Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stuff I Never Posted

Season's Greetings everyone! I haven't been too active here lately, so I thought I'd shake off my blog paralysis with some blasts from the recent past, some stuff I never posted. All the way from August, this was a white gazpacho: lemon cucumber, fennel, garlic, white onion, celery and blanched almonds. Seasoned with salt and white pepper and topped with smoked paprika and basil oil, it was very summery and refreshing, but I prefer tomato gazpacho.

From not quite so long ago, this was the main course I made for our Thanksgiving dinner. We were at my bro's house, and I brought these along for our vegan dinner. My niece, who's vegetarian ate them too. What are they you ask? 

Why, they're cashew, leek, and mushroom stacks of course. These were inspired by a recipe from a vegetarian cafe I worked at back in 03/04. The base is sprouted bread crumbs and cashews sauteed with garlic, onion, and herbs. The filling is the part I tweaked. I don't remember exactly what went into the filling at the restaurant, but I made this one by blending tofu, white miso, ume vinegar, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and some mushroom powder. The powder I made by grinding up some dried forest mushrooms; it imparted a great umami flavor, but a little goes a long way.  Then I stirred in some sauteed crimini and maitake mushrooms, shallots, and parsley to the tofu mix, and topped off the stacks with sherry-braised leeks and raw cranberries.

Once the cashew crust, tofu, and toppings were layered in these nifty open-bottom molds, they went into a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes. The cranberries cooked down, and once out of the oven, garnished with some ground hazelnuts or walnuts, these make a flavorful and festive little main course.

We also had some vegan stuffing: herbed walnut baguette, sourdough baquette, walnuts, apples, and wild rice along with the usual stuffing seasonings: onion, celery, thyme, parsley, veggie broth and Earth Balance. I served in a baked buttercup squash, which turned out kind of cute:

On to a quick mid-week lunch: one of MeloMeal's 3-ingredient bean burgers in an eggplant "bun" with sweet onion and ginger-tomato chutney.

The next item is truly a blast from the past: spaghetti squash casserole, based on the recipe from one of the first Moosewood cookbooks. One of my college roommates and I used to love this recipe and made it a lot. We were vegetarian back then, not vegan, but the recipe was easy to veganize by using olive oil instead of butter and cashew cream and tofu ricotta instead of the cheeses. 

It totally looks like a piece of carrot cake, especially with the extra cashew cream and ground walnuts on top. 

Finally, this was a fairly recent meal. I started of by sauteeing loads of sliced garlic, (like a full heads-worth) some red pepper flakes and oregano, then added collard greens, crushed tomatoes, and oven-fried tofu and let it simmer for about 40 minutes.

 It was simple, but so tasty.  Next time I make it, I'll use two bunches of collards instead of just one, just can't get enough of it! 

Happy holiday season to all! 


  1. Yum what beautiful food! Your pics are gorgeous as always. The stuffing baked in the squash is super cute! I think the one that stands out most though is that spaghetti squash casserole. That looks SO delicious! The stacks you had for Thanksgiving are beautiful too and I love the idea of an eggplant bun! So creative. I'm going to have to try and figure out how to make some spaghetti squash casserole ;)

  2. Oh my blazes, Rose......everything looks so, so good. You obviously love those pepperoncini as much as I do!! I could eat a pile of them, too. Your white gazpacho looks awesome, but I am with you in that the tomato variety Cannot. Be. Bested. Is that collard + tofu dish served atop something?

  3. Rose, while I sympathize with your non-blogging, uh, what totally *awesome* dishes these are! The stacks! Merciful heavens! Stuffed squash, awesome! And that last photo, well, it looks like absolutely everything on my blog. Collard greens have been in my local vegetable grocery for the last few weeks, and I have been enjoying them to the max. Er...*which* Moosewood cookbook is that spaghetti squash thing from? I think I have them all and would like to try it...

  4. Rose: The Thanksgiving dishes look great, especially those little stacks. It really has been a while since you've posted, eh? The collard dish sounds wonderful as well. I almost always eat them raw but they look so great when they're really cooked well. You're right about them cooking down so much, though. More greens is always better. Also very intrigued by the squash casserole! I only have one Moosewood cookbook; I really ought to get into it more. Happy Holidays and well wishes to you too, Rose.

  5. I can't deal with this post. Just too overwhelming. I'll revisit tomorrow now that I know what all is involved.

  6. Everything looks great, especially the cashew, leek, and mushroom stacks. I love how you served the stuffing.

    The squash casserole really does look like carrot cake!

  7. Glad you decided to shake off the blog paralysis. I've had that too, with little movements here and there.
    I'm glad to hear you worked in a restaurant. The food you create is amazingly beautiful and you capture it so well. I would love to try that spaghetti squash dish. I don't like to cook enough to try all this-I try to keep my cooking inside a 10-15 min prep time, but I'd sure like to sit at your table and eat. Wow.
    Happiest of holidays to you.

  8. Rose -- What a beautiful array of dishes on your post -- they are like paintings. Do you use Kumut? If you do would like to hear how you use it in a future post. A joyous New Year to you. -- barbara

  9. VaVa,

    The eggplant buns are fun and tasty; you should definitely try them! I meant to link to the spag squash casserole recipe I worked from...Here's the link: <a href="></a>. I just used some cashew cream and a bit of tofu to sub for the cheeses and oil instead of butter.


    Hello fellow pepproncini lover!! I absolutely love them, wait, I mean I'm addicted to them. The collards are on some wild rice pilaf stuff, and yes, tomato gazpacho is simply the best isn't it? :)


    I'm with you, collards are so versatile and it's great that they're readily available throughout most of the year. I think aside from baby pak choy and lacinato kale, they're my favorite green. I don't remember for sure about the cookbook. I've never had any of the Moosewood ones; they belonged to my college roommate, but it would definitely have to be one of the earlier was back in the 80's for me (yipes!). It's probably in The Moosewood Cookbook, or Enchanted Broccoli Forrest. :)

  10. Maud:

    I'm with you on the collards...I eat them a lot in salad, but they're so good cooked too. If you cook them slowly, they get so sweet and tender. I've never tried them cooked with tomatoes before, definitely a good combo.

    Thank you for the well wishes and a very Happy HOliday to you too! :)

    Shen: lol.

    Molly: Thanks, it totally looks like carrot cake; thought it was sort of funny. :)


    There's a lot to be said for quick meals. I'm trying to do more of them during the week. And very happy holidays to you too!


    Thanks for your kind comments. I've only ever used a kamut pasta before; I must look into it more. And a very joyous New Year to you too. :)

  11. EVERYTHING looks amazing! I have but one request, but it would mean completely changing how you blog, so I don't have high expectations, but a girl can hope. I wish, wish, wish you would do conventional recipes more often. Not all the time even, but maybe half the time? No? I find myself drooling and pining and yearning, and yet I don't know quantities of ingredients. My keyboard is soaked through from overflowing tears.

  12. Jane:

    Thanks for stopping by. :)


    For you, I'll give it a try...but I have a terrible time measuring ingredients, so beware. :D

  13. It's hard to leave a comment on your's or Zoa's blog because it just gets into gushing which is gross so I wind up deleting the comment and wasting time.

    I don't know what drives me crazier: the abundance of talent displayed or your incessant modesty. Plus I'm wondering about your neice's reaction when her aunt comes strolling into T'giving dinner with those CLM Stacks. Why aren't everyone's heads exploding out there? Are you all gourmet chefs and professional photographers so it ain't no thing?

  14. Wow Rose... Your food always amazes me. I feel like I'm looking at a food metwork magazine! I can't even tell you what looks the best, because it all looks soooo good Oh what I'd give to dig into the food that you make! :0)

  15. Oh Shen, no gushing please! I've always been terrible at taking compliments, and I appreciate all the nice things you've said. If my food looks good, it's simply due to the fact that I've been cooking from a young age at home and worked in restaurants and bakeries for many years...something had to rub off on me eventually!

    My niece thought the stacks looked cool...but, as the wine flowed our conversation turned to more fun and nonsense than anything else. My family likes to drink. :D


    You're too sweet. I wish we could all get together someday and nosh on each other's food! That would be fun...hey, you never know. :)

  16. I know we all love it when you reward us with a new post! Such inventive dishes! I agree that I could start gushing, too. I don't even think I could go about garnishing a soup as spectacular as you. I do really love the motivation to try. Merry Christmas! May your season be bright!

  17. Oh my goodness Rose, if you ever need someone to try out one of your recipes, you know where to find me! The cashew-mushroom-leek stacks are particularly fetching, but everything looks yummy.

  18. Jenny,

    Thank you for the season's greetings, hope you are enjoying the holidays, and Happy New Year!


    Thanks for the recipe tasting offer...and it goes both ways...if you need a taster; you know where to find me. :D

  19. I apologize for being too tardy to this wonderful foodfest to wish you a Merry Christmas, but am just in the nick of time to wish you the happiest of Happy New Years! I hope 2013 brings you everything you hope for and all good things!

    Speaking of good things, what another divine collection of beautiful and delicious-looking dishes! That white gazpacho looks so festively winter-holidayish that it's hard to believe it's a summertime soup! And though I adore Andrea, I wouldn't hesitate to shamelessly elbow her aside to be first in line as your recipe-tester. :-) It all looks delicious and I'd be thrilled to devour every morsel of everything on this post, but if I could only pick one it's those incredible stacks you made for Thanksgiving!

  20. The white gazpacho looks so pretty! Like abstract art in a bowl!

  21. Laurie:

    Happiest New Year to you too...but is it 2013 already? Maybe we're better off, 2012 is supposed to be a real humdinger of a year. :)


    Thanks! And Happy New Year!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. LOL!! Wow, that was an interesting typo, eh? Is my subconscious trying to tell me something about 2012? Is it a good year to fast forward through? Or am I channeling the ancient Mayans? ;-)

    Well, at least I'd wager I was the first to wish you a happy 2013! :-)

    Happy New Year, Rose!

  24. Total lol! Happy New Year to you too Laurie..2012 and beyond! Let's face the future with brave and loving hearts! :)

  25. Happy New Year Rose!

    I am behind with lots of posts too... and yet I feel like I am blogging all the time... I think that is because I have too many photos!


  26. Rose, I don't know what to comment on first these all look so amazing! Very impressed with the vegetable stacks. I just saw a recipe for spaghetti squash casserole and was thinking I could totally make that vegan. YUM!

  27. Thanks JoLynn...the spag squash was indeed easy to veganize. Next time, I'm going to make the tofu ricotta a little thicker and grainier.

  28. Oh, those stacks! (swoon!) The collard saute is intriguing, too. It almost looks like it has curry powder in it. Sound wonderful, nonetheless. I was just wondering what I was going to do with my lonely spaghetti squash sitting on the counter(besides the usual marinara topping - yawn). This casserole looks delish. Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Wow, those stacks are just amazing. All looks so wholesome and really fulfilling minus all the fake meat.
    Real food!

  30. Christina:

    I know what you mean about the spaghetti squash; it seems like there'd be so many ways to use it, but I end up just eating it with pasta sauce too. The casserole does make a nice change. We've got to start brainstorming spaghetti squash applications. :)

    Get Skinny:

    Hey, thanks for commenting. I prefer to stick to real food too, but we do eat some of the processed/faux stuff from time to time. I agree though: ain't nothing like real food!! :)

  31. Love this post. Seeing all your great photos makes me hungry and want to get in the kitchen and try new ideas.

  32. Blogs always get me in the cooking mood too.

    I'll stop by your blog soon!

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