Thursday, June 12, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas options

We always run into the same basic problem at holiday time. Because we always spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with family who live out of state, we need to plan for food that is able to be made in advance. Alternatively, something that can be made quickly and transported is good. For Thanksgiving this year, we enjoyed a lovely vegetable stew with a miso-based broth and puff pastry topping - cooked the stew in advance and froze it right in the little pots, and brought along the (vegan) puff pastry. That worked very well, but next time I use puff pastry I need to remember NOT to have it laid directly on the stew. The pastry sank into the broth and did not get flaky and - well - baked.

Ideas for Christmas so far:

Crispy chipotle potato tian
Easy, omni-friendly, undoubtedly delicious!

"Christmas tree salad" with pomegranites, grapes, apples, and chard
This not only sounds delicious, it would give us some great greens while we're out of town - often a problem.

Asparagus tart on puff pastry
We had this last year and it was a real hit.  With a bean pesto base, there's our protein with a bit of crunch. Also very easy - best assembled and baked last minute, though. I think what I did before was to assemble the dish ahead of time so it wouldn't be in the way of all that turkey and such, and it was fine, but the pastry base didn't puff up much because of the moisture in the beans. This would work equally well with a pesto base and some heirloom tomatoes - more colorful, too.


or similar:
Basically a pizza dough crust (make-ahead is fine here) braided round our filling of choice, which can also be made ahead of time. We could use the same wonderful miso-gravied stew as a filling that we had at Thanksgiving - tofu or soy curls, veggies of choice, rich gravy. Makes me drool just thinking about it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving thinking

In past years, we've gotten very overfed, made tons too many roasted veg, and spent time making gourmet dishes (fun!) This year - who knows? For some reason I'm attracted to the idea of a soup (something not often made, like perhaps that fennel soup) served in a small roasted squash or pumpkin, accompanied by a special salad (last year we had a spring mix with apples and candied walnut bits, which was great), and a light dessert.



Carrot and Parsnip soups with tarragon-cashew sour cream
Millennium Cookbook, p.66

Fennel & Fava Soup

Polynesian Peanut Soup With Toasted Coconut

Sweet Potato-Ancho Bisque with Apple-Pecan Salsa & Roasted Red Pepper Cream … etail.html

Yukon Gold Potato Soup with Black Olive Caviar [skip the egg topping, just olives and chives)

Alternatively, it would be great to have potstickers, a light and spicy broth-based chinese soup, and ... something something for dessert. More on this later.

Carmelized tofu 
withschezwan green beans and shallots
butterscotch pudding
apple slaw
fresh fruit


Strawberry & Spinach salad
with a balsamic dressing

Chilled asparagus in dilled mustard sauce 

Green beans in vinaigrette


Vegan pumpkin pudding garnished with sesame lace tuilles (millennium, p. 210)

Strawberry pie
, but made into just a few cupcake-sized tarts, with a puff pastry base and drizzled with chocolate, or the vanilla sauce from Millennium, p.223.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

menu items for next week

Crockpot ratatouille with garlic bread
Vegan tamales with roasted peppers & tomatoes with beans
Samosa wraps (in sparks as ) with salad
Eggplant, Potato and Okra Sabji over rice or with naan
Pav Bhaji (Indian mixed vegetables) on buns with chipotle-roasted carrots
Portabella pepper steak with rice
Vegan dad’s burgers, salad, roast potatoes

Pav Bhaji Masala (converted from the recipe provided here)

3.5 T red chili
3.5 T coriander seeds
5 ¼ tsp cumin seeds
5 ¼ tsp black pepper
.8 oz cinnamon
5 ¼ tsp clove
4-5 black cardamom
5 ¼ tsp dry mango powder
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp. turmeric powder
Roast all the ingredients separately. When cool, grind it. Shift them and mix dry mango powder, turmeric powder and fill in the bottle.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Check out this free giveaway!

Robin Robertson of Vegan Planet is giving away TWO (yep, count'em) copies of her new cookbook, Vegan on the Cheap! Hie thee hence and add your voice to the fray!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tofu triangles in creamy nut butter sauce with scallions

I never recorded this here, but Mike and I joined a few weeks back. We both have weight to lose, and want very much to continue to enjoy our life together. We just got married, too! Anyway - here's another change in our nutrition, and we both want to continue to enjoy our food, as we both love to cook.

Here's one great recipe from, originally a recipe by Deborah Madison. We thought the combination was terrific - the best nut sauce we've had and that's saying something. However, we've amended it to cut both fat and salt, so I'm posting it here:

Tofu Triangles:

* 1 carton firm tofu, drained
* 2 scallions including the greens, thinly sliced on the diagonal
* 1 tablespoon toasted white or black sesame seeds

The Creamy Nut Butter Sauce:

* 3 Tbs soy sauce, or tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Aminos (which is what we used - it's lower in salt)
* 1/4 cup sesame paste, peanut butter, or cashew butter (we used almond butter)
* 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons white or light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or chili oil
* 2 scallions, finely chopped
* 1/3 cup water or stock (we used water)

1. Slice the tofu crosswise into scant 1/ 2-inch slabs, then cut each slab into 2 triangles. Blot with paper towels.

2. Dry-fry tofu in a cast-iron skillet (or do what we do and use a George Foreman grill!) The link here is to an excellent dish we've greatly enjoyed before - scroll down to see a good description of the dry-frying process.

3. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small food processor and puree until smooth. Taste for salt and add a little extra, if needed.

4. When the tofu is done, pour in half the sauce and cook until bubbling and partially reduced.

5. Turn off the heat, scatter the scallions and sesame seeds over the top, and bring to the table.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roasted Parsnip Soup with Fresh Herb and Caper Chimichurri

DELICIOUS! We both decided this recipe belongs in our top favorite soups. Thank you, Veggie Belly, for posting it! I'm posting it here because I made a few changes.

Roasted Parsnip Soup
serves about 4

2 parsnips chopped, about 2 cups
2 celery ribs roughly chopped
1 leek stalk cleaned and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
3 tbsp fresh chives
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Turmeric for color, optional
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups soy milk
1 tsp Olive oil & olive oil cooking spray for roasting parsnips

Preheat oven to 400F

Scrub the parsnips clean. Chop off the ends. Chop the parsnips into cubes. Spray with olive oil and mix to coat, then place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven till the parsnips are golden.

While the parsnips are roasting, heat a large, deep pot with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the chopped celery, leeks, garlic and bay leaf. Cook on medium-high heat till the celery has softened a little – about 3 minutes. Now add the minced herbs and crushed chili pepper, and cook another minute. Add the turmeric, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf and discard it.

Add the roasted parsnips and milk to the stock. Place in a blender and puree into a soup – as smooth or chunky as you like.

Return the soup to the pot, and warm through before serving.

Fresh herb and Caper Chimichurri
makes about 1/4 cup

1 cup fresh Parsley leaves roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh Oregano
Capers – 1 1/2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp of the brine (or use pitted green or kalamata olives instead)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 garlic clove

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a coarse paste.
To serve, top your soup with ~Tsp of chimichurri

Pot stickers

from Vegweb, easy and tasty potstickers

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
1/3 cup cooking sherry or veg broth
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage (I used precut slaw cabbage)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
1/2 cup minced celery
3 tablespoon minced green onion
3 tablespoon minced cilantro
5 large mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon salt or herbal salt substitute


In large bowl, combine flours and water. Knead 15 minutes, adding more flour to water to create a smooth, pliable dough. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Heat sherry (or broth) in wok over medium heat. Stir-fry onion and cabbage until limp. Add remaining pot sticker ingredients. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and place in colander to drain excess moisture.

Divide dough into 24 small balls. On a lightly floured board, flatten each ball of dough into a 3-4 inch circle. Fill each circle with about 1 T filling. Fold circle into half moon shape; pinch edges to seal.

Lightly coat two large nonstick skillets (or work in batches with one skillet) with vegetable cooking spray. Set over medium heat. When hot, add pot stickers, seam side up, flattening slightly on the bottom. When the bottoms of pot stickers are golden brown, add 3/4* C water per pan. Cover and steam for 20 minutes. Makes 24 pot stickers.

* original recipe calls for 1/2 c but I found that the dumplings went dry, giving me a sort of leathery dough rather than the ideal tender stuff. I'll have to play with this - just make sure your pan doesn't go dry.