Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan pumpkin pie made with tofu sucks. Don't use tofu. Do this instead.

2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup soymilk (don't use any reduced fat crap)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon each: ginger, nutmeg and salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice OR cloves

Puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake for an hour at 350. The center of the pie shouldn't be too gooey when it's done. For best results, let set overnight and then re-heat in the oven before serving.

Credit where credit is due: I snagged this originally from here.

Vegan Pie Crust

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup margarine (I recommend Earth Balance)
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut in the margarine with a non-sharp knife until the mixture resembles course crumbs. You might need to use your hands due to our lack of l337 pastry tools. That's okay. Now, add cold water in a bit at a time, mixing as you go until the crust has just enough moisture to hold together. Don't overdo it or your crust will turn out tough rather than flaky.

Now, shape the pasty into a ball and cut in half. If it's a hot day you might have to throw the dough in the fridge for a half hour before being able to do this. Each half will roll out into a crust for a 9" or 9.5" pan. Flour up the counter for rolling out the shell--if you do it right, you'll have flour everywhere when you're done. Or maybe that's only if you're me. You want the crust about 1/8" thick and you should roll it out an inch or two beyond the size of the pan.

I hope you floured the counter, because now you have to lift up your rolled crust and put it in the pan. Some tricks that might help include rolling it up partially onto the rolling pin, or using one of those thin cutting mats to slide it onto.

Okay, now you have it in the pan! If you want you can make fancy edges by trimming the dough edges and then pinching them down, but you don't have to.

Fill with delicious filling and bake as the recipe for your pie says to!

Credit where credit is due: this was originally snagged from here, and has been vetted for guaranteed awesome.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Red Soup

In my day, there were cooks who refused to use the Cuisinart to slice onions. They said it ruined the flavor. I remember inventing this recipe to avoid that restriction.

Once you have the basic recipe down you can vary it a lot. Try adding spinach, garlic, cauliflower or summer squash. The only thing I've tried that didn't work well was potatoes.

Bring to a boil:
1 huge can (1 gal?) whole tomatoes
1 huge can tomato sauce
~16 c. water

Use a food processor to slice:

3-4 carrots
1 bunch celery

Add to soup.

Use a food processor to mutilate:
2 huge onions (~3c)

Chop and add:
1 small head broccoli
3 green peppers

1 1/2 c. red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Serve when the carrots and broccoli are cooked (tender).

Posted by mathhobbit

Chicken a-la-Leffo

I got this recipe from Robert Leff himself, sometime in the late 80's. The instructions are vague; I'll see what I can recreate from memory.


6 eggs
spiced bread crumbs
12-18 chicken breasts
2 lbs mozzarella
1/2 lb butter
1 head garlic

Tenderize the chicken breasts.
Beat the eggs and dip the chicken breasts in the eggs.
Coat the chicken breasts with bread crumbs.
Cut the mozzarella into chunks and wrap the chicken around the mozzarella.
Put the chicken breasts in a pan.
Melt the butter, crush the garlic, mix together and pour over the chicken breasts.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350.
(Posted by user mathhobbit)


First you make the soup base: Chop 2 parts onions and 1 part each celery and carrots (optional garlic to taste) Then sweat (cook on medium heat until translucent) these vegetables in some oil or margarine.

Add vegetables you like in soup, I chose mushrooms but you could add anything. If you pick something that cooks quickly or loses color (like broccoli or leafy greens) then wait and add these later. Cook these vegetables for a while.

When the vegetables are done add however much vegetable stock you want. You can add water an bullion cubes or you can add stock from a box.

Your soup should now be salty and have vegetable flavors, but we want to make it taste more complex. Salt vinegar and sugar should be in just about everything and so since we have salt we need to add vinegar and sugar. I add about twice as much vinegar as sugar and then taste. If it tastes flat add more salt, if it tastes too tart add more sugar and salt if it tastes too sweet add more vinegar and salt if it tastes too salty add more vinegar and sugar. Dont use white vinegar because it tastes bad, but any other kind of vinegar will do. You can also add any spices you like (oregano, thyme, basil, sage ect... I added sage and thyme). I also threw in some liquid smoke because I love that stuff, but its not nessecary (and only add a little because it is strong)

When the soup tastes good you are ready to finish it.

The "meat" in the stroganoff was seitan, which I make from high gluten wheat flour (you can buy it at harvest in bulk). Add salt and pepper to the flour and then mix up a slightly smaller volume of liquid composed of 2 parts water 1 part soy sause (or omit and add some salt) 1 part vinegar. Taste the liquid to make sure it is good and then mix the flour with the liquid. This mass should be stretchy and moist and look kind of like brains.

Tear off small (1/2 ping pong ball) chuncks of the seitan and throw it in the now boiling soup. The seitan will expand to roughly double in size, cook it for 10 more minutes and pull out a chunk. It is done if it is slightly chewy but not like bubble gum. then you can throw in any leafy greens of veggies that cook fast.

As those are cooking you want to mix about 1/5 the soups volume of soy milk with enough corn starch to thicken it (directions on the corn starch box) as the corn starch heats up it will thicken, and it will continue to thicken as the soup cools. Once it is about as thick as you like the dish is finished.

Mac and Cheese

Step -1: Preheat your oven to 350 at some point...

Step 0: start boiling water... when the water boils you can add the macaroni but you should move on at this point to get the timing right.

Cheese Sauce Step 1: Make a white roux.

This you tube video gives a good idea of how to make a roux and what it does:


The basic idea is to cook equal parts butter and flour for a few minutes on medium to low heat. It shouldn't turn color, but its not a huge deal if it does a little, just add the liquid in step two. Make sure to add salt and pepper (white pepper if you care about the sauce not having black specs in it) to the roux (but dont taste at this point because a roux is basically super hot glue)

Cheese sauce step two: add milk (or soymilk)

a rule of thumb is to add one cup of milk to each tablespoon of flour in your roux (that would be roux made from 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp butter) but you should probably start with a little less liquid and see how thick it gets. Bring this up to a light simmer on medium (or even lower) heat. Be very careful bringing this up to heat since milk will boil over very quickly, if the milk starts to make large bubbles on its surface move the entire pot off of the heat, turn the heat down and then return the pot to heat. Add enough salt and (white)pepper so that the hot milk tastes good. The sauce should be thick enough once it gets hot to coat the back of a spoon (or to almost coat it, since the sauce will get thicker once it cools). If your sauce is still milky for some unexplainable reason either make more roux and add it or mix cornstarch with a little water and add it.

Cheese sauce Step 3: add cheese

Any cheese you like will work, and you can add as much or as little as you like. Less cheese will turn out to be "mac and creme", and since you added salt and pepper you don't have to worry about flavor. More cheese is good, and it is almost impossible to super-saturate the milk so you can add cheese to your hearts content. If you seasoned well in step two then you shouldn't have to worry about more salt or pepper here, but you should taste the cheese sauce at this point to make sure you like it. Your mac and cheese will taste exactly like this sauce so make sure that you like the way it tastes. If you added too much salt throw in the smallest dash of vinegar (curdling will happen if you put in too much) and the smallest bit of sugar (we aren't making a dessert) to cut the saltiness. Stir and re-taste to make sure it is good, and if its still too salty then you can add a little more of both. I would make the sauce slightly saltier than you like because the pasta will not be seasoned... but too salty will ruin things and not salty enough will taste blah. Once it is well seasoned you can put the heat on very low and stir it every once in a while until your pasta is done.

Mac and cheese formation Step 4:

Take the boiled mac and strain it to remove the water. Spray pam on something you will be making the casserole in. Then dump the pasta into the casserole. Add the cheese sauce right on top of the macaroni while the mac is still hot and stir to coat the pasta. If you wait too long the mac will stick to itself and your pasta wont absorb as much of the sauce, but its not the end of the world.

Optional step 5: if you want the breadcrumb crust on top then you should toast a couple slices of bread, either in the oven or in the toaster and crumble them up in a bowl. Bread crumbs will cover about the same area as the bread slice covered before you crumbled it (slightly less), so make sure you have enough. Season the bread crumbs by adding salt, pepper, [oregano, basil, thyme] also known as Italian seasoning, and whatever else you like. Taste the bread crumbs to make sure you like the way they taste. Melt enough butter or margarine to get the breadcrumbs wet and then mix the melted butter with the crumbs. Put this mixture on top of your mac and cheese sauce combo.

Step six: throw the whole thing in the oven until the top gets brownish. probably 20 minutes. Note on cooking times, you aren't really cooking anything in this last step, so you can take it out whenever you like. everything is already heated and likely tastes good.


Bread Stuffing (dont follow amounts they arent important)

9 cups (Make 4 times this)
3/4 c. minced onion
1-1/2 c. chopped celery
1 c. butter (use earth balance)
9 c. soft bread cubes
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. cr. sage
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
In large skillet cook & stir onion and celery with the butter and half of the herbs. Stir in some of the of bread cubes. Put the mixture in a deep bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix. Throw in the oven at 350 until the top is starting to get crispy.

Sausage Stuffing
Add 1 lb. pork sausage crumbled- and browned with remaining ingredients. Substitute sausage fat for part of the butter, or if using Vegetarian Sausage just cook it thoroughly and add it to the mix. Most people dont cook gimme lean for long enough, but it you keep it hot for long is will brown and be really delicious.
Overall the exact amounts arent important, the main idea is that you cook sausage onions celery and carrots in butter then add sage, thyme and black pepper and add the result to bread :-) Sometimes I have to add more butter than called for to make sure the bread is soaked... but thats not a huge deal and you can always melt more butter if you need to after following the directions.

Maita's Mom Casserole

Take one lb. German Mother...

no wait, sorry...

Maita's Mom's Casserole is a combination of white sauce and red sauce over pasta and baked in the oven. Makes one pika, all amounts approximate.

White Sauce: Combine 3 boxes soy milk, garlic powder salt and white (black) pepper until the milk tastes slightly saltier than you would normally eat, but flavorful. Heat slowly to avoid the soy milk boiling over. Thicken to the point where sauce coats the back of a spoon with your favorite method: Method one, cook for a really long time... Method two, add lots of cheese... Method three, make a roux out of equal parts flour and margarine and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat then add roux to milk... Method four mix a small amount of water with lots of corn starch and add.

Red Sauce: Heat oil in a large pot and add chopped garlic once the oil is hot. Quickly add onions, stir and add salt and pepper. Cook the onions over medium heat until they turn translucent and add a small amount of celery and carrots. Cook until carrots are kind of soft. Add two large cans of tomato (whole crushed chopped or sauce). Add a handfull of sugar a tablespoon of salt and a cup or so of vinager. Add italian spices like basil and oregano and garlic powder. Taste the sauce. If it tastes like bland V8 (tomato juice without salt) add more of everything (or just more salt). If it tastes salty add sugar and vinager. If it tastes too tart add salt and sugar. If it tastes too sweet add vinager and salt. Repeat until happy or your taste buds quit and let it simmer on low heat.

Pasta: Meanwhile you should have set a huge pot of water to boil, becasue this takes forever. Add your favorite pika size (one shopping bag usually works for me) of pasta to the pot along with a lot of salt. Cook pasta until done and strain.

Casserole: Layer red sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer pasta, layer white sauce, layer pasta, layer red sauce. Repeat until you run out of something. Cook this in a 350 degree oven for a while... it doesnt need to cook but the pasta needs to soak up the sauces.

Get creative! Add soy meats to the red sauce or put steamed veggies in one of the layers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

garlic ginger kale

~10 cloves of garlic
1 medium ginger root
8 bunches of kale
olive oil

Chop the garlic and ginger in to very small pieces. Heat some olive oil in a large wok. (You need enough oil so the kale never sticks to the wok, but not so much that the kale tastes oily at all.) When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger, and stir fry them for a very short time, until the garlic starts to brown. Add in the kale. It will be unwieldy at first, but it'll shrink in volume quite fast. Cook until the kale is wilted, but don't cook it so long that the kale turns very dark green and loses all its "spring".

wild rice stuffed tomatoes

2 cups amaranth
2 cups black wild rice
5 cups brown rice
medium or large tomatoes, about 1 per person
fresh herbs: tarragon, sage, thyme, rosemary
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter, or some other margarine)
whole green lettuce leaves
Fromage Blanc

To cook the amaranth: mix the dry grain with 6 cups of water. Bring the mix to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. To cook the black wild rice: mix the rice with 4 cups of water. Bring the mix to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes. To cook the brown rice: use the large rice cooker, and mix the rice with 12 cups of water. The rice cooker takes care of the timing. When all the grains are cooked, mix them together, add the Earth Balance and salt and pepper. Chop the tarragon, sage, thyme and rosemary and mix them in.

Next you have to scoop out the "guts" of the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half and scoop out the inside with a spoon. Fill each tomato with some rice. If you have extra rice, make a nice bed in a baking dish and nestle the tomatoes on top. If you don't have extra rice, just put the tomatoes in a baking dish. Put them in the oven at 350 F for "a while" - basically, until the tomatoes look tasty to you.

Serve the rice and tomatoes on a large leaf of lettuce and, optionally, add a dollop of fromage blanc on top. (Two 8-ounce containers of fromage blanc should do it.)

baked tofu

8 blocks firm tofu

8 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 1/2 cup rice wine (mirin)
3/4 cup rice vinegar
8 tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
6 tablespoons olive oil

Cut the tofu in to 1/2 inch thick squares and lay them in a baking dish. Put the soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Pour the marinade over the tofu. Then pour the olive oil over. Leave the tofu to marinate for about an hour. To cook, either broil them in a hot broiler for about 7 minutes, then flip every slab over and broil another 5 minutes. Or, if you don't have a broiler, bake them for about 15 minutes, flip all the slabs over, then bake another 10 minutes or so.

Quick & tasty yeast bread

2 Tsp honey
2 2/3 c. lukewarm water
4 Tsp dry yeast
3 Tbsp honey
5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 Tsp salt
1 c. oats

Stir 2 tsp honey into 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Add yeast, set aside for about 10 min. Combine 3 tbsp honey with 2/3 cups of water and combine w/ yeast. Stir into flour. Add salt, oats, and the rest of the water. Adjust amount of water for dough to be quite sticky (I usually use way too little water before this step and then add enough to make it look like a very sticky pizza dough).

Pour dough into non-sticky loaf pans (use PAM!), such that they are about half filled. If you want to make it look fancy sprinkle oats, or other stuff, on top. Let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan. Bake at 400 F, until it looks done (~40 min.).

Wait with the slicing until it's cold!

About a triple batch will be enough for a pika dinner.

French bread or rolls

French bread or rolls:

12 cups flour
3 tablespoons dry active yeast
6 teaspoons salt
6 cups warm water
a bit of cornmeal

Add the yeast to the warm water. Let sit for about 5 or 10 minutes. Add the salt. Then add about 2/3 of the flour and mix well. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the flour (this can be difficult - you will probably have to knead the flour in to the dough, rather than mixing it in). Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Spray a bowl with Pam. Put the dough in the bowl and put it in warm place (you can set the oven to 100 F if you like) until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down to get rid of all the air bubbles. Let it double in size again. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the dough in to pieces with a sharp knife. Peach-sized pieces for rolls, much larger for baguettes. Arrange the dough on baking sheets that have been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cut slits in to the top of the bread if you like. Let the dough rise again - it doesn't have to double this time, but it should look bigger and puffy. Sprinkle a little bit of water on top of the dough. Put a pan of water in to the oven with the dough. Don't open the oven too much becuase you want it to be really hot in there. Bake about 25 minutes, or at least until the bread is golden brown.