Mar 3, 2011

italian big bowl

What do you get when you mix Post Punk Kitchen with American Vegan Kitchen?

One fabulous week of Tami's recipes!

PPK has been hosting Cookbook Kitchen 2 - cooking from cookbooks each week for a total 12 weeks. I have been holding out to join during AVK's turn and here it is.

First up is Italian Big Bowl.

This is the prime place to use the pasta sauce to infuse flavor into the noodles. Just add the noodles to the sauce along with a cup or two of the pasta cooking water and cook the whole thing together for a few minutes. This pasta contains sausage (I used Gimme Lean), fennel seeds, tomato paste, red peppers, olives, capers and I threw in some spinach leaves.

De-licious! Like most of Tami's recipes, this is another one that is fast and simple.

Cost Breakdown

sausage: $3
tomato, garlic, olives, capers, veg. broth:  $2
pasta: $3
spinach, spices: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

FNF - ligurian fish stew

Another round of FOOD NETWORK FRIDAY!

It is again that time - time for Tami to remind me that another month has passed. This time around the American Vegan Kitchen author and her cohorts have chosen Lingurian Fish Stew by Giada de Leurentiis.
A fish stew!
A vegan fish stew?!
Who's smoking what over there?

To omit the 'fish' part would be like making a vegetable tomato stew, so that, as tempting as it was, was not an option for me.

To make vegan fish, there are two approaches: either go for the texture or the flavor of fish. I chose to do both.

On another FNF challenge, I made a seitan fish, but this time I wanted to use tofu. The texture of the fish in this dish I am imagining would be flaky and tender - tofu was the best option. I needed to get the tofu to hold together well enough that I wouldn't wind up with broken bits and pieces of tofu floating in the stew.

I used my Tofu Xpress to press the tofu for about an hour. It is amazing how well that contraption works in as little as an hour. Then I poached the tofu slices in olive oil on low for 15 minutes. I infused some sea flavor into the olive oil by adding some dulse and Old Bay seasoning. The dulse becomes crispy after a few minutes and then I used it to garnish the stew. Nice flavors! In fact, if you are a seaweed phobe, dulse is the place to start. Out of the many seaweeds I have tried, dulse, when used in moderation, has the nicest flavor.

To finish the stew (after following most of Giada's recipe), I drizzled some of the poaching olive oil over the stew since it was already infused with the sea flavor.

Really very good. Mikel, David and I polished off the stew and were pleasantly surprised at the flavor and texture of the tofu. It was not intense or unpleasant and just right.

Cost Breakdown

tofu: $2
dulse, spices: $1
garlic, onion, carrot, wine: $1
tomato: $3
olive oil: $1
bread: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

VEG-Aside: So where have I been? As busy as I have been this year, it seems I have been the busiest complaining. As I recall, I have the same amount of hours per day that Einstein, Newton, King, and Jefferson had; I have no excuse.

I have been quite overwhelmed with homeschooling, pre-teen and teen activities and getting ready for my first vegetarian (shh... really vegan) presentation at our Illinois homeschool conference and a sundry of other minor time-consuming tasks. It seems one thing after another just keeps happening - as I am sure is the case with everyone else.

 I will endeavor to be more consistent here on! I also plan on getting more personal or cover non-food topics in these Veg-Aside sections of posts - ignore if you aren't interested!