Category Archives: Diet

Play with Your Food – Vegan Tofu Peanut Wraps

Well, I subtitled this blog ‘adventures in eating to live,’ so I guess I’ll go with that theme and make my food an adventure.  Okay, so I’m not travelling the world to get this recipe: I’m just bringing the world into my home.  One thing I’ve learned about the Americanized recipes, especially Asian type recipes, have all been, well, Americanized:  you probably know what I’m talking about. Extra sugar and fat and even fake things have been added to cater to the American tastes.  Of course, eating nutritarian style, one tries to not add the extra sugars and fat.  I’ve only travelled to northern European countries, where they do try to add the extra sugar and fat, so I’m not an expert on authentic Asian cuisine.  I do know what I like to taste and I know the flavor profile I’m going for, so this is my version of southeast Asian cuisine.

I learned a trick for putting a crisp on tofu.  I can’t believe I never tried this before.  I just baked it.  Seriously, I’ve been cooking tofu for about 30 years and I’ve tried cooking it many different ways, but I’ve never baked it.  I love the texture of it baked.  It gets a little crispy and still is soft on the inside.  It’s very yummy.  I even have the non-tofu eaters in the family coming over to the dark side.  The baked tofu gives a nice mouth feel to the sandwich.

This sandwich makes a good dinner.  You could even serve it with a side of brown rice or quinoa.  It was satisfying enough to eat just on its own, though.  I had leftovers for lunch today, but I just put the tofu on the sandwich cold and then topped it with shredded raw cabbage and raw carrots.  I liked it as much as the cooked version.  There are a few steps to the recipe, but it’s a nice adventure away from the regular ‘beans and whatever’ meal I’ve been eating lately.  Hope you’ll give it a try.

Vegan Peanut Tofu Wraps

Vegan Peanut Tofu Wraps

Ingredients:

1 Pkg. Extra Firm Tofu, drained

½ Cup Vegetable Broth

3 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage

4 Carrots, peeled and julienned

1 Tablespoon Liquid Aminos, plus extra for tofu

1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic

4 Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Peanut Sauce:

Juice of 1 Lime

Zest of 1 Lime

½ Cup Natural Peanut Butter

¼ Cup Water

2 Medjool Dates

2 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos

¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

Grated Carrot, Chopped Peanuts, and Sliced Green Onion for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400◦. Slice the tofu into long, thin strips. Grease and cookie sheet. Place the tofu on prepared cookie sheet and drizzle with liquid aminos. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until it is slightly browned.

Prepare the sauce: in a small food processor, add all ingredients and whir until smooth. Set aside.

In a hot skillet, add in the vegetable broth, liquid aminos, and ground ginger. Add in the cabbage and carrots and cook over medium high heat until carrots are slightly tender.

When tofu is done, layer some tofu, cabbage mixture and sauce on a sandwich wrap and roll up. Top with some extra sauce, chopped peanuts, grated carrots and sliced green onion. Makes 4 servings.

Vegan Sandwich Wraps

This is just a preview of what we had for dinner tonight – that post will come later, but I thought I’d start off with the vegan sandwich wrap I made for dinner.  I made my family some gluten free sandwich wraps for breakfast this morning and my husband loved them and suggested that I make a chicken wrap with them with an Asian twist.  So, I decided to try out a vegan option of a sandwich wrap to use for dinner.   It does take a little effort.  They’re not really hard to make, but the recipe only makes 4.  I think that next time I’ll make a double batch and keep them in the fridge for lunches.  They are very tasty and handy as a sandwich bread and fairly good for you.  You can make them ahead of time for the peanut tofu wraps and then it will be a quick dinner whenever you feel like throwing it together.  Tomorrow I’ll post the peanut tofu wraps recipe, so try not to eat all of the wraps.

Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Vegan Sandwich Wraps

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Flax Meal

6 Tablespoons Boiling Water

1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour

½ Cup Almond Flour

½ Cup Tapioca Starch

1 Tablespoon Agar Agar Flakes (optional, but it gives it a little pliable)

¼ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Almond Milk

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the flax meal and the boiling water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the flax meal has the texture of egg whites (this is called a flax ‘egg’).

In a medium sized bowl, combine the garbanzo bean flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, agar agar flakes, and salt. Mix well. Add the almond milk and flax egg. Mix well and allow the mixture to sit while you heat the skillet.

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Grease the skillet. Pour ½ cup of the wrap mixture into heated pan and spread out with a wet rubber spatula until it is about ⅛” thick. Cook on one side for about a minute, until it is slightly golden brown. Turn over and cook one minute more. Keep the wraps slightly warm until ready to use, so they will remain pliable (you can cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from getting stiff and it makes it easier to wrap them up). Makes 4 wraps.

Tempeh Jambalaya

Jambalaya is one of my family’s favorite meals. It’s an easy one pot meal and doesn’t take that long to make. It’s pretty versatile too: you can add different types of meat to it (whatever you may have left over) or even shrimp. You can add as much spice as you want. I learned a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook a long time ago and I run with that. I’ve made it so many times that I don’t even use a recipe any longer. So, I gave a whack at making a vegan version last night. I liked it. It was easy. It was definitely healthy. I have to admit though, it was a little less jambalaya-ish and more like just plain rice and beans. You could leave out the tempeh. I just threw it in because I had it, otherwise, I would have just gone with the beans. It’s a good one pot meal, with leftovers for lunch or a quick dinner. Hope you like it.
Vegan Jambalya

Vegan Jambalaya

Ingredients:
1 Stalk Celery
1 ½ Cups Sliced Mushrooms
½ Cup Onion
½ Cup Green Bell Pepper
2 Carrots, sliced
½ Cup Vegetable Broth
14.5 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 ½ Cups Vegetable Broth
2/3 Cups Brown Rice
1 Cup Black Beans
1 Teaspoon Basil
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Bay Leaf
8 oz. Tempeh, cut into cubes
Salt, to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, pepper, celery, onion, and carrots in ½ cup of broth about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add in remaining ingredients except for the tempeh. Turn heat down to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and add extra broth as necessary. Stir in the cubed tempeh and cook another 5-10 minutes, until rice is fully cooked. Makes 4 Servings.

The Vegannaise Experiment

I’m the type of person that does things my own way. Plus, I tend to be cheap. If I can make something cheaper than buying it, I always take the cheapest option. I figure I can do it better myself anyway. Paying 5 bucks for a little jar of Vegannaise? Um, no thanks. Besides, there’s a ton of oil and other ingredients, that I don’t want, in Vegannaise.
Spring is springing. It hasn’t sprung yet, but it’s springing. It only got down to 36 last night. Yesterday was pretty nice here so we shoveled off the deck Snow on Deck
and made room for the grill. Nothing says ‘spring’ like the smell of grilling in the air. My favorite is grilled portabellos.
To get ready for grill season, I decided to take a crack at making vegannaise, without the oil. I tried a couple of variations. The one with oil in it tasted quite close to real mayonnaise, but it was quite runny. This one, using cashews, turned out with a great texture, but it definitely does taste like cashews. I don’t mind it though. It does have the ‘taste’ of mayo, kind of, but with a nutty aftertaste. I’ll keep working on it to perfect it, but in the meantime, this is still a tasty alternative. Served on a grilled portabello and bun, it’s like springtime on a plate. Hope you like it.
Vegan No Oil Mayonnaise

Ingredients:
¾ Cup Raw Cashews
6 oz. Silken Tofu
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Process until completely smooth and thick.

Chickpea Burgers with Curry Peanut Sauce

After a couple of months of travelling, and working on the house, I just needed to try something new. Since I was always busy, I was resorting to whatever was quick and easy: soup, chili – whatever I could toss together into a pot and make a lot of so I would have leftovers. The weather’s getting a little nicer around here. It seems like the arctic death grip that has had its hold on our area is starting to lift a bit. So, now I’m starting to think more along the lines of fun food, picnic food, grilling, etc. Today I threw together some chickpea burgers, of course, with some mushrooms and onions in them to raise the nutrient levels. It was a typical burger template: some sort of wet veggie (the mushrooms), with some sort of beans (chickpeas), some spices, and then a binder (the oatmeal). Using that template, you can really adjust your burger to your mood. hmmm…I feel kind of South Pacific today. Okay, so curry it is. I wouldn’t necessarily call this Thai or Indian. The sauce is sort of Thai and the burgers are sort of Indian, but with my own flare (and considering what I had in the pantry). I didn’t have limes, so I adjusted the sauce to taste kind of Thai. I don’t have a lot right now in the pantry, so I just went with what I have.
My daughter ate one burger on bread and the other one she ate off the pan, dipping it in the sauce. I had mine on romaine and red onion with some roasted pepitas on top (I roasted them the last 5 minutes that the burgers were baking). These aren’t that hard to make; it just takes time. So, I worked on other things while they were baking.
Hope you enjoy them.
Chickpea Burgers

Ingredients:
Chickpea Burgers:
8 oz. Mushrooms
1 Small Onion
½ Cup Vegetable Broth
2, 15 oz. Cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Teaspoons Curry Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ Teaspoon Ginger Powder
3 Tablespoons Whole Oats
Lightly Toasted Pepitas for garnish

Curry Peanut Sauce:
½ Cup Canned Coconut Milk
¼ Cup Raw Cashews
3 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Directions:
For the burgers: Preheat oven to 375◦. In a food processor, combine the mushrooms and onion. Process until finely chopped. To a hot skillet, add the vegetable broth. When broth is heated, add in the mushroom/onion mixture. Sauté until broth evaporates and onions are translucent.
Process the chickpeas in food processor until finely chopped. Add chickpeas to the mushroom mixture. Add remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mixture onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten out and lightly oil the tops of the burgers. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth and thick.

Serve burgers on lettuce, topped with the peanut sauce and pepitas. Makes 10 burgers.

Vegan Taco Salad

Why does everything have to be so hard? I just had to say that. Actually, everything isn’t so hard. This was easy. Yes, taco salad: that’s easy. We’re still working on fixing up our house. My husband goes back to work at the end of this month, so it’s crunch time now. Today I spent the day refinishing our kitchen island. I was tired and sore and annoyed that I didn’t get as far along as I thought I would and then the kids ask the age old question: What’s for dinner. argh Okay, just breathe. Don’t dump the stain on the floor and walk out on strike. Breathe. Yes, left overs it is. Actually, it was kind of ‘clean the refrigerator out’ night. We had a dinner at church yesterday, so I had a large pot of chicken soup with gluten free noodles leftover. There was left over taco meat from last week (no mold: check – smells okay: check. Come on – admit it: you’ve done that too). But, I had no left overs for me. I liked the idea of a taco salad. I had the taco sauce and vegan crema fresca that I made last week for the flautas. I had some black beans in the pantry and some green pepper and red onion that I had already chopped up for a salad this weekend. So, taco salad it was. Easy peasy. If you want a quick, satisfying meal, this will fit the bill:
Vegan Taco Salad

Vegan Taco Salad

Ingredients:
Taco ‘Meat’:
1 Cup Black Beans
2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Bell Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Red Onion
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Minced Onion
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Vegetable Broth, as needed

Romaine Lettuce
Chopped Tomato
Chopped Fresh Onion
Crumbled Corn Tortillas
Taco Sauce
Vegan Crema Fresca

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine the black beans, bell pepper, onion, and spices. Saute until beans are heated through and onion is translucent. Add some vegetable broth, as needed, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan.
Top your salad with the bean mixture and top with taco sauce and crema fresca.

Vegan Flautas with Homemade Taco Sauce and Cashew Crema Fresca

I like Mexican food – real Mexican food, not, like, Taco Bell Mexican food. I love the mix of the spices and the fresh taste. It’s kind of comfort food for me, for some reason. It’s satisfying food. Anyway, Mexican food lends itself well to vegan food. Grilled veggies are a great substitute for the grilled meat. In this recipe, you don’t even really notice that it’s not meat in the flauta. Well, technically, this really isn’t a flauta. A flauta is deep fried, not broiled. I think these would be hard to deep fry and it’s not necessary anyway: they’re tasty without the extra grease.I was excited because this recipe makes 8 burritos and I thought I would have a few lunches and dinners, but my kids ended up eating all of them so, alas, I don’t have any left overs.

This may seem like it has a lot of steps, but they’re easy steps and worth the time. The homemade taco sauce is tasty and the crema fresca really adds that tangy, slightly sweet taste and the fresh taste of the tomato and avocado on top adds a little pop to it. I hope you enjoy it.

Vegan Burritos

Ingredients:

Taco Sauce:
6 Ounces Tomato Paste
1 ½ Cups Water
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dry Minced Onion
2 ½ Teaspoons Cumin Powder
1 ½ Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
¾ Teaspoons Salt
½ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ Teaspoon Turbinado Sugar
¼ Teaspoon White Pepper (can use cayenne for more heat)

Burrito:
2 Cup Cauliflower Florets
6 Ounces Mushrooms
½ Cup Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Black Beans
½ Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
¼ Cup Finely Chopped Bell Pepper
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1 ½ Teaspoons Mexican Oregano
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Salt, to taste
8 Corn Tortillas
Chopped Tomato and Chopped Avocado for garnish
Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

Cashew Crema Fresca:
1 Cup Raw Cashews
½ Cup Water
½ Cup Canned Coconut Milk
1 ½ Teaspoons White Vinegar
½ Teaspoon Salt

Directions:
For Taco Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium low heat for about 20 minutes.
For Burritos: In a food processor, combine cauliflower and mushrooms. Process until well chopped (resembling about the size of grains of rice). In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable broth until warm. Add in the cauliflower mixture, black beans, bell pepper, onion, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Heat until the vegetable broth soaks into the mixture and the water cooks off of the mushrooms (a little over 5 minutes).
Warm the tortillas until pliable (I heated them in the microwave for about 20 seconds). Place ¼ cup of the vegetable mixture in the center of each tortilla and roll up. Place on broiler pan and spray oil lightly. Broil about 2 minutes until the one side is slightly crispy.
For the Crema Fresca: Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender or food processor. Process until very smooth and slightly thick. Adjust salt and vinegar as required. It should taste a bit like runny sour cream.
To assemble the burritos: Place the tortilla on plate. Top with tomato and avocado. Drizzle with taco sauce and crema fresca.