Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Super easy meaty weeknight ziti

Sometimes I wonder why anyone bothers writing pasta recipes since it's so easy just to throw stuff in that you've got in the cupboard, freezer, and fridge.  Here's an easy weeknight pasta recipe anyway.

Beefy 'shroomy ziti - serves one with enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow

1/4 bag/box pasta or whatever you've got open in the cabinet 
1 totally freezer burned vegan veggie burger
Hand full of frozen mushrooms covered in frost that you saved from the summer farmer's market/CSA
Any remaining wine from wine glass from the day before when you fell asleep watching TV
Sprinkle italian herbs/garlic
2-3 big dashes of Tobasco
Any remaining Ragu or similarly jarred spaghetti sauce you find near the back of the fridge

Cook pasta.  Saute everything else together in pan and add pasta when done, then let cook another 5 minutes to absorb the sauce. 

Seriously and I wonder why I neglect the blog.  Clearly I need to cook more interesting stuff.  Me thinks it's time to make some vegan cupcakes...look out!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mofo 15 - Sexy Vegetables! - Daikon Radish

I picked up this well hung daikon radish at the Farmer's Market in Lewes this morning. 

Daikon food porn...
The daikon was quite a bargain at $3.  It took up half the back seat.  I'll make something Japanese with it tomorrow.

The Lewes Farmer's Market.  Nestled in the wooded grounds of the Historical Society in downtown.

Now I'm headed to my High School reunion like Zach & Miri and Romy & Michele with a little Grosse Point Blank.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Candle Cafe at home (or work) Seitan Piccata!

I was grabbing a few vegan Kashi frozen meals for the office when I spied a familiar logo at the bottom of the Whole Foods freezer.  Can this be?  It's Candle Cafe's seitan piccata in frozen form!

I made it for lunch today.  I don't have a microwave at home, but they're pretty darn handy at work.  Five minutes later, I enjoyed my haute cuisine at my desk.

Sure it's no substitute for the lovely ambiance of Candle Cafe or Candle 79, but as far as freezer food goes this was DELICIOUS!  At only 210 calories, this is some serious lean cuisine.  I think they're usually about $6, but they were 2 for $9 with $1 off each coupon, so I got a super deal going on here.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mofo 3 - OMG the awesome juicer is the funnest invention ever!!

Sure it's a little messy, but it's so freakin' fun!  I almost feel bad for the vegetables as I smash them to their doom.  If you have the means and want to make your own juice, definitely spring for the uber fancy model.  It's easy to clean you can make a whole lot before it needs to be cleaned out.  You don't even have to cut the vegetables up that much.
Left is super green with kale, spinach, celery, apple, parsley, lemon.  Middle is carrot, apple pear.  Right is all beet.  I'll probably mix them together, but they're so pretty alone!  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegan MoFo day 2 - Juicer inspired by the documentary "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead"

The vegan month of food blogging has arrived!  This is my 4th year participating and I've got a few things going on.

First off I bought a juicer yesterday.  I haven't gotten the thing out of the box yet, but I'm getting ready to give it a whirl.  Just because I like to go all out on my gadgets, it's the super awesome one.  The good ones range from $100-$500.    

Here's the why and I'll follow up with the how it's going and what I'm making.

A.  I don't fit into my pants.  I got a new job with an awesome driving commute.  The downside is that I don't walk anymore as part of my commute.  I also miss the awesome fruit carts outside my downtown office where I would get fresh fruit and vegetable juices everyday.    

B.  My husband (a.k.a. the ninja) has been watching what seems like every streaming video documentary on Netflix.  On his own he stumbled on the man-movie Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead and decided he wanted to add more nutrients to his diet.  Knowing he's not going to power down several plates of vegetables each day he figures he'd be more likely drink the vegetables.  The ninja still insists he's not going to be vegan and doesn't want to look like Moby (sorry Moby) but after watching Joe Cross (the guy in the movie) and Phil (and the trucker guy he meets) get healthy, the ninja is motivated to make some healthy lifestyle changes.  He doesn't need to or want to actually lose weight, he just wants to get more nutrition.  

Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead - I'm watching it on streaming netflix now.
Yesterday I headed into the city to get my hair cut and stopped at a juice cart in Union Square for some veggie juices.  If you're in NYC, definitely look for the fruit carts.  You can get veggie juices, smoothies, and fruit bowls for less than $5.  It's the best bargain in town.  I was running a few errands, so I ended up going back two more times before heading home.  I was surprised that after only having 3 large vegetable juices, by 4pm I wasn't totally starving.  I had a snack, then brought the ninja to Andy's Pure Food in Rye.

We had a Green Monster and an Iron Maiden.  He didn't like the Iron Maiden, I think because it had cilantro in it.  I thought was good.  He liked the first few sips of the Green Monster, but then thought it had too much cucumber and tasted like pickles.  He drank about half.  He wants to make his own blend to find something he likes.  I think he's just got more taste bud adjusting to do than me, so we'll experiment.

Now off to Chef Central to pick out a juicer.  Everyone seems to recommend the Breville juicers which come in a range of prices.  After deliberating we went for the more power, easier to clean, and more metal parts option of the top of the line model.  It's pricey, but I use my accounting skills to amortize the costs.  If I use it everyday for just over a year, that's only $1 per day.  Then it's free for the rest of it's existence!  And I won't need to buy new pants.

I picked up my CSA veggies this morning, and I've got really fresh beets, kale, apples, peppers, and carrots.  So I'm off to experiment!

Stay tuned...        

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet Treat Chocolate Truffles - Vegan Unplugged

You didn't think they'd forget dessert in the apocalypse didya?  Vegan Unplugged has 9 easy peasy desserts to cheer up your palate in any emergency.  These yummy truffles are ready in a flash and are full of chocolatey peanutty goodness.  I ended up rolling them in coconut for no other reason than I found a package of coconut when I went digging for the chocolate chips.  These ingredients need to go in the 5 day meal box!

These confections benefit from some light refrigeration, but if that's not available I assure you they are super yummy at summer room temperature (says an anonymous party who slurped a few down before waiting for them to chill!)

Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Walnut Sauce - Vegan Unplugged

Yet another great Vegan Unplugged meal that I would make any day! Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Walnut Sauce is a neat twist on the normal tomato based pasta sauces.  Sage and pumpkin pair together perfectly and the toasted walnuts give it some protein and crunch.

Another hit!  So easy and delicious!

White Beans and Greens Soup - Vegan Unplugged

Sure you can buy soup already in a can, but homemade soup made from stuff that was originally canned puts you in control of the flavors!  This white bean and greens soup from Vegan Unplugged is comforting and delicious.  I didn't have any cool shaped tiny pasta, so I used orzo.  This is a meal in a bowl that is perfect hurricane fare.  I'm gonna need a second helping.

It didn't need them, but I added potatoes just because I'm fascinated by potatoes that come in a can.  Just a note on canned spinach.  It's really important to taste it and rinse it before dumping it in any dishes.  Even if you lose some in the colander, it's better to make sure there's no dirt in it.  Nothing ruins a bite full of delicious soup like biting into grit.  I rinsed well and mine is A-OK.

This is a photo from the courtyard of my complex.  Yeah I know we're not supposed to go outside, but this was done in total safety.  I don't think I get to call this the eye of the storm, since it's now a Tropical Storm it's just the center, but we got some blue sky and a glimpse of the sun a little while ago.  We're just getting sporadic high wind and intermittent heavy rain now as the storm moves out.

We never lost power despite my Vegan Unplugged preparations, but lots of people in CT and NJ are cooking over candles.  There's also flooding in low lying areas.  I'm near the top of a big hill that leads to the Hudson so I'm safe and snug indoors.

Mom was not hit by the Tornado in Lewes, DE even though it was only about a mile away.  I don't think anyone was hurt and sorry for whoever's house got demolished.  Mom lost power in the late evening, but got it back by this morning.  

Best of luck to everyone dealing with the effects.  Be safe and let me know if I can bring you some soup!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last Resort Lasagna - Vegan Unplugged

This is one of the easiest lasagnas I've ever made.  Vegan Unplugged rocks it again.  I cooked the lasagna noodles with the fuel efficient boil-and-let-them-sit method.  Then layered them with some cheater (Ragu) sauce and a delicious tofu and white bean seasoned "ricotta", and topped with a little nooch.  

I'm finding that the best way to do this is to cook on low for about 20 minutes, then let it sit for a bit (while I took a shower before the major rains really started), then reheat again on low for another 10 minutes.  I found after the first 20 minutes, the sides were boiling while it was still cool on the top center, and letting it sit in the cast iron pan with the heat off did the trick.

Mom lost power in Delaware, so I'm figuring at some point I will too and will need these easy pantry recipes.  No need to wait for disaster, though, this is a perfect everyday recipe.  The ninja was impressed with the balance of flavors and knew it wasn't real cheese, it just looked like cheese, but liked it anyway.  He's going to share with a neighbor who's girlfriend evacuated with the cats and left him to guard their basement apartment from flood and mayhem.  Sharing vegan food is the way to go!  

Nicoise Salad - Vegan Unplugged

I'm really digging Vegan Unplugged.  For lunch I had the Nicoise Salad.  There's no cooking involved, so this can be assembled super quick. The salad is a light summer lunch which is good since it's still really hot and humid despite getting the beginnings of the Hurricane Irene rains.  No lettuce needed and the tiny white beans give it nice body and are quite filling.  The basil vinaigrette dressing is so easy you'll wonder why people ever buy salad dressing.  

Don't fear that if we lose power I'l have eaten my entire stash box; I've got plenty of reserves.  Armed with the five day meal box and Vegan Unplugged, I'm feeling really prepared for the upcoming ridiculous weather.

Be safe.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Layered Tortilla Skillet - Vegan Unplugged

I'm going to keep plugging Vegan Unplugged!  We haven't lost power or anything, but I really wanted to try out the Layered Tortilla Skillet.  I think you can find shelf stable tortillas that you can probably keep in a box for a few months, but I got some relatively fresh ones that won't last that long, so I figured this would be a good one to try.  It's kind of like a Mexican lasagna that you can make on the stovetop.  I have a gas stove, so I can still light it if the power goes out.  I also have an indoor propane gas burner I can use in case of Armageddon.

I made a few adjustments since I had some fresh veggies.  I used green salsa which turned out to be too spicy for the ninja so he'll have to survive on PB&J and ramen noodles.  I was pretty hungry and only ate about 1/4 of it, so it really could serve 4.  I also had bigger tortillas than called for so each tortilla was a layer.

Here's my modified version:

1 TSB olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 sm can diced green chilies

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp taco seasoning

2 cans pinto beans
1 24 oz jar green salsa (divided 1 cup + 2 cups)
5 medium soft taco sized flour tortillas

In large skillet or dutch oven, saute onions, pepper, and green chilies. Then add chili powder and taco seasoning and cook until fragrant.

In a medium bowl, mash up the pinto beans, then add the cooked onion pepper mixture and mix in 2 cups of the salsa.  Add remaining 1 cup salsa back to the pan and lay a tortilla on top.  Cover tortilla with bean mixture and continue to layer remaining ingredients.  Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.  I ended up cooking it too long and burned the bottom a bit, but it's still delicious.

Layered Tortilla in a 3qt Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven
Slice into quarters with a sharp knife and serve in a shallow bowl.

Yummy layers of beans and chilies

Vegan Unplugged

I'm a fan of a good survival guide.  Vegan Unplugged (updated version of Apocalypse Chow) is a great practical how-to for getting by in comfort (well for your belly at least) if you find yourself without power for a few days.

Of course I should have made my 5 day survival kit when I when I bought the book, but there's nothing like the drama of a little hurricane to blow some wind in your sails.  Yup, I was one of the crazy people who went grocery shopping today.  Except I had a plan: The Vegan Unplugged 5 day meal box shopping guide.  No need to wait for disaster.  Get your vegan survival kit ready.

I'm now ready for Comforting Corn Chowder, Kitchen-Sink Capellini, White Beans & Greens Soup, Black Bean Chili, Nicoise Salad, Curry in a Hurry, Texas Twister Caviar, Five-Minute Couscous Salad, Layered Tortilla Skillet, and a whole bunch of other fast and easy recipes to get me through any crisis.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Creamy cheezy summer mac & veg

This is one of those dishes that evolved as I was making it.  I wasn't trying to make mac & cheese, but here it is.  Pretty darn tasty, too.
Summer Veg Mac & Cheese

Elbow macaroni
Olive oil
Summer squash
Red cherry tomatoes (quartered)
Orange cherry tomatoes (quartered)
Peppers (banana peppers and some long not spicy ones)

Nutritional yeast

Tofu Ricotta:
Lemon juice

The sauce:
In a large saute pan, saute garlic in oil, add squash, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and cook until the squash is softened.  Add the basil and salt to taste.  

Cook macaroni according to package directions and when done scoop the noodles into the pan reserving some of the pasta liquid.  Mix in the pasta and add some pasta water and a big heap of nutritional yeast and mix together.  

Whiz together tofu (I used silken) and some lemon juice, basil, and salt.  Turn off heat on pasta and add tofu ricotta mixture.    

Sunday, August 7, 2011


It seems almost a shame to make jam with these lovely gooseberries.  They are delicious just plain like a blueberry or grape.  Not too sweet and they have a really nice pop as you bite on 'em.
The gooseberry comes nestled in its own papery wrapper like a tomatillo.      

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer is for hot dogs

I've had a few veggie dogs in my time.  Some pretty good, some not so good.  This time 'round I gave the Tofurky franks a try.  

Good texture and nice flavor.  Can you tell it's a veggie dog?  Yes.  Do you care?  Not really, especially if you slather it in mustard, vidalia onions, and a little veggie chili.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage - who knew it tasted so good?

OK, I'm guilty of getting cabbage from the CSA and then letting it sit in my fridge until I need the space for something else, then I throw the cabbage away.  Truly sad, I know.

This time I was determined to make good use of it.  So I stuffed it with every leftover I could find in the fridge and made one tasty pocket of goodness.  It's good on it's own, but I like to slather anything in sauce, so I made a tahini-miso sauce to accompany it.

I borrowed a vegetarian cookbook Mediterranean Harvest from my mom that had a stuffed cabbage recipe, but I didn't make anything resembling the recipe in the book.  The tip on preparing the cabbage, plus a method from somewhere on the internet gave me the courage to tackle this.

I made a bunch and keep forgetting to take a photo as it's plated.  Here's one right out of the fridge.  It doesn't look like much on it's own, but is surprisingly filling and delicious.

Preparing the cabbage:

Bring a large pot to boil.  Core the cabbage so it almost looks like a little cabbage hat.  (Save the core for broth.)  Once the water is boiling, add 1 tsp salt, turn off the heat, and (carefully) plunk in the cabbage head and cover.  Leave about 20 minutes.  Fish out the hot cabbage head and place in a large bowl and filled with cold water.  Just leave the cabbage hanging out in the water until you're ready with your filling.  I saved the pot of water and put in a bunch of other veggie trimmings for broth.  Sometimes cabbage isn't recommended when making broth, but I thought it turned out really nice and isn't particularly cabbagey.

Prepare the filling:
I used wild rice, sauteed mushrooms, a brown rice blend, grilled veggies - eggplant, peppers, squash, zucchini, onions, leeks.  This was all leftover stuff that went well together so I mixed it up.

Now fill the cabbages:

Take off one leaf and place on a cutting board with what would be the top facing toward you and the bottom stemmy part away from you.  I should have taken a photo.  The back end will curl up a bit and this is where you want to put the filling.  I used about 1/2 cup per leaf.  Then you fold like a burrito and put seamside down in a pan.  I cooked mine on the stove in an enameled cast iron pot (I love Le Creuset.)  When you've filled the pot with cabbage pockets, take about 1/2 cup of the cabbage water (or broth if you've already thrown in some other veggies) and add 1 TBS tomato paste.  Pour this over the cabbage and then simmer for about 20 minutes covered.  I had more cabbage pockets than the pan would hold, so I stuck a few in the freezer that I'll cook later.

Like I said, my filling started out good, so I didn't really need a sauce, I just wanted one.

Miso tahini sauce

Blend together:
1/4 cup tahini
2 TBS miso
2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup water
Pinch salt

I've got some posts to catch up on and I came across this photo from an excursion to Whole Foods (conveniently located near my new job):

And I accuse my mother of hoarding...Actually most of this has been used up by now.   I remember the vegan ravioli in the middle was really good!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer is for cold noodles

Part of the reason I enjoy coming to the beach to visit my mom is raiding her cupboards. I do also enjoy yelling at her that she has too much stuff and that I'm going to sign her up for Hoarders if she doesn't look out. Clean Sweep sounded fun. Hoarders she doesn't like. Then I take the stuff I like that I know she won't use before it expires and we're all happy.

It's hot and humid in Delaware in the summer which is why someone had the foresight to put a beach in walking distance. We'll hit the ocean later, but right now the house (climate controlled with a bunch of random fans) is a steam bath. Good for the skin, I'm sure, but it doesn't inspire me to want to make a hot meal.

So here's some summer udon noodles with a cold Asian peanut sauce. I used fairly even amounts of all the ingredients, but you can adjust in any combination based on what you like or have on hand.

Summer udon noodles with cold peanut sauce Serves 4 normal or 2 hungry people.

1 package of udon or other stringy noodles (the udon was 9 oz.)
2 small zucchini grated
2 small yellow squash grated
2 small carrots grated (a big handful of baby carrots works, too)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar*
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

Boil water for noodles.

Optional: I used the strainer that goes in the pasta pot to blanch the veggies. You can leave them raw if you like, but I wanted them to kind of melt in with the sauce. I put the strainer in the pasta water pot with the veggies for about 2 minutes then took it out and ran them under cold water to stop the cooking and chill. Don't drain the pasta water, you need this to cook the noodles. I suppose you could always just start to cook the noodles then add the veggies for the last two minutes and drain the whole thing, but I only just thought of that now.

Cook noodles according to package directions (mine took 4 minutes) then drain and rinse with cold water.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and peanut butter.

Mix the veggies and pasta into the sauce. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and taste for seasonings. You can eat it right away or stick it in the fridge to get even more chilled. The sauce will absorb more sauce the more you let it sit.

Serve in a shallow bowl or plate with chopsticks for slurping or a fork and spoon for twirling.

*Seasoned rice vinegar is the stuff you add to rice to make sushi rice. It's just rice vinegar with added salt and sugar. If you only have rice vinegar in your arsenal, that's fine, too, but you may consider adding a little mirin or sugar if it needs a little something when you taste for seasonings.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Hummus with Zatar

I made the vcon hummus version with cauliflower and added some extra lemon juice and tahini. I used canned chickpeas, but I warmed them up before blending and added a bit of hot water which made it extra creamy. Sprinkled with a little Zatar on top and served with cucumber spears it's a refreshingly light and satisfying summer snack.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Twisted Puttanesca

Torcetti pasta is already a little twisted spiral of a pasta, but takes on a whole other dimension when added to this twist on puttanesca sauce.
Inspired by my last jar of 2010 CSA tomatoes and 1/2 a package of local (from Poughkeepsie, NY) "My Brother Bobby's Salsa" that I got at Whole Foods, I whipped up a twisted version of hooker pasta. This salty sensation is the perfect antidote to a well earned mild hangover.

Twisted Puttanesca

1/2 lb tubular or well structured pasta such as torcetti or penne or heck, spaghetti
2-4 cloves garlic
1 TBS olive oil
1 big jar whole tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh salsa
1/2 cup cooked black beans
2 TBS capers
10 pitted black olives (I used kalamata) - that cherry pitter comes in handy...
1/4 cup red wine

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Sautee garlic in oil in a sauce pan. Add tomatoes and break them up a bit, add salsa, beans, capers, olives, and wine. Simmer until heated through and pasta is done. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat.

I don't add any additional salt or sugar to the sauce because the tomatoes were already salted, I salted the pasta cooking water, and the olives and capers are salty enough. The beans weren't technically salted, but I cook them with kombu so they are tasty enough on their own as well.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring veggies - Ramps & asparagus

Determined to eat some actual vegetables, I stopped into Whole Foods on my way home from work. I was a little unsure what to do with the ramps, so I roasted the bottom oniony part and sauteed the greens with some red swiss chard.Roasting with the bits of ramp are asparagus, fennel, green beans, and a portabella schroom.I also roasted a few blue potatoes and made a cashew, lemon, yogurt, tahini, miso sauce.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cheesesteak Gyro

OK, so scratch that New Year's resolution where I blog about things other than tofu rancheros and vegan cheesesteaks. The cheesesteak is what I'm havin' for dinner and I felt the need to chime in with a post.

It's my usual cheesesteak technique, but with naan/pita bread (seriously, it's both.) I can't always find the Tofutti cheesesteak slices, but when I do I make sure to grab them. The cheese is Daiya mozzerella and there's onion, pepperoncini, Vegenaise & sriracha. I forgot the oregano, but that's usually on there, too.

It's not unusual for me to be behind the curve on good TV, so I've been catching up on Bones. It's streaming on Netflix. Yay!
Even better, Bones star Emily Deschanel is a vegan superstar.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I won 2nd Place at Veggie Conquest 6! Kale battle

I really should be cleaning up the giant mess I made in the kitchen, but instead I feel like gloating about my silver medal performance at Veggie Conquest 6. Veggie Conquest is a NYC based vegan cooking competition based on a theme ingredient and takes place every few months. This is the 5th event I've participated in.
The theme ingredient for VC6 was kale. The secret ingredient is unveiled the week before the competition to both the tasters and the chefs.

Now mind you, when I'm drowning in kale in the summer, I can think of lots of things to do with it. For this challenge, I was trying to come up with ways to highlight the greens. It wasn't easy. Usually I'm sneaking kale into something, or just eating it steamed with some miso-tahini sauce. Not really award winning stuff.

So what I pulled off was a Tuscan Kale flat bread topped with a kale tomato sauce (tomatoes were the ones I canned last summer from my CSA,) gourmet mushrooms, roasted leeks, and crispy kale. I made a kale slaw from the red & green stems with some red pepper. And because I like to dip my crusts in stuff, I made a miso-tahini-kale hummus sauce that was really just the sauce I like to put on kale blended up with kale in it. The judges pronounced it bitter and unnecessary, but it was a pretty green color and made a good dip. The kale was raw in it, so it was admittedly a little vegetabley.

Here's my 90 taster portions. Bite sized pieces with the slaw and hummus.
Now for the round-up...
These kale Croquettes were lovely and the sauce on top was delicious.

Next up were kale quiches that had a wonderful tofu cream sauce. The shallots were a nice complement.
Then the first place winner with kale rice cakes.
Next up, third place winner with Kale summer rolls.
And from a guy who had never had kale before, we had a mushroom and kale bisque.
Finally, I got to yammer on about how I put three different kinds of kale and all their parts into this dish. Big thanks to my chef friend Jamie for suggesting the use of color (not that you can tell from the green plate - the judges had the more colorful fiesta ware.) The kale slaw was a really pretty purple, red, and green. I liked my ironic kale garnish which the judges picked up and ate with the slaw.

Prizes are cool...
I got a herbal soap and salt scrub from Chrissannthemum Herbs & Well Being, a gift certificate to Integral Yoga, Organic Ville French Dressing, and Cinnamon Vanilla ice cream from Raw IceCream Company. Good think the ninja claims to be allergic to cinnamon..mine all mine....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Darn good freezer pizza - Tofurky Pepperoni Pizza

Now, I'm not going to tell you this rivals a pizzeria pizza, but it's vegan and it came from the freezer.

For a frozen pizza, the Tofurky Pepperoni is quite tasty. Not a microwave pizza, but 12 minutes in a 420 degree oven and you've got yourself a nice lunch for a rainy Sunday.

It's got a whole wheat crust that doesn't taste like whole wheat. The Daiya cheese is noticeable, but it's not overly cheesy. It's definitely meaty, though. No lack of Tofurky pepperoni chunks. It's not sliced like "normal" pepperoni, but in chunky bits. Very satisfying. The pepperoni is on the spicy side so no need to dump on any hot sauce which is my usual tactic for less flavorful pizza.

If you want to venture out into the real world for some non-frozen vegan pizza, there are an increasing number of options across the US. Check out this link for the ones that made the short list and vote for the Best Vegan Pizza.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Can't decide on Mexican or Pasta? Have both...

There was a pasta dish on the cover of Vegetarian Times in 1997 that featured black beans and cilantro with pasta. I've long since purged the magazine, but I was trying to get something similar. Here's my faked version:
Beany burrito pasta - 2 servings

4 oz angel hair pasta (approx 1/4 package)
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 TSP chopped green chilies
3/4 cup (about 1/2 can) red kidney beans
1 cup tomatoes chopped with juice
2 TBS fresh cilantro chopped
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, saute garlic and chilies in oil. Add beans and crush a bit. Add tomatoes and juice and simmer a few minutes. Add pasta and stir until coated. Serve and top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

I did find a link to the original recipe for Southwest Pasta Pg 45 Aug 1997 Vegetarian Times

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Month of bean cutlet - Sundried Tomato and Porcini Mushroom

More bean cutlets. January is now officially the month of the bean cutlet. The one on the left is sun dried tomato and the one on the right is porcini mushroom. OK, I agree they look the same, but both have a nice subtle taste of their signature ingredient
Sun dried tomato cutlet

1 cup cooked white navy beans
1 cup rehydrated sun dried tomatoes soaked in 1 cup boiling water
1 tsp salt
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

Porcini Mushroom Cutlet

1 cup cooked white navy beans
1 cup rehydrated porcini soaked in 1 cup boiling water
1 tsp salt
1 TBS Parisian bonnes herbes seasoning
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

Blend the beans with mushroom or sun dried tomatoes salt, seasoning, olive oil. Mix together with bread crumbs and vital wheat gluten and kneed for few minutes. Split into 4 pieces and form into flat cutlets. Fry in 1 TBS oil for 5 minutes per side.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More experiments in bean cutlets...Black Eyed Peas and Mazoh

Yup, it's yet another variation of the vcon chickpea cutlets. This time it's black-eyed peas and mazoh. Red swiss chard with lemon tahini miso sauce, mashed potatoes, and skulking in the back of the photo is a portabello mushroom with Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning. Black-eyed pea and mazoh cutlets

1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
1/4 cup water
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp hot paprika

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup mazoh meal

Blend together the beans, water, soy sauce, olive oil, herbs, and paprika.

In a medium bowl mix together bean mixture, wheat gluten, and mazoh. Knead a few minutes. Break into 4 pieces. Flatten out into cutlets and fry in a little canola oil for about 5 minutes a side until golden brown.

Snow Day! Warm up with a vegan hot toddy.

Technically the office was open today, but I really needed a snow day. Justifiable since I couldn't actually get out of my apartment until someone came by to shovel the snow from my blocked doorway.
Anyway in between cleaning out the pantry and reading some Chelsea Handler, I thought this scene (me in my PJs on the couch with the ipad) would be a whole lot more sophisticated if it included a nice hot beverage.
The unopened bottle of kahlua I found at the back of the pantry was a bonus. When choosing your boozing for your vegan hot toddy, you can always check out barnivore for the latest in what's vegan and what's not.

Vegan mocha with Soyatoo

1 cup vanilla soy milk
2 TBS Dutch cocoa
1 cup brewed coffee
2 TBS Kahlua
Vegan whip cream

In a medium saucepan, mix cocoa with soymilk and heat, but do not boil. Add a generous splash of kahlua to a large coffee mug, add brewed coffee halfway, fill to within 1/2 inch with hot cocoa, then top with whip cream. Yum.