Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Ravioli with Walnut Sage Pistou

It's fall! Pumpkin season! Best time of year!

I admit it. I watch the Food Network sometimes. This is loosely (very, very loosely) based on a Giada de Laurentiis recipe, but veganized & improved by like a million percent.  The pumpkin filling is creamy & has a tiny bit of sweetness from some maple syrup (you can use brown sugar or brown rice syrup in its place; I just like pumpkin & maple together).

I went with a pistou instead of a pesto because I like the texture way better.  Pistou is almost like pesto, except it doesn't have nuts in it.  Pesto is traditionally herbs, garlic, nuts & oil, whereas pistou is just the herbs, garlic & oil  I had some walnut oil in the fridge leftover from my maple walnut vinaigrette so I used that in my sauce, which provided it with a nice nutty flavor & a lot of richness.  If you don't have walnut oil, you can throw in a handful of walnuts & use all olive oil in your sauce.

I ended up serving my ravioli over a bed of baby spinach (which wilted from the heat of the ravioli) along with some toasted pepitas & dried cranberries.

On to the recipe!

Pumpkin Ravioli:

1 15-oz can pumpkin
3/4 tsp herbes de provence
1/2 c chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic
1/2-3/4 c ricotta (I used the cashew ricotta recipe from Veganomicon)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp maple syrup
salt to taste
1 pkg dumpling wrappers

Saute the shallots & garlic in oil until they are translucent, then add the herbes de provence, nutmeg, cayenne & maple syrup. Cook for one or two more minutes until the maple syrup has cooked off. Add the pumpkin & ricotta to the pan & stir to combine. Fill the dumpling wrappers with a scant teaspoon of filling. Seal the dumplings by wetting one side of the wrapper & folding the dry side of the wrapper onto it. Work out the extra air & press to seal.  Boil for 2-3 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce!

Sage Pistou

Combine the following in a food processor:
1 supermarket sized container or sage, leaves only
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 Tbsp walnut oil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot
1/2 tsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
spoonful of ricotta (optional)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

PB&J Oatmeal Cookies

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted.  I picked up a second job so now in addition to my full time office job I am working for a vegan caterer too!  It's all kinds of new & exciting & I will post about it later.  But for now here is my current favorite cookie recipe.  I apologize for the crappy picture. One of these days I'll get a real camera.

Pretty cute, huh?
2/3 c all purpose flour
2/3 c whole wheat flour
2 c rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4 tsp salt (1/2 if you're using salted pb, 3/4 if you're using unsalted)

1 scant c turbinado sugar or brown sugar (you can cut this back. I thought they were too sweet)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
1/2 c vegetable or peanut oil
1/2 c unsweetened pb
1/3 c nondairy milk (I use unsweetened plain almond milk for all of my recipes)

jelly! 1/4 tsp per cookie

Preheat the oven to 350
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl / liquid measuring cup / vessel of your choice, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and stir to combine.
Using a tablespoon measure (or a little scooper jawn), measure out your cookies. You should get around 36 total.
Flatten the little dudes out with your palm, then make a small indentation in the middle with your thumb.
Put 1/4 tsp of jelly in the middle of each cookie. I used grape but it'd be awesome with pretty much anything.
Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mac & Cheese

Okay. I know that when Chrystina & I started this blog, we were going to keep the recipes simple & cheap.  This one's not the cheapest (Daiya is a major component), but it's croosh.  Seriously, try this.

1 1/2-2 c almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice), unsweetened (make sure it says unsweetened on it. Plain and unsweetened are two entirely different things)
1 bag Daiya, cheddar flavor
1 tsp mustard powder
3/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
2 tsp white miso
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 lb package of macaroni (or pasta of your choice)
 S&P to taste

This is a pretty standard mac and cheese recipe.  Starts with a bechamel and then you melt the cheese into it.

Put a pot of water on to boil.  You want to cook the pasta until it's just about done, but not quite.  It will finish cooking in the sauce.

In a saucepan, melt your margarine.  Add the cornstarch and whisk.  This is called a roux, and it's the base of the bechamel.  After your roux has cooked for a minute or two, add the almond milk.  Whisk while you are adding it to ensure you don't get any lumps in your sauce.  You also want to add your miso, the spices and the nutritonal yeast at this point.  Allow your sauce to cook for a few minutes so it has a chance to thicken (that's why you made the roux--it's a thickener).  Once your sauce is lookin' good, add the Daiya.  Again, you're still whisking while you do this to ensure there are no clumps.

Your pasta should be par-cooked by now.  Drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.  If you like baked mac & cheese, this would be the time to add some more almond milk, stir everything around, pour it into a greased 9x9 pan, add some seasoned breadcrumbs to the top (I'd go with a mixture of panko, nutritonal yeast, garlic powder and melted margarine) and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  If you like your mac & cheese right off the stove, let it cook for 1-2 more minutes (to finish cooking the pasta) and then you're good to go.  I like to add a few handfuls of frozen peas and a pinch of salt to mine during the last few minutes of cooking.  Et voila, mac & cheese that actually tastes like mac & cheese, not nutritional yeast & cheese

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted this blog to focus more on the savory, but a majority of my vegan culinary background is in baking. So here is my award-winning* chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It's pretty traditional because I come from the school of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it."

2 1/2 c All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 c Brown or Turbinado Sugar
1 c (2 sticks) Margarine
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
6 Tbsp Hot Water
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Baking Soda
12 oz (1 bag) Chocolate Chips

Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Make sure to scrape the bowl down often to ensure that the whole mixture is being mixed evenly.  This is important! Don't skip this step!

Once your margarine and sugar have turned a lighter shade of pale, you can add your vanilla and "fleggs" (flax eggs). To make your "fleggs," mix the hot water & ground flax until it's slightly goopy and resembles the texture of a beaten egg.  Anyway, add those to your creamed mixture & turn the mixer back on, scrape down the bowl, yadda yadda.  Your dough may break (this means it's going to look separated) but don't worry!

Add the flour in half-cup portions (I do this so it doesn't fly everywhere).  Scrape the bowl down often. Add the baking soda.  Scrape it down again. And one more time for good measure. Once everything is evenly incorporated, add the chocolate chips and mix again until just combined.

Your oven should be preheated at 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  I use an ice cream disher for my cookies to ensure that they're all about the same size.  For bakery-size cookies (the big M.F.ers), bake for 10-12 minutes.  For normal sized cookies (about 1 Tbsp of dough), bake 8-10 minutes.

~bakery secret~
Shape your cookies before you bake them!  Flatten them into little discs and they'll cook more evenly.

*These cookies have never actually won an award. But I think they could.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Southern Style Smoky Greens

This might be my favorite way to eat greens.  It's almost a complete meal--smoked tempeh gives it a wonderful smoky flavor and ton of extra protein, the kale and collards are "superfoods," garlic and onions are full of antioxidants.  The recipe can even be made Engine 2 friendly if you use a cast iron pan (thus eliminating the need for oil).  While simple, this recipe can be a little bit time-consuming because of how long the onions need to be cooked. But don't let that deter you!  I promise your time and effort is well worth it.

Southern Style Smoky Greens
1 bunch kale, chopped finely, stems removed (I used frozen)
1 bunch collards, chopped finely, stems removed (I used frozen)
2 white onions, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic
1 8oz package of smoked tempeh, crumbled/chopped finely
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp veg oil
3-4 Tbsp water

 In a saucepan on medium heat, cook the onions in the oil.  You want to cook them until they begin to brown and release liquid.  Stir every minute or so to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.  After about 15-20 minutes, they should be where you want them--lightly browned and very soft.  Deglaze the pan with the soy sauce and some water.

Tempeh and garlic
 Once the onions are nice and golden, add the tempeh and the garlic to the pan.  Cook for 5ish minutes, or until the tempeh has started to brown a little bit.  At this point, add your greens.  Dump them on top of the tempeh / onion / garlic mixture and stir everything around a little.  If you're using fresh greens, add a little bit of water so they cook down faster.  If you've chopped your greens finely enough, they should only need a few minutes to cook. 

If you like your greens a little spicier, add 1 tsp crushed red pepper, or 1 Tbsp hot sauce.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Food: Seitan Wings & 'Bleu Cheese'

This recipe is a little on the time-consuming side, but it's worth it.  You can also double the seitan recipe and store the extra in the fridge or the freezer.

1 c Vital Wheat Gluten
1 c Water
2 c Faux "Chicken" Broth (or veg broth + 1/4 c nutritional yeast)

Bring the broth to a boil.
While the broth is heating up, mix the gluten and water together and knead for 2-3 minutes.
Break the seitan into small pieces.  Keep in mind it will double as it cooks.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and add your seitan pieces.
Simmer for an hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Most of the broth will absorb into the seitan.

Once the seitan is finished cooking, let it cool for 10-20 minutes, then lightly coat with flour and pan-fry with a little canola oil until it's slightly browned on both sides.  When it finishes frying, coat it with buffalo sauce

Buffalo Sauce:
5 Tbsp margarine
2 Tbsp hot sauce
3 Tbsp Sriracha

Melt butter. Stir in hot sauce. Voila.

Bleu Cheese:

1/4 c tahini
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp Veganaise
3/4 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp miso
1 scallion, chopped finely

Pour the lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor. Slowly pour in olive oil and tahini while the processor is running. Scrape down the sides to make sure everything is emulsified. Add Veganaise, garlic, salt and miso. Blend until homogenized.  Pour into a small bowl and fold in scallions. Allow to sit in the fridge for about an hour before eating so all the flavors blend together.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

French Onion Soup

The usual suspects
5 lbs onions, sliced thinly
3-4 Tbsp olive oil or margarine
3 cloves, minced
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
4 c mushroom stock + 2 c veg stock or water

Day-old bread
Daiya mozzarella flavor

There isn't much to french onion soup.  Most of the flavor comes from caramelizing the onions.  Though it's time-consuming, it is well worth it.   The onions should be sliced into thin half-moons.  In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add all of your onions.  To caramelize, allow to cook over medium to medium high heat for about an hour, covered.  Check it often and stir every five minutes or so.  Halfway through the cooking process, add the garlic, sugar and thyme, and deglaze with the soy sauce. Once the onions have cooked down and are dark, dark brown (but not burnt!), add your stock.  Deglaze again and allow to simmer for 20 minutes so all of the flavors infuse.

Pretty sure y'all can figure out how to melt cheese on your bread/croutons and plate this dish.