Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tiramisu! (and spring rolls)

This is my first time making tiramisu. The recipe came from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Nonna's Italian Kitchen.

Fluffy cake, pastry cream, espresso, whipped cream topping. SO good! Also lower fat than traditional tiramisu with dairy ingredients. I recommend her recipes. I haven't had one I don't like yet!

Don't forget the spring rolls!
I made these for a birthday party. They have: teriyaki mushrooms, noodles, scallions, shredded carrot, lettuce, sauteed tofu. Served with the Spicy Peanut Sauce from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. Yes, that is an ashtray. I got it at the dollar store. You should try using one (new, clean) with Asian dishes because you can set your chopsticks on it!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Potato-Tomato Gratin

Sometimes I like to watch the cooking shows that aren't on Food Network. Discovery Health has a show called Lyon in the Kitchen. I only changed one ingredient in veganizing this recipe, and that's changing cream to Silk creamer. I would link to the recipe but it has a big ol' hunk of meat as the centerpiece. Pah. If you would like the original recipe, go to www.discoveryhealth.com and look up recipes. Also, according to him, it's pronounced "gruh-TAHN" instead of "GRAHT-in".

Note- I used 1 large onion and one small. Go ahead with 3, even if they are medium. They cook down. My trust food processor thin and thick blade helped me with the onions and the potatoes.

Offerings from our littler herb garden


Tomato/Potato Gratin

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound tomatoes cut in 1/3-inch slices
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 bunch basil leaves, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, torn into pieces
1/2 Silk creamer (plain)
3 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons freshly picked thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons EVOO, onions, and 1 tablespoon salt. Sauté until golden brown, 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, then continue to cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Mix in oregano and basil, then deglaze with the white wine, reduce and remove from heat.

Layer the bottom of a medium-sized gratin dish with 1/3 of the onion mixture, top with a tight layer of potatoes, then with a layer of tomatoes—season with each layer.

Layer once more 1/3 onions, potatoes, then tomatoes, and finish with one last layer of onions. Pour Silk creamer over top and shake to distribute throughout the gratin. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes prior to serving.

Not Pictured: Mom's Meatloaf, Veganized

1 Tube Gimme Lean Beef Style
1 small onion, minced
sufficient bread crumbs to make a firm loaf (1 cup, give or take)
ketchup (3 Tb. +)
vegan worcestershire sauce*** (1-2 Tbsp.)
freshly ground pepper

Brown Sugar
Yellow Mustard

Mix first set of ingredients together into a firm loaf. I apologize for lack of accurate measurements, it's all eyeballed. You want a firm loaf but not overly-bready. Place "meatloaf" mixture into a breadloaf pan and press down evenly.

Mix ingredients for the sauce. Start small. I probably make about 1/2 c of sauce or less. Mostly ketchup, generous chunk of brown sugar, squirt or two mustard. Place sauce on top of loaf.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Loaf is done when hot in the center and very firm.

***Note on Worcestershire- Most brands are not vegetarian because they have anchovies. Some store brands are. Check the ingredients or contact the company. I buy Colgin brand, available at my local Albertsons. Colgin makes liquid smoke as well. You don't have to spend $4 for a little bottle if you find the right brand!

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Beef" and Broccoli

This recipe is from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen. I can't say much about it except that it was delicious! Her seitan is really easy and delicious (I kept picking pieces while cooking) and the sauce is easy to make as well. I served it with brown rice

Closeup on seitan

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Palak Chole, Papdum, Chutney

Palak Chole (puh-lack cho-lay) is one of my favourite meals to eat at Indian restaurants. While I am terrible with the names of everything, I do know what I like! Palak Chole is spinach and chickpeas, respectively. Tender chickpeas and spiced, smooth spinach sauce. This recipe is from Vegsource.com. Served with chutney and Papadum (crispy spiced cracker-like bread) I bought at the Indian Market. I sauteed papadum in a skillet with some oil as opposed to deep frying it.

I am altering it because it was way too spicy for me. Also, ***I would suggest using 2 packages of (10 oz)frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well. I started with one 10-oz. bag of spinach and it made maybe 1/2 cup puree. If you use frozen spinach, do not cook as it is already cooked. Just squeeze well and puree.


2 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 cup Tomato puree (I used regular canned tomato sauce)
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1 cup Chickpeas
2 bunches Spinach***
1-3 Green chillies
1 inch piece Ginger
4-5 cloves Garlic

Wash and soak chickpeas in 4-5 cups of water for 5-6 hours. Drain, add 3 cups of fresh water and pressure-cook till done. Note: I didn't soak, just pressure cooked until tender.

Spinach: Remove stalks, wash and blanch spinach in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh and blend to a puree.

Remove stems and wash green chillies. Peel and wash ginger and garlic. Grind the three to a coarse paste using a little water.

Heat margarine in a pot, add cumin seed and sauté till it changes colour. Add green chilli-ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt and fry for a few minutes or till the ghee leaves the masala.Add spinach puree and chickpeas and stir gently. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for five to six minutes.Serve hot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Italian "Tamales"

Italian “Tamales”

I’ve used the method of making tamales and revamped it by using Italian flavors. Instead of masa corn meal, we’re using polenta. The filling for the “tamales” is a tofu ricotta and a vegetable-“sausage” mixture. If you don’t want to go through the tamale process, you can make everything as directed and cut cooled polenta into squares, sauté and layer polenta, filling, and sauce.

For the Filling:

*1 recipe tofu ricotta. I like to blend the following in a food processor until smooth:
[1 lb pressed tofu , crumbled with fingers
2/3 cup Vegenaise (more if needed)
6 or so fresh basil leaves, cut small
Generous sprinkle of dried Italian seasonings
(Blend well, set aside in container and chill completely)]

*¾-1 c chopped Tofurkey Italian Sausage, sautéed. You can use any sort of veggie sausage/protein
*3 medium zucchini, peeled and rough chopped
*¼- ½ white onion (if you have it on hand)
*Italian seasonings (your choice)
*kosher salt

In a large skillet, heat about 2-3 Tbsp olive oil. Toss in zucchini and sprinkle with kosher salt and seasonings. Cook zucchini until tender and add sausage pieces. Pulse briefly in food processor. Put in container and chill completely.

When both the ricotta and zucchini are completely chilled, combine in bowl. Letting ricotta chill overnight really develops the flavors and it tastes much more like seasoned ricotta.

Corn Husks-
Day of assembly- soak dried corn husks in hot water until very pliable. Corn husks can be found in regular grocery stores, but they are much more cost-effective at Latino/Hispanic food stores. (Psst. Your tofu will probably be cheaper at an Asian market, too!)

Make the polenta:
Basic Polenta Recipe- I doubled it but it was too much! Maybe do 1.5 of the recipe
Instead of dairy ingredients, use vegan ingredients (Follow Your Heart Cheese/Earth balance). When done cooking, put in wide tall lasagna pan. The more surface area, the quicker it cools and you want it cool to room temperature.

Assembling the tamales:
Lay corn husk flat. Place a layer of polenta in the center, followed by filling, followed by more polenta, sealing the polenta around the filling.
People do this many different ways. I prefer to use my hands and spoons.
Roll corn husk around polenta/filling and tie edges off. You can tuck edges under or tie each edge off, up to you.
Repeat with all ingredients.

I steamed them but think this was completely unnecessary. So..chill tamales so the polenta becomes solid in the tamale shape.

Unwrap tamales and sauté each one. This isn’t part of making tamales, but it gives the polenta a nice crisp outside.

Lay corn husks on plate, place tamales on top, and top with your choice of tomato-based pasta sauce.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Help Brina!

My Kitty (profile picture) recently fell ill and her medical bills are becoming difficult for me to cover. I know this isn't food-related but ANY amont of money- even 50 cents or $1 would help. Thank you in advance.
For Paypal donation, please enter email: moon tears 19 @ yahoo dot com (no spaces, use the @ key)(no spam please)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Birthday Cupcakes!

I made 3 different types of cupcakes: Red Velvet (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World), Chocolate (Mom's Recipe) and Orange-Ginger (a recipe I modified, following the pictures) with coconut garnish. Velvet cupcakes had cream cheese icing (and Marzipan records!) and the white icing is buttercream, both from VCTOTW.

Orange-Ginger Cupcakes (Makes 10, still working on it. Modified from La Dolce Vegan's Yella Cake)

**3/4 c sugar
**1/4 c Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
**1 tsp NRG egg replacer+ 1 Tbsp water, mixed ntil frothy (or other egg replacer of your choice)
**1 tsp orange extract
**1/2- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
**1 1/2 cups flour
**1 1/4 tsp baking powder
**1/4 tsp salt
**3/4 c soymilk (maybe a little more to thin slightly)

Cream together sugar, NRG and water, margarine, and orange extract. Add baking powder, salt, soy milk, and ginger. Some small lumps are okay. Pour into lined cupcakes pans.
Bake at (preheated) 350 degrees for 17-20 min (until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Chicken" Cacciatore

According to Wikipedia, "cacciatore" means "hunter" in Italian. Whether or not this is true, here's a hunt-free and cruelty-free recipe. This came out really well! Soft, warm tomatoes with tender vegetables and "meaty" sietan. I suggest at least starting this off in a skillet. It gives the dish a smoky taste and you get all the flavour from the seitan and vegetables. My skillet isn't big enough (I found out halfway through) so I transferred it to a large stockpot.

I used Joanna's seitan. Here's her food blog (drool)
I can't post her recipe w/o permission but she has a book coming out, so use regular seitan, homemade or storebought. You could substitute Morningstar Chik'n strips or another chik'n substitute. Marinated tofu or tempeh could probably be used.

I modified from this vegcooking.com recipe

Here's Mine-

12 oz. chosen protein (see above)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into strips
1 white/yellow onion, cut into strips
1-2 cups fresh button mushrooms, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes OR 2- 14-15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup red wine (a little more if desired. I used Burgundy)
2 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
1 lb. short, flat noodles (try Mueller’s dumpling noodles)

• Protein- cut or tear it into large chunks.
• In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the faux chicken, sauté until brown, move to a plate lined with paper towels, and set aside.
• In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, green pepper, and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the vegetables are soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and red wine and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
• Remove the lid, add the faux chicken and roasted garlic, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the sauce is slightly thickened.
• Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain.
• Serve the cacciatore over the hot noodles.

Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thanks, Moms!

Moms- thank you for being moms. Especially my mom: thanks for being my mom. You rock and I really love you.

Chocolate Chip-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Chocolate-Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Chip Macadamia- varian on VWAV Chocolate Chip Cookies: sub 1/2 c chopped macadamia nuts in replace of chocolate chips (keep the 1 c chocolate chips). Instead of 2 tsp vanilla extract, use 1 tsp each vanilla and almond extract
Thumbprint- also from VWAV, used Cherry Preserves

All packaged and ready to go (to my mom and boyfriend's mom).

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Fettuccine Alfredo + Caesar Salad

Lachesis from the PPK has already attained international vegan food blog fame with her Seitan O' Greatness. She may or may not have groupies. She strikes again with a really yummy alfredo! It's not low-fat but to be fair I didn't eat even half of my dinner ;)
Terry Romero from the PPK made this awesome Caesar Salad. It's on Isa's blog. Sorry I don't know how to directly link yet, but here are the recipes, both Alfredo and Caesar:

http://www.postpunkkitchen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=24982 (scroll down)


Caesar Salad

All Together (with Balsamic Chik'n: saute Chik'n strips in roasted garlic butter then add some white wine, let it evaporate, add balsamic vinegar, let evaporate)

P.S. I am SO jealous of you people who get to attend Isa's surprise location dinner. I will get you a pinkie toe (with nail polish, by 3 o'clock) for a plane ticket and a dinner ticket.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cinco De Mayo Party

We had a little get-together. We watched the De La Hoya/Mayweather fight, which I don't really care about (although De La Hoya is the prettiest boxer ever). We had about 10 people over and the food was devoured! Almost all omni and they even ate the raw veggies for the bean dip (which surprised me). Chips and salsa were also there but not pictured.
Pics first, then recipes!

Bean Dip!

Rollos de Primavera (because I do not know how to say "spring rolls" in Spanish)
Not in accordance with Cinco De Mayo but they were great! Served with tamari and duck sauce

Margarita Cupcakes!

I hate hate hate tequila but these cupcakes were freaking awesome. They got a lot of ooh's and ahh's. I rolled them in leftover Mardi Gras sugar because I don't have multicoloured sugar. Recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781569242735&itm=1) Thanks Becky for helping with the frosting. Easy to make and very impressive.

Bean Dip
*2 cans black beans, drained but not rinsed (or about 4 C. cooked)
*1 tsp (or a little more) Better than Bullion Vegan No Chicken (http://www.superiortouch.com/btb.htm")
*1 cup water
*generous sprinkling garlic powder (or fresh garlic)
*generous sprinkling onion powder
*tiny bit of oil to coat pan
*desired spices (I didn't use any extra)

*Puree beans in food processor or mash with potato masher.
*Heat skillet on MED and add oil.
*Add beans, bullion, water, and spices
*Whisk and simmer beans until liquid is evaporated. Serve with chips and/or vegetables

Rollos De Primavera (don't be scared, it looks like a lot of steps but I am just being thorough. You'll never pay $1/spring roll again!)
*1 large leek, white part only, thoroughly washed and chopped (can sub onion)
*1 small or medium onion, chopped
*1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
*1 carrot, grated
*several large mushrooms, chopped
*1 package (80z) Chik'n Strips (I use Morningstar Farms), chopped and sautee'd (DO NOT skip the sauteeing! A lot of people don't like these and I think they skip this step. They are yummy!)
*Sesame Oil
*Tamari or soy sauce
*Sriracha sauce (Asian hot sauce with rooster on in. Has spiciness but not the "unique" flavour of regular American hot sauce.)
*Spring Roll Wrappers (sometimes it is hard to find vegan ones. Check ingredients. Check your local Asian market. Mine look like this:

(You do not want the cold spring roll wrappers that you soak in water.)

EDIT- I am adding photos for the wrapping of the spring rolls because visuals help!
*Cook vegetables in any order you wish. Season with desired amount of tamari and sesame oil. I sauteed the leeks and onions together until tender, set aside. Then I did the cabbage and carrot.
Then mushrooms by themselves (since they give off liquid). I cooked chik'n strips in a separate pan.
*I like to pulse the cabbage briefly in the food processor after cooking. I also do this with the chik'n.
*Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and add more sesame oil or tamari. Drizzle Sriracha sauce and mix well. Chill if desired. It at least needs to cool to warm or room temperature.
*Place wrapper so it is pointing towards you.

*While keeping a damp paper towel over wrappers (and wrapped spring rolls), take a heaping tablespoon of filling and place in the middle of the wrapper.

*Wet edges with a mixture of flour/water or egg replacer/water. Fold bottom (facing you) corner over filling.

Roll up a little.

*Fold over edges on left and right side. Wet edges with flour/water again if needed.

Roll up. Place each spring roll seam-down on a plate until ready to fry.

*Heat oil in a large pot on stead MED heat until a drop of water dropped into the pot cracks. You can also test oil by using a piece of food and seeing if it bubbles up.
*Drop spring rolls into pot a few at a time (don't crowd). Cook until the slightest bit golden. You can see if they are ready when you take them out (with tongs!!) by touching them. They should be crisp. Set on paper towel to drain.
Alternate Cooking:
I am happy to report that these also come out delicious baked! Make spring rolls as directed but instead of frying, coat a non-stick pan with a brush of oil. Place spring rolls seam-down and brush with more oil on top of spring rolls. Cook at about 400-425 degrees until golden (about 20 minutes?). Flip halfway through. Still delicious and crunchy with much less fat.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Actual Food Posts!

It's been over 6 months since I got this account and still haven't posted anything. So..I am going to post some food/recipes/whatever. This is in no particular order, as I am just going through my photobucket album (PamelaCooks) and picking things and writing about them.

Lettuce, Tomato, Caramelized onion, Mushroom, Tofurkey Slices, Tofutti Cheese slices, Vegan Mayo. Delicious

St. Patrick's Day Yumminess
Colcannon, "Beef" and "Guiness" stew, soda bread. This was delicious. I didn't use Guiness because it isn't vegan, but I did get another stout beer. The seitan was homemade (La Dolce Vegan recipe). All recipes can be found here http://vegetarian.about.com/od/specialoccasionrecipe1/tp/vegirish.htm

Health Food At Its Best. Earth Balance in excess gives you E.S.P. and the ability to fly.
Mint Shake.

Herbed Gnocchi with Kale and Balsamic-Glazed "Chicken"
Fresh herbs from my friend's herb garden. Gnocchi. Kale. What else do you need?

Gnocchi- boiled then sauteed with Earth Balance (EB for short), salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs. Kale- saite garlic, add clean prepared kale and a little water. Don't overcook! Add some soy sauce and black pepper. "Chicken"- defrosted Morningstar Strips sauteed with a lot of garlic. Add some balsamic vinegar and white wine and reduce to coat.

Eggplant "Parmesan" with leeks and cheesy Pasta

Leeks are pretty much my new best (ingredient) friend. I really like them! Eggplant parmesan recipe: http://vegcooking.com/recipeshow.asp?RequestID=385&Search=eggplant
Leeks- Cut end off white part and cut tough green part. Leave soft green part on. Cut lengthwise and swish around in sink of water. (Leeks hold a lot of dirt and there's nothing worse than enjoying something then getting grit in it.) Pat dry and place cut-side down in a skillet with some heated oil/margarine. Cook until golden on cut side, carefully flip with tongs, then continue to cook. Flip back over and brown cut side. Leeks should be tender but not mushy.
Pasta- cooked spaghetti with a little fresh garlic and Follow Your Heart (FYH) cheese melted in.