Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quinoa Paella, Grilled Veggie Kabobs

Dinner 1/31

Quinoa Paella

Grilled Veggie Kabobs

The veggie kabobs were red bell pepper, red onion, tofu, mushrooms and kumquats, marinated with olive oil, tamari and pepper, and the grilled on the stove for about 15-20 minutes.

Quinoa Paella

1 tbs. olive oil
1 small red onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed, drained

1 tbs. smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups of water

(any combination of)

1 red bell pepper, roasted, sliced into strips
1 cup of green beans or haricot verts, blanched for 2-3 minutes
3 or 4 artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
15oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Twice Fried Tofu

1 tbs. parsley, chopped
2 tbs. almonds (Marcona, if you can get them)

In a large saute pan (or paella pan if you have one) over medium-low heat, add the oil and sweat the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Add the rinsed quinoa, and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper, stir to combine, and add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the quinoa is just about cooked (about 10-12 minutes).

Add the red bell pepper strips, green beans, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and twice-fried tofu on top of the quinoa and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are heated through.

Garish with the almonds and parsley, and serve either traditionally at the table in the paella pan, or separately on a plate.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Chiles Rellenos with Mole Sauce, Jicama Empanadas, Guacamole with Red Onion Chips, Mexican Style Temaki Roll in Collard Greens

Raw Food Wednesday 1/30

Chiles Rellenos with Mole Sauce
(mole sauce recipe)

Jicama Empanadas

Guacamole with Red Onion Chips
(flax seed, pumpkin seed, black pepper, mexican oregano, red onion, olive oil, nama shoyu)

Mexican Style Temaki Roll in Collard Greens


Blue Balls
(you heard me...)

We wanted to play around with the temaki rolls using collard greens, so we just made a spicy Mexican style salad to put inside the rolls and tied it with a carrot strip... turned out very nicely. The rolls were brushed with a lime juice/olive oil/salt/pepper mixture before adding the filling.

The temaki roll had julienned jicama, yellow bell pepper, carrot, daikon radish, scallion, red cabbage, along with minced garlic, ginger, jalapeno and cilantro. The dressing was cashew, tamarind, agave, lime juice, jalapeno, nama shoyu, garlic, olive oil in the vita-mix.

The jicama empanadas were cut very thinly on a mandoline, marinated with lime juice, olive oil, cayenne, cumin and then filled with mixture of 1/2 cup ground walnut, 1 tsp. cumin seed, 1 tsp. coriander seed, 1/2 a small jalapeno, diced, 1 tsp. mexican oregano, 1 tsp. nama shoyu all combined in the vita-mix.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Eggplant Cannoli with Basil and Pine Nut Ricotta topped with Marinara Sauce

Raw Food Wednesday 1/23

Eggplant Cannoli with Basil and Pine Nut Ricotta topped with Marinara Sauce

yes, we did it again -- the whole time we were making the cooked version last weekend, I kept thinking about how do a raw version. ;)

Eggplant Cannoli

The eggplant was cut into 6" long, 1/8" thick rectangular strips on the mandoline.

Then they were salted for 30 minutes, rinsed and patted dry.

The strips were marinated in 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 tbs. of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and 2 cloves of minced garlic for approximately 2 hours. During the marinating, we placed a glass casserole dish on top of the eggplants to weigh them down -- this helped the marinade soak in completely.

After removing the eggplant from the marinade, we gently ran a rolling pin over the slices to thin them out further.

Next, only one side of the eggplant was dipped in a mixture of 1/4 cup ground flax seed and 1/4 cup ground sunflower seed mixed with 1 tsp. ground fennel seed, 1 tsp. red pepper flake, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. oregano, and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

Then the eggplant were wrapped as tightly as possible around the cannoli tubes and place in the dehydrated @105F for 4 hours.

The cannoli forms were removed and the eggplant were dehydrated for another two hours on their own.

Finally filled with a pine nut and basil ricotta cheese. Topped with a marinara (tomato, sun-dried tomato, dates, jalapeno, shallot, garlic, olive oil, sea salt)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

6th Blogiversary Dinner: Tofu Marsala, Armagnac Cake

Dinner 1/22

Tofu Marsala with Braised Carrots and Brussel Sprouts


Armagnac Cake
(adapted from Dorrie Greenspan)

*sniff* our little blog is growing up so quickly...

After 2300+ entries, we've come to our 6th Blogiversary. And what better was to celebrate than with a fabulous chocolate cake! (don't worry, there's enough for everyone)

Oh, and for dinner we had Tofu Marsala (recipe) which is almost as good as cake. Almost.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pizza with Smoked Tofu and Mushrooms

Dinner 1/21

Pizza with Smoked Tofu and Mushrooms

We close out the fifth year of the blog with last pizza you're going to see for a while...

As we move on to our sixth year of blogging, we're making a slight change. You're going to see less stir-fries and pizzas unless we do something really different to them -- you guys know what they look like by now, and I've run out of ways of making them look unique after the 178th stir fry and 117th pizza. ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mini-Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, BBQ Tofu Lollipops, Chocolate Cake

Dinner 1/20


BBQ Tofu Lollipops

Roasted Potatoes


Devil's Food White-Out Cake
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

Our friends Patrick & Genevieve were visiting from Brooklyn, so Chris & Bridget came down from Cleveland for a little get together. As they weren't able to make the Holiday Party this year, we had a re-creation with the Mini-Burgers, BBQ Lollipops, Roasted Potatoes, Chocolate Cake and of course, Rock Band. ;)

The cake is the cover recipe from Dorie's "Baking" that we played around with -- it turned out very nicely...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Eggplant Ravioli, Italian Peppers Stuffed with Smoked Risotto, Braised Fennel

Dinner 1/19

Eggplant Ravioli

Italian Peppers Stuffed with Smoked Risotto

Braised Fennel

The ravioli are from a Jean-Georges Vongerichten recipe that we've made before -- they're stuffed with grilled eggplant and mint and wrapped in wonton wrappers, topped with shiitake mushrooms and basil and poached in a gew├╝rztraminer and basil reduction sauce.

The risotto was a riff off of the one we tried at VegiTerranean a few weeks back -- we smoked the arborio rice with apple wood for 20 minutes or so, which didn't overwhelm the rice, but added a nice sweet smoky note. It was made using a little white wine and our veg stock, and was finished with nutritional yeast, soy margarine, smoked salt and pepper. The risotto was added to the peppers and put under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the peppers started to get some color.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Eggplant Cannoli, Bistro Salad, Sauternes Cake with Roasted Pear

Dinner 1/18

Eggplant Cannoli
(recipe below)

Bistro Salad


Sauternes Cake with Roasted Pear
(adapted from Neil Perry and the recipe is here)

About 5pm, while faced with another round of eggplant parmesan, we came up with this idea. We're certainly not the first to do so, as a quick search of google will tell you, but the other versions don't sound like this one, or aren't vegan, so forward we go...

Eggplant Cannoli
(makes about 10 pieces)

1 globe eggplant

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tbs. cornstarch
1 1/2 tbs. water

1 cup of breadcrumbs
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp. oregano, finely minced

Trim the top and bottom off of the eggplant and square off all side pieces to make a rectangular loaf-sized piece at least 6 long.

Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the eggplant into about 1/8" thick slices. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the eggplant slices and place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat the eggplant slices dry.

Add the flour, salt, pepper and smoked paprika in a shallow dish or pie plate and coat the eggplant on both sides.

In a separate dish or pan, place only one side of the eggplant in the cornstarch slurry.

In a third dish or pan, place only the wet cornstarch side of the eggplant in the breadcrumbs and press firmly to coat completely.

Place a cannoli tube at the bottom of a piece of eggplant and tightly roll the eggplant slice upwards. When you reach the end, press firmly on both sides of the tube to seal the edge.

Place two toothpicks in the eggplant to help keep the cannoli sealed while it is in the deep-fryer.

Deep-fry the cannoli (the metal tubes and the eggplant) in 385F canola/peanut oil for 2-3 minutes until the cannoli get golden brown. Remove, drain and let cool for a few minutes before trying to pull out the tube.

Immediately stuff the cannoli with the ricotta filling (a pastry bag would work here).

Ricotta Filling

8oz. firm tofu
1/2 cup soy sour cream
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients to a blender or use a small container and an immersion blender and puree until creamy. A variation would be to add cooked spinach and nutmeg to the filling.

Top the cannoli with your favorite tomato sauce and serve hot.

Key items:
  • Using a mandoline not only makes them look uniform in size and shape, but it also allows you to cut them more thinly and accurately than with a knife -- which is important when it comes time to wrap them around the cannoli tube.

  • Carefully twist the toothpicks when pulling them out. They may adhere to the breadcrumb coasting after being deep-fried and will pull a big chunk of coating off if you just yank it through. ;)

  • Have the ricotta in the pastry bag (large tip) ready to go as soon as you pull the tubes out -- you want that combination of crispy eggplant and creamy ricotta.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Seitan and Lentil Stew, Haricot Verts

Dinner 1/17

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

Haricot Verts

Time again for comfort food on a cold, snowy January evening... The lentils are pressure cooked with veg stock and half of an onion studded with two cloves (a classic trick) -- you can toss the onion after it finished cooking -- it barely holds together most times, having given all of its essence to the lentils.

The seitan and the rest of the onion, garlic and carrots are pan-fried separately with a little salt, pepper, tamari and herbes de provence for seasoning. Then they're all tossed together for a few minutes and topped with blanched haricot verts (about 4-5 minutes in salted water).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Pizza and a Salad

Raw Food Wednesday 1/16

(buckwheat shells, cashew cheese, walnut filling, cherry tomato)

Mixed Green Salad
(in an edible buckwheat bowl)

Sort of a slow Raw Food Wednesday... had some time in the morning after making the pizza shells, so I made the edible bowls using a mini-loaf pan. They turned out very well, and gave the salad with the mixed greens, tomato and creamy garlic dressing (macadamia, garlic, shallots, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper) a nice little upgrade.

The pizza's were, as always, excellent -- crunchy crust, creamy cheese, spicy topping -- you can't go wrong with these.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wine Tasting at Riverside Wine and Imports

Riverside Tasting 1/15

Tofu Curry Phyllo Cups

Orzo Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Polenta Squares with Caramelized Red Onion

Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes

We haven't done a tasting at Riverside Wine and Imports in a while (expect more next month), so we resumed our stealthy vegan outreach program with some dishes from the Holiday Party like the orzo salad, phyllo cups, mini-cupcakes) and worked in some polenta as well.

The curry cups are always a crowd pleaser. We smoked the tofu with apple wood, as the sauce apple cider based along with ginger, garlic, curry powder, vegenaise and currants.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gobi Manchurian, Broccoli Tempura

Dinner 1/14

Gobi Manchurian
(from Saveur)

Jasmine Rice

Broccoli Tempura

The Gobi Manchurian has become Liz's new favorite way of eating cauliflower, and I'm inclined to agree (although the roasted cauliflower with tamarind dipping sauce is still pretty awesome as well).

The recipe fuses Indian and Chinese cooking with a fabulous result. The only change we made was to use Kecap Manis in place of the ketchup, mainly because we have some that's been sitting in the back of the fridge for ages. ;)

And while we had the deep-frying action going on, we decide to make a quick broccoli tempura (recipe) for the kids.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pizza Times Two

Dinner 1/13

Pizza One
(FYH Monterey Jack and Cheddar, Tomato Sauce, Mushrooms, Onions)

Pizza Two
(Blue Sheese, Smoked Tofu, Mushrooms, Onions, Cashew Cream Sauce)

The pizza shells got puffy (lots of air pockets), but it had a really nice crust on them...

...the blue sheese/cashew cream sauce was a nice change of pace, but I'm not ready to give up the smoked tofu topping ;)

The dough recipe, as always, is here

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tofu Triangles, Spring Rolls, Gyoza

Dinner 1/11

Tofu Triangles

Spring Rolls
(red cabbage, carrot, scallion, jalapeno, celery, ginger, garlic, pepper)

(napa cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, sesame oil)

I love the way the tofu changes when it's deep-fried -- it gets all balloon-y in the oil and then once it begins to cool, you can watch it collapse on itself in front of your eyes. The marinade of tamari, gin, szechuan pepper and cornstarch gives the tofu a great texture along with the sweet/sour/spicy dipping sauce of agave, tamari and rooster sauce (which also doubles as the sauce for the spring rolls).

The spring rolls were made with rice paper sheets, which were soaked in warm water for a minute or so, then stuffed with the filling listed above, and sealed with a little of the cornstarch slurry/marinade that was left over from the tofu triangles. This was as close to restaurant style spring rolls as we've ever made.

We often get asked about where to find wrappers that don't have dairy (either milk or whey hiding in the ingredients). They're not always easy to find -- you may need to search around for a bit -- but we found these at our local Korean grocery store. They're simply wheat flour, rice flour, water and salt.

The gyoza / pot stickers were filled with lightly sauteed napa cabbage and shiitake mushrooms with a little sesame oil -- then pan-seared and then steamed with a little tamari in the wok. Served with a ponzu dipping sauce.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Seitan Osso Buco, Cannellini Bean and Spinach Soup

Dinner 1/10

Seitan Osso Buco

Cannellini Bean and Spinach Soup

The soup follows the "whatever you have in the fridge" method -- in this case, mirepoix, plus garlic, cannellini beans, tomatoes, spinach, smoked pepper, salt and our homemade veg stock. Liz made it while she was home for lunch, and it doubles as lunch for the kids the next day in their thermos...

Seitan Osso Buco

The osso buco uses 16oz. of hickory-smoked seitan (about 30 minutes in the smoker box), to inject some additional flavor into the stew. The seitan was cubed, then pan-fried in a large dutch-oven until well browned. Remove the seitan and keep warm.

The stew base is 1 medium onion, diced, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 1 carrot, diced and 1 tsp. thyme, crumbled, sauteed in 1 tbs. olive oil for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tbs. of flour over the veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the pan-fried seitan, 1 cup of red wine, 1 cup of whole tomatoes and 1 cup of veg stock and bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer on low heat for about an hour until it thickens up. Serve over pasta.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Yellow Beet Ravioli, Collard Green Salad Rolls, Watermelon Radish Carpaccio, Celeriac and Green Apple Soup

Raw Food Wednesday 1/09

Yellow Beet Ravioli

Collard Green Salad Rolls

Watermelon Radish Carpaccio

Celeriac and Green Apple Soup

Back in the, er... saddle? (NOT VEGAN!)

Easing into Raw Food Wednesday with the familiar Yellow Beet Ravioli, stuffed with cashew cheese. As an experiment, I used a small cookie cutter to cut out the discs of dehydrated cheese, which made for a more uniform look, and the top piece of marinated beet sealed more easily as a result. Next time, maybe I'll try two pieces of cheese and with something else placed between the two discs.

The salad rolls were wonderful, with the collard greens as soft as little pillows. The filling was red bell pepper, carrot, scallion, celery, arugula tossed with a slightly spicy dressing of (cold pressed) sesame oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, dates, almonds, cashews, salt and pepper.

The beautiful carpaccio was a last minute decision, as the mandoline was already out for the beets. It was dressed simply with lemon juice, oilve oil, salt and pepper.

The Celeriac and Green Apple soup is from "Raw Food Real World" -- it makes all the difference in the world to strain the celeriac and macadamia nut mixture, which makes for a silky smooth soup.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gnocchi with Cashew Cream Sauce, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 1/08

Gnocchi in Cashew Cream Sauce

Roasted Broccoli

My apologies for not finding some parsley to break up that sea of white sauce... ;)

The gnocchi recipe is modeled after Paula Wolfert's version. The sauce is still a work in progress, but is a basically a roux with shallots, garlic, mustard, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and about 1 cup of soaked/pureed cashews plus 1 cup of water. It's thick to be sure, but that works well with the gnocchi...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Coconut Tofu with Curry Dipping Sauce, Stir-Fried Rice, Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 1/07

Coconut Tofu with Curry Dipping Sauce

Stir-Fried Rice

Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts

These would make an excellent appetizer at a party -- snack-sized and the dipping sauce is packing some heat.

Coconut Tofu with Curry Dipping Sauce

1 block of extra firm tofu cut into 32 pieces
1 tbs. tamari

Marinate the tofu strips in tamari for 15 minutes.

Then we used the three pan method.

Pan one:

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. black pepper

mix all the ingredients together

Pan two:

1 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs. water,
1/8 tsp. green curry paste

mix together until a slurry forms

Pan three:

1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

Roll the tofu in the seasoned flour, then the cornstarch slurry, finally in the coconut flakes. Be sure to press down a bit on the coconut to make sure it coats the tofu completely.

Deep-fry the tofu in peanut oil @ 385F for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

Green Curry Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup of coconut milk
2 tsp. of curry paste (or to taste)
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp. tamari

Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat.

Vacation's Over...

It was a great three weeks off... but we're back to make the vegan doughnuts, err... cookies ;)

Clothespin cookies just out of the oven

Clothespin cookies stuffed with a kinda, sorta, buttercream-like filling