Friday, April 30, 2010

There's only us. There's only this. Forget regret... or life is yours to miss. There's only now. There's only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other path. No other way. No day but today. ~Rent

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits

Well. I have 1 week left until the Flying Pig Marathon. Feels like my leg is healing up nicely. Did a 3 mile run last night and my pace was fastest it's been in a while. Best of all it was easy and pain free.

After I cleaned up from my run, flipped through the pages of Veganomicon and decided to try this recipe. Perfect post run dinner. Took a while to make it but it filled me up.

TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes


2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, washed well and sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, cut into medium-sized dice
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on how salty your broth is, so taste first)
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 (15 ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed


3/4 cup plain soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

TO COOK THE POTATOES:Place the potatoes in a small pot, and cover with water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Drain immediately so that they do not overcook.

While they are boiling, you can prep the rest of the veggies and start preparing the biscuits.

NOW, PREPARE EVERYTHING FOR THE BISCUITS:You're not going to make them yet, but it's good to have everything ready when it comes time to top the stew. Add the vinegar to the soy milk in a measuring cup, and set aside to curdle. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

TO PREPARE THE STEW: Mix the cornstarch into the vegetable broth until dissolved; set aside.

Preheat an oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Saute in the oil the leeks, onions and carrots until very soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Keep the heat moderate so that they don't burn.

Add the garlic, thyme, freshly ground black pepper and salt, and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the cooked potatoes and frozen peas, then pour in the vegetable stock mixture. Raise the heat just a bit; it will take a few minutes but the liquid will start simmering. Once it does, lower the heat again. Let it simmer for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, but no longer than that. If you need more time for the biscuits, then turn off the heat under the stew.

TO PREPARE THE BISCUITS:Add the shortening to the flour in small slivers, and work it into the dough with a fork or with your fingers until large crumbs form. You don't want to cream it in; there should be clumps. Drizzle in the soy milk, and mix with a fork until everything is moistened (some dry parts are OK).

Wash and dry your hands, then lightly flour them and get them dirty again. Gently knead the dough about 10 times right in the bowl, just so that it is holding together and not very sticky. If it seems sticky, as in sticking to your fingers, then gently work in a little more flour. Set that aside.

Check on your stew. The stew should be simmering and slightly thickened. Mix in the beans.

Now, let's add the biscuits. Pull off chunks of dough that are about slightly larger than golf balls. Gently roll them into balls, and flatten a bit; they do not have to be perfectly round. Add them to the top of the stew, placed an inch or so apart.

Transfer the whole megillah to the preheated oven. If you are worried about spillover, place it on a rimmed baking sheet. (We've never had that problem, though.) Bake for about 15 minutes. The biscuits should be just slightly browned and firm to the touch.

TO SERVE:Remove from the oven, and use a large serving spoon to place some of the stew and a biscuit in each shallow, individual bowl. Sprinkle with a little fresh, chopped thyme. Serve at last! Especially yummy when you break up your biscuit and mix it in a bit with your stew.

Makes 6 servings

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lentil with Macaroni and Swiss Chard Soup

This flavorful and filling soup, chock-full of vegetables, lentils, and pasta, needs only some crusty bread to become a meal. And there's enough to enjoy another day.


1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 clove(s) garlic, crushed with garlic press
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
3/4 cup(s) lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

1/2 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon(s) dried thyme
1 bunch(es) (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, trimmed and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup(s) (about 3 1/2 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 cup(s) fresh basil leaves, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)


In nonstick 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, onion, and garlic, and cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes with their puree, broth, lentils, salt, pepper, thyme, and 6 cups water; heat to boiling, stirring to break up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are almost tender.

Stir in Swiss chard and macaroni; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir in basil. Serve with Parmesan if you like.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blackend Tofu & Bean Sprout Sandwich

So I was wanting to try something new for lunch today and this is what I came up with. I'm not really sure about the measurements since I was just kinda tossing things in but it shouldn't be to hard to figure out.


Extra Firm Tofu (pressed and sliced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices)

Olive oil

Garlic Salt


Cheyenne Pepper

Black Pepper

Tomato slices


Alfalfa Bean Sprouts

Vegan Mayo

Toasted Bread.


Dip tofu in olive oil then coat with spice mixture. Fry in some olive oil on high heat until blackened on both sides. Top with lettuce, tomato, bean sprouts and mayo.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

3 Weeks and Counting

I officially have 3 weeks till the Flying Pig Marathon and I'm being plagued by an injury. Not sure what it is. Started off thinking it was shin splints then maybe something with my calf. Now I'm thinking I may have been suffering from two ailments at the same time. The shin splints seem to have gone away over the past week or so if compressing and icing, but there is still another pain I'm feeling on the inner front side of my calf. Thinking I may have stained it when I was pushing myself farther in the VFF's. Gonna back way off the miles this week, do some water workouts and see how I feel come next week.

I'm also a little disappointed that my friend Ben will not be running with me in the race, but he has been very busy with work and hasn't had the time to train. Maybe later this year we will be able to hook up for a race.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Fresh Mint

Tried this one for lunch today. Not bad, not my favorite but would definitely make again.


4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped

1 Shallot, finely chopped

1tsp Turbinado Sugar (raw sugar)

4tbs Vegetable stock

3 cups (24 1/2 ozs.) canned Crushed Tomatoes

Sea Salt and Pepper

14 ozs. Potato Gnocchi

Handful of fresh Mint leaves, roughly chopped or fresh Basil leaves


Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, shallot, sugar and stock. Cover, and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until the onion has softened and the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes, cover, and cook for anther 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the remaining olive oil. Mix well.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and cook the gnocchi for approximately 4 minutes. They will rise to the surface when they are cooked. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon, and drain them on paper towels while you empty the sauce pan. Return the gnocchi to the saucepan, add the sauce, and mix well. Scatter fresh mint or basil over the top and serve.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tofu and String Beans Teriyaki

Well I ran 20 miles yesterday then decided to eat an entire large pizza and crazy bread from Little Ceasers. I had to make up for that today and found a great recipe to do so. I've been experimenting with tofu for about a year with out much success. I found this recipe on Post Punk Kitchen. The site is devoted to vegetarian cooking and vegan baking.

1 tsp olive oil
1 lb. of Extra Firm Tofu, cut in approx 1 in wide and 1/2 in thick slices
1 lb. of String Beans, snapped
4 cloves of garlic, minced (or to taste)
Teriyaki Sauce
1 package of buckwheat soba noodles


In a frying pan, put your olive oil and tofu. Brown your tofu. Whilst your tofu is browning, put on a pot of boiling water. When it boils, throw in your string beans and noodles for 5 minutes (how convenient, they both take 5 minutes!). When done, strain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

When your tofu is brown, take it out of the pan and set it aside. Put in your garlic and brown for a minute. Then throw in your string beans and noodles and stir fry for a few minutes. Add back the tofu and coat everything with a nice glaze of teriyaki sauce. Cook until it all thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.