Saturday, May 30, 2009

vegan chocolate orange pudding

One of the best, fastest vegan desserts to make.

Buy a package of silken tofu (Mori-Nu is a common brand in the US) either soft or firm and remove from package. Break up and place in food processor. Add 1/4 C cocoa powder and 1/4-1/2 C sugar/sweetener (honey, agave.....) depending on how sweet you like your pudding. Add 1 tsp orange extract, 2 tbsp orange juice or concentrate, or 1 tbsp finely minced orange rind (or any combination of the above). Pulse until smooth, and push unblended sections down off the walls of the food processor and pulse again. Remove from processor bowl and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cauliflower curry with cashews and raisins (and tomatoes and zucchini)

This is a great fast curry for cold days. Use the basic curry powder I've mentioned previously, or just experiment with a good mix of indian spices (ideally pepper, cumin, coriander and tumeric to start, add more spices as you gain confidence).

Roughly chop a head of cauliflower and cube a pound of tofu. Place both in a large saucepan and turn heat to high. Saute/simmer for 10 or so minutes, then chop 3 tomatoes and add to pan. Sprinkle with curry powder and chop two zucchini and add to pan. Add 1/2 C cashews, 1/2 C raisins, 1/2 C chopped cilantro and cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes while cooking 1 1/2 C long grain white rice (1 1/2 C white rice, 3 C water, cover, boil and bring to a simmer for 20 mins).

Once rice and curry are done, serve together with yogurt and fresh cilantro to garnish.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Epic Omelette

This is one of my favorite omelettes to make - mushroom, feta and spinach. If you have some kalamata olives those are great too, and tzatziki is a great garnish.

Serves 2:

Beat 4 eggs until fully blended, add some freshly ground black pepper and a little fresh or dried tarragon. Get out a bag of frozen spinach so it can thaw a bit.

Slice the mushrooms - portobellos or creminis are really good here, but white mushrooms are good too. Saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until cooked and put into a bowl.

Pour the eggs into the pan (same one you used for mushrooms) and keep the pan temperature to medium - you don't want to burn the eggs! Sprinkle a little spinach around one half of the pan, on top of the eggs, and them add the mushrooms and a little feta on top (also the olives if you have them, sliced in halves or quarters).

Once the egg all apears cooked (firm, not dry, but not runny) use your spatula to gently release the edge of the egg around the edge of the pan. Get your spatula under the half of the eggs without all the cheese and goodies and gently fold the plain half onto the filling. You want to cook the underside of the omelette to make sure the eggs are completely done and the fillings are all mixed together. Grab a large circular plat and gently plunk it on top of the omelette hemisphere. Place one hand on the pan handle and the other supporting the plate, and flip the omelette onto the plate. Slide it back into the pan, (upside down, now) and allow the omelette to cook for another 5ish minutes, until the eggs are lightly browned on both sides.

Serve with toast and tzatziki or sour cream to garnish.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

lemon poppyseed cake!

This cake is great with a glaze or without and can also be made into muffins.

Heat the oven to 325 F.

In a bowl, mix 2 C all purpose flour with 2 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp salt.

In a separate bowl, soften or melt 1 C butter (unsalted) and cream together with 2 C granulated white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. Add zest of one lemon and a little lemon extract. Add a couple tablespoons poppy seeds. Slowly mix in 1 C sour cream, alternating with the flour mixture. Pour batter into a greased bundt pan or muffin tins. Bake 1 hr for a cake, and for the muffins, when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon glaze:

Blend 2-3C confectioners sugar with 1 tbsp soft butter and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Pour over cooled cake.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


So we made tzatziki, now we'll make falafel.

Soak a cup of dried chickpeas for 20-24 hours in water. Chickpeas expand a lot, so cover them with 3-4 inches of water.

Pulse the drained chickpeas in a food processor with 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp cayenne or chili powder, 1/2 C chopped cilantro, 1/2 C chopped parsley, 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp baking soda, dash sea salt and 1 small onion, quartered. Make sure the falafel batter is somewhat dry, but still sticks together. If it's too dry, add a few drops of lemon juice. Once the batter is smooth and uniform in texture (it will be somewhat gritty) heat up a deep saucepan with about half an inch or so of vegetable oil in it. once the oil is just barely bubbling, and a drop of batter fries quickly, you're ready to go.

Make the falafel batter into tablespoon sized balls and drop into the oil, no crowding! While the first batch is in the pan, set a timer for 5 mins, grab a slotted spoon and some paper bags or paper towls for draining the falafel. After about 2-3 minutes, turn the falafels over using the slotted spoon. The undersides should be brown. After another 2-3 minutes, remove and drain.
Continue until all the falafels are done.

Serve with lettuce and tomato (and kalamata olives if you have them) in pita bread with tzatziki sauce.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tzatziki sauce!

This is basically strained yogurt, flavored with dill, salt, garlic and cucumbers. It's good on gyros and great with falafel (hopefully I'll post a falafel recipe tonight!)

Using the yogurt recipe, make half a gallon of yogurt and let it set for ~7 hours. Line a colander with fine cheesecloth (use multiple layers) and place some sort of drainage pan to catch the whey under the colander. Pour the set yogurt into the colander and allow to drain overnight.

Once the whey has drained (about a quart will drain from a half gallon of yogurt) finely chop some dill and a few garlic cloves (I'd use a lot, maybe 4-5, but I love garlic a lot, do this to taste). Set the dill and garlic in a bowl together with a sprinkle of sea salt (maybe 1 tsp). Peel and chop a cucumber (remove the seeds) and mix with a little salt to dry it out. Pour off the cucumber liquid.

Put the yogurt into a food processor, pulse once and add the other ingredients. Pulse until smooth and uniform. This will keep a week or two in the fridge (I use an old clean yogurt container to store it).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5/6/09 Sorry it's been a while, and A Tangy Salad!

Sorry for the long break! Totally unintentional. Anyway, here is an awesome salad I made last night.

Cut a pound of firm tofu into squares/triangles and sear in a pan on high heat in a little vegetable and sesame oil until browned and crisp on the outside. Turn the heat down to medium and add about a tablespoon of say sauce to the pan and toss until the tofu has an even coating. Turn the heat off completely and dust with nutritional yeast (NOT brewers yeast). Set aside.

Thinly slice a golden delicious apple and wash, then roughly chop some lettuce or mesclun mix (red leaf is really good here). Crush some roasted and salted peanuts or cashews.

Construct the salad by tossing the greens with some Annie's Goddess dressing (it's very easy to make this dressing as well, it's tahini and citrus mostly, with some herbs thrown in) placing the apples on the lettuce and topping with the warm tofu. Garnish with the crushed nuts. I really like this salad as it has a lot of different flavors and a good balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates.