Friday, December 10, 2010

Tofu and sprouted mung meatballs

This week I was invited by a friend to a Hannukah party. Now this 'omnivourous' friend (physically, we're herbivores, but some people are in denial...) came to my birthday party at the glorious Buddha Burgers and relished the quishe I ordered and her veggie burger but for some reason she thought the only thing I could bring to a party was adamame. Then she said there would be a lot of non-vegan quishes and cheeses and stuff but I'll "surely find some salads to eat" (which I did, as it really was the only thing I could eat, besides bread but there's heaven in salad and bread). So I decided I'd give her a bit of a lesson in what vegans can make. And so, I made Beer Sheva cookies again and churned up a brand new recipe for meatballs. They were supposed to be fritters but I'm horrid at frying things and baking is so much better so why not?

Tofu and Sprouted Mung Meatballs

Pre-preperation: Sprout the mung beans. I did it two days in advance - one evening for soaking then the rest of the time for sprouting.

600gr regular tofu
900gr (after sprouting) mung beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes,finely chopped
4 teaspoons gram masala
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
4 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons turmeric
1 glass steamed pease
1 glass steamed dwarf carrots, chopped
1 bunch finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons black pepper
9 crushed preserved garlic (by preserved, I ean the way I told you about in the indian eggplants recipe)
2 teaspoons table salt

Place mung beans and tofu in a bowl or blender and churn them into an even mush. Then vegetables and spicing and mix well until all the spicing and all the ingredients are evenly mixed. You need to be very thorough with this because the spices are very strong and if you bite into an unmixed lump you'll be a very sorry cooky.

After a desasterous attempt at frying them, I placed the mixture in my cupcakes pans and shoved them in the oven at 200c for about 20 minutes. Make sure not to overcook them as they might turn out a bit dry. They're spicy and yummy and very, very filling.

Not that they got too much appreciation...some party-goers even dipped them in mayo and sour cream sauce. This made me spend the rest of the evening wishing the animal product fats and cholesterole would hurry up and clog their arteries :) I've got it from my mother that if people don't do with my food what I want them to I can get very violent. The hostess, mind you, was very nice and praising and kept trying to excite everyone about the amazing wonder of actual food made with no animal ingredients (!!) bless her soul.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beer Sheva cookies

This December, for the third year in a row, I'm participating in one of Livejournal's fancy rat community' secret santa game. I so happens that my secret santa is an Australian, what a lovely chance to try out a little twist on the famous Australian ANZAC biscuits!

The only problem is, I don't have any Golden Syrup around in my town or, in fact, anywhere in Israel I'm afraid. The original recipe also calls for butter, which is not vegan. So I had to do with replacements and that mean that I can't call them ANZAC biscuits because, by Australian law, you can't call them ANZAC biscuits unless you use the exact recipe. I decided if I'm going to do a tribute, I'll do it all the way, and used slightly different spicing too, to give it a good tang. In the end, I've decided to call the Beer Sheva cookies, after ANZAC's famous battle of Beer sheva (ignore Wiki's faulty spelling).

Beer Seva cookies

1 glass of whole flower
1 glass of rolled oats
1 glass of brown sugar
1 glass of coconut flakes
125gr of margarine (I used one made from canola oil with reduced trans fats)
4 tablespoons of date syrup
1 tablespoon baking soda
10 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon coffee hawaij

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another. Add the baking soda to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Join the two bowls (preferably, the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients one) and mix thoroughly until an even, sticky mixture is formed. If necesary, add more water. Here's Freud, the roommate's cat checking out the progress of the cookies.

On a sheet of baking paper, place small walnut sized balls of the mixture with a teaspoon at a decent distance from each other and bake in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes (but keep a close eye on them!) at 180c.

Hope she (and her rat, Ivy) would like these cookies!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Indian eggplant


Long time no see, eh? Don't ask. Just don't ask, you don't want to know what been going on lately that kept me from cooking or...well....doing anything positive with my life, actually. I did go to a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening, though, after six years of absence.

A-n-y-w-a-y!! The eggplant, for which we have gathered here today.

This is the first time I'm making anything with an eggplant. I used to not like them due to unripe eggplants tending to be a little tingly in your mouth and f*rty once they're through with you. There were some amazing eggplants in the marketplace this week so I decided I'll do something about it. I picked two shiny, light and firm eggplants (that's how you know they're good) and dragged them home. And here's what I did with them:

Indian Eggplant:
Pre-heat over to 180c

Slice eggplants into an inch-thick slices more or less, butt included. Spray the slices with salt and leave (preferably in the sun) for about half an hour. While you're waiting, prepare the spice mix.

For two large eggplant you'll need:
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon gram masala
*2 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons of canola oil (easy on the oil, eggplants drink it up like crazy)

Pat the slices dry and, with a coating brush, spread a nice coating of the spice mix on each side of the slice. Then, put in the over and bake for 15 minutes for each side of the eggplant. Yes, 15 minutes one side, then 15 minutes another. Do not forget this step or you'll have only half-baked eggplant and we're not in the 70s so being half-baked isn't cool anymore.

When done, you can serve these as they are or with tomatoes or tomato sauce, it aught to be really good.

* Here's a little trick I learned from the lovely Buddha Burgers to amp your garlic. When you buy a garlic head, separate the cloves and keep them in a mixture on 90% canola oil and 10% white cooking wine so they're drowned in it completely. Then whenever you need garlic, use these cloves. This with not only preserve your cloves but also really, really enhance their taste and you can use the oil and wine mix for the next batch of cloves! It's really great.

And here's what happened to my coating brush from the turmeric LOL

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RIP Lucy ?/09/08 - 13/10/10

This morning I had to put my poor Lucy to sleep. She suffered from some form of brain damage, either a tumor or a stroke, and did not respond to medications. Last night she seemd to ahve given up life altogether.
Lucy was never a hppy rat - always neurotic and skittish, with hardly any friends and I never saw her play. She was a rescue rat and it seems the scars of her early life never left her.
At least she's not in any pain anymore.
Here is a link to a slideshow of all her pictures.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An advance in life or a current change

So, at the beginning of this week I found out that my very beloved Buddha Burger is opening a branch in a city right next door to mine AND they just to happen to be looking for workers.
Without thinking too much, I offered myself for kitchen staff hoping to get a chance to gain some actual, professional experience. Turnes out - they're hiring me, even despite my zilch experience in professional kitchen work, how nice is that?

So, what'll become of me - time would tell. Up till now I've been working in two jobs and still not scraping enough money to survive without my parents' assistance, but this job'll be able to support a modest way of life that I don't mind living at all. At least I won't be hungry LOL.

Today I've been in the mothership restaurant in Tel Aviv to gain some basic experience in the kitchen and it was fun, fun, fun (!) so it looks like all's going to be *touch wood* great! I'll be working in a vegan restaurant, can't get any more good-for-your-soul-kind-living work than that, I'm so happy.

However, since I'll be spending my lunch hours there, I probably won't be needing to cook much for myself and that means a little less recipes than usual. HOWEVER I insist on developing my own stuff, so I'll be conjuring up some dinner parties for friends and I'll be plotting some dishes of my own to bring to family meals - in short, I'll find my test subjects whether they like it or not MUHAHAHAHAHA!!

Why yes I am a bit giddy and excited, I think it's quite understandable too :)

Have a great day, rest-of-the-week and weekend everybody!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Carrot cookies for the MeatOut

So, tomorrow, in Tel Aviv, there's a solidarity march for the animals in the farming industry in the end of which there's a meatout - giving away free and yummy vegan food to innocent passersby. What am I making? After much thought and an eye on my budget (which is very slim these days...) I decided to go for carrot cookies.

I used to work in a flower shop with a very nasty boss who, despite her nastiness, made an insanely good carrot cake. Only after I had a slice she bothered to give me the recipe - which had both eggs and honey in it. Told you she was nasty. Long story short, I veganised and amped the recipe a little and adapted it to cookies and they turned out INSANELY amazing.

Carrot cookies:

3 glasses (600ml) of grated or blender-ed carrots (should be between 7-9 carrots, depending on the size of the carrots)
5 table spoons date syrup
1 tablespoon bicarbonate soda
1/4 glass (50ml) of applesauce
1 tablespoon apple vinegar
1 1/2 glasses (250ml) brown sugar
3/4 glass (150ml) canola oil
2 glasses (400ml) whole flower
1 teaspoon coffee hawaij spice mix
A pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 glass (150ml) thinly chopped walnuts
Agave syrup for glazing (it kicks up the cookies SO much)

How to:
Pre-heat over to 180c. Mix wet ingredients (carrots included, apple vinegar not) together. Mix dry ingredients together (apple vinegar too). Mix both halves of the ingredients together and mix well until the mixture is even and sticky, very sticky. Oil cupcake pans and place in each little cupcake place a thin layer of the mix - about half a tablespoon. Put in over for 20 minutes.

Take out, glaze and leave to thoroughly cool before taking out of the pan or be very, very careful when taking out still warm as these are very fudgy cookies and can scramble if manhandled.

I'm so excited about tomorrow!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Graduation lunch for the parents

Well, I didn't go through the graduation ceremony yet because it's in may, but I finished all my chores, tests and papers for my Bs.c (in Biology) and I owe a lot of it to my parents who not only paid my tuition for two of the four years, but also helped me financially between jobs and in difficult semesters and generally were very supportive and helpful. So I threw them a festive lunch!
The lunch had three courses of my creation and included the following dishes

First course: Simple Med Salad

Ingredients: for three people
2 medium tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 bell pepper (preferably yellow or red)
1 carrot
10 green olives
1 1/2 handful of cranberries or pomegranate seeds (that's what I used)
1/2 glass of a mixture of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 flat teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 round tablespoon crushed garlic

How to:
chop, drop and roll ha ha! The seed mix should be added last and mixed into the rest of the salad just before people start eating or they'd soak the liquid and lose their crunch

Second course: 'meatloaf’ quiche

This one took me a little longer to make because I have the tiniest blender but with a sanely-sized one you'll be fine. The meatloaf mixture turned out to be A LOT so either use this recipe for a big meal or freeze the leftover mix for any other uses. I'm planning on using mine for a taco night with some friends :)

6-5 medium potatoes
300gr black beans, sprouted (they were 300gr before sprouting...)
100gr shiitake mushrooms
1 large onion
2 bags of Mozzarella Chreese Sauce Mix (or any odd hard 'cheese' you can find as long as it's thinly sliced)
100gr walnuts
3 tablespoons wheat gluten
400ml water
10 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 bottle of Liquid Smoke
5 cloves of garlic sliced
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons white cooking wine
1 teaspoon cumin

How to:
If shiitake are dry, soak them in hot water while pealing potatoes. cut potatoes in half and cook them until they're no longer starchy but not mushy yet. Slice them into 1cm thick slices.
Cook beans while chopping shiitake and onion. Lightly sauté shiitake and onion in 3 of the canola oil tablespoons and 3 of the Liquid Smoke and mix until onions are soft and slightly golden. Pre-heat over to 180c
smash walnuts into pieces and when the beans are ready, add the onions, shiitake, nuts and remaining spices to the beans, mix and start blending. Taste the blended mix and make sure it acquired a rich, meaty flavor, if not, correct spicing.
Take your quiche dish (it rhymes!!)of choice (I've got English cake ones but a wider glass dish would do great) and, unless it's a non-stick surface, lightly oil it with canola oil. Tile the bottom with the potato slices and above them, spread the meatloaf mix, then another layer of potatoes and another of mix etc. preferably ending with a layer of potatoes.
Prepare the Chreese sauce and pour it over the top layer. If using other hard "cheeses" then sprinkle or cover top layer of quiche with slices of the "cheese". You can also make the quiche a potato-meatloaf-cheese arrangement, as you please.
Stick in over for 30-45 minutes, sticking a toothpick after 30 minutes to see if deeper layers are dry enough already.

Dessert: Heavenly pudding

This is a very filling dessert and extremely tasty!

Ingredients: for each person dining!
4 teaspoons of chia seeds
1 nice and ripe banana
handful of pecans
5 dates of majhul or halawi kind, pitted
1/2 glass vanilla flavored soy milk or coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

How to:
An hour before making the pudding, soak chia seeds in the milk. place ingredients in mixer and mix one by one, starting with the nuts and dates. The ingredients should be mixed alone, be persistent with the dates. Pour all the ingredients, including chia mix and cinnamon into bowl and mix thoroughly. If you want it to be really jell-like, you can stick it in the refrigerator for until served.

The parents were very pleased and very, very full from their meal. Thanks mom and dad!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

שנה טובה!

It's a happy jewish new year to all of you who celebrate it and those who don't (that's OK, nobody's perfect ^_~). Here are some pictures of my rats enjoying some apples and date syrup.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Iraq-ish spicy quinoa, tofu and green beans dish

Careful, it's a spicy one! The original version of this dish had about twice the spices, okra and beef in it and no quinoa. If you make it my way, you'll have to pre-prepare some of the ingredients as you'll see soon but that's just my preferences.

Iraq-ish spicy quinoa, tofu and green beans dish

800 gr green beans, frozen or fresh and chopped
1 kg tofu diced as much as possible
450 gr quinoa (I used white and black but that's because I had some black leftovers lying around)
700 gr tomato, fresh or canned or whathaveyou
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablespoons za'atar
3 teaspoons salt
2 glasses of water
2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon from which you take both juice and zest
1 jalapeno or chili pepper, medium sized, cleaned thoroughly of seeds and diced into the smallest pieces you can WARNING: after handling this pepper wash your hands thoroughly with something oily or balmy like hand cream or avoid eye contact. The oil factor is important as capsaicin, which makes the pepper spicy is a hydrophobic substance and will not respond to water.

Pre-preparations: To sprout the quinoa simply soak it in water for 4-6 hours and then sprout in your sprouter for up to three days before preparing the dish. Here's a nice link with instructions on how to make a sprouter, mine I got as the amazing and wonderful Budha Burger and it's made of recycled plastic boxes, which also works great.

For me, when I make anything with tofu, I'm really picky about the tastelessness of the stuff. I found that marinating the tofu in the sauce of what I'm making for about a day before I actually cook the dish helps a bit. A bit. So, I'm including the making of the sauce as part of the pre-preparation.

Take the onions and lightly fry them with a tad oil (any oil would do that isn't olive oil) until golden. While you're doing that, take the tomatoe sauce and add the spices, pepper, garlic, lemon and zest and mix well in a pot. Add the onions and bring the mix to a boil. Add the tofu and place in a container and leave it in the fridge for a day.

The next day (or right away, if you don't want to marinate)prepare the quinoa until ready, and rinse. Add the green beans and water to the sauce with the tofu and pour it all into a big pot

bring to a boil, then lower the flame and leave on the fire until the beans are ready. Add the quinoa and mix and you've got it, well done! Remember, if the dish is too hot for you, adding oil always helps calm the tang down.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dishes so far

"Dishes" I say, like I've got a whole folder full of them...actually, there are only two dishes but they're of my own invention and therefore they belong here. Hope you'll enjoy these:

Crunchy vegetable appetizer

This is something very nice you can make as an appetizer or turn into a whole dish or whathaveyou. It's simple and very flexible and you can change the spice amounts to fit your preferences.

3-5 zucchinis depending on their size
5 tomatoes,
1 large onion
3-5 carrots depending on their size
3-5 kohlrabi (optional)
6 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon za'atar
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
Juice from half a lemon
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Preheat over to 200c
Cut vegetables to four quarters from tip to tip, the kohlrabi would need to be sliced into slices of around a centimeter or it'll take too long to prepare. Slice onion to rings or strips according to whatever you like.

Mix oil with spices and smear the paste onto the vegetables as thinly as possible. Conserve the tomato juice and add to whatever you have left of the oil mix.

Place vegetables on baking pan under aluminum foil or cooking paper and scatter the onion between the vegetable pieces. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the veggies and when they get golden, take them out.

Now you've got a few things you can do with them:
1. Make tahini and pour it over the vegetables before serving. You can also keep the tahini in a small dish on the side and offer it as a dip for the vegetables.
2. Initially chop vegetables into much smaller cubes and add them to pasta with the juices extracted during the baking and the leftovers of the spice and oil mix as a sauce.

* You can also add tempeh to the baking, it turned out great when I did it.


He he he he. Dalek - dahl with leeks and a nifty sauce. Yes, I looked very hard on how to get leeks into a dahl just so I can call it Dalek, so what? It's actually a mix between the dahl, a trick I learned from a mostly-omnivorous cooking book and a sauce which is a part of a more complex omnivorous recipe my mom found on a newspaper once (I got my cooking aspirations somewhere...)

Dahl: It's very important that you start cooking the dahl before the other half of the recipe to cut the cooking time.
1 cup of lentils, I used black lentils because I love their flavor but any old lentils can work
2 cups of whole rice
5 cups of water
Canola oil
Cooking wine

How to make: cover your pot's bottom with a thin layer of oil and heat it. Add lentils. fry and mix. Pour enough of the wine to cover the lentils and cook until the wine is completely vaporized. This gives the dahl an interesting twist. Add the rice and the water and let cook.

Leeks and nifty sauce:
2 large leeks
3 small, fresh fennels
1/4 cup of canola oil
6 chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary leaves
salt & pepper
1/4 of lemon juice
1 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup of water

How to make: chop the leeks to small half-circles. Chop fennels into small cubes. Pour oil into a large, flat pot and heat the oil, then add the leeks. Fry the leeks until they're nice and golden, then add the fennel, garlic and rosemary. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mix and fry for about 5 minutes until the fennels are equally golden. Add the lemon juice, zest and the water and bring to a boil.

Once boiled, add the dahl and continue the cooking (while keeping an eye on how much water the lentils and rice take in, add if it's getting too dry) until the rice is prepared. Before serving, add fresh parsley over the dish.

And now you have a Dalek ^_^ have fun and don't let it outside.

Welcome to Le Petits Chef Vegan!

Hello to all you great people who chose to poke in and see what this new blog is all about!

Well, what is it about?
Basically, it's about the stuff I cook. Yes, yet another vegan food blog. How am I different from other food blogs? Well:

1. I'm from Israel, so, sometimes my substitute products will be a little different than what's around in your supermarket but I'll always write in detail what this substitute is so you'll be able to find your local version. Also, weights and liquids are in the metric system *insert Pulp Fiction joke, the vegan version*

2. Ingredients: I hardly use ingredients that aren't vegan-basic (like, tofu, for example) or super-basic (like vegetables, spice mixes, spices etc.). I'm a penniless ex-student (just finished my B.A in biology) and the budget is too tight for anything too fancy. I usually cook legume + cereal + vegetable meals but I do have quite a few salad recipes and some cookies and cakes.

3. Quantities: More often than not I cook for an army. I put it in boxes and I freeze and defrost a box every time one box ends. This way one dish can last for up to two months (it's a personal record, no kidding here). It'll probably mean that this blog won't be updated too often but it also means that the amounts I'll give are a little overwhelming. So, maybe use my recipes for dinner parties or do as I do, but you have been warned.

I hope you'll enjoy this blog and the recipes in it, please don't hesitate to make comments and feedback on the recipes if anything went wrong. Maybe one day I'll try and gather an e-book of my recipes and it's very important for me that it'd would be a fail proof cookbook.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great day!