Monday, March 30, 2009

Homemade awesomeness!

So I arrive home from work and lo and behold, there's a package for me! My friend Mandy has lovingly sent me some maple syrup from her very own backyard trees, some homemade granola and some handmade cucumber scented soap! All vegan!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Holy trinity frittata, Batman!

Holy Trinity Frittata

1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS each diced shallot, carrot, celery, leeks,
1/4 cup diced shitake mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped kale
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped seitan
2 pieces crumbled tempeh bacon

1/4 cup firm tofu
2 TBS nutritional yeast
2 TBS chickpea flour
1 tsp soy sauce
Pinch turmeric (for eggy color)
1/4-1/3 cup vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 400.

In a cast iron skillet saute the shallot, carrot, celery and leeks in olive oil until softened. Add mushrooms, kale, and vegetable broth and steam a few minutes until kale is cooked. Add seitan and tempeh and heat through until broth has cooked off.

Blend together tofu, nootch, chickpea flour, soy sauce, turmeric, and broth until smooth. The mixture should be the consistency of a thin hummus.

Pour the tofu mixture over the cooked veggies and spread around so it covers the pan.

Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until set. You can smell it when it's starting to brown.

I tried to flip it out of the pan, but it stuck a bit and ended up looking like plain old tofu scramble anyway. Holy yum. This is one of the best experiments I've made in awhile. The consistency is kind of like quiche, so I imagine you could do this in a pie plate for the same effect. I'll be making this again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bagel Chips and Spinach & Artichoke Dip

I love how seemingly random events give you an idea. DJ Karma made some melba toasts, the ninja randomly bought some bagel chips, I brought bagels to work and had about a half dozen left over that I brought home. Now, I could spend the next week eating toasted bagels with Earth Balance and Tofutti cream cheese, but I'm actually trying to fit into my summer pants and powering down bagels and schmear isn't going to get it done. So to preserve the bagels a little longer...let's make bagel chips.

It's really complicated so pay close attention and follow the directions precisely....

Slice the bagels into thin chip pieces and bake in the oven at about 300 degrees for 30 min. Flip once about halfway. If they're not crispy enough, leave them in the oven a little longer.

and voila, bagel chips!

Now for the world's easiest spinach & artichoke dip. This is adapted from a non-vegan artichoke dip I used to make in college that originally came from a friend's mom. This can be as fresh or as pre-packaged as you want. I usually have some version of the ingredients on hand at any time. You can also use either artichokes or spinach if you've only got the one. I'm sure you can use soft tofu instead of the vegan mayo, just adjust the salt & lemon to taste.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
1 bunch spinach or 1 package frozen chopped (or a can of spinach for Popeye effect.)
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic - smashed
1 can artichokes chopped (marinated "works" if that's what you've got, but I drain and rinse them-use less or no lemon juice to taste)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I usually use vegenaise today I used Wildwood Aioli)
2 TBS lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute spinach until wilted with the garlic in a little olive oil. Add artichokes and cook about 2 min. Add nootch, vegenaise and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is ready to serve as is hot or you can bake it in the oven topped with breadcrumbs (bagel breadcrumbs!) if you're bringing to a fancy party. Serve with bagel chips or (I can't believe It's vegan) Triscuits.

OK, now just don't eat it all in one sitting...Yum! TGI Friday's (not vegan) has nothing on this! You can also serve with raw veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. It's also good as a cold dip for the summer.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2 new peeps, sourdough, Twilight, and digital technology.

The super cool bonus part of this whole blogging thing is meeting new like minded people even if only in cyber space. Keeping up with all this interwebbing takes some dedication, although it's like sourdough starter and can be resuscitated after some neglect. More on sourdough later.

So when my usual blogger pals like non-shampooing Joanna (yes, Jo, really you this time) is off with her Edward Cullen like new BF forcing him to wear her bathrobe and watch Twilight; and River is off saving cats, making awesome food, obsessing over Austen (who doesn't), and travelling the country as a champion ballroom dancer or whatever it is she does (have you ever revealed it?) I get a chance to branch out and find some new cool blogs.

Enter my 2 new blogs to follow this week: Stay Vegan and but what does she eat? check them out. Stay Vegan has an awesome bizarro cartoon and but what does she eat? has some great food porn and a nice review of NYC vegan restaurant Sacred Chow.

Now for the Twilight and technology...

So Twilight was released last night at midnight and I got to watch it the second it was released from the comfort of my own home via the Roku and Amazon on Demand. I got the Roku almost a year ago when it first came out to get the streaming Netflix on my TV. The Roku device is $99 and the streaming is free with a netflix subscription and I still get DVD rentals in the mail. Not every movie is available streaming, but it keeps me in British period pieces, MI-5 and the Office-both British and American. I'm not really British, I just don't get BBC America.
The cool new part is that the Roku also plays movies on demand from Amazon. You can either rent or buy them and they're right on your TV with no packaging waste, shipping, or DVD's to store. Pretty cool huh? I'll probably cancel HBO soon, but I really need my Big Love, Flight of the Conchords, and Bill Maher fixes each week, so I'm not sure I'll replace it just yet.

I'm also an early adopter of the Amazon Kindle. I commute on the train to work, so carrying around a small device that has all my books on it and the New York Times is so perfect for me. It's pricey, but again, you don't pay shipping-the electronic wireless delivery service is free-and books are delivered in seconds. The only thing I've found they don't have for Kindle is Harry Potter and many older vegan cookbooks. I do have the Veganomicon, Vegan Express, Vegan Soups and Stews, this Crazy Vegan Life, and the Thrive Diet on the Kindle. There are more available I just seem to have most of them in book form already. Classics like the complete Jane Austen collection are about 99 cents. Again, no shipping, packaging, paper books to end up in landfills, that sort of thing.

And don't even get me started on how fantastic the ipod is...

OK, back to old fashioned things like sourdough bread. I'm making some now from some sourdough starter. Sourdough is a long tradition in my family and although my current starter came from King Arthur Flour a few years ago, it picks up a nice local New York flavor and each loaf is uniquely my own. There are different yeast strains in every location, so even if you took San Francisco starter and made it anywhere else it wouldn't taste exactly the same.

You can buy starter at King Arthur Flour, but if you would like me to send you some of mine, shoot me an e-mail at jennlynskey at gmail dot com with your address and I'll hook it up.

I'm off to the post office to ship out Mandy's sourdough starter and adobo seasoning...It's my bribe to get some of her own maple syrup. She taps the trees in her yard. That's some local agriculture.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Great American Meatout!

So we had an awesome meatout lunch in the Cafeteria. Yup, 14 people had a meatless lunch today. Although some of them didn't realize until after it came that the shrimp and duck weren't really made from shrimp or duck! We ordered take out Dim Sum from Buddah Bodai in Chinatown and the very nice delivery guy rode his bike in the snow (yes, snow on the first day of spring) to bring us our feast. Of course I had to stick my camera in everyone's lunch to capture the food awesomeness. Some dishes were less well received than others (fake meats aren't everyone's gig.) But I think we all had fun trying new things. Here are some favorites...
Shredded Shitake Mushroom with broccoli.

Veg chicken fried rice and a spring roll.

Sweet sticky rice ball with coconut.

Pan fried stuffed bean curd and mixed fruits pancake.

Florence and Cindy enjoying the sticky rice balls and fried bean curd.

Pan fried turnip cake.

Veg. chicken with Chinese green veg in black pepper sauce

Veg. duck noodle soup.

Dee, Christina, and Karen digging into veg duck soup, sticky rice, and 2 kinds mushroom congee.

Fried sticky rice.

Steamed watercress dumplings drenched in dumpling sauce.

Mixed vegetable pan fried noodles.

Dry sauteed veg beef chow fun.

Sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaf.

And Kristen says of the vegan tofu cheesecake..."Oh, this isn't too bad!"

All in all a totally fun vegan luncheon for meatout day. I gave out fruit leather, vegan gummy bears, and larabars as treats so everyone can have a vegan snack for later.

Peace out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

25th Annual Meatout Tomorrow 3/20/09

Friday, March 20th is not just the first day of Spring, it's the Meatout!

I've taken up the little one's challenge and tomorrow my co-workers and I will be ordering Vegetarian Dim Sum for lunch and chillin' in the company cafeteria. I'll report back tomorrow.

See if you can convince one person to go meat free for the day, or in my case get many people to go meat free for one meal.

Happy Meatout!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Eggplant Bacon!

i am totally copying, but i just had to make this after i saw Jen's awesome eggplant bacon.
i'm also copying her all lower case i thing because the already broken "i" button finally totally crapped out and cutting and pasting just the small "i" is way more convenient. Oh, why couldn't i have broken the Q or Z or something!?! Dell is sending me a new keyboard i have to install in my laptop, so that should be an adventure in DiY computer maintenance.

But on to the awesome eggplant bacon. it's just eggplant sliced thinly marinated in any tempeh bacon recipe marinade (i used Bianca's tester marinade that can be yours when her cookbook comes out!). The basic "bacon" marinade is some soy sauce and a little liquid smoke. The VWAV recipe is good, too. i did use a mandolin to slice the eggplant, but it got caught on the seeds and didn't work significantly better than just thinly slicing it with a knife.

i baked the first batch too long so it was extra crispy and really too blackened. i ate it anyway in the sammich. it's an ezekiel sprouted english muffin with eggplant bacon and the sauce is vegenaise, curry ketchup, and Zukay garlic dill relish.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Matzo crusted seitan


My favorite setian recipe is Joanna’s from yellow rose recipes.  I just made the old chicken style cutlets, but when I went to link to the recipe I’ve discovered she’s got a new recipe and site as well.

I kind of multi-tasked here and boiled the potatoes and steamed the Brussels sprouts in the same big pot with the seitan.  Then pulled out a cutlet, breaded it in some matzo meal with a little seasoned salt, then sautéed  it in a little olive oil.  Then I took out about a 1/2 cup of broth from the seitan pot and added a cornstarch slurry to make a quick gravy.

Today’s cooking soundtrack is the Twilight movie soundtrack.  I think it’s cute that Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) sings on it.  There are bonus tracks from iTunes which include some nice classical music.  

There’s also Stephanie Meyer's personal Twilight soundtrack.  I’d say it’s the book soundtrack.  I mean you can’t go wrong with OMD.  Pretty in Pink was the soundtrack of my teen angst.   

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Kombucha. Yeah, I had to look it up... Kombucha is a culture that is made into a tea or elixir and seems to pretty much cure anything from the common cold to underarm odor.

I try to buy the weird stuff at my local grocery store so they continue to stock off-beat stuff. So today I opted to try the GT's Organic Raw Kombucha Gingerade and Multi-green drinks. I have to say, they are pretty good. Only 60-70 calories in the whole bottle despite tasting sweet like soda. They're fizzy, too.

If you're not into buying experimental groceries...Tracy at Strawberry Hedgehog has an easy recipe for gingerade on her site. She also makes and sells AWESOME handmade vegan soaps.

I also made some 17 bean soup. Trader Joe's has a 17 bean dried soup mix that has a recipe on it, but you can usually find many bean soup mixes with the dried beans. Just remember that more than 239 beans and you'll be too-farty. Get it? It sounds funnier with an Irish accent...

Uh, the beans seem to have fallen to the bottom, but I assure you this is a hearty bean soup photo.

Many Bean Soup

2 cups mixed dried beans with similar cooking times, soaked
1 onion
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
2 small or one large potato (peeled or not, your call)
4 garlic cloves
1 can chopped tomatoes (big or small depending on how tomatoey you want your soup
1-2 Tbs thyme or Italian seasoning
1-3 tsp salt to taste
Olive oil for sauteing

Chop vegetables and saute in a little olive oil. Add beans, tomatoes, and seasoning and cover with 10 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer with lid partially covered on for about 1 and 1/2 hours. Test beans for doneness and adjust seasonings. You can puree part or all of the soup for a less brothy soup. I added a few dashes of Tabasco sauce before serving.

Today's cooking soundtrack is the Myths of the Near Future by the Klaxons. I saw them at Madison Square Garden in 2007 with Santogold when they opened for Bjork.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pile of vegetables and some soy nuggets

Today's pantry item comes to you from the freezer. It's 3 little Trader Joe's soy nuggets. I've got a shoebox sized freezer to begin with that actually needs to be defrosted. And I mean defrosted, like turned off and scraped with a spatula every hour or so and dumping out snowman sized chunks into the sink. Yeah, I need an appliance upgrade. I'm sure it's an electricity hog even though it's small, but it still works and I guess I'm keeping it out of a landfill.

So I need to use stuff up and three little nuggets sitting in a big cardboard box isn't doing much for my space issue.

Anyway, I usually whip up some agave mustard sauce or BBQ sauce for dunking the nuggets, but on this snowy evening, I was feeling like something more homey. There's the nuggets, roasted green beans, some radicchio endive salad, roasted brussel sprouts, the sauteed kale from yesterday's empanadas, and some garlic smashed potatoes.

If you don't live near a Trader Joe's or have never been to one or live in a country where there are no TJs, then you are missing out on an experience and some awesome foodstuffs. There's one near my house, but the TJs in NYC is particularly interesting. Since there's only one in Manhattan, it's quite the novelty. I went once and never again. Even on a Monday night at 7:30pm (not today), there were 2 lines that went ENTIRELY around the store. No lie. I'm sure there are people that go as a team and one shops from the line while the other one runs around the store.

I know someone had a recipe for soy nuggets, but I can't remember who/where...if it's you or you have a recipe post a link in the comments.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Black bean and kale empanadas with ancho chili

I'm back on a clean out the pantry kick for the month of March, so today's ingredient is a dried ancho chili. Empanadas are a savory Mexican pie and are at least something different than my usual ninjadilla.

I used the empanada dough recipe from the Veganomicon. The filling is black beans, kale, one dried ancho chili, a sweet potato, a potato, garlic, shallot, adobo seasoning, cumin, and lime juice.

You can buy adobo seasoning that usually has cumin in it. I don't always like cumin in my burrito so I make the blend without it and add it separately. You could also make it without the salt if you wish.

Adobo seasoning:
2 Tbs salt
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs Espazote (or oregano)
1 tsp dried lemon peel
1 tsp cumin (optional)

I served the empanadas with chipotle vegenaise (veganaise mixed with a little chipotle powder) and some Zukay hot salsa. If you get the chance check out the Zukay salsas. They are fermented with all kinds of good for you probiotics and are super fresh tasting. It's like summer in a jar. Check out Joanna and Bianca's reviews on Zukay. I bought it from the website, but I have seen it in local health food stores.