Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grilled Seitan, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

Dinner 5/31

Grilled Seitan

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus


Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

The grilled seitan was similar to the Hezbollah Tofu version we've made in the past -- paired this time with the roasted fingerling potatoes (olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, 450F, 45 minutes) and asparagus (blanched 3 minutes, drained, shocked in ice water, then marinated with olive oil, tamari and pepper, finally grilled for 10 minutes). Liz then made a quick mushroom gravy (shallots, roux, veg stock, tamari, pepper, mushrooms).

The Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart was adapted from Good Housekeeping(!), and was simply delicious -- the crust, the strawberries, the soy cream cheese (and sour creme) plus the Soyatoo whipped cream (whipped together in the mixer, much better than the stuff from the pressurized canister).

But mostly the strawberries. ;)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tofu Piccata, Fava Beans, Pea Soup

Dinner 5/26

Tofu Piccata

Fava Beans

Pea Soup

A springtime meal, with Fava Beans, English Peas and Tofu Piccata.

The piccata, served over fettuccine, is one of favorites, adapted from Candle Cafe cookbook, subbing for seitan. The capers really make this dish shine...

The soup is adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's "Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef" -- the broth uses the shucked pea pods as an additional flavor enhancer, and they do a great job of infusing the broth with that essence of springtime.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cookout: Burgers, Potato Salad and Grilled Corn

Dinner 5/25

(Bulgur recipe from Gourmet)

Potato Salad

Grilled Corn

We decided to make the burgers from Gourmet (subbing out vegenaise). They were very tasty, but as with most veggie burger recipes, delicate -- i.e. almost impossible to flip in one piece. Chilling (or even freezing) them ahead of time helps, but you need to grill them quickly. In this instance a grill pan is your friend, otherwise you'll be dropping chunks of these between the grates in the grill...

The potato salad is from James Peterson's "Vegetables" (1998) -- sherry vinegar, vegenaise, cornichons, celery, parsley, etc. -- always a solid recipe.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spicy Basil Tofu, Jasmine Rice, Coconut Milk and Mushroom Soup, Deep-Fried Tofu Triangles

Dinner 5/24

Spicy Basil Tofu

Jasmine Rice

Deep-Fried Tofu Triangles

Coconut Milk and Mushroom Soup

The deep-fried tofu triangles were coated with gin, tamari, pepper and finally dredged in cornstarch before being put in 385F peanut oil for 3-4 minutes. They'll puff up quite a bit in the oil, but will shrink noticeably afterwards. The dipping sauce is tamari, agave, sriracha and lime juice.

The soup was adapted from a recipe by Karen McNeil in "Wine Food and Friends" -- very Southeast Asian.

The main course was our take of the dish we would get at Lemongrass in Cleveland Heights -- extremely spicy and fragrant from the Thai chiles and basil with baby corns added for our daughter who is disappointed if they're not included. ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008


VegiTerranean 5/23

We went out for dinner again to VegiTerranean and had a fabulous time, possibly the best vegan restaurant meal we've eaten. The trick is to go off the menu and head right for the specials, as the dishes really shine creatively (and often do not contain the stunt meat). Kudos to Chef Scot Jones and his crew!

We started with a Pizza (thin crust, w/marinara, olives, artichokes) and Rosemary Fries (no pics, sorry)

For dinner the kids each had the appetizer special of Morel Mushrooms, Biscuits and Gravy, with some corn and pearl onions thrown in for good measure. It was large enough to be served as an entree for them. Our son loves morels and after having them Wednesday, he jumped on the chance to eat them again. They were both very happy with their choices.

Liz had the polenta with grilled vegetables (eggplant, peppers, onions, asparagus) and a red pepper coulis.

I had the Risotto Cakes and Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers on bed of Spinach -- great flavors and a huge portion!

The (huge) cupcake was a tad dry -- but it's definitely a two person dessert.

The mousse flavor was spot on, but just a wee bit grainy with the mouthfeel...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Morel Mushrooms, Lentils and Smoked Tofu Lettuce Cups

Dinner 5/21

Morel Mushrooms, Lentils and Smoked Tofu Lettuce Cups

The night after a wine tasting/pairing dinner we usually eat leftovers -- in this case lentils and lettuce cups to which we added some twice-fried smoked tofu and morels we scored at Whole Foods...

mmm... morels

Originally, the French lentils were pressure cooked in veg stock, along with some herbes de provence and an onion studded with two cloves -- if you don't have a pressure cooker, just cook them in veg broth with the onion/cloves for 45 minutes or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The morels were cut in half and briefly rinsed, as "stuff" likes to hide in the folds of the mushrooms. Then they were pan-fried with a little olive oil until cooked through, and seasoned with a little tamari and pepper.

The tofu was portioned into eight rectangular cutlets and smoked (in a stove top smoker box) with alder wood for 20-25 minutes. Then they were wok-fried on med-high heat with canola oil until golden, Then turn the heat down to low, and splash with 1 tbs. of tamari and fry for another 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally to coat the tofu with the tamari. Remove to a plate and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut the tofu diagonally into strips, return it to the wok with 1 tsp. of oil and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes to crisp up the freshly cut sides -- and if you like another 1 tsp. of tamari.

Rinse and drain the lettuce, trim any thick stem pieces and place in a bowl. Add the lentils and tofu, top with morels.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tony Coturri Wine Tasting @ Riverside Wine and Imports, Kent, Ohio

Tony Coturri Wine Tasting 5/20

We first met Tony in 1999 and have subsequently done many tasting/pairing dinners for his wines whenever he's in town at Riverside Wine and Imports in Kent, Ohio. His unfiltered/unfined wines are some of the most dynamic wines around -- here's the menu...

1. Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley 2007 / Cannellini Bean Salad in Boston Bibb Lettuce Cups

2. Rose North Coast 2007 / Ravioli (potato, edamame and corn) en Brodo

3. Albarello North Coast 2006 / Lentil and Soyrizo Spoons

4. Merlot Sonoma Mountain, Maclise Vineyard 2005 / Tofu Marsala en Papillote

Then we switched to the buffet table with Lasagna and Fusilli and Seitan Sausages
for the next four wines.

5. Sangiovese Sonoma Valley, Freiberg Vineyard 2004
6. Syrah Sonoma Valley, Crane Vineyard 2005
7. Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County, Testa Vineyard 2005
8. Zinfandel Sonoma Valley, Chauvet Vineyard East Block 2005

For the last two wines, we served Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (sadly, no pictures)

9. Zinfandel Sonoma Valley, Freiberg Vineyard 2004
10. Zinfandel Sonoma Mountain, Estate 2005

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Red Curry Tofu with Lotus Root Chips

Dinner 5/13

Red Curry Tofu with Lotus Root Chips

playing around with this dish again -- topping the rice balls and oolong tea smoked tofu with my daughters favorite snack food -- lotus root chips.

Monday, May 12, 2008

BBQ Tofu, Baked Potato, Grilled Asparagus

Dinner 5/12

BBQ Tofu

Baked Potato

Grilled Asparagus

After a wine tasting gig there's usually some leftovers, in this case, the BBQ sauce (recipe). Well, somebody has to eat it -- it might as well be us... ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tofu with Garlic Sauce, Jasmine Rice, Papaya Salad with Seitan

Dinner 5/11

Tofu with Garlic Sauce

Jasmine Rice

Papaya Salad with Seitan

I know I said back in January that there'd be no more stir-fry pictures, but this is different enough to qualify. The garlic sauce is modeled after the one we used to eat a Lemongrass in the days when we would actually leave the house to eat. ;)

The sauce is tamari, water, thai chiles, ginger, agave and the key ingredient -- add as much garlic as you think you would need... and then double it. Trust me. Thickened with a cornstarch slurry.

The papaya and seitan salad is a nice refreshing combo with a rice wine vinaigrette and some additional diced thai chiles for heat.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Carol Shelton Wine Tasting @ Riverside Wine and Imports

Carol Shelton Wine Tasting 5/10

Famed California Zinfandel winemaker Carol Shelton made an early Mother's Day visit to sunny Kent, OH and here's some of the food we made for the tasting...

Tofu Salad Sandwiches

Olive Tea Sandwiches

BBQ Lollipops


Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pasta Genovese

Dinner 5/08

Pasta Genovese

"Everything's Gone Green"

Adapted from Jamie Oliver. Simple one pot cooking -- boil the fusilli pasta, yukon gold potatoes, green beans together and finish with your favorite pesto recipe.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Jerk Pineapple, Papaya and Mango

Raw Food Wednesday 5/07

Jerk Pineapple, Papaya and Mango

Spiral Cut Daikon, Avocado and Lime Zest on a bed of Napa Cabbage

We liked the jerk sauce so much from last night that we decided to make a raw version and put over some tropical fruit...

The pineapple, papya and mango were portioned into roughly 2" X 2" by 3/8" slabs, coated with jerk sauce, and put into the dehydrator -- 6 hours @ 105F.

The jerk sauce was ground allspice, thyme, black pepper, garlic, ginger, scallion, cilantro, habanero pepper, olive oil and lime juice all pureed together and -- wow! -- it was spicy!

The daikon, avocado, napa cabbage were there to counteract the heat -- which they did... to a point. ;)

The general consensus was the pineapple came out the best, followed closely by the papaya. The mango wasn't great to start with and didn't improve much in the interim.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Jerk Tofu, Rice and Tostones in Lettuce Cups

Dinner 5/06

Jerk Tofu in Lettuce Cups

Jasmine Rice


Another recipe that needs another go 'round before it's ready -- but it's basically alder smoked tofu that's baked with a sauce made of a puree of allspice, habenero, cumin, vinegar, cilantro, scallion onions, olive oil. Watch the habenero peppers -- even a half of a pepper is extremely spicy!

It takes about 20-25 minutes to bake in a 375F oven. Served with the tostones in a lettuce cup with jasmine rice.

For the tostones the plantains are cut into 1" sections and deep-fried for a couple of minutes at 375F until they start to show some color -- then they're removed and drained. Next, place the plantains upright on a cutting board and smash them flat with the bottom of a heavy pan. Then they go back into the deep-fryer for another minute or so until golden brown and delicious. Served with a quick garlic, olive oil, vinegar, cilantro and salt puree.

Not only are they tasty but they're also great stress reducers ;)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Enchiladas stuffed with Teese, Onions and Smoked Tofu

Dinner 5/05

Enchiladas stuffed with Teese, Onions and Smoked Tofu.

For Cinco de Mayo -- The tofu was smoked with hickory and rolled inside the shells (lightly fried, then dipped in a tomato and ancho chile sauce) along with onions and a bit of Teese and then baked to melt the soy cheese.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Paella, Shish Kabobs

Dinner 5/03


Shish Kabobs

Any excuse to break out the paella pan ;)

The recipe is still in workshop mode, so the next time we make it there will be something to link to -- basically it's smoked seitan chorizo sausages, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, smoked paprika, green beans, veg stock and basmati rice.

There's two types of kabobs -- all Baby Eggplants and a tofu/red bell pepper, onion, cherry tomato.