Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Oil Less Turkey in the Fryer (for our ohana)

Stuffed Kabocha

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Lessons

Scary things I learned about us:

  1. Big Spazz is the Morimoto of Iron Chefs - in the original Iron Chef Japanese shows, Chef Morimoto always writes his menus down before he starts. Here's Big Spazz's planning papers

2.  If I don't pay attention to the mail, suddenly new gadgets pop up for major holidays. Here's our oil free deep fryer that magically appeared in the garage
3.  Muffin tins are the perfect size to roast whole heads of garlic wrapped in foil. Use it in garlic smashed potatoes.

4.  Big Spazz may be Morimoto, but I'm no Martha. I believe in non-frou frou decorations, although Big Spazz did ask where his wooden spoons went.  Once the foods on the table, nobody cares about decorations. Good. Because he used my kabocha centerpiece and "repurposed" it.

5. Here's the BIGGEST Thanksgiving lesson that we never learn. I think we're slow learners. We have no idea how to cook for less than twenty people. 7 people, counting 2 nutritarians does not equal two turkeys (15 lbs. and 18 lbs.)
The second turkey, this one smoked

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Shopper: November 27, 2011

Besides the turkey, everything else we made for Thanksgiving is plant strong, so not too much shopping this week. We have to deal with repurposing leftovers. This week's deals are at KTA - the one Hilo store I really missed while living on Oahu.

Fruits/Produce - it's a bad time for fruits but get your daily fruit intake with these deals

Pineapple - Dole 79cents/lb. Maui Gold 99 cents/lb. Use it for smoothies, stir fry, kebabs, salsa
Oranges - 79 cents / lb.
Bean sprouts - Taro Brand is on sale for 1.89, but it's cheaper to get the same amount of the Lone Palm brand for cheaper (I think 1.59) - we're using it for pad thai along with a sad looking baby bok choy

Planter's roasted, unsalted peanuts 3.59 - for pad thai and green papaya salad
Pearl soymilk - 1.99 for smoothies

Friday, November 25, 2011

Spaghetti Diablo with Vegan Italian Sausage

I really wanted to make quinoa jambalaya again, but Big Spazz used my Tofurkey kielbasa for breakfast and left me with the Tofurkey Italian sausage, so here's the concoction for spaghetti diablo. If you have little ones at home, this is probably too spicy - it was a little too spicy for me, but no one else was suffering so I had to man up.

1 box whole wheat spaghetti (remember they were on sale at Longs)
1 package Tofurkey Italian sausage, sliced (we buy it when Island Naturals has their monthly 15% off sale)
2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
a lot of garlic, chopped (start with 2T, then add more until you feel like it's too much)
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/3 cup water
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. chopped chili peppers
1T. dried oregano
1T. dried basil
1 bay leaf
dash of sea salt
1T. dried parsley
black pepper
3-4 dashes of Tabasco (we use the Samura's homemade chili pepper sauce - shecret recipe)

Cook the spaghetti

In another pan, cook the sausage (use a little bit of water or veg broth if it starts to stick). Set aside.

Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in same pan. Add more broth or water to saute. When mushrooms are soft, add herbs. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sausage. Let it boil, then turn it down, add the sausage and let it simmer. It's going to seem too wet, but once the spaghetti is cooked and drained, put the noodles directly in the pot of sauce. Let the noodles absorb the sauce a little and dig in!

Serve with some vegan parmesan on the side (almonds and nutritional yeast in a food processor) and a huge salad with your favorite dressing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Save a Turkey. . .

Ride a linebacker. . .because in this household, we would never save a horse to ride a Cowboy. This is a Philadelphia Eagles house. . . so from our aerie to yours. . .

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Today is a cook our butts off day so I'm obviously posting ahead. 

If you need something that is just as good, as the Caesar Chavez dressing, or the Akira Kurosawa dressing (Caesar Chavez with wasabi paste replacing the dijon), definitely try Chef AJ's Hail to the Kale dressing. 

I didn't have the 1 cup of almond butter so I replaced it with unsweetened, unprocessed peanut butter which made it so ONO! The peanut butter, the lime zest, the thick consistency-- it was almost like satay sauce. Toss it with hot pasta for a Thai spaghetti. Marinate tofu in the sauce and broil it. Or put it on salad. Yummy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Zucchini and Fruit Mini Muffins

The recipe is here (I used zucchini rather than carrots)
Wet ingredients

Added dry ingredients

Ready for the oven

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Mushroom Casserole

This casserole just tastes old fashioned and it's a great comfort food that doesn't take all day to make. The trick is to make the cashew sour cream ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator.

Cashew sour cream:
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup water
2 t. lemon juice
Combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender until it's smooth and creamy. Store it in the refrigerator

cashew sour cream

1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package (10 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 T vegan chicken-flavored bouillon or 1 homemade veggie bouillon
4 cups nondairy milk
8 oz dried whole wheat pasta shells
1 bag of soy crumbles or other vegan "meat"
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. basil
2 T. whole wheat flour, if needed
bread crumbs for topping

This will cook for 1 1/2 hours, so plan acccordingly.

In a skillet, saute the onion until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are tender. I used some veggie broth to saute, but water can also be used.

Put the sauteed veggies, cashew sour cream, bouillon, milk, soy crumbles, pasta (does not need to be boiled) and herbs in a slow cooker. Mix thoroughly and cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the pasta is al dente. I didn't even thaw out the soy crumbles.

If the pasta is too watery, add the flour and stir to combine. It works like magic. Top each serving with bread crumbs. I also added some fake parmesan (nutritional yeast and almonds ground together for a parmesan-like texture)
Another recipe adapted from:
The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Shopper: November 20, 2011

I blog because I need to write.

I write out of silence, to soothe the chaos in my head, to make peace with those things that I cannot control. I write to chase away the disease of forgetting that haunts my history and perhaps my future. I write to leave breadcrumbs in the clouds in case I get lost.

I also hate to write. I hate the visual white noise of a cursor blinking on an empty page. So I'm a lazy writer that needs to write. This is my new theme for Sunday in the same way I will try to do a Wordless Wednesday post.

Sundays are our planning days. It's where we do our shopping for the week ahead and it's usually the only day of the week that I can guarantee that I'm on island. Big Spazz and I will just share some of the deals we found and what we can do with them.

Our local Longs Drugs was the place to be today. Sunday is their first sale day of the week, so you have to be a little more aggressive with your cart in order to get through the crowded aisles.

Not in the pic, but bean thread  was 2/ 99 cents. Use them in

Bamboo shoots 69 cents, water chestnuts 59 cents.  Use them in

  • Thai curry
  • Hot pot (for a simple broth: 8 cups stock or water seasoned with garlic, scallions, ginger and soy sauce)
  • vegetarian wonton for wonton soup (Big Spazz is still perfecting this one)
  • pork/tofu/watercress (without the pork)
Mori-nu tofu (soft, firm, extra firm, lite) 99 cents. Use it in: EVERYTHING

Whole grain pasta 99 cents. Use it in pasta things.

Vegetable broth 69 cents. Use to stir fry, and use it in any broth recipes (here are some we're thinking of trying for Thanksgiving)

What's on sale in your area and what are you thinking of making on your Sunday Shopper day?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Show You How: Veggie Bouillon in the Slow Cooker

Adapted from The Vegan Slow Cooker

I guess it has to do with supply and demand, but vegetable bouillon is harder to find and more expensive than chicken or beef bouillon. It's also more expensive and harder to find vegetable broth. There's something wrong with that, so make your own bouillon in the slow cooker.

1 large onion, cut into quarters
2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast


  1. Put everything but the nutritional yeast in a crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 8-12 hours.
  3. Put everything in a Vitamix, including the nutritional yeast and blend.
  4. Store in a jar in the refrigerator and use it within a week, or freeze it in 2 Tbsp chunks.
 The water will look like a little plink in the bottom of the slow cooker. Don't fret. You're making bouillon, not broth. There's water in here, you just can't see it.

Cook on low for 8-12 hours. After cooking, add the contents of the crock pot plus the nutritional yeast to a blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth and either refrigerate it or put it in ice cube trays to freeze. Since our refrigerator has an ice machine, we don't own ice cube trays, but I do have my handy dandy Martha Stewart silicone mini cupcake liners, so the trick is to be able to put 2 T. of bouillon in each cup.

Whatever the recipe calls for in store-bought bouillon, just double up, so if it asks for one cube, or 1 T., use one homemade cube. If it asks for 2T of store-bought, use 2 cubes (4T.)
When it's frozen, just pop it out and store in a Ziploc for future use.

I just used one cube for the Chick'n Mushroom Casserole. Easy and convenient!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pantry Scones

I miss coffee, and if I miss coffee, then I miss scones. It's one of those if you give a mouse a cookie scenarios.

If you give me a cup of coffee, then I will want some cream. 

If I get cream with my coffee, then I will want a scone.

But scones are full of processed sugar, so if you give me sugar, I will want  a taro malasada, 
and on, and on, and on. 

I adapted this scone from Peas and Thank You

Basically, this cookbook is vegan, but not sugar free, so this is the glaze free, sugar free version. I also couldn't afford the fresh blueberries this calls for, so it's the whatever is in the pantry (not panty) version.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 c. non-dairy milk
1/4 c. vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand)
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 t. baking soda

In a small bowl. blend milk, cream cheese, lemon juice, baking soda, and set aside and watch the magic bubbles appear.
1/2 cup dates chopped fine or put into a bullet (I used about 6 pitted medjool dates)

I didn't opt for date paste because I didn't want to figure out the water or liquid adjustments. Scones dough should be fairly dry, just moist enough to form into a round or square, but not so moist that your hands are wet.

In a food processor, blend dates with
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt (optional)

Put the dough in a bowl (it should still be loose, don't panic or add soymilk)

Add 1/2 c. vegan margarine and lomi the margarine through the dough. I'm trying to figure out a good texture binder that can replace the margarine. Let me know if you find something.

Add 1 cup of dried fruits to the dough and lomi again (I used 1/2 a cup of craisin blueberries and 1/2 a cup of dried cherries)

On a cutting board, pat out the dough into a 1" thick round or rectangle. Cut into wedges and place on a parchment covered or oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on bottom.
I like the parchment paper on the bottom because it gives the bottom of the scone a nice, brown, crunchiness.

I used some vegan cream cheese on top with some leftover strawberries from yesterday's french toast.
The leftovers freeze well, or bring them to work and share.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hungry Mama's Egg-Free, Dairy-Free French Toast

I had exactly six pieces of bread and I woke up HUUNNNNGGGGRRRRYYY, like grouchy, rumbling, lazy hungry. My normal go to breakfast would be egg in a windows with the bread slices buttered on both sides, then I'd cut a circle in the center and pan fry the bread and "holes," grill it a little, then drop an egg in the window and fry it easy over.

Those days are gone, along with provolone or swiss grilled cheese sandwiches sprinkled with a little sugar.

What I did have - leftover thawed strawberries, soy milk, whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast. Perfect for french toast!?

6 slices bread (four is actually perfect to get the slices gooey, but then what would I do with two pieces of leftover bread?)
1/2 - 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used more because I didn't have non-dairy liquid creamer)
1/3 cup non-dairy creamer (I only had powdered, so more soy milk)
2 T. whole wheat flour
1 T. nutritional yeast
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients except bread in a shallow dish
Dip bread on each side and place on a preheated non-stick skillet (don't put the heat too high or it will burn)
When it's cooked, serve with whatever toppings are around (or what you are allowed to eat)

Optional toppings:
sliced bananas
fresh berries
thawed and sliced frozen berries (I poured on the strawberry juice that came out of the berries when I thawed it in the micro)
vegan margarine
maple syrup
chopped nuts
powdered sugar
combinations of some or all, etc.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Slow Cooker 'Uala Enchilada with Soyrizo

2 medium 'uala,  thinly sliced (we used the Okinawan purple and the orange)
4 cups enchilada sauce (we could have added more)
1 package corn tortillas (Big Spazz wants to put more tortillas next time)
1/2 package soy chorizo (the package comes with two sausages - use the other one for breakfast with tofu scramble and chorizo/onion/pepper/hash browns)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Lightly oil bottom of the crock pot (optional, but our tortillas on the bottom stuck a little). Pour a layer of one-fourth of the sauce over the bottom. Cover the sauce with a single layer of tortillas. Top with  one-third of the soyrizo, one-third of the 'uala, one-third of the black beans. Top with sauce. Repeat the layering, ending with a final layer of corn tortillas and the remainder of the sauce.

Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low 4-5 hours. This is a good Saturday afternoon dinner that is perfect when there's cleaning to do. We use a 6 1/2 quart crock pot, so next time, more sauce, more tortillas, but this was still a really great dinner.

Another Big Spazz tip, buy the chunky 'uala rather than the long, svelte one. It makes it easier to layer. In this case, size sometimes matters -- go for the short and wide versus long and thin.

The original recipe is from The Vegan Slow Cooker, p. 91

Eat it as is
Or Big Spazz style with fresh cilantro and salsa verde on top