Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Zucchini Dish

Zucchini and Pesto:
This started because I wanted pesto, but I'm not a big pasta fan. Without a food processor pesto is a pain to make. I don't really know what this morphed into - some side dish I suppose?

2 zucchini
3 Cloves are garlic minced
3 Tablespoons pinenuts
3 sprigs of basil
2 Tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes

1. Cut zucchini into thin rounds, spray with olive oil and sprinkle with some minced garlic. Put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch them because you want them to dry out a little, not get too mushy. You might want to flip them.

2. Chop everything else into a very fine mince, or put it all in the food processor with some oil.

3. Saute the mixture in a large skillet with some oil until warm. Add the cooked zucchini and mix together. Cook on medium for 5 minutes.

4. Serve warm with some fake parm if desired.

Quick and easy meals

Boxed Dinner: Thai Peanut:
These Thai Kitchen boxes are a staple in our house when we don't want to cook. Brian even gets fancy and adds some stir-fried tofu to the dish.

Indian Inspired Dish:
I don't know what to call this, but it is really quick and simple.

Saute 1/2 chopped onion, a few cloves of chopped garlic.
When the onions are clear add some cumin and mustard seeds. Cook for about 1 min, or until they pop and the kitchen smells wonderful.
Add 1 1/2 cup chickpeas and 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained. Mix together. Add a few cups chopped leafy greens and cover until steamed.
Serve warm.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cheesy Soup

I went about this soup making a blended potato soup but it ended up tasting like a cheesy tomato soup. SO very delecious!

Cheesy Soup:
6 small red potatoes
1 leek
2 ribs of celery
1 large carrot
4 large cloves of garlic
vegetable broth
salt, pepper
dash of chili powder
1 large tomato

Chop and boil potatoes as normal, about 10-15 minutes.
Saute leek in a soup pot. Dice celery and carrot and saute until tender. 5 min?
Add garlic and saute for 1 min. Add enough potato water or vegetable broth to just barely cover the sauted veggies. Add powdered veggie broth if you potato water.
Peel, de-seed tomato and dice. Set aside.
Let simmer until potatoes are done.
Add potatoes to the veggies and fill with just enough vegetable broth or potato broth to cover.
Place in blender and blend until desired smoothness.
Return to pot, add tomatoes and more liquid as desired.
Let simmer for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with tomato and if you're feeling extra cheesy add a slice of tofutti chedder cheese. Sprinkle with a dash of chili powder or paprika just before serving.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I've been thinking of some of the snacks I've made in the past and I've been thinking of making Bluepeas and Chickberies again. Since many people probably didn't read my previous food blog I thought I'd post some old snack recipes here.

These will disappear!

curry powder
olive oil
your favorite spices.

Heat oven to 400F
Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and spices. Add a few pinches of sugar and toss.
Spread out on cookie sheet and cook until slightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Orange Gel:
Idea from Yogurt Land.
This is a great way to use up oranges. Blood oranges make a beautiful presentation.

Juice the oranges. Carefully pull the extra stuff out. Bring the juice to a boil, along with 1/3 cup suagr and 1 1/2 tsp. agar-agar powder.
Then pour the juice into the orange rinds and let cool in muffin tins to keep them up right.

Bluepeas and Chickberries:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cup chickpeas
2 Tbl. sugar
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried dill

Boil blueberries, cooked chickpeas and sugar until all water is absorbed and the chick peas turn blue, about 15 min.
Coat with oil, salt and dill and bake at 425F for about 30 min, tossing often.
Mix with non-blueberry treated roasted chickpeas and coat with a sprinkling of salt and sugar before serving as a snack.

These were wonderfully salty and sweet, just the way I like my snacks. They were crunchy, but not tooth breaking.

Chocolate Coconut Blueberries:
Inspired by Jess's sister.
Blueberries coated in melted chocolate ad rolled in coconut before freezing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Your Recipes!

I've been trying to be a better blogger this year: commenting on the journals I've been drooling over and trying out your wonderful recipes.
I tried a few recently and had mixed successes because I'm not really one to follow directions.

Jess' Sweet Potato Pie Casserole, Kinda
Jess' is obviously nicer, but I didn't have enough for a full dish.
I mashed some sweet potatoes, added some maple syrup, salt and earth balance. Then I placed some fresh cracked pecans on top.
Tofu666's Raw Pad Thai, Kinda
Now this was just terrible. I was having a bad cooking day. I wanted to use up these coconut noodles and thought this would be a great place. But I ruined it all by making a terrible peanut sauce.
I can't wait until I get my food processor to make creating such dishes a snap.

SusanV's Naked Orange Mousse-
This was pretty good but it never firmed up the way I wanted it to. I added some soy milk powder to lighten it up a bit, but it didn't do much. With some more agar this would be PERFECT on top of a cheesecake!

Sorry no photos, they weren't very pretty.

More Broil Tofu Scramble

One of our favorite breakfast places here in Portland, Beaterville, has this wonderfully textured tofu. So I was inspired by both the delicious scramble tofu I had the previous weekend and the Beaterville tofu so I tried the following.

Broiled Tofu Scramble:
1 block of tofu
2 Tbl. Braggs
Light oil

1. Turn the broiler onto high.
2. Cut tofu into cubes and scatter on cookie sheet. Spray with oil and broil for 10 minutes.
3. Toss the tofu and spoon over some Braggs.
4. Stick it back in the oven and continue to broil, repeating the above process until your tofu reaches the desired consistency. You might want it drier than you think because if you'll be adding any vegetables to it, it will absorb some.

1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bag baby spinach
1 Tbl. roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes

1. Saute the onion and garlic in some oil.
2. Add the sun dried tomatoes and tofu and cook until it all reaches the same temperature.
(Your tofu will change texture the longer you cook it because it will gain moisture.)
3. Add spinach, cover and cook until wilted, making sure to stir and add spices to your taste.

I love the strong flavors of the tomatoes and don't feel this dish needs much extra spice.
Serve with home fries, juice and toast of your choice.

Popcorn Post!

While I have a few photos to post I am just not as excited about them as I am about these new popcorn "recipes." As I've said before I am a popcorn fiend, hence the title of this blog. I prefer stove top and when I can't have that I'll buy bagged air-popped popcorn. I'm not a fan of microwave - in fact I use to be afraid of it.
My method of popcorn is this: I normally use about 3 handfuls which is about 1/2 to 1/3 cup and about 1-2 tablespoons of a light oil.
Without further ado I bring you two new popcorn flavorings.

Vege Savory:
1 1/2 tsp. Braggs
1 Tbl. vegetable broth powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/4 tsp. dill

Finding vegetable broth that is yeast-free is very difficult, but I have finally found a brand!

Mix spices while your oil is heating. Add popcorn and cook like normal until the popcorn starts to pop. Very carefully add the squirt of Braggs. Try not to take the lid all the way off and do this quickly so you don't lose much steam. (Adding anything to the oil is going to make a mess of your pan. Feel free to skip this step if you don't feel like cleaning up much - it just adds a nicer flavor.)
Once the popcorn is popped transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle with your spices and mix with your hands until well coated. Taste and add more salt/spices as needed.

Sweet Mix:
This is a great recipe to break out the earth balance to pop the corn in.

2 Tbl. powdered sugar
1 Tbl. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Cook and pop corn as normal.
Mix spices.
Put the popcorn in a big bowl. With one hand toss the popcorn and with the other sift the mixture over the popcorn. This might be easier to do with two people. SO good.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Recipe Exchange

My friend Nicole sent me the following email and I thought it was such a cool idea that maybe some of you would like to do this with your friends.

1) Random Person's First and Last Name (email address)
2) Your friend's First and Last Name (email address)

You have been invited to participate in a recipe exchange.

Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in the number one position
above (even if you do not know her or him), preferably something quick and
easy without too many ingredients.

Then copy this letter into a new email, move my name to the number one
position, and put your name in the number two position. Only your name and
mine should appear on the list when you send out your email. Send the
email to ten people. If you cannot do this within seven days, please let me
know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36
recipes. It is fun to see where these recipes come from. Seldom does anyone
drop out because we can all use recipes. The turnaround is fast because
there are only two names on the list.
Bon Appetite!
I also wanted to share the recipes I have been receiving, so I'll keep updating this as they come in. Not all of these will be vegan, but hopefully they can be veganized.

4 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2/3 cup sugar, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon margarine
Combine rhubarb, strawberries, and 1/3 cup sugar; stir well. Pour into an 11x7x2 inch baking pan. Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt; cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce
The recipe is kind of inexact; I make it differently every time, and I'm sure you'll alter it to suit you, too.This makes enough noodles for two people.

You need:
3 bundles soba noodles
about 2 Tbsp peanut butter
soy sauce/tamari/Braggs
rice wine vinegar or ume vinegar
sesame oil
fresh ginger
red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions. In the meantime, plop your peanut butter into a mug or glass measuring cup. Pour in enough soy sauce to reach just a little over halfway up the peanut butter blob (probably close to 1/4 cup?). Add a splash of vinegar, and a splash of oil (about 1 tsp). Grate a ginger knob, somewhere in the 2 tsp-size, into the mug. Mix, and adjust vinegar/soy/sesame oil/ginger to taste. The sauce should be smooth, but not liquidy.

When the noodles are done, you can either run them under cold water and then mix in the sauce, or leave them warm. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste. Enjoy!

Chickpea Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4 to 6 -- Low-fat

This chickpea pesto makes a delectable filling for mushrooms or it can be served in the traditional manner by stirring it into warm pasta.

2 Tbs. pine nuts
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained (reserve liquid)
2 cups lightly packed basil leaves or a mix of basil and parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs. chickpea cooking liquid
1 Tbs. olive oil
Salt to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)
12 to 16 medium to large mushrooms, or about 24 small mushrooms

Preheat oven to 350F. Toast pine nuts in dry skillet until aromatic and lightly colored. Be careful not to overcook. Combine pine nuts and chickpeas in food processor and grind. Add herbs and garlic and purée to a thick paste. Add chickpea liquid and process until blended. Add oil and process until incorporated. Add salt and mix. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Remove mushroom stems and reserve for another use; clean mushroom caps. Fill caps with a tablespoonful (use a teaspoon for small mushrooms) of pesto.

Place mushrooms in a baking dish. Bake until mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. Very large mushrooms may take longer to cook.


Beth's Potato Salad with Mint & Peas

2 lb small red potatoes
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T minced shallot
1 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
3 T olive oil
1 c peas (fresh or frozen)
1/3 c chopped mint leaves

1. Cover potatoes with cold salted water in 3 qt saucepan. Simmer covered for 10-15 min.
2. Whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt & pepper.
3. Drain potatoes, half or quarter them. Add to vinegar mixture. Add oil, peas, & mint. Toss and serve.

Lu's Pasta Salad:
cook wheat blend linguine according to package

meanwhile, chop red onion, can of artichoke hearts (or two, if you like them like we do). a handful of cure olives, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. drain pasta, mix above ingredients PLUS a little olive oil, a can of your favorite tomato sauce, fresh spinach, and sundried tomatoes.

makes really good leftovers!

Danni's Favorite Dip:
Here's my favourite dip to take to BBQs etc.
Shallots/green onions
Shiro/White miso
Mirin if desired
Roast the pumpkin. Chop the green onions super finely, mash them into the pumpkin with a few tablespoons of miso and mirin (if using). I usually use half a medium sized pumpkin and one heaped tablespoon of miso (Hatcho and Mugi are also good misos for this but need more mirin i think). Sprinkle some extra green onions on top for garnish.

Reb's Basic Pudding:
Here's a pudding I like to make. It's very very simple and kind of looks like a cheating sort of recipe, but a) it's very versatile, and and b) I don't make many recipe-y type things besides this and a couple of stir-frys *g*
(It also assumes you're Australian. If you're not, I hope this makes sense to you.)

Makes one single serve pudding - multiply for appropriate number of puddings.

One heaped tablespoon of self raising flour (I prefer wholemeal for taste)
One heaped tablespoon of sugar (I prefer brown sugar as above)
One 140g Goulburn Valley fruit snack pack, flavour of your choice.

Pre-heat oven to 180C
Put ingredients in a bowl. Fold until mixed. Add more flour until suitable pudding texture, if there's too much juice.
Put in individual greased pudding dish.
Cook in oven for -- well, it depends on your oven. My electric one at home takes ten minutes sometimes and fifteen minutes most other times, but the gas one at my parent's place took about half an hour, so. When it stops being gooey in the middle, take it out and eat it *g*
Served with custard made of cornflour and soy milk is tasty, I find.

The thing with the snackpacks, see, is that they hold just enough juice for making a nice vegan single person sized pudding just with the flour, the sugar, and the juice from the snack pack. But I've also done the following variations:
1) To the basic fruit pudding, before folding in the ingredients, get a great dollop of golden syrup on a spoon, and fold that through. Mmm, golden syrupy.

2) Instead of the fruit snack pack, use just enough milk to make it the right consistency (see, I'm not a recipe person, I just know when it's right. I'm sorry.) and for the flavour, add any of the following:
-- Vast dollops of jam of the flavour of your choice. (So, flour, sugar, milk, jam.)
-- For a chocolate pudding, a vast dollop of Sweet William's chocolate spread. (Flour, sugar, milk, chocolate spread.)
Slightly softening the chocolate spread beforehand, or adding some boiling water to it, works best, otherwise the mixture goes kind of tough trying to melt the chocolate to a stirable consistency. With this one, I like to make a chocolate sauce to serve over the top, with
chocolate spread and hot water, but you can probably come up with better ways to make a chocolate sauce from it.
3) Surprisingly, the apple snack packs, although pureed with no juice, make a pudding as in the original recipe part, with no need for added milk. With cinnamon and pecan nuts, quite tasty.

best vegan cake ever
recycled from the y2k slingshot organizer:

8 ounces of silken tofu
3/4 cup oil
1 tbsp of potato flour
1 & 3/4 cup of water
1& 3/4 cup of sugar
1 &1/2 tsp. of vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. cocoa
3 & 1/4 c. unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda

in a blender, blend oil, 1 cup of the water, tofu, and potato flour until smooth. then in a large bowl,
combine contensts of blender, remaining water, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cocoa. add flour and baking soda and mix until smooth. grease & powder with cocoa a 9X13 inch pan or 2 9 inch pans. bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. test with a toothpick in the center. if it comes out clean the cake is done!!!!


Shelley's Krycek Kisses:
it was posted on the internet by an X Files fan. I am not kidding.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs softened margarine
zest of one lime
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbs powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in the highest position.
Combine flour and salt and set aside.
Cream lime zest and margarine until light. Gradually add granulated sugar and 3 tbs powdered sugar. Drizzle in the vanilla and lime juice. Continue beating until light and fluffy.
With a small spoon or floured fingers, work the flour into the cream mixture until it forms a ball. if it's too sticky, put it in the freezer for a few minutes. Knead the dough lightly adding small amounts of four until the dough is smooth.
Pinch off tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and roll into 13 equal-sized balls. Place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake 5 minutes. Reverse the sheet so that the back is in the front and bake 5 minutes more, or until cookies are lightly golden.
Cool on a rack for 2 minutes. While still warm, shake the cookies in a plastic bag with the remaining powdered sugar until well-coated Let cool and serve.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Common Dinner Salad

Simple salad but oh so good!

Butter leaf lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, basil, tomatoes, red onions and cubed moz. Scheese with balsamic vinegar dressing.

I am a big fan of the salad spinner. The lettuce we had was about 2 weeks old and wilting. I just chopped it up and put it in the salad spinner with cold water and within 10 minutes it came back to life and was crunchy. You could do this with any bowl, but what makes the salad spinner so great is that it gets out all that extra water in the leaf folds.


Multi-grain Muffins:
Okay, these aren't really multi-grain and it doesn't really have a recipe.

Here's the process:
Blend in a blender about 3/4 oatmeal with 1 tablespoon flax seed, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and about 1/4 cup nuts - I used cashews. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and your other favorite spices. Set aside.
Bend 1 apple, 1 cup apple juice, 1 tablespoon molass, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix the wet and the dry together. Add 1/3 cup dried blueberries and put into muffin tins. Put a dollop of blueberry jam on top and bake for 35 min at 350F.

These are very chewy and more like health bars than muffins.

Tofu Scramble:
It can be hard finding a good tofu scramble when eating out. Usually they make it too wet or bland, or both! I like mine a little crispy/chewy so I tried broiling it.

1 block tofu
1/2 medium onion
3 coves of garlic
2 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
4-5 large capers cut into quarters
3 tablespoons pinenuts
Large handful of spinach
Some Braggs

Turn broiler onto high.
Squeeze out as much water from the tofu as possible. Crumble tofu and place on baking sheet. Put that in the broiler/oven.
Saute the onion with some oil until translucent.
Check tofu, mix the tofu and pour some Braggs or other liquid seasoning over it and put it back in the broiler.
Add the chopped garlic to the sauted onions and satue for about 3 minutes. Add the sun dried tomatoes and pinenuts. Saute another 2 minutes.
Turn the broiler off and move the tofu into the frying pan. Continue to let the mixture cook together.
Add capers and other spices at this time.
place a big handful of spinach on top, cover and let steam for 1 minute. Uncover, stir and let cook another minute or so until the spinach is your favorite consistancy.
Serve warm.

A side of blueberry toast goes nicely with the strong flavors of the capers and tomatoes. Next time I make this I'll either add the capers or the tomatoes because they both have such strong unique flavors they kind of fight with each other when pared up.