Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grilled Teese, Tomato Bisque with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Lunch 9/28

Grilled Teese

Tomato Bisque with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

It was one of those days that remind you that the calendar is in fact, correct... so for lunch, we reverted back to the third grade (yes, some of us dipped the sandwiches in the soup) ;)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fennel, Onion, Mushroom and Blue Sheese Pizza

Dinner 9/27

Fennel, Onion, Mushroom and Blue Sheese Pizza

Normally we wouldn't use the Blue Sheese on a pizza as it doesn't melt so much as gets crispy -- but we figured out if you take the sheese and run it across a microplaner, it breaks down into small enough pieces to kind of melt. It paired very nicely with the rest of the toppings...

There was a thin layer of tomato sauce as a base on the pizza, to which the rest of the toppings were added. The fennel was cut thinly on the benriner, then sauteed briefly with the onions in olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shiitake and Dill Frittata, Grilled Asparagus

Dinner 9/25

Shiitake and Dill Frittata

Grilled Asparagus

yes, again with the frittata from "Crack of Noon" -- it's addictive... ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Meatloaf with Plum Ketchup, Mashed Cauliflower with Miso Gravy

Raw Food Wednesday 9/24

Meatloaf with Plum Ketchup
(recipe below)

Mashed Cauliflower with Miso Gravy
(adapted from Juliano)

The raw meatloaf was inspired by our cooked take on Grant Achatz's Meatloaf. In his version, he made a prune ketchup to go along with it -- and as we still have half of case of plums, it seemed like a perfect solution to use as many as we can. ;)

In the end though, it was possibly one of the best raw meals we've ever made -- quintessential raw comfort food.

Raw Meatloaf with Plum Ketchup
(serves 4)

2 cup of mushroom, cut in small dice
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. nama shoyu

Toss the cut mushrooms with the olive oil, nama shoyu and pepper. Place in a dehydrator for 20-30 minutes at 105F. While those are dehydrating, you can prep the rest of the mixture.

1/3 cup shallot, minced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1/3 cup fennel, finely diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup Anaheim (cubanelle or hungarian) pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced

Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. mustard seed

Grind all of the spices together, set aside.

1 cup cashews
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 macadamia nuts
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked for 20 minutes)
2 medajool dates, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup water

Add all of the ingredients except the water to the vita-mix, add the spice mixture and grind together. You may need to add 1/4 cup of water to help break down the nuts as much as you can without turning it into nut butter...

Add the nut mixture to the mixing bowl along with the vegetables. Add the dehydrated mushrooms and stir to combine.

To assemble: Use a mini-loaf pan and line it with plastic wrap, place the filling in tightly and then unmold onto a teflex sheet. If you don't have a mini-loaf pan, an offset spatula works wonders for shaping edges without getting your hands too dirty.

Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 105F, flipping once and removing the teflex sheet after 2-3 hours. Serve with the Plum Ketchup.

Plum Ketchup

1 tbs. tamarind (soaked for 1 hour, then finely strained)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked 20 minutes)

6 plums, seeded
1 tsp. agave
2 medijool dates
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar

sea salt and pepper to taste

Soak the tamarind and tomatoes. Then puree all the ingredients in the vita-mix until a very smooth consistency is achieved. Adjust the seasoning and place in a squeeze bottle.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Braised Seitan Stew with Plums, Grilled Romaine Salad, Foccacia with Sungold Tomatoes

Dinner 9/21

Braised Seitan Stew with Plums

Grilled Romaine Salad

Foccacia with Cherry Tomatoes

The stew is basically a riff on our Seitan Osso Bucco recipe, with plums replacing the tomatoes. We seeded about a dozen plums, processed them in the vita-mix and ended up with about 1 cup of plum puree which was then added to the other braising ingredients (1 cup red wine, 1 cup veg stock). The result was nothing short of fantastic -- a nice balanced stew.

Liz saved half of the foccacia dough from last night, to make another batch tonight -- this time studded with sungold tomatoes from the farmers market. It's a visual and tasty treat.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grilled Eggplant Stack with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil, Fava Beans, Foccacia, Artichoke Gratin, Plum Tart

Dinner 9/20

Grilled Eggplant Stack with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil

Fava Beans


Artichoke Gratin


Plum Tart

We're nearing the end of the season, but the heirloom tomatoes and eggplants are still hanging in there... the stack was dressed with a touch of aged balsamic and basil.

Liz also made Foccacia (sea salt and rosemary) that paired nicely with the fava beans and artichoke gratin.

For dessert, as we're still working through a case of plums, Liz adapted the upside down pineapple cake recipe from Rick Bayless -- and it worked wonderfully!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vegetable Lo Mein

Dinner 9/18

Vegetable Lo Mein

Sometimes the kids just want simple (and quick). I am always happy to oblige...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tea-Smoked Tofu Curry with Rice Balls and Shiso Leaves, Tempura Shiso Leaves, Okra & Onion Rings, Baby Bok Choy

Dinner 9/13

Tea-Smoked Tofu Curry with Rice Balls and Shiso Leaves

Tempura Shiso Leaves, Okra & Onion Rings

Baby Bok Choy

The (oolong) tea-smoked tofu curry and rice balls is one of our favorite meals, with lots of visual interest and a kick-ass spice level that'll be sure to cure what ails you... ;)

The block of firm-tofu was portioned into 16 squares, and smoked (in the stove-top smoker) with the black oolong tea for 20 minutes. Then the tofu was stir-fried in the wok with a little splash of tamari at the end.

The rice balls work better if they're made from fresh rice. They only need a minute in the 375F (canola/peanut) oil to be crispy on the outside, while remaining soft on the inside.

The green curry sauce is roughly a 1/2 can of coconut milk, 1 tsp. green curry paste, 1 tbs. lime juice, 1 tbs. tamari mixed together and cooked in a sauce pan until slightly thickened.

We went ahead and tried that idea of taking Okra and scraping out the seeds (tip: use a melon baller) and stuffing them with soy cream cheese, smoked paprika, shallot & pepper. We then sealed the two halves together and dipped them in our tempura batter. Worked like a charm...

For more tempura fun we took a couple of shiso leaves and dipped them in the tempura batter as well -- surprisingly good.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Zucchini Frittata, Green Beans, Ciabatta, Tomato Potato Soup

Dinner 9/12

Zucchini Frittata

Green Beans


Tomato Potato Soup

We had a little fun with some of the extra zucchini. We cut them into thin rounds on the benriner and layered them in the bottom of the cast-iron skillet used to make the rest of the tofu frittata (our variation from the upcoming "Vegan Brunch" cookbook from Isa Chandra Moskowitz).

After cooking in the pan, the frittata was inverted onto a cake stand...

...and a close-up on the plate.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seitan and Tomato over Jasmine Rice Grilled Eggplant, Steamed Baby Bok Choy, Edamame

Dinner 9/11

Seitan and Tomato

Jasmine Rice

Grilled Eggplant

Steamed Baby Bok Choy


Tonight's main dish is a veganized riff from a book we refer to as the "Chinese Take-Out" book -- as it contains most of the classic non-vegan Chinese-American restaurant dishes -- and this riff on "Beef and Tomatoes," which doesn't sound terribly authentic to begin with. ;)

The edamame, bok choy and Asian eggplants came from the Kent Farmer's Market -- which has had outstanding produce this year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Pad Thai, Tom Khai Soup

Raw Food Wednesday 9/10

Pad Thai
(from Trotter/Klein)

Tom Khai Soup
(from Juliano)

We had many young coconuts that need to be used, and this is always a welcome recipe.

Pad Thai
Serves 4
(adapted from "Raw" by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein)

2 Tbs. tamarind juice (see Note)
1 1/2 Tbs. raw agave
2 3/4 Tbs. nama shoyu
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp. minced serrano chile
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 cups julienned zucchini
1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned red onion
1 cup julienned Granny Smith apple, unpeeled
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
3 cups julienned young coconut meat
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. whole fresh coriander leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
3 tsp. white sesame oil

Almond Chile Sauce (Yield: 1 1/4 cups)

1/2 cup raw almond butter
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs. raw agave
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. organic soy sauce
1 Thai finger chile
1/4 cup water, to thin

Purée tamarind, raw agave, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, garlic, minced chile, olive oil and salt until smooth. Place zucchini, cabbage, carrots, red onion, apple, red bell pepper, coconut meat, sliced serrano chile and fresh coriander leaves in a mixing bowl. Add tamarind purée, and toss together until evenly distributed. Season the pad Thai to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss cashews together in a small mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of white sesame oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To prepare the Almond Chile Sauce: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add water to thin if necessary.

To serve, arrange some of the pad Thai mixture in center of each plate. Spoon some Almond Chile Sauce and remaining soy sauce and white sesame oil around pad Thai. Sprinkle with chopped cashews.

Note: To make tamarind juice, soak pulp, including seeds, in warm water in the ratio of 1 part pulp to 3 1/2 parts water — or 1 tablespoon pulp to 3 1/2 tablespoons warm water. After 15 minutes, squeeze tamarind pulp to extract liquid. Discard pulp and seeds, and use juice as needed.

One of the benefits of using young coconuts is all that wonderful coconut water -- and this soup was a perfect match with the pad thai. The avocado base and coconut water is very smooth and creamy, and offsets some of the heat from the chiles...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bocconcini di Tofu con le Mandorle, Grilled Romaine Salad with Figs, Steamed Broccoli

Dinner 9/09

Bocconcini di Tofu con le Mandorle
(Tofu with Almonds, adapted from Nick Stellino)

Grilled Romaine Salad with Figs

Steamed Broccoli

Pulled this recipe out and made it again after a long absence. It's basically breadcrumb-coated tofu (dusted in seasoned flour, dipped in a cornstarch slurry, rolled in breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast) that is pan-fried, then finished in the oven to cook the inside of the tofu.

The sauce is tomato and sun-dried tomato based, finished with slivered almonds that have had brown sugar caramelized on top. It's a very different combo, and highly effective.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Corn Cakes and Tomatoes with Basil Mayonnaise, Watermelon Gazpacho, Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge

Raw Food Wednesday 9/03

Raw Corn Cakes and Tomatoes with Basil Mayonnaise

Watermelon Gazpacho
(from "Raw Food Real World")


Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge with Raspberry Coulis

The raw corn cakes (recipe below) and tomatoes have become one of our favorite late summer raw meals. And anything that uses basil at this point is a bonus ;)

The basil mayonnaise is one of those non-recipe recipes -- it's all done by feel. A mixture of basil, pine nuts, salt, pepper and olive oil blended and seasoned to taste. We like a lot of basil (and we have so much of it), so we loaded up on it...

Raw Corn Cakes
(makes about 10 corn cakes)

2 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup cashews
1 small shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients to the vita-mix and pulse until the corn and cashews have broken down, but leave a little texture. Pour about 2 tbs. of the mixture into the 4-inch ring molds and dehydrate for 6-8 hours (flipped after 3-4 hours) at 105F. Alternate with ripe heirloom tomatoes (salt, pepper, olive oil) and drizzle with the basil and pine nut mayonnaise.

The Watermelon Gazpacho soup is from the always dependable Raw Food Real World (recipe).

And as far as dessert goes (also from "Raw Food Real World"), well, let's just say there weren't any leftovers ;)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Kushiyaki with Jasmine Rice, Tempura Okra and Onion Rings

Dinner 9/02

Kushiyaki with Jasmine Rice

Tempura Okra / Onion Rings

Kushiyaki is simply Japanese shish kabob, really the same thing we normally make (mushroom, tofu, red bell pepper, cherry tomato), marinated with tamari, olive oil and pepper.

It was served along side of jasmine rice and the tempura (recipe). The okra (from Saturday's Farmer's Market) and onion rings, were served with a spicy dipping sauce made with rice wine vinegar, tamari, agave and infused with thai chiles (also from the same vendor at the Farmer's Market).

The okra pods we're delish, but next time were going scrape out the seeds and fill them with soy cream cheese mixture, sort of like we've done with the squash blossoms in the past.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Chickpea and Seitan Stew, Mushrooms and Wilted Kale, Loubieh, Breadsticks

Dinner 9/01

Chickpea and Seitan Stew
(onion, garlic, seitan, tomato, smoked paprika, chickpeas, tamari, pepper, sherry)

Mushrooms and Wilted Kale
(button mushrooms, dinosaur kale, tamari, sherry, pepper)

(onion, garlic, broad beans, smoked paprika, tomato, salt, pepper)


A mini-tapas dinner. Liz made the delicate breadsticks as well the slowly braised loubieh, which was made with the pole/broad beans that I picked up Saturday morning from the Farmer's Market.

The seitan stew and mushroom/kale dishes are pretty straight ahead, both done quickly in a wok.

Twice-Fried Tofu Tortilla Soup

Lunch 9/01

Twice-Fried Tofu Tortilla Soup

A rare lunch entry -- but it was just so tasty, I couldn't resist ;)

We added some Teese, smoked twice-fried tofu and avocado to the tomato/chile soup base -- so, so good...

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.

Twice-Fried Tofu Tortilla Soup
Serves 6
(adapted from "Mexican Everyday" by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless)

4 cups vegetable stock
Twice-Fried Tofu (from above)
1 large dried pasilla chili, stemmed and seeded
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large sprig fresh epazote, if available
About 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 1/2 cups shredded Teese
About 4 cups roughly broken tortilla chips
1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

Toast the chili by turning it an inch or two above an open flame on a gas stove for a few seconds, or until its aroma fills the kitchen. Or toast in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a minute, then flipping it over and pressing again. Break chili into pieces and put into a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, but won't completely purée the chili.) Purée until almost smooth.

Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop the onion and garlic into the blender or processor; process until purée is as smooth as possible.

Return saucepan to heat. When hot, add purée and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of a loose tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add broth and epazote if using. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and cilantro.

If using avocado, toss with lime juice. Put avocado, twice-fried tofu, Teese and tortilla chips in separate bowls and serve on the side of the soup.

Raised Waffles with Baked Cinnamon Apples

Brunch 9/01

Raised Waffles with Baked Cinnamon Apples

A test recipe for Isa's next book "Crack Of Noon" -- waffles that you let rise like pizza dough, then cooked in a waffle iron... So far, everything we've tested for the book has become a family favorite, and this was no exception...