Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
"August in Waterton Alberta" - Bill Holm
Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the Aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed
In doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Earlier this week I made a block of cheese of the Colby/Cheddar variety, from Jo Stepaniak's Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. Cashews, tahini, miso, nutritional yeast, and other ingredients are brought together with the magic of agar powder. It's very tasty, and works pretty well for sandwiches and grilled cheez - I crumbled some in a simple beans and rice bowl too, which was great. When it's mixed with hot food, or reheated, the agar softens up and "melts" nicely.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I picked up a couple of new cookbooks, Donna Klein's The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, and Vegan Italiano. In both of these books, Klein focuses on dishes that are naturally vegan in their traditional context, rather than veganizing meat and dairy based recipes. That's a pretty cool approach, as much as I like tempeh meatballs and seitan burritos and stuff like that. The first thing I made was a gigantic pot of minestrone, with loads of fresh veggies and white beans.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
For example, take this seared tofu, another nummy recipe test for Farm Sanctuary. I made this in a hurry over lunch today, and the grill is great because it presses the tofu and drains extra water while it's cooking. You get to skip that step of tofu prep, and it's done in minutes. I'm starting to feel like I'm doing an infomercial now, so I'll stop singing the praises of the grill.
On to the sauce. This sauce is super simple - just three ingredients, and after a quick simmer you have a sweet and tangy miso glaze for tofu or veggies. Glazed and grilled tofu is topped here with roasted red peppers and shiitake mushrooms, on a bed of just-wilted cooked fresh spinach.
Monday, February 9, 2009
I used half of this bunch in the broccoli rabe-tempeh recipe from Veganomicon, and made this little pasta bowl for lunch today. First I blanched the broccolini for just two minutes or so - it softens in boiling water pretty quick, and I try to retain some crispness. I boiled a cup or so of rainbow rotini in the same water, and poured hot water over some raisins and sun-dried tomatoes to rehydrate them while the pasta was cooking. It's all tossed together with sauteed garlic, slivered almonds, red pepper flakes, and lots of olive oil; and finished with a little salt, black pepper, and a splash of lemon juice.
Now for some trip photos - I got back from my whirlwind tour of Europe a week ago. Most of the first week of my vacation was spent visiting a couple of friends and their significant others in the Netherlands and Magdeberg, Germany. After that, I rushed off and managed to see Prague, Venice, and Paris in just over a week. Ideally, the next time I go to Europe I'll have six months and see the little places in the countryside and learn Italian and all of that jazz, but I was happy to spend time in a few of the great cities.
Venice was like walking into a very wet and beautiful history book. Because it's an island full of tourists, everything was wildly expensive, so that was the only reason I was satisfied having just a day there. Paris was stunning, from the Louvre to the Champs-Elysees to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night. Amsterdam and Prague both surpassed their colorful reputations. Prague especially seemed almost otherworldly in places, with such a variety of architecture and tiny little allies and typical grand castles and cathedrals and the rest. Cesky Krumlov, a smaller town in the Czech Republic, was really nice too - an old medeival town on an oxbow in the Vltava river, very pretty and guarded (dominated?) by a huge clifftop castle. Anyway, let's check out some pics:
A Dixieland jazz band in the middle of Old Town Square in Prague, exactly what you'd expect to find in the Czech Republic. These guys were fantastic, and I could have sat and listened to them all day. In the background is a statue of Jan Hus, Czech hero and martyr.
A traditional gondola jam in Venice. I have lots of pictures of St. Mark's Basilica and beautiful old waterfront buildings, but this captures commerce in modern Venice pretty well.
This cool Egyptian dog/jackal figure at the Louvre attracted slightly smaller crowds than the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, or Venus de Milo.
Paris at night, almost as pretty as Fargo.
Amsterdam around sundown on my last night. The church at the left is the Westerkerk, permanent home of Rembrandt. Just up the street from the church from this perspective is the Anne Frank house, every bit as moving as you would imagine.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I'm skipping the full slide show presentation for the moment (so much to say!) to get this vegan food blog deal rolling again. Today's star is a chili and chocolate mole recipe test for the upcoming Farm Sanctuary cookbook. I don't think my photo comes close to capturing how good this was - it was made with lots of home-ground spices, seeds, chilis, and nuts, with tomatoes and a heaping helping of cocoa. The flavor was deep and complex, and I'm glad I still have leftovers. I simmered the mole with seitan chunks from Veganomicon. After boiling the seitan, I cut them into chunks and pan-fry them for a few minutes, and they develop a nice golden-brown color and slightly crispy exterior. Definitely my new favorite seitan approach.
That's about all for now. I think I'm finally starting to catch up on sleep from the past couple of weeks, and once I sort through the pile of photos from the trip I'll get a couple of them up here. I have some more FS recipe tests I'm excited about trying, and hope to get going with some recipes from Europe - no lack of inspiration. In the meantime, as much as I love being out there in the world, I'm happy to be back to my own kitchen and the dogs. Look forward to catching up on everybody's blogs!