Two Soups for Teacher

Soba Noodle Soup

Two amazing soups from “The Vegan Table” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Both eaten at my desk at school. Same week. Same pile of papers.  Notice the panda bear coffee cup.

Potato Leek Soup

If you don’t have this cookbook, then I recommend you rush to the library or book store and pick up a copy. Every recipe I have tried has been perfect. I especially love the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake which I’ve made at least 3 times in the past year. Included in the cookbook is Colleen’s famous Garlic and Greens Soup, which I hear is heavenly!

Just photos today – you’ll have to purchase the book to get the details!

Curried Tofu - Warm and spicy on a cold November night.

This would be a perfect complement to any Asian or Indian meal. It would also be good on a green salad, maybe with chick peas and fresh sliced tomatoes. I served it with a big pile of rice, cauliflower and peas that I smothered in a bottle of Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce.

The recipe calls for a full quarter cup of curry…. I was leery of the amount, but if you like curry, then I encourage you to go for it and use the entire quarter cup. It also uses a lot of cumin seeds which were nice and crunchy. This recipe is modified from "Veganonicon" by the incredible vegan goddess, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. 

Here’s what you need:
3 T rice wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 T soy sauce
¼ C curry powder
1 t cumin seeds
1 pound firm or extra firm tofu – sliced and pressed dry

Here’s what you do:

Mix marinade ingredients and smear over tofu. Marinate for at least an hour. Grill or fry in a tiny bit of oil. 

Flourless Chocolate Tart (From “The Vegan Table”)

Apparently everyone else has their mind on pumpkin …. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes and so forth. 

 I have my mind on chocolate. I made this for a dessert buffet and it was killer. Gotta plan some sort of dinner party so I can make this again.

I lifted up the tart so you can see the nutty crust. Delish! Look carefully and you
can see my new orange purse in the background....vegan, of course! 
 Thanks to the awesome Colleen Patrick-Goudreau for the recipe from “The Vegan Table.”  

Baked Almond Feta - Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

"Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy." (Gary Francione)

Well, here it is. My 20th post about vegan food during the month of September. Be sure to click on the link above to check out other bloggers who participated in the VeganMoFo this year. There is some pretty amazing food being eaten out there! 

This baked almond feta comes from Maple Spice and I followed the recipe to the letter, except that I don't have cheese cloth. You can see I used a few coffee filters to drain my cheese. 

Basically, you whirl the ingredients in a blender, drain the mixture overnight in the fridge, shape it and bake it. 

The crusty part of this cheese was especially nice. It held up perfectly as a spread on crackers and it would be perfect in a lasagna or stuffed in some shells smothered in marinara sauce. 

Miso Ramen Stir-fry with Greens and Beans – Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
Vegan Month of Food  2014
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

This had so much flavor! Delicious and easy to throw together after a busy work day. 

The Bean Eaters
By Gwendolyn Brooks (1963)

They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Tin flatware.

Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes
And putting things away.

And remembering….
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that is full of beads and receipts and dolls              and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.

This poem almost makes me cry when I read it. You too?

Here’s what you need: (from Appetite for Reduction, Isa Chandra – the vegan goddess of the universe)
1 pound broccoli – stems and florets
8 ounces  noodles (I used ramen, Isa suggests  udon )
1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems removes, chopped
1 C green onions, sliced
16 ounce can azuki beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 C miso
½ C hot water
4 t sesame seeds
Sriracha hot sauce
Sesame oil (my addition)

Here’s what you do:

Cook noodles according to package. Set aside but be sure to keep ½ C of the starchy pasta water. Satue broccoli in a tiny bit of oil until for tender. You can add a splash of water and cover the pan to encourage it. It’s OK if there are a few brown spots. Set aside. In the same pan, gently saute the minced garlic, making certain it does not brown. Add the Swiss chard and onions to the pan. When the leaves have cooked down, add the beans and heat through. Use the hot pasta water to thin the miso and pour this over the Swiss chard. Heat through and mix with the noodles. Garnish with sesame seeds and sesame oil. 

Green Tabasco Sauce - Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
Vegan Month of Food  2014
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

“I trust your garden was willing to die. I do not think that mine was – it perished with beautiful reluctance, like an evening star.” Emily Dickinson, in a letter to her Aunt. 1880

My Lucy loves to nibble on strawberries - it's kinda annoying. 

A garden that perishes with reluctance. A few lingering eggplants, ever bearing strawberries that are still blooming, and jalapeno plants that just won’t quit. And then there are my gorgeous Asian pears, just waiting to be picked. I find my little corner of the gardening world to be a paradise of sorts, each and every summer day (and now into the fall.)

I got this recipe from a 'cyber friend' on a "Lutherans Who Love to Cook" Facebook page
 Don't you just love how small and friendly our world is becoming?
Thanks Sandy!! Your recipe rocks!! 

Here’s what you need:
1 pound fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and de-veined
1 ½ - 2 C Vinegar

Here’s what you do:

Place peppers, salt and vinegar in food processor and blend until quite fine and liquidy. Transfer to a sauce pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  After simmering, you may strain the sauce  or return it to the processor and continue to blend until smooth. This tabasco freezes very well. 

Freeze in portion size ice cube trays. Perfect! 

Eggplant Bacon - Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
Vegan Month of Food  2014
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

“The Harding White House was frequently bustling with guests during large formal gatherings and small intimate parties. President Warren G. Harding, inaugurated March 4, 1921, favored Eggplant Salad West Coast Style consisting of eggplant slices that were first baked, and then marinated in a mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire and chili sauces. These were presented in a lettuce-lined bowl and garnished with chopped hard-cooked eggs.” (from )

Mr. Smith: “I see we’ve been invited to the White House for dinner next week.”

Mrs. Smith: “I certainly hope Mr. Harding has not included that horrid Eggplant Salad West Coast Style on the menu.”

Mr. Smith: “Yes, I agree! I cannot stomach the thought of eating that slimy purple thing!”

Mrs. Smith: “Maybe we can simply push it around on our plate.”

Mr. Smith: “Or maybe we can say we are allergic to it in all its forms.”

Mrs. Smith: “If we’re lucky, we can slip our portion to the dog.”

Mr. Smith: “Shall we cancel the invitation?”

Mrs. Smith: “Oh, dear, I did so much want to visit the White House…..”

Mr. Smith: “But darling, an EGGPLANT!”

Mrs. Smith: “Alas, we must to the honorable thing and cancel the dinner invitation. How else can we avoid the dreaded vegetable?”

Mr. Smith: “Why MUST Mr. Harding insist on serving EGGPLANT?”

Mrs. Smith: “…sigh….”

 Here's what you need:
One medium eggplant, sliced 1/8 inch on a mandolin
1 T maple syrup
2 T soy sauce
1/2 t liquid smoke

Here's what you do: 
Bake the eggplant slices on an oiled baking sheet at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, turning them over and removing them if they get too brown. You need to watch them closely. 

Prepare the marinade by whisking the remaining ingredients together. 
Dip each slice of baked eggplant in the marinade and return to the baking sheet. Continue to bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 more minutes. Watch the slices closely and turn them over often. 

Easy Tofu Bacon – Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
Vegan Month of Food  2014
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

“True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which is deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.” Milan Kundara “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”
My husband and I sometimes read the same book at the same time, creating a sort of mini book club. (Our favorite was “Tortilla Flat” written by John Steinbeck. Such lovable characters! Unforgettable! Read it!) 

Actually it’s pretty rare that we enjoy the same type of book, but we’re both big readers. For example, he *loved* the sci-fi classic “Dune” and suggested that I read it, but I could barely get through it and in all honesty, I didn’t really even understand it. Not a lot for the two of us to discuss at our ‘mini book club.’
This summer we decided on “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” by Milan Kundera.  A beautifully written novel about how each decision we make influences our lives.  I think it also had lots to say about finding happiness in the places we find ourselves; finding contentment in what life brings. I found the setting – Czechoslovakia, 1968 – very informative. I think we might equate what happened to the Czechs to what is happening to the Ukrainians right now.

Anyway, I loved all the characters and I especially enjoyed the character of  their pet dog that they loved so very much. The novel takes a sharp turn right at the end, when the dog dies of cancer (sorry for the spoiler, but if you read at all, you know when a dog is in a novel, it’s gonna die….sob, sob….)  Kundera writes at length about man’s ability to show compassion toward animals. This is where we encounter the powerful quote I share today.

Can we love a dog and not love a pig? Could you be open to putting down the bacon and eating tofu bacon? Simple questions to ask yourself

Easy Tofu Bacon : find the recipe HERE

Vietnamese Sriracha Cole Slaw – Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
Vegan Month of Food  2014
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

Affinity by Minnie Filson

I wonder if the cabbage knows
He is less lovely than the Rose;
Or does he squat in smug content,
A source of noble nourishment;
Or if he pities for her sins
The Rose who has no vitamins;
Or if the one thing his green heart knows –
That self-same fire that warms the Rose?

Nut Loaf – Vegan Month of Food

Poesy and Plate
Vegan Month of Food  2014
(check out the hundreds of VeganMoFo blogs HERE)
My goal: cook and blog about vegan food 20 times
  during the month of September. 

My theme: words and food

Night is My Sister, and How Deep in Love, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Night is my sister, and how deep in love,
How drowned in love and weedily washed ashore,
There to be fretted by the drag and shove
At the tide's edge, I lie—these things and more:
Whose arm alone between me and the sand,
Whose voice alone, whose pitiful breath brought near,
Could thaw these nostrils and unlock this hand,
She could advise you, should you care to hear.
Small chance, however, in a storm so black,
A man will leave his friendly fire and snug
For a drowned woman's sake, and bring her back
To drip and scatter shells upon the rug.
No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.

Day One - Delicious!

I’m pulling out the big vegan guns today with a nut loaf. This is the type of recipe I usually tip-toe around for about a year, glancing at the recipe from time to time, wondering when my husband will be out of town so I can try it – alone, in the privacy of a plate hovering over the garbage disposal in case of a gastronomic disaster. For an entire year, I ask myself, “Too vegan? Too many nuts? Where are the beans? Will I gag? Just plain old too weird?”

Well, first let me say that there is no such thing as ‘too vegan’ cuz ‘vegan’ just means ‘real food in its natural state’. I mean, for example, an apple is vegan.  Let me also say, there’s truly no thing as ‘too many nuts’ is there? Besides, these are pulverized so much that it’s not like eating a mouthful of walunts….crunch, crunch, crunch….no, not at all.

Next I want to say that I did not gag and I did not hover over the garbage disposal. Just the opposite.  I ate the entire 3 nut loaves all by myself. Mr. Living Cookbook never ate a bite. (Maybe I secretly DO harbor a smidge of ‘too vegan’ deep inside? Gotta get over that…..)

Leftovers the next day - still delicious! 

I include the touching poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay because the owner of this delicious recipe is one of three sisters – all three vegetarians their entire lives. I believe this was their mother’s recipe, originally called ‘Mother Eastlund’s Nut Roast.” I was fortunate enough to be given a copy by her son in law. He told me that the sisters were raised near a slaughter house and therefore became vegetarian. (I pause here to wonder what might happen if we all had a glimpse into a slaughter house….hmmmm.)

This nut loaf was frozen, uncooked. It turned out great!
 Just the tiniest bit soggy in the middle, as you might see in the photo. 

Mother Eastlund’s Nut Roast
 (note: This make an incredible amount! Cut this recipe in half and it’s enough for 1 ½ loaf pans, or one loaf pan and one smaller casserole for the freezer. This freezes great!)

2 lbs English walnuts (Diamond brand is best)
½ pkg. herb croutons (such as Pepperidge Farm seasoned)
1 ½ green peppers
4 stalks celery
1 ½ medium onions
Some sprigs of fresh parsley

Grind all of the above in a food processor until very fine

¾ - 1 large can of tomato juice (just keep adding juice till it’s moist but not wet – mine might have been too wet)
3 eggs (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer, but I think flax eggs would be better.)
½ t ground marjoram
½ t poultry type seasoning (I used a homemade Chicken-Style seasoning)
Beau Monde seasoning and tobacco to taste

Mix all ingredients and place in a buttered loaf pan
Press 3 T butter (Earth Balance is the best) into the top of the loaf which will create a nice crust
Bake 350 ° for 45-60 minutes or until brown.
Cool before slicing. (Mine was a bit wet in the center, but it didn’t affect the taste. The loaves I pulled from the freezer were also a bit wet.)

Serve with Mushroom Gravy.
(note: double the gravy recipe to have enough to serve over mashed potatoes)
Saute lots of mushrooms in butter until brown. Set aside. In the same pan brown 1 t sugar until toasted, but not burned. Add 2 T butter, and 1 T flour to create a nice brown roux. Add 2 C veggie broth and stir till thick. Return the mushrooms to the gravy.

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