Friday, August 31, 2007

Mac 'n Cheese, Chili

Dinner 8/31

Mac 'n Cheese


Our son's mac 'n cheese recipe + Soul Vegetarian's Chili recipe = teh awesome

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Injera, Seitan Stew, Grilled Mini-Grafitti Eggplant, Bananas Foster



Stir-Fried Seitan Stew
(seitan, berbere, clove, cumin, black cardamom, ginger, garlic, tomato, red wine, salt, pepper)

Grilled Mini-Grafitti Eggplant


Bananas Foster

We picked up Marcus Samuelsson's "Soul Of A New Cuisine" from the library this week, and decided to give the injera and stew a spin.

The injera is different than the traditional method where the teff mixture ferments (much like dosas) for a few days before being cooked on the griddle. His method uses teff, white flour, soy yogurt, baking soda, club soda, salt and is cooked much like crepes -- we used our trusty flat-bottomed carbon steel wok that works surprisingly well these situations.

The stew uses the berbere sesaoning as it's heat source, but at it's core it's not much different than the osso buco we made last week -- same method, just different seasonings. Paired together with the injera, though... magic! ;)

We grilled the last of the mini-grafitti eggplants, which again were very creamy, very tasty one-bite morsels that paired well with the injera/stew combo.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Spaghetti With Marinara Sauce and Meatballs, Garlic and Shallot Bread

Dinner 8/29

Spaghetti With Marinara Sauce and Meatballs

Garlic and Shallot Bread

A classic one-two combo...

Zucchini pasta with marinara sauce (tomato, sun-dried tomato, red bell pepper, dates, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper), with "meatballs" (portobello mushrooms, almonds, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, cherry bomb pepper, celery, olive oil, nama shoyu, pepper, oregano, parsley, rosemary) formed into balls and then rolled in a ground flax seed coating and dehydrated for 8 hours at 115F.

The garlic/shallot bread (not shown) is a riff on the Onion Bread from RAWvolution. Using a benriner to cut the shallots thinly makes all the difference in texture -- making it much easier to roll thinly, which makes for a crisper bread...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mapo Tofu, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 8/28

Mapo Tofu
(tofu, tvp, shiitake mushroom, carrot, red bell pepper, cherry bomb pepper, garlic, ginger, tamari, cornstarch, scallion, sherry, sesame oil)

Jasmine Rice

We love tofu -- really we do. ;)

I could eat this at least once every day and have no complaints.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mac 'n Pesto with Twice-Fried Tofu

Dinner 8/27

Mac 'n Pesto with Twice-Fried Tofu

It was "Meet Your Teachers" night, which allowed us to drop off all the school supplies ahead of time. Good idea. However, as usual, a school function messed up the dinnertime schedule...

We grabbed a giant handful of the dwindling basil supply from off the deck, added olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pine nuts, pepper, salt and nutritional yeast to the vita-mix and processed. The pesto was added to the hot pasta and tossed to combine. The twice-fried tofu was shredded and added on top. Garnished with toasted pine nuts.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Seitan Osso Buco, Polenta, Squash Blossom Fritto Misto, Leek and Potato Cake, Steamed Artichoke

Dinner 8/26

Seitan Osso Buco


Squash Blossom Fritto Misto

Leek and Potato Cake

Steamed Artichoke

<mr. rourke> Smile everybody! The PD is here *waves* </mr. rourke>

The weather was downright cool for August, so we used up the rest of the tomatoes in our version of osso buco -- a mirepoix base (carrot, onion, celery) along with hickory smoked seitan, roasted delicata squash, tomatoes, red wine, thyme and veg stock. Served over creamy polenta.

There's a long section in Bill Buford's book "Heat" which describes making polenta outdoors for 200 people in Nashville. He learns not too worry about the cooking time, constant stirring or the consistency issues after adding water -- his revelation is that none of that matters -- long and slow cooking with the occasional stir will do just fine. And he's absolutely right.

We also salvaged the last of the zucchini blossoms and stuffed them with cream cheese and basil -- we're sad to see them go... We also made a quick leek/potato tart in the cast-iron skillet because the kids aren't crazy about polenta (yet), but they love potatoes...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Smoked Tofu and Potato Pizza

Dinner 8/25

Smoked Tofu and Potato Pizza

the best pizza... ever. ;)

Homemade tomato sauce, nutritional yeast, mushrooms, garlic, alder smoked potatoes (30 minutes) and tofu (cut into strips and stir-fried).

Liz made the dough in the morning, parked it in the fridge, and let it rise slowly.

Here's the recipe from a couple of weeks ago....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Stir-Fry with Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts, Jasmine Rice and Gyoza

Dinner 8/24

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

Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Jasmine Rice

(stuffed with bok choy, napa cabbage, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic and tamari)

Today was the death march back to school shopping trip for clothes, school supplies and to top it off a trip to the school to see the class assignments for the upcoming year. By the end of the trip, we were all exhausted, but we now have enough pencils, paper and index cards to supply three families... So stir-fry is your friend on nights like these.

The brussel sprouts are seared in a wok with a little canola oil, until browned. Then add 1 tbs. of tamari and cover with a lid for 10 minutes. After we served the kids, I added minced cherry bomb pepper to the rest of the sprouts, and must have caught a really hot one -- my lips were on fire for the rest of the meal ;)

We haven't made gyoza in quite a while, and it was really nice to have these along with the stir-fry. Liz had made the filling before we left on the shopping trip, so it was really easy to just defrost the wrappers, stuff, seal and fry.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fried Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce, Corn Cakes and Wilted Spinach, Okra and Tomato

Dinner 8/23

Fried Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce, Corn Cakes and Wilted Spinach

Okra and Tomato

A Triple Tofu Tower? Close, but no Kamut bread... ;)

Fried Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce, Corn Cakes and Wilted Spinach
(serves four)

It's a four part plate...

Part One: The Mustard Cream Sauce

1 cup of soy milk
1/2 block of soft tofu
3 tbs. dijon mustard
2 tbs. soy sour cream

salt (to taste)

In a blender, puree all the wet ingredients together and add to a small sauce pan, bring to a bare simmer, then turn down to low for 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. The sauce should be thick but smooth. If the sauce separates, whisk together before serving.

Check for seasoning right at the very end. If you add salt at the beginning, by the time it reduces, it'll end up being way too salty -- better to add it near the end.

Part Two: The Fried Tofu

1 block of extra-firm tofu cut into 8 rectangular cutlets, the cut diagonally into 16 pieces
tamari and pepper to taste

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. smoked paprika

canola oil

Marinate the tofu with tamari and black pepper for about 30 minutes. Drain and coat the tofu with the seasoned flour. Pan fry with canola oil over med-high heat until golden brown and crisp. Remove from pan and put on a sheet tray in a warm oven.

Part Three: The Spinach

1 tbs. soy margarine
2 tbs. sesame seeds
10oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 cup veg stock

In the same pan as you used for the tofu, toast the sesame seeds in the soy margarine until they give off an aroma. Then, add the spinach and wilt until it gives off most its liquid. Add the seasonings and the veg stock. Continue to cook until almost all the liquid evaporates. Check for seasoning. Keep warm.

Part Four: Corn Cakes (makes 4)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
smoked paprika


3 ears of corn, cut off the cob

1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. soy margarine

If you like your cakes to be uniform, use a ring mold, if not -- that works too ;)

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, slowly add cold water and whisk until it becomes like a pancake batter. Add the corn.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil and soy margarine. When it gets hot, add the ring mold (tongs are essential here) and pour in about 1/4 of the total amount of batter into the mold (about 3/4" thick). Let fry for a about 5 minutes until the corn sets up on the bottom and gently remove the mold. Fry for an additional 2-3 minutes. Move the mold to an open spot in the pan and add the second, third and fourth batch. When the cakes have begun to brown, gently flip with a spatula and continue to fry for an addition 5-7 minutes until golden, brown and delicious,

To assemble: Lay one corn cake down in the center of each plate, and add the wilted spinach on top. Add the cream sauce around the corn cakes. Stack the fried tofu on top of the spinach and garnish with additional toasted sesame seeds.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Portobello Burgers, Avocado Fries, Tomato and Basil Soup, Banana and Carob Tart

Raw Food Wednesday 8/22

Portobello Burgers

Avocado Fries

Tomato and Basil Soup


Banana and Carob Tart

The burgers were from "Living Cuisine" by Renee Loux Underkoffler and were portobello mushrooms, walnuts, celery, parsley, basil, zucchini, nama shoyu, olive oil and black pepper topped with red onion, tomato, lettuce. The bread was from Ani Phyo's excellent new book "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen."

We first saw the avocado fries came at the Raw Inspiration blog back in June, and finally got around to trying it. We were surprised at how crispy they were after about an hour in the dehydrator -- the mixture (slightly tweaked with flax seed, garlic, salt, fresh cumin and mashed cherry bomb peppers) adhered nicely to the avocado, making them resemble oven fries. The kids wanted more -- a sure sign that the apocalypse is nigh. ;)

Dessert was a banana and carob tart from Trotter/Klein slighly modified with the addition of young coconut -- the kids wanted seconds of these as well, and I was in complete agreement...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Saketini Tofu Triangles, Stir-Fry with Snow Peas, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 8/20

Saketini Tofu Triangles

Stir-Fry with Snow Peas
(tofu, snow peas, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, tamari, ginger, garlic, pepper, sesame oil)

Jasmine Rice

After a discussion on Flickr with catofstripes about the tofu triangles last time around, we took them as step further and added some sake to the gin (along with some tamari, black pepper and cornstarch) for Saketini Tofu Triangles!

Yes, these would go in our non-existent cookbook ;)

Saketini Tofu Triangles

1 block of tofu cut into 32 triangles
1 tbs. gin
1 tbs. sake
1 tbs. tamari
black pepper to taste
1 tbs. cornstarch

In a large bowl, add the tofu triangles along with the gin, sake, tamari, pepper and let marinate for at least 30 minutes (longer is better). Add the cornstarch and gently coat the tofu in the mixture.

Deep fry in 375F oil for a total of 5-6 minutes, flipping at least once.

Drain the tofu and let cool slightly. Secure an olive (or pickled onion) with a toothpick and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

(update) someone asked over on the PPK about the sake -- it's my understanding is that (much like wine) only the unfiltered/unfined junmai ginjo is vegan -- which is the really expensive stuff. Which is also why I only used 1 tbs. ;)

If you want to change it to just a martini tofu triangle -- add a vermouth in place of the sake

Monday, August 20, 2007

Raw Food Monday: Chiles Rellenos with Mole Sauce, Yellow Gazpacho, Corn Salsa Salad, Peaches En Regalia

Raw Food Monday 8/20

Chiles Rellenos with Mole Sauce

Yellow Gazpacho

Corn Salsa Salad

Cashew Cheese Wheel with Flax Seed Crackers


Peaches En Regalia

One of the most important things I've learned over the last couple years is to listen when my body is trying to say something -- and tonight it said: eat raw...

When my sister came up to visit last week, she brought a large bag full of Anaheim chiles along. So, we've been trying to use them wherever we can -- like tonight's Chiles Rellenos. They're slit down the side, seeded, stuffed with spiced cashew cheese (garlic, mexican oregano, white miso, black pepper, salt, shallot) and dehydrated for 6 hours at 105F. Served along with our pumpkin seed mole sauce.

The corn salsa is a variation on the spicy corn recipe that we made a couple of weeks ago. This uses corn, lime juice, fresh ground cumin seeds, mexican oregano, chery bomb peppers, garlic, onion, tomato (seeded), nama shoyu, olive oil. Tossed together and put on a teflex sheet about an hour or so before dinner. Served with lime vinaigrette dressing and mixed greens.

The yellow gazpacho used yellow tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, lemon juice, garlic, cherry bomb pepper, salt, pepper. You can add a pinch of apple cider vinegar if the low-acid yellow tomatoes need a little extra help. It turned out very nice and mellow -- and as a bonus, used all local and organic produce.

The peaches were also local, organic and perfectly ripe -- as in the most perfectly ripe peach I have ever eaten. And the flavor reminds me of why I'll spend the extra money every time. ;)

Served along with a cashew, date, orange juice and agave "cream" sauce.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Salad and, um... cake.

Dinner 8/19

Spinach Salad
(spinach, carrots, cherry tomatoes. dressing: pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper)

The raw salad for dinner idea came along about 8pm last night.

In journalistic terms, this is known as "burying the lede" ;)

The salad was a result, due in no small part, to the birthday cake that was consumed in the late afternoon. Lots and lots of cake. So much cake in fact, that there was nap involved afterwards. That was followed by a brisk three mile walk which did nothing to lessen the need for stretchy pants.

The cake (vanilla with strawberries) was adapted out of the "More Magnolia" cookbook -- subbing out the soft tofu for the eggs. It works if you let it bake about 5-10 minutes longer than the recipe indicates...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Veggie Kebabs, Patatas Bravas, Breadsticks

Dinner 8/18

Veggie Kebabs
(Mushroom, Red Bell Pepper, Zucchini and Cherry Tomato)

Patatas Bravas

Tomato, Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup


Another mini-tapas night -- soup and breadsticks (same recipe as last night, just made slightly thicker and shorter), patatas bravas (crazy spicy!) and the house favorite of marinated veggies on a stick (a.k.a. kebabs).

The mini-grafitti eggplants were also grilled along with the veggie kebabs -- you can just see them in the upper part of this picture...

... the were incredibly creamy, one-bite morsels. We picked them up at our local grocery store -- probably a one-time seasonal opportunity.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cremini Mushrooms on Alder-Smoked Potatoes, Tofu, Soyrizo and Green Beans, Breadsticks

Dinner 8/17

Cremini Mushrooms on Alder-Smoked Potatoes

Tofu, Soyrizo and Green Beans


A mini-tapas dinner tonight -- the simple breadsticks coated with olive oil and nutritional yeast, the savory tofu, soyrizo and green bean stew as well as the mushrooms with smoked potato combo -- delightful little bites that were paired with a sparkling wine from Spain -- Can Vendrell (and it's vegan!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Raw Food Thursday: Broccoli Burgers, Melon and Almond Soup

Raw Food Thursday 8/16

Broccoli Burgers

Melon and Almond Soup
(recipe below)

Trying out a couple of new dishes tonight -- the burgers (a.k.a. "Lower East Side Burgers") are adapted from Renee Loux Underkoffler's "Living Cuisine." It's a mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds with broccoli, fennel seed, oregano, olive oil, sea salt and pepper ground in the Vita-Mix and dehydrated for six hours at 105F.

The issue we have with most burger recipes is that the patties are way too big to start with -- usually around 1/2 to 1 cup of filling per burger -- which is why they take forever to dehydrate, up to 20+ hours in some cases.

That's why we use the ring mold and go with a 1/4 to 1/3 cup per patty. It cuts down on the dehydrating time and you don't get that feeling like you'll never be able to finish. Plus the texture is more consistent from the first bite to the last and from burger to burger.

The soup is a cool, refreshing hit for summer...

Melon and Almond Soup

1/2 cup almonds soaked in water for 2 hours
1 1/2 cups of water

2 cups of melon, roughly chopped
1 tbs. lime juice
1 tbs. raw agave
1 tsp. salt

Drain the almonds and add to a high speed blender or vita-mix, along with 1 1/2 cups of water and process to a creamy consistency.

Strain the mixture through a medium sieve or chinois to remove any large chunks of almond. Add the almond mixture back to the blender along with the melon, lime juice, agave and salt. Process again until creamy. Check for seasonings and serve chilled.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Green Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls, Stir-Fry, Tofu Triangles, Tempura

Dinner 8/15

Green Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls


Tofu Triangles

(broccoli and cremini mushroom)

We enjoyed a visit from my sister and brother-in-law (thanks for the big bag of Anaheim chiles!), prompting the postponement of Raw Food Wednesday until Thursday.

So tonight we went with the familiar apps of Tempura (broccoli and cremini mushrooms) served with a ponzu sauce and Tofu Triangles (marinated in a mix of tamari, gin, pepper and cornstarch) served with a chile sauce (rice vinegar, agave, rooster sauce, tamari).

For dinner we went with a combo dinner of the traditional stir-fry (refried rice, tofu, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, red bell peppers, garlic, ginger, tamari) and the always spicy Green Curry Tofu (coconut milk, green curry paste, tamari) with Deep-Fried Rice Balls (using fresh rice).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

White Bean Cassoulet over Fusilli with Hickory Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Soupe a la Bonne Femme

Dinner 8/14

White Bean Cassoulet over Fusilli with Hickory Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu
(recipe below)

Roasted Broccoli

Soupe a la Bonne Femme
(potato and leek soup, from Escoffier)

As we've mentioned before, this is one of our son's favorite dishes, but this really isn't the season for it -- until today, when it was downright... pleasant (mid 70's).

The twice-fried tofu pairs well here with the white beans (cannellini), adding a nice textural crunch to the creamy beans, as well as a hearty smoked flavor to the entire dish.

White Bean Cassoulet

1 medium onion sliced
1 tbs. of garlic, minced
2 tsp. herbes de provence (or thyme)

8 oz. soyrizo (or soaked TVP plus 1 tsp. of cumin)
15 oz. can of cannelini beans
1/2 cup tomato sauce (or fresh tomatoes diced)
smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Hickory Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu (see below)

In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tbs. olive oil and the sliced onion. cook until translucent and just starting to show some color, 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and herbes de provence and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate.

Add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add the soyrizo (or tvp) and saute, scraping the pan occasionally until starting to show signs of carmelization, 4-6 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic back to the pan along with the cannellini beans (and their liquid), tomato sauce and smoked paprika (to taste). Stir to combine, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so it won't stick to the bottom as it will get quite thick near the end of cooking. Check for seasoning as the beans will probably need some salt at this point.

Add the twice-fried tofu and serve over pasta.

Twice-Fried Tofu

16 oz. extra-firm tofu cut into eight rectangular cutlets
canola oil

Cut the tofu into eight individual cutlets.

If you're smoking the tofu, add the hickory chips to your smoker box and process for 20-30 minutes. Remove the tofu from smoker box.

Over med-high heat add the canola oil and pan-fry until golden brown on both sides (about 8 minutes). Remove from pan and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Or, you can refrigerate the tofu at this point, up to a day in advance.

Slice the tofu diagonally into strips about a 1/4" thick. Add about 1 tsp. of canola oil to the pan, and return to med-high heat, turning occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat to low, add tamari to taste (about 1 tbs.) and continue to cook for an addition 1-2 minutes until the tofu begins to get crispy.

If you don't have a smoker, you can add 1 tsp. of smoked paprika right after the tamari.

Try not to eat them all before you add them to the cassoulet...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Smoked Tempeh and Eggplant Muffaletta with Olive and Okra Relish, "Cajun" Green Beans

Dinner 8/13

Smoked Tempeh and Eggplant Muffaletta with Olive and Okra Relish
(from "Artful Vegan")

"Cajun" Green Beans
(seared/steamed green beans with cajun spices)

The muffaletta sandwiches are from "Artful Vegan" -- First you marinate the tempeh and eggplant for an hour, then it's smoked (with hickory) for 20 minutes, then baked with the marinade (clove, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, salt, garlic, tamari, balsamic vinegar, agave, veg stock).

The relish is roughly an equal mix of minced kalamata olives, pickled okra and some of our homemade pickles (in place of the cucumbers called for in the recipe).

The bread is place under a broiler after being brushed with an equal mixture of olive oil and nutritional yeast. Then you add the relish on the bottom, then the tempeh and eggplant, and top with dijon mustard and place back under the broiler for another two minutes.

Add sliced tomato and red onion and close the sandwich (gently).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Veggie Shish Kebab, Seitan Satay, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 8/12

Veggie Shish Kebab
(mushroom, red bell pepper, shallot, yellow squash, cherry tomato)

Seitan Satay
(grilled seitan with coconut milk/peanut sauce)

Jasmine Rice

The kids wanted kebab tonight, and who are we to refuse a request like that? ;)

We decided to make the satay because seitan cooks at a different rate than the veggies, so it was easier to just make separate skewers and a quick sauce of coconut milk, peanut butter, cherry bomb peppers and tamari.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Smoked Tofu and Potato Pizza

Dinner 8/11

Smoked Tofu and Potato Pizza

We broke out the smoker box last night and gave both the tofu and yukon gold potatoes a shot of apple wood -- really nice.

Afterwards we went out on the deck to watch the Perseid meteor shower, but it was a little too cloudy -- we saw two on Friday, but we'll try again Sunday night...

Pizza Shells

(Makes two 14" pizza shells)

7 cups of bread flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbs. yeast

1 tbs. salt

3-4 cups of water
Extra virgin olive oil

Note 1: We make this in a 6qt. mixer -- if you have a smaller mixer, split the ingredients in half and make two separate batches.

Note 2: This recipe calls for a pizza stone, pizza pan and pizza peel. If you don't have a pizza stone, just leave it in the pizza pan. If you don't have a pizza pan, you can just shape it into round with a well-floured rolling pin, and cook it on a heavy flat-edge cookie sheet.


On low speed, mix the flour, yeast and sugar with the dough hook. Slowly add 2 tbs. olive oil and 3 cups of water and until the dough gets soft and smooth -- approximately four minutes. You may not need the the last cup of water depending on the humidity and dough type (we use King Arthur organic bread flour).

Add salt, and mix for one additional minute.

Place in a well oiled bowl, cover and let rise until volume is doubled (at least an hour, possibly up to three hours depending temp/humidity)

Alternatively, if you can -- cover and place in the fridge overnight, or at least six to eight hours. We've found the slow rise really helps the taste and texture.

Punch the dough down, and let rise again until doubled (1-3 hours).

Divide dough in half -- oil two 14" pizza pans with the olive oil and sprinkle well with corn meal (or you could just bake them one at a time).

Flour your hands and flatten dough as well as possible (it'll fight you), cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap (so it won't stick) and let rest 20 minutes. Or roll with a well floured rolling pin and cover well with a clean kitchen towel (we have a few towels that we use just for baking).

Form again, flatten as well as possible, to about a 1/2" thick.

Drizzle olive oil on the surface of the shell. Dimple with you fingertips to within an inch of the edge. This keeps it from bubbling up in the middle when you par-bake.

In a pre-heated 450F oven, place pizza pan directly on pizza stone for approximately 10 minutes until faint brown spots appear.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove shell from pan with a spatula and place onto a pizza peel lightly coated with corn meal.

Add toppings (don't overload) and leave about an 3/4" between the toppings and the edge of the shell.

Brush exposed edges with additional olive oil and place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes (rotating once) until the toppings have cooked and/or FYH has melted.

Let cool ever so slightly, cut into slices, inhale...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Jerk Tofu over Spicy Rice Pilaf, Plantain and Soyrizo Empanadas, Grilled Corn

Dinner 8/10

Jerk Tofu over Spicy Rice Pilaf

Plantain and Soyrizo Empanadas

Grilled Corn

well, if it's going to feel like we're in Jamaica...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lentil and Seitan Stew, Braised Carrots, Steamed Artichoke

Dinner 8/9

Lentil and Seitan Stew
(recipe below)

Braised Carrots

Steamed Artichoke

Lentil and Seitan Stew
(serves 4)

olive oil
1 onion (divided use)
2 cloves
1 cup of French lentils
2 tsp. herbes de provence
2 cups Vegetable Stock
salt and pepper

8 oz of seitan, cubed
1 tbs. garlic
2 tbs. sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
1 cup red wine

Add the olive oil to the pressure cooker over med-high heat. Peel and cut the onion in half. Stud two cloves into one half of the onion and saute in the pressure cooker until the onion starts to show some color (about 3-5 minutes).

Add 1 cup of rinsed and sorted lentils to the pressure cooker along with the veg stock -- it should cover the lentils by an 1/2" or so. Add the lid, and cook for 16-18 minutes on the first ring (on the Kuhn-Rikon brand) or the equivalent of 7 psi.

After cooling, season the lentils with salt, pepper and herbes de provence. If they're a little soupy, that's all right.

While the lentils are cooking...

In a large saute pan or wok, saute the other half of the onion, sliced thinly for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add 1 tbs. of olive oil to the saute pan or wok on med-high heat and cook the seitan until well browned on all sides, about 7-9 minutes.

Add the lentils and onion mixture to the seitan. Add one cup of red wine and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil, add the lid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Check for seasoning and serve over pasta or rice.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Caponata, Mixed Green Salad, Cream of Celery Soup, Summer Squash Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Portobello Mushroom

Raw Food Wednesday 8/8

(recipe here)

Cream of Celery Soup
(from RAWvolution)

Mixed Green Salad
(cucumber, radish, red onion, red bell pepper)

Summer Squash Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Portobello Mushrooms

A little of this, a little of that -- the celery soup was pleasant surprise (celery and almonds), after the planned melon soup had to be scrapped due to the melon, er... sucking. ;)

The roma tomatoes used for the caponata were a little smaller than last time, so there was a bit of filling leftover (a.k.a. lunch tomorrow, bonus!), but the advantage was that you could just pop them into your mouth in one bite. Perfect for your next raw dinner party.

The pasta, used both a zucchini and yellow squash (watch out for the seeds!). The tomatoes get incredibly sweet in the dehydrator, which are balanced by the earthy mushrooms (marinated in olive oil, nama shoyu and pepper).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sweet and Sour Seitan, Grilled Japanese Eggplant, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 8/7

Sweet and Sour Seitan
(seitan, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, red bell pepper, pineapple. sauce: tamari, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, agave, water, cornstarch)

Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Jasmine Rice

Fun with plating tonight -- we took two grilled Japanese eggplant slices and wrapped them on the inside of a ring mold, then added the rice which pressed the eggplant against the mold, sealing the two pieces together.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tomatillo Enchiladas, Arroz Verde

Dinner 8/6

Tomatillo Enchiladas
(stuffed with smoked and shredded tofu, onions, FYH soy cheese

Arroz Verde
(recipe below)

The arroz verde is one of our favorite ways to serve rice -- a pilaf style dish, full of flavor that makes a good accompaniment for the enchiladas. Adapted from Rick Bayless.

Arroz Verde

2 poblano chiles
1 2/3 cups water
12 sprigs of cilantro
1 tsp. salt

1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup basmati rice
1 medium onion, small dice
2 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
salt and smoked pepper to taste

Cut the poblano into large chunks and add to the water. Bring it to a boil, then slightly cover with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree the poblano and water along with the cilantro and 1 tsp. salt.

In a large pan, add 1 tbs. of olive oil on medium heat. Add one medium onion, chopped small. Saute for 5 minutes until onion gets translucent. Add 2 tsp. garlic, minced, 2 tsp. Mexican oregano, salt and smoked pepper to taste and cook for one additional minute. Add 1 cup basmati rice and stir until it gets well coated with the oil, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the poblano mixture, stir to combine, scrape down the edges. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, put the lid on and don't peak for 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff the rice with a fork, put the lid back on and wait 5 minutes. Check for seasoning, and serve hot.

(oh, and the basement is done for now -- there's still much to move, but the vacation is over. We need a vacation from the vacation)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mushroom Quesadilla, Grilled Corn with Chipotle and Lime

Dinner 8/5

Mushroom Quesadilla
(shiitake mushroom, black beans, pinto beans, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, smoked pepper, roasted poblano chiles, FYH Monterey Jack)

Grilled Corn with Chipotle and Lime

Basement Update Day 3: Good news, there is a floor underneath all of the boxes/containers/plastic bags. The bad news, there are more boxes/containers/plastic bags to move to the empty spaces. Sisyphus had it easy.

The (dang) quesadilla is shiitake mushrooms, FYH Monterey Jack, refried black and pinto beans with onion, garlic, smoked paprika and pepper on a red pepper tortilla.

The corn was local and organic, from Saturday's Farmer's Market in Kent. Prepping the corn involves trimming off the top 1/2" or so, then most of the stem and removing all but two or three layers of husk. Then, just let them soak in water for 10 minutes, finally grilling them about 10-15 minutes, turning every couple of minutes to get a nice even char. After removing the husk/silk we brush on the chipotle, lime and soy margarine mixture, salt and smoked pepper.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto, Ratatouille, Bruschetta, Seitan with Bourbon Sauce

Dinner 8/4

Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto
(basil, pine nuts, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast)

(tomato, garlic, zucchini, shallot)

(eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini, olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, herbes de provence)

Seitan with Bourbon Sauce

The saga continues -- a.k.a. The Basement Ordeal Day 2: Trapped Underground.

Between the kids toys, the old gaming consoles (anyone up for a game of "Sonar Search" on the Fairchild Channel F?), cases of wine and all of my old PA gear, monitors, cabinets, mixers, cymbals stands, amps and guitars, it's amazing how much cruft builds up in 11 years.

Speaking of things building up... tonight's dinner was all about using the food that's coming erupting out of the garden -- tomatoes, basil and especially zucchini -- so there was little plates of everything to go around...

The seitan was adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe -- basically: marinate with bourbon, brown sugar, vegan worcestershire, mustard, tamari, pepper and cornstarch then drain (reserve the marinade) and stir-fry. Finally pour the reserved marinade back over the seitan and reduce until it's a glaze...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice, Mange-Tout

Dinner 8/3

(tofu, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, red bell pepper, tamari, pepper, sesame oil)

Jasmine Rice

(snow peas with mushrooms)

We spent the better part of day cleaning out the basement. The stir-fry was about all we could muster the energy to make... Do we know how to spend our vacation or what?! ;)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tomato and Tofu Stew, Currant and Pistachio Pulao, Roasted Cauliflower with Barbecue Sauce

Dinner 8/2

Tomato and Tofu Stew
(onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, curry leaves, cardamom, clove, tomato, cumin, corriander, dried chili, stir-fried tofu)

Currant and Pistachio Pulao
(basmati rice, onion, garlic, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, currants, pistachio, water, salt, pepper)

Roasted Cauliflower with Barbecue Sauce

We scored some fresh curry leaves at the West Side Market Wednesday, so we made two of our favorite Indian dishes. The spiced tomato sauce and twice-fried tofu (fried as cutlets, cooled, shredded and stir-fried with a little tamari) matches very well with the fragrant rice.

The roasted cauliflower was also from the West Side Market (and cheap -- $1 for two organic heads), and the barbecue sauce (hiding in the upper left corner) is basically ketchup with garlic, ginger, tamari, cumin and sugar -- but works surprisingly well with the roasted cauliflower.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Spicy Corn Salad, Carob and Blueberry Balls Dusted with Cardamom

Raw Food Wednesday 8/1

Spicy Corn Salad with Green Zebra Tomatoes


Carob and Blueberry Balls dusted with Black Cardamom
(a.k.a. Black and Blue Balls, recipe below)

It was a hot one today -- 93F in the shade. We drove up to the West Side Market in Cleveland and picked up the some goodies -- poblano chiles, okra, mushrooms, Japanese and the little Italian eggplants. By the time we came home we were tired and in need of something cooling.

If you believe that chiles are actually a cooling agent due to the sweat that breaks out when you eat them, this salad was for you. We used the "cherry bombs" chiles we picked up at the Farmer's Market last week instead of the usual jalapenos in this recipe, and let's just say my forehead was very cool afterwards ;)

For dessert, a blueberry and carob mix that was rolled into balls then dusted with black cardamom that makes for a very unique (and very tasty) combo. If we were putting them on a menu, we'd call them "Black and Blue Balls" and watch as we sell out in five minutes ;)

Black and Blue Balls

1/2 cup carob
1/2 cup almonds (or cashews)
1/8 tsp. black cardamom

1/3 cup blueberries
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dates
1 tbs. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. chile
1/2 tsp. black cardamom
1/4 of a vanilla bean
pinch of sea salt

Grind the almonds/carob/cardamom in the Vita-Mix. Remove 2 tbs. to use for final dusting.

Add the blueberries and the rest of the ingredients and process in the Vita-Mix (if it's a little dry or it needs to be sweeter, add a touch of agave)

Stick in the fridge for a few hours -- overnight is much better.

Wet your hands, roll into balls, then roll in the almond/carob/cardamom mixture.

(black cardamom is not raw -- as it's dried over an open flame -- so feel free to make it without, so, then it would just be "Blue Balls")