Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vegan BLTA...Corn Fritters...Hot Rice with Cold Lemon and Tomatoes...

I ate a bunch of leftovers today, including Hot Rice with Cold Lemon and Tomatoes and Corn Fritters. Both of these dishes were tasty, although I would probably tweak both recipes next time. My usual corn fritter recipe has a bit more flavor and it moister. I did enjoy the fun flavor that the Old Bay Seasoning added to the fritters (this recipe can be found in Vegan Yum Yum). The Hot Rice was super creamy but the blend of flavors was just a bit different. I love the creaminess of the Arborio rice and this recipe is not a risotto requiring time consuming stirring and adding of liquids.

Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Tomato, and Basil (I didn't use basil because I didn't have any fresh)

From "The Kind Life" by Alicia Silverstone
Number of Servings: 2


*1 cup Arborio rice
*2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
*3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*3 pinches of fine sea salt
*2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
*1/2 cup (or as much as you want) fresh tomato, large dice
*2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Serves 2

Place the unrinsed rice in a saucepan with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (until mostly tender but still a little firm in center of the grain). Drain any of the water that wasn't absorbed and transfer rice to a mixing bowl.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and and salt and pepper to taste (add a little bit at first and then add more if you need it). Mix well, add tomatoes, sprinkle with basil, toss to combine, and serve.

I made Urban Vegan's Spaghetti Carbonara a couple nights ago and the recipe calls for vegan bacon. The last time I made it, I used the pricey Fakin Bakin made by Lightlife. Though the Fakin Bakin has a strangely delicious flavor, it is pricey and I have always wanted to try making my own. I decided to courageously attempt my own homemade tempeh bacon, using a Vegetarian Times recipe (recipe can be found here I am happy to announce that the result was delicious and my boys kept coming into the kitchen asking for more "bacon" while I was cooking dinner. I was so thrilled at their enthusiasm and enjoyment of it. I will never buy store-bought Fakin Bakin again because mine turned out just as yummy as store-bought for a fraction of the cost. All of that to say, I made myself a Bakin, Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado Sandwich tonight using some of this bakin. It turned out very yummy!!

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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.