October 7th, 2010

Vegan Feast!

Lauren-style tofu (a mishmash of preparation methods) over grains, topped with Grit Yeast Gravy.  This is decidedly un-vegetarian/vegan tasting, and is quite easy to make.  It’s probably my favourite dinner – M requests it at least once a week!

For the gravy:
(From “The Grit” cookbook)
1 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaked nutritional yeast
2 cups regular (not reduced-fat) soy milk
1/2 cup soy sauce
1-3/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine completely. Stir in flour and yeast until blended and continue to heat roux until mixture begins to bubble. Use only enough heat to maintain vigorous bubbling, whisking constantly for 4 minutes. This is the time required to cook the flour to smoothness, and vigorous whisking is important to avoid burning.

Continue rapid, thorough whisking and add soy milk gradually. the mixture will quickly become thick and custard-like. Combine soy sauce, hot water, and Worcestershire sauce and add to gravy gradually. Blend well after every addition and do not add liquid so rapidly that gravy is very thin. If gravy does become too thin from the addition of too much liquid, continued cooking will thicken it.

For the tofu:
One (1) 8 oz. block of firm or extra-firm tofu
Vegetable oil
Soy sauce
Nutritional yeast

Halve tofu. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, turning once. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet. Remove tofu from oven and cube (pieces the size of dice seem to work well). Add to skillet and saute until golden brown. Sprinkle with soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Toss well, and continue adding small amounts of both soy sauce and nutritional yeast until desired consistency and flavor is reached. Adding too much yeast at once will make a gooey mess, but enough is needed to coat the tofu in crunchy goodness. Remove from heat.

Serve over a bed of grains (I like Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend – with couscous, orzo, garbanzo beans, and red quinoa) and top with gravy.

Cashew Ricotta

Tonight I plan on doing some roast veg in a tomatoe-y Italian-ish sauce. Topping it with blobs of cashew ricotta and bread crumbs then grilling it to crisp it up.

I've never had cashew ricotta before but all recipes seem to need firm tofu. I've never ate tofu and can't afford to buy it. So I'm thinking I'll just skip it. I'm not too bothered about realistic texture, I just want something tastey. So will no tofu be alright? Wanted to check before I made it and accidentally ruined my dinner in case I'm missing something obvious

Also, I plan to do bulgar to go with it since the shop never had polenta. I've never had bulgar before either so any suggestions of how to do it or should I stick to plain?

thanks in advance

In which I splurged

So, today I went to my local market and purchased a bunch of random vegetables that I have absolutely no idea what to do with! I bought:
-2 eggplants
-4 yellow zucchinis
-2 ridiculously huge cucumbers
-Some radishes
-A bag of carrotts
-Onions
-Garbanzo beans
-Azuki beans
-Pinto beans
-2 green bellpeppers, 2 red
-Romaine lettuce
-Bean sprouts

I have a tooooooon of seasonings, I think I have some pastas, and I have no idea what to do with any of this :P. Halp? I'm down for trying anything random/simple/whatever. (Obviously use of all of these doesn't have to occur.)

<3