Thursday, July 28, 2011

Elvis Fried Tofu, Mushroom Gravy, Grilled Okra, Grilled Corn

Dinner 7/28

Elvis Fried Tofu

Mushroom Gravy

Grilled Okra

Grilled Corn

Grilled Corn! Who would have guessed? ;)

Tonight the corn shared grill space with local okra (from the farmers market). The okra was marinated in a 2:1 mixture of melted soy margarine & tamari, then basted occasionally on the grill with the leftover marinade. You want to make sure the okra is blackened in spots and is cooked through completely.

The Elvis Fried Tofu and Gravy (recipes) is a favorite combo of ours -- smoked tofu, coated with seasoned flour and fried in a cast-iron skillet. The gravy is made in the same pan and uses some of the leftover flour from the tofu as a thickener.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eggplant Fries, Brown Rice Veggie Burgers, Grilled Corn

Dinner 7/27

Eggplant Fries

Brown Rice Veggie Burgers

Grilled Corn

We made the brown rice veggie burgers and grilled corn again -- but tonight's star was the eggplant fries (recipe).

Served with a soy yogurt dipping sauce (soy yogurt, minced pickles, lemon zest, oregano, salt & pepper) it was a perfect match for the incredibly creamy fries.

The trick with these fries is to submerge the eggplant strips in ice water for at least two hours, then drain. They were then coated with seasoned rice flour (za'atar, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt and pepper) and deep fried at 325F about 3-4 minutes per batch.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grilled Corn, Mushroom Quesadillas, Guacamole

Dinner 7/21

Grilled Corn

Mushroom Quesadillas


The deeper into summer we go, the simpler the food gets. ;)

More importantly -- our first local organic sweet corn of the year... so worth the wait!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ceci Soup, Grilled Yellow Baby Squash, Pasta Puttanesca

Dinner 7/20

Ceci Soup

Grilled Yellow Baby Squash

Pasta Puttanesca

A trio of simple summer dishes, highlighted by the appearance of baby squash from Farmer Jones.

The soup was thrown together at the last minute -- so don't worry about amounts, go with whatever looks right to you. It started with a base of onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper, which were sweated for 5 minutes, then we added the ceci (chickpeas), tomatoes, veg broth, parsley and a shot of tamari for umami. ;)

The squash (yellow and green) were split in half and given a quick dunk in a marinade of olive oil, pepper and tamari and grilled face down, rotated for the nice hatch marks, and flipped to finish -- about 15-17 minutes in all -- you want to make sure they're cooked all the way through. They were "melt in your mouth" delicious!

Our son made his specialty, pasta puttanesca with kalamata olives, button mushrooms & seitan sausages in a spicy tomato sauce (onion, garlic, celery, San Marzano tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, pinch of sugar and capers) over fusilli.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Small Plates, Loosely Joined

Dinner 7/18

Cucumber in Vinegar Sauce

Grilled Figs stuffed with Blue Sheese

Steamed Artichoke

Shishito Peppers with Lemon Juice and Sea Salt


Blini with Vegan Caviar

Or as we like to call it -- Monday night. A collection of small plates, loosely joined (apologies to David Weinberger).

Steamed Artichoke with a dipping sauce of melted Earth Balance, lemon juice and a wee pinch of sea salt.

Cucumber in Vinegar Sauce -- roughly a 2:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar to agave, with a pinch of salt & pepper.

Around the outside ('round the outside), Grilled Figs, stuffed with Blue Sheese, drizzled with "Just Like Honey."

Shishito Peppers (nice combo of flavor and heat) -- stir-fried and finished with a squirt of lemon juice & pinch of sea salt. Served on the French bread

Leftover from the Bastille party, vegan caviar on blini (and tapenade shown above).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bastille Day 2011: Seitan Roulade, Petite Pomme de Terre, Ratatouille, Haricot Verts, Blini with Vegan Caviar, Tapenade, Mushroom & Walnut Pate

Bastille Day 2011 7/16

Seitan Roulade

Petite Pomme de Terre


Haricot Verts

Blini with Vegan Caviar


Mushroom & Walnut Pate


Chocolate and Coconut Milk Ganache Tart with Sea Salt

We had our annual Bastille Day party, sharing many of our favorite dishes with our friends Anna & Phil and Laura & John.

The Seitan Roulade was the focal point of the main plate. Shown here after the seitan was seared with the addition of the collard greens and mushrooms. It was finished by rolling and trussing the seitan with twine and then baked for 15 minutes at 350F. Surprisingly, after watching the seitan video so many times while editing it, I still had to go back and look at the broth amounts. ;)

(Also, 1100+ views on the video so far? Wow!)

Rounding out the plate were Petite Pomme de Terre, Haricot Verts and Ratatouille -- which we smoked the eggplant and zucchini for 15 minute in cherry wood. Here's the rest of the recipe.


2 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. herbes de provence
1 medium eggplant, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
3-4 medium tomatoes, roughly diced
2 tbs. parsley, chopped

In a large saute pan, heat the 1 tbs. olive oil and lightly brown the sliced onions. Add the garlic for the last two minutes, along with the salt, pepper and herbes de provence.

While that's cooking, in a separate large saute pan (or wok), add the additional 1 tbs. of olive oil and the diced eggplant, diced zucchini, and cook until lightly browned.

Combine the eggplant and zucchini with the onions and garlic back into the pan and sprinkle the nutritional yeast over all of the ingredients, stir to incorporate, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Turn the heat down to low, add the diced tomatoes, stir to incorporate. Cook until thickened -- about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The final result should look fairly stew-like. Add the chopped parsley, check for seasoning.

At this point it's ready to eat -- or you can put the ratatouille in an au gratin dish, sprinkle a little extra nutritional yeast on top and bake it at 350F for 15 minutes to firm it all up.

We started with apps: Tapenade, Blini with Vegan Caviar (recipe) and Mushroom and Walnut Pate.

Mushroom and Walnut Pate

1 tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs. fresh thyme
salt & pepper

1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. Earth Balance
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
salt & pepper

2 tbs. sherry
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

In a large saute pan over medium-low heat add the olive oil and onion and slowly cook until it's deeply caramelized (but not burnt) about 15 to 20 minutes. Just before it's finished add the garlic and cook for one additional minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.

While the onion and garlic is cooking, add the olive oil and Earth Balance to a wok (or large saute pan) over med-high heat. Add the mushrooms along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms release all of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the sherry, stir to combine and cook for one additional minute. Remove from the wok and add to the onions. Let cool 10 minutes.

In a vita-mix or high speed blender, add the mushrooms, onions and garlic, (toasted) walnuts, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper and puree until smooth -- you might need to do it in batches depending on how big your container is. Check for seasoning.

For dessert, Liz made the Chocolate and Coconut Milk Ganache Tart with Sea Salt -- I didn't get a picture because there wasn't anything left to shoot seconds after serving it, so here's what it looked like when we made it last time. ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brown Rice Veggie Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner 7/14

Brown Rice Burgers

Sweet Potato Fries

Liz tweaked this veggie burger recipe from Food & Wine -- subbing Daiya Pepperjack and pressure cooking the brown rice (22 minutes, @7.5 psi / first ring) which sped up the process considerably. The pumpkin seeds are a nice addition, and the burgers held together very well from the starch in the brown rice.

The sweet potato fries were tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted on a sheet pan in a single layer in a 425F oven for 20 minutes, then flipped and roasted for another 10 minutes or so. Sweet Potatoes can be tricky -- they can go from barely caramelized to black in 3 minutes, so keep an eye on them once you flip them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cappellini, Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini

Dinner 7/13

Cappellini, Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini

Pasta and salad that's not a pasta salad ;)

A light summer meal of fresh seasonal veggies with a quick sauce, tossed with cappellini on a bed of Romaine lettuce topped with some basil -- a big bowlful of win!

The sauce started with shallots & garlic sauteed in olive oil with some salt, pepper, fresh thyme & parsley. then the tomatoes and zucchini were added in and cooked for a few minutes. Next, a 1/2 cup of white wine was added and reduced down by half. Finally, 1 tbs. of earth balance was added and melted along with 2-3 tbs. of nutritional yeast. Stir to combine, check for seasoning and add in the cooked cappellini, toss to coat and place on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce and top with some chopped basil. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Spinach Ravioli, Arugula Salad with Crutons and Tomatoes

Dinner 7/10

Spinach Ravioli

Arugula Salad with Crutons

Once we opened the wonton/dumpling wrappers for the gyoza the other night, we needed to find a way to use the rest of the package -- and ravioli fit the bill.

The ravioli were filled with a tofu ricotta (extra firm tofu, crumbled, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, nutmeg, parsley) and wilted spinach. Once folded over, they were sealed with a cornstarch slurry (1:1 cornstarch & water). Then they were boiled roughly 2 minutes in salted water until they floated to the surface. Finally, they were finished by tossing the ravioli in a warm pan of melted Earth Balance.

Accompanying the ravioli was a simple arugula salad with toasted crutons (garlic olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, nooch) and tomatoes.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Gyoza, Scallion Pancakes, Stir Fry with Yuba

Dinner 7/06


Scallion Pancakes

Stir Fry with Yuba

The always fantastic scallion pancakes (recipe) were paired with the equally tasty gyoza (or potstickers) -- filled with a mix of napa cabbage, shallots, ginger and garlic, which were seared, then steamed with a little tamari to finish in the wok.

We found some yuba sheets the other day and decided to marinate (with a mix of tamari, hoisin, rice vinegar and pinch of sriracha), and then pan fry and shred them as accompaniment to the stir-fry. We've got a couple of other ideas to try out on the yuba, but it made for a nice change of pace in the stir-fry.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Chili Cheese Dogs, Oven Fries

Dinner 7/04

Chili Cheese Dogs

Oven Fries

(checks calendar)

yep, still summer...

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sliders, Potato Salad

Dinner 7/03


Potato Salad

Yep, it's summer...

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

The mini-burgers sliders were made up of hickory-smoked mashed tofu, caramelized red onions, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, nutritional yeast and just enough vital wheat gluten to hold them together -- and were then cooked in the cast-iron skillet.