December 21, 2010

Teriyaki Seitan

This past weekend was the DISKovery Holiday Potluck.  It was nice to socialize with all of the awesome people who help keep our computer lab running and who make use of the classes and public computer access.  I finally was able to get my grandma's recipe for teriyaki marinade, so I felt it was time to make some serious teriyaki seitan.

Teriyaki Seitan

2 lbs seitan (or however much you want.  I used homemade, but any fake beefy seitan would work well)
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup good strong soy sauce
2 T sake, sherry, or vodka (I used vodka)
1/2 t salt
2 t grated fresh/frozen ginger
1 clove minced garlic
green onion

Mix up the marinade and let the seitan soak up the tastiness for at least 3 hours, but the longer, the better. I fried up the slices of seitan along with some onion, carrot, and edamame.

I think many of the potluck attendees did not know this was fake meat when they tried it, but they really enjoyed it and all of the seitan was gone by the end of the party!  I love sharing tasty food with people, and I'm so glad that this turned out well.  My grandma is awesome, what can I say?

The sauce/marinade is very gingery and garlicky, and the sugar carmelizes when you cook the seitan.  Om nom nom.

I also made a couple of batches of gifflar filled with apples and apple butter.  Ahh I'm almost getting tired of baking and cooking.  After the holidays, maybe it'll be time to take a break and just eat french fries.

December 18, 2010

Chocolate Attacks; Maims 20

It has been a weird week.  The boy was on a business (er, science) trip and I was left to fend for myself.  After a ton of adoptions at the holiday event, the shelter has been shuffling kittehs around, and my favorite community room got a couple new cats.  Every time I go volunteer there, I wish wish wish I was making enough money to be able to foster.  SOON.  Someday.

Anyway, the food.  I made black and white shortbread.  Half chocolate, half normal ol' shortbread, it is the lazy lady's version of those pretty checkerboard shortbreads you sometimes see.  

It began with Earth Balance buttery sticks.  I'm not sure why, but buttery sticks never seem to work as well for me as the Earth Balance tubs.  I combined the buttery stuff with some vegetable shortening, but even then the shortbread wasn't as "short" and non-spreading as I would have liked.  I've never had a problem with the tub form of Earth Balance though. 

Shortenin' shortenin'

Tons of powdered sugar.

Slicing the chilled dough.

I packaged a bunch of these to send to relatives and some as a thank you to my boss for a letter of recommendation.  

Then, there were bananas.  I bought some "red band" bananas from the grocery - a huge bunch for 50 cents just because they were a little spotty.  I had planned on making the same old banana muffins I usually make, but the boy had the excellent idea of making them chocolate.  And not just chocolate chip, but goddamned chocolatey.  The result was definitely not a healthy breakfast item, but it was fluffy and delicious.

I packed him a few to take on his trip to the East Coast, from which he'll be arriving in just a few hours.  It's so boring to cook just for myself, and I've resorted to eating mostly oatmeal and leftovers while I bake Christmas gifts and potluck dishes.

The muffin platform is a diverse and forgiving medium; to construct this one, I added 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to my regular banana muffin recipe and a cup or so of chocolate chips.  These muffins (to be honest, they were more like cupcakes) were very moist even though they were low in oil and fat.  Bananas.  They're professionals at keeping baked goods moist and fluffeh.

December 08, 2010

Quick soft dinner rolls

I've been looking for a go-to roll recipe, so I veganized a recipe I found on the interwebs.

Quick Pepper Dinner Rolls

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 1/2 t instant yeast
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 T nutritional yeast
1/2 c soy milk
1/4 c water
2 T Earth Balance margarine

Heat the soy milk, water, and margarine in the microwave or on the stove until the margarine melts.  Cool until it's about bath water temperature (you don't want to kill the yeast!).  Combine 3/4 c of the flour, sugar, instant yeast, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.  Add the liquid mixture and stir until well combined.  Gradually add the remaining flour to form a not-too-sticky dough.  Knead for 5 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes.  Divide the dough into 12-16 chunks and arrange on a baking pan or a greased pie dish.  Let rise for 30 minutes.  Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

December 04, 2010

Red Lentil Stew

I've mentioned before that the boy dislikes lentils, but with this dish and the fresh flat bread, we might be approaching something close to a lentil dish that he actually enjoys (?!).  This is good because lentils are fabulous in both flavor and nutrition.  A 1/4 cup of dried lentils contains only 70 calories (and they just about double in size when cooked) and has 7 g of protein, plenty of fiber, and 15% of your daily iron requirements.   Also, they're 50% of your daily delicious requirement.

Red Lentil Stew

Serves 2 ...or 1 if you aren't eating gobs of rich bread and hummus on the side

1/2 c dried red lentils
2 c water
1/4 t ground coriander
1/4 t cinnamon
2 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t paprika
dash of black pepper
1/2 t salt
1 c fresh spinach
1 large carrot, sliced into medallions

Clean the red lentils, making sure there aren't any pebbles/debris, then add to the water.  Bring to a boil, then add the carrot slices.  Turn down to simmer and let cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils fall apart when you gently stir.  Add the seasonings, then add the cleaned spinach to the stew and cook until the spinach wilts.

Serve with pita or some other flat bread.  I think this would be good with eggplant, too.

There you have it.  Healthy comfort food in a bowl.

December 03, 2010

Spoils from the Persian market

Barbari bread, Tribe spicy red pepper and tomato and veggie hummus, chickpea flour, red lentils, and sweetmeal biscuits!  Not pictured: Fuji apples and green onion.

A coworker suggested I look into Wholesome Choice, a Persian market in Irvine.  I'm so glad I checked it out, because look at these nommables!

First off, the barbari bread.  I was looking at the ingredients on the package when the baker asked me if I wanted a fresh one...hells yes!

Although the ingredients list checked out, I noticed it had unlisted sesame seeds, so I double checked that there wasn't any egg/milk in it.  Mm, nope, it's just a simple and wonderful bread.

Opened up, it's golden and perfect:

Yummmmm.  Armed with flat bread, I needed to get some hummus.  Fortunately, they were having a sale and these were pretty cheap at 2 for $3 and in a flavor I hadn't seen before... veggie tomato?

I also finallllllly got some chickpea flour.  And despite knowing that I'll probably be the only one eating them, I got some red lentils (who doesn't like lentils?!  The boy, apparently).

They were also having a sale on these biscuits.  I love Indian biscuits so I figured these would also be good.  We'll see about that tomorrow.

The next post ...the red lentil stew / curry I made!  I'm so happy, it's been a long time since I had lentils.  They are still one of my favorite legumes!

November 30, 2010

Vegan MoFo: What the snot is this

It's not a pacman.

It's buffalo mostarella uncheese from The Uncheese Cookbook.  I really wanted a cheeselike substance for a sandwich and didn't want to spend $5 on a tiny block of vegan cheese, so I found a recipe that didn't require agar and had at it.

I was very skeptical while making this "uncheese," and I lacked a key ingredient tahini had gone moldy (gross).  I used some mild miso paste instead and a little sesame oil.  The result was something that tasted very familiar, but definitely not like mozz.  It has become milder and more tasty after sitting in the fridge for a few days.  It's not really a cheese for slicing, as it is very sticky.  It tasted okay in a grilled cheese, but I've seen people have good results on pizza so maybe that's next.  I'm going to go against my better judgement and freeze some since it made a whole lot.

Do you make your own vegan "cheese" substances?  What are your favorites?  If you aren't a lifelong vegan, do you even miss cheese?

P.S. Good bye, Vegan MoFo, see you next year!

November 29, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Thanksgiving Catch Up

Thanksgiving was relaxing and fun.  This year and the last, we hosted Thanksgiving at our little apartment with a few friends.  

A tomato waiting to be sliced up for the salad.  No one ate the salad, except for me and the boy I guess.  Vegetables are delicious, what are people thinking? ;P

I made a quick agave and sesame oil dressing to go along with it.

Spinach and almonds and tomatoes and carrots and thin slices of cucumber!

Next, the cider.
Stash Tea (hometown awesomeness) packages mulling spices.  I wouldn't have bought it, but it was a gift and leftover from last year.  We added it to the cider and brewed it for several hours.  Very tasty.

Mullin' over.

I made a seitan roast, but I only took photos of its making.  Here is the dough after kneading #1.

And the basting broth.  Mm full of paprika and sage and garlic.

I also made the butternut squash dish from Veganomicon.  So good!  I made it with filberts instead of pricey chestnuts.

And homemade cranberry sauce...

The boy made apple pie and apple crisp in addition to my pumpkin cheesecake, which he said tasted like malt.  Hmm, I didn't see that but hey, whatever, it was good and the other cheesecake lover at the party approved.  It's a win in my book.

We spent the evening doing three things: consuming food, consuming cozy beverages, and playing Rockband.  Is there a better way to celebrate our thanks for harvests and plenty?  I think not.

November 24, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Sparkle Ginger Cookies

From VwaV.

These were so rich and warm and not too sweet.  I really liked them and will definitely make them again.  I also liked that they used oil instead of margarine or shortening, which made them a very convenient recipe (and very visiting-omnivorous-relatives-friendly).

The recipe made 40 cookies for me (versus the 2 dozen as stated in the book).  Cookie scrooge am I.

The turbinado sugar was indeed sparkly in the cloud-sifted afternoon light.

November 23, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Pumpkin Cranberry Biscotti

Recipe here.

I only used 2/3 cup of sugar, though.  They were tasty, although very mildly pumpkiny.

I brought them into work and sent some off to my good friend Renee, who recently sent me magical pumpkin muffins and some other treats/treasures including these:

Dapper, no?  But it gets better, because they are useful.  They're a mini cutlery set:

Adorable (drbl).

However, biscotti cannot be eaten with such things.