Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Samosas, Coconut Mint Chutney, Split Pea Dal, Brown Rice, Salad

Dinner 10/31 by Brian

• Samosas

• Coconut Mint Chutney

• Split Pea Dal

• Brown Rice

• Salad

Not much time to blog tonight since the Progressive Fiasco starts in 20 minutes and I still have to get into my "tourist" costume, but dinner was delish. The samosas were stuffed with potatoes and carrots. Brian made the chutney with a can of coconut milk leftover from the Reunion cooking and fresh mint from the garden.

The dal was made with some seriously old yellow split peas that don't get used too often. This means that they didn't cook all the way through after and hour and a half. So, that dish didn't really come out, but he's continuing to cook it so it will be ready by lunch tomorrow.

Rice and an Ironweed salad rounded out dinner nicely. I'm kind of glad that the dal didn't cook up because we all need to save room for all of the Halloween treats tonight!

Bloody Finger Cookies


Here at Dancing Rabbit, we're pretty rural, so trick-or-treating is near impossible. We'd exhaust ourselves walking to the nearest neighbor's house! So instead, we have our own tradition of the Progressive Fiasco. The way it works is that various people volunteer to host a part of the celebration and we all travel around together. That way everyone gets to party instead of sitting at home waiting for the party to come their way. It works out great and we each only end up hosting for 10 or 15 minutes.

Tonight, we're hosting tarot, ouija and Bloody Finger Cookies at Skyhouse. The *AWESOME* recipe come from Lindy Loo who I am totally in love with. Her blog is so funny, it totally rocks and I not-so-secretly worship her, so when The End Times come, I hope that she'll look kindly on my devotion and we'll get to share recipes together forever. At least that's how I like to think it will all go down. That's the best endorsement I can come up with. :)

Anyway, back to cookies. Here are some pics just in case you didn't get enough on the recipe page. So far, everyone who has seen the cookies thinks they are the best thing ever. Even Alline, who I know has seen some pretty cool stuff in her time. Thanks for the compliments, Alline!

Before they go into the oven:

The final display before I put a candle in the middle:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shepherdess Pie, Herbed Brown Gravy, Pumpkin Pie Brownie

Dinner 10/29 by Amy and Juan

• Shepherdess Pie

• Herbed Brown Gravy

• Pumpkin Pie Brownie

Shepherdess Pie is my take on old-fashioned Shepherd's Pie, but instead of meat inside, I used green lentils with onions, garlic, celery, carrot, green peppers along with thyme, rosemary, sage. No parsley though. :) Simple potatoes mashed with oil, salt and pepper topped off the dish.

Juan made some herbed brown gravy from Joanne Stepaniak's "Nutritional Yeast Cookbook". I love this gravy because it's fast and tasty. I've even made it without the tahini and it's still delicious. Tonight, we made it with the tahini and it smothered the pie perfectly.

The pumpkin pie brownie was a recipe that I couldn't resist trying after seeing it on the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World blog. It's basically a brownie with pumpkin mixed in with a layer of pumpkin pie filling on top. Seriously worth getting two bowls dirty! Check out her site for a good pic. Mine looked just as good, but I ate it too fast to take a photo! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chili, Sweet Potato Fries, Homefries

Dinner 10/27 by Dan

• Chili

• Sweet Potato Fries

• Homefries

Dan had a busy day, so he put together this meal in record time. We appreciated his still cooking despite spending most of the day working on his house so he'll have a warm place to stay this winter. :)

The chili was made with beans and TVP for protein. He says that despite putting at least half a cup of chili powder, it still doesn't taste much like chili. Sweet potatoes roasted into sweet perfect fries were a tasty side along with the homefries made with onions and garlic.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Miso Soup, Veggie Maki, Salad, Apple-Peanut Butter Maki, and Cracker Jacks

Dinner 10/22 by Amy and Juan

• Miso Soup

• Veggie Maki

• Salad

• Apple-Peanut Butter Maki with Caramel Sauce

• Cracker Jacks

I wanted tonight's dinner to be simple, but instead I got a little carried away. The miso soup was made with onions, garlic, powdered ginger sautéed in a little oil and then I added water, cabbage, carrots, and lakota squash from our garden (which boiled into something wonderfully creamy). At the table, I had a small bowl of miso mixed with broth that people could add to their personal tastes along with some wakame and nori squares. I also put out a little sesame oil that helped add to the richness of the soup and complimented the nori's flavor.

The nori maki was sweet red peppers and carrots from our garden. Ironweed's salad was jazzed up with sliced almonds and marinated artichoke hearts — both a gift from Rachel's parents during their last visit with us.

The apple-peanut butter maki was my foray into dessert sushi. Since I was afraid that the apples wouldn't be sweet enough on their own, Juan put together a caramel sauce made with brown rice syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and a little soy sauce. I had suggested salt, but he figured the soy sauce would go well with the nori and he was right! It was a delicious sauce and definitely a dessert I would make again.

Dan was talking about sweet popcorn at lunch today, so I felt inspired to make some cracker jacks. The recipe came from Aveline Kushi's "Introduction to Macrobiotics" cookbook. It's very simple — just mix equal parts brown rice syrup and barley malt and heat until runny. Then mix with popcorn and bake for a few minutes. It hardens as it cools. Surprisingly, this tasted just like I remember the cracker jacks of my childhood tasting!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

General Tso's Seitan, Brown Basmati Rice, Veggie Steam-Fry

Dinner 10/21 by Juan

• General Tso's Seitan

• Brown Basmati Rice

• Veggie Steam-Fry

Where have we been? Friday night I came down with a cold and didn't manage to tap anyone for blogging responsibility. Sorry Brian! Yesterday was a no cook night, so Juan and I went into town to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the $2 volunteer-run cinema. Dinner was a Pizza Hut. I'm sure my cold appreciated the cheeseless pizza with the delightfully oily pan crust — and let's not forget the vegan cinnamon sticks!

So, Juan cooked on his own tonight like a trooper! Unfortunately, I couldn't taste any of it due to my stuffy nose, so I can only describe it for you. Juan made his usual seitan and then made some Bobolink's favorite General Tso's Sauce to put on top of it all. The basmati was pressure-cooked to perfection.

The veggies were prepared using a technique he calls steam-frying. He sautéed onions, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and green peppers (most from Skyhouse's and Dan's gardens) until crisp tender. Then threw in some soy sauce and vinegar and put a lid on for a few minutes. The result is a tender stir-fry of sour veggies. The vinegar was pretty much the only thing I could taste. Such a bummer!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Party! Pizza Party!

Dinner 10/18 by Tony

• Tony's fantastic, organic, wonderful, vegan, homemade pizza!

Tonight's toppings included, fried onions, sweet red peppers, okra, fried tempeh cubes, sliced black olives, broccoli, sauerkraut, pickled yellow squash, and there was even a special hot pizza with hot peppers.

We love the pizza! You can make the pizza at home! Just use the recipe!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

White Bean Vegetable Soup, Salad, Gruel Bread and Avocado

Dinner 10/17 by Rachel

• White Bean Vegetable Soup

• Salad with Tahini Dill Dressing

• Gruel Bread

• Avocado

Believe it or not, but there hasn't been a frost yet, so we're still getting fresh veggies from the garden. Tonight's soup had white beans, carrots, red pepper, tomato and celery. A big bowl of soup went perfectly with the colder weather outside.

Our Ironweed salad had some of their tender baby kale and sliced tomatoes from our garden. Rachel whipped up a creamy tahini dill dressing that complimented it deliciously.

The gruel bread was made by Brian from The Tassajara Bread Book. I *LOVE* this bread. The whole rice keeps the bread quite moist (even days after baking) and it has an almost-sweet sourness to it. The avocados are from Rachel and Tony's recent trip and when mashed up on the bread with a little salt, it was quite the treat.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Refried Beans on Rice, Garlicky Spinach, Nut Yeast Cheez, Guacamole, Fresh Tomatillo Salsa, and Lettuce

Dinner 10/15 by Amy

• Refried Beans

• Brown Rice

• Garlicky Perpetual Spinach

• Nutritional Yeast Cheez

• Guacamole

• Fresh Salsa with Tomatillos

• Lettuce

• Sliced Hot Peppers

I was supposed to help Amy with tonight's dinner, but an injury knocked me off my feet and out of the kitchen for the evening. Nevertheless, Amy proved she doesn't need me at all to whip up a fabulous Mexican feast.

Because we didn't plan very far ahead, Amy had to use the quick-soak method to soften the pinto beans, soaking them in boiling-hot water and allowing them to cool there until she needed them. The perpetual spinach came from Dan's garden, as did the lettuce and hot peppers.

The salsa was a brilliant act of reusing of leftovers, since when I made salsa last time I made a huge overabundance. A few tomatillos from Dan's garden added a little spice. Rachel and Tony brought back some avocados from their journey, which allowed us the all-to-rare treat that is guacamole. All in all, a delicious and filling meal.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sloppy Yoshis, Brown Rice, Root Bake, Salad

Dinner 10/14 by Juan and Amy

• Sloppy Yoshis

• Brown Rice

• Root Bake

• Salad

Tonight Juan was inspired to make a variation on sloppy joes. But since his was made from soysage which is made from okara (soybean pulp leftover from tofu making), we thought a Japanese name was more fitting. It was basically the sloppy joe sauce recipe from The New Farm Cookbook but instead of TVP, he threw in chunks of soysage (also made from that cookbook). Somewhere along the way, the soysage all broke down and though no soysage was visible, the sauce was infused with soysage flavor.

The root bake was made up of onions, garlic, potatoes, turnips, okra and a big yellow sweet potato. All of the veggies were cut into big chunks except the garlic was left whole and the okra was just cut in half. Then it was all tossed with oil, salt, pepper and rosemary and put in the oven for a few hours at 400-some odd degrees. Hard to know since our oven dial doesn't match the temperature gauge inside and I never looked inside. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tempeh Stirfry with Peanut Sauce, Brown Rice, Cupcakes with Chocolate-Cashew-Macadamia Icing

Dinner 10/13 by Brian

• Tempeh Stirfry with Peanut Sauce

• Brown Rice

• Cupcakes with Chocolate-Cashew-Macadamia Icing

Too stuffed with deliciousness to write much. Stirfry had onions, broccoli, red peppers. Pan-fried Sandhill tempeh mixed in. The sauce was Chinese Peanut Dressing from Nina Simond's "Asian Noodles". Served with brown rice, dinner was simple and satisfying.

The cupcakes were "vanilla" which usually means "with sorghum flavor". They had an icing made from cashew-macadamia nut butter, cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. He made enough for each person to have two -- one for tonight, one for tomorrow. They were so good, some of us couldn't help but eat both of them tonight!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup, Pierogi, Sour Cream, Fried Onions, Salad

Dinner 10/10 by Amy and Juan

• Butternut Squash Soup

• Pierogi

• Sour Cream

• Fried Onions

• Salad

It's been a few days since my last entry. Monday was a "no cook" night because a few Bobolinkers are traveling, so there are nights were we end up fending for ourselves. Some people find it preferable to cooking for the co-op twice in one week. Then, Tuesday night was the Tri-Communities Potluck with Sandhill Farm and Red Earth Farms. Usually, I end up with a small serving of many things, most of which, I don't even know who made, so blogging about it would be a bit challenging. So, if you've noticed, that's why we don't usually post entries on Tuesdays.

So, be it that Bobolink is smaller this week, it seemed like a good opportunity to do something labor-intensive. First, I roasted some butternut squashes and made them into a soup very roughly based on this recipe. But instead of cumin, I went the sage, thyme, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg route. I used an immersion blender to smooth it out which made cleanup much easier.

The pierogi were loosely based on this recipe, but we didn't have margarine (we rarely do), so I used oil. The dough ended up being rather flaky — perhaps if I had added sweetener, it would have made a good pie crust. Also, instead of kasha filling, I made a big bowl of mashed potatoes with salt, pepper and dill to use. After baking them, they were more like little potato puffs, but no one was complaining. I usually make them by boiling and frying them, so tomorrow for lunch I'll try making them that way.

We didn't have any tofu around, but pierogies aren't the same without tofu sour cream, right? So, I bit the bullet and made tofu from scratch using Sandhill's organic soybeans. We used the resultant block to make a big bowl of tofu sour cream. That plus a big pan of fried onions, made the pierogies a treat and I felt all the hard work was worth it.

Oh, and we had a very nice salad from the Ironweed garden. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Seitan Steaks, Baked Potato Bar, Assorted Goodies

Dinner 10/7 by Juan with help from Amy, Chris and Liberty

• Seitan Steaks

• Baked Potato Bar

• Assorted Goodies

Have you missed me? This past weekend was the 10th Anniversary of the purchase of Dancing Rabbit's land, so we had a big reunion inviting back anyone who ever lived or interned here. Quite a few people showed up including neighbors and friends! We had lots of yummy food, but it was all coordinated so the party could eat together, so I thought it would be a good time to take a few days off.

Now that most people have left, Bobolink is back in action! Juan made his usual seitan in steak form. We bought a boatload of potatoes from a neighboring organic farmer, so some of those got baked up. Toppings included, nut yeast cheez from The New Farm Cookbook, steamed broccoli from the garden, hickory bits from Joanne Stepaniak's "Vegan Vittles", fresh salsa (made with tomatoes and a hot pepper from the garden, onions, garlic, salt and vinegar) and some Earth Balance that was left over from the reunion food.

One of our guests, Chris, brought a few packages of treats for us. Tonight, we had a wheat-free chocolate brownie (which was surprisingly fantastic) and blueberry fig bars (which were as fantastic as I was hoping). Yay treats!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tony's Yummy Pizza, Tahini Cookies

Dinner 10/4 by Tony and Molly

• Pizza with various delicious toppings

• Tahini Cookies

Tonight was pizza night — one of my favorite meals here. Toppings included soysage (that I made from okara that Dan had left over from when he made tofu), fried onions, black olives (from the seconds [aka dented and out-dated] food store in town), squickles, and red peppers from the garden.

The sauce was made fresh with tomatoes picked today from the Skyhouse garden. You can get Tony's recipe here.

Dessert was tahini cookies. I'm not sure if Tony used the recipe from "Simple Treats", but that's what they tasted like. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Leftover Burgers, Fried Okra, Steamed Veggies

Dinner 10/3 by Rachel

• Leftover Burgers

• Fried Okra

• Steamed Veggies

Leftover burgers are a great way to get rid of leftovers that aren't eaten up. Last night, Brian made a big pot of curried split pea soup for the potluck and a lot of it made its way back here for lunch. Even after lunch, there was still a bunch left. Rachel transformed it into patties by adding flour until it was a formable batter and then frying them. They were served with our own mustard, sauerkraut, sour onions (lactic acid fermented onions) and squickles (those great squash pickles I'm going to post about) and some people put them on Tony's whole wheat bread. He uses the no-knead method that's so popular these days to keep us well-stocked in bread.

Our okra is still hanging on despite a light frost which killed most of the leaves. Dredged in flour and spices and fried, it's my favorite way to eat okra. Mostly because it gets rid of most of the sliminess that okra is popular for.

The veggies were a bunch from the fridge that needed to be used up. It was a mix of cabbage, red pepper, celery and a green that I can't readily identify. Kale? I spritzed mine with soy sauce and added ground toasted sesame seeds on top.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cinnamon Seitan Stew, Whole Wheat Pasta, Fresh Tomato Salad

Dinner 10/1 by Amy, Juan and Ben

• Cinnamon Seitan Stew

• Whole Wheat Pasta

• Fresh Tomato Salad

Now that it's getting darker earlier, not only am I thinking of more warming foods, but I'm losing the great natural light I was using to take the plated photos. Please bear with me as I figure out a way to take the photos so the food looks delicious and not totally washed out and off color.

Tonight's dinner was inspired by Nina Simond's recipe for cinnamon beef noodle stew from "Asian Noodles". To make it with seitan, Juan followed his usual technique but instead of cooking the kneaded dough in shoyu water, he used the broth that the recipe says the beef should be cooked in. This way the seitan absorbed the cinnamon-anise flavor. Then we added red peppers and carrots from the garden. Later, some Ironweed lacinato kale was added.

Ben got to make pasta for the first time. We used Bryanna Grogan Clark's pasta recipe with chickpea flour as the binder. No herbs this time, but it's better that the pasta didn't compete with the flavor of the stew. To serve, the cooked pasta was put in bowls and the stew was spooned over.

We also put together a fresh tomato salad made from some tomatoes from the garden. We used almost all of the varieties we're growing including Green Zebra, Yellow Pear, Chadwick Cherry, Ensalada Hybrid, and a few others, so there were lots of shapes and colors. Mixed with salt, pepper and some fresh basil from the garden, it helped lighten up the meal. I don't have a photo of it because I didn't serve myself any — due to my not liking raw tomato. It was so pretty though. Next time I'll take a photo of someone else's!