Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Breakfast Burritos, Southwestern Soup and Kung Pao Tofu and Veggies

After an afternoon of swimming, we got home too late for me to spend a bunch of time on cooking and I hadn't been grocery shopping in over a week so my fridge contents were extremely limited. I had a tad of tempeh bacon left in the freezer, some roasted potatoes from another meal and some yummy tortillas on hand so I decided to create some breakfast burritos...for dinner. I cooked the tempeh bacon until very crisp, put it in a warm tortilla, topped it with the heated potatoes, sprinkled a small amount of Daiya cheddar on it and poured on some bottled salsa. It was pretty good and very easy! Fakin bakin does have a place - just have to cook it right!!

Yesterday was a bit of a dreary day so I thought soup would be in order - especially since I needed to make a couple meals for people at church and soup is a great meal to share. I had some fresh chard from my garden and everything else on hand so I whipped up this simple soup for lunch. It was very mild in flavor but made for a nice light lunch along with salad and bread. It was vey easy to make.

Ok so after a light lunch of soup and salad, my hubby was ready for a filling dinner after working all day long on some home projects. I finally went grocery shopping yesterday so my fridge was full of fresh veggies. I made Kung Pao Tofu and Veggies - originally I had planned to just make a veggie version but my recent adoption of using tofu prompted me to use the remaining package of hot and zesty Nigari I had. This dish turned out so good! I scooped some out prior to adding the chili sauce as my kiddos are not fans of spicyness. It was indeed very spicy but sooo good. I served it over short grain brown rice which was also really yummy. We love brown rice but I would usually rather sticky rice with oriental food. Short grain brown rice is a fabulous addition to oriental food - more nutritional than sticky rice but still soft and chewy and not quite as nutty as regular brown. Of course I added far more veggies than the recipe called for! I pan-fried the tofu a bit before marinating it and it was fabulous! The tofu was nice and chewy and really just took on the flavor of the sauce. Frank said at dinner "Well honey, you have completely changed my views on food. Three months ago I wouldn't have dreamed of eating tofu"! He really enjoyed the meal!

Kung Pao Tofu

Marinade for tofu:
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice vinegar
1 t sugar
2 t cornstarch.
8 oz nigari tofu cut into cubes (I used Central Soy Hot and Zesty flavor)
Combine sauce ingredients and stir until smooth. Add tofu and toss to coat. Set aside.

Stir-fry sauce:
1 T cornstarch
2 T brown sugar
2 T soy sauce
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t toasted sesame oil
¼ cup faux chicken broth
1 T Asian chili sauce, such as sambal olek
Mix all ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside.

3 T canola oil
1 T peeled minced ginger
1 T minced garlic
4 chopped green onions
2 celery stalks
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms

(I added the broccoli, carrots and mushrooms (recipe didn’t call for them) and doubled the stir-fry sauce so we would have plenty for the extra veggies). Heat oil in skillet. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and carrots and cook 3-5 min. Add remaining veggies. Cook additional 5 min or until veggies start to get tender – don’t over cook. The dish looks and tastes much better when the veggies are still bright and al dente. Add the stir-fry sauce and stir to coat. Add the tofu mixture and mix to combine. Cook until sauce thickens – about 3 min. Serve over rice and top with peanuts.

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Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.