Friday, February 29, 2008
Until recently (read: when I made these loaves), I'd never had sourdough bread. My boyfriend kept raving about it, though, and when we found some dry sourdough starter when we are at the new Whole Foods in Nashville, he begged me to make it. It took me awhile to get around to it, but I finally did. Truthfully, I didn't get successful bread until the second try. Ideally, the starter should be doing its thing at around 80-90 degrees. The instructions that came with mine said that if it was too cold in your home, to put it in an oven with only the oven light on. I'm sure that would work just fine, except my oven is old and does not have such a light (but oh what I wouldn't give to have an oven that had one!). As such, it took my starter longer than the instructions suggested it would to actually be viable. In my sourdough ignorance, I tried to use it before it was ready and man was that dough tough. And it didn't rise; not one bit. So I threw it out, waited several days (and a couple of more feedings) and actually got my dough to rise. Woohoo! I'm told the sour flavor will grow stronger over time, but my first (okay, technically second) attempt was certainly not bad. And now that I've got the starter going, my boyfriend says he wants to try making the next loaf.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I made the roasted garlic croutons per the Veganomicon recipe as well, but I used cracked wheat bread. I was going to buy French or Italian bread when I went grocery shopping, but all the stuff that Earth Fare had, which they supposedly baked in-house, contained L-cysteine. Seriously, Earth Fare.....what gives? Is that really a necessary ingredient? (Hint: the answer is no.)
Monday, February 11, 2008
To go with the potatoes, I made Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry, also from Veganomicon. I am so glad that we have discovered a love of cauliflower. This recipe made a ton, but that's okay because it was delicious and we enjoyed eating the leftovers. I didn't serve it with any rice at first, since we had the potatoes alongside it, but once we ran out of potatoes, I made Saffron-Garlic Rice (yet another Veganomicon recipe) to go with it. Garlic is pretty much one of our favorite things ever, and we can't get enough of that rice recipe. I used to love those Near East rice pilaf mixes, but they are horribly high in sodium, so I never felt very good about eating them. I now found a yummier replacement, and it's less expensive to boot.
Clearly this is not part of the Indian meal, but this is the Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon, which I served with chili. I was intrigued by the jalapeño-onion variation, but it calls for putting cooked jalapeños and onions on top of the cornbread mixture. I like my jalapeños mixed into the batter, so that is what I did. This was my first time making skillet cornbread. My boyfriend had an old large cast-iron skillet that I never used because he had cooked meat in it. We got a wire brush attachment for our drill and removed the old seasoning so that I could re-season it and use it for vegan stuff. I guess I did a decent job of seasoning it, because the cornbread didn't stick at all. Yay! I love my "new" skillet. It sure is heavy, though. The skillet cornbread turned out great, even though I strayed from the recipe a bit. I was running a little low on plain soymilk, so I made up the difference with some plain soy yogurt. I'm always playing with new cornbread recipes, but I think I'll be sticking with this one now.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
And yes, those are baked beans that you see on the plate along with the bean burgers. I was having a rather forgetful day. See, I made these burgers and even went so far as to make the buns from scratch. In all the time that I was opening and closing the fridge that day, I never once noticed the leftovers from the evening before sitting on the top shelf of the fridge just waiting to be eaten. I'm the one that made dinner the night before, so how I could so easily forget about having done so, I don't know. It wasn't until I went to put away the leftover burgers after dinner that I noticed the other leftovers. Woops. And the baked beans were because I was going to serve broccoli with dinner, but forgot to cook it until it was too late.
While we were in Portland, I got a copy of Yellow Rose Recipes. This crispy beer-battered seitan was the first recipe I tried from it. It was messy to make, but very good. I actually liked it better the next day, but I think that was because I like seitan better after it has been in the fridge overnight. I made the seitan for this recipe (also from YRR) the earlier in the day, so it didn't sit in the fridge for all that long. I look forward to trying more recipes from YRR. Right now I'm eyeing the mustard-crusted seitan, since I still have more seitan to use.
The new issue of VegNews contains a macaroni and cashew cheese recipe. I don't usually get VegNews (I'm not really big on magazines), but I saw some pictures of the recipe in the Food Porn section on the PPK and really wanted to try it. I found a variation of the recipe here. I'm so glad I tried it. This might be my new favorite vegan mac and cheese recipe. And, for those of you that don't care for nutritional yeast....don't worry, this recipe doesn't call for any!
These are the jelly donut cupcakes from Veganomicon. Sorry, no inside pictures. These are so neat. You put a spoonful of jelly on top of the batter and it sinks down into the middle during baking. Apparently a lot of other people have trouble with this (the jelly either doesn't sink at all, or it sinks down to the bottom), but they worked just fine for me! I also like that they don't have any frosted. Granted, I like frosting, but it can be a lot of work, so it's nice to have cupcakes that are delicious and pretty without it.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Technically this was mission 4 or 5, but I don't have photographic evidence of the other vegetables we tried at my boyfriend's parents' house. We had fried yellow squash (which is really sautéed, not so much fried) and turnip greens. We both liked the homegrown squash, which was much softer and melt-in-your-mouth-y than I expected it to be, but only I liked the turnip greens. This is why you won't see much in the way of greens as part of Operation "Let's Eat Some New Vegetables." My boyfriend finds them bitter and just doesn't like them. Spinach was a stretch for him. He liked it at first, but said he started to find the leftovers bitter. I don't taste any bitterness in spinach, but to each his own.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Anyhoo, this is the leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits from Veganomicon. This dish is comfort food at its best. It's a sort of vegetable stew with biscuits baked right on top. Yummy! My boyfriend tried to convince me that since he'd never had leeks before, that this should count as Mission 3 of Operation Let's Eat Some New Vegetables, but I voted him down. After all, we eat onions all the time and they are both from the same genus. I didn't pick out a new vegetable at the store the other day, so there probably won't be a new mission until after New Years (we are going to visit his parents in Nashville all next week).
Something I have noticed about Veganomicon is that when they tell you approximately how long a recipe will take from start to finish, they are actually right. That might sound like a small thing, but someone the times are rarely right for other cookbooks, so this makes me happy.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The spicy yogurt tempeh is a test recipe for frecklefoot (another ppk member) of One Chubby Vegan. It was tasty and I was glad to find another tempeh preparation that my boyfriend likes (although I think his favorite will always be tempeh wingz....I can't really blame him on that one). Mine didn't turn out to be all that spicy at all, though. Most of the other testers have reported that theirs was, though, so either some of my spices weren't as hot as theirs, or I just like things spicier. Either one is certainly a possibility. I will still make this dish again, but will add more spice to it probably. I'd also like to try baking it. I tend to like to try the same recipe both pan-fried and baked, to see which we prefer.
We have finally finished all of our stuffed mushrooms (there were several meals between the previous post and this one). They were good, but I was getting kind of tired of them. Perhaps that's why people usually serve stuffed mushrooms as party appetizers, as there are more people around to eat them.
I served the cauliflower with tempeh wingz from Issue 1 of Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk and some stuffed mushrooms. Said stuffed mushroom recipe was just kind of made up, mainly because I was missing ingredients for just about every stuffed mushroom recipe I found. They were good, but there sure were a lot more mushrooms in that package than it looked like at first glance. We had enough mushrooms to fill both a 9x13" and an 8" square glass baking dish.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I finally got around to trying the pumpkin cinnamon rolls from the second issue of Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk. I have no clue why I waited so long to make these, because they are awesome. They were nice and soft with just a hint of pumpkin flavor. For those of you who haven't ordered the second issue yet, she put the recipe up on her blog. The only change I made was I used a 9x13" pan, as a 9" square pan just seemed to small to me. Normally I like my cinnamon rolls covered in cream cheese (Tofutti non-hydrogenated, of course) icing, but these were good with just the glaze.
For Hanukkah, I made the potato latkes from Veganomicon. Sorry I didn't get a very good picture of them. These were good, but I am undecided as to whether I prefer latkes with or without matzah meal. They had more body this way, but still...I'm just not sure. I like both, though. Last weekend we had a family Hanukkah celebration in Columbia, SC. We spent the night at my parents' house in Greenville, then drove down to Columbia just for the day on Saturday. I brought the leftover latkes to serve with dinner Friday night and my dad really liked them (I'm sure Momma would have, too, but she wasn't there...she went to go help out my sister with her new baby). At the family Hanukkah celebration, they made me some vegan latkes before they fried the non-vegan ones. My aunt even made me vegan cookies (Mexican wedding cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking, which she got me for Hanukkah).
I brought some dessert with me to the family Hanukkah, so there were vegan cookies galore. I got this sugar cookie recipe from A Veg*n for Dinner. I didn't use any food coloring for the icing, though, as I avoid artificial colors and the natural food colorings are just too expensive for me right now (and I've never seen them locally anyway). I also made the sparkled ginger cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance, but I didn't take a picture because I've also blogged about them before. I have learned that my family is scared of the word ginger, but if I call them "molasses cookies," they are okay. Crazy people.
This is the hot and sour soup with napa cabbage and woodear mushrooms (I may have muddled that name up a bit) from Veganomicon. My cabbage was being stubborn about coming off the head of cabbage neatly, so I cut it up in the food processor instead. The only other time I've had hot and sour soup was at a restaurant in Richmond, VA called Panda Veg. It was good, but homemade is better (and quite simple). Awhile back we were at a Whole Foods and we found this little package of dried woodear mushrooms for a reasonable price. We'd never even heard of woodear mushrooms, but we bought them anyway, then couldn't think of a use for them. Veganomicon arrived and ta-da, finally a recipe that calls for them. This soup is both spicy and filling and the leftovers reheat well.
Hanging out behind the soup are some homemade fried wontons. They would have been spring rolls, but I was having a ton of trouble with the rice paper wrappers. I got so frustrated that I defrosted the wonton wrappers that I had in the freezer and decided to use those. I know that wontons are normally boiled, but I already had the oil all set to fry, so I just went ahead with this. They actually turned out pretty well this way. The filling was napa cabbage, red cabbage, dried shiitake mushrooms, Morningstar Farms chik'n strips (they'd been hanging out in the freezer for quite awhile, so I figured I might as well use them in something), soy sauce, sriracha sauce, ginger, and garlic.
We went to my sister's house in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. In addition to the vegan Thanksgiving meal I brought with me, I also brought some blueberry muffins for breakfast. I want to make the ones out of Damn Tasty, but I didn't have any soy yogurt. I found this recipe on VegWeb. I had all of the ingredients and it got such good reviews, that I figured it was worth a shot. The results were...meh. Despite turning out fairly pretty, if I do say so myself, the muffins weren't very flavorful (okay, they were downright bland) and were rather crumbly. I definitely don't plan on trying that recipe again. I don't know...maybe they'd be better with a teaspoon of vanilla and some sort of binder.
For Thanksgiving, I made whole wheat dressing/stuffing from homemade bread. I didn't really follow a recipe on that one, just looked at several different recipes to get a basic idea of what I should do, then went from there. This turned out well, but I should have let the bread dry out a bit more before I used it.
I also made the holiday cranberry sauce from Veganomicon. It got rave reviews from everyone who tried it (even my incredibly picky-eater sister tried it...I was impressed). I also made the mashed spiced sweet potatoes from Veganomicon, but I didn't take a picture because I've blogged about them before. They are so simple and everyone loved them, too. My brother even ate sweet potatoes for the first time. Have I mentioned that my siblings are not very adventuresome eaters? My brother's girlfriend is getting him to try new foods, though. One day, I will get my siblings to actually eat vegetables (besides corn, which they already eat).
This is the rustic white beans and mushrooms from Veganomicon. This recipe made a TON. I would probably cut it in half the next time I make it (and I will make it again....my boyfriend saw me make it, but didn't get to have any because he went to his parents' house for Thanksgiving. He said it looked good and asked me to make it another time, though.). I was going to have this as the main part of my Thanksgiving meal, but my boyfriend insisted on getting me a Tofurky when we were at the store. I do like Tofurky, but I sure can't get it to slice very neatly. Every time I try, the stuffing crumbles and spills right out. I think their stuffing recipe could use some work, personally.
One night I decided to be adventurous and make homemade sweet potato gnocchi. Oy, what a pain. I have no idea how people manage to shape gnocchi into anything remotely attractive-looking. It tasted good, but was a little gummy. It also made quite a bit and there is more waiting for me in the freezer. I served it with a homemade sundried tomato cream sauce, but I didn't write down what I put in it and it's been a couple of weeks now, so I don't remember. I know I used pureed canellini beans as the base, though.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Can you tell just how much I love Veganomicon? This is the Saffron-Garlic Rice, served with Morningstar Farms chik'n strips and sautéed bell peppers. My boyfriend said this might very well be his favorite rice yet. Garlic and onions can do no wrong around here.
I think I have a problem. I am addicted to testing recipes for others. These Buffalo Breakfast potatoes are a tester recipe for Frecklefoot over at the PPK. You can check out her blog here.
I did something silly at the grocery store recently. Even though Texas Pete hot sauce has never failed me, I bought the generic stuff because it was cheaper (not that Texas Pete is all that expensive). Little did I know that the generic stuff has no spice to it at all. It shall henceforth by known as "not hot sauce". So, these potatoes tasted great, but it was all tang and no heat whatsoever. I'll definitely be making them again, but with a different hot sauce in the future.
Sadly, the vanilla-yogurt pound cake is all gone. We were in need of another dessert last night, so I chose the Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies from Veganomicon. My boyfriend was skeptical, but in the end the cookies won him over. He said he would have eaten the whole batch if I'd let him. The introduction to this recipe in Veganomicon says that they are wonderful as ice-cream sandwich cookies. I'll be trying that this summer!
Friday, November 16, 2007
For dessert we had the Vanilla-Yogurt Pound Cake from Veganomicon. I haven't had pound cake in, ohh....at least a decade, but the wait was most definitely worth it. This might just be one of my favorite desserts yet. It's so moist and full of flavor. We still have plenty left, but already I want to make another. The strawberry sauce on top is homemade. I don't follow a recipe for it, but it is frozen strawberries, sugar, a splash of orange juice, and a cornstarch slurry.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Blue Diamond vanilla almond milk. I really wish that it had more vitamins and such added, though. Next is Soy Dream vanilla enriched.
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Home-style potato rolls from Veganomicon
Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu from Veganomicon
Adzuki Bean and Millet Burgers
I want to make something from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan, too, but I need some inspiration
3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Melted Earth Balance and nutritional yeast. I used to really like Braggs and this Thai seasoning, but I bought what I thought was the same Thai seasoning recently (Frontier Co-Op brand) and it makes me sneeze when I get anywhere near it. D'oh.
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Well, the chocolate cake I posted about yesterday sure made a mess of my oven on the first attempt, but the results were still edible (and tasty!), there was just less cake than there was supposed to be.
Hmm....I once tried to make baingan bharta (an Indian eggplant dish) and the spices in the recipe I followed were just all wrong.
5. Favorite pickled item?
Kosher dill pickles
6. How do you organize your recipes?
I have some in Mastercook (I'd love to share Mastercook recipes with people, if anyone wants to trade) and some on index cards in a filebox. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd combine them all into Mastercook.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
I really want to compost, but it's not so feasible right now since we're in an apartment. We're planning on doing it once we get a house, though. For now, I use the garbage disposal when it's appropriate, and the trash when its not.
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
black beans, rice, and hot sauce
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Breakfast for dinner! It was so exciting anytime we had it, even though I now realize that French toast, pancakes, or especially oatmeal for dinner meant my parents didn't really feel like cooking that night.
10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Purely Decadent Turtle Trails (it got me liking pecans!)
11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Cuisinart food processor
12. Spice/herb you would die without?
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Molly Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (but I hardly use it...any suggestions?)
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
My parents have really liked the bumble berry and apple pies I've made for them. And really, who wouldn't like pie?
As far as non-desserts, it's hard to say. I serve pretty much everything I make to my omni boyfriend (I don't like calling him omni, though...I feel like I'm calling him names), but he's used to vegan food and a bit more open-minded about it than some of my other non-veggie friends would be.
16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tofu, then tempeh as a very close second. I definitely like both of them more than seitan.
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
My mixer, some happy hippie soda, and the Shabbat candlestick holders
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Vital wheat gluten, homemade whole wheat bread, corn
20. What's on your grocery list?
black beans and chickpeas (so far)
21. Favorite grocery store?
Locally, Earth Fare. I also really like Whole Foods, but we don't have one here (closest is 3 hours away). Same goes for Trader Joes.
22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
My aunt just gave me the recipe for my great aunt's cinnamon cookies. I plan on veganizing them.
23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Squirrel's Vegan Kitchen
Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen
Now that I've figured out this whole Bloglines thing, I'm reading a lot more. I was too lazy to check each one before, and now Bloglines does it for me!
24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Pretty much any dark chocolate with mint bar. Mmmm.
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
26. What food are you embarrassed about liking?
Babyfood applesauce. I don't know what it is about it, but it's so much better than the regular stuff.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I do not know the science behind this recipe, but somehow you wind up with a wonderfully gooey chocolate sauce underneath a layer of chocolate cake. Who can say no to that? Well, diabetics and celiacs can I'm sure, but you know what I mean.
Hot Fudge Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
9 tablespoons cocoa, divided
3/4 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 cups hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with 3 tablespoons of cocoa. Stir in soy milk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Spread in ungreased 9x13" glass baking pan. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and 6 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over all, do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I didn't test too much from it this time around, as things have been busy, but I still highly recommend it!
Monday, November 05, 2007
The mashed spiced sweet potatoes might just be my new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. I think I found a winner to bring with me to Thanksgiving (even if my family doesn't actually like sweet potatoes). I am really looking forward to the leftovers of this meal. There are actually only leftovers because I instructed my boyfriend to leave me some so that I could take it with me on our short trip to North Carolina. I have a new nephew (my first!) and we are going to his bris tomorrow.
Meet my new nephew! He was born on October 29th (18 Cheshvan). 5 lbs 15 oz and 18 inches long. I can't wait to meet him tomorrow!
On Friday night I made barbecue tofu sandwiches (served with hominy). For some reason I didn't love these sandwiches, even though I liked the barbecue tofu on its own, and I liked the homemade whole wheat bread (I used this recipe, substituting maple syrup for the honey). We had leftover sandwiches for Saturday night, but needed something to go with them. I found the herb-scalloped potatoes recipe in Veganomicon. We had all the ingredients on-hand and LOVE potatoes, so this was the first recipe I tried. I'd never had scalloped potatoes before, but these were great. I told my boyfriend that and he said that these were better than most scalloped potatoes. High praise. I can't wait to try more new recipes!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I got it in my head last week that I wanted to make bazed ziti. I don't know why, since I'd never had baked ziti before (and neither had my boyfriend) and I didn't have a particular recipe in mind. The results turned out really well, but dear gosh what was I thinking when I made a whole box (16 ounces!) of pasta. I thought we were never going to finish this.
Serves 8-10 (so you might want to cut this in half if you're not cooking for a small army)
16 ounces ziti pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 jar of pasta sauce (might want a bit more if you like your Baked Ziti on the saucy side)
15 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained (or however much one thing of tofu weighs)
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 ts dried basil
3/4 ts dried oregano
1/2 ts garlic powder
1/4 ts onion powder
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
Mozzarella soy cheese, shredded or grated
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place tofu in large bowl and mash with fork. Mix in the vegan mayonnaise. Stir in nutrional yeast, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add soymilk and stir again.
Place a few tablespoons of pasta sauce on the bottom of a glass 9x13" baking dish.
Add mushrooms and remaining pasta sauce into the bowl and stir everything together. Stir in cooked pasta, then pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top with soy cheese and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 3-5 minutes.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
This is such a simple recipe, but they taste so good. You'll want to hide the rest of the cookies from yourself because they're so addictive (much like the Girl Scout version, even though it's been years since I had them). I stumbled across the recipe on RecipeZaar awhile back.
Thin Mint-Esque Cookies
1 1/2 lbs. chocolate (dark, semi-sweet...whatever you'd like....I usually just use a bag of vegan chocolate chips and cover as many of the crackers as I can)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (or 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract)
72 Ritz-type crackers (I usually use Late July crackers...in the picture are the Whole Foods brand)
1. Melt chocolate, either in the microwave or in a double-boiler.
2. Stir in the peppermint oil/extract.
3. Drop crackers one at a time into the chocolate mixture, being sure that the crackers get completely coated.
4. Place on wax paper to harden. (I put them into the freezer for a few minutes, then store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.)
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB oil
1 ts chili powder
1/2 ts cumin
1 15 oz. can refried black beans (I used a spicy version)
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I would have used pinto beans if I had them)
1 ts salt
2 TB tomato paste
1/2 c frozen corn
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
2 c boiling water
1 c cold water
1 1/2 c cornmeal
1 ts salt
1/2 ts chili powder
Sauté vegetables for filling. When onion becomes translucent, add spices and crushed garlic.
Add refried black beans, kidney (or pinto) beans, and tomato paste into vegetables. Add remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings and set aside.
Stir cornmeal into 1 cup cold water. Then stir cornmeal mixture into 2 cups boiling water. Add crust spices. Cook and stir until thick.
Press 2/3 of the cornmeal mixture into the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9" pie plate. Pour the bean mixture into the crust. Top with remaining cornmeal mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.