Whole Lotta Cookin’

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for sticking around even though I haven’t posted in about three weeks. I got terribly ill and now I have something else wrong that is completely unrelated to the virus I had. Gads, what a sicky I am. I lie awake at night wondering what could be wrong with me and while that may make me a textbook hypochondriac, it doesn’t allay the fears I have that SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME. I find out tomorrow. I hope you’re excited, because I know I am. To the food…

This was an artichoke piccata-type thing. Since I obviously don’t eat any type of meat, I had to fill the gap with someting and that nice bag of frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe’s taking up space in my freezer fit quite nicely into this recipe. Next time, I will add more lemon juice. Basically this recipe consisted of white wine, capers, olive oil, said artichokes, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. I tossed in a little bit of flour to thicken the sauce then poured it over the cooked, drained, and NOT rinsed whole grain pasta. Delicious!

Next we have vegan risotto. Didn’t think you could make risotto vegan, did ya? It was the same pain in the butt it used to be when I made it with butter  and cheese, only this time, zero cholesterol but just as creamy.  Risotto gets its texture from being stirred continuously for thirty minutes. I used olive oil only as opposed to the usual concoction of butter and olive oil. I took one cup of risotto rice and sauteed it in the oil with four cloves of minced garlic for about five minutes. Then it got hit with about 2/3 cup of white wine and when that started to soak in, I had four cups of veggie broth/stock waiting on the warmer. Don’t forget to keep your heat as low as possible on the rice. You only need to add as much stock to come to the top of the rice each time. Keep the stock warm so you don’t have to wait for the rice to come back to boiling after each addition. At the very end, I added in the salt and pepper, some julienne sun-dried tomatoes, and sliced shiitake mushrooms. You can feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables here, or if you want to add minced onion at the beginning with the garlic, be my guest.

This was a batch of five-minute coconut fudge from my newly acquired book, My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky. This book is amazing. It is desserts only (if you didn’t quite get that from the title) and honestly, you can’t go wrong here folks. She’s an amazing cookbook writer.

When this pan was done cooling but not quite set up, I just grabbed a fork and started hacking away like the heroine in a remade zombie flick. My next project will be the cashew pear tart even though I don’t have a tart pan.

Here is my little stinker, Olivia, after her bath, holding my new cookbook. Altogether now…”awww….”

I have a confession to make. I’ve never really liked turkey, even before I stopped eating animals. When Thanksgiving dinner would roll around, I would fill up my plate hungrily with all the different side dishes that the women from our family make and bring. Oh, and did I mention the dessert table? We are not a skinny family and for the most part, we don’t mind. Every holiday has to have about fifteen different desserts with the obligatory pumpkin pie, my personal favorite. This year, all I could think about last week was how to veganize this so you couldn’t taste the tofu but so that it was still solid in the middle. My previous attempts at this have been disastrous but I think we have a winner here!

1 can pureed pumkin (not pumkin pie mix!)

3/4 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 package Mori-nu extra firm tofu, drained very well. Let sit on paper towels for a few minutes to remove any excess water. You don’t want extra moisture in this pie or it will stay mushy.

1 nine inch unbaked vegan pie shell. I bought Mrs. Smith’s because they had no animal products in them.

Blend pumpkin with tofu in blender or food processor. We’re going for a nice smooth texture here so you don’t want little chunks of tofu hanging around. If you can get this job done with your hand mixer, then go nuts. Add in the sugar and spices and blend very well. (At this point, if you want to add in a Tbs or two of cornstarch to kind of help the pie get firm, you can. I didn’t because I was worried about being able to taste it.) Pour into unbaked crust. Place tin foil around edges only of crust, otherwise they will burn to a crisp. Place pie in preheated 425 oven. After fifteen minutes, reduce heat to 350 then bake for one hour. Let cool completely, then place in refrigerator to firm up. Serve with this marvelous can of Soyatoo soy whipped cream, something else I thought I would never be able to experience again. The universe must really love me this year. Of course, if that were true then I would be able to find a job where I wasn’t enabling old drunk people to stay old and drunk. Ahem, anyways.

This was simply delicious. The center did not get as firm as I would have liked but at least it wasn’t raw eggs in there so eating a little bit of slightly mushy pumpkin was no big deal. I thought I would have to miss out on pumpkin pie this year, but alas, I do not. I win!

Halloween is this Friday so I will be back to post pictures of some food I’m making for my brother-in-law’s party. Good times!


1 Comment

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One response to “Whole Lotta Cookin’

  1. nzcupcakequeen

    hey lady, I hope you’re ok. Not good that you’ve been so sick! Have you heart back yet about the tests? Please let me know. Sending hugs from NZ

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