Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seitan and Broccoli in Black Bean Sauce, Jasmine Rice, Sesame Kale

Dinner 5/31

Seitan and Broccoli in Black Bean Sauce

Jasmine Rice

Sesame Kale
(wilted with sherry, tamari, red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic and sesame oil)

Black Bean Sauce:

3 tbs. black bean paste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. of ginger, grated
2 tbs. sherry
2 tbs. tamari
3/4 cup of water
1 tbs. of cornstarch

In 1 tsp of canola oil, over med-high heat, stir-fry the garlic, ginger and black bean paste, turning frequently for 45 seconds. Combine all of the liquids and cornstarch and add to the mixture, stirring to combine, until it comes to a boil and thickens.

Add the stir-fried seitan and broccoli and turn to coat thoroughly. Serve over jasmine rice.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Eggplant Ravioli, Zucchini Alfredo, Mizuna Greens

Raw Food Wednesday 5/30

Eggplant Ravioli
(stuffed with walnut filling from RAWvolution and cashew cheese from Trotter/Klein)

Zucchini Alfredo
(adapted from RAWvolution)

Mizuna Greens
(from our garden)



Step-by-step Eggplant Ravioli (click pix for bigger versions)

Step 1: The eggplant was cut into thin rounds on a mandoline, salted for 30 minutes, rinsed off, then marinated in 2 tbs. of lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt for two hours.


Step 2: Add about 1 tsp. of the walnut filling

1 1/2 cups of walnut, pulsed in the vita-mix. Add to that:

1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
3/4 tsp. chili powder

mix it around 'til it feels real good ;)

Step 3: Next, the cashew cheese (either already dehydrated or raw, in this case it was leftover cheese from last week that was re-dehydrated). The cashew recipe is here:


Step 4: Fold the eggplant over the filling and firmly press to seal the edges.



Step 5: Finally, put the ravioli in the dehydrator for 4-6 hours (@105F), flipping about halfway through...




Step 6: Close-up of the finished eggplant ravioli (along with the Zucchini Alfredo). OK, so that really wasn't a step, was it? ;)



Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maple and Bourbon BBQ Tofu, Baked Potato, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 5/29

Maple and Bourbon BBQ Tofu

Baked Potato

Roasted Broccoli

The BBQ sauce is adapted from Slashfood , here's our tweaked version...

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground mustard seeds
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup bourbon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

In a large fry pan over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add salt, mustard, parsley and paprika and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then puree in blender until smooth. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Two big thumbs up... as the summer progresses, expect to see some different BBQ sauces.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wild Mushroom Quesadilla, Plantain and Soyrizo Hash

Dinner 5/28

Wild Mushroom Quesadilla
(shiitake and beech mushrooms, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, black beans, fyh cheddar soy cheese)

Plantain and Soyrizo Hash

The mushroom quesadillas are a recreation of a meal we used to eat at Lopez y Gonzales in Cleveland Heights twenty years ago -- the only thing missing were the Hearts of Palm that used to accompany the dish and the endless supply of salsa and chips that we'd eat by the buckets...

The Beech Mushrooms (a.k.a. Buna shimeji) in the quesadilla are a bit like grown-up enoki, still delicate, but a bit more substantial...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

White Bean Cassoulet with Blackened Tofu over Fettuccine, Bistro Salad

Dinner 5/27

White Bean Cassoulet with Blackened Tofu over Fettuccine
(onion, garlic, soyrizo, cannellini beans, tomato sauce, smoked paprika, tamari, parsley)

Bistro Salad with Radishes and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The cassoulet is one of our stand-by recipes, when time is short or inspiration lacking, or both. That doesn't mean it can't look and taste good ;)

The dressing for the salad is vegenaise-based, with thyme, red wine vinegar, soy parmesan, shallots, salt and pepper added together.

BTW, there's a new MMO we started playing this weekend called Dungeon Runners... Funny (plus good) stuff. Recommended.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice, Hoisin Green Beans

Dinner 5/26

(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, tamari, sriracha)

Jasmine Rice

Hoisin Green Beans

Holiday weekend plus putting in the vegetable garden... yep, Stir-Fry.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fettuccine with King Trumpet Mushrooms, Red Leaf Salad with Spicy Melon and Pink Peppercorn Dressing, Braised Leeks

Dinner 5/25

Fettuccine with King Trumpet Mushrooms

Red Leaf Salad with Spicy Melon and Pink Peppercorn Dressing
(adapted from Fine Cooking July '07 p. 51)

Braised Leeks


A little Marco Polo action tonight: Italian pasta vs. Asian mushrooms. The King Trumpet (a.k.a. eryngii) are almost mini-porcini like, so it's not that big of a leap.

The enduring cliche of vegans is that we eat a lot of salads. I'm here to tell you... it's all true. ;)

We're always looking for new ways to pump some freshness into to our salad repertoire and the combo of melon and peppercorn dressing was a big hit -- the melon was spicy and cooling at the same time, used in the dressing and as a topping (but not as a floor wax). The toasted sunflower seeds added a nice crunch as well.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

King Trumpet Mushroom and Tofu Dinner Salad with Peanut Dressing

Dinner 5/24

King Trumpet Mushroom and Tofu Dinner Salad with Peanut Dressing
(red leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, tomato, red cabbage, tofu, king trumpet mushrooms and peanut and cilantro dressing)

Tonight was one of the dreaded after-school child expo nights, where you wander aimlessly around starving, talking to the different teachers and you see your child's latest schoolwork/artwork/projects/slideshows.

Thankfully I fed the kids before we left, so no low-blood sugar issues there, but Liz got home just in time to change clothes and get back in the car to go to the school. I had prepped most of the food for our dinner, so when we finally returned home, this dinner salad seemed like a gift. ;)

The mushrooms were just sliced horizontally and fried up with a little olive oil and a splash of tamari at the end to "up" the umami profile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Yellow Beet Ravioli, Parsnip Salad in Tomato Cup, Snap Peas

Raw Food Wednesday 5/23

Yellow Beet Ravioli with Sun-Dried Tomato, Garlic and Basil Sauce

Parsnip Salad in Tomato Cup with Baby Greens
(parsnip, lemon juice, dill, pine nuts, cashew cheese, parsley)

Snap Peas
(an hour in the dehydrator with olive oil, nama shoyu, black pepper and red pepper flake)


Raspberry and Strawberry Pie in a Almond and Pistachio Crust

The parsnip salad is sort of like the dolmas filling from a few weeks ago, adapted for use in this summer-y salad (85F today, which felt like summer to me).

The yellow beets are somewhat milder than the usual red variety, and the little bit of dehydrated portobello and shallot added to the filling was spot-on.

The snap peas served dual purpose -- our half went into the dehydrator for an hour, the other half were cooked for the kids' stir-fry (they'd eat that every night if we let them).

The fruit in the pie was mixed with a little lemon juice and raw agave and were... perfect. ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chiles Rellenos, Seitan Fajitas

Dinner 5/22

Chiles Rellenos
(poblano peppers stuffed with tempeh, onion, garlic and soyrizo)

Seitan Fajitas
(onions, red bell pepper, fyh cheddar soy cheese and seitan with cumin, chile powder, garlic salt, smoked paprika, red flake pepper and black pepper)

I've been craving spicy food this week, and the seitan fajitas fit the bill nicely -- smoky, gooey, stuff-yr-face-hey-is-there-any-left? kind of good

We did a little twist with the rellenos tonight, using tempeh (cubed, stir-fried with smoked paprika and cumin) and soyrizo as the filling -- but that the joy of this dish, you can fill the roasted poblano with almost anything, and it's still going to be awesome ;)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stir-fry with Spicy Broccoli, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 5/21

(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger, tamari, pepper)

Spicy Broccoli
(seared/steamed with tamari and szechwan pepper)

Jasmine Rice

We made a "red" version of broccoli (cooked with the tamari) and spiced it up with a small hit of the szechwan peppercorn... a little goes a long way.

All that was missing was the takeout containers ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Blackened Tofu with Grilled Portobello, White Bean and Kale Stew and Fava Beans, Fiddlehead Ferns, Steamed Artichoke, Batard

Dinner 5/20

Blackened Tofu with Grilled Portobello, White Bean and Kale Stew and Fava Beans

Fiddlehead Ferns

Steamed Artichoke


We've somehow missed the fiddleheads so far this season, but made up for it tonight. It's funny when the produce manager asks "so, what do you do with them?" He was probably just surprised that anyone was enthusiastically buying them ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Braised Cabbage and Soyrizo, White Bean, Kale and Radish Greens Soup, French Bread, Raspberry Cupcakes

Dinner 5/19

Braised Cabbage and Soyrizo
(adapted from Mediterranean Grains and Greens by Paula Wolfort)

White Bean and Kale Soup
(onion, garlic, cannellini beans, kale, radish greens, tamari, pepper, veg stock)

(French Bread)


Raspberry Cupcakes
(adapted from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World")

Liz made six batards today -- it's been a while since she's last made them, but it's always worth the effort... so, so good.

...and remember, more cupcakes are never a bad thing ;)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Porcini Mushroom and Seitan in Phyllo with Mustard Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Dinner 5/18

Porcini Mushroom and Seitan in Phyllo with Mustard Sauce
(seitan, red onion, garlic, carrot, porcini mushrooms, herbes de provence, tamari, pepper)

Roasted Broccoli


Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes



A moment of silence for the last of the porcini...



The mixture of seitan, red onion, carrot, garlic and porcini, wrapped in phyllo and baked, then covered with a hearty sauce infused with mustard made the chilly spring evening (frost warning!) seem that much warmer.

The cupcakes are for Sarah and Chase's wedding (congratulations!), but we made an extra batch (for back-up) and had those for dessert tonight.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sweet and Sour Seitan, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 5/17

Sweet and Sour Seitan
(garlic, ginger, red onion, seitan, carrot, red bell pepper, pineapple, baby corn, scallion. sauce: tamari, rice vinegar, ketchup, agave)

Jasmine Rice

Some nights, dinner is dictated by the maxim: "what needs to be used before it goes bad?" Tonight's guest star... Pineapple. ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Raw Pad Thai, Coconut and Lemongrass Soup, Persimmon Tart

Raw Food Wednesday 5/16

Raw Pad Thai
(from Trotter/Klein)

Coconut and Lemongrass Soup


Persimmon Tart
(with almond, pistachio and agave tart shell)

The raw Pad Thai is probably our raw version of the ubiquitous stir-fry -- dependable, quick and delicious ;)

The Coconut and Lemongrass Soup was easy to make -- the juice of one young coconut, one stalk of lemongrass chopped, a 1/8" slice of ginger, 1 tsp. jalapeno, sea salt and pepper to taste, cilantro for garnish.

Add all of the ingredients into the vita-mix and puree until frothy. Then pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer, check for seasoning and add cilantro.

The tart is adapted from RAWvolution, and tonight we used the Fuyugaki for the first time -- the difference was pretty amazing -- the natural pectin in the these persimmons is very pronounced and the filling set up quite firmly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shiitake Mushroom In Yuba, Refried Rice

Dinner 5/15

Shiitake Mushroom In Yuba

Refried Rice

the yuba sheet was stuffed with the mushrooms, then rolled up and poached in a mixture of veg stock, sesame oil, tamari, sherry and agave.

In the last week's "Entertainment Weekly," it listed: Out: Tempeh, Five Minutes Ago: Miso and In: Yuba... I'm guessing there a lot of people that are thinking there's a town in Arizona named Miso... ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Porcini and Arugula Napoleon with Roasted Potatoes, Mixed Green Salad with Apple and Fig Vinaigrette

Dinner 5/14

Porcini and Arugula Napoleon with Roasted Potatoes

Mixed Green Salad with Apple and Fig Vinaigrette

We saved the best/biggest porcini for this idea...

The porcini were sliced evenly on a mandoline, then fried with olive oil and soy margarine, salt, pepper and a splash of tamari at the end...

The arugula was wilted in olive oil with shallot, garlic, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, salt, pepper and 2 tbs. of scotch.

Yes, scotch... we read somewhere (I think in "Food and Wine") that the peppery bite of arugula pairs well with scotch. Tonight I can confirm that it indeed does add a smoky, smooth flavor profile to the proceedings. As in: ZOMGWTFBBQ!!111!1!!

Then, it's just a matter of alternating the porcini slices with the arugula filling. The remaining filling was spooned around the plate.

Here's the outdoor shot with roasted potatoes added...

There's still enough porcini's left over for one more dish...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Porcini in Phyllo with a Herbed Bechamel Sauce and Green Beans

Dinner 5/13

Porcini in Phyllo with a Herbed Bechamel Sauce and Green Beans



Click for bigger pictures

Step 1: Place ring mold brushed with olive oil on sheet tray lined with aluminum foil.



Step 2: Brush phyllo sheet with olive oil and fold in half. Lay phyllo over the ring mold and press down gently into mold.



Step 3: Add the sauteed porcini (olive oil, salt, pepper, splash of tamari) into ring mold, about 2/3 full.



Step 4: Add a herbed Bechamel sauce -- shallot, soy margarine and flour making a roux. Whisk in soy milk until thickened. Add finely minced fresh tarragon and thyme, as well as salt and pepper.



Step 5: Fold in edges of Phyllo...



Step 6: ...sealing the package. Brush with Olive Oil and place in a 400F oven for 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.



The final plate with Green Beans and additional herbed Bechamel Sauce: overhead version

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mapo Tofu , Jasmine Rice

Dinner 5/12

Mapo Tofu
(garlic, ginger, red pepper flake, szechuan peppercorn, carrot, red bell pepper, baby corn, black bean sauce, tvp, scallion, tamari, palm sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch, tofu)

Jasmine Rice

Mapo Tofu (a.k.a. Mapo Doufu) is a veganized twist on the classic Chinese dish -- meatless, but still smokin' hot ;)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps, Grilled Radicchio, Grilled Asparagus

Dinner 5/11

Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps

Grilled Radicchio
(with olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar

Grilled Asparagus
(local, organic with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice)

The grill got a full workout with the radicchio, asparagus and ramps all vying for space. The radicchio benefited the most, with the balsamic vinegar caramelizing and neutralizing any residual bitterness. The asparagus were local and organic and you could tell, not just physically (a distinct creaminess), but also on the palate. The grilling really brought out the all the smoky and earthy notes -- and apologies for wine-like hyperbole -- the terroir. Also, these may be the last of the local ramps now that the shade trees have almost fully bloomed...

Porcini: How I Love Thee, even at $30/lb

Again with the fabulous mushrooms -- and again from the Mustard Seed Market. Some huge specimens that we're looking forward to experimenting with over the next few days.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

White Bean Burger, Pommes Frites, Bistro Salad, Chai Cheesecake

Dinner 5/10

White Bean Burger
(cannellini beans, flour, thyme, rosemary, roasted garlic, salt and pepper)

Pommes Frites

Bistro Salad
(romaine lettuce, vegenaise, roasted garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, tarragon)


Chai Cheesecake


If we ever opened a restaurant, the burgers would go on the menu -- no, there's absolutely no danger of that actually happening, I just like to say that every once in a while. ;)

The frites were "blanched" in peanut oil at 280F for 6-8 minutes, then let rest for 15 minutes, then deep-fried at 375F for 2-3 minutes to crisp up. They're really not hard to make at home, as long as you have the right-sized vessel (in our case a big wok) and a heavy duty candy thermometer.

The dessert is a (tasty, tasty) work in progress, so there's no recipe to report at the moment. Although it's really just a chai tea reduction with some unusual spices -- for a cheesecake at least.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Dolmas, Cauliflower Couscous, Watermelon Gazpacho

Raw Food Wednesday 5/09

(dinosaur kale stuffed with parsnips, mint, dill, pine nuts, lemon juice, cashew cheese, sea salt, black pepper)

Cauliflower Couscous
(cauliflower, parsley, kalamata olives, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, cayenne)

Watermelon Gazpacho
(recipe here)

A little bit of this, a little of that -- the dolmas are a variation on the ones found in the Trotter/Klein "Raw" book subbing Dinosaur Kale and parsnip and cashew cheese which makes for a creamier filling.

The cauliflower couscous has become a staple -- always good when you have a half of a cauliflower and don't know what to do with it ;)

Finally, the first organic watermelon of the season has shown up (don't ask how much it cost!), so while the kids practiced spitting the seeds off the deck, we made the always refreshing gazpacho -- the jalapeno's heat sneaks in there if you let it sit for a few minutes and let all of the ingredients mingle.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Seitan and Mushrooms with Bearnaise Sauce, Twice Baked Potato, Broccoli

Dinner 5/08

Seitan and Mushrooms with Bearnaise Sauce

Twice Baked Potato


A variation of the bearnaise sauce with tofu we made back in January. We decide to revisit the dish, as we had a ton of tarragon and russet potatoes that needed to be used ASAP.

The broccoli was blanched in highly salted water for a few minutes, shocked under cold water and then pan-fried with a little olive oil, soy margarine, salt and pepper.

the final score: 2 veg, 1 starch, 1 protein ;)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fusilli with Tomato Cream Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, Fried Tofu

Dinner 5/07

Fusilli with Tomato Cream Sauce

Roasted Broccoli

Fried Tofu

The weather (and winds) finally co-operated enough to eat dinner out on the deck tonight -- hence the shadows on the food.

It was a standard tomato cream sauce (onion, garlic, red pepper flake, black pepper, tomato sauce, soy sour cream) mixed in with the fusilli pasta, augmented with the roasted broccoli (olive oil, salt, pepper roasted at 450F for 15 minutes), and some leftover smoked tofu (shredded and refried with additional tamari). A simple one bowl meal with a big Coturri Sangiovese to wash it all down...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Stir-Fry with Grilled Ramps, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 5/06

Stir-Fry with Grilled Ramps
(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, ginger, garlic, tamari, toasted sesame oil, szechwan peppercorns, sriracha sauce)

Refried Jasmine Rice

after a long hot day mowing the back 40 (and then some), it's always nice to tuck into one of these...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tomatillo Enchiladas, Mucho Margarita Cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo 5/05

Tomatillo Enchiladas
(corn tortillas stuffed with shredded smoked tofu, onion, and FYH Monterey Jack, covered in tomatillo sauce, then topped with more soy cheese)


Mucho Margarita Cupcakes
(from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World")

why yes, I did sample the tequila at 9am. Only to make sure it was of the highest quality. It had good tonguisity... ;)

We colored the turbinado sugar with natural food coloring (beet and blueberry extract)...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Shepherdess Pie, Strawberry and Rhubarb Cobbler

Dinner 5/05

Shepherdess Pie
(test recipe from the upcoming "Veganomicon")


Strawberry and Rhubarb Cobbler

'Tis the season for school carnivals, kids expo nights, movie nights, PTO fundraisers, etc. Meals like the shepherdess pie are money in the bank -- you can make them up to a day ahead, stick them in the fridge and pull them out when you get back from the school function and pop them in the oven...

(Look for "Veganomicon" to come out Oct/Nov 2007.)

Rhubarb makes it's second spring appearance (after Raw Food Wednesday's salad) Is it a Cobbler? Crumble? Grunt? Slump? Whatever. Just call it tasty...