Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vegan Turkey Saver

Vegan Turkey Saver

 Yield: 8 servings

1 gallon water
2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups vegetable broth*
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce**
Cheesecloth (one double thick 24-inch by 16-inch piece)
2 6-inch pieces of string
1 batch uncooked stuffing (optional - I don't use it)

*If using the homemade vegetable broth, you may need to add salt to this recipe.
**Substitute Bragg liquid aminos if desired.

1) In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a low boil.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten, yeast flakes, thyme, onion powder, and salt.
3) Add the vegetable broth, oil, and soy sauce, stir just until combined.
4) Form into a loaf shape.
5) Place gluten loaf on cheesecloth and roll up (not to tight). Tie each end with a piece of string.
6) Place in simmering water, covered, for 1 hour*** (2 hours for a double batch).
7) Preheat oven to 325.
8) Take roast out of water and remove cheesecloth.  Place in baking dish with prepared stuffing, if desired.
9) Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

*** Make stuffing while turkey is simmering in the water.  Cook the stuffing in the baking dish with the turkey.

I have read this variation, but never tried it:

Variation: Vegan Turkey with Puff Pastry
After turkey is done boiling, remove it from the water and remove cheesecloth. Roll out a piece of puff pastry so that it will cover your turkey.  Cover turkey with puff pastry.  Brush puff pastry with a mixture of half ketchup and half water.  Sprinkle with a little bit of thyme.  Bake turkey, uncovered, at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes.

 This recipe has been adapted from this great cookbook by Brian McCarthy:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Home Grown Shiitake and Nettle Pasta

  Hasn't the weather been incredible?!? I know it's scary from an environmental standpoint, but I am enjoying it anyway! This weekend while mowing - seriously - mowing in March - I came across the year's first patch of nettles. Young and green. Yum! We were already planning to have pasta with a mushroom sauce made with our home grown shiitakes (a gift project from Ansel), so nettles would go perfectly!

  Chris made the supper free style, so this is more an overview than a recipe. First he caramelized some onions in fake butter. Then he added garlic. Then sauteed about a dozen chopped shiitake heads. They produced quit a bit of liquid. When it reduced he added a splash of whipping cream and salt and pepper.

In another pan he sauteed the nettle (leaves only!) with garlic.

He also cooked up a big pot of fettuccine.

Combine everything, serve with a little vegan parmesan. Delicious!!!!!!!

It was so beautiful, we ate outside!

We ended the evening with an Equinox bonfire, Mad Farmer style.

  Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ostara Soufflé

  Happy Ostara!

Inspired by the book The Boy Who Ate Around, our Ostara supper was the Giant Cheese Soufflé from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone with a side of asparagus. It was a big hit, and all of the ingredients are available at Aldi.

  This grand looking soufflé is baked in a round casserole- 13 - 14  inches across and at least two inches high. I used a dutch oven and a soufflé dish. Serves 6 - 8 (My family ate a double recipe)

5 + Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp parmesan
6 Tbsp flour
2 cups warm milk
6 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup grated cheddar
1 tsp paprika
10 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter your large dish and dust the sides with parmesan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour, and cook over low heat for several minutes. Whisk in the milk all at once, lower the heat, and cook for one minute, stirring. Remove from heat and beat in the yolks two at a time. Stir in the cheese. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt and the paprika.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold firm peaks. Fold them into the yolk mixture, then pour into the casserole. Put in the center of the oven and lower the heat to 375. Bake until the soufflé has risen and is golden brown all over the top, about 30 minutes. A slight quivering in the middle and firmness around the edges mean that the center will be loose enough to provide a creamy sauce. If you prefer a firmer center, bake 5 minutes longer. In either case, serve as soon as it's ready.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Basic Green Soup

 This has become a new favorite at Many Hands House....

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 servings

To make ahead: Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Season with lemon just before serving.
This kale and spinach soup gets complex flavor from slowly cooked onions and lemon juice, while a sprinkle of rice gives it body and a velvety texture. Serve with a swirl of fruity, fragrant extra-virgin olive oil for richness.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound)
  • 14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the kale and spinach. 

3. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the kale. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.

4. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie

 Tonight we made Broccoli and Gorgonzola Pie from our new cookbook "Plenty" by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Because I do not type, here is a picture of the recipe (or you can look here):

  The recipe was pretty involved, but turned out delicious. We made two versions. One with mozzarella and one with gorgonzola. If you make this, be sure you really love gorgonzola! You could substitute goat cheese, smoked cheddar, or Daiya as well.

Rolling puff pastry

Garbanzo beans in place of baker's beads


Because she wants to be in the blog EVERY POST!

We plan on cooking quite a few more of these recipes, and we'll let you know what we think. In the meantime, please follow my good friend and moral compass' blog The Year of Plenty.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Taco Tuesday

In response to this post over at The Pagan Family, this recipe is dedicated to Michelle.

Goat Cheese, Spinach and Tofu Tacos


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry, and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 10-ounce package frozen corn (2 cups), thawed
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • small flour tortillas, warmed
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup store-bought refrigerated salsa


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the tofu, chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the corn. Cook, tossing, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss until wilted.
  5. Fill the tortillas with the tofu mixture, goat cheese, and salsa.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Creative Italian

  Have you seen the deals on Asian and Italian food at Aldi this week? Holy cow! We had an amazing sushi feast with friends Thursday night, and tonight it was creative Italian.

  Creative? How? Well, Chris and Rhiannon made two wonderful sauces, and a side salad, while I drank cheap wine and blogged. AWESOME!

  Because of the wine part, I will explain mostly in photos.

Gnocchi packaged......

Cooked gnocchi. 2 minutes!!!!!!!!!

Sauce one: my children LOVE these combined. Add a little nutritional yeast. I can't explain it, but it is pretty f@#$ing good.

Sauce two: Butternut squash soup and a roux.

soup, onions,  vegan butter, garlic

Pagan boy cooking in his new Night's Watch shirt. Super hot!

Parsley added - delicious!

And again, the final product. Butternut squash sauce on the left, "orange" sauce on the right.

And there you have it. 100% Aldi, 100% vegetarian, 100% sexy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meal Planning for Brigid and Beyond

   Here is my shopping list for this upcoming week, including our family Brigid celebration on Sunday:

Meals this week:

Vegan Irish Stew with soda bread and honey carrots
Pierogi and brussel sprouts
homemade pizza
The Farm lentil loaf
sushi <3
chickenless pot pie
chick pea cutlets
broccoli stir fry with peanut butter sauce
egg pie
Kitchen Witch bread

Check back in for the recipes you don't know!

What are you cooking up this week?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vegan Irish Stew for Brighid

Rise to your feet and open your eyes and let the white Brighit come in!
Rise to your feet and open your eyes and let the red Brighit come in!
Rise to your feet and open your eyes and let the black Brighit come in

Welcome! Welcome! A thousand times welcome!
Vegan Irish Stew


Serves 4 to 6

3 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

2 medium onions, (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and cut into thin half-moons

2 1/2 pounds vegetarian sausage, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme

3 cups homemade stock

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh curly- or flat-leaf parsley


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 1 pound of the potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; spread them out in a large (5- to 6-quart) heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven. Layer half the onions on top of the potatoes.

2.Place sausage cubes on top of onions. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Add the thyme. Place remaining onions on top of sausage. Add the stock and 1 cup water.

3.Place whole potatoes on top of onions. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Transfer to oven; cook, without stirring, 2 hours. Sprinkle with parsley.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Individual Heart-Shaped Apple Galettes

   I made this breakfast this morning for the children and I. They thought it was so special! But let me be honest here. This is junkfood. Delicious junk food. And I cheated on the recipe.

Here is the recipe as it appears in The Veganomicon:

Makes 6 Individual Galettes

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

A galette is a thin, freeform pie. Although here we have forced them into the shape of hearts, so they are no longer free. A thin layer of sweet, tangy apricot preserves is spread onto each crust before baking. A little sugar and cinnamon are sprinkled on top of the apple, making a lovely, simple fruit dessert with a crisp, melt-in-your-mouth crust for you and those you love. Or just you, six times.

2 cups all-purpose flour, or 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup very cold water

Apple filling:
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly (1/8" or less)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 teaspoons apricot preserves
canola oil spray

Prepare the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the shortening in three batches by the teaspoon, but you don't need to be precise with this; you just want to add it in small chunks. Cut the shortening into the flour with each addition, until the dough is crumbly and pebbly (I used to butter knives held together to achieve this)

In a measuring cup, combine the vinegar with 1/2 cup of cold water. Add the diluted vinegar to the flour mixture in three batches, gently mixing it into the dough with a fork, until the dough holds together when pinched. If need be, add up to 1/4 cup more water.

Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently a few times until it holds together. Form again into a ball and flatten just a bit into a disk. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. If you refrigerate longer, that is fine; but in that case you may need to leave it out for 15 minutes or so until you can easily roll it.

Fifteen minutes before you are ready to prepare the galette, preheat the oven to 425'F and slice your apples. Also, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and lightly grease a baking sheet.

On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 x 15-inch rectangle that is 1/4" thick. It helps if you flour the rolling pin as well, so the dough doesn't stick. Use a butter knife to cut four 8" hearts from the dough. When you have done four hearts, place them on the prepared baking sheet, roll out your dough scraps, and create two more hearts. Place those on the baking sheet as well.

Roll in the edges of each heart to create a rimmed crust. You will have to do some pulling on top where the two curves meet, but it doesn't have to be too precise, as long as you get the general heart shape. Now take a butter knife and score the rolled edges on a slight diagonal to create a pretty design. "Score" just means to press gently with the knife's edge. This not only makes the crust pretty, it also secures the rim in place.

Spread a teaspoon of the apricot preserves in each crust. Starting from the top, place four apple slices on both sides of the heart, slightly overlapping, to create a fan effect. You might have to press them into the edges if there doesn't seem to be room; that is perfectly fine. The curved side of the apple slices should go along with the curve at the top of the heart.

Spray with a bit of canola spray, to keep the apples from drying out, and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges of the crusts are golden brown.

Serve warm, with a scoop of vegan ice cream, if desired.

Now, I bet you're wondering about the "cheating" part. Well, I used premade pie crusts. The rolled kind that they sell in the refrigerator at Aldi. In fact, ALL of the ingredients in this recipe are from Aldi! Yay me! Here's the pics:

And my post wouldn't be complete without a picture of the baby eating it!

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