Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fancy Hashed Brown Potatoes with (Daiya) Grilled Cheese.jpg

I am posting this well after the meal and can't remember why, but I wasn't cooking for my wife tonight. I made a simple but hearty meal of hashed brown potatoes (with mushrooms and onions) along with a grilled cheese sandwich, using Daiya vegan "cheese".

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Smoky Tempeh and Avocado on Grilled Potato-Onion Bread, Corn-off-the-Cob, Peas

We attended the Carrboro Music Festival today, one of my favorite annual events with over 150 groups scattered around the town of Carrboro, and all free. Outdoor venues were cancelled as it rained, and it became difficult with our daughter to walk to a nearby restaurant in the rain to eat, so we came home early and I aimed to put together a quick meal. I think I succeeded in something that was fast and also very good.

I picked up another half loaf of tasty potato-onion bread from Weaver Street Market just before heading home from the Festival; both my daughter and I loved the soy-free vegan Daiya grilled cheese I made on this hearty bread yesterday. My Dad had given me a few days ago a platter of jalapeno peppers he said weren't hot - but they are hot! I thought I'd integrate a bit of jalapeno by sauteeing with my main dish one pepper cut into quarters, then discarding the pepper.

Today, I started by "buttering" (with Earth Balance margarine) one side of four slices of bread and, along with the jalapeno over medium-high heat, gently browning it till the side was lightly toasted and the bread still soft. I then removed the bread slices from the heat and put into the pan about half of a package of smoke-flavored organic "fakin' bacon" strips of tempeh, along with a half dozen or so thin slices of red onion. I cooked till the tempeh browned a bit.

I spread some Dulcet Cuisine brand sweet orange chile mustard on the non-grilled side of one piece of bread, and put half of an avocado, sliced, atop the mustard. I served the tempeh and onion on top of that, then covered with the other bread to make a yummy sandwich. I served this with some peas and corn stripped off of the cob.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Arroz con Gluten de Trigo, Avocado, Grape Tomato

I had some scouting to do for a photographic job I have this coming week, and it was a bit late when we got home. I had recently picked up an interesting rice mix by a company called Nueva Cocina that one need only add browned "chicken" (I used a tub of seitan, cut into large, thin sections, maybe 2" x 1" x 3/8"), water, and wine to. It was the ticket for tonight's meal!

Arroz con Pollo ("rice with chicken") is a traditional Latin American dish and the national dish of Puerto Rico. It is rice cooked with "chicken", vegetables, herbs, and saffron. I don't know Spanish, but when I looked up online "wheat gluten", I found "gluten de trigo", so named my dish Arroz con Gluten d Trigo.

In a medium saucepan, I sauteed in a little olive oil an 8 ounce tub of seitan. Once browned, I added 2 1/4 cups of liquid - mostly water but maybe 1/4 cup of red merlot wine (the instructions suggested a white wine), along with the mix, which included Valencia style medium rice, peas, onion, garlic, bell pepper, spices, and saffron.

I brought the rice-herb-seitan mixture to a boil, then covered the pan and reduced heat to a simmer. I let it cook for about 25 minutes and knew it was done then when I removed the cover and fluffed, since the moisture was absorbed and the rice was cooked.

I served the rice with some seitan and grape tomatoes. My wife and I quite liked the rice! I'd like to try some variants, such as by integrating baby spinach and roasted garlic, and maybe even some other sauteed vegetables.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Asparagus and Pine Nut Saute with Leftover Avocado-Pesto Rice Pasta

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Punjab Eggplant, Curried Cauliflower, Stuffed Paratha

For dinner tonight, I had to rush as I was teaching and wanted to have dinner very early (at 5p or so). I used the very nice premade Punjab Eggplant from Tasty Bite that just required being boiled for a few minutes. My wife had already prepared some curried cauliflower, so I integrated that, and heated a Malaysian style stuffed paratha.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Saute with Malaysian Stuffed Cauliflower Paratha and Rice-Lentil

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crushed Chickpea Saute with Quinoa

Ever since September 11, 2001, I always feel sad each September 11th about the sad terrorism of that day. I used to attend memorial services, but after a few years, I didn't find many if any that were held locally. Here's hoping for a much more peaceful and just future.

Today, I found that my wife had soaked some dried chickpeas. I came up with the idea of crushing with a fork the chickpeas one at a time, and sauteeing with red onion and bell pepper. I did that, and served with quinoa and a salad. It was tasty.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Leftover stew and Laughing Seed dishes, Mashed Potatoes

Tonight, I made a quick but tasty dinner by primarily using leftovers. I reheated the Thai seitan dish I had made a few days back, as well as some leftovers from one of our favorite restaurants, Asheville, NC's Laughing Seed. These leftovers included some pakoras (shredded vegetables in chickpea flour that is then fried) and bourbon-pecan seitan (from their menu: "tender pecan and herb crusted seitan au jus with a bourbon-shallot pan sauce, vegan creamy potato and herb gratin, and marinated green bean almondine").

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Avocado-Pesto Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta with Tempeh

In our weekly "online farmer's market", Papa Spuds' dropoff was a bunch of basil. We had some avocados and I came up with the thought that a pesto-avocado pasta might be good. Sure enough, a google search brought up an Avocado-Pesto Pasta recipe which looked good. We didn't have walnuts or pine nuts in stock, but usually have Brazil nuts; my friend Brenda Davis years ago taught me that Brazil nuts are a great source of brain-healthy selenium, and it's good to eat one nut a day. So, I tried the recipe with Brazil nuts!

I simply put in our VitaMix blender the basil bunch, 3/4 cup or so of the Brazil nuts, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (the only kind I use), a pinch or two of salt, and between 1/8 - 1/4 cup Eat in the Raw's Parma! vegan "Parmesan cheese". I blended on low-medium (I think I set the VitaMix to "4") for 30-45 seconds till the pesto was well-blended, adding a little more oil to get it a little liquidy.

I made organic brown rice fusilli pasta by Tinkyada (; once it was done and drained, I added some avocado and tomato (I had chopped an avocado and half of a tomato into maybe 3/8" cubes) to the pan. The heat was off, but I covered the pan for a minute or so to slightly warm the tomato and avocado. Then I served the pasta and topped with the pesto. Some sauteed tempeh and salad greens completed the meal.

My wife and I loved the pasta! I would like to try a variant - I think it would be good with additional ingredients mixed in to the pasta, such as a little cubed raw onion and artichoke hearts. The VitaMix makes it so easy to on-demand make things like pesto and then easily clean up!