThen I peeled off the skin with my fingers, and plopped the gooey flesh into the food processor. A couple cloves of garlic, some tahini, lemon juice and salt, and that was it. I just adjusted everything until it tasted right to me. We ate it with carrots, lettuce, tomato slices, and wheat toast (pita would be more traditional). I also whipped up some pseudo-falafel from a box. Pseudo because it looks and tastes nothing like homemade falafel, but is still quite good with a lot of tahini sauce and all the other fixins. For tahini sauce, just mix a couple tablespoons of tahini with some lemon juice, salt, and enough water to thin it to your liking. This meal was so good, next time I will make at least twice as much baba ghanoush. (And I will try my hand at falafel from scratch...stay tuned.)With olive oil and paprika[...]

Chickpea and potato quickie


I didn't get a chance to think about dinner till we were starving, so I threw together what I had in the freezer and the cupboard. I peeled and chopped a potato and steamed it in the microwave. While the potato was cooking I sauteed some onion and garlic, and then added some turmeric, cumin, and thyme.

I cooked a pot of chickpeas a couple of weeks ago, and froze the leftovers. I'm always glad for extra chickpeas. So those went in the pan. By then the potato was about tender so I added it along with some fresh tomato and some canned crushed tomato that I also had leftover in the fridge from making tomato sauce for the pizza. I am trying harder not to waste things. Whenever I realize I have let yet another turnip rot, or a piece of tofu go all slimy, I get angry and say words that will get you an R rating. There is almost nothing worse than wasted food...wasted money, wasted nutrients, starving children, etc...where was I? Oh yeah, dinner.

Frozen Chickpea Brick
Anyway, all that went in there with Braggs and hot sauce and frozen peas. I covered it and let the chickpeas and green peas heat up. A little salt and that was dinner!



Jeff was craving pizza tonight, so I ran to the market to get soy cheese and a red bell pepper. I had black olives and tomato puree in the cabinet.I made the crust with spelt flour. Spelt gives a different texture than traditional pizza crust, but I really like it. I didn't have time to go all out, so I used quick-rise yeast, and didn't really let the dough rise at all. When I'm in a hurry and want homemade pizza, I am perfectly content with doing it this way. I put some dried thyme in the dough, and thyme and oregano and minced garlic in the tomato sauce.Here's Nutmeg doing quality control.I roasted the pepper right over the gas burner on my stove. Deborah Madison turned me onto roasting peppers this way. I have so much fun doing this, because I feel a little adventurous and rebellious just plopping the pepper down without a skillet or nuthin'. It chars nicely, and you can hear it make sighing and squeaking noises as it roasts. Once it was nice and blackened I put it in a covered bowl so it could steam a bit and get a little softer. Then the blackened skin peeled right off, and it was chop chop and onto the pizza with crushed black olives. This is a picture of some sweet little baby peppers I roasted a couple of weeks ago.I had some parsley in the refrigerator, so some of that went on there too, with a sprinkle of salt. Into the oven at 350 degrees and it was ready in about 15 minutes. I ate it with a simple salad of romaine and crushed walnuts with a vinaigrette. Nothing new and innovative here, but good good.The Aftermath: Pepper and Parsley Carnage[...]



I'm Jenny Wren.
I cook for me and my husband, Jeff, in Louisiana.
While it's not exactly cooking, I also feed Nutmeg.


Nutmeg is a Netherland Dwarf rabbit. She, like myself, is a vegetarian. I've often heard people refer to what vegetarians eat as 'rabbit food', but while Nutmeg and I do like a lot of the same things, our eating styles are very different. Since I went veg, I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I occasionally follow a recipe to the letter, but I usually use recipes more as inspiration, and when I have the time I like to create my own dishes. So that's what this blog is about. Cooking, Eating, and petting the bunny.