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Vegetarian Gravy, No Mushrooms

My not-mushroom gravy: Saute a chopped onion, carrot, and celery rib in a generous splash of oil til browned. Add flour to make a roux, then add vegetable stock and some thyme. Simmer about 20 minutes, then strain the vegetable bits out. I can give you quantities if you want, but I think it's a pretty standard recipe. I use the Better-than-Bouillon stock concentrates to save time.

about 1 hour ago
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

What's On the Menu for Christmas?

I'm going to do a shepherd's pie so it's not just like my Thanksgiving menu. The filling will likely involve lentils, carrots, mushrooms, and celery. I will make a warm vegetable side of broccoli, cauliflower, and beets in a vinaigrette. Dessert will be an apple crisp.

about 1 hour ago
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

9 Recipes That Make the Most of Your Muffin Tin

If you think delicious vegan muffins are an impossible feat, you haven't hung around enough vegans yet. While there are a lot of bad recipes, there are many many great ones.

Nov 29, 2014
patricium in Features

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

I do that with asparagus in the spring. SO hates it, so I buy a bunch and have just that for dinner and lunch the next day. ;-)

Nov 22, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

What are you making or bringing for Tofurky day?

I do a shared-cooking dinner with my elderly parents. I'm making a puff pastry wellington with a filling of lentils, rice, onions, and carrots. I'll also bring vegan scalloped potatoes (cashew/soy milk based), stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie. My mom makes the mashed potatoes, and roasts some veggies. I love my mom - I only recently became vegan, so she's been researching and making vegan recipes from the internet.

Because I had a snow day today, I did a trial version of the Serious Eats Vegetable Wellington. It's a lot more work, but I'll probably do that next year when I can take the day before T-day off. It was really good, even with my cheats and lack-of-ingredient substitutions.

I have never actually seen a Tofurky or other roast available in stores here, though our local stores have been expanding their veg/natural/organic sections, so maybe I'll find one. I'm a little scared of those things - it seems you either love or hate them, so I'm much more comfortable making a wellington with ingredients I know my slightly high-maintenance partner and omni parents will like.

Nov 21, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

New holiday ideas

Brussels sprouts sliders. Adorable! I don't even like brussels sprouts much, but I may have to make these anyway. I'm going to an event tomorrow that will have waiter-passed hors d'oeuvres, and I wish one of them would be these.

Nov 12, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Soy Curls

I just made up a "Try Soy Curls" basket for a farm sanctuary's silent auction, so for the sake of sharing soy curl joy, here's some recipe ideas.

http://kitteekake.blogspot.com/2012/0...
http://profoundhatredofmeat.blogspot....

Have you ever made and/or cooked w seitan?

Thanks for the links! I'm at home with a cold and nothing much to do, so maybe I'll give it a try today. I think the other times I tried it, I wrapped in foil and baked, but maybe I didn't wrap tightly enough.

Nov 06, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Have you ever made and/or cooked w seitan?

I've had that experience too - I've made it a couple of times, and it's more like a dense bread dough. I thought that was just the way it was, until I tried an Upton's chorizo seitan. That was very firm and chewy, much more substantial. For those with more experience - is it just a matter of kneading it more to get that texture.

Nov 05, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

Last night I had a "peasant food" saute of potatoes, onion, and cabbage with some Upton's seitan chorizo. This was the first time I'd tried the Upton's, and it's really good. A nice medium level of spice, and a chewy texture that works well as a contrast to the vegetables.
Tonight is canellini beans baked in tomato sauce. And probably the kale that's going limp in the fridge.

Oct 31, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegan Cross-Contamination Help

Concern about cross contamination can vary by person. But I've not heard of anyone worrying about something sharing oven airspace with a meat dish. To be extra safe, check with the guest.

New holiday ideas

I love the "Design your own" recipe generator! :-)

Oct 27, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

New holiday ideas

This past weekend, I made a lentil rice wellington I think has good holiday possibilities. It's just cooked lentils and rice, with some sauteed onion and carrot. Season to taste, chill for an hour or a day. Wrap in a sheet of prepared vegan puff pastry. Bake for about 30 minutes.

It looks like an "event" dish, but because you can make the filling ahead of time, it's really low maintenance for the actual holiday while you're crazily cooking other things. And it goes really well with gravy, which is a major holiday food group as far as I'm concerned. And the ingredients are familiar to most omnivores, so it's not scary new stuff for them.

Oct 26, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

Must be bean weather. Saturday I made a casserole with Goya "Small White Beans". I love their very generic descriptions (they also have "Small Red Beans." I added some tomatoes, kale, and onions, and a random collection of spices.
Last night was tofuballs in vegetable gravy with roasted potatoes.

Oct 20, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

Last night was sweet potatoes and snow peas in a gochujang/miso/soy sauce over rice. I got some rainbow carrots at the market, so this weekend will be some sort of roasted vegetable extravaganza. Nothing like a hot oven to help you forget the cold wet weather. Tofu "meatballs" with mushroom gravy is also on the list.

Oct 17, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

That's a good idea. As I was making it, I was thinking how similar it is to the chimichurri I make with parsley. And a quick google search turn up many mentions of mint chimichurri too. ;-)

Oct 13, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

Tried this last night, as we were having a lentil/tomato/onion/carrot stew over rice. I used more mint than cilantro, as I'm not much of a cilantro fan. It turned out very nice, and went really well with the lentils and rice. Thanks for the pointer!

Oct 10, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

I was checking every couple minutes to make sure it didn't overcook - I learned that lesson when I tried kasha for the first time. It was a pilaf-style recipe, and we thought it was okay but not the best side dish ever. ;-)

Oct 09, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

That looks like a good idea - I'll try that one!

Oct 09, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

I made scalloped potatoes with a cashew-based sauce over the weekend, as an audition for Thanksgiving. It turned out pretty nicely, and I think it would also be nice fancied up with mushrooms/etc for less traditional occasions. Monday I made a quick pasta with sundried tomatoes and olives, so I could attend a local vegan meeting. (Wow - there's another vegan in my rural town!)
Tonight, I'm going to roast some cauliflower and try cooking millet for the first time. Will probably make an apple crisp too, while the oven's on.

Oct 08, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V and V what's for dinner, autumnal edition

I'm intrigued by the mint smoothie, since I have an enthusiastically large mint patch that wants to take over my lawn. Do you use about the same quantity of mint leaves as any other green smoothie? Does it taste very minty, or does it blend into the rest of the flavors?

Oct 08, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Freeze smoked tofu?

I like to use it thinly sliced in sandwiches. It goes especially well with avocado-and-tomato sandwiches.

I buy commercial baked and smoked tofu (Soyboy brand), and typically freeze half the package. Since it's already been baked, freezing doesn't change the texture much.

Sep 05, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Adding water to homemade almond butter

Could it be that the water will cause the nut butter to either "seize", or separate as it sits? I know peanut butter will do that if you add maple syrup to it.

Sep 03, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Soy Curls

Rehydrating them in a flavorful broth is good, but not essential if you'll be adding them to a sauce later. Frying them before adding to anything else is the most important step, to avoid the sponginess factor. Use a generous splash of oil and medium-high heat. Let them get at least a little browned on one side. You can get them crispy if that's the effect you want, but they tend to stick to the pan so it's tricky to avoid burning. You could probably avoid that by using a non-stick pan.

When I make barbecue soy curls, I reconstitute in hot water, then fry in a generous splash of oil until slightly browned. I usually deglaze the pan with a little water to get the nice caramelized bits loosened. Then I just add some barbecue sauce and let it heat through, or maybe simmer a few minutes if the rest of dinner is not quite ready yet. Either a bottled sauce or homemade works fine - whatever you like or have time for. ;-)

Another variation I do is a teriyaki-like glaze. Add a some minced garlic near the end of cooking time, then sweet soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. I like to serve this on top of
sushi-vinegar dressed coleslaw or sliced cucumbers.

Sep 03, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

I love the combo of coleslaw and barbecue something too. I just rediscovered the rest of the barbecue sauce I made last week, so will probably have bbq soy curl sandwiches and slaw later.

Aug 27, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Last night was tomato, white bean, & avocado salad, working through my giant basket of tomatoes. Before that, corn on the cob, and carrot/edamame salad.
Tonight will be corn again, because we didn't have it last night. Not quite sure what to go with - maybe some quick steamed broccoli and carrots with tamari. Or maybe we'll just have more corn. :-) I can feel the end of the season approaching and it makes me sad.

Aug 22, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

Olive, Tomato, and Millet–Stuffed Zucchini

The millet probably helps hold the other bits together, as it cooks up pretty soft. So a bulgur or quinoa based filling might be a little more crumbly, but I'll bet it would taste good.

Aug 13, 2014
patricium in Recipes

Vegan Soy Shreds, etc

Hmm. I have no experience with these, as Butler soy curls are my shred-of-choice. Maybe if you reconstitute, then drain/squeeze/resoak in a change of water a couple times it might take the bitterness away? I like the soy curls sauteed in some oil after soaking, and before adding to a sauce or baking - it helps the texture not be squishy. Maybe you could use them in small doses in soups or stews?

Jul 31, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Last night was corn on the cob, and grilled tofu marinated in lime juice, mint, and garlic. The leftover tofu was awesome this morning in a sandwich with avocado slices and some cashew/nutritional yeast sauce I had it the fridge.

Jul 26, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Hot again today, so back to salads. Tonight was a very quick one: a can of cannellini beans and a diced avocado, dressed with some storebought tomatillo salsa and the juice of half a lime. I mixed in some croutons because there was quite a bit of liquid at the bottom of the bowl, then served it over lettuce with some chopped green onion.

Jul 21, 2014
patricium in Vegetarian & Vegan