Saturday, April 23, 2011

Broccoli and Mushroom Fettuccine

I made a delicious White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms last week (see 4/17/2011 post). There was leftover sauce and pizza toppings. The next day I boiled up some whole wheat fettuccine. While the pasta was cooking I combined the sauce and vegetables and gently reheated them. When the pasta was done I reserved about a half cup of cooking water before I drained the pasta. Then I combined the pasta, sauce, veggies, chopped fresh basil, and sun dried tomatoes in a bowl, mixed it together and added enough cooking water to thin to the right consistency. This was so delicious. It made about two servings. So if you think making a pizza from scratch is too much trouble, think again. I had several totally delicious meals – all from scratch!

Here is what I had leftover after I made the White Pizza.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Yummy! Recipe is from Vegetarian Times and I have pretty much followed the recipe except to switch out the “vegetable” oil with walnut oil. This pudding has a splendid flavor thanks to sweetening it with maple syrup. It wasn’t as smooth as I’d liked but still very tasty! MoriNu tofu is so easy to keep on hand – it's the one in the box on the shelf. And this tofu is truly "tasteless" and melds wonderfully with chocolate. Mmmmmmm!


6 oz. semisweet vegan chocolate (I used chocolate chips), coarsely chopped

1 TB walnut oil (or canola oil)

12 oz. MoriNu soft tofu, well drained

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup vanilla or plain soy milk

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 TB tahini

fresh strawberries or raspberries (optional)


1. Heat chocolate and oil in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water. Whisk until smooth. Remove pan from water, and let cool 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut tofu into thick slabs, and place on triple layer of paper towels. Press firmly on tofu to squeeze out as much water as possible; change paper towels if necessary. (I omitted this step and everything turned out fine – I just dumped the tofu from the box into the bowl.)

3. Put maple syrup, soy milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and tahini into food processor. Crumble tofu into mixture, and purée until smooth, scraping down sides with spatula as necessary. Add melted chocolate, and process until well blended.

4. Transfer pudding into 6 custard cups or small bowls. Cover each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, or until softly set. To serve, top with berries.

White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms

I can never eat too much pizza. I just love it. My "problem" is the "cheese problem." It has been difficult for me to not eat it especially on foods such as pizza. And I'm sorry folks, but I just don't care much for the fake cheeses, even Daiya. At this time I am reading "The China Study" which is actually helping me to overcome this addiction to cheese. But I digress. This recipe comes from The Vegetarian Times and it was vegetarian – not vegan – until I got a hold of it. You can use any crust recipe you like. I am on a sourdough tangent at the moment so I made a sourdough pizza crust which turned out quite nice even if I forgot the pizza in the oven and over baked it for a couple of minutes! This recipe made more sauce and toppings than you really should put on your pizza. Too much "stuff" makes for a soggy pizza so it's a balancing act. The left over sauce and broccoli mix I'm going to mix up with a bit of whole wheat fettuccine, fresh basil and sun dried tomatoes. But that's another post! This pizza pairs up nicely with a nice pinot gris. Makes one medium pizza.

2 tsp olive oil
6-8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

8 oz. broccoli florets, cut on the small side
1-1/2 TB Earth Balance margarine
1-1/2 TB all-purpose flour

1 cup soy milk

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup shredded Daiya mozzarella
1 pizza dough


1. Place pizza stone in center of oven, and heat to 500°F for at least 30 minutes; 60 is better. You want your oven as hot as you can get it.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water. Cover tightly, and steam broccoli in skillet 2 to 3 minutes, or until barely tender. When done add some seasonings, stir and drain. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat margarine in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook a minute or two; add flour, and cook 2 minutes, or until pale golden, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in mozzarella and whisk until sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.

4. Shape pizza dough and place on piece of parchment paper on pizza peel.

5. Spread white sauce over dough. If you're a fan of Daiya cheese go ahead and add a bit more if you like and top with broccoli mixture. Slide on to top of pizza stone and bake for 6 minutes. Then slide parchment paper from underneath pizza and cook for several more minutes until pizza is brown on edges.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Garden Tofu Breakfast Wrap

Last November 2010 I blogged about veganizing Amy's Scramble Wrap. I liked it but I would have preferred more of the "other" ingredients than the tofu. So here is a new version, with lots more veggies. The first version I used several slices of Smart Bacon (vegan bacon knock-off) and this version I used Bac'uns. The Smart Bacon is better so use that instead!

14 oz. tub of firm Nasoya Organic tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c sweet Mayan onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded & chopped
kale, several leafs, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 to 2 zucchini, grated
2 cup raw spinach, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3-4 slices Smart Bacon, chopped
2-4 TB nutritional yeast (depends on how much you love or hate nooch)---
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
mix up spices and set aside
whole wheat tortillas

Heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion. Cook until garlic starts to brown and add vegetables, one at a time, cooking each for a couple of minutes. Add spinach last and cook until spinach begins to wilt. Add tofu and stir to mix. Add spices and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and Smart Bacon and cook for about a minute. Add nutritional yeast. Cook for 1-2 minutes until hot and take off heat.

Put 1/2 cup of mixture into lower center of heated tortilla and fold once, fold in sides and roll up.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sourdough Heaven – Part 3 – Sourdough Bread

Oh yeah, here it comes, homemade sourdough bread! This was my first attempt at sourdough bread with my very first sourdough starter (see previous post for making quick sourdough starter). So exciting! This is not a whole wheat sourdough but only because I wanted to build on my success. This bread has a nice tang and toasts wonderfully. I got a nice rise – without yeast! I found yet another website on sourdough and adjusted the recipe to make just one loaf and still have some starter left over. Lots of good information and how-to on this website:

Please read up on making the "sponge" which is part of a starter that has been fed goodies and left to sit for several hours. I'm not going to go into all the details here, just the basics and the recipe I used.

To make the sponge
3/4 cup starter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup warm water

Mix together in glass bowl, cover and let sit until it gets nice and bubbly, anywhere from 2 to 8 hours. If you're going to bake in the morning, just let the sponge sit out overnight.

To make the bread
1-1/2 cups of sponge
2-1/4 cups unbleached flour
3 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt

I like to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer for this part. Add all of the ingredients except all the flour. I like to add the flour in 1/2 cup increments until you have the "right" amount. Mix or knead until smooth. Let the dough rise in a warm spot loosely covered until doubled in bulk. When a finger poked into the top of the dough creates a pit that doesn't spring back, it's ready.

Punch the dough down, and knead a little more. Make a round and place on a baking sheet lightly greased or sprinkled in cornmeal. Cover and let rise again, until doubled in bulk.

When doubled in bulk, place the pan in the oven, slash the top a couple of times and turn your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30-45 minutes. Do not preheat the oven. The loaf is done when the crust is brown and the bottom sounds hollow when thumped with a wooden spoon. Turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack and resisting cutting in to it for an hour. This baking is different from what I'm used to, but it worked for me and the bread was wonderful. It was not really crusty though. I am not complaining; this is just how this particular person suggests baking the bread. Good, but different.

Sourdough Heaven – Part 2 – Sourdough Wheat English Muffins

This was my first attempt at making a sourdough starter and English muffins. I was so pleased with the results. The English muffins were slightly sour with a nice chewy texture. They were also split nicely down the middle. I get a bit frustrated with Orowheat English muffins because many times the split is uneven. These muffins are soooo much better than store bought! See the next post for how to make sourdough starter if you don't have any on hand.

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 TB honey or brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
fine yellow cornmeal

Combine starter with whole wheat flour, sweetener and 1/2 cup warm water. Cover loosely and let sit overnight.

The next day, stir together 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. Stir this mixture into the starter mix. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix until dough is no longer sticky. I had to knead at this point.

Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick and cut out 8 muffins with 3 to 4 inch cutter. I like to place the cut muffins onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and a dusting of cornmeal. Cover the muffins and let sit for about an hour until slightly puffy.

Heat up cast iron pan that is lightly oiled. Reduce heat to about medium and cook 2-3 muffins until lightly browned, about 3 minutes or so. Turn over and cook the other side until browned. You can insert a instant thermometer to see that it reads at least 198 degrees to be sure it's done cooking. Don't let them get too brown or you won't be able to toast them without burning them.

Cool 15 minutes or so before serving. Makes 8 delicious English muffins.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sourdough Heaven – Part 1 – The Starter

Do you love sourdough bread? I know I do! However, I've been avoiding it in the store because it's all white flour, very expensive and has additives I don't want to eat. The March 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times has a very exciting article in their "Technique" section for quick start sourdough. You make a sourdough starter and it's ready to bake with in 72 hours! One thing I didn't know about sour dough breads is that you don't need yeast when you bake with it. Anyway, now I'm on a sourdough tangent. If you want to make a quick sourdough starter it's very easy. It has been so satisfying to make my own starter, keep it going, and bake with it. So far I've made two batches of sourdough wheat English muffins, and a loaf of sourdough bread. I will be making pizza dough very soon!

Okay, to make some quick sourdough starter, get the March 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times. It has other sourdough recipes you may want to try. However, if it's sold out, here's a mini-primer on quick sourdough starter. Further down I will have links on a couple other website with very useful information and videos to help you make incredibly good, wholesome, and tasty sourdough goodies of your own!

Quick Sourdough Starter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp QUICK RISING yeast, such as Fleischmann's Rapid Rise
1 cup warm water (not hot!)

Combine flour and yeast in non-reactive bowl. Mix in water. Cover bowl loosely and let sit in ambient temperature – around 68-70 degrees – for 12 hours. After this time, it should be bubbly and smell yeasty. Stir starter, discard half, and mix in 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir well, cover and let sit again for 12 hours. Then stir, discard, add flour and water. Do this every 12 hours for a total of 3 days (72 hours). Now you have your very own sourdough starter. Keep it in the fridge, feeding once or twice a week. Here is a very good website for making, maintaining, and baking with sourdough starters.

Here's my sourdough wheat English muffins:

I put some Earth Balance margarine and strawberry spread on it. Doesn't it look delicious? It was! And I can't tell you how much better it was than the ones you buy in the store! The recipe is the next post.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dairy Free Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream

Boy oh boy, is this good! But you gotta love chocolate. I've finally discovered a way to make ice cream that is just as good after it's been frozen in the freezer. This non-dairy delight is creamy and not rock hard like some of them get. The secret is cashews. Soaked and pureed, they make an excellent base for dairy free ice cream. I intend to make this recipe again with a vanilla base and chocolate chips.

This recipe is sized to work in a small ice cream maker, such as the Hamilton Beach. If you have a regular ice cream maker, I'm sure you could double the recipe.

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, frozen and chopped
3/4 cup organic raw cashews
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp chocoate extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Soak cashews in water for several hours or overnight. Then place cashews with their soaking water in high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add everything except the chocolate chips and blend again until well mixed. FOLD in the chopped chips. Chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight. Process in ice cream maker until firm.