Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to recreate dishes I used to eat before I went vegan that I forget how great simple veggie dishes are. This pizza (thinly sliced eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, red and green peppers, and red onions) was fresh and tasty and unsullied by fake meat and cheese. A good reminder to get back to basics.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
We all know that dark leafy greens are awesome for you. Kale always ranks at the top of the list as a super veggie. This month's Nutrition Action newsletter reminded me of this fact with their veggie chart. I must admit, though, that I am always a bit stumped when it comes to finding exciting ways to serve greens. Simple steaming or sauteing always results in a chorus of "eeewwwws"from the kids. And sometimes I go crazy and cook them with a few splashes of white wine and lemon juice. This recipe, however, are by far the tastiest method of serving greens I have come across yet. And the kids like them! I used swiss chard because it cooks quickly, but you could use kale or collards as well.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Second, I got the BALL Complete Book of Home Preserving. As the blurb says, the book contains "400 innovative and enticing recipes include everything from salsas and savory sauces to pickling, chutneys, relishes and of course, jams, jellies, and fruit spreads, such as: Mango-Raspberry Jam, Damson Plum Jam Crab Apple Jelly, Green Pepper Jelly Spiced Red Cabbage, Pickled Asparagus Roasted Red Pepper Spread, Tomatillo Salsa Brandied Apple Rings, Apricot-Date Chutney." Aside from a few canned meat recipes (blech), everything in the book is vegan. In my ideal world I would live off the grid, growing all my own food and snubbing anything with a UPC. Until then, I just have to make due with this book.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I've been meaning to blog this since Valentine's Day when Vegan Mom and I ate it. Needless to say, things have been busy, busy, busy lately. If I have not responded to a question you left on a post, just send me an email and I will get back to you. This dish, as the name indicates, is light and lemony. Even though it is pasta (which we seem to be eating a lot of lately), the bright flavour and wine sauce make it a refreshing meal.
Friday, February 20, 2009
One of the great things about blogging is that you get to meet all sorts of interesting people. One such person is Ruby Roth, a talented author and illustrator who is publishing a new kids' book, That's Why We Don't Eat Animals. As you can see, the illustrations are fantastic, and the message is spot on. So for all you Vegan Dads and Moms out there, check out her website and the video below.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Here is what Vegan Mom and I indulged in on Valentine's Day. We've never been big Valentine's Day people, and with 3 kids, celebrating now means trying to stay up past 10:30. Ha! On the 14th we enjoyed a nice pasta dish (I will post that next), and then bolted these down while taking in a class piece of cinematic comedy: Dragnet.
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp cold Earth Balance margarine
- generous 3/4 cup soy creamer (or soy milk)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in cold margarine (or use your fingers) until it resembled coarse bread crumbs. Mix in almonds, soy creamer, and extract with a wooden spoon. Add a splash more creamer if dough is too stiff.
2. Spread batter into an extra large non-stick muffin tin (or, grease and flour a pan if you don't have a non-stick one) with a silicone spatula. You should have 6.
3. Bake for 15-17 mins, until lightly brown on top. Let cool for a 5 mins, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Pasta Primavera sounds soooo much better than what this actually is: Clean out the Fridge Pasta. I used to hate pasta primavera because back when I was a vegetarian it seemed to be the only thing available when I went out to eat (kind of like the way I feel about salad and grilled veggies now that I am a vegan). Hmm. That tells you how long ago I was a vegetarian; I actually had the time and money to out to a restaurant. Anyway, despite Son #1's protests about the presence of mushrooms, this dish went over very well. It's not overly saucy, so increase the flour and soy milk if you want more.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Here is the second dish we had on Cajun night along with the chickpea cakes (I made a few adjustments to the recipe after reading some of the comments). I guess this is something like a gumbo. It's easy to make and is very tasty. You can adjust the spices to your liking if you are not making it for a bunch of kids.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
This really isn't an attempt to make some kind of vegan crab cake. I thought some Cajun food would hit the spot, but I was also in the mood for some chickpeas (weird craving). I kept these mild for the kiddies, so you can spice them up as you see fit.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Someone suggested making pasta carbonara when I posted the tofu pancetta recipe. Great idea. It is simple and tasty and perfect for a busy week night.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Just a quick post tonight. We have continued with our Dinners with Artists, and I really can't recommend them enough to you. Of course, it works best with older kids (Son #1 is 8 and really loves it; Son #2 is 5 and waxes and wanes), but it is such a rewarding activity. Not only do we get to discuss art, we also spend quality time together being creative. It doesn't matter if your pictures turn out great or not, what matters is that you and the kids have fun. It's also amazing how the kids can nail essence of each artist every time in their own pictures, while the adults (who try too hard) end up with trite and stilted pieces.
And here you can see what I mean by trite and stilted.
Monday, February 9, 2009
If you aren't Canadian then you may not understand the need to find a suitable vegan substitute for butter tarts. They are one of Vegan Mom and mine favourite treats, and we would make them on special occasions. The non-vegan version has butter in it, of course, and relies on eggs to set the filling. So, how to make a passable vegan version? The answer is some agar, which firms up the filling but lets it stay a bit runny. I did not bake these (I will experiment with that next time), so the top is slightly different, but they are still pretty great.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I was really in the mood for a reuben sandwich tonight, but after an afternoon snowshoeing on the lake with the family there was not enough time to make seitan. So I adapted the method from the tofu pancetta to make a corned beef-esque tofu. The result was very good. The texture was a bit different, of course, but the flavours were all there. This is a good option for those who shun fake meat.
- 1 cup water
- 4 tsp seasoned salt
- 4 tsp smoked paprika
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 tsp allspice
- 2 tsp dried mustard
- 5 dried juniper berries, lightly crushed
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Things have been crazy busy around here lately. That hasn't left a lot of time to be creative in the kitchen, and a few recent failures haven't helped things. First up, I can't get my sourdough starter to actually start. It bubbles away, but never actually rises. I have started and re-started so many times I have lost count. I eventually made my way over the Peter Reinhart's blog (I am using his recipe) and found out that there is a bacteria in flour that masquerades as yeast by producing carbon dioxide. I thought I have finally found the solution, and did what Rienhart suggested to fix the problem. But, alas, it did not work. Here is my starter . . . mocking me. Any suggestions from experienced bakers?
Posted by Vegan Dad at 8:37 PM
Monday, February 2, 2009
I find I am getting into a rut when I make Indian food; the same dishes every time. They are great dishes, but it's time to branch out. So, tonight I made something I have never made before: biryani. It is fantastic. Baked rice has a wonderful texture, and with chickpeas and cashews this is a hearty meal unto itself. The raisins add small bursts of sweetness to balance the spices. In a word: yum.