Practical Guide to Kitchen Witchcraft (recipes)

"Hmmm," thought I, "why not create a little corner of the website dedicated exclusively to recipes?"
"Great idea, Me," my brain replied to itself.

Here are some of our favorite recipes and tea experiments. They're all vegan and, if I stole it, I've credited the original author. I plan to add more as I find new recipes or time to type them up. If you can't find a particular ingredient, check Pangea. Enjoy!

P.S. - If you have a great recipe, e-mail it to me. I'll try it out and if I like it I'll add it and credit you. Just make sure it's vegan (-that means 100% animal product free). If it's not vegan, e-mail it to me anyways and I'll try to veganize it for you. Don't e-mail a prime rib recipe, you wise-ass.

P.S.S. - I'm not a dietitian or herbalist. In fact, I'm often skeptical of the many, varied alleged effects of herbs and plants. All information provided about the health benefits of herbs or benefits of eating what I eat may be unreliable. If you make some sort of gnarly concoction based on one of my recipes and bloat, develop a rash, pass out, puke, go bonkers, or kick the bucket, it's not my fault.

Without further ado...

Making Owls Cool (since 1986) Presents:
Thee E. Aldriches' Practical Guide to Non-Denominational Kitchen Witchcraft 

Table of Contents

I. Tea
     1. Bilberry/Hibiscus Iced Yerba Mate
     2. Lemon and Damiana Yerba Mate
     3. Cranberry/Hibiscus Indian White Tea (featuring recipe for a Cape Codder)
     4. Stomach Tea

II. Breakfast
     1. Overnight Oatmeal
     2. Tofu Scramble
     3. Peanut Butter

III. Salads, Sauces, and Dressings
     1. Rosemary-Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette
     2. Mustard Sauce

IV. Lunch and Dinner
     1. Sunflower Seed Salad Sandwich
     2. Sausage Loaf
     3. Good Greens

V. Snacks, Drinks, and Smoothies
   1. Carob Smoothie #1
   2. All-Purpose Muffins
   3. Date Rolls
   4. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I. Tea
I drink a lot of tea and I frequently experiment with herbal concoctions. I haven't had any miserable failures, but the teas included here are my favorites and the ones I most commonly make

#1. Bilberry/Hibiscus Iced Yerba Mate

I made this one up myself.
4 yerba mate bags/ 3 tablespoons of loose mate
1 tablespoon hibiscus flowers
1/2 tablespoon dried bilberries
1 liter of cold water

I do a cold infusion and usually leave the mate to steep overnight in the fridge. I just put in the bags and I put the herbs in a tea ball and put it all in. I take the bags and ball out the next day. I've experimented with adding citrus, vanilla, and mint and they've all been pretty good.

Bilberries are supposed to improve night vision and hibiscus allegedly lowers your blood pressure. Yerba Mate, which comes from a South American holly plant is full of antioxidants.  Argentinian gauchos drink it like crazy. The traditional method is to steep loose mate in a gourd and drink it with a filter straw, called a bombilla. Hibiscus allegedly relieves stomach pain.

#2. Lemon and Damiana Iced Yerba Mate

I make this one with the same cold infusion method as the bilberry/hibiscus yerba mate.  
4 yerba mate bags/ 3 tablespoons of loose mate
1-2 tablespoons loose damiana
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 liter of water
Drop the bags in the water. Put the damiana in a tea ball or cheesecloth bag and drop that in too. Drop in the lemon peel and add the lemon juice. Let it hand out overnight or for at least 6-7 hours.

Damiana is an herb that comes from a shrub found throughout the southwest, Mexico and into Central America. I know folks that smoke it, too. It smells really nice, but I prefer to infuse it. Whether infused or smoked, damiana has a calming affect and relieves anxiety. Yerba Mate contains quite a bit of caffeine. While it doesn't give you the jitters like coffee, I find adding some damiana helps even it out even more.

#3. Cranberry/Hibiscus White Tea 

I made this with a hot infusion because I was in a hurry. You could cold infuse it, too.
12 cups of water of water
4-5 tablespoons white tea
2-3 tablespoons hibiscus flower
2-3 cups pure cranberry juice (not the cocktail, though I suppose it would taste ok.)

Boil the water. Remove from heat and add the tea and hibiscus. Put into a jug. Add the cranberry juice. Drink hot or chill.

Cranberries are damn good for you. They've got lots of vitamin C and antioxidants. Straight cranberry juice might take a little getting used to, but I like it. If you're a drunk, make a Cape Codder:
1.5 oz vodka (or more)
3 oz cranberry (more or less)
a lime slice
I bet if you put vodka in the tea you'd have a real good Cape Codder...

4. Stomach Tea

This one is for an upset stomach and it's also decaf. I brew it hot.

8 cups of water
1 inch cube of ginger (or more), crushed or ground a bit in the mortar
2-3 tablespoons of honey
3-4 tablespoons dried peppermint

Ginger and peppermint are both good for your stomach. I've heard honey rumored to do all sorts of things, and aid digestion is one of them. The tea also tastes great hot or cold.

II. Breakfast
Eating is great, so naturally it's a great way to start your day.

#1. Overnight Oatmeal

We've found a couple of recipes for overnight oatmeal online and they've been good. Erin likes hers made to this recipe. I added some other good stuff. You just mix it all up in a bowl before you go to bed and eat it in the morning. Cold oatmeal might not be for everyone, but we like it.

1/3 cup oats
1/2 banana
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3/4 cup soy or almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped pecans or almond butter
a shitload of fresh blueberries

Chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. Everything else is pretty good for you too. It gives you a lot of energy.

#2. Tofu Scramble

There are a lot of different tofu scramble recipes out there, but this one is the fastest, easiest, and probably the tastiest. I add a hearty dash of Tabasco at the end. It's adapted from this recipe.

 1 pkg firm tofu
 1 tbsp oil
 1 tsp onion powder
 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
 1/2 tsp turmeric
 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
You might add peppers, onions, or vegan sausages, too.

If you like your scramble to taste more like eggs, add a half teaspoon of black salt. Black salt, also known as Kala Namak, is good ol' NaCl with sulfuric impurities. It's available at Indian markets and it's not expensive. Sounds witchy, too, eh?

Heat up the oil in a non-stick skillet. Drain the tofu and pat dry. Crumble that up real good into your pan. When water starts to seep out and it's sizzling a bit, add the onion powder, nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard and stir it up. Erin measures out the dry ingredients into portions and saves them in jars for quick tofu scramble makin' anytime. Cook until your desired consistency. We cook it on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Serve up with lapsang souchong (a smoked tea) and Vegemite toast.

Nutritional yeast sounds weird, but it's pretty darn good. It's tangy, yellow and looks like fish food. It's real good for you because it provides a lot of vitamin B12. Traditional eastern medicine uses turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties. I use it because it's tasty and oh so yellow. Vegemite is a yeast extract paste and a national food of Australia It's even featured in the Men at Work song "Down Under", which constitutes more of my cultural knowledge about Australia than I care to admit.

#3. Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter recipe:

15 ounces roasted unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 Tablespoon honey or agave nectar

Put peanuts, salt, and agave nectar in a food processor. Start the food processor and process until smooth. The roasted peanuts will naturally release oils, so you shouldn't need to add any. You might need to use a rubber spatula to scrap the peanuts once or twice. Also, at some point before turning into butter, the ground peanuts might form a ball and your food processor might shake. Don't sweat it. Steady as she goes. It might feel like you need to process it for a long time. That's normal.

III. Salads, Sauces, and Dressings
#1. Rosemary-Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

This dressing looks pretty, is simple to make, goes with everything from salad to ravioli, and is real cheap.

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Put it all in a bottle and leave to infuse for awhile.  Shake like hell and pour it on.

Don't buy cheap balsamic vinegar. It's too sweet and syrupy. In fact, cheap balsamic is often nothing more than red wine vinegar with added flavors. The real thing should have "grape must" on the ingredient list. It's great stuff. Garlic has well known health benefits. It's also awesome to use garlic cloves that have been marinating in the balsamic and olive oil in other dishes. Rosemary is supposed to help with headache, though I'm pretty sure it mostly lends just flavor to the vinaigrette.

#2. Mustard Sauce

I adapted (er...stole) this from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan.

1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1/3 cup Veganaise
1 tsp Tabasco

Put it in a bowl and whisk it together. It's not the healthiest recipe on here, but it's fantastic on veggies, tofu, and sandwiches.

IV. Lunch and Dinner

#1. Sunflower Seed Salad Sandwich

Like overnight oats, there are many different recipes for sunflower seed salad floating around. It's often billed as the vegan alternative to tuna, but I don't like to think about that. It's tastier if you disassociate it from fish, in my opinion.

1 cup of raw sunflower seeds, shelled. Don't get the roasted or salted kind.
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
11/2 tablespoon of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of sweet relish
2 teaspoons dulse flakes or powder
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup Veganaise (optional)
1 clove garlic (optional)

Soak the sunflower seeds in water for two hours. That softens them up. Drain and toss into a food processor or a really big mortar and pestle. Grind it up until it's a paste. Add everything else and mix thoroughly. If you're using garlic, grind it to a paste with your knife and the 1/2 tsp of salt. Just mince the garlic, add the salt, grind with the side of your knife, mince, grind, mince, grind, repeat until it's a pretty smooth paste. For some reason that cuts down on the overwhelming flavor that raw garlic sometimes kicks up. Put it all on a sandwich with some good bread, red or green leaf lettuce and tomato. Hot damn.

Dulse is made from a type of dried seaweed. It's full of iodine and other minerals. Dill is a familiar herb that, like many others, is allegedly good for helping an upset stomach. Fennel, which has fronds that look like dill but has a anise-like flavor , is also good for the stomach according to some people.

#2. Sausage Loaf

 I feel like my mom made a lot of meatloaf when I was a kid. She might contest that, I don't know. Anyways, here's a tasty vegan loaf that uses fake meat. I'm not usually a big fake meat eater, but this one has enough nostalgia and familiar flavors to make it worth making.

2 pieces of wheat bread, toasted
1 tube of Gimme Lean Sausage
1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1 cup of finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of fennel seed (optional)
ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium size bowl, crumble the toast and soak it in the soymilk. Mush it up. Add the other ingredients and knead to combine well. Put it in a 9X5 bread pan and cover with foil. Bake it for a half hour, then remove the foil and bake it for another ten minutes to brown the top. It's done! Eat it with sweet potato fries and some good greens, like rainbow chard.

#3. Good Greens

Greens are a must-have source of iron for vegans. Popeye knew it. There are many terrific ways to prepare greens - and many terrific greens to prepare. I usually go for some kind of chard because they're quick-cooking and have a flavor that compliments most dishes. Kale, spinach, beet greens, collard greens, and whatever other seasonal greens you can find all work well, but cooking times and amount of fluid needed will vary. The water that sticks to chard when you clean it is sufficient for cooking.

1 bunch rainbow chard or other green, chopped and rinsed
1 clove of garlic
2 scallions chopped
1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
about 1 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Saute garlic and scallions in the oil for a few minutes. Add button mushrooms. Add coriander and stir. Add chard and saute for several minutes, until fully wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

V. Snacks, Drinks, and Smoothies

#1. Carob Smoothie #1

Here's my recipe for my favorite post-run, pre-writing smoothie. I've been perfecting it for quite some time.

Combine all ingredients in a blender:
1 banana
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup ice
1/2 tablespoon hemp oil
1/2 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon hemp protein
1-2 tablespoon(s) agave nectar
1-2 tablespoon(s) toasted carob powder

Blend until smooth. You can add a bit of water if it's too thick, or, if you like thick smoothies, add some silken tofu. Enjoy!

#2. All-Purpose Muffins 
This recipe is adapted from the book pictured above, Vegetarian Gothic by Mo Willet. It was published in 1975 and all the recipes are written in handwriting, not typed. It's a great, quick recipe. I've veganized it, as it called for eggs and honey. I have no ethical position against eating honey. The bees that make honey are the same bees that pollinate the plants that grow veggies. There aren't really wild honeybees around anymore, so the beekeepers truck them to the fields that need pollination. So, in essence, the bees made your fruits and veggies as much as they made honey. But bees do ooze the honey out of their bodies and I get why that's gross. I tend to use honey and agave nectar interchangeably.

1 cup whole wheat flower
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Ener-G Egg Replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
two handfuls of fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add water to make a good smooth batter. Scoop into a muffin tin lined with muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes.

Egg Replacer is basically just tapioca flour and potato starch. Works like a charm, is flavorless and cholesterol free.

#3 - Date Rolls
I've seen several recipes for various chocolate and date things. Adding the jelly and making it a roll was Erin's damn good idea. This is adapted from a recipe in Vegetarian Times.

1.5 cup pitted dates
1/4-1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder (depending on how chocolaty you like it)
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or peppermint extract
1 cup raw slivered almonds
1 cup of your favorite jelly

Puree dates in a food processor. Add everything else and pulse until it's all combined.
Spread this mixture between two pieces of wax paper. Make sure it's thin. Put it in the fridge overnight or at least 7 hours or so.
Remove top sheet of wax paper and spread jelly evenly over the surface.
Using the bottom sheet of the wax paper, carefully roll the sheet up. Some jelly might escape. It's unavoidable.
Cut the roll into 1 inch slices and enjoy!

#4 - Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
 Making your own peanut butter cups tastes better than buy Reese's and is hell of a lot cheaper than buying Justin's. Also, Reese's aren't vegan because the chocolate is milk chocolate and contain tbhq, a butane-based preservative (Yum!). Justin's are totally vegan and natural and good, so if someone gives you one, eat it. Otherwise, follow these steps.

Dark chocolate bars or chips
peanut butter (see recipe above)
nutritional yeast

Melt dark chocolate bar or chips in the microwave. You'll need a couple tablespoons per PB cup.
Pour melted chocolate into a muffin cup. About enough to cover the bottom.
Mix about 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast with about a tablespoon of peanut butter and drop that on the chocolate in the muffin cup.
Cover with more chocolate until you can't see the peanut butter.
Put in fridge to cool. If you put it in the freezer to cool more quickly, don't be a dumbass and forget it in there.

No comments: