veganmofo - lime-maple roasted sweet potato tostada

Day 28 of #vgnmf15 asks which do we prefer? tacos or burritos?

I choose...tostadas! Yes, I'm going to be "that person," the one who has to be stubborn and contrary. But if you really think about it, tostadas are a bit of both, but look much prettier. If you consider, a tostada is actually a large one-serving nacho plate. No need to share with anyone.




I made these Lime-maple Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas with Black Bean Mash, Avocado and Pickled Jalapenos and they were awe-some! Indeed, the recipe has quite a few components, but nothing too difficult or hard to do. Just follow the recipe in the order written and you'll have this dish done in about 30 minutes.

The pickled jalapenos were really tasty, but my jalapenos were very spicy this time around; it is difficult to tell when you'll get a batch that is out-of-this-world hot and when the batch is mild. I recommend pickling Fresno peppers instead if you are not a spice-head like me. Fresnos are ripe New Mexico-type chiles and are much milder than jalapenos.

Of course, if you want to be a stickler about following directions, stuff the toppings into a tortilla and roll or fold.
I'm good either way.





 

Lime-maple Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas
Makes 8 tostadas

Pickled Jalapenos:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 medium jalapeno or Fresno peppers, sliced very thin using a mandoline
1 garlic clove, minced

Sweet Potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon mince garlic
1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
Sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Beans:
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup water
Sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

Other:
3 tablespoon oil
8 (5-inch) corn tortillas
1 medium ripe Hass avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper

1. Jalapenos: Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, oregano and black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir well to melt the sugar and salt. Add the cilantro, peppers and garlic. Set aside to pickle for at least 20 minutes. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
2. Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Combine the potatoes, garlic, oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice on baking sheet. Season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Stir in the rest of the lime juice and the maple syrup. Continue to bake until the syrup is thick and absorbed, about 5 more minutes.
3. Beans: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cover and cook until becoming golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and water and cover. Cook until the onions are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheese, if using. Stir to combine and melt the cheese. 
4. Tortillas: Heat the oil (3 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet. Add a tortilla and cook until almost crisp, about 1 minute, turning once. Set aside to drain. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. After the sweet potatoes are cooked, bake the tortillas on the oven rack until crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. 
5. Assemble: Spread beans on a tostada, top with sweet potatoes. Add a few slices of avocado tossed with the lime juice and seasoned with salt and pepper. Top with pickled jalapenos and serve. 



© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

veganmofo - grilled cheese and tomato soup





Day 26 #vgnmf15 prompt (and I quote:)


"It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! 
What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?" 


Check your pantry and fridge; do you have vegan cheese, bread, canned/jarred tomatoes and chips (optional)? Good! Then you have all the fixings for grilled cheese and tomato soup. Bonus ingredients are basil (dried or fresh) and vegan butter.

Since I am in San Diego, there is no chance that a snow drift would be outside my door, but for the sake or argument (and fun), so be it. Also, that snow drift is only outside my front door and not the back, so I am able to retrieve some fresh basil from the backyard that is in a *greenhouse* (called San Diego).

Thus you can see that I am all set to make this fabulous sandwich and soup. Of course, if you don't have access to a greenhouse, then use dried basil, as I often do, given the laziness of *some* people.






I made the soup using my recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats, which is really a fabulous cream of tomato soup and I highly recommend it.

As for the grilled cheese, let's not mess around and let's get serious. Let's make real grilled cheese - a sandwich that has melty, gooey cheese in between perfectly grilled bread. And, mind you, this sandwich is all vegan.

Few tips and tricks:

*mix your vegan cheeses - each brand has a different attribute - capitalize on them
*use low heat and a lid on your skillet when cooking the first side
*cook the flip side uncovered

If you go all crazy bad-ass with the cheese and add a ton to the sandwich then....

*add 1 tablespoon water to the skillet, cover with a lid and tilt the skillet to melt all the cheese (tilt to avoid getting the bread soggy)

Are you all cozy now? Sometimes we pretend it is all cool and windy outside and make this duo. This game is played quite often at our house.

Don't miss the Giveaway for Vegan Bowls right HERE. Contest ends Monday 9/28 at midnight!













Grilled Cheese Guidelines


Vegan butter
Slices of bread (2 per sandwich)
Vegan cheese (see note)

1. Butter one side of each bread slice. 
2. Combine 2 to 3 different types/styles of shredded (or grated) vegan cheese. Mix well.
3. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, add the slices of buttered bread, top with mixture of cheese and add the top slice of buttered bread (butter side up). Cover with a lid and cook until the bottom slice of bread is golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Flip the sandwich and cook, uncovered, until golden brown. Reduce heat if the bread is cooking too fast, 
5. If the cheese is not melted, add a tablespoon of water to the skillet, tip the skillet to avoid making the bread soggy, cover with a lid and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve.

*note- use a mixture of shredded or grated vegan cheese. finely grate block cheese. mix well to combine.


 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

veganmofo - famous dude + meat(less) pies

Day 24! #vgnmf15! We are getting close to the end! Today's post is

"What would [famous person] eat if they were vegan?"

The girls and I decided to go with one of the most infamous omnivores in history: 

Henry VIII


   

The photo on the left is Henry during his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon (which lasted 24 years). The one on the right is a tad later.

Since the man was known for his opulence and grandeur, and not known for simplicity and humility, it is well documented that Henry and his rich off-springs would have indulged in eating any fish, fowl or any (and every) other animal on a spit, plate or in a pie.

Bread and wine were plentiful (and the only clean drinking supplies) and sweet confections were never far off. According to some estimates, Mr. Tudor consumed around 5000 calories per day (I think that is a low-ball estimate), however, he (as well as other affluent gentry) is rumored to have suffered from malnutrition and scurvy.

Why? Vegetables and other plant foods were considered plebian and only suited as foods for peasants.

Now, if Henry had a good head on his shoulders, instead of losing one (or another's), and had been compassionate, he would have become vegan long before he had beheaded his second wife.

Let's give the guy a break and let him have his sweets via decadent and exotic fruits, such as pepino melons, blackberries, raspberries and horned melons. All appropriate sweets, I think.

And then, for the main course, we'll go ahead and give him his bread/pie (he is English, after all) but, we'll make it with broccoli and minced savory soy curls in a velvety gravy. Let's call it Royal Meat(less) Pies, for the fun of it, and, again, for the fun of it, if you would like to hum along to "Have a Little Priest," no one would mind.




Above we have decadent fruit, wine, and huge (huge!) meatless pies stuffed with vegan meat, gravy and broccoli. The man would have nothing to complain about, I testify.

If you'd like to make your own fluffy, high-rising vegan pies, look no further than Everyday Vegan Eats (AmazonB&N), which has this really amazing biscuit (and meatless pies) recipe.




While I do not have the permission to share the actual meatless pie recipe, I do have the permission to share with you the biscuit recipe. Savvy Vegetarian shared this recipe first and she has some *sweet* variations on it that is really worthwhile to check out.








Flaky Buttermilk Herb Biscuits
Sample recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever. (Copyright Zsu Dever. Permission Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)
Makes 10 - 12 Biscuits

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups plain unsweetened vegan milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 tablespoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold vegan butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup minced parsley leaves
1 tablespoon dried chives

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450-F. Mix the milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Set it aside for 3 minutes to thicken.

2.  Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry knife or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is about the size of peas. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture all at once. Add the parsley and chives.  Gently combine the flour and milk with your hand just until the milk is absorbed into the flour. Handle carefully to avoid tough biscuits.

3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it 6 to 8 times or until the dough comes together.  Add more flour to the dough if it is too sticky, adding just enough flour to prevent a lot of sticking, but not too much to achieve a light, flaky biscuit.

4. Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Fold the dough in half and then in half again. Roll it out again into a rough rectangle about 1/2-inch thick, adding more flour as needed. Repeat the folding and rolling 4 more times, for a total of folding it 5 times.
If the dough becomes too difficult to roll, allow it to relax for 5 minutes before proceeding.

5. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle about 1/2-inch thick one final time. Cut it into about 10 (3-inch) rounds using a floured biscuit cutter, or a floured drinking glass.

6. Place the biscuits on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 425-F. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.



veganmofo - autumn equinox + rosemary-garlic roasted seitan

Welcome Autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere and Welcome Spring in the Southern Hemisphere)!

Day 23 #vgnmf15 is a celebration of the Autumn/Spring Equinox.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox is also the Pagan holiday of Mabon. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and the night equally and reminds us that subsequent days will get darker and darker as the daylight hours get shorter and shorter.

Mabon is a harvest festival at which time reflection, meditation, gratitude and celebration are held for the past year's accomplishments or successes.

Indeed, reflection of events that didn't quite pan out as one had hoped would, is still observed and meditated upon. After all, it is both our successes and endeavors that make us who we are; it is both of these that propel us forward and acknowledging both is important.

Sometimes we give things a "try" and not accomplish it, but without analysis of what went wrong, there is no way to correct the course and hope for success in the future.

Mabon is celebrated with seasonal offerings such as apples, pomegranates, cider, herbs and root vegetables, among the bounty of the season.

As we set up our alter with leaves, pine cones, apples and gardening tools, we light candles, burn incense, listen to music and reflect on the year's happenings, we also feast on rich foods that happen to be compassionate and non-violent.




We are celebrating (or would be, if I didn't need to take this photo a day before) Mabon and honoring The Green Man (God of the Forest) on this day with Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Seitan and Root Vegetables.

I made the seitan using the Simple Seitan Cutlets from Everyday Vegan Eats (AmazonB&N) with a few modifications: I made it into a roast instead of cutlets by just forming the gluten into a roast form. I added 1 tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary and 4 minced garlic cloves to the gluten and tied it loosely with twine to keep the roast in more of a compact form while it cooked. I also added a sprig of rosemary to the cooking broth.

It was really delicious and once the seitan was cooked (the day before), prep time was about 5 minutes. Simple, hearty and satisfying.

If you haven't seen, I am hosting another giveaway for Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N)! Go enter HERE.










Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Seitan
Makes 4 to 5 servings

4 to 5 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large carrot, chopped
1 whole bulb garlic, cloves peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper

1 recipe seitan roast, made with fresh rosemary and garlic (see blog post for more information)

1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F. Combine the potatoes, carrots, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl. Toss well.
2. Place the seitan roast in the middle of baking sheet. Coat the seitan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the potato mixture around the roast. Bake the roast and potatoes until the potatoes are tender, about 45 to 50 minutes, stirring the potatoes halfway through the baking. Baste the roast halfway through the baking, using any oil on the bottom of the baking sheet. 
3. Taste and adjust seasoning of the potatoes and serve. 


 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


veganmofo - seasonal + spinach salad + giveaway

#vgnmf15 Day 22 is all about seasonal produce and making such seasonal offerings into a dish.

I offer up my Spinach Salad Bowl with Fennel, Quinoa and Warm Pecan Dressing.

The seasonal produce for this dish is spinach, fennel and oranges (and pecans. Pecans count, right?). It also happens to be another recipe from my new cookbook, Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N), and I got permission to share the recipe with you!




Speaking of which, Vegan Bowls is celebrating its FIRST WEEK ANNIVERSARY! I think that means party time - don't you?! Yup, that means a blog tour and giveaways!


Vegan Street  and Here September 25
It's Got Vegan In It  September 22
Veg Kitchen  September 23
Healthy Slow Cooking  September 24
Dianne's Vegan Kitchen  September 25
Chic Vegan  September 28
Global Vegan Kitchen  September 29  (giveaway - ends October 5)
Good Good Things  October 1
Kelli's Vegan Kitchen  October 2  (giveaway - ends October 11)
The Taste Space October 6  (giveaway - ends October 20)
Glue and Glitter  October 6
The Food Duo  October 7  (giveaway - ends October 29)
Vegan Eats and Treats  October 8 (giveaway - ends October 15)
Vegan Crunk October 8
Julie Hasson  October 9  (giveaway - ends October 15) 
Heather Nicholds  October 9 (giveaway - ends October 14)



Since I am sharing a salad bowl recipe with you, why not look at the Salad Chapter of Vegan Bowls




You can see the entire recipe list for Vegan Bowls HERE.

Let's start with a giveaway on this blog, since I am probably the most excited! The winner will be chosen next Monday night at midnight, September 28.  Enter below for your chance to win a copy! To be eligible to win you must be following this blog via email or RSS feed (link). Contest is open to US residents only. Good luck!












Spinach Salad Bowl with Warm Pecan Dressing
SERVES 4 
This is a spin on spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. This salad is filled with shaved fennel, perfectly cooked quinoa, and candied pecans. The warm orange-pecan dressing ties all the flavors together and delivers a delicious, filling salad. (Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)


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

DRESSING
1 cup raw pecan pieces
5 tablespoons fresh orange juice, divided
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable broth

SALAD
8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach (about 2 bunches, tough stems removed)
1 cup shaved fennel (about 1 small bulb) 

QUINOA: Combine the quinoa, broth, garlic, and salt in a small saucepan. 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. Fluff with a fork before serving.

DRESSING: Toast the nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer half of the nuts to a small blender. Add 2 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon maple syrup to the nuts in the skillet. Cook until the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Transfer the glazed nuts to a parchment paper and set aside to cool. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of juice, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, oil, vinegar, and broth to the blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper. When ready to serve, warm the dressing in the small skillet and add about half of the warm dressing to a large bowl.

SALAD: Add the spinach and fennel and toss. To serve, divide the salad and quinoa among wide bowls and serve with the remaining dressing. Alternatively, toss the salad with the quinoa and serve with the remaining dressing.



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veganmofo - island trip

Here is a twist - vegans are putting vegans on a deserted island! #vgnmf15 has stranded us on this proverbial island most vegans have already been relegated to at one time or another in their veganism. Have I mentioned how much vegans love irony?

The prompt indicates that while we are indeed abandoned on this island (mine is a paradise, thank you very much, with hardly any bugs, a nice mosquito net and other sundry luxuries), all of our nutritional needs are met and therefore we won't need to bring such items as legumes, fruits, grains or veggies.

Now they beg the question, what three food supplies would you bring? I am ubber pleased that we will be well fed, however, the prompt does not say that the food will be tasty.

As a cook, I can immediately see the need for flavorings. Therefore, my three unlimited supply of ingredients are:

Salt
Vinegar
Spice




I hate to be so basic about it, but let's be real. If I bring chocolate or soda or something luxurious like that, then I'll have yummy snacks but bland food.

I'll risk trying to find a cocoa tree and harvesting my own chocolate or searching for sugar cane or a maple tree; yes, on my island, there will be all these plants just growing naturally - haven't you read Swiss Family Robinson - they had everything on that island!

That would, of course, mean that I can also harvest salt from the ocean, grow hot peppers and distill my own vinegar, but let's just say I'm a lazy vegan and will be stuck without chocolate or sugar! Wah! My scenario is falling apart at the logical seams!

In any case, given that my optimal island scenario won't pan out, all three of my ingredients will help make bland food taste great and unique.

Salt enhances the flavor of the food, spice complements flavors (even if it just a little bit) and vinegar brings a brightness to dishes or balances rich tasting dishes. All three provide a variety of uses and therefore, they are my Island Choices.

I did have a pleasant photo bomb courtesy of Jiji. She wouldn't sit still log enough for a better pic, but she managed to inch just a bit into the shot.








veganmofo - old fam recipe + túrós csusza

Day Twenty of #vgnmf15! Prompt: old family recipe, veganized, of course.

This prompt will result in a flurry of childhood or family recipes being veganized, I've no doubt. Like everyone else, I, too, have one of those old family recipes hanging on the back shelf waiting to be improved.

My recipe is an old traditional Hungarian recipe that is really quick and easy. It is called Túrós CSusza which translates basically to cheese pasta.

I remember my mom or dad making this very often and the only thing preventing me from making it vegan is the Quark Cheese, which seemed exotic to me at the time. Ultimately, it is just a soft cheese curd of sorts that can be subbed with any good crumbled vegan cheese - or even tofu, when push comes to shove.





This meal consists of pasta with a sauce made of quark cheese (almost like cottage cheese), sour cream and bacon. Seasoned with salt and plenty of black pepper, this is a very fast meal to throw together, given you have vegan bacon and a few store-bought ingredients on hand.

So, after 15 or so years, I stocked up on the requisite ingredients and finally decided to make this family recipe that also happens to be in many other Hungarian family's meal rotations.




I used the crisp vegan bacon from Everyday Vegan Eats (AmazonB&N) because it is our favorite. I made a triple batch in order to have enough bacon to make the California Club Sandwiches (also from EVE) later in the week, and then I went to work re-creating this pasta dish.

Below is the recipe and I hope you enjoy!

As an aside, over the past few days I've had a few questions regarding substitutions in the recipes in my new cookbook Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N). One was a nut replacement request because of allergies.



If you have bought the book and need substitutions for an ingredient, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help in any way I can. In addition, I will be starting a page on this blog specifically for nut substitutes as that is the only primary allergen that the book does not include substitutes for (due to lack of space).

I am hosting an International giveaway of the Kindle edition of  Vegan Bowls. Enter HERE. Contest ends Monday night, September 21.







Truros Csusza
Makes 4 servings


12 ounces pasta, rotelli, shells, etc.

8 ounces nondairy cream cheese
10 ounces nondairy sour cream 
2 to 4 tablespoons mashed tofu or vegan cheese
1 cup chopped crisp vegan bacon (Everyday Vegan Eats has a delicious vegan bacon recipe)
Sea salt and plenty of ground black pepper

1. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside. 
2. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, tofu and ¼ cup of the bacon in a medium saucepot. Mix well and heat over medium heat until warmed through. Season with salt and black pepper. Toss half of the sauce with the pasta. Serve in bowls garnished with the rest of the sauce and bacon. Season with more cracked black pepper and serve. 



 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


veganmofo - to-go lunch + savory cream cheese

Day 19 #vgnmf15 is about lunch on the go.

I have three teenagers (one having just left for college) and a hubby and I have been around the inside of a lunch box many a time. Since we also homeschooled, there were lunches on the go for the four of us an equal amount of times.

Simple, fast and balanced is the key to lunch on the go -- and, of course, the person being packed for. I wouldn't pack the very same thing for my husband as I would for my oldest daughter; they simply have different tastes.

In addition, access to a microwave also needs to be taken into consideration. Packing leftovers that need to be reheated is possible when there is a microwave in the lunch room.

Let's take, for instance, lunch for a student without access to a microwave. Here is my daughter's lunch tomorrow:

An apple, sea vegetable, roasted almonds and a bagel with Savory Vegetable Cream Cheese with lettuce, tomato and slivers of onion.



Naturally, she won't eat all of this at once. My girls experience migraines and we've been following the advice in the "Migraine Brain" which recommends eating at a very consistent time.

For my youngest, that is every two hours (otherwise she gets very hungry and it triggers her migraine). She'll have the above lunch throughout her time away from home.




Let's focus on that cream cheese.

That cream cheese is really awesome and we have it for breakfast and snacks, as well. It really only depends on how long it lasts; not long at our house since this is a fast-moving spread. It is a store-bought tub of cream cheese with a few stir-ins that change it into something very tasty.

We've experienced other people bringing flavored cream cheeses to outings and we weren't about to be left in the dust. This cream cheese trumps their cream cheese any day!

I am hosting an International giveaway of the Kindle edition of my new cookbook, Vegan Bowls. Enter HERE. Contest ends Monday night, September 21.









Savory Vegetable Cream Cheese
Makes 12 ounces


8 ounces nondairy cream cheese
¼ cup minced scallions (about 4 or 5)
1 small carrot, finely grated
¼ teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and black pepper

1. Soften the cream cheese in a medium bowl using a fork.
2. Stir in the scallions, carrot and paprika. Season with salt and black pepper.
3. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep up to a week.



 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

veganmofo - local dish + baja tacos

Day 17 #vgnmf15: what is a traditional local dish? We're in San Diego, very close to the Mexican border; in fact, it is only a cool 30 minute drive, therefore, tacos - specifically, fish tacos - are one of the most traditional local dishes.

At the risk of featuring a second taco dish after the Sin Carne Asada Tacos, I say unto you that my local dish is fish tacos.

When I say fish tacos, a lot of people think of a tempura-ish fried fish, but the more traditional fish tacos here, most famously Baja Tacos, are marinated and grilled and served with cabbage, lime and crema, which is a thick cream, not quite as thick as sour cream.




I used tempeh and lobster mushrooms to make these tacos, but using only tempeh with a little bit of dulse seaweed is also good. Or you can use oyster mushrooms instead of lobster mushrooms and tempeh.

Preheat your grill and cook the marinated protein until lightly charred to get a nice smoky flavor and authentic grilled texture.

The vegan crema is nothing more than vegan sour cream mixed with a little lime juice and salt. You can also serve these with Guacamole, with or without the crema. After you marinate the tempeh, the dish comes together quickly and is a great option for an easy meal when you get home from wherever.










Baja Tacos
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Marinade:
4 dried ancho chiles
4 California chiles (also known as dried Anaheim peppers)
1 ½ ounces dried lobster mushrooms
8 ounces tempeh, cut into slices or wedges
½ medium onion, cut into ½-inch slices
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Sea salt and black pepper
¼ cup water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 onions, cut into ¾ -inch thick rings

Other:
Small (3-inch) corn tortillas, as needed
Guacamole, recipe below (optional)
Crema, recipe below
Thin slices of cabbage
Scallions, minced
Pickled jalapenos
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

1. Marinade: Remove the stems and most of the seeds of the chiles. Heat the chiles in a pan (or grill pan)  until soft and lightly colored. Transfer to a bowl along with the dried mushrooms and tempeh and cover with hot water. Set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes and drain. Transfer the tempeh and mushrooms to a bowl.
2. Cook the onions and garlic in the skillet used for the chiles and cook until lightly charred. Transfer the onion to a blender. Peel the garlic and transfer to the blender. Add the drained chiles, water, olive oil, lime juice and salt and black pepper, to taste. Blend until smooth. Add the marinade to the tempeh and mushrooms, mix well and set aside to marinate, at least 20 minutes.
3. Heat your grill or grill pan. Grill the mushrooms and tempeh, basting with the sauce as needed, until lightly charred, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface and coarsely chop. Heat the tortillas on the grill, about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. 
4. Place two tortillas on top of each other and fill with cabbage, protein, crema and toppings of choice. Squeeze fresh lime juice on the tacos and enjoy.

Guacamole
5 medium ripe Hass avocado, mashed 
1 small ripe tomato, diced
3/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 to 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl using a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper and lime juice.

Crema
½ cup vegan sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon unsweetened plain vegan milk, if needed to thin
Sea salt

1. Combine the sour cream, juice and salt, to taste, in a small bowl. Taste and add more lime juice or salt as needed. Add the milk to think if needed. Transfer the crema to a squirt bottle and use as needed.



 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



"vegan bowls" is now available!

I am so excited!! My new cookbook,  Vegan Bowls  (AmazonB&N)- all about flavor harmony in cozy one-bowl meals - is NOW Available! Get your your own copy and start making delicious, complete meals today.




Making bowl meals is definitely the best way to get a complete, delicious and nutritious meal on the table fast. 

Breakfast is easy with such Breakfast Bowls as this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl.




Lunch is ready just as fast when you make a complete Soup Bowl, Salad Bowl or Sauteed Bowl, such as this Thai Panang Curry Bowl.




A more indulgent and flavorful dish is just waiting for you at the end of your day, whether it's a Grilled Bowl, a Grains Bowl or a Pasta Bowl, such as this Lemongrass, Bok Choy and Tofu Bowl.




All your meals - complete, delicious and fast - can be as easy as opening Vegan Bowls. With over 90 complete bowl recipes, you will be able to satisfy any craving for any meal.

Vegan Bowls is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or wherever fine books are sold.

veganmofo - late summer + sin carne asada

Day 16 #vgnmf15 - what is your favorite late summer food? A cookout, of course! And our favorite cookout is Sin Carne Asada tacos, made with Seitan SteaK.




So, yeah, a cookout is our favorite late summer "food." Especially this cookout below.

The first step is to make a robust seitan that stands up well to grilling. Then marinate the seitan in a mojo-garlic mixture.




Next, throw those seitan steaks onto the grill with plenty of onions. Make your Arbol Salsa and Guacamole and warm your tortillas. Prepare your garnishes: lime, cilantro, crumbled vegan  cheese, vegan sour cream, jalapenos, etc.

Finally, slice the seitan, and stuff them into those warmed tortillas with all the condiments your heart desires.









You can also grill some corn on the cob, make a potato salad or a Mexican Pasta Salad (the recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats is phenomenal) and just scarf the tacos down while they last.

I usually make 2 to 3 pounds of seitan for this; our family of five will literally fight over the last few tacos, so it's always best to err on the side of leftovers. Tip: serve your tacos in small corn tortillas but double them up to help hold the tacos together.

#truthtalk  We are having this next week, too, to get one more cookout in before the summer ends.


{Kindle edition of Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N)  is up for grabs in this week's giveaway. Enter HERE. Both international and domestic contest!}









Sin Carne Asada Tacos
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Marinade:
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
10 garlic cloves
2 serrano or jalapeno chiles
½ teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper
2 pounds SteaK Seitan

2 onions, cut into ¾ -inch thick rings
Oil for the grill, as needed

Other:
Small (3-inch) corn tortillas, as needed
Arbol Salsa, recipe below
Guacamole, recipe below
Vegan cheese, crumbled
Vegan sour cream
Pickled jalapenos
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

1. Marinade: Combine the oil, juices, tamari, scallions, garlic, chiles, salt and black pepper in a blender. Blend well and transfer to a large baking dish. Add the seitan and mix well to coat. Set aside to marinate overnight.
2. Heat your grill or grill pan. Oil the grates or pan. Grill the seitan, basting with the sauce as needed, and onions until lightly charred, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface and cut into slices. Heat the tortillas on the grill, about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. 
3. Place two tortillas on top of each other and fill with seitan, onions and choice of toppings. Enjoy!

Arbol Salsa
2 to 6 dried arbol chiles
2 California chiles (also known as dried Anaheim peppers)
2 medium ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges
½ medium onion, cut into ½-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Sea salt and black pepper
2 to 3 splashes sherry vinegar

1. Remove the stems and most of the seeds of the chiles. Heat the chiles in a pan (or grill pan)  until soft and lightly colored. Transfer to a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to rehydrate for 20 minute. Drain the chiles and transfer the chiles to a blender. 
2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Grill the tomatoes, onion and garlic until lightly charred. Transfer the tomatoes and onion to a blender. Peel the garlic and transfer to the blender. 
3. Blend the mixture until smooth. Season with salt, black pepper and vinegar. Blend again and adjust seasoning. 
4. Salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. 

Guacamole
5 medium ripe Hass avocado, mashed 
1 small ripe tomato, diced
3/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 to 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl using a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper and lime juice.


 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

veganmofo - obama + paella bowl

Today is the big day for me! Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) is being released today!  Yikes!  *-*




The release of a cookbook is exciting and apprehensive and all other kinds of emotions all at once! How will it be received? Will people like the recipes? Like the format of the book? The ingredients chosen? So many things to wonder and worry about!

I really loved making this book and was trying to create a variety of bowl recipes that are all complete meals. I was also trying to make them a bit familiar and worked on basing the recipes on some well-established and honed flavor profiles. I wanted to create recipes that had some root in traditional meals, but made into complete meals that were convenient to serve and eat.

The original bowl recipes began simply with a grain (rice), vegetables (steamed), protein (tofu or beans) and a sauce. Simple bowls such as the Budha Bowl, quinoa bowls, Mexican bowls and other Asian-inspired bowls are the natural evolution of the original bowl, but I wanted to go beyond that.

I wanted to take "traditional," and therefore oft-tested dishes, and make them into bowl meals. Hence, there are three kinds of bowls in this book:

1. traditionally bowl meals
2. almost bowl meals - just a few additions or tweaks make them into bowls
3. original bowls - perhaps inspired by flavorful dishes that have no business being bowl meals, or off-the-cuff bowls of ingredients that play well because of flavor harmony

So there it is - my impetus for writing this book: fast, complete meals that are flavorful, healthy and nutritious. My goal was to bring you recipes that in turn bring you complete meals quickly. No brainers, no need to supplement with other dishes - just grabbing ingredients, following the recipes and sitting down to eat. Period.

Now for the #vgnmf15 part of the post. The prompt today is to make a meal for the POTUS - Obama. During yesterday's post, I shared with you the (assumed) fact that President Obama enjoys Chicago THIN-crust pizza, topped with tomatoes, basil, cheese, olives and red onion slices. Basically, that's a Margherita Pizza plus olives and onions.

All fine and dandy, but let's serve the Prez something that is usually made with meat because there is not even any question that the man is nowhere near a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.

I decided to serve something pretty and still delicious, but something that typically uses lots of seafood - his favorite animals to eat, it seems.

I share with you my Paella Bowl recipe, in honor of Vegan Bowls' book release. Which calls for another peak into a chapter of the book - this time the Sauteed Chapter:




One more thing before the recipe: Last week's giveaway of Vegan Bowls was nice but I noticed that there were some international folks missing out on the deal.

This week I will give away two copies of the Kindle edition of Vegan Bowls, one international and one US. Please enter only the contest that represents your location and not both.  To be eligible to win you must be following this blog via email or RSS feed (link). Contest ends next Monday night at midnight, September 21. Good luck!










Paella Bowl
SERVES 4 TO 6
The saffron threads are responsible for the beautiful orange-yellow color of this dish. Once the rice and broth are added, the dish is no longer stirred. It cooks uncovered while the rice absorbs the broth. As the rice cooks, it develops a flavorful crust on the bottom of the pan called socarrat – a welcome result of not stirring the rice. Using a nonstick pan will prevent the socarrat from forming, but the dish will still taste great. (Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)

BROTH
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

SAUTÉ
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 artichoke hearts, quartered
1 medium yellow squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small Roma tomato, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups frozen lima beans or edamame, thawed
1 cup paella or Arborio rice

GARNISH
1/2 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
1 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 cup minced parsley
Lemon slices

BROTH: Heat the broth, paprika, salt, and saffron in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat.

SAUTÉ: Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichoke and squash and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the bell pepper, tomato, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and lima beans. Add the rice, spreading it evenly over the vegetables. Add the broth, taking care not to disturb the rice too much, but ensuring that the rice is submerged in the broth. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the rice is al dente, about 14 minutes. Arrange the squash and artichoke hearts on the paella and continue to cook until the rice is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 4 minutes longer.

GARNISH: Scatter the peas over the paella, arrange the strips of pepper on top of the paella and sprinkle with the parsley. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes before serving. Serve in bowls with lemon slices.


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