Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Kid in Town

I’ve decided to move my cook book off of myspace and onto blogger for many reasons. Because I feel like nobody is reading this, although I’m sure I have a few fans out there. It’s just too easy to get side tracked by all the other stuff on the site, by all the bands who want me to buy their CDs, by all the people who think that I’ll go to their show in ....Prague...., by people I’ve never even met offering to sell me…things. Because there are a lot of vegetarians on myspace but none of them seem interested in vegetarian cooking.

Maybe you liked these recipes. If you did, feel free to follow me after the change, continue to read as I post more delicious dishes, and please (for the love of G-d!) leave comments. Try the recipes even if you aren’t a vegetarian. Most of this stuff is yummy, fun and easy to make, and very cheap ingredients.

Because Cold Turkey is slipping on the charts…oh wait that’s a completely different letter. Sorry if you didn’t get that joke, hopefully somebody, somewhere, did.

I’m also moving because I’ve just been to see the movie Julie & Julia and I’ve realized a few things about myself. True, I set out to write this cook book because I love cooking but it was mostly because I wanted to get a book published and I knew I had a niche. There are vegetarian cook books. There are cook books for people who live on their own, aka single people. However, somehow, amazingly nobody has thought to put the two together. There are tons of vegetarians out there who aren’t part of big families, or who are the only person in the family who doesn’t eat meat. I know I was the only one in my family, which is why I started teaching myself vegetarian cooking when I was 11-year-old.

.. ..

I did use recipes on occasion but most of the time I didn’t like them, for several reasons.

1. Cook books are too exact, makes you feel like you have to follow as written, even when the author says you can deviate. There are two kinds of cooks in the world. The first kind: instinctive. You (I) just know what tastes good together. You (I) go to the store buy whatever looks good, go home, mix, add heat (or don’t), spices, and serve (or eat by myself). Sometimes it doesn’t taste very good but usually it does. I know what I like and I know how to make things taste the way I like. The other kind of cook is the scientific. They work with exact recipes (or don’t) adding things because they belong there, they are supposed to be that way. I’m not saying that scientific cooks can’t improvise, but they follow the rules and instinctive cooks don’t.

2. Even years later recipes didn’t work for me because I almost always cook for myself and no one else (sometimes I’ll make dinner for the family, my class (in Junior High I made a curry dish for a report on India and brought it to class. I got the recipe from a Linda McCartney book) or my friends) and most cook books with vegetarian dishes make at least 4 servings. Even if I really like what I’m cooking, I don’t want to have leftover three or four times in less than two weeks.

3. Recipes take time, especially the first few times you make them because you don’t know what goes where or when, and so you have to constantly check the book, stir, correct any problems you’ve made from misunderstandings or things that went wrong that you couldn’t possibly have known would happen (think this weeks House with the meatballs, one problem that vegetarians don’t have to deal with).

I guess that’s about it, really. Well, no not really. I think I also find some cook books (even Linda’s) a bit daunting, but for the most part I only stayed away from them because I didn’t need recipes to make delicious meals.

Rachel The Vegetarian.

Mascarpone and Tomato Sauce

1-2 tablespoons butter or margarine
¼ cup diced Portobello mushroom
½ small tomato diced
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Crave Brothers Mascarpone (Made with Fresh Sweet Cream)
Sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese

  1. Melt the
    butter in a medium-sized sauce pan, and add the mushrooms.
  2. Add
    the tomatoes, and heat for 2 or 3 minutes
  3. Pour
    in the tomato sauce and simmer.
  4. Melt
    in the mascarpone cheese, and stir until sauce is a dark orange in
    color. Serve over your favorite

*Rachel recommends Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Ravioli
(available at some Whole Foods stores).

Quick and Easy "Chicken" Mole

½ cup mini chocolate chips
about 1 teaspoon peanut butter (if desired)
1 tablespoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ package of West Soy seitan
A dash of diced onion or onion powder to taste
About 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (if desired)
  1. In a small pan combine the chopped seitan with chocolate chips and onions (if desired)
  2. Add heat until chocolate melts, then mix
  3. Add the spices and stir
  4. Cook for approximately 15 minutes on low flame, stirring regularly
  5. Top with Sour cream and tomatoes if desired
  6. Serve with beans and rice, salad, tortilla chips, or a small tamale (as pictured)
I don't know when the first time I had mole sauce was, probably some time in my childhood. I loved the stuff. My parents used to make mole sauce at home--from a jar--and now as an adult I've been experimenting with both the stuff in a jar (just add water) and my own special mixture. I've been making this a lot lately, because I was experimenting with making tamales. I think I'm almost ready to post that recipe too.

I don't like either picture, but they are all I've got.

Truffle Butter Omelet

I discovered the greatest substance in the world a few months back, Epicurean Black Truffle Butter. I love truffles and mushrooms to begin with, and when I first found the stuff, I decided to use it to make an omelet. It came out tasting fantastic, so I made another one the very next day, and decided to share it on my original blog. So, here's the recipe.

Epicurean Omelet
¼ cup Portobello mushroom, diced
3 teaspoons of Epicurean black truffle butter or any truffle butter you can find.(BTB)**
2 eggs
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
*truffle butter can be quite expensive, and is sometimes hard to find.  If you have no choice, mix the leftover juice from cooking the mushrooms with the eggs

  1. melt 1 teaspoon of BTB in a small to medium sized frying pan
  2. Add the mushrooms and let cook for about a minute, before pouring in half the milk.
  3. Cook the mushrooms in the milk and butter, stirring occasionally
  4. in a bowl whisk the eggs with the rest of the milk
  5. Drain the mushroom pan and then add the diced Portobellos to egg mixture
  6. melt the rest of the BTB in the empty pan*, or if you prefer in a second pan
  7. Pour the eggs and mushrooms into the frying pan
  8. cook the eggs until light and fluffy, then add the cheese
  9. fold the cooked omelet and serve with potatoes, toast, or a bagel
*if you have milk and TBT left over, pour it into a small container and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Chick-n Parmesan

I have always loved Italian food. When I was a little kid my mom used to make these amazing dinners with tortellini in pesto sauce and chicken or eggplant Parmesan, almost every week. I loved it so much that when I wanted a snack, I'd go into the fridge, find the leftovers and put some tortellini on a plate. When I became a vegetarian, chicken Parmesan was no longer an option, but then I realized that I could do the same thing with this dish that I've done with countless others. I used to make Chick-n parmesan with pieces of seitan, until I discovered the Quorn cutlets, which look and taste a lot like chicken breasts, and I personally think it works much better this way.

1. 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin is best but feel free to use regular, virgin, or any other oil of your choice)

2. 1 Quorn Naked Chicken Cutlet

3. ½ of a Portobello mushroom cap diced

4. 2/3 of a cup tomato sauce

5. Mozzarella cheese (optional)


1. Heat the olive oil in a small pan

2. Cook the mushrooms and cutlet in oil until cutlet is a light brown and mushrooms are soft and juicy.

3. Make an aluminum foil packet and place cutlet inside.

4. Top with tomato sauce, mushrooms, and cheese

5. Bake in toaster oven at 350° for approximately 10 minutes

6. Serve with pasta or a salad

"Fruit Salad"

”Mama’sSalads should not be listed in cook books with an exact recipe.
That's my opinion.  Portion size varies from person to person 
depending on how much you want or like to eat and whether
 you want it to be a starter or your whole meal.
I like making salads and they are simple to create.
So I'll be posting a lot.

Fruit Salad:

mix chopped strawberries, Mandarin oranges, diced avocado,
some fresh blueberries, and chopped pecans,
with a bowl of spinach and romaine lettuce leaves.
I personally top it with Lily's Raspberry-Walnut
vinaigrette, but I think that has almost as much to do with t
he brand name as the fact that the flavor goes
well with this salad, and as such, any other
dressing would work just as well.

I made this salad for myself several times,
and then a few years back we had people over for a party
and my parents asked me to make a salad for everyone.
I did, and people liked it so much that I've been making
salads for parties and at home ever since.
Sorry but this is the only picture I have
and you can't see the blueberries in it.