Friday, May 9, 2008

Bedtime for Blogger

Soooo, you've probably noticed the lack of posts on this blog. For a while, I was traveling and now I'm doing a bit of a spring cleanse, so I haven't been in tune with the co-op. After almost a year of blogging our meals, I think it's time to take a break and let myself feel okay about not updating.

I still have some old meals that I may get around to posting at some point. Someday, I may be back. Or someone else might take over the posting. Who knows? In the meantime, enjoy our past meals and try some of our recipes!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Whole Wheat Pitas, Marinated Tofu, Salad, Pickles

Dinner 3/24 by Dan

• Whole Wheat Pitas

• Marinated Tofu

• Salad

• Pickles

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lasagna, Black-eyed Pea Patties, Hamantaschen

Dinner 3/20 by Amy and Juan

• Lasagna

• Black-eyed Pea Patties

• Hamantaschen

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Potato Soup, Biscuits, Swiss Chard, Berry Bars

Dinner 3/19 by our fabulous guests, Lauren and Shannon

• Potato Soup

• Biscuits

• Swiss Chard

• Berry Bars

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tomato Soup, Samosas

Dinner 3/17 by Jan

• Tomato Soup

• Samosas

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deep-Fried Seitan, Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce, Green Beans, Brown Rice

Dinner 3/13 by Amy and Juan

• Deep-Fried Seitan

• Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce

• Green Beans

• Brown Rice

Tonight was our first experiment with deep-frying seitan. We have gotten into the habit of making a lot of General Tso's Seitan, but since I've decided to stop blogging recipe repeats, it was time to get creative.

We used Authentic Chinese Cuisine by Bryanna Clark Grogan for the batter and sauce recipes. The batter was basically a slurry of powdered egg replacer, cornstarch, water, baking powder, salt and ginger. It crisped up nicely like tempura and has a gingery salty flavor. The sweet and sour sauce was made with some canned pineapple I got from a local store that sells mostly dinged up cans and out of date food for really cheap. We don't shop there often, but it's a great way to help eliminate things from the wastestream.

The green beans were made from local organic green beans that we canned over the summer. We tried a technique that Brian used where he cooked them in a dry cast iron pan so the liquid would cook out of them. Canned beans can be rather bloated, in my opinion. A little soy sauce helped add some flavor and color.

Vegan Whole Wheat Donut Recipe

First, take your favorite bread recipe and whip up a batch of dough. I like to use the recipe for Soft Sandwich Buns from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook slightly modified to accommodate what's on hand:

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sorghum (or sugar)
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
6 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt

Heat 2 cups of water and pour into a bowl containing the oil and 1/4 cup of sorghum. Let mixture cool. In a large bowl, place the yeast, 1 tsp of sorghum and the warm water. Let yeast mixture sit a few minutes, then add the cooled water. Whisk in 2 cups of flour and beat 100 times until smooth. Let sponge rest 10 minutes. Beat in 4 cups flour and the salt. Add enough flour so dough can be turned out to knead for 5 minutes.

Roll out until between 1/8th and 1/4 inch thick. Cut out into donut shapes of your choice. If you are going to fill them, you can cut them out using the drinking edge of a 3" diameter drinking glass. Place on an oiled or well-floured baking sheet. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

Fill a soup pot with about 4 inches of good quality oil for frying. We used sunflower oil. Heat on high heat until around 390 degrees. Use a candy/frying thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil. Once it gets hot enough, turn the flame down to maintain the temperature.

Place the donuts into the oil. I only put in one or two at a time so that they are floating on the surface, but not touching each other. Turn over after 10 seconds and remove after another 10 seconds. They continue to brown after they are pulled out of the oil. Place the fried donuts on some newspaper or a rack so the excess oil can drip off.

At this point, your donuts are ready to eat. If you want to make them fancier, you can put them in a paper bag that has equal amounts of sugar and cinnamon and shake them until coated. Or, you can roll them in confectioner's sugar. Or you can make a simple glaze out of water, confectioner's sugar and a little vanilla. If you want chocolate glaze, add some cocoa to that mix.

Filling the donuts is easy, too! You can pipe in some cheap raspberry jelly or make some vegan buttercream from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The donuts above feature the Vegan Vanilla Buttercream and chocolate glaze.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spaghetti Squash, Tomato Sauce, Pesto, Mac-esan (Vegan Parmesan), Breadsticks, Almond Butter Cookies

Dinner 3/12 by Juan, Lauren and Shannon

Thank goodness for daylight savings. Now we have photos with natural light again! Yay!

• Spaghetti Squash

• Tomato Sauce

• Pesto

• Mac-esan (Vegan Parmesan)

• Breadsticks

• Almond Butter Cookies

Tonight's feast was made by Juan with lots of help from our guests, Lauren and Shannon. The spaghetti squash were from a neighboring organic farmer that we have been storing all winter. Lauren roasted them in the oven until they were tender, then cut them in half, took the seeds out, skinned them and boiled the insides until they were stringy like spaghetti.

The sauce options were our own homemade tomato sauce made with organic tomatoes that we canned from our garden over the summer. The pesto was made from basil from our garden. It was made into pesto and then frozen.

The mac-esan was an experimental vegan parmesan alternative. We have some macadamia meal that was given to us by East Wind Community. Lauren mixed it with some of our homemade white miso, spread it out on a baking tray and dried it out at a low temperature. The end result was crumbly and had a cheesy sort of flavor. I think it was delicious!

The breadsticks are from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. Shannon made some with nutritional yeast and some without. The main ingredient was freshly-ground wheat from our neighbors' farm 3 miles away.

The almond butter cookies were following the recipe in Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham. They used some mystery nut butter from East Wind Community. We think maybe it's almond and cashew. Such a treat!