Sunday, October 18, 2015

Spicy white bean + coconut soup

Enough to feed an army (..of 10) and not so bad with buttered bread. Hearty, spicy, filling and creamy. Let this simmer for at least 25 minutes for the lentils and beans to taste extra buttery and smooth.
Loosely inspired by ScalingBack.

Ingredients I
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp curry powder (I used India Spice House house brand)
2 tbsp powdered vegetable stock

Ingredients II
1 small can tomato paste or 3 diced roma tomatoes 
8 cups water
1 can premium coconut milk
3 cups red lentils
1 can white navy beans 
2 tbsp white sugar

In a large soup pot, pour in your oil. Once hot, add in the remainder of Ingredients I. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in Ingredients II, and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Stir to ensure lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pan, then bring down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Should the soup come off as too spicy, add in white sugar or lime juice to tame the spiciness.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Vegan meatball subs.

A quick and easy follow-up on what to do with my last recipe for vegan-friendly meatballs. This takes about five minutes to make up from start to finish. Add in some onions, spinach or arugula if you fancy.

This recipe uses up the remainder of the tomato paste from the meatball recipe (about 2-3 tbsp), Follow Your Heart mozzarella style shreds and sub buns.

Ingredients I
8 meatballs
2 sub buns
Marinara sauce (recipe below)
Mozzarella style shreds

Marinara Sauce
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp parsley
3/4 tsp basil
3/4 tsp coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot water
Optional: hot pepper flakes

In a cereal bowl, place the tomato paste and spices in, and mix well. Slowly add in hot water until you reach your desired consistency. I like mine a bit richer, so I added about 1/3 cup water.

Set your oven to Convection.  Split open a sub bun, place 4 meatballs down the centre of the bun, followed by marinara sauce, topped with cheese.

Keep in the oven until cheese and bun and toasty hot (or to your liking).

Top with a bit of basil.

Vegan friendly meatballs.

Baked meatballs that hold their form! Finally. Made up of tofu, TVP, vital wheat gluten and a whole heap of spices, these bake up in under 20 minutes with 10 minutes prep time. Because of the hearty amount of spices and small amounts of typical "binders" and meat-substitute staples, you don't get the overwhelming amount of tofu / TVP / VWH which is a welcome change. Allowing these to cool for about 5 minutes will yield a firmer meatball. For storage: Freeze, refrigerate, or eat 'em in a worrisome hurry - it's up to you. To re-heat: bake, fry, or nuke 'em.

This batch makes 25-30, depending on the size. I used a heaping teaspoon of the mixture for mine and got 26.

This recipe takes 1 bowl, a few spoons and a food processor. Not bad! Reserve the extra tomato paste from this recipe and check out my next recipe for Meatball Subs here.

Ingredients I
4 oz extra firm tofu (1/2 cup, or, 1/3 package of Sunrise Extra Firm Tofu)
½ onion
¼ cup sunflower seeds

Ingredients II
¾ cup TVP
1 tsp garlic (freshly minced or jarred)
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ cup panko
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
1 ½ tsp basil
1 ½ tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot chili flakes
¾ tsp fennel seed
¾ tsp mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients III
6 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2-4 tbsp water, reserved

In a food processor, place all of Ingredients I in and select the "chop" function (anything but puree/mince will do). The mixture should resemble something like this:

Next, place this mixture in a bowl and add in Ingredients II. Mix this up a heap until well-combined, and taste test for spices. Add in salt and pepper to your liking. I used 1/2 tsp salt and a big pinch of pepper.

Lastly, add in the vital wheat gluten and stir up until the mixture is good and firm, able to be rolled into balls. Should this mixture be a little dry, add the water in 1 tbsp at a time. I used a total of 2 tbsp water. If your mix is a bit too wet, add in 1-2 tbsp vital wheat gluten.

Roll into balls. I used a heaping teaspoon and rolled up tight. They were about 7/8" in diameter. Grease up a pan (I baked in 2 batches. but feel free to use 2 pans) and fit no more than 6 x 3 meatballs to a pan.

Bake for 10 minutes, flip the meatballs, and bake for 9-10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve with pasta, or gravy and mashed potatoes. Enjoy in a sub. Alternatively, brave the storm and create your own IKEA poutine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sesame Soya Slices // Sesame "chicken", tofu.

Eerily similar to sesame "chicken" at vegan friendly Chinese restaurants. Which are, oddly, freakishly similar to sesame actually-chicken at non-vegan friendly spots in town. 

I picked up my soya slices at Dino's Grocery in Winnipeg's West End. I like Luxmi brand soya slices. Alternatively, check out Bulk Barn for their "So Soya Slices" in Bulk near the TVP.

Ingredients for Soya Slices
3/4 cup dehydrated soy slices*
2 cups hot water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic, minced
-- Oil, for frying
-- Cornstarch, for frying
-- Sesame seeds, to garnish

Ingredients for Sesame Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced / 1 tsp jarred garlic
1 inch fresh ginger / 1 tsp jarred ginger
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice**
2 tbsp agave
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp sesame oil
-- 1 tbsp corn starch + 1/4 cup water, mixed in a cup, kept aside

Ingredients for Lo Mein
Lo Mein noodles
Water for boiling
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
-- Sesame seeds, to garnish

Method for Soya Slices
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour 2 cups of this hot water in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Place a plate on top and let sit for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes is up, it ought to look like this:

Method for Lo Mein
Bring a pot of water to a boil, place your lo mein noodles in. Turn down to a simmer and cook about 4-5 minutes. Drain, then drizzle with sesame oil. In a large pan, fry up noodles on medium high. Stir and break up noodles as they start to brown and crisp up in the pan.

Frying the Soya Slices
In a large pan, pour enough oil in to lightly cover the base of the pan - about 4 tbsp.
Squeeze out the soy slices. Coat lightly in cornstarch.
Fry in 1-2 batches (fresh oil for a second batch) for 5-6 minutes, turning as each side turns golden brown and crispy.

Method for Sesame Sauce
Place all ingredients minus cornstarch + water in a pot and bring to a simmer. Once bubbling, add in cornstarch + water mixture. Whisk until thickened and glossy.
**Alternatively, sub the OJ and sweeteners for apricot jelly a la big-bad-RJ in NYC!**

Toss soya slices in sauce, being mindful not to stir in too much sauce.

Top with sesame seeds and serve alongside lo mein.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lemon-dijon puff pastry with mushroom filling.

30-minutes from prep to finish, this vegan-friendly puff pastry is quick, simple, and easy on the wallet. Fill with any vegetables and/or protein you fancy, so long as you have about 3 cups of filing, you're golden.

1 box puff pastry - I used Tenderflake brand
10 mushrooms
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 tbsp dry vegetable stock
3/4 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Defrost your puff pastry. Alternatively, express-defrost in the microwave.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan, on medium-high heat. Place all vegetables in the pan and saute until soft.

Once vegetables are no longer crunchy - about 10 minutes - stir in lemon juice, dijon, spices.

Roll out pastry to about 10x12".

Place filling across the pastry, width-wise, leaving about 1/2" on the left and right hand side.

Fold pastry over like a burrito.

Brush with soy milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Slice into six pieces, without slicing all the way through to the base of the pastry.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Service alongside mashed potatoes, braised tofu, etc.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Good (vegan-friendly) gravy.

Crucial for poutine, this vegan friendly gravy takes about 8 minutes to make from start to finish and puts you no more than $0.60 in the hole.

1 1/2 cups water / vegetable stock
1 tbsp plant-based butter

Ingredients II
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder / chopped garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tarragon, rubbed

Bring the water/vegetable stock to a boil.

Make a smooth slurry with all of Ingredients II and add to the boiling liquid.

Whisk thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Let boil for a few minutes, it'll start to thicken up. Turn the stovetop down to low, and taste for seasoning.

Strain if there are lumps for some awful reason beyond your common knowledge.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Vegan friendly chicken and cheese nachos

3/4 cup pinto beans (I prepped mine from scratch, but canned works great too!) 
+ 1 tbsp oil, pinch of salt + 4 tbsp water, if re-frying

2 handfuls taco chips
2 Gardein chipotle lime crispy fingers

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 red onion, slivered

1 jalapeƱo, chopped
1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Generous handful of Follow Your Heart fiesta shreds

To garnish
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
Hot sauce (I used homemade, but El Yucateco is a household favourite)


Preheat oven to 375F.

Arrange chips on a large baking sheet.

Sautee chipotle lime crispy fingers in a frying pan on medium for 5-10 minutes.

Optional: Place beans, water + oil in a small pot or pan, heat thoroughly, and smash to your liking. Set aside
Going for whole beans instead? Skip this step, including the water, salt and oil. 

While strips are crisping up, prep your vegetables.

Once strips are crispy and heated through, chop each strip into 10-12 pieces.

Layer your toppings, starting with your mock meat and cheese, top with veggies, then cheese and avocado.

Bake at 375F for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Top with sour cream alternative, hot sauce, and cilantro. Add a squeeze of lime if you fancy.

See more food photos over at @ohhhcaitlin on Instagram!