Saturday, April 28, 2007

Vegan Pizza Perfection!

Roasted Red Peppers, Artichokes, Shallots and Fresh Basil
I sooo did it! I figured out a homemade cheez that doesn't contain nuts! We don't use any nuts at Cafe Indigo due to allergies in their family, so I've been trying to figure out how to make a good pizza cheez that melts and tastes great. This passed the carnivore/family test. Both my kids and husband thought it was great and they are HARD to please with vegan cheez. The chemistry of the cheez was based on Bryanna's genius cheez recipes, but I played around with them a bit to produce something closer to the texture of fresh mozzarella.
Vegan Margherita

Pesto, Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Basil

Hopefully, we will be serving pizza as a special at Cafe Indigo in the near future. I guess this blog will be a mixture of my own personal blog and the Cafe blog as well for the time being... so bare with me!

I did some cooking for the week. It is so nice to have most of our food prepared. Basically, I only need to make a salad and veggies and maybe rice or pasta to get a good dinner on the table. I baked a sauted a bunch of seitan, some of the breasts were baked in Chipotle Citrus BBQ sauce that I had in the freezer. No pic of those. I sauted some strips of seitan for wraps and made 5 wrap sandwiches for the kids and husband to grab for lunches if they want. The seitan wrap sandwiches are delicious. We sell them at Cafe Indigo as well as A Market in Manchester, NH and Granite Foods Natural Foods in Concord, NH. Unfortunately, my battery died and I don't have a pic of them, but they are delicious. It's my homemade turkey style seitan sauted and topped with a delicious, smoky aioli mustard sauce, spring mix, cukes, onions, shredded carrots and tomatoes all wrapped up in a tortilla. So good.
Edamane with shallots and siracha

Pizza Dough and Pesto
I made a bunch of dough this morning. Half of it went for our pizzas, and the other half is in the freezer. I also made some killer pesto. This one was featured roasted sunflower seeds, kale and basil as the star players. I added several secret ingredients to make it outstanding. I use a tiny bit on some pizzas today and will portion the rest out for the freezer and a pasta dinner later in the week.
Green Beans and Tomaotes, Artichokes
I like to keep some cooked veggies on hand for snacking or a super fast meal.

My old standby. I always have some either in the freezer or the fridge. I made 16 cups of it today and portioned it out in the freezer and saved half of it for dinner this week. You can find my recipe here.
Easy Mac and Cheeez
My kids LOVE Annie's Shells and Cheese. They love my mac and cheez almost as much. (or at least I tell myself that hehe).. I usually use cashew cheez, but this time I used the same cheez that I used on the pizza. I mixed some tomatoes into it as well. Very good. I cooked an entire pound of pasta last night and had around half a cup myself. The rest is gone. It will never cease to amaze me how much food my teen boys eat.
Baked Tofu Sandwich
Could the lighting be any worse? geez... The sandwich was great though. Super simple baked tofu on homemade bread with mustard, romaine, tomato and 1/4 of an avocado.

my baby
I love my stick!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It's a cooking day!

Spicy Noodles
I did some batch cooking today to get ready for the week. First up, another clean out the fridge spicy noodle. This one has red chile peppers, scallions, carrots, daikon, cilantro, sesame seeds and a spicy garlic/lime peanut sauce. I have a half gallon container filled with this. All I have to do is throw together a quick slaw and prep some tofu for a quick weekday meal!
Vegan Lasagna
I made a regular, non-vegan lasanga for the family, but who wants to hear about that? Not me! This vegan lasagna contained tofu ricotta, fresh basil, fresh spinach, homemade mushroom and olive marinara (it looks like it's burned on top, but those are the mushrooms and olives) and my own vegan cheez. I based the recipe off a Bryanna recipe, but have changed the ingredients a bit to fit my taste buds. I will say that it's a miracle to make a cheez that actually melts!

Vegan Enchilada Bake
Again, the cheez was based on the Bryanna chemistry... but the flavors all my own here. This was a cashew cheez. So good. The salsa verde really helped the cheez look melted. I also used a lot of it. I will not be eating a lot of this as the cheez is very fattening.
Vegan Pineapple Oat Bran Muffins
These babies are so good. They are mostly stevia sweetened and only contain 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of sesame seeds for the fat. They will make a great bfast for my kids.
Brunch at work tomorrow. I'll try to take pics, but if we're busy, then they probably won't happen. What I need to do is take pics after work some time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Update, brunch pics

I'm sorry that I haven't updated in forever! ... and that I haven't started the Cafe Indigo blog. I have yet to figure out how to integrate the 11 hours I'm away from home everyday, family and blogging. I'm thinking that it may take a little while to get the cafe blog up..(so I'll just give some peeks into what we're doing on my blog!).. plus I want to have decent pics for that... and I'm sad to say that I was not able to get any decent pics from brunch. The lighting was horrible and I was busy, so I could only snap several pics..
Brunch was great though! I am looking forward to this Sunday! We've decided to make a set Brunch Menu. The buffet tables are set up with a green salad, hummus, corn and black bean salad, coleslaw, pasta salad, blueberry muffins, homemade bread with organic earth balance,(remember.. all of the food is organic!) carrot cake, lemon poppyseed cake and death by chocolate cake, coffee, tea or hot chocolate plus your choice of 1 entree. Unfortunately, I only took a bad pic of the Huevos Rancheros.. Cafe Indigo style or Melody style hehe.. chipotle citrus black beans, spiced seitan sauted with peppers and onions in homemade ranchero sauce, lemon/garlic/rosemary potatoes, pico, non-hydrogenated tofutti sour cream and avocado.... and 2 corn tortillas. Next week, we will be upping the portions as people ate everything on their plates.
huevos rancheros
I don't have a pic of the cornmeal panckaes, but here is Paul manning the grill. The recipe was passed down in his family and they veganized it! We served the pancaked with 2 of my homemade sausage patties and the garlic/lemon/rosemary potatoes. People LOVED them!

Here's the buffet table set up. Pasta Salad, Hummus, Black Bean and Corn salad.. and of course, bread!

Organic, homemade bread.. and mini blueberry muffins.

Green Salad, Coleslaw, Pasta Salad

pasta sald, corn and black bean salad

Lemon poppyseed, Chocolate, Carrot cake.. (the best cakes I've ever had in my bias.. just the truth!)

The BEST coffee I've ever tasted!
Getting back to the brunch specifics... the entree choices were:
Huevos Rancheros
Cornmeal Panckaes
Tofu Scramble with sausages and potatoes
Thai Tofu, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Curry over Basmati
We've decided that for the near future, we will be serving a set menu of all of the above, plus a Reuben like sandwich containing thinly sliced seitan... we're still working out the details of the sandiwch.. but I KNOW it will be delicious. Fortunately, my seitans have taken off there... and we are serving a delicious grilled seitan wrap on the menu now everyday as well as a grilled "cheez" with my homemade cheez. I'm not a fan of seitan, but the way I prepare it is absolutely delicious and I love it!
Anyway.... that's the update from here. I have a day off tomorrow, so I have to replenish my home with food.. so I'm sure I'll get another post in.. if not tomorrow, then Saturday.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hot pink tofu!

A couple of months ago, Urban Vegan blogged about tofu with wasabi beurre blanc and I've been craving it ever since. Of course, I don't have the cookbook she used, soI have no clue how she made it, but the wasabi and grilled tofu combo was calling my name today, so I tried my hand at it. I didn't make beurre blanc, because I had no clue what all was in the recipe, but I did use wasabi, ginger, garlic, kelp, lime juice and toasted sesame oil in the marinade. I colored it with pomegranate juice and probably should have used less as you can see! Pea puree with garlic, wasabi and a tiny bit of sesame oil complimented the spicy, charred tofu and a side of daikon, cukes and avocado rounded out the meal nicely... oh I forgot, I grilled some mushrooms as well. I'll definitely make this again, but next time I will look at the original recipe first so I can make the sauce to go with it.

It really looks like fish to me!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Help Wanted! Vegan Baker Concord, NH.. brunch , black bean soup

Chipotle Citrus Black Bean Soup

My family loves this soup so much. I made around 2 gallons of it yesterday to freeze in family sized portions and to have for dinner tonight. I will also be making this at Cafe Indigo next week as a new soup.

Since I've been working and commuting, we've been doing a lot of eating out of the freezer or eating really quick things. Hopefully, I will get into the swing of things and start doing more blogging here when I get used to my new schedule. I'm planning on starting the Cafe Indigo Blog on Sunday (depending on how tired I am) to showcase our first Brunch! I'm so excited about it!

Here's our menu: (everything is 100% vegan and organic)

Cornmeal Pancakes with real maple syrup

Homemade Sausage patties

Roasted Potatoes with lemon, rosemary and garlic

Tofu Scramble

Our version of Huevos Rancheros (seitan ranchero, chipotle black beans, corn tortillas, pico, avocado and non-hydrogenated tofutti sour cream)

Pastry/Dessert table

Salad table complete with hummus, black bean and corn salsa and fresh bread

Thai Tofu, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Curry over Basmati rice (the pic is an old pic from my blog)

Pictures will follow. Hopefully, I will have enough time to take some pics of the guests enjoying their food (and they will give me permission to post them!)... if not, then I will at least take pics of the food.
I love my job!
And... we are hiring! We NEED a vegan baker... (who will also do some cafe work)... We are located in Concord, New Hampshire.... so if you are interested... contact Cafe Indigo or leave me a note... and I'll hook you up with an interview. I don't think that experience counts as much as a passionate attitude about vegan food/baked goods.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Angel Hair and Greek Salad

Super quick meal, 20 minutes to the table. Whole wheat angel hair with homemade quick marinara and a greek salad with sauteed tofu.. delicious, filling and comforting.
I started my new job on Monday and am very busy.. forgive me for not keeping up with your blogs. I will be starting the Cafe Indigo blog within the week. I'm going to take pics of our first brunch this Sunday! There's something sooo refreshing, working with vegans all day!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Passover/Easter, lots of food pics

lentil soup
Yesterday, I did some of my big batch cooking. I will be working full time, starting Monday, with a 2 hour+ commute, so I wanted to fix some staples. Lentil soup is a winner because it can be soup for one dinner and two lunches, and the extra can be morphed into veggie burgers. WooHoo! Take a $1.50 for a pound or organic lentils and turn it into several meals. You can't beat that! I didn't photograph it, but I made 8 lbs of seitan for my freezer. The seitan cooking broth was used for the lentil soup.
philly cheezsteak wrap
I froze some of my "turkey" seitan and have been making these sandwiches for my husband's lunch this week. He loves these. The ugly looking cheez sauce is a delicous chipolte/tofu/red pepper/cilantro combo. The pic does NOT do it justice. The base of the sandwich is kale. I will probably run this wrap as a weekly special at Cafe Indigo.

philly wrap

stir fry, potstickers
This is my contribution to Passover Dinner at my MIL's. Not traditional, but my MIL appreciates when I bring food that we can eat. I got a new camera on Thursday and I'm trying to figure it out. The pics are a tiny bit blurry. I am actually going to take photography lessons so I can learn how to use it.
Collard and Seitan Potstickers

Broccoli and Bean Curd

Friday, April 06, 2007

New Job, Sesame Crusted Quinoa

Sesame Crusted Quinoa Patties
These were really good. I mixed tofu, quinoa, bean sprouts and various spices to create an asian inspired burger. We've been eating these in salads, in sandwiches and with various sauces.
I haven't been doing a lot of cooking, mostly eating the leftovers of the big batch cooking, but we are in need of more food, so I'm sure I'll have more to post tomorrow.
I am very excited to announce that I will be cooking at Cafe Indigo starting Monday! The commute will be long, but worth it, as it is exactly what I've been wanting to do for a while. Cooking in a vegan cafe and bakery? SCORE! We will be starting Sunday brunch on April 15th. I think I am going to start a Cafe Indigo blog so you guys can see the delicious food and baked goods! It is located in Concord, New Hampshire, so stop in if you're around this neck of the woods. Not only is Cafe Indigo 100% vegan, it is organic as well. My task within the next month or so is to figure out how to make a Siracha like sauce, since I use that in so much of my cooking. Does anyone know of an organic version of something comparable?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

'Turkey' results, brunch, piccata of sorts, salad

I swear, I am the worst insomniac. After forcing myself to stay in bed for hours, I got up around 5am and puttered around. What I should do is start taking my dog for her long walk in the early mornings. I decided to make a nice breakfast for the boys and husband. I made the sausage patties out of TVP, oats, spices and flaxmeal and some disgustingly unhealthy biscuits complete with white flour and *gasp* shortening. It was the earth balance stuff, so I guess it's not as bad as crisco, but I think this is the first time I've ever cooked with any type of shortening. I've had it in the fridge forever and was afraid to use it. I did NOT eat the biscuits, in fact, I didn't even eat the brunch. I am just a bit grossed out from all of the heavy type of food I've had this week. I swear, this blog should have been re-named the Seitan and Pasta blog.... but I digress, back to brunch. The tofu scramle was super simple with spinach, onion, garlic, green peppers, spices, soy sauce and pepper, topped with salsa. Unfortunately, I added too much soy sauce so I stirred in some leftover rice to tame it a bit. The smoothie was AWESOME. I did have a nice big glass and felt good about it too. It contained silken tofu, frozen mango, frozen banana, pineapple, coconut extract, almond extract and stevia.. oh and ice. The Vita-Mix smoothed it to perfection. Healthy, delicious and only 3 points per 16 oz. None of the boys, husband included, got out of bed until around 11am! I, of course, fixed a plate just to take a picture. I think I'm addicted to this blogging thing. I ate the honey dew melon and drank the smoothie. Honeydew has a lot of WW points, which irritates me. Like 3 for those two slices. (I weighed it for those wondering how I calculated that many points)

I was craving some live enzymes, so had this awesome salad for lunch. Baby arugula, carrots, some of the red cabbage from yesterday, sprouts and a pear were complimented by 1/4 cup of homemade hummus instead of dressing. 5 points for this HUGE salad.
all mixed up

The seitan "turkey" breast turned out pretty well. It needs just a tiny bit of tweaking and I need to figure out a way to slice it super thin. My cheap mandoline is not cutting it. Literally. I cut about 1/4 of it into these thick slabs for a piccata like dish I made last night. It was pretty good, but I KNOW my cutlets would be 100 times better. This is more like lunchmeat type turkey. In fact, Mark said it reminded him of the Lightlife fake turkey slices, which was exactly what I was going for.

Seitan 'Piccata'
This was an improvised dish, that really wasn't a picatta because I used mushrooms and mustard and tarragon, but it was good. I only had a bite, because it's actually in the freezer right now for another meal.
adzuki and mung bean sprout babies