thinking warm thoughts

did i mention how cold it is here on the mountainside?

our uphill neighbor, a pretty (huge) cow

i realize that it is actually snowing elsewhere, and i know that i can drive one hour and be at the hot and sunny beach, but here at home we are shaking in our socks.  one of the things i’ve noticed is that my eating habits have changed pretty drastically.  i don’t want to eat bananas anymore, i want to eat apples and pears.  i used to put citrus juice in everything, and now i can’t think of what to do with all those lemons and limes.  i want everything to be hearty and filling and warm! the following are three delicious meals that i’ve been cooking to keeep us warm: onion-miso gravy with pinto-bean cutlets and two versions of creamy pumpkin & garlic pasta .

onion-miso gravy with cutlets

this is a version of the PPK’s chickpea cutlets that i’ve been making with pinto beans.  i feel that the chickpeas are a bit dry for these cutlets, and really, i have a ton of pinto beans to use up! this is her doubled recipe for the cutlets, which can be found here, and is paired with my favorite easy miso-onion gravy.  this makes 8 cutlets, or 12 smaller sized nuggets.

a beautiful meal

2 cups cooked pinto beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
olive oil for pan frying

in a mixing bowl, mash the beans with the olive oil (or use a food processor for just a few pulses- but do not puree!).  add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed- it should stick together in a stringy way.  let the dough rest, and preheat your cast-iron skillet.  divide the dough evenly into eight parts (the easiest way is to half it, then half each piece again).  flatten in your hands into little patties, and set aside.  when the pan is warm, add 1 tbsp olive oil and then the cutlets.  cook until nicely browned on each side, usually about ten minutes.  for this big batch, i recommend two rounds of cooking.

for the gravy:

2 tbsp red miso
1/2-1 cup soymilk, hempmilk, or almond milk
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
pinch nutmeg, pepper, thyme and caraway
1/2 cup (or more) onions, leeks or shallots

mix the miso with some or the milk and stir until smooth. set aside. mix the arrowroot with about a tbsp of the milk and stir until smooth; set this aside too. chop the onion/leeks/shallots into thin slices, and cook until soft and brown, usually about 10-15 minutes. when finished cooking, turn the heat to low and add the rest of the milk to the pan. stir until warm, then add the miso mixture and the spices. stir gently. when the milk is warm to the touch, add the arrowroot mixture to the pan and stir continuously until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. as soon as it thickens take off the heat and pour into a bowl, or directly onto your food!


roasted pumpkin & garlic creme pasta, take one

i realize the photo is a bit overexposed... but just so you have an idea of the creamy goodness of this sauce!

2 cups cubed kabocha pumpkin (or other sweet squash)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
2 cups hemp milk or soymilk, unflavored
1-2 tbsp arrowroot, mixed with 1-2 tbsp ‘milk’
pinch seasalt, black pepper, nutmeg
1-2 tsp dried basil or other ‘italian’ herbs
1/3 cup cubed goat cheddar (optional)
2 cups lacinato kale, torn into small pieces
2 servings of pasta of your choice, cooked according to directions (i liked rigatoni)

preheat your oven to 400 degrees. chop and cube the pumpkin; you don’t need to remove the skin but you can if you are highly motivated. toss in a baking dish with the olive oil and peeled garlic. roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, and then remove from oven and let it cool. in the meantime, boil your water and cook the pasta. in a small bowl, mix the arrowroot with a tbsp of ‘milk’ and the spices; it should be smooth, and all clumps dissolved. set it aside. warm the 2 cups of milk in a pot, stirring gently so it doesn’t burn or stick. when it’s quite warm, add the arrowroot mixture and stir constantly until thick, about ten minutes. be very patient, as it might take some time to set up. it should get much thicker and very creamy. add the goat cheese, if you are using, and stir until melted. toss in the kale just a few minutes before adding the other ingredients so that it has time to wilt in the warm sauce. then toss in the roasted pumpkin and garlic and the cooked pasta. stir until well combined, and serve immediately, with some veggies on the side.


roasted pumpkin & garlic creme pasta, take two

if you perhaps have pumpkin puree leftover from making my vegan gingerbread cake or pumpkin muffins you can use the pumpkin puree here! follow the above ingredients and directions, but instead of using cubed pumpkin inside the pasta, replace 1/2 cup of ‘milk’ with pumpkin puree and cook using the above directions. saute some chopped garlic in a small pan in some olive oil and add to the sauce with the arrowroot mixture. it makes a delicious orange creamy base for the pasta and kale.


One thought on “thinking warm thoughts

  1. Pingback: pumpkin & cauliflower gratin « bakery manis

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