Thursday, November 9, 2006


Best Blog Tips I haven't been blogging much-- been updating my website, and catching up with work in general (except for housework, which is slated for this weekend-- oh joy!)! But I have been cooking quite a bit, working on recipes for the next newsletter, and making seitan .

This morning I made another soup from Deborah Madison's soup book and it was very tasty!

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This is another recipe I tried from Deborah Madison's book "Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison' s Kitchen" (here's another one I veganized). Again, I lowered the fat by 3 Tbs. in total, and veganized it by using my homemade Tofu Sour Creme instead of half-and-half and lemon juice. I added more flavor by using a good vegetarian bouillon instead of water and salt. (I also eliminated the 2 Tbs. parsley because I didn't have any!) This soup gave me a chance to try out the smoked pimenton I bought in Portland.

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Here's a picture of the smoked paprika on the left.

1 cup green split peas, soaked in hot water while you prepare the veggies
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, scrubbed and diced small
1 large stalk celery, with leaves, chopped
2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp smoked pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika-- I used the hot version)
6 cups chicken-style vegetarian bouillon (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan broth paste)
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup Tofu Sour Creme
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs vegan butter (here's my homemade palm-oil-free version)
1 cup light wholewheat bread cut in small cubes

Put the split peas on to soak in hot tap water while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a soup pot, heat the oil; then sauté the onions, carrots, celery, half the rosemary, and bay leaves over medium heat, stirring often, until softened and a little browned. Stir in the garlic and smoked paprika and stir-cook for a few minutes more.

Drain the split peas and add them to the pot with the broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down, cover and simmer for 1 hour, or til the peas start to break up. Add the frozen peas and cook for a few minutes.

Puree the soup in the pot with a hand immersion blender until smooth (or blend in two batches in a blender. (Caution: take the middle part of the blender lid out and cover it with a clean, folded tea towel while blending-- this prevents explosions of hot soup!

Add the Tofu Sour Creme and lemon zest to the soup and stir well while heating gently. taste for salt, pepper, etc. You can add more smoked paprika, lemon juice, lemon zest,e etc., according to your taste.

Melt the Earth Balance in a nonstick skillet. When hot, add the bread cubes and toss over medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, or until crisp.

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Add the remaining rosemary, a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice and stir until crispy again.

Serve the soup with a few croutons on top.

Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 234.5 calories; 19% calories from fat; 5.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 214.7mg sodium; 559.6mg potassium; 34.4g carbohydrates; 11.9g fiber; 8.6g sugar; 22.5g net carbs; 14.3g protein; 4.3 points.

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As you can see in picture of the soup, I ate this soup with some thin slices of that dark Dutch rye pumpernickel bread that comes in sort of blocks. My dad used to buy that for us and we ate it with cream cheese and lots of other things. It still reminds me of him! I could eat it like candy, even though it's very nutritious. Actually, it's not hard to make:

2 small loaves
If you've never tried those little loaves of firm, dark, thinly-sliced pumpernickel bread that you see in delis, you're in for a treat! If you have some sourdough starter, it's really easy to make. It's chewy and moist and keeps well. You can start it the night before and let sit overnight to ferment. Here's a link to my post on vegan sourdough starter.

3 Tbs dark molasses
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1/2 Tbs salt
1 Tbs oil
1/2 cup fresh, bubbly sourdough starter (you can use any sourdough starter-- see link above for info)
2 1/2 cups rye meal, coarsely-ground stone ground rye flour, or pumpernickel flour

Stir together the molasses, boiling water, bulgur, salt and oil and let stand until lukewarm. Add the remaining ingredients and let sit in a warm place for at least 8 hours. Knead the dough briefly, flouring the board with whole wheat flour, then press into two greased fruitcake loaf pans (3x5"). Cover with foil and let stand 30 minutes (you won't notice any rising). Set in a cold oven, turn it to 275°F. and bake for 2 hours. Turn out on a rack to cool, covering with a clean towel. The bread will keep, well-wrapped for several weeks, or can be frozen (slice first). Slice very thinly.

Yield: 20 small slices

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per slice): 72.1 calories; 12% calories from fat; 1.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 171.9mg sodium; 184.2mg potassium; 14.5g carbohydrates; 3.6g fiber; 0.2g sugar; 10.9g net carbs; 2.4g protein; 0.8 points.

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Now this doesn't go with the recipes above, but my friend Holly Walker grew some tomatillos in her garden and gave me some. Here's what I did with them:

SALSA VERDE (A Weight Watchers Core Plan recipe)

This was delicious! This recipe is adapted from one from Steve Raichlen's "Healthy Latin Cooking".

1 lb fresh tomatillos, husked and cut in half
1 small onion, chunked
2 Tbs sliced pickled or canned jalapeños
2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup vegetarian bouillon

Heat a large heavy skillet, such as cast iron. Add the cut tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, and garlic. Toss over medium-high heat until they are browning.

Pour the vegetables in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until it's a slightly chunky puree. Taste for salt and pepper.

Refrigerate before serving.

Yield: 2 cups

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 14.3 calories; 17% calories from fat; 0.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 0.7mg sodium; 95.8mg potassium; 2.9g carbohydrates; 0.8g fiber; 1.5g sugar; 2.1g net carbs; 0.4g protein; 0.2 points.


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Anonymous said...

I LOVE those little square Pumpernickel breads (and the more rounded rye bread) !
First time I had them was when we lived in Edmonton. When we moved back, I was sure never to see them again but joy ! found them in Quebec City at a health food store.

I eat the slices toasted with baba ghanouj or hummus or make really crispy tomato/cucumber sandwiches with them.

Sooo good !

Anonymous said...


This post is so timely for me because I have a bag of tomatillos in my fridge right now and was wondering what I was going to do with them! Thanks.

Judy said...

I noticed that you are doing WW Core program too! How do you like it?
Everything looks delish!

Anonymous said...

I have a you use vegetable oil in anything? or is that not vegan? If I made a salsa using a tiny bit of vegetable oil or olive oil is that considered vegan? thanks.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Judy, I'm trying to stay on it-- at least between testing recipes! The food can be excellent, though, and I feel really good on it!

Anonymous-- oil is vegan, so you can certainly add some if you like.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the physical training Bryanna. I eat an amazing amount(even embarassing) but work out regularly and maintain my weight. When I started making lots of dishes with nuts in them I gained about 10% additional weight in only a few months. I try to focus on eating to live and not living to eat. A pat on the back for me.
Is your paprika red or green (the container says Vera - spring or green maybe?). Looking forward to your new recipes!!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

The paprika is red, actually!

Anonymous said...

The key to WW is portion control and not adding extra fat like good as they are for you..they are VERY very small amounts if any... and good luck..its always worked for me! I measured everything.

Anonymous said...

This lovely bread has been baking for a little over an hour now. Though I (obviously) haven't tasted it yet, I had to send my thanks for filling my home with such delicious and comforting smells on a cold, snowy day. Yum--I can hardly wait!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just had some (Well, actually, I just had A LOT)--This is one of the most amazingly delicious, hearty breads I've ever tasted. I wasn't at all sure how it would turn out since I've never used sourdough starter before. Thank you so much for creating such a great recipe and writing such wonderfully clear instructions (both the bread and the starter).

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

So glad you enjoyed it, Anonymous!

tokyovegan said...

Hi, Bryanna.
Now that I've made your sourdough starter, I want to use it in absolutely everything! Have you ever tried to make this pumpernickel in the bread machine?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

that's great, tokyovegan! But the pumpernickel would not work in a bread machine because it needs to cook for so long at a low temperature. I usually bake it in my little counter top Cuisinart Brick Oven, which is only 12" square inside. You can see it here:

tokyovegan said...

Thanks a lot, Bryanna. I saw your Brick Oven, and picked up your pizza dough recipe to boot. I agree that there's no such thing as bad pizza, too!
BTW, I loved your Dutch pumpernickel bread (my 2nd batch is in oven now), but I heard that German pumpernickel forbids any coloring agents. Is molasses used for coloring or sweetening, and have you ever tried making it without?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

That's great, tokyovegan! About the molasses, I'm not sure, but this is Dutch, not German, anyway!

elizabeth said...

Going to make the bread today, will it turn out okay if I leave out the 1 T oil?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

elizabeth, you could, but the bread may dry out faster than normal. Each slice will contain less than 1/5th of a teaspoon of oil.

elizabeth said...

I'll try the original recipe with the oil. Thank you for the recipe! I make sourdough boules with only starter, flour, water and salt and they aren't dry, but I'd like some more whole grain recipes without oil. I noticed most of your ww recipes include some oil and flax so you must have found the oil and flax make a more tender bread and shouldn't be left out?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

It depends on the bread. Flax I add only for a nutritional supplement when it seems reasonable for the recipe,. I don't add oil to all breads, such as baguettes, neapolitan pizza dough, etc. But oil-free breads usually need to be eaten soon or frozen for future use. Perhaps I'm wrong about this moist, dense, slow-cooked bread, though. But it is a very small amount.