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. 


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. 

Mini Vegan Pop Tart Pops

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


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. 

Simple Spicy Sesame Salad

For the salad:

Cucumber rounds, thinly sliced tomato, whole sugar snap peas, shredded purple cabbage, crushed kale chips and avocado. Arrange the vegetables on a plate.

For the dressing

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons veganaise
2 to 3 teaspoons sriracha
Splash of non dairy milk 

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust to taste with more sriracha, soy sauce, veganaise, etc. Drizzle over the arranged vegetables. Finish off with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Sliders

BBQ jackfruit sliders with creamy coleslaw, cayenne pepper onion rings, and dill pickle.

For the bbq pork: Drain and rinse 1 to 2 cans of jackfruit in water or brine (not syrup!). Break up the chunks of jackfruit. The jackfruit has 2 textures. Half is firm and the other half is stringy just like pulled pork. I shred the stringy parts with my hands and then roughly chop the firm parts. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add shredded and chopped jackfruit into the skillet. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the jackfruit browns a bit. Add in anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your favorite vegan barbeque sauce. I used a sweet and smokey one. Continue to simmer the bbq jackfruit till the sauce is absorbed. Add more if you want it to be saucier. Add in 1 tablespoon of Veganaise. This gives richness to the jackfruit. 

For the coleslaw, combine 1/3 to 1/2 cup Veganaise, 2 teaspoons mustard, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and a splash of non dairy milk. Whisk together to combine. Add in about 3 cups of cole slaw cabbage mix. Toss. 

For the fried onions, combine 1/2 cup of flour, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. Add in 1 teaspoon olive oil and about 1/4 cup water. Whisk to combine. This is about enough for 1 onion. Peel and slice 1 medium sized onion into thin rings. Toss the onion rings in the batter to coat. Heat about 4 inches of oil in a pot to 365 degrees F. Fry until onion rings are golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. 

For the buns, I bought vegan dinner rolls from the store, sliced them in half, toasted them, and spread on some Earth Balance. 

To assemble, place bbq jackfruit on the bottom of each slider. Top with coleslaw, fried onions, and some sliced dill pickle. 

Vegan Mixed Berry Trifle

Vanilla poundcake soaked in blueberry juice, layered with coconut whip cream, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

For the Poundcake

You will need:

1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces organic non-GMO tofu
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder 


Preheat your even to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium sized dish. For this dessert, the shape doesn't matter! Square, round, you're gonna cut it to fit in your parfait glass so it doesn't matter! In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar till fluffy. In a food processor, blend the tofu till smooth. Add to the butter and mix to combine. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Mix together the water and vanilla. Add the flour and water mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just till combined. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, till golden brown and s toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. 

For the parfaits, cut cake rounds to fit in your desired glass. With each layer of cake, drizzle on some blueberry juice to soak the cake layer. I used the juice from the bottom of a bag of defrosted frozen blueberries. Next add some coconut whip (the solid coconut cream from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk whipped with a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar), then add some fresh berries. Keep repeating till you fill the glass. Finish off with coconut whip, berries, and cake crumbs. 

Vegan Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Tomato Basil Bisque

Coconut milk and smoked paprika make for a tasty cheese alternative, and these grilled cheese sandwiches are perfect for dipping into creamy tomato soup with a drizzle of basil oil.

For the smoked cheddar:

Combine 1 can coconut milk with 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca starch, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Whisk to combine and simmer another 10 minutes. Pour into a well oiled dish and cool. Refrigerate for a couple of hours till firm. This can be thinly sliced for the grilled cheese! 

For the cashew "Parmesan":

Combine 1 cup of raw cashews with 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon mustard in a food processor. Pulse until the cashews are broken down and the mixture is crumbly. 

For the tomato soup:

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in 1 medium chopped onion and 2 cloves of roughly chopped garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add in about 28 ounces of oven roasted tomatoes and 1 to 2 cups of vegetable broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in about 1/2 cup of Trader Joe's vegan cream cheese. Transfer soup go a blender and purée. Return to pot and keep warm over low heat. 

For the grilled cheese:

I used sour dough bread. I spread some horseradish mustard on one side of the bread. Top with a layer of smoked cheddar and a sprinkle of the cashew "Parmesan". Top with another piece of bread. Butter the outsides of the bread with Earth Balance vegan butter. Grill in a pan set over medium heat on each side till golden brown and toasted.

Vegan Creamed Spinach

Quick and Easy Vegan Creamed Spinach with garlic, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. This can be eaten as a side dish or used as the base for other things! Add in some artichoke and eat with some tortilla chips for a tasty appetizer! Mix with pasta and tomato sauce for a quick dinner. 

For the Creamed Spinach:

Defrost 16 oz of frozen spinach (use fresh if you want!). Remove as much liquid from the spinach as you can. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add in 1/2 finely chopped onion, sauté for about 2 minutes. Add in 1 clove minced garlic, cook about 1 minute. Add in the spinach and 1/4 cup Trader Joe's vegan cream cheese and mix till the cream cheese is melted and incorporated. Finish off with about 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. 

Eat The Rainbow Fruit Salad

Raspberries, pineapple, blueberries, oranges, blackberries, pomegranate seeds, and strawberries :)

Vegan Spicy Sunflower Seed "Tuna" Roll

Vegan Spicy Sunflower Seed "Tuna" Roll. Cucumbers and carrots inside, avocado, sriracha veganaise, scallions, and tempura crunch on top. Here is the recipe for the sushi rice and sunflower seed "tuna".

For the sushi rice, combine 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/3 tablespoon mirin, and 1/3 tablespoon salt and heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside. 

Rinse and drain 2 cups of uncooked sushi rice 3 times, gently rubbing the rice between your palms a few times. Drain into a fine mesh sieve and let sit for 30 minutes. Place rice into a large heavy bottomed pan. Add in 2 and 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 1 minute on high. Reduce to medium, cook for another 4 minutes. Reduce to low and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Take off lid and place a clean towel over the pot. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Place hot rice into a large bowl. Using a sushi paddle or flat rubber spatula, you want to add the vinegar mixture into the rice while simultaneously turning the rice and fanning it to cool down. I use a hair drier set on the cool setting. Carefully and gradually pour the vinegar mixture over the rice. Keeping the cold air blowing on it, gently fold the rice over with the paddle. Continue to do this till the rice is room temperature. 

Now that you have your sushi rice you can fill it with whatever you want! Here is the recipe for sunflower seed spicy "tuna" that works well inside sushi rolls. Along with this, you can add avocado, cucumber, carrots, gluten free tempura crunch, etc.

1 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
3 to 4 tablespoons Veganaise 
Sriracha to taste 
1 to 3 small pickled beets for color
2 teaspoons kelp flakes or crushed nori
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon tamari

Soak the sunflower seeds in hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor. Add in the Veganaise, Sriracha, beets, kelp, lemon juice, and tamari. Pulse until almost smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. I put this mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip which makes it really easy to put into the sushi roll.

Vegan Lemon Custard Tart

For the lemon curd: Combine 1 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice, 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir till sugar dissolves. Add in 3 tablespoons corn starch (dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water) 2 tablespoons coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Cook 1 more minute. Cool. Pour into prepared pie crust and top with coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

For the coconut whip: You want to refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk overnight and scoop the solid coconut off the top. Whip with a little powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I've tested different brands from my local grocery and found which one works best. Some don't separate and solidify at all, whereas one brand is just solid coconut after a night in the fridge. So figure out which one is best for you! 

For the pie crust, place 1 1/4 cup flour in a food processor. Add in 1/2 cup very cold cubed Earth Balance vegan butter. Pulse about 15 times to cut in the butter. Add about 1/4 cup ice cold water. Pulse to combine. Wrap and chill 1 hour. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Place into desired pie pan or dish. Poke a few a all holes in the bottom and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes till lightly golden. Let cool.

To assemble, place cooled lemon curd into prepared pie crust. Top with coconut whip and toasted coconut. Chill at least 2 hours. 

Chia Pudding


1 cup coconut milk
1/8 cup organic chia seeds 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup to taste

Combine all ingredients and let sit for about 20 minutes till thick. Layer and top with any fruit that you like!

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Mac and Cheese

Vegan cashew and sun-dried tomato macaroni and cheese with a crunch sourdough bread crumb and cheddar potato ship crust. Serious vegan comfort food!
For the sun-dried tomato cashew cheese

Combine about 1 cup of unsalted raw cashews, 4 ounces Trader Joe's vegan cream cheese, juice from 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 clove chopped garlic, and 3 to 4 sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add a couple tablespoons of water and blend until very smooth (adding more water if necessary). You want this to still be fairly thick.

This makes a great dip or spread on its own. But to make the Mac and cheese, stir the desired amount of cashew cheese into cooked vegan elbow pasta (cook according to box instructions). 

For the Bread Crumb Topping:

Blend 1 slice of sourdough bread with 1/2 cup of Earth Balance cheddar potato chips till they are just crumbs. Toss with 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance vegan butter and 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves. Pour Mac and cheese into a casserole dish and top with the crumb topping. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until top is golden. 

Vegan Breakfast Chilaquiles

For the tofu scramble:
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Vegg (vegan egg yolk replacer)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon diced green chile
7 ounces firm organic, non-GMO tofu 
salt and pepper to taste
Put the 1/2 cup water into a blender. With the blender running on low, sprinkle in the Vegg powder. Let the blender run for about a minute.
In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high. Cook onions till lightly browned. Add in garlic and diced green chile. Cook about a minute.
Roughly slice the tofu. Press slices between paper towels to remove some of the water. Crumble the tofu into the saute pan with the onions and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add in the Vegg liquid and cook till the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the chilaquiles, I piled some tortilla chips onto a plate, and covered them with warm tomato salsa. Pile on the tofu scramble and top with avocado, salsa verde, lime cashew cream and whatever else you want!