Onion pie and vegan cat food


Let me start off by saying that I don’t like onions. I understand that they provide a good deal of flavor to certain dishes but if given the option, I would more often than not go without them. I really wanted to make a savory pie though and even though this was nothing like the recipe I envisioned, I came across this recipe and decided to try it.The end result was delicious. It was something like eating sweet onions on a cheezy biscuit crust. I even had seconds. It’s not necessarily something you would want to have for dinner all the time and could probably have used some greens to go along with it but was insanely good. Check out the recipe below.

Onion Pie
Recipe adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess.

topping:
2 very large yellow onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 oz soy cheddar cheeze, finely shredded
salt and pepper to taste

crust:
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup soy milk including 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, left to curdle
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1/2 cup soy cheddar cheeze, finely shredded

For topping: Cut onions into large pieces. Heat olive oil and Earth Balance over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 30 minutes, covered and stirring occasionally. When the onions being to soften, add the salt, pepper and thyme. Continue to cook until the onions are quite soft and browned on the edges.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9″ pie dish with Earth Balance.

Put the onions into the pie dish, sprinkle with soy cheeze and set aside.

For the crust: Mix the soy cheese, flour, baking powder, nutritional yeast and salt in a bowl. In a separate dish, beat the egg replacer and water together until frothy. Combine the soymilk/vinegar mixture, egg replacer, melted Earth Balance and mustard. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir. The dough will be fairly sticky. Remove from the bowl and stretch out as if you were making a pizza crust about the size of the pie, being careful not to tear holes in it. Lay on top of onions in pie dish and seal edges.

Bake for 15 mins then turn down heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 mins or until the crust is golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes after removing from oven then place a large plate on top and flip the pie upside down. Slice and enjoy!

And on to the cats…When I decided to adopt cats, one of the big concerns in our household was what to feed them. Being vegan, it didn’t seem right to feed them non-vegan food, but being that they are naturally carnivores, it was important to give them proper nutrition. So far their diet is a bit of an experiment and a combination of vegan and non-vegan cat foods.

The vegan option that seemed the most promising was some supplements made by Hoana that you make into your own cat food. It comes with a bunch of recipes from kibble to rice and tofu mix. I went with the recipe for seitan as seen below.

kittie seitan


It maynot be the prettiest meal, but isn’t that far from something that I would eat myself. I made some very simple seitan, by just boiling some chunks of vital wheat gluten mixed with nutritional yeast in water with a bit of soy sauce for an hour. If I had a vegetable stock without onions or garlic in it I would have probably used that. In the future, if I have more time, it would be possible to make the stock and would make the seitan itself more flavorful.

I tore up about 3 cups of the seitan into even smaller pieces and mixed them a sauce made of 4 tsp VegeKit, 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp olive oil and a bit of soy sauce.

 

 


The verdict? They really like the stuff! I was surprised after hearing quite a few people say their cats wouldn’t eat vegan cat food. I can understand where this general misconception would come from since a lot of people wouldn’t take the time to make food for their cats. For example, they really don’t like the canned vegan cat food I ordered and won’t eat it unless it’s mixed with something they do like.Since the seitan chunks are a bit more chewy than just plain cat food, Mochi (the grey one) has taken to batting them around on the floor while she eats. Personally I’m fine with this. If a cat were going to eat a live mouse, they would probably play with their food just the same. Meeme on the other hand likes to lick most of the ‘sauce’ off the seitan before she eats it. Every time I have fed them this, it is all gone by the morning. I’ll definitely have to try some of the other recipes but this is a total success.

Vegan Blogger Potluck

This past Saturday Shawn and I were invited to a Los Angeles vegan blogger potluck organized by Your Vegan Mom and Hugger Food. Although I’d been to a number of the blogs present, I hadn’t met any of the bloggers in real life. It made me quite nervous to make food for a bunch of strangers, let alone a group of vegans who write about food on the internet!I decided to make mini-paninis filled with portobellos, spinach and white bean spread. I sauteed the portobellos in wine and olive oil with a sprig of fresh rosemary for about half an hour till they were soft.
The white bean spread was a bit of an experiment. I looked over some recipes but didn’t really bother to follow any of them. I also didn’t bother to write down what I actually did but here’s the basic idea.

1 can white beans, drained
4 large cloves of roasted garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth.

To assemble the paninis:

Cut a baguette style loaf of french bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread one half of each panini with vegenaise and the other with the white bean spread. Put the sauteed mushrooms and spinach on one half of the bread and then the other half on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and follow the directions for your panini maker. You could also toast these and I’m sure they would come out quite well.

The potluck was really quite fun. Everyone was super nice and it was great to hear the scoop about different vegan places around town. More importantly, the food was great. It’s not often that you get to go to a party and just enjoy all the food.

Before I ate anything, I got to enjoy some lovely pear and ginger cocktails crafted by Your Vegan Mom. They were a touch sweet but definitely not sugary, which I believe is ideal for a fruit based cocktail. Yum!

Foodeater of To Live and Eat in LA brought some Thai appetizers made fresh. Some of the descriptions of these were quite comical, but everyone seemed to love them. I had some of one of the rice rolls filled with banana and beans which was delicious.

I made a small sampling plate of some of the dippable fare. Here you can see the potato-parsnip latkes with applesauce from Hugger Food, pate with toast from Liz at Yo Soy, vegan Doritos with spinach dip from Quarrygirl and baked ravioli with marinara from Lex at Vegan-LA.

Jenn from Veganize It, Don’t Criticize It made a brisket that was really rather good as well. She of course also brought some of her notorious twinkies filled with jelly.

Kevin from the The Vegan Collection brought cinnamon rolls. I’ve been dying to make some for a couple of weeks now, but haven’t had the time so I was quite pleased to have these. There were even more delicious desserts, such as Quarrygirl’s chocolate chip cheesecake and Hugger Food’s twice spiced ginger cookies.
I really had such a great time going this event and cannot wait till there is another. It was so nice to meet everyone and munch on all the treats.
It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks with the holidays coming up so this may be the last post for awhile (hopefully not the last of the year). I have a number of projects in the works but they’ll have to wait to be revealed as they will ruin some gift surprises. Till then…

Happy Veganniversary

Today is the three year anniversary of me going vegan! Yay!

Even if it’s not so exciting for everyone else I’m going to tell everyone my going vegan story.

I decided to become vegetarian at age 13 to “save the animals.” Honestly at that point meat did not interest me at all and I had a really difficult time knowing I was eating something that had been alive. My mother insisted I continue to eat fish but other than my parents were pretty much uninvolved in what I ate. This meant that as a vegetarian I did not have a very diverse diet. For most of my teenage years I ate mostly cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, pasta and Dr. Pepper. Oh yes, lots and lots of carbs. Although I had tried more ethnic foods than a lot of people, they weren’t a regular staple. Except for sushi. Which I have to admit I was obsessed with (and still am in its vegan forms). I finally stopped eating fish when I was 17.

As I got older I started learning more about cooking and about veganism. I made some simple switches to soy milk and earth balance but thought that going completely vegan would be too hard for me. My biggest problem was my sweet tooth. I just hadn’t had many good vegan desserts and I couldn’t imagine living without them. Though for the most part I ate vegan and cooked vegan I still didn’t think I could do it. At the same time, having learned more about factory farming, I was having a lot of guilt whenever I ate things that weren’t vegan.

When I was 21 I went backpacking in Europe for a month and a half. The entire trip my diet consisted almost entirely of bread and cheese. It felt horrible. The day after I got home I decided that I had to go vegan. I made a resolution that if I were going to do it, it had to be for at least a year. That year came and went and I could never imagine myself going back.

Being vegan has changed my life immensely for the better. I cook all the time, and bake even more. For me this is so rewarding. I feel like having this connection with my food makes me appreciate it even more. Going out to eat at restaurant with vegan food is exciting, it’s not just something that you have to do. Despite having staple foods that I eat a lot, my diet is so much more diverse than it has ever been. I’ve also leaned so much about all the things that I eat. I feel better eating the food without the guilt of another animal’s suffering or the gross things in non-vegan food. I’m also extremely fortunate to have a vegan boyfriend so we get to make treats together, which makes things that much more fun.

Anyway, I’ll get back to more fun photo posts soon. I have been bad at updating lately, and have a little backlog of pictures to post. Eep!

Breakfast of champions

Although I’m partial to making desserts, my other specialty is breakfast. This is the a sort of benedict-like tofu dish, but mostly just in looks. English muffins topped with seasoned, grilled tofu and tomatoes. Instead of hollandaise sauce, they’re covered in a creamy polenta cooked with onions and lots of garlic. I’m still going to have to experiment with some vegan hollandaise recipes but this was delicious in a whole different way.

tofu florentine (and pretzels)

I don’t know what my preoccupation with making a vegan tofu florentine/benedict is. Maybe it’s because it was one of my favorite breakfast treats when I was growing up (that and french toast, but I’ve got that covered). I’ve been to a few restaurants that have really good vegan versions but I want to make my own! This one in particular is from Veganomicon. It was definitely good but I’m gonna keep trying. The cheesy sauce is really yummy but not quite hollandaise.

To test out the new oven I made pretzels. They were a lot of fun, even with the two hours waiting for the yeast to rise. Going to make them a little bigger next time, as the fluffier ones were the best. They were so little and cute though. Oh and the leftover cheesy sauce from the tofu florentine was a delicious topping .
Also made brownies last night (yeah can you tell I’m ecstatic about the oven). ¬†Good thing was they were fluffy and not oily, which is a problem I’ve run into with a lot of vegan brownie recipes. On the other hand, I would have liked them to be a bit more chocolately and cakey.