VeganMofo: The Last Supper

October 31, 2008

 

Well, not really, but it’s my last veganmofo post and it’s all about holiday food. I decided to test a few recipes for Thanksgiving since this will be my first as vegan. I have to say that not only was I happy with the results, but so was the Omni. He even licked his plate last night. I know, who’d-a-thunk? I was considering testing two recipes for vegan turkey, but the first one came out so well, I think I’ll wait until next year to do the stuffed tofurkey. I did some online research and came across a goldmine of seitan recipes by Bryanna, one of which is a thanksgiving style turkey seitan. It takes time, much like a traditional turkey, but it is so worth the effort. The result was tender and juicy with this amazing flavor. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted for a stuffing recipe, so I took a few and blended them. The result was really good and very easy.

Apple Hazelnut Stuffing

1 cup carrots, grated
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced fresh mushroom
1/4 C earth’s balance (or vegan marg.)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
8 cups cubed bread (I used whole grain, but you could use whatever you have handy)
1 apple chopped
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 350. Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the carrots, celery, mushroom and onion until tender, about ten minutes. Stir in the seasoning, pepper and salt. In a large glass baking dish, combine the bread cubes, apples and walnuts, then add the carrot mixture and stir. Add broth and stir until everything is moist. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 Gravy

1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups Water
1/3 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 Cube of veggie boullion
1/2 tsp Sage
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp Bragg’s
In a small sauce pan, lightly brown garlic with oil. Add water and heat to barely boiling then dissolve boullion. Add the remaining seasoning and Bragg’s turning heat to low. Add flour a little at a time using a wisk to blend. This is where I really don’t stick to specifics, I add salt and pepper to taste and maybe a little more water or flour in order to get the desired thickness. My husband loved this gravy and said it tasted almost like the real thing. I use to make a light turkey gravy on Thanksgiving and not the dark brown gravy that others traditional like.
For dessert, I tested two recipes and both came out really yummy. First I made a rustic apple tart that I stole from Vegan Appetite. I can’t rave enough about how simple and delicious this was. I could close my eyes, take a bite and taste autumn. It was so good that the enitre tart is already gone and I just made it yesterday. I did make some substitutions. I replaced the sugar with raw agave nectar, tablespoon for tablespoon and I didn’t have gel, so I used a few tablespoons of flour. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie. I found a recipe that didn’t include tofu. I’ve had that version in the past and there was a bit of a weird aftertaste. Again, I found a recipe by Bryanna (she certainly knows her shiitake!) and it turned out perfect! I did make both crusts rather than using store bought. I thought I’d try my hand at pastry crust and it was much easier than I thought.

VeganMofo: Holy Haggis!

October 29, 2008

Well, after browsing these wonderful veganmofo entries for the last few weeks, I broke down and decided I needed to try something from one of my fellow Mofos. Vegan Haggis sounds disgusting and after watching how it’s made on Bizarre Foods in my pregan days, I was a bit turned off, but don’t let the name fool you, it’s yummy! I found my inspiration here at the Mosetta Stone . I had most everything already in my pantry. I did sub navy beans for kidney beans since I didn’t have any. This was soo good even the Omni ate it and also took leftovers for lunch today. I also made a version of the champ, throwing in fresh spinach for added veggie goodness. The meal was extremely satisfying and the perfect comfort food for our chilly day. I will definitely be making this again.

We have a tradition here of a Spooky Halloween Dinner and I make a dinner with a spooky theme. The first year we did a corpse loaf, moldy mashed potatoes and nuclear waste punch. Last year I did ghoulash in a pumpkin, monster toes and a graveyard cake. This year I did a fly by the seat of my pants dinner since we decided to take the girls to visit my parents on Halloween night. I made a version of The FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Pumpkin Black Bean Casserole substituting acorn squash for the pumpkin and it turned out really yummy! I served it with little ghost mashed potatoes. I also made Isa’s pumpkin brownies and they were amazing. The girls loved the batter and the finished product. You have to try both of these recipes!

 

Edited to add: I made all of this with stuff I had in the pantry and a squash I bought last week. I didn’t have to make any special trips!

VeganMoFo: Boo and a slap!

October 26, 2008

 

A group of moms I belong too had a Green Halloween party tonight for the kids. It was about homemade or recycled  costumes and healthier treats for the kids. I decided to do the carmel corn from Hooray Vegan and the candy corn from The Urban Housewife. I didn’t want to use food coloring and feed a bunch of hyperactive toddlers dye AND sugar, so I opted to make candy ghosts instead of the traditional looking candy corn and leave out the food coloring. It was pretty time consuming, but they turned out really good and they were just so cute. There was only one other family there that’s vegan, but I wanted to spread the vegan love anyway. I could have opted to buy candy, but no, I have to go all out and make my own. It’s a personal problem I have with parties and bringing food. I always have to do something over the top. On another note, the other vegan mom made this awesome bread that she even gave us to take home! My youngest couldn’t get enough. I’ll have to snag the recipe from her blog  when she posts it!

Oh and you have to try this sandwich I made for lunch today. It was sooo good. I’m thinking of making another one right now. I’m calling it a SLAP! It’s Seitan O’Greatness, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and mediterranean pickles on Genesis bread. I cannot impart to you how excellent this sandwich was. I sliced the seitan thin and this batch was a spicier one. When paired with the spicey pickles, YUM!

 

It’s been rough living out of the pantry, not for me, but for the Omni. I keep hearing that there’s nothing to eat, blah, blah, blah. And yet, there is chili, cookie dough, seitan o’greatness, spice cake, casserole, fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts and I could go on. For me, I look and think there is so much to eat, where do I start? But the king of processed foods, especially meats blech, says there is nothing to eat. No, there isn’t a bunch of shiitake in the fridge or pantry. It won’t kill him to eat something healthy, although according to him, he’s dying of starvation.

I snagged a lentil recipe from a message board I belong to and kinda changed it up. The end result was really good and I will definitley make this again. Here’s what I did –

Casserole
1 c lentils
1 c brown rice
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1/2 of a chopped onion
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
two cloves minced garlic
3 c vegetable broth

Mix everything but the broccoli in a 9×13 glass baking dish, pour the liquid in and stir well. Add the broccoli, cover with foil, and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, uncover and add breading then bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Taste the rice before adding topping to check and see if it’s tender enough, if it’s not, add about 1/2 cup of water and bake for another 15 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different and I think mine runs hot, so things tend to cook faster.

Breading
2 slices of stale crusty bread
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled Earth’s Balance or like
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Blend until crumbly in a food processor or blender and sprinkle liberally over the top of casserole. The original recipe calls for it to be served with a little sourcream on top. I had some tofutti and it was pretty good!

Oh and on a a very positive note, the Omni and I sent in our absentee ballots. You bet your ass we voted for Obama and it felt great.


Times are tough and this vegan, is a broke vegan at the moment. As I said before, we’ll be living out of the pantry this week. It’ll take a bit of creative thinking, but it’s doable. This is our current pantry and this will give you an idea of what I have to work with:

top shelf
soy flour, whole wheat flour, molasses, agave nectar, and the kids cereals – Kix and generic cherrios

shelf 2

whole wheat thin spagetti, quinoa, red lentils, brown rice, dried navy beans, dried black beans, small chunk TVP, large chunk TVP, chickpea flour, whole wheat fussili, small shells, falafel mix, 4 boxes vital wheat gluten,

shelf 3
grits, quick oats, buckwheat flour, crackers, popcorn, organic carrot cake mix, the omni’s raisin bran, apple sauce, cashews, dry roasted peanuts, dry roasted edemame, peanut butter, raspberry preserves

bottom shelf
all purpose flour, organic raw sugar, nooch, soy sauce, maple syrup, chickpeas, navy beans, pumpkin, arichokes, diced tomato, black olives, pineapple

This was breakfast yesterday and it was soooo good. These pancakes turn our perfect every time.

Vanilla Cinnamon Pancakes
Ingredients
1 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend all ingredients.
Brush griddle lightly with oil and heat.
Drop by spoonfuls onto hot griddle.
When the pancake bubbles, flip it over.
Cook the other side until lightly browned.

Cinnamon Apples
Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4-5 large cooking apples
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup vegan margarine
2 T All purpose flour

Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Pare apples and chop into bite sized pieces.
Toss apples with sugar mixture in the large bowl.
Put apples, water, butter into a sauce pan.
Cover and cook over low to medium heat, stirring once or twice, for 15-20 minutes or until apples are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in flour until blended and thick. Serve over pancakes.

We are all still recovering over here. This cold was a nasty one and we’re all still dealing with the effects. In spite of all that, we’ve had a pretty good weekend living out of our pantry. I’ll get right to the nitty gritty.


Friday night I made this addicting carmel corn from Horray Vegan. I volunteered to test some recipes and I’m so glad I did! I’ll be making this for the kids Green Halloween party next weekend. When I say it was good, it’s a huge understatement. I could not stay away from it. I kept going to the kitchen to get a handful.


Yesterday I made a version of black bean and roasted corn chili that I used to make in my pre-vegan days. It came out perfect and the Omni loved it, which is a good thing considering I made a huge batch of it.

Ingredients
1 cup TVP
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 T tomato paste
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
28 ounces diced tomatoes
10 ounces rotel
8 ounces frozen corn
15 ounces black beans (for thicker chili, do not drain)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350. Place corn on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake corn in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until corn just begins to brown. Remove and set aside.

Start with a few tablespoons of oil in a large pot, add onions, garlic and sautee for a few minutes. Add salt, spices and sautee for a few more minutes. Add veg broth, TVP and tomato paste, cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and reduced. Reduce heat to medium-low and add diced tomatoes, rotel, sugar, chipotle, liquid smoke, corn and black beans, stir occasionally. Cover and simmer for at least an hour. I like to simmer mine for hours, but it’s not really necessary. Garnish with vegan sour cream and cilantro.