Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vegan General Tso's Chicken


Vegan General Tso's Chicken
On those evening when all you want to do is order take out for those comforting Chinese food dishes, this recipe will make you hang up your phone and pick up a pan. You can now have your vegan chicken and eat it too! With a few pantry items, you can have many different Chinese food recipes whenever you want. Better for you in the long run, you know what's going into your food and you can control it all. You can fry like the recipe does here or even bake for a lighter recipe. Serve this dish with white or brown rice and your favorite veggies mixed in or on the side. Enjoy! 

Vegan General Tso's Chicken

Ingredients

Marinade:
1 bag vegan chicken strips or cutlets sliced into pieces
6 Tablespoon soy sauce
4 Tablespoon water

For the Batter: 
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder

Sauce:
1 teaspoon Wok oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce 
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/8 tsp chili oil, (You can add less or more depending on spiciness)  
1/2 Tablespoons chili paste, (You can add less or more depending on spiciness)  
1 teaspoon Sirachi hot sauce
2 cups vegan chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup water (Thickener)
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar (regular vinegar is fine also)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoons finely chopped scallions, for cooking & garnish
Other: Vegetable Oil, for deep-frying 1/2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for cooking & garnish 1 Tablespoons finely chopped scallions, for cooking & garnish
Directions
Marinade:
Defrost Morningstar chicken strips and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the marinade ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the sauce.
(The chicken mixture can be marinated over night for deeper flavor)
Sauce
In a saucepan, add the wok oil and set over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant  Once that's done, combine the remaining sauce ingredients in the pan, Whisk well to dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon green onions & cook. Once the mixture has cooked down for about 8 to 10 minutes, Add the cornstarch slurry (I usually add it when vegan chicken is almost done). Stir as you pour because the cornstarch will thicken up VERY quickly. Keep warm over low heat or turn off if you are going to wait a while. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. 
Pre-Thickened General Tso's Sauce
Cornstarch Thickening Mixture
Thickened General Tso's Sauce
In a heavy-bottomed pot OR deep-fryer heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 375 Degrees.
Frying

Be VERY Careful!!!

Dredged Vegan Chicken Strips
Fry the chicken, in small batches, until golden and crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken using a wire mesh strainer and drain on paper towels. To serve, Add all your fried vegan chicken pieces into the sauce mixture and stir until all are coated. 
Fried Vegan Chicken Strips
Place the Vegan General Tso's Chicken on a platter and Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with scallions. Serve with White or Brown Rice, Add in broccoli or other veggies & Enjoy!
-Amy

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vegan Scrambled "Eggs"

Vegan Scrambled "Eggs"

The most traditional breakfast item that I can think of served constantly is eggs. A classic non-vegan dish that people going into the lifestyle will probably miss from time to time. It isn't something you will miss with this recipe at all. With the same look, taste, and texture it is perfect for vegans or non-vegans alike with its familiar taste. These vegan eggs can also be made and frozen for easy morning prep and serve. Serve with your favorite breakfast items or eat by itself, great on a breakfast sandwich or just toast. You will never miss eggs again with this recipe and you will be happy to wake up to a warm comforting breakfast in the AM. Enjoy!

Vegan Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients
-1 Tablespoon vegan butter or oil
-1 package Extra Firm Tofu, drained, and mashed into small curds
-1/4 to 1/2 cups grated vegan cheese (Optional: I used Daiya Cheddar, you can add more or less) 
-1/2 cup vegan chicken broth
-2 teaspoon The Vegg & 1/2 cup hot water (If you don't have this, the recipe will work without it also) 
-Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
-1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast (depending on how cheesy you want it) 
-1/2 Tablespoon Parsley, dried or fresh (optional, I like the color)

(This recipe can be doubles for more guests, if needed.)

Directions

In medium to large frying pan, Add your mashed tofu (I squeeze it in my hands, more fun) over high heat heat for about 4 minutes or until cooked lightly cooked. Once it has cooked for 4 minutes, add in vegan chicken broth, The Vegg, parsley, and salt & black pepper to taste. Stir mixture to combine and let it cook on high heat, repeatedly stirring until the liquid evaporates and the "eggs" are more firm and less watery, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cooking "Eggs"
Broth Absorbed "Eggs" 
Once the "eggs" are cooked, add in 1/4 cup of vegan cheese (optional) and the nutritional yeast and stir to combine and the cheese melts. Once its done mixing, remove from the heat and put in a separate bowl to cool and serve (it can also be frozen at this time if you want to make prepared breakfasts for morning). Serve with your favorite breakfast sides or eat by itself on a sandwich or with toast. Enjoy!

Cheesy Vegan Scrambled "Eggs"

-Amy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vegan Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes

Vegan Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes
Comfort foods are just plain indulgent from time to time. They are dishes that can be served on the holidays or a day you are craving a little extra comfort in you life. This recipe shows that you can have an extremely comforting side and not even know you are eating something vegan, great for meat eaters or vegans alike. Serve along side your main dish with a dollop of vegan sour cream or eat plain. This recipe will have you fighting over the last spoonful and craving this indulgent side again and again. Enjoy!

Vegan Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
-4 cups potatoes
-1/4 cup coconut milk
-1 1/2 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
-1/2 Tablespoon parsley, dried or fresh (minced if fresh)
-Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
-1 cup vegan cheese (I used Daiya cheddar)
-1 Tablespoon coconut oil
-1 Tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
-1/2 to 1 Tablespoon vegan bits
-1 to 2 Tablespoons green onions

Directions

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. 

4 Cups Pre-Cut and Peeled Potatoes
Cooking Potatoes
Drain and place back into a now oiled or vegan buttered pot. Add the coconut milk, 1/2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, salt and pepper. Beat on medium-low speed or mash with a potato masher until fluffy and lump free. Stir in 1/4 cup vegan cheese, vegan bacon bit, and green onions (optional).Transfer to a baking dish (I used a tart dish). Top with remaining cheese, 1/2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, parsley, salt & pepper to taste, and drizzle with a little oil. Bake, uncovered, at 375 Degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Pre-Baked Vegan Loaded Mashed Potatoes
When the the cheese has melted and the potatoes are bubbly, remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve along side a main dish, with a dollop of vegan sour cream or plain. Be careful, they are hot and you will want to gobble this up quick. Enjoy! 

Vegan Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes
as a side with Vegan Brisket

-Amy 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Vegan Seitan Brisket

Vegan Seitan Brisket
During the holidays we think of a feast and a BIG meal that we are positively stuffed with afterwards. Usually something store bought and made with care but why not make your own and really show your family some love! This recipe shows that even if your a beginner or a pro you can make a gourmet vegan feast for your family on a special holiday or even a Sunday supper. Great for entertaining as well, just the usual suspects, this meal will sure to impress everyone. A one pot meal at the end with your veggies and gravy, just serve with any other vegan sides and call the troops to dinner. Enjoy! 

Vegan Seitan Brisket
Ingredients

Seitan Brisket
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 Tablespoon dried onion powder
1 Tablespoon dried garlic powder
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups vegan beef broth
1/4 cup hummus (your favorite flavor, I used Roasted Red Pepper)
1 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Annatto spice (powdered) 
1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon gravy master

Gravy with Veggies
1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
4 bay leaves (small) or 2 (large)
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon gravy master
Salt, to taste
4 carrots, peeled and sliced in an angle
2 ribs celery with leaves, sliced in an angle with leaves minced
1 small onion, diced
1 large garlic clove
4 cups vegan beef broth 
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 Tablespoons dried parsley 
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions
Heat the oven to 350 Degrees

In a Kitchen-Aid Mixture, combine all the Ingredients (except the broth) for the seitan brisket and mix well lightly for 1 to 2 minutes. After the light mixing, add in the broth slowly. Knead the dough lightly until everything is combined and the dough feels elastic (scrap down and around as needed). This could take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Once the dough is done, remove and roll into a medium sized log. Wrap the seitan log in plastic wrap and then wrap that in tin foil to keep in moisture but also heat. Place in a baking dish and you are ready to place in the oven. 

Wrapped Seitan Dough
Pre-Wrapped and Foiled Seitan Dough
Foiled Seitan Dough
Foiled Seitan Dough in Baking Dish
Bake the seitan for 40 to 50 minutes or until the seitan has a sturdy texture to it but not over baked and not crunchy or thick on top. Remove the dish from the oven, unwrap and carefully remove them from the baking dish. Transfer to a roaster with your Gravy with Veggies ingredients and top with a little extra parsley, thyme, and a little oil. 

Baked Seitan Dough
Gravy with Veggies Mixture before Brisket
Pre-Roasted Gravy with Veggies & Brisket
Bake for an additional 60 minutes or until veggies are tender and seitan is firmer. Remove the seitan from the pot, as well as the bay leaves. 

Seitan Brisket After Roasting in Gravy & Veggies
You can serve the seitan brisket as is with the gravy and veggies or store it in the refrigerator over night for a firmer and more solid texture. I made it the night before for and served it the next night for dinner. Serve with your favorite sides and veggies with gravy. For the Vegan Loaded Mashed Potatoes (See Blog). Enjoy!

Completed and Served Vegan Seitan Brisket

-Amy

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vegan Corn Dog Muffins with Agave "Honey" Mustard Dipping Sauce

Vegan Corn Dog Muffins with
Agave "Honey" Mustard Dipping Sauce
When we think carnivals, fairs, or out door entertainment we can identify corn dogs as one of those favorites. Usually deep fried with your favorite sauce they are one of the kids favorite treats. But what if we could remove the deep frying and speed up the process. Well with this recipe, making corn dogs is as easy as 1...2...3. This recipe takes the grease and standing over a fryer and replaces it with quick mixing and then in the oven to cook away while you relax with the family. You could make these as a quick dinner or serve for a kids party. Great for kids or adults alike, they will love to dig into these with the homemade dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Vegan Corn Dog Muffins with 
Agave "Honey" Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
Corn Dog Muffins
-1/4 cup oil
-1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
-1 cup All-purpose Flour
-1 teaspoon Salt
-1/2 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast 
-2 Tablespoons Sugar
-2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
-1 1/4 cup vegan Buttermilk (1 1/4 cup vegan milk & 1 teaspoon white vinegar, equals 2 to 3 subbed eggs)
-1 teaspoon The Vegg & 1/4 cup hot water
-1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
-1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
-3 Vegan Hot Dogs, thawed, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used Field Roast Hot Dogs) 

Agave "Honey" Mustard Dipping Sauce

-2 Tablespoons Yellow prepared Mustard
-1 Tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard (I used Golden's)
-3 to 4 teaspoons Agave Nectar (Varied to how sweet you want it) 

Directions

Heat oven to 425 Degrees
In a small bowl add both mustard's and whisk until combined, add in the agave and whisk again until the mixture is combined. Set aside to serve with the vegan corn dog muffins. 

Agave "Honey" Mustard Dipping Sauce

Combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutritional yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl or stand mixer. In a separate 2 cup measuring cup, combine vegan buttermilk, agave, oil and The Vegg. One the liquid mixture is ready, mix it into the dry ingredients, stirring and wipe down sides and bottom as needed. The mixture will be combined and may have a few lumps, don't over mix. 

Fill your muffin or large cupcake tins with your favorite wrappers and fill them with 2 Tbsps of the batter. Cut the vegan hot dog into 1-inch pieces and add into the center of the now fill tins. Add another 2 Tbsps on top and/or sides of the vegan hot dogs and after all are covered, tap gently to let any air bubbles escape.

Pre-Baked Vegan Corn Dog Muffins
Bake until cornbread is done, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with the Agave "Honey" Mustard Dipping Sauce or ketchup. Enjoy!

Baked Vegan Corn Dog Muffins
Vegan Corn Dog Muffins

-Amy 

Vegan Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Croissant Roll

Vegan Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Croissant Roll
We are usually in a rush in the morning and a lot of people don't eat and kids fall into that category as well. So in a rush we need to have something that will last us until lunch. These rolls have hearty and delish ingredients that will have you craving breakfast and a portable meal. Great for kids on the go and easily reheatable when made and frozen. The recipe shows that breakfast does not have to be boring and you can enjoy a hot meal anytime of day. Serve by itself or with your favorite breakfast sides and beverages. Enjoy!

Vegan Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Croissant Roll

Ingredients
-1 Tablespoon vegan butter or oil
-1 package Extra Firm Tofu, drained, and mashed into small curds
-3/4 cups grated vegan cheese (I used Daiya Cheddar) 
-1 cup vegan sausage
-1/2 cup vegan chicken broth
-2 teaspoon The Vegg & 1/2 cup hot water (If you don't have this, the recipe will work without it also) 
-Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
-1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
-1/2 Tablespoon Parsley, dried or fresh
-1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Directions

Heat oven to 375 Degrees

"Eggs" 
In medium to large frying pan, Add your mashed tofu (I squeeze it in my hands, more fun) over high heat heat for about 4 minutes or until cooked lightly cooked. Once it has cooked for 4 minutes, add in vegan chicken broth, The Vegg, parsley, and salt & black pepper to taste. Stir mixture to combine and let it cook on high heat, repeatedly stirring until the liquid evaporates and the "eggs" are more firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the "eggs" are cooked, add in 1/4 cup of vegan cheese and the nutritional yeast and stir to combine and the cheese melts. Once its done mixing, remove from the heat and put in a separate bowl to cool. 

(These vegan eggs are also great made and served by itself)

Simmering "Egg" Mixture

Completed Vegan Scrambled Eggs

Cooling Vegan Scrambled Eggs

Croissant Roll
Unroll dough, separate into 8 triangles onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Press and stretch the dough to flatten and make sure the ingredients fit, be careful not to tear.
Assembly
On each roll (fattest end) place 2 Tbsps vegan eggs and sausage on each of the triangles. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp vegan cheese of the cheese onto the top. Pull the the sides over the ingredients and then the points of triangles over eggs and cheese, and tuck under dough . Carefully place the pointed end on the bottom and onto the cookie sheet. Once all are assembled, sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley, and nutritional yeast (optional).

Ready to Assemble

Pre-Rolled Croissant Rolls

Assembled Croissant Rolls
Bake 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 2 minutes. With a spatula, carefully loosen the roll from cookie sheet; slide onto serving platter. Garnish with whatever sides you like for breakfast and enjoy.

Vegan Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Croissant Roll

-Amy 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Vegan Oatmeal Creme Pies (Little Debbie Inspired)

Vegan Oatmeal Creme Pies
(Little Debbie Inspired)

Growing up most of us had a snack item in there lunch and it was always the best end or even beginning to our lunches. We looked forward to that treat and crossed our fingers that mom or dad didn't forget it. Little Debbie is the queen of snack items, there is a vast variety to choose from and something for everyone to enjoy. When I wanted that snacking surprise in my lunch, I would hope for Oatmeal Creme Pies, they were perfectly sweet but had that spice from the oatmeal, you ALMOST felt healthy but we know better that its not. This recipe shows that our childhood favorites can be made into comforting vegan treats as well. With its spice oatmeal cookie and vegan marshmallow buttercream, this snack treat has the perfect balance to make you want this in your or your kiddos lunch. Completely craveable, serve with your lunch or a big glass of vegan milk and enjoy! 

Vegan Oatmeal Creme Pies
(Little Debbie Inspired)



This will make: 9 to 11 Creme Pies 

Ingredients 
-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
-1 cup quick oats, slightly ground in a food processor
-2 teaspoon cocoa powder 
-1 1/2 tsp cornstarch 
-1 teaspoon baking powder 
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
-1 teaspoon salt 
-1 teaspoon cinnamon 
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
-1 cup Crisco, room temperature 
-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
-2 1/2 Tbsp molasses 
-1 teaspoon The Vegg & 1/4 cup hot water (Equals 3 eggs if using another egg sub) 
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 

Vegan Marshmallow Buttercream
-1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco, room temperature 
-1/4 cup coconut shortening, room temperature 
-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
-7 oz. vegan marshmallow creme (I used Ricemellow Creme)

Directions 

Heat oven to 350 Degrees

Cookies
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, processed oatmeal, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside to use with wet ingredients. In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, shortening, sugar, vanilla, and molasses on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2  to 3 minutes. Stir in your egg substitute, mixing until combine after each addition. Once the ingredients are incorporated and fluffed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until well combine. The dough will be thick. 

Cookie Dough
Scoop your dough out into 2 Tbsp (or 1/8 cup) portions at a time and shape into roll, lightly press dough, transfer to a baking sheet, fitting 9 cookies per sheet. You will have two trays, Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (cookies should still be soft and completely set, don't over bake). Once they are done, I give the tray a tap on the oven rack or counter with the cookie set and it flattens the cookies down (deflates them). Allow to cool several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool. 


For better results:
Always put your racks in the middle,
 makes for even cooked cookies

Pre-Baked Cookies

Cookies Fresh out of the Oven

Vegan Marshmallow Buttercream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip Crisco and coconut shortening on medium-high speed, until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla and whisk into the shortening mixture.Then add the powdered sugar and blend on stir speed at first and increase gradually to medium-high speed and whip for 1 to 2 minutes until combined (scrap down the side and bottom as needed). Mix in your Ricemellow Creme, whisk and scrap down the sides until combined. 

Vegan Marshmallow Buttercream Ingredients

Completed Buttercream 

Assembly

Once your cookies are cooled completely you can then spread or scoop your vegan marshmallow buttercream along bottom side of one cookie and press one cookie on the other to make them stick. 

Assembly Line
I used an Ice Cream Scoop (1/4 cup) 
Store cookies in an airtight container wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. Serve with a big glass of vegan milk or your lunch and enjoy!
Completed Vegan Oatmeal Creme Pies

-Amy

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stir-Fried Spicy Eggplant (P.F. Chang's Inspired)

Stir-Fried Spicy Eggplant(P.F. Chang's Inspired) 
There are always those recipes that we crave and get a comforting feeling for when we eat at our favorite restaurants. We end up going over and over again to get that specific dish, but why not try and make it at home? This recipe is a P.F. Chang's inspired recipe that I crave when I go over and over, with plenty of flavor and all those comforting and craveable elements in one recipe. Great served to a first time eggplant eater or kids, this dish will have you asking "Why haven't made this sooner?". Serve with either brown or white rice and/or veggies and you have a restaurant experience at home. Enjoy!

Stir-Fried Spicy Eggplant
(P.F. Chang's Inspired) 

Ingredients

-12 cups eggplant, peeled, cut into 1-inch dice (1 large & 1 medium eggplant)
-Oil, for frying

Spicy Sauce
-1 teaspoon wok oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
-2 cups water
-2 Tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
-4 Tablespoons soy sauce
-2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
-1/3 cups granulated sugar
-2 Tablespoons Agave nectar
-1 Tablespoon chili paste (If you want it spicier add more)
-1 teaspoon Miso paste
-1 teaspoon sesame oil
-1/8 chili oil (If you want it spicier add more)

Thickener
-3 Tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with
-4 Tablespoons water, to make a paste


Directions

In a large frying pan or wok, combine all Spicy Sauce ingredients and mix well, whisk. Once the sauce comes to a boil, let it boil for a few minutes and then remove from the heat to let rest before using it again.

Pre-Thickened Sauce
In a wok or deep pot, fry eggplant at 350 Degrees for a few minutes or until you can insert a knife threw without resistance (hard parts). Remove eggplant and drain on paper towels and lightly salt each batch when it comes out of the hot oil. Continue this process in batches until all the eggplant is cooked. Once its cooked set aside to thicken the sauce and finish the dish.

Prepped Cut Eggplant
(Pre-Cooked)


Hot Oil
(Ready for Frying)








Fried Eggplant
(brownish is up to you, darker or lighter)



































Once the eggplant is all done, place the waiting sauce back onto the stove on a medium-high hear to bring back to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in cornstarch mixture until the consistency of the sauce is thickened and glossy. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Once thickened and simmered, Add fried eggplant and simmer for another minute to combine the sauce and eggplant.

Thickened Sauce

Completed & Ready to Serve 



























Serve immediately with your favorite steamed white or brown rice and/or veggies. I garnished this dish with toasted sesame seeds and parsley or green onions as well to. Enjoy!


-Amy