Sunday, December 6, 2015

"Magical Mystery Elf"

This is the time of year when The Elf in the Kitchen becomes The Elf EVERYWHERE, especially in the dining room window. Mail Order Annie transforms hers-elf into Mail Order Elf so all her little minions can gather and commune.

There is definitely some Elf-whispering going on here.

It IS indeed a magical and precious time of year.
Our FatFree Vegan Recipe for this week as another WINNER!! We chose the Homestyle Lentil Soup because it was so inviting for the chilly days we had last week AND it’s so good for you.
The recipe instructions utilize a pressure cooker, which is not a part of the Kinky Elfery Kitchen’s repertoire and as long as we continue to wage war with our big purchase from last year (The VitaMix), we suspect Big Solid will not be appreciative of yet another piece of equipment. But, if you’re interested in a great deal, check out Susan Voisin’s site for an excellent bargain on the Instant Pot. We must admit to being extremely tempted.
Anyhoo…this very thick and luscious soup is an easy one to make so The Elf thought she would kill two Tofurkies with one stone and make two different soups at once; the FFVK Homestyle Lentil and one of our favorites, 10 Spice Soup.
We got all our ‘mises in places’ with all the ingredients laid out on the counter; onions, celeries, garlics, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms and seasonings. Got two big pots going on the stove and started putting things together. That was mistake number ONE. Mistake TWO was not paying attention to which ingredients went where. The Homestyle Lentil Soup recipe calls for thickly sliced carrots and the 10 Spice soup diced carrots. The Lentil Soup does NOT call for red bell pepper but the 10 Spice does. So, of course, we got them mixed up. The Lentil Soup wound up with SOME bell pepper in it (after we meticulously picked out most of it) AND the 10 Spice Soup wound up with some thickly sliced carrots, again after The Elf gathered them up and into the correct pot. Whew!

In any event, we wound up with wonderful soups in spite of our hastiness. Not being big fans of sage, thyme, rosemary and poultry seasoning, we used tarragon as the primary spice. We also added sliced and sautéed plant-based Andouille sausages from The Gentle Chef’s cookbook, Seitan and Beyond. Here's a full bowl and a close-up. You can almost taste it

Our recipe for this coming week is Santa Fe Spaghettis Squash Casserole. It looks delightfully delicious!
We would like to introduce some new friends who will, from time to time, visit and talk a bit about how important a vegan/plant-based eating regimen is to THEM and to our environment. Sometimes we just have to have fun with being vegan and invite others to enjoy a plant based regimen as well. Hell, not only are you doing your body a favor, but also the earth. So, without further ado, we have the Elfurry Three.
"Pork Bailey"

"Wholey Cow"

And last but not least, "Cluck You"

All three were rescued from a giant bin of finger puppets at a recent craft show. They were thrilled to be adopted by The Elf and will spend time sharing their thoughts and ideas with you.
And before we get away, so many of y’all requested the recipe for the Cauliflower Cakes.

 So here we go…here is the link to the original recipe
And of COURSE we ‘Elf-ed with it’ a bit. So here’s what we did. If you’ll notice in some of the pictures from the recipe link there appear to be chopped onions, at least it did to The Elf. The recipe doesn’t call for onions (only onion powder) but we finely chopped ½ a medium sized sweet onion (about ½ cup) and added with the cauliflower and flax egg mixture. We also opted to use nutritional yeast instead of the vegan parmesan AND we used HOT Smoked Paprika. Then, as we like heat, we added and eighth teaspoon of cayenne. Next time, we are going to use Harissa and the time after that, Berbere. We did not prepare either of the dipping sauces…they were delicious hot out of the skillet. Since the combined ingredients are pretty moist, the second time we made them, we chose to add a bit of extra flour and cornmeal to increase the substance. It paid off but that’s cooking by the seat of one’s Elf pants.  It’s a good idea to just turn them once so patience is a virtue to let them good and crispy/brown on one side before turning and squishing them into cakes. However, we’ve been known to push that limit a bit. Here’s a close-up of a cake…hmmm, now that we are seein’ this, we may have to whip some up this week as well.

So in this season of giving and celebration we all have a multitude of opportunities to ‘DO EPIC”! To shine light where there is not, to breathe fresh into stale, to sing where there is silence, to inject energy where there is inertia, and to spread laughter where there is melancholy.
Just sayin’

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