Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Resolutions (Not Really)

Like many others, I start off the new year with the usual array of "get healthy," "lose weight," "exercise more" resolutions. After watching "Forks Over Knives," and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead," along with a heaping helping of "Food, Inc.," (all available streaming on Netflix for the time being) I decided to launch myself back onto the vegan wagon.

Over the past few days, I have made some of my old favorites, from Steel-Cut Oats with Cranberries and Almonds and Scrambled Tofu for breakfast, to Red Lentil and Quinoa Stew for lunch, but I am always on the lookout for new ideas, especially things that I can make from scratch, because the manufactured protein sources can be expensive.

I got a good recipe for seitan from a friend of mine, and made up a batch last night.


I sauteed a few slices quickly in olive oil and added a touch of Szechwan stir-fry sauce with green beans for a quick dinner.

Tonight I am going to try Vegan YumYum's recipe for Seitan and Broccolini with Clementine Teriyaki, though with a few changes based on what I have on  hand.

Here's the seitan recipe I used:

Baked Seitan


  • 1/2 c. cooked white beans - I used great northern beans, but cannellini should work fine
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce - I used Braggs liquid aminos
  • 1 1/4 cups stock - I used Better Than Boullion's No-Beef Base to make a fake beef stock
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)- you can omit this depending on how salty your broth is. I omitted it.
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion and porcini mushroom powder (optional) - I made it by grinding up dried porcini mushrooms with a bit of dried minced onion in a coffee grinder


  1. Mix the cooked beans and soy/Braggs in a food processor or blender and then pour in as much broth as needed until everything is all nice and liquidy. Then add the rest of the broth and mix well.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and then make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients, stirring until everything is well combined.
  3. Turn the mass out onto a board and knead for a few minutes. 
  4. Shape into a loaf and then warp in well-oiled foil (I just blasted it with cooking spray). Then wrap it in another layer of foil. Place in a roasting dish, pour in water to a depth of 1 inch and bake for 1-1/2 hours at 350F or until the packet is firm when you poke it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Coconut-Curry Tofu with Jasmine Rice

The tofu cubes really sucked up the sauce; in the end, they were like little coconut-curry sponges, very tasty. Using the toasted coconut shreds in the coconut milk really amped up the coconuttiness, but I think that it works well with the other flavors, especially the peanut and lime.

If fat content is an issue for you, you can use light coconut milk, but don't be fooled, that still has some fat in it. You wouldn't be wrong to put chopped cilantro in the coconut milk puree which you add to the rice. I love cilantro usually, but I was out of it and was feeling too lazy to go out to the store JUST for that one item, so I said, "No cilantro today." It was just fine and tasty without it.

Coconut-Curry Tofu and Jasmine Rice

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  •  1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 t dried jalapeno flakes
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 t curry powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/8 t dried jalapeno flakes
  • 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 2 T chopped peanuts
  • lime zest

  1. In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the shredded coconut until light golden, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly and be careful not to let it burn. As soon as it starts to smell toasted and reach a nice golden color, remove it from heat and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Bring 1-3/4 cups water and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Add the rice and let boil again.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 18 - 20 minutes.
  4. Puree 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, 1 teaspoon ginger, lime juice, and 1 clove of garlic in a blender.  Add the toasted coconut and blend for a few seconds. 
  5. Mix the coconut milk mixture into the rice and set aside.
  6. Heat some canola oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and saute until golden.
  7. Add the onions, curry, cumin, jalapeno flakes and the rest of the ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the tomatoes and stir everything well.
  9. Serve over the coconut jasmine rice, add hot sauce to taste and top with chopped peanuts and lime zest.
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