Monday, October 20, 2008

Adventures with a Swiss Vegan

So when I signed up to host an exchange student from Up with People for one week, I was asked what my hobbies are. I mentioned I enjoy cooking, and apparently that's codespeak for "give her the vegan chick". I was a little worried at first, but it was really alot of fun. Here are some of the goodies we made:
Yukon Gold oven fries.
Sweet potato (yam) oven fries
Fries Two Ways. The sweet potato fries have a sweet/spicy mixture of salt, pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and a little cayenne. The regular potatoes I think were just salt, pepper, and olive oil. Slice your potatoes in fry shapes, toss in a bowl with a couple of chugs of olive oil, and toss in your spices. Bake at 450 until crispy. The sweet potatoes may take longer to get crispy, and both may need a turn with a spatula halfway through. I find it helpful to line the pans with parchment.

Pumpkin Soup. Gwen made a delicious pumpkin soup. She made it from memory, but I can tell you it had a fresh pumpkin and butternut squash (peeled, seeded, roughly chopped), 1 onion, vegetable broth, salt, red curry paste (about 1 t.), coconut milk (1 c. or so), and fresh chopped basil. It was really, really good.

Artisan Boule. I made some homemade bread a couple of times. You'd be surprised how many commercial and homemade breads contain milk or milk powder, so I stuck with the artisan formula of flour, water, salt, yeast, and time.

Vegetable potstickers. The picture of the final product didn't turn out, but here's a photo of the filling. I got the recipe online, so I don't have the exact contents anymore, but here's what I remember: 1 leek, finely sliced, 1 head napa cabbage, finely sliced, 2 shredded carrots, 2 cloves garlic, 2 t. soy sauce, 1 T. rice wine vinegar, a little dash of sugar if you want, handful of cilantro. Other recipes called for bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.

Roasted vegetables, fried parsnips, hummus. We also roasted a ton of vegatables. Here we did butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onion and garlic. The white stuff in the other bowl is are parsnips, parboiled then dredged in season flour and fried in olive oil. Mushrooms were thrown in for a good measure. Also pictured is the hummus to spread on the bread.

Not pictured is the vegetable thai curry & rice, miso soup, and tomato salad we made.

Fresh Apple Cake. I found out the Gwen will eat eggs, so I jumped at the chance to make an apple cake. Actually, my sister Laura made it with Emma's help. It's one of my favorite cakes: moist, dark, chunky, and not overly sweet. Last night my dad had some and he decided that we wanted that for his birthday cake. This recipe is from the Junior League of Salt Lake City Heritage Cookbook.
Fresh Apple Cake
4 c. apples, diced
2 c. sugar (can be reduced)
2/3 c. veg. oil
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (white may be used; we used half of each)
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 c. nuts (optional)
1 c. raisins (optional)
Optional topping:
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. nuts
2 t. cinnamon
Combine and sprinkle on unbaked cake. If you don't want to do this topping, you can leave in plain or ice it with some cream cheesd frosting.
Pour in 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.


Carrie said...

Your love of cooking is EXACTLY why you got the vegan chick. I would have failed for sure at that task. Your recipe ideas were very creative! Dang, I may have to try my hand at artisan bread again. I'm drooling!

Jessica said...

You are amazing..seriously! I get so lazy when it comes to the time to cook sometimes! It looks like yummy eats!