Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tofu Nuggets, Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner 02/29

Tofu Nuggets

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

The tofu was cut into large cubes, smoked in hickory wood for 25 minutes, then brined (1 cup of water, 1 tbs. salt, 2 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce and a splash of tamari for color) for 30 minutes.

The tofu cubes were dried off and tossed with 2 tbs. of egg replacer, then a 50/50 mix of Einkorn flour (or use AP flour) and breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt & pepper, until completely coated.

Finally, they were deep-fried in batches at 375°F for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

They were served with a dipping sauce that was a mix of "Just Like Honey" and yellow mustard.

The sweet potatoes were tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked at 425°F for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tempeh Orzilla

Lunch 02/27

Tempeh Orzilla

Another great recipe courtesy of Isa -- steamed & pan-fried tempeh crumbles on top of orzo & baby spinach. We made a half of the recipe for lunch, one of the perks of working from home. ;)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bestest Pesto

Lunch 02/26

Bestest Pesto

Yet another test recipe for Isa, this time with an actual recipe! ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pizza Four Ways

Dinner 02/24


Liz wanted to try out a new pizza dough recipe (using the Einkorn Flour), and decided to make Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough. The result was fantastic!

First up was grilled pizza featuring hickory-smoked potatoes (thinly sliced on a benriner, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked 35 minutes), rosemary, arugula and Daiya Mozzarella.

To finish it, we added the Daiya and arugula and then covered it with a wok lid to melt the cheese.

Also on the grill was a Pizza Margherita (tomato sauce, basil, Daiya Mozzarella) -- miraculously we didn't set off the smoke alarm when there was some extra flour on the bottom of the dough. ;)

Third up (in the oven) was a BBQ tofu pizza for our daughter using the usual BBQ recipe with the addition of mushrooms & Daiya cheddar.

Finally, we made a "regular" mushroom & Daiya cheddar pizza for our son in the oven.

The dough handled really well, didn't "poof" up during cooking and had a great crust on both the baked and grilled versions -- I can see using this recipe again!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mushroom Tofu Stroganoff

Dinner 02/23

Mushroom Tofu Stroganoff

The stroganoff was delightfully creamy (thanks to the cashew base) with the mushrooms and tofu holding up their part of the bargain.

Cashew sales will skyrocket after this cookbook comes out. ;)

This is a test recipe for Isa's upcoming cookbook, so you know the drill -- we can't give out the recipe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Paczki and Doughnuts

Dessert 02/21

Paczki and Doughnuts

It was our turn to bring the doughnuts -- and because we live in Northeast Ohio, Liz threw in some Paczki (filled with Red Currant Jelly).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cauliflower and Paprika Soup, Grilled Zucchini, Biscuits

Dinner 02/19

Cauliflower and Paprika Soup

Grilled Zucchini


We seem to be in a cauliflower phase lately -- but I'm not complaining. ;)

Here's a cauliflower and paprika soup we made last October, updated with a link to the recipe.

The cauliflower & paprika soup was our riff on Karfiolleves recipe minus the tiny dumplings (galuska) via Saveur.

While the soup was cooking, I grilled some zucchini slow and low (brushed with olive oil, salt, pepper) which took about 20 minutes. Served with a dipping sauce rescued from the Tempeh Agrodolce. Mmmmm.

Liz made her usual biscuits, with zested cheddar sheese incorporated to go along with the soup. Nom.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stir-Fry with Yuba Noodles

Dinner 02/18

Stir-Fry with Yuba Noodles

Two stir-fries in one week! Who knew? ;)

After the Firecracker Stir-Fry for Valentine's Day, we had a large batch of leftover yuba pieces that we didn't want to go to waste.

To start, we cut the yuba into 1" strips and tossed them them briefly in a mix of 2 tbs. of water and 2 tsp. of sesame oil to slightly rehydrate. Then while still wet, we put them in the smoker box with oolong tea and processed the strips for 15 minutes.

From there, the noodles were briefly stir-fried in canola oil so they started to get a little crispy, and then they were tossed with a sauce made up of 1 tbs. hoisin, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. black vinegar, 1 tbs. tamari, 1 tsp. sriracha, 1 tsp. agave and a splash of water whisked in to incorporate it all together.

The noodles were cooked until the sauce was reduced to a glaze, then added to the bowl. The rest of the stir-fry (snow peas, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, baby corn, tofu, garlic, ginger) was placed on top and served hot.

The result was exceptional -- the yuba was slightly chewy, full of flavor and a good foil for the rest of the stir-fry.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tempeh Agrodolce, Polenta

Dinner 02/16

Tempeh Agrodolce


Tempeh paired with a sweet & sour tomato sauce on a bed of polenta. Awesomesauce!


This is a test recipe for Isa's upcoming book, so you know the drill -- we can't give out the recipe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012: Firecracker Stir-Fry

Valentine's Day 02/14

Firecracker Stir-Fry

Long time readers will note that when we stopped posting stir-fries a few years ago I joked it was because we had run out of novel ideas on how to plate & photograph them. While this is technically a stir-fry, I did find a novel way of plating.

The origin for the "firecracker" was conceived ages ago, scribbled in my notebook, awaiting the right moment to spring on Liz -- and our 25th Valentine's Day together seemed like a good time to break it out.

The tofu was cut into hearts with a small cookie cutter much like last year -- along a trio of veggies: carrot, red bell pepper and daikon. The tofu was smoked with -- wait for it -- gunpowder tea.

The fresh Yuba sheets were filled with rice, snow peas, carrots, daikon, red bell pepper and tofu and rolled much like a spring roll. The yuba was then brushed with a mixture of hoisin, tamari, black vinegar, sesame oil, agave and sriracha. They were also sprinkled with black sesame seeds.

The firecrackers were put on a sheet pan (seam side down) and into a 350F oven for 10 minutes, then flipped and basted again for another 5 minutes or so.

At this point, keep a close eye on them as they'll start to darken, you want to see some reddish color, but because of the hoisin & agave they can get a little too crispy, er, over-caramelized.

The firecrackers were plated with the additional tofu and veggies. with a tip of green onion acting as the wick.

The only problem with making these? Now I have to figure out some way of topping them next year. ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salty Dulce de Leche & Hazelnut Brittle

Dessert 02/11

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salty Dulce de Leche & Hazelnut Brittle

After all the small plates, comes this cake, which deserves it's own entry.

Inspiration can come from many places -- for example, while wandering through the library the other day, Liz picked up an issue of Victoria magazine. Leafing through it, she came across the recipe for this cake. It comes from "One Girl Cookie" by Dawn Casale and David Crofton.

Now at this point, Liz can figure out in a few seconds whether or not she can veganize a recipe. This had all the usual substitution issues in play (using earth balance, flax eggs, soy yogurt), plus she had the rest of the ingredients on hand -- and of course the recent wildcard, Einkorn flour.*

The only thing not on hand was the Dulce de Leche -- thankfully, Terry Hope Romero's fantastic cookbook** "Viva Latina" has a veganized recipe.

The hazelnut brittle recipe was pretty easy (subbing Earth Balance). Liz made a little extra to snack on -- and with good reason, it's amazing any of it survived to be added to the cake.

It's hard to put into words the sound that one makes when first biting into the cake... my best approximation would be "mmmwwhhaaaO_oooh"

Moist, salty, sweet... decadent.

* funny how that seems to be the odd ingredient in all of the substitutions ;)

** seriously, you need this book.

Artichoke Dip, Pita Bread, Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Tofu, Stuffed Peppers, Balsamic Baked Onions and Potatoes, Shishito Peppers

Dinner 02/11

Artichoke Dip

Pita Bread

Grilled Zucchini

Grilled Tofu

Stuffed Peppers

Balsamic Baked Onions & Potatoes

Shishito Peppers

Another meal in a series of "small plates, loosely joined."

Today's Einkorn flour experiment was the pita bread (a.k.a. "Khubz") recipe adapted from Claudia Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food" -- another winner that was flavorful and held up well to the artichoke dip (artichokes, vegenaise, vegan cream cheese, salt, pepper, smoked paprika).

Next up was a riff on a Jamie Oliver making a half sized recipe -- boiled potatoes (8 minutes) that were paired with quartered red onions, garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper and tossed with 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and roasted until very dark (about 45 minutes at 400F).

The shishito peppers make a return appearance (pan-fried, drizzled with lemon juice and sea salt) as do the stuffed mini-peppers filled with Daiya, adding a little vegan cream cheese along for the ride. Those were then baked during the last 10 minutes in the same pan as the potatoes.

While the ovens and stove top were busy, that left the grill to work with. We smoked the tofu with apple wood for 25 minutes, then let the tofu sit in a quick marinade (1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tbs. ketchup, 1 tbs, tamari and black pepper) for 20 minutes, finally grilling it at the same time as the baby zucchini (brushed with olive oil, salt & pepper).

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Tofu Cacciatore

Dinner 02/08

Tofu Cacciatore

Yes, the irony of making something that means "hunter style" is not lost upon me ;)

Tofu Cacciatore


16oz tofu, sliced into 8 cutlets

1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. tamari
1 tbs. ketchup
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Whisk the marinade together, add the tofu, turn to coat, let sit for at least 20 minutes. On med-low heat, grill (or use a grill pan) the tofu, turning 45° after 4-5 minutes on the first side to get the nice crosshatch marks. Flip the tofu and turn after 3-4 minutes until finished. Remove from the grill and place in a warm oven until the stew is almost finished.


1 tbs. olive oil
2 seitan sausages, sliced

1 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small fennel, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper

1/4 cup white wine

28oz fire roasted tomatoes
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, diced
1/2 cup green olives, diced

Grilled Tofu (from above)

2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

In a large saute pan heat the olive oil to med-high and fry the sausages until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the additional olive oil and cook the onions and fennel for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste and cook for an one additional minute.

Add the white wine and cook for one additional minute.

Add the tomatoes, we like to crush the tomatoes using a potato masher. Then add the roasted peppers, green olives and cooked seitan sausages.

Stir everything to combine, bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until thickened. In the last five minutes or so, add the grilled tofu to coat well.

To plate, add the stew to the bowl, place the grilled tofu on top and add the parsley.

Accompanying the stew was another Einkorn flour experiment, this time, bread. Liz wanted to make sandwiches for the kids school lunch, so we broke out the bread machine. The loaf worked out very well, with excellent structure, which allowed for even slicing -- not in a dense, leaden way -- but a nice even structure. Part of the reason we don't use the machine that much was the regular flour made things difficult to cut with any sort of consistency, we usually had to cut 3/4" - 1" slices which were way too big for sandwiches. This works extremely well.

Radishes and Raw Almond Cheese

Lunch 02/08

Radishes and Raw Almond Cheese

A quick salad today, with some julienned radishes as accompaniment.

One cup of almonds were soaked about 3-4 hours. Protip: this allows the skins to be removed much, much easier, just give them a quick squeeze and they pop right off.

The almonds were added to the Vita-Mix along with 1 tbs. olive oil, 1/4 cup of water*, 1 tbs. nama shoyu, 1 tbs. lemon juice, minced garlic and 1 tbs. white miso. Puree it all together and check for seasoning.

The dressing was a red wine vinaigrette (1 part vinegar, 3 parts olive oil, pinch of salt).

* if the Vita-Mix is struggling add more water in 1 tbs, increments.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: Buffalo Tofu, Pommes Frites, Crudite Platter

Dinner 02/05

Buffalo Tofu

Pommes Frites

Crudite Platter with Carrots, Celery, Radishes

Roasted Garlic & Blue Sheese Dip

...or as I like to say to the rest of the family after loading up the tray: "I don't know what you guys are eating, but..."

I might as well reprint 2010's Super Bowl entry as it was much the same, with the exception of adding radishes to the crudite platter. Sherman, set the wayback machine to 2010...

Was there a Super Bowl game on? I don't know, we were watching the Puppy Bowl again...

The tofu was cut into strips, hickory-smoked for 25 minutes, then deep-fried at 375F until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes per batch).

The tofu was then tossed in a wok with 2 tbs. of tamari for 2 minutes, and then the sauce is dumped on top and tossed to coat.

The buffalo tofu sauce is made with our BBQ sauce mixed with as much hot sauce or Sriracha as you like and 2 tbs. of melted soy margarine.

We fry the pommes frites in our wok, with a heavy duty candy thermometer for accurate temperature readings.

The pommes frites were done the standard way: the potatoes were blanched in peanut oil at 280F for 6-8 minutes, then removed from the oil and allowed to "rest" for 15 minutes. To finish, they're deep-fried at 375F for 2-3 minutes to brown/crisp up.

The celery & carrot sticks [and radishes were] served with a dipping sauce of half vegenaise, half soy sour cream, roasted garlic topped with a small mountain of microplaned Blue Sheese.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Artichoke Hearts Stuffed with Mushrooms in a Cognac Cream Sauce, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Cauliflower

Dinner 02/03

Artichoke Hearts Stuffed with Mushrooms in a Cognac Cream Sauce

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Cauliflower

While watching TV after lunch recently we caught an episode of "Essential Pepin" (the artichoke segment starts at 11:11) on PBS* -- Liz immediately called the local grocery store to insure they had copious amounts of artichokes. I can only imagine the bemusement of the produce manager upon receiving the call ;)

The artichoke dish is a riff on a this recipe, subbing the usual vegan ingredients (skipping the whipped cream at the end -- it didn't need it).

To accompany the main dish, we roasted some fingerling potatoes (split in half, olive oil, salt, pepper, herbes de provence, roasted at 450F for 40 minutes), and a batch of cauliflower and broccoli (olive oil, salt, pepper, 450F, 15 minutes).

* yes, PBS is good for something other than Downton Abbey** -- who knew? ;)

** don't get me started about how Dr. Clarkson is the possibly the worst Doctor of all time.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Split-Pea Soup

Dinner 02/02

Split Pea Soup

Sometimes we like to reinvent the wheel, or in this case a classic soup that really doesn't need reinventing. But we did it anyway...

Starting with the main ingredient, we tried to figure out a way to add flavor to the peas. So, in addition to smoking them with hickory chips, we also added some ground cloves to the mix (the darker specks). We then made a foil packet and spread about 2 cups of the rinsed peas out in a single layer as much as possible.

After smoking for 25 minutes we then pressure cooked the peas in veg stock (covering the peas by 1") for 20 minutes.

In a large soup pot over med-high heat, add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add one medium onion, diced, two medium carrots, sliced along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 7-8 minutes, turning often. Add 1 garlic clove, minced and cook for an additional one minute.

Add the pressure cooked split peas, 5 cups of veg stock and 1 tbs. of tamari to the soup pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or so to marry the flavors. Remove the soup and puree (in batches if needed). Return the soup to the pot. If it seems too thick, add veg stock in 1/2 cup increments and stir to incorporate. If it seems too thin, cook for an additional five minutes. Check for seasoning.

For the next step we looked at the other ingredients and decided to roast the celeriac and sweet potatoes (peeled, 1/2" cubes, olive oil, salt, pepper, 425F, 20 minutes) to bring out their sweetness. For the tofu, we cubed it and hickory smoked it for 25 minutes, then wok-fried in canola oil as we normally would for a stir-fry.

We added the veggies to the tofu, then to gild the lily, we made a quick sauce of 1 tbs. of "just like honey," 1 tbs. of apricot jam and 1 tsp. of mustard mixed together and tossed then all together in the wok to glaze.

For the plating, we put the glazed tofu and veggies in the center of the bowl and ladled the soup around it.

The smoky flavor and creamy texture, along with the sweet and tangy tofu and veggies made for an intense bowl of soup.

Worth every minute of prep. ;)