Category Archives: Recipes

Korean BBQ and Mom’s Eggplant Salad

My Mom made an eggplant salad of sorts and I thought it would go really well with some korean bbq.

 

I previously posted a recipe for vegan korean bbq or kalbi. The original recipe works fine, but I made a few modifications:

1/2 cup soy curls
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely minced (you can use garlic powder if you’re in a hurry)
sesame seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup

I set the soy curls in water to rehydrate. Then, I mixed the rest of the ingredients together. Once the soy curls were rehydrated and drained, I mixed everything together and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then, I cooked the soy curls in a frying pan.

 

To make the eggplant salad, Mom started with eggplant that was already roasted and cooked it with garlic, onion, chili paste, sesame oil, and salt.

Enjoy with white or brown rice! –Melissa

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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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Daal Biryani

Bryani is a dish that’s a regional specialty in one of my co-workers’ home town, Hyderabad, India. She gave me her recipe which calls for lamb and asked me to know how the vegan version pans out. I told her I planned to use lentils and she corrected me, “daal” so that’s what I’m calling it. We used the following:

1 cup of lentils or black-eyed peas, soaked and drained
1 cup split lentils, washed and drained
2-3 chili peppers (we’re using 2 jalapeños)
1 big toe sized piece of ginger, sliced
1 thumb sized piece of turmeric, sliced

some curry leaves if you’ve got them
2-3 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 carton of silken tofu
juice from 1 lemon

2 medium onions, sliced into strips
4 smallish tomatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
4 medium white mushrooms, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 pinch of cumin seeds
3 bay leaves

corn oil

1 cup of basmati rice

Put a tablespoon or so of corn oil into a large pan and add the cumin seeds. Heat it until they start to sputter, then add the onion, peppers, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, tofu and lemon juice into a large pot, add a little corn oil and stir fry. Add about 1.5 liters of water and use a hand blender to mix everything into a smooth creamy broth.

Chop your veggies while that heats to a simmer.

Now mix in the veggies, legumes and rice.

We added eggplant in addition to mushrooms. They’ll float to the top, this isn’t a problem; it means you won’t need a lid.. Cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice and legumes are tender. This will take about 1 hour give or take 15 minutes on low heat. You can also bake it at 350F/180C in your favorite baking dish for about an hour.

This is a great meal for hungry people who like curry. I don’t know how it measures up to the carnist version, but we managed to eat all of it within 2 days and considering it was almost too big for the pot I was using, this is really saying something. Brent wanted to add some chopped green peppers to the mix immediately before serving next time for a sweet crisp crunch and I agree that would add something. If you try it, let me know. Enjoy!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Stuffed Bitter Melon (Ampalaya)

This dish originated from a craving for soy curl BBQ, believe it or not. One thought led to another, and next thing I knew, I was grabbing a bitter melon or ampalaya from the fridge and getting to work. I’ve eaten a lot of ampalaya and I’ve eaten it in many, many ways, but I’ve never had it like this.

I made this using one relatively small (6-7 inches) bitter melon, so adjust the recipe measurements as needed if you have lots of melons.

Stuffed Bitter Melon

1 bitter melon
1 cup soy curls (I use Butler)
1 tbsp plum sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
olive oil
salt

I cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, scooped out its guts, and then put it in a bowl of salt water and let it soak. This helps to remove some of the bitterness. I then took the soy curls and put them in a bowl of water to rehydrate. While the melon and soy curls were both soaking, I minced the garlic and ginger.

When the soy curls were ready, I chopped them into small pieces to facilitate stuffing the melon halves. Then I browned them in a pan for about three minutes. I have started sprinkling Butler’s Chik-Style Seasoning whenever I cook soy curls to give it a more meaty flavor. This is totally optional!

I removed the soy curls from heat, placed them in a bowl, and coated them with the plum sauce, chili garlic sauce, and minced garlic and ginger. While the flavors marinaded for a bit, I got back to my bitter melon halves and rinsed them very well to remove all the salt.

I placed the halves in a baking pan and stuffed them with the soy curl mixture. Then I baked them at 325 degrees in the toaster oven for 10 minutes and raised the temp to 350 for the last five minutes. If you use a regular oven, I would bake them at 350 degrees straight for 15 minutes. You may need to keep it in there longer if you want the bitter melons to be tender. I like my melons with a little crunch.

Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS! This was so delicious. It was sweet, spicy, and subtly bitter. I ate it with some rice, but it’s yummy all on its own. I’m glad to report that this was omnivore-approved. If you don’t have bitter melon, bell peppers would probably make a good substitute.

Let me take a minute to praise Butler Soy Curls. This product has seriously upped my excitement for vegan cooking. You can buy them directly from Butler in bulk or from Vegan Essentials, which is a Turning Veganese favorite.

Soy curls stuffed in bitter melon. Who knew?! Happy eating and experimenting, everyone! –Melissa

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Easy Eggplant Sandwich

I’m weirded out by eggplant that I see in grocery stores. They never look as pretty or feel as nice as the ones that grow in my Dad’s garden. I took this photo about three weeks ago; we have a mess of eggplants now.

Eggplant is superb. You can use it in a variety of ways and in a variety of styles (Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, etc.). We “roasted” some eggplant by broiling them whole until they were soft and then peeled the skins. You can refrigerate the roasted eggplant for use later, which is what we did in this case.

You’ll need the following for the Easy Eggplant Sandwich:

roasted eggplant
sliced tomato
vegan pesto
toasted bread

Another garden goody is fresh basil. Here’s a pic of my Dad picking some basil for me for this recipe. I needed it for the pesto!

To make the pesto, put the following into a food processor and combine:

1 1/2 cups fresh basil
4-5 garlic cloves
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c almonds or pine nuts
1/4-1/3 c nutritional yeast
salt, to taste
crushed red pepper (optional but highly recommended by me)

Look at this beautiful pesto! The non-vegans in the house thoroughly enjoyed it so I am extra proud of it.

Get all your ingredients together on the table.

To construct the sandwich, take your toast, spread pesto on it (it’s okay to be liberal with the amount you use–go crazy!), mash some eggplant on that (no need to reheat if it’s chilled), and top with tomato.

Well, I could write some more about this, but I would like to be alone with my sandwich now… –Melissa

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I Love Freeze-For-Whenever Olive Black-eyed Pea Burgers!

I’ve been battling mooshy burgers since I started making vegan burgers. I’ve found that if they’re firm enough, they’re often too dry. If they’re moist enough, they moosh out the side of your bun. What is a girl to do?

I decided to experiment with making frozen patties because it seems to work so well for all those store bought brands. I assembled the following:

1 cup of black-eyed peas, soaked OR 1 can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup of sliced olives

1/4 cup of mushrooms, chopped (optional)

1/4 onion, chopped

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I chopped some gluten-free bread in my food processor)

1 tbsp onion salt

1 tsp garlic salt

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

2 tbsp corn oil

red pepper flakes and salt to taste

If you’re using dried beans, take a moment to microwave them in water 3-4 times at 2 minute intervals to soften them slightly. We put all the ingredients into a bowl and I set my expert moosher (that’s Brent) to power moosh. It wasn’t long before it was looking and smelling like burger material so I started scooping the mixture into some plastic freezer safe containers.

I made sure that the patties were compacted and of a relatively uniform thickness, about 1/2-3/4 inch. I put a piece of plastic wrap over it and then used the next one to help compact the burger. I put them in the freezer until I was ready to use them.

These were actually some of the best burgers Brent and I have prepared. They were moist and held together and had a pleasing dense texture. They tasted enough like ground beef to be a little disturbing. I have no desire to eat cows!

I am going to take a moment to discuss why ground beef isn’t so great for your body. The obvious stuff aside (cholesterol, saturated fat, hormones and antibiotics) cooking beef or any meat is a tricky business. Preparing meat for food means balancing microbial contaminants with carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meat is cooked. Big agribusiness has made the case that they cannot ‘efficiently’ process large volumes of animals without some inherent contamination by the animals’ feces. This means that if you buy meat, it’s got poop on it and the law says that’s okay. They cover their butts (pardon my language) by saying, “Cook it thoroughly.” Which translates to, “If you get sick it’s your fault for not cooking it thoroughly.” Try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of people that get some form of food poisoning or another every year from eating meat.

So fine, meat is ‘safe’ if you cook it thoroughly but back to the issue of how cooking fundamentally changes the composition of what you’re eating.  Smoked and cured meats have long been the accused culprits of causing colon cancer partly because of how they’re prepared: prolonged exposure to heat. Cancers of the digestive tract are among of the most common and more deadly kinds of cancer, one in 6 will get it and one third of those will die from it within 5 years of being diagnosed.

So you can follow some tips to reduce the risk of introducing carcinogens into your diet or you can skip straight to legumes and other plants (including black-eyed peas!) which have long been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. One of the likely reasons for this activity is phytic acid . This is one of those small molecules that makes biochemists like me swoon but it’s properties speak for themselves. In the context of a Western diet the ability of phytic acid to sequester certain minerals that, in excess, can cause the kind of oxidative stress on the lining of the digestive tract that can eventually lead to cancer. Phytic acid when bound to fluoride from your drinking water, for example, will be excreted in your waste. Still, you can easily reduce the amount of phytic acid by soaking legumes them overnight or sprouting if you’re worried.


I think I’ve rambled enough. Time for burgers! Just pop them out of their frozen container, no thawing necessary and cook on medium high heat until they start to brown. Mine are a little charred… probably why they reminded me so much of ground beef, but they were definitely firm on the outside and moist and delightful on the inside. Yay!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Put the Lime in the Coconut Rum and Mashed Papaya

Is it just me, or do cocktails taste better in the summertime? Don’t get me wrong: nothing beats a spiced up cocktail on a cold winter night. But yummy cool refreshing fruity cocktails when it’s hot out? Perfection. (An ice cold beer on a hot summer day is also perfection.)

This concoction requires three ingredients:

1-1 1/2 c papaya
1-2 shots Malibu
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix it all together. Yes… that’s a lot of Malibu in there. Don’t judge me; I was home for the night. Pour it into a glass over ice and garnish with a lime wedge. If you’re able, take it outside and enjoy it in the nice summer breeze.

Mmmmm…. rum… –Melissa

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Lentil Mushroom Loaf

This particular experiment will have to have another go. I wanted to make a lentil loaf in the spirit of meat loaf. Meat loaf always concerned me as a kid because I couldn’t tell what it was made of except that I always saw cousin Mary dumping crackers and meat that had been into the refrigerator long enough that not really be called meat anymore into a bowl and later, meatloaf would appear. Hmmm… I wonder if I should talk to a therapist about that. Anyways, my experiment involved the following:

1 carton of silken tofu

2 cups of mushrooms

1 1/2 cups of lentils

3 cups water

2 cubes of ‘beef’ bouillon

1 tsp sage

1 tsp thyme

1 pinch nutmeg

6 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup of flax meal

salt and pepper to taste

I cooked the lentils with the water in my microwave with the bouillon. I heated them at 2 minute intervals until the water was all absorbed.

When they were ready I put them into my food processor with the rest of the ingredients.

I mixed it until relatively smooth and then put it into my loaf pan. I baked it at 350F/175C until a toothpick came out clean – about 45 minutes. We sliced it up and made it into sandwiches that were hearty, savory and aromatic. The sage and thyme definitely made a great combo with the mushrooms and lentils.

I think that the flavors were good but I might add some cumin and coriander along with soy sauce instead of salt. It developed a nice firm crust but I think that more flax meal would make it stick together better. I might also not blend up the mushrooms I think the presence of whole mushrooms will make this more visually attractive. A diced onion might help that too. This was delightfully moist but the texture was more like paté than loaf. There will definitely be a next time.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Kare Kare

Kare Kare is a Filipino dish that is usually made up of oxtail and vegetables in a peanut butter sauce. It’s also one of my favorite things to eat, like, ever. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present: Easy Vegan Kare Kare.

1 cup soy curls
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a big eggplant, cut into about 2 inch chunks (approx. 2 cups)
1 cup sitaw (Chinese long beans), cut into about 2 inch pieces — regular green beans are fine, too
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp achiote powder (optional)
olive oil
salt

First, take your one cup of soy curls and rehydrate them. While that’s happening, prepare your veggies. Any type of eggplant will do. You can put in as much veggies as you would like and even drop the soy curls altogether if you’d like. Eggplant and sitaw are the usual veggies we use; we also use bok choy most of the time. The sitaw came from the freezer… I can’t wait to show you guys the fresh ones once they start to pop up in my Dad’s garden.

When the soy curls are ready, drain the water. In a medium pot, heat up the olive oil and brown the garlic and onions. When it stats to get fragrant (and before the garlic starts to burn), toss in the soy curls and saute them with the onions and garlic. Once they’ve dried out a little, it will be time to add your veggies.

Toss the eggplant in first as they will take a bit longer than the beans to cook. Then, add about a cup of water to the pot. Cover and let the eggplants cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the beans and then cover it again for a few minutes.

Once the veggies are cooked, stir things up a bit. Then, make a well in the center of the pot and put in the peanut butter. The PB should melt completely and acts as both a flavor and thickening agent.

Taste the sauce and add some salt to taste. Add the achiote powder as the final step. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but this gives the kare kare its reddish color.

You can eat the kare kare on its own, but I prefer to have it with white rice. The soy curls are a good protein to use, particularly because it is reminiscent of tripe (I know… gross) which is also used a lot in kare kare. What’s the green stuff, you ask? Kare kare is nothing without some bagoong or salted shrimp paste. I was so super jazzed when I found this recipe for raw vegan bagoong on ASTIG Vegan. I couldn’t follow it exactly because I don’t have any dulse, so I improvised and crushed up about 4 sheets of salted seaweed snack instead. It’s wacky, but it actually worked really nicely as a bagoong substitute.

OMG, you guys. You have no idea how excited I am that this recipe worked. BTW – Happy Independence Day. Be safe! –Melissa

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Eggplant Parmesan for Dummies

My sister and I decided to have another one of our cooking challenges where we take a dish and make traditional and vegan versions of it. Our next dish was eggplant parmesan. I looked at several vegan recipes and decided that I was going to follow this one from Oh She Glows. It was a good plan until I botched a critical step (thus the ‘dummies’ part of the title). It doesn’t matter because I ended up with a great version of vegan eggplant parmesan anyway!

Vegan (and Soy-Free) Eggplant Parmesan

1 fat eggplant (I paid an arm and a leg for an eggplant from a place that rhymes with Shmole Broods and then saw prettier looking ones for $2 at a farmers market the next day. BLAST!)
1 c unsweetened and unflavored almond milk
3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour (use a gluten-free flour for a GF version)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 c breadcrumbs
1 jar pasta sauce (I used Organicville Italian Herb pasta sauce)
1 pkg Daiya shredded mozzarella or other vegan mozzarella cheese

I cut my eggplant into 1cm slices and ended up with 14 slices. I then sprinkled some salt on the slices to draw out some of the water –I’m afraid I may have drawn out some of the flavor as well– and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Okay, now here’s where I screwed things up. While the eggplant was chilling out, I was supposed to mix together the milk, flour, vinegar, and spices. Instead, I mixed all that and the bread crumbs. Um. Yeah. Dummy. Oh She Glows calls for the eggplant slices to be dipped in the batter and then coated with the bread crumbs. There was no turning back once I added the bread crumbs, but I will say that it all smelled very good and mixed together nicely.

I had to get over my mentally challenged moment and work with what I had (big thanks to my sis for calming me down). First, I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Then, I grabbed a deep roasting pan, sprinkled the bottom with the bread crumb mixture, laid the eggplant on the crumbs, and then topped it off with the rest of the bread crumbs. I stuck it in the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, I put a pot on the stove to cook pasta to go with the eggplant parmesan, cursing myself the entire time for being unable to follow a brilliant and simple recipe. I chose this spinach spaghetti from Shmole Broods. I tossed it in olive oil and freshly minced garlic.

After the eggplant had been baking for 20 minutes, I poured the entire jar of pasta sauce into the pan, sprinkled some more Italian seasoning on top, and baked for another 15 minutes. Then, I topped it off with the shredded Daiya (I didn’t use the entire package but you can) and baked for another 5 minutes.

It tastes as good as it looks, and I hope it looks good to you. Wondering how the traditional version turned out? We didn’t make one — this version worked for everyone, including my Italian brother-in-law.

I can now say that I’m pleasantly happy with how this turned out. I undoubtedly would have found a way to screw up the breading of the eggplant, and I probably would have ended up with a lot of unused breadcrumbs. This worked out quite well and is how I plan to make this dish in the future. –Melissa

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