Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cabbage Un-Roll

This is another so easy recipe that it scares me to death. I have such wonderful memories of my father's mother making stuffed cabbage when we would visit her in Michigan. Man she could make that dish like no one else I knew. I would crave as soon as our feet hit the floor of her house. I have made this dish a few times as a vegetarian, but rolling them leaves is a bear. With that said, in walk this recipe. So easy a monkey could make it. So read on and make this with comfort food in mind.

1 head of cabbage, chopped
6 carrots, chopped, (optional, we used them)
1 jar-24 ounces tomato sauce
1 bullion cube, (we used our own broth)
1 package vegan ground beef, (use your favorite)
1 t salt, maybe more
1/2 t pepper, maybe more
8 cups of cooked rice
Put cabbage, carrots, sauce(plus one can of water), and bullion/broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes., or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in your veggie ground beef, add spices and serve over rice.

Could this dish have been any simpler. Was I lying when I said a monkey cold make this disrespect to those primates. But see the ease of this lovely comfort food. serve this on a cold night with a slab of cornbread.

This was another great dish from VegWeb.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Told you I was on a roll. Again, I found this one when I was looking for a non-vinegar dressing. This fit the bill. Easy and simple to make. But always remember, to make sure your avocado is ripe before using it, especially for dressings. I found this one on VegWeb as well.

2 ripe avocados chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
lime juice to taste
Water as needed
sea salt as needed
1/2 t cider vinegar, optional
Place onions, garlic and avocado in a blender. Add lime juice and water until desired consistency. You like it thinner, then add more water. Sprinkle in the sea salt and vinegar for a bit more tanginess.

You are good to go. See how simple. I did use the blender, but I am going to try the food processor next time and see how that goes.

Swiss Chard Spaghetti Squash

I have so many recipes to get up, I have no idea where to begin. So here goes. I found this on VegWeb, and made it because I had all thee ingredients...a big plus in this house. It was simple to make and simple ingredients. Try this, you are going to thank me in the morning.

1 spaghetti squash
1/3 cup of olive oil (less if you think it is too much)
4-5 chard leaves, washed but not dried and sliced in threads
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 lemon or lime, juice and pulp
1 t salt
1/2-1 t pepper flakes
Cut spaghetti squash in half and bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remember to remove seeds and pulp but not the flesh of the squash. Once squash is done, then you can move on to the rest of the dish.

Saute garlic in oil for about 1 minute, on low as not to burn the garlic, not a good thing to do. Add chard and tomato. Toss and cover for 3 minutes, or until chard wilts. Stir in lemon/lime juice along with the pepper flakes and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Add squash threads to the pan. Mix all together and serve immediately.

I took down the pepper flakes form thee original recipe. I knew I would be on fire if I added 2 teaspoons of pepper flakes. I would add more lemon next time, but it was still delicious just like I typed it here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jana's Famous Herb Dressing

I am going to openly admit that I have slacked off on my salad eating. It has to do with nothing other than pure laziness. I prefer not to purchase bottled dressing, but alas, it came to a point where I did. I was not happy.

For the last two days, I have been cleaning out the fridge. It has been a two fold operation. I have been throwing out left-overs that did not get eaten, and I have physically cleaned out the fridge. Meaning I have disassembled the door and the drawers and also wiped down the shelves. Man, there is nothing better than a clean refrigerator.

So, since I was on a roll, I decided, that instead of throwing away the wilty vegetables, that I would put them to good use and make a soup. But, as I was cleaning out the fridge, I also threw out all my bottled dressings. So...out came the How it all Vegan Cookbook and I started flipping through the sauces section and stumbled upon this very potent dressing.

This is not for the faint of heart. No, it is not a spicy dressing, it is just a very powerful set of herbs all dancing around the bottle. And just by my first taste test. I would highly recommend that you let this set over night in the fridge so everything has time to marry. I am almost tempted to pour this over my pancakes. Just kidding.

- 1/4 cup flax oil or olive oil
- 4 T nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 t pepper
- 2 T maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or through a press
- 2 T fresh thyme, or 1 T dry
- 1T fresh rosemary, or 1/2 T dried
- 1 t fresh oregano, or 1/2 t dried
- 1 T of sesame seeds
Mix everything in a bowl, except for the oil. Slowly whisk in the oil to the mixture whisking the entire time you are pouring. This gives the oil a chance to emulsify. If not then your oil will pretty much stay separated. This is strong dressing, but oh so worth it.

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

Another great recipe I found when looking for something sweet to eat. I myself, am not all that much into the whole sweet tooth thing, but my husband and daughter are for sure. And, I have no problem making the sweet dishes, so in comes this glorious recipe and I am lovin' it 100%.

I made these at work, and people were wanting to take me home with them, just to cook these little devils of joy. So, without further adieu let's get rockin' and rollin'.

-Nonstick spray or a touch of oil to coat pan
-2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
-2 cups canned pumpkin
-1 cup vegetable oil
-2 t vanilla
-4 cups all purpose flour (I used a mix of unbleached white and whole wheat)
-2 t baking soda
-2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
-1 t nutmeg
-1/2 t ginger
-1 cup nuts, chopped
-1&1/2 cups raisins (optional, but I highly recommend)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Beat sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.
-Sift together dry ingredients. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Blend in raisins and nuts.
-Drop spoonfuls (I used tablespoon measure) on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
-Makes 5-6 dozen

The 1 Tablespoon measure is a perfect size for these cookies. they do not spread out stay in the little mounds I set them down in and they are really cute to look at. So make these and you may even give up pumpkin pie.

Shepard's Pie

What a great comfort food. I did not have this made for me as a child growing up. Oddly enough. my mother is from the South, but my mom never made this dish. What a shame, for this is such a simple basic, easily adaptable recipe you could have ever imagined. You can easily adapt it to whatever you have a in your pantry and or freezer and or fridge. It is that inter-changeable.

So let's get down to business and show you this recipe. Just so you know I am finding a great majority of my recipes on VegWeb. This is a strictly vegetarian recipes, but how they break them down into so many different categories is mind blowing. And if they do not have it, you don't need it. Another great plus is that these recipes are submitted by folks like you and me. So these recipes have been tried and tested over and over again. Plus folks who make these recipes send in their reviews with what they have added or taken away, so extremely user-friendly.

Olive oil (As needed)
1 (12 ounce) package veggie ground beef
2 large carrots, grated
1 medium onion, chopped
1&1/2 t rosemary
1T + 1&1/2 t vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1&1/2 t salt
1 cup frozen corn
7 potatoes, boiled and mashed
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook ground 'beef' with onion and grated carrot in olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
-Add salt, rosemary and Worcestershire sauce and m ix well.
-Put mixture in casserole dish and top with corn and then potatoes. I would make sure the potatoes are not very stiff, for they will cook more in the oven. So make sure there is a bit of a give to them.
-Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Just give me a piece of cornbread or biscuit and I am good to go.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Raw Chia Pudding

All I can say is Wow!! I have been putting up more raw recipes and that is because I am the teacher of raw food at my local health food store. Now, one would think that with all these recipes I would have already crossed over to being a raw foodist. But not so. So, I am thinking to myself, what has me lagging behind. Well I have finally figured it out. It is s two-fold reason, but it is going to sound like more of an excuse, which in reality it is. And think about that for a moment. When someone tells you that cannot do something for a reason, it is usually just an excuse. There...I said it. I feel much better now. Admitting your problem is half the battle.

Reason number one is; I am just being lazy, for I have enough recipes to start working with, but I have just not pushed myself. Reason number two; My family is truly not into this whole raw food scene. Hubby is alright with it, but not my daughter. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, we have to do it for ourselves and not others. One day I will get there. But long the way I am enjoying these new dishes all the same. Now on to the recipe.

I had seen this woman, Mona at a Vegetarian Festival in Orlando Florida. If the word raw was in the description, I was there. I liked her from the get-go. She was real, down to earth and approachable. She talked in lay-mans terms and that made me feel comfortable. When I saw this chia pudding mush, I way is this going to amount to anything. Man was I wrong.

I will openly admit there is a texture issue. However, if any of you have ever eaten a bowl of tapioca, then get your brain in that direction and you will know where I am coming form. I myself, use to love tapioca. So this was like walking down memory lane a bit. The ingredients are simple enough and very little preparation time is involved. Just the soaking of the seeds. Once that is done, you are home free. So let's get cracking...shall we?

1/2 cup chia seeds
3 cups water (filtered if possible)
1 cup raw almond milk (this is where I used prepared almond milk. I do not have thee equipment to make my own milk)
1/2 cup diced red apple (about 1 apple total)
3/4 cup cup raisins
3 T raw agave
1 t nutmeg
2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
Pinch of sea salt
You will need to soak the chia seeds the night before or like I did early in the morning, that way, I can have the pudding by dinner time. Stir the seeds with the water for at least 30 second. This is quite a necessity. Learn form others mistakes...please. Each seed needs to be thoroughly coated. If not then a stick, slimy film occurs and this does not make for a good pudding base. Also they need to soak up as much water as possible. For if not then they soak it up in your digestive track and that makes for things to move allot slower, if you get my drift.

Take the soaked chia seeds and stir them up. I swear I felt like I was back in science class. The consistency is wicked cool. Stir in your milk, spices, raisins, apples and agave. Also add your salt, but only a pinch. Now, let the bowl sit for at least an hour so the raisins can plump up. If you can give them more time then by all means, do so.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

I am not a big sweet eater, but I do love my pumpkin pie. And why is it that we have to keep it down to once a year. Who invented that rule? Well they are stupid. For I am going to break with tradition and start making this lovely dessert all through the year. All I have to do is stock up on canned pumpkin and I am good to go. I even have a pie crust to go with this pie...who knew???

I had been wanting to make a tofu pumpkin pie for a few years now, but I had not been impressed with those I had seen out there. But this one took me by surprise. I think once you are a cook who is in the kitchen long enough you can pretty much read the ingredients, you can tell how it will go. Well this was one of those recipes. I knew by looking at it, that we were good to go. However, my daughter thought I was off my rocker when I told her I was trying a brand new recipe, sight untasted and moreso on thanksgiving. What kind of fool was I? Well, as it turned out not a fool at all. this, bar none was the best pie I had ever made. And not a soul knew it was made with tofu.

I then took this same recipe and made it at work and not one customer knew it had been made with tofu. Tofu gets a very bad rap. And here is what I tell folks who think tofu is bad tasting. 'Yes, it tastes like nothing if you eat it right out of the container, even I don't do that. Eating tofu is like eating a plain baked potato. Would you eat a baked potato with not one drop of anything on it? I think not. the same goes for tofu. You have to give it flavor. And don't blame the tofu, blame the person who made the dish, they probably did not know what they were doing with it and hence the bad rap.'

I am here to disprove that tofu tastes like nothing. So here goes and hold on to your boots, for you are going to be amazed. Thank you to VegWeb for this lovely dish

1-16 ounce can of pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sucanat, or sugar, or 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 (10-12) ounce package of silken tofu (firm)
2-3 T corn starch to firm of the pie filling
1 t each, ground allspice and cinnamon
1/2 t each, ground ginger and nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground cloves
1 (9 inch pie shell) (recipe to follow)
1) Preheat oven to 425
2) Blend the pumpkin and sugar. Thoroughly mix in tofu and spices.
3) Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
4) Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 60 minutes. Let cool down before serving.

I do not recommend low fat tofu, this could be a disaster, but if you feel then need, then by all means do so. But it's pumpkin pie, have at it folks.

Savory Biscuits

Man do I have allot of catching up to do. I made quite a few new recipes over the holidays and even since then. I love trying new dishes. I just wish I could plan out a menu a bit better than I do. It's not that I do not have the time, I just need to get myself motivated enough to plan a menu. I know it is not that difficult and I surely have enough recipes to do just that, who knows, one day.

Now, on to this recipe. I love biscuits. always have...always will. My aunt and Nanny, use to make them from scratch. Please remember they were made in the true Southern tradition, with whole milk and lard. I will also openly admit that I do not think you can a truly healthy/vegan biscuit that will look like the ones in the commercials, but I will die trying. and even if not then I know mine are pretty darned close and I am AOK with that.

I have been scouring VegWeb lately and finding some terrific recipes. Do you want to know why? Well I am going to tell you. these recipes are submitted by folks like me and you. And they will review any given recipe and tell you how it is. I like honesty, even if it is critical. Yes, no one likes to have their dishes torn apart, but how are to ever learn how to improve on perfection.

These Savory Biscuits fit the bill this morning. I had all thee ingredients and that was all I needed. So off i went, up to my elbows in flour. But it was oh so worth it. With that said, let me get you the recipe.

2 T apple cider vinegar
1 cup non-dairy milk
1&2/3 unbleached white flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
5 t baking powder
1 t dried herbs (your choice)
1 t salt
5 T margarine (we used Earthbalance)
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-For the buttermilk: To a measuring cup add the vinegar. Add the milk to fill the measuring cup to the 1 cup measure. Stir gently and let set for a minute or two to let curdle.
-In a bowl add flour, nutritional yeast flakes, baking powder, herbs and salt.
-Cut the margarine into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.
-Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture until if forms a ball of dough.
-On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to about 1 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a sharp cutter** and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet
-Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.
-Makes 12-14 biscuits
** This dough was a bit wet, so I kept sprinkling in a bit of flour just a little bit at a time, as not to over flour the recipe. I also took a small drinking glass and used that as my cutter. It worked perfectly. But to help it not to stick to the dough itself I had a small mound of flour to keep dipping the rim of the glass into so it would not stick. It worked perfectly.

These were fabulous biscuits and i can change them from savory to sweet with one fell swoop of an addition or eliminating of a few ingredients. Yowser!