Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tofu Au Vin, Grilled Asparagus, Smoked Potatoes, Tarragon and Grape Salad

Dinner 5/31

Tofu au Vin
(tofu, crimini mushrooms, onion, garlic, celery, unfiltered/unfined red wine, veg stock, herbes de provence, salt and pepper)

Grilled Asparagus

Smoked Yukon Gold Potatoes

Tarragon and Grape Salad

Raw Food Wednesday will return next week...

Today is the anniversary of the day my wife and I met -- and here we are (redacted) years later and we're still cooking together. The menu is a recreation of the very first vegan meal I ever made for her, Tofu au Vin.

Why yes, I am the luckiest guy on the planet ;)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

White Bean Cassoulet, Wilted Dinosaur Kale, Ciabatta

Dinner 5/30

White Bean Cassoulet over Pasta
(onion, garlic, cannellini beans, soyrizo, smoked paprika, tomato, salt and pepper)

Wilted Dinosaur Kale
(olive oil, lacinto kale, pine nuts, currants, tamari, salt, pepper)

Homemade Ciabatta

92° again -- the oven will be taking an extended break ;)

So, time for another one wok meal. Wilted the kale first, then made the cassoulet. Keyword: Quick and easy

Raw Food Wednesday is taking the week off, something about an anniversary dinner...

Monday, May 29, 2006

BBQ Tofu, Potato Salad

Dinner 5/29

BBQ Tofu w/ Onions

Potato Salad
(fingerling potatoes, vegenaise, red wine vinegar, scallions, parsley, celery, chives, salt and pepper)

Is it hot where you are? 92 in the shade here. Last week we had frost... the laptop is not happy about that.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 7 -- Tofu Pibil, Tostada, Plantains and Soyrizo

Dinner 5/28

Tofu Pibil w/ Arroz Blanco
(tofu, spice mixture: achiote/annato seed, cumin, mexican oregano, smoked paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, orange juice or white vinegar. Adapted from Diana Kennedy, see below)

(black beans, wilted kale, FYH Monterrey Jack)

Mashed Plantains and Soyrizo

Day 7 also brings us the oldest thing in the freezer... Banana Leaves (2002). These are so old, the store that we bought them at (for $0.99!) has moved twice. They are indestructible, and amazingly still easy to work with -- after separating the sections and cutting out what you need just run them under some water and lightly brush off with a paper towel. Then place the leaf directly on your stove burner (set on low) until they change color and get glossy looking -- careful not to burn them though...

These were based on a Diana Kennedy recipe -- we changed things around a bit using pan-fried tofu cutlets coated with the spicy marinade (almost like a barbecue sauce) and then baking the tofu in the banana leaf with a mix of tomato and the spicy marinade along with fried onions.

Here's how it went...

step 1: lay the tomato / annato spice mixture out on the banana leaf

step 2: place the pan-fried (with annato spice mixture) tofu cutlet on top of the sauce.

step 3: place a layer of fried onion on top of the tofu

step 4: place another layer of the tomato / annato spice mixture to cover.

step 5: roll the bottom flap up, covering the tofu, the fold the two sides over and roll up. secure with a strip of banana leaf.

step 6: place the banana leaf packages into roasting pan and place in a 350F oven for 20 minutes

step 7: serve with white rice (to soak up all of that tomato/spice mix)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 6 -- Spinach Frittata, Tofu al Limone

Dinner 5/27

Spinach Frittata
(spinach, onion, garlic, roasted red bell pepper, lemon juice, pine nuts, fingerling potatoes, soft tofu, chickpea (basan) flour, salt, pepper and oregano)

Tofu al Limone
(olive oil, carrot, celery, onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest)

Yes, the ubiquitous block of frozen spinach. Just as everyone in the suburbs was issued a copy of "Frampton Comes Alive" in the 70's, so too were their parents given a block of frozen spinach. That one you have in your freezer today? It's the same one.

The Frittata was cooked in a cast-iron pan with olive oil and soy margarine, then finished in the oven. The very yellow Tofu al Limone paired very well with it in a refreshing springtime kind of meal...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 5 -- Pizza with Smoked Fingerling Potatoes, Smoked Tomatoes, Grilled Ramps and Roasted Red Bell Pepper

Dinner 5/26

Pizza with Smoked Fingerling Potatoes, Smoked Tomatoes, Grilled Ramps and Roasted Red Bell Pepper, "Follow Your Heart" Monterrey Jack Soy Cheese

Day Five -- A Freezer Week Mystery: the story of the long lost roasted red bell pepper -- last seen in August of 2003, it had fallen sideways behind one of the shelves, just out of sight. Until today... Check out the pattern the freezer bag made on the pepper -- rattlesnake pepper anyone?

The dough was pre-baked and then vacuum sealed in March -- I think the flour was on sale that week. ;)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 4 -- Tofu Vindaloo, Saffron Rice, Spicy Zucchini, Samosa Wrap

Dinner 5/25

Tofu Vindaloo
(tofu, tamari, pepper, vindaloo spice, garlic, apple cider vinegar)

Spicy Zucchini
(zucchini, fenugreek, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, onion, jalapeno, salt)

Saffron Rice
(cumin, black cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, salt, pepper, basmati rice)

Amy's Samosa Wrap
(it is "freezer week" after all)

The Vindaloo spice mix combined with the garlic and vinegar (which makes a very red paste) had the right piquant touch to match with the saffron rice, and the spicy zucchini. The fenugreek used in the zucchini is one of those underrated spices, yet instantly identifiable when placed in a dish.

Don't remember how long ago we picked up the Amy's Samosa Wraps, but it's been at least a year. As you can probaby tell from reading the blog these last four years, we're not big on pre-packaged meals -- but, this was one night where the freezer part came in handy. A big storm came through in the evening, and I was running around trying to get the front yard mowed before it hit. So, not having the usual prep time, these were thrown in the oven about an hour before we ate. They were pretty good -- although more like an Indian burrito than a samosa.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 3 -- Raw Food Wednesday -- Lasagna, Carrot Gnocchi, Watermelon Gazpacho

Raw Food Wednesday 5/24

(variation based on Trotter/Klein's, see below)

Carrot Gnocchi With Romaine Salad and Date Dressing
(from Trotter/Klein's "Raw", better description here)

Watermelon Gazpacho
(recipe from Raw Food/Real World. we skipped the tomato, and didn't really miss it)


Not-Quite-Raw Chocolate Pudding Tart

Much like the Inspiral Carpets classic "Two Worlds Collide" -- "Freezer Week" meets "Raw Food Wednesday" ;)

The freezer portion is covered by the frozen local organic corn from August 2005. It was defrosted and dehydrated along with onions for the lasagna (see below).

As for the dessert, it's not quite raw as it uses cocoa powder, but the rest of the filling (avocado(!), agave, vanilla extract, sea salt) and the shell (dried coconut, agave, raw almond meal, coconut butter) is. Next time we'll try some carob powder and see how that goes...

As for the Lasagna -- here's the 12 step-by-step shots...

(click on photo for bigger version)

step 1: Layer a mini loaf pan with plastic wrap. Thinly slice (on a mandoline/benriner) a zucchini and cover all the exposed areas, with about an inch of overhang.



step 2: place a layer of thinly sliced shiitake which have been marinated in a combo of olive oil, nama shoyu and pepper for at least 20 minutes.



step 3: place a layer of cashew "cheese" on top of the mushrooms.



step 4: place a layer of baby spinach (or in this case, mache) on top of the cashew "cheese".



step 5: place a layer of marinara sauce (pureed tomato, soaked sun-dried tomato, date, shallot, garlic, oregano, thyme, sea salt and pepper)



step 6: place a layer of dehydrated corn and onion (one hour at 105F). sesaon with salt and pepper.



step 7: place another layer of thinly sliced zucchini across the top of the corn/onion layer.



step 8: fold over the hanging zucchini layers to completely cover.



step 9: pull sides of plastic wrap up to compact the ingredients and cover. Refrigerate for at least three hours.


step 10: remove from the refrigerator and invert to remove from the mini loaf pan.



step 11: leaving the plastic wrap on -- with either a very sharp knife or an electric knife, cut the loaf into six pieces.



step 12: place on the plate and unwrap the plastic.



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 2 -- Potato Pierogi, Cabbage Pierogi, Braised Red Cabbage, Barley and Bolete Mushroom Soup

Freezer Week: Day 2

Potato Pierogi
(February 2006)

Cabbage Piergoi
(September 2004)

Braised Red Cabbage
(yes, leftovers from Saturday)

Barley and Bolete Mushroom Soup
(barley, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, bolete mushrooms, mushroom stock, tamari, veg stock, salt, pepper)


Freezer Week: Day 2 -- Potato Pierogi and Cabbage Pierogi -- I remember the cabbage pierogi as by-products of a local roadside stand that had cabbages larger than bowling balls. This is the last batch of those, and the first batch of the potato pierogi.

Also used up the last of the dried bolete mushrooms in the soup -- wonderful flavor and texture as long as you soak the hell out of them and drain them carefully ;)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Freezer Week: Day 1 -- Sweet and Sour Seitan, Jasmine Rice, Scallion Pancakes

Dinner 5/22

Sweet and Sour Seitan
(seitan, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, red bell pepper, baby corn, pineapple. the sauce: tamari, ketchup, black vinegar, agave. cornstarch slurry -- 1 tbs. cornstarch, 1.5 tbs. of cold water mixed together -- as a thickener)

Jasmine Rice

Scallion Pancakes
(w/ hoisin, tamari, agave dipping sauce)

We had so much fun with "Pantry Week" that we decided to have a sequel: "Freezer Week". Ever since we got the Foodsaver*, it has gotten constant use. So much so, we got to the point that we had to buy a second refrigerator for the garage, just to store all the extra food. It really comes in handy when buying seasonal food in bulk.

Tonight's entries are the scallion pancakes -- a thin dough embedded with scallions, deep fried and served with a hoisin-based dipping sauce. These were from October of 2005, which in our freezer, makes them somewhat of a newcomer. ;)

There's a little grocery store down the street from us that has some decent produce, but it doesn't always sell in a timely manner. So they have a little "reduced for quick sale" section -- and lo and behold one morning in October of 2005 there were five huge bunches of scallions. By the end of the day, we had made/vacuum-sealed/frozen 24 scallion pancakes (in packages of four).

* (full disclosure: I openly mocked my wife when she bought this off the infomercial -- I have since seen the error of my ways and have retracted that statement, your honor.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Roasted Tofu with Prunes, Braised Carrots, Braised Red Cabbage with Chestnuts, Potato Gnocchi with Crimini Mushrooms, Bruschetta

Dinner 5/20

Roasted Tofu in Red Wine Sauce with Prunes topped with Toasted Pine Nuts

Braised Carrots

Braised Red Cabbage with Chestnuts, Apple and Prunes
(red cabbage, chestnuts, apple, prunes, onion, veg stock, apple cider vinegar, agave, salt, pepper)

Potato Gnocchi with Crimini Mushrooms in Rosemary Cream Sauce

(ciabatta, fragola tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, salt, pepper)

We had frost warnings tonight (oh, I'm so glad we hadn't put out all of the plants on the deck yet), so "Pantry Week" wraps-up with a meal fit for the damp Fall-like evening that it was. The pantry and fridge are lighter thanks to the chestnuts, red cabbage and dried prunes finally getting used (and in the same dish no less!)

For the Gnocchi and Crimini -- The crimini and shallots were sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper. The cream sauce: 2oz. soft tofu, 1/2 cup reconstituted "better than milk", pureed together -- crushed rosemary, salt and pepper. Added to the crimini and reduced by half, then poured over the gnocchi and mixed together...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ricciarelle Pasta Puttanesca, Grilled Asparagus, Bistro Salad, Ciabatta

Dinner 5/20

Ricciarelle Pasta Puttanesca
(onion, garlic, kalamata olives, green olives, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes)

Grilled Asparagus

Bistro Salad


We have no idea how long ago we got this pasta, although the store we bought it at has been out of business for at least two years. Again, much like the dried mushrooms and raw nuts, dried pasta is another one of those "oh, that's different, throw it in the cart!" deals... and if there was an award for "item most likely to fall out of the pantry" -- this would win hands down, hence the broken pieces. Still, at least half were full length which led to this arrangement of the pasta on the plate...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Smoked Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato and Onion Stew with Basil Pasta topped with Lamb's Quarters, Fava Beans, Ciabatta

Dinner 5/19

Smoked Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato and Onion Stew with Basil Pasta
(eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, flour, salt, pepper, oregano)

Lamb's Quarters
(olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lamb's quarters)

Fava Beans


The kids did a great job of cleaning/shucking/popping the fava beans in record time tonight. It's also a good way to introduce new foods into their diet if they can see/touch/feel the fava beans beforehand. ;)

The kids also contributed the Lamb's Quarters -- found while helping clean out the flower beds in front of the house -- it's been raining so much that it was a really good day to yank out the bad weeds, and harvest the good ones ;)

The stew was sort of a cross between ratatouille (the flour as thickener) and caponata (peppers, oregano, but no vinegar) with the smoked eggplant and zucchini. The pasta was tonight's "pantry week" particpant (a "mere" two years old)... I think part of the reason it sat on the shelf for so long was the leaf shape and green color. But to be honest, it really matched well taste-wise with the eggplant and tomatoes.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Seitan and Cannellini Bean Stew, Lentil Soup, Braised Leeks, French Bread, Spinach Salad

Dinner 5/18

Seitan and Cannellini Bean Stew
(seitan, cannellini beans, oyster mushrooms, tomato, veg stock, tamari, salt, pepper, herbes de provence)

Lentil Soup
(green lentils, olive oil, carrot, celery, red onion, veg stock, tamari, salt and pepper)

Braised Leeks

French Bread

Spinach Salad
(red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried cherries, shallots, salt, pepper)

two items were voted off the pantry shelves tonight: the last of the green lentils and the very last of the five pound bag of dried cannellini beans -- which were at least three years old -- but sealed very well ;)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Yellow Beet Ravioli, Pineapple Gazpacho, Orange Pepper, Red Onion and Spinach Salad


Yellow Beet Ravioli on Tomato Confit

Pineapple Gazpacho
(pineapple, cucumber, jalapeno, macadamia nuts, cilantro, scallion, salt)

Orange Pepper, Red Onion and Baby Spinach Salad
(orange bell pepper, red onion, baby spinach, shredded red cabbage, sunflower seeds, fresh horseradish, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper)

(Chris from the wonderful vegan food blog EatAir asked in the comments last week about raw food and what to do if you don't have a dehydrator -- so we decided to make this week dehydrator free)

Raw Food Wednesday meets Pantry Week in a mash-up. ;)

Beets are the ultimate cold weather storage food, and this one was over a month old, but in remarkable shape. Peeled, cut paper thin and marinated in olive oil, salt and pepper, stuffed with cashew "cheese" and served on a bed of diced tomatoes marinated for a few hours with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and thyme.

The Pineapple Gazpacho is from "Raw Food/Real World" -- the macadamia nuts really bring this soup together (figuratively and literally). Nuts are such an intrigal part of a raw food diet, and much like the dried mushrooms, we have a bad habit of picking some up every time we're out shopping. Now we have a freezer door full of them -- but this was the last of the macadamias. Combine the chopped nuts with half of a very ripe pineapple that was used for smoothies at breakfast, cucumber, jalapeno and you've got this refreshing gazpacho with enough subtle heat that you know you're not just drinking a smoothie.

As for the salad, we're still working on that knob of horseradish from last month -- so it was used as part of the salad dressing to match up with the beet ravioli. The red cabbage is another "how long ago did we buy this?" food. Only lost the outer three layers... ;)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Garlic Noodle Soup, Bamboo Rice Stir-Fry, Steamed/Seared Bok Choy

Dinner 5/16

Garlic Noodle Soup
(abalone mushrooms, garlic, tofu, noodles, mushroom stock, scallions)

Bamboo Rice Stir-Fry
(snap peas, carrot, abalone mushrooms, garlic, ginger, tamari)

Steamed/Seared Bok Choy

"Pantry Week" continues with Bamboo Rice and Abalone Mushrooms being used up. We have a ton of dried mushrooms to be used, but these were opened, and did double duty in the stir-fry, soup and soup stock...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lemon Risotto, Morel Mushrooms, Baked Tofu, Braised Fennel, Ciabatta,

Dinner 5/15

Lemon Risotto
(arborio rice, water, salt, white pepper, lemon zest, soft tofu blended with some water for a cream sauce)

Morel Mushrooms
(sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper with a splash of tamari at the end)

Baked Tofu
(sliced and lightly fried with the leftover olive oil from the mushrooms)

Baby Spinach Salad
(baby spinach, dried cherries, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper)

Braised Fennel

(reading the referrer logs every once in a while is fun!)

It's "Pantry Week" -- a.k.a. Spring Cleaning -- and time to for us to use up all those ingredients hiding in the back of the pantry and refrigerator. Starting off, this risotto from that container of arborio that's been sitting in the back of the fridge for the last six months. ;)

(yes, it's almost the same topping as the polenta from last night -- we didn't use all the morels and didn't want them to go bad, plus the kids asked if we could have them again)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Polenta with Tofu, Dandelion Greens, Morel Mushrooms and Pumpkin Seed Oil, Ciabatta, Big Heart Artichokes

Dinner 5/14

Polenta with Tofu, Dandelion Greens, Morel Mushrooms and Pumpkin Seed Oil

Big Heart Artichokes


The whole dish wasn't planned out that far in advance (maybe 10 minutes before serving), but it sure tasted like it... If we had a restaurant, this would go on the menu right away.

The dandelion greens were from our backyard (they were tiny and hadn't begun to flower), and were sauteed with a little olive oil and added a splash of very good balsamic vinegar at the end. Not bitter at all, and just a small enough amount to add the right accent to the dish.

The morels were again pristine, this time cut into rings and fried with a little olive oil, soy margarine, salt, pepper and a splash of tamari at the end for the umami boost. Surprisingly the kids loved them. They're usually not big mushroom eaters, but of course they like the stuff that's $20 a pound ;)

The tofu had been baked a day earlier, sliced up and quicky stir-fried in the leftover mushroom oil.

Then the whole thing was drizzled with Pumpkin Seed Oil which tied it all together.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tofu Dengaku, Haricot Verts with Black Sesame Seeds, Tempura, Edamame

Dinner 5/13

Tofu Dengaku with Sesame Seeds
(extra firm tofu grilled with a coating of red miso, sake, mirin, agave, soft tofu)

Haricot Verts with Black Sesame Seeds
(blanched haricot verts with a tamari, agave, toasted black sesame seeds dressing, served cold)

(shiitake mushroom, asparagus, red onion, with a ponzu dipping sauce)


much japanese food
for a rainy spring evening
harmonious meal

Friday, May 12, 2006

Seitan Tagine over Tomato Couscous, Grilled Ramps, Fava Beans

Dinner 5/12

Seitan Tagine over Tomato Couscous
(seitan, onion, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, tamari, "just like honey", salt)

Grilled Ramps

Fava Beans

Moroccan food tonight -- a classic tagine/couscous combo with the "just like honey" filling in with the right touch of sweetness in the tagine. Fresh fava beans are always a treat -- as long as you're not the one having to prep them -- so, thanks to my lovely wife ;)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pasta Puttanesca, Steamed Artichokes, Ciabatta

Dinner 5/11

"Wagon Wheel" Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce

Steamed Artichokes
(lemon and soy margarine dipping sauce)


Our son wanted to help make dinner tonight, so he helped with sauce (onion, garlic, celery, kalamata olive, tomato, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, pinch of sugar) and did his usual excellent job -- we'll turn him into a chef yet... Our daughter picked the pasta -- the funnier shaped, the better in her mind ;)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Tomato and "Cheese" Tart, Greek Salad, Zucchini Noodles, Coconut Balls

Raw Food Wednesday 5/10

Tomato and Cheese Tart

Greek Salad
(romaine, haricot verts, cucumbers, "feta" cheese, dehydrated cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, parsley, basil vinaigrette, garlic, cinnamon, salt, pepper)

Zucchini Noodle and Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes

Coconut Balls

(howdy to the folks visiting from "We Like It Raw")

At one point we had eight of the nine dehydrator shelves being used. It would have been all nine, except the tart shells needed two rack spaces...

It seems we're working through the Trotter/Klein book this month -- but this was our first time making the tomato and cheese tart, and I don't know why we waited this long. Big bold tomato flavors mixed with the almost too rich cashew cheese, spinach and rosemary filling -- topped with heirloom tomatoes and basil. We formed the shell using our mini-tart pans instead of piping it out the "dough" as they do in the book. It makes for a slightly "cleaner" presentation. The tart shells are almond flour, flax meal, zucchini, almond "butter", onion, water and salt.

We got some nice haricot verts at the market yesterday, so we made the Greek Salad again -- the odd ingredient is cinnamon, but it works in context of the dressing and the "feta" cheese (cashew cheese, lemon juice, shallot, nutritional yeast, pepper, salt mixed together, then dehydrated for 8 hours at 105F)

We had just a tiny bit of zucchini left over from the tart shells, so we just hit the spiral slicer and made a mini-appetizer of sorts... mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper and dehydrated for about 45 minutes at 105F

Raw Coconut Balls

1 cup raw macadamia nuts, 1 cup chopped dates, 3/4 cup dried coconut, (about) 2 tbs of raw agave, salt, splash of vanilla extract.

Grind the nuts and dates seperately, combine into a bowl. Add the coconut, salt, vanilla extract. Add just enough agave so that when you are forming the balls that they retain their shape. This depends on how "wet" the nuts are after grinding.

Dehydrate 8 hours at 105°F

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Baked Tofu over Braised Cabbage, Horseradish Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Dinner 5/9

Baked Tofu

Braised Cabbage
(olive oil, cabbage, veg stock, tomato paste, caraway seeds, salt, pepper)

Horseradish Potatoes
(sliced yukon gold potatoes cooked in soy milk, the sauce is roux, the soy milk, beer vinegar, fresh horseradish, salt, white pepper, parsley)

Steamed Broccoli

The Horseradish Potato and Braised Cabbage recipes are from a German recipe book (circa 1973). Both were a nice "flavor profile" change of pace. That and I have a huge knob of fresh horseradish that needs to get used ;)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Vegetable Pot Pie, Roasted Broccoli, Ciabatta

Dinner 5/8

Vegetable Pot Pie
(adapted from Candle Cafe)

Roasted Broccoli


a "flashback" food from the 70's gets a much needed make-over as vegan comfort food ;)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Calzones, Arugula Salad, Braised Leeks, Ciabatta

Dinner 5/7

(diced fennel, white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, soy cheese)

Arugula Salad
(w/ fig vinaigrette, pecans and dried cherries)

Braised Leeks

Homemade Ciabatta

It was community trash day in Kent today, which means many truckloads of the detrius that has accumulated over the last year finally made it's way curbside. Most of it had disappeared by the time of our last haul. I saw two guys with a dolly carting off an old water heater...

Exhausted, and in no mood to cook, we dipped into our freezer stash of goodies and pulled out the Calzones we made about a couple of weeks ago... good call. Basic pizza dough stuffed with goodies and soy cheese...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Tofu Piccata over Spaetzle with Morel Mushrooms and Grilled Asparagus

Dinner 5/6

Tofu Piccata over Spaetzle

Morel Mushrooms

Grilled Asparagus

Avocado, Orange and Tomatillo Soup


2 1/2 cups (10oz) flour
1/2 box of soft tofu (in the aseptic box)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4oz) water (aproximately)

In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. In a blender or using a hand mixer, puree the soft tofu. Add the tofu and 1/4 cup of the water to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough is stiff. Continue adding water until it has the correct consistency, that is, until comes away easy from the sides of the bowl.

Knead the dough for several minutes until it is smooth, then let stand for 30 minutes. Or, if you're tired and impatient, don't. ;)

Cooking Method: If you have a spaetzle maker (looks like a straight cheese grater with an bowl attachment), position it across the pot of boiling water and push the dough back and forth across the grate, causing the noodle to drop into the water.

Here's a spaetzle maker...

Alternately if you don't have a spaetzle maker, you can try to use a colander (not the mesh type) and push the dough through the holes and into the water -- but it's not easy to do and is messy...

The main thing to consider is the consistancy of the dough -- we tend to like ours a little on the wet side as it makes it easier to push through the spaetzle maker...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Enchiladas, Mole Verde Queretaro with Grilled Tofu

Dinner 5/5

Mole Verde Queretaro
(Green Mole with Smoked and Grilled Tofu over Jasmine Rice)

Tomato and Soy Cheese Enchiladas

ah, the best laid Cinco de Mayo plans... turns out we had forgotten that the school carnival was this Friday, not next week. Good thing we hadn't started on the margarita's...

So, we scaled back the food and went with the Rick Bayless nutty Queretaro Green Mole along with the Tomato and Soy Cheese Enchilladas which we were able to make ahead of time, go to the carnival and still eat at decent hour...

the mole: roasted tomatillo, roasted poblano, ripe plantain, toasted sesame seeds, almonds, peanuts, toasted garlic, romaine lettuce(!), parsley, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel seed, cloves, veg broth -- all more or less thrown in a blender and then cooked down, resulted in a very nutty, pale green mole that was a refreshing change of pace from the tradional brick red chile/chocolate mole...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice, Grilled Ramps

Dinner 5/4

(orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, red onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, tamari, baby corn, tofu)

Jasmine Rice

Grilled Ramps
(w/ sesame oil)

The stir-fry gets a hit of color with the orange and yellow peppers and red onion... and the kids love the baby corn.

a standard meal tonight -- we're saving up our strength for Cinco de Mayo ;)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Arugula Salad with Carrot Gnocchi, Morel and Fennel Stacks, Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad

Raw Food Wednesday 5/3

Arugula Salad with "Carrot Gnocchi"
(w/ a garlic, date dressing)

Morel Mushroom and Fennel Stacks
(with Mustard Seed Vinigrette and Basil Vinigrette)

Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad
(with salt and pepper, olive oil)

Dipping back into the Charlie Trotter/Roxanne Klein book "Raw" for this dinner -- fresh morels made all the difference between this and the last time we made the stacks. Basically five items: Morel mushrooms, cleaned, sliced into 1/2" rounds and marinated in a bit of olive oil; thinly slice Fennel; Fennel puree (fennel, olive oil, salt, pepper); Fennel fronds; Mustard Seed vinaigrette and Basil vinaigrette. For assembly, slice of morel, fennel slice, fennel puree, fennel frond, repeat twice. drizzle viniagrette on plate.

The "Carrot Gnocchi" = cashew "cheese" + shallots + lemon juice + nutritional yeast + dehydrated for 8 hours and then rolled in carrot powder.

Carrot Powder = peeled carrots + 8 hours in the dehydrator / grinding in spice mill.

A dressing of pureed dates and garlic was the fabulous counterpart to the little gnocchi taste bombs.

Despite it not being tomato season, these dark heirloom tomatoes were ripe and full of flavor. All that was needed was a simple prep of salt/pepper/olive oil with whole basil pieces between the layers of the tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mushrooms Madagascar, White Bean and Seitan Stew, Spinach Salad, Braised Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 5/2

White Bean and Seitan Stew
(cannellini beans, seitan, tomatoes, veg stock, salt, pepper)

Spinach Salad
(pecans, dried cherries, local spinach, fig vinaigrette)

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Mushrooms "Madagascar"*
(cremini mushrooms, veg stock, tamari, soy cheese, whole red/green peppercorns)

Don't ask why I took the picture that way -- but maybe we should rename it "Illuminati Stew" ;)

* I doubt this has much to do with the island off Africa, but it's another one of those restaurant recreations -- and that's what they called it... sort of cheesy baked mushrooms with peppers in veg broth. Throw it under the broiler and the soy mozzarella really melts ;)