Monday, October 3, 2011

Veggie Potpie Stew and Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

Let me start off by saying that Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Author of several cookbooks, including Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction) is a genius. Every recipe of hers I have tried, has been absolutely delicious. In Appetite for Reduction, she comes up with substitutions that work so well, you'd never guess it was a healthier version. If you don't have any of her cookbooks, I'd highly recommend them. This is her latest recipe I've tried.
This potpie stew is thickened with split peas and a water-based slurry (rather than an oil or margarine roux). The biscuits use mashed sweet potato, instead of shortening! How smart is that?! Not only does it add beautiful color to the biscuits, it also gives them and hint of sweet flavor- all with WAY less fat.

Veggie Potpie Stew
(Print Recipe)
From Appetite for Reduction (with a few slight changes)

1 teaspoon safflower oil
1 small onion, diced
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1/2 cup yellow split peas
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 heaping tablespoons thyme
1 cup water
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup frozen peas

Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the oil until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper. Saute for 3 more minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture.
Add the split peas and broth, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and carrots. Lower the heat and simmer 25-30 minutes, or until the split peas are tender and the potatoes and carrots are cooked. Stir occasionally.
In a measuring cup, mix the flour and water to dissolve into a slurry. Add the thyme, slurry, and frozen peas to the pan.
Cook uncovered for about 10 more minutes, stirring often. The stew should thicken. Taste for additional salt.
This is so thick and hearty- perfect for a chilly fall night! The sweet potato drop biscuits complete the meal!

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits
(Print Recipe)
From Appetite for Reduction

1 cup mashed sweet potato
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the mashed sweet potato*, oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Stir the flour mixture in with the sweet potato mixture. Mix until crumbly (do not over mix). Add 2 tablespoons of water and lightly kneed the dough 5 or 6 times until the dough holds together, adding the extra water if needed. Don't kneed too much or it will toughen the biscuits.
Drop the dough in golf ball-size pieces onto the prepared baking sheet (about 10 biscuits). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch.

*I just wash and stab a few holes in a medium sized sweet potato, wrap it in waxed paper, and microwave until soft (7-8 minutes). Then slice it open, scoop out the flesh, and mash.
Perfect after a brisk walk on a chilly day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apple Season

Nate, Lilly, and I went apple picking yesterday and brought home 21 pounds of apples.
It was a gorgeous Fall day- Lilly was loving the crisp weather and cool breeze.
There is something about spending the day in the mountains that really gets me into fall mode!
Now I also am in apple cooking/baking mode! Today I started with apple doughnuts. They only used one apple :) BUT, they also used apple cider (which we also brought home yesterday) and apple sauce.
I used this recipe from Peas and Thank You- I added one apple to the recipe- peeled and diced into very small pieces. I just folded the apple pieces in at the very end.
I also plan on making apple sauce, apple pie (Nate's favorite), carrot apple ginger soup, and any other apple recipe I come across that looks good! If anyone has any suggestions, send them this way!

I'm also working on a blog post for our delicious and hearty "warm me up" type of dinner we had tonight, so stay tuned!

Happy apple season!