Friday, November 23, 2007

and now, some recipes

Thank you guys so much for your kind words about our Thanksgiving meal! As promised, here are some of the recipes that we used:

Daiku is known for his pecan pies. (Funny story: the first Thanksgiving he ever spent at my parents' house, he brought over two pecan pies. My mom, who had never had any before, fell in love with them, and spent the next week happily eating a slice with her afternoon coffee). So he was a bit leery of veganizing it, but we both agree that this pie kicked some major ass! It had all the flavor of a regular pecan pie, without that unpleasant "scrambled egg" aftertaste. And, it set up really well. If you miss this dessert, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. And after we made it, we noted how totally healthy it is- no processed sugar or flour, a reasonable amount of fat and sweetener, chock full of fresh nuts- it's a winner!

Vegan Pecan Pie (Recipe from:

From Lorna Sass's Complete Vegetarian Kitchen

Oatmeal Pie Pastry
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon or allspice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. canola oil
2 T. maple syrup (here is the only change we made to this recipe: Daiku used Steen's dark syrup instead of maple syrup, to give the pie an even more traditional southern flavor - you can take the boy out of Louisiana...)
2-3 T. apple juice or water

image courtesy of:

Mix oatmeal, flour, spice, and salt together in a bowl.

In a measuring cup, whisk together the oil, syrup, and juice or water. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir.

With moist hands, press the dough into an oiled 9-inch pie plate or 10-inch tart tin, put in beans or pie weight, and bake for 15 min. in a preheated 375-degree F oven.

Pecan Pie
1 1/2 c. brown rice syrup
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. agar flakes
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T. arrowroot or kuzu (we used arrowroot)
water to cover arrowroot or kuzu
2 c. toasted pecans
1 tsp. vanilla

In a heave saucepan, prepare the filling. Whisk together the rice syrup, water, agar flakes, cinnamon, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until the agar dissolves completely, stirring occasionally, about 5 min.

In a small bowl (or coffee cup ), dissolve the arrowroot in water to barely cover and add to the agar-rice syrup mixture. While cooking the mixture at a low simmer, whisk it until the chalky color becomes clear.

Let the mixture cool for 15 min. Stir in the pecans and vanilla and pour into the prepared pie crust, distributing the pecans evenly.

Let the pie cool to room temperature and set, about 2 hours (or refrigerate for 1 hour).

Next up, we have the Sicilian Crostata recipe from the Silk Road Cooking book. We were both instantly attracted to this dish because it looked so good, and featured two of my favorite things, lima beans and dill. That is one fabulous flavor combination, if you ask me. The recipe for the crust was easy to veganize- we simply omitted the egg. The filling, however, was a bit more challenging, because it called for several eggs and parmesan cheese. We played with that a bit, and were really happy with the results- and it set really well, too, so take that, eggs.

Vegan Sicilian-style lima bean and dill crostata filling (to pour into a pre-baked crust and bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees)

1 1/4 C. unsweetened soymilk
1/4 C. vegan sour cream
1 - 2 TB nutritional yeast
1/2 C. fresh (refrigerated) silken tofu
1 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer (we put this in as security because we were replacing eggs, it may or may not be crucial!)

mix the above in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer at medium-high speed for at least 2-3 minutes, until well-incorporated.

Meanwhile, sauté the following with some oil in a wok, until onions are translucent and just beginning to caramelize:

1 small onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
a handful of fresh and 2 TB dried dill
1 lb. lima beans (we used frozen Fordhook lima beans- they were huge!)
salt and pepper to taste

Add the liquid mixture to the veggie mixture and heat through. Add a slurry made up of 1 TB cornstarch and water and stir through. (Again, we did this as egg replacement insurance- it may not be crucial!)

Pour the mixture into your prepared and pre-baked pie crust (we used a 7" X 10" rectangular dish, but I imagine a 9 or 10-inch pie dish would have been good too) and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until golden.

The results were awesome! It might have resembled a quiche more than a crostata, but I'm not complaining! We will be making this again.

Finally, we have the jerusalem artichoke soup. (Jenna, we loved them!) Never having tasted jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes, as they're alternately known), I was surprised by the flavor- so light, so sweet, so creamy- a perfect ingredient for this type of soup. Daiku and I came up with funny ways to try to describe the flavor- my favorite was "a mixture of blond wood and ice cream" - somehow, this soup struck us as the Ikea furniture of the food world (don't ask!) - don't let the crazy description stop you, though, this is a definite must-try.

1 - 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots
1 small onion
2 TB sherry
1 pound jerusalem artichokes, sliced, peels intact
1 cube veggie bouillon (we used Rapunzel brand), dissolved in 3 1/2 C. warm water
1 C. unsweetened soymilk
1 TB vegan sour cream

Sauté the shallots and onion in the olive oil for 5-6 minutes, until they are beginning to turn a golden color. Pour the sherry into the mixture, to deglaze. Add the 'chokes and bouillon/water mixture and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a rapid simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

Pour the soymilk and sour cream into a blender, then add the soup. (This is where I really wish I had an immersion blender!) Blend on high, for at least a few minutes. This is important to ensure that everything is uniform, the peels of the 'chokes disappear, and the soup achieves a frothy, ethereal texture.

Serve warm, topped with caramelized shallots and some truffle oil. (Note: after blending this soup, we kept it on low heat for almost an hour, and it held up just fine)

Looking back, our Thanksgiving meal turned out to have been a fairly healthy one. We didn't plan it that way, but most of the dishes are free of processed sugar, we only used white flour and margarine in a couple of them, and they were chock full of fruits and veggies, so I consider the meal a success. I hope you try some of these recipes- perfect cozy, Autumnal food for cold, brisk days.



selina said...

wow! looks good!
thats awesome that you cooked together!

cant wait to try that pecan pie on my mom! :)

selina said...

oh yeah & your thanksgiving food looks good too!

your Roasted Golden Acorn Squash filled with a Middle-Eastern fruited wild rice pilaf looks SOOOO good! :)

Veg-a-Nut said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I wish I had been at your house for dinner. Your
Vegan Sicilian-style lima bean and dill crostata filling look fantastic. Another recipe for the to make box. DH wants the pecan pie! Looks and sounds great. I love how much healthier it is.

Celine said...

you do that my husband is gonna be on my case to find that pure cane sugar syrup, yes? ;p

Emmie said...

Bazu, does brown rice syrup have a strong deep taste, or is it lighter? We don't have rice syrup here but we do have golden syrup (which has a slitghly lighter taste, like maple syrup without the maple) and we also have a darker syrup which is.. well darker and has a deeper taste. I'm wondering which one I should try for this pie.

Heeeeeelp me!

Emmie said...

When and if I get married, you'll cook for me, ok? I mean, it's not like it's a big favour to ask for you to fly all the way across the ocean and then spend several days cooking. :D

Ok, just say yes and then I'll go propose to my partner. We're counting on you!

Deb Schiff said...

Looks fantastic! What can you do if you don't have agar flakes?

aTxVegn said...

I've eaten sunchokes before, but never bought and cooked them. It sure makes a pretty soup.

I love the oatmeal pie crust, and even if I don't make the crostada, I can't wait to add dill to my limas!

Hilary said...

yum, it all looks and sounds so good! I think I'll have to try your pecan pie sometime :)

bazu said...

Emmie, the flavor of brown rice syrup is really hard to describe- it's very mild, and when it's cooked, it gets a caramel-like flavor, with a soft consistency. I'm not sure whether golden syrup or dark syrup would be a better replacement... just judging by color, I'd say 3/4 golden 1/4 dark??

Oh, and I don't need any encouragement to want to come to Sweden! I really want to- now go propose, already! ;-)

bazu said...

if you don't have agar flakes, you could use a smaller amount of agar powder... but I'm not sure if agar could be omitted all-together... it's essential for the pie to "set"

jonimarie said...

yum yum and more yum! tahnks so much for the recipes. it looks as though you had an amazing thanksgiving spread!

Dori said...

Happy turkey-free day! I love the looks of that crostada. I have yet to do much with artichokes, your comforting soup gives me inspiration.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the recipe!!!

looks very tasty.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oh thank you for the gorgeous-beyond-gorgeous array of superb-looking photos and recipes. I wasn't too pleased with my only attempt at veganizing a pecan pie, so I've saved your recipe as a must-try!

Happy Thanksgiving!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oh, and don't worry about not sharing your love with Purely Decadent... I've been giving it MORE than enough love for the both of us! ;o)

reiskeks said...

About the statement of the Coca Cola CEO: Sorry, if this made you sad :-( The statement was made in the context of too rigorous parents, who never allow their kids one single sip of soda or not even french fries e.g. I hope, that I can find it one day online and post the source here, I read it in any fair trade magazine...

I do not think, that happy kids turn to the opposite suddenly, when they grow up, this goes solely in the direction "do not force your kid to eat something against its will, no matter how healthy you think the food is". MY "childhood" was not happy in any way...

the little one said...

Thanks for the recipes! My partner has been hoping I'd make a pecan pie. I have no excuse not to now. I'm glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. The food looks amazing.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Mmmm savories and sweets! Thanks for the recipes. I really like how check full of brown rice syrup goodness the pecan pie is...

also, I don't know HOW I didn't have you on there?? but you're not on my blogroll : )

Cakespy said...

Oh lord! That pie! That crostata! Oh, sweet pleasure overload. This all looks so great! Thanks for the recipes too.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree...lima beans and dill--what more do you need?! I cannot wait to try that recipe!


madeinalaska said...

Wow girlfriend you were cooking up a beautiful storm! Then all your work posting everything! You are a vegan rockstar! Happy late thanksgiving! and yep, I got a kick out of you name game!

Veganista said...

WOW, Bazu, you are the best! Your thanksgiving feast looked and sounded incredible, and now you're sharing the recipes too?! The pecan pie esp is calling me...

And I loved the "fancypantsery". It's not an unfamiliar concept, but we never had a word for it before. :) I think you may have just introduced a new one to our vocabulary. :)

textual bulldog said...

your food all looks so amazing... i'm not even sure you need to fancypantsify your recipe names since they seem real fancy to this country girl even without it. the stuffed squash especially caught my eye... i'm really excited you shared all of these recipes with us, and hope to use one real soon! yay.

Melody Polakow said...

Thanks for the recipes and sharing your amazing feast! Seriously.. it looks and sound so fabulous.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Everything sounds SO good!

dreamy said...

The artichoke soup looks sooo good after a tiring day of travelling.. :d

Vegan_Noodle said...

That pecan pie looks so good. A big tradition down here in the south... we had a chocolate one with our Thanksgiving meal. Thanks for posting the recipes!

I"ve got a lot of catching up to do on your blog since being out the last four or five days..

vegetalion said...

I just tried sunchokes this thanksgiving and LOVED them! now I'll have to try your soup recipe.

Village Vegan said...

That all looks SO good. I love your description of the Jerusalem artichoke soup! I should really try them again...we had them in our garden when I was little, and I think I ate them once, and now I think I'd like them more!

SaraJane said...

I couldn't find an email for you, so I guess I'll just comment my question here! I'm so going to make this pecan pie this weekend. It's my gift to myself for doing this 2 week cleanse free of baked goods! I got some cane syrup, too. That's the Virginia gal in me. ;) Anyway... since I'm only one person, I'm planning to give some of this to others, so inspired by the cup pie thread over on the PPK Forums, I thought I might try making this as cup pies. Would you have any suggestions as to oven temperature and baking time? I know it's risky doing that to something I've never made before, but I can't resist! I thought of buying some of those little aluminum pie tins, but I hate those. They make the pie taste like metal. Yuck.

bazu said...

Hi Sarajane!
Congrats on the detox- and the pie, detox-friendly as it is, is the perfect reward!

You lucked out- since this pie doesn't require any baking (except for the crust), you don't have to worry about bake times. You can just bake little mini-crusts in cups, and then pour the filling in, and allow it to set. You should be good to go- one warning, though, this pie doesn't set up super firm! But that's perfect any way, since it's in cup form...