Sunday, February 28, 2010

Soja Rancheros~ Vegan Huevos Rancheros

As a child the only type of egg I would eat was hard boiled.
And looking back I think that was only because of the pretty
dyed ones at Easter. So I'd eat egg-salad (if it didn't have
celery in it) or deviled eggs... but probably because I loved
mayo as a kid. But I hate hate hated any other kind of egg.
I 'fondly' remember my Dad trying to get me to eat scrambled
eggs one night and me staunchly refusing.

My Dad was not easy going on picky eaters, so guess what I
had for breakfast... Reheated scrambled eggs. Except this time
my Dad put butter on them. Yes butter. I guess he was trying
to tell me it would taste like pasta with butter. WHAT?

I ate them while sobbing. I remember this happening a couple
times. I also remember my Mom throwing it out after my Dad
went to work. But it didn't last for too long, my Dad got the
message that eggs were not on my menu and just gave me extra
taders instead.

As a teen I suppose I developed a taste for scrambled eggs,
but only really well done- practically burnt. None of that
runny stuff. But I only felt ok eating the eggs from our
chickens. My parents have a bunch of pet chickens that
run all over the property and once in a while we'd get some
eggs. All in my pre-vegan ovo-lacto days...

In that same phase, right when I met Monkey-Man, I suddenly
discovered Huevos Rancheros. It is a mexican dish of fried
egg, tortillas, and salsa. Alot of people say cheese on it
isn't traditional, but every where I had it, it was served
with cheese. Some say to cook the salsa before you put it
on, but honestly. What is better than fresh Salsa?
Also, I've had it with refried beans, which I'd like to try
in layers, but I wanted to get the basics down first.

Recently we got a bunch of Follow My Heart Cheese on sale
at Sprouts (seriously like $3, we stocked up!). So with
the spicey nacho cheese, I knew it was coming.

Now I won't give you the recipe now because I want to
work on adding a gooey yoke to this tofu egg, but an easy
replication is just frying some slabs of tofu in earthbalance
and salt and pepper.


I'm working on it, but I'll be darned if it doesn't taste just
like an egg. This was made by blending and adding some seasonings,
but you'll still have to wait.


Whoa! Monkey-man went a little over the top with the cheese.
All this is piled on his hand made corn tortillas, just Masa,
water and salt.

You do a quick flip with the cheese on top so it melts all over
your 'egg' and tortilla. But don't leave it for more than a few
seconds or it will burn really fast.


Then just top with fresh or cooked salsa and enjoy~

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Posts= High Grades

Yes my friends, I have discovered a relationship with a very high
level of statistical association. Finally squeezed through midterms
and emerged triumphant. Now to just actually start my final projects
and start studying for finals. Ha. I got my midterms returned and
only have three weeks of classes left for the quarter.

I have been cooking quite a bit when I am at home, naturally.
Much of that has been experimental, so no solid recipes unless you
wanna be a tester for the book.

Here are some of the highlights since St. Valentines Day...


Monkey Man's Potato Pierogies



Creamy Fat-Free Basil Pesto


Luscious Vegan Lasagna




Bad lighting, sorry.


Back to making my 'Cutie Quiche', but this time around its all vegan.
At one point I was known for the palooza of quiche I'd make and now
it may happen again.


I love the pie pan that I finally got to use. I actually had not
made any sort of pie since my pie series and my friends had given me
a gorgeous ceramic pie dish that I had not gotten to use yet.

Maybe I'll make them a quiche to say thanks! This one was a whole
wheat crust and stuffed with broccoli and garlic.

All of these were amazing, if I do say so myself and you could taste
absolutely no difference between these and their non-compassionate
counterparts.

I have some great recipes and series coming up soon, so don't fear!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eggplant for Two

Happy St. Valentine's Day everyone!
Before I run off to have fun with a bunch of LA Vegans
I thought I'd throw a post out there!

I don't eat entirely enough Italian food. Probably because I miss
my little Italian place in Hawaii, Cafe Concerto. And ever since
Matt over at My Veggie Kitchen posted his seitan parmesan I've been
craving eggplant parmasan like there was no tomorrow.

I made some oober chunky tomato sauce with tvp to go on top
and used a vegan bleu cheese to top the eggplant... the brand
name escapes me right now. But they also have a tomato garlic
feta...

I didn't use bread crumbs, mainly because I didn't have
any old bread. But I use wheat germ for my falafel and
like how that comes out alot, so I made a wheat/flour
breading instead. The yeast adds the cheesiness and punched
out with all the seasonings.



Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

1 Eggplant, sliced in to 1/2" slices
salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons flaxmeal blended with 4 tablespoons water
1 tsp salt
and pepper to taste
olive oil

place sliced eggplant on a cookie sheet and sprinkle
generously with salt. Put another sheet on top, weighted
down with something heavy. Angle your stacking so it will
drain into your sink. The salt will draw out the bitter
liquid in the eggplant. After about 15-30 minutes remove
the eggplant and rise, blotting after.

Blend your flax and pour over the eggplant on the baking
sheet. Let it soak in. After blending the flax it will
become slimy and gooey. This worked as a good sub for
egg. Mix all the dry ingredients in a shallow pan and coat
the eggplant. The juices will start to soak through so
you can keep coating it as you heat your oil.



Grill/Fry on medium-hi until well browned and flip.
Keep in a heated oven until all are done. You may need
more dry coating as you go, depends on how much you make.

I served with al dente pasta and mah chunkah sauce and
it fulfilled all my parmesan desires!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

LA Vegan Event for COK

For those of you that may live in Los Angeles or the
surrounding area... AND you have yet to make plans
for Valentines Day...

Please check out the awesome fundraiser event that I've
been helping out with for Compassion Over Killing!




Potato Leek Soup and Rustic Garlic Bread

Thinking back, when I was a teen I ate the same thing a lot.
Had pretty much generic meals every other night and never
tried anything new. Believe it or not, I was a picky picky kid.
I guess that's why I'm so tolerant with my little brother and Mom.
Because I was just like them.

I'm not sure if its the influence that veganism has had on my life or
the wonderful support I've had from my boyfriend, but with the
exception of snacks and some breakfasts I rarely if ever eat the same
thing twice in one month. Unless its seriously on of our all time
favorites like chili-cheeze taters or curry.

And I've been on a major cooking crazy. Monkey-man swings off
to work and I make dinner for when he comes back. What a good
little domestic witch I am! (ha) I think its really the excitement of
surprising him with something new that we haven't eaten together
before.

Now, with my organic delivery I've been getting bushels of leeks
and we've been throwing them into all the soups, stews and
stir-frys right along with the onions but I haven't made him potato
leek soup before. I've been dying to try my friends recipe which
sounds amazing, but I've get to have both leeks and apple cider
in my fridge at the same time. I will someday!!!




Basic-basic-basic Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients (for two)

1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large leeks, halved and sliced
2 med-large potatoes, chopped (I used russets w/skins)
4 cups of veg broth
salt, pepper, and rosemary or dill
1 bayleaf

Saute the onion in a little bit of water over medium heat until
translucent. Add the leek and garlic. Keep adding water if it
starts to stick. Saute for a few more minutes and then add the
potatoes. You can saute with olive oil to add a little more flavor
if you like.

Throw in the potatoes and vegetable broth, along with whatever
herb you picked and the bayleaf. I use anywhere from 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp
dried herb, but please flavor to taste.

Bring to a boil and turn down and simmer until the potato is tender.
About 20-25 minutes. Flavor with salt and pepper and using an immersion
blender, blend about 1/3 to thicken up slightly.

Pre-blended


After blending...




I'm not sure why I thought this was going to be rustic
but sure enough didn't come out like it.



Don't get me wrong, it was delicious and fresh, warm bread is
always welcome. But I wish I had added more garlic. I put in
about 6 whole cloves halved when I could have put in twice that much.


And this should have really been fermented overnight, but hey.
It served its tasty purpose.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Baking for Haiti: Brownies and Croissant

I waited almost too long to post this... but nearly two
weeks ago I whipped up a storm in the oven for a vegan
bake sale that was going down at Locali in LA to raise
money for Doctors Without Borders' relief efforts in
Haiti.

I haven't been posting until now because its midterms
for those of us on a quarter system. Grad midterms, ouch.
Thats all I've got to say.

But I originally signed up to make a couple versions of
brownies. I was already studying so I grabbed a couple
recipes that I knew I could depend on.

Naturally I picked Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's brownie
recipe from the Joy of Vegan Baking. All I can really
say about these is that... honestly... the are epitome
of what a brownie is.



Fudgy and packed with chocolate chips.
I also tried Alicia Silverstone's Coffee Brownies
from the Kind Diet. It calls for brown rice flour, so
it comes out like chocolate mochi cake that is really
popular in Hawaii. Its topped with a nice frosting
made with chocolate chips and earth balance. The coffee
taste is really subtle and slightly smoking. They were
good but better if you just want some mochi, not really
too brownie like to me.



I was going to make a batch of my sunbutter brownies,
but sadly I ran out of sugar. So I just stuck with the
real project that I was focusing on....



About a month ago I had a friend ask me to veganize croissants.
It took some planning and a lot of tweaking, but SHAZAM!







'Buttery', Flaky, beautiful layers!
They came out of the oven just as we were leaving,
so perfect timing. But they are horribly time consuming,
so you have to plan ahead.















From all these amazing goodies we picked a root bear
float cupcake and a green tea cupcake. Both pretty
awesome. I'm not really cake person, but they were
num. Especially for such a good cause!