Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mexican Pizza

I am super excited about this recipe. It mimics the Taco Bell version of the mexican pizza (yes, I know, but just because one is vegan does not necessarily mean that one is healthy) and the part that is best is the flaky tortilla. I played with the idea of frying the tortillas in olive oil on the stovetop, but I do have somewhat of an affinity for my arteries, so opted instead to put them in the oven and bake them (although I did brush them with a not-so-thin layer of olive oil).

Ingredients (to serve two fat people):
olive oil
4 flour tortillas
1 12-oz. can of enchilada sauce
1 12-oz. can of vegetarian refried beans
1 cup veggie ground beef (I used Boca)
1/2 cup each of vegan cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses, grated and combined (I used Follow Your Heart)
6 scallions, chopped

Brush olive oil over tortillas and bake at 400 degrees for approximately ten minutes. They will puff up; this is fine. It is good that way. Remove from oven and dry on brown paper bags or paper towels. When the tortillas have cooled, spread them out on paper towels and assemble as such: spread beans on one tortilla, followed by veggie meat, then enchilada sauce. Place another tortilla on top of this and then place cheese, followed by enchilada sauce, then green onions. Repeat with other two tortillas. Broil in the oven until the cheese has melted as much as it will. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tofu and Greens with Spicy Peanut Noodles

It's difficult to get your leafy greens in on a consistent basis, I will admit. A lot of people are turned off by their bitter taste, or simply don't know what to do with them generally. I have found that a simple saute of greens, garlic, and onion is a good side dish, and I also enjoy them mixed in with mashed potatoes. I concocted this recipe tonight because I see no reason why greens would not be good with tofu, noodles, and a curry peanut sauce. An added bonus is that if you use rainbow chard, it will turn your tofu and noodles pink! Which is fun and exciting until you add the sauce and then it's just brown. Oh well.
2 tbl peanut oil
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small red onion, halved and sliced into thin half-moons

1 jalapeno, sliced with the majority of seeds removed

1 bunch of leafy greens (I used rainbow chard, but any green should work)

1 package of extra-firm tofu, sliced into triangles

1 lb of rice noodles

For the sauce:

1 12 oz. can of coconut milk

1/4 C natural peanut butter

1 tbl red curry paste

1 tsp chili garlic paste (or more, depending on your tolerance for heat)

2 tbl tamari or other soy sauce


Soak your noodles in very hot water on the stove for approximately 10 minutes. Strain and set aside. Heat 1 tbl of oil in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Fry the tofu until brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set on paper towels. Combine coconut milk, peanut butter, red curry paste, and chili garlic paste. Bring to a simmer and cook until ingredients are combined, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside. Heat the other tbl of oil in the skillet on medium high heat and add garlic and red onion. Stir fry for one minute, then add greens. Lower heat to medium and stir until greens are tender. Add the jalapenos and cook for five more minutes. Add tofu, noodles and sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until ingredients are well-combined. Serve hot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vegan Nachos

All right, fine. My nachos have real cheese on them. But even if I had chosen not to put cheese on them, they would still be delicious. Jeffrey loved his. It took me almost 24 hours to decide whether or not to post this, because the pictures are so blurry. I got all excited about how nice and colorful the food looked and neglected to rest the camera on the tripod or at least on the counter and instead held it in my apparently shaky hands. But despite the blur, you will see the loveliness that is vegan nachos. Clearly not a difficult recipe, but I will post it all the same just in case you want to try my version.

Tortilla chips (a lot)
Refried beans
Ground veggie meat (I used Boca Ground)
chopped olives, onions, lettuce, and tomato
Jalapenos (I forgot to chop one, but I would have used it had I remembered)
Vegan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart brand Nacho Cheese for Jeffrey's), grated
Salsa, sour cream, and guacamole

Pile chips on a plate, then sprinkle cheese on top. Microwave or put in the oven until the cheese melts, or at least is warm (although this cheese is great, it's not an awesome melter). Then plop spoonfuls of refried beans on top, followed by the veggie meat, then with the rest of the toppings in whatever order pleases you. Devour.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tempeh Sliders

To be completely honest, we really don't like tempeh except when it's done simply. I have made many a casserole, stew, and one exceptionally non-tasty dish which I will not name to save the creator's face (after all, it may be subjective) incorporating tempeh in chopped form which has just not been good. Tempeh tacos? No thank you. I want to try Vegan Dad's Perfect Tempeh Burger, because it sounds great, and I bet it is. But other than that, I will only make tempeh in one way: marinated, fried, and served on bread or a bun. Tonight, we had tempeh sliders. I got the idea from Vegan Dad's "Vegan Sliders" and used his hamburger bun recipe as well.

The tempeh is made in our traditional style, with a simple marinade of equal parts Tamari and olive oil and three large cloves of garlic, crushed or minced (kudos, Jeffrey, for your simple yet delectable marinade). The tempeh is soaked in the marinade for approximately an hour or two and then fried in a cast iron or non-stick skillet. Load up the bun with Vegenaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and red onion, and you have yourself one delicious sandwich.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Breakfast Burritos

Every vegetarian has his version of the tofu breakfast burrito. This is my version, which I make for Jeffrey on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I make myself a burrito as well, except mine is not vegan. Both are quite delicious, so I will post both recipes for your enjoyment. These burritos are made with potatoes, and I have previously employed sauteed home fries or sometimes homemade hash browns. I attempt to make everything from scratch as often as possible, but I get a little lazy on the weekend mornings. Thus, I began using french fries in the burritos. You may use whatever type and style of potato you prefer; I do not feel that any type is better than another.

Ingredients (vegan version):
2 T olive oil
1/4 of a block of extra-firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into four half inch thick strips
2 T nutritional yeast flakes
1 strip Smart Bacon
1 slice of Tofutti cheese
Potatoes (as many and whatever type you prefer)
1 large flour tortilla

Method (vegan version):
Cook your potatoes. If you are using french fries, preheat your oven and begin to bake the fries before you start anything else. If you are making fresh potatoes, cook those first and then set aside. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Spoon the nutritional yeast flakes onto a large plate or cutting board. Roll the strips of tofu in the flakes until covered. Let sit for a few minutes and then roll again. Fry the tofu in the olive oil for about five minutes on each side, until it is golden brown. Fry the strip of bacon during the last five minutes alongside the tofu. While the tofu and bacon are frying, tear the slice of cheese into small pieces and place in the middle of the tortilla. Remove the bacon from the heat and pat on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Tear into small pieces. Assemble the burrito in this way: potatoes, tofu, bacon. Make sure to place everything in the middle, covering the cheese. Fold the burrito (I am not going to tell you how to do this. Folding a burrito can be frustrating for the beginner, so if you are not adept at burrito construction, you may fold it in the way which works best for you). Serve with Cholula or salsa, and sour cream. Guacamole is good too, if you have it available.

Ingredients (omnivorous version):
2 eggs
1 slice of whatever cheese makes you happy (I use Muenster)
1 strip of Smart Bacon
Potatoes (as many and whatever type you prefer)
1 large flour tortilla

Follow the same instructions as the vegan version, however fry eggs rather than tofu and do not use olive oil.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Corn Dog Night

Corn Dog Night has been a tradition in this household for quite a while. Before Corn Dog Night, we had Taco Night. During the days of Taco Night, we invited friends over for beers, hanging out, and of course to indulge in vegan taco goodness. But, something happened during the transition from Taco Night to Corn Dog Night. Actually, a lot of things happened, some being that our friend who would always participate in Taco Night moved and we both got new jobs. How those things add up to Isolated Corn Dog Night, I know not. But I think it has to do with not wanting to share these buttery, delicious dogs. We often speak of reliving the Taco Night and having friends over for dinner on Fridays again, but alas, the greediness always wins, and Corn Dog Night is a battle between just us - wooden skewers fly, the last of the vegan ranch is snatched from the other's hand, arms are slapped until splotchy red trying to sneak that last dog from the communal plate.

Regardless, Corn Dog Night is not just about the corn dogs. It is about drinking, and dancing, and playing video games, and talking, and watching multiple episodes of Intervention on YouTube. Corn Dog Night is an experience. Maybe someday we'll get over our selfish ways and be social again. Oh, and the reci
pe is from www.randomgirl.com. We love her.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Blog Fail and Muffaletta

Tonight, I failed. Well, I failed last week, but the effects of the fail were only realized tonight. I threw away the rechargeable batteries for the camera. This probably happened because I ran out of batteries for the Swiffer a while back, and have since been using the camera batteries as a replacement. So when the batteries in the Swiffer ran out of charge, I simply assumed that they were regular, non-rechargeable batteries. And threw them away.
Regardless, I had the spirit of enterprise to purchase new batteries over the weekend and thus had batteries for the camera. Although this weekend I will be purchasing new rechargeable batteries to make up for my fail. Anyway, this is my first dinner blog. Tonight I made "Chickpea and Avocado Muffaletta" from Vegan Planet, a great cookbook that I use often, but with a few changes. Muffaletta traditionally contains sliced meats and cheeses, but this recipe omitted those and utilized a chickpea and roasted red pepper spread as well as sliced avocados to replace the carniverous ingredients. The sandwich also contains a lovely olive salad with olive oil, parsley, and garlic. Some of the bread is scooped out of the middle of the sandwich to make room for the olive mixture. Aided by Jeffrey's suggestions, I added Smart-Deli Ham and Tofutti mozzarella cheese. I also omitted three fourths of the green olives, as they do not agree with Jeffrey's palate. The end result was delicious, and solidified by Jeffrey's common after-dinner cry, "Thank you for a wonderful dinner!"