Tag Archives: spicy

Cajun Blackened Tempeh

We found some easy prep red beans and rice and decided to make a Cajun meal (or our version of it) using that, some steamed green beans that we topped with BacUn from Pure Market Express and some spiced tempeh that we coated in our home-made rub and blackened under our broiler.
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper (feel free to grind the whole peppercorns with the mortar and pestle)
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

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After mixing these spices in a bowl I rolled each piece of tempeh (I recommend marinating it in some veggie bouillon or your favorite marinade for 1-2 hours, some tempeh can be dry) in the mixture. I placed the tempeh in a dish and covered it lightly with a paper towel. I then microwaved the tempeh for 2 minutes total for 30 seconds at a time, turning it over between sessions.

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Then I put it on tin foil and placed it near our broiler on each side for 2-3 minutes or until it started to toast.

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The result… happy Brent and happy Christie.

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Easy Bean Salsa

I was craving bean dip but didn’t want something too thick or chunky, so I made some slightly runny bean dip.

 

I gathered the following ingredients and mixed them in a food processor:

1 small tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained

I topped it with some diced onion, cilantro, and salsa verde and noshed on it with some tortilla chips.

Easy and delicious! –Melissa

Did you hear about our giveaway? Read this post for all the details and thanks for visiting Turning Veganese. You are awesome!

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Mean Green Openface Sandwiches!

I’m calling this the mean green sandwich because it’s full of raw, good-for-you awesomesauce and they’re open face because I like to look my meal in the eye. Fortunately these don’t have any eyes because I have issues with that. The first thing I did was make a basil garlic spread using the following:

1 very large handful of basil leaves

5-6 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 cup of pumpkin pits

1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tsp Meyer lemon olive oil

2 tbsp veganaise

1/2 tsp flake red pepper

1/2 cup of water (you might not use all of it)

I blended all of that up, adding water as needed to form a spreadable texture. We spread it on sliced, toasted gluten-free bread and topped it with spinach and avocado.

I added a lot of extra flake red pepper because I’m just that kind of girl. This was a fast and delicious meal. The buttery avocado was a great contrast to the spicy basil and pesto. The nuttiness of the bread and hemp reminded me I was getting a heaping dose of omega fatty acids and protein to go with my antioxidants and iron.  It would have been great in a nori wrap with sprouts too for a real raw meal! Maybe we’ll do that next time and until then, nom on!

This is Christie, signing off!

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The Lazy (and lucky) Vegan: Gardein and Surprises

Have I mentioned yet that I love love love Gardein products? I had heard of them long before I turned veganese because one of my favorite hangouts, The Yard House, serves their products. They have a Thai Chicken (or rather, Gardein) Noodle Salad and I fell in love with the ‘chicken.’ It was almost unbelievable how much it seemed like real chicken. Also great is their Firecracker Gardein ‘wings,’ which could probably fool a lot of carnivores.

The best part about Gardein is that I can find a variety of their products in just about any grocery store. WIN! At any given moment, I am sure to have Gardein something or other in my freezer. It’s perfect to have on a day like today when I don’t have any leftovers, I’m too lazy too cook, I’m low on ingredients, and I am too exhausted to stop anywhere after work. Gardein to the rescue!

These crispy tenders are AWESOME. I had three left in the bag, so I threw them in my toaster oven to cook.

 

Meanwhile, I chopped some tomato, cucumber, and green onion to make a salad. To spice it up, I finely chopped a pickled chili pepper. I finished off the salad with about a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt.

Then, my bro showed up with some Korean food. The spiced up cucumber is my favorite, but it is unfortunately not pictured because it went right into my belly. But I still had oh-so-yummy soy bean sprouts, a spiced up pepper, brocolli, and shredded asparagus, all seasoned very deliciously. Thanks, bro! You made my pathetic dinner super duper awesome!

Here’s an closeup of the Gardein crispy tenders. It’s also a closeup of my bright orange fingernail. I am in dire need of a manicure. What do you think of that color? I was trying it on so it’s only on my thumb. I’m thinking it’s a little too crazy for me. Oh, wait. Wrong blog. Sorry. Ahem.

Gardein products contain soy and gluten, which really sucks because some of my favorite people won’t be able to tolerate it. It is such amazing stuff that has saved me a couple times when I almost cracked under the pressure of a chicken wing craving.

Happy Monday Evening! And remember… Turning Veganese loves you. –Melissa

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The Vegan Survival Guide – Chapter 1 : Salvage

While this blog has loads of excellent ideas for meals, snacks, and other nomulous goodies, it doesn’t tell you how to survive when what you make doesn’t exactly look/taste/smell as good as expected. This post is to help you when the situation strikes.

A mantra I live by is ‘Enough hot sauce and anything can taste good’ has helped me recover what would otherwise be a disastrous snack or meal. Here are some of my favorites.

Tapatío

Tapatío is there if you want to make something burny spicy. I’ll be the first to admit that doesn’t sound very nice, but I like burny… most times. It can overcome flavors that are otherwise unpleasant. Whether it’s the sauce laying waste to your taste buds or enhancing the flavor is up for debate. Bottom line : It works.

 

 

Cholula 

This hot sauce is milder than Tapatio, and that’s alright. It adds more flavor as opposed to burning, and that’s pretty badass. It certainly adds spice, don’t get me wrong. But it’s mild enough that it shouldn’t tear your mouth apart when mixing it in with / topping something. Bonus : It also comes in a chipotle variety.
( *m*)

 

Sriracha

Pronounced ‘cock sauce’,* this chili sauce is divine. It really goes on most anything really really well. It works best with rice dishes, in my opinion, but I’ll reiterate that any food will fall before Sriracha.

 

 

Moore’s Buffalo Wing Sauce

This sauce has become my new mistress of sorts. To me, the balance of spice and flavor is excellent. It adds a little salty flavor (from the vinegar), and a good amount of spice that won’t leave you on the toilet the next morning wondering if you dropped the soap on the show Oz. A special note : Buffalo wing sauces often use butter as an ingredient. Moore’s does not, and uses margarine instead. This is very important to look out for if you want to keep your vegan powers.

Salsa

While not really hot sauce, per se, salsa can be the missing ingredient when salvaging a meal. You’ll be getting additional veggies and salt (depending on how you or the manufacturer prepares it), as well as something to enhance/drown the flavor of your food. Keep some on hand just in case.

As you venture forth into the vegan unknown, there are some tools you will want to keep handy so as to save what you will undoubtedly spend what seems like endless time preparing. Granted, this is true for all culinary learning experiences, not just for vegans. However, as a vegan you may find yourself cooking for yourself more than you ever did before. The take home message here is to not throw it out if it’s gnarly; try using some spicy condiments instead. What are some of your tricks to save meals that don’t quite come out right?

*Not really, but it appeals to my inner 12 year-old

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A Little Soy on Soy Action

I have made a soy sauce/tofu dish before, the delicious Tofustek! which is a veganized version of a Filipino comfort food. I considered making Tofustek! tonight but wanted something a little more interesting. I contemplated how I could season the tofu differently and came up with something surprisingly sexy. And by ‘sexy,’ I mean ‘pretty damn tasty.’

Melissa’s Sesame Tofu

1 block extra firm tofu, sliced into thin ‘steaks’
2 tablespoons soy sauce or your preferred alternative
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
red pepper flakes (optional)
sesame seeds
green onion, chopped

First, I sliced the tofu and set the slices up to dry. While they were drying, I took my empty and rinsed out tofu container, threw in the soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice and red pepper flakes, and mixed them all together. I fired up a frying pan and started heating some safflower oil, just enough to coat the pan. While it was warming up, I sprinkled some sesame seeds onto a plate. I dipped my tofu steaks in the sauce and then dipped them in the sesame seed plate. I only wanted a light sprinkling of sesame seeds, but you can crust it on there if you want (you may then also want to dip your tofu in some flour so the sesame seeds stick better).

As I finished coating each steak, I placed them in the pan. I fried the steaks for awhile — I wanted the tofu to have a sturdy texture. I flipped them every few minutes. When they looked nearly done, I tossed some green onion into the pan and flipped the tofu a couple more times.

I took some leftover rice and fried it up in the pan. It soaked up whatever sauce was still lingering. I still had some sauce and ginger bits left so I threw that in the rice along with some more green onion. I had a side of raw carrots which really complimented the dish. My dessert of fresh papaya made this a dinner to remember.

So easy. So few ingredients. Very flavorful and filling.

Stay sexy, friends! –Melissa

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Vegan Buffalo Tacos: not an oxymoron

Brent and I wanted a quick easy meal so we did what any reasonable vegans would do: we made Buffalo tacos. Now, you might be thinking, “buffalo isn’t vegan.” Of course buffalo isn’t vegan, but Buffalo sauce is. This particular marinade hails from Buffalo, New York and typically includes some sort of chili, vinegar and butter or margarine mixed to creamy spicy perfection. In my college days we referred to the sauce’s namesake as “B-lo”, TMI? We’re using Moore’s because it’s made with margarine.

We decided to bake up some soy curls the same way we did for our quesadillas but chickpeas, beans or tofu prepared with a light dusting of chili pepper and soy sauce would be a perfect substitute. While they were cooking, Brent sliced up some bell pepper and onion. When they were done I heated up some corn tortillas in a fry pan; you don’t have to but they taste better. We used corn tortillas but wheat is fine if that’s what you’re into.

Then we dressed up the tortillas with greens, onion, bell pepper, soy curls and a generous dose of Buffalo sauce. This was definitely worth the 20 minutes of prep time; look how happy the guy is!

Next time we might add some sliced tomato and cilantro but it’s totally not a big deal if you don’t have them.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Nacho Mac&Cheese: Not your Ordinary Mac and Cheese.

This was an evening when the man-meat and I just wanted to chill out so we made something super fast. Brent prepared the pasta (as I’ve noted in previous posts, I can’t be trusted with parts of a meal that require patience) and I added a tablespoon of olive oil and about 2 cups of chickpeas (1 cup of dry beans, soaked or 1 can, drained) and fried them lightly with some chili powder.

To this I added a tin of diced tomatoes. I used a tin of “Rotel” mild with diced green chilis.

After this was looking and smelling amazing we shredded some basil (cilantro would have been better but we didn’t have any) into it and then added the cheese. You can also add some nutritional yeast for a flavor boost and nutrients.

This cheese is called “Ste. Martaen” and we used their pepperjack variety. I don’t like this cheese for eating: I find the texture disturbing. It’s great for cooking since the flavors are fabulous and it melts well. It’s made with an agar base (that’s a seaweed based gelatin, very sustainable and low calorie) As you can see, we’ve got a cheesy mass of chickpeas and tomato that’s still very low in calories, cholesterol free and high in nutrients like protein, vitamin C, and fiber and we haven’t even added the quinoa pasta yet!

This is the finished product. We devoured it and vowed to make it again. The creamy sauce was spicy and cheesy and the bite of the peppers was balanced by the smooth chickpeas and mellow tomato.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Eggplanitas Tacos

Eggplant has saved my life again. It’s quite nice when you can go from “Crap! What will I eat for dinner?!” to “Awww yeeeah, baby, I just had an awesome dinner!” I took inventory of what was in the fridge and decided to try something new today: Eggplant tacos!

Ingredients:
2 roasted Chinese eggplants — we roast our eggplants by sticking them under the broiler (try not to set them on fire)
3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder — use ancho chili powder if you want something less spicy
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 of a small onion, diced
olive or safflower oil

 

I took the eggplants out of the fridge chopped them into about 1 inch pieces, and then ‘shredded’ them by mashing them with a fork. It reminded me of carnitas.

I added my spices and the onion and mixed it all together. I then debated whether or not to eat it just like that. Roasted eggplant is pretty awesome when it’s cold.

I heated up some safflower oil in a pan and then added the eggplant mixture (medium heat). The eggplant is already cooked so I mixed it up in the pan until any water had dried up and the onions were translucent. It didn’t take long at all for everything to heat through.

I heated up my tortillas and then hung them up to shape. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but I feel like a genius.

My mom showed up and got all fancy by adding avocado to her tacos. Ansg thesgn I atgje shle ghoog. Oh, excuse me! I shouldn’t type with my mouth full. I made a cilantro slaw to go with the tacos:

Cilantro Slaw
1 cup shredded cabbage
juice of 1 lime
chopped cilantro (maybe 1/4-1/3 cup or so)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I’m so glad that I decided to get creative for dinner tonight. I am thrilled with how it turned out. Now please pardon me while I stuff my face.  —Melissa

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Portobello Tacooooh yeaaaah!

I love tacos. Who doesn’t? Except for communists, of course. Just kidding. I know communists love tacos too. Anyways, I’m making some fajita-style portobello mushrooms and I’m going to stuff them into some corn tortillas. I do recommend the flour sort because you can stuff more into them but I have this whole concept of avoiding gluten for my gastric health. Personal problems aside, you might want to gather together some toppings: diced bell peppers, Daiya pepperjack cheese, seasoned black beans, salsa, hot sauce and guacamole are among my personal favorites. Follow your heart… to TACOS!For the portobello fajita filling (for 1-2 people), assemble the following:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

3 portobello mushrooms, cut into strips
1/2 cup onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 lime
1 serrano pepper or jalapeno, minced (optional, for spice)
flour or corn tortillas
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes or until almost tender.

Add onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt, and peppers. I used jalapeño peppers. I keep a bag of them in my freezer, tops cut off. They keep really well that way. I cut them after they’ve thawed partially.

Spoon about 1/4 cup mushroom mixture down center of each tortilla. Add whatever toppings you like: the more the merrier. Roll up. Insert into mouth and enjoy!

I add some shredded soy cheese, hot sauce, bell pepper and wrapped it in a lightly toasted corn tortilla. This is a perfect treat for a Saturday evening game or a Wednesday night fight. You’ll have to scale up my recipe but this is social food to enjoy with good friends (though I think all good food is made better by good company.)

This is Christie, signing off.

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