Monday, December 31, 2012

what the hell _does_ a vegan eat anyway? 2012 edition

A look back at all of the dishes from 2012 from the blog in one convenient 10 minute video.

(Music: "991202" & "010104" by me)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Appetizer 12/25


Call it zeitgeist, synchronicity or something in the air -- but Socca has been one of those things for us in the last couple of weeks. We've been playing around with Terry Hope Romero's version in "Vegan Eats World," and Saveur's recipe as well.

Our version is somewhat thicker than both (less crepe-y and more cake-y) and infused with roasted garlic & olive oil, but has become our favorite app to nosh on while cooking dinner (and happens to pair brilliantly with champagne).

We've also tried a few different brands of chickpea flour (some from India, some domestic & organic) which have impacted the flavor. Once we have a solid version, we'll post it here.

In the meantime, go get Terry's excellent book and start there!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pierogi, Green Beans, Knotted Dinner Rolls, Cookies

Dinner 12/24

Pierogi (Cabbage / Potato)

Green Beans

Knotted Dinner Rolls


Linzer Cookies

White Russian Cookies

Nog Cookies

Remember folks, it's not officially the holiday season until AAA is called to get your sister-in-law's car out of a snow drift.

Fast forward two hours, and we had dinner...

Dinner came courtesy of September and Liz's Herculean effort making 200+ cabbage and potato filled pierogi (recipe).

Ah, yes... the cookies!

The Linzer cookies are from Liz's family recipe.

The White Russian Cookies are from "The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur" by Kelly Peloza.

The Nog cookies are adapted from "The Good Cookie" by Tish Boyle.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hickory-Smoked Eggplant Po' Boy, Tater Tots

Dinner 12/22

Hickory-Smoked Eggplant Po' Boy

Tater Tots

After the holiday party (a.k.a. three days of cooking, 10 minutes of eating), meals are decidedly more low-key. Hence tonight's offering of Po' Boys (recipe here) -- trying it with hickory instead of cherry wood (both are excellent choices).

Seeing as we were deep-frying already, the tater tots (recipe here) worked out surprisingly well.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Party XVI

Holiday Party XVI 12/15

As always, thanks to the 30+ people who made the made the trek to our house for the 16th annual holiday party!

Here's some shots before the hungry crowd descended upon the table and devoured every scrap of food. ;)

Paella with Fennel, Green Beans and Red Bell Pepper

BBQ Tofu Lollipops


Orzo Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Tapenade, Mushroom Pate, Hummus, Stuffed Mushrooms

Close-up of the Stuffed Mushrooms

Artichoke Dip

Crudite Platter with Onion Dip

Pumpkin Mini-Cupcakes

Center of the table including Tofu Salad Sandwiches (on the tier)

not shown, but also devoured:

White Bean Cassoulet
Three Lentil Stew
Polenta with Peach Salsa
Phyllo Cups w/ Curried Tofu and Currants
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Popcorn (Smoked Paprika / BBQ Flavored)
Cinnamon & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

Dessert 12/09

Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

Happy Birthday son! As always, good call on the cake!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Boursin (from Artisan Vegan Cheese)

Appetizer 12/07

(from Artisan Vegan Cheese)

We made another batch of cashew cheese from Miyoko Schinner's book "Artisan Vegan Cheese" including this lovely Boursin style. Just behind it is another batch of cheddar and just behind that (out of the frame) is a wheel of Blue (which uses umeboshi plum). All three were great with crackers as a nibble while drinking champagne.

Hey, it's a long holiday, and we want to be prepared! ;)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Bierocks (from "Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day"), Cauliflower and Paprika Soup

Dinner 12/04

(from "Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day")

Cauliflower and Paprika Soup

What? You don't already have "Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day"?

Hie thee to ye olde bookstore/library/internets and procure this epic tome forthwith!

(Bierocks are cabbage, tempeh and sauerkraut-filled rolls that are served with mustard. They are also amazing. You will see more from this book soon...)

We've made the cauliflower and paprika soup before (recipe via Saveur minus the dumplings).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mac and Cheese, Grilled Portobello Mushroom

Dinner 11/29

Mac and Cheese

Grilled Portobello Mushroom

Mac and Cheese (recipe) + Grilled Portobello Mushrooms is my new favorite thing!

We've been using the Tinkyada GF pasta for most of the year and we love it...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Dessert 11/28

Pumpkin Cupcakes

From "Chloe's Kitchen" by Chloe Coscarelli.

As you know, we still had some pumpkin left over after the holiday, so these wonderful cupcakes fit the bill.

In other news, we still have two giant pumpkins sitting here.

It's going to be a long winter. ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway? 2012 Edition

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway? 2012 Edition 11/22

Pierogi (Cabbage / Potato & Mushroom)

Ravioli (Pumpkin)

Braised Carrots

Braised Brussels Sprouts

Cranberry Sauce

Dinner Rolls


Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake

Apple Turnovers

A photo essay...

Tiny, tiny carrots...

...which took forever to prep...

...but were oh-so-tasty ;)

Also, Braised Brussels Sprouts

The dough for the dinner rolls was allowed to rise twice -- the third time they were formed into balls and put into a greased cast-iron skillet...

...where they rose again...

... and baked.

The apple turnovers were assembled right before dinner and put into the oven just as we sat down.

The Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake was made the day before, and taken out of the fridge about a hour beforehand.

Plated together, a beautiful pair

Finally, the aftermath: Carrothenge!

Later, bourbon and a nap...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Potato Fans

Dinner 11/18

Potato Fans

A riff on this recipe from Cook's Country that uses Cheddar Daiya. Pretty!

Here's a shot after they were cut (chopsticks placed on the sides keep the knife from cutting all the way through) just before they went into the oven.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pot Pie

Dinner 11/16

Pot Pie

It's comfort food time!

A simple Pot Pie: carrot, onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms, green beans and potatoes along with a sauce of white wine, veg stock, tamari, cornstarch slurry, salt and pepper, finished with biscuit dough dropped on top before baking.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque with Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Biscuits

Dinner 11/12

Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque

Roasted Broccoli

Cheddar Biscuits

We had a bumper crop of Jerusalem Artichokes growing on our front yard -- completely unbeknown to us until we went to clear out the front garden.

Hey! bonus food! ;)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Collard Greens with Coconut Curry Sauce, Tea-Smoked Tofu Squares, Deep-Fried Rice Balls and Braised Bok Choy

Dinner 11/10

Collard Greens with Coconut Curry Sauce

Tea-Smoked Tofu Squares

Deep-Fried Rice Balls

Braised Bok Choy

A riff on a house favorite recipe, putting all the elements in a bowl instead of our usual method of plating...

Portion a block of extra-firm tofu into 16 squares and smoked it with oolong tea for 20 minutes. Then stir-fry the tofu in the wok with a little splash of tamari at the end of cooking. Set aside.

(We also added a few shiitake mushrooms -- totally optional)

In the same wok, cook the bok choy. Cut the bok choy in half and rinse. Over med-high heat, add 1 tsp. of canola oil to the wok and sear quickly on both sides. Add a splash of tamari and water, turn to coat the bok choy and reduce the heat down to low and put a lid on to cover for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

Make fresh rice, save a little for the bottom of the bowl and form the rest into golf-ball sized pieces and deep-fry for 30-45 seconds at 375F. Set aside.

In a wok on med-high heat add 1 tbs. canola oil, 1 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. ginger. Cook for 30 seconds until aromatic, then add the thinly cut collards greens and turn constantly. Cook for five minutes, until the collards are softened. Add a splash of tamari, turn to coat, cook for one additional minute. Remove from the wok and keep warm.

Next, make the curry sauce in the same wok -- add 1 tsp. of canola oil and stir-fry 2 tbs. of shallots and 1 tbs. garlic until fragrant, then add 1/2 can of coconut milk, and whisk in 1 tbs. red curry paste (more or less depending on your personal preference), 1/2 of a lime, juiced, 1 tsp. of agave and a splash of tamari. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Add the collard greens back into wok, turn the heat down to low, put the lid on the wok and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Check for seasoning.

To assemble, start with a layer of the fresh rice, add the collard greens and tea-smoked tofu, fried rice and braised bok choy. Pour the hot sauce from the wok over everything and serve.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Mahjouba (Algerian Crepes)

Dinner 11/02

Mahjouba (Algerian Crepes)

We made these from a recent Saveur recipe and they were awesome! Filled with a tomato, carrot, onion and chile mixture, even the kids liked them ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thanksgiving preview: Pierogi

Dinner 10/27


A little sneak peak for this year's festivities -- Pierogies! (with recipe)

There are two different types one filled with cabbage, the other with potato and mushroom.

Much like the Ravioli, we made, froze and vacuum-sealed about 240, so that should last a couple of days... maybe. ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Zucchini Fritters and Roasted Broccoli with Fusilli

Dinner 10/26

Zucchini Fritters

Roasted Broccoli


Zucchini Fritters

Makes 10-12 patties

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (use a box grater, about 3 small zucchini)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or flour)
1 tbs. ground flax seed
1/4 cup diced onion (or shallot)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried Italian herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary)
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional, but holds the shape better as a binder)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, divide into 12 pieces and form into 2"-2 1/2" diameter rounds, flatten and fry in a cast-iron pan with a thin layer of olive oil. cook a good five minutes on medium heat until browned. Flip and repeat until finished.

The fritters can be pretty delicate, so try not to flip them until they're ready.

Served on top of Fusilli topped with marinara sauce, paired with roasted broccoli (450°F / olive oil, salt & pepper / 15 minutes).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Ravioli with Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 10/20

Pumpkin Ravioli

Roasted Broccoli

"...and you may ask yourself -- well, how did I get here?"

Previously on "What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?"

This volunteer Cinderella Pumpkin grew in our front year this year...

...over the summer we partook in many of the blossoms it offered by making Fritto Misto, stuffing it with a mix of vegan cream cheese, shallots, smoked paprika and nooch, dipped them in a batter and deep-fried them. Good Times, yeah.

Then we harvested the pumpkin, cut it into wedges and roasted it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper (425°F for about 1 hour).

After it roasted, we scooped out the pumpkin, put it in a chinois strainer and let the water drain. We saved the delicious pumpkin liquid. There may or may not have been some experimental bourbon cocktails invented in the wake of this discovery, sadly the knowledge was tragically lost upon imbibing said cocktails.

For dinner, the filling was as follows...

Ravioli Filling

1 tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs. fresh thyme
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper

16oz (1 block) firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese

4 cups of the roasted pumpkin

Saute the onions and garlic until softened, add the thyme, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the tofu and vegan cream cheese and mix together -- if you have an immersion blender, now would be a good time to use it -- otherwise a potato masher works surprisingly well. Add the onion mixture as well as the roasted pumpkin. Hit it again with the immersion blender until it all comes together. Set aside and make the dough.

Ravioli Dough

2 c. Einkorn flour (or AP flour)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup water (add more if needed)

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by hand in a large mixing bowl, until a dough starts to form. Remove from the bowl and on a clean surface that's been dusted with flour, knead on countertop for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and let rest at room temp for 15 minutes.

To assemble, we used a pasta roller attachment on our KitchenAid (as shown). You start on thickness number "1" and after each pass, change the setting until you eventually roll it to a "4" using the Einkorn flour -- if using AP flour you might get to a "5" -- although with a hand cranked roller we've gone as thin as a "6" or "7" (YMMV).

Liz used a single layer of dough, added a scant tablespoon of filling along the left hand side and then folded the dough over like a book, trimming with the pasta cutter to crimp the edges.

The majority of ravioli were placed on a floured cookie sheet and frozen for a couple of hours, then vacuum sealed for later use. Like January. ;)

The rest we made for dinner, adding them to gently boiling salted water until they float to the surface. Remove, drain and toss with melted Earth Balance, salt & pepper.

The broccoli was trimmed, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes.

So, there you are -- root to blossom cooking, Gangnam vegan style.