Tag Archives: soy

Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage

This is a quest that has rivaled cheese but only because gluten-free vegan sausages are few and far between. I’ve got 2 for you:

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LightLife Tofu Pups These babies are about as boring as regular hot dogs. They’re lower in sodium than their traditional counterparts but otherwise have a disturbingly similar taste and texture. These are highly processed but make a welcome addition to mac and ‘cheese’ or pizza after being sauteed and seasoned.  Each package will cost you about $5 so that’s less than a dollar a sausage. They’re worth giving a try but nothing special.

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Elani Sausage Roll comes in 4 flavors: Fine Herbs, Mediterranean, Mushroom, and Tomato. We tried all 4 flavors and tomato is the only flavor that’s particularly interesting; the rest are just okay. This product has a distinct peanut flavor and that’s because they’re made with peanuts. If you have an allergy to this particular legume, steer clear. It’s not quite as good for you as the tofu pups but it’s a better flavor option. The texture is pretty homogenous but it’s ingredients are fairly innocuous (despite being fairly processed) mostly peanuts and seasonings. Sauteed with spices, it’s awesome. This oversized sausage roll will run you $6.50 or so and is worth the investment. This sausage is great with a tofu scramble, on pizza or in a wrap.

If there’s a vegan sausage that’s gluten-free that you’d like to see reviewed here, I would really love to know about it. Until next time, the best gluten-free vegan sausages you’ll find are the ones you make at home as far as I know.

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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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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Piccata revisited

Melissa is the author of the best piccata vegan or not. We decided we wanted some so we changed up a couple of the elements and were pleasantly surprised. We started by preparing some tempeh according to Melissa’s recipe and setting it on low to simmer.

We sauteed some spinach with garlic and flake red pepper.

Next we sauteed some polenta.

I served it all up hot with extra lemon caper awesomeness poured over the top and a sprinkle of paprika.

It was delicious and did not last long. I ended up having to make another batch immediately after this one disappeared. What this really translates to is a recipe that’s robust and reproducible. A huge “THANKS!” goes out to co-author Melissa. She’s pretty rad.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Penne Puttanesca

Puttanesca is terribly underrated and we were cleaning out the fridge this particular day. I started simply and got some of my favorite pasta sauce and a bag of rice pasta. Brent is in charge of making pasta so I was saucy!

I diced an onion and sauteed it with some flake red pepper and basil olive oil. It smelled SO amazing I wish I could make a scratch-n-sniff post.

I added 2 cups of sauce and threw in

1 tin of olives that I drained

1 cup of TVP (omit if you’re sensitive to soy)

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

I stirred it up until it was hot and fragrant and when Brent was done making the pasta we mixed it all together and devoured it.

I guess we do this kind of pasta a lot and don’t always post about it. Capers, mushrooms, garlic, basil leaves and just about everything else gets throw into this dish. I recommend it for families with kids who will find the hunt for all the different veggies and beans entertaining.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Potato & Chorizo Tacos

It’s both a blessing and a curse that I cook vegan meals for myself and pretty much no one else. It’s good because I can try using new products in a handful of ways — which is what I have been able to do with Tofurky Chorizo — but bad because I don’t enjoy cooking for one and it can be rough going through an entire package of food by myself.

My latest experiment with Tofurky chorizo was potato & chorizo tacos. Now, this came out of wanting some vegan corned beef hash, but since the chorizo is already spiced as chorizo and I had tortillas, I went with the tacos instead.

This is a really simple recipe. First, I washed and cubed a potato. Then I browned some minced garlic and onion in olive oil, added the potato and about a half a cup of water, and let it cook in a pan until all the water had dried up.

Then, I added some Tofurky chorizo, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, and salt. I sauteed the mixture for about 5 minutes.

This was a great savory dish that would go just as well with rice or even by itself. I definitely enjoyed it more than the chorizo alone! –Melissa

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Tofu & Chorizo Scramble

It’s officially fall here in Chicago and I’m happy to report that it actually feels like fall outside. We’re talking sweaters and having to wear socks and weird pumpkin cravings. On a crisp morning, a nice spiced up breakfast of tofu scramble with soy chorizo makes a perfect vegan breakfast.

 

I used silken tofu for the scramble and seasoned it as I usually do. After the tofu was ‘scrambled’ and the spices were mixed in well, I made a hole in the center of the pan and plopped some Tofurky chorizo on there:

 

I added some garlic powder and Tapatio hot sauce to the chorizo and mixed it up before stirring it together with the tofu.

I opted to eat this with buttered toast (butter=Earth Balance) and a tomato-onion salad. My Mom made breakfast tacos instead. Versatility is a wonderful thing.

 

Yum! Have a happy first day of autumn! –Melissa

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Hipster Chic Volume II : Marinated Tofu

A vegan friend was discussing vegan cooking gadgets with us on her visit from elsewhere and suggested we try out the TofuXpress. We decided to give it a spin, and I will sing its praises for years to come. The TofuXpress is freaking sicknasty bodacious.

As the resident tofu presser in our household, I have struggled with the perfect way to make the texture of tofu meatier. I tried conventional pressing methods (tofu on paper towels, pressed down and weighted by a plate on top), and not so conventional methods (freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw). The former was certainly the most effective, but it necessitated a lot of waste. The TofuXpress makes it easy for me to make a nicely textured tofu that I can marinate.

So, for this simple recipe, you can use the paper towel method, or in my case, use a TofuXpress.

Take your block of tofu, drop it into the Xpress, use the heavy spring for pressing. Before putting it in the fridge, dump some of the already pressed liquid down your sink drain for optimal drainage. Stick it in the fridge, and go do something fun for an hour. I chose to dance to some Earth, Wind, and Fire records.

Pull the tofu out of the fridge, drain the liquid, remove the press. Now, to marinate, there’s a handy lid that attaches to the base of the Xpress that also acts as a seal for marinating.

Go ahead and prepare your marinade. For this experiment, I used a combination of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Sriracha and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. The soy sauce and liquid aminos are there to help thin out the mix as tofu is not quite porous enough to soak in the teriyaki and Sriracha, which is where the awesome flavor is at. Dump your marinade into the Xpress with the tofu, let it soak for a half hour. After that time is up, flip the tofu, put the lid back on and let it soak another half hour.

The final step is to press out excess marinade for a last half hour period. I know that this has taken up 2.5 hours already, but I promise it’s worth it. Drop the excess marinade into a dish, save it for later, or use it to dip. You can slice up the tofu and eat it as is, or pan sear it for science.

If you want to save time, do the following :

  1. Prepare marinade.
  2. Press tofu overnight.
  3. In the morning, drain, switch to marinade.
  4. After daily activities, enjoy your tasty marinated tofu.

This will save a lot of waiting time, and your tofu will be freaking amazing after that nice long marinade session.

In short, the TofuXpress made it super easy for us to make firmer tofu, and enabled us to experiment with marinades. It saves us from wasting paper towels, and doesn’t take up a counter top. It’s dishwasher safe, and all of its parts store inside of itself. The TofuXpress has been a boon to us. Let us know if you have one, your marinade recipes, or feel free to ask us about it.

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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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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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