Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hole Grain Goodness - Homemade Bagels

There is nothing explicitly non-vegan about bagels -- the classic ingredients are flour, yeast, malt, salt and water.

The problem is the trend is to add in everything from cheese to chocolate chips and then these classic East European breads lose their vegan status.  In addition, some recipes change up the dough to add in (horrors) - eggs, milk, margarine and other ingredients to make the bagel softer.

Please check out  the homemade bagel story on my main blog, Blog Appetit, for a good hands-on discussion, great recipe and maybe even some inspiration for making your own.  I ate mine slathered with homemade blueberry bourbon spice jam (thank you Jeanne for leaving me the jar) and non-dairy cream cheese.  If there had been any leftovers, I was planning on having a salt bagel covered with hummus, sliced red onion, cucumber and tomato.  Alas, all the bagels were eaten.  Guess I'll just have to make another batch.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Much Depends on the Sauce

My husband, an eat-alongside vegan (I'll define that later), claims that much of the tastiness of my vegan cooking depends on the sauce.  He claims that if every vegan and wanna be vegan had five or so sauces in their repertoire they would eat very well.

Tonight I made a cauliflower, greens, pepper and tomato gratin with a soy white sauce (with daiya mozzarella shreds) topped with bread crumbs, paprika, nutritional yeast and smoky "bacon" tempeh.  Gary is not much into "goopy" sauces (I prefer to think of them as gooey), but he really liked the dish (as did I) - I served it with whole wheat pasta penne tossed in an olive oil, garlic and fresh pea sauce. 

I was very happy with all the combinations and I'm adding these sauce concepts to my list of "vegan sauces."

I'm sorry I made this on the fly and didn't write down what I did, but here are the basics:

Spicy Cauliflower Gratin

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Steam a head of cauliflower florets until just tender. Saute 1 chopped onion, 4 minced garlic cloves until golden, add in 1 chopped jalapeno and 1 red pepper.  Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin to taste.  Saute until peppers are softened.  Add in a couple of handfuls of chopped greens (I used a mix of mustard, turnip and collard), sauteed for a few minutes, add a cup of water and stir/steam until greens have softened, add in drained cauliflower, 2 tomatoes cut in 8ths each, Saute until cauliflower and other veggies are cooked through. 

Grease casserole dish. make white sauce following traditional recipe but substituting vegan margarine for butter and unflavored soy milk for milk.  When thickened, add about 1/2 cup non-dairy mozzarella cheese shreds.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put veggies in dish.  Pour sauce evenly over. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and paprika. (Optional, cook smoky tempeh as per package instructions, chop and sprinkle over sauce.) Bake about 20-30 minutes until slightly browned and sauce is bubbly.

Pasta with Garlic and Green Peas

Heat olive oil in deep pot, saute sliced garlic until golden, add cooked pasta, toss.  Add lightly steamed peas, toss and serve.
An eat-alongside vegan is a spouse, friend, partner or other who is not him or herself a vegan but who enjoys vegan food and is supportive of your vegan efforts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Two Potatoes, Three - Potato Soup Recipe

I made a warm, nourishing and creamy soup last night.  I used 2 potatoes in the recipe, but I think it would be better with 3. Despite using a whole jalapeno with seeds, the soup was not spicy (at least to me).

Heat 2 tbs oil, saute 1 med onion chopped; 4 chopped garlic cloves; 2 large carrots, thinly sliced; 1 large jalapeno, roughly chopped (I kept the seeds in), and one red bell pepper chopped until onions are softened.  Add 8 cups of vegetable stock (you need a full flavored stock here, do not substitute water). Bring to a simmer. Add 1 bay leaf (whole)  and 3 medium russet (Idaho) potatoes cut into large, bite-sized chunks (I didn't peel, but  you can if you want). Cover, keeping at simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are somewhat tender, add 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice (fire roasted ones would be nice if you have). Simmer, covered for another 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.  Using a blender (or better yet an immersion blender), puree about half of the mixture so it still has texture but is somewhat creamy.  Return to a simmer.  Add about 2-3 cups chopped greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip, etc). Add 1 cup unflavored, non-dairy milk. (I used soy.) Stir well and cook until greens are tender and soup has the thickness you like. Taste. Season to taste with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and or hot sauce.  Remove bay leaf before serving.