Daily Vegan Lunch for 22 December, 2013: Seitan and Two Potato Soup

seitan soup

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups seitan, tofu, tempeh, or veggie meat, chopped finely
2 cups peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
2 cups peeled, chopped potatoes
1.5 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS:

In the bottom of a large stockpot, sauté garlic and onions in oil or in 1/4 cup of water to make a fat-free version.  Add broth, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, and seitan.  Bring to a boil on high heat; this will take anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes.  Once it boils, turn the stove down to medium heat and simmer until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 December, 2013: Curry Fried Rice-Style Barley and Tofu

This is shown with some leftover okra and onions from a lovely vegan dinner at a local Indian restaurant that was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.  Thanks Shuba and Subu!curried fried rice style barley with tofu vegan
INGREDIENTS:

1 cup barley, cooked (ends up as about 3 cups)
Water for cooking barley
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, chopped, or about a cup
Water for cooking carrots and peas
1 tablespoon oil
1 green onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons sriacha or tabasco
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1.5 cups firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed and patted dry

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse barley and put it into a medium pot with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Set it aside.

Pre-cook the carrots and peas.  In a bowl in the microwave, cover the chopped carrots and peas with water and cook on high heat until carrots are tender, about 2 minutes.  Alternately, cover the carrots and peas in water in a small pot on the stovetop.  Cook on high until carrots and peas are tender, about 7 minutes total.  Drain the carrots and peas and set them aside.

Cut tofu into slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Then cut them into large cubes.

Mix the hot sauce (chili, sriacha, or tabasco) with cumin, turmeric, and garam masala to make a paste.

In a large pan or wok, heat the tablespoon of oil until it smokes.  Add the tofu, quickly stir-fry and tossing around until they are slightly brown on all sides.  Add the rice, stir fry for about a minute, tossing so it browns but doesn’t burn.  Add drained carrots, peas, and spicy sauce, stir to coat all ingredients.  Finish by stirring in green onion and soy sauce.

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 19 December, 2013: Curried Squash Soup

vegan squash soupvegan squash soup1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, which we will roast
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Roast the squash.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Poke holes in squash with a fork (you can also use an acorn squash or even a pumpkin or kabocha if you are so inclined, whatever!) lay the squash on a cookie sheet or foil, and let it bake for one hour.  Take the squash out, cut it in half, and allow it to cool for at least a half hour.  Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting: there’s nothing nicer than squash seeds roasted in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes in a scant tablespoon of oil with a sprinkle of salt.  Or I suppose you could plant them for more squashes.  Anyway… the squash skin will now come off easily and you can chop the skinless squash in cubes.  Set it aside and throw away the skins.

In a large stock pot, cook the onion and garlic in oil on medium-high heat until onion is translucent.  Add the optional sugar, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Add the cooked squash cubes and broth.  Transfer to a blender (in batches if necessary) and blend until extremely smooth.  Add salt to taste.

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 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 16 December, 2013: Plantain in Coconut Milk and Veggie Sausage

plantain in coconut milk IMG_3832INGREDIENTS:

1 overripe (very black on the outside) plantain
1 cup coconut milk
sprinkle of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix coconut milk (from a can) if it has separated and pour one cup over a peeled plantain in a casserole or oven-safe dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 10 minutes.

I ate this with veggie sausage and a green salad.

 

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 December, 2013: Spinach Falafel

vegan spinach falafel IMG_3828Shown with roasted fingerling potatoes that look like sausages and taste like what you’d expect: mini baked potatoes.

FALAFEL INGREDIENTS:

1 fifteen ounce can chickpeas (about 1.5 cups) rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons plus one tablespoon any type of flour, I used chickpea flour
1 teaspoon cumin
Oil for frying

CREAMY TAHINI SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese (I used homemade cashew cream cheese recipe from 5 September)
1 tablespoon tahini
1/3 cup water
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Make the falafel.  In a blender or food processor, combine chickpeas, spinach, garlic, 2 tablespoons tahini, cumin, lemon juice, and salt.  Process until it is almost but not quite a paste.

Transfer chickpea mixture into a bowl and add 4 tablespoons of flour, stirring in completely.  Put remaining tablespoon of flour in the middle of a plate or small cutting board.

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pan that IS NOT NON-STICK to the smoking point.  I prefer to use a small cast iron pan for this.

Put flour on your hands from the plate and use your flowered hands to roll several meatball sized blobs of chickpea-spinach mixture.  The mixture will be a bit sticky.  Flatten each ball a little to make a flatter shape.  Drop them (carefully) into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes each side or until browned.  Turn them over in the oil once.  Makes about a dozen falafels depending on ball size.

To make the sauce, combine veggie cream cheese, garlic, and tahini in a small bowl, mash together.  Add water a little at a time, stirring in as you go until it is the right thickness for you.  Add salt to taste.

Serve the falafels in oven-warmed pita bread with some shredded or chopped cucumber and tahini sauce.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 14 December, 2013: Vegan Dutch Baby Pancake with Apple Compote

Admittedly, this pancake didn’t look like the egg version you find in family restaurants and pancake joints in the US, however, the taste and fluffy texture was very, very similar.  My husband liked them a great deal.  He’s vegan too and he hasn’t had a Dutch Baby pancake for several years because they are made with eggs.  I’m looking forward to trying a Dutch Baby pancake using Hampton Creek’s Beyond Eggs next.

vegan dutch baby pancake vegan dutch baby pancake
 Shown with Lightlife vegan breakfast sausage.

INGREDIENTS:

3 apples, peeled and chopped, I used granny smith
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 pat vegan butter or 1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the pancake:

1 cast iron pan, pie plate, or small casserole dish
oil for greasing pan
3 tablespoons Ener-G Egg replacer and 1/2 cup water

1 cup flour
1 cup almond milk (or other plant milk)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease the pancake-cooking pan.

Mix the egg replacer and the 1/2 cup water with a beater until frothy.  Add flour, almond milk salt, oil, baking soda, and baking powder.  Stir until all the flour lumps are gone.  Pour the batter into the pan and cook the pancake for 20 minutes.  Check for doneness at 17 minutes with a fork — If the fork comes out clean, it is done.  The edges being brown will tell you if it is done.

Make apple compote.  Melt the pat of butter in a pan on medium heat and add apple chunks, sugar, and molasses.  Mix briefly and cover.  Let cook about five minutes.  Add cinnamon, take off heat.

Serve pancake with apples and additional maple syrup.  I forgot I had confectioner’s sugar or I would have sifted some on there.  These are very decadent.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 13 December, 2013: Potato Leek Curry

vegan potato leek curry IMG_3818
INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped (I used red bell pepper from a jar)
1.5 cups green part of leeks, chopped finely
4 cups potatoes, skinned and cubed
Water for boiling potatoes
4 cups water or vegetable broth, I used water
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice OR 2 teaspoons mango powder (amchoor powder)
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons tabasco or Sriacha or to taste for heat
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Peel potatoes and chop them into cubes.  Put them in a pot and cover them with water.  Bring the pot to a boil (high heat) and then immediately turn down the heat and cook for about 20 minutes.  If you cut the potatoes to the small size you see in the photo above, you won’t have to cook them the whole 20 minutes.  Potatoes are done when they are fork tender but not mushy.  Drain the potatoes, set them aside.

In a large pan, cook the onion in oil on medium-high heat until translucent.  Add the garlic and all spices except mango powder/lemon juice.  Allow the spices and garlic to cook for about 30 seconds, douse with water.  Add the cooked potatoes, leeks, and red pepper to the pan.  Cook about five minutes or until the potatoes thicken the broth and add salt to taste.   Add hot sauce to taste.  Add the lemon juice or mango powder last, right before serving.