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Archive for May, 2010

This is a really quick and easy dinner recipe.  It’s great over a whole grain pasta [quinoa pasta pictured above] or over an Italian sausage style seitan dog in a hoagie bun.  I keep frozen seitan sausages on hand for those times when I just want to relax and not think about what’s for dinner; it’s a great time saver. 

Spicy Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

1-28 oz can crushed plum tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, sliced

4 green bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 T Creole/Cajun salt-free seasoning [Whichever you prefer, but salt-free is important otherwise it’ll be too salty.]

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

fresh basil

Directions:

Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a pan and place over medium heat.  Sauté onion and bell pepper until softened.  Add in the garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes.  Add the tomatoes and Creole seasoning.  Cook for 15 minutes and then taste for salt, pepper and seasoning.  Adjust as necessary. 

Serve this over pasta with or without Italian-style seitan sausages.  Garnish with fresh basil.

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Tofu

Ingredients:

freshly-made tofu [My recipe and directions]

4 cups fresh basil, packed

¼ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil

1-2 T oil

zest of ½ lemon

3 garlic cloves

⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

After you have fresh tofu curds, transfer to a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow to drain and cool.  Once cooled, move to a large bowl. 

Add basil, sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, garlic and oil to a food processor and pulse until combined.  Add ½ of the pine nuts and pulse a few times.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pesto and remaining pine nuts to the bowl with the tofu curds and mix well yet gently.  Transfer to a tofu mold that has been lined with cheesecloth and press for an hour.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

To serve, dredge in seasoned brown rice flour [I added a little bit of garlic and onion powders as well as a bit of oregano and salt and pepper] and then into ground flax seed gel [1 T flax seed blended in ¼ cup water].  Finally, dredge in some seasoned panko bread crumbs.  Pan fry in some olive oil until all sides are golden brown.

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Lentil and Brown Rice Wrap

Ingredients:

Whole wheat tortillas [Our favorite is Trader Joe’s Organic brand]

1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise

1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise

1 red bell pepper, sliced

olive oil

puy lentils, cooked in vegetable broth

short-grained brown rice, cooked in vegetable broth

green leafies [I used mâche]

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Lightly brush or spray the sliced squash and pepper with olive oil and grill in a grill pan. 

Place the green leafies in a bowl and toss with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the rice and lentils together in equal proportion.  Place a few spoonfuls upon a warmed whole wheat tortilla.  Top with the grilled vegetables and some of the seasoned green leafies.   Wrap up and eat!

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Tangy Greek Custard-Style Tofu

 

Ingredients:

1 recipe homemade tofu, at curd stage

1 cup non-dairy yogurt

¼ cup nutritional yeast

Juice of one lemon

¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

¼ cup capers

½ cup caper/olive brine

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

 

Directions:

Transfer tofu curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander to drain off the whey.  Once drained, move to a bowl and gently mix in the brine, olives, capers, oregano and pepper.  Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse together the yogurt, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. 

Add the yogurt mixture to the tofu curds and stir through, gently.  Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined tofu mold and press for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Unmold [It will be wet and sticky because of the yogurt] and place upon a silpat-lined [or any other non-stick oven-safe surface] baking sheet.  Bake for an hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature to set.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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We were in Trader Joe’s recently and picked up some whole wheat lavash.  It’s a bit thicker than a tortilla and far thinner than the traditional pizza crust Americans are used to piling toppings upon.  If you’re in a hurry, or want a lighter style pizza, this is the way to go.

 

Eggplant,  Zucchini and Kale Pizza with a Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:

one eggplant, peeled and cut into a medium dice

2 zucchini, medium dice

1 bunch kale, washed and cut into ribbons

1/3 cup dried apricots, cut into slices

1/2 onion, diced

1 head garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

fresh oregano

For the Sundried Tomato and Cashew Cheese:

1 block extra firm silken tofu

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice [about a tablespoon’s worth]

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. 

Lightly spray eggplant with olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread upon a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Cut the top off the entire head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and place in the oven.  Bake the eggplant and garlic for 45 minutes, tossing the eggplant halfway through.

While the eggplant and garlic are in the oven, sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil until softened.  Add the zucchini and sauté until the edges are caramelized.  Transfer to a bowl.  Place the pan back on the stove and, once heated, add another drizzle of olive oil and add the kale.  Toss until coated then add a cup of water and the dried apricots.  Turn down to a simmer and cook until the greens have wilted and the apricots are rehydrated.  Drain, if necessary, and set aside.

To make the cheese:  Add tofu, cashews, sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oregano to a food processor. Pulse until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the eggplant and garlic have roasted, remove and add the eggplant to the sautéed onions and zucchini.  Place a lavash bread upon a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 4-5 minutes to crisp up a bit.  [You do not want the lavash to get gooey when you add the toppings.]  Spread the cheese onto the lavash using a spatula.  Top with the cooked vegetables and cloves of roasted garlic.  Bake for a few minutes until warmed.  Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and fresh oregano.

 

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Cherries, especially the tart variety,  are receiving a great deal of attention these days in the athletic world due to their ability to mitigate pain after exercise.  This little fruit is packed full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important to the health of your vision. They are also, interestingly enough,  a good source of the calming antioxidant, melatonin.

I use a great deal of fruit and vegetable juices in my cooking to impart both flavor and nutrients to our food, so when Cheribundi approached us and asked if we’d try out their cherry juice, we eagerly agreed.  This sauce, coupled with the yuba, was savory and sweet, tangy and lip-smacking good.   In short, it had umami.   The slaw, absolutely necessary for any mustardy Carolina-style barbecue-sauced dish, was the perfect fresh and raw accompaniment. 

 

Pulled Yuba in a Cherry Barbecue Sauce with Sesame Slaw

Ingredients:

1 cup tart cherry juice [I used Cheribundi’s Tru Cherry juice.]

½ cup dried sour cherries

¼ cup yellow mustard

¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

3 T tomato paste

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

6 oz dried bean curd sheets [1 package]

Peanut oil

Directions:

Add a drizzle of peanut oil to a pan and heat over medium.  Add the tomato paste and spread around the pan to caramelize and rid the paste of the tinned flavor.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the yuba and dried cherries, and bring to a low simmer.  Cook for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

While the sauce is simmering, soak the sheets of yuba in hot tap water to hydrate.  Once pliable, drain and roll into a tight bundle.  Cut into small shreds across the roll. 

Add the shredded yuba and dried cherries to the sauce.  Mix well to incorporate and set aside to marinate.  The longer you leave it, the more flavor the yuba will absorb.  To serve, simply return to the heat and warm through.  I served this sandwich-style on a toasted ciabatta bun.

 

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Sesame Slaw

Ingredients:

snow pea pods, julienned

red bell pepper, julienned

apple, julienned

golden beet, shaved with a vegetable peeler

tahini

fresh lemon juice and zest

dark sesame oil

black sesame seeds

Directions:

I did not include amounts because it depends upon how much you wish to make.  I simply added equal portions of each fruit and vegetable ingredient and then used a 2:1 ratio of tahini to lemon juice as the dressing with a few drops of dark sesame oil added.  Season with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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This is  a great way to morph leftover Yuba Asada into a new dish or to forge ahead and simply create this one on its own.  I grew up in southern California and machaca burritos were sold at nearly every Mexican food restaurant.  As a result, I grew to love them but since they contain egg and shredded beef,  as a vegan,  I figured that I was outta luck forever until I actually gave this dilemma some thought.  This is what I came up with and it satisfied my tastes entirely. 

 

Vegan Machaca

Ingredients:

 yuba asada [I used leftovers and I’d estimate that there were 2 cups of yuba asada used in this recipe.]

1 block of firm tofu, crumbled into bite-sized pieces

juice of half a lemon

1 green bell pepper, large dice

1/2 an onion, large dice

2 canned green chiles, large dice

1-2 T canola or peanut oil

1/2-1 tsp annatto seeds [The amount depends upon the amount of oil to flavor/color.]

2 tsp dried Mexican oregano

Garnishes:  chopped tomato, sliced green onion, cilantro

Directions:

Add oil to a large sauté pan or wok and bring to a medium low-medium heat.  Toss in the annatto seeds and cook for about 5 minutes until the oil is both flavored and colored.  Remove seeds and discard.  [Annatto will give the dish a unique latin flavor as well as a saffron-hued color.]

Turn up the heat a bit and add onion and bell pepper and sauté until softened.  Add in green chiles and the tofu and mix well.  Cook until the moisture from the tofu has evaporated.  Add the oregano and lemon juice and then the yuba asada.  Continute cooking until the yuba is hot.

Serve with warm corn tortillas and garnishes.

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