Monday, November 26, 2007

Vegan Not-Turkey Pot Pie

On Saturday, I made Byanna Clark Grogan's recipe for Soy Seitan "Turkey" to make up for the Cafe Indigo Roast. Bryanna's recipe makes 3 lbs! It was ok and oddly tasted like turkey (and a bit like flour). So after a couple of dinners and a few sandwiches, I still had half of it left. Tonight I made a large portion of it into a pot pie - A Not-Turkey pot pie! It was really good and was reminiscent of a chicken pot pie or a turkey pot pie. So, if you have any leftover Tofurky, or Soy-Seitan Roast, or Celebration Roast, this is a great way to handle the leftovers. I suppose any chicken-style seitan would work here. Oh, and FYI - I wasn't aiming for health food when I made this.

Not-Turkey (Vegan) Pot Pie

Vegan Not-Turkey Pot Pie

3 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks earth balance margarine, each stick cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp salt
ice water

4 tbsp earth balance margarine
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3/4 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme, rubbed between your fingers
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 cups boiling water
1 Not Chickn boullion cube
3 Tbs flour
1/2-3/4 cup soy milk
2 cups cubed seitan (chicken style - homemade will work best here)


Place 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, and 2 chopped sticks of earth balance margarine into a food processor. Pulse until no butter pieces are larger than the size of a pea. Add 8 tbsp ice water. Pulse in the food processor just enough to incorporate the water. If the dough is still too dry add more water. It should form a moist dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead a couple of times. Form into a ball and cut in half. Make each half into a flattened ball. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Dissolve the bouillon cube in 2 cups boiling water to make a stock. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp earth balance margarine in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened. Add dried herbs. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the stock. Add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are just softened. Add the frozen peas.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp earth balance margarine in a nonstick skillet. Add the "turkey" and cook for a minute. Add 3 tbsp flour and cook for another minute. Add soy milk and heat until warmed and just starting to thicken.

Add the "turkey" mixture back to the vegetable mixture. Cook until thickened. If it gets too thick, make some more stock with water and another bouillon cube and add more stock (or add water). Set aside.

Roll out one of the dough rounds into a circle so that it is larger in diameter than your pie plate. Place it in the pie plate and trim the excess. Add the filling to the pie. You may have extra filling. Just fill it to the top of the pie (and eat the rest of the filling another time). Roll out the other crust and place it over the top. Trim the excess. Turn the edge of the bottom crust up over the top crust and press down to flute the edges.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Turn the oven down to 350 and cook for another 20-30 minutes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving desert redux - Pumpkin Cheesecake

Double Layer Vegan Pumpkin Lemon Cheesecake

Tonight I made a Double Layer Pumpkin Lemon Cheesecake (recipe linked) with a Pecan Oat Crust from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This pie was really tasty and the crust was fabulous. You should definitely make this crust the next time you make a pie that calls for a graham cracker crust. It was so nutty and rich. I only made 2 small modifications to the cheesecake. I added some lemon zest and a pinch of salt to it.

I really don't think that last night's pie fiasco was a result of a bad recipe. I really think the canned pumpkin was bad. I had two cans of pumpkin yesterday - 2 different brands. One can went into the pie and another can went into the rolls. When I opened the second can for the rolls, I noticed that it smelled much better and had better color. The previous can was more solid. I just chalked it up to the fact that they were different brands, maybe the pumpkins weren't as great the day the other can was canned... but now I wonder how sick I would have been if I had eaten more than a 1/2 bite. Weird.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What does a vegan eat for Thanksgiving?

I've heard this question too many times this week. In general, Mike and I are not traditionalists. We don't feel any need to have a dinner that replicates the Thanksgiving dinners of our childhoods. Often we take advantage of the idea that we are supposed to be cooking all day to do something fun. One year we made a massive Indian feast of dal, basmati rice, aloo ghobi, etc. Another year it was all mexican with drunken beans, corn fritters, and enchiladas.

This year we did in fact go pretty traditional with the meal. It was really because I saw that Cafe Indigo in NH was selling a "Stuffed Faux Turkey Breast" that they said was "made with our own seitan and stuffed with Grandma's famous bread stuffing". How could I resist? I ordered one and then planned around it. Here was the menu of the day:

Port Wine "Uncheese" from the Uncheese cookbook and crackers

Cafe Indigo Stuffed Seitan Roast
Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Gravy with Sherry and fresh herbs
Baked Sweet Potato Casserole with a Pecan Struesel topping
Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Herb Stuffing
Pumpkin Orange Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Pie



More pics in the extended entry.

Everything was pretty good, but there are a few things that were new that I definitely would not do again. We were not particularly fond of the Port Wine "Uncheese" or the Cafe Indigo Seitan Roast.

And the pie... well, it looks pretty, but I think it is the most hideous thing I have ever made. And I'm a pretty good pie maker. The recipe is from the Joy of Vegan Baking. I've never made anything bad out of that book. I thought Colleen could do no wrong. But wow, this was horrible.. I couldn't eat more than one bite. It was grainy and metallic. We'll be making another pie tomorrow to make up for it. It's really sad because I was also eyeing this recipe for double-layer pumpkin cheesecake and I'm sure it would have been about a thousand times better. Hmmm, I wonder if the canned pumpkin I used was bad?? (Update - I really think I had a bad can of pumpkin - no fault to Colleen).

Ok - here's some more pics of dinner:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Favorite Vegan Products - Update 1

My friend Liz requested an update on my favorite vegan products and she's right, it's time to revisit and update this list. I'll italicize changes.

Coffee Creamer - Silk Plain Creamer
Tofu - Nasoya
Milk replacement - Soy Dream Soy Milk, or Enriched Rice Dream (tastes like skim milk)
Butter replacement - Earth Balance - sticks
Egg replacement - Ground Flax Seeds and water for hearty baked goods, Ener-G for desserts, Tofu for quiches and scrambles
Bread - Vermont Bread Company Organic Bread - Soft Wheat
Wine - Rosenblum Zinfandel
Honey replacement - Just Like Honey Rice Nectar (internet order), Maple Syrup
Nutrional Yeast Brand - Bob's Red Mill (I order this by the boxload on the web)
Vitamins - Chewable Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Formula by Pioneer
Energy Bar - Cliff Bar - Peanut Crunch
Sugar - Hain Organic Cane Sugar, Florida Crystals Cane Sugar
Powdered Sugar - Hain - Organic Powdered Sugar
Brown Sugar - Hain - Organic Brown Sugar
Cookie - Newman Os (oreo flavor and ginger o's)
Soy Ice Cream - Temptation Cookie Dough, Soy Delicious Purely Decadent (Vanilla, Strawberry, Cherry Nirvana, Peanut Butter Zig Zag)
Setian - Bridge Seitan
Tempeh - Soy Boy Soy Tempeh
Sandwich Slices - Yves Veggie Bologna Slices

Cereal - Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins, Kashi Autumn Wheat

Lipstick - Zu Zu Luxe
Concealer - Clinique All About Eyes Concealer (works well for blemishes too)
Makeup - Clinique Soft Finish Makeup
Eyeliner - Clinique Quickliner for Eyes
Blush - Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush
Mascara - Origins

Skin Care
Deodorent -Oyin Handmade Funk Butter - black cedar fig (I have never smelled at all with this)
Shampoo - Aveda Sap Moss, or Aveda Scalp Benefits *
Conditioner - Aveda Damage Remedy *
Lotion - Jason Vitamin E unscented
Face Moisturizer - Kiss My Face Under Age
Lip balm - Lush Eggsnog - Artisan Soapworks lip balm (sadly seem to be out of business this year)
Hand Soap - Kiss My Face Self-Foaming hand soap
Soap - Lush Sexy Peel, Lush Karma, Dr. Bronners Almond
Shaving cream - Kiss My Face Patchouli Moisture Shave

Socks - tdb
T-shirt - Food Fight grocery, or Vegan Freak
Purse - tbd
Wallets - Matt & Nat

Web Sites
Vegan store - Food Fight Grocery, Cosmos Vegan Shoppe, or Vegan Essentials.
Podcast - Vegan Freak Radio
Shoe store - Moo Shoes

* I've recently discoved that Origins matches Aveda in veganness (watch for honey and beeswax) and price, so I plan to try some Origins shampoos and conditioners soon.

Stir Fry Noodle Bowl

When I travelled to San Francisco last year, I got noodle bowls all over the place. I love a good stir fry noodle bowl. I've been working on this recipe for a while and I think it is really close to what I want it to be. Next time I make it, the only change I will make it to add more liquid to the sauce - I might up the soy sauce and mirin and add a bit of water. It is pretty good as is, so I am going ahead and posting it. I'll update it if I change it next time. This recipe is pretty versatile - you can replace any of the vegetables with others and it will be fine. There are pics of all the steps in the extended entry.


Stir Fry Noodle Bowl
Serves 4.

Stir Fry:
1 tsp + 1 Tbsp peanut oil (unrefined peanut oil is fantastic in this)
8 oz seitan (I like Bridge Seitan if you can find it), drained, rinsed, and sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 sm red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
2 scallions, greens in 2" pieces, whites sliced
1/2 sm curly cabbage, thinly sliced
8-12 oz soba noodles or curly chinese noodles

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Mirin
1 tsp Hot Sesame Oil
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1/4 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
2 tsp natural peanut butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

Boil water for the pasta and cook according to directions.

Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients and set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over high heat, heat 1 tsp peanut oil and add the seitan and cook till lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Warm 1 tbsp peanut oil to the skillet and add the carrots and peppers. Cook about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the snow peas and scallions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook covered for about 3 minutes. Add the seitan back to the pan and cook until heated through. Add the sauce ingredients and cook for about a minute more. If the sauce looks dry or sticks to the pan, add some water or veggie stock (you want it to be saucy to coat the noodles).

Drain the noodles when ready and add back to the large pot. Add the stir fry to the large noodle pot and toss to combine.

Dinner disaster recovery & Spanish Rice recipe

Last weekend we made Kale and Potato Enchiladas from Isa Chandra Moskowitz'z new book Vegamonicon. I used some bad judgement and used the huge bag of baby russian kale I had just picked up from the CSA farm. Since it was small, I couldn't remove the stems and thought it would be fine anyway. I got done making the filling and had potatoes with chewy nasty looking kale stems. We tasted it and gave up on dinner. This made us really sad because the sauce we'd already made was yummy and we also had mexican rice in the rice cooker. I wanted to save it but was having a hard time coming up with ideas. Finally it dawned on me to use a can of refried black beans in it. I picked all of the kale out of the potatoes and stirred in a can of refried black beans and used that as the filling. We also heated another can of refried black beans as a side. I actually think this turned out way better than it would have if I'd used kale. It was great. I topped it with some grated Cheezly (vegan cheese from the UK) that I had gotten from Vegan Essentials on the web.


Rice Cooker Spanish Rice

I took Isa's recipe for Mexican Millet and turned it back into a spanish rice recipe and threw it into the rice cooker. We loved it.


1 cup of brown basmati rice (or 1 rice cooker cup)
2 cups vegetable stock (or enough stock for your rice cooker)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small yellow onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1 sm roma tomato, seeded and diced

Rinse and drain rice and add it to the rice cooker along with the veggie stock. Set aside.

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and jalepeno and cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion mixture to the rice cooker.

Stir the rest of the ingredients into the rice cooker - tomato, tomato paste, salt, cumin. Cook according to rice cooker instructions. I set mine to the brown rice setting on my rice cooker.