Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tempeh Turnovers...Creamy Fettucini Alfredo...Fresh Tomato Pasta

Yet another very delicious Urban Vegan recipe here! This dish was ridiculously easy, fast and delicious - my kind of meal!! The flavor of the soy milk definitely made it's appearance in the sauce - a year ago, I probably would have passed on making it a second time. But alas, our taste buds have done a lot of transforming over the past year+. The nutritional yeast gave the creamy/silky/cheesy flavor of alfredo and the other simple ingredients made for a rich and delicious sauce. The picture looks sooo boring! I made my crispy zucchini spears (recipe shared a few days ago) with this, so though we all had a big pile of zucchini with the pasta, the picture looks like we had no color or nutrition on our plates!

Fettucini Alfredo (adapted from Urban Vegan)
1 lb fettucini (I actually used whole wheat linquini because it's what I had!)
1 T cornstarch
1 1/3 cups soy milk
6 T Earth Balance
2 T nutritional yeast
1 1/4 t salt

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Dissolve cornstarch in milk and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and stir until smooth. Add milk and salt and cook until thick and bubbly. Toss with cooked pasta.
I was looking through my binder of recipes last night, looking for something fun to cook for dinner. I have a binder filled with recipes I have found in magazines, acquired from friends, etc and it's always fun to thumb through it and find something new to try. This pasta recipe looked yummy and I had all the ingredients on hand. I was able to use a fresh tomato and basil from my garden and it turned out soooo good! The absolute perfect summer pasta dish. Super easy and fabulously delish!!

Summer Pasta (adpated from Better Homes and Gardens July 09)
10 oz dried linguini, cooked according to package instructions
2 T oil
4 cloves minced garlic
2/3 cup fresh basil, chopped (plus additional for garnish, if desired)
3 small fresh tomatoes, chopped small (I made mine into very petite dice as my hubby only likes tomatoes if they are very small in cooked dishes)
1/2 cup faux chicken or veg broth
1 t sugar

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden - don't overcook. Add tomatoes and basil adn cook 2 min. Add broth and sugar and cook until tomatoes soften. Season with sea salt and pepper. Toss sauce with pasta, sprinkle with extra chopped basil and serve.
We have recently discovered that through the acquiring of new tastes or the correct pairing of ingredients - probably a combination of both - that we like tempeh. If cooked properly, its nutty flavor and nice consistency are actually quite delicious (the first couple of times I made it, we weren't all that impressed and I didn't buy any for several months). I saw a recipe for tempeh pastries that had a Jamaican spice flare. Unfortunately, they weren't really all that delicious. They were fine - edible for sure - just not incredible. Dipped in chutney, they are ok. I was kind of disappointed - thus my reasoning for not taking the time to post the recipe.

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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.