Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dessert Arancini

VeganMofo Day 30: Fusion Challenge!

My fusion challenge creation is meant to be a melding of Italian arancini and rice pudding. I'm not sure if this qualifies as true fusion as rice pudding is something found in a lot of cuisines around the world... 

Meanwhile, arancini (little oranges) are fried rice balls, usually made of left over risotto with some sort of filling in the center. If anything at least, this a fusion of a savory dish with a sweet one.

For the rice pudding, I used arborio rice and prepared it just as you would a risotto, but with coconut milk instead of broth and added sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and candied ginger.

For the filling, I made cream cheese balls and rolled them in ground hazelnuts. 

After the risotto cooled, I flattened it out into rounds and placed the cheese balls in the center.

The initial risotto came out a tad bit stodgy, which I think helped make the balls easy to roll up.


I coated the balls with a mixture of panko bread crumbs, shredded coconut, and ground nuts.

I was a little nervous as to whether they would hold up while frying, but they did.

...and the centers:

The outside is crunchy and crisp from the panko and the coconut. The rice is just sweet enough with lovely spice and dried fruit. I couldn't taste the cheese in the middle very much, but it's always fun to find a creamy center. Served with some plain yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup, they make a nice pudding...or breakfast if you don't mind deep fried ones.

And finally, a fond farewell to VeganMofo 2015 (I hate good-byes). I'm so thankful to be part of a global vegan community. I've found so many wonderful blogs and people, and I hope to keep up with them throughout the year. Well done everyone!   xoxo

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Burritos and Road Trip Goodies Double Post

Catching up...

VeganMoFo Day 28: Tacos vs. Burritos

Definitely burritos. I love how you can stuff them super full into big, fat rolls that make a meal in themselves.

These had brown rice, black beans, yams, pickled cabbage, avocado, pico de gallo, and jalapeños with a liberal splash of hot sauce.

Next up, VeganMoFo Day 29: What would you bring on a vegan road trip?

I don't go on road trips very often, but if I did, in addition to fruit and water I'd bring along some Panda Licorice.

The ingredients are molasses, wheat flour, licorice extract and aniseed oil. They have other flavors too like blueberry and raspberry, which are all vegan and good, but I like black licorice best.

Also, some Harmless Harvest Coconut Water to stay hydrated.

Some Hail Merry Macaroons, yum.

And for the savory side of things Kale Krunch,

and probably some Primal Strips.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the fusion ideas tomorrow for the last day of MoFo!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Scooby and Shaggy's Monster Vegan Eggplant Stack

VeganMofo Day 24: What Scooby and Shaggy would eat if they were vegan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Equinox Chutney

VeganMofo Day 23: Autumn Equinox eats.

I wasn't planning to post today, but then I looked out at the green tomatoes in the garden and thought 'what better way to welcome in autumn than by cooking up some of them?'

Usually when I make a chutney, I have a little taste and then it sits in the fridge. I made some apple chutney a few weeks back and I've only used it once. I think it has do with the ginger that's in a lot of chutney recipes. I like ginger, but I've come to realize that I don't like it in chutney.

Today I didn't use a recipe. Instead, I tossed in what sounded good, which was roughly 3-4 pounds of green tomatoes, 4 jalapenos, two medium-sized onions, a stick of cinnamon, ~ 1.5 cups brown sugar, and approximately 1 cup cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and a bit of extra water for cooking liquid.

Which after simmering for a couple of hours, looked like this:

Not the most appetizing, but a good concoction nonetheless--a tiny bit spicy, fairly sour, and just enough sweetness and an undertone of cinnamon really comes through, but doesn't over power. I can see myself plowing through it in a week or two.

Along with some Chao on rye bread and a glass of beer, it hit the spot on this autumn day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Seasonal Meal

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Make a dish using all seasonal produce.

For today's prompt, I figured I'd stop b my local food co-op and see what caught my eye. 
I found some very fresh and pretty fennel bulbs, sweetcorn, plums, apples, and cantaloupe--all locally grown and organic. (The tomatoes are from the garden.)

First up, I made some cantaloupe bites wrapped in smokey maple tempeh. I didn't have any toothpicks, so used the old rosemary-sprigs-as-skewers trick. Aside from possibly being able to qualify for the Most Retro Dish prompt from earlier this month, these were kind of fun. 

They tasted ok...the melon is juicy and sweet, and goes well with the salty, smokey tempeh. A drizzle of balsamic reduction would have been been was a bit dry.

Then I came across a recipe for Tomato and Fennel Bisque, which calls for adding a garnish of fresh sweetcorn kernels to what is essentially a creamy tomato soup.

As I read through the recipe, I was confused by the sweetcorn. But hey, why not? It adds freshness and texture.

And finally, I pulled some puff pastry out of the freezer and made some fruit tartlettes with the cherry tomatoes, apples, and plums.

The tomato tarts were meant to be sweet as opposed to savory. I coated the tomatoes in sugar and lemon zest and topped them with sugar-coated basil. They were a bit ill-defined--"am I eating a starter or a dessert?" But in the end, I think you could put almost anything in puff pastry and call it good.

Tomorrow's theme is autumn equinox eats--a bit northern hemisphere-centric. I'm not sure what I would do differently for that prompt than I did today, so I think I'll skip it and catch up on reading blogs.
Make a dish using all seasonal produce.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Beer, Pickles, and...

What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus!) - See more at:
What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus!) - See more at:
 Vegan MoFo Day 21: What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine that your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus.)
I wasn't sure exactly what "all your nutritional needs are met" included. Because I guess if I had access to the right kind of grains I could make my own beer. But I'm crap at making beer, and if I'm going to be hanging out on an island, I'll definitely want to dig my toes into the sand and watch the sunset with a tipple in hand from time to time. So, my first item is beer and/or cider.

Recently, I've been enjoying Crispin Bare Naked cider. I think most of their ciders are vegan, except for the ones that contain honey. As for beer, I'm a lager girl and don't need anything fancy; PBR or Kokanee will do and both are vegan friendly.

Pickles and ferments: I could not live without them! I eat some sort of pickled or fermented vegetable every day. Dill pickles are my favorite, but greek peproncini, and sauerkraut come in a close second.
Over the summer I made a double batch of crock pickles, which are just fermented in a salt brine, and a batch of vinegar pickles.

The vinegar pickles are on the left and the crock pickles on the right. The vinegar pickles are fresh and crunchy, but they're not as good as the crock pickles--I've already eaten up the whole batch.

Now, this is where I'm in a quandary: do I want my third item to be hot sauce or sourdough bread? I still haven't decided.

Being stranded on an island with plenty of food and a selection goodies sounds pretty good to me. I hope we're all on the same one--it would be a vegan paradise!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Family Lasagna

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 20: Veganize an old family recipe.

If our family has a "recipe" it has to be lasagna. We had this lasagna every Christmas and Easter, many times during the year for Sunday dinner, and it was always what I requested for my birthday meal. Everyone in our family loves it, and my brothers and I all make our own versions to keep the recipe alive.

I've never seen a written recipe for it, because I don't think there is one. My paternal grandmother showed my mom how to make it when my folks were married and that was that. It's straightforward, and doesn't need much explanation, and it's also very easy to veganize.

Of course it's versatile. I often layer other vegetables into it and add other bells and whistles, but this  is our quintessential family version: just homemade sauce, ricotta filling, and either parmesan and/or mozzarella on top.

The original filling consists of ricotta, egg, grated parmesan, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. I make mine by blending ground almonds, extra firm tofu, lemon juice, garlic granules, salt and pepper in a food processor and then stirring in parsley leaves. As a kid, it was always my job to pick the parsley off the stems to put in the filling.

More often than not, I use nut parmesan for the topping. It's how my mom makes it--no mozzarella, just parmesan--this contains ground blanched almonds, minced garlic, and kala namak salt. 

There's a bit of rivalry between us siblings as to who makes the best far as I'm concerned mine wins, if only for being vegan.

I'm bummed for having missed several MoFo prompts; I was thinking of going back and making up the ones I missed, but then I'd fall even further behind. Well done to all the MoFoers who have been posting everyday. It's difficult to do--your efforts are appreciated!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Late Summer Love

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 15: What's your favorite late summer food?

This is boring, but I don't want to miss another prompt, and I'll make this short and sweet, very sweet actually.

I love all the produce summer brings, but melon and blackberries hold a special place. In the Pacific Northwest, local offerings usually arrive in the market and on the vines in late summer, although they were early this year as we've had an uncharacteristically long, hot summer.

I try to freeze as many berries as I can to eat once the season passes, but the melon I just enjoy while its around, which makes it precious. I wish I had a bunch of interesting recipe ideas with melon and blackberries, but I really just eat them as they are and don't do too much else with them, other than freeze some of the berries for later.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Kitchen Tour

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 13: It's kitchen tour time!

I'm kind of a nosy person if I'm honest...I love looking around other people's houses. Having said that, I'm not always that keen on people seeing mine, because it's usually pretty messy. :P

We moved into this house in 2013, and the kitchen is so much better than the kitchen in our previous house because that kitchen was so dark; it was literally like being in a cave. It's not too exciting, but for what it's worth, here's my kitchen.

This where we eat breakfast, but not usually dinner. (The round thing is a food dehydrator that I bought at yard sale this summer.)

 Like I said, I'm nosy and I love to peek inside other people's fridges---

One of the things I like most about this kitchen is the pantry:

 ...and the windows

 ...and the way it looks by candlelight in the evenings.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Authentic Chinese Cuisine by Bryanna Clark Grogan

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 12: Tell us about your favorite cookbook.

More often than not, I use the Internet as my cookbook: I do an image search for whatever dish I'm looking for, pick out the images that look appetizing and work back from there. It usually works quite well.

Although I own a fair number of cookery books, I rarely use them. The one exception is Bryanna Clark Grogan's Authentic Chinese Cuisine. Before I started making recipes from this book, any Chinese-style meal I made didn't taste right. Or rather, it didn't taste like any kind of Chinese food that I'd ever tasted (not that I'm an expert).

Whether from her blog or from her cookbooks (you can find links to all her books on her blog), I love Bryanna's recipes because they always turn out well and are full of flavor--I've never been disappointed.

In addition to recipes from Dim Sum to dumplings, and from soup to stir fries, main courses, and sweets, this book is full of information. It includes a history of Chinese vegetarian cooking, a chapter on  the regional cooking of China, a section on how to plan and serve an authentic Chinese meal, and more...

I have to be honest, I haven't read every section of the book from start to finish, although the snippets I have read are quite interesting. I'm sure over time, I will have read all of it in little bits and pieces.

The recipe for Spicy Sichuan Eggplant is one of my favorites from this book:

This photo doesn't do it justice, because you can't see the sauce--I usually double it and add in tofu and other veggies. It's full of heat and sweetness with a hint of sour.

Another cookery book that has worked its way into my cooking regime is Mimi Kirk's book Live Raw. I don't own it, but have checked it out of the library three times. I'll do a separate post on recipes from her book sometime in the future.

Happy MoFo-ing...we're almost halfway through!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Vegan Bleu Cheese Dip

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 10: Something blue.

I have been on a quest to find a good vegan bleu cheese recipe for years! Several years ago, lusting after something even remotely similar to a Stilton, I tried Cheezly's Blue Style block. It was ok, but there was something a little off about it--kind of artificial tasting? (This was quite a few years ago, so it may have improved since then.)

I've also tried many online recipes. This variation of the many I've sampled is tasty enough, if not entirely "bleu-cheesy". So far, it's as good as any I've tried.

I read somewhere that fermented tofu is the secret of an authentic vegan bleu cheese. Seeing as how I have yet purchase, or make fermented tofu; I used tofu marinated in seasoned rice vinegar in its stead. I marinated the tofu for about 8 hours--longer would be better. This isn't really a recipe, but rather a loose guideline.

Vegan Bleu Cheese Dip or Dressing 
1/4 cup extra firm tofu, cut into cubes and marinated in seasoned rice vinegar for several hours or overnight
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
1 cup vegan mayo (I used unsweetened cashew yogurt)
 unsalted, unsweetened, roasted tahini paste to taste
lemon juice to taste
apple cider vinegar to taste
pinch of garlic granules
salt and pepper to taste (if you use mayo, you might not need any more salt)

Drain the vinegar cubes and crumble them into small pieces. Add the finely chopped parsley and garlic granules and mix.

In a separate bowl, spoon in the mayo and gradually add the tahini, lemon juice, and cider vinegar, tasting as you go. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of each, taste, and add more according to your palate, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Combine mixture with the crumbled tofu.

The only advice I can give is know what you're aiming for and trust your own palate.

It turns out a little different each time I make it. On this occasion, I used 2 teaspoons tahini, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. I added a scant 1/4 teaspoon of salt and some pepper to taste. But, keep in mind that I used homemade yogurt, which doesn't contain any salt...if using store bought mayo, you may not need to add any salt at all. 

Does it taste like bleu cheese?

Sort of...this particular rendition was pretty good actually. The flavors are stronger and better the next day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...