Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas and Soup Mix

VEGAN BISCOTTI (plain anise flavored) with awesome dark chocolate brushed on top and sprinkled with ground up english walnuts. My base recipe came from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Nonna's Italian Kitchen Cookbook, Only I made mine a plain anise flavored variation.
Here's a free recipe that I found though:
Fat Free Vegan's Cinnamon Biscotti Recipe

Now that I have your attention with my tantilizing favorite holiday treat -

Merry Christmas!

I've been trying to post for a couple of days, but I guess NOW is my lucky moment to accomplish the task. After the ice storms came a wonderful Christmas day with highs in the 50's, and sunshine. It was awesome. We had a great Christmas day brunch before opening presents, which we already knew all that there was because we shop together and get what we want .... we just don't get it until after the Bible reading by DH followed by the brunch. Without further ado, I'm going right to the food pictures. Here is my first round Christmas day. The pizza is BREAKFAST PIZZA by Bryanna Clark Grogan Oct/Nov/Dec Vegan Feast Newsletter. Every holiday season since I started subscribing we have had a new awesome main course brunch dish to feast upon. I have been subscribing since the beginning and will not stop. The ideas and personal connection is worth every penny. Bryanna is a kitchen goddess, NO... wait! I take that back, because of Bryanna I AM A kitchen goddess! :) I served the pizza with a sliced pear and a soymilk (made in my soyajoy) cappuchino.

Next trip to the kitchen allowed me to get some of this TENDER BANANA BREAD from Bryanna Clark Grogan's cookbook, FIBER FOR LIFE. I love this because the fat is replaced with a silken tofu mixture which is also great protein and it is made 100% whole wheat pastry flour, yet is still wonderfully tender. The cookbook offers the option to use dates in this, but I use vegan chocolate chips which my family adores, I like that if I am going to add a little fat it comes from chocolate. Mmmm-my kinda fat.
More cheers for Bryanna and the VEGAN FEAST Newsletter again. Here is a picture of her seitan "salami/ pepperoni", I did the pepperoni version. My meat eating sister ate 10 slices of this with crackers and said, I love this stuff! I wasn't a big fan of the seitan o'greatness awhile back due to the fact it was so dry, but this salami / pepperoni is not. The crackers you see on this plate are actually pretzel flats with an everything seasoning, new find at the grocery store and they are not to bad. Back to the seitan, every issue of the newsletter usually has one new way with seitan that I get the pleasure of trying.
I need to back track just a bit. Here is my counter setup for the breakfast pizza. The crust dough, vegan "sausage" crumbles (Bryanna's kielbasa seitan recipe from my freezer that I crumbled up), the tofu frittata mix in the food processor, red peppers, shredded sweet potato, and shreds of Bryanna's sharp chedda' cheez. The crust is interesting, it is like a thick batter that can sit in the frig for up to two weeks until you are ready to use it. The recipe calls for enough to make two pizza crusts. I am going to try a mushroom onion style pizza with the other half, I found a recipe for this that I really want to veganize in a weight watchers magazine.
Okay, I am sure that you are probably thinking Bryanna again? .... yes, I say again. There are so many recipes I still have to try from all of her cookbooks and other vegan feast newsletters that I could sing her praises for a long time. This is my version of CHRISTMAS STOLLEN, the dough has no fat but is not dry. I used the sweet bread dough from her Al-most No Fat Holiday Cookbook. To make it stollen I added cardamom, coriander, orange peel, pecans, english walnuts, rum soaked raisins, cranberries, chopped dates and dried prunes. More backtracking. Here is the seitan salami after it finished cooking in my clay pot, it is wrapped with cheesecloth. It cookes in a small amount of very flavorful broth, which does not get completely soaked up as you can see a small amount is left over.

Last idea to share. I like to make a batch of a recipe I found many years ago called Be Prepared Soup Mix, I call it Five Bean Soup Mix. When I want to make some I take 1 1/2 cups of the beans, 1/4 cup of the seasoning mix and a can of diced tomates. Sometimes I make it in the crockpot, somtimes on the stove top, but all the time when I make it do I enjoy it.
1 1/2 cup pinto beans
1 1/2 cup white benas
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup baby lima beans
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp garnulated garlic
1 Tbsp Frontier chicken flavor bouillon powder
3 Tbsp Frontier beef flavor bouillon powder
1 Tbsp parsley
1/4 cup vegan bac'un bits
1/4 cup dried Frontier mixed vegetable soup flakes
Combine the beans and place in a large jar with enough room to add the baggie of spice mix.
1 "batch" = 6 generous servings of soup
To make a batch soak 1 1/2 cup of beans overnight, drain and place them in a 3 quart saucepan (or crockpot). Add 5 cups of water and 1/4 cup seasoning mix, you can add the tomatoes now or at the end of simmering time. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 - 2 1/2 hours until beans are tender or crockpot cook them on low all day.
Per serving: 187 calories, 12 g protein, >1 gram fat, 465 mg sod, 33 g complex carbs, and 9 grams fiber.
Individual batches can also be prepared separately, add a nice label with instructions, and give as a gift.


Melody Polakow said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Everything looks amazing. You know, I have never tried vegan biscotti.. I've always hated biscotti because of the eggs... I so need to give it a try.

VeggieGirl said...

wowowow!!! so much goodness in one post - the biscotti and breakfast pizza are particularly intriguing - glad to see that you had a lovely (and delicious) Christmas celebration!! :0)

Veg-a-Nut said...

Merry Christmas! Your brunch looks wonderful. I too used one of Bryanna's recipes for our brunch. We made her hashbrown waffles. She is amazing. I will always subscribe to her newsletters too! I need to make some seitan salami for New Years! I better get cooking.

Cherie said...

Hey, Dori! It was good to hear from you. Happy New Year to you as well, hope you do something really fun. The biscotti looks delicious!

Dori said...

Cherie, I am glad you stopped by. I am a family and consumer science / health teacher. I find it very fun, I really do like my work.

Tanya Kristine said...

happy new year, Dori!!!! i see you're still at it and still amazing! i made a vegan dinner last night...been ages since i've done that. i'll post it later...

how's your son?

Anonymous said...

Belated Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thanks for sharing your soup mix -- it reminds me of a soup mix I got once for Christmas.

I keep putting off getting Bryanna's newsletter but that seitan looks really good so it may be the push I need to subscribe!

I hope you and your family have a joyous new year. Happy New Year!

Jackie said...

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you everything of the best for 2008.

urban vegan said...

The food all looks great (I love "Nonna's Italian Kitchen!"). But mosty of all, I'm glad you're back. I really missed you and your posts.

Here's to a Happy, Healthyn 2008!


Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

I agree with you on the Seitan o'greatness not being my favorite - I also thought it was a bit dry. Good to hear there are other recipes out there!

Happy New Year!

Kate said...

Your food makes me so happy! mmm biscotti.

bazu said...

Happy new year, Dori! I love being able to visit your blog and reading your new posts! Oh, and I love that soup mix idea- perfect for gifting, too... here's to an awesome 2008!