Monday, March 24, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
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sweet and sour sauce was made with some canned pineapple I got from a local store that sells mostly dinged up cans and out of date food for really cheap.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.
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
• Mac-esan (Vegan Parmesan)
• 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
Dinner 3/6 by Juan and Amy
• Whole Wheat Tortillas
• Refried Beans
• Nutritional Yeast Cheez
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
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
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
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).