Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 December, 2013: Eggplant Parmesan

It’s the last Daily Vegan Lunch!  No. 365!!

vegan eggplant parmesan IMG_3932
This recipe uses a modified version of tofu parmesan from Jo Stephaniak’s Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, which I highly recommend.

“Normal” eggplant parmagiana at Olive Garden is 850 calories per serving, which is fairly staggering. It gets worse because there are 35 grams of fat in that serving, the majority of which are coming from carcinogenic cheese!  Now we see the reason vegans are an average of 40 pounds lighter than everyone else.

This recipe only gets fat from tahini (sesame seed butter) and from greasing the pan for the crunchy eggplant cutlets, which you don’t technically need to do.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium sized eggplant, cut into slices

1 tablespoon egg replacer plus 1/4 cup water OR 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 1/2 cup of water.  If using flaxseed meal, blend it in the food processor for a smoother consistency.

1.5 cups breadcrumbs or panko
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

FOR THE PARMESAN:

1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons tahini or cashew butter
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the egg replacer or flaxseed meal with water, set aside in a small bowl.

Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, herbs, and salt and spread the mixture on a plate.

Cut the eggplant into 3/4 inch slices and coat first in egg-replacer or flaxseed wash, then coat with breadcrumbs as thickly as possible.

Lay the cutlets on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the parmesan sauce.  Combine onions, arrowroot, tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, water, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until liquified and completely smooth.

Transfer the liquid to a small pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, 3 – 5 minutes.

Take the eggplant cutlets out of the oven, flip them over, and spoon thickened parmesan on them.  Put them back into the oven for about 10 more minutes.

Serve with cooked spaghetti and marinara sauce.

My husband said he really liked these.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 December: Hot and Sour Curry Rice Noodles

hot and sour vegan curry rice noodles
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NGREDIENTS:

1/2 package of rice noodles, or about 4 cups cooked
1/2 a lemon’s juice, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups snow peas a.k.a. mangetouts
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup green onion, minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup cashews
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons sriacha or tabasco
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala

DIRECTIONS:

Cook rice noodles by bringing a pot of water to boiling and immediately turning off heat.  Add the rice noodles and let them sit five minutes.  You wouldn’t think they’d be soft and edible in such a short time but they will.  Drain them and set them aside.

Steam the carrots, peas, snowpeas, and green beans by cooking in about a cup of water in the stove until the peas are unfrozen, about five minutes.  You can also use the microwave, which only takes 2 minutes.  Drain the water and set the vegetables aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine chili/hot sauce, lemon juice, and cashews.  Pulse until cashews are chopped, less than 10 seconds usually.

Fry the garlic in a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the strained vegetables, noodles, and cashew-lemon juice mixture from the food processor.  Stir to combine.  Heat through for up to two minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 December: Japanese Hot Pot

vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot
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NGREDIENTS:

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (1.5 cups reconstituted)
2 carrots (approximately 2 cups) peeled and chopped roughly
1.5 cups leeks, chopped
3 kombu seaweed squares
3 cups water
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups cooked noodles — I used soba
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups tofu

DIRECTIONS:

Cook soba noodles or any other kind of long, thin noodles according to package directions, set aside.  You can use anything from tofu shirataki to ramen noodles to thin spaghetti or no noodles at all, it just depends on what you like.

Drain the tofu and cut it into thick slices.  Blot the slices with a paper towel or a clean towel to absorb excess water.  Cut the tofu into cubes.  In a medium sized pan that can withstand high heat (I used a cast iron pan) heat one tablespoon oil until it smokes.  Add tofu to the pan.  Toss the tofu around until it browns on all sides, about two minutes.  Take the tofu off heat and set it aside.

Soak the whole dried shiitakes in enough water to cover them (they will float) for 15 minutes in a bowl.  Reserve the soaking water.  In a medium sized pot, combine carrots, kombu squares, mushrooms and their soaking water, and three cups of water.  Let it come to a boil and then reduce to medium.  Allow it to simmer until carrots are slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  Add leeks, soy sauce, and sake.  Heat through, about one minute, then take off the heat.

Serve sukiyaki by ladling all the separate ingredients into bowls — carrots, leeks, mushrooms, tofu cubes, noodles — and then spooning broth over the whole thing.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 December, 2013: Fast Teriyaki Udon Stir-Fry

fast vegan udon teriyaki IMG_3814

INGREDIENTS:

2 packages udon noodles (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, or vegan Worchestershire sauce (each will yield a slightly different flavor)
1.5 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used some from a jar)

DIRECTIONS:

If you’re using dry udon noodles, cook them according to package directions and drain. If you’re using frozen ones, take them out of the plastic packaging and thaw them until just defrosted. I used refrigerated udon noodles which need no cooking. Set the prepared noodles aside.

Bring a frying pan to medium heat. Lay the broccoli and chopped red pepper evenly in the pan and add 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and allow to steam 3 minutes. Add the noodles, adding an additional tablespoon of water if you are using refrigerated ones to help them break apart. To the same pan, add oil, soy sauce, sugar, and black bean garlic or other sauce. Stir until everything is incorporated and heated through, about 3 more minutes.

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

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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 2 December, 2013: Homemade Tofu Unchicken and Soba Noodles

soba and unchicken IMG_3779
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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 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.