Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mai Fun Noodle Bowl

Hey everyone! Thursday was my birthday and I didn't go out to dinner. Is that crazy? I know its an unwritten rule that you have to go out to some establishment or at least order pizza, but I was craving something made by yours truly, plus I had all the ingredients for a soul satisfying fun bowl that took me no time to make. Jason said this was the most flavorful noodle soup I've ever made. The secret is the Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base. Its not a powder. Its a thick liquid the color of turmeric. The dried mushrooms are a gourmet blend of Porcini, Morels, Brazilian, Ivory Portabellas, Shiitake, and Oyster. Check out this huge container I got from Costco! I hope they don't stop selling it!
The broth is also flavored with dried kombu, which is a sea weed. I got mine at Whole Foods, but if you can't find it, I'm sure the soup will still be great. This recipe makes enough for 4 servings. Enjoy!

4 cups filtered water
2 sheets dried pacific kombu
2  large handfuls dried gourmet mushrooms (the ones I mentioned above)
4 Tbs white miso paste
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
1 ts garlic powder
1 ts minced ginger (mine is from a jar by The Ginger People)
1 ts Sriracha
8 oz Annie Chun's brown rice noodles a.k.a Mai Fun
1 bunch baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1 Tbs chives

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil
  • Add noodles and boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Drain and rinse under cold water
  • In a large pot, soak the kombu and dried mushrooms in the filtered water for 15 minutes
  • Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes
  • Remove kombu and add miso paste, soy sauce, No Chicken Base, garlic powder, ginger, and Sriracha
  • Stir broth ingredients together and add bok choy, stirring until the bok choy is wilted
  • Add noodles and chives

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Favorite toy: My Omega 8003 Juicer

The Omega 8003 juicer is a single gear masticating juicer. At 80 RPMs, I get quality juice.

Jason getting in on the action. He still doesn't really understand the point of juicing, but he likes to push the fruit through the chute! He really wanted to try juicing grapes, so I let him after we made my green juice.
Check out my bone dry pulp!
I call this drink the Asian Persuasion: 1 bunch tatsoi spinach, 4 asian pears.  I'm a newbie to green juices so I need a lot of fruit! Happy juicing everybody!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Taco Night With Mr. Butler

So I had no intention of blogging about these, until I saw and tasted the end result. Its past midnight and I would rather write this than sleep. So first of all, I don't know exactly who invented Soy Butler Curls, but I imagine his name is Mr. Butler. Perhaps I am thinking of the show Mr. Belvedere from when I was a kid, and I am just combining the two. Nonetheless, chickens everywhere are clucking his praises. These soy curls aren't some scary faux meat with a list of scary ingredients. In terms of processing, they are the equivalent of tofu as far as I can tell. Ingredients are: Whole, textured soy beans. Thats it! They are packaged in a dehydrated state. Just soak them in water for about 10 minutes, then squeeze them super hard to get all the water out. What makes these soy curls superior to animal flesh is that they are like a sponge, absorbing all the yummy marinade. 

Speaking of marinade, thats the part I really want to share! See, it starts with my new favorite toy, the Omega 8003 juicer. This thing is amazing. I get a bone dry pulp and quality juice. 
So anyway, I had a bunch of veggies in my fridge that I wanted to use up. Why? Because I'm going to Farmer's Market on saturday and I like to have a clean slate when I go there. I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to Farmers Market. This is when I got the idea to use veggie juice as my marinade.
This was my step by step process:

  • First I juiced two oranges in my regular citrus juicer, about 1 cups worth.
  • Then I added 4 Tbs of lime. I actually make lime cubes in advance like I do lemons. 1 Tbs per cube. We have an awesome tree. 1 lime=2 Tbs. Now for the veggie part. 
  • I had tomatoes, red onion scraps, anaheim chile peppers, and even a bunch of parsley from my garden that I didn't use all of from something else. The majority of this juice came from tomatoes and chile peppers. In the end I had about 3 cups worth. 
  • I added this to the orange juice mixture, along with 1 Tbs salt, and 1 ts each garlic powder, cumin, and paprika. This is why I wasn't going to blog about it, because I just put a bunch of veggie scraps in the juicer. Who would've thought it would turn out to be so exquisite?
  • I had a lot of marinade, so I used it in place of water to cook some Lundberg's black rice. I love black rice! I used 1 cup of black rice, 2 cups marinade, and put it in my rice cooker on the brown rice setting.
  • I also had some corn, which I combined with the cooked rice. 
  • Then I fried the soy curls to a crisp using a small amount of peanut oil in my large eco friendly non-stick skillet. 
  • Next, I combined the soy curls with the black rice and corn. At this point, I knew I had a good thing going. Now all I had to do was fry my tortillas. I don't usually fry my tortillas, but it just felt right this time.
  • This part is pretty easy to figure out. Just put a shallow amount of oil in a small non-stick skillet on medium heat. 
  • When the oil is hot enough, drop in a tortilla, let it get golden brown, flip it over to brown the other side. I also used the big pan that I used to fry the soy curls, so I had two pans going.
Jason kept saying how good these were. He especially loved the juice that was seeping out with each bite. These were so awesome! And I love that I didn't plan on making something this good. Thank you Mr. Butler!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brown Rice Crispy Treats

I made these on a whim, my own personal recipe. Well, I've read a lot of different ones, like the one herehere, and here. I guess this is a combo of them all. I'm actually obsessed with brown rice syrup. I've always been a huge caramel fan, pronounced car-a-mel, for all you car-mel people! Seriously though, pronounce it however you like, and if you like caramel, you will love brown rice syrup. Your blood sugar will thank you for eating it too, cuz it won't spike like it does with the refined stuff. Upon biting into these I thought they weren't very sweet, but then I got used to it and it became a good thing. That way you could also eat these for breakfast and not feel like a sugar junky!
You need:
4 cups brown rice cereal
3/4 cups salted peanut butter
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 ts vanilla
9x9 brownie pan
  • Line a 9x9 brownie pan with saran wrap
  • Combine all ingredients except cereal in a large pot on medium heat
  • Use a whisk to stir occasionally 
  • When it comes to a bubble, continue stirring for another two minutes
  • Turn off heat and pour in the cereal
  • Incorporate all ingredients using a rubber spatula
  • Pour into saran wrap lined brownie pan
  • Press surface down with rubber spatula
  • Allow to cool for 1 hour before cutting into squares (Lift it out with the saran wrap and remove the saran wrap first, duh!)
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mobetta Vegan Deviled Eggs With Caviar

I am so impressed with the way I reinterpreted these deviled eggs by Monique a.k.a Mo at Mobetta Vegan. The key ingredient here is the black salt. It has a sulfuric quality identical to egg yolks. I read about black salt a while back in Isa Chandra's Vegan Brunch, but of course it wasn't available at any grocery grocery store and I never bothered to order it online. Then a few weeks ago, I saw a package of Hawaiian Black Salt at Marshalls for just $1.99. I know, its not the Indian kind specified in these types of recipes, but I figured it would be close. Well, lo and behold it really did have that egg like quality. In fact it was dead on. Mo uses the black salt in the bean spread, but I sprinkled it on top in place of her vegan caviar. Thats the genius part! Also, I used chickpeas instead of white beans because thats what I had on hand. 

I ate half the tray in one sitting. Later that night after running errands, I brought what was left to the in laws where Jason and Ava happened to be. We have very special family here visiting this week, so we are always there! I excitedly gave one to my tofu hating husband and he said quote, "It tastes exactly like a deviled egg." He also later said it was the best tofu he's ever had. Then when my mother in law tried one, she immediately said, "It tastes like an egg, how did you do that?" Even my father in law liked them, and I've never known him to be a tofu guy! 

I already knew I would bring them to our special family dinner the next night.

Why so special? Ava's cousin Sienna, who is just a year older than her, is visiting all the way from Hawaii! Thats where her daddy, Jason's brother, is stationed. She came with just her mommy Jolee while Daniel is on leave. All week these two girls have been running around screaming to the highest decible. 
Here they are eating corn. Ava loves corn.
Jolee's dad on the left asked if the tofu was made of "cheese" and I said, "yeah." Am I bad?! He didn't seem to notice! The kind soul on the right is my father in law.
Oh, I also brought a salad with my Cool Ranch Dressing, which my ranch loving sissy gave a solid thumbs up! By Sissy I mean Jason's sister! She never orders any thing at a restaurant without a side of ranch. Also, my father in law is lactose intolerant, so he was finally able to enjoy it as well.

Here is the recipe for the deviled eggs!

1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup Vegenaise
1 Tbs yellow mustard (I forgot to add the mustard in mine, but next time I will definitely use it!)
1 Tbs dill relish (the dill relish is part of her older recipe, you can skip it if your not a fan)
1/8 ts turmeric
1 ts garlic powder
1 ts dried minced onion
1 ts sea salt
1 ts Hawaiian Black Salt for sprinkling
1 1/2 packages 15 oz extra firm tofu

I skip the part in her recipe that says to boil the tofu in vinegar and water. Slice the tofu into squares. I got 27 I think, but that will vary depending on how thick you slice it. Place squares on top of a paper towel lined plate, and place another paper towel on top to pat dry.

Puree all ingredients except for black salt and tofu in a food processor until smooth. Store in the fridge for at least 40 minutes to help it firm up, then pour into a piping or sandwich bag. Pipe the bean spread onto the tofu squares and sprinkle with black salt. A sprinkling of paprika and chives would be good too.

If your a vegan and miss deviled eggs, give these a try! Next time I'm going to make an egg salad sandwich by crumbling up the tofu and mixing it with the bean puree and black salt.

Read more about black salt and other cool salts here.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Time Treats: Black Bean Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Jalepeno Aioli and Bisquick Blackberry Cobbler

I love my new camera, I love taking pictures outside, and I love these black bean burgers from a blog called VegLite-Healthy Vegan Recipes. I used canned beans instead of dried, and didn't saute my onions. The spices are just a tad different, but pretty similar.

Other than the actual burger, the best part is my roasted garlic and jalepeno aioli. Before I went vegan, I loved dressing up mayo this way, and now I can do the same thing with Vegenaise. I love Vegenaise, and it will always have a place in my fridge. First I will show you how to make the Aioli.
Remove the paper from 1 large head of garlic
Seed and dice 1 jalepeno pepper
put garlic and jalepeno in a small rameken
drizzle over 1 Tb olive oil to coat the garlic and jalepeno

Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. I usually don't preheat, and ovens vary. Just make sure the garlic is soft enough to mash with a fork, but not burnt.

Add 1/2 cup of Vegenaise and mix with the garlic and jalepeno

For the burgers you need:

2 15 oz cans drained black beans
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
Olive oil for sauteing
1/2 diced red onion
1 ts cumin
1 ts paprika
1 ts salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup water

Put all ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until everthing is incorporated. Form into 8-10 patties, depending on size. I arranged mine in a large rectangular tupperware in two layers. I put parchment paper above the first layer to keep them seperated from the second layer. Then I put them in the fridge several hours before dinner. I like to do things ahead of time as often as possible.
In a non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. I just bought an awesome eco-friendly non-stick pan, so all I need is a light spray of oil for each batch. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Arrange on a bun with some Aoli, a crisp lettuce leaf, and whatever pleases you! 

For dessert, Jason has been begging me to make him a blackberry cobbler. He fancies himself a grizzly bear I think! Don't judge me by the Bisquick, I needed to finish the box I had in my pantry! I will make a healthier version in the future with whole grain flour, but I must say this was divine, and so easy.
I modified this recipe, very easy to veganize. I just used a cup of Bisquick for the dry ingredients, and used 6 Tbs coconut oil instead of the 1/2 cup of butter. I used less than 1/2 cup of oil because Bisquick already has oil in the mix, the hydrogenated kind! I know, I'm not doing a very good job of selling it, but it was so good. We didn't have any coconut ice cream, but it would be a perfect friend to this cobbler. Oh, and I used soy milk instead of real milk. I'm sure any plant milk will do. Mine only took 45 minutes to bake. Try it! Its yummy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chickpea Crunch Wraps

I got the idea for these cute lettuce cups from The Vegetarian (Who Hates Tofu). I happen to love soft, pillowy clouds of tofu, but I also love these crunchy chickpeas. The crunch comes from baking them on a sheet pan. I've made chickpea "nuts" before, but never thought to use them this way. Its so nice to read other blogs and get some inspiration. I don't think I'll ever stop learning how to make great food. 

Instead of a vegan mayo as the base for the ranch dressing, I use a cashew sour cream inspired by My New Roots. I can't believe how easy this is to make. I used to think that cashews needed to be soaked in water for several hours before blending into a smooth cream. However, I've recently resurrected my Magic Bullet from the depths of my cupboards, and found that it is amazing at pulverizing cashews-no soaking necessary! I've been a cashew freak ever since this discovery. Oh, and I hear the Ninja, another "As Seen On TV" product, works great for this too. Anyway, these are so easy to make. Here's how to do it.

Vegan Ranch Dressing:

1 cup raw cashews 
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs water
2 Tbs Lemon juice (I always keep a bag of lemon ice cubes in my freezer. 1 cube equals 1 Tbs. I just put the cubes in the Magic Bullet with the other ingredients)
1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and salt
10 grinds of black pepper
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

Blend together all ingredients except for the parsley-stir it in at the end.

Crunchy Chickpeas

2 15 0z cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 ts each salt, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Pat chickpeas dry with a paper towel. In a large mixing bowl, toss chickpeas with the lime juice, olive oil, and seasonings. Place chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. I don't bother preheating and mine are done in about 50 minutes.

Chopped Tomatoes
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
1 Tb parsley
1/2 ts salt
few grinds of pepper

I assemble my crunch wraps in this order:
Lettuce cup, chickpeas, couple slices avocado, chopped tomatoes, drizzle of ranch dressing. 

I ate way more than the two in the photo. I ate like 6. But who's counting? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Product Review: Real Foods Corn Thins

I love these corn thins because they are organic, very reasonably priced, and don't fall apart like rice cakes. I also love how thin they are. Check out my cute tostadas! Black beans, tomato, and avocado-how easy is that?