Saturday, May 30, 2009

Move over bacon...here's something greener!

You don't get much greener than a local farmer's market. Mine opened for the season today and I made a super locavore breakfast out of the bounty.
Scramble-Tofu mixed with black salt, turmeric, and lemon juice; mustard greens; beet greens; garlic; asparagus tips, sage, chives.

Tofu bacon - The Bridge local tofu and hickory bacon salt, pan fried.
Arugula - just picked yesterday arugula with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
Strawberries - topped with balsamic vinegar.

I also realized you can EAT the chive flowers, so I topped the scramble with them. Nice light oniony flavor and oh, so pretty.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Japanese Steel

It's no Hitori Hanzo sword, but I have Japanese steel! You know the part in the Veganomicon where Isa and Terry tell you to consider dropping a benjamin on a good knife? You should listen. My brother showed up on vacation with his Top Chef style knife kit and well, I got a little jealous. So the ninja (who sanctions all household weaponry) got me a new knife set. Let me tell you this baby slices through a potato like it was buttah (or Earth Balance, whatever.)

On to this evenings creation. It's potato, mushroom, and red swiss chard layered and topped with sauteed leeks. I used a 4 inch springform pan for the mold.

Mashed potato Layer: potato, earth balance, unsweetened silk, tofutti sour cream, salt and fine herbes

Mushroom Layer: cremini 'schrooms, olive oil, sake, fine herbs, salt

Swiss Chard Leaves Layer: swiss chard leaves, olive oil, garlic, salt

Swiss Chard Stems Layer: Thinly sliced stems from swiss chard cut into bite sized ribbons, olive oil, and hickory bacon salt. Yes, I said Bacon salt. The hickory, peppered, applewood, and mesquite flavors are vegan.

I also quickly pan fried the tempeh and added some bacon salt to that, too.

For dessert we had a baked asian apple pear. I saw this on Christina Cooks. I ate most of it before I remembered to shoot the photo, but you get the idea...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lunchbox!

You don't have to be 6 years old to enjoy a good lunchbox. I mean it's no Cracker Jack's *(1st-3rd grade) or Strawberry Shortcake (4th-6th grade), but the laptop lunch bento box is just waiting to take all your joyful creations to work.

Mine looks pretty awesome to me, but check out Sakurako Kitsa’s Flickr site for the coolest lunch art ever. I think my favorite is the angry sandwich. Wait, and Jaws...oh there are so many.

I've got Vcon Asian Marinated Tofu, inari sushi, edamame, and sushi rice topped with seasoning (Yasai Fumi Furikake-sesame seed, carrot, spinach, pumpkin, celery, Japanese mustard plant, potato starch, sugar salt, and seaweed.)

For more lunchbox recipes and actual kid friendly ideas check out the Vegan Lunchbox by Jennifer McCann.*Cracker Jack's is on the Peta, I can't believe it's vegan list.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

French Toast! Santé!

I made Bianca's tester for French toast and it is so fast, easy, and yummy you'll wonder why you don't eat French toast every day. I hadn't made vegan French toast before and sans eggs you can get this by any omni.
I had a baguette from Thursday that was begging me to save it from being bread crumbs. It was stored in a plastic bag, but was the perfect amount of staleness for French toast.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Breakfast Pizza

I mean you had me at breakfast and pizza.

Tami at vegan appetite is working on a cookbook and I'm catching up with some breakfast goodies. This is a knock your socks off breakfast pizza. Layers of goodness and topped with fried tofu and cheezy sauce.




And I got my Vegan Brunch book. I think I'm going to have an all breakfast weekend. Yum.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More cookbook goodness!

And right behind Vegan Brunch is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Vegan Table due out June 1st. Start making room on the bookshelves. Vegan cookbooks are taking over the world!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

J'aime la soupe et salade

Taking a break from my Japanese kick, I made a satisfying, but light French inspired dinner. Despite being non-vegan and heavily based on swilling champagne (oh, for the love of Veuve Clicquot) French Women don't get Fat is a nice reminder of the philosophies of the French diet.

When I studied in France in college, breakfast was coffee and yogurt, followed by second breakfast of a pain au chocolat or danish at school, lunch was a big meal at the school cafeteria or (shamefully) McDonald's, but most evenings, I had soup, salad, and baguette and butter at home with my host mother. I actually lost a few pounds during my stay in France.

Tonight's potage is roasted brussel sprouts, green bean, leek, and potato. You can make this with fresh vegetables, but I find it's a great way to use up leftover side dishes from other meals. I make this with leftover mashed potatoes or even french fries. I used Spike and sprinkled Penzeys 4S seasoned salt on top.

Potage

2 cups vegetables
2 small red potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
Big pinch of some all purpose seasoning
Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are done. Puree until smooth. You can use an immersion blender, or food processor, but I find the vitamix blender makes it perfectly smooth and velvety. Makes 2 generous servings or 4 smaller servings.

My favorite salad dressing is vinaigrette with a tomato blended in.

Tomato vinaigrette for 1 big salad or 2 side salads

2 TBS good olive oil
1 TBS good balsamic vinegar
Big pinch of a seasoning blend (if unsalted add a pinch of salt as well)
2 small roma tomatoes (fresh is better, canned works)

Blend together and adjust seasonings if necessary. I use a fine herbs blend that is heavy on the basil and tarragon.

Despite being chock full of vegetables and light on calories, 2 cups of soup and a big salad is a good volume of food and I find I am totally satisfied.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Japanese cooking and other cookbooks.

Yes, I'm turning Japanese, I really think so.

I love this cookbook. Japanese Cooking Contemporary and Traditional. Daikon radish, shitake mushrooms, kombu, and weird new stuff like natto. I'm lucky to have several incredible Japanese groceries in and around NYC, so I have been able to find all the esoteric ingredients.

I originally got the book from herbivore, but they don't seem to currently have it in stock. Of course when I checked, I found many other cookbooks I now totally need to have.

I think a Taste of Thailand is up next.
If you don't yet have the Yellow Rose Recipes, check it out for great recipes including my favorite go to seitan cutlet recipe.

Back to the Japanese eating, there's also the non vegan book Japanese Women don't get Old or Fat. I got this from the library ages ago and found it a great resource for demystifying Japanese food. I wanted to read it again so I got it on the Kindle. I also found 2 great Japanese groceries in NYC right from the book. There are plenty of vegetable and tofu recipes, but I'm going to work my way through veganizing some of the non-veg ones.

Vegan Miso Broth
1 3inch piece dried kombu
4 dried shitake mushrooms
2 Tbs white miso paste
4 cups water

Place the kombu and shitake in cold water and bring to a boil. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Strain and add miso. Serve immediately. Makes two 2 cup servings. The ninja is a fan of this.

Save the mushrooms and kombu to make 2nd dashi which isn't quite as strong, but still tasty. You could cut the pieces up and add them with the soup and add tofu, but I like my miso brothy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vegan Cheese Steak

Yeah, I know I'm supposed to be eating more vegetables, but this was pretty awesome. Why make vegan stuff that resembles greasy meat and cheesy stuff? Because it tastes good, that's why.
Vegan Cheese Steak
1 tsp canola oil
2 TBS slices onion
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or combo of oregano and powdered garlic)
1 setian steak sliced into bite sized pieces
4 really thin wide slices of Follow Your Heart Cheddar soy cheese
1 sub roll (check the labels to find one without dairy)

Optional ingredients: mushrooms, sweet peppers, hot peppers
Optional condiments: Ketchup, Veganaise, pickles, relish

Saute onion (and optional mushrooms peppers) in oil and sprinkle with seasoning. When onions are almost browned add seitan steak pieces and saute until warmed and browned. Pile up the mixture into a line in the middle of the pan the shape of the sub roll. Top the pile with 2 pieces of soy cheese and let melt. Put optional condiments on the roll and then cover then cheese steak pile in the pan with the roll.

Now to get it out of the pan, I put a piece of deli paper (parchment, wax paper, foil, paper towel, or nothing) over the roll and hold the roll part in one hand and flip the pan over with the other. You could also scoop the whole thing out of the pan with a long spatula, but where's the fun in that?

Now you don't need more cheese on top, but you can top it with the remaining two slices of cheese and pop it in the broiler for a minute (this is where that foil comes in handy.) The cheese gets melty and the roll gets a little crispy.

Yum.