Tag Archives: appetizers

Weekend Wings

My partner is a huge fan of hot sauce (I must be specific – Louisiana Hot Sauce; no Tabasco for him!). And by huge, I mean he pours it on everything … sometimes even oatmeal (eww). I, on the other hand, am not such a fan of the vinegary heat provided by hot sauce. Nevertheless, I have a new favorite tradition: weekend wings, smothered in buttery Louisiana hot sauce. We’ve been following this tradition for a few months now (not every weekend, we’re not crazy!) and I keep challenging him to up the ante on how much hot sauce we put in … we’re up to about 4 Tbsp.

The reason weekend wings have become such a tradition at my house is because of this recipe for Vegan Buffalo Wings. It is am-az-ing. Seriously. The coconut milk batter results in the most delicious wings. I also like this recipe and our weekend tradition because it means Will and I can team cook, which is always fun. We set up a little assembly line where I do the dipping and he does the frying (we don’t deep fry these, just pan fry them with oil). It’s a bonding experience 🙂

This time, instead of tofu, we used seitan (left over from this batch) for the “wings”. The texture was good (firm and “meaty”) but we both concurred that we like the taste of tofu wings much better. The tofu seemed to soak up more of the coconut milk batter than the seitan did. A good experiment, but it’s back to the original for next time!

This isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea. Delicious!

We sometimes make the cool dipping sauce from the blog, but as I’ve mentioned before, I rarely have vegan mayo on hand. Usually the sauce I whip up is a combo of vegan sour cream (Tofutti Sour Supreme), sometimes with vegan cream cheese (again Tofutti), dried dill, dried parsley, thyme, and garlic powder, finely minced garlic, lots of pepper, and 1-2 chopped green onions. I also like to make homemade french fries to accompany the wings (2-3 smaller Russet potatoes cut fry-style, and tossed simply in olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Roast at 425 F for about 20-25 minutes). I can’t wait for next weekend!

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Lentils and Rice with Carmalized Onions and Spiced Pita Crisps

A doctor’s appointment plus (another!) incoming snow storm means it’s time for comfort food. This recipe definitely fit the bill. Although the cooking time is around an hour and a half, it’s really easy to put together and was definitely tasty. The recipe calls for long-grain basmati rice (brown or white), but I went with long-grain Jasmine rice – it’s my favorite! Plus even though I know brown rice is healthier, I think white rice is more comforting. For the pita crisps, I used whole wheat pita and seasoned it with olive oil and garam masala (for those unfamiliar, this is a mixture of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, etc. usually used in Indian cooking). The cookbook has several other suggestions for seasoning the pita. The carmalized onions added a lot of flavor and texture to the lentils and rice, but overall the dish was a little bland. Combining it with the crispy pita pieces, however, added a lot of intense flavor. I served this with some leftover Green Bean Casserole. I have had this recipe for a long time, but I can’t remember where it came from (I have made a few modifications over the years). It’s one of our favorite recipes, so I’ll add it here.

Green Bean Casserole (makes 4-6 servings)

1/4 c. margarine

1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 c. vegetable broth

1 Tbl. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

1 Tbl. vegetable oil

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

2 (15 oz.) cans French-style green beans

2 (2.8 oz.) cans fried onions (or one of the bigger containers)

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

(2) In a medium saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and whisk continuously until roux forms. Add broth, soy sauce, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder, whisking continuously for 1-2 minutes, until sauce is thick and bubbly. Add vegetable oil and nutritional yeast. Whip again until smooth.

(3) Pour sauce into small casserole dish, add green beans, and half can (or one 2.5 oz can) fried onions, and stir to coat. Bake for 10 min;, then top with remaining friend onions, and bake for 10 minutes more, until brown and bubbly.

(green bean casserole not pictured)

Recipe: Lentils and Rice with Carmalized Onions (pg 177) and Spiced Pita Crisps (pg 177-178)

Rating: 4/5 (for just the lentils & rice) 5/5 for the lentils with the pita crisps

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Potato Latkes with Horseradish Dill Sour Cream

We’ve been getting a lot of snow in southwest PA, so I was looking for something cozy and warm to make and potato latkes sounded perfect. This was my first attempt making Jewish food so I was a little nervous, but they were so easy to make and absolutely delicious! There are actually quite a few Jewish foods that translate well into vegan, especially the Kosher products. I’m also excited to discover matzo meal; I rarely find prepared bread crumbs that don’t have milk, but after making these latkes I am now sure that matzo can replace bread crumbs anytime. These little babies were delicious and we enjoyed them for several days.

The sour cream, on the other hand, was not so good. I should have known the results might not turn out well since I started off the cooking process by spilling apple cider vinegar all over myself and the floor …. My main complaint about this dip is that it tastes too tofuy. I usually love tofu, but the flavor was just too chalky in this. I think next time I would just mix horseradish and dill in Tofutti Sour Supreme and be much happier. I ended up eating the potato latkes with thousand island dressing, which was a good choice.

Recipe: Potato Latkes (pg 54) and Horseradish Dill Sour Cream (pg 208)

Rating: 5/5 for the latkes and 2/5 for the dip

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A Hummus Recipe

First up: the appetizer classic, hummus. This was my first attempt making homemade hummus. My father-in-law makes a delicious hummus from scratch, but I’ve never been so brave. I have to say, though, I was impressed! It wasn’t very difficult, and the results were delicious. The recipe says super creamy hummus is the result of using a blender. This made me happy, as I don’t have a food processor and usually end up subbing my blender for recipes calling for food processors. While making the recipe, I was a little frustrated because I wasn’t satisfied with the texture of the hummus – it seemed too grainy. But my blender sounded like it was about to give up, so I called it good after about 10 minutes of pulsing the hummus. I choose to follow one of the “variations;” I folded in about 1/2 cup of roasted red pepper. The hummus was even better after chilling. I served it with whole wheat pita.

Recipe: A Hummus Recipe (pg 67)

Rating: 4/5

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