Saturday, February 28, 2009

Broccoli Rabe and Seitan Sausage Totrta, Bluefoot Mushrooms, Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Dinner 2/28

Broccoli Rabe and Seitan Sausage Totrta

Bluefoot Mushrooms

Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

The torta is adapted from a recipe in Gourmet (01/07) -- it's made in a springform pan by layering crepes, sauteed broccoli rabe, bechamel sauce (roux + soy milk and a pinch of nutmeg), seitan sausages (the last of the chaurice-styled ones we made a while back), Teese, salt and pepper. The crepes are from "Vegan with a Vengeance."

Here you can see the layers pretty well...

Served along with some sauteed Bluefoot Mushrooms we picked up at WF earlier in the week.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tian de Courgettes, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Green Beans, Roasted Russian Fingerling Potatoes

Dinner 2/26

Tian de Courgettes

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Green Beans

Roasted Russian Fingerling Potatoes

Again, dipping back into Escoffier for the Tian de Courgettes (proto-ratatouille), with the decidedly moderne addition of a grilled portobello as the base and using the ice cream dasher to mold the eggplant. ;)

Served with green beans and roasted fingerling potatoes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

English Pea Soup, Oyster Mushrooms, Roasted Beet Salad, Artichoke Dip

Dinner 2/25

English Pea Soup

Oyster Mushrooms

Roasted Beet Salad

Artichoke Dip

As Erik Marcus of said "The first time a bowl of soup has reminded me of US Airways Flight 1549."

Throw that pea a life preserver!

Close-up of the baguette raft picking up passengers...

The soup is adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's "Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef" -- the broth uses the shucked pea pods as an additional flavor enhancer, and they do a great job of infusing the broth with that essence of (the hopefully arriving) springtime.

We started with a simple roasted beet salad and artichoke dip with pita bread (not shown). The artichoke dip is one we've played around with over the years, you can re-arrange it depending on what you have on hand -- but tonight it was artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, cubanelle peppers, vegenaise, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. It's baked in an au gratin dish at 400F for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras: Smoked Tofu with Wilted Chard, Red Beans and Rice, Mustard Cream Sauce

Dinner 2/24

Smoked Tofu with Wilted Chard

Red Beans and Rice

Mustard Cream Sauce

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

A variation on this favorite recipe, made with Mesquite-smoked Tofu and Swiss Chard and a base of the classic "red beans and rice" surrounded by the mustard cream sauce.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Szechuan Eggplant, Gobi Manchurian, Tempura Green Beans, Tempura Asparagus, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 2/23

Szechuan Eggplant

Gobi Manchurian

Tempura Green Beans

Tempura Asparagus

Jasmine Rice

I might be seeing things, but I'm pretty sure that's the spaceship from movie "2001"

Here's the Gobi Manchurian recipe, as well as the tempura recipe.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slow Braised Eggplant and Tea-Smoked Tofu with Jasmine Rice on Curried Crepes, Shiitake Lollipops

Dinner 2/21

Slow Braised Eggplant and Tea-Smoked Tofu with Jasmine Rice on Curried Crepe

Shiitake Lollipops

This recipe, added to crepes (from VwaV) made with coconut milk & curry.

test project, no recipe yet... very tasty though. ;)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bigoli Pasta with Mushroom Ragu, Bruschetta, Fava Beans

Dinner 2/20

Bigoli Pasta with Mushroom Ragu


Fava Beans

A (tasty) learning experience...

The bruschetta had tomato, zucchini, onion, garlic with a side of Fava Beans (pls, no Chianti jokes)...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grilled Asparagus, Cremini Mushroom, Seitan and Lentil Stew in Crepes, Braised Leeks

Dinner 2/19

Grilled Asparagus, Cremini Mushroom & Seitan and Lentil Stew in Crepes

Braised Leeks

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Raw Food Wednesday: Winter Roll, Spaghetti Alfredo, Celery and Snow Peas stuffed with Cashew Cheese, Tomato and Basil Salad

Raw Food Wednesday 2/18

Winter Roll
(Nama Shoyu & Meyer Lemon Dipping Sauce)

Celery and Snow Peas stuffed with Cashew Cheese

Spaghetti Alfredo

Tomato and Basil Salad

The idea this week was to make a small plate of raw hors d'oeuvres, little things you could pass around at a party.

The Winter Roll is very similar to the Autumn Roll, without the mushrooms and parsnips and using a lighter blend of cashews, pine nuts and walnuts.

The spaghetti alfredo is right out of Matt Amsden's "RAWvoultion" -- we had a couple of little zucchini that needed to be used up, just enough to make a couple of light forkfuls.

There was also a little cashew cheese leftover from earlier that found it's way stuffed into the celery and snow peas courtesy of Liz.

The tomato (much like the strawberry on Saturday) was surprisingly ripe and flavorful for February. Drizzled with a little olive oil & lemon juice vinaigrette and a few basil leaves tucked inside, it made summer seem less like a forgotten memory...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grilled Pizza (a slight return)

Dinner 2/16

Grilled Pizza

Step 1: Make the dough.

Step 2: Grill the dough

Step 3: Add toppings (tomato sauce, artichoke, seitan sausages, red onion, mushrooms, nooch)

Step 4: Add the Mozzarella Teese and melt (a wok dome works wonders here, or toss it under the broiler for 45 seconds).

Step 5: Consume mass quantities.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day: Tofu Au Vin, Potatoes Gratin, French Onion Soup, Sauternes Cake, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Valentine's Day Dinner 2/14

Tofu Au Vin

Potatoes Gratin

French Onion Soup


Sauternes Cake

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

For our 23rd Valentine's Day dinner, I went with the first solo vegan meal I ever made for Liz, Tofu Au Vin paired with Potatoes Gratin. I remember it took forever to make the dish the first time because I didn't want to screw it up and kept re-reading the recipe. ;)

Liz made the French Onion soup (adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe, subbing veg stock and Sheese Gouda)

For dessert, Liz made the always spectacular Sauternes Cake (adapted from Neil Perry, subbing soft tofu/soy milk) and adding chocolate dipped strawberries (that were surprisingly ripe for being from South America)

mmm... chocolate.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cherry-Smoked Tofu stuffed with Collard Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms, Hoecakes, Okra and Tomato Stew, Herbes de Provence Biscuits

Dinner 2/13

Cherry-Smoked Tofu stuffed with Collard Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms


Okra and Tomato Stew

Herbes de Provence Biscuits

Another Mardi Gras inspired meal, with house favorite Okra and Tomato Stew paired with Hoecakes (cornmeal/water/salt/pepper/baking powder) cooked up in the cast-iron skillet.

Liz channels her inner-Southern woman whenever she makes the biscuits

The tofu was portioned into six cutlets, a had a slit cut in the side. First, it was smoked with cherry wood for 25 minutes, then seared on both sides and splashed with tamari at the end of cooking for an extra minute. The collard greens and mushrooms were cooked in the same pan as the tofu adding a nice extra layer of smoky flavor to both ingredients. Finally the tofu was stuffed with the collards & mushrooms and put into a 350F oven for 15 minutes to finish cooking the center of the tofu.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raw Food Wednesday: Yellow Beet Ravioli, Cole Slaw, Pizza, Celery Root and Green Apple Soup

Raw Food Wednesday 2/11

Yellow Beet Ravioli stuffed with Cashew Cheese

Cole Slaw

Celery Root and Green Apple Soup
(from "Raw Food, Real World")

There are some Wednesday's when the dehydrator is humming from sunrise to sunset. Then there are days like today, where we went out to do some shopping and didn't get back until 3pm.

We whipped up some quick cashew cheese (cashew, white miso, salt, pepper, water) and used that for filling the yellow beet ravioli (peeled and sliced thin on the mandoline, marinated in olive oil, salt and pepper for 20 minutes).

Liz knocked out the cole slaw (red/green cabbage, carrot, celery, caraway seed, apple cider vinaigrette) as well as the celery root & apple soup (from "Raw Food, Real World") in the vita mix.

And with that we were ready to eat...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lentil and Seitan Stew, Braised Brussel Sprouts, Braised Carrots

Dinner 2/09

Lentil and Seitan Stew

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Braised Carrots

A quick one tonight -- pressure cooked lentils in veg stock (15 minutes) with pan-fried seitan, carrot, onion and garlic (15 minutes) matched with braised brussel sprouts (30 minutes) and carrots of many colors (30 minutes).

With prep time, it runs about 45 minutes total. Which, for us, is almost considered fast food... ;)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Carbonnades a la Flamande, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Dinner 2/08

Carbonnades a la Flamande
(recipe below)

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Carbonnades a la Flamande
adapted from Julia Child
(serves 4)

2 tbs. olive oil
4 cups of sliced onions
16 oz. seitan, cut into 1/2" cubes
salt & pepper

1 tbs. herbes de provence
2 cups Belgian Style beer
1 cup veg stock
1 tbs. tamari

1 tbs. red wine vinegar
2 tbs. cornstarch

In a dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and sweat the onions with a little salt and pepper until just starting to brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remove the onions and reserve.

Add more olive oil if needed and do the same to the seitan until it's browned on all sides.

Add the onions back to the dutch oven, along with the herbes de provence.

Next, add two cups of your favorite Belgian-style vegan beer, and one cup of veg stock plus the tamari. Bring to a boil and place in a 375F oven for one hour.

To finish, thicken the sauce by adding a slurry of 1 tbs. of wine vinegar and 2 tbs. cornstarch that have been mixed together and whisk to combine.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Eggplant Panini, Asparagus

Dinner 2/07

Eggplant Panini


The cast-iron grill pan got a work out as we made a panini for dinner. Mesquite smoked eggplant was grilled and combined with Mozzarella Teese between two pieces of homemade ciabatta, slathered with Earth Balance.

Panini are all about timing. You want to get the nice grill marks quickly, without having the Teese melt completely. Right after this picture was taken, I placed another hot cast-iron pan on top of the sandwich. This weighs the panini down and begins to cook the top half of the bread and melt the Teese. Then the panini is rotated to get the grill marks. Finally, it's flipped over and you repeat the process.

At the end you can see that the Teese has melted, but hasn't liquefied yet...

The asparagus were cooked for 5 minutes in heavily salted water, drained and shocked in an ice bath and drained. They were finished in rolling around in some melted soy margarine, and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Jambalaya , Gumbo Z'Herbes

Dinner 2/05


Gumbo Z'Herbes
(recipe below)

A little early Mardi Gras celebrating, with a deconstructed jambalaya and the ever popular Gumbo Z'Herbes.

For the jambalaya, we hickory smoked the tofu, and marinated it in a little tamari, pepper, file powder and a splash of bourbon before pan-frying. The tofu was placed on top of the rice portion (onion, garlic, herbes de provence, clove, smoked paprika, cayenne, basmati rice, veg stock, tamari, black pepper) rather than cooked with it as we've done in the past...

Gumbo Z'Herbes
(serves 4-6)

1 tbs. olive oil
six leaves of collard greens, cut into chiffonade
six leaves of curly endive, rough chop
six leaves of dinosaur kale, rough chop
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. tamari

1 onion, small dice
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 rib of celery, small diced
1 carrot, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice

14 oz. can of red beans, drained
1 tsp. file powder, or to taste
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
salt, to taste
4 cups veg stock

sweat the onion until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the paprika and file. then, wilt the greens -- and it's still amazing that this...

...somehow turns into this after a few minutes in the wok.

Add the kidney beans, veg stock, tamari and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or so while you're finishing up the jambalaya...

To plate, we cut up a couple of the chaurice-styled seitan sausages (recipe in progress) we made earlier in the day and fried them up for the gumbo.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Raw Food Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Pizza

Raw Food Wednesday 2/04

Spaghetti and Meatballs
(recipe below)

Buckwheat Pizza
(recipe below)

We haven't made the spaghetti and meatballs in a while -- but the zucchini and mushrooms (for the meatballs) needed to be used ASAP.

For the spaghetti, zucchini is spiral cut and tossed with a quick tomato sauce: tomato, sun-dried tomato, date, jalapeno, nama shoyu, olive oil, oregano and pepper.

(makes 16-20 meatballs)

1 cup mushroom, minced
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup cashew, soaked
1/4 cup almond, soaked
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked

1 tsp. jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, soaked for 20 minutes
1 tbs. parsley, minced

1/4 cup flax seed, ground
1/2 tsp. salt

Toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, nama shoyu and pepper, then dehydrate for 30 minutes at 105F.

Drain the soaked nuts, add to the vita-mix with barely enough water to break the nuts almost completely down. You want a little texture left. Remove and add to a mixing bowl.

Add the dehydrated mushroom, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeno and parsley to the vita mix and puree. Add to the nut mixture and combine with 1 tbs. of the ground flax seed.

Form the mixture into roughly 1" balls and roll around in the ground flax seed and salt mixture to completely coat. Place in the dehydrator for 6-8 hours at 105F, rotating halfway through. If needed, you can re-shape them around this time.

The pizza is the usual sprouted buckwheat crust with cashew cheese, tomatoes, walnut topping.

Raw Pizza Crusts

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. jalepeƱo
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. nama shoyu

Soak the buckwheat for about six hours, then place it in a small colander and cover loosely with a cloth napkin or small hand towel, then rinse/toss every 12 hours or so to keep it from getting gloopy (that's a technical term). After two or three days you should see the the sprouts pretty clearly.

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.

For these crusts we used a 4" ring mold, and spread the mixture out on a dehydrator sheet about 1/4" thick. Dehydrate at 105F for 4-6 hours, flip and go another 4 hours.

At no point did Sandra Lee sneak in and make the tablescape ;)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Seitan Fajitas, Chiles Rellenos stuffed with Plantain, Soyrizo and Teese

Dinner 2/02

Seitan Fajitas

Chiles Rellenos stuffed with Plantain, Soyrizo and Teese

The fajitas have become one of our kids favorite meals. Pan-fried seitan strips, rajas (strips of poblano and red peppers, red onions, salt, pepper and Mexican oregano slowly cooked down and caramelized) and melty Teese to hold it all together while it cooks on the griddle.

The poblanos were blackened over an open flame on the stove, then peeled and deseeded. They were stuffed with a mixture of pan-fried plantain and soyrizo, then a layer of Mozzarella Teese. They were finished under the broiler until the Teese melted and began to ooze out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl: Buffalo Tofu, Oven Fries, Vegenaise Dip with Smoked Paprika

Dinner 2/01

Buffalo Tofu

Oven Fries

Vegenaise Dip with Smoked Paprika

It was tough watching the Super Bowl XLIII this year -- anytime Pittsburgh is in the game, we tend to flip over to the Puppy Bowl instead ;)

The original plan was to make Pommes Frites like last year, but we went with oven fries instead... cut into wedges, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted at 450F for 40 minutes or so.

But it's not a Super Bowl dinner without the appearance of the Buffalo Tofu...

Buffalo Tofu

16 oz. firm tofu (cut into long strips)
1 tbs. tamari
black pepper to taste

1 medium white onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbs. chipotle chopped
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup of BBQ sauce (optional, if you don't have any, just add another tomato)

Marinate the tofu with the tamari and pepper for 20 minutes while you prepare the the sauce.

In a saute pan over medium heat, cook the onions until you see a little color (5-7 minutes), add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the tomato, chipotle and bbq sauce (or additional tomato) and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and have begun to thicken.

Remove the tomato mixture from the pan and puree in a blender. Return the mixture to the pan and continue to cook until the sauce has reduced down further.

Meanwhile, pat the tofu dry and deep fry (in batches) at 375F for 3-5 minutes, until puffy (that's a technical term).

Drain the tofu, and put it in with the sauce, turn to coat well. Let the tofu cook in the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot, with the Vegenaise and Smoked Paprika as a dipping sauce.