Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creamy Vegan White Sauce for Pasta

After my son told me his friends didn't like beans or chickpeas, I was wondering what to make for dinner last night. I figured a bunch of boys would eat pasta, and I wanted them to have some protein and  vegetables, too. I decided to disguise the protein by making a CREAMY VEGAN SAUCE for the pasta.

Greens
2 cups--chopped cooked greens
1 can--straw mushrooms
small bunch--green onions, or 1 small chopped onion
5--chopped garlic cloves
1/2 Tablespoon--tamari, or to taste


Creamy White Sauce
1 package--Morinu tofu
1/2 cup--nutritional yeast
1/4 cup--unbleached white flour
2 Tablespoons--light miso
1 Tablespoon--dark mustard
1 Tablespoon--vegan Worcestershire sauce
1-- chopped garlic clove
3 cups--water

Pasta
large pot--boiling water
1-2 packages--pasta (I used linguini)

I got a large pot of water heating up for the linguini. I needed enough to cook two packages.

I then started with the vegetables, which for us these days means dandelion greens. My oldest son seems to enjoy going out and picking them every couple of days, and then we cook them, pour off the bitter water, and then cook them a little more--about twenty minutes in all. This takes away some of the nutrition, but most of the bitterness is gone. I had some already cooked, so that was a good start.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vodka Infused Tea Cakes--Lemon or Orange



These VODKA INFUSED TEA CAKES can also be made with fresh organic lemons and oranges, but a couple of months ago I washed and sliced into thin rounds several of each, layering them separately in tall jars with organic sugar sprinkled between the layers, and covering them with vodka. In a few days the vodka had become a very fresh tasting liqueur, and the sunny looking jars made me happy every time I opened the cupboard, their yellow and orange brightness a fine contrast to the drab end of winter. I used up the liqueur, was left with all the sugared fruit, and I knew what I wanted to make with them.

Equipment Needed
2 oiled--loaf pans
1 large--sheet pan
chopping or grating device
juicing device
bowls
whisk
measuring devices

Dry
3 1/2 cups--organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup--organic sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon--non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon--salt

Wet
1 cup--organic lemon or orange rind, with lemon or orange juice added in (have 3 of each on hand if they are small)
1/2 cup--organic sunflower oil
2 cups--water

Glaze
1/2 cup--organic sugar
1/2 cup--fresh organic lemon juice or orange juice, or 1/2 cup lemon liqueur plus 1/2 squeezed lemon or 1/2 cup orange liqueur plus 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Liqueurs, if desired--make a few weeks ahead of time, when you see a good price on organic fruit
1 or 2 tall quart glass jars
3 thinly sliced--organic oranges or lemons
1 cup--organic sugar
2  quarts vodka




Monday, May 16, 2011

Wood Ear Mushrooms and Collards served on Whole Wheat Linguine with Free Form Tofu on the Side


Eating organically can cost more, though I like to think the health benefits pay for themselves in the long run. However, there are places to find cheaper products if you look around. In our area there are several businesses that sell overstocks, hurts and out-of-date products. One of them is Ocean State Job Lot. I don't go there often, but the last time I did, I stocked up on organic noodles, semolina and whole wheat in various shapes for $1.25 a pound, considerably less than the buying clubs I belong to even when they are on sale. I also found a variety of fancy dried mushrooms for $2.00 a package. These can be soaked and produce a large quantity for the money. All of these were perfectly fine, and weren't even out of date.

Last night I thought I would try to use the strange looking WOODEAR MUSHROOMS. They were a dark grey curly jumble, and appeared to be cut in long strips, as if they were a type of pasta themselves. Unsure of their taste and texture, I threw caution to the wind and soaked them in water to cover, heating it somewhat and then walking away for about half an hour.

Pasta 
1 package--organic whole wheat linguine
large pot--boiling water
sprinkle--salt


Woodears with Greens
1/2 package--woodear mushrooms (1 package makes a LOT)
warm water to cover (reserve for later)
5 large--collard green leaves
3 chopped--green onions
5 large chopped--garlic cloves
1/4 cup--arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch
1 Tablespoon--olive oil
1 teaspoon each--vegan Worcestershire sauce, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each--tamari and sweetener


Tofu
1 package--extra firm tofu, squeezed, if needed
1 Tablespoon--olive oil
1 teaspoon each--turmeric, nutritional yeast, tamari and paprika


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stinging Nettles, Rice and Steamed Carrots and Yam, Sauteed Onions and Chestnuts over Soysage

STINGING NETTLES used to scare me, but now I look forward to running into a patch of them. Of course, it's essential to wear long pants and gloves to avoid their formic acid filled prickers. I pick their tops off when the plants are about eight inches to a foot high, bring in a big bowl of them and fill it with water. I use a ladle to push them down and then pour off the water, saving any insects that might come off. Save them for what? Just to save! Put them outside again, of course.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homemade Soy Yogurt


I decided a couple of months ago to try to make SOY YOGURT with the soy milk from my soy milk maker. I like a certain brand of vanilla soy yogurt, but twenty four ounces of it costs $3.49 when it isn't on sale. Now I can make nine cups of it using only half a cup of commercial soy yogurt, and at last I think I have, after four versions, perfected my recipe.

The only odd ingredient is guar gum, which I have mentioned before in the miso dressing recipe. It is a vegetable gum which thickens and creates a smooth mouth feel. A little goes a long way.

Equipment 
1--soy milk maker
1--blender
1--insulated cooler
1--towel for the bottom of the cooler
1--warm jacket or blanket to cover cooler
3--Quart jars filled with hot water to heat the cooler
4--clean pint jars with lids or plastic wrap to cover yogurt
1--sauce pan
1--whisk


Ingredients
1/2 cup--dry soybeans in 1 liter of water, made into hot soy milk in soy milk maker
2 cups--cold soymilk
1/2 cup--organic cornstarch
1/2 cup--organic sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon--guar gum
1 teaspoon--vanilla
1/2 cup commercial soy yogurt with live culture, or a couple of vegetarian capsules opened up, with dry live culture (still to be tested, but I think it will work)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed

The three boys still at home brought me up a small bowl of home made soy yogurt to buy them some time until their final preparations were delivered to me. The orange juice didn't make it into the photo, as it was thought of too late.

Roma hot beverage with soy milk and maple syrup, home made sourdough toast with scrambled tofu, blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and apple sauce, and some kind of vegan sausages.

I hope our neighbor doesn't miss her flowers...but thank you, boys, for another tasty meal! That's it for breakfasts in bed this year.