Daily Vegan Lunch for 7 December, 2013: Spicy Carrot Potato Curry Soup with Rotini Noodles

vegan spicy carrot potato soup



2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon oil
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups carrots, sliced
1.5 cups potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon super-hot salsa, Sriacha, or tabasco (or to taste)
2 cups plant milk (I used almond)

1.5 cups uncooked rotini pasta


Peel potatoes. Chop potatoes and carrots and put them in a large pot and cover with water. Bring them to a boil on the stovetop and then turn down the heat to medium-high and simmer at a low boil for about 20 minutes. Keep in mind the smaller you cut the potatoes and carrots, the faster they will cook.

In another large pot, bring oil to medium-high heat. Sauté onions in oil for about 3 minutes or until they are translucent. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala and cook for about 30 seconds until spices become fragrant. Add 3 cups broth. Drain potatoes and carrots and add them. Add the plant milk. At this point, you can either transfer the soup to a blender and puree it in batches or do what I did. I used my stick blender and just kept it going down in the soup until everything was smooth.

Add the pasta and cook for 20 minutes until pasta reaches the al dente phase.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 November, 2013: Poor Woman’s Tofurky with Sourdough Stuffing

poor woman's tofurky seitan roast with sourdough stuffing IMG_3734

I love Tofurky, however, they are $14 and fairly small so I made this seitan roast because I had to feed a crazy large crowd. Luckily this recipe made so much that my husband and I got to eat a mini rendition of the roast before the big day.


1 tablespoon oil

2 cups onion, chopped
7 cups sourdough bread, I used homemade
1.5 cup shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water if from dry
3 – 5 cloves garlic (about 1.5 tablespoons) minced
2 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups carrots, finely chopped
1.5 cups walnuts, optional
2 cups plus up to 4 cups more vegetable broth

1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground or whole fennel seeds


3 cups vital wheat gluten flour

3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1/4 cup tahini
2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon sage
Additional oil and soy sauce, for basting

Here is the what the vital wheat gluten flour package looks like:

vital wheat gluten flour package


For the sourdough bread stuffing, pulse the bread in a blender or food processor until it is almost completely crumbs. In the bottom of a large pot, spread walnuts over the bottom and set heat to medium. When the walnuts become fragrant, about 5 minutes, add the onion and the oil and fry until onion is translucent, another 3 minutes. Add all herbs and spices (sage, paprika, thyme, taco seasoning, and fennel) to a well in the center of the mixture and allow to sauté about 30 seconds. Chop mushrooms into fine bits and add them along with celery, carrot, and garlic. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and simmer until carrots reach al dente stage, up to 20 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs to the pot. Add more broth a half cup at a time until the mixture is thick but not dry or runny.

For the seitan, chill a large mixing bowl, the vital wheat gluten flour, and the spoon you will use to mix it in the freezer. Also use cold broth and chilled beans if possible. The reason is because seitan is much easier to handle when it is cold because once it is warm, the gluten gets firmer and more obstinate.

In a blender, combine chilled broth with garlic, tahini, beans, oil, sage, and soy sauce. Blend until beans are completely pureed. In the large chilled bowl, pour in the vital wheat gluten flour. Make a well in the center of flour. Add the white-bean broth slurry. Stir until just mixed.

On a cutting board, roll the seitan dough into one oblong rectangular-ish sheet for a large loaf and one smaller oblong sheet for a mini-loaf or 2 equal sheets for 2 equal loaves.

Lay about 1.5 cups of stuffing in the center of the loaf.

lay stuffing in loaf center

lay stuffing in loaf center

Turn the loaf over and seal up the edges with your fingers by pinching. Use a little water if it doesn’t want to stick.

Put the remainder of the stuffing in a casserole dish.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put the stuffing in the oven. While it bakes, oil a pan or a cookie sheet very generously. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Take them out of the oven and baste them with a tablespoon of oil and soy sauce each, return to the oven for 20 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 November, 2013: Lentil Loaf with Small Roasted Potatoes

vegan lentil meatloaf vegan lentil meatloaf

3/4 cup dry lentils (about 2 cups cooked)
4 – 5 cups water for cooking lentils

2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped

1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika

1.5 cups panko or breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour, I used chickpea flour
Up to 2 cups vegetable broth, to moisten
Salt to taste
1.5 cups ketchup


Bring lentils to boil with the water.  As soon as it boils, turn heat to medium and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Taste test the lentils for doneness, adding more water if needed depending on how soft you like lentils.

In a large pan, fry celery, carrots, and onions on medium heat in the tablespoon of oil until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.  Add sage and paprika, stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Add cooked lentils, panko, and flour and stir to make a dry mix.  Slowly pour and mix in the vegetable broth and stir until everything sticks together and makes a thick dough.

Grease a loaf pan and press mixture into the bottom of the pan, smoothing out the top to make it even.  Squirt ketchup in an even layer or zig zags across the loaf.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the potatoes, wash about 5 cups of potatoes thoroughly and put them in a medium casserole dish.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on them and then toss them with your hands to coat.  Add about a teaspoon of salt if desired.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then flip the potatoes and cook 20 minutes more.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 16 November, 2013: Sausage Asado

vegan sausage asado IMG_3691
Asado is a type of sweet-sour stew from Filipino cuisine.  They must eat a lot of meat in the Philippines because it absolutely dominates in almost every Filipino cookbook I could find.  The website VeganPinoy.com has an amazing wealth of lovely vegan-adapted Pinoy recipes.  This recipe is modified from that website.


1 tablespoon oil
1 cup vegan sausage, sliced, veggie chicken, or any grain meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 a lemon’s juice (about 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons cup brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 cups cubed potatoes
1.5 cups chunked carrots

In a medium sized pot, cover carrots and potatoes in water.  Cover and turn heat to high until they boil.  Uncover and boil them about 10 minutes on medium high heat until they are al dente.  How fast they reach this state depends upon how small you chop them.

In a separate pan, sauté slices of sausage in oil on medium heat until brown and then flip them over and let them brown on the other side, about 5 minutes.  Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and tomato sauce to the pan and stir until well blended.  Drain the carrots and potatoes and add them to the pan.  Toss to coat.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 October, 2013: Shepherd’s Pie With Puff Pastry

Delicious lentil stew underneath a puff pastry crust.

vegan shepherd's pie with puff pastry



1 cup dry brown lentils
4 cups water for cooking lentils

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups onions, chopped

1.5 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
1.5 cups chopped potato

4 plus 1 cups water
2 broth cubes or 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon

2 cups stewed chopped tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
1 teaspoon sage

3/4 cup flour

1 thawed puff pastry crust, I used Pepperidge Farm brand


Thaw puff pastry sheet overnight in the refrigerator. Alternately, thaw it by letting it sit on the countertop for 2 hours.

In a small pot, combine lentils and lentil cooking water. Bring to a boil. Stir and turn heat down to medium. Simmer uncovered for 50 – 60 minutes, or until lentils have absorbed the water and are soft.

Meanwhile, fry onions in oil in a very large pot on medium-high heat until onions are translucent. Add the carrot and potato, stir-fry for about 1 minute more. Add sage and paprika, wait about 30 seconds. Douse with 4 cups water and bouillon cubes/Better Than Bouillon, reserving 1 cup of water for later. Cook until potatoes are tender. Depending on the potato, this can happen in anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. I used red potatoes and for some weird reason, they took a small eternity to cook. I suggest using Yukon Gold potatoes. They are a fast cooking potato. Add the peas once the potatoes are either nearly done or done.

Add tomatoes to stew.

Mix reserved 1 cup of water with 3/4 cup flour into a slurry. Add this slurry to the stew and stir until it thickens, about 2 minutes.

Dump or ladle half of the stew into a 13 x 13 casserole dish. There will be enough stew to make another casserole (puff pastry usually comes in packs of 2 by the way), to freeze, or just to eat. Cover the 13 x 13 dish with thawed puff pastry sheet. Trim the edges to fit and make sure to vent the top so you don’t have exploding Shepherd’s Pie.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 October, 2013: Rustic Bread Soup

Many people don’t realize most bread, including sourdough, is vegan. It’s a combination of yeast, flour, sugar and salt. Unless there’s an egg wash or a butter top, bread is as vegan as it gets.

This dish reminds me of pre-made frozen white bread dumplings my mom used to make with gravy. Like most meat dishes, it was a heavy, greasy dish. This version brings me back to all of the good things about that dish with none of the grease or heavy fat that used to stick to everything.

vegan rustic bread soup

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups chopped onion

1.5 cups chopped celery
1.5 cups chopped carrot
1.5 cups chopped peeled potatoes
2 cups chopped red cabbage or other cabbage (I just really like red cabbage this time of year as you can probably tell)
6 cups vegetable broth (I used water, 2 broth cubes, and a pinch of salt)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups pureed tomatoes (I used some late garden tomatoes puréed in the blender)
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1-2 slices of bread per bowl, I used a crusty homestyle bread from a bakery


Sauté onion and cabbage in oil in the bottom of a large stockpot on medium high until translucent. Add cumin and paprika and saute 30 more seconds. Add celery, carrot, potatoes, and broth. Cook until carrots and potatoes are fork tender. Add pureed tomatoes, basil, and garlic and cook 10 – 15 more minutes. To serve, place 1-2 slices of bread in the bottom of the bowl and ladle soup over it like this:


Daily Vegan Lunch for 13 October, 2013: Sushi Maki With Cooked Fillings

more vegan sushi


2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1.5 cups spinach leaves
1 cup maitake or oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

4 cups cooked sushi rice (I used Botan calrose rise)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

3 nori sheets

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS: Rinse and cook sushi rice according to package directions. Mix vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave until sugar dissolves. Dump the vinegar mixture into sushi rice and stir. Taste and add salt if needed.

Oil a large pan and bring to medium heat. Sauté carrots, mushrooms, and spinach on 3 different sides of the pan. Keep them separate and add water a teaspoon at a time to the spinach pile until the spinach pile wilts. Once it does, take the spinach out. The mushrooms, now slightly browned, can be taken out. The carrots will soften in about 5 minutes. Take them out before they lose too much firmness.

Roast the sesame seeds by putting them in a small, dry pan (no oil) at medium heat. In about 5 minutes, they will start becoming golden-brown. Take them off the heat as soon as they start browning noticeably. Set aside.

Make the rolls. Place nori sheet shiny side down on a clean, dry surface. Start by spreading about 1.5 cups rice evenly across a nori sheet. Next, lay a strip of carrots, mushrooms, and spinach about 1/4 of the way in to the nori. Sprinkle with a big pinch of roasted sesame seed. Roll the fillings into the roll. Some people use a mat for this but I do not. Set the roll seam side down on a clean surface. Once you have finished rolling all three rolls, cut them into bite sized pieces with a serrated knife.


Daily Vegan Lunch for 30 September, 2013: Yuba and Shiitake Spring Rolls

vegan yuba shiitake spring rolls IMG_3468


8 rice spring roll wrappers or banh trang

2 cups yuba, soaked and reconstituted
6 shiitake mushrooms or about 1 and 1/4 cups, soaked and reconstituted

1 julienned or shredded carrot (about 1 cup)

1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 chopped green onions
2 teaspoons oil for frying


2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 1 teaspoon Sriacha
2 teaspoons agave nectar or 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar

pinch salt


Make the dipping sauce by mixing together all peanut sauce ingredients and whisking with a fork until well blended. I cheated and microwaved the sauce for 30 seconds so I didn’t have to fork whip it as long. Set the sauce aside.

Soak and drain the mushrooms and yuba 15 minutes.  Drain them and chop off the mushroom stems.  Slice the mushrooms into small pieces and tear the yuba into bite sized chunks.   Heat the oil in a small pan on medium heat and add garlic to the oil, wait about 30 seconds.  Add the yuba and the mushroom along with the tablespoon of vinegar and soy sauce.  Cook the yuba and mushroom 1 more minute and then remove from heat and let it cool.

Chop and lay the veggies out on a cutting board or plate along with the cooled yuba and mushroom mixture.  Fill another plate shallowly with lukewarm water. Lay a spring roll round into the water. Once it absorbs a little water (about 15 seconds) flip it over and let it soak about 15 more seconds. Lay the softened spring roll paper on a cutting board and fill it with about 3/4 cup worth of various ingredients, do not overstuff. Roll it up burrito-style, tucking in the ends. Let it sit on the cutting board so it can seal while you make the other rolls.

Cut rolls in half to serve.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 August, 2013: Home Style Seitan Stew

vegan home style seitan stew

I made this special stew for my husband’s birthday. ❤ ❤ ❤


1.5 cups vital wheat gluten flour

1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

6 cups water, for boiling seitan
2 teaspoons salt (for seitan water)


2 teaspoons oil for frying
1.5 cups onion, minced
1 large or two small potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 cups water for boiling potatoes and carrots

6 cups water
1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon fennel
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika


Prepare seitan by putting vital wheat gluten in a large bowl. In a separate bowl or container, mix 1 1/4 cups broth, soy sauce, onion and garlic powders. Stir well.

Pour the broth mixture into the wheat gluten and mix it. It will stick together like dough. Mix it until the broth is just incorporated.

Bring 6 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium high heat and rip off bite-sized pieces of the seitan and put them in the water. Once all the seitan pieces are in, leave the pot uncovered and boil for 30 – 45 minutes.

To save time, I microwaved (pre-cooked) the potatoes and carrots for 8 minutes in 2 cups of water. Fry onions and seitan in oil in the bottom of a large pot on medium-high heat until onions are translucent and seitan begins to brown. The dark flecks you see in the photo are from the seitan when I browned it. Add 5 cups of water, reserving 1 cup for later OR use the reserved water you used to boil the seitan and the leftover water from the carrots and potatoes along with new water, which is what I did. Keep in mind that if you use the seitan-potato-carrot water, you won't need as much water to make the stew.

Add the carrots and potatoes and boil until the carrots and potatoes are fork tender. This will take 3 minutes if you precooked the potatoes and carrots or about 20 – 30 if you didn't. Mix 1/4 a cup flour with 1 cup reserved broth or water. Stir back into the stew. Add the herbs at this time. Stew is done once it thickens, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 July, 2013: Mushroom Carrot Bisque

vegan mushroom carrot bisque


1.5 cups shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups water (save soaking water)
1 cup carrots cooked in 1.5 cups water (save cooking water)
1 Tablespoon oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups maitake, cremini, or button mushrooms, chopped
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt

About 1 – 2 cups additional water

2 tablespoons vegan sour cream, optional


Soak shiitake mushrooms from 10 minutes up to overnight in water. I like dried shiitakes more because I tend to think they are more flavorful, however if you use fresh shiitakes that obviously don’t require soaking, just be ready to add about 1 cup additional water and an extra pinch of salt or some veggie bouillon. Boil carrots in the microwave for 4 minutes and 30 seconds or on the stovetop in water for about eight minutes. In a large pan, fry the onions and maitake or other mushrooms on medium high heat in the oil until they are browned, about five minutes. Stir them frequently. Add shiitakes with their soaking water to the pan. Add carrots, cooking water and all to the pan. Add salt.

Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add 1 – 2 cups of additional water depending on how thick you like your bisque. Blend until pureed, adding water if it is too thick. Remember you are going for soup.

Reheat soup if necessary before serving in a pot or in the microwave. I found it was hot enough straight out of the blender because mushrooms retain their heat.

Stir in vegan sour cream if desired before serving.