Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Turkey" Pot Pie

I really love pot pie. This one is mostly homemade. I really like using canned potatoes because they keep their firm texture without becoming mushy. Cook your own and feel free to make your own pie crust. I am using premade for time.

"Turkey" Pot Pie
2 medium carrots, chopped into cubes
3 mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 small stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c frozen peas
1 (15oz) can potatoes, drained and cubed
2-2 1/2 c chopped "chicken" or "turkey" seitan- See bottom for alternatives
Cavender's seasoning
pinch dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
poultry seasoning (there's no poultry in it!)
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c oil
1/2 c flour
1/4 c nutritional yest
2-2 1/2 c broth
1/2 c soy milk OR extra broth

*Storebought or homemade pie crust OR vegan puff pastry, thawed according to directions (watch for lard if buying. A lot of store brands are cheap and made with vegetable oil)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
*While cooking vegetables, after oven is preheated, you can loosen the crust from the tin by putting in the oven for 5 minutes.

Saute carrots until slightly tender.
Add mushrooms, celery, onion, and garlic until onion is tender, adding poultry seasoning, thyme and cavender's to taste.

Place mixture in bowl and add peas and potatoes.

Saute seitan until crispy, adding seitan broth or other broth for flavor. Season to taste.
Add to vegetable mixture in bowl.

Heat oil in the pan you cooked the seitan in and add flour, and nutritional yeast. Stir well until flour is toasty and fragrant. Do not burn. It will not be a roux, but crumbly and coarse. Using the same pan as the seitan will pick up all the nice flavorful bits the seitan left behind.
Slowly add broth. It will seize into a thick mixture but keep whisking and adding liquid slowly. Add soymilk after broth for a creamier gravy. It's up to you.

Add gravy mixture to seitan and vegetable mixture and mix well. Place in a sprayed nonstick 9x9 2"deep pan and top with puff pastry or pie crust**. I did it in pieces.

For puff pastry, follow directions as follows, but carefully unfold the puff pastry (it will be in thirds) and place on top. Do not mess too much with it or it will be tough.
Cook for about 20 minutes, until crust is golden. May need to adjust for puff pastry.

Seitan Alternatives- Be sure to properly season.
-The cheapest one is probably tofu. Try freezing tofu then thawing and squeezing out the extra moisture. It will be like a sponge in appearance and ability to hold water, and it will be chewy when cooked.
- Tempeh- you can marinate some tempeh and saute
-Soy protein chunks/TVP- reconstitute and saute
-Veggie sausage crumbles or whole sausage pieces
-Bean patties or loose beans
-Squash such as butternut squash, in chunks

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes and Greek Tofu Scramble

Both of these are freestyle so please forgive my measurements if mentioned.

I was watching Fried Green Tomatoes the other day, and decided to make some since I've never had them. I looked online and it appeared to be a basic dry-wet-dry recipe so that's what I did. I changed it up a bit by doing panko instead of bread crumbs or more flour.

Fried Green Tomatoes
We bought green tomatoes at a vegetable stand we have here. You have to be careful to not slice them too thin. You want something to grab on to and eat, so slice pretty thick.

Dry: All Purpose Flour seasoned with Seasoned Salt, pepper, and whatever you like.
Wet: Soy Milk with a splash vinegar added. Let it sit a few minutes and curdle. Stir it with your fork. It should be really thick. This acts as buttermilk.
Dry: Panko bread crumbs. They are widely available now, not just in Asian markets. Though you'll get a better deal at the Asian Market. If you don't have panko, just use the seasoned flour again.

Use one hand for wet, the other for dry. It makes it a lot easier.
Dip the tomato in the flour, then the "buttermilk", then the panko and fry in vegetable/canola oil in a cast iron skillet until light brown on each side.

I served this with ketchup and a horseradish sauce (just freestyled a little sour cream, mayo, horseradish, dijon, salt, and pepper).

Greek Tofu Scramble

1 Package (14-16oz) extra firm tofu, pressed
small handful kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3-4 green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 small tomato, seeded and chopped
handful of mushroom, chopped roughly
Cavender's Seasoning, to taste
1/4 c or so shredded Follow Your Heart Mozzarella (totally optional)
few good pinches nutritional yeast
Fresh pepper
turmeric for color
fresh parsley if you have it

Drain and press tofu as mentioned. In a large skillet, heat a little oil/margarine and cook the mushrooms until softened.
Add tofu, squeezing it through your fingers. Some large chunks are fine.
Add olives, tomato, and optional cheese with the tofu and cook a few minutes.
Add seasonings and nutritional yeast and cook until nutritional yeast is mixed in well.
Finish with parsley.

Mediterranean Feast, Chocolate "Cheese" Pie

I wanted to make a nice Mediterranean Dinner but didn't have all day so I cheated a little. The Avgolemono Soup was from FreckleFoot over at PPK. It's delicious! Lemony and creamy and rich. The Hummus is from VCON. I added extra paprika and olive oil at the end. The dolmas and eggplant appetizer are canned and from the Middle Eastern market we have here. They were really good, especially for a canned appetizer.

Soup! (The picture doesn't do it justice but we were hungry!)

Plate,Clockwise from left: Dolmas, fried pita, regular pita with homemade tahini sauce, Salad, Hummus, Eggplant

Chocolate "Cheese" Pie
Very similar to one of my other recipes, this one has a layer of cheesecake flavor at the bottom.

Chocolate Cheese Pie
Chocolate Crust (bought or made, I like Oreo)
1/2 or 1 whole tub (8oz) Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/4 or 1/2 c powdered sugar (for 1/2 or whole tub vegan cream cheese, respectively)
1 package silken Mori-Nu Tofu
1 package (about 12 oz/2 cups) vegan chocolate chips
1-3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Let cream cheese come to room temperature and whip with powdered sugar. Spread mixture into the bottom of prepared chocolate crust.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or a glass/ceramic bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. OR if you are careful, I guess you can do it in the microwave. I use the double boiler.

Mix remaining ingredients in a blender very well, scraping down sides. Add melted chocolate chips to blender very carefully, blending very well again. Spread mixture carefully over cream cheese. Refrigerate a few hours. You know it's done when it's firm in the center. Serve with fruit and/or chocolate syrup.

Note- the pie will be pretty tall. You can reduce the chocolate, tofu, syrup, and vanilla by 1/4 if you wish. I let it be. The option for the cream cheese is just if you want more or less cream cheese at the bottom. The one in the picture is the lesser.