Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 November, 2013: Lazy Pierogi (Sauerkraut and Sweet Potato Lasagna)

This one was delicious, especially if you love sauerkraut as much as I do.vegan lazy pierogi vegan lazy pierogi sauerkraut lasagna

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 package of lasagna noodles
2.5 cups onions
1 tablespoon oil

5 cups sauerkraut

5 cups mashed sweet potato
1 cup vegetable broth

1.5 cups additional vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS:

Caramelize the onions by cooking them in a pan with the oil on medium heat.  Stir gently and about 20 minutes later, when they begin to turn brown, take them off the heat.

Boil water in a large pot and drop in the lasagna noodles.  Boil them until they are al dente, about 7 minutes.  Set aside.  If they stick, running them under cool water will get them unstuck.

Pierce sweet potato with a fork and cook it in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes.  Alternately, piece with fork and bake it at 350 for 30 minutes.
Scoop out the sweet potato (about 2 – 3 cups worth) and mix it with enough vegetable broth to moisten.

Grease a large casserole pan and lay out a layer of lasagna noodles to cover the bottom.  Cover the noodles with sauerkraut, spreading until it becomes a 3/4 inch thick layer.  Lay down more noodles and spread the caramelized onions as a layer.  Lastly, lay down noodles on top of the onions and spread this with the sweet potato mixture.

Douse the lasagna with remaining 1.5 cups broth.  Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 1 November: Cloud Ear Mushroom Fried Rice

vegan cloud ear mushroom fried rice

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups rice, preferably long grain, cooked and then refrigerated or frozen
1.5 cups any kind of mushrooms, I used dried cloud ear mushrooms also known as Chinese black fungus
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup green onions

2 teaspoons mushroom vegetarian oyster sauce or soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak mushrooms for 2 hours to reconstitute if you are using dehydrated ones.  Drain them in a colander and set aside.  Prepare ingredients and place them stove side.  Be sure to use refrigerated or frozen rice as only then will it  be firm enough to stand up to heat.

In a large pan, heat the oil to the smoking point.  Add the mushrooms and the rice.  Stir fry about one minute.  Add the spinach, mushroom or soy sauce, and green onions.  Toss to combine until evenly distributed.  Finish with sesame seed oil and salt, mix through, and take off heat.

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

IMG_3622

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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.