June 24, 2011

Smoked, Slammin' Pasta

Long time, no see, blog!

I typically don't purchase seasoned or baked tofu because it's much more expensive for an easy thing I can do at home, but every time I see this product (Pete's Smoked Tofu from Canada) for a decent price, I buy several packages.

It's super firm, chewy and has the best savory smoky flavor, it's really good sliced thin with crackers.

One day I was making pasta and and nibbling on this smoked tofu when....POOF! I had an idea! Creamy smoked salmon pasta was one of my favorite dishes before I was vegan...so that was what I was aiming for here.

Just a warning, I made this up as I went so the amounts were estimated afterwards.

If you don't have smoked tofu, you might be able to use a baked one with a drop or two of liquid smoke...but you'll have to experiment.
The milk I used was homemade with a blender and straining so that could add some variation to your recipe...please adjust and taste as you go, I hope it turns out if anybody trys it!


12 oz Fettucini Noodles (3/4 lb)
3 3/4 cups cold cashew milk (mine was homemade, but I'm sure you could use a store bought alternative as long as it's unsweetened!)
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1 red bell pepper
1/2 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2-3/4 cup diced Smoked Tofu
cooking oil spray
salt and pepper to taste (depends on your tofu brand)

-Start boiling the water for your pasta, 3 quarts water should do the trick.
-Heat the broiler of your oven.
-Slice the red bell pepper lengthwise into strips, spray with cooking oil and place on a cookie sheet under your broiler for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them , they will roast quickly.
-After the pasta water is boiling, add a pinch of salt and the fettucini noodles
-When the peppers have a few black roasted spots, remove them from the oven to cool. I don't normally remove the skins if I'm just going to blend them up..but you burnt the bejeezus out of them, slice the really charred stuff off.

-In a saucepan (one with tall enough sides to accommodate the pasta and sauce) sautee the chopped onion with a spritz of cooking spray over medium heat for a few minutes then add the garlic for the last minute.
-Whisk the cold milk and cornstarch together and add to a blender
-Process the milk mixture with the cooked bell pepper until mostly blended but not completely...a few chunks of pepper are tasty in the finished sauce
-When the onion and garlic are cooked, stir in the margarine and add the milk and pepper mixture, the dill, onion powder and nutritional yeast.
-Bring to a boil for just a moment and then lower to a simmer. The sauce should thicken up.

-Add the diced tofu and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
-When the pasta is finished, drain it and add to the the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper again and serve.

The leftovers were yummy with capers added too!

May 15, 2011

Oui oui.....crepes!

When I went to France 5 years ago (and pre-vegan) a wonderful thing happened....I ate a crepe! Suddenly I was eating them for every meal for the next two weeks. I especially loved the savory variety. It was one of best things I've ever experienced to have a piping hot crepe in your hands and be walking along the Seine. Cue the "ahhh pahr-eee".

So I can't believe it's taken me so long to make a crepe at home, vegan or otherwise. I've had Vegan Brunch since it came out and I guess I just thought they would be difficult or too fussy. Wrong! The recipe was great and it was extremely easy!

I love that the most unusual thing in the recipe is chickpea flour (and I guess tapioca but it said I could use cornstarch which I did) because that makes them easy pantry meals. They cook fast so they are ideal for quick breakfasts and for busy nights.
Perhaps the best thing in my book is their capacity to make leftovers something amazing. I had about 2 tsp of Daiya vegan cheese and 1 1/2 slices of Tofurky in the fridge that weren't enough for a recipe but I couldn't bear to throw out. So into the crepe they went with some spinach and tomatoes. (you don't want them too full, so it was perfect) I could see leftover dahl or a creamy sauce with veggies working great in these as well. I bet the smoky shiitake mushrooms from Vegan Brunch would be awesome in them.
I can't wait to make some vegan Nutella and banana crepes!

Vegan Brunch is on it's way to usurping the almighty Veganomicon in my house at this rate.

Sorry for the picture quality, but the lighting is so bad in my house at night! Boo.

March 28, 2011

Easy Chocolate Banana Cake with Ganache

Ack! I've been really busy preparing for going back to school, so I haven't been doing much on the cookbook challenges or blogging. But I did make this cake last night because I was craving *something*.

I didn't have a lot of ingredients, so I used this simple recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz:


It's mostly pantry ingredients, the only thing I didn't have was almond extract so I put a splash more of vanilla. I only baked one batch, so I cut it in half to make layers. I really wanted a filling but I didn't have ingredients for any sort of frosting or a berry filling. I ended up mashing up a banana with a bit of vanilla soy yogurt and powdered sugar to make a custard type filling. Delicious! The ganache topping was so fudgy, I'll definitely make that again too.

March 1, 2011

Back on the web!

Well, after an unplanned lack of internet service, here I am again!
I've missed out on the cookbook challenges that have been going on, but I'm hoping I can jump right back into it. This week's cookbook is American Vegan Kitchen, which looks great! It seems to be full of classic comfort and diner style foods. I will pick out a few recipes and hopefully get cookin' this week...

To tide you over here are some pizza pictures! I'm using the 1000 Vegan Recipes basic pizza dough recipe, which I really like.

I saw some close-to-expiring Daiya on sale so I caved and bought one bag. The boyfriend loves it so.

This pizza is his, it's a BBQ seitan with onions and Daiya.

You know I snuck a bite ;)

My pizza ( I just wasn't in the mood for Daiya) had truffle oil, mushrooms, basil, onion and some leftover tofu ricotta.


Hmmm, now I want pizza again!

January 13, 2011

Mango BBQ Beans and Cornbread

Another Appetite for Reduction recipe!!!

This time I made Mango BBQ Beans and Fresh Corn and Scallion Corn Bread

First up, the beans:
What I liked:
Really tasty! I loved the homemade BBQ flavor! It was super easy too, once I cooked the dried beans.

What I disliked:
Nothin' really.

What I substituted:
Maple syrup for agave.I ended up using only one TBSP of sweetener (tasting as I went) which was perfect!

My man's opinion:
He said he liked it but would prefer it over something besides rice (my choice of side with it.) Maybe someday I can try the suggestion for mashed yucca!

I also made the Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread to go with it:

What I liked:
It was quick and easy to mix up with no weird ingredients.

What I disliked:
It didn't seem to turn out quite like I imagined...it was both dense and crumbly. You can see the weird texture in that first pic. It almost didn't firm up into bread. I gave it about 5 extra minutes from the max time and still it wasn't quite right. I thought it could have used a bit more salt or maybe oil...it sorta tasted low-fat, if that makes sense?? I put a little EB on it after which helped!

What I substituted:
Maple syrup for agave. Frozen corn (thawed as suggested) instead of fresh.

Recipe notes:
Seemed to take a little longer to bake than the recipe said. Of course, my oven could possibly be off temp.

My man's opinion:
Thought it was okay, but he mixed it into his beans after tasting it, haha.

One or two more recipes from this book over the weekend and then I move on to the Veganomicon! :)