Archive for December, 2010

This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to try. In my neck of the woods, you can only find vegan egg nog during the Christmas holiday season; it is not stocked during the rest of the year. For this recipe, I used Silk brand Nog, which I love all by itself. I just knew this panna cotta would taste good – even without any sauce at all, it was smooth, creamy, delicious.

Nog panna cotta (from BitterSweet blog)

1 1/2 cups vegan “eggnog”

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons agar agar powder or 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes

1 6-ounce container unsweetened soy yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly grease four 4-ounce ramekins and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the nog, sugar, and agar. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and do not let it boil. Continue to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the agar has mostly dissolved. If you’re using powdered agar, it will dissolve much faster than the flakes, so keep an eye on the pot.

Strain the mixture using a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Quickly whisk in yogurt and vanilla until smooth and homogeneous. Pour into your prepared ramekins, and let it cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the ramekins to your refrigerator, and allow the panna cottas to remain undisturbed for at least 2 hours, until set and fully chilled.

To serve, either eat the panna cotta directly out of the ramekin, or invert onto a plate. Top with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


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I just love spaghetti crusts. For this dish, I used a whole-grain spaghetti, which I believe added a lot of wholesomeness to it. It was kinda fun to eat spaghetti with southwest flavors; so different from the familiar Italian ones. I hope this photo conveys the “crust” formed by the spaghetti.

Sante Fe spaghetti pie (from the Family Health Cookbook, with nondairy adaptations by me)

vegetable oil spray

3 cups cooked spaghetti (1/2 pound uncooked)

2 egg whites

1/2 cup almond milk

2 tablespoons grated soy parmesan

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups grated soy Jack or cheddar cheese

Lightly coat a 9 x 12″ baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Cook raw spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg white with the almond milk until frothy, then stir in the hot pasta and soy parmesan cheese. Spread the pasta over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and cook the turkey, onion, and green pepper, stirring often over medium heat, until the turkey is white and the vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno pepper, and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cumin, oregano, cayenne, tomato sauce, and beans. Spread the mixture over the pasta crust. Sprinkle the soy Jack cheese evenly over the filling. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, and the casserole is bubbly, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Makes 8 servings.

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I found this recipe in Fine Cooking. I do think that the parsnip is THE unheralded vegetable. You find it mainly in soups, or added to a vegetable dish, but always as the bridesmaid, never the bride. That is why I had to try this recipe. With a few of my own nondairy modifications, this dish was brilliant. Parsnip was the star.

Parsnip risotto with pancetta and sage

kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds medium parsnips, peeled, cored, and cut into medium dice (2 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces chopped pancetta (about 1 cup)

3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage

3 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice

2 cups arborio rice

pinch of crumbled saffron (optional)

4 – 6 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons margarine

2 ounces grated soy parmesan; more for serving

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the parsnips and boil until firm-tender, 3 – 5 minutes. Drain and spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until sizzling and crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the sage is starting to crisp, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in an 12″ straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, a small pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice, 1 teaspoon salt, and the saffron, stirring well to coat. Add 2 cups of the broth and the wine; simmer, stirring, until the liquid is completely absorbed, 3 – 4 minutes. Continue adding the broth in 1 cup increments, stirring and adjusting the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and letting each addition be almost absorbed before adding the next. The risotto is done when the rice is nearly but not fully tender (al dente) and still a little soupy (usually takes 14 – 16 minutes after the first addition of liquid). You may or may not use all the broth, but should use at least 4 cups.

Fold in the parsnip mixture into the risotto. Add the margarine and parmesan and stir gently to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with more soy parmesan. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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I’ve fallen in love with baked doughnuts. These were really good; so were these. And we just loved these. Time to add another donut recipe to the mix. I don’t know if it was the chocolate cake or the icing – these donuts were truly better than anything I’ve ever picked up from a bakery. And a ton healthier, too. It was interesting to add a little nutmeg to the chocolate, as the recipe called for – it gave the chocolate a decided different taste, but totally awesome, just the same.

Baked chocolate cake donuts (from HandleTheHeat blog, via Lara Feroni; nondairy adaptations by me)

1 cup AP flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt

2 tablespoons margarine

1/2 cup soy yogurt, thinned slightly with a tablespoon soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

chocolate glaze (see below)

Lightly grease a donut tin and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda, and then whisk in the sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Add the margarine, and using your fingers, rub it into the dry ingredients until it becomes coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix, or your donuts may be a bit rubbery.

Fill a ziploc bag with the batter, cut an opening in one corner, and pipe the batter into each cup 1/2 to 3/4 full. It’s important not to overfill, or as the donuts rise, you’ll lose the hole.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before glazing.

Chocolate glaze:

4 tablespoons margarine

4 tablespoons almond milk, warmed

1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Combine margarine, almond milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until margarine is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the donuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6 donuts.

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I’ve always loved latkes. Onions and potatoes are just made for each other. I’ve tried my hand at latkes before – here and here – with crowd-pleasing results. But I would have to say that these were our favorites so far. This recipe made about 16 latkes for me, and I only used 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Although I made the sour cream mixture for serving, we went a little light on it.

Cilantro-jalapeno latkes (modified from CookingLight)

6 tablespoons soy sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce

3/4 teaspoons grated lime rind

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

6 cups shredded, peeled, baking potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup grated fresh onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

1 large egg

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Combine potato and onion in a colander. Drain 30 minutes, pressing occasionally with the back of a spoon until barely moist. Combine potato mixture, flour, and next 5 ingredients (including salt) in a large bowl; toss well.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Spoon 1/4 cup potato mixture into  dry measuring cup. Pour mixture into pan; flatten slightly. Repeat the procedure 5 times to form 6 latkes. Saute 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Remove latkes from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with next 2 tablespoons oil and potato mixture to yield 12 latkes total. If you have any potato mixture leftover, use the final tablespoon oil and make the rest of the latkes. Serve with sour cream mixture.

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I’m not sure my photos did this dish justice, but it sure was tasty. I meant to post this one sooner, but this is a great dish for the turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. Thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the inspiration.

Brown rice casserole with leftover turkey (adapted to be nondairy; modified slightly, too)

2 cups cooked brown rice

16 ounces asparagus, chopped

2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)

1 onion, diced into small pieces

2 teaspoons ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 – 2 cups diced leftover turkey, cut into 1/2″ dice

1/2 cup turkey stock or chicken stock

1/2 cup soy sour cream

1/2 cup coarsely grated soy parmesan

1 1/2 cup grated soy cheese

Cook brown rice following package instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in heavy non-stick pan and saute asparagus until bright green and still slightly crunchy. Remove to a dish.

In same frying pan, add 1 teaspoon more olive oil and heat, then add onions and saute 3 – 4 minutes until onions are softened. Add thyme, ground poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and saute about 2 minutes more.

When onions cook, dice leftover turkey. Add asparagus and diced turkey into pan with the onion-herb mixture, and stir to combine. Add rice and gently stir until all the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed in the rice.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and chicken stock, then stir in the grated parmesan and 1 cup soy cheese. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the rice mixture.

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spoon rice mixture into the casserole dish and pres down to evenly distribute. Bake for 25 minutes, or until casserole is slightly bubbling and barely starting to brown. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated soy cheese and bake about 15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Makes 6 servings.

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