Monday, November 29, 2010

Hot Spinach Salad

I recipe was inspired by the wonderful Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
1 package smoked flavored tofu - diced(e.g.
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional).
Salt to taste
Bowl of fresh washed spinach leaves for salad

Heat medium sized pan - add olive oil, and then quickly add onions. Cook onions until translucent. Add tofu and cook until warm. Add vinegar, mustard, and salt. Mix together and toss into spinach.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vegetarian Jiaozi

We just got back from a trip to China, where we found a great Jiaozi restaurant in Beijing. Their vegetarian dumplings inspired me to try some at home. Here are a couple that tasted yummy!

Fillings for Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings).

Green Veggie Filling:
1 bunch spinach: rinsed, large stems removed
1/2 bunch cilantro: rinsed, large stems removed
1/2 bunch water cress: rinsed, large stems removed
1 handful of chives finely chopped.
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
salt to taste

Chop spinach, cilantro, water cress briefly in a food processor, in small batches. Add chopped chives and salt. Let sit for a few minutes. Using a strainer, squeeze water out of greens. Add sesame oil and mix in.

Mushroom Filling:
1 lb crimini mushrooms, cleaned
12 lb fresh shitake mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced.
3 cloves garlic, minced.
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Cooking sherry
Salt to taste

Chop crimini mushrooms in food processor. Saute in oil with sherry, garlic, and salt. When mostly cooked and water evaporated, add shitake and more cooking sherry as required. Cook until shitake is just tender. Cool filling before making dumplings.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Iron Aki's Birthday Bash

For my birthday I asked all the guests to bring an ingredient that I would make into a dish. I made 11 dishes that night. They are:
1. Edamame, cucumber, wakame salad
2. Hummous
3. Lichen, eggplant, seitan, stir-fry
4. Squash, tamarind, cocunut curry served on top of quinoa
5. Roast veggies with beets, carrots, rosemary, onions
6. Cauliflower tofu stir fry
7. Miayaki, shitake, sugar peas stir-fry
8. Fruit salad with mint, papaya, pomegranate syrup, flowers
9. Tomatillo mango salsa
10. Braised beans with roasted peppers, onions, tomato paste
11. Pressed salad with colabri, apple, red peppers, onions

Bev: Edamame
Dad and Mom: Lichen, Seitan, Eggplant
Sven: Rosemary (he cut from our garden)
Erik: Fresh Tamarind
John and Coral: Cooked Kidney Beans
Bob: Broccoli, Arugula, Cherry Toms, Basil, Colabri
Steve: Beets, Sweet Peppers, Carrots, Onions, Hot Peppers, Cucumber
Michi: Cauliflower
Jackie: Tomatillos, Hot Smoked Paprika (yum!)
Peter: Mango, Papaya
Carl: Eggplant, Miayaki
Kathleen and Robin: Pomegranate Syrup
Laura: Flowers, Anaheim peppers
John and Molly: Peppers, Cabbage
Trisha: Cooked Quinoa

It was a blast!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lemon Cake with Fresh Stawberry Sauce

This cake was light, and had a nice lemony flavor. Add to that a fresh strawberry sauce, and it was delicious!

For Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup oil
teaspoon vanilla
grated zest from one large lemon
juice from the same lemon
1 1/3 cup vanilla soy or rice milk

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare two 9 in cake pans (with oil and dusted with flour).

Whisk together all dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together oil, vanilla, juice, and zest in a smaller bowl. Add oil mixture to dry and stir until the flour is damp. Add "milk" slowly and mix until cake batter consistency. Pour evenly into two cake pans.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 365 and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on racks. Vegan cakes can break apart easily, so handle with car.

For Strawberry Sauce
2 pints of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar (to taste)
pinch salt

Rinse strawberries and remove stems. Take 1/2 the strawberries and 1/2 the sugar and puree in blender or food processor. Pour into bowl. Put the rest of the strawberries and sugar, and chop for a second or two in food processor. Add chopped strawberries to puree. Mix together and add a pinch of salt. Add more sugar if desired. Keep cool until serving.

When ready to serve, put one cake on serving dish. Cover with thick layer of sauce. Put next cake layer on top. Cover with more sauce. Serve with favorite whipped type topping (optional).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Almost Vegan Lasagna

My mother can't eat onions, my father is on a low-cholesterol diet, and Erik doesn't eat ricotta cheese (too much lactose). This yummy lasagna met all dietary restrictions.

1/2 package Lasagna noodles, cooked per instructions on box.

Tofu filling
2 packages of fresh extra firm tofu
1 bag of spinach leaves, washed, steamed, squeezed dry, chopped
teaspoon salt

2 6oz cans tomato paste
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon each of dried thyme and oregano
1/3 cup red cooking wine
4 cans of water (about 1 1/2 cups)
salt to taste

1 1/2 packages of soy mozzarella, grated.
1-2 oz of regular low moisture mozzarella (optional), grated.

To prepare sauce:
Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Add more water if too thick, but thick is good. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

To prepare filling:
Combine tofu, spinach, salt together in bowl. Crumble tofu and combine with spinach until the tofu is all a uniform size (small).

To prepare casserole:
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large lasagna pan, layer the ingredients as follows: sauce, noodles, stuffing, soy cheese. Repeat. Put a little real mozzarella on the top layer, so it melts/browns better. Bake for 40 minutes or until top is brown and cheese nicely melted.

Update 12/09/2010
Home made pasta makes this lasagna even better. Here is a recipe from Jackie DeCiccio
2 cups white flour
1 cup semolina flour
3 eggs

In a large mixing bowl, fix the flour together. Break in the eggs in the center. Using a fork, mix the egg with the flour, starting in the center and working out. Add enough water to make a stiff, but not sticky dough. Knead the dough into a ball. Cut ball of dough in half - wrap 1/2 in plastic so it doesn't dry. Process the other 1/2 through favorite pasta making machine to make lasagna noodles.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Frozen Peach Pie

Sven wanted Peach Pie in the middle of the winter. So, we bought frozen peaches but added fresh ginger and a meyers lemon to make it tasty. We were pleased the results.

Preheat oven to 375
Double pie crust for a 9 inch pie
2 packages of frozen Cascadian Farns Organic Peach Slices (or equivalent)
1 meyers lemon (zest and juice)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons corn starch (or more if watery)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Put in bottom pie crust. Cover with top crust and pierce with a fork several times. Brush crust with milk or water.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until brown.

Suman's Dal

Dr. Suman sent me this recipe, but the amount of lentils was incorrect. After cooking watery (but tasty) dal a couple of times, I doubled the amount of lentils and the results were wonderful. Easy to make and delicious. I eliminate the peppers when I serve to my family.

Pinch tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 onion - diced
5 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1-2 green chilis (optional) - sliced long.
1 cup red dal
3 cups water
salt to taste

Add teaspoon of oil to a deep pan.
Add a pinch of turmeric.
Once it is warm add cumin and mustard seeds.
Let the mustard seeds break as they fry.
Add onion and cook until golden brown.
Add garlic and green chilis
Add dal and mix with the ingredients.
Add salt to taste and mix for 2-3 min.
Add 3 cups of water and close the lid, let it cook for 15min.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scallion Cakes

A friend asked me for the recipe for Scallion Cakes recently. Since I typed it in for him, I thought I would cut and paste here also.

From "How to Cook and Eat in Chinese" by Buwei Yang Chao (my Grandmother).

20.8 Fried Scallion Cake
4 cups flour
2 cups water
1 bunch scallions chopped fine
vegetable oil
salt to taste

Knead the flour and water into a soft dough and divide into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a disc about 1 foot in diameter. Spread on each disc, 2 tablespoons scallions, 1 tablespoon oil, sprinkle salt.

Roll up each cake as you would a carpet. Then twist into a spiral (think nautilus). Flatten with rolling pin until about 6 inch disc.

Heat oil in frying pan. Put in a cake, cover, and fry for about 2 minutes. on each side over medium fire. Turn to low and fry for about 3 more minutes on each side. Remove when light brown on outside and soft on the inside. Pat off excess oil with paper towel. Cut into 6 pieces. Serve hot. Goes well with congee according to Gramma.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

I am adding some recipes that I developed in the late Summer early Fall. This one came out of the "giant zucchini" problem that plagues gardeners in the summer.

This recipe has cheese on top of the baked squash, but could probably substitute with vegan cheese.

2 cups short grain rice
1 cup red lentils
1 cup roasted cashews chopped
fresh sage chopped
grated cheese (I used aged gouda because it was handy - probably any melting cheese is fine)
salt to taste

Cook rice as directed
Cook lentils as directed
Sautee shallot and mushrooms

In big bowl mix together rice, lentils, shallot/mushrooms, cashews, sage, salt.

I stuffed zukes, put the grated cheese on top and baked for 40 minutes in 350 oven or until squash is done.

I plated the squash with homemade tomato sauce underneath.

Garlic Soup

I am posting several recipes that I created in the Summer, after harvesting things from the garden. I cooked this soup after harvesting our lone ear of Elephant Garlic. Though it is a simple recipe, the deep rich flavor of garlic was delicious!

1 head of elephant garlic
olive oil
4 leeks sliced
1 yellow onion diced
2 russet potatoes diced
1 cup white wine
4 cups water
salt to taste
chopped basil garnish (optional)

roast garlic in olive oil for 1 hour in 350 oven . Should be soft.

Sautee chopped leeks and onion.

Add in soft garlic, potatoes, wine salt and simmer until wine 1/2 gone.
Add water and cook until potatoes and vegetables cook
Puree in blender.

Serve hot or cold with chopped basil. On hot day the cold soup is yummy! Also brings out flavors more.

BBQ Style Beans

This is a good recipe to share at a potluck, or a main dish with some cornbread or greens as sides.

Cooked Red Kidney Beans (2 cups uncooked)
1 onion diced
2-3 cloves garlic minced
cooking oil
tomato paste
roasted red pepper sliced
mustard powder
brown sugar
soy sauce
ume vinegar (or just use salt)

To cook:
Heat a saute pan big enough to hold your beans. Add oil, add diced onion and cook until soft and translucent.

While onion is cooking measure into a glass: 1 part liquid salt (ume
vinegar and soy sauce enough to salt your beans), 1 part tomato paste, 1 part water. Stir together. Add in 1 teaspoon mustard powder (if very potent - less), 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar. Dissolve in the glass of liquid.

Add beans to onion. Add garlic. Add red peppers. Add liquid. Let simmer for up to 10
minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning and liquid as it cooks, to taste.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Asian Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash

This is based on a recipe that my Aunt used to stuff turkeys on Thanksgiving. We call it Brattle Circle Stuffing, and the original includes chinese sausage! Here is a vegetarian alternative (modified 11/16/2010)

1 medium sized squash for stuffing - not too juicy (e.g. Pumpkin or Kabocha, etc)
2 cups uncooked sweet rice (mochi gome)
1 bunch scallions chopped
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
4 oz dried shiitake mushrooms re-hydrated and sliced
1 cup peeled chestnuts chopped (can use dried chestnuts - much easier)
1 cup roasted cashews chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
5 cloves garlic minced

Prepare squash for stuffing, by removing seeds, keeping the lid intact.
Cook rice.
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Mix all remaining ingredients in with rice. Adjust soy sauce to taste. Fill the squash with rice stuffing. You can pack it down a bit. Put lid on squash put it in the oven on a baking sheet. Bake for about 2 hours or until squash is done.

Serve with mushroom gravy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Apple Pie

Ok - I know that everybody has a recipe for Apple Pie. But, I have been using more cardamom in my baking, and I have been greatly enjoyed the results. This recipe also has lots of lemony flavor from the zests.

4 large granny smith applies - peeled, cored, thinly sliced
3/4 cup sugar
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoon kudzu dissolved in lemon juice (depending on juiciness of apples)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch salt

2 cups flours
1/2 cup chilled canola oil
1/3 cup chilled water
pinch salt

Mix together all filling ingredients. Pre-heat oven to 450. Make crust by adding wet to dry ingredients and forming into a ball of dough. Roll bottom crust. Fill with apple mixture. Cover and pierce top crust. Brush with soy milk or water. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for additional 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Juice should be oozing a little.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

This recipe is as pretty "healthy", but still fun to eat! Can't go wrong with chocolate and hazelnuts.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
8 oz chopped dark chocolate
1 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
pinch salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup oil (hazelnut and canola mixed)
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

whisk together all dry ingredients. in another bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. Mix the wet intro dry. Add a little water to make cookie dough texture. Form cookies on prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minute, or until cooked (brown on the edges).

Almost Vegan Cooking

After reading the China Study, I decided to try to eat lower on the food chain. As a vegetarian, that really meant, eliminating more dairy and eggs from my diet.

I also love cooking and eating tasty food! I went through "The Main Course" cooking series at Seattle's PCC, and learned to cook through smells, available ingredients, and other experiments. Rarely, do I cook from recipes. But occasionally, I make something I might want to make again. So, this blog is a collection of recipes I consider successful.