Saturday, March 29, 2008
Eating a scrambled tofu taco at Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse in Austin was one of my yes I can be vegan moments. Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recipe captures the deliciousness I had there. I adapt it by browning some soyrizo to start, then proceed with Isa's recipe. At the end, I add lots of baby spinach to wilt.
I'm still a "tofu pup", but so far I've learned that draining your tofu is the key to many recipes (sometimes called pressing the tofu). This can seem a little confusing to the novice. I found Compassionate Cooks' All About Tofu podcast helpful.
This scramble calls for the block tofu you find refrigerated in a plastic container, not the silken type in aseptic packages. Here's my standard set up. Pour the water off the tofu block and rinse briefly. Cut through the middle so you have two thinner slabs. Wrap in a towel, place on a plate, and stack a baking pan full of cans on top. I then drink my first cup of coffee while surfing vegan blogs to allow tofu to drain. By the time I finish my first mondo cup of coffee, it's time to prepare the scramble and my tofu is ready to go!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
My favorite thing about quinoa is that it's fun to say. KEEN-wah. Of course, there are more practical reasons to appreciate it as well.
So I wanted to use both quinoa and some White Wave "chicken" seitan in a recipe, and sure enough, Vegan Dad had the answer. His recipe is aptly named. It has wonderful coconut cream, spicy ginger, curry powder, plus cloves and allspice. Delicious KEEN-wah.
I've also been using a fresh ginger trick from Lynne Rossetto Kasper. My fresh ginger gets moldy before I can use it, so this is a great solution. Peel your fresh ginger by scraping with a spoon. Then slice into thin disks. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze. Transfer disks to a container and freeze. Use as needed.
Monday, March 24, 2008
The St. Louis music scene is getting better and better. Chatham County Line put on a great show at Wood House Concerts Saturday. If you missed the show, you can give "Let It Rock" a listen on Pop Matters.
House concerts often start with a potluck, and this dish from Vegan Planet has become my go-to dish for such occasions. Tasty at room temperature? Check. Hearty enough to sustain vegans through a late night? Check. Mainstream enough to impress non-vegans? Check.
Burrito Loco had a spicy sweet potato carrot soup on their menu this winter. I googled those words and found this recipe, not to mention a new cooking site to frequent. This is a rich-tasting soup with the smoky heat of chipotle chile powder. To veganize, use vegetable broth and soy milk rather than non-vegan ingredients.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
My quest for a favorite margarita recipe might be over with this find from Epicurious. The special ingredient here is agave nectar, a sweetener similar to honey, except that it is vegan and will actually dissolve in cold water. Margarita recipes with agave nectar seem to skip the Triple Sec and the salted rim. Alternatively, you could salt half the rim.
This margarita lets the tequila taste shine through, and 100% agave tequila is recommended. I've found agave nectar at Local Harvest Grocery and Whole Foods.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
How are you celebrating the arrival of Spring? It has come none too early for St. Louis. Time to shake off our winter-induced funk.
And, Spring, please settle in a while, we're glad you're here.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
What do vegans eat on burritos instead of cheese? Chipotle Ranch Spread from Yellow Rose Recipes is a tasty option. This weekend I wanted a flavorful topping for breakfast burritos. This spread did not disappoint! I slightly altered the recipe based on ingredients I had on hand, adding a handful of cilantro and skipping some of the other herbs. The flavor is even better if you make the spread a little in advance.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Similarly, most of us have a well-worn pasta and marinara recipe, but it's fun to mix it up sometimes too, right? Enter a veganized "World's Best Pasta." My friend Mike thusly dubbed the Cappellini with Tomato Pesto from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. Now that I'm vegan, it's time for a cover version.
This tomato pesto yields dense, mini-nuggets of goodness that cling to thin, yet hearty, pasta strands. Besides tasting great, the recipe can be composed in minutes, using no special gadgets. Let's get started:
World's Best Tomato Pesto and Spaghetti
- 1/3 cup pinenuts
- 1/4 cup walnut halves
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo)
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
Toast the pinenuts and walnuts in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, until you smell their aroma. Pinenuts burn quickly so keep an eye out.
Start your pasta water to boil. When boiling, throw in a small handful of salt. Cook spaghetti according to package.
Separate walnuts from pinenuts and mince the walnuts. In a medium bowl, combine pinenuts, walnuts, tomato paste, basil, olive oil, garlic, adobo sauce, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.
Is the pasta almost done? Right before you drain the pasta, put 2 tablespoons of the boiling pasta water into the pesto. Drain the pasta, combine with pesto, and serve immediately.
This one's for you Mike. Dial your iPod to your favorite cover song and give it a try. And don't skimp on the olive oil.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound Match Ground Pork Without the Meat, thawed if frozen
- 2/3 cup BBQ sauce*
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- vegetable oil for pan frying
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Spudmaster Chips are large, local, and addictive. They are just chips, you say. Try them, and see if you can resist telling your best foodie friends how great they are.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Garam masala inspired this dip. Peppery, smoky, and warm, with sweet tones of cinnamon and nutmeg too. Pumpkin might seem an unlikely ingredient to highlight with Spring so near, but to me seems the perfect partner for garam masala.
I took liberties with a basic hummus recipe, yielding this fluffy, orange dip that is great with a salty dipper like pretzels, or spread on a pita with some sprouts for a light sandwich.
Garlicky Garam Masala Dip
Serves a crowd
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup tahini
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
3 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
Place all ingredients except pumpkin puree in food processor and pulse until coarsely blended. Add pumpkin puree and pulse a few more times to combine.