With VeganMoFo VII mere weeks ahead, I’ve been busy brainstorming and beginning to prepare, so it’s time to put aside the recipe posts and mason jars with the realization that August is truly moving forward, and share some good old-fashioned vegan food porn* glory, starting with one of the many handcrafted highlights… Continue reading
First things first, Happy Vegan Pizza Day! If three little things weren’t standing in the way of my own pizza-making ambitions today, well, I’d have some dough rising right now. Instead, I’m melting into a puddle of freckles as it’s … Continue reading
A note for those who came here via the PPK 100 of 2012 – Thanks for stopping by! The following is an account of how to make your own bitters via individual tinctures. If you’re looking to make your own syrups … Continue reading
Pea shoots are wonderful. The flavor is just so damn…fresh. I picked up a bunch from my weekly trip the farmers market last weekend, and while my first thought was to serve them fresh with lemon juice on top of beet burgers, I ended up sauteing them, yet again, and the result was lovely.
It was one of those casual, homemade meals, that I swear, can make your evening. It had been some times since I had made pasta – let alone, traditional (and beloved) white pasta – and on top of that, it was a clean-out-the-fridge meal that utilized two farmers market purchases: the sun-dried tomatoes I picked up in Eugene last month, and the aforementioned pea shoots. Inspiration, am I right?
Here’s the gist:
Saute four cloves of minced garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, add 3 ounces of sun-dried (truly dried) tomatoes, a pinch of sea salt and a dash of pepper – I used freshly ground white. Add enough white wine to cover and bring to a boil. Stir in a teaspoon of white miso, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, half a tablespoon of Earth Balance, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Had it been two months ahead, I would have thrown in some cherry tomatoes.
Boil water for pasta – I used capellini, which cooks in under 3 minutes. Immediately after you put the pasta in to cook, saute 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic in a little bit of olive oil in a separate pan, and stir in washed pea shoots. I find the long pieces classier, for whatever reason, and enjoy that delusion, but feel free to cut them. Add a splash of water or white wine or broth, stir, and cover until wilted. At this point, your pasta is likely done, so drain it, toss it with the sauce as desired, and plate over wilted pea shoots, making sure to include the garlic. I served this dish with nooch on the side, but didn’t find it calling for any. What I did enjoy was a chilled glass of white, of course.
The final plate was garnished with nothing more than fresh, flat-leaf parsley.
It’s true. Get Sconed! <3 extra virgin olive oil.
White pasta fans, you’re in luck.
I’ve spent much of the past 2 days on the phone with my sister, who just returned from a 3 week vacation in Italy. She spent her days working on small farms and her evenings sipping red wine. I’m so proud, and my kitchen has been thinking of her as I recall the brief Sicilian wanderings of my early 20s.
This isn’t the first nut-based alfredo that’s come my way, and barring any further, emerging allergies, won’t the be the last. And I just can’t put into words how stellar and succulent the Earth Balance sautéed morels were with this. Wait.
Cashew Miso Alfredo
- 1 cup soaked raw cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- 2-3 cloves worth of sliced garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch fresh thyme
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon white miso (less can be more – same goes for the garlic)
- salt & pepper (preferably white), to taste
- fresh parsley
- Saute the sliced garlic in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat.
- Remove from heat, and carefully add to blender, along with the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the parsley.
- Gently reheat in a small saucepan, and whisk in more water if needed.
- Serve over pasta or other entrée, and sprinkle with fresh parsley and additional pepper, if desired.
Tomatoes are having a slow start this summer. Sadness. I finally spotted some at the Montavilla Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve grabbed a pint at every market since then. Fast forward a couple of more weeks, and I’m impatiently expecting true sweetness!
So, I’m a television fanatic. It hails back to my days of sharing a bedroom with my younger siblings and quietly watching The X-Files while sitting a foot away from the television screen (seeing both films on opening day), and evolved into obsession via the same small television set with the first episode of Buffy during my freshman year of high school. I may have just as many memories of Xander and Willow as I do my real life friends, woops. There aren’t many shows I watch on a dedicated, weekly basis now (or that I’d admit so quickly). I still resist Hulu for the most part and can instantaneously open my out-dated rant about how the real LOST fans are those who were watching during Season 1 and went insane the rest of the week for six onwards years – and even worse, during summer hiatus – and then, the writer’s block. The suspense! The attempt at patience! The gift of a new episode!
This is pretty normal Jess-in-person ranting and it would be out-of-place on this here post if it wasn’t for the following connection – my new found-love for Bob’s Burgers. I adore Home Movies – it’s one of the few dvd sets I actually own, so I gave it this new series a chance, and I’ve been hooked since week one. It’s pretty damn nostalgic to find myself looking forward to Sunday evenings again! I’m a sucker for the parents’ sweet antics and accents, and these may be the most entertaining kids I’ve seen on television since Brendon, Melissa and Jason, of course. Back to the point – on the latest episode, a spaghetti and meatball dinner was featured, and 24 hours later, I was sitting down to this vegan version.
The chickpea cutlet recipe is from Veganomicon, no surprise. I’ve baked the dough as balls many times in the past, and I usually add marjoram and basil into the mix. This time, I flattened circles of the dough and added a small dollop of homemade raab pesto, carefully formed it back into a ball, and baked them at 400F for 20 minutes, flipped the balls, and baked an additional 15 minutes at 425F. I would declare “Bon Appetit!”, but Gene’s not here to usher us out with a dramatic keyboard solo.
I’ll likely find myself making some Bob’s inspired veggie burgers soon!
I picked up a bag of Italian orecchiette last week at Barbur World Foods as part of my dramatic & ongoing hidden gem investigation with one intention – making this traditional recipe once again from The Urban Vegan. It’s a classy weeknight meal with plenty of thinly sliced garlic sauteed in olive oil (you better go high quality!), a hint of salty miso, a sprinkle of nooch, and in this case, broccolini subbing for the signature vegetable…but I don’t think my distant family in Sicily would mine that one. The nooch on the other hand, maybe.
And to channel the wonderful, birthday gal Dynise: Pair this with a tall glass of lemon water or red wine, and pretend it costs $12 at your local trattoria (even if you have a vegan trattoria down the block, like this spoiled lady).
Happy last day of MoFo! I haven’t quite been keeping to my proposed theme and daily posting as much as I intended, but I like to think that posting elsewhere (and co- planning a vegan bloggers conference, zomg!!!) has helped make up for it a tiny bit. That, and getting wrapped up on the MoFo reader for hours at a time on a regular basis – but, who hasn’t? It’s the weather for lengthy simmering on the stove, and I’ve done so recently with mulled pear apple cider, French Moroccan lentil soup, and creamy tomato vodka sauce.
The recipe for Penne alla Vodka comes from Veganomicon, and I served it over spaghetti one night with beanballs, and with the traditional penne, and balsamic braised greens on another. I’m newly allergic to almonds, so I subbed raw cashews and the result seemed even creamier than I remembered.
For the love of appropriately early Sunday night Italian dinners: Whole Wheat Spaghetti alla Vodka with baked Roasted Garlic & White Bean Balls (modified from the chickpea cutlet recipe).
Balsamic Braised Greens:
Whole Wheat Penne alla Vodka:
Cheers! With a Citrus & Jalapeño-infused vodka cocktail:
This falls into my MoFo theme as an immediate result of yesterday’s post and the failed intention to make some for dinner last night. I did my part, supported my own economy, and did that leftovers thing.
New Farm Style Comforty Gluten Free Mac & Cheeze
I’ve been posting variations on the classic, but very, very rich New Farm Mac & Cheese for a long time. It’s one of those classic cookbooks that vegans don’t seem to mention anymore, and simply a recipe that I’ve added to – It’s by no means mine. Long live New Farm! My favorite variation is below. It’s gluten-free and adds a tint of green with chopped broccoli into the mix. I feel as though the gluten-free spirals hold up best after baking, and aren’t as heavy, or soggy, come leftover time. I’ve updated the recipe to have the right noodle ratio!
New Farm-Style, Comforty, Gluten Free Mac & Cheese
Makes: 4-6 servings (easily doubled)
- 16 ounces.of uncooked rice spirals
- 3 tablespoons of vegan margarine
- 2-3 tablespoons of minced garlic
- Or, 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ cup chickpea flour, or other gluten-free flour(s)
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup nondairy milk
- Nut milks are encouraged for creaminess
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Generous dash of freshly ground black pepper or white pepper
- Pinch of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon or hot or sweet paprika (use common sense with your tastebuds here)
- 2 tablespoons of wheat-free tamari
- Or, if gluten-free is not a requirement, soy sauce or shoyu, etc.
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups of nutritional yeast
- 1 cup of gluten-free breadcrumbs for topping
- Or, a combination of ground nuts and breadcrumbs
- 1 cup of rinsed and chopped broccoli
- ¼ cup vegan pesto
- 1 tablespoon miso – I just may find it impossible to make noochy dishes without it
- 1 tablespoon of tahini – for that vegan ‘aged’ taste
- Cajun style: add a generous pinch of crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon of Cajun spices, 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce, and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke when you add the liquids.
- Preheat your oven to 350Fº. Lightly grease an 8×8 casserole dish.
- Boil and drain the noodles – save water for the sauce, if you’re that clever. Toss with a very small amount of oil or margarine. You know the drill – and you can easily do this as you cook the sauce, as well.
- Melt the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the garlic, stir, and cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Beat in the flour with a whisk, making a roux. Stir for one minute. Lower the heat if needed. It may clump, and that’s okay, just proceed quickly to the next step and don’t burn anything!
- Stir in the liquids, nutritional yeast, sea salt, tamari, garlic powder if using, turmeric, pepper, paprika, optional ingredients, and any other spices you want (Cajun spices, onion powder, oregano, thyme, chili powder, whatever).
- Stir for another minute or two until the sauce starts to thicken. Whisk in the oil and the nutritional yeast.
- Add at least half of the sauce to your cooked noodles and broccoli*, if using, in the casserole dish. Carefully spread in the rest of the sauce, optional toppings, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden (or, however you interpret orange to brown…)
- Broil for an additional 5 minutes, if desired.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes, and serve.
Broken record: I’ve been warming my way across various posts-in-progress for this site and Stumptown Vegans – where there’s always something – multiple posts, second and third visits, site development ideas, etc. – going on behind the scenes. Working on that, the grand invites and open registration (why, could it be next weekend?!?) for Vida Vegan Con almost makes it less depressing that my sunny culinary photograph is now limited to the weekends and sporadic lunch hours. Will my dinners become boring? Not necessarily, I typically vow to never eat leftovers at home, but last night I did make a mini pizza on lavish bread, which was pretty lame. It wasn’t an abomination of ingredients (a mix of homemade sauce, farmar goods, and teese); I just don’t feel right calling it a pizza. I can just imagine my Italian great aunts giving me the stink eye over the crust (and the whole soy cheese thing, but whatever).
As for the titular pasta dish, there’s a layer of chopped lemony sorrel, Trader Joe’s whole wheat rotelle, squash sauce, sautéed tempeh bacon and sweet red pepper, and roasted pecans. The sauce is a go-go Magic Bullet puree with a base of sautéed garlic and a teeny bit of olive oil, black pepper, sea salt, roasted acorn squash, plain soy milk, nutritional yeast, ground pecans, thyme, sage, oregano, red miso, a little tamari, mustard, and probably something else or another. Those fun things that go into cheesy sauces.
In continuing adventures of confirmed deliciousness and fall acceptance, Savor Soup House is still delicious. I had a cup of Tomato Fennel Orange soup earlier for lunch, and a big kudos for a soup-maker that knows how to meld flavors other chefs might use for sheer attention.
I took my lunch to Director Park for reading & eating, and there was a ‘flashmob” taking place. I would have assumed it was a colorful, regular theater troupe, but I heard a few excited mentions of “flashmob” around me and grabs for smartphones. Sadly, no sign of dancing zombies.
And one more time – Vegan Bloggers, wherever you are – if you’re interested in attending the Vida Vegan conference late next summer, I’d selfishly advise subscribing to the site for the registration opening. Once it’s booked up, it’s booked up. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s going to squeal when our amazing speakers, or you know, special vegan guests from the dreamlist, like Moby, confirm…