Monday, July 31, 2006

McSeitan Sandwich and Banana Scream

It's sure a hot one here today. When I think it is hot, which is a little out of the normal, it is so hot that Dave's workplace sent everyone home today. All commercial places in the county that use mega energy are asked to take turns shutting down on days like this. SO what do wer eat on super hot days?

Well, this of course . . . In a previous Vegan Feast newsletter Bryanna had a seitan/tofu "cutlet" recipe that I like to bake in my claycooker. I use cheesecloth between layers of four patties to keep them from sticking together and the recipe makes 16 cutlets. I think Bryanna used a large lasagna pan to bake them in... either way they turn out great. This sandwich I must call McSeitan because I think this is a sure rival of the well known golden arches sandwich in which more than one million have been served

This is the same seitan patties that we used for the jerk seitan, but I had several tucked away in the freezer waiting for a hot day like today in which I have to much work to do and had little time for meal prep. So here's an example of seitan/tofu patty that froze well. The patty here was heated on our little george grill.

NEXT on the platter for a nice hot day at the end of July when all there is in the freezer that is immediately edible, creamy and sweet is banana's . Something that is sure to please you and a loved one ... or your favorite son in the world who loves to take your treat. I didn't say make you a treat, I said take your treat. I got one bite bite, turned around to get a couple of bowls so I could share it, and when I returned the counter was empty! Processor bowl and all.... gone. Fortunately I am a food blogger, so I carry my camera everywhere. I went searching. Then I found the bowl, attached to a huge hand, attached to a hairy arm lifting a big chocolate covered spoon of creamy bliss to his mouth. Caught him!

I first got the idea of what I call banana screams when I read a book geared towards teenage vegetarians from my library about six years ago. I can not remember the name of it now though. It told about teen nutrition needs and had pleasing vegan recipes inclusing the first batch of awesome cinnamon rolls I ever made. When I say awesome they were also easy like the kind you get from a paper tube and lay on a sheet even though they were vegan and made in a little bowl. Anyway the important part is that I got the cool treat recipe and this has been a kid pleaser.

Take a couple of frozen banana's out of the freezer. We often put ones that are not to the blackened skin ripe stage, unpeel them and freeze. Take out of the freezer, break them into a few peices and add 1/2 of a 12.3 box silken tofu and a little sweetener of choice. Matthew likes nutmeg, so add a sprinkle of that too. Process until smooth. We "fudged" them by using the chocolate that didn't set on those bars from the 4th, just heat and pour over the "scream". This does give a banana like taste some, but with the tofu, nutmeg, and chocolate that flavor is masked and what remains is a wonderful I SCREAMY treat.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ginger Hoison Noodles and a Lime Smoothie

I went through my food picture archives to see what I have cooked , but not yet blogged about. I found the following and they bring back fond memories so I will share them with you all today.

I also made Drenna's Everyday Vegan cookbook recipe of Ginger Hoison Noodles. My family devoured this! We really loved the noodle flavor. If I remember right I made a note in my cookbook that the commercial brand of Newman's Own Ginger Sesame dressing has NOTHING on Dreena's sauce for this dish.

I really like the ease of preparation in Dreena's recipes. Melissa has been home this week, but she will be back as a junior staffer at a summer camp again Sunday and gone for another two weeks. So of course while she is here she must do the cooking for a meal. She chose Ginger Hoison Noodles. I said fine, but you are on your own because I need to work in the garden and will not be around to answer questions. When I came in she had a plate and said these are the BEST!

Check out her blog to see just HOW much she liked it.

The lime smoothie is one of my own creations, but "green" smoothies seem to be fairly popular in blog land lately so I'm sure this will not be the first time you have seen it. Personally I like my smoothies to be incredibly light in calories so that I can enjoy a heavier dinner without the guilt. In my picture you can see that I use a magic bullet cup, tender kale leaves, fresh lime (the juice of one whole one), KAL stevia extract powder, and a frozen banana (for the creaminess) as well as 1/2 a magic bullet cup of ice. I may have added up to 1/8 C water to help the mixing process. I typically don't like banana, but in this recipe the lime flavor over powers it and with the kale in there (which adds nutrition, but picks up the flavor of the refreshing kale) ... I likes this drink.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Picnic in France

Virgine from the Absolute Green Blog is hosting a "Pic" nic with all the fixings due her by August 2nd. I saw this and said to myself, I'm there. This is the only I opportunity I forsee in my near future of having a "pic" nic in France so I'll take what I can get.

I am bringing my wonderful
Cook 2 1/2 lb's of new potatoes with skins on and allow to cool. I did mine in a crockpot on low overnight until they were forkable, but not easily mashed.

When cool dice the potatoes 1/4" cubes. I use a Le Press food press (shown in picture #1). Mix the cold potatoe cubes with the following:

1 C shredded green zucchini
1/2 C diced red pepper
1/4 pickle relish (sweet or dill, your choice)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C sweetener of choice (I used 1/4 tsp KAL stevia extract powder)
1/2 C commercially prepared Nayonaisse: Dijon Style (Mustard / Mayo Mix)

Mix and chill until serving.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pressure Canning: soups and green beans

I almost named this post "I GOT THE POWER". Read on and you'll see why.

I shared a few days ago that I was going to have a friend show me how to pressure can my green beans. I did and we canned 7 quarts. By the time we finished my green beans and she showed me all her canned goods in the basement, I knew I HAD to have a presure canner. It took me less than 3 minutes to convince Dave that we could no longer survive without this and alot longer to convince him that it was worth the $125 .

Well we now have a new item in our kitchen. I have canned 40 pints (I can do 20 at a time) of various delish goods that are ready to open and eat, heat if desired. I love that I can make MY favorite soups, calico beans, ready to use legumes, etc, etc for my time, the cost of the food, and less than 10 cents for a jar lid. 2 lb's of dry legumes makes 7 pint jars. This is the equivalent of 7 grocery store size canned goods, the cost of a good organic brand of beans.... I don't have to calculate to realize our family budget benefits as I am "well paid" for my time. I also really like that the canned goods are not in aluminum, which is thought to leak into foods and have ill effects.

If I would have had this baby AND prepared soups like what I have now when I had to be on campus... wow! I now have the power to make any thing I want, with MY ingredients and MY dietary preferences to have on hand and ready to eat when I want to, to save on MY budget cause I can get them at a fraction of the cost of the grocery store prices. I sound incredibly self centered here, but to allieviate my conscious I promise that if any of you become my dinner guests I will most generously share! This is why I almost named my post, "I got the power!" Shannon said a few days ago, "a whole lot of jarring going on".... yes in deedee!

I have multiple jars of calico beans, white chili, navy beans, black beans, my lentil stew, and sweet potatoes. These things cannot be canned without a pressure canner.

I also picked my first three cukes from the garden. With these I made a small jar of refrigerator bread and butter pickles, when I get more cukes I will do more and actually process them in for storage. I also get to control the sugar and salt in my canned goods, something that would not be possible with store bought goods as easily. All of my sweet pickles are made with stevia.

To end this post I will share a picture of my carob zucchini bread based on Bryanna's Tender Banana Bread. I used 1/4 C (note this change from the original post) carob powder sub for 1/4 of the whole wheat pastry flour and next time I will leave out one banana and add 1 1/2 C of shredded zucchini. I like the fact that the top of this bread cracked like one of those powered sugar coated cholate cookies I have seen. (the bread in the picture was actually a bit gooey c'ause I added a little to much zucchini, but I made 4 other variations of the bread today also, so it was not disappointing AND the "gooey" centered carob bread when chilled and sliced is like a slab of fudge and really satisfies a chocolate craving!).

This Bryanna recipe was posted on VegSource several years ago. I have made many variations of this bread since i have had it including pumkin and apple variations. We love it. I sub the sugar for 1/2 tsp stevia and it is a nice high rising bead. I have recently read that you can effectively sub zucchini 1: 1 for banana in a recipe, I didn't I added zucchini but I may try this sub next time I make it (if my plant keeps producing like it has been).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blend in blender:
8 oz. medium-firm regular tofu OR silken tofu
1/4 c. water (I used fat free soy milk here)
3/4 c. sugar (whichever you like)(I used turbinado here)
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp. vanilla
zest of 1 organic orange (orange part only, peel with veg. peeler)
In a bowl, mix:
2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. EACH salt and baking soda
OPT.: 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Add 3/4 c. chopped pitted dates or other dried fruit.
Stir in the blended mixture and mix BRIEFLY just like muffins (too much stirring
will make it tough). Pour into a greased 9x5" loaf pan or 2 fruitcake loaf pans.
Bake 1 hour (or 45 minutes for small loaves). Cool a few minutes, then turn out
on racks to cool.

Monday, July 24, 2006

BB and Corn Salsa with a tour de school

By the way the flower in Saturday's post is a gladiolia.

Today I present Black bean and corn salsa. Sounds a little weird, but it is really good. I first tried this last summer when I took a teaching methods class on campus. A cute little English major who looked like snow white and spent a year abroad in England the prior year brought this in on her day to make snacks. The neat thing is that she made it using corn that she brought from "Tex" (from Texas), who was in the Ag education program the day before. Tex's dad worked in the oil industry and he had never seen how food grew until he came to Iowa to attend Iowa State. At age 21 he was proud to wear his muddy boots and carry several bags of freshly picked corn into class to sell. I'm so sentimental... anyway, if the recipe doesn't look appealing I'd suggest you try it just because of the cute people I just introduced you to.

Although I didn't take pictures while I attended classes I am going to post a few links so you can check it out via their website. ISU, my school, is a very pretty campus. (Finally delivering on my promise to Luna). This is a picture taken on campus looking across Lake Luzerne, the buildings in the background are where some classes are held.
A link to the Tri Delta sorority house I stayed at not long ago. It's set up to be like a scrapbook. Pretty cool tour!

This LINK is to a page that describes the purpose and objectives of "my college" area. (human sciences)

A link to Iowa State Extension Services to Families. This is Iowa's office, but there are extensions in every state. This site has some links to some helpful information for families.

Back to food. Here's the MILD Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe:
5 - 6 good medium size tomatoes, I peel and dice using my handy press and dice machine. (the picture shows my little dicer gadget and a pan of turnips I was preparing to roast).
1 large green bell pepper (a little hot pepper if desired)
1 ear of fresh sweet corn cut off the cob
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 - 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp line juice
1 Tbsp dried cilantros leaves (opt)
Mix together at least four hours before serving to allow time for the flavors to meld. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if needed.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The County Fair

You gotta love the county fair! I intend my entry today to convince all who read this that you are living a second class life if you have not made the time to participate in your area county fair. After you go see INCONVENIENT TRUTH (see Vicki's Blog), attending your area county fair is the second most important thing you should do this summer! Both of these activities are almost as important as your civic responsibility (like jury duty) . Vicki will tell you why you should see the movie, I will tell you why you need to take yourself and/or a little one to the fair.
Picture1 : These are bottle fed cows. These children are being instructed on the importance of taking care of your animal. They have already been given the experience of raising the cow from birth. This portion of the competetion judges how healthy the cow looks and how the cow responds to the handling of the children, all but one did well. Imagine if ALL cow owners (including factories) had to get to know all of their animal like this.

Next we move to the woodworking section where Dave entered his mirror and recieved a red ribbon. The judge said that the finish he used on it was rough. Dave agreed that he did not like the polycrylic that he used and it was rough. The little orange semi was constructed from wood by a teenager, it was made to scale and won the outstanding overall award. Personally I think I was the winner because this nice little piece handcrafted by the one I love now hangs on my living room wall.

My dilled cauliflour did well. I watched the food judging. My favorite part is when a young person enters something and they watch in anticipation while the judge slowly and thoroughly talks about the item. The judge this year really played it up big for the younger class entries if they were watching. I noticed that she also really enjoyed the personal stories attached to some of the items and read them out loud completely before judging the entry. The girl that took a purple included a little "story" card with her recipe, a memior to grandma... I would have given her the big prize to (a ribbon, no money is passed here, but it is fun to see what everyone else has done and sometimes pick up a new recipe or two.) The entries were set up to allow for fair goers to sample.

This is a great way to get little ones to bake or cook something and to hear a "grandma" type offer them excellent feedback about their work.

Here's the sewing entry table. I want to enter this class someday. I want to, yes I do. I am learning how to sew right now. Yes, I am. Someday day I will be good at it. The state requires that I have a entry level sewing class to be certified in FCS. Just because one of my class labs was the poster child of backwards and my fly zipper was sewn in 1/2 inch to high does not mean that I will never be able to grow up and make a quilt to enter at the county fair someday.

Last, a horticulture entry. I love these.

Dave's dad has 10 acres of a variety of colors that he grows and sells to a variety of places. Isn't it lovely!

Can you tell what kind of flower it is?

I didn't plant any this year, but I will next year. I miss the cut flowers. We decided to cut our garden back considerably this year and those didn't make the cut. Fortunately I can buy a bouquet or two from Rebecca my other favorite market vendor. I bought flowers and her raspberry jam a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Food for thought....

I have 10 minutes before the timer goes off and I must go back to the kitchen. I am dealing with more green beans. A friend is going to show me how to can my green beans in her pressure canner tommorrow because it takes alot less time than a water bath canner (or steamer like what I have). I anticipate having 6-7 quarts with today's picking, not much since I have the majority on the freezer or dilled. I also picked the last of my brussel sprouts and kale. I had 5 ripe tomatoes and 2 green peppers. I am going to try a batch of Food Snob's salsa recipe with this first picking. I made three banana zucchini breads and four regular sandwich loaf breads as well as some lentils and stirfried ginger garlic zucchini. I roasted turnips and added sauteed garlic klae (YUM!) ... I got the roasted turnip idea from Dreena's cookbook, I will always do this each year with a harvest of turnips. I added a little more seasoning.

CAT FUNNY: The kitten (no name yet, sorry to keep everyone hanging) called my cell phone this morning using Matt's phone which happened to be charging close to where my phone was sitting. Matthew's phone is voice trained. He thinks that the cat went near his phone and said, "Meow" and the phone thought it said, "Mom" and then dialed. I think it is more likely that the kitten stepped on the buttons an somehow put it in autodial mode, hitting the call button at the same time. The cat has also sent several faxes by jumping on the fax machine shelf and walking on the keypad.

Time's up, see you after the county fair probably Friday. I anticipate sharing my turnip pictures as well as open class entry results including Dave with his walnut framed mirror tiles (he made the frame).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Canned zucchini, green beans, plums & chard

Canned goods...
Pickled cauliflour with carrot and red pepper
I am entering this into the county fair two days from now, Thursday. Dave is taking a walnutwood framed mirror he is working on... it's beautiful. When he gets it ready, I'll post a picture here.

All canned good recipes come from Andrea Chesman's Book (click below for a link to

Zucchini Relish. I do not like big over grown zucchini, the flesh is stringy, the skin is tough and over all the only place for it is the compost pile. I never use a succhini longer than 7-8 inches while the flesh is still tender and the seeds are barely noticable. That is the size I use for this relish. It is the only way I preserve zucchini, otherwise I bake it into a bread/muffins or using it fresh in supper menu's or casseroles. I won a blue ribbon on this relish at a previous fair year. That same year I had the kids make seven grain and "everything" bread (my bakehouse recipes) and they both won blue ribbons too. Melissa's bread actually took two ribbons because the judges were impressed that she was under 12 and baked a blue ribbon quality yeast bread.

Here's a link to Bryanna's free recipe archives for more zucchini recipes. Notice the great rice and zucchini patty. Mine tunred out like hashbrowns, but tastes spectacular so there was not disappointment on my end at all.

Swiss Chard
"If vegetables got grades for traditional nutrients alone, Swiss chard would be the vegetable valedictorian." Check out the World's Healthiest Foods website for more information by clicking on the "swiss chard" words above.

What am I going to do with it?
The batch you saw in the picture was eaten fresh in sandwich and salad... it was young, tender and the first picking of the year. I wouldn't do that with chard otherwise because it loses it's sweet flavor not long after picking. Otherwise I like it sauteed with garlic and red pepper, thrown in stirfries, I have a favorite soup that is perfect with chard, I'll mix it into hummous (my fav persian green hummous), maybe add it to a smoothie (stem and core veins removed) if I have excess. Chard is tender like to spinach, but has a thicker leaf flesh.

Dilly beans and plum chutney
Plum Chutney is like a sweet and sour or "duck" sauce. Only this version has no extra additives and really is made from plums! Plums are not grown well in my area, so I had to buy these but 6 pounds for a good supply of excellent quality sweet and sour sauce was worth it!

Melissa and I love almost anything dilled, green beans no exception. I knew I would need to learn how to preserve foods when we first started gardening, but I did not like the suggestions for the well known Ball canning guide. Either their recipes were to sugary or I didn't like the seasonings. Usually when I want to get a broad idea of what information is available on a subject I check out and (e-bay's book sellers), then I start checking them out interlibrary loan to see whether the book would match my needs and purposes. Of the gardening preserving information I checked out, I liked the work of Andrea Chesman the best. Her book called SUMMER IN A JAR was my favorite because she offers instructions on how to make a recipe by the pint or a quart. If you are thinking you would like to do any canning, I think this book is a must!

Bryanna's Chili Garlic Green Beans
P. 129 (Fiber For Life Cookbook) See recipe for her complete and excellent directions. My version deviates some from hers.

My absolute favorite way to do green beans!
1 lb fresh green beans, steamed slightly or blanched 2 minutes in boiling water
1 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Wok this: Starting with oils, garlic and red pepper flakes, green beans, and then add the flavorings. Stir fry 3-5 minutes, until beans are tender. I like to sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Here's link to a former post I made about BRUSSELL SPROUTS. Roasted is my favorite way to make them.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A brown bag special: Me, He and Quinoa Casserole

Personally if I was just cooking to keep myself happy, I would make a loaf of bread a week and have a variety of soups. I might make a batch of something sweet once a week or maybe make some jelly for my bread. But I'm not cooking just for myself and my family EATS... alot! I guess that just gives me alot to blog about. If it can encourage another family to support socially conscious eating practices as well as join the effort to STARVE cruel factory farming practices, I will do my part and take as many along with me as I can entice. My blog proves a family DOES HAVE choice.... use your buying power to supports the what you believe in. Once you do "it's all in the bag", just take it home and eat it. And now for the rest of the story....

Next, here I am checking in the green beans... Dave snuck the camera out saying it's time you all saw me for once. A while ago I commented about needing to lose my farmer Dori image, now you see what I am talking about. Okay I confess to the world now that I love wearing overalls. I have all sorts of natural colors, although once I had a bright red pair, varying pant lengths and even long and short dresses made this way. Okay, pay "back"....

It is often said that behind every good man is an even better woman... today I'll prove that and show you that this even better part is armed with a camera. My main man (in the green) is standing beside my second best (My son Matthew in the red). This is 6' and 6'3"ness of great guy-dom doing the dishes like all "real" men do. Yes, if real women eat tofu quiche, real men do dishes duty. My daughter always takes out the trash... "anything but the dishes please" is her motto.

So, what are we eating now?
This is my version of Dreena/s Quinoa Hummous Casserole from the Vive Le Vegan cookbook. Another great recipe to use up a little zucchini AND quinoa with other garden abundance (or CSA shares). I thought it needed a little something more decorative on the top, so I sprinkled it with seasoned bread crumbs to make a slightly crispy crust and I like my veggies diced or small. This is good stuff!

The bottom is quinoa, cooked in my rice maker.... 2 Cups grain, 4 Cups water and 1 tsp sea salt. Veggie bouillon instead of water would make the base of this casserole more flavorful, so I will change this the next time I make it. Then the next layer is hummous... I used Dreena's Yam Hummous, it is a pretty orange color. This hummous offers the casserole a lemon tartness, but I think a roasted red pepper hummous with a more complex savory flavor would be sublime! Next comes the roasted veggies. I did roast these prior to making my casserole and stored in the frig until I was ready to assemble this meal. In the roasted veggies Dreena uses fennel, which I had no access to so I roasted 2 cups cauliflour sprinkled with 1 tsp ground fennel seed, 4 cups diced zucchini, sliced red pepper, and a few mushrooms along with the rest of her seasonings.

Personal note: I like a casserole to stay together at the base to make nice square serving portions. I think that I will use a base of 1/4 cups oat bran and 1 3/4 cup quinoa grain with 4 cups good salty veggie broth to the rice maker to see if it will give it the cohesiveness I want in the base. This meal is a good use of quinoa, I like it.... I think that is the second time I said that!

One more picture... dirty face and overalls, I hold nothing back here. You can also see what's coming up soon on my table. I have brussel sprouts and swiss chard here. I made 12 jars of dilly beans today and have to deal with about 15 pounds of green beans this evening yet.

I'm so glad to be home from the sorority house and all day class. I learned alot, but it is hard to sit for such long periods of time. I know that learning is great, but must say living is better! Luna I'll put up links to pictires of my campus and soroity house soon. Glad you visited!

Have a good weekend...... green bean snapping party at my house!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The National Dairy Council

I had to research a program to evaluate for this class I am taking. From a list of choices I chose the National Dairy Council. If you want to discover some defective logic go check out what they have to say about lactose intolerance in minorites or how they address the issue of organic milk. I promise it will give you a shocked, but can't believe they did that kind of laugh... it did to my class of FCS Master's and PhD level students!

On the NDC website they shared how 62 - 100% of various nationalities and 15% of caucasions have lactose intolerance or problems digesting dairy milk. They did a privately paid, independant study using 45 African American girls who tested positive for lactose intolerance. In the study, despite their complaints the girls were fed dairy products for 2 weeks. At the end of the study doctors diagnosed that the girls did not have symptoms of lactose intolerance. They concluded that the behavior was culturally learned and that the best way to prevent these girls from being calcium deficient was to have them DRINK MILK, EAT CHEESE, and keep doing it until they get over any negative symptoms.

I'm not kidding! I photocopied the .pdf brochure that is posted on the NDC's site and shared it with the class. Shocking!

Okay enough amusement for one day. Now I have to find a funding source for a program that I have to write a grant proposal for as a part of this class. Fun. Fun. I get to go home tommorrow. I have a third floor bedroom with one window, today it is warm!

Also, want to order some vegan cookies from

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The grand essentials to happiness in this life are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
- Joseph Addison

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Class time again and Seitan/Tofu Roast

I am in a program development class this week and will be back home Friday evening. Class goes from 8-5 with a 1 1/2 hour break, 3 credit hours in a week but there is a large 50 page research paper due by October. I am staying in a sorority house, which will serve breakfast and supper, but that means I might get a boiled veggie for supper and a peice of fruit for lunch. I planned ahead for this lack of vegan food choices, but traveled light knowing I could pick a few things up from the grocery store.

So here's the plan for country vegan living in an urban sorority house all week:

I brought a container of sliced seitan roast with me, along with leftovers of a quinoa casserole for lunch, a large container of roasted cauliflour, and roasted beets from last Thursday's market. I measured out enough rolled oats to prepare a soymilk/ oat/ fruit breakfast bowl each morning. But today I decided to eat the Carob Crunch Bakehouse granola this morning with a great soy late. I also brought some New Jersalem pita pocket breads, I like these and a bag of swiss chard from my garden.

What I bought at the store (to complete lunches and non vegan option suppers):
some genisoy chips (deep sea salted and garlic/onion), 2 Newman's organic dark chocolate bars, a quart of organic soymilk, one honey dew melon, two roma tomatoes, organic romaine lettuce, pecan peices, a can of chuncky veggie soup and a microwavable lentil soup in a cup .... took awhile but I did find a couple of vegan options there. I did like that the Fantastic dry soup in a cup mixes (5 bean and lentil) said at the beginning of the ingredients list: vegan.

P.S. It's raining today and I have to take a 15 minute walk across campus to my class ... maybe I should skip the make-up job and enjoy it! Fortunately I brought my little umbrella. Also, I may not be able to post again until Saturday this week.

To keep you all fully in the seitan mode here's a recipe we enjoy very much. I do follow the ingredient wet and dry mixing, I do have my electric kitchen machine knead it 10 minutes, but then I add the liquid to my crock pot. I place the roast in and let it go on high overnight. The longer the roast gets kneaded the better, "stringier" the texture will become. You could even stop kneading for 10 minutes and then knead again for a few minutes for even better results.


Makes about 3 lbs.

The combination of tofu and soy or chickpea flour with the gluten makes a seitan that is tender, not rubbery, and which slices easily, even in VERY thin slices. The long kneading, resting, and slow-cooking method partially adapted from recipe by Ellen from gives an incredible juicy, tender meat-like texture. This recipe makes outstanding sandwich material.


2 c. pure gluten powder (instant gluten flour; vital wheat gluten)

1/2 c. full-fat soy flour or chickpea flour

1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic granules

1/4 tsp. white pepper


1 c. hot water

1/2 c. soy “bacon” chips or bits (make sure this is a really tasty brand, like ClubHouse [made by McCormick’s] soy bacon “chips”, not the tasteless, salty, dark red bits thatyYou find in bulk)

12 oz. firm to extra-firm regular tofu (NOT silken), cut into small cubes

1/2 c. cold water

3 T. soy sauce

3 T. ketchup


2 c. hot water vegetarian “beefy” broth powder, cubes or paste for 2 c. broth

(or, if you have none, use regular vegetarian broth, a little weaker than normal, with 1 tsp. Marmite or other yeast extract added, or 2 tsp. dark miso)

1 T. vegetarian “chicken-style” broth powder

2 T. roasted sesame oil

2 T. maple syrup OR brown sugar

2 T. ketchup

2 tsp. liquid smoke

For the Wet Mix, in a blender, blend 1 c. HOT water with the soy “bacon” chips or bits. When it is almost smooth, add cold water, the soy sauce, tofu cubes, and ketchup. Blend until very smooth.

Mix the Dry Mix ingredients in the bowl of your electric mixer with dough hook attachment, or place them in the bread machine in the order given. Add the Wet Mix and knead for about 10 minutes. (If your bread machine has a dough cycle—two kneads with a long rest in between—use that cycle. Otherwise, just run it through the kneading part and then unplug it and let it rest in the cover container, then plug it in again for another knead, then remove it,) Let rest for about 1 hour, covered. You can make your Cooking Broth at this time and have it ready. Then knead it for 10 more minutes.

(NOTE: You can knead by hand, too, but it’s tougher than bread dough. You may want to let the seitan dough sit for a while to soak up the liquid more thoroughly before you starting hand-kneading.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

The dough should be quite shiny and smooth. Avoid breaking it up when you take it out of the bowl. Flatten the dough out into a long piece and cut in half equally to make two rectangles. Form into 2 loaves. Place each loaf in an oiled 8and1/2” x 4 and 1/2” loaf pan and press down a bit with your hand. Mix the Cooking Broth ingredients in a small bowl and pour 1/2 over each loaf. Cover each loaf pan with foil and place in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven heat to 200 degrees F. Bake for 3 hours. Turn the loaves over, carefully loosening around the edges and from the bottom with a small, thin spatula first.

The loaves will have puffed up quite a bit by now, but they will flatten out as they cook further.

Turn heat back to 325 degrees F. Cover loaves and bake for 30 minutes. Turn them over again, cover and bake 15 minutes. Turn them over again and bake 15 more minutes, covered. Turn them over one last time and bake 5-10 minutes. The loaves should almost completely soak up the broth by the end of the cooking time. If they don’t, cook until they do. There will be a bit of sticky “sauce” left in the bottom, which you can use to glaze the loaves. Remove from the pans and serve, or let cool. Can be frozen.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Jerk Satan and ewey gewey brownies

I thought this post best as a Sunday post, to publish right after church. This is Matt's Vegan with a Vengance Jerk Seitan. We arranged ours a little differently and added a few more veggies, replaced cayenne pepper with a chipotle pepper and ate this dish up to serve three a wonderful lunch. I'm sure it could stretch further, but Matt makes up two in and of himself.

I giggled when Matthew told me what he wanted to make as his assignment this week. You read that right, assignment. I make my kids cook or they have no entertainment priveledges... the car and e-mail is considered entertainment in our house also, you see the motivation here. I have discovered that they are delighted with themself at the end of the meal though. I also know that financially they won't make it as young adults without some cooking skills. $20 and some cooking skills can feed one or tow for several meals, compared that to $20 of a restaurant meal.

Okay why did I giggle when I heard what Matt wanted to cook? As he was thumbing through VwaV and he said, "I want the jerk satan." So "the jerk satan" we had. In picture one, he blended the jerk marinade in a magic bullet blender cup and poured it into a yellow bowl. The recipe says to marinate the seitan we just dipped it and pan seared it. You see my seitan (pronounced "say-tan")/tofu patties in the plastic dish already cooked (in my clay cooker). In the pan we used thick slices of onion, a 7" zucchini and some red pepper. Picture 2: A yummy closeup. The pan seared seitan after dipping it into the jerk marinade and veggies.

And at last the finished ready to eat plate. We made the VwaV coconut "rice using BULGHUR in the rice maker. My rule of thumb with the rice maker is 2 cups of grain, 4 Cups of liquid with 1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt. We used 2 Cups soymilk with the liquid and 1/2 tsp coconut extract with 2 Cups of water.... to make this recipe taste like the VwaV version. We spooned the jerk sauce over the seitan/tofu patty and bulghur. We devoured this quickly and had no veggies left for supper.

He also made the VwaV Ewey Gewey Banana Brownies. Oh My.... umm, can't speak because my mouth salivates to much with the memory. Now you can salivate at the site of these. So worth it... run and get the book right away!

We also topped ours with a little powdered sugar drizzle leftover from the faustess cupcakes in order to make the cherry stick. Another successful assignment. A + on this meal, if he goes for a walk with our dog to get some exerise, I'll even allow a little more flexibilty with that entertainment time. A hard mom, I know... but no "pain" no "gain"

And this dessert was so painful. ;b

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dreena's Apple Cardamom Cake

Melissa is back and in the kitchen.
Click here to check out her blog for pictures of
with Lemon Maple Frosting

from Dreena's Cookbook Vive Le Vegan (p. 114).
WARNING: This is some serious cooking!
Note: She made this cake for a Friday night event at church. This cake is moist and not to sweet. Despite being a bit healthier with a good amount of oat bran and very low fat, even with the awesome lowfat protein frosting made of silken tofu and agar, this cake was a stunning display and devoured quickly. Melissa received many compliments on the cake. Thanks Dreena, I loved the fact that it is on the healthy side. I also loved the frosting, it coated the cake well and is very lowfat as well as tastey. YUM!

The red swirl at the top of the cake is a thin peel from a red apple. One year I had ALOT of apples to turn into apple sauce or apple butter, so as a motivation we had an apple peeling contest to see who could get the longest peel intact off the apple. Dave held the record for several days, but eight year old Melissa practiced up on it and now is the apple peeling champ in our family.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Soyajoy Soymilk Maker

I make my own fresh organic soymilk using this machine from I bought my first one several years ago at a time when finances were very, very tight. I convinced Dave it was a worth while investment because we could afford milk with it and it could quickly pay for itself. I also ordered a 50 lb bag of soybeans via mail.... the shipping cost more than the beans on this. Either way, when I did the math even with outrageous shipping costs I knew I could save money making my own soymilk and it would cost me about 32 cents per 6 cups of fresh organic soymilk. When we first got it, made the milk accroding to the recipe the company gave and then no one would drink it, I cried. It tasted watery and flavorless. After a sleepless night and many hours at the library on the internet searching for a fix I had a discussion with a woman from the dessert on Vegsource (I used to visit there alot, but not so much anymore) and this is the ending recipe we came up with. My family has been drinking it up ever since, so much that now we own two and my 6'3" tall of a son can consume without reservation. Oh, I also have found a local source of beans so I don't have to pay shipping anymore.

Note that fresh soy milk has no sodium, cow milk does... quite a bit actually and it is also alot higher in carbs. Here is my personal soymilk maker recipe and we make 2 batches this way at least every other day, sometimes daily. Because I buy in bulk I now am able to make a batch for drinking at under 30 cents per 6 cups. When I look at the prices in the store and know how much my family goes through I know this was a very wise purchase. Our machines have paid for themselves many times over. And I have had my first machine for about 5 years now... it still runs fine.

Soak this recipe in water at least 8 hours. I keep two soaking in the frig ready to go at any time, but always use it within three days.
1/3 C soybeans
1 Tbsp long grain brown rice
1 Tbsp raw cashews
1/2 Tbsp whole oat berries
When the soymilk maker is done (15 minutes) I pour the hot soymilk into the milk jars shown in the picture above. To the milk I add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 Tbsp - 4 Tbsp sweetener of choice and a splash of vanilla. Shake and serve cold. I used to strain it painstakiningly because the family would get pickly about a slightly thicker settling at the bottom of the jar. They are used to it now and we also shake it before each use, so it's not as noticeable. My kids love carob milk... to do this add 1/4 C carob powder to cold milk and shake well and sweeten to taste (Don't add it when it is hot or the milk will separate into curds).

I also had the opportunity to go to the Farmer's Market yesterday. Here is what I bought:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 bunches of beets (I didn't plant these this year)
1 bunch of organic flowers (check out the pix, isn't it wonderful!)
1 jar of organic raspberry jelly
1 loaf organic roasted garlic European style sourdough bread

And about the bread......
It is awesome as a panini sandwich on my little george grill. I made seitan/tofu patties earlier this week, grilled it and then added Dreena's yammy hummous to my bread and stuck the whole sandwich in the grill for a super yummy meal.

Here's my panini supper sandwich last night, side of fresh salad and cherry tomatoes (italian dressing) and a slice of honeydew melon.

After we finished eating last night Dave told me, "I am so glad we did not have to have meat sacrificed to the idols". It was a biblical old testament problem that is occuring today. I told him I am glad our dollars refuse to support those practices, maybe my family alone won't starve the cruel factory farming practices but I can guarantee you we will not support it! As I continue to read John Robbins Diet for a New America, I am beginning to realize I am changing and that there will be no more Mrs Nice Dori.

Oh, but here is how I looked after my meal :)
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Picnicing Food

This is what we have been up to during our hot weather season ... besides garden work and mowing, swimming, and sitting in the air conditioned living room reading Diet for a New America by John Robbins. I have been moved by the book, I am halfway through it.

Cuke rounds. I made these for a snack one day and the thought came to my mind that this reminds me of a of food fat free vegan might do... cute, good for fingers, and tastey. I simply topped an ordinary slice of cucumber with Persian Hummous, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and topped with an organic raisin.

I also made my favorite broccoli salad, but used chunked pineapple in place of apple. The pineapple in it brought lits of compliments.

Matthew chopped a canteloupe to share.

Melissa made Dreena's Chocolate Hemp Squares, which didn't make it to the supper meal... everyone LOVED them and devoured them quite quickly I must add. Melissa was very pleased with the recipe. The only problem we had was our chocolate didn't set up right, so I think she added a bit to much liquid. But then HEY! Chocolate is chocolate, right!

I got this recipe off the side of a quinoa pasta box. I have made it twice now and I have to say... a real indian curry powder is important. Mix all ingrdients well. Serves 4.
1 pkg cooked quinoa pasta 8 oz
2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 C each sour cream and mayo *sub info below
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
2 cloves minces garlic
1 green pepper chopped or add some red pepper, chopped for color
1/2 C chopped celery NOTE: 1 1/2 small diced ZUCCHINI works well also!
3 scallions chopped (or 1/4 C finely minced purple onion)
1/4 C parsley or other shredded fresh green
1/2 C currants
1/4 C sunflower seeds
*I used 1 cup of Bryanna's veggienaise made with lemon juice.... to me this to an excellent sub for sourcream and mayo. There is a free recipe on her website for this great homemade soy based mayo, go there vea my side bar and so a search. Making your own mayo allows it to be flavored and used the way you want and it is also an exceptional bargain!

The recipe came from one of Bryanna's newsletters last summer. She is coming out with a seitan/ veggie meats e-book so I can't post it, but I have used this recipe successfully several times. It makes a great george grill burger in a hurry, freezes well, and the taste is strong so even on a big bun you don't need to add a bunch of sauce for flavor. A long time ago she came out with a garlic sausage buger style recipe... my favorite. In this picture you can see that I begin by placing a veg burger patty in a baking dish and pouring a broth over it. In the second picture you see the burgers after baking, they have soaked up the liquid. I always make 12 burgers at once and keep them when I need a fast something to eat. These calculate to a cost of $.23 cents a burgerfor me and a little effort to make/ bake them.

The burger below is on a great organic bun and is served with island BBQ sauce, red peppers, and lettuce. This is what I ate at the fourth picnic we had at my aunts. I typically grill my burgers in the george grill at home with a slice of onion, but these burgers do well on the ouside grill as you can see here and they stay together very well. The burgers are made from TVP, wheat gluten, besan chickpea flour, and various great tasting flavors.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bread and garden produce cooking

7 Grain Loaves made with a cracked seven grain cereal mix and 100% whole grain freshly milled Montana Gold white wheat berries. I also add sesame and flax seeds to this bread and sprinkle the bottem of the bread pan with sunflower seeds. Beautiful rise and light texture, wish I could cut you a slice it's my favorite with some nut butter and jelly for breakfast.

There is a little freshly milled whole grain bread discussion on comments of my the previous post (unrelated to this bread) for anyone interested. If you are interested in my bread machine version of this recipe, I'd be happy to share it. I used to sell made to order freshly milled bread machine mixes, 7 varieties. Just comment if you'd like that recipe.

MINI BREAK AND Kitten the lintball
I've had a good couple of days break. Lounging with the phone shut off, swimming, small town celebration, dinner with family, sewing with my mom, and a few fireworks. I am also sunburned and feeling it.... isn't summer grand. Young kitten had an incident, but is doing well now. He ran outside between Dave's feet. Dave worked outside for about an hour and came in forgetting theat the kitten was outside. No one thought anything of it. The next day Matthew started doing laundry and needed to use the dryer, he opened the door and heard faint kitten meows. Well, after everyone went searching and we couldn't find him Dave realized that he forgot the kitten outside the night before. The kitten attempted to come in through our dryer exhaust vent and made it through the shoot getting stuck at the bottem. Dave disconneted the dryer vent in several places and found him, head down. He needed to back himself out and was one big ball of gray fluff and dust who was very, VERY happy to see us. I haven't seen him run towards for the door all day.

I'll have to share my fourth fixings next time, but this is what I made up prior that with some of my garden produce. The first two pictures are soups, Farro Minestrone with squash and greens along with Caldo Gallego (Spanish Kale and Potato Soup). We ate these with a sandwich. Both recipes came from Bryanna's Fiber For Life Cookbook. The day we ate hot soup we sat in air conditioning, but for leftovers I are a bowl cold and froze quart portions to eat later. I just put in the refrigerator thenight before I want it. In my experience both of these soups freeze well. These soups helped me use up kale, zucchini, red pepper, onion, peas, carrots, and squash. One soup has pinto beans and the other white cannelli, I like to cook my beans in large batches and freeze portions ahead for fast use in soups and spreads, it saves some $ and reduces trash/ recycle.

Now onto more uses of zucchini. I was impressed with this recipe even though structurally it flopped. This is zucchini "sausage" from the same cookbook. It was supposed to cook into 10 patties. I started them that way over high heat on my flat grill. After being pretty sure they were browned I flipped... well, see the plate I ended up eating them that way. This reminded me of a plate of greasy truckstop hashbrowns that I used to order at 2:00 am Sunday after the bar closed and dance was over (many years ago). I used bac'un like bits instead of the vegan canadan bacon rounds, chopped. The recipe is only brown rice, 2 lb's zucchini, bacon bits, and a few seasonings... why did it taste like greasy truckstop hashbrowns? I don't know, but I made that note in my cookbook and intend to make this again some morning for breakfast only I don't plan on trying the patties.

I really enjoyed this, another Bryanna recipe. She has a KIMA recipe in the 20 minutes to dinner cookbook as well as the Fiber for life cookbook. One is called Pakistani hash and the other vegetarian kashmiri, almost identical except one has mushrooms. I really enjoyed this dish. I served it with a pita bread and roasted red pepper dip. It made alot so I thought I would freeze some, I liked it so much I had it several meals in a row and finished it off. I changed the original recipe enough that I will post my version here.

Saute the onions and garlic 5 minutes, then add the remaining veggies and seasonings:
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic minced
1 7-8" zucchini diced
2 cups red skinned new potates, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
2 Tbsp curry powder
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp black salt
1/3 cup tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water
(or 4-6 fresh tomatoes chopped)
1 and 1/2 C dry TVP granules
1 Tbsp Penzey's Bratwurst Seasonings (or your preferred seasonings)
You could fry up some lightlife sausage in a tube
to replace both the TVP, water, and spice.

1 1/2 C water
2 cups fresh shelled peas (or frozen)
Bring mixture to a boil, turn down heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes stirring occassionally to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottem of the pan. Serve when potatoes and carrots are soft and a little more water if needed. I actually stuck my pan in th eoven and baked for 30 minutes, but I don;t think that is necessary... it should be more dry than wet though. I served this with pita bread and roasted red pepper dip.

NOTE: I used to dislike curried dishes. The curry I bought was from the grocery store. This curry dish was made with some "real" stuff that I bought at a "real" indian food store, it has a little bite. I like curry now... there is a BIG flavor difference between the two spices with the same name.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Broiled Tofu, Flax and Soy Bread, Brown Betty, etc

I'll be away from my computor, or without ability to post pictures, etc. to this blog anyways until the 5th of July. I am making a great take along "chik" gluten soy patty to throw in the grill for that family fourth outing PLUS and I have been doing some yummy things with zucchini, I'm looking forward to sharing this on Wednesday when I get back!


More on Tofu. This is marinated in Bryanna's Breast of Tofu marinade (see post earlier this week for recipe) and then broiled at 450 degrees in the oven on a blackened old cookie sheet. I dipped these slabs into seasoned flour before baking (see recipe below). Bake until you like the looks of it, checking first at eight minutes, flip and then eight minutes (or less /more, depending on how crispy you want it). I wanted mine pretty brown, but is still flexible and a little moist on the inside.

Bryanna's Seasoned Flour
(the almost no fat cookbook p. 49). Combine the following and keep in sealed container in refigerator (or freezer): 2 C whole grain flour, 1/4 C nutritional yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp onion powder, pepper to taste. Dori Note: Make sure what you are coating is wet. If you are a "deep-fried" person who likes a thicker breading, flour your tofu, dip in marinade or soymilk and flour agian...repeat once more. I did this once to satisfy a disgusting "chicken fried steak" burger craving for Dave to show him that it could be done. It worked, but I prefer mine lightly coated and baked.

I like to pack these "breasts" into cold sandwiches to carry for a day, umm but now that I have gained some freegan tips, I will now only use my own reuseable container to carry sandwiches! The bread I used here is flax and soy bread, a recipe I developed at the bakehouse when I first started my little business. Bear with me while I walk down memory lane. The first year I came out with this bread I sold alot, I'm not kidding. ... I was seriously cooking! The state newspaper had a write up on the health benefits of flax and soy one weekend when I happened to be at the right place and time. This was before supermarkets caught the whole grain organic idea. Flax and soy became my signature bread and niche.

I really do love working with the my customers at the bakehouse, but I also really wore out from the first couple of years and got to the point where I realized I had to go pro and hire people or downsize and stay a mom and pop shop... stay small for enjoyment, that's what I decided to do. I am strictly a VEGAN, ORGANIC, WHOLE GRAIN baker (period), no more and no less. I capitolize those words 'cause I used to get asked, "Do you have anything with with white flour", (no) and then many thought that a baker must specialize in eggy, white refined sugary, or dairy in my breads (no no no). I was once asked.... how do you make bread without milk? I thought the question was dumb, but I wanted to be respectful. I said EASILY, want to try some!

Some people expect the same from a small business as they expect from their 24 hour chain food market. I think they should instead expect the same kind of expertise and friendliness from their chain food store instead. I know ... rants, I am getting phone calls from former market customers asking where I am and I miss being there, transitions always have sort of issues. I also know I desire to finish my certification and that takes priority this year. I hope my former customers (vegan and otherwise) read my blog and realize how easy it is to eat great anyways!

Here is a BAKEHOUSE Flax and Soy Bread Machine recipe I created to help my non- baking sister (who doesn't use it anyways because she waits until I make it before eating any again). I made changes in this recipe 7-2-06.
You must have a 1 1/2 - 2 lb capacity machine. NOTE: I use a BOSCH Universal to knead my bread, it kneads so well that a 100% freshly milled whole grain gets enough gluten development to be able to give the nice rise and lightness many appreciate on a sandwich bread. In my cheapo (but $50) Oster bread machine I must use a little organic all purpose flour to get this to work and rise well. You can replace spelt for both the white wheat and all purpose flour in this recipe one for one. ALSO - check your machine five minutes into kneading to make SURE the DOUGH BALL is a ball and that when you touch it with your finger you can almost hear the giggle from the infamous TV doughboy. If not you may need to add more water or flour!

Mix the following ingredients in the order specified by your bread machine:
1 1/3 C distilled water
2 Tbsp light virgin olive oil or safflower oil
2 Tbsp turbinado or sugar in the raw
2 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cup freshly milled whole grain WHITE WHEAT (Montana gold, aka golden 86) flour
*I have noticed some groceries stores have began to carry this or you can actually mill your own IN STORE! (yeah!) If you do not get freshly milled your flour will have lost a lot of natural vitamin E and will be drier, you may need to compensate with a little more liquid
1/2 C soy flour (or besan chickpea flour if you cannot find this)
1 C organic all purpose wheat flour OR whole wheat BREAD MACHINE flour (pkg specifies)
* 3 Tbsp ground flax meal
* 3 Tbsp brown flax seed (is the prettiest, you can use golden also)
1 Tbsp yeast (I use SAF brand, but I think flieshmans will work too)
DO NOT USE EXPRESS BAKE CYCLE! I do not use the whole wheat cycle which takes a bit longer, I use a light crust. My machine makes a good batch in just under 3 hours, I know machines do vary. I have also had the opportunity to experiment with five other brands of machine at various costs. They all bake just a little differently

Okay, now more great food! How about a little more stirfry from Bryanna's authentic Chinese Cuisine, this is Chinese 'Beef' and Broccoli in Vegetarian 'Oyster' Sauce. The apple brown betty is my own breakfast creation with a side of wildwood soy yogurt, plain but stevia sweetened.
It's simply leftover brown rice with cinnamon and organic raisins, sweetened to my preference. I have added crushed pineapple to this breakfast concoction before and liked it well enough. I sometimes heat it and other times leave it cold.

And at last the little one, although we are debating names we have not yet decided. He is licking his baby paws here, he agrees that the food here is paw licking good. This guy loves my bread!

He has this thing with jumping to attack anything that moves, anything, but is slowly learning that we don't like to play like that. Moving thing - talking lips.... try having a conversation and then suddenly this furocious kitten appears playfully attacking your face like he would another kitten, but you have skin that rips and bleeds. = not fun! We are now trained to look to make sure we know where the kitten is before we open our mouth to speak.

He has also decided that his place to "potty" is in the bathroom... good even though the litter box is not there. Ummm, let me finish this statement.... the bathroom bathtub. Of all the places he could be going I have to admit that this one is easier to clean. We are moving his litter box to the bathroom today to see if we can retrain.