Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers Take 2!

More Thanksgiving leftovers!  Hopefully this will use up the rest of the leftovers in the refrigerator so I can get onto creating more fun and new things!  So, Hubby and I still have a ton of nutritional yeast gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, his turkey and my vegan un-turkey loaf.  Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a Shepherd's Pie!  And an easy dinner after a day at work!  Most of the components of this recipe were already cooked, but I'll try to outline the ingredients as much as I can remember.

Shepherd's Pie:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes washed and peeled
2 heads garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup earth balance
1/4-1/2 cup potato cooking water
sea salt and black pepper to taste.

1.  The first step is to get the garlic roasting.  Keep the heads of garlic together - do not peel.  Cut off only the very tops and drizzle each head with 1 tablespoon of olive oil each and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.  Cover tightly with tin foil and roast at 4oo degrees for 30-45 minutes or until cooked all the way through and fragrant.
2.  While roasting, peel and chop potatoes.  Cover with lukewarm water and boil until softened.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.  Place drained potatoes back into pot and add earth balance, salt and pepper.  Mash, adding potato cooking water as needed to create the desired texture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Nutritional Yeast Gravy:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 heaping tablespoons unbleached flour
2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons shoyu
2-3+ cups filtered water
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1.  Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pot.  Add the chopped onion and cook till nicely browned, about five minutes.  Add the flour and nutritional yeast, whisking until thick.  Continue whisking periodically every minute or so until flour emits a toasty aroma and has turned a golden color. 
2.  Add the shoyu and begin whisking immediately - the mixture will thicken intensely and begin bubbling.  Begin adding the filtered water in steps, 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture is nice and smooth.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Continue cooking until gravy has thickened and is well flavored, adding more water as necessary to achieve the desired texture.

Shepherd's Pie Filling Add-Ins:
frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 each onion, green, red and jalapeno peppers, all chopped
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
chipotle pepper powder and black pepper to taste
Vegetable protein of choice, such as seasoned tvp, seitan, baked tofu (I used leftover Thanksgiving loaf here)

1.  Prepare frozen mixed vegetables according to package directions.  Drain and place in a medium sized bowl.  Saute the onion and peppers in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until just softened, about five minutes.  Place in the bowl with the mixed vegetables.
2.  Chop or otherwise prepare your vegetable protein of choice into bite-sized pieces.  Add to the bowl.  Pour enough gravy over top to make a nice creamy consistency.  Stir all ingredients together, adding more gravy as needed.  Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and chipotle pepper powder.
3.  At this point, you can decide whether or not you want the Shepherd's pie to be in a crust or crustless in a pie pan.  I always opt for the easier of the options - crustless!
4. This mixture will fill a standard size 9" pie pan or several mini pie/tart pans.  Simply place vegetable/protein/ gravy mixture into the pie pan  and cover with mashed potatoes.  You can be as creative or as simple as you like here.  For a nice touch, place potatoes in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the potatoes onto the filling.  Bake at 350 degrees until heated all the way through.  For a nice touch of added color, place under the broiler for a couple minutes or until nicely browned. 



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

After Thanksgiving, the Hubby and I have found ourselves with so many leftovers, and having eaten the same food for two days straight, I decided that I had to get creative or we'd never use any of the food before it goes bad.  After browsing and brainstorming, I decided on two items to recreate: some leftover tempeh and our sweet potato casserole. 

The hubby is not vegan or even vegetarian, so he made a turkey for himself, and needless to say, there is a TON left!  So, I had to figure out something that I could easily make for both of us.  He decided he wanted a turkey salad sandwich, so that meant I had to make a tempeh salad sandwich for myself.  Sounds boring, right?  Not necessarily- lately I've been obsessed with smokey flavor and have on hand at all times smoked paprika, smoked salt (yes you read that right!), liquid smoke and chipotle pepper powder.  So, smoky tempeh salad here I come!  The Hubby wanted chipotle sauce on the side, which I thought was a great idea - bring on the spicy, smoky flavor!  As for the sweet potato casserole, I thought I would turn something sweet into something savory and make croquettes.  The casserole was topped with chopped pecans, earth balance and raw sugar, which I removed and proceeded.  The two recipes I came up with are below.

Smoky Tempeh Salad:

(Serves 4-6)
8 oz. tempeh (I used wild rice) cut into 16 cubes
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup tamari
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2" ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Marinated tempeh
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 scallions, green part only, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper and sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
pinch cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons veganaise

1.  To marinate tempeh, place all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15 minutes or until well flavored.  Remove tempeh from liquid and set aside to cool while preparing the remaining ingredients for the salad.
2.  In a small mixing bowl, place the chopped celery, onion and scallions, the black pepper, sea salt, paprika, liquid smoke, cayenne and veganaise.  Stir together until well mixed.  Once tempeh is cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces.  Stir into the spiced mixture and season to taste.  Smoky deliciousness!  Serve in a wrap with shredded lettuce and tomato or on top of mixed greens with sliced tomato and shredded carrots.
3.  The chipotle sauce was just 1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing mixed with 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder, stirred until dissolved  - this is very spicy!

Sweet Potato Croquettes:

1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 jalapeno, minced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 scallions, green part only, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
black pepper and sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a medium non-stick pan, heat the tablespoon olive oil and add the onion, jalapeno, scallions and garlic.  Saute till fragrant and onion begins to brown.
3.  Place in a medium bowl, along with the pureed sweet potato.  Add the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and season to taste.
4.  Place the panko breadcrumbs on a plate and portion the croquettes.  Using a 1/4 cup measure or a portion scoop, scoop the sweet potato mixture directly into the breadcrumbs.  Flatten into discs.          5.  Meanwhile, place the two tablespoons canola oil into a non-stick pan and heat over medium-high heat.  Once heated, carefully place the sweet potato discs into the hot oil, making sure the discs do not break - they are very fragile.  Lightly brown on both sides.
6.  Once all the croquettes are browned on both sides, place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes (this step is necessary to cook the flour and cornmeal in the middle and help firm up the croquettes).

These are delicious served with vegan sour cream to counteract the sweetness of the potatoes.  I do not recommend using the tofutti brand - it is much better to make your own.  I will type up a recipe for my sour cream, but that will have to wait for another day.   



Friday, November 26, 2010


Hello and welcome to Koko's Kitchen!

With this blog, I intend to bring you delicious vegan food and lots of vegan sweets.  To inspire you to get into your kitchen (however small it may be!) and start cooking!

I invite you to join me in this delicious journey.