Friday, September 16, 2011

Vegan Potato, Zucchini and Tomato Gratin

Did you know that the Martha Stewart food site has a collection of vegan recipes? So pretty! How does that woman do it? I say woman like she is back there doing it all single-handed, but still.

I have been on a serious zucchini kick lately and am going to miss this stuff so much when it's all gone. It's really the only part of summer that I'm clinging to for dear life. You can take your 110+ degree days and stuff them where the sun literally does not shine, but let me have some more of that zucchini! I have a friend who is about to harvest some eggplant, though, so maybe that will be a good transition away from summer and into the winter squashes. And then before you know it I will be pining for butternut squash.

I made this recipe for Vegan Potato, Zucchini and Tomato Gratin and it was so incredibly easy and delicious. I made two. Hers looks super fancy in her gratin pan and all, but I just used made one in a cake round and the other in a metal pie plate. They fit in the toaster oven that way so I saved a little energy and didn't heat the house up.

This is what one of them looked like before baking. I added thyme and pepper.

This one I made for the omnivores and they wanted a little Parmesan sprinkled on top.

This is one is the vegan one. The recipe calls for the foil to be taken off and at that point, I added some Panko bread crumbs that I sprinkled a little olive oil over.

The vegan one turned out so nice that the boys ended up sampling mine. After that, they didn't even care about the Parmesan and said I could leave it off next time. WIN! That night I served it with some breaded tofu, crescent roll (yeah, I know, I was being lazy) and some saffron rice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pressure Cooker Vegetable Stock



I'm constantly needing a vegetable stock that doesn't have salt in it so that my rice and beans don't get too firm. Today, I decided to see if I could use my pressure cooker to make some. It turned out very good and made enough to freeze in batches: a 6-cup batch for risotto, a 2-cup batch for beans and a 1-cup batch for gravy or some other purpose. I'm making risotto tonight, so I threw the other two containers in the freezer.

Here's the recipe:

Vegan Pressure Cooker Vegetable Stock

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 onions (2 yellow, 2 white), peeled and quartered
  • 4 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into inch-long pieces
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into inch-long large pieces
  • 2 heads of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 1-2 teaspoons no-salt seasoning like Mrs. Dash
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes



  1. Saute vegetables (except garlic) in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Add water, spices and nutritional yeast flakes.
  4. Add lid and bring up to high pressure according to your cooker's specifications. When pressure is reached, cook for 10 minutes and let pressure release naturally.
  5. Strain through a mesh sieve (compost the veggie mash) into storage containers and refrigerate or freeze.

Makes about 9-10 cups depending on how much you smoosh the veggie mash in the sieve.

Tips:

If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can use all the same ingredients but cook for about 30 minutes to an hour, tasting as you go along.

If you have leftover veggies in your fridge that are about to go bad, throw those in there, too.
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