Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spicy Szechuan Noodles

This came to me in an email from  The original recipe included Oyster Sauce so I had to find a replacement and I decided to try Thai Red Curry Paste.  Just use any mix of vegetables you have, you can even throw in Soy meat replacement, but we like it straight up veggies. 

Spicy Szechuan Noodles
1 1/4                     cups vegetable broth
1/4                        cup peanut butter
3                           tablespoons soy sauce
2-3                        teaspoons Thai red chili paste (replaced oyster sauce)
1                           tablespoon white vinegar
                             teaspoon minced ginger (optional)                       

1/2                        box pasta, we used whole grain spaghetti but you can use rice noodles
1                           tablespoon peanut or olive oil
3                           medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
3                           medium carrots, sliced (or 1.5 cups baby cut carrots)
1                           yellow or red pepper, sliced
4                           green onions, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
                             red pepper flakes, to your liking
                             almond slices, or other nuts
1                           tablespoon sesame oil
                             fresh cilantro (optional)
                             lime (optional)

In medium bowl, mix sauce ingredients with wire whisk until well blended; set aside.

In large stockpot, heat 4 quarts water to boiling over high heat. Remove from heat; add noodles. Let stand 8 to 10 minutes or until noodles are tender; drain.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat peanut oil over medium-high heat about 1 minute. Add carrots cook till almost tender, add rest of veggies (except onion) and garlic; cook 3-5 minutes longer, add green onions and pepper flakes. 

Mix sauce mixture again with wire whisk to recombine; pour into skillet.  Stir to coat mixture with sauce. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors. Stir in sesame oil and nuts (if using) In large serving bowl, gently mix the noodles with the sauce mixture to coat. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Skillet Potato Omelet

I saw a French chef make a potato skillet omelet and was excited to try it out in my new iron skillet.  I struggled with how to veganize the “egg” portion but remembered an omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch cookbook and thought I could add more water so it could be poured over the filling.  We’ve now tried this recipe three different times starting with cooking it on top of stove like the French Chef did but the tofu egg mixture didn’t seem to cook through.  So this time we decided to bake it in the oven then place under the broiler for last 4-5 minutes on low to brown the top.  The mixture firms up as it sits and cools but is also tasty hot out of the oven when the mixture is a little soft.

Skillet Potato Omelet

Tofu Omelet  (adapted from Vegan Brunch CB)
2            garlic cloves
1            lb. silken tofu, lightly drained (use firm not sot) usually found in produce
              area near Asian veggies
2            tablespoons nutritional yeast
2            tablespoons olive oil
1/2         teaspoon turmeric
1            teaspoon fine black salt  (in specialty stores) gives the flavor of egg, if you
              do not like the flavor of eggs, just ski and use 3/4 teas. regular sea salt.
1/2         cup chickpea flour
1            tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
***This omelet batter is very thick, so for the skillet version, we added approximately 3/4 cup water and blended it.
Chop garlic and place in a food processor or blender. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric, and salt. Puree until smooth.  Add the chickpea flour and arrowroot and puree again for about 10 seconds, until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides.  Add water to thin out (we used approx. 3/4 cup water)

4            strips vegan bacon
1            potato, diced
1            cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2         onion or 2 green onions, diced
1            garlic clove, minced
***Just use whatever you have on hand, I happened to have mushrooms but used green pepper last time. 

Par boil the diced potatoes (around 5 minutes), then transfer to a oiled/soy buttered skillet and cook until crispy.  Take out and set aside.  Cook tempeh bacon, take out and set aside.  Cook onion until soft, add garlic and mushrooms until soft.  Put tempeh bacon and potatoes back in the skillet with the onion mixture then pour Tofu Omelet mixture over filling.  Bake at 350 for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it because it varies.  Broil on low for approximately 5 minutes to brown the top.  Let sit a bit before slicing up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Butternut Squash and White Bean Stew with Rosemary and Tomatoes

Since today is only the first day of spring, I thought I could eke out a winter soup recipe.  Trader Joe’s is still carrying butternut squash already peeled and diced, which really saves time in the kitchen.  I'm sure there are more cold days in store for us - so keep this recipe in mind when we get back to a normal March weather!

Butternut Squash and White Bean Stew with Rosemary and Tomatoes
A year in a Vegetarian Kitchen cookbook

3            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1            medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
5            medium garlic cloves, minced
2            15 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1            small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
              (about 3 1/2 cups)
1            14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
3            cups water
1            tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
              freshly ground black pepper
              soy parmesan cheese, optional

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering.  Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add 4 of the minced garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, and about 1 minute. Add the beans, squash, tomatoes, and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to simmer until the stew thickens, about 15 minutes. 

While the stew is simmering, stir the rosemary, the remaining minced garlic clove, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and salt to taste together in a small bowl.

To serve, swirl in the rosemary mixture and sprinkle with soy parmesan – if desired.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tempeh Piccata

My new favorite cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen, arrived today and I’ve already book marked half the pages.  I would highly recommend picking up a copy and working your way through it.  This is the first dish I made and it will be a dish I go back to again and again.  We steamed some spinach in olive oil with chopped garlic to go along with the Tempeh Piccata.

Tempeh Piccata  (Chloe's Kitchen CB by Chloe Coscarelli)
1            8 oz. package tempeh, thinly sliced
4            tablespoons olive oil, divided
1            onion, chopped
2            cloves garlic, minced
              sea salt
              freshly ground black pepper
1            cup vegetable broth
1            tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
2            tablespoons water
3            tablespoons lemon juice
2            tablespoons vegan margarine
2            tablespoons drained capers (I think I used more)
2            tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Fill a large pot with enough water to reach the bottom of a steamer basket. Place tempeh slices in the basket, cover, and steam for 20 minutes. Check the pot occasionally and add more water if necessary. (I’ve actually burned a pan steaming potatoes because the water evaporated). Steaming the tempeh will remove bitterness.           

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat and arrange tempeh pieces in the skillet. Flip the pieces, cook tempeh on each side for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Very carefully and slowly add the broth to the skillet, so the oil doesn’t spatter. Reduce the heat to medium and let the broth bubble down for 1-2 minutes.

Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl and slowly drizzle it into the skillet, mixing continuously until sauce thickens. Add the tempeh to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Add lemon juice and let simmer for a few minutes, turning the tempeh midway. Turn off the heat and stir in margarine, capers and parsley until margarine is melted and incorporated. Season again with salt and pepper.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Banana Chocolate Bread

I've made this bread a few times now and so far everyone who's tried it thought it was pretty fantastic,  but since the recipe if from Veganomicon, I expected no less.  It's easy to make and great to give away or take to a party.  It can also be made without chocolate chips -- but why?

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips( Adapted from Veganomicon)
2            large or 3 small very ripe bananas
1/4         cup applesauce (natural)
1/4         cup canola oil
1/2         cup sugar
2            tablespoons molasses
2            cups all purpose flour
3/4         teaspoon baking soda
1/4         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1            teaspoon ground cinnamon  (I left out due to allergies)
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well.  Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.  Top should be lightly browned and knife inserted through the center should come out clean, some chocolate will come out on knife.  Llow to cool.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yam Soup

This soup has a kick to it so if you're not a fan of spicy dishes, you may want to cut back on the spices.  Red Peppers are filled with vitamins A, C, and K and Yams are packed with vitamin C.  A good time of the year to load up on some “good for you” soup!

Yam Picante  (Vegan Family Meals Real Food for Everyone CB)

2            tablespoons olive oil
1            large onion, coarsely chopped
3            cloves garlic, chopped
2            teaspoons ground coriander
1            teaspoon ground cumin
1            teaspoon crushed red pepper
3            celery stalks, chopped
2            red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2            teaspoons fine sea salt
2            pounds garnet yams or red skinned sweet potatoes, peeled (I used regular
8            cups water
1            (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened light coconut milk
2            teaspoons dried basil
1/4         cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, and crushed red pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the celery, bell peppers, and the 2 teaspoons salt and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 12 minutes.  Cut three-fourths of the yams into about 1-inch chunks and add them to the soup.

Stir in the water, coconut milk, and basil.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the yams are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until it is smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer.  (Or use an emulsion blender).

Meanwhile, cut the remaining one-fourth of the yams into 1/2 inch cubes and add them to the pureed soup. Simmer until the yams are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Falafel Salad with Dill-Tahini Sauce

We cheated when making this salad by baking Trader Joe’s premade Falafels that we had in our freezer.   We added red pepper, onion and cherry tomatoes to our salad then topped it off with baked falafels.  The Dill Tahini can also be used on steamed or roasted veggies and was taken from the Veganomicon cookbook.

Falafel Salad with Dill-Tahini Sauce

1/2         cup tahini, at room temperature
1/2         cup water, at room temperature
1            clove garlic, chopped coarsely
1/4         cup fresh lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
2            tablespoons olive oil
1            tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2         teaspoon paprika (Hungarian, if you’ve got it)
1/4         teaspoon salt
1            cup lightly packed fresh dill

Combine all the ingredients but the dill in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add the dill and pulse a few times until the dill is just small green flecks.  You can serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use, then bring back to room temperature because it will thicken a lot when cold.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vegetable Pot Pie

The original recipe calls for seitan, cubed but I used baked tofu from Trader Joes and diced small.  I would also suggest making a bit more marinade if you like the pie more gravy-like.  Even though most of the liquid was absorbed, the taste was fantastic.  We like our pot pies with crust on the top and bottom even though the recipe calls for top crust only – I say live a little!

Pot Pie (The Chicago Diner Cookbook)

3/4            cup water
3/4            cup white wine
1               tablespoon nutritional yeast
1               tablespoon onion powder
1               tablespoon garlic powder
1/2            teaspoon dried dill weed
1 -1/2        teaspoons poultry spice, or 1/2 teas. sage + 1/2 teas. thyme
1               teaspoon salt
1/4            teaspoon pepper

1 1lb.       seitan, cubed or tofu or tempeh

1            cup chopped onion
1            cup thinly sliced carrot
1            medium potato, diced
1            cup chopped celery
1/2         cup frozen peas
1/2-2/3  cup unbleached flour

In a casserole or medium pan, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Add seitan and marinate 20-30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Bake on an oiled sheet pan 20-30 minutes, stirring twice. Set aside.
     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To prepare the vegetables, sauté the onion, carrot, and potato until almost soft. Add the celery; cook 5 minutes and add peas. Add 1/2 – 2/3 cup of unbleached flour to the reserved liquid, and stir well. Pour slowly over the vegetable mixture, then add seitan or tofu. Cook until thick, about 5 minutes.
     Pour into a 4-quart casserole, top with a prepared pie crust and bake 35-40 minutes.

Pie Crust:  (makes 2 crusts)
1            cup unbleached flour
1            cup whole wheat pastry flour
1            teaspoon salt
1            teaspoon baking powder
2/3         cup soy margarine
1/4-1/3 cup ice water

In a medium bowl, stir the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or fork. Cut in the margarine until the dough is crumbly and pebble-like. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add the ice water. Mix until the dough forms a ball. You may need to drizzle a little more water to get it to the point where it will hold together. Shape into a ball and divide in half.
Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick on a floured board or countertop.  Add to top of casserole.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Zucchini Soup - Raw

Another raw soup made in our Vita-Mix.  The carrots add a little sweetness and the avocado keeps it smooth.

Zucchini Soup – Raw

2            carrots, diced
2            large or 4 small zucchini, diced
1            avocado, sliced
1            small garlic clove, minced
1            tablespoon shallot, minced
1            tablespoon olive oil
2            cups almond or other non dairy milk
1            tablespoon parsley
            salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to meld ingredients. Warm in double boiler, or a pot on the stove, stirring constantly.  Do not overheat to retain the enzymes.