Bok Choy Bohemia | A Vegetarian Blog

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Broccoli with Cheezy Sauce

I had a tupperware of the V'con cheezy sauce left over from the Florentine, and when a coworker mentioned the comfort food dinner he'd made including some cheddar broccoli, I knew what I had to do.
YUM. I only wish I'd done a better job of draining the broccoli after steaming, because the green juice mixed into the cheezy sauce wasn't the best. Still good though...


Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Beef" N Broccoli over Lo Mein

We haven’t had broccoli in a while, and broccoli always makes me think Chinese takeout, so that’s essentially what I did. I’m not sure what takeout places put on their beef and broccoli, because to my memory, it’s pretty different then what I came up with. It was still good though, so I can’t really complain.

1 large chunk seitan, sliced into bite sized pieces
2 crowns broccoli separated into “trees” (That’s what I call the florets)
¼ cup shoyu
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup water
Approx 3 tablespoons hoisen
Couple tablespoons Plum Sauce
1 teaspoon chili flakes.

In a large bowl, combine water and cornstarch, followed by all the other ingredients (including seitan) except the broccoli. Allow to marinate for about ten minutes.
In the meantime, heat a couple tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok. Add the broccoli, and once it’s been tossed to coat, pour in the remainder of the ingredients. This will take about ten minutes to cook completely, preferably covered. If all the sauce thickens and the broccoli isn’t fully cooked, add more water, a couple tablespoons at a time.

I elected to boil some organic lo mein noodles and toss them in with the seitan and broccoli when just about done, but you could serve this over rice or whatever grain rocks your boat. The only issue I had with the dish was that it was a bit slimy, but then cornstarch thickened sauce on pasta often gives me that impression.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tofu Florentine


I didn't exactly have a light hand with the cheezy sauce (this is a V'con recipe, start to finish) But this was damn good. It went down over whole wheat sourdough since we didn't have potatoes or english muffins.

"Tell everyone your boy approves"
'Nuff said.


Friday, March 27, 2009

BBQ Seitan and Spicy “Tuna” Sushi. Plus a really cool dish made with the extras

First off, I need to give credit to an awesome condiment. I finally made the spicy sushi (or suSI as Bobby Flay would say) sauce from Just The Food and it’s great. I even put it in a squeeze bottle so I could drizzle fun patterns over the sushi.

There were a few different rolls going on here. For starters, I made my first ever rolls with the rice on the outside. Unfortunately they’re barely visible in the background of this picture, but the lighting sucked where I had them in the foreground. The first roll I made employed the remainder of the “tuna” with a generous dash of cayenne mixed in. I would’ve added the siracha? directly, but it was already in the sauce I was putting on top. I liked this better in sushi then as a sandwich, but it still wasn’t rocking my world.

I was much prouder of the second roll. Since I’m a sushi addict (oooooh sweet potato maki) I’ve been curious about the bbq chicken rolls recently appearing on sushi menus in my area, and I decided to give my own a try. I started by cutting some homemade seitan into slivers and getting it in a skillet with about two tablespoons of peanut oil and a quarter cup of BBQ sauce. (I’m currently obsessed with eating Annie’s Sweet N Tangy). This cooked for about ten minutes (with an occasional stir) until the BBQ sauce had formed a glaze on the seitan. In the meantime I attacked a couple zucchinis with a mandolin, slicing them into long slivers. Once the seitan had been removed, I cooked up one of the zucchinis until soft. Once the zucchini was done, I did the same to about a cup and a half of sliced button mushrooms.

The inside of the rolls started with a layer of zucchini, followed by a row of mushrooms, the bbq seitan, and then an extra line of bbq sauce. The inside-out rolls got a coating of black sesame seeds on the outside. SOOOO good. I elected not to dip these in shoyu, but my other half did. To each their own. I thought the spicy sauce was good on both rolls.

I seem to always have leftover filling when I make sushi, and this time was no exception. I cut the second sliced zucchini into large linguine style strips, and added them to the skillet with a bit of peanut oil. Once they’d softened and begun to resemble noodles (I use that term loosely) I added the remaining cooked mushrooms and seitan, along with about a teaspoon and a half of tandoori masala.

This was my favorite “sushi leftovers” dish to date….and I’ve made quite a few in my time.

"Tuna" Salad and Lemon-Cherry Squares

The tuna salad recipe came from Lindyloo over at
Yeah That Vegan Shit who got it from…somewhere else. I had to replace the red onion with white and I’d finished my celery in the wonton soup the day before, but I kept everything else more or less the same. Instead of kelp powder (which I should buy, because it’s awesome for you) I crumbled up a sheet of nori into the mix. I must admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of this. Maybe it’s because my chickpeas had a bit too much bite to them (blame goya, they canned the suckers) or maybe it was just too far off from actual tuna, but this didn’t do it for me. It was edible, sure…but not something I’d crave again.

I’ll blame it on the lack of celery, just because I can. I am considering reworking the recipe a bit and using minced oyster mushrooms instead of chickpeas, I find them much more “fishy” all things considered. I really wanted those deli toothpicks with colored cellophane on the tops to stick through this…not because it needed help staying together, but because it would’ve looked deli-esque, and sometimes I crave strange things. The kosher dill on the side was perfect though!

For my baking expedition of the day, I made the lemon squares from Bananas and Soymilk, replacing the strawberry-apple sauce with cherry-apple. I must admit that mine don’t look NEARLY as pretty as Virginia’s, but they tasted DAMN good. More than damn good, they were AMAZING. I’m not normally a fan of ooey-gooey sweet deserts, but these could put me at odds with my dentist, and FAST. Oh my yum.

Double thumbs up. If I had three thumbs it’d be a triple…but then that’d be pretty weird. Three thumbs…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming Attractions

There is a site redesign coming. I got sick of the blogger template and all its rigidity in what I can and can not do. I also got sick of blogger.

So I'm relocating to wordpress, and designing (ok my boyfriend who actually knows how to create websites is) a whole new site.

I'm not sure how long it will take to get everything together and up, but in the meantime I'll keep updating through blogger. Added bonus? Since I have my own url anyway you won't have to do any updating of the blogrolls...just keep visiting me here!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sesame Aspargus and an Old Favorite Improved

I made a green salad with the homemade miso dressing from Vegetarian Planet as well, but it isn't pictured.

I said there would be more asparagus if they continued to look so delicious, and here it is:
This is the sesame asparagus recipe from VwaV, which is really simple, but good. I've never had an issue with Asparagus and soy sauce to date, and I was pretty happy with this. I managed to undercook the asparagus a BIT, so that the thicker fronds had a little more crunch then I like, but they were still very yummy.

The entree of tonight's meal was the Lychee Seitan I came up with awhile ago, but with the additions of some sliced red bell and carrots.
Not only did this photograph beautifully, but it tasted great too...I think I'm just obsessed with lychees. They're so damn good.


Wonton Soup

Just another quick lunch entree to prove that I am, in fact alive. I wish I could figure out how to make wontons like this, cause these were GOOD.
The broth was a quick combination of sliced ginger, Korean hot sauce, salt and pepper. I added some sliced mushrooms and leftover celery just before the water boiled, and then some vegetarian dumplings I got from the Asian market. I couldn't even tell you what the wontons are called, because the entire package is in Chinese except for the words "Vegetarian Wontons" across the front. They have bok choy in them, and perhaps silken tofu if my taste buds aren't deceiving me. I think there might be miso in there as well...they're nice and savory.

Mmmm I love wontons.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mexican Night!

I actually don’t think I’ve had a hard taco shell since high school…early high school, so I was pretty excited when we decided to do Mexican Night. We got a package of tortillas, and another of the hard taco shell, and set up a Mexican Food assembly line.

Personally, I went for a taco and an enchilada type thing…really it was a taco, but I tried to roll it up instead of just folding in half:
We got some of the Smartchoice? Chikn Strips, which I sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with a sprinkle of cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Once they were turning golden-brown, I turned the heat off. In another skillet, I sautéed some red bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno with salt, pepper, cumin, and chipotle seasoning. YUM!

The tacos (and enchiladas!) were a stacking process. They started with the Chik’n, peppers and onions, and then got toppings of shredded bibb lettuce, diced tomatoes, Spicy Vegetarian refried beans, and spinach-avocado dip. (All the avocados in the store were rock hard, and this was the closest they had to guacamole.) There was also salsa and shredded cheese, both of which I stayed away from this time around.

The only thing this was missing was a side of Spanish rice….next time…I’ll do it next time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Black Bean Un-Koftas, Crumbled Potatoes with Edamame, and Red Cooked Daikon

This was a very ethnic meal, which I’m sometimes thrilled with, and other times they can be a flop. This one was good. Flipping through Brand Name Chinese, I saw a recipe for lamb koftas, which are meatballs with an almond stuffed inside, covered with a thick yogurt based gravy. Commence mission veganize:
I came up with my own “meatball” recipe based loosely on a combination of their instructions for lamb ones and the beanballs from V’con. That follows:

1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup vital wheat gluten
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs. soy sauce
4 tbs. cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp garam masala

Preheat oven to 375. Mash the beans in a bowl until pretty smooth. Add all the other ingredients, and mix until uniform. Feel free to get your hands in there and do some kneading to activate the gluten. I did…but then I really enjoy being tactile with my food.
Shape the mixture into balls slightly larger than walnuts. Grease a large glass casserole dish, and place the balls about 1 inch apart. Drizzle more oil over the tops of the beanballs.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375F, Flip, and bake for another 10 minutes, remove.

I elected not to stuff an almond inside the balls, just because I wasn’t really in the mood for a nutty surprise. Knowing me, I’d forget it was in there and choke on the thing. You could definitely do it though, and keep everything else about the recipe the same. I copied the gravy directly from the cookbook, so I can’t share that recipe, but I can say that I replaced the yogurt with ¾ cup of plain soy milk. It was delicious.

The latter two recipes were from Madhur’s World Vegetarian, and I was pretty happy with both. The potato dish tasted very good, although they were more like heavily flavored mashed potatoes then crumbled potatoes…I mean they were crumbled….until they were boiled with water for twenty minutes. I’ve always been a fan of potato dishes with turmeric, which was definitely delivered in this:

The dish was supposed to mix peas in with the potatoes, but I only had edamame, so I went with that. Peas would’ve been good too…

Last but not least, was something called ‘red-cooked daikon’. This was supposed to simply be daikon stewed with scallions, but I had to replace scallions with leftover bok choy. This also wasn’t red, so if someone could explain the name to me I’d really appreciate it.

I did learn how to roll-cut daikon in the process of making this recipe, but I still don’t understand why it’s called roll-cutting…there’s nothing “rolled” about it. Basically, you’re cutting the radish into triangles. I’ve decided I very much like my daikon cooked until tender though, so this is something I’ll be doing again.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Asian Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Shitake Mushrooms, Bok Choy, Edamame, Cashew and Orange Rice, and Cold Asparagus with Korean Sauce

You know what's really annoying? Cookbooks that feel the need to name every recipe after ALL of its ingredients, so that my blog title is about three feet long. Obviously they were thinking of what this would do to me when they published the cookbook...and I DON'T appreciate the sentiment.

But all that aside, this dinner was the tale of two YUMS and an "eh". Interestingly enough, the best looking dish of the bunch gave us the "eh". That would be the rice, pictured here:
Along with the forthcoming soup, this recipe came from Vegan Express, the new cookbook by Nava Atlas. It came to me via the "new releases" shelf at the library...what can I say, I'm drawn to anything that start with "veg". The rice looked really pretty, and was even fun to make, but it tasted very average, middle-of-the-road, boring...and I wouldn't bother with doing it again. Admittedly I burned the cashews, but that was still one of the more flavorful parts of the dish.

The soup didn't look as pretty, but it tasted awesome. Umami is the word I believe. (Always wanted to use that in a sentence, SCORE). I'm pretty sure the success of this dish lies in my overdoing the shoyu, but I can remember to do that again in the future. This also called for Udon noodles, but I replaced them with soba, because frankly, udon reminds me of large worms.
By tomorrow I'll be able to eat the leftovers with chopsticks...the one downside to putting soba in soup is that it soaks up liquid like a shammy. (Anyone else a huge Vince with Shamwow fan?). Wow, I have some serious blogging ADD today.

Last but not least, was the Asparagus in Korean Sauce, which was a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. This was REALLY exciting, not just because the sauce is delicious (it is) but because the asparagus we bought this week was so damn awesome.
These asparagus were long, slender, crisp, and bright green. I blanched them for exactly two minutes, then drained and ran them under cold water to stop the cooking process. If the asparagus continue to look like this, I'll be eating them pretty much continuously for the next few weeks, and you can expect a lot more asparagus recipes coming to a blog near you...


Tofu Dill Salad Sandwiches

I'm becoming a very big fan of lunch...I've been rediscovering the sandwich of late.
Today I went with the Tofu Dill Sandwiches from VwaV, mostly because the ingredients were really basic and I had them...mostly. I had to replace the red onion with white, and the fresh dill with its dried counterpart. All the same, this was delicious.
I heaped this up on the remnants of the bread I made last week, along with a sliced tomato and some baby spinach. I must say my breath smells quite strongly of dill now...but there are worse things in life. I like the smell of dill...


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mushroom and Onion Burger

The burgers themselves weren’t mushroom and onion, they were the ones I made A couple weeks ago and froze for enjoyment on a later date.

I reconstituted some shitake mushrooms from the pantry, and then sliced them into slivers. They went into a medium skillet with half a large onion, cut into slivers, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and a dosing of balsamic vinegar. Once the onions started to soften a bit, I added a grind each of black pepper, sea salt, and some mesquite seasoning. These stayed in the skillet, stirred from time to time, until the onions had cooked all the way down and caramelized.
I swear there IS a burger under there…although it definitely wasn’t the star of this lunch. In all honesty, I ended up pushing the bread aside and simply eating the burger with the mushrooms and onions….like fast food, but so much better…and easy.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Meatloaf (The Band) and Banana Split Pudding Brownies

Being somewhat fed up with the crumbly, rather bland, veggie meatloafs I’ve had in the past, I decided it was high time to try one of my own….and I was pretty happy with the results. It was somewhat crumbly until it had cooled for awhile and set up, but it still held its shape much better than some cookbook versions I’ve tried.

1 cup dried TVP granules
1 cup red wine (I used a California Shiraz)
1 cup “chikn” stock
½ cup vital wheat gluten
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbs fire-roasted tomato paste
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dried tarragon
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 medium onion, minced
½ green bell pepper; minced
1 large (or two smaller) zucchini, shredded
2 tbs. minced garlic
1 tbs liquid smoke
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cayenne pepper

In a medium sized bowl, reconstitute the TVP in the stock.
Heat a skillet over med/high heat, and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, pepper, and zucchini. When the veggies have started to sweat out a bit, season with tarragon, salt, and pepper. Allow onions to become translucent, and then add the TVP, tomato paste, ketchup and liquid smoke. Once all the skillet contents have been mixed together, add the cup of wine and allow to simmer for approx. 10 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Combine all the skillet ingredients with the wheat gluten and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Pour into a loaf pan, and flatten the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum, or until cool. Preheat oven to 350F.
When you remove the loaf from the fridge, combine maple syrup and cayenne in a small bowl. Use a brush to coat the top of the loaf with the mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350F and then allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

I was VERY happy with this. My proudest achievement was the maple/cayenne topping, which just as I had hoped, got sweet and crunchy during the baking process. The loaf was nice and moist, which I attribute to the zucchini and full cup of wine…a factor that also gave it a nice depth of flavor. I wish this was a bit more solid in terms of holding together, but in terms of flavor, it just couldn’t get any better. I’m extremely proud. TVP, liquid smoke, and wine….it’s just SO GOOD. It almost got me humming a lil’ power ballad from the 80s….note the name.

For desert, I tried out the banana split pudding brownies from VwaV. Since I only had about half as much raw sugar as the recipe called for, I had to replace the rest with brown sugar. I also had half as much flour as needed, and replaced the rest with rice flour which WAS rolling around in my pantry. For the record, I’d vouch for these becoming gluten-free, because they worked great with the rice flour. I considered tapioca flour as well…perhaps another time.

This is a SERIOUS brownie. The banana topping that sinks into it, is ooey-gooey, fruity, and sweet. The brownie part is seriously rich, and frankly I can’t even imagine topping this with sliced banana, although some soy vanilla ice cream would’ve been key. Mmmmm brownies. If you haven’t tried these yet, what on earth are you waiting for? Apparently alterations don’t hurt them much.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Un-Crabcakes and Southwestern Corn Pudding

This was a Southern themed dinner, albeit from different sides of the south.

Representing the Bayou, we have Vegan Dad's Crispy Cajun Crabcakes
Mine looked nothing like his, but they tasted pretty darn good...I suppose I just don't have his skill as far as beautiful food goes.
Mine were also more yellow then red, which makes perfect sense considering the largest flavor component was chickpeas. Then again, my mix was pretty red before cooking. I also doubled the hot sauce, which if anything, should've made mine even redder than Vegan Dad's. But hey...they tasted great, so who cares.

We dipped these in ketchup, which was yummy, they were bit dry eaten as is. I also got 9 out of the mix...not 12, and mine looked significantly smaller than his, I can't explain it. But again...we really enjoyed really, who sweats the small stuff?

I also made the Southwestern Corn Pudding from V'con, which I'd been eying. I expected it to be like a very moist cornbread, which was was so much better!
I replaced the Jalapenos with a Manzana chili simple because that's what I had. As a result, this had a serious kick, which is fine by me, it was so creamy overall the kick was welcome. This reminded me of creamed corn...but good. I always thought creamed corn was nasty, but when I tried this yesterday, the first thought that came to my mind was "creamed corn...YUM" Now maybe it's because I haven't had creamed corn in years, and don't actually remember what it tastes like anymore, but regardless, this was creamy, corny, and SPICY. Yum.


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