Monday, March 26, 2012

Crustless Kale and Smoky Curl Quiche

So I'm a big fan of soy order three pounds of them from Viva Vegan online store kinda love! I have enjoyed them lots of ways but the way I most enjoy them is from Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson. Her recipe for Smoky Curls (think bacon) is the most delicious thing! I have adapted the recipe slightly just for personal tastes but it is essentially the same. One difference is that I use maple syrup instead of agave but that is mostly because maple syrup is seriously abundant around here. After making batch after batch of Smoky Curls, it dawns on me that I should try them in a quiche and it was a very smart idea. I chopped them up small and crisped them up nicely and added them into my quiche and they made for the best bites. Take that ham!

Here's what the final product came out like....

I went crustless mostly because I didn't want to bother making pastry but you totally could if you wanted to. I found it didn't really need it and baked nicely in a glass pie plate. I managed to scribble down the recipe as I was furiously throwing things in the food processor. Let me know if you try it out! You are going to have to buy a copy of Julie's book in order to get the secrets of the Smoky Curls, but you won't regret it! The book is full of delicious recipes and it's always a good thing to support vegan authors! While you are there, you should pre-order a copy of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes! It's just $9.89 right now which is a super deal and I know personally that all the sandwiches are amazing!

Crustless Kale and Smoky Curl Quiche

1 block of extra firm or firm tofu (not silken, 1lb), crumbled
3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup yellow miso
2-3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves of garlic
100g of cashews (around 3/4 cup)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, maybe less, maybe more (yeah, it's that kind of recipe)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 big ol' leeks, sliced thin
1/2 of a big bunch of curly kale, chiffonaded (is that a word?)
1/2 cup Smoky Curls, small pieces, really crisped
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375F and spray a glass pie plate with cooking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of your food processor, combine crumbled tofu, nooch, miso, mustard, garlic and cashews. Pulse until it is thoroughly combined. Slowly add the unsweetened almond milk while running until it is smooth and thick. I went for a thick hummus consistency. Set aside.

In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and then add in the thinly sliced leek and sauté until starting to brown and get all caramelized. Once this happens, add the kale. Toss it around in there and let it cook until the kale is softened and wilted a bit. Remove from heat and add to the food processor, along with the Smoky Curls and pulse just to combine but you don't want to purée it in there. Scrape it all into the greased pie plate and smooth out the top. Put it in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes, until it is browned on the top and is set even in the middle. Let cool for a minute or two, then slice and enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Network Friday: Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

This Food Network Friday recipe is brought to you by Tyler Florence. I can't even poke fun at him or his shows because I really do enjoy them. He is one of the more credible stars on Food Network for me at least. I will say that this recipe is simple and yet I found it hard to veganize. It was the shrimp that were causing me the trouble. I never ate seafood except a few fish sticks when I was too little to know I was eating fish so I had no idea what I was trying to replace. Ryan used to be a shrimp eater so I asked him for some insight but he didn't really have much since he thought they didn't really taste like much. I bounced all around trying to figure a way to either mimic the dish or completely spin it on its head and ended on mimic. I decided on mushrooms to replace the shrimp and went for a pound just like he had for the shrimp. I went with plain old white button mushrooms but you really could go more adventurous and make it a mix of gourmet mushrooms too. We skipped the wine as well but did a sub of veggie broth with a little white wine vinegar added (thanks Tami for that sub) and put it all on a bed of whole wheat spaghetti. The only change to the cooking instructions I made was that I sauteed the mushrooms first in batches to get them browned then put them all back in the pan with the shallots and garlic just figuring the garlic and shallots would burn if I left them in there while trying to get the mushrooms to brown first.

The verdict...Ryan enjoyed this one (the man loves him some pasta) but for me it was less of a winner. I think I over did the lemon juice for my tastes and there was no taking it back unfortunately. Even mom enjoyed this one so maybe I'm just being picky!

Here's a picture of the finished product and you can see I served it up with some peas. They ended up getting tossed in with it after the picture was taken and they added a nice flavour and helped with the over lemoning for me too.

Don't forget to check out what everyone else did with this one (I know I'm curious) over at Tami's blog and think about cooking along with us for the next Food Network Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leftover Revamp

I am kinda the Queen of leftovers. Notorious for cooking more than enough and then some. Lunch around here is usually just warmed up whatever we had the night before and sometimes it's even better the next day. Sometimes just sitting overnight lets all the flavours mingle a bit more and come together even better when it is warmed up the next day. Some things are even better cold the next day (like my Kentucky Fried Tofu, don't judge until you try it) or even pizza. But every now and then I do a little revamp on the leftovers, turn them into something even better than they were the night before. This week that's happened twice and I had to share them!

The first one was a product of some excellent stuffed shells I made. I kind of threw a bunch of stuff (firm tofu, cashews, umi plum vinegar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, garlic, nooch and miso paste) into the food processor to make some ricotta. Stuffed that into some large shell pasta and smothered with some tomato sauce I picked up at Costco (just to note the sauce is awesome and all it has in it is tomatoes, basil and salt) and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. It was tasty that night with a side of miso garlic bread but one bite with both was mind blowing. Right then and there I knew I had to make a sandwich the next day with the leftovers. The next day I waited patiently for lunch to finally come and toasted a hamburger bun, slathered it with miso garlic butter (equal parts yellow miso paste, vegan margarine and a pinch of two of garlic powder) and sat two stuffed shells down on the bun. It was freaking magical. The picture I took does not do it justice but it was seriously delicious and needs to be made again...soon and with bigger buns!

Just a day or two later, I was testing out a recipe from Joni Marie Newman's upcoming book for Buffalo Hot Sauce on her delicious Toffulo Wings. The wings and sauce were incredibly good. I don't usually go for hot stuff since it gives me some serious indigestion but I decided to go for it just for Joni. I was definitely glad I did and didn't suffer too badly at all. The next day I was looking forward to lunch yet again and then I remembered something I pinned awhile back on Pinterest. A recipe that was not at all vegan but I was intrigued by the idea. They were Buffalo Chicken Nachos so I quickly spread out some corn chips in a pan, chopped up the left over Toffulo Wings, drizzled both homemade ranch dressing and leftover Buffalo hot sauce all over and baked for 12-15 minutes at 425F. Holy hot damn these were tasty! Poor Ryan was on the phone from work as I was digging in and was super jealous of what I had made. Guess I'll have to make these again sometime soon for him to try! Any other leftover lovers out there?