Showing posts with label green beans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green beans. Show all posts

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.

Sep 23, 2014

thanksgiving burger

Day 16  VeganMoFo is all about continuing the holiday theme, this time celebrating Thanksgiving between two buns.

I've missed a few days of this year's MoFo party (I had a bug over the weekend and well into yesterday), and now will have to play catch-up.

Getting to this burger: it is a freekeh-stuffing burger on a bun with cranberry sauce, gravy, quick sauteed green beans and fried onions - picture all of the best of the Thanksgiving in every single bite.

I took a page from my Hungarian ancestry and created the burger base of this burger by treating it like a dumpling (boiling it) and then sauteing it, just as a typical burger should be.

I'll be back with the recipe because tomorrow; I'm a little exhausted right now, but I didn't want to miss another MoFo day.


Thanksgiving Burger
Makes 8 burgers
6 cups cubed bread (about ½-inch cubes)
½ cup freekeh
1 garlic clove, minced, ½ teaspoon thyme
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
¼ cup raisins
1 teaspoon each: thyme, sage, oregano, dried parsley
¼ cup hot water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 cup unsweetened plain vegan milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 ounces green beans, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 cup cranberry sauce
2 cups favorite vegan gravy
1 cup fried onions
8 burger buns, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and bake until dried and crisp, about 15 minutes. Cook the freekeh, garlic, thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper in about 2 cups water until tender, according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, raisin, thyme, sage, oregano and parsley. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook the vegetables until tender. Transfer to the large bowl.
4. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the hot water. Add to the large bowl, along with the milk, the bread cubes and flour. Mash and knead until well combined. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Form into 8 burgers.
5. Heat a large pot of water over high heat to boiling. Add the burger dumplings and cook until they float and are cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain on cooling rack and cool thoroughly.
6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and the green beans. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Add more oil and cook the burgers until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
7. Assemble the burgers by spreading 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce on the bottom bun, add a burger, top with green beans, add gravy, top with fried onions and the top bun. Serve.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 18, 2014

farmer's market salad with eggplant vinaigrette

As many people are want to do weekly, we headed to the Farmer's Market on Sunday. It is amazing how Farmer's Markets have changed over the past few decades - completely aside from the fact that there are so many more than there used to be.

They have grown not only in numbers but in scope as well. I remember them being small events consisting of produce vendors, the occasional jewelry stand and a few scout groups selling their ware. Nowadays, it is full of organic produce, music, flowers, artisan foods of jams, cookies, tamales, baskets, pottery - you name it, chances are, whether it be food related or not, you'll find them at your nearest market. Here is a great site for locating a Farmer's Market: Local Harvest.

I could do without the animal body parts, which are also quite common these days, but overall, I'm very happy with how far things have come and am looking forward to seeing more support for the markets and, hence, even more progress.

In addition to going to the market for fresh produce, I also go for inspiration. You'll never know what special herb, or common one for that matter, will be the trigger for your next dish. For me, it was grape tomatoes and garlic chives.

Since I also subscribe to our local CSA box, I had an eggplant hanging around that needed to be cooked. That's when things really took off.

I cooked the whole eggplant in a skillet until tender - reminiscent of Baba Ghanoush, where the eggplant is roasted whole, thereby imparting a smoky flavor. I chopped the cauliflower into pieces about the size of rice and sauteed it with garlic, I sauteed the green beans and tomatoes with lemon juice and, finally, I made the eggplant into a vinaigrette.

Sounds like a mouthful, but everything balanced out beautifully and it was a perfect, post-Farmer's Market meal. As a bonus, the remaining vinaigrette (which only contains a few tablespoons of oil) serves as a wonderful dip for raw veggies.

The best thing about this salad was that most of the ingredients went from ground to plate in twenty-four hours - almost as good as having my very own garden in the backyard.

Farmer's Market Salad with Eggplant Vinaigrette
Serves 4

1 tablespoon neutral oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound
1 medium cauliflower, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, halved, plus 2 teaspoons minced, divided
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, divided
¼ cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
6 cups fresh spinach

1. Coat the eggplant with the oil. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the whole eggplant and cover the skillet with a stainless steel bowl. This will create smoke; use a kitchen fan to keep the air clean. Turn the eggplant a quarter turn when the bottom is charred. Turn as needed until the eggplant is tender. Cool the eggplant and peel. Set aside.
2. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until the size of grains of rice. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, the halved garlic cloves, season with salt and black pepper, and stir and cook until golden, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
3. Toss the green beans, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil, minced garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the green beans until charred and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Set aside. Add the tomatoes to the grill pan and cook only until lightly charred, about 1 minutes. Set aside.
4. Add the peeled eggplant, vegetable broth, olive oil, tahini, chipotle, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and any garlic you can pick out of the cauliflower saute to a personal blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper and stir in the chives.
5. Toss the spinach with about ¼ cup  of the vinaigrette and serve with the cauliflower, green beans and tomatoes.
© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan FridaysWhat I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. 



Nov 10, 2012

sweet and sour thai tofu

Below is a Sweet and Sour Thai Tofu. Thai food is explosive and fiery, while being warming and comforting. I wanted to make a Thai version of the Chinese Sweet and Sour whatever, using Thai ingredients. 

I marinated the tofu in Red Curry Paste, which can be store-bought or easily homemade. While you could deep fry the tofu to achieve a crispy surface texture, I just stir fried it. I also stir-fried some red peppers and pre-steamed green beans and carrots to add some color. The sauce adds the sweet and sour elements: sweet comes from sugar and the sour is from tamarind paste. 

I used a lot of red curry paste, so this dish sang on the tongue for a while after dinner, but that is part of the allure of Thai food for me. You, of course, can be more moderate with the heat. Are you, too, a fan of Thai food?

Cost Breakdown

tofu: $4
green beans, carrots, onions, garlic, pepper: $4.50
red curry and sauce: $1.50
rice: $1
Total for 6 servings:

Jan 3, 2012


When Tami, over at Vegan Appetite and author of American Vegan Kitchen, posted a contest for PaPa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, I knew there was no way I was going to wait to just lose in the contest, so I hurried over to Kittee's blog to grab her zine. Besides, I knew I was going to have to have it, so I didn't want to take the chance away from someone else.

I love, love, love Ethiopian food and the complete lack of a vegan cookbook on the topic was depressing. Until this little zine came along.

She covers how to throw your own Ethiopia food party and gives you all the essential recipes to start cooking your Badookie off. 

She has a gluten-free injera, (flat-bread), recipe, the niter kibbeh, (flavorful cooking fat), recipe and a berbere paste recipe. It's all here to get you started. 

I made the injera, niter kibbeh (you can't skip it), dinich siquar allecha (sweet potatoes), ye'miser w'et (red lentils in spicy stew), and ye'takelt w'et (mixed vegetables in spicy stew). It was all amazing! The two w'ets used the same red spicy gravy, but they were still distinct enough that they were able to stand on their own. 

All vegan, all Ethiopian and all gluten-free. And leftovers? Just as amazing. But, like Kittee says, don't even entertain for a second to have it with rice. Although I've erred in the past regarding this, I now concur.

Dinich Siquar Allecha (Sweet Potatoes)

Ye'Takelt W'et (Mixed Veg in Spicy Gravy)

Ye'miser W'et (Red Lentils in Spicy Gravy) with Selata (Salad)

Dec 23, 2011

noodle curry

I'm not exactly sure what my son was thinking when we were making the menu. He said he'd like to see Noodle Curry on the menu. I don't think I've ever made it and I didn't know exactly what he wanted, but I wrote it down and decided I 'd come up with something when the time came. 

This is what I ended up making:

 I baked some tofu (after a 30 minute press) in tamari and oil - pretty simple, nothing extravagant. Since I was firing up the oven, I also tossed some kabocha squash with a little oil and baked that as well. I used rice noodles and cooked an assortment of vegetables I had on hand. In fact, most of the veggies were frozen from a stir-fry mix - broccoli, chestnuts, green beans. I also added fresh celery and bell pepper. 

For the curry part, I made a sauce using red curry paste (there are also commercial brands that are vegan), tamarind (for the tartness - use lemon juice as an alternative), and coconut milk. I tossed all the ingredients - tofu, vegetables, noodles, sauce and squash - together and cooked them for a few minutes at the end to meld the flavors. If you skip the squash add a little more sugar to the sauce since the squash added a delicious sweetness. This is a fantastic way to use winter squash.

This was delicious and not all that complicated to make. A few steps: (1) Baking the tofu and squash. (2) Soaking the noodles. (3) Cooking the vegetables and (4) making the sauce. That's about it. And worth it. The pot of food disappeared in no time.

Cost Breakdown

noodles: $1
coconut milk: $1
vegetables and fruits: $5
curry and tamarind: $.50
tofu and spices: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Oct 15, 2011

cracker barrel (MoFo 28)

The ol' country store. While driving on any highway, you cannot drive more than 30 miles without one of these crossing your billboard radar - they are everywhere! Cracker Barrel has only (and I mean that in comparison to the other mega-stores like McDonald's) 600 some-odd stores to its name, but they are ubiquitous on the road.

The original concept was created to pull people off the road to buy, not food or country junk, but gasoline. Dan Evans thought folks would pull over to eat and shop and, before heading back on the trails, fill up. Good call; that's just what they did. Nowadays there are no more gas stations in front of Cracker Barrel, but there are plenty of rocking chairs!

The Southern-comfort food of the Barrel is pretty off-putting to their vegetarian (do they have any?) clients since most everything has some part of an animal cooked in it. When I worked there about 16 years ago, the apples were the only thing (I think) that was clear to eat, but then perhaps even that had lard. Hard to tell. You know how the mind blocks out unhappy memories.

Hashbrown Casserole was a super popular menu item and their Chicken Casserole was also way up there. The Hashbrown Casserole is country hashbrowns with loads of cheese. The Chicken Casserole has cream of chicken soup with chicken and is topped with crumbled cornbread. I made a baked chicken-style tofu for this dish.

There is something highly annoying about a restaurant where even their vegetables have meat in it. The Barrel's Country Green Beans are cooked with bacon. Great. Grrr. 

I distinctly remember the Barrel making their green beans in the southern-style.. cooked until almost grey in color. To get this dish to be as close to the original as possible, I used frozen green beans (you can be more authentic and use canned green beans or more healthful and use fresh green beans. Oh! the choices.). Surprisingly good. Don't ask me why or how. Cook up a batch and try them. They make a great accompaniment to the Chicken Casserole.

Country Green Beans and Hashbrown Casserole

Chicken-y Setian Casserole


May 13, 2011

FNF - pretzel-fried steak

Food Network Friday!

This month's veganized version for Food Network Friday, brought to you by Tami Noyes, is Aarti Sequeria's Pretzel-Fried Steak. She is the latest Food Network Star who is introducing Indian meals to Food Network's fans, but with a twist. This recipe, however, is not so unusual - it just sounds that way. The only real Indian aspect is the fenugreek in the flour mixture and the mango-chutney gravy. The pretzel is unusual, but not in an Indian way. 

This is a country-fried steak, using ground pretzels as the coating instead of flour. Although I didn't find that the coating made too much difference in the crunch department, it was unique and the family loved it. Of course, the family loves it when I deep fry anything, be it kale or seitan.

Aarti calls for eggs in her recipe. I used to freak out about the coating adhering to the seitan or tofu during frying, but since last year, I have had the honor of frying a bunch of stuff - in fact, more so than I had in all my life total - and I can say with certainty that it is as easy as coating the ingredient in a non-dairy milk, sans eggs. 

In other words: flour, nondairy milk, coating. Simple. No need for anything complicated like flax meal (although it wouldn't hurt health wise!) or fresh cashew milk (as I previously claimed). Coat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Fry. Eat.

The gravy was good, but I was really craving the cream gravy.

I couldn't get away by not making mashed potatoes, but I did wind up making Aarti's side dish of Greens n' Beans, which is a recipe of greens coated with a cilantro pesto. I changed things up a bit by using parsley instead cilantro and substituting Brussels sprouts, green beans and oyster mushrooms for the kale and beans. So, almost everything got swapped.

As for the beef, I used a pressed tofu and a seitan recipe I am experimenting with. I did keep the whole experience gluten free, which is why I also made the tofu. Gluten Free pretzels can taste like twigs or like pretzels. After eating our way through Whole Foods' snack section, the family chose Glutino. This is a delicious, albeit expensive, brand.

Food Network Friday is open to anyone who would like to join in the fun, so get over to Tami's site and get cooking!

Cost Breakdown

seitan, tofu: $5
flour (GF), pretzel (GF), soy milk: $3
spices, seasonings: $1
potatoes: $3
chutney, onion, stock: $2
Brussels sprouts, mushroom, green beans: $7
parsley, almonds, oil: $3
Total to make 6 servings:


Apr 7, 2011

sweet and sour soup

Asian Night

Kate requested Hot and Sour Soup, but I wanted a spin on the stand-by favorite. I guess we were playing with words, but during menu making, someone must have said 'sweet and sour' instead of 'hot and sour.' Thinking, why not?, I made a 'Sweet and Sour Soup.' All the elements that make a great Hot and Sour Soup are in this dish, and so is the sweetness that makes a Sweet and Sour dish unique.

Instead of using vinegar to sour it, I used lime juice and tamarind. If you've ever had one of those big jars of tamarind in your fridge, I'm sure you have wondered what else besides Indian it can be used for. And although a little extra sugar at the end is fine in case the sweetness is not enough, I used crushed pineapples for the bulk of the sugar.

As for the heat, I used one Thai chili, just sliced in half not all the way through the stem, but not much else. My family, especially the kids, aren't as into spicy as I am. You may add as many Thai peppers as you like, however.

I used a well-pressed tofu (Tofu Xpress) so it doesn't fall to mush during cooking, mushrooms, broccolette, diced green beans and scallions.

Cost Breakdown

onion, garlic, lemongrass: $.75
mushroom, broccolletes: $3
tofu: $2
tamarind, tamari, lime: $.50
green beans, chili: $1
crushed pineapple: $1
Total to make 5 servings:

Mar 22, 2011

south american curry

It was Asian Night.

While I wanted to make curry, a few of the other family members wanted something a little different. Which is why I decided to fuse South America and Asia. A while ago I made Aji Paste from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero and froze what I didn't use for the recipe. It was time to utilize it. A good Thai curry is based on a chili paste so it wasn't too much of a stretch to use the aji paste instead and incorporate other Latin flavors. 

In addition to the paste, I used cumin, oregano, garlic, lime juice, cauliflower, mushroom, bell peppers, green beans, cilantro and pressed tofu. Pressing the tofu properly (such as with a Tofu Xpress) will keep the tofu from falling apart in the broth during cooking. Another bonus using this machine. 

Although I used coconut milk, I kept it down to 1 can of lite milk and used vegetable broth to make up the difference. Since this would make for a very thin broth with no body, I added an arrowroot (or cornstarch) slurry to thicken it up to the consistency of coconut milk. This did not distract from the flavor and made it possible to cut down on the coconut milk.

I love lots of vegetables in curries and using the Latin flavors made it a little different.  A very satisfying meal with a twist.

Cost Breakdown

aji paste: $.50
onion, garlic, spices, herbs: $1
cauliflower, green beans, red pepper: $5
mushrooms, tofu: $3
coconut milk: $2
lime, sugar, veg stock: $1
Total to make 6 servings:

Dec 5, 2010


The holidays can either be wonderful or a setback. When first having gone veg, this is probably one of the more difficult times since the gatherings with families can place strain on the new diet. Your little Tofurkey looks more like an afterthought than a centerpiece, and a turkey or ham can dominate the table.

That is, unless you actually have a contending centerpiece.

The dish that this Holiday Seitan Roast is in is a normal-sized casserole dish - 9X13. This is not a small roast. It has a beautiful glaze and you can see the texture is moist and lovely. We enjoyed this roast on Thanksgiving, but it is an appropriate addition to any holiday table. It is made using a variation of Tofu-Seitan (which I will be posting) and requires the same amount of cooking time as a turkey would, although it needs no brine.

The Truffle Green Bean Casserole is an upscale version of a regular green bean casserole, but I couldn't stand another holiday with the same old green beans. This is one of those dishes that the holidays would not be the same without, yet needed a revamping. I made it with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil.

Lastly, is the Yule Log Cake. This is made with the same cake batter that I made for Olive Garden's Tiramisu, but baked the batter in a sheet pan and rolled it around a cocoa-cream cheese filling. The frosting is a chocolate ganache. This is tricky to roll and fill, but I love its looks.

The holiday recipes are coming; I am also trying to catch up with the MoFo recipes, so stay tuned.


Holiday Roast

Truffle Green Bean Casserole

Yule Log Cake

RECIPE UPDATE FOR HOLIDAY ROAST : this dish has been tested and revised is featured in the cookbook "Everyday Vegan Eats," by Zsu Dever. 

Oct 19, 2010

italian rice casserole

Italian Night

Having to come home pretty late, I needed to plan something that would be easy and pretty hands-off. I cooked an Italian rice casserole full of vegetables: onion, garlic, pepper, spinach, olives, chickpeas and green beans.

After all the vegetables were chopped and the garlic, onion, chickpeas and peppers were sauteed, there was nothing to do but add the rice, the rest of the vegetables and stock. I baked it for 40 minutes and dinner was on the table without a whole bunch of hassle. The taste was pretty nice, too, so this was a success as far as I was concerned.

Cost Breakdown;
rice: $1
green beans, spinach: $3
olives, onion, garlic: $1
peppers: $2
chickpeas: $2
Total to feed a family of 8: