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Showing posts from 2011

Raw Custard and Fruit Tart

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I've been drooling over cashew-based raw foods for years, my favorite being the raw vegan "cheesecake" at places like Ecopolitan in Minneapolis and Cafe Gratitude in California.  I imagined that these foods involved more magic than I could muster, and so I never attempted to make them myself.

Last week, as always, my mother was making the ever-popular Yule Log (or Bûche de Noël for you francophiles) for her annual pre-Christmas family dinner.  I have been making an additional dessert for some years now, usually an apple or pecan pie.  This year I wanted to do something different that utilized the fresh, local fruit that I crave whenever I visit California.  I decided to make a fruit tart with a custard filling much like a vegan cheesecake.  It turns out there is no magic, just a little preparation and some trial and error.

I'll do my best to reproduce the recipe here, but since it's a result of a lot of eyeballing and taste-testing, you may want to add ingredie…

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

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While I understand and respect the various objections to Thanksgiving, for me it is an excuse to cook and to eat particular kinds of foods, always with copious amounts of gravy.  This year, I had a nice, quiet day at home with my Tofurky.  I was so pleased with how everything turned out that I decided to post it here, after my long hiatus from blogging.

Here is what I had:
Tofurky roast with homemade gravy
Quinoa with mushrooms
Braised Brussels sprouts with maple walnuts
Five seed bread (like this bread, but with chia instead of bulgur wheat)
Apple custard crumb pie with vanilla Rice Dream


I'll do my best to reproduce the recipes here, but keep in mind that I made them up as I went along, and so amounts are my best guesses.





Tofurky
This is for the small Tofurky roast (not the whole dinner package).  Remove the Tofurky from its plastic wrapping and place it in a casserole pan with a lid with large pieces of veggies (some combination of carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms).  Mix 1 cup o…

Strawberry Pie

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Yes, it's been a really long time since I've posted.  The dissertation-writing process is long and weird, and it's hard to focus on anything else.  My posts in the future might continue to be infrequent and also possibly less elaborate, but I'll try to throw something up here a couple times a month.


Meanwhile, it's summer!  Which means, in Massachusetts, it's the season for CSAs, farmer's markets, and berries, berries, berries!  I got two quarts of strawberries from my CSA last week, and about half of them went into this simple strawberry pie.  I used agave and Bee Free Honee, a sweetener the consistency of honey but made from apples.  I do eat honey, but I love having another option for sweeteners.  I tried it when I got an online coupon and quickly became a fan.  It's a Minnesota-based company, and so my Twin Cities friends can most easily find it.


1 pie crust, baked (I used a whole wheat, vegan version from Whole Foods' freezer.)
1 quart fresh st…

Leftovers!

Lunch today was leftovers from last night's dinner: sweet potato gnocchi with home-made seitan, broccoli, and garlic, in a vegan alfredo sauce

This batch of seitan turned out a little different - the spices were 1/2 tsp each finely powdered garlic and onion, and a pinch each of sage and cumin.  I added maybe a tablespoon extra of wheat gluten and kneaded it twice, letting it rest between and after.  Instead of pulling off chunks, I sliced it as thin as I could, so that the pieces more closely resemble cutlets.  I'm going to try this seitan in a sandwich next.

Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Juice

I have no photos on this one; it's simply a note about a realization.  I have beet juice about once a week for its cleansing qualities (whatever that means).  Really, it's because Boston Organics keeps putting them in my bin, and I'm too lazy to figure out how to cook them.  Also, while I've had delicious beet dishes in adulthood, it's hard to disassociate beets in my mind from the slimy, vinegary canned version.

At any rate, drinking beet juice (even with a 1:3-4 ratio of beets:carrots/apples) can be an intense experience on the digestive organs.  It's not pain, but there is a very odd, uncomfortable sensation that brings awareness to the abdomen.

I've been using ginger in various forms (ginger candy, ginger tea) to help with nausea and upset stomach for about a year now, with great succes.  So in anticipation of the weird abdominal sensations, I tried putting a bit of ginger in with my juice.  I used a piece about an inch long and half-inch in diameter, a…

Multi-Seed Whole Grain Bread

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I got a bread machine some weeks back.  When I say "got," I mean I got one from a fellow freecycler.  It's used, but it works pretty well, except that getting the loaf out of the pan is a bit of a chore.  A lot of bread is left in the pan, and I don't love the hole that the paddle makes.  The breads I've been making lately have been collapsing.

Today, I finally realized how to solve these problems: make the dough in the machine, and bake the bread in the oven.  Duh.  Now you're asking why I don't just do the whole thing by hand.  Well, as much as I've been assured otherwise, all the kneading and waiting and punching seems like just too much for me.  Anything that can make things easier for me is worth it.



I had stopped taking photos of the process of breadmaking because I hadn't come up with anything good enough or interesting enough to share.  Until today.  That's why there are only photos of the finished product here.


Put the following in th…

Creamy Ravioli with Tomatoes and Capers

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This is less a recipe than an unpaid advertisement for Rising Moon Organics ravioli.  They have a bunch of vegan options, and they seem to be on sale at Whole Foods and food coops on a fairly regular basis.  Also, they are delicious - which is apparently not an easy thing to do; I tried another brand at WF, and it was terrible.  On the other hand, preparing them is very easy.  Anyway, if you are not yet aware of this stuff, give it a try.



I used the Garlic & Herb variety this time, but the three shown are my favorites.


Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.  In this case, I used these small (1-1/2-2" diameter) tomatoes and cut them in quarters.  (Darn blogger editing won't let me put two photos side by side.  Let me know if you have advice for editing!)  Put cut tomatoes in serving bowl.

Cook the ravioli according to package directions (half a package is one serving).  Drain and return to pan.  Add the Vegan Alfredo Sauce and some capers (maybe a tablespoon) and heat on med…

Mu Shu Tofu

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I finally made it to 88 Market this week, with the sole intention of getting some mu shu pancakes.  Of course, I left with much more than that, including sweet steam buns, peanut sesame candies, and a packet of baby bok choi seeds for my garden this spring.  At any rate, finally I can make mu shu without resorting to wrapping them in tortillas.


This is one of those recipes a good friend would call a "kitchen sink" meal (as in "everything but the kitchen sink"), meaning I throw in whatever is in my fridge, and so every time it's different.  The key ingredients are cabbage and hoisin sauce, and everything else just improves it.


1 package firm or extra firm tofu, frozen and defrosted
1-1/2 cups broth or bouillon
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1-2 T chopped garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 small head of cabbage (about 2-3 cups chopped)
1 large carrot (about 1-2 cups sliced or shredded)
3-4 stalks bok choi (about 1 cup sliced)
2-3 stalks kale (about 1 cup ch…

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

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I recently got a request from a friend for something that is dairy-free, soy-free, and easy.  So, here it is!


2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
2-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt

(or equivalent proportions)















Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave until soft, for about 10 minutes.  Check at 5 min and every subsequent 2 minutes.

Scrape out potato flesh from peels into bowl (I used a grapefruit spoon).


Rice and/or mash sweet potatoes (what you're looking at is a ricer - it's very satisfying to press that sweet potato through those little holes).
Mix the mashed sweet potatoes with flour, using hands, until it holds together.  It still might be a bit sticky.  Roll with hands into logs, lay on floured board, and cut into 1-inch pieces.  It will be a lot easier to handle if you use plenty of flour on the board, knife, and your hands.  Lay out three or four logs alongside each other and slice all at once to save time.



This is how many gnocchi I made.  They can be saved for a lon…

Potato Leek Soup

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Leeks and red potatoes arrived in my Boston Organics bin on Friday.  We're at about five feet of snow today Naturally, potato leek soup ensued.


1 medium leek
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
2-3 pounds potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups unsweetened soy milk
Chop garlic and onion into small pieces.  Cut end of leek off, slice in half, wash thoroughly, and cut into 1/4 inch slices.

Cube potatoes (I used red potatoes) in 4-6 pieces each.  Leave the skin on to keep the nutrition and taste.

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add the onion, garlic, and leeks.  Sautee until soft but not browned.


Add potatoes and salt and stir to coat.  Add enough vegetable broth to cover the potato mixture - about 4-6 cups.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer for about 30 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
Liquefy in blender in batches with soy milk.  Add water to make desired texture.  Serve with freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition: One cup has…

Pecan Pie

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Today is National Pie Day - not to be confused with National Pi Day, which isn't until March (or July, depending on how particular you are).  To celebrate, I made a version of theBest Vegan Pecan Pie.  I also made this for my mother's annual family dinner in December, and it was a bit hit among the entirely omnivore crowd.  It is truly the best pecan pie.  For the pie crust, I'm not including a recipe because I bought mine, but you can find recipes all over the interwebs.  Whole Foods has a nice selection of vegan pie crusts, and I got a whole wheat version.

Pecan Topping:
2 cups pecan halves
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar


Filling:
10 whole grain graham crackers
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 teaspoons almond (or vanilla) extract
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350.


For the pecan topping, melt butter in pan on stove at medium heat.…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

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These cupcakes are fairly low in fat, and since I mistakenly left out the applesauce, they turned out denser and more like brownies than cupcakes.  Feel free to add 1/3 cup of applesauce to the batter (I have done a version with that before) if you want them more cakey.


Brownie cupcakes:

1/2 cup coconut milk drink or lite coconut milk
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raw cacao (or cocoa) powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt



Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a mini muffin pan.  (I like that size, but feel free to use the bigger ones and increase the baking time.)

Mix together the coconut milk, turbinado sugar, and agave syrup (not pictured - sorry!).  Mix vigorously with a fork or whisk every minute or so, until sugar is dissolved.

Meanwhile, stir together soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to let it curdle.  (This give th…