Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Upcycled food

I am notoriously not into leftovers. I guess the thing is that I like cooking more than I like eating, so I would usually rather make myself something new, than eat something that is sitting in my fridge. Obviously things like work lunch and the odd super busy day at home will make me eat leftovers, but I avoid it whenever I can. This does not mean that I will not use my leftover food, but that I will not simply reheat it and eat it again. I love to use leftovers as ingredients in new food.

For example, let's talk about that Alfredo Sauce that I posted the other day. I don't usually have leftovers of my Alfredo, since people love that stuff, but when I do, I always reuse it as an ingredient in other food. Like I said in the Alfredo post, it is great on veggies, awesome to dip stuff in, and makes a fine addition to a grilled sammich. My favorite thing to do with left over Alfredo Sauce though, is make Cream of Broccoli Soup. I have always loved broccoli soup and this version is not only tasty, but super quick and easy to make.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

1 cup Vegan Alfredo Sauce (that is about half of my recipe, so if you don't have leftovers, you can just make a half batch)
2 cups Vegan Veggie Stock
1 largish carrot minced
2 stalks of celery minced
1 cup chopped broccoli (I usually just use frozen stuff since we are going to be cooking it into soup anyway.)
1 Tbsp cooking oil

1 med - large sauce pot
knife, cutting board, etc...

  • Add the carrots, celery and oil to the pot over med high heat and sautee until they start to soften
  • Add the sauce, stock and broccoli(if it is frozen, if fresh add with the carrots and celery) and bring to a simmer, try to avoid boiling (you might need to turn the heat down a little)
  • Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Once Knew a White Dog Named Alfredo

I have been on a kind of a Tex-Mex kick for a while, but if left dormant for long enough, my love or Italian Food will always show back up eventually. In particular, my love of pasta will not be denied. I swear, it's the best thing we whiteys ever stole from Asia. Considering my love of all things pasta, I figured it would be cool to start posting some non tomato based sauces to go along with my massive marinara post. I am starting with Alfredo, because pretty much every time I serve it, I get begged for the recipe. Until recently, I just told people to thicken some seasoned soymilk with flour (which is basically what I do) but I have been realizing that not everyone is going to be able to take that and run with it. So I have been paying more attention to what I am actually doing, the last few times that I made it, and this recipe is the result of that.

Alfredo sauce, as Americans know it, is really a bastardization of an Italian dish, rather than a direct translation. The Italian original was basically just cheese and pasta, with a little butter or cream to thin it out. The Americanized version is really more similar to a Mornay sauce, but this is all just my food nerdy rambling. We all are probably thinking of a very similar thing when I say Alfredo Sauce, and who cares if it is traditional, if it tastes good and we can make it vegan.

This Alfredo Recipe is awesomely thick and creamy, even in the absence of dairy, and packed full of garlic, since mostly everything I cook is packed full of garlic. If you are less into scarring vampires than I am, feel free to use less, but don't be shocked when you figure out that it is way tastier my way. I love it in the more traditional ways, i.e. on some serious, chunky pasta, but I also love it on just about everything. It kicks ass on steamed veggies, I will dip pretzels or other snack chips in it, and just the other day, I made an awesome paninni with left over Alfredo, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Alfredo Sauce

1/2 med onion, minced
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 - 2 tsp salt (to taste)
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 pint(16floz) soy milk

1 - sauce pan
Knife, cutting board, etc...

  • Sautee the garlic, onion, seasoning and salt over high heat in enough oil that there is a few tbsps of loose oil in the pan.
  • Once the onions and garlic are soft and translucent, sprinkle the flour in a little at a time, the goal being to make a thin paste, not a dough.
  • turn heat down to medium and continue to cook the flour for 10ish minutes until it turns a blond/brown color
  • add the soy milk and nutritional yeast and stir constantly as the sauce thickens, until you start to see peaks and ridges stay in the surface of the sauce (or until it reaches your desired thickness.) DO NOT LET SAUCE BOIL
  • If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little of your pasta water to it, to thin it down, before serving.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Triumphant Return, see also: ArtieKGB Triumphs over Laziness and Procrastination, see also: Hell Yes, Chili!

So, no excuses offered. I just kind of dropped the ball mid way through my Cinco De Mayo project. I was trying to go back to that, but it is pretty out of date at this point, so I am just going to move on. Trust me, I love Mexican food enough, that I am definitely going to circle back around.

Today, I want to talk about Chili. I absolutely adore a nice hot (temp and spice) bowl of chili. I would suppose you can lump this in with one of ArtieKGB's tenets of cooking, "Tomato + garlic + fat + salt = delicious." There are no doubts about it though (unless you are a crazy person) chili is delicious.

I have been playing with my chili recipe for a few years, and it definitely caters to my preferences as far as flavors. In addition to my already stated tomato+garlic+fat fixation, I am also a huge fan of spicy food, and all things roasted and caramelized. This recipe works all of these things into one great pot of awesome. If you are lazy and in a hurry, you can skip or change a lot of the steps, but in the end, your chili will be no where near as good.

Chili the way Artie likes it


1 - 19oz can red kidney beans
2 - 19oz cans crushed tomatoes
Seranno peppers to taste, finely minced (I use 10, but I like things really spicy)
5 - cloves garlic, finely minced
1 - med yellow onion chopped
2 - zucchini cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 - large carrots cut in 1/2 slices
1 - ear corn on the cob
1 - large bell pepper chopped
vegetable oil
1 tbsp - Salt
2 - tbsp table sugar
1 tbsp - ground cumin
2 tsps - ground oregano


1 - large sauce or stock pot
1 - cookie sheet
knife, cutting board, etc.

  • · Cut all the corn off of the cob and spread the corn and chopped bell pepper on a cookie sheet.
  • · Put the cookie sheet under a broiler and watch closely until the veggies begin to blacken. You want some solid roasting, but don't make charcoal.
  • · After removing from the broiler, set the corn and peppers aside to cool.
  • · Put the onions, garlic, serranos, oil and salt in a large sauce pan, over medium high heat, and sautee until the onions become translucent.
  • · Add the cumin and oregano and reduce the heat to med.
  • · Continue to sautee, stirring regularly until the onions have cooked out all of their water and turn a nice golden to dark brown. Be careful not to let them burn.
  • · Add the beans, zucchini, carrots, corn and bell peppers and a little more oil
  • · Continue to sautee until the veggies begin to soften
  • · Add the tomatoes and sugar
  • · Allow the chili to come back to a simmer
  • · Turn the heat down until the pot is just barely simmering
  • · Stir regularly for the next 30 minutes to an hour.

The easy but not quite as tasty way
  • · Sautee the onions, garlic, serranos until the onions are translucent
  • · Combine all ingredients in a crock pot on medium low and leave it to cook while you are at work.