Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Savory Green Onion & Pepper Muffins

As I was writing out this recipe, I remembered that we had a blog... a place to share the most extraordinary things that come out of our kitchen. And these muffins ARE rather extraordinary. They are perfectly moist and light, despite being vegan (no dense, low-rising, rock cakes here). I really hit the jackpot on these and I don't think I'll ever need another savory muffin recipe -- I'll just swap out the onions and peppers for broccoli or zucchini or whatever vegetables are in season.

Savory Muffins
(Makes 12)

2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. non-dairy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1 - 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
pinch of dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
5+ small sweet red peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
zest from 1 small lemon
1/2 c. Daiya shredded mozzarella (vegan cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Lightly saute the onions, peppers, and garlic in a skillet. Combine the wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Fold in the sauteed veggies, lemon zest, and vegan cheese. Bake in muffin tin with liners for 23 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu

I'm posting this menu mainly for my own benefit. We'll be cooking a small meal for four people, with very little prep work. We didn't find any fresh corn at the farmer's market (out of season, right?) so we scraped our favorite creamless creamed corn recipe. And I'm still debating what to do with the organic cranberries I picked up, since they're not my favorite. Any idea how to make them delicious without using a ton of sugar?

First Course
Butternut squash soup 
(recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, or similar)
Homemade bread
Green salad
(leaning towards this one from Vegan Soul Kitchen)

Persimmon, pomegranate, and walnut salad
Brussels sprouts roasted in garlic oil
Mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy

Main Course
Rustic white bean and sage casserole 
(from Veganomicon, with cauliflower instead of mushrooms and starring Rancho Gordo's famous Vallarta beans) 

Vegan apple pie (K.'s mom's recipe)
with non-dairy vanilla ice cream

And just for fun, here's last year's Thanksgiving recap.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coconut Oil Biscuits

These are the flakiest, most delicious biscuits I've ever made. Need I say more?

I first read about coconut oil way back when in Super Natural Cooking. Heidi pointed out that "coconut oil is one of the only unrefined vegetable oils that isn't heavily compromised at higher temperatures," which makes it a good substitute for butter. And according to some studies, coconut oil may be better for you than other saturated fats. But make sure you use organic unrefined coconut oil and not anything hydrogenated/trans-fatty. I used Dr. Bronner's (gotta love that guy).

Coconut Oil Biscuits
Makes 6-8 biscuits

2/3 c. white AP flour
2/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 scant tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. coconut oil
almond milk, as needed
1 small container plain soy yogurt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Microwave the coconut oil for about a minute, until there is a layer of liquid oil on the top. Use a small spoon to scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the solid coconut oil. It should still be slightly cold, but pliable. I use my hands to break the oil into small pieces and incorporate it into the dry mixture, but you can use a fork or a food processor if you prefer. Next, stir in the yogurt with a large spoon until the mixture forms a soft dough ball. This is the part where I usually need to add a few drops of almond milk to help everything come together. Finally, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 10 times. Pat or roll the dough to your desired thickness and cut out round biscuits. Place the biscuits on a non-greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes.

Shown with a heap of spicy tempeh and greens. And, because we can, a smidge of maple syrup!

Monday, April 25, 2011

East of Easter: Masala Dosas

Mmmm, dosas. Delicate pancakes made from a batter of fermented rice and lentils, stuffed with curried potatoes and served with a dollop of coconut chutney.

WARNING: File under "special holiday dishes that require at least one day of advance prep." Seriously, I'm talking 8 hours of soaking and 16-20 hours of fermentation.

And you'll probably need to make a trip to your local Indian grocery store for ingredients: urad dal, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, etc. And you might be inspired to stock up on additional goodies (like the largest jar of amchoor powder in the whole store, to make authentic versions of masoor dal and bhindi masala).

We referenced both Madhur Jaffrey's classic cookbook (currently obsessed with it) and this page for the dosa, potato curry, and chutney recipes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Almond ricotta pizza

After a not insignificant amount of experimentation this is the pizza we have loved the most (in degree and frequency). Regular crust with a quick marinara sauce, a few dollops of almond ricotta, topped with kale (or broccoli) and tempeh sausage. Out of a perverse kind of laziness (i.e., not wanting to go to the store), I've gotten in the habit of making all the various components from scratch, but everything other than the cheese and sauce could easily be subbed out for pre-made stuff.

I still like Bittman's pizza dough recipe. Kristen doesn't love the cornmeal so I have been using all flour lately (and I can verify that up to 1/3 whole wheat flour tastes good). Also if you are into leavening things, I can't recommend instant yeast enough (available on King Arthur Flour's website).

Once the dough has risen, divide it, shape it into two balls and cover with a dry cloth. Throw your pizza stone in the oven (I've also had good luck baking pizza in a 12" cast iron skillet) and preheat to 500. If your oven is anything like mine, you should have plenty of time to make the toppings while you wait:

Simple pizza sauce
Half an onion, diced
28oz can of whole tomatoes
0.5 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, oregano

Heat the oil over medium heat, add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Trim the tomatoes (i.e., cut off the stems and chop coarsely), and add them with about half of their juice to the pan. Add the sugar, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, and then give it a quick pulse in the blender.

Almond ricotta
1 cup almonds
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
~0.25 cups warm water
Salt, pepper

If your almonds have skins, drop them in boiling water for a couple minutes, and then transfer to an ice bath. When they're cool, just squeeze along the edges, and the almond will pop out. Toss the skins, and let the almonds soak in warm water for a few minutes (usually how ever long it takes to make the sauce). Drain almost all of the water, and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon, and a pinch of salt. The goal now is to process until it is quite smooth (it's always slightly grainy but that seems to work itself out when it bakes), and fairly thick, adding a little bit of water at a time as necessary. I've found it to be quite forgiving w/r/t the amount of water, so don't worry if it seems too thick or too thin (anywhere from yogurt to ricotta seems to work fine). Season to taste.

Toss the dough like so (warning: embarrassing animated GIF), or just roll and stretch it like a normal person. Top with plenty of sauce. We're partial to tempeh sausage crumbles à la Isa and something green (broccoli, kale) for toppings, plus a few evenly spaced dollops of almond cheese. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 500, until the crust is starting to darken and the cheese puffs up a bit. Enjoy!

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Interlude: Lentil black bean burgers

A.k.a. clean out the fridge burgers, approximately 1:1:1 lentils, black beans, and barley, with an egg, ketchup, cumin, and chili powder. Also tried my luck at making my own buns -- a quick recipe from Vegan Lunchbox (great texture, a little raw flour-y taste, presumably from not letting it ferment overnight, will have to try Peter Reinhardt's recipe some time). Pictured here Kristen-style, double-decker with ketchup, relish, veganaise, and an artichoke.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ginger-tofu potstickers (with dipping sauce)

I've been having a love affair with fresh ginger. It's now a staple on my weekly grocery list. On any given day, our fridge's butter compartment is likely to be stocked with ginger roots instead of butter. Fresh ginger keeps for weeks and can be used to spice Asian dishes (like the potstickers featured in this post), make delicious tea (boil unpeeled slices for 25 minutes and sweeten with honey), and flavor baked goods (like these carrot bran muffins). But for now, back to the gingery potstickers.

I have fond memories of making potstickers with my college friends in the awkward kitchen of the International House. Of course in those days we filled them with pork and cabbage. This version is not nearly so authentic, but it's vegetarian* and relies on tofu for much of its substance. And luckily for me, the end result tastes nothing like tofu (it's no secret that I'm not a big fan--I think it tastes like watery plastic). K. said the filling was more reminiscent of crab rangoon, and I agree. Each bite is creamy and indulgent in taste but otherwise guilt-free. Enjoy!

*vegan if you use egg-free gyoza wrappers

Ginger-tofu potstickers
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

(Makes about 28)

1 10-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained
4 oz. your favorite mushroom (we used cremini, shiitake would be ideal)
6 Tbs. blanched, slivered almonds
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 inch ginger root, peeled and sliced (about 2 Tbs.)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch plus some extra for dusting
1 Tbs. orange zest
1/2 tsp. salt
28 gyoza wrappers
2 Tbs. canola oil

Dipping sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
2 Tbs. finely shredded carrot
1 Tbs. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Prep: drain the tofu by placing between two plates, finely chop the mushrooms, zest the orange with a zester or microplane, and peel ginger using a small metal spoon (this works better than a vegetable peeler).

Make filling: crumble tofu into the food processor, add cilantro, ginger, garlic, and half the almonds (1/4 c.), soy sauce, sugar and 1 tsp. cornstarch. Process until everything is well incorporated. Remove mixture from the food processor and place into a large bowl. Mix in the orange zest, salt, mushrooms and remaining almonds.

Assemble potstickers: Dust a baking sheet with cornstarch. Arrange several gyoza wrappers on work surface. Place a small bowl of water and brush nearby. Each potsticker will need about 1 tablespoon filling. Brush half of the wrapper's edge with water. Bring edges together and press to seal. Place pot stickers on baking sheet, and refridgerate until you are ready to cook them. If they get too warm they will start to fall apart and stick to the baking sheet.

Make dipping sauce: Bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat to cool.

Cook potstickers: Heat 1 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat in each of 2 large skillets (or make in 2 batches, using 1 Tbs. oil per batch). Drop pot stickers into pan, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Pour about one inch water into the pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook 8-10 minutes, checking pan and shaking occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove carefully when done and serve hot with bowls of dipping sauce.