Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pot Pie 2.0

There are fewer foods that I like more than a good savory pot pie. It's a casserole in a bowl with a crust! Come on! I would have to say that I'd choose pot pie over regular.

So when I saw Throwdown with Bobby Flay (don't judge me), it inspired me to cook another one, even though it's pretty warm here in Florida right now. I changed the Casserole Queens' Recipe quite a bit and used a basic pie crust recipe (Flour, Crisco, salt, ice water) instead of Puff Pastry, but Pepperidge Farm puff pastry is vegan so you can use that. I am no pie crust queen and don't have much in the way of patience so I just put it on top in pieces. Just do it and call it "rustic" and people won't know you suck at pie crust rolling. Please don't be intimidated by the recipe list- I just spaced it out so it's easier to read/use.

Pot Pie 2.0
2 carrots, chopped (don't peel)
2 small red potatoes, diced
1 c chopped broccoli

2 tablespoons margarine/olive oil
2 c Turkey or Chicken flavor Seitan, chopped

1 small-med onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
1/4 tsp (or less) poultry seasoning
generous pinch fresh black pepper

2 cups soy milk
1 cup soy cream (can use some or all soy milk to replace for less fat)

1/3 cup beer or wine
1-1 1/2 cups frozen peas


-Thaw puff pastry according to package directions if using. Make pie dough if using dough.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
-Blanch carrots and broccoli, and boil potatoes until potatoes are fully cooked. Do it in batches if necessary. Drain and set aside.

-Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt margarine over medium-high heat. Add seitan and cook for several minutes. At this point you can chop small like I did, or leave in chunks. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to MED and add celery and onion and cook until tender.
-Stir in flour, salt, tarragon, poultry seasoning and black pepper until flour is evenly coating other ingredients, about 1 minute.
-Add soy milk/cream. Cook and stir until thickened and barely bubbling. Will still be soupy. Stir in beer/wine, peas, carrots, broccoli, and potatoes. Stir well.
-Transfer the hot seitan/vegetable mixture to a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
-Place pastry/dough over the mixture in casserole dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

Bonus: Fun Fortune!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's Love Time

Just wanted to say I LOVE YOU to all of my readers. All at least 11 of you!

It's good to know someone actually reads my blog and/or tries my recipes.

Please keep cooking vegan!

Pamela Cooks

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fancy Macs

I made the delicious Tempeh Reubens last night, and they reminded me of Big Macs from long ago because of the dressing. So I decided to make a vegan, healthier version of Big Mac. We had baked fries and left-over Deli Macaroni Salad from VCON. I really enjoyed them! There's no middle bun, but it doesn't bother me. Also, I used one patty and cut it in half, but you can use two patties if you are pretty hungry.

You Need (per Fancy Mac)

1 (or 2) of your favorite veggie burger
tomato (opt. there is no tomato on a Big Mac as far as I know)
minced white ontion
VWAV tempeh reuben dressing-Below! (I reduce the lemon juice)
lettuce (I used romaine, chiffonade)
1 slices vegan cheese (I like tofutti cheddar slices)

Saute veggie burger(s) in a pan with some oil. If using 1 burger, cool a little and cut in half so you have 2 patties.
Stack it!

Botton bun- cheese- dressing- onion- lettuce- burger-pickle-top bun

Not sure of the exact order as the real thing but I liked it!

Vwav Tempeh Reuben Dressing
(Printed with permission)
1/3 c vegenaise
2 Tbsp. ketchup
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
pinch cayenne

Mix ingredients and chill until ready to use.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Choco-tini Fuerte

This is a strong chocolate martini. It makes 3-4 drinks. You can thin it out with more soy milk or ice.
By "shot glasses" I mean the small glass shot glasses that are sold as a pack of 4. Each= 3 Tbsp/ 1.5 oz at the brim.

4 shot glasses vodka (nothing cheaper than Smirnoff or you will be sorry tomorrow)
2 shot glass Kahlua
1 shot glass chocolate syrup
3 shot glasses soy milk
8 ice cubes

Blend in a blender on High and serve. For service as shown, hold a martini glass and rotate while gently squeezing chocolate syrup so it comes out in a thin line. You can also put syrup in a saucer, then dip the rim of the glass in the syrup then in cocoa powder for maximum chocolate flavor.

Don't go crazy. PLEASE get a designated driver if you drink! I don't want you hurting anyone. This is for people who are of legal drinking age.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ode to Roasted Garlic, Gumbo, and Lover's Pasta

I really love roasted garlic. I could mash it up and eat it plain on bread. It's so sweet and creamy and delicious. I should spring for one of those counter top kind that roasts in 30 minutes, but for now, I have just found a way to do it stove top. All you do is put a whole head of garlic in a small saucepan with a lid, turn it on MED-LO and put some olive oil in there. Turn the heat down to low and just go about your business. Turn over and break up halfway through if you want. The results are as beautiful and sweet as the oven would be.

Next... GUMBO! I had never had gumbo as an omni. To be honest..I always have thought that Cajun/Creole food is kind of unappetizing-looking (sorry!!). To me it looks like they really did go down to the swamp, stuck a ladle in, and served it. But there are other foods that I love (Indian) that are equally not-so-beautiful. You can't always judge a food by its appearance. I was also kind of scared to make gumbo, because okra tends to have a slimy property sometimes, and also I had never made a dark roux. Well, friends..it's worth it! The flavors were deep, and the roux was fun to make. And FYI, no slime. Kittee really has a gem with this recipe. It looks sort of complicated, but just make 1/2 recipe of Julie's sausages the day before and you're fine. Use the other 2 sausages if you want to make my Lover's Pasta below. You may as well make 1/2 or all of the recipe. It's not hard to make, it just has a lot of ingredients. There's no kneading!

Served, of course, with rice. And Cholula! The only non-Sriracha hot sauce I like

Lover's Pasta
This pasta is aptly named for a couple reasons- because both of you should eat it if you will be kissing. It’s heavy on garlic and onion, but if both eat it, you won’t notice. They say garlic boosts the libido, but who knows. This garlic cream sauce is thin. If you want a thick sauce, increase the margarine/flour or decrease the creamer/milk a little.

2 links Julie’s sausage, sliced thick
1 small onion, cut in ½ then in thin half-circles
½- ¾ lb linguini pasta, cooked and drained
All-purpose seasoning (I used Cavender’s today)
1 large bunch broccoli crowns (large florets, about 4 c, use less if you want)

For the roasted garlic cream sauce

1 head roasted garlic cloves, mashed up
2 Tbsp good margarine
2 Tbsp flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (opt)
2 c soy creamer and/or soy milk (I like Silk)
Thyme and basil to taste- I did a few shakes of each dried herb
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare pasta by box directions and drain.

Meanwhile, add a little olive oil to a large high-sided pan on MED heat, and add onions. Cook until a little golden and tender. Add sausage slices and continue until sausages are sautéed and heated through. Season with all purpose seasoning.

Remove onion/sausage from pan and add to a medium bowl. Heat a little margarine in pan. Add broccoli and a splash of water and cook until broccoli is tender-crisp. Do not over-cook. Put into bowl with sausage and onion.

Meanwhile, make garlic cream sauce.
Heat margarine in a small saucepan on MED until it’s melted. Sprinkle in flour/nutritional yeast and whisk constantly until flour is heated through, there are no lumps, and the mixture becomes a little puffy (few minutes). Add about 1/3 of the soy creamer/milk and whisk. It will be very thick. Add the garlic and the rest of the cream while whisking and continue to whisk. Cook until sauce is bubbling but not a rolling boil.

Put pasta into each serving bowl, top with sausage/onion/broccoli mixture. Top with sauce. Garnish with fresh tomatoes if desired.