Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guest Blog - Making a Meal: Adulthood Never Tasted So Good

Guest blogger, Danna Belski, sent me this lip-smacking, deliciously easy recipe for a meal that will make you so happy. It is simple, savory, sweet, hot, soft, crunchy, all-together! I know, because I made it last night! (So, tonight I had another delicious meal to come home to!)

Also, I learned two things: 1) Silken tofu is the perfect substitute for cream or dairy in "creamy" soups and sauces. 2) Vegan cinnamon roles are now my FAVORITE kind of cinnamon role. In fact, this was a completely vegan meal, straight down to the homemade dinner bread. Hats off to Chef Danna! Happy cooking!


Making a Meal: Adulthood Never Tasted So Good

by Danna Belski

The thing I love most about being all grown up is that I get to have my own kitchen.

Everything in it is mine, from the red Le Creuset dutch oven, to the matching kitchen towels draped over the chairs. And, all the food is mine too – the piles of fresh veggies arranged on the counter, the fruit neatly stacked in the decorative bowl, and if I want two kinds of ice cream in my freezer at all times then that’s what I get.

Being responsible for feeding yourself isn’t always glamorous. Sometimes I must eat scraps of cheese and stale bread – but that isn’t what this post is about. This is about making a meal. A delicious, healthy, compliment-inducing meal.

I love cooking, and I love it even more when I get out a recipe and then don’t follow it. I love to be unconventional and break rules. “Creamy soups must be made with real cream” – Ha! “Vegan desserts taste weird” –Never! “Bread is hard to make without a bread machine” – Not in my kitchen!

So here is my recipe* for a great Sunday meal. Invite friends over or make it all for yourself and have great lunches all week.
*This is merely a suggestion for how to prepare things. Follow it as you will.

Tomato-Basil Bisque

Olive oil
6 celery ribs
1 onion (I prefer yellow), chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (or roasted for extra flavor)
Three (3) 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 T. tomato paste
Fresh basil, 1 cup, loosely chopped
3 t. sugar
Dash of salt and pepper
1 pkg. silken tofu

• You will need a pretty good sized soup pot. Heat about 2 T. oil and sauté the celery, onion, and pepper until soft. Add the tomatoes and paste, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 40 minutes.

• Remove the pot from the heat. Add the basil, along with 3 t. sugar, some salt and pepper.

• Bring out the blender. You’ll want the soup to cool a bit before attempting to blend it. You likely have to blend a little at a time, so you will need another bow to transfer the blended bisque to. Add a bit of tofu with each blend. This will give your soup a very creamy texture without the heavy diary and fat (and if you don’t tell people they will never know the difference! ) Blend the soup as much or little as you like.

• Also, feel free to experiment with spices. If I’m in the mood for something spicy I add cayenne pepper.

• Return the finished product to the heat to prepare it for serving.

Dinner Bread and Dessert Dough All-in-one!

Put these things in a food processor (using the dough blade):
4 C. Flour (I don’t recommend all whole wheat flour since half of this recipe is
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 pkg. rapid rise yeast
3 T. cold “butter” (I use Earth Balance, a non-hydrogenated oil blend)
2 C. hot water (not boiling)

Give these a spin in the processor (using the dough blade). While mixing, add butter. Process just enough so that ingredients are evenly distributed. Get the water ready, start the processor, and slowly add the water until a ball starts to form. Don’t feel like you have to use all 2 cups, it may take more, it may take less. Once you have a ball, let it process for about 20 seconds. (Count slowly: one Mississippi, two Mississippi.)

Put the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp, warm paper towel, and sit it in a warm place to rise (but not too hot – so if the over is on do not place the bowl on the oven) for about 30 minutes.

For the Dinner Bread

After the first rise, take half the dough and, on a floured surface, work it into a shape (baguette-like, or get fancy and braid it). Place it on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover again with a damp paper towel to let sit for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After second rise, bake for 8-15 minutes. Really, it depends on the thickness of your loaf. I test for doneness by tapping on the loaf and if it sounds hollow-y it’s probably done. Enjoy while warm!

For the Dessert

Prepare crumb mixture by combining the following ingredients:
2/3 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. white sugar
4 T. melted butter (again, Earth Balance)
Add cinnamon, maybe all-spice, nutmeg, whatever, to taste.
(These are approximations – play around until it looks crumbly.)

Take the second half of your bread dough and roll it out into a rectangle. Spread the crumb topping on the dough. Roll it up into a log.

These are best baked in a spring form of drop bottom cake pan. To get them there, slice up the log and arrange in the cake pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done.

These are best served hot with sautéed apples (sauté sliced apples in butter and cinnamon until soft) and sweet icing (mix sifted confectioners’ sugar with milk, I use rice milk) drizzled over top.

No comments:

Post a Comment