Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tofu Piccata, Gobetti Pasta, Grilled Romaine Salad with Roasted Beets

Dinner 8/31

Tofu Piccata

Gobetti Pasta

Grilled Romaine Salad with Roasted Beets

The piccata (adapted from the Candle Cafe cookbook) is a stand-by, while the grilled salad has quickly become a house favorite.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Yellow Tomatoes, Green Beans, Red Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli and Grilled Figs

Dinner 8/30

Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Yellow Tomatoes

Green Beans

Red Potatoes

Roasted Broccoli

Grilled Figs

Sometimes, you just roll with what you got... and a little balsamic wasn't hurting either...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Raw Food Thursday: Sushi

Raw Food Thursday 8/28

Raw Sushi

We were playing around with the vacuum-sealer again, be afraid ;)

Cantaloupe and Watermelon Nigiri-zushi

The watermelon and cantaloupe were vacuum-sealed and then frozen. After 24 hours in the freezer, they're defrosted in the fridge. This compacts the fruit, extracts almost all of the liquid and gives it a completely different texture, taste and appearance.

In all, there were three different "tops" -- compressed watermelon, compressed cantaloupe and red bell pepper (the red bell pepper skin was removed with a microplane zester).

There were four different "bases" in place of the rice (zushi) -- cucumber, daikon, carrot and icicle radish (avocado and apple are planned for next time). They were dipped in a mixture of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, a wee pinch of sea salt and ginger.

For garnish, instead of fresh wasabi, we made a mixture of 2 tbs. freshly grated horseradish steeped 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar. Also used were black and white sesame seeds. We made a dipping sauce of nama shoyu and lemon juice. They were wrapped with untoasted nori strips or chives.

meanwhile, here's the rest of the spread...

Red Bell Pepper, Cantaloupe and Watermelon Nigiri-zushi

Red Bell Pepper and Icicle Radish Nigiri-zushi with Chive and Black Sesame Seeds

Endive and Watermelon Sushi "Boats"

Endive Rolls, Watermelon and Cantaloupe Nigiri-zushi

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Crepes filled with Morel Mushrooms, Green Beans, Lentil and Seitan Stew

Dinner 8/24

Crepes filled with Morel Mushrooms, Green Beans, Lentil and Seitan Stew

Surprisingly, it's the kids who love the morel mushrooms. The were carefully cleaned (grit can hide in the cells), cut in half and lightly pan-fried in the wok with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

The lentils were pressure cooked for 16 minutes (along with an onion studded with two cloves). The seitan was cubed and pan-fried along with onion, carrot, garlic and herbes de provence. The green beans were blanched for 3-4 minutes and added to the seitan for a few minutes. Finally, the lentils were added, the seasoning adjusted.

Then the stew was loaded into the crepes from "Vegan with a Vengeance," topped with morels and inhaled... ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Taco Night

Raw Food Wednesday 8/20

Taco Night
(Walnut Filling, Basil Cheese, Corn Salsa, Guacamole, Poblano Rajas, Cherry Tomatoes, Endive and Romaine Leaves)

It was "make your own taco" night, with lots of different filling and toppings, a nice change of pace...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Corn Cakes, Okra and Tomato Stew, Jambalaya, Basmati Rice

Dinner 8/17

Corn Cakes
(recipe below)

Okra and Tomato Stew


Basmati Rice

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 whisk in enough cold water 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.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hoisin Tofu Cube, Grilled Eggplant and Deep-Fried Green Beans on Jasmine Rice, Baked Wonton Cups with Kale and Shittake Mushrooms

Dinner 8/16

Hoisin Tofu Cube

Grilled Eggplant with Deep-Fried Green Beans

Jasmine Rice

Wonton Cups with Kale and Shiitake Mushrooms

The kids called the tofu "The Borg Cube" -- it was a block of extra-firm tofu cut into large cubes, deep-fried for 5 minutes, then braised in a hoisin, mirin, tamari and agave sauce for 10 minutes. Nirvana.

The wontons were (lightly) brushed with sesame oil and baked at 350F in a muffin pan for 5 minutes, then the wok-fried kale and shiitake filling was added, and baked for another 3-5 minutes.

The Japanese eggplant was cut into 1/4" thick, long slices, brushed with a mixture of sesame oil, tamari and black pepper, and then grilled on both sides for 2-3 minutes.

The (local, organic) green beans were deep-fried for three minutes (just before the tofu). Then five pieces of green beans were rolled up in the eggplant.

Very tasty all the way around...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bruschetta, Grilled Salad, Mushroom Risotto, Cannellini Bean, Garlic and Tomato Soup

Dinner 8/15


Grilled Salad

Mushroom Risotto

Cannellini Bean, Garlic and Tomato Soup

The grilled salad has rapidly become a favorite around here -- the romaine is tossed with a simple vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper) and slapped down on the grill for a couple of minute per side. It paired nicely with the grilled bread of the bruschetta and the mushroom risotto.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Zucchini Pesto, Cubanelle Peppers stuffed with Basil Cashew Cheese, Mixed Greens Salad with Tomatoes

Raw Food Wednesday 8/13

Zucchini Pesto

Cubanelle Peppers stuffed with Basil Cashew Cheese

Mixed Green Salad with Tomatoes

Some years the basil isn't that great, some years you get more than you know what to do with -- this is one of those years... The zucchini pesto is a guaranteed winner every time.

The basil cashew cheese is from Ani Phyo's (excellent) Raw Food Kitchen book.

The cherry/plum tomatoes haven't done as well this year (for us at least), but some are better than none...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Elvis Fried Tofu, Touch of Grace Biscuits, Braised Broad Beans

Dinner 8/08

Elvis Fried Tofu

Touch of Grace Biscuits

Braised Broad Beans

Elvis' favorite tofu returns, along with Shirley Corriher's Touch of Grace biscuits, and finishing up with some tomato braised Pole/Broad Beans.

For the "Touch of Grace" biscuits, Liz made them by subbing 1 cup of soy milk and 2 tsp. of vinegar (or lemon juice), which is mixed together and then allowed let sit for 10-15 minutes -- that's the buttermilk. the other subs are soy cream for the cream and Earth Balance shortening -- but much of it has to do with the Lily White flour...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Grilled Seitan, Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans

Dinner 8/07

Grilled Seitan

Mushroom Gravy

Green Beans

you know it, you love it, you want to marry it ;)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tofu L'Orange, Red Potatoes, Braised Carrots

Dinner 8/06

Tofu L'Orange
(recipe below)

Red Potatoes

Braised Carrots

Tofu L'Orange

marinating the tofu

16oz. extra-firm tofu

1/4 cup Cointreau
pinch of sea salt
black pepper to taste

Portion the tofu into six cutlets, with a slit cut in one side for filling.

In a small sauce pan, add the Cointreau, whisk in the salt and add pepper. Over med-high heat bring to a boil, then remove from heat immediately. Let cool to room temp.

If you have a vacuum-sealer (like the FoodSaver), add the six tofu cutlets to a 1 quart bag, pour the cointreau mixture over the tofu, and (fast/moist) seal. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least an hour (the longer the better). This allows the tofu to really absorb the marinade.

If you don't have a vacuum-sealer, simply pour the cointreau over the tofu and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour to marinate.

making the filling

olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, stemmed and cut into 1" pieces
2 oz. shiitake mushrooms
black pepper

Over medium heat in a large saute pan or wok, add 1 tbs. of olive oil to the pan and saute the shiitake mushrooms for 5-6 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.

Add an additional 1 tbs. of olive oil if needed, and saute the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, stirring regularly.

Return the shiitake mushrooms to the pan and add the tamari and pepper. Stir to combine.

Remove from the pan and let cool while you cook the tofu.

cooking the tofu

1 tbs. canola oil
six cutlets of marinated tofu

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Using the same pan or wok, add the canola oil over medium-high heat, and saute the tofu cutlets about 5-7 minutes per side. Because of the sugars in the marinade, it will scorch easily, so keep an eye on the tofu and rotate a couple of times per-side.

When it's golden brown, remove from the pan and set on a rack in a sheet pan. When the tofu is cool enough to handle, carefully add the filling in the slit on the side, making sure not to over stuff and break the tofu.

Put the tofu into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. This fully cooks the inside and the filling. While the tofu is in the oven, make the sauce.


1 tsp. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Cointreau
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup veg stock
1 tbs. soy margarine
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and saute the shallots for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic and saute for an addition 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.

Off heat, add the Cointreau and reduce to a glaze. Add the orange juice and reduce by half.

Add the veg stock and reduce by half.

Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the the soy margarine and check for seasoning.

Remove the tofu from the oven, pour the sauce over the top and add orange zest as a garnish if desired.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mini-Burgers, Oven Fries, Carrots Sticks

Dinner 8/05


Oven Fries

Carrots Sticks

We haven't made the mini-burgers in a couple of months, but that's the nice thing about vacation -- you have the time to spend on something like this.

The key to these are the buns -- Liz says the recipe is very similar to pizza dough, but it's her shaping and sizing that make them a perfect one or two bite appetizer. Which is why you need four of them to start, followed quickly by another six or seven (and you know I'm not even joking here). Topped with homemade pickles, blue sheese, onion, ketchup and mustard.

And yes, carrot sticks -- we can play the role of cliched vegan when called upon... ;)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Eggplant Ravioli with Shiitake Mushrooms, Green and Yellow Beans

Dinner 8/04

Eggplant Ravioli with Shiitake Mushrooms

Green and Yellow Beans

Busting out the Jean-Georges Vongerichten ravioli recipe that we've made before -- we sub shiitake mushrooms (for the bacon), and sealed the wonton wrappers with a light cornstarch slurry.

They're stuffed with grilled eggplant and mint and wrapped in wonton wrappers, topped with the mushrooms and basil and poached in a gew├╝rztraminer and basil reduction sauce.

The green/yellow beans are from the farmer's market and were simply blanched in salted water for 4 -5 minutes, drained and then added to the plate where they soaked up the gew├╝rztraminer sauce.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Vegetable Lo Mein, Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 8/03

Vegetable Lo Mein
(mushrooms, scallions, onion, garlic, ginger, tamari, five spice powder)

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

Jasmine Rice

I won't bore you with a shot of another stir-fry, but tonight's lo mein that Liz made was close to perfection. The only thing holding it back was if we had eaten it out of a take-out container and had consumed multiple Tsingtao's. ;)

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Thanks to VegNews for the award and nifty plaque that is now hanging in our kitchen. We really appreciate all of the coverage they've given us over the last two years.

If any of the VegNews staff ever find themselves stranded in Ohio, you guys know who to call for a free meal... ;)

Kudos to all of the other recipients -- most of which are also on the blogroll over there on the left hand side.

BBQ Seitan, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Green Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Chocolate Cherry Swirled Cheesecake

Dinner 8/02

BBQ Seitan

Mixed Green Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Mashed Potatoes


Chocolate Cherry Swirled Cheesecake

For dessert Liz made a fabulous Chocolate Cherry Swirled Cheesecake (much like this one from Thanksgiving 2006). My wife spoils me, yes she does...

Here's a close-up shot with chocolate shavings and whipped cream -- we like whipping the the Soyatoo "Topping Cream" way better than the stuff in the can. It gets fluffy and stays there. You can also add little things (like vanilla extract) and whip it (good) using the stand mixer.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. For dinner, we made BBQ Seitan
using the same technique from the Chinese version, made in May -- just substituting our usual Maple Syrup and Bourbon BBQ Sauce recipe and braising the homemade seitan strips (which are first coated in cornstarch and deep-fried for 3-5 minutes) for 30 minutes as it was a thicker BBQ sauce than the original.

French Toast with Raspberry Coulis, Hickory Smoked Tofu

Breakfast 8/02

French Toast with Raspberry Coulis

Hickory Smoked Tofu

If it's French Toast (recipe from "Vegan with a Vengeance") for breakfast, it must be my birthday... ;)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Arugula, Fig and Blue Sheese Pizza with Balsamic Vinegar

Dinner 8/1

Arugula, Fig and Blue Sheese Pizza with Balsamic Vinegar

Yep, salad on pizza again -- what will those wacky vegans think of next?

it must be vacation... ;)