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Plant-based Cooking!

Archive for January 2009

Florentine Ricotta Pie

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I went to a little potluck the other night, and brought the Florentine Ricotta Pie from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. It was so good! Better than the Classic Quiche recipe, in my humble opinion. There was extra filling, which I baked alongside in a casserole with no crust. The pie tasted a lot like a Greek spinach pie, which as we all know is a very good thing.
Cathy and Scott provided vegan cilantro pesto and hummus, which went so well together it was crazy. And wine. And Max made a delicious Thai curry, with Gardein “chicken” and about a ton of cilantro. Max always makes great food for our gatherings, and almost everything he makes uses a bunch of cilantro. He used to make this big pot of dahl for parties that everyone raved about, and he told me once that he thinks the secret key is all the cilantro he uses.

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Written by phdelicious

January 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Posted in Meals

Phish Stix

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I figured it was high time for a cutesy vegan euphemism! I dated an ex-Phish fan this year, so I’m allowed. Here we have leftover salad and fig dressing, roasted red potatoes with a bit of Old Bay Seasoning and rosemary, and fake breaded tofu fish. I marinated the tofu slices overnight in the fridge in some fake chicken stock, plus about 1/2 teaspoon each of kelp flakes and Old Bay Seasoning (this comes in a kitschy tin and I’d been seeing it in seafood recipes for years, but not in stores. I finally saw it in Safeway over the holidays and went for it.) Next time I would definitely add some lemon juice to the marinade to give it more of a “fish and chips” kind of tang. Then when it was dinner time I set out a dipping station, pictured below: reserved marinade, crushed cornflakes with some Old Bay and dried dill mixed in, and plain flour. To bread: take a tofu slice, dredge in flour, quickly dip back in marinade, and then dredge in the crumbs and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for about twenty minutes or so, flipping once, until browned on both sides. I dipped these in fig dressing, but a vegan tartar sauce would be awesome. Also I had to sprinkle a bit more Old Bay and lemon juice on each piece post-cooking to get a bit more tangy flavour out of them (me and my love affair with tang!). But very tasty and fun.

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Written by phdelicious

January 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Meals

Fennel Pecan Salad with Fig Dressing, Yemiser W’et

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When I was at the store, I saw figs and fennel bulbs, and I remembered what I thought was a single recipe in Veganomicon. It turned out to be two different recipes: Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut Salad with Shallot Dressing, and Autumn Root Salad with Warm Maple-Fig Dressing. So, when I got home I combined the two! I made the warm-maple fig dressing without the shallots and with calimyrna instead of black mission figs, and the roasted fennel, with some pecans tossed in for the last ten minutes instead of hazelnuts. So fancy-tasting!
For the second course I had the last of the Ethiopian food that had been in the freezer forever: despite the time going by, it was so good! It’s from this recipe here, with split yellow peas instead of brown lentils. I bought this potato-green onion bread yesterday and it’s too delicious. It’s times like these you wish you had a roommate to eat some of the bread before you eat the whole loaf in a day. But anyways, it had a sourdough tang and so was a perfect accompaniment for the w’et in the absence of injera.
Overall, an amazing food coma to cap off the weekend.

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Written by phdelicious

January 26, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Meals

Smoky Tempeh, Barley, Kale

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Another hearty winter dinner. Smoky Tempeh from Veganomicon. I’m out of rice, but I’ve been delaying going out to get more because it’s a chance to use up some of the other grains in my pantry. This time I went for barley, and since I’m on a cook-it-in-broth kick, I did. Chicken-style veggie broth again. You cook barley exactly the same as rice, but with three times the liquid instead of twice. I always forget it’s there in my pantry, and as a result it always hangs around a long time. But it’s unfairly maligned: quite tasty. Then I had some leftover red kale so I sauteed it up in some sesame oil, leftover tempeh marinade and a bit of mirin. Well, I added the kale after I’d sauteed a minced garlic clove and minced ginger. With all that kick, the kale made a nice contrast to the rich tempeh. Tempeh’s always so rich!

Written by phdelicious

January 25, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Meals

Cheez Noodles

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Here, as promised, we have pasta. With the Warm Cheez Wiz Sauce from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. It was pretty good, quite creamy. I halved the recipe and forgot to halve some of the ingredients like paprika and onion powder, but was glad in the end because I don’t think it would have been flavourful enough otherwise. I dunno, I love this cookbook and there are some amazing things in it, but the last couple of things I’ve made I’ve done so largely because I only have pantry items in the house, so not necessarily in response to a “cheezy” desire, and ultimately haven’t really been blown away. Except I still make the grilled “cheese” sandwich all the time, it’s so good.

Written by phdelicious

January 22, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Meals

Something that Hit the Spot

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I can’t tell you how happy I was with this meal. After days of cookies and pasta (see tomorrow’s entry…tomorrow) and Tofurky sausages, nary a vegetable in sight, I was in the mood for some colourful food. This meal had all the advantages: made up entirely of healthy foods, quick and easy to make, and insanely delicious (I almost swore there, it was so good. Then I almost said “frickin’,” ultimately choosing “insanely.” Which could be problematic, I’m aware, but… it WAS insane how good it tasted. For a bunch of whole foods? I love greens and grains and all, but seriously.)
First, I cooked half a cup of quinoa in a cup of veggie broth (actually fake chicken-style broth, that’s what I had.) In a frying pan I sauteed up a red onion in some olive oil, adding a pinch of ancho chile powder, a dash of coriander and cumin and thyme. Then went in a chopped tomato. Then after a couple of minutes in went some chopped red kale and a can of rinsed black beans, and a bit of salt. I mixed it around and covered it while I made the guacamole: just an avocado, the juice of a lime, and a minced garlic clove. Added a bit of hot sauce to both the guac and the skillet, added in the quinoa, and there it was. Seriously, ineffable goodness. I don’t know what made this so good, but it was. And I have enough for lunch tomorrow.

Written by phdelicious

January 22, 2009 at 4:06 am

Posted in Meals

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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To break up all the warm dark winter indoor lighting, I took a plate of yesterday’s chocolate chip cookies outside and took a picture of them in the snow! This recipe is the newest chocolate chip cookie recipe from Isa, featured on the Post Punk Kitchen blog awhile ago, here. Now, I often find vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes to be a bit stressful to make: the one from Vegan With a Vengeance is very tasty but stressfully dry sometimes in dough form, making me a little nervous in the cookie-forming stage. And this one, like many oil-based cookie doughs, starts out a little too gloppy: you can’t follow the recipe’s directions to form walnut-shaped balls before placing them on the sheet, so I spooned the batter onto the sheets instead. When the second half of the dough had awhile to sit around, this problem lessened. Isa says on her blog to add a little more flour in this case, but I’ve found with other recipes that it’s usually better just to improvise and use a spoon, ignoring the ball-forming instructions, than to try and mess with the ratios too much.
This is just a lengthy account of the obsessive compulsive stress that arises from a dough not resembling what it seems like it should from the recipe. It doesn’t mean they don’t turn out delicious! In fact, this new recipe is tied for my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, the other being Kittee’s over here.

Written by phdelicious

January 20, 2009 at 1:34 am

Posted in Baking