boutell: (shave)
I refuse to call this "mac and cheese," because it's not. It's its own tasty thing. But... it's a lot more mac and cheesy than a lot of substitutes that dare go by that name. It's vegan; it can be gluten free if you use a gluten-free pasta.

Cooked pasta shells
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1/8 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cooked squash, mashed
1 cup green peas
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika

Sautee onion. Separately, mix some of the water with the tahini until it pours easily. Add tahini to pot; it'll take on a roasted flavor if you give it some heat while stirring to avoid burning. Add squash, paprika, green peas and remainder of water gradually. Simmer for 5 minutes. Mix with pasta and serve.
boutell: (shave)
Improvised this curry a couple nights back, still devouring leftovers. It's straight up tasty. It also happens to be vegan and IBS friendly at the same time, which is pretty unusual.

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
2 large carrots, chopped coarsely
2 large stalks celery, chopped coarsely
1 bell pepper, chopped coarsely
1 cup green beans, chopped coarsely
1 cup cooked squash
1/2 cup cashews
1 can (10 oz?) light coconut milk
1 can water
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed with the flat of a knife
1/8 cup freshly grated ginger
Basil for garnish

Sautee the onion in the oil. Add the garlic. Reduce heat. Add 1/4 of the coconut milk, paprika, peppercorns, 5-spice and ginger and return to simmer. Add the rest of the coconut milk and water, gradually adding the rest of the ingredients as you go, beginning with the carrots and moving to the more delicate vegetables. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice.
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Dry ingredients:

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (in whatever form is vegan enough for ya)
At least two tablespoons freshly grated ginger (the "small holes" of an everyday kitchen cheese grater work just fine, you don't need any microplane foofarah). The ginger is not overpowering, you can use a lot

Wet ingredients:

1/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup soymilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a bowl or a 2-cup liquid measure, mix the wet ingredients. Combine and mix together until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough. Bake for just a little over ten minutes. You want them to bake through but not be overly dry.

These are extremely awesome fresh out of the oven, sliced in half and buttered with Earth Balance margarine.

Not health food, in case you didn't notice. But the white whole wheat flour is much easier on your system in multiple ways than refined white flour, and it even tastes better. Strongly recommended.

Inspired by tasty things baked by [ profile] solestria.


Jun. 19th, 2008 08:49 am
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1 1/2 cups sencha tea, hot, steeped 3 mins
A few drops vanilla
A few tablespoons brown sugar
1 square Valrhona Gran Couva dark chocolate (*)
1 cup soy milk

Add ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth and frothy. Mmm.

(*) Thanks, [ profile] solestria
boutell: (tea)
Stomach: "you skipped dinner and went straight to salsa class. Again. Feed me. Now."

Vocal cords: "let's go to the Khyber! They have cheap vegan chili and cheap beer and karaoke!"

Legs: "we're tired and the nearest El station is closed. The bus that takes us straight home is right around the corner. Get on it. Now."

Wallet: "Now we're making sense. And don't even THINK about going out to dinner again."

Brain: "let's get on the bus and read LJ on our cell phone make an intelligent plan for dinner."


Brain: "O HAI, we're home. Still no ideas though. Let's look in the kitchen."


Brain: "waitaminit. Didn't we pick up fresh pita at Bitar's today? The kind with the amazing-looking herbs and spices? And isn't that a can of black beans over there? And don't we have some cherry tomatoes... and olive oil... and good old salt, our secret lover..."



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3 cups soy milk
3/4 can coconut milk
One teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1/4 cup sugar
A shake of vanilla
A belt or two from that bottle of sake you've got lying around

Thoroughly mix the above. Pour into your ice cream maker. Really tasty.

It's conceivable that the sake prevents it from freezing as well as it might, but I doubt it as the overall alcohol level is quite low. It would certainly work just fine without the sake.
boutell: (food)

Half-dozen peppercorns
Quarter-teaspoon cumin seed
Quarter-teaspoon coriander seed
Half-dozen dried Thai peppers
3 large tomatillos
1/4 cup pepitos (raw pumpkin seeds)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
3 asian eggplants
1 16.5-ounce box extra firm tofu
Red and yellow bell peppers
Hoisin sauce
1/8 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp fresh ginger
Lime (grated rind)


Chop 2 cloves garlic & 1/4 cup onion.

Chop the cilantro.

Chop the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Toss with hoisin sauce. Coarsely chop eggplants and bell peppers.

Toast the pepitos. Separately, toast the peppercorns, cumin and coriander. Stop when they brown just a bit. Grind to meal in food processor.

Simmer the tomatillos in a covered pot for 10 minutes with 1 cup water. Drain. Pop into a blender with the garlic, onion, and cilantro. Add the vegetable stock. Blend thoroughly.

Adding a teaspoon of powdered lemongrass is good here, if you have it. If you have fresh lemongrass and a food processor that can cope with it, that's even better.

Open the coconut milk. Pour a small amount into a large stockpot. Add the toasted spices. Simmer to release the fragrance of the spices. Add the rest of the coconut milk, then pour in the contents of the blender. Add the tofu and vegetables and stir gently, so as not to break up the tofu. Grate in lime rind and ginger. Add toasted pepito meal and mix well. Bring just to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.
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1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup sesame tahini
Soy milk
Chocolate chips (to taste)


One dozen choco-chip cookies


Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the tahini and enough soy milk to achieve a sticky but not runny consistency. Mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix in.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a nonstick cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


These are quite good, but probably best fresh from the oven.
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2 cups soymilk
1/4 cup brown sugar, maybe a little more
1/4 cup peanut butter (the real stuff, not the hydrogenated oil crap)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well. Fire up the ice cream maker. Pour it in. Wait. Yum.

Makes 1 pint. (I halved the recipe tonight, because I knew I was gonna eat it all. Mmmf.)

Peanut butter stands in for dairy fat much better than most things do. Everybody's afraid of peanuts now which is a shame because most of us aren't allergic and they are yummy.

Unlike my tahini version (which makes a good base for a chocolate "ice cream") this recipe stands well on its own. You don't have to smother it in chocolate or extra sugar. You do have to like peanuts.
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"Fanning out the flames and re-reading the manual, the heating elements at the bottom (which are the same ones in your electric stove) are supposed to be covered with shortening. After coaxing the shortening to melt without igniting by fiddling with the thermostat knob like a game of Tempest..."

Our very own [ profile] adw3345 purchases his own industrial donut machine.
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My daughter is home sick. She has a bad case of chocolate.

We made a variation on this recipe. I've heard of mayonnaise cakes before, and just to be an enterprising quasi-veganaut, I thought I'd try making one with nayonnaise... yes, really.

How did it come out? It came out awesome. Seriously, you'd be amazed. But unfortunately, if you read that recipe, there's just too damn much chocolate in it.

I gave Eleanor a truly miniscule slice for dessert. Really, I do not feel it was an unreasonable quantity. And I had an... age-appropriate quantity of my own.

Both of us slept like crap. Hmmpt. She behaved angelically, didn't get up, didn't complain, just told me this morning that she couldn't sleep at all and, yes, it would be best if she stayed home and went straight back to bed.

I tucked my kid back into bed and rescheduled an appointment. That'll teach me to make random recipes off the Interwebs for dessert.

Yes, I'm grateful that my job allows me to deal with this and that I'm not forced to fob off an obviously miserable child on her teachers. I fully expect her to wake up in an hour or so and want to go to school. But for the time being she ain't makin' a peep.

At least I got some serious writing done last night. Professionally speaking, not just blogorrhea. And I'm back at it this AM. Matter of fact, I'm still feelin' kinda zippy.

(Eleanor did complain of a headache earlier yesterday, so I'm actually rooting for the chocolate theory. Please don't be sick for real kiddo!)
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Eleanor and I made donuts tonight. Okay, donut holes. Technicality.

We followed this recipe, because it didn't call for hours of rising and so forth. I used arrowroot as the egg substitute.

And as for the end product... I experimented, frying them for different periods of time. I was dissatisfied with the munchy-almost-crunchy-outside, fair-foodish results, even with borderline undercooking. I mean, fair food is yummy when you want fair food, but I think of donuts as not quite so heavy as that.

Am I dreaming? And has it been so long since I ate a donut, that I should be capable of asking this question? Surely not, I gave up the vegan thing a while ago.

I should try 'em with eggs and see if that's a major factor in the texture. The texture of the inside is niceish.

Oh, but as for the target audience - I gave her the most professional-looking donut hole, rolled in powdered sugar which had dissolved (in the grease, natch) to a halfway-dunkin-lookin coat. Eleanor took a bite and looked right at me and said "there's nothing like a fresh donut!"

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My home is surrounded by Mexican bodegas. Appealing ingredients beckon on every streetcorner.

Last night Eleanor and I made tamales. I've never made them before. I went off the recipe on the side of the Maseca masa flour bag, substituted tofu for pork, and didn't bother with the two hours of pork-simmering... because, well, pork simmered for two hours probably looks a lot like a brick of tofu. Heh.

This was a family-size batch. We had no dinner guests. I just finished the last of them for lunch. OMG OMG OMG. More please.

I made two batches, one with bell pepper and the other with pasillas, just to be sure Eleanor wouldn't be spiced out of the room. That paid off -- she actually ate her tamales. She's beginning to eat interesting meals in something other than raw-ingredient form. I know most kids have impossibly sandwich-centric taste for quite a while, but it's a lot more fun having a kid who will eat more than spring rolls and grilled cheese.

Tamales ain't health food, though. I apologize to anyone who loves tamales and doesn't want to know, but there's... a lot of fat involved. I should try making 'em with something less deadly, like canola oil, but substituting tofu for pork is pretty drastic surgery already for the first go-round. So the shortening stayed right in there. Yes, the Maseca bag does acknowledge that a person might choose Crisco instead of lard.

I still need to find a restaurant locally that will at least pretend to make me a vegetarian tamale -- it's been so long since I had one, vegetarian or otherwise, that I'm not exactly sure I did it right.
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I stopped into Fante's, a short walk away in the Italian Market, looking for a pan to bake Italian-style twisted loaves in. I've tried them on baking sheets -- they flatten out too much. Side walls are a necessity. But I needed something much longer than a regular loaf pan.

There were various expensive commercial pans... and this reasonably-priced one, a long aluminum pan made by Wilton. I talked to the woman at the desk, who quickly steered me to it. "We all have this pan," she said twice during the conversation.

Tom's Assimilation Bread


3 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 packet yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4 tablespoons olive oil


Long loaf pan (you can use a shorter pan, you'll get taller bread)
Two mixing bowls
Clean dishtowel or napkin
Counter space
Strong hands

Set out two mixing bowls and a clean dishtowel or napkin. Clean your countertop. Make sure you leave the white flour container open as you'll need a little more and your hands will be too sticky for the lid.

Stir yeast, salt, maple syrup and olive oil into water. Mix vigorously to dissolve the yeast. Add to the flour in a large mixing bowl. Get your hands right on in there and mix it up until a dough forms. If dough sticks aggressively to your hands, add flour a pinch at a time until the dough is more cooperative.

Remove dough from bowl and knead on countertop for ten minutes. Use an oven timer if necessary to keep yourself honest. Kneading sounds simple enough, but I had trouble with it for ages. This is what works for me: I dig my thumbs into the front of dough, while the rest of my fingers pull around the backside... and I keep doing that, over and over, until the dough is relaxed and happy.

Continue to add flour if the dough becomes too sticky during the kneading process. After ten minutes, the dough should be easy to knead -- if it's too hard to work with, you might need to add just a tiny amount of additional water at a time.

Pop the dough into the second mixing bowl and cover with the clean dishtowel. Let sit for an hour. After an hour, the dough should roughly double in size.

Pull out the dough, which should be very flexible now. Pick it up in both hands and twist the ends in opposite directions, stretching outwards. You'll have a long twisted loaf faster than you can say "Iannelli's."

Grease and flour the pan -- I spray mine lightly with store-brand Pam, just enough to help a dusting of white flour stick and prevent the bread itself from sticking.

Pop the dough into the pan. Cover again, and wait another hour. Preheat oven to 425 and bake for 30 minutes.

The bread isn't quite as twisty as I'd like, yet, but I'm very pleased with the way it looks.

Time-savers: after the first rise, set your oven controls to start baking an hour from now and pop the bread in the oven right away. That's my usual solution, in fact, but not everyone has an automatic oven. You can also skip the first rise completely with perfectly acceptable results... which means you only have to think about the bread once, when you first knead it. But use a regular-size loaf pan and skip the twisting business, as the bread won't expand as much... and it won't fill the pan we all have.


Mar. 1st, 2006 07:56 pm
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So I made a variety of truffles for a dinner party last night. Half were the usual dark choclate variety, the other half were white chocolate. Some rolled in pecans, some in coconut, some in cocoa powder.

White chocolate sure looked like a mistake. I'm not crazy about it myself, so I was taking a risk if they didn't get eaten. And lots of other people weren't nuts about them either. White chocolate is "not real chocolate" (it's cocoa butter, milk and sugar, no cocoa solids), and much too soft and creamy already to be mixed with cream and made into a truffle. The truffles were downright soft at room temperature. And covered with coconut... do not look directly into truffle with remaining eye.

Most of 'em went anyway, over-creaminess and all, because my friends are good sports, and it's hard to stop eating anything that contains any part of the cocoa bean. But it's clear from the rapid disappearance of the dark chocolate truffles what the true crowd favorite is.

Anyway, this left me with a few in my fridge this evening. No telling how long it'd take me to eat 'em, since I don't like white chocolate. Right?

But I took a nibble anyway. And, well, it seems the fridge took care of the disconcerting softness and allowed the subtle cocoa-buttery Ghirardelli's goodness to come through, and...

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my [Closes eyes, gestures with hands]

I need a minute here. Maybe two. More truffles.

Easy White Chocolate Truffles


One standard-issue Ghirardelli's semisweet white chocolate baking bar
1/6 cup heavy cream
Possible coatings: coconut flakes, cocoa powder, pecans


Break white chocolate into smaller pieces. Bring cream to a very low simmer. Add white chocolate, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until thoroughly melted and combined -- do not allow the chocolate to boil.

Remove from heat and move to a small bowl with a spatula. Cool in refrigerator until firm enough to form into balls -- about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes and every 5 minutes toward the end.

Wash and dry your hands thoroughly as you'll be handling the chocolate.

Set out bowls of each coating. Set out a sheet of wax paper (plastic wrap will do, I used it, but stretch it nice and flat). Remove bowl from refrigerator. With your fingers, form a one-inch ball. Your hands will get sticky, that's life and it's fun to lick them later!

If you can't easily form the mixture into a ball, refrigerate it longer.

Roll your first truffle in the coating of your choice and place it on the wax paper. Repeat until you're done.

Makes 10-15 truffles, depending on how good you are at rolling them small. Mine tend to come out a little oversized. Oh, well!

Refrigerate and serve chilled.

For dark chocolate truffles: you can follow the same process. There's no need to serve dark chocolate truffles cold, and in fact they'll be a bit hard if you do.
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[ profile] matrushkaka suggested I try my vegan chocolate ice cream recipe with maple butter in place of tahini. I did. I halved the recipe and used a quarter-cup of maple butter, no other sweetener, and no chocolate because I wanted to taste what I was makin'.

Flavor: obscenely delicious.

Mouthfeel: problematic. The ice cream immobilizes against the blade so early in the process that it's impossible to freeze the stuff to the point where it isn't melting at a furious rate as soon as you remove it. Also, your tongue can tell there's no fat in there, and it wants some.

Future plans: put the tahini or similar back in, use the maple butter purely as a sweetener. Keep the chocolate out, the maple butter is blazingly flavorful already. The result was very sweet, so a quarter cup in the full recipe would probably still be enough.
boutell: (Default)
Vegan ice cream is... a toughie. I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's better than the real thing. I persist because I'm lactose-intolerant and the storebought stuff is both underwhelming and expensive.

This recipe was a happy discovery a few days ago. On the one hand, there's tahini involved, and that might seem a little odd. On another, what, do you really hate chocolate halvah? Does anybody?

Equipment Required

Ice cream freezer. Those little $30 jobs with a freezer insert work great.


2 cups soy milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (or more)
1/4 cup brown sugar (*) (or more)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons raw sesame tahini (**)


Freeze the ice cream maker insert, overnight or longer. Mine is permanently on standby in the freezer.

In a small pan over medium heat, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar and just enough of the soy milk to help it all combine. Do not boil. Add tahini and whisk to combine. Remove from heat. Combine with the rest of the soy milk in a large liquid measuring cup or pitcher that's easy to pour from. Stir in vanilla.

Assemble ice cream maker. Make sure you remember to put the blade in!

Start the ice cream maker spinning. Pour in the mixture.

Be patient. Freezing ice cream can take time. When the blade can't move the ice cream anymore, you're in good shape.


Most vegan "ice cream" has an excess of sugar to cover, well, everything else. This doesn't. My six-year-old daughter liked it fine, but you might choose to add more sugar. You might also go for more cocoa, this is a very mild recipe. Adding more tahini makes it creamier... and more sesame-flavored. It's your choice!

(*) Those concerned about charcoal filtering of sugar, which may or may not involve animal bones, can use cane crystals or maple syrup.

(**) Roasted tahini would probably work, but do you want that arrogant roasted flavor in your dessert?
boutell: (Default)

I'm posting a series of... you know the drill by now.

Three 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed
One 15 oz can small red beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
1 head of celery, chopped coarsely
1 red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste or 1/2 cup marinara sauce
6 cups water
2 cubes vegetarian bouillon (optional; check carefully)
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper or to taste


In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, microwave 2 cups water until just shy of boiling. Meanwhile, set a large pot to medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pot along with a teaspoon of salt. Allow it to heat up, then sautee the onions and garlic until they begin to brown. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the water. Add the water to the pot. Now add all of the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 4 cups of water, and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for two hours, stirring occasionally if you feel like it. Leave off the lid - a good third or so of the liquid should evaporate. Remove bay leaves and serve to five hungry people.

If You Have Time

Pick over, clean and rinse 3 cups dry beans. Soak them overnight in a large pot with enough water to allow them to double in height. Simmer beans for 4-5 hours, then add to recipe above. Saves a few bucks, takes up some time. Your call.

Use potato water saved from gnocchi and add less bouillon or none at all.

Shown with spinach, pecan and tomato salad and vegan masa cornbread.

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