Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Eat Your Vegetables!

Some women collect shoes, and others purses, clothes, or knick-knacks but not me!  Nope, I collect cookbooks!  I just love to pour over the pages, oohing, aahing over the photos of all that delicious food!  I love to cook the food, too, but now that our kids are out of the house it gets to be a chore adjusting the recipes for just the hubby and me.  Which is why Eat Your Vegetables, Bold Recipes For The Single Cook by Joe Yonan caught my eye.

Paul and I are eating a mainly vegetarian diet, and I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes.  This book fits the bill!  The recipes for Salads and Dressings, Sandwiches and Soups, Baking, Roasting, and Broiling, and On the Stovetop are for single servings, and easily doubled.  There are also chapters on Sweets, Entertaining, and Recipes for the Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry.  Between the chapters are some interesting essays covering subjects from "Should We Stop Making Mock Meat?" to "The Politics of Cooking". 

We've tried several of the recipes:  Cold Spicy Ramen Noodles with Tofu and Kimchi, Curried Mushroom Bean Burgers, Chickpea Pancake with Broccoli and Eggplant Puree (minus the eggplant puree), Spinach Enchiladas, Marinated and Baked Tofu, and Cabbage Kimchi.  They've all been big hits with the exception of the kimchi (I'll talk about that in a later post).  Our favorite so far is Enfrijoladas with Egg, Avocado, and Onion, a hearty and delicious one-dish meal that was so filling we couldn't touch our side salads. 

The directions are well explained, and easy to follow.  The bean "sauce" is so tasty and quick to make that I'm going to use it in place of canned refried beans from now on.   

The meal came together very quickly, just saute some veggies, add the beans and mash them, dip the tortillas in the bean mixture, and assemble!

I just love it when the finished dish resembles the cookbook picture!

Enfrijoladas with Egg, Avocado, and Onion
Serves 1

2 each 6" corn tortillas
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 very small onion or large shallot lobe, finely chopped (see note 1)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground ancho chile (see note 2)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne (optional)
3/4 cup cooked beans black or pinto, or rinsed canned beans, drained
3/4 cup bean cooking liquid or water (see note 3)
Sea salt
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
2 tbsp feta or queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 avocado, cubed (see note 4)

Warm the tortillas by heating them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until they are pliable.  Wrap them in a packet of aluminum foil to keep them warm while you make the sauce.

Pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  Reserve 1 tsp of onion for the garnish, and when the oil shimmers, add the remaining onion and the garlic to the skillet and saute until tender.  Sprinkle in the ancho chile, cumin, and cayenne, stir to combine, and let the spices sizzle and bloom for a few seconds.  Stir in the beans and the bean liquid.

Bring the beans to a simmer, then mash them in the skillet with a fork or potato masher.  Taste and add salt and more cayenne as needed.  Cook until the beans are slightly thickened but still fairly loose.  The texture of very thick soup.

Using tongs, immerse the warm tortillas in the sauce to coat, then take them out and fold or roll them; transfer them to a plate and spoon the rest of the sauce on top.  Sprinkle with the reserved onion, chopped egg, feta, and avocado, and eat.

1.  I used about a quarter of a medium sized yellow onion.
2.  I substituted the ground ancho chile with ground chipotle powder.
3.  I used canned beans, and vegetable stock.
4.  I think half the amount of avocado would be better.  We doubled the recipe, and so used a whole avocado, and it was way too much!

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