Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vegan Fried Chicken

This is adapted form a recipe I found on VegWeb.com. It is really tasty and easy to make! I just made it for the first time today, and I really like it. The texture is a little softer than I think it should be to compare it with Chik-Nuggets, but that doesn't really matter. If you prefer not to fry, I'm sure it would bake well in the oven. I just try to use the oven as little as possible in these hot summer months.


Combine in a small mixing bowl:

1 Tbsp. chicken style seasoning

3/4 cup hot water

1 Tbsp. ketchup

1 Tbsp. Braggs or soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp. vegan parmesan cheese


Then mix in:

1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)

1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes (or use real mashed potatoes and reduce the water to 1/3-1/2 cup)


Add more water or more mashed potato flakes as needed to make a consistency that will stick together. Then form into patties, sticks, or whatever shape you want. Press into the following mixture:

2/3 cup bread crumbs (approximately)

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes

1 Tbsp. oil


Heat 1-2 Tbsp. oil in frying pan. Place patties in hot frying pan. Brown on both sides, adding more oil when you flip them, if needed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Breakfast Ring

This makes an AWESOME breakfast! If you have any extra apricot glaze, serve it with the breakfast ring. You can use regular bread dough, but the French Bread dough (see recipe on this blog) is the best because it is so light.


Chop in food processor:

1 cup dates

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts or other nuts


Mix with:

1 apple, diced (or use apple sauce)

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. coriander or cinnamon


Simmer until apples and dates are soft. Prepare:

½ recipe French Bread dough (ready to form into loaves)


Roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¾ inch thick. Spread with filling and roll crosswise. Make the roll into a circle on a cookie sheet and join ends. Make two-inch vertical slits every 3-4 inches and let rise until double. Bake @ 375˚ for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with following glaze.


For apricot glaze, blend the following and cook until thickened:

1 quart canned apricots

¼ cornstarch

cup honey, or to taste

French Bread

This bread is light and easy to make. You can replace the white flour with whole wheat flour if you like. This bread dough works great to use in breakfast rings or specialty breads requiring bread dough.


Stir together until honey is melted:

1 2/3 cups warm water

2 Tbsp. honey


Then slowly pour in:

2 Tbsp. yeast


Let stand for 5 minutes. Beat in the following:

2 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 cups flour


Beat for 5 minutes. Mix by hand, kneading when dough thickens, while adding the following:

3 ½ cups flour


Add only enough flour to form soft dough. Knead for about 10 minutes or until very light and elastic. Let rise in a warm place for 10 minutes. Punch down and let rise again. Repeat 5 times. Divide into 2 loaves. Roll each portion of dough into a rectangle. Roll up each rectangle along its length to form a long roll. Seal all seams well. Place in French bread pans or on cookie sheets. Cut diagonal slashes across tops. Brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake @ 350˚ for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Scrambled Tofu

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It is great by itself or with hash browns. Or serve on toast and peanut butter with chopped tomatoes.


Sauté:

1 large onion, chopped

½ cup sliced mushrooms

1 Tbsp. oil


Add to frying pan:

1 pound tofu, mashed

2 tsp. chicken style seasoning

1 Tbsp. yeast flakes

1 Tbsp. Braggs or soy sauce

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

tsp. turmeric


Cook until liquid evaporates and tofu turns yellow.

Whole Wheat Bread


I make my own whole wheat bread by hand. It is so good! It seems a little intimidating at first, but it's not that hard once you get onto it. I always allow 4 hours from start to finish. But you don't have to work on the bread all 4 hours; once you get it mixed it takes care of itself; you just have to be there to put it in pans, etc. What I like is that you get a lot of food for the amount of time you put into it. This recipe makes 6 loaves, so that feeds us for a while.

Mix:
7-8 cups warm water (The temperature is right for the yeast when you put a drop of water on your wrist and it doesn't feel warm or cool.)
2 Tbsp. honey

Pour in a slow steady stream:
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast

Let stand 10 minutes. Mix in:
4 cups flour

Then add:
2 Tbsp. salt (Do not add salt directly to the yeast. You must first have some flour mixed in.)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (as a dough enhancer to make it rise better)

Add enough flour to make a batter that is not too sloppy when you beat it. Beat for 5 minutes. (This helps develop the gluten so it will rise well.) Continue to add flour until it is too stiff to stir. Then mix in flour with your hands until it forms a ball of dough. (I have no real idea how many cups of flour to use. It depends how strong you are to get the flour mixed in and what the humidity is.)

Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. You don't need to make it stiff or get as much flour as possible in. I just keep adding enough flour to keep it from being sticky. (The bread is ready to start rising when you poke your finger into the dough, and the dough springs back.)

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a lightweight towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. (An oven with a pilot light is a good place. Just don't turn on the oven!) If you poke your finger into the dough and it doesn't spring back, you know that it won't rise any more. However, you don't have to wait until this point to continue. As long as the dough has about doubled in size, you are ready to form it into loaves.

Punch dough down and divide in 6 equal pieces. (Or weigh it, dividing it into 1 pound portions.) Form each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Roll and stretch the ball of dough one direction to lengthen it into a rope the length of your bread pan. Place in lightly oiled bread pans. Cover with a lightweight towel and let rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes. (Don't put it in the oven to rise unless you have a different oven to bake it in!) Once more, if you poke your finger into the dough and it does not spring back, it will not rise any more and needs to go in the oven right away.

Preheat oven to 350º. Place bread in hot oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. Do not open the oven for the first 15 minutes of baking, or the bread may fall. When you think it is done, remove from the pan and tap the crust with your fingernail. If it sounds hollow and is brown, then it is done. If it is still somewhat soft, it needs to bake longer.

Tip:
For a softer crust, remove loaves from the oven, wrap in a towel, and place directly in a plastic bag. Close the bag and allow the bread to cool. When it has cooled, remove from bag and towel. Place in a dry bag. Store in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the bread at this point.

Variation:
If you want to use quick-rise yeast, mix the yeast directly into the first 4 cups of flour. Add this flour to the water and honey and mix. You don't need to let it stand for 10 minutes. Continue with the rest of the recipe in the same way as above.

Mixer variation:
I’ve never actually written down my Bosch mixer recipe, but it’s basically as follows: 8 cups water, 2 T yeast, 5 t salt, enough flour to make a thick batter. Process with wire whisk in Bosch or other mixer for 10 minutes. Switch to dough hook. Slowly add flour a cup at a time, overall mixing for about another 15 minutes. When dough comes away clean off the side of the bowl, add just a little more flour and turn off when it is mixed in. Divide into loaves, put in pans, let rise. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. So the difference is I don’t use sweetener or lemon juice anymore (it works fine without) and there is no double rise. It’s a science, though. Add flour too fast and it could get too stiff before coming clean. Add it too slow and you won’t get enough in. I think one secret is the long mixing time.