Sunday, April 29, 2012

Red Cabbage and Potato Soup

Dinner 04/29

Red Cabbage and Potato Soup

Sunday night comfort food.

Sauteed mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot) with garlic, zucchini, Great Northern beans, red cabbage, potatoes, smoked sea salt, pepper, parsley, veg stock and a tablespoon of miso whisked in at the end to give it a little backbone.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Big Bowl of Yum

Dinner 04/28

Morel Mushrooms

Fava Beans

Braised Leeks

Hickory-Smoked Tofu

Roasted Red Potatoes

A little bit of this, a little bit of that and a nice bottle of Pinot Noir -- and the next thing you know, you've got yourself A Big Bowl of Yum for a Saturday night.

Cucumber, Cashew Cheese, Caviar

Vegan Test Kitchen 04/28

Cucumber, Cashew Cheese, Caviar

It's never too soon to start thinking about appetizers for the annual Holiday Party. ;)

The base of cucumber was cut thinly on the bias using the benriner/mandoline.

The cashew cheese used quinoa rejuvelac and soaked cashews with a bit of white miso and a wee dram of of nama shoyu and a pinch of sea salt.

The caviar, as always came from blanched tapioca pearls marinated in a nori/oolong tea mix with a shot of Braggs liquid aminos to rouund out the flavor.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Green Curry Tofu with Collard Greens, Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms

Dinner 04/27

Green Curry Tofu with Collard Greens, Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms

We've been making this dish for more than five years now, and we're always finding new ways to tweak it.

The tofu was cut into 16 squares, smoked with oolong tea for 25 minutes, pan-fried in canola oil until golden brown on both sides and finished with 1 tbs. of tamari.

The collard greens were cut into thin strips, pan-fried in canola oil on med-high heat while turning constantly until wilted (about 4-5 minutes). Then turn the heat down to low, add 1 tbs. of tamari, stir to combine, put the lid put on and braise for 10 minutes. Keep warm.

The shiitake mushrooms were thinly sliced and pan-fried, with an added 1 tsp. of tamari at the end of cooking. Set aside.

The rice was steamed for 20 minutes, molded into golf-ball sized pieces and deep-fried for 30-45 seconds at 375F. Drain and set aside.

The sauce was 4 oz. coconut milk, 1 tsp. tamari, as much green (or red) curry paste as you can handle, a tiny little bit of lime to balance the flavor, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer until slightly thickened. We also added a tiny bit of pan-fried green garlic because we had some left over.

To plate, add the tofu squares, a layer of collard greens, the rice balls and finally the shiitake mushrooms. Add the sauce around the base of the tofu until it coats the plate.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tofu Parmesan, Zucchini Noodles

Dinner 04/26

Tofu Parmesan

Zucchini Noodles

After tinkering with the recipe, we decided tonight to serve it over raw zucchini noodles which turned out to be an excellent choice, the zucchini paired nicely with the tomato sauce and held up quite well.

Tofu Parmesan
serves 4

2 cups of your favorite homemade tomato sauce

1 cup of Daiya Mozzarella (or your favorite vegan cheese)

1 cup of bread crumbs
1 tsp. olive oil

As we make a lot of our own bread, so there's always the little pieces leftover that get turned into breadcrumbs. We pulsed them in Vita-mix (using the dry container) and left them fairly coarse as you can see in the picture. In a small saute pan over med-low heat add the olive oil and the breadcrumbs, turning often until lightly browned. Keep a close eye on these as they tend to go from light brown to dark quickly when your not looking. ;)

Set aside.

1 block of extra firm tofu portioned into eight cutlets and smoked
1 tbs. tamari
1/4 cup (Einkorn) flour
1 tbs. olive oil

In a shallow bowl add the tamari and the tofu and toss to coat well, let marinate for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally.

In a small pan add the flour and coat each piece of tofu completely, shaking off any excess.

In a large saute pan over med-high heat add the olive oil and cook the tofu cutlets until browned on both sides -- about 5 minutes per turn.

To assemble, add the tomato sauce to the pan, completely coating the tofu. Turn down the heat to low, sprinkle the vegan cheese on top and place a lid on the pan for 2-3 minutes until it melts. Remove the lid and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs.

To serve, place a cutlet on the zucchini noodles (below) and add fresh cut basil.

2 medium zucchini, spiral cut

The zucchini noodles were cut using "Cook Help" -- they were peeled, cut in half (to fit in the spiralizer) and turned using the medium blade which makes the noodles about the same thickness as spaghetti.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Raw Food Wednesday: Parsnip Noodles with Cilantro Walnut Pesto

Raw Food Wednesday 04/25

Parsnip Noodles with Cilantro Walnut Pesto

We broke out the "spiral cutter gadget thingy" again and cranked out some spiralized parsnip noodles (recipe from Matthew Kenney's "Everyday Raw Express") which were exceptionally creamy this time around.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chili Salad with Guacamole and Chips

Dinner 04/24

Chili Salad with Guacamole and Chips

I think the idea for dinner started out as a Taco Salad, but morphed into a Chili Salad along the way. No one complained. ;)

The chili contained the usual suspects: kidney & pinto beans, tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, a pinch of cocoa powder, salt & pepper, and lots of slow & low cooking time.

It was served on top of chopped romaine lettuce accompanied by guacamole, vegan sour cream and blue chips.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yuba Money Bag

Vegan Test Kitchen 04/21

Yuba Money Bag

The last of today's vegan test kitchen experiments -- "money bags" made with yuba sheets that had been cut into 5" squares and soaked in a mix of tamari, water and a tiny bit of sesame oil. The yuba were then pan-fried, ever so briefly to keep them flexible enough to wrap, but slightly crispy enough to break apart when chewed, about 15 seconds per side.

The filling was a stir-fry made of carrot, tea-smoked tofu, green garlic, ginger and black "Forbidden Rice" (again).

We added about 2 tbs. of filling into the center of the yuba sheet, drew up the edges and tied it with a strip of collard greens.

This is more of a two-bite app, or you can cut the money bag open and release the stir-fry "prize" inside ;)

Forbidden Rice Daikon Roll with Kimchi

Vegan Test Kitchen 04/21

Forbidden Rice Daikon Roll with Kimchi

A small one bite app that was a play on an inside out sushi roll. It features a daikon piece cut 1/2" thick and then made round with a cookie cutter, then the center cut out with a apple corer.

The daikon rounds were gently poached in a mix of water and rice vinegar for 5 minutes and allowed to cool before assembling.

The center was filled with "Forbidden Rice" (black rice) that was pressure cooked for 25 minutes on the second ring (15 psi) with a 1" piece of kombu. After cooking, it was combined with a mixture of 1/4 cup rice vinegar that was heated to dissolve 1 tbs. of sugar and a pinch of smoked salt.

Rounding out the spoon was a little home made kimchi.

The daikon stayed slightly crisp and was a nice contrast to the chewy earthiness of the black rice. The kimchi added a hit of chile, saltiness and vinegar that reminded us of sushi.

Seared Watermelon with Balsamic Glaze

Vegan Test Kitchen 04/21

Seared Watermelon with Balsamic Glaze

The watermelon was portioned into strips, scored with a knife on top, seared in a very hot pan with a drop of canola oil on all four sides, hit with a little tamari and then a splash of balsamic vinegar until glazed (about 15 seconds).

It didn't taste like watermelon at all, which was the idea.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tofu Parmesan with Zucchini

Dinner 04/18

Tofu Parmesan

Sauteed Zucchini

The short version: alder-smoked tofu coated in (Einkorn) flour, pan-fried, topped with tomato sauce, bread crumbs, Daiya and basil.

Longer version: coming soon.

The zucchini was cut in rounds, quartered and pan-fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt & pepper.


Video 04/18


A short tutorial on how we use our smoker box, plus a way to make your own quick DIY version.


1. What's the music? The intro piece doesn't really have a name, the second part is a song called "Trace Remains" -- Joe Jackson called and wants his chorus back...

2. Wha? Who? Yes, that's my voice. No, it sounds nothing like you expected it to unless you watched the Seitan video, then it sounds exactly like you thought it would.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Springtime Risotto with Morel Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps

Dinner 04/14

Springtime Risotto with Morel Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps

The creamy risotto started in a large saute pan over med-high heat with 2 tsp. of olive oil and 2 tsp. of Earth Balance.

To the pan add 1 small shallot, minced, 3 cloves of garlic, minced, salt & pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in 1 cup of (optional pecan-wood smoked) arborio rice and stir to coat until the rice looks chalky, about 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of white wine and deglaze the pan until the wine evaporates. Then add about 2 1/2 cups of hot veg stock, stir to combine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 7-8 minutes.

Next add, 2 additional cups of hot veg stock and cook and additional 7-8 minutes until cooked through and creamy (about 14-16 minutes total).

At the end of cooking add the zest of 1/2 small lemon, 1 tbs. Earth Balance and 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast. Stir to combine, check for seasoning.

Finishing off the risotto were grilled ramps (marinated in 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. tamari, cracked pepper to taste, grilled 4-5 minutes) & pan-fried morel mushrooms (cut in rings, soaked, cooked in olive oil with a splash of tamari, and fresh pepper, cooked 5-6 minutes).

Chocolate Bowl with Whipped Cream, Raspberries and Blueberries

Dessert 04/14

Chocolate Bowl with Whipped Cream, Raspberries and Blueberries

We had a couple of bowls leftover from Easter so we filled them with whipped cream (Soyatoo, whipped in the stand mixer with a little extra vanilla added), fresh raspberries and blueberries.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hickory-Smoked Tofu with Farro and Jerusalem Artichokes

Dinner 04/13

Hickory-Smoked Tofu with Farro and Jerusalem Artichokes

The tofu was hickory-smoked for 25 minutes, then marinated: 1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tbs. tamari, 1 cloves of garlic smashed, 1 tsp. agave, 1 tsp. ketchup and freshly ground black pepper to taste for 10-15 minutes. While the tofu was grilling, it was basted with the remaining marinade. For a nice crosshatch pattern, start the tofu at a 45° angle to the grill grates and turn about 90° after 4-5 minutes, flip and repeat.

The farro (1 cup) was rinsed, and pressure-cooked in 2 cups of vegetable stock for 22 minutes (first ring / 7.5 psi).

The Jerusalem Artichokes (a.k.a. sunchokes), which were first peeled, cut in 1/4" slices and boiled (in salted water) for 10 minutes, until just cooked through.

In a large saute-pan over med-high heat add 1 tbs. of olive oil and one diced onion, carrot and celery (mirepoix) and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 tbs. of olive oil and saute the sliced mushrooms until they release most of their liquid and then it hit with a splash of tamari (about 1 tbs.) at the end of cooking.

Add the farro, mirepoix and jerusalem artichokes into the saute pan and stir until combined. Check for seasoning. Top with the grilled tofu and serve hot.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chickpea Soup with Fennel Broth

Lunch 04/12

Chickpea Soup with Fennel Broth

Soup for lunch has to be quick, so having the broth and chickpeas already pressure cooked is essential. After that it's a math problem. ;)

Q: If Liz is coming home for lunch at 12:30pm and has to be back at work by 2pm, when do you have to start making soup? (show your work)

A: Mirepoix (1 carrot, diced, 1 onion, diced, 1 rib of celery, diced) + 1 bunch of Lacinato Kale (shredded, sauteed in olive oil, tamari, black pepper) + 16 oz. Chickpeas + 4 cups of Fennel Broth (pressure cooked stems & fronds) + 2 tbs. minced parsley + 1 tbs. of white miso whisked in near the end = 11:30am

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Savory Mini-Cheesecake with Arugula Salad

Dinner 04/11

Savory Mini-Cheesecake

Arugula Salad

I know we made this last month, but it's still haunts me. ;)

Tonight we brought back the adapted Jacques Pepin recipe for savory mini-cheesecakes (making the usual vegan subs plus 1/2 cup soft tofu for the eggs, with the addition of 1/2 tsp. of baking powder to the mix) and adding roasted garlic and microplaned cheddar sheese.

Served on top of an arugula salad with a red wine vinaigrette, which was a great pepper/acidic combo to pair with the creamy, garlic cheesecakes. Yum!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sugar & Spice Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Dessert 04/09

Sugar & Spice Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A delightfully tasty upside down cake with a scoop of vanilla to top it all off.

This is a test recipe for Isa's upcoming cookbook, so you know the drill -- we can't give out the recipe.

Seitan, Red Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 04/09


Red Potatoes

Roasted Broccoli

I'm just going to leave this here...

Butchering Tofu For The Easily Distracted

Video 04/09

music: "carry on" by tofu666

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter 2012 : Grilled Seitan with Asparagus, Braised Carrots, Cremini Mushrooms, Green Beans, Knotted Rolls, Chocolate Cups with Mousse & Strawberries

Easter Dinner 04/08

Grilled Seitan with Asparagus

Braised Carrots

Cremini Mushrooms

Green Beans

Knotted Rolls


Chocolate Cups with Mousse

Chocolate Strawberries

We broke out the pressure cooker and made seitan for the first time this year. After grilling, the seitan was wrapped around grilled asparagus, which had been marinated in olive oil, tamari and black pepper.

As usual, we also made the braised carrots.

Peel the carrots, and put them into a sauce pan large enough to hold all of them in a single layer. Add water about half way up the side of the carrots. Add 1 tbs. of soy margarine. Bring to a boil and cover loosely. Cook until the water completely evaporates and only a little soy margarine is left on the bottom of the pan. In a 350F oven, place the carrots and whatever soy margarine is left (you can also add an additional 1 tsp. soy margarine if it looks like it needs a little more), into a gratin dish, add salt and pepper to taste, and braise for 15-20 minutes.

Rounding out the rest of the plate was pan-fried cremini mushrooms and green beans (blanched 4-5 minutes, drained, tossed with Earth Balance, salt and pepper and topped with toasted slivered almonds).

Liz also had the time to make the knotted rolls again upon special request from our daughter. This was the first time using the Einkorn flour though, and they turned out really soft and toasty.

Here's the desserts -- Chocolate Cups filled with a piped Chocolate Mousse accompanied by Chocolate Strawberries.

In other news: we like chocolate. ;)

The strawberries were dipped in tempered chocolate and then decorated with white chocolate for contrast.

The balloon idea came from "Sweet Vegan" The balloons were dipped in tempered chocolate and then popped with a knife to form the cups. The mousse recipe also came from the book, although we used less soft tofu than it called for as the mousse was plenty firm.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Fronch Toast with Strawberries and Bananas

Breakfast 04/06

Fronch Toast with Strawberries and Bananas

...and it wasn't even my birthday! ;)

The "fronch" toast recipe is from "Vegan with a Vengeance"

Linguine with Cream Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Cauliflower

Dinner 04/06

Linguine with Cream Sauce

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Cauliflower

Our son asked for this the other day, and we had some soft tofu leftover, so Liz knocked the sauce out quickly.

Puree 8oz soft tofu (in the tub, not the aseptic box), 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese, 1/4 cup vegan sour cream and 1/4 cup Daiya Mozzarella until creamy. Fold in a 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 2 tbs. chopped parsley, a little fresh nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste. Add the sauce to a large saute pan and bring to a simmer. Cook the pasta according to instructions, drain (save a little pasta water to thin the sauce if it starts to thicken) and add the pasta to the sauce to coat well.

The asparagus and cauliflower were tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 450°F for 20 minutes while the sauce was put together.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms topped with Spinach and Aduki Beans, Thyme for Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Dinner 04/05

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms topped with Spinach and Aduki Beans

Thyme for Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

The portobello mushrooms were marinated in a mixture of 1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tbs. tamari, 1 tbs. ketchup and 1 tsp. minced garlic for 20 minutes, and then grilled (of course). This time I put a wok lid on top of the grill to keep them moist and juicy, it took about 15-20 minutes total, but the total time will depend on how big your mushrooms are to start.

The mushrooms were topped with a mixture of wilted baby spinach, aduki beans (leftover from the curry), garlic and Mozzarella Daiya to hold it all together. The mixture was placed on the mushrooms using an ice cream dasher to make it look all fancy-schmancy. ;)

The potato dish comes from "Chloe's Kitchen" -- layered russets with a cashew cream sauce, paprika and thyme baked until golden brown. It was cut out using a round cookie cutter for the maximum schmancy effect...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Red Sweet Potato Curry with Cauliflower and Aduki Beans

Dinner 04/04

Red Sweet Potato Curry with Cauliflower and Aduki Beans

A new test recipe from Isa that uses baked sweet potatoes as the base for a curry that will have you going back for seconds -- or thirds, and then served over noodles the next day for lunch...

Don't judge.

This is a test recipe for Isa's upcoming cookbook, so you know the drill -- we can't give out the recipe.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Hickory-Smoked Portobello Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner 04/03

Hickory-Smoked Portobello Burgers

Sweet Potato Fries

Everyone enjoyed the Portobello Burgers last week, so we decided to make a (slightly different) tonight. Gotta keep the sweet potato fries though... ;)

We hickory-smoked the mushrooms for 20 minutes, then marinated them in shallow dish with 1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tbs. tamari, 1 tbs. ketchup and 1 garlic clove, minced -- for 10 minutes. Then they were grilled starting stem side down, for 7-8 minutes, flipped and grilled for another 5-6 minutes on the cap side.

Liz had made a big batch of burger buns (using the Einkorn flour), so those were defrosted and toasted.

The sweet potatoes were cut into eighths, tossed with 1 tbs. of olive oil, smoked sea salt and black pepper to taste and roasted in the oven for 25 minutes at 425°F, flipping about halfway through.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Hominy Soup, Mesquite-Smoked Tempeh Glazed with Chili-Lime Hot Sauce, Plantain Chips and Guacamole

Dinner 04/02

Hominy Soup

Mesquite-Smoked Tempeh Glazed with Chili-Lime Hot Sauce

Plantain Chips


Not bad for a Monday night... ;)

The soup started with the broth -- in this case a fennel & garlic broth that I made earlier in the day in the pressure cooker -- using the stems and fronds from a medium sized fennel bulb and two cloves of smashed garlic in eight cups of water for 40 minutes at 15psi. The result was a clear, clean and very aromatic broth after straining.

In a soup pot over med-high heat add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add 1 medium onion diced, 2 medium carrots diced and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add two cloves of garlic, minced and cook for one additional minute.

Next, add 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. Mexican oregano, 2 tsp. smoked paprika, 2 tsp. smoked salt, 1 tsp. black pepper and cook for one minute.

Add a 28oz can of Hominy (drained) and stir to coat. Add six cups of the fennel & garlic broth, 1 tbs. of tamari, then bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.

While that's cooking, make the tempeh...

First dice the tempeh into cubes and smoke it for 25 minutes with mesquite wood chips.

Next, in a wok on med-high heat, stir-fried the tempeh in 1 tbs. of olive oil until golden brown (about 7-8 minutes). Add a splash of tamari at the end of cooking and cook for 1 additional minute. Then add 1 tbs. (or more!) of your favorite hot sauce (we used Cholula Chili-Lime) and glaze the tempeh.

Check the soup for seasoning -- and this is totally heretical, but if it still needs a little help, mix 2 tsp. of a dark miso with a little of the broth, and whisk it into the soup -- it adds a nice depth.

Add the soup to a warm bowl and top with the smoked tempeh pieces and a splash of lime.

The plantain chips were cut thinly on the benriner and deep-fried for about 90 seconds in 365°F -- you've got to keep a close eye on them as they'll continue to darken a few shades after you pull them out and salt them -- take them out about 15-20 seconds before you think you need to...

Pairing with the plantain chips was guacamole -- ripe avocados, with a few accents of lime juice, red onions, smoked salt and cilantro.