Vegan Gruyere and Beet Carpaccio

Below, find the fun sort of things I do in my classes

Oh, Miyoko! Our supper club guests were swooning over your version of vegan gruyere… I demoed it, but all the credit goes to you. I will add that if you want to make this exactly like what you tasted at Thought-Design, folks, use 2 T of South River Chickpea miso and you’ll need to learn to make rejuvelac, too. It’s not so pretty, but it is tasty!

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So if you want something really pretty and really delicious, try the roasted beet carpaccio I brought. I garnished it with beluga lentils (you can use du puy!) and an almond ricotta. I put the overlapping flower shapes on squares of wax paper and then composed the salad on site. Voila!

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Here’s how you do it…
Salt-roasted Beet Carpaccio with horseradish ricotta and French lentils
(serves 4-6)

Beets
Ingredients:
1 box Kosher salt
3 medium beets, rinsed

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put a layer of salt, ¼ inch deep in a loaf pan. Place clean beets on salt. Do not let them touch.
Pour salt over beets until covered.
Roast in oven for about an hour. Remove pan from oven and let sit until cool.
Peel off skins and slice beets thin with a mandoline. Place them in an overlapping flower pattern on wax paper to keep until ready to assemble.

Lentils
Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 cup du puy lentils, rinsed and drained
1 veggie
bouillon cube (preferably no MSG)

Method:
Put all ingredients into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and quickly lower to barely a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool 15 minutes.

Horseradish Ricotta
Ingredients:
1 cup whole, blanched almonds, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. horseradish, or to taste
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp. sea salt
Several grinds fresh pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor and run until it has reached a consistency you like. You will probably have to stop and clean the sides with a spatula a few times.

To assemble:
Lay each beet ‘flower’ on a salad plate. Spread ¼ cup ricotta in the center and sprinkle with drained lentils. Garnish with sunflower shoots of flat-leaf Italian parsley.

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Morgan’s maple-roasted almond butter

Morgan Doane shared a quick and easy–and delicious–way to make maple-roasted almond butter at our February supper club. Check out the directions below!

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Maple-roasted Almond Butter
16 oz. raw almonds
2-3 T maple syrup
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix raw almonds together with maple syrup and pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, pulling the sheet our every five minutes to stir. Allow to cool slightly—not too cool or they will be hard to handle. Pour almonds into the food processor and begin to process. This can take a long time (10-20 minutes) depending on the size of your processor and your motor. Stop every so often to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The almonds will go through many stages, including coarse sand, sticky dry mass, clumping mass and finally smooth butter. When is begins to move from clumping together to smooth butter, add the cinnamon and salt. Process until fully incorporated.

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Geoff Fields’ Mushroom Poblano Gumbo

Well, I was tempted to call it ‘Yumbo,’ but that’s so corny and Geoff is so serious!

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Seriously. This was delicious! Thank you, Geoff. Here is a man who takes his recipes very seriously. Recently, he wrote to us–

Disclaimer: I have always known enthusiasm is my strong suit, maybe to the point of excess. You have been warned…

So permit me to say that I have been working on a recipe for the PBSC next month that is, appropriately, fitting for St. Patrick’s Day. I made the second test batch tonight, and I can say beyond a moral certainty that I would eat this stuff every week. It’s the best vegan recipe in my playbook – at least judged by originality and taste – and I cannot wait to have you guys try it.

How cool is it that friends come up with this idea like “Plant Based Supper Club” so that people like me, and others, can spend a cold winter night imagining a recipe for the next get-together? My compliments to you both.

Peace, GF

So here’s the recipe in all its earthy glory…Geoffs Gumbo Recipe

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Happy Holidays from StirthePotGR

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Ringing in the holidays with some plant-based martinis!

Thank you to everyone who came to our first official holiday party, hosted at San Chez in their Mezze Cafe.

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In my mind, I am picturing the servers with their ‘Veg Out’ and ‘Meatless Monday’ buttons proudly displayed; Cindy Schneider, San Chez General Manager, throwing off her jacket to get into a story; Chef Chet shouting out directions for the perfect paella, and the happy buzz of more than 80 people meeting new friends and bonding over plant-based food. It doesn’t get much better than this! (Plus, none of us had to do any dishes).

Of course, as with all first-time events, there were a few glitches. Cindy asked me to apologize for the delay in the food coming out. And I apologize for not knowing more about the menu and communicating that to you so you could plan more for appetizers and drinks as opposed to the copious amount of food we always have at the supper club.

Here’s the story in photos, from beginning to end, but first! Here’s the paellarecipe-retail, courtesy of San Chez. Thank you, Cindy and staff!

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Kevin-and-Friend copy

Shane-and-Shandy copy

Emma-Bryan-Sue-Walter copy

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Detroit Vegan Soul (Yes!)

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Last Thursday, fellow foodie Morgan Doane and I, after listening to our friend Angela Topp rave about Detroit Vegan Soul, decided to head to the Motor City to check it out for ourselves. Morgan goes to Detroit for ball games all the time and has previously been limited to Subway. This all-vegan restaurant, begun from the heart by life and business partners Kirsten Ussery (1) and Erika Boyd (r), is such an exciting new add to Detroit’s food scene. Let’s cut to the food!

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That wasn’t as easy as we thought. So many options to choose from. We began with okra stew, a thick and hearty veggie-filled gumbo-like dish that we both loved and made Morgan swoon, since she’s a dedicated okra groupie.

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The sesame-kale salad was both crunchy and savory and we loved the bits of sun-dried tomato mixed in.
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Angela recommended the soul platter with it’s beans and rice, stewed collards, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes and corn muffin. Delicious and filling.
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I think my favorite was the to-fish sandwich. I’m such a sucker for this kind of comfort food. A great bun and breaded briny tofu with lettuce and tomato. Comes with sweet potato fries and cole slaw.

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We managed to find a tiny extra bit of space to split a red devil cupcake and we recommend you do the same. There’s something indefinable about it. I felt like there was taste of ground graham crackers, kinda toasty. Really good.

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Everyone is so friendly and restaurant itself with it’s luscious green walls and polished wood interior was an antidote to the dreary rain we experienced all day. Please visit Kirsten and Erika when you are in Detroit and try their food. You’ll be glad you did. Morgan and Sue 006

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Y’all come back now!

 

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Pepita Pesto Dip

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You asked for it, you got it! This rather unassuming looking dip was a major hit at our supper club and many of you asked for the recipe. The pesto recipe is mine, developed for my class on pumpkin and squash at Meijer Gardens. It becomes swoon-worthy when paired with Miyoko Schinner’s Cashew Cream Cheese, which I found the recipe for here. Miyoko is one of my favorite plant-based cheesemakers. She’s brilliant. Please buy her book “Artisan Vegan Cheese.” If you like, you could also pair this with goat cheese or cream cheese.

Pepita Pesto
Ingredients:
1 cup pepita pumpkin seeds (these are hulled seeds)
10 fresh sage leaves (big ones if you can)
1 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 head roasted garlic
¼ cup almond parmesan (this is a decent recipe, but do yourself a favor and use almond meal and maybe 1/2 the amount of nutritional yeast)
1/4 tsp salt to taste
1 cup cashew cream cheese

Directions:
Roast the pumpkin seeds in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Continue to stir the seeds until they start to pop. You want to smell a nutty aroma and see the seeds begin to brown. Keep shaking and stirring while this is happening. You will get a feel for this. You do not want smoking and burning. Move seeds to a food processor. Add the sage, parsley, roasted garlic, parmesan and salt to taste. Process until it is a coarse puree, and all ingredients are evenly distributed, stopping the processor and scraping the ingredients back toward the blades if you need to.

Mix pesto with 6-8 ounces of your choice of cheese until fully combined. Serve with crackers. Practice humility when people swoon over it.

Mustard Seed Market

To finish off my vegan month of food, I’ll show you what I do when I find a restaurant that serves vegan food. I go nuts!

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We found this gem of a restaurant in Akron, Ohio, where we attended a wedding this weekend. I  made Roger take me back twice–total of three times–so we could try everything on the menu that was vegan.

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Plus, look at the view.  The people watching was fantastic.  Health-food store shoppers take their time.

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This was a plate of Mexican-spiced quinoa nachos in a cheesy cashew sauce. The olives were a bit…canned…but the quinoa, chips and sauce were deliciously crunchy and melty, etc.  I try to love vegan sour cream, but I don’t for the same reasons I don’t like dairy sour cream.  Taste.  Texture. I would have made an avocado cream, mixing lime juice and avocado with the s.c.
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The tempeh reuben was fine, too.  Also nicely spiced and the tempeh wasn’t too thick.  One of the better tempeh reubens I’ve had.
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I’ve never had much luck with this kind of a kale in a raw salad.  It just tastes like I’m a grazing animal.  The dressing was fine, but the chewy kale and raw onions–not so much.
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This is the kind of dish that turns non-vegetarians right off. Calling it a steak?  It better taste pretty amazing.  But it tasted like–surprise!–a big slab of steamed cauliflower.  I would have breaded it and roasted the bejesus out of it.  Very nice tomato sauce and greens and grains below, but the cauliflower was unremarkable.
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This was my favorite.  A risotto cake with vegan goat cheese in the center served on a bed of sauteed spinach all swimming in a creamy tomato sauce. I’m going to have dreams about that sauce.  I won’t rest until I’ve replicated it!