Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 December: Japanese Hot Pot

vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot

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


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 24 November, 2013: Roasted Walnut Shiitake Dressing Stuffed Squash

This roasted walnut, mushroom, and panko stuffing would be perfect for Thanksgiving.  I was really happy to find out these squashes I bought from the grocery store were local.

vegan mushroom dressing stuffed squashvegan mushroom dressing stuffed squash

2 small or 1 large acorn squash

1.5 cups walnuts
2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups broccoli florets, chopped

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water at least 20 minutes
1.5 – 2 cups panko or breadcrumbs
Up to 1.5 cups vegetable broth or saved mushroom water to moisten


Wash outside of squash, poke holes in it, and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I save the seeds to roast and salt on a cookie sheet, yum!

Roast walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat until they give off a wonderful fragrance, about 5 minutes.  Don’t let them burn but it is okay to let them brown.  Add oil to the pan and onions.  Fry the onions for about 1 minute and add the broccoli and celery.

Chop the mushroom into small bits and add to the pan.  Add panko or breadcrumbs and mix well.  Add mushroom water and/or broth little by little and stir until the mixture is moistened.

Cut the cooked squash in half and remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon.  Stuff the squash halves with walnut-panko dressing.  Broil at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes until top browns.

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 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.