Daily Vegan Lunch for 17 December, 2013: Seitan Combo, Stuffed Tofu, and Pickled Plum Maki Sushi

 

seitan sushi maki
INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sushi rice (approx. 2.5 cups cooked) and water to cook
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup daikon radish, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned

2 cups green salad mix
1 tablespoon pickled plums (umeboshi) pitted and sliced very small

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds

6 fried tofu pouches — also known as abura-age (pr. Ah-boo-la-ah-gay) available premade from Asian grocers in the refrigerated tofu section

SEITAN INGREDIENTS:

1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon kombu dashi (squares of kombu seaweed ground up in the coffee grinder or blender/food processor)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

4 sheets nori seaweed

DIRECTIONS:

Make the seitan.  Combine vital wheat gluten, konbu dashi, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl or large cup, combine water, soy sauce, tahini, and sesame oil, mix well.  Now combine wet and dry ingredients and a dough will form.  Bring enough water to cover the seitan to a boil and drop the seitan in gently.  Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the seitan to boil for 45 minutes.  Drain seitan, allow it to cool, and

Rinse the rice well.  Make the sushi rice by cooking rice according to package directions.  I use my rice cooker for this.  Combine the vinegar, sugar, and a teaspoon of salt.  Cook in the microwave or on the stovetop until the sugar melts, take off heat and set aside.  Once the rice is cooked, pour the vinegar mixture into the rice and stir it to incorporate the vinegar.

Lay the nori on a clean surface and spread with rice.  Then lay a row of vegetables.  I used two combinations for the rolls this time: pickled plum plus salad greens and sliced seitan plus daikon radish and cucumber, but you can use anything you like.  Just know that pickled plum are very salty so it makes sense to use them very sparingly.  I used about 3/4 cup of rice per nori sheet and 1/4 cup filling in a small row down the center to one side.

Roll away from yourself, trying to make the  roll tight by tucking under as you go with your fingertips.  Let it rest seam-side down on a flat surface so the moisture from the rice seals the roll.  Slice with a serrated knife, thickness is up to you.

As for the abura-age, cut them in half and stuff each half with a heaping tablespoon of rice each pouch.  Then gently dip the top in sesame seeds.  You can use two colors if you want to be fancy like me but it isn’t necessary.  I like to toast the seeds first in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes but it’s not a crucial step.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 5 December, 2013: Unchicken Fried Rice

I swear, this is my last unchicken recipe of the year. For some reason, the stores in my area have been putting unchicken on sale so I had a lot to use up — then I made up my own tofu unchicken recipe with vegan mayo so it might seem like I’m unchicken obsessed.

un-chicken fried rice vegan

IMG_3791

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups cooked white rice, refrigerated at least 8 hours or frozen and thawed
1.5 tablespoons oil (canola, corn, or peanut oil works the best)

1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1.5 cups finely chopped carrot
1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1.5 cups green onion, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

4 – 5 Gardein Chicken Tenders or 2 cups other veggie meat or protein (seitan, tempeh, smoked tofu, etc)
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Thaw unchicken pieces on the countertop for 2 hours or microwave them for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

In a microwave-safe bowl or container, combine chopped carrot, peas, and corn. Fill with water until vegetables are covered. Microwave for 5 minutes on high. Alternately, cook veggies in water on the stovetop until it reaches a boil, turn heat down to medium, cover and allow to cook 10 minutes.

Drain the vegetables, set aside.

Chop the green onion and set aside and prepare rice, soy sauce, chopped unchicken pieces, vegetables, and sesame oil at stoveside.

In a large pan, heat oil until it reaches the smoking point. For this reason, DO NOT use a Teflon or non-stick coated pan as non-stick pans leach toxic chemicals into food when extremely hot! I use a cast iron pan.

Add the unchicken and stir-fry about 30 seconds. Unchicken will brown.

Add the vegetables, stir fry another 30 seconds.

Add the rice and soy sauce, stir fry about 1 minute until some of the rice browns.

Add the onion and sesame oil to finish; take the pan off heat source. Stir to incorporate.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 4 December, 2013: Unchicken Udon

Udon is the fastest meal in the East or the West. It is a street food in Japan. I like udon because the noodles don’t need cooking — they only need to sit in hot water long enough to separate. Even the frozen or dry ones don’t take very long.

un-chicken udon vegan

IMG_3789

2 packages dry, frozen, or refrigerated udon (I used refrigerated)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine, alternately, use any dry white wine and add a couple teaspoons of sugar)
2 tablespoons sake
1.5 cups green onions, chopped
Salt to taste

4 – 5 Gardein chicken tenders or 2 cups any vegetable protein (seitan, tempeh, smoked tofu) cut into bite sized chunks

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare veggie chicken by baking at 400 for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet. Turn over and let them cook for 5 more minutes.

Finely chop green onions and set them aside.

Mix broth, soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a pot on the stove and heat until nearly boiling on medium-high heat.

Remove noodles from packaging and drop them directly into the broth. Frozen or dry noodles will take up to 4 minutes longer than refrigerated ones.

If using refrigerated noodles, turn off the heat immediately. For frozen or dry, wait until the noodles are al dente.

Add onions and mix.

Top the soup with pieces of unchicken or other veggie meat.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 3 December, 2013: Teriyaki Unchicken Salad

teriyaki unchicken salad vegan IMG_3783

INGREDIENTS for 2 salads or one huge salad:

5 – 6 cups salad greens
2.5 cups tofu unchicken pieces

Teriyaki dressing, to taste

TERIYAKI DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice or other vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame oil or regular oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the tofu unchicken according to this recipe or use a store-bought unchicken, seitan, tempeh, or other veggie protein.

Combine teriyaki dressing ingredients in a small pan on the stovetop on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients dissolve. Once it heats up, about 3 minutes, stir until the dressing thickens.

Mix the tofu unchicken and salad greens in a bowl and top with teriyaki dressing to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 December, 2013: Homemade Tofu Unchicken and Soba Noodles

soba and unchicken IMG_3779
I
NGREDIENTS:

1 package firm tofu

Tofu slurry
3 bunches soba noodles
1.5 cups broccoli stalks, julienned or shredded (I used my julienne peeler)
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup dried shittake mushrooms, soaked to reconstitute (will approximately double in size by soaking) or 2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms

1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

TOFU SLURRY INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon peanut butter or tahini
1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sesame oil or cooking oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

Take tofu out of packaging, drain, and put into a large, sealable container.  Put tofu into the freezer and freeze overnight.  Tofu will become much larger and will look kind of ugly the next day.  Take the tofu out of the freezer and let it thaw on the countertop for 8 hours.  Alternately, microwave it for 10 minutes at half-power.  Once the tofu is thawed, squeeze it out like a sponge.  Notice the texture is completely changed.  Tear the tofu into bite sized pieces.  Mix the tofu slurry ingredients — peanut butter, vegan mayonnaise, etc — in a small bowl.  Mix the bite sized tofu and the slurry together in a bowl, tossing gently to coat.  Transfer the coated tofu to a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 10 – 15 minutes or until tofu browns.

Soak shiitake mushrooms for at least 20 minutes in water to reconstitute.  Save soaking water for later if desired to append the amount of vegetable broth.  You can also use fresh shiitake (or any variety) of mushrooms.

Prepare broccoli shreds and onion.  Boil soba in water for 2 minutes or just until the noodles go from straight to al dente.  Drain soba and set aside.

Prepare broth by mixing in soy sauce and sugar and heating on the stove or in the microwave until sugar dissolves.

Assemble a bowl by layering cooked noodles, mushrooms, broccoli shreds and onions, and baked tofu pieces in a bowl.  Pour a half cup of broth on it to serve.  (Makes 3 servings)

Daily Vegan Lunch for 1 December, 2013: Unchicken and Greens with Sesame-Miso Dressing

unchicken salad tahini-miso dressing

IMG_3777

FOR ONE SALAD

4 – 5 cups salad greens
1.5 cups raw broccoli
3/4 cup chopped green onion
2 Gardein chicken tenders or other veggie unchicken

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons miso, any color
2 teaspoons sugar or 1 teaspoon agave
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini

Bake unchicken on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flip and cook 5 minutes more or cook according to package directions.
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
Assemble salad (greens, broccoli, and onion) in a bowl.  Mix by hand.  Chop baked unchicken into bite sized pieces place them on top of the salad.  Add dressing to taste and toss.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 22 November, 2013: Two Mushroom Rice Noodles

double mushroom noodles vegan double mushroom noodles vegan
INGREDIENTS:

1/2 package of thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups white or yellow onion, sliced
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water for at least 20 minutes
1 cup dried cloud ear mushrooms a.k.a. black fungus, reconstituted in water for at least 20 minutes
3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce OR vegetarian mushroom “oyster” sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

DIRECTIONS:

Boil water in a medium sized pot, take off heat and add noodles.  Soak noodles for 5 minutes and drain, set aside.

Fry the onions in a pan in the oil at medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add cabbage and sauté until cabbage begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.  Add drained mushrooms (save water for a later use) and stir fry for about a minute.  Add noodles and soy sauce or mushroom oyster sauce to the pan and stir gently until mixed.