Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vegan Sesame Miso Udon with Vegetables, Tofu, and Agar Agar "Vegg" Yolks





For the vegan egg yolk: Place 1/2 cup water in a blender. With the blender running, sprinkle in 3 teaspoons of Vegg egg yolk replacer. Blend for 30 seconds. 

In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the flakes are dissolved. Add the agar agar mixture to the Vegg mixture and blend again. Let this mixture cool completely and then let chill slightly. You want it to be cold but not totally set. Have a bowl filled with ice water at the ready. Dip a tablespoon in a little bit of oil. Then fill the tablespoon with the Vegg mixture. Slightly tilt the ice water bowl and submerge the filled tablespoon into the water, right side up. Just hold it there for about 2 minutes. The mixture will begin to set. You can lightly shake the spoon back and forth to loosen the Vegg yolk. Once set, gently tip it out of the tablespoon. Repeat to make more yolks. Let the yolks set in the ice water for about 30 minutes, while preparing your soup. 

For the miso udon soup, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add in 1/2 onion, thinly sliced. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add in 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. In a small bowl add 4 tablespoons of organic white miso paste and 2 cubes of "Not-Chick'n" LOW SODIUM cubes. The regular ones are way too salty so it is important to use the low sodium. The soup would still taste great without these cubes, I just happen to have them and wanted to add some extra flavor. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot broth over the miso and cubes. Whisk to break down. Add back into the soup along with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, and chili oil to taste. I added in 1/2 of a 12 ounce package of dried udon noodles. Bring to a low boil and cook 12 minutes. Meanwhile you prepare your toppings.

I used Miataki mushrooms, baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, small purple potatoes, organic tofu, thinly sliced seaweed, and black sesame seeds.

Quarter and wash 1 baby bok choy. Gently break up one cluster of miataki mushrooms. In a cast iron skillet, add about 1/4 cup of water. Lay the quartered bok choy, miataki mushrooms, about 1/4 cup sugar snap peas, a few thinly sliced baby purple potatoes, and some cubed tofu into the skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes till the veggies are cooked through and lightly browned underneath. Halfway through, pour a couple tablespoons of soy sauce over the veggies. Cover and continue to cook the rest of the 15 minutes. 

Ladle the broth and udon noodles into a bowl. Arrange your cooked veggies and tofu on top of the soup and right before serving, add in your sliced nori and top with the Vegg yolk. Just gently remove from the water using your hands and place in the soup. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vegan Blackberry Cherry Ice Cream




Coconut milk vanilla custard base with pureed blackberries and chunks of black cherries. 



I added Vegg egg yolk replacer into my ice cream base to give it the rich flavor that custard has but it is optional if you can't get your hands on it. Just leave out the Vegg and 1/2 cup water. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Vegg egg yolk replacer
2 cans full fat coconut milk (almost 3 cups)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blackberries
1/4 cup pitted black cherries, roughly chopped

Place 1/2 cup water into a blender. With the blender running on low, slowing add in the Vegg. Adding the Vegg while the water is already running in the blender ensures the Vegg mixes in and doesn't just stay clumped at the bottom. Blend for about a minute. Add in the coconut milk. and mix until combined. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt and then add to the coconut mixture. Pour this mixture into a medium sized sauce pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. 

For the next step, I like to use frozen blackberries. Your ice cream base needs to be chilled before putting into your ice cream machine and using frozen blackberries chills the mixture down without having to chill it in the fridge. But fresh is always great too! So place your blackberries in the blender with about 1/2 or so of your room temperature ice cream base and blend till smooth. I also blended up some cherries with the black berries. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Whisk the puree and chopped cherry chunks into the rest of your ice cream base. At this point, prepare your ice cream according to your specific ice cream maker's instructions. Mine takes about 30 minutes to set, with another couple of hours in the freezer after that. 

Vegan Orange Glazed Sesame Cauliflower


Orange glazed sesame cauliflower with sautéed baby bok choy and steamed white rice.


For the Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking wine)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup potato or corn starch
Vegetable oil for frying
Break the cauliflower into bite sized florets. Steam for 5 minutes. Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, ginger, sesame oil, and orange zest. Place the warm steamed cauliflower into the marinade. Let the cauliflower marinate for about 15 minutes. Remove from marinade and coat the cauliflower with the potato or cornstarch, starting with 1/4 cup. Adding more if you want a thicker coating.
Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan until nice and hot. Cook the cauliflower in a single layer on both sides till crisp and golden brown, working in about 3 batches.
For the sauce:
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons potato or corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon chopped scallions

In a small sauce pan, combine the orange juice, orange marmalade, hot sauce, salt and starch. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Add in the sesame seeds and scallions
Toss the cooked cauliflower with the orange glaze and serve with sauteed baby bok choy and steamed white rice. 

Vegan Pistachio Lemon Sugar Cookies with a Blueberry Vanilla Cream Filling



Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
1 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup ground pistachios
1/4 teaspoon matcha (for color)
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda 

In bowl of a standing mixer, beat the sugar, Earth Balance, and non-dairy milk till creamy. Add in vanilla and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, pistachios, matcha, corn starch, and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture. Mix just till combine. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When chilled, roll out onto lightly floured surface. Cut out circles. Using a small heart shape, cut out the center of half the circles. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes till lightly golden. Let cool.

For the filling, you can use anything. Jam, chocolate, nut butter, etc. I mixed equal parts vegan cream cheese with blueberry preserves, added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Just spoon a teaspoon of filling into each whole circle and top with a heart cut out circle. 

Mini Vegan Pop Tart Pops



Flaky crust, peach apricot filling, with a layer of vanilla icing and sprinkles on top.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, very cold and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
Jam or preserve of your choice
Lollipop sticks
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons water
All-natural organic food coloring (I get mine from Whole Foods)

Combine flour and butter in a food processor. Add in the cubed Earth Balance and pulse about 15 times to cut the butter into the flour. Add in the water and mix just till combined. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out an equal number of same sized small rectangles. I cut mine into 3 inch by 2 inch rectangles. On half of the rectangles, spoon roughly 1/2 teaspoon of any jam or preserve that you would like. I used a peach jam. Place the stick on top of the jam rectangle. You want the top of the stick to go almost to the top of the rectangle. This just enures that the tart won't slide later on. Brush edges with water and top with another rectangle. Lightly press the edges with a fork, careful that none of the filling seeps out. Using a toothpick, poke a few small holes to let the steam out. Repeat till all of your rectangles are used up.
Lay tarts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes till nice and golden. Let cool completely.
For the icing, combing the powdered sugar, water, and all-natural food coloring in a bowl. Whisk till smooth. Using either a small knife or a piping bag fitted with a very small round tip, ice the tops of your tarts. Top with sprinkles or drizzle more icing on top. Let set for about 15 minutes. 

Vegan Pot Pie Stew with Puff Pastry Croutons




2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon each of fresh thyme and rosemary, 2 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, about 1/4 cup flour, 3 cups vegetable broth, 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste, one 10-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables, 3 small potatoes, peeled, par boiled, and diced.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until lightly golden. Add in the garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Sauté another minute or so. Add in the vegan butter and let melt. Whisk in the flour. Cook a minute or so to cook out the raw flour taste. Add in the vegetable broth and soy milk. Cook, whisking, until the mixture thickens up. If it's too thick, add more broth. Too thin, add in some more flour (whisk with cold water first to avoid lumps). Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Add in the vegetables and potato. Let simmer on low heat for about an hour. 

For the puff pastry croutons, I bought a plant-based puff pastry from whole foods. Once defrosted, cut the puff pastry into 1-inch squares. Bake in a preheated 400 degree over for about 12 to 15 minutes. 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chunks and mix. 

Combine sugars, oil, and water. Mix on medium low speed for a couple of minutes. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just till combined. Spread into a greased 8 by 8 baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes till set and lightly browned. Let cool for a while. Serve slightly warm with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.