Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vegan Chorizo and Potato Empanadas

Tonight I had planned to make Chorizo Potato tacos. But at some point in the day I was inspired to try making empanadas instead. The results turned out great. This might look hard to do, but it is actually pretty easy. If you can make pie dough, you can make empanadas!

Vegan Chorizo and Potato Empanada

Chorizo Potato Empanadas
Makes 12.

Empanada Dough

1 1/2 cups instant corn masa
1/2 cup flour (plus extra for counter)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold shortening, cut into cubes
3/4-1 cup cold water

Put the masa, flour, salt, and shortening into a food processor. Pulse until the dough starts to stick together and the shortening is well distributed. Pour in the water gradually while the food processor is running until the dough comes together and forms a ball. I used about 7/8 cups of water. This will vary depending on humidity and dryness of the flours. Add more water if you need to.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Form a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.

Chorizo and Potato Filling ***
1 medium red potato, 1/4" dice
1/2 spanish onion, diced
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper (a couple of cranks)
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
6 oz Vegan Chorizo (I used Yves)
1 clove garlic, minced

Steam potatos for about 10 minutes (or boil them) until they are just starting to get tender. You don't want to cook them all the way here, we are just giving them a head start. Drain the potatoes if you boiled them, or if you steamed them, remove them from the steamer.

In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add the potatoes, onions, salt and pepper. Cook stirring every few minutes until potatoes are browned (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic and the chorizo. Stir and break up the chorizo. Cook for a few minutes until heated through and the chorizo dries out a little bit. Remove from heat and remove filling from the pan and place in a bowl. Set aside.

Assembling and Cooking the Empanadas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with nonstick foil or regular foil that has been oiled. Clean the skillet used above because we are going to use it again here.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Put 2 of those back in the refrigerator to stay cold. Divide the remaining 2 pieces into 3 pieces each so that you now have 6 pieces of dough on the counter. Take one piece and roll it into a flattened ball. On a well floured counter, roll it out into a circle about 1/4" thick. If you want to now be fancy, you can cut it with a circular cutter (I don't bother). Place about 1 1/2 Tbsp filling in in the center. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. * Do this for 3 of them if using cooking method 1 or all of them if using cooking method 2. Continue the same way with the remaining dough in the refrigerator.

For cooking method 1, you will want to fry about 3 at a time (see below) and then roll out the next 3, rinse repeat until all are pan fried and in the over.

Cooking method 1

Olive Oil for frying

In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat with a liberal amount of olive oil (about 1/4" deep), pan fry the empanadas on each side till browned. Now move the empanadas to a foil lined cookie sheet (pat with paper towel) and bake for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining empanadas.

This is the method I used in the picture above. It resulted in a flaky crust that we like a lot without resorting to deep frying.

Cooking method 2

Place all empanadas on cookie sheet(s). Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. **

*Cheater hint - If you want them to be prettier semi-circles and don't have a large circular biscuit cutter, you can use this trick to shape them better. Fold the dough over the filling. Take a pizza cutter around the folded edges to make a better semi-circle shape and then crimp the edges.

** Next time we are going to try brushing the baked ones (method 2) with olive oil before baking.

*** I actually doubled this and have leftovers for taco filling later this week.

We also had some margaritas with dinner. A strawberry margarita on the rocks:
Strawberry Margarita


Chilaquiles is a traditional mexican casserole baked with tortilla chips in the casserole to soak up all of that yummy sauce. It is basically a dish that uses up leftovers (like Bi Bim Bop in Korean cuisine). Chilaquiles often contains some sort of greens like Swiss Chard.

When I was making this I had a bad feeling about it. I don't know why I didn't think this was going to be a good recipe. I was VERY surprised when I tasted it. It was so good that I had to text my husband (who wasn't home that night): "holy chilaquile, nom nom nom". The sauce is what truly makes this dish. The sauce plus a nice background flavor of lime. In a lot of the recipes that I've posted this week, I'd say you could replace the homemade sauce with some Hatch Chile Sauce, but not this recipe. Don't replace the sauce. Make your own for this dish and you will be rewarded.




1 recipe red chile tomato sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp mexican oregano (or substitute mediterranean oregano)
1 cup corn kernals, preferably fresh
1 bunch of chard, stems removed, chopped
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp cilantro
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 cups crushed sturdy tortilla chips
1/2 cup vegan parmesan, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the corn and cook for another minute. Add the chard and a tablespoon of water, cover and cook for a minute or so until wilted. You can stir the chard in the middle of this cooking time. Add cilantro and lime and remove from heat.

Oil a 7x9 casserole. Layer the fillings and sauce and chips like a lasagne. Add 1/2 of the tortilla chips followed by 1/4 of the sauce. Add 1/2 of the greens mixture and 1/2 of the pinto beans. Add 1/4 of the sauce. Add the other 1/2 of the greens mixture and the other half of the pinto beans. Add 1/4 of the sauce. Add the other half of the tortilla chips. Top with the vegan parmesan and then drizzle over the remaining sauce.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with crema, tofu queso fresco, avocado (or guacamole), and more chips.

Here is a pic of the Chard filling. All of this green goodness went into this casserole along with about 2 cups of pinto beans:
Chilaquiles Filling

Red Chile Tomato Sauce

This sauce is basically the same as the red chile sauce, except that is has the addition of the tomatoes and sugar. This sauce will be used in the next recipe: Chilaquiles.

Red Chile Tomato Sauce

3 dried Guajillo chilies *
3 dried Ancho chiles*
3 dried Pasilla chiles*
4-6 cups of water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp cumin
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp masa harina

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp sugar

Cut the tops off of the chiles and discard the tops. Shake out the seeds. Cut the chiles open with a slit down the side and shake out any remaining seeds. Rinse the chiles to remove any dust/dirt. Cut the chiles in half. Bring 4-6 cups water to a boil in a pot and turn off the heat. Put the chiles into the hot water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.

Drain the chiles and discard the soaking liquid. Place the chiles, cumin, garlic, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups water into a blender. Puree the mixture in the blender. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You may need to push the liquid through with a spatula. Put the strained liquid into a pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Add masa harina with a whisk to thicken. Remove from heat.

Place tomatoes in a blender along with the red sauce. Add 1/2 tsp sugar. Blend until pureed.

* Feel free to substitute other dried peppers here. The peppers you use will make the spicyness level change and the flavor change ever so slightly.
* You can get dried chiles cheap at your local mexican grocery store. You can also order them online (not as cheap) from

Monday, April 27, 2009

Black Bean and Plantain Tostadas

Black bean and Plantain Tostadas

Black Bean and Plantain Tostadas

6 corn tortillas

1 1/2 cups refried beans (canned or homemade)

1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
1 spanish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Mexican Oregano
1/2 cup vegetable stock
kosher salt

2 ripe plantains
kosher salt

corn oil

sliced romaine
crema or vegan sour cream
queso fresco
tomatoes, diced

In a large skillet over med-high heat, heat up corn oil (a pretty large amount, enough to cover a tortilla). One at a time, place a tortilla in the skillet and fry till the edges start to brown. Flip the torilla over with tongs. Let it cook for another 30 seconds or so, checking for doneness. When the bottom is also browned, move the tortilla to a plate lined with a paper towel. Continue to cook each tortilla separately and place them on the plate with paper towels between each one. Set aside. Remove the skillet from the heat.

In a small saucepan over very low heat, reheat the refried beans and keep them warm (Note - you can also microwave them near the end of cooking the vegetables and beans).

Slice the ends of each plantain. Slice the plantain into 3 pieces. Cut a slit in the skin down the side and peel each piece. Cut each piece into lengthwise quarters and then slice into 1/4-1/3 inch slices. You should have nice bite size pieces.

In the same skillet, you should have some remaining oil (You will want about 1-2 Tablespoons of corn oil. Pour out any extra or add some if needed), heat up the skillet if it is not hot over medium heat. Add the plantains. Don't stir them too much but stir them occasionally to flip them over. When the plantains are nicely browned remove them to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Set aside.

Add a 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned. Then add the garlic and oregano and cook for about a minute. Add the black beans and about 1/4 cup stock. Cook for about a minute. Add salt to taste. If the beans are too dry, you can add another 1/4 cup stock.

Assemble: Place a tortilla on a plate. Smear about 2 tablespoons of refried beans on the tortillas (this creates a nice sticky base layer). Add about 2 tablespoons of the black bean mixture and then some of the plantains. Top with about a tablespoon of the queso fresco. Then top with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole. Drizzle with the crema.

Vegan Crema

Crema is like a sour cream drizzle, so this is pretty easily veganized by using Tofutti Sour Cream (or some other suitable vegan sour cream). Again, I didn't pay much attention to proportions here, so this recipe is still under development. This looks very pretty drizzled over dishes as a finishing touch.

1/2 cup tofu sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup soy milk

Mix sour cream with soy milk with a fork. Add the soy milk a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is runny (can be drizzled with a spoon).

Tofu Queso Fresco (recipe still under development)

I've topped a lot of recipes with this tofu Queso Fresco this week. Queso Fresco is (supposedly) a mild non-melting crumbly cheese with a texture like feta. I'm guessing that this is what it would taste like. I added miso and tahini to give it a little kick and a slightly fermented flavor. And because I was drinking margaritas while cooking and not paying much attention, I am not entirely sure of the amounts I used here. I can't remember if I used 1 or 2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast. I'll make sure to make note next time I make this. If you make this, be sure to taste it as you go along. Let me know how your proportions turn out.

Queso Fresco

12-14 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp light miso
1 clove garlic
2-4 Tbsp soy milk

Crumble the tofu in a bowl. Add tahini, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp of each). Use your hand to mix well. Add in a couple of tablespoons of soy milk and mix with hands to make it moist and kind of sticky.

Use queso fresco crumbles as a topping.

Annatto Spanish Rice

Seitan Tamales

The spanish rice in this picture was made using Annatto oil. Annatto has a very mild flavor to it and adds a really nice color to the rice. This rice came out a little oilier than I'd like, so I might cut back on the margarine next time.

Annatto Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons Earth balance margarine
2 tablespoons annatto oil, see recipe below
1/2 jalepeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium Spanish onion, diced
1 bay leaves
1 cup long-grain white rice
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups no-chicken stock or vegetable stocl

Melt the margarine with the annatto oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook till soft. Add the jalepeno chile and garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, rice, stock, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer until the rice has absorbed the stock, 12 to 15 minutes. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Annatto Oil

Annatto Oil

1/4 cup annatto seeds *
1 cup corn oil

Add the annatto seeds to a pot and heat up the pot over medium heat. Give it a shake occasionally. The seeds will toast and start to smoke. Add the oil. Bring the oil to a simmer, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

* You can get these at your local mexican grocer or at They are also called achiote seeds.

Red Chile Seitan and Carmelized Onion Tamales

Red Chile Seitan & Carmelized Onion Tamales

I used foil instead of corn husks because foil is easy to find, and easier for first time tamale makers to use. Also, the corn husks I bought were moldy (sad). If you want to use corn husks instead, be sure to soak them in boiling water for an hour or two before using.

The sauce, filling, and batter can all be made ahead of time and then assembled before cooking.


1 recipe Red Chile Sauce (you can make this ahead of time)

1 1/2 cups seitan (store bought or homemade), cut into 1/4 in pieces
1 onion, sliced and then slices cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil

5 ounces vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups instant corn masa
1 to 2 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable stock
8 12" pieces of foil
corn oil

Make the red chile sauce as directed in link above.

Meanwhile, make the tamale batter. In a food processor, add the shortening, salt and baking powder. Run to combine and beat the mixture to a fluffy texture. Add 1 cup masa to the food processor and run the food processor to combine. Add the other cup and run to combine. Add 1/2 cup stock while the food processor is running. Add more stock if the mixture is too crumbly. Check the lightness of the batter by checking to see if a dollop of batter floats in water. Add more stock if you need to, you want the mixture to be soft but moldable - not runny. Refrigerate the batter for an hour in a bowl well covered with plastic wrap.

To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar (the sugar will help them carmelize). Cook the onions over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are carmelized. Don't rush this. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, till fragrant. Then add the seitan and cook till the seitan starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Add about 1/2 cup of the chile sauce. The mixture should be lightly coated but not running. Allow it to cook down for a minute if runny. Remove from heat and set aside.

To finish the tamale batter, remove from the refrigerator and place the mixture in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup stock and mix on medium speed. Remixing the batter and bringing it back to the right consistency gives the tamales a better texture. When the batter looks soft and moldable but not runny, you are ready to make tamales.

Take a piece of foil and use a paper towel to lightly oil it. Take 1/3 cup batter into your hands (hands seem to work better here than any utensils I've tried) and shape it into a pancake shape and then place it on the foil. Using your hands spread the mixture out some more (but try not to get too thin on the edges) until it is about 5 in square. Add 1-2 Tbsp filling to the middle. Using one edge of the foil, roll 1/2 the batter over the top. You might need a spatula to help ease the batter off the foil. It might stick a little, but be patient and slow and it will roll over. Then use the other edge of the foil to roll over the other side of the dough. Fold up the bottom edge of the foil, fold up the top edge of the foil and then fold in the edges. Repeat with the remaining foil until you have no more batter. Note - I will try to take pictures of this part next time.

Place the tamales standing up in a steamer. Steam for 1 1/4 hours. Add more boiling water to the steamer about halfway through the cooking time. Remove the steamer basket and allow tamales to cool for about 10 minutes.

To serve, remove the tamales from the foil and drizzle with remaining chile sauce.

Red Chile Sauce

The first recipe I have to post to be able to make the yummy mexican food I've been posting is the red chile sauce. It is a base in many mexican recipes. I'm posting it separately so that I can link back to it from other recipes.

Red Chile Sauce

3 dried Guajillo chilies *
3 dried Ancho chiles*
3 dried Pasilla chiles*
4-6 cups of water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp cumin
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant corn masa

Cut the tops off of the chiles and discard the tops. Shake out the seeds. Cut the chiles open with a slit down the side and shake out any remaining seeds. Rinse the chiles to remove any dust/dirt. Cut the chiles in half. Bring 4-6 cups water to a boil in a pot and turn off the heat. Put the chiles into the hot water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.

Drain the chiles and discard the soaking liquid. Place the chiles, cumin, garlic, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups water into a blender. Puree the mixture in the blender. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You may need to push the liquid through with a spatula. Put the strained liquid into a pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, whisking occasionally.

Add masa with a whisk to thicken. Remove from heat.

* Feel free to substitute other dried peppers here. The peppers you use will make the spicyness level change and the flavor change ever so slightly.
* You can get dried chiles cheap at your local mexican grocery store. You can also order them online (not as cheap) from

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I declare this week... Mexican Week

Day 1: Black Bean and Plaintain Tostadas
These are black beans and plantain tostadas with crema (sour cream and soy milk), tofu queso fresca, guacmole, lettuce, tomato. We made our own home fried tostadas. Served with Annatto Spanish Rice.

Day 2: 'Chicken' Seitan and Carmelized Onion Tamales

Tonight's dinner was tamales filled with seitan and carmelized onions and red chile sauce, topped with red chili sauce. Served with Leftover Annatto Spanish rice, and homemade refried beans.

Of course, what is Mexican food without Margaritas!!


One more pic, I loved how beautifully red this annatto oil came out. This oil was used to make the spanish rice:


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dandies Marshmallows at Vegan Essentials

Vegan Essentials just posted that they have about 200 bags of Dandies Marshmallows. Go!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There really are mushrooms in there!

Tonight's dinner was Swedish Tempeh Meatlessballs with steamed broccoli and maple glazed roasted butternut squash.

The meatless balls are Dan's tempeh meatless balls. The sauce is Joni's Swedish meatball sauce. The only changes I made include doubling the sauce recipe (it made a lot and I could probably have gone 1 1/2 times the recipe amt) and deglazing the mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons of white wine. The white wine added a really nice layer to the sauce. To make the dish easier to make, I made the meatlessballs, set them aside and reheated them near the end, just before serving.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I won't eat mushrooms. I'll cook with them, but I'll pick them out. My husband likes them and I don't mind the flavor. In the pic below it looks like there are no mushrooms in this dish. That was selective serving on my part. But don't worry, there really are mushrooms in this dish... 16 oz of mushrooms in fact!

Swedish "Meatballs"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hellagood Seitan Stew

On Weds., I asked my husband what kind of soup or stew he wants Friday. I always make a soup or stew on Friday nights in the winter so that he can take leftovers in his thermos on Saturday for ski patrol. He replied that he wanted a stew. I asked, "like a chunky vegetable stew?". He said, "more like a beef stew". Well the gauntlet had been thrown. We'd never made a vegan "beef" stew that we liked much. The existing recipes we tried were always bland or just plain eww. I knew I could do better. And I did. This stew was spectacular! It smelled spectacular and tasted great... and looks scarily a little too much like beef stew.

Seitan Stew

Seitan Stew

The first part of getting this right, was getting the seitan right. I made the seitan the day before because it takes a while. To get the texture just right, I boiled it and then baked it. The seitan recipe is below.

This seitan stew recipe is adapted from an Emeril beef stew recipe.
'Beefy' Seitan Stew
Serves 6

1 recipe Seitan - beef style (recipe below - make a day ahead of time)
~3 tablespoons olive oil
Spice mixture ->
      1/4 tsp kosher salt
      1/8 tsp pepper
      1/4 tsp paprika
      1/4 tsp garlic powder
      1/8 tsp onion powder
      pinch cayenne
      1/8 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
      1/8 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons earth balance
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 large roughly chopped yellow onion
2-3 sliced carrots, (1-inch slices cut crosswise on a diagonal)
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 cloves roughly chopped garlic 
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups beef style vegetarian stock or vegetable stock, at room temperature**
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 to 4 cups 1-inch dice peeled yukon gold or red potatoes
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Steamed rice


Chop the seitan into bite size pieces and season the seitan by sprinkling with the spice mixture, being sure to toss the seitan well to evenly cover with the spices. Set a non-stick skillet or non-stick dutch oven oven (preferred) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot. Add the seitan to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the seitan from the pot and set aside.

If you used a skillet above for the seitan, nows the time to pull out the big pot for the stew and heat it up. Add the margarine and 1 Tbsp oilve oil and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until onions are softened and lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the stock, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, allspice and browned seitan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the stew and partially cover the pot with a lid. Continue cooking until the potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes (to an hour). Remove the lid and discard the thyme and rosemary stems. Add the peas and parsley to the stew, stir well to combine, then remove from the heat. Serve hot with steamed rice.

** I used Edward and Sons Not-Beef boullion cubes dissolved in boiling water. This brand is so good that I buy 3-4 boxes at a time off the internet. For the stock for the stew - 2 Not-Beef boullion cubes to 4 1/2 cups boiling water.

Beefy Seitan
Adapted from The Vegan Lunchbox Pot Roast and La Dolce Vegan Beefy Seitan

2 vegetarian beef-flavored boullion cubes (See note above**)
1 tsp kosher salt - I cannot remember if I actually added this
1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sage
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp marmite
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp vegan worchestershire
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in the boullion cubes and 1 tsp kosher salt. Let cubes dissolve while you work on the seitan.

In a mixing bowl, mix wheat gluten, ground walnuts, nutritional yeast, onion powder, sage, and garlic powder.

Then mix ONE cup of the broth with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp tomato paste, vegan worchestershire, and marmite.

Add the liquid to the wheat gluten mixture and stir till it forms a dough. Knead until it comes together in a loaf. Cut the loaf into 2" square pieces.

Stir the other tablespoon nutritional yeast into the remaining broth. Add the gluten to this lukewarm broth and bring up to a simmer. Simmer the wheat gluten covered in the remaining broth (just barely a simmer) for 1 hour. This next part is important. Turn off the heat and let the seitan cool in its cooking liquid for 30-45 minutes.

Drain the seitan (reserve the remaining stock) and put it into a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 min (this will cause it to firm up). Remove from the pan and place the seitan in a storage container with remaining broth until ready to use.

Here are some in progress pics:

Browning the seitan
Seitan Stew

Cooking the mushrooms - there are some seitan bits and spices stuck to the pan, because I learned that needed a non-stick pot for that part.
Seitan Stew

Added in the carrots, onions, celery
Seitan Stew

Simmering the stock with the vegetables and seitan (before adding potatoes)
Seitan Stew

Finally done. Looks scarily real, doesn't it?
Seitan Stew

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chili and Corn Biscuit Casserole

Last night we made a chili sandwiched between two layers of cornbread, topped with cheddar teese and blue corn chips. It was really yummy. The recipe is from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfield and George Minot. I love this book, but be forwarned, the recipes generally take a long time to prepare. The chili is made from dried ancho, chipolte, and pasilla peppers, sundried tomatoes, ground seitan, onions, garlic, pinto and anasazi beans.

I probably could have pulled this one out in about an hour and a half but I was playing with my new electric pressure cooker (a birthday present from my mom). I decided to do the water cooking test to test out the seal. I didn't realize how long it would take for that much water to come to a boil. So, getting the beans started took about 30 minutes longer than I had intended. And then my second mistake was to not realize that I was to do a natural release of pressure on the beans which takes about 15 minutes. So, dinner didn't come out of the oven till 8:30. That's late for us. Total time for me was about 3 hours. Oops. It was nice to be able to cook the dried beans in 6 minutes, plus release time. And they tasted awesome.

The recipe called for a deep 9x7 casserole. I didn't really have a dish that fit that so I poked around the house and found this disposable casserole in a cabinet. It was a deep 9x9.

Chili and Corn Biscuit Casserole
Chili and Corn Biscuit Casserole

Cakewalk Vegan Birthday Cake

Last Friday was my birthday. Nope. I am not going to tell you which one. Not a nice number. Anyway, for the first time in a long long time, neither of us had to make my birthday cake. There is a new vegan bakery here in Salt Lake City, Cakewalk Baking Company, so Mike ordered a cake! A confetti cake with chocolate frosting.

The cake was great. It was moist and reminded me of pound cake. The chocolate frosting tasted like we'd made it at home. It was like my mom had come to town and made me a cake. Here are some pics:

Cakewalk Bakery Vegan Cake
Cakewalk Bakery Vegan Cake
Cakewalk Bakery Vegan Cake
Isn't the confetti cute?

The bakery itself is in Bountiful, Utah - Just close enough to get cake, but thankfully not close enough to get it all the time. It is a tiny little cute shop and they have a nice display case full of a variety of cupcakes and "twinkies" (or dillos as they call them). They also had some muffins. And the have TEESE! SLC vegans can now drive to get teese instead of paying a zillion dollars to ship it in a cold pack.

If you live in Salt Lake, drive up there and get ye some cupcakes. And order your next cake from them. We definitely want them to stay in business.

Some Quick Dinners

Sometimes when I download the camera I find that I've taken pics of food that I had forgotten about. That was the case today. These are two quick meals that are old standbys.

Vegan Pizza
On this night we made two different pizzas. One was a pepper, onion, pepperoni (Yves), tomato sauce pizza with Follow Your Heart Mozzarella and the other is a butternut squash and walnut pizza with no sauce (just oilive oil and garlic), topped with Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. The butternut squash was actually leftover filling from the manicotti we made a while back. I found it in the freezer labeled "good for pizza".
Vegan Pepperoni Pizza
Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza

Sausage Dogs with Peppers and Onions & Tots

This is a typical summer meal for us but we made it in the middle of winter. We made this on an unusual night when it got up over 60 degrees here (a couple of weeks ago). We got excited that the grill wasn't covered in snow. The sausage is a Field Roast sausage. We sauteed onions and peppers in olive oil till soft and browned and then added a splash of soy sauce. And how could we pass up tater tots!

Vegan Sausage With Peppers and Onions