Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seoul Food.

This is a variation on something I make a lot, only instead of pancakes, I put the chicken and slaw inside tortillas.  I wanted to do something a little more involved, so I gave these a shot. These would make a fun appetizer if you make the pancakes tiny, with a tiny bit of slaw and a tiny bit of the chicken, but they can be messy, so having a fork is a must.

Scallion Pancakes with Korean Barbecue Chick'n and Asian Slaw
makes four servings

1 package Simply Balanced meatless Korean Barbecue Chicken, prepared

For the pancakes:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp sugar
1 flax or Ener-G egg
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp shoyu
1 1/2 cups water
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
2 tsp crushed red pepper

Combine the dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry until just mixed. Fold in the scallions and red peppers. Heat skillet over low-medium heat, spray with cooking spray. With a measuring cup, pour a half cup or so of batter onto the skillet.  When edges turn dry, flip.  Cook for about a minute, and move to a plate.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.

For the slaw:

4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
3 heaping tbsp vegan mayo
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp shoyu
2 tsp sesame oil
sriracha to taste
1 tbsp black sesame seeds

Mix all that up in a big bowl.

Serve barbecue chicken with pancakes and slaw.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Feel the burn.

Kids, be careful. Hot oil + water droplets = danger.  I think I'm going to have a scar. On the bright side, my wrist is the only thing that feels burned tonight, because this turned out relatively mild.

Today I'm using Target's Simply Balanced brand meatless smoky chipotle chicken. I asked a friend what he'd make with it, and chili was a suggestion. Chili it is! I used my basics: tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, cumin. .. but then threw in an extra chipotle pepper and some cinnamon for fun.

Smoky Chipotle Chick'n Chili
makes six servings

1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
1 package Simply Balanced meatless Smoky Chipotle Chicken, thawed but not combined with the sauce, cut up into smaller pieces
2 14oz cans beans (I used pinto beans and black beans)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp dried oregano
juice of 1/2 lime 
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (about a tbsp of pepper and sauce)
1/2 cup beer or water
2 tbsp masa harina
vegan sour cream, cilantro, cheeze shreds to garnish

In a soup pot over low heat, heat a tsp or so olive oil. Cook the onion, and garlic for about a minute. Add the chicken. Cook until chicken is starting to brown, and the veggies are soft. Add beans, sauce packets, tomato sauce, corn, salt, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, and lime. Taste for heat and seasoning. Add the chipotle if you can take it. In a cup, mix the beer with the masa harina, and add to the chili. Cook for five more minutes, and serve with garnishes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A day late and a dollar short.

Sorry for skipping yet another day of MoFo. I really have no excuse other than laziness, because while I was off yesterday for the Replacements concert, I ended up spending the day doing laundry and binge-watching Criminal Minds.

I owe one more day for Mystery Box, even though it appears Chelsea over at Suzie V. Homemaker skipped it also, so I'll wrap up last week and kick off this week with the same recipe.

For Saturday: Your recipe must include two of the following ingredients: artichokes, spinach, peas, and oyster mushrooms.

Well, even though I have a week til payday, I realized yesterday that I've burned through a lot of my last check with this MoFo business. I have a fridge full of leftovers, but needing to go get all new stuff every day wrung me out pretty quick. I was sad that I couldn't get a t-shirt last night (although I heard the wait was an hour plus at the merch table). I decided to head to Target instead of Whole Foods today, and that's where I came up with a theme for this week when I saw these:

In addition to the Korean Barbecue Chicken, they also had Smoky Chipotle Chicken, and Miso Mushroom Turkey (which I decided to use tonight).

I read a lot of opinions about vegan meats from every person, be they vegan or not. If a vegan eats them, the omnivore sometimes assumes that we need meat and it's our bodies "speaking to us" or I've even heard--multiple times--the "if you don't like meat, why are you eating something that looks and tastes just like it" as if, you know, how dare we. Then I hear from vegans who say things like, "Well, it's okay for new vegans as they transition." Okay. So, I guess I've been transitioning for eight years because I still love this stuff. Also, I didn't go vegan because I didn't like meat, cheese, ice cream, eggs, etc. I loved all of it. I just could no longer justify killing animals for something that's just not needed. And these days, it's even easier. They didn't have Gardein when I went vegan, and Target definitely wasn't putting out their own line of Gardein-type products. Anyone who says it's too hard to be vegan should know that I made it, and I can't stick to anything. It was fairly easy back then, but now, it's ridiculous how many choices there are.

That said, I'm going to do a week of vegan meat dishes, starting with this wrap-up for Mystery Box. 

Miso Mushroom Turkey Hotdish
makes six servings

1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped 
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I didn't get oyster, but had some criminis left over)
2 tsp minced garlic
olive oil for sauteeing

1/2 pound farfalle or other shaped pasta, cooked and rinsed in cool water
1 package of Target's Simply Balanced Miso Mushroom Meatless Turkey, prepared with the sauce set aside
1 14oz can quartered artichoke hearts
1 cup peas
5-6 oz fresh spinach
splash of white wine 
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup walnuts
2 slices bread, toasted and ripped up
1 tbsp nutritional yeast 
pinch salt

Heat oven to 375°.

In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil. Cook the veggies and garlic until soft. Add spinach, splash of wine, and cook until the spinach is wilted. Combine sauteed veggies with the peas, pasta, turkey, artichoke hearts, sauce packets, and thyme. Stir in sour cream until well distributed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dump into a casserole dish.

In a blender, grind up the ripped up toast, walnuts, nooch, and salt. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust starts to turn brown. Let sit for about five minutes, and serve.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Just under the wire.

For Friday, your recipe must include at least two of the following ingredients: radish root, scallions, and mozzarella.

I had to work second shift today, so I planned to make this before work. Unfortunately, I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I slept until the last possible minute. I knew I'd be scrambling to make this tonight, when I'm all tired and gross from work, but man. My bed was so awesome this morning/afternoon.

Luckily, I did have a pizza crust ready to go. I wanted to do a pizza, and I had a little hunk of daikon, so I thought I'd see what happened if I made a Thai pizza with spicy peanut sauce instead of marinara.

Before the cheese.

Before the oven.

Thai Chick'n Pizza
makes one extra large pizza

1 pizza crust, rolled out in a pan or use a pizza stone (dust lightly with cornmeal). I used a BIG crust. Too big. I had to squish it into the oven.
1 recipe spicy peanut sauce (see below)
1 red bell pepper, sliced into rings
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
5 green onions, trimmed and sliced
1 small daikon radish (the one I had was about five inches), cut into matchsticks
10 or so pieces of Beyond Meat chick'n, or whatever vegan chick'n you like (about a cup and a half)
1 package Daiya mozzarella (or two cups of your favorite vegan mozz, shredded)
1 cup bean sprouts
handful of dry roasted peanuts
cilantro to garnish

Spicy Peanut Sauce
makes about two cups

3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I prefer chunky, but whatever you like), heated for a minute in the microwave
1 cup full fat coconut milk
splash of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
pinch sugar
sriracha or Thai chili and garlic paste to taste

Mix all that up.

Heat oven to 400°. Spread the peanut sauce over your rolled out dough. Arrange veggies and chick'n on the pizza. Cover with cheese, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Bake for 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

 I wasn't lying about my tiny oven. Notice the side there? That's where the squishing happened.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Goodbye, summer.

For Thursday: use three of the following: apples, cranberries, eggplant,cream cheese.

I've been dying to make a dessert, so I obviously went with the apples, cranberries, and cream cheese. Sorry, eggplant. Another day, maybe.

I wanted to do something cheesecake-y for sure, but an apple cranberry cheesecake sounded odd. I associate apples and cranberries with crisps and crumbles; hearty and fragrant treats that go great with the chilly weather we welcomed to Minnesota this week. So, I combined the two for something that turned out a lot more elegant than I'd envisioned. Despite all the sugar, it's not too sweet.

Cranberry Apple Cheesecake Bars
makes 12 servings

Fruit layer:
2 apples (I used Fujis), peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 water

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) vegan margarine (cold)
1 Ener-G or flax egg
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cheese layer:
8 oz tub vegan cream cheese at room temperature
3 tbsp vegan sour cream or soy yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350°, spray an 8x8 brownie pan with cooking spray.

In a saucepan, combine the ingredients for the fruit layer. Cook and stir over medium heat for about three minutes, just until it starts to bubble. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, and egg replacer. Cut in the margarine until it resembles pea-sized crumbs. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of the flour mixture, fold in the chopped pecans, and set aside. Press the rest of it lightly into prepared baking pan. 

On low speed, mix the cheese layer ingredients until smooth. Spread over the crust. Top with the fruit mixture, and spread evenly. Loosely scatter the rest of the crust mixture with the pecans over the top. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back of the box, someday?

For tomorrow: Your recipe must include at least three of the following ingredients: green beans, hazelnuts, mustard greens, green bell peppers, and walnuts.

So, I had a different idea using mustard greens (which I can't remember), but I guess the farm that supplies my Whole Foods had a rough season. So,  I went with the peppers, green beans, hazelnuts, and walnuts. If any of my gardening friends have some mustard greens, I'll try to scoop through my memory for that idea. I've had a million ideas since.

I totally want to make these again using red bell peppers. I wanted to for these, but rules is rules. From here on out, this is just a basic recipe to spring from with your own ideas. But, yeah. If Lundberg sees this and, I don't know... wants to put it on a box,  then it's MINE MINE MINE ALL MINE.

Stuffed Peppers
makes 6 stuffed halves

3 bell peppers, halved and scooped of seeds and white stuff (use the ones with four bumps on the bottom- also known as the females-because you can fit more stuffing in there)
1 box Lundberg's rice mix, prepared (I went with the Garlic and Basil). If you don't get this where you are, leftover seasoned rice (about two cups) should do the trick.
1 cup assorted veggies of choice, chopped (I used green beans, onion, and some frozen peas and carrots)
1/2 cup vegan sausage, browned (or favorite burger crumbles, or browned tempeh, etc), if desired
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped and toasted
2 tbsp hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup white wine
pepper to taste
3 tbsp shredded vegan cheese
fresh parsley

Heat oven to 375°

Assuming that you've already prepared the rice, stir in everything but the cheese. Stuff your pepper halves, top with cheese, and wrap loosely in foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Unwrap the peppers and continue baking for another 5 or so minutes, so the cheese can melt and brown a little. Remove from oven and cool for a minute before moving to plates. Garnish with a little reserved chopped toasted nuts and fresh parsley.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beets me.

Tuesday's challenge: Use at least two of the following: walnuts, beets, and bean sprouts.

Beets. Ugh. It had to be beets. Luckily, this turned out delicious.

With Gardein meatloaf, which is also yum.

Pomegranate Glazed Roasted Vegetables with Walnuts
makes four servings 

1 medium sized golden beet (I used one a little larger than a baseball)
10-15 brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp pomegranate glaze (I got mine at Trader Joe's. If not handy, pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar would work)
2 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup  toasted walnuts
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400°. Scrub the beet, but don't peel it. Rub a little olive oil on it, sprinkle with some of the thyme, wrap in foil and roast for an hour. Let cool, then peel the beet, and dice it. While the beet is cooling, toss the sprouts with the olive oil until just lightly coated, but not swimming in it. Roast in a shallow pan for 20 minutes, then toss lightly with the garlic, thyme, and the diced beet. Drizzle the glaze over the vegetables. Roast for another 10-15 minutes. Stir in the walnuts (that you just toasted yourself, riiiight?) Salt and pepper to taste.

 P.S. You ought to check out Suzie V. Homemaker's answer to this challenge. I may be a beet fan after all.