Tag Archives: pepper

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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Tempeh ala King

It’s always nice when I can recreate a classic without the heart stopping cream and butter and even better when it tastes amazing. This is the story of my interpretation of chicken ala king. You’ll need the following:

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1 package of tempeh, I like LightLife (above)

1 small onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 carton of mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced

1 carton of silken tofu or a cup of dry cashews soaked overnight, blended to a smooth creamy texture adding water as necessary

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cayenne

1 pinch thyme

1 cube of veggie bouillon (chicken style works well here) dissolved in 1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of sherry or red wine

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Add some olive oil to a fry pan, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and put the tempeh in it and rub it around to coat the tempeh on both sides. Now apply heat, turn the tempeh to lightly brown each side.

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Set the tempeh aside on a plate. Let the pan cool for 2-3 minutes and then add the wine or sherry and mushrooms.

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The mushrooms will start to turn purple. Reduce them and then add the onion and mix well until the onion starts to soften.

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Add the bouillon and creamy tofu or cashews and mix well. Stir in the spices and adjust them to your taste. Reduce over low heat, stirring frequently. When you’re getting ready to call in your hungry self, friends or family put the tempeh and bell pepper and let it heat thoroughly.

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Brent made some rice pasta while I was cooking up the tempeh and sauce so we served this dish over linguini. Rice or mashed potatoes would be good too.

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Some chopped parsley or green onion would make an awesome garnish but it’s pretty all by itself and packed with flavor and good nutrition. Let me know if you get to try it and hopefully you’ll like it as much as we did.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Potatoes Au Gratin, VEGAN STYLE!!!

The holidays are upon us and there’s nothing better than something that’s easy, kid friendly (for your picky nephews), low fat (for your vain body-builder cousin), cholesterol free (for your crotchety aunt), easy (for your peace of mind) and cheap (because you already spent all your money on gifts). This recipe as written will serve 6-8 people as a side dish and doubles easily. It would be great for a departmental potluck.

You’ll need the following:

2 large white potatoes (sliced thin)

2 gigantic yams or sweet potatoes (sliced thin)

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Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are easy to find for around $1 per pound this time of year so I use them fairly often during the holidays. I cut mine with a big old knife. This is one of those times I wish I wasn’t averse to mandolines. The finger that I partially amputated using one always tingles whenever I think about working with one. If you’ve got a good food processor with a slicing blade, I’d recommend using that for safety’s sake, if you’re a fan of the mandoline, use that and be really really really really careful, otherwise use a knife and be really really really careful. I leave the skin on; you don’t have to.

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1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of flake red pepper

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

12-16 ounces of silken tofu

1 cup of soy or almond milk

4 tbsp almond flour

vegan mozzarella and/or parmesan (optional)

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Take the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, flake red pepper, nutritional yeast, tofu and half a cup of milk and blend it all up.

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Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of almond flour on the bottom of a large baking dish and make a layer of white potatoes on it.

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Then slather that layer with some of your tofu mixture. Now repeat the process with the yams or sweet potatoes: layer them on top and then add the tofu cream. You should be able to get 5 or 6 layers of potatoes. I then put the remaining milk into the rest of the tofu sauce and mixed it well before pouring it over the top of the potatoes. I added a few slices of Teese mozzarella (any vegan cheese will do) and sprinkled it with the rest of the almond meal and sprinkled it liberally with walnut parmesan.

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Bake it for an hour and a half at 400F/200C

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You should get a beautiful layered look and a delicious addition to any holiday meal. Hopefully your guests will be too busy enjoying it to notice the orange and white stripes.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Lasagna; Comfort Food and Crowd Pleaser

It’s the day after thanksgiving and you probably can’t eat anymore of those greasy garlic smashed potatoes and decadent Tofurkey roast and are wishing for something light and easy. Well, here it is.

I posted about lasagna a while ago and didn’t give instructions because I consider it a self-explanatory free-form dish. Now that the concept is out there I figure I should give you an idea of what I do so you can weigh in and offer your improvements.

You’ll need the following for the layers:

2-3 zucchini, sliced into long thin strips or 1 large eggplant sliced thin and sauteed

1/2 lb spinach, fresh or frozen

For the tofu ricotta:

1 package of tofu, any kind will do (use a cup of dry cashews, soaked if you’ve got a soy allergy)

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1 pinch salt

For the filling:

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, dried or fresh

1/2 cup of textured vegetable protein or TVP (use lentils if you’ve got a soy allergy)

1 cube of bouillon, I like “beef” for this recipe

1 tbsp cumin powder

1/2 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch chili powder

1/2 onion, chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced

Topping:

pasta sauce (a href=”http://theveganshusband.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the-worlds-best-pasta-sauce/”>I like this one

Daiya or other vegan cheese

Miscellaneous:

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil as needed

Below is my first layer.

I sprayed my pan lightly with olive oil and then arranged my eggplant on top and then covered it with spinach. I buy fresh spinach for salads and freeze whatever is leftover at the end of the week so we usually have some in the freezer.

I put a little olive oil, the onion and garlic into a pan and sauteed them until the onion started to soften. Meanwhile I prepared the bouillon in a cup of water by heating it in the microwave. I added it to the pan along with the mushrooms, TVP and spices for the filling. I heated it on low until the mixture had absorbed most of the moisture.

I added it to the baking dish, poured some sauce over it, put down another layer of spinach and prepared the tofu ricotta.

The tofu and spices went into a bowl and mooshed to conformity!


I didn’t make quite enough so maybe I’ll double the ricotta next time. It’s kind of important to the recipe to have copious ricotta or this will more closely resemble a vegetable casserole than veggie lasagna.

After adding the tofu, we added another layer of eggplant and spinach and then topped it with pasta sauce and Daiya.

I baked it at 350F/170C for an hour and then we accidentally the whole thing. Top with chopped black olives and shredded basil if you want something pretty AND delicious. Yay!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Speaking of Shrimp…

After posting about lobster mushrooms I did get a hankering for shrimp. So these exist…

I know, right? They look vaguely like the real thing and I’m here to tell you about it.I was excited that they’re gluten-free and soy-free. The ingredients are pretty good, mostly starch and flavorings. They’re low calorie and non-GMO. I thought they were a little expensive at $8 per package, particularly considering the ingredients, but I also don’t know how to make pseudo-shrimp at home.

I decided to cook them like any self respecting lover of shrimp would; I heated up a pan with copious amounts of Earth Balance butter and garlic.

They smelled divine, not fishy. Shrimp shouldn’t smell particularly fishy anyways as long as they’re fresh.

Sauteeing them I got a better idea of their texture. They’re slightly rubbery, like shrimp that you’re likely to find at most restaurants. I personally like the texture a lot.

After adding some pasta, sun dried tomato and Teese mozzarella to the mix, things were starting to look delicious.

We topped it with some fresh basil. It was a welcome change so far as dinner goes. I think they’d be great in stir fry or in gumbo but I’m not sure about as a shrimp cocktail. I’d buy these again. Let me know what you think if you get to try them!

 

This is Christie, 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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Pesto Tofu

Christie and Brent got me a TofuXpress for my birthday and it has changed my life! There are some recipes included in the box and I was immediately intrigued by the Pesto Tofu. This is a great healthy and raw recipe!

Pesto Tofu

1 block firm tofu, pressed in the TofuXpress for at least one hour (I pressed mine overnight)
1/4 cup pesto

The original recipe called for 3 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt, but the tofu was freshly made and I felt it was oily and salty enough as is, so I didn’t add it. It may have helped to make the pesto less clumpy, but I liked the clumps!

I picked some basil from the garden and made my pesto.

Then I cubed my tofu and mixed it with some of the pesto. I tried waiting an hour for the tofu to marinate in the fridge, but I couldn’t wait. So, after 15 minutes, I devoured it with some sliced heirloom tomatoes from the garden, which made it this great sort of vegan caprese dish.

I sprinkled some salt and freshly ground pepper on the tomatoes. A nice drizzle of balsamic vinegar would also be a nice touch!

Yum yum yum! Healthy, raw, delicious, nutritious. I enjoyed this dish a ton! –Melissa

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Hope and Corn Chowder

The Vegan’s Husband named me as a baton carrier in the Hope relay and I’ll tell you I was a little nervous. It seems like a lot of responsibility.

I wanted to include a recipe that was easy and delicious and loaded with nutrition. Chowders are usually loaded with fat and cholesterol so I’m giving you one that’s high in fiber, protein and flavor. I started with the following:

1 12 ounce carton of silken tofu (we use MoriNu organic)

cilantro (stems and/or leaves)

3 tomatillo, chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 6 ounce jar of sliced pimientos

1 jalapeño, diced (optional, for spice)

1 10 ounce bag of frozen corn (we used Cascadian Farms organic)

1 cube of veggie bouillon

1 generous pinch of flake red pepper

1 cup of water (more or less depending on your needs)

1-2 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

First, pre-heat your oven to 400F/205C. Grease a baking sheet lightly and put your tomatollos (whole but papery husk removed) on it. When the oven is hot, put them on the top rack near the broiler coil. This particular day it took only 8 minutes to blacken the skin (above). I wish I knew a better way to time this stuff without lighting them on fire but all I can advise is to watch them closely after 5 minutes. When they’re done, set them aside to cool. Also, don’t forget to turn off the oven.

I put the block of tofu into my blender along with the cilantro and bouillon cube. Whenever I use leaves from cilantro I put the stems in a bag in my freezer for use in recipes like this one. Freezing preserves the aromatic compounds that give cilantro it’s unique (and to some offensive) flavor that is lost in dried coriander powder. The stems are also very flavorful and full of fiber. I blended the tofu until it was creamy.

Meanwhile I added a teaspoon or so of olive oil to a pot and sauteed the onion, pimientos and jalapeño. We like food spicy so if you’re shy, consider adding a quarter or half of the jalapeño.

When the onion had become translucent, I added the flake red pepper and frozen corn  and continued stirring until it was thawed.

I added the tofu and used another cup of water to get some of the remaining tofu out of the blender. I added it until I liked the consistency of the chowder.

I took my tomatillo and chopped them roughly. I stirred them in gently and served garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.  Brent ate his with corn chips and there were no leftovers which made me sad. I love awesome lunch and even better when it’s high protein comfort food.

My recipe is soy based so if you’re sensitive to soy I’d love to hear if this recipe works with cashew or coconut cream

Now that we’re full of delicious food I can be more objective in my choices on to whom I’ll pass on the Hope baton!

1. Whatcha Reading? is a blog that covers a broad range of topics relevant to vegans from cooking and baking to eating out and weird situations that come up when you’re a vegan in a carnist world.

2. an Unrefined Vegan Is anything but unrefined. This blog features stunning photography or mouth watering vegan food and something out of my cooking comfort zone: baking. Breads, cookies, cakes and muffins abound here along with other vegan goodies… give it a look.

3. CameraPhone Vegan appeals to me through 4 things: cooking, reviews, sampling local eateries and being local to me so I can go and try those delicious foods. The writing style is lively and accessible and they give helpful hints about what’s gluten-free and vegan and both! (Thank-you!)

4. I’ve become a big fan of the Teapot Vegan. This blog is so honest as to be indispensable. It reminds me that identity and being vegan are intertwined with health, self image and day-to-day life. I often suffer from tunnel vision and this blog brings me right back to seeing the whole picture.

5. Last and not least Vegan Monologue is a blog that does great product reviews and doable recipes. The photography is great and the instructions are easy to follow.

That just about wraps up this post!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Creamy Mushroom Soup!

This was comfort food. It’s raining sideways again here in Miami and you just gotta have something decadent. We used the following:

1.5 cups mushrooms, chopped roughly

1 carton of silken tofu

1 onion, diced

1/2 cup of white wine (we used a chardonnay)

1 tsp herbes de provence

1 pinch nutmeg

1 cube bouillon

1 generous pinch sage

2 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp olive oil

water to texture

salt and black pepper to taste

I combined the white wine and tofu in my blender and blended it until smooth. Then I put the onion and mushrooms in a pan and sauteed until the onion was translucent. I added the rest of the ingredients, adjusted the seasonings and then added water until I liked the texture.

I garnished with some shredded basil and served it. It was creamy and earthy and savory and soothing and with lots of protein and not a lot of fat. This would be awesome hot with a big tomato salad or as a cold appetizer. It’s also quick and easy enough to make for a quick lunch.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Hearty Blackeyed Pea Stew!

Step over Fergie, turnips are here!

This was an incredibly simple stew. I add a lot of extras because lately I’m obsessed with having as much variety in my diet as possible. I used dried black eyed peas because I find their texture is similar to canned beans and not unpalatable to people who prefer the texture of canned.

1 lb. dry black-eyed peas
1 large turnip, cubed
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 large celery root, skinned and cubed
1 finger sized piece of turmeric, grated
1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp olive oil
salt and chili paste to taste
 
Soak the peas in filtered water for 4 hours, overnight if possible but it’s not necessary. Rinse them thoroughly. In a pot add 1 tsp olive oil, garlic and turmeric and heat until the garlic and turmeric become fragrant. I also added some cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds but they’re not necessary. Add the peas and 1 liter of filtered water. Bring to a boil. Let it cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or till the peas are halfway done. Add more water if required. Add the coriander, turnip, sweet potato, and celeriac (celery root) and cook for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat, add lime juice. Garnish with cilantro if you like.
If you want, you can substitute 4-5 stalks of chopped celery for the celery root, 4-5 chopped carrots instead of sweet potato and potato for turnip. Celeriac or celery root can be hard to find so regular stalk celery is fine. I am digging the unusual veggies lately. It’s also been raining sideways thanks to our first notable tropical storm of the season so we’re having our equivalent of a snowy winter day… at 80 degrees F. This was a hearty stew that kept both of us fed for a day and I kept sneaking spoonfuls between meals. Don’t tell Brent.
This is Christie, signing off.
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