Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brown Sugar Baked Chick'n

While my son loves my cooking, there is one thing we never agree on: brown sugar. I love it in dishes, he does not. From time to time he indulges me and I sneak in a dish or two, despite the inevitable complaining I will hear.

And he eats it. Nay, he devours it.

"I really don't like it when you add brown sugar to dishes, Mom," nom nom nom, "I would rather you not, you know," nom nom nom, "Otherwise this dish would be perfect," nom nom nom.

Leftovers? Never.

Brown Sugar Baked Chick'n

4 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
4 T. brown sugar

Saute the garlic in olive oil until tender and fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar until it melts. Place the chick'n in a baking dish and spread the brown sugar/garlic mixture on top of it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 15-30 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicken Fried Tofu

Growing up in Texas, there are two dishes you can find served at a restaurant within a stone's throw, no matter where you are. Barbecue and chicken fried steak.

And if you are in Texas, never, ever, ever, refer to chicken fried steak as country fried steak. Trust me on this.

As I have tried to explain to many meat eaters, I bet nine times out of ten it is not the meat they like so much as it is the flavors of the food. To that end I like to make dishes that even I-will-never-be-vegan folks will eat and proclaim it delicious.

Chicken Fried Tofu

One package extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed, pressed, sliced into 1/4" slices
3 T. nutritional yeast
2 T. panko breadcrumbs
2 T. soy sauce
Old Bay seasoning

In one shallow bowl, combine the nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs and mix well. In another shallow bowl, pour in the soy sauce. Dip the tofu slices in the soy sauce and place in the breadcrumbs mixture, coat well on both sides. Place coated pieces on a sprayed baking pan. Sprinkle on some Old Bay and salt. Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, season and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve. Enjoy!

I served mine with some peppered cream gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Delish!

What I like most about this recipe is it is baked, not deep fried. Yummy, healthy AND cruelty-free!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brown Sugar Sausage

Growing up with a German father and living in an area surrounded by towns founded by German immigrants, I've had a lot of sausage. It was always one of those foods that I ate because I liked it, then when later I would feel nauseated could only think of the last food I ate - sausage - and swear to never eat the stuff again. Such is the life of a meat eater.

So I became vegan and naturally those cravings would arise. Fortunately, I have alternatives that are not only delicious and cruelty-free, but don't make me feel icky later. I call that a win!

Brown Sugar Sausage

One package Tofurky Kielbasa
3/4 c. brown sugar
One individual serving container of applesauce
2 T. Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced

Cut kielbasa into bite sized pieces. Place in a skillet with the remaining ingredients and heat over medium until brown sugar has dissolved. Stir well, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

This dish even passed the test of my non-vegan daughter-in-law, who proclaimed it delicious. And it was. I served it with baked potatoes.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Drunken Bean Stew

My ancestry is both Irish and German, with plenty of Viking thrown in for good measure. One would think that I could drink anyone under the table. Surprisingly, I'm not fond of the taste of strong liquor, and I've never actually acquired a taste for beer. Unbelievable with my ancestry, right? I like Belgian beer, because they are sweet, and my son concocted what my dad later told us is known as red beer. Beer mixed with tomato juice. I can drink that.

All of that aside, I really like cooking with alcohol. I'm not sure why I like the flavor it imparts food, but don't like drinking it straight. So when I come across a recipe that lists alcohol as an ingredient, I tend to want to try it.

Drunken Bean Stew

One can green beans
One can black beans
One can kidney beans
One can lima beans
One can pinto beans
One can corn
One quart of V8 juice
One can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 bags frozen mixed vegetables
One small cabbage, diced
2 T. barley
3 cloves garlic, diced
One bottle of dark beer

Combine all the ingredients except for the beer in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Add the beer and simmer another 45 minutes to an hour. Season to taste. Serve. Enjoy!

What I like about this stew is how adaptable it is. You can add or subtract the veggies to suit your taste. It is one of those recipes for a cold day and you don't want to go to the store, so you raid your pantry and freezer. Kind of like add a rock and you have stone soup.

Serve it up with some cornbread or a crusty bread that invites you to tear hunks off and slather with some vegan butter, and you've got a great filling meal.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Phyllo Pie

I am in love with phyllo. It adds such a delightful flavorful crunch to dishes. Admittedly, it can be a little difficult to work with at times, but even then it is still worth it.

Phyllo Pie

Olive oil
One red onion, diced
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
1 t. oregano
1/4 t. mustard
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 c. chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. non dairy milk
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
1 c. walnuts
12 sheets phyllo pastry

Saute the onion, salt, pepper, oregano and mustard until onion is softened. Add the broccoli, mushrooms, garlic and soy sauce and saute until broccoli is a bright green. Place broccoli mixture, milk, vinegar, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and walnuts into a food processor and whir until vegetables are are chopped fine, but not obliterated.

Remove phyllo sheets from package and cut in half lengthwise. Lay out one sheet of phyllo and brush with olive oil. Lay a second sheet on top of that and brush again with olive oil. Do this for a total of five sheets, but do not brush olive oil on the top sheet. Place these sheets in a baking dish and top with 1/3 of the broccoli mixture. Repeat with a second layer and a third layer of five sheets of phyllo and broccoli mixture. Add one last layer of five phyllo sheets on top of the last layer.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.


You can easily change up the vegetables to suit your own preferences.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Asian Spaghetti

I get together regularly with friends, and we often make it a potluck when we do. As the only vegan in the group, I am grateful my friends put forth effort to accommodate me. Not everyone is willing to do that, and when it happens, it is very much appreciated. Likewise, I try to take dishes that I think are pretty neutral. Pasta, for instance. Most people like pasta, and it is hard to go wrong with it.

This is the dish I shared recently with them.

Asian Spaghetti

One package angel hair pasta
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 T. olive oil
One garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic in the oil until just softened. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar and cayenne. When the pasta is done cooking and drained, add it to the skillet with the mushroom mixture and pour on the soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

What little was left over I brought home to my youngest, who devoured it.
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