Sunday, January 25, 2009


Homemade tempeh bacon based somewhat on the VWaV recipe: steamed tempeh marinated in maple syrup, tamari, liquid smoke, orange juice, garlic and chile flakes fried in peanut oil. Roasted yukon gold potatoes (just with a little canola and salt,) and some mixed baby greens with maple-mustard dressing (maple syrup, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt).

If you've never cooked with tempeh before, you should definitely give it a try. Tempeh is a Indonesian-style fermented soy product. It's made with whole soybeans and has more protein an fiber than tofu. You can pick it up at a well-stocked health food store or grocery usually in long cakes. I usually steam it first, to remove some bitterness and to tenderize it. Just a few minutes will do fine. Then throw it in a stir-fry, like this one...

Tempeh stir-fry: Steamed tempeh, steamed kale, broccoli, red bell peppers, sesame oil, peanut oil, scallions, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh ginger, agave, tamari, peanuts, sesame seeds, served over brown rice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Samosa stuffed baked potato

This might be my favorite recipe from Veganomicon so far. The samosa stuffed baked potatoes are assembled much like traditional twice-baked potatoes, but instead of adding lots of cream, butter and cheese to your mashed potato filling, you add a mix of vegetables and spices traditionally used when making samosas, the Indian appetizer of fried dough with spiced potato and vegetables. The only additions I made were adding a little extra salt and some chile flakes to the mix, and sprinkling the top with paprika for the traditional twice-baked mystique.

Mushroom, onion and red wine tarts

Mom got me cute little tart pans; I thew together these babies to put 'em to use. Ingredients: (filling) mushrooms, onions, garlic, red wine, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, red chile flakes, rosemary, oregano, thyme, (crust) whole wheat pastry flour, water, canola oil, salt. A little bit of bacon-flavored Cheezly is grated on top.

Peace and justice for people and animals...

I thought this would be a great article to post on MLK day. I didn't know prior to reading this, but Coretta Scott King was a vegan in the last decade of her life, something she learned about from her son Dexter. When you think about it, it makes complete sense than people dedicated to achieving justice for people would also be interested in extending their compassion to animals too. I know some vegans who have been told that their concern for animals is not important when there is still so much human suffering in the world, but the people pointing this out are probably not doing very much to help people or animals, at least not while they are picking on someone trying to do their best. It is entirely possible, and necessary to work on both fronts, simultaneously--and I don't think that this is any more difficult to do since going vegan is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. In fact, when you are consistent in the way you treat others (people and animals), I think it's incredibly fulfilling. So if you're thinking about going vegan, today would be a great day to start. :)

Oh, and who is the handsome guy in the picture? Why it's the very charming Dylan from Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, which I was lucky enough to visit over the summer. Dylan is rescued veal calf, a "byproduct" of the dairy industry all grown up, gorgeous and sweet as pie.

Must-have vegan cornbread recipe

If you have not seen this yet, do yourself a favor and check out this recipe for Dana Sly's Blue Ribbon Vegan Cornbread. I have made this many times, including for Thanksgiving with the family--it is always a hit. The bread is slightly sweet, and for the batch pictured here I added some chopped red bell pepper and scallions to the batter and it was great. I have also added jalapeno peppers in the past, and that was my favorite variation so far. It looks sort of speckled from the surprise ingredient--lots and lots of ground flaxseed. The flax keep the bread moist on the inside while the crust gets just a little crunchy. Flax is also incredibly healthy: lots of omega three fatty aids without the cholesterol, mercury or environmental consequences of eating fish. Keep on swimming fishies!

Vegan philly cheesesteak!

Tomas made the basic seitan from Veganomicon a few weeks ago, and when I put the leftovers into the fridge, right next to the Cheezly vegan cheeses I had given Tomas for x-mas, a cartoon light bulb brightened over my head: vegan philly cheeseteaks! Sorry the photo is a bit wonky from being taken at night/while I was starving and impatiently looking at a really delicious sandwich. We just toasted some regular sub type bread in the oven and sautéed mushrooms, green bell peppers and onions with salt, olive oil and red pepper flakes. The seitan was re-heated in a separate pan so it could get a little crunchy. For the sauce I made a roux of flour and canola oil, then added shredded nacho and white cheddar Cheezly, and added a little bit of garlic and onion powders, dijon, lemon juice and tomato paste. Totally irredeemable junk food—but totally delicious and fun dish to veganize since it seems just so improbable.

A word on Cheezly; this is the best commercial vegan cheese I have tried, but it is tricky to get in the U.S. Everyone seems to be out of it lately, I hope we can get it again soon!

All hail vegan caesar!

This is the vegan caesar salad dressing from Veganomicon with some garlic-y croutons, romaine, radicchio, endive, cannellini beans and sundried tomatoes. The dressing is satisfyingly garlic-y, omnivore approved, very easy to make and much healthier than the original version. Perfect work lunch.

Potato-beet gnocchi with garlic collards and tahini-lemon sauce

So I got a ricer for Christmas (thanks Mom!) and honestly the only time I can think of ricers coming up in conversation is when discussing gnocchi. I had tried to make gnocchi a while back and they had not come out so great, but I think I learned a few things about making this tricky pasta from scratch. For one, make sure to thoroughly mix all your flour and seasonings together thoroughly before adding your riced potatoes. Also, I found that my gnocchi cooked best when the water was at a rolling boil. Cooking them in small batches kept the water temperature up too. Ingredients: gnocchi: baked russet potatoes, white flour, white whole wheat flour, beet powder, salt. Greens: collard greens, minced garlic, olive oil, salt. Sauce: tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tamari, turmeric, water.