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Vegan MoFo #12: Iron Chef Everyone-Hates-Quinoa (apparently)

I don’t know if everyone is busy, or secretly hates quinoa, but there were hardly any entries this week!  Or maybe quinoa is boring and obvious?  Oh well, all is not lost because we have…

Cookies from Kelly!

Quinoa Caviar from Mo!

Autumn-inspired Tamales from Kate!

Quinoa and Cornmeal Crusted Sweet Potatoes from Joe!

Pancakes from Christina!

Apple-Onion Quinoa Stuffing from Danni!

So what did I make?  Like Mo, I originally wanted to do something sweet but I could only think of muffins (i’ve made quinoa muffins from one of Isa’s books) or something like oatmeal.  So I decided to go with stuffing, like Danni.  I haven’t really grocery shopped in two weeks, minus buying some items on clearance from the ‘natural’ area of County Market (everything was ninety!  Nine!  Cents!), so even though stuffing isn’t much of a challenge, I did have to dig around a bit and I got to clean some stuff out of the pantry.

I ended up throwing in the end of a bag of mixed cranberries and raisins, cashews, and dried mushrooms in.  And I even wrote down the recipe for you guys for once!  Not that it’s special in any way, but it’s the thought that counts, right?  Also:  I did not hate the quinoa stuffing.  I repeat, I did NOT hate it.

I also took this opportunity to stuff the stuffing into something that was waiting to be stuffed.  I still had leftover chickpea cutlet dough, and I was able to get some much better pictures this time.  Also for everyone who asked, the first ones were stuffed with a simple bread stuffing.  There was a difference this time, and it might’ve been from the moisture in the quinoa, but the insides of my stuffed cutlets seemed kind of soft, like they weren’t cooked (but they were).  I did add the quinoa to the pan with the rest of the ingredients for a little bit before making the cutlets, but next time i’d probably try to cook the water out for a few minutes to avoid this in the future.  Since I wasn’t rushing to get this on the table before the sun went down this time, I took some process photos and even remembered to add some color to my plate.  The recipe follows the photos!

(I should note that one half of the cutlet is the size of my hand.)

Cranberry Cashew Mushroom Quinoa Stuffing

  • 1/2 oz dried oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c cashew pieces
  • 1/3 c cranberries
  • 2 c quinoa, cooked (in vegetable broth for more flavor)

(Note:  I made the quinoa amount as already cooked because I started with 1 1/2 cups of dry thinking it would double and ended up with four cups.  So I just added what looked like the right amount of quinoa to the rest of the ingredients and saved the rest for later.)

Put your dried mushrooms in a bowl of hot water and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat your oil and then saute your onion over medium heat.  Add the salt and let the onion cook for a few minutes until they’ve sweated a little bit.  Add the herbs, pepper, and cashew pieces and continue to cook for about five minutes.  While that’s happening, drain your mushrooms and chop them up, then add them to the pan.  Add the cranberries and the quinoa and stir.  If you’re going to stuff this into chickpea cutlets, I recommend cooking and stirring it for a few moments to try and dry the quinoa out a little bit.  If you’re going to bake it or eat it on the side, that’s not necessary.

posted: November 14, 2010
under: food, iron chef, pictures, recipes, veganmofo

Vegan MoFo #6: Iron Chef Mashed!

Here are the results of our first Iron Chef!  I’m glad to see that there are people who loved mashed potatoes as much as I do, I was a little worried that no one would be into the ingredient.

Joe got in first, with Po’rn Puppies – Balls of mashed potatoes dipped in corn batter and deep fried, hello!

Shannon made vegan Needham Candy, which is basically a mounds bar, but with potatoes and vegan!

Jody gives us carbs with a side of carbs with her Mashed Potato Pizza.  I’ve never had potatoes on pizza, but I know plenty of people who have so i’d imagine this tastes AWESOME (and would be good for any picky eaters you know since it’s all white foods!).

Eve Love brings us an epic tale of kitchen woe in french!  I ran this through the google translator, which I don’t think gives a perfect translation, but it’s good enough to give me the idea to pass along:  basically, she wanted to make these, decided to try dyeing some of the potatoes (one is with red cabbage), and…it didn’t turn out.  She doesn’t say if she ate them to see if they at least tasted okay.  Kudos to her for being creative and blogging her attempt anyway.

Carolyn made Sweet Potato and Black Bean Cakes, zomg!  They look really good and I am in serious want.

Megan veganized a recipe for Loaded Potato Soup from Southern Living, and if you’re as half-assed about measuring as I am, this recipe is for you!

Kelly brings us a simple yet tasty sounding recipe for Mashed Potato Pancakes – not like latkes, but breakfast pancakes!

Christina used sweet and white potatoes to make Samosas with currants and almonds, which i’ve never seen done so i’m intrigued and really want to try these!

Stephanie presents us with Korokke, which she explains is kind of like an asian croquette, aka deep fried and delicious looking!  She gets bonus points for getting almost all of her ingredients from the farmer’s market.

Kip has seduced me with her Green Curry Duchesse Jewel Sweet Potatoes in Ginger Coconut Cream.  I would marry her for the cream part alone!

Kate came up with a neat party dish – Blue Corn Chip and Sweet Potato Crushers, complete with a homemade ale-infused salsa!

Eileen used this opportunity to clean out her pantry, and came up with an amazing looking  Sweet and Savory Frozen Sweet Potato Tarts.  Holy macaroni!  And a good thing to make for those that have ice cream makers that probably aren’t seeing as much use now that summer is over.

Amanda shows us how to make Jyagatamas (potato salad balls) and gives tips for nicer balls (heh).

Kim brings us an interesting take on mashed potatoes with Porcini and Caramelized Jalapeno Whipped Potatoes.

And what did I do?  You would think that knowing what the ingredient is ahead of time would give me an advantage, but I honestly didn’t have any idea of what I was going to make until I woke up on Saturday morning.  I had sweet and yukon gold potatoes, but I went with sweet because my first thought was, “Something chocolate!”  But that’s a thought I have on the daily.  My usual thoughts for the day go:  I should wake up, chocolate, zombies, t.v., dog pills, fuzzy things, chocolate, stupid cat barfed again, song currently stuck in my head, chocolate, I should go to sleep.  /digression

Anyway, I was going to also make potato candy (i’ve made mint patties before), but with sweet potatoes.  I made chocolate cups ala Hannah, and while they froze I started to mix my sweet potatoes with powdered sugar.  Well, I forgot just how much powdered sugar is needed.  Some crazy science happens with you mix powdered sugar with potatoes, it turns to practically syrup and takes a lot to bulk back up.  I realized I didn’t have enough to even come close, and rather than waste all of my sugar trying, I dumped the bowl and tried to figure out an alternative.  I already had the cups in the fridge.  I was weary of adding flour because I didn’t want the filling to taste like…flour.  So I settled on peanut butter.

While I liked what I ended up with, the recipe definitely needs some tweaking.  For one, I would add more sugar to firm it up, and then make balls, freeze them, and dip them in chocolate because even with double the sugar, I think the filling would still be too soft for cups.  I couldn’t get an inside shot because with the thicker chocolate and the soft interior, I just crushed them.  I also might just add more peanut butter because it didn’t taste much like peanut butter at all, it was more like sweet potato pie filling (with nuts because I used chunky peanut butter).  Anyway, while not perfect, I would make again, maybe for Christmas gift baskets.

If you would like to try this out with my suggested modifications, here’s the ingredient list:

1/2 c sweet potatoes, mashed

1/2 c peanut butter

1/4 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp cinammon

dashes of ginger

half bag of chocolate chips

crystallized ginger (optional)

posted: November 7, 2010
under: food, iron chef, pictures, recipes, Uncategorized, veganmofo

Vegan MoFo #2: Mass producing waffles and making Paula Deen proud.

One of the great things about having a part time job is that I have two extra days a week to Get Things Done.  Sometimes I clean, sometimes it’s dog grooming day (five dogs get smelly fast), and sometimes I don’t want to do any of those things, so I cook a lot of something.  I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind eating the same thing for a few days in a row, in fact, i’d rather have something ready to go so when i’m tired, I have something good and homemade to shove in my mouth.  Long story still long, a few weeks ago I decided I wanted waffles.  A lot of them.

Waffle irons are cheap and waffles aren’t hard to make, but you do have to stand around and wait a lot.  So if you’re going to make one batch, why not make two?  Or three?  In hindsight, I could’ve saved some time by simply doubling a batch of one recipe, since probably 1/4th of the two hours I spent waffling was dedicated to washing out my tools and bowls so I could use them again.  But whatever, I ended up with three kinds of waffles!

I made the Pear Ginger Waffles from Vegan With A Vengeance, and the Peanut Butter and Raised Waffles from Vegan Brunch.  Ginger Pear is an old standby that i’ve made before, but this was my first time making the peanut butter and raised waffles.  The peanut butter ones came out the crispiest and stayed firm and tall.  The raised ones (yeasted) were kind of flat but oh my god so good that I didn’t care that they weren’t all that pretty.  If you like yeasted bread, you will love yeasted waffles.

Usually when i’m done making waffles, I freeze the extras on a cookie sheet for a bit and then shove them in a bag, but since I had so many I decided to make little packets out of foil, like people do for hamburger patties.  Two by two, I marked them and they boarded into the ark, I mean, freezer.  I had enough to share with a friend and every time I was hungry and lazy for the next month I got to say, “Holy shit, I have WAFFLES.”

One of the nights when I was hungry and lazy, and running low on expensive maple syrup, I came up with this easy combo.  It makes for a ridiculously decadent meal, but it’ll help stretch your syrup and really, do you need a reason to treat yourself?

Elvis Waffles

  1. Make a batch of the Peanut Butter Waffles from Vegan Brunch.
  2. Mix equal parts maple syrup and peanut butter in a dish and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the peanut butter is nice and melty, stirring between microwaving.  The amount of syrup and peanut butter and the time depends on how much syrup you like on your waffles and how many people will be eating waffles.
  3. To thin the syrup out, add non-dairy milk a tablespoon at a time and stir in (if you add to much, you’ll just have sweet, peanuty milk).
  4. Heat a skillet on medium high and melt a tablespoon of margarine per person.  Thickly slice a banana per person (or half if you don’t want a lot of banana), and fry the slices in the margarine.  It doesn’t take long for the bananas to get soft, so they really only need a minute on each side (and that’s why thick slices are important).  You don’t want them to turn to complete sludge.
  5. Assemble waffles, syrup, and bananas.  Add vegan whipped cream if you really think it isn’t enough.  Unbutton your pants and eat.  The end!
posted: November 2, 2010
under: food, pictures, recipes, veganmofo

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