Thursday, January 27, 2011

Barbecue Baked Tofu

Sorry I haven't been blogging much lately. I've been so busy and then I got the flu..I stopped cooking for about half a week and now that I began to feel a little better, I chose to make my favorite barbecue sauce from Veganomicon's cookbook.

After trying this sauce a year ago, I have never bought barbecue sauce again. Really cheap to make and a lot tastier than many sauces that I have tried in the past. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Makes 8 cutlets

* 2 pounds firm tofu, drained and pressed, cut widthwise into fourths
* 4 cups store bought barbecue sauce or homemade ( see recipe below )
* 4 Tb peanut oil
* 2 Tb tamari

Barbecue Sauce
* 1 Tb canola oil
* 1 yellow onion, diced finely
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
* 1 ( 28 ounce ) can crushed or diced tomatoes
* 1/3 cup molasses
* 1/3 cup white vinegar
* 2 Tb brown sugar
* 1 Tb yellow mustard
* 1 tsp liquid smoke

First prepare the sauce...if using store bought, skip to step 6

1. Over medium heat in a saucepan, heat the oil and place the onions in the pan. Saute until browned, about 7 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

3. Add the salt, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, molasses, white vinegar and sugar. Cook for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the mustard and liquid smoke. Cook for 5 more minutes.

5. Puree using an immersion blender if desired.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

7. In a large baking sheet, dredge the tofu in the peanut oil and tamari to coat on both sides. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the slices and bake for 15 more minutes.

8. When the tofu is done baking, pour the sauce over it, smothering it all over. Return to the oven and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

I just wanted to share some recent shots of Taffy. He found a new spot in the yard and has been sleeping cuddled up by this tree for the past couple days. Oh and I also created him a facebook, if anyone wants to add him, here's his link : ]

webcam fun!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chipotle Bean Burgers

I absolutely love chipotle peppers because of the extra heat it brings to a dish and its unique smokey taste. I had the idea of adding a couple peppers to an already good but a bit simple, bean burger recipe. Its funny how one extra ingredient can totally change the flavor of a meal.

Feel free to play around with the number of peppers added if you want something more mild or spicy. I added two peppers and it wasn't spicy at all. Leave the seeds in if you really like spicy. Anyone else love making their own patties? Boca burgers have nothing on my patties : ]

Makes 8 patties

* 1 yellow onion, diced finely
* 1 carrot, grated
* 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
* 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobe, seeded and minced
* 1-2 tsp adobe sauce, optional
* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1 ( 15 ounce ) can of pinto beans
* 1 ( 15 ounce ) can of black beans
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp cumin
* 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

* hamburger buns
* lettuce, tomatoes
* vegan mayo and ketchup

1. Heat a small pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, chipotle pepper and adobe sauce and saute until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Mash the pinto and black beans in a large bowl. Stir in the onion mixture, salt, oregano and cumin.

3. Sprinkle the wheat gluten a little at a time over the bean mixture and knead. Continue adding the gluten a little at a time and kneading until all is incorporated. You should knead no longer than 5 minutes.

4. Shape mixture into 8 patties and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Coat each patty with cooking spray or brush oil on each patty.

5. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes or until browned and heated through.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slow Cooked Jambalaya

This is my Jambalaya recipe with a twist. The twist would be the substitution of spelt grains instead of the traditional long grain rice that is used. Spelt is low in calories but very high in protein, at about 11 grams per cup.

I cooked mine for 3 hours on high and then, because it was still a bit watery, I tilted the lid off the slow cooker slightly to allow some of the moisture to evaporate for the last hour. You can even get fancier for this dish and add some vegan shrimp made from Vegetarian Plus. I hope you like this meal as much as I did.

Serves 6

* 6 cups vegetable stock or vegan "chicken" stock ( try Better than Bouillion )
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 cup finely chopped onion
* 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
* 2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
* 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 circles
* 1 Tb garlic, minced
* 3 Tb tomato paste
* 1/2 cup vegetable broth or cooking sherry
* 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 Tb fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp pepper
* 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
* 1/2 lb cubed vegan sausages or seitan
* 2 cups spelt
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

1. Preheat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute the sausages in 2 tablespoons of olive oil according to the packaged directions. Or 4 to 5 minutes for the seitan, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove from pot and set aside.

2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot and then add the onion, green pepper, celery, zucchini and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes.

4. Stir in the vegetable broth or sherry to deglaze the vegetables and cook for 30 seconds.

5. Stir in the rice and cook for another 4 minutes.

5. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a slow cooker. Add the sausage, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, all the herbs, salt, pepper and the 6 cups of vegetable or "chicken" broth.

6. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

7. Remove the bay leaf, stir and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mexican Chili

I was given a slow cooker as one of my Christmas gifts, having never owned one before, I just had to test it out with this recipe. This recipe requires very little work..just some roasting of the chilies and cooking the boca crumbles. Then you simply pour all the ingredients in the slow cooker and walk away until its ready. You can also cook this over the stove but the flavors won't be as intense. Everyone should try out this recipe, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Serves 6

* 1 Tb canola oil
* 1 pound soy ground crumbles or shredded tempeh
* 1 onion, diced
* 2 ( 15 ounce ) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 ( 15 ounce ) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 cups of corn kernels, fresh or frozen
* 1 ( 14.5 ounce ) can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
* 1 ( 14.5 ounce ) can diced tomatoes
* 1 ( 14.5 ounce ) can tomatoes with chilies
* 4 anaheim chiles, roasted and diced ( directions for roasting here )

For Serving
* Tortilla Chips
* Vegan Sour Cream
* Vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
* Green onions, chopped
* Pickled jalapeƱos

1. In a medium sized skillet, add the oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the soy ground crumbles and the taco seasoning, mix well. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Transfer the soy ground and onions to a slow cooker or a large stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, anaheim chiles. Cook on low in a slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for 1 hour on the stove.

4. To serve, ladle soup into six individual bowls. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapeƱos. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.