Saturday, December 30, 2006

Oriental Buffet and Cranberries

Snowball says, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
She has been enjoying laying in every possible position around our home to attract my attention. Whenever I look at her it is as if she is trying to say, "Wow - me and this food are a perfect match!" or "If you think you need this box, you'll have to pet me to get to it." I have picked up ribbon several times that she has stretched across the floor. Unfortunately, I have previously picked up a few broken ornaments, she has yet to understand that the shiny glass ones break.

SATURDAY NIGHT my sister came back from New York. We had an oriental meal at my house for "Christmas" since she had to be away working when the rest of the world was celebrating otherwise. I indulged myself in the kitchen (which I really did enjoy) to make the following feast. It was supposed to be a potluck, but only candy or snacky type foods were offered. Even though my family is the only animal free people there, no one else seemed to care that meat was not the main course or any part of it for that matter. No one complained. The salad rolls and miso soup brought the most compliments! We truly had a vegan buffet ...

Here's what I served ...
My camera lens got steamed on, so it's a little blurry. Oriental Pasta Salad, vegan coconut macaroons with a dollop of chocolate frosting and an almond slice sticking out of it, dates, burnt french peanuts, vegetarian sushi rolls sprinkled with sesame seeds (click the link to an awesome veg sushi demo), homemade "sushi" pickles (from this summer's cucumber harvest), a crock full of miso soup (click on the link for the recipe, scroll to the end of the post), a bowl of sliced oranges (not pictured), ginger soda (occasionally this is nice for a treat), tamari sauce, rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar ....

Thai basil salad rolls and peanut dipping sauce with extra salad because I noticed this meal was lacking in veggies (unusual for an oriental meal usually full of stir fries). I have made these before using mangoes (link above). This time I used pear and sprinkled on 1/2 tsp dried basil since I had no fresh.

To the right is a close up of the macaroons. I got the idea from Fiber at 28 cooks, but exchanged the condensed sweet milk and egg whites for 4 ounces lite mori-nu silken tofu, 1/4 tsp KAL stevia extract powder, and 1/2 Tbsp Energ-g egg replacer with 1/4 cup water.

The noodle salad is one of my favorites. This one is made with multi-grain spiral noodles. I had a class make this recipe not long ago, click the link if you would like to see the picture of it.... it was with rye noodles which made the salad a little darker in color. I like the "lighter-ness" of the multi-grained noodles. This recipe is in Bryanna Fiber for life cookbook. It is also alot like the recipe for BRYANNA’S ASPARAGUS-NOODLE SALAD WITH SESAME scroll down for original recipe that is listed on her free archives. Here is the dressing recipe that I put on a 16 oz box of noodles, 1 lb broccoli (steamed) with 1 cup purple onion, 1/2 C red pepper diced, and 12 oz firm regular tofu marinaded and baked for flavor after being cut into small wedges:


7 T. soy sauce

1/4 c. toasted sesame oil

3 and 1/2 T. dark unbleached sugar

3 T. balsamic vinegar

3 T. water

1 T. grated fresh ginger

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili garlic paste

1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

After making the brown rice sushi rolls I turned the leftover ingredients into a salad and added some currants. Here is a combination of the sushi pickles, leftover pickle juice (alot like seasoned rice vinegar), carrots, red pepper, pear diced, salt and pepper to taste along with a few seaweed pieces (the broken pieces of the sushi rolls I made). I don't have a previous link about these pickles, but I did find my canned onion curry relish which would also make a good rice salad flavoring too, check it out if you like.

I actually have to confess on the brown rice, it came from a jar. When I operate the 23 quart pressure canner to can a batch of stuff I like to make sure I have a maximum # of jars in there since it takes more than two hours. To fill up jars I can pints of brown rice, it turns out sticky and unappealing to serve alone, but when broken up it can make a base for other ingredients and that is what I did with this salad. It was a nice "change of pace" kind of meal.

The "sushi pickles" (pictured above) a pickle that uses cucumbers, onions, carrots, and slices of fresh ginger root. They are nice to eat alone or to include along side of homemade dished like this. The recipe came from SUMMER IN A JAR by Andrea Chesman. I love the variety and the fact that the recipes are written to prepare the canned goods by the quart or pint. They really do remind me of the little pick ginger slices at a sushi bar.

I did some canning. Cranberries are around in abundance right now for a little while longer - I bought 12 bags not long ago. I froze some whole for smoothies, this chutney recipe and jellies can also be made with the frozen berries. Although my tradition is cranberry relish for which I make, freeze, and thaw already prepared the chutney is a recipe that I have been meaning to try for some time and finally got around to it this year. Other than tasting some that would not fit into a jar (despite the little bit of cayenne pepper, it is not spicy at all), I cannot say that this has rated at the tradition level yet, but I will be looking into ways to use it soon. I made 12 pints, gave 7 and have 5 pints left... suggestions welcome.

I originally photocopied this recipe from a book I checked out from the library called HOMEMADE, sorry but that is all I wrote about it. I changed the recipe to make it sugar free (stevia sweet) and added the lemon juice to offset the stevia flavor.
Chop in the following in a food processor to the size a little larger than rice:
1 large green apple
6 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 C red onion
1/2 C celery
1 1 /2 Tbsp minced garlic
..... (recipe said 2 1/2 cups light brown sugar) .......
I used 2 tsp KAL stevia extract powder and 1 cup applesauce with 2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Combine in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium heat, turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes or until mixture is thick and flavors are blended. Remove from heat and pack into sterilized jars and process for 15 minutes.

Check out this interesting site!


Vivacious Vegan said...

Happy New Year Dori and Snowball! I would enjoyed cooking the Asian feast also. What a fun and festive meal. How did you make the miso soup?

Dori said...

Hi VV,
I just added a link to the recipe for the miso soup. I actually made this in the crock pot, just added all the ingredients and let it go all day.

Celine said...

oh, the food that you made sounds INCREDIBLE!
I'll be sure to try your miso soup recipe asap.
and Snowball looks incredible too. :D

laura jesser said...

Wow, all the food looks delicious! The sushi looks so good... I love the Oriental theme, which always makes for healthy, fresh-tasting food.

Happy new year to you, Dori!

Catherine said...

Happy New Year, Dori! I've really enjoyed your blog in 2006.

Urban Vegan said...

Who on Earth would complain with that buffet? Dori, you are amazing. What a range of yumminess.

Snowball certainly is quite the little poseuse.

Happy New Year to your and your family!

Fiber said...

What a fabulous post! Great recipes and ideas, and I love your veganizing of the coconut macaroons.
Have a very happy New Year!!!!

Jackie said...

Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy 2007.

Great posting which has made me hungry. I am going to have the asparagus noodle salad today as I have all the ingredients on hand.

Thanks for the Wine link. Good info. I have also just downloaded their "Top 20 Antioxident-Packed Food Chart" and bookmarked for future reading.

Megan the Vegan said...

wow - what a spread!
I love cranberries...your relish sounds wonderful.

bazu said...

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Your spread looks so amazing. It's only breakfast time here, but it's making me hungry. The noodle salad, the sushi, mmmmm...

I'm so glad I'm catching up with all the blogs, including yours, because I've been having yummy food/vegan/blog withdrawal lately!

Tanya Kristine said...

Happy New Year Dori!!! may 2007 be even better than what your 2006 apppeared to be (minus any of the bad things) : )

and snowball too...

Candi said...

Aww! *hugs Snowball*

Happy New Year, Dori!

I love all the sushi rolls you've made! I saved the miso soup recipe too, so thanks for linking that! :P