Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Massaman Curry, Jasmine Rice, Grilled Tofu & Mushrooms

Dinner 5/18

Massaman Curry

Jasmine Rice

Grilled Tofu & Mushrooms

Apparently, it's been a few years since we last made massaman curry. It's sometimes fun to go back and read the first two or three years of the blog before there were pictures. ;)

The sauce evolved over the course of making it -- next time we make it (which will hopefully be sooner than seven years) we'll have a solid recipe.

It started with the making of the curry paste. Using a mortar & pestle, grind together shallot, (black) cardamom, star anise, cumin seed, lemongrass, cloves, salt and black peppercorns.

The paste was fried for a few minutes and then a can of coconut milk was added to paste and allowed to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then, tamarind paste, agave and tamari were added and stirred to combine.

The veggie side of things included kabocha squash, red potatoes (boiled until cooked 3/4 of the way through -- about 10 minutes), pineapple, carrots and red bell pepper. The sauce was brought to a simmer and veggies were added and cooked together about 15-20 minutes to meld all the flavors together.

For plating, the bowl was lined with three red lettuce leaves. Then the steamed jasmine rice was added to the the bottom of the bowl. Finally, the veggies & sauce were poured over top and garnished with a few peanuts.

The tofu, mushrooms and tomato were quickly marinated with tamari & olive oil and grilled while the veggies were cooking in the sauce.

White Bean Burger with Rosemary

Lunch 5/18

White Bean Burger with Rosemary

We haven't made these bad boys in a while -- here's the White Bean Burger recipe. Nom!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ramen with Cabbage Gyoza

Dinner 5/16


Cabbage Gyoza

As usual we made a batch of shiitake mushroom stock (with kombu and miso added to finish) as the base for the ramen. Rounding out the bowl was tea-smoked tofu, carrots, red bell pepper, baby corn, leeks, shiitake mushrooms and noodles.

Topping off the ramen was a quick dumpling filled with sauteed cabbage and shallots, seared in a wok, then steamed with a little tamari.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fritto Misto, Ravioli with Asparagus and Morel Mushrooms, Strawberry Crumble

Dinner 5/15

Fritto Misto

Ravioli with Asparagus and Morel Mushrooms


Strawberry Crumble

For an antipasto, Liz made fritto misto using fiddlehead ferns and stuffed green olives. We blanched the trimmed fiddleheads for a couple of minutes, drained them and patted them dry before adding them to the batter. The stuffed olives had a nice salty crunch -- a nice change of pace.

Here's a shot of the fiddleheads beforehand -- with such a short season (and shelf life) we didn't hesitate using these the day after getting them at Kent Natural Foods.

For dinner we utilized our ravioli in wanton wrappers, filled with a tofu ricotta (crumbled tofu, nutritional yeast, parsley, spinach, salt, black pepper).

The asparagus were cooked for six minutes and tossed with Earth Balance, salt & pepper.

The morel mushrooms were cut into rings, soaked and pan-fried in olive oil and seasoned with a splash of tamari and black pepper.

For dessert Liz made a quick strawberry crumble with oatmeal...

Strawberries & sugar

Adding the oatmeal topping...

..and just out of the oven, and later, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Black Trumpet Mushroom Pasta with Fava Beans

Dinner 5/12

Black Trumpet Mushroom Pasta

Fava Beans

Following in the footsteps of earlier experiments with red bell pepper and ramp pasta, tonight's Vegan Test Kitchen offers up Black Trumpet Mushroom Pasta.

The recipe followed the same basic ratio, utilizing about 1/3 cup of the cooked & chopped mushrooms, pureed together with about 1/2 cup of vegan sour cream and 2 tbs. of water. That gives the vita-mix enough volume to process the food.

The wet ingredients were mixed into the dry ingredients -- 1 1/4 cup of flour, 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tbs. of egg replacer. Add a little extra flour to your work surface and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until smooth -- wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 20 minutes.

Roll the dough out to about 1/8" and cut to your desired shape -- we went with a fettuccine sized noodle.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add 1 tbs. of olive oil and 1 small shallot, minced, 2 garlic cloves, minced with salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then off heat, add 1/2 cup white wine and reduce by half. Add 2 tbs. of nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Add 1 tbs. Earth Balance and melt. Add 1/4 cup of chopped parsley. Check for seasoning.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until it begins to float to the surface -- about 2-3 minutes. Immediately put the pasta in the sauce and stir to coat thouroughly. Serve hot.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Springtime Risotto

Dinner 5/11

Springtime Risotto

The creamy risotto contained ramps (pan-fried), asparagus (blanched) & morel mushrooms (pan-fried) -- along with 1 small shallot, minced, 3 cloves of garlic, minced, salt & pepper, 1 cup of arborio rice, 1/2 cup of white wine and about 4 1/2 cups of veg stock. It was finished with 1 small lemon, zested, 1 tbs. Earth Balance and 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast.

Mushrooms, Flowers or Gears? ;)

Tempeh Reuben

Lunch 5/11

Tempeh Reuben

A classic sandwich in three easy parts...

Part 1: Pan fry one block of tempeh (cut into four pieces) in olive oil. At the end of cooking splash with 1 tbs. tamari.

Part 2: Thinly slice 1/4 of a head of a small green (or red) cabbage & 1 small onion. 1 tsp. caraway seeds cooked in 1 tbs. olive oil until tender. Add a pinch of salt & pepper and 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar.

Part 3: Whisk together sauce: two parts vegenaise, one part ketchup and a couple of diced pickles.

Assemble on two pieces of dark bread of your choice -- a layer of sauce, one piece of tempeh, a layer of the cabbage mixture, another piece of tempeh, final layer of sauce.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast 5/07

Blueberry Pancakes

So i herd u liek mudkipz blueberry pancakes...

Friday, May 06, 2011

English Pea Soup with Braised Leeks and Morel Mushrooms

Dinner 5/06

English Pea Soup with Braised Leeks and Morel Mushrooms

...floating on a homemade ciabatta crouton island ;)

The English Pea Soup is a favorite -- the recipe comes from Jean-Georges Vongerichten from his book "Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef" -- the soup base is made from our veg stock combined with the shucked pea pods as an additional flavor enhancer which does a great job of infusing the soup with that essence of springtime.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tbs. of Earth Balance along with 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped leek, 3 chopped garlic cloves, a pinch of thyme, salt and pepper and cook together for 2-3 minutes. Add the pea pods, then add 4 cups of stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth and return to the saucepan.

The 3 cups of peas were blanched in salted water 4-5 minutes and drained -- save about 1/2 cup of peas for the garnish and run them under cold water for a minute. Put the rest of the peas in the vita-mix with 2 tbs. of Earth Balance, a pinch of salt and 2-3 tbs. of cooking liquid and puree.

Whisk the pea puree is back into the broth, bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to combine. Check for seasoning, and serve.

Accompanying the soup were (local) morel mushrooms, cut into rings and pan-fried with some olive oil, salt & pepper.

Also on the island were another favorite, braised leeks.

Braised Leeks
serves 4

4 leeks
1 tbs. soy margarine
salt and pepper

First, trim the tops and bottom of the leeks, using as much of the white/light green parts as you like (the leftover bits are fantastic in making stock). Clean them by soaking in water and make sure you get the hidden dirt that likes to hide near the tops. You may need to lose a layer or two on the outside of the leeks to accomplish that. Cut the leek into roughly 3-inch sections.

Place the leeks in a small saute pan and add the water until it reaches halfway up the side of the leeks. Add the 1 tbs. of soy margarine, and bring to a boil. Cover loosely with the lid and continue to cook over medium heat until the water has just about evaporated.

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

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Dessert 5/04

Oatmeal Cream Pies

I wanted these cookies to have their own entry -- The recipe is from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur by Kelly Peloza. The filling? Vegan marshmallow creme.

We've made many items from this delightful book -- we love it!

Ramp Pasta with Mushrooms

Dinner 5/04

Ramp Pasta with Mushrooms

We made the ramp pasta again, because that's all I've been thinking about since Saturday night. It's been haunting me. ;)

We didn't change the recipe at all, but this time we sauteed some cremini mushrooms as an accompaniment.

When ramp season ends, I will be very sad.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Dinner 5/03


I can't remember the last time we had tacos -- but I know it's been too long.

The tacos were stuffed with hickory-smoked tofu (in the background holding up the shell, later shredded), refried (black & pinto) beans, cheddar Daiya, avocado, salsa, shredded Romaine lettuce, vegan sour cream.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Dinner 5/02

Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

We took another run at the meatball recipe, hickory-smoking the tofu adding 1 tbs. tamari, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1 tbs. nutritional yeast and 1 small red onion, minced (in place of the shallots) -- and deep-fried them instead of cooking them in the cast-iron pan.

The thing we've learned is to add just enough vital wheat gluten to hold it together and not to over develop the gluten while kneading the ingredients together -- that will make for a tougher finished product. As long as it holds together pretty well, they'll be fine. Also, making them smaller than golf ball sized is better.

By deep-frying at 375F, they kept their shape much better and cooked more evenly -- but you have make sure you cook them about 4 minutes which might seem too long, but ensures that the center is also cooked -- the first one we pulled out to test were raw inside.

At the end of cooking, drop them in the tomato sauce to coat and re-heat.