Bok Choy Bohemia | A Vegetarian Blog

Monday, September 29, 2008

Seitan Pot Pie

This was an idea I had awhile back when a co-worker was talking about his favorite food…chicken pot pie. My immediate thought was ‘why on earth haven’t I done that?” and I set about coming up with a recipe. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a real pot pie…even in my pre-vegetarian days, but I’m familiar with the basic idea. I used the crust recipe found here and made the mushroom gravy recipe fom V’con, minus the mushrooms and onions. For the “chicken” I chopped up some homemade seitan (the V’con recipe again) and poured it into the crust along with chopped carrots, celery, frozen peas, and the gravy.
seitan pot pie
The contents were covered with another layer of pastry, and then I baked everything in the oven for 30 minutes at 400F…although in retrospect, 40 minutes at 375F would have been a much better idea...I’ll know for next time. I’m glad I tried this…does it need some work? Absolutely, but it’s got the beginnings of a great, Vegan, comfort food meal without a ton of fat, and there’s nothing wrong with that.


Mushroom Avocado Rolls

I hadn’t made sushi in awhile, so I figured it was time to put together some simple rolls. I softened up some mushrooms in sherry and olive oil, and filled the rolls with a combination of shrooms, sliced avocado, scallion, and home-pickled daikon.
mushroom avocado rolls
I was bummed to discover these were pretty bland…I think I like a spicy component to my sushi, or at least a less subtle vegetable. They were definitely edible with pickled ginger and tamari…but probably not a vegetable combo I’d do again…at least not on their own.


Sunday, September 28, 2008


This was a recipe I got from Vegetarian Planet, and altered a bit since I didn’t have parmesan or walnuts. The exciting part? I made it vegan!! I’d been craving spaghetti squash, something I haven’t had…pretty much since I started cooking for myself, since I’d never really thought to buy it. When I saw the spaghetti squash at the farmer’s market, I knew it was meant to be. I found it ironic that this recipe mixes the flesh of the squash with actual spaghetti (I used whole wheat) giving the dish double meaning if you will.
A number of other veggies were included, along with a serving of homemade breadcrumbs (ie. Toast pulsed in the food processor) and the only real sauce in this was fresh lemon juice. Light? Check. Whole Grain? Check. Tons of Veggies? Check. This was easy, fresh, and delicious, why on earth didn’t I think of it first?



I was thinking Greek, and I still had some filo pastry leftover from the Beef Wellington…so I thought Spanikopita. Rather than look for a recipe, I decided to simply include what I thought belonged, and hope the result was good.
The result was indeed good….delicious, even. And since I put together the recipe of my own accord, I can even share!!! Unfortunately this one isn’t Vegan, although with energ-G or an arrowroot slurry it probably could be…I’ll note those possibilities below.


1 large bag fresh spinach

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp. soy milk

1 egg, or 2 tbsp energy-G or arrowroot/water slurry

8 sheets filo pastry

Salt and Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat a large pot over medium heat, coat the bottom with olive oil, and fill with the spinach. Cover, and allow to wilt down.
2. Lay half the filo sheets over the bottom of a glass casserole dish, and brush with the soy milk.
3. Once the spinach has wilted, empty into a large bowl, and mix with the feta, 1 egg (or equivalent) and generous grinds of sea salt and pepper. Layer the mixture over the filo.
4. Cover with the other half of the filo pastry, and coat the top with more milk.
5. Cook in the oven for twenty minutes

This was really simple and very good. My other half insists it had a smoky flavor to it…I’m guessing it’s from the spinach. The only thing I’d change (besides trying out a vegan version) would be to use even more spinach and feta, since the filling was a bit thin…amazing how much spinach shrinks.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Carrot Dumplings in Lemongrass Broth

I’ve never made “dumplings” before…good thing they’re a lot like matzoh balls…eliminate the matzoh meal, replace with flour, and adorn as desired. It actually gave me an idea…I’ve never mixed carrots or spices of any kind into my matzoh balls…but why not? I see a culinarily (yes I made that word up) exciting Passover in my future.
carrot dumplings in lemongrass broth
The broth for this had a similar flavor profile to a lot of the asian soups I’ve made: Cilantro, Lime Juice, lemongrass, salt/tamari, and hot chili sauce were all involved. Granted there was no coconut milk, but I’ve been avoiding that for a bit since it’s so high in fat…I’m eating things like Mac N’ Cheese instead ;). I’m very excited that I’ve found a year-round version of the matzoh ball, and in the future I’d love to add even more vegetables to this, elevating it to stew status.


White Eggplant

I found these adorable baby white eggplants at the farmer’s market in town, and absolutely could not help myself. I didn’t want to do anything too complicated with these, although in retrospect I should have salted and drained them prior to cooking…they were a bit bitter. I picked out a recipe from “The New Vegetarian Indian Cookbook”, and changed it up a little based on the ingredients I had on hand. Does anyone have mango powder? That’s a mix of potatoes and white eggplant in the picture, sautéed with a number of spices and then sprinkled with cilantro. It tasted quite traditionally “Indian”, which I like, but I’ve been doing it a lot lately, I think it’s time to switch food ethnicities.
white eggplant
I still think the white eggplant is really cool…but If I get more, I’ll try to soak the bitterness out before cooking, just like I do with the larger, purple variety.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Vegan Dad's Lasagna Rolls

I took this on as a challenge partially because of a co-worker, but I’m so glad I did. I work with a guy who is VERY lactose-intolerant, and we’re always talking about Vegan recipes…although he will eat vegan ceaser dressing with chicken…

We’d been talking a lot about vegan cheese, and how/if it melts, when I saw the lasagna roll recipe on Vegan Dad and sent him the picture. He asked if I could make it, and I finally agreed to do so, and bring in a serving for him to try. This is the type of recipe I would normally either de-veganize, or simply change around enough so I wouldn’t have to buy Vegan Mozzarella. Tofu ricotta I’ve done a number of times, so I had no issue with that, but I’m REALLY glad I kept this recipe (mostly) as is.
lasagna rolls
I didn’t have arrowroot or vegan creamer, so I simply made a slurry of cornstarch and water. I also replaced the fresh basil in the filling with pesto that I made (from fresh basil) earlier this week. I think the pesto actually made the dish, as the filling may have been too bland otherwise.

Consensus? This was another awesome Vegan Dad recipe, and lasagna rolls in general are something I’ll do again…it’s SO much easier than full-on lasagna.


Pumpkin Bread

The last serving of the Pumpkin dish from about a week and a half ago (that seems so much worse when I write it) was rolling around in the fridge, and today was going to be its last day, whether it was consumed or not…I’d already decided that. When I got up and opened the fridge this morning, I had an awakening. Pumpkin bread! I’d never made it…I’d never had it, I’d never even thought of it before, but all of a sudden I knew it would happen, and it would be good.
Pumpkin Bread
I used my normal banana bread recipe, but because the pumpkin dish was spicy on its own, eliminated the spices in the recipe. If I do this again I think I’ll add raisins or nuts, just fir a bit of texture, but it was MORE than ok as is.


Sesame Tofu with Apricot Sauce

I almost don’t want to admit this came from a Rachael Ray cookbook…it was so darn good. Then again, the recipes in Rachael Ray's Best Deals in Town on $40 a Day come from the places she visited…and this was by no means a thirty minute meal.

The recipe was actually for Sesame Chicken, but who wants to eat the closest living relative of the T-rex? Not me, said I. It was a multi-part recipe, in that we had to make a marinade and soak the tofu in it, assemble a vinaigrette for the sesame noodles, create an apricot-balsamic sauce for topping, chop up herbs for the noodles, and then coat, fry, and bake the tofu.
sesame tofu
All I can say about this was that it’s worth every SECOND. I would’ve DRANK the apricot sauce if I could, it was just that good. The only change I might make is baking the tofu before coating and frying so that it is a bit chewier, but other than that, perfect!!! This recipe alone is probably worth finding the book.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spicy Tempeh and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

This was a QUICK comfort that begin when Jeopardy ended at 7:30 and was served by the time House started at 8. Rachael Ray would've been so proud.

I don't know if the average person thinks mashed potatoes when they need to put together meals in a hurry, but then I'm not the average person, so I decided to go with them. I didn't have any milk/soy milk, so these were a bit dry but still good. I mashed together the potatoes with salt, pepper, EB, and a tsp. of wasabi powder. You can't see their light green tinge in the picture, but I assure you it was there. The green stuff on top is dried dill.
spicy tempeh and wasabi mashed potatoes
I also had a block of tempeh kicking around in the fridge, and the longer it sat, the more intimidated I was getting. Tempeh TERRIFIES me. I've had it prepared a few different ways, and the results have been everything from revolting, to delicious. The only way I've used it successfully in the past, was in the tempeh nori rolls from V'con, and then it's boiled, crushed, and mixed into a powerfully flavored sauce. I went with the "powerful sauce" idea here as well, and it really wasn't bad. A bit too chewy for my liking, but that's tempeh for you, it'll probably soften more cut into smaller pieces.

1 block tempeh, cut into triangles
2 tbs. peanut oil
1/4 cup prepared BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Franks Xtra Hot
juice of 1 large lemon
1 tbsp. cumin
1/4 cup merlot
1-2 tsp. liquid smoke

1. Boil a pot of water, and add the cut tempeh. Cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes to draw out the bitterness.
2. Combine all the other ingredients in a skillet. Add the tempeh, and move around to cover in the sauce. Allow to marinate up to half an hour. (I only had about 5 minutes this time around)
3. Put the skillet over med/high heat, and allow to simmer for ten minutes, flipping tempeh halfway through.
4. Serve!

This was VERY spicy, and you could definitely leave out the hot sauce and make it a simple BBQ glazed tempeh. The merlot sounds like a really odd addition, but it gave it a whole new dimension of flavor that I was pretty into...just make sure you're using a dry wine...nothing overly sweet. All in all this was good. Am I totally hyped about more tempeh right this second? I can't say that I am...but it's growing on me...slowly.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Something Long I can't Pronounce

The name of this dish was something long and ridiculous in Indian that I'm pretty sure just translated to the names of some of the vegetables involved. "Minty Broccoli, Tomato and Cauliflower" or something along those lines. I got the recipe from the New Indian Vegetarian Cookbook.

The real star of this dish was the spur-of-the-moment chutney I made to top it. I mixed together tamarind paste and minced mint, and a bit of salt and powdered ginger, to make a tangy sauce that really made the veggies special.
minty veg
Without the chutney this would have been pretty bland and unexciting, but then so is pasta..I suppose that's why we invented sauces...those smart chefs! I served the concoction over saffron rice, and set it off with a glass of pineapple juice...I'm completely obsessed with the stuff...good thing it doesn't have any of that High Fructose Crap the corn refiners would have you think is GOOD FOR YOU.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Product Review : Bahama Burgers

These were new in the local health food store this week, and since they were on sale and offered up exciting looking flavors like pineapple-mango, and Mediterranean Medley, I decided to give them a shot.
bahama burgers
Long story short, they were GROSS. To start with, I was nuking one for my lunch (veggie burgers are usually HAPPIEST being nuked) and when I took it out, the outside "skin" had actually separated from the inside, causing the pattie to fill with air and expand like a balloon. I had to puncture it to deflate the thing...gross.

I decided to move full steam ahead, and set it up in a bun with grey poupon, nayo, and napa cabbage, my favorite combo for a veggie burger. Even through all the condiments and the large, sesame seed adorned bun, I could taste the sheer BITTERNESS of the burger. It was dry, crunchy, (in all the wrong ways), and tasted NOTHING of pineapple or mango as the box had advertised. If you've got a what gluten and soy allergy...these fit the bill, since they use neither product, but if you want my true advice...make your own. I don't care what kind of sale they go on...I won't be buying these again.


Mac N' Cheese Fritatta

I figured I'd share this with you...I took a large serving of the leftover mac n'cheese, broke it up in a bowl, and added 5 eggs. (I know, that's a LOT of eggs).

I mixed everything together and poured it into a well-greased skillet. It took 5 minutes on the stove to cook the bottom, and another 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
mac n'cheese fritatta


Mac N Cheese

I've made the kraft stuff out of a box...I've made Annies white shells (way better) and I've made the Mac Daddy from V'con. (Good as a dish, but nothing like actual mac and cheese). I've never made the REAL stuff from scratch, and so this was my first attempt.

I decided on the recipe in Rachael Ray Best Eats in Town on $40 a Daysince it looked good, and decided to jazz it up with a head of swiss chard that I'd picked up at the farmer's market.
mac n cheese
The recipe called for a block of sharp white cheddar, and another of sharp yellow cheddar. The only cheddar with any yellow in it at the market was "marble", so I had to go with that, which created a somewhat anemic looking Mac n' Cheese. The dish also would've benefited from some pepper/chili in the cheese sauce, but then I think EVERYTHING could benefit from some chili. This was a great comfort food, and I loved the extra crunch from the swiss chard. As we speak, I'm turning some of the leftovers into a mac n'cheese fritatta.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Daikon Greens and Rice

If you'd mentioned daikon greens yesterday, my response would have been..."daikon has greens?" I always buy my daikon with the top and bottom chopped off...a 6 inch tube of white radish...and while I could see it had been chopped...I never really knew or wondered what I was missing.

I'd been having trouble getting my hands on daikon lately, since they stopped carrying it at the local supermarket, and the asian grocery is a bit out of my way to go on a weekly basis. Today I finally scored some at the health food grocer in town, and lo and was about 2 feet long and had these huge leafy plumes at the top...who knew?

The first thing I did upon getting home with my score, was to google and make sure the greens are indeed edible. Not only are they edible, but they're chock full of vitamins and nutrients! I'd been planning on mixing up some steamed swiss chard with rice, but in light of this new option, I decided to save the swiss chard.
daikon green rice
I minced the leaves, and cooked them in a saucepan with olive oil, garlic salt, and red chili flakes. Once wilted, they were mixed into some basmati rice.

The daikon greens reminded me of a cross between broccoli rabe and watercress...not bad at all. I don't know if I'd buy the greens alone...they're not my favorite leafy vegetable, but they're an awesome bonus with the daikon, and I never knew what I was missing!


Roasted Chickpeas

I got this snack from Fat Free Vegan and knew I just had to try them.
roasted chickpeas
I used canned chickpeas, and made the lime-chili powder combination. I ended up burning them a bit...while SusanV says they should cook 50-55 minutes, I took mine out a bit late at 45...40 minutes would do these fine.

Other than that, all I can say is that these are WAY too addictive. I made one can worth, and between my boyfriend and I, they were all gone in under five minutes..and I thought hummus was the true calling of chickpeas...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pumpkin with Fenugreek

I’ve been wanting to try cooking with pumpkin forever…mostly because I’ve never seen them made into anything but pie, and I felt they must have a greater potential. Well I was right…pumpkin as a savory dish is delicious…quite possibly among my favorite squashes. (Which reminds me, I’ve been craving spaghetti squash; the texture is quite unlike anything else)

Sugar Pumpkins were on sale last week, and I’d seen a pumpkin recipe in the “American Indian Cookbook”, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The recipe called for me to “peel and slice the pumpkin into chunks” and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to peel a pumpkin, but it’s neigh impossible. If anyone knows a trick, I’d really appreciate the tip for any future pumpkin endeavors. I ended up leaving the skin on and throwing the pumpkin in the pot with the other ingredients. Because of the skins I wasn’t able to mash everything as the recipe called for, and instead we had to use a fork to separate the flesh from the skin of each piece while eating.
pumpkin with fenugreek
The skin issue aside, this was really good, although it had a serious kick. The recipe calls for a full teaspoon of cayenne, but I’d definitely cut that down a bit…perhaps the author’s cayenne is less potent than mine. Regardless, this was great rolled up in a naan for lunch (separated from the skin of course) along with a handful of cilantro, and the pumpkin seeds, which I roasted with salt and olive oil.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Naan Pizza

In an effort to work through all the naan from yesterday, today's dinner was naan-leftover pizza. On mine, I had the remainder of the plain yogurt, minced garlic, sliced tomato, oil-cured olives, and crumbled vegetable balls.

naan pizza
It's weird, I know, and I probably wouldn't recommend it, unless you have very strange taste like me. Naan makes a great pizza crust though.


Challah Bread Pudding

Since I'm on a roll with the high-fat cooking (Just so you know...I've spent more than enough time in the gym the last couple days to counterbalance) I decided to make the remaining challah into bread pudding.
bread pudding
I used the recipe found at the Amish Kitchen and while my thighs may not appreciate it, my taste buds certainly did.

I had grapes on the side though...see?? Grapes!


Veggie Balls, Curry Sauce, and Naan

This was another Indian-inspired meal, the main course of which came from the "American Indian Cookbook" as well. I'd decided I really wanted to make the 'vegetable balls in classic curry sauce', mostly because the name sounded kind of amusing. In the end I decided not to finish the balls in the sauce, I was worried for their safety since the recipe had warned they might fall apart, and I wanted to leave myself the option of using them in something else without the curry sauce.

If potato latkes had a cooler, older sibling, these would be them:
veggie balls
They taste like a cross between potato latkes and falafel..probably because (among many others) their MAIN ingredients are potatoes, onion, and garbanzo flour. They're deep fried, so not exactly a dieters meal, but I don't fry much, so I'm not all that concerned about it.

The classic curry sauce came from the same book, and looked great.
curry sauce
It smelled great too....But there was one major issue. I followed the recipe to a T, even measuring things out, which I NEVER do, and then left it on the stove to simmer and thicken as the recipe instructed. Only it never thickened. I waited...and waited...and waited...I added an uncalled for cornstarch slurry....I waited some more. The stuff NEVER got thick, and the end result, as suspected...tasted watery. Sigh...

More exciting, was the naan. I got that recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian and although in general me+baking=CATASTROPHE, these came out really well. I decorated with some black sesame seeds, and in the end we had enough to feed a small army, since apparently it's impossible to make naan for two.
I rolled up the vegetable balls and curry in the naan and set about enjoying, cause DAMN was this good!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Seitan 65

So I was watching Iron Chef last week, and the challenging chef (who was of Indian Origin) made a dish he called a take-off of "Chicken 65". He then went on to explain that while the dish varies widely depending on where you have it, the rumor is that it got it's name from a chicken preparation in which the bird is cut up into 65 pieces. His certainly wasn't that bountiful, and I wasn't planning on staying true to the number either, but I was intrigued, and after looking at a number of drastically different "chicken 65" recipes online, I compiled, and came up with my own Vegetarian version. This is not quite Vegan, but could easily become so, and I'll include notes to that effect. It's also generally red, but in looking at recipes, I realized that effect was coming from food coloring (in every instance) and I'm not into randomly coloring my food when it tastes just as good without.
seitan 65

1 recipe V'con Simple Seitan
1 teaspoon allspice
1 egg / 1 tbsp. energ-G
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced ginger
one small onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
Sea Salt
2 tsp. all purpose flour
2 cups plain yogurt/soy yogurt
Peanut Oil
2 Jalapenos, minced w/seeds
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. tandoori or garam masala
1 whole lime, squeezed
1 green onion, to garnish

1. Make the simple seitan recipe from V'con, but instead of making three large sections to boil, pull apart "nugget-sized" section from the mix, and drop those into the broth. Treat as usual.
2. Mix cornstarch, flour, egg/energ-G, ginger, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Add about 1/4 cup water.
3. Combine Seitan and above batter, marinate 10-20 minutes.
4. Fry the seitan in peanut oil until crispy on all sides, and remove.
5. Leaving a little of the oil, add the minced jalapenos (I kept the seeds, if you like less spice, remove them), yogurt, masala, and onion. Mix and fry for about a minute, then reintroduce the seitan.
5. Fry everything for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heart, add juice of one lime, more salt if needed, and garnish with green onion.

I can NOT extol the virtues of this dish enough, it was AMAZING. It has a solid heat to it, but is also perfectly balanced in terms of acid and salt. The seitan soaked up all the flavor of the marinade, and the yogurt gave the dish a perfect twang I couldn't have predicted if I tried. In the history of recipes I've put together on my own, this was probably the best EVER. I ate it over picollini (mini-bowties), which is not very "traditional-Indian", but what can I say, the guy in the Barilla Commercials is HOT. (Don't worry, my boyfriend already knows he's got competition)


French Challah

I TOLD you I was going to make French Toast out of the Challah. You should actually be getting even more excited, because I think I'm going to make the remaining Challah (What can I say, there was a LOT) into bread pudding today.
challah french toast
This was a very simple recipe, an egg, splash of milk, splash of vanilla extract, and an ample grating of fresh nutmeg. That's how I always make my french toast, and it has yet to steer me wrong.

Served up with some Vermont Maple Syrup...and mmmmm...perfection.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Siamese Challah

I’ve made challah many times before…with my mother…with friends…at Jewish institutes and programs…but never by myself. At 23 years old, I’d never actually made my own challah from scratch, and it was high time. It had to have raisins, since all the superior “challot” do, and since I had them, I decided to give it a sprinkling of poppy seeds on top.
As you can see, the two loaves were rather large, and grew into each other during the baking process…I guess they’re just friendly like that. With one egg, this wasn’t Vegan, and I’m not sure what the omission of the egg would do, since I’d always thought challah was a very “egg-based” bread and used much more than this particular recipe called for. I found my recipe here, although I used fast rising yeast, which cut down on the time frame a bit. I also felt that there was something missing in this, although I couldn’t figure out WHAT for the life of me, and I’ll have to compare with other recipes to try and figure it out.

For now, all I have to say is CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST!!!


Zucchini - Mung Bean Dal

I’m having a very “Indian” themed week, so you can expect a lot more ethnic food over the next few days. I’m going to be making more hot and sour soup as well, but I’ve blogged about it before, so I won’t bore you with those details.

I started my Asian kick with the Zucchini-Mung Bean Dal from the “American Indian Vegetarian” cookbook, which is topped with some spiced onions and served up over a bed of rice. It’s supposed to be made in a pressure cooker, which I of course noticed after buying all the ingredients. I decided to make it anyway, instead using a pot on the stovetop. It worked out fine, and although it was probably more “soupy” than intended, I can’t say I have any issues with that. This had a nice dry spice, and while it was very light on salt…I think that’s true of most Indian food.
zucchini mung dal
The turmeric made the zucchini look like pickle slices, which I thought was pretty cool…and which has no bearing on life whatsoever…This also would’ve been great scooped up with naan, but I’m saving that for another recipe this week, and I didn’t want to overextend my naan-making capabilities too early.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

African Stew over Couscous

It got pretty chilly last night, so I was in the mood for something hearty…enter stew. I picked out the African Stew from Vegetarian Planet only to discover that I didn’t have three of the vegetables…which basically made up the soup. I decided to improvise anyway, and replaced sweet potato, collards and cauliflower with baby bellas, carrots, and chickpeas. Everything else remained as is.
african stew
I think the sweet potato was more integral than I’d imagined, since the sweetness would have been a good partner for the raisins in the recipe. (yup, I said raisins). I served this up over simple, unseasoned couscous, which in hindsight could have used some salt and pepper…or cooking in broth instead of water. I was eating the stew and remarking that it was pretty bland…when I remembered the recipe instructing to top it with hot sauce. With the addition of some Hot Asian chili paste, this was MUCH better. I’d like to try the original recipe sometime as well…you know…when I actually have everything for it.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For tonight’s veggie, I decided to try out the curry-butter asparagus recipe from Vegetarian Planet, only I simplified it a bit over the version in the book. I used all the same ingredients, but after mixing together the butter, the book has you shape it into a log, chill, and then place a pat of butter on each serving. Instead, I simply poured the butter mixture over the asparagus once I’d drained their cooking liquid, and tossed to coat.

curried butter asparagus

I thought this was awesome…but then asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and I rarely feel that its steered me wrong.

My favorite place on the web for faux-meat recipes, time and again, is Vegan Dad because he’s got tons of original ideas, and they always look SO good. This week he made a “smoked-turkey” style lunch “meat”, and not having much love for actual lunch meats even before going veggie…I have no clue why I was so enticed. His just looked so amazing, I had to give it a shot, even though I was pretty certain mine wouldn’t come out the same. I was right…mine doesn’t look the same. It’s got a much more yellow hue to it than his does, mostly in part to the Nutritional Yeast, but that was in his recipe as well. I also couldn’t cut mine nearly as thin as he did, which makes it look more like bread than lunch meat…although seitan often does.
smoked turkey
This found its home in a sandwich with Nayo, Grey Poupon, and Tomato, which unfortunately was devoured long before meeting a camera. My boyfriend says it tastes just like the Vegetarian lunch meat you can buy at the grocery store…having never eaten the packaged stuff, I can’t vouch for it., but if I’ve got the flavor down, I’ll take the preservative/chemical free version any day.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Midnight Soup

For some reason, we’re very fond of soup as a midnight snack in our place. It’s always a combination of veg. stock, varied vegetables, tofu, and ramen noodles. (minus the suspect-looking flavoring packet) This one wasn’t terribly out of the ordinary, but was delicious and took barely ten minutes from start to finish, so I figured I’d share it with all you midnight snackers out there.

midnight snack


5 cups water

2 Veggie bullion cubes

1 tbsp. red chili paste

2 tbsp. lemongrass paste

1 tbsp. dark sesame oil

Sprinkling 5 spice powder

2 pkgs. Ramen noodles – discard flavoring packet.

Approx. 1 cup carrots, sliced into rounds

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

½ block extra firm tofu, sliced into strips


1. Crumble bullion into the water and bring to a boil. While it is heating up, add the chili paste (if you’re not into spice, leave it out), lemongrass, 5 spice powder, and sesame oil.
2. Chop the vegetables and tofu. Once the water boils, add these, along with the noodles. Cover and let simmer for approx. 10 minutes.
3. Enjoy!

It doesn’t need to be midnight to eat this…it would work great for any time you want a quick meal, cook some rice on the side, and you could even serve a small party.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Last Summer Grilling

Yesterday they closed the pool for the season, and since the grills were opened in conjunction with the pool, and the gas was turned off when the pool closed every night...we kind of figured they were being shut down for the year as well, and made sure to use them yesterday.
I decided to make the apple burgers from Vegetarian Planet because apple in a burger sounded really good to boyfriend's reaction was APPLE???? IN A BURGER??? But as it turns out, the apple is even more icognito than I had hoped, and the burgers are great. I did find it odd that there was really nothing in the recipe to hold these together, with the exception of rice. The recipe called for regular old basmati or whatever you had...I used Chinese sticky rice, and I'm pretty sure that had I used a long grain variety, these wouldn't have had a chance.
apple burger
These are really more of a skillet burger, and we had some trouble keeping them together on the grill, but I'm glad to report that they survived, and were dutifully enjoyed with hearty slices of tomato. (Which we also grilled)

Since we were on a roll, we decided to grill the cantelope as well.
grilled cantelope
The grilled cantelope almost reminds me of a hot, fruity drink...don't ask just does. But it's good...I highly recommend it, and grill marks are fun.

There were oven baked fries with this meal as well...but they didn't make it to pictureland, they were gobbled up much too quickly. Potato wedges tossed with salt, pepper, rosemary, cayenne, and olive oil, baked for 20 minutes on each side at 450 degrees.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Un-Beef Wellington

I've been meaning to make this forever, but I was terrified. The original recipe looks hard enough, for this version I obviously had to MAKE the meat, and I've never used filo dough before...for anything. The forces of nature were definitely working against me. Having considered all of that, I'm very proud of the result.
unbeef wellington
I got the recipe from melbedggood, and made a couple minor changes based on what I had on hand. I replaced the Parisian Essense with Italian seasoning, and the shitake mushrooms with oyster. I also used regular flour instead of the 1/4 cup rice flour since I didn't have any.

Overall this came out really well. I was right to be terrified of filo pastry, it's incredibly hard to deal with, and there's a very good reason you didn't get a bottom view of the wellington. For my first time however, I think I did pretty well, and I do plan to wrestle with puff pastry again.


Sweet Potato Muffins

sweet potato muffins
There's not much to say about these...they came from Vegetarian Planet, and they're VERY yummy.


Tomato Confit Goat Cheese Pizza with crispy shallots

Today was pizza Friday…some time ago I declared the first Friday of every month “Pizza Friday” and it’s a fun little tradition we’ve been keeping ever since. Often we’ll go out for the pizza, always trying somewhere different, and sometimes we make the pizza at home…this was one of those times. I picked out the recipe for tomato confit pizza with goat cheese and crispy shallots from Vegetarian Planet and it was even BETTER than expected.
tomato confit
I used a “just-add-water” pizza dough mix, since I was feeling lazy, and stretched it out nice and thin. The crispy crust, in combination with the sweet confit, rich goat cheese and crunchy shallots, was perfect. Literally…PERFECT. With a side salad and a Guinness, this could not have been a classier version of pizza and beer.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Roasted Veggie Pasta and Lemoney Roasted Potatoes

I love roasting vegetables…simply because you can use pretty much anything you have on hand (with the exception of leafy greens), and they take on this amazing tender sweetness I can’t seem to achieve any other way. Today’s stars were baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, a zucchini, a red onion, and a spoonful of garlic. The veggies were all sliced up into fairly large chunks (the tomatoes and carrots were left whole) and tossed with fennel seed, a couple grinds of salt and pepper, and a generous dosing of olive oil. They went into the oven for about an hour at 400 degrees.

Once complete, they were tossed into some pasta (made from Jerusalem artichoke flour, whoohoo!), and topped off with red chili flakes and Parm…a simple and delicious dish.
roasted veg pasta
I also made the lemony roasted potatoes from Veganomicon which I’ve been eyeing for awhile. These were ok, but the intense citrus flavor rubbed me the wrong way a bit. While I normally like lemon in things, and I LOVE potatoes, the combo wasn’t my absolute favorite.
lemoney roasted potatoes
I’ll have no problem finishing off the leftovers, but I don’t think I’d make this exact recipe again.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Moo Shoo Tofu

My favorite thing about this dish is probably…that it rhymes. When I saw the moo shoo recipe in Vegetarian planet, I just had to give it a shot, since it’s my absolute favorite Chinese take out item (ever since I discovered hot and sour soup nearly always has pork in it). I’ve already discovered how to make my own hot and sour soup (thanks V’con!) and it was high time for the mooshoo. I didn’t have any of the traditional pancakes, and thought we might be able to use the remaining egg roll wrappers as a sub. They worked ok…but were definitely a bit much, so I’m thinking I’ll try and locate a recipe for the pancakes…either that or make some crepes as a substitute.

This was very much an assemble-your-own meal, with the filling, wrappers, and hoisin all served up separately.

moo shoo filling

wrappers and sauce

Because they were out of mung beans at Shaws, I replaced them with a sliced zucchini, which worked out well. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure I could have put ANYTHING in those wrappers, and they would have been good dipped in hoisin Sauce. I always thought they were making something ingenious in the Chinese restaurants, turns out the magic comes in a small jar in the Asian foods aisle. Whatever you do…just don’t tell me what’s in it. I’m happier that way.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Apple-Brie Sandwiches with Onion Chutney

This was another Vegetarian Planet recipe, delicious, yet simple.
apple brie sandwiches
We were out of bread, so I used some remaining burger rolls, which worked out great when pressed under a cast iron skillet. (Great for making mufelleta’s as well) The crispness of the granny smith apple coupled with the sweetness of the homemade onion chutney and brie was perfect…why didn’t I think of this?

The book is probably worth tracking down for these alone…the whole affair took barely 15 minutes, and it was the best sandwich I’ve ever had.


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