Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Monk Bowl

As the 30 minute Vegan cookbook calls this “a bowl of enlightenment”. It was indeed!! Simple. Easy to prepare. Most of all -- delicious!
Enjoy this healthy, hearty and of a “higher-power” meal.

1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 package Trader Joe’s regular plain tempeh
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs water
8 cups chopped veges: broccoli, carrots, snow peas, bell peppers, zucchini, or cauliflower
Sea salt

1)      Cook the quinoa with the 3 cups of water or vegetable stock. (~15 minutes)
2)      Crumble the tempeh into a skillet with soy sauce and sesame oil
3)      Cook tempeh for 10 minutes, stir occasionally
4)      Chop up your veges of choice
5)      Steam or stir-fry your veges
6)      Place the quinoa in a bowl and then top with the veges and tempeh
7)      Season with sea salt and serve!
8)      Variations include: top with roasted peanuts or sesame seeds. Or use rice or noodles in place of the quinoa. Or replace tempeh with baked tofu.


Adults: 2 thumbs up!
Children: 4 thumbs up!
(a new staple food in our house!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not your average Nachos

I have been experimenting for a couple of years with different “Nacho” recipes only to find myself unsatisfied and even occasionally grossed out.
Then finally came along two new recipes; one from Veg News and one from The Kind Diet. I modified the original recipes because I find vegan sour cream vile and refuse to ruin my nachos with it. I decided to replace it with silken tofu and, voila, it was perfection!
I’ve been told by some (okay just one) that my food looks “pretty", but does it taste good? Trust me on this RS (you know who you are), these Nachos will knock you out of your seat! J

Nacho Cheez (better than Velveeta)

Mix the following ingredients in a sauce pan on the stovetop until melted and smooth:
2 tbs vegan butter (Earth Balance)
2 tbs flour
2 cups nondairy milk (plain soy or almond)
2.5 cups of Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
½ cup Nutritional Yeast flakes (NYF)*

*NYF can be found at whole foods or sunflower. For those of you who think “ewwww not yeast”… this is similar to the yeast in beer or bread……. It has a nutty, salty flavor and is packed with protein, fiber and B vitamins.

This Nacho Cheez sauce can be poured over tortilla chips or used in bean burritos. Also, you can mix it with your favorite salsa to make a spicy cheesy sauce.

Multi-Layer Cheesy Bean Dip

What you need:
1 can of refried beans (or you can make your own from dried pinto beans)
1 can of black beans (or you can make your own from dried black beans)
½ cup of the above Nacho Cheez
3 large avocados (pitted, peeled and mashed)
Juice from 2 fresh limes
1 packet taco seasoning (I use Simply Organic)
1 can diced green chiles
1 package Mori-Nu silken firm tofu (in the non-refrigerated aisle, by the Asian foods)
1 can black olives, sliced
½ cup chopped green onions
1 cup of diced cherry tomatoes
2 cups Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
Diced jalapeƱos (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)

What you do:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the refried beans with ½ of the packet of taco seasoning
  • Spread the refried beans in the bottom of an 8x8 glass or ceramic baking dish
  • Then spread the black beans on top
  • Next pour the Nacho Cheez over the top of the black beans
  • Then spread the green chiles and half of the sliced olives
  • Next spread the mashed avocados and fresh lime juice
  • Sprinkle the chopped cherry tomatoes and green onions next
  • In a food processor mix the silken tofu and remaining ½ packet of taco mix till perfectly creamy (about 30 seconds)
  • Layer the tofu creamy mixture next
  • Sprinkle the rest of the olives over this
  • Smother the top with the Daiya cheese shreds
  • Bake for 30 minutes until all the cheese is melted
  • Serve hot. Add the additional jalapeƱos and cilantro if desired.
  • May serve with chips, however I enjoy this over a bed of organic mixed greens…making a wonderful Nacho Salad.

Adults: 2 cheesy thumbs up
Children: 4 thumbs up (however, can be a bit too “spicy” for them)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

Watch out PF Chang’s I have created an awesome copy cat version of your vegetarian lettuce wraps!!!!

So simple and easy to make! First, you need a Sous Chef to do all the chopping for you. J The second thing you need is a better quality “lettuce” than Iceberg….We use Napa cabbage (boat shaped leaves) or Savoy cabbage (rounded leaves). You can find these both at your local grocery.

Ingredients: (enough to feed 6 people)

2 (8 oz) cans water chesnuts (finely diced)
2 (8 oz) cans bamboo shoots (finely diced)
4 cloves roasted garlic (mashed)
4 green onions (diced)
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
16 ounces of mushrooms (finely chopped) – I use shitake, but any kind is fine.
1 (8 oz) package of seitan* (finely chopped) - or can use tofu instead

Spices: (can adjust all of these to your liking)
1 tbs of fresh minced ginger
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1-2 tsp course sea salt

* Seitan is wheat gluten and has a meaty texture. It does go well in this recipe, however an extra firm tofu works well too. Seitan is sold at most grocery stores in the refrigerated section by the soy products.

1.)    In a large bowl mix all of the above ingredients and spices together.
2.)    You may refrigerate overnight if desired.
3.)    When ready to cook, place in a heated non-stick skillet on your stovetop.
4.)    Stir infrequently for 10-15 minutes till the mixture has softened and the amazing aroma fills your kitchen.
5.)    Place in your “lettuce” cups and eat immediately.
6.)    Can add cilantro or sesame seeds on top too (yum!).
7.)    Beware brawling might begin over who gets the remaining morsels!!
8.)    Serve with stir-fry, rice, tofu sticks or spring rolls…. to make a delicious Asian Feast.


Adults: 2 fist-fighting thumbs up (this is our fave dish to eat)
Children: 4 thumbs up