Friday, December 31, 2010

Elvis Tofu Lollipops, Braised Collard Greens, Hoppin' John, Seitan Sausages Wrapped in Puff Pastry

Dinner 12/31

Elvis Tofu Lollipops

Braised Collard Greens

Hoppin' John

Seitan Sausages wrapped in Puff Pastry

Here's our New Year's Eve Dinner -- it's a mash-up between our BBQ Tofu Lollipop method (smoked, cut in rounds, mini-forks) and Elvis Fried Tofu recipe.

Again from above, Busby Berkeley style... you almost expect the lollipops to start twirling around in synchronization ;)

Seitan Sausages wrapped in Puff Pastry (served with a "Just Like Honey" + Dijon Mustard dipping sauce).

If we were ever to write a cookbook on vegan entertaining, this might be the cover shot.

edited to add: in response to a thread on the PPK, it would look something like this...

(this is a joke, please don't e-mail me asking about it)

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Dinner 12/25


The nice thing about vacation time is that we can try out some things we haven't had time for during the course of the year. Tonight, as an experiment, we decide to make "tofuyaki" a play on the traditional Japanese dish takoyaki.

Not having a takoyaki pan handy, we broke out the cast-iron aebleskiver pan and got down to business.

Tofuyaki is basically a tempura batter with smoked diced tofu and green onions placed in the center. Here, the batter is poured into the aebleskiver pan and the tofu and green onions are added.

Then you keep rotating the batter as the bottom section firms up to make a spheroid shape -- or as close as we could get the first time out. ;)

Then it's plated and coated with a ponzu sauce and served with a cool refreshing beverage, in this case -- a Buddha's Hand Cosmopolitan.

As an experiment, it was a (tasty) success -- but there's two or three things we need to work on for the next batch, before we post a recipe...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pierogies, Braised Leeks, Braised Carrots, Roasted Beet Salad with Pepitas, Eggnog Cookies, Linzer Bars, Korova Cookies

Dinner 12/24

Pierogies (cabbage & onion / potato & mushroom), Braised Leeks & Braised Carrots


Roasted Beet Salad with Pepitas and Champagne

Close-up of Roasted Beet Salad with Pepitas

Braised Carrots

Roasted Golden Beets (450F 45 minutes, wrapped in aluminum foil)


Eggnog Cookies

Linzer Bars

Korova (World Peace) Cookies (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

Table Right

Table Left

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Party XIV

Holiday Party XIV 12/18

This year more than 45 people made the snowy trek to our annual holiday party, and this is what greeted them at the table...

BBQ Tofu Lollipops

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

Tapenade (kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, shallots, red bell pepper, capers, olive oil, parsley, pepper)

Palmiers (two versions: Olive & Sun-dried Tomatoes)


French Lentil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Orzo Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Onion Dip with Crudite Platter / Mushroom Pate with Crackers


Chocolate Cupcakes / Blondies / Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Cupcakes

Blondies / Snickerdoodles

Also served, but missing current pictures...

Seitan Bourguignon (from 2007 bottom right)

White Bean Cassoulet (from 2009 bottom right)

Stuffed Mushrooms (from 2006)

Curried Tofu Phyllo Cups (from 2008)

Artichoke Dip (from 2009)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway?

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway? 2010 Edition

Apple-Smoked Tofu Glazed with Calvados, Maple Syrup and Apple Cider, stuffed with Collard Greens and Apples

Braised Brussels Sprouts

Braised Carrots

Bourbon Cranberries

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin Pomegranate Layer Cake

We decided after making the apple-smoked tofu recipe last month that it would also work for Thanksgiving, and it proved to be a great choice -- crispy, juicy and full of flavor. This time around we paired it with our Thanksgiving staples of braised carrots, Brussels sprouts and bourbon cranberries.

We had a half of a kabocha squash in the fridge, so we roasted it (25 minutes st 450F) and combined that with veg stock, apple cider and tamari. Also added were sauteed onion and garlic along with, sage, black pepper and a pinch of salt. All of the ingredients were pureed until velvety smooth.

To finish the soup we added toasted pumpkin seeds, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and lightly toasted in a small pan until you can here them starting to pop.

For dessert, Liz made something new -- a pumpkin layer cake with a vanilla and pomegranate liqueur frosting and topped with pomegranate seeds (adapted from "The Boozy Baker" by Lucy Baker). A really nice change of pace.

Of course, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without gratuitous shots of the table. ;)

Left side of the table

Center decorations

Right side of the table

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Deep Dish Pizza with BBQ Tofu

Dinner 11/18

Deep Dish Pizza with BBQ Tofu

We've haven't made a deep-dish pizza in a while. It was epic.

The apple-wood smoked BBQ Tofu and cheddar Daiya only added to the epic-ness.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dessert Round-Up

Dessert Round-up

You may have noticed these pictures over on the Flickr page, but they haven't ended up here on the blog yet. So here are some recent dessert pictures rolled into one post.

Mocha Mamas with Coffee and Kahlua Icing

From "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" -- seconds after this picture was taken, half of the rack mysteriously disappeared into another dimension and they were never heard from again. Tragic.

Brandied Pear Cake with Chocolate Chips

The next two are from "The Boozy Baker" by Lucy Baker -- the recipe originally called for white chocolate chips (which none of us are big fans of), but it's a really interesting combo of pears & chocolate that works surprisingly well.

Plum Biercake

Another winner. Don't forget to check if your favorite beer is vegan at

Apple Spice Cake

The last one is an Apple Spice Cake adapted from Martha Stewart. It was perhaps the quintessential cake to wash down with a big glass of apple cider.

*adapted in most cases using flax seeds as the replacer for eggs, soy/rice milk, etc.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shiitake Mushroom Stock

Shiitake Mushroom Stock

We've always felt bad throwing out the woody stems from shiitake mushrooms -- especially when a good deal of the weight (and therefore cost) is considered waste. So in an effort to extract as much value as possible, we started making stock from the stems.

Now that we've made it a few times, I wanted to show you what the (very easy) process looks like.

The first step is to start collecting the stems everytime you trim shiitake for use in other dishes. When you get roughly a cup, it's time to make the broth.

Over med-high heat, add a tsp of canola oil to the pressure cooker, a bay leaf, 4-5 whole peppercorns and the shiitake stems. Cook for 2-3 minutes turning the stems occasionally.

Once you can start to smell the shiitake, add eight cups of water, add the lid to the pressure cooker and bring to 15psi (depending on your make, model and size). Cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to release the pressure.

Strain and store in the fridge for later use.

We've been using it as a base for ramen (like this one from September) with the addition of tamari and kombu, but that's only a (delicious) starting point.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roasted Kabocha Squash and Cannellini Bean Soup with Fennel Broth

Dinner 11/11

Roasted Kabocha Squash and Cannellini Bean Soup with Fennel Broth

We started by pressure cooking the stems and fronds from a medium sized fennel bulb in eight cups of water for 40 minutes at 15psi. The result was a clear, clean and very aromatic broth. Strain, season and keep very warm.

The kabocha squash was cut in medium dice, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 450F for 20-25 minutes. We love kabocha for two reasons -- one, it tastes great, and two -- it cooks in 25 minutes! ;)

The rest of the soup was a base of minced shallot, garlic and salt and pepper. It was rounded out with a can of drained cannellini beans. Then the hot roasted squash was added to the mix and given a quick stir to combine. Check for seasoning.

Place the beans and squash mixture in a bowl, and ladle the hot broth over the top.*

Garnish with some parsley and serve very warm.

* you could combine the squash, beans and broth and cook them all together for a few minutes, but the you'll lose the roasted aspect of the squash. As long as the broth is sufficiently seasoned, it will come together quickly in the bowl.