Tag Archives: onions

Mexican-Spiced Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Green Chile-Chipotle-Cilantro Dressing

Roasted Veg SandwichFor the sloppiest sandwich ever, look no further.  Tons of spicy roasted veggies and a quick guac topped with my Sweet & Tangy Green Chile-Chipotle-Cilantro Dressing.  Go at it with a fork and knife or bare hands and a bib.

(I shared this recipe on The Veggie Nook for Healthy Vegan Friday!)

Mexican-Spiced Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches
Makes 4-5

Roasted Vegetables:
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 heaping tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 small eggplant, sliced into rounds
1 small yellow squash, sliced into rounds
1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
4-5 cremini mushrooms, quartered
4-5 baby red or white potatoes, thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 a lime
chopped cilantro, for garnish

2 avocados
1/2 tsp. cumin
splash Chipotle Tabasco
juice of 1/2 a lime

Sweet & Tangy Green Chile-Chipotle-Cilantro Dressing, to taste

4 really good, crusty rolls (that’s homemade pan Siciliano in the photos), sliced

Make the vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl, combine the broth through the potatoes and toss to coat the veggies with the sauce.

Roast the vegetables until tender – stirring occasionally – for 25-30 minutes. You can serve these right away, stirring in the lime juice and cilantro, or eat at room temperature.

Make the guacamole:
In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the cumin, Tabasco, and lime juice. Set aside.

Build the sandwich:
Lightly toast or warm the bread halves. Divide the guacamole between the bottom halves of the bread. Top with roasted veggies, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle on more cilantro, if desired.

Veg Sandwich

Roasted Veg Sandwich

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Creamy Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup in Small BowlKel and I got into a habit during the long hours in the car on a recent road trip.  As mealtimes approached, I’d use my phone to begin the hunt for vegan-friendly restaurants in whatever large city was coming up along the highway.  On the second day of our drive back through Florida on our way back to Oklahoma, Kel and I hit the lunchtime jackpot and were treated to the best meal of our trip.  Once inside the doors of End of the Line Cafe in Pensacola, there was no need to explain veganism, no asking for the mayo/cheese/sour cream to be removed from a dish – it was straight-up, 100% plant-based manna.

End of the Line Cafe sits right along the railroad tracks (hence the name) and not far from the waterfront.  It’s a humble setting and I’m not sure I’d be lingering in the area after dark.  No matter, it was a bright and warm day and our stomachs were loudly protesting their emptiness.  End of the Line was serving up a prix-fixe brunch that Sunday and the place was full – all of us clutching forks and knives in anticipation.  The meal started out with little cups of rich and flavorful creamy tomato soup.  After slurping our first sips, my eyes met Kel’s and in hushed tones we both murmured, “Wow.”  I have no idea what they put in there, but whatever it was, I want to bottle it and sell it.  The rest of the meal was also outstanding (photos below).

I have to admit, I didn’t even come close to End of the Line’s version, but this is still a tasty, easy soup.  For this recipe, I used the last of 2012′s homegrown tomatoes that Kel had cut into slices and put into the freezer.  They were real beauties and part of me hated to use them all up, but since we have new tomato plants starting in the greenhouse, we should be buried in the red beasts by July.  Canned tomatoes will work just fine in this recipe.

I’ve shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday.

One year ago today: 7 Days of Salad: Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Couscous with Sweet Lime-ginger Dressing
One year and one day ago today: 7 Days of Salad: Orzo w/ Black-eyed Peas, Olives & Cucumber

Creamy Tomato Soup
Serves 6

2 large onions, sliced
water and/or Bragg Liquid Aminos, for sautéing
~8 cups tomatoes (peeled), or two 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can white beans
1 head garlic, roasted and the cloves squeezed out
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp. white miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. curry powder
~1/2 cup nut milk, optional

orange gremolata, recipe below

In a large pot, slowly and patiently caramelize the onions in splashes of water and Bragg Liquid Aminos.  For buttery, soft and brown onions, this should take about 30 minutes.  Don’t skip this step – it gives the soup its rich flavor.

Once the onions are caramelized, add the tomatoes and cook down for about 10 minutes.  Stir all of the remaining ingredients, except for the nut milk, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the soup for 30 minutes or so, tasting to adjust the seasonings.

Using a blender or a stick blender, puree the soup. Stir in the nut milk, if using, and heat gently while you prepare the gremolata.

Garlic, Onions Collage

Orange Gremolata

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup or so of parsley, finely chopped
zest of one orange
1/4 cup or so of raw walnuts, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

GremolataDivide the soup between bowls and top with gremolata.

Bowls of Tomato Soup

Brunch at End of the Line Cafe:

Tofu Migas

Two salads plus rice and tofu migas at End of the Line Cafe.


And for dessert: a luscious macaroon.

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Food Bloggers Against Hunger: A Recipe from my Grandmother

pepper, onions, potatoes & beansWhen I make my weekly run to the grocery store, long list in hand, I rarely look at prices – and most days I take that luxury for granted.  For this day, for this post, I’m stopping to think about how truly lucky I am.


My grandmother.

Signing on to Food Bloggers Against Hunger (along with over 200 bloggers!) has made me pause, to take stock, to whittle down my grocery list to the bare essentials – to compare prices.  I went to the grocery store armed with $4 and a very short list.  When I thought about how I would stretch that $4, I immediately thought of this dish.  It’s one my Sicilian grandmother made for her family of five.  I’m sure that there were many nights when my grandmother had to stretch a few ingredients to feed her hungry kids – and this dish would’ve have filled their bellies.  She might have added scrambled eggs to this dish – and probably a handful of Parmesano Reggiano if she had it.  This recipe has stood the test of time – my father made it for his family and we kids always thought it was a treat.  Later, it became one of my go-to recipes as a singleton and it’s never failed to satisfy.

Incidentally, I came in under $4 – with nearly a whole whopping dollar to spare.  Here’s how my purchases added up:

Green bell pepper: $0.68
Potato: $0.78
Yellow onion: $0.63
15 oz. can great northern beans: $0.68
Tax: $0.27
Total: $3.04

Instead of eggs or tofu, I added a can of white beans – a bargain.  My grandmother probably would have used olive oil to prepare this dish, but since I run an oil-free kitchen, I’ve cooked mine in some vegetable broth, soy sauce and water.

A Place at the Table

I hope after reading this post you’ll click here and take 30 seconds and send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. Your participation will help protect nutrition programs that help kids get much-needed food into their bellies.  For more detailed information, visit Share Our Strength – and check out the documentary, A Place at the Table, via Amazon or iTunes.  Thank you, The Giving Table, for organizing this event.


Peppers, Potatoes, Beans & Onions
Serves 4

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, cored and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 large potato, scrubbed and peeled
1 15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
splash of vegetable broth, water, and or soy sauce
ground black pepper, to taste

Peel and wash the potato, then cut into small cubes.  Pour a little water and soy sauce into a baking dish.  Add the potato, 1/3 of the minced garlic and plenty of ground black pepper.  Now – turn on the oven to 425F and put the pan with the potatoes in the oven.  I start with a cold oven for roasting potatoes because I discovered that they stick less to the pan this way.  Keep a close eye on these guys and add water/broth/soy sauce as necessary to prevent sticking.  They’ll soften and brown a little bit.  After about 20 minutes, they should be done.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat a little water/vegetable broth and add the bell pepper, onion and garlic.  Sauté for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft.  Add water/broth as necessary to prevent sticking.  Stir in the beans and the potatoes, and season with pepper.  Cook just enough to heat the beans through.  Serve immediately.


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VeganMoFo: Loaded Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup, Salad I’m like the Princess in the Princess and the Pea.  It doesn’t matter how many layers of goodness you have covering up that tiny pea.  I will find it.  I don’t want peas baked into pot pie, hanging about in my vegetable coconut korma, mixed into stir-fries or tossed into minestrone.  There are two ways I like to eat peas: straight out of the pod or cooked up into split pea soup.  Like this one.

One year ago today: Goodbye, Basil

Loaded Split Pea Soup
Serves 8

4 cups vegetable broth + more for sautéing
4 cups water
1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 cup butternut squash, diced
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 cup green split peas
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
2 links seitan sausage (I used a couple of links of apple-sage)

Saute the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and parsnip for 8-10 minutes in a splash of vegetable broth and stir occasionally, adding more liquid if needed.  Stir in the butternut squash, curry and cumin powder and saute for about 1 minute.  Add the 4 cups broth, water, Liquid Aminos and the split peas.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.  Cook until the peas and vegetables are very tender.

Meanwhile, slice the seitan sausage into 1/4″ rounds and brown on low heat using water or vegetable broth sparingly to keep the sausage from sticking to the pan.  Remove and set aside.

Stir in the corn and the sausage and cook for a few minutes – just to heat them through.

(For another awesome split pea recipe, check out Somer’s smoky version at Vedged Out.)

Aerial Split Pea Soup

Vegan MoFo

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Whole Wheat Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic, Figs & Arugula

Pizza SlicesRecently at The Wedge, a fantastic pizzeria on Western Avenue in Oklahoma City, I custom-made a pizza (from their long list of yummy choices) with caramelized red onions, dried figs, roasted garlic “sauce” and arugula.  Sound familiar?  It was so good I had to recreate it at home.  I made a quick whole wheat crust, used fresh figs instead of dried and went with home grown sweet onions instead of red.  Better the second time around.

On a side note, we took Ike with us and the restaurant graciously allowed him to sit on the side patio with us.  Now, Ike is a country dog.  He sees lots of cows, rabbits, squirrels, birds and the occasional coyote, but he rarely sees humans other than me and Kel.  For some unknown doggy-brain reason, Ike took an immediate and intense dislike to our waiter, a man Kel and I found to be extremely nice and accommodating.  Ike barked every time the poor man came within 10 feet of our table.  Which can make serving someone a little tricky.  It got bad enough that by the time the meal was over, another wait person came out to deliver the bill, saying that our waiter was “afraid of getting bitten.”  Not to worry.  Ike only bites when the bill is too high.

Whole Wheat Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Figs & Arugula
One 13″ pizza

1 tsp. agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme (optional)

Roasted garlic:
2-3 heads garlic, tops sliced off and loose “paper” removed
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Figs in CartonFigs:
1 cup fresh figs, stems removed and sliced in half
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste

2 onions, thinly sliced
vegetable broth
1 tbsp. soy sauce

(You can make up the toppings ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.)

Make the roasted garlic:
Wrap the garlic heads in foil and bake at 425F for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the garlic is very soft and buttery.  You don’t need oil to do this, by the way.  Let cool completely before removing the paper and/or squeezing the roasted heads into a small bowl.  Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and mash well with a fork.  Set aside.

Make the pizza dough:
Dissolve agave nectar and yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Add flours, salt and thyme (if using) to the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes.  Add a little flour as you knead, but just enough to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.  Place dough in a medium-sized bowl coated with cooking spray.  Cover and chill for one hour or more.  It will rise slightly in the refrigerator – but this chilling plus the single rise is what makes for a thin – and a quick crust.

Figs Garlic CollagePrepare the figs:
In a small bowl, combine the figs, maple syrup, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Stir well to make sure the figs are coated.  Set aside.

Make the onions:
Pour about 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water into a large skillet and heat on medium.  Add the soy sauce and the onions and stir now and again, letting the liquid cook off before adding more.  Cook low and slow – caramelizing takes some patience.  Stir and keep adding small amounts of liquid until the onions are a nice golden color and become extremely soft.

Now add the figs and let cook for about 5 minutes.  You should have a nice, sticky mess of onions and figs.  Take them off the heat and set aside until ready to assemble and bake the pizza.

Assemble the pizza:
Place a pizza stone on a rack that has been positioned in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 500F.  Line the underside of a baking sheet with parchment paper (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can bake directly on this; otherwise, use the baking sheet/parchment to help you transfer the pizza to the stone).  When the oven nears 500F, remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to about 13″.  Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and gently pat the dough out to flatten it.  Using a fork, prick the dough all over so that the crust doesn’t get “blisters” as it bakes.

Spread the roasted garlic paste all over the pizza and slide the dough onto the stone and bake for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the pizza and place on a heat-proof surface (I transfer it back to the baking sheet).  Spread the onion/fig mixture over the pizza and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is browned and crispy.  Remove the pizza and transfer it to a cutting board (one that won’t melt…) and add a handful or two of fresh arugula.  Slice and serve.

Pizza Slices on Paper

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How The Garden Grows

Green Tomato

Green tomatoes.

It’s really full-on summer here – though the calendar disagrees with me – in Oklahoma and besides having tomatoes, peppers and basil in the greenhouse, Kel has things humming along in the outside garden as well.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, he’s really been a one man show this year as far as the gardening goes.  I putter out to help here and there – and to help myself with whatever is ripe – but he’s done 99% of the work, and he’s done beautifully.

The garden space has slowly expanded since we moved here in 2007.  It took us a full year to realize that we cannot plant produce straight in the ground.  The soil just isn’t that good, but more than that, the Bermuda grass ate our lunch, so to speak.  It creeps, crawls and invades anything that it can.  So, we covered the garden plot with black plastic and let it cook for nearly a full year.  And we raised the beds to boot.  This year we’ve added a couple of new spots that will be ready next year, after the black plastic, the sun and the worms do their work.  Here’s how things look:

Full Garden

The full garden with areas under black plastic.

Basil Plants

Beautiful basil. Our honeybees will go crazy when these are in full bloom.

Strawberry Plant

A strawberry plant, new this year.

Grape Vine

So many grapes this year!

Green Peppers

Bell peppers from the greenhouse.

Potato Plant

Potato plants; imagine all of those happy, little spuds underground!

Straw Bale

Close-up of a straw bale. My artist’s eye loved the tangles of dry grass.

Blueberry Plant

Young blueberry plant, covered in unripe berries.

Row of Onions

Sturdy row of onions.


One of my contributions: lavender.

Red Hot Pokers

Red Hot Poker, for the hummingbirds.

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Hot Pockets (Minus the Meat, Fat & Freezer Burn)

Plate of Hot PocketsRecipes representing the dough-with-filling concept are well-represented here on this blog (or is it, “on this here blog?”).  My love of dough, be it the “quick” kind or the risen kind began long ago as I crowded mom at the kitchen counter as she rolled out buttery pie crust or biscuits.  Whether you choose to go savory or sweet, filled dough will rarely let you down.  Unless you reach into the freezer section at your local grocery and pull out a box of Hot Pockets and their ilk.  Okay, I’m a snob.  But trust me, spend part of an afternoon making your own, and you’ll never look back.  These little babies are so versatile.  Make up a batch of the dough and let loose your imagination for the filling: go Asian with sauteed greens, sesame seeds, garlic and soy sauce; load them up with beans and rice; go Italian-style with chopped black olives and marinara or do a pierogi and stuff them with mashed potatoes and nutritional yeast or vegan cheddar.

Homemade Hot Pockets
Makes 16

1 tsp. regular yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2-1 cup AP flour
1 tsp. kosher salt

Split Not PocketYves Meatless Ground (or similar vegan faux ground meat; or skip entirely)
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
vegetable broth, as needed (for sauteing)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chile powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
(adjust seasonings to suit your taste and heat level!)

Make the filling:
In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and saute the onions and the red pepper for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the faux meat, if using, and then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.  Add the spices and stir for another minute or two.  Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro.  Set the mixture aside to cool.  You can do this a day ahead of time.

Chopped PeppersMake the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the white whole wheat flour and a cup of the AP flour along with the salt, and stir until dough forms.  Add more AP flour if the dough is very sticky.  Knead for about 3 minutes, then cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.  Uncover and knead the dough for another 3 minutes.  Dough should be very smooth and elastic.  At this point you can either continue with the recipe, or you can put the dough in the refrigerator until ready to form the flatbreads.

Bowl with DoughIf proceeding without chilling the dough, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and lightly coat with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Cover again with the towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.  (If retrieving the dough from the refrigerator, punch down the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes, then divide the dough into 16 pieces and proceed with the recipe.)  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment so that you can place the flatbreads on them while you make all of the “pockets.”

Lightly dust a surface with flour and roll out a piece of dough to about 6″.  Scoop 2 tbsp. of filling into the middle of the dough circle and fold the dough to make a square packet: fold 2 opposite sides over the filling, then fold one short side over and then the other short side.  It helps to moisten the dough a little so that the edges stick  Lightly press to seal and place flatbread on a baking sheet.  Proceed with the remaining balls of dough.  You’ll end up with more filling than you need – time to get creative with the leftovers!

Dough Circle w/ Filling

When all of the dough balls are rolled out and filled, heat up a skillet or one of those nifty griddles (heat to 350F) so you can cook 8 at a time.  When the skillet/griddle is hot, lightly spray with oil and cook the flatbreads for about 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.

Flatbreads on Griddle

Serve immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for later.

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When the Cupboards Are (Almost) Bare

Bowl of Lentil SoupLast night at 6 pm as I left the plane, retrieved my bag and stepped into the cold and darkening Oklahoma City night, I couldn’t face delaying the two-hour drive home to stop at the grocery store.  I knew it would be slim-pickings the next day for meals, but I hoped to cobble something together before having to face the cold hard facts of grocery-shopping.  Pretty much without fail, I have various kinds of canned and dried beans, vegetable broth and canned tomatoes in the pantry and stocks of onions, garlic, celery and carrots in the “root cellar” (otherwise known as the laundry room).  Since soup is quick and easy to put together – and comforting and satisfying for cold days – I decided on lentil soup for today’s lunch.  I had homemade pita breads in the freezer and Kel picked a huge pile of various greens from the greenhouse beds and thus a delicious lunch was born.

For dinner tonight I’m going out on a major limb.  I wrote somewhere on here at sometime that I would never post a scrambled tofu recipe and I’m 99% sure I never will.  I’m also pretty sure I haven’t ever declared I wouldn’t try making scrambled tofu – so tonight I’m going to make a recipe shared by Terri over at Bacon Is Not An Herb.  Hers looked so yummy and easy that I knew I was going to have to try it sooner or later.  Tonight is the perfect opportunity because I have a block of tofu in the refrigerator, half of a red pepper and an onion to add to the tofu – plus a few potatoes that I’ll dice and roast as a side dish.

Ingredients for Lentil Soup:
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 15 oz. can petite-diced tomatoes
1 cup dried brown lentils
2-3 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
dash thyme, dried oregano, dried sage
salt & pepper to taste
handful of fresh mustard greens

Saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots in a little bit of the vegetable broth – until tender.  Add the salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and sage and stir for a minute.  Pour in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, lentils and butternut squash.  Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat so that the soups just simmers.  Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the squash is cooked and the lentils are soft.  Stir in the mustard greens and allow to wilt.  Serve.

(If you have some vegan chorizo or seitan sausage – chop that up and add to the soup when sauteing the vegetables.  This would also be a good place to use that cup of leftover brown rice you have in the refrigerator.  A teaspoon of Liquid Smoke would also be mighty fine.)

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Onion & Walnut-Stuffed Beer Bread

Slices of Onion Stuffed Beer BreadTime this month has been in short supply, but one still needs to put bread on the table.  Since I’m currently lacking in the patience to spend 10-12 minute kneading dough, I’ve repeatedly turned to my no-knead bread books for inspiration.  When I came across the recipe for “Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread,” I knew that was the one I was going to make this week.  Not only does it make a beautiful, savory swirled loaf, the dough all by itself makes a wonderful all-purpose bread for sandwiches and toast.  As with all no-knead recipes, the initial time investment is small; the good flavor and texture work is done while you are busy doing other things.

As I mentioned on Dough, Dirt & Dye, I’m going to fill the second dough with a combination of unsweetened applesauce (in place of butter/shortening usually used), cinnamon, maple sugar, golden raisins and toasted pecans.  Cinnamon & raisin-swirl bread…

Onion & Walnut-Stuffed Beer Bread
Makes 4 small stuffed loaves or 2 large plain loaves

3/4 cups light rye flour
Two Loaves Beer Bread5 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups beer
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup

Onion Mixture (per loaf):
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
splash of soy sauce
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5- or 6-quart food grade container.  Add the water, beer, oil and maple syrup and mix until there are no dry floury bits remaining.  You may need to use wet hands to get in there and mix thoroughly.  Loosely cover the container and let rest at room temperature for two hours.  The dough will puff up slightly – but not as much as with other doughs.  After two hours, transfer the bucket (securing the lid) to the refrigerator – or use immediately if you wish.  FYI, the dough will be harder to work with if used right away and won’t have developed as much flavor.

Prepare the onion mixture by heating the vegetable broth and soy sauce in a small skillet and sauteing the onion, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Cook until the onion is tender.  Add more vegetable broth if needed to prevent sticking.  You can prepare this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

When you’re ready to bake, take a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.  ( If using a baking stone, instead of lining the inside of a baking sheet with parchment paper as described above, turn it over and line the outside bottom – this way you can easily slide the dough/parchment onto the baking stone.)  Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the surface of the dough in the container, then remove half of the dough.  Roll the dough out to about a 1/4″ thick.  Spread the onion mixture over the surface and sprinkle on the toasted walnuts, leaving about a half inch border.  Starting from the long end, roll the dough up – just like making cinnamon rolls.  I found that I had to cut the roll in half to get it to fit on my baking sheet.  Just use your judgement.

Cover the loaves with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes.   Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes.  The loaves will not rise very much (or maybe my house is just cold!).  About an hour into the rest, slide the baking stone (if using) into the oven and preheat to 400F.  If not using a baking stone, just bake the bread on the prepared baking sheet.  Just before you’re ready to put the dough in the oven, spritz the loaf with water.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  The bread should be a deep brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Allow the loaves to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into it.

Baked Loaves

(Thanks to Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day for this recipe.  The only change I made was to omit olive oil when sauteing the onions and rosemary.)

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Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Eggplant SandwichThank goodness the days of sandwiches comprised of bland bread, uninspiring cold cuts and flavorless slices of cheese are behind me.  Going vegan means getting creative – and sandwiches are no exception.  Chances are everything you need to create a delicious, healthy sandwich can be found in your refrigerator, cupboards and pantry.  Roasted veggies?  Olives?  Sprouts?  How about those slices of marinated and baked tofu from last night’s dinner?  Sounds like a sandwich to me.  I had some leftover roasted tomato sauce and a small amount of silken tofu (tofu mayo!) to which I added eggplant, caramelized onions, crisp greens and a couple of fresh-baked whole wheat buns to hold it all together.  Lunch was served.

Roasted Tomato SauceRoasted Eggplant Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
Make 2 big sandwiches

1 medium-sized eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
3 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (or low-sodium tamari/soy sauce)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch ground pepper

1/2 cup roasted tomato sauce

1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2+ vegetable broth

handful fresh arugula, baby spinach or mixed greens

2 tbsp. tofu aioli mayonnaise* (or vegan mayonnaise)

2 whole wheat buns (or your favorite sandwich bread)

Preheat the broiler.  Place the sliced eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet.  In a small bowl, combine the Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce), lemon juice, Liquid Smoke, garlic powder and pepper and brush on both sides of the eggplant slices.  Broil eggplant for about 5-8 minutes, or until browned.  Remove from oven and flip eggplant slices, brushing with additional sauce.  Return to broiler until nicely browned.  Remove eggplant from oven and set aside.

To prepare the onion, over medium-heat pour about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a small skillet.  Add the onion and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onion slices are soft, buttery and golden in color.  This could take 15-20 minutes.  Keep adding small amounts of vegetable broth to keep the onions from sticking – but let the broth cook off each time.  When the onions are done, set aside.

To prepare the sandwiches, lightly toast the split buns (if desired) then spread tofu mayonnaise on one half of each sandwich; divide greens and place on top of the tofu mayonnaise, then divide the caramelized onions between the sandwiches.  Add 2-3 slices of eggplant per sandwich and top with roasted tomato sauce.  Place the top of the bun on the sandwiches and serve.

*I make tofu mayonnaise by combining a small amount (about 2-3 tbsp.) of soft silken tofu with about a 1/2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle or two of dry mustard, a pinch of black pepper, a few drops of agave nectar – and then I add one small clove of finely minced garlic and some lemon zest into the whole mess – and whisk.  Delicious.  You can also make a larger quantity, of course.

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