Jul 25, 2020

vegetable korma


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large, shallow pan, blender (or small blender) 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I'm missing Indian restaurants, so I decided to make ONE Indian meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish - Vegetable Korma. This is a coconut-type of dish with lots of vegetables and is quite delicious, so I thought, why not? Then I thought it would be even better with some naan. I have a naan recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats, which is pretty easy, so, yeah. With naan.

Then it hit me: what about some protein? A dal? Sure! So I made a lentil dal with spinach. By that point, there was no reason to let the yogurt and cucumber in the fridge go untouched, so I made the piece de resistance: Raita, which is also in that same book (which, btw, has a killer Tandoori recipe). 

So, my easy Korma dish turned into a feast. It only took about 1.5 hours to prepare, including cooking the naan (which you have to start to prepare early in the day because it needs to rise in the fridge), but it was SO worth it! You, however, can get away with the Korma and some flat bread... or rice. I knew I forgot something.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Peel the potatoes and carrots and chop, while the coriander toasts. Add them to the pan with the water.
  • Then prepare the green beans and add to the pan to cook.
  • Use a lid to cook the vegetables.
  • Then get the other ingredients out.
  • Make the onion-coconut paste.
  • Chop the zucchini and tomato last.

Vegetable Korma

Makes 4 servings 

easy/moderate (Ingredients list kicks it to moderate)

Serve with: Dal, Rice, Raita and/or flat bread, such as Roti or Naan

1. Spices: Heat a large shallow pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds and toast until they pop. Stir as needed.

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

2. Add the garam masala to the Spices and IMMEDIATELY add the water:

1 teaspoon garam masala

3 cups water

3. Vegetables: Add the vegetables to the Spices. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes over high heat.

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 large handfuls green beans, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

4.Onion-Coconut Paste: Blend in a blender as soon as possible:

2 garlic cloves

1 green chile (or 1/4 bell pepper)

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1-inch piece ginger, chopped

1/2 cup dried coconut shreds

1/2 cup water

5. Zucchini or Peas: Add the zucchini (or peas), the tomato and the Onion-Coconut Paste to the Vegetables. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, over medium-high heat.

1 large zucchini, chopped or 1 cup green peas

1 medium tomato, chopped

6. Serve: Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and serve: 

3 tablespoons minced cilantro (optional)

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jul 18, 2020

california air-wedges


Time: 45 minutes
Dishes: skillet with lid, air-fryer, measuring cup, strainer, large bowl

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I was going to call these meatless, vegetarian, and vegan fries, but I decided "fries" take too long to cut, so wedges they became.  I would have added the vegetables to the air-fryer, too, if the fryer would have had enough room, but as it was, three pounds of potatoes was pushing it. 

I have an extra large air-fryer so if you don't, use 2 pounds of potatoes instead of 3. This was a suprisingly filling meal and was quite delicious, even tough it has brussels sprouts in it! If you don't have them or don't want them, cook chopped zucchini, chopped green beans, even Gardein or seitan would be great. 

I wanted to make the lentils "fried" also, so I added them to the air-fryer. Vegan Richa has a technique to make crispy lentils, and that includes draining them well and pan-cooking them, but I wanted to get this done faster.

You can also use whatever ranch dressing you have on hand, even if it isn't too tasty, because the whole dish together masks any one thing that is a bit off. This is one of those dishes that proves that the sum is even better than the parts.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Add the potatoes to a bowl of water as you cut them. This will allow them to soak for as long as possible to remove the starch.
  • Drain the lentils next; they need to drain well. Place the strainer on a towel to absorb more water.
  • Heat the water for soaking the tomatoes in the microwave. Don't try to chop sun-dried tomatoes without soaking them well. Save some of the soaking water to thin the sauce, if needed.
  • Use a knife to cut the sprouts; the mandoline was a pain!
  • The vegetables only take 10 minutes to cook; use a lid.
  • Use a spatula to remove the potatoes; the melted cheese will spread over the potatoes as you do so.

California Air-Wedges

Makes 4 servings 


Preheat air-fryer to 400-F 

1. Potatoes: Chop the potatoes into 1/2-inch thick wedges. Soak them in water while the air-fryer preheats, 3–4 minutes. Drain well and season with chili, garlic and salt. Air-fry for 30 minutes total.

3 pounds red potatoes

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2. Lentils: Rinse and drain the lentils very well using a strainer. Drain while the potatoes are cooking. Add the lentils to the Potatoes in the air-fryer when the potatoes are half way through cooking (at 15 minutes) 

1 (15-ounce) can green or brown lentils

3. Sauce: Heat 1/2 cup water in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes to soak for 5-15 minutes. Mince the tomatoes well and mix with the Ranch. Thin the sauce with 1/4-teaspoon soaking water if too thick.

3 sun-dried tomato halves

1/4 cup vegan ranch dressing

4. Vegetables: Finely shred the sprouts using a knife. Add the oil and vegetables to a large skillet, heated over medium-high heat. Cook, using a lid, stirring often, until tender. Season with salt.

1 teaspoon olive oil

12-16 ounces brussels sprouts, shredded

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 medium bell pepper, sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

5. When the Potatoes are crisp, add and cook for 1 minute to melt:

5 vegan cheese slices or 1/2 cup shreds

6. Serve: Layer the Potato mixture on a plate, add the Vegetables, top with the Sauce and garnish with any or all of the following:

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 avocado, chopped

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jul 11, 2020

dan dan noodles


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: medium pot with lid, large skillet, measuring cup

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Full disclosure: bump this meatless, vegetarian, and vegan recipe to a "moderate" if you add the stir-fry vegetables (from frozen is perfectly fine). I made this as a copy-cat recipe from PF Chang's, who make this without the vegetables, but I find adding them makes this dish even better; besides - vegetables are always great by me.

The sauce is sweet and just a bit spicy (unless you cannot have spice - as always, make the dish to suite your taste). This is best with tofu, but use seitan or Gardein with equal success. Mince the protein pretty well (check out the picture) because texture influences flavor.

Use a lid to heat the water for the pasta to get this meal on the table quickly - even with the added work of the vegetables, 30 minutes is all the time you'll be spending in the kitchen - unless you eat there, as well. 


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Put the water on for the pasta before grabbing the ingredients.
  • Use a lid while heating the water.
  • Grab the vegetables and thaw in water (unless already thawed). 
  • Squeeze the excess water from the vegetables before cooking.
  • Chop the green onions while the protein cooks and the water heats.
  • Prepare the sauce while the pasta cooks (unless you had time already).
  • Chop the protein while the green onions cook.

Dan Dan Noodles

Makes 4 servings 


1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain and use the pot for the Sauce:

12 ounces thin spaghetti

2. Protein: Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, with a lid:

1 teaspoon olive oil

16 ounces tofu, sliced or 4 Gardein scallopini

3. Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool. Once cool, mince.

4. Cooking Sauce: mix all the ingredients in a large measuring cup until sugar dissolves. Set aside. 

1 1/3 cups vegetable broth

1/3 cup tamari

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons garlic-chili sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

5. Dan Dan Sauce: using the medium pot from the pasta, heat over medium-heat and add: 

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

5 green onions, minced

6. When golden (do not burn), add the Cooking Sauce (stir the sauce first) and the minced Protein. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

7. Stir Fry Vegetables (optional): Heat the large skillet from the Protein step over medium-high heat and cook until tender:

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 cups stir-fry vegetables (if frozen, thaw first)

8. Serve: Add cooked Pasta to a bowl, top with Stir Fry Vegetables (if using) and Dan Dan Sauce

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jul 4, 2020

huli huli tofu


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: cake pan (or shallow pan), grill pan, measuring cup

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Today's meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish is from Hawaii and is technically a grilling dish. The term "huli" means to turn, as the ingredients are placed between two racks and turned to grill both sides. According to lore, this was the idea of a Honolulu businessman, and since the teriyaki-style sauce became popular, he tradmarked the recipe and sold it. 

I used a grill pan on the stove, but you can grill outdoors, if you want. Press the tofu for a few minutes, to get most of the liquid out, and then marinate it overnight (if you want) or as little as ten minutes (which is what I did). I supplemented with green beans, which is actually quite nice, so go for it. Substitute zucchini or Gardein scallopini. Grilling is another 10 minutes or so and the dish is ready.

Cook some rice and serve with a green salad and a simple dressing. Have mangoes on the side, to boost authenticity. 

Enjoy and Happy Fourth!

Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Press the tofu right away.
  • Prepare rice (if using).
  • Get all the ingredients out and the grill pan.
  • Prepare the marinade while the tofu presses.
  • Marinate the tofu before cleaning the green beans.
  • Preheat the grill pan for 5 minutes.

Huli Huli 

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with: Rice, Green Salad and mangoes

1. Tofu: Press the tofu for 5 minutes using a press or wrap in a lint-free kitchen towel (which has the same effect). Then slice the tofu into 10 slices the long way.

1 package firm or extra-firm tofu

2. Marinade: Combine the ingredients in a shallow cake pan (or another shallow dish). Mix well.

1/2 cup ketchup

6 tablespoons tamari

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup rice or apple cider vinegar

1-inch ginger, grated

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3. Green Beans: Add to the Marinade the Tofu and trimmed green beans. Set aside overnight or 10 minutes:

2 large handfuls green beans

4. Grill: Prepare outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with oil or use oil spray. Grill the Tofu 4 minutes per side, rotating the tofu 45-degrees halfway through. This leaves pretty grill marks and prevents tofu from burning. Grill the Green Beans until tender. Brush the tofu and green beans with the Marinade as they grill. 

5. Serve: Serve the Huli Huli with rice, green salad with an Italian dressing, and mangoes. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.