Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two from Quick Fix

Have I mentioned we don't have a lot of time for cooking these days? Yeah, probably. Dinner is often a re-hash of something we've already written about many times but I had a chance to flip through Quick Fix Vegetarian recently and I found a couple new recipes to try. First up was the Indonesian-Style Noodles. Which was not very authentic because I used spaghetti, but whatever. It was tasty and fast to prepare. It's sort of a noodle stir-fry with scallions, garlic, ginger, cabbage, soy sauce and brown sugar. We also boosted it by adding a little seitan. The recipe calls for a garnish of cilantro but I really didn't want to buy a whole bunch of cilantro just for a little garnish so I used some of the parsley that's still hanging on in our herb garden. Not quite the same but again, whatever.

Tonight we made the Sicilian Couscous and again gave the meal a boost with the addition of seitan (this time fried in olive oil, soy sauce and agave). The couscous was made with scallions, spinach, raisins and orange zest and garnished with parsley and pine nuts. Not the greatest thing I've ever had but definitely a good meal. There were plenty of leftovers from both of these as well, which is always a good thing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apple-Sage Breakfast Patties

This is another variation on the seitan patties I recently posted about. Last time I was pondering how to make them larger (as opposed to baking them in muffin tins). The muffin top pan was a good idea but then it occurred to me that we have a set of biscuit cutters/ring molds that has about 10 different sizes (which worked perfectly when we made donuts). So this time I tried pressing the seitan batter into about a 3 1/4" ring mold on a baking sheet and that did the trick.

We've been up at our local orchard a lot this Fall picking apples so our abundance of apples was on my mind when I made these patties. I followed the basic recipe from before but omitted the white beans and added 1/4 c. finely diced apple, 1 tsp. ground sage, 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper. This time I divided the batter up into only 6 equal parts and pressed each piece into the ring mold on top of parchment on a baking sheet. I baked them uncovered at 350° for 15 minutes then flipped them over and baked another 10 minutes. We had them with toast and homemade apple jam.

This was probably my favorite variation yet. Baking them uncovered makes them a little more chewy, which was a good thing. Next time I make these I'll probably bump up the spice a little more - maybe with a little more red pepper and a little more sage.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tempeh Fries with Sesame Broccoli

We finally had a chance to open a cookbook and try something new the other night. We were still looking for something quick though so the cookbook we opened was Vegan Express, where we found an appetizer and a side dish that combined to make an excellent meal. And it was all done in 25 minutes. The Tempeh Fries with Wasabi-Dill Mayonnaise were awesome and super simple, as was the Spicy Sesame Broccoli. The tempeh is just pan fried in a mixture of soy sauce and oil and is paired with a refreshingly delicious sauce containing vegan mayo, a little rice milk and lime juice, plus wasabi and fresh dill. The broccoli is even easier, as it's steamed in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, white wine and sugar, then sprinkled with crushed red pepper and sesame seeds.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lemon Bundt Cake

What do you do when you wake up at 5 in the morning and can't get back to sleep? And you've got half a bag of organic lemons in the fridge that need to be used up? If you're me, you open up your copy of The Joy of Vegan Baking and get to work on a Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Sauce. These last five months have been a whirlwind and it's a rare occasion that I bake something nowadays. So today I took advantage of my sleepless morning and made this fabulous cake. The cake is good on it's own but the sauce really makes it. If you can keep yourself from eating the sauce straight up with a spoon that is. Check out Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's wonderful book for the cake recipe (or try The Millennium Cookbook, from which she adapted the recipe). The sauce is super easy and would be great on any number of baked goodies so I'll share my version of that right now. Put 1/2 c. sugar and 1 Tbs. cornstarch in a saucepan, add 2/3 c. water, simmer over medium heat stirring occasionally until thick, then stir in the juice and zest from 2 lemons. Let it cool, then drink it up... I mean, pour it over your lemon cake (or muffins, or whatever).

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Seitan and Kale Stew

I've probably already mentioned that I used to enjoy browsing through cookbooks (or blogs or TV shows) and finding fun new recipes to try. Now there's precious little time for such things so we're often eating some quick pasta dish or maybe something from the freezer. Here's something quick that I made up on the fly and it came out pretty good (though I'm realizing now it's the second less-than-photogenic post in a row). I did this while baby Jonas was taking a late afternoon nap and it took me 35 minutes from start to finish (which unfortunately is often about the length of his naps).

Chop up about a pound of seitan (or just a package of seitan from the store if you don't make it yourself) and a medium onion. Cook both in a healthy amount of olive oil in a large pot. While that's happening, wash a bunch of kale, tear off the thick stems and tear the rest into smaller pieces. When your onions and seitan are getting nice and brown pour in about a cup of red wine. Let that cook a few minutes then add a small can (or half a large can) of crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and whatever else you want - I used about a teaspoon each of smoked paprika and coriander. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. While it was simmering I made some couscous that we served it with and I sprinkled a few fresh chives on at the end. Probably not the greatest thing I've ever made but better than a frozen pot pie.