Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Finally, my last Thanksgiving 2012 recipe: chocolate pumpkin pie. This was actually a big hit with all the non-vegans on Thanksgiving too. It’s got more protein from the tofu. Plus it has less fat and no cholesterol.

And once again, I forgot to take a picture of the whole pie. I remembered half way through eating my piece. When I went back to take some, it was already half gone.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
1 16 oz can of pumpkin
1/2 block of silken tofu, drained
2 tbs of coco powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup of soy milk
2 tbs of maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 graham cracker crust (store bought or homemade is fine)

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.

Pour into the graham cracker crust.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the center is firm.

Top with some vegan whip cream or my favorite, coconut cream.

Stuffed Pumpkin

source

This dish was fantastic and so adorable…too bad I forgot to take any pictures of it! I can at least post the recipe so you can make your own adorable little stuffed pumpkin.  I took this to my second Thanksgiving on Friday since we had to travel two hours. I just heated it up when I arrived.

Stuffed Pumpkin
1 small pumpkin (Mine had about an 6 inch radius)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 cups cornbread stuffing (I used a box mix, but you can make your own as well)
1/2 of a block of extra firm tofu, drained and dried well and cut into small cubes
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 of a small onion, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the stem off the top of the pumpkin and hollow out the inside (detailed instructions on my pumpkin craving post, just minus the actual craving part).

Coat the inside of the pumpkin with some olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine the stuffing, tofu cubes, chopped celery and chopped onions.

Stuff the pumpkin with the stuffing mixture. Make sure to leave a little room at the top. Cover the stem with foil and place back on top.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours. The pumpkin should be tender enough that a fork can easily pierce through it.

Now remove the stem, and cut into slices. You eat both the filling and pumpkin flesh. Goes lovely with some gravy.

Next time I promise to remember the pictures…

Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast

I originally wanted a Tofurky Roast, but I did not find find any at Trader Joe’s. I did not feel like going to another store so I just settled for Trader Joe’s brand. While I still like Tofurky better, this roast was fantastic. It comes with its own gravy too. I served it over roasted veggies. Only a few people tried it for dinner, but those who did said it was good too. This would be a great options for those transitioning to vegetarian or veganism.

Before the oven, I accidentally forgot to take photos of it cooked…opps!

This recipe will work with any other alternative roast, just adjust the temperate and bake time as needed.

Turkey-less Roast
Olive oil
4 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 large carrots, cut into 1 inches pieces
4 large parsnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
Handful of brussels sprouts, cut in half
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
1 tbs herb de provence
Salt and Pepper
1 Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast
1 cup vegetable broth, divided in half

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Coat the bottom of a roast pan with olive oil.

Prep and chop all the veggies accordingly.

Add the veggies to the pan, plus the herb de provence and the salt and pepper. Mix together to coat everything in olive oil.

Remove the roast from the packaging and place on top the veggies.

Pour half the vegetable broth over the roast.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the veggies are thoroughly roasted and roast is heated through.

Heat up the gravy packet that comes with the roast, pour it on, and enjoy a healthy and meat-free meal!

Curry Ramen

Holy cow, I am 25 years old today! It feels like just yesterday I posted my recipe for the cupcakes I made for my birthday last year. I also can’t believe how much has changed in just a year! I graduated, moved to California, and am dating an amazing man who I am planning a happy life with. I am so grateful to finally have my (almost) adult life. Michael’s birthday was last Sunday, and since our birthdays are only five days apart, we had a joint party last Saturday. My past five birthdays have either been gone horrible wrong (try getting chased down the streets of Melbourne drunk by a British guy dressed as a ninja while you are wearing an alien costume) or just me. So it was very nice to celebrate with friends for once.

Thank you Mrs. Reddy for the lovely cake! 
So, for my birthday I decided to post a recipe for one of my favorite lazy weekend lunches: Curry Ramen. It’s a more adult version of the classic college staple. I have talked about how to jazz up your basic package of ramen before, but this is kicking it up several notches. It combines the goodness of a big bowl of noodles, the creaminess of curry broth, and you even get some nutrition from the vegetables. 
This recipe makes 2 servings but can easily be multiplied. 
Curry Ramen
4 cups water
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tps of ginger, minced
2 packages of Oriental flavored ramen (make sure you get one that has no meat flavorings)
1/2 tbs curry powder
1/4 tbs cumin
1/4 tbs turmeric
1 cup frozen vegetables (I use peas, carrots and corn)
1 can coconut milk
1/2  block of extra firm tofu, drained and chopped into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, to taste
Mince the garlic and ginger.
In a large pot, add the water and the minced garlic and ginger. 
Cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the flavor packet from the ramen noodle package and add to the pot.
Add the curry powder, cumin, and turmeric.
Add the frozen veggies. Cook for a few minutes until no longer frozen. 
Add the noodles. Cook as long as the directions on the package indicate. 
Turn off the heat and add the coconut milk and tofu. Stir to combine. 
Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Divide into two bowls and garnish with cilantro. 
Now enjoy your grown-up ramen—even if you are laying around in your pajamas watching TV like  a little kid I plan to do this weekend.

Spinach Tofu Quiche

I am so sorry I have not posted in awhile. Life got busy all the sudden. But let me update you! I am doing much better after my car accident. My back is sprained and my neck is still stiff, but I am up and about so it’s okay. I also got a new kitty, kind of a long story so I will spare you. Her name is Zoey and she is a stray who is still in the process of being tamed. She and Penny are getting along like sisters now. Love my little ohana 🙂  And, I also have a boyfriend now! Which brings me to my recipe for this post….

Zoey ‘Uala

Michael, my boyfriend, has been really sweet and helping me figure out what is wrong with the power steering on my car so I thought I’d make him something nice. He is a meat eater, but what guy would turned down any home-cooked meal from a girl? I was bored in class so I was searching recipes on VegWeb and came across The Best Spinach Quiche Ever, and thought it sounded amazing. And, like I said, I figured Michael would eat it anyways. I did some variations from the recipe, mainly using red pepper instead of zucchini and added some turmeric. I used silken tofu because I think it has a more egg-like texture, but it didn’t quite set-up right like extra firm tofu would have. It made it harder to take out of the pan while hot, but overall no big deal. It was delicious, had the nice fluffy egg texture, and Michael enjoyed it too.

Spinach Tofu Quiche
Olive oil
1 pie crust (I used a pre-made Pilsbury one)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 of an onion
1 carton of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups fresh spinach
crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 and 1/2 block silken tofu
Turmeric

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Roll out the pie crust into the pan,  here is a video if you don’t know how to do so.

Chop the bell pepper, onion, and any really big mushroom slices into bite size pieces.

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the veggies and saute until the begin to caramelize.

Pour the wine in to deglaze the pan. Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove from the heat.

In another skillet, heat more olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat.

In a blender, add the tofu and the spinach mixture and blend together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, add the tofu mixture and the red pepper mixture. Mix together well.

Now pour the the filling into the pie crust and smooth out the top.

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. The center will be a little jiggly but firms as it cools.

Michael’s only complaint was it needed more salt, which as I’ve mentioned before I am a salt queen so I held back on the salt while making it so he would not be overwhelmed.

But I loved it, so making this again sometime.

I promise I will post blog more regularly again now that my life is back together!

Fresh Rolls

Merry Christmas! I hope you all were very nice this year :-)

For my holidays and special events, my family loves to go to this Thai restaurant in Beaverton, Oregon called Typhoon. I decided to keep the Thai food tradition alive this year and planned on making fresh rolls and pad thai for Christmas Eve. But, working till 11:15 PM the night before and opening at 6:45 AM on Christmas Eve, plus having to come home and clean my whole apartment on top of cooking…. yeah, didn’t work out. I invited a friend from work over for dinner and after making the fresh rolls decided that was all the cooking I could do for one night. But they came out pretty good. I based this recipe off one from Alton Brown on his show Good Eats. Here’s the video of his version (skip ahead to 5:00):

I forgot to cut the noodles before cooking like he did, but I didn’t notice a real difference. I also cooked my noodle a bit too long so they were softer than I would have liked, but no big deal. Also, I obviously did not use shrimp, but tofu instead. Overall, I really liked this. Next time I will try wrapping them in lettuce like he did.

This makes 8 decent sized rolls.

Fresh Rolls
8 rice paper wrappers
1/4 of a block of extra firm tofu, drained and chopped into bit sized cubes
2 tbs soy sauce
The juice of half a lime
1 tps chili sauce
3 bundles of vermicelli mung bean noodles
1/4 cup of cucumbers, sliced into strips like Alton does in the video (I forgot these actually but I could tell how they would have rounded out the flavor)
1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips
Bean Sprouts
Cilantro, removed from stem
Thai basil, removed from stem (I forgot this too but once again, I see how it would have made the rolls even better)

Drain and cube the tofu.

Put it to a large bowl and add the soy sauce, lime juice, and chili paste. Mix together well and set aside.

Soak the noodles in water for 15 minutes. You can cut the noodles first like Alton did in the video but I didn’t.

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Once the water boils, cook according to the directions on the package.

Once cooked, drain and let them cool. Then add to the tofu mixture and coat well with the sauce.

Cut the cucumber and carrots into thin strip. Remove the cilantro and basil from the stems.

Now time to assemble, I didn’t take many photos during assembly because it was hard to rolls and shoot at the same time.

First soak the rice paper wrap in warm water for 10 seconds.

Remove and drain from the water, then lay on flat surface.

Along the bottom edge of the side closest too you, put down about 2 tablespoons of the noodle and tofu mixture. Make sure to leave a little bit of the edge free.

Next add put on a few cucumber and carrots sticks.

Now add a few bean spouts.

Lastly put on some cilantro and basil.

Now, like Alton says in the video, roll it up like a burrito. Start by rolling the top around first, then bring the sides in and then continue to roll over until closed.

Set a on a tray and cover with a damp cloth while you prepare the rest of the rolls.

I made a dipping sauce of soy sauce, lime juice, and chili sauce. And we had them with some sparkling wine.  A very lovely and light dish. I have more wrappers so I will making this again soon.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  I hope you had a lovely and festive day surrounded by those you love. And I hope santa brought you everything you asked for!

P.S. Speaking of Santa, I got a juicer so look out for some juice recipes soon.

My juicer with Penny fascinated by the bubbles in the wine.

Tofu Scramble

One of the best breakfast for a vegan is a tofu scramble. It’s like scramble eggs and omelette combined, but no hens had to suffer through horrid conditions to produce the main ingredient. What I love the most about a tofu scramble is that you get yummy veggies for breakfast. This is basic way to prepare a tofu scramble, but you can throw in anything you like. Try some tofurky sausage, spinach, carrots, zucchini—whatever you like! What gives the tofu the egg-like color is turmeric. Everyone should eat turmeric. It’s believed to prevent tumors, several types of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and has been used as an anti-funal for centuries. Plus, it has a lovely mild flavor and makes everything that lovely shade of yellow.

This makes one serving (if your kitty doesn’t decide to eat half your peppers when you aren’t looking), but can be easily multiplied.

Tofu Scramble
1/4 cup of onion, chopped
1/4 of a block of extra firm tofu, drained and chopped
1 clove of garlic
Red pepper flakes
1/2 a green pepper, chopped
1/2 a red pepper, chopped
1 small cob of corn, kernels removed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin

Heat some butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften.

Add the tofu, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the tofu begins to lightly brown.

Add the peppers and cook until they start to soften.

Add the corn kernels ten season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the turmeric and cumin.

Cook until the tofu starts to really brown and the veggies are soften enough to your liking.

I topped mine with some homemade pesto and sliced tomato. I hope you love this protein-packed breakfast as much as I do!

Udon Noodle Attempt

Awhile ago a posted a blog for sushi with a video link to a YouTube channel called Cooking With Dog. It’s weird that she cooks with a cute little dog, but she makes some interesting Japanese dishes. Most aren’t vegan and some are kinda complicated. But I was surprised to see that udon noodles were vegan and fairly simple.

I didn’t use the special kind of flour the video calls for and I only had a tiny big of starch so my noodles were not as soft as they should have been. Plus, I am not familiar with Japanese cooking techniques so they are no where near as pretty the dog lady’s noodles. That being said, they did taste like udon noodles and had the right outer texture. I was very happy with my first attempt.

Since I followed the video pretty closely, it would be silly re-type everything. So watch the video and look at the lovely photo sequence of my attempt.

As a good food blogger, I will actually post an original recipe too. This is a simple stir-fry I make often, just made it up one day with the random things I had in the fridge. It was a lovely accompaniment for the udon noodles.

Spinach and Tofu Stir-Fry
1/4 cup frozen or 1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic
1/4 of a block of firm tofu
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tps sesame seeds
1 tps red chili sauce

Heat some water or veggie broth in a skillet over medium heat.

Add spinach, onions, garlic, and tofu. Cook until the spinach is done (defrosted for frozen or wilted for fresh), and the tofu is heated through and lost most of its moisture.

Add the soy sauce and sesame seeds, cook for a minute or two more.

Remove from the heat and garnish with the chili sauce. Serve it over the udon noodles or whatever else you like.

Tofu Parmesan

So, I know I called this dish tofu parmesan, but there is no parmesan in it. But, to be fair the mozzarella is the best part of chicken or eggplant parm so I think my title is still fairly accurate.  I love eggplant parm. I thought about it the other day, which is where I got my inspiration for this dish. I guess someone could argue this is more like Italian-style baked tofu but whatever. You can add some vegan parm into the batter, I just didn’t have any on hand. It’s delicious either way.

Tofu Parmesan 
1 block tofu
2 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup+2tbs flour, (I used rice, but any kind is fine)
1/4 tbs Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup soy milk, unflavored
2 tbs Ener-G Egg Replacer + 1 tbs water, mixed
1/4 vegan mozzarella (Try Dayia)
1/2 tbs soy sauce
1 tps garlic salt
Pinch of pepper

Drain the tofu.

Place several sheets of paper towels on a flat, clean surface. Put the tofu on the paper towels, then place some more paper towels on top. Now get something heavy (I use my science textbooks, my mom uses stone bookends) and place it on top. This will squeeze out all the liquid so it will get a denser texture when cooked. Leave this for at least an hour, but the longer the better.

Next, place the tofu in a freezable container and freeze over night.

The next morning, place it on the counter to thaw.

 

Once fairly thawed, sliced in half lengthwise so it’s like 1/4 inch thick steak. Since I am only cooking for me, I put one half back in the fridge for another day. Pour the 2tbs of soy sauce over both sides and let it marinade for at least a half an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix together all the remaining ingredients, it should be slightly thick.

 

Dip the tofu steak in the cheese batter, coating well on both sides.

Place on the baking sheet and put it in the oven.

I forgot to set a timer so I don’t know exactly how long it took to cook. But something around 20 minutes I guess. Check yours after 15 just to be safe. It will be all golden and crispy when ready.

I had some basil-tomato sauce I made last week that needed to be eaten so I slathered my tofu with it. I loved the crispy and cheesy crust.

If you want to make this more chicken parm like, top it with the sauce and more cheese and bake for a few minutes longer. If you want to make this a full meal, pair it with some pasta and nice green salad.

Pineapple Fried Rice

What could be more Hawaiian than pineapple? To learn about the history of pineapple in Hawaii, visit the Dole website, they explain it better than I can. FYI,  the maze at the plantation on Oahu is hard.

Pineapple is very sweet and juicy. I have to admit that I don’t like them on their own, too sweet for my taste. But I love them for cooking and baking because they pretty much eliminate the need for any additional sweeteners.

They have been used as an anti-inflammatory since ancient times and have lot of vitamin C. They are also a great source of manganese and thiamin. It also has an enzyme that aids digestion so it is good after a heavy meal.

However, this fried rice dish isn’t heavy at all. It is a nice balance between sweet and savory. I used canned pineapples because I hate peeling and coring whole ones. When buying canned fruit, make sure it is stored in 100% juice, not syrup. No one needs extra sugar water. I also used edamame (whole soy beans) instead of peas because it gives it more texture.


Pineapple Fried Rice
2 cups cooked brown rice
Sesame oil
1/2 block of firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 inch of fresh ginger
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup edamame, shelled
1/2 cup pineapple, canned or fresh
4 tbs soy sauce
2 tps rice wine vinegar
1 tps red pepper flakes
Green onion, chopped, for garnish

Everyone has their own technique for making rice, so make it the way you like and set aside to cool. It will “fry” easier when cooled.

Finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Next chop the tofu, carrots, and pineapple into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the sesame oil. Add the tofu and cook until the outside is slightly golden. Then remove from the skillet.

If needed, add a bit more oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onions are slightly golden.

Next add the carrots, cook until tender.

Add the rice, cooked tofu, edamame, and pineapple. Mix together well.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Add to the skillet and mix in well.

Press into a flat layer and let it cook for a few minutes. Break it up, press it flat again, and cook for another few minutes. Repeat until it reaches desired level of “fried.”

Sprinkle with the green onion before serving and enjoy a sweet taste of Hawaii!