Saturday, June 30, 2007

Potato-Leek Soup, Carrot Salad, Soysage & Greens

Dinner 6/30 by Rachel

  • Potato-Leek Soup

  • Cabbage & Carrot Salad

  • Steamed Greens

  • Soysage

  • Home-baked Bread
Rachel's dinner was "inspired" by several recipes in the Soul Vegetarian Cookbook. The Potato-Leek soup started there, as did the salad. Both were very tasty.

The potatoes were another delivery from our neighbors the organic farmers up the road. It's times like this I'm envious of their greenhouse. Maybe next year ours will be in place.

Every time someone makes tofu, lots of okara is left over. With a little help from The Farm's New Vegetarian Cookbook, soysage is made. It's the fake meat that I find to taste the most like the meat it's supposed to replace - great if you're a vegan who liked sausage.

The bread was one of many many awesome recipes in The Tassajara Bread Book. As far as Bobolink is concerned, it's the end-all be-all book on bread. I've heard the expression, "They should make a Tassajara Bread Book on this" used to imply that the vast complexity and variety of a food could do with a compliation.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pot Pie!!!

Dinner 6/28 by Dan

• Tofu pot pie

• Cabbage Salad

• Kohlrabi

• Rhubarb crisp

Juan here, filling in for Amy who'll be on Canadian Leave for a while. Never fear, Tony and I will try to keep this thing going.

Tonight's dinner started with a labor-intensive tofu pot pie made from scratch - Dan ground his own wheat and made his own tofu from soybeans. Now that's commitment to dinner!

The Cabbage salad was loosely based on the "Spinach, Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad" found in From Asparagus to Zucchini by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. As is usual around these parts, he took a few liberties (such as leaving out the spinach, and using apple cider vinegar). The extra kohlrabi was served raw - so good to have fresh veggies.

The Rhubarb crisp brought the meal to a tasty conclusion - the tartness of the rhubarb was countered with honey.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Dinner 6/27 by Brian

• Whole Wheat Tortillas

• Scallion Rice

• Spicy Black Beans

• Nutritional Yeast Cheeze

• Mild and Spicy Salsa

Brian handmade these very thin tortillas and I stuffed everything between two. Sure, it wasn't a traditional quesadilla because it wasn't grilled after the fact, but the cheeze was already melty, so it didn't need it. :) Filling and delicious!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Breakfast for Dinner

Dinner 6/24 by Amy and Juan

• Eggless Omelettes

• Roasted Potatoes

I like to eat eggless omelettes for breakfast, but decided to make them for dinner tonight. The basic Eggless Omelette recipe comes from Joanne Stepaniak's "Vegan Vittles". Again, I put dried dill in the batter. Inside was fried soysage (made with okara leftover from when Dan made tofu), sautéed onions and Ironweed greens, and nutritional yeast cheez from "The New Farm Cookbook".

The potatoes that Dan made last night were so good, that I thought I'd make them in that style again -- large chunks of potato and onion tossed with oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and some basil. If we had had garlic, I would have thrown that in too, but garlic won't be ready for eating for another few weeks. Put the pan in the oven on about 400 degrees stirring now and again to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Done when all soft and buttery. Mmmm...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pad Thai, Black Beans, Roasted Potatoes, Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Dinner 6/23 by Dan

• Pad Thai

• Black Beans

• Brown Rice

• Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Scapes

• Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Tonight's dinner showcases the cilantro from Dan's garden. The Pad Thai was filled with cabbage, peanuts, cilantro and lots of other yummies. He says he looked to books for inspiration, but ultimately it was his own creation. His black beans were delicious -- cooked until perfectly tender. He was even sweet enough to make a small pan for me that didn't have any cilantro, since I seem to be one of the people whose tastebuds interpret it as soap.

The new potatoes came from the local farmer. They are the first of the season and the dish reminded me how much I love roasted vegetables. I enjoyed how the garlic scapes caramelized and became sweet and crunchy. That's the last of them and now the garlic in Ironweed garden is getting close to harvest time.

Today is Alline's birthday and though not a vegan herself, she fully believes that vegan cupcakes are going to take over the world. I thought I would honor her with some Chocolate Orange cupcakes from Isa's book. For those of you who haven't picked up a copy of "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World" yet, they are orange cupcakes filled with orange pudding, then a thin layer of orange marmalade is spread on and chocolate ganache seals the deal. I used all of the specified ingredients and worked on them for several hours. Unfortunately, I overfilled the cupcake liners a bit too much so the chocolate ganache didn't have anywhere to pool and it ran down the sides. Also, having a high-efficiency fridge means that it took quite a while for them to set up. Still they were super tasty.

Vegan Seitan Recipe

Vegan Seitan Recipe
Shared by Juan

There are many many ways of preparing seitan. Every recipe I've found was somewhat different. Below is simply my own technique - I'm constantly revising it and experimenting with it, and encourage you to do the same.


wheat gluten flour
whole wheat flour
spices you choose
tomato juice
soy sauce

I've left the quantities out on purpose because apart from the two flours, I don't measure them; I add enough to get a certain effect. You'll see what I mean.

First, mix two parts gluten flour to one part whole wheat flour in a large bowl. For a group of 7 (and intending there to be some leftovers for lunch), I use four (4) cups gluten flour and two (2) cups whole wheat flour. This ratio is the first part you can experiment with; More gluten gives you a tougher "beefier" texture (to the point where it can get rubbery). Less gluten and more whole wheat flour gives you a looser "chickenier" texture (until it falls apart).

Then stir in the spices. These are entirely for flavor, and thus depend on what you're going to be using the seitan for. I tend to always include sage and salt, since they help give a beefy flavor. If I'm using the seitan for "meatballs" for pasta, I'll add basil, oregano, thyme or other italian spices. For General Tso's, I use ginger, anise, and a little mustard. Add whatever flavors you like! The more you add, the stronger the flavor, so I end up adding a lot of sage (probably close to a full cup for the amount of flour above). If the sauce I'm making has a strong flavor, I may not bother to spice it as heavily, since I don't need the seitan's taste to stand out.

Add the liquid. Most seitan recipes use water to make the dough. I use tomato juice (lots) and soy sauce (a little). We make our tomato juice ourselves, and so it has few tomato solids in it; you can see through it. If you're using commercial stuff, I'd water it down until it fits that description. Again, it adds flavor - use whatever you want. For the ratio above, I end up using about 5-6 cups of juice and half a cup or so of soy sauce. Stir the mixture with a big spoon as you add the liquid. There will come a point where you'll have to put aside the spoon and use your hands to knead in the liquid, as it gets doughy fast. Your final result should be a slightly wet ball of dough, so stop when you get that.

Knead the ball of dough for at least 5 minutes - you'll know you're done when there's no part of the dough ball that looks stringy and falls apart.

Grab a big pot and add water to it. We'll be chopping up and putting the seitan dough in it, so make sure it's both big enough to hold enough water to cover it and that you leave enough room when you add the seitan that it won't overflow. Add a little salt and/or soy sauce to the water - it helps keep the spices from leeching out of the dough. Bring it to a boil.

It should take a few minutes for your pot to boil. Let the dough rest a few minutes, then pull out a chopping board and a knife (I use a big butcher knife) and start cutting it into small cubes. Seitan expands as it cooks, so make 'em smaller than bite-size. Your knife will get sticky, but it washes off.

When the water's boiling (or close to it), put in your chopped cubes. Let boil for ~30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure no stubborn pieces are stuck to the bottom and burning. The seitan will sink when raw, float when cooked.

Note: 30 minutes is overkill for boiling seitan. Some recipes call for as short as 5 minutes for chopped pieces. I leave them in for the full 30 in order to be absolutely sure every piece is fully cooked, and to take the time to make a side dish or put the rice on.

After they're done, take the seitan out of the water - you can use a sieve to fish them out if you want to save the water (good soup stock), or just strain it like you would pasta.

At this point, the seitan is cooked, but I prefer a drier texture, so I oil up a couple of big cookie sheets, spread the seitan cubes out on them (doesn't matter if they touch), and put them in the oven at 350F for about 40 minutes (but it can be more), flipping them over every 20 minutes or so to make sure they don't stick to the trays. Another good idea is to fry the cubes in a pan for a crispy outside.

Voila. The seitan is ready to be added to your meal.

Friday, June 22, 2007

General Tso's Seitan, Sesame Cabbage and Bok Choy, Crispy Chewies

Dinner 6/22 by Juan and Amy

• General Tso's Seitan

• Sesame Cabbage and Bok Choy

• Brown Rice

• Crispy Chewies

We love General Tso's here at Bobolink, so it's something that's going to show up fairly regularly. Since you've seen it before, it's all about the plating. :)

Bobolinker Dan gave us some of the bok choy he's been growing, so I bulked it up with green cabbage from the local farmer and used MASAC's Sesame Soy Braised Bok Choy recipe from "From Asparagus to Zucchini". The rice was the last of the medium grain that we accidentally ordered from the bulk food company. Usually, we stock short grain brown, sweet brown rice, and either basmati or long grain.

The Crispy Chewies are as close as a vegan can get to rice krispie treats without all of the margarine and expensive vegan marshmallows. The recipe comes from Christina Pirello's "Cooking the Whole Foods Way" and is quick, simple and variable. The basics are brown rice syrup and nut butter, heated and melted together. Then chocolate chips are melted in. Finally, crisped rice is stirred in, pour it into a pan and voila! Just try to be patient until it cools. :)

Tonight's version was peanut butter, but our favorite is with almond butter. Also, the chocolate chips can be omitted and it can be super nut buttery!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ethiopian Feast

Dinner 6/21 by Tony

• Injera

• 2 Kinds of Lentil Wat

• Sautéed Broccoli

• Cabbage and Green Beans

• Boiled Kale

• Salad

Tony made a wonderful Ethiopian spread for dinner tonight. He invited our friends from Ironweed as our guests, so it was extra fun without plates, using the injera to eat off of communal dishes. The injera was made from mostly barley flour with a bit of wheat flour thrown in. It's a sourdough mixture, so Tony started it two days ago. Traditionally, injera is used in place of silverware.

Tony based a lot of this meal on recipes from "Exotic Ethiopian Cooking" by D.J. Mesfin. The lentil wats were made with red lentils. Both were spiced with berbere (a red pepper chili spice mixture), but one had more spice than the other. The veggie dishes were all delicious. The cabbage and green beans used sauerkraut and canned green beans as its base -- so it's a dish we can have in the winter. This was our last salad for a while due to the summer heat. Tony dressed it up with a perfect homemade italian dressing.

Just look at this beautiful injera!

Vegan Focaccia Recipe

Vegan Focaccia Recipe
Shared by Brian

Pizza dough (I use the recipe from Vegan with a Vengence)
Vegetable (or olive) oil
Garlic scapes
Green onions

Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees F.

Make the pizza dough (however you feel comfortable, any standard recipe will do).

Chop up the scapes and green onions, and then sautee them in a pan with oil. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

After rolling out the dough, spread it on a baking sheet and lightly brush the dough's surface with oil.

Using a mortar and pestle, mix equal parts basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary. You can adjust the levels of spice to your liking. I like lots of basil and a good portion of rosemary, in particular.

Spoon out the sauteed scapes and onions onto the dough.

Spread the mixed spices evenly across the dough. Get every corner. Don't be stingy. Then add salt to your liking.

Toss the baking sheets into an oven. The focaccia should be ready in 15-20 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough has been nicely browned.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Whole Wheat Basil Fettuccini, Tomato Sauce with Soysage, Herby Foccacia

Dinner 6/20 by Brian

• Whole Wheat Basil Fettuccini

• Tomato Sauce with Soysage

• Herby Foccacia

Brian made his pasta from the same recipe as I did a couple of weeks ago, but added dried basil to it. It tastes really good, but we're having trouble keeping the pasta from sticking to itself in the serving bowl. Any suggestions?

The homemade tomato sauce was made from last year's canned tomatoes, onions, garlic scapes, and lots of herbs. The foccacia was made with our freshly ground whole wheat flour. On top was onions, garlic scapes, and lots of herbs. :) Check out his recipe here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Soysage Corn Dogs, Greens and Rhubarb Surprise

Dinner 6/18 by Jan

• Soysage Corn Dogs

• Greens

• Sauerkraut

• Rhubarb Surprise

It's been quite a long time since I've had a corn dog, so this was an exciting meal. I thought they turned out really well. Jan used corn ground up in our mill to make the breading and some soysage that I made yesterday for the insides. They were served with our BBQ sauce and mustard. Which reminds me that it's time to whip up the next batch of mustard so it has time to mellow out before we need it.

I love sauerkraut and it's getting to be the time of year that Bobolink starts talking about how much we should make and when. We like to have enough fresh kraut for snacking and then can a fair bit of it for eating over the winter. This past year, we made quite a lot of kraut and have several cans left over. Sometimes it's hard to predict how many people might be eating with us over the colder months and whether they'll be kraut-lovers or not. Maybe that should be a Bobolink membership question!

The greens were based on Nancy Jane Pierce's Spicy Kale from "From Asparagus to Zucchini" by MACSAC (The Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition), but Jan used black pepper instead of red pepper. Dessert, though originally based on a recipe from the same book (Ruby Rhubarb Crunch, I think), was such a variation that I hesitate to say it was really based on it! Jan put the crust on the bottom and added some of our canned berries from last year. It turned out fantastic and I loved the cakey crust. It made me wish I had some Rice Dream á la mode.

Vegan Whole Wheat Eggroll Recipe

Vegan Whole Wheat Eggroll Recipe

So, I don't usually measure when I do this, but next time I'll try to remember to. Until then, here's the basic steps. Play with it as you like and enjoy the results!

First, I heat a little oil in a cast iron pan and add chopped onions (or scallions or green onions, etc.), garlic (or garlic scapes), and ground ginger. Fry on medium heat until semi-translucent. Add some shredded green cabbage (or bok choy or other type of green that has some body after cooking) and spray with soy sauce. At this point, you can add carrots, bean sprouts, and other veggies that you'd like in your eggrolls. Let stir and cook until mostly cooked through. You don't really want to cook them to death since they're going to be fried later. Take off of the stove and put aside.

Then, while that's cooling. Mix some whole wheat flour and salt together. Add enough water to gather up the dough and knead a few times. Once it gets well integrated and starts feeling a bit stiff, put it aside for 10-15 minutes so the dough can relax. In the meantime, you can set up your pasta roller.

Break off a piece of dough (maybe a 2 inch ball?) and flatten down to a 3 or 4 inch disk to feed into the pasta roller. Feed it through (turning which end of the dough goes in first as needed) until you get the dough roughly the width of the pasta roller:

Then feed it through up until number 6. You should have a long, thin sheet of dough the width of the roller. Lay it out flat and add some of the veggie mixture onto one end:

Roll the end over and then cut about 4 or 5 inches away from the edge:

Fold the sides up and fold the long flap into a blunt point and then roll the rest of the way up making sure that the side get tucked in during the wrap:

Gently press the blunt point against the roll to seal. You can also use a little water or liquid from the veggies to help this process:

Heat up some oil in a pan and fry over medium to medium high heat. You want the oil hot, but not so hot that they bubble or burn. Turn to cook all sides evenly. Place on newspaper to absorb some of the excess grease:

Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice and enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Orange Seitan, Eggrolls and Strawberry Tallcakes

Dinner 6/17 by Amy and Juan with help from Tony

• Orange Seitan

• Eggrolls

• Brown Rice

• Strawberry Tallcakes

The Orange Seitan recipe is made from Juan's yummy seitan and a sauce loosely based on Christina Pirello's Chinese Orange Seitan. It came out okay, but Juan and I both agreed that we liked the General Tso's Sauce better. The orange juice was a treat I picked up from Zimmerman's, the local general store. I wanted to make popsicles and picked up some OJ that was on sale.

The eggrolls were a recipe of my own. They're filled with green onions, garlic scapes, green cabbage, soy sauce, ginger, salt, and a little coriander. The dough is just whole wheat flour, salt and water. I used to roll out the skins by hand, but Tony came up with the genius idea of running the dough through a pasta roller to get it really thin. It worked out great and I plan to share photos of how they were made when I'm not dead on my feet. :)

The Strawberry Tallcakes were the semi-bioregional version of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cupcakes of the same name from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World". The cupcake itself is the bioregional half -- made with 100% whole wheat, oil instead of margarine, and sorghum as the sweetener. They came out fluffy and for a Bobolink treat, they were great cupcakes. The not-as bioregional part was the frosting. We used all of the ingredients that Isa calls for, margarine, shortening, organic powdered sugar... oy vey! The finished product was delicious with the addition of canned strawberries from last year's garden. As you can see, Tony had lots of fun using the piping kit to decorate! Here's a closeup shot:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lentil Loaf and Stir-Steam-Fried Greens

Dinner 6/16 by Juan

• Lentil Loaf

• Stir-Steam-Fried Greens

• Strawberry Pastries

Lentil loaf, while sounding somewhat unappealing in name, is actually a great dish. The recipe is from The New Farm Cookbook. Juan uses red lentils and brown rice to make the bulk of the dish, but adds yummy spices (like sage) to add lots of flavor. Served up with some of our homemade ketchup, it's better than Mom's meatloaf. Sorry Mom!

The stir-steam-fried greens had spring onions, garlic scapes, two kinds of kale, and green cabbage cooked up in a pan with some oil, water, vinegar and soy sauce. The green cabbage is new this week. A neighboring farmer grown them in a greenhouse and they are amazingly large! Especially in comparison to ours in the garden that aren't even really making heads yet.

I helped Juan out and made dessert. The pastries were based on Christina Pirello's Apricot Pastries recipe from "Cooking the Whole Foods Way". I love this cookbook and love that her recipes usually call for whole wheat flour and other natural ingredients that we usually have. The shiny outside is brown rice syrup heated up and poured over the pastries. Inside are jam, chopped walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. I replaced the apricot preserves with strawberry-rhubarb jam and found that they tasted surprisingly like rugelach that I used to eat as a child. Though in this case, Mom's was definitely better. See Mom, you're still the best! :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Leftover Burgers and Pasta Salad

Dinner 6/15 by Rachel

• Leftover Burgers

• Leftover Pita

• Pasta Salad

• Steamed Broccoli

• Pecan Sauce

• Sautéed Garlic Scapes

• Salad with Radishes and Green Onions

Friday nights, Dancing Rabbit has dinner in the Common House. It's not a potluck, each person/co-op brings their own meal, but we all eat together and reconnect after the busy week. Tonight was especially special because the CH had the tables pre-set with tablecloths, dishes, a cup with a scoop of fruit salad (courtesy of a package of fruit sent by a previous visitor -- Thanks Sky!), and two jelly beans. Some of the tables had pretty flower arrangements and the whole room had a wonderful ambiance.

Tonight's dinner was the perfect summer picnic meal. Leftover burgers are a way of using up all of the odds and ends not eaten up in previous days. It can work with almost any foods -- just throw the leftovers in the food processor with some flour and blend up. If it's still too runny to make into patties, add more flour. You can also add in salt and herbs if you'd like. Then, form some patties and fry 'em up! Delicious with fried onions, our homemade ketchup, sliced pickles and sauerkraut. And it was great use of the leftover pitas as well.

I loved the pasta salad with it's beautiful colors. It was whole wheat pasta, broccoli, onions, dilly beans (pickled green beans) and I think pepper relish (which was canned last year from onions and hot peppers). I'm also not sure of what exactly was in the pecan sauce (maybe tahini? I'll have to check with Rachel), but it was creamy and went perfectly with the steamed broccoli. And the scapes had excellent flavor. They were sautéed in a little oil with soy sauce and they caramelized a little bit. I always love the scapes.

The salad was the bought from Ironweed, market gardeners here at DR. They put some delicious dill from their garden in it and Rachel added radishes and green onions. The dressing is from a bottle *GASP*, but there is a good reason for this. A few weeks ago, DR got a donation of dressings and sauces that were slightly out of date. Folks here went through the boxes and picked their favorites. Juan, knowing that I love French dressing, pulled the bottle for me. I think it's great that these products got a second chance when they were all donated to us rather than just thrown into the trash. Besides, I've been loving it on salads and keep telling myself it's helping me get my daily requirement of xantham gum. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Middle Eastern Feast

Dinner 6/14 by Tony

• Whole Wheat Pita

• Falafel

• Garlic Scape Hummus

• Tahini Sauce

• Chopped Pickles

• Sautéed Kale and Beet Greens

• Strawberry-Peach-Rhubarb Crisp

Tony is the only person in the co-op who has ever made pitas and they are soooo good. One day, I'll be brave enough to try it, but not yet. In my pre-DR days, whole wheat pitas I've bought from the store were never this warm and soft. They were the perfect vehicle for the savory and crunchy falafel.

I'm not the biggest fan of hummus. Maybe it's because I'm a vegan that doesn't like mushrooms *gasp*, so when I'm out at less-veg friendly restaurants, it's what I tend to eat. Or maybe it's because Juan and I made a large tupperware full of it before taking a long train ride and we both got sick of it before the train arrived at our destination. Either way, I'm hummused out. But this hummus was really good! Tony replaced the usual garlic with garlic scapes and it gave it not only a different flavor, but a nice green tint.

The tahini sauce was made from East Wind tahini. We have a 15 pound bucket on the shelf that we're slowly making our way through. We like buying our nut butters in bulk from them because they're made in the same state and they usually have seconds to sell us. The chopped pickles were from a jar we made several years ago. They still have plenty of flavor though.

As you've probably noticed, we've been eating a lot of the same produce each day. That's because we are eating what's in season, Ironweed is only selling certain veggies and we buy large quantities of other veggies from a local organic farmer who has a large greenhouse. Ironweed delivers three times a week and the other farmer once. Today, we got a large delivery from the local farmer so you'll start seeing new ingredients like tonight's beet greens. I imagine soon you'll be seeing the beets they were attached to.

The dessert was based on Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Strawberry-Rhubarb-Peach Pie recipe from "Vegan with a Vengeance". Tony turned it into a crisp. He used canned strawberries and peaches from last year and some fresh rhubarb that was delivered today. The topping was rolled oats, flour, brown rice syrup, cinnamon, oil, and salt. We had a late frost that killed our stone fruit buds, so we won't be getting fresh peaches this year. It makes last year's canned fruit all that more special. Of course, that's the risk we take when we focus on eating what's growing up around us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Curried Split Pea Soup and Focaccia

Dinner 6/13 by Brian

• Curried Split Pea Soup

• Herby Focaccia with Garlic Scapes and Green Onions

• Salad

• Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brian's been into curry recently and I'm not complaining. Curry is one of those complex flavors that I have yet to tire of. Bobolink used to buy curry powder, but recently made a decision to start making it from scratch instead. Though I think that Brian used the Madras curry powder left from when I moved here.

The focaccia was a nice treat. It's not something that folks around here make often. I'm glad to see Brian so confident with breads and baking -- a lot of people are intimidated by whole wheat, using yeast or sourdough and/or our oven which has unpredictable temperatures. I still haven't tired of the garlic scapes yet. :)

I've heard that salads might stop being delivered soon. It's starting to get to hot outside and the plants are starting to bolt. Until I moved here, lettuce is one of those things that I thought grew all the time. I was surprised to find a lot of plants don't produce year round or during all of the warm months. But salads will return once the hot summer sun mellows and the later plantings mature.

Chocolate may not be bioregional, but it's something that a lot of people here still enjoy. Bobolink doesn't usually stock chocolate chips, so individuals buy them in a small bags from Zimmerman's, the local general store. The recipe for these cookies came from "Simple Treats" by Ellen Abraham. I really like this cookbook because the recipes tend to be free of refined-sugar. I recommend the Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies!

You can get Brian's Foccacia recipe here

Monday, June 11, 2007

Triple Protein Chili and Cornbread

Dinner 6/11 by Jan

• Chili with Kidney Beans, TVP, and Seitan

• Cornbread

• Salad with Radishes and Green Onions

Look at me gettin' fancy with the photographs. Woo! :)

Chili is one of those dishes that we get a fair amount of around here. When folks who are new to Bobolink (and sometimes new to vegan cooking), they frequently make this old standby. It's reliable, there are lots of variations, and cornbread is tasty. Tonight, Jan whipped some up with three kinds of protein and garlic scapes. I enjoyed the cornbread made from fresh ground corn. Though our mill turns it into corn flour more than corn meal, it still bakes up delicious.

I have also been enjoying the herbs that Ironweed has been putting in our salads. Mostly it's been dill, but I've also found a few mint leaves. This adds a lot of flavor to our currently-mostly-lettuce salads -- more than just having herbs in the dressing. I highly recommend it!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Misto with Seitan

Dinner 6/10 by Amy and Juan

• Homemade Whole Wheat Dill Pasta

• Tomato Sauce

• Garlic Scape Pesto

• Oven-baked Seitan

• Creamless Greens Soup

I'm a carb-aholic, so I dream of bottomless bowls of pasta with savory sauces. However, some folks think that commercial whole wheat pasta tastes as good as the box it comes in. Homemade pasta is much more tasty, so I can still make all of my pasta dreams come true. Tonight, I made pasta with dried dill based on this recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan. I like to use a combination of whole wheat and chickpea flour -- both freshly ground in our mill.

The tomato sauce was made with canned tomato paste and juice from last summer. Juan also threw in some spring onions, garlic scapes and a whole lot of spices. It was the perfect counterpoint to the garlic scape pesto which was so flavorful, a small bit went a long way. I basically took our favorite pesto recipe from "Cooking the Whole Foods Way" by Christina Pirello and replaced the basil and garlic with scapes. It was creamy and pungent, but not too overpowering. I liked it best with both sauces mixed together. Is that sacrilege?

As usual, Juan made a tasty batch of seitan. Yes, tonight's dinner was brought to you by wheat. :) I'll have to get him to write up the recipe some time because the world shouldn't be denied its greatness. It's one of my favorite foods.

The soup was based on Creamless Broccoli Soup, but it ends up that the broccoli was all gone, so I made it with a mix of kales instead. I think it came out really delicious, though the oats brought a certain mucilaginousness to the mix. I think if I hadn't made it, I would have wondered what the heck was going on with the texture. :) Still, a recipe that I would make again.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Curried Chickpeas, Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

Dinner 6/9 by Brian

• Curried Chickpeas, Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli

• Brown Basmati Rice

• Spinach with Balsamic Dressing

• Chocolate Pudding

Tonight's dinner was delicious and filling. The spaghetti squash was the last one hanging around from this past fall, so I'm glad that it finally made it onto our plates. Apparently they are pretty indestructable and stay good for quite a while. This dish had broccoli and garlic scapes along with the chickpeas. Really tasty!

The chocolate pudding was super-delicious! It was a slightly modified version of the recipe from "La Dolce Vegan" by Sarah Kramer. We don't usually have cashews around, but we recently bought some pipe clean* from East Wind Community that was cashew macadamia. Thomas had the good idea to put some cash-mac (as we like to call it around these parts) and water into the blender to create something like cashew milk. I still can't get over how creamy and rich this pudding tastes.

Oh, and I ate spinach and rice, too. :)

*Pipe clean is the nut butter that is created when they change nuts/saltiness on their machinery. We end up getting it at a discount because it's an un-marketable product. In the past we've gotten a variety of peanut, almond, cashew, and macadamia blends. Now that they have a dedicated peanut line (to reduce the possibility of triggering people's peanut allergies), the non-peanut pipe clean we get is an exotic treat.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Chinese Dim Sum

Dinner 6/8 by Rachel

• Panfried Dumplings

• Scallion Pancake

• Chinese Falafel (Fried Filling Balls)

• Soy-based Dipping Sauce

• Stir-fried Bok Choy, Garlic Scapes and Scallion

• Miso Soup with White Beans and Greens

• Salad with Red Radishes

Rachel really went above and beyond with this amazing Chinese-inspired spread. The plump dumplings had TVP, spinach, garlic scapes and green onion. So delicious! There was extra filling, so she added wheat flour and fried them into tasty little balls. They had a crunchy, slightly chewy texture that I really liked. I'll have to try making them sometime. And really, scallion pancakes don't need more of an explanation -- they're fried oniony doughy deliciousness.

The bok choy was a gift from Sandhill and it made a lovely greens dish. It was lightly seasoned with soy sauce which brought out the vegetables' natural sweetness. The miso soup was made with the last of the quick white chickpea and rice miso that Thomas and I whipped up last year. Now there's room in the fridge for some of the white bean and rice miso that's been fermenting in the back room since April. Which means it's time to start thinking about what our next batch of quick miso will be. I'm voting for more of the chickpea and rice.

I love Chinese food and living in rural Missouri, it's not that easy to get. The closest Chinese restaurants are 45 minutes away in Kirksville, but they don't serve Dim Sum. It's also not easy to cook for a group of 8, so I really appreciate when someone takes the time to make a bunch of individual dumplings or scallion pancakes. This meal was a real treat!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sizzling Seitan Fajitas

Dinner 6/7 by Tony

• Sizzling Seitan with Broccoli, Bok Choy, Garlic Scapes and Green Onions

• Refried Pinto Beans

• Whole Wheat Torpitas

• Nutritional Yeast Cheez

• Cashew Sour Kreem

• Mild and Spicy Salsa

• Salad

"This is heavenly! I'm so moving here," said Nassif, one of our visitors. Quite the compliment, I say! Tony made the tortillas from scratch using whole wheat flour. But he called them "torpitas" due to their light fluffiness and how some had air pockets like pitas. I scooped on more stuffing than my torpita could hold, so I had to eat mine open-faced. It was so delicious!

The Nut Yeast Cheez is a recipe made quite frequently in our kitchen from "The New Farm Cookbook". I used it the other morning in my Eggless Omelettes.

The Cashew Sour Kreem is from "Simply Heavenly" by Abbot George Burke. It is a great non-dairy replacement for sour cream, especially when tofu isn't available. I love that cookbook because it has vegan recipes for almost everything! The salsas were made last summer with abundance from our garden. The salad came from Ironweed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Springtime Pasta Salad with Marinated Tofu

Dinner 6/6 by Dan

• Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Marinated Tofu

• Peanut Butter Cookies

• Applesauce

The pasta salad was chock full of all kinds of garden abundance: bok choy from Sandhill, kale and garlic scapes from Ironweed, spring onions and broccoli from a local gardener, sun-dried tomatoes and sun-dried sweet pepper from our garden last summer, and tofu that Dan made (from Sandhill soybeans) marinated in soy sauce and ginger. All of this was tossed with some vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

The cookies were another great recipe from "The New Farm Cookbook". It's really easy and delicious, but if you decide to try them yourself, Tony suggests checking them for doneness after 6 minutes rather than the suggested time.

Skyhouse's apple trees are still very small, so each year, we buy delicious organic apples from our neighbor and friend Dan Kelly, who runs the Blue Heron Orchard in Canton. We use some for baking and snacking, and make the rest into applesauce. Sometimes for a treat, we'll also get some of his cider, but it's so tasty that it never lasts long in the fridge. Last year, we got a variety of apples and made many batches of sauce -- hopefully enough to last until this fall. Thanks Dan!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Maki-Sushi Night

Dinner 6/4 by Juan and Amy

• Maki-Sushi Rolls with various combinations of fillings

• Homemade Miso Soup with Lacinato Kale

• Salad with Radishes and Gingery Dressing

• Green Tea

Tonight's dinner Juan and I decided to cook light and easy. The maki rolls are always a hit in our co-op. I learned in a cooking class that brown rice makes great sushi if the mixture is half short grain and half sweet brown rice. Tonight, the rolls were filled with different combinations of soysage, asparagus (from Ironweed), sauerkraut, dilly beans, pickles, homemade "ume" paste, and peanut butter. I know it sounds weird, but one of my favorite combinations is sauerkraut and almond butter, but since we don't have almond butter, I find peanut butter is almost as good.

The ume paste is a creation that Thomas and I made. It's based on the Japanese tradition of umeboshi plums. We picked some wild plums, salted them and pressed them in a crock for a while. After they pickled, we put some shiso (beefsteak) leaves in for color. Then when they were nice and pink, we pitted them and put them in the food processor to make a paste. The end result is a very salty, fruity paste that is very potent, but a great condiment.

Thomas and I have also experimented with making our own misos. For those of you that aren't familiar with miso, it's a salty paste traditionally made with soybeans. Wikipedia has a good article about misos here. Right now, we have some white miso made with rice and chickpeas in the fridge. It is one of the best misos I have ever tasted. Currently fermenting are a 1-2 year barley/mung bean miso and 3 month rice and white bean miso. Tonight's soup was made with the white bean and rice to see how it's coming along. So far, I'm happy with it, but perhaps I'll leave it in the crock just a little while longer. Though it's so hard to be patient!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Vegan General Tso's Sauce Recipe

Vegan General Tso's Sauce Recipe
Modified from

3 chopped green onions (regular onions are okay, too)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sorghum
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
Garlic chile paste to taste
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Heat 3 Tablespoons oil in pan on medium heat. Add green onions, garlic and ginger, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add water, soy sauce, sorghum, vinegar and red pepper. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Once thickened, serve on veggies, tofu, tempeh, seitan and/or rice.

General Tso's Seitan

Dinner 6/3 by Amy and Juan

• General Tso's Seitan with Chopped Greens

• Brown Rice

• Garlic Scapes Sautéed in Soy Sauce

• Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Today, Juan and I taught a DR Cooking workshop for the current crop of visitors. There are some things that people don't need introductions to (like tofu and sauerkraut), but some things that we eat here regularly are new to visitors -- nutritional yeast, tempeh, miso and sometimes even the whole concept of eating vegan. I enjoy taking the time to talk with people about the benefits of eating lower in the food chain and the choices that Bobolink makes around food. For example how we purchase wheat from Sandhill and grind it as we need it rather than buying flour. Another example is how we choose to do a lot of canning and preserving during the summer so we can enjoy our abundance all winter. And after a week of eating here, most people are convinced that we've got it pretty good.

Juan is the seitan master -- he's got making seitan down to an art. Meanwhile, I'm in charge of making the sauce. I found a recipe online and with a few tweaks, it has become a favorite in the Bobolink kitchen. Here's how I make it. I'm always impressed how easy and delicious this dish is. Today, because we had some greens in the refrigerator, I chopped them up and put them in the sauce. The garlic scapes [insert heavenly music] were just a quick sauté in oil with some soy sauce sprayed on. It got some compliments, too.

But the popular dish of the evening was the cookies. The recipe is based on the Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The kids always have fun making them and everyone enjoys eating them! One substitute that we frequently make with desserts is that we replaced the sugar with sorghum. From what I can tell, sorghum was pretty popular back in the day. Some of the older neighbors tell me that their family used to grow it and use the sweetener. It looks a lot like molasses and has a unique flavor, but the process for making it is much more natural than molasses. The stalks, which look a lot like corn, are stripped and pressed and the juice is boiled down like maple syrup. We use it as our primary sweetener -- not only because Sandhill grows and makes it, but because it's bioregional and yummy.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Homemade Tofu Stirfry with Spicy Ginger Sauce

Dinner 6/2 by Dan

• Homemade Tofu Stirfry with Spicy Ginger Sauce

• Long Grain Brown Rice

• Garlic Scapes Vinaigrette

• Spinach Pakora

Tonight's dinner was a perfect example of why I love my food co-op (and I can't seem to lose those few extra pounds!). The food was so yummy, I was sad to look down and see an empty plate.

Dan makes tofu pretty regularly. He uses organic soybeans grown at Sandhill so we have all of the freshness, but none of the packaging. He is also an avid gardener, so some of the pac choy from his garden went into the stirfry along with green onions, lacinato and red russian kale, and some garlic scapes.

Garlic scapes are by far the most exciting thing growing right now. Well, at least I think so. I hadn't ever heard of them before I moved here, but now I wait patiently for the green garlic to start putting up flower stalks -- just so I can cut them down and eat them. :) Thanks to Ironweed's market garden, I can look forward to a few more deliveries of these tasty cuttings.

The spinach pakora were also incredible. He based it on the recipe from "The Spice Box" by Manju Shivraj Singh. They were just like I've had them in Indian restaurants -- all we were missing was the sweet tamarind chutney to dip them in. I think the secret (besides frying, which makes everything delicious) is the chickpea flour which has a particular nutty flavor that I enjoy.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Eggless Omelette Breakfast

Breakfast 6/1 by Amy

• Eggless Omelette with Green Onion, Broccoli, Spinach, Soysage and Nut Yeast Cheez

This morning was rainy, so since I couldn't go out to the garden, I decided to make a big, yummy breakfast. The basic Eggless Omelette recipe comes from Joanne Stepaniak's "Vegan Vittles". I put a little dried dill in the batter and loaded the insides up with all kinds of goodies. What I put on the inside usually varies with what's in the fridge, but I usually only make this when there's some veggies to put inside.

I'm a big fan of soysage. The soysage recipe is from "The New Farm Cookbook" which we find to be an indispensable resource in our kitchen. They have basic recipes for almost everything that folks might want to make and usually suggest ingredients that we have easy access to. Whenever someone in the co-op makes tofu, they leave me the okara so I can make more soysage. Yum!