Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms and Vegetables on a Bun

Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Vegetables
Holidays are important to me, especially when family and friends are around.  Holidays are a chance to be creative in the kitchen and prepare more food than needed, as an offering of love to those partaking.  Long before it became fashionable to sit down and have a home made dinner every night with your children, we were doing that.  My tasting partner and I made it a point of having dinner with our children every night together, and as they grew up, we worked our schedules around theirs so the tradition continued.  It is important to us.  Memorial Day was fast approaching and none of our children were returning home, and I was recovering from a bad cold, so I really wasn't interested in inviting friends over, but it was a holiday and there should be grilling.  Since my tasting partner is still following the ‘vegan at home diet’, any grilling I might be doing would only be vegetables.  Pitiful, but true.  I ended up grilling a number of vegetables that I had marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and served them on a bun, along with coleslaw and baked yams.  It wasn't your traditional Memorial Day barbecue, but the Portobello mushroom and vegetable burger was delicious and will continue to be served throughout the summer grilling season.  My tasting partner is thrilled.

recipe after the jump

Friday, May 24, 2013

Braised Eggplant, Tofu Crumbles and Mushrooms

Braised Eggplant, Tofu Crumbles and Mushrooms

A couple of years back, our youngest son was in Beijing, China for a year, teaching English and my tasting partner and I had the opportunity to visit him.  The experience was amazing.  Thankfully, our son was able to read and speak some Mandarin because otherwise we would have been lost.  While we were there we had the opportunity to eat out in restaurants and small, local cafes which would often have more traditional meals like you might find in homes.  Because of that experience, I am more interested in traditional Chinese cooking and when I saw this recipe in Mark Bittman’s column in the New York Times Sunday magazine, I had to try it, with the obligatory conversion to make it acceptable to my tasting partner and his 'vegan at home diet'.  It is based on a recipe from the new book “The Hakka Cookbook” by Linda Lau Anusasananan.  I added vegetable crumbles in place of ground pork and to be honest, you could not tell the difference.  My tasting partner remarked on the rich aroma when he came home and had seconds at dinner.  I also served rice and sauteed Brussels sprouts and onions in olive oil.  An excellent meal, one my tasting partner hopes I repeat.

recipe after the jump

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mongolian Tofu

Mongolian Tofu and Roasted Broccoli with chili sauce

In discussing our ‘vegan at home diet’, most people assume we eat a lot of tofu or tempeh.  We don’t, mostly because I have this thing about tofu and tempeh.  It seems to be too processed, though my tasting partner says it is no more processed than cheese.  Hmmm, he might have a point.  I checked on line and there are web sites that explain how to make tofu at home and it is very similar to making cheese at home.  Okay, perhaps I need to give tofu another try.  So I did.  I  found a Mongolian beef recipe and substituted tofu as the protein, with some modifications.  My tasting partner said it smelled divine, and it was rich and flavorful over brown rice.  We will be enjoying this recipe again while we follow our ‘vegan at home diet’.

 recipe after the jump

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shiitake and Baby Bok Choy Stir-fry

Shiitake and Baby Bok Choy Stir-fry

Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, I was served simple, plain foods.  We always had meat, potato and some sort of frozen or canned vegetable.  Friday was fish sticks and Saturday was spaghetti.  Nothing fancy or exotic.  We had canned fruits, in heavy syrup, and there was always ice cream, chips and dip.  I don’t remember any fresh fruits or vegetables in the house except maybe some iceberg lettuce.  I don’t believe a mushroom was ever included in my folks cooking. In college, I started eating iceberg lettuce salads, sometimes adding a sprinkling of carrots and tomatoes but I certainly did not put mushrooms on my salad.  So imagine my surprise when a few months into our marriage (more than 30 years ago) my tasting partner asked me to buy sliced mushrooms for his salad.  What?  Mushrooms?

A few months later, at a holiday party, someone made stuffed mushrooms with the most beautiful, white mushrooms I had ever seen.  I tried one and it was delicious.  This was the beginning of my infatuation with mushrooms.  Now, since my tasting partner is demanding a ‘vegan at home diet’, I'm cooking with more varieties of mushrooms than ever before.

I found this recipe on a lovely site called “My New Roots”.  It's easy to make, and the shiitake mushrooms gives the dish a hearty, meaty taste. The maple syrup in the sauce adds just a touch of sweetness and my tasting partner says this recipe is a winner.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Raw Fudge or Brownie

Raw Fudge or Brownie



I love chocolate, and in particular I love good chocolate.  I also love a good brownie, a piece of fudge or a truffle, preferably without nuts because I like the mouth feel of smooth chocolate. As you might surmise, brownies and fudge are made with unacceptable foods on a vegan diet (dairy and eggs) and eating a piece of good chocolate can lead to consuming the entire bag. So what's a chocoholic to do?  Make a fake brownie from dates, nuts and cacao.  Now, I won’t pretend that it tastes like a decadent brownie, silky smooth piece of fudge or a heavenly truffle. It tastes like chocolate.  It has fiber and no added sugar and my tasting partner approves.

recipe after the jump