Monday, June 30, 2008

Losing My Seitan Making Virginity

I was so excited to find wheat gluten at me grocery store and decided I must try making my own fake meatery.  Since it was my first time I wanted to make it special so I scavenged a few sites to create this (giving most credit to a recipe at Recipezaar):


2 c. Vital wheat gluten
1 tsp. herbs de province
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. lemon grass powder
1 tsp. ginger powder

1 1/2 c. Water
2 tbsp. Tamari
1 tbsp. Sesame oil

4 c. Water
1/4 c. Soy sauce
1 Large green onion (roughly chopped)
1 Celery stalk (roughly chopped)
2 Chunks of dried galanger
Mix dry.  Mix wet. Pour wet into dry all at once and mix rapidly with a fork.  Knead 10 to 15 times.  Let rest a couple of minutes.  Knead a little more.  Let rest 15 minutes.  Will be rubbery by this point.  Take mound and try to form into a log of sorts and then slice into 5 to 8 pieces.  Shape into cutlets.  Add to boiling broth and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.  You can eat it right away.  Store it in the fridge for about a week or freeze it til it is freezer burnt and gross.  I recommend eating it but you know, personal preference. 
Here I just sliced a cutlet and placed it on a salad.  It was cold but if I had a grill I would have grilled it. Yet, still delicious without the grilling.  I topped it with a quick and easy salad dressing:

Balsamicy Goodness

2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of herb de province

Mix it, shake it or toss it.  It is yummy.  You can also make a large batch and keep it in a jar in the fridge for future use.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Chili ala Korea

My Chili ala Korea (take one)

2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Medium onion
2-3 Cloves minced garlic
1 Celery stalk
1 Med yellow bell pepper
16 oz. Extra firm Tofu Crumbled
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Hot sauce
Salt and pepper
7 oz. Can of tomato paste
1/2 c. Water
15 oz. Can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
15 oz. Can of baked beans in tomato sauce (drained and rinsed)
7 oz. Can of corn (drained)
1 c. Chopped cherry tomatoes 
1 Chopped hot pepper
1 Chopped large carrot
2 tbsp. Cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Add the first five ingredients to a pot a saute 5 to 10 minutes.  Add the next four ingredients sauteing until browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.  After eat away.  Tastes even better reheated the next day.

Raw Nut Loaf

I found this recipe at The Eazy Vegan and modified it only slightly.  I really enjoyed it and would make it again if I had access to flaxseed.  My momski sent it to me from home when I did my detox a while back.  It reminded me of meatloaf from childhood which I ate with ketchup and that is exactly how i dressed this baby.

Raw Nut Loaf

1/2 c. Almonds and cashews (combined)
1/2 c. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds (combined)
1 1/2 c. Millet flax seed
1/2 c. Chopped onion
1 c. Shredded carrot
1 c. Water*
4 Cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. Herbs de province
1 tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Rosemary

Grind nuts and seeds in a blender.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding water last.  It should form a sticky mound.  Take said sticky mound and press into a loaf pan or any kind of mold you want really.  Slice and serve.  Easy peasy.

*The original recipe calls for celery j (omit water and salt if celery j equipped).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Mocktastic Chicken Salad

Mocktastic Chicken Salad

2c. Faux Chicken (broken into small chunks)*
1c. Vegan Mayo*
1c. Shredded carrots
1/2c. Chopped green onions
1/2c. Chopped celery

Mix all ingredients together and serve alone or on bread of choice with lettuce.

*I found some faux chicken at a little health food store in my city here in Korea, but it is not like the kind I am used to getting back home.  It is dehydrated and needs to be boiled before use.  I boiled it and squeezed out the excess water.  The texture was great but it tasted rather bland.  So, here is how i prepared it (I am sure you can treat any faux chicken the same but i will assume it will absorb differently so you may have to play around with the measurements).

Faux Chicken (2c.)

1 tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tbsp. Soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Curry Powder
1 tsp. Dried basil
A few grinds of fresh pepper

Sprinkle lemon juice and soy sauce over faux chicken, then add the dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to mingle.

*When I moved to Korea I quickly discovered (yet much anticipated) the lack of vegan items available, like vegan mayo.  So, I became more resourceful and decided I would make my own.  The main idea came from Postpunkkitchen but i tweaked it a little to make it yummier to my tastebuds. 

Vegan Mayo

1 1/2 c. Firm tofu (broken into chunks)
3 tbsp. Lemon juice
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Spicy mustard
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp. Sesame oil

Mix everything in your blender until smooth.  Then add the sesame oil, blend on low speed if possible and just enough so it is thoroughly mixed.  (Try not to over blend because it may get irritated with you and up chunk or chunk up). 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chocolate Macaroon Madness

I made these for some of my students for a mini potluck get together we had.  I usually make them as cookies but I decided I would try them as squares for this occasion with a layer of chocolatey goo to go on top.  They and I were very happy with the turn out.

Chocolate Macaroon Squares
8x11 in. tray

2c. Unsweetened shredded coconut
2c. Oatmeal (quick oats)
1/2 c. Chopped almonds and cashews (combined)
1/2 c. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (combined)
8 tbsp. Cocao
1 1/4 c. Sugar (i used organic cane sugar)
1/2 c.  Vegan margarine
1/2 c. Soy milk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract or powder (i used powder)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Heat sugar, margarine and soy milk in a sauce pan until sugar and margarine are melted.  Pour over dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well coated.  The mixture should be fairly moist and clumpy.  If it seems too dry you can make a bit more melted sugar/margarine and soy to add to it.  Add mixture to tray or pan and flatten evenly.  Put in the fridge to cool. 

Chocolatey Topping

1 1/2 c. Vegan chocolate chips
1/2 c. Soy milk

Heat soy milk and chocolate chips on medium-low heat until chips are melted and you have a nice chocolatey goo. (Be sure to not boil or over heat).  Remove from heat and spread evenly on the cooled macaroon slab in the tray.  Place back in the fridge until goo cools.  Cut into squares and enjoy! 

*If you make these as cookies you can drizzle the chocolatey goo on them or omit completely.

Numero Uno

I am quite new to this so bare with me as I take my baby steps in the blogging world.
I love to cook and have been doing so for quite some time, but I have been recently inspired to start documenting my food adventures.  There are so many fabulous vegan sites out there that I peruse frequently which gave me the extra drive to do this.

I have been a vegetarian since 1999 and vegan since last summer.  I moved to South Korea to teach english in November and quickly discovered I cannot eat the same as back home.  Ovens are rare, reading labels is a challenge and finding ingredients for many things can be impossible.  But none the less, it had allowed me to expand my cooking horizons and discover many things that I would not have been able to back home.

I hope you like what I post, and I will try to do so frequently, but then again I am a huge procrastinator and tend to let these things pile.  So perhaps it will be a large amount of blogs at one time.  We'll see how this goes...