Saturday, October 24, 2009

The perfect potluck dish

Tonight me and the missus put together an amazing pot pie for a vegan potluck. Vegan potlucks have to be one of my favorite get-togethers simply because there always tends to be good people, good food, and just overall good times. This dish is perfect for this sort of occasion because its simple to make a lot of and it is totally delicious. Bring this one to any family or other gatherings and I am sure you will please vegans and omni's alike.

Traditional Style Seitan Pot Pie

1 1/4 cups gluten flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsps each garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and sage
7/8 cup stock
1/4 cup canola oil

Combine the dry and the wet separately. Then mix together and knead the dough forming it into a round loaf. Make sure you have some simmering broth ready to go on the stove. Cut the seitan into cutlets and place in the simmering broth. Cookfor about 30 minutes making sure the water doesn't boil and remains at a simmer. Remove the seitan from the broth but leave on the stove.

3-2-1 pie dough

3 parts WWW flour
2 parts vegan butter, cold cut into little pieces
1 part ice cold water
1 tsp salt

Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour  until you get a little crumby looking mixture.Add  a little bit of water at a time until the dough starts to come together. Dump out onto a work surface and gingerly form into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for about half an hour.

4 med potatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup WWW flour
2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp canola oil
Salt, pepper
2 tsps each, sage and thyme
2 cups stock
4 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup corn kernels
you can add more veggies if you want

The first step is to get your potatoes boiling in the seitan simmering broth. Then add the butter and oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened and then add the flour. Mix well to form a light roux. Add the carrots to the potatoes and cook until tender. Add the onion mixture and stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the seitan, cut into bite sized peices, the corn and peas. Cook until the sauce is thick. Put the filling into a greased baking dish. Roll out the dough and shape so that it fits over your baking dish with a bit of dough hanging over the side for crimping. Once you do this, rub the crust with a bit of oil and bake at 425 for about 30 mins. Let cool then slice and enjoy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Calzone o Greatness

A whole pizza folded in half. Is there anything better than that. Enough said.

I used the pizza dough recipe that I posted a while ago. I prefer to use homemade vegan sausages but Tofurky ones work great too.

Vegan Sausage Calzone

1 recipe pizza dough
a few italian style seitan sausages, diced up
1/2 med onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
crushed red pepper
1 zucchini, diced
handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
shredded vegan cheese
dried oregano
garlic salt

First get a pan on medium heat add a few glugs olive oil and saute the onion and garlic. Season with salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Add the seitan sausages. Brown them for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Let cool and set aside. Get your dough worked into a circle about, as big as you want but not too big, spread the sausage mixture over half the circle then top with cheese. Add a bit of oregano. Fold over and crimp the edges, rub the calzone with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 450F until golden brown about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Raisin Pecan Bread

 This bread is ridiculously good and it is a great way to use up some of that in season pumpkin. I recommend getting the dough started the night before if you plan on baking it in the morning. The method is not too difficult, but there is some waiting involved. Don't rush it either because creating a biga or starter is really the key to good structure and flavor in any bread.

For the biga, mix 1.25 cups sifted WWW flour with 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. Add about a half a cup of water at room temperature and mix really well. Make sure the dough is not too sticky or dry but you would rather have a slightly sticky dough. Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let rise for about 2 hours. Then punch it down and throw it in the refrigerator overnight (covered in a bowl of course).
The next day mix 2 cups pumpkin puree with 2 tsps yeast, 2 tsps salt, 2 tsps cinnamon and 1/4 cup agave nectar. Add about 4 cups of WWW flour and mix well. Add the biga and mix together until well incorporated. Knead for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and knead into the dough until well incorporated. Then place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours. Shape into torpedo loaves and then let rise, lightly covered with plastic wrap on a floured surface or baking tray dusted with cornmeal for about 1 hour. Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. Slice and enjoy.

Just another good reason to go vegan....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baked Mac & Cheese with Warm Brussel Sprouts salad

Tonight I decided to whip up some quick old standby mac and cheese. I used penne rigate for the pasta and a roux based nutritional yeast sauce for the cheese. To pair up with the incredibly filling and rich pasta I made a lemony and acidic warm brussels salad. The salad is blanched quartered Brussels sprouts tossed in dressing made with sauteed garlic and red onions, olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, vegan Worcestershire and a few capers thrown in for good measure. The dressing is probably about 3 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice and a few other bits of all the other ingredients thrown in. The hot dressing tossed with the hot Brussels right in the pan helped to infuse a good bit of flavor into them. Its great to serve the salad warm and the mac and cheese with some smoky chipotle hot sauce from the post yesterday. I'm going to start putting that stuff on everything, its addicting!

Baked Mac & Cheese

1/2 lb your favorite tubular pasta
3 tbsp vegan butter
3 tbsp www flour
2 tsps minced garlic
1 tbsp onion powder
2 cups soymilk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp paprika
ground black pepper
1 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp tahini

Get your pasta cooking in lots of boiling salted water. Melt the vegan butter and add the garlic. Cook for a minute then add the flour to form a roux. Over low heat, slowly add the soymilk and whisk until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Add all the rest of the ingredients. When the pasta is al dente take it out and add it to the sauce. Spoon into a greased loaf pan top with grated vegan cheese and bake at 450F for about 15 minutes until bubbly and brown.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Buffalo Seitan, Baked Potato with Bacon-Scallion-Garlic Cream Cheese

Tonight I decided to please the misses missus and make one of the dishes that triggered a profound hunger in her tummy, that is, Buffalo Seitan. I did a riff on Vegan Dad's recipe for the ultimate vegan hot wingz except I changed a few things around for the breading and the seitan itself. I made a simple chipotle hot sauce, some vegan ranch, and a baked potato topped with a flavored cream cheese to round off the meal. The mushrooms in the seitan add a great depth of flavor and add to the wonderfully soft texture of the seitan. This meal could make the most pessimistic eaters praise seitan the same way any seasoned veteran vegan does. I recommend a nice light amber ale with this meal, nothing to heavy, but a good bit of bite is welcome to cut through some of the richness of the cream cheese and compliment the smoky hot sauce.

Buffalo Seitan

2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
2 garlic clove, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp each salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, sage
1 cup water
2 cup vital wheat gluten

1 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
3 tbsp oil
2 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sided cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil.
1. Place mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add oil, spice, salt and water and process into a smooth paste. Add gluten and process into a smooth dough.
2. Remove dough from food processor and roll into a cylinder about 14" long. Slice into 1" pieces and roll them into a smaller cylinders. Slice that in half if they are too long, then flatten slightly.
3. Mix together ground corn flakes, flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Combine soy milk and vinegar in a separate bowl.
4. Toss seitan in 2 tsp of oil. Toss seitan in corn flake mixture.
5. Dip seitan soy milk mixture, then toss in cornflake mixture again. Place on prepared cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10 mins, turn over, then bake for another 10 mins.
7. Coat wingz with all but 1/4 cup of the sauce. Bake for 5 mins, then use a spoon to scoop up excess sauce and recoat the wingz. Bake for another 3-5 mins, until bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 5 mins. Toss in remaining sauce and serve. Alternatively, keep sauce on the side and serve as a dipping sauce for those who are not as big of fans of spicy food.

Chipotle Hot Sauce

1 small can chipotles in adobo
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsps salt
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup canola oil

Puree all ingredients in the blender. Put in a glass jar and use as needed.

Vegan Ranch

1 box silken tofu
2 tsps salt
black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried dill
1 tbsp dried parsley
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp vineger
juice of 1 lemon

Puree all ingredients until smooth. Add the dried herbs last so that the whole mixture is not bright green. Let sit in fridge to let the flavors meld.

Serve up everything and enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Banana Poppyseed Cake

This cake is a great treat to serve to all your family and friends. It is a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's website. The combination of bananas, poppyseeds, and lemon does not exactly sound like a match made in heaven, but it really works. I baked the cake in a 12" springform pan and it took about 1 hour to bake. You can reduce the baking time depending on what pan you use. Top with a tart lemon icing to add a nice zing and cut through the richness of the cake.

Banana Poppyseed Cake

4 bananas
1 cup soymilk
4 tbsp flaxseeds
3/4 brown sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups WWW flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
2 tsps salt
1/2 cup poppyseeds

juice of 1 lemon
enough powdered sugar to make a thin icing

Mash up the bananas then add all the ingredients up to the flour. Mix well until smooth. Sift in all the dry ingredients. Fold all together and then add the poppyseeds. Pour batter in a large springform pan. Bake for about 50 minutes at 350F. When cooled top with lemon icing and serve it up.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crepes, done up savory

Tonight I tried my hand at making crepes for the first time ever. My grandma used to make me mounds and mounds of crepes she called polachinki. I could not control my excitement while I was making these and ate probably 100 of them as soon as they got out of the pan. By the time dinner was ready I was already full, but I still ate the entire plate and licked it clean. I used a recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan which she promises offers the eggy texture of non-vegan crepes which I must say she achieved with great success. I modified it only a bit by using whole wheat white flour and agave nectar for the sugar. Its quick to make and really offers up a great canvas for a number of creative dishes. The recipe can be found here, no resting time needed.

After whipping up a batch of the crepes I decided to make a savory meal out of them.  I took some super creamy mashed potatoes, and then fried up some onions, leeks, and spinach to fill them with. The sauce is a spinach bechamel which is easier than it sounds. The tofu is just browned in a pan and splashed with tamari and liquid smoke (still waiting to get a smoker of my own).  The whole dish is sprinkled with fried onions.


Spinach Bechamel

2 tbsp Earth balance
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion
3 cloves garlic
4 tbsp flour
1 cup soymilk
2 cups spinach


Saute the onion and garlic in the butter and olive oil. Get it translucent and then add the flour. Mix it up well and cook for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and soymilk. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Throw in the leftover 1/2 cup silken tofu from the crepe recipe (optional). Puree the sauce until it gets really smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over anything you want, especially with savory stuffed crepes.

Make crepes, I  double dare you. You will be happy you did.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Navy Bean Soup

Well it was another freezing day here in Urbana.  Why is it so cold when it is only October??  We really needed a meal to warm us up.  We decided to make this super simple and easy-on-the-pockets dish.  (Vegan food is so cheap if you eat veggies all the time.)

Navy Bean Soup

1 onion
few cloves of garlic
few celery stalks
few carrots
can of navy beans
veggie broth or bouillion cube
salt and pepper

Get a big pot hot and add a little bit of oil and add the onion and garlic.  Cook onion til you are done chopping the other veggies.  Add celery and carrots.  Cook for a little while more while you open the beans and rinse them off.  Add the beans and add enough water to cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Mush it up a bit.  Add more veggie broth (I did about 2 cups, you can add as much or as little as you like.)  Cook for a little while longer until it thickens up.  Serve with homemade bread and mashed potatoes.  Eat fast so you can finish your homework after dinner!  (Oh wait, that's just me.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fennel and Leek Risotto Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

Well I don't even know where to start with this meal. It was seriously one of the best dishes I have made in a while and I cannot believe how easy it was to make. On top of that it was so cheap to prepare as well. I put down a whopping dollar for the squash, maybe ten cents for the rice and maybe another dollar for all the other ingredients. It just goes to show that plant based cuisine is not only great tasting (wait 'til you try this recipe out), life-saving (think of the slaughter of animals that goes into making a carnivorous meal) and environmentally friendly (think efficient use of grain, and less global warming methane from cow farts),  but wonderfully inexpensive. Your meals don't have to be full of expensive, weird, and difficult to find ingredients to be vegan and delicious. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy the occasional vegan Philly cheese steak, but there is something about the good old fruits and vegetables that really make your meal super delicious and satisfying.

Leek and Fennel Risotto Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

1 Sweet Dumpling squash, halved, seeds removed, cooked in 350 degree oven for about 30 mins
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 leek, halved, trimmed, and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup short grain brown rice
3 cups stock
2 tbsps vegan butter
1/2 cup almond milk
olive oil
1/4 cups almonds chopped

Sweat the fennel, garlic, and leek in a few glugs of olive oil over med heat. Add the rice and coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of stock to just cover the rice. Stir and let cook. Add more broth when rice absorbs the stock. Repeat until the rice is just about done. Add almond milk and vegan butter. Cook for a bit longer. Stuff the squash with the risotto and sprinkle with almonds. Brown in a 400F oven for about 5-10 minutes.

I served my stuffed squash with a little seitan, lentil and turnip green stew made from leftover lentils. The stew is basically lentils onions, garlic, potatoes, seitan, turnip greens, olive oil, salt, pepper and chipotles. There was a bit of  dry red wine added to deglaze the pan when browning the seitan and a little broth added as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vegan Club Sandwich

Tonight's dinner was another quick one. I fried up some homemade seitan bacon and some green tomatoes to make this club a little more special than your average sandwich. The sandwich was completed with vegenaise, romaine lettuce and hickory smoked Tofurky slices. I served it with some sweet potato fries and romesco sauce.This is a great weeknight meal for those of you who are busy or just don't feel like cooking a whole bunch.

Club Sandwich

5 strips seitan or other fakin bacon
1 greenish tomato
a few slices good quality seitan turkey slices
couple pieces romaine lettuce
whole wheat sandwich bread

Get a pan hot and splash a bit of olive oil in there. Fry the fakin bacon on both sides until crispy and browned. Sear the firm green tomatoes on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Make sure you don't over cook these because they will fall apart on you. Toast your bread, slather both pieces with vegenaise and stack the ingredients in the sandwich. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Breakfast of Champions, Vegan Mofo

This morning I decided to bust out the ole waffle maker and whip up some quick and easy waffles. After removing the dust and checking to see if it still works I made a batter using white whole wheat flour (WWW flour). I topped mine with some almond butter, sliced bananas and agave nectar what a fucking delight.

Basic Waffles

1 1/2 cups WWW flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup potato starch
3 tbsp flaxseeds, ground

2 tbsps melted Earth Balance
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups soymilk mixed with 2 tsps vinegar
3 tbsp agave nectar
water to thin if needed

Combine all the dry ingredients and sift into a large bowl. Combine all the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Get your waffle iron hot and ready and wipe it with a bit of oil. Cook the waffles evenly and serve immediately (or keep in a 200F oven). Top with whatever you please.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bacon, baked tofu, and avocado sandwich

Tonight I tried once again to replicate the ever so difficult flavor and texture of bacon. I felt like I nailed the flavor with a good bit of liquid smoke and salt, but the texture is something that is just so hard to get right. Granted it has been a long time since I have eaten bacon from a pig (been vegan for almost 5 years now woo woo!) and any opinion of mine on the relative similarities of seitan to meat dead animal products is no good anyways.  However, I really enjoyed the smoky flavor and crisp texture of my seitan bacon. I will post the recipe once I get it down right. I served the sandwich with some sauteed young portabella mushrooms, following Isa's recipe on the PPK blog , inside a lettuce cup topped with a little Romesco sauce. It was really good except I wish I had some chantrelles to use instead.

Bacon, Baked Tofu, & Avocadonaise Sandwich

a few strips fakin bacon
1 pkg tofu, pressed and sliced into 8 rectangles
3 tbsp tamari or more
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
thyme, black pepper

1 avocado, smashed up with a touch of lemon juice
1/4 cup vegenaise
salt, pepper

lettuce, tomato, other veggies

For the bacon, just brown it up in a bit of oil and set aside. For the baked tofu, I start by browning both sides in the pan, then just before its done I splash all the pieces with tamari and a bit of lemon juice and garlic then put it in the 400F oven for about 15 minutes.For the avocadonaise just mash up all the ingredients with a fork to leave a bit of texture to the spread. Adjust seasonings to taste.

                                 This is why I cannot get any studying done!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Creamy Broccoli Soup

This soup is really good and really simple, just like all of the good things in life. I have been in a soup kind of mood because it has been raining here for like 48 hrs straight, and if there is one thing that really makes you feel better when you're all wet and cold is a bowl of comforting soup. This soup gets its creaminess from potatoes, white beans, and almond milk. I recommend making it a cheesy version if you like by adding nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and a little white miso paste. I served mine in a homemade bread bowl, but it would be good all alone too.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 or 2 carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic
1 large head broccoli, coarse chop
4-5 yukon gold or other creamer potato, chopped
1 can cooked white beans
2 cups almond milk or cashew cream, unsweetened

Put a few good splash of oil in a soup pot over med heat. Saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots trying not to get them too colored. Season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and about 2 cups of water. Cook until potatoes are almost tender then add chopped broccoli and beans. Cook until everything is soft but not too over cooked. Once you reach this point there shouldn't be too much liquid left in the pan so add your milk and get out your immersion blender and puree the soup right in the pot (or put in normal blender, pureeing in batches). Now would be the time to make it cheesy soup too. I serve mine topped with a bit of tempeh bacon and paprika. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Curry Sweet Potato Soup

This soup is suprisingly simple and delicious. Its topped with some croutons (bread, oil, salt, herbs, garlic, in the oven for 10 minutes) and some caramelized onions and mushrooms seasoned with salt and pepper. The soup gets a little spicy but the sweet potatoes really hold up to the spice quite well. If you want to get warmed up from a cold and rainy day, or just need a good bowl of comforting, yet exciting, soup you will really enjoy this one.

Curry Sweet Potato Soup

4 sweet potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 clove garlic, minced
2 cups stock or water
1 tsp each, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, paprika
1 tsp each, toasted mustard seeds, toasted coriander, ground fine
salt and black pepper to taste

In a stock or soup pot add some oil and saute the onions and garlic over low heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook making sure not to get any color on the vegetables. After about 5 minutes add the spices and coat the vegetables. Cover with stock and simmer until everything is real soft, about 15-20 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. Adjust seasonings then serve topped with croutons. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

spanish fritata de patatas with romesco and tempeh bacon

The many sides of the dish i made tonight.

This recipe is an adaptation of Bryanna Clark Grogan's vegan spanish tortilla de patatas and romesco sauce. I modified the recipe to mimic the vegan omelets I have made in the past because those recipes where really successful. This has an awesome contrast of textures from the crispy and starchy potatoes to the firm creaminess of the tofu. The romesco adds a much needed dash of acidity that cuts through the richness of the rest of the dish. By roasting the garlic and peppers for the sauce you achieve a great depth of flavor that makes for the best romesco sauce you have ever had.

Spanish fritata de patatas

1 box silken tofu
1/3 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsps nutritional yeast
1 tsp each tumeric, curry powder, cumin
2 tbsps tahini
2 tbsps arrowroot
salt and black pepper to taste

4 small potatoes, boiled and cut into a dice
1 shallot diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
salt pepper paprika
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the onions and garlic in some oil in a 10-12 inch oven proof pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and let them crisp up by throwing the whole pan in the oven. Make sure you season these well with salt pepper and paprika. After about 5 minutes you can add the spinach and let it wilt. In the meantime get your tofu mixture ready by blending together all the ingredients above the potatoes. It should be a pretty thick mixture. Then pour the mixture over the potatoes and spinach and mix it through to get it well distributed. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool then slice and serve with romesco sauce and tempeh bacon.

Romesco Sauce

1 roasted red bell pepper
6 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 cup almonds
few pieces stale bread
4 sundried tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup broth
1/4 cup olive oil
oregano, thyme, basil
salt + pepper

Cook the tomatoes in some olive oil for a few minutes until softened. Toast the bread. Blend everything until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with the fritatta or one of the many other options.....beans, tempeh, seared seitan, grilled zucchini or eggplants, etc.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

French Onion Soup

I decided to whip up some soup real quick tonight. I remembered when I got the nice big crouton smothered in cheese back in my pre-vegan days, but never really got to the stuff it was floating atop. That something turns out to be one of the easiest soups to make and it sure is delicious. I still opted to put garlicky cheesy crouton on top of the soup. I had some homemade bread from yesterday that I sliced up, buttered, rubbed with a 1/2 garlic clove then topped with sliced Follow Your Heart Mozzarella cheese and threw that under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese got all bubbly and light brown. Served atop this oniony bowl of glory I was ever so humbled. Luckily, since this is one of my favorite soups, I was pleased to see that the missus enjoyed just as much as I did. However, some of us do not like FYH Mozzarella, but that's alright cause there are so many other alternatives out there. I really want to get my hands on some Cheezly, but everywhere seems to be out of it when I try to order.

French Onion Soup

Vegan Butter
olive oil
4 red onions, sliced thin
6 spring onions, sliced thin
plus any other onions you got ( shallots, leeks, etc.)
5 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh or dried sage
fresh or dried thyme
6 cups vegetable stock
vegan Worcestershire sauce
good crusty bread
vegan cheese
1 garlic clove
vegan butter

Put the butter, 2 glugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving some room for steam to get out, and cook slowly for 30 minutes, making sure not to brown the onions too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes – your onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. You can expidite this process, but you may want to try the low and slow so that you can get the crazy good sweetness you want. Now add the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven or grill to maximum. Toast your bread on both sides. Rub with half clove garlic. Sprinkle with some grated or sliced cheese and drizzle over a little Worcestershire sauce. Broil for a few minutes and put ontop of your bowl of soup. Enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Butternut squash risotto

Today I decided to break out the autumn favorite of butternut squash risotto. The creaminess of the rice and the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash is the perfect backdrop for a spicy seitan hash on top. The roasted green onions bring a bit more savory onion flavor to the party and the look nice as hell too. I feel this dish really celebrates some of the delicious harvest available at my local farmers market this time of year and really warms you up on a nice cool evening. I would suggest a nice sweet Riesling to go with this dish as it compliments the sweetness of the squash, especially the pieces that were caramelized by the roasting, and really balances out the spice of the hash on top. If you don't have seitan I would recommend some white beans, actually that probably would have been a better choice.

Butternut Squash Risotto

5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup of brown short grain rice
1 sweet onion diced
5 cloves garlic minced
white wine
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into good size chunks
olive oil

Roast the butternut at 450 degrees and turn over a few times until caramelized and tender, about 30 mins. Did i mention you should oil up the sheet pan and squash and season aggressively with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, saute your onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, then add the rice and cook for about 5 minutes until the grains are translucent. Deglaze with white wine. Then add stock to cover, cook until it evaporates, then add more stock and stir. repeat until rice is just about done. Once this is ready your butternut squash should be good to go. Take half of the squash and puree it or "squash" it up (see what i did there, haha). Add squash to rice mixture and cook for a few minutes to incorporate the squash in really well. AT this time your rice should still be a little oozy, if not add a bit more stock and loosen it up. Finish with a bit of vegan butter and add the roasted squash chunks that you didn't mash. Top with the spicy hash, recipe follows.

Spicy Seitan or White Bean hash

1 can white beans, or 1 pkg seitan
4 good potatoes, diced small
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small eggplant, diced small
olive oil

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the potatoes. Cook for a bit. Let it get crispy, dont mess around with it too much. Then add the eggplant and cook until it gets real tender and the potatoes crisp some more. Add beans or seitan and get them brown. Season with paprika and cayenne to taste. You may need to add a bit of water to this to get the potatoes to steam a bit too. I had too. If you dice them small enough they should cook through with only the heat of the pan.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tofu Stroganoff with Avocado Cream

So Vegan MOFO is keeping me motivated to post everyday and even get my schoolwork done. Veganism sure is great, huh?

Anyways here is the dish I made tonight. I had some really great arugula that my friend got from his CSA and i through that in to give a nice peppery bite to the creamy heartiness that is tofu stroganoff. I used kamut pasta and it was actually amazing. Not rubbery or mushy, but instead, perfectly al dente.

Tofu Stroganoff with avocado cream sauce

1 block tofu, pressed and dried, cut into good size pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp liquid smoke
garlic, minced
ground black pepper

good handful off cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 red onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic crushed and minced
2 tsps dried thyme
1 bunch baby arugula
salt and pepper

1/4 cup pasta water
1 avocado
1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
2 tbsp nooch
5 scallions

1 box of your favorite pasta cooked 1 min pre-al dente

Cook the tofu and brown on all sides. add garlic black pepper and then splash with tamari and smoke just before done cooking. Set aside. In the same pan add a bit more oil then the mushrooms. Brown them up for a few minutes then add the sliced onion then garlic and thyme salt and pepper. When the pasta is just about done add the arugula and wilt then add the pasta and the tofu back in. Toss with the avocado sauce, which is all the ingredients listed above pureed until smooth, and the pasta water to make a nice sauce. Cook for a minute when its all together just so that the pasta is done and absorbs all the sauce. You will really fuck up if you use soymilk, drink almond milk. Get into it!

Just kidding soymilk will be fine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chocolate Almond Agave cake

This was some amazing eats.

I made a basic chocolate cake batter with 2 smooshed bananas and sweetened it with agave nectar. Its pretty much this recipe except with some bananas for moisture. The real star is the frosting....Holy Shiitake! Its amazing and simple.

Chocolate Almond Frosting

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, good quality
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Mix everything together and get an amazing ganache like frosting that you will have trouble not eating with a spoon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Empanada Pizza

This is a dish that I made for a bunch of my good friends. It was inspired by the idea of a potato pizza meshed with a Spanish empanada. The base is a crust of corn and wheat yeast dough that adds a killer crunch against the creamy potatoes. If I were to make this dish again I would cut the potatoes thicker and par-cook them to add more of a toothsome creamy bite to the potato layer.

Cornmeal Crust

2 cups corn meal, fine grind works well
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1.5 cups warm water
2 tsps yeast
2 tbsps agave nectar
1 tbsp salt or more

Mix all the ingredients together, the dough should be coarse and heavy, not too far off from a bread dough. Knead dough for like 5-10 minutes and let rise for an hour in a warm place. Punch down dough and let rise again for at least a half hour. Roll out into a pizza crust shape when your ready to make the dish.

The toppings

2 onions, sliced thin then cooked over medium heat and carmelized add a clove of minced garlic halfway through cooking. Season with salt and pepper and oregano
1 package soyrizo or upton's seitan chorizo

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

This is a take on romesco except more creamy.

1/2 cup cashews, raw
2 roasted red peppers
1 cup white beans
2 tbsp red wine vineger
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp oregano
1 clove garlic, more if you want
1/2 cup tomato sauce (or marinara sauce)
fresh herbs if you got them

Blend everything together until you get a smooth texture. Adjust seasonings if you need. Put it on the crust. Then the seitan chorizo and caramelized onions.

Then of course, top with thinly sliced yukon gold potatoes ( i used a mandolin) drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.

Bake the pizzas in a 450F oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown and the potatoes are cooked through.

Slice and enjoy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Day of vegan MOFO, IRon CHef

Here is my Iron Chef Battle Brassicaceae entry and first entry for the vegan MOFO. I decided to utilize the secret ingredient in numerous ways as you will see in the recipes. You may think that the seitan is the star of this dish but its not, believe me, the cabbage, horseradish, and mustard really steal the show on your palate. After you make this dish you will probably need a good nap because it is as hearty as can be. But I think that is a good thing, especially with the onset of colder weather.

For the seitan I actually just used some recipes as references and they are fairly simple to follow. If you go to you can find recipes for corned beef seitan and bbq seitan. I tweaked the recipes a bit by incorporating some of the secret ingredient, like mustard seeds in the corned beef and mustardy bits in the bbq sauce. I also roasted some sweet potatoes to compliment the bbq side of the plate, and some roasted fingerling potatoes to go with the corned beef and cabbage.

Smokey Maple Porter BBQ Sauce

About 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or just enough to fry the onions and garlic
1 chopped white onion
4 cloves of chopped garlic
12 oz. of Sierra Nevada Porter
1 cup of maple syrup
12 oz. of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of black pepper

Cook the onions and garlic until caramelized over medium heat. Add a bit of water every several minutes to de-glaze the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients cook for about 15 minutes then let cool and puree.

Creamy Coleslaw with Pickled Red onions

This absolutely is amazing and simple. It is a great cold crunchy and creamy contrast to the spicy hot bbq seitan.

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
4 Tbsp Vegenaise
1 Tbsp German Mustard
2 Tbsp Agave nectar
splash red wine vinegar
salt + pepper

1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
2 tsp red wine vinegar

Mix together all the slaw ingredients while you quickly pickle the red onions.

Braised Cabbage with Corned Beef Seitan

1 recipe corned beef seitan
1/2 head green cabbage, large dice
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 tsps paprika
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
veg broth

Cook the onions and garlic in a bit of oil and add all the spices. Toss in the cabbage and seitan and add a bit of vegetable broth. Cook for about 20 minutes. Add more veg broth and cook ten minutes more. Serve with roasted fingerling potatoes and horseradish cream.

Horseradish Cream

1/2 block silken tofu
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp prepared horseradish, or more
2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Puree everything and chill. Serve over the corned beef and cabbage for a right good kick in the mouth.