Asian Quinoa Salad

I was really in the mood for something with great Asian flavor, but being that I am going vegan and that I count calories, ordering takeout just wasn’t really an option. Additionally, I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands, so making some sort of Asian dish from scratch seemed out of the question as well. I came up with this quinoa-based Asian dish and it turned out great! Not only is it great tasting but it’s good for you and it takes very little prep/cooking time. Would go great with fried tofu or some Asian spiced tempeh.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked Quinoa

1 1/4 cup Water

1/2 cup Edamame, frozen or fresh will work

2 tbsp Soy Sauce or Bragg’s

2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

2) Add edamame, soy sauce, vinegar, and 5 Spice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

3) Salt and pepper to taste. Serve Warm.

Makes 4 servings at 200 calories per serving.


Artichoke and Caper Hummus

I had about 10 minutes of free time last night, which is really all it takes to make this delicious dip! I happened to pick up a jar of artichokes hearts the other day and I thought, “What better way to enjoy them than in some hummus?” The great thing about this particular recipe is that there was no need to add any olive oil, therefore the fat in this hummus is much lower than in other varieties.

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained, reserve liquid

2 tbsp Garlic, minced

3 oz Artichoke Hearts

1 tbsp Capers, with some of the packing liquid

1 tsp Cumin

Juice from One Lemon

1 tsp Salt

Olive Oil to thin (if necessary)

Directions:

1) Place all ingredients into a food processor, including the reserved bean liquid and blend until you reach desired smoothness. Slowly drizzle in Olive Oil if you find it to thick for your taste (but I really didn’t need it for this one).

That’s it, all done! Enjoy with veggies, crackers, breads, etc!

 


New Recipes Coming

I’ve been super busy lately, but I’ve also been in the kitchen quite a bit coming up with some great new vegan recipes. I made some very tasty millet-cashew burgers last night and I will post the recipe either later today or tomorrow. I’m also hoping to get some baking done this weekend so I will let you know how that turns out!


Curry Hummus

I’ve been on a bit of a curry kick lately and I couldn’t think of a better way to incorporate curry into my everyday dining than with hummus. This hummus turned out great, with just enough kick from the cayenne and a hint of spice from the ginger. I’ve enjoyed it with veggies, crackers, and breads – it seems to go with just about anything you have in the pantry! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients: Curry Hummus

1 15 oz can of Chickpeas, drained, reserve liquid

2 tbsp Minced Garlic

2 tsp Curry Powder

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1 tsp Minced Ginger

1 tsp Ground Cayenne

Pinch of Salt

Olive Oil

Directions:

1) Place all ingredients, except the Olive Oil, and the bean liquid in a food processor. Begin the blend the ingredients, being sure to shake the processor a bit to get the ingredients down into the blade.

2) Slowly begin adding Olive Oil to the food processor and continuing blending and adding Olive Oil until you reach your desired consistency (I used about 2 tbsp – add more for a smoother consistency, less for a chunkier one).

3) Refrigerate and enjoy!

Yields approximately 16 oz of hummus.


Pan-Fried Tofu

I had some tofu in the fridge that was about to expire and I wanted to do something quick and easy with it. This super-simple recipe is perfect as a protein on your plate with some veggies and a starch or it can be stored and used for sandwiches – along with numerous other recipes. Even though you don’t have to sprinkle on the nutritional yeast before frying, I think you’ll enjoy the crunch you get from it. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 package Extra Firm Tofu

2 tbsp Soy Sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acid

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Ground Cayenne

1 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp Paprika

Nutritional Yeast for added crunch

Oil for frying

Directions:

1) Combine all marinade ingredients into a large plastic storage bag with a zipper. Cut the tofu lengthwise into approximately eight 1/4″ thick slices. Put slices of tofu into marinade and be sure each piece is coated. Place in the¬†refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight.

2) Put about 1/4″ of oil (can be vegetable, canola, olive oil, etc) in the bottom of a large frying pan. Warm on medium heat until oil pops when water is sprinkled on it.

3) Take the tofu out of the marinade and sprinkle each side with nutritional yeast. When the oil is hot enough, place four pieces of tofu in the pan at a time. Cook approximately 10 minutes on each side. You can use your judgement here as to the crispiness that you’d like – cook longer for a crispier texture. Repeat with the remaining four slices.

Makes 4 servings. Approximately 120 calories per serving.


Vegan Almond Feta ‘Cheese’

This recipe is very wait-time intensive, but is very easy and doesn’t take too much actual time to prepare. Be sure to start this recipe at least 2 days before you want to enjoy it. This recipe is adapted from one that was originally published in Vegetarian Times. This is a great substitute for feta cheese and is totally worth the wait time. You can add this cheese to black bean tacos, sandwiches, and pastas for a little extra tang and texture. If you want something smooth and spreadable just skip the baking step. Unbaked this cheese can also be a substitute for ricotta in lasagna and other stuffed pastas.

Ingredients:

1 cup Whole Blanched Almonds

1/4 cup Lemon Juice

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tbsp Ground Thyme

1/2 tbsp Dill Weed

Directions:

1) If your almonds aren’t blanched you will want to start by bringing a saucepan filled about halfway with water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add your almonds. Let them soak for about a minute and then drain them. Let the almonds cool. The skins should now be loose on the almond so you can use your fingers to squeeze the almond out of the skin. Repeat this process with all of your almonds.

2) Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Let the almonds soak for about 24 hours. Drain the liquid and rinse under cold water.

Crumbled Vegan Almond Feta Cheese

3) Puree the almonds along with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor for about 6-10 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth and creamy.

4) Place a large strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth and then bring the corners and sides of cheesecloth together and twist around the cheese to remove excess moisture. The ball of cheese should be about the size of an orange when you are done squeezing out the liquid. Discard the excess liquid. Please note that this process does take a bit of time but it’s worth it to get all of the moisture out that you can.

5) Secure the cheesecloth around the cheese with cooking twine or a rubber band and chill overnight or for at least 12 hours.

6) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Unwrap the cheese and form into a 6 inch disc that’s about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top of the disc is firm. Cool and then you can either leave it in the disc form or you can crumble the cheese and put in a container to chill. It will keep for up to 5 days in the¬†refrigerator.

Enjoy!


Vegan Banana Pancakes

This is another recipe I came up with this last weekend when I was sick. I’m not really a pancake fan, but my daughter is, so I decided I’d give these a shot. To my surprise, these pancakes were delicious! The banana gives them just enough sweetness that you don’t even need syrup!

Ingredients:

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Baking Powder (seems like a lot, but trust me, it works)

1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 cup Plain Soymilk

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 medium Banana, diced

Directions:

1) Place a large skillet or griddle on the stove over medium heat. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.

2) Add in the wet ingredients and stir well until batter is smooth. Just before making the pancakes, add in the diced banana and mix well.

3) Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the hot pan or griddle (you can change the amount of batter you use depending on how big or small you like your pancakes). When you see the top of the batter begin to bubble, wait about 30 more seconds and then flip the pancake. Cook for approximately 2 more minutes.

4) Repeat until all of the batter is gone. You can warm up your oven to 200 degrees or so and put the cooked pancakes onto a plate and into the oven to keep them warm while the others are cooking.

Serve warm! (These are also quite tasty cold.)

This recipe yields approximately 10 medium size pancakes.