Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Caramalized Onion, Chard, and Sausage Shells

This dish relies heavily on faux meat and cheese products, which I know is a turn of for some people. However, to be fair, I could have made the seitan-based sausages in my own kitchen, but using these store-bought ones is a timesaver. Daiya is sometimes necessary in la vida vegan, especially when short on time. This is one of those recipes for being short on time- although if you're really in a pinch I would forgo caramelizing the onions and just cut straight to the chase.

Caramalized Onion, Chard, and Sausage Shells
serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into half moons
4 Field Roast Grain Sausages- Italian flavor
1 bunch rainbow chard, very thinly sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup mozzarella Daiya

Cooked shell pasta to serve

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add the onions, stir to coat with oil, and then let them sit. The key to caramelizing onions is patience. If you stand there stirring them, you will never get caramelized onions, just overcooked ones. You want them to brown but not burn before stirring them. They may take up to 15 or 20 minutes to make (at the most) and I expect you should be stirring only every 3 to 4 minutes. 

Once the onions are caramelized, crumble the sausage with your fingers into the pan. Patiently let the sausage brown before stirring. Once reasonably brown, you can add the chard. Saute for about 2 minutes before adding the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have released their moisture, you can add the nutritional yeast and mozzarella, and then stir until everything is melted and stuck together. Serve on top of cooked pasta shells. 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Roasted Calabacitas Soft Tacos with Creamy Red Chile Lime Sauce

Some of you might not be familiar with "Calabacitas." Calabacitas is the Spanish name for squash, but to us New Mexicans it refers to a traditional dish containing squash, roasted green chile, onions, and cheese. It is Southwestern ratatouille, if you will. 

It takes a while to roast the vegetables, but overall this is a really easy dish that you can make on weeknights.

Roasted Calabacitas Soft Tacos

Serves: 6

Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes active

For the Calabacitas Filling

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oregano
6 cups chopped summer squash and zucchini
1 cup chopped roasted green chile (if you don't live in a place where roasted green chile is freely available, usually you can find it canned in the Mexican section of your grocery store)
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen sweet corn
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, making sure that everything is evenly coated with the oil. Spread the mix out evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are evenly browned. 

For the Creamy Red Chile Lime Sauce

3/4 cup vegan mayo
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons red chile powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the mayo, lime juice, chile powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. 

To serve

18 corn torillas
chopped tomato
chopped avocado

Wrap the tortillas in a moist paper towel and microwave on high for about 40 seconds.

To serve, spoon calabacitas into tortillas, and top with sauce, tomatoes, and avocado.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Pasta Salad with Carrot Tops and Fakin' Bacon

I know that the question you have been wondering all of your life (or, at least since your last trip to the farmer's market) is "are these carrot tops good for anything other than compost?" Well, I did a little research, seeing as the things were annexing my refrigerator's vegetable drawer. It turns out that they are edible. 

Carrots are in the same family as celery, dill, parsley, and coriander. Although many other members of the Apiaceae family are poisonous, carrots are entirely edible, and in fact, the tops taste much like a combination of parsley and carrot. I find this exciting because it means I no longer have to buy parsley. I will just save my money by buying carrots with the tops on. If you try them, tell me what you think of them! 

5 scallions, sliced, including white parts
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 cup radishes, quartered and sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cup carrot tops, finely chopped
1 package smoked tempeh "Fakin' Bacon"
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (obviously shelled)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups dried elbow macaroni
1 cup Vegannaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse with cold water until completely cooled. 

In the meantime, prepare the tempeh. If you have a toaster oven, the easiest way to do this is to lay the strips out across the rack so that you can toast both sides at one time. Toast until very crispy, let cool and then chop. If you don't have a toaster oven, you can saute them in a pan with a little oil, just be sure to dry the oil off with a paper towel since you don't want excess liquid in your pasta salad!

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Like most pasta salads, letting the flavors mix for a few hours should make it even better. If you want to have it for dinner rather than a side, serve on a bed of spinach (as pictured).


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jerk-Marinated Coconut Seitan

For the Marinated Seitan

1 cup coconut milk
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon minced dried onion
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayanne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons shoyu (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lime
Pepper flakes to taste
4 seitan cutlets, sliced (or sub two packages of prepared seitan)
1 tablespoon canola oil

Whisk together all ingredients in a shallow, medium-sized baking pan. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from seitan and add to pan. Allow to marinate for about 1 hour.

Heat oil in a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, prepare seitan for cooking by straining off the marinate (keep it around though!) and pressing the seitan to squeeze out excess marinate. Add seitan to the pan and saute until browned, remove from pan and keep warm.

For the Sauce

1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons flour
Reserved marinade

After finishing the seitan, keep the pan on medium-high heat and add the flour. Whisk the flour in the pan for about 30 seconds, and then add the coconut milk, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk to combine the flour and coconut milk as well as possible, and then add in all the reserved marinade. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat.

To Serve

Cooked rice
Steamed or sauteed dinosaur kale

To serve, place rice on plate, top with seitan and kale, and smother with sauce.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cajun-style Seitan with Black-eyed Peas and Okra

Finally! A recipe!!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 seitan cutlets, chopped (if homemade, if not, one package seitan)
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried, minced onions
1 teaspoon celery salt (if you're a purist, substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 minced ribs of celery)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 bay leaf
1 cup veggie or seitan broth
1 15oz can black-eyed peas
1 1/2 cup frozen okra
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 bunch rainbow chard (for those not a fan of greens, the stems of rainbow chard has many of the same compounds as beets, which makes them colorful and are fabulous for you! BUT they have a distinctive beet flavor, so if that is not something you are into pick a different green or substitute more okra)
Hot wing sauce, Tabasco, or Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste (careful, many hot wing sauces contain eggs)

Cooked brown rice or polenta, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add seitan and garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Add flour and spices and saute until everything starts sticking to the bottom of the pan and browning, scraping the bottom of the pan frequently. Continue for about 5 minutes. 

Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the broth. Bring to a simmer and add black-eyed peas, okra, and tomatoes. Bring everything to a simmer and let do so for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in rainbow chard (overcooking greens destroys many of their beneficial compounds). Stir until chard is wilted, add hot sauce to taste, and serve over your chosen grain!