Sunday, July 29, 2007

Vegan Fajitas

Tony whipped up another Mexican-style feast of Vegan Fajitas. The Fajitas included refried beans, rice, nutritional yeast "cheeze", salsa fresca (made with orange heirloom tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers, vinegar, and salt), and an array of fried garden veggies (yellow crookneck squash, onions, garlic, broccoli, okra, carrots, and cabbage) all coated with cumin, chili powder, and salt.

We recently discovered that we still had almost a hundred quarts of tomato juice leftover from last year and with tomatoes coming in season it is time to use it up. So the new rule is a quart with every dinner! I added some of mine to the veggies and the rest as the liquid for the rice.

This meal was brought to you by the pressure cooker. We have found that cooking beans and grains in the pressure cooker is a huge savings in time and cooking gas. Beans that would otherwise cook for two hours take just 10-25 minutes (and some don't even require soaking). Rice can cook in just 15-20 minutes, and I even put mine in the "Hay Box" to finish it off so it won't burn (a hay box is an insulated box that keeps the food hot so it can continue cooking).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vegan Eggless Eggrolls, Fried Yellow Crookneck Squash, Summer Stirfry, Carrot Salad

Dan wowed us again with these amazing Vegan "eggless" Eggrolls. Stuffed with homemade tofu, cabbage, and carrots Rachel pronounced them "just like the real thing!" We used the pasta maker to get the wrappers nice and thin and then deep fried them. He even made a delicious dipping sauce with honey, vinegar, hot peppers, salt, water, and cornstarch.

The squash were fried till they started to caramelize giving them a delicious salty sweetness.

The stirfry was a classic summer delicacy from the cookbook From Asparagus to Zucchini - Prizewinner Green Beans and Tomatoes and Herbs (page 23) - fresh green beans, tomatoes, and onions (all from our garden) with garlic and herbs. Delicious.

The carrot salad was leftover from Ivy's meal. Dan, we've learned, is not a fan of raisins in much of anything so we wanted to be clear he did not create what to him is an abomination:-) The rest of us enjoyed the cool carrot sweetness to round out the meal.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Carrot Salad! Sesame Stir-fry! Baked Tomatoes & Squash! Rice! Granola Bars!

Dinner 7/26 by Ivy

• Fresh carrot salad

• Sesame stir-fry

• Baked tomatoes and squash with garlic

• Brown rice

• Granola bars

Despite recovering from a nasty bug, Ivy whipped up another original and tasty dinner. The fresh carrot salad had raisins and even a little orange she'd brought. The stir-fry reminded me how tasty salted onions and garlic an be when fried and mixed with rice, and the tomatoes and squash continued the trend.

The winner of the evening in my book, however, was the granola Ivy whipped up. Using vegan chocolate chips and shaved coconut, this desert was nothing short of fantastic. Yum!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fresh Tomato Salad, Chickpea Salad, Focaccia

Dinner 7/25 by Brian

• Fresh tomato salad

• Chickpea salad

• Focaccia

• Corn on the cob (not pictured)

For dinner tonight, Brian broke out his standard - focaccia. It was tasty as always; I took six pieces. The vegetables continue to pour in from the garden, even if the tomatoes are still from Ironweed. Any day now, we'll have our own. The chickpea salad also included garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, and spices. Dan contributed some corn on the cob from his garden, which brought this summer feast to a close.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hash browns, Coleslaw, Fried Squash&Okra, Fresh Beans w/Cucumber Sauce

Dinner 7/23 by Ali

• Hash browns

• Coleslaw

• Fried squash & okra

• Fresh beans with cucumber sauce

Ali brought together another fantastic meal, starting with shredded potatoes and onions fried up with salt & pepper. Yup, hash browns.

Ali's also been making quite a bit of sauerkraut in the last few days. She had some cabbage left over from the last batch, and made some fresh coleslaw. I hadn't had coleslaw in months, and hadn't had any I liked this much in years.

The okra came in from our garden, and Ali wasted no time combining it with the squash we've been harvesting and making this side dish. It tastes as good as it looks, trust me.

As a gift to those among us who don't like raw cucumbers, Ali turned them into a dressing for either the coleslaw or the beans. De. Lish.

If you're wondering, the first tomatoes came in today as well, but there were only three, so they were simply eaten raw at lunch.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sloppy Joe Mix over Rice, Very Unusual Stir-fry, raw veggies

Dinner 7/22 by Juan

• Sloppy joe mix over brown rice

• Very unusual stir-fry

• Raw tomatoes & cucumbers

For tonight's dinner, I wanted to go somewhere new. Instead of my classic seitan, I grabbed some TVP and whipped up this sloppy joe mix. I'd started with The Farm's recipe, but deviated slightly, using sorghum molasses from Sandhill instead of sugar. I'm pleased with how it came out, and it went well with the rice.

I cut up some raw cucumbers (from Dan's garden) and tomatoes (from Ironweed) and served them with a little garlic powder and salt on top as an appetizer.

Finally, I made what I'm calling a very unusual stir-fry, since it isn't really fried. I did start by sauteing the onions, but from there I added soy sauce and vinegar and essentially steamed the other vegetables with those two liquids. I harvested the cabbage out of our garden minutes before it went into the pan. Talk about fresh!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Indian Lentils, Squash Stir-fry, Raw Tomato Salad, Sesame Tahini Cookies

Dinner 7/21 by Ivy

• Indian lentils with brown rice

• Tempeh Stir-fry

• Raw Tomato Salad

• Sesame Tahini Cookies

Our guest Ivy took over the kitchen tonight and whipped up some goodies. And she never cracked a cookbook. Intuitive cooking all the way!

The lentils had a lot of flavor, and worked well with the brown rice. She also made up a stir fry of a few vegetables, and crumbled tempeh into it to make a delicious dish that was also high in protein. The raw tomatoes in the salad were from Ironweed - we haven't gotten any in our own garden yet, but some of them are getting close!

The biggest hit of the night were the sesame tahini cookies. Since she didn't use a recipe, I asked her to write down what she did. Here's what she gave me.

use lots of:
buckwheat flour
brown sugar

use some:
vegetable oil
sesame seeds

use a little bit of:
baking soda

She baked them at 350F "til they were done".

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pasta Salad, Root Bake, Lairdpeas, Squash & Tomatoes

Dinner 7/20 by Rachel

• Fresh pasta salad

• Root bake

• "Lairdpeas"

• Fried squash

• Fresh tomatoes

Rachel whipped up quite a mixture of foods for tonight's community dinner. The pasta salad included broccoli and tomatoes from a local garden. The root bake was a mixture of beets, onions, and carrots tossed lightly in oil and spiced.

"Lairdpeas" are named after Laird from Sandhill. They're chickpeas (aka garbanzos) fried with soysauce. A salty and tasty side dish. Fried squash and fresh raw tomatoes completed another tasty summer meal.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sweet & Sour Seitan Stir-fry, Greens and Rice

Dinner 7/19 by Tony

• Sweet & Sour Seitan Stir Fry

• Greens

• Long-grain brown rice

Tony doesn't often make seitan. I think this is the second time since I've joined the kitchen. Still, you wouldn't know it by tasting it. This stir-fry included beets and other vegetables from local gardens, as well as a fantastic seitan. Tony being Tony, he couldn't resist dosing it with a little cinnamon, and it was a good choice.

Tony then cooked the rice in the broth leftover from the seitan, and whipped up some greens to round out the meal. Fantastic experiment, and a smashing success.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pitas with hummus and veggies

Dinner 7/18 by Brian

• Pitas

• Chickpea Hummus

• Fresh Cucumbers

• Carrot and Onion stir-fry

Tonight's dinner was a mix-em-all-together kind of meal. Chickpea hummus and pitas are a great summer meal. Adding fresh cucumbers to the pita added a little variety of flavor.

Finally, Brian stirred together some carrots and onions from the garden and lightly fried them, leaving just enough crispiness so they'd fit in with the rest of the meal. Overall, a filling and tasty dinner.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nori rolls, sesame beans, miso soup

Dinner 7/16 by Ali

• Nori rolls

• Sesame beans

• Miso soup

We call these nori rolls "sushi" around Bobolink. That's not exactly accurate. "Maki" is closer, but truthfully, we just fill the nori roll with rice and whatever else we want. Ali benefited from many of the fresh vegetables in the garden for these rolls, and also threw in some tempeh, sauerkraut, and nut butters into the mix. Perhaps the most cross-cultural nori was one that had pesto and sauerkraut, for a clash of cultures that ended up really tasty.

The sesame beans continued the asian theme, and miso soup rounded out the meal. This soup was made with the white miso that Amy and Thomas put together, added into a broth with onions and greens. I'm not ashamed to say that miso soup is my favorite soup in the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Seitan "steak", mashed potatoes, biscuits, carrot sticks

Dinner 7/15 by Juan

• Seitan "steaks"

• Mashed potatoes

• Biscuits

• Carrot sticks

For tonight's dinner, I took the seitan I normally make in a different direction. Instead of cubes, I sliced it into cutlets before boiling. The spice mixture was heavily italian, giving it an intense flavor to balance the potatoes & biscuits.

The mashed potatoes were enhanced by adding oil (for creaminess), salt and vinegar (for flavor). You'll notice I left the skins on - a benefit of using organic potatoes is that you can keep the highly-nutritious skins. Combined with our home-made ketchup, this combination pleased our diners.

In order to ensure folks had enough grains in their dinner, I whipped up some of Jane's Good Biscuits from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. They live up to their name, and the (few) leftovers will make a good breakfast in the morning.

The carrot sticks provided a fresh vegetable as an appetizer to get folks started before they dug into the "meaty" rest of the meal. I submit this dinner as evidence that vegans don't have to miss out on the American staple of meat and potatoes - we can just make our meat out of wheat.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tempeh, fries, "cheesy" squash, greens, carrots and beans

Dinner 7/13 by Ali

* Tempeh

* French Fries

* Greens

* Carrots & Beans

* "Cheezy" Squash

Tonight's dinner was a cornucopia of vegetable delights. French fries are always a great side dish for tempeh, and I don't know what Ali put in the squash sauce, but "cheesy" is a very apt name.

The carrots and beans were lightly cooked - still crispy. Man, I love summer food. The steamed greens rounded out another fantastic meal.

Oh, and I know tempeh isn't a vegetable. It's poetic license.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Broken Heart, Mujadara over Rice, and Cucumber Salad

Dinner 7/11 by Dan

• Broken Heart

• Mujadara

• Rice

• Cucumber Salad

Tonight's dinner was a group of new dishes for me. It was a combination of spicy cooked food with raw fresh vegetables as a counterweight.

Broken Heart is a spicy beet-based dish that Dan tells us was invented by someone at the cohousing where he used to live. Shredded coconut and spices bring it home - a great addition to our co-op's repertoire.

Continuing with new things, mujadara is a lentil dish that uses epazote as its primary spice. It had a little kick, and was complemented by a fresh cucumber salsa and deep-fried garlic and garlic scapes. Served over rice, the whole kid & caboodle made a fantastic flavor mixture.

Rounding out dinner was a fresh cucumber and carrot salad, bringing in the first cucumbers of this year's harvest. Cuc's are one of my favorite vegetables, and I've missed them. It's good to have them back.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Vegetable Fritters, Greens, Lemon Pudding

Dinner 7/9 by Jan

• Vegetable Fritters

• Spicy Tomato Sauce

• Greens

• Lemon Pudding

Jan started with the recipe soy fritters in The Farm's cookbook and started replacing soybeans with other things to make these delicious vegetable fritters. As if they weren't delicious enough by themselves, she whipped up a tomato sauce to top them off. Oh wondrous improvisation.

The greens are straight from local gardens, cooked just enough to not be bitter, but still keeping all of their flavor.

Finally, Jan cracked open The Farm's recipe for pudding and whipped up something really special. She claims her motivation was to use up some food that was about to spoil in our fridge. If this is true, I may start leaving random things in there and seeing what she comes up with.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Summer Cool-off food

Dinner 7/8 by Ali with help from Panda

• Summer Carrot Salad

• Potato Salad

• Buckwheat

• Sloppy Joe Mix

Tonight's dinner was refreshing after the blazing summer heat we've suffered. The potato and carrot salads were both served cold, making them an ideal cool-off.

Ali and Panda turned their sloppy joe mixture into something that stood on its own - no sandwich required. The surprisingly-tasty buckwheat closed the circle on this cool meal.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Beets & Beans, Brown Rice, Tofu Stir Fry

Dinner 07/07/07 by Dan

• Tofu Stir Fry

• Brown Rice

• Beets & Beans

• "Brown Sauce"

Tonight's dinner was a veggie extravaganza, with carrots, beets, beans, cabbage, and onions from Dan's and our garden all coming into play.

Dan's tofu is always a tasty protein, and was a welcome addition to the crispy stir-fry. The rest of it was made up of the aforementioned vegetables. It was all topped off with a soy-sauce-based topping Dan called simply, "brown sauce".

Finally, the first beets from the garden, picked minutes before going into the pot, joined green beans for a delish side dish.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Potatoes, Tempeh Pate, Biscuits, and Salad

Dinner 7/6 by Brian

• Oven-roasted potatoes

• Salad

• Biscuits

• Tempeh Pate

Tonight's community dinner was an interesting experiment - and a tasty one. Potatoes from our neighbors up the road roasted with herbs are always good in my book. The salad included carrots from Dan's garden and red cabbage from those same neighbors.

The tempeh pate was originally based on a recipe for tempeh gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance. In Brian's words, "it ended up too thick to be a gravy." The texture is more similar to refried beans, and this would probably also be good in a tortilla.

Today was also Tom's birthday, so the Milkweeds brought out a vegan chocolate cake to share with everyone. It was a great finale to a fantastic meal.

Lunch in an Organic Vegan Food Co-op

Dinner 7/5 & Lunch 7/6 by Tony

• Pizza
Toppings included sauerkraut, dilly beans, soysage, tomato sauce, nutritional yeast cheez, salsa.

• Greens and Dilly Beans

• Soysage (Lunch)

• Salad (Lunch)

• Carrot sticks (Lunch)

A full crop of visitors ate dinner with us last night, so Tony made his famous pizza. As usually happens when he does so, there were few leftovers. What made this batch of pizza unique, however, was what Tony did when he ran out of tomato sauce.

He made half the pizza with no sauce (which, given the deliciousness of the cheez, was fantastic) and for the other half, he added spicy salsa, to give a whole new tasty experience. Next time, maybe he'll add some refried beans and make burrizza.

Given that the cook for dinner is responsible for lunch the next day, people tend to depend heavily on leftovers. When there are few, however, the cook ends up whipping up some new stuff. In order to help ensure there was enough food, Tony added vegetables and salad from Dan's garden, as well as some soysage to the meal. Yum yum.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Samosas, Salad, Sweet Rice and other S's

Dinner 7/2 by Ali with help from Rory & Panda

• Samosas

• Split-pea Hummus

• Salad with Cashew-Macadamia dressing

• Sweet Rice

• Apple Chutney

Ahh, Indian food. My favorite food. The samosas here tasted just like they came from an Indian restaurant. They really came from The Spice Box: Vegetarian Indian Cookbook by Manju Shivraj Singh. If you don't know what a samosa is, it's basically a deep-fried pastry filled with a potato-onion mash.

Ironically enough, Ali made the apple chutney during her last visit to DR. So using it with the samosas closed the circle. Must be kismet.

This was the first time I've had a hummus without a bread product to put it on. Instead, I mixed it in with my rice - and it was good stuff.

Topping it off was the salad. Dan grew this lettuce, and it was crispy and delicious. The dressing was made using Cashew-Macadamia (or cash-mac) Butter from East Wind. We buy it and all of our other nut butters directly from EW when we can - it's great to support another community in their endeavors.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Shepherd's Pie

Dinner 7/1 by Juan

Apologies for the image, but some dinners are just not photogenic.

• Shepherd's Pie with Golden Gravy

• Home-baked Bread

• Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made up the Shepherd's pie based on my mother's old recipe. Although hers used ground beef instead of TVP. Normally, I would only make this if I had more vegetables; peas come to mind. Still, it came out pretty tasty with just onions, carrots, garlic and TVP under those mashed potatoes.

The Golden Gravy is a heavily-modified (read: screwed up) version of the one from The Farm Cookbook. I messed it up, ran with it, and it came out okay.

I was going to make biscuits, but I ran out of time, so home-baked bread it was.

Vegan with a Vengeance has a recipe called Big Gigantoid Crispy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (or something like that). These were not them, a fact I realized halfway through the recipe. Instead, these are the Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies from the same book, with vegan chocolate chips thrown in.