Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thai Salad

California Pizza Kitchen has a similar salad that Trisha Yearwood adapted for her salad so I then adapted it for us. For our salad, I cut her recipe in half and added lettuce and fried tofu.   My favorite part of this salad is the edamame, I've attached a link for more information on edamame.  Most grocery stores carry frozen edamame in the veggie section.


Thai Salad
(adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood CB)

1/2       head napa cabbage, shredded
1/2       head red cabbage, shredded
            lettuce of your choice (we used Arugula)
            tofu, sliced into cubes and pan fried
            oil for frying tofu
1/2       cucumber, julienned
1/2      10 oz. bag shelled edamame, cooked
1          carrot, peeled and grated
2          green onions, finely diced
            Sweet Lime-Cilantro Dressing  (below)
1          avocado, peeled and finely sliced
1          pkg. baked Tofu from Trader Joe’s (optional)

***Dice Tofu (firm, I used baked tofu from Trader Joes) and fry in olive oil until golden brown.

Sweet Lime-Cilantro Dressing  (makes 2 cups)
2          cups olive oil
            juice of 2 limes
2          garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2    cups finely chopped fresh cilantro
1          cup sugar
1/2       teaspoon salt
1/2       teaspoon pepper

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lentil Burgers w/ Lemon-Basil Vegan Mayonnaise

I'm pretty much a Food Network junkie and always find inspiring recipes to modify but in this case Giada actually made a vegan dish! I had to go to Whole Foods to find the canned lentils, not every grocery store carries them -- as I found out.  I added walnuts for a bit of texture and crunch and flax seed for an extra binder.  This burger is loaded with protein, a very healthy dish to make for Meatless Monday's!


Lentil Burgers with Lemon-Basil Vegan Mayonnaise
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentis recipe)

1/2         cup olive oil
1/4         cup red onion or 2 large shallots, minced
1 1/2      kosher salt
1/2         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6            button mushrooms (about 4 ounces), finely diced
2            cloves garlic, minced
2            tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2         cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
2            15-oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
1/3         cup plus 1/2 cup cornmeal
2            tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1            tablespoon fresh lemon juice
**          breadcrumbs, up to a 1/2 cup depending on how mixture is holding together
**          tablespoon ground flax seed
**         1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

** On the website there were comments about the mixture not holding together so I added some breadcrumbs and flax to firm up the mixture and walnuts for a little extra flavor and texture.

Vegan Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise
1            cup refrigerated vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise from Wholefoods)
1/2         cup chopped fresh basil
zest        of 1 large lemon

For the burgers;  Heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-heat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add the onions, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft, 6-8 minutes. Set aside and cool slightly.

Blend the peas and 1 can lentils until smooth in blender (I think a food processor might work better, mine got stuck in the blender).  Transfer the pureed peas and lentils to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1 can whole lentils, 1/3 cup cornmeal, vegan mayo, lemon juice and the mushroom mixture. Form 1/3 - cupfuls of the mixture into  eleven 3/4” thick slider patties (we made more hamburger size)

Sprinkle 1/4 cup cornmeal on a baking sheet. Place the burgers on top of the cornmeal. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cornmeal on top of the burgers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium het in the skillet. Cook the burgers until golden brown – about 4 minutes on each side (ours took a bit longer).

For the Basil Vegan Mayo: Mix all ingredients until smooth in a small bowl.

We added red onion and tomato to our finished burger

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Smothered Tempeh

Since winter seems to be sticking around for awhile, here is another satisfying dish that will keep you warm and toasty.

Smothered Tempeh

2          pkg. Tempeh, each block cut into three square pieces

Marinade:  Marinate for a few hours.  Not sure of the amounts, just add to taste.
            Soy sauce
            Vegetable broth – heated
            Onion powder
            Garlic powder
            Dash of vegan Worchester sauce

Remove from marinade and cut into thin slices and fry in olive oil until browned.  Set aside.  Add sliced onion and garlic clove.  Cook until tender.  Add to gravy.

I made gravy with water or vegetable broth,  soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and a thickening agent – flour. 

**Can also sauté sliced onions and add to the gravy.

Serve Tempeh and gravy on a big, fluffy bed of mashed potatoes.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Two-Bite Chocolate Chunk Brownies

The weekend's here so it must be time for a little chocolate indulgence, or at least in our house it is.  Since these are so tiny, it's impossible to feel guilty.  Enjoy!

Two-Bite Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Vegan Bake Sale CB by Carla Kelly

2/3         cup granulated sugar
1/2         cup (5 ounces) tofu, firm silken
1/4         cup canola oil
1/4         cup unsweetened applesauce
1            teaspoon vanilla extract
1            cup all-purpose flour
3            tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1            teaspoon baking powder
1/3         cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a twenty four cup mini-muffin pan with non stick spray.

Using your blender or food processor, blend together the sugar, tofu, oil, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder into a bowl, add the blended mixture and mix, then add the chocolate and fold in.

Spoon into prepared pan. The cups will be full.  Bake for 11-13 minutes, until tops are puffy and have a few cracks and bounce back when lightly pressed.    If you use a toothpick, it should not come out totally clean.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Curried Chickpea Cakes

We assembled the Chickpea Cakes a bed of greens then dressed with a sprinkling of avocado, green onion and corn salsa.
Curried Chickpea Cakes
(Kim Barnouin “Ultimate Everyday Cookbook)

1            15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3         cup sliced green onions, both white and light green parts
1/3         cup light Coconut milk
2            teaspoons evaporated cane sugar
2/3         cup breadcrumbs , plus 1/4 cup for coating
1            teaspoon curry powder
1/2         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2         teaspoon ground cumin
2/3         cup brown rice, cooked
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/4         cup oil for pan searing

In a large food processor, combine the chickpeas and green onions, pulse until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, sugar, 2/3 cup breadcrumbs, curry powder, nutmeg, and cumin. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the cooked brown rice and the salt. Mold into 10 min patties.  (we made our a little bigger and came out with 6).

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chickpea cakes to the pan in batches until there’s a nice golden sear on the bottom. Flip and sear the other side as well.  Continue with the remaining cakes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Beet Salad

Now that I know that the task of cooking fresh beets is not that difficult, I'm officially addicted!  Just make sure you have some kitchen gloves handy when it comes to peeling time, unless of course, you like red stained hands.  The salad gets even better the next day.


Beet Salad

6            medium beets (about 2 cups chopped)
15          fresh basil leaves, minced
2            tablespoons olive oil
1            tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2            teaspoons lemon juice
2            teaspoons sugar
1            clove garlic, minced
              pinch of ground mustard
              salt and pepper to taste

Wash and trim beets, leaving 1” root and 1” stem intact.
Place trimmed beets in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
Bring water to a boil and simmer beets, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until you can easily slice into one.
Rinse beets in cold water and remove skins by rubbing firmly or cutting off.
Allow beets to cool completely.
Slice beets into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss until beets are well-coated.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beefless Stew with Beer and Paprika

We love stew in the winter, well in the spring, summer and fall as well.  This recipe has a wonderful layered flavor but when I make it again, I will probably increase the amount of thickening agent I use to make it a bit heartier.

Beefless Stew with Beer and Paprika
(Adapted from Ree Drummond recipe)

3            tablespoons olive oil
1            tablespoon soy butter
1            pkg. meatless beef strips, cut into pieces (Trader Joe's has a brand)
1            medium onion, diced
3            cloves garlic, minced
1            12-oz. can beer
4            cups vegetable stock
2            cups water (additional, if needed)
1            tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
2            tablespoons tomato paste
1/2         teaspoon paprika
1/2         teaspoon kosher salt
              freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2      teaspoon sugar
4            whole carrots, roughly sliced
4            whole new potatoes, big diced
1            cup mushrooms, sliced
***       1 tablespoon soy sauce
             1 tablespoon brown sugar
             1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
             2 tablespoons water

***After the stew cooked, I added the soy sauce, brown sugar and thickening agent.  Your stew may be perfect as is.

Heat oil and butter in large pot.  Add diced onions to the pot.  Stir until softened then add diced Beefless strips and garlic, stir and cook for another minute or two.  Pour in beer and vegetable stock, then add vegan Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar.   Cover and simmer for 1 - 1/2  hours.

**The liquid should cook down to a thicker state.  If it gets too thick or reduces down, add more water.

Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for additional 30 minutes. Add mushrooms, soy sauce and brown sugar (if using) in the last 5 minutes.  Check seasoning and thickens and add seasoning, water or thickener as needed.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Coconut Banana French Toast

How about starting out Super Bowl Sunday with a decadent breakfast?  It's worth it to indulge in some good french or sour dough bakery bread - hey, if you're gonna go for it, you should just go all the way.

Coconut Banana French Toast
(Kim Branouin “Ultimate Everyday Cookbook”)

1            banana
1/2         cup light coconut milk
1            cup almond milk
2            tablespoons evaporated can sugar
1/4         teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4         teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 6           slices whole grain bread – or if you are being  naughty – French/sourdough
                                                                                                              loaf bread
2            tablespoons Earth Balance
              powder sugar for dusting (optional)
              fruit for topping (optional)
              smoked tempeh strips (for the sweet and salty experience)

In a blender or food processor, add the banana, coconut milk, almond milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract.  Puree until the ingredients are mixed well and the mixture is smooth. Pour the batter into a shallow bowl and dip both sides of the bread into the batter.

Heat the Earth Balance in a skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Place the slices of bread onto the skillet and cook in batches until lightly golden brown on both sides. Serve with GOOD maple syrup.