Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quick Veggie Stir-Fry

Nothing exciting, but very flavorful and quick. The veggies consisted of half a zucchini, a handful of mushrooms, half an onion, 3 garlic cloves, and a bunch of broccoli. This was slightly cooked down in a splash of water. We like a little crispness to our veggies. The sauce was a combo of soy, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, and sesame oil, mixed and then poured over the cooked veggies. We served it over jasmine rice.

Herb-Scalloped Potatoes

We included this recipe in our Easter dinner this year. John helped me prepare the potatoes and forgot to add the herbs, which provided a great deal of amusement to us both. I made them again last night, with the herbs, and they were excellent.

East Coast Coffee Cake with Apricot Swirls

My mom recently visited and her arrival time was early morning. My favorite thing to serve with coffee is coffee cake and it is easy to make ahead of time! My old favorite recipe calls for vegan sour cream and I didn't have any. So, I decided to give the Vegan Brunch recipe a try. It was fantastic! I added a swirl of apricot jam before adding the crumbled topping. The cake is very moist and the crumble is soft and grainy. It doesn't bake into a solid layer or become crunchy.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the post bake masterpiece! I did however think to take a picture of the cake batter with apricot swirls.

Marinated Tofu and Noodles

This was a very hodge-podge dinner. I marinated the tofu in a random grouping of things such as garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, Sriracha, and maybe a few other things. It then baked and turned out mouth watering! I used almost exactly the same mixture over the noodles along with carrot, green onion, and toasted almonds.

Samosa Quesadillas and Pineapple Fried Rice

With my homemade flour tortillas, I decided to try Samosa Quesadillas from the Vegan Mom blog. They sounded so easy: mashed potatoes, peas, curry. For some reason, my mashed potatoes were a disaster. I boiled the potatoes, then added them to the food processor with a little coconut milk. The result was a glue-like, completely unforgiving gooey mess. It overflowed in the food processor and created an hour plus clean-up project for me. Deciding to power on, I spatulaed the majority of the mess out of the food processor (and off the counter and in/under/around the blade) and added the peas and curry. I can see why this would be a great meal, with the right potato mixture!

I also made Pineapple fried rice. This is the recipe I vaguely followed. I omitted the carrot, raisins, peas, and the egg and instead added zucchini, green onion, and red pepper.

Homemade Seitan and Tomato Gravy

I decided it was time to try my hand at seitan. I have a load of wheat gluten and am trying to dwindle down my food supply as we prepare to move soon. It was really easy using the recipe for Simple Seitan from Veganomicon. The recipe says "you don't want to boil for very long or the outside of the seitan will be spongy." I think I boiled too long! The outside was a lighter color and had a slightly different texture. But, most importantly, the taste was amazing. I have not bought seitan since. I can't believe I was so scared to try making it until now.

We also had a delicious tomato gravy. I didn't follow a recipe because I couldn't find a vegan one that appealed to me. I can't remember exactly how I made the gravy but I am sure it involved crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, flour, agave, garlic, and a mixture of herbs.

Also under the tomato gravy are Zucchini Patties. The recipe is not vegan but easily substituted to be so. And finally, freshly cooked black beans.

Toasted Coconut and Mango Muffins

Travel, family visits, and general laziness have kept me away from blogging much this month. Most of my cooking has focused on making things from the past that we enjoyed and eating out. We are also preparing to move to Denmark in a month! I have heard the vegan scene is much more dismal there. I guess the balance is that it is so expensive to dine out, finding a vegan restaurant won't even be an issue.

This morning, I made muffins from Vegan Brunch. Here is the recipe. Delicious!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I will NEVER buy tortillas again! These were not only extremely fast and easy to make, but delicious. The grocery stores here only have one brand and it is loaded with preservatives. I will use these in a quesadilla recipe for dinner tonight. I made half a batch and that equaled 7 large tortillas. Here is the recipe. As you can see in the picture, I did not worry so much about perfect circles. They were destined to be cut up anyway!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spicy Lentils, Beet Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette, and Scallion Flat Bread

I am cutting way back on our weekly grocery budget because we are moving in 2 months and I want to move as few food items as possible. I have quite a nice selection of spices built up so I made two things tonight that call for a wide variety. First was Quick Spicy Lentils. I used a can of brown lentils and substituted lemon juice and sage for the coriander. I also left out the chiles. I have made this recipe in the past and the cayenne gives it enough heat to suit me. Along with the lentils, a Beet Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette. The recipe is about half way down this page. I changed many things. Here are my adjustments:
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime juice

2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon of sage
¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
3 beets
Whisk all ingredients together and pour over chopped beets.

And, to bring it all together, Scallion Flat Bread with dipping sauce.
The flat bread is like a traditional paratha. It consists of flour, peanut and sesame oil, sugar, salt, water and scallions. The recipe is from Veganomicon. The dipping sauce is soy based with rice wine vinegar, ginger, sugar, and sesame seeds.

My Own Private India Menu

From the "Menus for the Masses" section of Veganomicon, I traded a few of the meal items with another Indian feast called "Lazy Indian Gourmet." I love this section of the cookbook because it maps out a perfectly balanced meal for me to follow, all within a common theme.

The meal consisted of the following: Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes, Cornmeal-Masala Roasted Cauliflower, Curried Tofu, Rice, Roasted Yellow Pepper and Corn Bisque, and Vanilla-Yogurt Pound Cake with berries and soy ice cream for dessert.

Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes
We spent last weekend in Frankfurt, Germany with friends and Julia made this one night with dinner. Her recipe is almost identical to the one in Veganomicon. Onion, garlic, and ginger are sauteed in vegetable oil. A very large portion of spinach is added to the mixture (around 6 cups) along with diced tomatoes. This is all cooked down for as long as possible and splashed with lemon juice before serving.

Cornmeal-Masala Roasted Cauliflower
My beloved Brussels Sprouts are out of season so I substituted Cauliflower in this recipe and was not disappointed! It is a breading mixture of cornmeal, chickpea flour, garam masala, and other spices all coating the cauliflower and baked to crispy deliciousness.

Curried Tofu
Pressed, marinated, and baked, this tofu had a really nice flavor. But some credit has to be given to the fact that I bought the tofu fresh from the Asian market. I am not sure I could ever go back to pre-packaged tofu again!

I really like this rice recipe. It seems to come out just right each time and has just enough flavor but not too much to take away from whatever it is served with.

Roasted Yellow Pepper and Corn Bisque
This soup has a bit of a bite but the combo of the spice along with coconut milk, lime, roasted veggies, corn, garlic, and nutmeg along with everything else make it great! It makes a huge batch and fortunately leftovers taste just as good.

Vanilla-Yogurt Pound Cake
The above link to the recipe is slightly different than in Veganomicon. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup Vanilla Soy Yogurt but this blogger substituted vegan Sour Cream. Also, the original recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose flour, no whole wheat. This cake is heavy but if I remember correctly, pound cake is supposed to be! The vanilla soy yogurt and the citrus extracts gave it so much flavor. It went really well with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (sprinkled with sugar to bring out the juices in the fruit) and Soy Ice Cream.