Thursday, January 22, 2009

Onion pie and vegan cat food


Let me start off by saying that I don't like onions. I understand that they provide a good deal of flavor to certain dishes but if given the option, I would more often than not go without them. I really wanted to make a savory pie though and even though this was nothing like the recipe I envisioned, I came across this recipe and decided to try it.

The end result was delicious. It was something like eating sweet onions on a cheezy biscuit crust. I even had seconds. It's not necessarily something you would want to have for dinner all the time and could probably have used some greens to go along with it but was insanely good. Check out the recipe below.

Onion Pie
Recipe adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess.

topping:
2 very large yellow onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 oz soy cheddar cheeze, finely shredded
salt and pepper to taste

crust:
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup soy milk including 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, left to curdle
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1/2 cup soy cheddar cheeze, finely shredded

For topping: Cut onions into large pieces. Heat olive oil and Earth Balance over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 30 minutes, covered and stirring occasionally. When the onions being to soften, add the salt, pepper and thyme. Continue to cook until the onions are quite soft and browned on the edges.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9" pie dish with Earth Balance.

Put the onions into the pie dish, sprinkle with soy cheeze and set aside.

For the crust: Mix the soy cheese, flour, baking powder, nutritional yeast and salt in a bowl. In a separate dish, beat the egg replacer and water together until frothy. Combine the soymilk/vinegar mixture, egg replacer, melted Earth Balance and mustard. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir. The dough will be fairly sticky. Remove from the bowl and stretch out as if you were making a pizza crust about the size of the pie, being careful not to tear holes in it. Lay on top of onions in pie dish and seal edges.

Bake for 15 mins then turn down heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 mins or until the crust is golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes after removing from oven then place a large plate on top and flip the pie upside down. Slice and enjoy!



And on to the cats...When I decided to adopt cats, one of the big concerns in our household was what to feed them. Being vegan, it didn't seem right to feed them non-vegan food, but being that they are naturally carnivores, it was important to give them proper nutrition. So far their diet is a bit of an experiment and a combination of vegan and non-vegan cat foods.

The vegan option that seemed the most promising was some supplements made by Hoana that you make into your own cat food. It comes with a bunch of recipes from kibble to rice and tofu mix. I went with the recipe for seitan as seen below.

kittie seitan

It may not be the prettiest meal, but isn't that far from something that I would eat myself. I made some very simple seitan, by just boiling some chunks of vital wheat gluten mixed with nutritional yeast in water with a bit of soy sauce for an hour. If I had a vegetable stock without onions or garlic in it I would have probably used that. In the future, if I have more time, it would be possible to make the stock and would make the seitan itself more flavorful.

I tore up about 3 cups of the seitan into even smaller pieces and mixed them a sauce made of 4 tsp VegeKit, 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp olive oil and a bit of soy sauce.


The verdict? They really like the stuff! I was surprised after hearing quite a few people say their cats wouldn't eat vegan cat food. I can understand where this general misconception would come from since a lot of people wouldn't take the time to make food for their cats. For example, they really don't like the canned vegan cat food I ordered and won't eat it unless it's mixed with something they do like.

Since the seitan chunks are a bit more chewy than just plain cat food, Mochi (the grey one) has taken to batting them around on the floor while she eats. Personally I'm fine with this. If a cat were going to eat a live mouse, they would probably play with their food just the same. Meeme on the other hand likes to lick most of the 'sauce' off the seitan before she eats it. Every time I have fed them this, it is all gone by the morning. I'll definitely have to try some of the other recipes but this is a total success.

6 comments:

Vegyogini said...

Your kittens are so adorable eating their vegan food!

drepublic said...

homemade cat food is something that occurs to me often, but that i've never actually gone ahead and done. you may be the push i needed!

ashley said...

your kitties are SO LUCKY! seriously, homemade vegan food sounds much better than that fancy feat crap. :p

i can't imagine how difficult it must be for a vegan who doesn't like onions. i hate bell peppers and i thought that was bad...onions are in everything!

oh, also, your pix are stunning. they look so professional.

miss alix said...

Ashley- It's not that I hate onions, I just don't -like- them (aka I eat them all the time). I'm with you on the bell peppers though. I HATE those and won't eat them at all.

Professional photos courtesy studiodrome himself (mostly anyway).

vanessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Val said...

Your cats are so freakin' adorable I can't stand it.