Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Feast!!

Helllooo All!!

It's been awhile since I've posted.  I've been busy with the holidays and having my sister in town (and a little bit of laziness on my part).  I hope you all had a FABULOUS holiday and are doing something fun for New Years!  I am happy to report that Christmas was a success!!  Starting with breakfast I made french toast which you can see my previous post with the recipe here.  I ended up not making the pancakes because it was already almost 11 and we needed to get the main meal started.  I have to say everyone LOVVVEEDD the french toast!!  It was hard to get photos because it was gone so fast.  No one even sat down to eat, just ate them off the platter as soon as I put a new piece down.  =) 

Now onto dinner...well more like lunch, or lunner??  I have to admit that getting all of the dishes ready on time in one kitchen was a bit of a challenge and a little stressful but it all worked out.  Especially with the help of my sisters and mom.  They were a big help with everything!  I started cooking the day before.  I made the dough for the braid bread, cooked the cornbread for the dressing, and made the artichoke and red pepper dip (except baking)  and chopped all of the veggies.  I thought that would give me a leg up but we were still running around all morning.  I started with the stuffing because I knew that would take the longest.  It's the same recipe I used for Thanksgiving and you can fine it here and the cornbread dressing which I've used before here.  It's pretty easy to make especially if you make the bread and chop the veggies before hand, just a matter of waiting for it to bake.  It's nice and moist with a kick of spice.  The only adjustment I made was I used slap ya mama spices instead of cayenne pepper.  I like to "fluff" the cornbread because I think it looks more presentable but I think we were distracted so this will do.  =)

Next was the Swiss Chard Gratin.  I found the recipe on a blog here.  I followed the recipe to the T and used the vegan Bechamel sauce from Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet cookbook recipes follows.  This came out great.  Everyone loved it and it had a great creamy/cheesy taste.  The swiss chard tastes a lot like spinach which was tasty!  Just a side note that I tried re heating this for left overs and didn't find it quite as tasty.  I definitely recommend making just enough to eat it all in one sitting. 

Bechamel Sauce:
1 Tablespoon corn oil
¼ grated yellow onion (I just chopped)
1 Tablespoon Dry white wine
¼ cup raw cashews (I used roasted cashews because the raw I didn't find until too late and it tasted fine)
11/2 cups soy milk
½ cup drained soft silken tofu
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the corn oil in a small skillet over medium low heat.  Add the onion and cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Do not brown, stir in the wine and set aside.
2.  Place the cashews in a blender or food processor and grind into a powder add ¾ cup of the soy milk and process until smooth.  Add the remaining ¾ cups soy milk and the tofu and process until blended.  Add the onion mixture and process until thouroughly smooth.
3.  Transfer to a medium size saucepan over low heat.  Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

I made the green beans and potatoes recipe from the other night, see my previous post here.  I also froze the gravy I made in this recipe and re-heated it which turned out great.  I made the recipe as stated.  If you aren't looking for a broth when it's done cooking I would cut way down on the broth, it's not really needed. 

The macaroni and cheese was final.  My sister really was the master of this.  She pretty much cooked the entire dish while I ran around and fetched all of the ingredients.  It was the last of the dishes we made and we were running out of time.  I have so much to learn about cooking from my sister.  Anytime I don't understand an instruction or need tips I call her and she always knows what to do.  =)  The Macroni and cheese was good, it had the perfect cheese texture and color.  It had a cheesy flavor but you could definitely tell it wasn't cheese.  Honestly I wasn't sure if I liked it or not.  I have since had it for left overs twice and its becoming my new FAV dish of the night.  I added a ton of hot sauce (Louisiana Hot Sauce is my fav) and vegan parmesan cheese and it MAKES the recipe (it was the first time trying vegan parmesan and OMG why haven't I tried all of these things sooner!, I had them on some garlic fries today delish!!).  I would double or even triple the broccoli because there wasn't enough for my taste, you barely get one piece in a plate.  It also makes a lot so if you aren't making for a lot of people I would cut down the recipe which you can fine here.  Also as a tip, after melting the butter and adding the flour to make a roux keep the remaining ingredients on hand because you will need to keep stirring the roux so it doesn't burn and it will get thick very quick so you will need to add the "liquid" ingredients pretty quickly thereafter. 

 Doesn't it look pretty!!

My mom made baked sweet potatoes which are always good with a little cinnamon and sugar.  Also our guest of the night Deb brought a yummy salad.  She was sooo sweet to make sure it was completely vegan just for me.  She even did her research!  It was full of fruits, tofu, and a yummy dressing. 

I made my braid bread and artichoke dip like from Thanksgiving (see my previous post here).  The dip was gone so fast and was such a hit I didn't even get to take a photo.  The bread was also a hit and also lack of photos.  Needless to say we were a busy bunch.  Especially if you take into consideration the fact that the family also was cooking non vegan dishes including a ham, fried rice, corn chowder, and rolls.  I didn't get to make the fried cauliflower like I had hoped but it was just impossible to think I could make everything I had planned.  I'll try to make those soon and let you know how it turns out.  I think next year I'll cut down on what I cook so I can enjoy the cooking a little more without being pulled in too many directions.  All in all everything was tasty and the omnivores loved almost all of the meals.  SUCCESS!! 

I made some gingerbread cookies for the office cookie exchange.  They were sooo yummy.  You can find the recipe here.  I tried making a frosting but it didn't taste right for the cookies so I didn't end up using it.  Honestly they don't need frosting they were good all by themself. 

I know this post is already really long but I can't help but share with you all my awesome cooking gifts I got this year!!  I can't wait to use all of them.  New knives, and they are colorful!!!

The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen, can I say Vegan genius???  I can't wait to experiment and challenge myself with this book.  

And last but not least a new apron complete with owls!!!!  Isn't my niece so cute with her little kitchen?  She's starting early.  =)

That is all for today.  Other than christmas not much cooking has been going on.  A lot of snacking before Christmas and left overs after Christmas.  Excited to get the apartment back in order and left overs cleaned out so I can start some new adventures in the kitchen again.  Until next time....

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Way Vegan's Snack

So this post is a bit pointless, but I just couldn't help myself.  I've been running around since I got off work and been snacking to hold me over and by the time I got home I didn't want to cook so I threw this together. 

What is it you ask??  Wellll that is the fun part!!  Fresh loaf of french bread from Safeway, daiya cheese (put in the microwave for a few seconds to melt), barbeque kettle brand chips and that may or may not be a pickle.  I know it looks disgusting but I'm wierd like that.  I call it The Brittany Grilled Cheese LOL!!  Don't knock it till you try it!  On a another note I bought some vegan parmesan cheese which I'm excited to try, it will be a first for me.  Christmas dinner in T minus 3 days woooohoo!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fried Green Tomato Po'Boys!

My sister requested that I blog about my christmas menu and when the fans speak I listen!!  I will have some repeats from Thanksgiving and some new dishes.  I can't wait to start cooking! 

  • French Toast smothered in cinnamon and Maple Syrup
  • Carrot Cake Pancakes
  • Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip; Must Have!
  • Swedish Cardomom (or I should say cinnamon) Braid Bread.
  • Green Beans with Potatoes.  I made this in my last post and Husband finished the WHOLE dish, no not just his serving but the WHOLE dish!, so I figured it was worth making for Christmas.  It wouldn't be Christmas without Green Beans and I wanted to change it up from Thanksgiving.  Plus this way you get your potatoes all in one dish!
  • Swiss Chard Gratin.  This is a new recipe I haven't eaten yet but I found it from another Vegan blog and it looks yummy!!  It's made with vegan cheese, b├ęchamel sauce, and bread crumbs.  Can't go wrong!
  • Spicy Cajun Cornbread Dressing.  Yes I know another repeat, but it's worth bringing back.  Plus the omnivore family loved it so I figured we wouldn't have to double up on dressing this time around
  • Vegan Mac n' Cheese!  I know I know I've tried making Mac n' Cheese before and it .was absolutely horendous!!  When I mean bad...it was BAD!! But I'm very hopeful this time around.  No tofu, and the recipe has gotten raves. So wish me luck!  Plus I'm going to try and kick it up a notch (Yes, I just quoted Emeril Lagasse) and put some breadcrumbs on the top with some chopped veggies!
  • Fried Cauliflower.  This is a little unexpected for Christmas but I really want to try it!  It's dipped in a tempura like batter with a hint of curry! Yay!\
So that is all...I know it's a lot so I might end up trimming it down a bit depending on how the day goes, and how cramped the kitchen gets.  My omnivore family will be cooking additional dishes that aren't vegan so it will be a full kitchen (and house!), but that is the fun of it!  Since this post has been void of any photos I figured I post a recipe that I made before blogging.  The pictures are not the best so bare with me!

Fried Green Tomato Po'Boy as seen in Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

I couldn't find green tomatoes so I used red ones.  Green tomatoes are obviously more firm since they aren't ripe, which means they fry a lot better then red, which fell apart when I tried to cook them, but nonetheless I've made this recipe twice and Husband loved it! 

3 Small Green Tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 Strips of vegan bacon (I used Smart Bacon)
Two 6 inch rolls. 
Vegenaise (or your fav mayo)
Romaine lettuce leaves
3/4 cup of bread crumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs, but traditional would due)
1/2 teaspoon of your fav. cajun seasonings (I used Slap ya' Mama, I didn't really measure so use as much as you'd like)
3 Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Tabasco to taste

1.  Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Combine the breadcrumbs and seasonings in a shallow bowl.  Add the tomato slices and toss gently to coat evenly.  Set aside (My tomatoes didn't coat all that well, I'm sure their is a solution to this, but haven't looked into it)
3.  Heat 1 Tabelspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  add the tempeh bacon and cook until browned on both sides.  Drain on paper towels
4.  Add the remaining olive oil to skillet.  Cook the tomato slices until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from the heat and drain on paper towels
5.  Spread the rolls with mayo, add lettuce leaf, 2 strips of bacon, arrange tomatoes on top, sprinkle with tabasco!  Serve with tabasco on the table.  Enjoy!
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Potatoes and Green Beans with Mushroom Gravy over Rice

Today was NOT my day for cooking!  I hope I got all of the screw ups out of my system so Christmas day dinner goes well.  =/  Today's post was SUPPOSE to be Mushroom Gravy over Chickpea Cutlets NOT rice, but silly me used chickpea flour instead of vital wheat gluten in the recipe which needless to say ruined it.  How did I make that mistake you ask???  Welll...I bought in bulk the last time I was at Davis Food Co-Op and I only wrote the bin # instead of the name of the item and chickpea flour and vital wheat gluten just happen to look almost exactly alike.  Sooo please learn from my mistakes and write the name of what you are buying on the tag when buying in bulk.  So as much as it makes me sick to throw away good food I guess it is better I did it today and not on Christmas, plus it's bound to happen when you are a beginner cook. 

Dinner still came out great, the mushroom gravy was delish!  It was savory and creamy!  This is definitly my new go to gravy recipe.  The recipe came from The Post Punk Kitchen which is unbeleivable.  I can't wait to pick up her cookbooks!  Go here for the recipe. The green beans and potatos were easy to make.  I didn't have fresh on hand so I used canned which still turned out fine.  I didn't expect them to have as much of a broth as they did but nonetheless they were tasty.  The meal didn't really need a gravy since their was broth left from the potatoes but I'm glad I didn't know that and cooked it anyway.  I found the potatoes and green beans recipe from a blog I found while blog surfing.  You can find it here

I'm still cleaning out the fridge (It's amazing how long one grocery trip can last two people when you really try, and get creative with odds and ends left in the fridge!).  One last grocery trip planned to pick up everything for Christmas Dinner.  As disappointed I was with tonight's meal It hasn't put a damper on my Christmas spirit!!!  I'm usually excited around the holiday's but this year even more than ever!  Rich and I got our first tree and were able to wrap presents and put them UNDER the tree which has made it more real!  Plus my sister from Texas is going to be here on Thursday and I can't WAIT too see her!!!  It will be a real Christmas this year with the whole family here.  Plus this year I'm actually cooking and I can't tell y'all how much joy it is bringing me.  I know that sounds cheesy but it's true!  It has given me a hobby that I can enjoy after work instead of sitting on my butt.  I am creating food that is edible!!!  I know that is a pretty common and easy thing for most but it means a lot to me!  Not only am I creating food but it's food that I can feel good about!  For the most part healthy and cruelty free and It makes me proud to be a vegan.  I know that not everyone shares my views but this lifestyle that I've had for the past few years just feels right.  Everything that I beleive in and stand for says this is what is right for me, and it makes me happy to live that way and share it with others!!  I can't imagine doing it any other way!  At times cooking has been overwhelming and scary but it's all a part of the fun!  I feel that the recipes I want to create are at an abundance and if I wanted to wouldn't have to duplicate a meal in my lifetime!!  This journey has been exciting and it's just the beginning.  Blog surfing and reading other's successes makes me excited to grow as a cook.  I pretty much find recipes and cook them, I can't wait until I understand food enough to create my own recipes!  I have to say thank you to all the readers out there who are following along with me!!  Being able to share my experiences makes it that much more exciting!  Well that is all for today!  I leave you with a cutie picture of BellaBoo! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup

This soup is one of my most favorite recipes!  It's nothing special but it's tasty and a great comfort food, especially on rainy nights like tonight.  I've been cooking it since I've become vegetarian and I still love it.  The ingredients I almost always have on hand.  It's my go to meal, plus it's easily adaptable with whatever veggies you have on hand.  I found the recipe online at Food.com but I can't seem to find the link so I'll type it out for you! 

2 Tablespoons of olive oil (I usually use a little less than this as I don't think that much is really necessary)
2 Onions (or Leeks) Chopped
3-4 Celery Stalks, sliced
4 Potatoes, Cubed (I keep the skins on)
2 Garlic Cloves (I increase this to about 4 because I LOVE garlic)
1 teaspoon onion powder (I usually don't have this on hand so you can skip it if you don't have it)
4-5 Cups of water
1 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 Tablespoon dried)
1 teaspoon dill (optional)
** I add some extra seasoning that I have on hand like crushed red pepper, paprika, or cajun seasonings because I think it's a little bland without
**I also like to add chopped carrots as much as you'd like

1.  Saute chopped onions and celery in oil (i include the garlic and carrots on this step) over high heat for 3-5 minutes in a large pot
2. Add potatos, Water, thyme, and basil.  Cook over medium heat until tender (this takes about 30 minutes).
3. Puree in blender or food processer until smooth, and pour back into pot ** I like to my soup a little chunky so I only blend half of the soup and keep the other half whole.  If you are short on time or gadgets you can use a potato masher.  Takes a little more work but a little mashing never hurt anyone.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over low heat for an additional 10 minutes. 
5.  I haven't tried this yet but the recipe has a variation to break 1 bunch of kale into small pieces, steam, and add to the soup in the last 10 minutes. 
6.  Serve hot with your favorite hot sauce and sliced bread!!!

The veggies being cooked!

Boiling the potates and seasonings

Ready to eat!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Veggie Burgers

I made a yummy veggie burger today at lunch and even though there isn't much "cooking" involved I felt it was worth mentioning.  I LOVE a good veggie burger.  They are easy and very versatile, when made the right way and with the right brand.  I haven't ventured to make my own yet, but one day!  Now there is a difference in types of veggies burgers. I like to classify them as a veggie burgers which is like imitation meat, and a veggie patty which is ground up grains and veggies to make a patty.  Both are great but the one I'm going to talk about today is a veggie burger.  My favorite brand is the Boca vegan original.  They are very tasty, not bland or "fake meat" tasting.  I'm pretty picky about my imitation meat.  There are plenty out there that taste just plain awful.  So if you try one you don't like don't get discouraged and try this one! 

I was out of buns so I made mine on a toasted onion bagel.  Who doesn't love a bagel sandwhich?! (As a side note theres a bagel shop down the street from me, Posh Bagel that sells a YUMMY mediterranean sandwhich with sun dried tomato paste, hummus and veggies!  If you're ever in downtown Davis you should try it)  I topped mine with veganaise (which is the best thing since sliced bread!), mustard, onions, pepperoncini's, jalapenos, and pickles!  Add a side of sun chips, and some trusty apple juice and you have an easy tasty lunch!  As far as cooking the patty I spray my pan lightly with olive oil from my misto and cook until browned on both sides (I like mine well done so it's slightly crispy on the outside).   You can easily transform this sandwhich with your favorite toppings.  Saute some mushrooms and onions for a Mushroom burger, or pineapple and teriyaki sauce for an Aloha burger (my other fav!), even top with daiya for a "cheeseburger". 

Also a great tip for BBQ's during the summer.  If you plan on going to a BBQ with omnivores take a veggie burger with you and you don't have to worry about going hungry or gorging on potato chips, which isn't always a bad thing ;).  I buy mine at Sam's Club and they come in easy prepackaged bags of 2 which also makes it easy.  It's also easy to add a veggie burger to a grill without inconveniencing your hosts.  I try and remember that not everyone knows what being a vegan means and I don't expect them to cater to me.  =) 

That's enough talking, I thought I would take you all on a tour of my dainty kitchen!! Who doesn't love a blog full of pictures!!

My kitchen table is where most of the magic happens.  Chopping, preparing and EATING the most important part!

This is where the cooking happens, and that is why I use my kitchen table.  =)

I love my kitchen island!  My wonderful bargain shopper mother got it for pennies at a garage sale!  Best deal EVER!  I was cooking spaghetti!

Another work surface.  That's my handy binder with all my fav. recipes!

Closer of my table.  ♥ my "poinsettas" for Christmas!

Cuties!!!  My fav. snack! 

It's small but I love it.  It's the perfect size for Husband and myself.  One day we'll get a big kitchen and I won't know what to do with myself!! =)

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Fried" Rice

My fridge needs to be cleared out before I start on new recipes and I was planning on eating left over chili but my stomach had other plans.  I decided to stick the chili in the freezer for another night.  I had some veggies and a few days old cooked brown rice that needed to be used before going bad, along with the left over pineapple "dressing" that I had from the pineapple rice I made a few posts ago. See here for my original blog post and here for the original recipe (where you can also find the recipe to make the dressing).  As you know the pineapple rice wasn't a big hit but the dressing was good.  So with some modifications I made the Brittany version of fried rice!  It was really tasty and refreshing, and SUPER easy!  Husband didn't like it and ended up cooking himself something non vegan, but his loss, more for ME!  =)  He isn't a big pineapple or rice fan so it was a long shot to try and please his taste buds.  I didn't measure out anything so if you would like to duplicate just use your judgement on what you like (measurements below are estimates).  Plus this recipe is easily adaptable to what you have in the fridge.  I was bummed I didn't have any water chestnuts on hand because I LOVE water chestnuts and it would have been a nice addition.  Or adding some tofu scramble to act as egg to mimick traditional fried rice.  Maybe next time!  =) *Edit* I also was thinking this would be great with quinoa too!! 

10 baby carrots sliced thin
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
less than 1/4 of a left over cucumber sliced very small
*edit* 1/2 can of green peas (I forgot this in my original post!)
about 1 cup of a few days old cooked brown rice
1/2 cup (this might be off, I honestly am not sure how much was left over) of pineapple dressing (see above link to the original recipe)


1.  Prep by slicing all of your veggies before hand.
2.  I'm trying to cut down on my oil use (which has been high since I started "cooking") so I used my handy misto and just lightly sprayed my pan with olive oil.  I added the garlic, onion and carrot to the pan and cooked until tender   

3.  Add the celery and cucumber and cooked a little longer. 

I LOVE the way veggies look while cooking, such pretty colors! 

4.  Once you have the veggies cooked to your liking add the brown rice and pineapple dressing.  Cook until warm.  Voila!  You can serve this hot or cold! *Edit*  Last night for dinner I ate it hot which was good, but for lunch today I ate it cold and it was just as tasty! 

On a side note I've been blog searching and stumbled upon this Blog that I'm soo excited to draw inspiration from!  She's a vegan cook who tries to cook with little to no fat (Bonus!), whose from the south!!  Talk about rare!  This blog has become her full time job and I think that is just wonderful!  I can't wait to try some of her recipes.  Like her Creole black eyed peas for New Years!!!  Can't wait, but first to clean out the fridge!  Stay tuned, and as always thanks for reading! 

Laissez  Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Italian Cassoulet (Chili) and Cornbread

As you all know the past few days I've prepped and cooked a chili.  We have finally had time to sit down and eat it!  As the recipe states you have to soak the beans overnight, then cook the chili the next day, refridgerate for a day then eat.  So it's a couple days process and a lot of work.  Not necessarily a hard recipe to follow just a lot of chopping and waiting for things to cook.  After cooking for a few days on this I was a little disappointed.  My first try was for lunch the first day after letting it chill in the fridge and it was just 'ok'.  It was edible but not the flavor I was expecting.  I let it sit in the fridge until today and decided to cook some cornbread with it and give it another try.  It was better than the first day and definitely good enough to eat.  Husband liked it and actually requested more tofurkey in it (which is the part that I wasnt' a huge fan of).  So all in all it was okay but not worth all the work.  This is a non-vegetarian recipe that I subbed tofurkey for italian sausage. I think I'll try my hand on a vegetarian recipe next time (one that someone has already tested and tweaked to their liking).  Also be forwarned that this makes A LOT of chili.  So be prepared to feed an army or freeze it and reheat if you plan on making.  The recipe is Here from Food.com.  

Subs/tips for recipe:  I used one package of italian tofurkey instead of sausage (It calls for 10 sausages and the package comes with 4 which I thought was plenty, of course Husband disagreed).  I used regular veggie broth.  Everything else I followed to the T.  I cooked down the veggies first then added the tofurkey.  Let it cook for a little bit longer then added the remaining ingredients.  I didn't want the tofurkey to overcook since it takes a lot less time to cook tofurkey compared to the real thing, and I knew it would be cooking for a few hours. 

Sorry about the picture, for some reason the lighting was off.  I should ask my sister to give me some tips on food photography if I'm going to be keeping up this blog!  Although I have to say my iPhone4 camera is pretty good.  All previous photos have been taken with it! =) 

Now for the cornbread, recipe Here.  It also came out good.  Isa commented on the recipe that you shouldn't use a glass dish, well...that was all I had so I chanced it.  I do think it dried out a little bit like she said would happen.  I also have a really OLD oven that doesn't distribute heat very well so the bottom was a little over done and the top just barely done, all my fault not the recipe.  Nonetheless it still was tasty especially with the chili.  It was good to crumble in the chili.  I also had a piece on the side drenched in agave nectar YUM!  Husband spread his with some vegan butter which was also good. 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I had the pleasure of having a sleep over with my nieces and nephew Friday night.  I figured I'd try one of my new breakfast recipes on them (I knew they would be honest with me).  We had a lot of fun making them together and the kids gobbled them up.  Emilio even said "These are soooo good and sweet!! How did you make them??"  If you don't know already Emilio is one of the pickiest eaters I know, so that is a true compliment coming from him.  I found the recipe Here (same place I found the French Toast recipe from a previous blog, if you haven't read it you must because they were to DIE for!).  I did make a few adjustments out of necessity.  I didn't use the grated carrots for a few reasons.  One comment on the recipe was that her pancakes wouldn't set and were just a gooey mess.  The recipe clearly states that you have to grate the carrots not shred them.  So I'm thinking she did them wrong so there was too much moisture.  I don't have a grater (I know how can I call myself a cook without a grater??) and was afraid to mess up the recipe so I figured I'd omit them for now.  I also didn't have ground ginger or allspice on hand so I just ommited those (but still used the cinnamon and nutmeg as called for in the recipe, I didn't increase the amount).  They still came out great.  Next time I'll follow the recipe and see how they come out.   Here are a few pictures (Sorry they aren't the best pictures, the kids ate them while I was cooking, and kept me pre occupied to stage a nice picture). 

Cooking and almost ready to flip **TIP:  I don't know if this is common knowledge so forgive my ignorance, but if you don't know it then it can be helpful.  When you see small bubbles on the top of the pancake that pop you know it is almost time to flip the pancake (as seen below!).  =)

Another tip, if they look like this then you will most likely need to flip them again and cook for a little longer.  The middle wasn't completely done unless they looked a little darker

The finished product!  Serve with pure maple syrup!  YUUMMM

Proof that they were Delish!  Even Bella was trying to sneak bites (okay so that's not really proof that they were good, Bella does eat rocks.  She's worth mentioning just for her cuteness!)  BTW sooo much more fun eating on the floor then on the kitchen table.  =)

I hope you try and enjoy this recipe!  Like previously stated I've nominated myself as breakfast chef for christmas morning and these just got voted for the menu.  =) 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ginger Scented Pot Stickers and Udon Noodles in Shiitake Ginger Broth

Hello Friends!!

I'm busy cooking the chili to eat for tomorrow so I figured I'd post about a recipe I made a few weeks ago that turned out great!  Blogging while cooking is a new talent I think I need to master.  I forgot about the beans cooking on the stove and the water completely OVERFLOWED all over the stove and floor.  Nice!!! Now that it's all cleaned up and beans turned to low I can finish my blog! 

I found these recipes from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson a cookbook my sister picked up for me awhile ago when I first turned Vegan.  I never really looked at it until now and am in love with it!!  There are a TON of recipes I want to try from it.  I was very excited about the pot stickers.  I LOVE pot stickers  but there aren't many vegan options out there especially when you go to restaurants.  These pot stickers were delicious!!  I'm not a huge tofu fan, I do eat it and if you cook it right it can be great but I'm picky so if you aren't a tofu fan you should still try this because it is great!  The noodles were the perfect pair to the pot stickers and really quick and easy to make.  It just requres a few ingredients and the directions were low impact so I could focus my attention on the pot stickers. 

Ginger Scented Pot Stickers

1 Cup of  Napa Cabbage
1 Cup of drained and Crumbled Extra Firm Tofu
1/4 Cup finely shredded carrots
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 Teaspoon cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 dumpling or wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
2 Tablespoon peanut oil
1 Tablespoon tamari or other soy sauce
1 Cup of water

1.  In a food processor, combine the cabbage, tofu, carrots, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, cornstarch , and salt and pepper to taste.  Process until well combined.
**On a side note, if your not familiar with tofu you will need to drain the water from the tofu and press it with a towel to remove excess moisture. 
2.  Place 1 wonton wrapper on a work surface and spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture on the lower third of the wrapper (I placed the filling more in the middle of the wrapper).  Fold the wrapper over the filling to form a triangle (if using square wrappers) or a semi circle (if using round wrapers).  Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water to seal.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fililng.
**I find it easy to wet my fingers with the water and run it on the entire perimeter of the wrapper then fold and moisten fingers some more to seal the edges.  This worked better then just wetting after the edges were together
3.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Place half the dumplings in the pan and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.  Do not crowd.
4.  Stir in half the tamari and then half the water.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover and cook until the water evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes (This step took a little longer for the water to evaporate.  I also flipped the pot stickers after they were mostly cooked on one side.)
5.  repeat with the reaminig dumplings, tamari and water.  Keep the first batch covered with a lid or aluminum foil so they stay warm and serve hot. 

The recipe says it makes 24 but I only got about 20 out of it.  Husband gobbled them up.  I even thought they were worth bringing to my parents house the next day and they all loved them.  I guess I should have mentioned from the beginning that I've only ever cooked for meat eaters.  Although I'm a vegan I don't have any family or friends who share my diet (although I've met a few Facebook friends who are!!).  So most of the recipes I make I try to make edible for those around me, and to show you can eat good food without including animal products.  Here are some photos that show a few of the steps to make the Pot Stickers.



All wrapped up, aren't they cute! 


Udon Noodle in Shiitake - Ginger Broth

8 ounces of Udon Noodles
1 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil
6 Cups basic vegetable stock
4 Ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemps removed and caps thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 Scallions, minced
2 Tablespoons tamari or other soy sauce
1 Tablespoon mellow white miso paste
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1.  Cook the Udon in a pot of boiling water until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the sesame oil and toss to coat.  Set aside
2.  Place the stock, shiitakes, ginger, scallions, and tamari in a large pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the shiitakes soften about 5 minutes.
3.  In a small bowl blend the miso with 1/4 cup of the hot broth (from the pot).  Stir into the soup and add the noodles.  Serve immediately, garnished with the parsley
Notes:  Once the miso has been added to the broth, be sure the broth does not return to a boil, as boiling will destroy the beneficial enzymes in the miso. 

I hope you enjoyed reading!! =)

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler