Friday, May 30, 2008
Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Walnuts
8 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off and sliced diagonally into chunks
3/4 cup walnut halves
9 marinated sun-dried tomato halves, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons walnut oil
2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pepper and salt or Hot Salt
fresh basil, chopped
Steam the asparagus by placing it in a steamer basket atop boiling water in a Dutch oven and cover, cooking about 5 minutes or until just tender. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse it with cold water to stop cooking and drain.
In a small dry skillet, saute the walnuts over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, to toast. Set them aside to cool, then coarsely chop.
Whisk the dressing by combining the oil, vinegar, garlic, and Dijon in a small cup.
In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, dressing, and all other ingredients. Season to taste.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I prefer gazpacho in small doses. I'm still not sure about the whole cold soup idea, and I find that a few tastes of gazpacho will do me. Plus, I think Vegan Dad's Green Chile Chickpea Tortilla Cups got me thinking about party nibbles. Check them out- it doesn't get much cuter than this.
So I thought, how about gazpacho shots? The size is right for a party appetizer, and I get to break out my favorite shot glasses. See the roly poly one? Love it. Unfortunately, the narrow mouth made consuming a chunky gazpacho rather clumsy, so I recommend going with a wider-mouthed glass, like the squatty one next to the roly poly.
adapted from Whole Foods
2 cups tomato juice
3/4 cup orange juice
2 fresh mangoes, chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Happy Dogs Hot Sauce
Put the juices and mango in a food processor. Pulse for few times to coarsely puree. Transfer this mixture to a non-metal container that has a lid. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Check for seasoning before serving. Serve to guests in shot glasses as an appetizer.
Finally, I was tagged by my fellow Show Me State vegan blogger, Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings, to share five things about me. Thanks for asking Jennifer! Here we go:
1. The last novel I read and loved was Monster Island. What can I say? I love all things zombie, vampire, and ghostly.
2. I cannot abide lima beans. Perhaps I would take a bite if someone battered and deep fried them. But probably not.
3. One of my obnoxious qualities is that I'm a bandevangelist. I get so excited about songs that I want to share them with others. Shall I demonstrate? I'll limit myself to 3. Three songs I love on my Running Playlist are The Honeymoon by Langhorne Slim, Salute Your Solution by The Raconteurs, and Sonic Boom by Pieta Brown. (Locals, you can see Pieta at Lucas School House on 5/29, The Raconteurs at The Pageant on 6/12, and Langhorne at Off Broadway on 6/22.) See, I told you I was obnoxious.
4. I break wine rules. For me, if it's wine, it's Cabernet Sauvignon. I could be on a picnic in 100 degree weather, no matter. A big Cab is what I like.
5. I had to put myself on Western-style shirt probation after purchasing an excessive number of these for my wardrobe. Unfortunately, I seem to have substituted band t-shirts as my new obsession. See #3 above.
I'm not sure how many of my fellow bloggers have yet to share "five things", so if you would like to chime in, consider yourself tagged!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Potatoes, Spinach, and Green Beans in Green Curry Sauce
adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 can unsweetened coconut milk, with 1/2 cup thickened coconut cream spooned off and reserved
1 Tablespoon green curry paste
1/2 cup water
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen cut green beans
baby Spinach, about 4 cups
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
juice from 1/2 lime
Cooked rice, optional
Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute garlic and ginger about 1 minute. Add the 1/2 cup thickened coconut cream from the top of the can and the curry paste. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
Add remaining coconut milk, water, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until potatoes are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Depending on the size of the potatoes this will take 15-20 minutes. Stir in green beans and cook for a couple of minutes, covered. Then add spinach and cook for about 4 more minutes, covered. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Serve over rice if you like.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Cantina Potato Salad
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
juice from 1/2 lime
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
2 scallions, diced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 pounds red potatoes, chopped, cooked, and drained
With a spatula, combine vegenaise and Dijon with other ingredients except potatoes. Mix the dressing well. Pour over cooked potatoes. Check for seasoning.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
adapted from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons tamari
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1/2 cup Vegenaise (my Whole Foods stocks this refrigerated near tofu)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
buns, lettuce, extra mustard, and Fritos
Transfer tempeh to a bowl and combine with tamari and Liquid Smoke. Let cool. Stir in Vegenaise, Dijon, scallions, celery, and celery seed. Chill for a while in the fridge if you can delay gratification before making your sandwich.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Stuffed Portobellos with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
4 large portobello mushrooms
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups cut fresh asparagus (Snap off ends. Cut spears into 1/2-inch pieces)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (moisten with a little olive oil right before using)
vegan pesto on the side, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth. Remove stems and rinse briefly. Chop stems and set aside. Remove gills of mushrooms with a spoon. Brush mushroom caps with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, gill side up, so they're ready to be stuffed.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute asparagus, onion, garlic, tomatoes, walnuts, and chopped mushroom stems for about 6 minutes. Stir frequently and cook until a little tender. Add salt and pepper. Stuff mushroom caps with veggie mixture, and top with bread crumbs. Bake for about 12 minutes. Serve with vegan pesto on the side if you like.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Smoky Jalapeno Poppers
an assortment of jalapenos and sweet peppers
1/2 cup Tofutti vegan cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons Little Pleasures Smokehouse Onion Dip Mix
2 Tablespoons minced pecans
a pinch of salt
Blanch the jalapenos: Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a few peppers at a time and use a slotted spoon to keep them under water. Boil about 3 minutes, then plunge into a container of iced water to prevent further cooking. Remove stem, veins, and seeds. You might prefer to wear gloves while handling the peppers.
Prepare sweet peppers by slicing off the top and removing veins. These are fine to stuff without cooking.
Combine remaining ingredients and stuff peppers with the mixture. Refrigerate in a covered container for an hour. Serve chilled.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
I've been mulling over a reader's request for a Toasted Ravioli recipe for a little while. I've never made Toasted Ravioli. I'm not accustomed to frying food. I do love a project.
So off I went to research Toasted Ravioli and what to do about the egg wash typically used. I researched several recipes as well as Veganomicon, of course, and decided to try a taste off between fried and baked Toasted Ravioli. Let the Toasted Ravioli Smackdown commence.
Find yourself some vegan ravioli. I used Rising Moon Organics Butternut Squash Ravioli.
Prepare a liquid mixture of 1/2 cup soy milk and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Mix with a fork to dissolve cornstarch.
On a plate, combine panko breadcrumbs, Italian Seasoning dried herbs (or spices/herbs of choice), salt, and pepper.
Toasted Ravioli, Baked
An olive oil spritzer (such as Misto) is recommended for this version.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with olive oil. Dunk ravioli in liquid mixture, then in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place on baking sheet. Spritz ravioli with olive oil and bake for about 9 minutes until lightly browned. Broil briefly at the end if you want to brown a little more.
Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Toasted Ravioli, Fried
Heat some Canola oil over medium heat in a skillet. You know it's ready for frying if you sprinkle some bread crumbs in the oil and they sizzle.
Prepare ravioli as described above, dipping in liquid, then in bread crumb mix. Place 4-5 ravioli in skillet at a time, and fry about 1-2 minutes on one side, then turn with tongs to fry 1-2 minutes on the other side. Drain on a clean kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Smackdown results? Both were tasty, but the baked version had a slightly rubbery texture compared to the fried. Eating leftovers after his music lesson, Mandolin Don said the difference between the two was pronounced upon re-heating and the fried version ruled.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The gin to vermouth ratio I prefer was inspired by a magazine article I read a few years back. I planned to link to the mag, but the write-up I found online yammers on to instruct the reader on how to make a martini "like a man does", and apparently the gin to vermouth proportions I favor make a "man's drink". Who knew? I don't feel like a man and neither do my martini-loving women friends.
So let's move on from that unpleasantness and examine some tips for a good martini.
Use a small cocktail glass, not the giant ones popular in recent years. Two reasons. Your martini warms up too quickly in a giant glass. Also, serving a "double" means you're halfway through Dorothy Parker's famous quote with your first drink. Pace yourself and be a kind bartender to your friends; serve singles.
Chill the cocktail glass in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. If you are reading this on Gin Thursday, just pop one in the freezer now so it will be ready for happy hour on Friday!
Shaken or stirred? Frankly, I often shake my martinis because it seems silly to haul out my tall pitcher for such a small batch. Plus, the shaker's ca-chunk, ca-chunk is a pleasing part of the ritual. But, I prefer stirring for visual appeal. Stirring doesn't result in a cloudy, aerated drink and prevents ice crystals which dilute your cocktail. Plus, you can use a really cool pitcher. I love mine from Gringo Jones, with the lily stirring rod. Obviously, you must weigh the pros and cons and make a personal judgment call here. If you choose to shake, you know your 'tini is ready when the shaker becomes uncomfortably cold to your fingers.
Select a good gin. My current favorite is Bombay Sapphire.
Experiment to identify your preferred ratio of gin to vermouth. I like a 6 to 1 ratio. The Mr. Boston Official Bartender's and Party Guide tells me this falls somewhere between Dry and Extra Dry, so I'll call it Quite Dry. (I suppose a certain magazine would call it manly.)
A Quite Dry Martini
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/4 ounce dry vermouth
Stir over ice cubes in a pitcher. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with queen-sized olives. If you want a Dirty Martini, add a drop of olive juice to the glass. My current favorite 'tini drinking music is by Bitter:Sweet.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Chile Rellenos de Picadillo
adapted from A Taste of Mexico by Kippy Nigh
6 poblano chiles
1 head of garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons orange juice
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups TVP granules
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
about 40 craisins
Ranchero Sauce for topping (see recipe below)
Roast poblanos using method of your choice. After roasting, place them in a covered container to steam for about 5 minutes. Peel the blackened skin off. Cut a slit in one side of each pepper and remove seeds and veins. Put aside to stuff later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pan roast the garlic by separating cloves and removing loose papery skin. Don't peel it. Cook garlic cloves in covered skillet over moderate heat until soft, shaking periodically to stir. After it cools, peel and mince garlic.
Combine garlic, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, salt, orange juice, and vinegar. Set aside.
Mix TVP with 1 3/4 cups hot water. Stir to moisten all granules. Set aside.
Saute onion in oil until softened. Add tomatoes and saute about 5 minutes more. Add olives, craisins, TVP, and garlic/spices/oj mixture. Turn off the heat.
Stuff poblanos with picadillo filling. Place in casserole dish and bake about 20 minutes, or until heated through and peppers are tender. Serve with warm Ranchero Sauce.
adapted from Real Food Daily by Ann Gentry
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large red bell pepper, minced
1 jalapeno chile, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, minced
Heat olive oil in stockpot over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper a few minutes, until soft. Add jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and saute a couple of minutes. Add tomato paste and cook a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add crushed tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Add cilantro and additional salt if necessary.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The Shangri-La Diner serves a vegan slinger that includes tofu scramble, hash browns, vegan chili, guacamole, and multi-grain toast. I knew this would be a lot of food, but hey, how can I call myself Show Me Vegan and pass up a vegan slinger? It was delicious. And with all the vegan menu options, I felt like I'd found a vegan paradise. Next time, I must go for the vegan French toast. And I'll be back another day for the BBQ plate with vegan pulled pork sandwich and baked beans. Vegan shakes and dessert specialties too? I might have to move next door.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
My day started with the discovery that Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings passed along the Excellent Blog Award! This is a really nice compliment to hear that she enjoys my blog. Thank you, Jennifer!
Jennifer knows her way around a Mexican kitchen. I'm not talking vegan nachos here. Gourmet sauces, roasted tomatillos, chiles...que delicioso. She is also from the Show Me State, living in nearby Columbia.
Now it's my turn to share the award with five favorite bloggers. Here are my picks:
Chow Vegan I find the photos and design of this site elegant. Visit, look at vegan food, chill.
Could it be...SEITAN? Need I say more? Actually, I will. Check the vegan cheesecake pops!
Swell Vegan Gorgeous photos. Recipes ranging from comfort food to the exotic.
I Speak for the Bees A new blog, by another vegan who has mastered the art of vegan cupcakes (unlike me). I like Bee Roach's taste in books and movies too.One Hot Stove Nupur creates many vegan or easily veganizable dishes. Beautiful photos. And Dale is possibly as spoiled as my Scout.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Would you imbibe this beverage with George Clooney? Wikipedia says that Danny DeVito showed up on The View a while back still intoxicated after a night of indulging in limoncello with his buddy George. While I don't know how George and Danny prefer their limoncello, I do think they might like this version.