smothered burritos

Smothered Burritos, wet burritos and enchilada-style burritos are all about the same thing: large enchiladas that are covered with red, green or white sauce. The filling can be varied, and they can include roasted vegetables, potatoes, vegan meats, vegan grounds, etc - limited only by your taste and imagination.

These burritos are just a springing board for you. Take this idea and run with it!

My burritos are filled with vegan chicken (I used Tofurkey slow roasted, this time), cumin rice, vegan cheese, cilantro and scallions. Traditionally, refried beans are also an addition.


In my mind, the appeal with smothered enchiladas versus traditional enchiladas is the speed: it is faster to roll up four burritos than to roll up a dozen small tortillas. In addition, enchiladas are still baked for about 30 minutes, but these are just broiled to melt the cheese.

In order to keep things easy and fast, you can use canned enchilada sauce, or you can make the one in the recipe, since you have to make the rice anyway.

Use the Instant Pot or a rice cooker to cook your rice, making it a hands-free affair.

Again, with my son having IBS I opted for brown rice tortillas, no beans, green parts of the scallions, and rice that is fresh and warm. The sauce is also pretty mild because I ground dried California chiles for the chili powder, but you can always up your spice.

The family was quite happy with these and I was happy because it was ready in about 35 minutes, including the broiling.

And...

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for The China Study Family Cookbook! Enter HERE.






Smothered Burrito
Makes 4 burritos

Cumin Rice:
1 cup dry long grain rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and black pepper
Water, as needed

Red Sauce (or use a 20-ounce can vegan enchilada sauce):
1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste (not concentrate)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Filling:
2 tablespoons garlic oil or olive oil (optional)
2 cups chopped seitan, or vegan chicken strips (Tofurkey or Beyond Meat)

Other:
4 large fajita tortillas (or even bigger)
1 cup refried beans (optional)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
Vegan sour cream thinned with a few tablespoons of water
Shredded lettuce
Sliced black olives

1. Rice: Add the rice, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste, to a rice cooker. Add the required amount of water. Cook the rice according to appliance directions. Keep warm.

2. Red Sauce: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste darkens, about 3 minutes. Add the chili and cumin. Mix well and add the broth slowly, whisking with a whisk to prevent lumps. Add the salt, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.

3. Filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the seitan or vegan chicken until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste.

4. Warm the tortilla directly over the stove, about 10 seconds. Do not burn. Warm them so that they don’t crack when folded.

5. Place the tortilla on a work surface. Add 1/4 of: the seitan, the beans (if using), the scallions, and the cilantro. Add a large scoop of the rice (about 1/4) and a tablespoon of cheese to each burrito. Fold up the bottom flap, then fold the right and left flaps and roll up the burrito. Add them to a broiler-safe pan. Smother with 3/4 of the sauce and add the remaining shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese melts.

6. Place each burrito on a plate and garnish with lettuce, olives and sour cream sauce. 



© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


new orleans vegan shrimp bbq

I've always wanted to try a New Orleans BBQ shrimp dish, but because the ingredients to one is so basic - shrimp, butter, spices and lemon - I was leery of giving it a go.

Then I got The Gentle Sea Cookbook by Skye Michael Conroy (the Gentle Chef) and had my excuse to drown homemade sea food in vegan butter.


This is not a review of the book, but I do have to say that I am loving the recipes from it, so far. I made the Whitefysh Filets for a visiting friend from Norway (who loves seafood) and he liked it! I was very thrilled because he is my daughter's friend (and therefore young) and therefore is quite opinionated about food, especially vegan food. Which means that he was exactly like my kids: a bit picky and not in love with vegetables.

As a quick overview of the book, Skye offers 7 sea foods (shrimp, lobster, whitefish, tuna, scallops, calamari, and clams). He also has a few recipes for caviar, lox and the like. In addition, the book has plenty of recipes for cooking with the sea food you create.

The recipes need a few odd ingredients, but they are available on Amazon, at the least: agar, glucomannan powder, pickling lime powder, kombu and wakame.

For my sandwich, I sauteed my shrymp in garlic oil and added white wine, broth, paprika and lemons. Once you have the shrimp, this is a super easy sandwich to make.



The bread is homemade 100% sourdough rolls (my son has IBS and Jo Stepaniak recommends this in her book Low-Fodmap and Vegan.), but if you don't have homemade rolls (no reason why not if you use my Fridge Dough recipe) get rolls that are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

In case you aren't ready to dive into making your own shrimp (it's actually very easy) then use seitan or cubed tofu. Baked tofu would be the best way to go, but I'm not picky - unlike young adult.

And then, you don't even have to make it into a po' boy - just use the bread to soak up the sauce as you dive into all the goodness.





New Orleans Vegan Shrimp BBQ
Serves 4 

2 tablespoons garlic oil (or olive oil)
16 to 20 (1-inch) vegan shrimp (I made my own using The Gentle Chef’s recipe)
1 teaspoon paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced (if not using garlic oil)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth or seaweed broth
1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lemon, sliced
Fresh ground coarse black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons vegan butter

Other:
4 crusty rolls, toasted first then split
Vegan mayonnaise
Scallions
Tabasco sauce

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegan shrimp and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and garlic, if using, and cook another minute. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add the broth, worcestershire sauce, scallions, oregano and lemon. Add plenty of black pepper and season with salt. Add the butter. 
2. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Toast the bread, split it almost through, add mayo, shrimp with some sauce and scallions. Pass the tabasco at the table. 


© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


"the china study family cookbook" + giveaway


Ever since I earned my certificate in Whole Foods Plant Based nutrition, I've been excited about about WFPB cookbooks, and so when BenBella books approached me to review the new China Study Family cookbook, I couldn't resist. 



Del Sroufe has written his fair share of WFPB cookbooks, but I think this one is by far the best of the bunch. To make sure this book had recipes that were indeed family-friendly, I cooked up a few things:

First, I dug into the healthy portion of the book: salad. I made the Cobb Salad, and since it is so easy to customize it, this definitely falls into the family category. On top of being kid-friendly, it is cook-friendly, too. It was an easy recipe to put together. 


However, it is a Cobb Salad - meaning that it has multiple components - so I had to make the Mushroom "Bacon," which was actually easy,  and the "Buttermilk" Dressing, which had a reasonable amount of ingredients that are simply blended together. 

I added extra work for myself by seasoning and roasting the chickpeas alongside the mushrooms and roasting the corn in a dry pan (no oil needed) to bring out some of its sweet flavor. Extra work, yes, but I was in the kitchen anyway.

Then I decided to make one of the two frittatas in the book: Chilaquiles Frittata


This was another successful dish, one that the family really loved. The filling was easy, there is no crust (another easy) and the Queso Sauce and Corn Chips needed for the recipe were easy, too. I served it with salsa and extra garnishes.

A comment on the chips: they are great but I didn't use an entire recipe (of 12 tortillas made into chips) for this one dish, as the recipe indicates. I just filled up the pie pan with the crushed chips before mixing it with the filling. 

Then I made the Johnny Marzetti casserole, an Ohio favorite.

  
The Marzetti needed Cheese Sauce and Spicy Breakfast Patties. I really love the cheese sauce in this book and, in fact, have made both versions a few times now. 

The Spicy Breakfast Patties are made with millet and they worked beautifully and tasted great, too.


My verdict is that this book is one of the better WFPB books on the market; it is easy, relatively quick (it always take some time to cook from scratch) and everything I tried worked as it promised and tasted great. 

Because I loved the Cheese Sauce, I asked the publisher to be able to share that recipe with you and let you decide what you think. The recipe is below!

In addition, I am hosting a giveaway for the book! This one is open to US and Canada residents. Thank you BenBella! 

To enter for your chance to win just leave a comment and make sure I have a way to contact you. Contest ends July 31 and I will announce the winner in the post after the the 31st. Good luck!! 








Cheese Sauce

This healthy cheese sauce is perfect for both kids and grown-ups, alike. This is perfect for Nachos, Grilled Cheese or Mac and Cheese. (From The China Study Family Cookbook copyright © 2017 by Del Sroufe. Used by permission from BenBella Books, Inc.)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups finely diced russet potatoes (about 1 medium potato)
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons raw cashews
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1.      Combine the potato, bell pepper, onion, and cashews in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water.
2.      Combine the potato mixture, reserved cooking water, tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder, and sea salt in a blender. Process on high until everything is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


vegan fish cake num pang

There's banh mi and then there's Cambodia's version of the perfect sandwich: num pang.

They both have a lot in common, but there are a few subtle differences, as the owner of New York's Num Pang describes in his interview HERE, including the subtle differences in bread, ingredients (fresh vs. leftover) and toppings.

I wanted to try making it for myself and I chose to make a vegan fish cake for the bulk of this sandwich.

I was inspired by the Jazzy Vegetarian's (Laura Theodore) Not So Crabby Cakes recipe, which I took for a test run last year and simply adored!

For this version of fish cakes I used tofu, bread slices, hearts of palm and dulse.


The toppings are homemade chili mayo, pickled carrots, cilantro and cucumber slices.

If I could have made homemade bread using my Refrigerator Dough aquafaba recipe, this sandwich would have been even better, but as it was, it was pretty fantastic.


You can air fry these babies or pan-fry them, as you wish, but don't skip on the toppings - they really do make this sandwich authentic and amazing.

And now for the winner of the Vegan Air Fryer cookbook, by JL Fields: it is the comment made by....

Natalie Cartledge! Congratulations! Contact me at zsu at zsusveganpantry dot com.








Vegan Fish Cakes Num Pang
Makes 4 sandwiches

Pickled Carrots:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grated carrot

Fish Cakes:
3 slices bread
3/4 container of firm tofu, pressed 10 minutes
1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm
1/2 cup parsley
2 scallions
2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dulse
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Zest of 1 lime
Panko crumbs, as needed

Chili May:
1/2 cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (or sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Other:
4 crusty burger buns, toasted
Sliced cucumbers
Cilantro

1. Carrots: Combine the sugar, vinegars, water and salt in a mason jar. Mix well until the sugar dissolves. Add the carrot and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
2. Cakes: Add the bread to a food processor. Pulse until ground. Remove and set aside in a large bowl. Add the tofu, hearts of palm, parsley, scallion, ginger, oil, coriander, dulse, cornstarch and zest to the food processor. Pulse into a coarse grind. Add to the bowl with the bread and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to firm up for 20 minutes. 
3. Sauce: Combine the tofu, water, garlic chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a small blender. Blend until very smooth, adding a little water if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat or preheat the air-fryer. Divide the fish cakes mixture into 4 portions and press into a patty. Dredge the cake in panko crumbs and fry in oil or air-fry until crisp.  
3. Assemble the burgers: bottom bun, sauce, cilantro, cucumber, cake, carrot and top bun. Serve immediately. 


© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.