Monday, March 30, 2009

fakin' bacon collard greens, parsley pesto potatoes

These two vegan sides can be served with your favorite protein- we used Quorn (which actually is not vegan) smothered in Stubb's spicy BBQ sauce.

At work I decided that we would have a dedicated vegan bar everyday. Yes, that's right- totally vegan hot (4-8 selections) and cold (4-6) self-service items with a lot of the recipes coming from yours truly. It has been going for about six weeks right now, and everyone is loving it! There is one dish that has been a total show-stopper and has had a bunch of veggies, and omnivores alike asking me for the recipe. I tell them how easy it is and they freak out, so without further ado; here is my fakin' bacon collard greens. Well, the potatoes are actually first, but scroll down a lil.

Parsley pesto potatoes:
1 pound new potatoes
1 large shallot
1 bunch parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Fakin' bacon collard greens:
1 bunch collard greens, roughly chopped
1/2 package Lightlife smoked tempeh strips
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Quarter the potatoes, toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Put potatoes on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until fork tender. Combine shallot, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor and run until incorporated (or pesto-y as I like to call it). Season with salt and pepper. When potatoes are finished in the oven, place them in a bowl, add pesto, shake 'em up and serve immediately.

For the greens: Add the canola oil to a saute' pan over medium heat. Toss in the fakin' bacon and saute until it starts to get crispy on both sides, about 8 minutes. Add in the collard greens and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Eat, and be addicted.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

sesame asparagus and cold noodles

1 bunch asparagus, bias cut about 1/2 inch
1 block super firm tofu
1 lb spaghetti
4 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp minced ginger
sesame seeds, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss tofu with 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp sesame oil. Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool. Put a large pot of water on to boil. When the water boils, season well with salt, and add the asparagus. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and remove from water and shock under a cold running faucet, or ice bath, your choice. Add in your pasta, and cook until al dente. Shock pasta in the same manner as the asparagus. Mix remaining sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger together in a bowl. Combine all ingredients, and get down!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

weekly delivery 03/25

This week we received:

2 artichokes
1 bunch asparagus

6 kiwis
1 bunch rosemary

1 bunch collard greens
8 bulbs shallots

5 Mineola tangelos
3 huge beets

1 head Romaine lettuce
5 Fuji apples

Sunday, March 22, 2009

not-cheese steaks

I (Katie) lived in Philadelphia for 6 years and never once ate a Philly cheese steak. Yeah, I was vegetarian the whole time. I ate plenty of fake cheese steaks with soy protein. When eating fake meat, it's best not to try to compare it to the real thing. You will always, always be disappointed if you do. If you approach it with no preconceptions, you might just find something totally new and totally delicious. That said, if you are ever in Philly, you should get a fake chicken cheese steak from Govinda's. They're amazing!

We had some packages of Yves ground in the fridge that needed to get eaten and we were planning on making a faux-bolognese with them. But I mentioned to Kenny that I was craving a cheese steak, so he decided we would make cheese steaks instead.

This isn't a traditional Philly cheese steak by any means. Having grown up in PA, I (Kenny) am a Philly steak purist, and have a hard time with Californians adding mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and raw onions to my sandwich; it's not that its a bad sandwich, just don't call it a Philly cheese steak. Just give me the basics: meat, cheese, and sauteed onions on an Amoroso roll. Sometimes when I am feeling frisky, I like some pizza sauce on there. A Pizzacheesewhiff, if you will. Oh, and like 6 hot peppers from the condiment table. Anyway...

We decided to add some collards into the mix so that we could get some green in there, and come to think of it, it would be a great way to sneak some in on your kids, if you have them.

1 bunch collard greens, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
2 packages Yves ground
1 cup pasta sauce
8 slices mozzarella cheese
4 rolls
6 to 8 pepperoncini, roughly chopped, stems removed (unless you like chewing on stems, that is)
salt, pepper to taste
red pepper flakes, garlic powder optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice open your rolls and give them a good fold so that they will stay open and flat when you put them on the cookie sheet. Top them with 2 slices of cheese (we used mozzarella), and pop them in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes until the cheese is melty and delicious.

Saute the onions until translucent 6 to 8 minutes on medium heat. Toss in your collard greens and cook for an additional 4 or 5 minutes. Add in the fake ground and a pinch each of garlic powder and red pepper flakes. After the "meat" is nice and hot, stir in the pasta sauce and warm through. Add the pepperoncini and a little salt and pepper to taste. Toss it on the roll and grab some napkins, these sandwiches are pretty big, and just as messy as they are tasty.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

puff pastry with chard, red onion and swiss

My assistant Jose doesn't eat vegetables. A chef that doesn't eat vegetables. Scary. So one day when he came to me and said, I have a recipe for asparagus that I think you will like, I was shocked. He got it from a cookbook (not sure which one) and it consisted of three ingredients. Puff pastry, gruyere, and grilled asparagus layered together as a tart. I should have known. Cheese, butter, white flour and a smidge of vegetables. Then I thought about it. Cheese- awesome. Puff pastry- awesome. Veggies- totally sweet. We made it, ate it, fell in love and are still serving it. So I decided to morph the recipe a little bit with some different flavors and a little more cheese and make it for dinner. I will also make it in smaller portions for the next time we invite people over. Plus, it will work with almost any veggies and cheeses. Oh, and its RIDICULOUSLY easy.

1/2 sheet of Dufour Puff Pastry (This is THE BEST Puff Pastry, a little more expensive, but sooooo worth it).
2 medium yellow onions, sliced in half moons
1 bunch red chard, roughly chopped
4 slices swiss cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Oil a cookie sheet, or the foil on top of one and place your puff pastry on it. Toss it into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until it starts to get golden brown. While its baking put a frying pan on medium heat, add the oil and onions and stir occasionally until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the chard and season. Continue to stir until the chard is wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes. By now your pastry is baked. Layer the chard and onion mixture on top, cover with cheese and return to the oven. Bake until cheese is melted, about 7 to 8 minutes. Now get your grub on.

lemon mojitos

Today, I was reading Shannon's blog, A Boy's Life. She was contemplating making sun tea with the mint that came this week. Then I checked out her comments and one of her readers had commented that, "The mint would also be good for making mojitos! Just saying…".

AWW YEAH. That's my kind of commenter. We substituted lemon for lime and weee, these are some great mojitos!

(for two mojitos)
5 oz rum (We used Bacardi)
24 mint leaves
4 Tbsp sugar
2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (one medium lemon)
8 oz soda
ice cubes

Place the mint leaves in bottom of a metal tumbler. If you don't have a tumbler, a pint glass will do! Next, add rum, sugar and lemon juice. Gently muddle to release the oils in the mint. You can just use a spoon if you don't have a muddler-gadgety-thing. Distribute evenly between two rocks glasses and add as many ice cubes as you fancy. Finish with soda water and garnish with a sprig of mint leaves and a lemon wedge.

Drinkin' and bloggin', bloggin' and drinkin'.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

weekly delivery 03/18

This week, we received:

2 heads Romaine lettuce
4 Navel oranges

10 lemons
1 bunch pea shoots

4 yellow onions
1 bunch celery (look at that celery- it's like two feet long!)
8 Red Norland potatoes

1 bunch red chard
8 Pink Lady apples

1 bunch mint
1 bunch asparagus

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

steamed veggie dumplings, miso soup with pea shoots

Won tons: (makes enough for about 30)
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 lb extra firm tofu, frozen then thawed, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch red chard, fine chiffonade
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 package won ton wrappers
1 egg white (optional)
2 Tbsp canola oil

In a frying pan over medium heat add the canola oil. Add onions and sweat for 4 to 5 minutes, the small size of all of the vegetables makes this cook really fast! Add garlic, ginger, and tofu and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes until the tofu starts to brown. Add the carrots, chard, soy sauce and pepper and cook until the greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool. You could totally do this a day in advance as well. When it has cooled enough to where you would be comfortable handling it, its time to make the won tons! Pile about 1 Tbsp. of filling in the center of the wrapper and apply egg white* to the edges, fold the skin over into a triangle, and press to seal. Make sure the edges are sealed and there is no filling sticking out or you will have exploding won tons, and that is no fun. Set aside, and keep making more! When you have finished, steam for 3 to 4 minutes and they are ready to go!

* Egg whites are totally optional in this recipe. They do make the finished product more sturdy and are a must if you were going to deep fry these, but for steaming water should hold up just fine.

In each bowl: (our soup bowls are about 20 oz. so adjust accordingly)
2 Tbsp Miso Paste (We like mellow white.)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger

Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn off heat. You never want to boil your miso. After a few minutes add a cup or so of the water to eat bowl and whisk in the miso, soy, and ginger to incorporate. Add 1 bunch of roughly chopped pea shoots to the pot of water and stir to wilt, only takes about 1 to 2 minutes. While the greens are cooking place as many steamed dumplings as you want to eat in your bowl. Add the greens and liquid to fill your soup bowls, stir and eat!

raw carrot and beet salad

This salad is simple, but really tasty and packs a lot of crunch!

3 beets, 1/2" dice
4 carrots, 1/2" dice
3 Tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Combine beets, carrots, and parsley in a bowl, mix vinaigrette and toss with the roots. The vinaigrette is going to taste a little sour if you try it before you add it to the beets and carrots, but their sweetness will totally make up the difference.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

glazed tofu with broccoli and carrots

This recipe is from VeganYumYum. I made a few minor changes to compensate for lacking some of the ingredients and also added red onion. Because what's better than a red onion that's soaked in soy sauce? Nothing. This made enough for two plus some leftovers. I shredded three carrots but the recipe only really needs one. But if you're gonna get your food processor dirty, you might as well make it count right?

1 block extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2" strips
1 Tbsp canola oil
4 tsp soy sauce
1 red onion, sliced
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite sized florets and steamed
3 carrots, shredded
peanuts, for garnish
3 cups cooked brown rice

Peanut Dressing:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Prep by cooking the rice, chopping and steaming the broccoli, and shredding the carrots. Mix peanut dressing ingredients until smooth (be patient, it’ll look like hell at first*) and set aside. [*Katie's note: It really did look like hell!]

Pan fry tofu in the canola oil over high heat in a non-stick skillet until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Turn off the heat and pour soy sauce over the tofu. It will bubble up and form a light glaze. Add the red onion and return pan to medium heat and cook, covered, about 6 to 8 minutes until the onion softens.

Plate rice, add broccoli, tofu and onions, carrots, and peanuts. Drizzle with peanut dressing and serve.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

mushroom and brown rice casserole

Kenny is working late tonight so, I'm cooking with mushrooms again! Hooray for me, I never get sick of 'em. I didn't have anything planned so I typed "mushroom" into the wonderful Super Natural Recipes Search Engine and the very first result was mushroom casserole from 101 Cookbooks. The author of 101 Cookbooks, Heidi Swanson, is also the creator of the search engine, by the way. Some other recipes that struck me while looking through the results were for mushroom quiche and mushroom soup. But for tonight I thought the casserole would work best and I had most of the ingredients already. I've tweaked the recipe just a bit.

1 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt, pepper, thyme to taste
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pan over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook until the mushrooms have browned a bit and begun to released their liquids, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the onions and cook for another 4 minutes or so, then add in the garlic. Saute together for another 3 minutes, then take the pan off the heat. Add the rice to the pan and stir until combined.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sour cream, ricotta and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and thyme to taste. Add the rice mixture to this bowl and stir until well combined. Spray a casserole dish with your Misto, then pour the mixture into the casserole.

Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the casserole. Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes, until cooked throughout and golden along the edges.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

weekly delivery 03/11

This week we received from FFTY:

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
6 Minneola tangelo
1 bunch red chard

1 lb button mushrooms
3 red beets
1 bunch collards

1 bunch broccoli
1 bunch pea shoots
1 bunch Nantes carrots

4 grapefruit
6 red onions
1 head green leaf lettuce

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

mushroom bourguignon

I've wanted to make mushroom bourguignon ever since I saw it on Smitten Kitchen. I read her post and my immediate reaction was "That's what I'm making next time we get mushrooms!" I didn't want change the recipe much, except well... I did, accidentally. I grabbed what I thought was the tube of tomato paste and squeezed it in, only to realize that... Oops! I had grabbed the harissa! It added a hint of smoky heat that was nice, so it turned out to be a happy accident.

This recipe calls for a cup of a full-bodied red wine. I usually avoid cooking with wine just because I don't drink it and it seems wasteful to buy a whole bottle and then only use a cup. I was pleasantly surprised when Kenny got home from work (Whole Foods), and he had brought home a little one cup plastic bottle of Sutter Home. Yeah, that's pretty crappy wine but whatever, it's good enough for me! Kenny doesn't like mushrooms so he ate his egg noodles with half a can of baked beans. Yup, Sutter Home in a plastic bottle and canned baked beans... boy, are we classy or what?!

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Earth Balance, or butter
1 lb button mushrooms, halved
1 carrot, finely sliced
1/2 an onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp harissa (optional)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 lb egg noodles

In a large pot over high heat, sear the mushrooms for about three or four minutes, then remove them from the pot and set aside. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in the pot. Lower the flame to medium, toss in the carrots, onions and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the wine to the pot, bring to a rapid boil and let reduce in half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, harissa and veggie broth. Add the mushrooms and once the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat so it simmers for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, get a pot of water boiling for the noodles and prepare according to package directions. They should only need about 4 to 6 minutes to cook.

Add the pearl onions and simmer for 5 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the sauce looks thin up until this point, it will quickly thicken up with the additon of the flour. Add remaining 1 Tbsp butter and the flour into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until it reaches your preferred consistency. Season to taste, and spoon over egg noodles to serve.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ravioli with wilted kale and radicchio

We sauteed one bunch of kale and two heads of radicchio with four small cloves of minced garlic and half an onion, then tossed it with a package of Rising Moon Organics basil, asiago and pine nut ravioli. Kenny picked up some fake chicken meatballs from Layonna, the fake meat depot in Oakland. By the way, did you know there's a fake meat depot in Oakland?! Cuz I've lived here for almost two years and I just found out. It wasn't too long ago that I thought fake meat was totally gross. Actually... some of it truly is. But these meatballs weren't bad! They had little bits of watercress in them. Yum!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

orecchiette with collards, citrus herb tofu

1/2 lb orecchiette pasta
1 bunch collard greens, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp garlic confit olive oil
salt, pepper
1 block super firm tofu, cut into 1 inch slices

Tofu marinade:
1 Tbsp each: dried rosemary, thyme, sage
juice of 1 medium orange, and 1 medium lemon
1/2 tsp orange zest
4 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion
1/2 tsp pepper
1 generous pinch of salt

Take all ingredients for marinade and process in your food processor until incorporated. Pour over tofu and marinate for 24 hours or more if you have time. (This marinade would do very well on any poultry as well.) If you have a cast iron pan, now is the perfect time to break it out, if not, you will have to use a frying pan and a baking dish. Either way, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get you pan nice and hot, and add 2 Tbsp of canola oil. Grab your tofu and shake the marinade off. Sear both sides of the tofu, cooking approximately 2 minutes on each side. Top the tofu with the remaining marinade and place into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

Saute your collards with olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked through, about 7 or 8 minutes over medium heat, and cook your pasta according to the package directions. When the pasta is finished, toss with the greens and re-season if necessary. Top with the tasty tofu and enjoy with a nice green salad.

weekly delivery 03/04

5 Mineola tangelos
1 bunch collard greens

2 small heads radicchio
6 Gold Blush apples

1 bunch kale
5 lemons
1 bulb fennel

1 bunch Nantes carrots
1 bunch white button mushrooms

6 Yukon potatoes
2 heads broccoli

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

pizza with pea shoots, garlic and egg

I know we just posted a pizza but Kenny isn't feeling well and when Kenny isn't feeling well, he gets to eat whatever he wants for dinner. I'll keep this post short: We sauteed the pea shoot leaves with the last of our garlic confit, spooned it on to the sauced-up pizza crust then covered with asiago. We baked the pizza for 8 minutes at 400 degrees, then took it out, cracked two eggs on top and put it back in for another 12 minutes. The magical healing powers of pizza instantly cured Kenny of the common cold. OK, not really.

Monday, March 2, 2009

corned seitan, roasted carrots and purple potatoes


4 pieces seitan (We got these from Layonna in Oakland, but 1 lb. of any seitan will do)
6 carrots, chopped
1 lb purple potatoes, quartered

Corning liquid:
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
pinch salt

To make the gravy:
2 Tbsp butter, or Earth Balance
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp vegetable stock

Marinate the seitan in the corning liquid overnight. Bake with the vegetables for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees in a baking dish. Reserve corning liquid. Make a roux with the Earth Balance and flour, stir in the reserved liquid and whisk until gravy thickens. Add veggie stock as needed to achieve your desired gravy thickness and texture. (We needed about 2 Tbsp.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

braised artichoke hearts

This recipe is a work in progress. I adapted this dish from a recipe in Gourmet, November 2008. The flavors were great, but I struggled with the recipe a little bit. First of all, I kind of butchered the artichokes. I love artichokes but I've never tried to cook just the hearts before. I found this great video that shows how to prep them but, of course I didn't bother looking for a video until after I had already brutalized them. I wound up only photographing the halves of two artichoke hearts because the rest of the hearts were a big pile o' mess. Oh well, they don't look so pretty but they still taste good!

I really liked the process of braising the artichokes, but I think in the future I would prep and finish the dish a little differently. I would simply trim the leaves and chop off the top inch of the artichoke then braise the whole thing, rather than just the hearts. Because you have to remove the furry, inedible choke after they are braised, I think it would be easier to work with if you just keep the artichoke intact up until that point. Plus, I like eating the leaves! I was following the recipe from a page pulled from the November issue, but I noticed, in the online version of the recipe, they simplified the instructions for how to prep the hearts. Maybe I wasn't the first person to find them unclear.

To let the artichoke flavor shine, I'd also skip adding more olive oil and lemon juice at the end of the recipe. I thought it got overpowered a bit by the lemon. Then again, Kenny liked the lemon flavor, so it's debatable. Some toasted breadcrumbs scattered over top would add a nice crunch. Despite some issues with the recipe, I was still happy with how the dish came out!

8 medium artichokes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, finely sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
salt, black pepper to taste

Trim artichokes into hearts:
Add some lemon juice to a large bowl of cold water. You will use this to prevent the artichokes from browning while you prep them. Cut off the top one inch of an artichoke and bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base. Discard several more layers in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves. Cut remaining leaves flush with the top of the artichoke bottom. Trim fibrous dark green parts from base and sides. Peel sides of stem down to pale inner core. Put in lemon water while preparing remaining artichokes.

Heat a 1/4 cup oil in a heavy soup pot. Pot should be wide enough to hold artichokes in 1 layer with stems pointing upward. Cook the red onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes, until the red onion starts to become soft. Add carrot and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add water and 3 Tbsp lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Stand artichokes in pot and season with salt and pepper. Cover pot with a lid, and simmer over medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. (*note: You can make this recipe a day in advance. If you wish to do so, stop at this point and allow the pot to cool before putting it in the fridge to chill. When you are ready to resume the recipe, bring the pot back up to warm before proceeding.)

Transfer artichokes to a dish and reserve cooking liquid. When artichokes are cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise. Scoop out and discard inner choke (fuzzy center and any sharp leaves).

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers, then place artichokes cut sides down and brown, about 2 minutes. You might want to work in batches to brown them. Transfer the artichokes to a serving dish. Add reserved cooking liquid to the skillet along with remaining Tbsp lemon juice and remaining 2 Tbsp oil. Boil vigorously 3 minutes, then spoon over artichokes. Serve warm or at room temperature.