Friday, November 24, 2006

Pumpkin Lentil Soup and LOTS of Other Stuff

My parents take our family out to a nice buffet for Thanksgiving dinner, which unless I were hosting dinner, offers Chase and me plenty of options. We actually had more than enough to eat, including hummus and baba ganoush with pita, spinach salad, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes and mushrooms, fresh veggies we stole from the omelet station, fresh fruit, and peanut butter and banana sammies we took from the kiddie table. We also got to watch my brother eat a big hunk of prime rib! It was wonderful family time together, a beautiful, 80 degree, sunny day, and a reminder that we have so much to be thankful for.

I'm not shopping today, but I have to tell you that Chase camped out all night to get a game system he wants (NOT the $600 one!) and it was really kind of exciting! He was at a little tiny store in my neighborhood where he had heard rumor that a few systems would be in stock today. He went at about 8:30 last night and the store was not going to open until 7:00 this morning. I'm glad I was nearby because at 9:00 last night he called and asked for a pillow and blanket, and at 10:30 he called and ordered a veggie burger! Anyway, he came over at 7:30 this morning with the game so it was worth it. That is my Christmas present to him and he wants me to wrap it so he can have it to open on Christmas day.

Okay, enough personal stuff. I made the most awesome Pumpkin Lentil soup today. I sauted an onion, added a cup of water and a whole diced butternut squash and cooked it about 10 minutes. I seasoned it with garlic, red chili flakes, mexican oregano, salt and pepper, and parsley, and then added 3 cups of vegetable stock and cooked until the squash was done. In the meantime I cooked a half cup of yellow lentils. I pureed the squash and added about a tablespoon of tahini to it, then added in the cooked lentils.

I don't like sweet pumpkin soup, so this spicy version was perfect for me. I could have saved time and pureed the lentils as well, but I liked tasting the whole lentils in the creamy squash. I really am in love with lentils!

I always send Sunday leftovers home with Chase. Last Sunday we had the Breast of Tofu and Chickpea Gravy. So Monday morning when I got to my office, I had an email from him:

"Mom, the gravy you made is addictive like crack. Make me a tub of it please." I thought it was pretty funny so I forwarded it to Isa and told her I thought she'd like to know she had a big fan of her chickpea gravy.

She emailed back right away and said, "That's really funny! Better they do gravy than crack, I always say."

I sent Isa's reply to Chase and then he said "That's really cool she emailed you back. But seriously Mom.... the bread and the gravy. Two things I can never live without again! I'M SERIOUS!!"

So I contributed to my son's addiction and made more English Muffin bread, gravy, and also fixed up a bag of millet puffs.

That gravy really is so good with everything. I also made a tester homemade gift that I call Texas Trash. It is party mix made with tortillas chips, Crispix, popcorn, and nuts and baked with a sweet chili syrup. I hadn't made it in a while and couldn't remember how much the chili would color the chips, but I think some blue or red tortilla chips would look really nice for holiday gift bags. The recipe makes about 20 cups and I cooked it in a disposable roasting pan. If anybody needs the recipe I'll be glad to post it later.

Here's a few goodies I picked up at my little neighborhood Whole Foods today. Man, the shelves were bare! These hemp tortillas looked interesting. The guy at the checkout said to just warm them in the oven and all the nutty flavor and texture really comes through.

I haven't tried these noodles or crackers yet, and if anyone thinks they are not vegan, please let me know. The peanut butter is one way I spoil my son. Oh my gosh, it costs $6.99!

Finally, here's a stuffed baked sweet potato that was dinner earlier this week. If you look real hard, you can see the sweet potato under all the veggies.

I can't remember the last time I had 4 days in a row off from work. I don't know what to do with myself. I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday. I'll see you Sunday.


Eat Peace Please said...

Diann, that is super-sweet how you made Chase all that food. I know what it is like to need to have that gravy all the time. I made 3 batches a few days ago and minus thanksgiving dinner, we have been eating a lot of it.

I got a crack out of the email, but what really made me laugh was your Texas Trash! I love that name and the sweet chili sounds great. You mentioned a roasting pan, so it's for the oven I assume? I'd like the recipe if it is non-baked. And I assume the spelt noodles are vegan and I do know those crackers are for sure. Great post.

Ben Kaelan said...

Hello Diann! I love the family stories! That gravy story is hilarious. I love that Isa wrote back... it's like emailing a celebrity!! Don't you feel special? :) LOL... Well she's a celebrity in our vegan world right?

Yummy food as always. I went to the health food store today and bought a ton of stuff... wow 75$ goes fast there. I was looking through all these small flour packs telling my friend about you and how you told me about the gluten free flour mixes and then I went "holy shit! This is the Bob's mill stuff she was talking about!!!" ... I just assumed I wouldn't find the brand you mentionned and just find the next best thing. They have that stuff everywhere here but they didn't have *the baking mix* in question... so I'll have to check this other store this week. I want to make something gluten free this week!

Why am I up at 1:20AM again?

Anyway it's awesome there are people like you in Texas to balance out the not so vegan friendly impression I got from the little Texas I have seen so far... American Airlines University (man that was a salad and fruit filled week) and Grapeview (Grapevine?...something Grape!) mall near Dallas... LOL :)

raising_kahne said...

Wanna send some goodies my way?? hehe. I think it's great how blessed your son is with having a great mother like you to send him awesome eats/treats. I would love to have the recipe for your Texas Trash! : )

I see the noodles in our stores all the time. Im pretty sure they are all vegan, with the exception of the egg noodles(which clearly say 'egg' on the front). So, Im pretty positive those are vegan. As for the crackers, they are vegan as well unless they use bone-char refined sugar in them.

I didnt comment on your Thanksgiving post, but everything looked great. The pie looked delicious, and you reminded me that I seriously need to try the chickpea gravy. Great post!


Anonymous said...

i like your blog a lot love the color of your food and the family stories too.
did you have a recipe for your bread?

b36Kitchen said...

Chase is so lucky to have such a loving ma like you! I love your family stories and i love that you make something called Texas Trash. I want to eat it.

My mouth is watering at the thought of your Pumpkin Lentil soup. It sounds delicious. The soup has some of my favorite all time ingredients in it.

You look like you had a great 4 day holiday weekend!


aTxVegn said...

Leslie, sorry but the Trash has to bake in a slow oven for an hour.

Ben, also look for Arrowhead Mills brand gf baking mix - just as good as Bob's.

RK, I left the Trash recipe in your comment area.

Johanna, several bloggers have apparently tried the bread recipe and enjoyed it. It's not my recipe, so I didn't post it, but look on google for English Toasting Bread. It's really good!

Jenna, where did my 4-day weekend go?!? Please make some pumpkin lentil soup. It's so good. I really may turn orange from all the pumpkin I'm eating lately.

Thanks to all for saying I'm a good mom. I know I'm lucky to have such a good relationship with my son. It thrills me that he loves to cook and wants to get his degree in nutrition. And we love being vegan together!

aTxVegn said...

And thanks for the help on the vegan ingredients!

Nikki said...

You are a pumpkin goddess! I just read the post with the hummus and now the soup! :)