Monday, June 29, 2009

Pasta with Chard, Tomatoes and Andouille-Style Seitan Sausages, Grilled Romaine Salad, Marinated Artichokes

Dinner 6/29

Pasta with Chard, Tomatoes and Andouille-Style Seitan Sausages

Grilled Romaine Salad

Marinated Artichokes

If you're scoring along at home, the formula is:

Starch (pasta) + protein (seitan sausages) + veggies on hand (chard, tomatoes, onions, garlic) + aromatics (thyme, parsley) + seasoning (red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, salt) = Italian-style stir-fry ;)

Our grill certainly has been getting a workout this summer -- and this quick grilled salad (romaine lettuce heads cut in half, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) is a welcome addition to any meal.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mustard Glazed Tofu with Daikon and Shiso, Bok Choy, Jasmine Rice, Ramen

Dinner 6/28

Mustard Glazed Tofu with Daikon and Shiso

Bok Choy

Jasmine Rice


Now that the Kent Farmers Market is in full swing, we've been getting some great produce from the vendors -- in this case, the bok choy, which was steamed, seared in a wok and topped with sesame seeds.

We dug deep into the cookbook library for the mustard glaze (adapted from "Japanese Cuisine" John D. Keys / 1965)

Mustard Glazed Tofu with Daikon and Shiso

Mustard Sauce

3 tbs. sherry
2 tbs. tamari
1 tbs. agave
1 tbs. mustard*

Whisk together, reserve.

* We used mustard seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle. But if you want to use Dijon mustard out of a jar, we won't tell anyone. ;)

Shredded Daikon

1 small daikon, shredded on a box grater (yields about 1/2 cup)

1 tsp. mirin
2 tbs. rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. tamari
2 tbs. water

Whisk together the mirin, rice vinegar, tamari and water. Add the daikon to a small bowl and pour the mixture over the shredded daikon. Stir to incorporate and let sit for 30 minutes. Reserve.

Tea-Smoked Tofu

16oz. of tofu cut into 8 squares
1 tbs. oolong tea

1 tbs. canola oil
1 tbs. tamari

Add the oolong tea to the bottom of the prepared smoker box. Alternately, use a foil lined wok with chopsticks inside, used as grates. Here's an old shot before we had the smoker box to demonstrate.

Smoke the tofu squares with oolong tea for 25 minutes.

In a wok, add the canola oil on medium-high heat and fry the tofu until golden brown on both sides. Add the tamari and toss the tofu to coat evenly.

Pour the reserved mustard sauce over the tofu, and continue to cook and turn the tofu until the sauce reduces to a glaze.

Plate the tofu and garnish with grated daikon and shiso leaves.

Still working on the ramen -- Liz scored some water chestnuts to add, and the broth inched closer to our son's ideal version. ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gumbo Z'Herbes, Andouille-Style Seitan Sausages, Okra and Tomato Stew, Hoecakes

Dinner 6/27

Gumbo Z'Herbes

Andouille-Style Seitan Sausages

Okra and Tomato Stew


The gumbo, as always, was sublime, we played around with the recipe this time adding a little leftover tomato and rice which thickened things nicely.

The okra and tomato stew takes about an hour to cook and allow all the flavors to come together, but when it does... look out. The trick is to cook the onions for a little, then add the okra and cook for another 20 minutes or so to really get the thickening properties going. When you add the tomatoes, water and spices (and cook for another 20 minutes) the end result is magic.

The hoecakes are the ideal delivery method for the okra and tomato stew, with their soft tortilla-like consistency -- just scoop and eat!

Here's the seitan sausages coming out of the smoker-box. They were a mix of kidney beans, wheat gluten, garlic, smoked paprika and cayenne, which were first steamed, then smoked with hickory wood, and finally pan-fried for the gumbo.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Raw Food Thursday: Taco Salad

Raw Food Thursday 6/25

Taco Salad

The bowls were made using the same recipe as the red bell pepper tortillas. The differences were in the size of the tortilla -- about 10" across, much like the chimichangas and the use of a mold to shape the tortilla.

After the initial dehydration at 105F the tortillas were placed inside the mold and dehydrated for 2 hours further which set the shape. They were gently removed from the mold, which was flipped over, and then the tortilla was draped over the inverted mold and dehydrated for another 2 hours. This allowed the other side and base to dry evenly as well making for a crispy bowl.

The filling was red leaf lettuce, tomato, walnut taco filling (from RAWvolution), avocado, carrot and cashew cheese (on top). The greens were dressed in a lime and olive oil vinaigrette.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pesto, Artichoke Dip, Garlic Bread, Olives, Red Leaf Salad with Black Mission Figs

Dinner 6/24


Red Leaf Salad with Black Mission Figs

Artichoke Dip

Garlic Bread


Liz had the day off, so we went to Cleveland to pick up supplies from Tink Holl (1735 E. 36th St.) and Gallucci's (6610 Euclid Ave.). We got back into town late, so Raw Food Wednesday will be pushed back until tomorrow.

Tonight's meal is based around some of the items we picked up from Gallucci's -- the ciabatta bread (garlic bread), the artichoke hearts (artichoke dip), olives and pasta (pesto). And a as a bonus, we were able to eat out on the deck.

The basil for the pesto (basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast) came from our garden (coming along nicely) and was paired with a lovely salad of Red Leaf lettuce with some perfectly ripe Black Mission Figs. Truly, summer on a plate.

Artichoke Dip: a combo of artichoke hearts, diced red bell peppers, vegenaise, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. It's baked in an au gratin dish at 400F for 20 minutes.

...and the olives were very tasty as well.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rice Paper Packets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dinner 6/20

Seitan, Onion and Teese

Tea-Smoked Tofu, Mushroom and Pineapple

Braised Spinach with Toasted Sesame Seeds

We enjoyed these so much (and have so many rice paper sheets) that we made them again. Hat tip to Ming Tsai for the idea... on to the photo essay.

Soak the rice paper in warm water until softened, blot them with a towel to remove excess moisture. Place a couple of pieces of stir-fried seitan in the center of the rice paper.

Place about a tablespoon of caramelized onions on top of the seitan.

Place about a tablespoon of shredded Teese on top of the onions and seitan.

Place a few more pieces of seitan on top of the Teese.

Fold the bottom part of the rice paper over the filling.

Fold the top part of the rice paper over the filling.

Fold the right side of the rice paper over the top of the filling.

Fold the left side of the rice paper under the filling.

At this point refrigerate the packets for 15 minutes to let the rice paper firm up which makes it easier to hold its shape later.

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, use 1 tbs. of canola oil and fry the packages until crisp on both sides. Serve hot.

Moving on to the Tofu, Mushroom and Pineapple packets.

The tofu was cut into squares and smoked with oolong tea for 20 minutes, and then pan-fried in canola oil until golden brown and delicious. It was then splashed with a little tamari and cooked for an additional minute.

Place the tofu in the center of the rice paper.

Add the caramelized onion on top of the tofu.

The pineapple was cut into squares and lightly pan-fried. It was then placed on top of the onions.

The sliced and cooked mushrooms were place on top of the pineapple.

Then it's the same as before. Fold the bottom of the rice paper over the tofu.

Fold the top of the rice paper over the tofu.

Fold the right side of the rice paper over the top of the tofu.

Fold the left hand side of the rice paper under the tofu.

Again, refrigerate and chill for 15 minutes, then fry as above.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tofu alla Grappa, Fennel Risotto


Tofu alla Grappa

Fennel Risotto

We decided to break out the vacuum-sealer again, after finding a bottle of grappa hiding in the back of the cabinet.

It's the same technique as the Tofu L'Orange, with the same excellent results.

Tofu alla Grappa

16oz extra-firm tofu

The block of extra-firm tofu was cut into six cutlets and smoked with apple wood for 25 minutes.


1/4 cup grappa
pinch of salt and pepper

In a small pan, reduce the grappa by half to 2 tbs. and remove from heat.

Place the smoked tofu in a single layer in a vacuum-sealer bag, add the marinade and process. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Remove from the bag and cut a slit in the side of each tofu cutlet, being careful not to poke through the edges.

Pan-fry the tofu in olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes per side). Add a splash of tamari to evenly coat and cook the tofu for an additional minute. Remove and keep warm.


olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 tbs. tarragon, minced
1 tbs. parsley, minced
1 1/2 cups of grapes, cut in half

In the same pan, add a little more oil and sweat the shallots and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tarragon and parsley, stir to combine (If you want to throw and additional shot of grappa in the sauce at this point we won't tell). Add the grapes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove half of the mixture and gently place inside the slit in the tofu. Puree the other half in a blender or use a immersion blender for a more "rustic" look, check for seasoning, reserve and keep warm.

Place the stuffed tofu on a sheet pan and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot topped with the sauce over the fennel risotto.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Dessert 6/15


We wanted to give Dandies their own entry, because they are just that special -- I would have been happy eating them right out of the bag, but we made s'mores (using cookies), and we were instantly transported back to childhood.

The kids, who haven't had the experience of toasting marshmallows and eating them directly off the stick, loved them so much that they ate the rest of the bag while I was taking pictures. ;)

thanks to Chicago Soydairy for the unexpected bag of Dandies!

Rice Paper Packets stuffed with Seitan, Onion and Teese, Grilled Romaine Salad

Dinner 6/15

Rice Paper Packets stuffed with Seitan, Onion and Teese

Grilled Romaine Salad

...which is just another way to say a veganized version of Ming Tsai's Philly Cheesesteak in Rice Paper.

These turned out so well, the kids want them again ASAP. ;)

A more detailed explanation/method will follow...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beer Battered Coconut Tofu, Shiitake and Scape Tempura, Summer Rolls

Dinner 6/13

Beer Battered Coconut Tofu

Baby Basmati Rice

Shiitake and Scape Tempura

Summer Rolls

The tofu was smoked with oolong tea, then dropped in a beer batter loaded with dried (unsweetened) coconut and deep-fried at 375F until golden brown and delicious.

Today's found-in-the-back-of-the-pantry-item? Baby Basmati Rice, which was greatly improved upon by adding some of red curry and coconut milk dipping sauce.

While we were deep-frying we also did some tempura with shiitake mushrooms and scape tops (from Rootstown Organics) served along with the aforementioned red curry dipping sauce.

Starting us off was a quick summer roll stuffed with red cabbage, carrot, cucumber, daikon, red leaf lettuce and a rice vinegar and canola oil dressing, topped with black sesame seeds.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blueberry Bundt Cake

Dessert 6/12

Blueberry Bundt Cake

we're skipping dinner and going straight to dessert... mmmm.

Friday, June 05, 2009


Dinner 6/05


Our son is really interested in ramen lately, so we worked on it tonight -- the broth being the main area of experimentation -- kombu, miso, tamari and water -- along with the veggies (mushrooms, carrots, daikon, greens) and tofu.