Magic Balls

14 10 2011

And by Magic Balls, I mean they’re vegan, meat-ish, and tasty.

I made these a day ahead so that I could test drive them before actually serving to guests.  And by test drive, I mean that I put some on a plate and made SO eat them first.  He liked them, therefore they passed the test.

Sautéed and ready to go, these magic balls waited over night in the fridge, before being baked to perfection in the oven.  And then smothered in mushroom gravy (recipe to come).  You gotta love a dish that allows you to make it ahead.  As an aside, I basically made everything for my Thanks Giving dinner in the days before the actual dinner.  The day I hosted my feast, I showed up home at 5:15 from a really long bike ride, turned on the over, had a quick shower (during which time the oven got hot), put everything in the oven, got ready, and ZAMMO! dinner was ready in a flash.  Then, once dinner was out of the oven, I jammed the pumpkin filling into my pre-made crust and got that thing baking while we were eating.

Honestly, I felt like Martha Stewart for how organized I was and how smoothly everything went.

Walnut Tofu Balls

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 1/2 cups oats

1 cup raw walnuts, whole or in pieces

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp ground sage

2 tsp cumin

dash cayenne pepper

1/2 cup wheat germ

2 Tbsp arrowroot powder

1 pkg firm tofu (280 g)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Grab your food processor.  Combine garlic, oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, and dry spices in the food processor.  Whizz around until mixture is medium-fine.

Add wheat germ and arrowroot flour, and pulse a few times to blend.

Add the tofu and blend.  Gradually add 1 tablespoon of oil and the balsamic vinegar.  Blend just long enough to evenly distribute the ingredients, then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Form the mixture into balls, links, or patties and brown them in a sauté pan over medium heat in the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil.  Drain on paper towels.  Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes,.

*Recipe originally from The Veganopolis Cookbook by David Stowell and George Black


Borscht Salad

29 09 2011

Maybe this is stating the obvious but I’m not a traditionalist.  Don’t get me wrong, I love borscht – it’s a delicious kind of soup – but sometimes it’s not soup that you wanna have for dinner.

I wanted to enjoy the delicious flavours of borscht but I wanted to enjoy something crunchy, so I made this salad.

Borscht Salad

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water

1 cup diced beets, steamed

1/4 cup fresh dill

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 Tbsp diced onion

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil to taste

Cook your quinoa: If you’ve never cooked quinoa here’s a quick how-to.  Rinse your quinoa.  Put quinoa in a pot with water and bring to a boil.  Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn the heat to low (very low heat) and place a lid on the pot.  Allow to cook for 10 – 15 minutes and then remove from heat.

Steam your diced beets: I recommend steaming the beets for 5 minutes.  This is enough time to heat the beets through and soften them but not make the beets squishy.

Mix everything but the oil into the salad, the oil gets added just before serving.

Ready to eat?  Plate your salad, add a splash of olive oil on top, and then sit down and enjoy.

Also, if you’re digging into falls bounty, you might also like these recipes:

Rustic Cabbage Soup
Roasted Beet Tofu Burgers

Beet Chips!

Classic Veggie Pâté

7 08 2011

Another new one from Ripe from Around Here by jae steele.  The original recipe called for potato, which I switched up for steamed cauliflower.

Baked in individual ramekins, each ramekin was enough 3 – 5 people to snack on with crackers or bread.  Although, you could also enjoy this pâté on toast or in sandwiches.  Also, this kept in the fridge for about a week.

Classic Veggie Pâté

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil + 1/4 cup olive oil

2 – 3 cups brown or white mushrooms, chopped

1 1/2 cups steamed cauliflower, chopped

Note: the cauliflower needs to be steamed before going into the skillet.

1 medium carrot, chopped

1/2 cup boiled water

1 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp (or 1 tsp dried) basil

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper, to taste

This is what it looked like before getting whirled around in the food processor.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Lightly oil 4 ramekins or one 8 x 8 baking pan.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet.  Add onions and garlic, sauté until the onions begin to soften.  Add mushrooms, carrots and cauliflower to skillet.  Sauté veggies for 5 minutes more.

Put contents of skillet and cup of sunflower seeds into food processor.  Use half cup of boiling water to deglaze the pan, adding the water to food processor afterward.  Before blending, add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper.  Whirl the food processor until  you have consistent paste.

Divide the pâté into 4 ramekins or place the entire mixture into 8 x 8 pan.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes (less for ramekins, more for 8 x 8 pan), until the top begins to brown.

This is delicious warm; however, once cooled it has a firmer consistency.

*Adapted from Ripe from Around Here by jae steele.

Mint Cilantro Chutney

18 07 2011

With piles of mint and cilantro kicking around, I made this chutney to make use of my bounty.  It’s tasty, real tasty.

Tastes great on burgers, with carrots or cucumber, as a sauce for fries.  Think of it like green ketchup.

Mint Cilantro Chutney

1/2 cup fresh mint

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup arugula

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp onion powder or 1 Tbsp diced onion

1 tsp Braggs or Tamari soy sauce*

1 tsp hot sauce*

water, as needed

Jam everything but the water into a food processor and blend.  Add water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency; however, use as little water as possible.

This chutney will keep in your fridge for about a week.

*If you use Braggs and substitute cayenne pepper or chili flakes for hot sauce, this recipe is raw.