French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

2016-05-01 - Veganom French Lentil Soup - 0002 [flickr]

It was pretty cold and rainy over the weekend – perfect soup weather, in other words. I wanted to try something a little different, but I’d pretty much exhausted the options in Vegan Italiano. Luckily I have about 90 other cookbooks stashed away in my pantry! A little browsing and I settled on the French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme from Veganomicon.

Sadly, I only had half the required French lentils, so I had sub in a cup of brown and red lentils. (I figured while I was mixing lentils, why not go all the way with a trifecta?) The cook times on the green and brown vs. red lentils are a bit different, but it’s hard to overcook red lentils; they just break down and give the soup a rich, thick consistency that I love. Green lentils have more of a peppery flavor, so perhaps the soup wasn’t quite as flavorful as it should have been. Even so, I think it worked well enough.

Plus I kind of skimped on the paprika; I’m hardly its #1 fan, but I think maybe this is one dish it shines in. Next time I think I might go with the full amount and see what happens. (Worst case, Shane gets the soup to himself and I make a quickie pita pizza!)

Isa and Terry promise that this is “the last lentil soup recipe you will ever need” – and, while it was pretty damn tasty, I’m still partial to the Red Lentil, Lemon, and Rosemary Soup from Cookin’ Up a Storm. There’s nothing quite like slurping warm rosemary and lemon from a mug.

Making Not-tella with Hazelnut Flour and a Recipe for Vegan Nutella Swirl Ice Cream!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

2015-04-20 - Hazelnut Flour - 0003 [flickr]

Behold: Hazelnut flour!
——————————

Along with a giant honking bag of red quinoa, the nice people at IFS Bulk also gave me 48 ounces of hazelnut flour to play around with! Prior to this, it didn’t even cross my mind that hazelnuts might come pre-ground, flour style, similar to almonds, cashews, and the like. But they do! And of course I used the flour to make my absolute favorite: vegan nutella!

2015-04-20 - Not-tella in Progress - 0002 [flickr]

My precious!
——————————

So far the only recipe that’s worked for me is the Not-tella from Veganomicon – which, you might recall, I rocked to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a few VeganMoFos back. Anyhow, it’s the only version I’ve tried that actually results in a readily spreadable, creamy nut butter. And while it can be a little tough on ye ole food processor, it’s 1000% worth it.

Still, I wondered if maybe swapping out the whole hazelnuts for hazelnut flour might make the process a wee bit easier? After all, it’s the whole filberts that really make my food process jump and dance and just generally send me into a panicky tailspin. Once they’re processed, things go much more smoothly from there.

And you know what? Hazelnut flour FTW!

2015-04-14 - Not-Tella - 0002 [flickr]

Ooey, gooey, and spreadable at room temp.
——————————

I made a couple of batches of Not-tella – one for ice cream, one for licking from the spoon – and each time the process was pain-free. I didn’t even have to take a break to let the motor rest. From now on it’s nutella with hazelnut flour for this girl.

(More below the fold…)

The Great CriFSMas Food Roundup, 2014 edition!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

2014-12-18 - Veganom Rumnog Pecan Cookies -0003 [flickr]

You guys, I baked so many cookies this year, I’m having trouble keeping track of them all! In addition to sending a basketful to our omni neighbors, I also mailed a giant box to my parents. They’re in the midst of a remodel, and the entire first floor of their house is pretty much unusable. Luckily my mom’s sis is conveniently located next door, so they’re been crashing at her house a lot.

(Fun story: I sent all their gifts to my aunt’s house – since they’d have to lug everything over there anyway – and Every. Single. Package. was delivered to my parents’ house instead. I.E. THE WRONG HOUSE. I expected that of USPS, but UPS? COME ON GUYS.)

Still, I thought cookies would be a nice gesture, seeing as they don’t have a kitchen of their own at the moment.

Plus we got to eat the extras our own bad selves, so bonus.

As per usual, most of the cookies were from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which I pinky swear I’ll review this year. I had a few pretty epic fails, but overall I’m happy with my progress – I get better and better at cookies every year!

 

2014-12-16 - Maple Bacon Dog Biscuits - 0007 [flickr]

2014-12-16 - Maple Bacon Dog Biscuits - 0018 [flickr]

Bacon Maple Biscuits for the dogs from Emma’s K9 Kitchen. With accidentally vegan bacon bits & lots of love! These smelled amazing when baking, but also lost their festive reddish hue. Not that the dogs much care. (The giant ones are for my mom’s big guy, Copper.)

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: Sloppy Adam Sandlers

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

null

null

Today’s featured meal may be a Tom Haverfood, but imma break with protocol and stick to non-Tom gifs for a change. Because HOLY HELL are there a ton of Haverfoods on the menu, and I want to give some of my other favorite characters a little face time. Like April and Jeremy Jamm! Just not in the same frame ’cause I adore April and would never play her like that.

So Adam Sandlers are what Tom calls sandwiches (along with sammies and sandoozles) – and what better sammie to represent Mr. Sandler than (*drumroll please*) SLOPPY JOES?!?

SLOPPY JOE, SLOP, SLOPPY JOE!”
——————————

Yeah, that’s right. You knew the Lunchlady Land jams were coming. (AGAIN.) You know me so well, mofos.

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: Happy Cauliflower Day! (Belated, but still.)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

null

Technically Cauliflower Day was yesterday, but I would have had to preempt the very first Waffle Wednesday in order to make it work, and that simply would not do! As much as I love cauliflower, sweet breakfast food trumps it every. single. time.

Also a technicality: Cauliflower Day celebrates the first AND LAST time that Leslie and Ben ate cauliflower together. Leslie did not care for it. So really, this dish should feature broccoli, pizza, ice cream, or some other food that isn’t cauliflower.

null

But wait! Stay with me here.

(More below the fold…)

Bonus Vegan MoFo: Mac-and-Cheese Monday!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Bonus Vegan MoFo - Mac & Cheese Monday (0001)

I hadn’t planned on finessing vegan mac & cheese into my alphabet theme – but when I saw that Mac-and-Cheese Monday had become an “official” theme, I just couldn’t resist! And, let’s be honest, it’s not like I need an excuse to enjoy macaroni and cheese, mkay.

This is a little different from our traditional (dare I say infamous?) recipe, with its mix of Follow Your Heart and Daiya cheeses. Shane was in the mood to experiment, so for today’s recipe he diluted a Daiya cheddar cheese sauce with vegan broth and added nutritional yeast for an extra cheesy flavor. He used the Cheezy Sauce in Veganomicon as a jumping off point – the result is kind of a mash-up of the two recipes.

It’s not quite as tasty as my old favorite, but it’s pretty close. And healthier, too: Shane calls this one Creamy Mac & Cheese Lite.

 

Creamy Mac & Cheese Lite

(Cheese sauce is modified from the “Cheezy Sauce” in Veganomicon, page 214.)

2 cups vegan vegetable or chicken broth
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mustard
8 oz (1 bag) Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
13 oz soy milk
4 oz margarine

4 cups pasta of choice (small elbows and shells work well)
3 cups water

1. Heat the vegan broth in a small saucepan, bringing it to almost boiling. Add the flour, and whisk until completely mixed.

2. In another saucepan, cook the garlic and oil for a few minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned. Mix in the broth and stir together. Add the nutritional yeast, whisking the mixture together until smooth. Heat on medium until mixture begins to bubble and thicken.

3. Stir in the mustard, lemon juice, and turmeric until completely mixed. Stir in the soy milk and margarine until mixed. Add the cheese shreds, and stir until the cheese is melted into the rest of the mix. Once fully mixed, put on simmer, stirring occasionally.

4. In a deep skillet or wide, shallow sauce pan, cook the pasta according to the directions provided on the package in three cups water. Stop when about 90% done and drain, leaving a little hot water with the pasta. (This will mostly cook down as you continue to heat the pasta.)

5. Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta, stirring well. On medium low heat, let the pasta continue to cook, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir constantly during this last step so that none of the pasta or cheese sticks to the pan. Serve warm topped with hot sauce, vegan bacon bits, or more macaroni and cheese!

 

Bonus Vegan MoFo - Mac & Cheese Monday (0007)

 
null
 

Curried Cauliflower Frittata and Roasted Green Beans

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

2013-03-01 - VB Curried Cauliflower Frittata - 0007

The pictures kind of suck (ugh I can’t wait for summer, when the daylight lasts past dinnertime!), but this Curried Cauliflower Frittata from Vegan Brunch does not. It’s reminiscent of a tofu scramble, but baked into an adorable pie shape.

If it looks a little crumbly, probably it’s because I failed to cut the cauliflower small enough. Isa says to chop it finely, but I wasn’t sure whether she meant ‘fine for a cauliflower,’ or ‘fine, period,’ so I ended up chopping it halfway in between the two. Guess I’ll have to get more zealous with the knife next time.

2013-03-01 - VB Curried Cauliflower Frittata - 0014

Served with a side of Roasted Green Beans from Veganomicon. Tasty, though I had to cook them at least twice as long as instructed to get that nice, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-buttery-on-the-inside effect.

Come to think of it, it might be time to upgrade my oven. Any volunteers?

Lemony Roasted Potatoes

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

2013-01-01 - Veganom Lemony Potatoes - 0005

 

Oh, lemons. You almost make me forget that there are two more months of winter left. ALMOST.

So this little taste of summer comes from Veganomicon. Lip-smackingly good, though I didn’t quite follow the recipe to a V. For starters, it requires a larger roasting pan than I own, so I had to cut down the number of potatoes used. (Maybe by 25%? I eyeballed it.) I meant to also reduce the amount of sauce I made, but forget at the last minute (doh!). Instead I added a little cornstarch to help thicken things up a bit. I also took the liberty of adding some kalamata olives to the mix, since they kick ass when paired with lemony things.

There’s some tomato paste (really powder; I didn’t feel like cracking open a whole can for one measly tablespoon) in there, too, which accounts for the reddish tint of the potatoes. At first glance they kind of resemble baked cinnamon apples!

After 30 minutes of baking at 375F as instructed, the potatoes were still rather tough and crispy, so I removed the cover, jacked the heat up to 400F, and popped the potatoes back into the oven. For another thirty minutes! idk if I cut the wedges too thick or what, but the potatoes required much more roasting than what’s called for in the recipe.

Either way, the result is a super-tasty and filling meal (or side, if you prefer). I meant to serve the potatoes with a fried sausage link or two – but by the time they were finally done, I was so mad with hunger that I had forgotten all about the links. Ah well, next time maybe?

Pro tip: The olives are best when added near the end of the bake time – just enough to warm them up, but not long enough that they’re reduced to a soft mash.

Catch me daddy!

Monday, November 19th, 2012


 

Having tried somewhere in the neighborhood of 31 new-to-me recipes during the course of Vegan MoFo – and having had a gloriously delicious time of it – I promised myself that I’d keep experimenting with new recipes, to the tune of at least one a week. And, just to keep myself honest, I’ll be blogging the results! (Also because, as a vegan, I’m apparently incapable of devouring a meal without first taking and sharing at least several photos of it.*)

This week, it’s the “Mac Daddy” mac & cheese from Veganomicon. I know that Vegan MoFo is over, yet I can’t help but riff off this Janis Joplin song. Pair ALL the vegan foods with groovy music!

 

2012-11-14 - Veganom Mac Daddy - 0012

 

I still heart my overly processed, Daiya and Follow Your Heart blend best, but this is definitely my new favorite noochy version. (And believe me when I say that I’ve tried quite a few!) With crumbled tofu (reminiscent of ricotta) for extra sauciness, and just a hint of thyme (genius!), this is a surprisingly rich, creamy pasta dish.

And fairly healthy: the sauce only requires a tablespoon of olive oil (two here, since the recipe is doubled) – whereas, as Isa and Terry point out, many other vegan cheese sauces require a stick of margarine. (And my sauce? Don’t even get me started on my sauce. Sooooo bad for you!) Sadists!

It’s also worth noting that I’m often suspicious of tofu, but it totally works here. It’s almost like it’s part of the sauce!

 

2012-11-14 - Veganom Mac Daddy - 0018

 

All in all, this mac-n-cheese is so moist that I might actually try adding a top layer of breadcrumbs next time around. Usually I find that breadcrumbs dry out an already-parched mac & cheese dish, especially one that’s baked. Not so with the Mac Daddy! He’s smooth, smooth like the blues.

(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Creamy Tomato Soup with Beer Cheese Bread & Blind Melon

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

 

The song: “No Rain” by Blind Melon (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Creamy Tomato Soup served with Beer Cheese Bread – recipes from Veganomicon and Vegan Junk Food, respectively

The connection: Rubber boots and rainy day soups!

 

Tomato soup and grilled (Daiya) cheese sandwiches: does a more perfect rainy day meal combo exist? I think not! THIS ONE’S FOR THE BEE GIRL! Now a woman! But you get the idea!

 

Creamy Tomato Soup from Veganomicon (0004)

 

Isa brings the soup – namely, a Creamy Tomato Soup straight from Veganomicon. This is a rich, satisfying dish that’s so creamy you could almost mistake it for dairy. (The secret? Potatoes!) With canned crush tomatoes and sundried tomatoes for double to the tomato-y goodness. Seriously, this is a soup for lovers. Tomato lovers! (Oh snap!)

Overall, this is a ridiculously easy meal to make, as soups often are. But there’s a caveat! The whole process will go a whole lot smoother if you have an immersion blender – otherwise, you have to let the soup cool, transfer it to the blender in batches, and then reheat it again. Yuck, right?

I thought I was gonna hafta go the blender route, until Shane whipped out a Thunderstick thingie that he uses to make shakes. I’d totally forgotten that we owned such a device, initially confusing it with the ($2,000!) Hulk Hogan Thunder Mixer he used (and I supposedly broke, though I remember no such thing!) back in the mid-aughts. It may or may not be an immersion blender proper; we’re still investigating. It doesn’t even have a brand name stenciled on its handle! Either way, it did the trick.

Normally I’d pair this with a toasted Daiya cheese sammie, but I decided to go a slightly different route this time: cheese bread! This recipe is from Vegan Junk Food, and I’ve been eying it since I reviewed the book way back in April. (It also doesn’t help that the husband bought some Daiya cheese wedges, ostensibly for toasted cheese, and then ate them all without telling me. Boo!)

 

Creamy Tomato Soup from Veganomicon (0027)

 

As lip-smackingly good as the soup is, it’s the bread that’s the real star of the show. Seriously, it wins all the awards! The loaf proper is just flour mixed with beer and a little bit of brown sugar. Pour it into a loaf pan, top with melted margarine mixed with nutritional yeast, and bake for 45 minutes. By no stretch of the imagination am I a master bread-maker, yet even I was able to pull it off without a hitch.

And the payoff is inversely related to the effort required. This Beer Cheese Bread? Divine. The sugar and beer add just a hint of sweetness, and the cheesy nooch topping I could eat all by its lonesome. (And I did, in crumb form. There may or may not have been some plate-licking involved, and not of the canine variety.) Even if you’re not a beer person – and I’m not – you’ll love this bread.

Pro tip: The leftover slices – assuming there are any – are crazy good topped with a pat o’ margarine, toasted, and served with homemade bruschetta. Don’t say I never did anything for ya!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

white space

Eat to the Beat: Cheater Baked Beans with Skillet Corn Bread & The Black Keys

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

 

The song: “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Cheater Baked Beans and Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon

The connection: Beans, beans, the magical fruit.

 

Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon (0018)

 

This might be the most juvenile food/song pairing of the month. Unless Adam Sandler wins just by virtue of being Adam Sandler, which is not just possible but also quite likely.

I usually stay away from beans – not because they’re not delicious (they are!), but because they make me bloat up like a mofo. (TMI Tuesday, a day early!) But these Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon? Totally worth it!

The recipe is ridiculously simple: onions, garlic, pasta sauce, molasses, spices. Cook ’em in a skillet, then add the beans and bake for an hour. So easy my 24-year-old brother could do it! (No offense to the 24-year-old dudes out there, but my brother is hella lazy and also propped up by my parents’ apron strings.

 

Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon (0008)

 

…I’m doing the TMI thing again aren’t I?)

Given how few ingredients go into this bad boy, I was surprised at how rich and flavorful the sauce turned out. SO GOOD!

I served it with the Skillet Corn Bread, also from Veganomicon. Don’t let the title fool you – you cook this bread in the oven (preferably in a cast-iron skillet, but I used a glass baking pan). And at the same temp as the baked beans – handy dandy!

 

Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon (0003)

 

The only thing I’d do differently is maybe make the baked beans a lil’ saucier the next time around. For instance, the recipe calls for a 15 ounce can of pasta sauce, but I always buy the larger 24 ounce size. I had half a mind to dump it all in, but I followed the recipe for a change. Now I have 9 ounces of pasta sauce languishing in the fridge and three leftover squares of corn bread that shall remain baked beans-less. Oh noes!

The beans are perfect on their own, but when you serve them over the corn bread, extra sauce is a must. The bread’s on the dry side, though the husband reports that it’s not nearly as dry as some of the corn bread he enjoyed growing up. Me, I don’t think I’ve ever had it before (deprived I know!), so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s super-tasty with a pat o’ margarine, too!

Oh, if only I had some No-tella left…

 

Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon (0002)

Jayne was trolling for a bite of my dinner – until I whipped out the camera for pictures.
The flash is like her Kryptonite. Ditto: wooden spoons and vacuum cleaners.
——————————

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

white space

Eat to the Beat: Not-tella & Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

 

The song: “Black Tongue” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Not-tella from Veganomicon

The connection: This vegan nutella is so addictive you’ll be sneaking it by the spoonful – and your black tongue will totally Cindy Brady you!

 

A few months ago – after downing a very expensive jar of Justin’s Hazelnut Butter in record time – I ordered a five pound bag of hazelnuts online and resolved to make my own damn vegan nutella! Using various recipes found on the interwebs, I spent a several consecutive Sunday afternoons experimenting, with little success. No matter what I did (or did not do), the nutella came out the same: thick and pasty and not at all creamy like the name brand stuff. (Not even the vegan name-brand stuff, which prides itself on not being reminiscent of cake frosting – like a certain other non-vegan brand which shall remain nameless. To which I say: what’s wrong with frosting for breakfast, hmmm?)

My spread? Un-spreadable!

And so I despaired, gave up. Decided to use my failed batches in banana ice cream – where they were slightly more edible – and call it a day. That is, until I found the recipe for Not-tella in Veganomicon. (Waaaay in the back. Further. Further. Right…there!) Though it requires some hard(er)-to-find ingredients that I had to order online – namely, hazelnut oil and liquor – I couldn’t resist. Didn’t even wanna. If anyone can perfect the art of homemade vegan nutella, I thought, Isa and Terry can.

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (1-0011)

Fresh Not-tella with Windmill cookies and Dandies. Fight you for it!
——————————

OH MY DOG, Y’ALL, THIS RECIPE IS GENIUS! Seriously, it worked like a charm. After my second failed attempt I worried that perhaps my food processor wasn’t strong enough; I came to Not-tella expecting a long day of pulsing and resting, pulsing and resting, with little hope of victory. (The authors recommend this, to help prevent overworking your machine’s motor.) Alas, I had a fresh batch of Not-tella within the hour! Rich, creamy, smooth. Oh so spreadable. Even when chilled!

I think the trick is the order in which you add all the ingredients: hazelnuts, followed by extract and the dry ingredients, and finally the soy milk powder and oil. Pulse, add, pulse, add. Crumble, crumble, milkshake.

Every other recipe I’ve seen – and tried – instruct you to process the hazelnuts until they form a thick, oily paste – at which point you toss in the rest of the ingredients all in one big jumble. (Or, worse yet, process everything all at once. The horrors!) When done in this order, I had trouble getting the oil to fully mix with the nuts (etc.) – I ended up with quite a bit of separation, and the oil that did “take” didn’t seem to add any creaminess to the final product. Even accounting for the fact that Isa and Terry’s version uses more oil (we’re talking three to six times more!), I still wasn’t able to go back and “fix” previous batches with the addition of extra oil (and not even when that oil was hazelnut instead of the less expensive vegetable).

Yup, it’s got to be the order. There’s no other explanation!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t temped to go back and retry the original recipes, to see if I can make them work based on the Not-tella – but what’s the point? This is perfection, my friends! Sweet, sugary, chocolatey, nutty perfection. It can’t get any better than this, so why try?

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (2-0083)

Caution: Your vegan nutella will get gooey in the sun! (So sunbathe away!)
——————————

Enjoy it on bread or on crackers; on graham crackers (maybe with some Dandies?) or sugar cookies. Serve with some fruit so that you can at least pretend it’s healthy. Get crazy and make a nutella and cookie butter sammie! (Just don’t drive or operate heavy machinery, mkay?) Mix in it with ice cream, or put it on top. Me, I can’t stop eating it straight outta the container. Once that spoonful leaves, there’s no chance it’ll make it further than my mouth. SO GOOD.

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (2-0027)

Gozer, making a brief cameo in order to steal my Not-tella.
(The joke’s on him, I made a quadruple batch! True story.)
Spoiler alert: We’ll see him again on Halloween!
——————————

Hmmm. I’m beginning to regret not ordering the extra value triple pack of hazelnut oil. How could I possibly use all three, I asked myself? Better just to buy one. Ugh so many regrets!

Paired with “Black Tongue” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs because that’s what you’re tongue will look like, when you’ve a batch of Not-tella in the fridge. Also, I just really really really wanted to make this for Vegan MoFo, and this was the first song to come to mind!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

white space