Friday, November 27, 2009

Spicy Ketchupy Tofu with Cauliflower Rice

Spicy Ketchupy Tofu
1 package extra firm tofu
flour for dredging
1.5 cups ketchup
0.5 cups oil (like peanut or canola)
cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove minced
lemon juice to taste
salt & pepper

This is from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." Because he gushed about it, I overcame my fear of the ketchup sauce. It turned out to be very General Tso's Chickeny and awesome.
  • Slice or crumble tofu
  • Dredge in flour
  • Sprinkle with salt & pepper & fry in 1/3 cup oil over medium high heat until browned (at least 6 mins)
  • Remove tofu from skillet
  • Add remaining oil to skillet
  • Add garlic and cook for about a minute
  • Add ketchup
  • Add cayenne pepper to taste
  • Cook for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens and gets all sticky/caramelized
  • Return tofu to skillet and cover with sauce
  • Add some lemon juice to taste
Cauliflower Rice
Chop up cauliflower in food processor until about the size of rice (it sort of resembles couscous). Microwave in covered dish for about 5 minutes until soft with no added water. Voila, a yummy rice substitute that goes well with lots of stuff. (You can also make awesome fried rice out of this. There are loads of recipes online.)

turkey meatloaf

i make this at home more than any other meat dish, cuz its so easy and so yummy

preheat oven to 350

mix these ingredients in a large bowl:

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion (yellow, red, or whatever)
1/2 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup red sauce (i usually use something like newman's own)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

optional - 1 tablespoon mustard
optional - 1/8 cup chopped parsley

pat into a greased or no-stick loaf pan, or mound into a loaf on a greased shallow baking pan and bake for one hour

is really good with sweet potato fries.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kimchi Raw Ramen

This is sorta a salad and soup combined. Good for lunch or dinner. It's gets your raw in there as well as the warming soup.

Serving one person:
brown rice udon noodles (i know it's not ramen but hea, it's healthy)
kimchi plus about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of it's brine (or veg stock if you don't have enough brine)
sesame oil
chili flakes or tabasco
1/2 carrot very thinly sliced
some zucchini very thinly sliced
1 spring onion
about a tblsp of chopped coriander
a few fresh mushrooms chopped (i didn't have any this time!)

Cook your noodles. Put aside and then add some of the kimchi brine to the pan and heat it up. Throw a few splashes of tamari in and then add your noodles back in. Add some water if you want more broth. Take off the heat and put it in a bowl. Add all your veggies, a heaping amount of kimchi, add a bit of chili on top, coriander and a few splashes of sesame oil. My favorite kitchen utensil for thin slicing is pictured above. Works great for carrots and zucchini!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tempura At Home

You know how you are tempted to order tempura when you have Japanese take out or delivery and it's always soggy by the time you eat it and sort of a bummer? Well for real, just make it yourself. It's INCREDIBLY EASY and so satisfying.

For the vegetables, pre-cook them by steaming them or blanching and shocking them so they're not raw when you dip them in the batter and fry them, this will make them soft and delicious when you crisp them up.

From what I've read, the key is to getting the batter really cold and dipping your veggies right before you fry them. Double dip if you like extra coating. Classic tempura isn't fried long enough to brown, but us Americans might like it that way.

Tempura Batter

1 cup AP flour (AP whole wheat would work, I am pretty sure rice flour or another gluten free flour would work too)
1 cup seltzer
2 t. salt

In a quart container, add all ingredients, shake them up and store overnight in fridge.
When you're ready, heat oil to frying temp in a deep pan or wok so there is room for the veggies to swim.
When oil is hot, dip veggies in batter and drop in hot oil, frying until just golden. Remove from oil and drain on newspaper or paper towels. Sprinkle a bit more salt over the veggies and serve quickly with a nice ginger soy or ponzu sauce.

Notes to myself after my first run:
make sure oil is HOT.
make sure the oil is not crowded.
make sure you are hungry.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apple Empanadas

These are fun to make and supergreat for a fall mexican food party. And I think Dresch-approved? (derived from this and this.)

Apple Empanadas

4 baking apples
1 1/3 cups sugar
about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup butter (softened)
3 oz of cream cheese
1 cup flour

Make the dough the night before:

Mix butter and cream cheese and then mix in flour. Roll into a ball. Leave over night in the fridge.

The next day:

Take dough out of fridge 1/2 hour before making. Mine was still hard after this, so I softened it in the food processor with a little warm water.

Making the filling:

1. Peel, core and chop apples into little pieces.
2. Mix with one cup sugar and a tsp. of cinnamon and dash of nutmeg.
3. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until soft. Cool.

Making the empanadas:

1. Roll out dough on floured surfaces and cut into little 3-4 inch discs. I didn't have a cookie cutter so used the bottom of a 28 ounce can of tomatoes.

2. Add a small spoonful of filling to the center of each and moisten the dough around the filling with a little water. Seal together into mini pie.

3. Bake for about 15 minutes.

4. Roll warm empanadas in cinnamon sugar and done!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hi Pro Glow Granola

I don't know how many granola recipes I read before I finally made some on my own. It's so bonehead easy and such a good deal, I really can't imagine going back unless it's some special granola "varietal". What's great about making it home is you control the fat and sweeteners. This one is very easy and yummy.

Hi Pro Glow Granola

Yields about 2 Quarts

1/2 pound whole oats
1/4 pound chopped walnuts
1/4 pound sunflower seeds
1/4 pound pumpkin seeds
2 t. Chinese 5 Spice Powder
1/3 C grapeseed oil
1/2 C grade B maple syrup
1/4 pound dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350
In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except cranberries. In a liquid measuring cup, combine liquids and pour into bowl, stirring to combine all ingredients. Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Stir and return to oven for another 7-10 minutes or until crispy, but be careful not to burn.

Let cool, add dried cranberries and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roasted Ratatouille

This is a super easy recipe for your end of summer vegetable bounty. Because many of the vegetables here fall into the nightshade category of vegetables which are thought to increase inflamation and acid reflux in some people. Traditionally cuisines heavy in nightshades such as those in Italy and India serve them with dairy which seems to balance these issues. Anyway, I love to eat ratatouille as a side dish to any meal or instead of potatoes with my eggs. It's equally delicious room temperature as it is warm, so it's a perfect picnic dish.

Roasted Ratatouille

About 4 servings

1 medium eggplant medium dice
5 plum tomatoes medium dice
1 zucchini medium dice
1 yellow squash medium dice
1 large or 2 small red peppers, medium dice
1 large or 2 small onions, cut in whole or half slices
4 cloves garlic, rough chop
2 t. salt
1/3 C. olive oil
cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450
In a bowl, toss all vegetables with salt, oil and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and let roast for 15 minutes, stir vegetables, return to oven for another 15 minutes or until soft and well roasted.

Serve warm or at room temperature

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Onion, Garlic, and Potato soup

The last couple weeks our farmshare has been all onion, garlic, potato, and tomatoes. been kinda short on greens.

anyways, portia ate the tomatoes (they are the one food i despise) and i cooked up this soup:

I put on 6 pints of water to boil and added bouillon to taste, but next time i think i will use stock.

i preheated the oven to 400

i cut three bulbs of local organic heirloom garlic in half across, not vertically, drizzled them with olive oil and salt. put them in a baking pan. i cut up six local organic yellow onions in quarters and also drizzled them with olive oil, then put them in the pan with the garlic, and stuck the whole mess in the oven for 20 minutes.

I fried 36 ounces of unpeeled local organic baby red potatoes in olive oil until they began to brown, then put them in the pan with the water/bouillon "stock". i let it boil until the potatoes just began to go soft, then added the garlic and onions, then boiled it another 15 minutes or until the potatoes were the desired consistency. by letting the potatoes go soft, i got a very creamy soup without having to use any dairy products at all.

very simple but delicious. i might try it with ground turkey next time, and maybe experiment with throwing in a couple spices.

Monday, August 3, 2009

World's Quickest Asian Slaw

I ate it so fast I forgot to take a pic. This is easy and delicious and a great way to get some raw in your diet!

1 head napa cabbage chopped
1 carrot julienned (small little sliced, better than shredded, you need a little crunch)
3 T. chopped peanuts (mine were salted and had a little lime zest)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 t. sea salt
1/4 t. cayenne

Toss ingredients together in a bowl. Let marinate for at least an hour and server. If you don't eat it for a day it will still be crunchy and yummy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

sunburst squash

Donna and I have a very prolific sunburst squash (a.k.a. scallop or patty pan squash) plant and i am looking for new and creative ways to cook them. any ideas?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rice Bread from scratch for bread machine

1 cup water
1/3 cup milk (or milk-like product - I use oat milk)
2 eggs (or 3 tsp egg replacer mixed with 4 TB water)
1 tsp apple cider vineger
4 TB oil (I use canola)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum)
2 tsp quick rise yeast

put all the ingredients in the bread machine in the exact order listed. when you put in the flour on top of the liquids, try to spread it around so it covers all of the liquids underneath - it seems to make a difference. set the machine on "grain" setting or whatever setting cooks bread for a little longer than the "regular" setting.

keep the bread in a plastic bag and refrigerate after about a day, then slice and freeze after about 3 or 4 days (it can last a long time in the freezer).

i like to dip it in oil with garlic and salt.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cucumber Jalapeno Agave and Lime Popsicles

Apparently someone sells Cucumber jalapeño lime Popsicles in Portland and I really wanted to try it. But I have no idea who or where they are so I instead concocted this recipe. They are so good! I'm completely addicted


You need:
Popsicle molds w sticks
2 cucumbers
2 jalepenos
2 limes
1/4 cup agave syrup (or to taste)

Peel and scrape out the seeds of the cucumber then cut into pieces. Scoop the seeds out of the jalapenos (or don't if you want it spicy) and chop them up. Juice the limes. Dump it all in the blender with the agave syrup and blend till smooth.

If your blender is too wussy you might want to pour the juice through a strainer to get rid of any unwanted chunks.

Pour into molds and freeze!

also made some strawberry, lime, jalapeno (similar to above recipe)
and coconut, basil, lime and chili
both were amazing!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An ode to KIMCHEE

I love kimchee. It's becoming a (thankfully healthy) addiction. I eat it right out of the container, in soup, on rice, mixed with veggies, tofu, noodles, burritos, pretty much anything.
I've tried lots of brands, and have settled on one in particular as my favorite:

Ideally, I'd get kimchee from a Korean grocer- the unbranded/house-made ones that are good are almost rapturously good. But it can be hit or miss. Sometimes I'll end up with one so spicy, my lips go numb and I can't taste anything other than mouth-fire. Or there are some non-vegetarian ones that have really pronounced flavors of fermented shrimp or anchovies, which I don't like at all.

Sunja's brand is all natural and vegan, there are so many health benefits, it's full of live enzymes, very low sodium, high in fiber, helps digestion...there are too many to list, but you can read all about why kimchee is one of the best superfoods HERE.

I can get it at nearby markets (Whole Foods also carries it), which is excellent, as I go through TWO a week. Kimchee rules my world.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Easy BBQ jalepeno poppers

Cream cheeae

Throw jalepenos on the highest part if the grill. Grill until they are soft but not too soft. You want them to still hold some sort of shape.

When cool carefully slice lengthwise on one side only.

With a spoon scrape out all the seeds.
Replace that with cream cheese.
Close it up!


What are your favorite BBQ recipes?

Friday, April 24, 2009


I did not create the dish you see before you. I had it last late spring at Diner. It was bliss, yet it's ingredients were few.
Grilled bread.
Farm cheese.
That's it. The Rhubarb was sauteed or maybe roasted in a subtle liquor of it's own juices, not too syrupy or sweet.
Just think of all the delish variations for this simple snack!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

egg sammy

Everyone seems to be getting chickens... a friend of mine even started his own chicken coop business since they are so popular here in Portland. So, in the spirit of the chicken, here is a recipe that I just now made and ate and it was good!

I took a few leftover tomato slices from the BBQ the other night and threw them in a hot skillet with olive oil, salt + pepper, grated garlic and a few sun-dried tomatoes from a jar.
(this would be a good time to get your bread toasting - in this case the lonely panini sitting in the fridge)
Mash down the tomato a bit and saute until some of the moisture evaporates.
Make a well in the center and crack your egg on top. I broke the yolk - up to you.
cover and turn down. cook sunny side up or flip it over and add fresh basil and parmesan.
Slap it on your toasted, buttered bread.
thanks chicken!

Friday, April 17, 2009

what's for dinner?

I'd love to ask someone else that question, but that's just not the way it is and it's late, I'm tired... what is in the fridge? What do I want to eat? I know I want/have spinach and what goes good with spinach? Cannellini beans! (at least that's what those crazy Italians call them.) I think 'round here they call them "Great Northerns" but that just sounds gross to me. And then there are the million bags of pasta that I "got on sale" (again) and the weird thing is, I don't really even like pasta that much!
I have taken to keeping parsley handy because lately, it seems to go with everything.
So: Spinach Catalan... meet Cannellini pasta mash up. I think you'll make a good couple.

large bunch spinach. trimmed/rinsed well/drained
1/2 c golden or regular raisins
2-3 large garlic cloves sliced
1/3 c pine nuts
heavy dose of olive oil
- - - - -
steam spinach separately. set aside
heat olive oil. add garlic.
when garlic is golden, spoon it out of the pan and set aside.
turn down the heat and add the pinenuts and raisins.
when the pinenuts get a nice golden color and the raisins plump up, add the spinach/salt + pepper and garlic and heat through. you will not be sorry.

*this is a regional Catalanian dish, but I found out about it from one of the Deborah Madison cook books... so good!

a bunch of pasta
some of the cooked garlic from the last dish that you kept aside 'cause it was alot
or some sauteed shallots
one can of cannellini beans with liquid
that 1/4 head of cabbage sitting in yr fridge - chopped
grated parmesan (apparenly, I say this word wrong... every time)
olive oil
- - - - -
So while the pasta was cooking, I literally stuck the cabbage in a mesh strainer and let it sit in the cooking pasta to wilt it.
when pasta is done - drain & set aside (with your cabbage)
If you havent, saute your garlic or shallot in a good amt of olive oil until golden.
add the cabbage.
add the beans and saute until you think it looks "good" (at least hot)
add the pasta, salt + pep to taste. add parmesan. stir stir stir.
If it seems too thick, add a tiny bit of water or liqid.
top with chopped parsley and.... done!

*sorry for the blurry photo.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf

this has been a staple in my house since we moved to Battle Ground

1 lb lean ground turkey (you can also used chopped turkey)
1/2 cup chopped onion, i use whatever kind of onion i happen to have around
1/2 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup or just a tad more (5/8cup?) red sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped parsley
a little bit of salt and black pepper to taste

optional - 1 TBSP mustard

bake for an hour at 350 degrees in a greased or no-stick loaf pan.

rice flakes or oat flakes work just as well
if you want to try a sweet variation, get the apple-juice sweetened cornflakes
i use a storebought organic mushroom and garlic red sauce, but if you have a homemade red sauce recipe, that'd work too
obviously egg replacer works in place of the egg

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Red Lentil Soup with Leeks and Lemon

This is a great quick and easy soup that uses mostly cupboard staples.

1 cup red lentils
6 cups veg stock (I used two low sodium organic boullion cubes and 6 cups of water)
1 bay leaf
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch tumeric
2 T. olive oil
1 medium leek, washed thoroughly, halved and cut in thin slices
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon

Rinse lentils. Bring stock to a boil. Add lentils, bay leaf, cayenne and tumeric. Simmer 20 minutes. Sautee leeks in olive oil separate pan until soft, add to lentils. Season with salt and pepper and let cook 10 more minutes. Take off heat, add lemon juice and serve. Garnish with crispy leeks if you like!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Can anybody give me suggestions tailored to my dietary restrictions?

I know it is like a homework assignment, if anybody wants to try....

here are the things i can't eat:

legumes (including peanuts, peas, all types of beans, tofu, and soybean oil and peanut oil)




i also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol and need to follow doctor's orders on that stuff, low sodium, low cholesterol, etc...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Singapore Noods

There are so many variations of Singapore Noodles recipes. To me, the basics are: rice noodles, a good curry powder (madras, muchi), and red chilies...the rest is up to you! I love it because of the fragrance and taste and because it feels like I'm making restaurant worthy fast-food in my kitchen. It's super easy- and the only thing that takes a bit of time is the prep. You want everything ready to go, as it all gets thrown in together very quickly.
Nick and I made this the other night...I prepped and he cooked. We made it with shrimp, but any other protein would work well, like firm tofu, etc. Our recipe is a bit just have to go with your own taste.

This is how we do:
* 1 package of rice noodles/vermicelli
* 1 large red bell pepper, thinly julienned
* 2 red chilies, minced and de-seeded
* 4 cloves minced garlic, or to taste
* about 2 inches worth of fresh ginger, minced
* 1/2 cup or about 2 shallots, minced (scallions are generally used, but we were out)
* 1 package of cooked, peeled shrimp from Trader Joe's- they sell them with tails off, which is great.
* 1 tablespoon of curry powder, more to taste (muchi or madras)
* soy sauce
* vegetable oil
* sesame oil
* sherry vinegar (rice vinegar is good too)
* 1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water
* fresh cilantro- a nice big handful.

Soak the noodles in hot water and set aside.
In a big pot, get some vegetable oil nice and hot. Throw in onions and red bell pepper and sautee until both are tender. Throw in the garlic, red chiles, and curry powder, stir quickly. Add the broth.

Once the broth has been mixed in well and you scrape up all the goodness on the bottom of the pot, throw in shrimp, stir it all up fast. It's easy to overcook shrimp. I always do. You can set them aside if you want, after the initial toss around, and add them back in the end.

Take drained rice noodles, throw in the pot, stir it up some more. Add some sesame oil, vinegar, and soy sauce to taste...keep it light, this is ultimately a dry noodle stir-fry, so you can keep tossing around at a high heat until the liquids reduce and flavor intensifies.
Add cilantro and stir in to disperse. Serve!

(bean sprouts, napa cabbage, celery, etc. are also great in this dish...)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Avocado Soup

On Sunday I made a delicious Avocado Soup at Pure. I forgot the whole recipe but I'm pretty sure this is it. I don't think you could go wrong with changing any of these up a little bit, especially adding a little cayenne or making it more lemony. Also for those of you who are Avocadocly challenged, one of my classmates gave me this info on ordering organic avocados during the summer and it's a pretty great deal.
Full disclosure I forgot to take a pic so I grabbed this one from google image.

Avocado Soup

1 1/2 Avocados rough chop
1/2 cucumber rough chop (you can keep seeds and skin if it's organic)
zest of one lemon
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 shallot finely chopped
1 C. water
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground coriander
1 t. white pepper (or black pepper if you don't mind the color)
1 t. salt (or to taste)
1/2 bunch cilantro (leaves only)

Put all ingredients in a blender (ideally a vitamix) and blend until perfectly smooth, the texture of heavy cream.

Garnish with micro cilantro, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.


Last night was cold and damp and I wanted pasta. I also had to have green veggies. So I recalled a hearty side dish I saw in Gourmet recently and tweaked it to do my bidding. The result was a luxurious garlicky green pasta dish that of course I forgot to photograph.

1 nice big brocolli bunch (1/4 to half pound)
1 lb whole wheat noodles (like the no yolks kind, but wh wheat)
as much garlic as you deem appropriate
same with some shallots
one cup heavy cream
olive oil
milk to adjust
one cup to one cup and a half freshly shredded parmasean

Set a large port of water to boil
Peel and chop the broccoli in very tiny pieces, (the end result is a chunky sauce not whole pieces)
Steam sautee until very tender
Add cream, garlic, shallots and oil and continue to sautee over low med heat
(at this point if you have an immersion blender you can give the pan a few shots from that, not too many)
and gradually add the cheese until it gets nice and satiny
meanwhile cook your wheat pasta, reserving a 1/4 cup or less of the water after you drain it
Add pasta to sauce and serve with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes. If you want the sauce to be the star don't use all the pasta. I used the whole pound so my sauce was not smothering everything. Just coating.
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Best Macaroni and cheese in the universe!

This is a recipe i got from Every time i make it people freak out it's so good! it's a little involved and the cheese can be kinda spendy but it's so worth it. Also the recipe makes a huge amount so I recommend halving it unless you're going to a potluck.

For topping
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs(from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)-i tried it both ways and i like the fresh bread crumbs better
  • 1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

For macaroni and sauce
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni


Make topping:
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Melt butter, then stir together with panko and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

Make sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.

Make Macaroni:
Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to 2 buttered 2-quart shallow baking dishes.

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.


Artichoke Risotto

Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone

Serves 4

1 can of quartered artichokes (DM uses fresh. You can def use more too.)

2 Tbs butter

6 cups of vegetable stock

½ cup finely diced onion

1 minced garlic clove

1.5 cups arborio rice (this is usually much cheaper from bulk bins)

½ cup white wine or more if you’re feelin

½ cup cream (i think this is what makes the recipe my fave risotto recipe)

¾ cup grated parmesan and more for garnish

salt & pepper

Simmer stock in one pot.

In another pot:

  • Melt butter, add onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and artichokes and cook until onions are soft (about 2 more minutes).
  • Add rice and cook for one minute.
  • Add wine and simmer until it’s absorbed. Add 2 cups of simmery stock, cover and simmer until it’s absorbed.
  • Stirring all the while, add stock in ½ cup increments (add the next batch when the prior one is absorbed.) This usually takes about ½ hour or so to get all the stock in the rice and for the rice to taste done.
  • When rice is done, stir in the cream and parmesan cheese. Cook about another minute.
  • Season with salt & pepper.

I usually serve this with a fackload of more cheese on top, a vinegary salad and crusty bread. It’s fun to watch Hell’s Kitchen on hulu when you’re eating this, b/c you’ll know your risotto kicks theirs’ butt.

Friday, March 6, 2009

decadent lentil shephards pie

Decadent because I mash the potatoes with a sweet potato and/or yam, sour cream AND cream cheese! (it's really good on it's own - it's called "tri-potatoes")

O.K. the filling is this:
bottom Layer - lentils
then - tri-potatoes (or your basic mashed)
then - seared mushrooms
then more mashed potatoes
final layer of broiled cauliflower with toasted whole cumin seeds on top.

Lentils: I use french green, but any will do.
Rinse about a cup and boil in 2 c. water/stock. (I used to buy veg stock, but now I just use the salt-free Rapunzel bouillon cause it's cheaper and easier!)
About half-way, add sauteed onion and garlic and a few good dashes of worcestershire and soy.
Salt towards the end to prevent beans from being tough. Pepper to taste with extra olive oil.

Tri-Potatoes: 4-5 potatoes/ 1 yam / 1 sweet potato.
Peel and boil with salt until it falls off the fork. Drain.
Mash well with a 1/2 stick of cream cheese + 1/2 cup of sour cream (or more, depending on how many potatoes you have).
add salt and pepper to taste. set aside.

Seared Mushrooms: any will do. I used 1/2 chanterelle, 1/2 button
Turn your cast iron skillet on HIGH. add butter. when it starts to melt, add the mushrooms and allow the mushrooms to sear on HIGH. They will get a rich golden color which gives them a nice meaty flavor. Don't stir too often. Don't turn down heat. Toss in a bowl when done.

Broiled Cauliflower with whole cumin seeds: wash. cut. toss with olive oil, salt + pepper, and toasted whole cumin seeds (just dry roast them in a cast iron pan then smash them with your mortar and pestle... mmmm - so good!)
broil in a shallow pan until golden. set aside.

Layer that shiz up in a buttered casserole dish, bake it @ 350 for about 40. Serve with a salad or braised greens and then retire to couch for the rest of the evening.

p.s. any of the above fillings work for a simple side dish. xom

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bran upon the brain...

Nick and I have been on a weight-watchin' adventure for the last month, so I've been trying to make foods that are both healthy and filling. I also wanted something portable for when we're on the run, so I decided to make some high-fiber bran muffins- mainly because I've had a pack of Wheat Bran in my pantry that has been taunting me for weeks.
I wanted healthy recipes- no oil, no straight sugar, and nothing from a cereal box. I ended using an amalgamation of a few recipes, plus a couple of my own additions.
They turned out great- not too sweet either, so you could easily shmear on some butter or peanut butter, or fruit spread...or just scarf 'em down plain. Either way, they hit the spot and don't sit in your tummy like a brick o' bran.

Recipe follows the pic:
1 & 1/4 cup wheat bran
1 & 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 bananas, broken into pieces
1 & 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
2/3 cup of vanilla or any fruit yogurt (one of those single-serve containers of any fruit yogurt is fine)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir (all by hand) together: bran, flour, soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spoon into lightly greased muffin tins and bake in preheated 400 degrees oven for 15 minutes or until muffins pull away from sides of cups.

Some variations: if you don't like bananas, add different fruit (I'm gonna use dates and pear next time), or add some nuts, replace the yogurt with applesauce, replace the agave nectar with maple syrup (or split it half and half), add cocoa powder or some chocolate chips for more decadence, yum yum.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Olives, Fennel and Cumin Marinated with Citrus and Herbs

I made this at the recipe tonight. Technically it's "raw" and it sure is delicious. Serve this at your parties and wow your friends.

1/2 a bulb of fennel, thinly sliced, core removed
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 T. olive oil
1 t. balsamic vinegar
1/4 t. cumin
1/2 shallot thinly sliced
1 C. Kalamata Olives
1 C. Picholine olives (drained)
1 C. oil cured black olives
1 t. each of rosemary and thyme leaves

Combine all ingredients in bowl, cover and let marinate refrigerated for 24 hours.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

More with Brussel Sprouts

(the only pic I could find that closely resembles the recipe, my blackberry pic is ugly.)

Last night I worked at school and was lucky enough to prepare one of the most delicious items on the menu: shaved Brussel sprouts with poppy seeds and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. The recipe I have was scaled for 100 so I'll do my best to reproduce it.

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Poppy seeds and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
2 LBS Brussel Sprouts
1/2 T. sea salt
2 T. poppy seeds

1/2 C. Meyer lemon juice
3 Shallots, thinly cut
1/2 t. sea salt
pepper to taste
1 1/2 C. olive oil

In food processor using shredding attachment (or by hand for a mind clearing zen exercise) shave Brussel sprouts. In large bowl add sea salt and poppy seeds. Let sit for one hour at room temp.

In separate bowl, prepare vinaigrette. This vinaigrette is delicious but I'm pretty sure any vinaigrette you like would work, especially a citrussy one.

Add vinaigrette to Brussel sprouts, let sit for another hour at room temp.

Serve and have mind blown by deliciousness.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Repeat after me: Noon, Panir, Sabzi!

For most Iranians (or maybe just me?) , these three things are like the holy triumvirate of Persian cuisine accompaniments. It's a staple on the tables of most every household or restaurant.

'Noon' means bread (usually pita or lavash-type thin flatbread), 'panir' means feta cheese (French and Bulgarian are the best in my opinion- more creamy and mild), and 'sabzi' means green herbs. The sabzi usually consists of fresh basil, tarragon, watercress, or mint.
On the same plate you'll often find spring onions, red radishes, and fresh walnuts, which have usually been soaked in water (it tastes so much better, trust me).

I was in Maryland this past week visiting my parents and was happily reminded of how a plate of noon, panir, sabzi is present for every meal- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between (including my parents 5pm wine-fueled happy hour). It could pass for a light meal in itself, because it's so satisfying...creamy, sharp, fragrant, herbal, crunch, all these different textures and sensory aspects.

It's like an Iranian taco of sorts. You just pick a piece of bread, a teared off piece of lavash- squish in some feta, some herbs, roll it up and chow down. While you're eating that with one hand, bite into a radish or a spring onion or walnut with the's so simple and so very good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Secret To Hummus

I recently discovered the secret to making hummus soft is cooking the chick peas, even if they are canned.

here's what i just did:

1 can organic chick peas, cooked and drained (cook in liquid for 5 minutes, set aside liquid)
1 T olive oil
3 T organic lemon juice (recipe calls for two lemons, next time I think I will add a little more)
2 cloves garlic (recipe calls for 1 but I like garlic)
3 T tahini

mix ingredients together in food processor (blender will work), add liquid from chick peas until you thin it out how you like it (i put about 2 T in)

serve warm with pita
drizzle with olive oil

so good!

recipe is from this book:

Carrot ginger soup, poached pears

My midterm is over thank goodness. Theoretically it wasn't hard, but we learn things so quickly in class, it's easy to miss steps or details. For the practical part of the exam we were required to make a creamy carrot soup, a vinaigrette for a salad and poach a pear. All sound simple and they are, but there are tricky details you can get marked down for. For example, I was marked down for blending all my soup. I should have reserved some in the event that I needed more liquid (which I did.) I also added the olive oil to my vinaigrette to quickly and even thought the chef said it tasted perfect, he caught me doing it and it's not the proper technique. I learned from this, and got an A anyway, so we move on.

Here are the recipes anyway. They really are surprisingly good.

Creamy Carrot Soup
This version is thickened with butter, other options are potatoes, Aborrio rice or oats. The butter version is so mega easy and tasty, I highly recommend. I don't honestly see what the butter does to make it so creamy so try it without any added ingredients for a veegs version.

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 t. sea salt
2 Lbs. carrots, about a 1/4 inch thick
5 Cups vegetable stock (no salt added)
2 T. butter
1 T. ginger juice (grate ginger and squeeze out juice)
1/2 T. lemon juice (fresh is best)
dill or parsley to garnish

In a medium stock pot heat olive oil. Add onion and a pinch of salt to sweat the onions (make sure they don't brown.) After about 5 minutes, add carrots and cover pot to soften the carrots. After another 5 minutes add stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and leave soup simmering for about 30 minutes or until the carrots are completely soft. Blend about 3/4 of the soup in a blender or with a wand blender. Add butter. When creamy consistency is achieved (it should be like cream)add ginger and lemon juice. Serve hot and garnish with dill or parsley.

Poached Pears in Apple Reduction
This is so simple and tasty it's hard to believe. Serve with any kind of ice cream, vegan ice cream, whipped dairy or nut cream.

2-3 cups apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks, star anise pods or cloves. Try to keep it simple.
2 pears, peeled, halved, seeds and core removed

In a small pot, bring apple juice and spices to a boil. Reduce heat (poaching liquid is 160-180 degrees F. and since you probably won't have a thermometer, just make sure it's not boiling anymore.) Add pears and try to keep them submerged in the liquid. After about 15 minutes check for doneness with a toothpick, they should be soft but not falling apart. Remove from the liquid and set aside. Raise the heat on the liquid and cook for another 20 minutes or so until liquid is reduced but not quite syrupy. Pour over the pears and serve with whatever creamy stuff you like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cream of Refrigerator Soup.

by Donna Dresch

This is a lovely soup to make when you look in the fridge and realize if you don't eat all that crap you are going to waste all that money you spent at the store last week.

This specific recipe is what I made last night.


  • 20 desperate brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 jar of trader joes marinara sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots
  • olive oil
  • that soymilk in the fridge, it still smells ok.
  • 1/2 tub of tofu
  • the rest of the frozen corn
  • that veggie broth that becca brought over when i was sick like 3 weeks ago.
  • salt
  • Tabasco (Tabasco is the most important ingredient in all my soups. I think it's the vinegar)


In a large pot sauté the chopped garlic and shallots for five seconds. Add halved Brussel sprouts and toss with the oil, garlic, shallot combo.

Here is an important point in the recipe, at this point you can decide if you really want this soup or eat these soon to be delicious brussel sprouts.

after 2 minutes add the extremely well rinsed cubed tofu. (this still could be a delicious meal....) and cook another couple minutes.
with these cooking it is an excellent time to rummage through the fridge and freezer and cupboards to find what else you need to get rid of.

Now add the container of vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering add the rest of the ingredients except soymilk. Bring the soup back up to a simmer and taste often to adjust for the varying flavors.

Cook until the sprouts (or whatever else is in there) are tender.
Add the soymilk to taste or until the container is empty. Readjust the flavors. (the fancy restaurant lady down the street always asks, "how are they flavors?". Simmer a bit longer, until you have killed any potential soymilk bacteria.

now comes the important part: blending everything.
I like to blend about 2/3rds of the soup, the left behind broth and chunks give the soup more texture when you add the blended portion back into the soup.

garnish with Molly's cheese that you made last week.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Thanks, Molly. You popped my guest blogging cherry!

1 1/2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher or fine grain sea salt
1 cup plain yogurt (preferably raw and organic)
1 1/3 cup unbleached organic cane sugar
3 large organic eggs
The zest of 2 organic lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup neutral flavor vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 3 small lemons)


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing, laying down parchment on the bottom of the pan, greasing again, and dusting with flour.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. In thirds, slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until fully combined. Fold the oil into the batter, until completely combined. (Don't overmix)

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45- 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup by melting the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in the lemon juice in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the cake is done, cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then while the cake is still warm, pour the lemon syrup over the cake (keeping it in the pan will make less of a mess) and allow it to soak until the cake is cool.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Midterm Study Group Menu

I'm in the chef's training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute which is rad. Next Wednesday we have our midterm exam which is 2 hours written (reviewing everything we've learned so far) and 2 hours practical where we make a creamy carrot soup which is perfectly textured and seasoned, a poached pear with a reduction sauce and a salad and vinaigrette. It sounds simple and it is, but it's easy to psyche yourself out in these situations. My classmates are awesome and last night we had a little party to study and also sort of ease the anxieties we have. None of the dishes were crazy complicated but they were all delicious.

Here was the menu
Molly: tortilla de patata, asparagos con romesco, pan con tomate
Kristine: lemon yogurt cake (I asked her to join the blog and post the recipe!), goat cheese profiteroles
Toshiko: green tea, chocolate and vanilla cookies. Perfectly designed.
Georgia: mixed green salad with apples and balsamic vinaigrette
Danielle: wines from the fingerlakes region of NY
Vanessa: cheeses and bread
Asami: Japanese eggplant with delicious sauce

My tortilla de patata was definitely the worst one I've ever made. I was rushing after work and didn't have time to pace myself properly. I didn't season the potatoes and onions and I thought it was bland bland bland. I have high standards for that! It's my signature dish!

But the romesco was a hit. So I'll get to the point and give the recipe!

10-15 marcona almonds toasted
1 tomato seeded
4 piquillo peppers
2 large cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
one slice rustic bread toasted
1/2 cup olive oil (more if needed)
salt to taste
water if needed

heat oven to 400˚, place almonds in a heavy skillet and toast about 5 minutes
in food processor add all ingredients and combine until smooth. Slowly add olive oil until you achieve the right consistency and flavor. Add water to thin it out if you need to.

Honestly, like a tortilla de patata, I think everyone has their special touches that make romesco their own. Come over and I'll show you mine!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

STS makes miso gravy

STS gave me this recipe for my cookbook zine a loong time ago and I've been wanting to make it again so I'm posting the recipe. I better tell her!

1. start w/ making a roux

- olive oil or margarine in a bottom of a pan, heat it up.

- when hot, add some flour to make a paste, take off heat.

- add warm water and push it around with the paste and make a kind of saucy feeling thing (add water, stir, add more, stir, add, etc..)

2. Now that you have this white gravy, you must add seasoning, anything will do, (i.e. nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar makes a fake cheese for pasta) but here's something good for dipping in sweet potato fries

- miso (spoonful)
- soy sauce (a little)
- balsamic vinegar (little)
- sesame oil
- garlic salt or powder
- nutritional yeast powder
- ginger powder
- cayenne or black pepper
- curry

mix up good, eat with everything in sight.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam

1 container/pint of cherry tomatoes pierced with a knife
1-2 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
½ yellow onion finely chopped
1 large spoonful of tomato paste
1/8 or 1/4 cup of apple vinegar
4 – 6 large heaping s of sugar
Olive oil

1) Cover the bottom of a warm pot with olive oil
2) Once the oil is heated, sweat the onions until it starts to change color
3) Add the tomato paste and stir as to not burn the onions and paste. The paste will darken in color as the natural sugars starts to caramelize. This takes about 2 minutes
4) Add the tomatoes, 1/8 of the vinegar, 4 spoonfuls of sugar, and some salt. As it cooks, check to see if it needs more vinegar, sugar, or salt.
5) Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium or medium-low heat
6) Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until a lot of the moisture is gone and the mixture is chunky. Stir once in a while.
7) You can add a spoonful of olive oil in the mixture once cool to round the flavors (but I usually don’t)

Serve with toasted bread
Great with cheeses (mozzarella, machego, Monterey jack, etc) and olive tapenades
Goes great with Spanish tapas like tortilla, broiled potatoes, and croquetas
Delicious with a simple grilled chicken and wilted spinach and garlic
Use in sandwiches like croissant with sharp cheddar cheese
Best at room temperature
Can last up to 2 weeks

For an Italian jam, you can add fresh tarragon and black pepper. Serve with crostinis and top with goat cheese
For a Southern jam, you can add red pepper flakes and fresh rosemary. Serve with biscuits
For spiced jam, you can add garlic, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, etc.
* Add herbs and spices into the pot at the same time as the tomatoes during the cooking process

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Egg Tortilla Soup (Sopa de Tortilla de Huevos)

Egg Tortilla Soup (Sopa de Tortilla de Huevos)

Published: February 10, 2009
Adapted from Gladys Puglla-Jimenez

For Dinner (and Fast), the Taste of Home (February 11, 2009)

Time: 25 minutes

Vegetable oil
1/2 cup small, dry tubular or shell-shaped pasta, such as penne or conchiglie, optional
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed
1 teaspoon adobo powder
2 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 2-ounce piece of queso blanco, grated
1 large Anaheim pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole milk, or as needed
1/3 cup cooked white rice, optional.
1. If desired, place 1/2 inch vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When oil is hot, add pasta and fry until lightly browned. Remove immediately and drain on paper towels. Set aside pan with oil in it.

2. Place a medium (5- to 6-quart) soup pot over medium-low heat, and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add scallions and sauté until softened, about 30 seconds. Add salt, adobo powder, potatoes, queso blanco and fried pasta, if using. Add just enough water to cover. Cover and simmer until potatoes and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. While soup is cooking, place a small skillet over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add Anaheim pepper and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and cook until firm, another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove omelet from pan and cut into 1-inch-wide slices.

4. When potatoes are tender, add milk, omelet slices and, if desired, rice, to pot. Simmer gently until reheated, and serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings.

Hungarian Lentil Stew

Hungarian Lentil Stew

Published: February 10, 2009
Adapted from Renata Olah

For Dinner (and Fast), the Taste of Home (February 11, 2009)

Time: 1 hour, plus optional overnight soaking

1 1-pound bag brown lentils
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 bay leaves
2 cups whole-fat sour cream
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, or as needed
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons brown mustard, or as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or as needed.
1. If desired, place lentils in a bowl with water to cover, and soak overnight; this step may be skipped, but makes lentils more digestible.

2. Place a large (5- to 6-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat, and add oil and onion. Sauté until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and paprika, and sauté until garlic is fragrant, 1 minute more. Add lentils, 8 cups water and bay leaves. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 50 minutes; add water as needed if mixture seems too thick.

3. When lentils are tender, in a small bowl stir together sour cream, flour and milk. Add to lentils and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt, brown sugar, mustard and lemon juice, adjusting amounts as needed for a slightly piquant flavor. If desired, remove and discard bay leaves. Serve hot.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Korean Pancakes (Pa Jun)

today's times has some awesome recipes. I'll post all of them, they look good and adaptable.

Korean Pancakes (Pa Jun)
Published: February 10, 2009
Adapted from Ji Yoon Yoo

For Dinner (and Fast), the Taste of Home (February 11, 2009)

Time: 15 to 20 minutes

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, optional
Pinch of hot red pepper flakes.
For the pancakes:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very finely chopped vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, green beans, scallions) or chopped cooked leftover meat (chicken, beef, pork) or both.
1. For dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar (if using) and red pepper flakes. Mix well and set aside.

2. For pancakes: Fill a pitcher or glass with ice and 1/2 cup or more cold water; set aside. Place a small (6- to 8-inch) nonstick or well-seasoned skillet over medium-low heat. Coat bottom with vegetable oil and allow to heat.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs just until frothy. Add flour and salt and whisk to combine. Add vegetables or meat and stir to blend. Add 1/2 cup ice water and mix again to blend.

4. Fill a 1/2-cup measuring cup with batter; pour into hot pan. Allow to sit until browned and crispy on bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip pancake and cook another 2 minutes. Place on a serving plate and keep warm (or set aside to serve at room temperature). Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with dipping sauce, tearing or cutting off pieces of pancake to dip in sauce with fingers or chopsticks.

Yield: 2 to 4 appetizer servings (3 pancakes).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here is what I do with brussies:

get your skillet medium hot
slice in half
toss in lemon and olive oil
place all your halves face down
slap on a cover
wait a good 4 mins
test if they are tender
if not a couple more mins
sprinkle with kosher salt


finely shred your brussies
add a fat of your choice
saute until tender but still firm
sometimes we put in lemon juice or throw in nuts or cabbage
treat it like a slaw

and let's not forget roasting!

fire up that oven
slice or quarter your brussies
toss em in some oil
add their friends onions and shallots or garlic
roast until they look a bit charred and are tender
eat like popcorn

who has a good brussel sprout recipe?

i think brussel sprout time is almost over so i'm going to
be cooking up a lot of them before they are gone.

what are your favorite recipes?

Parsnip, Yam & Watercress Chowder

I'm addicted to making this soup, I've been making it at least once a week and chow on the leftovers all week for lunch cuz it's so filling, a little goes a long way...I used veggie broth instead of chicken and I also puree all of the apple/parsnip part of it (instead of only 2C. as directed, which makes it less chowder-ish) as parsnips are really intense and pureeing them calms them down a bit.I also use baby spinach instead of watercress when I can't find decent watercress. I'll take a pic next time I make it for a visual...

I got this recipe from Bon Appétit Dec. 2007

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled parsnips (about 4 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 3 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled yam (red-skinned sweet potato; about 1 large)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 4 cups watercress sprigs (tops of 2 bunches)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add parsnips and onion. Sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and apple. Cover and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 12 minutes. Puree 2 cups parsnip mixture in blender until very smooth. Return puree to pot. Add yam cubes and nutmeg. Cover and simmer until yam cubes are tender, about 12 minutes. Mix in cream, then watercress. Stir until watercress wilts, about 2 minutes. Thin chowder with more broth, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

homemade cheese

The one sort of odd thing about joining the raw dairy club is I don't actually drink milk at all. I use a little in oatmeal or the infrequent times I eat cereal for the last 10+ years I've used non dairy milk mainly. I do love cheese though, and have begun to be more adventurous with it especially as I travel more through Spain and learn more about the regions and the specific details of the typical cheeses of those regions. And now that I've learned more about the benefits of raw dairy and the negative effects of too much soy, I'm eager to incorporate more into my diet. All the recipes I've read about making cheese have seemed fairly easy so having these wonderful and fresh products gave me the perfect incentive to finally give it a try. I used Mark Bittman's recipe in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian as it's my current go to book for almost anything that I want to get right. The instructions are coherent, the ingredients simple and I've always always had good success with it. Here is his recipe:

Fresh Cheese
  • 1 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  1. In a large sauce pot with a heavy bottom heat over medium high until it starts to boil, stirring consistently so as not to burn the bottom of the pot, about 10 minutes
  2. Line a strainer with three layers of cheesecloth, get string or rubber band ready
  3. add buttermilk to the boiling milk solids should start to form "curds" and "whey". It will look sort of like cooked egg whites suspended in a slightly thick yellowish liquid. Remove from the heat and stir in salt.
  4. Pour mixture though cheesecloth and let curds collect and whey drain off. Run cold water over it so it's easy to handle and squeeze out whey until bundle feels firm.
  5. Tie string or rubber band to close the cheesecloth and fasten to a wooden spoon and suspend over a bowl or pot to let drain for about an hour.

The cheese was so fresh and clean tasting, largely I'm sure do the the high quality of the dairy but also because it's hell of fresh! It's almost like mozzarella in it's cold texture but when I heated it it didn't seem to melt like mozz, that's cool though! Seriously, the best thing about this is how easy it is. It might be sweet for a party to cut it into cubes and marinate it in herbs and olive oil. You're friends will be like: "what??!!"

Monday, February 9, 2009

vegan donuts

I can't believe a search for "vegan donuts" on flikr doesn't bring up my donuts in the first few pages!

I took this recipe from the food networks website and adapted to be vegan and they came out great.

I mean look at the picture! and the picture was taken with my old cellphone and they still look delicious

vegan Old Fashioned Yeast raised donuts

1/2 stick soy margarine

2/3 cup hot soy milk

2/3 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

2 packets active dry yeast

3/4 cup sugar

5 cups sifted flour (approximately)
6 teaspoons enrg egg replecer w/ 4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
canola oil for frying

powdered sugar mixed with soymilk or water.
after that if you like, some kind of frosting, such as chocolate.

Melt margarine in the hot soymilk and cool to lukewarm.
Place water in a warm large mixing bowl, sprinkle in yeast,
and stir until dissolved; add soymilk mixture and sugar.

By hand, beat 2 1/2 cups flour in until smooth; mix in eggreplacer, salt, and spices.
Mix in remaining flour, adding a little extra, if needed, to form a soft but manageable dough.

Knead lightly 1 minute on a floured pastry cloth; shape into a ball, place in a greased large bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down, roll 1/2-inch thick on pastry cloth, using a floured, stockinette-covered rolling pin.

Cut with a floured doughnut cutter and place 1 1/2-inches apart on un-greased baking sheets.
(who has a donut cutter??)

Reroll and cut scraps.
Cover with cloth and let double in bulk.

Meanwhile, begin heating oil in something like a cast iron skillet or a deep fat fryer.

When doughnuts have risen and oil has reached 375 degrees F, ease 4 doughnuts into oil, 1 at a time.

Fry about 2 minutes until golden brown all over, using tongs to turn.

Drain on paper toweling.

dip into a bowl of the glaze and set on a rack to get hard.


oh my god you beat me to it!

although i was asking you to help me with my seitan.

i still say this is a great seitan recipe.

whenever i make it, it comes at fairly spongey. but I've brought it to meat eating parents twice now and both times they loved it. (two different sets of parents, not the same ones twice)

"vegan filet mignon"

  • 6 oz silken tofu (1/2 box of Mori-Nu)

  • 3/4 cup cold water

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (You can substitute Soya Sauce)

  • 1/2 Tbsp steak sauce

  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp powdered sage

  • 1 Tbsp Red Star Nutritional Yeast

  • 2 Tbsp beef style vegan boullion

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornmeal

  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour

  1. Put all ingredients except gluten and cornmeal in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place gluten and cornmeal in a large bowl. Pour contents of blender in and mix together. Knead into a firm ball. You may need to add a little more gluten flour as you knead. Dough should be still soft but not sticky.
  3. Cover bowl and let sit for one hour.
  4. Dust counter with gluten flour, and roll out the dough. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out six “steaks”.
  5. In a large pot, mix the following ingredients: 3 cups cold water, 3 Tbsp beef-style boullion, 1 1/2 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp Soya Sauce, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder.
  6. Place steaks into the cold broth, cover, and bring the contents to a slow simmer.Cook on low for about seventy-five minutes, turning occasionally.
  7. Allow steaks to cool about ten minutes, then place steaks and broth in a sealed container. To reheat later, put the steaks and the broth back in the pot and simmer just long enough to heat through.
  8. Serve with a spoonful of broth on top.

there was a shitload of broth left so i made an awesome gravy with it by making a roux of margarine and flour then just adding the broth and nothing else.

Seitan at Home

7 cups Whole Wheat Bread Flour
7 cups unbleached white flour
7 cups cold water

7 cups water
1/2 cup-1 cup shoyu (If you want to make it less salty, use less shoyu.)
3 1/4 inch slices ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 piece kombu (sea kelp you can get at any Japanese market)

combine flours in large bowl
pour in water gradually, stirring well to form a sticky dough. Add only enough water until dough is a kneadable consistency.
punch dough with fists several HUNDRED times, kneading well to thoroughly and evenly develop the gluten (abt. 15 mins)
cover dough with cold water and keep submerged for 30 minutes

transfer dough to colander and place in sink
under cold running water, carefully knead dough to rinse out starch. water will become milky.
after several minutes of cold water rinsing, alternated between tepid and cold water rinses until water runs clear and dough has a firm rubbery texture. it will lose about 2/3's of its size.

in a 6 qt. pot, combine stock ingredients and bring to a boil.
form pieces of gluten into billiard sized balls, drop into liquid one at a time.

cover and simmer. (given the heat of your stove, it might be best to do plan on a minimum of three hours.)

remove from broth.

After it has cooled, you have seitan! You can refrigerate it in it's broth or freeze it!