Saturday, November 14, 2015

My so called "recipes"

So… About a month ago I moved to my first solo digs ever. Out in a town that was originally known as Galbreath back in ye olden days when my first generation Oregonian pioneer ancestors were still around.

Since then, I've been entirely responsible for myself, which has been both exciting, terrifying, and richly rewarding.

Perhaps most rewarding of all has been my sudden need to feed myself, which means cooking.

…and my might not have any cookbooks at this point in time.

…so I might be making up "recipes" as I go.

Since one of my friends asked for the recipe to some potato soup I made tonight I figured, what the hell, I'll write up some recipes. So, just for you, dear sweet internet, I present "Vegan Brains" and "Umami Addict Potato Leek Soup"

Please note, both recipes are vegan. And, since I know most folks who will stop by this blog are nerds, I have written the recipes in nerd speak.

Umami Addict Potato Leek Soup:
TL:DR — Potatoes, leeks, shallots, and kale with umami rich broth. Serves elebenty-lots.
Completed soup!

Supply list:

  • 2 leeks
  • Some shallots (I used one large dutch shallot, but a couple french shallots could be subbed)
  • Potatoes (I used about 10 small fresh white and yellow potatoes. Potato to personal preference.)
  • 1 bunch kale (I used dinosaur kale, because why not?)
  • chicken bouillon
  • thick soy sauce
  • Oil (I used olive oil with a dash of sesame oil added for extra umami)
  • salt
  • water (I think I ended up using about 16-20 cups of water)
  • Optional: vegan cheese crumbles/shreds that melt
  • Tools: 
    • stock pot (I have a 10 quart one)
    • something to stir with
    • ladle
    • knife
  1. Prep leeks by removing green tops and roots and peeling top layer, slice vertically and wash well to ensure there is no silt. Slice halved leeks at approx. 1/4" inch thickness
  2. Prep shallots by removing papery husk bits and roots, slice at approx. 1/16" thickness
  3. In heating stockpot add a tablespoon or two of oil, then add in leeks and shallots. Stir to prevent scorching.
  4. Wash kale and remove the toughest, stemmy-est stem parts. Slice into approx 1-1 1/2" wide strips, tops 3-4" long (if using a wider leafed kale, perhaps cut it down the middle)
  5. Add kale to stock pot when shallots and leeks have started to look cooked (green bits of leeks will be brighter, shallots will be translucent)
  6. Stir a bit, then add water and some chicken bouillon. I started with about 4 cups of water and 3 wrapped chicken bouillon.
  7. While kale starts cooking wash and chop potatoes into roughly 1" cubes. (while you can peel the potatoes, I kept them on)
  8. Add potatoes to pot, and water to cover.
  9. Add approx. 1 teaspoon of thick soy sauce, or to taste.
  10. Add salt to taste (I added about a tablespoon).
  11. Bring to a boil, then drop to medium or low heat until potatoes and kale are tender. Make sure you stir occasionally to prevent things from sticking.
  12. Once ingredients are tender, serve. Optionally with vegan cheese to top.

Vegan Brains, aka Glorious Vegan gelatin treat
TL:DR: Vegan "jello" alternative. Great for use with brain shaped molds to surprise and creep out your friends, family, and colleagues.
"Normal" mode
"Brain" mode


  • Coconut creme
  • Almond Milk (optional, if you don't want to do straight coconut, or, if like me, you run out of coconut creme)
  • Vanilla
  • Agave syrup (or honey, if you're not going the vegan route)
  • Agar flakes
  • Optional:
    • Lychee fruit (for "eyeballs")
    • Maraschino cherries (also for eyeballs)
    • Canned fruit salad (for that sweet 1950s vibe)
    • Canned Almond jelly (for the "mad scientist petri dish" vibe, or "is it cyanide, or is it almond?" vibe)
    • Display plate
  • Tools:
    • Stock pot
    • ladle
    • gelatin mold
    • spatula
    • refrigerator
    • liquid measuring device
  1. Determine how much liquid you need by adding water to your gelatin mold to determine how much coconut/almond milk you'll need.
  2. Add sufficient non-dairy milk to stock pot to fill your mold. (If using optional variations with canned fruit, feel free to add in the fruit syrup as well)
  3. Following the directions on your agar, add sufficient agar to the non-dairy milk, and proceed to heat on high, stirring to dampen and begin dissolving agar.
  4. Add teaspoon of vanilla, and agave syrup/honey to taste.
  5. Follow instructions from agar packaging (typically, boil mixture, then cook for an additional 5 minutes on simmer)
  6. Paths diverge:
    1. If you're making a full on Normal Mode non-dairy milk agar mold, ignore this step.
    2. If going the 1950s fantastic route in Normal Mode: add fruit to gelatin mold if desired at the top.
    3. If going the Brain Mode route: slice almond jelly to look like petri dish slabs. Lay out on display plate, and surround with lychees stuffed with maraschino cherries if desired.
  7. Once agar is prepped, begin ladling into mold.
    1. If Brain Mode: use additional agar mix (if present) to "fix" plating in place. Tell friends its cerebral fluid.
  8. Allow mixture to cool on the counter until it's cool enough to transfer to the fridge.
  9. Refrigerate overnight, or until solid.
  10. Slice and serve.
Nice bonus of agar: it doesn't melt at room temperature, so it can hang out and be the life of the party all day and all night.

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