Daily Vegan Lunch for 25 December, 2013: Nametake Style Daikon Noodles and Enokitake

tofu enokitake

1.5 cups tofu, cut into large cubes and patted dry
2 cups fresh enoki mushrooms
1 cup shredded daikon radish, I used a julienne peeler
1.5 cups vegetable broth with 2 squares of kombu seaweed added
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch plus 1/4 cup additional water


Combine enoki mushrooms, shredded daikon, and broth, kombu squares, soy sauce, and sake in a medium sized pan or pot at medium high heat.  Allow it to heat through until the mushrooms wilt and start looking like noodles.  Heat the tofu separately on a plate.  Mix the arrowroot and 1/4 cup of water thoroughly and then add to the pan with the enoki mushrooms, stir until a sauce is formed. Turn the heat off and wait for sauce to thicken.  Pour the enoki/daikon with sauce over the tofu.  Serve with steamed bok choy or other steamed greens.

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

vegan potato leek curry IMG_3818

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


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.    

Daily Vegan Lunch for 10 December, 2013: Fast Kidney Bean Chili

You might be able to tell I’m pressed for time on the food front lately. This chili is the fastest I’ve ever made. Still yummy though.

vegan fast chili fast vegan chili with kidney beans


1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups onion, chopped
about 2 cups cooked kidney beans, drained (or one 15 ounce can)
1 cup walnuts, cut into bits
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped (I used red peppers from a jar)
1.5 cups marinara sauce
2 teaspoons taco seasoning OR 1 teaspoon cumin plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cooked macaroni, to serve


Sauté onion in oil a pan on medium-high heat until translucent. Add walnuts, let it fry for about 3 minutes. Add beans, red bell pepper, marinara sauce, and taco seasoning. Cook about 5 more minutes or until sauce thickens.

Serve over macaroni.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 16 November, 2013: Sausage Asado

vegan sausage asado IMG_3691
Asado is a type of sweet-sour stew from Filipino cuisine.  They must eat a lot of meat in the Philippines because it absolutely dominates in almost every Filipino cookbook I could find.  The website VeganPinoy.com has an amazing wealth of lovely vegan-adapted Pinoy recipes.  This recipe is modified from that website.


1 tablespoon oil
1 cup vegan sausage, sliced, veggie chicken, or any grain meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 a lemon’s juice (about 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons cup brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 cups cubed potatoes
1.5 cups chunked carrots

In a medium sized pot, cover carrots and potatoes in water.  Cover and turn heat to high until they boil.  Uncover and boil them about 10 minutes on medium high heat until they are al dente.  How fast they reach this state depends upon how small you chop them.

In a separate pan, sauté slices of sausage in oil on medium heat until brown and then flip them over and let them brown on the other side, about 5 minutes.  Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and tomato sauce to the pan and stir until well blended.  Drain the carrots and potatoes and add them to the pan.  Toss to coat.

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



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


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.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 29 October, 2013: Pot Pie

This was outstanding eaten on a cold, rainy day when I got home late from work.

vegan creamy tofu pot pie




1/2 cup palm-oil free vegetable shortening (cheapie safflower oil shortening) or 1/2 cup vegan butter

1 and 1/4 cups flour

Enough cold water to moisten


2 teaspoons oil
1.5 cups firm tofu, drained, sliced, and patted dry with clean towel or paper towels

1.5 cups onion
2 more teaspoons oil

1 cup peas (I used frozen)
1.5 cups carrots

1.5 cups water and 2 broth cubes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or more regular flour

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon sage


Put a mixing bowl with 1 and 1/4 cups flour in it in the freezer.

Slice tofu and pat it dry with a clean towel or paper towels.  Cut the tofu into small cubes.  Heat oil in a pan on high heat.  Fry the tofu in oil on medium-high heat until lightly browned, set aside.

Now make the stew. Fry the onions in the bottom of a pot on medium-high heat until they are translucent. Add sage and paprika, fry 30 more seconds. Add the carrots, peas, broth cubes, and 1 cup of water. Cook until the carrots are al dente or almost fork tender.

Thicken the stew by combining the remaining 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup flour and 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and mixing into a slurry. Dump this into the stew and stir until stew is thickens, about 1 – 2 minutes.  Taste test stew and add salt if needed.

Take the mixing bowl with flour in it out of the freezer. Add 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or vegan butter to the flour. Chop the shortening into small, pea sized pieces with a spoon or a pair of knives. Add water little by little until the mixture sticks together as a dough but is still a bit dry.

Sprinkle a few teaspoons of flour on the cutting board and rub down the rolling pin with it. Divide the dough into 2 halves. Roll the crust out to 1/4 inch thick. Use crust to line a cast iron pan like I did or a small casserole dish. Pour the stew filling into the crust. Roll out the top crust and lay it on the pie. Pinch the edges of the two crusts to seal and cut some slits on the top so your pot pie does not explode. If you have extra dough, you can use it to decorate the pie as I did.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 12 October, 2013: Creamy Spinach and Potato Curry

creamy vegan curried spinach and potatoes


2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups onion, chopped
3 cups frozen organic spinach
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (I used my own made of cashews and almond yogurt)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the peeled potato cubes in 2 teaspoons of oil and sprinkle with spices in a baking pan. Toss them to coat. Put into the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, toss the potatoes and cook for 20 more minutes.

In a large pot, fry the 2 cups chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat until onions are translucent. Add the additional teaspoon cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and coriander. Toss for about one minute until spices are fragrant. Add the spinach and vegetables broth to the pot and cook it until the spinach thaws and is heated through, up to 20 minutes. Add the garlic and the cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is incorporated. Lastly, add the cooked potatoes to the resulting stew. Serve with rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 October, 2013: Black Bean Chipotle Chili

vegan chipotle chili


1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon flour
1.5 cups salsa
4 cups cooked black or red beans (I used a mix of red kidney beans and black beans)
2 cups onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic

1 – 3 chipotle peppers from a can, minced, depending on how much heat you want
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fennel
2 cloves


In a pan on medium high heat, fry the onion in 1 teaspoon of oil until translucent. Set aside. In the bottom of a large soup pot on medium-high heat, mix the oil with the flour, creating a paste. Stir, watching carefully. When oil and flour browns to a peanut butter color, douse with salsa. Add beans, garlic, brown sugar, and all spices. Heat through, about 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 September, 2013: Cajun Yuba

Yuba is bean curd skins, or the chewy skin from the top of the tofu vat in the tofu-making process. You could easily sub any form of veggie meat or veggie sausages instead of yuba if yuba is not available.

vegan cajun yuba


1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon flour

2 cups yuba (bean curd skins, available in most Asian grocery stores) soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained
1.5 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced or about 2 teaspoons
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice


In the bottom of a large fry pan, combine oil and flour and raise heat to medium high. Put the onions on the side of the pan with an additional teaspoon of oil if desired. Stir the flour-oil mixture constantly and watch carefully. The flour-oil paste will brown into a chestnut/peanut butter color. Once it does, douse the resulting roux with crushed tomatoes, mixing in the onions. Add the drained yuba, celery, garlic, bell pepper, and spices. Stir until tomato sauce is heated through and add salt to taste.

Serve with rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 September, 2013: Cauliflower Tomato Peanut Millet Bowl

vegan cauliflower peanut millet bowlINGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons oil

1.5 cups onion, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 – 3 large tomatoes, chopped or one 13 ounce can stewed tomatoes in their juice
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1.5 cups chopped peanuts to garnish


1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce/sriacha

4 cups cooked millet or rice, to serve on the side


Chop cauliflower roughly. In a large pot, immerse cauliflower in water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn heat to medium high and simmer 10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork-tender but still has some of its firmness. Drain the cauliflower and set it aside.

Fry the carrot and onion in the bottom of a second large stock pot on medium high heat until it is translucent, about 3 minutes. Make a well in the center of the onion-carrot mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to the onions and stir until it melts. Add all spices: cumin, nutmeg, thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper or hot sauce, stir briefly, about 30 seconds. Add cauliflower, red bell pepper, garlic, and chopped tomatoes. Cook for 3 – 5 more minutes until tomatoes release their juice and are heated through. Serve alongside cooked millet or rice and garnish with chopped peanuts.