Sunday, June 22, 2008

Zucchini Rice Gratin and Perfect Patties

My friend Debbie gave these two recipes to me. John described the meal as "Best Vegan Meal to Date!" He also requested that we make it again for his parents. It is a very heavy meal, but has rich flavor combinations. The Zucchini Rice Gratin comes out like a casserole and was copied from a Gourmet magazine. I don't have a source for the perfect patties.

Zucchini Rice Gratin
1/3 cup wild rice
3 medium Zucchini cut into 1/4 inch round slices
6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 lb tomatoes (I bought whatever type was available because of the recall) cut into 1/4 inch round slices
1 medium onion thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs (Orgran No Egg equivalent)
1 teaspoon chopped thyme (this will definitely be in my herb garden this summer!)
1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 450. Cook rice. (I used 2/3 cup water) Toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a baking dish. Toss tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another baking dish. Roast the zucchini in the upper third of the oven and the tomatoes in the lower third, turning each halfway through; tomatoes about 10 minutes, zucchini about 20 minutes. Leave the oven on. Meanwhile, cook the onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon oil in a heavy skillet until very tender. Stir together the onion mixture, cooked rice, thyme, 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread half the rice mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking dish, then top with half the zucchini. Spread the remaining rice mixture over the zucchini, then top with the remaining zucchini. Top with the tomatoes and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese. Bake about 20 minutes.

Perfect Patties
Mix: 8 cups oats, 1 large onion diced, 1 cup walnuts chopped, 1 cup sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon basil, 1 tablespoon oregano, 2 tablespoons dried parsley. Seperately boil 8 cups of water and 1 cup Braggs Liquid Amino Acids. Add to dry ingredients and sit for 20 minutes. Form patties or meatballs, bake at 350 for 25 minutes on each side on a greased cookie sheet.

This recipe makes about 30 patties. It freezes well or can be cut into half, or even a fourth for fewer patties! I have also heard they can be cooked and then reheated on the grill!

Vegan Pesto

When John's parents arrived, his mom had a huge bunch of fresh, homegrown basil in her suitcase! It survived the trip from Florida beautifully. Along with a delicious batch of Pesto, it ignited a desire for an herb garden. So, when we complete our move, I am going to invest a portion of my summer into getting it started. I bought seeds for mint today! Here is the recipe Margie and I followed for the pesto. It is from New Vegetarian by Celia Brooks Brown. We used the pesto as topper for fresh Ciabatta bread courtesy of the Saturday Market. Ingredients include: a large bunch of basil, 1 cup pine nuts, slightly toasted in a dry skillet, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan Cheese, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend. Drizzle in the olive oil little by little. Season to taste.

Margie gave me a few fantastic tips in the process. My food processor has two little holes on the top of the lid; great spot to drizzle the oil in (they aren't just for letting the food breath while processing :-) Adding an additional thin layer of olive oil to the pesto, inside a glass jar, keeps it fresh and green in the refrigerator.

Vegan Cinnamon Pecan Coffeecake

To say the least, I have been busy lately! The school year is wrapped up, John's parents visited, and we are currently in the process of moving. Most of my cooking things are packed, cookbooks included. I do have a few recipes of things I have made that turned out pretty good.

I used to make this coffeecake when anyone would visit, but put it away when I became vegan. I was not sure if it could be as delicious...but it was moist and flavorful! I don't remember where the recipe came from, a magazine probably. Here it is with my changes: Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9x2 baking dish. Set aside. For coffeecake: combine in a large bowl: 2 cups white spelt flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend this mixture with 3/4 cup Earth Balance Butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Combine 1 cup vegan Sour Cream (I used Tofutti Sour Supreme better than Sour Cream), 1/4 cup almond milk, 2 egg replacers (used Orgran No Egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Spoon half into the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the following topping mixture over batter: 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Spread the remaining batter over top. Sprinkle the remaining topping. Bake 35-40 minutes.

I took it to a brunch with John's family and didn't have time to snap a photo :-( But everyone really enjoyed eating it!