February 22, 2001Greetings,
My partner Ray and I are huge fans of Jazz and the many forms of music that it inspired. We recently saw Ken Burns' "Jazz" documentary on PBS, and we were totally blown away by it. I highly recommend it to those of you who haven't seen it yet, check with your local PBS station to see if they will run it again. It truly paid homage to the pioneers of this completely American art form, and it is an art form, full of rhythmic pulses and images that appeal to all of the senses. The documentary inspired me to pull out my Jazz Cooks cookbook, which is a great collection of personal recipes (many of them vegetarian) of some of our great Jazz musicians like Sonny Rollins, Illinois Jacquet, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Louis Bellson, Sun Ra, and many, many others.
It would probably surprise most people to know that many Jazz musicians are vegans, vegetarians, and macrobiotics. These free thinkers know the importance of a plant-based diet for a strong body and healthy life, and it inevitably spills over into their amazing music. My love for Jazz and a friend's inquiry for a King Cake recipe (no I don't have one, but that same friend - hi Kittee! - came up with a delicious-sounding recipe here) inspired me to create this installment of recipes for a Mardi Gras menu, which features the spicy and robust flavors that are so prevalent in the Cajun and Creole cuisines. Even though I've never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I hope to make it down there in the future because I love a good party, and from what I hear, it's one heck of a party! As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
4 cups pineapple juice
In a glass pitcher, stir together all of the fruit juices and rum. Serve in tall glasses, over ice, and garnish each glass with an orange slice.
Yield: 2 Quarts
1 1/2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
In a small saucepan, place the soy milk, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the maple syrup and yeast, stir well to combine, and set aside for 5 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add both types of flour, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt, and stir well to form a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a towel, place it in a warm place, and set aside for 25 minutes to rise. In a small bowl, place the sugar and cinnamon, stir well to combine, and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or wok, place enough safflower oil to fill to a depth of 1-2 inches and heat to 360 degrees. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil, a few at a time (do not overcrowd the pan as they will puff when cooking), and fry until golden brown. Carefully flip the beignets over with a slotted spoon, continue to cook until golden brown on all sides, and then carefully remove them from the oil with the slotted spoon. Drain the beignets on a clean, lint-free towel, or natural unbleached paper towels. Roll the warm beignets in the reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture and transfer to a large platter. Repeat the frying and rolling in the cinnamon-sugar mixture procedure for the remaining beignet batter. Sprinkle the platter of beignets with a little Veganized Powdered Sugar before serving, if desired.
3 T. paprika
In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
Yield: 3/4 cup
1 cup raw popcorn kernels
Using a hot air popper or other popcorn popper, pop the popcorn and place it in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients, and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes to blend the flavors. Drizzle the oil mixture over the popcorn and toss well to evenly coat the popcorn with the mixture. Serve warm.
1 - 12.3 oz. pkg. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, firm
In a food processor or blender, place the tofu, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and Creole Seasoning, and process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use as a spread on sandwiches or wraps, or as a sauce on steamed vegetables or grains.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
2 lbs. red skin potatoes, washed well
In a large pot, place the potatoes, cover with water, and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a colander and allow to cool completely. (The potatoes can be cooked ahead and cooled overnight, if desired.) Cut the cooled potatoes into 1-inch cubes and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the soybeans, hominy, green onion, red pepper, celery, parsley, and relish, and toss lightly to combine. Add 1 cup Non-dairy Remoulade Sauce and soy cheese, toss lightly to evenly coat the vegetables with the sauce, and add additional Non-dairy Remoulade Sauce, if needed, to achieve desired creamy consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste, as needed. Cover and chill for several hours to allow the flavors to blend.
Yield: 3 Quarts
1 large eggplant, sliced into 8 rounds
Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle the slices with salt. Place the colander in the sink and leave the eggplant slices to drain for 1 hour. Rinse the salt off the eggplant slices and pat them dry. On a large plate, stir together the flour, cornmeal, and Creole Seasoning, and set aside. In a shallow bowl, stir together the soy milk and mustard, and set aside. Line a cookie sheet with a piece or parchment paper or aluminum foil, lightly oil with vegetable oil of choice, and set aside.
To bread each of the eggplant slices: coat the eggplant slice on both sides with the flour mixture, dip the slice into the soy milk mixture, place the eggplant slice back into the flour mixture and coat evenly on both sides, dip the eggplant slice back into the soy milk mixture, and then back into the flour mixture to evenly coat on both sides again. Place the breaded eggplant slice on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the breading procedure for the remaining eggplant slices. This 5 step breading procedure will provide a nice crisp crust for the eggplant slices. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is crisp and lightly browned. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and set aside.
Cut the French bread into 4 even pieces and then split each piece in half lengthwise. To assemble the Eggplant Poor Boys: open the piece of French bread, generously spread the Non-dairy Remoulade Sauce on each half of the French bread. On the bottom half of the bread, place 1/2 cups shredded lettuce and 2 slices of tomato, then place 2 slices of the breaded eggplant, and replace the top piece of French bread. Repeat the assembly procedure for the remaining Eggplant Poor Boys.
* Note: The breaded eggplant slices can also be fried in oil, if desired, and drained on toweling before serving. You can also substitute other vegetables for the eggplant in the breading procedure and add additional vegetables and condiments to the Poor Boys, as desired.
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the onion, green pepper, red pepper, and jalapeno in olive oil for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the okra and garlic, and continue to saute for 5 additional minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
2 Quarts water
In a large saucepan, place the 2 Quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Cook the collard greens in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to blanch them. Using a slotted spoon, remove the collard greens from the boiling water, place them in a large bowl, and set aside. Cook the turnip greens, kale, and spinach in the same manner, and add to the bowl of collard greens. If using frozen greens, cook them individually in the boiling water until thawed, then remove them with a slotted spoon, and place them in a large bowl for later use. Set the cooking liquid aside for use in the gumbo.
In a large pot, stir together the oil and flour to form a roux. Cook the roux over medium heat, while stirring constantly for 20-30 minutes, or until it is a golden (nutty) color. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, stir well to combine, and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Slowly, stir a little of the greens' cooking liquid into the roux-vegetable mixture, blending them thoroughly together, and then stir in the remaining cooking liquid. Add the reserved greens, cabbage, Creole Seasoning, salt, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the 4 cups water to a boil. Add the brown rice, stir well, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the rice to steam. After the gumbo has simmered for 45 minutes, add the parsley and nutritional yeast, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add additional Creole Seasoning or salt, if needed. Serve the gumbo in bowls over the brown rice, and garnish individual servings with a little Tabasco sauce, if desired.
* Note: you can substitute other fresh or frozen greens of choice such as, Swiss chard, mustard greens, beet greens, or escarole.
1 - 8 oz. pkg. multigrain tempeh
Using your fingers, crumble the tofu into small pieces onto a plate. In a large pot, saute the tempeh in 2 T. olive oil for 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1 T. Creole Seasoning over the tempeh and saute an additional 1 minute. Add the tamari, stir well to coat the tempeh, and continue to cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the tempeh to a plate and set aside. In the same pot, saute the onion, celery, green pepper, red pepper, and jalapeno in the remaining 2 T. olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the rice and garlic, stir well to combine, and continue to cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until the rice turns opaque. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, remaining Creole Seasoning, bay leaf, and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the lid, add the reserved tempeh and remaining ingredients, stir well to combine, and recover the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Can be served as a side dish, main dish, or as a filling for wraps or sandwiches.
1/4 cup vegan margarine
In a non-stick skillet, place the margarine, and melt over low heat. Add the Sucanat and cinnamon, stir well, and cook the mixture over low heat until the Sucanat is dissolved. Add the sliced bananas, basting the bananas occasionally with the Sucanat mixture. Continue to cook the mixture over low heat for 3-4 minutes or until the bananas have softened. Add the rum and banana liqueur, and continue to cook for an additional 1 minute. Leaning back away from the skillet, carefully ignite the contents of the skillet, allow the flame to subside, and remove from the heat. Serve warm over non-dairy ice cream or sorbet, or as a topping on cakes or pies.
6 cups stale bread of choice, cut into 1-inch cubes
Lightly oil a 8 x 12-inch casserole dish. Place the bread cubes in the casserole dish and scatter the raisins over the bread cubes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, and pour over the top of the bread cubes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting into servings. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature, and can be served plain, topped with tofu whipped topping, or with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream or sorbet.
* Note: you can substitute other dried fruit for the raisins, and add up to 1/4 cups rum or other liqueur of choice to the wet mixture before pouring it over the bread cubes.
Yield: One 8x12-inch pan or 6-8 servings
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