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       Volume I - May 14, 2010

Vegetarian Cooking
by Patty Liston

My nephew is a vegetarian and has been for several years now. His cousins canít understand anyone not wanting to eat a hamburger, but are good sports about making sure that when they all get together, there are alternatives for Brett as well. Truth be told, I fix quite a few vegetarian recipes myself. They are not only healthy and give my body a break, but the recipes are quite good and offer something a little different. Enjoy the ones Iíve listed below!

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
Serves 4 to 6

2 cups (450 g) green split peas
6 to 7 cups (1410 to 1645 ml) water or vegetable stock
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
2 creamy yellow potatoes (such as Yukon gold or fingerlings), diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse split peas, checking for any impurities, such as stones or residue. Place all ingredients except salt and pepper in a soup pot, and bring to a simmer. Cover loosely and cook until peas are tender, 1 hour or longer. Check occasionally to make sure water has not completely evaporated. Heat should be low-medium. The resulting soup should be thick and creamy, with the split peas quite broken down and mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

        
  Download this recipe.


Vegan Crab Cakes
From the book: Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Makes 10 Cakes


For the Cakes:
8 ounces tempeh (use the nori tempeh if you can find it, but plain soy tempeh is fine, too)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (stone-ground Dijon works, too)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
1 finely chopped nori sheet or 1 tablespoon kelp granules (optional, if you like a little fishiness)
Oil for pan frying

For the Remoulade:
2 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (stone-ground Dijon works, too)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons capers (try not to get too much brine)

For Serving:
Lemon wedges

Make ahead: Make the entire mixture and the remoulade the night before. In the morning, form into cakes and panfry.
First we're going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to give it some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucepan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil, and bay leaf. The tempeh won't be fully submerged, but that's fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.
Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove the bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the Vegenaise, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, bell pepper, ginger, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the breadcrumbs and nori, if using, and use your hands to incorporate.
Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently to smooth them.
You should have ten 2 1/2- to 3-inch patties. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. They don't need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.
Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.

        
  Download this recipe.


Vegan Tomato Rosemary Scones
Makes 12 scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 fourteen-ounce can tomato sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary (about 4 sprigs worth)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper.
Measure the olive oil into a large measuring cup (3 cups or larger) and whisk in the tomato sauce, vinegar and rosemary. You can mix it all directly in the measuring cup, so you donít have to dirty up another dish.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the wet ingredients. Gently mix, using a wooden spoon. Once the batter is loosely holding together, lightly flour a clean work surface and turn your dough onto it. Gently knead until a soft dough forms; itís important not to over mix it or it will become gummy. (To give you an idea of what it should look like, some patches of flour are great.) If the dough seems sticky, add a little flour as you knead, until itís easier to work with.
Divide dough in two and form each section into a 6-inch disk. Slice each disk into six pieces, like a pizza pie. (To do this, cut in half and then cut each half into thirds.) Place scones on a baking sheet and bake for 14 to 16 minutes; the tops should be firm. Remove the scones from the oven and let cool a bit on a plate or cooling rack. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

        

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