Monday, February 17, 2014

Cauliflower Wings with Vegan Ranch

Forgive my use of the camera phone but the real thing seems to be on the fritz. Plus, I've got two kids now and everything is just a bit more...difficult (but oh so wonderful). For this year's Super Bowl Party, I made the ubiquitous Cauliflower Buffalo Wings. Yes, I said ubiquitous. Why? Because the actual chicken variety seems to be a bit old fashioned. Now, everyone is making these guys. Mine don't have that Frank's Red Hot look, but that's because I used Edward & Sons Organic Hot Stuff. It's got a unique and delicious taste. I also discovered that I can make ranch with the quickness. Here are my recipes.

Cauliflower Wings
1 small or 1/2 huge head of cauliflower
1 cup flour
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts onion powder
1/4 ts garlic powder
3/4 cup Edward & Sons Hot Stuff
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tb honey or agave

Prepare wings: Cut off pieces of cauliflower.
Prepare batter: Mix flour, milk, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Prepare hot sauce: Mix hot sauce, oil, and honey or agave.
Coat wings in batter and arrange on a well oiled sheet pan. I used two sheet pans.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, give or take.
Coat wings in hot sauce.

water or unsweetened almond milk
onion powder
garlic powder

Thin out the Vegenaise with water or milk until desired consistency. Sprinkle spices according to taste.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Raw Pizza

Hi there! It feels great to do a blog post again. I haven't mentioned this, but a tiny human was recently growing inside of me for 9 months. On August 22nd, that tiny human was born. It was a very successful and eventful homebirth-one in which Jason had to deliver the baby. The order in which people got here was paramedics, then in-laws, then midwife-she lives 40 minutes away. Did I mention my first was born in the car on the way to the hospital? I'm not very good at communicating how my labor is progressing. Needless to say Jason is done delivering babies. I must say though, that I couldn't have asked for a better delivery. Since this is mainly a recipe blog, I'll skip the detailed birth story, but I will share some pics of our beautiful baby Holly. As for this pizza, the pesto is quite rich with brazil nuts, and my father in law said while eating it, "I don't know how you did it, but this really tastes like pizza!" Thats as good a compliment as ever, considering how many people like pizza. I've made these into appetizers using baby portabellas as well. The idea came from a raw cooking class I went to by a lady they call Ta-Raw. Check out her recipes!
Here is her version of it at the class.

Here is my replication:

3 cups raw brazil nuts
1 bunch basil
1 Tb garlic
6 Tb olive oil
3 Tb lemon juice
1 1/2 ts salt

1 bunch green beans
4 bell peppers
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts each cayenne, cumin, and tumeric

Top with tomatoes and even some salty parm. Oh, and the "crust" is a large portabella mushroom.

Now for some non-food related pics...

Ava is happy to be a big sister

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down 2013

If you've never been to one of the Farm Sanctuaries, it's a must do for any new or veteran vegan. We've gone the past three years, and this year I thought it was especially important as Ava is very aware of our vegan lifestyle. She's always asking, "Is this vegan?" or saying things like, "Some people are vegan and some people are not." I wanted her to understand the heart of why we do it, and I know she had a blast.   If  you are the only passionate vegan in your family, bringing them here is a great idea, as the passion at Farm Sanctuary is so contagious. I had told Jason about the horrors of factory farming time and again, but it wasn't until he heard a presentation on a rescue operation of some egg-laying hens from Turlock, Ca, that he turned to me and said, "Ok, I'm done with eggs." He had already been done for a while, but the decision was now solidified. By the way, here is there famous "Tofu Egg Salad" they serve every year, along with so many other goodies. And look at the cool water bottle! 

 Here's my happy vegan kid.

After lunch is time with the animals, and I must admit, I was like "been there, done that." But once we were done and sat down to the amazing speakers, I knew why I came. What is amazing is each farm animal has a personal story that we as humans can empathize with. Here is my amazing dinner.

After dinner is a hoe down with lots of dancing which Ava loved! Timothy Pachirat, author of "Every Twelve Seconds" and one of the key speakers, danced with Ava, gave her high fives, and told her how cool it was that she was vegan. I seriously love this place!  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Macaroni Alfredo w/Zucchini Fritters

I haven't mentioned it, but I'm an ESL teacher now. Subbing for so many years has gotten me used to just showing up for work and never taking anything home. I'm proud to finally do what I went to school for, but I did have to adjust to the increased workload. Now that I'm no longer treading water and have my lesson planning down, I can finally cook for my family again! Even though Jason likes to cook, I take pride in my job in the kitchen. Tonight I made my famous Pine Nut Alfredo, but you could also use cashews. I also made these zucchini fritters, which are essentially my tofu nuggets with zucchini instead of tofu. Eggplant would also be great. Oh, and I recently found out my cholesterol is slightly elevated-pretty embarrassing for a vegan. Thats why I steamed my veggies tonight with no oil. Dr. Esselstyn would be proud (I hope)! The marinara on the zucchini is from a jar. Did I mention this is all gluten free? Here's the recipe for my Macaroni Alfredo.

Macaroni Alfredo
1 cup pine nuts
2/3 cups filtered water
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts onion powder
1/2 ts garlic powder
black pepper
1 8 oz box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta
additional 1/2 ts salt

Blend pine nuts, water, 1/2 ts salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper until creamy and smooth. I use a magic bullet. Cook pasta according to directions. Add Alfredo, and if you are like my husband and I, add the additional salt.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vegan Super Bowl Party~Buffalo Lettuce Wraps and "Chicken"&Waffles

So our superbowl party was months ago, but these "Chicken"&Waffles and Buffalo Style Lettuce Wraps have been on my mind ever since! Perhaps I delayed the post thinking I'd make them again, getting a good picture of each in perfect outside lighting, but this blog is about real life, so here you go! What was special about this party was all the yummy vegan dishes that our amazing non-vegan friends brought! I'm talking homemade hummus with homemade taro chips, fruit salad with chili powder, and marinated mushrooms. Jason and I are lucky vegans to have such positive and open minded friends. Now about these two gems. I've been fascinated with the chicken and waffle concept for quite sometime, and when I saw these mini frozen waffles I knew I had to make mini sammies. The mustard-mayo has just a touch of mustard for that sun-kissed look. As for the lettuce wraps, I heard about the "wing shortage" leading up to the superbowl, and I wanted to honor America's love of buffalo wings, just for the sake of tradition. However, these have an Asian flare to them, because that's just me. So without further ado, the recipes are...

1 recipe Tofu Nuggets
2 boxes Earth's Best Organic Mini Waffles

2 cups Vegenaise
2 Tb yellow mustard

Make the tofu nuggets as directed except slice the nuggets into squares instead of rectangular strips.
Wildwood Extra Firm Tofu in the double pack is the perfect shape and texture. Each block makes 8 perfect slices, for a total of 16 in one pack, and 32 in two.

Bake the waffles as directed. There are 32 pieces in one box, so two boxes will give you the perfect amount for 32 sammies. Its simple to cut the recipe in half for a smaller crowd!

Mix mustard and mayo. Does it get any easier?

Arrange the sammies.

Asian-Style Buffalo Lettuce Wraps
2 bunches butter lettuce
4 cups prepared white or brown rice, 2 cups dry
20 oz package Super Firm Wildwood Tofu
2 Tb white or whole wheat flour

Honey or Agave-Sriracha "Wing" Sauce
2 Tb olive oil
4 Tb lime juice
4 Tb honey or agave
2 Tb Sriracha (I use Trader Joe's)
2 ts soy sauce
1 ts salt
1 ts garlic powder
1 ts onion powder
Oil for deep frying

Mix ingredients for the wing sauce.

Dice tofu into bite sized pieces and place in a dish or container. Sprinkle the flour over the pieces and mix to coat. Heat oil on medium and wait until it's shimmering. Oil should sizzle when a piece of tofu is dropped into it. Deep fry tofu until golden brown.

Add pieces to wing sauce and mix to coat.

Arrange the lettuce cups with rice and tofu pieces.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Orange Juice Glazed Tofu

Another glazed tofu post, this one I made a long time ago but never got around to posting. The coconut milk, orange juice, soy sauce and mirin reduce down to a syrupy glaze that makes this tofu inhalable--and it must be eaten with rice! Now that I know what I do about GMOs, I'd buy an organic mirin, since the Kikkoman brand has high fructose corn syrup as one of the first ingredients. The recipe also uses a little Sriracha--I doubt its GMO free, but the good news is, OrganicVille makes one! See? There's a solution to every problem.

The recipe for this glaze is inspired by Dave's Party Potstickers on Food Network's Recipe Showdown.  I've used it several times with frozen veggie potstickers and everyone loves it.

The method is similar to my other glazed tofu, but there's a lot more glaze. Oh, and I always use fresh orange juice with oranges from farmer's market or the organic section at the grocery store. I stopped buying orange juice when I heard about flavor packets. And you could totally sub the mirin with more orange juice. Here's the recipe!

Orange Juice Glazed Tofu
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup organic mirin
2 Tb organic soy sauce
1 ts organic Sriracha
2 Tb chives
1/2 ts onion powder
1/2 ts garlic powder
1 15.5 oz Extra Firm Wild Wood Sproutofu
Olive oil for frying

Slice the tofu and press the water out using a heavy bottomed skillet and several paper towels.

Combine  the first eight ingredients. Heat the olive oil on medium heat and wait until the oil is shimmering, but not smoking. It should sizzle when the tofu hits it. Arrange the slices of tofu in the pan of hot oil and allow to sit, undisturbed, until tofu is golden underneath. Flip tofu and wait until the other side is golden underneath. When both sides are appropriately crisp, pour in the glaze and watch it sizzle. It will seem like a lot, but soon it will reduce down to the thick, dark syrup you see in the picture. Leave the heat on medium or turn it up to medium high to speed up the process. Cook until liquid is reduced.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Vegan Homemade Raviolis With Macadamia Nut Alfredo

Last night I was perfectly willing to sit on the recliner and do absolutely nothing, but Jason kept insisting on doing something fun, like make raviolis. It was thursday night, which is the one night a week Ava goes to Oma and Papa's house. So there I was, sitting on the recliner, telling Jason we could just eat leftovers, when he continued to talk about doing this fun activity. We had the semolina flour from a time we tried it out before, a bunch of veggies for the filling, macadamia nuts for the Alfredo, and a jar of red sauce. Knowing I wouldn't have to go to the store was one incentive to get started--now all I had to do was get off the recliner. 

Two hours later we were blessed with raviolis that were both fluffy and dense, filled with carrots, cauliflower, and spinach, and topped with the perfect balance of Alfredo and red sauce. Not only that, but we had a great time doing it. It was the perfect date night activity! 

Jason was in charge of the filling, and I was in charge of making the dough. Then we ran the dough through the pasta machine together, working in perfect harmony. You know you make a great team when you don't have to talk to each other--you just know what the other person wants you to do. We used the famous Vegan Pasta recipe from Vegan Dad. I would love to use whole wheat or even sprouted whole wheat flour, but Jason wanted to be a little wild so we used white flour, along with the semolina. Oh, and I doubled the recipe to make 40 circles, which made 20 raviolis. I had some leftover filling so you could even triple it.

So here's what you need to know about making dough. First, if its a little dry, add a touch more water. As you run it through the machine, there will be holes. Don't worry. Fold it once, then run it through again. You will eventually get a smooth sheet. Our method was to divide the dough into small pieces, make small sheets, then cut out small circles using something round. I used the other side of a posticker making tool like this one, but you could use the rim of a glass or ramekin. Once I got all my circles, I spooned a tablespoon of the filling onto one, placed another circle on top, then sealed the edges with a fork. 

My wonderful husband doesn't measure, but sometimes its fun to do away with the teaspoons and just shake it! Here's a rough estimate for the filling.
Veggie Filling for Ravioli
5 carrots
1 head of cauliflower
a bunch of spinach
garlic powder
onion powder
dash of cayenne
olive oil for frying

Pulse carrots and cauliflower in the food processor. Saute in olive oil until veggies are soft. Add salt and spices. Stir. 

Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add more salt and seasonings if needed.

I made the silky smooth Alfredo, so I do have exact measurements for that! 
Macadamia Nut Alfredo (Makes enough for 20 raviolis)
3/4 cups raw macadamia nuts
3/4 cups filtered water
1 Tb olive oil
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts onion powder
1/2 ts garlic powder
1-2 Tb chives

Blend in a high powered blender until smooth. Enjoy!