Friday, December 28, 2012

Dairy-Free and Vegan - Easy Cream of Mushroom Soup

Easy Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 pound of mushrooms (I used small portobellos) - cleaned and sliced
1 bulb of garlic - whole
1 head of cauliflower - cleaned, trimmed and broken in to large florets
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
I tablespoon broth paste ( I used Better than Bouillon)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Toss mushrooms with 1/4 C good olive oil, sprinkle lightly with a large pinch of salt
and place on large cookie sheet.
Oil the bulb of garlic with olive oil and place on a corner of the cookie sheet - cover with an oven proof small bowl or cup.
Place cookie sheet in oven and roast mushrooms and garlic for 20-30 minutes until the mushrooms have darkened and reabsorbed the mushrooms juices. Remove from oven.

While the mushrooms are roasting - place the potatoes in the bottom of a large pot - add water just to cover and then place the cauliflower on top. This way the potatoes boil and the cauliflower steams. Simmer over medium low heat just until the potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving the liquid, and mash the potatoes and cauliflower together and place in a large bowl.

Add 1 heaping tablespoon of broth paste to reserved potato water and mix well. Add more water if needed to equal 4 cups of broth.

Squeeze 4-6 cloves of roasted garlic from the papery skins.Place them in a blender - blend together with roughly 2 cups of the cauliflower/potato mixture, a handful of roasted mushrooms and 1 cup of the broth. Pour back in to the large pot. Continue in the manner until all of the broth, cauliflower and potatoes are used up. Reserve a couple of handfuls of the roasted mushrooms - chop these and toss them into the soup with out blending them.  Add more salt and lots of pepper, to taste. Heat gently over low heat and serve with a salad and some good bread for a hearty, warm and filling meal.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodles with Baked Hot & Sweet Tofu

So, you think you hate tofu.....well, you probably have never had savory baked tofu! Combined with spicy peanut zucchini "noodles" this makes a satisfying and refreshing meal.

Step One: Baked Tofu
Pre-heat oven to 350
Lightly oil a cookie sheet that has sides.
1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu - Drained well

Place the bock of tofu on a cutting board and cut in half.

Now slice into 1" slices and set on a kitchen towel to dry a bit.
Meanwhile, prepare the marinade by combining the following in a fairly large bowl:
4 T sesame oil
4 T olive oil
4 T tamari or soy sauce
6 T agave syrup
4 T sriracha (hot sauce)
2 T chili garlic paste
2 T finely grated ginger
Mix well and gently add the tofu. Tilt the bowl to coat the tofu well. Let this sit for about 5 minutes and tilt to coat again. Now place the marinated tofu slices on the oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the slices over. (you may need to do this one more time) Bake for a total of 40-60 minutes depending on your personal preference. Longer will be more barbequed flavor and a bit chewier. Removed from oven, cool and store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week.

Step Two: Zucchini Noodles
4 medium large zucchini - washed, dried and ends trimmed, cut in half width wise (the short way, not lengthwise)
There are 3 basic methods for making zucchini pasta;
1) a Spirooli slicer - this specialized spiral slicers make all sizes of zucchini spaghetti. Super great gadget to have once  you're sure  you love zucchini pasta.
2) a mandoline slicer with the strip shredding attachment (looks like a metal comb) - using the plastic gaurd to hold the zucchini in place,simply slide the zucchini back and forth making thin, perfect spaghetti noodles.
3) potato peeler- simply run the peeler down the zucchini and give the zucchini a quarter turn every now and then to create a fresh surface for the peeler to run on.
However you make your noodles - use all 4 zucchini and then place the resulting noodles into a colander, sprinkle very lightly with salt and let the noodles drain while your tofu finishes baking and while you make the peanut dressing. (the zucchini weeps for a bit and can make your noodles dishes runny, if you don't let the juices run off.

Step Three: Spicy Peanut Dressing
6 cloves of garlic (or more to taste) - peeled and pressed through a garlic press
8 T of creamy peanut butter
1T sesame oil
1/4 C olive oil
2 T tamari or soy sauce
4T finely grated ginger
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2T agave syrup
1T chili garlic paste

Combine well and adjust various seasonings to suit your taste - I like mine fairly spicy, so I also add some sriracha sauce.

Step Four: putting it all together!
1 bunch of fresh cilantro - washed, trimmed and chopped fine
optional - 1 bunch of green onions- cleaned, trimmed and sliced into bite sized slices.
Shake noodles in colander to remove any excess moisture. Place noodles, cilantro and green onions (if used) into a large bowl. Toss and drizzle with peanut sauce. Toss gently until well coated. Serve chilled with slices of baked tofu on the side. Enjoy!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Easy "Beefy" Seitan

This is the easiest "beefy" substitute I have come across and it comes to you from The Vegetarian Carnivore, who sadly, has decided to bid her blog adieu. Homemade seitan (pronounced say-tan) is infinitely better tasting than anything  you can purchase ready made and is in fact, quite delicious. You can use this in any recipe that calls for pieces of beef. Thank you Vegetarian Carnivore and I hope you'll reconsider and keep blogging!

Easy Beefy Seitan Yumminess
2 c water
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 T meatless beef broth powder*
1/2 c water
3/4 c vital wheat gluten
2 T meatless beef broth powder
2-3 T steak sauce
couple shakes liquid smoke

Combine the first three ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to the barest simmer. Combine the rest of the ingredients and kneed for a couple minutes. Cut the dough into four pieces and add to liquid. Cover and cook on low heat, turning the seitan occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed (about an hour).
* I did not have meatless beef broth powder so I crushed up a couple of "Better  Than Beef" boullion cubes.