Dec 31, 2012

corned hash

Among the many cultures that have developed their own version of "hash," which means "to chop," we have Northern England to thank for this particular rendition, Corned Hash. Many moons ago, a great way to use up the previous night's dinner of boiled meat, potatoes and vegetables, was to cook it up for breakfast as hash. Not many modern households can boast having leftover boiled meat and potatoes on hand, and even less of those are enlightened households that have access to the boiled meat aspect. 

Hash has come to represent a cohesive mixture of chopped potatoes, vegetables and meat, held together by some liquid and cooked until the potatoes develop some crispness and are golden. 

I have replaced the meat with tofu and seitan, but either works just as well. I boiled the potatoes for just a few minutes before beginning the long process of browning the vegetables and protein.  I kept this very simple, adding only potatoes, onions, garlic, seitan, tofu and spices. While you could add more colorful vegetables, I wanted to make this one as authentic as possible. 

When I say long process of browning, I mean it. It took about 30 minutes to acquire the crispiness on the potatoes that I was looking for, turning the hash every three or four minutes to prevent scorching. I added some Daiya at the end, but I found that it would have been just as good without.

Happy New Year! 


Dec 28, 2012

creamy barley and split pea soup

Winter has finally arrived, although I am sure lots of people would think that happened back in November. According to the astronomical society, the Solstice marks its passage. And since winter begets soup, as evidence by Kathy Patalsky's article, 25 Classic Soups Gone Vegan, indeed if soup season hasn't arrived for you, yet, it is surely bound to. 

The above easy soup may not be all that quick, given that barley and split peas need about an hour to cook, but the prep and coddling are minimal, therefore this soup lands smack dab in the middle of "easy." In addition to the yellow split peas and pearled barley, it boasts zucchini and cauliflower. 

You could very simply substitute whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. I made this soup creamy by adding almond milk after the cooking was complete. Boiled vegan milk breaks and does not make for a good picture, so be warned, simmer to reheat, but skip the boil.

Cost Breakdown

peas and barley: $1
stock, spices: $3
milk: $1
cauliflower, zucchini, onion, carrot: $5

Total to make 8 hearty servings