Friday, July 27, 2007


...ok, so I don't even know where to start!! When I began this blog, I was really hoping that I'd get to update every few days or so, but obviously that isn't happening. I'm having my busiest summer yet (interning at a magazine, and also babysitting and working at a restaurant to make money-- more than 60 hours per week!) I suppose I should be honest and say that you should expect normal Village Vegan posting to resume again at the end of August.

Actually, I'm really excited to resume at the end of August: I'll be blogging from Heidelberg, Germany! I'm moving to Germany for a year to do my junior year abroad. I'm really excited.

I've barely cooked at all in the past few weeks. There have been a few good things, like that carmelized lime-ginger tofu, a strawberry sorbet, dolmades, and super-chewy oatmeal cookies, but that's about it. I'll try to blog about those soon!

And, as always, I find your blogs fabulous and inspiring-- I'm not giving those up until August, no way!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


So, I offered to make a meal for a friend who recently had a baby, and they want it to be something freezable. Now, the problem is that nothing that I make would be very good frozen, so I'm really stumped as to what to make!

I did think of stuffed peppers or dolmades, but do you think those would be too mushy when reheated?? (And how would you reheat a dolmade, anyway? I suppose I could freeze the rolled leaves before boiling, and give them instructions on how to boil them, but that's getting pretty complicated.)

Does anyone have any brilliant ideas? (Yes, I know lasagne or marinara would freeze well, but I'd like to make something a little more exciting than that!)

Thank you!!

Summer Vegetable Saute with Garlicky Dijon Vinaigrette

I'm not going to say this dinner is beautiful to look at or astonishingly original, because-- well, it isn't. But it's healthy, cheap, seasonal, and fast. It takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. And for a working-day dinner, that's all I ask for.

Obviously you can use whatever vegetables you choose. I used broccoli, zucchini, and yellow summer squash, because that's what I had. I think Swiss chard or another leafy green would go very nicely here. I'd say use around 2 cups per person, if you use "light" vegetables like I did. I would have added some chickpeas if I had had them to make this a more complete meal, but oh well.

I served this over couscous, because it's such a quick-cooking "grain".

Summer Vegetable Saute with Garlicky Dijon Vinaigrette (serves 2)

Vegetables-- about 2 cups per person-- washed, trimmed, and sliced
10-12 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
Olive oil
Vegetable broth/water

3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a wok, or large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the slowest-cooking vegetable(s) first (in my case, broccoli), and saute for a few minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables. If they start to stick to the pan, you might need to add a bit of water or vegetable broth. They will only take a few minutes to cook. Add some salt if you want.

While the vegetables are cooking, make the vinaigrette:
Roughly chop the garlic clove, then sprinkle some salt over it and mash with the blade of the knife until it turns into paste. (This really works! It's so cool.) Add half the garlic to the vegetables, and put the other half into a small bowl or jar. Add the mustard and vinegar and mix. Slowly pour in the oil, mixing all the time. Add salt and pepper to taste.
By this time the vegetables will be done. Pour most of the vinaigrette over the vegetables, add most of the basil, mix, and take off the heat.

Plate the vegetables. Drizzle on the extra vinaigrette, and top with the remaining basil leaves.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


It's been so hot and I've been so busy that I really haven't had the time or energy to cook in...well, way to long. But here are some of the good things I've gotten from the greenmarket across the street from where I live.

And coming up soon: Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies, and a really good vietnamese noodle dish with carmelized lime-ginger tofu.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


July really isn't the month for my blog, is it? Already the 11th, and this is only my 4th post!

Anyway, I was checking a blog I read, two peas, no pod* the other day, and was completely surprised to see that cristy had bassed on a little blog "award" to me. Apparently I'm supposed to pass it on to 5 other people. It was really, really, really hard to choose just 5 rockin' girl blogs, but here goes (in no particular order):

Where's the Revolution?
Life, Love, Chocolate
Once Upon a Tart
Lifestyles of the Chic & Vegan
Kitschenette/The Red Kitchen

*I'll have you all know that cristy and paul's blog, based in Australia, is most definately a rockin' blog, and one that covers topics from vegan cooking to politics to academia to parenting.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Apricot Danish Pastry (a novel)

Ok, so here's the recipe for the danish pastries. But I have a secret to tell you: it's really, really, ridiculously easy. This recipe is more or less straight from the pages of Baking With Julia. All I did was substitute earth balance for butter, more soymilk for egg, and decrease the sugar.

The only trick to making the pastry is that you absolutely must keep the dough cold. Earth Balance melts much, much quicker than (dairy) butter, so I cannot stress enough how important it is for the dough to be chillled. If the EB begins to look soft or melty at all, pop the whole thing into the freezer for a few minutes. This sounds fussy, but trust me, if you want your pastry to be flaky the butter must be kept cold. (All the folding and rolling creates layers of dough separated by layers of butter. When you put the pastry into the hot oven, the butter melts, leaving spaces between the dough layers, which is what makes the pastry flaky. If the butter isn't kept cold, these layers will not form, and instead the butter will get mixed into the dough. You'll have a tender, bread-like creation-- it won't be flaky.)

Even leaving the dough at room temperature to rise makes the earth balance too soft, which is why the dough needs to rise overnight in the fridge.

Anyway, if you keep everything cold enough, I think you'll find this fun and easy to make.

Apricot Danish Pastry (makes 12-- but it's easy to freeze half the dough and make just six at a time)
2 tablespoons of sugar
¼ cup of tepid water
1 tablespoon of dry active yeast
3/4 cup of (soy) milk at room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8 oz. (two sticks) of butter (I used Earth Balance)

about 1/2 cup of apricot jam (100% fruit type)
12 preserved apricot halves, syrup reserved

reserved syrup

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp reserved syrup

Place the water, milk, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and leave for a few minutes to foam.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and mix into the flour mixture. Create a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Fold the dough together with a few gentle strokes. Be careful to handle the dough as little as possible. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and leave the the refrigerator to rise overnight, or for 8 or so hours.
(The closed fold is on the right in this photo.)

After the dough has risen (it won't have risen dramatically), lightly coat a large cutting board, pastry cloth, or wax paper taped to the table with flour. Place the dough on the surface, and shape into a rough square. Roll it into a 16 in. square, and fold into third, like a buisness letter. The closed fold--like the spine of a book-- should face your left. (If the butter begins to soften at any point in the rolling-folding process, imediately pop the dough in the freezer for a quick cool-down.) Roll the dough out again into a 10x24 in. rectangle. Fold it in thirds again, the closed fold to your left, and roll out into a 20 in. square. Fold the square in thirds, so that you have a long rectangle, and turn the closed fold to your left. Roll the dough out once more into a 10x24 in. rectangle, and fold it in thirds again. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before proceeding.

After the dough has chilled, take it out of the fridge and cut in half. If you want to freeze half the dough, now is the time. (Note-- the apricots are enough for the full amount of pastry, so if you're only using half the dough, you'll only need 6.)

Lightly butter a cookie sheet. Roll each half of the dough into a 10x15 in. rectangle, and cut into 6 5 in. squares. Use a ruler. Put a dollop of jam in the center of each square, and an apricot half on top of the jam. Turn each corner of the dough up, so that they form a frame around the apricot. Use a bit of force to press them in. Place the pastries on the cookie sheet(s), and leave to rise for about half an hour, until the pastry is slightly puffy. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 F.

Right before baking, brush each pastry with the reserved syrup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Place on a rack to cool.

Mix the confectioners sugar with the syrup, and drizzle on each pastry after they have cooled a bit.

These are best enjoyed right away, but if you must keep them for a longer period, refresh them in a 350 F. oven before eating.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Danish Pastries

I made Danish pastries today! The corners were supposed to be all cute and folded up as below, but for some reason they flopped over as soon as they hit the oven. Maybe they weren't long enough? Anyway, the taste was still great, and the pastry was really flaky. I was going to post the recipe tonight, but I'm quite tired, so I'll write it up tomorrow if you're interested.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fresh Corn and Tomato Soup

I'm not really a soup person, but this really hit the spot: a light, summery soup that's surprisingly filling. And fast.

Fresh corn really is best, but in a pinch I suppose you could use frozen.

Fresh Corn and Tomato Soup (serves 4-5)

5 ears of fresh corn, husked (much preferred), or else 3-4 cups frozen corn
1 onion, chopped
4 large tomatoes, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
Sour cream and fresh dill for garnish
Hot sauce of your choice, for garnish

Slice the kernals off the ears of corn.
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, saute the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft and golden. Add the corn kernals and saute for 3 more minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the corn is tender-crisp. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve, garnishing each bowl with sour cream and dill springs, and hot sauce to taste.