Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ooohhh, that vegan pizza!

Just a quick mid-week hello! below are baked falafel with a roasted red pepper/tahini sauce and veggies.
Next, we have more vegan pizza. This was a super healthy one with whole wheat crust and just a tiny bit of my cheez.. I remembered a pic that urban vegan posted a while back and topped my slice with a bunch of baby arugula. No pic of that, as it was an afterthought. I was planning on eating my arugula on the side as a salad, but this is my new favorite way to eat pizza! So delicious.

This soup is nothing to look at, but it sure was good. As I mentioned the other day, I made split pea out of the seitan cooking broth, but this time I added some red lentils and qunioa. I quickly sauted some spinach in my cast iron with cooking spray over very high heat and hit it with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
I am super pleased to annouce that The Centennial Inn Hotel in Concord, NH is carrying Cafe Indigo's carrot cake. Chef Matt Lee has set up the menu so almost everything can be modified to fit vegan standards. He used to work in a vegan restaurant, so he knows what he's doing.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

just a tease...

I have actually been cooking a lot, but haven't taken many pics. How many pics of big batch cooking and burgers/baked tofu and other things can one post on a blog without it becoming ridiculous? I will be posting more tomorrow though, as I have another day off!
seitan roll up with 'feta', marinara and baby arugula
As I said, I have been cooking. I made some tofu based herbed 'feta' spread, which was perfect to use in this delicious little package. Marinara, baby arugula and the lemony feta were perfect compliments to this chicken style super thin seitan cutlet. Quickly browned in my cast iron, it was a filling and satifsying lunch. Not pictured was some basil/white bean sauce that I drizzled over the top. I have 3 cups of the basil sauce set aside for a hot pasta meal later in the week.
I also made black soybean and sunflower burgers yesterday. Those are in the freezer for the week. I also baked a bunch of tofu for sandwiches. Now, onto the bread. I made a huge batch of dough today out of white whole wheat flour. I turned half of it into this loaf and a cinnamon bread loaf that is still waiting to be baked. I will take pics of that one tomorrow. At Patty, (my boss at Cafe Indigo) makes some amazing cinnamon bread. We actually use it for our French Toast in our Sunday Brunch. It is to die for. I decided on making a healthier version. I'm not sure how she makes hers, but I know it's with white flour and there is sugar and probably earth balance in there. I used the white whole wheat flour, smart balance light and sucanat. We are going to have it for breakfast tomorrow (and maybe I'll even make french toast out of it).. so you'll get the pics then.
The rest of the dough is in the fridge and freezer for pizza and calzones later in the week.



simple cornbread
It is what it is. Nothing fancy. I just wanted to have some around to eat with soup. I made split pea soup out of the seitan cooking broth below. No pic of the soup.

seitan cutlets
I'm marinating a bunch of these to goto a BBQ tomorrow.

seitan 'turkey' breast
I have definitely perfected it. So good. This is what we serve at Cafe Indigo.
I'll be back soon. I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend and I just want to say Thank You, to all that have served our country. For those of you who selflessly give your all, and have died and been injured. Regardless of how I feel about the war, and those who created it. Our troops are heros in my opinion.
Peace,
Melody

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cooking of course, and a thank you to Middle Street Shell

Ok, first of all, I need to give a shout out to Middle Street Shell station in Portsmouth, NH.

Middle Street Shell40 Middle RdPortsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-9679
(603) 436-7677

If I have any local readers, I strongly suggest that you give this business your patronage. They are amazingly honest and fair, which is hard to come by these days, especially when it comes to car repairs. They have consistently proven themselves over the years to our family, and we would not trust anyone else with our car service/repairs.

Ok, onto cooking. I actually cooked quite a bit last night as I had a Personal Chef client this morning.

Super Chunky Marinara
Yes, I know you can't really see the sauce, but I just love this cup and saucer set my friend Michelle gave me, so I use it whenever I have the chance for photographs. I made around 4 quarts this week, which I will use to top pasta later in the week. Here is the recipe I used today:
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or less)
10 cloves garlic
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 small eggplants, salted drained and rinsed (I don't usually do this, but the eggplants were not as fresh as they could have been , so this helps with the bitterness)
1 zucchini
1 green pepper
2 28 oz cans crushed organic tomatoes
14 oz lite firm tofu, diced into tiny cubes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
stevia to taste (I used a teeny tiny bit, you could probably add a couple tbsp of sugar)
freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh basil or parsley to taste
Method:
In a 4 quart, heavy bottomed pan, slowly brown the garlic and spices until frangrant. Then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered for 45 minutes, then turn the heat to very low and simmer for another 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add some fresh basil or parsley just before serving. This sauce freezes well.

Spicy Noodles , Tofu and Veggies

Ummm.. yeah. So, anyone who reads me knows I make a version of this every single week or so. I call them clean out the fridge noodles. This weeks had red cabbage, green cabbage, daikon, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, lime juice, lite tofu, cilantro, scallions, red pepper, peanut butter, braggs, and a tiny bit of sesame oil. I only used 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 2 tbsp of peanut butter for the whole deal... and 1 lb of whole wheat angel hair. Very healthy and delicious... and it will be even better tomorrow and the next day.

Spicy Egglpant and Veggie Curry with Chickpeas

One of my favorite one pot meals. I often make this sans potatoes and serve it over basmati or brown rice, but being that I am super lazy these days when I get home from work, I figured adding potatoes would do the trick in rounding out the meal. You have to taste this to understand just how good it is.. and again, it is better after sitting for a day or two; perfect for the coming weeks dinner.

2 Bean and Veggie Chili

Simple, delicious and satisfying. (and better after sitting for 3 days).. this chili is a huge hit in our house. You have seen many versions of it on this blog, I'm sure. This one had black beans, kidney beans, green pepper, red pepper, serrano pepper, onion, garlic, ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, crushed tomatoes, corn, lime juice and cilantro. The chili powder was made from dried ancho chiles that I roasted in my cast iron, then ground. Soooo good. Seriously, it adds such a special something to this dish.


Banana Oat Bran Muffins

Healthy and delicious, these muffins used up some bananas that were starting to turn. I also made a banana bread with the same batter. I scored 12 muffins and one large loaf out of the 6 bananas. I used 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (I love to bake with evoo, it really adds a butter like flavor to sweet things in my opinion) and 1/2 cup of sucanat, along with applesauce and stevia to round out the fat/sugar additions to these goodies. I also used half oat bran and white whole wheat flour, so these are good for you as well as delicious.
Philly Sub

This is such a regular at my house lately.. Shredded seitan, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and garlic sauted with spices and braggs in my cast iron. The bread is a french bread type sub roll I mix in my bread machine and bake in my toaster oven on a stone.


I definitely need to talk my boss about baking these rolls at Cafe Indigo, so we can serve this sandwich. It is soo good!

Animals have souls. My baby....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sure feels like summer!


All American Burger
We are going to be serving an "All American Burger" at Cafe Indigo after Memorial Day, so I figured I should actually write down my recipe for consistency. These turned out great, topped with a "special sauce", spinach , pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. hehe.. I have 15 in my fridge for the week. I also made coleslaw two ways, with asian flavors and the traditional way. (vegan of course)

Lemon/Herb/Garlic Baked Tofu and Tempeh, Seitan Cutlets with 10 Spice BBQ Sauce


I absolutely LOVE this stuff. The tofu is so tangy and delicious with a nice, chewy bite. I used the same marinade with some Lightlife Flax Tempeh (ok, so they sent me my Lightlife package a while ago, but the tempeh keeps for a long time! How cool is that?) and it turned out fabulous. The Seitan Cutlet was simmered, then baked with my 10 Spice BBQ sauce. It is a true East meets West type of sauce. mmmm mmmm good. I have 1 quart in the fridge and 1 quart in the freezer. I made 18 cutlets today and BBQ'd 4 of them, froze 9 of them and the other 5 are marinating in a homemade garlic infused teriyaki sauce. I will definitely grill them later in the week for sandiwches and for use in a stir fry.


Quinoa Pasta Salad, Coleslaw, BBQ'd Seitan

Here is the traditional slaw. It contained red pepper, green pepper, green and red cabbage, red onion and carrots. The dressing was a mixture of tofu mayo and other good things. The pasta salad with a bit of a disappointment. I used Qunioa pasta. I'm not a fan. It is OK with heavy sauces like pesto or other really strong flavors, but this was just lightly dressed in a tofu based ceasar dressing. I also added red onions, lemon baked tofu, olives, green and red peppers and kidney beans. I will definitely eat it, but am glad I only used 8 oz of pasta.

10 Spiced BBQ'd Setian Cutlet

I turned two of these into 4 wraps which are in the fridge. Not pictured, but in the fridge is a seitan philly cheezsteak mixture. Peppers, mushrooms and onions sauted in a tiny bit of evoo with spices, braggs, shredded seitan and pickled jalapenos.. SOOO GOOD. I will take a picture when I made the sandwiches. I am going broil them on a sub roll with cheez later in the week and probably make some wraps out of the leftovers.


Lentil Soup with Roasted Garlic and Kale

Not the prettiest soup, but good comforting. You can't go wrong with lentil, roasted garlic, homemade marinara and kale.



Chives

Chocolate Silk Pie
Ok, all you cheezcake loving vegans... we are proudly serving a DELICIOUS cheezcake at Cafe Indigo made by our own vegan baker, Kate! I have been tempted all week with the deliciousness that is Kate's cheezcake (we sell by the slice and whole.. and ship them as well!).. but have only allowed myself to indulge in one piece. I decided to make my own silk pie, almost sugar free so I could satisfy my cravings. Delicious and almost good for you. I also have a not so good for you reciep for this pie that I used in my cooking classes and people loved it. I was pretty impressed with my healthy version as well.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The cooking fairy came to my house..

It's Saturday, which means I cook for the week and blog! I pretty much figure once a week is all I can manage latetly. Today I made all that you see below, plus a bunch of bread.
This will be a super fast meal for the week. All I have to do is boil some soba noodles. I will probably serve it with some of the kale I prepped.
Mac and Cheez
I had some cheez leftover in the freezer from the pizza. My kids will be thrilled to death. I'll serve it with baked beans and broccoli.

Chipotle Citrus BBQ Tofu wrap with Coleslaw
I made more baked tofu. I'm sure I'll make several more of these wraps or use it for salads and sandwiches.
Calzone, Kale and Simple Marinara
Super funky calzones.. I made a large batch of bread dough and turned some of it into the calzones. While, they certainly weren't pretty, the taste made up for it. They were stuffed with tofu "ricottoa", pesto from the freezer and tvp "sausage". I also made 5 quarts of simple marinara. 2 quarts are in the fridge, and the rest is in the freezer. 2 heads of kale were sauted with garlic, crushed red pepper, nutmeg and topped with a bit of lemon juice.
Calzone

Grilled Seitan Wraps
I find that my husband and kids are happy if I have a bunch of wraps for them in the fridge. This is similar to the grilled seitan wrap we serve at Cafe Indigo. Delicious.
It is really nice having so much food prepped and ready to go. I also made a whole wheat pasta bake with the calzone filling and marinara. That is in the freezer. I will probably boil up a pound of lentils to have on hand as well... oh and I made some tvp taco filling. My recipe for that is actually on Dori's blog. I'm glad she has it, since it along with most of my recipes are on my still broken computer that my husband seems to have forgotten about fixing for the past year.