Saturday, December 27, 2008

The space between Xmas and New Year's

It's now the weekend after Christmas and I am really happy because it's such a long weekend off work. But then again, I've never been more bored in my life. I've been talking to the most amazing man in the world over the internet, but he's out of town to visit his family, so I really have nothing to do other than watch movies, read, cry, clean, and eat. God, I'm pathetic. Help me now.

Anyway, in all this boredom and misery I still got out of the house today and went to the farmer's market and got a few great things. I bought some Indian samosas with cilantro chutney, fruits and veg, and a loaf of sourdough baguette that I devoured in like 5 hours. Help me now.

I got around to make a Chickpea Salad that I've been spying in "Vegan A Go Go" by Sarah Kramer. It's super simple, and as I've been extremely lazy with cooking lately, it was an easy choice.

Chickpea Salad from "Vegan A Go Go", steamed green beans, and sourdough baguette:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm A Garlic Whore

Your result for What Spice Are You Test...

You are Garlic!

0% Habanero, 30% Sage, 0% Thyme, 0% Ginger, 40% Garlic, 10% Curry, 10% Cinnamon and 10% Oregano!

You can be both mellow and sweet.

You are very loved and tend to get along well with people. People remember you! You love to help people and want to feel useful.

You may sometimes have a tendancy to talk a bit too much, but you also don't mind listening to other people either. You hate it when you become engrossed in your own problems, and you can often feel guilty.

You don't have a desire to lead, normally, and you don't mind taking directions and lending a hand. You have a generous spirit and a kind heart.

You are more than likely very attractive, but you would never stop to admit it. You do notice the positive qualities in other people, though.

Take What Spice Are You Test
at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Miraculous Tofu Loaf

I know I know. Tofu sounds gross. And the word loaf sounds pretty nasty too. But let me assure you that when you put these too words together they can make a beautiful team. I made the Tip-top tofu loaf recipe from "Vegan A Go Go" by the lovely Sarah Kramer. It's soooo good although the texture comes out a big soft and crumbly. The taste is amazing though. Savory, tangy, exciting! I also made the Cumin Fried Potates from Vegan A Go Go. Seriously, you have to get this book! It's awesome. The food is good, the recipes are easy, and the ingredients are pretty easy to find.

Tip Top Tofu Loaf and Cumin Fried Potatoes:

Gosh it's been a while

WOW! It's been soooo long since I last posted. People have asked me if I stopped being vegan and that's why I haven't posted. That is ridiculous. Vegan for life, baby!! I'm planning on starting to post again, though probably not as frequently as before (every two days or so).

Let me give you a rundown of a couple things I've eaten or made since I last posted:

Vietnamese Crepe:

I got this savory crepe from a local Vietnamese Vegetarian restaurant. I usually go there about once a week when I forget to make something for lunch at work. This crepe was filled with so many plants! But mostly bean sprouts which was a little odd. It came in plastic, not styrofoam, so I was able to recycle it. Can I get a "hell yeah" for the Earth?!

Cucumber Radish Salad:

Damn, I made this awhile ago but it's basically a Japanese cucumber-radish salad. I marinated the veggies with tamari, ginger, garlic, and a bit of sesame oil, then topped with sesame seeds. Pretty good but I was burping radish flavor for a few hours afterward.

Seitan Tikka Masala:

When I was a meat eater one of my fave dishes was chicken tikka masala. I was eager to find something similar that I could make with vegan ingredients when I came upon a recipe for this sweet deal. It's not exactly the same as the old tikka but it's become one of my favorite dishes now. Did I mention I love seitan?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello Seitan!!

Seitan, where have you been all my life? Did you think about me even though I was unaware of your existence? I swear tofu and tempeh will be my second best next to you.

I am a new convert to seitanism.

Seitan being "wheat meat" or wheat gluten that's made to resemble a "meaty" product. I have eaten it before in the form of Tofurky sausages but I didn't expect that I could make a similar product at home at half the price.

There's a recipe online that has been spreading like wildfire through vegan blogs and websites. Finally, I caught on!! And I'm so glad that I did.

This is the precooked product:

Wrap that sucker in foil and twist the ends:

After baking and sliced:

Seitan cubed and served in pasta with Ajvar (courtesy of "Vegan Fire and Spice" by Robin Robertson):

Thanks Robin, for the book if you're reading. I love the recipes. I have made the Smooth and Sassy Guacamole and the Ajvar so far. I've been kind of busy lately so I've only made the easy spreads/dips so far but every recipe looks amazing!!

Seitan O'Greatness:

Dry ingredients:
1-1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper (I use 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (you can use 1/8 tsp if you like it less spicy)
1/8 tsp allspice (optional)
2 tsp garlic powder

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 325°.

In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for a minute or two.. it doesn't need long.

Form into a log (6-8" long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

This seitan recipe is great because it's so flippin' easy. Most call for mixing, forming, refrigerating, then boiling in broth. But for this one I only had to mix, form, and bake. Simple! I think next time I'll make two or three logs and freeze them for later use.

Some other foods I've made since last post:

Potato skins:

Cilantro Lentil soup with homemade breadsticks:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Interspecies Love

Now tell me again, why can't we all get along?

This pic was sent to me via email from an online friend across the great Pacific. It got me thinking.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mock Foods

I haven't posted in a couple weeks! Blah! Well we all needed a good rest, huh? Of course, but that didn't stop me from making new foods. I was hellbent on making "mock" products apparently during my time-off. I didn't notice this until right now but I have been cooking up quite a few foods that are vegan, but act like, taste and look like they aren't.

Mock "Chicken" Salad

I made this with Tempeh, the wonder soy product that I really don't buy often enough. I explained to my mother that tempeh is fermented soybean cake she said something like, "EW! That sounds horrible!" But when I thought about it, it's really not that bad. After all, many things that she eats are fermented...perhaps even longer than Tempeh. Cheese is "aged" for months as well as some of her meat products so I don't see why tempeh is all that bad, as it's only fermented for about 48 hours.

Individual "Beef", Onion, and Bell Pepper Empanadas:

I bought some raw wheat pizza dough and formed it into small little discs, then topped them with a mixture of Morningstar "beef" crumbles, taco seasoning, onions, peppers, and an "uncheese" that I made (see below). I folded the dough over and placed the individual pockets on a baking sheet in a 400 deg F oven for about 10 minutes and VOILA!

Gee Whiz "cheese spread" from the "Uncheese Cookbook" by Joanne Stepaniak

This "cheese" was a mix of white beans (I used Great Northern Beans), roasted red bell pepper, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powder, salt, and some other things. It tasted a lot like nacho cheese or something similar which was interesting. Obviously though, it is much more healthy than processed cheese. Thank Goodness for Gee Whiz!

"Chicken Fried Steak" and Carrot-Tahini Slaw

Robin Robertson, author of "The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook" as well as countless others, has proved herself once again with a recipe mimicking "Chicken Fried Steak." But this fried patty recipe doesn't use chicken gravy or steak; it's all about TOFU! I have to admit that in my meat-eating days I never had a Chicken Fried Steak, but this vegan alternative was darn good, and I just ate it plain...not with gravy or anything!
I accompanied the patties with Carrot-Tahini Slaw that I made from a book called "You Won't Believe It's Vegan." It's a mix of grated carrots, celery, red onion, tahini, lemon juice, salt, SPIKE seasoning, pepper, and dill. It was awesome.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Portabello-Onion Fajitas

My mother used to make fajitas all the time. She would saute onions, peppers, and chicken in a little bit of oil. Then she would add beer to give it a magical flavor all its own. When I was young I always loved fajitas because (A) they were good and (B) because I thought that I would get an alcohol buzz from the beer, although this was never the case.

No more chicken for me though.

I came across a recipe from, once again, from "The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook" by Robin Robertson that was all about Portabello Mushroom slices, Red Onion slices, and a new American craze...chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I have seen the chipotle peppers in adobo featured in quite a few recipes but I never saw them in the store; or maybe I never really looked hard enough. Anyway I found some and bought a can for this recipe.

Now let me tell you... these fajitas kicked my ass two ways from Sunday. I love spicy foods but DAMN this was hot stuff. I never gave in though. The pain was just part of the experience of this awesome dish.

Mushrooms and Onions waitin' to be sauteed:

And the Grand Debut:

Comment for recipe.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cafe Dining at Home

Since I live in the suburban environs of Silicon Valley I often long for the city. Thoughts of the city bring about dreams of easy-going cafe visits and alcoholic drinks in the early afternoon. There's something very European about it. I wish to visit Paris again with it's low-key outdoor dining experience. That brief 3 days that I was in France was memorable because it was a time of leisure; coffee, tea, or warm soda; and light meals.

Today I tried to replicate that feeling of cafe-dining but inside my apartment because the cafes around here are small and filled with immature high-schoolers who have nothing better to do than judge every aspect of a person who comes in their midst.

I made a cafe-inspired meal of Quiche and Spiced, Roasted Potatoes.

Quiche and Tell (recipe from "The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook" by Robin Robertson):

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, chilled in the refrigerator
2 Tbs. cold water

1 Tbs. grapeseed OR olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced (about 1/2 small onion)
One 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, cooked according to pkg. directions, drained
1 lb. firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 cup plain soymilk
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, grated

For the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt, pulsing to blend. Add the oil and process until the mix is crumbly. Slowly add the water with the machine running, and process until the mix forms a ball. Turn the dough out and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until softened, stirring a few times, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the drained spinach, stirring to combine. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Fit it into a 9-inch quiche pan or pie plate. Set aside.
In the food processor, blend the tofu, soymilk, mustard, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg until well-mixed. Spoon the onion-spinach mixture onto the crust and sprinkle the vegan cheese over it. Pour the tofu mixture over the spinach-cheese mix, making sure it's evenly distributed.
Bake until the filling is firm and lightly browned on top, 50 minutes to one hour. Let the quiche cool before slicing and serving.

Oven Roasted Potatoes:

1 large russet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
garlic powder
onion powder
fresh-ground pepper
cayenne pepper
dried rosemary
grapeseed or olive oil

Place cut potatoes into a bowl and drizzle oil over top. Add spices and stir until potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Place potatoes on aluminum foil and fold the foil over the potatoes to make a closed pocket. Place foiled potatoes on baking sheet and place in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.

Last weekend, my friends and I went camping. I ate simple foods like: peanut butter-banana sandwiches, chips and crackers, apples, Shelle's green bean salad, corn, beer and vodka. hehe.

Just thought I'd add a couple pics from the trip:

Me and Mini:

There was a perfectly lovely picture here but Shelle demanded I take it down. 0_o

Jay and Mini:


Mexican Enchilada Bake

Mexican food always brings great memories to me. Being American, international cuisines have always appealed to me because we have no defining, quintessential food that describes us. Sure there are hamburgers, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese; but what fool would dare eat those when there are so many wonderful dishes that were inspired by Latin, Asian, African, Indian, and Middle Eastern cooking.

America is in fact a "melting pot" of culture, cuisine, and language. Unfortunately, it mostly gets lost in the greed of people pursuing high-paying jobs and fancy houses. But one thing holds true to me...that's the flavors of other countries that I try to assemble in my humble "galley-style" kitchen.

I have tried and failed, in the past, to make an Enchilada Casserole. But now I have discovered a great recipe which I know will conquer any Cinco De Mayo north of Tijuana.

I found this recipe on and it's absolutely amazing.

Enchilada Bake:

12 oz. vegetarian burger crumbles (try Morningstar or Boca brand)
1 packet taco seasoning (make sure it contains no milk products)
2 15.5-oz. cans enchilada sauce
18 corn tortillas
2 15.5-oz. cans pinto beans, drained
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4.5-oz. can diced green chilies
2 cups Fritos corn chips, finely crushed

• Preheat the oven to 375°F.
• In a small bowl, combine the burger crumbles and taco seasoning and set aside.
• Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with oil.
• In layers, spread a generous amount of enchilada sauce, 6 corn tortillas, 2 cans of pinto beans, a handful of green onion, a third of the shredded “cheese,” half the can of green chilies, lots more enchilada sauce, 6 more tortillas, all the seasoned burger crumbles, another third of the “cheese,” the remaining green chilies, more enchilada sauce, then the final 6 tortillas, more enchilada sauce, and the rest of the “cheese.” Cover in foil and bake for 30 minutes.
• Remove the foil, top the entire casserole with the Fritos, and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

This recipe serves 6 large portions or 12 small entrees if served with side dishes such as rice or chips and guacamole. Since I live alone I ate this for lunch and dinner for 3 days straight, and I never got sick of it!! It's that good.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oprah the Vegan

If you haven't heard already....Oprah recently read "Quantum Wellness" by Kathy Freston who is a "conscious living" advisor (whatever that means). Anyway, the material in the book must have really gotten to the OPster because now she has GONE VEGAN...well, at least for a 21 day "cleanse." I'm thinking she may keep up with it for longer than that though. Her "cleanse" also omits gluten, alcohol, and caffeine. So I guess I'm basically cleansing too (except for the gluten, alcohol, and caffeine). I'm not a Buddhist monk or anything, geez!

So, being that Oprah is basically God to millions of women nationally and internationally, I'm thinking that a lot of people may follow her new regimen of conscious consumerism. In the least for 21 days, but undoubtedly, there are some who may become vegans for life.

Hopefully she will see extremely positive results, maybe a little weight loss sprinkled with a little dash of boosted energy. Let's hope the Oprah will show the world a new way of living.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Food Update, Animals, a Barbecue, and a Costume

Unamas! is a local Fresh Mex kinda place and they have some wonderful food. It's not a veggie restaurant but they have some things that are easily made vegan. Taco Salad anyone? No cheese, no sour cream, extra extra guacamole. :D

In keeping with a lowered sodium menu (I haven't been very good lately) I made a pinto bean salad/spread thing. It tasted exactly like the hummus they have at a sandwich shop near me. Weird. Slap some on a wheat pita bread and top it with some spring mix salad and you got this sucker:

Pinto Bean Spread (low-sodium):

4 cups (approx. 2-1/2 15 oz. cans) cooked pinto beans
2 T dried minced onion
3 T pickle relish (not the sweet relish!)
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cumin or more to taste
Pepper to taste

Drain and rinse pintos. Using a food processor, blender, or potato masher, combine all ingredients until smooth. Serve.

Shelle's Father's birthday happened to end up on a beautiful day with warm weather. So what else to do during nice weather? BBQ!! I fixed my plate with grilled zucchini, yellow squash, salad, rice, cauliflower and corn (where is the corn in the pic...oh well). It was a great day. I happened to catch Minnie sunbathing nude on the cement and a pic of Minnie and Marley socializing.

I came across a recipe for Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo (low-sodium) which I easily veganized although the result was just okay; nothing special

Sun-dried Tomato "Alfredo":

8 oz. pasta of choice (I used organic whole wheat linguine)
2 cups regular soymilk
2 T cornstarch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, shake soymilk and cornstarch together in a jar. Place in saucepan over medium heat and cook and stir until thickened and beginning to boil. Add nutr. yeast, tomatoes, garlic powder, and oregano, and stir until heated through. Serve sauce over drained pasta.

Last but surely not least, I was invited to a "masquerade party" for Eduard's birthday. So I was naturally thinking that it was sort of a costume party with masks and such. I went out to a costume shop called Debbie Lyn's Closet and rented a cape (yes a cape) and a pirate shirt...just a frilly shirt with funny doily edges. Seinfeld fans will probably be thinking "puffy shirt" right now. Well I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb because I had this weird get-up and most people just came with nice clothes and masks. I didn't feel too bad though when Andrea, the Italian stud, showed up dressed in an afro. Haha.

Here's Jay and I...notice Jay is not wearing any costume whatsoever:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Low-Sodium Vegan Food

I started to log my sodium intake recently and I was horrified to see that I was consuming double what I should be. High Blood Pressure runs in my family and I have borderline High Blood Pressure so I am starting to eat more low-sodium foods.

I went to a website for low-sodium vegan diets and it gave me a few recipes. One was for STUFFED PEPPERS so that's what I made today. It was an easy recipe and quite good.

I ate one stuffed pepper with carrot and celery sticks and a green salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

Low-Sodium Stuffed Peppers (serves 6):

6 large green bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
2 tsp. olive or grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 12- or 14-oz. package vegan ground "meat" such as Morningstar Vegan Crumbles or Gimme Lean "Sausage" or equivalent
3 medium ripe tomatoes
2 cups cooked barley
Cumin to taste
Chili Powder to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently place peppers in the water and boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove peppers and drain; set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat oil and saute onions and vegan "meat", breaking up the "meat" completely, until onions are softened. Add tomatoes, barley, cumin, and chili powder and stir mixture one minute longer or until heated through. Stuff boiled and drained peppers with the mixture and serve.

Falafel Friday and Some Animal Friends

Last Friday I had two Middle Eastern Meals. For lunch I decided to go out to one of my favorite Mediterranean spots for a Veggie Combo plate. Then after I got back to work I got an email inviting me to a friend's birthday dinner at yet another Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Sunnyvale. There I also got another Veggie Combo plate. I think I'm becoming Middle Eastern! :D

House of Falafel...Clockwise from top-left corner: Hummus, Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), Tabbouleh Salad, Baba Ganoush, Falafel patties, and Salad. This all came with pita bread. YUM

Taverna Mediterranean...Clockwise from top-left corner: Rice, Falafel patties, Greek Cucumber Salad, a rather liquid Hummus, and in the middle, Eggplant Salad. YUM

I want to show everyone a picture or two of some of my favorite animals.

Fred the cat...Fred lives at the work office and he's always coming around for some attention. I don't like cats very much but I have to admit, he's a beautiful pussy.

Buddy the dog is my father's dog. I don't get to see him very often because he lives an hour and a half away but I always enjoy my time with him (even though he gets dog hair and slobber all over me.)

Michelle, if you're reading this I love all your animals too but I don't have pics of them.

This post is the first with my new digital camera. YAY.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Healthy, Environmentally-Sustainable Oil?

Recently I made the switch from using olive oil to mostly using Grapeseed oil. I was curious about the flavor, but the flavor is great...kind of earthy and nutty, but light. It's very pleasant. Many cooks prefer it because it has a high smoke point, meaning you can cook at higher temperatures without the oil smoking too much.

Grapeseed Oil requires no new farmland, water, or other natural resources because it uses the grape seeds from the wine-making process. This means that it's environmentally sound and sustainable.

Also, grapeseed oil is 75% Omega 6 fatty acid and contains the most heart-healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats among all the vegetable oils. It has half of the saturated fat of olive oil, as well.

Oils are often quite expensive but I bought a bottle of grapeseed oil the size of a wine bottle for only US$7.00 at Whole Foods. That's less than most olive oils.

Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing

I have to admit that I don't eat enough leafy green vegetables. I should though because cruciferous veggies such as kale, spinach, etc. contain cancer-fighting properties as well as tons of Vitamin A, C, K, calcium, omega 3, protein, fiber, iron, etc.

I got my kale fix recently though with Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing that is a recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance. It's yummy, but what really surprises me is that a huge bunch of kale wilts down to almost nothing when cooked. : (

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spicy Cilantro Split-Pea Soup, Mashed Potato Cakes, and Canada

There's something super-satisfying to me about split pea soup. It's hearty, full of flavor, and packed with fiber and protein. I made a not-so-standard soup with split peas, onion, carrot, celery, jalapeno, veggie stock, potato, zucchini, bay leaf, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, fresh cilantro, and I topped it all off with "Baco-s" Bacon Bits (Yes, they're vegan!!). I love french bread so I sliced some up for dipping.

I couldn't eat all the soup that I made so I froze the leftovers. It should be good in the freezer for a month or two.

From the "Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook" I made the Garlic Smashed Potatoes. Then I chilled them in the fridge and shaped the potatoes into patties. I mixed some flour, salt, and pepper, then dredged the patties in the flour mixture. Next, I heated some oil in a pan and fried the patties until they were golden brown.

They are really good with homemade brown gravy or tahini sauce.

My grandfather passed away recently after a long battle with cancer so my family and I travelled to Canada to hold a memorial service for the extended family there. I used to spend two months every summer in Nanaimo, BC, Canada so I hold it dear to my heart. It's like my second home. I got some pictures from the plane and also some from Nanaimo itself.

Seattle from the plane:

City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (taken from Protection Island):

Beach Access trail on Beautiful Protection Island:

I'm so fond of crabs. On Protection Island you can literally go to the beach, pick up a rock, and see the baby crabs crawl out from under the rock. They're too small to pinch me so I picked one up. Here's a pic of me giving some love to a crab.:

Empanada-type Thing

I have fallen in love with the raw pizza dough that I buy at a local grocery store (Trader Joe's). Maybe I love it too much, I've put on a couple pounds since I've discovered it :D

Sure you can make a standard pizza with it because it's just uncooked dough, but sometimes it's fun to get creative. I think a few posts ago I showed a picture of a Curry Calzone. This is along the same lines but since I stuffed it with Fake beef, it seems to be more like an Argentinian Empanada.

I didn't follow a recipe for this so just test and taste as you go.

What I did:


Uncooked pizza dough, enough to make a 12" round
12 oz. package vegan "beef" crumbles ( I used the Morningstar brand)
1 envelope taco seasoning (make sure it has no dairy)
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
hot sauce to taste
olive oil or other cooking oil for brushing on dough


Take the pizza dough and roll out or stretch to a 12" round; set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Put frozen "beef" crumbles in a pan and warm over medium heat. When warm add taco seasoning, bell pepper, and 1/2 cup water (or whatever amount the taco seasoning packet says to use), simmer for about ten minutes stirring occasionally. Place "beef" filling on one half of the stretched pizza dough and fold the other half over so that it forms a pocket. Moisten edges of dough and press together to make a seal. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil and place empanada onto it. Rub or brush some olive oil on the top; make small slits on the top so the empanada filling can steam and place in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Let cool for a bit, slice, and serve.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook

I bought a new cookbook that is filled with vegan comfort foods that are meant to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. It's called the Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook by Robin Robertson.

I made one recipe so far and it was heaven on earth. What I ended up making was Shiitake-Stuffed Tofu Steaks with Hoisin Glaze. Is your mouth watering yet? I was suppose to cut the tofu into four pieces and then put a knife through the side in order to form a pocket with which to be stuffed. But, unfortunately, the tofu didn't want to make it easy for me so I scrapped the idea of stuffing them and instead I put the filling on the top.



2 TBS olive oil
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
3 green onions, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 4 equal slices
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (found in the Asian/International aisle of the supermarket)
1-2 TBS minced cilantro


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shrooms, green onion, cilantro, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown on the first side. Turn and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the hoisin to the pan, spooning it over the tofu to coat. Flip tofu and make sure both sides are covered with hoisin sauce.
Serve and eat.

Serves 4 as an entree or 2 if your really damn hungry.

If this recipe is any indicator of how good the other ones are, I'm excited.