Monday, February 26, 2007

Vegan Dumplings

Sorry for not posting a recipe sooner. So, as suggested and discussed in our comments, i recommended doing a dumpling recipe to celebrate Asian New Year. I have some won ton wrappers i just bought so tried to find a recipe with pre-made wrappers.

Here it is:

Or this one.

Since there are so many things to put in dumplings, feel free to add what fancies you. If you want to make the wrappers from scratch, here is a site for you. And, make sure to post what you put in the dumplings!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

besan, faster than a silver bullet

So I actually hate big corporate beer, but not enough to NOT drink it if it's magically around. Which it was. And I know that Michelob isn't the Silver Bullet, but I don't care enough to be clever. And the main point is, I made a few changes and had Besan Omlettes faster than I could drink a cheap watery beer. Essentially, rather than all that yummy onion, tomato, garlic, and cilantro I used fresh salsa. I had some fresh salsa laying around, and I only wanted to make 1/4 of the recipe, and wanted to save all my fresh veggies for when I could use them in one swoop, but I wanted to try this really bad, and in the end, it was kinda genius. Hard to recreate, since I used 1/2 cup of the flour and then the salsa in the tub and some water till it looked alright, and then some Balti seasoning, and then some more flour since it looked to watery (but probably wasn't since these, though delicious were a bit too dense). But anyway, great, and I will go out on a limb and say this would be perfect with a slightly drier pico de gallo. And since the whole thing is certainly one of the best things I've made in under 10 minutes, I will probably find out. I gave monsieur a taste of it, and he thought it was super too and I am thinking of using the leftovers for a sandwich tomorrow, since I really wanted to make it more than I could eat too much tonight. In the end, I really wanted a little salad too, so I put it all together. And now I've eaten my food and drank what passed for my beer, and I'm happy. And now in no particular order my pictures.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Besan Omelette

I decided to take the basic recipe and jazz it up a bit more. I added way more cilantro and garlic, used garlic-chili sauce instead of fresh chilis, plus I thought green peppers would make a nice addition. Just before cooking, I also added a splash of lemon juice and some cumin.

Besan Omelette ingredients


Besan Omelette - in the mixing bowl

in the bowl.

Besan Omelette - pre-cooked

in the pan.

Besan Omelette - in the pan

And this is how the cooked version looked.

I made the full recipe and ended up with a few "omelettes". The first one was too thick (apparently I forgot the consistency of yogurt) so I watered down the batter before cooking the rest. I think, in total, I used almost 2 cups of water.

I think this is a great recipe to play with. Next time, I'd love to add different spices and vegetables to create different flavours and textures. And there will be a next time. The boy's comment when asked if he'd eat it again: "Sh*t, yeah."


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Besan "Omlette"

I halved the recipe, and used jalapeno peppers instead of Thai.

Here is everything except the water together.
I think I added about 5/6ths of a cup of water.

I served the "omlette" (seemed more like a pancake to me) with smoked chipotle Tabasco. It was tasty, but I think it would be best served as a side dish to an Indian curry. I think I will try this in the future.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I picked out three different recipes and selected my favorite veggies out of each of them, as well as the general order of adding things. First, I got all my ingredients together. I already had paella rice from another time it had grabbed my eye at the store. I also picked hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, and peas.

I soaked the saffron while I sauteed the onion and garlic:

I was worried that it was too much onion, but it seemed to shrink reasonably with cooking.

Then I added the tomatoes and various hearts and spices.

Here is the delicious simmering shot with the soaked saffron and veggie stock.

I decided to cook the veggie sausage separate to keep it crispy. The recipe that called for sausage said to add it at the beginning, but the recipe that called for the faux seafood had it cooked separate, and that made more sense to me.

The end result:

This was so so so much better than I had even dared to hope. I'm glad because it's going to be five more meals. :)


Besan (Chick Pea Flour) Omelette

I'm going to jump right in with a suggestion for a recipe I found last week: Besan Omelette.

I used to enjoy omelettes and this one sounds so interesting. When the Cook-a-long recipe was pakoras, it was my first time using chickpea flour and I can really see how it would work as an omelette!


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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Popping Paella

Well, here are two firsts for me: 1/ posting to this blog (hello!) and 2/ cooking paella. This was originally something I had intended to attempt tomorrow, but after a lousy day, I was in need of some cooking therapy.

I started a couple days ago researching different recipes. I actually found two on Epicurious that were both vegan, and I liked different elements of both, so I combined them to make my own.

Now, the first rank:

I also had read that most paella recipes call for the saffron to steep in the liquid for several minutes, so this is after a ten minute swim in the veg. stock pool:

I had a good thing going here, until I realized that my pretty paella-in-the-works would soon overtake the skillet I was using. So, paella purists, cover your eyes, because I went to a large soup pot (I had a toooon of veggies to put in, so this was the only way my kitchen could stay clean).

I was a little worried going into the last 15-minute cooking period. I have never had paella so I had nothing to compare these results to. However, after the last covered bit, I uncovered this beautiful, yellowy, very tasty goodness:

After I uncovered the dish (and after the obligatory taste test, natch), I cranked up the heat for a couple of minutes for the socarrat. I was hesitant (again, my paella knowledge is nil), but I have to say, this was my favorite part of the whole night. After turning up the gas, the rice soon started crackling and this very nutty, sweet, toasted smell arose from the pan. It sounds silly, but it was a nice "zen" moment to a very crazy day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rice Pudding, Choco style

I was not much of a rice pudding fan as a child, but I also didn't like a few things that I like now. I figured rice pudding would be one of those things.

I decided to use sticky rice, mostly because it was the only white rice we have in the apartment. I also decided to do it up with chocolate soy milk, half the sugar and cocoa powder. Since the recipe didn't measurements for cocoa, I just threw stuff in until it looked good. As for spices, I added cinnamon and a pinch of ground cardamom... mmmm...

Vegan Choco Rice Pudding - cooked sticky rice

sticky rice is awesome. whatever didn't get put in the pot went straight into mah belly.

Vegan Choco Rice Pudding - adding cocoa

added cocoa - about 1/2 a cup I think.

Vegan Choco Rice Pudding

nice choco brown thick pudding.

I was eager to try it, and was punished by getting my mouth burned. It was really tasty and I think I'd make it again. Though I'd like to try it as a vanilla pudding with lots of raisins like vania did! I'm also interested in trying a chai-spice version with more cardamom, some pepper, and other spices.


Mmmm...Rice Pudding

Sorry for the late entry, but i made the rice pudding recipe yesterday and i wanted to share my verdict with you: it was fabulous. J said it was the best rice pudding he's ever had - and we both grew up eating it.Of course, i had to do some substitutions, and i'm glad i read everyone else's posts first. I halved the recipe - i love left over rice pudding for breakfast. But i didn't add as much liquid as it suggested; instead of 4 cups of soy milk, i did 2 cups of soy milk and one cup of coconut milk. It was heavenly - not too soupy as i think it would have been had i truly followed the recipe.
The other thing for me is that rice pudding is not complete without raisins and cinnamon. So, i added 3/4 cup raisins and 1 full tsp of cinnamon. I think that was the other changes i did and it really was good - nice and sweet, soft, fluffy, and warming.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


That rice pudding (and the fact that I made it once for my Spanish class) has got me on a Spanish kick, so this week, how about paella? There are 3 different recipes over here - - but if you find others, go ahead and share. There are tons that you can find from a quick search on vegan paella. I plan to look at a few and pick the veggies I like best. :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lessons learned...

I distinctly remember making rice pudding for my Spanish class in high school and loving it, so I was really excited to make it again. But in my mind it's not rice pudding if it's not baked. (I thought this was a Spanish thing, but apparently it's a Pennsylvania Dutch thing.) In fact, it needed a lot of alterations. Where was the cinnamon? The raisins? The nutmeg? So I went hunting for other recipes. I compared a few and combined and winged.

Some of the recipes called for 1/2 cup rice to 4 cups milk, and some only called for 1/4 cup. So I split the difference and used 1/3 cup. I used vanilla soymilk, but also used the 1/2 cup sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla that my recipes called for. Definitely a mistake. It sure did smell good though.

In my insistence that rice pudding must be baked I managed to forget that we don't have an oven...

I cooked it for the 3 1/2 hours that it called for, but had to get to sleep before it was done. I left a note for Shawn to give it another half hour if it still looked runny, then to cover it and stick it in the fridge. He later told me he gave it another hour and gave up. In the morning it has solidified though. And don't be grossed out by the skin. It's supposed to have that from the spices.

My biggest mistake was not taking in to account the vanilla soymilk's sweetness. It pretty much ruined it. If I were going to make this recipe again I would use a plain rice milk and regular raisins, added towards the end of baking. But I don't think I will. I might try the actual posted recipe though, with coconut milk. And quartered. I just don't need this much rice pudding.

newbie double rice pudding

I thought rice pudding would be a perfect first recipe for me to say hi with, but in fact it's impossible to take a picture of! I quartered the recipe and used rice milk instead of soy milk cause I had it and was overeager, and in fact it came out incredibly tasty, but I stirred it for about 15 minutes and it looked like soup and then all of a sudden it was pudding, but none of the pictures came out. But then I put it in a bowl, and chopped up banana and poured on the cinnamon and finally took a picture that came out. And then I ate it, and then I was very very very happy. The banana and cinnamon were definitely good calls. Hi, help me write better entries!

Monday, February 05, 2007

gabba gabba rice pudding

I quartered the recipe, and instead of vanilla soy milk, I just added more vanilla to the recipe. Oh, and I used jasmine rice.
I wasn't sure how long it was supposed to be boiling for, so I just stirred it for a few minutes while it was boiling, and then let it sit covered for 20 minutes away from heat.
In terms of the variations, I added some crushed pineapple, just because I happened to have half a can of crushed pineapple in the fridge.
The verdict? Well, I haven't had rice pudding in forever, and I don't remember being a fan, but this was pretty tasty. I had it while it was still a little warm. Tomorrow I'll bring some to work and see what it's like when it's cooled down a little.
I wonder what making it with coconut milk would be like? Probably very tasty!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

rice pudding

just for clarity's sake, here's the recipe selected by Marta:,vegan_rice_pudding.phtml

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Friday, February 02, 2007

vegan thinking cap time

it's friday..... who has a recipe?