Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kitchen Tools: Tortilla Press

Video 05/31

A short video of our cast-iron tortilla press in action...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry and Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart

Dessert 05/25

Strawberry and Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart

Believe it or not, the original recipe (using vegan subs as needed) is from Good Housekeeping! ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Taco Party!

Dinner 05/24

Taco Party

We're gonna have a Taco Party Tonight! Alright!

It's been ages since we've made our own tortillas (2007?!), but they were so worth the effort.

Clockwise from upper left: Mushrooms, Radishes/Red Onions, Corn Tortillas, Rajas (poblano, red bell pepper & red onion), Shredded Lettuce, Soyrizo and in the center square Paul Lynde Guacamole.

The tortillas were super easy to make (2 cups of masa, 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp. smoked sea salt) -- then the dough was rolled into small golf ball size chunks and pressed out in our handy tortilla press and cooked in a cast-iron pan set on stun high (about 2 minute on the first side, and 30 seconds on the flip).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tandoori Tofu, Chana Masala, Pistachio and Currant Biryani, Cauliflower and Scallions with Black Mustard Seeds

Dinner 05/22

Tandoori Tofu

Chana Masala

Pistachio and Currant Biryani

Cauliflower and Scallions with Black Mustard Seeds

A weeknight Indian mini-feast, with brightly colored tandoori tofu, tangy chana masala and a base of fragrant basmati rice with the addition of pistachio nuts and currants.

The cauliflower dish comes from Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" -- we adapted it slightly by adding cut green beans at the same time as the scallions.

1 small head cauliflower
2 bunches of scallions
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (optional)
3 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. black or brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. smoked sea salt (to taste)

1/3 cup hot water

Separate cauliflower into very small florets (about 1/2") wash in cold water & drain.

Trim the root ends of the scallions and chop them (including the green part) into 1/4" pieces.

Measure out the spices and place them, the vegetables, and 1/3 cup hot water right next to the stove

Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil over high heat in a large frying pan or wok. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy because the seeds may splutter when added. When the mustard seeds turn grey (about 3 minutes) add turmeric, chilies and salt, stirring rapidly.

Add the cauliflower. Stir to distribute the spices and add the hot water. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is cooked to crispy-tender (15-20 minutes).

Uncover, increase heat to medium, add scallions and green beans (if using) and stir fry to evaporate any moisture remaining in the pan and to lightly brown the cauliflower and cook the scallions (about 5-10 minutes).

Check for salt, serve immediately.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Dinner 05/18


We tweaked the base recipe by using no-bake rice noodles and radish greens in place of the mustard greens and made it in a 9 x 13 pan. It also took a bit longer to bake because of the rice noodles (about 45-50 minutes total).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mung Bean Noodles with Gingko Nuts, Scallion Pancakes

Vegan Test Kitchen 05/17

Mung Bean Noodles with Gingko Nuts

Scallion Pancakes

Do Not Adjust Your Monitor, It Is Not Broken.

The mung bean noodles were cooked/poached in a liquid that was made of red wine, beet juice, black tea, Bragg's Liquid Aminos and kombu. After cooking they were lightly tossed with sesame oil to keep from sticking. The noodles, which were opaque to begin, readily absorbed the color and flavors nicely.

I can see using these noodles in a variety of ways in the future. Once we test it further, we'll post a basic recipe.

The gingko nuts were rinsed, pan-fried and splashed with a little tamari at the end of cooking.

We totally broke the old scallion pancakes recipe and made one using sweet rice flour, baking powder, sesame oil, tamari and scallions and cooked the batter in the wok. The result was a fluffy/sticky cross between the old recipe and a Japanese-style omelette (think: tamagoyaki).*

This needs to be workshopped some more before posting, but it tastes awesome.

Dragon Roll

Lunch 05/17

Dragon Roll

"I love it when a plan comes together"

We took Shredded cabbage, tea-smoked tofu, carrot, cucumber, radish, basil, mixed greens and tossed them all with the leftover peanut-based sauce from last night's Dragon Noodle dish and re-purposed it in a rice paper roll for lunch.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dragon Noodle Salad with Sesame Tofu

Dinner 05/16

Dragon Noodle Salad with Sesame Tofu

Rice noodles, cucumbers, radishes and salad greens coated with a yummy (and spicy) peanut butter based sauce topped with black sesame seeds.

In other words, AWESOME.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Red Chile Enchiladas with Mesquite-Smoked Tofu

Dinner 05/15

Red Chile Enchiladas with Mesquite-Smoked Tofu

Had a hankerin' for some Tex-Mex style enchiladas, so we adapted tonight's meal straight out Rick Bayless' "Mexican Everyday" (pg. 222) -- subbing shredded mesquite-smoked tofu and cheddar Daiya for the filling in the original recipe and veg stock in the chile sauce.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bourbon-Glazed Hickory-Smoked Tofu with Braised Collard Greens, Rosemary Cornbread Waffles and Gravy

Dinner 05/13

Bourbon-Glazed Hickory-Smoked Tofu

Braised Collard Greens

Rosemary Cornbread Waffles


The tofu was smoked with hickory chips for 25 minutes, pan-fried in canola oil until golden brown on both sides (about 5-6 minutes per side). At the end of cooking it was splashed with a tiny bit of tamari (because there's more in the sauce) and allowed to cook for one additional minute. We removed the tofu from the pan and kept warm while we made the sauce.

The pan was deglazed with a mixture of 1 tbs. bourbon, 1 tbs. brown sugar, 1 tbs. tamari, 3 tbs. water, 1 tbs. maple syrup and 1 tsp. smoked paprika. After it reduced down by half, we added the tofu back and continued to cook the sauce until it completely coated both sides of the tofu -- it's a good idea to keep a close eye on it because of the sugar, as it can quickly go from liquidy to scortchy fast. ;)

The collards and gravy were made the same way as before, and the waffles came from a riff on the savory variation of the cornbread batter in Vegan Diner, adding rosemary to the mix.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Big Bowl Of Yum Part II

Dinner 05/11

Three Lentil Stew

Cherry-Smoked Tofu

Braised Leeks

Morel Mushrooms

Green Beans

Roasted Rutabagas

The lentils (french, brown, green, about 2 cups total) were pressure cooked (18 minutes, first ring, 7.5 psi) with enough veg stock (and a splash of tamari) to cover by 1" along with half of an onion studded with three cloves (a.k.a. oignon pique).

The leeks were braised the usual way, and the green beans were cooked (6 minutes) in the same pan after the leeks went in the oven to finish.

The morels were cleaned (twice), dried thoroughly, cut into rings and pan-fried on high heat with olive oil.

The rutabagas were peeled, cut into 1/4" dice, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted for 25 minutes at 425°F.

The tofu was smoked for 25 minutes with cherry wood chips, pan-fried and hit with a splash of tamari at the end of cooking.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Elvis-Fried Tofu with Gravy and Braised Chard

Dinner 05/07

Elvis-Fried Tofu with Gravy

Braised Chard

Bringing back one of our favorites!

Elvis Fried Tofu
(makes 16 pieces)

1 block of firm tofu
smoker box with hickory chips (optional)
1 1/2 tbs. tamari

Cut the tofu into eight rectangular cutlets, then cut each cutlet diagonally into long triangles.

Smoke the tofu with hickory chips for 25 minutes.

Remove from the smoker box, place the tofu on a flat plate and add the tamari, turn to coat both sides, let marinate for 5 minutes.

3/4 cup of (Einkorn) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of (smoked) paprika (if you have it, if not regular will do)
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Oil (for frying)

Add the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium-sized brown paper bag and shake to mix.

Add half of the marinated tofu cutlets and shake until well coated. Remove from bag and knock off excess flour. Repeat with the second batch.

Using two cast-iron skillets add about 1/8" of oil over high heat (If you're using just one cast-iron skillet, divide the tofu into two batches and fry separately). When oil has come to temp, add the coated tofu pieces gently into the oil and fry until well browned on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). Drain on a rack (or the brown paper bag).

The gravy started in a large pan on medium heat with in 1 tbs. olive oil, then add 1/2 red onion, diced and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for one additional minute. Next, make a simple roux by adding 1 tbs. potato flour and cook them together until the roux turns light brown. Then whisk in 1 cup of veg stock, 1 tbs. tamari and fresh cracked black pepper until thickened. Check for seasoning and keep warm.

The chard was slow cooked, starting with 1 tbs. olive oil on med-low heat and adding the other half of the red onion from the gravy, diced and cooked 5-6 minutes. Next, add 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes to taste and cook for another minute. Add the sliced chard and turn until wilted, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, slap on the lid and cook for another 5 minutes or so, finishing with a splash of tamari at the end. Check for seasoning.

To assemble, start with the chard as the base and top with the tofu and gravy.

Thankyou, Thankyouverymuch.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Polenta with Collard Greens, Mushrooms and Great Northern Beans

Dinner 05/04


Collard Greens


Great Northern Beans

Beans & greens my friends, beans & greens


The polenta started with 1 cup of fine cornmeal whisked into 4 cups of boiling water seasoned with 1 tbs. of salt. From there we turned down the heat to low and made it like a risotto, adding an additional 2 cups of water, about 1/3 cup at a time here and there (don't sweat the timing, just don't let it scorch the bottom of the pan). Finally, we stirred in 1 tbs. of soy margarine, 1/4 cup of microplaned Smoked Cheddar Sheese, 2 tbs. of nutritional yeast, and 1 tsp. of black pepper. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, and check for seasoning.

Collard Greens

The base started with 1 small minced shallot, sauteed in canola oil on med-high heat for 3-4 minutes, then we added 2 cloves of minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cooked for one more minute. Then we added the collard greens, which were cut into thin strips, turning constantly until wilted (about 4-5 minutes). Then we turned the heat down to low, added 1 tbs. of tamari, stirred to combine, put the lid on and braised it for 10 minutes.


Cut into 1/8" slices, pan-fried with olive oil on med-high heat until all the liquid is released (7-8 minutes), seasoned with black pepper and a splash of tamari. Add the (cooked) beans, a pinch of salt and stir to heat through.

To plate, layer the polenta, greens, mushrooms & beans and serve hot.

Little Devils

Dessert 05/04

From "Sticky Fingers' Sweets" by Doron Petersan (pg. 113).

Why yes, they were as good as they look. ;)

Here's what it looks like before we cut them into bars and they all disappeared...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Applewood-Smoked Tofu with Braised Red Cabbage and Zucchini Fritters

Dinner 05/03

Applewood-Smoked Tofu

Braised Red Cabbage

Zucchini Fritters

The cabbage was sliced thinly, pan-fried in a little olive oil with some red onion until wilted, then we added 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbs. of tomato paste, smoked sea salt, pepper and a little smoked paprika and cooked it for an additional minute, turned the heat down to low, put a lid on the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes. Near the end of cooking we added 1 tbs. of balsamic vinegar and a splash of tamari, stirred and cooked it for another minute. Finally, we added a 1/4 cup of shredded carrots (for color and texture) and cooked it for another 2-3 minutes.

The cabbage was topped with the smoked tofu (portioned into 8 cutlets, smoked 25 minutes with applewood) which was pan-fried until golden brown and delicious (about 5 minutes per-side) and splashed with a little tamari at the end of cooking. Each cutlet was then cut into long triangles as shown.

The zucchini fritters are something that our daughter loves -- shredded zucchini, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, a little Daiya, salt & pepper fried up in the cast-iron pan until nice and crispy, topped with tomato sauce.