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Vegan Pigs in a Blanket!

February 25, 2012

Today we made this diner favorite using Tofurky Breakfast Links for our “pigs” and pancakes with a unique blend of flours for our “blankets.” The links had a great breakfasty flavor and the cakes were light and fluffy. Served with steamed kale on the side and drizzled with real maple syrup, you can bet we’ll make this treat again soon!

Vegan Pancake Blankets

1/2 cup white flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 Tbs. canola oil + additional for pan
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients. Whisk until batter is smooth. Heat a griddle or frying pan coated with canola oil over medium high heat. Ladle batter onto the pan. Flip when the edges start to cook and the cakes are bubbling. When done, pancakes should be cooked through the center and golden brown on both sides.

To assemble PIABs wrap pancakes around browned vegan breakfast links and plate seam side down. Top with maple syrup!


February 13, 2012

Good stuff!! This weekend we saw a screening of the documentary The Greenhorns at a packed Hideout. The film provided a portrait of a new generation of American farmers paving the way to a more sustainable future. Very inspired by the film as well as the post screening discussion panel. Our dear friends (and farmers themselves), Kim and Rachel from Sweet Home Organics in St. Charles, Illinois were there to share their farming experience with the audience. If you are in the neighborhood for a sweet veggie CSA in the western burbs check them out! They also have an onsite farmstand, offer seedlings for sale in the spring, host workshops and their very own series of veggie videos. Here’s Kim and Rach in action on the panel …

Thanks to the Hideout for hosting such a positive event. Greenhorns trailer:

Winter Produce

February 8, 2012

February in Chicago… it’s a long stretch to the start of the farmer’s market season, your CSA won’t deliver for months, and you’ve burned through your stash of seasonally canned and frozen bounty from last year’s garden. To meet you fruit and veggie needs you’ll have to break down and buy some stuff from the modern and mega-convenient markets around you. Here are some of my favorite places to shop for produce grown in lands far, far away. What’s your market of choice?

Windy City Produce at Pulaski and Milwaukee in Chicago
Joong Boo Market at Kimball and Belmont in Chicago
Garden Fresh Market in Northbrook
Villa Park Fruit Market in good ol’ VP
Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights (pictured above)

Pumpkin Bars

February 6, 2012

On Superbowl Sunday, I set out to make a football-colored dessert. Using what was in our pantry, I was able to come up with this tasty treat. Makes 9 servings.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 Tbs. cold water

1 15oz can of pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream shortening, salt and powdered sugar for the crust. Use a pastry cutter to mix in flour. Add 2 Tbs. of water, mix until just combined. Add an additional Tbs. of water if necessary. Press crust into 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack while you make pumpkin filling.

Combine pumpkin, sugar, spices, and water. Add cornstarch and whisk until cornstarch is dissolved into filling. Pour over crust. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Chickpea Pancake

February 5, 2012

Looking for an alternative to a tofu scramble this weekend? You may want to try one of my favorite brunch items inspired by Mark Bittman–the delicious chickpea pancake! It is a savory, baked pancake with a frittata-like appearance. This morning I served it up with potatoes, a slice of peanut butter toast and a tall glass of fresh juice. This pancake is really easy to make, which is perfect for brunches when you’re juggling a lot of stovetop items. Here’s how:

1 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 Tbs. + 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs, like parsley or basil (optional)

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift chickpea flour into the warm water. Whisk to combine, adding 1 Tbs. of olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover with a towel and let rest while you heat the oven to 425 degrees. When your oven is hot, add the onions, rosemary, pepper and fresh herbs to the batter. Coat the bottom of an oven-ready skillet with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Pour batter into skillet, bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn broiler on high, brush top of chickpea pancake with 1/2 tsp. of olive oil and broil for 2 minutes. Serves 4.

Red Pepper Soup

February 1, 2012

Warm your bones!
Makes 8 servings.
3 red bell peppers
1 large white onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
3/4 cup white rice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
8 cups water
Fresh parsley
S&P to taste

Thinly slice the peppers and onion. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add peppers and onion. Cook 5-7 minutes on a medium heat until veggies begin to soften, then add garlic and spices. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the spices don’t burn. Stir in dry rice, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add water and salt, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the rice is soft. Blend the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Minor Art Attack this Saturday and Sunday!

June 17, 2011

This weekend come out to enjoy an awesome event that will support Madero Middle School and local crafters. Be sure to stop by the Vegetarian Librarian table to say hi and pick up a jar of homemade pickles!

For more ideas on how to get your cuke on…