Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bean and Barley Soup(Vegan); Apple Peach Spice Cake(Vegan)

I found the Bean and Barley Soup recipe on about.com, and since I realized I had all the ingredients, decided to make some. Believe me, I'm very glad I did, too, as it's an excellent soup, thick, chunky, and filling: A perfect cold night type of soup, comfort food as its best. The recipe makes a lot, so I had two containers of it in the 'fridge, and I also have two more in the freezer. With the leftover soup in the 'fridge, I figured out two more ways to make a meal with it, both of which were really good. So, here's the soup recipe, and then I'll tell you the other ways I used the leftovers.

Bean and Barley Soup
1/2 onion, diced 2 ribs celery, diced 2 carrots, diced
Any other vegetables desired, 1/2C each(I chose potatoes, leftover turnip greens, and mushrooms)
2Tbs. oil or margarine 8C water or broth(I used 8C water and 4 veggie buillion cubes)
1C barley, uncooked 1C pinto or white beans, presoaked if dry(I used a 15oz can of cannellini beans)
1/3C tomato paste or crushed tomatoes 1/4tsp.salt 1/2tsp. black pepper
1/4tsp. celery salt(optional)
1/2tsp. each basil, oregano or Italian seasoning, and thyme
1tsp. onion powder(optional) 2 large bay leaves

Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and other veggies in oil for 3-5 minutes. Add the liquid, the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for at least an hour, strring occasionally, until barley is soft and somewhat fluffy. Add more spices to taste. Enjoy.

When I sauted the onions, celery, etc., I also added two teaspoonsful of minced garlic, and did not use the optional ingredients. Instead of basil, I chose to use oregano, Italian seasoning, and the thyme. I don't think I made any other changes, tho. While the soup simmered, I made a pan of biscuits to have with it, and let me tell ya, it was one heck of a fantastic meal.

The next night, I heated up one of the containers of leftover soup in the 'fridge, and this time, I made a grilled "cheese" sammich to go with it. The night after that, I put what was left from that into the other container of soup, made some mashed potatoes with sour cream(tofutti brand)and garlic, and made a Shepherd's Pie. That was wonderful, as well. There was about half the pie leftover, so the next day, for lunch, I dried a couple of slices of wheat bread in my little toaster oven, and made bread crumbs. I mixed those in with about half of the remaining pie, and made a huge "burger" out of it. While it was browning in the skillet, I buttered bread and got out some "cheese," and added the burger to the cheese and bread, and turned it into a grilled sammich. Yup, it was good, too. There was still some of the pie left, but by then I'd had all I could handle, and even tho I hate to admit it, I tossed the rest of it into the garbage.

Ok, now, about the cake. I needed to use an apple that was going soft, a can of peaches, and a can of coconut milk, and this is what I came up with: Apple and Peach Spice Cake. It's a very heavy, dense, moist cake, and awfully good. I had planned on frosting it with a buttercream frosting, but with the sweetness of the apple and the peaches, decided that frosting would be overkill.

Apple and Peach Spice Cake
3C flour, sifted 1 1/2tsp. baking powder 1tsp. baking soda
1C brown sugar, packed 1/2tsp. each ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon
1/2tsp salt
1/2C silken tofu, whizzed in the blender until very smooth
3/4C applesauce and 1Tbs oil
1 can coconut milk plus one can water plus 1/4C soy milk(I add to keep adding liquid to get the right consistency for cake batter, but finally gave up and crossed my fingers, lol. I probably should've used two cans of coconut milk and some soymilk)
2tsp.vanilla 1Ceach diced peaches(I used canned)and apple

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, except the brown sugar.
Place the whizzed tofu, applesauce, brown sugar, vanilla and the oil in another bowl, and use a mixer to blend them for a few minutes, until smooth. Pour this into the bowl with the dry ingredients, add the coconut milk,water, and soymilk, and using the mixer on low, mix until all is blended nicely. Then turn the mixer up to high, and beat until very, very smooth, about three minutes or so. Pour this into a greased 13X9 pan lined with greased wax paper, and put into a pre-heated 300ºF oven for 45-60 minutes, more if needed. The cake is done when it springs back from being poked with a finger, a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, and, if you listen to the cake, it will "sing." Cool, in the pan, on a rack, until room temperature, and then turn out onto a plate. Peel off the wax paper, and enjoy your cake. You can frost it if you want to, but I chose not to.

Did I like it? Yes, very much. Would I make it again? Mmmm, maybe...it's more work than I like doing for something sweet, and I don't usually ahve apples lying around. But, if somebody else ate it, I'd sure be willing to helpthem eat it, lol.

Until next time, Happy Eating!!!

1 comment:

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