Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grilled Tofu, Farro, Braised Chard, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pears

Dinner 10/28

Grilled Tofu


Braised Chard

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pears

A little bit of this, a little of that...

Farro is an underrated grain, with a nutty flavor and barley-like texture, it does a great job of absorbing the extra marinade (1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup tamari, 2 cloves of garlic smashed, 1 tbs. agave, 1 tbs. ketchup and pepper to taste) from the grilled tofu.

The diced chard stems were wok-fried in 1 tsp. of olive oil on low heat for 3-4 minutes, and then the rough chopped leaves were added, with salt and pepper and tossed for a few minutes. Put the lid on and don't even look at at it for 5-6 minutes. Toss again, add a splash of tamari, put the lid back on for another 3-4 minutes. Remove the lid, check for seasoning, serve hot.

The Brussels sprouts and pears were tossed with 1 tbs. of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and roasted for 20 minutes at 450F.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mac 'n Greens

Dinner 10/26

Mac 'n Greens

Leftover smoked cashew/macadamia cream sauce (- horseradish) + Daiya + wilted chard + nutmeg = Mac 'n Greens.

This. Was. Awesome.

Mac 'n Greens
(makes 4)

Smoked Cream Sauce

smoker box
3/4 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of macadamia nuts
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
1/2 cup of soy/rice/almond milk


16 oz. macaroni

(you'll probably have leftover pasta depending on what type you use -- this only used about 3/4 of the total amount of macaroni)


1 tbs. olive oil
1 small bunch of chard, rinsed, stems removed & leaves thinly sliced
salt & pepper to taste

Sauce Base

2 tbs. soy margarine
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups of smoked cashew/macadamia cream sauce
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste


4 oz. Daiya

To make the smoked cashew/macadamia cream, start by smoking the nuts with alder wood for 20 minutes. Add them to the Vita-mix along with enough water to make a cream sauce. The amount will vary, but you're looking for a smooth, creamy sauce. Now, thin it out by adding 1/2 cup of soy/rice/almond milk and the nutritional yeast and puree together again. The resulting sauce should be able to coat the back of a spoon easily. Check for salt and reserve.

(Don't want to do all that? Use 2 cups of soy/rice/almond milk. We won't tell anyone.)

Cook the pasta as directed on the package. We used macaroni, but any funny shaped pasta* will do.

Depending on how big a fan of chard stems you are, you can dice them very small and pan fry for 3-4 minutes before adding the leaves. If not, just omit them. Otherwise, in a large saute pan, cook the leaves with the olive oil on med-low heat until wilted, and check for seasoning. Remove from the pan and reserve.

In the same pan, melt the soy margarine, add the flour and whisk together to make a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it bubbles and turns a nice golden color. Add the smoked cashew/macadamia cream slowly, whisking quickly to avoid lumps. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens. Add salt, nutritional yeast and nutmeg and whisk to incorporate.

Add the shredded Daiya, stir until melted, add pasta and reserved chard to combine.

Check for seasoning, and try not to eat all of it directly from the pan.

Place the pasta into a lightly greased (with soy margarine) Au Gratin dish or 6oz. ramekin. Sprinkle extra nutritional yeast on top (to taste) or bread crumbs (or both).

Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

* "unless you think round is funny."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smoked Chanterelle Mushroom Pizza with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Dinner 10/24

Smoked Chanterelle Mushroom Pizza with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Yes, it was awesome.

We smoked the chanterelles, along with cashews and macadamia nuts (for the cream sauce) with alder wood. The mushrooms went in for 10 minutes, the nuts for an additional 10 minutes.

The mushrooms were then sauteed with olive oil, salt, pepper and a splash of tamari at the end of cooking and were put on the pizza shell (along with sauteed onions) and baked as usual (450F for 10-12 minutes, then rotated for another 7-10 minutes).

The nuts were pureed in the vita-mix along with water, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. At this point we removed half of the sauce from the vita-mix and reserved it for later use. Then we added 1 tbs. of horseradish into the vita-mix, gave it a spin to combine and spread the sauce with an offset spatula on top of the pizza once it was out of the oven.

Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Spent Grain Bread

Lunch 10/24

Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Spent Grain Bread

There are few things greater than tomato soup and a grilled (Daiya) cheese sandwich on a dreary October afternoon.

The bread, as you may recall, is from the batch Liz made last year from the spent grain we picked up in Akron at Thirsty Dog Brewing. We pulled it out of the freezer, where we had vacuum-sealed it, and it tasted like it was made yesterday...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mushrooms Madagascar, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pears and Fennel

Dinner 10/23

Mushrooms Madagascar

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pears and Fennel

We pulled this one out of the archives -- it's a recreation of a restaurant dish we used to eat years ago. It has nothing to do with Madagascar. ;)

Quite simply, it's whole button mushrooms (stems trimmed) sauteed in olive oil, with salt until golden brown all over. The mushrooms are then put into an au gratin dish with veg stock, a splash of tamari, whole peppercorns (red, green, white and black) lightly crushed and topped with Daiya.

The dish was put on a sheet tray and put in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes until the Daiya melted and everything was sizzling hot.

It was served alongside roasted brussels sprouts, pears and fennel -- done in a roasting pan, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and roasted at 425F for 20 minutes (rotating/stirring the pan halfway through). The pears were a surprise, holding their shape and adding a different (and tasty) note to the roasted veggies.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Raw Food Wednesday: Vegetable Pot Pie

Raw Food Wednesday 10/21

Pot Pie

I'm not sure what prompted the idea of making a raw pot pie, but I'm glad I wrote the idea down at the time...

Ideas can be fickle beasts -- they often arrives without warning, and often without pen, pencil or paper in hand. We've both gotten better at capturing ideas and wrestling them to the ground. Liz likes to use the "scraps of paper" method plus photocopying things at work. My "ubiquitous capture" method is to keep Notepad open on the laptop at all times, as well as having a paper notebook and pen in the kitchen, and a small notepad next to the bed.

Now, if I could figure out a way to write down ideas in the shower, everything would be perfect. ;)

Vegetable Pot Pie
(makes 2)

This would be great as part of a Thanksgiving spread, easily assembled ahead of time, and warmed through in a dehydrator.


1/2 cup water
1/2 apple, peeled
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. lemon juice
3 or 4 pieces of sun-dried tomato, soaked for 20 minutes

Eat the other half of the apple ;)

Everything else goes into the vita mix, puree until smooth. Pour off about a 1/4 cup -- it'll be used with the veggies -- reserve and refrigerate the rest.


1 small fennel bulb, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 turnip, finely diced
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 tbs. fresh tarragon, finely diced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely diced

Keyword: Finely Diced ;)

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, toss with the reserved 1/4 cup of gravy, a pinch of salt and spread out on two dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 105F for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The veggies will shrink, but they should still have some moisture left.


1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tbs. flax, spice grinder
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Grind the pine nuts and flax seed together with the salt, pepper and nutmeg, which should make a loose sticky dough. Divide the dough in half and gently roll them both into circles, slightly larger than the diameter of the ramekin. Dehydrate at 105F for 1 hour, flip and go for another hour or so. It may still seem a little "wet" at this point, but you'll be dehydrating it again once everything is assembled.


1 tbs. flax seed, freshly ground

When you're ready to assemble, grind the flax and whisk it into the gravy base. Don't do it too soon in advance or it'll thicken up too much before you need it.

Add the filling to the ramekins, and pour the gravy over the top, and mix to combine. Using a spatula, carefully lift the crust off the dehydrator sheets and place on top of the filling/gravy in the ramekin. Don't worry if it breaks or is still a little wet, you can fill in the gaps/cracks pretty easily. Press gently to even out the dough.

At this point, you could cover the ramekins and refrigerate until needed.

If you're eating right away, place the ramekin in the dehydrator for an hour or so at 105F to allow the veggies and the gravy to meld and let the crust firm up further.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wild Mushrooms en Papillote, Zucchini Fritters with Tomato Sauce

Dinner 10/19

Wild Mushrooms en Papillote

Zucchini Fritters with Tomato Sauce

The local grocery store has been coming through with the mushrooms lately -- Lobster, Chanterelle and Shiitakes -- so we adapted this recipe from Gourmet, adding spaghetti as a base, and adding white wine to the sauce.

The parchment squares were brushed with part of the melted soy margarine and were folded in half. Then we added the base of spaghetti and layered the mushrooms -- mixed with a sauce that used the rest of the melted soy margarine, 1/4 cup white wine, minced shallots, minced garlic, parsley, tarragon and smoked salt and pepper.

The packages were sealed by crimping along the edges and finally put into the 450F oven for 20 minutes. Here they are going into the oven...

...and here they just out of the oven -- you can tell that the seal on the packages was good, or else they would have deflated in seconds (now, if I could only crimp like Howard and Vince).

Oh, the aroma when the packages were cut open!

We also used the last of the monster zucchini (the one in front) that came from the garden. They were shredded, drained, and mixed with flour, salt, pepper and fried in a cast-iron pan with a little olive oil. Served with a quick tomato sauce.


...the view from off the kitchen, 8:48am.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Steamed Hoisin Seitan Buns, Ye Olde Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 10/17

Steamed Hoisin Seitan Buns

Ye Olde Stir-Fry

Jasmine Rice

In addition to our usual Ye Olde Stir-Fry, we decided to make steamed buns. They were filled with sliced stir-fried seitan with hoisin sauce, shallots and garlic and then steamed.

We made enough for 16 buns total, which prompted me to tell Liz and the kids, "sorry, there aren't enough for you guys, the stir-fry will have to do..."

It's amazing they let me live to type this. ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celery Root and Potato Soup with Brussels Sprouts

Dinner 10/14

Celery Root and Potato Soup with Brussels Sprouts

Another hearty and filling Fall soup recipe from Isa, using the oft-neglected Celery Root paired with Brussels Sprouts. Instead of parsley as a garnish, we used the minced leaves from the top of the celery root (which look much like parsley).

This is a test recipe for Isa Chandra Moskowitz's next cookbook. As part of the testing agreement, we can't give out the recipe.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Falafel, Loubie, Shish Kabobs, Pita Bread, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush

Dinner 10/10


(Green Bean and Tomato Stew)

Shish Kabobs

Pita Bread


Baba Ghanoush

We were joined for a falafel party by guest chefs Laura & John (you might remember Laura from July's Coconut Curry Crepes stuffed with Eggplant and Tea-Smoked Tofu).

It's been a long while since we've made falafel (other than Isa's recent test recipe version, which is baked). So, we broke out "Vegan with a Vengeance", and used the trusty recipe on pages 98-99.

We also made some Shish Kabobs: Tofu, Mushroom, Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion and Tomato that was marinated with a mixture of olive oil, tamari, garlic, tomato paste, smoked paprika and black pepper, then grilled.

Rounding out the table: Loubie (slow braised green beans, onions and tomatoes), Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Pita Bread, Also, the fixings for the Falafel: Cucumber Sauce, Tomato, Lettuce and Cucumber Slices.

Missing in action is a picture of the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake for dessert, paired with a 2004 Coturri Zinfandel.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ramen with Cabbage and Shiitake Gyoza

Dinner 10/06


Cabbage and Shiitake Gyoza

After making the eggplant ravioli with the wonton wrappers the other day, we still had some leftover in the fridge. Gyoza fit the bill -- filled with shredded cabbage and sliced shiitake mushrooms with a little sesame oil, they were gently wok-fried and quickly steamed with a little tamari at the end. A great match with the ramen, which was very similar to the version we made last month.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Lotsa Veggie Lentil Soup

Dinner 10/05

"Lotsa Veggie Lentil Soup"

A hearty, basic and tasty French lentil soup with dark greens, just grab a baguette and go to town...

This is a test recipe for Isa Chandra Moskowitz's next cookbook. As part of the testing agreement, we can't give out the recipe.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Eggplant Ravioli with Shiitake Mushrooms

Dinner 10/04

Eggplant Ravioli with Shiitake Mushrooms

A very "Fall-in-Alsace-by-the-way-of-Asia" sort of meal... ;)

We pulled this recipe out of the archive -- the wonton wrappers were filled with a mixture of grilled eggplant and mint, topped with shiitake mushrooms and a sauce of reduced Gewurztraminer, green apple, basil, red wine vinegar, clove, olive oil, salt and pepper.