Vegan Hot & Sour Soup & The Breadmaker “Aha” Moment

It’s Somer Saturday and I figured 6 days in the raw was plenty. I admit I did end up sneaking a slice a toast, but I will tell you more about that in a minute. Part of my motivation for going raw was that my kids and I got pink eye, a vomiting bug and colds all in one week (maybe it was some insanely mean super virus?)….And my husband was out of town for most of it (lucky him). I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t eaten raw I would have laid in bed most of the week, but instead I was able to function fairly well. Then the icing on the cake, Friday afternoon while playing on the play-set swings in my backyard with my 3 year old, we had a collision of sorts and I ended up nearly putting my tooth through my bottom lip. I shall spare you the gory details, but let you know that I typically handle other people’s injuries amazingly well, I’m like a superhero and always know what to do with a calm and collected manner. However, when it comes to my own blood, especially copious amounts of it, not so much… it’s like kryptonite. I get woozy, and I nearly faint. Anywho….It was this “kick in the head” that motivated me to break the raw fast and eat something warm, comforting and easily slurpable past a fat lip.

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

4 C. Vegetable Stock

2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)

1 T. miso (I used yellow, pretty sure most varieties will do)

dash or two of cayenne pepper

1 C. shitake mushrooms, slivered

2 T. Cornstarch

1/2 package Mori Nu silken tofu (extra firm) cut into 1/2 inch dice

2 T. finely grated ginger

3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

3 T. rice vinegar

1 small can bamboo shoots, drained

1 small can water chestnuts, drained

1 t. sesame oil

pinch raw sugar

2 T. wood ear mushrooms (Chinese fungi, if you can’t find them, just omit them)

Method: Add all ingredients to soup pot. Bring to a low boil then let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. Great for a swift kick to the head, colds or whatever else ails you.

Now for the Breadmaker “Aha” moment. My friend Emmy at emmycooks.com posted a breadmaker recipe this week. In her post she asked if anyone had a 100% whole wheat breadmaker loaf, and if they would like to share the recipe. Well, as you know I had posted a 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf recipe earlier this week. I decided to scale it down and test it out start to finish in my breadmaker to see how it would fare, on the express function. That’s right folks, 100% whole wheat vegan sandwich loaf in less than an hour flat (58 minutes to be precise). It would take more time, money, stress and gas $$ to drive to the store,  select the loaf, pay for it, and drive home. FOR REALS. Now you know why I had to cheat on my raw food week and have a slice of toast. AMAZING! Here is the scaled down version in case you don’t want to do the math 😉

Breadmaker Express 100% Whole Wheat Vegan Sandwich Loaf

1.5 C. warm water

2 C. whole wheat flour (from hard red winter wheat)

1 C. white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

2 T. agave or pure maple syrup

1.5  heaping t. yeast (each measured and heaped individually)

2 T. vital wheat gluten (great for higher rise, less dense bread)

1.5  t. kosher salt

1.5 t. lecithin (make sure yours is soy based, makes bread soft without the addition of oil)

Method: Dump all ingredients into a bread-maker. Press express function. Walk away. Return in 58 minutes for delicious hot bread. Huzzah!

I’m Bringing Hasselback

Them other potatoes don’t know how to act. Yes, I made sexy potatoes tonight. No, I am not talking about Elizabeth Hasselbeck (not sexy) or David Hasselhoff (really not sexy). I’m talking Hasselback Potatoes.

Ok, I’m really riffing from the dude over at frugal feeding and his potatoes are definitely sexier than mine.

I  served these with a florentine tofu scramble. Oh my. The crispy deliciousness.

Hasselback Potatoes:

Russet Potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed (as many as you need, 1 for each person)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Kosher Salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice potatoes thinly, being careful not to slice all the way through. Fan the potatoes carefully and give a liberal spray with the cooking oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden and crispy on the edges.

Florentine Tofu Scramble

1 package extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled

1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes

4 T. nutritional yeast

2 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

1/4 C. freshly chopped basil

1 t.  real salt or spike

1/2 t. ground black pepper

4 C. organic baby spinach

Method: Cook tofu and diced tomatoes over medium high heat until liquid from diced tomatoes is nearly evaporated. Add nutritional yeast, salt, basil and scallions. Cook briefly, remove from heat. Stir in spinach. Serve.

Breakfast for a month

We doubled our batch of Alton Brown’s protein bars yesterday, in addition to making a double batch of our granola, some cookies, and a mess of pasta for lunches.

We like alton’s recipe – well, Matt does especially, and I like that Matt has a breakfast full of goodness rather than the old standby of hot chocolate or toaster pastries (read: pop-tarts or costco’s organic version of the same). It’s full of dried fruit, tofu, protein powder, and peanut butter. Well, see below for the full details. We doubled the batch, cooled them overnight, cut them into 24 squares each, and popped the whole lot in the freezer. If you don’t end up with silken tofu, like we did, toss the firm stuff in the food processor (which will already be out because that’s what you roughly chopped your fruit in) and whiz it up until smooth. Sorry no photo, but that’s way on the back burner for now. Oh, and get yourself a cheap kitchen scale, use your Bed, Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon (that never expires) and do yourself a favor. I use it ALL the time.

Protein Bars
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005
4 ounces soy protein powder, approximately 1 cup
2 1/4 ounces oat bran, approximately 1/2 cup
2 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3/4-ounce wheat germ, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces raisins, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried cherries, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces dried blueberries, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried apricots, approximately 1/2 cup
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/2 cup packed
2 large whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Canola oil, for pan

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with canola oil. [super important, because this stuff is sticky] Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Set aside.

Coarsely chop the raisins, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In a third mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.