Friday, February 29, 2008

Raw Onion Bread.

Raw onion bread happens to be vegan, though it's more of a raw-foodie thing than a vegan thing. But, I love it. And I even bought a dehydrator to make it in. I first had this at Grass Root (fave restaurant ever!) And since it’s leap year I thought I’d do a special post. Adapted from Gone Raw's recipe. So here it goes:

2 large sweet onions (can use yellow or Spanish, but they are too strong for me)
2 cups of milled or crushed seeds (any combination of flax seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed – or really any other nut or seed) I use 1 c golden flax and 1 c sunflower (both raw and processed into a fine powder in my coffee grinder)
1/4 c cold pressed oil of your choice
1/4 c cold water
2 T soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos)
Spices (optional – I grind some fresh pepper and sometimes add oregano or rosemary – just a T or so)

Chop the onions in a food processor (the more you process them the harder the batter is to work with but the more malleable the finished “bread” will be).
Grind your seeds up (a very dry blender works okay, but a coffee grinder is seriously worth the 19 bucks if you do this more than a couple of times).
Mix everything with a hard big spatula in a big mixing bowl.
Spread onto a few levels of a dehydrator (I have a cheap-o round American Harvest and I only have one tray with a liner – so I line two more trays with wax paper and lightly oil it and this works fine).
Dehydrate at 100 degrees for 24 hours. Yes, it is supposed to make your house smell like one big fried onion. I think it’s lovely. Some people don’t.
After 24 hours you can flip the bread over (peel the wax paper off those layers if you have a dehydrator like mine) and then dehydrate as many more hours as you need to get the consistency you are looking for. I generally only do it for another 6 or 8 hours…but if you want a more cracker-like finished product it may take up to 48 hours.

Delish as sandwich bread with hummus and avocado and tomato and sprouts. It’s really amazing. If you happen to have a dehydrator or don’t mind dropped 50 bucks, it’s so worth making!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eiiichiwawa Enchiladas!

I love Mexican food. No, I really, really do. Guacamole is my favorite food. Ever. When asked questions such as, "What's your favorite food?" or "What would your last meal be?" or "What's your specialty?” my answer is always guacamole. So, I like to find things to plop guacamole on – enter, enchiladas.

Now, I am not an enchilada fan. It is, perhaps, the only Mexican foodstuff I have not drooled over or savored in my life. But, as a vegan I am in to adapting recipes and trying new things and forgetting old food grudges. So, I thought I’d give the ol’ enchilada one more try. The thing is, what I really don’t like, is enchilada sauce. So, I figured making my own green (tomatillo-based) sauce would solve the problem. And boy did it ever! This recipes makes two big pans, keep one to eat all week and take one to someone you love.

This only takes about 45 minutes if you used canned enchilada sauce – which you certainly may, just skip the whole “make the sauce part” below. Otherwise it takes about 15 minutes to prep the sauce, but a half hour to cool it (during which time you make the enchiladas), bringing the total cool time to a little over an hour realistically.

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Tomatillo sauce (make this first):
1 pound (about 10) peeled (take off skin) and washed tomatillos, cut in quarters
1 medium white onion coarsely chopped.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 pressed garlic cloves (or 2 -3 teaspoons garlic powder)
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon mild chili powder (or to taste)
1 can diced green chilies -- (4 oz)
3 cups veggie broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan, place the olive oil, onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add the broth, tomatillos, cumin, chili powder and green chilies and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, continue cooking until the tomatillos are soft. Cool until room temperature. At this point, you may refrigerate sauce for later or freeze. When ready, process sauce until smooth in a blender or food processor.

While the sauce is cooling move on to the enchiladas:
8 oz. of chicken substitute (use homemade seitan or buy strips like Quorn and Morningstar make)
1 big or 2 smallish poblano chilies peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can corn, or small bag frozen
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes , or 1-2 c fresh diced
1 T ground cumin
1 t oregano leaf
1-2 c (depending on how much dairy you like) of sour cream alternative (I make my own)
1-2 T chipotle in adobo, pureed or mashed (or sub with 2 t of chipotle powder)
2 c of the tomatillo sauce you made (don’t forget to process/blend it up first)
A bunch of 6" corn tortillas (depending on if you are going to actually make two pans of this stuff – you’ll need anywhere from 8 to 20)


1. Thaw chicken product if it’s frozen, or heat homemade seitan if using it – then set aside.

2. Drain canned corn or thaw frozen. Toss corn, onion and diced zucchini and diced Pablano pepper with a very small amount of oil (just enough to barely coat veggies), broil or roast in oven at 500 degrees until onions start to brown. This takes probably 20 minutes. Turn oven DOWN to 350 when you’re done.

3. Mix chicken sub and all roasted veggies with drained tomatoes, cumin, cilantro, beans, cumin, oregano, chipotle and salt to taste. At this point you could just leave out the "sour cream" if you have none or want a healthier version of these enchiladas. Otherwise, add that in as well.

4. Heat up a very small amount of oil in a pan and quickly saute each side of the corn tortillas, just heating through. If you do not want the added oil, you could just cover the tortillas with a damp paper towel and put them in the microwave.

5. Dip the tortillas in the enchilada sauce, fill them with the stuffing, roll ‘em up and put them in a lightly oiled pan. Top with more sauce (and with vegan shredded cheese or an un-cheese mix, which is what I do, if desired). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

6. Top with some chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, shredded vegan cheese, and more sour cream sub if desired. All optional. And of course, plop on the guacamole.

More delicious the second the third day re-heated.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Perfect Guacamole.

Perfect guac is about one thing and one thing only – perfectly ripe avocados. The rest is up to your liking…and here’s what I put in mine. People like it, you will to.

2 perfectly ripe avocados (reserve one pit) peeled and diced (you know it’s ripe if the skin is nearing black and it gives just slightly when you press on the outside – too much and it’s already bitter and stringy inside – gross)
1 c great chopped tomato (finding a good tomato in Florida is laughable – but I buy ugly ripe and they’re pretty good)
¼ to ½ c chopped white onion (or red or white – up to you)
Juice from one small lime or half a large lime
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground pepper
1 t chili powder (maybe a little more)
1 jalapeno seeded (careful – wear gloves) and finely chopped (only if you want the guac hot – I usually don’t have one on hand and thus leave this out)

Ironically (considering my LOVE of all things Mexican), I am not a huge cilantro fan, so I leave it out. But a T chopped would be nice. And many folks like creamy guac, and sometimes so do I, in which case I add a T of vegannaise or a T of faux sour cream.

Eat with a spoon, or heap on enchiladas, or buy salty chips and order a margarita…and I could go on forever.

And, if you happen to have any left over, take that pit I had you reserve and stick it down in the guac before sealing it and sticking it in the fridge - this will keep it from going brown and getting yucky too fast. Or, if you ate it all, try to grow a guacamole plant or something:)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Tomorrow night I am making my seitan stroganoff for friends. I am not sure if their three-year-old will like it, but I think mom and dad will. I have probably produced this dish half a dozen times in the last two months. It's hearty and warm and tastes bad for you (when it's good for you) and meat-eaters think it's yumola. So here is the recipe and how-to for Seitan Stroganoff (adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen's recipe).

1/2 pound wide noodles (like fettuccini broken in half), prepared according to package directions.

3 c seitan (for first timers I suggest store bought, but making your own is fun if you have the time and tastes better; my seitan recipe is here)

2 tablespoons +1 teaspoon olive oil
1 c shallots (4 or 5 of them) sliced thin
2 med sweet onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c button or babe bella mushrooms, thinly sliced (feel free to mix in other kinds)
2 or 3 Portobello caps, thinly sliced (depends on how mushroom-y you want this)
1 c burgundy cooking wine (or 1 c of a dry-ish cheap red wine)
2 c cold water
2 T corn starch (or arrowroot or potato starch)
2 T fresh thyme, chopped up (or about 2 t dried thyme)
1 T hungarian paprika
2 t salt
1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes (this is optional but makes is nutty-cheesy and better for you)
2 t dijon mustard (like Gray Poupon)
1/2 c plain soy milk (I use Lite Vitasoy)
1 c peas (canned or frozen are fine)

Dissolve the cornstarch in the 2 cups of water and set aside.

Heat olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add the shallots and onions, sauté for 5 to 8 minutes (until clearish). Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme. Sauté for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil, just to coat it. Add the seitan and sauté over medium heat about 25 minutes, until it is dark brown and crispy on the outside. If you are using store-bought seitan you need only cook it for 10 minutes (so you then don’t need to start cooking it until after STEP 4).

Back to the sauce: add salt, wine and paprika. Turn heat up high to reduce the liquid, about 10 minutes.

Lower heat to med-high, add the water that has the cornstarch dissolved in it, stir well and let sauce thicken, about 5 minutes. Add nutritional yeast and mix well until it is completely dissolved (this happens quickly). Turn the heat to low and then add soymilk and mustard (be SURE the liquid isn’t boiling before you add these two because the milk and mustard will get bitter if the heat is too high). Add seitan and peas, cook for 10 more minutes.

Pour the yummy sauce over the noodles in a big casserole or single serve bowls and enjoy! I serve this with a nice red zin and a loaf of vegan bread for dipping!