Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vegetarian baked beans, ketchup-free

I've noticed that this post gets my blog more hits than practically anything else. I guess there's quite the demand for vegetarian baked beans! Honestly, it's not that hard to make them, either. A little time consuming, but not difficult.

But I've been tinkering with the recipe. It still stands as a good one (pretty loosey-goosey, but I think that's okay: it gives plenty of room for modification to individual tastes.) I've been making these about twice a month since April, so I'm updating with the latest incarnation.

As if it's not enough to make baked beans from scratch, though, I decided I wanted to make them without ketchup. Ever hear that old Carol Sagan quote? "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." So, um, yeah, I know that perhaps "from scratch" can be taken too far. Still.

I used canned tomato sauce (about 1.5 cups, I think), and some additional spices, instead. Perhaps a little extra molasses as well.

You know, the ketchup label doesn't give a whole lot of detail about what's in there (other than the HFCS, of course). "Spices." What does that mean? I checked a couple of cookbooks, notably Laurel's Kitchen and The Complete Book of Home Preserving, by Kingry and Devine, and added small amounts (no more than 1/4 tsp) each of ground celery seed, ground cloves, oregano, and about a pinch each of cinnamon and cumin. I wanted depth without making any of those noticeable, although I may have erred too far on the side of caution. Next time I may try just a touch more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


These pictures, as frequently happens, are out of order. For reasons I can't quite understand, blogger uploads the pictures backwards from how one selects them. Or else it's just messing with me.

Anyway, I frequently get a bunch of cilantro, and don't know quite what I'm going to do to use ALL of it. I often use a few sprigs to half the bunch, but the rest doesn't quite make it into, well, anything but the compost pile.

I vowed it would be different this time -- and I decided to make this Moroccan sauce, traditionally used on fish. I used it two ways: once to dress some thinly-sliced raw salad turnips. The other time I put over a couple of portobello mushrooms Jon grilled for me. Totally delicious.

(The first picture is, um, maybe not as clear as it could be. It's a grilled mushroom on a roll. Blurry, of course.)


about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
about 1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 garlic scapes, minced
4 scallions, minced
salt to taste
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fun with garlic scapes

I'm pretty much out of scapes (I have two more hoarded from last week to use in pesto later) but next year, I'm going to make this.