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Black bean & mushroom enchiladas

Black bean and mushroom enchiladas

 

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe yet. I’ve made it 4 or 5 million times, and it comes out really nicely. Sometimes I substitute pinto beans or navy beans for the black beans, or I’ll do a combination of all three. Go hog-wild. One of these days I’m going to do this with porcini or chantarelle mushrooms for a fancier version. But so far, it’s just ordinary crimini mushrooms, which are delicious. You can use enchilada sauce with these for a more traditional dish, or try using mole sauce. This recipe makes about 11 or 12 enchiladas, so be forewarned – you’ll have yummy leftovers for at least a day or two. Also I highly recommend using tortillas that are a mixture of corn and flour; flour only gets too gummy with all the sauces, corn only tends to break easily when you’re forming the enchiladas. A tortilla made of corn and flour solves this hiccup nicely.

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Yuba Omelette with mushrooms and spinach

Ever since I first tasted yuba, I’ve been itching to make an omelette out of it. First, it has an egg-like taste. Second, it unwraps into this thin sheet that is perfect for filling with delicious things. Finally, this morning I made a yuba breakfast omelette, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. And, it took half the time my usual breakfast scrambles take, so it’s a win on all fronts!

Fresh yuba comes folded up into a small rectangle. There’s two kinds I can get here in San Francisco. There’s the cheap kind at the Asian market, which is fresh and works great sliced into ribbons and sauteed, but won’t unwrap very easily. And then there’s Hodo Soy yuba, which every time, EVERY TIME is fresh, delicious, and unwraps into a single sheet that I can use as a “skin” for making spring rolls or omelettes. It’s also twice the price, but in my opinion, worth every penny. Seek them out, you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients:
1 package of Hodo Soy yuba (there should be two folded rectangles of yuba per package)
1 small onion, sliced into thin half-moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups of crimini mushrooms (any mushroom will be fine), sliced
1 – 2 tbsp safflower oil
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
salt, to taste
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach

Method:
1. Heat a skillet with safflower oil on high until the pan is quite hot. Add the onions, saute until they get browned and a bit crispy. Add the garlic, saute another minute or two, then add the mushrooms. Shake the pan to evenly distribute the mushrooms (they need a large surface area to cook evenly). Add the thyme and pepper. Continue to saute on high until the mushrooms are browned, shaking the pan from time to time to distribute the mushrooms. Add sherry, shake the pan and saute until the liquid is absorbed. Add the spinach, cook until just wilted. Set aside.

2. Unwrap one yuba rectangle completely. Lay it flat on a non-stick surface. Take half the mushroom filling, place it on one side of the yuba (if you mentally divide the rectangle into thirds, you want the filling in the first or third section, not the middle). Spread the filling evenly to fill this third of the yuba rectangle, leaving about 1-2 inches at the top and bottom, and about 2-3 inches on the short side. Sprinkle some daiya vegan mozzerella cheese on top. Fold in the top and bottom, then gently roll the yuba and filling until it’s wrapped around completely. It’s kind of like making a burrito. Repeat for the second yuba rectangle.

3. Heat a bit of safflower oil on medium heat. When the oil coats the pan evenly and quickly, place the yuba omelettes in the pan and let them saute for about 3-5 minutes on each side. They might be difficult to turn over, but with gentleness and a large spatula you’ll make it work. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with tempeh bacon or seitan sausages.

Seitan & Yuba breakfast scramble

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OK so I have been making a lot of breakfast scrambles lately. Namely, Isa’s tofu scramble, a lot of times, which is pretty fantastic in it’s own right. But I needed a change, my husband likes yuba, and thus this recipe created itself. It’s loaded with protein and good green veggies which will give you your vitamin boost for the morning. And it cooks up pretty quickly. So a win on all fronts!

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Spicy Mole Poblano sauce

Man, I love me a good mole sauce. It’s been a hard transition, becoming vegan, with most of the traditional mole sauces made with lard and / or chicken stock. But having found a couple of restaurants that make vegan mole, I’m convinced that you don’t need lard or chicken stock to make it.

And then I found this awesome mole recipe in one of my mother-in-law’s kitchen cookbooks. I borrowed the cookbook, made my own modifications (I didn’t have the specific chiles they asked for, so I used what I had) and YUM is the result. I should warn though, it’s pretty spicy. I thought it was a fair medium – hot, but my husband is convinced I’m numb in the mouth and that it’s actually quite hot. Whatever, it’s delicious, is the most important thing.

Also, this recipe makes a lot (about 2-3 quarts). It freezes well (keeps about 3-4 months in the freezer) and refigerates really well (about 2 weeks in the fridge is recommended).

Ingredients (these are my modifications – for the original recipe, get the book):

7-8 dried aji chiles, stems cut off (keep the seeds for heat)

6-7 guajillo chiles, stems cut off (keep the seeds for heat)

8-10 New Mexico chiles, stems cut off (keep the seeds for heat)

3-4 cups water

2 large onions, peeled & quartered

2 cups peeled tomatoes in their juice (about 4 – 5 med. tomatoes)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

1 tsp salt, more to taste (I added in the end about 1 – 2 more tsp)

1.5 tsp ground coriander (or coriander seeds, ground up by hand)

1.5 tsp ground star anise (or ground by hand)

4 tbsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted

1 cup blanched almonds

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups water with 4 tbsp vegan chicken stock dissolved in it, or 2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup gravenstein apple juice, unfiltered

1.5 oz unsweetened chocolate

Method:

1. Place the chiles, water, tomatoes, onions, garlic and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 – 30 minutes, until the chiles and onions are soft. Add water if needed to keep the chiles covered. Puree with a hand blender until smooth, turn off the heat temporarily.

2. Blend sesame seeds, almonds and pine nuts in a food processor until they become a coarse meal. Add the coriander, star anise, raisins, cloves, cinnamon and process again until it makes a sticky pasty coarse meal. You might need to add a bit more raisins until it gets more sticky. Scrape out and add to the pureed chile mixture.

3. Add the vegan chicken stock and apple juice to the chile sauce. Stir as you bring it back to a simmer. Add the chocolate, broken into pieces. Keep simmering and stirring as the chocolate melts. The mole should have the consistency of thick cream. If it’s too thick, add more broth.

NOLA Red Beans and Rice (without the rice)

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My high school friend, Maggie, commented a while back on her facebook that her boyfriend’s Red Beans & Rice was so good she couldn’t stop eating it. I begged her for the recipe and she gave it quite willingly…but it was loaded with bacon and sausage. Apparently it is an old New Orleans family recipe, but as you all know we just don’t do the meat thing here. So I made some modifications…and found at the last minute I was missing some ingredients, so I made more modifications. Here’s my version of the recipe, which has filled my kitchen with the most scrumptious bacony smells I’ve experienced since I went vegetarian. Also, we’re not eating much rice right now, so I skipped that part. But you can totally top this Red Bean goodness on some freshly cooked long-grain rice and it’ll be delicious. It’s packed with protein, has no sugar, and is bursting with flavor!

Ingredients:

2 pounds red kidney beans, dry

2 quarts vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery stalks

(1-2 green bell peppers – we didn’t have these so I omitted them completely)

(2 jalapenos – we didn’t have these either so I substituted 4 dried aji chilis. The dish is really spicy, which I love)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 packages (12 oz) smokey tempeh “fakin bacon”, broken up with hands

2 tsp salt, to taste

1.5 lbs seitan (we used Isa’s recipe from Post Punk Kitchen), cut or ripped into small chunks

1 tbsp garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp dried sage

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Method:

1. Wash beans, soak overnight or for 9 hours. Drain, then add to 2 quarts “chicken” broth. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes.

2. Add onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the salt and smash up some of the beans.

3. Heat oil in frying pan. Add seitan, saute about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add this to the beans. Deglaze the pan, add to beans. Add the tempeh, bay leaves, sage, pepper and parsley to the beans, mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, then serve with long grain white rice.

Seitan street tacos

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We’re trying to follow a starchy carb-free, sugar-free diet right now. It’s been brutal, especially while maintaining our vegan standards. But I think that restrictions make me more creative, which brought me to seitan street tacos. Takes maybe 10 minutes to prepare, and about 2 minutes to comsume. No sugar, no bready floury crap that our bodies don’t need, All Yum.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of seitan, cut into thin strips (We use Isa’s Homemade Seitan recipe from Post Punk Kitchen – it’s amazing)
1 onion, sliced into crescents
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 avocados
Juice from one lemon
2 tbsp salsa
1 can black beans
1 handful rainbow chard
1 tub of salsa
Corn tortillas (make sure these don’t have wheat in them, many do!)

Method:
1. Saute onion in olive oil until browned. Add seitan strips and salt & pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Saute until browned. Set aside.

2. Peel and mash the insides of the avocados. Mix in the lemon juice and 2 tbsp salsa. Set aside. This is your guacamole.

3. Heat black beans until warm, set aside.

4. Slice chard into ribbons, set aside.

5. Heat tortillas, about 6 at a time, in a microwave for 45 seconds, set aside.

6. Assemble as desired (I layered from tortilla to top: black beans, guacamole, seitan and onion mixture, chard), top with salsa and chow down.

Quick Salad: Heirloom tomato & avocado

Oh man. My mother-in-law made this for me after we got back from 4 days of camping in Yosemite. I was filthy and itchy from millions of mosquito bites. The summer evening was idyllic – 75 degrees, a slight cool breeze, sunset, heaven. And then she brings out this salad and I almost died, it was so good. I’ve added balsamic vinegar because I love the snap of the vinegar with the richness of the avocado. A perfect summer salad, and it’s ready in minutes.

Ingredients:

2 heirloom tomatoes, very fresh

2 avocados, ripe

1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp olive oil (or enough to coat the tomatoes and avocados)

salt and pepper to taste

juice from one lemon

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

Method:

Dice the tomatoes and avocados. Put them in a bowl, add basil, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Done!

Yuba Arame salad

My husband has begged me to post this recipe, mainly because it’s not written down and he wants to make it for his lunches. It’s loaded with protien and all the goodness of sea vegetables, plus super-healthy sesame seeds.

Ingredients:

About a pound of yuba, fresh and sliced into 1/2″ thick ribbons
1 or 2 green onions, sliced very thin into small round slices
A handful or two of dried arame
Sesame seeds, black and white
Sesame oil
Chili oil
White vinegar or rice wine vinegar
Soy sauce
Daikon radish, jullienned (optional)

Method:

1. Saute the yuba ribbons in a bit of sesame oil with green onions for about 3-5 minutes on high heat. Add soy sauce to taste and vinegar to taste. Set aside.

2. Boil water, soak the arame in the boiled water for about 10 minutes, until soft. Drain well and place in a large bowl.

3. Add the yuba mixture plus about 1/3 cup each of white and black sesame seeds. Mix well. Add soy sauce, a few drops of chili oil and vinegar as needed. Add daikon radish, if desired. Enjoy cold or at room temperature. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge.

Broccoli white bean maple soup

I’m just getting into experimenting a bit with cooking. For most of my cooking life, I have been a strict recipe follower. But having taken a cooking class and having paid attention in the kitchen with my mother in-law, I am slowly learning the fun of no-recipe cooking.

I was craving soup the other day a while back. It was cold and rainy and the end of the week, so I didn’t want to take too long making dinner. I devised this soup while daydreaming about Alice’s broccoli soup and a white bean soup I had at the Ritz Carlton one evening that was flavoured with maple. Both soups were amazing, so last night I thought i’d try a combination and see what happened. It was surprisingly delicious! Good for those cold icky nights when it’s best to just stay indoors in front of a nice fire or watching QI or something.

The next time I make this recipe, I think I’ll try to substitute the maple syrup with 1/4 cup of hot water with rehydrated candycap mushrooms. Same delicious flavor, none of the extra sugar. I’ll let you know how it works out.

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
1 shallot, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, destemmed
3/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
1 can navy beans, drained
2 can cannelini beans, drained
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute the shallot in olive oil on high. When browned, add garlic, rosemary and sage. After about 1 minute, add broccoli and saute until the broccoli turns a bright green. Add maple syrup, cook for another few minutes.

2. Hydrate the mushrooms in the hot water for 5 minutes. Add to the broccoli, and add the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat to boiling, then turn down heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Blend with a hand mixer. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Yuba rolls with squash and wild mushrooms

I was waiting to post this recipe until I had a good photo of the dish, but my friend has some extra yuba in his fridge and needs a good recipe.  I’ll post one the next time I make this recipe. It’s not to be missed: easy to make, pretty fast, and tastes delicious. Also, it reheats well, in case you can’t finish what you’ve cooked up. If you’re going to reheat it, I recommend using a toaster oven or a large oven. A microwave makes them a bit soggy.

Ingredients:

2 shallots, sliced thin into crescents

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp fresh minced ginger

1 tsp sugar (we used brown sugar – more caramel flavor)

1/2 tsp ground star anise

1 cup roasted butternut squash (kobucha is a great substitute, you can find it in Asian markets. It’s delicious!)

salt to taste

1/2 lb mixed minced wild mushrooms (black chantarelle and maitake are particularly delicious, but if you’re on a budget oyster and shitake would be nice as well)

vegetable oil as needed

ground white pepper, to taste

sesame oil

3 tbsp shoyu or tamari

1 tsp sesame oil

2-3 tbsp black sesame seeds (or substitute with white sesame seeds)

2-3 tbsp white sesame seeds

6 sheets of fresh yuba (Hodo Soy Yuba is the best, hands down)

Method:

1. Saute the shallots with ginger, sugar and star anise until carmelized. Scoop out the roasted butternut squash and puree the shallot mixture with the squash. Add salt to taste.

2. Saute mushrooms in a little oil until soft. Season with a little sesame oil, salt and white pepper.

3. Mix 1 tsp sesame oil and shoyu in a bowl, very well. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

4. Unroll or unfold a yuba to make a sheet. Spread about 1/6 of squash-shallot puree over the sheet. Sprinkle with mushrooms (about 1/6 of your mushroom mixture). Roll in jelly-roll fashion. Cut to about 3 inches long, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. When all the yuba rolls are on the sheet, brush them with a pastry brush dipped in the shoyu / sesame oil mixture. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.