Kale and Black Bean Tacos!

“But Peter! When you said Creamed Kale, I went out and bought more kale than I know what to do with!”

Of course, the first answer is Kale Chips.

“But I, like you, bought chopped Kale with the ribs still in there! Also, I really want tacos.”

Well do I have the recipe for you!

Kale and Black Bean Tacos; The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Some Creamed Kale
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1/2 c frozen corn
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Olives (Optional)
  • Coconut Cream (Optional) (Who am I kidding? It’s all optional. I guess if you’re following my recipe, you want to know what I did. I added all of these.)
  • Small Corn Tortillas

Procedure:

  1. In a medium saucepan, make Creamed Kale. As much of it as you want for your tacos! I added more Red Pepper Flakes this time and let it cook down until it was thick and those ribs were tender.
  2. Add olive oil to small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Fragrant? I don’t know. Don’t burn it. Maybe something like 5 minutes.
  3. Add the corn and black beans. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, and then crush the black beans with the back of a spoon as they cook. It’ll create a bit more of a paste that holds together. Continue cooking until it gets a little bit crusty on the edges. Mm.Toss a little hot sauce in there if you want!
  4. Put this in a bowl, so you can lightly toast your tortillas! Spritz the pan  with olive oil in the pan over medium heat, cook those tortillas. Get them crispy (or if you did it like me, just under crispy. Then you can still form them!)
  5. ASSEMBLE! Put a spoonful of kale, a spoonful of the Black Bean mixture, a small handful of olives, and a dollop (Dollop? Sure.) of coconut cream on top. Fold.
  6. Enjoy!
  7.      Oh no! They won’t hold themselves up! Better make some Mashed Potatoes to plop on the side and make them stand at attention. You don’t want taco fillings all over the place!
  8.      Fine, I was making this at the same time. It took like 20 minutes. Just fortunate that it was useful too. But look around. You can find any recipe online. Really quickly though (see that Adverb action, friend?), I scrubbed a bunch of red potatoes, sliced them in half, boiled them until they were fork tender (15 minutes?), mashed them, added some coconut cream (I think I’m on a coconut cream kick.), almond milk, salt, and pepper until it was smooth like I wanted it. And PLOP! You’re done.

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My Story:

These turned out better than I thought they might. I just wanted something quick, cheap, and stuff I had on hand. So I worked on these and here we are. I don’t think that I knew what I was making when I started. But when I finished I was satisfied. I think the flavors of the black beans blah blah blah really compliment the blah blah blah and give you something you can really sink your teeth into, blah blah blah. I liked how the flavors mixed, end of story.

If you make enough for another meal’s worth, be careful when you’ve completed the plating to your satisfaction and you’re spooning the mashed potatoes and the rest into the tupperware, because you’ve probably balanced the plate at the edge of the sink because you don’t have much counter space and you want to get this done before you eat so you won’t take up all of the kitchen any longer, and you’ll knock the whole plate into the sink. Don’t worry too much, though, because you’ll have left a bowl in there so the plate tips and you only lose the contents of one taco. And the sink is clean so you just put it right back. You’ll then realize that you should put mashed potatoes on both sides of the tacos to hold them up even if you throw the plate into the sink.

No?

Just me?

Huh.

 

Be healthy,

Peter

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Fried Rice and Creamed Kale!

There is a lot to be said.

But I know I don’t usually read that before I get to the recipe. So scroll down for a story! And first…

The recipe!

Recipe:

Okay, get ready. This was thrown together. It also made a bunch of extra rice and tofu scramble to eat the rest of the week. So adjust anything you want as much as you like. This is just what I did.

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups White Jasmine Rice (use brown if you want! I just had this on hand.)
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 block Extra Firm tofu, pressed (at least a little)
  • Turmeric- Maybe half a teaspoon?
  • Garlic Powder- Maybe a teaspoon?
  • Other spices you want- salt, pepper, cayenne…
  • One Yellow Onion, minced and divided
  • One Red Bell Pepper
  • Veggies- Peas, Corn, anything you like!
  • 1 Splash Soy sauce or something like that. I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki.

For the Kale:

  • Chopped Kale
  • 1/2 Cup (give or take) Veggie Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Cream (Trader Joe’s has a can- make sure you stir!)

Procedure:

This will be vague. That’s… uh… to give you license to make it your own. Nothing to do at all with my not keeping track of things as they happened.

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions (use that water!)
  2. Spread rice out to cool.
  3. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add half the minced onion and cook until translucent. Five ish minutes?
  5. Crumble the tofu into the pan, add the spices (Turmeric, garlic powder, I used cayenne and salt and pepper…)
  6. Scramble for about five minutes.
  7. Add the Diced red bell pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Put into tupperware. You’ll use a third of this.
  9. In the same pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil (over medium heat again!)
  10. Cook remaining onion for about five minutes or until translucent. Add vegetables for the final two minutes.
  11. Add one third of the rice, one third of the tofu scramble, and a splash of your Soy Sauce type… sauce. Cook for eight minutes or until rice is fried to your liking. You may need to add another splash of olive oil.
  12. That’s done!

The Kale:

  1. While that’s all happening, toss a tablespoon of olive oil, about half a cup veggie broth, and three tablespoons coconut cream. Oh, and a handful of kale. Remember that this cooks down, so volume wise, add about double the amount for which you’re Jonesin’.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat for ten minutes.
  3. Remove cover and cook until it reaches the consistency you like!

Eat these two. And enjoy them. I know I did. And you’ll have rice and scramble left over!

 

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 My Story:

So. A few things have happened since we last met here. I quit my job, left my house, applied to grad schools, and was accepted to one on the other side of the country. This month I’m in NYC, visiting and living in my friend’s apartment while she’s out of town.

And why haven’t I written? I haven’t been cooking very interesting things. I’ve been spending more money than I should eating out. And I haven’t been eating very healthily. Today, as I decided to try getting back to a healthier lifestyle and spend less money doing it, I realized that this blog would keep me accountable. At least a little. Just knowing that you’re out there looking at this sometimes will make me try to post. To post, I’ll have to try to be healthy and cost effective. So there we go!

I’m not going to try to post every day. That’s part of what stopped me before. I’m going to aim for once a week. If I make something worth sharing and remember what I did outside of that, I’ll post!

It’s a start, yes?

Anyway, this recipe came from a few things. I was inspired by a few things- the blog ThePlantStrongVegan.com (particularly this post and this post), and the idea of getting more in control of my food finances. It’s so easy to spend money on things I don’t need. I figured some semblance of a plan would help! I thought about what I already had in the pantry and fried rice seemed like a smart start. I haven’t really seen much in the way of fried rice with an egg replacement, so this was my first attempt!  It’s all thrown together, so please adjust for your tastes. Mine was a little bland, so I would say maybe toss a bit more soy sauce in there and maybe some red pepper flakes! Just a sprinkle if you’re like me, though. Don’t go overboard and regret it.

I think that’s enough out of me for today.

You’re all awesome and welcome back. Thanks for being here- it can be a lonely world and I’m glad you’ve stopped by to hang out with me for a few. Let’s see if the blog sticks this time! Comment below if you have suggestions of smart ways to save on food. Or any additions to fried rice that you like!

Be Healthy,

Peter

Roasted Garlic, Artichoke, and Olive Ravioli!

Roasted Garlic, Artichoke, and Olive Ravioli, part four in my Ravioli Series (if you include the dough).

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Recipe:

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • 1 batch Ravioli Pasta Dough
  • 1 small jar artichoke heart (I bought mine in water)
  • 1 can olives (you probably won’t use them all, but I’ve never been able to cook without eating a few anyway…or half…)
  • 1 head garlic (again, you won’t use it all, but I love having roasted garlic in my kitchen!)
  • Splash of olive oil

Procedure:

To make roasted garlic: Preheat oven to 400°. Cut off tops of garlic cloves, leaving the head intact. Place on foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic and place into the oven. Cook for about 40  minutes or until soft. Let cool for a few minutes and then the cloves should slip out of their paper skin with just a press at the bottom of the clove!

Like the previous two posts (Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Ravioli),  start making the pasta dough. When it gets to that wonderful Let The Dough Rest stage, toss about half your olives, two full artichoke hearts (so if yours are cut in quarters… do eight.), and five cloves of your roasted garlic into a food processor or high speed blender. Pulse a few times until you have a textured paste.

Start rolling out your dough and then spoon small amounts of your mixed paste onto the sheets. The size and amount depends on how big you want your ravioli. Spread a bit of water around each dollop and then press a second sheet onto the top, squeezing out air bubbles as you go. Then cut, crimp, and cook! Or freeze. Check out my other ravioli recipes (Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash) for tips on cooking.

Eat them!

BONUS: If you make all three together (the Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and this one), I find they provide a great shift from being stuck in one ravioli recipe for a full meal. Cook them with the caramelized onions from the Sweet Potato recipe and you’re pretty set. Trust me, it’s great.


 My Story:

Ravioli Number 3, finally!

These were probably my favorite of the three savory ravioli I made that fateful night. Their mix of flavors was interesting and tasty but not overly complex to strong. They were also the least time consuming and difficult- no oven time, no cooling time, just a quick pop in the food processor.

I guess that’s not true. Roasted garlic.

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But when I make roasted garlic, I usually do at least two heads so I have it for a while. You can easily store it in your fridge for a week or so, packed in olive oil, and use it for as many dishes as you like!

A tip: I say try to leave texture in the paste you create- make it look like the photo below.

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This way you still get something with a little bit of bite to it instead of just the puree from my last two Ravioli Recipes.

Now that’s three. All three savory Ravioli.

What could the last one possibly be?

Ravioli 3

Check back soon… It could be some time. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been posting more sporadically these days. I’m going to try to get back to it!

Have thoughts about what the last one could be? A recipe you want to see? Have you made thee…se? Let me know in the comments below! It’s always nice to hear from you.

Be Healthy,

Peter

Butternut Squash Ravioli!

Butternut Squash and Sage Ravioli is the second in my Ravioli Series!

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Recipe:

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • 1 batch Ravioli Pasta Dough
  •  1 small/medium butternut squash
  •  1/3 cup fresh sage, minced and divided
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Peel and seed your squash and cut into half inch cubes. (It doesn’t make too much of a difference exactly what size they are as long as they are fairly even.)

Toss the squash with half the sage sage, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread squash onto rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Place in the oven for 20-40 minutes, checking every five minutes. When squash is fork tender, remove from oven to cool.

While these are cooling, begin prep on your pasta. Add the remaining sage into the dough as it comes together to make a seamless flavor parade. When you get to the Wait For The Dough To Rest step, toss the squash into your blender or food processor. Blend to make a smooth paste. Add olive oil if you need to thin it out, but the thicker the better.

Roll out your pasta and make ravioli! Use a teaspoon or two of your squash mixture, lay another sheet on top, and cut out and crimp the ravioli!

It’s basically ready! Toss each fresh ravioli into boiling water and use a slotted spoon to remove them when they start to float!

(For a more detailed cooking and/or freezing explanation, check out the Sweet Potato Ravioli page!)

Then eat them. Because they’re tasty.


 My Story:

What could be better than butternut squash and sage together? I found a recipe once for a butternut sage pasta once and haven’t looked back. The combination is lovely.

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A couple of notes: Depending on the size of your squash, this can make quite a lot of squash puree. That can be great! Just be ready to make a lot of ravioli or use it for other things too. Pasta sauce? Pizza sauce? A quick Google search just gave me Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Maple frosting, Butternut Squash Risotto, and a mac and cheese base alternative! You can basically use it in place of pumpkin whenever you like too!

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For those of you who follow my blog, you know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. If you know theater, it’ll all make sense- I was in tech.

If you don’t know theater, Tech is a wondrous time that can happen anywhere from a day or two to a month where some of us spend upwards of sixteen hours a day working in a dark room. And I love it! But my posting suffered. I don’t go back into tech for over a month though, so expect more!Butternut Squash Ravioli!

Also, eat these ravioli. I was satisfied with how they turned out.

Now there are only two flavors left in the Ravioli Series. Can you guess what they are?

Ravioli 2You’re right! There’s only one way to know for sure. Stay tuned!

Do you have thoughts on the other two? Do you have exciting uses for Butternut Squash Puree? Will you be making this for dinner this weekend? Let me know! Type up a quick comment below- it’s always nice to hear from you all!

Be Healthy.

-Peter

Sweet Potato Ravioli!

Sweet Potato Ravioli! Part two in the Ravioli Series!

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Recipe:

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • 1 batch Ravioli Pasta Dough
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cashew milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • Salt and Pepper (no, not Salt n Pepa)

Procedure:

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1/2-1″ cubes (any range is fine, just be consistent so they bake evenly). Drop into large bowl and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to cook until fork tender (mine cooked around 30-40 minutes). While these are baking…

Begin prep on the ravioli pasta. When you get to the sitting-around-waiting-for-the-dough-to-sit step, slice your onions into rings, about 1/4-1/2″ wide and toss in a skillet with the other tablespoon of olive oil. You’re grilling these, baby. Turn the pan up to medium heat and stir, fairly often, until they brown but aren’t burnt. (If you like, add a half teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons sugar- it can help the caramelization process.)

When the sweet potatoes have hit their fork tender threshold, take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes on a wire baking rack (for faster cooling!). When they seem cool (or you can’t wait any longer), toss into a food processor with the cashew milk and pulse until creamy.

Roll out the barrel. Err- the dough. Roll out the dough into sheets. If they’re not perfectly square, don’t worry about it. You can re-roll dough that didn’t became a ravioli the first time.

Make little heaping teaspoon mounds of your filling on the pasta sheet, about an inch apart. Dip a finger into water and make a ring around each filling lump to help the ravioli seal. Carefully drape another sheet of dough over the mounds and press to seal, letting the air escape. Once you do a few, you’ll get the hang of it.

Use a cookie cutter or a pizza roller to cut out your shapes (heck, if I had done this earlier, I could have made little heart shaped ravioli for Valentines Day!). Crimp around the edges with a fork to complete the seal.

(Hey! Don’t forget to stir the onions! If they get to your liking, take off the heat.)

Start over with fresh dough and repeat until you run out of filling or dough. It’ll probably be dough. The filling is great with a spoon, though, too. Sweet potato!

And you’re done! At this point, you can either freeze the ravioli or boil them to eat right away. I usually do both.

To Freeze:

Place individual ravioli on one or two layers of parchment paper and put into the oven. In about an hour, they’ll be solid enough to combine into one airtight container.

To Boil:

Drop ravioli into a pot of boiling water and cook until they float. Then drop into hot skillet with your grilled onions (remember these?) and maybe a splash more olive oil to fry until just browning. That’s my sauce for this one.

Eat them!


My Story:

As explained in the Ravioli Dough recipe, I wanted something new and interesting to me. So there we have it. Sweet Potato Ravioli.

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I thought that the caramelized onion complimented the sweet potato so nicely. I’m so fortunate to still have a fair number of these in the freezer- I’m going to be eating them every day for a while!

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I’ve got three more flavors coming up. And they’re all delicious, if I do say so myself.

But what are they?!Ravioli 1

Only one way to find out.

Tune in next time (remember tuners? On radios? How time flies when you were born in the 80s!) for part three of my Ravioli Series.

Do you have guesses for the other three? Have you made a Sweet Potato Ravioli before? Do you have a ravioli suggestion or request? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!

Health!

-Peter

Ravioli Pasta!

Ravioli Pasta. This is just the pasta itself, but you should get excited about the next few recipes for the fillings. I know I am.IMG_7769W

I’m separating them out because you probably don’t want to cook for four or five hours to finally eat at eleven thirty like me. There are four flavors of ravioli to be posted. You can cook them all together if you like! I was happy with that. Keep an eye out over the next few days for the recipes!

Recipe:

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • 1 cup Semolina Flour
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour (I used unbleached)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used mild, but feel free to use EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Add ins of your choice!

Process:

I used my stand mixer. If you have access to one of these, hooray! Follow the instructions below. If not, jump down further.

Stand Mixer:

Add both flours and your salt to the bowl and mix until combined. Add the water, olive oil, and mix ins if using and, using the paddle attachment, mix until it combines into one cohesive mass. You may need to add a bit more flour or water as this process continues to get it to stick together. The measurements are guidelines and depend on your flour and conditions.

Swap out the paddle attachment for the dough hook and knead for three to four minutes until the ball is moist but not sticky. Divide into two and let sit for ten minutes.

By Hand:

Mix the flours and salt together in a large bowl. Make a small well in the middle to hold your oil and water (and mix ins if using). Mix together starting in the center and slowly combining the edges until you have a cohesive mass.

Remove dough from bowl and kneed on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky to the touch. Divide into two and let sit for ten minutes.

To Roll:

If you have a ravioli roller attachment for your stand mixer, I hope I don’t need to say more.

If you have a pasta roller or pasta rolling attachment for your stand mixer, use that. I rolled mine down to a three, whatever that means. I didn’t want my ravioli paper thin because I know I am not quite careful enough not to tear it.

Lay out one sheet, fill with scoops of toppings, dampen the area between fillings (I used my finger and a measuring cup of water), and seal the second sheet over the top. Cut, crimp with a fork, and cook in boiling water until they float!


My Story:

I’ve been needing to get more of my own recipes made. I love making other peoples’- experimenting, tweaking, and combining, but I’ll find things that I truly like if I make them exactly to my specifications! Also, I think I’ll really start to understand the things I make if I make them myself and figure out which flavors go well together.

So I made ravioli.

I couldn’t tell you what exactly it was that made me want to make these. I’ve always loved pasta. I also wanted something I could freeze and eat quickly later, as I go into the very busy weeks of my job. Did I mention that I like pasta?

I began to plot. I wanted ravioli, yes, but what kind? There are so many options!IMG_7735

I settled on four for one night. What are they? They’re coming.IMG_7751

Is the suspense killing you? It might kill me.

Here’s what I know. With this basic recipe as a starter, you can make any ravioli you like. How? I’ll show you. Check back soon.

Be healthy.

-Peter

Chickpea Salad Sandwich!

Missing chicken salad? I’ve got the solution. Straight from the Simple Veganista!

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Recipe:

Chickpea Salad

Procedure:

Just follow the instructions! I used Veganaise in place of the hummus because that’s what I hand on hand, but I’m excited to try it with hummus too! I also left out the pepitos.

Shopping List:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup or so hummus or tahini (any vegan mayo works too)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons mustard (stoneground or dijon)
  • sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  • dash of garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon, optional
  • small handful pepitos (pumpkin seeds), optional
  • paprika/smoked paprika, garnish
  • bread (I’m using Dave’s Killer Bread- I like it!)
  • handful of greens

My Story:

I made something similar months ago and figured it would be a great lunch for several meals this week. It was fairly quick and easy to put together and simple to throw together for lunch!

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Last time I made this, I put half of chickpeas in a food processor at first, and I may like that more. It created a base (but I guess that’s what the hummus is too!) and then everything else was tossed in and pulsed. If you want some more texture, mashing may be the way to go. If you want it a little more smooth and creamy, try the food processor method! (Another bonus, less chopping of the other ingredients!)

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This packed well into a Pyrex bowl and held together well for three days in the fridge at work! I’ll get another lunch out of it today, and maybe even a fourth!

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In my personal opinion, this could use a bit more flavor. I’ll do a little more mustard next time and add some paprika to the actual mix, not just for garnish. I’ve got some smoked bourbon paprika that will do the trick! It’s tasty how it is, but I think it could be more suited to my tastes next time. I just also heard about adding a chopped honeycrisp apple… I may have to make this again next week.

I should start working on more of my own recipes…

Do you have your own recipe for a Chick’n Salad? Recipe additive suggestions? Anything else you want to bring up? I’m here to hear! Let me know!

Be well.

-Peter