Monday, May 21, 2012

Spinach - Mushroom Quiche

Over at the Post Punk Kitchen Forum, there was a discussion about Quiche. Vegan variety to be sure.
A link was posted to a recipe by Peter Berley's offering from his book The Modern Vegetarian.
Having made a few Vegan Quiches with great success, the winner being the Broccoli one from Vegan Brunch (An awesome book, btw), I decided to give this one a try.
A few changes were made:
1) Having no sesame seeds on hand, a Zaatar mix was used in their place.
2) Frozen spinach that was thawed and well drained sped up the process.
3) About half the oil called for in the filling.

It was really good! The crust was both crunchy and flakey, the filling firm, tender and borsting with flavor, and the meal so very filling. (Although there was still room for some left over birthday Vegan Carrot cake, of course)

Was is crowned the new Quiche winner?
Nope, that honor is still firmly held by the Vegan Brunch.
This one is a solid second.

I went a bit heavy handed on the Paprika...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Sexy Vegan - Book Review

The Sexy Vegan, a blog that birthed a book, is a funny and delightful cooking journey.
Buying the book on impulse turned out to be a wise choice.
I'm not one to often read the forwards, messages, and all that insight that most cookbooks are filled with. I should re-think this strategy as after reading, and nearly busting a rib, not just the introduction, but all the recipe "headliners" too, was a joyous endeavor.
He is one funny dude.

For starters, I went for the Basic Seitan. It has a secret ingredient. Well, not so much anymore; it's mashed potatoes.
On it's own, it was good. Nice firm texture and very flavorful.
Since one can't, or at least, should not, live on Seitan alone, I made the "Steaks" with Gravy plus Celery Root fries dinner combo. (To note, this was the authors Final Meat Eating Meal. No quotations on the steak)
Let's start with the Celery Fries. They were interesting. A little went a LONG way with these.
Ended up making them in the ActiFry, which is one of my all time favorite kitchen appliances.
The "Steak" was outstanding and the Gravy out of this world good.
So awesome in fact, that the left overs kept getting picked at throughout the evening until there were none left... Even the Broccoli got polished off. Dipped into the Gravy, of course. The Celery Fries, well, that is another story.

Being a weekends only kind of cook, and the owner of way too many cookbooks, it may be awhile until the Sexy Vegan and I cross paths again, but we will. Of that I am sure.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vine and Dine - Blue Plate Special Wheat Meat Loaf

How I love American Vegan Kitchen! Not only is full of mouth watering recipes that are intensely, in a good way, flavorful and easy to make, but it is also written by an extremely nice and very giving person. I also like that the recipes are very "forgiving".
So imagine how happy I was that for the next two Vine and Dine events, the cooking comes from this fantastic book? Very!

The first cook a long is the Blue Plate Special Wheat Meat Loaf. (Try saying that really fast after a few glasses of the "Vine"...)
For a combination of necessity and pure laziness, I made a few changes. These are, in no particular order (I've been watching WAY too much of three different versions of The Voice):
1) Tofu instead of Seitan (laziness)
2) Soy Curls in place of the TVP (necessity and laziness)
3) Dry bread crumbs (you get the picture by now)
4) Baked in a loaf pan (Preference)

And it STILL turned out to be outstanding! See, so forgiving. (Hope Tami is as well) :)
The loaf was bursting with flavor, texture, moist on the inside and a bit crunchy on the outside.
The side dishes were roasted potatoes (smoked paprika, lemon pepper, hot red pepper, smoked salt and a dash of oil) along with a sauté of fresh spinach, mushrooms, garlic and a dash of red wine.

I think that bear would have been a perfect companion for this meal, but since there was non in the house, and yes, due to being lazy, white wine was the served.
I'd love to tell which one, but the bottle went directly to the big recycling bin, and there are limits to what one will do for the details that make up this post.
It was a lovely dry white from Lone Madrone.

The next Vine and Dine will feature a selection from American Vegan Kitchen that Tami was kind enough to let me pick.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bold Organics Pizza - A Review

I love pizza. So much so that it is really the main obstacle in my becoming fully Vegan.
Non dairy cheese has come a long way, so true, but at least the varieties that one can find here just fall a bit short.
When I spotted the Vegan Bold Organic pies at the local health food store, I knew that it would be an expensive "experiment" ($7.99 on sale) but one I had to participate in all the same. A vegan, organic AND gluten free pizza? How could any one resist, right?
First impression, this pizza is small. I baked it according the the directions, and even left it under the broiler for a few minutes. Out of the oven it looked very pleasing, with that oh so charred cheese film.
With great excitement, I took the first bite.
It was okay, but far from great. Rather doughy, a very pronounced and somewhat overpowering tomato sauce, and not enough cheese to marry those two into an harmonious bless.
Would I buy it again? Probably not. It is however a giant step in the right direction.