08 December 2009


Ok, I admit it. I watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I avoided it for a season or two but when they went to New Mexico on several shows, I had to watch. I love New Mexico and the food there.

A few shows ago, Guy Fieri was at some joint that makes hash out of all sorts of things. I didn't really care much except that one of the hashes they were making seemed to be a kitchen sink sort of recipe. They tossed in all sorts of things including broccoli rabe and something called colcannon.

The word colcannon was vaguely familiar. I knew it was Irish, but didn't know what went into the dish. The traditional version includes pork, mashed potatoes, and cabbage with onions. Obviously, the pork was out in a vegan version, but the combination sounded nice in my head.

As we wait for the first major snow storm of the season, it seemed like a perfect day to develop a colcannon recipe of my own.

My version uses store-bought cole slaw mix and the entire thing can cook in one skillet and a steamer pot. If you need the pork flavor, you can add Bacon Salt in place of the chipotle powder or paprika that I use in the recipe.

Leftovers can be refrigerated and formed into patties the next day. Fry them in a skillet with a little olive oil until heated through and the outside is brown - delicious!

4-6 servings

4 medium potatoes, peeled and in a 1 1/2 inch chop
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 large onions, sliced
1/2 tsp thyme
3 c cole slaw mix
1/4 c Earth Balance 'butter'
1/4 c soy or almond milk
1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder OR smoked Spanish paprika
freshly ground black pepper
Daiya cheese to garnish, as desired

Bring your pot of water to boil and place the potatoes and garlic cloves in a steamer basket. Steam about 18 minutes or until a fork enters the potatoes easily

While that steams, heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a 12 inch skillet, add the onions, 1 tsp of salt and the thyme, and saute slowly until they carmelize

When the potatoes are ready, remove the steamer basket with the veggies and dump into a food mill. Mill potatoes and garlic using the large holes into a large mixing bowl.

Add 1 Tbs salt to the steamer water and bring back to the boil.

Add the cole slaw mix to the boiling steamer water and cook about 6 minutes. Drain well.

Add the onions and cole slaw to the mixing bowl with the Earth Balance, soy milk, chipotle powder and black pepper. Mix as little as possible to combine. Taste for salt and add as needed.

Serve with Daiya cheese sprinkled on top.

01 December 2009

Broccoli Rabe Wraps

The weatherperson said the temperature was heading down well below freezing the other day, so I did my final harvest of broccoli rabe. I left a few of the side shoots from earlier harvests growing, and they produced very attractive yellow flowers.

Either the weatherperson was wrong, or broccoli rabe doesn't mind really cold weather, because the shoots I left are still going strong and today, there was even a honey bee crawling amongst the flowers.

Due to the success and ease of growing my own broccoli rabe, I expect to plant much more of it next year. And I can't eat an entire crop using only one recipe, can I? Well, I probably could since it is one of my all-time favorite recipes (see our Oct 28, 2009 posting) but I probably SHOULDN'T eat it all the same way.

So, I pulled out The Flavor Bible and took a look to see what they suggested with broccoli rabe. There were a few interesting ideas, but not anything I was likely to have on hand, so I decided to do a variation of the classic recipe for it - sauteing it with garlic and olive oil. Then I realised I had no rice or pasta to eat it with, so then it changed to a tofu-broccoli rabe scramble that can be eaten as a wrap.

This is very different from a normal wrap filling, but blanching the broccoli rabe tends to reduce some of the bitterness.If you aren't worried about the bitterness, skip the blanching and just cook the broccoli rabe longer when it is added to the mixture in the skillet.

Chile flakes and some heat are an integral part of this dish, in my opinion. If you don't like any heat at all, skip the chiles and instead chop a roasted red bell pepper and add it at the end of the dish, along with the broccoli rabe.

Broccoli Rabe & Daiya Wraps
makes about 6 wraps

1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 Tbs olive oil
1 15oz block of tofu
1 chopped dried red chile (or 1 tsp chile flakes), to taste
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground turmeric, optional
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 c Daiya cheese, divided use

6 tortillas

Bring a pot of water to boil.
Remove tofu from the package, wrap in several layers of paper towels, and set aside.
Add 2 Tbs salt to the boiling water
Add broccoli rabe and simmer 5-6 minutes
Remove broccoli rabe to an ice bath to cool

Heat 12 inch non-stick skillet on low-medium heat
Add olive oil
When oil is shimmering, add the chile flakes and onion and cook until translucent.
Add garlic and stir quickly while it cooks about 1 minute
Add turmeric and soy sauce and stir
Squish the tofu through your hands int the skillet to make it look vaguely 'scrambled'.
Add oregano and salt and 1/4 c water
Chop broccoli rabe into about 1 inch pieces.
Add broccoli rabe to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes until it is all heated through and the water has evaporated.
Heat tortillas and spread with about 1/3c of broccoli rabe mixture.
Sprinkle with Daiya cheese.
Roll the tortilla and drizzle with a few dorps of your favorite hot sauce, if desired.