Pumpkin Ravioli

This is another recipe from the cooking class my family and I took together in Bloomington, Indiana.

I have to say it was much easier making my own ravioli with the instructors than on my own. This is why I like taking classes folks. The force is strong with me. I can sense when I’m screwing up and I like having another person go, “Oh no no no….don’t do that! Do this!”

I consider myself independent for the most part, but being taught how to do something is a luxury I’ll take.

What you’ll need

For the ravioli

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese grated

Sage cream sauce

  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, minced

Making the actual filling is the second easiest part to making this recipe. The easiest is the sauce which I’ll throw at you last.

To make your filling, you will sauté the onion and garlic together in melted butter. Once the onion has gone translucent add in the pumpkin puree and turn off the heat. The cheeses are now ready to be put into the mix.

Stir all of that together until you get a texture that you approve. What that texture is, I’m not sure because it doesn’t say. It just says check texture.

We are now ready to set the mixture aside and prepare the ravioli.

I was going to tell you how I did it, but I did it the hard way. Let me tell you, kitchen gadgets are worth it. Just check out this link.

I do have the pasta maker, but having that ravioli cutter and the little plastic round ice cub tray thing would have made things a lot easier and prettier.

It’s ok. This blog was intended to show my failures as well as wins. I’ve already got ideas for next time.

My way consisted of a jagged bread knife and squashing ravioli filling everywhere. Next time, I just may keep the jagged knife and utilize a round ice cube tray that I currently own.

First lesson folks, if an item says it specializes in something there’s a strong possibility you can find an item that is similar and could do the same thing for way less.

My mom enjoys cutting cake with dental floss. Try it sometime guys, it works.

For other examples, just google life hacks.

Once you get to the step of boiling your ravioli, you should be ready to make the sage cream sauce.

This is one of the easiest sauces you can make. How do you do it? Well, I’ll tell you. Add everything I listed in the cream sauce section into a small sauce pan and heat.  Once it’s warmed up, salt and pepper to your liking.

By the time the pasta is ready, the sauce should be ready. Pour that creamy goodness on top and all your hard work will have a pay off.

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Pumpkin ravioli with sage cream sauce

 

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Strong Independent Popcorn Who Don’t Need No Microwave!

When I first came across this recipe from Portlandia, my eyebrow curled up. Really, a popcorn recipe?

Then I remembered that there are such things as cheddar and caramelized popcorn. I tend to be a movie theater popcorn purist. I don’t even like to butter mine. It gets too greasy and if the popcorn is done right from the get go with seasoning and etc, it’s not needed. In my opinion.

I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no butter, but this recipe is of the nacho cheddar variety and let’s face it, I’m a cheesy person. Maybe it’s time I allow some cheese in my popcorn.

What you’ll need

  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese powder or a packet of cheese from a mac and cheese mix (but then you don’t have cheese for your mac and cheese and that’s upsetting to me)
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup of popping popcorn
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • Salt

In an appropriately sized bowl, mix all your powders and the yeast.

Then in a large pot, heat the oil and then add the popcorn. Cover slightly with a lid and pop the corn over medium heat.

Once the kernels have popped pour the popcorn into a bowl and dump the melted butter on it. Toss until butter has coated evenly, then add half of your powder mixture and toss again. Once you’ve felt it’s been tossed enough, add the rest of the powder mixture and continue more tossing.

Eventually it all be mixed and then you can add salt to your liking and enjoy!

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The Scent of Fried Eggplant

Some of you may be thinking, “Oh no…not another eggplant recipe!”

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I get it, I like eggplant, but I’m getting tired of writing about it. So how do we make this fried recipe from The Scent of Orange Blossoms interesting?

History. Provided you find history interesting. I’ll make it entertaining….

Eggplant did not come from an Isle of Eggplants, but from the regions of India and China. It then spread in both directions, west and east where it ended up in Egypt, the Iberian peninsula and finally England. The Wikipedia page on eggplant pulled a quote from a British writer that states

This plant groweth in Egypt almost everywhere. -English Botanist 1597

The people of the western side of Earth loved this purple cucumber and it followed many cultures and crossed the pond into the Americas in such a fashion that would make a bodysnatcher proud.

If this little history lesson hasn’t amped you up enough, I have another tidbit for you. Apparently at some point in China’s history the below quote was a thing.

In China, as part of her “bride price,” a woman must have at least 12 eggplant recipes prior to her wedding day. –The Elegant Eggplant

So ladies, if you’re single this is number 4 of eggplant recipes that I have written about. You’ll need 8 more if you want to get married and I’ll certainly update you if I come across more.

What you’ll need

  • 1 globe eggplant
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 sprigs of parsley, chopped
  • finely minced rind of 1/2 preserved lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or balsamic

The first step is to cut the eggplant into 1/2 thick slices. Then place them on paper towels and salt them. This will help with the frying process later.

Let the eggplant soak in its salt bath for about 15 minutes and then turn over the slices and repeat on the other side.

This is like eggplant’s version of sunbathing/spa treatment.

After both sides have been salted, rinse the eggplant with water, pat dry, and then set aside.

Get more paper towels and line a baking sheet with them.

Side note, what did people do before paper towels for these eggplants? I’m sure they just used a towel of some sort, but it had to have been a super absorbent one right? The middle ages version of a shamwow is what I’m picturing.

We are now ready to fry the eggplant. Do so by heating two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add just enough eggplant that each slice has its space and then fry each side. You’ll know they’ve been fried enough when the eggplant establishes a light brown color. Once each side is fried, allow it to drain on your paper towel pan.

Once they’ve cooled you can garnish with garlic, parsley, preserved lemon rind, and vinegar.

After this process they are ready to be served and enjoyed!

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Eggplant, (2018) fried in pan

 

Isa’s Wild Rice Soup

This recipe comes from Isa Does It and is a vegan alternative to chicken and rice soup.

What you’ll need

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of peeled and thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 1/2 cup of red lentils
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 pound of seitan
  • 1 15 ounce can of great northern beans, rinsed and drained

Being the omnivore that I am, I had never heard of seitan until making this soup. Tofu, tempeh, and soy alternatives of meat for sure, but not seitan. Seitan did remind me of something though….

Church lady nc state - Tried this new vegan meat substitute... Could it be SEITAN?!

Seems like I’m not the only one who thought of the church lady

Seitan is a popular chicken alternative because it’s denser than soy and tofu based meat alternatives. You can buy firm tofu, but usually tofu has that soft jello like texture in the middle that clues my brain into knowing I’m not eating meat.

Don’t get me wrong, I can still tell seitan isn’t meat, but it’s closer to the real thing due to level of firmness.

Which makes me concerned that maybe there’s a reason it’s called seitan. Gonna have to consult the church lady on this one.

Away with you seitan! We need to move on and talk about how to prepare this soup.

First you pre-heat your favorite pot that you got crafted in California and heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add those onions in and saute with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes or until it’s translucent. This is so seitan can see it’s soul better for stealing purposes.

Add some garlic next and saute that until you smell it. Next toss in the carrots, celery, thyme, tarragon, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir that pot up because stirring the pot sometimes gets seitan’s attention.

This may not be enough, however, so we need to throw in some wild rice into the mix along with lentils and broth. Cover the pot and bring it a hellish boil. Church lady will then come in and try to save its soul. It doesn’t work, but the heat will go to a simmer. She’ll leave the lid open slighty so redeemed souls can escape. Allow them to escape for about 25 minutes.

By now, seitan should learn about this golden opportunity to steal some wild rice souls, but like with most professionals preparations must be made.

Seitan likes to prepare itself by soaking in a hot pan with oil. Not surprising right?

Prepare that pan by heating it over medium heat and then adding the oil. Once the temperature is right, allow seitan to take an oil bath for about 5 minutes.

Seitan will be relaxing in its bath until the rice, beans, and lentils have softened. You’d think this would be the perfect moment for seitan to strike, but it won’t until we’ve tested the soup for salt seasoning.

Once that’s been prepared to everyone’s liking, seitan waits til the soup is served into individual bowls before it makes its move.

We now have a condemned soul for consumption.

Despite my bad taste of humor into turning this into a story of ungodliness, this is actually a pure soup for those of you who love animals.

I also love animals but unfortunately enjoy eating chicken. Despite this, I thought seitan was a tasty alternative. Knowing  it’s high in protein is beneficial as well.

I suggest doing your research about what seitan to use however. This was my first time with seitan, so I just grabbed what was available, but I read up on it after the fact and some pre-packaged seitan has extra additives like sodium that negate the health benefits.

Otherwise I highly recommend it as a meat alternative.

Enjoy!

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Seitan’s soup