Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Grilled Portobello with Wilted Chard and Red Bell Pepper, Baked Broccoli, Potato Salad, Green Beans

Dinner 7/31

Grilled Portobello with Wilted Chard and Red Bell Pepper
(portobello, olive oil, chard, onion, garlic, pepper, tamari, roasted red bell pepper)

Baked Broccoli

Potato Salad
(potatoes, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, pickles)

Green Beans

The mushrooms were especially nice, and grilled up perfectly -- matched with the wilted chard and roasted red bell peppers it made for a killer combo.

The potato salad was a spur-of-the-moment thing when we found the bag of little red potatoes hiding at the bottom of the bin, bought a few weeks back. A simple vinaigrette emulsion with the addition of dijon mustard, herbs and the homemade pickles elevated it to classic status.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice, Tofu Triangles

Dinner 7/30

(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger, tamari, pepper)

Jasmine Rice

Tofu Triangles

The tofu triangles are coated with a combo of 1 tbs. tamari, 1 tbs. cornstarch, 1 tbs. gin and pepper. They are left to marinate in the fridge for an hour or so -- then they're deep-fried at 375F until crispy on the outside -- about 3-4 minutes.

The dipping sauce is rice wine vinegar, sugar and tamari.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew, Braised Cabbage and Soyrizo, Squash Blossom Soup

Dinner 7/29

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew
(from VegTimes)

Braised Cabbage and Soyrizo
(adapted from Paula Wolfert "Mediterranean Grains and Greens")

Squash Blossom Soup

The eggplant and chickpea stew come from the new issue of Vegetarian Times and is a slow braise full of tomato and eggplant. The cabbage dish works well with the bold flavors of the homemade soyrizo. A great combo pairing.

We used the rest of the squash blossoms (from Saturday) in the soup -- and while it's tough to describe the taste that they impart, suffice it to say that you can tell they're in there. Vague and unhelpful, I know... ;)

Two interviews...

We've done two interviews this month -- which breaks our previous record of zero... ;)

First up, Catherine of Albion Cooks grills us on the zen of plating, and the genesis of Raw Food Wednesday.

Next, Jess of Get Sconed! did one for the July issue of Herbivore (subscriber only) which includes the recipe for our son's "Mac 'n Cheese," how we started catering and fun with mushrooms...

...and because I have no place to use this picture -- a heart-shaped pickle from our recent batch made from another "Farmer's Market Score!" of cucumbers. Crunchy!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Squash Blossom Fritto Misto, Tofustix, Bruschetta

Dinner 7/28

Squash Blossom Fritto Misto
(stuffed with roasted corn, garlic, shallot, thyme, soy cream cheese, smoked paprika)

Tofustix *

(zucchini, tomato, onion, garlic, salt, pepper

Farmer's Market Score! A whole case of squash blossoms for a relatively inexpensive price. Now the quandary, what to do with them in the next 36 hours?

First up, our standby of stuffing them -- this time with a slightly different filling, including roasted corn. It was so incredible that it may become a permanent fixture.

As for tomorrow? hmmm... we'll see.

* OK, I just made that up -- Tofu Fingers or Tofu Frites were the other options... ;)

A little experiment involving tofu strips marinated with tamari and pepper, rolled in flour seasoned with smoked paprika, a cornstarch slurry, and finally breadcrumbs with a little nutritional yeast. Served with a vegenaise and smoked pepper dipping sauce.

Liz made a couple of ciabatta loaves, so we made a quick bruschetta, trying however in vain, of using up some of the basil from the garden.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pizza and Chocolate Cupcakes

Dinner 7/27

(smoked tofu, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, FYH Monterey Jack)


Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting

We saw "The Simpsons" movie today, so it only seemed fitting to have mmmm... pizza. Liz made the dough earlier in the day and made a free-form crust. It was par-baked for 10 minutes, loaded up with the toppings (including an awesome hickory smoked tofu), and baked for another 10-12 minutes until the FYH (Captain) Monterey Jack* melted.

For dessert we should have made doughnuts, but chocolate cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World" will have to do... and dig the new pastry tip! oooh! ahhh!

* Brrring! Brrrring! Hello Cheese? No - Cheese can't dial a phone!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tofu Marsala, Green Beans, Yukon Potatoes

Dinner 7/26

Tofu Marsala
(recipe below)

Green Beans

Yukon Potatoes

The green beans came from the farmer's market last Saturday and were just about the nicest ones we've ever seen -- thick, flavorful and not tough or stringy... juuust right.

Tofu Marsala (serves 4)

1 block extra firm tofu, portioned into eight cutlets
1 tbs. of tamari

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

2 tbs. canola oil, divided use
1 cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups of marsala
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. soy margarine
salt and pepper to taste

On a pie plate (or shallow dish), add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper to the all-purpose flour and stir to combine.

In a shallow bowl add 1 tbs. of tamari, and dip each piece of tofu, coating both sides. Then dip each piece of tofu in the flour, and turn to coat completely, shaking off any excess.

In a large pan (big enough to fit all eight cutlets) over med-high heat, add 1 tbs. of the canola oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Gently add the flour-coated tofu pieces. Cook until the tofu just starts to brown in spots, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the tofu from the pan, and put into a very low oven to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tbs. of canola oil to the pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt to release the liquid in the mushrooms, and stir until they brown, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and tomato paste, stir for 1 minute.

Off heat, add the marsala. Return the pan to the stove, and scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring the marsala up to a simmer, and reduce by half, about 5-7 minutes.

Off heat, add the lemon juice and stir to combine.

Return the pan to the stove and whisk in 1 tbs. of soy margarine.

Check for salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the tofu and serve over pasta.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Zucchini Tart, Zucchini Pesto

Raw Food Wednesday 7/25

Zucchini Tart

Zucchini Pesto

I told you we were getting serious about the zucchini ;)

The tart shell is almonds, flax seed and zucchini, pressed into a tart shell and dehydrated alone for 4 hours @ 115F

Then the filling is added -- a shallow layer of cashew cheese with a little shallot, nutmeg, pepper and white miso, and finally topped with zucchini brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Then the whole thing is dehydrated for another 4 hours.

When using this many different types of nuts, you want to find a balance so that the meal isn't too heavy -- especially in summer.

The pesto is simply basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil in the vita-mix. It's poured over the spiral-cut zucchini noodles and served with a couple of cherry tomatoes from the garden and a bit of dehydrated cashew cheese.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tofu saute a l'estragon, Tian de cougettes a la provencale, Soupe a la Bonne Femme, Braised Carrots, Braised Fennel

Dinner 7/24

Tofu saute a l'estragon
(Tofu Saute with Tarragon)

Tian de cougettes a la provencale
(Eggplant and Zucchini Provencal)

Braised Carrots

Braised Fennel

Soupe a la bonne femme
(Leek and Potato Soup)

Three dishes tonight from Auguste Escoffier's "Ma Cuisine"...

The tarragon sauce involves making a reduction of stock/wine/demi-glace/tomato sauce/tarragon which makes for a very thick flavorful sauce which coats the tofu quite well.

The tian (a type of earthenware gratin dish which gives it's name to this dish) is basically a proto-ratatouille and matched well with the tofu and tarragon sauce -- olive oil, onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, tomato, wine, salt and pepper.

If a soup is only as good as the ingredients, these were very good leeks and potatoes. The homemade veg stock doesn't hurt either...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lattice Tart, Braised Kale, Amaretto Cake

Dinner 7/23

Lattice Tart

Braised Kale
(kale, onion, garlic, tamari, pepper)


Amaretto Cake

Now that the zucchini and yellow squash are starting to arrive from our garden, it's time to get serious about using them. The filling is zucchini, shallot, garlic, soft tofu, soy milk, nutmeg, thyme, and fyh mozz soy cheese. The topping is zucchini and yellow squash cut on the benriner into long thin strips and then laid out in a lattice pattern across the tart...

...and because we had a little dough left over, we made a mini-tart for the kids

hmmm.. perhaps for the next Bastille Day party...

Awards? Awards? We don't need no stinking awards!

OK, yes we do...

Hey vegan folks, we're up for an award from VegNews magazine for "favorite veg blog" -- you just need to go here and fill out the little survey. And there's a shot at prizes too...

We're listed on Question 20, Favorite Veg Blog: veganmenu.blogspot.com

It would be nice to at least not come in last ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Raw Food Sunday: Caponata, Zucchini Roll-Ups, Spinach Salad

Raw Food Sunday 7/22

(recipe below)

Zucchini Roll-ups

Spinach Salad with Dried Cherries
(garlic, dressing from Juliano)

Raw-ifying another classic dish, caponata -- eggplant, tomato, red bell pepper

Raw Caponata

1/2 eggplant cut into 1/4" dice
1 tbs. lemon juice

2 roma tomatoes, cut lengthwise, flesh scooped out
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes soaked in water for 30 minutes
3 tbs. minced red bell pepper
3 tbs. minced celery
2 tbs. minced green olives
1 tbs. pine nuts
1 tbs. fresh currants (or raisins)
1 tbs. lemon juice (or 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. raw agave
2 tsp. nama shoyu
1 tbs. chopped basil
1 tbs. chopped parsley
black pepper

Add 1 tsp. salt to the diced eggplant in a colander, toss to coat and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Put the eggplant in a small bowl and add lemon juice while you're prepping the rest of the veggies.

Scoop out the tomato flesh from the tomato half and add to a large bowl with the celery, sun-dried tomato, red bell pepper, currants, pine nuts, green olives, basil, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), nama shoyu, basil, parsley and black pepper. Drain the eggplant, add to the mixture and stir to combine. Check for seasoning.

Stuff the tomato halves with the eggplant mixture and dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 105F.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Raw Food Saturday: Cauliflower Couscous, Borscht

Raw Food Saturday 7/21

Cauliflower Couscous with Romaine Lettuce
(from RAWvolution)

(adapted from "Raw" by Juliano)

It was a busy day outside the house so we didn't have much prep time when we got home -- so we just wanted something quick and painless...

The couscous couldn't be any easier -- mint, parsley, cilantro, olives, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper mixed into cauliflower that was pulsed in the vita-mix. Served tonight over some local romaine that we picked up at the Kent Farmer's Market.

The borscht may not be the prettiest dish to look at, but it certainly tastes great, and is a house favorite. The beet/orange juice combo is mixed with avocado, jalapeno, dill, cabbage, apple, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Raw Food Friday: Apple and Chard Napoleon, Fennel Salad with Sea Beans, Quinoa and Grapes

Raw Food Friday 7/20

Apple and Chard Napoleon

Fennel Salad with Sea Beans

Quinoa and Grapes

The Napoleon was a last minute idea, so next time we might dehydrate the apple slightly to firm them up, but having said that -- it worked out rather nicely. The apples were dipped in a mixture of lemon juice, a wee bit of agave and the tiniest pinch of cayenne. The chard was tossed with olive oil, nama shoyu, black pepper and thinly sliced shallots and dehydrated for 1 hour at 105F to wilt slightly (this helped when it came time to stack).

The fennel salad was simply tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and allowed to marinated for 15 minutes before serving. The sea beans were trimmed and added at the last moment to preserve their salty crunch.

The quinoa and grape dish is adapted from "Raw Food Real World", and is sprouted quinoa, grapes, celery, lime juice, cilantro, basil, mint, parsley, scallion, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Raw Food Thursday: Pad Thai Spicy, Corn Relish, Carob Pudding with Raspberries

Raw Food Thursday 7/19

Pad Thai

Spicy Corn Relish
(recipe below)


Carob Pudding with Raspberries
(from "Raw Food Real World")

We can't have a raw food week without Pad Thai (recipe), can we? ;)

The spicy corn relish is something we were playing around with to match up with the pad thai -- and it turned out really well. Here's the recipe...

Spicy Raw Corn Relish

2 ears of corn
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. lemongrass, finely minced
2 tbs. shallot, minced

1 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. of lime zest
1 tbs. of nama shoyu
1 tbs. serrano (or jalapeno) minced
1 tbs. lime juice
1 tbs. minced cilantro

Strip the corn off the cob and put in a medium bowl along with the olive oil, lemongrass and shallot.

Using a mortar and pestle (or a blender), add the garlic, lime zest, nama shoyu, serrano, lime juice and cilantro and mash up until it gets pulpy. Add to the corn mixture and toss to incorporate.

Spread the corn mixture out on a teflex sheet and dehydrate for 1 hour at 105F -- or if you're impatient like me, start eating it by the handful. ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Chiles Rellenos with Mole Sauce, Corn Chips with Guacamole, Blueberry Truffles, Dragon Fruit

Raw Food Wednesday 7/18

Chiles Rellenos with Mole Sauce

Corn Chips w/ Guacamole


Blueberry Truffles

Dragon Fruit

Day 3: Mexican food...

here's the recipe for the mole again...

Raw Mole Sauce

1 tbs. raw cacao nibs
1 tbs. pumpkin seeds
1 tbs. flax seeds
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander

1 red bell pepper
1 tsp. jalapeno (or more if you like the heat)
1 tbs. agave
1 tbs. nama shoyu

Grind the dry ingredients, juice the wet ingredients and combine. Check for seasoning.

The corn chips are simply corn, lime juice, salt and pepper ground together and dehydrated for 36 hours (!) -- and the only tip I can add is: when you think they're done, let them dehydrate for another 8 hours ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Raw Food Tuesday: Red and Yellow Beet Ravioli, Sunflower Seed Salad, Coconut Fudge

Raw Food Tuesday 7/17

Red and Yellow Beet Ravioli

Sunflower Seed Salad
(adapted from RAWvolution)


Coconut Fudge
(from RAWvolution)

Day 2, and another favorite, Yellow and Red Beet Ravioli. Stuffed with dehydrated cashew cheese, dehydrated portobello mushroom and shallot topped with a some leftover alfredo sauce from last night: cashews and pine nuts, coconut water, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and a pinch of nutmeg...

The Sunflower Seed Salad is adapted from RAWvolution -- soaked sunflower seeds pureed,with diced celery, shallots, and minced dill, thyme, oregano, parsley. The dressing was garlic, thai coconut water, pine nuts, lemon juice, sea salt, mustard seed dressing on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Raw Food Monday: Zucchini Pasta Three Ways, Grape and Tarragon Salad

Raw Food Monday 7/16

Zucchini Pasta Three Ways: Arrabiata, Alfredo, Pesto
(arrabiata recipe below)

Grape and Tarragon Salad

We're doing raw all this week, so expect to see some favorites (along with some new dishes). Here's a familiar dish, with a slight, er... twist.

Raw Arrabiata Sauce

2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs. shallots minced
1/2 cup cherry tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato (soaked for 30 minutes)
1 serrano chile, minced
1 tsp. nama shoyu
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
black pepper to taste
olive oil

Put all the ingredients (except the olive oil) into the vita-mix and puree. Slowly drizzle enough olive oil (depends on how juicy the tomatoes are) until creamy. Check for seasoning, and it should be pretty spicy.

For assembly: Place the arrabiata sauce in a small bowl. Spiral cut the zucchini into long strands. Twirl the pasta around with a small fork, and dip into the sauce. Turn the fork to coat with the sauce -- it's best to turn it along the edge of the bowl as this helps pull extra sauce off.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Seitan and Lentil Stew, Red Potatoes with Garlic and Parsley, Braised Leeks, Steamed Artichokes

Dinner 7/15

Seitan and Lentil Stew
(carrots, onion, garlic, seitan, lentils, veg stock, salt and pepper)

Red Potatoes with Garlic and Parsley

Braised Leeks

Steamed Artichokes

After the blow-out last night, tonight's meal needed to be comfort food... this fit the bill perfectly -- and used up the back-up food -- leeks/potatoes/garlic/parsley/lentils/seitan -- from the party ;)

The pressure cooker had double duty today, making the veg stock in the afternoon (plenty of veg scraps after the party) as well as the lentils (16 minutes vs. 45 minutes)...

(update: here's the recipe)

Seitan and Lentil Stew

1/2 onion studded with two cloves
1 cup of French lentils, rinsed
olive oil
veg stock

8oz package of seitan, cut into 1/2 cubes
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots peeled, and cut on a bias
herbes de provence
salt and pepper

Part one: In a pressure cooker* over med-high heat, place 1 tbs. olive oil and the clove-studded onion and saute until the onion starts to show some color. Add the rinsed French lentils, and enough veg stock to cover the lentils by 1 inch. Attach the pressure cooker lid and bring it to the first ring (or equivalent 6-8 psi) and maintain for 16-18 minutes.

Part two: In a wok on med-high, stir-fry the cubed seitan in 1 tbs. olive oil and remove when browned. Add some additional olive oil, the sliced onion, garlic and carrot and 1 tsp. of salt and stir-fry until golden (about 5 minutes). Add back the reserved seitan along with herbes de provence and some fresh black pepper.

Part three: After the lentils have finished cooking, remove the onion piece and discard. Add the lentils to the seitan mixture and stir to combine. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

* if you're not using a pressure cooker, you can just do it on the stovetop, it just takes longer ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

PPK Bastille Day Dinner

PPK Bastille Day Dinner 7/14


Tofu Salad Sandwiches

Salad Nicoise in Gaufrette Potato Baskets

Corn and Potato Soup with Tarragon

Seitan Bourguignon in Phyllo

Tempeh Wrapped in Grape Leaves and Phyllo

Braised Carrots

Braised Endive


Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

thanks to the PPK crew -- Tami and Jim, Maureen and David, Liz and Chuck, Anna and Phil for finding the house -- and it's always a special night when we can cook for fellow vegans. We had a great time!

The gaufrette potato bowls are something we've done in the past -- it's time consuming to be sure -- but it works exceptionally well for a Salad Nicoise (lettuce, green beans, sun-dried tomato (for the anchovies), capers, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, parsley and the gaufrette potato basket instead of the boiled red potatoes). The dressing was the traditional vinaigrette of shallot, dijon mustard, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and pepper.

And it's hard to tell from the picture of the bourguignon, but it was molded in an oval shape -- we bought the pan years ago, and accidentally stumbled over it, looking through a box in the basement a few weeks ago. Once again with the funny shapes... ;)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Focaccia Pizza

Dinner 7/13

Focaccia Pizza
(focaccia, tomato sauce, basil, rosemary, kalamata olive, FYH cheddar)

this picture is to show that yes, I mowed the backyard

A busy day preparing for the PPK Bastille Day onslaught tomorrow -- so a quick focaccia pizza tonight ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tempura Zucchini Blossoms, Ye Olde Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 7/12

Tempura Zucchini Blossoms
(stuffed with cream cheese, white miso, smoked paprika)

Ye Olde Stir-Fry
(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, tamari, pepper, sesame oil)

Jasmine Rice

The squash blossoms came from a volunteer in the front yard and were frickin' HUGE -- gotta watch where you dump the compost I guess ;)

The miso added to the soy cream cheese filling was a nice twist -- it only added to the creamy goodness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Cucumber Tea Sandwiches, English Pea and Mint Soup, Mache Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Raw Food Wednesday 7/11

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

English Pea and Mint Soup

Mache Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
(creamy cucumber, cashew and dill dressing)

The New and Improved Cucumber-Wing Stealth Fighter

The concept/execution of the cucumber tea sandwiches was shamelessly adapted from Lolo's excellent blog. We used Ani Phyo's "Black Sesame and Sunflower Bread" as the base; a quick cashew cheese spread (cashews, lemon juice, salt, pepper, water, garlic); cut the cucumber on the benriner; garnished with a pinch of sea salt, some dill fronds and dill seeds. Very tasty!

The soup was the first attempt at recreating the cooked version we made a few nights ago (scroll down) with some raw adaptations. It's probably 80% there -- using cashews as a thickener made the soup a little too thick (next time, we'll try pine nuts), and simply adding more water would have thinned out the flavor too much. Straining through a medium sieve would have helped with the taste (much like the celeriac soup, it would take out some of the faint bitterness from the small pieces that didn't get fully pureed). It did help to add the onions/garlic to the dehydrator for an hour to remove some of the bite (maybe shallots next time). We have to find the find that balance between the flavor of the peas and the mint, the thickness of the soup vs. the creamy mouthfeel. mmmm... creamy mouthfeel. ;)

The salad dressing used the leftover cucumber and dill as a base with cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sea salt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Grilled Tofu with Baby Artichokes, Jasmine Rice, Steamed Eggplant

Dinner 7/10

Grilled Tofu with Baby Artichokes

Jasmine Rice

Steamed Eggplant

The baby artichokes were trimmed -- by the way, when you think you've trimmed them enough, go ahead and peel one extra layer off, your teeth will thank you later -- and were then blanched, and finally sauteed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, a bit of nooch (a.k.a. nutritional yeast) and a pinch of red pepper flake.

The eggplant dish is from Jamie Oliver -- steaming is a different way of preparing it, but it makes the eggplant very "light" without using olive oil. Steam the eggplant chunks for 10 minutes, mix with the dressing -- sesame oil, thai pepper, hot sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, scallion, celery leaf, basil, mint, salt and pepper.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jerk Tofu, Plantain Chips, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 7/9

Jerk Tofu

Plantain Chips

Roasted Broccoli

The jerk is apple cider vinegar, olive oil, nutmeg, allspice, cayenne, thyme, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar all thrown in the Vita-Mix and turned into a spreadable sauce. The tofu was lightly pan-fried with a little splash of tamari at the end of cooking. Then it was cut into triangles, coated with the sauce and roasted in the oven at 450°F for 10 minutes until it came out crusty and delicious.

The (slightly ripe) plantains were cut into rounds and deep-fried until caramelized, then sprinkled with salt.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

English Pea and Mint Soup, Pasta Genovese

Dinner 7/8

English Pea and Mint Soup

Pasta Genovese
(adapted from Jamie Oliver)

When the temp hits 90°+, it's time to break out the cold soups -- and the classic English Pea and Mint soup fit the bill perfectly... very refreshing.

The basic recipe is to sweat diced onions and garlic in soy margarine, add a bit salt and pepper, then a tablespoon or so of flour. Meanwhile poach about a 1/2 lb. of English peas in 3 cups of veg stock. Add the peas, stock along with 3 tbs. of finely chopped mint and 1/4 head of Romaine or Boston lettuce to the onion mixture and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Puree the whole thing, let it come to room temp (or put it in a container and rapidly cool in an ice bath) and refrigerate for at least an hour, but longer is better.

Not necessarily green, but beautiful...

Two things we have an abundance of this year are Mint and Basil. Plus there was a large container of fettuccine from last night, so we dipped into the "things to do with leftovers" file again and made this pesto based dish from Jamie Oliver that combines potatoes, green beans, fettuccine and pesto (basil, garlic, salt, pine nuts and olive oil). It's all done in one large pot which also cuts down on the clean-up.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fettuccine with Tomato and Basil

Dinner 7/7

Fettuccine with Tomato and Basil

Add a little garlic, red pepper flake, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt to the drained pasta with some olive oil and you have a simple, but tasty meal.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rice and Tofu Burritos

Dinner 7/6

Rice and Tofu Burritos

a.k.a. "what to do with leftovers"

Most of the time, leftovers are used for lunch the next day. Today, we were up in Cleveland (getting "things" ready for Bastille Day), there was a big stash of the Arroz con Gandules leftover.

Combined with some smoked and shredded tofu, and wrapped in a red chile flour shell, with a splash of your favorite hot sauce and "Bob's Yer Uncle"...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tomatillo Enchiladas, Arroz con Gandules

Dinner 7/5

Tomatillo Enchiladas
(stuffed with smoked tofu, onion, soy cheese)

Arroz con Gandules
(achiote oil, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, poblano, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, pepper, veg stock, basmati rice, pigeon peas)

There's something about tomatillos that we really love -- the almost citrus-like tartness and the high levels of natural pectin make it perfect for sauces, like this one for the enchiladas. The smoked tofu (with some additional smoked paprika) was a perfect foil for the tomatillo.

The arroz con gandules (a.k.a. Pigeon Pea Rice) starts with some achiote oil (annato seeds steeped in canola oil for 10 minutes) which renders the rice a lovely orange hue. The spice from the poblano and cayenne makes it a meal unto itself.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Burgers, Grilled Corn, Potato Salad

Dinner 7/4

(recipe from Chicago Diner: mushroom, oatmeal, onion, garlic, celery, flour, tamari, pepper: baked, then fried)

Grilled Corn

Potato Salad
(red potatoes, olive oil, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, tarragon, parsley, thyme, basil, dill, salt, pepper)

of course later, there were smoke bombs ;)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Raw Food Tuesday: Sea Bean Roll-Ups, Gazpacho Corn, Green Bean and Spinach

Raw Food Wednesday Tuesday 7/3

Sea Bean Roll-ups
(cucumber, pine nut cheese, carrot, sea beans)

(tomato, red bell pepper, sun-dried tomato, red onion, cucumber, basil, water, nama shoyu, pepper, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice)

Corn, Green Bean and Spinach Salad

(Because of the holiday, we moved Raw Food Wednesday up one day)

Sea Beans?! Who knew that they would be surprisingly crunchy, salty little sea sticks... if we had cut them in half, we'd have Sea Bean Sushi ;)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pad Thai, Dim Sum Vegetable Buns

Dinner 7/2

Pad Thai
(tofu, garlic, scallions, celery, carrot, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, noodles)

Dim Sum Vegetable Buns

The Pad Thai sauce was tamarind, fermented black bean, tamari, sesame oil, palm sugar and sriracha -- a nice balance of sweet, sour, salt and heat.

The Dim Sum buns were stuffed with a mixture of stir-fried tvp, carrot, ginger, garlic, scallion, sesame oil, tamari and pepper. We made 16 vegetable buns all together, but half of them seemed to magically vanish right after this picture was taken. We suspect our son had eaten them before he ever made it back to playing Rainbow Six: Vegas...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Chiles Rellenos, Squash Blossoms

Dinner 7/1

Chiles Rellenos
(poblano stuffed with chard, onion, garlic, potato and soyrizo)

Squash Blossoms
(stuffed with soy cream cheese and smoked paprika, dipped in batter and deep-fried)

Keyword: Stuffed

This is one of our favorite times of the year -- squash blossoms fresh from the garden. Then stuffing them with cream cheese and smoked paprika and deep-frying them. They just melt in your mouth... so, so good.

The rellenos benefited from chard which was from the same stand where we picked up the Indian mustard greens last time (which went into the gumbo z'herbes).