Seitan and Kimchi Quesadillas

I may be a little obsessed with kimchi these days. Well, kimchi and sriracha. I seem to be adding them to everything. Sometimes both at the same time. Just loving the flavors that they create when added to a dish.

Another thing I am loving these days is this Korean/Mexican food craze that seems to be happening at various restaurants and food trucks. Everything on the menu looks amazing.

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The quesadillas I just made were inspired by some of those menus that keep popping up.




Seitan and Kimchi Quesadilla (serves 3-4 as an entree)

Ingredients:

2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 onion, onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. ginger, chopped
8 oz. seitan, sliced
1 cup vegan kimchi
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sriracha
2 tsp. hoisin sauce
1.5 cups shredded cheese – I recommend Daiya Cheddar or substitute with a Dairy Mexican blend
6 Tortillas (2 per quesadilla)
Additional 2-3 tsp. canola oil for frying the quesadilla

Directions:

Heat up the canola and sesame oil in a large pan.

Saute the chopped onions, garlic and ginger for about 3-4 minutes.

Add in the sliced seitan and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add in the kimchi and cook another two minutes.

Add in the soy sauce, sriracha and hoisin sauce and stir around so that everything is incorporated.

After a minute or two, remove from heat and set mixture aside.

Heat up the additional 2-3 teaspoons of oil in a fry pan.

Place your tortilla in the pan and layer some of the Daiya or shredded cheese then kimchi/seitan mixture then more cheese. Top with another tortilla and press down.

Let the bottom brown a bit and then flip over and brown on the other side. Each side takes just 2-3 minutes. When done, transfer to cutting board and slice in to wedges.

If you have some available, I highly recommend serving these quesadilla wedges along side some gochujang (Korean chili paste) as a dip.

Enjoy!

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Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

One of my favorite meals is breakfast, but I rarely give it the honor it deserves. I find it hard to devote time for it. The perfect breakfast for me would be later in the morning,  but leisurely. It would probably be a brunch. I don’t have the patience to go beyond the coffee too early in the morning. I love eggs though, and I love other typical breakfast food.

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I had an abundance of spinach in my house. So, I decided to turn some of it in to breakfast food. I came up with this breakfast casserole. I am so happy with the way it turned out. I had to share it with you.


Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Ingredients:

oil spray
1 bag pre-cooked hash browns (I like to use Alexia or Simply Potatoes)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 oz. mushrooms, sliced (cremini, white button combo)
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1.5 cups shredded swiss or gruyere cheese, or a combo of both
2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
8  extra-large eggs
4 tbsp. half & half
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with the oil spray.

Empty the bag of the hashbrown potatoes in to the pan.

Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until you see the edges begin to brown.

When done, remove from oven.

Layer the onions and garlic, then the mushrooms and then the spinach over the potatoes.

Layer the shredded cheese over the veggie mixture.

Whisk together the eggs with the half & half and the rest of the spices. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake in the oven at 375 for around 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Remove from oven and serve.

Enjoy!

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Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • oil spray
  • 1 bag pre-cooked hash browns (I like to use Alexia or Simply Potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 oz. mushrooms, sliced (cremini, white button combo)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups shredded swiss or gruyere cheese, or a combo of both
  • 2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 4 tbsp. half & half
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with the oil spray.
  3. Empty the bag of the hashbrown potatoes in to the pan. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until you see the edges begin to brown. When done, remove from oven.
  4. Layer the onions and garlic, then the mushrooms and then the spinach over the potatoes. Layer the shredded cheese over the veggie mixture.
  5. Whisk together the eggs with the half & half and the rest of the spices.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.
  7. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
  8. Bake in the oven at 375 for around 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set.
  9. Remove from oven and serve. Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Quiche with an Almond Crustlut

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Just the other day, I participated in this fantastic Hamentaschen contest. I spent the early evening hours rolling out dough and shaping hamentaschen – over and over and over. So you could understand that I will not be hanging out with any rolling pins for the next long while. It was a fun day though, and the Hamentaschen were fantastic. I went the untraditional route with a caramelized onion, mushroom, garlic, thyme and gruyere filling. It just so happens that I over prepared. I made about twice the filling than was necessary. Oops. After brainstorming a bit, I decided to make a quiche with some of the leftover filling. Easy enough. But there’s that pesky rolling pin involved with quiche. I don’t like buying prepared crusts. I decided to put together an easy almond crust. It’s gluten free and also kosher for Passover. Perfect timing. This came together very quickly and I will definitely be making this again for Pesach.

Gluten Free Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Quiche (Kosher for Passover)
Ingredients:

Filling:
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground pepper
5 cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded swiss or gruyere cheese
4 Eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper
Crust:
1.5 cups almond meal
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. water
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.

For the filling, heat up the butter and olive oil in a pan.  Add in the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and let the liquid from the mushrooms evaporate. Add in the spices and turn heat down to medium low. Cook for around 20 minutes and let everything caramelize.  Once done, set the pan aside.

Start preparing the crust. Mix all of the crust ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread the almond meal mixture in to a pie plate.

Crust Stuff

Bake the crust for 10-13 minutes.  Remove from the oven.

Beat the eggs and the milk with a whisk in a small bowl. Mix in the salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the cheese on the bottom of the crust.
Top with the onion mixture.  Pour the egg mixture over the onions.
Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

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Serve quiche with a nice and hearty salad or a warm bowl of soup. Enjoy!

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VeganMoFo: Mushroom and White Bean Tart

After making the recent batch of mushroom soup for the holidays, I was left with over a pound of assorted mushrooms in the fridge. I had to use them up. I love mushrooms and would never want to waste them.

I wanted the mushrooms to be a part of a main dish, so I came up with this recipe – using ingredients I had on hand.


Mushroom and White Bean Tart (serves 4)
Ingredients:

For the White Bean Puree
1 can small white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper

For the Mushroom Mixture
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced (baby bella, shitake, white button)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper

1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
1/4 cup Daiya Cheese (I used Cheddar)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Process the white bean puree ingredients in a Cuisinart or other food processor. Set to the side.

Heat up some olive oil in a large saute pan. Add in the sliced onion and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the chopped garlic, mushrooms and spices and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until soft.

Roll out your puff pastry dough. Lay on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

Prick the dough with a fork along the inside of the edges. Leave about 1/2 – inch of clearance. This will form your crust.

Spread the white bean puree on the inside area of the puff pastry. You don’t need to use all of it. I ended up using about 3/4 of the mixture and set aside the rest to use as a dip for later.

Layer the mushroom mixture over the bean mixture and sprinkle some Daiya Cheese on top.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and puffed up.

This tart is great when served with a salad.

Enjoy!

Mushroom and White Bean Tart
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VeganMoFo: Sweet Potato Burritos

I’m always looking for ways to tinker with our standard recipes. One easy meal in rotation at my house is a vegetarian burrito. They are very filling, easy to make and are easily adaptable.

A while back, at a restaurant, I had some fantastic sweet potato tacos. I loved the way that the sweet potato mingled with the other flavors. I wanted to do something similar with a burrito, and I had some sweet potatoes sitting on the counter that needed to be used up.

Sweet Potato Burritos
Ingredients: (made 6 burritos)

1 cup dry brown rice, cooked
2 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Daiya Cheese – Cheddar Flavor
Tofutti Sour Cream
6 tortillas

Directions:

Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork a few times and microwave for about 6 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be tender but not too soft.

Peel and cube the potatoes.

Heat up the vegetable oil in large saute pan.

Add in the sweet potatoes and let them brown a bit.

Add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add in the garlic and black beans and cook a few minutes.

Stir in the spices and the Worcestershire sauce and cook a few more minutes.

Now it’s time to assemble the burritos.

On each tortilla spread a bit of the vegan sour cream, then layer on some rice, next the sweet potato mixture and then finally the vegan cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a baking dish.

Warm in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350. Alternatively, you can place in ziplock bag and freeze and reheat in microwave or oven whenever you’re hungry. These burritos reheat very well.

If you’d like the burritos to have a bit more heat, feel free to play with the flavors. Add some chopped jalapenos or maybe more cayenne, or even a fresh salsa at the end!

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Burritos
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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Wet Burritos

I get so much of my food inspiration from social media these days. Everyone’s lunch or dinner gets posted to Facebook  twitter or Pinterest at any given moment. The photos are what get me motivated to cook and create new concoctions in my kitchen.

I have a growing list of friends from Michigan – either having grown up there or went to college there. At any given moment, a photo shows up in my Facebook feed of something that resembles an enchilada, but is really something so much more. It’s the Wet Burrito. It’s purely a Michigan concept. I can’t decide if it’s an upgraded or downgraded burrito. It’s not authentic anything, or perhaps it’s authentic Michigander food. Whatever it is, the spiced red gravy that tops the burrito is pure brilliance on a plate. And it’s easy to make.


Vegetarian Wet Burritos
Ingredients:
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small zucchinni, chopped
1/2 package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can of black beans, drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
Cheddar/Monterrey Jack Cheese Blend
4 large flour tortillas
Wet Burrito Sauce:
Ingredients:
1 can of Ro-Tel or chopped tomatoes with jalapenos
1/2 cup of plain tomato sauce
1.5 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (Use a fish-free version)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Heat up the oil in a large saute pan. Saute the onions for a couple of minutes. Stir in the spices and the chopped garlic.
Add in the zucchini and the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
Add in the black beans to one side of the pan and let them heat up. Mash up the beans a bit and stir in the vegetable broth.
Remove the pan from the flame and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, mix up all of the sauce ingredients. Heat on medium low for a few minutes. Puree with a stick blender.
Assemble the burritos.
Layer some rice then bean/veggie mixture then some cheese on top of a tortillas. Fold up in to a burrito. Set seam side down in a baking dish.
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Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Wet Burritos
Spoon the burrito sauce over the burritos.
Sprinkle over some cheese.
Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. If you have extra sauce, you can spoon more over the burrito as you serve.
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Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a free box of Tribes-a-Dozen Voila! Hallah! Enter here!

Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Galette

A friend of mine was headed out of town, so she graciously offered me her CSA for the week. Was so happy to see this lovely box of local, seasonal veggies. In the box were some beautiful greens, some tomatoes, fresh strawberries, eggs and some amazingly fresh asparagus. Just picked and grown less than 25 miles away from me! Love it!

I  really want to highlight each of these lovely fruits and veggies on their own. That’s how good they are are. I wanted the asparagus to have a starring role in tonight’s main dish. I thought about a shaved asparagus salad, but I knew that it wouldn’t be filling enough for the rest of the family. I also didn’t really want to cut up the asparagus too much. It looks too pretty to mess with.

Here is a lovely Asparagus and Swiss Cheese galette that worked for our family. When paired with a salad, it makes for a perfect light dinner.

Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Galette
Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
swiss cheese or gruyere
2 tsp.dried thyme or 1 tbsp. fresh
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 pound of asparagus, washed and trimmed (thin stalks are better)
1 shallot chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out your puff pastry dough. Lay on a parchment paper lined baking tray.

Prick the dough with a fork along the inside of the edges. Leave about 1/2 – inch of clearance. This will form your crust.

Spread a thin layer mustard inside the fork pricks. Lay garlic pieces over this.

Lay cheese over the mustard.

Sprinkle herbs over this.

Lay out the asparagus however you’d like.

Sprinkle chopped shallots over the asparagus.

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Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.

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Enjoy with a salad for a nice, light and easy dinner! Gah! I have a weakness for buttery puff pastry. Way too good!

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Quesadilla Pie

I had big plans for this dinner. Some roasted veggies, and some nice fish. When I got home though, the fish wasn’t defrosted at all. It was still in the freezer. And the veggies – well, the veggies just didn’t come out right. I quickly threw together a salad, and grabbed whatever I could find.

I always keep cans of beans and some soy meat product around the house for crazy nights. I also happened to have some tortillas lying around. I didn’t want the standard quesadilla or burrito though. I decided to play around a bit and make up some sort of quesadilla pie. Was happy when it came together quickly and tasted fantastic!

Quesadilla Pie (makes 2 pies)

Filling Ingredients:
1 package of soy meat crumbles (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1 large onionm chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
1/2 can of small white beans
3/4 cup corn
a few mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup salsa
2 tsp. olive oil
salt to taste

The rest:
3 cups Shredded Cheese (approx.)
6 Tortillas
Enchilada Sauce or Extra Salsa

In a large saute pan, heat up your oil.

Toss in the onions, garlic, and soy crumbles.  Saute for a few minutes.

Add in the spices.  You could also choose to saute some other veggies for the mixture. I chose to keep it simple. It was plenty filling as is.

Add in the rest of the filling ingredients. Saute a few more minutes. Maybe 5 minutes. Make sure that everything is mixed well. Taste the mixture.

In a 9-inch round pan, pour a tablespoon or two of the salsa or enchilada sauce. Lay down a tortilla. Layer some of the fake meat mixture over it. Not too thick a layer. Sprinkle cheese over. Lay another tortilla over. Then again, the meat mixture and more cheese. Now another tortilla. Add a tablespoon or two of the enchilada sauce or salsa. Top with some shredded cheese.  Repeat with the other pan.

Bake for around 25 minutes at 350 or until the cheese starts to bubble and brown.

Serve with some sour cream and a salad on the side.

Enjoy!

Homemade Paneer

We love Indian food in our house. Back in my college days, I lived right in the heart of “Curry Hill” in New York. Living along a corridor of fantastic kosher and Indian restaurants, I had the opportunity to discover my palate for Indian food. I don’t think I had ever had authentic Indian food until I moved to New York. Dining at local Indian places was far better than any of the other kosher options in the neighborhood. One of the first dishes I tried was mutter paneer. It’s a curry dish made up of peas and the special Indian cheese called paneer. From there, I samples a variety of dishes and have made a variety of Indian dishes in my home. Had never tried making paneer dishes at home. You can’t find paneer cheese with a kosher symbol. It never occurred to me that I could make it. Finally, one day, I came across a couple blogs that discussed paneer. All it contains is milk and lemon juice! Whoa! Who knew it could be that easy to make. I quickly picked up some cheesecloth and got to work.

Paneer
Ingredients:

1/2 gallon of whole milk = 8 cups
3-4 tbsp. lemon juice

Before you get to working on the stove, get your strainer and cheesecloth ready. Set the strainer in the sink and line it with some cheese cloth. You may need to double layer the cheesecloth, depending on how big the holes are.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat up the milk. Bring the milk to a boil, but don’t let it boil over.

When the milk starts to boil, turn off the heat.

Start by stirring in about 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Keep stirring and you should see the milk start to curdle. If it’s not doing it’s curdling job, add some more lemon juice. I needed a bit over 3 tablespoons total.

Keep stirring the curdles.  Pour the curdy cheese mixture in to the cheesecloth-lined strainer.

At this point, the mixture is a bit like a dryer cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. This is also a good point to add a little bit of salt. The cheese is pretty bland on it’s town.

Pull up the size of the cheese cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible, while forming the mound of cheese in to a disc shape.

Now it’s time to press the liquid out of the cheese. I like to press the liquid out similar to the way I press the water out of tofu.

Place the lined cheese on a rimmed plate and place a heavy plate on top of it. Weigh it down with a heavy can or two. Press the cheese for an hour – pouring off the liquid when needed.

When completely drained, you will have this lovely disc of cheese. Cut it up however you’d like and use it in a variety of meals. We had it in our palak paneer!

Enjoy!

Quinoa Veggie Burgers – Gluten Free

I recently moved my younger daughter over to a gluten free diet. For dinnertime, this means that for the most part, all of us are eating gluten free.  I definitely don’t mind, but it’s sometimes hard to convince the rest of the gang that gluten free could be good. I am also new to the gluten free thing for the most part, and having a hard time coming up with fun and tasty things that the whole family will enjoy. Emphasis on the easy part. 

When discussing gluten free stuff with a friend, she mentioned that there is a lot that can be done with quinoa. I had never really gone past pilafs and salads with the grain. It has also been a Pesach-only food for us. I have always loved quinoa, but the rest of the family haven’t been huge fans. I love that it’s a grain and a protein at the same time.

When I bought the quinoa the other day, I had no intention of turning it in to burgers. The idea came to me when I decided I wanted something french fry like and needed a main dish to go along with. I haven’t had a burger in a long time – veggie or otherwise. I have read about various quinoa and lentil loaves, and decided that this could probably work as a burger. I was right. Tonight’s burgers were a hit. They made everyone happy. Even the little one scarfed down two!

Quinoa Burgers
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 onion
2 carrots
1 small zuchinni
6 mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
Handful of shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup rice flour or corn flake crumbs
salt
pepper

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, chop up the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Switch in the shredding disk and shred the rest of the veggies. Put the veggie mixture in to a mixing bowl and press down on the mixture with your hands and drain the liquid.

Mix the quinoa in to the vegetables. Add the cheese and seasonings.

Mix in the egg and flour.

Form in to patties and fry them on the stove for a few minutes per side.

Move them to a 350 degree oven to finish baking.

Serve them on a bun with all the fixings or in a wrap or however you tend to eat your burgers.

Enjoy!

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