Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fingerling Potato-Kale-Carrot Saute with Vegan Apple-Sage Sausage.jpg

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Carribean Inspired Curried Coconut Seitan and Cremini with Organic White Corn-off-the-Cob

For tonight's dinner, I made something that we all loved - but then, how can you go wrong with seitan and mushrooms? I used Key West Mojo Criollo sauce and reduced-fat coconut milk, along with herbs, spices, seitan, Vidalia onion, cremini mushroom, lemon peel, grated coconut, and hot sauce.

In particular:
  1. I began sauteeing a package of seitan strips over medium-high heat
  2. After about 3 minutes when the seitan started showing a little bit of browning, I added half of a Vidalia onion, chopped into 1/4" pieces
  3. My toddler likes a little bit of spice, but to be sure, I have been toning down hot spices. I would have liked to have put a little jalapeno at this point. Instead, I added to my plate before serving some shakes from a vinegar-based hot sauce that I like
  4. After another 2 or 3 minutes, I added a half dozen cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/4"-3/8" slices (for a medium-sized mushroom, approximately quartering each mushroom)
  5. After another 3 minutes or so, the seitan was nicely browned and the mushroom was cooked down; I added about 1/2 teaspoon rosemary needles and 1/4 teaspoon lemon sage and stirred briefly
  6. Just a quarter minute or so later, I added about 1/4 cup Key West Mojo Criollo and 1/8 cup reduced-fat coconut milk, as well as a few dashes of lemon pepper, dried organic lemon peel pieces, and a little salt
  7. I cooked on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, then added 2T frozen grated coconut, a dash of turmeric, and a little bit (maybe 3T) more coconut milk
  8. Like when making risotto, I added another few T of liquid (coconut milk) a few minutes later, not letting the dish swim in coconut milk but keeping it moist, and served
Tonight, we were all going to an American Dance Festival performance and I initially thought we had less time to eat than we actually did, so I made an embarrasingly simple to the main course, Ramen noodles. I should have prepared a whole-grain rice, but the noodles were fine. I also served some roasted artichoke hearts, as well as freshly flame-roasted organic white corn with a little bit of finely diced Vidalia onion, fresh lime juice, Earth Balance margarine, and salt.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Limed Jerked Seitan Crumbles with Marinara over Brown Rice Spaghetti, Cremini Mushrooms with Port and Lemon

From the Nasher dinner on Thursday, I had some leftover limed jerked seitan "crumbles" (i.e., the small pieces of seitan leftover - still nicely textured and flavored), as well as the marinara sauce. I slowly heated the marinara and added the crumbles, letting the mixture simmer for the duration of the dinner's preparation.

I also made a simple but tasty mushroom side dish. I started sauteing over medium-high heat about a fifth of a medium yellow onion medium diced to maybe 1/2". As the onion started becoming clear (after maybe 3 minutes), I took about 8 medium sized cremini mushrooms, sliced each into quarters, and sauteed for about 4 or 5 minutes till they were starting to show some brown color.

Then I added a large basil leaf from my garden and about a dozen rosemary needles, let it cook a minute and a half or two, then added about an eighth of a cup of Port (a red wine would have been fine, too), dashes of salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a little bit (1/4 teaspoon?) of fresh lemon zest (it just takes a little bit, but adds a lovely citrus nuance), and cooked for a final minute or so to let the wine get absorbed into the mushrooms and the alcohol evaporate.

I served the sauce atop some brown rice spaghetti, with another large basil leaf from my garden on the side and a little bit of nutritional yeast on top of the sauce. A carrot and the mushrooms completed the plate.

My wife, daughter, and I all loved the meal! The seitan by itself added a nice texture that, sans the additional flavoring, would make it resemble a Bolognese sauce. But the hint of jerk and lime that was left gave it a Jamaican feel, reminding me a little of dishes we enjoy at Nine Mile, one of our favorite Asheville, NC restaurants.

The Best Frozen Pizza I've Found (American Flatbread's Vegan Harvest) with Hashed Brown Potatoes

I have noticed a brand of frozen pizza from a artisanal New England company, American Flatbread. They use wood-fired ovens and generate a tempting sounding crust, but their pizzas, till I noticed otherwise today, were not vegan. Today, I was shopping at Whole Foods Market (they had a great one-day sale on quarts of organic blueberries for $1.99! I bought a case of a dozen for about $21.50!) and found that American Flatbread now has a Vegan Harvest variety that uses Daiya vegan cheese, and picked it up.

I wanted to put a quick dinner together for my daughter and me as my wife was going to eat on her own and go to an event, while my daughter and I would be going to an outdoor film. Frozen pizza for kiddo and me sounded good to both of us.

I was quite impressed when I opened the pizza package to find the crust looked even better than I had imagined, nicely hand-shaped. The great news - when I ate the heated pizza, I loved it! This is one fabulous pizza! I added some yellow bell pepper slices, but the base "cheese"/sauce/pizza is delicious, the best frozen pizza I've found. A little hashed brown potatoes (with the stem of a portabello mushroom and roasted garlic) and broccoli completed our dinner.

By the way, my dinner at the Nasher Museum turned out great last night! We had 80+ people, I believe. I had a great staff to work with who helped produce all the menu items, and I got to spend a lot of time circulating and talking with the guests. Without exception, people were raving about the food and remarking how upscale and delicious the dishes were. My favorites were the carrot-ginger soup, the tempeh with curried noodles (the noodles turned out so good that they stole the show and left the macadamia-encrusted tempeh tasty but playing second fidde in this dish), and the chocolate baklava and organic berry "ice cream" (the texture came out so good!) topped with cacao nibs. Yay!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Almond Grain Burger with Pesto, White Carrot, Hashed Brown Potatoes

Last week when I stopped by Earth Fare, I found a frozen Almond Grain burger. I prepared it for a simple meal tonight with a little bit of homemade pesto, along with a white carrot and hashed brown potatoes.

Leftover Vimala's Tempeh with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Last Thursday after my advanced photography class, we visited "better than homemade" Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe, one of our favorite restaurants run by a wonderful woman and friend of ours, Vimala. I served today some leftover tempeh that she had prepared (the tempeh itself was locally made), as well as some roasted fingerling potatoes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mini bell peppers stuffed with cremini and tempeh

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Guest Chef Seitan and Tempeh Prep with Asparagus, Vimala's Black Chickpeas, Salad

I'm delighted that Duke University's Nasher Museum (contemporary art museum) asked me to be one of three guest chefs this summer; my vegan meal is this coming Thursday. I spent much of the afternoon working with their head chef today, including making some walnut (substituting for macadamia nut, which we'll have on Thursday) crusted blackened tempeh, carrot ginger soup, and a jerk seitan (my menu, with some corrections to be made, is available online). The seitan that they sourced didn't look great, and in fact was okay but I'd much prefer to use another product; I'm glad we tried it out today. So, I came home with some extra tempeh and seitan.

On Thursday night after my new advanced photography class that I am teaching, we went out to one of my favorite restaurants, "better than homecooking" Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe, and have some leftovers. I used the black chickpeas from that meal. I cooked some asparagus, chopped into thirds, with a little bit of olive oil, and mixed the asparagus with the tempeh and seitan. A nice, fresh salad rounded out the meal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Seitan and Green Beans with Pesto-Topped Mashed Potato and Rainbow Carrot

I had some green beans that needed to be used, so I made a simple saute with seitan and seasonings. There was some of a "rainbow" collection of (naturally, of course, and organic) white, orange, and purple carrot left, which I served atop some salad greens with sprouts. I put a dollop of homemade pesto sauce atop some mashed potatoes to complete the meal.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tempeh and Mushrooms with White and Orange Carrot in Coconut Milk

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Post-Talk Tofurky Pizza with Purple Carrot and Tater Tots

I had the privilege of being invited to give a talk on plant-based diets at a local library today in Raleigh, NC. It went great - I had a very nice audience.

After the talk, I visited Earth Fare, a NC whole foods store that I have not been to recently. It was getting late and my wife had already eaten, so I wanted to make something quickly for dinner when I got home. I found that Tofurky has a few vegan frozen pizzas, and I picked a "supreme" one up.

The pizza was good but not remarkable. I enjoyed some tater tot potatoes and a purple carrot with the meal. Earth Fare also had on clearance purple carrot juice, of which I bought several bottles.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Tummy-taming Kitcheri, Kale-Mashed Potato

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tempeh and potato with kale over rice noodles, salad with toasted hemp seeds

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Grilled Marinated Seitan with Corn, Shiitake Mushroom, and Spinach with Lemon Cucumber and Avocado