Sunday, May 11, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

My market had a sale on strawberries today and I just could not resist--they looked so perfect and sweet and summery! I briefly considered making a strawberry rhubarb pie, but then remembered I had some of that soyatoo soy whip and decided on strawberry shortcake instead. This is one the easiest desserts ever given the Bisquick and pretty much embodies summer BBQs and outdoor eating for me.

1 pound strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/3 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup soymilk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted vegan margarine
soyatoo soy whip

Mix the sliced strawberries with about 1/4 cup of sugar. You can use more or less sugar depending on your personal preference; I don't like my strawberries too sweet so I actually used a little less. Set these aside so they get nice and juicy. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the Bisquick, soymilk, sugar and margarine into a dough. Divide the dough into six parts and then drop onto a cookie sheet or into a baking pan. Bake until golden brown on top (about 10 minutes or so). Allow to cool slightly, then split each shortcake and fill and top each generously with strawberries. Squirt on some of that delightful soy whip and serve! Seriously, so good.

Cornmeal-encrusted Tempeh Cutlets

Yesterday I realized I had a package of tempeh sitting in my fridge, so I decided to make some fried tempeh cutlets. I wasn't in the mood for my regular flour/spices coating, and I didn't have any panko or breadcrumbs, so I used cornmeal instead. I make these cutlets when I'm feeling kind of lazy and uninspired because they're quick, easy, and remind me a bit of some of the meals my mother used to make us when we were little. This was a nice, protein-packed main course for dinner (I ate two pieces with a side of wilted greens and some fruit)--with leftovers for me for tonight. These cutlets would also be good on a sandwich/grinder with some vegannaise, lettuce and tomato.

1 package tempeh, any flavor
1 cup cornmeal
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Any other favorite seasonings, to taste
Favorite marinade or 1 cup vinaigrette, 2 tablespoons tamari, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon bbq sauce
4 tablespoons Canola oil (or other frying oil)


Cut the tempeh in half to form two squares. Cut each of these squares in half lengthwise so that they are still squares, but now half as thick. Mix together the marinade in one bowl and set aside. In another bowl mix the cornmeal with your choice of spices. If you have time you can marinate the tempeh for up to a half an hour in your desired marinade. If you are pressed for time just dip each piece of tempeh in the marinade to coat on all sides. Heat the canola oil in a frying pan (you'll know it is ready for frying if a small glob of cornmeal starts to sizzle when you drop it in). Dredge the marinated or dipped tempeh in the cornmeal mixture. Once all four pieces are coated in the cornmeal mixture on all sides, place in the frying pan and fry until golden brown (1-2 minutes). Flip and fry the other side. Remove the tempeh cutlets from the oil and drain/blot with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with your favorite condiment or a bit of the leftover marinade.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Shirataki Spinach Mushroom Alfredo

Whoo, it has been a long while since I've posted. Work has been insane lately, and between that and figuring out my move to Virginia in a few months, I've not been cooking or baking as much as I usually do. Well, that and now that I'm leaving New York I feel a tremendous urge to visit my favorite restaurants, despite my usually frugal self. (p.s. Buddha Bodai on Mott Street is a new favorite!) However, today being Sunday, I had plenty of time to make up a nice homemade dinner. I've decided that Shirataki noodles are basically the most amazing thing ever--they're noodles and hence they taste really good, yet they're not made with the usual noodle materials and therefore are super low in calories. Like a serving has 20 calories low. Insanity. So anyway, I made this up, proportions of ingredients can be shifted as desired, since when I cook I just sort of guesstimate and dump stuff together. Cooking isn't the exact science that baking is after all.

1 package shirataki, spaghetti style
1 onion
Olive oil
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 container sliced baby portabella mushrooms (buying pre-sliced mushrooms is the height of laziness, I know)
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup plain soymilk
A generous spoonful or so of basil pesto
If desired: a few fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup shredded Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella, tofurky sausage, salt and pepper as needed

First, clean the spinach and cut some of the ends off. Bring the veggie stock to a boil and then place the spinach in to wilt a bit. Remove from heat. In another pan, heat olive oil (maybe 1 tablespoon? I tend not to measure so much when cooking). Dice the onion and saute it in the oil. After the onions are nice and a bit softened, add the mushrooms and cook down. Once these have melded nicely add in the spinach, the tofurky sausage, a small amount of the veggie stock, and the soymilk. Allow to cook down. Once its all hot, stir in the pesto, basil leaves, and vegan cheeze and mix well. If the sauce isn't thick enough for your taste you can add a bit of flour or cornstarch. Once the cheeze has melted and everything is well mixed, open the packet of shirataki. Drain it well, then add it to the pot (did I mention you also don't need to actually cook the shirataki so much as just heat it up? amazing). Stir well to mix the noodles, which admittedly stick together a little, and cook for a few more minutes. Serve hot. So good!