Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vegan Cheese

Holy cow!

I think I finally mastered the art of making vegan cheese without using any sort of aging process. The trick is to use already fermented ingredients to lend the flavor without actually spending the time or risking a moldy waste of good ingredients. So here is my recipe.

Beautiful Vegan Semi-Firm Cheese

2 cups raw cashews
3/4 cup raw pine nuts
1 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 safflower oil
3tbsp sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 heaped tbsp white miso paste
1 pinch cardamom
1 tbsp onion powder
1 pinch cumin
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 package silken tofu
1 tsp xanthum gum, optional

1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp agar agar powder


Blend all the ingredients (except the water and agar agar from the bottom) until very smooth. You can soak the cashews and pine nuts if you would like, but it is fine without that step. Meanwhile, simmer the water and agar agar powder for about 10-15 minutes until completely dissolved and thickened, stirring continuously.
Get a vessel, mold, dish, or whatever fits all your cheese mixture ready by coating it with oil or nonstick spray. I used a ceramic loaf pan. Avoid metal for this because it may impart some weird flavors.
Now, add the not agar agar mixture into your blender with all the other ingredients and blend until very well combined. Scrape down sides, blend again. Pour mixture into prepared mold and chill for at least two hours.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vegan Donuts!

Instead of cake for my birthday, I wanted donuts. So I got them. What, I mean it is MY birthday right? These are the best damn donuts of all time. so amazing. Super easy to make too. Basically a milk and fat enriched yeast dough that is deep fried then covered with icing or sugar, and filled with pastry creme or jelly or a hole I guess. All I know is that there is little in this world of sugary delights that is as satisfying as a freshly made doughnut.

Deep fried love.

I think this is what is meant by Christ has risen.

Filling, resting, eating, powderedsugar-ing, simultaneously.

We used that chopstick alot.

The first one done and ready for its photo shoot.


Up close and personal.

Confetti fun.

We got the whole gang together.

Sprinkles make me happy

Oops! I ate one (dozen).

Boston cream in your face

The whole assortment

I cant get enough sprinkles in this weird exposure


The outfit.

Vegan Yeast Doughnuts

base dough

4 cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1 pkg instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup Earth balance melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm soymilk
3 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 4 tbsp warm water

Mix all ingredients to from a dough. Knead for about 8 minutes. Form into a ball and let rise for about 1.5 hours. After this, form small pieces of dough into donut shapes ( with holes and without) Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about an hour before frying in 375F canola oil. You need a decent amount of oil, depending on the size of your pot (around 4 cups) , and I recommend using a thermometer to check oil temperature.

After you fry for about 2 minutes per side, the doughnuts should puff up and be golden brown, place on a paper towel to drain. Cover with your favorite frostings, sprinkles, or glaze them in vanilla icing. We made boston creme, jelly filled, and glazed doughnuts with sprinkles.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Arugula done up cooked and raw

This dish was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe in which he went out and picked wild vegetables all around the inner city in London. He found wild fennel, arugula and a bunch of herbs, which makes me want to start looking around Urbana a whole bunch more for wild food stuffs. I got my arugula wild picked at Trader Joes.

Arugula and Wild Mushroom Spaghetti, Cashew Creme Sauce, Smokey tofu, Arugula Salad

for the pasta

1/2 lb ww spaghetti
3 cloves garlic sliced thin
2 cups wild mushrooms, sliced ( I used shiitake, cremini, and oyster)
2 large spring onions, sliced lengthwise to mimic the pasta shape
1 bunch arugula
1 cup cashew creme
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 block of smokey tofu, sliced into strips, or cut into triangles
salt + pepper to taste (easy on the pepper because the arugula is quite peppery)
olive oil

for the salad

1 bunch of arugula
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Smokey tofu

1 block of tofu, pressed and drained, sliced into 8-10 slabs
1/4 cup tamari
3 tbsp liquid smoke
black pepper

Marinate tofu for about an hour. Reserve marinade. Fry tofu in a pan until brown on both sides, then splash with leftover marinade. Throw on a sheet tray and into a 400F oven for about 30 mins.

Cashew Creme

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup water

Add cashews and a half a cup of water to a blender. Blend until smooth adding more water if needed.

Start out by making the smokey tofu. Then start your boiling water and throw your pasta in. Get a pan hot add oil and crisp up your mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes, add sliced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes. Add your sliced spring onions. Then add your arugula. Make sure not to over cook. Add cashew creme and nutritional yeast. Add cooked pasta and a little pasta cooking water to thin out the creme.

When ready to assemble make the salad by dressing the arugula with the oil, lemon juice and salt. Plate the spaghetti on the bottom. Sprinkle your sliced smokey tofu and then top with the arugula salad. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Enjoy right away.

Whole Wheat Pugliese

Whole Wheat Pugliese

So this is a super simple bread recipe that almost takes no work at all. It is based off of the New York Times no knead bread recipe with almost zero changes, except for the shape. It comes out of the oven with a chewy dense crumb, but has nice airy holes that make the bread a bit lighter. I used whole wheat white flour instead of the white flour as the recipe suggests. So so good.

For the recipe follow the link above. For a quick overview, you basically mix all your ingredients, then let sit for 12-18 hours, then shape, then rest for 2 hours then bake in a preheated 500F+ oven and cast iron pot with a lid (mimics a steam injection oven professional bakers use).

Make your own bread because it is easy.