Thursday, July 31, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Teese

Dinner 7/31

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Teese

When summer gives you a bounty of vegetables, there is always this easy to assemble meal -- grilled zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper, layered with tomato sauce, tofu ricotta (tofu, nooch, parsley, pepper), basil, Teese and lasagna noodles. Just pop it in the oven to melt the Teese (450F for 5-6 minutes) and you're good to go.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grilled Eggplant Stack with Green and Yellow Beans, Red, Yellow and Orange Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar, Twice-Fried Tofu with Mushrooms over

Dinner 7/29

Grilled Eggplant Stack with Green and Yellow Beans, Red, Yellow and Orange Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar

Twice-Fried Tofu with Mushrooms over Pasta

A spur-of-the-moment dish, the green/yellow beans and red/orange/yellow tomatoes look like summer on a plate. The yummy local eggplant matched perfectly with the veggies and the balsamic vinegar.

The other half of the meal was leftover tofu from breakfast re-fried with added cremini mushrooms over pasta...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tofu stuffed with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives, Couscous, Broiled Zucchini with Balsamic Vinegar

Dinner 7/26

Tofu stuffed with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives


Broiled Zucchini with Balsamic Vinegar

We (finally) made a batch of preserved lemons about a month ago, using the recipe in Claudia Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food," and used them for this meal.

Much like the technique used for the tofu l'orange, we vacuum-sealed the six tofu cutlets (with a slit cut in the middle for stuffing) with a mixture of the preserved lemon juice (which already has salt added) and pepper and refrigerated them for six hours.

They were pan-fried in canola oil until golden on both sides -- about 5-7 minutes on medium heat.) Then splashed with a tablespoon of tamari at the end of cooking and cooked for an additional 1-2 minutes per side.

Next they were stuffed with a mixture of chopped green olives, preserved lemons, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.

The simple zucchini and balsamic idea came from watching Eric Ripert, subbing nutritional yeast for the parmesan and breaking out the 25-year-old balsamic. The couscous had currants and was molded using a small glass bowl.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sushi, Tempura redux

Dinner 7/25

(avocado rolls)

(green beans, onions, mushrooms)

Sushi and Tempura twice in one month? Inconceivable!

Liz broke out the heart-shaped sushi mold for these little guys -- cute stuff...

The tempura was excellent as always -- it's really quite simple to make once you get into a groove (and an accurate thermometer).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tofu Piccata over Penne Pasta with Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 7/24

Tofu Piccata

Penne Pasta

Roasted Broccoli

Adapted (as always) from the Candle Cafe cookbook. Flour dredged tofu, served with a lemon juice, caper and white wine sauce.

Capers are criminally underutilized.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Caramelized Tofu and Eggplant, Jasmine Rice, Shiitake Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 7/21

Caramelized Tofu and Eggplant

Jasmine Rice

Shiitake Mushrooms

Brussel Sprouts

Caramelized Tofu and Eggplant
(adapted from the "Little Saigon" Cookbook)

1. Wash, pat dry and peel the 2 large Asian eggplants (or two smaller globe eggplants). Cut them into 1 1/2" cubes. Place the cubes in a colander and sprinkle with 3 tbs. of salt. Let stand for 20-30 minutes.

2. Rinse the salt off the eggplant cubes and pat dry. Place the cubes in a medium bowl and sprinkle with 1 tbs. of sugar.

3. Cut the package of firm tofu into large cubes. Stir-fry the tofu in a wok until golden and set aside.

4. In the wok, heat 3 tbs. of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the sugared eggplant and stir occasionally as the sugar cooks and begins to brown. Add one large sliced onion, four cloves of minced garlic, two anise seed pods and a pinch of salt to the eggplant. Saute for another five minutes or until browned.

5. Add the fried tofu, 1/4 cup of light soy or tamari, 1/2 (or more) of a finely diced thai bird chile (if you like the heat), 3/4 cup of coconut milk and 1 tsp. of black pepper. Mix together and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the wok, and let cook for one hour, or until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.

6. Garnish with Thai basil and serve with steamed rice.

We added some shiitake mushrooms and Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts because that's what we had...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seitan Stew, Braised Leeks, Roasted Beets

Dinner 7/20

Seitan Stew

Braised Leeks

Roasted Beets

A quick and easy meal, sort of like stir-fry for nights when we have seitan. Carrots, onion, garlic, herbes de provence, veg stock, tamari cooked in the wok and served over pasta.

The leeks were braised. First trim the leeks, using as much of the white/light green parts as you like (the leftover bits are fantastic in making stock), and cut into 3 inch sections.

The leeks are placed in a small saute pan and filled halfway up the side of the leeks with water. Add 1 tbs. of soy margarine, and bring to a boil. Cover loosely with the lid and continue to cook until the water has just about evaporated.

Turn off heat, place the leeks in an oven-proof dish. Pour the remaining liquid out of the saute pan into the oven-proof dish. Season with salt and pepper and stick into a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes until the leeks begin to caramelize. Serve hot.

The beets were simply roasted in aluminum foil with a little olive oil at 450F for a hour, the removed from the package, peeled, sliced and seasoned.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tofu Marsala en Papillote, Sourdough Bread, Pain Au Levain and Green Olives

Dinner 7/19

Tofu Marsala en Papillote

Sourdough Bread / Pain au Levain

Green Olives

Similar to the packages we made catering for the Coturri tasting, use the basic Tofu Marsala recipe, add spaghetti (and we tossed in some remaining kumquats from last night) and bake.

The kids love opening the packages and smelling all the aromas that come rushing out...

For an appetizer we enjoyed some olives and the San Francisco Sourdough & Pain au Levain breads that Liz made at her bread making class at the Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tofu Pesto Fajitas with Teese, Grilled Corn, Shish Kabobs, Mexican Rice

Dinner 7/18

Tofu Pesto Fajitas with Teese

Grilled Corn

Shish Kabobs

Mexican Rice

Something a little different tonight -- we have a ton of basil growing out on the deck, but we wanted Mexican food. So we compromised and made a smokey pesto style sauce (basil, garlic, smoked paprika, pepper, olive oil) and made fajitas. The tofu was smoked with applewood, pan-fried and cut into strips, the fried a second time with the pesto. The tofu/pesto and Teese were loaded into the tortillas and finished melting on the griddle. The fajitas were topped with leftover pesto.

So, of course Mexican food and Shish Kabobs? Sure, why not! ;)

They featured a combination of tofu, red onion, red bell pepper, mushroom and kumquats -- marinated in olive oil, tamari and smoked paprika and pepper -- set on the skewers and grilled.

The corn (grilled and coated with lime, smoked paprika, and a little Teese for that Oaxacan street food look) and a side of Mexican rice.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Curry and Soy Yogurt Braised Tofu in Lettuce Cups

Dinner 7/17

Curry and Soy Yogurt Braised Tofu in Lettuce Cups

A riff on a recipe from Gourmet, subbing tea-smoked tofu and soy yogurt, served in a lettuce cup.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tofu a la Uva, Mexican Rice, Plantains and Soyrizo, Grilled Asparagus

Dinner 7/15

Tofu a la Uva

Mexican Rice

Plantains and Soyrizo

Grilled Asparagus

You can tell when we've made a certain dish a few time when I start playing with the plating (sort of like the eggplant parmesan riff we went on a few years ago).

Tonight's meal is an adapted Diana Kennedy recipe from "The Cuisines of Mexico" that we've made over the years -- an unusual grape and tomato sauce combination over smoked/grilled tofu.

Tonight the tofu was cut into rounds and placed on top of Mexican rice as well as fried plantains and soyrizo and topped across both by grilled asparagus.

Tofu a la Uva

1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, rough chop
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

2 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup red wine (unfiltered/unfined)

1/2 cup of seedless grapes, sliced in half

1 block of extra-firm tofu, cut into eight cutlets
1 tbs. tamari

Saute the onion for 4-5 minutes until you see a little color. Add the garlic cloves and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the Mexican oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture and cook on medium-low for 15 minutes until the tomatoes breaks down.

Take the tomato mixture and puree in blender, return to pan. Add red wine and cook for another 5-10 minutes to thicken. Add the seedless grapes

Meanwhile, in a separate pan (or wok) saute the extra-firm tofu with canola oil on medium heat until golden brown and delicious. Turn the heat down to low and add the tamari, cook for an additional 1 minute per side.

For serving, we tend to leave the tofu out of the tomato mixture and just pour the sauce over the tofu on the plate, rather than immerse the it in the pan. The tofu can get a little soggy, but tastes good either way ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tofu a la Orange, Green Beans, Red Potatoes

Dinner 7/14

Tofu a la Orange

Green Beans

Red Potatoes

I was reading "Kitchen Mysteries" by Hervé This where he described a method to infuse flavor by injecting a mixture of Cointreau, salt and pepper into food and then microwaving it to evaporate the mixture inside.

Not having a needle handy, I decided to take advantage of tofu's sponge-like nature and vacuum-seal the tofu with the cointreau mixture (1/4 cup cointreau, pinch of salt dissolved and fresh black pepper brought to a boil, then cooled).

After refrigerating it for six hours, I quickly seared the tofu cutlets in peanut oil in the wok (cut into six pieces with a slit cut in the center, rather than the standard eight pieces). With the cointreau permeating the tofu, it will scorch if you don't keep an eye on it, so rotate often. Once it's golden brown on both sides, turn the tofu down to low, and splash with a little tamari and let cook for another 1-2 minutes on both sides.

We had a little scape and onion filling leftover from the griddle cake the other night, so I used that to stuff in the pocket of the tofu.

The tofu was then placed on a sheet pan with a rack in the oven for 15 minutes at 350F to finish cooking the insides.

The final texture was almost creamy/melty inside with a nice balance of orange flavor throughout.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tofu Curry with King Trumpet Mushrooms, Snow Peas with Mushrooms

Dinner 7/12

Tofu Curry with King Trumpet Mushrooms

Snow Peas with Mushrooms

The fresh jasmine rice is rolled around in sesame seeds just before being deep-fried for 30-40 seconds. The curry sauce on the bottom is coconut milk, curry paste & tamari.

The snow peas and mushrooms were cooked in the wok, splashed with a little tamari and pepper at the end and served on the side.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Griddle Cakes, Megadarra, Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Pita Bread, Artichoke Dip

Dinner 7/11

Griddle Cakes
(from Paula Wolfert's "Mediterranean Grains and Greens")

(via Claudia Roden p. 97 -- rice and brown lentils topped with caramelized onions)

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Pita Bread

Artichoke Dip

The griddle cakes are based on a Turkish recipe -- the filling is the part of the scapes that aren't the tips (i.e. the long green parts), onion and harissa (or tomato paste and red pepper flakes if you don't have that) cooked down for 30 minutes until caramelized... then you make a dough out of day-old bread, soaked in water, with added flour and salt. It's all processed in the vita-mix and rolled out into tortilla sized rounds. Then you add the filling and pan-fry to cook the shell. Optionally top with soy yogurt and go to town...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fusilli with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Arugula

Dinner 7/10

Fusilli with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Arugula

Simple, seasonal, local, tasty.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Corn Polenta with King Trumpet Mushrooms and Asparagus, Mixed Green Salad & Tomatoes, Strawberry Tart

Raw Food Wednesday 7/09

Corn Polenta with King Trumpet Mushrooms and Asparagus
(adapted from Ani Phyo)

Mixed Green Salad & Tomatoes


Strawberry Tart

When it's corn season...

...and when it's strawberry season...

...just let it flow.

Raw Food Wednesday: Pizza

Raw Food Wednesday Lunch 7/09


We made these a pizza shells a couple of weeks ago and keep them in a sealed container -- they'll last a very long time, which is a good thing.

You start out by soaking the buckwheat groats, and then sprout them for 2-3 days

When they're ready, they're pureed in the vita-mix along with the other ingredients (recipe below), and dehydrated.

then it just a question of what you want on your pizza, in this case it was cashew cheese...

walnut filling...

lettuce and tomato

Raw Pizza Shells

1 cup of buckwheat, sprouted
1/2 cup of pumpkin/sunflower/almond (whatever you like)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
1 small tomato
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. jalepeño
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. nama shoyu

Process the sprouted buckwheat in a vita-mix with at least a 1/4 cup of water, put in a large mixing bowl. Process the nuts/seed with 1/4 cup of water until smooth. Add to the buckwheat. Process the rest of the ingredients, add to the bowl, mix thoroughly. It should be somewhat thick and spreadable.

Spread out on a dehydrator sheet about 1/4" thick. Dehydrate at 105F for 4-6 hours, flip and go another 4 hours.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hickory Smoked Eggplant with Breaded Teese, Bruschetta

Dinner 7/06

Hickory Smoked Eggplant with Breaded Teese


No, it's not bacon, it just looks that way ;)

The eggplant was peeled, cut into long, wide and 1/4" thick slabs and smoked with hickory chips for 20 minutes. Then they were seasoned with salt and pepper, brushed with olive oil and grilled.

1/2" thick rounds of Teese were coated with seasoned flour (salt, pepper, smoked paprika), dipped in a cornstarch slurry and finally rolled around in a combo of bread crumbs and nutritional yeast. Then they were pan-fried in a 1/4" layer of peanut oil until they became golden brown and just started to melt (trust me, there's a fine line between golden brown and completely melted Teese).

The eggplant were then cut down the center and wrapped around the fried Teese.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sushi, Tempura

Dinner 7/05

(tempeh and avocado rolls)

(onion, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms)

We haven't made sushi for ourselves in a very long time (usually for parties or catering gigs), so tonight was very nice!

Shiitake and Dill Frittata

Breakfast 7/05

Shiitake and Dill Frittata

A test recipe for the upcoming "Crack Of Noon" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This will be an awesome book, redefining vegan brunches...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cherry and Bourbon BBQ Tofu, Oven Fries

Dinner 7/04

Cherry and Bourbon BBQ Tofu

Oven Fries

Refried Rice

Romaine Lettuce

Hickory smoked tofu, and a bourbon based barbecue sauce for the 4th... yeee-haw! ;)

Spent Grain Bread, Ciabatta

Bread Making 7/04

Spent Grain Bread

(two in the middle)

So, after the pancakes, Liz started working on another bread that she learned from her class with Peter Reinhart -- Spent Grain Bread. It utilizes the grain that's used in the beer making process, in this case from Thirsty Dog Brewery in Akron. They were making their Old Leghumper (a porter style) yesterday, so we drove down to the brewery and picked up three one-gallon containers full of grain, or enough to make 32 loaves! (We vacuum-sealed and froze the rest). Thanks to Sue at the brewery for coordinating and the quick tour.

Not content with that, she also made two ciabatta loaves!

This is why we bought the second freezer. ;)

Strawberry Pancakes, Hickory Smoked Tofu

Breakfast 7/04

Strawberry Pancakes

Hickory Smoked Tofu

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chard Roll

Dinner 7/03

Chard Roll

Close-up of the Filling
(farro, mushrooms, carrots, onion, garlic, chard stems and fava beans)

Step 1: cut the bottom of the stem off of the chard leaf and remove about 3/4 of the stem in the leaf. Dice the stem, blanch in acidulated water for 2-3 minutes, then add to the farro (cooked 18-20 minutes in water) mixture (plus sauteed onion, garlic, salt and pepper).

Step 2: Add the farro mixture at the bottom of the stemmed chard leaf...

Step 3: Add the fava beans on top of the farro mixture...

Step 4: Roll up the chard, strudel style

Step 5: Brush with olive oil and tamari and steam for 15 minutes, top with pine nuts

Wednesday, July 02, 2008