Monday, July 31, 2006

mushy sandwich with a bit of crunch

Once I mixed up all the ingredients, the Colorful Tofu Salad with Basil and Cashews, it looked a lot like the loaf mix I made last week!

I put the salad mixture on a sandwich. It reminded me of egg salad sandwiches served at parties in church halls. But it was much yummier, with all the veg and the cashews. The cashews, added at the end, were a nice crunchy addition. And yes, it's much better after sitting for awhile. All that tangy mustard soaks in with time.

Good stuff!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

So it's a gazillion degrees here in Iowa, perfect weather for a cool salad. Money's a bit tight right now, so I elected not to use the red bell pepper (which are still about $2 each) and to just use the green peppers that came in my CSA this week. It's still pretty colorful, and the only thing I needed to buy for this recipe was the tofu (when I discovered the only tofu I had was frozen solid). I'm still learning to use my new mandoline and things came out a bit more grated than diced, but I'm happy with it anyway. Oh, and I thought I had some plain stone ground mustard but couldn't find it so used a country-style Dijon mustard instead.

The veggies:

The veggies with tofu:

Everything mixed, ready to chill and "meld"

And for lunch today:

The taste today is quite mild, perhaps a bit more dressing next time. Actually, the taste is quite nice with the oranges, it might be fun to add oranges to the salad, or at least add some orange juice to the vinaigrette. I think this is a nice template recipe -- you could pretty much do anything you wanted with it.

Tofu salad

I ground the flaxseed with the water in my little blender.

The vegetables were nice and colourful.

Yum, a big bowl of uncooked tofu.

I ended up adding some olive oil anyway. Low-fat recipes be damned!

I put some sriracha chili sauce on the salad. Overall, I thought that the salad tasted a little bitter, but maybe I just needs to soak overnight. I'll probably put some on a pita with some hummus tomorrow.

Friday, July 28, 2006

proposal for next week (July 28)

Well, the heat wave has broken here in Iowa, at least temporarily, but there's still plenty of summer left, so I propose a summery dish next time -- how about how about Susan Voisin's Colorful Tofu Salad with Basil and Cashews -- it's light and pretty and has NO oven time. What do you think?

P.S. Those loaves are looking great!

Loafy & Yum.

I loved making this loaf and using up bits and pieces of ingredients from my little kitchen. Here was my basic ingredients list [though I did make some changes based on not wanting to go to the store]:

1/2 cup pine nuts2 TB olive oilOne onion, dicedOne large garlic clove, mincedTwo celery ribs, dicedOne jalapeno chile, seeded and minced2 cups cooked lentils1 cup cooked brown rice1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed3 TB potato flour1 tsp. dried basil1/4 cup minced fresh parsley2 TB nutritional yeast flakesFreshly ground black pepper, to taste1 tsp. salt

Here is the loaf being mixed:

In the pan prior to cooking:

After cooking:

And the sandwich I made myself with the leftover rice & lentils [w/ hot sauce and veganaise], which I ate while the loaf was baking. Meaning that I wasn't hungry at all by the time this was done, and it was saved for lunch sandwiches for work, not photographed:

Cheers all!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hot Tofu and Curried Apple Sandwich

Hi guys! I'm Kat and I wandered over from . I just bought a digital camera so I'm really excited to be able to participate in the vegan cooking communities now :)

Anyways, today I made the Hot Tofu and Curried Apple Sandwiches recipe. Sorry it's way late but I haven't had the energy or inclination to make a loaf this week.

I was nervous to make this recipe because I've had bad luck with another recipe from that website, but the sandwich turned out much better than I expected. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I really liked it, though. I think that if I were to make it again, I would slice the tofu a bit thinner and marinate or bread it with something flavourful.

The only changes I made to the recipe were to quarter the recipe, and, instead of topping it with breadcrumbs, I put another slice of bread on top and grilled it.

The measurements for quartering are as follows:

1/4 lb tofu
1/4 cup soy mayo
1/4 heaping teaspoon curry powder
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup diced apple
3 tbsp diced celery
2 tbsp diced green onion
4 slices of bread
1 tbsp of parsley

Technically this was supposed to make two sandwiches, but it just made the one - which worked out perfectly since I was the only one eating!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sunday Dinners Revisited

I also made the vegan loaf this weekend, and i loved it! It reminded me of all the Sunday dinners i had growing up, but without the meat!

Here was my recipe choice:

1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced (i used 3 myself)
One large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed (i wish i knew i didn't need it)
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 TB soy sauce

All in all, a great dish, but i seem to have a problem making my loaf recipes - they're never firm enough but rather turn to mush. Tasty mush but mush nonetheless! I've never used cooked oatmeal as a binder so i should have followed my intuition (like Mishka) and used egg replacer instead. But, it is really good for a sandwich, as Jennifer suggested. Can't wait for my lunch today!

cold loaf

I made my loaf Sunday afternoon but plans changed and I ended up not eating it Sunday. I've been eating it cold since then (lunch yesterday, breakfast today) and it is wonderful!

My loaf ingredients (off the top of my head) were: great northern beans, quinoa, onion, garlic (one clove? is she kidding?), carrots, nutritional yeast, veg Worcestershire sauce, some herbs (thyme and basil, I think), and pine nuts. I'm probably forgetting something, but that's the gist of it. I did try a bit of it out of the oven, just a sliver, and it was pretty good, and it's been really good cold, too. I tried it on a sandwich yesterday and the bread overwhelmed it, but it was great when I took it off bread to eat separately.

The taste vaguely reminds me of Thanksgiving, and I was thinking it might make a good main dish for a holiday meal, especially using "stuffing seasonings" like celery and onions and poultry seasoning. Even with the beans, grains and nuts it wasn't terribly heavy and could go with a large meal. And I like Carla's idea of individual molds, that would be awesome.

The veggies cooking:

the veggies

The other ingredients:

the other ingredients

The uncooked loaf:

uncooked loaf

The finished loaf:

the finished loaf

Go Go Gadget Loaf Recipe Generator!

(remember Inspector Gadget?)

I made the loaf with tofu, cashews, olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot, oatmeal, vegetable broth, soy flour, fresh parsley, dried oregano, black pepper and tamari. I baked part of it in a normal loaf pan and part in little heart shaped pans.

Here's one of the hearts, with miso gravy and a side of steamed kale with red pepper:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday night feels like loaf night

Loaf ingredients

This was my list of ingredients, as suggested by the Magical Loaf Studio, and my alterations noted:

1/2 cup peanuts (1/2 cup peanut butter)
2 TB vegetable oil
One onion, diced (1/2 onion, diced)
One large garlic clove, minced (3!!)
One large carrot, peeled and grated (2 medium)
One cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked lentils (closer to 3 cups, and they were cooked in an onion broth)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (made from 12 grain bread, and half a cup of wheat germ was added)
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed (not needed!)
3 TB potato flour (used same amount of Kingsmill Egg Replacer)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (plus 1/2 tsp sage)
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 TB soy sauce
1 potato, thinly sliced
1/2 zucchini, chopped

I cooked the lentils up with the onion bouillon and mixed with the diced carrots in the bowl. Then the zucchini, onion and mushrooms were sauteed and reduced, then added to the mix. While this was going on, I ate a small bowl of some extra lentils, because I'm greedy like that.

Loaf with potato

The rest of the ingredients were added to the mix, minus the potatoes, and spread into a greased dish. Then, I layered the potatoes on top to make a sort of "loafpie".

Hot outta the oven Loaf

It was great. The potatoes on top got a bit crispy and chippy, and the flavour was deep. We ate the loaf with mushroom gravy and steamed broccoli, and we ate too much! Defintely a recipe we'll try variations of again and again.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Love Sandwiches!

I am crazy for sandwiches, and a good sandwich like this one is perfection! J made them while i was on my way home from work (12 hour day!) and he was happy to bring out and test our new celebration present - a Le Creuset grill! He grilled the tofu on it but it was a bit sticky. But, i've never had better tasting tofu in a sandwich before. They were grilled perfectly! And, when the complete sandwiches went on there, i could smell the sandwiches at the door and they grilled perfectly.

We didn't have any celery around but we did have a huge jar of olives, so we substituted them for celery. They were a nice touch. Also, the bread of choice was freshly baked raisin bran. The flavours going on were a master piece!

J made the complete recipe, so we each had two sandwiches. By the time there was only a quarter left of my second sandwich, i did start to notice i was full and the veganaise, raisin, apple, and olives combo was just a bit 'much.' But, with a side of fresh carrot sticks, we were both happy to indulge!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Penny (pinching) loafer

Ever since I read about Jennifer's Magical Loaf Studio, I've been dying to try it, though I might have waited until winter rather than in the middle of a heat wave. Little did I know how much it would hit the spot! And how exciting to get to eat the food of a fellow vegan AND knitter!

What was especially great about this recipe was how well it adapts to what you want to eat and what you have in the fridge. I didn't have to make any runs to the store to make this, and I got to use my leftover carrot, celery, bokchoy, napa, red pepper, celery, and tofu from previous cookalong recipes! So it felt like it was for free!

My choices were:
Protein: Chickpeas [and Tofu]
Carbohydrate: Cooked Brown Rice [I used a blend of 7 brown rices by Lundberg]
Nuts or Seeds: Walnuts
Vegetables: I put in garlic, carrot, celery, and mushrooms into the program, but I actually used garlic, carrot, celery, bokchoy, napa cabbage, and red pepper.
Liquid: vegetable broth (though it didn't end up needing it)
Herbs and Seasonings: parsley, cumin, nutritional yeast, and black pepper
Binder: I put in soy flour into the program, but I actually used chickpea (besan) flour
Salty seasoning: salt
Oil: olive oil

So, I started by putting the walnuts into the food processor.

1/2 cup ground walnuts. I was really impressed with how well the processor handled them.

2 tbs oil plus vegetables

1 cup garbanzos and 1 cup mashed fresh tofu from last recipe added to the ground walnuts

I started cooking the rice at the very beginning so that it would be ready once the vegetables were done cooking. Added the vegetables after sauteing, nutritional yeast, cumin, chickpea flour, parsley, black pepper and salt, and rice.

When I mixed it together, I found the mixture to be quite wet so no broth was needed.

Before cooking (sprinkled with paprika)

After cooking (and left out to cool)

Ready to eat!

We were really satisfied with this meal, and it wasn't too heavy as other loaves tend to be. That is me talking there, cause when I asked how it could be improved, AA said I should "add tahini." Maybe if I make it during the winter I could, but during the summer, I don't think I could have handled anything heavier than it already was. I liked this a lot, but then again, I've liked everything!

Loafing around

Here were my ingredients:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
Two celery ribs, diced
2 cups mashed firm tofu
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
2 TB soy sauce

After I made the "quinoa," I realized that I had accidentally made millet instead. They look very similar when they are sitting next to one another in a dark cupboard in unlabelled bags from Strictly Bulk. Oh well, I had been considering using millet anyway, but thought that I had a lot of quinoa and no millet.
I used Bragg's instead of soya sauce, and shallots instead of an onion, because I had a few lying around. I added more nutritional flakes when it seemed like the loaf was a little more wet than it was supposed to be, because I didn't feel like having to make a miniscule amount of oatmeal.

Here is a cooking montage:

I cooked it for a 45 minutes, and it seemed kind of springy when I took it out. I let it cool for a while, and even though my plan was to save it for later, for cold sandwiches, I decided to cut myself a piece for dinner. It sort of held together.

I put some ketchup on it, and it actually tasted really good. I definitely had low expectations by the time I was putting the loaf in the oven, so it was a nice surprise. I will try making sandwiches tomorrow.

Suggestion for This Week:

I am sure everyone reads the Vegan Lunchbox site, if not then do yourself a favour and go back through the archives! Jennifer, a stay- at-home vegan mom and chef prepares the most amazing lunches for her 1st grader, photographs then and gives you the recipes and her "shmoo's" reviews. I have several cookbooks from her reviews and have even tried to make food in imitation of his lunchbox.

She also has another site called The Magical Loaf Studio where you select ingredients from each necessary category and customized instructions for a meatless loaf are created.
I made it once and loved it.

I thought it might be cool if everyone made their own variation of it for comparison? I know "loaves" seem wintery, but I promise the leftover slices are great cold in a sandwich.
Let me know what you all think.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Who knew??

When the next recipe had been posted, I was worried about cooking for two. I told the boy that I'd just make this for myself because I wasn't sure if he'd like it.

Well, I learned a lesson here.

Tofu-Curried Apple Sandwiches - pressing the tofu

I pressed the tofu á la Michelle C. - with lotsa heavy stuff and cookbooks, and for only about 20 minutes. On top, you'll see the copy of Vive Le Vegan I won from Dreena Burton's blog!

Tofu-Curried Apple Sandwiches - the salad

For the Curried Apple Salad, I used *gasp* awesome Veganaise with curry powder, cumin, green onion, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, salt and a Spartan apple. The boy had veto power on the celery, which he isn't a fan of.

Tofu-Curried Apple Sandwiches - in the pan

I was going to broil the tofu in my toaster oven, but decided it would be much faster to fry. The tofu was low-fat, so frying oil be damned!

The tofu was fried with canola, cumin and lemon juice.

IMG_1897.JPGTofu-Curried Apple Sandwiches - before broiling

We didn't have parsley, but I made breadcrumbs from a piece of toasted 12 grain bread. Everything was piled on top of Ace Bakery buns.

Tofu-Curried Apple Sandwiches - final sammich

The result, after about 5 minutes under the broiler.

The verdict: we loved it! I was afraid to mix apples, "mayo" and green onions together because I have this thing about keeping savoury and sweet separate. But the salad was incredibly tasty. And I was scolded for the comment about eating this by myself. I guess I was really just projecting my own food issues. I can totally see me making and eating the salad on its own!

Too bad I cut the recipe in half. There are no leftovers.

I do just have to say that I am loving the weekly challenge of trying a new recipe. Too often I end up just making something quick that I'm familiar with - sloppy joes, pasta, tacos, chili, etc - and never would I have tried most of the recipes listed here. My cooking repertoire has expanded and I'm so happy for that!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Really Really Late but Really Really Good

I promise from here on in that i will be on the same schedule as everyone else, but i just had to share my Taste of Morroco night. I made it last week but as i just had a big weddding/celebration, i hope it's okay i'm only sharing it now. It was a hit. Our guests from Colombia liked it too and that's a good compliment considering our food tastes are quite different. One friend who's lived in Israel/Palestine also loved it, and said it's the best couscous he's had - incidently in some countries 'couscous' is slang for a woman's nether regions, so we all got a good laugh at how much he liked my couscous!

Anyway, i improvised a bit but for the most part i followed the recipe and really really liked it. I just had to share that with you!

I can't wait to make this latest dish, and on time!

Monday, July 17, 2006

messy yumminess

I made mine open-faced, too! It was sloppy to eat, but so yummy. The stuffing is good solo, too.

Coffee grinder to make the bread crumbs. Have never ground coffee in it, it's strictly for seeds, nuts and bread crumbs:

I love my frying pan with grilly ridges. Got it to mock up the Juice for Life dragon rice bowl at home, it makes fun grilled non-cheeze sandwiches, too. Mine's teflon, cast iron might be even better:

And ta-daa, the finished sandwich! I learned, as MichelleKnits did, that broiling alone will not heat up the tofu.