Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
"Our Hen House is a central clearinghouse for all kinds of ideas on how individuals can make change for animals. With a blog, podcast, and video page, we identify opportunities, report on successful activists and enterprises, and brainstorm ideas ranging from the brilliant (if we do say so ourselves) to the farfetched."
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I made two sauces. A roasted red pepper basil sauce and a creamy walnut pesto. I enlisted the help of the Ninja* in deciding on the sauce. He liked the pesto, but I had just spent all this time roasting peppers over the totally safe open flame of my gas burner. I tried mixing them together, but it was a weird light brownish color and didn't really do either sauce justice. So in the end I served it with both sauces. I think that worked out.
I totally forgot to get a photo earlier, so this is from the taster judging table and had been sitting around for awhile. I swear it tasted super awesome.
Basil Eggplant Ballz
1 large or 2 small eggplant sliced lengthwise and roasted on a grill or in the oven at 400 degrees
2TBS olive oil
1 handful of washed basil leaves (no stems)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup water or broth
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup bread crumbs (I like whole wheat panko)
Oil for frying
Blend roasted eggplant with olive oil, basil, salt, dried basil, Italian seasoning, and water. You can leave it chunky and it will be eggplantier or really smooth and it is meatballier. Those are real words.
Transfer the blended mixture into a medium mixing bowl and taste for seasonings. Add wheat gluten flour and bread crumbs. Mix it with your hands until it comes together then knead for a minute or so in the bowl. It may be really squishy at first, but you'll start to feel the gluten strands coming together as you knead.
In a cast iron skillet heat up a 1/2 inch of canola oil. Scoop out about a teaspoon for mini balls or tablespoon for bigger balls. Roll into a ball and pan fry on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to the oven to keep them warm.
Roasted Red Pepper Basil sauce
4 red peppers
1 big handful fresh basil leaves
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic smashed
Roast red peppers carefully over the flame of a gas burner, in the oven, or on a grill. When the skin is charred, wrap in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes. The skin will peel right off. Cut off the top and pull out the seeds.
Blend roasted peppers with basil, salt, and garlic. Taste for seasonings.
Creamy walnut pesto
1 big handful fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup silken tofu
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Blend everything together until smooth. Serve meatballs in the red pepper sauce and top with pesto sauce.
Now for the rest of the Veggie Conquest chefs...
First place went to my buddy Cathy who has twice hooked me up with some wine at the Veggie Conquest.
Third place was an eggplant rollatini with a coconut sauce. There are 2 ways to go with basil. Italian and Thai and this one rocked them both.
Honorable mentions: Father daughter team made a terrific spaghetti and seitan dish. The seitan had a perfect chewiness and the chef said he both boiled it, then baked it. Whatever he did it rocked.
I love sticky rice and this dish was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The bamboo wrapper is how it's cooked. Inside is the sweet sticky rice concoction.
There was a whole lot goin' on in this dish. Lentils, tarot, I think a pear, and some fig. Really interesting blend of textures.
* The Ninja (aka my husband) has expressed that he wishes to be known henceforth as "the secret ingredient" - I really need a secret code name...
Saturday, August 7, 2010
This month's Vegetarian Times features an article on Hummus Perfection. I've kind of gathered that starting with dried chickpeas usually comes out better than using canned, but even then sometimes it's better than others. The trick is to blend the chickpeas when they are STILL WARM. Who knew it was so simple. It does seem to make a difference. The hummus was super creamy and lush. I let it come down to room temp, topped it with some Zatar and enjoyed with some cucumber slices.
I began subscribing to Vegetarian Times again when I became vegan 2 years ago. There's a really subtle shift to vegan recipes. You'll still find recipes with an egg or two, Parmesan cheese or yogurt, but without coming right out and saying it, I'm noticing lots more recipes, articles, and even the ads are vegan.
1/3 cup tahini
2 TBS olive oil
1 cup chickpeas drained (mine were previously soaked, cooked, frozen, thawed, then warmed by pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit for 10 min)
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
In the mini-food processor add all ingredients in order and process until smooth. Let come to room temperature or chill in the fridge.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
The pine nut cream gets a little crusty on top and really seals the deal on this dish. Totally easy and delicious.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I have the older version of this cuisinart panini grill that I like, but from the Amazon comments it looks like this updated one is even better.
Off to watch more Avatar, the last Airbender...gotta love cartoons where the main character doesn't eat meat! I haven't seen the movie yet.
Don't miss this giveaway Vegan Crunk Bianca is giving away soap nuts on her blog.
Also remember to renew your Veg News subscription. This month's 10th anniversary issue features a gorgeous Peter Max cover, but only on the subscriber issue. It also has the 10 top vegan blogs, articles by Joshua Katcher and his sister Joelle, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Terry Hope Romero, Robin Robertson, Hannah Kaminsky, Dynise Balcavage and more. It also showcases the top veggie cities where of course New York Rules!!! There's Vegan Drinks, Veggie Prom, Veggie Pride Parade, Lula's Sweet Apothecary, Moo Shoes and 42 vegan restaurants! Go NYC!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Now for the seitan...if you haven't made steamed seitan yet, what are you waiting for? If you haven't gotten a chance to pick up Viva Vegan yet (yes, you really do need another vegan cookbook, it's Terry Hope Romero awesomeness...) just google "steamed seitan" or check out the PPK post On Sausage and Community. Steaming seitan is slightly easier than boiling it (honestly, I've never bothered baking seitan) and it has a nice finished texture. Because you wrap each steak up in aluminum foil, it keeps it's shape as it expands when steaming. Also I think it breaks apart a little better if you want to make crumbles out of it. I made these a few days ago when it was a little cooler, and I think they are even better after chilling in the fridge. Lemon lime aid is a summer must. Limes were 12 for $2 at the store, so I had to get them even without a plan for them. The lemons were organic, so I grabbed that bag, too, though I don't think they were as cheap. Instead of letting them linger and go bad in the fridge, I juiced them and kept the juice for other things. Here's the freegan part...instead of tossing the peels after juicing, plunk them in a large pitcher, cover with water, and pop in the fridge. By the time the water is cold, it's infused with all the juice you didn't quite get out of them and the oils from the rinds. You can add a little sweetener if you like, but I dig it straight up. Cool and refreshing.
Fast and easy pickles.
My CSA has been providing me with way more cucumbers than I know what to do with. My mom used to can pickles, but I wasn't really into making that much effort on a hot day to preserve them. So I pulled out Vegan Deli by Joanne Stepaniak and found an easy Garlic Dill Pickles recipe. You just slice the cukes, pack them in a jar with seasonings, garlic, dill, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and bay leaves. Boil some water with salt, then pour over the cukes. Ball makes plastic lids that fit their jars and also fit lots of other jars from other commercial products. Classico spaghetti sauce and Zukay salsa are 2 jars that I know the lids fit. Yeah, I know plastic is evil, but it's easier than messing with the metal 2 part canning lids and you're going to reuse them forever.
Oh and in other exciting vegan blogger news...River is back at Wing-It Vegan and Halloweegan is on!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
1 vidalia onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 aji peppers
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch culantro (recao)
Chop all ingredients really fine or throw into a food processor. I do mine in batches in a mini food processor and mix them together. Keeps a few days in the fridge, or forever in the freezer. I save sofrito frozen in 1/2 cup portions in ziplock snack bags.
1 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sofrito
1/4 cup green salad olives
2 TBS capers
1 good pinch saffron (optional, but makes the rice yellow)
Mix all ingredients together and press the on button on the rice cooker, or cook on stovetop according to rice directions.
I also made some monkey bread. This came from a mix that happened to be vegan (yay!) but it's pretty easy to find a vegan version. Essentially you could use any quick bread recipe and just take balls of the dough, dunk in sugar, and pop into a pan. Top with a sugar and melted earth balance mixture then bake at 375 for 30 minutes, and voila, monkey bread. I have a ton of zucchini, so maybe I'll try out a zucchini monkey break later this week. I'm all for sneaking vegetables in unusual places...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The educational information is available, but not too "in your face" because the animals really speak for themselves. In the case of the roosters, quite literally. The farm is very interactive and totally kid friendly. Everyone liked to be petted and the pig particularly likes the belly rub, though he couldn't really be bothered to wake up or anything. It was really hot out so most of the pigs were hanging out in the mud pond...
And the rockin' black bean quesadillas.
The Garden Cafe is a great vegan place to eat in Woodstock. You can sit outside, but we opted for the air conditioning which turned out to be the right move because just as we were leaving, the skies opened up for a downpour. I think the drum circle was still going...