Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Chicken" Breasts and Zucchini Pappardelle with Dijon Tarragon Sauce

I'm not one to really focus on my physical appearance. I usually just throw on jeans and a t-shirt every day, and accept the fact that I'm short and a little on the scrawny side. And to say the very least, my bosom isn't exactly what I'd call "ample"...or so I thought. All of sudden, at 24, my boobs have started to grow. This radical phenomenon is AWESOME. It's a pleasant surprise to myself and my wifey. I'd given up hope long ago. My mother and little sister, to say it nicely, have gigantic tits. At 16, I'd look at all the other women in my family and wonder what the fuck happened to me. How did I lose the genetic lottery? Well, not anymore! I can now happily stop shopping in the little girls training bra section at Target and move over to the ladies department.

Ok. So I don't really wear little girl bras. I was just going for flare.

Anyway, I've been working on some really exciting recipes lately. I'll be debuting a few of them on the bloggy blog over the next few months, but I'm going to slow down posting for a while to focus on planning my super amazing wedding. Speaking of all things lesbian, I'd appreciate it if y'all voted for my blog in the Lesbian Lifestyle Blog Awards in the Humor category. While the primary focus of this site isn't to just highlight how incredibly gay I am, I do feel like it has a running chance to compete for all things funny in lesbo land. There's a lovely little link in the upper part of the left sidebar. If you vote for me, I'll love you even more than I my bride to be. Just don't tell my fiance I said that ;)

Well, that's enough rambling. I'm going to head off to Target and enjoy purchasing myself a new B cup bra that I can parade around in proudly. I may not even wear a shirt for the next few days.

"Chicken" Breasts and Zucchini Pappardelle with Dijon Tarragon Sauce

For the "Chicken" and Zucchini Pappardelle
  • 2 lbs Zucchini
  • 3 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 batch of Vegan Chicken Breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1-2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 TBSP Dry White Wine
  • Salt and Pepper, for seasoning "Chicken"

Using a mandolin, vegetable slicer or sturdy hand and knife, slice the zucchini into 1/8 inch thick slices, place into a large bowl, then set aside.

Season the vegan chicken pieces well with salt and pepper, then heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic to the pan, and saute for 30 seconds. Add the "chicken" pieces to the pan and saute until golden brown on both sides.

Once browned, add the white wine to the skillet to de-glaze, then pour the contents of the skillet over top of the zucchini pappardelle and toss well to combine.

For the Dijon Tarragon Sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups No Chicken Broth
  • 4 TBSP Vegan Margarine
  • 4 TBSP Flour
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 2 TBSP Fresh Tarragon, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Melt the vegan margarine in a saucepan over medium high heat, then whisk in the flour and cook for two minutes while whisking constantly. Slowly pour the No Chicken Broth into the pan, whisking as you pour, until the contents of the pan are fully combined.

Bring the contents of the pan to a slow boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has begun to thicken. Stir in the Dijon mustard and fresh tarragon, then allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes until further thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with "Chicken" and Zucchini Pappardelle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vegan Sonic Frito Chili Cheese Wrap

Alright. I admit it. Unemployment sucks balls...except for the part where I get to cook all the time again. I've been plowing through my stack of recipes one by one. I know I've made this vow out loud before, but I'm reiterating it into the blogosphere as more of a "note to self". I will post more simple recipes than I'm typically inclined to do.

This more simple recipe was divinely inspired by my stoner days of drive-through, munchie satisfying goodness. We would get baked, laugh and talk endlessly, then go through a drive through and STFU as soon as the food hit our lips. And despite the fact that Sonic airs commercials in Los Angeles just to tease its citizens, the nearest of their restaurants is actually 45 miles out of town. Not only do they put animals through cruelty to feed their patrons, but they feel the need to torture humans as well. A truly winning combination. Well, in all reality, it's on the way to Las Vegas. That scores some points in my book. Unfortunately, the only thing I can eat there is a Frito Pie Wrap, hold the chili, hold the cheese, add some veggies. What I end up with are chips wrapped in a tortilla with some limp lettuce and soggy tomato. Can you say "Yum"?!

Well, fuck you, Sonic. I will have my Frito Chili Pie Wrap and eat it, too. I even fed it to an omnivore, and they were wickedly impressed with its likeness. The most involved part of the recipe is making the chili, only because you have to make the seitan first and grind it up in a food processor. I assure you, the entire recipe is doable in 2-3 hours...and that's with some down time while the seitan and chili cook themselves.

Be on the lookout for more replications of our fast-food favorites in vegan form. There is just something so incredibly satisfying about having the ability to eat something that would typically be a no-no. It's not only about having fun, but taking a stand for what I believe is right: Veganism doesn't impose limitations, rather opens the doors to creativity. I simply refuse to be told what can and cannot be done.

Vegan Sonic Frito Chili Cheese Wrap

  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup diced Red Onions
  • 1 batch of Vegan No Bean Chili (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup shredded Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 cups of Fritos Chips

Warm the tortillas in either the toaster or microwave to make them pliable. Place a 1/2 cup of Fritos in each tortilla, then add a ladle of chili, a sprinkle of red onions and 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar. Enjoy!

Vegan No Bean Chili
  • 1 batch of Vegan Beef, finely ground in a food processor
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 1 14 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, then add the ground vegan beef to the pot. Add the onion and garlic, stir to combine, then cook until the ground "beef" begins to brown. Drain off any excess liquid.

Add in the Chili Powder, Oregano, Cumin and Hot Sauce. Stir in the Tomatoes and Vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve.

Beef Style Seitan

“Beef” Seitan Dough:
  • 1 cup Arrowhead Mills® Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon® No Beef Broth paste (not diluted in H20)
  • 1 TBSP MimicCremeTM

“Beef” Seitan Broth
  • 8 cups prepared Better Than Bouillon® No Beef Broth (8 tsp paste
  • diluted in 8 cups water)
  • 6 dried Shitake Mushrooms
  • 1/8 cup Tamari
  • 1 Portobello Mushroom Cap, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Bay Leaves

First, add all of the Seitan Broth ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. While it's heating up, using a stand mixer, mix together all of the Seitan Dough ingredients. Don't over-mix...just let the mixer go until it's all combined. The dough should be softer than usual.

Using your hands, mold the dough into a large ball. Flatten the ball out on a cutting board, and use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut into six pie-wedge shaped pieces. Drop into the boiling broth.

Let it cook for about 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Using tongs, remove the "beef" from the broth, and place in a colander to drain. Allow to cool until ready to use.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Buttermilk" Fried "Chicken" with Warm Maque Choux Smashed Potato Salad

My ass is so damn happy right now. I finally quit my tolling 9 to 5! Not only was I about to have a serious whack attack, but my lack of ability to play in my kitchen was slowly killing my spirits. But I'm back with a vengeance! I didn't ever really stop cooking, but I usually plan and execute about 3 recipes a week. I was down to 3 a month. Now I can finally sit back, relax and take a deep breath of the smoggy LA air. Ahh, like heaven. Filthy, filthy heaven.

Of course, I do need to work. I need a steady income. As much as I love living the life of a freelance delinquent, it just doesn't pay the damn bills. But if I am going to take precious time away from tinkering about in my kitchen laboratory, I want it to be because I'm cooking somewhere else...not sitting at a desk like a robot on crack. I have to admit, working that job really made me question my genetic make-up. Is it possible that some of us just aren't wired to spend 9 hours a day toiling away in a cubicle? Was I just born with Stoner DNA? I am inclined to believe that we've been conditioned to think that such behavior is normal, but in my reality, it's just damn near impossible. Or maybe I'm just a spoiled little brat.

Regardless, the taste of freedom is a sweet one. I'm hawking Craigslist again for the next good opportunity, but I'm not going to lay the pressure on myself until my bank account dwindles to the point of discomfort. I'll spend my days doing some serious catch-up on things like planning our wedding, working through my stack of written recipes and renewing my medical marijuana license. You know, the important stuff. Plus, we're throwing a "Blow Me: I'm Single (Or Hate Valentines Day) Bash, so I've got a bit of party preparing that needs tended to.

Oh, and thank you for all your recipe suggestions! Keep em coming. I loved what you guys threw at me. Throw harder.

No recipe to go along with these lovely photos, but it is a recipe written off a suggestion for some vegan fried chicken. Oh, and here's a close up of that hot potato salad:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vegan Lemongrass and Chervil 'Chicken' Alfredo over Fettuccini and Crispy Broccoli Rabe

It's raining in Los Angeles, which means most of the people in town are acting like the Apocalypse has unleashed tyranny upon our fair city. People drive like a sheet of ice covers the roads, call in sick from work and generally panic about their hair and make-up like they may actually melt. I, personally, love the rain. I love waking up to the sound of it hitting the roof, I love puddle jumping, and I most certainly still know how to drive like a maniac even though the roads are slick. Not to mention that rain improves the typically smoke-like air quality of filthy LA. Calm down, people. It's just fucking rain.

Anyway, enough about the weather. I want to thank you all for responding to my hopefully blossoming "open a restaurant" scheme. I've never had so many comments on one post before in my entire bloglife. So this week, I'm putting another question out there. I want your suggestions for the most impossible to veganize dishes so that I can convert them for our consumption. I ask one favor, though: Do NOT ask me to veganize fois gras. I just simple won't go there, home slice. It can be anything else. Go ahead and smack me with the tough stuff. I can take it.

Now, on to this week's recipe. On the top of my list of fat kid indulgences is Alfredo sauce. I'm typically a red sauce fanatic, as most of you probably know from posts I've dedicated entirely to my love of tomatoes. But the lovely blend of ingredients that composes a great Alfredo really tickles my teets. Yes, I said teets. This recipe came about when Jane hyped my culinary skills to a vegan friend of hers, then invited her over for dinner.

"Ask her what she'd love to have." I said.

Jane asked.

"Fettucini Alfredo with 'Chicken'".

"Fine. But I'm making it fancy."


Anyway, I'm rambling like an idiot today. Drive safe, Angelenos. And for fuck's sake: jump in a damn puddle.

Vegan Lemongrass and Chervil Chicken Alfredo
over Fettuccini and Crispy Broccoli Rabe

  • 1 large bunch of Broccoli Rabe (about 1 lb)
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb Fettucini Noodles
  • 1 batch of Vegan Chicken Breast, sliced
  • Olive Oil, enough for grilling "Chicken"
  • 5 TBSP Vegan Margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups Dr Cows Aged Cashew Cheese, grated (or any Soy Parmesan)
  • 1 1/2 cup MimicCreme
  • 1/4 cup Plain Soy Creamer
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, pounded and thinly sliced
  • 2 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Chervil, minced
  • Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Prepare a large bowl of ice cold water (an ice bath), then set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the Broccoli Rabe for 1 minute until tender. Drain quickly then transfer the Broccoli Rabe to the ice bath. Drain well, then set aside.

Heat the 1/8 cup of Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic cloves and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the Broccoli Rabe plus a touch of salt and pepper, then toss well to coat in the oil. Cook until the Broccoli Rabe is tender and crispy, about 4-5 minutes, then set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook fettucini noodles until just al Dente. Drain well, toss with a touch of Olive Oil, then set aside.

Preheat the Olive Oil on a grill pan or in a large skillet, then grill/saute the slices of vegan chicken until golden brown and crisping slightly. Set aside.

Melt the vegan margarine in a saucepan over low heat. Add the grated Dr Cow cheese, soy cream and MimicCreme, lemongrass and lemon juice, then bring to a boil while stirring frequently.

Reduce the heat to low, add in the Chervil, and simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Salt and Pepper, to taste.

Toss the noodles with the Alfredo sauce, the serve topped with grilled "Chicken" and Broccoli Rabe.