Ravioli and Peppers

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…That thing where someone brings over something yummy (in this case, peppers), but you don’t eat all of it, and it’s not really a meal all by itself.

As far as I can tell, the mixture was originally sliced bell peppers and white onions that were sauteed in a lot of olive oil. I was looking for something that would absorb the oil, while providing a little balance to the dish. I had frozen ravioli- large or small to choose from. I went with the smaller ones, based on my desire for balance. This is not all that complicated, but here goes…

 

I…

…Removed the container with the leftovers. Btw, olive oil coagulates like woah in the fridge. Some say it hurts the taste, some say it doesn’t… but so far, no one has said it can hurt you. I will tell you it looks very funky, but don’t let that deter you.

…Started up the pot of water to boil.

…Put the peppers & oil into a metal mixing bowl. (Metal conducts heat. Science!)

Once the water was boiling, I dropped in the ravioli. They took another 5 mins or so to cook.

…Strained the ravioli & then placed them on top of the peppers.

…Let them sit like that a minute while I rinsed off the pots & pans…

Which made the oil melt- more science! Then, I stirred them,

…and that was it! It didn’t require any seasoning (but feel free to jazz it up if you like, you know I skew bland!)

 

You can’t beat leftovers that turn into 4 more meals. Yum!

Enjoy! ūüôā

 

Vegetarian “Beef” Stew

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After watching the ball drop, I managed to catch a cold. I very rarely get sick, despite what may be lingering in the air. Not this time. This past week has mostly been about honing my best seal impression, and getting more sleep than I have ever possibly imagined needing in my entire lifetime.

By midweek, all I wanted was a bowl of soup. Despite my incessant begging and pleading, circumstances were such that no one was able to magically produce a homemade soup for me. Eventually, I gave up, and created this one myself.

As I’ve mentioned before, prepared soups and stocks are far too sodium-laden for my taste. Frankly, I think they all taste the same anyway. But those same high standards are also the reason I spent the good part of a day hand-chopping all of the ingredients to put into this kitchen-sink of a soup (which turned into a stew in the process)… and promptly fell asleep shortly after finishing it.

I’d been meaning to experiment with adding seitan to my soups, if only for the somewhat obvious reason that I have a stockpile of prepared seitan that really should be used up. The addition of the seitan, along with the piles and piles of vegetables, resulted in something more stew-like than soup.

The most noticeable flavor in this comes from the seitan. Because of the Italian flavoring of the seitan, it is a spicier creation than my usual soups. The stock color deepened over time, taking on sort of a brown-ish tint, and the flavors deepened as well. This became one of those dishes that was even better as leftovers. As with all of my soups, I just followed my intuition. By necessity, I just worked with what was around, because there was no way I was going anywhere.

This is not a recipe, so much as a palette of colorful and tasty foods to work with, should you have an interest in making something similar.

I used: celery, nutritional yeast, water, red potatoes, green and yellow bell peppers, red onion, portabella mushrooms, button mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, 3 links of Italian-style seitan sausage, black pepper, Mrs. Dash.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015! Enjoy! ūüôā

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: Camp Breakfast

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In other words, how many different ways can you make eggs, veggies, and faux breakfast sausages? I did not cook at all during this trip. Everything pictured was made by the gf. More photos to come! ūüôā

Achoo!

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It’s just a little cold, but I’m a bad patient. Why is it these things happen at the worst possible time? Of course, I have my own thoughts on that… we work ourselves into the ground, past the point of common sense, and so, when little bugs come around, blammo! If I was getting enough sleep and relaxation, maybe I’d be better prepared.

But, no sick days for me. And cooking? Not so much. Though, these really are the times when it’s best to have something good and healthy. So far, I’ve compromised and gone for good and healthy, but with minimal effort, like sandwiches. I still need to roast some veggies, and knock a few thousand things off of my to-do list. I’ve mostly done raw foods. I tried a grilled cheese, but let’s just say it was not blog-worthy. I don’t cook well when I’m sick.

So for tonight, maybe get those veggies prepped with as minimal effort as possible, maybe some long grain rice or some such to go with it, and that’s all folks. Now, if I could just get some elves to help me with the to-do list…

Peppers and Blogiversary!

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I made these. They were awesome.

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And look!:

anniversary-2xHappy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

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Can you believe it’s been a year already? WOW!

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Have a wonderful week! ūüôā

Pastiche Peppers

Stuffed peppers

It seems like everyone has been doing stuffed pepper posts lately. Does it help that I typed this up at the beginning of the month and just scheduled it for now? Is it possible to get sick of stuffed peppers? This is the last post in my unofficial series of Things I Wrote Ridiculously Ahead of Time Because It’s Summer and I Want to Go Outside.

I haven’t had stuffed peppers since I was a child. All I remember about them was the fact that I used to eat the stuffing, but not the pepper, in that peculiar logic children seem to have, and that the stuffing itself was ground beef & rice.¬†

Since I have long since abandoned an omnivorous diet, and wasn’t in a veggie mince mood, I was faced with the challenge of coming up with something that was savory enough to do my memory justice. I was also intent on making this a make-now, eat-later meal. The recipe combines¬†this broth recipe¬†and the cooking temperature & averaged time from the¬†stuffed tomatoes.¬†I was very happy with how these turned out.¬†

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Pastiche Peppers

Ingredients:

5 peppers

1 bag of boil-in-the-bag rice

The broth from the seitan recipe

1 box of babybellas

Spray olive oil

Cheddar cheese shreds (2 or 3 cups)

5 or more american cheese slices

Nutritional yeast

Romano cheese

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Tools:

Cake pan and aluminum foil. (You just need something tall enough to stand the peppers in, & the foil makes clean-up easy).

Oven

Cutting board & knife

Food processor

2 large pots

Strainer

Mixing bowl

Cling wrap

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Preparation: 

1. Start the broth, then start the rice. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Process the mushrooms, then place in broth.

3. Is the rice ready? If so, strain & place in broth. Stir.

4. Strain the broth, mushroom, rice mixture. Place in mixing bowl & add cheese. Stir.

5. Remove the top portion of the pepper & insides.

6. Spray cake pan & peppers with olive oil.

7. Put mixture in peppers. Place peppers in cake pan. Place a slice of American cheese with a sprinkle of Romano & nutritional yeast on each cheese slice. Do not wrap peppers before placing in oven. Just let them stand up in the cake pan.

8. Place in oven at 400F for 15 minutes.

9. Remove from oven. Place on cooling rack, pan & all, and cover with cling wrap.

10. Go watch a movie for a couple of hours.

11. Remove cling wrap. Individually wrap each pepper in cling wrap & store in fridge in new container.

12. I microwaved these at 30 second intervals both wrapped and unwrapped, & ended up with an average microwave time of about a minute. I also think they heated up better unwrapped, which was a bit of a surprise. Decide for yourself which method you prefer, & check at intervals to determine your preferred cooking time.

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Enjoy!

Veggie’s Virtual Vegan Salad

Virtual Vegan Potluck

The Virtual Vegan Potluck is a virtual potluck that connects like-minded foodies and bloggers for a worldwide eating and drinking celebration! Recipes will be listed in order of course, starting with appetizers and progressing through to delicious desserts, with links provided throughout. Thanks to An Unrefined Vegan for organizing this event!

I love a good salad, usually for lunch, and often with dinner. When I compose a salad, I strive for visual appeal, along with the obvious taste. I prefer dark greens for their nutritional value as well as visual appeal. I prefer tomatoes from a roadside stand over hothouse tomatoes any day. Most of my vegetables come from stands or farmers’ markets, and I make the salad the same day or next. It really does make a difference in the freshness, and freshness is key to an enjoyable salad. I also love Italian food, so my salads tend to reflect that influence.

Making this salad was crazy and fun and may make it into another post someday. I had most of the ingredients I wanted, but needed a few things to supplement. By the time I’d finished prepping and shopping and tossing, it was a circus, but an enjoyable one!¬†Once you’ve read my post, please check out the other wonderful bloggers who probably were running around their kitchens just as much as I was!¬†Enjoy the potluck!

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Salad

Veggie’s Virtual Vegan Salad:

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Tools: 

Bowls: huge, medium, and small

Storage container

Salad tongs or hands or whatever works

Cutting board & knife

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Ingredients: 

Fresh Basil (One bushel)

Romaine Lettuce (One head)

Fresh Spinach (One bushel)

Scallions (4 stems)

Button Mushrooms (One box)

2 Plum Tomatoes

Red Bell Pepper

Yellow Bell Pepper

1/4 oz. Fresh Oregano

Dried Oregano Flakes

Garlic Powder

Extra Virgin Olive OIl

Balsamic Vinegar

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Directions:

Prep: *I hand sliced the mushrooms, hand diced the peppers, and stored them ahead of time. You may want to do this, it’s a good time saver!* Wash the leafy greens, remove leaves from stems, and pat leaves dry with paper towels. Put ugly but usable leaves in separate pile for later. (Note to self: Do not buy questionable basil!) Use the darker romaine leaves for this, and separate out the lighter ones for later. (This is not really necessary, but I had a certain visual in mind, and the lighter leaves didn’t fit in with that vision).

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1. Put leaves in huge bowl.

2. Slice scallions & add to leaves. Toss everything around to get a good mixture.

3. Put peppers and mushrooms in medium bowl. Stir. Add to huge bowl. Stir.

4. Slice tomatoes. Set aside.

5. Put some olive oil in small bowl. Add oregano and garlic powder. Stir. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar. Stir. Dump tomatoes in small bowl. Coat them with the mixture. Stir.

6. Dump tomato mixture into huge bowl. Stir, making sure to coat everything with the dressing.

7. Serve some and store the rest in your container. Just don’t store past a day, or it will start to get mushy. To avoid this, keep the dressing and tomatoes separate until you are ready to eat. Pairs well with Daiya shreds (vegan) or Smoked Gouda shreds (vegetarian) and any Italian dish.

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Enjoy!

___________________________________________________________________ To visit the blog that precedes mine in the Potluck (Vegan Sparkles), click here!

To visit the blog that follows mine in the Potluck (An Unrefined Vegan), click here!

To start at the beginning of the Potluck, (Vegan Bloggers Unite!) click here!

Bell Pepper Prep

 

Peppers in Fry Pan

This is another staple. Multicolored bell peppers and onions.

Peppers are one of those things I can’t eat too many of at once. What you are looking at is several days worth of peppers for me. I like to do this to save time, but also for preservation purposes. Fresh veggies just don’t seem to last long enough to weather the whims of taste and desire.

I love the color and texture of bell peppers. They have such a satisfying crunch, and a sweetness to the red ones. I even love the shape. They are like little little edible sculptures. Their twists and turns remind me of the human body. I see why still life artists love to paint them. Sometimes I throw in a little onion, sometimes not. The onion gives it an extra dimension texturally and taste-wise, which works well on sandwiches. I never make just one color. Part of the beauty and enjoyment for me is admiring how the colors and tastes play off of one another. Mrs. Dash really just enhances the flavor, rounding it out.

Easy Peppers:

1. Dice the peppers using a cutting board and knife. I like to cut them with the inside facing downward. I don’t know if that’s the proper way to do it, but ¬†I learned the hard way that otherwise you end up with pepper juice in your eye. No thanks.

2. Then, coat the pan with spray olive oil, and place the peppers in. Usually, I fill the pan with peppers. Really, to do this properly, I think it’s best to stick with one layer. But, in practice, I generally have two or three layers, and it works just fine, as long as you remember to stir them. (I don’t remember how many peppers I used in the photograph, but it’s nothing to stress over).

3. Then, coat the peppers with bottled extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash. Sometimes I use too much oil, which will definitely result in pepper juice/oil in your pan, so watch for that. Remember, you want to coat them, not drown them. But if you do, just strain when you’re finished, and save it for another project.

4. Fry over medium heat, remembering to stir. High would do, as well, but then you have to watch for oil splattering. Have you ever had oil splatter on your arms? It stings. You don’t want that.

*Neat little trick: I tend to undercook them a little, and then seal them up to let them steam afterwards. It’s yummy, and often makes more pepper juice for later.