Vegan Singapore noodles with seitanic chicken

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I have always loved Singapore noodles but it just never occurred to me to try making them at home. I wish I had done this so much sooner because they’re easy to make with some pretty basic ingredients (once you get your head wrapped around the idea you can to make your own chicken in your own kitchen with nary a drop of blood spilled).

Most Singapore noodle recipes include shrimp, chicken and/or barbeque pork. I created my own seitan meat (a/k/a the vital wheat beast) for this dish that combines the savoury flavoury best of all these creatures without any of the pain or death. Yeah!

Let’s get going. The wheat beast takes an hour to make. Check out my next recipe for how to make the seitanic chicken. The rest comes together in about 20 minutes. Easy peasy.

Ingredients

Ingredients.jpg

227g (8 ounces) of rice vermicelli (it usually comes in 454g packages so just use half a package)

1 red pepper julienned

1 small onion cut in half and then in thin slices

2 carrots julienned

1 rib celery cut into thin slices

1 cup of frozen or fresh peas (thaw the peas if you use frozen)

Optional but nice – 1 cup of shredded savoy cabbage or napa cabbage

1 batch of Seitanic chicken a/k/a the vital wheat beast sliced then cut into small strips

1-3 chili peppers sliced very thin (or leave out or use more but the 3 I used made for a very hot dish)

1 Tbsp cooking sherry

2 Tbsp curry powder

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp cinnamon

2 -3 Tbsp soy sauce (depending on how salty you like your food)

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp peanut or coconut oil

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Directions

Cook the rice vermicelli according to package directions. They will take about 1 minute in boiling water. Drain and set aside. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut or tear into shorter pieces so they’re easier to stir fry and eat.

Heat the peanut or coconut oil in large skillet or wok. Add the onion, red pepper, chilis, carrot and celery and stir for one minute. Add the peas, cabbage if using, the seitan, the curry powder, sesame oil, sherry and soy sauce and combine and heat through. Turn off the heat and add the noodles. Stir and toss until the noodles are completely coated in the sauce and are a golden colour. I found it was easiest to toss the noodles using tongs.

Serve up and enjoy!

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Pad Thai – because I said it is

PadThai2.jpg I’ve been hesitant to post this recipe because Pad Thai is one of those dishes that people are a) very loyal to and b) very scornful about its authenticity. “Ketchup in Pad Thai is just so wrong,” I’ve heard people sneer.

Well hey… guess what. Sometimes I want a tangy, saucy, tomato-y, rice-noodle dish and simply don’t have a Thai street-food vendor handy. Anything else is indeed essentially unauthentic, and yet slurpy delicious anyway.

I made this dish with what I had on hand and was simply happily riffing in my kitchen. The next version I make will include some of the optional ingredients I list below.

So let’s make Audie’s vegan version of Pad Thai.

Ingredients

222 g rice noodles (about 8 ounces)

1 Tbsp coconut or peanut oil

1 small eggplant diced

1 red pepper cored and diced

1 small can bamboo shoots drained

12 oz firm tofu crumbled into fingertip-sized chunks

Other optional vegetables you could add: baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower

Sauce ingredients

1 cup Jufran hot banana sauce (or ketchup) divided in half

I Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses or tamarind sauce

Serve garnished with bean sprouts, diced peanuts, hot sauce, lime wedges and basil leaves

Directions

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

In a large pot or wok, heat the coconut or peanut oil. Add the crumbled tofu and heat and stir as if you were making scrambled eggs. Add ½ cup of the hot banana sauce (or ketchup) and stir to coat the tofu. Add whatever vegetables you’re using and stir fry until the vegetables are just heated through and just slightly softened (you want to keep that vegetable crunch!). Add the remaining sauce ingredients and toss everything to combine. Add the cooked rice noodles and toss everything again so the noodles are coated.

That’s it! Serve up with lime wedges, diced peanuts, basil and hot sauce.

 

Linguini with lentils and vegetables in a lemon-garlic dressing (the nut-free version)

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I promised you a nut-free version of the creamy lemon-garlic dressing for pasta in my last post.

If green had a flavour, this would be it. Because you add the vegetables raw, this pasta dish is crunchy, flavourful and satisfying. It’s equally delicious hot or cold though, since I usually make it in the summer when all the garden veggies are at their best, I tend to eat this dish cold.

Try some other veggies too: zucchini, kale or spinach, red or yellow peppers.

I don’t have nut allergies so you’ll see in the photo that I have added toasted walnuts to my bowl. You can do the same by adding nuts at the time you’re serving the pasta. That way everyone can enjoy the dish the way that suits them best.

Ingredients

9 ounces uncooked linguini

1 big head broccoli – cut into bite size pieces

2 cups snow peas – cleaned and with stems cut off. ½ cup beluga lentils (uncooked)

Dressing

Juice from one lemon (about a scant ¼ cup)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili paste (like sambal oelek) – optional

3 cloves garlic minced

3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

Cook the linguine according to package directions and place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.

Cook the lentils by adding 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Let the lentils cool. You can even make them the day before and leave them in the fridge.

Add the broccoli, snow peas and lentils to the pasta. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid or a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies and toss to combine. Chow down!

Linguini with lentils and fresh vegetables in a creamy lemon-garlic sauce

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Ahhhh… I’ve been on a bit of vacation and it was so nice to get back into the kitchen and creating. This recipe for linguini with a creamy lemon-garlic sauce is fast, easy, fresh and tangy. Use whatever blend of veggies you like. I used what arrived in my weekly organic farm box, but broccoli, zucchini, chard, corn kernels, even water chestnuts, would all make excellent additions or substitutions.

Next post, I’ll include a variation of this recipe that leaves out the almond butter. It’s ideal for people who have nut allergies but still want the zing of lemon-garlic dressing.

Ingredients

10 oz uncooked linguini

½ cup uncooked black (a/k/a beluga) lentils

1 red pepper diced

2 cups snow peas cleaned and cut in half

½ cup slivered almonds toasted (optional)

For the sauce

Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)

2 Tbsp almond butter

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 Tbsp olive oil or other light-tasting oil

1 Tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

1 tsp hot chili paste (I use sambal oelek)

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Place the lentils in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed. When cooked, add to the bowl with the pasta. Add the snow peas and red pepper and any other vegetables you’re using.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small glass or bowl and mix well. Pour over the pasta, lentils and vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds if using.

Serve up and enjoy. This dish makes 3-4 large servings and is equally delicious hot, cold or at room temperatures. Do store it in the fridge though!

Mushroom broccoli quiche with a brown rice crust

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This quiche is a tasty, low-calorie way to get the perfect balance of complex carbs, veggies and protein. It’s also extremely low fat yet filling. I love it with Franks hot sauce for breakfast.

If you’ve got leftover rice, here’s a great way to use it up. You’ll need 2 cups of cooked rice.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 2 cups cooked rice)

12 oz package medium-firm or firm, silken tofu

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca powder (I only had tapioca powder so that’s what I used)

1 Tbsp tahini

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp A-1 sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste (I used about ¼ tsp)

1 bunch asparagus cut into 1” pieces or about 2 ½ cups broccoli florets (whichever is in season)

¼ cup shallots minced

1 clove garlic minced

1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper diced

Olive oil or cooking spray

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Directions

Cook the brown rice in 2 cups of boiling water. The rice will take about 30 minutes to cook. You can cook the rice ahead of time. Allow it to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9-inch, round baking dish with the olive oil or other cooking spray.

Put the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, tapioca powder or cornstarch, tahini, A1 sauce, onion powder, turmeric, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. You should have a thick, smooth pancake batter-like mix.

Mix about ¼ cup of this batter with the rice, then pat the rice into the greased round dish to form a crust. Bake the rice crust for 8-10 minutes and remove from the oven. Leave the oven on at 350F.

Sprinkle the shallots, broccoli or asparagus, red pepper and mushrooms over the rice crust. Pour the remaining tofu batter over top evenly and smooth out.

Bake for 60 minutes. Allow the quiche to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!

My recipe is an alteration of Susan Voisin’s original from her blog the Fat Free Vegan.

 

White bean pot pies – savoury, creamy, comfort

Whitebeanpotpie

I have always loved pot pies but haven’t eaten one in years once I learned of all the nasty things that go into the crust and filling. But on this chilled winter weekend, I just had to have a pot pie.

In case you’re new to this blog, there a few things you need to know about me. I eat vegan food. I can’t roll things (nothing – not a rug, not a burrito) and I’m lazy. Well, I think of it as time and energy efficient.

So if I can make these pot pies, any one can! They are easy and no-fail and most of all comfort food at its finest. They’re also made with ingredients you likely already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry.

You can mix up the vegetables you use in these pot pies. I’ve included a very traditional blend, but I think sweet potatoes, parsnips, fennel or even cabbage could be interesting. You could even use a bag of mixed frozen vegetables.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups white beans (navy or great northern beans). That’s one 15 ounce can drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 carrot sliced (I think a small sweet potato peeled and cubed would make a great substitution)

1 rib celery finely sliced

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/3 cup frozen green peas

¼ cup flour (you will need a little extra too for rolling out your dough)

3 cups vegetable broth

1/3 cup white wine (optional)

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried mustard

1 tsp salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp A-1 Sauce (a/k/a brown sauce) or vegan Worcestershire sauce

Pie crust – see note

Directions

Note: I used plain, store brand, no-name, pre-made, frozen pie crusts – enough for 2 bottom crusts. I let the shells thaw for about 15 minutes and then manually wadded them into a dough ball. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, I rolled the dough out onto a floured surface until I had a ¼ inch thick square. I measured out the pie crust lids by using the bowls I baked the pot pies in as a form of cookie cutter. I inverted the bowls onto the dough and cut out the circle size I needed to make the pie crust lid.

Here’s an excellent recipe and instructions on making pie crust, if you’re inclined to bake right from scratch. It really isn’t hard at all and only takes a few extra minutes!

I used 4 ceramic bowls, but you could also use ramekins or make one big pie or mix it up however you feel.

To make the filling

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Pour the olive oil into a medium sized Dutch oven or sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until the onions are getting translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for another minute or two.

Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are all covered and the flour cooks slightly – about 1 minute. Add the wine, if using, and the broth and all the seasonings. Stir well to make sure you have a smooth broth and bring to a boil. Once the filling boils, reduce the heat and let the broth simmer for about 10 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf.

Line a large cookie sheet with foil and place your baking dishes on the foil lined cookie sheet. You don’t have to do this, but it makes it MUCH easier to put your small pot pies in the oven and take them out again. The foil means you don’t have to clean the cookie sheet.

Fill each bowl equally with the pot pie filling. Top with a piece of pie crust cut to size. If your pie crust goes right to the edges of the dish, cut a slit in the crust to let steam escape.

Bake for 35 -40 minutes.

These pies will keep for 3 days in the fridge. You can reheat them in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes OR microwave.

You can freeze these pies once cooked. To reheat them, let them defrost in the fridge first.

Easy 3-cheesey and veggie lasagna

lasagna

Can you believe this is the first lasagna I ever made? And I had the audacity to do it without a recipe. I think you can’t help but get crazy-good results when pasta, cheese and spaghetti sauce are involved.

Remember that I am a lazy cook so even though I made two of the cheeses in this recipe (the third is Daiya mozzeralla-style shreds), the whole recipe is easy and fail proof. I don’t like to waste time or food or money.

I made the nut-based mozzarella and the tofu-based ricotta the night before just to make Sunday morning assembly easier.

Tofu ricotta cheese

Ingredients

12 oz block firm tofu

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried basil

1-2 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon salt

A few grinds of pepper

1 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/3 of a lemon)

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ cup raw cashews soaked for a few hours and drained (optional but lovely)

Directions

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are all incorporated and look like stiff paste. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender or just dig in with a fork and get mashing and blending. I’m lazy… I used the blender because it’s easier to clean!

 Mozzerella cheese

Ingredients

¼ cup raw cashews soaked for about 4 hours or longer and drained

1 cup of hot water

2 ½ Tbsp tapioca flour

I Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice or cider vinegar

Directions

Put everything into a blender and blend until creamy.

Pour into a small saucepan on medium heat. Heat and stir. The mixture will start to curdle (the way scrambled eggs do) and then become thick and look like thick melted cheese. The process takes about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool and then use in lasagnas, on pizzas or broiled on French onion soup. This mozzarella will store in the fridge for a few days. Some water may separate out of it, if you store it. Just drain that water off.

 The rest of the lasagna

Ingredients

12 oven-ready lasagna noodles – the kind that you don’t need to boil first

2-3 cups of fresh spinach washed and chopped

1 small zucchini cut into ½ moon slices

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

2 ½ cups spaghetti sauce (honestly, I used canned)

1 cup shredded Daiya mozzarella cheese (or other shredded vegan cheese)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Okay – do not be daunted by these instructions. All you are doing is creating layers of noodles, ricotta/mozzarella, veggies and sauce. Just do that and it’s all good. My instructions are written to ensure you have enough of everything to get you to the top saucy layer!

Spread about ¼ cup spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a large ovenproof baking dish (my Pyrex dish is 16”x8”x2”).

Place a layer of 4 noodles – overlapping if necessary. Top with ½ of the tofu ricotta. I find the ricotta is thick so I dolloped it across the noodles as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the shredded spinach and sliced mushrooms on top. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining spaghetti sauce over top – again, it doesn’t have to cover the whole thing evenly. Add another layer of 4 noodles. Top with the remaining ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle the sliced zucchini on top. Add 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese in dollops. Spoon half of the remaining spaghetti sauce on top. Add the final layer of 4 lasagna noodles. Top with the remained spaghetti sauce as evenly as possible. Dollop the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the lasagna out of the oven. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Daiya mozzarella cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

Let the lasagna rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!