Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vegan Brunch Bonanza: Tofu Quiche and Waffle Recipes

This morning I made a lovely brunch with even lovelier friends and their adorable kids. I'm always nervous cooking for omnis but these guys are super about trying new foods, and have no problem with meatless meals. We had waffles and quiche, and the guests brought a gorgeous fruit salad. Unfortunately we ate everything before I thought to take out the camera, but next time I make the quiche (which will be soon because I have dough left for crust) I will post it here. Here are the recipes. They both turned out surprisingly good. The kids loved those waffles.

Tofu Spinach Quiche

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix all, divide in half, roll, and press into pans. Makes 2 pies. I do NOT recommend this pie crust for a dessert; the olive oil in the crust pairs beautifully with a savory pie only.

  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, chopped (about 2/3 - 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jarred of fresh sweet red pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp sherry
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out WELL (to make it easy, do it with a large sieve or a colander with tiny holes)
  • juice of 1 small lemon, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp rice (or apple cider) vinegar
  • few pinches of sweet paprika

1. Press tofu for at least 15 minutes. (I place it between 2 plates and top them with a huge pot of water). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Saute onion and cumin in 1 Tbsp olive oil on low to medium heat for 10 minutes, until onion starts to caramelize. (If using fresh red pepper, add them about 5 minutes into the saute period.) Add sherry and cook until evaporated. (If using jarred peppers, add them now.) Add 1/2 tsp salt and saute a couple more minutes. Place veggies in a small bowl until later.

3. Saute garlic in remaining olive oil over low to medium heat until garlic starts to become a bit golden. Add spinach and saute about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 of the lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Saute another 2 minutes and remove from heat.

4. Place pressed tofu in a food processor. Blend until very smooth and creamy. Add remainder of lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, white pepper, basil, and vinegar. Process until completely smooth and blended.

5. Add spinach to tofu mixture in the processor. Pulse a few times until just blended. Do not over-process.

6. Scrape tofu-spinach mixture into a bowl. Fold in onions and peppers until combined.

7. Pour into shell, sprinkle on paprika, and bake for 40 minutes, or until tofu is set and crust is golden brown.

Dina's Foolproof Waffles
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 packet instant oatmeal (I used organic flax-blueberry - nice!)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together dry ingredients. Stir together wet ingredients. Combine all and stir until just mixed. Let sit for at least 5 minutes (gives the oats a chance to soak up the liquid and act as a binder).

Pour into prepared iron (might need to spray with nonstick oil spray) and serve with fresh fruit.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's your biggest Veggie Vent?

It's time to vent! Pet peeve, whine, grouse, kvetch, anyone?

Here's my #1: When there's a vegetable soup on a restaurant menu (be it black bean, minestrone, lentil, or just plain old vegetable) and it's made with a chicken or beef stock. WHY? Make it suitable for everyone! What, will the meat eaters refuse it because it's made with a rich, roasted vegetable stock instead of canned chicken broth? Can you imagine?

Patron: "Hi, I'll have the lentil soup."
Server: "Ok, but you're aware it's made with a veggie stock?"
Patron: "Oh NO! Well in that case I'll have the beef chili."

This morning I came across another common complaint: GVP. The Grilled Vegetable Platter. The standard veggie entree in restaurants and catered events across the world. This blogger wants to start an anti-gvp movement:

Actually I don't mind a (very flavorful and perfectly cooked) plate of grilled vegetables. It's better than a plate of steamed vegetables, don't you think?

Here are a few more veggie things I've wanted to vent about for a while:

  1. "Ah, you're vegetarian! We have a lovely lemon sole this evening..."
  2. All fresh pasta seems to be made with eggs. If they can do it for the boxed version, why not fresh?
  3. Order a salad "without the cheese" because the menu says it comes with goat cheese... and the salad arrives without the goat cheese but with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top (this happens with pasta too)
  4. When you order something at a restaurant "without dairy" or "without cheese" and the server says, "oh it's just a little bit -- you can eat it."
  5. Shopping for a loaf of bread or something similar, and the last ingredient is whey.
  6. Soy milk made with artificial sweetener (8th continent, to be exact. I've emailed them but they just don't get it.)
  7. Otherwise vegan cereals fortified with vitamin D3 (which is animal-derived)
  8. Dark chocolate with butterfat added (but then again, this is a good way to weed out the poor quality brands)
  9. Foods with "less than 2% of the following" and there is an animal ingredient or two... well if it's less than 2%, do you really need it?
  10. Restaurants listing 10,000 entrees, none of which are vegetarian
  11. (Many thanks to my DH Dan for this one): when you order an expensive entree, like linguini with shrimp, hold the shrimp, and you ask them to add sun-dried tomatoes... they don't reduce the price for excluding shrimp, but they charge EXTRA for the tomatoes!