Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quadruple Berry Pie...Thai Tofu Salad...Chick-un and Bean Vegan Enchiladas

This year I made a berry pie for my Birthday and it was delicious! I think it was the best berry pie I have ever made! It is such an easy recipe and there is no added sugar - and of course no artificial sugar either!

Quadruple Berry Pie
3 cups frozen mixed berries (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry blend)
1 can frozen 100% juice concentrate ( I used Apple Raspberry - you can use cranberry or a cranberry blend also. I have never tried it with just plain apple juice...don't think orange juice would be good either!)
10-12 whole fresh strawberries, washed, de-stemmed and cut in half
Cornstarch to thicken
1 single pie crust (recipe below)

Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1 /2 t salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 T soy or almond milk

 Set aside 1/2 cup of the juice concentrate. Add mixed berries and remaining concentrate in a saucepan and heat until bubbly. Mix 3-4 T of cornstarch into concentrate that you set aside until smooth. Slowly stir into berry mixture until thick and bubbly. If mixture isn't thick enough, mix another tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and slowly stir in. Remove from heat as soon as mixture is thick. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make your pie crust. In a 9 inch pie plate, mix all crust ingredients. Stir with a fork until well mixed. Press into pie plate and up the sides of pie plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 min or until lightly browned. Cool When filling and pie crust have cooled, place halved strawberries in the bottom of the crust in a single layer (you might need slightly more or slightly fewer strawberries than listed, depending on size of the berries). Pour cooled filling over strawberries. Refrigerate until completely set.

I absolutely love this meal! It is perfect for a warm day, full of delicious veggies and flavorful tofu. Yum!!

Thai Tofu Salad
(warning - I didn't measure out how much I put in each bowl so I didn't list exact amounts! Partly depends on how hungry you are too!)
1 1/2 cups white sticky rice, cooked according to package instructions (or you can use brown short grain rice but make sure you allow extra cooking time)
1 cup carrot coins
1 cup cut green beans
1 cup broccoli florets
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, cut into small cubes

Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
1/4 cup peanut butter
8 T Thai marinade (recipe follows)
8 T vinegar
3/4 minus 2 T (confusing but that's the measurement!)

Thai Marinade
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
2 T sugar
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t chili garlic paste

Heat oven to 425. Place cubed tofu on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tofu is browned and firm. Remove from oven Bring a pot of water to boil. Add carrot coins and green beans and cook until crisp tender. Add broccoli and cook an additional 3 min. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside. Combine ingredients for Thai marinade and set aside. Combine ingredients for vinaigrette and set aside. Toss tofu with remaining Thai marinade (after 8 T have been removed). Assembling the salads: In dinner bowls, place a scoop of rice, a spoonful of veggies and a spoonful of tofu. Drizzle each bowl with vinaigrette. This meal is best served when lukewarm.
 I used to make this recipe for Chicken Enchiladas and I recently gave a go at veganizing it. Delicious results! Plenty of flavor and downright YUM!
Chick-un and Bean Vegan Enchiladas
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 package vegan chicken tenders (I used Trader Joes Crispy Tenders)
1 cup chunky salsa
4 oz vegan cream cheese
1 T chopped cilantro
1 t cumin
1 cup cooked beans or your choice (I recommend pinto, black or navy)
8 flour tortillas

Cook chick-un according to package instructions. When cooked, remove from oven and cut into small pieces. Set aside. In a skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent and tender. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa, cream cheese, cilantro, cumin, and beans. Divide filling among tortillas, rolling tortillas after each fill. Place rolled enchiladas in a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray. Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 15-20 min or until bubbly and slightly browned.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Birthday Fun

My Birthday was this week and my family spoiled me! I had a wonderful Mother's Day and Birthday with my fabulous fam!
I was so excited to get this cookbook from my sister - I checked it out at the library and fell in love with it. My sister also treated me to a new Norwex bathroom cleaning scrub mit. Love Norwex!!! No chemicals or cleaning products needed! My sister also made me the most fabulous and amazing veg pasta dish - seriously the best ever!

One of the great gifts I usually get from my mom at Christmas and Bdays is jar mixes - I love them!! I always have some in my pantry to choose from - muffins, breads, casseroles, soups. Awesomeness!!

My hubby treated me to a vegan coffeehouse called Mudpie on my Bday also. We were full from a delicious breakfast (thanks to my wonderful husband cooking for me!) so we just split a soy caramel frappe. Oh my goodness! Seriously the best frappe we have ever had!! The coffee was strong with just a hint of sweet creaminess. The coffee was so flavorful and full-bodied. Delicious!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Corn and Kale Salad - my new craving!!

My sister-in-law always does a great job of making special dishes for me when she invites us to dinner - she looks for recipes on the internet for vegan fare and always come up with tasty things! The most recent recipe she made was a kale and corn salad. I must say, the first time she made it, I found it delicious...then she made it again and I loved it....then I made it a couple of times and I realized I crave that salad!! It is so amazingly fabulous!! I ate a big plate of it for lunch today. Oh how I love kale!! And what's even better is that my boys like it too! I of course forgot to take a picture until I had already put the leftovers away but at least the general idea can be obtained! The recipe can be found at (I don't know why the picture looks that way as the salad looks nothing like that!). I modified it a bit - I used a can of yellow corn (it's still a bit early in the season for fresh)and I don't add the red peppers because two of my boys don't like peppers. I think the salad is delicious right after it's made and still a tad warm. It's also yummy cold. I also just lightly steam the kale and don't warm up the corn. Enjoy!

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.