Tag Archives: recipe

Throw everything in the pan curry

30 Aug

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I am a firm believer that great things come from one pan. I will throw everything i have in the fridge in a pan and serve it up about once a week or every two weeks.
This time I also used up a can of pigeon peas that I bought for the first time. I’ve never eaten them before so I didn’t know how I would like them. Turns out they were the perfect thing for my vegetable curry.
I cooked onion, garlic, pigeon peas, tomato, carrot, and mushroom in one pan and added a couple scoops of curry powder and soy milk. Simmered for 10 minutes and devoured! I will be buying more pigeon peas next time I go shopping! Next time I’ll use a little less curry powder and I think this meal will be perfect. It’s great for leftovers too!
What do you add to your curry?
Or what’s your favorite one pot meal?
-Kerri

The Sweet Simple Pleasures of Late Summer

24 Aug

My neighbors started a small but amazing garden this year. They generously gave me some of their tomatoes the other day.

These tomatoes are the most flavorful tomatoes I can ever remember tasting. They are far and above, way better than the tomatoes in my CSA.

I ate these tomatoes by themselves and they were awesome, but what really hit the spot was my open faced tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich.

I have a sweet memory of my first tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. I was probably 11 when I went through a pretty severe Harriet the Spy phase. Harriet love tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches, so of corse I needed to try one.

My Nanna lived with us, and she saw me making the sandwich in the kitchen and got all excited. Seeing the tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich stirred up memories of her past and childhood when she used to make them all the time. She said that she had not seen one in years and years and decided to join me and have a sandwich of her own.

Now tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches are like comfort food. It always brings me back to that day with my Nanna in the kitchen and Harriet the Spy on my mind.

I made my tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich open faced this time because the tomatoes were so beautiful I thought it would be a shame to cover them with a piece of bread.

I toasted scali bread in the toaster oven (an italian style bread covered with sesame seeds), and topped the toast with vegan  mayonnaise and large slices of tomato.

I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life.

-Kerri

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

21 Aug

I’m always looking for things to make for lunch at work. This cold cucumber and rice salad is the perfect thing because I can make it ahead of time, and the flavors blend beautifully by the time my lunch break rolls around. I made a batch of this and ate it two days in a row, and it was even better the second day.

I thought of this dish because i wanted something with a light flavor, that would stick my your ribs. I had a lot of cucumbers but i didn’t think my Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad would fill my up enough, and I didn’t want anything with a slot of dressing. This salad has just the right balance of flavors and texture. I’m really happy with the way it tuned out.

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

1 cup plain rice (measured uncooked rice)

2 cucumbers

1 lime

1 teaspoon white vinegar

vegan mayo

I use extra long grain white rice. I make it like sushi rice because I love it slightly sticky. I make sticky rice by rinsing the uncooked rice with really cold water. I swish the water around and scrunch the damp rice in my fists so the grains rub against each other polishing the outside of the rice. Rinse several times until the water is pretty much clear. Drain rinsing water and add fresh water to the pot. Bring water and rice to a boil. Then turn the heat down and cover the pot to steam the rice. Simmer (watch out for boiling over) for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking cut cucumbers into bite sized pieces.

When rice is cooked remove from heat and place in mixing bowl, add white vinegar and fold into the rice.

Add Cucumbers to the bowl.

Add the juice from one lime.

Add a small amount of vegan mayo. Just enough to bring the mixture together. Taste test the salad until you get the right amount. People are very picky about how much mayo to use. Remember you can always add more if you want, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.

You want to fold the ingredients together while the rice is warm and then place the batch in the refrigerator. I suggest making this at least 20 minutes before serving, but you can do it a day in advance. The flavor is better when its had time to blend.

Enjoy!

I’d love a comment if you try this recipe.

-Kerri

Crazy Cool Tofu Ricotta in Eggplant and Pepper Lasagna

11 Aug

 

Tofu Ricotta Eggplant and Bell Pepper Lasagna

I have been getting a lot of eggplant in my CSA  for the past couple of weeks, so I have been experimenting with different ways to cook it. I wanted to make these little eggplant bites I saw on Pinterest but my eggplant was too short to roll up, so I decided to take the same flavors and present them in lasagna instead.

I layered slices of eggplant with garlicky tomato sauce and the most amazing homemade vegan ricotta. This tofu ricotta is so good that I almost ate all of it right out of the blender. Mike hates tofu and loves dairy and even he was impressed with the flavor! When Mike likes it, you know it’s a success.

Michael doesn’t like eggplant very much, so I decided to make half the pan eggplant layers and the other half layers of fresh bell peppers. Truth be told; we both ended up eating off of each other’s plates that night. I love this dish and I think it will become a new staple in my home. I think you could use several different veggies for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it with zucchini or portabella mushrooms.

 

Ingredients:

2/3 block of extra-firm tofu

juice from half a lemon (or lime, because I never seem to have lemons when I need them)

1 tablespoon basil

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
(2 for ricotta and 1 to sprinkle on top)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cups tomato sauce

1 small eggplant

1 bell paper

3 plumb tomatoes (optional)

2 slices of toasted crusty bread, cubed. (will make bread crumbs. 3tbs for the ricotta, and 3tbls to sprinkle on the top)

You will need a food processor. I use my Ninja;  everything always comes out perfectly when I use the Ninja.

Directions:

Thinly slice the eggplant (length-wise) and over with salt on both sides to draw out excess water.

Slice up bell pepper.

Make breadcrumbs. I had two slices of Panera’s country loaf that were a bit stale, you can use any crusty bread, or just use whatever breadcrumb you have.

Cut bread into cubes so it will fit in the food processer and toast in toaster oven. Set 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs aside to sprinkle on top later.

Combine the tofu, citrus, salt, basil, nutritional yeast, and olive oil with the 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in the blender.

Rinse the salt off of the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel.

Spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.

Place the veggies in a single layer on pan.

Spread ricotta on top of the veggies the best you can. It helps to use your fingers here.

Repeat to make at least two veggie layers. Top off with remaining tomato sauce.

Sprinkle the top with remaining breadcrumbs and a small amount of nutritional yeast.

Slice plumb tomatoes and place on top

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown on the top.

Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

-Kerri

Vegan Pot Pie

10 Aug

I cooked this tofu pot pie for my family to celebrate my parents’ birthdays. It was the first time I cooked for anyone outside of my apartment since going vegan, and I got a lot of complements. In fact my (non-vegan) mother requested this recipe for the blog today.

A lot of chicken pot pies use cubed chicken, so the cubed tofu doesn’t look foreign to the omnivores, and the gravy is so good everyone will love it.  The crust is so buttery; this recipe is perfect comfort food.

Vegan Pot Pie

 

Crust

1 cup flour
plus some extra for dusting

1 stick vegan Butter (cut into very small pieces and frozen)

A small amount of ice water

Filling

I package super firm tofu

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion

1 celery stock

1 carrot

3 cloves garlic

1 medium sized potato

1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons soy sauce
(or tamari)

1 1/4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Crust

The key to this flakey crust is working with very cold ingredients. Put all crust ingredients in the freezer while you work on dicing the veggies and cook the filling. Yes, even the flour, put it in a bowl and stick it in the freezer. I even stick the fork I will be using to mix the dough in the freezer too.

 

Filling

Squeeze tofu to get rid of excess water. I press the tofu between my hands over the cutting board and then rinse the cutting board in the sink. If you press the tofu over the sink you run the risk of dropping bits into the sink and that sucks. Or you can wrap the block of tofu in a paper towel and press it between the cutting board and a plate.

Cut tofu into 1/3 inch pieces.

Dry fry tofu until pieces are brown on most sides. The key to dry fry (no oil) tofu is to leave it alone. Don’t flip the pieces every 5 seconds. Let one side sit and get brown, and then move the pieces carefully onto the other side, let sit until brown, repeat. If little pieces of tofu stick to the pan don’t have a heart attack, it will all get incorporated into the filling.

Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

Heat olive oil in the same pan and add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Heat until fragrant and onion is sweated.

Add potato to the mix and cook until. Stir often; do not over cook potato.

Add flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to the pan. Stir until incorporated. It should look kind of doughy or crumbly. If the oil is incorporated into the flour there wont be any clumps in the gravy.

Add vegetable stock and stir, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Add tofu, peas, sage, basil, and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Crust

Using fork, mix flour and butter until crumbly. Then mix again using your hands to fully incorporate butter. (It doesn’t have to be perfect; it will come together in the end)

Slowly sprinkle ice water and mix with the fork until dough forms.

Dust an area with flour and roll out crust to fit your pie pan.

 

Assemble

Pour filling into pie pan.

Cover with crust.

Cut slits in the crust with a knife.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

 

-Kerri

So much delicious-ness!

5 Aug

I found this great recipe on Pinterest, but tweaked it to make it a little healthier and give it a little more flavor. I put the changes in red 🙂

Black Bean, Corn, and Edamame Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used a few tablespoons of vegetable broth)
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
  • 2 cobs of corn, cooked, cooled, and corn cut from cob (about 2 cups) (I used frozen corn)
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked and cooled
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, oils, broth, garlic, and agave or sugar. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Add the corn, edamame, black beans, onion, and cilantro to a medium/large bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over the mixture and gently toss.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight, to allow flavors to blend.

For dinner, I made a delicious stir-fry with string beans from my CSA, broccoli, carrots, snap peas, onions, peppers, and edamame. The night before, while making pesto tofu sandwiches, I set aside some extra dry-fried tofu to marinate. The marinade consisted of an vegetarian stir-fry sauce I purchased at the local Asian market, vegetable broth, granulated garlic, and ground ginger. Why the veggie broth? I saw the sodium content in the sauce and decided to dilute it. It was still tasted great! The only other item I included was Asian rice cakes that Kerri was kind enough to bring me last week. I love the texture and how they taste mixed in with the vegetables and sauce.

Regardless of how delicious my food tastes, I need a little something sweet to end the day. I lost a lot of cooking energy making these meals so I settled for some delicious vanilla cake with vanilla frosting from my favorite restaurant, Susty’s Vegan Cafe. A perfect end to the day!

~Kate

If Vegan Food is Scary, Try This Bruschetta

5 Aug

For someone transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, one of the scariest things is the idea that you can’t eat any familiar favorites. For friends and family of vegans, sometimes the word vegan is scary, not to mention how terrifying the idea of actually eating a vegan dish might be. Maybe terrifying is too harsh of a term, but there is a lot of intimidation that surrounds a vegan lifestyle.

People say, “Oh my God. You don’t eat meat? What do you eat?” or “Hmm, I’ve never had a vegan meal before”. Chances are, almost all vegans thought this way before switching. An easy reply to “I’ve never had a vegan meal.” Is “sure you have, what about spaghetti and marinara sauce, or peanut butter and jelly.”

A slow introduction to vegan dishes can be a lot easier than suddenly showing up to a party with kale chips, or seaweed salad.

Here’s a familiar crowd pleaser to bring next time you’re invited to bring food to a party or a meeting. Serve this oil free bruschetta you friends and family of all ages, it’s that good! It’s to full of flavor they wont miss the cheese, and they won’t believe it’s oil free! I came up with this the other day and it was gobbled up in no time. All the ingredients were from my CSA!

Kerri’s Oil Free, Tomato and Eggplant Bruschetta:

Serves 3

1 Eggplant – I used one of the light colored, long and skinny varieties.

1 hand full of salt (trust me)

2 Large Garlic Cloves, or 3 small ones

2 Cups of Chopped Tomatoes – I used plum tomatoes, whatever’s handy

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Large Slices of Crusty Bread – I used Panera Bread’s County Loaf.

Balsamic Vinegar to taste

Slice the eggplant into pieces about a ¼ inch thick.

To get rid of excess moisture and to avoid mushy cooked eggplant, place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a colander or on a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with a hand full of salt. Let the eggplant slices sit for 10 minutes with the salt. You will see the water bead up as it’s drawn out of the eggplant by the salt.

While the eggplant is sitting chop your tomatoes. I cut my plumb tomatoes into 3 or four pieces each, no uniform shapes. If you cut the veggies into non-uniform shapes, it will give your dish a rustic look and varieties of texture.

Place a garlic clove on the cutting board. With a broad knife over the garlic pound down with the palm of your hand to squish the garlic, therefore releasing it’s fragrant oils and flavor, and freeing the clove from it’s paper prison. Again, I love my food rustic so I use the garlic in this smooshed state, but if you want you can cut it up a bit too. Continue with remaining cloves.

Put tomatoes and garlic in a bowl, add salt and pepper, and mix with your hand until evenly blended.

Place tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a baking pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes until juicy and colored on the edges.

Remove from oven and place tomatoes and garlic back in the bowl.

Wash the salt off of your eggplant and pat dry. Cut sliced eggplant into ¼ inch chunks. Place eggplant in a single layer on baking pan and bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes until lightly brown, may flip once mid way through.

Cut slices of crusty bread in half and toast in toaster oven. Do this while the eggplant cooks.

Add cooked eggplant into the bowl with the tomatoes and garlic. Mix well.

Serve with toasted bread.

My mom suggested dressing bruschetta bites with balsamic vinegar. I put it out so people could serve themselves, and the balsamic vinegar was a big hit.

What To Do About Cookouts

4 Aug

So far my family has tried to be accommodating about my new vegan lifestyle. Mike’s sister, Beth, has gone out of her way to cook me meat free sauce at a family pasta dinner, and at her barbeque she grilled veggies before the meat went on the gill (so thoughtful). However it is ultimately up to me to make sure there are vegan options.

Mike’s youngest sister, Sarah, graduated from high school this year, and the family celebrated with a pool party cookout. Most cookout food is just grilled meat, and if there is a veggie it’s mostly mayo potato salad, or bacon fat beans. I decided it would be best to bring something to ensure I didn’t spent the day eating empty hot dog buns just in case.

I had a few cucumbers from my CSA and not a lot of other ingredients, so I decided to make cucumber salad, and to bring enough for everyone. That way when everyone eats it and tells me how good it is I can see the looks on their faces when I say “and it’s vegan too”. So congratulations to Sarah for graduation high school, and congratulations to me for whipping up an awesome summertime side dish!

Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad:

notes:

  • I didn’t measure any of the ingredients, just keep tasting it til it’s awesome.
  • For milk I used Almond Breeze original unsweetened almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you have handy
  • A lemon could be used instead of the lime. I only had limes at the time and it ended up pairing quite well with the cucumbers believe it or not.
  • I used about 4 cucumbers, for variety I cut them all into small chunks but not uniform size, just smallish.
  • I also varied how much peel I left on each cucumber, this added dimension to the flavor, look, and texture of the dish.

Pan-Fried Pesto Tofu Sandwich

4 Aug

This was heavenly!  Unfortunately, I have a nasty habit of never measuring when I cook so bear with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate’s Pesto Tofu Sandwich

  • 2 slices of dry fried tofu (Learn about it here)
  • 2 slices of panini-type bread
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan pesto (see below)
  • 2-3 tablespoons pasta sauce of your choice
  • Vegan Parmesan
  • Non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance)

Spread a thin layer of Earth Balance on one side of each piece of bread. On the other sides, spread a layer of pesto. Place dry fried tofu on top with pasta sauce. Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan. Pan fry both sides until tofu is hot. Enjoy!

Kate’s Vegan Pesto

  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small handful of walnuts
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil (add slowly until you get the right texture… should be thick)

Puree together in a food processor.

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Breakfast for dinner!

1 Aug

Breakfast for dinner!

Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper Frittata for dinner 🙂 Thank you, Happy Herbivore!