Friday, April 27, 2012

Penne with Caramelized Cauliflower...Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

I always love finding new delicious Brussels Sprouts recipes! This one was a winner for sure. The carmelized cauliflower pasta was also really yummy and super simple. Two definite make-agains! Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries (adapted from Everything Vegan) 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted 1 1/2 T walnut oil (or other mild oil) 1 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half 1 cloved minced garlic Salt to taste 1/4 cup craisins Heat oil. Add garlic and Brussels. Cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned but still crisp. Sprinkle with salt and cook just until crisp tender. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with nuts and craisins and toss. Penne with Caramelized Cauliflower (adapted from Everything Vegan) 4 T oil 1 small head cauliflower, cut into large florets 1 cup fresh parsley leaves 1 T freshly grated lemon zest 1 T capers, drained 1 lb penne pasta 1/2 t red pepper flakes sea salt Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay cauliflower over surface. Drizzle oil over cauliflower and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Roast at 440 degrees for about 15 min or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside. In food processor, combine parsley, lemon zest and capers and pulse until chunky sauce forms. Toss cauliflower, pasta and sauce together. Sprinkle with pepper flakes. Serve.

Vegan Waldorf Salad

This simple salad was fabulous! Perfect as a spring or summer side dish! Classic Waldorf Salad (adapted from Vegetarian Times 4/12) 3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted 4 celery stalks, sliced (I didn't use these because my hubby doesn't like celery) 2 red-skinned apples, cored and diced 1 cup red grapes Dressing: 1/2 cup vegan mayo 1 T lemon juice 1 T chopped fresh parsley 1/2 t honey (not vegan - use agave if you would rather or omit) Stir dressing ingredients together. Mix salad ingredients. Toss with dressing. Serve

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vegan Camping!

Our family went camping on Friday night for a trial run with all four of us - we had a fun time but got no sleep at all. Cows mooing, loud and obnoxious other campers, and not enough blankets to keep us warm, the night was very rough but it was still a fun family time. I had a blast coming up with a vegan menu, though a few of my creations need work before we venture on a camping trip again!

We roasted our corn on the grill and it got a bit too done on one side but was still very delicious. We put our sweet potatoes in the coals and cooked them that way which turned out super tasty. The "hot dogs" I made were more like burgers in consistency - yummy flavor but really tasted nothing like hot dogs. I started out with a recipe but ended up improvising a lot because I didn't have the exact ingredients I needed. Unfortunately, it would be hard for me to duplicate the recipe. The marshmallows were nothing like marshmallows - again I had to improvise a bit with ingredients and equipment (I didn't have a candy thermometer) - there are so many recipe for them that I will just need to play with them and find a winner. These marshmallows ended up being like cream filling in a cookie (like oreo filling) and though they made good graham cracker cookie sandwiches, they tasted nothing like smores. I made graham crackers and they were yummy - I have made that recipe before. Breakfast was a winner. I browned potatoes and Gimme Lean Sausage balls before leaving home and then heated them in foil over the fire for breakfast along with bread to the side and fresh fruit. Super delish and loved by the whole fam. So, I have a challenge to create the perfect vegan camping food by the next time we go camping!

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.