umami burger

After making Wednesday's Chipotle Firm Vegan Cheese, I wanted to have something to put it on, so I came up with this Umami Burger. Umami is our other taste, besides salty, sweet, bitter and sour, and roughly translates to mean meaty or savory. It is the same depth of flavor that is in greens, tomatoes, soy sauce and miso.



This is a simple burger, but it is packed with chard (or kale), beans, miso and garlic and is then topped with the Chipotle Firm Vegan Cheese, jalapenos, a grilled tomato and soy curls bacon bits. My husband thought that a few pickle slices and some vegan mayo couldn't hurt, either. 



First thing to do is make the bacon bits - or you can use any bacon you like: barley, tempeh, tofu, seitan, mushroom, etc. If you need some good bacon recipes, Baconish has you covered. 

If, however, you have the dregs from the bottom of your soy curls bag (or you have some TVP or whole soy curls, which you can grind into bits), then make the bacon first. It's pretty easy.



Then make the burger by pulsing the ingredients in your food processor and then giving it a few minutes' knead to develop the gluten. If you'd rather not use the gluten, then use quick oats. Bake the patties and cool about 30 minutes before using. 



Then, grill the thick tomato slices, grill the patties and top with the cheese and bacon bits. Add jalapenos and pickles and serve right away. Enjoy!






Umami Burger
Makes 5 patties

Burger patties:
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans
1/2 cup packed chopped steamed greens (squeeze excess water from greens before measuring)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten or 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dark miso (not mellow white miso)
Sea salt


For serving:
Thick cut grilled tomatoes
Bacon Bits (recipe below) or other vegan bacon
Burger buns, toasted
Jalapeno slices
Pickle slices


1. Preheat the oven to 300-degrees F. Add the beans, greens, gluten, garlic and miso to a food processor. Pulse twenty times to break up the beans and miso. Transfer to a large bowl and knead until gluten threads form. Add salt to taste. Divide the mixture into 5 portions and form each portion into a 2-inch in diameter patty. 
2. Place the burgers on a baking sheet and add 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 15 minutes. Flip and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to firm up, about 30 minutes.
3. Heat a medium grill pan over medium heat. First grill the tomatoes, about 3 minutes per side and keep warm. Spray the patties with oil and grill them for 5 minutes. Warm the cheese slices in a separate skillet to begin melting them. 
4. Flip the burgers and add the warmed cheese and then add the grilled tomatoes. Cover the pan and continue to grill for another 5 minutes or until the burger is marked and the cheese melts. 
5. Make the burgers by adding them to the bottom of a toasted bun. Top with bacon bits and jalapeno slices, and pickles, if using. Top with the burger buns and serve. 

Bacon Bits:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup soy curl grounds (from the bottom of a bag or ground soy curls)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon neutral oil (optional)

1. Combine the water, tamari, Worcestershire, smoke, yeast, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and add the soy curls. Mix well, remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Add the hydrated curls to a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until almost crisp. Add the oil and stir about 20 minutes into the baking time.It is important to stir every 5 minutes to avoid burning the curls. 
2. The bits will become more crisp as they cool. Store in airtight container as soon as cooled. 




© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


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chipotle firm vegan cheese (aquafaba recipe)

Someone ask me if there was a way to make the cheese in my new book without oil (the Everyday Cheese that appears in Aquafaba) and while I've been experimenting with it, I wanted to try a different version - one with a different flavor and a firmer texture.

I came up with a funky, Gouda-type cheese with a kick: Chipotle Firm Vegan Cheese.


This is about as firm as I could get the cheese using agar and no nuts, and unripened. This cheese is ready as soon as it cools down. If you want to age it, I am sure it will get more firm. You could put it in your fridge (wrapped in paper towels for a few days, is a method Sky Conroy recommends and I think I will try it with these cheeses) to age and dry out a bit. It should certainly become more firm, but if you want something quick, here it is.

The flavor is dark, deep and funky (like cheese) and it melts if you give it enough time and moist heat. I have placed a slice directly onto the pan to warm up and then, using a spatula, placed it on the burger or bread (for grilled cheese - really nice!) and then continued to cook it until it melted. Use a lid and a few teaspoons of water in the pan to provide that moist heat.

The cheese is simple to make, but you will need non-dairy yogurt. If you make your own, you are ahead of the game, but if you buy commercially made yogurt, try not to use the coconut-based one because your cheese will taste like coconuts.

First, combine aquafaba and agar and set it aside to soften. Make sure to mix it well, not like the picture.


Because I wanted to make this either soy-free or nut-free and with little fat, I am using yogurt as the base of the cheese. The yogurt also supplies vegan lactic acid, which gives cheese tang, but if you have some vegan lactic acid hanging around then add 1/2 teaspoon of that as well.

Blend the rest of the ingredients...


...cook the agar and aquafaba mixture until the agar dissolves, and add the mixture. Whisk well and cook until the temperature reaches at least 195-degrees F - about 5 minutes.


Stir constantly to avoid burning to the bottom and transfer to a mold or container.


Now, admittedly, the photo below (and the first one above) was the very first version of this cheese. I wasn't satisfied with the texture and made it a few more times before I settled on the recipe below. The one pictured is a bit softer than I liked and the recipe I am actually sharing is for one that is firm, but not so firm that you feel like you are eating one of those agar plates from high school microbiology. Fun vision, right?

Oh and hey! If you by chance got this far in the post, and by chance purchased Aquafaba, and by chance are enjoying the recipes, and by chance wouldn't mind, could you scoot over to Amazon and leave feedback? Only, if you don't mind. The link to the book is right HERE.







Chipotle Firm Vegan Cheese - aquafaba recipe
Makes 1 block

1/2 cup aquafaba**
3 teaspoons agar powder

1/2 cup unsweetened plain nondairy milk
1/2 cup unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt (not coconut)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon vegan lactic acid (optional)
2 teaspoons dark miso (not mellow white miso)
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo puree


1. Combine the aquafaba and agar in a medium saucepan. Mix well and set aside to soften. 
2. Combine the milk, yogurt, yeast, starch, salt, garlic, lactic acid, miso, Worcestershire and chipotle in a blender. Blend very well. Set aside. Have a 2-cup mold ready for the cheese.
3. Heat the saucepan of aquafaba over medium heat. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minutes. Slowly add the blender mixture to the aquafaba mixture while stirring with a whisk. Whisk until smooth and bring back to boil. Once boiling, switch to a spatula and cook the mixture for 5 minutes. The cheese should reach 195-degrees F for the agar to completely dissolve. 
4. Immediately transfer the cheese to the mold and cool. Once cool place in the refrigerator to completely chill and firm up. Remove from the mold and slice and serve.  



** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.



© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


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sabich

It is my husband's birthday week and, in our family, the birthday person gets to pick all the week's meals. And that means that some members of the family have figured out that they can take great advantage of this tradition. Which in turn means that I mostly get to cook meals that they love, with no room for new recipes. So, the blog suffers as no new content gets made.

This week's menu choices have been, among other things, Benedict (recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats) Cajun SteaK, Twice-Baked Crispy Gluten, Chickpeas and Dumplings (another one in Everyday Vegan Eats), Mama's Bean Soup (in Everyday Vegan Eats), Corned Cabbage (another in EVE! - I told you it is our family's favorite meals), Seitan a la King,  Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce, etc. Yes, hubby loves seitan!

But I did manage to squeeze in this Israeli sandwich, which happens to be a traditional breakfast sandwich! I love to discover breakfast meals from other parts of the world because they tend to be more than just sweets or variations on bacon and eggs.



Now that I said that, I do have to clarify that the original does come with hard cooked eggs. We'll disregard that part, though.

Most cultures will take something that is leftover and transform it into a breakfast meal and this shows to be true time and time again. Take this sandwich for instance. The eggs are cooked beforehand. The hummus is made before, as well as the eggplant, being leftover from another meal. Maybe the salad is made fresh, but the rest is just from some other time, all stuffed into a fluffy pita bread.

Most of the rest of the world doesn't have roasted eggplant leftover or hummus, for that matter, although the hummus aspect is coming true in most households nowadays.

Whether you have this as a breakfast meal or for lunch or dinner, let's try to make this as pain free as possible.

Because I have omitted the eggs I wanted to replace it with something carb and protein rich and because ful medames are already a Middle Eastern breakfast staple, I figured that cooking fava beans with the eggplant made sense.

The fava beans you are looking for are these:


They are not the large fresh favas, but instead younger beans that are cooked and canned so you don't have to blanch and peel them individually.



You cook the eggplant first to soften before adding the fava beans and then continue to cook it until tender and broken down. This is a nice compromise between having leftover fried eggplant and cooking it fresh separate from the beans.


If you don't have hummus, whip up a fresh batch, otherwise use any store-bought or homemade hummus you have. 


The salad is an essential component consisting of basic ingredients such as cucumber, parsley, tomato, onion and lemon juice.


The most intriguing part of this sandwich is the mango sauce (Amba) which was originally brought to the Middle East by way of India's mango chutney. In addition to the mango sauce, there is typically tahini sauce on the sandwich (a rip on toom sauce). 

I love toom sauce (there is a cashew-based toom in Vegan Bowls and an authentic one in Aquafaba) and I love mango chutney and the easiest way to make the two is to combine them. Best of both in one sauce. I have to say that this is an amazing sauce so if you make nothing but the sauce you are still a winner. 

After all those components are done, make your sandwich and eat it, too. 

Short cuts: hummus, salad, sauce. Make the eggplant-fava bean ahead or the same day, either way it'll be delish.




Sabich - Israeli Sandwich
Serves 4

Sautee:
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 jalapeno chile, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (15-ounce) can fava beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup vegetable broth
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Salad:
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped or shaved
1/2 small onion, shaved or sliced thin
1/4 cup parsley, minced
Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Sauce:
6 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons mango chutney
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Other:
4 pita breads
1/2 cup shaved cabbage
Hummus

1. Sautee: Combine the eggplant, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cumin and paprika in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the eggplant softens, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fava beans and broth and continue to cook covered until the eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook until there is no more broth left in the pot. Season with salt and black pepper. 
2. Salad: Combine the tomato, cucumber, onion and parsley in a medium bowl. Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper. 
3. Sauce: Add the garlic to a food processor or blender and process to mince. Add the tahini, chutney, water and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Add a little more water if needed. The sauce should be pourable but still thick. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, warm the pita and split. Spread with hummus and add the bean mixture. Top with the salad, cabbage and the sauce. 



© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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pantry+ thai bbq cauliflower

I adore cauliflower and whoever it was who first thought of making them into "wings" needs a gold star in Hollywood. 

I wanted to throw my spin on this with a Thai flare. This recipe is almost like a red curry, but in crispy appetizer form. Bonus: this is a Pantry+ recipe, requiring only a limited amount of ingredients: 5 pantry ingredients and 6 fresh ingredients. 



Thai BBQ Cauliflower:

Equipment:
air-fryer (or oven)
small blender [such as Magic Bullet]
large bowl

Pantry ingredients:
Coconut milk
Brown sugar
Cornstarch
Sriracha
Pepitas

Fresh ingredients:
Cauliflower
Garlic
Curry powder
Lime
Lemon
Rice



This recipe really couldn't be simpler: blend the marinade and add to the florets. Set aside for 10 minutes and then bake or air-fry. I used my air-fryer and it came out delicious and crisp.




Get your rice cooking right away if you want this as a meal. Or serve it with raw vegetables and the dip of your choice, if you want it as an appetizer.







Thai BBQ Cauliflower (a Pantry+ recipe)
Serves 4
Pantry list is HERE.

3/4 cup coconut milk
10 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt
2 small or 1 large head cauliflower
1/2 cup pepitas
Hot rice, for serving
Raw vegetables, for serving (optional)

1. Combine the milk, garlic, cornstarch, curry, sriracha, sugar, zests, and salt to taste in a small blender. Blend until smooth. Cut the cauliflower into florets and transfer to a large bowl. Add the marinade and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Add half the cauliflower to the basket of an air-fryer (or bake in the oven at 375-degrees until tender). Bake at 360-degrees F for 15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Increase the heat to 390-degrees and continue to bake until crisp, about 5 to 8 more minutes, adding half the pepitas in the last 2 minutes. Repeat with the other half of cauliflower and pepitas.
3. Serve the cauliflower with hot rice or raw vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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aquafaba round up

Since my new cookbook Aquafaba [AmazonB&NBook Depositoryis out, there have been a few shares of recipes on the blog tour. Since we are mid-month I wanted to call attention to the places where these recipes are being shared.

Note that the first two are currently running giveaways for the book, so head there first!

Also, please note that this book uses oils, coconut oil, nuts, soy, gluten, and sugar.



Vegan Good Things shares the Chile Relleno Quiche recipe, which is eerily like eggs, so be warned. Leinana is also giving away a copy (ends October 16, 2016):


It is also one of the more challenging of the recipes since you have to have a good grasp on making vegan meringue. To that end, here is my video on how to whip aquafaba into perfect peaks:




Of course, knowing how to make stiff peaks will help you in making these Meringue Cookies, which Dianne's Vegan Kitchen shares (giveaway in progress: ends October 18, 2016)


And it will also help in making these Chewy Fudge Brownies, as shared by the Vegan Mos. These brownies have that crackly top that is so cherished! Here is a video on detailing that process:



If you want to start easy and simple, get my recipe for Latkes from Robin Robertson's site:


or make the Italian Dressing that is featured on Cake Maker to the Stars. This one has an accompanying video as well, because it is an emulsification:


And finally, in case you need a breakfast or a treat, Fran Costigan shares my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin recipe:



Huge thank you to all the bloggers who are sharing their reviews of Aquafaba and for all the recipe shares and giveaways hosted. Hugs to all!

pantry + brazilian black bean casserole


Baked casserole dishes are a fantastic way to have dinner on the table in a descent amount of time with a lot of hands off work. This recipe has about 10 minutes on the stove before it is assembled completely and placed in the oven to finish cooking. 

This dish is Pantry + and it is whole foods, using brown rice, beans and cabbage as the base of the meal. The cabbage serves as a delicious cooling accompaniment accented with roasted corn. 


This casserole is very flavorful thanks to the Latin all-purpose seasoning called, adobo, but here we will make our own. It really is a simple matter of combining a few spices to create a different flavor dimension. 

The casserole is rich and delicious and the salad is tangy and sweet, thanks to the roasted corn. All in all, it has all the flavor components of a great tasting meal: sour, sweet, salty, and spicy.

Brazilian Black Bean Casserole:

Equipment:
large oven-safe pot
blender
mandolin
oven

Pantry Ingredients:
Red pepper flakes
Jarred tomato
Black beans
White wine vinegar
Adobo

Fresh Ingredients:
Brown rice
Onion
Ginger
Thyme
Cabbage
Bell pepper
Frozen corn

First things first, let's make the adobo seasoning:


Either just mix together, or better, yet, blend the ingredients in a small blender to break up the oregano. If you have Mexican oregano, use that, but otherwise regular will work just as well. 


Using a large Dutch oven or just an oven safe pot with a lid (or use foil to seal the pot), cook the onions in a dry pan (use a lid to cover the pot to retain the moisture) until golden. Add the adobo and the tomatoes and mix well. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a standard blender and process until broken up. 


Add the rice, thyme, beans, spice and liquid, mix well, and cook in the oven tightly sealed until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. 

In the meantime, use a mandolin to finely shred the cabbage and mix it with roasted corn (roast the corn in the oven during the last 25 minutes of cooking), bell pepper and vinegar and set aside to meld flavors. 



This is scrumptious and very healthy since there is no oil used and it is made with whole foods.
This makes about 6 to 8 servings, so leftovers are terrific.








Brazilian Black Bean Casserole (a Pantry+ recipe)
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Pantry list is HERE.

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons adobo seasoning (recipe for homemade HERE)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 dried red chili
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, liquid drained and reserved
Water, as needed
2 cups long grain brown rice
Sea salt

Salad:
1/2 small head cabbage, finely shredded
1 small green or red bell pepper, diced
1 cup roasted corn***
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Heat a large dutch oven or large oven-safe pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add a tablespoon of water if the onion begins to stick. Add the tomato and the adobo seasoning.  Blend using an immersion blender or transfer to a standard blender. 
2. Add the drained bean water to a 4-cup measuring cup. Add enough water to reach 3 3/4 cups. Add the water mixture to the pot. Add the rice, red pepper flakes, beans and salt. Bring to boil and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Bake in the preheated oven until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. 
3. Salad: Combine the cabbage, bell pepper, corn, vinegar and adobo in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper or adobo. Set aside until needed.
4. Serve the casserole with the salad. Leftovers reheat well.  

*** Transfer the corn to a small baking sheet. Bake in the oven during the last 25 minutes of cooking of the casserole. 



© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



autumn panzanella

It is a common custom among cultures to invent recipes that use up stale bread and it makes complete sense. There is no waste of old bread that has lost its freshness and a new recipe is developed.

Panzanella is the Italian version of using up old bread in a salad and it usually uses spring or summer vegetables.  I wanted to reinvent the salad using autumn produce because, well, tis the season.


I made use of cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, whole grain bead (I'm working on a whole grain refrigerator dough, so I had a loaf hanging around), parsley and scallions.

You could, of course, use whatever vegetables you have lurking in the back of your fridge and no one would be the wiser. That's part of the beauty of panzanella salads.


Roast the cauliflower, chickpeas and bread in the oven and then throw it all into a large bowl. Toss with Italian dressing and you are in the money.

The question then becomes, which Italian dressing is the best for this salad? Mine, of course! Kittee Berns of Cake Maker to the Stars (with the cutest blog *ever* and the best Ethiopian cookbook *ever*) is sharing my recipe from Aquafaba [AmazonB&NBook Depository]. Go get it! I promise, it is worth it!



That's all there is to this one. Lunch or dinner is served. 










Autumn Panzanella
Serves 4

6 tablespoons Italian Dressing (this one from Aquafaba is amazing!), divided
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3 cups cubed bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
Sea salt and black pepper

4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
2 medium carrots, julienned
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped fine

1. Add 1 tablespoon dressing to a small bowl and toss with the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Transfer the beans to a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stirring often. 
2. Move the beans to a quarter of the baking sheet and add the bread cubes to half of the sheet. Add the cauliflower to the remaining section and season with salt and black pepper. Continue to bake the beans and bread for another 25 minutes, until the beans are lightly crunchy, the cauliflower is golden and tender and the bread is dried out.
3. Transfer the bread to a small bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and set aside for 5 minutes. 
4. Add the lettuce, carrots, scallions, parsley, chickpeas, bread, cauliflower and the rest of the dressing to a large bowl. Toss well, season with salt and black pepper and serve. 




© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


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