Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tofu and Peanut Stir Fry

Tofu and Peanut Stir Fry
(recipe adapted from a Food Network magazine recipe)

6 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (I found some Shaoxing rice wine in Chinatown)
1/3 cup oyster sauce (vegan version available here: )
1 (14oz) block firm tofu, drained
1 cup unsalted peanuts, preferably raw
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 whole dried arbol chiles
1 can sliced water chestnuts
sugar snap peas, strings removed

1. Make the marinade: Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch, the rice wine, oyster sauce, ad 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl. Cut the tofu in half horizontally to make 2 large
rectangles, then cut each rectangle into 4 squares. Add tofu to the marinade and turn to coat.
2. Cook the peanuts in the oil in a large skillet over heat, stirring, until golden brown. (4-5 mins) Remove skillet from heat and transfer nuts to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
3. Drain the tofu, reserving the marinade. Sprinkle both sides of the tofu with the remaining cornstarch . Return the skillet to medium heat and add the tofu. Cook about 3 mins each side. Remove tofu to a plate. Add the ginger, garlic, chiles, and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the snap peas and water chestnuts. Whisk the marinade with 1 cup water, and add that to the skillet as well. Stir until thick. Add the tofu and nuts back in and heat through.
Here it is cooking ... Mmmm.
I had a tempeh salad for lunch today that was quite pretty. ;) I just sautéed the tempeh cubes in a non-stick skillet with some cooking spray and sprinkled it with some hot paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. yum.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Crazy Sexy Vegan Crabby Cakes with Remoulade

Another recipe from Crazy Sexy Kitchen ... you MUST buy this book. Every recipe I've made from it has been insanely delicious. This might be one of the best things I've ever made. I LOVE, LOVE crab cakes and I've eaten plenty of the seafood variety in my lifetime. These actually taste identical. I doubt any omnivore could tell the difference. Amazing!

I feel like I have no desire to eat the "real thing" again. Mission accomplished.

They are made with hearts of palm and the remoulade that accompanies them is also top notch.
I served this with a simple steamed acorn squash and some kale. Mmmm mmm good.

In other exciting news, my new Vitamix arrived! Huzzah! I immediately made a mango and spinach smoothie, some avocado hummus, and some raw almond butter. yay!
Chewie was less excited to get his new sweatshirt, but he looks very cute in it. :o)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Baigan Bharta and Steamed Kale and Prepping for the week ...

Today I made smoothies for breakfast and then hit up the gym and went grocery shopping for the next couple of days.

I made a tabouleh salad and a spiced beet salad for lunch and snacks tomorrow and Tuesday.

Click for the Spiced Beet Salad Recipe.

The Tabouleh Salad is just a box of Near East Tabouleh with fresh lemon juice, grape tomatoes, fresh parsley, black olives, cucumbers, and roasted red pepper added. Mmmmm.

Then, for dinner, I made Baigan Bharta - an Indian roasted eggplant dish with some steamed kale. More Mmm ...
After my nice long break, needless to say, I'm not exactly looking forward to the beginning of the work week tomorrow. meh.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Zucchini and Chickpea Curry (Sort of African, Sort of Indian)

Veggies and cilantro leaves getting ready to be cooked up ... and the curry cooking. Mmm

The final product (served with some vegan pierogies)! Chewie approves. ;o)
This was seriously delicious!

Zucchini and Chickpea Curry

2 zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 large can chickpeas
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno
1 inch piece ginger root, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
8oz can tomato sauce
1 bunch cilantro leaves
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon of vegan butter
1-2 teaspoons cumin powder
1-2 tablespoons Madras-style medium hot curry powder
2 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika
sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter and sauté the onion for a bit until translucent. Meanwhile, process the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in a small food processor until minced. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno mixture to the skillet and stir to combine with the onion. Stir in the fresh chopped tomatoes and zucchini. Stir in the spices and the tomato sauce. If you need to add a little water so that the zucchini is mostly covered by liquid, do so. Add chickpeas and some cilantro leaves on top. Put on lid to skillet and simmer over low-medium heat until zucchini is tender and flavors have combined. Serve with couscous, rice, or, well, pierogies tasted great with this!

Serves 4 hungry souls.

A Mango Lassi and a Lazy Snow Day with Chewie

Last night into this morning it snowed about 8 inches and it was in the single digits this morning, so Chewie and I slept in and are now enjoying a lovely snow day.

That's the only picture I could snap of Chewie before he ran back in the house. haha. Good thing he's wee wee pad trained. ;o) When we finally got up, I made a mango lassi for breakfast.

Mango Lassi
1 ripe mango, skin removed and cubed
1 container of vegan yogurt (I used coconut almond milk yogurt which was divine.)
about 6 ice cubes
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon cardmom spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy! yum.
After that I had some homemade hummus and melted Daiya vegan cheddar on toast as a snack. Mmm.
Here's a pic of Lucas and I on New Year's Eve ... heh.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

African Black-eyed Pea Stew with Spicy Butternut Squash

Today began with some vegan pancakes for breakfast. Pancakes felt like just the right breakfast this morning. heh. I always make the pancakes from Vegan Brunch. They really are "perfect." Mmm.
Today also begins with my eating totally vegan for a while. I'm going to try to cut out processed foods and eat lower carb too just to  take off a few holiday season pounds. (Today's pancakes don't count. haha) I'm returning to my straight-edge vegan Krishna-core roots for at least a month as I think it really is the healthiest way to live. ;o) 
I like to watch a marathon of all the Planet of the Apes movies on New Year's Day. This year, I only got to the first movie 'cause I had a bit of a disaster. I finally ordered my long-awaited Vitamix (thanks mother-in-law and sister-in-law for the gift cards!!) ... and the damn thing didn't work right outta the box! WTF?! So, I have to send it back and reorder it. *cries* At least Amazon has an awesome return policy. But my smoothies will have to wait until a new one arrives. *sniff*
I made some avocado hummus for snacking on while we watched the movie. That's how I knew the Vitamix didn't work. :( Recipe here. Picture below. :)
For dinner, I made an African Black-eyed Pea Stew with Spicy Butternut Squash to be all traditional and stuff for New Year's Day. Happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year everyone!
This recipe is adapted from the Black-eyed Pea Stew with Spicy Pumpkin recipe in Linda McCartney's cookbook entitled Linda McCartney On Tour: Over 200 Meat-Free Dishes From Around The World (page 110).

 Black-Eyed Pea Stew
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 and 1/4 cups vegetable stock
2 x 14oz cans black-eyed peas
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste
Spicy Butternut Squash
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 medium sized butternut squash, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 and 1/4 cups water
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Black-eyed pea stew:
Sauté the onion, carrots, pepper, garlic, thyme, and spices in the peanut oil for 5 mins or so. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in the black-eyed peas, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Cover and simmer for about 15 mins, adding more stock or water as necessary until the veggies are tender.

Spicy Butternut Squash:
Melt the vegan butter in a large saucepan or pot. Sauté the onion in the butter for a bit until it softens up. Add the squash, garlic, tomatoes, spices, and water. Stir well and simmer, covered, until the squash is tender (about 10-15 mins). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the black-eyed peas.

This was quite good. I hope all that about black-eyed peas is true. ;o)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quick Vegan Tartar Sauce

Chewie, my yorkie, likes to play up the cuteness.
Vegan Tartar Sauce!
I just threw this together and it was delicious. Measurements are approximate as I didn't measure when I made it.
About 1 cup - Reduced Fat Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
About 2-3 tablespoons - Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles, the mini ones about 3 inches long each (I used B&G brand, but I suppose any favorite pickle will work.)
About 2 tablespoons grated Horseradish
Put all ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse until combined. Voila!