Vegan MoFo #2

My MoFo isn’t leaping off the starting line like I’d expected. I haven’t made dinner tonight and I didn’t really have lunch (though this is nothing new). I’m not feeling up to chopping and stirring and making the taco salad I really wanted. I’ve felt a little off all day and I sort of want to sleep and get the weekend over with so I can start feeling better and go home.

My cooking today consisted of making another batch of zucchini bread. Another because last night my beloved and I baked 2 standard loaves and 3 minis of the zucchini bread from the Joy of Vegan Baking. We had a 24 inch zucchini that needed cooking and when they’re that big they are pretty much only good for grating. Well we still had a chunk leftover from last night so I made another batch. However, I ran into some technical difficulties when I tried to pull out a rack to test a loaf and the whole damn thing broke off the side of the oven. My poor sweetheart. First I break his bike, then his oven. I need to stop doing things. At least there are sweets to lighten the blow.

Grating ZucchiniI can’t begin to explain how great my gentleman friend is. But I will brag that he’s a great cook and I love baking with him. Baking is about the only time we work together in the kitchen and its always fun. But thats obvious because there is batter involved and spoons to lick.

Vegan Zucchini BreadI love this recipe because it made a moist, light loaf and it tastes decadent even with half the fat and 1/3 whole wheat.

And just to prove my failings with objects lately, here is the oven. The crappy thing is it was too hot to fix myself at the time and even if I stayed until it cooled down I can’t use my right arm for much and had enough trouble trying not to drop the mini loaves I baked. So as much as I hate trendy internet lingo. Yesterday and today have been a bit of a fail.

Broken Oven

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Moussaka

It may sound weird on the tongue, but it tastes just fine. Most traditional moussaka has lamb and cheese and all that jazz. But vegan moussaka doesn’t need all that malarkey. I had an eggplant that needed using and I didn’t want to go the curry route. I’ve made the Veganomicon moussaka before and its damn tasty. Trouble was I didn’t have all the ingredients. So I improvised and created an incredibly untraditional recipe. This is based off the VCon recipe which you can find in the book, or if you’re a broke college student its floating around the interwebs. In which case you should ask for it at the next appropriate holiday.

Moose Kaka? No, no – Moussaka 

1 eggplant, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch sheets

1 zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch sheets

1 sweet potato, you get the picture – trimmed and sliced

Oil

Sauce

1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes, but sauce would save a step)

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. granulated onion

1 tsp. each dried thyme, oregano, rosemary

Salt and pepper

Nut Cream

1 lb. silken tofu

2/3 c. almonds or walnuts (I used a mix of both)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 rounded teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 tsp. granulated garlic

Pinch of mace

Salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Oil some sheet pans and arrange the sliced veggies on them. Roast 15 minutes for the zucchini and eggplant, and 20 minutes for the sweet potato.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting and the sauce a’simmerin’ you can make the nut cream (terrible name but I don’t know what else to call it, maybe walnut ricotta). Pulse the nuts until evenly chopped. Add the lemon juice and grind to a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl every once in a while. Add the rest of the cream/ricotta ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings if you need too. 

At this point the veggies should be nearing done and the sauce is ready. Turn off the stove, turn down the oven to 350ºF and take the veggies out. Let them begin to cool either on the pan or if you have limited space (such as myself) put them on a plate and out of the way. If you used tomato sauce kudos to you. If you used diced tomatoes then scrape the cream/ricotta into another dish and puree the tomato sauce. Now, assemble!

In a 9×13 pan layer a good 1/3 of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Now in goes a layer of eggplant then sweet potato. Another layer of tomato sauce and 1/3 to 1/2 the nut stuff. On goes the zucchini, the rest of the eggplant, rest of the tomato sauce, and the rest of the nut cream/ricotta.

The original recipe calls for putting this in for 35-40 minutes. I think mine was in for an hour, but thats because not all the dinner participants were there. I took mine out after an hour, let it cool, then popped it back in to warm it up later. I think this made it really nice. We all know lasagne is better the next day because its had time to set, same thing here. Don’t try to cut it up immediately out of the oven. Your patience will be rewarded. 

But no picture, you have to make it yourself. We ate it too quickly and the remains disappeared into a lunchbox.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of KarynMC.