Currently viewing the tag: "garlic"

When they first opened their doors on 6th avenue in Manhattan, I thought GustOrganics would be a place I’d have an easy time eating at. But I was disappointed looking at the lack of tasty vegan options years ago… It irked me because it contradicted with all their “green” labeling. It was enough to have me dismiss the place entirely. Until I heard they now have a complete vegan menu every Monday! They are participating it Meatless Monday, a plant-based movement many restaurants in far more vegan-friendly cities across the country are embracing. So now, it was time to give them a try.PicMonkey Collage.jpg

But first, some mojitos.IMG_0153

I got the priciest dish on the menu, the Seitan Steak with a garlic baked potato and sweet roasted carrots. Across from me, their baked avocado and sweet potato wedges. PicMonkey Collage2.jpg

I always appreciate a housemade seitan. This was a bit dense but yummy just as well. The sweet carrots were such a great break from the dish’s savoriness. Well done, Gusto! IMG_0158

And I will have a gorgeous (and meatless) night, thank you very much! I’ll be back on some other Monday to support this vegan direction… and, of course, to eat delicious food. IMG_0162

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IMG_6273Ever notice how most good recipes being with olive oil, chopped onion and garlic? It’s like the holy trinity. Ok, maybe not.

DSC_0029Then–beet. Chunks of the magenta gems sweating it out with good company. Since I got a personal sized crock pot for work I’ve been doing exclusively one-pot lunches. This blog has a ton of great recipes. I tweaked it only a little… and I never peel beets. I want all that Earthy richness, minerals and fiber.

DSC_0031A quick puree in the Vitamix.

DSC_0033Add a little tofu sour cream–boom. A week of delicious eating. Beets, I love you.

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Every once and awhile, I splurge one of them fancy pants supper club dinners. And almost alway with fellow veghead CP. We find some justification for the splurge. Maybe there is a birthday that past a few weeks ago. Maybe there is some emotional epiphany that needs a proportionate intake of calories… maybe there is a change in season… or maybe we’re just hungry and we treat ourselves right. Whatever it is, here is Suite threeohsix‘s Chef Daphne’s outstanding prix fixe in her Tribeca kitchen suite.


IMG_5636The menu.

DSC_0005 Course 1: burdock soup + yali pear + upland cress

DSC_0006 Course 2: french toast + dumpling squash custard + maple syrup + garlic scape + pumpkin seed creme

DSC_0008 Course 3: pumpkin ravioli + shaved potato + truffle cream + petite pois + hazelnut breadcrumbs

DSC_0011 Course 4: jade pearl rice + kohlrabi + oyster mushroom + ancho chile + cucumber grape salsa

DSC_0012Sugar cane palate cleanser

DSC_0014 Course 5: lotus seed ice cream + chocolate + quinoa + nasturtium

Paneer is an Indian cheese. Palak Paneer is the spinach and cheese dish I’ve long noticed on Indian menus. I was so excited to see that the amazing blog Olives For Dinner veganized it.

DSC_0002Pressing tofu is step one. I opted for the TofuXpress then a nice press with some paper towels. This is the safest bet in this 3-cat household… the kitchen towel shelf is a cat nap hot spot. Paper towels it is!

DSC_0006“Culturing” coconut milk gives cubed tofu a cheese-like bite. Tofu marinades for a couple of hours.

DSC_0011Fennel seed, garam masala, and curry powder.

DSC_0013Time to make a paste. Onion, ginger and garlic packs the punch.DSC_0015

DSC_0019Big jump here. Everything is simmering together. Looking good!

DSC_0030Delicious Palak Paneer!

Loving the way I cut last week’s lasagna into four perfect sectors for the week, I wanted to this week’s lunch to also be a visual representation of my count-down to week’s end. Next week is mid-winter recess and I am off. So here it goes, an improvisation of pantry turnover and layered goodness: Mexican Lasagna…
Layer one is creamy polenta, the rest of the box that has been irking me since I used it for a stew a few months back. I boiled it in a slew of vegetable stock powder that is almost done. I chose it as the bottom layer so it can firm up and hold together the innards.

Layer 2 is some black beans, some rinsed canned black beans. Mmm, metallic tasting goodness.

Layer 3 is a spread of some jarred pineapple salsa.

Layer 4 is spiced and grilled onion, garlic and green chilies, diced tomatoes and a bunch of fresh, fragrant cilantro mixed to wilt.

Layer 5 is a cashew sour cream concoction from Vegan Brunch. Yes, I am swearing off the Tofutti.

Layer 6 is more of the grilled mixture, topped with some black olives. Sparingly is how I like my black olives. I often treat them like a bay leaf and remove them during mealtime as they’ve already flavored up the dish to the extent I want.

Finally, Layer 7–another polenta layer, tossed with cilantro, chopped onion and more olives for garnish.

There she is!  7 layer delight.

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I got a TofuXpress for Christmas. Yes, a handy dandy tofu press that squeezes out excess water. No more balancing books on plates and no more slanted bricks of tofu. This heavy duty spring keeps pressing, and pressing hard, as excess water pools above. It’s sturdy and spacious… I shoulda patented it when I first thought of it! Look at it go.
I’m feeling gung-ho about not wasting food. So Thursday, as I ready the apartment for my weekend absence, I steamed the rest of the bok choy stems and a ton of baby carrots I’d never eat. I’m not a fan of raw carrot.
The bok choy leaves I sauteed with some garlic.
The bunch of cilantro got processed in with sunflower seeds to make a delish pesto for my left of noodles.

Here is my lunch, that which would have remain neglected in the fridge in light of a two-day hiatus and subsequent busy work week breathes new life! This turn-over feels good.

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There is a little Indian convenience store next to my Sunday restaurant favorite, Dosa Diner, in Hicksville, Long Island. In this store you can find a ton of cheaply priced pantry staples, many aligned with Hindu vegetarianism. It is worth a stopping by– their products are tremendously cheaper than the very same items sold at significantly smaller net weights in health food stores with far less interesting packaging. Load up on exotic spices, lentils, oils, salts and amuse the store’s staff, who are very helpful. On my trip I bought some curry powder and some “Jelly” by Rafhan, a vegan “Jell-o” alternative. Though the Jelly was a bit liquidity, it held its own with a spoon. And the website from the Pakistani brand is an interesting read: Rafhan cornflour is extremely popular amongst housewives to make their soups, gravies and curry more thick hence more appetizing! Go housewives, go!
I used Jen’s Schmooed recipe for tofu “fish” sticks because I had a hankering for tartar sauce really. I love tartar sauce, especially this simple recipe, which gives me an ample amount of the white wonder. The baked sticks were good but next time I will fry them up, incorporating the dry ingredients into a batter. The next day the skins came off too easily. Along side, some sauteed kale with lots of garlic. There’s nothing like wilting down a big bunch of greens and watching the dusty dull green leaves brighten up. This will last me only two lunches unfortunately!
I had been meaning to return to Champs Family Bakery for some time now! Finally having a bit of cash in my wallet, I stopped in to treat myself. I picked up a lone cupcake for $2.75 to motivate me to walk home faster. It was a S’mores cupcake with a graham-ish cake base, vanilla buttercream, a piece of graham cracker and a Dandy. I am officially treated.

Somewhere, sometime, I must have been privy to regular acts of gastronomy. I must have been a royal member of the court of Epicureanism of the highest rank. I must have tucked these food standards in the pocket of the soul that passes from life to life, like a little nagging gift. So like any true gourmet, I clip recipes from the Daily News‘s supplemental magazine! This recipe for wheatberry salad made it to my list of to-do’s for this week as I finally bed farewell to the huge batch of chili from last week. It’s texture; it’s variety; it’s color. And I am a huge fan of huge plump grains: Israeli cous cous, brown rice, arborio, wheatberries… Ah, it’s like eating berries off wheat. Yes, just like that.

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On sunny Sunday, August 1, 2010, I found inspiration in the pages of The Electrician‘s omnivorous cook books as he manually labored in his yard. A proper vegan bunch! Complete with the works: traditional brunch staples, both sweet and savory, served on vintage China and vividly colored fabric with tasty adult beverages… a brunch that catered to the food blogger, the food lover in the peaceful setting of my boyfriend’s home by the ocean.

I had some weeks to exhaustively plan and timeline the execution of the ambitious brunch spread: cinnamon and pecan buns, apricot and cheese danishes, citrus scones and upscale breakfast sandwiches of cherry sage sausage and mini omelet patties on top of herbed artichoke biscuits, and a side of tempeh bacon. The day finally came, after several nights of anxious panics about fixins and sauce accompaniments. With the kitchen, time and the Volvo at my disposal, I began.

The cinnamon and pecan buns were the first undertaking. Below is the process, outlined wonderfully by VeganYumYum here. Top-Bottom, Left-Right: 1) The dough has risen to its maximum, the pecans and coated in cinnamon and sugar and a bit of the huge quantity of Earth Balance utilized in the recipe was ready to go. 2) I’m a stickler for precision in baking. 3) Wet with Earth Balance. 4) Coated in cinnamon, sugar and pecan. 5) All rolled up. 6) Cut with dental floss and placed in a pool of sugar and Earth Balance. 7) The cross-section is looking good! 8) All packed in! If I ever make these again, I’ll give them more room. It was very difficult getting them out of the pan after they baked into each other.The cinnamon and pecan buns are all ready! When serving I put out a squeeze bottle of icing so brunch-goers could choose their sweetness level. 
I am so impressed with this dough, btw. Who the heck needs dairy?! It was perfect. I am thinking of using it for making sweet soft-baked pretzels with my nieces. Kids love dough and, okay, I love dough too.
Next was the vegan danishes. These were a big challenge. I’ve mentioned before I don’t like when veganized versions don’t embrace the defining characteristics of said food item. So I wanted to take care these danishes would not be slabs of dough but embody the layered butteriness of their non-vegan counterparts. That required folding and rolling a very delicate dough a jillion times. I used the recipe here at the Village Vegan, which noted the repetitive fold-roll out process, but I’d likely try this dough recipe here and follow the Village Vegan process.
Trusting the preferences of my esteemed foodie guests, the cream cheese danishes rocked the house. Vegan cheese danishes? Who would of thought it possible?
Though pretty, I’d also opt out of capping danishes with a huge piece of fruit. They made eating it awkward and moistened up the danish too much. Good preserves do the trick. 
Here is the spread. Center are the citrus-glazed scones (from VwaV), next to the danishes and buns. To the left the my vintage plate collection and doilies for pretty blog pictures and coffee. All sit atop a sturdy serving table The Electrician made in like 5 seconds. 
The drink station: Maine Root’s root and ginger beers and a sparkling blood orange rum punch.
The savory spread: vegan egg patties with cherry sage sausage (both from Vegan Brunch) on herbed artichoke drop biscuits I created from the base recipe of my Red Lobster cheese and garlic biscuits. Next time, I would go for a rolled out dough, cut with a biscuit cutter, as these didn’t hold up as a sandwich base. 
Everyone loves tempeh bacon, especially when it’s marinated overnight! On the right, Genna’s tasty potatoes. 
The spreads: strawberry jam, pineapple butter and roasted garlic and lemon cream cheese
Manga! What a great day of eating. 
The morning after to-go container for curious electricians.

Had I not wanted to allow for internet searchers to easily find these vegan Red Lobster cheese and garlic biscuits, I would have called these my “Holy Sh*t Motherscratcher Ever-Lovin’ Biscuits”… or some such name that adequately expresses my great excitement about them. Many, like me, have fond memories of chomping on Red Lobster‘s complimentary cheese and garlic biscuits back in the day. I remember hitting up RL with the family for special occasions. You know, ‘cuz Red Lobster is a classy joint. So it’s potent and early-on food nostalgia that lead me to attempt to veganize the biscuits. And with this weekend’s White Trash dinner party on the horizon and holding some leftover Teese, I brought it on.

I should say that this great vegan feat would not be possible without Teese, who so instilled hope and excitement in the vegan cheese market. Chicago Soydairy, if you were a person you would be filing a restraining order against me.
Okay, so let’s get to the biscuits! I used Vegan Brunch‘s herbed whole wheat drop biscuits as a guide for these but will post the tweaked recipe below. I normally don’t like typing out Isa’s complete recipes in my blog postings because I think everyone should buy her books… but this is a special case!
Vegan Red Lobster Cheese & Garlic Biscuits/Holy Sh*t Motherscratcher Ever-Lovin’ Biscuits
2 cups white flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 garlic clove-minced
2 tsp fresh parsley-chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
3 TB cold Earth Balance vegetable shortening
3 TB cold Earth Balance soy margarine
1 cup soy milk
1 cup sharp cheddar Teese (I shredded half and diced the rest into tiny cubes)
1) Preheat oven to 450. Grease a baking sheet.
2) In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, minced garlic, parsley, rosemary and salt.
3) Using your hands, cut in shortening and margarine until you get a crumby texture.
4) Add the milk and mix until incorporated. Stir in Teese until equally distributed.
5) Drop dough on greased baking sheet, making about 10-12 biscuits.
6) Bake for 15-18 minutes, until biscuits are lightly brown
7) Let cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack
Finishing touch:
8) Mix 2 softened TBs of Earth Balance margarine with 2 tsps of fresh parsley, a tsp of garlic powder (from a garlic mill, if you have) and a pinch of salt. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of each biscuit with the buttery mixture.

The result: Amazing!