Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thai Peppers & Tofu

If you like Thai food and you shop at Trader Joe's, you should definitely try this super simple recipe I made up yesterday. Even my picky non-vegetarian boyfriend loved it.

Trader Joe's Brand Organic Baked Thai Tofu - cut into cubes
Trader Joe's Brand Thai Yellow Curry Sauce
1/4 sliced Yellow Onion
3 sliced Green Peppers (for variation use 1 yellow, 1 red, and 1 green pepper)
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Sea Salt (or regular salt)
1 Tbsp Canola Oil

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper if you like it a little spicy
1 cup cooked basmati rice to serve with

First, prepare your pan with 1 Tbsp canola oil, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp of cayenne, and 2 tsp of garlic powder over high heat. Throw in sliced onion. Cook while stirring occasionally. When onion softens throw in the sliced green peppers. Keep stirring. Cook until the peppers start to soften. Throw in thai tofu. Stir. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Take the thai curry sauce and pour about 3-4 Tbsp in. Depending on how you want your dish to taste, I would recommend putting the initial amount in and then tasting it. Pour additional amount in to your liking. Cook for a final few minutes until peppers are softer. Be careful not to overcook them. Peppers should be softer, but not mushy.

Serve over bed of rice!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Easiest Vegan Pancakes Ever!

These yummy vegan pancakes were the easiest pancakes I've ever made. For variation, you can throw some fresh fruit, walnuts, and maple syrup on them!

1 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp of Sugar (I used organic cane sugar from Trader Joe's)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp of salt
1 Cup Soy Milk (I used Trader Joe's Soy Creamer)
2 Tbsp of Canola Oil

Combine flour, sugar, powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add soy milk and oil to your mixture. Mix with wire whisk. I used a wire whisk hand blender. Mix until smooth. Set a non-stick pan over medium heat. I kept a can of canola oil spray handy just in case. The pan can get really hot after the first pancake, keep watch so you don't overcook them. Also, make sure your pan is lightly oiled especially if you're not using a non-stick pan (thus keeping spray handy).

Take a ladel (I used an ice cream scoop) and pour one spoonful of mix into the pan. Make sure you spread it around a little by picking up the pan and circling. You want the pancake to be thin, but still completely covered. Flip carefully with a spatula when you see the mixture bubble or if the sides turn a yellowish brown. Step and repeat until all the mix is gone!

Total Time: 30 minutes! Top with maple syrup. YUM!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tomato Basil Cream Pasta

I was happy to see Vegan Yum Yum post a quick and simple recipe. It was really easy to make and of course yummy to boot. You will need a blender, I used my hand blender and it worked nicely. I modified it only ever so slightly. Click here for the original recipe.

1 large Ripe Tomato, chopped
1/2 Cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Water

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
6 oz. of Spaghetti (I used Linguine)
3/4 tsp of Salt
1-2 tsp of Black Pepper
1 Large Handful of Fresh Basil, chopped

Boil water with salt and add in pasta when finished.

Add chopped tomato, cashews, tomato paste, and water. Blend smoothly. Add olive oil to a large pan over medium-heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden. Pour sauce into the pan bringing to a simmer. Add salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

Drain pasta once finished cooking. Add pasta to pan with sprinkling black pepper and chopped basil leaves. Toss in pan. Serve and garnish with basil leaves.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Spicy Garlic Eggplant

I really enjoy eggplant especially when it's a little fried. The following dish is adapted from the typical Chinese dish served in many restaurants.

Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/4 Tbs of Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp of Rice Vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp of Cornstarch mixed with 3 Tbs of Vegetable Stock

Remaining Ingredients:

3 Cups Peanut Oil
1 Medium-sized Eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips
2 tsp garlic, minced

Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl. Reserve. Heat wok or pan over high heat for 45 seconds. Add the peanut oil and coat the wok with spatula. When heated, place the eggplant strips in a strainer and lower into oil. Cook for 1 minute, or until eggplant softens or gets a little fried. You'll notice when the eggplant starts to darken. Remove, drain, and reserve.

In another pan, place 1 1/2 Tbs of oil from the previous pan. Over high heat add the minced garlic. Stir until it browns, then place the eggplant in the pan or wok. Stir together and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Stir the sauce and pour it in. Stir until sauce thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat and serve!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Spicy Kung Pao Tofu

If you like peppers this recipe is definitely for you. Inspired by the Chinese version of 'Kung Pao Chicken' this healthy vegetarian version is also simple to make. I stole this from and modified it a little bit. Click here for the original.

2 Tbs of Vegetable Broth
1 Tbs Soy Sauce, 2 tsp of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp of Cornstarch
1/2 tsp of Sugar
2 Tbs of Sliced Garlic
2 Tbs of Minced Ginger
3/4 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbs of Canola Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper - sliced into 1/2 inch squares
1 Yellow Bell Pepper - sliced into 1/2 inch squares
1 Green Bell Pepper - sliced into 1/2 inch squares
1 Carton of Firm Tofu - cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Salt to taste
1 Tbs of Chopped Peanuts

In a small bowl combine vegetable broth, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, and sugar. In a large wok or skillet over medium heat - cook garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in hot oil for about 10 seconds. Add bell peppers and stir-fry until peppers start to soften. Add tofu and broth mixture. Stir-fry a few more seconds. Cover, reduce to low heat and cook until tofu has heated through and sauce has thickened. Add salt to taste and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve over rice!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mushroom and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Here's a simple Chinese style stir-fry that can be made very quickly. You could also use this for the inside ingredients to a spring roll.

1 Small Cabbage
3 Large Shiitake Mushrooms or if you can only find small ones - use about 12-15
Peanut Oil
Fresh Ginger
Sea Salt
1 Scallion
2 Tbs of Vegetable Stock

Optional: Black Pepper

Julienne the cabbage. Slice mushrooms. Take the green part of the scallion and slice. Take about 1/2 inch of ginger and chop into really small pieces. Heat large pan or wok for 30 seconds. Pour in 2 Tbs of peanut oil in your pan. Throw in ginger and salt. Coat your pan with spatula. Keep cooking on high heat until some smoke starts to appear. Toss in cabbage and mushrooms. Stir-fry for one minute. Add 2 Tbs of vegetable stock. Mix well. Cook for 5 minutes or until cabbage softens. Add one more Tbs of vegetable stock. Add scallions. Add more salt and even pepper for taste. When the scallions turn bright green the dish is ready to serve!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cool Cucumber Sandwich

My cucumber sandwich is probably one of the easiest recipes I'll ever post... It's the most refreshing, tasty and light sandwich yet! And it takes a mere 10 seconds to make.

Required: 1 Cucumber, Bread, Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese which is dairy free)

Take the cucumber and peel the skin off. I tried to peel mine with a knife since I could not for the life of me find my peeler... I will have to buy a new one tomorrow. (As you can see, not so successful with the knife.) Slice the cucumber thinly. Use as much cucumber as desired. My one sandwich called for half of a medium-sized cucumber. It also depends on how thick you want it.

Spread as much cream cheese on your bread as you desire. Take the slices and place them on the cream cheese. Place two pieces of bread together, cut in half, and eat.

SO EASY and so mmm! A great snack to eat during the hot summer weather!