Pizza; Vegan Mofo2

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My fav pizza dough recipe!
Only 10 minutes to rise!
Here it is!

Although I like to wait longer, an hour or so, to let the gluten strengthen, thus a crispier crust (if you make 2 crusts).

Seen here with caramelised onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, seitan, kale and some Teese.

I never had Teese before and brought some Mozzarella style back from the States. It was ok, similar to MozzaRisella, but taste better melted. What do you think about it?

VeganMoFo 1!

Sadly not on the VeganMoFo list because I didn’t realize it had changed months! That and I also hadn’t been at home or really on a normal computer in 2 months as I have been away working in Beijing and with a bonus of playing in Ohio & NYC/Brooklyn. So I have much to share this month!

-Being vegan in China
-Recipes for the new foods I ate in Beijing
-translated Chinese dim sum & pastry recipes I brought back
-how I gained 5lbs eating in NYC alone
-new products
-bento boxes (new job!)
-supper club dates
-food swaps
-London vegany goodness
-etc etc

Let’s do this!
VR

Yudofu: A super quick Japanese lunch

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So, your hungry RIGHT NOW, don’t have time to mess about! Well you’re in luck with a quick recipe for a super fast lunch with Japanese elegance. May I present yudofu 湯豆腐. Literally, hot water tofu- with all the fixin’s!
See cheat sheet at the end to eat this in under 10 minutes.

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-and don’t forget the tea!

Ingredients

  • Boiling water
  • Firm unpressed tofu, cut into small blocks- 1/2 block per bowl
  • konbu-dashi granules (seaweed stock) about 1 tsp per bowl
    or- water soaked with a piece of konbu

Measure out the exact amount of water you will have in your bowl(s).
Bring to a boil and add the konbu-dashi (available at Asian stores. Make sure there isn’t any surprise bonito/katsuo in the stock).
Add tofu, about 1/2 block per serving.
Boil 5 minutes.
Pour everything into a bowl
Grab a small dish for placing the tofu on when eating.

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Dipping sauce

  • soy sauce based dipping sauce. AKA tsuyu つゆ.
    Most tsuyu have fish (bonito/katsuo) in it, keep an eye out for a seaweed or mushroom based sauce. This may be easier to find in a Taiwanese or Chinese store/area than Japanese. If you cannot find a fish-free dipping sauce, make your own: 1:1:4 parts = Soy sauce : Mirin : Konbu-dashi

Place in smaller bowl for dipping

Toppings

  • grated ginger
  • sliced spring onions
  • toasted sesame seeds (& crushed optional)
  • grated daikon (mooli/giant white radish), optional

Place each topping in their own dish, or arrange on a plate.

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Eat

  • Dip hot tofu into dipping sauce and place on it’s own small dish. Choose toppings to add to it. CHOW DOWN.

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Cheat sheet

  • Measure and boil your water (add extra if you’re making a tea). While coming to a boil, cut tofu into blocks. No need to drain the tofu. Get konbu-dashi granules ready.
  • Add clean water to tea. Boil the rest with tofu & dashi for 5 min.
  • While boiling tofu: grate ginger (& daikon, opt) & slice green onions. Add them to separate dishes with pre-toasted sesame seeds (not a huge deal if they’re not toasted).
  • Pour dipping sauce into bowl.
  • BEEP BEEP BEEP
  • Pour yudofu into your bowl. Take leaves/bag out of tea.
  • Take a deep breath and enjoy the tasty simplicity of this meal.
  • Wash your dishes when you’re done, you’ll thank yourself later =)

Crunchy Ice Cream

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When I was little, we used to go to the only Tex-Mex restaurant around and I was allowed to have the magical “crunchy ice cream” for dessert. I sometimes say this to people and they exclaim, “Oh! I love fried ice cream!”  This isn’t fried ice cream my friends, and apparently, it is little known. I’ve never seen it on another menu. It’s super easy and fast to make for that little extra sumthin’-sumthin’ for dessert times. Even using vegan ice cream, OmniMonkey gets all crazy-eyed when I ask if he’d like some. It knows no food boundaries!

Crunchy Ice Cream

This is for 4 scoops of ice cream:

  • Vanilla non-dairy ice cream, 4 scoops
  • Sweetened corn flakes (something like a frosted flakes or crunchy flakes), a big handful (1 1/2-ish C), but you can always add more.
  • Cinnamon, a shake

Obviously, it all depends on how much you want to make. Eyeball it =)

Method:

  1. Crunch corn flakes up, not too big, not too small, and put into a bowl.
  2. Add a shake of cinnamon & mix.
  3. Roll ice cream ball around in corn flake mix. Pat mixture into ball if needed.
  4. Serve!

If you wanna get crazy, add some spray can vegan whipped cream on top!

Korean Fried Cauliflower

Your weekend feast is sorted!

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Over on Serious Eats there is J. Kenji López-Alt (@TheFoodLab), a fellow food blogger and recipe developer. He is not vegan, but for the past two Feburarys, he has went 100% vegan with The Vegan Experience. And wow, the recipes coming out of there are phenomenal. I think because it’s mainly food that “normal” people would want to eat. I think a lot of us are ALL about that! Sharing the love of a plant-based diet through GOOD FOOD and not politics (as long as we’re not provoked!). Now, I like a good quinoa and edamame salad just fine, but that is certainly NOT what I would serve to omnivorous guests. I want to get vegan food & hippie whole foods untangled from their perspective. Both are delicious, but not when I’m trying to impress the general public. ANYWAY, I think Mr. Kenji is doing an amazing job at doing just that. And here is some proof!

This is not my recipe. Original recipe found here and for the sauce, here. Go check out the other amazing food while you are there!
(Italics are my notes. Sorry I didn’t measure out most the metrics when I did this)

Korean Fried Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vodka
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 recipe  Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce (below)
  • 4 to 5 Finely sliced scallions (spring onions)

Procedures

  1. Preheat oil to 350°F (180C) in a large wok, Dutch oven, or deep fryer.

  2. Combine cornstarch, flour, baking powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, sesame seeds, and coconut in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and vodka and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional water if batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of thin paint and fall off of the whisk in thin ribbons that instantly disappear as they hit the surface of the batter in the bowl.
  3. Add cauliflower to batter. Working one at a time, lift one piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Carefully lower into hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until wok or fryer is full. Do not crowd pan. (You’ll be able to fit about half of the cauliflower in each batch). Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and agitate pieces as they cook until evenly golden brown and crisp all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Keep warm while you fry the remaining cauliflower.

  4. Toss fried cauliflower with sauce and serve immediately, sprinkled with extra sesame seeds and scallions.

    Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce

    • 1/4 cup gochujang (60 ml) (Korean chilli-miso paste)
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vineger
    • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

    Procedures

    1. Combine gochujang, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Gochujang can be inconsistent in its thickness. Add up to 2 tablespoons water until sauce is just barely thin enough to drop off a spoon with inverted.
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    Seen here with spicy roasted Brussels sprouts and leeks, rice, and spring onion pancakes

Lazy Kushari

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*As seen on Fry’s Vegetarian‘s website!*

Kushari is a popular veggie roadside dish in Egypt. It’s a mix of rice, pasta, lentils, tomato sauce and fried onions! A big bowl of comfort. You will need baharat seasoning (recipe) or “eyeball” it from that recipe.

*These are presented in the order of layers, starting from the bottom. Please read over to know how you will time everything depending on how much space you have.

I guess there are more ways to make this even lazier with pre-cooked pasta and rice, but I’m guessing you already have these in your dry cupboard and will save money not buying that premade stuff.

I made them here with grilled Fry’s Braai sausages (as instructed on the package).

Kushari

Makes 6-8 servings

PASTA

  • 1 1/2 – 2 C (150g) small-shaped pasta
  • olive oil

Cooked as instructed in salted water.

Drain, put in serving dish and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

RICE

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable ghee (or margarine)
  • 1 C (170g) basmati rice
  • 500ml (2 1/4 C) boiling water
  • salt

Melt vegetable ghee (or margarine) in a saucepan, and fry rice for 2 min on med-low heat.
SLOWLY add boiling water and a pinch of salt.
Stir & bring to a boil. Turn down to low and cover with lid. Simmer 10 min, let sit for 5. (or follow your rice instructions).

Spread on top of pasta in serving dish.

Chickpeas & Green Lentils

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 ten of green lentils

Pour both tins directly in a sauce pan and heat through.

Drain and spread over rice in serving dish.

Caramelized Onions + Spicy Sauce

  • 1 big onion, cut into rings

On a low heat with a little oil in a frying pan, stir fry onions about 10 min until nice and brown.
SET HALF OF THE ONION RINGS TO THE SIDE FOR LATER.

With the leftover onions in the same frying pan, add:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Fry on a medium heat until brown.
Then add:

  • 250g (1/2 tin) tin of tomatoes
  • 3/4C (150ml) water
  • baharat seasoning
  • chilli flakes or powder to your liking
  • salt
  • pepper

Simmer until reduced and thick.
Pour over chickpeas and lentils.

Now give it all a big mix!

Serve with the extra onions on top!

Oh, sweet curry pie o mine.

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Last week, I was lucky enough to be treated to.. well.. a treat! Fry’s Vegetarian in collaboration with FGV PR graciously hosted a taster evening for their brand new curry pies about to launch in the UK market. And you guys, seriously now, you’re in for an amazing treat!!!

If you don’t know the distribution story of how the family-owned Fry’s in South Africa is now available in the UK, it’s by run by a father-daughter team Lisa & Patrick (actually, everyone involved with Fry’s are a family business– they don’t sell out to the fat cats!), it’s quite interesting. In a new town without a job in 1997, Lisa set up a health food shop, ordered this new Fry’s product in and was a runaway success! Only probably was that the distribution company did a runner and the customers wanted more! The UK was Fry’s-less until a well timed serendipitous meeting with the owner Wally Fry secured Lisa & Pat the distro deal we take for granted and is the sole distributor in the UK and Ireland.

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Their ethical rating is very high and so like I said, the big stores in the UK just can’t prove themselves good enough to carry them. Our health food shops get our love! You can also start finding them in some corner shops like Budgens and Nisa. None of those around? Get them straight from http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk  #whenveggiesruletheworld

Their aim is to cover all corners in the “free-from” market as, let’s face it, its a less scarier word than “vegan”. What I didn’t know was that they are also NUT FREE. @.@ (Oh AND no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours or preservatives!)

Extra cool things:
-Fry’s aim is to have easy meat replacements
-Sustainable products
-Top of the Ethical Consumer vegetarian food list
-Workers are well paid

Ok enough shop talk, time for food talk!
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You guys, yum. Yum yum yum!!! Gently protected by flaky pastry, a nice thick hearty creamy curry sauce waits for you inside with its friends peas, potatoes, onions, and “beef”. Extremely tasty comfort food which is what I’m all about. We tasted mini ones, so I can’t imagine the danger I’ll be in when I can’t stop eating whole pies. (I couldn’t-and won’t- even admit how many mini pies I had actually sampled out of shame.)

They pies were also accompanied by a wonderful mayo-y cabbage & celeriac slaw as well as a light herby quinoa salad with the raw crunch of red peppers and onion all made by our pals Diana and Adrian from Vegan Peasant catering. These fresh unconventional salads were the perfect pairing with the pies- along with pies other best friend- beer! We had the organic Daas Witte, a Belgian wheat beer. MMMmmmmm pie and beer….

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The curry pies should be hitting the market really soon (see box on the left- I can’t wait!!!!!), but until then try Fry’s other range of pies and all the other meat-free goodies! I’ve been using them a lot for my non-veggie friends, they have no idea. Which is perfect as that ties into the easy meat replacement! Grab a box, put it in the oven, boom- done. There are also lots of recipes on their website for you to try! Happy eating everyone!

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Easy Peasy Japanesey Tempura

Usually I hate that saying, but since this post IS Japanese centric… I will make an exception!

Great for something easy to throw together on a Friday night, or an idea for a fancy looking weekend dinner. It’s really fast and simple and you most likely have everything in your kitchen now!

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Tempura 

Veggies of your choice. Try things like: Okra, spring onions, onions, carrots, jalapeños, radishes, peppers, mushrooms, etc! Almost anything that doesn’t take a long time to cook or you can eat raw. So I would stay away from things like potatoes.

Oil for frying. Use light oils like canola, rapeseed, sunflower, or mixed vegetable oil rather than olive oil.

Cornflour/cornstarch (1/4C -1/2C depending how many veggies you are frying. You can always add more to the bowl).
Panko* (optional for extra crunch, but not necessary)

  • Heat oil on med-high in a pan. Use enough oil that the veg can float a little. Heat for 10 minutes to bring the temperature up.
  • In a wide bowl, add cornstarch. Mix in a handful of panko, if using
  • Wash your vegetables. Don’t bother drying- you want them wet!
  • Toss wet veg in cornstarch just before frying.
  • Put one tester in the oil to make sure it is hot enough (other wise the oil just soaks in).
  • Place a few veg at a time in the pot of oil. Fry 30 seconds per side, or until golden yellow.
  • Place on a paper towel/kitchen roll sheet to absorb any extra oil.

Remember to be extra careful no water is splash into the oil!

And there you go! Simple, fast, delicious! Great with some rice and some dipping sauce like a ponzu-soy or sweet chilli sauce. Heck, maybe mix a little wasabi with some mayo for a nice sauce!

* Panko

  • are Japanese bread crumbs
  • do not use if you want this recipe to be gluten-free
  • is pronounced “pawn-kO” not “paaaan-kO”
  • and while we’re at it, it’s “ten-poo-rah” not “ten-pure-ah”

 

Saffron Almond Vegan Chicken

Now it’s time for a cosy week night dinner!

Let me tell you, I am IN LOVE with this sauce. You can smother over ANYTHING and elevate it to a whole new level. mmmmmmmmm But for our nice dinner tonight, I am using Fry’s chicken patties. Nice and easy!

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Saffron Almond Chicken

1 pack Fry’s Chicken patties (4), baked to box instructions

150g almonds, whole
1 white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp saffron threads
300ml vegetable broth
salt to taste
choice of micro greens for garnish (optional)- shown here using pea shoots
  • Preheat oven for vegetarian chicken patties.
  • Lightly toast almonds in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until browned and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Place 4 Fry’s chicken patties on baking tray, and bake following the box instructions.
  •  While patties are baking, heat frying pan on medium-low heat with a splash of vegetable oil and add onion slices, stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 6-8 minutes.
  • While onions are cooking, start the sauce.
Saffron Almond Sauce:
  • Place toasted almonds in food processor and pulse until coarse. Set 2 tsp of the ground almond aside for garnish.
  • Add the garlic clove, saffron threads, and vegetable broth to the food processor. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste, if needed.
  • Place finished sauce in pan with the caramelized onions to heat through and thicken slightly.
  • Serve sauce and onions over hot chicken patties, garnished with chopped toasted almonds and micro greens, if using.
Shown here served on a bed of saffron rice, topped with pea shoots and a side of roasted curried cauliflower and red peppers on raw cauliflower leaves.
Check out the recipe on Fry’s website along with some other amazing mains. AMAINZING if you will. Eh? Eh?