curried chicken-free salad sandwich



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 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.


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 chicken-like 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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vegan beef and barley stew


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 any easy 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!


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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kung pao tofu


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

Heads Up! teriyaki sauce

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This one 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.  


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 


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.