Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vegan Crab Cakes with Sriracha-Vegenaise Dressing


I really love Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from her cookbook, Vegan Brunch. The clever use of tempeh in these cakes yields a unique flakiness and texture—and these are perfect to enjoy during the summer months. I make these cakes on the regular during this season, and alway follow Isa's recipe exactly, but today I decided I would experiment with different spices and flavors to see what would happen. These tasted fantastic and paired perfectly with some sriracha-Vegenaise dressing.

INGREDIENTS
8 ounces three-grain tempeh
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 sheet of nori, pulverized into a powder, using a small coffee grinder
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp dill
1 TB sriracha
3 TB Vegenaise
2 TB capers
12 Ritz crackers, smashed (yes, they're vegan!)
1 TB water whisked with 1/2 tsp Ener-G
1 tsp baking powder
chickpea flour, for dusting the cakes
oil for frying
equal parts Vegenaise and sriracha mixed together, for serving

METHOD
First, break up the tempeh block into about 8 pieces. Place in a steamer basket with a bit of water, cover and steam for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and mash well with a strong fork.

Add in the next ten ingredients, mixing well. Try making a small patty in your hand—if it molds easily into a patty, you're all set. If not, try adding a few more crackers at a time until the mixture is firm enough to hold a patty shape. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.

When you are ready to prepare the cakes, form the mixture into little patties. Set aside.

Fill a small saucepan with enough oil to submerge the cakes. Heat over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.

Test the oil's readiness but dropping a pinch of the chickpea flour into it—if it bubbles up immediately, your ready to fry. Dust two cakes at a time with some of the chickpea flour and slowly slide them into the oil using a slotted heat-resistant spoon. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes and transfer to paper towels to cool and drain.

Serve with the sriracha-Vegenaise dressing. They even taste great cold as a breakfast the following day, dressing included!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homemade Granola with Dried Blueberries

This is the perfect breakfast to enjoy during the summer months. It does require turning on your oven, but this recipe makes a lot and lasts for a while, so it's worth it. I really like using brown rice syrup in granola—it blends together nicely with any kind of expeller-pressed oil and binds everything together without being too sticky. This tastes great mixed into a coconut or soy yogurt or served with a splash of fresh raw almond milk.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup expeller pressed oil (I use walnut oil)
2 1/2 cups thick rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup peanuts
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried blueberries

METHOD
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Pour 1/2 cup oil into a 1-cup sized measuring cup. Top it off by slowly pouring the 1/2 cup of brown rice on top of that. (The brown rice syrup is very sticky—pouring it into a partially-filled cup of oil ensures that it won't stick to anything.) Pour the mixture into a small bowl and mix vigorously for about a minute, using a strong fork. Set aside.


In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the blueberries and salt. Give the oil and syrup mixture another good stir and then pour it over the granola mixture. Stir until all of the granola is very well-coated.

Grease the corners of a large baking sheet with a bit of oil, then spread the granola onto the baking sheet evenly. Sprinkle with the salt and then place in the oven to bake for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes to prevent burning or sticking.

Stir the blueberries into the granola once it comes out of the oven. Let it cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fresh Basil and Kale Pesto

I really, really love kale, whether its baked, raw or sauteed. Kale has become increasingly mainstream over the years, perhaps due to some clever marketing or perhaps it's just gaining a resurgence of popularity from the past, or both. I've paired it here with basil for a rich and earthy pesto, which is perfect for enjoying during the summer months, when cranking up your oven just isn't an option. I've used vegan parmesan in this recipe, but nooch will also work.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups basil, packed
2 cups kale
1/2 cup pine nuts
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
1/3 cup vegan parm
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

METHOD
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend for no more than 45 seconds.

To serve: mix a generous amount of the pesto with angel hair pasta, or add to a tomato-based sauce, enjoy on crackers or spread on a bagel.