July 6th, 2005

(no subject)

How do you get spring rolls to roll up so neat and perfect? Mine won't cooperate to save my life. Also, do you need to let them dry before frying?

And what do you typically keep your homemade soy/rice/etc milk in? I'm not too keen on using a soup pot or a boxy Tupperware container. Is there a certain type of pitcher I should get that won't harbor souring bacteria even after being washed?

One more thing: when you make homemade tofu (my soymilk machine and tofu kit came today), do you find that it has a shorter storage life or behaves differently in recipes?

Truly Decadent Chocolate Icing

This icing will make your brain hurt. Seriously. It's amazing.

You will need:

- a box of unsweetened Baker's chocolate squares
- some granulated sugar
- Silk soy creamer
- a tablespoon or two vegan margarine
- icing sugar


So. Bring about a cup of creamer to a boil. One's it's bubbly, reduce the heat and stir in a few tablespoons granulated sugar (i used raw cane sugar) as well as the margarine. Break up all the chocolate squares and stir them into the creamer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a while, until it's starting to approach room temperature. Start slowly blending in icing sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Slather onto a cooled cake!

this will easily ice a double-layer cake with goo to spare. Pair it with a dark-chocolate-raspberry cake and top with fresh raspberries, and your mind will shut down, I promise.

Mmmmmm.

scrumptious veggie chowder

Has anyone else noticed that you can make a mediocre soup into a splendid soup merely by attacking it with a potato masher or hand blender? Amazing!

Veggie Chowder:

Bring several cups of veggie stock to boil.

Add in the following order and several minutes apart:
- 3 or 4 large carrots, chopped, and about 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 large potatoes, diced
- 1 huge or 2 medium yams, diced (or more - the yams are the best part!

Let this all bubble away until the veggies are just starting to get tender. Meanwhile, add herbs and spices such as pepper, chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, and cinnamon to taste. These are my essentials; I may also include a bay leaf or two and some rosemary or thyme and whatever else I find in the spice cupboard :)

At this point, add:
- about 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
- a medium zucchini, chopped
- a large red pepper, chopped
- a can of sweet corn

Once all the veggies are cooked, add a handful of nutritional yeast, a 1/2 cup to a cup of soy milk and a good squirt of Braggs or tamari sauce. Taste the soup and adjust the flavours as you see fit, them stir in enough flour or cornstarch, etc, to thicken the soup. Take a potato masher and merrily squish the soup to thicken more and help blend the flavours.

To serve, stir in some chopped parsley or cilantro if you'd like to add a little more colour. Eat with a good whole-grain bread to dip!

This soup is perfect for cold, cold winter nights.

cheeseless quiche?

I'm going to attempt my first quiche this week using this recipe from vegan-food.

I'm not a fan of soy cheeses (or other substitutes in general, actually. soymilk and tofu are wonderful, but packaged meat and cheese substitutes have never had much of an appeal).

would this recipe work without cheese? I remember my mother's quiche from when I was small, and of course the cheese bubbled in the oven to create the almost marbelized surface and melty texture.

I've had bad experiences with nutritional yeast flakes, although webtar's suggestion sounds like it'd work if I had the equiptment.

thanks in advance if you could a) give me my soy cheese training wheels or b) mail a food processor. hah.

(no subject)

I usually don't have time to throw together much of anything before going to work, but I did find myself with 15 spare minutes, so I threw togther a quick soup-style dealie. I boiled 1 1/2 cups of water and dissolved one "chicken" boullion cube in it. After having a hell of a time trying to break a nest of bean thread noodles in half, I added one of the halves to the broth and let cook a few minutes. Then I added a handful each of fresh chopped mushrooms (I'm obsessed), shredded carrots, and frozen broccoli chunks and let those cook a minute or two. Finally, I added a few of Trader Joe's frozen veggie gyoza rolls and allowed that a bit of time to defrost and cook.

I think the boullion I used was by Celifibr and is Canadian-produced with the box printed in French and English, and is marked vegan. They are also organic and MSG-free and don't seem to be too overwhelmingly salty. I also found a beef-flavored version. What are your preferred brands and flavors of boullion?