Working 11-hour days makes complex recipes difficult. Take for instance, a recipe for “Michigan Pot Pie with Almond Crust” from “Vegetarian Traditions: Favorite Recipes from My Years At the Legendary Inn Season Cafe.” The length of the title might have been a clue about the recipes inside, but this bad boy recipe is long and involved. I started making it on Monday. Today, I learned how to prepare Leeks. Will I get to actually eat this thing by Friday?
I thought we were done with fried Italian food after two posts, and then Arancini came a’ knockin’. Arancini gets its Italian name because of it’s “orange-like” qualities: it’s round, golden, and sweet. These little guys are scrumptious and relatively easy to make.
We made them for our Vegan Meetup in Newport News for an Italian-themed pot luck. Over 20+ vegan friendly folks cooked up amazing food. Our rice balls got gobbled up with the rest of the lot. Vegan wife suggested we go with a different cheese center, but she loved the salty sweet flavor of this Italian treat. The recipe for the rice balls comes from a fantastic food blog: “Just a Taste” written by Kelly Senyei. She does a lovely job of laying out pictures for each part of the prep and frying process. Go check her blog out for details. Here is her recipe, vegan-ized:
Arancini (Rice Balls) with Marinara Sauce
2 cups cooked white rice, cooled
½ cup shredded Daiya Mozzarella
3 eggz (1 = 3 tbs Chickpea flour w/ 3 tbs of warm water)
8 small cubes Daiya Jalapeño Garlic Wedge (I used cheddar, and think this would be better)
1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
Vegetable Oil, for frying
1 cup marinara sauce (store-bought or house)
Place a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add enough vegetable oil to rise 4 inches in the pot.
Combine the rice, shredded cheeze and 1 “egg” in a medium bowl and use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture.
Form each arancini by taking a small portion of the mixture, squeezing it firmly and stuffing one cube of Jalapeño Garlic wedge inside each ball. My Arancini was a little bigger than a golfball. Repeat this process to form 8-10 arancini.
Whisk together the remaining 2 eggz. Dip each arancini in the eggz and then in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.
Once the oil reaches 350-375ºF, add 2 or 3 of the breaded arancini to the pot and fry them until golden brown and cooked throughout.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried arancini from the pot and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately salt the arancini (important to get the salt to stick). Repeat the frying process with the remaining arancini.
Serve the arancini warm with a side of warm marinara sauce.
After a few days of dedicated blogging, I realize part of the fun is visiting other blogs and trying their recipes. I recently bookmarked Joe Rich’s site: “Eden Kitchen.” I went there for some whole food recipes because we recently entertained a friend who only eats unprocessed/refined foods. Joe’s got quite a few excellent looking dishes in that category, a few of them are strictly vegan.
We dove into trying his “Warm Millet & Broccoli” as well as the “Pineapple Red Curry.” The red curry has tofu, which is processed, but our guest made an exception. I won’t replicate Eden’s wonderful blog about these two dishes, but here’s a quick review.
The red curry was absolutely delicious! I used firm tofu instead of the silken, just because my wife and I get squeamish with silken’s soft gelatin-like texture. We also used white jasmine instead of brown. The pineapple was sweet and juicy while the curry was just spicy enough. Five stars!
As for the broccoli dish, I got mixed reviews. As Joe suggests, you might need to adjust the amount of pesto. I didn’t make enough and found the dish a bit dry. I’ll double the pesto recipe next time and see what happens. Also, I completely forgot the millet while shopping and just used a cup of the jasmine rice instead, it wasn’t as exotic. The avocado and broccoli is a wonderful combination, it’s optional in the recipe but a MUST in my house. Doesn’t avocado make any dish more fun?!
Thanks, Joe for the recipes! Check out his blog here: http://edenkitchen.com/about/
My friend’s whole food treat: Roasted Pears with cinnamon and ginger.
“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – The Buddha
When you think you’ve had all the fried food you can eat, there’s more! My wife wanted some more fried food and it was our normal pizza day, so I searched for fried italian food. I came up with Frittelle di Riso and Fried Olives.
For my Portuguese family and friends, the Frittelle di Riso has a familiar taste. It’s a mix between malasadas and arroz doce. Basically we’re talking about dough boys and sweet rice.
Frittelle di Riso (Kyle Phillips)
- 1 3/4 cups brown rice (white’s fine)
- 4 cups coconut milk (almond milk works too)
- The grated zest of a lemon
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- A walnut-sized chunk of butter (Earth Balance)
- 4 1/2 tsp egg replacer + 6 tbs warm water
- 1 cup flour
- 1 packet active live yeast
- Oil for frying
Begin by cooking the rice until it’s thoroughly cooked in the milk, together with the sugar, lemon zest, and butter. Whip the egg replacer and add with the flour and the yeast.Heat oil in a fairly deep pot and fry the mixture, a teaspoon at a time, removing the balls from the pot when they become golden. Drain them on absorbent paper, dust them with granulated sugar, and serve. I added some of the Russian dipping sauce from the recipe yesterday, but these bite-sized treats are good without anything, just the sprinkle of sugar.
Italian Fried Olives (Giada De Laurentiis)
- 2 tbs Daiya shredded cheese, Pepper Jack
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 20 pitted green olives, rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer + 2 tbs warm water
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Special equipment: a pastry bag, a plain tip with a 1/4-inch opening (I used a ziplock bag)
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, thyme, and lemon zest. Place the cheese mixture into the pastry bag. Pipe the cheese mixture into each olive.
Place the flour in a small bowl. Pour the egg replacer mixed with 2 tbs water in another small bowl and the bread crumbs in a third small bowl. Dredge the olives in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the olives and place in the bowl with the beaten egg. Coat the olives with the egg replacer and transfer to the bowl of bread crumbs. Coat the olives with the bread crumbs.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about 1/3of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in a couple of minutes.) Fry the olives, in batches, for 30 to 45 seconds until golden brown. Drain the fried olives on paper towels. Cool for 5 minutes.
Note: I used black olives, because my wife loves them and I didn’t want to drive to the store. However, I recommend you get the bigger green olives. I wasn’t able to fit much of the ricotta in the olives and the process was a bit more tedious. The bigger the olive, the better for this recipe.
Vegans are healthy and eat healthy food, right? Not always. We all know that drenching your food in oil doesn’t exactly lock in the nutrients, but it sure tastes good. To practice my frying skills, I searched for fun vegan recipes with batter and came up with this story about some veg-Texans doing it up crispy.
I decided to go with the Reuben Fritters and PB&J (Jalapeño). Why? I loved reuben sandwiches as a carnivore and jalapeños dripping with chocolate syrup sparked my spicy, sweet tastebuds. Here are the recipes:
Sweet Vegan Cornbread Batter (Savvy Brown’s Blog)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal (I like the real stone ground stuff, not Quakers)
- 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5tsp Ener-G egg replacer plus 2 tbsp of warm water*
- 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Russian Dressing (Vegan Miss)
- 1/2 cup Vegannaise
- 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dry ground mustard seed
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh chopped chives
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Reuben (Added to 1 package “Gimme Lean Ground Beef Crumbles”)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sage
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/2 c of sauerkraut
- 1 c Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese
There is definitely a better version of the corned beef, but I was short on time and wanted a quick beef substitute. Once you mix each of these things separately, you’re ready to prep the frying oil. Throw an oven thermometer in for precision and try to keep the oil at 365 degrees. It won’t be easy. Add patience and playfulness to this recipe as needed.
Scoop up 1/2 – 1 tbs of the meat, roll in 1 tbs of sauerkraut and cheese respectively. Smush together into a ball then plop into batter. Once coated, ease it into the frying oil using a tong. Sizzle for a minute, then flip. These puppies should be set within 1-2 minutes total. Pull out and let rest on a paper toweled plate. This will make about 12 Reuben Fritters ready for dipping into a delicious “Russian” sauce.
Peanut Butter, Bananas, and Jalapeños
1 banana, peeled, and mashed
2 tbs creamy peanut butter
4 jalapeños, seeded
Mash and mix PB and banana. Resist the urge to devour this sweet, slightly salty mix. Chop the pepper tops, pull out the seeds and replace with your peanut butter and banana surprise. Dip these into the same cornbread batter you made in steps 1 – 50. Fry and then dry (paper towels, etc.). The best part: drizzle with chocolate syrup and leave enough on the plate to lift with your pepper later!
My wife loved these and she’s not a Jalapeño fan!
As the weather heats up in Boston, backyard grilling is not far behind. Of course, I don’t have a grill, but I still love a good burger. Thanks to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and her cookbook “The Vegan Table,” great burgers come in the spicy bean variety. I surprised my vegan fiancee with this relatively quick and easy dinner yesterday. Below is the recipe. All you need is a little vegan love and some muscle to mash the black beans. Enjoy!
Oh wait, before you make these juicy burgers, head to the store and pick up some salsa, avocado, and whole wheat buns if you want what’s in the picture!
Spicy Black Bean Burgers
1/4 c all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/4 c coarse cornmeal (I used Semolina flour and they were probably a bit softer but still yum!)
Olive oil, for sautéing
1 yellow onion, diced
1 small jalapeño pepper, minced (seeds removed, optional)
1 red bell pepper, dices (I used green, because we had a chunk in the fridge that needed to be used)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 c or cans of black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 c organic corn kernels
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 tsp chili powder (I put about 1 1/4 tsp because love of all things spicy varies in our home)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (I used the dry stuff and it’s fine)
On a shallow plate, combine flour and cornmeal, and set aside for coating later.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onion, hot and bell peppers, garlic, and oregano, until onion becomes translucent. Set aside.
In a large-size bowl, mash black beans with a potato masher. Stir in onion/pepper mixture, along with corn, bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, salt, and parsley. Mix well.
Shape into patties then coat each with flour mixture.
Fry in a lightly oiled saute pan over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown on each side. Enjoy the approximately 8 patties this makes.
- 4 cups unbleached bread flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
- 2 tsp vegan sugar (for yeast mixture), 1 tsp to add to flour
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance Organic Butter Spread
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 3/4 teaspoon shortening (I used Crisco)
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water with 2 tsp sugar added, let stand for 5 minutes.
Place in large bowl, add 1 cup flour and mix to make a batter, cover with a wet cloth and then throw it in the oven with an oven light on (not the gas). Let it hang out there for about 40-60 minutes.
Pull out the spongey goop and add remaining ingredients, mix well and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth.
Add more flour if dough is too soft (I thought it was just right).
Cover with the wet dish towel again and back into the oven (w/ light not gas) for about 40-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
On floured board, using about 1/3 cup dough for each roll, shape into round balls. The balls will look too small, but don’t worry, they’ll puff up in the oven.
Let shaped rolls rest on a cloth as you round all the dough into individual rolls.
After all rolls are shaped, beginning with first shaped rolls, flatten each with palm of hand, making an indent in the middle with the side of your hand, and fold in half. Try to pinch the middle of it thin, that way you get the cool paposeco-look.
Lay each on a cloth with open side down. The roles folds will smash together magically. Preheat oven to 500 F.Let rolls rest for 5 minutes.
Place rolls on baking sheet with open side up, and brush with milk.
Bake in preheated 500F oven for 11-12 minutes. Enjoy!Right before they go into the oven…
Massa Sovada (Sweet Bread). Its one of the first foods I can remember from childhood. And now – it’s Vegan!
The sweet bread scent is filling the air of our apartment, subtly intoxicating and scrumptiously seductive. My mother typically made this stuff in the middle of the night so that we didn’t eat it while it was still rising. She could have also been timing it so that we’d have warm, chewy bread to eat for breakfast. It was delicious regardless of her motherly plans.
To all my Portuguese friends, family, and people who are into Portuguese food, check out this recipe and make your home smell yummy too.
1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/4 instant yeast
1/2 c water, at room temperature
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 c soy powder (I found mine at Wholefoods)
2 tbsp non-dairy butter
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
4 tbsp non-dairy yogurt
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c unbleached bread flour
6 tbsp water, at room temperature, as needed
Soy Milk Wash
1 tbsp soy milk (next time I’ll whisk it with some water)
1. Sponge: Stir together flour, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Add teh water and stir until all the ingredients are hudrated and make a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes.
2. Dough: Combine the sugar, salt, soy powder, butter, and shotening in a mixing bowl (I used my electric mixer). Cream together until smooth, then mix in yogurt and extracts. Knead with machine or by hand 12-15 minutes adding water, as needed, to make a very soft dough. The finished dough should be very supple and soft, easy to knead, and not wet or sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl, transfer the dough, rolling it around to coat with oil. Cover bowl and let rise for 2-hours.
3. Remove dough, divide into 2 equal pieces, then transfer to two 9-inch pans that are oiled and covered with plastic wrap. Let rise or ‘proof’ for 2-3 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with oven rack on middle shelf. Brush loaves with soy milk and pop it in for 60-minutes. The final color will be a rich mahogany brown.
5. Remove bread from pan onto cooling rack and try to resist eating it for about 90 minutes. Enjoy.
Apologies to the one person who visited our Vegan blog over the past two years, you must have been extremely disappointed that your Vegan-hunger was not satisfied with delicious recipes and pictures. Alas, I’ve let the blog putter out for quite some time. BUT, there is hope. We’re back with a recent winner of the “tastes like its from the restaurant” award.
When I started this blog, I was an omnivore in love with a Vegan of 13+ years. Now we’re engaged. And guess what, I’m Vegan. I can hear the Vegans cheering from deep within their big Vegan hearts. Yes, I went Vegan for love but I also did it because the food is amazing, it’s cruelty-free, and I get to live my life’s philosophy of love and interdependence more congruently.
That being said, the Michigan Vegan Fiancee and I have made many trips to the only gourmet-ish Vegan restaurant within 30-minutes of our home. It’s called True Bistro. It is unlikely that you’re a Vegan living in Boston and haven’t ate there at least one, but if that is the case, drop everything you’re doing now and drive to Sommerville. Our favorites on the menu are from the Small Plates section: Black bean and plantain torte, salsa verde and sour cream, Ravioli filled with English peas & leeks in a lemon thyme cream, and Cornmeal-crusted oyster mushrooms, horseradish/dill aioli. Oh, and I can’t forget my favorite drink: Rum Punch (one of the owners favorite drinks from, I think, his time in Bermuda).
So where’s the food? Last night, my hard-working Vegan asked me to try to replicate the Cormeal-crusted oyster mushrooms or “really, anything is fine.” I doubted anything would be fine, so I searched for a recipe and found a replication by another True Bistro lover, Elizavegan. Here’s a picture and the recipe from her blog (UPDATE 8/18/2011 – I’ve modified the recipe after making these a few times):
Ingredients~ 1 lb. oyster mushrooms, cleaned~ Egg replacer for 5 eggs, prepared according to package directions (I used Ener-G)~ 1 cup chickpea flour~ 2/3 cup fine cornmeal (not the coarse, polenta-style stuff)~ 1 tsp. each: salt, chili powder~ 2 tsp. garlic powder (we like garlic!)~ A few grinds of black pepper~ Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)~ Canola Oil for fryingDirections~ In a mixing bowl, prepare the egg replacer.~ In a separate bowl, sift together the chickpea flour, cornmeal, and dry seasonings.~ Dip each mushroom in the egg replacer, shake off the excess, then dip into the flour mixture. (It helps to have a “wet” hand and a “dry” hand during this part of the process.)~ As each mushroom is coated with flour, shake off any excess and place on a platter. Repeat with remaining mushrooms until they are all coated and ready to fry!~ In a large, deep skillet, heat about an inch of oil over medium-high heat, until a mushroom placed in the pan sizzles and rises to the top.~ Working in batches, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes on each side, removing to plate with paper towel on to de-grease (original recipe had us placing in oven, but we like it less dried and a little more oily).~ Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some extra red pepper flakes if you like, and serve, accompanied by…The SauceIngredients~ 1 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise, but use whatever you prefer)~ 1 tsp. each: dill, hot sauce~ 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice~ A few grinds of salt and pepperDirections~ In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients. If you want a thicker, more tartar sauce-like consistency, omit the soy milk; if you prefer something more akin to a salad dressing, add about 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk until you get the texture you want. (I like it a little thicker)(Retrieved on June 25, 2011 from http://elizaveganpage.blogspot.com/2011/04/crispy-oyster-mushrooms.html)
If you’re like me, in the middle of boiling potatoes to mash and then decide, eh… let’s try something new, then read on. Here are two variations of an easy and tasty dish that will fill you up quick for about 141 rupees.
Dinner Home Fries
- 5 small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
- 1 tbsp red onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1/4 Cup corn
- 1/4 Cup green pees
- 1 tsp Tamari Soy Sauce
- Corn oil
- Salt to taste
Start by cutting potatoes (keep the potato skin) and boiling for approx 20 minutes. Prepare veggies. When done, potatoes will get drained and then go right into a med-hot frying pan for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Lower heat a bit and add corn, pees, onions, and garlic with Tamari and salt to taste. Toss mixture in pan to glaze the potatoes and rest with soy sauce then cook for another 2-3 minutes. You’re done!
This can make an excellent side dish or main dish for those of you who need to save a few bucks and don’t mind the carbs. Below you’ll find a similiar dish without the pees and corn, great for breakfast: