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sweet and sour sauce was made with some canned pineapple I got from a local store that sells mostly dinged up cans and out of date food for really cheap.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!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Whole Wheat Tortillas, Refried Beans, Nutritional Yeast Cheez, Salsa, Donuts

Dinner 3/6 by Juan and Amy

• Whole Wheat Tortillas

• Refried Beans

• Nutritional Yeast Cheez

• Salsa


Burrito dinner! Juan made a big burrito bar for dinner. He made whole wheat tortillas from scratch using wheat grown at our neighbor's 3 miles away. The beans were refried with rehydrated onions from our garden. The nutritional yeast cheese sauce is from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. Topped off with our own homemade canned salsa made with this past summer's abundant harvest.

For dessert, I tried my hand at making vegan donuts. They weren't bioregional except for the whole wheat flour, but everyone needs a good donut now and again. A friend recommended using a bread recipe and suddenly it didn't seem to be so unattainable. Back in my Dunkin' Donuts days, I used to love "Manager's Specials" which (around where I lived) were vanilla cream filled (not Boston Cream) with chocolate glaze. So, I tried to recreate them. The results were surprisingly close and with them being whole wheat, I could tell myself that they were healthy. :D

Make your own with our vegan donut recipe.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tomato Soup, Chickpea Nuggets, Mac and Cheez, Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner 3/5 by Amy and Juan

• Tomato Soup

• Chickpea Nuggets

• Mac and Cheez

• Sweet Potato Fries

Tonight's dinner was all comfort food. Juan whipped up a big pot of tomato soup using organic tomato puree that we canned this past summer from our garden. Plus some dehydrated garlic and onions we also preserved from local harvests. I think he put in a little sorghum, which is a sweetener from sorghum cane, made by our neighbors over at Sandhill Farm.

Inspired by Lindy Loo's completely unappetizing-looking, yet strangely compelling chickpea cutlets shaped into nuggets, I thought I would give it a try. The results were the chickpea cutlets I know and love reborn as perfect dippable chickpea nuggets! We served them with homemade ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauces.

I've had a hankerin' for mac and cheez, so I put some together using *gasp* store bought semolina pasta (since I don't know how to make my own mac yet) using the recipe from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. I love it because it's baked and the cheez gets chewy on top.

Sweet potato fries were easy to make. We are using up the last of a big box we bought from a neighboring organic farmer. They are the biggest sweet potatoes I've ever seen! I just cut them up into fry shapes, drizzled them with oil and salt and put them in the oven at 450ish for an hour or so.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Seitan Potato Pasties, Herbed Brown Gravy

Dinner 3/3 by Jan

• Seitan Potato Pasties

• Herbed Brown Gravy

For tonight's dinner, Jan made the vegan version of English pasties. Basically, they are little pies filled with seitan, potato and some spices. Eaten with a knife and fork, smothered in gravy. I have never had a meat pasty, but I thought they were a great idea. I hope she makes them again sometime.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Vegan Lasagna, Sprout Salad, Applesauce

Dinner 3/1 by Dan

• Vegan lasagna

• Sprout salad

• Apple sauce

Mmmm, salad. It's one of those things that people find hard to believe one would miss. And yet, when you're trying to eat things that are in season, you don't usually get to have cabbage in March. The only reason we had this was because somebody here at DR had bought it for themselves and then left for a week, giving it to us rather than letting it go bad. Dan combined it with some mung beans that he sprouted and sunflower seeds to make an original dish.

An then there was the lasagna. Whipping up some noodles from semolina flour, and combining them with his trademark from-scratch same-day tofu, Dan may have outdone himself. I've been having some digestive issues from eating too much nutritional yeast, so Dan left the cheez out. I didn't miss it at all.

Amy and I took a trip to Minnesota back in September of last year and came back with a few apples from an organic orchard up there; our own apples had had their lives brutally cut short by a late frost. We managed to whip up the only fruit product of the year, apple sauce. And here we are in March, enjoying the fruits of our labor (pun intended).

Friday, February 29, 2008

Vegan Pizza Bagels!

Dinner 2/29 by Brian

• Vegan Pizza Bagels

• Chocolate Chip Cookies

When the Tony's away, the Brian will play... with pizza. Starting by whipping up bagels from scratch in the morning straight out of the Farm's New Vegetarian Cookbook, Brian's only comment was how easy they were.

When it came time to make dinner, he sliced them in half and topped them with some of our canned tomato sauce (suitably spiced), nutritional yeast cheez, and as many toppings as he could find in our pantry. Shitake mushrooms, sauerkraut, hot peppers, pickled garlic, the works. Everything was fair game, and everything was delicious.

As if that wasn't enough, he then made chocolate chip cookies out of Simple Treats, my new favorite book for deserts. Okay, maybe my second favorite. But it's hard to get the ingredients for something out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crepes with Lentils and Potatoes, Melty White Cheeze, Chocolate Pudding

Dinner 2/21 by Juan and Amy

• Crepes with Lentils and Potatoes

• Melty White Cheeze

• Chocolate Pudding

Tonight's dinner was reminiscent of a meal made here years ago by a Bobolinker long flown away. The crepes were made with freshly ground organic whole wheat grown at Sandhill Farm based on the recipe from The New Farm Cookbook.

I cooked up some dried onions, dried garlic, green lentils, potatoes, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper until soft. Then Juan made up a big batch of Melty White Cheeze from Vegan Vittles by Joanne Stepaniak. We prepared them by filling a crepe with cheeze and lentil stuffing, rolled them up and then topped them with more cheeze.

The chocolate pudding was based on Mom's Chocolate Pudding from La Dolce Vegan. For the "milk" called for in the recipe (quotes in the original), Juan blended some Cashew-Macadamia butter with water. As Brian put it, "It was cocoa-splendiforous."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chickpea Cutlets, Greek Potato Stew, Laird Peas, Brown Rice

Dinner 2/20 by Amy and Juan

• Chickpea Cutlets

Greek Potato Stew

Laird Peas

• Brown Rice

All the world is raving about the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. I must admit that I do like them as much as seitan, but there are mixed reviews in Bobolink. Guess that's why there's chocolate and vanilla soy cream, right?

The Greek Potato Stew was a recipe that my friend Suz blogged about over at Critical Mastication. We happened to have a jar of kalamata olives around and a neighbor generously provided some vermouth. We used some quartered tomatoes we canned over the summer from our organic garden and omitted the feta cheese. It was an amazing dish! Even Juan who does not like olives *LIKED* the dish. That's quite a testimonial!

I guess we didn't think were was enough starch or carbs in our dinner, so we made a side of brown rice and cooked up the extra chickpeas as Laird Peas.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mashed Potatoes, Chickpea Gravy, Laird Peas, Pan-fried String Beans

Dinner 2/13 by Brian

• Mashed Potatoes

• Chickpea Gravy

Laird Peas

• Pan-fried String Beans

Tonight, Brian made mashed potatoes using potatoes from a neighboring organic farmer. The chickpea gravy recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It's called gravy in the recipe, but it always ends up the consistency of mashed potatoes when Brian makes it. I think he affectionately called it sludge.

Laird Peas
are my favorite way to use up cooked chickpeas. They added a little bit of texture to the mash and gravy. The string beans were an ingenious use of dilly beans (canned pickled green beans) from our winter stocks. He fished out the beans and heated them up in a dry pan (drying them out) with a little Stan Sauce.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Vegan Sesame Seed Dressing Recipe

We once had an intern at Dancing Rabbit named Trish who was vegan and allergic to soy and peanuts and a bunch of other things as well. To get her protein she relied a lot on seeds like sesame and sunflower. She made this dressing that I use whenever I make falafel but can also be used on salads. We call it Trish Sauce.


1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup vinegar
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
2-5 cloves garlic
Sesame seeds

Put water, vinegar, salt and garlic in a blender and begin blending. Add sesame seeds slowly, allowing them to be ground well, until the mixture thickens. If you make it too thick you can dilute it with more water and/or vinegar.

For a more toasted flavor you can toast the sesame seeds. I also sometimes substitute sunflower seeds (toasted or not) for all or part of the sesame seeds. Sunflower seeds are more bioregional for us and depending on your tastes the sesame seeds can have quite a strong flavor.


Miso & Nutritional Yeast Dressing Recipe

Stan over at Sandhill Farm makes a salad dressing that is so good we use it on everything and call it "Stan Suace". Its very easy to make and is great for salads, on bread and sauerkraut, on Indian dishes, and would make cardboard taste good.


1 Cup Oil
1 Cup Vinegar (we use Apple Cider)
1 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes (aka Nut Yeast)
1 Tbsp Miso (we make our own but whatever miso you have is fine)
3-5 cloves of garlic

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Some folks like to add the oil last and drizzle it in for maximum emulsification but I think the nut yeast holds it all together just fine.

The result is a delicious thick dressing with the zip of vinegar and the bite of garlic and a rich miso and nut yeast flavor.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Falafel, Whole Wheat Pita, Hummus, Trish Sauce, Peach Galettes

Dinner 2/8 by Tony

• Falafel

• Whole Wheat Pita

• Hummus

Sesame Seed Sauce

• Peach Galettes

Tony is truly gifted with breads. He has the amazing ability to make pitas from scratch. I've never tried, but I imagine there's a bit of magic involved when it comes to creating the pocket inside. To make the pitas, he used freshly ground whole wheat flour and I think that always makes them so much better than store bough pitas.

Inside our pitas, we put falafels, hummus, chopped dilly beans and a sesame seed sauce we affectionally call "Trish Sauce" named after a DR intern who made it a lot. If you're looking for sauces named after folks, you can also check out "Stan Sauce", a versatile blend based on miso and nutritional yeast.

For dessert, Tony used some leftover crust from the other night to make little freeform peach pies called galettes. The filling was made with some peaches from our orchard that we canned two summers ago. It's amazing how much flavor the canned products still retain. I'm not a fan of food in tin cans, but putting it up in jars for the winter is a whole other ballgame.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Tortillas, Spaghetti Squash Soup, Pound Cake

Dinner 2/7 by Amy and Juan

• Sweet Potato-Black Bean Tortillas

• Spaghetti Squash Soup

• Pound Cake

Juan and I decided to try making all new things for this dinner. I made the Sweet Potato-Black Bean Tortillas from Veganomicon. The recipe is listed as an alternative for the Yuca Tortillas for those of you playing at home. Yuca isn't bioregional to us, but luckily a neighboring organic farmer grew some sweet potatoes that were strangely white in color, so they seemed the perfect substitute. Our version was a little more homegrown, since we didn't use tortillas from a package. Juan made tortillas based on the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian using flour we ground fresh from wheat grown at Sandhill Farm, only 3 miles away.

The soup was an improvisation that was the brainchild of Juan. He started with the broth leftover from making seitan the night before. He added dried onions and garlic plus cubes of skinned spaghetti squash. After boiling for a couple hours, the squash was soft and had soaked up the yummy flavor of the broth.

Juan's favorite cake is pound cake. He's doesn't get a lot of that eating with a vegan co-op, so when he saw the recipe for pound cake in Ellen Abraham's Simple Treats, he just had to try it. Forgoing the marbling, he doubled the vanilla batter and hoped for the best. The result was a cake that was a bit too light to be considered pound cake, plus it tasted a lot like sorghum (our sweetener of choice). He said next time he'll try it with some sugar and see if it's more like he remembers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

General Tso's Seitan, Brown Rice, Sesame Squash Rings

Dinner 2/6 by Juan and Amy

General Tso's Seitan

• Brown Rice

• Sesame Squash Rings

Tonight, Juan and I made our old standby, General Tso's Seitan. Normally, I wouldn't bother blogging something that's already been blogged on this site a whole bunch of times, but I thought I'd at least mention the side dish since it was a new recipe and I really enjoyed how it turned out.

The squash rings were made using a recipe from Christina Pirello's Cooking the Whole Foods Way, which is cookbook that I love. The recipe called for acorn squash, but we didn't grow any of those this past year (we grew sweet dumpling and lakota squashes), so I used some butternut squashes that we have been storing since the fall. We bought them from a neighboring organic farmer along with spaghetti squashes.

The squash was sliced into rings with the skin left on. They were simmered in a pan with enough water to half cover. Then cooked until tender enough to pierce with a fork. The sauce was made with equal parts tahini and brown rice syrup. Plus some soy sauce and parsley (we used dried, but the recipe called for fresh). Stirred up over medium heat until it thickened, it added a nice flavor to the squash. Yum!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Whole Wheat Gnocchi, Tomato Sauce, Focaccia, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Dinner 2/4 by Brian

• Whole Wheat Gnocchi

• Tomato Sauce


• Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Brian made an amazing dinner from scratch tonight. Making gnocchi is no small feat. He baked potatoes, skinned them and mashed them with fresh-ground flour. After sculpting each one with a fork, he boiled them and served them with tomato sauce made with tomatoes we canned from our organic garden this summer.

He also make two kinds of focaccia — one with fried onions and the other with coarse sea salt and spices. If you'd like to try making some yourself, here is Brian's focaccia recipe. It's easy and delicious! The cookies were another creation based on the recipe from Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

White Bean Galettes, Baked Potatoes, and Sweet Potato Pie

Dinner 2/2 by Tony

White Bean Galettes with Sun-dried Tomato Topping

• Baked Potatoes

Sweet Potato Pie with Vegan Whipped Cream

Tonight's dinner is one that used to be in my standard rotating but I haven't made for years. Its a bit labor intensive for a big group but for just the 6 of us it is not so big a deal.

The Galettes are a great summer or winter dish where the topping is really key. I've successfully used roasted peppers, roasted tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and pepper relish. I think any sweet and sour, savory topping could work.

I like making flat breads and crust. I used the same crust for the pies and the Galettes which saved some time. I used our local wheat from Sandhill and would normally use oil but we had some margarine around so I used half oil and half margarine.

The pie is a great fall or winter treat. Sweet potatoes from our garden or other local organic growers can be stored all winter and this is a great dish for sorghum from Sandhill.

A delicious local meal with 75% of its ingredients from within 10 miles.

White Bean Hummus Galettes with Sundried Tomatoes Recipe

White Bean Hummus

1 cup cooked white beans
1 Tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp dried sage
2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
water as needed for blending

Cook beans thoroughly, preferably in a pressure cooker. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend well.

Sun-dried Tomato Topping

We dry our tomatoes during the summer on a solar food dehydrator. We store them dry so if your are packed in oil them you can use them straight.

2 cups (packed) sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients in a sealable container and shake thoroughly. Allow to moisten for at least one hour. Add more oil and vinegar if tomatoes are not moist and flexible.

Assembling the Gallettes

Roll out vegan pie crust into 3 inch squares. Put a heaping tablespoon dollop in the middle of the crust. Pinch together the middle of each side to form gallette as shown below. Top with a dab of sun-dried tomato topping. Tomatoes may scorch a bit if not moist enough.

You could also use roasted fresh tomatoes or peppers or almost any sort of relish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes until crust is crisp or slightly brown.

This recipe was inspired by the Millennium Cookbook.

Vegan Tofu Whipped Cream Recipe

This recipe was inspired by The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

1 cup soft tofu
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp honey, sugar, or maple syrup (or more to taste)
1 tsp lemon juice
1.5 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Blend in a blender until creamy. Serve cold.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

This recipe was inspired by The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

2 cups sweet potatoes
1 cup soymilk
1/2 cup sorghum, honey, or maple syrup (or 3/4 cup brown sugar)
1 Tbsp Molasses (optional - not needed if you use sorghum)
3 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp powedered ginger
1/4 tsp powdered cloves
1.5 tsp cinnamon

Boil or pressure cook peeled sweet potatoes. Mash or blend in food processor. Add rest of ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into unbaked vegan pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Serve with Tofu Whipped Topping.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Spicy Moroccan Black-eyed Pea Stew, Cheezy Breadsticks, Soy Delicious with Dulce de Coco

Dinner 2/1 by Juan and Amy

• Spicy Moroccan Black-eyed Pea Stew

• Cheezy Breadsticks

• Soy Delicious with Dulce de Coco

Tonight Juan and I tried to keep it simple, but tasty. Juan made the stew based on a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook. Since we hadn't soaked any beans the night before, our options were limited, so we went with black-eyed peas. Besides beans, the stew also had dried onions and dried garlic from this past summer that we dried in our solar dehydrator, the last carrots from the garden, and some potatoes from a neighboring organic farmer. The spices were very interesting — cinnamon, allspice, and

I made the breadsticks. They were from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. They were really easy to make and a nice treat with the stew. I used fresh ground wheat grown at Sandhill Farm, three miles from us. It's amazing what a difference fresh-ground flour makes in a recipe.

While we were in town, Juan and I picked up a quart of vanilla Soy Delicious to eat with the leftover Dulce de Coco. Yum!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vegan Dulce de Coco (Coconut Caramel) Recipe

A delcious vegan alternative to dulce de leche.

From Bon Appétit magazine, December 2007

Makes 2.5 cups

2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Whisk coconut milk, sugar, and coarse salt in heavy large skillet over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer sauce to small jars. Cool completely, then cover sauce and chill.

Can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled.

Chickpea Cutlets, Baked Potato Bar, Pretzel Sticks with Dulce de Coco

Dinner 1/31 by Amy and Juan

• Chickpea Cutlets

• Baked Potato Bar

• Pretzel Sticks with Dulce de Coco

Chickpea Cutlets from Isa and Terry's Veganomicon are a great variation on seitan and a nice way to cut the amount of pure gluten goes into my system. Kind of like how you can make brownies with prune puree or something. :) Anyway, last time I made the Chickpea Cutlets, we fried them, so this time I thought it would be fun to bake them. I liked the texture of them a bit more this time (and it uses *much* less oil, so I'll probably keep making them this way.

Baked potato bar is one of my favorite ways to eat potatoes. Tonight's toppings included nutritional yeast cheez sauce (The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, hickory bits (Vegan Vittles, tofu sour cream (Garden of Vegan) and our own canned salsa made from our garden's bounty this past summer.

The most exciting part of this meal was the Dulce de Coco. Juan is from Argentina and loves dulce de leche. It's something that I've been trying to find a good vegan version of, but it's MILK. Condensed, sweetened milk and nothing more. So, it's been a bit of a challenge and I'd kind of given up. Then, by a random series of events, I ended up with a copy of Bon Appétit from December 2007. In it is a recipe for Coconut Dulce de Leche and lo and behold, it's vegan! I just had to try it. The end result wasn't exactly like dulce de leche, but it was a wonderful coconutty caramel-like sauce. We served it with some pretzels from the local general store.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seitan Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Mushroom Gravy

Dinner 1/30 by Dan

• Seitan Steaks

• Mashed Potatoes

• Green Beans

• Mushroom Gravy

Dan used an interesting technique for the seitan steaks. He put black and crushed red pepper into the mix and then baked them straightaway without than boiling them first. The result was like a bread/seitan hybrid. Very unusual!

The mashed potatoes were made with potatoes from a neighboring organic farm. He served it with some mushroom gravy based on his family's special recipe. The green beans used Ironweed green beans that we canned two summers ago. Dan made a yummy sauce to go on them, but I don't remember what he said was in it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Black Bean Chili, Brown Rice, Green Beans, Tamari Walnuts

Dinner 1/28 by Rachel

• Black Bean Chili

• Brown Rice

• Green Beans

• Tamari Walnuts

Tonight, Rachel made a black bean chili from Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna J. Sass. It had cinnamon, cumin and fennel in it which Tony said made it "a nice melange of flavors with a different burst of flavor in every bite". Chili seems to have two usual serving companions: rice or cornbread, and tonight Rachel went with long grain brown rice.

The green beans were canned over the summer from our organic garden. She cooked them dry in a pan which helped dry them out a little (since they come out of the can a bit soggy). The toasted tamari walnuts were a very nice addition and a bit of a treat. We have lots of black walnuts on our land, but they tend to be harder to work with, so these were from a package bought in a store. One of these years, we should probably learn how to process them. Until then, I'll watch the itty bitty hazelnut trees in our yard grow and dream.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lentil Loaf, Greens and Tomatoes, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dinner 1/24 by Juan

• Lentil Loaf

• Greens and Tomatoes

• Chocolate Chip Cookies

Juan made some lentil loaf from The New Farm Cookbook. It's basically cooked brown rice and red lentils mixed together with spices and baked in the oven. It's one of those things that's easier to cut and serve once it's had some time to cool down and set out of the oven.

Over the summer, Juan made this dish a lot with fresh greens and tomatoes and he wanted to see if he could make it in the winter. He used Ironweed greens that we dried over the summer and some canned quarter tomatoes from our garden. I'm not sure of his exact technique, but the end result was a nice greens dish.

Another recipe from The New Farm Cookbook, the chocolate chip cookies were a nice end to the meal.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Seitan Chunks, Homemade Basil Whole Wheat Pasta, Tomato Sauce, Chocolate Chip Blondies

Dinner 1/23 by Amy and Juan

• Seitan Chunks

• Homemade Basil Whole Wheat Pasta

• Tomato Sauce

• Chocolate Chip Blondies

Juan made some chunks of seitan using his seitan recipe. Some pieces were fried and the rest were baked. The fried pieces are my favorite, but baking them is healthier because they use less oil.

For the pasta, we used Bryanna Grogan Clark's pasta recipe with chickpea flour as the binder. Even though the recipe says to use some whole wheat and some unbleached white, I use all whole wheat and added dried basil for some color and flavor. Juan whipped up some tomato sauce using the tomato puree we canned in the summer from our garden.

Dessert was the chocolate chip blondies from Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham. They were so tasty! And we had all of the ingredients on hand, so that's a bonus!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Black Bean Soup, Samosas, Brown Rice, Peach Chutney

Dinner 1/21 by Brian

• Black Bean Soup

• Samosas

• Brown Rice

• Peach Chutney

Tonight's dinner was black bean soup made with tomato juice as the stock. It had some veggies, but was mostly beans. I'll have to ask Brian what else was in there or if the recipe was from something. He recommended we put the rice into the soup to add a little more texture.

The samosas were filled with potato and corn that we froze over the summer. He handmade each one and they were served with peach chutney we made two summers ago with green peaches thinned from the trees. It also has yummy raisins that have soaked up some of the liquid in the chutney and are now fat and juicy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

There is no such thing as too much Pizza

Dinner 1/19 by Tony

• Tony's Super-Delicious Pizza

Tonight's toppings included: homemade sauerkraut, dilly beans, soysage flavored like pepperoni (pepperoysage?), fried tofu squares, and marinated sun-dried tomatoes.

What else is there to say about Tony's pizza that hasn't been said before? Whole wheat crusts, sauce canned this past summer with our own organic tomatoes, and nutritional yeast cheez from The New Farm Cookbook. Check out Tony's pizza recipe and make some for yourself!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hot and Sour Soup, Tofu in Brown Sauce and Brown Rice

Dinner 1/18 by Dan

• Hot and Sour Soup

• Tofu in Brown Sauce

• Brown Rice

Dan makes excellent tofu and it's totally inspiring that he makes it from scratch. He uses organic soybeans grown at Sandhill, 3 miles away and some epsom salts. It's always such a treat that I wish we were making it more often! Tonight, he made his tofu with a brown sauce that tasted like garlic, ginger and soy sauce. He served it with some long grain brown rice.

The hot and sour soup was made from the stock Juan had leftover from making seitan last night. Dan added onions, garlic, kimchi, chunks of tofu and some yuba that we had leftover from the great UnTurkey experiments in November. It was definitely hot and spicy and very similar to the hot and sour soups I've had before going vegan. One person commented that what made it taste so authentic was the amount of oil on the surface. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spicy Korean Soup, General Tso's Seitan, Brown Rice

Dinner 1/17 by Juan and Amy

• Spicy Korean Soup

• General Tso's Seitan

• Brown Rice

While in Chicago recently, I went to Amitabul, a vegan Korean restaurant that considers itself a healthy food restaurant. My friend had a spicy "cure all" soup that I tasted a sip of. I thought it was so delicious that I tried to recreate it here. First, I fried up some onion and garlic in some oil with a little salt. Then, I added tomato juice (a by-product of all the tomato sauce we make), water, dried corn, dried kale, some fresh chopped carrots and a pint of Dan's canned spicy kimchi. In the last few minutes, I added some of the 2-year barley miso that Thomas and I made and a package of rice noodles that Juan's mom gave us a while back. The end result was spicy, but spicy in a tasty way. :)

Tonight, was also a new twist on an old favorite. Instead of making his usual seitan, Juan tried the recipe from Veganomicon. It used straight wheat gluten, so we were dubious from the beginning. How could it not come out like rubber? In the end, we had some gluten that was textured surprisingly like a cross between silken tofu and shitake mushrooms (in my opinion). I think we'll fry the leftovers before lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chickpea Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Jelly Donut Cupcakes

Dinner 1/16 by Amy and Juan

• Chickpea Cutlets

• Mashed Potatoes

• Green Beans

• Jelly Donut Cupcakes

I've been reading about the Veganomicon's Chickpea Cutlets all over the interblag, so I couldn't wait to try it. A mix of mashed chickpeas and wheat gluten, we fried 'em up as suggested. Next time, we'll try baking them for variety. In general, people liked them and we saw knives at the table for the first time in a while. :)

Mashed potatoes were made for potatoes we've been storing in the back pantry. We bought a whole bunch from a neighboring organic farmer. The green beans were canned last summer or the summer before, raw packed with just a little salt. We cooked them up with fried onions, salt, pepper and some soy sauce. We also served up some BBQ sauce for slatherin'.

Dessert was another recipe from the Veganomicon. We don't usually have a lot of sugar around (be it it's all non-bioregional and stuff), but for authenticity and ease of cooking, I used a little from the stash we use for canning jams. The jam was a quince jelly (it's officially called dulce de membrillo and comes in a big block) that Juan's family bought us from the Latin market in NY while we were visiting. It's something that he grew up eating and still enjoys. If I haven't mentioned it, he's a handsome Argentine guy and I'm not just saying that because he's my hubby. :) Anyway, check out the little squares of jelly in the cupcakes:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snobby Joes, Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns, Sweet Potato Fries, Pickles, Clove Cookies

Dinner 1/14 by Brian

• Snobby Joes

• Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns

• Sweet Potato Fries

• Pickles

• Clove Cookies

As promised, Brian dove into the Veganomicon for our first recipe to try. The Snobby Joes were something that we actually have all of the ingredients on hand to make with the exception of the green pepper. The sandwich buns were made using the The New Farm Cookbook's recipe for Soft Sandwich Buns. Made using wheat from Sandhill only 3 miles away and ground in our electric mill, the bread doesn't get any fresher than this!

The sweet potato fries were made with sweet potatoes we bought from a neighboring organic farm in the fall and have been storing for use over the winter. The pickles were made by Dan during the summer with cucumbers that he grew in his garden. He used a vinegar brine and they were very crispy.

For dessert, Brian made clove cookies from the Simple Treats cookbook. Instead of sugar, he used sorghum from Sandhill as the sweetener. The molassesy-ness of sorghum is perfect for spice cookies of any kind since its flavor just blends in. It also helps give the cookies a beautiful golden color. Once, when I was traveling, I tried to make chocolate chip cookies out of white flour and sugar and they were sadly pale. Not like these:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Potato Carrot Pakoras, Curried Black Eyed Peas, Brown Basmati Rice, Chutneys

Dinner 1/12 by Amy

• Potato Carrot Pakoras

• Curried Black Eyed Peas

• Brown Basmati Rice

• Chutneys

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a comment to this blog where someone asked if we make Indian food. These recipes come from the pages of "The Spice Box" by Manju Shivraj Singh. An excellent book of vegetarian Indian recipes which is well-worn in our kitchen. Since this was my first cook shift back, I thought I'd be making chapati and dessert as well, but time just snuck away from me. Perhaps next time!

The pakoras were made with chickpea flour mixed with lots of spices including dried mint leaves from our garden and a fresh blend of homemade garam masala. I added some carrots (which Dan is managing to preserve in the garden through the winter!), potatoes and onions to the batter so they had some nutrients and weren't just fried deliciousness. :D We used some pear chutney and peach chutney as condiments to dip them in. They were made a couple of years ago with fruit from our neighbor's trees that they happily shared.

This was the first time I've tried the Curried Black Eyed Peas recipe. It involved boiling the black eyed peas in water with a little bit of vinegar. Then frying some cumin seeds in a pan, adding onions, garlic, tumeric, ground coriander, tomato sauce, salt and sorghum. After it started to bubble, I turned off the heat and stirred in garam masala. Brown basmati with some cumin sprinkled on top rounded out the meal.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Enchiladas, Spanish Rice

Dinner 1/11 by Tony

Tonight, Tony made enchiladas from The New Farm Cookbook. They were homemade whole wheat tortillas filled with beans and then baked with sauce made with fried onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and chili powder with flour to thicken it. Then it was topped with nutritional yeast cheeze.

Alongside them was Spanish Rice. I didn't ask the specifics, but I imagine he cooked the rice in some of our own tomato juice from summer's abundance. The rice is a long grain organic brown rice that we get from a bulk food company that carries natural and organic goods. We're pretty lucky that they deliver to the general store in town and we can go pick it up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Laird Peas, Grits, Root Bake, Cherry Tarts

Dinner 1/10 by Rachel

• Laird Peas

• Grits

• Root Bake

• Cherry Tarts

Finally, after a long break of traveling and small numbers, Bobolink has gotten the band back together. That's right, we're back and better than ever. Things you can look forward to seeing (thanks to the generous gifts of our friends and families) include recipes from Veganomicon and Love, Eric and Sanae. As well as our snazzy new pasta drying rack and cast iron bread baker! Life in Bobolink is pretty sweet. :)

Tonight, Rachel whipped up one of my favorite bean dishes. Laird Peas are the creation of our neighbor and friend, Laird from Sandhill Farm community. He is also the originator of Laird Balls (chickpea "meat"balls great with tomato sauce), but that's for another dinner. To make them, take cooked chickpeas and fry them in a little oil in a pan. Once they have a nice fried outside, spray them with some soy sauce and continue cooking them until the soy sauce caramelizes onto the chickpeas. Then, consume in deliciously (and potentially embarrassingly) large quantities. They may not sound like much, but they are always a crowd pleaser. Laird's a pretty nifty guy, so I encourage you to make a big bowl of Laird Peas and check out his blog at

I believe the grits were purchased at Zimmerman's, our local general store. It's not something that we stock all the time, so it was a nice treat. I put some Earth Balance (that was left over from cookie baking last month) on mine, but I saw other folks topping theirs with honey, too. The root bake included carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary and salt.

The cherry tarts were made with cherries that were canned in 2006. Rachel made up a whole wheat crust with wheat from Sandhill Farm. Tart and tasty, these were a delicious end to the meal.