Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Creamy Eggplant & Roasted Pepper Soup

Hrm. I have no idea how I made this recipe up. No pictures, it looks fine but as an eggplant soup is not that photogenic.. so photos it will do without. It does look nice and all, but it is eggplanty gray-ish. Anyway, my housemate loved it. Sort of. She couldn't believe it had almost no fat in it, she thought it tasted too decadent. I will definitely make it again, possibly when I have nice bowls to picture it in.

2 small to medium eggplants
1 T garlic/EVOO
8 cloves garlic
1 lrg red onion
1/2 c roasted red peppers
2 T macadamia/cashew butter
1/4 c nut yeast
heaping T stock
4 c water
3 inches kombu
1/4 t cinnamon

Soak the kombu in the water.
Sautee up the garlic and onions until they start to sweeten. Blend all of the ingredients together, and voila.

Actually, I realized I do have pics. They will be forthcoming!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Three: Hummus, Muhumarra, and Carrots Smashed with North African Spices

Yes, I know the title is quite a mouth full... Here is item one of the lovely trio.

Carrot Smash:

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for dipping
2 tablespoons white vinegar
4 teaspoons harissa (see note)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 pieces sprouted grain bread, toasted and dried
Salt and pepper to taste

*harissa is a spice paste you can make your self, or get in a can at middle eastern grocers. I used the latter, this time. Will probably make my own at some point... ideally it will come with a post.

1. In a large saucepan over high heat, cover the carrots with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the carrots and return them to the saucepan. Cook for 30 seconds over medium heat to thoroughly dry them. Remove the carrots from the heat and coarsely mash them with a fork or whisk. If lazy, pulse them in a food processor a few times. You should have a coarsely ground carrot puree that sticks together but still has rough pieces throughout.

2. Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, harissa, cumin, and ginger. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

This is best served with dukkah, another spice blend. I never got around to that part, so can't post much on it... yet. But I do have some carrots in my fridge that need to get used. We will see.

The recipes for muhumarra, and my favorite hummus to date are forthcoming.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lil' Squashes Stuffed with Soy-Maple Rice & Fall Vegetables


So, fall is officially here. My housemate and I went in on a CSA together, except that he is never really around... so I have been left with a box of CSA veggies all to my self each week. Ya, horrible, rite? rite?! Srsly, thou. I mean, seriously. I do have an excess of vegetables, and a need to use them. However I have also swore that I was going to go through my pantry and not buy anything new, like, anything. So how do I continue to improve my recipe mental rolodex and not spend any money? Ah, the concept recipe. To clarify, concept recipes are ideas that are not detail oriented. They are not baking, or steeped in French cooking science. They are ideas, like "winter vegetable soup," "X vegetable stirfry," "garden salad," etc. They are fantastic for the changing seasons, as you can often adapt the recipes to fit what is seasonally appropriate.

So, today's concept? Stuffed squash. The no-pantry thing is working out quite well, as I have been trying to following more of a whole foods/macrobiotic lifestyle. So this basically means I need to keep baking and desserts on the down-low. So far it has been going tastily. Not amazingly photogenic (or I was not in the mood to make it such), but wholesome good things. As this is a concept recipe I am going to emphasize that you feel free to substitute things. Don't have celery? Use parsley. Only have two carrots? That is fine. Use quinoa instead of brown rice, etc. etc. Really, this works even if you have leftover grains or some stirfry sitting in your fridge, ignored. However, this is how I threw it down...

Lil' Squashes Stuffed with Soy-Maple Rice & Fall Vegetables

4 small squash (I used butternut and acorn), halved lengthwise and seeded
Canola oil for greasing the pans
Salt n' Pepper
2 cups uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed (ideally, soak over night)
3 cups water
1 large red onion, diced
1 celary heart, chopped
2 (very) small leeks, chopped
3 carrots, cut into half-moons
2 T fresh oregano, chopped
2 T maple syrup
1/4 C wheat-free soy sauce (or more to flavor)
1 C raisins

1 cup toasted nuts of choice (I used pepitas, toasted in sesame oil and salt)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash cut-side up, brush or spray tops with oil. If you can't prop the squash up, cut a thin slice off the curved bottoms so they do not tip over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Keep them warm.

While the squashes are roasting, combine the water, rice, and a teaspoon of salt. Cover. Bring to a boil, decrease heat to medium low, and simmer until the rice is tender. If there is any water left, drain it out.

While the rice is cooking, sautee the vegetables in a large, heavy skillet, or two. If you want to be particular, you can sautee the vegetables up seperately. I cooked my carrots seperate from my onions and celery. This step is not necessary, but nice to do if you have the time (which I did). More importantly, I had two burners free. Sautee until tender. If you cooked the vegetables seperately, combine them now, stir in the soy sauce, maple syrup, raisins, and basil, then add the rice. Stir, salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the rice mixture evenly between the squashes, sprinkle with the nuts, and serve.

*to toast the pepitas: heat a heavy bottomed pan to medium-high heat, douse with oil, toss seeds in, sprinkle with salt, and shake around until they start to turn brown.

Other item of note, I am reading "In Defense of Food," and just found out that according to Paul Rozen, a psychologist@UPenn, a third of Americans believe that a diet absolutely free of fat would be better for us than a diet containing even just "a pinch" of fat.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Cherry, the Chocolate, and the Holy Walnut

So, I told someone that I would make them a chocolatey cherry-y thing when a big thing finally went through. It was still pending, but I had some extra sour cherry juice in my fridge that had been sitting there for months that needed using up, and an ache to make ice cream.

This wont be a particularly easy ice cream to replicate, as it was a "use up what I have" sort of ordeal. It did stay very soft in texture even after being frozen, so perhaps it could use less sugar. Next time I would use 5 oz unsweetened chocolate, rather than mixing it. That aside, I would leave everything the same until I made it again. Hopefully with pictures. My roommates descended upon it before I could photograph it!

Onto the recipe...

Black Forest Ice Cream

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used Trader Joe's)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (again, TJ's)
2 T powdered chocolate (I used generic, ideally I'd use the surprisingly affordable Valrhona)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 can coconut milk
dash soy lecithin
2 T beet juice (optional)
1 1/2 C sour cherry juice (this is the stuff in a jar of sour cherries)
1/4 salt
1 t vanilla
1/4 t almond extract
1 T tapioca starch

Optional: Walnuts and cacao nibs

Mix together the water, chocolates, the sugar and the tapioca. Heat until chocolate and sugar have melted, and the mixture has thickened a bit from the tapioca. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth, ideally do this in a blender.

Cool, and then prepare in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Add in cacao nibs or walnuts toward the end, if desired.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Khoresh Bademjan.. Or "eggplant goes to Persia."

Originally uploaded by vapidchick
So I like eggplant in concept, really. It is an anutritional food... low in calories, fat, protein, just about everything. But for some reason I just haven't integrated it into my internal recipe book, yet. However, the CSA plied me with it repeatedly this summer and I had no idea what I was to do with it. I asked the son of a proud Iranian immigrant then-boyfriend if he could provide me some Persian recipes that used it... which he did. One was for khoresh bademjan, the other was for eggs n' eggplant. You can guess why I may have chose to work with the KB.

The original recipe he gave me called for lamb... unfortunately I have yet to figure out what are some good "associative" lamb flavors... aka "things you use to recreate the qualities of lamb." I substituted a "field roast" sausage link, or two, that I had kicking around my fridge. The second time I made it, I used some blue potatoes I had from the CSA. I feel like any potato would work, though, even sweet. I will say that using potatoes makes this the nightshade-y dish possible, If only i could integrate bell peppers and spinach into it, which I bet I could.

This recipe is really just an idea. I quickly learned that any proportion of tomatoes/eggplant works, and it is a great way to use up ones you have.

Anyway... the recipe!

Khoresh Bademjan

Serves 4-6

1 oven-ready cooking pot (like 'Les Cruset'), cast iron frying pan, etc.

1 cup of lamb-like "meat" replacer
1 pound eggplant -- sliced into 1/2 slices
2 tablespoons salt
1 onion -- diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
water -- as needed
salt and pepper
1/2 -1 teaspoon cinnamon (I like cinnamon, k?!)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tomato -- sliced thin
4 cloves garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

Preheat oven to 450.

In your oven ready dish, cook onion and 2 cloves of garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Add meat-replacer and brown a bit (if it browns). Cover with water and add tomato paste, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let simmer until 'meat' is cooked and has absorbed the flavors.

Now place a layer of eggplant over the 'meat' and then layer that with tomato slices. Continue until you run out of substances. Add salt and pepper if desired. Add more water until you can push down on the layers and see it. Cover and simmer until eggplant and tomato are tender, about 10 minutes. Now, place it in the oven. You can let it cook covered or uncovered, depending on the moisture levels. I let it bubble for awhile, until it looks like the eggplant (skins and all) is melting and all recognizable structure has broken down. Half an hour, maybe?

I then let it set for a bit, but it can be eaten right away. This dish makes a fantastic left-over. The photo is of the pre-oven'ed dish... I find it pleasantly surreal.

The mint and garlic can be sauteed in olive oil and served atop for a lovely treat, or you can leave them out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Food blogging, recipes, et al.

Hrm, I have several recipes written up... I just need to upload the photos, and attach them to the entries. In the meantime, I may try to keep a log of what I have been making/eating, my thoughts on it (were it a recipe), etc. So here is a quickie: Heidi's chopped miso salad. Verdict? Would not make again. I found the flavor pleasing (I also tossed in a garlic clove), but it wasn't anything particularly kismetic or what-not. I was literal when I say quickie.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Iranian Shotgun Wedding Cookies

So, as mentioned before, I am on a quest to clear out my pantry and fridge of things I have had sitting around. This can be a little difficult because I have quite a queue of recipes I would like to try, ones that often don't involve things I have already... which leads me to get more things. Still, I am being good. Most recent example was getting rid of that half-bag of pistachios I had for who knows how long... and some orange lentils. I managed to do it in one fell swoop, too! I even managed to finish one of the four boxes of corn starch we have kicking around. All in the same recipe!

How is that even possible? Like watching a square peg go into a round hole, I really couldn't tell you. I just know it happened, by my hands, even.

Seriously, though. I would like to say you all know what Mexican Wedding Cookies (MWCs) are, but apparently all but two people I have asked out of a good twenty or thirty do. MWCs are a buttery, shortbread like cookie rolled around in powdered sugar before, and after, baking. They have a delectable crumble and roll around in your mouth. Most centering is the aromatic toasted pecans that are finely ground and mixed into the butter-flour base.

What is the problem with that? Absotively nothing. They are wonderful. Actually, there is a problem, for me. It is easy to find a use for pecans, white flour, and butter (substitute). So I have no use for such a recipe, right now. Yet, I absolutely must bake, or else I will asplode. So, I have been fingering through a book of desserts, and everything I have veganized from it so far has been wonderful. As I was looking through it, I saw a recipe for the MWCs and some how I realized that I could make those, except make something totally different... Iranian Shotgun Wedding Cookies.

Rosewater, lentils, pistachios... that was what I had in my holster, and that is what I was gunna use. And those are most certainly components one finds in Persian dishes. The cookies couldn't well be called bastard cookies, as I fathered them my self with MWCs. I felt calling the quick arrangement of necessity between me n' MWCs could be called a shotgun marriage with some accuracy. They turned out pretty spectacular, and entirely addictive on the first batch. So unto the recipe...

Iranian Shotgun Wedding Cookies

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (the 1/2 c is for coating)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter substitute (I used earth balance sticks)
2 t pure vanilla extract (this can be swapped for rosewater, or you can use 1 t each)
1 1/2 t water
2 cups finely ground cardamom orange lentils*
1 cup corn starch
1 t salt
1 c finely chopped toasted pistachios (about 1 1/4 cup pistachios)

*I ground about 2 1/2 c lentils, with 1/2 t cardamom seeds, in a high power blender until obliterated. I used 2 cups, and put the rest aside for next batch.

Position racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 deg F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, silpats, or other item of choice.

Pour 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar for coating into a shallow bowl or plate and pour the granulated sugar into another shallow bowl or plate. Set them aside until you are ready to coat the dough.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer (if using the stand mixer, use the paddle attachment), cream together the butter sub and 2 cups powdered sugar for about 3 minutes or until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and/or rosewater, and water, and stir until just combined. Add the powdered lentils, cornstarch, and pistachios and stir for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Now here a light touch is needed. Grab small chunks of the mix, form loose balls. Do not compact the dough, just lightly press them between your palms to form walnut sized balls. Don't worry about them being smooth, you just want them to hold together. When you have made each ball, place it on a sheet and continue until you are out of cookie mix.

When all the balls have been formed, toss a couple into the granulated sugar and roll around until they are coated. Then toss into the powdered sugar and roll around until coated, then placing them on the cookie sheet about 1/2 an inch apart.

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and just beginning to crack. When the cookies are done, place the pans on cooling racks and let them cool off. When they are completely cool, roll them around again in the powdered sugar and put them aside. Refill the powdered sugar as needed. Remember the are fragile, and store best on a plate rather than in a jar.

Enjoy, or hate me. They are way addictive and I make no claims of health in using lentils over flour.

Accch! So backlogged!

So many recipes I have done to blog about! As you can see from my flickr page, I make a lot more than I post about!

Ideally. before I run off to a Food Not Bombs meeting, I will post the Iranian Shotgun Wedding Cookies recipe!

In the meantime, I am working on a good vegan version of Smitten Kitchen's S'mores Pie. I can the dark chocolate and crust just fine, it is the marshmallow aspect I am having a hard time... I may just use ricemallow stuff, for aesthetics. Assuming I have some strong need to make such a thing. When I do, I will post the veganized recipe I have been using, with photos! For now I am too ashamed of the tasty but aesthetically imperfect product.

I am trying to clear out my fridge and pantry of all I have... or at least a lot of it. That should be fun. I am so not allowed to buy any new sugars (I already have cane sugar, jaggery, molasses, light and dark muscovado sugars, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, corn syrup, maple sugar, and and and! Let us not even get into the flours, or my half dozen or so salts).

Right now Vegan Yum Yum's Smokey Miso Tofu is in my oven. I am digesting some
banana blended with black sesame tahini (the last of my cute lil' jar, yay!), some maca and raw cacao. I also finished off the red miso (I have at least 6 different misos in my fridge and counting) on the aforementioned tofu.

Seriously, I am going to have to inventory my kitchen at some point... all the items I have that so many people think there is just one kind of. IE Cocoa powder. Are you talking about my dutch processed? My powdered hershey's "I don't care that this product is socially irresponsible, I needed chocolate at 2 AM and only Shaws was open" chocolate? My schaffrenberger powdered baker's chocolate? My bulk Valrhona that I use for dusting ? The coarse grounded raw cacao beans? The raw cacao powder?

Oh maybe you were talking about salt? Do you want the coarse sea salt? The finely ground sea salt? The pink himalayan rocks, or the finely ground version? Oh no, you would want to use the black Hawaian salt flakes to press into your chocolates. Oh they are Mexican chocolates? Try the smokey mexican salt. Ah, try sprinkling this apricot sea salt unto your avocado.

ramble ramble ramble.

Time to check the tofu.

However, remember. Mary is not allowed to buy flour, salt, sugar, chocolate, or miso for a loooooong time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thai Red Curry and Squash soup

This was just a quick "What to do with leftovers?" dish. I had some leftover roasted kabocha squash that was in need of using, some leftover coconut milk from god knows what, put both in blender with some water... maybe toss in some almond butter to make it creamier, along with some garlic and red curry powder and voila! I will hopefully have some more real recipes coming up soon, or at least a few more concepts that are easy to follow and good to experiment with.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Sorry I have been in absentia! I have been really busy, and also decided I am going to start a vegan catering business, but be more serious/proactive about it! Anyway, there will be updates to come, I promise! If y'all really want I can just share updates on food photography :)

<3 you all,


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream ever (srsly, those dairy based bastards don't stand a chance)

P1010956 I wanted to take a nice "on the cone" pic of this, or something, but it didn't last long enough for me to :(. Me and 4 friends made short work of it... I guess I'll just have to make it again, clearly. I am currently making a variation of it with light coconut milk, and 2 T cold pressed espresso, and some lecithin to make up for the lost fat (it isn't supposed to be low fat coconut milk, my beloved 小姐 just got it by accident... *result*, goood. One housemate couldn't believe it was vegan).
So this originally started as a simpler recipe on Chowhound, but who can ever leave well enough alone?

Oh yeah, btw. Look what toy I just got (or was gotten for me). Yeah, it is fun. I just got it today.

Soo, on to the recipe...

1 cup water
1 cup sugar (straight up vegan cane)
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Trader Joes bulky bars)
2 cups canned Thai coconut milk

2 T powdered chocolate (I used Valhrona)

2 T coconut butter
(I use Artisana, don't really know if there is competition)
2 T rum
pinch salt
1/2 t vanilla

1. Heat the water and sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved.
2. Coarsely chop the chocolate, add it to the syrup, and whisk until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered chocolate, coconut milk and salt until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla and rum.
3. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

*note* I can't remember if I added 2T of soy lecithin granules, or not. I do not think I did, but I had intended to. So I know if I make this again, and it is not perfect, well. I actually think I may have used a few more changes than noted, but as expressed, I'll have to make it again :D. The recent batch I made used a can of light coconut milk, 2T lecithin, and 2T cold pressed coffee. We were quite happy with it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Club sandwiches


So Real Food Daily and Raw Food Real World are two of my fave cook books, and I would love to have made every recipe in the both of them, one of these days. Anyway, these were the club sandwiches from RFD. I will be making them for a startup's catered lunch on Wed, should be fun! Below are some fotos from the manufacturing of them.


Romaine lettuce from our CSA, sauteed tempeh bacon, and (home made) seitan cutlets ready to get fried up. Don't have to worry about cross-contamination here! Its like "Oh no, some panko crumbs got on the cutlets." Uhm, so?


snap, crackle, pop... fryin' up the cutlets.


Happy birthday, Al!

So I wont give the full recipe, but it is sourdough, tempeh bacon, RFD's chicken-style seitan, avocado, romaine lettuce, veganaise, tomatoes... I think that is it.

Black Bean Brownies and Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

The ice cream is not blueberry, but rather blueberry pie. The blueberries are cooked with the flavorings you find in pies, rather than focusing on the taste of the blueberries alone. This requires two steps (three if you count making your own almond cream), making the 'pie filling,' and making the almond cream base. I think it still needs some work, it is a little chalky. Next time I make it I am going to try one of two things; blending the cooked blueberries and strain them to remove the skins et al. OR I may make the cream base, and just stir in the pie mix rather than blend it in. Also, the base will probably be good for any number of other ice creams, particularly if they are fruit-based. Re: The carrageenan, I am still figuring it out. In the recipe I used carrageenan (or Irish moss) that had been soaked overnight, drained, then stored in the fridge with enough water to cover it. So here is what I made this time...

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Pie filling

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen. If using fresh, wash and pick over)
1/2 c sugar
1/8 t cinnamon
1 small lemon, juiced + 1 lemon rind
1 T orange juice
heaping 1/8th t powdered valhrona chocolate (any powdered chocolate should work)
pinch nutmeg
pinch clove
pinch salt

Almond Cream
2 C raw almonds (soaked overnight then drained)
3 C water

Cream base:
Liquid from Almond Cream
1 T lecithin
1 T carrageenan
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 C ground chia seeds

Cook the pie ingredients in a small saucepan, over medium heat stir until sugar dissolves, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat and let cool down.

To make the almond cream: Blend the almonds and water until the rattling stops, then strain through fine cheesecloth, a nylon nut milk bag, or other.

Mix the almond nutmilk with the rest of the ingredinets, blend until smooth. Let the milk sit for about 10 minutes, blend again, let sit for another 10. This is to allow for the chia seeds to absorb the water.

When the pie mix cools, add to the cream base and blend (or stir in). From there, prepare as you would according to your ice cream mixer directions. I try to get mine as cold as possible, without it freezing, before putting it in my ice cream maker.

Black Bean Brownies

So I had been seeing some interesting recipes, like these black bean brownies, from Baking with Agave Nectar. I figured I would give them a try, only a few problems... the listed recipe includes butter and eggs. Nah gonna fly with vegan baking, mang. Anyway. The first variation I made of these things was far too 'gummy.' I was displeased with it, but my friend really loved their earthy quality. I told him "OK, I'll make you a tray for 10 bucks to cover ingredient costs."
Deal made. Friend has brownies. I have an improved recipe. These brownies are earthy and moist, nice but not decadent. Suggestions are welcome, but all in all the recipe is solid.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9x13 inch pan.

Wet ingredients:
2 c cooked, drained blackbeans
1 c water
1/4 c instant coffee
1/4 c psyllium
2 T lecithin

1 C canola oil
4 oz baker's choco

Dry ingredients:
1 C sugar
1/4 c powdered chocolate
1 t carob powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 c Bob's red mill egg replacer
1/4 t stevia
1 c chopped walnuts

Blend the black beans and waters until smooth. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate into the oil. Add the melted chocolate and the rest of the ingredients, mix until consistent.

In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until consistent.
Pour into greased 13x9 inch pan, bake for 30-40 minutes, until brownies are set. Take down, let cool overnight in the refrigerator or freezer. I prefer them frozen, but hey, your call.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thai Kitchen Sink Soup


So a few weeks ago I went over "concept recipes." This is the soup version of that. Honestly I made this too long ago to really remember what I put in, but there will be an honest guess. The vegetable items in this soup are as much whatever I have kicking around my fridge that I want to use up as the broth is.

To make the liquid part of the soup I look through my fridge for one or two things to make it 'rich,' like creamy, and one or two things to give it flavor.

For the vegetables I see what I have, shred, dice and chop.

Rich items could include: nut butters, particularly almond and cashew (but also peanut, macadamia nut, tahini, etc.), coconut milk, and/or mushrooms. I usually do this when I have a near-empty jar of some sort of butter I need to use up, a half can of coconut milk, potatoes, squash, etc.

Flavor items are usually some sort of paste made for soup or sauces: Miso (sweet, dark red, whatever I have), tom yum, thai curries (like red, masaman, yellow), garam masala, chunky chat, indian curry powder, etc.

I usually toss in a couple cloves of garlic, ginger, a vegetable stock cube (or better than bullion paste), salt, braggs liquid aminos, sesame oil, soaked kombu (kelp), red pepper flakes, black pepper, other spices... all depends on the flavor I am going for.

All of this goes into the blender, with some water, and I blend until smooth. Some combos work better than others, IE almond butter + thai curries work very well. Miso + kombu + sesame oil = good. I then pour it into a sauce pan on the stove and heat it up.

Meanwhile, I prepare whatever vegetables I have into the number of bowls I am using. In this case I shredded some carrots and daikon, ripped up some basil leaves, and slices some scallions and put them in a bowl. Other good veggies included shredded zucchini, roasted root vegetables, thinly sliced onions, spinach, carrots... You can also toss leftover cooked grains/beans in as well, such as rice, quinoa, chickpeas, etc.

When the soup is ready (re: boiling), I pour it over the ingredients, into the bowl. The vegetables are blanched, and keep their flavor/are not over-cooked. The infusion of basil adds a great kick when cooking more thai-style soups.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Another item crossed off the Raw Food, Real World "to-make" list. I did not include the bell pepper in the tortillas (they are either expensive, pesticide ridden, or both... and usually shipped from across the globe).

For the spicy "beans," I used a mix of pumpkin seeds in addition to the sunflower seeds. Think that is about it. The results were great, and the omnivores scarfed them all down.

For kicks, below, the tortilla mix spread out on the teflex sheet, about to go into the dehydrator (and the soaked seeds off to the side).


Saturday, June 7, 2008


It is pantry-cleaning time, so using various things I have more than enough of. So miscellaneous things I've been making...

A vegan version of the black bean brownies. Good frozen, don't love otherwise (a bit gummy, not so rich). I may post my recipe notes. We will see.

I also tossed together some chicken-style seitan fajitas, with the extra soaked/cooked beans... those got refried. I had some home made seitan (the real food daily recipe) kicking around that had to get used up, along with some brown rice and lovely purple forbidden rice. Also tossed together some guacamole.

My friend recently gave me his juicer (until he gets a bigger kitchen). This is going to be fun...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Flourless Sunbutter Cookies


So I had been seeing recipes abound for flourless peanut butter cookies, and sunflower seed butter alternatives. I had been curious to try them for awhile. I also had a jar of sunflower seed butter that has been following me around for several years now (cough cough).

1 cup sunflower butter, stirred
1/4 cup muscadova light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg replacement (I used Bob's Red Mill.. crap, does that have gluten in it?)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 t molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
A small pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the sunflower butter, sugars and egg-substitute in a mixing bowl until consistency is reached. Add vanilla, molasses, baking soda and salt; mix well with a wooden spoon.

I chilled my dough at this point, but I don't think that is necessary. Pull off pieces of the dough with oiled hands and roll into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on a foil-lined or parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a fork, press the balls slightly to make a criss-cross pattern- making the cookies roughly 1 1/2 inches. I actually like making diamonds to squares, but to each their own.

Place the baking sheet into the center of a preheated oven and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until they are golden and set. They will be soft until they cool. Cool the sheet on a rack for a minute or two before removing the cookies to a cooling rack.

I made about 24 little cookies, but you can make 12 more normal sized cookies.

Personal feelings: I really liked these cookies and found them quite addictive, the omnivore of the house didn't think they were up to snuff with other cookies I have made. I think they were different, but good. Try and decide for your self.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Espresso Chocolate(x2) Chip Cookies

Oh how happy I am with these cookies! They are everything I could want. Complex, quality, robust, yet tender and well rounded. Oh, did I mention they are also quite rich?

Anyway... The first batch of these I made was a bust... Between veganizing recipes and trying them for the first time, I have my work cut out for me. The first ones I made did not have enough flour in them. I had my suspicions confirmed when the batter fanned out over the pan when I put them in the oven. I added more flour to the rest of the mix and sure the cookies were good but they had been over-beaten at that point. They were a very intriguing almost-shortbread style cookie... good but, hrh. The 2nd time I made them I added more flavor and voila!

So here is the recipe below. It includes cold pressed coffee, you could use regular espresso or instant coffee instead. I am just putting down what I used.

1 c 365 organic all purpose baking flour
3/4 c cocoa powder (I used part Hershey's, part Valrhona I think)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 baking powder
1 T Bob's Red Mill egg replacer
1 T espresso beans, finely ground
8 oz by weight butter substitute (about 1 cup, I really need to keep to volume measurements).
3/4 c dark brown sugar (I used muscadova)
2 T light brown sugar (again muscadova)
1/2 c + 1 T granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt
2 T cold press coffee
2 T water
1 1/3 c (vegan) chocolate chips of choice

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, ground espresso, and egg replacer. In the mixer bowl (or large bowl if doing this by hand) cream together butter replacement and sugars. Don't over-mix. Just get consistent. Make sure to scrape down sides if not hand mixing. The mix should still be cool.

Add the liquid ingredients and salt, stirring until just combined. Add the sifted ingredients in two parts, stirring gently until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix just enough to distribute. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight.

When the dough has chilled, position racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350. Line sheets with parchment paper or use silpats. Get dough from fridge, and scoop up 1 inch balls (or whatever size you like, really). Set about 2 inches apart (or more for larger cookies). Bake for about 10 minutes, a little longer if you want them crisper. I baked them so they still looked a little 'raw' in the middle. When done, take out of oven, and transfer to a rack to cool off.

I liked these best still warm, but they keep pretty well for a couple of days after, in an air tight container.

Raw Tabouli


Ach, you absolutely must click through to see this in big beautiful form. Click on the image, click on "all sizes" above the photo, then click on "large' or "original." Anyway, this is a great "I don't like measuring things" recipe.

1-2 large heads of flat leaf parsley
1 bunch mint (optional)
1 bunch of scallions
1 small onion
Couple heads garlic (optional, as much/little as you like)
A tomato, or bunch of cherry tomatoes

Hemp seeds
1 lemon (or two)
Olive oil, or hemp oil

Clean and chop the first six ingredients, toss into a bowl. Drizzle with oil (about a quarter of a cup). Juice the lemon(s), and add to the mix. Sprinkle with salt, toss on a handful of hemp seeds (as much or as little as you'd like). Toss until well coated. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Crazy Good (or rather nutty) Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These are just... really really good. I don't often say anything I make is "really really good ," certainly not on the first try. It is often that I will say "This is pretty good, but next time I would..." Not these. Ok, next time I may use 4 ounces butter by volume, rather than weight.

4 oz by weight butter substitute of choice, softened but still cool (I used Soy Garden. The non vegan recipe said 8 T, I would go with that next time I did it)

3/4 c dark brown sugar (I used muscadova , tastes like molasses)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg replacement (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt (the margarine usually has salt in it already)
1 1/4 c all purpose flour (I used 365 "all purpose baking flour")
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
8 oz dark chocolate, either chips or I just used some Valhrona and Trader Joes big bar chocolate I had lying around and chopped it up.
3/4 c chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, cream together fat and sugar until consistent (don't overmix. Sugar granules are just fine). You can do this by hand or via electric mixer. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, salt, and just combine.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Then sift into bowl with the fat/sugar mix. Stir until just combined, then add chocolate/nuts. Stir until consistent. Should look like the picture below. It was almost kind of dry/crumbly (I strongly recommend you click through for the close up).

Cover bowl with saran wrap, place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When ready, pre-heat oven to 350, and position rack in the middle of the oven.

Meanwhile, take out a baking sheet (no sides), line it with parchment, use a silpat sheet, or grease it. Lay out the cookies using a table spoon, a small scoop, or just pick out bits with your hand, and drop them on the sheet. Don't worry if the mix seems crumbly, just make sure the dough is in a bit of a pile. Don't over-handle.

Bake for about 13 minutes if you like them not too crunchy, 17 if you do like them crunchier (I only baked them for 13). The sugar begins to carmelize so they still have a certain crispness to them.

These cookies really hold their own at room temp/the day after. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Coconut Chocolate Sherbert

I am currently churning this in my lame Cuisinart ice cream maker. Will report back soon.

This is def on the menu tomorrow, shaved fennel with toasted pistachios. I have a head of fennel, and some pistachios that are aching to be used. Though I am going to toast the pistachios my self.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pizza party

So I am in a phase where I am "beyond recipes" for much of my cooking. I come home, I want comfort ASAP. So I do a quick evaluation of what I have, what needs to get used up the most before it goes bad, etc.
I also do a lot of work with 'concepts.' I describe concepts like the "concept" of miso soup; a lighter fare that is earthy and centering, light or heavy depending on which miso I use and how many vegetables I have. They are hardly loyal to tradition, but certainly echo it. I often fuse flavors and international concepts.
The concept of miso soup last night, for example, meant that I boil some water. While the water is boiling, I see what I have in the fridge and flavors I have in the pantry. So I end up chopping up some scallions, julienning some carrots and daikon, slicing a garlic clove and a couple of mushrooms. Split those ingredients into two bowls, along with some red pepper flakes, some liquid aminos, a bit of fruit kimchee fruit vinegar (the sour juice left over from the fruit kimchee I made. I used it instead of brown rice vinegar), a couple of grains of salt. I pour over the hot water and let it flash cook the vegetables, use the rest of the water for some hojicha tea, and set out a plate of home made (regular) kimchee.
What about the miso? Hell, what about the pizza? Isn't this a pizza post? Ok to wrap up about the miso. Add the hot water, taste it, determine how much 'substance' it needs, and then you add a heaping (or not so heaping) tablespoon of miso. In this case I used a 3 year barley miso. I also added the rest of my tom yum paste and coconut milk, to give it a creamier, more tropical aspect.

Anyway, back to the pizza. This was about introducing what 'concepts' are. So the pizza above is inspired by Veggie Planet's "Vegan Oddlot" pizza. In all fairness, I did buy some ingredients for this one. I already had the crust, though, and had to use it. Lets lay out the ingredients for this one.

Some or all of the following:
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Canned artichoke
Spinach (fresh or frozen. If frozen, thaw and squeeze the extra water out)
Fresh basil
Roasted red peppers
San Marzono tomatoes (those are great! Notice the can in the background)

Mashed tofu topping:
Tofu (drained)
Sriracha hot sauce (or sambal olek, or any other hot sauce)
Black pepper

Pizza dough or pre-made crust (or pita, tortillas, or other flat breads in lieu of dough).

Pre-heat oven to as hot as it will go (500 or so, for me). Note. I made this with a pizza stone. I don't know how raw dough will cook on metal. However you probably want it around 350-400 if you are doing it on a metal sheet.

This is a great activity to do with friends! So I often have one friend roll out the dough, while having other friends fetch what I need, or are prepping ingredients. Meanwhile, I prep the mashed tofu topping. In a bowl I smash together some tofu, tahini, a dash of sriracha, some salt, black pepper, and a mashed garlic cube or two. I don't have volume because it all depends on how much I have, and I measure based on eye. I would say use about 1 T tahini per half cup of tofu, though. Keep tasting it, though.
Set the mix aside, and get to assembling the pizza! I brush over some olive oil (sometimes I blend olive oil and garlic together for the topping). Then go nuts assembling all the ingredients however you like.
One note. I would layer the basil on the bottom or else it turns brown in the oven, if exposed.

I bake mine for about 12-15 minutes before I even check on it, then I see when the crust is starting to lift away from the stone as a good time to take it out.

I will surely post other pizza 'concepts' in the future. My friend just brought me some ramp (wild onions) from West Virginia!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Many miles for a cherimoya

So I decided I really needed a cherimoya. It is a delicious sort of melt-in-your-mouth-peachy-banana-berry fruit with overtones of chocolate. I found them about a week or two ago, and loved them. So after my first cherimoya, I decided I wanted another. It took about 25 miles of biking, and much research, but I got it. I first went to the Alewife Whole Foods, which is about 4 miles away, and they were out! Then I went 8 miles to Russos, a food importer, and they were just closed! Then I went back to Russos the next day, and they didn't have them that time. So I found lil' Armenia, in Watertown, which I am happy for. They did indeed have them, and some other good stuff. I will have to explore further. For now, I am happy/sated.

I should start updating more and more regularly. I've been uploading the photos, it is just a matter of sitting down and organizing my recipes, notations, etc.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Arugala Salad with Shaved Pears, Cherries, and Meyer Lemo

This is a simple one to throw together. Wash and shred some arugala, shave some pears, toss some cherries on top. For the dressing just blend peeled meyer lemons with some olive oil, salt, a bit of honey or agave to taste... and voila. If you have some lying around, spiced walnuts or pumpkin seeds would add a nice touch to the dish.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raw Raspberry Cheesecake

So Alison, my house mate, was looking through one of my vegan cookbooks and saw a raspberry cheesecake. It was a typical cooked, tofu based sort of affair. I'm not a big fan of soy, and try to avoid it, and told her I could totally make her a better, raw version. I had some raspberries in the freezer, some cashews I had been soaking the day before for a faux sour cream, or whipped topping, or something (I forget). So I threw this together. It was loved by all. It would be good with a whipped cream topping, I think... Mayhaps next time.

Here is the recipe:

1 c hazelnut meal (leftover from hazelnut mylk)
1/4 c almond meal
dash of vanilla
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
Enough agave nectar to keep mix sticking together, or until desired sweetness is reached

1 c soaked cashews
1/3rd c nut mylk of choice (I think I used hemp seed)
1/3 c lemon juice
1/2 c frozen 0r fresh raspberries
1/4 c agave nectar, or enough stevia to reach desired sweetness
1 t vanilla extract
dash of salt
1 T lecithin
1/4 c unscented coconut butter

In a standing bowl mixer or food processor, mix together crust ingredients until they reach the consistency desired. Feel free to leave it 'dry' and crumbly, the cheesecake filling will hold it together. Press into an 8x8 brownie pan, or something of same surface area/depth.

Filling: Blend all the ingredients together, except lecithin and coconut butter. Add lecithin and coconut butter and blend until smooth. Pour into brownie pan, pie pan, whichever. Refrigerate until set.

Notes: Honestly, I didn't measure the raspberries. I just added to taste. Also a personal option, I added some slices of red beets for color. This is optional, but I like it, personally.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced Frosting

Recipe coming up ASAP, as soon as I review my notes. But wow, they taste even better than they look. Def't make sure to click thru for full size.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Delicious [baking] Mistakes

So, there are several vegan baking projects I am trying to perfect. By 'perfect,' I mean my version exceeds pretty much any other version I have had, vegan or otherwise, in texture, flavor, etc. I make it so the product is indistinguishable as vegan, or in any way lacking. So far I perfected spiced ginger-molasses cookies, and almond cookies. Much as I love raw foods, and many of them far exceed their non-raw counter parts, many are fundamentally different, same with a lot of vegan goods. So it is time to eliminate the justification for any excuse of "just not as good," "different," etc.

Understandably, this takes some trial and error. Right now I am working on brownies. They taste amazing, but they always end up getting 'fried,' re: oil bubbles up along the sides, even when I use far less than recommended, etc. I am left with a sort of fudgey, almost candied product. It is completely irresistible and I am not doing my body any favors by having these delicious piles of dense chocolate ooze lying around, but it isn't a brownie, not yet.

Still. One of the many fun things, what to do with all that delicious failure?

Mmm... Whipped up some cashew-coconut cream (later to be used as a cardamom ice cream base), sliced some bananas and frozen strawberries, sprinkled with some walnuts, and voila! Brownie banana split sundae! Tres decadent! Totes delish (sorry had to short-hand).

As for the brownie 'frying' itself, this is a pic of what I am talking about...

Still tooling what to do... different egg substitute, perhaps (I want to avoid ones like banana that have their own distinct flavor. I am trying to perfect the dense, rich, pure chocolate square), even less oil than I am already using (I think I am using half recommended right now), more white flour (boo). Anyway... the quest continues.

Squash Linguine with King Oyster Mushrooms and Dried Cherry Tomatoes

The title pretty much says it all. I decided I need to make virtually everything in Raw Food/Real World... and of course document it. Next post will be a list of what I need to make, what I have made, and a bit of commentary on it. Anyway... today was... delish. So this was the titular recipe. Included below are some of the steps. The recipe can be found in the book, it is relatively simple, though.

First, you make some linguine noodles from goldbar squash, using a peeler, mandolin, whatever your weapon of choice is. Lightly alt them and let them sit in a colander, while you prep everything else.

Toss the mushrooms with some nama shoyu, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a bit of italian spices. Let marinade. Toss cherry tomato halves with a bit of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Dehydrate (sorry, I don't want to give the recipe away here, get the book!).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Raw Food Real World: To Do List

So here is an index of the recipes I've tried and have to try from Raw Food, Real World, along with a brief commentary, some may be left out (like Bunny Spice, coz I don't have a juicer).

  • Vanilla Brazil Nut Milk (Strawberry milk variety)
  • Cinnamon Maple Pecan Milk (wouldn't rush to make again)
  • Creamy Macadamia Milk
  • Pineapple Star Anise Lassi
  • Pina Colada
  • Creamy Coconut Shake
  • Avocolada
  • Enzyme Boost
  • Blue Sunset
  • Bee Protein (yummy)
  • Fig and Grape Cleasning Shake (would love to try but organic grapes and fresh figs are hard to find)
  • Greenmarket Salad
  • Arugala Salad
  • Sea Vegetable Salad (Would def't make again, though maybe add a little more flavor to the dressing)
  • Red Grapefruit, Avocado, and Fennel Salad (this is likely my favorite salad recipe to make; simple, rewarding, wonderful)
  • Our Favorite Filling Salad
  • Double Mango and Thai Basil Salad with Red Chile and Star Anise
  • Warm Cherry Tomato and Sweet Corn Salad (Not bad, not phenomenal)
  • Quinoa Tabouli (The quinoa was a bit firm. Maybe let it sprout a bit longer? Will likely try hemp seeds instead, next time, or cooked quinoa)
  • Quinoa and Grape Salad
  • Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho (I think I am making this tomorrow...)
  • Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho
  • Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup with Lime
  • Celeriac and Green Apple Soup
  • Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps (loved @the PF&W restaurant, yet to make)
  • Tomato Tartare (oh for tomatoes to be in season, again)
  • Shitake, Avocado, and Pickled Ginger Sushi Rolls (Good, not sure if they are worth the labor, or more a raw novelty with the jicama 'rice')
  • Summer Rolls with Green Papaya
  • Lobster Mushroom and Fava Bean Tarts
  • King Oyster Mushroom and Dried Cherry Tomato Fettuccini (Simple, not impressive, but easy and quick, dehydration time aside. I prepped everything the night before, put it in the dehydrator, and enjoyed for breakfast. Would make a great portable lunch 'salad')
  • Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagne (I have made Ani Phyo's lasagne, loved it, but will still try this)
  • Red Beet Ravioli (Was not too impressed with the results of what I tried)
  • Pumpkin and Squash Couscous
  • Soft Corn Tortillas (Delish, semi labor intensive, but totally good. Housemates loved them)
  • Asparagus and Porchini Ravioli
  • White Corn Tamales
  • Green Curry Coconut Noodles
  • Cauliflower Samosas (Delish. Made the 'wrap's with flax meal as I didn't have several thai young coconuts at the time. The sauce is particularly impressive)
  • Japanese Eggplant-Filled Scallion Pancake
  • Flatbread Pizza
  • Golden Squash Pasta (I will never make this unless a generous soul donates truffles to moi :( )
  • Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart (made the crust, crust is pretty divine)
  • Pineapple Carpaccio
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Sour Cherry Tart
  • Lime Mousse Tart
  • Pumpkin Tart
  • Lavender Ice Cream and Blueberry Sundae
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Concord Grape Sorbet
  • Macaroons (Made the chocolate variety, tres decadent!)
  • Cherry Pistachio Biscotti
  • Almond Butter Cookies
  • Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge (quick, tasty, especially with course Himalayan sea salt)
  • Apple Crepes
  • Spiced Oatmeal with Dried Figs
  • Cranberry Maple Granola
  • Maple Cinnamon Buckwheat Crispies
  • Crunchy Honey Nut Butter and Berry Jam Sandwich
  • Cinnamon Date French Toast
  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Romesco
  • Pine Nut Parmesan
  • Macadamia Cheese
  • Fluffy Macadamia Feta
  • Candied Pumpkin Seeds (yum, added some cayenne, a bit of extra ginger, and a dash of powdered stevia)
  • Spicy Chili Lime Almonds
  • Spiced Brazil Nuts
  • Maple-Sugared Slivered Almonds
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Walnut Hemp Crackers
  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Crackers
  • Jalapeno Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Spicy Flax and Herb Crackers
  • Mango Chutney
  • Green Olive Tapenade
  • Tart Sour Gream

Ok I am going to skip the drinks, mayhaps if I make one and it is an absolute must-try, I will push it here, but till then... I need to find a way to get a thai coconut tree growing outside my yard, as that is one of the bigger limitations on trying all these recipes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

New camera!

I got a camera again, now time to get back in practice! I have some photogs I need to upload, and this blog is going to be a lot more focused on raw foods, now!