Saturday, September 30, 2006

Salad and a Sandwich

After all the food we ate at the Vegetarian Festival today we though't we'd do something a little light for dinner. I thought about doing a post on the festival but we were half way there when I realized I forgot the camera. So much for that idea. And now you're stuck with another post about a salad. We had half a package of tempeh left from our sushi adventure so I did a modified version of the Tempeh Bacon from Vegan with a Vengeance to go on our salads. I diced the tempeh and marinated it for about an hour in a mixture of 1 1/2 Tbs. Braggs, 1 Tbs. maple syrup, 1 Tbs. cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp. tomato paste, a crushed garlic clove and a dash of liquid smoke. Then I fried it in peanut oil until it was nice and brown and added the remaining marinade at the end. Underneath that was leaf lettuce, radishes, cucumber, shredded carrots, yellow tomatoes, and red bell pepper, and on top went some of the orange-poppy seed dressing we made recently from Vive le Vegan! After the salad we just had sandwiches with Tofurkey deli slices, lettuce, tomato and mustard on whole wheat bread.

As for the festival, I'm happy to report that the 80 or so cookies that we delivered there this morning sold out well before the end of the day. They sold for $1 apiece so hopefully that's at least a couple more feral cats that can be neutered or spayed.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cookies Galore!

Darlene spent the better part of today baking cookies that we'll donate to the Vegetarian Festival tomorrow where they'll be sold to benefit a local spay-neuter program. She made the Peanut "Better" Cookies and Coconut-Lime Cookies (only with lemon instead of lime) from Vive le Vegan! and a slightly modified version of the Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance. Of course we had to sample some ourselves to make sure they're fit for consumption. After that all we needed was a relatively light dinner so we walked downtown for a slice of pizza at Christian's.

Dreena graciously gave us permission to re-print the Peanut "Better" Cookie recipe so anyone getting one of those cookies will also get the recipe. Of course there are rules and regulations about these kinds of things and they all had to be wrapped up in plastic but Darlene did a wonderful job of packaging them, complete with colorful labels. So if you're nearby stop by the festival tomorrow for a delicious vegan cookie along with lots of other good stuff.

(Here are the cookies all wrapped up.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mushroom Barley Soup

It seems we're rehashing recipes a lot lately but I guess that's because they're good ones. Besides it's been many months since we made this recipe. But it's starting to feel like soup weather around here again so we went back to this delicious hearty barley soup. We started with a simple salad and had the soup with some whole grain bread and that was plenty for a cool rainy evening.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Buffalo Salad Take 2

Yup. Another rerun. But we couldn't help it. We made this Krispy Buffalo Salad a few weeks ago and it came out so good that we had to do it again sooner rather than later. Darlene actually marinated and fried the TVP last night and we used some of it in the pot pie and saved the rest in the fridge. So this came together very quickly tonight. In the salad this time is a mix of leaf lettuces, yellow tomatoes, celery, carrots, scallions and radishes and for the dressing this time we tried the Creamy Orange-Poppy Seed Dressing from Vive le Vegan! which was quite yummy. A little rice pudding for dessert and life was good.



Oh, and I almost forgot a promised plug for the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival. If you're in C-ville or anywhere nearby you should definitely come and check it out this coming Saturday from 11:00 - 4:00 in Lee Park. We've gone every year since we've been here and there's always great food and exhibits.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pot Pie

We have a copy of the Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook from a long time ago and while there's a good bit of dairy and eggs in there we still take it out from time to time and find some good vegan (or easily veganized) recipes. Tonight's pot pie was slightly altered from the recipe in the cookbook based on what vegetables we had in the fridge. And incidentally, this is a good way to use up whatever random vegetables you have on hand. The topping is a basic biscuit crust made with whole wheat pastry flour; and all kinds of goodness went into the filling. Goodness like onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, yellow squash, peas and marinated and fried TVP chunks. The gravy is made from more pastry flour and a mix of plain soy milk and vegetable stock and it's seasoned with soy sauce and fresh herbs, in this case thyme, sage and parsley.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fried Seitan Take 2

I just made this a little over a week ago but Darlene wasn't here then and it was so good I knew she'd want to try it. This is the Jay Lo's Fried "Chicken" from La Dolce Vegan and on the side this time are steamed green beans and roasted butternut squash. To cook the squash I peeled it and cut it into bite-sized pieces then mixed it with olive oil, salt & pepper and a pinch of cinnamon and cooked it in a baking dish at 400° for about 45 minutes, stirring it occasionally.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sushi

We wanted to make something "fun" to eat this weekend and what's more fun than sushi? We've made sushi once or twice in the past but it's been a loooong time. This was so good though I don't think we'll wait that long before we do it again. Tonight we made 3 different "flavors", the Spicy Tempeh Roll from the PPK, another one with shiitake mushrooms and carrots, and finally a basic cucumber and avocado roll. The tempeh roll Darlene even managed to roll with the rice on the outside. Now that's a neat trick!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pasta

Ah, the 'ol vegan standby - pasta. We had some already cooked pasta in the fridge from when we had the stroganoff, plus some veggies that we needed to use. This came out pretty good for something I threw together quickly. I cooked onion, red bell pepper, green beans and yellow squash in lots of olive oil, seasoned with salt & pepper, then added some fresh basil and oregano along with some garlic. Then I added a little veg. stock, then some balsamic vinegar and agave nectar. Finally the pasta went in with a little more salt and when it was heated through I served it with some diced fresh tomato on top.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chard Curry

We just did this a few weeks ago but it's one of our favorite things to do with chard or spinach. It's always a little different but a basic recipe is here. Tonight we used fresh chard and a little frozen spinach and added some tofu, diced potatoes and a handful of frozen peas. I didn't make any bread this time - we just had it over brown rice. Still... yum!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Barbecued Tempeh

Here's another winner from Peter Berley's excellent book, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. I made the Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe from this book over the weekend and while I was flipping through it I came across this tempeh recipe. We started with a big salad then had the tempeh on the whole wheat bread with shredded carrots, tomatoes and pickles. While the tempeh was baking I was going to make some coleslaw to have on the sandwiches and/or on the side but then I sat down for a minute and Violet curled up on my lap and next thing I knew the tempeh was done. It was pretty easy to make (this is halved): Slice one block of tempeh horizontally and across so you have 4 pieces (that are half as long and half as thick as what you started with). In a bowl, mix together the following:

1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbs. + 2 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground chipotle chile (I used regular chile powder and a little liquid smoke)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika

Put half the liquid in the bottom of a baking dish, add the tempeh in a single layer, then add the rest of the liquid. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350° for an hour, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Seitan Stroganoff

This showed up on one of my favorite blogs a few weeks ago and I stashed the link to the recipe away. Didn't take long for me to pull it back out. I mentioned yesterday that I did a lot of cooking this past weekend - another thing I made was the Faux Beef seitan recipe from La Dolce Vegan (which came out quite good). I figured that would be perfect for this stroganoff recipe so that's what I did tonight. And it was most excellent. As Darlene said, it was 'company good'. As in something we might make next time we have someone over for dinner. We had some basic sauteed mixed greens on the side but the stroganoff was the star.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Greek Salad

I did a good bit of cooking this past weekend and I finally got around to trying a recipe for vegan "feta" from Bryanna Clark Grogan that I've been eyeing for a while. So tonight I made us big Greek salads with the feta on top and then we just had cashew butter and bananna sandwiches on some whole wheat sandwich bread that I also made this weekend. In the salads was a mixture of romaine and red leaf lettuce, yellow tomatoes, red bell pepper, carrots, cucumbers, kalamata olives and the feta. For the dressing I whisked together red wine vinegar, olive oil, chopped fresh basil and oregano and salt & pepper. The feta was not unlike several other mock cheese recipes that I've tried in that I didn't think it tasted much like the real thing, but still it was good in its own right.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chickpea-Hiziki Patties

This is something I tried once before with limited success but the idea stuck in my head like peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth and I had to give it another go. (So last time when I said I wouldn't do it again... I lied.) And I'm happy to report that this time was much better. The inspiration originally came from the Chickpea-Hiziki Salad in Vegan with a Vengeance and this time I also got some ideas from Dreena's Adzuki Bean and Rice Cakes.

Chickpea-Hiziki Patties with Tartar Sauce

1 Tbs. hiziki
1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for frying
1 c. diced onion
1/2 c. each diced celery and red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. cooked brown rice
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 c. bread crumbs

Cover the hiziki with boiling water and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Heat oil in a wide skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes then add garlic and cook another minute or so. Add this mixture to a food processor along with the drained hiziki and all the remaining ingredients except bread crumbs. Process until well combined then add bread crumbs and pulse until bread crumbs are mixed in. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. Now heat more olive oil in a large skillet (you can use the same one), form the chickpea mixture into patties and fry until brown on both sides. Serve with tartar sauce made from mixing 1/2 c. Vegenaise, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbs. diced sweet pickle, 1 tsp. pimientos and 1/4 tsp. onion powder.

Uppma

I happened to be driving by our local Indian market yesterday so I stopped in to get some fresh curry leaves since the ones we have stored in our freezer are past their prime. And uppma is one of the main recipes in which I use curry leaves so that's what I decided to have for breakfast this morning. My basic recipe is here but you can jazz it up with whatever vegetables you want. Which this morning happened to be a few green beans fresh from the garden and some red bell pepper left from last night. Violet was just sitting on my lap eating some and she thought it was great (yet she won't eat canned cat food - go figure).

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tofu Veggie Burritos

Here's another old standby, especially when I'm just cooking for myself. More often than not I'll use black beans but I decided to mix it up ever so slightly tonight and use tofu. I cooked onion, red bell pepper, carrot and a small red jalapeño in olive oil, then added some yellow squash, then garlic and some seasonings (chili powder, cumin, fresh oregano, salt & pepper). Next into the pan went half a block of tofu (crumbled) and some crushed tomatoes. Lastly I added a handful of mixed greens I picked up at the farmers' market today. That mixture went on some tortillas with salsa, tofu sour cream, lettuce and fresh diced tomato. There's such soy-veggie goodness in the filling I hope you can forgive me for using white tortillas...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fried Seitan with Greens

This was definitely a 'use what's in the fridge' kind of night. There was a small bunch of chard and a tomato from last weekend's market that were still hanging on plus the seitan I made last weekend but didn't do anything with. I'd been wanting to try the seitan recipes in La Dolce Vegan and now I finally have. I made the Faux Chicken over the weekend and it was quite easy to do; tonight I cut it into strips and made Jay Lo's Fried "Chicken". Just mix some flour with paprika, salt & pepper then coat the seitan with the flour mixture, then with plain soymilk, then with the flour mixture again, and fry in oil until brown and crispy. Holy yumminess Batman! It was sooo good.

For the chard I diced the stems and cooked them in olive oil with some green onions and salt & pepper, then I added the greens along with lemon juice, agave and dijon mustard and cooked for a few minutes more. That came out to be quite yummy too and I topped it off with some fresh diced yellow tomato on the side. I wish I could've shared it with Darlene but alas, she's in Buffalo for her sister's wedding. It's a bummer that I couldn't go but I'm staying home with Violet. She's doing fairly well but we didn't feel comfortable leaving her for so long and disrupting her routine so I'm cooking for one for at least one more night.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Restaurant Round Up

I've been wanting to do this for quite a while since we've written about a number of local restaurants by now. So we present to you our...

Not quite comprehensive guide to vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia.

Links on the restaurant name are to where we've written about them here.

Charlottesville

Ming Dynasty (link 2) - Chinese with lots of veg. options. Map.
Cafe 88 - Chinese bento boxes and snacks. Run by the former owner of Ming Dynasty. Map.
Maharaja - Indian. Map.
Milan - Indian. Map.
Himalayan Fusion - Indian, and vicinity. Map.
The Flat - take out creperie. Map.
Eppie's - decent veggie plates. Map.
Christian's Pizza - only 1 vegan option but it's a good one. Map.
Dr. Ho's Humble Pie - possibly better than Christian's but more out of the way. Map.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza - turns out the soy cheese contains casein. Map.
Sticks - excellent hummus, not sure about the veggies though. Map.
Splendora's - for dessert. Map.

Richmond

Harrison Street Coffee Shop - Haven't written much about this one but it's all vegetarian, mostly vegan. Many great vegan sandwiches among other things. Map.
Panda Veg - all vegan Chinese (yes, I said all vegan). Map.
Sticky Rice - Sushi, lots of vegan options. Map.
821 Cafe - several vegan options. Map.
Moe's - chain burrito place with tofu as an option. Map.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pan Pizza

Last night was just straight up leftovers (lasagna & quinoa salad); tonight was using up some leftovers to make something new. Back when I made the pizza bowls I had a lot of dough left that I wrapped up and put in the freezer. And we had some marinara left from the lasagna so we decided to make a pizza - a pan pizza to be exact. I don't think we've ever tried this before but it came out great. We put some olive oil in a cast iron pan and pressed the dough into the pan before topping it with the marinara, the rest of the Uncheese "brie" that I made a while back, and some roasted veggies. For the veggies we chopped a large red bell pepper, a yellow squash, a carrot and a small red onion, mixed with olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt & pepper, and baked until they were soft. I generally like a pizza with a crispy crust but this was a thick softer crust that was quite scrumptious too.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lasagna

Apologies but I'm too lazy to post a recipe tonight. Plus this is something Darlene did and I'm not sure about everything that went into it. I do know she made a ricotta-like filling with silken tofu, Tofutti cream cheese, olive oil and seasonings. Some capers and green olives went in there as well and then that was layered with the noodles, some basic marinara sauce and thinly sliced yellow squash. We started with a simple salad (with some very tasty fresh tomatoes) and we had some flatbread on the side. I didn't use up all the flatbread dough last night so I just put what was left of the dough in a bag in the fridge then tonight I tore off a couple of pieces, rolled them out and fried them in a skillet with a little olive oil for a few minutes on each side.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lentil Skillet

When we were in Buffalo this spring, I vaguely remember a dish I had at a cool restaurant there that consisted of lentils with grilled onions and peppers. I don't remember much other than that but it was enough to inspire tonight's dinner:

3/4 c. brown lentils
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 large red or green bell pepper, halved and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, sliced (optional)

Bring veg. broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils, then cover and simmer until lentils are tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet then add onions and peppers. Cook until everything is nice and brown then add garlic, parsley and spices and cook another minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice then add cooked lentils and cherry tomatoes and cook another minute just until tomatoes are warm. Garnish with green onion.

To go with the lentils, I made some Basic Yeasted Flatbread from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe. It came out pretty good and was fairly simple to make, but any flatbread would do; in fact this would probably fill a pita nicely. The whole meal wasn't overly spectacular but it was good enough that I might make it again one of these days.

Hash with Sweet Potatoes and Rainbow Chard


This is a breakfast we do pretty frequently and we've posted about it many times before but this morning it was looking particularly colorful with the addition of sweet potatoes and rainbow chard. So I couldn't resist breaking out the camera and taking my plate out onto the deck in the morning light to play around with some pictures. In addition to the aforementioned ingredients there's also red potatoes, onions and Twin Oaks vegan chorizo. There's a good bit of seasoning in the chorizo already so I just added a little bit of salt, pepper and paprika and that was enough.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad

It seems we're on a salad kick lately. This is something we found in Cooking Light magazine. Cooking Light isn't exactly chock full of vegan recipes but this one sounded good and indeed it was. I made a few tweaks based on my taste but mostly followed the recipe:

1 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
3 c. veg. broth
1 lb. tofu, pressed then cubed
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. dijon mustard
zest from1 lemon
fresh black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. frozen peas
3 green onions, sliced
1 medium carrod, diced
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Cook quinoa in broth until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and fry tofu with 1/4 tsp. salt until golden brown. Combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, basil, lemon juice & zest, mustard, black pepper and garlic in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Allow quinoa to cool slightly then add to bowl with remaining ingredients except tomatoes and stir gently. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes then fold in tomatoes before serving. It's pretty substantial on its own and we just had a piece of toast with hummus on the side.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Krispy Buffalo Salad

I made this big dinner salad last night in honor of my sister Kristen (aka Krispy). She happens to live in Buffalo and I got the idea after seeing her make a salad with mock buffalo wings on top and ranch dressing. The base of the salad is romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and celery but the heart of it is the spicy topping. I used tvp for the mock buffalo wings. I added 2 cups of tvp to four cups of hot water to reconstitute. I then drained the nuggets and put them in a sesame marinade from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone for about 2 hours. I altered the marinade a little and here is what I used.

Marinade

2 tablespoons black sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup of soy sauce
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon asian chile sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar

I then fried the tvp nuggets in a couple of tablespoons of canola oil reserving the remaining marinade. After frying, I added 1 tablespoon of corn startch to the remaining marinade and added that to the nuggets. I mixed together 1 tablespoon of vegan margerine and 1/4 cup of Franks hot sauce in a bowl. I added the fried nuggets to the hot sauce mixture. I let the mixture cool a little and then piled it on top of the salads. The dressing was veganaise and a balsamic vinegarette with garlic and flax oil. Very yummy salad and a fun dinner for Friday night.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hummus Tortilla Pizzas

We tried this recipe from Vive le Vegan! tonight and we weren't disappointed. As Dreena says, you can use any toppings you like but this time we mostly stuck with the recipe in the book - with the exception of using yellow squash instead of zucchini. We also just made one pizza for each of us and piled on the toppings, which in addition to the squash consisted of the obligatory hummus along with red peppers, green onions, kalamata olives and fresh basil. Thanks for the inspiration Dreena!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Milan

Last night was leftovers and we didn't cook tonight either but that's 'cuz it's my birthday and we went out for a nice Indian meal. Milan sounds like it could be an Italian restaurant but in fact it's Indian. I can't believe we haven't written about it yet because we've been there many times in the past but it's been quite a while since the last time I guess. It's fairly typical Inidan food but I don't mean that in a bad way; and the atmosphere is nice and the service is generally good. Our server tonight was a little iffy about what on the menu was vegan but I think we came to an understanding. The veg. section of their menu says "Vegan and Vegetarian" but unfortunately they don't specifically list which items are vegan. They do however list when there's cheese, cream, butter, etc. in a dish so we're reasonably confident that at least a small handful of their items are vegan. The only problem tonight was that I ordered my Vindaloo Vegetables medium spicy and it came so flaming hot I couldn't eat it all. Still, it was good and I'll polish the rest off tomorrow - I just need my heat in moderation.

At any rate that meant I had more room for dessert - an awesome cake Darlene made for me yesterday. She frosted it this morning and I had a huge piece for breakfast (but hey, it's my birthday already). She used the Peanut Butter Kandy Kake recipe from Sinfully Vegan by Lois Dieterly, but she filled it with strawberry preserves and frosted it with the Standard Chocolate Frosting. I've seen mixed reviews of this book among the vegan community but we really like it. And this particular cake came out delectable (the photo doesn't do it justice).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Brown Rice Salad

A couple days ago I pulled off the shelf one of the first vegetarian cookbooks we bought, the Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan. We hadn't made this recipe before but it sounded good so I set about to make it today. It's pretty simple: cooked brown rice with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper and fresh parsley. You could really put in any vegetables you want but I mostly went with the recipe this time which calls for scallions, red bell pepper, celery, peas and tomatoes. Then I added some steamed green beans that didn't get used last night. It was very refreshing (and tasty). With the salad we just had some whole wheat toast with the "brie" that I made yesterday.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Simple good-for-you Dessert

This was last night's dessert but I'm just getting around to posting it now. We do something like this occasionally but it's been a while. If you ever have some bananas that are getting past their prime just break them into small pieces and put them in the freezer. Then pull them out one day and put them in a food processor with a little soy milk - instant banana ice cream. (Your food processor will jump across the counter and make an awful racket when you first start but it's worth it.) For this version we mixed in a few frozen strawberries as well and I topped mine with a sprinkle of granola and some chocolate chips.

Baked Pasta

I wanted to use up the leftover sauce from the pizza bowls and I also wanted to try another recipe from The Uncheese Cookbook. I ended up making the Brie from Uncheese and while it doesn't taste much like real brie, it does taste pretty good. I mixed some pasta with the sauce, put half of it in the bottom of a baking dish, topped with some of the brie, then put the rest of the pasta and sauce on top with some more brie and some cherry tomatoes. I baked it at 375° for 30 minutes and it came out quite delicious.

On the side was Green Beans Almondine, an idea I got in my head recently from the wonderful Vegan Eats & Treats blog. I've mentioned before that our garden didn't do so well this year but we are getting some nice green beans now. I steamed the beans, then mixed in some margarine, olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and slivered almonds. There's nothing quite like fresh from the garden veggies.

5 Things

I've seen this going around the vegan blogosphere lately and now it's my turn, having been tagged by Teddy. This "joint project" was started at The Travelers Lunchbox and though the ever growing list isn't remotely vegan (how many times is foie gras on there?), us vegans can have fun with it to. So here's my 5 things to eat before you die:

  1. Trader Joe's organic dark chocolate. Sorry to be a copycat Teddy but let's face it, milk chocolate sucks. And companies that put milk fat in their dark chocolate really suck. Call me a chocolate snob (and some of you will) but if it doesn't have at least 70% cacao I'm not interested. It's been a little while since I've had the TJ's brand but I believe it comes in at 73% and I think it's my favorite of many brands I've tried. And if you don't have a Trader Joe's near you just seek out some other organic dark chocolate with the cacao percentage in the 70s.
  2. A big, crispy authentic masala dosa. OK, I've never been to India so I can't be sure of the authenticity of the best dosas I've had, but I've been to a couple of different restaurants that I think do them right. And I always feel like I should try all the other wonderful South Indian fare at said restaurants (and sometimes I do), but I always come back to the simple masala dosa.
  3. Sweet & Sour Vegetarian Meatballs from Ming Dynasty in Charlottesville, VA. I realize most of you won't be able to do this one, but if you're ever visiting our fair city a stop at Ming is a must for these 'meatballs'.
  4. Vegan Apple Uglies. 'Nuff said. (recipe)
  5. Artichokes. We use the canned variety quite a bit but I'm talking about a fresh artichoke that you steam yourself then pull off the leaves one by one and dip them in your favorite sauce, sucking off the sweet flesh as you go.

So who to tag next? This has been around the block a few times already but I think I've found 5 folks who haven't done it yet:

Geraldine
VeganCyclist
Amey
Dilip
Bazu

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Chard/Spinach and Chickpea Curry

I got a cookbook for Christmas on breads from around the world. I've enjoyed flipping through it on several occasions but I had yet to make any of the recipes. There's a recipe in there for naan that I've been wanting to try and tonight I finally got around to it. And if you have naan then that calls for a curry right? So I made something pretty similar to Darlene's favorite curry recipe but with chickpeas as the protein. I used a small bunch of chard that we got at the market today and supplemented that with frozen spinach (and I diced the chard stems and threw them in at the beginning with the onions). We had the curry over brown rice that I cooked with a cinnamon stick, a few cardamom pods and a pinch of saffron.

As for the naan, it wasn't much like the kind you get in an Indian restaurant but it was still pretty decent - and vegan (most naan is made with yogurt). This particular recipe called for milk, yogurt and an egg but it wasn't too hard to veganize, with soy milk, extra soy yogurt and extra oil. I'll give you the recipe but I don't think I'll call it naan. Also, it calls for fresh cake yeast which is a different animal than your standard active dry yeast (though you can try it with standard yeast and see what happens). I have some fresh yeast in the freezer since I use it occasionally in some sourdough recipes that I have. Took me a while to track it down but I ended up finding it by asking for it at the bakery counter in our local Whole Foods. So here you go:

Flatbread (adapted from Bread: The breads of the world and how to bake them at home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter)

1 1/2 c. white bread flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 oz. fresh yeast (if you use dry yeast, try 1/4 - 1/2 tsp.)
5 Tbs. warm plain soy milk (heat for 20 secs. in the microwave)
3 Tbs. canola oil
6 Tbs. plain soy yogurt
vegan margarine for brushing

Cream together the soy milk and yeast and set aside for 10 mins. Sift together the flours and the salt then add the yeast mixture, oil and yogurt and mix to form a dough. Knead for about 10 mins. then put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour. Heat the oven to 475°. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, punch down and cut into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball then roll each piece out into a flat oblong shape. I cooked mine directly on a baking stone but you could use a baking sheet. My stone held 2 pieces at a time so I left the third piece of dough in a ball until the first 2 were baked. However you're baking them, put them in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler for a minute or 2 to get them brown on top - they should puff up some. Brush the top with margarine when they come out of the oven.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Scrambled Tofu and Hash Browns

Another breakfast for dinner night. The fridge was looking a little sparse but we usually have tofu on hand. I made the scramble kind of like the PPK/VwaV recipe but I did a little Asian variation, inspired by Vegan with a Vengeance but a little different based on what we had on hand. First, as Isa suggests I used peanut oil and added a little ginger with the garlic. For the mushrooms I used dried, reconstituted porcinis since I found a package in the cabinet. I also added some edamame since we had some in the freezer. And the seasoning was a mixture of cumin, paprika, 5 spice powder, turmeric and salt. I also found a yukon gold potato so I grated that and made hash browns again and we had some toast on the side.