Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Big Tall Glass

Homemade soymilk. Oh yeah. I'm pretty excited to be making soymilk at home that's malty and delicious. Although I've always loved the idea of making it fresh at home and eliminating all that extra packaging waste (not to mention saving money), the flavor still eluded me. That is until I came up with this latest and greatest version. It's great for drinking or dunking or baking. It's just plain good stuff.

The recipe and video are up on Everyday Dish. I developed the recipe for my new filterless Soyquick machine, which I absolutely love. You can use a higher ratio of soybeans in it, which makes a creamier and richer soymilk. If you don't have a soymilk machine, you might want to add this one to your holiday list. It's awesome and makes fresh soymilk for pennies.

I plan to get working on tofu next. Oh, how I love fresh silky tofu!

I hope all of the Americans had an awesome Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vegan Thanksgiving Roast

If you're looking for a vegan turkey roast recipe, there's a great new video, with chef Brian McCarthy, up on Everyday Dish. Go check it out!

In other news, I've finally perfected my soymilk recipe. It's so good! And yes, you will want to drink it straight from the glass. Rather than just share the recipe with you, we thought it would be fun to film it too. We're hoping to have the video up tomorrow (I know, 3 videos in a week!). I'll give you a heads-up once it's posted.

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pie Oh My

I promised a couple dessert recipes, and I'm ready to deliver. These are a few of my favorites from my new book, The Complete Book Of Pies, and the same ones that will be gracing my table on Thanksgiving day. Don't forget a scoop of vegan ice cream, to top off your homemade pies.

Brown Sugar Apple Pie with Almond Crumb Topping
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
9-inch (23 cm) glass pie plate, greased
Rimmed baking sheet
Serves 8

4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Prepared frozen pie shell (don’t thaw), or homemade -look for organic vegan shells like Wholly Wholesome
1 recipe Almond Crumb Topping

1. Filling: In a large bowl, gently combine apples, brown sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon, making sure apples are well coated. Transfer filling to frozen pie shell, gently pressing apples into pastry with your hand. Place pie plate on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
2. Remove from oven, reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C) and sprinkle crumb topping over apples. Return pie to oven and continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crumb topping is nicely browned. If pie starts to get too brown before it's finished baking, cover loosely with a piece of tented foil. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.

Almond Crumb Topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 tsp pure almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds

1. In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar. Add butter and almond extract, stirring until incorporated. Using your fingertips, finish working butter into flour mixture, squeezing until a nice crumbly mixture forms.
2. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle topping over prepared pie or crisp according to recipe.

Bumbleberry Crumb Pie
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
9-inch (23 cm) glass pie plate, greased
Rimmed baking sheet
Serves 8

4-1/2 cups unsweetened frozen mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, partially thawed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Prepared frozen pie shell (don’t thaw), or homemade -look for organic vegan shells like Wholly Wholesome
1 recipe Brown Sugar Streusel or Almond Crumb Topping

1. In a large bowl, gently combine berries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice, making sure that cornstarch is not lumpy. Transfer filling to prepared pastry. Place pie plate on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
2. Remove from oven, reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C) and sprinkle streusel over pie, avoiding juicy edge. Return pie to oven and continue baking for 15 to 25 minutes more or until top is puffed and nicely browned and juices are bubbling and thickened around edge. If pie starts to get too brown before it’s finished baking, cover loosely with a piece of tented foil. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.

Tips: If you like your pie a little sweeter, you can increase the sugar in the recipe by up to 1/4 cup (50 mL).
Variation: Substitute 1 tbsp (15 mL) raspberry-flavored liqueur for the lemon juice.

Brown Sugar Streusel
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened

1. In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar. Add butter and, using an electric mixer, a fork or a pastry blender, mix into flour until little bits of butter remain. Using your fingertips, finish working butter into flour mixture, squeezing until a nice crumbly mixture forms.
2. Sprinkle mixture over pie or crisp according to recipe

Tip: This recipe can be doubled.
Variations: Add 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon for a spiced version.

Recipes adapted from THE COMPLETE BOOK OF PIES, by Julie Hasson, 2008, Robert Rose, Inc.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thinking About Thanksgiving

As crazy as I am about cranberries, I'm even crazier for Thanksgiving! The cranberries, yams, gravy, stuffing, roasted vegetables, pies... It's just all good!

We almost always host the holiday at our house. A tradition that we started back when my husband and I were first married (*cough* 19 years ago). Needless to say, we've developed some traditional dishes over the years, and the whole family anxiously awaits their arrival every Thanksgiving. Of course we don't have a turkey, but no one ever seems to complain. They know that it's just how we roll with the holiday at our house.

There are a few recipes that I use for Thanksgiving, and the rest I just cook off the cuff. I thought I would share a few of my favorites, for those of you cooking next week.

Let's start with soup. There's a fabulous new recipe up on Everyday Dish for Pumpkin Soup. The recipe is from Barb Faulke and uses hazelnut butter. It would be a fabulous addition to any Thanksgiving feast. Next is cranberry sauce. My 2 favorites are my Cranberry Merlot Sauce and Spiced Cranberry Pineapple Sauce. For gravy, my favorite is Bryanna's Rich Brown Gravy from the Everyday Dish DVD. We've nicknamed it crack gravy around our house, because it's so addicting (and delicious!). I triple this recipe for the holiday. If you're looking for a seitan roast, we should have a new segment up by Friday with just such a recipe (from Chef Brian McCarthy). Um, lets see what else. Oh, mashed potatoes. My new favorite recipe is to take small red potatoes and boil them until tender. Drain, and smash with a potato masher. Add Earth Balance, salt, white and black pepper to taste and plain soymilk (preferably unsweetened). Minced garlic and fresh parsley are good too. Sometimes I'll sprinkle in a little nutritional yeast for added flavor. So good! Make sure to have lots of yummy gravy on the side.

Next up, yams. Most years I make a sweet spiced yam and apple casserole. I bake a bunch of yams until tender. Let cool, peel and cut into thick slices. Layer the yams in a baking dish, along with sauteed apples (which have been thinly sliced and sauteed in apple cider with a touch of brown sugar until tender). Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, ground allspice and a little freshly grated nutmeg if desired. I then top the apples and yams with a syrup (apple cider, brown sugar or maple syrup and a little cinnamon, simmered until slightly syrupy, maybe 10 minutes or so). Sometimes I add a splash of bourbon and a few crumbled ginger snaps on top too. Cover casserole with foil and bake, basting yams with syrup from bottom of dish, for about an hour or until it's all bubbly and delicious. This is like dessert!

Spiced apple and yam casserole, unbaked

For stuffing, I make it the way my mom always did (before I took over the holiday). Take a package of herb-seasoned dry stuffing (make sure it's vegan) or cubed rustic bread, and combine with veggie broth, dried sage, dried cranberries, chopped apple and lots of sauteed celery and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Some years I make this with cornbread instead of the rustic bread and it's great too. Just make sure to let the cornbread sit out uncovered to dry it out.

Whew, that's a lot of food. If you're looking for some fresh veggies, a nice crisp salad is always nice, especially tossed with dried cranberries and hazelnuts or chopped persimmon or pomegranite seeds...) and a simple homemade vinaigrette. Man, I'm full just thinking about all this food.

I think the only part of the meal that I haven't addressed is dessert. I will post some dessert ideas in the next couple of days, along with some recipes.

So what are some of your favorite dishes for the holiday?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cranberry Craze

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I absolutely adore cranberries. I love the tart flavor and crimson color that they bring to whatever dish they're added to. Lots of cranberry love happening here!

So, in the spirit of Fall and all things cranberries, I set out to develop a new cranberry sauce recipe. I usually always make the one on Everyday Dish (click on the link to get the recipe), but change is good too. This new sauce has crushed pineapple in it, which lends a great texture and lightens up the cranberry flavor just a bit. I also added ground cinnamon, which goes really well with the pineapple and cranberry flavors. So, without further adieu, I present you with my newest cranberry sauce...

Julie's Spiced Cranberry Pineapple Sauce
1 1/4 cups sugar (add another tablespoon of sugar if you like it a touch sweeter and a little less tart)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 8-oz cans crushed pineapple (in juice), undrained
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, orange juice and water, stirring well. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring as needed to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, pineapple (and juice) and cinnamon, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat slightly, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until cranberries have popped and sauce has thickened up.

This makes a lot of cranberry sauce, but will keep well in the refrigerator, and can probably even be frozen. Try it on a seitan sandwich or stirred into plain soy yogurt or heck, it's even delicious mixed with shredded carrots and eaten as a salad.

So, what's your favorite way to eat cranberries?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pumpkin Biscotti

Katie, from the famous Sweetpea Bakery, was in our kitchen recently to film her awesome and delicious Pumpkin Biscotti recipe. Although this is a great pic of Katie, those are definitely not biscotti she's holding up. Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of the biscotti? Oh well, at least you get a teaser of what she'll be making next on Everyday Dish (any guesses?). Now, as soon as you're done reading this post, you should head over to Everyday Dish and check out Katie's video and awesome recipe for pumpkin biscotti.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Making Sauce

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were wandering around the farmer's market, and happened upon an amazing deal. $20 for a huge case of organic tomatoes, which I think weighed close to 30 pounds. We were so excited to fill our freezer.

We decided to start with tomato puree. Fortunately we had a nifty tomato press/gadget tucked away in the cabinet, because this helped make quick work of removing the skin and seeds. We then froze all of the beautiful puree, and wondered what to do with the huge amount of seeds and skin that were left. Jay had the brilliant idea to run it through the Vitamix, and it worked like a dream! The Vita Mix produced a lovely sauce out of the skins and seeds, which didn't have a trace of bitterness, only a lovely sweet flavor. We dumped the puree into a giant pot, added some seasonings (garlic, oregano, basil, garlic and a touch of agave), and cooked it down for about 4 hours. What was left was some of the best tomato sauce I've ever had. To think that the sauce was made out of throwaway stuff was unbelievable! We then froze all of the tomato sauce in freezer bags and called it a day.

Here's some pics from our adventure:

Some of the seeds and skins, waiting to be pureed.

This is what happens if you don't have your lid on tight. The tomato puree went everywhere!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

This is a great recipe from Sarah Kramer, and the recipe and video are now up on everyday dish. Go check it out! I didn't get a good shot of the cookies, because there was a we-little mishap taking them out of the oven (which is why Sarah is making a sad face). But both Sarah and the cookies rock, and I want to send Sarah a million thanks for taking time out of her crazy travel schedule to come film with us! We had a blast in the kitchen and Sarah is super fun to work with.