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Archive for the ‘Soy’ Category

What are we thankful for this year?  For many things.  We are thankful for the presence of one another.  We are thankful for the fortune that those we love are healthy.  We are thankful that we have been graced with the ability to make better choices than at any other point in the past,  and that these choices have led to more compassionate lives with the prospect of a more healthful future.

Wild Rice and Millet Stuffing

I’ve always made a bread-based stuffing for Thanksgiving in the past but for whatever reason, I just wasn’t feeling the urge to do that this year.  Instead, I wanted to make something earthy and, to my mind, far more wholesome and sustaining.  It also happens to be gluten-free, which gives those with gluten intolerances another option for holiday dressings.  I thought the combination of wild rice and millet would make a beautiful duo when melded together with seasonal fruits and vegetables.  This dish set the tone for a gorgeous holiday meal.

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice

1 cup millet

2 stalks celery, finely diced

4 golden beets, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup hazelnuts

½ leek, sliced thinly

2 shallots, minced

6 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh sage

6 cups vegetable stock, divided

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Add the millet to a hot pot and toast for a couple of minutes.  [You will hear the seeds beginning to pop when they’re ready.]  Add 2 cups of vegetable stock and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the millet is light and fluffy.  This should take about 20 minutes.

In another pot, bring 3 cups of vegetable stock to a boil and add the wild rice.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the rice is soft.

Place the bite-sized pieces of beet and the quartered Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan.  Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables have caramelized.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan and add the celery, shallots, leek and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until softened.  Add the fresh herbs. [I like to tie mine together with kitchen twine so that removing the stems isn’t a hassle.]  Add the hazelnuts and dried cranberries and mix well.  Add one cup of vegetable stock and reduce heat to a low simmer.

When the millet is ready, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.  Drain the wild rice when ready, if necessary, and add to the bowl with the millet.  Mix in the contents of the pan, removing the herb stems.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Lastly, gently fold in the roasted beets and Brussels sprouts.

I served this in a roasted pumpkin.  If this is how you’d like to present this dish then you will need to get a medium-sized pumpkin and cut a round out of the top.  Clean out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon.  Place the hollowed out pumpkin and the top you removed on a baking sheet.  Place into a 400°F oven for about an hour or until the pumpkin has softened.  Remove from the oven and place upon a plate.  After that it’s just a matter of filling the pumpkin with the stuffing and serving it at table.

 

 

 

Tempeh, Walnut and Roasted Pear Loaf

Roasted pear purée was the key to giving this loaf an amazing seasonal flavor and moist texture.  The ingredient list reads like a Who’s Who of healthful botanical phytochemicals, polyphenols and antioxidants as well as omega-3s.

Ingredients:

16 oz tempeh

4 pears, divided

1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thinly

1 red bell pepper, diced

½ leek, sliced thinly

2 shallots, minced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

8 cloves roasted garlic

¼ cup ground flax seeds

½ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 T fresh rosemary, minced

1T  fresh thyme leaves

4 large fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut 3 pears in half and core.  Place them upon a baking sheet and roast for an hour.  Thirty minutes into the roasting time, add the garlic cloves [wrapped up in some aluminum foil with a small bit of olive oil].

Sauté the leek, shallot, celery, bell pepper and mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the herbs and mix well.

Place the tempeh into a food processor and blend until well crumbled.  Add to the sautéed vegetables, mixing thoroughly.

Remove the pears and garlic from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Place the roasted pears and garlic into the food processor and blend until homogenized.  Add to the tempeh mixture on the stove.  Add the flax meal and bread crumbs and stir to combine well.  Season with salt and pepper.

Core the remaining pear and cut into slices.   Line the bottom of a oiled loaf pan with them, overlapping each piece with the previous one.   Spoon out the loaf mix atop the pear slices and fill the pan.  Press down with the back of the spoon to compress the contents well.

Bake for an hour.  Allow to cool slightly and then gently invert onto a serving plate, pear side up.

 

 

Persimmon and Cranberry Gravy

I served this over some steamed green beans with roasted chestnuts [pictured above] as well as spooning it over the tempeh, walnut and roasted pear loaf.  This tart, tangy and sweet gravy tastes wonderful with savory dishes.

Ingredients:

3 cups organic unfiltered apple juice

1 persimmon, peeled and cut into a large dice

4 cloves garlic, smashed

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Zest of one orange

1 T while balsamic vinegar

½ cup fresh cranberries

Sea salt

Directions:

Place the apple juice, vinegar, garlic, persimmon, orange zest and thyme into a pan and bring to a simmer.  Reduce volume by half [~20 minutes].  Add reduced contents to a blender and blend until homogenous.  Return gravy to the pan and add the cranberries.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the cranberries have popped [~10 minutes].  Season to taste with salt.

 

Raw Pumpkin Custard

The notion of a raw pumpkin pie has been tugging at my brain for a long time now.  Thing is, I wasn’t in the mood for a high caloric raw pie crust full of nuts and dates and such things after having such a large meal, so I opted to simply make the filling.  It’s all anyone ever really eats anyway, right?

Ingredients:

a small sugar pumpkin [mine yielded ~2 cups peeled pumpkin flesh]

one young Thai coconut [mine yielded ~1.5 cups coconut meat]

coconut water from the Thai coconut

6 medjool dates, soaked and pitted

¼ cup almond meal

4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 T fresh ginger, minced

1 tsp cardamom

½ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg

½ vanilla bean

1 tsp lemon zest

pinch of salt

agave syrup, to taste

Suggested garnishes:  raisins, almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds, citrus zest, freshly-grated nutmeg, cinnamon

Directions:

Seed and peel the pumpkin [I reserved and roasted the pumpkin seeds to use as a garnish].  Cut into a medium-sized dice.  Set aside.

Hack into the coconut [Great how-to video here], reserving the coconut water and flesh.  Set aside.

Add the pumpkin, dates and coconut flesh to a food processor and process until smooth.  Add the coconut water to aid the blending until you get a thick but smooth consistency, remembering that you can always add more liquid but can’t remove it.

Split the vanilla bean and remove the seeds with the back of a paring knife.  Add to the food processor along with the other spices.  Blend well.  Add the almond meal, ginger,  lemon zest and pinch of salt.  Process until smooth.   Add agave syrup to taste.  Place in the refrigerator to chill.

The almond meal will help to thicken the pumpkin pudding just as the coconut water will loosen its consistency.  You can adjust this to your tastes as you wish.

This is really nice served with a ginger cashew cream like the one I made here, and garnished with raisins, zests, nuts and seeds.

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Savory Phyllo Roll

This dish is similar to the Mediterranean Braciole dinner in that it’s a combination of separate dishes combined into one  main course.  It’s very straight-forward and easy to assemble and well worth the time investment when you want to create a memorable and special meal.  The three main components can be made ahead of time so that you can create a beautiful dinner without any stress.

Ingredients:

Greek-Gyros seitan [Half a recipe was used for this]

Tangy Greek custard-style tofu [Half a recipe was used for this]

2 cups cooked greens that have been squeezed dry to remove excess water [I used nettles, but spinach could easily be substituted]

1 package phyllo dough

Olive oil

Directions:

Thaw the phyllo at room temperature while still in the box.  [You do not want to open it until you’re ready to use because it dries out very quickly.]

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cut the seitan and tofu into blocks that measure roughly one inch by three inches and set aside. 

Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep pliant.  Set a baking sheet on the counter in front of you, vertically.  Take one sheet of phyllo and place upon the baking sheet.  Using your fingers or a brush, lightly dot olive oil over the surface of the sheet.  Place another sheet of phyllo atop the first and repeat. 

Using a pizza cutter or knife [If using a knife be careful not to tear the dough, applying pressure from above rather than drawing the knife across it], gently cut the phyllo down the center, vertically so that you create two pieces.  Place a piece of seitan on either half of the phyllo three inches from the bottom edge of the sheet.  [You want to have enough room to be able to bring the phyllo up and over the filling.] Place a piece of tofu atop the seitan and then add a final layer of cooked greens.

 

Roll the phyllo up and over the filling and roll over a couple of times.  Tuck in the sides and continue to roll until all the phyllo has been used.  Rub the outside with oil and set upon a separate baking sheet. Repeat until all the rolls have been created.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown on the edges.

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For whatever reason, the health virtues of  rye have been popping up left and right in my reading material recently.  That prompted me to pick up some dark rye flour from Bob’s Red Mill the last time we were in Portland.  On the drive home I was contemplating how I could use the flour in a meal and I started thinking about what I used to love rye with.  The Reuben sandwich was the hands down winner.  So how could I transform this sandwich classic into an alternative meal?  With a smile on my face it occurred to me that I could make a dark rye pasta with caraway seeds…and the daydreaming just went on from there.

Russian Dressing Pasta Sauce

This is a wonderful sauce that can also be used as a salad dressing or sandwich spread when cooled.

Ingredients:

1 onion, medium dice

3 oz tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 package organic firm silken tofu

1 T vegan worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic paste

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil for sautéing the onions

Directions:

Sauté the onions in a small drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the tomato paste and spread onto the bottom of the pan to caramelize.  Add the stock and whisk gently until the tomato paste is incorporated into the sauce.  Add the worcestershire sauce and chili garlic paste.  Mix well.

In a food processor, pulse the tofu until creamed.  Add a ladleful of the tomato sauce to the food processor and pulse.  Transfer the contents to the pan on the stove containing the tomato sauce and mix until fully homogenous.  Simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dark Rye Pasta

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup dark rye flour [Organic Dark Rye Flour]

1 cup semolina flour

1 tsp caraway seeds

4 tsp olive oil

12-16 oz of water [more may be necessary depending upon the moisture level of your flours]

Directions:

Add the flours to a food processor.  Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse.  With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the water and continue to do so until the dough pulls off the sides and clings to the center “S”-blade.  Remove the dough from the processor and place upon a flour coated surface.  If the dough is too tacky then incorporate in more flour until it is no longer tacky to the touch.  Knead the dough a dozen times or so and then shape into a flattened round.  Wrap in plastic and set aside to rest for 15-30 minutes.

Remove plastic and divide into two.  Run through the largest setting on the pasta roller twice, then repeat two settings higher.  Either cut with the fettuccine attachment or by hand into strips.

When ready to cook, gently drop into salted boiling water and cook until the pasta comes to the surface.  This should take between one and two minutes.

Pastrami-Spiced Tempeh

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 – 8 oz package tempeh, cut in 1/2-inch strips

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp smoked salt [I used an applewood-smoked salt]

1 T  sweet paprika

1 tsp corriander seeds

1 tsp brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1-1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp white peppercorns

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp dill seed

3 allspice berries

2 juniper berries

Directions:

Grind the whole spices in a spice grinder and then add the rest of the spices and sugar to the grinder and pulse to mix well.  Transfer to a gallon-sized zip bag with 1/3 cup olive oil and mix well.

Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes to remove its bitterness.  Set aside to cool.   Once cooled, add to the spiced oil in the gallon bag and even coat each piece, gently.  If you need more volume to completely coat all the tempeh pieces, add more oil.  Refrigerate as long as possible up to a few days.  The longer the rub sits upon the tempeh, the deeper the flavors will penetrate.  Gently flip the bag every few hours or so in order to evenly marinate the tempeh.

Brush off any spice clumps that may have formed on the tempeh.  If you do not do this they shall burn in the grill pan.  Place the strips upon a heated grill pan and sear.  Crumble into bite-sized pieces.

 

To assemble the dish you shall need:

1/4 cup crisp sauerkraut per person [I used It’s Alive’s Raw Sauerkraut with Dill]

fresh dill, for garnish

caraway seeds, for garnish

2 sliced green onions, for garnish

Place the cooked pasta on a plate and top with a generous amount of Russian dressing pasta sauce.  Add a layer of tempeh pieces.  Sprinkle with some sauerkraut, caraway seeds, sliced green onion and  fresh dill.

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This is an unabashedly cheese-less pizza, and it is all the more delicious for its absence.  The savory richness of the chili-peanut sauce,  the fresh and vibrant vegetables, leafy greens, crunchy peanuts and chewy pizza crust will have you craving this combination from the first bite forward!

Spicy Thai-Style Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

⅔ cup peanut butter [creamy or chunky works equally well]

⅔ cup warm coconut water [warm water could be substituted]

⅓ cup soy sauce [I use low sodium]

2 T lime juice

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

2 garlic cloves

1-2  tsp garlic chili sauce, depending upon your heat tolerance

1 tsp dark [roasted] sesame oil

Directions:

Mix the peanut butter and warmed coconut or plain water together first, dissolving any clumps with a whisk.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pizza Ingredients:

1 large portion of pizza dough or large pizza crust  [Whichever type you prefer.  I do not make this from scratch, but rather buy it premade at a local grocery store.  It is in the refrigerated section in a plastic bag.]

1 block of tofu, broken into medium-sized crumbles

1 large zucchini, sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips using a vegetable peeler

1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into rings

2 cups mesclun lettuce mix

1 cup mung bean sprouts

½ cup cilantro leaves

½ cup sliced green onions

4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

⅓ cup whole peanuts

1 T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning [This seasoning tastes like powdered chicken soup, without the chicken ;-)]

Pizza pan [I have an aluminum pizza pan that was really inexpensive price-wise but that has become an invaluable kitchen tool.]

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Stretch out the dough to the size of a large pizza and place upon a pizza pan.  Set aside to rest.

Sprinkle the tofu with the Chik’Nish and sauté over medium heat until lightly browned.  Set aside.

Sauté the zucchini, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat until slightly browned.  Set aside.

Assembling the pizza:

Spoon out a generous amount of the spicy peanut sauce over the pizza dough and disperse evenly. [Remember to save a bit of the sauce to dress the mesclun salad greens.]  Next, simply spread out the cooked ingredients:  tofu, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic.  Top with an even layer of carrot strips and peanuts.

Bake in the oven until the crust and toppings are browned.

Dress the mesclun greens with some of the spicy peanut sauce.  Top the pizza with the sliced green onions, cilantro, mung bean sprouts and dressed mesclun.

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These flavors went so well together and that burst of heat from the chili peppers is tempered by the sweetness of the glaze.   This is a great way to celebrate summertime green beans which are overflowing at  farmer’s markets this time of year.

 

Thai-Spiced Tempeh with Green Beans in an Apple and Lemongrass Glaze

Ingredients:

8 oz tempeh

2 cups organic unfiltered apple juice

1 lemongrass stalk, outer layer removed and reserved, inner stalk sliced thinly

⅓ cup thinly sliced leek or onion

1 Thai chili, seeded and sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup cilantro

1 inch-long piece of fresh ginger, finely diced

Juice of ½ a lime

1 T ground flax seed

1 T light miso

¼ cup ponzu [without bonito] or tamari/soy sauce

Sesame seeds to garnish

Directions:

Place the apple juice on medium heat.  Add the outer layer of the lemongrass to the juice and reduce by one half.  

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

While the juice is reducing, add the leek, chili, garlic, cilantro, ginger and flax seed to a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Add the tempeh, ponzu and lime juice.  Pulse and use a spatula to reincorporate any of the mix that has climbed the processor walls.  Let stand for 10 minutes so the flax meal can hydrate.

Roll into marble-sized balls and place upon a non-stick baking sheet or Silpat.  Lightly spray with coconut oil and bake for 30 minutes until browned.

When the tempeh is halfway finished, put some water on to boil in a steamer.  Steam the green beans for 5-7 minutes until cooked through but still crisp.  Remove the lemongrass stalk from the apple juice reduction and stir in the miso.   Add the green beans and tempeh and toss gently.

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Mu Shu was always my favorite Chinese dish to order when I was a kid.  There was something special about it because you got to assemble it at the table and slather on the thick, dark and sweetly-rich hoisin sauce.  Thing is, like the machaca,  Mu Shu is traditionally loaded with animal proteins.  Since that just wouldn’t do, I needed to figure out another way to create this classic Chinese dish.  Once again, I turned to yuba because it has that wonderful chewy texture and takes on the flavors of marinades very well. 

Another part of this dish that I wanted to reinvent was the wrapper.  Rather than use a Mandarin pancake, which is simply white flour and water and brings nothing of nutritional value to the plate, I chose to use a supple steamed collard green leaf that is full of iron, calcium and fiber.  I also added red bell pepper to the mix in order to add a healthy dose of vitamin C so that the iron and calcium in the collards would be more readily assimilated.  This meal was fantastic and one that I shall make often.

 

Mu Shu Yuba with Collard Green Wrappers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 block regular firm tofu [I used half a block of my homemade tofu]

2 oz dried bean curd sticks [Yuba], rehydrated in warm water and drained

1 large red bell pepper, cut into medium dice

1 large green bell pepper, cut into medium dice

1 cup finely sliced bok choy

6 green onions, sliced thinly

1 cup mung bean sprouts

Juice of ½ a lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ inch fresh ginger, finely diced

2-3 dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced [@ a cup’s worth]

1 T tamari

1 tsp agave syrup

1 tsp dry sherry

1 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp turmeric

Hoisin sauce

2-3 large collard green leaves per person

coconut oil for stir-frying the vegetables and tofu

Directions:

For the Filling:

Cut yuba into thin shreds.  Place in a zip lock bag.  Add the tamari, sherry, half the sesame oil and the cornstarch.  Mix well and marinate at least one hour.

Drizzle a bit of coconut oil into a pan over medium-high heat.  Crumble the tofu into the pan and sprinkle the lemon juice and turmeric over it.  Mix well and cook until slightly browned.  Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add another small drizzle of coconut oil to the pan and add the onions and peppers.  Cook until slightly softened.  Add in the garlic and ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add in the marinated yuba, wood ear mushrooms and bok choy and cook for a few minutes longer.  Return the tofu to the pan and add the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil.    Add the bean sprouts and mix thoroughly until the entirety is heated through.

For the wrapper:

Cut the large thick part of the stem out of each leaf.  Steam or blanch the leaves until tender [This only takes a few minutes].  Spread hoisin sauce on the leaf and add the Mu Shu filling.  Roll it up and eat!

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Judy, a dear friend of ours, recently gifted us with a sackful of fresh morel mushrooms that her son had harvested from the forest, as well as an arm-load of freshly-harvested garlic from her garden.  Faced with the combination of morels and garlic, and deciding to splurge and make something on the more decadent side of life, I opted for Po’Boys.  H wanted her sandwich on a traditional soft hoagie bun [pictured above], whereas I opted for a whole grain bun [pictured below].  Either way, these little gems resting atop a very garlicky sauce were so good!  Thank you Judy for your kindness, we enjoyed the treat thoroughly.

We added the traditional slices of heirloom tomatoes and butter lettuce to the sandwiches to round them out.

Pan-Fried Morels

Ingredients:

4-5 large Morels per sandwich

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1 T ground flax seed

1 cup water

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Salt-Free Cajun Seasoning

Directions:

Combine the flax seed with the water in a blender and pulse until foamy.  Pour into a bowl.

Add brown rice flour to a bowl and mix in 0.5 tsp cajun seasoning.

Add panko bread crumbs and 1 T cajun seasoning to a bowl, mix well.

These morels were large in size so I quartered them, otherwise if yours are of a smaller size, I’d halve them.  Toss them lightly in some brown rice flour, shaking off the excess and then dredge them in the flax wash.  Allow excess flax wash to drip off before coating  them with the seasoned panko bread crumbs.   Place into a pan of hot oil.  Cook until browned on both sides.  Salt lightly after transfering to a paper towel-lined plate.

Garlicky Tofu and Olive Oil Aioli

This Aioli is less caloric than the standard.  I used tofu to eliminate a great deal of the fat.

Ingredients:

1/2 block extra firm silken tofu

1/3 cup olive oil

5 garlic cloves [This makes it very garlicky; add less if you would prefer.]

non-dairy milk

juice of 1/2 lemon

1.5 tsp Dijon mustard

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Add the tofu, olive oil, garlic, mustard and lemon juice to a blender.  Pulse until well combined.  Add the non-dairy milk until you acheive the consistency you wish.  Season with salt and pepper.

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