Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cranberry Borscht, Cranberry Bread, Eggplant & Okra Stew, green salad


This recipe is such a hit here that we have made huge batches of it twice now and can see no way of improving it. It comes straight from Finlayson's 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes - with the difference that, for some reason or other, we have always made it on top of the stove instead.

Here you see it, returned to a pan to reheat a portion for the two of us after being blended. So rich and creamy! And that colour!!!!!

What is different and nice about Finlayson's recipe is that instead of cabbage it uses the greens of the beets you use for the soup. No other vegetables, barring garlic, are added, but cranberries, orange and orange zest, etc., instead. Look it up - it's a winner!!!

Oh - I should add that once we didn't have the beet greens to go with the beets ;) so we used chard instead. It was also very good, and okay to remember in a pinch, but the use of beet greens is something I've not run across before (all my borscht recipes have used cabbage) and it's a real treat in this recipe. I haven't found a recipe in here that I haven't loved!


This bread comes from Sarah Kramer's excellent La Dolce Vegan! and is called there 'Jen's Raisin Soda Bread'. The use of cranberries instead of raisins and the addition of orange zest is a suggested variant. Otherwise, it is a standard soda bread (but the best recipe I have tried for it!) with caraway seeds. Absolutely delicious! We've made it twice now and it is absolutely no-fail.


Again this recipe started out to be another one entirely, but really I rarely follow a recipe (except for baking - and not always then) and I like to use what I have in the refrigerator and cupboards - unless of course it's for something special. I had a large eggplant and I had green bell pepper - and some frozen okra, a large can of tomatoes. Sounded like a stew to me, and so it was.

In a hurry as always, I cut the eggplant into smallish pieces and didn't bother with sweating and draining it first.

1 onion, chopped
1 large eggplant, chopped into 1-inch or less pieces
1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 large can low-sodium tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 Tbsp Annie's vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp crushed dried red chilies
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (10 ounces) frozen okra, thawed and trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, diced

Cook onion in a little wataer until softened in a pot large enough to hold everything. Add all but the last two ingredients and bring back to the boil, reduce heat and cook until nearly done. Be careful not to overcook the eggplant - you don't want mush. Add the okra and bell pepper and cook until just done - these should still give a little resistance to the bite. Taste for seasoning and serve with your favourite grain, alone, or with a crusty bread.

And here's a quick photo of the salad we had too - my little bit of propaganda just in case it converts one more person to eating salads too! ;)


Jackie Vetter said...

River, I love the looks of that soup. It totally looks yummy. I think it is something we will have to try here. And, the salad looks absolutely delicious!

VeggieGirl said...

everything looks delicious (as always); but that cranberry bread is calling my name! :0)

River said...

Jackie, I used a cup of cranberries to a lb beets and 1-1/2 lbs leaves. Then there's the orange zest - and orange juice. . . . .

River said...

Veggiegirl -
That cranberry bread keeps bellowing our names too! First time we tried it I think we finished the loaf. What gluttony!!! There's something about dried cranberries and orange zest together . . .

urban vegan said...

You are certainly getting your fair share of the purple-red phytochemicals!

Carrie™ said...

Cranberry soup sounds very intriguing. I really like cranberries, but Jim, not so much. My mom steams beet greens and serves them as a side vegetable. I was never a fan, but now that I'm older, I would try them again. I always make a cranberry bread with orange at Christmas time. Yummers!

Anardana said...

Hello! I just came across your blog while looking for butternut squash recipes. I have a vegan blog, and I'm in ontario too :)

River said...

Urban Veggie:
You're right! Probably MORE than our share of the purple-red phytochemicals LOL But aren't all those foods pretty! Love em!

Not just cranberries in the soup, hon. Beets as usual in the borscht, but a cup of cranberries (fresh) too. Luverlie!!!! I love the idea of your orange and cranberry bread - would love to know how to make that. Share???

How nice to see you here! You have a great blog btw - such truly great comfort food - with some remarkable new twists on old-time faves. Clever girl!!!!

Hugs to all.