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Pomegranate BBQ Tofu (Coconut Rice and Smoky Collards)

August 22, 2010



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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Soundtrack//
Fen – The Malediction Fields –> more awesome post-rock/black metal stuff out of England. I’m building a nice metaphorical stack of black metal for the coming Slamdog season.

The Recipe//
This time around I’m posting my FAVORITE recipe ever. Yep. It’s true. Thank you to Vegan with a Vengeance for offering this recipe to the world.
If you happen to get your hands on some Pomegranate Molasses (and you should) then you’re required to immediately make this. The Coconut Rice and Collards are the PERFECT sides. There’s nothing about this recipe I’d change, except that there only enough leftovers for the following day not week. Oh, and get your hands on some Twin Oaks tofu if you can. Best for baking.

BBQ sauce:
1 cup onions, minced (VwaV calls for shallots but I find shallots a pain in the a$$ so I just use onions)
1 T peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
couple dashes of black pepper
1/2 t chinese 5 spice powder
2 C veggie broth
6 oz. can of tomato paste
2 T creamy natural peanut butter
2 T pomegranate molasses
2 T soy sauce
1/4 C maple syrup or brown sugar
1 t hot sauce (or more to taste)
1 t liquid smoke

For the Tofu
2 lbs tofu, drained and pressed, cut width-wise into 8ths
2 T peanut oil
1 T soy sauce

For the Rice:
2 cups brown rice
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
1 cup water
a cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp salt
finely grated zest of 1 lime

for the Collards:
one bunch of collard greens
couple cloves of garlic
1 C of veggie broth
1/4 t of liquid smoke
1/4 t salt

Preparation
First you want to preheat your oven to 350. In a 9×18 (preferably glass or ceramic) baking pan, mix the peanut oil and soy sauce. Slice up the tofu into 1/2 inch thick triangles and dredge both sides in the oil/soy mix. Pop it all in the oven. You want to bake each side for 15 minutes until they turn golden. Meanwhile, let’s make that sauce shall we.

Now is also a good time to start the rice. Add rice, milk, water, salt and cinnamon stick to a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot and simmer 20 minutes. Add lime zest and stir with a fork. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 10 more minutes.

Back to the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions in 1 T peanut oil for about 5 minutes, adding garlic and five spice powder, sauté 1 minute more. Add veggie broth and simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Once the sauce and tofu are ready, pour the sauce over the tofu, covering it. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more.

This is a good time to make the collards. Chop them up, clean them up and throw them in a pan with the other ingredients. Cover and let cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes. It should sync up nicely with everything else.

Finally, serve the tofu over the rice, collards on the side, and of course a little extra sauce on top of the collards. If you don’t talk to me again I’ll understand that the flavors stunned you with so much deliciousness that you couldn’t speak again. I get it, trust me.

Eggplant Pancakes with Kale and Tahini Sauce

August 17, 2010



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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Soundtrack//

New Ra Ra Riot album “Orchard” – it’s being streamed on NPR right now so check it out! Representin’ Syracuse down here.

The Recipe//

This recipe is being pulled from Fat Free Vegan’s site — link to the right — who loves her some eggplant, as do I and the rest of my house. These were delicious but took a little longer to cook — ultimately I couldn’t get them to hold the shape I think she achieved. This could be because I had extra eggplant and didn’t add enough chickpea flour… I’m not sure. It might be nice to bake these instead? Really friggin good regardless.

Ingredients:
1 medium-large eggplant
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
olive oil

First, let’s bake that eggplant shall we? Preheat your oven for 375 and cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Once the oven’s ready, so are we. Face the halves face down on a baking sheet and pop em in there for roughly 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, remove and let them cool until they’ve reached 2 degrees above the temperature of your left palm. Just kidding. Wait about 10 minutes and then begin excavating. Scoop all the good stuff out and toss it all in a food processor, including the rest of those ingredients up there.

Spoon out (we like to do a lot of spooning around here apparently) 3 tablespoons for each pancake onto a medium-hot, oiled nonstick pan. This was the tricky part for me. I eventually had to cover the pan to help cook the whole thing. After 10 minutes or so I decided to settle for a crispy shell and soft middle. Whatever.

I served these little friends ontop a bed of brown rice, and kale with fresh tomatoes and tahini sauce generously drizzled (can one even drizzly generously?).

If you’ve never made tahini sauce you should. Here, do it tonight. Now, even. Get out your food processor again.

3/4 C tahini
5 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 C water
1/2 t salt
pinch of cayenne.

Mix it up. Pour it on. Thank me later.

Maple Chili Tofu!

July 30, 2010



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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Soundtrack// Pelican’s Self-Titled is lurching from my speakers with all the beauty of a mammoth trudging through a blizzard.

The Recipe// MAPLE CHILI TOFU!

Taken from vegandad’s website (for link, look right). This recipe kicks ass because it’s spicy and sweet and loves to sit next to a bed of your favorite greens.

INGREDIENTS:
1 package extra firm tofu, sliced in triangles (I use twin oaks)
oil
1/2 C chili sauce
1/4 C maple syrup, or packed brown sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp chili powder

Pan fry your tofu triangles in the oil until golden brown on both sides on a skillet. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Turn the heat off on the skillet and pour the sauce in. Toss with the tofu until it’s all coated. Let it sit on the hot pan so the sugar can cook for a few minutes.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa with your favorite green. This time it happened to be some yummy kale. Pretty simple and delicious!

Spicy Orange “Chicken” Seitan

July 17, 2010


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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Soundtrack// THOU – “Baton Rouge, You Have Much to Answer For” — it’s been all Thou recently after reading ZEITOUN by Dave Eggers so I can teach it in the fall. Hell, it’s been all Thou for the last half a year. Please just check them out at http://noladiy.org/thou and download some of their music (the band offers almost all of it for free) and check out the lyrics.

Mood// Pissed off but hopeful …. see above for reasons why.

———————————————————————————–

The RECIPE:

This is a SUPER easy recipe if you’ve got the seitan prepared already. And if you don’t it’s still pretty easy but takes a bit longer. The spicy orange sauce is one of the easiest sauces you’ll make on your own but it’s one of the tastiest, thanks to Carrie’s Vegan Fire & Spice book, which after 7 months into the 2010 season I believe is still batting 1.000.

So first I’ve included ingredients and steps to make “chicken” seitan from terry hope romero’s new Viva Vegan book and then the recipe for the sauce and meal come afterward. This seitan recipe is both the tastiest and easiest recipe I’ve made so far and comes HIGHLY recommended if you’re curious about selling your soul to SEITAN |m|,

“Chicken” Seitan Ingredients + Tools:

1.5 C cold veggie or “chicken” broth (very important that it be cold)
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
2 T olive oil
1.5 C vital wheat gluten flour (if you’ve never bought this before look in the baking aisle of your grocery store, it’s usually in a small box)
1/4 C chickpea flour
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

tin foil
big pot
strainer that sits inside the pot comfortably

Steps:
1. Whisk together the wet ingredients (+garlic) in a measuring cup. NOTE: If you use the veggie broth cubes like me and therefore have to use boiling water, make sure to do this a few minutes ahead of time and stick the broth in the freezer to cool it off while you mix the dry ingredients.

2. In a larger bowl mix the dry + spices. If the liquids are cool then pour into the dry and stir with a spatula. Knead for a few minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes and knead again for another 30 seconds. While you’re waiting, get about 3 inches of water boiling inside the pot and stick the strainer inside the pot so it sits above the water but not touching it.

3. Placing dough on a cutting board, cut it with a sharp knife into 4 roughly equal pieces and knead a few more times.

4. Now here’s where the book and I differ a little. I’ve had more luck flattening each piece, instead of shaping them into a “loaf.” You can try whatever you want but I think it cooks easier flattened just a tiny bit. To do so, place each piece on some tin foil and wrap it by taking the short sides, folding them over, then rolling the dough inside the foil length wise.

5. Place each bundle of seitan dough inside your strainer and cover the pot so not a lot of steam escapes. Again, the book says to cook for a half hour, but it takes close to an hour for me. Check occasionally after the initial half hour. The dough should be firm and fully formed, able to be sliced easily.

6. Let each piece cool and either use immediately or store in the fridge.

Spicy Orange Sauce:

2 heads of broccoli (chopped)
4 scallions (chopped)
2 T canola oil
1 lb seitan, cut into 1/2-inch strips (I used two loaves)
3 tsp minced garlic
1.5 T soy sauce
1.5 T brown sugar
2 tsp chile paste (I used chili garlic sauce)
1.5 C orange juice
1.5 T cornstarch dissolved in 1 T cold water

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and stir fry the seitan until browned on each side. Throw broccoli in.
2. Mix soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, chile sauce, and orange juice in a measuring cup and add to seitan/broccoli.
3. Cook for several minutes until it starts to thicken, then add the cornstarch mixture and cook for several more. Now you can add the chopped scallions so they cook down a little during the last several minutes.
4. Serve over brown rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and reject the idea you HAVE to get take out tonight.

Catch-Up Pesto (Catsup and Ketchup Free)

July 13, 2010
tags: ,


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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Soundtrack: Robyn – Body Talk Pt. 1 LP ~ much different from last post’s… but hey, this is some damn good Swedish pop. Favorite songs so far are the opener, “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do,” and the single “Dancing On My Own.” Highly enjoyable, guilt-free, stuff.

Now, onto the PESTO – definitely one of my favorite foods. I’m borrowing the recipe from theppk.com. Carrie blended it all up while I sauteed some veggies. This is a good recipe if it’s almost grocery shopping time, or past it, and you need to use the random assortment of produce leftover.

Tools:
Blender

Ingredients for Pesto:
2 cups basil leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup walnut halves (toasted on a pan first)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt

Box of your favorite whole grain PASTA,
mine happens to be ROTINI for pesto because it’s got all that extra surface space.

Veggies I used:
Red Bell Pepper
Eggplant
Zucchini

Process:
Begin by boiling water for the pasta; cook according to the directions on the box.

If you’ve got a helper, have one person toast the walnuts and blend up all the pesto ingredients while you (or another helper??) chop and saute the veggies in some olive oil and a few cloves of garlic (I know the pesto has some, but there’s never enough in my kitchen).

Toss it all in a big bowl with some freshly diced tomatoes and if you’re fortunate enough to know, or be, a great baker have some good italian bread for dipping in some olive oil/balsamic vinegar. I purchased some Rosemary Garlic (yes, MORE GARLIC!) bread from Greensboro’s Simple Kneads at the farmer’s market.

This was great, except the zucchini we used was too overgrown and old, sort of mealy. NOTE: Keep your zucchini tasty and pick them early, kids.

Another World is Inevitable

July 9, 2010



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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Soundtrack/// Thou’s newest LP Summit, an overwhelming and breathtaking DIY-blackened-sludge-masterpiece.

Choice Lyrics///

“A new world springs from the corpse of the old. Our most ephemeral desires and our most treasured dreams lay the foundation for a brilliant new reality. Social interaction is no longer defined by dutiful sadism. The death of the system, the system of death. This will be the day.”
—- from “Another World is Inevitable”

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Lots to cover here since it’s the first REAL post in a year, but I’ll try not to let that pressure make me think I have to do everything at once. I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea of accumulation. Not hording, but letting many small creative projects be viewed, additionally, as one cumulative endeavor… feel me?

So I recently turned 24 this past 4th of July (cue sarcastic-patriotic woohoo-isms). Carrie drove me and Emma to Boone, NC. Though I didn’t grow up with a mountainous backdrop for day-to-day living, I can appreciate the encroachment of the earth on my senses as both delightful and claustrophobia-inducing. It feels like these beautiful blue and purple waves are either rushing at me or swelling away from me leaving me on the edge of falling. Thrilling nonetheless.

So Boone is beautiful, of course. Checked out some local knick-knack art and jewelry stores, went to Black Cat Burrito and almost died from spicy Jerk sauce. Ask Carrie what my face looked like – she’d love to show you sometime, I’m sure of it. It was tasty, had some tasty tofu and grilled pineapple inside. I wish I had a picture because grilled pineapple is one of the most gorgeous looking/tasting things on this earth but my mouth was too busy being bludgeoned by Jerk sauce (as previously stated).

We also made a zine about our day, stopping every few hours to use crayola markers to draw something fun that had happened, like, say, a burrito flamethrower. I swear it was delicious (after I chugged a liter of Silk).

Overall it was a wonderful 24th birthday. I’m excited about being 24. I’m not waiting to be another age. I’m ready to settle into 24, stop being so P when I try to be productive (check your Myers Briggs, if you have tons of ideas and want to do tons of different and fun things, so much so that you don’t do a single one of them sometimes, then you just might be a “P”). This is it though. I’m here. Another world is inevitable.

I think this will be enough for the first real post.

In the meantime: Check out pathetic Emma in the backseat.

The Grand Re-Bloggening

July 9, 2010



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Originally uploaded by vegansayswhat

Okay so Carrie and I tried this a year ago, exactly a year ago for the last post in fact, but withered interest/depleting time/technological woes/june bug chomping attacks*/barbaric blueberries* and other outside, unmentionable difficulties ruined our initial efforts.

Alas I promise a full-fledged effort from now on to squash the myth that eating vegan is expensive/difficult/unhealthy/bland with some outrageously easy and delicious recipes.

With my fancy new phone I can take and send pics straight to flickr so recipes will come often and with beautiful pictures.

* These may be untrue.

** Coming soon: Updates galore and a bounty of fresh garden bundles. In the mean time you must wait patiently just like Emma and Georgia. No begging, please.