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New Year's Eve

The first course of our new year's fete. From my treasured new Native Foods cookbook that John got me for xmas. This is a tempeh paté rolled in balls and in toasted pecans and pistachios. Kind of like a cheese ball, but not. So incredibly delicious. An 8 0z package of tempeh was sauteed with olive oil, garlic, ginger, soy and water then purreed and cooled. Then it was mixed with 1/4 cup veganaise, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 - 1 tsp dry dill, and 1/4 cup sliced scallions.

The second course. Fuji Apple Radicchio Salad with Charred Onion and Pistachios on top. The dressing was just a very light drizzle of olive oil and a bit of sherry vinegar. Seasoned with salt and pepper.

The entreé. Baked polenta slices with oven roasted endive and topped with a Champagne Mushroom sauce.

The dessert. A small chocolate bundt cake with peanut topping. This came from the native foods cookbook and was probably the the healthiest cake I've ever made. And not the best. haha. There was very little flour and there was silken tofu as well as maple syrup for the sweetner. I think I prefer my cake with organic cane sugar, although I guess maple is healthier? I don't really know. The topping was peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and water. Quite tasty.


Bali Surf Burger

**UPDATE** I've altered the amount of soy as I think this recipe is way too salty.**
My favorite restaurant in the world right now is Native Foods. I think it will remain my favorite for all eternity. They have such simple, affordable vegan food conveniently located near UCLA. Their tempeh is homemade and therefore way better than anything I could ever make at home, but nonetheless the tempeh prep they use to make their Bali Surf Burger is great. And easy. Here is my attempt at it. Quite good. I would go easy on the deglaze. It was a little strong this time. Last time I aired on the conservative side and it was way better.

Bali Surf Burger

3 Tbsp Olive oil
4 2-3 oz tempeh patties (take a typical pack and cut in half to make two squares, then cut the squares so they are half the thickness. You'll end up with four thin squares ideally)

¼ cup simple deglaze:
2/3 cup water
1 - 2 TBSP soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
½ tsp fresh grated ginger

Heat oil in frying pan over mod. High heat. Add tempeh patties, should sizzle slightly. Saute until golden, about 1-2 minutes then turn over and brown other side. You may need more oil.

After the second side is brown and there is no excess oil in the pan, pour the simple deglaze over and around them all at once, this will make a sizzling sound.

Lower the flame slightly. Remove tempeh when the deglaze has been absorbed and the tempeh has a nice golden brown color.

Gingerbread Loaf

Finally a picture!


Pecan Sticky Buns!

When my sis and I were little we ALWAYS wanted those damn pillsbury cinnamon buns with the gooey icing on top. Now of course I realize that those were full of hydrogenated oils and just horrible for you. Then there is the lure of the Cinnabon, at every mall in the country, just taunting you with its spicy scent. And those are only about the size of your head right? And about a million calories? Since I've been vegan I haven't been able to indulge in any cinnamon bun-like goodness. Until now.
The recipe comes from Joanne Stepanik's "Vegan Vittles" which is really my favorite vegan cookbook of all time. I don't think anything I've make from there hasn't been amazing. So, I'm not posting the recipe because you really really should buy this book. It's super cheap anyways. Plus, it's a very long involved recipe and I'm too lazy to type it all and I'm procrastinating doing work as it is right now. These are made with whole wheat pastry flour, canola, cinnamon, sugar mix on the inside, and a touch of apple juice concentrate for sweetening. Then they are baked in a dish with maple syrup and chopped pecans on the bottom, and turned upside down before serving so the syrup and nuts stick to the tops of the buns. I can't say enough good things. We sprinkled with powdered sugar for that extra sweetness I was craving.

Vegan Shortbread

I did a little experiment in shortbread and I think it worked out quite nicely. I guess I'm more of a chocolate chip or oatmeal fan though, so I'm not really that into them. But my husband can't get enough of them.
I divided this small recipe in two and put cocoa powder in half of it. Then I cut a few of each flavor out and then rolled the remainder of both doughs out and laid on on top of the other and rolled up into a cigar. I chilled that for an hour and then used a very sharp knife to cut the cookies out. Baked on parchment paper.

¾ cups margarine
¾ cups powdered sugar
1 ½ cups flour
1/8 cup cocoa (only add to the half of the dough you want to be chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to: 325°F
In a bowl beat together powdered sugar with margarine.
Add flour divide in half, add cocoa to one half and split the vanilla between the two bowls.
Roll dough between two pieces of parchment or wax paper into quarter inch thickness and cut into rounds. Bake for ten minutes and let sit for another ten before eating.