Sunday, May 31, 2009
Although I am still convinced that vegan cupcakes will indeed take over the world, I am now starting to think that vegan brunch is also key to global domination. Case in point: the Mother's Day brunch I hosted was enjoyed by vegan and non vegan alike (even the tofu!). So, I was very excited to hear that Isa had a new brunch book, and was even more excited when it came in the mail last week. First off, let me say this is probably the prettiest book Isa has put out--lots of great pics, soft pastel colour schemes on the pages, and multi-colour text. The layout and design are also nicely done, with most recipes taking up one page so they are easy to follow while cooking. But the real test, of course, is the food.
First up: pancakes and pumpkin french toast. The pancakes are a repeat from Vegan With a Vengeance, but who cares? These are still the best pancakes around, vegan or not, hands down. The french toast was also spectacular--soft and moist with the perfect spice blend to complement the maple syrup.
Joining the brunch party were these baked hash browns. The great thing about these is that your house does not have to smell like frying oil, and you can put them in the oven and forget about them while you make the rest of brunch.
Finally, Tofu Benny. I have never had eggs benedict so I have no idea if this is a good likeness or not. But I also don't care. This dish is so amazing it has now become one of my brunch staples. Mine doesn't look half as nice as the picture in the book, but it tastes great. I am definitely going to use the hollandaise sauce for other things, too.
So from just this small sampling I am declaring Vegan Brunch a winner. I am looking forward to many awesome brunches to come.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I throw this one out as a recipe/idea you can play with. I was thinking of ways to use up the rhubarb that is growing like crazy in the backyard. After a few rhubarb crisps I thought I would try to make a rhubarb bread. I really liked the end result: a dense but moist bread with that trademark rhubarb tang. And, because it has whole grains and rhubarb, there is enough fibre to totally clean your clock. I based the recipe on Peter Reinhart's whole wheat cinnamon bread, so I apologize for the wonky mix of measurements.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Son #1 wanted to play soccer this summer, so I am now officially Vegan Soccer Dad. Of course, I totally forgot about his first practice and stayed later than usual at the office figuring I had all the time in the world to make dinner when I got home. Upon arriving home I was reminded of the error of my ways and suddenly had to get everyone fed and Son #1 to practice in one hour. I kicked into high chopping gear and made this. The kids adore all Mexican food, but having tortilla chips makes it all the more special (bags of chips are a rare commodity in this house). They think they are having a treat and are getting nutrition at the same time.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
If you follow this blog you know that I have made BBQ tofu before. So, what makes this "ultimate?" Good question! It's all about the method. I noticed that freezing tofu makes it rather like a sponge; much more able to soak up sauces. So, I thought I would try freezing the tofu in BBQ sauce, thawing it, then throwing it on the grill. The experiment was a success--full of flavour and with a great texture. It does takes some planning to make this dish, so consider throwing a few batches in the freezer at the beginning of the week.
4. Grill tofu on a hot grill 3-4 mins per side, then rotating 90 degrees and repeating. Baste regulalry with the BBQ sauce. If you like, set aside some sauce and thicken in a saucepan on the stove, then slather over the grilled tofu.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I wasn't a vegan as an undergrad, a fact I am sometimes grateful for when I see the food offerings on campus these days (and when I think of how hard it was even to get a decent vegetarian option back then). While things are getting better these days, vegan options are still few and far between. To make matters worse, dorms have pretty much restricted cooking appliances to a microwave and a kettle (unless you want to use the communal kitchen at the end of the hall, which no one ever does). So, until you can get an off campus house with your own stove, what's a college vegan to do?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This is a pretty easy dish to make if you already have the BBQ on. Fresh thyme really is a must here so you get those wonderful bursts of flavour when you bite down. I didn't even try to get the kids to eat this one, what with Son #1's professed hatred of both peppers and mushrooms.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Next up, potato quesedillas with the pepper jack. I did sample some of the cheese before cooking and, quite frankly, the texture was terrible: grainy, yet pasty. But, when melted in the quesedilla, it was much better.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
We make pizzas every week for the boys' lunches (Thursday is pizza day at school and they don't like feeling left out). I had some extra dough this week, so I made these bread sticks to go with our pasta dinner. So, I guess this recipe is really only easy if you already have some dough on hand (I just couldn't pass up the rhyming title). I used Isa's recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance, but any pizza dough recipe will suffice since they are all pretty much the same. Try this one, if you like. The nutritional yeast develops a nice flavour after being baked in the oven, giving these sticks a cheesy taste. Perfect for mopping up extra sauce!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I love cooking with cast iron pans, but I now have a ceramic topped stove and the user's manual explicitly forbids the using of the cast iron. That means I have to use the BBQ when I want to cook with cast iron. Of course, you can use the stove if you want to. I think the lemon and Dijon work well with the two kinds of potatoes, making this a nice spring dish. Well, if potatoes and lemons remind you of spring.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
We washed down the food with orange juice and chai tea (I'm not the biggest coffee drinker), and ended the meal with the Apple Walnut Maple Pudding Cake from La Dolce Vegan (a terrible picture of a fantastic dish). I am still full.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and my thoughts have turned to the BBQ. I usually BBQ right through the winter, but there was no much snow this winter that I just did not feel like shovelling a path out to the grill. But, now that the porch is snow-free, it's time to BBQ again! This is a very simple dish, and the kids just love it.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
You've probably read an article somewhere about the health benefits of chocolate; something about flavonoids or lower cholesterol. Of course, that doesn't mean you can chug back a candy bar and pat yourself on the back. Most of the chocolate products out there today are crammed full of sugar and fat, not to mention milk. Enter Pure Delights chocolates. The proprietor, Chrissy, sent me an email a while ago complimenting me on the blog. A few emails later, I had arranged a trade: my cookbook for some of her handmade chocolates. These are not your average chocolates: organic, fair trade, raw, and vegan. Sweetened with agave, they do not put you in a sugar coma, and the sweetness does not overpower the taste of the chocolate. These are the kind of chocolates that actually do have health benefits. So, if you are in the mood for some chocolate, check out Pure Delights and help support a vegan home business.
Posted by Vegan Dad at 9:02 PM
Monday, May 4, 2009
Sometimes the kids just want a veggie dog and some fries (and sometimes I just don't feel like cooking much else). But, let's face it: veggie dogs really aren't that great. So, I tried to dress mine up a bit to make things more interesting. My deepest apologies to Mexican cuisine.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
These babies are truly decadent and will surely add inches to your hips, thighs, and buttocks just by looking at them. As you may remember, Vegan Mom and I have been involved in a fight to keep the local school open (it is almost 100 years old and a pillar of the community). That has meant hosting many strategy meetings and providing lots of vegan baking for hungry activists. The great news is that we have prevailed! The school will stay open for now, giving us time to raise money to restore and renovate it to its former glory, and hopefully get it a well-deserved historical landmark designation. We probably owe it all to these buns. The recipe is modified from The New Basics Cookbook--I didn't like their some of their ingredients or method. The combination of the orange and the rum make these truly amazing.