Wednesday, November 27, 2013

add a little lemon guest post!

Hi folks!

Check out my guest post on my friend Sara's beautiful blog, add a little lemon.

Sara let me cook in her kitchen while she took a bunch of photos. There's never a time that's not perfect for carrot soup, so head on over and check out this recipe.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Egg Replacer

95% of the time these days, when "egg replacer" is called for, I just use ground flaxseed mixed with water. In things like oatmeal cookies or pumpkin bread, this works like a dream.

For those rare times when you don't want healthy-feeling chunks of seeds in your food, you might still turn to Ener-G egg replacer. Well, I'm here to tell you that this random recipe I found on the internet while googling works just as well, and it doesn't cost like $10 a box. Use it in general tso's tofu, in pumpkin pie, etc.

No picture. Honestly, I could post a picture of baking soda, or of cocaine, and it would look the same.

EDIT: Ok, here's a photo.

Homemade Egg Replacer
(downsized from wholenewmom)

5/6 c potato starch
1/2 c tapioca starch
2.5 TB baking powder
5 tsp baking soda

Makes about 2 cups.
To use: for each egg, mix 1 tablespoon powder with 3 tablespoons warm water and let sit before using.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


We made vegan challah! And it was delicious! Banana, turmeric, coconut oil... I know challah doesn't usually have these ingredients, but Isa's recipe worked like a charm. We halved it so that the recipe just made one large loaf, and this is reflected in the instructions and measurements below.

The bread was crisp on the outside and soft inside. Slightly sweet, not only from the sugar but also from the banana and the coconut oil (we didn't have refined so we used the coconutty kind).

Delicious. I may make stuffing out of this for Thanksgivukkah.

Vegan Challah

3/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 cup (refined?) coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/6 cup warm water
1/1 additional tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 very overripe banana
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1/2 tablespoon salt
For brushing:
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon plain non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1. Add water and turmeric to a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Keep an eye so that it doesn’t boil too long and evaporate. Immediately turn off the heat. Add the coconut oil and 1/4 cup sugar to the pot, and stir to melt coconut oil. You want the mixture to cool so that it isn’t hot to the touch, but is still warm. So let it sit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
2. In a very large mixing bowl, mix together the warm water and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle in the yeast and set aside to get all yeasty. Note: make sure that the mixing bowl is large enough to hold all of the flour and additional ingredients for this recipe, because this is where you’ll be mixing everything.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the banana very well, until it appears pureed. The coconut oil mixture should be cooled enough now, so proceed with the recipe.
4. Add the mashed banana to the yeast bowl, along with the coconut oil mixture. Give a stir just to combine. Begin adding the flour a cup at a time, adding the salt along with the first cup. Mix after each addition, and begin to knead with your hands when a dough starts to form. Once all 3 1/2 cups have been added, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and begin to knead like crazy for 10 minutes or so, or until dough is nice and smooth. Add up to another 1/4 cup of flour as needed, until the dough is no longer tacky. Form dough into a ball.
5. Clean the mixing bowl, and lightly grease it with some canola oil. Add the ball of dough, spinning it into the bowl to get it lightly coated in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and set aside to rise for about an hour and a half. It should double in size.
6. Grease baking sheet and set aside. Also, make sure you have plenty of space for rolling out the ropes to create the braids.
7. When dough has doubled, punch it down, knead lightly and divide it into thirds. Roll each third into a long rope, 18 inches or so. Now place the three ropes on the baking sheet the long way, and…braid! Pinch the ends together to form butts.
8. Let the loaf rise for about 30 minutes. It should get nice and puffy. No need to cover it for this part. When loaf has risen, preheat oven to 375 F. Mix together maple syrup and milk in a small container. Brush loaf with the mixture and sprinkle with poppyseeds.
9. Bake bread for about 40 minutes. Bread should be browned and golden outside. If you tap it, it should sound hollow. Let cool for a bit, maybe 30 minutes or so, and then it is ready to slice and serve! If not using immediately, wrap well in plastic and keep stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Makes one loaf.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Scalloped Potatoes

Is it scalloped potatoes? Is it potatoes au gratin? What is the difference? (both sound rather appalling)

Look, I had some potatoes and I wanted to make white-people food. I mean comfort food. I mean I wanted to use my mandoline slicer (one can only eat so many pickles!).

I basically went off of this recipe from, but after checking out this recipe and the one in Veganomicon, I decided to spice it up a bit. I exponentially increased the amount of garlic, and then I added some serrano chili and marjoram, basil, sage, and smoked paprika. I also topped the final product with bread crumbs (perhaps this makes it also an au gratin?). It was still on the bland side, but then I've been contorting my palate (and my esophagus) recently with super spicy and sour foods.

Lest my reliance on seem bizarre, what I really liked about this recipe was its relative 'normalcy.' You don't need Daiya cheese or Tofutti sour cream to make this. You don't even need soymilk. And yet, it tastes really rich and homey. If you omitted the nutritional yeast, one might not notice that this is a vegan recipe at all...

Adding flour to hot things is not wise (see mushroom gravy), unless you like unintentional dumplings. So I changed the method a bit; you mix the flour into cold water before adding it to the pot. The one other thing I'd add is that this dish has to set up and cool before you eat/reheat it. Otherwise, it's a big sloppy mess.

Scalloped Potatoes
(adapted from

1.5 potatoes, sliced about 1/3 inch thick
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 serrano chili, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB + 2 TB olive oil
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB soy sauce
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp each: marjoram, basil, sage, and smoked paprika
3/8 cup nutritional yeast
bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Mix flour with 1 cup cold water and let stand.
2. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes. Drain well, then spread half the potatoes in an 8x8 casserole dish.
3. In a large saucepan, saute onions, garlic, and chilies in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and add vegan margarine and flour-water mixture, stirring continuously until thickened.
4. Add remaining water, salt, soy sauce, turmeric, and other spices, stirring frequently until thickened. Add remaining olive oil, nutritional yeast, stirring again just until well mixed.
5. Pour half of the sauce mixture over half of the potatoes in the casserole dish; add a layer of the remaining potatoes, then cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
6. Cover and bake for ten minutes. Uncover, and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven.
7. Allow to cool before servings, as sauce will thicken as it cools.
Serves about 4.

Lemon Tahini Pasta with Broccoli

This lemon tahini pasta with broccoli was lovely! Vegan Planet is one of the few cookbooks that I continue to turn to whenever I want inspiration. The sauce is a puree of tahini and chickpeas, with lemon juice and zest. The only complaint we had is that we doubled the broccoli in proportion to the pasta, and it still wasn't enough. Actually, this sauce might just be perfect on broccoli all by itself.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Soupy Soup

Ok, so I didn't take a flattering photo of this soup. But it's the perfect thing to take to work. See, I try to take super healthy things, and then I end up not eating them and buying some terrible thing on campus which is mostly pasta and sriracha. It's also a pain to remember your lunch every morning, and to take home a dirty container every afternoon.

But this system has been ruling. I have several huge jars (32 oz) from when I went bezerker on pickled turnips or tahini. If I fill two of them with a hearty soup, I've got myself set for four meals. So I bring these on Monday, leave them in the office fridge, heat up individual bowls of them, and bring them home on Friday. Even if I buy a few meals during the week to spice things up, this is so much cheaper/healthier/easier.

So I made several versions of this pan-Asian mess, which I decided to call 'soupy soup.' It really embodies the basics of what good soup should be: simple, flavorful, hearty, versatile. It's obviously a recipe that can be varied as much as you want. The way the recipe below stands, it's rather hot and sour (aka awesome). It also gives me an excuse to use up some of the kimchi that's been languishing in my fridge.

Soupy Soup

2 scallions
5-6 cloves garlic
1 serrano chili (or less if you don't want spicy)
1.5-in piece ginger
2 stalks celery
1 c sliced mushrooms
splash mirin
4-5 c stock (I used no-beef)
2/3 c kimchi (undrained is great)
1 sheet nori, ripped into little pieces
3 servings of a starch (noodles, rice), cooked and drained
3 servings of a protein (chickpeas, tofu, tempeh), cooked

1. Cook and/or prepare your proteins and starches.
2. In a large saucepan, heat oil. Saute ingredients from scallions to mushrooms until soft--depending on what ingredients you choose, you may want to add some later than others.
3. Deglaze with mirin and stock (and/or tamari). Add water or stock.
4. Add in flavorings (kimchi, nori, etc).
5. Add in starches and proteins. Let sit/simmer a few minutes, then serve (or pack up).
Serves about 4.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Mango" Chutney

Have you ever wanted to make something with green mango (like a Thai salad or, um, this chutney), but found yourself tragically short on green mango? Well, it turns out that Granny Smith apples work pretty darn well as a substitute.

You can julienne them!

And you can cook 'em up just like you would the green mango in Suvir Saran's recipe for mango chutney: toss it with salt and turmeric, simmer it with fresh chili, thicken it with cornstarch, and temper it with oil used to fry fennel, mustard, nigella seeds, and dried chilies. Add a pinch of asafetida and you have a perfect chutney--many commercial ones are either really sweet or really vinegary, but this one is all about the spices.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bacon Florentine with Hollandaise Sauce

Product, n.

Pronunciation:  U.S. /ˈprɑdək(t)/

Etymology:  ... things which, while falling short of absolute goodness, rise above the level of indifference  ...

Process, n.

Pronunciation:  U.S. /ˈprɑˌsɛs/

advance, progress, course or development of an action, protruberance, outgrowth, in post-classical Latin also lapse of time .... I. Going on, continuous action, proceeding...

I used to be vehemently against products. Or processed foods... whatever that means.

My initial guideline, when I started to take control of my diet after college, was that if I couldn't make it myself, I probably shouldn't buy it. But the more that I learn about cooking, and the more adventurous I become, the less helpful this guideline seems. After all, I totally could make a Field Roast sausage in my own kitchen; I just probably won't bother to spend the time. The same goes for several of the ingredients in this dish.

Zippy is coming from a very different place. She's never been much of a cook, though her predisposition towards combination and experimentation in the kitchen suggests otherwise. But if you've spent most of your adult life relying on convenience foods, surely those which you might possibly be able to make yourself are the absolute best choice?

Also, this breakfast was delicious, and easy.

It incorporated:
alternative english muffins (no preservatives and no animal products)
upton's naturals seitan bacon (contains 7 ingredients which are all in my kitchen)
follow your heart vegenaise (pesto style) -- mixed with mustard
mustard greens and kale, cooked the usual way with garlic and tamari
scallions as garnish


The finished product was divine. Easy, but special.