p.h.d.elicious cooks plants in tiny kitchens

Plant-based Cooking!

Archive for October 2008

Pantry White Bean Salad

with 2 comments

Photobucket

Since the big party last weekend I’ve been eating party food for meals: chips and salsa, hummus, Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip that I made from The Uncheese Cookbook, samosas, and pakoras. It’s been a little ridiculous: no fresh vegetables, nothing homemade except that dip, and mostly fried. Add to that all the crappy food I’ve eaten out to “supplement” that, and I find myself kind of blah by Thursday. All I had in the fridge tonight was the leftover canned white beans from making the dip. So I decided to eat them as a simple salad: I mixed dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, a tiny bit of maple syrup, a couple of shakes of poppy seeds, a pinch of marjoram, and salt and pepper. It was delicious, and then I remembered to add a small clove of minced garlic after I took the picture, and it was even better.

Written by phdelicious

October 30, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Posted in Meals

Tagged with , ,

Pakoras

with one comment

Photobucket

These are Indianlife brand storebought pakoras that I bought to serve at my birthday party and forgot to! Pretty good: I like the little bursts of fennel seed. Their samosas are pretty good too!

Written by phdelicious

October 29, 2008 at 2:11 am

Posted in Meals

Tagged with

My 27th Birthday Cake

with 2 comments

Photobucket

For my birthday this year I decided to make a green tea marzipan cake!

Photobucket

Here we have the layers: I made the “non-chocolate cake” from Papa Tofu, taking out a spoonful of flour and replacing it with a 1/4 cup green tea powder. For the filling I continued my troubled experiments with not-too-sweet creamy fillings: I blended raw cashews and soymilk to make a smooth paste, added in some icing sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and silken tofu, and ended up with a runny mess! So I cooked it with a bit of arrowroot to thicken it, but it was nothing to write home about.

Photobucket

Here we have the cake iced with standard buttercream, stabilised with skewers and then chilled.

Photobucket

Now for the tricky part that I had never done before and that I know way better how to do next time. I rolled out the marzipan, making sure at first that there was enough icing sugar on the surface to keep it from sticking. As the round got thinner and thinner, though, I failed to make sure it was still not sticking. So then I had a very thin sheet of marzipan stuck like glue to my counter, and some swearing and jabbing with a thin metal spatula and tearing ensued. Once it was all torn in dry pieces that couldn’t be fixed, I decided (or was forced) to go the “rustic” route. The “rustic” route always saves the day!

Written by phdelicious

October 27, 2008 at 1:04 am

Posted in Baking

Tagged with ,

Red Cooked Celery

with one comment

Photobucket

I had more celery to use up (which happens when you live alone and buy a whole head of celery) so I decided to continue with the braising theme and “red cook” it, which refers to a method of Chinese cooking that I first read about ages ago in Cooking Light magazine. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on it, and I only loosely followed the method. I braised it with white wine, hoisin sauce, a cut-up tomato, some tamari and garlic, with a bit of sesame chile oil at the end. And I didn’t really braise it because I wanted to reduce the liquid quickly and so it spent a lot of cooking time with the top off. I thought a tomato would go well, and it did. I mostly thought of it because of the part in Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill where he talks about the recipe for Tomato Beef. I love the food prose poems in that book with a passion, even though, ironically enough given this blog, the poem on Tomato Beef ends with his vegetarian sister claiming it’s a good enough dish to make someone want to go back to meat. No need for the beef, I say, when you’ve got garlic and soy sauce and tomatoes and sugar and spices. And celery!

Written by phdelicious

October 25, 2008 at 1:06 am

Posted in Meals

Tagged with

VeganMoFo Day 22: The Trick to Oven Fries

with 2 comments

Photobucket

This has been my favourite way to cook potatoes for probably a decade. I originally got the idea from Bonnie Stern’s Simply HeartSmart Cooking. The trick is the rack on top of the cooking sheet: less surface area to stick means you can use way less oil, as little as a teaspoon! And despite less oil, the fries taste really great. Toss the potatoes with a bit of olive oil, arrange on the rack over the sheet, sprinkle with herbs and spices of your choice and salt and pepper, and bake at 400F (I never know for how long: I’ve come to think it varies by potato and oven. I usually just keep an eye on them, and I’d say it’s usually in the 30-45 min. mark.)

Written by phdelicious

October 22, 2008 at 11:25 pm

Posted in Meals

Tagged with ,

BBQ Tofu, Braised Celery, Mashed Rutabaga

with 2 comments

Photobucket

I didn’t get home until 8 o’clock, and I was so hungry! But I’d had my heart set on making this all day, so I did, and it took less than an hour. I baked the leftover tofu from the sushi challenge, brushing it with bottled barbeque sauce. Meanwhile, I braised some celery and garlic on low heat in a bit of olive oil, white wine, and later some water. I boiled and mashed the chunks of rutabaga with a bit of unsweetened soymilk and a touch of olive oil. Voila!

Written by phdelicious

October 22, 2008 at 2:05 am

Posted in Meals

Tagged with ,

Veganmofo Iron Chef Challenge: Tamago Nigiri Sushi

with 9 comments

Photobucket

Photobucket

I know this is picture heavy, but these are so pretty! For this week’s Iron Vegan Chef Challenge (see here) , the item is sushi. Being from Vancouver, I’ve eaten a fair bit of sushi in my life. Something I had every once in awhile in my pre-vegan days was tamago nigiri, which is a piece of sweetened egg omelette on top of a piece of rice. To make the vegan version, I marinated tofu pieces in water, nutritional yeast, and a bit of sugar, then simmered the pieces in that mixture for awhile with a bit of turmeric added, then cooled them in the fridge. The result doesn’t taste exactly like the original–it’s less sweet and less eggy, predictably enough–but I thought that was actually for the best! It made a lot of nice gestures to the original and was quite tasty. One more picture below, mid-prep.

Photobucket

Written by phdelicious

October 19, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Meals

Tagged with ,