Showing posts with label nut milk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nut milk. Show all posts

Dec 28, 2012

creamy barley and split pea soup

Winter has finally arrived, although I am sure lots of people would think that happened back in November. According to the astronomical society, the Solstice marks its passage. And since winter begets soup, as evidence by Kathy Patalsky's article, 25 Classic Soups Gone Vegan, indeed if soup season hasn't arrived for you, yet, it is surely bound to. 

The above easy soup may not be all that quick, given that barley and split peas need about an hour to cook, but the prep and coddling are minimal, therefore this soup lands smack dab in the middle of "easy." In addition to the yellow split peas and pearled barley, it boasts zucchini and cauliflower. 

You could very simply substitute whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. I made this soup creamy by adding almond milk after the cooking was complete. Boiled vegan milk breaks and does not make for a good picture, so be warned, simmer to reheat, but skip the boil.

Cost Breakdown

peas and barley: $1
stock, spices: $3
milk: $1
cauliflower, zucchini, onion, carrot: $5

Total to make 8 hearty servings

Jan 14, 2012

FNF - bayou eggplant and cauliflower pasta

Food Network Friday, hosted by Tami Noyes, author of American Vegan Kitchen, is veganizing Emeril Lagasse's Bayou Chicken Pasta this month. In case you are new here, FNF is open to anyone! All you have to do is veganize the chosen Food TV recipe. Tami posts the  cookalong on her site well in advance and you cook and post. That's all there is to it.

Emeril's recipe is a creamy, spicy pasta dish with chicken and tomatoes. The spice comes in the form of his Essence, which contains cayenne, and habanero peppers. Not only will this clear up all sinuses in the house and make everyone cough like mad while it is being cooked because of the fumes, it also gets a bunch of kids to ask for an alternative dinner option. 

That is not to say they didn't like it, though - in fact, they did quite a bit. But the heat was a little too much for them. Be warned, but don't skip it entirely since the flavor of the habanero is delicious and it tends to mellow a bit after cooking.

A few veganized ingredients in the dish are the chicken and the cream. I replaced the chicken with eggplant and cauliflower and the cream with vegan milk mixed with some arrowroot. The arrowroot thickened the sauce up a bit (as cream would) and added body to the dish. The flavors of the habanero, tomato and green onions, along with his Essence, were delicious. This was a quick and easy way to make a nice creamy sauce. As for the veggies, you could substitute something else, zucchini, squash, green beans, or use only cauliflower or only eggplant. 

This was a deliciously spicy and pleasant meal to have - nothing too difficult about it. Just watch the spice and have water and bread handy.

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $3
eggplant, cauliflower: $5
habanero, garlic, onion, olive oil: $1.50
almond milk, arrowroot, green onion: $3
Total to make 6 servings:

Jul 15, 2011

FNF - deconstructed eggplant-sausage pasta in tomato-basil cream sauce

Food Network Friday

Tami Noyes, author of American Vegan Kitchen, is again hosting her Food Network Friday. We have recently acquired this fabulous logo for FNF, designed by Kip, and would love you all to join us in recreating Food TV recipes - but veganized! This time around Kip joins Tami as well as the fantastic Liz from across the ocean. Tami hopes that with our newfangled logo more of you will participate in an FNF!

My version is a Deconstructed Eggplant-Sausage Pasta in Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce. Emeril created an eggplant-sausage-ricotta filling stuffed into shells and covered with Tomato Cream Sauce and cheese. I've been busy with recipe testing, hectic with life, getting ready to move, preparing to take the kids on vacation to visit their friends in Maryland, hosting a Harry Potter sleepover, and preparing for a Teen Night; in other words, stuffing pasta was not high on my list. As late as I am with this dish, I didn't want to miss it, so I decided to take the easy way out and deconstruct it.

I started with multitasking: I put three pots on the stove (1) pot of water for the pasta (2) pot for the sauce and (3) pan for the filling. I sauteed the eggplant, onions, and plain seitan in the pan with lots of Italian spices - fennel, basil, oregano - and in the other pan made my tomato-cream sauce. I used regular almond milk (2 c) and a can of diced tomatoes with lots of garlic for the sauce. I reduced the sauce while the eggplant was cooking. When the eggplant was done I set it aside and poured the pasta sauce in that same pan, adding some Daiya. I then tossed the cooked pasta into the simmering sauce. Having more surface area to cook helped reduce the sauce more and tossing the pasta with the sauce helped to thicken it in a jiffy. I served the pasta with the filling on top.

Very delicious. And much easier. I used pappardelle pasta because I needed something thicker and hardier to substitute for the shells. 

Thanks, Kip, for a great recipe to try!

Jan 26, 2011

lemon cashew-stuffed crepes


Today's brunch item, Lemon Cashew-Stuffed Crepes with Berry Sauce, is out of Vegan Brunch by  Isa Moskowitz. Pretty much, anyway. I had made Isa's crepe recipe before and because mine is simpler and taste-wise, similar - nothing special in either of them - I used mine (updated).

Isa's filling is a lovely concoction of lemon and cashew and is even raw (if you replace the cashews with almonds - cashews are processed using heat). Creamy, easy and wonderful. The cashew filling is topped with a Berry Sauce. Again, she uses a few too many ingredients for me, so I used my own berry sauce which is nothing more than berries and a little sugar.

Brunch was an absolute hit and was ready in no time. In fact, I kept flitting back and forth from the computer to the crepe-pan (my cast iron Goliath) because each crepe takes a minute to cook on each side. One can get a good handle on the amount of time it takes to cook crepes, just don't get overzealous if you are new at it!

Cost Breakdown

crepes: $1
cashews: $4.50
maple, nondairy milk, lemon: $1.50
berries: $4
Total to make 4 servings:

Berry Sauce Recipe

Jan 3, 2011

crepes with shiitaki and cabbage

Crepes make great desserts, but they also make wonderful savory dishes.

Finding a vegan crepe recipe seems to have garnered quite a bit of headache as I've read many recipes where the authors try valiantly to create a vegan crepe.
 Honestly I don't understand all the fuss.

As a Hungarian, crepes were a dessert staple at our home, made with the eggs that most crepes call for. However, having been around a few crepes in my lifetime, the crepes I made for this meal were just as thin, as light, as tender as any made with eggs - and much simpler. You really only need flour and water. I used whole wheat pastry flour for these.

When making your crepe just keep your pan medium-hot but not burning hot and tilt the pan as you pour in the batter to get the thinnest possible crepe. I used a well-seasoned cast iron pan and had no difficulty. I brushed on a very thin layer of oil to keep them from sticking and when the edges were dry and curled up, flipped it.

I stuffed these with sauteed shiitaki and Brussels sprouts and baked them with a bechamel sauce.

I then finished them by topping them with sauteed red cabbage.

The CSA box got quite a workout and the crepes were delectable.

Cost Breakdown

flour: $1
vegan milk: $1
Brussels sprouts, garlic, onion: $3
cabbage: $2
shiitaki: $4
Total to make 10 crepes:

Dec 25, 2010

indian rasam and cauliflower with creamy sauce

Indian Night

Rasam is a light Indian soup made with dal, tamarind and diced tomatoes. The dal (split legumes) is cooked  in lots of water and is seasoned with the sour tamarind and spices. When the dal is cooked well, it is whipped so it falls apart and sinks to the bottom of the pot. Tradition holds that you serve the clear, spicy, flavorful broth to guests and the 'dregs' are eaten by the family.

In our family everyone had some of both by stirring up the soup before serving.

The Cauliflower in Creamy Sauce is adapted from a recipe in Flavors of India, a nice little vegetarian Indian cookbook. This was divine. And oh so quick! While the cauliflower is steaming the sauce is made and then poured over the tender cauliflower. That's it. We all loved this version of a sauced cauliflower and it goes on our 'Make Again' list.

I also made the Saffron Rice right out of the same cookbook. I should have followed by instincts to use the amount of water to make the rice as I usually do, but instead I followed my rule of making something from a recipe as the author wrote it. Hence, I got overcooked rice. What a shame. The taste was great and the kids liked it, but you know mushy rice when you eat it.

The simplest way to cook white rice is to combine it with the water (1 c rice to 1 1/2 c water), bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 5-10 (Max!) minutes, turn it off and let it hang out on the back of the stove for another 15 minutes, covered. Fluff it with a fork and serve.

Cost Breakdown:

dal: $.50
spices, tomato, tamarind: $1.50
rice, saffron: $1
plant milk, cashews: $2
cauliflower: $4
Total to make 5 servings:

Dec 22, 2010

cat's birthday

Three requests from Cat for her birthday meal:

Oreo Shake
Vanilla cake with six inches of frosting

The shake because she wanted to have Chicago Diner food, but not drive there. She wanted to spend the entire day in front of the computer talking and playing (online) with her friends. I could so sympathize; I'm a homebody myself.

This plant-milkshake is made with 3 oreos, 1/4 c of plant milk and 1/2 pint of vegan vanilla ice cream, per serving. This was quite a phenomenon and the kids were clamoring for more. Naturally I made them wait for the sugar rush from the cake. 

For her Birthday meal Cat asked for Lasagna. It seems whenever she gets to pick a meal - and we actually have to grant her wish - she requests Lasagna. This and Benedict (David's love) are the two dishes I've blogged about over and over again.

As I've blogged before, go ahead and add your dry pasta to the pan - no need to cook it even if it is not a no-boil noodle. I keep testing this again and again and it is a fact. Just add 6 T of water to the bottom of the pan with some of the tomato sauce, make sure to cover it very tightly and cook on 350 for at least an hour. That should do it and I hope I am not leading anyone astray.

Finally, her cake. A simple vanilla cake (from the Tiramisu recipe) and tons of maple frosting. 1 stick of vegan butter, 4 c of powdered sugar, a few tablespoons of plant milk and 1 t of coffee extract (if you can't find that use 1 T powdered instant espresso and add it to the warmed plant milk to dissolve). She loved it! I made a double batch of the frosting for her and spread it all on the cake. Even the rest of us passed our portion of the frosting to her and she was in frosting heaven.

Happy Birthday, Catriona!

Nov 3, 2010

soup nazi (MoFo 3)

Hopefully everyone has seen the Seinfeld episode with The Soup Nazi (or was that more than one?) otherwise my play on this restaurant is useless. You remember, the soup guy who won't give you the soup unless you follow proper protocal for ordering? Well, the soup guy actually exists, but not as Soup Nazi - but, as the Soup Man - and he is still selling his soups in Manhattan, and takes great offense at any refernce to being called you-know-who.

I couldn't really tell you if any of his soups are vegan or even vegetarian, but it seems to me that unless you live close by or have the mula to ship it, you and I are out of luck anyway.

Not only that, but I am darn certain he does not make Mexican Chicken Chili or Crab Bisque vegan. Luckily, making the Chili vegan is doable, but the crab thing is a little more challenging. I am, however, willing to wager that his is not any better than my version: Golden Beet Bisque

Both soups require 4 hours of cooking. Let me say that again: 4 hours of simmering. Yeah, I know. BUT, so worth it! Just make one and let it hang out on the back of the stove on a lazy Sunday afternoon and by dinner you will be thanking me.

I used Tender Seitan in my Chili, but you can use tofu that you have wrapped or pressed and marinated in some nutritional yeast and sage and salt. Or use another can of beans.

The Bisque has some Earth Balance and a cup of cashew milk and is blended. This was so good! It tasted like beets but not overwhelmingly so - I didn't think I was digging in the garden after having a bowl - but, it certainly was rich.

To accompany the soups, I baked a lovely loaf of whole wheat bread. It is 100% whole wheat and tastes great, not to mention not costing $5.

And don't forget about the cookbook contest staring tomorrow. And if I forget, remind me!

Cost Breakdown:

beets: $3
onion, celery, garlic, tomato, spices: $3 
cashew: $1
Earth Balance: $.25
Total to make 5 serivngs:

seitan: $1
carrot, onion, celery, pepper, tomato: $2   
spices, herb: $1
beans, corn: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

flour: $1
maple syrup: $.50
olive oil: $.25
salt, yeast: $.25
Total to make one large loaf:

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 28, 2010

chicken fried seitan

Happy Birthday, David! 

His Birthday has finally come! He certainly has been taking advantage of this week - but, that's okay. 

For his birthday meal, he requested Country Fried Steak...or is that Chicken Fried?

Well, no real difference between the two, except that Country Fried can be served with brown gravy (with onions) and can be simmered in the gravy before serving. Which means I made Chicken Fried Seitan.

Yes, this is a repeat , but I have made a few variations and they should be noted! This is, after all, a learning process.

First off, the seitan is just vital wheat gluten, nothing extra added. Mix 1 c gluten with 7/8 c water (1 cup of water with 2 T of water removed). Cook it in any seitan simmering liquid.

Then cut the seitan thin - about 1/4 inch thin. This makes the final product even crunchier without drying it out. We aren't going for shoe pleather.

Third,  the coating liquid could be cashew cream, making this dish soy free. In the original recipe I used yogurt to replace the buttermilk, which still works, but try to make sure it is the thickness of buttermilk by thinning it out with a nondairy milk.

Fourth, I double-dipped it this time. I didn't last time because I think I made my yogurt too thick and double -dipping it in the flour created too much of a coat. Having the dipping liquid be thinner allowed two coats of flour and a crunchier crust.

This turned out even better than the last time and again, no surprise, another fried meal came out on top.

Happy Birthday, my love!

Cost Breakdown:
seitan: $3
flour, oil, cashews: $4
potatoes: $4
almond milk: $2
Total to feed 6 people well:

Oct 21, 2010

swedish vegan meatballs

Swedish Meatballs!

Swedish meatballs are supposed to be light and fluffy on the inside. Since I am not using meat, I made a  version of Bryanna's Neatballs. These are made with TVP and gluten. I am positive that they can be made with bulgur instead of TVP to make it soy-free. These are first baked, then cooled and then simmered in the gravy or tomato sauce. These little guys stay together really well and are light and fluffy - just as intended.

The gravy is a cashew cream based gravy with a dark rich stock to replace the veal stock in the original recipes. 

My husband commented that he had not realized how much he had missed Swedish Meatballs until I made these. He also said that they kicked-butt.

Serve these with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce in lieu of the authentic, but hard to locate, lingonberry jam. 

Cost Breakdown:
TVP, gluten: $4
cashew: $1
onion, garlic, veg stock: $3
bread: $1
potatoes: $5
cranberry: $.50
Total to feed a family of 6:

Oct 17, 2010

malai kofta

Indian Night

An awesome Indian dish is Malai Kofta. Kofta means "balls" (as in meatballs) and Malai means "cream." Neither of these would lend themselves to veganism and I haven't found a vegan version anywhere.

The kofta can be made with meat or vegetables or beans or cheese. The kofta in Malai Kofta uses paneer, a homemade cheese.

So, let's veganize it!

The sauce is a tomato based gravy with a little cream and some spices, but nothing all that complicated.  In  order to achieve the creaminess that cream brings to the Malai party, I used cashew cream and cashew butter and a few Tablespoons of Earth Balance to up the richness of the sauce.

I made the koftas using chickpeas and fresh herbs. I pan fried them a little and then finished them in the oven.

Although this meal was very successful in terms of flavor, it does not have quite the flavor that cream lends to the original. While there are some dishes that I truly try to achieve authenticity with, this particular one tasted so good that I am not bummed by not hitting the target exactly. It most certainly resembles Malai Kofta, but since I am not using dairy cream, the taste is slightly different. So, if you are not expecting exact replication, this is a total knockout.

For the greens I made the Spinach and Kale Bhaji out of Flavors of India.

Cost Breakdown
cashew: $2
tomato: $3
spices: $1
chickpeas: $2 
herbs: $2
kale, spinach: $4
garlic, onion: $1
Total to feed a family of 6:

Oct 12, 2010

sausage biscuits

So what happens when your daughter starts experimenting with Tofurkey and a biscuit? Fabulosity, that's what. Cat chopped up a package of Tofurkey Italian sausages, pan-fried them and added them to our homemade-ridiculously-easy biscuit mix.

She topped it with a nutritional yeast gravy and served it up.

Although the biscuit is not quite as flaky as one without the Tofurkey, it was really good. Kind of like a 'sausage and biscuits with gravy' except the sausage is in the biscuit and not the gravy.

Nice, Cat!

Cost Breakdown:
Tofurkey: $4
flour, Earth Balance, baking powder: $1
almond milk, nutritional yeast: $2
green slad: $3
Total to feed a family of 5:

Sep 19, 2010

flannel cakes


Flannel Cakes. Hmm. Are they a pancake or a crepe or what? Has more than nine-tenth of the population never heard of these? I haven't. Until I came across a recipe for it and then I went in search. It was difficult for me to find information about this elusive cake; most people just liken them to pancakes, but in fact, as far as I know those facts, Flannel Cakes are lighter, fluffier and thinner than than traditional pancakes. They are supposed to be less dense than their counter-part and therefore less filling.

Now to find a recipe...most call for at least 4 eggs. Now normally I wouldn't even bat an eyelash - just skip 'em! No need for eggs in pancakes. But this made me think. If the cake is to be lighter, sort of halfway between a pancake and a crepe, than I couldn't just ignore the them. I had to replace them with something more than flour.

There is a recipe for Flannel Cakes in Flavors of the Southwest by Robert Oser, but it seemed too dense. BUT, he did use whole wheat bread soaked in milk as an ingredient. It was obvious to me that this would work, at least partly, so I used it for part of the recipe. The rest is flax seed meal and whole wheat flour.

The kids really loved it! It is important to cook these on low heat so they develop a nice crunch and cook all the way through without burning on the outside.

I served them with apples and maple syrup, to stay in the Auterr season.

Cost Breakdown:
whole wheat flour: $1
bread: $.50
almond milk: $1
flax: $.50
maple syrup: $.75
apples: $1
Total to feed 3 hungry kids:

Sep 17, 2010

banana bread

Catriona made banana bread today! NO EGGS REQUIRED, people. Bananas are naturally binding, so eggs are superfluous, no matter how you spin it.

These were delicious, not too sweet and not too banana-y. Man, we have a lot of different taste buds to satisfy in this house! 

These were spot on and now Cat knows how to make a darn fine banana bread. Kate wants to add chocolate chips to them when she makes them and I think Mikel wants to make them into muffins. They both sound great and I am looking forward to what these kids will come up.

Cost Breakdown:
banana: $.75
whole wheat flour: $.50
maple syrup, sugar: $.50
baking powder, almond milk: $1
Total for 8 servings: