SPICY MEXICAN SQUASH STEW
This unusual and authentic Mexican stew is so pretty--gold, red, green, and yellow--and just hot enough. The sweetness of butternut squash and cinnamon is accentuated by tangy tomatoes and a fresh jalapeno. a cool dollop of sour cream or some grated Monterey Jack cheese will smooth out the spiciness.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 butternut squash
1/2 small fresh jalapeño or other chile, minced (seeds removed for a milder "hot")
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/ teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups water
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or undrained canned tomatoes (15-ounce can)
2 cups chopped red and /or green bell peppers
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (10-ounce package, frozen)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
sour cream, or grated Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese
Place the oil, onions, garlic, and salt in a nonreactive soup pot. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent.
Meanwhile, halve and peel the squash, scoop out and discard the seeds, and dice into 1/2-inch cubes (see Note). Add the squash, jalapeño, cinnamon, cumin, and water to the soup pot and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until all of the vegetables are tender. Stir in the corn and return to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve each bowl topped with sliced avocado or a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkling of grated cheese.
Note: If the cubed squash is 5 cups or more, you may need an additional 1/2-3/4 cup water. You can also substitute packaged raw, peeled and cubed squash that is available the fresh vegetable section of some supermarkets. The pieces may need to be cut in half to make 1/2 inch cubes.
BLACK BEAN & CHIPOTLE SOUP
How surprising—the wonderful smoky flavor of even a tiny chipotle pepper can pervade a thick, hearty bean soup loaded with vegetables. It’s the perfect counterpoint to the mellow black beans.
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
2 cups peeled and diced carrots
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green or red bell peppers
2 cups cooked black beans (two 15-ounce cans, undrained) (or cook 1 cup dried beans)
½ dried chipotle pepper, or 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce (recommended)
2 cups chopped fresh or undrained canned tomatoes (12-ounce can)
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
salt to taste
sour cream to top
chopped fresh cilantro
Warm the oil in a non-reactive soup pot. Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and cumin and cook on medium heat, sitting often for a few minutes. Add the celery and peppers, lower the heat, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the beans chipotle, tomatoes, orange juice, and water, and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. If you're not using canned beans, add ½ cup of beans cooking liquid or additional water.
If you like a thicker broth, you can blend one or two cups of the soup until pureed, and stir it back into the remaining soup. Top with optional sour cream and cilantro.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
No one would ever suspect that this dark, elegant, scrumptious cake is both egg-less and dairy-less. It's economical and low-cholesterol, and what's more, it goes into the oven in 6 minutes with no mixing bowl to clean because the batter is mixed directly in the baking pan. You may be surprised to see vinegar in the ingredient list, but it's not a mistake. The combination of vinegar and baking soda helps the cake to rise. When cool, cut and serve the cake directly from the pan using small metal spatula or pie server; it cannot be easily turned out onto a serving plate.
However, if you have time for a 12-minute cake, you can mix the batter in a bowl, line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper, and generously oil the sides of the pan and dust with flour. Then the cake can be removed from the pan with no trouble at all, for a more elegant presentation or for a layer cake.
For the chocolate glaze, use a good-quality chocolate, such as Callebaut or Valrhona. Or try it with your favorite frosting or a dusting of confectioners' sugar or topped with whipped cream, ice cream, or sliced fruit.
9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan, 2-cup measuring cup, double boiler
1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water or coffee
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ pound semi-sweet chocolate
¾ cup hot water
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375º.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, salt, and sugar directly into the cake pan. In the measuring cup, measure and mix together the oil, cold water or coffee, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the baking pan and mix the batter with a fork or a small whisk. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. There will be pale swirls in the batter as the baking soda and vinegar react. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and set aside to cool.
To make the optional glaze, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, microwave oven, or reset the oven to 300º and melt the chocolate in the oven for about 15 minutes in a small ovenproof bowl or heavy skillet. Stir the hot water and vanilla into the melted chocolate until smooth. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake. Refrigerate the glazed cake for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant.
Sorry everyone for not posting last week. I haven't been feeling that hot and sure didn't want to eat. Tried these recipes this weekend and the taste was awesome. Nice meals & sweet treat for Vegans, which my granddaughter is. She is the one who told me about these.