Tag Archives: vegan

Vegan Recipe Challenge 2

15 Jan

I meant to post this last week when I actually cooked this but I forgot, or rather I was too lazy. While I was planning on cooking something from Vegan Planet each week, I felt like making this stir-fry the other week. It was good but not mind blowing, it’s something I had made before but with some variants. Or let’s say, I made stir-fry with soy sauce before or just tofu marinated in soy sauce on lazy days. This had a bit more additions which made it much better. I’m definitely going to make it again sometime.

Ingredients

1 small Thai pepper, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into 1×1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch strips
1 red pepper, sliced
1 large bok choy (or 4-5 baby bok choy), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
Cooked lo mein or soba noodles

I did vary my recipe a bit with different vegetables and I added some brown sugar for a bit sweetness. I also didn’t go to the process of transferring the sauce and tofu to a separate bowl. Maybe it does something special I’m not aware of but the step just seemed silly to me and I was hungry.
I didn’t make it with noodles but with rice because I’m in love with my new rice cooker.stirfry1

I then proceeded to chop up my ginger, garlic and peppers. I didn’t have red peppers (or well I did as I discovered the other day but I didn’t remember when I made this) so I used milder green ones as those where the only ones I thought I had. As a huge garlic lover I can never just put in 1 clove, that’s just silly!

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After that I heated some oil

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And sliced my tofu.

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Then I stir-fried the ginger, garlic and peppers.

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Added the soy sauce, water and cornstarch, be careful to stir this in very quickly or you’ll get lumps!

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I then added my tofu which I had fried in a bit of oil in another pan first but you can also skip this step I guess, depends on how you like it.

stirfry8And finally my veggies.

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I served it over the rice and enjoyed it a lot! It was super easy and quick to cook so definitely going to make it again on days I need a quick dinner because it doesn’t require any special ingredients and you can basically make it with any kind of veggies you have at home.

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Vegan Recipe Challenge 1

5 Jan

Today was the first day I cooked a recipe from Vegan Planet and because I still had some vegetarian chili frozen from when I made it a while ago I decided to go for the Potato Chili Gratin. As the recipe called for vegan mozzarella and vegan sour cream, I decided to make those myself as well. The vegan sour cream recipe is in the book as well but for the mozzarella I found something online here at Vegan Wiz that I decide to give a try because I had all those ingredients at home, well except for potato starch but I used corn starch instead.

The vegan mozzarella was really easy to make, you just have to make sure you keep on whisking everything well together so there aren’t any lumps. I think I put it in a bowl that was way too big for the amount of cheese I had and it remained a bit consisting of crumbs sort of and I think it was maybe a bit too moist because it remained very soft and sticky. It worked for the dish though and the taste and texture was quite alright. It just didn’t melt as nicely as I had hoped to but all in all perfectly fine for this dish. I just realized the first picture looks like an Alpro ad, I should’ve put the Alpro margarine in I got instead of this one. The last picture is right before it went into the fridge for some hours, it basically looked the same later, just a bit less moist and a bit hardened.

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Once the time the mozzarella had to sit in the fridge was coming to an end, I prepared the rest of the dish, minus the chili which I had gotten out of the freezer earlier already obviously so it could thaw. First I combined my salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper and basil in a small bowl and then I peeled my potatoes and sliced them to make the first layer of the dish, to which I then added the spice mixture. Next layer was onion plus the spice mixture and then chili peppers plus the spice mixture. All of that went in the oven for a while until the vegetables were done.

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While the vegetables were in the oven I made my sour cream, which was the easiest of the whole dish, I just threw my soft tofu, lemon juice, oil, salt and sugar in the food processor and mixed it all together until it was smooth which took about a minute. Put that in the fridge and went on with other things because the vegetables obviously needed some time.

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Once the vegetables were done, I added the sour cream on top of them, then the chili and on top the mozzarella and off in the oven it went again for a bit. Unfortunately it didn’t melt the cheese as much as I wanted to, not even when I put my plate in the microwave to see if that did anything. I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish but I didn’t look any different from the picture I got before it went into the oven. Neither did I take a picture of the plated dish but it wasn’t the prettiest dish to look at anyway. Got some left overs though so maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

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All in all it was a tasty dish and while the cheese could have melted more or have a bit more taste, I’m pretty sure it was much better than any of the store bought variations because I knew exactly what was in there. The sour cream tasted quite good, bit different from the non vegan kind and next time I’ll add a bit less lemon juice but it was good. The dish itself, well I think I either prefer the potatoes, onions, chili peppers and maybe some other vegetables baked and also just the chili because with the chili on top the vegetables kinda lost significance. Maybe it’s because I used more chili than the recipe called for or because there was quite some sauce with the chili but I don’t necessarily need to have everything in one dish.

Vegan Challenge 2013

15 Dec

I received the book Vegan Planet in the mail this week, a wonderful surprise gift for Christmas from a friend. Thanks again! Since I’ve become a vegetarian, I’ve been flirting with a vegan lifestyle now and then but never really went through with it. Excuses have been:

* I love cheese too much, can’t give it up. Yes there are some cheeses that I’d definitely miss, like Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, maybe even cream cheeses because they’re so easy to throw on a sandwich to take with me to work. However every time I see another report on what actually goes on in the dairy industry I know that I should get over my love for cheese. There are substitutes and while they might not be like Parmesan or Gorgonzola, they will give me the knowledge of no cows being abused for my cheese.
* I’m lazy. Worst excuse ever, I should just stock up on soy and rice products and do it. I love soy or rice milk as much as actual milk. Still gotta try almond milk. And soy cream to cook works as well as dairy cream. Definitely no need for this excuse.
* Vegan products are expensive. They don’t have to be, there’s no need to buy the expensive stuff and a package of dried beans and lentils will go a long way. Besides I do sometimes eat meat substitutes, not too often because I feel all the ready made stuff is not good for me, and they’ve become so much cheaper nowadays. The only thing that might be expensive here is vegan cheese and the likes but no need for that, I can make my own and I have been told that nutritional yeast is a lifesaver.
* What if I want ice cream? Either try to find vegan ice cream, make your own, eat fruit flavors without dairy or suck it up!
* Some people will think I’ve gone completely crazy. Let them think what they want, it’s my life style and my decision.
* I can’t eat that delicious popcorn at the cinema anymore. Now this one will be hard and I can’t think of any solution. I’ll just have to resign to say goodbye to this addictive stuff and resort to only making my own popcorn at home without butter.
* No mayonnaise with french fries anymore. Well veganaise yes but that doesn’t really taste as good as the real thing, at least the kind that I have tasted. I’ll have to try other kinds and I’ll look into making my own without using eggs.

This said I have decided that in the new year I’m going to do a couple of vegan challenges. I’ll go vegan for 10 days. Maybe 30 after that. Also, I’m going to try at least 52 recipes from the vegan cookbook. There are 400 delicious recipes to chose from in the book, using at least 52 should definitely not be a problem. Obviously with the 10 and 30 day challenges the number of 52 will be quickly adding up and hey, when I end up cooking 92 recipes at least, let’s make it a 100 right? Or maybe more. Maybe this will be the final push I need to become completely vegan. I already don’t eat eggs and honey (honestly the latter only because I never really use it a lot anyway) and I don’t mind leaving out milk and milk products. It’s only the damn cheese that might be a challenge but I’m going to try.

We’ll see how this goes, I’m going for the proposed challenge and we’ll go from there!