Showing posts with label Daiya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daiya. Show all posts

Sep 14, 2013

food trucks! koi fusion

Koi Fusion Food Truck is based out of Portland, Oregon. They dish up Mexican-Korean fusion food, with tofu as an optional protein. They started back in 2009 when the prospective owner contacted Kogi Food Truck owner in LA for some advice since he didn't know exactly where to start, but he knew he wanted to operate a food truck. The guy from Kogi was nice enough to advise Bo Kwon and help him get going.

No, this truck wasn't on the Great Food Truck Race. On any season. They were featured on the show Food Truck Revolution back a few years ago, but there are so many popular food trucks that not all of them can be on The Race, for sure.

This truck dishes up burritos, tacos, quesadillas, rice bowls and sliders. Although you can pick chicken, beef, ribs or tofu, if you are looking for vegan, or even vegetarian, you should ask for your dish without the kimchi.  Kimchi is the Korean version of sauerkraut. As it happens, kimchi, unless vegan, is made with fish sauce, so check ingredients and ask questions.

I made a variation on their K-Fusion Burrito. This dish has rice, marinated in soy sauce and gochujang , cheese, meat, kimchi, pico de gallo, bean sprouts and a secret salsa. That secret salsa I interpreted as a Korean Salsa. This is where the imagination I mentioned the other day comes into play.

Gochujang is a Korean, spicy, pungent, fermented flavoring made from chilies, rice and soy sauce. If you can't find any, or don't want to spring for a package, you can use something that all vegans have in their kitchen - Sriracha. Use less of the Sriracha since it is spicier, but be aware that the taste will not be the same, as the fermentation lends its own set of unique flavor.

This burrito was good, we really liked it, but, I'll be honest, it was equally very different. Which is good, since you want food from a food truck that IS different - something that pushes you beyond your comfort zone for at least a single meal. No commitment needed. Don't like it? Don't get it again. What are you out, a few bucks? As for making it at home, it might be a bit riskier, but then again, we should all live on the edge once in a while, ey?

Sep 7, 2013

food trucks! bar-b-cuban sandwich

Here. We go. Again.

This is my fourth year participating in Vegan Month of Food. Before I get started, I'd like to send a shout-out to all the lovely people who make this extravaganza of vegan food not just possible, but incredibly fun. It seems there are more and more blogs participating every year! Welcome to all the new folks making their MoFo debut this year! Can't wait to check things out!

For the past three years, my theme has been veganizing restaurant foods. This year, I am veganizing food truck food. This is of course more challenging in the sense that not only have I not tasted any of these dishes, but in most cases, I haven't even seen any of them. Not to be deterred, I've done lots of research and I have a great imagination - hopefully that will be enough to fill in any gaps.

Food trucks have not only hit the foodie scene like a ton of bricks, but millions of people have tuned into The Great Food Truck Race on Food TV, for the fourth season in a row, making this show the network's second most watched program. 

The first two seasons of the show featured already established food trucks as the competitors, while the latter two seasons featured competitors who had never before had a food truck, however, some had already owned brick-and-mortar food places. 

Austin Daily Press, one of the first-season teams, still does a grooving business in Austin, and I am happy to report that they have vegetarian and vegan menu items. And I love their logo - as toasted as you are. They make paninis and toasted sandwiches, although not all of their sandwiches are actually hot, since not all sandwiches lend themselves to being toasted. 

I made my version of their Bar-B-Cuban Sandwich, which is a Cuban sandwich with smoked pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese and Carolina Mustard Sauce.

Let's talk bread. Authentic Cuban bread has a nice crust and a soft inside. Since it is also made with lard, I opted for a ciabatta bread, which has a great crust, especially when toasted.

Let's talk cheese. Daiya has added a new line of vegan cheese to their brand - slices. Perfect! Their Swiss-style vegan cheese was available at my Whole Foods and I snagged it up, along with a Follow Your Heart Cheddar-style cheese block. FYH takes about twice as long to melt than Daiya, so keep that in mind.

Let's talk meat. Or let's not! Along with the above mentioned cheese, my Whole Foods also had gorgeous oyster mushrooms available, for a great price, too- $6 a pound. That did it. I decided to use my stove-top smoker to smoke the mushrooms using hickory chips and they turned out fantastic. Lovely smoky flavor, but not overpoweringly so. 

Pickles + Carolina Mustard Sauce + Smoked Oyster Mushrooms + Mojo Artichoke Hearts

In addition to the mushrooms, I used artichoke hearts, which I found in packages in the produce section right near the mushrooms. Kismet. These are actually artichoke hearts, the very same ones you carve out of a steamed artichoke. Delicious. 

I cooked the mushrooms and artichokes in a screaming hot pan until they developed a golden brown color, after which I added orange and lime juice and spices - a mojo sauce, in essence. 

Let's talk sauce. Cuban food is not spicy as in hot, but instead is more sweet, salty and tangy. Cuban cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, Caribbean and African with lots of citrus. The called for mustard sauce hits all those flavor notes. It is tangy because of the mustard and vinegar and sweet thanks to the maple syrup and brown sugar.

 This sandwich has all of those superb Cuban flavors. It is a surprisingly easy 'wich to put together, to boot, probably more so if you aren't the one having to reinvent it! 

Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoon neutral oil, divided
Cuban Rub (recipe below)
1 (12- ounce) can artichoke hearts
1/4 cup minced onions
12 ounce smoked oyster mushrooms (see directions below)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
Loaf ciabatta bread
Vegan butter, as needed
Vegan cheese, as needed
Pickle slices, as needed
Carolina Mustard Sauce (recipe below)
Watercress, optional

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle about half of the rub on the artichokes. Cook the artichoke hearts and onions until golden brown, turning the artichoke once. Remove the artichokes and onions from the skillet and set aside.
2. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the rest of the rub on the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until golden brown, turning them once. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Add the orange and lime juice to the pan. Increase the heat to high and cook until the juice is reduced to a syrup; reducing it by half. Pour over the artichokes.
4. Slice the bread in half. Butter each half of the bread. Layer the filling: cheese, mushrooms, artichokes, pickles, Carolina Mustard Sauce, watercress, more cheese. Top with the other half of bread. Grill the sandwich (cut it in half if the sandwich is too big to fit in a press or skillet) in a panini press or in a large skillet. If using the skillet, weigh the sandwich down with another heavy skillet. Serve immediately. 

Cuban Rub

2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.

Carolina Mustard Sauce

¼ cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine

Smoking Tips

I smoke oyster mushrooms, but you can smoke any kind of mushroom you like. Trim the mushrooms and slice them into ½-inch slices if they are too big.

Using an indoor smoker, use hickory chips. Cover the smoker tightly with foil to prevent any smoke from escaping. Smoke the mushrooms for 30 minutes. 

© 2013 Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Dec 19, 2011

flautas and taquitos

Is it a Flauta or a Taquito? 
The two Mexican food dishes can be mixed up at times since they are both rolled, fried, stuffed tortillas. The difference, and hence the names, are due to the type of tortilla used. Flautas are made using flour tortillas and Taquitos are made using corn tortillas. 

Making the filling and rolling them in the tortillas can be time consuming parts of this meal, but even then it is one of the simplest to make. I made a filling using textured vegetable protein, but seitan, beans or vegetables are outstanding choices, with refried beans being the simplest of the bunch. 

Make sure to first heat the tortillas in the microwave in a stack (wrapped in damp paper towels) or individually right on stove top to get them warm. Warm tortillas bend and don't break. Roll them in the filling and either pan-fry them in oil or bake them as I did. 

Serve these with guacamole, salsa and vegan sour cream. 
They are crispy and filling.

Cost Breakdown
tortillas: $3
TVP: $1
Daiya: $1 
broth, onion, garlic, spices, flour: $1.50
sour cream, avocado, salsa: $2
Total to make 16 with garnishes:

May 16, 2011

7-layer mexican salad

Lunch time can be quite a fiasco at our home, especially if we don't plan the menu out properly. The kids want food they like and I want to make something that is unusual but still healthy. Clearly with all of the tumult we needed to come to a compromise. Lunch should be easy, quick and a no-brainer. Discussion should not even have to take place, and arguments should be as far removed as the moon.

To make everyone happy, including the cook, be that person child or adult, the kids and I wrote down 30 dishes they liked enough to agree to and I agreed were healthy and fast. We have put those meals on rotation during the week for lunch and it has worked beautifully. This can be an effective way to by-pass all the hastle of picking and choosing what to make for lunch for anyone, families or singles, homeschoolers or out of the home workers. It just makes sense. Since the breakfast repertoire of most folks tend to be varied between 5 to 10 kinds of dishes at the most, choosing between 30 lunch items is different enough to satisfy most people and consistent enough to make deciding lunch much simpler.

7-Layer Mexican Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing. This one became a favorite after the girls had it at a sleepover on the U.S.S. Barry  (Girl Scout adventure). The key to this salad is to have the proper proportion of topping ingredients to lettuce. Too much lettuce ruins the entire experience. My salad has avocado, tomato, black beans, carrot, onion, vegan cheese, peppers. The dressing is about 2/3 vegenaise and 1/3 homemade salsa. You can use whatever topping you prefer, just make sure to keep the lettuce at bay: about one (toppings) to one (lettuce) ratio.

Cost Breakdown

avocado: $2
tomato: $2
beans: $2
carrot: $.50
lettuce: $2
cheese: $1
pepper: $1
salsa, vegenaise: $2
Total to make 6 servings:

Apr 21, 2011

cowboy bean casserole

Food Network Friday

That's right! It is that time of month again - Food Network Friday with Tami Noyes of American Vegan Kitchen.

This time around, my cohorts chose an Emeril dish to replicate: Cowboy Chicken Casserole.    It is abundantly clear that as daring as some of those Celebrity Chefs are by concocting some of these creations, we are even more so because we choose to make them. Hats down to Liz for giving this one a go. It would have slipped right under my radar.

This amazing collection of ingredients features poached chicken over tortilla chips covered by a homemade-style cream of mushroom soup, accented with a pound of cheese. Oh, and let's not ignore the six tablespoons of Paula-inspired butter. All that and some onions, peppers and tomatoes.


Where ever shall I begin? 

The chicken was the most thought-provoking. I didn't want to use seitan, but I wanted to keep the integrity of the dish so I used what all cowboys use: pinto beans. I thought of using tortillas instead of the chips, but when I noticed that the recipe calls for an entire bag of chips, I thought better of it; maybe there was a method to the madness here.

Good call on that one; the chips were appropriate. 

Result: Odd. However, as odd as it was, it was also strangely addictive.
 Is that odder still?

Cost Breakdown

tortilla chips: $3 
beans: $4
Daiya: $4.50
onion, pepper, tomato: $3
mushrooms: $2 
Total to make 8 servings:

Apr 8, 2011

tamale pie

Continental Night

Tamales are a beautiful thing!
But, they are not quick and easy to make!
You need to make the batter and spread it onto some kind of cooking pouch: corn husks, banana leaves or even just parchment paper. Then each one has to have a filling, each needs to be wrapped and cooked. This takes time. And while the whole endeavour is worth all the work - especially for a special occasion - for everyday eating a Tamale Pie makes more practical sense.

The dough is masa harina with seasoning and non-dairy milk. It is then spread into a pie plate and baked until it is a little dry. Do not over bake it, since it won't have that wonderful tender texture - it'll be dry and crispy. Add some filling - in this case a black bean and tomato mixture - and a bit of Daiya or other vegan cheese, bake for a few more minutes and enjoy with guacamole, vegan sour cream or salsa.

Cost Breakdown

masa harina, spices: $1.50
milk, Daiya: $4
black beans, tomatoes: $3
onion, garlic, pepper: $1
Total to make 8 servings (2 pie plates):

Feb 17, 2011

baked mac and cheese

Someone asked me to try my hand at making a really good Macaroni and Cheese. Because there are so many ways to approach making a vegan mac and cheese, I decided to do it one kind of way at a time.  

The most obvious way - and the approach that I took here - was to use vegan cheeses that are available on the market.

While it is delightful to have access to Daiya, it is more important to use at least two different brands of vegan cheese. Why? One brand might have one flavor covered and another will have a different take on what makes a vegan cheese taste good. While vegan cheese has come a long way over the past decade, incorporating as many different kinds as you can (at least two) makes a huge difference in the overall flavor.

This recipe uses a simple bechamel (white) sauce to add body (and not just fat) to the cheese sauce. Then it is tossed with slightly undercooked pasta, topped with bread crumbs and baked.

Because the mac and cheese is baked, it does not have the overtly creaminess that the new Amy's vegan mac and cheese does (which thrilled my youngest daughter) but is still creamy and totally delicious. When baking, the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. If you want to keep it really creamy don't bake it (but make sure to use properly cooked pasta). If you still want the topping, add it and broil it for a few minutes until the bread crumbs are golden.

I used quinoa pasta and Follow Your Heart and Daiya brands of cheese.

This is like what your mom used to make (not from the box, though - that recipe will be coming in the future), just better since it is vegan.

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $3
vegan butter, flour, spices: $.75
nondairy milk: $.75
FYH, Daiya: $7
bread crumbs: $.50
Total to make 5 servings:

Dec 29, 2010

breakfast bake

For a beautiful and hearty brunch meal, this Breakfast Bake was wonderful. In fact, it was so good, I made a double batch and one is in the freezer for another day.

This contains tofu, sausage from the Field Roast Grain Meat Co., carrots, peppers, Daiya vegan cheese and hashbrowns.

I browned the hashbrowns and set them aside in a bowl. Then I sauteed the sausage, carrots, peppers and onions and put those in the bowl with the hashbrowns. Lastly, I sauteed the tofu, seasoned it with nutritional yeast, black salt and turmeric. I steamed the tofu for 10 minutes until there was no more liquid in the pan and then added that to the bowl as well. I mixed it all up, with a cup of Daiya, and popped it into a pie pan. I baked it for 20 minutes and served it with toast.

The most tedious part is getting the hashbrowns to brown in a small saute pan.
Use a big one.

Cost Breakdown

hashbrowns: $2
sausage: $2
tofu: $2
onion, carrot, pepper, green onion: $2
Daiya: $1.50
toast: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Nov 22, 2010

pizza hut (MoFo 13)

Pizza Hut today. I had to pick a pizza to do and so I chose one that my mom and I would order on Friday nights after work. I have mentioned that we owned a Hungarian restaurant (or 6 or 7, just not at the same time), and there is only so much Beef Goulash and Chicken Paprikas one can eat. Vegetarian was not on the menu, unless you happen to be one of those people who think that fish and chicken are vegetables; there is an amazing amount of people that unfortunately do.

We used to order Pan Pizza - crispy crust, fluffy inside, cheese and all the veggies Pizza Hut would pile on. This was my favorite pizza until I moved to Chicago and had Johnny D's.

Today I began with the Breadstick. This made the kids happy because the toppings are parmy-cheesy and herby. Accomplish this using Parma (walnuts and nutritional yest) and a bunch of herbs.

Naturally I had to make the Pan Pizza, but first I began looking around for something unusual by Pizza Hut. Wings? Yeah, but that is coming up on the Anchor Bar post. Pasta? Been there, done that. Then I found a whole bunch of people pretty upset that Pizza Hut is no longer making their Triple-Decker Pizza. This is a pizza with two thin layers, cheese between, sauce on top, more cheese and then the toppings. Okaaaay.

The most difficult thing about making this is the thinness of the crusts. Using very little yeast and a long, cool proofing, and then forking the rolled out dough before baking, makes this possible. Voila - Triple-Decker Pizza Hut Pizza. Why they call it Triple is a mystery to me, though, since there are only two crusts. Perhaps Pizza Hut doesn't employ math inclined folks.

Finally, the Pan Pizza is making a showing. I made one as an original Pan Pizza, but I also made one a little more upscale. David came shopping with me and chose wild mushrooms for his topping. Fabulous! I sauteed the mushrooms with garlic, topped the pan pizza with a porcini-cream sauce and finished it with truffle oil.

No, Pizza Hut never offered this, but I can see it on the menu at Millennium.

Cost Breakdown:

flour: $1.50
yeast, sugar, salt: $.50
soy milk powder: $.50
Parmo, herbs: $1
Total to make 5 app servings:

dough: $2
Daiya vegan cheese: $2
sauce: $1
pepperoni: $1
Total to make a 15 inch pizza:

Pan Pizza:
dough: $2
sauce: $1
Daiya vegan cheese: $2
topping: $1
Total to make a large pizza:

dough: $2
porcini-cream sauce:$2.50
wild mushrooms, garlic: $4
truffle oil: $1
Total to make 15" pizza:



Pan Pizza

Truffle Pizza

Nov 18, 2010

outback (MoFo 11)

After making these dishes from Outback, it is no wonder that this restaurant is at the top of the 'Worst Food for You," list. The restaurant conveniently places a calorie-nutritional value calculator on their website so you can see exactly how many calories you are shoveling in. The only additional thing they should add next is something to calculate the next pants size you will need after eating their creations.

Here we go:

The Bloomin' Onion is vastly popular. So much so that you can purchase a gadget set that will assist you in cutting the onion and dipping it in the batter. I've only seen them. To purchase one takes too much commitment, too much dedication to constant frying. 

Naturally, this was a hit. It takes a little finesse to cut the onion just right (without aforementioned gadget) and to get it coated well. I have created a How-To Breakdown for this, just in case you look at the pic and must have one of your own. It is great to do this with a large onion (~3/4#), but I tackled it with a small one because I figured it is easier for everyone to obtain a smaller onion than a larger one. The dip is a mayo-based concoction.

Now for the main meal: Outback's menu is 60% beef, but they manage to torture a few birds as well. I chose the Alice Sprigs Chicken to reinvent because it is a signature dish of theirs and, let's face it, it is covered in cheese. I must be too close to the Wisconsin border. 

And to accompany the bird, I present to you Outback's-and-possibly-the-world's-worst-food-only-being-beaten-by-KFC's-Double-Down (but that's another post): 
The Aussie Fries
Deep fried potatoes (you know, the kind that the public school system considers a vegetable), covered with a fair amount of salt, bathed in two different cheeses, and topped with crushed bacon.
Eh, yum..?

I used a mixture of shredded Daiya and Follow Your Heart Cheddar, but success can be had by using any bought or homemade nondairy cheese. To melt the cheese on both the chick'n and the fries, microwaving is your best bet; broiling does not melt vegan cheese as well as you would like - ooey, gooey. Nuke it.

Who is it who gets paid to think up stuff like this? The chicken is marinated in a honey-mustard sauce, grilled and topped with sauteed mushrooms, bacon (more?), and cheese.

 I used Tender Seitan cutlets, marinated them in maple-Dijon sauce, topped with sauteed mushrooms and Tofu (or Seitan) Bacon [see this post for the recipe and How-To Breakdown for the 'bacon'), and melted the Daiya/Follow Your Heart cheeses on it.

Making one or the other here and there is doable and even tasty (vegan, that is), but to have all three in one sitting at Outback can be downright dangerous!

To make me feel better, I am giving away Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It is an adorable little book packed with recipes. To enter, just leave a comment. Contest ends around midnight on Tuesday morning, Nov. 23, and is open to North American and UK residents.

Cost Breakdown:

onion: $2
flour, spices: $1
cashew, almond milk: $1
dip: $1
Total to make 2 onions:

fries: $3
FYH/Daiya: $2
'bacon': $1
Total to make 4 servings:

seitan: $3
Daiya/FYH: $2
Dijon, veganaise, maple: $2
'bacon': $2
mushrooms: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Bloomin' Onion

Alice Sprigs Chick'n Plate

Aussie Chick'n

Aussie Fries

Nov 14, 2010

red robin (MoFo 9)

Red Robin is an American Burger joint which happens to be all over the U.S. While not veg they do serve Boca burgers (vegan) and Gardenburger (vegetarian). While all that is well and fine, sometimes a stomach gets to hunger for one of those fancy-pants burgers, sans dairy and eggs but with the authentic flavors still intact.

As an appetizer, we are quite partial to jalapenos and making them into golden little Jalapeno Coins is very appealing. I mean, who doesn't want a few extra coins to toss around? I made mine with pickled jalapeno slices, but you can use fresh jalapenos or ones that aren't pickled. I made a simple tempura-beer batter (anything with beer is better, right?) and fried them to a crisp. Yumm.

Choosing the burger was more challenging, they have so many, but I picked one that isn't really a burger, even by their definition, but a chicken sandwich. I replaced the chicken with an Amy's Quarter Pounder (a little sweeter than the Bocas - be warned) and made the Bruschetta Chicken Sandwich into a Vegan Bruschetta Burger. This one has a pesto-aioli, tomato, onion and basil salsa, cheeze (Daiya in this case), balsamic cream on a ciabatta roll. Yumm.

Going to Red Robin is not really complete without those aromatic Garlic Fries. Make the steak fries as you would make any crispy fries (using the double fry method) and coat it with your premade garlic oil. Yumm.

Lastly, since it has been so long since I've made anything sweet, I made the Mountain High Mud Pie. Unfortunate Red Robin customers can only get this dessert with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, but us brilliant vegans can use any combination that we find tasty. I used Prailine Crunch Almond Dream and Chocolate Almond Dream. In addition to the ice cream, it has a layer of crushed cookies, peanut butter and chocolate syrup. I used Rice Whip for the whip cream but you can do without it. This was a double Yumm.

Cost Breakdown

jalapenos: $3
flour: $1
beer, baking powder: $1
Total to make apps for 4:

Amy's burger: $6
Daiya: $2
lettuce, tomato, onion, basil: $2
veganaise, vinegar, pine nuts, garlic: $1.50
ciabatta: $4
potatoes: $3
Total to make 4 burgers:
(each of these sandwiches at RR is $11.50)

Almond Dreams: $8
cookies: $2
chocolate: $1
peanut butter: $1
Rice Whip: $3
Total to make 5 giant servings:

Jalapeno Coins

Bruschetta Burger

Mountain High Mud Pie