Tag Archives: chili

GAZPACHO!

Sounds funny, tastes delicious… This is a simple cold summer soup that is loaded with good nutrients and packed with flavor. It should be a staple in your diet whether you’re vegan or not. Ours is made from the following ingredients:
2 bell peppers, stems and seeds removed (I like 2 different colors, in this case yellow and red)
1/2 cup of cilantro stems
2 cucumbers
juice from 1 lemon
5 tomatoes, stems removed
1 jalapeño (optional for the brave)
6-8 scallion onions, chopped just as the bulb turns green, stems diced
4-5 strawberries (optional)
hot sauce and salt to taste

Brent cut up the vegetables into sizes that fit easily in our food processor. The skins can be left on the cucumber for a richer flavor if they’re organic, otherwise I remove most of it if not all.


The tomato, cucumber, peppers, strawberries, lemon juice, scallion bulbs and cilantro stems all went into the processor and was blended until smooth. Afterward I added salt and hot sauce to taste, garnished with scallion onion (you can use cilantro too, if you like). and served with grilled cashew cheese sammiches. It hit the spot after a day in the muggy Florida heat. Let me know what you think!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Epic Vegan Queso

We decided to take queso to the next level. Fortunately the preparation wasn’t epic; it is incredibly simple to make your own awesome queso at home.

You can start with Nacho Mom’s Vegan Queso or any other pre-made vegan queso or make your own.

Take your vegan queso and combine it with the following:
1 15 ounce tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced and microwaved until soft
1 15 ounce tin of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 package of Tofurkey soy Chorizo
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Then we microwave it until it’s hot, stirring every thirty seconds. This is perfect for a gathering with friends, even omnivores!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Spicy Peanut Chili Pizza!

This was our first in a line of experiments involving some of our favorite ingredients: PB2, Sriracha and tofu. We wanted pizza but didn’t have any of he traditional ingredients so we decided to wing it and make something Thai-inspired. We used a pre-made gluten-free pizza crust from the ZenCat bakery but you can use a storebought variety or make our home-made crust.
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For the sauce, I combined the following in our blender:
1 block of silken tofu
3 tablespoons of Sriracha or suitable substitute (or to taste)
2 Thai chilis, I used one red and one green (I also buy them in bulk and freeze them)
2 tbsp PB2 or regular peanut butter
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I blended it until it looked smooth while Brent prepared some soy curls.

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We topped it with some sliced tomato and Thai basil (cilantro would work well too) and then baked it until it had started to brown around the edges.

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A sprinkling of chopped peanuts (or cashews) really made this pizza interesting but it won’t suffer if you leave it off. It was creamy, spicy and decadent. It felt a lot naughtier than it was in terms of nutrition. The next time we do this, I’ll probably add some fresh cilantro or Thai basil after baking. I just love the cinnamon flavors it adds.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Stock!

This post is about making stock for soup, mashed potatoes, French Onion soup, gravy, risotto or whatever you would normally use soup stock for and it’s crazy simple. Even if you like to compost (or have bunnies to ‘process’ your leftover veggies) this is a great way to get more out of your veggies before you throw them in your bin. Get yourself a big old freezer safe storage container. Every time you peel the skins off onions or garlic, cut the ends of carrots or celery, stems from parsley and other herbs, stumps from mushrooms or broccoli… really anything. I add lemon peel from time to time for certain recipes like pho and orange peel for zesty soy curls. Dump it into the container (I like to use a freezer bag) and store in your freezer.

When your container is full of veggie scraps, dump the contents into a pan, cover with water and simmer for at least 2 hours. Strain the liquid into a container and freeze for whenever. Now the veggies are extra mushy for composting or your sink disposal.

The stock will have no added fat or sodium and full of flavor. I like to store the stock in zippered freezer baggies too. If the bag is full enough for about 1/2 inch thickness when lying on its side, then you’ll be able to thaw it quickly.

This is Christie, signing off.

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The Lazy Vegan: Amy’s Strikes Again, Another Giveaway Winner!

Yes, this is my second Lazy Vegan post in a row, but I choose not to feel too guilty about it because I know my time is spent doing other worthwhile things like getting ready for the holidays. Ho ho ho! Amy’s is a trusted brand among all of us at Turning Veganese. I stepped away from the frozen section (where I usually shop for Amy’s Kitchen products) and meandered to the canned section, where I found this lovely item:

chiliNow I know that making chili is really easy but I’m glad to know that there’s a vegan option out there for when I don’t have time or simply don’t want to make a giant pot of chili. Amy’s Organic Chili is a great vegan chili that consists of red beans and tofu (textured to look like ground meat). I tried the Medium spice level which wasn’t terribly spicy at all — it’s more tart/salty than spicy. The directions are simple. Maybe a little too simple: heat and serve. Um… how about a little guidance, Amy? I definitely didn’t want to have to wash a pot to I poured half the can into a microwave-safe bowl, heated it for 60 sec, mixed it around and then heated it for another 45 seconds. This seemed like a perfect amount of time. Warning: it will explode so make sure you cover the bowl before heating it.

The chili tasted good, but there’s a weird sweetness to it and I found that it improved exponentially after I added some raw onion and crushed red pepper. Cheese, such as shredded Daiya cheddar, would probably be a good addition as well. I found the beans to be a little mushy. It doesn’t compare to homemade chili, but I would definitely buy it again to keep in the cupboard when I’m looking for something comforting and easy on a cold winter night. I also think that this would work great on nachos or maybe even on fries or a vegan hot dog. At any rate, I am a big fan of Amy’s and have been so long before I turned veganese. I’m really happy to see more Amy’s products, including gluten- and dairy-free products, in my grocer’s freezer and canned food aisle.

On to the fun stuff!!! This week’s winner of a Bubble & Bee Lotion Stick is… Lle Schreiber! Woohoooo! Check out her blog, Living, Learning, Eating. There’s still one more chance to win a lotion stick as well as a chance to enter our TofuXpress giveaway. Get all the details here! –Melissa

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The Other Lazy Vegans: TV dinner 2

We’ve been giving Amy’s frozen dinners a try lately after a recent success with tamale with roasted vegetables so we went ahead and decided to try their tamale with salsa verde.

It looked a lot more appetizing right out of the box. This is because the rice is recognizable compared with the puddle of beans in the other package.

We prepared this in our microwave and it was quick and easy to follow the instructions.

We ended up adding some flake red pepper and garlic salt but that’s just how we roll. The ingredients were unobjectionable and it was tasty all by itself.

The ingredients were good and it was reasonably priced for how much time and cleanup it saved me. I think I need to learn how to make my own tamales, but I’d buy it again.

This is Christie, signing off!

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NACHOS!

Brent and I like to play video games together. Nothing says “gamer” like junk food so that’s where this is headed. All you really need is tortilla chips and Daiya but crumbled seasoned tofu, olives, chopped jalapeño, diced tomato or onions, salsa, Tofutti sour cream and a lot of other things can help bring your nachos up a notch.

We baked ours in the oven to melt the Daiya after adding seasoned crumbled tofu, salsa, jalapeño, onion and salsa. A little fresh cilantro would have made this unstoppable but its absence didn’t stop us from devouring it.

I le recommend, especially if you’ve got a football game or a video game in your future.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Crazy Easy Three Bean Chili and a Giveaway!

Three bean vegan chili is nothing to sneeze at when we make it. Before I talk about chili though, I’m going to tell you about Muir Glen – I’ve been using their organic canned tomatoes for years.

I grew up farming and tomatoes have a special place in my heart. In fact I’m a tomato snob. I usually turn my nose up at tomatoes in the supermarket and in restaurants because they’ve lost their flavor through refrigeration, artificial ripening techniques, and through selective breeding for other traits like improved shelf life. Subsequently I turn to canned varieties unless I can get good ones from my garden or from my farmer’s market. Muir Glen has a range of organic tomato products including their roasted diced tomatoes, tomato paste and regular diced tomatoes. Whatever they’re doing over there definitely makes a difference and this is a giveaway so you can see for yourself without spending your hard earned cash.

Back to chili. Tomatoes are important for chili recipes. I can’t imagine chili without them: they provide a crisp base and a source of important nutrients like lycopene and vitamin C. To begin we assembled the following:

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeño, minced

1 cube vegetable bouillon

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 15oz. tin of pinto beans

1 15oz. tin of kidney beans

1 15oz. tin of black beans

1 15oz. tin of diced tomatoes

1 15oz. tin roasted diced tomatoes

1 cup TVP (use a 15oz. tin of pumpkin puree if you’re sensitive to soy or both if you want a mellower chili)

1 tsp flake red pepper (more if you like spicy food)

salt to taste

1 tsp olive oil

We sauteed the onion, jalapeño and spices and sauteed it in olive oil until the mixture was fragrant and steamy.

Then we added the tomatoes and heated them until it started to bubble.

Then I added the rest of the ingredients (don’t drain the liquid from the beans or tomatoes). I added both TVP and pumpkin. That’s just how I roll. After it was nice and hot, I adjusted the spices and served up topped with Daiya and some home made bread.

This is a flavorful chili that will fool a lot of meat eaters with how hearty it is. The roasted tomatoes add an additional depth of flavor that you can’t get just by adding liquid smoke. The textured vegetable protein will confuse a lot of vegans because it’s so meaty. It’s cholesterol-free, high in fiber and low in fat.
So now on to the giveaway. This is a promo by Muir Glen: they’re going to send you a 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, a 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Diced Tomatoes, a 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, a 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes and recipe booklet featuring a variety of recipes created by award-winning chefs from around the country. Of course you’ll only need the recipe book for using the other cans of tomatoes because you’ll want 2 of them for my recipe.

In order for me to select winners, all you have to do is the following:

1. like and follow our blog

2. like us on FaceBook

3. comment below on what you use tinned tomatoes for most often in your kitchen

Then I’ll ask each of the randomly selected winners (5 in total) to email us their mailing address before midnight Sunday, October 14. I’m excited to pass on some free products that I’ve been enjoying for years so that I can be sure I’m not crazy for liking Muir Glen.

This is Christie, signing off.

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Soy Curl Adobo with Eggplant Salad

Adobo is a quintessential Filipino dish and cooking method. Pork or chicken are usually used, however, seafood and even vegetables can be cooked adobo-style. Clearly, soy curls are a great substitute. I’m still amazed by what a great meat substitute they are. I’m also amazed that it took me so long to try making soy curl adobo because it’s so quick and easy. Special shout-out to my cousin Dulce for motivating me!

Here’s what you’ll need for soy curl adobo:

soy curls
soy sauce
white vinegar
garlic cloves, very coarsely minced
black peppercorns
bay leaf
Butler Chik-Style Seasoning (optional)
turbinado (optional)

I’m not listing measurements because all you need to know is this: use equal parts soy sauce and vinegar and use more if you want the adobo to be soupy and less if you don’t. The amount of garlic is your call, too, but adobo is meant to be garlicky. With about 1 cup of soy curls, I used 2 tbsp each of soy sauce and vinegar and two garlic cloves.

I put the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and peppercorns in a small bowl (I didn’t have a bay leaf). Then, I fired up a small frying pan (you can also use a saucepan or pot), heated some olive oil in it, threw in my rehydrated soy curls and some Chik-Style seasoning, and mixed it all together.

Immediately after that, I added in the soy sauce-vinegar mixture. I mixed it again and let it cook. Optional: once the liquid starts cooling off a bit, you can add some turbinado (I did not).

I didn’t use a lot of liquid, so I ended up with some dry adobo, which suits me just fine.

To accompany the adobo, I made an eggplant salad using one roasted eggplant, diced tomato, and minced shallot. My dad pickles his pepper surplus, so I took one of these little chili peppers, minced it, and threw it in the salad along with some salt.

So yummy! The best part is, this dish can last for several days. It’s a road trip favorite for Filipinos for this very reason. I hope you’ll try it. Oh! I made another great discovery today. My sister usually has an allergic reaction to soy milk and tofu. She tried this and so far, no reaction. Yay! –Melissa

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Tofu Rogan Josh

So… Indian food… awesome… yeah. I’ve got a few Indian colleagues and one of them gave me her recipe for lamb rogan josh and I did my best to veganize it.You’ll need the following:

1 package water packed tofu, pressed and chopped into bite-sized chunks.
1 package of baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 tbsp corn oil or other oil suitable for frying
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big toe sized piece of ginger, minced
1 pinkie sized piece of turmeric, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
15-20 curry leaves
2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 14oz tin of peeled plum tomatoes
1 lime, juice and zest, cut in half
curry leaves, to taste
salt and pepper to taste (garam masala works instead of pepper)

Getting the ingredients together was the hardest part. Finding fresh curry leaves was a mission but we did… did you know they grow on trees? I didn’t know that before our quest for curry leaves. They’re pretty important for this dish so I recommend seeking them out.
To start, add the onion to a large pot with the corn oil and fry it on high temperature until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, turmeric, curry leaves and ginger and keep frying. Add the dry spices and zest and keep frying.This should look and be very dry. When the spices become fragrant and everything in the kitchen smells awesome

Add the tomato, 1/2 lime juice and cream cheese and mix. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, before the tomato gets too hot, put it all in your blender and mix until smooth.

Add the tofu and mushrooms and allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes so the tofu takes on the flavors of the dish. Stir in the green bell pepper and coriander 10 minutes before serving.

So we served this with quinoa and red wine and it was not too far off from what I’ve had in restaurants: tart, creamy, herbal and rich. Did I mention I love Indian food?

It was loaded with veggies, protein and exciting herbs. Even if it wasn’t authentic, it’s still delicious and good for you. We hope you get to try it.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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