Aug 27, 2015

indonesian stir-fried noodle bowl from "vegan bowls" + #2

These are a few of my favorite things...about Vegan Bowls:

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you my most favorite aspects of my new cookbook, Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N).

My next most favorite aspect of Vegan Bowls is that all of the recipes are on one page (except for a few that have substitution suggestions spill over to the next facing page).

This is really important since the recipes contain no sub-recipes needing to be made first. This means that once you turn to the recipe you want to make, there will be no further page turning needed to complete the dish.

My publisher and I really worked hard on making this a reality - especially since these are complete meals! Complete meals that you can prepare without any sub-recipes or page turning. I love this concept when I cook for my own family and I wanted to bring that uniqueness to this special book.

If you missed it, Reason #1 is posted HERE.

Below I am sharing my recipe for Indonesian Stir-fried Noodle Bowl from Vegan Bowls and felt it was appropriate to let you see the rest of the Chapter 5: Pastas. This chapter includes 14 delicious pasta recipes, including recipes from Europe, Asia and regions of the U.S.

If you have heard of the Laos dish of larb and have been wanting to make an authentic vegan version - look no further than Vegan Bowls. The Reuben Mac and Cheese is my homage to Tami Noyes of Vegan Sandwiches Saves the Day and the upcoming cookbook, The Great Vegan Grains Book (Amazon, B&N).

The list really goes on and on and not a single recipe is your ordinary, run-of-the-mill vegan renditions of pasta dishes. After you peruse the list, get in the kitchen and make the stir-fried noodle bowl below. It is quick and so, so good!

Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodle Bowl
Mei goreng or bami goreng is a popular street food all over Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is a sweet and spicy dish of noodles fried with vegetables and eggs. The sauce usually calls for kecap manis, a thick, sweet sauce, but here we will make our own sauce using tamari, mirin, fresh ginger, and garlic. (Recipe from Vegan Bowls,  copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)


8 ounces medium-thickness brown rice noodles


1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon sambal oelek, or to taste
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon natural sugar


1/4 cup vegetable broth, divided
1 small red onion, cut into 1/8-inch slices
3 cups small broccoli florets
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 celery rib, cut into 1/8-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or vegetable broth
6 ounces baby kale or baby spinach
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed in a bowl of hot water and drained

NOODLES: Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook just shy of al dente, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and cool under running water. Set aside.

SAUCE: Combine the broth, tamari, mirin, sambal oelek, ginger, garlic, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

VEGETABLES: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of broth and the onion. Stir and cook until the onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside in a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of broth to the skillet. Add the broccoli. Stir and cook until the broccoli begins to char, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, celery, garlic and 1 tablespoon of broth. Stir and cook until the cabbage begins to char, about 2 more minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside with the onion. Add the sauce to the skillet and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the oil or 2 more tablespoons of broth, the kale, the edamame, the reserved noodles, and the reserved vegetables. Stir and cook until the pasta is warmed through and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more sambal oelek and tamari. Serve hot in bowls.

Aug 13, 2015

shyoyo ramen

How many of us have actually had a really good bowl of ramen? Although the noodle soup is ubiquous in Japan, even there, chances of finding a vegan bowl of ramen is rare since many of the broths are made with some kind of animal stock.

Making the broth at home, even making it close to authentic, is easy and fast, but you have to make the base of the broth first.

Ramen first caught my eye when I was researching Vietnamese Pho for Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N). I was surprised to learn that the broth for the Japanese version of the noodle soup is much simpler and less involved in terms of spices and flavorings.

I added tofu and vegan sausage to my ramen, since there is meat in the authentic version, but you can add either, both or vegetables instead.

There are three kinds of Japanese Ramen:

1. Shyoyo - seasoned with soy sauce, tamari or shoyu
2. Miso - seasoned with miso
3. Shio - seasoned with salt

I made my version, Shyoyo Ramen, seasoned with tamari. The whole shebang was ready under thirty minutes, so it is definitely worth the extra effort to make this more authentic ramen soup, in lieu of boiling water and adding a packet of who-knows-what and calling it ramen.

Shyoyo Ramen with bamboo ramen noodles.

Shyoyo Ramen
Serves 4

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, cut into 3 slices
1 small onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
4 cups water
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4  cup reduced-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1/2  teaspoon dulse flakes
1/2  teaspoon sea salt
1 (10-ounce) package super-firm tofu, cut into 1/4 -inch slices
2 links vegan sausage, cut into 1/4 -inch slices on the bias
2 tablespoons sake or mirin
1/4 small cabbage, chopped
1 small carrot, cut into julienne slices
10 ounces ramen noodles
Scallions, minced
Togarashi seasoning

1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, onion and garlic and cook until charred on both sides. Add the water, broth, tamari, oil, dulse and salt. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the broth into a medium pot, discarding the vegetables. Season to taste and add the tofu, sausage and sake to the broth and continue to simmer until needed.
2. Heat the large pot over medium heat. Add the cabbage and cook to sear. Carefully pour the broth with the tofu and sausage into the large pot. Add the carrots and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
3. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling. Add the ramen and cook until al dente, stirring often. Drain.
4. Serve the ramen with the broth, tofu, sausage, scallions and togarashi.

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 11, 2015

marengo bowl

Because Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) is so close to release (September 15!), I can't seem to get bowl dishes off my mind. Although this recipe, Marengo Bowl, is not in the book, creating more and more bowl foods these days seems to be my norm as they are easy, complete - in terms of starch, vegetable and protein - and convenient.

I am a sucker for re-creating classic recipes as authentically as is vegan-ly possible, and Marengo is no exception to this self-imposed rule.

Legend has it that Chicken Marengo was created to celebrate Napoleon's Battle of Marengo in the 1800's. After the victory, Napoleon's chef searched the village for ingredients fit for his highness and found chicken, eggs, crayfish, tomato and wine. Napoleon loved the dish so much that he insisted on eating it before each battle, believing it would bring him good luck.

So the legend goes. How much truth there is in the story is debated by historians, but the dish does exist and I am here to make it into a vegan culinary dream.

The most difficult aspect of this dish to veganize is the fried egg, which is served sunny side up as the egg yolk adds a "sauce" to the chicken stew. I decided to use a quick vegan Hollandaise sauce to add that extra sauciness and flavor.

While the mushrooms (if we are to believe the original tale) were added much later, it has become synonymous with Marengo. In addition to regular mushrooms in the stew itself, I decided to add grilled trumpet mushrooms (also know as king oyster mushrooms) because they are substantial and have a light reminiscence of seafood flavor - not as much as the regular oyster mushrooms, but very adequate in replacing the crayfish, or shrimp that is a popular addition these days. If unavailable, use protobellos.

Get the recipe below and don't forget to enter to win Kittee Berns' amazing Ethiopian cookbook, Teff Love, HERE.

Marengo Bowl
Serves 4

Hollandaise: 3 tablespoons vegan mayo 2 tablespoons unsweetened plain vegan milk 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon dijon mustard ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric Pinch cayenne Sea salt and ground black pepper Sautee: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, sliced thin 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 garlic cloves, sliced ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 bay leaf 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, quartered 1 cup dry marsala or sherry 1 (15 - 18 ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand ½ cup water ½ cup sliced black olives Grill: 4 trumpet (or king oyster) mushrooms, trimmed and cut into ½-inch thick slices 2 teaspoons olive oil Cooked rice, as needed 2 tablespoons minced parsley. 1. Hollandaise: Combine the mayo, milk, juice, mustard, turmeric and cayenne in a small microwave-safe bowl. Whip with a whisk to combine and season with salt and black pepper. When needed, warm in a microwave in 20 second intervals until heated through. 2. Sautee: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, chickpeas, garlic, thyme, oregano, bay and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook until the onions and chickpeas are lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the onion and beans and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, water and reserved onions and beans and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Add the olives and a 2 to 3 tablespoons of water if the sautee is too dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 3. Grill: Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Combine the trumpet mushrooms, olive oil and salt and black pepper, to taste, in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Grill the mushrooms until tender, 3 minutes per side in the covered grill pan. turning the mushrooms a quarter turn after 2 minutes. 4. Assembly: Serve the sauce over the cooked rice in shallow bowls. Garnish with a few slices of grilled mushrooms, hollandaise sauce and parsley. Serve.

© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 9, 2015

roasted zucchini and mushroom pilaf bowl from "vegan bowls" + #1

These are a few of my favorite things...about Vegan Bowls:

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you my most favorite aspects of my new cookbook, Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N).

This first aspect simply has to be at the top of my list. You might think that number one is how wonderful the recipes are (which they are!) or how fast a complete meal can be to make (which it can be!), but, in fact, it is a simple thing that a lot of modern cookbooks don't have: no cross-referencing recipes.

There are no recipes within recipes, except for convenience ingredients such as seitan and curry paste.

That is correct - you can cook a complete meal without having to prepare another recipe first. It really bears repeating:

Complete meals without the need for secondary recipes.

I own my share of super amazing cookbooks, written by some super amazing authors, but the nitty-gritty is that either recipes-within-recipes are required or the recipes themselves are not complete meals unto themselves.

Certainly, a few exceptions are of note, such as dinner salads, a few casseroles and soups, but even then, most need supplemental components to make them a complete meal.

I took great care in making sure that all the recipes in this volume are stand-alone and need no other sub-recipes.

Of course, for your convenience, I have included a few basic recipes for ease, economy and superior flavor, but no basic recipe is a "requirement" for making any of the bowls in the book.

While I include recipes for seitan, vegetable broth, red curry paste and tortillas, they can be store-bought and need not be home-made.

I know how important it is to see the Table of Contents of cookbooks before you purchase one, therefore, over the next few weeks I will be sharing the contents of Vegan Bowls with you, chapter by chapter. Below is the content of the grains chapter:

Today I am sharing with you the recipe for one of my favorite bowls in book: Roasted Zucchini and Mushroom Pilaf Bowl. Pilaf has been one of my favorite dishes ever since my younger days working at Baker's Square Restaurant where they had a delicious pilaf recipe.

Naturally, with age and wisdom you realize that that particular pilaf wasn't quite up to snuff and, indeed, a lot of improvement was possible.

With this recipe, I bring you all the love I have for the pilaf, with the addition of some knock-down great flavor -- again, all in a complete bowl. I highly recommend using a toaster oven for the vegetables, if you have one; it keeps the kitchen cooler in the summer.

Hope you enjoy!

oh! If you haven't already entered or own Kittee Berns' fabulous Ethiopian cookbook, Teff Love, enter to win a copy HERE.

Roasted Zucchini and Mushroom Pilaf Bowl
It is no surprise that I love to roast vegetables; it always seems to bring out the best in produce. In this recipe, zucchini and mushrooms are roasted to perfection and stirred into a quinoa pilaf that is accented with scallions and arugula. . (Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
2 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 cup corn kernels, thawed and drained if frozen

1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup orzo
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 cups baby arugula or watercress
2 scallions, minced
1/2 to 1 serrano chile, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

ROAST: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the oil, salt and garlic on a baking sheet. Add the mushroom, zucchini, and corn. Mix well and bake until tender and roasted, about 20 minutes, stirring midway through cooking time. If you have more time, roast until the corn is golden, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.

QUINOA: Heat the broth, salt, quinoa and garlic in a large pot. Cover, bring to boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to steam. Fluff with fork and set aside.

PASTA: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the water and salt and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.

GREENS: Add the orzo to the cooked quinoa. Add the roasted vegetables to the quinoa. Add the arugula, scallions, serrano and lemon juice. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.

Aug 8, 2015

love of "teff love" + giveaway

My love of Teff Love (Amazon, B&N), an Ethiopian cookbook by the fabulous Kittee Berns, of Cake Maker to the Stars blog, runs deep. I know I'm a little late to the festivities, but I can't imagine not gushing, along with everyone else, about the brilliance of this book.

I won't go into the details of the book, as I am sure others have done that quite well in my stead (check out Teff Love's blog tour HERE). I'm just here to give you my take on the dishes.

Having bought and used Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, Kittee's zine, religiously, I knew that the recipes in this book would be at least equally good, but I wasn't really prepared for just how amazing the dishes in Teff Love turned out to be.

There are a few helpful suggestions to keep in mind before cooking Kittee's incredible food; these will put the recipes into the uppermost tier of fabulousness.

The first step to delicious and authentic Ethiopian is to ensure you have injera, the flat, sourdough bread used as both utensil and a delicious tool to sop up the yummy gravies. Of course, even tortillas or pita is better than not making any of the dishes due to lack of injera.

The second step in making any of Kittee's dishes successfully, is to prepare the seasoned oil, ye'qimem zeyet, page 25. Although Kittee gives you the option to use olive oil instead of the seasoned oil, since the recipe is so easy and returns so much in flavor, I highly, highly recommend it.

The third absolutely necessary component of even the smallest Ethiopian feast is a salad, page 133. As you can tell, each of the platters I made has a simple salad as a component. The salad provides a fresh, cooling accompaniment to the other dishes. The dressing is a simple vinaigrette, page 145 or 146.

We are lucky enough to live near an Ethiopian restaurant in San Diego (albeit, one that serves meat as well), but truly, the recipes within Kittee's volume are heads and shoulders above anything we could ever have here.

All in all, this really is a volume you should own. Period. If you haven't had Ethiopian food before, Teff Love is the most excellent way to get some of this ah-mazing grub on your plate. If you are among the lucky ones already initiated into the club, you can't beat all the creative and downright delicious food Kittee shares with us. And don't you just love the title??

I'm itching to share this wonderful cookbook with someone, so make sure to enter below for your chance to win a copy of Teff LoveTo be eligible to win you must be following this blog via email or RSS feed (link). Contest is open to US residents only and ends Monday, August 17. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aug 7, 2015

announcing "vegan bowls"

I am so, SO excited to announce that the final cover for my new cookbook, Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N), is official and the book is at the printers! The book is currently on sale and ready for pre-order at the ridiculously low price of $10 plus change on Amazon (not sure how long that'll last!).

Vegan Bowls came about while I was writing Everyday Vegan Eats (Amazon, B&N). During my work on that project, while I was writing, and rewriting and developing and correcting, I realized that we were ordering take-out a lot more than when I had a more luxurious amount of time to cook.

This turn of events that I had taken for granted surprised me as I have/had been a homeschooling mom of three for 15 years, with the option to begin dinner at 4 or 5 or 6 - solely dependent on my whim and the circumstances. All of a sudden, I needed dinner on the table even before I realized dinner-time had already arrived.

Turns out, I not only needed dinner on the table quickly, but it needed to be a complete meal. That's where bowls came to the rescue. Bowl meals are complete meals served in the convenience of a bowl.  That means starch, vegetable and protein, all in one serving vessel.

After much recipe research and development, I am proud to deliver this collection of around 99 delicious COMPLETE meals in a beautiful volume, published by Vegan Heritage Press.

To give you a little idea of the recipes offered in Vegan Bowls, here are some tease shots:

I'll be posting recipes from Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) in the coming weeks and will, of course, have giveaways for this book and other books I happen to love. Stay tuned!

I hope you will see why I'm so crazy excited about this book - flavorful recipes, great tips on getting you in and out of the kitchen in record time, all while preparing healthy, complete meals!

Aug 2, 2015

artichoke roll

Lobster Roll is a popular sandwich in the northeastern U.S. It is a mayo-based filling in a soft, toasted and buttered bun.

Remaking this sandwich is easy and quick and produces a wonderful vegan version of this classic filling. I use artichoke hearts (or hearts of palm) and just a touch of dulse seaweed flakes.

Toss the sauteed artichokes with lemon and vegan mayo and you have a delicious filling that is a welcome alternative to tofu, beans or other vegan meats.

It is important to serve the filling (at room temperature or chilled) on the still-warm, buttered rolls; it really is best tasting that way.

We wound up serving the sandwich with the Creamy Tomato Soup from Everyday Vegan Eats (page 48). I had forgotten just how insanely good that soup is.

Artichoke rolls with Creamy Tomato Soup (EVE, page 48)

Artichoke Roll
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (12-ounce) jars artichoke hearts or pieces (or hearts of palm, chopped), rinsed
¼ teaspoon dulse seaweed
¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and ground black pepper
¼ to ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
Soft buns, such as veggie dog buns, toasted and buttered

1. Heat the oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Add the artichokes, dulse and Old Bay. Cook, stirring as needed, until golden brown and lightly charred, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Remove and set aside in a large bowl  to cool slightly.
2. Add the celery, parsley, lemon, salt, black pepper, and mayo to the bowl. Combine gently, taste and adjust with salt, pepper and mayo.
3. Serve the filling in the toasted, buttered buns. 

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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