Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Dinner - No pigs Harmed

Happy New Year!  Now Let’s Eat

   All of us have New Year’s Day traditions and they are probably all different, but I think it is safe to assume that we will all eat.  Unless of course your make some kind of stupid fasting resolution and if that is the case you can use this recipe in 2 days when you realized that cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup isn’t that great of a combination after all.  (You can consider that a warning.)  Also if you like most people want to lose weight and get in better shape this year then eating better is a great place to start.  Also, to clarify by “better” I don’t mean some dumb cookie diet; I mean things that are delicious AND good for you, with reasonable portions.

    Ok most people eat some kind of cabbage and pork, not sure exactly where this comes from, nor have I done my research, but I like to think that it is a good excuse for us to eat things that smell gross and have 5 days worth of fat in them?  Who knows?   Well you can make just as stinky and savory meal as the neighbors without having to kill Babe or Wilbur in the process.

First Sauerkraut, if you are a lover of it.  You are in luck, it’s already vegan.  Buy it at the store.  I personally think it is vile, but living with a lover of stinky cabbage I have found that buying a refrigerated, organic kraut, and adding black pepper and bay leaf while cooking it over low heat for about 25 minutes, seems to do the trick!

Warm Cabbage Slaw
Now if you are more like me and don’t like foods that are fermented or pickled, or even if you do this is a yummy cabbage slaw that you will love.  

·         2 cups green cabbage
·         3 cups red cabbage
·         ½ of sweet white onion sliced
·         2 carrots shredded
·         2 table spoons apple cider vinegar
·         2 tablespoons apple juice
·         1 tablespoon agave nectar
·         ¾ cup sliced almonds
·         ¾ cup your favorite dried fruit (Golden raisins work great)
·         Black pepper
·         Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
·         Sea Salt

Start with by whisking together the apple cider, apple juice, agave, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and sea salt.  I didn’t give specifics for the peppers and salt because this should be to your taste.  You are going for a sweet and sour taste with a decent spice.  If you like it spicy you can amp up the peppers.  Remember this is what is flavoring the entire dish so it should be a very powerful flavor.  If you like more sweet just add more agave!

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add cabbage and carrots and only cook for 5 minutes or until cabbage is warm and starting to wilt.  It is good to sear the cabbage slightly, but you don’t want to overcook it.  Stirring only a few times throughout the five minutes.  After 5 minutes add your liquid mixture and mix throughout.  Sprinkle almonds and fruit on top and stir through. 
I think this is best served immediately warm, but it will also keep and you can serve it cold or even eat it as left overs the next day on a sandwich.

German Mashed Potatoes and Beans – Bona Bri (No idea of the spelling)

My boyfriend’s family has eaten this dish his entire life and the recipe comes from his Grandmother.  Noone seems to know exactly what it is called or how the dish originated, but it is DELICIOUS, please give it a try.  It is super easy and yummy!  Also when they pronounce it they say Bona Bri (Like bone with an a short a sound on the end, and the Bri – like the word bright without a t sound) if you know exactly what this dish is please let me know!

·         2 large sweet onions, sliced
·         5 potatoes, peeled and quartered.
·         1 can of navy or cannellini beans (If using dried 1 cup and a half  of prepared beans)
·         2 tablespoons vegan better
·         4 gloves of garlic (not in the original recipes but I like it)
·         2 cups prepared vegan chicken broth
·         Salt and pepper to taste
Start by caramelizing the sliced onions over low heat.  Use one tablespoon of the vegan butter and add all the onions to a large sauté pan.  Cook onions over low heat until they reach a rich brown color.

After they are golden brown add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute and take off the heat and set aside.

Boil potatoes in salted water just as if you were making mashed potatoes, or until you insert a knife and the potato falls off easily. 

After the potatoes are soft add to a large mixing bowl with the onion and garlic mixture, the additional tablespoon of vegan butter, beans, and black pepper to taste.   Using electric hand mixer start adding the chicken broth ½ cup at a time.  Only add broth until it is the consistency of soft mashed potatoes.   Add salt to taste and Enjoy!

Vegan Roast Ingredients
·         Tofurky Roast
·         Black Pepper Course Grind 1 tablespoon
·         1 teaspoon ground cumin
·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika
·         12 oz slice crimini mushrooms (or your favorite mushrooms)
·         1 sweet onion sliced
·         1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavor
·         1 cup of almond milk
·         1 teaspoon agave nector
·         1 cup prepared vegan chicken broth

Mix together all ingredients except mushrooms and onions. Place  half of mushrooms and onions on the base of a baking dish and place the thawed tofurky roast on top.  Place the other half on top of the tofukry, and then pour over the spice mixture.  Bake the roast at 375 degrees for 2 hours.  Baste the roast every 30 minutes while cooking.  Add milk or broth if all the liquid evaporates.  The amount of smoke flavor and black pepper will give you the idea that you are eating some delicious pork product but the piggy gets to live.

That’s it!  Enjoy your vegan New Year’s Day Celebration!  Remember you are blessed!
Happy New Year!