Friday, April 1, 2011

Move Over, Soup-at-Hand [I'm in a bit of a rush, here!]

I swear, this blog is the ultimate procrastination tool.  The end of the semester is looming closer and closer, and there are job apps that need to be filled out, papers that need to be written...and here I am, rambling on about my latest kitchen experiments.  Too bad I'm not in culinary school (are there even accredited vegetarian culinary schools out there?).  Eh, I'll stick with the major I've been working toward for the past two semesters, thankyouverymuch!

I am currently in the process of tweaking yet another nut butter recipe.  Seriously starting to think I will never run out of nut butter ideas!  It would be pretty darn awesome if I could a) perfect all of the recipes, b) magically create some spare time, c) use additional magic to conjure up some money to buy all the ingredients I'll need, and d) sell some of this stuff!  However, with my current schedule, I don't foresee this happening anytime soon.  =(

Anyhoo, I made my first batch of pecan butter today.  Made two batches, actually -- "praline" and "turtle."  The first batch was a bit on the oily side, while the second batch had two problems:  a) I went a bit too heavy on the chocolate, and b) I also ran out of caramel at that point!  So it ended up being more like super-duper-dark-chocolate-pecan butter...not like there's anything wrong with that!  Hehe.  It just wasn't the flavor I was going for, you know?  I froze half of each batch, so per'ahps the roomie and I will have some pecan freezer fudge in a few hours!


Between various final papers / projects, I've been sort of pressed for time, as of late.  Been surviving off of those Simply Asia noodle bowls, as well as those Campbells Soup-at-Hand whatchamacallits.  The creamy tomato kind, specifically.  Because none of the other flavors are lacto-vedge.  Do you have any idea how sick I am of rice noodles and tomato soup??  Haha.  Yes, I know perfectly well that there are many other things I could make / microwave in just as little time...however, on these cold, windy / rainy / sleet-y (?) days (that's springtime in Michigan for you!), nothing hits the spot like a savory bowl of soup, filled with a plethora of chewy noodles (fun fact:  I purposely under-cook my noodles, so they'll be just a bit on the chewy side), fresh vedgies, and spices.

The other day, I decided to try making my own soup-at-hand.  Okay, so it took about 5-10 minutes to make altogether, but it was so worth it.

[Best.  Soup bowl.  Ever.]

Zesty Vedge Soup For One

You'll need:
10 oz water
2 tsp vedge broth concentrate
1 heaping tbsp dried cilantro (I just used a big handful of the fresh stuff, but it was probably the equivalent of this)
Dash of garlic powder
Oil for searing the vedgies
...and any vedgies your little heart desires!  In the soup above, I used a handful of red onion and a stalk of celery.  Had the same thing the next night, with the addition of broccoli.

Sear your vedgies for a couple minutes, and then heat up your water until it's very hot (but not boiling) -- our microwave's pretty lame, so it took nearly two minutes to heat my water.  Put the vedge broth concentrate, garlic powder, and cilantro in your soup bowl, and then add the vedgies.  Pour the water over top and stir well.

...Aaand that's all, folks!

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