Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dinner 12/31

Tofu wrapped in Mung Bean Sheets with a Hoisin and Orange Juice Reduction Sauce
(tofu, fice-spice powder, tamari, garlic, ginger, szechuan pepper; orange juice, hoisin, garlic, ginger, tamari)

Shiitake Mushroom Soup
(shiitake mushroom broth, ginger, garlic, star anise, scallions, toasted sesame oil, somen noodles)

Gyoza 1
(napa cabbage, shiitake, mushroom sauce)

Gyoza 2
(soy cream cheese, parsnips, scallion, smoked paprika, danish smoked salt)

Refried Jasmine Rice

the end of another year -- and we go out in style with the flavor packed tofu wrapped in mung bean sheets...

2005 In Review Pt. 2

Here's Part 2 of the year end review... Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Spicy Lemongrass-Ginger [chicken] Tofu
(Food and Wine September 2005)

Eggplant with Coconut Milk and Scallions
(Food and Wine September 2005)

Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms
(Food and Wine September 2005)

Jasmine Rice

Wilted Turnip Greens w/ Garlic and Ginger and Sesame Oil

In the recipes, we changed the Vietnamese Stir-Fry Sauce to veg stock, soy sauce and sugar.

(bonus shot: July 24, 2005: Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes)

the arty shot of the year ;)

dehydrated cherry tomatoes as part of a raw dinner cooling on the rack. The Excalibur 2900 dehydrator was the best kitchen item we bought this year, hands down -- it made the raw food dinners go that much smoother and was a breeze to use...


Monday, August 15, 2005

Gumbo Z'Vegan*

Hoecakes with Okra and Tomato

Boiled Baby Corn

* traditionally, Gumbo Z'Herbes has many different greens that are wilted and then almost pureed to thicken the stew. this variation on used cabbage and kale -- because that's what we had on hand ;)



(bonus shot: Wednesday, August 03, 2005: Summer Squash Lattice Tart)

Channeling our inner Martha, this tart is visually appealing and uses up those yellow squash which seem to replicate when no one is looking ;)



Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Eggplant Ravioli Stuffed with Macadamia Nut Ricotta, Tomato and Marinated Portobello Mushrooms, topped with Basil and Walnut Pesto
(from Renee Underkoffler's "Living Cuisine" book)

Raw Borscht
(from Juliano -- beet juice, orange juice, jalapeno, avacado, cabbage, dill, parsley, carrot, galic, galanga, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, apples)

Figs in Vanilla Cream and Orange Sabayon
(from Charlie/Roxanne -- cashew nut milk and oranges make a really nice counterpart to the ripe figs -- a nice end to the meal)

well, now that has dissed raw foods...

"Fancified raw cuisine: Despite several prominent chefs' exhortations, this tasteless, unhealthy trend is both time-consuming to make and expensive to buy (think $12 "tomato tartare" -- aka salsa)."

I guess we can't make it anymore :(

I'm also guessing it must be awfully hard for these people to walk with that giant stick up their ass. ;)

I'll further guess they also forgot the article they still have on the site hyping it a few years back...

Having joked about that, they are right about it being time consuming -- but the rest of it is bollocks... raw food is some of the most flavorful and healthful food we've ever had the pleasure of not cooking.

The eggplant ravioli's were fun -- I used our mandoline on the peeled eggplant and got very nice uniform slices that marinated and folded perfectly. After stuffing them, they went into the dehydrator for four hours which brought it all together.



(bonus shot: September 11, 2005: Two Soups)

Our favorite soup of the year easily had to be the Garlic Soup with Tofu -- and this is my favorite shot of it, in the smaller bowls






Monday, October 31, 2005

Glazed Apple Cider and Maple Syrup Tofu
(apple cider, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, clove, black pepper -- reduced down to a glaze, then brushed over pan-fried tofu and broiled for about 2 minutes a side)

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
(mixed with soy margerine and soy parmesan)

Sauteed Button Mushrooms

Orange, Rosemary and Maple Syrup Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables
(yams, potatoes, parsnips and turnips)

You have to be careful around us when ring molds are inolved ;)

Every once in a while -- not often -- there is a dinner where the mind's eye and execution come together. Tonight's meal was that -- the spaghetti squash/mushroom combo matched the glazed tofu (just right, not too sweet) -- likewise the orange/rosemary/maple syrup combo on the root vegetables hit just the right note.

oh, yeah this one will go in the cookbook under "Fall" ;)



(bonus shot: October 5, 2005: Raw Pad Thai)

from Charlie Trotter / Roxanne Klein's "Raw" book -- recipe here

Our stand-by raw dinner, and we just scored a case of young coconuts (which are used as noodles in the dish). The tamarind sauce matches well with the crisp vegetables.

I liked the way the natural light hit the matte finish of the plate, framing the dish nicely...



Thursday, November 24, 2005

Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

Pan-Fried Tofu Cutlets glazed with Cranberry, Cherry, Orange and Agave Sauce, topped with Wild Mushroom Duxelle and baked, wrapped in Phyllo then finished with Mushroom Gravy served over French Lentils.

Roasted Root Vegetables
(potato, turnip, parsnip, carrots, garlic)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

Braised Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts

Barley and Mushroom Soup

Wild Rice Salad served in Boston Lettuce Leaves with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette
(wild rice, dried cranberries and cherries, celery, pecans)

Homemade Ciabatta Bread

Pumpkin Cheesecake

You know you're in trouble when the name of the main dish is 30 words long ;)



(bonus shot: Raw Almond Burger -- November 9, 2005)

almond, scallions, carrot, cilantro, white miso, pepper, dehydrated for 10 hours -- served with avocado and cucumber relish on a piece of red leaf lettuce.

Looks like a raw foods book cover ;)







Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Black Tea Smoked Tofu with Porcini Crust

Jasmine Rice "Block"

Braised Leek Puree

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes Pancakes with Wasabi Pea Crust

Stir-Fried Snow Peas

I know, we just made this the other day but it was really very good... ;)



(bonus shot: Espresso Bean Chocolate Cheesecake -- December 11, 2005)

We couldn't leave without showing the best dessert of the year -- The Espresso Bean Chocolate Cheesecake -- an amazing cake that's a feast for the eyes as well as the body...




onwards to 2k6...

2005 In Review Pt. 1

First, a huge debt of thanks my wife Liz for all the evenings she's had to wait to eat while I take "just one more picture" ;)

To all the folks who have added us to their blogrolls this year or read us via RSS, LiveJournal, or were just looking for info on veganism... thank you. Tell some friends and we'll continue to explore vegan food together in 2006.

As sort of a year-end round up, I thought we'd look back at the past 12 months and pick the best meal from each month -- here's Part 1...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Tiki Night*

Sweet and Sour Seitan
(seitan, red and yellow bell pepper, carrot, onion, pineapple -- w/ the sauce of tamari, white wine vinegar, ketchup, sugar -- then the cornstarch/water slurry to thicken)

Parsnip "Rangoon" (additional picture)
(variation on the old Trader Vic staple -- gyoza wrappers w/ parsnips, cayenne, soy cream cheese)

Eggplant in Coconut
(seared, then baked w/ a coconut, onion, garlic and tomato sauce)

* we decorated, wore a lei, made fruit based drinks, played some Don Ho, and ate a lot of food -- because what else are you going to do when there's two feet of snow piled up in front of your door and the wind chill is -10?

(bonus picture: January 16, 2005: Chocolate Mousse Cake w/ cherries and hazelnuts)

Words fail me -- must.. eat... cake...







Saturday, February 12, 2005

Seitan a la Jojo*

Green Beans

Tomato and Fennel Soup
(from "Les Halles" cookbook)

* this was one of those Valentine Dinner "ideas" that I get occasionally -- usually laying down w/ a cool compress across my forehead is enough to make them go away -- but not this time...

What if you took the "Duck a la Jojo" recipe from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, use seitan instead -- and here's the kicker -- stuff it in a inari pocket (a bean curd product) w/ jasmine rice?

OK, so nobody's asking, but here's how it went anyway... ;)

First the rice -- usually, Inari is stuffed w/ sushi rice, but I used jasmine instead, although I did consider using the sushi rice. Maybe next time.

Then it was a simple as stuffing the inari with the jasmine rice, layering the sauteed seitan on top and coating w/ the signature Jojo spice infused sauce (cinnamon, mace, corriander, orange juice, sherry vinegar and veg stock).

The result -- really, really, really really good. Shockingly (shocking!) good.

do you get the idea we liked it? ;)

(bonus picture: February 19, 2005: Raw Zucchini Rolls)

This was a big year for raw foods in our house, eventually becoming a Wednesday night tradition... this was part of a lunch that capped off a five day raw food run. The zucchini rolls are a great way to utilize the inevitable leftover raw cheese and tomato marinara...







Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tofu with Couscous and Apricot wrapped in Mung Bean Sheets*

Fried Polenta

Braised Brussel Sprouts

* We made this the day after a Tony Coturri wine tasting -- specifically to try with 2003 Coturri Freiberg Zinfandel (which has a hit of Apricot in the nose -- another fantastic wine from Tony).

Mung bean sheets are our new yuba sheets ;)

(bonus picture: March, 2005: close-up of marzipan carrot on carrot cake from easter)

Liz really kicked ass this year in the dessert department -- the cake was not only beautiful to look at, but delicious as well. The marzipan carrots were fun to make -- and you can see where the squirrel on the "buche de noel" came from in December ;)







Monday, April 4, 2005

Mexican "Sushi"
(soy cream cheese, soyrizo, chipotle chile, deep fried tempeh, avocado, mesclun lettuce mix, red pepper tortilla wrap)

an abomination, yes -- but oh so tasty ;)






(bonus picture: April 3, 2005: curried quinoa and mango salad on endive leaves)

this has become one of our go-to catering gig dishes -- easy to make, tasty to eat and it's always a good conversation starter after you say the word Quinoa (KEEN-wa) ;)


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Pasta Puttanesca *
(onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, kalamata olives, green olives, capers, soyrizo, tomato, salt and pepper)


* My son made this -- I did the chopping, he got all the ingredients out and did the measuring and stirring. It's become his signature dish -- but I'll wait to explain the name for a little while longer... ;)

also, ignore the stunt photography -- it was a nice evening and I had just mowed the back yard ;)

(bonus picture: May 11, 2005: the grill)

Grilled ramps, bread and radicchio... Ramp season is fleeting, but a welcome sign of spring -- much like the grilled morels we also had with this dinner.







Saturday, June 18, 2005

Zucchini "Noodles" and Seitan

Tempura with Ponzu
(onion, asparagus, scapes, broccoli)

Steamed/Seared Bok Choy

Grilled Tofu with Enoki Mushrooms over Udon

looking back at this I had forgotten how cool the zucchini noodles and seitan dish turned out -- as well as the tofu/enoki combo...

(bonus picture: June 11, 2005: Tempura w/ Ponzu)

we always make too much tempura ;)

Asparagus, Shiitake Mushroom, Broccoli, Onion



Friday, December 30, 2005

Dinner 12/30

Our next-door neighbor was having a little get together -- so we brought over a small dish of spinach and tofu balls (sorry, no pictures), which turned out well. Although, they would have probably fit right in during a party in 1975 ;)

uh, oh. that's twice in three days we haven't cooked dinner...

A picture from Wednesday when the deer decided to cross the lake despite the 40 degree weather...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dinner 12/29

(tomato, zucchini, onion, garlic)

Braised Red Cabbage
(red cabbage, vinegar, capers, kalamata olives, salt and pepper)

Baked Broccoli

Porcini Soup With Potatoes

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Black Tea Smoked Tofu with Porcini Crust, Jasmine Rice Block, Braised Leek Puree, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes Pancakes with Wasabi Pea Crust

Dinner 12/28

Black Tea Smoked Tofu with Porcini Crust

Jasmine Rice "Block"

Braised Leek Puree

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes Pancakes with Wasabi Pea Crust

Stir-Fried Snow Peas

OK, it's the end of the year, I didn't make dinner yesterday and something just... snapped.

The Black Tea Smoked Tofu was adapted from Ken Hom's "Chinese Techniques" book -- which is right up there with Jacques Pepin's "La Methode" and "La Technique" books

The wok doubled as a smoker with chopsticks as a grate, and to keep the oolong tea/jasmine rice/brown sugar smoke combo circulating around the tofu.

The whole thing took about 30 minutes, but really made a difference with the taste of the tofu.

The tofu was then fried in the wok with a splash of tamari at the end.

The Porcini Crust is adapted from Susur Lee's book "A Culinary Life". Although we do have fresh (frozen) porcini in the freezer, I wanted to see how this was going to work out before committing the good stuff to the project ;) The dried porcini soaked for an hour or so, and was then chopped finely and sauteed along with shallot, garlic, breadcrumbs and truffle oil. It all went into the vita-mix for a few pulses to even everything out.

The Wasabi Mashed Potatoes are adapted from Ming Tsai's "Blue Ginger" cookbook -- mashed potatoes, soy margarine, salt, pepper, horseradish, wasabi powder -- formed into pancakes, then put through a seasoned flour, cornstarch & water mixture and pulverized wasabi peas to form a crust and finally into a cast-iron skillet with oil until golden.

The jasmine rice "block" was formed by lining a wooden maki form with plastic wrap, adding the warm rice and pressing down. The block was cut in half, placed on top of the leek puree and topped with the tofu.

So you're asking, how did it taste?


Quibbles -- usually potatoes and rice in the same dish is starch overkill, but they were such different textures and flavors that it wasn't too noticeable. Presentation would have been cooler with a scallion tying the rice and tofu together. Next time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dinner 12/27

no "real" dinner* to report tonight... We went up to Cleveland to see Chris and Patrick (who was visiting town, taking a holiday break from cooking school in NYC) for a get together at Great Lakes Brewery.

thanks to Patrick and Genevieve for the lovely homemade triple berry jam, granola and applesauce.

* yes, we did eat something ;) the pasta and broccoli rabe leftovers from last night.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Dinner 12/26

Broccoli Rabe over Fusilli Pasta
(parboiled, then sauteed with olive oil, shallots, green olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and the pasta)

Steamed Artichokes

Homemade Ciabatta Bread

We haven't had the broccoli rabe (raab) in a while -- there was a period a few years ago where we had it as often as we eat gyoza today ;) Parboiling does help remove most of the bitterness, as does the saute, but some of it remains. But the bitterness works in the overall context of this dish...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Dinner 12/25

(tofu, red bell pepper, carrot, snow peas, ginger, garlic, tamari)

Jasmine Rice

(shiitake mushroom, napa cabbage, mushroom sauce)

the battery died just as I shot the gyoza, so no stir-fry shot -- but hey, it's not like there hasn't been 30 or so of those throughout the year, eh? ;)

Lunch 12/25

Tempeh Reuben
(toasted rye bread, soy cheese, vegenaise/ketchup/pickle dressing, fried tempeh with tamari, sauerkraut and caraway seeds)

I realize the only lunch pictures we show usually involve a reuben, but the sandwich looked so tasty -- so you get yet another picture!

In case you're wondering "what the hell does a vegan get for the holidays anyway?" -- what else but cookbooks! two giant boxes full of them from a local library sale. The older and weirder the better. ;)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dinner 12/24

Seitan Bourguignon with Mushrooms

Mashed Potataoes with Garlic

Braised Carrots

Braised Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts

Roasted Beet, Onion and Orange Salad
(recipe from Michael Chiarello)

Homemade Ciabatta


Buche de Noel * (larger picture)

* Liz made the "Yule Log" -- dig the little squirrel ;)

and another holiday dinner is history -- a nice, simple and homey meal with the immediate family -- finished by 6:45pm including dessert...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Dinner 12/23

(bread, onion, beet greens, chard, veg stock, soy cheese, salt, pepper)

Bistro Salad
(romaine lettuce, shallots, vegenaise, mustard, soy parmesan, vinegar, salt, pepper)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dinner 12/22

Kerala Style Tofu Curry
(corriander, turmeric, clove, onion, garlic, serrano chile, curry leaves, coconut milk)

Kerala Beets
(golden beet, coconut, garlic, turmeric, serrano chile)

Turmeric Potatoes with Chiles
(boiled petit yukon golds with soy margerine, garlic, jalapeno and turmeric)

Turmeric Rice with Currants and Pistachio
(basmati rice, currants, pistachio, turmeric)

Toor Dahl with Tomatoes
(toor dal, jalapeno, curry leaves, tomato)

tonight's secret password: turmeric ;)

it really didn't start out as a Kerala theme -- it was just a collection of Indian recipes from various books that we had picked out earlier in the day. The curry recipe was a variation on one from a book called "India With A Passion" by Manju Malhi.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dinner 12/21

Tofu with Onions, Garlic and Parsnips wrapped in Phyllo with a Herb Infused Cream Sauce

Braised Leeks

French Bread

Petit Yukon Gold Potatoes

Green Beans

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dinner 12/20

(onion, garlic, red bell pepper, seitan, soyrizo)

Roasted Garlic Soup
(garlic, bread, veg stock, salt, pepper)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dinner 12/19

Moo Shu Pancakes
(stuffed with cabbage, onion, shiitake mushrooms, hoisin)

Braised Brussel Sprouts with Star Anise and Mushroom Broth

Jasmine Rice

Stir-Fried Tofu

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dinner 12/18

Tapenade with French Bread

Chilled Orzo Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

White Bean Cassoulet

after the party, it's all about eating the leftovers -- there's not much left, but that's a good thing! ;)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Holiday Party v9.0

Phyllo Cups w/ Curried Tofu and Currants
Seitan Bourguignon
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (w/ Roasted Garlic)
Stuffed Mushrooms
Lentil and Soyrizo Spoons
White Bean Cassoulet
Quinoa in Endive
Red Potatoes Stuffed with Tofu Salad
Tapenade (w/ French Bread)
Inside Out Avocado Sushi
Deep-Fried Tempeh Sushi
Black Bean Salsa
Xnipec Salsa / Chips
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Tofu Salad Sandwiches
Chilled Orzo Salad w/ Champagne Vinaigrette
Olives (garlic / pimento stuffed)
French Bread
Roasted Almonds (w/ Five Spice Powder)
Pepitas (Pumpkins seeds)
Popcorn w/ Truffle oil
Wasabi Peas
Grapes / Fresh Fruit


Double Chocolate Stout Brownies
Aphrodite Cakes
Chocolate and Cherry Cookies
Thumbprint Jam Cookies
Nog Cookies

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dinner 12/16

Black Lentils with White Truffle Oil

Foccacia with Olive oil and Sea Salt

Baked Artichoke Hearts
(artichoke hearts, cubanelle pepper, vegenaise, red bell pepper, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper)

no pictures tonight, we're in food prep mode for the holiday party tomorrow...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dinner 12/15

Roasted Tofu with Jerusalem Artichokes
(tofu pan seared with tamari, then roasted with olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, green olives, garlic, shallot)

Roasted Broccoli

French Bread

Braised Leeks

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dinner 12/14

Tofu with Spiced Yogurt *
(vegan yogurt, cardamom, ginger, salt, pepper, olive oil, onion, tofu, almonds)

Roz bel Zafaran
Spiced Saffron Rice *
(cinnamon stick, cardamom, clove, saffron, veg stock, salt, pepper, basmati rice)

Chickpea and Kale Soup
(onion, garlic, carrot, chickpea, wilted kale, veg stock, tamari, pepper)

Steamed Artichokes

* both recipes from "The New Book Of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dinner 12/13

Fiore Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce

Garlic Bread

Mixed Green Salad
(w/fig vinaigrette)

Rule #17 for food photos: "Funny shaped pasta = good" ;)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dinner 12/12

(tofu, carrot, onion, ginger, garlic, tamari, scallion)

Garlic Soup w/ Tofu
(garlic, ginger, veg broth, tofu, rooster sauce, scallions)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Birthday Cake

Chocolate Espresso Bean Cheesecake (yet another picture)

I'll say this much -- my son certainly knows what he likes when it comes to birthday cakes... ;)

And if we told you the recipe, then we'd have nothing left for our cookbook. ;)