Recipes from Vacuum
Recipes, mostly vegetarian, collected by the Vacuum Group

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Saturday, April 28, 2001
Soup stock.

This is very simple. Take a ziploc gallon bag and put it in your fridge. When you chop vegetables for other recipes, save the trimmings and put them in the bag. Every week or two (but not more) empty out the bag into a soup pot, cover with boiling water, bring to a boil, and simmer for about an hour or so (until all the veg scraps look kind of brownish). Strain the stock and freeze. Next time you're making soup, use stock instead of water. Yum.

Good veg for stock: oniony things (most everything including skins OK), carrot ends, leafy green veg trimmings, potato pieces, parsely stems.

Bad veg for stock: brassica (broccoli, cauliflower etc), potato eyes (bitter and poisonous), asparagus (strong taste), celery (strong taste), anything yucky, anything rotten, anything dirty.

There are stock recipes where you start from fresh veg bought specially for the purpose, but there is something nice about making soup from what would otherwise just be trash.

Monday, January 29, 2001
A very simple orzo salad.

One pound orzo. 1 pint-size tub green olives, 1 pint-size tub feta cheese, 2 bunches parsely. Cook the orzo and rinse with cold water to remove the starch and stop it from cooking. Pit the olives, reserving the juice they came in. (It is key to have good olives for this recipe - we get good ones at Whole Foods or (better) the food coop, "french provencal with herbs". Experiment.). Remove stems from the parsely. Chop the olives coarsely, and chop the parsely very fine. Crumble the feta. Get a big bowl, put in the ingredients (roughly) in layers or mix depending on your preference for mixed or layered. Take part of the reserved olive juice, add red wine vinegar, mix, and pour over the top.

Yum. I made two recipes of this over the weekend, and there's some left over, so it's time for a snack.

Saturday, January 20, 2001
Something we made up to take to Nancy's house for a very lovely dinner.

Navy bean salad. 1 can navy beans, 1 red pepper, 1 lg cucumber, small bunch parsley. Chop the pepper and cucumber small, so that they're smaller than the beans. Chop the parsley as fine as you can manage. Mix in a large bowl. Dressing is a simple vinagrette: olive oil, red wine vinegar, and prepared mustard. We happened to have some very nice tarragon mustard to use for this, and it turned out really nice.

The beans can be a bit starchy so rinse them well. I suspect that this will be better the second day after the vinegar has had a chance to soften up the beans a bit, so try to make it a little bit in advance at least an hour.

Sunday, January 07, 2001
Recipes in the queue: tsimmis. That's actually pretty easy: chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, and a little apple juice, plus a cinnamon stick and half a lemon, covered and cooked in the oven in a sort of steamy way.

The Perennial Politcal Palate ( is a cookbook by the Bloodroot Collective, a feminist group that runs a restaurant on Long Island. Here's their Corn Bread. It started off as Spicy Corn Bread, but I edited it to match our tastes at the moment. The recipe makes 2 8x8" pans, so divide by two if you want less. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly greasing the pans.

You'll need just over 2 cups winter squash, baked or steamed and then scraped out of the shells. We had leftover squash from a previous day's baking.

Dice any nice peppers that you have - I used 1/2 of a red pepper because it was what was there, but you can easily use more. The original recipe calls for jalapeno pepper as well, and if you're doing that you'll want to fry them up in a little oil. I was lazy and just put in the sweet pepper raw.

Dry ingredients are 2 cups cornmeal (preferably organic, made from happy corn), 1.5 tsp sifted baking soda, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and 2 1/3 cups unbleached white flour. Combine together using a dry whisk.

Wet ingredients are 1/3 c brown sugar (the recipe called for 1/2 c maple syrup, which is fine if you have lots of maple syrup to spare, but it's pretty dear), 1/4 c oil (I used safflower), and 1 1/3 c milk (the recipe called for soy milk, which you're welcome to but not in my kitchen). Mix together. A food processor would be OK if you like cleaning up a food processor, but a sturdy spoon and a bowl will do the trick nicely.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together, quickly. I poured the wet into the dry and mixed and mixed and mixed and had lots of flour to get moistened, which seemed like extra work. Next time I'll pour the dry into the wet. Whatever. Add the peppers, and then turn the mixture into the prepared pans. It can be pretty sticky, so take care to smooth out the top level so that it bakes evenly on top.

Place in oven. Bake. The bread will puff up some in 10-15 minutes, at which point you turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and keep cooking "until done". Can't give you an exact time because I didn't look, but the top will be nicely browned and a knife stuck into the center will come out moist but not gooey. Total cooking time, about one hour.

Right. Start a recipe blog. It will need to be more attractive than the default layout, and of course I will need recipes. In the left hand column, link to other (vegetarian) recipe blogs for ideas. In the right hand column, recipes. Links also go to the bookblog for cookbook reviews. Should be easy. Has anyone done this before?