Sunday, November 6, 2016

MoFo Day 6: Comfort Food

Yikes I almost missed posting today between daylight savings time, 74 degree weather which on the 6th of November is nearly unheard of here, and my fathers birthday coming up tomorrow and I nearly forgot.

We had leftovers for dinner and it was simply a basic potato soup served with biscuits super tasty extremely comforting and very convenient. I don't have a recipe to share per say since I just through it together but 8 med potatoes or so 2 med onions 2 carrots 2 stalks celery pinch thyme, pepper, tablespoon or so of paprika , and no chicken soup base and enough water to cover everything by a couple inches and  then I boiled it for about 40 min.  I used House Vegan's "Perfect Fluffy Biscuit" recipe again which I linked in Mofo Day 1's post. Hers looks worlds better than mine I admit to being lazy and not dirtying a cup to make perfect uniform biscuits but they always turn out amazing so don't let my picture dissuade you from trying them!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

MoFo Day 5: Late night munchies.


Popcorn!
1/2 cup kernels.

Plus oil...

Pop pop pop pop!!!!!!!   
 Did you know that the  sudden change in pressure when water vapor is released from the corn kernel causes cavities inside the popcorn to vibrate and produce sound? 

You can season this anyway you wish! We kept it simple with nutritional yeast, salt and earth balance.

Friday, November 4, 2016

MoFo Day 4: Eating out





Truth be told we don't eat out often. First off we live in northern Michigan where most of the restaurants question whether  fish or eggs are vegan. We have a couple restaurants including the co-ops deli that has vegan offerings but they range from too expensive ----> we can make it far better at home for far less cost. Plus you always run the risk of biting into a slab of bacon on you cheese free veggie pizza, I couldn't tell you how many times this has happened to me. Which is strange because I've been kosher for more years than not and never had this issue until I used the words "vegetarian" with a dairy allergy or "Vegan" when placing the order.

Pizza woes aside one thing we do get when rushing or simply NOT wanting to cook is taco bell. My favorite is the Taco Salad: black beans in place of beef, no cheese, no sour cream, add rice, potatoes if you're feeling super hungry and red sauce.

Taco Bell even has a "How to order vegan" link on their site, which is pretty awesome if you ask me!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

MoFo Day 3: Easy Mac and Cheeze




Something we make often we are short on time or for the girls if the grown ups are keeping things spicy is Mac and Cheeze, which is why you see onion sliced up to the side of the bowl we were having indian while the kids were having our go to running late fast Mac.

Ingredients:




  • 3 Tbsp.  Oil
  • 3 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 2 c. water
  • ½ tsp. Onion and Garlic Powder more to taste if needed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 - 1/2 c Nutritional yeast
  • 1pound cooked noodles

Method:

 
  1.   In a sauce pan heat oil to medium high heat.
  2. Add to the pan stirring vigorously I highly suggest using a whisk.  This would be a good time to break out the sifter and sift the flour first. I’ve only done it this way once so I can’t say you have to but it’s not a bad idea if you want to be certain to avoid weird little clump dumplings.
  3. Fry the flour in the oil for around 3 minutes, stirring the whole time, don't allow it to get too hot, reduce heat if it starts to stick!
  4. Add water and spices/yeast and continue to stir constantly, allow the sauce to gradually thicken, and should be at desired thickness when it gets to a rolling boil.
  5. Stir in drained noodles , adjust seasoning and enjoy!!
Also good if you add chopped broccoli or corn to the noodles when they have 5 or so minutes left to cook.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mofo Day 2: Lasagna







One of my all-time favorite books is Little woman and when I was 12 the film version starring Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, Kirsten Dunst etc. came out and I was in love! To this day it is one of my favorite movies. I loved everything about it and I vowed that if I were to ever marry I would have the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth” sung at my wedding.  

In May of this year my partner of nearly 13 years and I did get married and his Aunt who is an exceptional pianist played while my friend’s oldest daughters sang and it was perfect!  One thing we (I) agonized over was the menu, you see our household is vegetarian/vegan but even the vegetarian is 90% vegan and our church is also predominantly vegan however everyone else, all of our family, most of our friends…. Are a bit scared of that word which amazes me since so many of them actually enjoy a great many vegan dishes simply not thinking of them as such.  One thing I’ve made countless times since 2013 when making this change is lasagna and even the most loud and proud meat eaters request that I make this dish, so we had it at our wedding the other main dish we served was Isa’s : Nirvana Enchilada Casserole . Without further Ado here is my lasagna recipe. I hope you enjoy it!!



We didn't take pictures of the food save for our cake at the wedding so this is an at home picture.


This is hands down our favorite lasagna, that includes the many I made before going vegan. I wasn't sure how to go about this recipe at first no meat?! omitting the pounds of cheese?! It couldn't possibly be good right?? Boy was I wrong!! 

All  ingredients are listed separately per component along with method for step:
~Red Sauce
~Noodles
~White Sauce
~Tofu Ricotta 
~Optional Vegetable
~Link to Almond Parmesan recipe

So PLEASE read the whole recipe thoroughly first! :)


For the Red Sauce:
4 Cloves of garlic
1# mushrooms 6 smaller left whole the res quartered and fine diced
2 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks(depending on blender you may need to dice fine OR cook with the onion and mushroom before blending)
1 large Vidalia, or sweet onion fine diced
splash olive oil ( you could also use water or broth to saute if you wish)
14.5oz Muir glen tomato sauce
28 oz can Muir glen ground peeled tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1-2 pinches crushed red pepper
Any extra kale or spinach from the ricotta
Optional-- 1 cup TVP re-hydrated in veg broth)

Method:
Into the blender(use high powered or alter for what you have in your home)
garlic, whole mushrooms, both carrots and the can tomato sauce blend till smooth(there should be NO chunks.

In a heavy bottomed pot sauté your onion and mushroom in oil( or alternative) until browning and gets a rich full smell. Add garlic and sauté another minute. I remove 1/2-3/4 of the cooked onion mix and add to the blender and blended till smooth this isn't necessary but my kids have issues with chunky pasta sauce and honestly it's still fairly chunky when done. 

Use a spatula and scrap out into onion/mushroom mix add the spices and can of ground tomatoes, tvp and kale. Mix well and reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-40 min stirring every so often, taste and adjust spice.

While the red sauce is cooking make your white sauce and tofu ricotta. Preheat oven to 400F When you are ready to assemble or a few min before.

Noodles: Use any type you want and follow package instructions.
 
For the white sauce :( From Isa does it but also in this video)
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons organic cornstarch(or other starch)
1/2 teaspoon salt( you can omit if you wish, I do.)
Method:
Drain soaking cashews if you have a less powerful blender soak overnight for best results you want a
nice thick heavy cream not chunky nut sadness. put into a small zip lock back in the fridge till you're
about to assemble

Tofu Ricotta :

1 lb. extra firm or firm tofu (not silken)
2 Tbsp good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp mellow miso paste
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 2 heaping spoonful’s of nutritional yeast(normal cereal spoon)
Spinach or Kale (as much as you like we use 6 uncooked cups finely sliced)
Method:
Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, nutritional
yeast and miso. Process it all up until it's pretty smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Now add in the rosemary and pulse a few more times until it's all integrated. Scrape
out into a bowl and set aside. 

Boil a small pot of water drop the ribboned kale or spinach in and cook 2-5 min
if using kale make sure to remove the larger stem. Strain and fold into the ricotta mix.


Optional:
I like to steam some carrot slices, smaller broccoli broccoli pieces and diced zucchini to add to my portion(I add it into the sauce layers I will be adding zucchini to all in the future but the broccoli and carrot was a bit intense for the more picky eaters. Feel free to add any vegetables you like here!

This makes a "half hotel pan" and a bead pan( for my dad) 1. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of your dish.
2. Single layer of lasagna noodles.
3. Take out 1/3ish of the tofu ricotta and crumble/spread it all over the noodles.
4. Layer of noodles
5 Layer of sauce and optional veggies
Continue until you layer the last of the noodles, top with red sauce and get your cashew cream, cut a small corner of the bag and pipe the cashew cream all over.  

Sprinkle the top with Vegan Parmesan Cheeze IF you wish. We make this recipe.

Now, you are almost there! Pop your lasagna into the oven for  30  minutes  covered with foil. Remove foil and bake another 15-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit about ten minutes, slice and enjoy. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

MoFo Day 1, Favorite food





Not long ago my 11 year old lamented that because I cook by taste 90% of the time she would grow up and never get to cook the meals she grew up eating. She looked so sad so we decided together that we would start a family cookbook so she helps me taste and adjusts spices while recording the ingredients.






Anyone who has spent any real time with me “in real life” knows I love soup. I would happily eat it daily even in the heat of summer; unfortunately my husband is not on the same page. In fact he eats it rather grudgingly and only on request during the gravest of illnesses.  Unfortunately for him our two daughters are team soup all the way.   

Often times I will make soup for Sabbath Pot Luck  that way I get to branch out from the limited list of ones I can make when he is eating dinner with us. Recently he requested rather out of the blue; corn chowder. I’d never made it before and being honest couldn’t tell you the last time I’d had some, perhaps when I was waiting tables at Victoria’s kitchen which seems like a life time ago (14years?). So on the 9th of October I got cracking with my first ever batch and I’ve made it 3 times since in part to be sure it would be blog worthy but largely because he actually loves it. I’ve made it Creamy and basic and once in the instant pot which was fine but a touch strange and a bit “Smokey” flavored and I’m not including that recipe here.  This soup is great but being a family of 4 there is only so much corn chowder you can eat in one month and I put a ban on it until December. Maybe I’ll make it for potluck before then? 
How ever often you chose to chowder make sure to serve it up with some  of House Vegan's oh so tasty Biscuits fresh from the oven!

When soup is on the menu he does suggest one of the following:
& Hot and Sour Soup which will be blogged later in the month.


Without Further ado Corn Chowder 2 ways :

 

Basic Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium Onions diced
  •  3 stalks of celery sliced
  • 7 cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1- 1 ½ tsp. Thyme
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper or to taste
  • 1c. diced sweet peppers color(s) of choice  
  •  2-3 large carrots  quartered and sliced
  • 2 pounds of Potatoes peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch piece
  • 5 c. water or vegetable broth
  • 1Tbsp. No chicken  soup base (if you used water not broth)
  • Pinch- ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1Tbsp Paprika
  • 1large or 2 small bay leaves
  • 1Tbsp. oil (optional)
  • 2 14.5oz cans organic sweet corn

Method:

  1. Sauté onion and celery until translucent using oil or water to prevent sticking. Add the garlic, sweet peppers, thyme and black pepper cook 1-2 min until fragrant.
  2. Stir in water and remaining and remaining ingredients apart from the corn bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it simmer 30-40 minutes.
  3. Test to make sure carrots and potatoes are fully cooked.  REMOVE bay leaf!
  4. Use the back of your spoon to mash a bit of the potatoes against the side of the pot, add corn stir and let simmer 1-2 more min, adjust seasoning if necessary and enjoy!!

Version 2- Creamy Corn Chowder:

  • 3 Tbsp.  Oil
  • 3 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 2 c. Unsweetened Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • ½ tsp. Onion and Garlic Powder(optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  After following the above basic corn chowder recipe it’s time to make the creamy white sauce for the creamy-style corn chowder.
  1.   In a separate sauce pan heat oil to medium high heat.
  2. Add to the pan stirring vigorously I highly suggest using a whisk.  This would be a good time to break out the sifter and sift the flour first. I’ve only done it this way once so I can’t say you have to but it’s not a bad idea if you want to be certain to avoid weird little clump dumplings.
  3. Fry the flour in the oil for around 3 minutes, stirring the whole time, don't allow it to get too hot, reduce heat if it starts to stick!
  4. Add Milk and continue to stir constantly, allow the sauce to gradually thicken, and should be at desired thickness when it gets to a rolling boil.
  5. With a wooden spoon slowly add the cream sauce to the pot of soup stir very well until fully incorporated and the soup thickens add additional garlic/onion powder salt or pepper now if needed.

Enjoy!!


Either way you chose  to have your chowder do yourself a favor and serve it with House Vegan's  absolutely divine :

Perfect Fluffy Biscuits