Showing posts with label how-to breakdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how-to breakdown. Show all posts

Dec 22, 2010

making seitan using a mixer

I had someone comment who had problems making the seitan using the mixer because the mixer breaks the seitan into several balls. When cooked, the seitan still looks as though it was formed from several different sections instead of being one big mass.

This works even for the Holiday Roast.

Hope this helps!

Nov 1, 2010

herbivore (MoFo 1)

Gnocchi with Creamy Marinara Sauce

Herbivore was one of our favorite places to eat at in San Francisco. Of course, being in San Fran after living in Virginia was like the difference between the Amazon and the Sahara. There wasn't just Herbivore to indulge our palate, but many other delicious culinary excitements.

Herbivore is casual dining, like a vegan Applebee's or Chili's. They serve pastas, sandwiches, soups, things along those lines. They actually have three locations now, so does that make them a 'chain?'

Cat's favorite thing there was the Gnocchi in Creamy Marinara Sauce. Since I've already made a creamy tomato sauce, all that needed doing was the gnocchi. It has been a looong time since I've made gnocchi and it wasn't much fun, as I recall. Luckily, I caught Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food TV back a few months ago and all of a sudden I felt like a gnocchi pro. A few important 'secrets' Ms. Anne tells her viewers is that the potato must be hot when put through the food mill, but cold before adding the flour. Another one is that just because your gnocchi floats does not mean they are ready! They must boil for a few minutes until they puff up and are light as air. Good as her word, my gnocchi was a success.

I chose the Ceviche to recreate because it was David's and my favorite appetizer...salad...whatever. They use oyster mushrooms, but not having any at my Whole Foods, I just used button mushrooms. They also include tofu in this, so I wrapped my extra-firm tofu to draw out the moisture and then marinated the vegetables, tofu and fungus in a lime-garlic-olive oil dressing. Really good! Doesn't matter if you use oyster, button or no mushroom at all.

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern street-food - a wrap of meat, hummus, pickles, hot sauce and/or onions. Herbivore's version uses either soy (I used Soy Curls) or seitan (so can be soy free), has potatoes, avocado, tomato, pickles, onions, hummus and hot sauce, all wrapped in a flat bread - pita, tortilla, lavash, etc. This was an instant family favorite the first time we had it.

All in all, I was quite successful in making these dishes; even the kids said it was better than the real-deal (although I'm pretty sure that is because it has been years since we've been in California) - quite a compliment from a bunch of young people who criticize everything!
I have made a How-To Breakdown and wrote recipes for all of the dishes.

Cost Breakdown:

1/2 recipe of creamy tomato sauce: $3
potato, flour: $4
Total for 4 servings:

cuke, tom, onion, pepper: $2
cilantro, lime, olive oil, garlic: $1
mushroom: $2
tofu: $2
bread: $1
Total for 8 servings:

lavash: $3
1/2 bag of soy curls: $3
potato: $2
avo, tomato, pickles: $3
garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon, tahini: $1.50
spices: $1
Total for 4 servings:



Oct 24, 2010


It is David's birthday week and he had run of the menu for this weekend and next week.

Almost always requested is Benedict, but since I've made it twice for this blog already, I wanted to make it differently. Instead of regular "Canadian Bacon" and Hollandaise Sauce, I decided to make it with Vegan Chorizo and Chipotle Hollandaise.

Although one would expect it to be ubber spicy, it had just enough spice to make it delicious and different.

Another difference with this Benedict post is that I made a How-To Breakdown for Benedict. If you choose to make it as a regular Benedict, I included appropriate instructions.

Cost Breakdown:
tofu: $2
nutrtional yeast, spices: $1
English Muffin: $3
Chorizo: $3
veganaise, lemon, Dijon, turmeric: $2
Total to make 12 Benedicts:

Oct 9, 2010


It is interesting how this blog has taken over my menu for the past few months. I found myself not repeating recipes because I wanted to keep things fresh and new. 

The family was getting annoyed with me. So I have acquiesced and will be repeating dishes they enjoy. In a way, I guess it is beneficial to my readers as well since I do make dishes again and again, showing how much we enjoy them. A glance second time around might give someone that extra nudge to make it anyway or to finally get around to making it. 

With that in mind, I made BLT's - a true family favorite and very easy to make, especially if you've made it a few times before and know the method. To make things easier, I also made a How-To Breakdown for the 'Bacon.'

If there is anyone out there who can come with a name for this, I would be grateful. David has been calling it ToBacon for as long as I can remember, but it sounds too much like Toe-Bacon for my taste :)

Cost Breakdown:
tofu: $2
nutritional yeast: $.50
liquid smoke, tamari: $.50
bread: $3
tomato, lettuce: $2
veganaise: $.50
Total to feed a family of 5:


Oct 3, 2010


Food Network Friday Challenge

Tami Noyes, author of American Vegan Kitchen, over at Vegan Appetite blog, challenged us to recreate Anne Burrell's Braciole. Braciole is an American-Italian dish of rolled beef that is stuffed and braised in tomato sauce.

I have seen many variations on this and each time that I do I think - this would be great vegan. Well, here was my chance to make it.

So the obvious question is - where's the beef? Or more to the point, what will replace the beef? While at first I thought a thin slice of seitan would be great, seitan does not bend or roll very easily. The solution of course, is to roll not seitan but gluten (which is raw seitan). I made a gluten using my Firm Seitan recipe. This worked beautifully and the dish turned out super delicious.

The stuffing was rustic bread soaked in rice milk, spinach, pine nuts, onion, garlic and three cheezes - Daiya, Follow Your Heart and Parma! .

The tomato sauce is a simple sauce of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine. During the braising the sauce cooks down to a lovely, rich sauce. My cooking time was 2 hours on 325 degrees, but I think 300 would have been better since there was a slight seitan-y flavor. It was very slight and the tomato sauce covered it well, but a lower temp might help keep the aftertaste even less.

Everyone liked this! I also made a How-To Breakdown of the recipe, so take a gander. 

Cost Breakdown
seitan: $3
spinach, bread, pine nuts: $3
onion, garlic: $2
Daiya, Parma!, Follow Your Heart: $5
kale, orzo: $4
tomatoes: $3.50
Total to feed a family of 6:

Oct 2, 2010

west indian

Indian Night

Back when we lived in Austin, a most favorite place to eat at was a little hole in the wall, a 'fast food' Indian place, called Swad. If you live in Austin and you haven't been, you must go! The prices are reasonable (just review your receipt as some mistakes are made) and food is outstanding.

One dish we would always get was the Ragda Patties, which is a Gujarati Indian dish. The dish consists of potato patties with a mint-cilantro middles served with a thick legume gravy. So tonight's meal was based on the Gujarati cuisine.

Gujarati is a western Indian fare, predominantly vegetarian and mostly overlooked; North and South India tend to be in the spotlight, while the west goes on about its merry way. What a treat to miss!

The ragda patties I made were delicious - it literally took me back to Swad. David thought so, too, and Kate loved it (although she was one when we lived there, so she couldn't recall the flavors), but neither of the other two liked Indian food back then and were themselves too young to remember even if they had.

The other dish I made was a green bean dish with Muthias. Muthias are little dough patties made of chickpea and wheat flour that are simmered in the green bean sauce.

I am completing the how-to on this meal since my pictures didn't turn out blurry. Yay! Indian food is made so fast that there is little time to focus properly unless you have a plan. I had a plan this time and will be posting the recipes and the pictures.

Cost Breakdown:
green beans:$2
flours: $1
chillies, ginger, curry leaves, mint, cilantro; $4
spices, seeds, sugar, lemon, tamarind: $2
peas: $1
potatoes: $3

Sep 20, 2010


Dolmas are stuffed grape leaves. It seems humans have stuffed anything they have been able to lay their hands on, from peppers to leaves to unfortunate animal parts. On this blog, we stuff the plant kingdom only and today the grape leaf was up for graps.

I stuffed the leaves with rice, parsley, pine nuts and seasonings. Wow! This was nothing like I had ever had in a restaurant or from a store. And interestingly, it was not difficult or that time-consuming to make.

Interestred? Here is the How To Breakdown...

I have been wanting to make Videos, but the time and effort they take is a little more than I have to spend right now. Maybe in the future. As for now, I am preparing a
Picture-Blog of dishes which I think are confusing or complicated to make. Let me know how these are working. Please. You won't totally hurt my feelings.

Cost Breakdown:
leaves: $4
rice: $1
lemon, olive oil: $1
pine nuts: $1
parsley, scallions: $2
Total to make 40 dolmas:

Learn to make Dolmas on my new blog!