Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Szechuan Tofu Stir-Fry

This stir-fry is amazing. It is full of flavor and fairly spicy.  You can tone down the heat by leaving out the red pepper flakes. These simple ingredients are elevated with this tasty sauce. Serve with a spring roll for a filling meal.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch-piece ginger-root, grated
  • 1/2  cup coconut sugar, (substitute brown sugar or regular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (1-lb.) block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon corn-starch
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus,  sliced into 1" lengths
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diagonally sliced very thinly
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup toasted unsalted cashews
  • Sea salt
  • Chopped scallions, to garnish
  • Steamed rice, to serve

In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. 

Remove from the heat and add sugar, water, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce takes on a syrup-like consistency. Set aside and keep warm. 

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a wok or heavy-based skillet. Mix the cubed tofu with the cornstarch and toss well, but be careful not to break up the tofu.  Cook the tofu until golden brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the pan and keep warm.

Stir-fry the asparagus until it is almost tender-crisp.

Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Now add the spinach and stir-fry until just wilted. 

Return the tofu to the pan, add the cashews, and stir to mix. 

Pour the sweet and spicy sauce over the pan. Stir well.

Serve immediately on a bed of rice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Datil Pepper BBQ Sauce

My datil pepper really has me working overtime. They are so hot it only takes about 8-12 to make anything hotter than hell. I've been making Mango Datil Jam, Raspberry Datil Jam, Datil Pepper Salsa, Datil Pepper Sauce and today we have Datil BBQ Sauce. This is thinner than the stuff you buy in the grocery store. I'm thinking it will be good to cook down and thicken up or to brush it on grilled things right before you take them off the grill. I've already had to freeze about 80 pepper because I just didn't have time to mess with them and the plant is ready to be picked AGAIN! If you like hot, you'll like anything with Datil peppers in it!!!!! We love this stuff.
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup tropical 100% juice
  • 1 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Vegan)
  • 4 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional, but bumps up smokiness!)
  • 11 datil peppers (seeds and all)

In a blender add all of the ingredients.

Blend until peppers are pulverized.

Pour this into a sauce pan (be careful don't breathe the fumes) and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour into jars and seal.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins

I have a lot of blueberries in the freezer from this season. I am also trying to use up a lot of the stuff in my freezer since it IS hurricane season. We love blueberries and these muffins (I made in regular sized muffin tins) could be made in mini-muffin tins or mini bundt tins. These beauties are great for breakfast, snacks or treats.
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 2 flax-eggs (1 flax egg = 1T flax seed meal mixed with 3 T warm water)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream together the Earth Balance and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and almost white in color.

Add the lemon zest and cream a little longer. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Add the flax eggs, beating well. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.

Add the yogurt and the flour mixture, alternating, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, in 2 and 3 additions respectively. Mix on low speed to incorporate after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease your pan. Scoop the batter into the prepared pans, dividing the batter evenly.

Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes (check at 15). Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thai Basil Chic'n Stir-Fry

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and made it vegan, and subbed out a couple of ingredients for what I had in the frig. It was amazing!!! I served it over whole wheat coucsous with roasted garlic and olive oil. Definitely a make-again. I hope you enjoy it!

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 package Gardein meatless chick'n strips, slightly thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced red bell pepper (I used 6 baby sweet red peppers)
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly vertically sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 

Combine hoisin, sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and Bragg's in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves.

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic and jalapeno chile; stir-fry 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove and set aside.

Add chick'n strips; stir-fry 4-6 minutes, until browned.

Add bell pepper and sliced onion; stir-fry 2 minutes.

Add the jalapeno/garlic mixture and the hoisin mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds or until slightly thickened.

Stir in basil and juice.

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Vegetable Coconut Curry

I love curries; Jack, not so much. I had all the ingredients to make this curry I found on the internet with a few omits and subs. It was very flavorful and I like the idea that you can use the veggies you have on hand and/or the ones you like. I served this over brown rice for a complete meal.
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, (adjust for the size you have)
  • 2 small russet potatoes, (adjust for the size you have)
  • 1 large stem broccoli, (stems sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup green (English) peas
  • *** I added about 8 ounces of thawed Tempeh Chunks during the last 15 minutes of cooking time!

Peel and chop the all of the potatoes. Fill a large pan with water, bring it to a boil and cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes.

While they cook finely slice the onion, garlic and zucchini. De-seed the jalapeno and slice. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno to a large skillet/pan with the coconut oil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring to avoid browning.

Add the zucchini and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add the cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, chili powder and vegetable stock to the onion mixture. Stir well. Add the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk.

Add the broccoli to the boiling potatoes and cook few a few minutes.

Drain the potatoes/broccoli mixture and add to the vegetables in the skillet/pan.

Reduce the curry to a low-medium heat and cook about 15 minutes until it's thick and the flavors marry. During the last 5 minutes of this cooking time add the peas.

Stir well, give one final taste to see if it needs any salt or extra seasoning.
Serve over rice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Zucchini, Squash and Corn Casserole

This is one of those amazing, comfort food dishes. While squash and corn are so plentiful you really need to make this. I didn't have fresh corn or I would have used that, but frozen works great. This makes a large casserole that would be great for a potluck or dinner with guests. Leftovers reheat well.
  • 3 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, divided
  • 2 cups diced sweet onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
  • 1 package Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1/2 cup Toffuti (vegan) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Just Mayo
  • 2 large flax eggs, (1 T flaxseed meal + 3 T warm water = 1 egg, mix these together and stir well, let sit about 5 minutes)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs, divided (I make my own and keep it in the freezer)
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast , divided
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes.

In a large bowl stir together squashes, onion mixture, corn, next 6 ingredients, and 1/3 cup each breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast just until blended.

Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Melt remaining 2 Earth Balance. Stir in remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup nutritioanl yeast. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

I served this with Gardein Chipotle Lime Crispy Finger - drenched in Frank's hot sauce.