Tag Archives: recipe

Vegan Kare Kare 2.0

I haven’t cooked in awhile (I’m a lazy vegan, remember?) but I had a serious craving for kare kare last week. I think it was triggered by seeing the beginnings of my Dad’s garden this summer, particularly the eggplant. I’m so spoiled by the garden! Alas, there are no veggies yet. Thank goodness for grocery stores.

I previously made kare kare using soy curls and it was good, but I wanted to try something different this time. I didn’t want to drop a meat substitute altogether even though all-veggie kare kare would be satisfactory. I didn’t want to use tofu. I didn’t want to use mushrooms. I didn’t want to use squash.

So I used jackfruit — young, unripe jackfruit.

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You can find canned young green jackfruit at any Asian grocery store. Make sure you get the jackfruit in brine, not syrup! It’s not to be confused with ripe yellow jackfruit, which is sweet (and delicious in halo halo… yum). I’ve seen unripe jackfruit used in savory dishes. Luminous Vegans has a great BBQ Jackfruit recipe that’s like a vegan pulled pork sandwich. My Mom adds it to dishes. There is a plethora of vegan Jackfruit ‘Carnitas’ Taco recipes on the Internet. With the shred-like texture of the jackfruit, some imagination and an open mind, the possibilities are endless.

Kare kare always seemed really complicated to me when I was younger and I realize now that it’s because of the meat component. You need to boil the oxtail. Sometimes, you need to boil it forever or use a pressure cooker, otherwise it won’t get tender and it’s just nasty. You need to skim out the garbage that shows up when you boil meat. And it takes a long time!

For vegan kare kare, you’re looking at maybe 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time.

Vegan Kare Kare with Jackfruit

1 can young green jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
eggplant, cut into 2″ chunks (enough to make approx 2 cups, any eggplant will do)
1 cup sitaw (Chinese long beans), cut into about 2 inch pieces — regular green beans are fine, too
bok choy (3 babies or 1 adult)
2-3 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp achiote powder (optional)
oil
salt, to taste

Rinse and chop up all your veggies. for the jackfruit, I cut the chunks that came out of the can in half or in thirds, depending on how big they were. I made them about the same size as the eggplant pieces.

Heat up the pan and saute the onion and garlic in oil. When it gets fragrant, add the jackfruit, eggplant, and 1 cup of water. Mix it a bit, cover, and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sitaw/beans and bok choy, cover, and let it all cook for another 3-5 minutes.

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Isn’t it pretty? The thing in the bottom middle is a piece of jackfruit.

When the veggies are just about cooked, stir things up a bit, being careful not to mash up any of the veggies. Then, make a well in the center of the pot and put in the peanut butter. The PB should melt completely. Add salt to taste. Add achiote if you want. It will give the dish a more reddish color. I didn’t add it this time around.

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Serve with white rice and bagoong (not vegan!) or a bagoong substitute. If you have the green-floral-border Corelle plates that every Filipino-American seems to have, use that for sentimental value. Follow it up with some halo halo with sweet jackfruit if you can. I’m so hungry now.

I’m pleased with my kare kare and jackfruit experiment, but I have to say that I think jackfruit would work better in sinigang (another Filipino dish) instead. I have yet to try it as BBQ or in a taco. Looks like I’ve got a lot of cooking to do! –Melissa

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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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Simple Black Bean Chipotle Burritos!

Brent and I wanted something simple and delicious as we were recovering from our flu and this was it. One of the bigger issues with our love of Texan and Mexican cuisine is the lack of a suitably large soft tortilla to wrap Tex-Mex delights in. Fortunately we recently discovered that gluten-free wraps exist!
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These babies are about the size of your typical wrap and are pliable, unlike their corn counterparts (which often must be fried in order to bend without breaking). You’ll need the following:
6 large soft tortillas
1 tin of black beans, drained
1 tin of diced tomatoes (seasoned with chilis and/or lime works well, I like Muir Glen)
1 package of crumbled tofu (Marjon is great) or 1 cup of reconstituted TVP
1 cup of your favorite chipotle, mole, ranchero or enchilada sauce
1 large onion, sliced
flake red pepper to taste
Daiya (optional)
corn oil
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I sauteed the onion until it was soft. Then I added the tofu crumbles (use seitan if you’ve got a soy allergy), beans tomato and sauce. I stirred it until it was a good burrito consistency, adjusted the seasonings and the let Brent at it.
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We plopped a generous amount of the burrito filling onto our new favorite wraps and then microwaved them (on top of a paper towel so they don’t get soggy) to melt some pepper jack Daiya we sprinkled on top. We added spinach after melting the cheese but we ate them before I could get a picture. Cilantro would have been good too!
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It was spicy, hearty and packed with good nutrients for recovering invalids need. I suspect that’s just an excuse and we’ll do it again soon. YAY!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Raw Tofu & Avocado Salad

It’s 2013 and time for me to get excited about food again — in a healthy, vegan way. This easy-to-make raw salad is a good start!

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My food preparation philosophy is pretty solid. As much as I aspire to be a more creative and fancy cook, I want things to be simple, to use as few ingredients as possible, and find several ways to prepare meals using items that I always have in my kitchen and pantry. I also don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing food. Thus, this recipe is a classic “Melissa” recipe. I didn’t even come up with it myself. It’s based on this recipe.

Raw Tofu & Avocado Salad

1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained and then cubed
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos — my first time using this in my own cooking!
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
scallions
fresh cilantro
sesame seeds

I placed the cubed tofu in a bowl. I added the lemon, Bragg Liquid Aminos, and sesame oil, and then mixed it very gently to coat all the cubes. I set the bowl aside and then prepared the avocado. I added the avocado to the bowl with the tofu but I didn’t mix it in. I topped everything with scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds. I also sprinkled some freshly ground black pepper onto everything.

I was a little skeptical, but everything melded together really well! There was the tartness of the lemony tofu mixed with the creamy avocado, and then final fresh kick from the scallions and cilantro. I experimented a bit by eating it in a whole wheat pita:

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The pita unfortunately muted the flavors too much for my taste, but the rest of the giant pita was great to munch on in between bites of the salad.

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Easy, quick, versatile, and no cooking necessary: a classic Melissa recipe, indeed! –Melissa

 

 

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Pasta a la Fauxlognese

As a kid, spaghetti bolognese was a favorite. It’s a rich meaty sauce wth lots of tomato and onion served with whatever pasta you tend to fancy. In this case, we’re using shirataki noodles and no meat. Shirataki noodles are great for those who are concerned about gluten and calories. If you use regular noodles, your fauxlognese will be more attractive than ours but just as tasty. You’ll want the following

1 onion, diced

3.4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 16oz tin of diced tomato

1 cup of TVP (reconstituted with water) or soy crumbles (Marion tofu crumbles work well here), chopped mushrooms can be substituted for those sensitive to soy

1 cube of “beef bouillon”

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and flake red pepper to taste

olive oil

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Add a dash of olive oil and the onion and garlic to your pan and saute until the onion starts to carmelize, stirring occasionally. Add the tofu crumbles or TVP and the dry spices.

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When everything is hot and fragrant, add the tomato. Mix it all up, stirring occasionally until hot and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

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Your sauce should look deceptively meaty. Top with some vegan parmesan, shredded basil or Daiya or just serve as is.

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This is a very kid friendly preparation of vegan fare, tasty and healthy to boot. I hope you get to try it!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary With Easy Penne!

Some of my favorite recipes are the ones that are the result of desperation: there’s lots of little things leftover in the fridge, half a box of pasta, nothing new or exciting, just random ingredients and your brain!

 

I cooked some about a cup and a half of penne. Then, I heated up some olive oil, garlic, onions,  and about 2/3 cup of marinara that I had leftover. I added a bit of balsamic vinegar and then I seasoned it with crushed red pepper and Italian seasonings and topped it with some capers. It was easy and delicious and I was able to finish off some of the things I had sitting in my kitchen and fridge.

On another note, today is the one year anniversary of our first post on Turning Veganese! It came up really fast and it’s been a wonderful year of learning and bonding with friends and cooking and eating and getting healthy. We have an exciting giveaway coming up to celebrate this fantastic year! But first, we shall celebrate the US Thanksgiving holiday. We at Turning Veganese are grateful for YOU! Thank you for your support and for all the fun.

Love you guys! –Melissa

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Tahini-Soy Chickpea Salad

Life is thus that I am basically a Lazy Vegan 24/7 and haven’t had a chance to sit and plan and be creative with my cooking. I really want to turn things around, so I decided to make a different sort of chickpea salad to eat with my Boca Chik’n Patty sandwich.

Tahini-Soy Chickpea Salad

1 15 oz canned chickpeas (I would have used dry beans if I had planned ahead)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of one lemon

I drained the chickpeas and set them aside. I then mixed all the other ingredients together in a bowl.

I mixed the beans with the dressing. Note: I only used about half of the dressing.

To make things a little more interesting, I added some grated carrot, sesame seeds, ground coriander, and dried parsley flakes. I’m sadly lacking fresh herbs at the moment and certainly would have added fresh cilantro or parsley instead.

I added some crushed red pepper after plating the salad. This ended up being a delightful and hearty meal! –Melissa

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Easy Pigeon Peas

Since going vegan, I’ve easily had guacamole and chips for dinner at least once a week. It sounds weird when I say it out loud, but it’s the reality of my vegan lifestyle. That said, I was in no mood for guacamole tonight. So I threw together a pigeon pea dish.

 

Ingredient list:

1/2 dried pigeon peas or gandules
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tbsp tomato paste
dash of annatto powder
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I boiled the pigeon peas in 2 cups of boiling water for a few minutes and then set it aside for an hour. Then, I heated a pot, browned the garlic and onions in olive oil until the onions were translucent, and then added the diced tomato. Once the tomato was softened to my liking, I added the peas, the spices, tomato paste, and a cup of water. I covered the pot until it boiled and the water had dried out a bit. I served the pigeon peas over some garlicky fried rice.

I was definitely in need of something more hearty than guacamole for dinner and this fit the bill! –Melissa

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Vegan Bistek Part II

It seems like a really long time ago when I posted about Tofustek! and I actually find it hard to believe that it took me this long to make the recipe using soy curls instead of tofu.

 

Here is the recipe using soy curls:

1 cup soy curls
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice or calamansi juice if you’ve got it
2-3 tbsp veggie broth (I used ‘Not Beef’ boullion)
ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sweet vidalia recommended but any onion will do
olive oil

Rehydrate the soy curls as directed on the package, drain, and then add the soy sauce, lemon juice, broth, and black pepper. Mix and set aside to marinate. In the meantime, slice the onion into rings.

Fire up a pan and brown the soy curls in olive oil — do not add the marinade and set it aside, you’ll need it later! When done, put the soy curls in a bowl. Then, put the onions in the pan and cooking to your liking: I like them to be more on the raw side. Add the marinade to the pan and then remove from heat.

Place the onions on top of the soy curls and pour the liquid over everything. Ta da! You’re done!

This goes great with fresh veggies. Try it out! –Melissa

 

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Kafta? Kefta? Kofta? All that matters is that it’s vegan!

You may recall that I went to Pita Inn for lunch on my birthday and, while I loved the falafel that I had, I couldn’t help but be a tiny bit envious of my friends and the delicious smelling meat dishes they were eating. So, I made vegan kefta kabob.

Traditional kefta kabob is usually ground beef seasoned with parsley and onion. I substituted with Gimme Lean Ground Beef, and I plan to try it out with seitan and tempeh in the future. The recipe below makes about 2 servings.

Vegan Kefta Kabob

1/2 lb ground “meat”
1/4 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, roasted and chopped.
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
pinch of coriander
Sea salt
olive oil (if frying)

I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed them together. Then I put the mixture in the fridge to sit for about an hour.

I formed the “meat” into small patties. Kefta kabobs are usually put on a skewer and grilled. I thought about putting these in the oven, but opted to fry them since the “meat” is very lean.

I fried them in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

I served the kefta with some roasted tomato and onion and dill rice.

The recipe is good enough as is, though I plan to use more garlic and add fresh ground pepper to the mix. I also need to try and replicate the awesome hot sauce from Pita Inn!

I love veganizing my favorites! –Melissa

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