Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Enchilada Pasta Casserole...Chipotle Lime Tofu Tacos...Incredible Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I once again took an old favorite recipe (Spicy Turkey Tacos) and veganized it. I actually totally transformed the recipe but at least I got my idea from the original recipe! I forgot to take a picture so this picture is of the leftovers! I also made some seasoned seitan for more "ground meat-like" tacos. Both were delish and the tofu was very different - in a yummy way!

Chipotle Lime Tofu Tacos
1 block smoked tofu (you could use regular here too - just won't be as smoky tasting of course. I used Central Soy brand)
1 chipotle chili and 1 t adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup faux chicken broth
juice of 1 lime
1/2 t each cumin and oregano
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t cracked black pepper
2 t oil
tortillas, salsa, whatever taco toppings you choose!

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and saute 2 min. Crumble tofu into skillet. Cook until browned. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine broth, lime juice and spices. Blend until smooth. Pour chipotle mixture into tofu and heat through - about 5 min. Serve in tortillas with favorite toppings.

Taco Seasoned Seitan
2 cups crumbled seitan
1 1/2 t each cumin and garlic powder
1 T minced dried onion
2 T chili powder
3 t oil

Heat oil, add seitan and seasonings. Cook until browned. Add a couple splashes of water if necessary. Serve in tortillas with favorite taco toppings.

This was another re-creation of a recipe I found in a magazine that was most certainly not vegan!! I used a couple of leftovers but will put other options in the recipe to follow. I used the original recipe to inspire my creativity but I really made the recipe up as I went. I will do my best to be accurate as I type it up! I think it turned out really yummy. The recipe looks really long and complicated - it isn't really. I just added several recipes for the ingredients for your choosing pleasure but it really isn't hard!

Enchilada Pasta Casserole
Layer 1:
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 T unsweetened soy milk
2 t taco seasoning
Combine cream cheese, milk and seasoning and stir until well-mixed. Add rice and stir to combine. Spread in the bottom of an 8x8 square dish coated with cooking spray.

Layer 2:
1 1/2 cups seasoned beans (I actually used a combination of my modified Morgan's beans and some leftover ancho lentil taco filling - I have listed those recipes below - otherwise, you can season your own beans with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt)
Spread beans over rice mixture.

Layer 3:
2 cups cooked pasta (I used small shells)
1 cup enchilada sauce (I made my own but you can use store-bought if you would like. I used the recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes - can be found here:
Toss pasta with sauce and spread over beans

Layer 4:
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Sprinkle over entire dish.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 min until heated through.

Modified Version of Morgan's Pintos (LittleHouseofVeggies)
1 16 oz bag dried pintos
5 cups of water
2 T minced dried onion
2 t garlic powder
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 t sea salt
pinch of pepper

To Make: Add all ingredients in a crock pot. Make sure that you have enough water that your beans are covered by a few inches. Cook on low about 10 hours (you can just let it cook all day), or on high for about 5-6 hours.

Ancho Lentil Tacos (
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (from about 1 cup dried)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons hot sauce (preferably Cholula)

Spice mix:
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground ancho chile
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt

First combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix and set aside. Also, keep a cup of water within reach, you’ll need to add splashes as you cook.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee the onion and garlic in the oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add spices and toss them for 30 seconds or so to toast.

Lower heat to medium, add lentils, a few splashes of water, tomato paste and hot sauce; use a spatula to mash them a bit as they cook, until they hold together. If your spatula isn’t strong enough to accomplish this, just use a fork. Do this for about 5 minutes, adding splashes of water as necessary if it appears dry. Taste for salt and seasoning; you may want to add more spices or hot sauce. And that’s it, time to serve!

My sister bought me Urban Vegan for my Birthday and I am so thrilled to own another vegan cookbook that I can write in and not worry about splattering food on (I love library books but it's so nice to own!). When I first checked out Urban Vegan from the library, I tried a couple things but most of the recipes were a little too weird-looking to me. How funny it is that after veganizing for almost a year, how much our tastes have changed! There are soooo many recipes that look yummy or that I have tried that I wouldn't have a year ago. This mousse is absolutely incredible! As my husband and I were eating it last night (I forgot to take a pic - again! - until I had already taken a bite which is why a spoonful is missing!), I couldn't believe the deliciousness of this mousse! It tastes like heavy cream-filled non-vegan mousse. Wow - I will be making this for my non-vegan family members very soon. Oh my goodness! My sister is the queen of mousse and I know she will be thrilled with this. Now I need to find a good whipped cream substitute because my hubby would have enjoyed it even more if it had a dollop of something white and creamy on top. This mousse is also ridiculously easy. I think I just found a new favorite dessert!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Adapted from from Urban Vegan)
1 package extra firm aseptic tofu ( don't use the refridgerated kind - too grainy)
1/2 cup sugar (I would use a scant 1/2 cup next time to cut down a tad on the sweetness - I love the dark chocolate taste!)
1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips in a pan over low heat. When melted, pour into food processor with sugar and tofu. Blend until silky smooth. Pour into custard cups. (yep, it's that easy!!)

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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.