Saturday, June 16, 2012

Life kind of got in the way

Dear reader (I'm hoping there are readers), I am still Vegan and plugging along.  However, this year we bought a new house and moved and that has taken all of my attention.  So I'm going to try this summer to write up post at least weekly.

Tonight we're having a mediterranean inspired tomato and basil pasta with some strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Tomorrow night, some kind of entree with a rosemary potato salad.  Later this week mushroom stroganoff (you can find that recipe in the blog I believe) and possibly some Fish Fingers as well.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Feast!

This picture is missing the mushroom gravy and the yorkshire puddings, but I'm going to include the recipes for those as well.

Lets start with the mushroom gravy - you can make this hours ahead and reheat it. 

1 container of white mushrooms finely diced
1 shallot finely diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbsp corn starch.
2 Tbsp port
Dash of olive oil
Pepper to taste

Cook the shallot in the olive oil until translucent.  Then add the mushrooms and cook until the liquid is gone.  Deglaze the pan with the port.  Mix the vegetable stock and corn starch before adding to the pot.  Then simmer until it thickens, add ground pepper as desired.

Balsamic Brussel Sprouts
Fresh Brussel Sprouts (as many as you want)
3 Tbsp Brown Suggar
Balsamic Vinegar
Ground Pepper

Cut the ends off the sprouts and slice in half.  Place in a baking dish, lightly coat with balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle in the brown sugar.  Toss to coat, sprinkle with ground pepper.  Put aside to cook with the Yorkshire puddings.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
1 bag assorted baby potatoes (red, white, purple)
2 purple sweet potatoes - peeled and diced to the size of the baby potatoes
1 Tbsp diced fresh rosemary (use dry if you don't have your own rosemary plant)
ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil.

Toss potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper.  Cook at 325 for 15 minutes before you add the Seitan to the oven (leave them in while it cooks).

Seitan Roast
I got this recipe from and made some modifications

2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon rosemary - I used fresh
1 tablespoon sage - I used fresh
1 tablespoon thyme
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
Head of garlic, roasted
Cooking Broth:
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke

Combine the wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, herbs, onion, celery and garlic.  In another container combine the broth, water and soy sauce.  Mix the wet into the dry and knead until mixed.  Divide into two small roasts and place in pan.  Pour half of the cooking broth around it and bake at 325 for 50 minutes.  At the half way point, check to see if it needs more broth, if so, add to the pan. (this means your potatoes cook for 65 minutes).

Once the Potatoes and Roast are done, take them out of the oven and cover.  Put the brussel sprouts in the oven and turn it up to 450.

Yorkshire pudding
Take a muffin tin and put 3/4 tsp vegetable shortening in each spot.  Place the tin in the oven while it heats to 450.

In a bowl combine:
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 heaping Tbsp chick pea flour
1/2 tsp salt
to this add 1 cup to plain soymilk. 
Whisk - this will be a thin bater.
Take the muffin tin out of the oven and half fill each of the spots.
Bake for 25 minutes (with the brussel sprouts).


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chocolate Amaretto Mousse

I received a recipe for a chocolate merlot mousse and as my wife can't have merlot, I had to change things up.  As such, I thought I'd use amaretto instead.

If you're like the flavor but not the alcohol, simply heat the liquid above 150 to remove the alcohol.

5oz of chocolate chips melted (vegan of course)
1 1/2 cups of silken tofu (almost all of a container)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract

Once the chocolate is melted, combine all ingredients into a blender.  Once combined, pour into four dishes and chill for a minimum of four hours.  Then.... enjoy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rootbeer Float Cupcakes!

You never know what you're going to find on the Internet.  The other day I wandered across the link for this and today while Hurricane Irene rages up the East Coast (just a little wind and rain where I am) I thought, why not try these.  The recipe originally comes from Bittersweet blog's cupcake recipe.  I have made some slight modifications to the recipe.

I'd suggest you visit that site, and then return.

When it suggests soymilk in the ganache, I used chocolate instead of just plain or vanilla and instead of maple syrup, I used agave nectar.  Be warned, the ganache recipe makes about 3 or 4 times the amount you need for the cupcakes, so plan on using/eating some extra ganache.

These are very tasty, though strong flavored.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Health update

I first went vegan for health reasons, after reading the Engine 2 Diet as a way to lower my cholesterol.  In the first three months I lost 35 pounds and my cholesterol dropped 64 points.  Well, now 2 1/2 years in I had another phyiscal and my cholesterol has dropped a total of 140 points!  Doc says I'm very healthy and things look great.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lack of posts

To anyone reading, sorry for the lack of posts since mid-June.  It's been a very busy summer with lots going on.  I'm still vegan and still eating lots of yummy food, but mostly repeats of recipes already posted here.  I hope to post something soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Laotian Pun Tofu

Years ago I worked with a woman who was Laotian and the couple of times she and her husband had us over, she made this wonderful finger food, using lettuce as the food container.  So after a quick Google and then putting my own spin on it here it goes.

1 large seedless cucumber peeled and finely diced
3 tomatoes finely diced
3 scallions cut into thin rings
lots of mint (I took the leaves off of 12 or so stalks in the garden).
2 packages of extra firm cubed tofu (you could buy it uncubed, this just saves time)
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
Juice of two limes
1 cup Kikkoman Ponzu (essentially lime flavored soy sauce)
10 drops sesame oil
1/3 cup Tamari
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp Hoison sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil

Optional: Alfalfa Sprouts

Remove the mint from the stalk, rinse the leaves, dry them and then slice them into fine shreds.

Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions and mint together and let sit.

Put the tofu (drained) into a ziplock bag with 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup Ponzu, 2-3 drops of Sesame oil and 1 Tbsp Hoison and let marinate for a couple of hours

Meanwhile in a pot combine the juice of the limes, the rest of the vinegar, Ponzu, Tamari, 1/4 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp of Hoison.  Heat over medium heat until it starts to boil and reduce to a low simmer, reducing my 1/3.  Then remove from the heat and let cool.

Then once the tofu has marinated, in a large skillet heat the olive oil and about 7 drops of sesame oil.  Once hot, add the tofu and marinade, stirring often, until the marinade has cooked off and the tofu starts to brown.  Remove from heat and cool.

Once cool, stir into the vegetable mixture.

To serve: Take leaves of your favorite lettuce, tear a roughly palm sized piece.  Put a dollop of the mixture on the lettuce, drizzle with a little bit of the sauce, fold the lettuce over and enjoy.  For a little extra punch, add a pinch of Alfalfa Sprouts to your wrap.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tamales redone

Sorry no picture on this one.  Almost two years ago I made portabella and black bean margarita tamales.  These were so much better.

2 cups Masa flour
1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix all of these ingredients together, this will create a nice dough, kind of like what you'd have for cookies.

The filling can be anything you'd like.  I made half of mine with taco seasoned TVP, black beans and mexican corn.  The other half I made with yellow and red peppers and onion that I cooked down in a pan with some cumin and finished with about 2 tbsp of lime juice and 1/2 tsp cumin.

Take a sheet of parchment paper about 9 inches from the roll and tear it off.  I then rolled thsi up and cut it into thirds.  Take each third and put a thin layer of dough on it from one edge to about 1" away from the other, leaving 3 inches or so at the other end. 

Put some filling on it, then tightly roll and fold the extra parchment paper up.  Then place into a pot (I took the top half of my pasta pot and had it on the side).  Once they are all rolled, put water in the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil and steam for 30 minutes.  Make sure the pot doesn't run dry.  I placed a pyrex measuring cup in steamer section to make up for the empty space.

Serve with some salsa and guacamole.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Empanada Hash

After last night's empanadas were made I had a healthy amount of filling left over.  I put it in a container and put it into the fridge.

This morning it was calling me... so with a light spray of cooking oil in the skillet over medium high heat I made myself some nice hash for breakfast.  Now ideally it would have had some potatoes in it, but I wasn't going to cook potatoes just for this and I didn't have any already made.  So the next time I make empanadas, I need to also cook up a couple of potatoes.

Cook on medium heat scraping the pan occasionally to get all the good crispy bits up off the bottom of the pan.