Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stromboli

If you heard a collective yowl ringing through the sky around supper time, that was my kids accusing me of violating the sanctity of pizza by adding greens. Back in the summertime when I was researching in Philly, someone suggested that I make a vegan stromboli in honour of the city. I am finally getting around to it. Looking around on the internets I found that there seemed to be no one way to make stromboli, and that the ingredients varied from recipe to recipe. Some were rolled, some were more like a big calzone. No matter what way you make it, the great thing about stromboli is that you can pack a ton of ingredients inside and you don't have to worry about the cheeseless top drying out. Here is what I did, but really the ingredients are up to you.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 recipe pizza dough (they are all pretty much the same)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms
- 4 kale leaves, stem removed, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- sliced pepperoni
- 2 cups chopped chicken-style seitan
- spaghetti sauce
- soy milk for brushing

METHOD
1. Make your dough as per whatever recipe you are using.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion for 5-7 mins, until softened and beginning to brown. Add peppers and garlic and fry for 2 mins.
3. Add mushrooms and cook until they have released their water (about 5 mins). Add kale and seasonings and cook for a few mins until kale softens (it will finish cooking in the oven). Remove pan from stove and place in the fridge to cool down).
4. Heat a pizza stone in the oven set to 400 degrees.
5. I have make this two ways: rolled and braided. If you are going to roll the stromboli, make two smaller ones (I followed the method in this recipe). If you are braiding it (like pictured above), you can make one big one (I followed this video). The basic idea is to put down some sauce, top with pepperoni and setian, then top with veggies. The trick is keeping the sauce away from the edges so you can seal up the dough nicely.
6. When your stromboli is rolled or braided, brush with soymilk and place on a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel. Transfer to the pizza stone (parchment paper and all). Bake until golden brown. Smaller rolls will bake in about 25-30 mins, larger ones in about 35-40.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Southern-Style BBQ Tofu Burger

I say "southern-style" because I am fairly sure that no one south of the Mason-Dixon line actually eats anything like this. This dish just kind of came together on the fly and I was happy with the result. I knew the kids would totally freak out if I made them eat greens on anything that looked like a burger, so I let them eat them on the side. They still did not thank me.


INGREDIENTS
Makes 8
- 1 recipe southern-style greens (I left the stalks on this time for some crunch, and opted out of the onions)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced
- hot sauce to taste
- 1 pkg extra firm tofu, cut in half vertically, then each half sliced into 4 pieces horizontally
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (more if needed)

METHOD
1. Get your greens cooking.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute onions for 5-7 mins, until nicely browned. Douse with as much hot sauce as suits your fancy, mix well, and remove from pan.
3. Add a bit more oil to the pan and fry tofu for a few mins each side, until golden brown. Add BBQ sauce to the pan and simmer until sauce is nice and thick (5-7 mins) , turning tofu regularly.
4. To make the sandwiches, place a slice of tofu on a bun, top with some onions, and then some greens. Add whatever fixin's suit your fancy (I just put some Vegenaise on the top bun), and eat!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sweet Potatao and Kale Quesedillas

The other night we went to a pasta dinner at the boys' school--a way to meet with other parents and build school spirit. We had a great time, but between chatting and trying to shove pasta into the mouths of kids, Vegan Mom and I really didn't eat a lot. We were both feeling pretty peckish later that evening so I whipped up these fantastic quesedillas (he said, tooting his own horn).


INGREDIENTS
Makes 6-8
- 1 large sweet potato, diced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 large Vidalia onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- few dashes hot sauce
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- salt and pepper to tatse
- 2 kale leaves, stalks removed, chopped
- 6-8 small wheat tortillas
- margarine

METHOD
1. Place chopped sweet potato in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to bubbling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 mins, until potatoes are tender.
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute onions for 5-7 mins, until starting to nicely brown. Add corn and cook for another 5 mins, until corn begins to brown.
3. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for 2 mins. Add beans and hot sauce and mix well. Add salsa and spices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Drain potatoes and roughly mash. Add to pan along with the chopped kale. Cook for a few mins, until kale is softened and a a nice brilliant green. Add more salsa if mixture is too dry. Adjust seasonings to taste. Remove from heat. Heat a different fryin pan over medium heat.
5. Spread a thin layer of margarine on one side of a tortilla (not necessary if you are using a cast iron pan). Spread a layer on half of the un-margarined side of the tortilla. Fold tortilla in half, then fry for a few mins per side, until golden brown. Remove from heat and slice in 3 triangles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Indian-Style Potatoes and Spinach

Boy are my kids getting tired of the greens! Ha! Too bad, laddies! I keep giving them the same lecture on getting enough iron, calcium, etc. Of course, they can't really complain when the food tastes this good. I took the recipe from Best Ever Curry Cookbook and adapted the method.


INGREDIENTS
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 4 large Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- 1/2 cup water (more if needed)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt to taste
- 2 handfuls baby spinach

METHOD
1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and fry until they begin to pop and splutter. Add onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 5-7 mins, until translucent.
2. Add potatoes, water, chili powder, and salt and mix well. Add a little more water, if needed, to make a nice sauce. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 12-15 mins, or until potatoes are cooked. Stir occasionally.
3. When potatoes are cooked, add spinach to the pan. Cover and cook for a few mins until spinach wilts but is still a nice vibrant green.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

White Bean and Spinach Pasta

In keeping with my recent theme of quick and healthy meals (with greens), here is an Italian dish that is delicious in its simplicity.


INGREDIENTS
- 450g whole wheat rotini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup marsala, or red wine
- 1 15 oz can canellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 28 oz can can diced tomatoes (juice and all)
- basil (fresh or dried) to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups baby spinach (or more)

METHOD
1. Cook pasta in salted water until just about done (leave it a bit underdone so it can suck up the sauce).
2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion for 5-7 mins, until translucent. Add garlic and sauet 1 min more.
3. Add wine and beans and mix well. Let bubble and reduce for a few mins. Add tomatoes and mix well. Season to taste with basil and salt and pepper.
4. Drain pasta and return to pot. Return pot to medium heat. Add in sauce and spinach. Bring to bubbling and let cook for 8-10 mins, or until pasta and spinach has fully cooked and sauce has reduced. Serve.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Black Bean Noodles

So much going on here lately. The battle to keep our community school open continues . . . hard to say if we are making progress. I also broke my KitchenAid mixer, which means I had to close down the bakery. I was planning to stop when the baby came in June, so this just hastened the inevitable. There was no way to knead everything by hand and still make money. It's still sad, though, because I really enjoyed baking for the neighbourhood. But, there is still plenty of other things to do, which means quick and easy meals like this are always welcome.


INGREDIENTS
The amounts are up to you, depending on how many mouths you have to feed.
- noodles (I use an eggless chow mein noodle)
- broccoli, but into small florets
- minced garlic
- tofu, cut into cubes
- black beans, rinsed and drained
- black bean sauce
- hoisin sauce
- green onions, sliced

METHOD
1. Cook noodles as per the directions given.
2. While noodles are cooking, heat a wok over high heat. Add a few splashes of water along with the broccoli. Stir fry broccoli in the water for a few mins, until it gets tender but is still bright green (add more water when needed).
3. Add garlic and tofu and fry for a few mins, adding more water, if needed.
4. Add cooked noodles to the pan, along with the beans. Add enough sauce to your liking. Heat through. Add sliced green onions, stir well, and serve.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Channa Saag

This is something I put together in my quest to get more kale into my diet. As far as I remember, channa is the hindi word for chickpeas, and saag means spinach. This dish is packed with all sorts of nutritional goodness, and even though they protested at first, the boys ate all their greens.


INGREDIENTS
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups chopped kale (though stems removed)
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup plain soy yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste

METHOD
1. Heat oil on a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions for 12-15 mins, until nicely browned. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 2 mins.
2. Add tomatoes and spices and bring to bubbling. Cook for 5-7 mins, stirring regularly, until tomatoes have reduced to a paste.
3. Add chickpeas and kale and cook for about 5 mins, until kale is tender. Add spinach and cook 2-3 mins, until tender. Stir in lemon juice and yogurt.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adjust spices to your liking, and serve.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Creamy Dijon Dill Potatoes

Just a quick post tonight. The past week has been absolutely insane. First, the trustees are trying to shut down the boys' school--the oldest continually operating elementary school in northern Ontario. We have hosted several meetings (with plenty of vegan baking to go around), and have spent a lot of time organizing, writing letters, etc. Here is the website dedicated to saving the school if you are interested. In the midst of it all, our basement flooded with all the melting snow. That was fun. Of course, today we had a snow storm and the temperature has dropped below zero. Ah, spring. And then there are the stacks of essays to grade . . . . There is no better time for fast and easy food. I made these potatoes to accompany the maple barbecue tofu.


INGREDIENTS
- 1 lb baby yellow potatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp margarine
- generous tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2-4 tbsp plain soy milk
- 1/2 tsp dill (or more if you like the dill)

METHOD
1. Boil potato halves in salted water for 8-10 mins, until softened but not mushy. Drain.
2. Heat margarine in a frying pan over med-hi heat. Fry potatoes for 5-7 mins, until golden. Add mustard, 2 tbsp of soy milk, and dill and mix well. Add more soy milk until desired creaminess is reached. Serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Maple Barbeque Tofu

A few weeks ago I installed the Canadian Living app on my iPod, hoping it would provide some good recipe ideas. To my surprise, I have been bookmarking just about every recipe of the day. Today's recipe is based on a pork recipe, and it caught my interest because it used maple syrup. I was a little disappointed that the maple syrup flavour did not come through in the end--it would be cheaper and just as tasty to use brown sugar. This is very simple and very tasty.


INGREDIENTS
- 1 pkg of extra firm tofu, cut into triangles
- oil
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, or packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp chili powder

METHOD
1. Heat thin layer of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pan fry tofu about 5 mins per side, until golden.
2. While tofu is cooking, whisk together remaining ingredients. When tofu is done, add sauce to the pan and bring to bubbling. Cook for about another 5 mins, until sauce has thickened and coats the tofu.