Monday, March 23, 2009

The Ben Salinas Delight

~1 handful of tofu (note that it's extremely difficult to hold tofu in your hand, so you should probably estimate this. I suppose that you could also freeze the tofu together to make it more manageable, but this blurs the line between a true handful and a five pound block of protein-rich goodness that you just happen to be balancing in your palm)
(on second thought, you should probably just use as much tofu as will fit in your bowl)

~1 large spoonful of peanut butter (actually, two)

~1/2 Banana (I always end up using the other half for lack of anything better to do with it)

Put the tofu and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and then in a bowl-safe microwave for about a minute. Cut chunks of banana into the mixture and immediately stir in the now-liquified peanut butter.

At this point, you have something that is delicious, but a little too mushy, so you may wish to add an arbitrary number of Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks. Other cereals have been tried with little success, so experiment at your culinary peril. Continue mixing. Lately, I've been adding a quarter dollop of craisins, which burst in your mouth like little mortgage bubbles of flavor.

This recipe serves one and a half (which is usually more than the number of people who will eat it by about a half)

Special thanks to my inspiration, Ben Salinas

Monday, March 9, 2009

brown rice with greens and peas

8 to 10 cups brown rice
6 onions
4 tablespoons minced ginger (or more! never enough ginger!)
3 bags of frozen peas
greens: 2 enormous bunches of rainbow chard (ok, any chard, but rainbow is cooler)
2 bunches of green kale
1 bunch of red kale
~20 cups of spinach (one large plastic box)

olive oil
soy sauce

Cook the brown rice however you like - pika's rice cooker works well. Sautee the onions and minced ginger in olive oil. Mix the onions and rice. Steam all the greens for just a little while, then mix them in as well. Boil the peas, drain them, and add them.

Add a few dashes of soy sauce (a few tablespoons) for saltiness. Mix carefully. Serve hot.

corn and avocado salad

7 bags of frozen corn
5 red peppers
1 package (or ~1 cup) of fresh oregano
10 avocados

olive oil
red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works in a pinch)
lemon or lime juice
Tabasco sauce or cayenne
black pepper

Not only are the ingredients flexible and approximate, the directions are too!

Boil the corn. Chop the peppers. Chop the oregano. Mix together in a large bowl. Add cumin - enough to turn the corn slightly brown. Add oil and vinegar, and then add lemon or lime juice on top of that. At pika I typically use very little oil - maybe 1/4 cup. More vinegar, maybe 1/2 cup. Lemon juice until it's as sour as you want. Cut in the avocado once you've added the lemon juice, so it doesn't discolor. Then add the cayenne, salt, and pepper. (If you add the salt or cayenne before the lemon juice, you'll find that the perceived saltiness and spiciness are changed by the acid.)

Serve warm or cold. Keeps for days.

Copper Pennies (carrots)

This is the easiest dish in the world to make, and almost everybody likes it.

Chop carrots very thin. This is very easy if you use the thinnest slicing attachment in the food processor. For pika I typically cook up to 8 pounds of carrots.

Mix carrots with a little olive oil in a very large wok. Drizzle honey over the carrots. Cook them for a very long time, mixing once in a while, so they slowly caramelize. Careful not to burn them. It's best to have some kind of cover so they can steam a bit... there is no cover large enough for the wok, but even tin foil helps.

At the end, add salt to taste. Serve hot.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Potato Soup (Vichyssoise)

REAL vichyssoise is a chilled soup, but I think I like it better hot. The original soup has a lot of butter and heavy cream, so I've made some not-insignificant changes in veganizing it, but it still tastes good!

-around13 pounds of potatoes (very small ones, if possible)
-enough water or vegetable stock (you can use Rapunzel vegan bullion cubes if you're on a tight budget) to boil the potatoes in (this can vary a lot)
-vegan butter (around 1/2 cup)
-around 10 leeks
-around 5 cups soy creamer, soy milk thickened with flour, heavy cream, or other creamy-textured liquid
-3 large sweet onions
-salt and pepper to taste
-vinegar (I think balsamic is nicest)

Wash the potatoes and chop them in to 1-inch cubes. Carefully clean the leeks (they always have lots of mud inside). Chop them, and throw away the toughest outer green leaves, but try to use the tender inner green leaves (no point in ONLY using the white part). Melt the butter in a skillet and sautee the leeks until they are soft, but not browning. Meanwhile, chop the onions. Then put the sauteed leeks in your soup pot and add the water/stock, potatoes and onion. Boil until the potatoes are cooked. Then add the soy creamer, soy milk, or heavy cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then blend the soup in a blender until it is completely smooth (it'll still have chunks of potato skin, though). Last, add vinegar to taste. Garnish with any green herb.