Aug 31, 2020

making savory broth mix

Welcome to Making Mondays, dear Readers! 

Today's Making Monday recipe is this meatless, vegetarian, and vegan Savory Broth Mix. This is a chicken-style broth mix that I've adapted from Everyday Vegan Eats; it is faster to make and uses less ingredients. 

This is a broth mix that you can use to rehydrate Soy Curlz , Dixie Diner strips, make Savory Tofu, use as soup base or make Easy Simple Seitan. I will be linking recipes to this mix.

It will keep for months, stored in an air-tight container (think mason jar) and away from light (in a cabinet), to keep the B12 as viable as possible.

This version uses half the amount of nutritional yeast, so if you think you would like some more, either (1) make it with twice the nutritional yeast or (2) add an equal amount of nutritional yeast to your recipe (for instance, if using 1 tablespoon of the mix, add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast to the recipe, as well).

If I think the extra nutritional yeast is needed in a particular recipe, I will add it as an ingredient, so no guesswork needed when using my recipes.

If you have a flat blade to blend the ingredients, use that because it does a faster and more efficient job. If you have the regular blade, make sure all the ingredients are well ground - no pieces of thyme and such visible.

This doubles easily (even quadruples), so make it, taste it, cook with it. Then make plenty for future use. Other Making Monday recipes that will be using this are: Savory Tofu, Easy Seitan Loaf, Seitan Cutlet, Holiday Roast and whenever you need a vegetable/chicken-style broth mix in a soup. 

UPDATE: I want to bring your attention to the nutritional yeast. Nowadays they can be bought as flakes, mini flakes and powder. This recipe calls for flakes (the larger style). The photo below uses mini flakes BUT CALLS FOR LARGE FLAKES in the recipe. If you have mini flakes, reduce the amount needed to 6 tablespoons, if you have powder, reduce to 1/4 cup. Let me know if you have any questions.

Below is the step by step.


Making Vegan Savory Broth Mix

Makes 1/2 cup; doubles easily

1. Blend: Add the ingredients to a blender. Use the flat blade, if possible:

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

3 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

2. Blend well into a powder. Transfer to an air-tight container and store away from light.

3. Use: Add 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water. Mix well. 

4. Optional: add an equal amount of nutritional yeast to the recipe. For instance, if making a cup of broth, add 1 teaspoon of Savory Broth Mix to 1 cup water PLUS 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Aug 29, 2020

chicago deep-dish pizza - as easy as it gets


Time: 75 minutes
Dishes: bowl, large cast iron pan or springform pan

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I really love deep dish pizza but it has always been such a chore, for some reason. This meatless, vegetarian, and vegan pizza, however, took me about 20 minutes to assemble, including the relaxing time for the dough. 

The breakdown of the difficulty is as such: 
  • If you use a store bought dough, it's easy.
  • If you make the dough, it's moderate, but 
  • In either case it needs to bake for an hour, so difficult? 

Not sure how to classify something when you don't actively do anything to it, but I'm going with moderate in this case, assuming you make the dough.

Letting the dough relax in the pan for about 15 minutes allows you to be able to stretch it so that it reaches up the sides, otherwise it just springs back down. Drape the dough over the side, use a knife or a fork to hold it there (if it's relaxed, that's all that it will take) and then when it is layered, allow it to gather and scrunch up on the sides, as in the picture below.

I made this with Beyond Meat sausage, which is really tasty, but improvise: add all vegetables (zucchini and pepper are great), add seitan, add homemade sausage - you decide. I went traditional with vegan sausage and spinach. 


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • If making the dough, prepare it when you have time and put it in the fridge.
  • While the dough is relaxing/warming, thaw the spinach in water and squeeze dry. 
  • Prepare any other ingredient and preheat the oven while dough is relaxing.

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

Makes 4 servings 


Preheat oven to 450-F

1. Dough: Combine the ingredients in a bread machine or food processor with plastic blade. Knead the dough until smooth, Dough cycle for bread machine and 2 to 3 minutes for food processor. Leave in bread machine or remove and set in a bowl to double, about 1 hour.

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 package)

2. Add the Dough to an oiled 12-inch cast iron pan. Spread out to the sides and set aside to relax 15 minutes. Then press the dough up the sides of the pan.

3. Layer the ingredients on top of the Dough in order:  

6 to 10 slices vegan white cheese

4 links Beyond Meat sausages, crushed with hands

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well

1 tablespoon pizza seasoning**

1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

4. Arrange the edges of any dough hanging over the pan so it looks nice. Brush any visible dough with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pizza is bubbling or internal temp is 165-F. Cover the pizza with a silicone mat when the dough is getting too brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Serve.


 ** Pizza Seasoning: blend of dried garlic, onion, chili flakes, salt, basil, oregano. Substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano and chili flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 24, 2020

making pizza dough

Welcome to Making Mondays, dear Readers! 

Today's Making Monday recipe is Pizza Dough. This is a simple pizza dough and does have olive oil in it. I'll do a recipe in the future that is oil free, but the first one is a good pizza dough recipe that is reliable.

You can make this in a food processor. Use a plastic blade (dough blade) to preserve the gluten strands and process until the dough comes together into a ball, a few minutes. Then add to a container to rise.

You can use a bread maker. Use the Pasta Cycle if you have one, or the dough cycle, as is and rise in the pan as per cycle - or add it to a container to rise.

You can do this in a stand mixer. Knead until a dough forms and then knead on medium for a few minutes to develop the gluten.

You can do this by hand. Form into a ball and knead for a few minutes before proofing in a container.

Use a container that the dough can double in and one that has a lid. You can also rise in the fridge, but then your container should have enough room to triple the dough, if overnight.

That's it. Use as is, or if risen in the fridge, allow to come to room temperature.

Below is the step by step.


Making Pizza Dough

Makes 1 pound dough

1. Knead: Add the ingredients to a machine or bowl (bread, food processor or stand mixer), in the order given:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) dry active yeast  

2. Bead Machine: Pasta Cycle or Dough Cycle. If Pasta Cycle, add to a container to rise. Cover and rise for 1 hour.

3. Food Processor: Knead until dough ball forms. Knead for a minute to develop gluten. Add to a container to rise for 1 hour, covered.  

4. Stand Mixes: Knead until dough ball forms. Knead for five minutes to develop gluten. Add to a container to rise for 1 hour, covered.  

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Aug 22, 2020

fuji apple salad


Time: 20 minutes
Dishes: skillet, measuring cup, salad spinner

Heads Up! dried apples and apple butter

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This one was on my table in 15 minutes, I kid you not, which is amazing for a salad!  

Every time I make this meatless, vegetarian and vegan salad I wonder why I forget how delicious apple butter is! Heads up on this meatless, vegetarian, and vegan recipe - it needs apple butter and dried apples. This is like the Panera salad that I would never have because of the actual chicken involved (so, I think it's like it!), but since it is really tasty and easy to make, there is nothing missing for anyone.

I use plain yogurt for the dressing, but you can do the mayo if you want. You can also use Gardein or chickpeas with equal success. If you can't find dried apples, use a fresh apple, sliced, and add some croutons for added crunch. In addition, those pecans are glazed by the time the dish is ready, so it brings some nice texture there, as well.

My hubs added Follow Your Heart Blue Cheese Dressing, but, for me, the apple butter dressing is just perfect. But he does have a point; apple butter and blue cheese pair well. Your call! 


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Follow the recipe; it is easy and flows appropriately. 
  • You can use frozen Gardein strips or scallopini. Use a lid for the Scallopini if still frozen. The strips do not need a lid. 

Fuji Apple Salad

Makes 3-4 servings 

easy//moderate (ingredients list kicks it to moderate)

1. Glaze: Whisk the ingredients in a measuring cup and add to a medium or large skillet:

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon lemon-pepper or Mrs. Dash

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

salt to taste


2. Protein: Heat the Glaze over medium heat. Add and cook until golden brown and the Glaze is absorbed, about 10 to 13 minutes, stirring as needed:  

4 Gardein scallopini, sliced or 1 (15-oz) chickpeas, drained

1 cup pecans


3. Dressing: Whisk the ingredients in the same measuring cup:

1/4 cup vegan mayo or plain yogurt

3 tablespoons apple butter

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


4. Salad: Combine in a large bowl and divide as desired:

8 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped

3 cups kale or spinach, chopped

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

2 cups dried apple slices

1 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)


5. Serve: Serve the Salad with the Protein and the Dressing.

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 17, 2020

making vegan bacon

Welcome to Making Mondays, dear Readers! 

On Mondays I will be posting tutorials for making staples and this is the first in the series. Let's get started today, and replacing bacon is a great place to start!

This meatless, vegetarian, and vegan bacon is made from tofu but is elevated to sheer baconness with the air-frying. If you don't have an air fryer then bake them in the oven with a few tablespoons of oil until as crisp as you like. 

The steps are basic and easy; the recipe is ready in about 20 minutes, including the air-frying. 

You can use tofu that ranges from medium-firm to extra-firm. Probably won't work with silken or soft, but the other fresh tofus are up for the transformation.

I use full-sodium tamari, but reduced-sodium works, too, or even straight up soy sauce. 

Liquid smoke is found in any grocery store, but if you are avoiding liquid smoke, let me know; you can use black cardamom, but it would take a few extra steps. 

Add these to BLTs, eat them out of the pan (as I do) or mince and top salads - your choice!

Below is the step by step.


Making Vegan Bacon

Makes 18 to 25 strips 

Preheat air-fryer or oven to 400F 

1. Tofu: Press the tofu. Cut into thin slices, about 20 to a pound, but more if you can hack it.

1 pound regular tofu (not soft or silken)

Oil spray

2. Cook the tofu in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes. Repeat with the rest of tofu. 

3. Nutritional yeast: Add all the cooked tofu back into the pan. Add the nutritional yeast and toss for 1 minute.

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

4. Sauce: Combine the tamari and the liquid smoke. Add the mixture to the pan. Toss while adding. Remove from heat when the sauce evaporates 

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

5. Spray the air-fryer basket with oil (or add 2 tablespoons oil to a baking sheet if using the oven). Add the tofu strips and spray again with oil (flip the tofu in the oil if using the oven) Bake until crips, 5 minutes for air-fryer (about 8 minutes for oven - flip at 4 minutes for the oven)

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Aug 15, 2020

hungarian paprika potato pasta


Time: 40 minutes
Dishes: skillet, medium pot, shallow pan, air-fryer or oven

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

My kids love this meatless, vegetarian and vegan recipe and it really is very delicious. This dish is called March of the Grenadiers, but because I'm still not quite sure why (except that legend has it that the soldiers marched across the countryside collecting ingredients and then came up with this meal based on what they could obtain), I renamed it to something that makes some sort of sense.

This is traditionally pan fried in plenty of fat and it can take forever! With an air-fryer, this takes about 5 to 10 minutes, sans all the fat. I used an oil sprayer and if you have a refillable one, add a few tablespoons of water to get it to mist. It really works!

If no air-fryer, add to a sheet pan and bake it until it is as crisp as you like it. Before the air-fryer my kids had me baking it for about 20 minutes, but they like the pasta extra crispy. Air-fry portions at a time to get it crispy enough. This will depend on the size of your pan that fits in the air-fryer. I did mine in two batches.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Put the water on for the pasta first since flat pasta can take up to 10 minutes to cook. 
  • Take care adding the paprika. Have your water ready to add to avoid burning it.
  • Peel the potatoes while the onions are cooking.
  • Chop the tomato and pepper after the potatoes are in the pan.

Hungarian Paprika Potato Pasta

Makes 4 servings 


Preheat air-fryer to 400-F or oven to 450-F

1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain well and return to the pot:

8 ounces flat pasta (bowtie, shell, broken lasagna)

2. Base: Cook in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, with a lid, until golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir often:

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the paprika. Stir very well and add the water. Do not burn the paprika or it will be bitter.

2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

2 cups water

4. Potatoes: Add the potatoes, tomato, bell pepper and salt to the Base. Stir very well, cover and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes:

1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 small pepper (bell or Hungarian), chopped

1 teaspoon salt

5. Fry: Coarsely mash the Potatoes with the cooking liquid. Add the Potatoes to the drained Pasta. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the mixture to a shallow pan that fits in the air-fryer or on a baking sheet for the oven. Spray with oil. Bake until the pasta is as crisp as you like it, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve. 

Spray oil

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 8, 2020

nacho burritos


Time: 45 minutes
Dishes: rice cooker, medium pot, blender, measuring cup

Heads Up! canned tomatoes with chiles and jarred roasted red pepper

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Quite shockingly, this is a very easy meatless, vegetarian, and vegan meal to prepare, but that rice takes a long time to cook! You can even cook the rice the night before and heat in the microwave to make this meal take about 20 minutes to prepare the day of. 

This meal is like having a nacho tucked inside a burrito, to save yourself the mess and the time it takes to prepare nachos, which can take forever even though they are considered appertizer food. 

A note about the jarred roasted red pepper: they can mold fast and this recipe only uses a few tablespoons. I portion the remainder of the peppers, drained, into ice cube trays. About 2 or 3 tablespoons per slot. Freeze it and once frozen add the cubes to a container to stash in the freezer. To thaw, soak in a 1/2 cup of water for a few minutes. 

Long story short, these are delicious! The cheese sauce was the hardest part of this recipe to devise because I wanted to make it fast and easy to prepare, without a lot of added fat. I did add some vegan cheese to the sauce, but if you are a great fan of the flavor of nutritional yeast, you can get away with adding 1/2 teaspoon of mild vinegar in lieu of the vegan cheese. I liked it with the cheese, truth be told, so I do recommend it that way. It doesn't take a lot, but the flavor goes a long way.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • The rice will absolutely take the longest. Start there.
  • Prepare the sauce in the blender and add to the pot. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, but wait to cook.
  • Chop the toppings.
  • Cook the sauce when the rice is done (to allow rice to steam) or (if you're in a hurry), cook the sauce when the rice is 5 minutes out from being ready.

Nacho Burritos

Makes 4 servings 


1. Rice: Cook the rice in a rice cooker, or as desired, with the spices.

1 cup brown rice

1 1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or adobo, or etc.

1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salt-free seasoning)

2. Cheese Sauce: Combine the ingredients in a blender. Blend until very smooth.

1 cup mashed tofu, regular or silken

3/4 cups unsweetened dairy-free milk

2 tablespoons jarred roasted red pepper

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

3. Add the Cheese Sauce to a medium pot. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the cheese melts and sauce thickens. Keep warm.

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with chiles (like Rotel), drained

2 slices or 1/2 cup shredded yellow vegan cheese

4. Assemble: Warm a tortilla over a burner. Add Rice, top with layer of tortilla chips, add lots of Cheese Sauce, add toppings as desired and roll:

4 burrito-sized tortillas

tortilla chips

lettuce, shredded

green onions, minced

fresh or pickled jalapenos

tomatoes, diced

olives, sliced

avocado, chopped

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.