16 February 2011

Golden Glow Stuffed Squash

I love all the squashes and root vegetables available in the winter time. I love their earthiness, stoutness, and deliciousness. I love them roasted, stuffed, pureed, and mashed. So I was happy when I saw this recipe in Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker because how could I not like stuffed squash?





Ingredients
winter squash, cut in half, seeds removed (I used an acorn squash)
cooked rice
onions
garlic
carrot
thyme
rosemary
sriracha sauce


Method:
Cook the filling vegetables over a medium heat (onions, garlic, carrot) until softened. Add the spices and rice and stir until everything is coated. Fill the squash cavity.

In a slow cooker, add some water in the bottom, then place the squash inside. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

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I think this was overcooked. It was bland and boring. The filling in the morning was really tasty and flavorful. Somewhere over the course of the day, all the seasoning melted away. In order to eat the squash, I covered it sriracha sauce. I seem to do that with everything. Really, I do use other flavors.

My husband took a few bites and then threw out his half.

Tofu Scramble

What would a vegan food blog be without a tofu scramble to two? I love breakfast food. It is probably my favorite meal of the day. All the food is warm, big, and delicious. I miss being able to go out for a nice breakfast, so now I just make them at home.





Ingredients:
firm tofu, crumbled
onions
garlic
collards
frozen corn

soy sauce
ginger, fresh
apple juice


Method:
Mix together the saucy ingredients (soy sauce, ginger, and apple juice), set aside. I had used that marinade to make simmer tempeh in for tempeh rubens when I decided to use it over my scramble.

In a skillet, sauté the onions and garlic until brown. Add the tofu and stir. Allow the tofu to brown a bit, then add the saucy stuff over time. I had much much more than what I needed, so I turned up the heat to boil it off. Add any vegetables you want and continue to stir until everything is heated through and delicious. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a big slice of walnut-oat bread and diced avocado.

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This was really good. I do love me a good scramble and it lends itself to whatever might be hanging around your fridge.

Dal, Rice, and Samosas

I love Indian food. I would eat it happily every day. I was browsing around on Amazon the other day and found an Indian Slow Cooker Cookbok. Oh my goodness, how awesome is that. The reviews said that most recipes were vegetarian, or could be made vegetarian easily.





So to honor my love if Indian food, I made "What a dal" from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker book.

Ingredients:
brown lentils
onion
garlic
ginger
coriander seeds
cumin
salt
black pepper
broth

Method:
Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Blend up part of it to give a creamy consistency.

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Honestly, this smelled wonderful while it was cooking, but was so boring when we went to eat it. It had lost all of its flavor. I doused it in sriracha to make it palatable. Maybe I let it cook too long.

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Samosas, or Empanadas depending

This is the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. I hadn't tried it before, but I am glad that I did.

You can find the recipe on Google Books if you search for it.

The dough was a bit bland and boring and maybe it was the baking that didn't make it puff and flake all nicely like a samosa should.

The filling, on the other hand, was amazing! We had mustard seeds and coriander seeds popping, potatoes boiling, garlic browning, edamame defrosting - mix it all together and you have deliciousness. We ate the remaining portion of the filling straight out of the pan while the samosas baked. So good.

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Overall this meal was okay, not the most amazing, but it was good to eat while we watched an episode of Deep Space Nine

14 February 2011

Sushi Night!

This past weekend, I decided that I was craving some sushi and I hadn't started anything in the slow cooker to have anything for dinner, so we had sushi!





I made two batches, one with white jasmine rice and the other with long grain brown rice. My rice cooker makes the rice pretty sticky, so having it stick was not an issue. I liked both batches and my husband preferred the white rice one.

Ingredients:
rice
rice vinegar
sugar
nori
fillings

soy sauce
wasabi
pickled ginger
sriracha-veganaise sauce (I use this on pretty much everything)

Method:
Cook rice on stove or in rice cooker until done. Move to a glass bowl and mix to cool. Add about equal parts of rice vinegar and sugar to the rice. I had about 2 cups of rice and added about 1 T each. Mix together and allow to cool further. When the rice is warm and manageable, lay out a nori sheet on a bamboo rolling mat. Cover about 2/3 of the nori with a layer of rice, making sure to go out to the ends. I had to use my hands a bit and if your hands are wet, then the rice will not stick to them. In the middle of the rice, place any fillings. We had avocado in one and cucumber/avocado/tofutti cream cheese in the other. Roll using the the mat to make a firm roll. Use a sharp knife and cut into rolls.

Serve with all your favorite dippings.





Sushi is really easy to make. We are going to add it to our easy to prepare meal list on nights when we don't really want to cook.

13 February 2011

Breakfast Bread Pudding

I was looking through the breakfast section of Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, trying to find something that could cook over night. I decided to try this bread pudding and I am really glad that I did.

I wanted to make my own sausage, but the grocery store didn't have vital wheat gluten, so I'll have to wait until I can go to the hippy store to procure some more.

For a 1.5 qt slow cooker

Ingredients:
2 cup bread cut into cubes
1 apple, chopped into cubes
cinnamon
2 T brown sugar
dash of salt
1 cup non dairy milk
2 T maple syrup
6 oz sausage, crumbled

Lightly oil the insert of the slow cooker. Then put half of the bread in the bottom. Mix together the apples, cinnamon, sugar, salt, milk, and maple syrup. Pour half over the bread, add half the sausages. Layer the bread, apple mixture, and sausage again. Make sure that all the bread is covered in the milk mixture.

Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.

I turned this on about 2330 and turned it off about 0700. It looked a bit soupy, I think, I was still sleepy. I went back to bed for another couple of hours. When I went to go and eat some around 0930, it wasn't warm, but it was really good. My husband loved this and I hope that I can make it with the sausages next time.

This is another one of those dishes that is best left unphotographed, but is super duper good.

12 February 2011

French White Bean and cabbage Soup

I still love my slow cooker. A lot. I might be getting a bit burned out on it though. A soup I made last week, didn't get eaten and most mornings I haven't wanted to put anything together. Hopefully, that won't last too long, because it is really nice to be able to come home and have dinner done.





Ingredients:
White beans (I used navy beans cooked in my other slow cooker while the soup was simmering)
cabbage, shredded (I used a coleslaw mix I had hanging around from the Wontons)
potatoes
carrots
onions
garlic
veggie broth
thyme
rosemary
salt
black pepper
parsley

Method:
Put in a slow cooker and cook for 6 -8 hours. Garnish with fresh parsley. I served with delicious sourdough herb toast.

This was very good. All the rosemary had floated to the top when I arrived home, which made the soup look a little strange until I stirred it all together.

03 February 2011

Coconut Rice Pudding

Yesterday, I had leftover coconut milk and rice from my failed dessert and awesome dinner. I didn't have any room in my small fridge to store them, so I decided to try and make a rice pudding with them.

Ingredients:
Coconut milk
rice, cooked
vanilla extract
cinnamon
crushed cardamom
maple syrup

Method:
Heat the coconut milk in a pan over medium heat. I used about equal proportions of milk to rice. When the milk starts to bubble around the edges, add the rice and lower the heat. Stir to combine. The rice will absorb the milk as it heats. Add the vanilla and spices. Combine and continue heating until most of the milk is gone. Taste and add any maple syrup for sweetener.

Both my husband and myself thought this was really really really good. I was surprised at how well it came out. Next time I have coconut milk and rice to use up, I will be making this again.

Chocolate Coconut Cake

This was another recipe for my Slow Cooker Challenge. It was a snow day yesterday and I thought that baking a cake in my slow cooker would be perfect.

The sound of the cake was fantastic - chocolate, coconut milk, coconut flakes, what could go wrong? It smelled wonderful while it was cooking, but I think I left it on a bit too long. There was 1 cm layer of burnt cake around the outside.

I did not take a picture of the monstrosity. At least the icing is good.

I cooked it directly in my slow cooker instead of in a water bath as called for in the recipe, so that probably had something to do with how it came out. I'll try one of the other cake recipes and see if I can improve upon my method. Regardless, the cake itself was a bit flavorless and needed the icing to taste good.

Tofu Stir-Fry

Last night I wanted to make BBQ Seitan from Fatfree Vegan, but when I went to make it, I did not have enough wheat gluten. I decided to try to make it with what I had (1/4 cup vital wheat gluten) and baked it, but it came out so so badly. Thinking quickly, I decided to make stir-fry.





Ingredients:
tofu, pressed and drained (I cut them into triangles)
marinade sauce (chili paste, soy sauce, Better than bouillon paste, water)
vegetables (I used oyster mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and carrots)
garlic, minced
ginger, minced
soy sauce

Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté vegetables so that they all finish at the same time. First onions and carrots until soft, then broccoli, garlic, and ginger. Finally add the mushrooms. I like to sprinkle a dash of soy sauce over the vegetables at this point because it seems to make them cook faster. Remove vegetables from the pan.

In the same pan, fry the tofu until browned on both sides. Pour the marinade sauce as the tofu browns. When tofu is done, add the vegetables to the pan and stir until everything is warmed through.

Serve with rice.

My husband thought this was fantastic. It came out well for just being thrown together.

02 February 2011

Hummus Pizza!

I based my lunch today on a recipe I found in Supermarket Vegan. Every time I flipped through the cookbook, this recipe stood out to me. Who can go wrong with hummus on a pizza? I used a hot pitted salad mix from the olive bar at the grocery store.





Ingredients:

hummus (I made my own based on what I did a few days ago. If you are not making your own hummus, what are you waiting for? It is fast, cheap, and you can make it exactly how you want.)
kalamata olives, chopped (I chopped the olives in my food processor until it was chunky)
sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
rosemary
oregano
pita bread
(I used the small size, they were about the size of my hand)
olive oil

Spread a bit of olive oil over the top of the pita bread and place in the toaster oven for a minute or two under toast until the bread is warm and bendable.

Spread hummus over the top of the pita bread. Layer on the olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with dried rosemary and oregano. Place back in the toaster oven for a few minutes more until everything is warm and the exposed pita is getting crispy.





Next time, I would like to make my own pita bread, but this was a filling, fast lunch.

01 February 2011

Mini Tofu Wontons

I still have wonton wrappers left over from wontons I made several weeks ago. It is a good thing they are still good.

I made the Hot and Sour Soup again, but it did not turn out as well the second time around. The broth wasn't as flavorful. I had made mini tofu wontons to go along with dinner and at least those were tasty.





Ingredients:
Wonton wrappers
Sriracha sauce
baked tofu
shredded cabbage (I used a broccoli slaw mix)

Method:

Lay a wonton wrapper on a flat surface. Squirt a line of sriracha in the middle of the sheet and place a piece of tofu on the sauce. Cover with a bit of the cabbage. Wet all the edges of the wrapper and roll up like a burrito, turning in the sides and rolling up the middle.

Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat while rolling the wontons. Pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry the wontons until brown on all sides, turning so each side is cooked, about 7 minutes.

Serve with a hot and sweet dipping sauce.

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Hot and Sweet Dipping sauce

Ingredients:
Asian Chili Paste
Soy sauce
sugar
water

Method:

Put the paste in a small dipping cup and add a dash of soy sauce. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and add enough water to the consistency you desire. Mix up and serve with mini tofu wontons.


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Since the soup didn't work out, my husband made burritos, a stand by meal for us. As long as we keep tortillas and refried black beans around, I know that we will have at least one meal covered.

Beans on toast

My husband and I have been watching the TV show Lie to me. Tim Roth plays the main character and he loves beans on toast. After hearing him talk about this meal for a few episodes, I decided to add it to our breakfast menu. It was super easy and delicious.





Ingredients:
Baked beans (I used Bush's Vegetarian baked beans, but I hope to make my own in the future)
Sourdough toasted bread
Sriracha sauce

For a garnish, I added relish and cucumbers.

Method:
Heat beans in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add a couple dashes of sriracha sauce and stir to mix completely. Toast the sourdough bread.

Put bread on plate and top with beans. Eat with a fork and knife.

We ate about half the can for breakfast and took the rest with two more pieces of toast for lunch.

My husband loved this dish. I'm sure I will be making much more in the coming days.