Thursday, November 24, 2011

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway? 2011 Edition

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway? 2011 Edition

Roasted Kabocha Squash

Wild Rice Stuffing

Apple Wood and Sage-Smoked Tofu Blocks stuffed with Sauteed Collard Greens

Oyster Mushrooms

Mushroom Gravy

Braised Carrots

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Potatoes

Knotted Dinner Rolls

Bourbon-Orange Cranberry Compote


Pumpkin Mousse with Whipped Cream

Chocolate & Coconut Milk Ganache Tart with Sea Salt

Two days of cooking, 45 minutes of eating, two bottles of wine and 326 pictures later...

The main stack started with kabocha squash which was portioned into rectangles tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasted at 425°F for 20-25 minutes.

The wild rice stuffing took a different turn where the wild rice was deep-fried(!) for 20-30 seconds at 375° F. That caused it to act like popcorn and took on a delightfully nutty tasting, crunchy, but light texture that contrasted nicely between the squash and tofu. The wild rice was then added to sauteed onions, garlic, sage, tamari and pepper.

The tofu blocks were cored (like this) and smoked with apple wood and sage...

...tossed with tamari for 5 five minutes and then deep-fried for 5 minutes at 375°F.

As Liz likes to say "Why should the carnivores have all the fun & holiday danger?"

The sides consisted of braised carrots, roasted Brussels Sprouts (15 minutes at 450°F) and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes (450°F for 40 minutes, turning halfway through)

The cranberries (12 oz. of cranberries, juice of one orange, 1/4 cup of bourbon, 1 tbs. of maple syrup, pinch of salt & pepper) were cooked down until all of the cranberries popped and thickened, then the zest of the orange was added. It cooled and thickened up in the fridge while the rest of the meal was prepared.

Liz made the fancy-schmancy knotted dinner rolls (a recipe from Peter Reinhart).

They were as wonderful to eat as they were to look at.

For dessert Liz made a pumpkin mousse (thickened with agar agar), topped with (soyatoo) whipped cream.

She also brought back the Chocolate and Coconut Milk Ganache Tart with Sea Salt

As always, it's not a holiday without gratuitous pictures of the table. ;)

Table Right

Table Left

Centerpiece with Turkey

Centerpiece with Amaryllis

Monday, November 21, 2011

Carbonnades a la Flamande, Braised Leeks

Dinner 11/21

Carbonnades a la Flamande

Braised Leeks

We haven't made this in ages, but tonight was a good chilly fall night to bring it back -- applewood-smoked seitan and onions stewed in Belgian beer.

Carbonnades a la Flamande
(serves 4)

2 tbs. olive oil
4 cups of sliced onions
16 oz. seitan, cut into 1/2" cubes (optionally smoked)
salt & pepper

1 tbs. herbes de provence
2 cups Belgian Style beer
1 cup veg stock
1 tbs. tamari

1 tbs. red wine vinegar
2 tbs. cornstarch

In a dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and sweat the onions with a little salt and pepper until just starting to brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remove the onions and reserve.

Add more olive oil if needed and do the same to the seitan until it's browned on all sides.

Add the onions back to the dutch oven, along with the herbes de provence.

Next, add two cups of your favorite vegan Belgian-style beer, and one cup of veg stock plus the tamari. Bring to a boil and place in a 375F oven for one hour.

To finish, thicken the sauce by adding a slurry of 1 tbs. of wine vinegar and 2 tbs. cornstarch that have been mixed together and whisk to combine.

Served over potatoes or pasta.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hoisin Tofu Blocks stuffed with Radish & Beet Greens topped with Beech Mushrooms on a bed of Chinese Long Beans

Dinner 11/19

Hoisin Tofu Blocks

Radish & Beet Greens

Beech Mushrooms

Chinese Long Beans

This one has been simmering in the back of my mind for a while -- beginning with the infamous Borg Tofu Cube from 2008.

The twist came with the removal of the center of the cube by way of an apple corer, as seen here.

The large cubes were deep-fried for 5 minutes, then braised in a hoisin, tamari, mirin and agave sauce for 10 minutes. Served on top of Chinese Long Beans that were flash fried and braised in the same sauce. The centers were filled with a braised mix of radish and beet greens with the addition of garlic, ginger and tamari. The best way to fill the holes was (appropriately) with the back end of a chopstick. They were topped with stir-fried beech mushrooms.

The reason gleaming the cube will become clear after Thursday. ;)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lasagna with Mustard Greens

Dinner 11/14

Lasagna with Mustard Greens

The twist in tonight's lasagna was the addition of mustard greens (shredded, cooked down in olive oil with onions, garlic, salt and pepper) layered between the pasta sheets along with the usual suspects: tofu ricotta (firm tofu, nutritional yeast, parsley, nutmeg, salt, pepper), sauteed button mushrooms and zucchini, our tomato sauce and cheddar Daiya.

The greens added a nice change-up in flavor from kale or collard greens.

(now with recipe)


Mustard Greens

1 tbs. olive oil
12 oz. mustard greens, shredded
1 tbs. garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pan or wok, heat the oil to medium and add the onion, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one additional minute. Carefully add the mustard greens with tongs. Continually turn the greens until it begins to wilt. Add the salt and pepper and continue to cook until the greens have released most of their liquid. Set aside on a plate.

Mushrooms & Zucchini

1 tbs. olive oil
10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4", cut into quarters
1 tsp. tamari
pepper to taste

In the same pan, add the additional olive oil and saute the mushrooms for 6-8 minutes until they have given up most of their liquid. Set aside on a separate plate.

Add the zucchini and cook, turning frequently for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Add the mushrooms back to the pan, add the tamari and pepper and toss to incorporate for 1 minute. Remove all to a plate and set aside.

Tomato Sauce

1 tbs. olive oil,
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. smoked paprika,
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tbs. parsley
1 tbs. oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
15oz. (fire-roasted) whole tomatoes

In the same pan as the mushrooms and mustard greens, add the additional olive oil and saute the onions. Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and herbs and cook until golden. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up as best as you can (a potato masher works wonders here). Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes, until thickened. Check for seasoning.

Tofu Ricotta

16 oz. firm tofu, crumbled
2 tbs. parsley, chopped
2 tbs. nutritional yeast,
1/2 cup soy sour creme,
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, zested
salt and pepper, to taste

While the tomato sauce is simmering, you can make the ricotta. In a large bowl, crumble the tofu with your fingers into small pieces. Add the parsley, nutritional yeast, soy sour cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix (with your hands) to incorporate -- you can bust out the immersion blender and/or just chuck the whole thing in the vita mix and puree. It should be fairly thick, but spreadable.

16 oz. Daiya Cheddar
12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions.


In a 9x9 oven-proof pan, spread 2 tbs. of tomato sauce on the bottom of pan. Lay four lasagna noodles side by side over the sauce. Add about half of the Daiya/mushrooms/greens/tofu ricotta/tomato sauce in whatever order you like. Add another four lasagna noodles perpendicular to the first layer and add the remaining of the Daiya/mushrooms/greens/tofu ricotta/tomato sauce. Add the final four lasagna noodles and top with a little bit of the tomato sauce and Daiya if you have any left.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. With a serrated knife, cut the lasagna into nine 3"x3" squares.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Google Plus

If you'd like to add us to your circles on G+, we're now over there as well.

I knew that picture of smoked tofu would come in handy one of these days! ;)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Mushroom Stuffed Collard Wraps, Roasted Kabocha Squash, Grilled Tofu

Dinner 11/07

Mushroom Stuffed Collard Wraps

Roasted Kabocha Squash

Grilled Tofu

We picked up some lovely Collard Greens the other day, and didn't want to simply shred and slow cook them (although that's tasty too!). With the addition of the shiitake and shallots, they were the anchor of the dish which also included Roasted Kabocha Squash (recipe) and Grilled Tofu which was first hickory-smoked for 25 minutes, marinated with a combo of 1 tbs. olive oil and 1 tbs. of tamari and black pepper for 5 minutes, then grilled about 4 minutes per turn for nice crosshatch marks.

The collards had the center stem removed and were steamed for 5 minutes to soften, then stuffed with pan-fried shiitake mushroom, shallots, pepper, tamari and white wine and then wrapped like a spring roll. They were finished in the oven by adding the leftover pan sauce from the mushrooms, then covered with foil and baked for 15-20 minutes at 350° F.

Here's the pretty cutaway shot showing the mushroom mixture inside.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Farro, Grilled Tofu, Mushrooms, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 11/05


Grilled Tofu

Roasted Broccoli

This farro & tofu dish has become a staple of the dinner rotation, with good reason -- it's delicious! ;)

The farro (approximately 1 1/2 cups) was pressure cooked for about 24-25 minutes on the first ring (~7.5pps) with enough veg stock to cover by 1/2".

The base was sauteed in olive oil: diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic, collard greens, and mushrooms. When the farro was done cooking it was added to the base and cooked together for another 5-7 minutes.

Topping the veggies, the tofu was first hickory-smoked for 25 minutes, marinated with a combo of 1 tbs. olive oil and 1 tbs. of tamari and black pepper for 5 minutes, then grilled about 4 minutes per turn for nice crosshatch marks.

The roasted broccoli was tossed with salt & pepper and roasted for 15 minutes at 450F tossing once about halfway through.