Saturday, February 26, 2011

Grilled Seitan, Wilted Arugula, Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Beans Almondine, Limoncello Cake with Rosemary

Dinner 2/26

Grilled Seitan

Wilted Arugula

Shiitake Mushrooms

Green Bean Almondine


Limoncello Cake with Rosemary

We made seitan again, using the old-school method, brushed with tamari, then grilled.

(We also shot another how-to video and perhaps this one will see the light of day. No promises, but it looks better than the one we shot last July.)

Accompanying the seitan was wilted arugula, pan-fried shiitake mushrooms and a side of Green Bean Almondine.

For dessert Liz made a Limoncello Cake with Rosemary (and candied Meyer Lemon Slices).

I'll just let that sink in for a moment...

Adapted from "Booze Cakes" by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paella with Fennel and Seitan Sausages, Tofu and Mushroom Shish Kabob

Dinner 2/22

Paella with Fennel and Seitan Sausages

Tofu and Mushroom Shish Kabob

We haven't made paella in ages, but when we saw that we still had some leftover seitan sausages that needed to be used and a fennel bulb in the fridge, it seemed like a great (if non-traditional) pairing.

The fennel was braised -- cut into 12 pieces, placed in a single layer in a small pan with enough water to come half way up the sides of the fennel with 1 tbs. of earth balance, then brought to a boil with the lid partially covering the pan until the water evaporates, about 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside until added to the paella.

The sausages were sliced and fried in a little olive oil until browned, then set aside until added to the paella.

We use a paella pan -- but you can also make it in a wok, or a large saute pan.


1 tbs. olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of basmati rice
1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. saffron
2 cups of veg stock

12 strips of Red Bell Pepper
Seitan Sausages (see above)
Braised Fennel (see above)

Over med-high heat add the oil to the pan and sweat the shallots for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the rice and stir to coat and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the smoked paprika.

Add the saffron to the veg stock and allow it to rehydrate for 1 minute or so. Then pour the stock over the rice, scrape down the sides and bring to a boil. Add the lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.

Remove lid, arrange the fennel, red bell pepper strips & sausages. Put the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

The shish kabob consisted of alder-smoked tofu cubes, alternating with button mushrooms marinated with a combo of tamari, olive oil, ketchup, agave and black pepper, then grilled while the paella cooked.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gumbo, Seitan Sausages, Grilled Okra

Dinner 2/21


Seitan Sausages

Grilled Okra

This gumbo recipe has been synthesized from a myriad of New Orleans cookbooks that we've collected over the years. As with most our recipes, this would not qualify as authentic in any shape or form -- but it is tasty. ;)


1 tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice

salt and pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbs. smoked paprika

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and sweat the diced vegetables until softened, but not browned, 5-6 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and smoked paprika, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 additional minute.

1 tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups of shredded collard greens
1 tbs. tamari

In a wok on med-high heat, add the shredded collard greens and keep turning them until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the tamari, turn to coat and place a lid on the wok. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add to the soup pot.

1 1/2 cup leftover rice
15 oz. can of red kidney beans
1 cup of tomatoes (canned or fresh)
6 cups of veg stock

Add the leftover rice to the pot and break it up as much as possible. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes (canned fire-roasted work well here) & veg stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes or so until thickened.

1 tbs. file powder
hot sauce (optional)

Add the file powder, stir to combine and check for seasoning. If you like it spicier, serve with hot sauce at the table.

The gumbo was topped with fried seitan sausages the grilled okra (not shown).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pear and Cranberry Galette in a Buckwheat Crust

Dessert 2/20

Pear and Cranberry Galette in a Buckwheat Crust

Many pictures of pie can only mean one thing: we're testing for Isa & Terry's third cookbook in the dessert trilogy!

Here the buckwheat dough is folded around the pears & cranberries and is about to go into the oven.

...and here's the galette, seconds out of the oven, bubbling away.

Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

As always, as this is a test, we can't give out the recipes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seitan Sausages in Puff Pastry

Dinner 2/19

Seitan Sausages in Puff Pastry

Sometimes this blog is a how-to, sometimes it's about inspiration with pretty pictures.

Tonight it's brought to you by the year 1974...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Farro Risotto, Grilled Tofu

Dinner 2/16

Farro Risotto

Grilled Tofu

We love farro -- it has become a staple in our pantry over the years with its nutty, chewy texture. Tonight we made a risotto based on a recipe from the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland (subbing earth balance, veg stock & nooch).

We topped it with grilled tofu which was smoked with alder wood for 25 minutes, marinated for 15 minutes and finally grilled on the stove.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

Dinner 2/14

Lentil, Mushroom and Collard Greens Stew

Cherry-Smoked Tofu Hearts

Oh, yes... I went there.

I pressure cooked the French lentils (olive oil, onion studded with cloves, veg stock, tamari, 16 minutes, 7psi), and pan-fried the onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, collard greens, which were seasoned with herbes de provence, salt and pepper. The lentils and vegetables were combined and cooked for 10 minutes, and topped with the smoked tofu.

The tofu was cut into three sizes with cookie cutters -- then smoked for 25 minutes with cherry wood. The largest hearts were marinated with a mixture of 2 tbs. olive oil, 2 tbs. tamari, 1 cloves of garlic smashed, 1 tsp. agave, 1 tsp. ketchup and freshly ground black pepper to taste whisked together, then grilled. The smaller tofu were pan-fried and splashed with tamari at the end of cooking.

My only sorrow was that I couldn't print little messages on the tiny tofu hearts like the candy hearts. ;)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Asian New Year: Shumai, Steamed BBQ Tofu Buns, Lotus Root Chips, Scallion Pancakes

Dinner 2/5

Asian New Year:


Steamed BBQ Tofu Buns

Lotus Root Chips

Scallion Pancakes

Tonight's vegan test kitchen coincides with Asian New Year -- and it was time to try out a new dim sum recipe -- namely shumai. Most of the shumai we've seen have been seafood based, but after an afternoon trip to CAM, we had an idea to try a vegetable based version.

The recipe still needs tweaking, but we used a combo of peeled water chestnuts, leftover lotus root pieces from making the chips, equal portions of fried minced king trumpet mushrooms and tofu finished with tamari, ginger, cilantro, shallots, brown rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cornstarch to bind it all together. The mixture was pulsed in the vita-mix, leaving some texture remaining.

The filling was then added to round wonton wrappers. Traditionally, shumai is topped with either peas or carrots, so I broke out the #20 parisian scoop (a.k.a. 20mm melon baller) and used a large peeled carrot. It takes a little practice to get the nice round shape, but it turned out well.

They were steamed for about 10 minutes along with the BBQ Tofu Buns.

My only sorrow is that we didn't make more ;)

This is our vegan version of char sui bau -- a better explanation and video here -- we adapted the dough by using 1/2 the amount of sugar, subbing soy milk, and using peanut oil.

For the filling we diced the tofu very fine, apple-wood smoked it for 20 minutes, and then pan-fried it until golden brown.

The sauce subs out veg stock, hoisin and sherry for the Shao Hsing.

Rounding out the party were the ever-popular lotus root chips...

...and scallion pancakes (recipe).

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Eggplant Timbale, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 2/3

Eggplant Timbale

Roasted Broccoli

We've done some stuffed eggplant dishes in the past -- more along the lines of moussaka, but Liz saw a Giada episode on TV, and decided to make a riff on an eggplant timable, skipping the meat and peas, and going with a marinara, pasta and Daiya filling.

Start by peeling and slicing the two eggplants about 1/4" thick, optionally smoke it with cherry wood for 15 minutes or so, then brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until cooked through. Lay the slices in a springform pan, overlapping so there are no gaps. Save a couple of pieces for the top.

Add the pasta, marinara and Daiya filling.

Fold the side pieces over the top and add the extra pieces of eggplant, and bake for 30 minutes, until everything is cooked through. Let sit for at least 10 minutes -- otherwise you'll just crush/smash/ruin the shape. Then use a very sharp knife to cut it into wedges.

It turned out great, but next time we'll try smaller individual versions, that way it can be served a little hotter and people can cut it into wedges at the table.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Fresh Pasta with Red Peppers and Peas, Avocado and Roasted Beet Salad

Dinner 2/2

Fresh Pasta with Red Peppers and Peas

Avocado and Roasted Beet Salad

We've really enjoyed making fresh pasta over the last couple of weeks, so we made a plain batch again, adding red/yellow/orange peppers and peas along with a earth balance, nooch and white wine sauce. Plated, it looks a bit like a spiral galaxy ;)

Speaking of apophenia, this avocado and roasted beet salad looks like it might be an untranslatable kanji character...