Monday, February 25, 2008

Quick Veggie-Udon Stir Fry

No, I'm not ripping off Isa (from a few posts down)! I wanted noodles with a quick stir fry and had all these ingredients in my fridge!

You can use whatever vegetables you want. I like the texture and crunch to my vegetables. You may want to cook longer if you like your vegetables softer, but please try it like this before you cook them longer. You get to taste each vegetable for what it is. I also leave the skin on all the vegetables listed for color and nutrients.

-1 standard carrot, cut in 1/2 length wise, then each of those halves are cut into -1/3 or 1/4 lengthwise (depending on thickness), then once across
-1/2 onion (cut an onion lengthwise then into thin half-moons)
-1/2 zucchini, cut the same size/shape as carrots
-small handful broccoli florets
-4 button (regular) mushrooms cut into 1/6ths (cut in half, then cut into 1/3 the other way)
-4 slabs (8oz) tofu, cooked and cut into strips*
small handful of greens (optional, I used mustard greens)
-3 Tbsp. vegetarian stir fry sauce (I use this one. this guy apparently likes it, too!). You can add more to taste.
-1 Tbsp. soy sauce
-2 tsp. water
-1/4 package soba noodles (they usually come in little bundles. I used one bundle. If you have a large amount..I guess the diameter would be the size of a nickel, if you bunched them up)
-about 5 cashews per serving (optional)
-sprinkle black or white sesame seeds (optional)

Cook soba noodles according to package and set aside to drain.

In a small bowl, mix the vegetarian stir fry sauce, soy sauce, and water. Set aside.

Prep all vegetables as directed. This is essential for a stir-fry, as it is made quickly.

Heat a large pan/wok until hot and add the peanut oil. Swirl around the pan to coat, and add your onion and carrot. Keep it moving.

Cook about 2-3 minutes and add your broccoli. Cook one more minute. Add zucchini and mushrooms. Cook 2 more minutes. Keep it moving.

Add your tofu and heat through. Add all of the sauce mixture, and stir around. Add the noodles, coating with the sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly by continuing to stir, and coat all the vegetables. Garnish with cashews and sesame seeds.

Forgive me if my times are not completely accurate. I didn't have a kitchen timer with me. Basically what you want to do is cook your longest-cooking vegetables first, then the shortest ones last. For example: onions, carrots, potatoes cook longer than zucchini and mushrooms. Since your tofu is already cooked, you are just heating it through. The noodles need no heating, as you just cooked them.

*You can do this! You've seen these before. Cut a standard block of tofu into 8 slabs. Press and cook. You will be using 4 of these cooked slabs. Use the other 4 for sandwiches.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

White Butternut Seitan Lasagna

This smaller-pan lasagna includes butternut squash, chicken-style seitan, mushrooms and creamy ricotta, but don't let that scare you. You can make all the components while the others are cooking, and clean up while it's in the oven.

8 average lasagna noodles
1 c chopped chicken-style seitan
8-9 regular button mushrooms, sliced
1 recipe tofu ricotta*
1 1/2 c mashed butternut squash**
2 c b├ęchamel sauce***
1/3- 1/2 shredded vegan cheese, such as Follow Your Heart

Make the ricotta first- you can use any type you like. My general recipe is
1 lb firm tofu, pressed, then mixed in food processor with olive oil, vegan mayo, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Next, make the butternut squash:
Peel and cube, either baking or boiling until tender. Drain very, very well and mash with salt, pepper, and a touch margarine.

While the butternut squash is cooking, saute the seitan and the mushrooms until mushrooms release the liquid and the liquid evaporates. You can season this mixture with a little of the seitan broth. Cool slightly and pulse in food processor. Small chunks are okay.

While squash is draining well, cook lasagna noodles and make bechemel***. I like Bryanna Clark Grogan's. When noodles are done, drain and rinse in cool water, so you can handle the noodles


Spray a 9"x9" pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread 1/3 of the bechemel sauce
3 noodles, cutting off excess and setting the small piece aside.
1/2 of the ricotta
1/2 of the mushroom-seitan mixture
1/2 of the squash,
then 3 noodles again (cutting off excess).

Layer again in the same fashion, and cover with the 2 full noodles, and the noodle remnants. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees 20-30 min, broiling the last couple minutes to melt the cheese. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes and serve with a vegetable.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Potato Salad and Friends

This is not your standard potato salad! The key to this yummy dish is roasting everything. There is a good, simple quality about roasting vegetables with just olive oil and salt/pepper- it really brings out the flavors of the vegetables, both sweet and savoury.
This involves some chopping, but is still pretty simple and you can clean everything up and make the dressing while you wait. It's good hot or cold, and the flavor really shines through, and isn't covered up by the dressing (the recipe for that is also below).

Potato Salad and Friends
-Red and/or brown potatoes (you can do sweet, too), unpeeled and cut into roughly 1/2" cubes
-Onions, peeled and thin sliced
-Cauliflower, cut into-bite sized bits
-Garlic, crushed
-Carrots (unpeeled, cut into coins a little smaller than 1/4 in thick)
-Celery, cut into 1" pieces (include the leaves)
-Red and green bell peppers*
-Olive oil
-Salt/pepper to taste

Wash, cut as directed and lay ingredients on a flat baking sheet (or several baking sheets) sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Suggestions for several baking sheets:

Onions/garlic on one
Peppers* on one
Cauliflower/celery on one
Potatoes/carrots on one

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt/pepper. Bake at 350-400 degrees, checking the done-ness of each item.
They have slightly different cooking times; the onions won't take as long as the potatoes, the celery/cauliflower take a little longer than the onions, and the potatoes/carrots take the longest. Since the potatoes are cut small, this will take under an hour. If you have to put all of the veggies in one large baking dish, that's ok.

You will need to check periodically and stir vegetables to ensure even cooking and no sticking.

*For the red and green bell peppers, you can either chop them and roast them along with other veggies, or you can roast them separately and skin them. I like to make sure the red pepper are roasted and skinned. I can take it or leave it on the green. Here is a Google Search on how to roast a pepper. I will do a tutorial sometime when I have several peppers and a helper.

Once vegetables are done, allow to cool slightly (or completely, if you are eating it cold) and gently mix in a large bowl. Set aside.

Creamy Dijon Parsley Dressing
This is *really* a personalized dressing, as some people like saltier, some people like the dijon taste to shine through.

about 1/8th block firm tofu (don't need to drain)
about 2 Tbsp dijon mustard (the kind with the grainy mustard seeds inside)
splash balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper to taste
olive oil
soy milk to thin
large handful roughly chopped parsley (don't worry about chopping finely)

Blend all ingredients in a or food processor, scraping down sides to ensure even blending. Now is the time I warn you not to scrape *while* the blender is running. Don't say I never did anything for you.

Once you have a sufficient amount of dressing, combine with all the roasted vegetables. Serve hot or cold. Top with a little more parsley if desired.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Curry Udon StirFry/ Seitan Piccata

I used 2 Cookbooks for the last 2 Dinners we had. The Curry Udon StirFry is from Veganomicon (also sometimes called "V-Con"). The Seitan Piccata (with White Wine and Caper Sauce) recipe is from Candle Cafe Cookbook. The twice baked potato pictures with the Piccata is below.

I cut the fat in both: for the Stir Fry, I used 1 Tb.+ 1 tsp. oil for the roux, and 2 tsp. oil for the whole stir fry. For the piccata, I didn't use as much oil to saute the seitan, and I cut the margarine by 1/2. It was still very tasty.

First, the Curry Udon. I knew the items featured in this dish would make a pretty plate set up, plus you are supposed to do your mise en place, anyway. With stir fries and the like, I actually do :)



Oh goodness, all together!

Next, the Seitan Piccata, Twice-Baked Potatoes, and Broccoli

Twice-Baked Potatoes (The amounts of everything are totally up to you!)
Desired # of potatoes
Earth Balance Margarine
Tofutti Sour Cream
Follow Your Heart Cheese (I did about 1/2 c chopped, for 3 potatoes)
"Bacon" bits
Chopped onion (scallions)

Wash potatoes well, and poke holes into them with a fork. Place in preheated 350-degree oven for about one hour. (Right on the rack is fine, no foil or anything).

Test potato done-ness: if a knife easily slips in and out, it's done. If not, place back in oven in increments of 5-10 minutes. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Use tongs, for the love of all that is holy.

Carefully cut almost all the way through, open, and allow to cool enough to handle. Scoop out potato insides with a spoon, and place in a bowl. Set skins aside. Mash insides with all filling ingredients until smooth. Season to taste.

Spoon mashed potatoes back into skins. (I used my hands, it was easiest). Place back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more. If you'd like to be super-fancy, whip potatoes with a mixer and pipe back in with a frosting bag.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sausage Sage Dumplings and Split Pea Burgers

The Sausage Sage Dumplings were something I made to go with a Leek and Potato soup we had the other night. The Split Pea Burgers are surprisingly from Alton Brown. I watch his show and "Give Peas a Chance" was the theme. His Split Pea Curry Soup recipe could easily be made vegetarian.

Sausage Sage Dumplings

1/2 pkg Gimme Lean Sausage Style, thawed
1/4 head green cabbage, sliced thin
1/2 regular size onion
handful chopped mushrooms
1/2 tsp sage (extra to taste)
Pinch fennel seeds
Sprinkle crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Vegan dumpling wrappers

Start by sauteeing the Gimme Lean in an oiled pan, breaking up the sausage while cooking. Add the fennel and the red pepper during cooking, stirring often to keep the spices from burning.

When the sausage is mostly browned, add the remaining ingredients (except wrappers) and cook until veggies are tender, and the mushroom liquid is released then cooked out. Stir often.
Transfer to food processor and pulse briefly until there are no large chunks. You want a fairly uniform mixture, but do NOT puree. Cool completely.

Wrap in dumpling wrappers and place in boiling water a few at a time until they float. Gently remove with a spoon and drain. Saute in a pan with 1 Tbsp. peanut oil, until crispy on the outside. Serve with sauce (below)

Dumpling Sauce
2 Tbsp. tamari
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. margarine, melted
tiny pinch sage

Combine all ingredients. (Can put all 3 in the microwave for a few seconds)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Valentine's Day Cookies for Haters

Some people really hate Valentine's Day. It depends on the situation, I guess. Lucky You if you've never been through a high school Valentine's Day without a special someone and had to see all the other people get Candy- or Flower-Grams (do they still do that? Am I old??).

These are for the heartbroken, the hateful, the sarcastic, the jaded, the jilted, the bitter, the giver who never gets. For people who want to stab someone in the eyes if they see one more stuffed Teddy bear. These, my friends, are cookies for haters. (I have to admit I am not a total hater and made about 3 "I Love You" cookies.)

These cookies are a more tasty rendition of those awful chalk conversation hearts. I think if you give one of those to someone that you may as well say how you really feel, as opposed to making them eat something that disgusting. I also had to play up the "C U L8R" type phrases, because I am a big hater of those, as well.

Have to give credit where credit is due. This recipe is from VeganCore!

Icings (2)

The spreadable icing was just a small amount of margarine creamed, then sifted powdered sugar and soymilk to a spreadable but thin consistency.

The piping is more margarine, and powdered sugar, with a touch of soymilk. You don't want a buttercream. You want a denser, but workable icing.

I work in a cafe and made these so I had to keep them pg-13, but you could be totally horrible with them. I have included some phrases for your convenience.

I Hate U Lol
4 Get My #
Go Away
U Suck
U Smell
Luv Sux
Table 4 One
Stop Calling
U R Nauseating
So Much Hate
You'll Do
Go Away Plz
Don't Txt Me
Better Off Alone
Let's Not
Die <3
Not Ur Boo
Brazen Hussy
You? Wtf
Cry Baby
Get Over It
Hell No
Don't Miss U

Monday, February 04, 2008

Blackberry-Chocolate-Cheese Crepes


The crepes I used were from Vegan With A Vengeance

Cream Cheese Filling
3/4 of 8oz container (so that would be about 1/4 + 2 Tbsp) Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/2 c confectioner's sugar

Place cream cheese into a bowl and sift the sugar over it. Beat well with beaters until well-incorporated, adding a very small amount of almond or vanilla extract, if desired. Set aside and refrigerate

Blackberry (or any other berry) filling/sauce
1 c berries, thawed and juice reserved
2 Tb. sugar

Heat berries in a saucepan over MED heat with sugar, heating until berries break apart, and the juice thickens slightly

Make crepes as usual and add a pat of Earth Balance and a little of the cream cheese filling, fold over. Repeat with a second crepe.

Top with berry sauce and chocolate sauce.