Tag Archives: vegetables

Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables

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Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables

If you love hot and spicy food, you are in for a real treat.  This unassuming little dish of pickled vegetables will fire up your taste buds.  My Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables is a wonderful combination of marinated bright orange carrots, crunchy cauliflower and smoking hot Serrano peppers.  I like to serve my Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables whenever I make homemade tacos, burritos or enchiladas.

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Serrano Peppers.  Use gloves when slicing these little bad boys…  Also, be sure to not touch your eyes or nose after working with these peppers.  Wash your hands well after working with the peppers.  Trust me.  You will not like what they will do to you.  I made that mistake once.  If you can’t handle the heat from the Serranos in the dish, you can dial it down by simply adding milder peppers instead.

My Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables is not only easy to make but vegan too.  Next time you serve Mexican cuisine at your home, be sure to make a batch of these pickled vegetables to serve along side your favorite dishes.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 pound cauliflower
  • 3 Serrano peppers
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic

Begin by washing and peeling the carrots.  Slice diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.  Set aside.  Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and set aside with the carrots.  Trim the tops of the peppers and cut into 1/2 inch sized pieces.  In a non reactive pan, add vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaves, salt and black peppercorns.  Bring vinegar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.  Add garlic, Serrano peppers, carrots and cauliflower.  Cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Be sure to let the vegetables sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving.  The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the spicier it gets.  This makes a pretty good sized batch, so feel free to cut the recipe in half.  Makes about a quart and a half of spicy pickled vegetables.

Creamy Split Pea Soup

Creamy Split Pea Soup

I love the holiday season and but this year has been one crazy busy year.  For the past month I have not been able to spend much time in my kitchen.  We attended holiday parties, hosted parties, wrapped gifts, decorated our home and we are all  so tired.  We really had a wonderful spending time with family and friends this holiday season.  However, the holidays are almost over and I am now looking forward to my normal routine.

Today was a lazy day.  I needed to take it easy and unwind before going back to work tomorrow.  We have no plans, no shopping, no going out, no nothing, nada…  As a result, I decided to make an easy pot of Creamy Split Pea Soup.  My recipe for Creamy Split Pea Soup is easy to make, delightfully creamy and is really good for you.  It has onions, celery, parsnips, coriander, cumin and a hint of smoked salt.  I even re-purposed a leftover veggie tray from a party last night and made some awesome homemade vegetable stock to use in my soup.  My creamy split pea soup is  perfect with a loaf of crusty french bread or a big chunk of homemade corn bread.  If there are any leftovers, I like to freeze it for a later date.  Enjoy! -  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried green split peas
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (approximate)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped parsnips
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Begin by washing and picking over your split peas.  Add all the ingredients to a medium to large pot.  Cook on low for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours on the stove top or until the split peas are cooked.  You can also cook this in a slow cooker for 8 hours on the low setting or about 4 hours on high.  When the split peas are done remove the bay leaf and blend with a hand blender until smooth and creamy.  Taste your soup, correct your seasonings and dish up.  Garnish with chopped parsley and a pinch of paprika.  Makes about 2 quarts of creamy split pea soup.

Gado-Gado Wedge Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those people who have spent time with me in my kitchen know that when it comes to cooking, I am terrible at following directions.  It’s a rare event when I prepare a dish exactly the way that it was written.  I am notorious for changing things up and cooking food the way I want.  My Gado-Gado Wedge Salad is a perfect example of my “I’m gonna do it my way and you can’t tell me what to do” behavior in my kitchen.

Gado-Gado is an Indonesian dish traditionally made with a variety of cooked vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, bean sprouts, beans or whatever fresh ingredients that are on hand drizzled with peanut sauce, garnished with egg slices and fried onions, served family style on a large platter.  It seems that there are so many variations of Gado-Gado for it all depends on the ingredients on hand and the person who is preparing it.  My Gado-Gado Wedge salad is a twist on the traditional Indonesian dish and is similar to the wedge salads that I love to order for lunch at a restaurants.

My Gado-Gado Wedge Salad is made with crisp iceberg lettuce, surrounded by tender green beans, bean sprouts, pan seared tofu, crunchy shredded carrots, crisp cucumber, fingerling red potatoes drizzled with my homemade peanut sauce.  I then garnish the salad with lime wedges, minced red bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro sprigs.  Make this dish for your next lunch or dinner.  And by the way, if you don’t follow my recipe exactly, I completely understand…   Makes 4 fabulous salads.  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 wedges of iceberg lettuce
  • 8 fingerling red potatoes
  • 2 cups green beans cut into 1″ slices
  • 1/2 pound bean sprouts
  • 1 container extra firm tofu (drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 cup peanut sauce (see my recipe!)
  • 1 Tbls. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • garnish with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, minced red bell pepper, sliced green onion and sambal oelek.

Let’s begin by boiling salted water in a medium sized pot.  Add your fingerling potatoes and cook until done (8 minutes or so).  Remove from pot using a slotted spoon or a spider and run cold water over the potatoes until they cool.  Slice into rounds and set aside.  Using the same boiling water add your beans until they are lightly cooked.  Remove and run cold water over until they cool.  Set aside.  Repeat the process with the bean sprouts and cook about 5 minutes and set aside.  Do not cook the carrots or the cucumbers.

Now grab a non stick fry pan and heat it with a bit of canola oil.  Add your tofu cubes and cook until lightly brown.  Add the low sodium soy sauce.  Cook a few minutes more and then remove from heat and set aside.  Find 4 medium sized or lunch plates and place an iceberg lettuce wedge on the plate.  Arrange your vegetables around the lettuce, add your tofu and drizzle with peanut sauce.  Garnish with your lime wedges, cilantro, minced bell pepper, green onion and sambal oelek.  Dig in and enjoy!

Note:  If you are changing up the ingredients just be sure to pay attention to the colors of vegetables that you choose to include on the plate.  – Tessa