Friday, September 30, 2011

Pierogies, Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Dinner 9/30

(maitake & mashed potato)

Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Remember those Maitake mushrooms (a.k.a. Hen of the Woods)
we got a few weeks ago? Well, this time there were four of them -- which may have been even bigger -- and at $3.99/lb -- score!!!

Liz made her pierogi dough and we made a filling of alder-smoked maitake with mashed potato.

I'll let that sink in for a moment while you ponder the recipe...

Pierogi Dough
yields 24-30

2 1/2 cups of AP flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. egg replacer mixed with & 2 tbs. of water
3/4 cup of vegan sour cream

Knead into a dough on a lightly floured surface for 5-7 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minute to hydrate. Roll thinly -- you might have to let it rest for a bit if the dough is fighting you -- and cut out into rounds with a 3" cookie cutter.

Stuff with the filling (don't over-stuff) and seal with a little water. Boil in salted water until they float for and additional minute (if frozen 2-3 minutes)

We ate this batch, but rest assured there have been huge tracts of land batches frozen and vacuum-sealed for the coming winter. It almost makes me look forward to winter.


Chocolate Pretzels

Dessert 9/30

Chocolate Pretzels

Pretzels dipped in chocolate and then coated with pistachio, peanuts, raisins, cherries and coconut flakes.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

White Bean and Garlic Soup, Bruschetta

Dinner 9/29

White Bean and Garlic Soup


It's definitely soup weather -- brrr.

We had a little leftover fennel stock, so we decide to make this hearty fall soup loaded with cannellini beans, roasted garlic, arugula and mushrooms.

It started with a 1 tbs. of olive oil on med-high heat in a large soup pot. To that we added a base of onion, celery and carrots with salt, pepper and parsley which was slowly sauteed 5-7 minutes. To that, we added about 4-5 cloves of the roasted garlic (saving the rest for the bruschetta), 15 oz. of cannellini beans, 15 oz. of red kidney beans and a combo of fennel stock, veg stock and water, totaling about six cups. That was all brought to a boil and then simmered for 30 minutes.

In a separate pan we pan-fried the mushrooms with a shot of tamari at the end of cooking, and then gave the arugula quick toss in the same pan until it was wilted.

We added the mushrooms and arugula to the pot and let cook simmer another 10 minutes while we made the bruschetta.

The bread was brushed with olive oil and grilled until crispy, then the remainder of the roasted garlic was spread on each slice along with sauteed zucchini, shallots and cherry tomatoes (the last batch from our garden).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Raw Food Wednesday: Teriyaki

Raw Food Wednesday 9/28


This dish has been sitting in my notebook of ideas for quite a while now -- and it was well worth the wait!

The zucchini was cut using the thickest blade on the spiral cutter to mimic the noodles in the cooked version. These noodles would be ideal for Lunar New Year as they are really long. ;)

But the sauce is where the action is...



1 orange, juiced
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 tbs. cold-pressed olive oil
3 dates, pits removed
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper, ground
1/2 tsp. garlic, zested
1/2 tsp. ginger, zested

Add all of the ingredients to the vita-mix, and puree until smooth. Pour into a small glass bowl that will fit in your dehydrator. Taste and adjust seasoning -- it's going to get condensed in the dehydrator which will concentrate the salt/heat so resist the urge to kick it up at this point ;)


2-3 bunches of broccoli

Trim the broccoli and save the heads for another dish. Peel the stems to remove the outer layer. Cut the stems into rough 1/2" cubes and drop into the sauce, submerging them completely.

Dehydrate for 3-4 hours at 105° F -- this thickens and concentrates the sauce and infuses the broccoli stems. Remove the cubes from the sauce and place on a teflex sheet and dehydrate for an additional 3-4 hours.

2 medium zucchini, cut on a spiral cutter on the thickest blade

Add the thick zucchini noodles to the glass bowl and toss with the remainder of the sauce, place on another teflex sheet and dehydrate 20-30 minutes.

1 medium carrot, julienned (w/kinpira peeler)
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
3 napa cabbage leaves (stems and leaves separated and julienned)
1 scallion, sliced thinly

toss the veggies with a wee bit of olive oil and nama shoyu and place on a teflex sheet for 20-30 minutes along with the noodles.


In a bowl, add the noodles, then the veggies and top with the broccoli cubes and whatever sauce is left from the noodles on the teflex sheet.

We picked up the kinpira peeler a couple of years ago for sushi making -- it's sort of a cross between a regular hand-held peeler and a benriner or mandoline with a cutting blade attached -- it comes in handy when you just want to julienne a single carrot.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Farro with Grilled Tofu

Dinner 9/27


Grilled Tofu

You can tell it's fall when farro makes an appearance on the menu. ;)

The farro (approximately 1 1/2 cups) was pressure cooked for about 24-25 minutes on the first ring (~7.5pps) with enough veg stock to cover by 1/2".

The base was sauteed in olive oil: diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, radish greens, collard greens, and mushrooms. When the farro was done cooking it was added to the base and cooked together for another 5-7 minutes.

Topping the veggies, the tofu was first hickory-smoked for 25 minutes, marinated with a combo of 1 tbs. olive oil and 1 tbs. of tamari and black pepper for 5 minutes, then grilled about 4 minutes per turn for nice crosshatch marks.

Let me tell you about my Homestuck Cake Pops...


Cake Pops

For our daughter's birthday last week, Liz made these Homestuck cake pops for the party. Here's Sollux Captor...

... and here's Tavros Nitram -- it was difficult to get the candy to come out of the side of his head, so that's why it's a little closer to the top.

The pops were made of a white cake base, and a coating of frosting + coloring for the heads (grey), hair (black), glasses (red + blue). The horns were candy trimmed (meticulously) with scissors.

When revealed at the party, there were sounds of squee-ing, followed by the sounds of appreciative scarfing. ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Black Forest Cake

Dessert 9/24

Black Forest Cake

Part two of our daughter's birthday party (for the family) included this beauty of a cake. A chocolate cake (made with kirschwasser), vanilla frosting in-between layers, cherries and whipped cream with chocolate shavings on top.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seitan Bourguignon, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Braised Leeks

Dinner 9/18

Seitan Bourguignon

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Brussels Sprouts

Braised Leeks

Bourguignon is my ultimate comfort food, any night of the week.

Seitan Bourguignon

16oz. seitan, cubed
olive oil

2 medium carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

3 cloves of garlic. minced
1 tbs. tomato paste

1 tbs. herbes de provence

2 tbs. of flour

2 cups red wine
2 cups veg stock
1 tbs. tamari

In a dutch oven over med-high heat, add 1 tbs, of olive oil and pan-fry the seitan until it is well-browned and has a nice crust. Remove from the pot. Add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add the carrots, onions salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Add the minced garlic and tomato paste, stir to combine and cook for two additional minutes.

Add the herbes de provence, stir to combine and cook for one additional minute.

Add the seitan back to the dutch oven, sprinkle in the flour, stir to combine and put in a 450F oven and roast for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, mix again and return to the oven for another 4 minutes.

Remove and turn the oven down to 375F.

Off heat, add the wine, stock and tamari, scraping down the edges and the bottom of the pan to loosen the fond.

On the stove, turn the heat back on to med-high and bring the stew to a boil. Add the lid and place back into the oven to braise for 1 hour.

At the end of cooking, remove from the oven and check to see how much liquid is left. If it seems like too much, place back on the stove on med-high heat, remove the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes until reduced. Alternately, strain the sauce from the solids and reduce in a pan, returning the sauce at the end to combine.

Check for seasoning and serve as is, or over pasta.

In tonight's version we added pan-fried button mushroom and blanched/pan-fried pearl onions near the end of cooking for another layer of flavor.

The fingerling potatoes were split in half tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven at 450F for 45 minutes turning halfway through. The Brussels sprouts were also split in half and added to the potatoes with 25 minutes left, which timed out perfectly.

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.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Extremaduran Cold Tomato Bread Salad, Roasted Cauliflower, King Trumpet Mushrooms with Sherry, Green Olives

Dinner 9/15

Extremaduran Cold Tomato Bread Salad

Roasted Cauliflower

King Trumpet Mushrooms in Sherry

Green Olives

We watched José Andrés' show "Made in Spain" while eating lunch today -- he made this tomato salad (we found the recipe on a search of Google Books) which resembles a panzanella salad. As we still have some tomatoes hanging in there, it was a easy decision to make it for dinner.

Joining the little plate party were King Trumpet mushrooms that were pan-fried and deglazed with sherry, roasted cauliflower (olive oil, salt, pepper, 450F, 15 minutes) with a quick dipping sauce of tahini and "just like honey" and green olives.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teriyaki with Grilled Maitake Mushrooms

Dinner 9/14


Grilled Maitake Mushrooms

The teriyaki ingredients were stir-fried tofu, carrot, yellow bell pepper, green beans, carrots, ginger & garlic along with the thick noodles. The sauce is a mix of hoisin, tamari, ginger, garlic, dried chili pepper, lime juice and a cornstarch slurry to thicken it -- experiment with the amounts to suit your sense of balance. Let's just say that the dried chili pepper, despite it's small stature, tipped the balance in its favor. ;)

On top of the bowl was this beautiful (local) Maitake mushroom (a.k.a. Hen of the Woods) which was literally bigger than my head. We broke it down into sections, cleaned it very well and dunked it in a marinade of 1 tbs. of olive oil, 1 tbs. of tamari and pepper. Then we slapped it on the grill, turning frequently to ensure even coverage. The end result was a wonderful layer of smoky, tender and juicy mushrooms.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gumbo with Hickory-Smoked Tofu and Breadsticks

Dinner 9/10

Gumbo with Hickory-Smoked Tofu


The gumbo started with a base of diced onions, orange peppers and celery with a couple of cloves of minced garlic thrown in for a minute. The veggies were seasoned with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and then removed from the pot and set aside.

In the same pan with 1 tbs. of olive oil, the okra was thinly sliced and pan-fried until it lost most of its stickiness. Next, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes were added and crushed as well as 2 cups of veg stock. The onion and pepper were added back in at this point.

Bring to a boil and then let the gumbo simmer for a while until it cooks down and thickens.

At the very end of cooking, we added about 1 tbs. of file powder and served the gumbo on a bed of rice, topped with hickory-smoked tofu which was pan-fried and sliced.

Friday, September 09, 2011

$240 Worth Of Pudding

Dessert 9/09

Chocolate Pudding

We had the $240, We had to have the pudding...

First you cook it, and then you chill... aw yeah!

We went up to Vegan Sweet Tooth again (under direct orders from our daughter) and came back with these goodies (Cake Pop, Apple Spice Mini-Cupcake and 'Smore mini-cupcake). Delicious, as always!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Raw Food Wednesday: Sushi

Raw Food Wednesday 9/07


Tonight's RFW takes a trip in the wayback machine to that distant year of 2008 when raw nigiri-zushi ruled the land...

The Oracle thus spake:
The watermelon was vacuum-sealed and then frozen. After 24 hours in the freezer, it's defrosted in the fridge. This compacts the fruit, extracts almost all of the liquid and gives it a completely different texture, taste and appearance.

The watermelon was dipped briefly in a nama shoyu & lemon juice mix. The apple base was rubbed with a cut lemon. Then the watermelon was placed on top of the cut apple and was quickly wrapped with a strip of untoasted nori, and topped with a mix of horseradish and apple cider vinegar with a pinch of sea salt.

and then... it was gone, never to be heard from again.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Brown Rice Veggie Burgers with Onion Rings

Dinner 9/05

Brown Rice Veggie Burgers with Onion Rings

Labor Day usually means cooking outside, but someone flipped a switch to "Fall" this weekend -- so we decided to make our kids (new) favorite burgers and topped them onion rings... because apparently, that's a thing* these days.

Here's the recipe for the onion rings...

Onion Rings

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tbs. cornstarch

1 cup of water (plus additional water to adjust batter)

1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. salt

Canola oil for frying

Sift the flour, baking powder and cornstarch into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup of water and add the salt and smoked paprika. Allow to rest for a few minutes. Additional water will probably be needed to adjust thickness -- you're looking for a pancake batter consistency.

In a wok or large pot, heat the oil to 375F, dredge the onions in the batter and carefully drop in the oil.

Cook until until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).

* if people living in the middle of Ohio are doing something like this, it's way past the sell-by date.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Pistachio Pesto Pizza with Arugula and Seitan Sausage

Dinner 9/04

Pistachio Pesto Pizza with Arugula and Seitan Sausage

Pizza, yada, yada, yada... with pistachio pesto? Oooooooh!

We were watching "Pizza Outside the Box" on the Cooking Channel about different varieties of pizza, and the pistachio pesto pizza made by EVO in Charleston, SC jumped out at us as something we could actually adapt pretty easily. So we did ;)

The pesto part was fairly straightforward -- toasted pistachio nuts ground in the vitamix with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

We added fresh arugula, and a couple of fried seitan sausages...

...and topped it all of with Daiya mozzarella and then baked it (on our pizza stone) at 500F for 8 minutes, rotated and cooked for another 2-3 minutes.