Posts tagged ‘easy vegetarian’

March 28, 2011

Rainy-Day Cajun Style Soup

by cillefish

It’s been raining a lot, so my vegan-for-a-few-weeks housemate Angel was in the mood for something like pea soup, but Cajun-ish. This rich gumbo-style soup is what she put together:

Angel’s Rainy-Day Cajun Style Vegan Bean & Vegetable Soup:

makes: a LOT

  • 1 bag (1lb) dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 cans vegetable broth +2 cans water
  • 2 cubes vegan bouillon
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 can corn (or 2 c normal corn)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (or 2 c chopped tomatoes)
  • 8 carrots, chopped
  • 6-8 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 to 1 whole bunch fresh parsley, removed from the stems and minced
  • “lots” of cayenne and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp hickory “liquid smoke” flavoring, to taste (find this near the barbecue sauce)
  • 1 “Field Roast” vegan Italian sausage (or 4-5 Yves Italian “sausages”), chopped

Soak beans overnight (or place them and water-per-package-directions in a pot, bring to a boil, cover, and set aside for 40-60 min). Rinse out cooled beans, replace in pot with vegetable broth + water, bay leaf, boillon, carrots, celery, corn, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes, until beans are noticeably soft but not mush. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil.
Remove bay leaves and mix into pot o’ beans: onion, parsley, peppers, liquid smoke, and “sausage.” Simmer another 15 minutes. Serve with steamed brown rice and / or fresh cornbread.

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February 9, 2011

Curried Carrot & Quinoa Soup

by cillefish

I (a) like curry, and (b) feel a little under the weather, and this turned out to be a pretty excellent feel-better soup. Basically, it’s chicken noodle soup for the vegetarian.

The heat and spice help you cough more and clean things out, and it feels good in your tummy, but the cayenne pepper & garlic here also have some mild benefits in terms of improving bloodflow, assisting digestion, minimizing inflammation, and heling to boost the immune system. Hey, every little bit helps.

The quinoa is optional; a good source of protein, it’s also the noodle equivalent in this recipe.

Curried Carrot & Quinoa Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups dry quinoa (half normal, half red quinoa is ideal) – optional
  • 3 Tbsp peanut (or other vegetable) oil
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds (I used yellow mustard)
  • 1/2-1 tsp curry powder (I used the Spice Hunter “hot curry blend;” Madras works as well, but if you use that or “whatever” curry powder, cut back a bit on the honey or increase the cayenne, as you like)
  • 1 1/2 inch cube (about 1 Tbsp) fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (or you can get 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the non-sugar-coated candied stuff and mince it fine)
  • 1 clove garlic (more if you’re really sick and/or like garlic), minced finely
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December 2, 2010

Top 10 Best Tofu Marinades

by cillefish

Marinaded, pan-seared tofu with kale and cheese-topped bread
Marinades easily, simply, & brilliantly get tofu to “pop” with flavor. If you get the marinade going ahead of time, they’re also fast.

Squeeze or drain the tofu very well beforehand, slice it (see below), put in a watertight lunch container with the marinade ingredients, and refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more (1 hour is better), shaking or turning upside-down every 15-30 min (you can even open the container up and rearrange things to help ensure maximum absorption).

To pan-sear: Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and marinade. Once marinaded, arrange, sans oil, in your favorite super-nonstick, tofu-friendly pan and sear each side until firm and crunchy (should be the color of medium to well-done toast, but not burnt).

To bake: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut tofu into 1/2 slices, then slice crosswise into strips 1/4 to 3/8 inches wide and 2 to 3 inches long. Prick on both sides with a fork, marinade, then place in a nonstick or lightly-oiled baking sheet, reserving any unabsorbed marinade if serving tofu on its own. Cover sheet with parchment paper or foil and bake 30-45+ minutes (depending on how dry you want it), turning ever 15 min or so. If serving tofu on its own, after baking, add back the reserved liquid and test seasoning to add more sauce or herbs as necessary.

The Recipes:

Bonus Tips:

  • Timing: I like to put together the marinade before going out on a run or hike; after I’ve cleaned up, the tofu is ready to cook for an easy dinner, along with rice (or pasta) and a salad.
  • Tofu: I like Trader Joe’s firm tofu because it’s in 2 containers for easy halving and is more amicable to getting the juice REALLY pressed out of it. For Azumaya tofu I cut out the top label along the inner edge of the tofu container, then use the plastic to press the tofu down while I squeeze from the sides. Instead of squeezing, the tofu-wary &/or faint of heart can just slice the tofu and put it between two plates, bottom plate tilted to drain, with some books on top (takes longer, though).
  • Meat Eaters: Most of these are equally superb with tofu or chicken, but if you’re going with real meat, cut the soy sauce down by half, add another tablespoon of oil, and marinade overnight or up to 3 days, depending on how juicy and tender you want the results to be. For longer-marinaded items slated for the barbecue, be careful not to cook at too high a heat, or the juicy middles will stay undercooked while the outsides burn. Easy solution: halve breasts lengthwise-flatwise before marinading. Obviously, always discard marinade used for meat; never use it for anything afterward. If you need additional marinade, make a separate batch that won’t touch the raw stuff.

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