This week, Karisa and I did meatless Sunday. We were googling popovers to satisfy her curiosity when we ran across this wonderful blog called Daily Unadventures in Cooking. There’s a whole slew of vegetarian and vegan recipes on this blog, as well as other categories such as meat, seafood, pasta . . . you get the idea. I heartily suggest that anyone with the cooking bug, or anyone in need of an idea, should hit up this blog and take a look around.
Our recipes this week came from this blog, and so when you hit the links below the picture, it’s going to take you to the recipe on that blog. I made mexican quinoa, and Karisa made chipotle corn chowder – more or less, in both cases, considering that we had to make some substitutions. I’m not sure if it’s our location or the location of the lady who writes the blog, but we were unable to get our hands on mexican oregano, smoked paprika, or chipotle powder; let’s get into that.
Let it never be said that you can’t make a recipe because you can’t get a hold of some of the ingredients. This week’s meatless saw us in two different grocery stores because one is ridiculously awesome for produce and the other has better prices for just about everything else. Still, like I said, we were unable to find some ingredients and so made the following adjustments with success – of course, if you can follow the original recipe, I always recommend doing so the first time you make it.
Chipotle corn chowder:
– Three cobs instead of four. Honestly, we were at the store thinking that we needed three cobs. The recipe called for four. It still came out super awesome, and we were able to buy the three-pack of shrink-wrapped corn cobs that we know for a fact are good because we can see that. No shucks necessary.
– 1/4 cup of finely chopped carrot instead of 2 Tbsp. That’s twice the amount. Karisa used the slap-chopper to save time on the prep.
– Instead of chipotle powder, Karisa used 3 Tbsp of chipotle Tabasco and 1/2 tsp chili powder. It was perfect. The soup didn’t burn the mouth, but it made you sweat. I was pleasantly amazed by that!
– For the water/stock, we used 1 can of vegetable stock
– instead of salt, we used a garlic and sea salt grinder. (It’s like a store-bought pepper mill, but with garlic and sea salt in it instead.)
– instead of fresh chopped cilantro (which is never dependable around here) we used 1 Tbsp of dried cilantro in the soup and garnished both of the bowls with 1/2 Tbsp.
– instead of grilling the corn, Karisa put it under the broiler on high. If you don’t really use the broiler, note that this is something you want to babysit until you’re used to it because it works quick.
– I used baby carrots (about 10) instead of the single medium carrot it called for.
– We decided to go with two green peppers instead of a green and a red, because the red costs significantly more than green. I didn’t really miss the red pepper.
– Instead of mexican oregano and hot smoked paprika, we used just oregano and paprika. I think the regular paprika is considered sweet instead of hot or smoky. I can’t speak to the nationality of the oregano I used, but it did its job. . .
– Instead of the 17-oz can of whole tomatoes, I used a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes (I blame this on the fact that we went to the first store without a list because we forgot to make one before going.)
– Instead of shredded monterey jack (I would have had to shred it myself) I used shredded mozzerella. In the end, you couldn’t tell it was in there anyway.
– Instead of fresh chopped parsley, I substituted 4 tsp of dried parsley. This time we had a list but it didn’t specify fresh. Most of the time, it seems, subbing dried herbs is easier and doesn’t hurt any thing if you sub a tsp for a Tbsp of fresh.
– I soaked the quinoa in cold water for about 15 minutes before rinsing it. This helps break down a natural bitter coating they have, and they say it gives it better flavor, too. Personally, I think both ends go hand in hand.
So yeah, reading through the alterations might have been a little tedious. Looking at it, it seems like there were some hitches this week, but everything went fairly smooth once we got the groceries home. Are you still with me? Good. The result was more deliciousness than I was hoping for. The corn chowder was beautiful and the quinoa was a mouth-stuffing delight. But which one was better? I would do a lot for more of that corn chowder, I’ll tell you what – I kind of wish we could make it in huge vats so that I would always have chipotle corn chowder on hand.
Check out the picture of the finished product below. I’m sorry if the lighting in my dining room makes every picture look like it was taken in a Chinese restaurant; it’s actually a very comfortable level for me, but the camera hates it.