Monday, December 28, 2009

Peanutty Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

I often make lettuce wraps with tofu, water chestnuts, cremini mushrooms, carrots, and a TON of soy sauce. They're absolutely delicious, but incredibly high in sodium. Today, I decided to mix things up a bit and make my lettuce wraps with tempeh (since I had 5 packages of it in the fridge), different veggies, and a lower sodium sauce. I have an insatiable salt tooth, so I think these would have been better with more soy sauce, but I was pretty pleased with the result nonetheless.

Peanutty Tempeh Lettuce Wraps
Makes 2 servings

• 2 tsp peanut oil
• 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 1 package tempeh, cut into bite sized pieces*
• 2 tbsp peanut butter
• 6 tbsp light coconut milk
• 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 head iceberg lettuce

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and sauté the mushrooms, peppers, and tempeh for 4 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mix together the peanut butter, coconut milk, and soy sauce, making a creamy sauce. Add the sauce to the pan and turn off the heat once the sauce is absorbed.

Chop the bottom of the stem off the head of lettuce- doing so makes it easier to remove big leaves for wrapping. For me, this makes about 4 lettuce wraps- 2 per person.

* Depending on your tempeh, you might want to boil or steam it first, but I don't think it's necessary for my Trader Joe's brand tempeh.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tofu Kale Bowl

I make this ALL THE TIME. Simple and quick to put together. Sometimes I use more soy sauce and no mirin. Of course, there are plenty of ways to change this dish, but I just keep coming back to making it this way for its simplicity.

Tofu Kale Bowl
Makes 1 serving

• 2 tsp peanut oil, divided
• Half an 8-ounce package extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1/2 bunch kale
• 1 serving cooked brown rice
• 2 tbsp mirin
• 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

Pan-fry the tofu with one teaspoon of the peanut oil in a non-stick pan. Once the tofu has a golden crust, add the rest of the peanut oil and the remaining ingredients. When the kale has wilted, the dish is ready to serve.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mustard Cannellini Spread

I like mustard but find it overpowering when I put it on sandwiches. I created this spread to go on sandwiches or a piece of toast in the morning instead of the cream cheese I used to use before I began eating vegan at home. The cannellini beans make the dip creamy, and the mustard flavor is light but gives it just the right amount of kick for me. I apologize for the ugly picture- I made this dip at 1 AM and didn't want to put the extra effort into it!

Approximate nutrition facts for this dip are below. They are based on calculations from the LoseIt! iPhone application.

Mustard Cannellini Spread
Makes about 1 cup, eight 1-ounce servings

• One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• white pepper, to taste

Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add white pepper to taste.

Per 1-ounce serving: 71 calories, 3.9 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 25.6 mg sodium, 6.8 g carbohydrates, 1.9 g fiber, 2.3 g protein

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Black Beans, Banana, and Quinoa

I admit I'm a bad vegetarian in that I eat very little fruit. You'll never find me snacking on an apple or having a banana with breakfast. When I eat fruit it's mixed into a salad or a stir-fry. I made this dish in an attempt to get myself to eat more fruit, and I think it worked because this is DELICIOUS and I will be making it OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Black Beans, Banana, and Quinoa
Makes 2 servings

• 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
• 1 cup water
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1/4 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 serrano chili, minced
• 1 cup canned black beans with liquid
• 2 medium bananas, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced 1/4"
• 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
• salt, to taste

Combine the quinoa, water, cumin, and paprika in a pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Sauté the chili in the olive oil for about a minute, then add the black beans, quinoa, and bananas. Continue to cook until all ingredients are heated through, making sure not to let the bananas get mushy. Add the salt to taste (it might not be necessary, depending on the canned beans you use), then add the cilantro into the mixture. Plate it, serve it, devour it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Corn Casserole

Even though I've been cooking almost only vegan meals, I made an exception for Thanksgiving when I cooked for myself and my meat-eating boyfriend. We both love corn casserole, a family favorite that probably came off the back of a Jiffy box. It's creamy, corny, cheesy deliciousness.

Corn Casserole
Makes 16 side servings
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes

• 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
• 1 can cream corn
• 1 can whole kernel sweet corn
• One 8-ounce Jiffy cornbread (or corn muffin) mix
• 8 ounces sour cream
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup or more grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter and pour it into a 9x13 baking dish. Mix in the two kinds of corn and the cornbread mix. Add the sour cream and 2 eggs. Sprinkle generously with cheddar cheese. Although the original directions say to bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes, it has always taken me at least 30 minutes. The casserole is ready when toothpicks inserted into the center of the casserole come out clean.