Friday, March 30, 2007

BBQ Tofu Sandwiches with Coleslaw

So do you like coleslaw on your barbecue sandwiches? We sure do. Half a head of leftover cabbage gave me this idea. We've done a more involved version before but this was pretty quick and simple. The slaw was adapted from a recipe in our trusty old Better Homes cookbook - shredded cabbage, carrots, vegan mayo, vinegar, salt, agave, mustard and celery seed. For the tofu I sautéed a little sweet onion, then added crumbled tofu and store-bought barbecue sauce (Trader Joe's brand). A little more of the sauce went on ciabatta rolls along with the tofu and slaw and on the side were Chipotle Yam Wedges from Vive le Vegan! Quite a tasty dinner.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

White Plate

Colorful it's not, but it was pretty tasty. The only fresh vegetable in the fridge tonight was cauliflower so that got steamed and topped with a little margarine and salt & pepper. The only other thing we could come up with was the Lemon-Herb Tofu from Vive le Vegan! The good thing about that tofu recipe is that it's easy to make with things we usually have on hand, it doesn't take that long, and it tastes good. We also had a small salad to start with but that didn't make it into the picture. I felt a need to add at least some color so I found a sprig of fresh oregano and a few chives poking up in the herb garden and that was the garnish. Not the most exciting meal but hey, it's the middle of the week.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Penne and Roasted Asparagus with Orange Gremolata

This was another interesting recipe from Quick Fix Vegetarian. We figured we might as well enjoy the asparagus while it's readily available so we picked up another bunch a couple days ago. A gremolata is typically a garnish made with lemon, parsley and garlic but in this case it was orange zest starring in the citrus role, along with fresh garlic, parsley and scallions. All that is mixed with olive oil, tossed over roasted asparagus then tossed with pasta. It was definitely something a little different but it was very fresh tasting and we enjoyed it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Teriyaki Tempeh with Kale

I'm trying to find more good recipes in Vegan Planet before we have to give it back to the library and this Teriyaki-Glazed Tempeh looked like it was worth a try. Plus there was the added bonus that we had all the ingredients on hand. It was pretty simple too - tempeh marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, orange juice, garlic, sesame oil and maple syrup, then cooked in a skilled and glazed with the remaining marinade at the end. I added a little more orange juice at the end too and it came out great.

I figured the big bunch of kale we bought the other day would go well with this too, especially splashed with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. I mainly buy kale because I know it's good for you but cooked like this it was tasty as well. I simmered it in water with some Spike seasoning for about 20-30 minutes until it was very tender, then drained it and gave it a quick sauté in peanut oil with lots of garlic, then added the soy sauce and sesame oil. Perhaps the best thing about this meal though was that we ate it outside on our deck for the first time in several months. The calendar says it's barely Spring but it almost felt like summer today with the temperature topping out at close to 80 degrees.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Baked Burritos

Here's yet another meal born of a need to use something up. A while ago I cooked about a pound of dried kidney beans and then portioned them out. One portion went into the sweet potato stew and a couple portions went into the freezer but there were still about two cups worth in the fridge that we needed to use. When Darlene suggested baked burritos smothered with a "cheesey" sauce I was all over that idea. I made the Nacho Cheeze Sauce from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook again except this time I finely minced a few jalapeño slices and threw those in there for some added zip. I cooked some onion, carrot and garlic, then added a bit of crushed tomatoes along with the kidney beans and some frozen spinach. That mixture was seasoned with chili powder, cumin and oregano, then it was wrapped snug in flour tortillas. Six of those went into a lightly oiled baking dish, the sauce went on top and I baked it at 350° for 30 minutes. Meanwhile I made a quick guacamole to serve on top. We do something similar fairly regularly but the creamy sauce was a great variation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fried Rice and Asian Asparagus

This was mostly a meal born of a need to clean some things out of the fridge. Though when we noticed last weekend that asparagus was available and reasonably priced again we did think about the Asian asparagus recipe in Vegan Lunch Box when we bought a bunch. So when the asparagus suddenly became one of the last fresh veggies left in the fridge (along with a few mushrooms), I set about on the relatively simple task of making the Vegan Lunch Box recipe. Chop the asparagus, boil it until just tender, mix with some peanut oil and soy sauce, and toss with sesame seeds. And when there's nothing else left in the fridge but mushrooms, well there's almost always onions, carrots and brown rice on hand, and usually some cashews in the freezer too. So all that plus soy sauce and sesame oil (oh, and garlic and ginger too) went into the fried rice and it made for a pretty decent dinner.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Baked Potatoes

I love being inspired by what my fellow vegan food bloggers are doing. For example when I saw that Amey made baked potatoes it reminded me that I haven't made a baked potato in probably 10 years. So when I was baking bread a couple days ago I threw a few potatoes in the back of the oven too. To go with our spuds I made tempeh bacon and a yummy "cheeze" sauce from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. We also had some steamed broccoli and the sauce was most excellent on that too. All in all quite a fun and tasty meal.

So here's a question: when you have a baked potato do you eat the skin? For the most part we do. I remember hearing way back when that the skin is where most of the nutrients are but more recently I read that the nutrients are a little ways under the skin so whether or not you eat it is more a matter of personal preference.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Apple Pie

My mom makes a good apple pie but I've been wanting to come up with my own version and this was the ticket. I used a standard pie crust on the bottom and a crumb topping. I also added some maple syrup and lime juice to the apples. We both thought the pie was great, evidenced by the fact that 24 hours later there's only one small piece left. I pulled ideas from several different cookbooks (plus my own ideas) and this is what I came up with.

For the crust:
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. margarine (I used Earth Balance sticks)
3 Tbs. cold water

Sift together the flour and salt, then cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or a fork. Add the water and mix until a dough forms then roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Make a big enough circle to cover the bottom of your pie plate and come up the sides to the top. Press into your pie plate and set aside.

For the filling:
1 sweet apple and 5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
1 Tbs. lime juice
1/3 c. maple syrup
3 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Mix everything together in a large bowl and place on top of your crust.

For the topping:
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. quick oats
3 Tbs. brown sugar
3 Tbs. canola oil

Mix together flour, oats and brown sugar. Add the oil and mix until crumbly. Gently spread this mixture out over the apples. Gently cover with foil and bake at 375º for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 30-45 minutes or until the pie is bubbly and the apples are tender.

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

This was another good find in our borrowed copy of Vegan Planet. When Robin Robertson says sweet potatoes + peanuts = yummy treat, I have to agree. In addition to the sweet potatoes, peanut butter and chopped peanuts, there's also onions, bell pepper, ginger, garlic, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and vegetable broth in there. It's seasoned with brown sugar, cumin and cinnamon. We had it over whole wheat couscous and it was satisfying on a cold night. Though even better was Darlene's apple pie for dessert...

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I took the day off work yesterday and we enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather while snowboarding in beautiful spring conditions at Wintergreen. Typically we hit the slopes many times in a season but this was our first (and maybe last) time going this year. Powder conditions are rare in this neck of the woods and virtually non-existent this year but for me the next best thing is going when all you need for warmth is a long-sleeved T-shirt.

But this is supposed to be about food. After we got home we started thinking about dinner. Darlene was flipping through the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and came across the fondue recipes. "Let's have fondue!" she said. "Oh that sounds good" said I, "There's a fondue recipe in the Vegan Lunch Box cookbook we just got too." After some deliberating we went with the Vegan Lunch Box version. It looked good, though with a sliken tofu base I was wondering if might come out with that tofu aftertaste. I needn't have been worried. Maybe the miso and salt or all the other flavors cover that but either way it was great. For dipping we had steamed brussels sprouts, lightly sautéed tempeh, baby carrots, button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and some nice crusty bread. And before you think "I don't have a fondue set because there's no room in my kitchen to store one", we're in the same boat and that didn't stop us. I got the fondue piping hot in a small casserole dish on the stove top and we served it on top of a hot/cold gel pack that we heated in the microwave. And we ate with plain 'ol forks. Maybe it wouldn't have been fancy enough for company but it worked fine for us.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Seitan Roast with Collards and Sweet Potato Biscuits

This was a bit of an experimental Sunday dinner but it came out pretty good. The seitan roast was inspired by a recipe on the PPK forums and also something I saw on TV a long time ago. It's still an experiment so I didn't measure anything and I'm not sure I even remember exactly what I put in there but I mixed up some seitan with various seasonings then I rolled it out into a big rectangle. It took some work to get that stretchy seitan dough to roll out but once that was accomplished I spread on a mixture of agave, mustard and nutritional yeast and rolled it up. Then I wrapped it in foil and baked it and while that was happening I made a basic gravy to go on top. We also had collards and some yummy sweet potato biscuits that Darlene made from a recipe in a back issue of Vegetarian Times that we dug out. We haven't posted many recipes here lately so just for you I'll plagiarize this one:

Sweet Potato Biscuits
(from Vegetarian Times, Mar-99)

2/3 c. soy milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. safflower oil
1 c. cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 450. Combine soy milk and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl combine the oil and sweet potatoes then alternately add the dry ingredients and soy milk mixture to the sweet potatoes to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Pat dough into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet about 1/2 in. apart and bake 8-10 minutes or until golden.

Nachos and Cupcakes

We spent some time yesterday afternoon making cupcakes to bring to a party (and of course we had to keep a few for ourselves). I've been wanting to try the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I had a bottle of local Dark Starr Stout on hand for the occasion too. We made a batch of those plus a batch of margarita cuppers. We figured the cupcakes with alcohol in them would be good for a party. We ended up leaving the party fairly early and the cupcakes hadn't been touched but hopefully they were consumed in a late night feeding frenzy.

After the cupcake fun, something thrown together quickly sounded good for dinner. Plus I wanted an excuse to try the Nacho Cheeze Sauce from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. (We picked up the original Uncheese Cookbook at a used bookstore a few months ago and we just grabbed Ultimate Uncheese at the library recently to see what was different. The Nacho Cheeze isn't in the original but is in the new one.)

Anyway, after making the sauce (which was quick to make and quite tasty) I also cooked some black beans with a little onion, salt & chili powder. I put a bunch of tortilla chips on a baking sheet and topped them with the black beans, some guacamole, Trader Joe's peach salsa, a few jalapeños and the sauce. Then I baked my concoction at 350º for 10 minutes and it was a fabulous dinner.

And here's one more fun thing we did this weekend: Monkey Bread. This was a recipe in our bread cookbook that Darlene had been wanting to try and she finally got to it Friday night. It's a fairly standard bread dough, then the dough is divided into many little pieces and each piece is dipped in melted margarine then rolled in a cinnamon-sugar-walnut mixture. We baked it in a springform pan and added a layer of raisins in between two layers of the dough balls. Very yummy!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Another Noodle Post

And now that I think about it, another Robin Robertson post. I mentioned that we checked out Vegan Planet from the library recently and that was the inspiration for the last post, but just a couple days ago we were fortunate enough to score a copy of her newest book, Quick-Fix Vegetarian. For some reason we seem to have been drawn to her Asian noodle recipes because the first thing we tried from Quick-Fix was this udon noodle dish with bok choy and tahini sauce. As the title suggests, this book is mostly about recipes that come together quickly and this one did fairly well in that regard. It's basically a stir-fry of bok choy, scallions and ginger with a sauce of tahini, tamari, veg. broth and lemon juice. The recipe instructs you to combine the tahini with the other sauce ingredients in a small bowl but my tahini was stubborn about combining with the other liquids. It all worked out in the end because once the sauce is added to the pan and heated the tahini becomes more cooperative. At any rate, this recipe was a keeper and is also easily modified to use different veggies, etc. For example, next time I might throw in a handful of cashews... and maybe a carrot. I think this book will be a nice addition to our growing cookbook collection so I'm sure you'll see mention of it here again.

Oh, and what you might not get from the title is that all the recipes are in fact vegan. Maybe the marketing types decided that "vegetarian" was more palatable to the masses than "vegan" or maybe it's a way to sneak a big pile of vegan recipes into the hands of mere vegetarians. Either way, the vegan cookbook selection just keeps growing and that can only be a good thing.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lo Mein

We do fried rice pretty regularly so the recipe in Vegan Planet for Tofu and Vegetable Lo Mein caught my eye as something similar but different. The recipe's pretty simple but satisfying. The most time consuming part of it is chopping the veggies. Which include green onions, carrots, snow peas, bok choy, ginger and garlic. Half a block of diced tofu is stir-fried separately, then combined at the end with the veggies and noodles (whole wheat spaghetti in this case) and soy sauce. I also added a drizzle of black sesame oil at the end to kick up the flavor a bit.

And we often don't do dessert but when we do this pineapple upside-down cake that Darlene makes from Very Vegetarian is a favorite. It's great for breakfast the next morning too.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tofu Fish Sticks and Brussels Sprouts

It was a Vegan Lunch Box dinner here at Eat Air headquarters. We've been thinking about buying the Vegan Lunch Box cookbook and today we finally broke down and ordered it. We were reminded of it by a review in the latest VegNews. And in the same review I was also reminded of Jennifer's Tofu Fish Sticks recipe that I saw on her blog a long time ago. I'd been wanting to try that recipe for a good long while and that thought came to fruition today. I also made brussels sprouts, another Vegan Lunch Box recipe, and what are fish sticks without tartar sauce? That I made based on a recipe in my trusty old Better Homes New Cookbook. Vegan mayo, chopped sweet pickle, finely diced onion, chopped parsley and a little lemon juice - pretty simple but excellent with the crispy tasty tofu fishies. Oh, and since I had a lot of the breading left over after coating the tofu sticks I also dredged some pickles in there and threw those on the baking sheet (remember our fried pickle adventure?) - yum!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Butternut Squash Bisque

I feel like I'm leaving you hanging but it's just that we haven't done anything extremely interesting for the last several days. For starters, Darlene's had a cold and we've had soup for dinner the last 3 nights. This Orange and Chipotle-Kissed Butternut Squash Bisque from Vegan Planet was pretty good though. We had some avocados that were going south and I was looking for a soup that would go well with avocado. We started with chips and guac and had the soup with more avocado and a big hunk of toast from some bread Darlene made over the weekend. I've had my eye on the Tofu Vindaloo recipe from Vegan Planet but for now soup seems to be the best medicine.