Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

What We Eat: Thanksgiving Menu

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I’ll save the sentimental gratitudes for later–right now, we’re talking food.  After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is really about, right (I kid.  But, seriously.)?  Here is our menu for today.  I included a lunch menu this year.  Why?  Well, because most of us don’t eat our holiday meal until 4pm or so.  It isn’t exactly wise to fast all day just to gorge yourself on one meal, yet, we don’t want to be slaving away all day in the kitchen to make two holiday meals either.  What I’ve done is created an easy meal that can be cooking up while you’re getting the real deal going.  I stuck my cheesecake in the oven, got the cranberry sauce going on the stove, and cooked up lunch while I was waiting.  It’s filling enough that you won’t be tempted to overeat at dinner, yet light enough that you won’t still be full when the next meal is ready.

Lunch

Red Lentil Stew with peas

Oven Roasted “B” Potatoes

Apple cider

Dinner

Celebration Field Roast

Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing with Pepitas

Curried Puree of Sweet Potato

Cranberry Sauce

Vegetable Medley (peas, broccoli, carrots, corn)

Dinner Rolls

Sparkling Pear Juice

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Menu: September 21-26, 2010

September 21, 2010

Taking it easy this week…dinners only, lunches are unplanned.  I’m lending a couple of cookbooks to an acquaintance who’s going vegan, and working on my own cookbook, so I’m not really in the mood to follow recipes.  Plus, I’ve quite the backstock of ingredients that I need to clean out of my refrigerator!  So here is this week’s simple menu:

Tuesday: Vegetable Korma over basmati rice, with homemade naan

Wednesday: Vegetable Pot Pies

Thursday: Veggie Quinoa Burgers, potato salad, steamed carrots

Friday: Vegetable Chow Mein with Seitan

Saturday: Paninis, Butternut Squash Soup, and roasted Beet-Carrot Salad

Sunday: Vegan Mac n Cheez, Chili

Menu- September 12-18

September 12, 2010

Since you may be wondering: I stocked up with $20 of veggies the farmer’s market for last week’s menu and managed to get away with a $90 total grocery bill!  Including the groceries we already had at home, that means $90 fed three hungry vegans for an entire week.  That comes to just about $4.5 per meal, or $1.50 per person per meal.  We still have bunches of stuff left over, too, since one farmer gave us no less than 10 cups of kale for our $2, and we got some free veggies from a friend of ours who gardens.

Here’s our menu for this week. You may notice a couple of repeats from the last menu:  that’s because we had a few scheduling issues come up, and had to rearrange some meals.  A couple of my recipes got shoved to this menu instead.  This week I’m taking it easy.  We’re going to be busy so I tried to make lunches easy.

Sunday, September 12

Lunch: Boca Nuggets and homemade Dill-Spiced Cottage Fries

Dinner: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (made using a recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes) -also making a raw portion

Monday, September 13

Lunch: leftover Lentil Pasties (from last week) and Cabbage Saute

Dinner: Yellow dal with Spinach over rice (1000 Vegan Recipes p263)

Tuesday, September 14

Lunch: Quinoa Burgers with Grilled Mushrooms and steamed green beans

Dinner: Chickpea Cutlets (from Veganomicon), coleslaw, steamed carrots

Wednesday, September 15

Lunch: Boca Chikn Nuggets, leftover cottage fries from Sunday, peas

Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner!  Mushroom Frittata (Vegan With a Vengeance), Oven Roasted Potatoes, fruit smoothies

Thursday, September 16

Lunch: Chickpea Broccoli Casserole (Vegan With a Vengeance) and fresh fruit

Dinner: Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce (VWAV p84), Rice Noodle nests (Wok cookbook), Thai Green Soup (VWAV)

Friday, September 17

Lunch: Smoothies and sandwiches, fresh veggies and Goddess Dressing

Dinner: Seitan and mushroom stroganoff

Saturday, September 18

Lunch: Sicilian rotini with mint-almond pesto

Dinner: Argentinean Vegetable Stew (1000 Vegan Recipes p254) with homemade bread bowls

Wild Rice, Wild Mushrooms!

May 13, 2010

I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Morel mushrooms this week, and spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to use them.  I felt as if it would be wasting my first Morel experience to just batter and deep fry them like so many people do.  I looked up some recipes, like this one, this one, and this whole page of ’em, and finally decided to just use those recipes as inspiration for my own.  Here’s what I came up with:

Wild Rice Pilaf featuring Morel Mushrooms

6-8 fresh Morel mushrooms (see prep tips below)

Earth Balance and olive oil for frying

1 yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup green peas

3 cloves garlic

2 stems fresh tarragon

1 bay leaf

1 cup wild rice (see prep tips below)

1/3 block Silken tofu (approx. 4 oz)

3 Tb plain soy creamer

1 tsp brown rice vinegar

spices to taste:  curry powder, black pepper, sea salt, sage, paprika, red pepper flakes, powdered garlic

To prepare mushrooms: Fill a bowl with warm water and stir in some table salt until it dissolves (sea salt typically doesn’t work as well as table salt).  Slice each mushroom in half lengthwise, remove any creatures you see living in the hollow inside, and place the mushrooms in the salt water.  Leave overnight or at least 1 hour.  Drain through mesh strainer and place on paper towels or lint-free kitchen towels to dry.  Slice into bite-size pieces, or leave mushrooms whole if they are small enough.

To prepare wild rice:  In a Corningware or other such oven-safe casserole dish, place 1 cup wild rice.  Cover with 2 cups water.  Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of Earth Balance.  Cover, place in 375 degree oven and bake 40 minutes or until all water has been absorbed and rice is fully cooked.  Fluff with fork.

To prepare pilaf: Drizzle olive oil in pan and warm.  Mince garlic and place in frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent.  Add 2 Tbs Earth Balance and allow to melt.  Stir in rice vinegar.  Add mushrooms and bay leaf.  Saute 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and add peas and wild rice.  Stir in spices as desired (I used approximately 1/2 tsp curry powder, and pinches of paprika, red pepper flake, black pepper, and garlic powder).  Reduce to medium-low (for reference, I put my stove on the 4 mark, 9 is the highest) and saute 10-12 minutes until mushrooms are fragrant and soft.

To prepare sauce:

Heat soy creamer over medium heat and add tofu.  Heat 2 minutes, then use an immersion blender to puree the tofu into oblivion.  Add fresh tarragon, paprika, and black pepper.  Stir into pilaf.

To serve as pictured:

On a salad plate, place a 2″ biscuit form.  Use a teaspoon to fill the biscuit form with pilaf, and press firmly to completely fill.  Let sit 2 minutes.  Gently tug on the form, pulling straight up, to create a cylindrical form.  Arrange a stem of fresh tarragon and a Morel mushroom nearby.  Drizzle any leftover sauce on top of the pilaf stack.

Enjoy!

One Pan Wonders: French Onion Pinwheels

April 5, 2010

Today I’m going to start a new feature called One Pan Wonders.  This category will highlight recipes that require–you guessed it–only one bowl, pot or pan.

French Onion Pinwheels

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package and unrolled

4 green onions, thinly sliced (just the green parts)

2 oz fresh green spinach, chopped (a small chop is best)

4 oz Tofutti cream cheese (French Onion flavor)

Oil for spraying

Pre-heat oven to 375.  Unroll puff pastry on a cutting board or lightly floured countertop.  Spread cream cheese over the entire piece of dough, spreading evenly.  Mix onions and spinach together, and spread over top of dough.  Roll up dough (lengthwise if you want many pinwheels, widthwise if you want big pinwheels).  Use a serrated knife to slice to desired thickness.  Lay pinwheels flat on a lightly greased cookie sheet and spray lightly with olive or vegetable oil.  Bake 15 minutes, flip, and cook another 5-10 minutes until golden.

Breakfast Bites

March 25, 2010

Craving a Danish but just don’t have the energy to make frosting and cream cheese filling?  These dandy little treats will satisfy without taking all morning.  Best part?  They only take one pan!

Breakfast Bites

1 package refrigerated crescent roll dough

1/4 cup apricot preserves (I used Bonne Maman)

sprinklings of cinnamon sugar, cardamom, and ginger

3 Tb unsweetened dried coconut

slivered almonds, optional

Butter-flavored spray or vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a cookie sheet.  Separate crescent roll dough into the preformed triangles.  Roll each triangle into a ball and mush it, then flatten it into a disk shape about 1/4″ thick (thinner is fine).  Spread fruit preserves over each disk.  Sprinkle with cardamom (go easy!), ginger, and cinnamon-sugar.  Sprinkle coconut (and slivered almonds, if using) on top.  Bake until golden and puffy.  Serve warm with tea, milk, or coffee!

1000 Vegan Recipes: Cherry Hazelnut Scones

March 9, 2010

This evening I made Cherry Hazelnut Scones, meaning I’ve now done about 12 of the 1000 recipes in the book.  These scones are awesome.  I’m not typically one for scones unless they are un-sconelike (you know, the ones with chocolate in them), but cherries and hazelnuts make for a pretty tasty combination.

All I changed about the recipe was adding a tablespoon more soymilk than required (the dough seemed too dry to hold together), and using evaporated cane juice in place of regular sugar.  Otherwise, everything in the recipe worked as it should, and it produced great results!

Quinoa Salad

March 3, 2010

This salad, served warm or chilled, is even better the next day.  Try it alone, stuffed in a pepper or tomato, or as an accompaniment to glazed tempeh.  It’s an easy and delicious way to get the family to try quinoa!

1 cup red quinoa, cooked (use a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio, bring to boil, turn down heat and cook 10-15 minutes)

1/4 purple onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 tomato, chopped

3 Tbs corn

3 Tbs peas

4 Tbs olive oil

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp lime juice

cracked black pepper, sage, garlic salt to taste

To make: Cook quinoa.  Add in pepper, tomato, onion, peas, and corn.  In a separate container, mix soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice, and seasonings.  Toss dressing in with salad and let chill 30 minutes.

Cookbooks for Christmas

December 31, 2009

Guess what I got for Christmas?  A pair of shiny new cookbooks!  I was a little surprised when I received them, but then I remembered how I’d shown both of the books to my fiance a few weeks ago.  This year I guess the little hints paid off!  There is nothing better than getting a new cookbook.  I love opening it for the first time–the scent of the paper and ink, the stiff binding, the pages white and not covered in cocoa, flour, or oil…

cookiesssssss.

C is for Cookie

First up is Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, the newest creation by my idols role models Isa and Terry (I like to think that if we met, we would immediately be on a first name basis with each other).  This book is the same size and format as Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but instead dishes out kickass cookies and brownies.  I have to confess, I’ve been trying to eat healthfully and stay away from sweets, so I waited for the right occasion to crack this puppy open.  I’m glad I’ll be able to share this stuff with friends at a New Year’s Eve party instead of having to eat it all myself!  So far I’ve tried three recipes:  chocolate chip cheesecake brownies, no-bake Swedish chocolatey balls, and chocolate cut-out cookies.  All three turned out great!  I can’t wait to try some of the recreations of popular cookies–the book contains versions of Cowboy Cookies, Samoas, Caramel DeLites, and Nutter Butters–but I couldn’t be more pleased with the other recipes as well.  I am especially looking forward to trying the MACAROONS!

This book is sure to become another mainstay in my kitchen.  VCTOTW is one of my standbys whenever I need to make something for a party or potluck, but I think this new book might put up a good fight for the spotlight.  As said before, it’s organized the same as the cupcake book, so things are easy to find and the photos are interspersed throughout the book to tempt you into making nine recipes at once.  As I flipped through the recipes I found myself thinking, “Ooh!  I have all those ingredients!” many times.  With few exceptions, these cookies and brownies can be made with ingredients most of us already have in our pantry.  So pick up a copy of the book and be prepared to bake whenever the mood strikes!

book cover

1000 Vegan Recipes

The other book I received is 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.  I wanted to love her previous book Vegan Planet more than I did, and sorry to say it only sees occasional use in my kitchen.  But I do enjoy the creativity, flavor, and variety in Robin’s recipes, so I was excited to see this new book.

It doesn’t disappoint!  This thing is a friggin encyclopedia.  If you’ve ever been asked “What do you eat?” by a non-vegan, this is the perfect gift for them.  It contains everything from sauces to desserts, with a number of ethnic recipes as well as some good down-home type dishes.  In fact, there are so many recipes I hardly know where to start.

So, in the spirit of Julie & Julia, I’m thinking I may attempt to make all 1000 recipes…

Sweet and Sour Tofu

November 4, 2009

I’ve been craving some good fake Chinese food lately.  I say fake as in the kind of “Chinese” you get at mall food courts and the buffets that inexplicably also serve french fries and mini corn dogs.  Not authentic, not even really Chinese, just sort of… Asian-esque enough to pass.  Usually I prefer to find quality stuff, but sometimes some junky food is just what hits the spot.

I recently decided to take matters in to my own hands.  I’ve done chow mein and lo mein before, so this time I ventured into the world of sweet and sour “chik’n”.  It doesn’t come out tasting chicken-y (which I view as a good thing), but in terms of satisfying a craving, it does the trick.  The best part?  It’s simple!

Sweet and Sour Tofu

1 block tofu

1 cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)

turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, sage, and garlic powder to taste (I used a generous dash of each)

House of Tsang Sweet and Sour Sauce (yep, I’m too lazy to make my own)

Remove the tofu from its packaging, squeeze as much water out of it as possible, and wrap it in plastic.  Be sure all areas of the tofu are well-covered.  Freeze overnight.

Place tofu in a bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes, pausing after each minute to flip or turn the tofu.  Continue until defrosted (press on the tofu–if it’s not hard anymore, it’s thawed) but be careful not to cook it.  Squeeze all the water out of the tofu; press hard, there’ll be a lot!  Then cut the tofu into 1″ cubes.

Meanwhile, mix the bread crumbs and seasonings.

Dip the tofu in lukewarm water, shake off the excess, then roll in the bread crumb mixture.  Place on to a well-greased pan (I sprayed generously with canola oil).  When all the tofu is in the pan, spray lightly with oil.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until breading begins to turn golden and tofu is firm and crispy.  Turn once or twice during baking time for best results.

Coat tofu in sweet and sour sauce and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Bonus recipe: For sesame tofu, mix sweet and sour sauce with honey (you naughty vegan!) about 3:1 (more sauce than honey), toss the baked tofu in the sauce, coat with sesame seeds, and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until sauce has dried a bit.

Bonus FLOP: I also tried to modify this to make coconut fried tofu (you know, like coconut shrimp).  I froze the tofu and thawed it.  Then I rolled it in a mixture of panko, unsweetened coconut, a little sugar, and ginger.  Then I fried it in Earth Balance.  It tasted pretty good but a lot of the breading came off during frying–I think it would work better with a deep fryer.  I ended up pressing a little extra breading mixture onto the tofu after I fried it.  If you have a deep fryer and try this, let me know how it goes!