A vegan's adventures cooking for her meatatarian husband

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Black Friday is an annual event for me and my best friends. This year we decided to go a day early to skip some traffic and to get in some of Seattle’s amazing vegan food. Amazing doesn’t even begin.
We managed to get a last minute reservation at Cafe Flora, a Seattle veggie institution. A special four course thanksgiving meal was served with vegan and/or gluten free options were available. I went vegan along with one of the gals and the best friend did the full vegan/gluten free option.
The meal was ridiculous. The soup was savory and nicely spiced and the entree was just amazing. It literally tasted like a traditional thanksgiving feast.  We got a lovely ginger and lime sorbet as a palate cleanser and there was a nice salad as well. The desserts were also fabulous. We tired both, okay I tried both since the best friend is a good sharer.
If you are in and around Seattle, you must try this wonderful accomodating restaurant. Their brunch is awesome too. And FYI, Black Friday is insane, but we got some smoking deals, so all and all, best weekend ever.

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I am always looking for ways to get the Hubs and the Kid to eat more veggie dishes. I can (and do) eat this as a meal. The Hubs loves it as a side. The Kid will eat it when he’s in the mood. God, why are preschoolers so fickle?!

Anyways, I adapted from this recipe on Weelicious. Mine is better of course. Tee hee. You can make this in little ramekins as well and they turn out great. I was too lazy to pull them out so I just used a ceramic dish. Please make this dish. You will love it! You can also use sweet potatoes and it turns out just as fabulous. If you are saying to yourself, you can’t make souffle without eggs, you have a point. This is not a monster high fluffy as air souffle. It is however slightly sweet, almost mousse like and very high in beta carotene and other good stuff!

Vegan Carrot Souffle

  • 1 pound of carrots (steamed till soft)
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance), melted
  • 2 Eggs worth of Egg replacer (this is optional really. I have made this with and without and it pretty much turns out the same)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (coconut sugar would also work here)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (any flour will work)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend till smooth.

Pour batter into greased ramekins about 2/3 up or an 8×8 glass baking dish.

Place ramekins or baking dish into a water bath with the water half way up the ramekin or dish.

Bake for 1 hour. (You can test the center with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean)

Cool slightly (IMO this dish is best served warm), flip over the ramekins to remove the soufflé or serve from the baking dish.

Eat!

 


Isn’t it beautiful?

I love a good muffin. Okay, I love ALL carbs. So of course, the kid loves carbs too. He most certainly comes by it naturally. Kid could and would eat toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can you blame him really?

I had a couple of manky looking bananas that needed to be used stat so I decided to make some muffins. Muffins are the perfect vessel in which to hide, I mean add, okay no I mean hide, veggies. Zucchini is an easy one. I muddled together a bunch of recipes which can be a risk with baking but these little beauties were super forgiving and turned out amazing. I’m pretty sure I ate four that evening. Sigh. I need that 12 step program for carb junkies. Make them though. They were literally the perfect muffin.

Vegan Banana Zucchini Muffins

1 cup grated zucchini (leave the liquid in, helps with moisture)
2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, optional (but why leave them out?)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or use parchment liners in a 6-muffin pan.
Stir zucchini, bananas, oil, sugar, and vanilla together.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir well.
Scoop batter into muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Devour. Wait a few minutes, those chocolate chips are like tiny bits of molten lava!


yummmmmmmmm

The best friend and I took the kid to Heirloom for brunch this week. They are open everyday for brunch and we went a bit on the early side so it was pretty quiet. Best time to go with the kid of course! I got him a basic egg and whole grain baguette and he hoovered it. I got the vegan/gluten free pancakes that had bananas baked right in. It was served with a cashew creme, lavender fruit compote and maple syrup with some pom seeds. I was a bit hesitant to order this for fear it was going to be super heavy but was psyched when they arrived. Just sweet enough and fluffy! SO delicious! The best friend got the a hash that was full of quinoa, spinach pesto, spicyish red sauce, pumpkin seeds, zucchini, carrots and squash and eggs (that could be subbed for black beans) with a side salad. She loved it and I had a little taste and it was awesome.

Thanks Heirloom for another amazing meal. Never leave us. XOXO


They tasted as good as they look (n.b not very good….sigh)

So I decided to try something new that the Hubs might be into. Potato knish! A traditional Jewish gem that is basically potato and onion wrapped in a paper thin pastry and is delish! This may be one of those instances where a) I just didn’t follow the recipe very well and b) some things just can’t be veganized very well. Maybe a bit of both?

Anyways, the Hubs loved the flavour of the filling but we both agreed the dough just wasn’t good. Too doughy and too thick (my own fault no doubt).

Try it anyways and let me know if yours turn out!

Vegan Potato Knish
Taken from Here.
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon light oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons light oil
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups mashed tofu
1/4 cup parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Place a piece of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Spray a little oil on the parchment. Set aside.
Prepare 2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes.

DOUGH.
Beat together 1 cup of the mashed potatoes, the 1 tablespoons of oil and the salt. Add the flour, and baking powder, mix well.
Mix in the water and knead into a smooth dough. I used my mix master to mix this and it worked great. The dough was wonderfully soft.
Let the dough rest in a bowl covered with a damp cloth for about 1/2 hour.

FILLING.
Saute the onions in the tablespoons of oil until transparent. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. I mixed it with the mix master just until combined.
Cut the dough into 4 sections and roll each section out thin. Cut the circle into 4 more pieces and put 1-2 tablespoons of the filling in each.
Gather up the edges and join in the middle and pinch together so the filling doesn’t leak out.
Put the knish on the parchment covered baking tray with the pinched side down.
Set the oven to 350’F and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve with horseradish or mustard.


I often miss food from the “old days”. One dish that I never thought to try was French Onion Soup. Partly because I’m lazy, and partly because I tend not to be the biggest fan of imitation cheese products. I will preface that by saying that I wasn’t ever the biggest fan of actual cheese either, so it isn’t that big a surprise really. I did however, for whatever reason, enjoy a molten hot bowl of french onion soup. So I decided that I would give it a go. I found this recipe and pretty much followed the soup to the letter. The rest I improvised. Much to the delight of the Hubs. He loved the bread crouton so much he is going to make them again for a holiday party we have every year to celebrate Christmakkah. Part of that is likely due to the fact that I caved and used gruyere on his. But I LOVED the Daiya on this dish and had I known how much I was going to like it, I would have skipped the actual cheese on his and made him try the vegan version. Lesson learned.

I even had fancy little french onion soup bowls courtesy of bubbie (the kid’s bubbie, not mine of course). Thanks Bubs! Betcha thought these were long donated to the auxiliary!

I also decided that we needed a protein with this so I used Kathy Patalsky’s recipe for Cannelini bean burgers and just made them into little sliders. Minus a bun. They look like cookies, but they are actually a lovely little smoky patty. The Hubs approved! (He usually hates home made veg burgers). It was a match made in vegan heaven. Well, for me anyways.

Vegan French Onion Sou
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large white or yellow onions, sliced into thin half-moons

3 fresh thyme sprigs (about 1 tbsp), leaves stripped (or ½ tsp dried)

2 tbsp good quality aged balsamic vinegar OR 1/4 cup red wine (I used the vinegar but the Hubs said he would have preferred the wine. Noted)

6 cup  vegetable stock (no salt added)

1 bay leaf

3 tsp sea salt, divided

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Crouton:

Sliced sourdough baguette

Daiya or cheese alternative of your choice OR thinly sliced gruyere cheese

Recipe:
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, thyme, 1 tsp salt and drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the onions; lower the heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the onions caramelize and turn light golden brown, about 50-60 minutes. Add the balsamic or wine and cook until it’s absorbed and the onions are a deeper brown, about 15 more minutes. Add the stock,  bay leaf, remaining salt and pepper, then bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer at least 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Instead of baking the cheese onto the soup, put slices of  bread on a baking sheet, rub the tops with a fresh garlic clove, drizzle with a little olive oil and top with the gruyere or vegan cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes at 350º until the cheese is melted. Top each cup of soup with a slice or two of the cheesy bread and enjoy!

White Bean Burger Sliders

makes one dozen

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup bread crumbs, fine
1 can white cannellini beans, drained
dash salt
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
dash chipotle powder
dash garlic powder
dash black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Mash REALLY well.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and start hand-shaping your burgers. You should get about 12 little sliders or 4 thick burgers – depending how big you make them.

4. Lay your burgers on the parchment paper and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes – or until brown crust starts to for on the outside. Longer baking times will dry out your burger more. Turning off the oven and letting them sit for a while also works great. The Hubs liked these a lot because they were not wet inside. I let mine it in the oven after the 25 minutes of cooking for at least another 20 minutes or so.


Yup. It’s true. Crazy, but true. My hubs just doesn’t like the texture of coconut. He steers clear of macaroons, granolas and other tasty treats. But today, on a whim, I made some cookies that had a pretty good amount of unsweetened shredded coconut and he was ALL over those bad boys.

I had a hankering for some Kitchen Sink cookies and found these and thought I could adapt them. Their recipe made 3 dozen giant cookies and let’s face it, NOBODY needs to have that many cookies in their house, vegan and whole grain or not. The hubs loved these. Claimed that he couldn’t really taste the coconut. Okay, sure. Better than eating leftover Halloween candy, that’s for sure!

They were awesome. I made some changes. See my version below.

Vegan Kitchen Sink Cookies

Makes 2 dozen big-ish cookies

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¾ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)

1 ½ cup coconut (or maple) sugar

½ cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour

1 heaping tsp baking powder

1 heaping tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 cup vegan mini chocolate chips

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup chopped walnuts

Optional: ½ cup raisin, cranberries, or anything else that floats your boat!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the butter.
  3. Add sugar and cream.
  4. Add applesauce and vanilla and beat.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, powder, soda, and spices.
  6. Add to wet ingredients and beat until well mixed.
  7. Fold in the coconut, nuts, oats, chocolate chips and any other add-in until evenly distributed.
  8. Use an ice-cream scoop to scoop balls of dough for jumbo cookies, and flatten slightly. I rolled the balls slightly for a nice uniform shape.
  9. Bake on parchment lined sheets for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Let cool on sheets for at least five minutes. Cool completely on a rack.