The Art of Vegetarian Cuisine
Here are some photos of week 14’s final practical. The chefs did a wonderful job both creating and presenting their dishes.
Appetizer- Deviled Eggs with Kale Salad
This was their vegan version of a ‘deviled egg’. They used extra firm tofu to resemble the egg. The ‘yolk’ was made with chickpeas, nutritional yeast, mustard, avocado, seasoning, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The kale salad was mixed with an array of vegetables and topped off with a refreshing mustard vinaigrette.
Entrée- Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Cucumber and Avocado sauce with Smoked Sausage
This was a light yet fulfilling dish. The zucchini was sautéed in a sauce pan with a little bit of oiled and seasoned to perfection. The ‘sausage’ was left in vegetable stock to maintain its juiciness. The dressing from the dish was light yet tasteful.
Appetizer- Roti West Indian Style (left side)
Entrée- Seitan patties in a Peanut Curry sauce with Baked root Vegetables and Marinated Crudites Bell Peppers Stuffed with Sauteed Swiss Chard, Mushrooms, and Pearl Onions
The appetizer merged together the styles of the West Indian Roti with the uses of East Indian curry flavor. This dish was very nutritious due to the chickpeas and split peas. It was served with a apple and mango chutney, which provided sweetness to this dish.
The entrée had various textures such as crunch from the peppers and softness from the baked root vegetables. This dish was definitely fulfilling and appealing to the eyes.
Entrée- Saffron Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms and Cashew Cheese
Dessert- ‘The Real Deal’ Vegan Cannoli with chocolate and Pistachios
The main ingredients for the ravioli was all purpose flour, tomatoes, squash, cashews, and cremini. This dish was packed with nutritious values such as Vitamin A, Thiamine, and Lycopene. The ingredients on the plate was to resemble the colors on the Italian flag (white, red, and green).
The dessert had a cool name ‘The real deal’. This dessert definitely lived up to its name. Instead of using the traditional egg based cream filling, this team used potatoes. The potatoes were sweetened with powdered sugar and coconut cream
Yesterday, Professor Hoffman’s “Art of the Vegetarian Cuisine” class explored the possibilities of dairy free & eggless desserts!
Although most desserts that we all know & love are indeed vegetarian, they certainly contain animal byproducts such as dairy, eggs, gelatin, & honey just to name a few. In this course, we have learned that limiting our consumption of animal products & byproducts improves human health, the health of the environment, as well as the health & livelihood of animals. But, is it possible to create delicious & nostalgic desserts without relying on milk & eggs?
The answer is yes!
This “cheese” cake recipe stands “toe-to-toe” flavor wise with a standard NY Cheesecake. Trust me, it is a simple to make & a “must try it to believe it” kind of experience. *Dairy Substitutions: “Bridge” brand medium firm tofu, “Tofutti” brand cream cheese. **Trigger Ingredients: Soy, Gluten, Alcohol
Spelt flour is used in this recipe. Spelt, is an ancient grain that was cultivated around 5000 BC. Though not gluten free, spelt allows for better absorption of its nutrients versus other wheat grains. Turbinado sugar was also used in this recipe which is less processed than the white granulated sugar that is most commonly used in the industry. *Dairy Substitution: “Miyoko’s Creamery” brand European style cultured vegan butter. **Trigger Ingredients: Tree Nuts, Gluten, Soy
Dairy free chocolate chips were used in this recipe. Organic vegan sugar was used in conjunction with an unrefined cane sugar. Though more expensive than granulated sugar, using these kind of sugars adds value to the final product by enhancing flavor, color, mineral content, & finally customer trust being that these sugars were not processed through charred animal bones. *Dairy substitutions: Almond Milk, “Earth Balance” brand vegan butter. *Egg Substitution: “Red Mill” brand egg replacer. **Trigger Ingredients: Tree Nuts, Gluten, Soy
Baking a dairy free & eggless cake requires longer baking times such as was the case in this cake- 60 minutes! Despite this, it was well worth the wait as it was moist, flavorful, & satisfying with all of its warm spices. The pairing with the cream cheese topping made for a delectable cake experience.
*Dairy substitutions: Almond Milk, “Tofutti” brand cream cheese. **Trigger Ingredients: Tree Nuts, Gluten, Soy
DK was both Chef and Steward on this last production day & he did a marvelous job. He lead by example & handled his duties seamlessly- excellent job Chef DK.
The ending of a meal should always be sweet: here, we have just learned to make it even sweeter…
In closing, this entire semester was mind opening especially in bringing new life to the culinary mantra of “Less is More.” In “The Art of the Vegetarian Cuisine” class, we understand that relying less on animal products is more for our health, our planet, & animal welfare.
Team A (Samael, Adlaine, Maurilio),
Dessert: Avocado and Dark Chocolate Mouse With Cinnamon Pistachios.
Entree: Zucchini Blossom with Spiralized Carrots and Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Coconut Curry Sauce.
Team B (Cherrish, Antonieta, LJ)
Appetizer: Cauliflower cake
Entree: Zuchini Fritters serve with quinoa Salad, Sausage and Atchara Relish
Sauces: Yogurt sauce, Hot sauce, and Dijon sauce
This week we worked with tempeh. Tempeh is an Indonesian dish made by deep frying fermented soybeans. Tempeh’s fermentation process gives it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins; it has a firmer texture and a more earthy flavor than tofu.
Glazed Maple-Mustard Tempeh strips with Lacinato Kale
My classmates were surprised on how vibrant the kale looked. One person said it looked fake or even painted on. The true reason for its color was because the color didn’t oxidize and also the corn kernel and the red added brightness. Overall the presentation was clean and appetizing.
Tempeh with Mole sauce
The whole class thought the presentation was beautifully presented but Professor Hoffman notice that there wasn’t enough of each item on the plate to fully experience the dish. Also one of my classmates mentioned that the mole sauce should have been in the center of the plate since this dish was mainly about tempeh and mole sauce.
Tempeh in Coconut Curry Sauce
This dish was beautifully executed but the only concern was that there should have been more curry sauce because the tempeh looked a little bit dry. The curry sauce would have moisten the outer layer skin of the tempeh.
Stuffed Poblano Pepper
This was the first dish to hit the display table. The team who made this dish wanted to still show cause the silhouette of the pepper by adding the red stem from the swiss chard. Of course the group was unhappy with the color of the pepper because it didn’t look as vibrant as the kale and also they believed the red sauce made the pepper look discolor, but overall the plating came out really nice
Tempeh Koftas with Cashew Tahini Dip
For this dish Professor Hoffman had to step in to help make it because one of our classmates was absent. This was the most time consuming dish because all the ‘meatballs’ were individually rolled by hand. The dip that came with this was, in the words of Professor Hoffman, ‘ A Killer Sauce’. The onions in this dish was roasted to perfection but was covered up by the arugula.
On week 5, Maurilio and I were the two chefs of the day. Each teams produced seitan products including: basic seitan, seitan wheatballs, kind-to-cows seitan, and smoky sausages. In addition, Professor Hoffman did a step by step demonstration on making tofu.
Basic Seitan is a wheat-based product that is high in protein. The process of making this product is by mixing wheat gluten, seasonings, and flavored liquid (vegetarian stock). The dough is boiled in seasoned liquid or vegetarian stock for about 1 hour.
The first step of making tofu is by rinsing and soaking soybeans overnight in water. The bean mixture is pureed and cooked for 10 minutes.
The mixture gets strained using a damp cheesecloth and then squeezed to remove all of the excess soy milk.
The soy milk is placed back on the stove to cook until it reaches 150-155 degrees F. Nigari is added to coagulate the soy milk
The soybean curds gets transferred to a tofu press lined with muslin cloth. The curds gets pressed using a 2 1/2 lbs of weight for about 35 minutes to create a firm texture.
The final product: TOFU
On week#9, I had the opportunity to run the kitchen as the chef alongside my helpful assistant Cherrish, the steward who made sure all the products was brought in on time. Our production day was quite short due to the snow day the week prior having to affect the class schedule and with this the class was split into two teams. Team A, prepared the Tofu Crabby Cakes, Simple Slaw and a Quick Remoulade sauce while Team B prepared the Tofu Quiche with a Toss Salad and a Mustard Vinaigrette dressing.
Here are some picture shown below:
The class was on time, thank goodness. Can’t say that I was. I’ve been a bit bogged down lately. Everyone seems to be showing patience. I’m so glad to come to my classes. This school is amazing, especially the staff. Its gonna be hard to find such fine class of people.
This week’s production consists of Seitan. We have Seitan Scaloppini, Swedish Seitan Wheat balls, Fake-out Take-out Sesame Seitan with Broccoli and Seitan Roast. We all have a good time making the productions. The best part is in the end when we get to try our creations. Since I’ve been coming to this class I lost 10 lbs. The health benefits are compounded. Not only do I get to become more healthier, I create new friends and learn valuable lessons. When I look at the things we are making I feel such a joy. Loving you helps you to appreciate all the good you do for yourself. Cooking and eating healthy is a testament to your character. We’ve done many good things in this class. I only hope to continue with this lifestyle as I move on through life. Don’t get too many chances at opportunities, so we have to seize the ones that do come by. We are all working hard to make these dishes fabulous. All the time in preparing and planning to get that right flavor and texture is a science. I know we enjoy being here. If you get a chance to try some of our creations please share your thoughts.
Good day to you all, and keep up the good work. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your life.