Sunday, December 31, 2006

Orange Seitan, Spring Rolls

New Year's Eve Dinner 12/31

Orange Seitan

Jasmine Rice

Spring Rolls
(bean thread, mint, cilantro, leeks, shiitake mushrooms)

...and we wrap up 2006 with a special treat -- orange seitan. The seitan is marinated and then dredged in cornstarch and fried, not once, but twice. Then the orange peels get stir-fried and finally you add the orange sauce (orange juice, sesame oil, sherry, scallions, garlic, ginger, hoisin and agave) until it gets all nice and sticky. ;)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Smoked Eggplant and Zucchini with Wilted Arugula over Pasta, Bistro Salad

Dinner 12/30

Smoked Eggplant and Zucchini with Wilted Arugula over Pasta

Bistro Salad

an oldie but a goodie -- the alder smoked eggplant and zucchini really add another layer to this simple, but satisfying, pasta dish...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Tofu Salad Sandwiches

Dinner 12/29

Tofu Salad Sandwiches

We went over to our next-door neighbors for a party and took over the Tofu Salad Sandwiches -- but, I neglected to take a picture of them before we went over.

Forgive me.

Instead, a picture of the new tablecloth...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Roasted Garlic and Foccacia, Steamed Artichokes, Soupe provencale, Frites

Dinner 12/28

Roasted Garlic and Foccacia

Steamed Artichokes

Soupe provencale
(tomato, basil, celery, spinach, carrots, green beans, zucchini, onion, garlic, potatoes, chickpeas)

(blanched in oil at 280F for 6-8 minutes, let rest for 15 minutes, then deep-fried 2-3 minutes at 375F)

a little bit of this a little bit of that... the home-made french fries frites, served with roasted garlic aioli, always seem to disappear first though... ;)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Red Chile Enchiladas, Arroz Verde

Dinner 12/27

Red Chile Enchiladas
(adapted from Rick Bayless)

Arroz Verde
(poblano and cilantro rice, from Rick Bayless)

The enchiladas are always a hit -- stuffed with FYH Monterey Jack, surrounded with the spicy chile and tomato based sauce. The tortilla's we've been using aren't nearly as good as the one we used to get from the little place a couple of blocks from the West Side Market in Cleveland. These tend to fall apart during prep easier...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Torta, the sequel...

Dinner 12/26

(Gourmet 01/07)

Braised Cardoons


Bread Pudding with Raisins
(also from Gourmet 01/07)

yep, we made it again -- this time with dinosaur kale instead of the broccoli rabe. Either one works very well in the overall assembly, but we both think the broccoli rabe version is a slightly more interesting...

The cardoons are always an interesting vegetable -- they're very nice simply braised...

The bread pudding uses soft tofu in place of the eggs and was sublime in it's silkiness -- although it almost used all of our bread crumbs ;)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ye Olde Christmas Gyoza

Christmas Dinner 12/25

(stuffed with napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, mushroom sauce)'s Christmas evening, you're sitting around the tree, knee-deep in wrapping paper still exhausted from cooking last night, "Talladega Nights" flickers on the TV... it's getting late and there's very little food left in the house -- what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

Gyoza, naturally ;)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Dinner: Seitan Bourguignon, Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips and Garlic, Spinach Salad, Focaccia

Christmas Eve 12/24

Seitan Bourguignon

Roasted Parsnips, Potatoes and Garlic

Roasted Broccoli

Spinach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Dried Cherries, Fig Vinaigrette


We do the Christmas Eve dinner/presents thing -- full disclosure: I grew up in a Christmas Morning presents home, and I still find it odd -- but I have been outvoted ;)

The only thing that was abandoned was wrapping the stew in Phyllo, but we ran out of time. For dessert we had some of the Pinwheel Cookies that Liz made yesterday along with Molasses Cookies and Thumbprint Jam Cookies.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pinwheel Cookies

Holiday Desserts -- part 24

These peach jam-stuffed cookies deserve their own entry... Liz has really outdone herself this year with the desserts, and these are no exception -- elegant and tasty -- and the cookies aren't so bad either ;)

Ye Olde Christmas Stir-Fry

Dinner 12/23

Ye Olde Christmas Stir-Fry
(tofu, red bell pepper, carrot, ginger, garlic, tamari, sriracha)

Jasmine Rice

yep, it's official, the well is dry -- we've run out of ideas for 2006 ;)

Friday, December 22, 2006


Dinner 12/22

(cover recipe from 01/07 Gourmet)

yet another magazine recipe -- adapted from the new Gourmet -- The torta made in a springform pan by layering crepes, sauteed broccoli rabe, bechamel sauce (roux + soy milk and a pinch of nutmeg), soy sausages (or you could sub sun-dried tomatoes), FYH Monterey Jack soy cheese, salt and pepper. It actually comes together very easily after making the crepes (adapted slightly by combining the AP with besan (chickpea) flour and a scant tsp. of baking powder, olive oil for the butter, soy milk, etc)

The broccoli rabe added that slight level of bitterness without overwhelming the whole dish. Two thumbs up...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Spaghetti with Cauliflower and Olives, Tomato, Basil and Chickpea Soup, Steamed Artichokes

Dinner 12/21

Spaghetti with Cauliflower and Olives
(adapted from Gourmet 01/07, p. 100)

Tomato, Basil and Chickpea Soup

Steamed Artichoke

back to the magazine again -- a simple, yet tasty pasta dish...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stir-fry, Jasmine Rice, Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts, Enoki Mushroom, Tofu and Garlic Soup

Dinner 12/20

(tofu, red bell pepper, carrots, tamari, garlic, ginger, sriracha)

Jasmine Rice

Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts
(sesame oil, sake, tamari)

Enoki Mushroom, Tofu and Garlic Soup

Today was the last day of school for the kids -- our daughter's class went to see "Charlotte's Web" afterwards -- which was nice of the teacher to do -- so Liz took her and chaperoned, which meant she got home late -- hence the stir-fry...

...and I love enoki mushrooms... that's all I've got there ;)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Eggplant Ambrosia with Tomato Fennel Sauce, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Fougasse Bread, Warm Mushroom Salad

Dinner 12/19

Eggplant Ambrosia with Tomato Fennel Sauce
(adapted from The Provence Cookbook" by Patrica Wells)

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Fougasse Bread

Warm Mushroom Salad

We picked up some cookbooks at the library last week, including the Patrica Wells book. The "ambrosia" is basically an eggplant custard baked in ramekins in a bain-marie. We just subbed out the eggs and cream with soft tofu and a soy milk mix and filled them up a little higher.

The sauce is a reduction of fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot pepper flakes, orange zest and fennel seed and was surprisingly "light" and matched well with eggplant.

And, of course, not to neglect the Fougasse -- Liz learned how to make this type of provencal bread at the week-long bread class she took a few year back.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chilled Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Hoisin Tofu on Bibb Lettuce, Edamame

Dinner 12/18

Chilled Udon Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Hoisin Tofu on Bibb Lettuce


back to the grind -- the kids are still in school for a few days -- and it was time for their winter concert, so tonight was just a quickly meal of edamame and a (very tasty) chilled udon noodle salad with had a nice hot/cold thing going on with the addition of the stir-fried hoisin tofu.

The sauce was made from 1 tbs. peanut butter, 1 tsp. sriracha, 1 tsp. tamari, 1 tsp. sesame oil and 1 tsp. agave.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Post-Party Stir-Fry

Dinner 12/17

(tofu, tempeh, baby corn, carrots, jasmine rice)

It's the traditional post-party "I'm barely functional" Stir-Fry. My legs ache from two days of 10 hour cooking sessions (yes, I'm a wimp) -- but this is the real reason why we will never open a vegan restaurant... ;)

We had some leftover tempeh from the party, so that got thrown in, along with the usual suspects.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holiday Party "X"

Holiday Party "X"

Our tenth (and biggest) party to date... next year, after we finish the basement, we'll invite the rest of the internet, OK? ;)

The Menu:

White Bean Cassoulet
(bottom left)

Pineapple and Black Bean Salsa

Curried Quinoa and Mango Salad

Raw Pizza

Xnipec Salsa

Tapenade (w/ baguette)

Tofu Salad Sandwiches
(middle, on the three-tiered cake stand)

Basil Cream Cheese Spread on Party Bread
(bottom right, above the baguette)

Baked Artichoke Dip
(middle left side on trivet)

Lentil and Soyrizo Spoons

Phyllo Cups w/ Curried Tofu and Currants

BBQ Tofu Lollipops
(we didn't get a shot of these, as they came out in the second wave of food, but they looked just like these from August without the cabbage)

Seitan Bourguignon

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Stuffed Mushrooms

The Desserts

Millennium Brownies

Nog Cookies

Aphrodite Cakes

Chocolate Madeleines (in the group shot, upper left plate)

Thumbprint Jam Cookies (apricot, lingonberry)

Many of the best wine pairing dishes made an appearance tonight -- tofu lollipops, seitan bourguignon, white bean cassoulet, tapenade, brownies, madeleines -- which, as I have joked before, is the real reason why we do the catering gig during the year, just to have the best dishes for our party...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Dinner 12/15

Pasta with Tomato Sauce

The night before our holiday party is always the hardest night to cook something for our dinner -- we're usually knee-deep trying to knock out dishes and desserts ahead of time -- so, it was a good thing we had leftover pasta with a quick tomato sauce ;)

No pictures tonight, but that will all change tomorrow ;)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Braised Baby Artichokes over Pasta, Iceberg Salad

Dinner 12/14

Braised Baby Artichokes over Pasta
(baby artichokes, onions, garlic, veg stock, onions)

Iceberg Salad
(iceberg lettuce, dried cherries, pine nuts, garlic miso dressing)

adapted from Zuni Cafe -- using baby artichokes instead of the big ones -- but honestly, it didn't work -- not the fault of the artichokes or the recipe -- it was more that it didn't all come together. Some nights that happens...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blackened Tofu, Rice with Wilted Chard and Onions, Gumbo,

Dinner 12/13

Blackened Tofu
(dredged in seasoned flour, with smoked paprika, smoked alder salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes)

Rice with Wilted Chard and Onions

(test recipe for VwaV2)

the "blackened" tofu -- dredged in flour with spices, then fried, is pretty standard, but is always a visual and culinary treat. Matched this time around with yet another testing recipe for Isa and Terry -- this time gumbo -- and, mmmm.... beeeeeer... droooool.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Seitan and Mango, Jasmine Rice, Sake Braised Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 12/12

Seitan and Mango
(seitan, garlic, sesame oil, tamari, scallions, mango)

Jasmine Rice

Sake Braised Brussel Sprouts
(sake, tamari, brussel sprouts, pepper)

Asian inspired meal tonight -- not exactly found on any menu -- but a nice change of pace...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Baked Jerusalem Artichokes and Tofu, Spinach Salad

Dinner 12/11

Baked Jerusalem Artichokes and Tofu
(jerusalem artichokes, tofu, green olives, lemon zest, veg stock, shallots, garlic)

Spinach Salad

a recipe adapted from Martha Stewart that we bust out every so often everytime we get some Jerusalem artichokes. I suppose we should find another recipe, but frankly, this one is pretty good... ;)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Deep-Dish Pizza (Version 5)

Dinner 12/10

Deep-Dish Pizza (Version 5)
(onions, garlic, black olives, FYH Monterey Jack soy cheese)

Apparently we weren't finished tweaking this juuuust yet. This time a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour was added, which made for a slightly chewier, bread-like crust, with no loss of stability over time.

I had to toss the first batch of onions/garlic after they got burned over-caramelized, when I wandered out to watch my son play "Resistance: Fall of Man" in Deathmatch and Capture The Flag mode. Jaw-dropping visuals, two thumbs up.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pad Thai, Espresso Bean Cheesecake

Dinner 12/09

Pad Thai
(bean sprouts, noodles, tofu, red bell peppers, jalapeno, sriracha, carrots, scallions, cilantro)


Espresso Bean Cheesecake
(Liz says I'm not allowed to even look at this recipe)

The pad thai was all things it was supposed to be: noodly, spicy and filling. I think the noodles must triple in size after cooking, as we always end up with way too much -- but the solution is clear -- pad thai for lunch the next day!

And, for dessert: in what is rapidly approaching a tradition, our son asked for this as his birthday cake -- as you can tell, he has a keen eye and refined palate when it comes to dessert ;)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Moo Shu Pancakes stuffed with Oolong Tea-Smoked Hoisin Tofu, Napa Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms, Jasmine Rice, Bok Choy with Sesame Seeds

Dinner 12/08

Moo Shu Pancakes stuffed with Oolong Tea-Smoked Hoisin Tofu, Napa Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms

Jasmine Rice

Bok Choy with Toasted Sesame Seeds

We loved the moo-shu (and the tea-smoked tofu) so much, we made them again... this time with the bok choy as the side. I could eat these once a week and never get tired of them ;)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gobbetti with Tomato Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Dinner 12/07

Gobbetti with Tomato Sauce

Roasted Broccoli

Iceberg Lettuce Salad w/ Green Goddess Dressing

Gobbetti is one of those pasta shapes I haven't seen too often, but it works well with the chunky tomato sauce Liz made when she came home tonight...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pumpkin Saag, Currant and Pistachio Pulao, Tandoori Tofu

Dinner 12/06

Pumpkin Saag
(VwaV:2 test recipe)

Currant and Pistachio Pulao
(basmati rice, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, cardamom, currants, pistachio, water, salt, pepper)

Tandoori Tofu
(tofu, tamari, soy yogurt, tandoori paste)

Another winning recipe from the test kitchens of Isa and Terry. This time around, a lovely pumpkin saag made with spinach (although we subbed baby kale and the appropriately named "Indian Mustard" greens). Combined with the rice dish and the tandoori tofu, you'll want to make extra for lunch the next day...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seitan and Cannellini Bean Stew, Patatas Bravas, Green Beans with Garlic Sauce, White Bean Soup

Dinner 12/05

Seitan and Cannellini Bean Stew
(seitan, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, cannellini beans, smoked salt, pepper, tamari, sherry)

Patatas Bravas
(boiled red potatoes, which are then fried in olive oil and topped with a sauce of garlic, smoked paprika, smoked salt, cumin, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar, then finished with fried poblano peppers)

Green Beans with Garlic Sauce
(sauce: garlic, almonds and bread, all toasted in olive oil, add salt and white pepper, then puree with a little water to make a paste)

White Bean Soup
(onion, garlic, soyrizo, smoked paprika, pepper, salt, great northern beans, fennel stock)

The seitan stew is a riff on "intoxicated beef" -- and a cup of sherry will in fact do just that. ;) (most, but not all of the alcohol cooks out over a long, slow cooking period, leaving just the flavor).

Traditionally there should be chickpeas in the soup (and the stew), but we were out...

Finally the patatas bravas were a little more bravas than usual, but it in a really tasty way -- the poblano pepper was sort of a throw in -- but it certainly did add another level of heat to the dish.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Moo-Shu Pancakes filled with Tea-Smoked Hoisin Tofu, Napa Cabbage, Shiitake Mushrooms, Refried Rice with Scallions

Dinner 12/04

Moo-Shu Pancakes filled with Tea-Smoked Hoisin Tofu, Napa Cabbage, Shiitake Mushrooms

Refried Rice with Scallions

One from column "C" of the menu tonight -- Moo-Shu (a.k.a. Mandarin Pancakes or Peking Pancakes) stuffed with a killer combo of oolong tea smoked tofu, which is then stir-fried with hoisin sauce and tamari, shredded napa cabbage and stir-fried shiitake mushrooms.

Kudos to Liz for making the light as air moo-shu pancakes at lunch-time, so dinner got to the table on time tonight ;)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Kung Pao Tofu, Jasmine Rice, Green Beans with Pickled Cucumber

Dinner 12/03

Kung Pao Tofu
(tofu, broccoli, ginger, garlic, scallions, sambal oelek, sauce: veg stock, tamari, agave, sesame oil, sake, black vinegar, cornstarch, peanuts)

Jasmine Rice

Green Beans with Pickled Cucumber

One from column "B" of the menu this time: Kung Pao Tofu -- the sweet/sour/spicy sauce pairs perfectly with stir-fried tofu, blanched broccoli and jasmine rice.

And I love the pickled cucumbers, they deliver a nice crunchy/sour hit with the seared/steamed green beans. Plus they last forever in the fridge ;)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Deep Dish Pizza (Version 4)

Dinner 12/02

Deep Dish Pizza (Version 4)
(olives, onion, garlic, soy sausage, tomato sauce, Monterey Jack soy cheese)

Version 4 of the deep-dish pizza, and the best one yet -- as I mentioned before, the added dimpling of the dough had the desired effect of keeping the middle from puffing up too much (425F for 10 minutes). We did a little earlier this time (closer to two minutes), but keep an eye on the dough and try to catch it before it puffs up in the center...

The overall pizza had a good balance of crust vs. filling, and the crust held up over the 10-15 minutes that the extra pieces sat out... I think we're done testing now. ;)

(previous attempts 1 | 2 | 3)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Grilled Asparagus and Seitan Stew Crepes, Russian Fingerling Potataoes, Bistro Salad

Dinner 12/01

Grilled Asparagus and Seitan Stew Crepes

Fingerling Potatoes

(shallots, rosemary, flour/soy margarine roux, veg stock, tamari)

Bistro Salad

The crepes are from "Vegan with a Vengeance" (as always), and the seitan stew / grilled asparagus combo has quickly become a house favorite. Mix in the Russian fingerling potatoes, and you've got the beginnings of a hearty December meal. Which is good, because if the calender hadn't already made it painfully clear, it's December out there. Brrrr.

...and for all the PPK'ers out there, yes, there's an asparagus fork joke in there somewhere ;)