Oct 31, 2020

shepherd's pie


Overview

Time: 55 minutes
Dishes: large pot, skillet (oven-safe), measuring cup


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

As I was looking for a good omni Shepherd's Pie recipe to study, I came across people arguing over what animal is most appropriate to use in the dish, The correct answer is none! Plants are best! 

And, indeed, this meatless, vegetarian and vegan recipe is really tasty in all its plant glory. I kept this version simple, but the idea behind Shepherd's Pie is to use what you have and, to that end, you can add whatever vegetables you have lurking around. A cup of peas, a half cup of corn, a zuchhini, you get the picture. Key is to keep the ratio of solid to liquid about the same. 

I used a bag of frozen grounds (about 2 cups, if thawed, but not necessary for this recipe - frozen is fine), but of course, use whatever you like: seitan, beans, all vegetables, etc. The gravy is deliciously savory and the dish is thoroughly warming on a cool night. 

The potatoes are made with the potato cooking water itself, which has starch and flavor, to keep the potatoes together during baking. To get your potatoes to brown, spray with a little oil and broil it a few inches from the heat until it is golden, up to 10 minutes. I used a fork to mark the top of the potatoes to get the grooves. 

Time wise, again we encounter the non-active baking time, so I decided on moderate for this one, eventhough it inches over the total 45 minutes I have allocated for a moderate recipe. 

Enjoy!





Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Heat the pot of water for the potatoes right away; fill about 1/4 way.
  • Choose potatoes that are large, if you are a slow peeler.
  • REMEMBER to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Use the lid to drain the potatoes instead of a separate strainer to wash.
  • Mince the onions while the skillet heats. 
  • Use a lid to cook the vegetables and the potatoes.
  • Remember to preheat the oven; when depends on how quickly it preheats. 
 



Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 4 servings 

moderate

Preheat oven to 400-F

1. Potato: Cook the potatoes in a large pot with just enough salted water to cover. Heat on high with a lid until boiling and reduce to medium-high heat. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes but RESERVE 1/2 UP OF COOKING WATER:

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

2. Vegetables: Cook the vegetables in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, using a lid, for 5 minutes, until golden.

1/4 onion, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3. Grounds: Add the grounds to the Vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, using a lid:

15-ounces vegan grounds, frozen is fine

4. Add the seasonings to the Grounds and cook for 2 minutes, mixing well to remove all traces of flour:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Easy Savory Broth mix**

2 teaspoons tomato paste

4. Add the water and flavorings to the Grounds while mix well with a spoon to prevent lumps. Season to taste and cook until thickened, 2 minutes. Add the peas after the sauce is thickened:

2 cups water

2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

salt and black pepper

1 cup green peas

5. Mash the drained Potatoes. Add the reserved Potato Water and vegan butter, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Dollop mashed potatoes over the Grounds and spread to smooth, using a large spoon. Spray with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Then broil high for 5 minutes or until golden. Serve:

2 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil (optional)




** Substitute for Savory Broth Mix: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sage and 1 teaspoon oregano. 




© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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Oct 24, 2020

creamy lemon pasta with cripsy lentils


Overview

Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: medium pot, large pasta, air-fryer

Heads Up! lemon and lentils


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

How about a little sunshine as the sun begins to recede to winter? Lemon is a fall/winter crop, so this is actually a perfect meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish for this time of year. This is lemony but nothing overwhelming, and it is creamy and delicious. The crispy lentils give it a nice contrast. Together they provide protein, iron and Vitamin C. All good things!

Make sure to zest your lemon before you juice it to save headache later. To zest, I just used a peeler and made sure to only get the yellow part of the fruit and not the white pith, which is bitter. Then I used a knife to mince the peels. 

The juice is added to the cooked and drained pasta so it absorbs the flavor perfectly. 

If you want (I would have but I didn't have any at the time) add 8 ounces of baby spinach to the pasta water a minute before you drain it, for some leafy green action. 

I air-fried the lentils, which proving to be very effective at making it crispy, but take care not to overdo it. I accidentally left them in the fryer for 15 minutes and they became a bit too crispy. Eight to thirteen minutes should suffice, but keep an eye on them and use your judgement.

All in all, an easy dish to prepare that was fast and tasty. 

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the water for the pasta first. The water needs to boil and the pasta will take about 10 minutes to cook. 
  • Drain the lentils while the air-fryer preheats. 
  • Cut the onion first, start cooking it. Then peel and mince the zest. Garlic can come last.
  • Use a lid for all pots.
  • Always zest before you juice the citrus.
 



Creamy Lemon Pasta with Crispy Lentils

Makes 4 servings 

easy

www.ZsusVeganPantry.com


Preheat air-fryer to 400-F

1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain the pasta, return to the pot and add the lemon juice. Stir well; the pasta will absorb the juice:

12 ounces fettuccine or spaghetti

2 tablespoons lemon juice (zest lemon first) **

2. Lentils: Rinse and drain the lentils. Add to the basket of an air-fryer and season with salt. Cook until crisp but not dried out, about 8 to 12 minutes:

1 (15-ounce) can green or brown lentils

3. Onions: Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and lemon zest. Cover with a lid and cook until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir as needed.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 lemon zested**

4. Sauce: add the flour to the Onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the milk and stir until there are no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and the cheese, if using, and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. needed.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups plain, unsweetened nondairy milk

2 slices or 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

5. Serve: Add the Sauce to the Pasta and season with black pepper. Toss well and divide into bowls. Top with Lentils and serve.  



** 1 lemon. Use a peeler to peel zest very thin, not peeling any white pith. Then mince the zest strips. Then juice the lemon.



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.




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Oct 17, 2020

curried chicken-free salad sandwich

 


Overview

Time: 35 minutes
Dishes: bowl, air-fryer

Heads Up! mango chutney and curry powder


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This sandwich filling is a regular meal at our house. In fact, I find that I make this meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish it at least every three weeks, and that is saying something since I don't remake many things, always looking for something new. 

This reminds me of the Whole Foods curried tofu they used to sell, and since we liked that a lot, I decided to remake it at home. 

It is sweet and tangy and crunchy. It has almonds and raisins and mango chutney. The mango chutney can be very sweet, so use the amount that suits your taste. If the dressing is too thick, thin it with some plant milk. This will depend on how thick the chutney is.

You have your choice of Air-fried Soy Curls, Savory Tofu or Sauteed Gardein scallopini. I haven't tried it with chickpeas, but they should be sauteed, too, if you use that.  

Fresh, homemade curry powder does wonders (and smells amazing) so I do recommend you make a batch of Curry Powder (there is a recipe in Vegan Bowls), instead of the stale jar hanging in the back of the spice rack. 

Throw this between bread, inside lettuce leaves, on top of crackers, or roll in a tortilla. Either way, chances are good you, too, will make it again.

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Make the protein first.
  • Make the curry powder, too, if you can.
  • Make the dressing while the protein cooks.
 


Curried Chicken-Free Salad Sandwich

Makes 4 servings 

moderate (Preparation time for the protein kicks it to moderate) 

 

1. Protein: Prepare one of the proteins of your choice:

4 cups chopped air-fried soy curls or

4 cups cubed, air-fried Savory Tofu, or

4 cups chopped Gardein slices, sautéed

2. Dressing: Combine in a medium bowl:

3/4 cup vegan mayo

1/4 to 1/2 cup mango chutney

2 tablespoons vegan milk (optional, to thin dressing)

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3. Add the Protein to the Dressing. Also add:

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup minced scallions

1/2 cup toasted almond slices

 

4. Serve: Stir very well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill if not eating right away. Serve in pita, in tortilla, in lettuce leaves, on bread or on crackers.


 



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.




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Oct 10, 2020

vegan beef and barley stew

Overview

Time: 6 to 8 hours slow cooker or 30 minutes high pressure cooker
Dishes: Instant Pot or slow cooker and medium pot 


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Whenever I see a photo of a beef stew, the beef gets lost in my mind, but the stew itself looks really great, and I always wind up wanting to make it vegan. This is an easy meatless, vegetarian and vegan version for the slow cooker, but my mini Instant Pot does not seem to be getting hot enough during slow cooking, which is odd, but if you find the barley not cooked by hour 6 or so, pressure cook it for 15 minutes and it'll be just fine. I suspect the regular Instant Pot (and, of course a typical slow cooker) would work just fine. 

I used hull-less barley in this dish, but since pearled barley is faster to cook and more popular, I recommend that. I used Beef Not! by Dixie Foods (a textured soy protein which I like a lot) but you can use Gardein or even substitute green beans or kidney beans. The flavor is in the broth so you can get away with using a different protein. 

Surprisingly, my son-in-law loved this dish! He, and even my son, went back for seconds. They are a bit on the choosier side and it was nice to see them both really digging this meal. 

I would classify this as an Easy dish, but there are a few more ingredients being used that kick it to Moderate. I tried trimming the ingredients list but the broth really needs the flavors and it is worth it to see your boys devouring barley!

Enjoy!





Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Heat the pot. Add the vegetables as they are chopped. 
  • Follow recipe otherwise. It is straightforward.
 



Vegan Beef and Barley Stew

Makes 4 servings 

easy/moderate (ingredients list kicks it to moderate)


Slow Cooker Recipe. Pressure cook option possible; high pressure, 30 minutes.  

1. Sautee: Heat a pot or Instant pot over medium heat (Sauté function if using Instant Pot). Add the oil, onion, carrot, garlic and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker, if not using Instant Pot.

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 small onions, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

5 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2. Add the tomato paste, vegan beef option and barley. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.  

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 1/3 cup Beef Not strips or 1-pound vegan beef (like Gardein or seitan)

1/3 cup pearled barley

3. Add the broth bullion, water, tomato, tamari and wine. Cover and cook on high until the barley is tender 6 to 8 hours.

1 tablespoon Better Than Bullion or equivalent

3 cups hot water

1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomato

2 tablespoons tamari

2 tablespoons red wine (optional)

4.Serve: Season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

1/4 cup minced parsley

 




© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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Oct 3, 2020

kung pao tofu


Overview

Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large skillet, oven, baking pan or cake pan, measuring cup

Heads Up! teriyaki sauce


Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish is an old favorite recipe of ours, but it calls for brown rice syrup. Since that ingredient is hard to come by, I wanted to recreate it with more readily available ingredients and a simpler preparation. This is sweet and as spicy as you like it, but was on the table in 30 minutes, plus an extra 15 for my brown rice. It's always the brown rice holding things back!

If you have time to press the tofu (and you do if you are making brown rice) do so, otherwise, just bake it as is; it'll still be great.

This is such a quick, easy and delicious recipe that I wonder why we don't have it more often. Oh, yeah, the brown rice syrup. With the easy substitution of using molasses and maple, the syrup doesn't have to be searched for any longer. If you have it and prefer that, omit both the molasses and the maple and substitute an equal amount of the brown rice syrup.  

Enjoy!




Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • If you are serving rice, start that first
  • Press tofu for 10 minutes (optional) while oven preheats
  • Prepare the tofu and bake
  • Prepare the sauce and chop vegetables
  • When tofu is 10 minutes out, start the Vegetables section in the recipe
 



Kung Pao Tofu

Makes 4 servings 

easy


Preheat oven to 350-F

Serve with Rice and Steamed Broccoli 

1. Tofu: Combine the tofu and teriyaki sauce on a 9X9 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

1-pound (pressed preferably) tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

2. Sauce: Combine the ingredients in a measuring cup and stir well:

3 tablespoons Blackstrap molasses

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3. Vegetables: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ingredients and cook for 5 minutes, until peanuts are golden, stirring often:

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2/3 cup peanuts

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

4. Add the Tofu and Sauce to the skillet, stir and cook for 2 minutes until thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve with rice and broccoli.




© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.