Today I’m gonna leave you all with a quote and a recipe and go back to studying until my eyeballs fall out. I’ll holla back when I am done with exams, done with college and no longer want to punch a puppy.
We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don’t know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know. —Richard Feynman
Ramp & Spinach Pizza
Adapted from Smitten
- 1 bundle ramps (leeks will work too!)
- 1/2 (1 big handful) spinach
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 12 oz. pizza dough (see below)
- 1/3 cup tomato pureé or sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup bread flour, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour [obsessed] and it was deeelish!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1. Combine the bread ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Dump onto a floured surface and knead; add flour as needed to create a nice ball. Knead for a minute or two then oil a mixing bowl and roll the dough around so it’s coated. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1-2 hours, until it’s doubled in size.
2. Dump the ball back on a lightly floured surface and press the air out with your hands. Fold into a ball and let it sit 20 more minutes.
3. In the mean time, slice up the ramps. Place a pan on medium heat and once hot pour in the olive oil. Add the white and pink stem parts and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add the green top parts of the ramps and the spinach and sauté another minute or two until the leaves are just wilted. Set aside.
4. Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its highest temp. Stretch the pizza dough to a 10-12” circle. Add the tomato pureé or sauce, sprinkle with minced garlic and the ramp and spinach mixture. Pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
1. Call your mom crying because the rabies-infested stray cat you took in yesterday ran away. She will forgive you for letting this take precedent because moms are more compassionate than regular human beings.
2. Tell her the enormous diamond/flower bouquet/life-sized sculpture of her you made are so difficult to transport that they will arrive a little late. Upside: there is a slim slim chance she will believe this. Downside: time to get sculpting.
3. Call your mom and tell her you’re on an impulsive trip to Hawaii and with the time difference it’s still May 12 there. If your mom has absolutely no perception of geography this could work.
4. Drink a beer and forget about it. Your mom will not like this one but you will.
5. Write a love song for your mom. Include such lines as “your eyes sparkle like Russian meteors falling out of the sky.” She could be impressed.
6. Write a haiku. Nothing shows your care like syllable counting.
7. Spend all of your money buying your mom a ticket to a Justin Timberlake summer concert. THIS WON’T WORK IF SHE ALREADY HAS ONE. Like my mom.
8. Play your mom a song you wrote over the telephone. Bonus if you pull this off and don’t know how to play any instruments.
9. Make your mom some o’ these:
Buckwheat Ployes Pancakes!
Makes 8-10 ‘cakes
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or other mild oil)
- Combine the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt) and cold water stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the boiling water into the dry mixture, creating a batter. Set to stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat with a bit of oil. Once hot, add about 1/4 cup of batter and cook until golden and small bubbles pop up all over the pancake (1-2 minutes) DO NOT FLIP! Remove from the skillet, carefully lifting all edges. Serve hot!
This Friday wasn’t just like any old Friday, usually reserved for watching 7 episodes of your Netflix TV show du jour and writing in your diary about all the interesting birds you saw that week (oh, just me?). It wasn’t like any other Friday, where you peel off whatever disgusting clothes have been clinging to your body in the library that week. No, this Friday was ¡Fajita Friday!
The aforementioned lame excuse for spring weather that’s been bullying Madison for the past week prompted me to look elsewhere for warm weather inspiration. Seeking something simple that could serve the masses, I turned to my favorite thing that comes in a tortilla other than burritos. Fajitas are great because you can personalize them with whatever toppings you want (though everyone inevitably ends up with a similar-looking pile of salsa on their plate at the end). Add several packs of beer and a chihuahua and you have a ¡fiesta! I just figured out how to do an upside down exclamation point, can you tell?
Makes 4-6 Fajitas
Lentil & Tempeh filling
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup tempeh, chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire or BBQ sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Peppers & Onions
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil
- 1 green pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 onion, sliced into strips
- 4-6 tortillas
- chopped peppers & mango
- sliced lime
- chopped cilantro
- hot sauce
- Add lentils and water to a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until tender.
- Combine the oil, peppers, and onion in a skillet. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes over low heat, until soft. Set aside.
- Heat the skillet and add another splash of oil. Add the chopped tempeh and sauté 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from heat and combine with the cooked lentils. Add the spices, tomato paste, and Worcestershire/BBQ sauce to taste.
- Assemble fajitas!
Happy April, fools.
I started writing a draft for this post at the end of last week and it started like this:
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, my windows are propped open with chunks of wood that have broken off of the window frames themselves (COLLEGE APARTMENTS AMIRITE), and, much to the chagrin of my roommates, I’m blasting I Knew You Were A Goat When You Walked In on repeat. Spring has sprung.
I would blame my lack of posts as of late on the fact that my camera was commandeered by my sister to document an Easter Keg Hunt (think: egg hunt except drunken and sloppy), but really I’ve just been bedazzled by the awesome weather. In Madison, Wisconsin this means low 40s but compared to the snot-freezing, flesh-stinging, hope-and-dream-crushing winter we had this year I’LL TAKE IT.
Fast forward to this Thursday. It’s been raining so much that I forget what the sky looks like when it’s not leaking. Maybe it seems like I talk about the weather on here a lot. Maybe I’m a 90 year old. When you live in Wisconsin it’s the only option you have (being 90 I mean. Everyone here is 90).
Anyway, to lift your spirits, here’s a dish that makes a rainy day better. (What do we think about a new series called 50 Shades of Lentils?)
Spicy Jerk Lentil Loaf
adapted from For the Love of Food
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 Tbs ground flaxseeds + 4 Tbs water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup oats (rolled or instant)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked pepper (MY CRACK) or black pepper
- 1/4 cup jerk sauce or any BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 350*
- Combine lentils and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Mash the lentils up a bit then set aside (mashing is important!)
- Mix the ground flaxseeds and water together and let sit for about 15 minutes. This becomes egg-like in consistency and binds the loaf! Ahoy!
- In a medium pan, sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Combine the onions, lentils, oats, flax mixture, tomatoes/sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Grease a loaf pan with a dash of oil, then pour the mixture in. Smooth it out, then top with jerk or BBQ sauce.
- Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf is firm and slightly browned. Set to cool, then serve with additional jerk or BBQ sauce on top if desired.
Happy Pi Day, peeps n creeps of the internet. Rather than harassing you with some kind of pie or perhaps a math pun I will instead post vegan food and write something sassy about it. There comes a time in vegandom when you realize you are no longer a normal person and instead get questioned/made fun of for things like eating hummus with a spoon, hoarding kale, asking yourself “is jam an okay thing to eat straight?,” and eating lentils for six days in a row. Don’t listen to the haters, cuz as some very wise 3LW once told us, they gon’ hate. Being a vegan is about acknowledging your strangeness and embracing it. If accepting granola as one of my food groups is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Here’s a dish that is some good, clean vegan fun.*
*can be enjoyed by non-vegans too**
**if they know what’s up
Baked and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lemon-Tahini Sauce
Recipe for 1 potato. Multiply recipe for desired # of tates.
- 1 sweet potato, baked (400° for an hour or so)
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 medium carrot, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped kale
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
1. Heat a small pot over medium heat and add chopped onions with a splash of olive oil. Cook, stirring, until the onion are translucent, 4-5 mins. Add the quinoa, carrots, and salt plus about 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot and add a bit more water if necessary. Remove from heat and set aside 5-10 more minutes, until fluffy.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon and tahini plus a dash of salt.
3. Assemble your tate! Take pre-baked potato and cut a slit down the middle. Pile on the quinoa mixture, kale, and top with the lemon-tahini sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
February is unanimously the worst month of the year. I think I write about this every Febrewary (it makes me want to do nothing but drink away my sorrows with some brews), but the sleet/snow/rain mixture currently being aggressively spat on Madison is renewing my loathing for this godforsaken month. SO LET ME GO ON. February is the hangover wedged between holiday cheer and the first springish hints that I can stop wearing pants. And as long as it’s cold as balls I’m a lentil fiend. Hearty, healthy soup is the best thing to make in big batches at the beginning of the week and warm up after your snot has frozen and glued your nostrils together. I’ve made about 73 batches of this in the last two weeks, and given that “wintry mix” is predicted for tomorrow, there’s a 100% chance of lentil soup in the forecast.
Weather Sucks Lentil Soup
- 1 onion, chopped (~2 cups)
- 2-3 large carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup kale, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 5-6.5 cups vegetable broth or water
- 3 cups dry green or brown lentils
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sriracha sauce (if ya think spice is nice!)
1. Rise and drain the lentils, then pour into a pot and add vegetable broth or water (enough to cover them by 1” or so). Bring to a boil, then add the onions, carrots, corn, kale, garlic and spices. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-35 minutes, until lentils are soft. Stir frequently to avoid any burnage. Season with salt, pepper, and the ‘Rach to taste. Watch your winter blues melt away.
Starting your last semester of college isn’t as emotional as it may sound. In place of figuring out my future or generally having my shit together, I’ve mainly been cooking and eating a lot while strategizing how many weeks I can go without doing my laundry, playing with Bruse, trying to finish a scarf I’ve been knitting for three years, coming up with offensive crayon color names, etc etc. With balmy Wisconsin temperatures like -5, 0, and 1º, I’ve become a Class A shut-in, but I’m okay with it. This gives me more valuable time to come up with solutions to the problems of the world and organize my clothes in rainbow order. While I still have your attention with my riveting life, I have a request for ya! Vote for me in Madison Magazine’s “Best of Madison 2013” contest. Click HERE and scroll or search for the “Food Blog” category. Write in “Veganizzm,” and press submit at the bottom! Das it. You can vote daily until Feb. 28, so vote often! Thanks lovies.
Kidney Bean Curry
- 1 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or paprika
- 15 oz can kidney beans (1.5 cups cooked beans)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, for topping
1. Heat oil of choice in a pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add chopped ginger, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for a minute then add tomato sauce and all of the spices. For for 5 minutes, then add the kidney beans plus 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
Have you ever had your dreams literally realized? If your dreams consist of skydiving with your preschool teacher, your crush, and Jodie Foster, for your sake, I really hope not. But tonight one of my dreams came true. You see, last week I had an impeccably and bizarrely precise dream about making kale pizza with four particular people. In the dream I even promised myself that if it were in fact a dream I needed to make it a reality, ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Thus was born the first pizza night of 2013. Nobody was killed in the making of this pizza.
My friends Anna, Grace, and Ben came over and we made this delicious-a$$ pizza, dough and everything. As it turns out, making your own dough only takes about an hour-ish and the only semi-weird ingredient is semolina flour, which isn’t even that goddamn weird! Ben is a good bread-makin’ man, so I shamelessly made him do that. The result? Dope delicious delectable dough THE D IS SILENT.
Sweet Potato, Kale, Caramelized Onion Pizza
Dough recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod
- 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- pinch o’ sugar
- 1 3/4 cups semolina flour
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce or paste
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary
- 1 red onion, sliced
For de dough:
- Combine yeast and 1 cup warm water in a small bowl. Add a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl (or standing mixer if you’ve got one!), add semolina flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Mix the ingredients until combined.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and mix until combined. Knead for about 5 minutes on a counter surface.
- Grease a large bowl with a bit of olive oil. Form dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover pizza dough with a damp towel and set in a warm area to rise (near preheating oven is ideal!). Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until dough has roughly doubled in size.
For de toppings:
- Preheat the oven to 400º. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread the chopped sweet potato, drizzled with 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil. Pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until soft. Remove and set aside.
- In the meantime, place a frying pan over low heat and add sliced red onion and ~1 Tablespoon olive oil. Cover, and set to simmer for 30-35 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Once the dough has risen and the sweet potatoes and onions are ready, turn the oven up to 500º. If you have a pizza stone, place the pizza stone in the oven to get hot. If not, get out a cookie sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil and place on the pizza stone or cookie sheet.
- Top the pizza with sauce (or paste) and sprinkle with rosemary. Layer the sweet potato, onions, and top with kale. Place in the oven to bake at 500º for 8-10 minutes, until the crust crisps up. Remove and set to cool. Enjoy!
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 shallot, chopped
- generous pinch of chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- pepper to taste
1. Combine cider, shallot, and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the margarine and whisk it into the mixture. Keep stirring and add the salt and chili powder. Remove the pan from the heat.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely
Preheat oven to 400º
1. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, rosemary and salt. Pour on a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast 15-20 minutes, or until soft throughout.
2. In the last 5 minutes of baking, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 4-5 minutes.
4. Arrange the sprouts on a serving dish and pour apple-butter sauce over. Garnish with toasted walnuts.
Holy baby jezus. I just dropped my friend Sasha off at the airport which marks the end of a nine day period of visitors constantly streaming in and out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of the company, but now I can do all of the weird stuff I do when I’m alone: talk to myself, walk around naked, eat using no utensils/pour food directly into my mouth from the pot, fart when I feel like it, scratch my butt. Okay, I do all of those things around other people, but the sentiment is the same.
One thing about having guests is that I’ve done much less cooking than usual. I was so excited to show my visitors my favorite restaurants, diners, and holes-in-the-wall that I cooked almost nothing for a week and a half except for toast. The one exception to this has been almond butter. I’ve been churning out almond butter like a FIEND; roasted, salted, cinnamon’ed, raw-you name it. I’ve totally perfected the technique and now I’m gonna share it wit you.
Sea Salt Roasted Almond Butter
- 4-5 cups raw or roasted almonds*
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
*you can buy pre-roasted almonds or roast them yourself on a cookie sheet for 12-15 mins @ 275º
1. Place almonds in a food processor and process for 1-2 minutes, until a rough meal forms.
2. Turn the processor off, scrape down the sides with a spatula or spoon, then process another 2-3 minutes. Repeat the scraping down process until the nuts “butter” or become liquidy and smooth. Once smooth, add the salt and process another minute or so. Slather on toast or eat straight with a spoon!
Filed under breakfast, foodz