Friday, February 29, 2008

Seitan Bourguignon, Braised Leeks, Pecan-Praline Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Dinner 2/29

Seitan Bourguignon

Braised Leeks


Pecan-Praline Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

The bourguignon (recipe) is perfect for this weather we've been having of late -- cold and colder... served over some pasta with fried button mushrooms on top.

The leeks were spectacular, lots of white parts (the green tops are for veg stock), braised into creamy, caramelized goodness.

Speaking of caramel -- a cheesecake adapted from F&W (recipe). Oh, yes! Cold weather? What cold weather? It's summer in my mouth...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Vegetable Pot Pie

Dinner 2/28

Vegetable Pot Pie

Adapted from Candle Cafe cookbook as usual -- an all-in-one meal of smoked tofu, carrots, onion, garlic, veg stock and a cornstarch slurry baked with a crust that has a a heart-shaped cutout vent...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tex-Mex Enchiladas, Pear Crumble

Dinner 2/27

Tex-Mex Enchiladas


Pear Crumble

Liz made dinner tonight, a combo of leftover smoky chili sauce with some additional cumin, and ancho chile powder, stuffed with FYH Monterey Jack and alder smoked twice-fried tofu.

(RFW will return next week)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Burgess Cellars Wine Tasting at Riverside Wine and Imports

Burgess Cellars Wine Tasting at Riverside Wine and Imports 2/26

BBQ Tofu Lollipops

Twice Baked Potato

Chili Non Carne

Rice Paper Salad Rolls

A great tasting (and snowy evening) at Riverside Wine and Imports with Steve Burgess of Burgess Cellars.

The kids were home from school because of a snowstorm that dumped a good 8" of heavy wet snow on our doorstep -- so in between prepping for the meal, I was out shoveling the driveway so I could get out the door in time... Despite all the snow, we had a full house for the evening!

Big reds call for big flavors, so we went with the Hickory Smoked Tofu BBQ Lollipops (recipe), The smoky, not spicy Chili Non Carne (recipe), Twice Baked Potatoes (recipe) and Rice Paper Salad Rolls (red and napa cabbages, scallion, carrot with a peanut and sesame dressing) for the two white wines.

The next tasting we're doing is Rodney Strong Vineyards on April 15th, 2008.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pasta alla Vodka, Braised Broccoli

Dinner 2/25

Pasta alla Vodka

Braised Broccoli

This is our standard way to use up that leftover bit of tomato sauce -- add a little red pepper flake, a shot of vodka and a little soy sour cream... topped with seared/steamed broccoli. Instant yum...

Hello Plime!

< Mr. Rourke > Smiles everybody! Plime is here! </Mr. Rourke >

Please, help yourself to a cupcake!

or perhaps a piece of cake (that is not a lie)...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gobi Manchurian, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 2/24

Gobi Manchurian
(adapted from Saveur)

Jasmine Rice

It's basically deep-fried cauliflower with spicy sauce -- sort of a cross between Indian and Chinese flavors.

Here's the recipe from Saveur:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Vinegar, Lentils and Arugula, Cabbage and Soyrizo

Dinner 2/23

Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Vinegar, Lentils and Arugula

Cabbage and Soyrizo

The eggplant dish is a bit of re-creation of an entrée we had a VegiTerranean last month -- the eggplant was grilled and then spashed with a little aged balsamic. The lentils were pressure cooked and combined with the wilted arugula. Then the eggplant and lentils were stacked together.

It was paired with slow-braised cabbage and soyrizo that just melted in your mouth.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bruschetta, Minestrone, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 2/21



Roasted Broccoli

A little bit of this, a little bit that -- A simple meal tonight, as everyone was busy with outside projects... Liz made the soup around lunch, and the roasted broccoli (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) only takes 15 minutes (at 450F). The bruschetta used the last bit of ciabatta that Liz made a couple of days ago, two tomatoes, two small zucchini, an onion and garlic...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Frittata, Mashed Cauliflower with Gravy, Borscht

Raw Food Wednesday 2/20


Mashed Cauliflower with Gravy
(adapted from Juliano's "Raw")

(beet, carrot, orange juice with dill)

This meal is for those of you who think that "round" is funny... ;)

The frittata was a riff on Isa's brunch book test recipe from the other day -- next time we'll double the collard greens, but the flavor profile was spot on -- the collards were lightly dehydrated for about an hour with a combo of olive oil, nama shoyu, shallots, garlic, fresh ground mustard seed, herbes de provence, black pepper then combined with the cashew cheese. Then they were formed using a ring mold, and dehydrated for about 8 hours at 105F.

For the mashed cauliflower, it was a nice combination of a small cauliflower which was not watery at all. Binding it with the cashews (plus lemon juice, salt and pepper) made for a great consistency and mouthfeel.

We used a ice cream scoop for the shape...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Swiss Chard Frittata

Dinner 2/18

Swiss Chard Frittata

A test recipe for Isa's new brunch book -- a baked swiss chard and tofu frittata or "brunch pie" if you don't like calling it a frittata ;)

We had it with a little hot sauce to perk it up, but this recipe would surely find a spot on any future brunch table...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Marquit Quastal, Sambousak

Dinner 2/16

Marquit Quastal
(Seitan Tagine with Chestnuts)

(Sesame Pastries stuffed with Soy Cheese)

The tagine was adapted from Claudia Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food" -- slow cooked seitan, chestnuts, raisins, cinnamon, onion, garlic and veg stock. It was then served over basmati rice.

The sambousak were adapted from "Aromas of Aleppo", and are Syrian sesame pastries (stuffed with soy cheese) and baked. Sort of like samosas, the pastry was light and flaky.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Banana Mocha Bundt Cake

Dessert 2/15

Banana Mocha Bundt Cake
(with Bourbon Icing)

There was dinner, but as we said before, we won't bore you any further with the deep-dish pizza shots (tasty as they were and as happy as they made all of us) -- let's just skip ahead to the dessert ;)

It's a recipe-in-development, and it was born out of: Leftover bananas + chocolate = rockin' the bundt pan. The chocolate was swirled inside for a marbled look. The bourbon icing (a little jack + powdered sugar) is gilding the lily perhaps, but as Liz likes to say around here -- "I said it was vegan, I didn't say it was fat-free" ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day: Hickory Smoked Tofu Stuffed with Garlic, Grilled Asparagus, Sauteed Mushrooms, Twice Baked Potato, Molten Mocha Cakes

Valentine's Day Dinner 2/14

Hickory Smoked Tofu Stuffed with Garlic
(with Bearnaise Sauce)

Grilled Asparagus

Sauteed Mushrooms

Twice Baked Potato


Molten Mocha Cake

Ah, nothing says Valentine Day dinner more than heart shaped plates does it mon petite chou-chou?

The potato, and mushrooms are both from Andrea Robinson (making the usual soy substitutions). The tofu was cut a little thicker than usual (6 cutlets vs. 8 cutlets) and a slit was carefully cut into the side of the tofu. Then it was smoked with hickory wood for 25 minutes, taken out of the smoker box and pan-fried until golden and splashed with 1 tbs. of tamari about a minute before it was done. Next, the roasted garlic was pushed inside, and it was roasted for an additional 20 minutes at 350F. It was served with the mushrooms and bearnaise sauce on top -- a reduction of vinegar, shallot and tarragon, mounted with soy margarine at the end (you're supposed to strain out the shallots, but I like them left in).

For dessert, we went with the Molten Mocha Cakes from Martha Stewart (sub out 1/2 box of soft tofu and a 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder for the eggs, and we added 1 tsp. of vanilla extract).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Pierogi, Borscht

Raw Food Wednesday 2/13



The pierogi are a work-in-progress, but still turned out very well. I want to play around with the cabbage/nut/flax ratio a little bit before posting numbers.

The "dough" is soaked sunflower, macadamia, napa cabbage (the inner white parts), dill seeds (from our garden), olive oil, sea salt, pepper and ground flax seed. Processed in the vita-mix with about a 1/2 cup of water, it was put in the dehydrator for about 3 1/2 hours at 105F, flipped and assembled with the filling inside, and dehydrated for another 2 hours.

There were two fillings -- a lightly dehydrated combo of napa cabbage, shiitake mushroom, shallot, dill seed, olive oil, nama shoyu and pepper, as well as a straight cashew cheese version.

The batteries ran out while trying to get a shot of the borscht, just pretend it looked a lot like this one ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seitan and Lentil Stew in Crepes, Braised Maroon Carrots

Dinner 2/12

Seitan and Lentil Stew in Crepes

Braised Maroon Carrots

The stew/crepe combo has become a house favorite... Liz made the crepe batter at lunch, and then cranked them out two at a time on the flat-bottomed woks -- which work just as well as any well-seasoned crepe pan.

Sadly, I couldn't get a good shot of the carrots, 'cuz wow! they're maroon! ;)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Carbonnades a la Flamande, Braised Carrots

Dinner 2/11

Carbonnades a la Flamande

Braised Carrots

Seitan, Onion and Beer Stew by any other name would taste so sweet...

adapted straight outta Julia Child "Mastering the Art... Vol. 1"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Roasted Veggie Lasagna, Barley and Bolete Mushroom Soup

Dinner 2/10

Roasted Veggie Lasagna

Barley and Bolete Mushroom Soup

We haven't made this in a while -- there's always a 3/4 full box of lasagna noodles in the back of the pantry, so we decide to make some individual roasted lasagna... here's the blow-by-blow description with pictures...

layer 1: tomato sauce base, cooked lasagna noodle, tofu ricotta (tofu, soy sour cream, nooch, salt, pepper, parsley), smoked/grilled eggplant and zucchini.

layer 2: cooked lasagna noodle, tofu ricotta, wilted dinosaur kale (kale, garlic, tamari), roasted red bell pepper.

layer 3: topped with a last layer of lasagna noodle pasta, tomato sauce and pine nuts.

bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Manti, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Fava Beans, Risotto Baked In Cubanelle Peppers, Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes

Dinner 2/09


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Fava Beans

Risotto Baked In Cubanelle Peppers


Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes

We haven't made Manti (Turkish dumplings) in a few years, this time it was a combo of the Saveur recipe and a Martha Stewart (not online yet) subbing shredded tofu in the filling...

Manti is not a meal you want to start at 5pm, unless you want to eat at 8pm. I'm just sayin' ;)

For dessert we made the Pistachio Rosewater cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World" because, well... they rock.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pasta alla Gricia, Cannellini Bean and Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Beet Salad

Dinner 2/08

Pasta alla Gricia

Cannellini Bean and Broccoli Rabe

Roasted Beet Salad


Sauternes Cake

I'm sure somewhere we've violated all kinds of foodie law that says you shouldn't put Pasta alla Gricia "en papillote" -- but screw it, it was wonderful. We subbed hickory smoked tofu for the pancetta, and nooch for the cheese.

The cake was another shot at the Neil Perry recipe from F&W (Oct. 2007), subbing soft tofu for the eggs and skipping the pears and going with the raspberries. Good stuff all around...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Chinese New Year: Dim Sum, General Tso, Jasmine Rice

Chinese New Year 2/7

General Tso Tofu
(recipe adapted from Tyler Florence)

Dim Sum
(seitan, napa cabbage, scallions, sesame oil, garlic, tamari, pepper)

Jasmine Rice


Mango Ice Cream

Almond Cookies

We tried to limit the unlucky white food (tofu/rice) by covering it with the General Tso sauce. ;)

Note the rodent mascot (Year of the Rat) located conveniently between the candlesticks and champagne...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Shish Kabobs with BBQ Sauce, Cucumber and Carrot Salad, Banana Doughnut Holes with Coconut

Raw Food Wednesday 2/06

Shish Kabobs with BBQ Sauce
(recipe below)

Cucumber and Carrot Salad


Banana Doughnut Holes with Coconut
(from Ani Phyo in VegNews)

The kabobs are cantaloupe, red onion, red bell pepper, (small) button mushrooms and grape tomatoes. They were skewered and marinated with olive oil, nama shoyu, garlic and pepper. They were dehydrated for 3 hours @ 105F, and then brushed with the BBQ Sauce below.

There are a million raw BBQ sauces in the naked city.... this is our story.

Raw BBQ Sauce

12 grape tomatoes
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hr.
1/2 of medium red onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbs. tamarind, soaked for 1 hr.
2 dates
1 tsp. cumin seed, ground
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. coriander seeds, ground
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 tbs. olive oil
black pepper to taste

Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup of water for at least 1 hr. Break the tamarind pulp up with your fingers and push it through a fine mesh strainer into the vita-mix along with all of the other ingredients. Puree and check for seasoning.

Brush over your kabobs and dehydrate at 105F for 2 hours, turning once and re-applying the sauce.

We made 16 total, but wished we had twice as many.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mardi Gras: Hickory Smoked Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce, Wilted Spinach, Red Beans and Rice, Eggplant Frites

Mardi Gras 2/05

Hickory Smoked Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce

Red Beans and Rice

Wilted Spinach

Eggplant Frites


Bread Pudding

We've made variations on this before (recipe), this time adding the red beans and rice as the base.

We tossed a serious amount of hot sauce in with the beans and (leftover) rice which was a really good idea, as it helps contrast the cream sauce and the smokiness of the tofu and eggplant.

The eggplant frites were also smoked along with the tofu, rolled in flour/salt/pepper/smoked paprika and pan-fried in canola oil. Delish...

Dessert was a traditional bread pudding with a Jack Daniels sauce (jack, tofu, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla). And maybe a little on the side, if you know what I mean. ;)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl XLII: Chili Cheese Dogs, French Fries, BBQ Tofu Sandwiches

Dinner 2/03

Chili Cheese Dogs
(recipe below)

BBQ Tofu Sandwich

French Fries

Yep, time for our annual Super Bowl deep-fry-a-thon -- bbq, chile and fries, fries and more fries...

The russets were blanched in peanut oil for 6-8 minutes at 280F, then were drained on paper towels and rested for 15 minutes. Then they were deep-fried for 2-3 minutes at 385F. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. We made a vegenaise/smoked paprika dip which may be even better than malt vinegar. Maybe.

We skipped the BBQ lollipops this time, and went with sandwiches -- although I made the same bbq sauce as usual.

And sorry Tom Petty, it's nothing personal, but we watched the Puppy Bowl IV at halftime... ;)

As for the chili, here's the recipe. Great on it's own, or on top of your favorite veggie dog.

Chili Non Carne

4 oz. TVP, soaked
1/2 cup veg stock
1 tbs. tamari
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
8oz of seitan, minced
canola oil

2 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
1 red onion, small diced
1 tbs. garlic
garlic salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs. chile powder
1 tbs. cumin
1 tbs. smoked paprika
1 tbs. red pepper flakes
1 tbs. tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 tbs. sugar

2 tbs. flour

12 oz. beer

1 1/2 cup pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cup red kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 cups whole tomatoes
4 cups of veg stock

Soak the TVP in a bowl with the veg stock, tamari and balsamic vinegar for at least 30 minutes. Drain.

In a large soup pot, on medium heat, add about 1 tbs. of canola oil and fry the TVP. Remove and set aside.

Add additional oil if needed and fry the seitan. Add to the TVP and set aside.

Add 1 tbs. of oil to the pot on medium-low heat, sweat the onion, celery, carrot for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, garlic salt and pepper and cook an additional minute.

Add the spices, sugar and tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add all of the beer, turn up the heat to med-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken.

Add the beans, tomatoes (break them up with the back of a wooden spoon) and veg stock and bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fold in the seitan and TVP mixture and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Check for seasoning, remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes.

Top your favorite veggie hot dog with the chili (and/or your French Fries if you roll that way). The cheese was 4oz. of FYH Monterrey Jack melted along with a little bit of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. Almost fondue-ish.