Food Plant

cream of mushroom and asparagus bruschetta
April 18, 2008, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


it was a good one. the asparagus bruschetta is based on the recipe from vegan italiano, although i think that donna klein cuts her asparagus in small pieces. the idea is simple: take a bunch of asparagus (tough ends discarded,) arrange it on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and spray with olive oil, and roast at 400F for ten minutes or so, until they’re a little browned but still juicy inside. once out of the oven and a little cooled, coat the asparagus with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (and very optional: a few drops of truffle oil. actually, truffle-things are shady from a vegan standpoint. why is this oil so popular with writers of vegan recipes?)

this deliciousness then goes on top of toasted slices of bread that were rubbed with a garlic clove.

for the mushroom soup, i threw together a few things i had at home. like the bruschetta, the ingredient list is a bit fancy but preparation is simple.

i used…

2 tablespoons Earth Balance spread

2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup (approx.) unflavoured soy milk

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

5 – 10 grams dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in 1/2 cup water

900 ml vegetable broth (one tetra box. you may use water and bouillon cubes.)

1/2 cup red wine

1 box of sliced brown mushrooms (227 grams or 8 ounce)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves (or a teaspoon of dry)

1/2 tsp dried crumbled thyme

cloves from 1 head of roasted garlic

freshly ground pepper + a pinch of salt (you won’t need much if your broth is salted)

optional: 2 tablespoons cashew pieces

optional: 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

in a medium soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the margarine and whisk in the flour. whisk constantly for 5 minutes, until the roux stops smelling like raw dough and the shade is a tad darker. take off the heat, and add a few drops of soy milk while whisking to combine. continue adding small amounts of milk and whisking until the mixture stops sizzling when more milk is added. add the rest of the milk and whisk until all lumps are gone.

add the 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and the soaked mushrooms along with their water. mix in the broth, wine, fresh mushrooms, herbs, roasted garlic and spices. partially cover the pot and gently simmer for about 40 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the flavours deepened.

remove half the soup to a blender (about 2 cups of soup) and let it cool a bit. add the cashews and lemon juice to the soup in the blender, and blend until smooth. pour the blended soup back in the pot, mix and serve.

while the soup isn’t the prettiest in this photo, kay vouches that it’s “oh my god” delicious.


stuff i’ve been up to
April 12, 2008, 5:35 pm
Filed under: main, sweet

i forgot to mention the very successful experience i had with baking susan’s mini tofu quiches in traditional (that is, EB laden) pate brisee crusts. i made the little things for a lunch potluck that took place during the last lecture of the semester. not only did no one realise they were made with unusual ingredients without being told, i got several unsolicited compliments, my favourite of which was “your quiches are off the hook!”

so it’s exam period, which means that i shouldn’t spend time on new and time-consuming dishes, but i do it anyhow. yesterday i ended up making two. the first was an old israeli favourite that originally involves poached eggs and i decided to try using the tried and true quiche batter (actually, the slight variation that susan uses for omelette.)

shakshooka is in the same category as hummus in the sense that it’s a popular israeli dish of arab origin that has a working-class charm and simple ingredients, and yet is the subject for endless arguments over the proper ingredient list and preparation method. everyone seems to think theirs is the tastiest and most authentic, if the 200 comments under every recipe online are any indication.

the ingredients generally agreed on are tomatoes, eggs, olive oil (and salt and pepper, but those are too obvious to mention in the wiki article!) beyond that, common additions are bell peppers and garlic, onion, cumin, paprika or various middle eastern chili pastes. some further fancy it up with fried eggplant or more pointless animal products. and here i am, shaking things up even further by saying: no eggs! the sauce is the tasty part, anyway. the sulfuric things are mostly there for some added richness and a texture contrast, so nothing irreplaceable there.

speaking of texture contrast, i won’t post a recipe until i managed to make the tofu batter a bit firmer and played around with the sauce (i think i might be in the anti-onion camp.) here are some photos for now:

the second thing i made were my first ever cupcakes for home consumption. to be honest, i find cupcakes much more fun to make and decorate than eat. the exception would have to be a cupcake that isn’t overly sweet and comes in an interesting flavour. i’ve been planning to try london fog cupcakes for awhile, but an unexpected sogging of the loose earl grey bag led me to finally make them yesterday. the concept is simple:

make an earl grey cupcake and top with vanilla buttercream, preferably one that’s flavoured with vanilla syrup for drinks instead of an extract. again, i won’t post a recipe until the tea ratio is measured and perfected, but if you can’t wait it might help to know that i used modified versions of golden vanilla cupcakes and raspberry buttercream from “vegan cupcakes take over the world”, with a dash of cinnamon on top.

reminder to self: today’s stir fry
April 2, 2008, 2:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


1/4 cup natural peanut butter

a bit less than that braggs

juice from half a lime

1/2 tsp spooky fermented bean curd in chili oil (not a must)

2 tsp red curry paste

2 Tbsp coconut milk

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 -2 tsp ginger, grated

small squeeze of agave

some water for thinning


onion, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, green bell pepper, tofu, baby corn

start by cubing extra firm tofu medium-small (3/4 package)

pat/press cubes with paper towel, toss with a splash of braggs

fry in vegetable or peanut oil until golden, remove to a paper towel and let the pan cool a bit before pouring out most of the oil.

stir fry vegetables in the order mentioned until just tender, mix the sauce in and cook until the flavours absorb, 2-3 more minutes. add sriracha or salt if needed, serve on jasmine rice.

no photos, but it served three and kay and julia loved it.