Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jade Dumplings for Easter

We were invited for Easter dinner and I volunteered bringing an appetizer.  I used this recipe for Jade Dumplings.  The filling came together really quickly and easily, though I recommend having the filling sit in a sieve to drain out excess water, from the water chestnuts, while filling the dumplings.  Instead of making the little pouches in the recipe, I chose to make them the classic half-moon dumplings where you put it in the center of the gyoza skin:

sorry for the distracting shadow!

Then putting water on half the circumference (with a dipped finger) and folding over into half moons.  Out of habit, I dipped the gyozas in flour on both sides to keep from sticking but it may be unnecessary:

Also, instead of steaming the dumplings I pan-fried them, because I thought they'd hold up better for the travel that way.

And who doesn't like fried dumplings, right?

For dessert, my friend made an amazing raw vegan chocolate cake with raspberry sauce:

Yes, I'm going to need the recipe!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Buffalo Tempeh

Tried a variation on the Buffalo Tofu, with tempeh.  First, lightly pan-fried tempeh slices:

Then tossed with buffalo sauce:

I liked the texture a lot but the tempeh flavor is more noticeable than when I use tofu. What they're both missing is that crispy fat-fry of the chicken wing skin but they both hit the spot when I'm craving that spicy taste.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Easy Chia Seed Pudding

I've been hearing so much about how chia seeds are a Super Food--they are a good plant source of Omega 3 and each 15 mg serving (about a fat tablespoon) provides 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 4 grams of essential fatty acids for 80 calories.  So I decided to give them a whirl.  I had been seeing a bunch of recipes for chia pudding so I thought that would be a good entryway dish to try them.

I put a 1/4 cup of chia seeds in a bowl:

And then I stirred in a cup of almond milk (rice milk, coconut milk, or any liquid should work):

And then I just let the chia seeds absorb the liquid.  I strongly advise stirring it occasionally to keep the chia seeds from clumping (which prevents the individual seeds from absorbing the liquid):

After about 50 minutes, the chia seeds are like little tapioca balls with a little nutty crispness inside:

The taste is pretty much the flavor of the almond milk which is fine but not amazing.  So I experimented dressing it up.  I added 1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon, with a sprinkle of splenda and made a cocoa pudding:

I wouldn't rave about the cocoa pudding--I still need to play around with that one.  But adding a few chopped almonds and drizzle of honey made the chia pudding outstanding to me:

Besides being good for me, it was fairly filling too.  Overall, I think I can incorporate this chia pudding easily into my diet. Anybody have other suggestions for chia seeds that they like or find delicious?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tomato Paste Tablespoons

I found it fairly frustrating when a recipe called for a single tablespoon of tomato paste and I was left with the rest of a can with no other plans to use it.  I saw a suggestion in a magazine to freeze the rest of the can of tomato paste in ice cube trays, but since I didn't have any spare trays, I decided to just plop the rest of the can in tablespoons on parchment paper and put them in the freezer:

After a night freezing up, I was able to wrap them up individually in parchment paper:

Like a little bon-bon:

Then I put them all in a quart-size freezer bag:

So whenever a tablespoon (or more) of tomato paste, I just pull one (or more) of these from the freezer. So far, I pretty much use them straight from the freezer in recipes, like in Red Lentil Soup with Lemon.  But if you need it in soft paste form, let it defrost for about 30 minutes at room temp.

Hope this helps anybody who hates wasting food like me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

I have been forever looking for the recipe of a tasty lentil soup that I had once in an Indian restaurant and never could find the recipe. It was called Mulligatawny soup but every recipe I've found looks nothing close to the one I ate. Then I found this recipe and it's hands-down one of my favorite soups of all time.

The recipe was printed in the New York Times: Red Lentil Soup with Lemon by Melissa Clark. I'm still on the look out for a recipe for the tomato and lentil Mulligatawny soup--if anyone has it, please, please, please share it with me. In the meantime, this red lentil soup keeps me pretty happy in the meantime, especially on chilly days.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dutch Oven Bread

I just remembered to update my previous post on the No-Knead bread, which I've been calling Dutch Oven bread also. I followed directions this time and used a dish towel on the second rise.  It made such an improvement:

Totally love this easy, beautiful bread!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vegan version of Linda's Egg/Spring rolls

I made a vegan version of Linda's egg/spring rolls with slight adjustments. I added some ginger and sesame to make up for the punch of the fish sauce.

I mixed together:
1 lb of firm tofu, smashed up with your hands
1 cup of finely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup finely grated carrots
cooked rice vermicelli noodles, about a cup (roughly chopped so they aren't long)
1 egg
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP of minced ginger
2 TBSP of sesame oil
1 TBSP roasted sesame seeds
generous sprinkle of pepper
scant TBSP of soy sauce

The filling can be made gluten-free if using tamari instead of soy sauce, so I tried to see if I could fry up some of the rice paper that I used for salad rolls to see if I could make gluten-free spring rolls:

I stuck it in the pan with the regular (vegan) spring roll wrappers:

They browned nicely, but the rice wrappers became very al dente and a bit chewy to eat.

So I'm still working on a gluten-free version of these rolls, but in the meantime, these vegan spring rolls are pretty dynamite!