Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tempeh Meatballs with Parmesan (VEGAN. All of It!)

TEMPEH MEATBALLS (adapted from Isa Does It)

Begin by crumbling 8 -oz. tempeh into a medium saucepan and adding 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1/2 T. tamari or soy sauce and just a dash of olive oil. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer; cover with a lid left slightly ajar. After 15 minutes or so the liquid should have been absorbed or escaped as steam. Remove from the heat, uncover completely and allow to cool.

Now, in the same saucepan with the tempeh, add 1 t. ground garlic powder, 1 t. onion powder, 1 T. ketchup, 1 T. Dijon mustard, 1/2 t. each dried thyme and dried oregano, around 1/4 t. salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well before adding 1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs. Regular dried bread crumbs work as well. Mix again and if the mixture isn't holding together properly, slowly add more bread crumbs, bit by bit.

With your hands form golf ball-size meatballs that are compact and very firm.

Fry the meatballs in a non-stick skillet slicked with a bit of olive oil. Keep the heat to medium and carefully turn the meatballs, browning on all sides as much as possible. The process should take about 8-10 minutes and you may need to add more oil if the meatballs are sticking.

Once the meatballs have cooked through, cover with your favorite marinara sauce and sprinkle with crushed red chili flakes. Cover the skillet and simmer the meatballs and sauce gently for a couple of minutes.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over pasta, with rice or mashed potatoes or stuffed in a toasted hero roll. Optionally, finish the meatballs and sauce with vegan Parmesan cheese.


Briefly grind the following ingredients together in a food processor or coffee grinder until you obtain a powdery consistency similar to grated Parmesan cheese: 

1/2 cup raw cashews  - unsoaked
1/4 cup hemp seeds - sesame seeds can be substituted in a real pinch
3-4 T. nutritional yeast
a dash of garlic powder
1 t. salt

Friday, March 25, 2016

Vegan Pizza with "Mozzarella", Roasted Peppers and Mushrooms

Fresh and piping-hot from the ovens of Cafe Drake HRV, our perfectly browned pizza crust, thin and crispy, is every bit as enticing as the toppings. We owe this recent success to the dough recipe found here on the brilliant and always reliable Vedged Out blog.

This personal-sized Pizza for One is finished with olive oil, crushed red chilies and dried oregano and marjoram from our Summer 2015 gardens.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rice Noodles and Sesame Tofu Bowl

Step 1: Place rinsed and dried salad greens in a wide bowl.

Step 2: Top generously with soaked, rinsed and well-drained cold rice noodles.

Final Steps: Adorn noodles and greens with cold or warm roasted vegetables and sesame tofu. Garnish extravagantly with roasted peanuts, sliced hot green chilies, red onions or scallions and pickled carrots. Finally, drizzle over all some Vietnamese Dipping Sauce. Use remaining sauce for, well, dipping.

The Sesame Tofu can be prepared in 10 minutes and doesn't require marination. Can you believe it? Just pat dry 1 block of extra-firm tofu and slice into eight thin rectangles. Now carefully dip each slice, both sides, in a mix of 3 T. tamari or soy sauce and 1 T. dark sesame oil. The simplest way to do this, we learned from Isa Moskowitz, is to mix the tamari and oil on a large dinner plate. Pan fry the tofu slices in a lightly oiled skillet for about 5 minutes per side; keep the heat medium throughout. After 5 minutes, before flipping tofu, sprinkle the slices with 1 T. sesame seeds. It helps to press them into the tofu a bit with a spatula or your fingers. Enjoy the tofu hot, warm or cold; as an entree, a side dish or stuffed in a sandwich.

Our Vietnamese-style Pickled Carrots are a handy condiment to have in the fridge. Just a few enliven sandwiches, under-dressed salads and even plain brown rice. Peel and slice very thinly 1 lb. of carrots and 1/2 cup red onion; transfer to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle 3-4 T. sugar and just less than 1 T. salt over the vegetables. Massage the sugar and salt into the veggies until mostly absorbed. Place in a clean, quart-sized jar and cover with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 1 week. The pickles are best if allowed to sit for 24 hours before sampling. For a more traditional preparation of Do Chua, use half carrots and half daikon (peeled and sliced into thin batons). 

As usual, Leftovers for Lunch

Saturday, March 19, 2016

It's 5 PM at Cafe Drake HRV - Dinner Time for the Children.

Whatever's Left In the Fridge Becomes Lunch at Cafe Drake HRV

Homemade whole wheat crackers, Seed Bread, Red Pepper and Walnut Spread, Olives, Chayote Salad, Fresno Chile Hummus and Cream of Rutabaga Soup

The seeded bread happens to be gluten-free as well and is probably the easiest thing you'll make all week. When warm from the oven, the texture is pleasantly chewy and moist, but the bread can turn "gummy" after sitting for a few hours. Leftover slices can be redeemed - and perhaps, improved even -  by toasting. The recipe can be found HERE in the June 2015 archives of Cafe Drake HRV.

Chickpea and Broccoli Vegan "Bisque" with Toasted Whole Rye Bread and Salad of Romaine Lettuce, Orange Bell Peppers and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Clear-Out-The-Fridge Nachos

Cafe Drake HRV nachos are topped with vegan Cheddar, crumbled tofu "feta cheese", creamy pinto beans, cubes of roasted sweet potato, minced red onion, sliced jalapenos, guacamole and cilantro. The most effective way we know of recreating the tangy saltiness of feta in a non-dairy "cheese" is simple and economical: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 8 oz. of extra-firm tofu. Just throw it in in. Cook for 1 minute and drain quickly. Allow the tofu to cool slightly before cutting it into 4 or 5 pieces. In a large mixing bowl add 6 cups water, 3 T. salt and 3 t. lemon juice. Stir briskly to dissolve the salt. Add the tofu and make sure it's covered completely by the brine. If not, cut the tofu into smaller pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. When ready to use, remove from the brine and cut into small pieces or crumble with your fingers. You can store the tofu in the marinade for at least 5 days, refrigerated and covered.

Panko-Breaded Soy Cutlet, Black Rice, Sauteed Mushrooms, Cucumber, Grated Yellow Beet Salad, Roasted Carrots and Vietnamese Dipping Broth. This verdant broth serves at Cafe Drake HRV as dipping liquid for seitan-based French Dip and Banh Mi sandwiches, a spicy base for noodle soups both hot and cold and as an elegant palate-tickler to more formal meals, when we serve it warm in small clear glasses as either a light starter or an intermezzo between courses. You might as well double the recipe and freeze some. It's that good. Begin by running under the broiler until just charred 1 large onion (peeled and halved) and a 2" piece of ginger (peeled). Rinse the veggies for a second only and toss in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 4 cups low-sodium or unsalted vegetable broth, 1 t. coriander seeds (lightly crush with your fingers when adding for best flavor), a 3" cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, 1 peeled and diced carrot and 2-3 t. tamari or soy sauce. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. After 30 minutes, strain the soup; you'll need to discard the spices but save the veggies for another use if you like. Off heat, add to the broth 1/4 packed cup of finely minced cilantro and 1-2 T. chopped mint leaves. We're done now.

Mushroom, Corn and Seitan Stir-Fry, Turmeric Rice, Sesame Noodles, Garden Salad and Steamed Edamame 

Brown Rice with Gomasio, Salad, Roasted Eggplant, Ethiopian Red Lentils and Senegalese Spinach with Peanuts. Rummage through the Cafe Drake HRV archives and snag our recipe for the West African spinach stew HERE.

Did we have lunch one day this week in a Ridley or Tony Scott film?? Bathed in unintentional atmospheric lighting: Bulgar and Lentil Loaf, Escarole Salad and Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices

Korean Mung Bean Pancakes (recipe HERE), Rice, Yellow Beets and Chile-Braised Kale