04 January 2020

Vegan French Toast and making tempeh

I used the French Toast recipe from Power Plates by Gena Hamshaw of the Full Helping blog. The toast has a similar texture to egg based French toast by using non-dairy milk, chickpea flour, cornstarch, and nutritional yeast.

My sister bought me the cookbook for my birthday last year and I really really like the recipes in it. Hamshaw is a dietitian and creates well rounded recipes using whole food ingredients. Some of them are a bit involved, but all the recipes that I've tried have been tasty.

For Christmas, my husband bought me a book on fermenting miso, tempeh, natto, and other ferments. We also picked up a bread proofing box for keeping the ferments at the correct temperature (and proofing bread!). We started off with the tempeh recipe. I tried making tempeh in the Instant Pot a few months ago, but it never formed into the cake and I didn't try again. Using 2 cups of soybeans (and laboriously taking off the hulls), we were able to make two tempeh cakes and it is the best tempeh that I have ever had. It is nutty deliciousness and makes me want to actively eat tempeh, rather than "yeah, sure I'll have some tempeh bacon".

We've just been sauteing up slices of the first tempeh cake to taste it without much adornment. For the second one, I'll probably try the tempeh in a Gado Gado salad. When we lived in Philly we loved going to Hardena for Indonesian food and, as expected, they did fantastic things with tempeh that I now want to copy.

02 December 2019

Vegan Ramen

I used the ramen noodles from Serious Eats. It wasn't super pleasant to work with a very low hydration dough, but my pasta maker was up to the task.

For the broth:
- Better than Boullion veggie broth paste
- miso
- tahini
- tamari

- Baby bok choi, grilled
- frozen corn
- vegan "pork" from Homemade Vegan Pantry
- green onions

It was a great dish to have on the first snow day of the season and I'm excited to try making the noodles again.

08 September 2019

Mushroom Tartlets

Ingredients (for four tarts)
2 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 c oil (olive or canola)
1/4 c cold water

1 T oil or butter
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped (cremini, shiitake)
1 t dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

1 T butter or oil
1 T '00' flour
1 c veggie broth or non-dairy milk

Grated cheese - gruyere or other melty cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour and salt. Add oil and water. Mix together with a fork until it forms a dough. Let sit covered for 20 minutes.

Roll out and cut out circles big enough to cover small tart pans or use in one 8" pie dish.

Poke with fork to prevent bubbling. Bake crust for 10-12 minutes until browned. Set aside.

Heat skillet with oil over medium heat until hot. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook until water comes out and they brown. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Add flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add the liquid while whisking continually to avoid lumps. Heat on medium-high until thickened, 3 - 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add enough sauce to the mushrooms to hold it together or more if you want a saucy tart.

If desired, add cheese to mixture.

Fill baked crust with mushroom/sauce filling to nearly the top of the crust.

Bake at 375F for 10 minutes until filling is warmed through and cheese is melted.

We added the cheese to my partner's portion and while I avoid dairy, I did have to admit it was pretty tasty in there. So next time I might add some nutritional yeast to the sauce to get some of that cheesy flavor.

These are great for lunch boxes. We ate two for dinner and took the other two for lunch the next day.

07 September 2019

Vegan Indian Food

Planning out our meals

My favorite cuisine to cook lately has been Indian food. I like that it has a ton of flavor, many dishes are traditionally vegetarian, and the pressure cooker is used extensively. After stocking up on spices, rice, and lentils from the local Indian grocery store it is a relatively cheap way to eat.

The Indian cookbooks that I have now are:
Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen. This was my first Indian cookbook and it has a lot of information about ingredients that a non-Indian audience might not be familiar with. There are a good mix of recipes from across India and almost everything I have made from it has been great. I really enjoy that many of the lentil and bean recipes have instructions for both the stove top or pressure cooker. Recommended: Tikka Kathi Rolls, Baigan Patiala, Spice Cabbage Potatoes, Yellow lentils with spinach and coconut milk, kitchari, garlic fenugreek sauce

Indian Instant Pot. I picked up an Instant Pot a few years ago and it has been wonderful for Indian cooking. This cookbook does have a big section of meat recipes, but I usually use the sauces and substitute in tempeh or some frozen fake meat. The ingredient lists, especially spices, and much more simplified from the other cookbooks, but things end up pretty tasty. This is the book I go to when I want something that I can just through in the pot and go about my evening. Recommended: Butter chicken (use tempeh), dal makhani, Punjabi lobia, Chicken tikka masala (I used soy curls)

Prashad at Home. I like looking through this cookbook for inspiration and before we started buying frozen roti we used the roti recipe, but I haven't made many recipes in here. I plan to try the quick uttapam recipe that doesn't require fermentation soon.

Vibrant India. Now that I have a better sense of the cuisines around India, I find myself gravitating toward South Indian flavors - tamarind, curry leaves, coconut, fermented batters - and this book gives a lot of inspiration for that. This weekend I used the dosa batter to make uttapam and paired it with sambar, so good. Recommended: Curry leaf popcorn, any of the vegetable stir-fries.

Vegetarian Indian Cooking. I wasn't sure if I needed another Indian Instant Pot cookbook, but it looked different enough from the other one that I decided to pick it up and I'm glad that I did. I now regularly make dhokla (although I use the microwave instead of the Instant pot) and it has our favorite saag recipe. You will need a well stocked spice cabinet, but I believe it is worth it, but beware that the recipes are laid out in a weird manner and the index is really unhelpful. Recommended: Panchmel dal, saag, khaman dhokla

Dhokla with all the curry leaves! This version was made in the microwave. It keeps surprising well in the fridge for a few days and we had a piece in our lunches.

Aloo saag, panchmel dal, with frozen roti, rice, and Indian pickles

03 November 2016

New Bento Box

A few months ago, a friend suggested doing a review of my lunch boxes. I waited for a while because I wasn't super duper happy with any of them. Now I am. So in a few days you will be graced with review of the lunch boxes I have acquired over the last few years.

I picked up a new Bento Box on Etsy recently and I love it.

When I bought the bento box, I also picked up a couple of rice molds that will form rice into Kitty heads or bear heads. Look out for the bear heads soon.

I thought that 900 mL was going to be not quite enough food, but I have been eating out of this box for the last three days and I find that I eat about 1/2 to 3/4 at lunch time and the other portion around 3pm or so. It is perfect.

08 May 2016

Tofu sandwich and leftover burrito lunch

Tofu sandwich (tofu, avocado, pickles, vegan mayo, hot sauce)
Leftover New Seasons burrito (tofu, refried beans, cilantro rice, mango salsa, pico, guacamole)
fresh berries
bell pepper
dried cranberries
habanero pickles
tortilla chips

I made extra lunch so I would have enough food, unlike yesterday.

07 May 2016

Tofu Bahn Mi

Tofu Bahn mi (baked tofu, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, vegan mayo, french bread)

This was not enough food. I ate it around 10:30am and had to buy second lunch from the work cafe.

05 May 2016

Fruit, veggie, cracker lunch

Papadum crisps
dried cranberries
habanero pickles
bell pepper
sugar snap peas (not pictured)
strawberries (not pictured)

This is my favourite type of meal, lots of variety and very filling.

We have had that pumpkin since last fall when we bought all things pumpkin at Trader Joe's and it hasn't moulded yet!

04 May 2016

Spring time lunch

Peanut butter roll up
Herb crackers
Papadum crisps
dried cranberries
snap peas
bell pepper (under the peas)
apricot (under the strawberries)

Watermelon Tuna Bowl

Watermelon Tuna based on this recipe.

Served with rice, avocado, cucumber and jalapeno pickle, green onion, sesame seeds, scrambled egg.

The texture was smooth and interesting, but the "tuna" still just tasted like watermelon. It was an interesting experiment, but I don't think I will try it again.