Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 December, 2013: Lemon Bok Choy, Tofu, and Mushrooms

lemon bok choi, mushrooms, and tofu IMG_3851
INGREDIENTS:

3 mini bok choys or one normal sized bok choy
1/2 cup dried black fungus, also known as cloud ear mushrooms
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed

4 cups vegetable broth
Reserved mushroom soaking water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons) minced
Half a lemon’s juice or to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon rind (I used the same lemon I juiced)

DIRECTIONS:

Wash the bok choy and pre-soak the shiitake and cloud ear mushrooms in water until they expand, about fifteen minutes.  Once the mushrooms expand, cut the cloud ears in half and de-stem the shiitakes, slicing them into smaller pieces.  Cut the tofu into cubes.

Prepare the broth.  Combine veggie broth (you can also just use water and salt), soy sauce, and garlic in a large pot.  Add the bok choys, cloud ears, shiitakes, and their soaking water to the pot.  Bring to a soft boil at medium high heat and immediately turn down to medium.  Allow to simmer for about three minutes.  Add the tofu cubes.

Use a lemon zester or the fine side of a grater to make lemon zest (the yellow outside skin is the zest).  Squeeze the lemon and stir the strained juice into the pot.

Serve over cooked rice, ladling the broth over it and sprinkling everything with a little lemon zest.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 December, 2013: Seitan Fried Wonton Soup

You do not have to fry these wontons.  I kind of wish I had not fried them because this would have been a fat-free soup except for the optional dash of sesame oil.

vegan wonton dumpling soup IMG_3848

MAKING WONTONS:
1.Take the wonton wrapper (watch out because some brands contain eggs.  These are the simplest kind from the Asian grocery store.  They have three ingredients: water, flour, and salt) and dab water on its four sides.
vegan wonton dumpling soup seitan

 

2. Fold wonton in half and pinch open sides shut.

IMG_3843

3. Fold one corner over.

IMG_3844

 

4. Now fold the other side to make a little envelope.

IMG_3845

 

Voila!IMG_3846
INGREDIENTS:

1/2 a package of wonton wrappers, about 25 – 30 squares

FOR THE SEITAN FILLING:

1.5 cups cooked seitan (I used yesterday’s recipe!)
2 legs celery, roughly chopped, about 1.5 cups
3 green onions, roughly chopped, about 1 cup
1 tablespoon soy sauce plus 1 teaspoon sugar OR 1.5 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce

FOR THE SOUP:

8 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Dash sesame oil
3 cups bok choy or baby bok choy (or any other choy, like ong choy, just buy what’s on sale) chopped
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms and water for soaking (save water to add to soup)

1 cup oil for frying wontons and a small, high-heat proof pan, I use cast-iron

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the mushrooms in at least 1 cup of water until they expand fully, about fifteen minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine seitan, celery, green onion, soy sauce and sugar OR vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce.  Pulse the blender until the ingredients are finely chopped and almost pasty.

Now make the wontons as you see in the photos above.  Optionally fry them in oil by bringing the oil to the smoking point in a shallow cast iron pan and dropping them in for only about 20 seconds each side.  Get them out of the oil quickly or they will burn.

To make the soup, combine broth, sliced and de-stemmed shiitake mushrooms and their soaking water, soy sauce, and bok choy in a large pot on medium-high heat until choy starts to wilt slightly.
Add the dumplings.  If you did not pre-fry the dumplings, allow the dumplings to simmer in the soup for about 5 minutes.  Finish with a dash of sesame oil.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 9 December, 2013: Quick Rice Soup with Broccoli and Chickpeas

rice soup with broccoli and chickpeas IMG_3808

INGREDIENTS FOR ONE BOWL:

2 cups vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon mixed with water)
1.5 cups cooked white rice — this is a great recipe to use if you accidentally overcook rice and it’s too mushy to use for anything else
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped pickled plums
1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts
Nori seaweed, cut into strips, to sprinkle

DIRECTIONS:

Combine rice, broth, onion, chickpeas, pickled plums, and broccoli in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on high. Alternately, combine the same ingredients in a small pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil, turning heat down to medium as soon as it boils and simmering five minutes.

Roast pine nuts by placing them in a pan without oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn.

Top the soup with shredded nori and roasted pine nuts.

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 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.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 November, 2013: Sweet and Sour Tofu


sweet sour vegan tofuvegan sweet and sour chicken

INGREDIENTS:

1 package firm tofu
1 cup oil for deep frying tofu and a small cast iron or other pan that isn’t non-stick
1.5 cups canned pineapple chunks, drained but save the juice (I used pineapple in unsweetened juice)
1.5 cups broccoli
1.5 cups chopped carrots or sweet bell pepper

1/2 cup water

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons chili sauce OR 2 teaspoons Sriacha or tabasco
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar (can sub other kinds of vinegar except for balsamic)
Salt or soy sauce to taste
1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Deep fry the tofu.  Cut the tofu into triangles and pat the triangles dry with a clean towel or paper towels.  Bring 1 cup of oil to the smoking point on high heat in a small pan that is not non-stick.  Drop the tofu pieces into the oil until they brown, about 2 minutes.   Fry the tofu in small batches if necessary.   I had to fry mine in 2 goes.  Set the fried tofu aside.

Make the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.

In a large pan, bring a pan to medium-high heat.  Add broccoli and carrots and water.  Cook until the water steams off and broccoli is bright green.  Add the pineapple to the pan with the vegetables and stir fry to heat through.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Add fried tofu to the pan.  Add the sauce and stir until the sauce thickens, covering the vegetables and tofu.  Serve with rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 14 November, 2013: Sweet and Sour Gardein Chicken

sweet and sour vegan gardein chicken

sweet and sour vegan gardein chicken

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 package Gardein breaded chicken strips (about 2 cups)

1.5 cups snow peas
1.5 cups bamboo shoot shreds

(alternately, use 3 cups of any sort of vegetable, such as carrots, tomato chunks, squash chunks, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini)

3/4 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper, I used red peppers from a jar

1.5 cups canned pineapple chunks, reserve juice

1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or rice vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 tablespoon chili sauce OR 1 teaspoon tabasco or Sriacha

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake chicken strips on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Flip and cook 5 more minutes. Take strips out of oven and let them cool. Cut chicken strips into bite size pieces.

Mix brown sugar, vinegar, broth, cornstarch, and chili sauce in a small bowl.

In a large pan, heat oil until it spreads at medium high. Add vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute. Add chicken strips and red bell pepper, stir fry for 1 minute more. Add pineapple. Make a well in the center of the pan. Add vinegar mixture to the pan. Mixture will thicken in about 30 seconds. Stir thickened sauce over the faux chicken and vegetables and serve over rice.