Thursday, June 30, 2011

First garden harvest...seitan satay...peanut butter balls...kale chips

I made Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos for dinner last night - got to use cilantro from my patio garden so I had to share my cute Keith cutting the first bunch of it! The recipe and pictures of this meal can be found by doing a search on my blog (as I have made them before).

Though there is not a picture, the seitan satay was quite delicious. It didn't look very good so I didn't take a picture but it is something I would make again for sure. It reminded me of a peanut chicken recipe my mom used to make. Quite easy and filling.

Seitan Satay with Peanut Sauce (Everything Vegan)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 ½ t grated fresh ginger
1 lb seitan, cut into chunks

½ cup peanut butter
2 T tahini
2 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 t hot sesame oil
1 t fresh minced ginger

Satay: Combine all ingredients in a bag and marinate 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 375. Spray cooking sheet with cooking spray. Drain seitan and thread onto skewers. Place on baking sheet and bake 10-15 min or until browned.
Sauce: Blend all ingredients and ½ cup water in blender until smooth. Serve skewers with sauce.

I made these little delights for Life Group last night - I modified the recipe with ingredients I had on hand and they turned out very yummy. A very easy, no-bake recipe that is perfect for a hot summer day when you don't want to turn on the oven. The original recipe comes from Urban Vegan but the following is my version. I must admit, I did use the non-vegan ingredient honey but agave or brown rice syrup can also be used.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls
16 vegan graham crackers (I used homemade ones)
1 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup agave or brown rice syrup (or honey for those who don't mind using)
1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
Crush graham crackers in food processor. Place crumbs and remaining ingredients in bowl and mix until well combined. Form into balls and refridgerate until ready to serve.

I haven't made kale chips in a long time and after making them for dinner last night, I was reminded of how delicious they are and how I need to make them more often!! I have never made this particular recipe before but it is the one I will use from here on out! WOW! So yummy - how can anyone not like kale?!

Kale Chips (adapted 500 Vegan Recipes)
12 oz kale, stems and ribs removed and torn into pieces
1 T oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T nutritional yeast
sprinkling of sea salt
Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, toss kale with oil, vinegar, nutritional yeast and salt. Spread kale on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 min or until crispy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vegan Salad Nicoise...Apple Fritters...Tofu Fingers...Leek and White Bean Spaghetti

Just a note: I also made the Veg Vindaloo this week but it was not good!! Don't know why?? Very disappointing and I am not posting the recipe :-( Oh well!

Salad Nicoise has always been a favorite in our family - I haven't made it since the vegan switch (it traditionally has tuna in it). I made it yesterday for the first time as a veganized version. It was fabulous! My husband LOVED it and asked me to make it more frequently - this coming from my hubby who prefers to have something other than main-dish salads for his meals most of the time! I was out of several veggies - I used canned green beans instead of fresh (not ideal but it worked)and I had no tomatoes. Next time I would also like to try some tofu mixed with black salt to use in place of hard boiled eggs but I was out of tofu yesterday too - imagine, a vegan household with no tofu! Terrible :-)

Salad Nicoise
2 cups steamed green beans
2 cups cooked diced potatoes
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup black olives
4 cups lettuce, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas
Nicoise dressing (recipe below)

1/2 cup oil
1 T dried parsley
3 T red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t garlic powder
cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 t dried tarragon
Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Place chickpeas, potatoes, and green beans in 3 separate bowls. Drizzle dressing over each bowl of items and marinate for at least an hour, stirring every so often to make sure pieces are coated well. Divide lettuce among 6 bowls (or 4 for heartier salad servings). Divide chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and olives amongst bowls. Drizzle with additional dressing. Serve.

Yesterday marked 3 years since we moved into our house - of course I had to do something special for this momentous day :-) LOL! I made apple fritters as a special treat - recipe is from a few months back. You can find it by doing a search.Yum! Always looking for a way to celebrate!!

Pretty tasty pasta - I was out of walnuts (can you tell it's month-end and I am out of a lot of groceries?!). I used toasted almonds instead which worked well.I didn't have any vegan feta so didn't use that either. A very simple and filling dish.

Spaghetti With Sauteed Leeks, White Beans and Walnuts
1 T olive oil
3 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed and sliced
¼ t red pepper flakes
1 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup veg broth
3 cloves minced garlic
12 oz spaghetti
3 oz crumbled vegan feta, optional
1/3 cup chopped and toasted walnuts

Heat oil in saucepan. Add leeks and red pepper flakes. Cook 10 min. Stir in beans, broth and garlic. Simmer 5 min. Season with salt and pepper. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain. Spoon sauce over pasta. Top with feta and walnuts.

I have made a version of these tofu fingers before but I made them again, this time closer to the original recipe(find the recipe on under golden crispy tofu - he doesn't like his recipes posted on other blogs. I baked mine instead of frying). They are quite yummy. Served them with bbq sauce for dipping, crispy onion rings (, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Delicious meal!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Couple new breakfast delights to to follow...

I really liked this veggie fritatta. Using the aseptic tofu worked very well to provide a smooth texture and mild taste. I would have added mushrooms and peppers to this as well but my hubby doesn't care for either. I cooked a couple slices of tempeh bacon to sprinkle on top. Yum!

This coffeecake was the best I have ever made! It's a recipe I have made several times but not for several years. It was incredible! I used a combo of plain coconut milk yogurt and vegan sour cream instead of regular sour cream. This has officially made the top 5 list of breakfast treats in our house!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy 1 Year Vegan Anniversary to my family!

Wow! I can hardly believe we have been veganizing for one year today! My sweet hubby told me he would agree to one week of vegan eating - having visions of boring salads, steamed veggies, and unsatisfying menus- and here we are a year later. My wonderful husband has been my biggest cheerleader and gracious supporter of this journey and we are so happy we decided to make this lifestyle transition. My husband's migraines have been greatly reduced - he still struggles with them if he is bombarded by multiple triggers (dehydration, lack of sleep, and stress). We have learned that meat was a major culprit in his many years of migraine suffering - one of the main reasons behind our making the vegan switch. We thoroughly enjoy eating vegan fare and have learned to like an amazing new variety of foods.

I like to find ways to celebrate and make days extra special so of course I jumped on the opportunity to celebrate our vegan anniversary! I made a yummy breakfast for my kiddos - actually warmed up leftover french toast from Father's Day with chopped apples and caramel syrup.

My lunch was a delicious wrap - a tortilla spread with Lemon Bean dip (leftover from a few days back) and topped with crispy tempeh bacon, fresh spinach, tomatoes and green peppers - seriously delicious summer food!

We enjoyed our lunch on the deck - our weather was incredibly gorgeous today! Keith had a PBJ on homemade bread with some beautifully ripe strawberries and Braedon kind of grazed!

I made the boys a milkshake out of about 1/2 cup homemade vegan soy ice cream, 2 bananas, 1/2 a chocolate cupcake and 1 T peanut butter. They loved it! The leftover shake was poured into popsicle molds for another day!

Dinner was one of our favorites - veg egg rolls! I also made a veg/tofu dish served over sticky rice. It turned out very yummy. The picture doesn't look very exciting but the egg rolls were stuffed full with veggies so the color is covered!

A delightful day and a reminder of all we are blessed with! Here's to many more vegan years!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Potato Latkes and Chickpea Cutlets...Vegan French Toast

My hubby asked for french toast for breakfast on Father's Day. I think rolls make yummy french toast because they don't get as soggy (I squish them down with a spatula while cooking so they aren't so thick)! So, I made rolls first (my vegan Crescent Roll recipe which can be found by doing a search on my blog for that name)and then dipped them in a combination of flour and soy milk and cooked them in a skillet with some vegan butter. Drizzled with some homemade "Buttermilk" Syrup (another recipe available by search on my blog :-) ), these were pretty yummy.

I love potato pancakes and when I saw this recipe for Potato Latkes, I had to try it!They were delicious! I used very little oil so they took a lot longer to cook than if I had used more oil and fried them. Very delicious with ketchup drizzled on top. I also made Chickpea Cutlets, a recipe I made very early on in our vegan journey. They were delicious but I haven't made them since, partly because they are pan fried and I do very little frying now. I used a lot less oil and didn't really fry them this time. They weren't as crispy but they were wonderful. I served them with mustard sauce. I have re-posted both recipes below. I also made a salad to round out the meal!

Potato Latkes
2 large potatoes, peeled, grated and squeezed dry
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup flour
2 T dijon
1 t baking powder
¼ cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 T oil in skillet. Scoop ½ cup potato mixture into skillet and spread to make patty. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Brown on each side. Serve.

Chickpea Cutlets (Source: Veganomicon)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (recipe called for 1/2 cup but I have found that we do not like too much of this ingredient. It makes for too much of a "bready" flavor and texture. A small amount gives nice texture and not much taste)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup faux chicken broth
2 T soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t lemon zest
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t dried rubbed sage
olive oil for panfrying

In a mixing bowl, mash chickpeas and oil. Add remaning ingredients and knead for 2-3 min. Preheat skillet and pour a small layer of oil into pan so bottom is covered. Form cutlets (I made round cutlets) - I made about 8-10 - and flatten to about 1/2 in thickness. Place in hot oil and panfry 4-6 min on each side.

Mustard Sauce (Source: Veganomicon)
(My adjusted version - I just can't make a recipe exactly as written! I always have to tweek it! I get that from my mom and sister :-) ). End result:Fabulous!!
2 T cornstarch
3/4 cup faux chicken broth (recipe called for veg broth but I was out)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 cup sherry cooking wine (didn't have any so left it out!)
1 T olive oil
1 T soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard plus 1 t mustard seeds (recipe calls for whole-grain Dijon but I didn't have any so this is how I improvised)
2 T lemon juice (called for 1 T but since I didn't use any wine, thought I would add a tad extra lemon juice)
2 T capers (with brine)

Combine cornstarch and broth and set aside. In small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture. Cook until bubbly and thickened. Serve over chickpea cutlets.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chili-Lime Tofu...Tempeh Larb...Sweet Potato and Leek Gratin = YUM!!!

I have had a successful cooking weekend so far! That always makes me delightfully happy! I tried several new recipes and all of them turned out yummy.

This tofu dish was so easy and once I threw it together, I had my doubts as to whether or not it would really have any flavor. The ingredient list was short and the method was extremely easy and fast. The result? WOW!! It was soooo yummy! My hubby loved it and my 2yr old gobbled it down. Truth be told, there were no leftovers! As we near our 1yr anniversary of going vegan, it is so funny to look at our plates now and contrast them to what they looked like a year ago! My husband is still amazed that he enjoys tofu so much and said last night "I can't believe we eat tofu!" I used Central Soy Smoked Tofu in this - perfection! Such a refreshing dish. I made a few changes to recipe - it called for scallions which I didn't have so I used dried onion flakes; it called for cayenne but I used smoked paprika so my kiddos could eat it; and it called for red peppers which my family doesn't like so I left those out.

Chili Lime Corn with Smoked Tofu (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)
1 lb corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
6 oz extra firm smoked tofu, cut into small cubes
1 fresh lime, thinly sliced
1 T minced dried onions
2 T lime juice
2 T oil
1 t smoked paprika

Tempeh is one of those proteins that I have been on the fence about. I have tried it several ways and though a couple of them have been ok, I haven't been crazy about tempeh. I have recently found so many recipe that look good that use tempeh so I decided to give these fermented beans a try again. Glad that I did! This Tempeh Larb (I know, doesnt' sound appetizing!)was really good. Perfect fare for a hot summer day. The recipe actually calls for iceberg lettuce leaves to make wraps but I got a free bag of iceberg salad so I made this into a salad instead. It was cool, refreshing, another perfect summer meal. I must say, the tempeh was delicious. It was so nutty and yummy. Needless to say, I think tempeh might just find a little more space on our menu!

Tempeh Larb
2 8oz packages of tempeh
2 t minced fresh ginger
¼ cup canola or peanut oil
16 iceberg lettuce leaves

Larb Sauce
½ cup fresh lime juice
3 T soy sauce
1 ½ t sugar
1 onion, sliced
½ cup cilantro chopped
½ t red pepper flakes
2 t minced fresh ginger

Larb: Steam tempeh for 20 min in steamer. Cool and cut into quarters. Pulse tempeh in food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add ginger and pulse. Heat oil in skillet. Add tempeh and cook 8-10 min or until brown and dry.
Larb Sauce: Combine lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar. Add tempeh, onion, cilantro, pepper flakes, ginger and toss to combine. Fill each lettuce leaf with tempeh.

This recipe just looked so yummy. And, in fact, it was incredibly yummy. Of course most gratins are covered with dairy-laden sauces and cheese - this one was so yummy, sweet and had a melt-in-your-mouth component that was delightful. I have several recipes using leeks on my menu but I only bought one bunch, so I used 1 leek and 1 vidalia onion in this - just added to the sweet goodness of the dish.

Baked Leek and Sweet Potato Gratin (adapted from Everything Vegan)
1 ½ T olive oil, divided
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed and sliced
3minced cloves garlic
3T fresh rosemary
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup veg broth
3 T breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 450. Heat 1T oil in skillet. Add leeks, garlic and 1 ½ T rosemary. Saute until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange 1/3 of sweet potato in 10in round dish coated with cooking spray. Spread half of leek mixture on top. Arrange another 1/3 sweet potato and top with remaining leeks. Follow with remaining sweet potatoes. Drizzle broth over dish. Cover with foil and bake 35 min. Stir together breadcrumbs, remaining oil and rosemary. Remove foil. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered 15 min more or until browned.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chewy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies, Lemon-Garlic White Bean Dip, Spaghetti Carbonara

I was in charge of snacks for life group last night. I wanted to make something without chocolate so that Keith could have some dessert (he can't have chocolate at night as it gives him bad dreams). I haven't made oatmeal raisin cookies in eons, probably because my hubby doesn't like raisins! These cookies were amazing. The best, by far, I have ever made (oatmeal raisin ones, I mean!). So, so delish! Chewy, sweet perfection!

Chewy Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (adapted from:

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (3.25 oz)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar (3 ½ oz)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup applesauce, drained on a paper towel
1/4 cup plus 1 T canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins, plumped and patted dry
Walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with Silpats.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix both sugars, maple syrup, apple sauce, oil and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the oats, followed by raisins.

Let sit for 10 minutes.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for about 5-8 minutes on cookie sheets then carefully scoop up onto a wire rack.

Makes 2 dozen

I also made a veg/crackers/dip tray and tried out a new bean dip recipe. It was mild, creamy and very fresh-tasting. Olive oil was one of the ingredients for this dip and I was so thrilled to use some of my special olive oil from Italy. My in-laws recently took a Mediterranian cruise and they brought me this delightful little bottle of olive oil from Italy. It even had olive leaves in it! I do not care for strong-tasting olive oil and this one was perfect! Very mild and silky smooth. I couldn't resist including a picture of the adorable bottle it came in!!

Lemon-Garlic White Bean Dip (adapted from All You July 2011)
1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 t garlic powder
1 T lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
1 T chopped fresh parsley
Combine all ingredients in food processor except parsley. Process until smooth. Add parsley and pulse until incorporated. Serve with veg sticks and crackers.

Another delicious recipe from Urban Vegan. I love that cookbook!The first time we tried Fakin Bakin, we were not impressed - it was very shortly after we began vegan eating. We have since
learned to like it's unique, smoky, differentness! It was great in this pasta. The sauce turned out so rich and creamy. Yum!

Spaghetti Carbonara (adapted from Urban Vegan)
1 T cornstarch
1 t salt
1/3 plus 1 cup soy milk
1 T oil
4 strips tempeh bacon
1/4 cup white wine
6 T Earth Balance
3 heaping T nutritional yeast
1 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
2 T fresh parsley, chopped

Dissolve cornstarch in 1/3 cup soy milk. Add salt. Set aside. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add tempeh bacon. Cook on both sides until crispy. You may want to move heat to medium high at the end of cooking. Once crispy, remove tempeh bacon and place on paper towels. Add wine to same skillet. Allow to deglaze the pan - about 3-4 minutes. Add Earth Balance and stir until melted. Add nutritrional yeast and whisk to make a roux. Slowly whisk in 1 cup soy milk. Add cornstarch/milk mixture and stir until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chop tempeh bacon and add to sauce. Pour sauce over drained pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Veggie Burgers, BBQ Tofu and Corn Salad, Savory "Beef" Cobbler

I cooked a bunch today, taking advantage of the fact that my hubby was home to help with the kiddos. Pretty yummy new recipes!

I put a new spin on a recipe I have made before and designed a "beef" cobbler instead of just a veg one. Turned out pretty tasty. I adjusted the veggies in Keith's a little since he doesn't like onions or green beans. I added lima beans to his on top of the other veggies. Everyone loved it. The kids each ate 3 helpings!!

Savory “Beef” Cobbler (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)

2 cups washed and cut green beans
5 potatoes, peeled, diced
1 onion, diced
5 large carrots, sliced
1 cup corn
1 ½ cups baked seitan, diced and browned in 2 t olive oil.

Steam potatoes, onion and carrots until tender – about 15 min. Add green beans and steam additional 5 min. Add seitan. Set aside.

3 T vegan margarine
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups faux beef stock
2 t worcestershire sauce
2 t cracked black pepper
1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk

Melt margarine in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly stir in the stock and soy milk. Stir until sauce thickens - about 7 min. Add sauce to filling mixture.

2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 T vegan margarine
1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the margarine until coarse crumbs form. Add the soy milk until thick dough forms.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour veggie mixture into prepared pan. Top with spoonfuls of topping. Bake for about 30 min or until topping is browned.

This salad was fantastic! So fresh and delicious. I think it would be wonderful served in a tortilla as a wrap or in a pita - which is what I plan to do with the leftovers!

Barbecued Tofu and Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette (adapted from Everything Vegan)

Cilantro Vinaigrette

1 cup cilantro leaves
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup orange juice
1 T agave
½ t garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth:

1 16 oz package extra firm tofu (I used Central Soy, smoked tofu), diced
½ cup barbecue sauce
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup cooked pinto beans
4 cups chopped romaine

Heat skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add tofu and cooked until lightly browned. Add bbq sauce and stir. Heat 3 min. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl, combine tofu, corn, and beans. Mix. Add vinaigrette and stir. When ready to serve, spoon tofu/corn salad over lettuce and toss to serve.

These are the best veg burgers I have made. My kiddos loved them and my hubby did too. A sure win for all! The only downside, they are made with TVP which isn't exactly healthfood. However, I figure it is better than real burgers and TVP is super cheap! These burgers were so easy to make too! In the picture, the burger has obviously not been "dressed" so looks kinda boring! Of course vegan mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and tomatoes were added!

Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers (adapted from Everything Vegan)
1 cup TVP
1 cup boiling water mixed with 1 t faux beef boullion)
1 T ground flax seed
2 T hot water
¼ cup ketchup
4 t cornstarch
2T canola oil

Pour boiling broth over TVP in large bowl. Set aside. Add hot water to flax seed in separate bowl. Let sit 5 min. Add flax to TVP and add remaining ingredients except oil. Stir until well incorporated. Form into patties (I made 6 patties). Heat oil in skillet. Cook patties until browned on both sides. Serve in corn tortillas for a gluten free bun option or on regular buns for the non-gluten-free option!

Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad

I love Mexican-style food!Thankfully, so does my family. I made a delicious taco salad the other night and my whole fam loved it. It was super easy and perfect for a warm summer evening. I used Smart Ground (Lightlife) for the first time and was very impressed - great consistency and flavor. I got it on sale at Whole Foods for only 99 cents and I only used half a package for this meal for our family of 4. I heated a skillet and coated with cooking spray, then added the smart ground (about 1 cup) and seasoned with cumin, garlic powder and salt (I would have used chili powder but I ran out!). I had some leftover Morgan's beans (see my recipe for Modified Morgan's Beans under the post "Fancy Tostadas") that were perfect for this meal. I also made some tortilla chips by brushing corn tortillas with oil and baking them for about 7 min at 425 - I cut them into triangles prior to baking. I whipped up some guacamole and slaw (2 cups of sliced cabbage, 2 T taco sauce, 1/4 cup vegan mayo - mixed together). In bowls, I spooned a ladle of beans, topped with a scoop of smart ground, a healthy spoon-ful of slaw, some guacamole, dollop of vegan sour cream, some diced tomatoes and then lined the sides of the bowl with the tortilla chips. It was so yummy. Yay for tasty, easy meals!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vegan "Paneer"

I have been dying to use Central Soy tofu as a paneer (Indian Cheese) substitute. I finally tried it last night and it was delicious! Though not totally like paneer, it was a very good substitute and the texture was fabulous! I would leave the sugar out of the sauce recipe next time as it was a bit to sweet. I also might try making this with my usual paneer sauce - the sauce I made was more of a sweet and tangy sauce rather than a completely savory sauce. I rounded out the meal with steamed veggies topped with a dollop of curried mayo and fruit cups. Yum! Braedon loved the "paneer".

Sweet and Sour Balti Vegan "Paneer" (adapted from Indian)
In a crockpot, combine the following ingredients and stir well to incorporate:

6 T tomato paste
3 t garam masala
2 t chili powder
2 t minced garlic
4 T chutney
2 t salt
1 t sugar (I would leave this out next time)
1 cup water
4 T soy creamer
Heat in slow cooker on low for 4 hours.

Cube 1 block of tofu (Central Soy, nigari tofu has the best texture and flavor - you can use another type but I am not sure how it will turn out because other types of tofu have a much stronger flavor and consistency in my opinion)and add to cooked sauce. Heat 15-20 min or until completely heated. Serve over Basmati rice.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wild Rice Tacos, Taco Casserole, Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

These tacos turned out ok - they didn't have a ton of flavor though and I didn't have time to put together a bunch of toppings - they would have been a bunch better if I had made some fresh corn salsa, tomato salsa, and Mexican slaw (the toppings I listed for my fancy tostadas that you can find by searching "fancy vegan tostadas" on my blog). I cooked a wild rice blend and then seasoned it with a taco seasoning mix (I rarely buy those but I got a super good sale and decided to try it. It was a chipotle flavor and perhaps a bit too strong for the mild rice). I stuffed corn tortillas with the rice and then brushed the tortillas with oil before baking at 425 until crisp. The crispiness of the taco shells was perfect without all the oil needed to fry taco shells in a pan. Overall, these were ok, they just needed a boost in toppings and some different seasoning.
You know the lentil loaf I posted a few days back? Well, it was ok but really not all that exciting. It made a large loaf so I decided I needed to get creative. I took the remaining loaf and mixed it with some homemade enchilada sauce, topped it with some seasoned seitan crumbles (I used cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, minced dried onions and salt) spread it in a greased casserole dish and topped with corn chips. Then I baked it for about 20 min. Turned out pretty yum!

So, in my opinion, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter is one of the best things ever! This is hardly a recipe and is something I just made up when I wanted something sweet and fast. These treats will beat any Reeses! Yuuuuum!

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
16 t natural peanut butter (the kind that has peanuts and salt and no other additives)
Muffin cup papers

Line muffin pan with 8 papers. In each paper, pour 1/4 cup chocolate chips and top with 2 t peanut butter. Heat oven to 350. Place muffin tin in oven for 5 min. Remove. If chocolate is fully melted, use a knife and swirl the chocolate and peanut butter until incorporated. Cool and place in refridgerator until hardened. If not yet melted, return to oven for additional 5 min. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day

We had a BBQ for Memorial Day at my in-laws and I was in charge of bringing a couple of salads and dessert. I made a veggie pasta salad (forgot to take a picture of the original dish), Tangy Carrot Coin Salad (a recipe my mom made when I was growing up), and Urban Vegan's Def-Jam Bars. Everything turned out yummy. My in-laws even bought veggie burgers and veggie dogs for me :-) Tonight I combined the last of the carrot coin salad with some pasta salad and added a few olives for a filling bowl of deliciousness (that's what's pictured here because I forgot to take pictures of the originals! The pasta salad was just some tri-color veggie rotini tossed with blanched broccoli and carrots, some celery and some balsamic dressing. The Carrot Coin Salad recipe is as follows.

Tangy Carrot Coin Salad
2 lbs carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced, cooked until al dente - do not overcook!
1 green pepper, sliced

Dressing (this makes a lot of dressing! The salad should be saucy enough to marinate the veggies but you can reserve some for later use as well):
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup cider vinegar
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 T ketchup
1/2 t vegan worcestershire
3/4 cup brown rice syrup, liquid sorghum or agave (I used honey because that is a non-vegan ingredient I still use)
1 t mustard
1 t salt
Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Layer carrots and peppers in large bowl. Pour dressing over veggies. Refridgerate for 30 min at least - the longer the better.
These were quite tasty - I must admit the sugar cookie base is the best sugar cookie I have ever made - much better than the non-vegan counterparts I have made in the past. My hubby and sister-in-law really liked these. I thought they turned out good but I am a chocolate-lover so they weren't at the top of my list for desserts because they were chocolate-less! Yummy though...

Def-Jam Bars (adapted from Urban Vegan)
1 batch all-purpose sugar cookie dough (recipe below)
1/3 cup all-fruit raspberry jam or other all-fruit jam

All-purpose Sugar Cookie Dough
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 heaping T soy flour
1 cup flour

Cream Earth Balance and sugar together. Add baking powder, soda, and salt. Mix until smooth. Add vanilla. Beat in flours.
Preheat oven to 300. Press cookie dough into a greased medium cookie sheet (I used a large springform pan because my cookie sheets are all large). Bake for 15-20 min or until set but soft. Don't let brown. Cool. Spread jam over cookie base. Cut into pieces.
Okay so I have to admit I made this for breakfast on Monday...yikes!! My parents drove in from Marshall for breakfast and a visit. I was so tired of all my usual breakfasts and I really wanted to find something not as sugary as many of the breakfast delights I cook (ie. scones, coffee cake, etc - not that I make these daily but I try to make something special on the weekends)...but alas I was unsuccessful! I had some frozen cranberries calling my name so I decided to make this...alongside large bowls of fruit! Quite delish!

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake (adapted from Urban Vegan)
1/2 cup Earth Balance, divided
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 12oz bag cranberries
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar (yikes! I know!!)
1 T baking powder
1 T soy flour
1 cup soy milk
1 t vanilla
1 T lemon zest
Preheat oven. Grease 9 in round cake pan. In a small saucepan,heat 1/4 cup butter and brown sugar until melted. Pour into greased pan. Sprinkle cranberries over butter mixture. In a large bowl,mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients and zest. Combine wet with dry until well mixed. Spoon batter over cranberries. Bake for about 45 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 min. Use knife around edges to separate cake from pan. Place plate on top of pan, flip pan over onto plate. Serve warm.

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.