Spinach - Mushroom Quiche

Over at the Post Punk Kitchen Forum, there was a discussion about Quiche. Vegan variety to be sure.
A link was posted to a recipe by Peter Berley's offering from his book The Modern Vegetarian.
Having made a few Vegan Quiches with great success, the winner being the Broccoli one from Vegan Brunch (An awesome book, btw), I decided to give this one a try.
A few changes were made:
1) Having no sesame seeds on hand, a Zaatar mix was used in their place.
2) Frozen spinach that was thawed and well drained sped up the process.
3) About half the oil called for in the filling.

It was really good! The crust was both crunchy and flakey, the filling firm, tender and borsting with flavor, and the meal so very filling. (Although there was still room for some left over birthday Vegan Carrot cake, of course)

Was is crowned the new Quiche winner?
Nope, that honor is still firmly held by the Vegan Brunch.
This one is a solid second.

I went a bit heavy handed on the Paprika...
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Vine and Dine - Blue Plate Special Wheat Meat Loaf

How I love American Vegan Kitchen! Not only is full of mouth watering recipes that are intensely, in a good way, flavorful and easy to make, but it is also written by an extremely nice and very giving person. I also like that the recipes are very "forgiving".
So imagine how happy I was that for the next two Vine and Dine events, the cooking comes from this fantastic book? Very!

The first cook a long is the Blue Plate Special Wheat Meat Loaf. (Try saying that really fast after a few glasses of the "Vine"...)
For a combination of necessity and pure laziness, I made a few changes. These are, in no particular order (I've been watching WAY too much of three different versions of The Voice):
1) Tofu instead of Seitan (laziness)
2) Soy Curls in place of the TVP (necessity and laziness)
3) Dry bread crumbs (you get the picture by now)
4) Baked in a loaf pan (Preference)

And it STILL turned out to be outstanding! See, so forgiving. (Hope Tami is as well) :)
The loaf was bursting with flavor, texture, moist on the inside and a bit crunchy on the outside.
The side dishes were roasted potatoes (smoked paprika, lemon pepper, hot red pepper, smoked salt and a dash of oil) along with a sauté of fresh spinach, mushrooms, garlic and a dash of red wine.

I think that bear would have been a perfect companion for this meal, but since there was non in the house, and yes, due to being lazy, white wine was the served.
I'd love to tell which one, but the bottle went directly to the big recycling bin, and there are limits to what one will do for the details that make up this post.
It was a lovely dry white from Lone Madrone.

The next Vine and Dine will feature a selection from American Vegan Kitchen that Tami was kind enough to let me pick.
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Tassajara Cookbook

For years I've been dreaming of spending time at Tassajara. So far it remains just that.
While killing time at the library, I came across this beautiful book, and well, fell in love.
A quick trip to my favorite online store, and mere days later this puppy was in my hands.
This is not a book for the new cook by any means. There are a lot of assumptions made throughout.
If you do get a copy, please be sure to read the forward. Understanding the principles of Zen cooking will help guide one to success with this book.
All five initial recipes were a great success! I meant to only make one or two, but got carried away...
The Kabob is a combination of The Tassajara Marinated Tofu and a Fauxsages from Fatfreevegan.com, along with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.
Counter clockwise, Tuscan White Bean Salad,  Quinoa Caviar, Artichoke-Walnut Spread, and Mexican Tempeh Salad. Simply an awesome meal, with leftovers for days.
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AFR - My new buddy

So, here we are, three months into 2012, and with some major changes going on, my weight has gone up.
(Funny, how when you stop teaching 20+ classes a week and still eat like you are, the muffin tops and the rest of those lovely areas just keep on growing). :)
Appetite for Reduction to the rescue.
First up were a trio of soups. The Arabian Lentil and Rice was the clear winner here.
Knowing that one could not live on soap alone, and that the Bird likes a full meal, I ventured further into the books and came up with this awesome meal : Blackened Tofu, Garlicky Mushrooms and Kale, and some steamed corn. Spicy, and sweet, crunchy and velvety, just a fantastic trio for a Sunday night meal.
I used the Kale Salad mix. So easy and love the added veggies that come with it.
Next time, and there so will be an encore, will double the spice mix for the tofu.
Looking forward to trying more from this great book in the upcoming weekends.
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Pumpkin Srambled Tofu

This is NOT adding a new recipe to the trilion already floating around in cyberspace. It's a review of an ingenious twist by AsttoNOMZ. So there. :)

Here is the kicker. I don't like pumpkin. Never have.
Yet when coming across this post, I sort of feel in love with the idea of it, and of letting go of some long held food aversions.

It turned out to be a good call. This dish is, well, delish!
Only change was to add a tablespoon of hot sauce after all the other yummy ingredients where in the pan.
For the greens, I went with a pre-mixed kale salad from Harvest Sensations. It is pre-washed and includes red cabbage and carrot shreds. The local health food store, as well as Von's, stock this.

Tummy approved.
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Tofu "Bacon"

What the blog sphere is not in need off are more Tofu Scramble and Fake Bacon ideas. Yet, all the same, here is my take on the latter.
It's worthy of a post since, well, it's my first time sharing a recipe!
Having read, and tried, many variations on the theme, I've come up with one that is easy, relatively fast, and IMHO, tasty.

As we all have our preferences please note that these measurements are at best an approximation. (I cook like my Grandma, by feel)

1 Block extra firm tofu (16oz) (The ones from Trader Joe's are perfect.)
* Less then extra firm tofu will need to be drained a bit first. *

2-4 Tablespoons Tamari (Soy Sauce or Brags will work as well)
1/2-1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1-2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

Start by slicing the tofu into thin (1/4 inch) UNIFORM slices. (We want these to cook evenly. A wired cheese slicer work great for this)
In a small bowel mix the liquids.
Have the Noosh at the ready.

Over on at 425. Let it preheat.
Spray a large baking sheet with oil, place the sliced tofu on the oiled sheet single file, and spray again with the oil.
Pop the baking sheet into your preheated over, and set the times to 5 min.
Once the times goes off, remove the sheet and flip the tofu slices.
Back into the over they go for another 5-8 min.
You want these ALMOST crisp, but not too much that they are no longer chewy. (This is a big YMWV. I like mine real chewy, so keep them in for a shorter time. Like 'em crispy? More time in the over for yours)

Remove from over, drizzle the liquid mixture evenly over the freshly backed slices, follow with a light shower of the nutritional yeast, toss the slices to get all parts covered, then serve, or use in your own favorite way.

The block of tofu ready to be sliced.
On the baking sheet and ready for the oven.
Having been flipped and put back into the oven, these are ready for the flavor treatment.
Coated and ready to be devoured. (Yeah, like I'd only have 4 at a time...)
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