Sunday, January 29, 2012

Orange-Tangelo Marmalade

I'm lucky enough to have both an orange tree and a lemon tree in my backyard, so even if I didn't love marmalade, I'd probably feel obligated to make it.  In the past I've used a recipe from Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving, which calls for juicing the oranges and straining the juice through cheesecloth before slicing the orange peels.  While that recipe undoubtedly made some great-tasting marmalade, I wanted to try something simpler this year, so I modified this recipe from Alton Brown.  Slicing the oranges on a mandoline was quick (especially since my oranges are seedless), and the thin slices look pretty in the canning jars.  To cut the sweetness in the recipe a bit, I doubled the lemon juice, substituted a tangy tangelo for one of the oranges, and reduced the sugar by 6 oz.  This gave the marmalade just the right sweet/tart balance for me, though I recommend checking the marmalade for gelling before you reach 222 degrees, as mine has a firmer set than I would prefer.    

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quinoa with Soy Curls and Cauliflower

I first learned about Soy Curls during last year's Vegan Mofo, and recently acquired a bulk bag of them to experiment with.  I'm not crazy about their spongy texture in stir-fry, but I don't mind it in this one-pot meal where all the textures blend together anyway.  This makes a good unfussy meal with lots of protein.  I served it with kale sauteed in garlic.  Try subbing broccoli for the cauliflower if you want more greens.

The Ingredients:
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
5 cups cauliflower, in bite-size pieces
4 cups soy curls, loosely packed
1 1/2 cups quinoa
pepper to taste

The Process:
  1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a small stockpot or large saucepan.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, cover, and return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, covered, about 25 minutes or until quinoa is tender.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


No recipe for this, just a little food porn to show any naysayers how good vegan pizza can be.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vegan in Mexico

I'm back from Mexico and mostly-recovered from too much holiday fun.  I managed to not take a single picture of a meal I ate on my trip.  Overall, I didn't find it difficult to find vegan food in Mexico, though I did start to get bored on variations of veggie fajitas by the end of the trip, and I was frequently brought food with cotija cheese on top even after the waiter had assured me of no cheese.  (But the cheese thing happens to me frequently in the U.S., too).  My favorite meal was at a hole-in-the-wall taco shop in Playa del Carmen, where I had nopales tacos so good I returned for them again at the next meal.  They were simply strips of nopales fried in a little oil and garlic, served on handmade corn tortillas with salsa verde.  I also ate guacamole at practically every meal.  Breakfasts were mostly fruit and bread.  I carried canned black beans, bananas, and tortillas in my backpack as a back-up plan when I ventured anywhere off the beaten path, but I could have gotten by okay without them.  All in all, it was a low-stress trip food-wise; the place where I had the hardest time finding vegan food was the Houston airport.

I returned from my trip just in time for Christmas Eve at home, which in my house means tamales.  I use the the recipe in Veganomicon for my tamale dough, and fill them with whatever strikes my fancy.  This time I used delicata squash, black beans, and salsa verde.  I served them with quinoa, kabocha squash, and avocado.