Thursday, August 29, 2013


I'll be back in a few weeks!

In the meantime, here is some tempeh bacon and some blueberry pancakes. I don't use a recipe for the tempeh, but the pancakes are the "Perfect Pancakes" in Vegan Brunch. And yes, they are.


And here are a bunch of other random photos from the last month or so.

Taco Salad

Fried rice with tempeh and edamame

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Okra and Onions Stir Fry

I never liked okra until this dish for okra with tomatoes. But now, I like two okra dishes! This recipe from Vegan Richa turned out a bit more slimy than the previous one, but I think that was partly my fault--I read too late the exhortation to cook the okra without salt. I took into account most of Richa's variations--cumin seed, amchoor, and a touch of garam masala--and it was really, really good. Milder and a bit greasier than the other recipe, but overall? A total delight to the senses. Nutty, salty, and just a bit spicy and sour, this is what side dishes should be!

Okra and Onion Stir Fry
(from Vegan Richa)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Refrigerator Pickles

**We interrupt the dissertation writing to bring you this important information about pickles!**

Visiting my friends Cory and Hannah in Minnesota, we had the most splendid refrigerator pickles. For all the wacky fermenting of cabbage I've done, I've never actually made a straight-up quick pickle, except for these pickled red onions.

So this recipe is not fermented, but it still changes over time as it sits in the fridge. I looked for a recipe that was similar to the pickles Hannah made--spicy, not too sweet, and with a pleasant yellow color. This one did the trick!

The only major change I made was that this recipe called for 3/4 c sugar. Now, I hate sweet pickles, but sometimes I like following recipes when I'm making something new. I was going to cut it back to 1/2 c until I got to the crucial moment, standing over the pot, and I balked and only put in 1/4 c. Perfect! They don't really taste sweet at all; the sugar just mellows out the chili and vinegar, like in spaghetti sauce.

I didn't have yellow mustard seeds, and I debated between using black mustard seeds and ground yellow mustard. Since I was using celery seeds too, I figured I could forgo the seediness and went with the ground yellow. I think the flavor--celery, turmeric, and mustard--was perfect. I have to imagine that even prepared mustard would work just fine.

One last note: these pickles are spicy! Not inedibly so. Not even uncomfortably so. And they are a condiment, after all (though I keep just eating forkfuls out of the jar). Still, if you're not into spicy, I would use half as much cayenne.

One question lingers. Would they be better with dill? I love the taste and smell of fresh dill, but it tends to overwhelm everything in its path if one is not careful. Still, the next batch I make, I probably won't be able to resist trying that addition.

Oh, and: I got to use my mandoline! The 
order-imposing feeling of creating perfectly even slices is perhaps even more relaxing than turning word files into pdfs.

Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (this was about 4-5 short cukes for me)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 1/2 cups white vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds or ground (dry) yellow mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or less--see note)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced


Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion.
Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. (note: I've shattered glass jars by pouring boiling water into them, so I let it sit for a few minutes before continuing) Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days. Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. Makes about 7 c.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chipotle Mac / Broccoli

This recipe for chipotle mac and cheese from the post punk kitchen was very good, but too, too spicy! And this is me talking here! I halved the number of chipotles; you can always add more cayenne later. Other than that, the blended sauce--cashews, miso, nutritional yeast--came together well, and paired happily with whole wheat rotelle and roasted broccoli.

Chipotle Mac and Cheese with Roasted Broccoli
(from the post punk kitchen)

8 oz pasta
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
2 chipotles, seeded (see note)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons miso (I used chickpea miso)
Salt to taste

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. Drain the cashews and place all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend away until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to make sure you get everything. Depending on the strength of your blender this could take from one to five minutes.
3. When the macaroni is tender, drain it in a colander. Immediately place it back in the pot you boiled it in and stir in the sauce. Place pot on low heat and stir for 3 minutes or so, until the sauce is thickened a bit and everything is deliciously creamy. Taste for salt and chili, and serve hot. Serves about 4.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Coconut and Lime

Here are three recipes from Indian Home Cooking which, because of their use of coconut and lime, went really well together:

  • coconut rice
  • mushrooms with tomatoes and onions (I added some fenugreek leaves at the end--delicious!)
  • green beans with coconut

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Minty Eggplant... Feast!

Here I made a green chutney from mint, cilantro, scallions, ginger, garlic... really, whatever I had lying around.

I used this to top some roasted eggplant slices.

And I paired that with apricot and red lentil dal, sour and spicy chickpeas, and cucumber salad.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Chickpea flour is amazing. But, I think, to make a quiche, you need something else as well. Here's a tale of two quiches:

First, I made this 'quizza' (which, to be fair, never professed to be a quiche). I added black salt, turmeric, and cayenne. The flavor was great, but the texture? A bit too grainy for me.


SO, I took the batter and made a kind of omelette out of it.

This ruled, and I think this is what chickpea flour is made for.


As for the quiche itself? I tried to salvage it in a scramble with some tofu

But ultimately, I couldn't get down with the texture.


Here's another quiche that's more invested in quichy-ness, from the vegan brunch cookbook: it uses tofu and cashews. Though broccoli sounded a bit weird in a quiche, this recipe was fantastic. Of course, I used Grandma Nellie's pie crust.