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Archive for the ‘Meatless Monday’ Category

It’s nearly summertime and the farmer’s markets are beginning to burst at the seams with produce! Use whatever vegetables you have on hand in this. Aside from the gorgeous okra I picked up, I added some crisp bell pepper, carrots and green cabbage to give this stir-fry some color and wonderful texture.

Okra and Yuba Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

2 cups dried yuba bowtie knots, rehydrated in warm water

2 cups okra, sliced lengthwise

2 carrots, sliced into coins

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 head cabbage, cut into a large dice

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup ponzu sauce, without bonito [could substitute soy sauce or tamari]

1 tsp roasted sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili paste

cornstarch, divided  [Mix 1 T in 1/2 cup cold water to thicken the sauce.  You shall also need some to dredge the yuba in.]

ground ginger

coconut oil

Directions:

Spoon a little bit of coconut oil into a pan and heat to medium-high.  Drain yuba in a colander and pat dry.  Toss with a small handful of cornstarch seasoned with a bit of ground ginger. Allow excess cornstarch to fall off and add to the hot pan,  Cook until the edges have crisped.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another drizzle of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir fry all vegetables except the cabbage.  When the vegetables begin to cook yet are still crisp add in the cabbage.  Stir fry for a few minutes longer then add vegetables to the bowl with the yuba.  Add all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Add cornstarch a bit at a time until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Return yuba and vegetables to the pan and mix well to coat with sauce.  Serve over steaming brown rice.

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This was a “I’m in the mood for curry, what do I have in the pantry” kinda dish.  More specifically, I was in the mood for a rich tomato-based curry flush with lycopene and lutein and…yes, I really do think this way.  Colorful foods make me feel good in so many different ways and I try to include the entire spectrum into each day’s food choices.  This curry turned out to be a great way to use up leftover baked squash as well!

 

Tomato and Squash Curry with Yellow Split Peas

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

10 oz squash, cubed @ 2 cup’s worth  [Mine was already cooked, but raw squash could be used]

16.5 oz chopped  tomatoes [I used a box of Pomi]

1/2 cup split yellow peas

4-6 T red curry paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 – 15 oz can lite coconut milk

red pepper flakes, to taste

coconut oil, for sautéing the onions

* Optional – freshly shredded herbs, for garnish [basil, cilantro and parsley are all good options]

Directions:

Sauté the onion in coconut oil over medium heat until softened.  Add in the curry paste and red pepper flakes and cook for a couple of minutes, spreading the paste evenly over the pan so that it’s all exposed to the heat.  Add the coconut milk and whisk the paste into it.  Add the peas,  tomatoes, squash and vegetable stock.  Cook at a low simmer until the peas [and squash, if added raw] are soft.

If the curry becomes too thick, you can easily thin it out with some additional stock.

 

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This savory baked toast rocks because it tastes like pizza.  You could definitely use this as a base for a thick-crusted pizza and top it with whatever you wish.  For this dish,  I took a helping hand from Trader Joe’s and used their six-bean medley as the base and then added in some eggplant, fresh herbs and vegetable stock to make a quick stew.   

 

Savory Baked Toast

This recipe yields four slices of baked toast.  If you need more, simply multiply the ingredients by whatever factor you need.

Ingredients:

4 inches ciabatta bread cut into 1 inch-thick slices

4 T flax seeds, ground

2 T tomato paste

6 cloves roasted garlic

1 tsp faux chicken or vegetable bouillon

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

2T olive oil

1½ cups water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place a Silpat-covered or non-stick sheet pan in the oven to preheat as well.

Add all the ingredients to a blender except the ciabatta bread.  Blend until completely combined and frothy.  Pour into a small shallow container that is large enough to accommodate the ciabatta bread.  Let sit for five minutes to thicken.

Dunk the bread into the mixture and soak completely.  Transfer to a plate until all the slices have been dunked.

Place slices upon the preheated sheet pan [If you do not preheat the sheet pan the underside will be mushy] and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  The baked toast will get puffy and the tomato will caramelize slightly.

 

Herbed Beans with Eggplant

Ingredients:

1 package Trader Joe’s 6-bean medley [Found in the refrigerated produce section of the store]

1 small eggplant, cut into a small dice [Whether you peel it is up to your tastes, I prefer mine to have the anti-oxidant rich skin on]

1 T tomato paste

½-1 cup faux chicken or vegetable stock [I really love Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock]

2 sprigs fresh oregano, plus some for garnish if you wish

2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus some for garnish if you wish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees.

Spray the eggplant with a mist of olive oil.  Place in the oven and roast until soft.  This should take about 30 minutes. [You should roast the eggplant at the same time as you are baking the toast so that the entire meal comes together at the same time.]

Place a pan on the stove over medium heat.  Add the tomato paste and cook it for a couple of minutes to remove the tinny flavor of the can.  Slowly whisk in the broth until the sauce is smooth.  Add the beans and fresh herbs.  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Once the eggplant is soft, add to the bean mixture.  If you need more liquid, simply add more broth.

Divide into four equal portions and spoon over the baked toast.  Serve immediately.

 

 

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We love just about every fresh herb out there, but we especially love the flavor of dill.  I wanted to incorporate some dill into a seitan recipe and decided to couple it with the Georgian spice blend, kharcho.  This is a really simple wheatloaf that takes minimal effort to make and leftovers make great sandwiches.   

 

Dilled Georgian Wheatloaf

Ingredients:

[Dry]

1 cup vital wheat gluten

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup dark rye flour

2 T kharcho

1 T Bill’s Best Beaf Vegetarian Seasoning

1 T sweet paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

[Wet]

1 medium onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 cup fresh dill

1 cup ice-cold water

1 T soy sauce

1 T olive oil

Olive oil for sautéing the vegetables

Directions:

Sauté the onion, garlic and bell pepper until soft in 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil.  Set aside to cool. 

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Once the vegetables have cooled, transfer to a food processor and add the dill.  Pulse until it has a smooth consistency.  Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well and set aside.  Add the puréed vegetables and remaining wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Mix by hand until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.  Spread the mixture out evenly in a loaf pan.  Loosely cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes, removing the foil for the last 30 minutes.   

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This is a quick Mexican-style rice that we like to wrap up in a whole wheat tortilla with some seasoned pinto beans and avocado slices.  It beats the pants off that quick yellow rice that comes in a foil package on so many levels.  It’s also a great way to take leftover plain rice and morph it into an entirely different meal. 

 

Green Chile Rice

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, medium dice

1 green bell pepper, medium dice

2 cups cooked brown rice [This is a great use for leftover rice]

3T diced green chiles [I used roasted canned chiles, like Ortega for this]

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp annatto seeds [These give the rice a beautiful yellow color and distinctive flavor]

¼ cup Bill’s Best Chik’Nish Vegetarian Seasoning

1 lime

1 T neutral oil [I use rice bran oil]

Optional garnishes:  cilantro, lime wedges, radishes, green onion, jalapeno pepper

Directions:

Add the annatto seeds to the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Stir the seeds around for a couple of minutes, keeping them in the oil.  Remove the seeds from the pan and discard.  Add the onions and bell pepper.  Sauté until softened.  Add the garlic and chiles.  Cook for another minute or so.  Add the rice and Chik’Nish seasoning.  Mix well to combine.  [If your rice is leftover it may have dried out a bit in the refrigerator.  If this is the case, just add a little bit of water to moisten it back up.  I’d start with a tablespoon at a time until it’s soft again.] Squeeze the lime juice over the rice and serve hot.

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This makes a really nice quick and easy lunch or dinner entrée.  When cut into smaller triangular pieces and paired with some spicy cocktail sauce, they make a great appetizer. 

 

Sesame Bay Tofu Points

Ingredients:

1 block firm tofu

½ cup sesame seeds [I prefer to use un-hulled seeds because they have a greater nutritional content]

¼ cup rice flour

2 T Old Bay Seasoning, divided

1 T ground flax seed

½ cup water

neutral oil for pan searing [I used rice bran oil]

Directions:

Blend water, flax seed meal and 1 T of Old Bay together.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside to thicken.

Mix the rice flour and remaining 1 T of Old Bay together and pour onto a plate.

Pour the sesame seeds onto another plate or wide-mouthed bowl.

Cut the tofu into ½ -inch thick slices and then cut diagonally to create two triangular pieces from each slice.  Dredge in the seasoned rice flour and then dip into the flax seed slurry.  Dredge through sesame seeds to coat fully.

Pan sear over medium heat until the tofu is heated through.  Take care not to burn the seeds by adjusting the temperature accordingly.

 

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Mmm!  Amazingly decadent and seasonal breakfast food was on the menu this week because of the holiday.  I don’t post many breakfast recipes because we tend to eat very simply in the mornings and usually end up throwing together a quick Vega smoothie.   I wanted to treat H to a special breakfast on Christmas morning for a variety of reasons, including that she took on the task of preparing Christmas Eve’s dinner for us this year.   I figured that If I was going to treat her I’d need to go all out and thoroughly indulge her sweet tooth.   I also knew that this would probably  involve tackling a dish that I’d put on the back-burner for a long time:   vegan French toast.  I only wish that I’d put my imagination to work on this sooner because it turned out wonderfully and earned me some serious brownie points!

 

Spiced Pumpkin French Toast

Ingredients:

2 cups non-dairy milk [I used So Delicious Original unsweetened coconut milk]

½ cup pumpkin purée [I use Farmer’s Market Organic brand]

2 heaping T finely-ground flax meal

1 T pumpkin pie spice

pinch of salt

1 loaf fresh ciabatta cut into ½ inch slices

¼ cup pecans, toasted

maple syrup

Directions:

Add the milk, pumpkin purée, flax meal, pumpkin pie spice and salt to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes to thicken.  [I made mine the night before and placed in the refrigerator and it worked brilliantly.]

Dip the bread into the pumpkin milk and coat evenly.  Remove any excess by brushing the bread along the sides of the bowl after dunking.  Place on a hot nonstick griddle and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes on each side until the bread has set.

Serve hot with warmed maple syrup, a sprinkle of powdered sugar and toasted pecans.

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