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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scrambled Tofu with Garlic & Spinach

Easy vegan breakfast... recipe for one, so increase proportions as desired:

2 big handfuls of fresh spinach
1 large clove garlic thinly sliced
Olive oil spray
1/4 block of firm tofu

Spray pan w/ olive oil and saute garlic over medium heat until softened, but not browned. Toss freshly rinsed spinach in pan on top of garlic. Use the spatula to move the spinach about until it is completely wilted, then push it to the side of the pan. Crumble the tofu into the pan and add 1/2 tsp of tumeric and mix into the tofu as it heats up in the pan. Cook until the tofu is heated through and then mix the spinach from the side of the pan into the heated tofu mix. Serve!
There are many recipes for scrambled tofu... it is so easy that from this basic premise you can add anything you like... peppers, onions, mushrooms, and on and on...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Apple Walnut Dressing

Another amazing vinaigrette. You can't have too many. I found this in a recipe for a spinach-avocado salad, but then I couldn't find the site to give credit. So here it is anyway in all its awesome glory:

1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tbs agave nectar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cumin
2 pinches cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 c walnut oil

Place all the ingredients in a jar and shake.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes with Carmelized Fennel & Leeks

A tiny head of fennel and one lonely leek languished in my crisper. To save them from the compost bin, I found a potato gratin recipe online that was ripe for a vegan make-over. I was so happy with the outcome that the first forkful brought an OMG to my lips.

1 small head of fennel, sliced very thin
1 leek, white part only, sliced very thin
1 tbs olive oil
2 fist-sized yukon gold, rose gold or other waxy potatoes, sliced very thin (use a mandolin if you have one, but watch your fingers)
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
oil spray
Silk soy creamer
nutritional yeast
salt & pepper
A medium-sized casserole dish with lid

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the fennel & leek until carmelized (browned, but don't let it burn). Spray a casserole dish with spray oil and place a layer of the potatoes, followed by about half the leek/fennel mixture and half the sliced garlic. Place another layer of potatoes, followed by the rest of the leek/fennel mix and sliced garlic. Top with a layer of potato. Pour the soy creamer in the casserole dish until it just peeks over the sides of the potatoes. Sprinkle the thyme, then salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle a thin later of nutritional yeast on top. Spray lightly with the cooking oil. Cover. Pop in the oven for 45 minutes.

The proportions aren't precise. Someday when I publish my vegan cookbook I'll be more exact, but I really don't think a little this way or that way is critical for most recipes. I'm going to try using vegetable broth instead of the creamer next time, but I wanted a super creamy outcome; a snowy day calls for it. Please note the artful cropping in the photos that obscures my first ambitious forkfuls. I put in the holiday backdrop as a nod to my brother, who told me this morning that it was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who wrote the poem Christmas Bells, which was later set to music as I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

I cooked hard a good part of the day today, so I was ready for my martini come cocktail hour. I couldn't find my tipsy onions. (I guess I was making a Gibson.) I said a prayer to St. Anthony, though I suspect praying for cocktail ingredients is a sin. Ultimately, I settled for jarred jalepenos tossed into my vodka with good results, proving that God comes through even for sinners like me. From the photo, you see evidence that my support for organic products includes booze.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Country Chateau Dressing

This recipe hails from a 1985 cookbook titled: The Lose Weight Naturally Cookbook by Sharon Claessens. My mother passed this out-of-print Rodale Press book (my favorite publisher) on to me. The title is misleading, because I find it to be more of a health-directed than a lose-weight cookbook. The recipes are awesome. Look for it in a used bookstore... and grab it if you find one. This particular recipe, along with the Fabulous French recipe from How it all Vegan (posted at a earlier date), are my
go-to favorites for salad dressings. They taste amazing and the ingredients are pantry staples. Hopefully, the beautiful red color comes through in my photos.

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
2 tbs olive oil (this can be left out for a good tasting, fat-free version)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp honey (I substitute agave nectar)
1 clove garlic
dash of cayenne pepper.

Whirl in a blender until smooth; shake well before using. Stores x 1 week in the fridge in a glass jar. For you weight watchers... 1 oz is 1 point, zero points if you make the olive oil-free version.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chard & White Bean Soup

What to do with a big bunch of rainbow chard?

2 tbs olive oil
1 bunch rainbow chard coarsely chopped w/ stems (or any greens)
4 large cloves of garlic chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 can Canellini (white beans) drained & rinsed
1/2 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 qt vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dried sage
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper

Heat oil and saute onions & garlic until soft. Add beans and sage, then stir for a minute. Add chard and stir until it starts to wilt. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and add macaroni. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Add lemon juice. Salt & pepper to taste. Best served with a slice of sourdough or other crusty bread that has been toasted and spread with olive oil & crushed garlic.

I forgot to take a photo of the finished soup, which is much more appetizing. So I included a picture of a nice place to serve your dinner... Editorial comment: we don't use the dining room enough and I am on a campaign to stop eating in front of the TV.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Leek & Potato Soup

This is a super easy, amazingly good soup recipe, adapted from one of my can't-live-without cookbooks: Saved by Soup (Judith Barrett). She calls it Lusty Leek & Potato Soup... I find the exact amount of leek can vary and it comes out great every time.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks, white parts sliced thin (you can use more leeks if you like)
2 lb of waxy potatoes (like Yukon Gold) sliced thin.
1 quart of vegetable broth.
salt & pepper

Heat the oil and saute the leeks until they are soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, simmering for about 30 minutes. The potatoes should be soft and break up when stirred. Just add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I sprinkle with fresh herbs (like thyme or chives) but it is good just plain.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Haluski, Kapusta sort of...

I was craving some of the polish dishes of my youth, so I came up with this recipe, which was just thrown together, but turned out amazingly delicious. The photo doesn't do it justice.

2 tbs olive oil
2 onions halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small head of red cabbage chopped
2 apples, peeled and sliced
2 tofurkey polish sausages sliced into coin-shaped pieces
seasoned rice vinegar (find in the Asian section of the market)

Heat the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic over medium heat until they begin to carmelize (brown). Add the apples and cabbage. Stir for a few minutes and then cover and lower heat. Allow the mix to steam for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is cooked. Then remove cover, increase heat to medium and stir until the moisture is evaporated and the cabbage begins to brown (about 10 minutes). When the mixture is browned, add the tofurkey sausage and stir. Cover for about 3 minutes to heat sausage then remove cover and stir until the sausage begins to brown.

Before serving, drizzle with the seasoned rice vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. As with most of my recipes, the proportions aren't critical.