Tag Archives: salad

Kentucky Fried Potluck

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It was a warm Sunday evening, and I had a big mess o’ buddies coming over to celebrate nothing at all.  I wanted to test out some recipes for a” super top secret” project I’m working on, and spend some quality time with good smilin’ people.  I’ll start out with what I made, and move on down the line.  The only thing missing from this potluck was some Ale-8-One!

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A lovely mixed assortment of olives for the first people arriving.  Watch me wrastle with a deep fryer and delight in some salty hors d’oeuvres!

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Speaking of deep frying, feast your eyes on my Kentucky Fried Seitan.  I’ve been messing around with recipes for a couple weeks, and I found my winner.  I made a batch with from-scratch seitan, but I have to say that the kind I made from powdered wheat gluten was MUCH better.  I’ll put up a tutorial on Homemade Seitan 101: What Not To Do. I made this with tofu a few days ago too – it’ good!  Do it!  Fry it!

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Ah, coleslaw.  The friendly heart attack disguised in salad form.  But wait!  Veganaise to the rescue!  Have no fear of clogged arteries – vegan coleslaw keeps you safe and happy with its crunchy superpowers.

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The lovely Audrey made this awesome raw kale salad that went faster than anything else on the table!  The sweet cranberries and crunchy pine nuts went really well with kale, and the dressing was tangy and citrusy.  Perfect for an outdoor/indoor potluck extraveganza!

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Brie brought some garlicky roasted carrots!  This might be my new favorite way to do carrots.  There were whole roasted cloves of garlic snuggling around in there.  Enough said.

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Gabe brought green beans and turnips she found at the Farmer’s Market.  Mmmm.

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Let’s not even pretend this is a Red Velvet cake.  It’s supposed to be.  Looks more like a Carrot Cake, right?  This wasn’t an epic fail, but it was close to one.  I didn’t coat the pans before baking, probably didn’t use enough leavening agent, and needed more beet juice.  All things considered, it still tasted pretty good but it wasn’t my proudest moment!

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We ended the night with a rousing game of Smart Ass (you should own this) which my dad slayed.  Congrats JW.  There were also Mint Juleps floating around, collards from Lindsey, and cornbread from my friend Ayla (which you can see in the first picture on the red plate).  We listened to Bluegrass music and discussed the many and varied attributes of Dolly Parton.  It was a great little funfriendjollyjoy night.

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Blurry photo of how it went down.

Vegan Coachella: Day 1

Oh, hey Paul McCartney.  From where I was standing, I could not see anything but the backs of those in front of me.  However, holding my camera above my head and zooming in allowed me to have a private face-to-face performance every time.  Thanks to Carl Zeiss for that sweet zoom lens.  Note to self: Bring stilts next year.

SO.  Day 1 of Coachella was pretty tremendous on the music and vegan food front.   Leonard Cohen, Beirut, Morrissey, and Paul McCartney killed it.  This incident was marvelous.  But let’s backtrack.  Before getting to the actual music venue, the boyfriend and I stopped at Native Foods in Palm Springs.  I had never been there, but heard so many marvelous things that it became a necessary destination.

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I ordered the Royal Thai Tofu Salad, which was beautifully presented and refreshing, but not really something I would order again.  There was simply too much cabbage and not enough tofu.  I left still feeling a little hungry, but I suppose that’s what one should expect when one dines on salad alone.  On the other hand, my boyfriend ordered the Baja Surf Tacos which were INCREDIBLE!

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Mock fried fish(seitan? tempeh? don’t rememer?), cabbage, tomatoes, some kind of tartar sauce, and guacamole on top of soft tacos.  So filling and wonderful!  I want to try to replicate this one soon.  We went back to the restaurant on Monday and ordered these again!

We met the owner/chef Tanya, who was really friendly!  She got really excited that I was blogging her restaurant when she caught me taking pictures.  We tried to convince her to open a Native Foods closer to where we live – specifically Silverlake because the neighborhood is fostering a lot of great vegan places that are thriving (most of which don’t even come close to rivalling NF!). Please please please do it!

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I had really good Iced Chai for dessert before we hopped on our bikes to head into the festival.  We had dinner at an Asian place in one of the food areas inside Coachella, but I failed to document it due to my ravenous beastly hunger.

To be continued…

Spring Awakening

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That’s right kids, it’s time to start eating flowers again.  This salad was simple and awesome – spinach, 3 kinds of beans, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and nasturtiums picked from the garden!  It’s so refreshing to sit outside at dinner with the sun still up.  My garden is getting bigger and bigger – I feel like I’m watching some preschoolers start to read.  I’m a little overzealous about it – when my soybeans started sprouting I jumped up and down and ran a few victory laps.  The zucchini plants are getting huge and my tomatoes, basil, and onions are starting to peek their little heads out of the ground.  Soon I’ll put up some pictures of my little plant babies, but for now this electric neon salad will have to do.  Here’s a list of edible flowers – get to it!

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How Dare You Post So Late, Baker!

Oops.  March kind of slipped through my fingers … I blame the ides.  Speaking of ides, I made a Caesar Salad with Tempeh Croutons (to go with the rest of my post…)

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I’ll put up that recipe later … Now!  On to the more important matter at hand – March’s Daring Bakers Challenge!

Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna (veganized)

(From The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper (published by William Morrow and Company Inc., 1992))

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Recipe

(Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 to 8 as a main dish)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes to assemble and 40 minutes cooking time

10 quarts (9 litres) salted water
1 recipe Spinach Pasta cut for lasagna (recipe follows)#1
1 recipe Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)#2
1 recipe Country Style Ragu (recipe follows)#3
1 cup (4 ounces/125g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Method
Working Ahead:
The ragu and the béchamel sauce can be made up to three days ahead. The ragu can also be frozen for up to one month. The pasta can be rolled out, cut and dried up to 24 hours before cooking. The assembled lasagne can wait at room temperature (20 degrees Celsius/68 degrees Fahrenheit) about 1 hour before baking. Do not refrigerate it before baking, as the topping of béchamel and cheese will overcook by the time the center is hot.

Assembling the Ingredients:
Have all the sauces, rewarmed gently over a medium heat, and the pasta at hand. Have a large perforated skimmer and a large bowl of cold water next to the stove. Spread a double thickness of paper towels over a large counter space. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Oil or butter a 3 quart (approx 3 litre) shallow baking dish.

Cooking the Pasta:
Bring the salted water to a boil. Drop about four pieces of pasta in the water at a time. Cook about 2 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook about 4 minutes, taste, and cook longer if necessary. The pasta will continue cooking during baking, so make sure it is only barely tender. Lift the lasagne from the water with a skimmer, drain, and then slip into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking. When cool, lift out and dry on the paper towels. Repeat until all the pasta is cooked.

Assembling the Lasagne:
Spread a thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange a layer of about four overlapping sheets of pasta over the béchamel. Spread a thin layer of béchamel (about 3 or 4 spoonfuls) over the pasta, and then an equally thin layer of the ragu. Sprinkle with about 1&1/2 tablespoons of the béchamel and about 1/3 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with béchamel sauce and topping with a generous dusting of cheese.

Baking and Serving the Lasagne:
Cover the baking dish lightly with foil, taking care not to let it touch the top of the lasagne. Bake 40 minutes, or until almost heated through. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until hot in the center (test by inserting a knife – if it comes out very warm, the dish is ready). Take care not to brown the cheese topping. It should be melted, creamy looking and barely tinged with a little gold. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let the lasagne rest for about 10 minutes. Then serve. This is not a solid lasagne, but a moist one that slips a bit when it is cut and served.

My Alterations

I used a pasta recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan for my handmade noodles, a  Mushroom Lentil Ragu recipe from Eat The Right Stuff, and a Beschamel recipe from Vegan Dad.  I adapted everything to my own needs and it worked out really well!  I made everything all in one day, starting with the sauces in the morning.  I took a break to go throw a frisbee in the park (it’s gorgeous outside!) and came back to work on the noodles.  For the parmesan, I ended up using shredded FYH Mozzarella – this was the first time it didn’t melt perfectly for me.

Right now, I’m in a kitchen that is equipped with little more than a stove and one pot, but I made this thing work!  I ended up kneading my dough by hand and rolling it out on the dining room table, using a giant bottle of soy sauce as a rolling pin.  I used to make pasta when I was a kid with my parents, but we used a machine and there were usually eggs involved.  They’re really not necessary!  I even used semolina in place of the chickpea/soy flour and everything held up really well.  The mess wasn’t too heinous and I would probably make this recipe again if I wanted to impress someone with my Italian prowess.  I do have dual Italian citizenship, so it’s about time I prove my worth with some homemade pasta!

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Best served to friends and family outdoors with romantic lighting.  Don’t invite anyone you don’t want falling in love with you.

Crazy Bean Sports League

On Sunday I had a Kickball/Going Away Picnic in the park with all my favorite deputies.  It was AMAZING. A few games of kickball (in which we recruited four other picnickers) turned into ultimate frisbee and then a tennis tournament.  It was like we were all five years old at a field day!  I had so much fun and I’m really grateful to everyone who came for giving me such a nice send-off to New York.  Of course, I had to test out some new recipies on my loved cronies.  After two failed attempts at making vegan brownies (ugh), I decided to make the salad you see above and Oatmeal Cream Pies!  At the picnic, everyone referred to my salad as:

That Crazy Bean Salad

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Purple Onion
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can black beans

Directions

  • Chop the peppers, onion, and tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and put in a large bowl
  • Drain the corn and beans and add to the bowl
  • Mix it all up like you’ve got something to dance about

I had this salad a couple nights ago at my aunt and uncle’s house and fell in love with it.  It was perfect for a hot day of running around and kicking things and crashing into people.  Just in case you need a recipe for that.

What’s that?  Oatmeal Cream Pies?

These things are so sweet and decadent that you’d think I’d have only been able to polish off one.  You’d be wrong four times.  The oatmeal cookie part is based off of Kittee’s Oatmeal Cookies minus the chocolate chips and cherries.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Earth Balance (half a tub) or soy margarine
  • 2 T molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached granulated sugar
  • Ener-G egg replacer for 1 1/2 eggs (follow box directions)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats

Filling

  • 1/4 C vegan margerine
  • 1/4 C vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Directions (copied from pakupaku.info)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Add the prepared egg substitute and beat together.
  • Add the vanilla and mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda and stir it into the creamed mixture until well combined.
  • Add the oats and mix to combine.
  • Spoon a heaping teaspoon of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the cookies at least two inches apart. You should have room for three rows of four cookies.
  • Bake cookies until golden brown, 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes four dozen delite-full cookies.
  • Begin to prepare the filling by creaming the sugar and margerine for two minutes.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  • Construct the cream pies by spooning a heaping teaspoonful of the filling and smashing it between two cookies.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Everyone seemed to like the cream pies, but I’m not sure anyone appreciated them quite as much as this guy:

Theo managed to snag a cookie and got through a third of it before I noticed.  Sneaky little mustache man.

You Can Get Anything You Want at CoulditbeSeitan’s Restaurant

Wow! Arlo Guthrie wrote a song about me! Amazing that he would have the foresight in ’65 to know how rad my vegan cooking would be in 2008. A true visionary, that guy.

Oh, you didn’t know? Hmm.

So I recently found myself engrossed in Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, a bio of Alice and the restaurant by Thomas McNamee. I haven’t ventured to the restaurant myself, but I love how adamant she is about having fresh, local ingredients. I’d take a just-picked Californian apple over the Chilean imports Trader Joes is messing around with any day. I hit up the Hollywood Farmers Market every Sunday, but last week I wanted to have people over to celebrate local California produce and share in some unadorned, unfancy, unpretentious, un-not-delicious vegan recipes.

The most unpretentious part of the meal – thanks to Dawn and Jesse.

The meal started out with a salad of lettuce, beets, and oranges. I sprinkled cumin over the beets because there’s something I really like about that combination. I tried a dish a few months ago in Ojai that was basically a big pile of cumin-y beets and I’ve just been mainlining the stuff ever since. The salad was served with and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

For the main dish, I made the Chickpea Cutlets from VCON, which I will now and forever refer to as “Ole Faithful.”

Every time I make these they are gobbled up. I served them with a Garlic Faux Aioli. Speaking of that, get pumped for a:

Recipe!

Ingredients

1 package Silken tofu – Mori Nu style

3 cloves of garlic

2 T mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

Directions

  • Blend it all together in a blender and then let it chill out in the fridge. Put it on your food. Cooking is harrrd.

‘Tis the season for some beautiful asparagus, so I roasted it all up with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let it bask in its own heavenly glow.

CHECK OUT how pretty these potatoes are. Seriously. I am in love with purple potatoes. I also roasted these with rosemary, salt, and olive oil. I don’t have any post-roast pictures because it was dark outside by the time everyone arrived and my camera’s flash HATES food. Hates it.

And for dessert?

This was the easiest and most rewarding dinner I’ve made in a while. Everyone gobbled it up happily and hung around my living room playing fictionary into the wee hours of the night. My favorite kind of night: great friends, great food, and extra fancy pink wines.