Sunday, December 5, 2010

Acorn Squash Ravioli With Herbed Butter...Homemade Crescent Rolls

I really love making pasta - more specifically raviolis. Well, I take that back. I love eating fresh pasta - so I have accepted the great deal of labor involved in making it! I found a recipe in a Family Fun magazine for Butternut Squash Ravioli and it looked delicious. I completely redid the recipe, veganizing it and using the ingredients I had on hand. So, I claim the recipe as my own now - since it is really nothing like the original! Thanks to Family Fun for the idea :-) The first bit caught me a bit by surprise - the filling was sweet - I didn't expect the squash to be quite so sweet! However, after the initial surprising flavor, I was hooked. I absolutely loved these little pasta bundles. They were a lot of work but well worth it. The herbed butter was incredibly flavorful and paired just perfectly with the sweet raviolis. Yum!

Acorn Squash Ravioli With Herbed Butter
2 cups peeled, cubed acorn squash
2 T vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup vegan parmesan
1 t coarse sea salt

2 1/2 cups flour
3 t olive oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 t fine sea salt

8 T vegan butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme and oregano picked from my sister's garden!)
4 garlic cloves minced

Heat the oven to 400. Spread the squash on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake 20-30 min or until tender. Put cooked squash into bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add cream cheese, parmesan and salt and mix well. Set aside.

For the pasta, combine flour and salt. In separate bowl, combine water and oil. Add wet to dry. Add more water if mixture does not hold together and form a tacky dough. Use a dough hook or knead on a floured surface for 5 min. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let sit for 30 min. Roll dough out on floured surface - roll as thinly as possible with out stretch dough to the point it shrinks once removed from rolling surface. Use a large biscuit cutter or drinking glass (about 2 1/2 in in diameter) and cut out rounds from the rolled dough. Set aside on a floured plate or surface. Continue until all dough is used.

Take 2 dough rounds and place about 1 T of filling onto one round. Top with a second round and pinch the edges to encase the filling. Use the tines of a fork to further seal the raviolis. A small amount of water can be used to moisten the edges before pressing together. Set aside and repeat with remaining rounds and filling.

Heat 2 large pots of water until boiling. Divide the raviolis between the 2 pans. Cook raviolis for 18 min. Removed raviolis from pots with slotted spoon and place on plates lined with paper towels to drain excess water.

While raviolis are cooking, combine butter, herbs and garlic in small saucepan. Heat until sizzling. Reduce heat and cook until garlic is lightly browned.

Place several raviolis in a large bowl and drizzle herb butter over the top.

I must admit that I love Pillsbury crescent rolls - though I have not purchased them in years due to their terrible ingredient list! I decided to search for a copycat recipe and I found one by doing a Google search. I was very pleased with these pretty little rolls. They weren't as soft and chewy as store-bought ones but they were equally yummy in my oppinion and they certainly didn't last long in my house!!

Crescent Rolls (adapted from

4 1/2 t active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar shopping list
1 ts salt
Egg substitute for 2 eggs (I used EnerG)
1/2 cup vegan butter
4 cups unbleached flour
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the sugar, salt, egg substitute, butter and half of the flour into the yeast mixture.
Add the remaining flour blending until smooth. Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and cover with a cloth dampened in warm water. (The cloth should feel wet, but not be so wet that water drips onto the dough.) Let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F.), until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough in half, rolling each half into a 12-inch circle 1/4 inch thick. Roll up each wedge beginning at the largest end. Place, point side down, on a greased baking sheet. Curve to form crescents. Cover and let rise until double, 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are a rich golden brown.

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Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.