Sunday, August 30, 2009

From the College Kitchenette: 1st Meal!

I'm incorporating a new section into my blog called "From the College Kitchenette" which will be about what I'm cooking in my college kitchenette (which I'm thrilled about because I've escaped the hideously expensive meal plan). It'll be a food log of my vegan dishes keeping in mind a college budget and lack of fancy equipment.

So, here it is first meal cooked in a college kitchenette! It's not much considering I'm lacking a lot of ingredients from back home, but it's better than what most college students eat!

Flavored veggie crumbles: 0.99/5 = approx $0.25
Vegetable stir-fry:
Organic broccoli: 4.16/3 = approx $1.39
Organic carrot: $0.20
Oil: 3.99/50 = approx $0.08
Bragg's Liquid Aminos: 4.19/50 = approx $0.08
Salt: 3.99/150 = approx $0.03
Brown rice: 7.95/50 = approx $0.16

There you go. Enough for lunch and dinner.
Total of $2.19, which makes $1.10 per meal...the same price as something from the dollar menu of a fast food restaurant. Much better than a meal plan, which for my school is $1800 for 10 meals per week for the semester ($10 per meal).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Broccoli "Beef"

Think Chinese Food. Think...Americanized Chinese Food and what do you get? If you're not thinking General Tso's Chicken, spring rolls, or Broccoli Beef, then you've probably haven't ordered enough Chinese Take-Out.

For me, I think I'll be fine surviving on just stir-fried broccoli forever without the faux meat, but hey, it's not Broccoli Beef with some "Beef"'ll just be...broccoli.

1 head of broccoli
1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1/2 pack of veggie strips (I typically use Smart Strip Steak)
3 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp soy sauce or soy sauce alternative
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1 dash of salt

1. Separate the broccoli head from the stalk. Chop the head into desired size. Chop the stalk into slices and keep separate. (No wasting vegetable parts!!!).
2. Heat the pan. Pour the oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
3. Add the chopped broccoli stalks. Wait about 30 seconds before adding the broccoli flowers. Stir.
4. Add 2 tbsp of water and cover the pan with a lid until the broccoli turns into a nice shade of green. Add salt to taste and stir.
5. Transfer broccoli to plate and arrange in a circular fashion while cooking the veggie strips.
6. Add veggie strips into the pan and add the soy sauce and agave nectar. Add 1 tbsp of water if necessary to prevent it from burning and sticking to the pan. Stir-fry until lightly burnt.
7. Transfer to the center of the broccoli circle.

Serve with rice.

Happy eating!

P.S. I'm thinking of starting a product review/restaurant review thing going on here in addition to the recipes. What do you guys think?

Also, I have noted that I have a tendency to spell out everything because most people I know aren't very adept at cooking...I will attempt to be more succinct, but this could be like "Cooking Vegan for Dummies!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stirred Veggie Lo-Mein Delight

I like noodles. I like them hot or cold, with or without sauce, so it should not be a surprise that I'm posting a noodly dish here that uses my childhood favorite vegetable, the Taiwanese Cabbage, which is sweeter, larger, and crunchier than normal cabbage.

Here's a recipe that's good for a medium sized family or something to eat over several days. You'll need a big non-stick pot to cook this! Like the name suggests, this dish will take a lot of stirring, so get ready to use those arm muscles!

I like this dish because it's light, a bit sweet, a bit salty, but won't leave you screaming for a glass of water.

1 bag of shanghai noodles (be sure to check for no eggs!)
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup veggie crumbles
1 package flavored tofu
1 long carrot
7-8 leaves of taiwanese cabbage
5 chinese pickled turnips
1 tbsp of soy sauce or soy sauce substitute
vegetable oil
2-3 dashes salt to taste

1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of hot water until soft.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the noodles. When it boils again, add a cup of cold water. Repeat two more times. Drain noodles.
3. Chop flavored tofu, mushrooms, carrot, and pickled turnips into thin strips.
4. Chop the cabbage into thin strips. Make sure to put the hard stems of each leaf in a separate pile.
5. Heat pot and add oil to lightly coat the bottom. Stir-fry shiitake mushrooms until lightly burnt. Add the veggie crumbles and turnips. Cook until lightly burnt.
6. Add the tofu. Add the tablespoon of soy-sauce. Stir-fry until that's also lightly burnt. (Do you see a pattern here?)
7. Add the carrots and the stems of the cabbage. Stir and then add about 1/4 cup of water. Close lid and let it steam for about a minute.
8. Remove lid. Add the cabbage by the handful while continuing to stir. (If you add it all at once, it's harder to get it all evenly cooked). Add 2-3 dashes of salt to taste.
7. Turn down the heat to low. Remove about 1/2 of veggies onto a separate dish (this will aide in mixing the noodles). Unclump the noodles and add by the handful while stirring.
8. After the noodles have been added. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and stir.
9. Add the veggies that were removed before and stir until well incorporated.

Serves 4-6.

Happy eating!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tofu Scramble

This is the vegan version of scrambled eggs.
Totally deeeeliisshhh and satisfies the cravings for that texture.

What you'll need:
1/2 bell pepper (you can combine 1/4 of two different colors, like me)
1/2 onion
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup veggie crumbles
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 package of firm tofu
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
salt to taste (optional)
black pepper (optional)

1. Heat the pan. Sauté the bell pepper, onion, garlic, and veggie crumbles.
2. Add the block of firm tofu. Use spatula to mash it into crumbles. Stir.
3. Add nutritional yeast, black pepper, and/or a pinch of salt if desired.
4. Add turmeric. Stir until it looks egg-like and serve!

Happy eating!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Banana Nut "Ice-Cream" Bites

Oh, sweet's a treat for you to beat the summer heat! It's popular with kids too!
Of course I like vegan ice creams sold
in stores, but sometimes it's a bit too processed with weird ingredients, so I whipped up something equally as scrumptious. I am hooked on these little suckers!

Here's what you need:
1 1/2 cups of raw nuts (I used mostly pecans, with some almonds and cashews).
3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped.
2 ripe bananas.

1. Process nuts in food processor until crumbly.
2. Add the dates and process until integrated into the mixture. It should become dough-like when pressed with fingers. Scoop into a bowl.
3. Chop banana into bite sized pieces.

4. Cover banana with the "dough" and place onto a plate. This will make your hands very messy, but I think kids enjoy this step. If you accidentally smoosh the banana, it's'll solidify in the freezer.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Makes approximately 18.

Happy eating!

**Tip: If you have problems with the treats sticking to the plate after being frozen, use a butter knife to separate or you can use wax paper to begin with.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No-Bake Blueberry "Cheesecake"

This recipe is a variation of the one from The Post Punk Kitchen. If you haven't checked out their stuff, you better; it's awesome! Instead of strawberries, I used blueberries because I just picked a bunch yesterday! And again, I'm on the oven-ban. Baking makes me cranky in the summer. The original called for a spring-form pan, which I didn't have, so I just used a regular tin pan. It's just a little harder to serve, but other than big difference.
Anyways, you will need a food processor to make this.

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 tsp salt
4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

3 cups raw cashew (soaked for 3 hours)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup coconut oil
, melted just before using (To melt, place coconut oil in a container and place that container in a bowl of hot water. Use immediately or it will solidify)

1. Process the nuts and salt in a food processor fit until they become fine crumbs.
2. Add dates and process until the texture becomes dough-like.
3. Press the crust mixture firmly onto the pan.
4. Process cashews in the food processor. Add agave, water, lime juice, and vanilla. Process until very smooth and slightly purple.
5. Add berries and puree until the mixture is smooth. With the processor running, add the melted coconut oil in a steady stream.
6. Pour the filling into crusted pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It will set and be very dense!

Serves 12-16.

Happy eating!
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