Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Stir Fry with Shiitake Eels, Shishito Peppers

Dinner 04/28

Stir Fry with Shiitake Eels

Shishito Peppers

Stir-fry with Shiitake Eels

Ye olde stir-fry is back with a different sidekick -- shiitake mock eels. The dish is best with dried shiitake (re-hydrated with water and tamari, then cut into long strips), seasoned with szechuan pepper, coated with cornstarch and deep-fried. Finally they're stir-fried with a ginger/scallion hoisin style sauce. Yum!

Shiitake Eels

The peppers were split in half, cleaned and pan-fried with a spritz of lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Either eat straight up or add to the stir-fry as needed.

Shishito Peppers

Monday, May 07, 2018

Meatball Mini-Sub

Dinner 04/27

Meatball Mini-Sub


Meatball Mini-Sub

One of the items we picked up at AVE MKT the other day was a new supply of Match Meat, so we used the last of our other batch and made a meatball mini-subs on focaccia with a nice salad on the side. The meatballs were topped with a quick tomato sauce, fried mushrooms and basil on top.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Pretzel Logic

Dinner 04/26


Italian Sausages


Mustard Horseradish Dipping Sauce

pretzel logic album

The alternate cover to Steely Dan's 1974 album Pretzel Logic

The reason they're not bigger and with more space to pull apart, is because they also serve a double purpose as pretzel buns for burgers and/or sandwiches the next day. Tonight though, we had these straight out of the oven and dipped them in a mustard and homemade horseradish mixture.

pretzel dough

The recipe is from the local mag Akron Life, making the usual substitutes 1:1 (Einkorn Flour, Earth Balance), skipping the egg wash.

pretzels boiling

pretzels after boiling

pretzels on rack

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Massaman Curry, Beet Burger, Classic Gyro, Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

Lunch 04/26

Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

Massaman Curry

Beet Burger

Classic Gyro

Massaman Curry from Cleveland Vegan

We are truly living in a golden vegan age ;)

First up, we hit the Turnpike to Strongsville to visit AVE MKT to pick up some provisions. And maybe a cupcake. They were recently written up in VegNews, and it's a well deserved article.


Next, we headed up I-71 to Cleveland Vegan for a delicious lunch -- we split the Buffalo Cauliflower Dip, and I had the Massaman Curry (above), Liz had the Beet Burger and our daughter had the Classic Gyro.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Ramen with Fennel Stock and Thai Basil

Dinner 04/24

Ramen with Fennel Stock and Thai Basil

Ramen with Fennel Stock and Thai Basil

We made the fennel stock (pressure cooked) back in November and froze it.

Fennel Stock

1 fennel bulb (tops only, save bulb for another use)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground fennel seeds (optional)
8 cups of water

In a pressure cooker, add the roughly chopped the fennel tops (and the ground fennel seeds if using) and saute with 1 tsp of olive oil for a few minutes until the tops are wilted. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Put the lid on and wait until the pressure cooker reaches 15psi (your model may vary) reduce the heat to keep an even pressure and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for few minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve. If not using immediately, let come to room temp and refrigerate.

It's not at all salty at this point, but that's what you want... you can always add it when the soup is being seasoned. We usually add a small bit of kombu while the broth is heating up.

The rest of bowl is rounded out with carrots, tofu, mushrooms, Chile Eggplant Sofrito and we steamed/seared some baby bok choy to finish, and topped with Thai Basil.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ratatouille over Roasted Potatoes

Dinner 04/23


Roasted Potatoes

Ratatouille over Roasted Potatoes


2 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. herbes de provence
1 medium eggplant, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
3-4 medium tomatoes, roughly diced
2 tbs. parsley, chopped

In a large saute pan, heat the 1 tbs. olive oil and lightly brown the sliced onions. Add the garlic for the last two minutes, along with the salt, pepper and herbes de provence.

While that's cooking, in a separate large saute pan (or wok), add the additional 1 tbs. of olive oil and the diced eggplant, diced zucchini, and cook until lightly browned.

Combine the eggplant and zucchini with the onions and garlic back into the pan and sprinkle the nutritional yeast over all of the ingredients, stir to incorporate, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Turn the heat down to low, add the diced tomatoes, stir to incorporate. Cook until thickened -- about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The final result should look fairly stew-like. Add the chopped parsley, check for seasoning.

At this point it's ready to eat -- or you can put the ratatouille in an au gratin dish, sprinkle a little extra nutritional yeast on top and bake it at 350F for 15 minutes to firm it all up.

Tonight we added roasted potatoes as a base -- quartered, roasted at 450F for about 40 minutes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Flatbread with Morel Mushrooms, Grilled Ramps and Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 04/21

Flatbread with Morel Mushrooms, Grilled Ramps and Roasted Broccoli

Flatbread with Morel Mushrooms, Grilled Ramps and Roasted Broccoli

What happens when Liz makes too much dough (like last night's pizza?) Flatbreads of course... or fancy pizza. ;)

Morel Mushrooms

Topped with Morel mushrooms, grilled ramps and roasted broccoli and a soy cream cheese, garlic and shallot base.

Grilled Ramps

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Dinner 04/20

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Liz utilized the deep-dish pan in case the Daiya mozzarella decided to ooze out*. Topped with tofu sausage (cherry/oak smoked tofu crumbled, fried in olive oil with ground fennel seed, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, smoked salt and pepper), olives, mushrooms, red onions and more Daiya.

* (Ron Howard Voice): It didn't.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Tea-Smoked Tofu Tacos with Pineapple and Tomato Salsa

Dinner 04/19

Tea-Smoked Tofu Tacos

Pineapple and Tomato Salsa

Tea-Smoked Tofu Tacos with Pineapple and Tomato Salsa

Tacos again -- or as our daughter would remark -- "you say that like it's a bad thing."

Pineapple and Tomato Salsa

There's a Mexican restaurant called Barrio's that we like to hit up for lunch when we go out grocery shopping. One of their many vegan options is a pineapple salsa that we love -- so we re-created it for tonight's meal. Diced pineapple, smoked paprika, smoked salt, pepper, agave, red onion, jalapeno, diced tomato all mixed together which adds a nice counterpart to the crispy fried tofu (also available at Barrio's).

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Pulled Portobello Tacos

Dinner 04/18

Pulled Portobello Tacos

BBQ Pulled Portobello Stem Tacos

If you see someone in a grocery store buying all the portobello stems, that's us.

This is a new technique that we've developed while we were away -- pulled portobello stems as a taco filling. Utilizing the whole mushroom, we marinate, roast, pull/shred and cook with a bbq sauce to finish...

Portobello Stems raw

We start by cleaning and trimming the stems, then cutting them in half.

Portobello Stems marinated

Then we marinate with a combo of molasses, ketchup, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and tamari.

Portobello Stems Roasted

Then we roast them at 400F for 10-12 minutes.

Pulled Portobello Stems

Finally we let them cool for 5 minutes and shred them. The best way is to hold the mushroom stem in your left hand, grab it at the top between your right thumb and index finger, pinch and pull it down into small strips.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

BBQ Tofu and Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Dinner 04/17

BBQ Tofu and Portobello Mushroom Pizza

BBQ Tofu and Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Much like our Flatbread Pizza video from a few years ago, we still like to make a big batch of flatbreads, then top them with whatever we have in the fridge -- this time it was some portobello mushrooms that we pan-fried, then hit with our BBQ Sauce.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Penne with Arugula and Sausages

Dinner 04/16

Penne with Arugula and Sausages

Penne with Arugula and Sausages

Liz picked up these cute mid-century modern bowls last week so we used them for tonight's meal -- brown rice penne, wilted arugula and Tofurky Italian sausages topped with a little pasta water and nooch in the pan for seasoning...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Happy Pancakes with Edamame

Dinner 04/15

Happy Pancakes


Happy Pancakes with Edamame

As I was taking these pictures -- the tornado sirens went off, briefly interrupting dinner. The way this "spring" has been going, that seems par for the course...

Happy Pancake filling

The recipe is from Food & Wine, using smoked tofu strips, carrots, scallions, Enoki mushrooms and bean sprouts, subbing tamari for the fish sauce.

Happy Pancake in Wok

Here they are in the flat-bottomed wok, cooking away -- the bean sprouts were added at the end of cooking and the pancakes were ever-so-gently folded in half.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Strawberry Crepes with Chocolate Sauce and Powdered Sugar

Breakfast 04/14

Strawberry Crepes with Chocolate Sauce and Powdered Sugar

Strawberry Crepes

Sometimes, just a picture will do...

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pizza Puffs, Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Salad

Dinner 04/13

Pizza Puffs

Roasted Cauliflower

Kale Salad

Pizza Puffs with Roasted Cauliflower

Although we're not actively testing cookbooks these days, we still like to pick up the new vegan cookbooks from our library and give them a spin -- tonight's meal came via the Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook by Victoria Moran and JL Fields.

Kale Salad

The Kale salad is from Christopher Kimball, we subbed agave for the honey, but otherwise it's made we want to eat kale salads again, so that's nice ;)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Smoked Tofu Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings

Dinner 04/12

Smoked Tofu Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings

Smoked Tofu Goulash with Biscuits Dumplings

A much-love veganized recipe, straight from Food & Wine from March 2013.

We cut the tofu in 8 cutlets, marinate in tamari for a couple of minutes, then toss in the seasoned flour and fry until crispy, cut them into strips and then follow the rest of the recipe as written, substituting vegan versions 1:1 for the rest of the ingredients in the recipe (butter, stock, sour cream) and it's delightful...

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Farfalle Pasta with Roasted Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato, Zucchini and Lemon Zest, 15 Bean Soup

Dinner 04/11

Farfalle Pasta with Roasted Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato, Zucchini and Lemon Zest

15 Bean Soup

Farfalle Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, Zucchini and Lemon Zest

A quick spring-like (because, of course, it snowed today) pasta bowl with things that needed to be used in the fridge. There's a bit of white wine, veg broth and soy sour cream for the sauce to round out the sauteed onion, garlic and zucchini. The roasted broccoli, tomatoes and spinach were added at the end to heat through and mixed with the lemon zest and parsley.

15 Bean Soup

We also defrosted a 15 bean soup that Liz made late last year, vacuum sealed (we still do that for bulk items like pierogies, ravioli and hatch chiles) and frozen -- because we were also joined by our son and daughter-in-law* who came over for dinner.

* oh yeah, we haven't done the blog in a while... they got married this year. ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dang Quesadilla

Dinner 04/10

Dang Quesadilla

Dang Quesadilla

You know we couldn't come back and not have a Dang Quesadilla. ;)

Two tortillas stuffed with pan-fried mushrooms, sauteed red onion & garlic, Daiya mozzarella then pan-fried until crisp and topped with soy sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

Dessert 04/09

Lemon Oil Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

Another rehearsal night, so here's dessert instead -- straight out of Chloe's Vegan Desserts. Topped with strawberries and whipped cream. We just used a regular cake pan, because I didn't feel like digging out our collection of Bundt pans. ;)

* seriously, we have, like 10... because of course we do...

Monday, April 09, 2018

Oyster Mushroom Po' Boy with Roasted Cauliflower

Dinner 04/08

Oyster Mushroom Po' Boy

Roasted Cauliflower

Oyster Mushroom Po' Boy

We picked up some gorgeous Oyster Mushrooms Friday so we made Po' Boys with cole slaw and a side of roasted cauliflower and hot sauce. Lots of hot sauce.

po' boy prep

We used our usual three-pan method:

Pan 1: Seasoned flour (about 1/2 cup, with salt, pepper, smoked paprika to taste)

Pan 2: Cornstarch Slurry (1 tbs. cornstarch and 3 tbs. water, more if it stars to seize up)

Pan 3: Equal amounts of bread crumbs and cornmeal (about 1/2 cup each), nooch and a little thyme and pepper.

We tossed the mushrooms briefly with a splash of tamari, then into pan 1 until coated, straight into pan 2 until wet, then pan 3 tossed and pressed lightly into the nooks and crannies of the mushrooms to evenly coat.

After that, they were deep-fried in Peanut oil at 365F, until the bubbling has stopped -- about 3-4 minutes.

Served on a flatbread with cole slaw and hot sauce.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Broccoli with Orange Sauce

Dinner 04/07

Broccoli with Orange Sauce

Broccoli with Orange Sauce

The broccoli was stir-fried. For the orange sauce: start with 1 tbs. of sunflower oil in a wok, quickly stir-fry 2 cloves of minced garlic, about a 1/2" of microplaned ginger, 1 small diced jalapeno, 1 tsp. five-spice powder and 1 tsp. Szechuan peppercorn (about 45 seconds). Whisk in the juice of 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup), microplane the zest from the oranges, add a splash of water, 1 tbs. rice wine vinegar, 3 tbs. brown sugar and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 tbs. cornstarch with 2 tbs. of water, then whisk it into the sauce. Add a splash of tamari to taste. Eat already!

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Spaghetti with Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Salad with Diced Apples, Roasted Beets and Raisins

Dinner 04/06

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Garlic Bread

Salad with Diced Apples, Roasted Beets and Raisins

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Cheesy Garlic Bread

Liz made her classic red gravy, er, sauce; used some of the focaccia from the other night to make cheesy garlic bread under the broiler; and on the side, a huge salad with iceberg lettuce, roasted beets, diced apple, raisins and (Daiya) blue cheese dressing.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Cheesy Garlic Bread and Salad with Roasted Golden Beets, Raisins and Blue Cheese Dressing

Since we've been gone, there's a new vegan grocery store that opened in Strongsville, OH called AVE MKT (you may have seen them in VegNews). In addition to a variety of cupcakes and other vegan goodies, they carry the best selection of hard-to-find items that we used to have to get via mail order -- like Match Meats.

For the meatballs, we used Match Meats Ground Beef (bonus! gluten-free!), mixed with day-old Einkorn bread (softened with soy-milk), shredded onion, garlic, ground fennel seed and red pepper flakes. They were shaped into 1 1/2" balls, and pan-fried in olive oil in our flat-bottomed wok, then transferred to the warm sauce. Using the entire package, we ended up with 21 meatballs (a.k.a. tomorrow's lunch).

Friday, April 06, 2018

Banh Mi with Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 04/05

Banh Mi

Roasted Broccoli

Banh Mi with Roasted Broccoli

Revisiting an old favorite tonight, Banh Mi -- a.k.a. "Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip" straight outta Veganomicon (we tested this recipe 10+ years ago*? Yikes!)

Obviously, we used (Cherry) Smoked tofu in place of the seitan and focaccia in place of the baguette (because those are the things we had on hand), but it's awesome anyway, anyhow, anywhere. Trumpet Mushrooms, Red Onion, Cucumbers, Vegan Mayo, and a five-spice powder infused mushroom broth round it out.

* Want to feel old? Our daughter was four when we started the blog. She's now 20.


Thursday, April 05, 2018

Leftovers (French Lentils, Braised Carrot, Roast Potatoes, Fried Tofu)

Dinner 04/04

French Lentils

Braised Carrot

Roast Potatoes

Fried Tofu

Leftovers (French Lentils, Braised Carrot,  Roast Potatoes, Fried Tofu)

Eagle-eyed readers will recognize this meal as leftovers from Easter dinner. As I didn't really go into any of the recipes and prep, this is a chance to catch-up.

The French lentils were pressure-cooked -- 1 1/2 cups of lentils and about 2 1/2 cups of veg stock. One little extra thing we do at the beginning is to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pressure cooker and lightly brown a half of an onion studded with five cloves and a bay leaf. Then we add the rinsed lentils, the veg stock, a splash of tamari and pressure cook for 16 minutes at 7.5 psi (or the first ring on our pressure cooker).

For the Braised Carrots: Peel the carrots, and put them into a sauce pan large enough to hold all of them in a single layer. Add water about half way up the side of the carrots. Add 1 tbs. of soy margarine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover loosely. Cook until the water completely evaporates and only a little soy margarine is left on the bottom of the pan. Add the carrots and whatever soy margarine is left (you can also add an additional 1 tsp. soy margarine if it looks like it needs a little more)to a gratin dish add salt and pepper to taste, and braise for 15-20 minutes in a 350F oven.

The potatoes were cut into 1-inch chunks, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 450F for 30-35 minutes. The oven was turned off, the potatoes were taken out and tossed 1 tbs of soy margarine and put back in the oven until service.

The tofu was first smoked (the more things change...) (with Cherry and Maple wood chips), then pan-fried, cut into strips and pan fried again and finished with tamari.

As for why we were having leftovers, I had band rehearsal and needed to leave early (this will be a reoccurring theme going forward this month).

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Tofu Ras el hanout, Braised Cabbage, Fried Chickpeas, Sopa de Ajo and Shishito Peppers

Dinner 04/03

Tofu Ras el hanout

Braised Cabbage

Fried Chickpeas

Tofu Ras el hanout, Braised Cabbage and Fried Chickpeas

Big chunky smoked tofu cubes coated (with cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt & pepper) marinated for 30 minutes, then pan-fried until crispy. The cabbage was slow-cooked with onions and garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, with a splash of sherry near the end. The chickpeas were simply wok-fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and finished with a splash of tamari.

Shishito Peppers and Sopa de Ajo

Sopa de Ajo

Shishito Peppers

For a starter, we whipped up a batch of Sopa de Ajo -- olive oil, garlic, day-old bread, paprika, wine, salt & pepper, veg stock) paired with Shishito Peppers (de-seeded, wok-fried on high heat until blistered, removed, then hit with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice).

Monday, April 02, 2018

Ye Olde Stir-Fry 2018 Version

Dinner 04/02

Ye Olde Stir-Fry 2018 Version

(Steamed Rice, Seared/Steamed Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Mushrooms with Hoisin Sauce, Tea-Smoked Tofu, Carrots, Steamed/Seared Bok Choy Shredded Yuba, Wilted Spinach with Sesame Seeds topped with Cucumber, Scallion and Kimchi)

Ye OldeStir-Fry 2018

Much like Heraclitus said "You can never eat the same stir-fry twice"* -- every one is slightly different and tonight's was no exception. We rely on the "what needs to be used in the fridge" scale which gave us Seared/Steamed Brussels Sprouts as the leading veggie (paired with shiitake mushrooms and a hoisin sauce)...

Brussels Sprouts

Topping it all off is Liz's (by now) standard homemade Kimchi.


* I'm paraphrasing here.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Easter 2018

Easter 2018 04/01

Crepes (filled with French Lentils, Grilled Asparagus, Button Mushrooms, Cherry & Maple Smoked Tofu)

Braised Carrots

Roasted Potatoes

easter 2018 crepes asparagus braised carrots potatoes

English Pea Soup

easter 2018 pea_soup with crouton



easter 2018 baklava plate

This is not an April Fools post, but the first day of a (scheduled 30 day) Pop Up Blog