Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stir-Fry 2004 - An ORIGINAL by LH, MOC, and ET

Here's the recipe for an original dish, dubbed Stir-Fry 2004 in honor of our high school reunion we attended the same night of its creation.

In a wok, add a splash of tamari, small scoop of sugar, and a little water. Heat and saute Chinese broccoli. Add tofu cubes, fresh minced ginger, and Soy Vay sauce. Top with a few chopped scallions. Cook until hot.

This was a simple, delicious dish that was thrown together fairly last minute by three inexperienced chefs. It is a dish I'd like to recreate in the future!

We wanted to add some minced garlic, but last minute decided against doing so for fear that we'd have horrible breath whilst "catching up" with former classmates of ours. Haha! Next time, a little garlic might be a nice touch. Also, serving this dish over some sticky rice or noodles would make this a "complete meal".

***Unfortunately, there are no pictures because blogging didn't even cross my mind - I was pretty preoccupied with pre-reunion jitters (if you want to call them that, haha!)

Woo hoo to building confidence in the kitchen and experimenting sans formal recipe!

Pad See Ew - Vegan Yum Yum (p. 202)

One night during her visit, SA and I had the hardest time agreeing upon a meal to eat for dinner. After much deliberation (we even considered ordering take out!), we finally agreed upon trying a vegan recipe. We took a trip to the local Chinese market ( pick up the specialty ingredients required for this recipe.


3/4 package of chow fun (about 1.8 lbs.) Chow fun are fresh noodles that we purchased from the Chinese market especially for this dish. They are gushy sheets that I needed to cut into smaller, more manageable strips for this dish.
2 TBL. veggie oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes --> SA, a seasoned chef, recommended we use fresh ground chili paste as a replacement for the red pepper flakes.
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 lb. Chinese broccoli --> chop it into manageable pieces and halve the stems as to shorten their cooking time.
1.5 cups wheat gluten (a.k.a. seitan), sliced thin --> Please read notes at bottom
3 TBL. light soy sauce
3 TBL. dark soy sauce
2 TBL. sugar
1) Cut noodles into manageable pieces
2) Heat oil in wok. Saute garlic over medium heat.
3) Add pepper flakes and ginger
4) Add broccoli and stir-fry until tender crisp, just a few minutes.
5) Add gluten, soy sauce, sugar, and noodels. Stir well, cooking for a a few minutes. Serve immediately.

Some notes: The recipe called for seitan, but Sarah the Carnivore and I subbed in chicken and tofu, respectively. I just sauted a little tofu in vegetable oil with salt and pepper in a separate pan, then added it to the broccoli concoction at the end of the cooking time.

Right off the bat, Sarah suggested that we double the recipe for the soy sauce sauce mixture. We used tamari and sushi soy sauce...The book details how using a light and a dark soy sauces is recommended for the best flavor, we used what we had handy. (Thanks NMcL for the sushi soy sauce).

It was a pretty good recipe and meal but definitely does not rival that of my new favorite Thai restaurant (! But for newbie Thai cookers, it was a fun experience and a success!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pear Banana Bread -

Veganized this muffin recipe using my Ener-G egg replacer. Ate two muffins (practically) right out of the oven. They were cooked through and the center was moist. The "edges" of the muffins stuck to the muffin liners pretty badly...Maybe that problem will dissipate once the muffins have cooled completely, I hope. If not, I'll just eat muffin centers. Muffin top, haha.

The recipe yielded 12 muffins when using 1/4 c. scoop + 1 very tiny bread pan.

In the event that the website is removed:


1 banana (I used one and three quarters because the nonnies were small)
3 medium pears
1 + 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg (or veganized, the equivalent of 1 egg)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1.5 tsp. vanilla
1) Chop and blend fruit. I was able to use a regular, old-fashioned hand mixer and encountered few lumps since the fruit was chopped and so ripe.
2) Add all other ingredients, save 3/4 c. flour. Blend. Then add the remaining 3/4 c. flour.
3) Pour batter into greased pan or into lined muffin tin.
4) Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes. (The original recipe suggested 45-60 minutes at 350 - I was feeling rebellious. Let cool (if you had self-control) then Enjoy :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ten Minute Brownies - Student's Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond (p. 206)

I had made this recipe over the summer and made the most fudgy, dense, deliciously moist, undercooked brownies. This time, my end result was drier and more cake-like. Possible reasons: First time around I used vegan cane sugar from Whole Foods. Second time around I used regular sugar - perhaps there is some sort of functional difference between the two? Also, first time I omitted the nuts. Second time around I added a combination of chopped walnuts and chopped Craisins.

The recipe calls for a 6 x 9 bake pan, but I used what I had handy, which was an 8 x 8. Also, both times the recipe's recommended bake time was not nearly enough. In both instances, the edges cooked perfectly but the center of the pan did not. I am not sure what this is attributable to...? The beauty of vegan baking, however, is that it is 100 % safe to eat the egg-free batter, so raw, undercooked brownies are not a threat!

This time, the brownies were good, but definitely not anything like I remembered from the first time I made them. C'est la vie, I suppose!

1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. vegan chocolate chips
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c. suagr
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Lightly oil a 6 x 9 baking pan. A coworker of mine believes this might be a small loaf pan...
3) In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips in oil. Stir occasionally and set aside when fully melted.
4) To a large bowl, add applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. Blend well. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Whip (it good) and blend well. Add the flour, baking powder and nuts and mix, just enough to combine.
5) Spoon the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top springs when lightly touched. Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Pasta Fagioli

This is a recipe from a coworker that has become a staple. Eyeball all ingredients.

1) Saute onion and garlic in olive oil (I used half an onion and 1/2 a clove.) Add 1/2 can tomato paste. Add a bit of water. Again, just eyeball the measurements and do use as much as your gut tells you. Add kidney beans (rinsed and drained, of course). Cook through and then simmer.

2) In a separate pot, cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Combine all ingredients, adding red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste.

Lesson learned: Pasta increases when cooked. I measured out 2 c. of dried pasta thinking the end result would be 2 c. cooked pasta...NOT SO! In reality, I had well over 3 c. cooked pasta. So, next time, measure out less pasta from the get-go.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pad Thai - The Vegan Table... (p.26)

After two disappointing experiences (one mildly disappointing, the other moderately) with Thai food at local restaurants downtown, I decided I would try my hand with Thai food in my very own kitchen - The results were pretty good for a first attempt at cooking Thai cuisine! MD and myself were pleased with the end result.

The rice noodles were found in the "international section" of a regular supermarket.

TRUE STORY: Bean Sprouts are a hot commodity. Yesterday I visited 3 grocery stores in search of the all-too-elusive bean sprout. Failing on my quest, I called Whole Foods to check their bean sprout inventory...CHECK! As of 10 pm last night, bean sprouts were in stock. However, our sprouts were sold out as of 7 pm tonight! Who knew that there was such a demand for sprouts?! So in lieu of sprouts, we used both broccoli and snow peas. (Or were they snap peas - what's the difference anyway? Whatevers...)

THE RECIPE (Courtesy of Above-Referenced Book)
8 oz. rice noodles
sesame or canola oil, for sauteing tofu (we used canola)
1 package of extra-firm (we like it firm) tofu, pressed and cubed
salt n peppa, to taste.
1/4 c. peanut butter (we used crunchy)
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. tamari soy sauce
1/3 c. lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped broccoli or snow peas, steamed or stir-fried
1 bunch of scallions, chopped (including green parts)
1 c. bean sprouts
Optional: For garnish: sliced limes or lemons and chopped cilantro (MM would definitely NOT approve)

1) Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and immediately return to pot and cover with lid.
2) Heat oil in pan and saute tofu until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3) In a bowl (where else?) mix PB, sugar, tamari, lime juice and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
4) In a separate large saute pan, heat oil and/or a little water and add garlic and broccoli. Stir-fry for 5-10 minutes, until broccoli turns bright green. Add scallions then saute for a few more minutes.
5) To that pan, add cooked noodles, tofu, PB mixture, and bean sprouts. Combine well, and cook until all ingredients are heated through. Optionally garnish, then serve immediately!

Wok's Up, Bitches?

NEXT TIME: MD suggested we marinate the tofu in the peanut sauce before sauteing to give the tofu cubes more flavor - while the dish was flavorful, I whole-heartedly agree that the tofu itself was mildly flavored.

I would want more peanutty goodness in the dish. Maybe add chopped peanuts or use a more potent PB next time!

Yay for international cooking with MD.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Biggie Biggie Biggie Can't You See, Sometimes Your Words Just VEGANIZE ME

French Onion Pie - The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (p. 128)

FOUND THE RECIPE! Again, I halved all ingredients.

1 uncooked pie shell, thawed
1/2 TBL. non-dairy butter, oil, or water for sauteing
2.5 large yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. soy milk
7.5 oz. extra-firm tofu (Which is approximately a little more than 1/2 a block)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2.5 TBL. unbleached flour
1 TBL. nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Bake pie crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven, then set aside.
3) In a large saute pan, cook onions and garlic in non-dairy butter until onions become translucent. Add sugar and salt to taste. Cook for 15-25 minutes or until onions become carmelized.
4) In a blender or large food processor, combine milk, tofu, salt, pepper, nutmeg, flour, and nutritional yeast until mixture is smooth. (Smooooth operator.) In a large bowl, add contents of blender to sauted onions. Mix.
5) Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling sets. Serve immediately.

Onion Tart...Recipe to Follow Once I Figure Out Where I Found It - Whoops!

This was a dish I made awhile ago. CH and I ate about half of it before I took a picture of it, whoopsie. CH is not into vegan eating and enjoyed it nonetheless! We enjoyed it with a glass of KungFu Girl white.

Some thoughts: Bake time--> Increase it.

Used a recipe for vegan pie crust, which is ridiculously delicious and from the PETA Celebrity Cookbook (p.117):

2 c. flour
1.5 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. + 2TBS marg
2 TBS veggie oil
3 TBL cold water

1) Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
2) Cut marg. into small pieces and mix into the flour. Mixture is crumbly.
3) Thoroughly mix oil and water in a small bowl and combine with the flour/marg. mixture. Knead until dough barely holds together. Don't overwork the dough. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

Note: I have made this dough in the past according to recipe and found it on the greasy side, so I made the executive decision to reduce the marg. to 1/2 c. (Eliminating the additional 2TBS of marg.) As a result, the dough was a little too crumbly...Therefore, next time I'll try 1/2 c. + 1 TBS. marg in the recipe.