Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend foods.

A gorgeous and really delicious potato and green bean salad with capers, olives and red onion tossed with dijon vinaigrette. The recipe originally adds white beans but I was out. You can find the recipe at this blog page*.

Easy dinner of Dr. Praeger's California veggie burger brushed with bbq sauce on Ezekiel bread. It was yum.

I had a fight with my sweet tooth and my sweet tooth won. I broke down and baked a chocolate sheet cake with cocoa walnut glaze. Damn good and totally worth it! I used Fran Costigan's "Mix in the Pan Chocolate Cake" which is the same recipe as Crazy Cake, Wacky Cake and all those vegan egg free chocolate cake recipes out there. She adds a teeny bit of cinnamon which makes it nice.

*I'll post the recipe for the potato salad here just in case that link doesn't work later on.

Sicilian Bean and Potato Salad (Recipe from Linda McCartney's On Tour cookbook)
1 pound new potatoes, unpeeled
1 pound green beans, steamed and cut into 1 inch lengths
1 cup cooked or canned haricot (navy) or cannellini (white kidney) beans
1 small red onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1-2 tablespoons capers
Classic Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are tender. Allow them to cool slightly and cut them in half.
Mix the potatoes, beans, onion, black olives and capers in a large bowl. Pour sufficient vinaigrette over the salad to moisten it and toss well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Classic Vinaigrette (Recipe from Linda McCartney's On Tour cookbook)
1-2 teaspoons fine or grainy mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice, or 2 tablespoons wine, balsamic or cider vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
crushed garlic to taste (optional)
sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix the mustard with the lemon or lime juice or vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil gradually. Stir in the garlic if you are using it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Cake (adapted from Vegan Chocolate cookbook by Fran Costigan)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chilled almond milk

Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla and milk. Mix until batter is smooth. Pour into a greased rectangular baking pan and spread batter to make it even. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Frost immediately with cocoa walnut glaze.

Cocoa Walnut Glaze(adapted from a Ree Drummond recipe)
1/2 cup margarine (1 stick Earth Balance buttery stick)
4 TB cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB almond milk
1/2 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped fine walnuts/or pecans
To make glaze:
Melt a stick of Earth Balance margarine (about 1/2 cup) over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Turn off heat and add vanilla, milk and powdered sugar. Whisk to get all lumps out and make it smooth. If it's too thick, add a little more milk. If too thin, add a little more sugar. Stir in walnuts and pour over warm cake. Glaze will set a little bit and give it a nice crackly finish.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pizza Casserole.

It's called 'pizza' because it has components of pizza flavors. It's fun spiral pasta layered with tofu-cashew ricotta, pizza sauce, italian herbs, capers, veggie ground "beef" (flavored with fennel, sage and crushed red pepper flakes), green peppers, onions, black olives, kale and zucchini. It was super good and if you know me, I love a good casserole. This will last the rest of the week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Homemade Ravioli!

I wanted to give it a go. It took ages because I don't have a pasta machine so I rolled it all out by hand and cut them out individually and filled them with two different kind of fillings: roasted butternut squash and mushroom/leek/tofu ricotta.

I made about 30 ravioli and froze a bunch of them for another time.

Cooked and plated up. I tossed them in melted Earth Balance, sauteed onions, garlic and sage. Was very tasty.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Flatbread sandwich, White bean ketchup curry and Mushroom rice.

My inspirations today are from my two current favorite cookbooks: Mary McCartney's FOOD and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg. The above sandwich I had at lunch is Mary's "hummus, avocado and chili jam sandwich" on a whole wheat flatbread instead of toasted whole grain. Very messy and very delicious.

Dinner was the ketchup curry from Hugh's book. He uses chickpeas but I was all out so I subbed white beans. It was a super easy 10 minute recipe that uses ketchup instead of tomatoes. Loved it. On the side, more flatbread and one-pot mushroom rice from Mary's book.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Masoor Dal & Vanilla Tapioca Pudding!

I made a pot of red lentil dal today from The Flavors of India cookbook. I love all the wonderful flavors in this: cumin, mustard seed, ginger, turmeric and chile. I had a bowl for lunch with a hot buttered flour tortilla.

And check this out! I made tapioca pudding! I used to love tapioca pudding so much as a little girl and my mom used to buy those little packs of Swiss Miss puddings. Then I upgraded to Kozy Shack haha. I thought I would never taste tapioca again after going vegan but I found a super simple recipe here. I can't believe how easy it is. I served it with a generous topping of soy whip! It's so creamy and just like I remember.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Eggplant and Herb Casserole & Potato Dauphinoise, vegan style.

I love weekends because I have time to labor over special recipes and enjoy a plate of home cooked food in the comfort of my home. Today I brought out two books: Linda's Kitchen by Linda McCartney and River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Two great veggie cookbooks that I love dearly. I just got the second book for xmas and the Linda McCartney I found several years ago at a used book shop in a first edition hardcover with plastic slipcover. I was very pleased to find that one.

First up I made the Eggplant and Herb casserole from Linda's book. Layers of fried eggplant in a flavorful herbed tomato sauce with melty cheese. The recipe called for mozzarella. I used Daiya vegan shreds which worked great and gave the casserole a wonderful cheesy texture along with the silky eggplant. I also added sliced mushrooms in the layers. Really good and satisfying dish but very time consuming because of all the eggplant frying! I'd make it again though. You can find the recipe here. The recipe was originally published in this New York Times article from 1994. It's a great read by the way. I love the description of Paul hovering in the background (guitar in hand) waiting to eat!

This beautiful Potato Dauphinoise recipe is from River Cottage Veg cookbook. I didn't peel my potatoes because I'm lazy but I really should the next time I make this. It calls for heavy cream but I used full fat unsweetened soymilk instead. I probably could have used soy creamer but I didn't have any. I used A LOT of Earth Balance margarine to butter up the baking dish and added little knobs of it throughout the layers. Who doesn't love creamy, buttery baked potatoes? I loved this dish. It went very well with the eggplant casserole.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Sausage Rolls".

Happy New Year guys! Here's wishing we all are happy and healthy this year and every year. I woke up around 9am this morning and decided to make sausage rolls for breakfast. I used the tempeh sausage pastry puffs recipe from Vegan Brunch as a guideline and instead of using tempeh, I substituted chopped leftover celebration roast from last night's dinner. What a success! They came out fab and were really good with a hot cup of coffee and a coconut bar.