Friday, January 24, 2014

Vegan Puttanesca

I recently ran across a recipe for a Puttanesca sauce that looked yummy...however it had anchovies and parmesan in it - neither of which are vegan of course. I made up a new meal today and figured I would attempt a vegan version of the Puttanesca to go with it. Both were a delicious success! The actual meal was a cheater meal - I stuffed a puff pastry from Trader Joes with some vegan meatballs (Gardein) meals are usually much more made-from-scratch but it was easy and very delish. The sauce was fantastic and was made from even included tomatoes and basil I froze over the summer from my tower garden bounty:-)

Vegan Puttanesca

1 T oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 t sugar
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 T capers
2 T fresh basil, chopped(or fresh that has been frozen - not dried)
2 cups petite diced tomatoes

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook until golden and starting to get tender. Add the tomatoes, cover and let simmer 10 min. Add salt, sugar, olives, capers, basil. Stir to incorporate. Cover and simmer 15 min to let flavors meld. Serve over pasta, squash, polenta...whatever you fancy! Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

My sister-in-law just got married in October to a great guy from Dominican Republic. A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of enjoying one of Andy's specialtys - Red Beans, Rice, and Chicken. I didn't sample the chicken but let me tell you, the red beans and rice were AMAZING!! Kidney beans are probably one of my least favorite types of beans because they aren't as creamy as other beans in my opinion. But this meal was so delicious, I erased my previous view of red beans and fell in love with them! I asked Andy for the recipe to try and duplicate the goodness and he gave me his "recipe" which doesn't include any exact measurements....because I think he knows this recipe like the back of his hand! After creating my version of this delicacy, I realized two things:

1. My vegan red beans and rice were pretty darn delicious.
2. My vegan red beans and rice don't come close to comparing to Andy's!

Ah was worth a try! At least I have another yummy recipe to add to my vegan repertoire that is not only tasty but easy on the budget and very simple. I guess for the real version, we'll just have to invite ourselves over to Suzi and Andy's :-)

Vegan Red Beans and Rice
2 t canola oil
1/4 cup sliced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 T tomato paste
2 t boullion
4 cups cooked kidney beans, UNDRAINED
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups rice - cooked according to package instructions
Avocado slices

Heat oil in medium-sized saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add tomato paste and boullion. Cook until onion is browned. Add the beans with their liquid. When the mixture starts to boil, remove 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and mash. Add 1/2 cup water and return to the pot. Stir. Add the cilantro. Remove from heat and serve over cooked rice with slices of avocado. Enjoy!

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Blog!!

Just wanted to let all of my vegan friends know that I have started a new that envelops my family's total approach to health, rather than just our vegan side! I am so excited about sharing through this blog about my "Healthy Obsessions" (exercise, veganism, essential oils...just to name a few!) and hope you will check it out. Find it here!

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.