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Archive for September, 2010

Perhaps not what you would expect to find on a vegan cooking blog, but wait!

Tal Ronin’s book, The Conscious Cook, has two recipes for a vegan version of cheese, using New Chapter All-Flora, and cashews or macadamia nuts.

Now, making my own homemade cheese would not have entered my mind had it not been for the hilarious chapter on cheese making in Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle where she describes an adventure with Ricki the Cheese Queen of New England Cheese Making Supply Company. I had always hoped I might find a vegan way to do it, and I experimented last week.

The result? A very tasty, slightly intimidating sharp tasting herb cheese. I served the Herbed Cashew Cheese version with heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden.

Welcome back Caprese Salad!

Insalata Caprese (salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad from the Italian region of Campania, typically made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Viola Vegan Insalata Caprese

Cashew Cheese from Tal Ronin’s Conscious Cooking Book

Fresh Heirloom Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

Fresh Purple Basil

Layer cheese, tomatoes and basil leaves, repeat for a tri-color presentation.

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Ok, it is nice when people like what you cook. Especially when they go ahead and lick the plate. This version of Hollandaise was inspired by decadent breakfasts made for Mother’s Days. Tulips and wooden shoes a must.

Holland Days Sauce over Baked Tofu, with Pan Seared Sweet Potatoes

Holland Days

1 box Organic Silken Tofu (12 oz)

1 cube Vegan Vegetable Bouillon I use Rapunzel With Sea Salt and Herbs

1 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1 cup Vegan Butter substitute I like Earth Balance

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

salt and pepper, to taste

Blend tofu, bouillon and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until creamy. Warm butter substitute in a saucepan over low to medium heat (or use 1/2 cup of flavorful extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup of butter substitute). Add the blended tofu mixture and heat through. Serve over toasted sourdough bread, Baked Tofu, with avocado and asparagus (in season). Top with fresh grated nutmeg. Combines well with Pan Seared Sweet Potatoes.

Pan Seared Sweet Potatoes

3-5 medium orange fleshed sweet potatoes baked

1-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

Slice the potatoes into 1/2 inch rounds. Cook over medium heat 10-12 minutes on each side. Color should be carmel and the flesh slightly crisp. Serve with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.

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So, halavah the stick-in-your-teeth sesame treat was a childhood favorite. I recently found a recipe that could be made more vegan friendly. Note my highlight on the word, could. Some things are successful. This one needs more work. I am open to suggestions. I may have added too much tahini, the result was a more oily gooey version. Might I recommend- measuring cups instead of “eyeballing it.”

Oh, and I must give credit where credit is due: I have this recipe thanks to an avid cooking friend for whom I am organizing holiday recipes. This comes from an adapted “Chocolate Covered Purim Halavah” recipe in her collection.

Chocolate Covered Halavah

1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)

1/3 cup raw honey or brown rice syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened graded coconut

1/2 cup wheat germ (toasted)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2-3 Tablespoons coco powder

8 ounces grain-sweetened chocolate chips, melted (I like Suspire)

In a food processor, blend coconut, wheat germ and sunflower seeds. Add tahini and sweetener, blend well. Add cocoa powder and blend until mixture forms a ball. Roll into 1/2 inch rounds. Dip each round in melted chocolate and place on wax paper or in decorative mini paper cups. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.

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