rants & recipes

Archive for May, 2010

Summer Cookout Staples

Posted by trktos on 30-May-2010

I’ve never been much of a fan of potato salad. But I think, what I’ve disliked about it all these years is too much “crunchy stuff” in it – chunks of celery, big bits of pickle, etc. At its basic level, potato salad is potatoes and mayonnaise – hard to go wrong with that!

Vegan Potato Salad (adapted from about half a dozen recipes online)


  • 44 ounces small yellow potatoes, peeled, diced, cooked until tender
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp tummeric
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • about 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish (I like Vlasic brand – more shredded that little crunchy chunks)
  • 1/2 tsp indian black salt
  • celery seed
  • pinch each of cumin, red pepper and ginger (probably can’t tell the difference if you left these out)
  • salt, black pepper
  • paprika


  1. Whisk all ingredients except potatoes and paprika.
  2. Pour sauce over warm potatoes, tossing to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with paprika.
  4. Refrigerate to cool.

Boston Baked Beans (a combination of Alton Brown’s recipe and one posted on vegsource.com ages ago)


  • 1 lb dry navy beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (membranes and seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbspĀ  soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke (or more, depending on how concentrated your smoke is)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt


  1. Saute onion and chilies in olive oil, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste, sugar and molasses.
  3. Then add vegetable broth, soy sauce and smoke.
  4. Add mustard powder, red and black peppers and salt.
  5. Add beans and cook until the mix begins to bubble. Clamp on lid and then transfer to the oven.
  6. Bake at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours.

Vegan Homemade Hot Dogs (from this recipe)


  • 30 grams almond, finely ground
  • 9 ounces tofu
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 34 grams onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 140 grams wheat gluten


  1. Combine all ingredients except wheat gluten.
  2. Process in food processor until completely smooth.
  3. Mix in gluten to form a wet dough.
  4. Shape into logs, roll in foil, pressure cook 15 minutes past achieving pressure.


  • These had really good, hot-dog-like flavor but the texture could have been denser – this was more like a ‘sausage’ in texture. The texture improved some on cooling and we didn’t boil them, as directed – I’ll try that tomorrow.

Posted in 0: Recipes, beans, grains, starches, meat subs, potato, seitan, side dish, tofu | Comments Off on Summer Cookout Staples

Mulberry Oat Bars

Posted by trktos on 28-May-2010

This week, we noticed a volunteer mulberry tree by our kitchen window had quite a few berries on it. So I picked the ripe ones for a few nights until I had enough to make oat bars.

Ummm, mulberries:

I’ve made this recipe a lot, using all kinds of fruit – the originally-called-for dates, cranberries, raspberries. This was the first thing I made to carry to a VIP (Vegetarians in Pitt County) potluck … there’s a very similar recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking but mine is adapted from an old Bisquick cookbook recipe.

Mulberry Oat Bars

Ingredients, crumb mix:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 scant tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash cinnamon

Ingredients, filling:

  • 12 ounces mulberries, or similar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • dash vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • ~ 1 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with a little cold water


  1. Grease and parchment a 9 x 9 baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Instructions, filling:

  1. Combine fruit, water and sugar.
  2. Heat on medium heat to a simmer, stirring and breaking up some of the fruit.
  3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add cornstarch and bring to a simmer to thicken.
  5. Turn off heat and stir in salt and vanilla.
  6. Let cool while making the crumb mix.

Instructions, crumb mix:

  1. Cream fat and sugar together.
  2. Combine rest of crumb ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Cut dry ingredients into fat/sugar until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Press half of the crumb mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Top with filling.
  6. Spread remaining crumb mix on top of filling.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes.

These make a good breakfast bar or accompaniment to vegan ice cream.

Posted in 0: Recipes, bars, desserts, easy, fruit | Comments Off on Mulberry Oat Bars

Eastern NC Porkless BBQ

Posted by trktos on 23-May-2010

About three summers ago, we made ourselves a clay pot smoker (pretty much just like this one). Here are some photos of ours in action last year. It’s worked really well for us, although we’ve only used it 3 times.

We got an early jump on things this year, though, so maybe we’ll use it more than once this summer. (And I’m sure we’ll look at this post then – note to future selves – smoker temperature between 200 and 210 degrees!)

We used the same pork seitan recipe that we used the first year. Complete with Eastern NC vinegar-based bbq sauce, homemade buns and homemade coleslaw (recipes below). Absolutely delicious!!!

Creamy Coleslaw (based on this recipe)

  • 1 small/medium green cabbage (shredded yielded my about 1lb, 12 ounces)
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 14 tbsp vegan mayonaise (2 tbsp shy of 1 cup – go ahead, use a cup and slightly generous measures of mustard, vinegar and agave – there certainly wasn’t an over-abundane of sauce.)
  • about 2/3 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave
  • dash black pepper
  • about 1/4 tsp salt
  • celery and mustard seeds

Eastern NC Vinegar BBQ Sauce (based on this recipe)

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • pinch chipolte chili powder

Gently heat on stovetop to dissolve sugar. Best made a day in advance.

Hamburger Buns (based on this recipe)

  • 2 1/4 cups warm water plus 1/4 cup Better Than Milk Powder
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
  • 4 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

Bun instruction:

  1. Proof yeast for about 5 minutes.
  2. Knead dough in bread mixer for a few minutes, adding flour if needed but leaving slightly wet dough.
  3. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Dump dough out onto floured surface, kneading in more flour by hand until dough won’t stick to fingers. (I work in more whole wheat flour.
  5. Form rolls (I made about 16?), spacing out in two 9*13 greased pans.
  6. Let rolls rise for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. Put buns in oven, turn temperature down to 375.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave buns in oven for another 10 minutes or so.
  10. Remove pans from oven, flip buns with spatula and cover pans with foil or a towel – the steam will soften the bottoms so they aren’t crunchy.

Posted in 0: Recipes, bbq, bread, cabbage, main dish, rolls, spicy | Comments Off on Eastern NC Porkless BBQ

Potato Kale Enchiladas With Roasted Chili Sauce

Posted by trktos on 15-May-2010

Tonight’s dinner: enchiladas from Veganomicon … find the recipe here.

Posted in 0: Recipes, main dish, mexican, spicy | Comments Off on Potato Kale Enchiladas With Roasted Chili Sauce

Cheesecake Brownies

Posted by trktos on 10-May-2010

This year, I made a triple-batch of vegan cheesecake brownies for the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. They turned out okay … the recipe is from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Vegan Feast newsletter (Dec ’03 – Jan-’04) , so I’m not at liberty to post it. Sadly, she’s no longer publishing her newsletter but back issues are still for sale. And who can ever have too many tried-and-true vegan recipes?

Anyway, I said they were “okay” … here’s what I learned and what I did differently from the recipe.

I used Silk Coffee Creamer for the soy milk in the cheese filling part.

I omitted the orange zest.

Because the coffee creamer was so much sweeter than soymilk, I attempted to cut back on the sugar in the cheese part, only to add some powdered sugar because the filling wasn’t sweet enough.

I used parchment, liberally. There is no way I could have de-panned them, had I not.

A triple batch is the perfect amount for two 9*13 and one 8*8 pans. I swear, pan sizes in Canada are screwy … don’t think I’ve ever seen a 9*11 pan.

I thought I had way too much cheese and I couldn’t bring myself to use it all. This was a mistake. Note to future self, trying this recipe again – use it all. The brownie part will rise up through some and the cheese filling will set. I repeat, USE IT ALL!

Another note to future self – maybe it would be wise to invest in one of those special “brownie pans” before trying a gooey brownie recipe again. This recipe, like many others, suffered from the “perfect on the outside, ‘raw’ in the middle” syndrome. I baked it longer than called for. I ended up saving out the middles (they were too gooey to send off for the bake sale) … these middles received a second baking in our new convection microwave and I feel a little guilty to confess – I think they were the best of the bunch!

Posted in 0: Recipes, brownies, cream cheese, dairy subs, desserts | Comments Off on Cheesecake Brownies