Once upon a time there was a fantastic vegan restaurant in Downtown Portland. I know, not all that unheard of. But, this was the lunch spot my mother, sister, and I frequented every year around New Years. We'd usually split a tempeh sandwich or salad with seitan chicken. At one point, we sampled the mac 'n' cheeze with peas, only to miss all the days they served that delectable dish from that point forward. And then one year it was gone. The cafe up and moved to Chicago. Well, I don't know how well it fared out in the Windy City, but I do know we sorely missed it in Portland. Luckily, I finally came across The Veganopolis Cookbook and now can make cheezy macaroni to my heart's content!
Ok, so maybe not. Instead, this weekend I cooked up an exotic soup and some down-home greens!
Curried Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Green Peas (adapted for a large single serving)
1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 tbs garam masala
1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1 1/2 tbs white spelt flour
1/2 cup peas
1. Massage 1/2 tbs olive oil, salt, and garam masala into cauliflower. Spread on baking pan and roast at 450F for 30-45 minutes until well-browned.
2. Meanwhile, heat rest of oil and flour in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking until color begins to darken. Add milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Turn off heat until cauliflower finishes.
3. Once roasted, add cauliflower to saucepan and puree until smooth. Return to heat to reach a simmer and add peas. Cook until peas are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve!
Cajun Slow-Cooked Greens (I also halved this recipe)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1/2 cup finely diced sweet peppers
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder (omitted)
2 tsp ground white pepper (omitted)
2 tsp ground black pepper (omitted - ok, I don't like pepper. So sue me)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 bunches of collards (or mustard greens), chopped
1 cup tomato stock (liquid from roasted tomatoes, or vegetable stock)
salt to taste
seasoned rice vinegar, to taste (omitted)
1. Heat onlive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add celery, onions, and peppers. With dry spices, sautee until onions are soft and translucent.
2. Add chopped greens. Cook everything at least 30 minutes.
3. Add salt and vinegar to taste. Easy peasy!
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