Monday, September 29, 2008

Lemony Rice Pilaf with (or without) Toasted Nuts

I really love rice pilaf. I got the noodle/rice method from Mediterranean rice and lentils. I like how this turned out. Even with the 3 Tbsp lemon juice, it's not too lemony. You can omit the nuts but I really like them. Use any combo that you enjoy. I used pine nuts and chopped almonds. I like to use the vermicelli from the Latino market that comes in the small packs. If you can't find them, just break up some angel hair pasta into really small pieces.

Makes 4 generous portions as a side

1 1/4 c white rice
about 1/3-1/2 c vermicelli (small)
2 1/3 c warm water
Enough vegetable bouillon to flavor 2 cups of water
about 1/3 c (total) nuts- whatever combo you like
3 Tb or more lemon juice (add to taste)
few Tbsp olive oil or margarine or a mix of both
oil for cooking

In a medium pot with a lid, heat a bit of oil (maybe 1-2 Tbsp) and brown vermicelli. DON'T walk away from the pot! They burn easily.

When they are light golden, add the water and bouillon. Stir a little so the bouillon dissolves a bit.

Bring to a boil, and add rice. Lower heat to LO and cover: cook 18-20 min, until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a dry pan. No oil. Just medium heat until the nuts are light golden, shaking the pan often. Almonds took longer than the pine nuts, so make sure that if you have different types of nuts, you may want to toast in 2 separate batches.

Put rice in a bowl and add lemon juice and margarine/oil and mix well. You can also add fresh parsley if you'd like.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Caramelized Onion and Sausage Ravioli

I'll admit I watch Food Network. Unless it gets too gross, I like to see what's going on in the food world, and that excludes most vegetarians, but we can re-vamp recipes, so it's all good.

Today I saw Giada on Everyday Italian today use won ton wrappers for ravioli. If it's good enough for Food Network's Italian-born poster girl, it's good enough for me. I just didn't feel like making dough today. I'm not linking to her recipe because mine is nothing like it except the "butter". But trust me, it has won ton wrappers! I am using Dynasty brand. I really, really suggest caramelizing your onions. It adds a sweet, deep flavor to the dish. The filling is even better the next day, as proven by my eating it with a spoon.

1 package vegan won ton wrappers
1 pkg (14-16oz) drained tofu, pressed
several Tbsp Vegenaise
couple Tbsp Italian seasoning (enough to make filling speckled throughout)
3 small (one large) onion, chopped
1 Tofurkey Italian sausage, chopped small
lots of freshly ground black pepper

First, start caramelizing your onions in some olive oil. Low heat for a long time. I keep mine on med-lo. This takes about an hour, so you can either skip this step and just saute them if you MUST, or make a lot so you can use them for other things.

Meanwhile-Place tofu in a food processor with Vegenaise, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste, but go easy at first, as you will be adding 2 other flavors. Empty into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.

When onions are done, pulse in food processor and add to tofu mixture. Saute sausage in pan on medium heat. When sauteed, pulse in food processor until pieces are small and uniform. Add to tofu mixture. Let chill until cold and then season to taste again.

Place about 2 tsp. chilled filling into each won ton wrapper and seal with plain water.

Heat water to boiling in a large high-sided pan. This gives the ravioli room, and it heats the water more quickly than a large pot. Place a few raviolis in the boiling water. They are done after a few minutes. The won tons will be pretty translucent.
Drain carefully.

To make Oregano "Butter"
Melt 1/4 c earth balance in a small pan
add 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Cook the oregano for 1 min and add sea salt and fresh black pepper. Drizzle over plated ravioli.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Oh my gosh. So good. Not my recipe. It's from FatFreeVegan

I had a can of pumpkin left over (my cat had to have some) and I really didn't know what to do with it. I figured I'd make some pumpkin bread and it would be edible, and just okay. Well, this stuff was DELICIOUS. It's so moist (I hate that word) and good. I did do it with the oil
I topped it with (probably 1/2 recipe) of the Cream Cheese icing from VCTOTW, except it had lemon extract instead of vanilla (you can also just add the same amount of lemon, so it will taste like both lemon and vanilla.)

My omni co-workers raved about it. I'm not blowing my own horn. I am just saying.