Tuesday, December 16, 2008

thai noodles with broccoli and tofu

~6 boxes of noodles (a flat noodle works best, rice noodles are even better)

2 little tiny cans Thai chili paste
~2 cups Thai peanut paste
(can substitute Thai curry paste and Thai peanut sauce, but you will get a panang curry instead of peanut noodles)
~7 cans coconut milk
~1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4-6 bunches of broccoli
3-4 tubs extra-firm tofu
~5 bunches scallions
olive oil
small amount brown sugar

Mix the chili paste, peanut paste, and coconut milk together. Add the peanut butter. It probably won't mix in well, but that's ok; it will melt later. Chop the scallions in to smallish pieces. Heat a little bit of oil in a large wok. Toss the scallions in and stir fry them until they are soft. Then add the chili, peanut paste, coconut, peanut butter mixture. Heat the mixture until it boils. Stir often. Add a little bit of brown sugar, to taste. Add in the broccoli and the tofu. On a different burner, start boiling a large pot of salted water, and add the pasta when the water is boiling. Let the mixture in the wok simmer until the broccoli is soft (but not falling apart) and the tofu has absorbed the flavor of the noodles. When the pasta is done, drain it, and either add it immediately to the wok and mix well, or make sure to add a little bit of oil so the noodles don't stick.

Heat the noodles, sauce, tofu and broccoli together for a while to let the flavors mix. Serve over brown rice.


2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cup molasses
5 eggs or 5 eggs-worth of egg replacer
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 cups boiling water
grated fresh ginger root or chopped crystallized ginger, if you have it

Mix everything except the boiling water together in a bowl. Add the boiling water last, and pour the batter in to a large baking dish. Bake at 350 F until a knife comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or a citrus sauce.

Recipe from Cygnet's grandmother.

caribbean beans

1 large ginger root
10-15 cloves garlic
5 onions
12-15 cans black beans
3 peppers of any kind
4 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
few tablespoons brown sugar
few teaspoons nutmeg
cayenne pepper to taste
olive oil

Chop the garlic and ginger finely. Chop the onions in to small pieces. Chop the peppers in to small pieces. Heat some oil in a large pot. Put in the garlic and ginger first. Sautee until the garlic has just started to brown (it should smell very good at that point). DON'T let the garlic burn - it cooks within a minute. Add in the onions. Cook the ginger, garlic and onions until the onions are nice and soft. Then add the chopped peppers. Once the peppers are soft, add the beans, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Taste it, then add as much salt as you like. Once the salt is added, add cayenne pepper to taste. Keep cooking for as long as you can to let the flavors blend.

You can serve this dish over rice (especially rice that has been cooked with a few Rapunzel vegan bullion cubes and a little oil) and/or with salsa. A nice salsa that goes well with this dish is made with: chopped mango, chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, lime juice, Tabasco sauce, salt, and, optionally, very very finely chopped onions.

Inspiration came from a Moosewood recipe.

roasted root vegetables

potatoes, squash, beets, carrots, parsnips, garlic, or any other root vegetable
olive oil
fresh thyme (dry is ok)
fresh rosemary (dry is ok)

Chop your root vegetables in to small chunks. If you are mixing multiple types of root vegetables, you need to make sure that the different vegetable types will take the same length of time to cook. To accomplish this you may have to make different-sized pieces depending on cooking time. Carrots and parsnips should be cut in small pieces (little rounds, not large chunks unless you hve a lot of time). Beets need medium-sized pieces (2 or 3 centimeter cubes). Potatoes need 3-4 centimeter cubes. Some squashes cook fairly fast and you can get away with even larger pieces, but I don't recommend it; squash tastes really good when it's been cooked a long time because it caramelizes.

Put your vegetables in a large baking dish. Pour in olive oil - enough to coat each piece of vegetable lightly, and leave a little bit on the bottom of the pan. Mix up the vegetables so that every piece is completely covered with a thin layer of oil. Add salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary. A little bit of vinegar also tastes good.

Bake the vegetables at 450 F. Allow at least 70 minutes; start checking on the veggies after 40 minutes. When a fork goes through very easily, they're done. Serve immediately - they don't taste nearly as good cold.

corn salad with mustard greens

5 onions
4 large bunches of fresh mustard greens
7 bags of frozen sweet corn (use fresh corn when it's in season)
1 package of fresh tarragon
1 package of fresh sage
apple cider vinegar
strong-tasting olive oil

Cut the onions in to small pieces (it doesn't matter what shape, and they pieces don't have to be tiny). Heat some olive oil in a large pan (but don't let it get so hot that it spits), and pour in the onions. Use a spatula to completely coat all the onions in oil, and keep them on high heat for a little bit, but once they start to get soft, turn the heat down to medium (or low, if you have a very thin pan) and cook the onions slowly until they are caramelized and sweet.

Wash the mustard greens. Boil a large pot of water. When the water's boiling, dunk the mustard greens in for about 30 seconds - 1 minute (you'll probably have to do this in stages unless you have a HUGE pot), just enough to wilt the greens but not long enough to change the color. This should get rid of the bitterness in the greens but preserve some of the spiciness. Drain the greens and chop them up in to small bits.

Boil more water. When it's boiling, add the corn. You don't need to cook corn very long; mostly, you just need to warm it. Even uncooked corn tastes good, so just take the pot off the heat as soon as you're happy with the taste of the corn.

Mix the corn, onions and mustard greens together. Pour in a little bit of olive oil. Not too much - you don't want the olive oil to pool at the bottom of the bowl, and you definitely don't want this dish to taste oily. It's just for texture. Next, add in some apple cider vinegar. Keep tasting the mix until it's as sour as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then chop the tarragon and sage and add them in last. Serve warm.

Friday, December 12, 2008

zucchini and herb fritters

18 zucchini
4 1/2 cups silken tofu
8 cups bread crumbs
7 bunches of scallions
18 cloves of garlic
1 huge bunch of parsley
1 package of fresh basil
1 package of fresh mint
olive oil for frying

Shred the zucchini coarsely in the food processor. Salt it, and leave it to drain in a colander for a while. Chop the scallions. Chop the garlic finely. Chop the parsley, basil and mint. Put all the ingredients except the zucchini and the oil in a bowl and mix. Rinse the zucchini with water and squeeze out all the excess water through the colander. Add the zucchini to the other ingedients. Mix. Mixing is tedious and takes quite a while before you get a gooey paste, but don't settle for large lumps of breadcrumbs or tofu left in the batter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Start frying the fritters. About 1/3 cup of batter makes one fritter. If you can manage it, have 2 or 3 pans going at once. You can probably fit 2 or 3 fritters on each pan. Make sure the pan isn't TOO hot - it should take about 5 or 6 minutes to cook one side of the fritter, you don't want to burn the outside before the inside even gets warm. That said, don't worry if the inside looks raw. None of the ingredients REQUIRE cooking. A crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside fritter will be tasty.

From the Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook, slightly modified for pika.

braised chard and collards with herbs

4 large bunches of swiss chard
4 large bunches of collard greens
4 onions
1 package fresh lemon thyme
1 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons paprika
4 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons of salt
sea salt and cracked pepper

Make sure to wash the greens carefully. Then cut the stems off of the greens. Just the part that sticks out past the bottom of the leaf. Chop the stems in to little pieces; they will be cooked along with the leaves. Then cut the greens in to 1-inchIf potato is the standard, you can make sweet pot ribbons/strips. Cut the onions in to little pieces. Smash the garlic cloves and then roll them in 1 teaspoon of salt each. Put the onions, garlic, and oil in a heavy, thick pot (At this stage you may need to split the recipe in to 2 pots because the greens take up so much space before they wilt.) Add the paprika. Mix. Then add the greens and mix again until the paprika is pretty evenly distributed. Sprinkle the lemon thyme on top. Add some pepper. Put a cover on the pot and cook on medium or low for about 20 or 25 minutes. The greens will wilt after just a few minutes, but don't take them off the heat. If you cook them for the recommended time they will come out tasting quite silky. Be careful that they don't burn at first, though. After they start to wilt, the water in the greens and onions will come out and prevent any burning, but at the very beginning, you'll have to check on the mix often.

These greens tend to disappear very fast. Consider making even more than this recipe suggests.

Recipe is inspired by a similar recipe in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.