February 21, 2010

Delicata Squash Soup, Vegan Fajitas, Dairy Free Berry Raw Fruit Pie

What a beautiful day yesterday, Huh? Spring time in February for the PNW. We went on a nice long walk out by Tam O'Shanter Park. We also went shopping at the local produce market together. My husband picked up a couple organic Delicata squash and said they looked good. I told him to grab three medium sized squash and I would do something with them. When we got home, I thought I'd try this free app I got for IPhone a few weeks ago, Vegan Yum Yum. It's a vegan cookbook on my IPhone. I just type in the ingredient and it finds recipes with pictures and checklists. When I am done with an ingredient or step, I can check it off. I guess it stems from a vegan food blog. I tried the recipe I found and I really like it.

I made Delicata Squash Bisque. I only made a couple variations, I added a pound of nice young tender asparagus I picked up today at the local produce market. I also added a little ground lavender with the sea salt. This soup is creamy, delicious, and filling. The cashew creme sauce is a savory variation of the cashew vanilla creme that I use in many of my sweet recipes. There aren't many ingredients and it's pretty easy.

3 pounds Delicata Squash (2 pounds after prepping)
oil for basting
4 cups Rich Vegetable Broth (I use low sodium organic vegetable broth)
Lots of black pepper - I like that - I used about 1 tsp or so of fresh ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp salt, more or less to taste - I used less, about 1 tsp Celtic sea salt

Cashew Creme
1 cup Raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup Rich Vegetable broth divided, I used a portion of the 4 cups above.

Delicata Squash Bisque
You were probably starting to think that we have a pretty boring diet, I make a large salad and a pot of beans every week. Well, I did make the beans, there will be salad made tomorrow to last a few days. Those are just the staples in our diet, I do make other meals from time to time. Today I made some vegan fajitas. I made this recipe up as I created, so the measurements are estimated.

1-2 TB Coconut oil or olive oil
1 Red onion halved and the halves sliced thin
2 small or 1 medium red bell pepper sliced thin
1 TB garlic minced
2 - 3 roma tomatoes sliced in lengthwise wedges
1 pkg vege crumbles, (textured vegetable protein)
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
salt, cayenne pepper to taste

Sautee the onions until tender in a little of your favorite oil, I like coconut oil. Add the sliced red pepper, cook a couple minutes until the pepper is tender. Add the tomatoes just to warm them and remove from the heat, set aside.

In about a teaspoon of hot coconut oil add the vege crumbles. Add the spices and about a half cup of water just to plump the vege crumbles and get a nice brown coating. This doesn't have to cook very long, just reduce a bit. Put the vegetables you sauteed earlier back in the pan.

Serve in a whole grain tortilla, we used tomato basil wraps. Add some sliced cabbage and avocado. I also used a little of the cashew creme I made for the soup in them. I did not miss the cheese in these burritos.

I don't use vege crumbles very much. Even though they are a plant based, low fat, high protein and fiber food, they are processed food, soy and wheat gluten. It's a good transition food but shouldn't be used very much.

Vegan Fajitas
I went to a cooking demo this week in Portland. I belong to a vegetarian/vegan educational group, NW Veg. I get lots of great information and ideas reading their newsletters, website, and attending events like the annual VegFest.

Wendy Gabbe Day did a dessert demonstration, one raw foods dessert and a muffin that can be eaten for a meal. It's a chocolate muffin made with bean flour, it's got some great fiber and protein as well as tastes good. I haven't tried the muffin yet, but I did try her pie. I made mine with mixed frozen berries from last summer, you can make it with any fruit you want. This recipe is very similar to my mango mousse recipe except that dessert calls for some coconut milk. It's easy, has very few ingredients, dairy free, and very low calories. I haven't calculated it out yet, but I think it's under 100 calories for this treat. I topped it, wrote on it, with vanilla, cashew, coconut cream. I made the cashew vanilla cream after we had our first sample, the chef has to taste the food first, right?

I never get bored of eating this way.

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