Tag Archives: potato

Spicy Kale and Potato Soup

Is there anything better than a nice brothy bowl of soup and a glass of wine on a snowy night? This weeks bag from Liberty Heights SSF contained Russian Red Kale, Celeriac, Purple Turnips, Brussels Spoouts, Cocktail Grapefruits, and Honey. Celeriac and Turnips are not vegetables I use everyday and when faced with those kind of vegetables, I tend to go in one of two directions: roast them or make them into soup. This week is entirely about soup.

Tonight, I used the russian red kale and potatoes from last weeks bag along with shallots from the bag from 2 weeks ago to make Deborah Madison’s Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chili from the Green’s Cookbook (which is a cookbook that I love love love). The red chili just refers to some crushed red chili flakes. I made a couple of small substitutions based on my cupboard. I used the Russian Kale for regular curly kale and shallots instead of onions. I used a vegetable boullion cube instead of boiling the kale stems for broth. The recipe for this soup is so simple that I didn’t have high expectations for it, but it is super tasty and perfect for a night like this one.

This is not a great picture. I was lazy and used my cell phone to take the pic.

Kale and potato soup

Look for more soup this week. I’m planning on a split pea soup with the celeriac and also a vegetable soup with barley which will use some turnips and potatoes. I already ate the brussels spouts. I simply roasted them.


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Filed under Dinner Entrees

SSF: Potatoes and Sunchokes – Gratin Dauphinois

This week’s Liberty Heights bag of goodness contained Purple Skin Caribe Potatoes, Sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes, Green Butter lettuce, Satsuma Mandarins, Cucumbers, and Goat’s Milk Yogurt from Drake Family Farms. Lettuce, cucumbers, and mandarins are pretty easy to handle… but Goat’s Mike yogurt and Sunchokes! I’m not a big fan of Goat anything so this was a challenge. I tried to hide the first 8 oz in a smoothie. It was ok, but a little too tangy. So the second 8 oz was hidden in some chocolate chip banana muffins.

Now the sunchokes. I did find a Mario Batali recipe to roast them, but I roast everything and wanted to do something different. Then I ran across Streaming Gourmet’s riff on Jacques Pépin’s Gratin Dauphinois. Streaming Gourmet had changed the recipe to use sunchokes and cheddar. And his picture is a thousand times better than mine! This was really tasty, but I felt like I’d hidden the sunchokes instead of highlighting them. If you are looking for a great potato gratin, this is for you, but I wish I’d roasted the sunchokes after all so that I could taste them better.

Here is my version. My version uses the food processor to prep everything and uses shallots instead of leeks because I still have shallots from last weeks’s bag. I also removed some steps that were unncessary to the end product for quicker preparation.

Gratin with Potatoes and Sunchokes

2 cloves garlic
3-4 shallots cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 lbs red skinned potatoes, peeled
1 lb sunchokes, peeled
4 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (or butter)
2 cups soy milk (or milk)
Dash of freshly grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, use processor to grate (might use Gruyère next time)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, use processor to grind cheese

1. Prep in the food processor in this order: grind parmesan, grate cheddar, pulse shallots and garlic till finely chopped, slice potatoes and sunchokes.

2. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Layer the potatoes, shallots and garlic, and sunchokes in a well-oiled 9×13 baking dish (**see note), making several repeating layers.

3. Add chunks of the margarine and soy milk to a small pot. Grate nutmeg over the top and season with salt and lots of pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

4. Once the soy milk is heated and nearly boiling, add 3/4 cheddar and stir to melt. Pour it over the casserole and top with remaining cheddar and the parmesan.

5. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes covered with foil. Remove the foil and bake another 45 minutes.

6. Remove it from the oven let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. That allows the flavors to meld and the cheese and milk to cool into a creamy mixture.

** This made a real mess of the baking dish and I spent a lot of time with a brillo pad. I was lucky I’d made it in my cheap pyrex glass dish. Make sure you use non-stick cooking spray, a pan shaped so that you can soak it in the sink later, or a dish that you don’t mind scrubbing with a brillo (or some combination of the above). My dish was oiled with olive oil, but that didn’t seem to help much.

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Filed under Dinner Entrees, Side dishes

Crispy Hashbrowns

My favorite recipe for hashbrowns from elise.com seems to have disappeared off the interwebs making me incredibly sad. I managed to find a cached version (without pics) and I’ve copied it here for safekeeping.


Crispy Hash Browns Recipe


* 3 Tbsp olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil
* 1 lb Russet baking potatoes, peeled and grated
* Salt and pepper

Equipment needed:
Large frying pan (at least a 9″ diameter bottom)
Potato ricer

1 Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.

2 While the pan is heating, squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the grated potatoes. It’s easiest to do this with a potato ricer, using it much like you would a garlic press, except you don’t force the potatoes through the ricer. You just press out the moisture. If you don’t have a ricer, use paper towels to squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the grated potatoes.

3 When the oil in the pan heats up to the point of shimmering, but not smoking, add the grated potatoes, spreading them out along the bottom of the pan. The potatoes should not be too thick in any one place, no more than a half inch thick. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the potatoes. After a few minutes, lift up one edge of the potatoes and see how done they are. If they have fried to a golden brown they are ready to flip. Use a large spatula to flip the potatoes over all at once, or divide the large potato cake into halves or quarters and flip. Continue to cook until they are golden brown on the bottom.

Serves 4.

My notes from the last time I made this:

I happened to have minced shallots in the food processor ahead of grating the potatoes and they picked up a nice light shallot flavor.


Filed under Breakfast

Bestest Soup Evah – Potato, Leek, Carnival Squash, Roasted Garlic Soup

I got 5 lbs of free potatoes from our local natural foods store, Cali’s. They needed to be used up pretty quickly as they were already growing some eyes. I looked around the house to see what I had and came up with a potato, leek, carnival squash, roasted garlic soup. The recipe is below. It is for a Fagor pressure cooker at high altitude. For lower altitude, you probably will need less cooking time. You could also make this on the stove and cook for much longer. But, I think the pressure cooker is integral to get the creamy texture of this soup.


Creamy Potato, Leek, Carnival Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup

2 carnival squash
2 heads garlic
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 T olive oil
2 leeks, white parts cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
a few cranks of pepper
1/4 c white wine
4 c water
2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes (4 large), peeled and cut into 1.5″ chunks
1/2 T olive oil
2 T fresh parsley
1 not-chicken bouillon cube
1.5 c soy milk
1/2 c Silk soy creamer
2 T Earth Balance margarine
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice carnival squash in half and scoop out seeds. Rub the cut side with olive oil and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 40-50 min, until tender. Meanwhile, remove loose paper from garlic, slice off the tops, and place in a foil packet. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil packet and bake for 50 minutes at 400. Remove everything from the oven and cool for a while. When cool, scrape the squash insides into a bowl and squeeze out the garlic cloves into the same bowl. Set aside for later.

Using the brown function of the electric pressure cooker (or the stove top), cook the leeks in about a tablespoon of olive oil till tender. When leeks are tender, add the dried herbs and a few cranks of pepper. Cook for about a minute. Add the white wine and cook for another minute. Add 4 cups of water and the potatoes. Add 1/2 T olive oil to the top of the liquid to prevent potato foaming in the pressure cooker. Close lid and cook for 7 minutes (less at regular altitude). Quick release when done, and add the squash, garlic, bouillon cube, and 2 T fresh parsley. Close lid and cook for another 3 minutes. Quick release.

If your pressure cooker is non-stick, you might want to use a measuring cup to scoop the soup to another pot for this next step. Add the cream, soy milk, and margarine along with some salt and pepper. Use a stick blender to puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a soft roll and a big dinner salad.


Filed under Dinner Entrees, Vegetables

Vegan Chorizo and Potato Empanadas

Tonight I had planned to make Chorizo Potato tacos. But at some point in the day I was inspired to try making empanadas instead. The results turned out great. This might look hard to do, but it is actually pretty easy. If you can make pie dough, you can make empanadas!

Vegan Chorizo and Potato Empanada

Chorizo Potato Empanadas
Makes 12.

Empanada Dough

1 1/2 cups instant corn masa
1/2 cup flour (plus extra for counter)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold shortening, cut into cubes
3/4-1 cup cold water

Put the masa, flour, salt, and shortening into a food processor. Pulse until the dough starts to stick together and the shortening is well distributed. Pour in the water gradually while the food processor is running until the dough comes together and forms a ball. I used about 7/8 cups of water. This will vary depending on humidity and dryness of the flours. Add more water if you need to.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Form a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.

Chorizo and Potato Filling ***
1 medium red potato, 1/4″ dice
1/2 spanish onion, diced
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper (a couple of cranks)
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
6 oz Vegan Chorizo (I used Yves)
1 clove garlic, minced

Steam potatos for about 10 minutes (or boil them) until they are just starting to get tender. You don’t want to cook them all the way here, we are just giving them a head start. Drain the potatoes if you boiled them, or if you steamed them, remove them from the steamer.

In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add the potatoes, onions, salt and pepper. Cook stirring every few minutes until potatoes are browned (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic and the chorizo. Stir and break up the chorizo. Cook for a few minutes until heated through and the chorizo dries out a little bit. Remove from heat and remove filling from the pan and place in a bowl. Set aside.

Assembling and Cooking the Empanadas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with nonstick foil or regular foil that has been oiled. Clean the skillet used above because we are going to use it again here.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Put 2 of those back in the refrigerator to stay cold. Divide the remaining 2 pieces into 3 pieces each so that you now have 6 pieces of dough on the counter. Take one piece and roll it into a flattened ball. On a well floured counter, roll it out into a circle about 1/4″ thick. If you want to now be fancy, you can cut it with a circular cutter (I don’t bother). Place about 1 1/2 Tbsp filling in in the center. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. * Do this for 3 of them if using cooking method 1 or all of them if using cooking method 2. Continue the same way with the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

For cooking method 1, you will want to fry about 3 at a time (see below) and then roll out the next 3, rinse repeat until all are pan fried and in the over.

Cooking method 1

Olive Oil for frying

In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat with a liberal amount of olive oil (about 1/4″ deep), pan fry the empanadas on each side till browned. Now move the empanadas to a foil lined cookie sheet (pat with paper towel) and bake for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining empanadas.

This is the method I used in the picture above. It resulted in a flaky crust that we like a lot without resorting to deep frying.

Cooking method 2

Place all empanadas on cookie sheet(s). Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. **

*Cheater hint – If you want them to be prettier semi-circles and don’t have a large circular biscuit cutter, you can use this trick to shape them better. Fold the dough over the filling. Take a pizza cutter around the folded edges to make a better semi-circle shape and then crimp the edges.

** Next time we are going to try brushing the baked ones (method 2) with olive oil before baking.

*** I actually doubled this and have leftovers for taco filling later this week.

We also had some margaritas with dinner. A strawberry margarita on the rocks:
Strawberry Margarita


Filed under Dinner Entrees

Hellagood Seitan Stew

On Weds., I asked my husband what kind of soup or stew he wants Friday. I always make a soup or stew on Friday nights in the winter so that he can take leftovers in his thermos on Saturday for ski patrol. He replied that he wanted a stew. I asked, “like a chunky vegetable stew?”. He said, “more like a beef stew”. Well the gauntlet had been thrown. We’d never made a vegetarian “beef” stew that we liked much. The existing recipes we tried were always bland or just plain eww. I knew I could do better. And I did. This stew was spectacular! It smelled spectacular and tasted great… and looks scarily a little too much like beef stew.

Seitan Stew

Seitan Stew

The first part of getting this right, was getting the seitan right. I made the seitan the day before because it takes a while. To get the texture just right, I boiled it and then baked it. The seitan recipe is below.

This seitan stew recipe is adapted from an Emeril beef stew recipe.

‘Beefy’ Seitan Stew
Serves 6

1 recipe Seitan – beef style (recipe below – make a day ahead of time)
~3 tablespoons olive oil
Spice mixture ->
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
pinch cayenne
1/8 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons earth balance
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 large roughly chopped yellow onion
2-3 sliced carrots, (1-inch slices cut crosswise on a diagonal)
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 cloves roughly chopped garlic
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups beef style vegetarian stock or vegetable stock, at room temperature**
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 to 4 cups 1-inch dice peeled yukon gold or red potatoes
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Steamed rice


Chop the seitan into bite size pieces and season the seitan by sprinkling with the spice mixture, being sure to toss the seitan well to evenly cover with the spices. Set a non-stick skillet or non-stick dutch oven oven (preferred) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot. Add the seitan to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the seitan from the pot and set aside.

If you used a skillet above for the seitan, nows the time to pull out the big pot for the stew and heat it up. Add the margarine and 1 Tbsp oilve oil and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until onions are softened and lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the stock, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, allspice and browned seitan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the stew and partially cover the pot with a lid. Continue cooking until the potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes (to an hour). Remove the lid and discard the thyme and rosemary stems. Add the peas and parsley to the stew, stir well to combine, then remove from the heat. Serve hot with steamed rice.

** I used Edward and Sons Not-Beef boullion cubes dissolved in boiling water. This brand is so good that I buy 3-4 boxes at a time off the internet. For the stock for the stew – 2 Not-Beef boullion cubes to 4 1/2 cups boiling water.

Beefy Seitan
Adapted from The Vegan Lunchbox Pot Roast and La Dolce Vegan Beefy Seitan

2 vegetarian beef-flavored boullion cubes (See note above**)
1 tsp kosher salt – I cannot remember if I actually added this
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sage
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp marmite
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp vegan worchestershire
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in the boullion cubes and 1 tsp kosher salt. Let cubes dissolve while you work on the seitan.

In a mixing bowl, mix wheat gluten, ground walnuts, nutritional yeast, onion powder, sage, and garlic powder.

Then mix ONE cup of the broth with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp tomato paste, vegan worchestershire, and marmite.

Add the liquid to the wheat gluten mixture and stir till it forms a dough. Knead until it comes together in a loaf. Cut the loaf into 2″ square pieces.

Stir the other tablespoon nutritional yeast into the remaining broth. Add the gluten to this lukewarm broth and bring up to a simmer. Simmer the wheat gluten covered in the remaining broth (just barely a simmer) for 1 hour. This next part is important. Turn off the heat and let the seitan cool in its cooking liquid for 30-45 minutes.

Drain the seitan (reserve the remaining stock) and put it into a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 min (this will cause it to firm up). Remove from the pan and place the seitan in a storage container with remaining broth until ready to use.

Here are some in progress pics:

Browning the seitan
Seitan Stew

Cooking the mushrooms – there are some seitan bits and spices stuck to the pan, because I learned that needed a non-stick pot for that part.
Seitan Stew

Added in the carrots, onions, celery
Seitan Stew

Simmering the stock with the vegetables and seitan (before adding potatoes)
Seitan Stew

Finally done. Looks scarily real, doesn’t it?
Seitan Stew


Filed under Dinner Entrees

Potato Latkes with Applesauce and Vegan Sour Cream

I recently found myself missing Potato Latkes from Joan and Ed’s Jewish Deli (just outside of Boston) so when I got 3 lbs of Russet Potatoes from the CSA this week, I knew exactly what I was making. The recipe is from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld. They were served with applesauce and Tofutti sour cream. We also had steamed broccoli and a salad in an effort to disguise this dinner as healthy.

Potato Latkes



Filed under Dinner Entrees