Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baked Tofu Sandwich, TVP Indian Curry and Banana Split Tea Bread

I made this sandwich last week using delicious baked tofu. Toast some whole grain bread, throw on some Vegenaise, lettuce, tomato and you've got a great lunch. Soy or tempeh bacon and avocado would be great additions as well.

Experimented with TVP chunks again to make this simple indian curry with kale and potatoes. It was so good on jasmine rice. I don't use TVP often so this was a nice treat.

This is the banana split tea bread recipe from Vegan Planet. It's so colorful and has bananas, walnuts, chocolate chips, cherries and coconut (my addition). It baked up beautiful but because of my wonky oven, it was a little underdone even though I checked it with a toothpick and it came out clean! WTH?

Thankfully the underdone bits are more "mushy banana" tasting rather than "uncooked batter" tasting.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baked Tofu.

I like to go to the Thai market and pick up a block of their fresh tofu and use the whole thing to make a batch of baked tofu. They are handy to keep in the fridge for snacking on cold, in sandwiches, heated up to eat with other side dishes etc. I make a marinade of olive oil, dijon, soy sauce, garlic powder, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and black pepper to brush on both sides of the tofu before baking at 400 degrees F for about half an hour, making sure to flip the slices halfway. Always turns out great!

First things I used it for was this spinach salad with green beans and balsamic vinaigrette. Today I used it in a sandwich with toasted bread, Vegenaise, lettuce and tomato. And when I got home from work, I snacked on a slice right out of the fridge. They come out so nice and chewy with lots of flavor from the marinade.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Espresso Fudge Brownies!

I love baking at night after dinner. These turned out so good and fudgy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

'Use What You Have' Weeknight Meal.

While at work today I was scanning my pantry and fridge in my mind trying to come up with an idea for supper. I came up with: potatoes, brown rice, cabbage, spinach and beans. So this is what I made with those items. It all came together in about an hour. I cooked up some brown rice first and while that was cooking, I made the potatoes. I sauteed onions and garlic with olive oil and then added cubed red potatoes and a bit of water. I let them cook covered until the potatoes were almost tender. Then I added a couple handfuls each of shredded cabbage (bagged coleslaw) and chopped spinach and seasoned with salt, pepper and Trader Joe's 21 Salute seasoning and let cook a little longer until potatoes were done. For the kidney bean salad, I just tossed the beans with a minced clove of garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried parsley, salt and pepper and chilled it in the fridge before dinner.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Boiled Raisin Cake, Greek Pastitsio, Potato Tacos

I was looking up depression-era recipes and found this awesome boiled raisin cake recipe. During the depression, things like eggs and milk were scarce so homemakers would come up with easy desserts that didn't require any of those things. And in doing so, they made desserts that are inherently vegan, yay!

I loved this cake. It was moist yet still sturdy enough to spread Earth Balance buttery spread all over it. You'll find the recipe here.

Opened up "The Olive and The Caper" cookbook again which is becoming my favorite cookbook. I made the vegetarian pastitsio which is a layered pasta casserole with a layer of tomato sauce, cheese and vegetables in the middle and a saltsa besamel (white sauce) on top. I used Daiya vegan cheese and plain soymilk for the white sauce.

I took this pic right after it came out of the oven. I didn't let it sit for 15 minutes like I was supposed to so when I went to cut out a piece, it collapsed in my plate.

A while later, I served some to my father and this was his plate. Look at that cheesy crust on top that the white sauce made. Yummy!

My husband was going to his buddy's house for football and requested these mini potato tacos. I said "sure" and an hour later, these were ready to go!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mexican Feast.

Check out this fabulous feast! Chile con "carne" made with tvp chunks simmered in a roasted tomatillo, guajillo and arbol chile, onion, garlic, tomato sauce. And mexican rice and refried beans (with daiya) and tomatillo and avocado salsa! Who says vegans can't have yummy mexican food?

My friend Cynthia came over and taught me how to make all of this. This was my first time using tvp chunks. The texture was very similar to chicken (I think!) and the sauce just made it so mouthwateringly delicious.

Chile Con "Carne"

A dozen tomatillos, husked and cleaned and halved
1-2 dried guajillo chiles
3-4 dried chile de arbol
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups tvp chunks, rehydrated in boiling water and drained

Roast tomatillos in a 400 degree oven until soft and charred a bit.
Roast dried chiles either in a pan over heat or over an open flame with tongs.
Puree tomatillos and dried chiles in a blender. Add one can diced tomatoes and blend.
Heat olive oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add tvp and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Add puree to the pan and let simmer until heated through. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Tomatillo and Avocado salsa.

Recipe for salsa

3-4 tomatillos, husked, cleaned and chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
cilantro, as much as you want
pinch of cumin
avocado chunks
a little bit of onion

Puree everything in a blender. Add salt to taste.

Awesome salad with romaine, avocado and a roasted tomato, red onion, dijon dressing.

Salad dressing recipe

1 large tomato, cut into wedges
1/4 red onion, chopped
1-2 tsp dijon mustard
a couple TB of olive oil
1 avocado, cut into chunks
salt and pepper

Roast tomatoes and red onions in a 400 degree oven until soft. Meanwhile whisk dijon and olive oil in a large bowl until combined. Add roasted tomatoes and onions and mash with the dijon and olive oil to create a smooth dressing. Add avocado and combine with dressing. You can mash up some of the avocado if you like. Season with salt and pepper. Add romaine lettuce to the bowl and toss everything together. All these recipes I got from Cynthia.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Mediterranean Sunday Lunch.

I was feeling ambitious today and made this beautiful array of foods for my lunch, including dessert. Wish I had a friend over to share it with!

I used my "Olive and The Caper" Greek cookbook to make this luscious eggplant stewed with red wine and basil. It originally called for shallots but I used onions instead. This was so flavorful and you know that anything cooked with red wine is going to be good.

I had a tiny cauliflower that I knew would be a perfect accompaniment to my stew. I roasted it in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes to get this beautiful golden charred look.

And from my trusty "Tables of Lebanon" cookbook, I made moujadara (lentils and rice with caramelized onions). I needed some protein to round out the meal so this was a good way to get both a grain and a protein.

My bowl.

And dessert was a basic lemon white cake. So soft and tender!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Potato Tacos and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

My co-worker Cynthia passed down a recipe for potato tacos that her mom makes. I was very eager to try it. It's very simple. You just boil some potatoes until tender, mash them and add finely chopped onions. Season with salt. This is your filling. I wanted my onion cooked so I sauteed them before I added them to the mashed potato mixture. Fill corn tortillas with the potato mixture and pan fry in oil on both sides until crispy and browned.

She also gave me instructions for simple roasted tomatillo salsa. Take about 8 tomatillos, husked and cleaned. Cut them in half, along with 1/2 an onion, a couple of serrano or jalapeno peppers and a few cloves of garlic. Roast everything on a grill pan over medium high heat that has been lined with foil. Char on both sides and then cover/wrap everything with the foil while they cook over heat. Once the tomatillos are charred and soft, place everything in a blender and pulse to desired consistency. Thin with water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Mid bite. I also put some tomato salsa and guacamole in them. YUMMY.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy weeknight meal.

I was craving baba ghanooj today so on the way home from work, I picked up a few eggplants and made it in about 20 minutes. I used the recipe from Tables of Lebanon which was a little lemony for my taste but still very good. It's probably my fault as I used 4 smallish eggplants (instead of 3 large) and didn't reduce the lemon which I should have figured to do. I also made a salad and grilled a couple of portobellos with garlic and olive oil.

The baba sure is pretty isn't it? I blended the heck out of it so that's why it is so smooth.

At the last minute I added chickpeas to my salad. Gotta have some protein.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Soeur Leila's Red Lentil Stew

This may not look like much but believe me when I say that is the most flavorful combination of comfort food ingredients: red lentils, noodles and crispy pita croutons. I've made this once before about a month ago and I was so impressed with it. Today was the perfect day for it as we just got a bit of rain outside. I got the recipe from a food memoir called "Memories of a Lost Egypt". You can find the recipe posted online here. Substitute water for the chicken broth and use a couple of quartered fresh tomatoes instead of canned. And do make the pita croutons. They are the perfect crispy accompaniment to the thick, luscious velvety stew. A squeeze of lemon prior to serving is nice as well.

Red Lentil Stew adapted from "Memories of a Lost Egypt"

2 cups red Lentils
4 cups water plus 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, cut into 1" pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 pound vermicelli or angel hair, broken. I used fine cut vermicelli like this.
Salt And Pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Pita bread cut into pieces

Combine lentils, water, 2 TB olive oil, onion, tomatoes, carrot, and zucchini in a soup pot. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are very soft. Puree entire mixture in a blender or food processor. Return to pot and add cumin, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. In another pan, saute chopped onion in 2 TB. olive oil until well browned. Add to stew along with the parsley and simmer for 5 minutes.
To make the croutons, heat some olive oil in a pan and fry pita bread pieces until browned. Drain on paper towel.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day Lunch.

Spent all morning preparing this fantastic greek spinach pie. I was so eager to eat that I forgot to photograph the whole pie. This recipe is from "The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen". I added cremini mushrooms and red bell pepper to the spinach filling which was a nice change.

We ate this with dijon potato salad, chickpeas with yogurt sauce and a Bulgarian relish called Lutenica. Delicious food!