Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stelline Soup, Roasted Asparagus, Braised Brussel Sprouts, French Bread

Dinner 10/31

Stelline Soup
(carrot, onion, celery, garlic, tomato, cannellini beans, stelline (star) pasta, veg stock, tamari, salt, pepper)

Roasted Asparagus

Braised Brussel Sprouts

French Bread

You have to be careful with the stelline (star) noodles -- one cup of dried noodles added to the soup will suck every last available bit of the six cups of broth out the pot -- I'm just sayin' ;)

Monday, October 30, 2006

UnSilent Film

UnSilent Film 10/30

No dinner tonight, I just ended up having some leftovers from last night (one package of pad thai noodles make a boatload of leftovers!)

Instead it was the second anniversary of UnSilent Film -- a series of shows where we play improvised electronic music to silent movies, in this case "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920) starring John Barrymore (Drew's Grandfather).

We had eight players tonight (an all-time high) and it sounded... massive.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pad Thai

Dinner 10/29

Pad Thai
(noodles, smoked tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, scallions, bean threads, garlic, tamarind sauce, sriracha)

A quick simple go-to kind of meal tonight (I'm prepping for tomorrow night's UnSilent Film gig) -- the tamrind sauce is really the key to this dish -- otherwise it's just a stir-fry with noodles and bean threads... not that there's anything wrong with that ;)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Deep Dish Pizza (Round 2)

Dinner 10/28

Deep Dish Pizza
(fyh soy cheese, tomato sauce, smoked tofu, olives, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes)

yep, we made the pizza again -- played around with the baking time and heat, and we probably should have left it alone ;) It tasted fine, but the shell was noticably weaker and the toppings kind of fell off the crust. You live, you learn...

This time we watched "Rocky Horror" and the kids fell asleep right after the "Time Warp" -- which was just as well...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wild Mushroom Quesadillas, Chiles Rellenos

Dinner 10/27

Wild Mushroom Quesadillas
(onions, garlic, black beans, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, fyh soy cheese, tamari, mexican oregano, smoked salt, pepper)

Chiles Rellenos
(poblano pepper stuffed with potatoes, soyrizo, fyh soy cheese, mexican oregano, salt and pepper)

The rellenos are sort of deconstructed -- lacking the batter and deep-frying -- but it also makes dinner prep go a little faster ;) One of these days we'll go back and make them the old way -- maybe with smaller poblanos...

The quesadillas though, are just perfect the way they are -- mushrooms and smoky black beans... we've been using these red pepper shells which add a nice visual and flavor to the quesadillas, as well as our usual Sunday morning Breakfast Burritos...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Panade, Spinach Salad

Dinner 10/26

(adapted from Paula Wolfert)

Spinach Salad
(cherry tomatoes, dried cherries, pine nuts, green goddess dressing)

It's amazing that onions, garlic, day-old bread, veg stock, dinosaur kale, soy cheese, tamari, salt and pepper -- that is slow cooked at 250F for three hours -- can turn into something so special, that you dream about it at night. ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Tostada, Gazpacho

Raw Food Wednesday 10/25

Raw Tostada
(onion bread, cashew "cheese", avocado, walnut filling, tomato, lettuce)

Gazpacho with Avocado
(tomato, cucumber, scallion, garlic, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, red cherry pepper)

Cauliflower Couscous
(cauliflower, parsley, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, cayenne)


Persimmon Pie

Back to Matt Amsden's "RAWvolution" book for the tostada, couscous and persimmon pie.

The walnut filling in the tostadas was really good -- i.e. it didn't taste overly walnutty. The onion bread was shaped into rounds and dehydrated for a long time (24+ hours again). The consistency was better this time as I used the benriner to shave the onions very very thin...

The cauliflower couscous was surprisingly tasty -- finely diced cauliflower and the fresh mint from the garden added the just the right note to compliment the lemon juice -- a good alternitive to a green salad as a starter.

The persimmon pie was very un-fall like as raw desserts go -- a very creamy mango-like filling in a quick almond shell topped with raspberries.

We really like this book -- as Juliano-ish as it is -- as it's not overly complicated. On a scale of 1-10 for complication (10=Trotter/Klein), I'd give it a 3, if only for needing a dehydrator for a couple of things -- most of his soups/drinks just require a good blender...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Moo Shu Tofu, Scallion Pancakes

Dinner 10/24

Moo Shu Tofu
(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, baby eggplant, hot cherry pepper, sliced brussel sprouts, scallions, in a sauce of hoisin, tamari, sesame oil, sherry, water, cornstarch)

Scallion Pancakes
(recipe below)

We went deep into the freezer tonight and found the beauties above -- Scallion Pancakes and the seldom seen Moo Shu Pancakes (made on Christmas Eve 2005 -- because nothing says "Christmas Eve" like making some moo shu, eh?)

The filling was coated with the standard hoisin based sauce, but once inside those moo shu pancakes, within the first bite, the whole package suddenly became much lighter, almost airy -- which is good, becasue there were many pancakes still left to go ;)

Scallion Pancakes

2 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. peanut oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
6 scallions chopped
peanut oil (for frying)

Using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour in the boiling water while stirring constantly. Cover the bowl and set it aside until the dough is cool enough to knead, about 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it's smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a bowl with peanut oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat the top with oil. Cover again and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Lightly flour the work surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 10" x 16" rectangle, approximately 1/4" thick. Brush the entire surface with sesame oil, the sprinkle the chopped scallions over the area.

Starting on the left side, roll the dough into a thick, even cylinder 10" long. Cut into six equal slices. With the rolling pin, roll each slice of dough into a pancake 1/4" thick, 6" - 8" in diameter. Cover each pancake as finished to prevent drying out.

Heat peanut oil to 375F and deep-fry for 30 seconds per side, drain on paper towels. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Seitan and Lentil Stew, Purple Potatoes

Dinner 10/23

Seitan and Lentil Stew
(onion, garlic, seitan, herbes de provence, veg stock, tamari, salt, pepper)

Purple Potatoes

Steamed Artichoke
(with lemon and soy margarine dipping sauce)

It snowed pretty good here tonight -- locations just north of us ended up with 5" during the night. The stew was a logical choice -- went with "PotatoHenge" for the plating tonight ;)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Deep Dish Pizza

Dinner 10/22

Deep Dish Pizza
(tomato sauce, fyh soy cheese, onion, garlic, olives)

We had a hankerin' for a Chicago-style deep dish pizza -- and although it would have been more authentic in two smaller cake pans -- it turned out good enough that the kids went back for thirds... you can't really tell from this shot, but the middle of the pie was one-inch thick n' gooey sauce andcheese -- the soy cheese melted quite well...

We all watched "The Wedding Singer" while we ate, and spent most of the time explaining who "A Flock of Seagulls" and Billy Idol were. ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tofu Scallopini, Red Potatoes, Braised Leeks

Dinner 10/21

Tofu Scallopini
(heavily adapted from Candle Cafe, see below)

Red Potatoes

Braised Leeks

We ended up swapping tofu for tempeh, red wine for white, shiitake for crimini, etc. The method was the same though...

Basically, it involves poaching the tofu in a soy-based marinade, then dredging the tofu in flour and frying. Then you take the rest of the marinade, reduce by half, add the red wine and reduce by half again, add some lemon juice (we used way less than they called for as the tannins in red wine can clash with the lemon juice). Then separately cook the mushrooms and shallots, and them add to the sauce, and pour over the tofu.

I don't know if you'd still call it a scallopini, but it sure was tasty ;)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tempeh Shepherdess Pie, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 10/20

Tempeh Shepherdess Pie
(test recipe for VwaV2)

Roasted Broccoli

Another winner from Isa and Terry's test kitchen -- this may be the ultimate comfort food -- just edging out the pot pies from the other night -- the mashed potatoes push them over the top...

We tweaked the recipe a bit, smoking the tempeh, which only made me love it more. ;)

However, the coolest version on PPK so far was made by afoolsays -- with the piped sweet potatoes (replacing the mashed potatoes)-- very inspired!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fusilli Pasta with Wilted Arugula, Mixed Greens Salad with Tomatoes and Dried Cherries

Dinner 10/19

Fusilli Pasta with Wilted Arugula

Mixed Greens Salad with Tomatoes and Dried Cherries
(w/ green goddess dressing)


The kids wanted pasta, and Liz added the wilted arugula for our portion -- a nice peppery note that cut through...

So, have many you gone back to spinach? Are you seeing on the shelves again? We usually get most of our produce locally via our co-op, but now that the season is gone...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Onion Bread, Raw Burgers with Fresh Ketchup, Green Bean, Tomato and Romaine Salad

Raw Food Wednesday 10/18

Onion Bread, Raw Burgers with Fresh Ketchup
(from Matt Amsden's "RAWvolution" book)

Green Bean, Tomato and Romaine Salad
(with Creamy Garlic Dressing also from "RAWvolution")

As you can tell, we picked up a new raw book this week -- Matt Amsden's "RAWvolution" -- and made his signature Onion Bread (onions, ground flax seed, ground sunflower seeds, nama shoyu, olive oil). Although it needed to dehydrate for 24+ hours, it was well worth the wait. A wonderfully savory crisp bread, it was a tasty match for his burgers (almond, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cremini mushroom, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, olive oil, cumin seed, nama shoyu, tarragon and cayenne). The fresh ketchup was also a nice addition (tomato, sun-dried tomato, nama shoyu, raw agave, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper). We added the cashew cheese, tomato and onion on top for a hearty (and filling) dinner.

The dressing for the grean bean and tomato salad was exactly that -- creamy and garlicky. Always a good combo with the romaine and grean beans...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice, Garlic Noodle Soup with Fried Tofu

Dinner 10/17

(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, ginko nuts, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic, tamari, sesame oil, sriracha)

Jasmine Rice

Garlic Noodle Soup with Fried Tofu

Why yes, it was the ever popular "it's-a-Tuesday-night-and-I-don't-know-what-to-cook-for-dinner" kind of meal... ;)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if I had to eat only one kind of food the rest of my life, this would be it...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Vegetable Pot Pie, Braised Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 10/16

Vegetable Pot Pie
(from Candle Cafe Cookbook)

Braised Brussel Sprouts

The pot pie has become a family favorite -- tofu, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, veg stock and a cornstarch slurry holding it all together under a flaky crust -- which is very delicate, making it difficult to roll out and get on the top of the ramekins.

And "petit chou-chou's" were indeed petit tonight -- the last batch from the farmer's market were small to begin with, and prepping/cleaning made them even smaller -- but no less tasty ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rhombi alla Vodka, Spinach Salad, Homemade Ciabatta

Dinner 10/15

Rhombi alla Vodka
(onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, tomatoes, vodka, soy sour cream, basil, salt and pepper)

Spinach Salad
(with dried cherries, pine nuts and creamy garlic dressing)

Homemade Ciabatta

A variation on the classic "Penne alla Vodka" -- a tomato and cream sauce with a splash of vodka -- which perks and spices up the tomatoes.

Pasta with nice chunk of ciabatta (that Liz made yesterday) is good comfort food on a chilly fall evening...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tofu and Roasted Peaches, Shallots, Thyme and Balsamic Vinegar, Spinach Noodle Kugel

Dinner 10/14

Tofu and Roasted Peaches, Shallots, Thyme and Balsamic Vinegar
(adapted from "Real Simple")

Spinach Noodle Kugel
(test recipe from VwaV:2)

Liz gets the magazine "Real Simple" at her office and while flipping through a couple of days ago I saw the roasted balsamic peach recipe* and remembered that we had a couple of leftover peaches from our breakfast smoothies still around... the peaches were roasted along with quartered shallots, fresh thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar that really made the dish come together.

The tofu was pan-fried, splashed with tamari and then stuffed with roasted garlic.

The kugel is basically a spinach, dill, soft tofu, matzoh and noodle cassarole, so I made them in a mini-springform pan and topped them with pine nuts. This worked as a great supporting side dish to the tofu/peaches

* y'know, just take out the chicken part of the recipe and roast the rest of the ingredients for an hour at 400F

Friday, October 13, 2006

Butternut Squash Ravioli, Steamed Artichoke

Dinner 10/13

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Steamed Artichoke

The kids had an off day from school, so we had a huge lunch at The Mustard Seed in Solon (Tempeh in Peanut Sauce, Tempeh Reuben, Southwestern Black Bean Soup, and the kids had Spaghetti and Soy Milk Shakes), so we were in no mood to cook when we came home. This is why we bought the second freezer ;)

The ravioli were vacuum sealed in January 2006 and were as still soft as pillows without a hint of freezer burn... Served along artichoke that proved that the season has passed -- it was OK, but not as good as usual...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pierogi, Latkes, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Dinner 10/12

(cabbage, onion, dill filling)

(VwaV:2 test recipe)

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Now that there's enough room in the freezer, we made a big batch (40+) of cabbage, onion and dill pierogi and froze/vacuum sealed ones that remained. Now we're all set if unexpected company (or a small army) comes by to visit ;)

The latkes were another test recipe for Isa and Terry's new book -- The kids liked these better than the ones Liz usually makes -- which is very high praised indeed. The addition of matzoh and potato starch is where it changes from the ones we usually make. Tasty...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Sprouted Buckwheat Pizza, Fennel and Spinach Salad

Raw Food Wednesday 10/11

Raw Pizza One
(Cashew Cheese, Tomato, Dehydrated Shallot and Kalamata Olives)

Raw Pizza Two
(Pesto, Red Bell Pepper and Pine Nuts)

Fennel and Spinach Salad
(from Juliano)

More pizza action from the Gabriel Cousens cookbook -- sprouted buckwheat mixed with almonds, pumpkin seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, spices and olive oil, and then dehydrated for about six hours -- we made quite a few extra for future pizza nights...

and yes, spinach -- locally grown in fact -- so good. ;)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vegetable Chow Mein, Sesame Tofu, Bok Choy, Scallion Pancakes

Dinner 10/10

Sesame Tofu
(tofu, black bean sauce, garlic, ginger, tamari, sherry)

Vegetable Chow Mein
(tofu shirataki noodles, carrot, eggplant, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, scallion)

Bok Choy
(VwaV:2 test recipe)

Scallion Pancakes
(with a dipping sauce of hoisin, tamari, sriracha and agave)

The tofu shirataki noodles get par-boiled, then stir-fried along with the veggies in this vegan version of the take-out staple, this time topped with delicious sesame tofu. The scallion pancakes are tonight's sacrifice to the freezer gods... these were from the epic "orphan food" score from October of last year. Seven bunches of scallions for... a buck. Ah, good times ;)

The bok choy is yet another test kitchen recipe for VwaV:2. The addition of ginger and crispy shallots as a topping elevated this dish to star status, as evidenced by the fact that everyone wished they had more...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Black Bean Burger, Homemade Frites/Fries

Dinner 10/9

Black Bean Burger
(recipe from Candle Cafe Cookbook, with guacamole, lettuce, red onion and ketchup)

Homemade Frites

Kudos to our son who suggested this meal tonight -- in our quest to make some space in the freezer for more pierogi, the black bean burgers (from March) were pan-fried in the cast iron skillet and topped with guacamole and other fixings. The fries/frites are the standard method of cutting the potatoes, soaking in water for 30 minutes, rinsing the starch off, then blanching in 280F oil for 6-8 minutes, then remove from the oil and let rest for 15 minutes and finally finished in 370F oil for another 2-3 minutes -- crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pierogi, Braised Carrots

Dinner 10/8

(Cabbage, Onion, and Dill)

Braised Carrots

Liz made dinner for tonight, as I was off at a wine tasting during the afternoon. I did manage to make the carrots, which considering all things, was a minor miracle... ;)

We still have a ton of filling left, so we're going to make another batch and freeze some. We'll have to make some room this week and eat some of the goodies we vacuum sealed last year...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Seitan and White Bean Stew with Shiitake and Cremini Mushrooms, Green Beans and Mushrooms, Seared and Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 10/7

Seitan and White Bean Stew with Shiitake and Cremini Mushrooms

Green Beans and Mushrooms

Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Originally it was going to be another Vwav:2 test recipe, but I changed it enough that it didn't really qualify (adding seitan, and changing the cooking method because I got a late start on dinner). But that's the great thing about recipes -- you can adapt them to fit your needs and availability of ingredients ;)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Slow Cooked Ratatouille with Fingerling Potatoes, Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Beet Salad, Rosemary Dinner Rolls, Chocolate and Chestnut Pudding

Dinner 10/6

Slow Cooked Ratatouille with Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Beet Salad with Romaine Lettuce

Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade


Chocolate and Chestnut Pudding

Liz wanted to use the slow cooker today, and made a ratatouille. The end result wasn't that fabulous -- too "flat" as she called it, I would have gone with "one dimensional". The rest of the meal was really good, the kids loved the rosemary dinner rolls.

The pesto is a test kitchen recipe, and is a basic pesto with walnuts and a touch of maple syrup to offset the walnuts. It was a little odd for the first piece, but by the second you didn't notice -- a tasty re-imagining.

The dessert was something different as well -- chocolate and chestnuts in a pudding. It was placed in a "buche de noel" mold and put in the fridge to set up a bit. The result was easy to cut into individual pieces off the log and had a wonderful flavor and finish...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chile Cornmeal Crusted Tofu, Pumpkin Seed Mole, Soyrizo and Plantains, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 10/05

Chile Cornmeal Crusted Tofu

Pumpkin Seed Mole
(adapted from Rick Bayless, recipe below)

Soyrizo and Plantains
(recipe below)

Jasmine Rice


Part Tres from the VwaV:2 test kitchens -- Chile Cornmeal Crusted Tofu. The tofu is given a quick dip in a cornstarch/soy milk slurry, and then rolled around in a cornmeal, cumin, chile, cayenne, salt and lime zest mixture and pan-fried (in a cast iron skillet).

The mole is adapted from Rick Bayless, and used 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, 1/2 sliced onion, 1 minced clove of garlic, 6 sprigs of cilantro, 3/4 cup veg stock and most surprisingly, 2 romaine lettuce leaves -- which makes it very very verde. All of the ingredients are pureed and then put into a saute pan with a little olive oil and cooked down for ten minutes. Then you add 1 more cup of stock and simmer for 20 more minutes, finally hitting it in the blender again to smooth it out. Then it's just a matter of putting back into a clean pan and keeping it warm while you finish frying the tofu.

The plantain and soyrizo mash is one of the kids favorites (along with the guacamole) and they really liked the tofu as well...

1 ripe plantain diced
1/2 package soyrizo
1/2 onion sliced
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp. of mexican oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and garlic until light browned. Remove and set aside.
Saute the soyrizo until starting to brown. Remove and put with the onion and garlic.
Saute the plantain until soft and starting to caramelize. Return the soyrizo, onion and garlic to the pan, add the mexican oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve hot.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Black Radish Ravioli, Butternut Squash Spaghetti, Ceasar Salad with Carrot Crutons, Banana and Chocolate Tart

Raw Food Wednesday 10/4

Black Radish Ravioli
(stuffed with cashew "cheese")

Butternut Squash Noodles

Ceasar Salad with Carrot Croutons


Banana Chocolate Tart with Caramel Sauce
(adapted from Trotter/Klein)

Originally, we were going to have pizza again, but the shells we made last time apparently weren't quite dry enough when we stored them. This is not a good thing. I always like using the line from Spinal Tap "...best left unsolved" and tossed them out. ;)

So, shifting gears, we made butternut squash noodles and finally got to use the Black Radish (about the size of a beet, with black on the outside and white on the inside) for the ravioli stuffed with cashew "cheese". served with sort of a tomato confit (diced tomatoes, marinated in olive oil, pepper, nama shoyu, fresh rosemary and thyme for a few hours).

The banana chocolate tart however, was teh r0x0r... adapted from the Trotter/Klein book (and using chocolate, falling into the not-quite-raw, but delicious section). The free-form crust was prepped and dehydrated, starting in the morning, as well as the "caramel" sauce and chocolate section. Liz once again, kicks ass and takes names...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eggplant, Tomato and Chickpea Stew over Poppyseed Polenta, Swiss Chard and Navy Beans with Smoked Tempeh

Dinner 10/3

Eggplant, Tomato and Chickpea Stew over Poppyseed Polenta

Swiss Chard and Navy Beans with Smoked Tempeh

We're continuing on with our run of dishes from the VwaV:2 test kitchen -- the poppyseed polenta and the eggplant stew -- an excellent combo choice.

The chard and navy bean dish with smoked tempeh had some similar ingredients (tomato, garlic, beans), cooked in a similar vein (slow braise), but with a different flavor profile (the addition of raisins, pine nuts and smoked tempeh).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gado-Gado, Autumn Rolls

Dinner 10/02


Autumn Rolls
(rice paper sheets, rice noodles, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, basil and cilantro)

Gado-Gado is the classic Indonesian vegetable stew/salad with peanut sauce. Tonight's ingredients: seared/steamed brussel sprouts (in place of the traditional cabbage), blanched green beans, red potatoes and fried tofu squares over jasmine rice.

For the sauce: it's fried garlic, shallots, organic peanut butter, red curry paste, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), tamari, tamarind paste and water, all cooked down and reduced by half... we also used it as the dipping sauce for the autumn rolls.

Speaking of which, the autumn rolls are a test recipe for the upcoming "Vegan with a Vengeance 2" cookbook -- we tweaked it slightly using the ever popular "spiral cutter gadget thingy" instead of cubing and roasting the butternut squash. These were wonderful and a nice twist on the familiar spring roll...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 10/01

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
(smoked eggplant, smoked zucchini, tofu riccota, tomato sauce, basil, noodles)

Roasted Broccoli

Liz had finished smoking and roasting the vegetables before I had even got out of bed this morning. How kick ass is that? ;)

The ricotta is a mixture of crumbled firm tofu, soft tofu, parsley, soy parmesan, salt and pepper which is processed for a bit to make it creamier and more spreadable on the lasagna noodles.