Monday, July 30, 2007

Tofu Apple Quesadilla

I've been enjoying the panini grill to the extreme.

Tofu Apple Quesadilla:
Marinaded and grilled tofu
Sliced Fuji Apples
Follow Your Heart cheese

Place it all together and grill.
I was trying to figure out a dipping sauce for this. I kept munching on it thinking and by the time I thought of using a Balsamic Vinaigrette, I was finished.

Tofu Marinade:
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tsp. all purpose seasoning salt
1 tsp. thyme
water - enough to cover the sliced tofu.

I usually just keep a block of tofu marinading in the fridge with this mixture.

It's a very plain, and white meal. Spinach would look better in here.

Christmas in July

My friend Shelley throws the best parties, so much so that she throws two Christmas parties a year. I wanted to come up with a a new way to enjoy something common. With that in mind I came up with a dessert dip - cheese and crackers.

Cheesecake Dip with Ginger Snap Cookies:
1 8 oz. container Tofutti Cream Cheese
1 12 oz. container vacuum packed firm tofu
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons soy milk
2 Tablespoons raspberry jelly.

Blend cream cheese, tofu, lemon juice, corn starch and soy milk in a food processor until smooth.
Place in square baking pan and bake at 375F for 25 minutes.
Let cool completely.
In a glass dish spread sides with a bit of raspberry jelly. Layer cooled cheesecake dip with some raspberry jelly in a decorative fashion.
Put in the fridge for 2 hours before serving with ginger snap cookies.

The dip was a hit!

Potatoes with Carrot Tarragon Sauce

Potatoes with Carrot Tarragon Sauce:
2 large potatoes
olive oil
1/2 sweet onion
1 large handful baby carrots
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Mirin
3 cloves garlic
2 sprigs tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the potatoes in round and boil until soft, but not falling apart.
When the potatoes are done, spray cookie sheet with olive oil and place boiled potatoes on sheet and bake about 10-20 minutes at 425 F until lightly browned on both sides.
Saute the onion until caramelized. Deglaze with Mirin.
Add carrots and water and boil until the carrots are very soft. Add garlic last three minutes of cooking.
Blend the carrots, onion, left over water in the pot and 1 sprig of tarragon until pureed.
Spread across a plate and place boiled and baked potatoes on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and tarragon.
Serve warm.
This sauce is fun to trick people because they will think it's a cheesy sauce. Really, it's a hearty, lightly sweet and warm carrot sauce.
The sauce would make a great soup with more liquid. This sauce had Mr. Bolsh licking his plate!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kitchen Gadgets

The following meals feature dishes made from new kitchen gadgets.

First the Panini Grill:
I love grill lines on my food. I can't wait until the day we have a backyard grill to include the smoky flavor. The Panini grill is great because it's larger than a George Foreman Grill and the lines are closer together.
I wanted a quick meal so I threw on a cut of cabbage, onion and some quickly miso-marinaded tofu. I sprayed the cabbage with soy sauce and sprayed the onion with olive oil before sprinkling on some kelp powder before grilling. I walked away and when I came back there was hot, grilled food waiting for me. I stacked them on top of each other and called it a meal.

Rocket Blender or "The Magic Bullet":
The Magic Bullet is a tool I've heard people rave about for a long time and I ignored it because I have my dear food processor to fulfill all my desires for chopping, blending, shedding. The Bullet seemed like the Vita Mix people who are just loyal.
When I broke our blender I went out and bought a Rocker Blender, just to try it. I had no idea the world I was about to step into!

Peaches and Cream:
Smoothies have been a great way to fill me up while not having much time for a full home cooked meal.
1/2-1 cup raw cashews soaked in water for an hour or more (I have these soaking in the fridge these days)
1- 1 1/2 cup soy/rice milk
1- 1 1/2 cup frozen peaches or strawberries

Blend the cashews with a bit of soy milk.

You might need more soy milk or other liquid, so just blend until it's thick and creamy.

Add the frozen fruit and maybe more liquid. Blend until the consistency you desire.

Take off the blender attachment and add the drinking cap.

We've really enjoyed this kitchen gadget because it's quick and easy both in clean up and use.
The pros, beyond the clean up and user-friendly style, are how well it blends ice and how you don't have to push down or stir the items -you can just lift it up and shake! When it's ready to serve you just throw on a little drinking cap to cover up the threaded edge and drink away.
The cons to this toy is the annoyance of screwing and unscrewing the blender attachment. Blenders are great because you can continue to add items while blending, something you can't do here.

Creamy Potato Soup:
I've been pretty stuck on the cashew cream lately. I used it in a potato soup to make it creamier and a bit thicker. It was a hit.
Cashews, veggie broth, carrots, onion, potatoes, and basil.

Pesto Shells:
Here I was trying out the Bullet again while making pesto.
basil, olive oil, veggie broth (to cut the oil down), garlic, cashews, sun dried tomatoes.

The problem with using the Rocket here was that to dice the garlic small enough the pesto became soup-like it was so smooth. I prefer various sized basil pieces in my pesto over a pesto-soup. It still got the job done but I will be sticking to my food processor for pesto.

Little Pies

A few weeks ago Jess and I prepared for her 4th of July party together. I enjoy cooking with Jess because we work similar to each other in the kitchen - cooking, cleaning, tasting, adding, experimenting.
You can see more of what she made over here.

Raspberry Coconut Pie:
This was based off my coconut pie recipe. Jess wanted them pink, so we added the juice of some raspberries but it turned lavender. They still tasted great!

Yogurt Fruit Pie:
Luckily, Jess made the crust for all of these because I really dislike making pie crusts.
These were filled with apricot yogurt, various thickeners and sweeteners before throwing in some fresh fruit.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Time to tie the knot at 7:07pm.
Look forward to our culinary experiences cruises the oceans in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Baked Cauliflower

My sister gave me this vague recipe and it turned out great and is perfect for an end to an exhausting day.

Baked Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup +/- marinara
1/3 to 1/2 block of vegan cheese - shredded
Chopped garlic, optional
parsley, for garnish

Steam1 head of cauliflower until tender.
Place cauliflower on tin foil (easy clean up for your lazy day), sprinkle with minced garlic (optional for non-lazy days) and smother in marinara. Sprinkle with vegan cheese (I used follow your heart)
Bake for about 10-15 minutes until hot and a little melty.
Let cool from the oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley (on non-lazy day.)
Slice into 1/4s, or however you like and serve warm.

Straight out of the oven:
Easy dish:

Scrambled Tofu

Scrambled tofu is such an easy dish: crumble some tofu and pan fry, add some spices and veggies and serve warm. I love to shred my tofu before cooking it. The small texture of it is a perfect crumble for me. This one I added shredded onions, garlic, carrots, purple cabbage, kale, tummeric and other random spices.

I was kind of bored with it though so I decided to use up the rest of my phyllo. I put the phyllo in muffin tins and filled them with tofu scramble and put them in the oven. This would be a great way to serve a breakfast food at a buffet brunch.