Thursday, October 25, 2012

White Bean and Basil Soup

This recipe is from the cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.

Recipe: see page 88 of Quick-Fix Vegan.
Good soup. It's got a wonderful aroma from the fresh basil, and the chunks of sun-dried tomato give it little intense bursts of flavor.

Ingredients: white beans, yellow onion, carrot, celery, garlic, dried basil, fresh basil, vegetable broth, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, black pepper.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kung Pao Chick'n

This recipe is from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester.

Recipe: see page 117 of The Vegan Slow Cooker.
Here is another very good recipe from Kathy Hester's book The Vegan Slow Cooker. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks.

The 'chick'n' in this Kung Pao recipe is vegan chicken-flavored seitan. There is a recipe for this in the book, but I've never had much luck making my own seitan, so I just went with Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips, which is seitan by another name. In case you are new to veganism, seitan is a vegan alternative to meat that is made from vital wheat gluten and spices. It is very high in protein and fiber, and low in fat. And unlike meat, there is no cholesterol. I've never seen it in the major grocery stores, but Trader Joes has chicken and beef flavored versions, and both are vegan.

The sauce on this Kung Pao is thick like a gravy, and the spiciness is very mild. There is only a little bit of heat added, and the recipe lets you choose between a little bit of red pepper flakes or Sriracha (Mmmmm, Sriracha.). I went with the red pepper flakes and it wasn't nearly has hot as I remember Kung Pao from my days as an omni. I added a shot of cayenne when I went to heat up the leftovers, and that made my eyes water, so I made a note to punch the recipe up a little when I make it in the future.

And of course, there are some wonderful textures here. The chewiness of the seitan-chick'n, and the crunchiness of the water chestnuts and peanuts. Very nice recipe, and very quick to prepare.

Ingredients: bell pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts, vegan chicken-flavored seitan (Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips used here), vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (recipe for this is in the book and ingredients are onion carrots, thyme, parsley, water, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, celery), cornstarch, sesame oil, peanuts, steamed rice, (Sauce): ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water, red pepper flakes (or sriracha), rice vinegar.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Split Pea and Apple Soup

This recipe is from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester.

Recipe: see page 52 of The Vegan Slow Cooker.
I got a little over-excited last week when the temperature here in the Los Angeles area dipped into the 70s. The temperature in my loft hadn't been below 80 since June, so I was thinking "Chilly! Autumn! Soup Weather!" And then the temp shot back up into the 90s.

But my brain already flipped into soup-mode, so I went ahead and dug up some interesting recipes from my cookbooks.

I think this is going to be my new go-to recipe for split pea soup. I had been making it with a big chunk of potato, but this recipe does away with that and uses a peeled apple. It's not as thick as pasty as my old soup, and it is mildly sweet. Even though the instructions said to give it 6-8 hours in the slow cooker, it was done after four hours. Good recipe. I'll definitely make it again.

Kathy Hester, the author of the book, has posted the recipe for this on her Healthy Slow Cooking website.

Ingredients: split peas, apple, lemon juice, carrots, celery, thyme, balsamic vinegar, coriander, nutmeg, garlic, bay leaf, water, vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (a recipe for this is included in the book and contains onion, carrots, thyme, celery, parsley, pepper, salt, nutritional yeast and water)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seitan Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

This recipe is from the cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.
Recipe: see page 118 of Quick-Fix Vegan.
This is another good, fast recipe from Quick-Fix Vegan.  The most time-consuming part was slicing the onion and tomato. The tangy tzatziki sauce really makes this.

I think a key to this recipe is to use fresh pita bread. I've used pita that was from a bag that was opened 3 days previous, and it split when I went to fold it. I also tried steaming a pita for a little bit to make it more pliable and that made the bread rubbery. So, I think fresh is the way to go.

Ingredients: seitan (Trader Joe's Beef-less Strips used here), tomato, lettuce, red onion, pita bread, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, olive oil, rosemary, oregano, salt, vegan yogurt (Whole Soy & Co. Plain Yogurt used here), cucumber, garlic, fresh dill, salt and pepper.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stovetop Fruit Crisp

This recipe is from the cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.
 Recipe: see page 194 of Quick-Fix Vegan.
This was tasty, and fast to prepare. It is sweet from the peaches and berries, and a little crunchy from the granola. It is a fruit crisp, but the twist is that it is made on the stove-top in a skillet, rather than in a pan in the oven. I was a little worried about this sticking to the pan and burning, so I kept an close eye on it, but the bottom still burned. I just served the top part.

I have stainless steel pans, so the clean up took a little bit of work. I think I would be nervous about making this in a Teflon skillet, out of fear it would still burn and damage the surface.

Ingredients: fresh peaches, berries, granulated sugar, fresh lemon juice, cornstarch, granola, all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, vegetable oil.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chard and Red Lentil Soup

This recipe is from the cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.

Recipe: see page 101 of Quick-Fix Vegan.

Ingredients: red lentils, chard, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth (Trader Joe's Low Sodium Vegetable Broth used here), onion, carrots, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, olive oil, salt, black pepper .

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer Pasta with Red and Yellow Tomatoes

This recipe is from the cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.

Recipe: see page 72 of Quick-Fix Vegan.

Ingredients: farfalle pasta, zucchini, yellow squash, baby spinach, red grape tomatoes, yellow grape tomatoes, cannellini beans, fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, scallions, black pepper, salt.