Monthly Archives: February 2009

February roundup


Okay I have to admit I’ve been a bad blogger this month. I have been distracted by a number of things and have not devoted the time to this blog that I would like. In an attempt to find some redemption, I have a few things to report on.

Firstly, I inherited some ultra cute pastry dishes and despite the fact that I initially wanted to make them alternate cat food bowls, I resisted and actually put them to use feeding humans. To break them in, I made the asparagus tarragon quiche from Veganomicon, except smaller. They had a subtle flavor which I really enjoyed. I’m pretty sure you can’t go too wrong with a ton of asparagus, sauteed, seasoned and blended. The thing I liked about this recipe, was that even though it is emulating an egg-based dish, it did not rely on tofu to give it the right texture. Instead, the main ingredients were blended asparagus and walnuts.

The most important recommendation I could give for this recipe would be to make the crust as thin as possible. This really lets the filling of the quiche shine. Also, especially with my miniature versions, it was difficult to cut through, even though my crust wasn’t overly crunchy. Because of the difference in consistency between filling and the crust, I ended up eating mine a little bit like a pizza, which was perfectly fine with me. Overall, delicious recipe. It took awhile to prepare as there is a lot of refrigeration time for both the crust and the quiche filling but was fairly simple. Obviously, it would be easy to prepare the beginnings ahead of time, but would still take over an hour for baking and resting.

Another thing I wanted to address was a interview I heard on the radio regarding the economy and comfort foods. Public radio is pretty much where I get all my news from. I find it much more informative and interesting than a lot of what gets reported on television and elsewhere. Of course, there are exceptions. I was genuinely disturbed by a recent interview with Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Kraft foods. This interview was really oriented towards the business aspects of the company, but I couldn’t help but find the content deeply disturbing.

One of the first points made is that in a troubled economy, many people turn to comfort foods. This fact on it’s own, isn’t what irked me. What got under my skin was the equation of Kraft brand foods with comfort foods. Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich and bowl of tomato soup when they’re having a bad day? That’s why it’s called comfort food. It certainly does not mean it needs to be junk. “Pasteurized prepared cheese product” is not food. The tomato soup and grilled soy cheese you see above has all the appetizing qualities and simplicity of any good comfort food and it’s vegan.

Without going on a diatribe about how bad certain processed foods are, I just want to point out that if you want something simple and inexpensive there are vegan alternatives that cover these bases as well. Not every meal you make has to be gourmet. If you want a box of mac and chreese that is better than that blue box you had when you were a kid Roads End Organics makes some amazing vegan versions that are not only insanely delicious but under $2 a box. I recommend the Shells and Chreese especially.

I suppose I’m just upset by the fact that something like this interview even made it onto the air. I can’t believe that someone can go on and say that Velveeta mixed with salsa is a healthier direction. How about just salsa? How about delicious fresh tomatoes, chopped and seasoned with herbs and spices? Doesn’t that sound more appetizing? I realize I’m ranting a little, but I’m just a bit shocked still that on the same station I hear reviews of local farmers markets that I also heard this garbage about processed junk and how to market it to people when they economy is down.

And moving on…

One of the reasons I’ve been a bad blogger this month, is that Shawn and I have been out of town a number of times. On one occasion, we went camping in the Salton Sea. We got to be zombies with a bunch of cyclists and other such craziness. It’s been a long time since I’ve been camping, luckily Shawn is an expert. He also had a really awesome stove from the 1900’s to make us some great meals. We even managed some flavorful toast, which is pretty much a staple in my diet.


For Valentine’s day breakfast he cooked up some tofu scramble, camp style of course. Tofu and mushrooms mixed with nutritional yeast, ketchup, mustard and cooked over flame in vegetable broth. It was seriously delicious. We also enjoyed the typical camping fare: veggie dogs, veggie burgers and oatmeal. You can check out some more of our misadventures and Shawn’s beautiful photos of the trip over at studiodrome‘s blog We even made it in the local paper!

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Filed under camping, grilled cheese, quiche

Vegan Benedict – AGAIN!


I just can’t help it, vegan benedict (tofu florentine, whatever you like to call it) is just one of my favorite breakfasts. It is in fact one of my favorite prepared meals altogether. If there is a vegan restaurant that serves this dish for breakfast I always order it, even if there are other delicious breakfast options. It’s just that good. Obviously, one cannot just go out to breakfast all the time, especially for such a basic dish. I’ve tried a couple different versions in the past but this is by far the closest to the real thing, not to mention it was super easy.

This attempt came out really well. Satisfying and yummy all at once. The cayenne gives it a bit of a kick and all the flavors compliment each other wonderfully. I suppose that is the nature of the dish. Definitely a perfect way to start the morning. I ended up having a bit of hollandaise leftover and just mixed it with some tofu to make a tofu salad sandwich, which was also excellent.

I really love how this recipe came out but I think I’ll continue to experiment.

Vegan Benedict

sourdough english muffins
spinach
tofu
tomato (I used roma), sliced
olive oil
hot sauce
garlic minced
onion powder
salt
pepper
vegan hollandaise (recipe follows)

To prepare the tofu, slice into 1/2 inch slabs. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan and warm over medium heat. Add minced garlic and let brown a bit before adding the tofu slabs. Sprinkle the onion powder, salt and pepper onto the tofu to taste. Pour a bit of the hot sauce on the tofu as well. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned and flip carefully onto other side. Again season the other side of the tofu with a bit of hot sauce and let cook until brown. Flip one last time and lower heat. Add the spinach, a large bunch, into the pan and stir until softened.

Vegan Hollandaise

1/2 cup vegenaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
lemon juice from 1 small lemon
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
approx 1/4 tsp turmeric (for color)

Mix all the ingredients until combined.

Toast the english muffins and spread with a bit of Earth Balance. Lay a slab of the tofu on top, then a slice of tomato, then spinach and top with the hollandaise.

Enjoy!

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Filed under tofu florentine