Friday, December 10, 2010

Breads, Cookies, and More!

I made a family favorite recipe - Chicken Divan - into a vegan meal a few months back and though it was yummy, it really didn't resemble the original. I decided to try again. This time, it was much closer to the original and very tasty. It is very similar to the way I made it last time but I used Gardein Crispy Tender instead of the Scallopini and instead of add it to the broccoli and sauce, I cooked it separately and topped the broccoli/sauce with the tenders when I plated the meal, preventing the "chicken" from getting soggy. Very yummy!

"Chicken" Divan Revamped
(this makes a small casserole dish - if you are having company, I would suggest doubling the recipe)
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup flour (plus more if sauce isn't thick enough - should be a thick white sauce)
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
4 t faux chicken boullion
2 t curry powder
3/4 cup Veganaise
1 package Gardein Crispy Tenders
3 cups blanched broccoli spears
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 T vegan butter
1/2 t salt
1 t curry powder
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour to form paste. Slowly whisk in the milk, being careful not to let lumps form. Stir until smooth and bubbly. Add boullion and curry powder, stirring to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in Veganaise. Set aside. Place Crispy Tenders on a baking sheet and cook according to package instructions. Remove from oven and cut into bite-sized pieces. Coat 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Cover bottom of dish with broccoli. Pour sauce evenly over broccoli. Melt remaining butter. Add bread crumbs, salt and curry powder. Sprinkle mixture over casserole. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 min or until casserole is lightly browned and bubbly. Sprinkle Crispy Tenders over cooked casserole. Serve over rice.

In a word, delicious! Fabulously creamy and full of zesty lemon flavor. The recipe called for fusilli and green beans but I used what I had which happened to be penne and broccolini! A certain make-again!

Penne with Potatoes, Broccolini and Lemon Basil Creme (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
1 lb white potatoes, peeled and diced
12 oz broccolini, cut into 3rds
12 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup water
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T olive oil
zest from 1 lemon
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t dried basil
1/2 t oinion powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk

Steam potatoes for about 5-7 min or until tender. Add broccolini and steam additional 3-5 min or until broccolini is just tender but still bright green. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package insructions. Use food processor to grind cashews to fine powder. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta and veggies) and blend until smooth. Pour sauce into pan and heat thoroughly - about 7 min. Add pasta and veggies to sauce and stir to coat evenly. Serve.

These little morsels are a family favorite - growing up, it was not Christmas at our house without Meltaways! I decided to try a vegan version this year and they were a great success! Taste just like the originals!

1/2 cup vegan butter (I used soy-free Earth Balance)
1 cup sifted flour
3 T powdered sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
additional powdered sugar for rolling cookies in

Cream butter and sugar together. Add flour and mix until crumbly mixture forms. Add nuts and stir to fully incorporate. Chill for at least an hour. Remove from fridge and roll Tablespoons of dough into balls. Place on cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until lightly browned. Cool 5 min. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Let sit 5 more minutes and roll in sugar again. Enjoy!

I have been making all my own bread recently and have been enjoying freshly baked bread almost daily! I used to make this recipe years ago - it's from a cookbook called 1000 Classic Recipes (not a vegan book). This recipe happened to be vegan so I didn't have to do any improvising! These loaves are delightfully crusty on the outside and delightfully soft on the inside.

French Bread
1 T active dry yeast
2 cups lukwarm water
4 cups flour
1 T salt

Dissolve yeast in water. Add salt. Slowly add flour, stirring after each addition. Use dough hook on mixer or knead by hand for 5 min. Shape into a ball, grease the top and let rise until doubled in size - about 2 hours. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into long loaf and place on greased baking sheet. Let rise additional 5 min. Score tops of loaves diagonally. Place a pan of boiling water on the bottom oven shelf. Bake loaves at 400 degrees for about 40 min or until crusty and golden.

I like the flavor of a pizza crust recipe I use and decided to use it for rolls. They turned out great!

Crusty Rolls
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 t sugar
1 1/4 t salt
2 T olive oil
3 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 t instant yeast

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water. When yeast is dissolved, add sugar, salt, baking powder and oil. Slowly add flour, using a mixer to incorporate. Use a dough hook to knead about 5 min. Cover with damp towel and let rise 45 min. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough and form into a ball and place onto greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 400 for 7-10 min or until lightly browned.
Tempeh takes some getting used to and I am still not entirely sure how much I really like it. This dish turned out pretty yummy with lots of creamy curry flavor. My hubby quite liked it - he is not such a big fan of tempeh but he enjoyed this.

Curried Chikenless Salad Wraps (adapted from Vegan Planet)
1 12oz package tempeh, poached and cooled, crumbled
2 t minced dried onions
3/4 cup vegan mayo
1 T chutney
2 t curry powder
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Pita or flatbread

Combine all ingredients except bread. Stuff into pita or flatbread and serve.

A Martha Stewart recipe transformed to fit the vegan lifestyle! These cookies call for sour cherries too but I never have those on hand. Don't have to say a whole lot about chocolate chip studded chocolate cookies! Yum!

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/4 cups canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
egg substitute for 2 eggs
1/4 t vanilla
12 oz vegan semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, cream oil and sugars until creamy. Add egg substitute and vanilla. Add flour mixture to wet mixture. Mix lightly. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough on prepared sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 min.

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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.