Red Miso Braised Baby Bok Choy

miso-braised-baby-bok-choy

This vegetable side dish was inspired by a walk through my local farmer’s market a while back. As new fresh veggies come in to the market, I get more and more excited to bring new stuff home.

I also  recently went on a shopping frenzy at my local Korean grocery store. I managed to pick up my favorite kind of miso, red miso. Red miso is a rich fermented soy bean paste that lends itself to heartier foods. It’s perfect for a braise and bok choy works well with it.

This bok choy comes together in just a few simple steps. We served this with some grilled salmon. I hope you enjoy!

Red Miso Braised Baby Bok Choy
 
Author:
Recipe type: side dish, vegetable
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil (you could also use peanut oil or canola oil)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 5-7 medium heads of baby boy choy, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. red miso
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add in the shallot, garlic and ginger. Cook a few minutes to soften.
  3. Add the cut bok choy to the pan and sear on both sides - about two minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the miso with the vegetable broth and the tamari.
  5. Pour miso mixture over the bok choy. Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes to cook the boy choy a little.
  6. Add red pepper flakes to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and serve.
  8. Enjoy!

miso-braised-baby-bok-choy

Tofu, Cauliflower & Greens with Soba Noodles and Miso Tahini Sauce

Soba Noodles in Miso Tahini Sauce

I’ve had a jar of tahini sitting in my pantry for too long. I really should use it more often. My intention when I bought it was to use it in salad dressings and similar sauces, but I just haven’t reached for it until now. I actually never intended to use it in this dish, but it just happened, and I’m glad it did.

I got a couple of bunches of broccoli rabe greens in my CSA and I wanted to include it in dinner. I also had a head of cauliflower begging to be used. Both of these veggies tend to get used as side dishes. I wanted to include both in my main course. So I came up with this soba noodle dish. I love cooking with soba noodles. I buy a gluten free version and they cook up so fast and taste excellent.

 

Tofu, Cauliflower & Greens with Soba Noodles and Miso Tahini Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: vegan, dinner, gluten free
Ingredients
  • Soba Noodles
  • 1 pound of extra-firm tofu, cubed and drained
  • 1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and trimmed
  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe greens (could also use spinach or swiss chard), washed and chopped
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Miso Tahini Sauce
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp. white miso
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Boil some salted water in a pot and cook the soba according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400.
  3. Mix the tamari and the sesame oil. Mix in to the cubed tofu. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
  4. Heat up the coconut oil in a large pan. Add in the sesame oil.
  5. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger and shallots for a few minutes to soften.
  6. Break up the cauliflower and add to the pan. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Let the cauliflower brown a bit.
  7. One the cauliflower is softer, but still has some bite to it, turn the heat down lower add in the chopped greens.
  8. Add in the red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper.
  9. In a separate bowl, whisk all of the sauce ingredients together.
  10. To serve, layer the soba noodles then the cauliflower mixture. Then pour the sauce over both. You can garnish with scallions, roasted sesame seeds and additional red pepper flakes if you like.
  11. Enjoy!

Soba Noodles in Miso Tahini Sauce

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing

vegandilldressing

With my bounty of amazing salad greens from my CSA, I’ve been making salads most nights for the next day’s lunch. The other night, I had run out of vinaigrette, and was trying to decide what kind of dressing to make next.

I had just received a a huge amount of dill in that week’s veggie share. I was still wondering what I should do with it. It then occurred to me to use a small amount of it in to a salad dressing. I remember having a great creamy dill dressing. I wanted to recreate it in some way, but I didn’t want it to be the same gloopy dressing. I just wanted some of that flavor.

I’ve noticed that many creamy salad dressings tend to include either a sour cream or buttermilk on the dairy side. On the non-dairy side, I am always seeing mayonaisse in dressings. I didn’t want either of those things.

I wanted something vegan.

I thought about the cashew sauce I made for pasta this winter. The cashew cream brought so much creaminess to the dish. I wondered if I could do something similar with a salad dressing.

I quickly grabbed some cashews out of the freezer and began soaking. I let them soak for about an hour and prepped the other ingredients.

After about an hour, I drained the cashews and placed in my Cuisinart Food Processor along with some shallots, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and water.  With the machine running, I then slowly added some olive oil to the mix.  This dressing would also work well in a high-powered blender.

I transferred the dressing to a jar. Of course I tried a bit before placing in the fridge to chill for the next day. Delicious! I am definitely going to use cashews more often to add creaminess to dressings!

 

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cashews
  • water for soaking
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water to cover for at least an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  4. Process the dressing. Slowly add in the olive oil with the processor or blender going.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a bottle.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy!

vegandilldressing

Asparagus and Leek Fried Rice

We recently spent the day in and around Bucks County, PA. This area that stretches from the New Jersey border, near the Delaware River, is simply beautiful. Filled with beautiful farmland, old homes, and adorable little shops and wineries – there is just so much to see. As we were driving to our destination, we passed by a farm that advertised some fresh asparagus. I love asparagus! I got super excited, but we had somewhere to be. I made note of the sign and hoped that we’d be able to buy some of the good green stuff on our way home.

We stopped by the farm on our way back. At first I was disappointed to see that the place appeared “closed.” On closer look though, I noticed a small little shack with open doors that appeared to have farm goods inside. I got out of the car to inspect. They had a small selection of asparagus, herbs, greens and fresh honey available. There was no shopkeeper, but all items were priced and there was a locked box to deposit your money in. Love it! I fished out a few dollars and bought some asparagus! Love this kind of shopping. Further down the road, we stopped at another farm for fresh brown eggs. It was a lovely day!

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I was so excited to use this fresh and local asparagus. Earlier that morning, I had picked up some lovely fresh leeks. I love the way leek pairs well with asparagus. I was thinking about just sauteing the two as a side dish, but then it occurred to me to use the vegetables in my main dish.

Asparagus and Leek Fried Rice
 
Asparagus and Leek Fried Rice
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. rice bran oil or canola oil (or any other high heat friendly oil)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. crushed fresh ginger
  • 8 oz. chicken-style seitan (or protein of your choice)
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 lb. asparagus, cut to 1.5 inch pieces
  • 4 cups cooked and cooled rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Start by cleaning your leeks. Slice them in thin rounds and soak in cold water. The sand and grit will soak to the bottom. Blot dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a large wok or fry pan, heat up the oil.
  3. Add in the garlic, ginger and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes to soften a bit.
  4. Add in the seitan chicken or any protein for that matter. Cook for two more minutes.
  5. Add in the cleaned and trimmed leeks and asparagus. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the already cook rice. Mix to incorporate well.
  7. Add in the rest of the seasonings. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring as you go. Taste and add additional seasoning as necessary. I love adding some chili pepper flakes and a squirt of sriracha when I eat it,
  8. This dish is very versatile. Feel free to add other vegetables or change up your protein.

 

 

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
veganmofo

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I was browsing through the grocery store the other day, and I came across an end cap that held rows and rows of Manwich. I haven’t had that stuff in years, if ever. A while back though, I made some homemade sloppy joes for the kids and they were a big hit, if a bit messy. I don’t know which part they liked more – the saucy hands or the taste of the saucy meat.

Anyhow, Sloppy Joes brings back some good food memories. Not eating meat anymore, I decided to turn it in to a vegetarian treat and use lentils as my base. It turned out really great!



Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 10 oz. package of mushrooms, chopped
1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper

Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Rolls for serving
Cole Slaw (optional) for serving in the Sloppy Joe’s

Directions:

Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.

Add in the chopped onions and cook until soft.

Add in the garlic, peppers, celery and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes.

Add in the lentils and the broth and cook a minute.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Spoon mixture over some slightly hollowed out kaiser rolls. I like topping mine with a bit of coleslaw for a tangy crunch!

Yum! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ 10 oz. package of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Rolls for serving
  • Cole Slaw (optional) for serving in the Sloppy Joe's
Instructions
  1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.
  2. Add in the chopped onions and cook until soft.
  3. Add in the garlic, peppers, celery and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes.
  4. Add in the lentils and the broth and cook a minute.
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon mixture over some slightly hollowed out kaiser rolls. I like topping mine with a bit of coleslaw for a tangy crunch!
  7. Enjoy!

 

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Vegan Food Swap – August 2012 Reveal

I was excited to participate in a second month of the vegan food swap hosted by Cat at The Verdant Life.
I had so much fun buying and receiving goodies, I had to do it again.

This month, I was selected to receive vegan treats from Thang. Thang doesn’t have a blog, but knew exactly what to get for me.

Check out these goodies!

Rice cracker heaven! Curry Powder! So much good stuff in this package! I also love cooking with coconut oil so I was so happy to see a jar! Yum!

Thanks so much, Thang!

If you’d like to participate in the September swap, go here!

Meatless Monday: Cumin and Cardamom Spiced Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons

My daughter’s recent vegetarianism has been a welcome treat for me. Aside from the whole 2 to 1 mentality of the vegetarian to meat-eater split, food prep has been easier in other ways. My picky 10-yr-old is suddenly willing to try more foods. After explaining to her that being a vegetarian didn’t meat that she could eat endless bowls of mac & cheese, she finally began to understand. We discussed the virtues of eating healthy proteins and good veggies with our meals; she has really dived in to a better, rounded diet.

Just a few short weeks in to what my husband hopes is a passing phase, my daughter is willing to eat an increased variety of vegetables as well as beans and fake meats for her protein. This is a kid who in the past would have the same yogurt every single day for lunch. This is a success. 
I asked her to help with our meal planning. She suggested soup for dinner. Soup. Soup, really??! On such a hot day? My husband thought it would be a good idea. I am always impressed by people who can eat and cook hot things throughout the summer. Regardless, I made them happy. I set out to make some soup for dinner as well as some croutons to go along with. 

Cumin and Cardamom Spiced Cauliflower Soup
Ingredients:

7-10 cardamom pods – crack them a little
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
3 tsp. cumin powder
1 head cauliflower, broken up
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
salt
pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Directions:
Heat up your soup pot
Add the cardamom pods and the cumin seeds to the pot. Toast them for a minute or two. They will start to get fragrant.
Add the oil to the pot.
Add in the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 3 minutes to let them soften. 
Add in the cumin and the chopped cauliflower. Stir up and let the cauliflower toast a bit in the oil. 
Add in the carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes.
Cover with the vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cover with a lid. 
Cook for about an hour.
After an hour, the mixture should be soft. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
Serve and enjoy!

Cardamom and Cumin Spiced Cauliflower Soup
Homemade Croutons
Ingredients:
2-3 cups of cubed crusty bread (I used some focaccia)
olive oil
salt (to taste)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.
Lay out the cubed bread on a baking sheet.
Toss with olive oil and some sea salt.
Toast in oven for about 7-8 minutes. 
croutons 002


Cool and store in airtight container.

Seitan Ribs

I like fake meat products. I actually prefer the fake meat to the real stuff. Aside from using crumbled bits of the products in recipes, I haven’t played around with them much. I definitely had never tried to make my own.

I enjoy seitan when it’s made right. I used to buy the prepacked seitan, but the store stopped carrying the kind I liked. The only kind available was not the right texture and didn’t absorb flavor the way I wanted it to. So I went on a seitan hiatus, unless I was in a restaurant that served it.

I have been wandering around on all sorts of vegan/vegetarian blogs recently. I noticed that many people out there are making their own seitan. It looked so easy. Some vital wheat gluten, water, and flavor, and you are good to go! There was no reason I should be paying five dollars for a small container of the stuff, when it costs maybe $2 to make a good sized batch. A few blogs mentioned making seitan ribs. I decided to start there.

Before I share the recipe, I will let you know that I did enjoy it, though the rest of the family was not blown away. I will not give up though. I do intend to play around with the seitan and am determined to get my family to eat it and like it.

Ingredients:
1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tahini or other nut butter
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon soy sauce
about 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish with canola oil. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the water with the nut butter, Liquid Smoke, and soy sauce and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well and then knead lightly in the bowl for a couple of minutes.Put the dough into the baking dish and flatten it so that it evenly fills the pan. Take a sharp knife and cut it into 8 strips; then turn the pan and cut those strips in half to form 16 pieces:


Put it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. While it’s cooking prepare your grill.Remove it from the oven and carefully re-cut each strip, going over each cut to make sure that the ribz will pull apart easily later. Generously brush the top with barbecue sauce. Take it to the grill and invert the whole baking dish onto the grill (or use a large spatula to lift the seitan out, placing it sauce-side down on the grill). Brush the top of the seitan with more sauce:

Watch it closely to make sure that it doesn’t burn. When it’s sufficiently brown on one side, turn over and cook the other side, adding more sauce, if necessary. When done, remove to a platter and cut or pull apart the individual ribs to serve.

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