Sweet Potato Tarts with Herbed Cream Cheese
I made a one-crust pie dough and cut it to fit three mini tart pans (there was enough dough for four tarts). The tart shells were blind baked. In the meantime, I made the cream cheez and steamed one large sweet potato. The tarts were spread with the cream cheez, then filled with the potato chunks. Very nice, but as I am not a fancy girl, I preferred them without the tart shells.
Herbed Cream Cheez
1 cup silken firm tofu
¼ cup raw cashews
1 ½ t. tamari
1 ½ t. cider vinegar
1 t. agave
½ t. nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
½ t. each dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper
First grind the cashews in your food processor or blender. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth.
Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup
4 cups cooked black beans
1 cup canned or pureed fresh pumpkin
½ large onion, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 cups vegetable stock
1 T. olive oil
1 T. cumin
½ t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger or 2 t. freshly grated
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. red wine vinegar
Cook the onions in the oil until soft. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, beans, pumpkin, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Puree half the soup. Serve warm.
This recipe makes a big pot of soup, but soup always tastes better the next day, so it’s good to make plenty. It’s healthy and low fat, but rich and nicely spiced, and perfect for a cool evening. I served it with rice, tortilla chips, and chopped fresh tomatoes, and it was so yummy.
Brown rice cooked in the broth from the black beans I made for the soup. I recently learned this is the authentic way to cook Mexican rice.
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Corn tortillas cut into sixths, then brush with canola oil seasoned with chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, and salt. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, turning once after 8 minutes.
Chase started eating these before dinner, so there weren’t many left for soup.
Let me take a food break now and show you this giant spider…
… that spun this magnificent 3 foot diameter web on my front porch.
I was hoping she would stay for the trick-or-treaters, but she and her web are now gone.
Back to the food.
Chickpea, Carrot, and Black Olive Salad
Mix together in a large bowl:
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup grated carrots
¼ to ½ cup chopped olives, depending on your taste
2 green onions, whites and greens thinly sliced
¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
Make the dressing. Mix together in a small bowl:
1 clove crushed garlic
juice of one lemon
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
½ t. red chili flakes
1 t. agave
salt and pepper to taste
Slowly add in 2 T. olive oil. Pour over salad and mix. Chill several hours before serving.
I planned to make this a cauliflower salad, since this meal was already pretty heavy. But I didn’t find any cauliflower that wasn’t ugly and expensive, so I used the chickpeas. The salad went along very nicely with the soup and was actually our favorite dish. Chase kept saying how “fresh” it tasted. I don’t know if it was the homemade chickpeas or the lemon; I’m just glad it was so good!
Chase decorated our table. We pretended it was really cold out and enjoyed our meal.
At this point we are full of beans, but we still made room for dessert.
Is dessert black or orange? This was a tough decision, but I went with black.
Chocolate Brownies from The Joy of Vegan Baking
I knew this brownie recipe was a winner when I took the brownies out of the oven and actually saw more brownies than pan. These are fudgy, but didn’t really “wow” me with flavor. Maybe a couple of tablespoons of strong coffee would help bring out the chocolate flavor. Or maybe using half brown sugar instead of all white sugar. Oh we still ate them! I served them as Halloween cutouts with vanilla Rice Dream on the side. Here’s my bat brownie. It was a little too fudgy for cookie cutters, but see how tall it is?