Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wonton Ravioli

I saw a recipe from Nasoya posted on Facebook for stuffed wonton ravioli, but Nasoya isn't vegan.  I found some vegan wontons at the +Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market so I threw some other items in my cart and home I went to make some tasty appetizers.

The filling is as follows:

Crumbled tofu
Sun dried tomato slices
Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

I set up a large cutting board on my dining room table and kept a bowl of water and some paper towels handy.  I also used a silicone basting brush to help seal the wontons and used a fork to crimp them shut. I added a small pinch of tofu to each wonton, then topped with the tomatoes, tapenade, and cheese.  

The corn starch on the sontons gets a bit messy, so wash your hands frequently.  I found that keeping the baking sheet with foil prepared with oil spray nearby helped cut down on starch spots on my tile.  

Once the wontons were all ready to put in the oven, I sprayed them with more oil and put them into a pre-heated oven to 350°.  I cooked them until they were crispy around the edges.  Some came out a little chewy, but they reheated well with some water sprinkled over them in the toaster oven or microwave.  They are very tasty dipped in marinara sauce.  

Stuffed Mushrooms

Preheat your oven to 425°. Coat a glass or ceramic baking dish in olive oil. Add 1 portobello cap per person. Top with your favorite protein and veggie combo. Bake until everything is soft and the liquid in the dish begins to evaporate. 

In this photo, my mushrooms are topped with pre-cooked zucchini, peppers, cabbage, carrots, garbanzo beans, garlic, herbs, S&P, and Daiya shreds. 

If heirloom tomatoes are tolerable, add a slice seasoned with garlic and italian herbs and some Daiya to make a low carb entree.  Grilled eggplant slices work well with mushrooms too. Mushrooms are versatile work well with other veggies. Experiment with some flavor profiles, different sauces and seasonings and see how it goes. :D

Fennel Pizza

To make the caramelized fennel:  buy one large fennel bulb per pizza.  Slice into 1cm rounds, I suggest using a mandoline, and cook on high/med high heat in a dry pan until softened.  When the fennel starts to wilt, season with salt and continue to cook until soft and brown, covered when needed.  When the fennel starts to stick, add a few drops of olive oil and continue to cook while stirring until the fennel is completely caramelized.  It will look like grilled onions when it's done.

Top your favorite pizza dough with Daiya Provolone slices, caramelized fennel, and sliced Field Roast maple breakfast sausage, then bake according to the directions.  To add flavor to the dough, season with fennel and salt, or anything else that will complement fennel.

You could use nutritional yeast instead of cheese slices, or maybe cashew cheese.  The sausage could also be any other seasoned gluten, or even baked apple chunks that are seasoned and sweetened with maple.

Israeli Couscous with Pesto

First, make pesto. To veganize this recipe, I increase the amount of pine nuts one tb at a time and used a few pinches of Daiya Mozzarella Shreds instead of Parm.  

Second, make your vegetable mixture.  Here you see grilled red bell peppers, mushrooms, and asparagus.  I also added canned artichoke hearts packed in water.  You could also use zucchini, eggplant, broccolini, or whichever veggies you like.  They do not need much seasoning because the pesto dominates the plate, so just a little S&P.

Finally, make your couscous.  The package gave instructions to cook it like rice, but this pasta is gooey and starchy, so I chose to cook it like pasta for use in salads.  Boil salted water with few drops of olive oil.  Add couscous and stir.  Bring back to a boil and cook until tender.  Rinse the pasta under running water and drain well.  Serve with a tb ot two of pesto per portion.

Surprisingly, this kept well in reusable containers in the refrigerator for almost a week. I think the bacteria is scared of all that garlic.  I prepared 1 cup of uncooked couscous to make 5 large portions.  

Ranch Dressing

1-2 C plain unsweetened almond milk
1 tb agave or honey (or cane sugar)
1-2 tb dried parsley
1-2 tb dried dill
1 tb mustard powder 
4 cloves of garlic, whole
Salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 C Mayo to thicken the dressing

Combine all ingredients except mayo in a soup pot and bring to a boil stirring constantly. If you see swirling foam rise to the surface quickly, turn your flame down to warm. It's about to boil over. After bringing to a boil, reduce heat to less than a summer to let the flavors infuse the milk. 

When the taste of the dressing is to your liking, adjust as needed to get there, remove from heat, and let cool. Add small amounts of mayo until the dressing reaches the consistency you want. Keep in a jar or bottle in the refrigerator. 

A note on the mayo:  you could also use Wayfarer Foods Sour Cream or Daiya Cream Cheese, softened and whipped. You could use a roux to thicken the sauce, but it may turn out starchy. You could also reduce the almond milk before adding the herbs and spices. 

Most ranch recipes use chives, but I don't eat onions, so I omitted them. If you'd like to add them to this recipe, use 1-2 tb dried chives or garlic chives. A good recipe for reference is this one from Califia Farms:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tahini Salad Dressing

2 tb to 1/4 C agave or honey
2 tb to 1/4 C olive oil
Up to 3 tb dried herbs 
A few drops to 1/4 tsp lemon oil
1 tb garlic (paste, roasted, chopped)
1/4 to 1/2 C tahini
1/4 to 1/2 C plain unsweetened almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the herbs, olive oil, lemon oil, garlic, and agave in the microwave until thin and easy to work with.  Whisk well and add tahini paste. Season with salt and pepper, then add almond milk. Whisk well and store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator. If you find that your dressing is too thick or too thin, you can add more tahini or almond milk to adjust the consistency.

Notes on tahini:  when you get your jar of tahini, use a spoon to mix the oil and paste back together again. Tahini is much like natural peanut butter and separates like the dickens. To keep it blended, store in the refrigerator after mixing. 

Notes on herbs:  you can use whichever herbs you like. I used tarragon, dill, and parsley in this recipe to keep the flavor light and neutral. You could also use italian herbs, herbes de Provence, or dried garlic chives. You could also add ginger and sesame oil to make a more asian inspired dressing.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chik'n Soup

1-2 C frozen peas
1-2 C frozen corn
1-2 C frozen cut green beans
1 bunch celery chopped
1-2 C shredded or diced carrots
1-2 boxes sliced mushrooms
1 bunch parsley chopped
1/2 C pasta stars or alphabets
1 package chicken style seitan (White Wave or Upton Naturals work well)
2 tb turmeric
Dried parsley
Dried tarragon
Dried thyme
Chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Sweat the mushrooms until soft, add a few tb of olive oil and add the celery and carrots. When the veggies begin to caramelize, add the seitan and herbs/garlic/spices. Stir and cook until the herbs start to release their aroma, then add the pasta and frozen veggies. When the veggies start to defrost, fill your soup pot with water (no more than two inches over the veggie mixture) and simmer covered until the pasta is tender. Season and serve with saltines or toasted bread. 

If you like your soup thick and hearty, you can add a roux to the broth. It does not keep for more than two days in the refrigerator (the pasta breaks down) but it freezes well enough to make a whole pot. The turmeric may stain your pit and dish mop, but soaking in sudsy water helps.