Bok Choy Bohemia | A Vegetarian Blog

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Seitan over Rice Noodles with Emeril's Asian BBQ Sauce and Sweet N' Sour Brussel Sprouts

Tonight's dinner was wholly inspired by the remaining contents of my kitchen the day before grocery shopping...and the food network website.

In honor of the newly returned year of the ox (my chinese zodiac!) I decided I wanted to do something with an Asian flair. I saw Emeril's recipe for Asian Spicy Barbecue Chicken, and the first thought I had was THAT WOULD BE PERFECT ON MY SEITAN! and so it was. The seitan got a dry rub of salt and five spice powder as Emeril had suggested, and while the sauce was simmering away, I got a sliced carrot and zucchini sauteing along with the seitan and some peanut oil in my wok. I added some rice noodles that had been soaking in cool water for a couple hours, and then the sauce.
I ended up adding about a quarter cup of water so the noodles would soften the rest of the way, but in the future I'd just want to double the sauce. The flavoring on this was great, but it was a bit dry. Otherwise, two thumbs up, and I can't blame my lack of insight on Lagasse.

I also made Rachael Ray's Sweet and Spicy Brussel Sprouts I wasn't expecting these to be spicy, since there wasn't anything spicy in the ingredients. I was actually amused by the people complaining about the lack of spice in the comments...if you read the ingredient list I'm not sure what you were expecting! It's a strange name though. They are actually sweet and sour, which is a new flavor for me with Brussels sprouts. They taste a bit pickled...something that'll probably intensify by the time I go for the leftovers.
I wasn't a huge fan of these, but I'm not sure the recipe is so much to blame as the sheer number of brussells sprouts I've been eating lately...I think I'm getting a bit tired of them. I might wait a while before giving this another shot, it's a very novel idea, and I can appreciate that.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sicilian Eggplant Stew

This is the last of Jamie Oliver, I swear. This one is called a "stew" although I really think it'd be best suited served up on a crusty piece of bread. We're out of bread at the moment though, so I ate it "stew-style" and I must say it was quite good.
The eggplant was kind of cooked to oblivion, which was probably more my fault than Jamie's, I left it alone much longer than I should have while trying to get all the other ingredients chopped and prepared.

I really liked the green olives in this more than anything else...while I love to snack on green olives, I don't cook with them much, mostly because they're a pain to de-pit. I'd say it was worth it in this instance though, and they married extra well with the capers which were also involved.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Braised Seitan with Brussels, Kale, and Sundried tomatoes

This smelled REALLY good. It looked delicious. The ingredient list was an all-star line-up. I was SURE I'd love it before I'd even begun to make it. It was just ok.
It still smelled great on the plate, but the flavors weren't quite as complex as they seemed. In addition to that, something is giving it a bitter flavor, and I can't figure out what for the life of me. Add to that my hope that I could bring some brussel haters over to the dark side with this, and it's simply not going to do it. In addition to the bitterness and all, the whole thing tastes brussel sprouty...there aren't even that many in there, but they flavored everything. That's a non issue for me, since I like brussel sprouts, but something tells me I won't have help finishing off the leftovers.

The sundried tomatoes rock in this though. Literally. They're like a headbanging musical interlude to break up all the brussel sprout-boredom that seems to permeate.

Recipe courtesy V'con


Monday, January 26, 2009

Wild Mushroom Ragu

Mario Batali strikes again, and he strikes vegan!!! I was actually supposed to make fresh egg=based pasta dough for this, but I used an eggless boxed variety because I was feeling lazy, so I didn't have to worry about that. Mario recommended some grated parm on top,but I think it would've ruined it, the flavors in this were much too sweet and subtle to overpower with some salty cheese. Boo cheese.

The dish actually looks as good as it tastes, which is pretty unusual.
For my wild mushrooms, I reconstituted some porcinis and oysters that were hanging out in the pantry, and they played together beautifully. The sauce had a gorgeously sweet undertone to it...not overpowering or anything, but just right, and I didn't even add anything sweet...I think it may have been the tomatoes.

This was quick and easy, and tasted like it was cooking for a really long time....I'm starting to see how Mario gets away with charging inordinate amounts for pasta in his restaurant, it tastes like its very special, no matter how simple the ingredients.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wakame Soba Noodle Soup and a TLT

I was trying to decide how to stick to one ethnicity/food style for dinner tonight....and somehow we ended up having TLTs (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) and a wakame-soba noodle soup.

The soup was a recipe from Vegetarian Planet and it was ok. Just ok. I do like the wakame, which I'm used to from the miso soup at my favorite sushi joint (their sweet potato maki is to DIE FOR...and the mango/avocado roll with peanut isn't shabby either) but have never actually bought on its own before. Other than that, there was nothing special about this was mild, fairly bland, and the sliced ginger didn't do much to flavor the broth at all.
It looks pretty,and it was warm and filling, which is always good on a winter night, I just don't think I'll remember much about it two night from now. I could try doubling the miso in the broth and making it into more of a hearty miso soup, but short of that, it doesn't show a ton of promise.

The TLTs on the other hand were DELICIOUS. I've never had an actual BLT, since with the whole kosher thing, bacon was never one of my food groups even before I went veggie. I never really got the excitement surrounding some crunchy strips with lettuce and tomato, but I TOTALLY get it now.
I made the tempeh bacon from VwaV again, which is quite possibly becoming one of my favorite foods. I also toasted up the bread in the remaining peanut oil from the tempeh, which totally brought it up a notch. The bread was spread liberally with nayo, and then topped with sliced tomatoes and some spring mix. I could've had FOUR of these. I am definitely now a TLT addict.


Banana-Orange Oatmeal Pancakes

I love waking up on a sunday morning and having plenty of time to shuffle around in my pjs and come up with something delicious for breakfast, there's just nothing I find more relaxing. Better yet, my sister and her guy were here this weekend, and unbeknown to the happy omnivores, I fed them Vegan pancakes, and they loved them. Score.

Second most exciting thing about these pancakes? I came up with the recipe myself, so I can share.

Banana-Orange Oatmeal Pancakes

3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 cup oatmeal
1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla hemp milk
3 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. canola
1 banana. minced
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Mix together all ingredients except water, then add water slowly until batter looks the right consistency. I added about a cup. Most cookbooks would have you think you need to mix together dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls before combining, but I never have...and I've never had an issue. Just do the dry stuff first, mix, and then start adding the rest.

2. Heat a griddle over med/high heat, spray with Pam or equivalent, and use a ladle to drop the batter, cooking approx. 2-3 minutes per side.

3. Drown in maple syrup, and enjoy!

I was hoping the oatmeal would give them a crunch, which totally didn't happen, but the nutritional content certainly didn't hurt.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Linguini with "monkfish", thyme, and zucchini

I actually got this recipe from The Mario Batali in Italy cookbook (what can I say, I'm having a celebrity chef week) and it worked out quite nicely. I replaced the monkfish with the cruelty free version, also known as tofu in some circles.
I treated the tofu just as Mario had suggested, giving it generous grinds of salt and pepper while frying in olive oil. I'd say he'd be proud, but it seems all chef's (except awesome veggie ones) think tofu is the most appalling thing on earth, so he probably wouldn't be. That's fine, I am.

I'm not sure what made this so special, when it seemed to be a fairly run of the mill pasta dish. It may have been the fresh thyme, or perhaps the white wine mixed in with the tomato sauce...who knows? This is why Mario is an Iron Chef, and I'm not...

...although there's also that whole thing with cooking up bloody animal carcass and killing live sea creatures...ok I lied...there are a LOT of reasons I'm not an iron chef.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pea Soup and Jamaican Jerk Seitan

First off...I have to give credit to Jamie Oliver, he redeemed himself with this one. The only change required to make this soup vegan was replacing the chicken broth with vegetable...or in this case "not chik'n broth". You can't see it in the picture, but this is chock full of fresh peas, undoubtedly the best part. I can't stand split pea soup, but I love the real thing.
This also had broken up spaghetti in it, not to mention a whole bunch of onion, and a delicious broth. This could definitely be my vegan replacement for chicken noodle soup...

The second recipe I made was the Jamaican Jerk seitan from Vegan with a Vengeance, and although you can't see much in the picture, this was REAL good. Whenever I try a new seitan recipe I'm convinced it's the best ever until I try the next for now, we're calling this the best ever, which I'm sure will change.
The only thing I could say about this recipe is that if you're not a fan of green pepper (some people I know aren't) it is pretty powerful in this. Happily, I have no such qualms, and I enjoyed this mightily. Another great recipe from VwaV, I can add it to the tempeh bacon as a standard to be further enjoyed in the future.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kale Alfredo

I'm always trying to think up new ways to serve Kale, since it's such an amazing vegetable, but can be a bit much cooked up and served alone. This one came to me a couple nights ago when I was having trouble falling asleep, and I was very happy with the result. although it didn't go entirely as planned.
I rinsed the kale leaves, and then attempted to slice them into long spaghetti-like strips, which didn't really work out, but that's fine. The kale then went into a pot of boiling water, where I allowed it cook down for 25 minutes or so. In the meantime, I prepared Vegan Dad's Roasted Garlic Alfredo sauce, replacing the soymilk with hemp, since that's all I have this week. I also added a bunch of sliced mushrooms to the recipe instead of green pepper, since I felt that would go better with the kale.

As it turns out, the hemp milk made it even creamier then it would've been with straight up soymilk, and the whole recipe is delicious. If anything, I wish I had a bigger bulb of garlic to make the sauce even more garlicky, but that isn't a huge deal.

I topped my serving with Bac-Uns (as I would any good white pasta dish) and commenced to enjoy for lunch. I couldn't eat a ton of this stuff at a time, since any creamy food tends to fill me up really fast, but I can definitely do a servings worth...often.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Radicchio of Grossness

I love Jamie Oliver...really I do. I met the guy back in college when I was interning at Regis and Kelly, and he was seriously the most down-to-earth person I have EVER crossed paths with...really a big kid whose making it in the food business. I love what he's all about in terms of food, and although he cooks and eats meat, he's big on getting it from small local farms where it was treated and fed well throughout its life, and was killed humanely. Of course I'd love him even more if he was veggie, but as far as food philosiphy goes, I can stand behind him.

And that's why it hurts so much that he let me down with this one..although it's not totally his fault.
This came from his "Jamie in Italy" cookbook, and it looked great. Better yet, it was totally Vegan to begin with, I didn't need to mess with anything. Another selling point (I thought) was the new years resolution is to try a new food or drink every week...and I've never had raddicchio before, so I thought it'd be great.

memo to me: Raddicchio is bitter. It's REALLY bitter. Nasty, strong, I never want to eat it again bitter. EWWW. So this one was a failure, but I tried out two new things this week, and as it turns out I REALLY like hemp milk, the vanilla kind anyway...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sloppy Joes

I did it. I saved the "veggie burgers" from Vwav, and they were absolutely delicious. I'd been wanting to try out a sloppy joe tvp rendition for awhile now, and although I've never even had the original version, when it occurred to me that I could try it with the failed burgers, I was quickly off and running.
Since we didn't have any buns, I started with those, using the recipe found here and replacing the white sugar with raw, the margarine with canola oil, and the milk with soymilk. None of that seemed to matter, because these still came out perfect. The only (huge) hitch, was that after they'd been formed and risen, I discovered that the oven hadn't been preheating. I tried luck...tried with the door open...nothing. It would appear the pilot light is out. And since it was after 4 pm on a Saturday and Monday is a holiday...I probably won't have use of an oven until at least Tuesday. Go figure. Instead I made the buns three at a time in the toaster oven....which worked, but took forever.

To make the sloppy joes, I dumped all the "burgers" into a deep skillet, and broke up the few that held some shape with a wooden spoon. I added a large jar of tomato puree, a generous squeeze of ketchup, spicy brown mustard, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and bac-uns. I mixed and then let it all simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes. Perfect, and VERY messy. Who knew those TVP burgers would make such great sloppy joes?


Friday, January 16, 2009

Orange Glazed Scones and Mashed Potatoes with Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy

So today was a VwaV day, and OMFG did it make up for the TVP burger disaster. Breakfast was a combination of the leftover tempeh bacon from yesterday (my omni friend who'd never heard of tempeh before this morning even liked it!) and the orange glazed scones (also from VwaV).
The scones were ridiculously easy, and I didn't even measure things! For me to not screw up baking something, is always a big deal...and proves that the recipe really IS idiot proof.

Dinner featured some mashed potatoes with the Punk Rock Chickpea gravy from VwaV, and WOW.
Just WOW. I want to eat this stuff everyday, for the rest of my life, on EVERYTHING. PERIOD. It may not be the greatest looker, but boy does it make up for it! Everything Isa says about this recipe in the introduction to it is true, and if you own the cookbook and haven't made it yet, DO IT, NOW. OH MY CHICKPEA GRAVY.

ooooh...and a white russian with kahluah, coffee flavored vodka, and soymilk...YUM. I am NEVER going to fall asleep tonight.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tempeh Bacon

As promised, I have the tempeh bacon from VwaV...

This was REALLY good...chalk it up on the slowly growing list of tempeh foods that I actually enjoy. It's no bourbon glazed meatloaf...but it's awful close. I think the trick to this is to burn it...mine was literally black on the bottom, but it tasted great..and smelled frighteningly like real bacon...I was almost scared to eat it lest it had morphed into a pig at some point in the cooking process.

I also attempted the TVP burgers from VwaV today, but that was such a failure I can't even take a picture. They smelled great...but didn't hold together AT ALL in the grilling process. Now I need to come up with some recipes to stuff flavored TVP into...

Did anyone have luck with that recipe who'd like to share their secrets?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maple Roasted Winter Vegetables

I love roasting vegetables, and it's not something I normally follow a recipe for, but these maple roasted ones from VwaV just sounded too good to pass up.
I was right...they are too good to pass up. The only warning I have about these is that they're pretty sweet, so you can't eat a huge platter at a time (something I must admit to having done with roasted veggies) but they make a great side dish for a more savory course. The other mistake I made was cutting the squash chunks MUCH too large and throwing them into the marinade before I realized my mistake, so everything else is bite sized and the butternut squash is well...big. Oops.

Two thumbs up though...not that I'm surprised, I expected this to be good before I began.

P.S. I also have some bacon tempeh marinating in the fridge, so I'll fry some up for breakfast tomorrow and report back....


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Polenta Lasagna with Roasted Vegetables

Yet another Vegan Dad recipe...this is the last (of the week) I promise. I've used cornmeal to make cornbread, and to crust various things, I've even made the creamy porridge like polenta...of which I'm not a fan. I never really liked cream of wheat for breakfast, and that's what it reminded me of...except for dinner. I've also bought the tube of polenta, sliced it into rounds and baked them...that wasn't bad...but I've never tried anything like this.

I made the polenta from scratch, and then spread it onto the cookie sheet to harden, just as worked! I was terrified that it would remain a mushy mess, and I'd be up a creek with a whole bunch of lasagna ingredients and nothing to hold together the layers, but today I was in luck. It wasn't even horribly difficult to spread out, although you do need to act fast.
My favorite part of this was probably the roasted peppers, since I love the flavor, and I really enjoy roasting's the best part of having a gas stovetop. I did cheat a bit by using real mozzarella instead of the Vegan kind, but other than that I kept everything as is....except mine is a two layer creation and Vegan Dad's is three...apparently he has a deeper casserole dish than I...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Creamy-Spicy Seitan with Coconut Quinoa

This feels so NAUGHTY...and yet, it's really not bad for you. Granted the entire can of coconut milk in the recipe IS full of fat....but according to some reading I've been doing lately, although coconut is chock full of saturated fat, it's good for you...great even. Apparently indigenous people who cook everything with coconut oil live extremely long I'm going to try and abate my fear of the long as I'm not eating it everyday, and I DO really enjoy the stuff.
This one comes from the Vegan Dad Cookbook as well (have I mentioned you should buy it?) and he really has yet to let me down. I'm a little afraid to try the bread recipes at the back of the book...only because they look amazing, and I'm scared I'll screw something up and totally destroy them. It would be horribly disrespectful.

But THIS was hard to screw up. I added some sliced thai chilis to the seitan marinade for added kick, but other than that, left everything the same..oops I lied. I didn't have any cilantro for garnish, but made everything right by adding some coriander (same plant!) to the marinade. See, we're at equilibrium. This has got to be the NICEST thing you can do for your seitan...and over quinoa...we all know how I love to sing the praises of quinoa.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baked Chimichangas

This is another one a la the Vegan Dad Cookbook...I can not recommend purchasing his work enough. I'm not entirely sure why a baked chimichanga remains a chimichanga and doesn't become a burrito...mine looked and tasted like burritos, but who am I to talk?
Whether they were burritos or chimichangas, these were quite good, and real easy to make. My favorite part was definitely the crunch of the tortilla outside when I first stuck my fork into these....I had been concerned they wouldn't really set up like that in the oven...concern abated.

These are good...but could've used something more "fresh" tasting. I'd want to hit them up with fresh shredded lettuce and tomato along with a bit of guacamole in the future...there was a bit too much "brown" going on here for me.


Breakfast Veggie Chorizo

So I've owned Veganomicon for what feels like forever, and it is my kitchen BIBLE...but I only obtained Vegan with a Vengeance as a belated Chanukah present last week. The first recipe I made? Breakfast Veggie Chorizo of course! I'm pretty sure the true test of any cookbook is how good its breakfast recipes are...I LOVE breakfast.
I didn't have any onions, so the onion was replaced with about a cup of baby bella mushrooms...minced. The only other change I'd make is eliminating the tablespoon or so of sugar that was called for...the "chorizo" was a bit sweet, which isn't necessarily a flavor I want at breakfast...unless I'm having sugary bad-for-me cereal.

Those are hash browns with ketchup you can see off to the side..they were delicious, but nothing new....I've done hash browns plenty of times before, and I didn't think they warranted a blog entry, just know that they were good.


Friday, January 9, 2009


This quick celery preparation is something I came across in a cookbook or website a long time ago, and copied to a card in my recipe file. I haven’t the faintest idea where it came from, but I know it isn’t my creation, so sadly I can’t post the recipe. I’m sure that with a google search of “Apio” though…you could find it.


The original recipe only involves celery and a number of liquids, but since we had a bunch of baby bella mushrooms nearing their demise in the fridge, I decided to slice up and add a few. The mushrooms were PERFECT, and when I make apio in the future, I’ll definitely be including them. I’m even considering adding a number of other vegetables to make this more of a pre-meal sweet salad when guests are over. This is meant to be an appetizer prior to a meal, but I made it as my lunch today, since I was short on time and there weren’t many other options in the fridge. I also just really like cooked celery…I’m not sure what it is I’m so attracted to, but I’m sure there are worse foods I could be hooked on.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cornmeal-Masala Rousted Brussel Sprouts with Spiced Yogurt Sauce over Chickpea Basmati Rice

This one isn't a looker, but boy was it filling and delicious.
This was a combination of three V'con recipes (count em!) and not one steered me wrong. I did fail on my secondary mission of getting my other half to like brussel sprouts, although I won a small victory as he DID enjoy the crispy-covered leaves that fell off in the roasting process.

The rice recipe is "Fresh-Dill Basmati Rice with Chard and Chickpeas" in V'con, but I had to omit the swiss chard since I didn't have any, and replace the fresh dill with dried for the same reason. Nevertheless, it was delicious, and I'd eat it alone any doesn't need the brussel sprouts and yogurt sauce to class it up, although they certainly didn't hurt.

The only negative thing I can say about this recipe is that I expected the cornmeal coating to stick to the brussel sprouts and form nice, cruncy exteriors, which never exactly happened...but I like brussel sprouts so much as is, I could hardly say I was disappointed.

Overall this was a great, soul-warming success, although I probably wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to impress a dinner party with real elegant looking food...this ain't that kinda meal.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Sticky BBQ Wingz and Cheater Baked Beans

In addition to a nice, healthy, salad. (not pictured) last night's meal was a sugar-ridden cacophony of kid-friendly, dentist-hating food.

We started things off with Vegan Dad's BBQ Buffalo Wingz...which are absolutely AMAZING. I'd been wanting to try these off his blog forever, and with the book in my pantry, I had absolutely no excuse to wait any longer, and OMG are these good.
Even if you don't have the book, the recipe for these is on his website, check out Vegan Dad and I'm sure they're findable through his quick search bar on the side.

These had a nice crunch on the outside, thanks to the oven baked panko coating, and were deliciously chewy inside. The recipe gave two separate options for a full-out hot sauce glaze, or the homemade BBQ sauce. Unable to decide, I combined the two...making the BBQ sauce recipe with a solid half cup of tabasco...and it was perfect. I simply can not say enough about how GOOD these were. It's a bit of a pain getting the seitan to stay on the stick, but considering the result...I'd do it again in a millisecond...literally, a millisecond...and that's fast.

The second component of this meal was the cheater baked beans from V'con...and these I wasn't as much a fan of.
While that classic 'baked beans out of a can' flavor was in there, to me it was over-shadowed by something else that DIDN'T belong...the allspice perhaps, I'm not sure. I also think there was simply too much molasses in there...the dish stayed quite dark, and was VERY sweet....I think our pure organic mollases with no dilution or added ingredients should be used in something less than a one-to-one ratio with the icky stuff...regardless of what it says on the side. I'll probably try these again with twice the tomato, half the molasses and none of the allspice...but for now, it's not a favorite, they did a bit too much for me here.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Steamed Eggplant with Korean Hot Sauce

I had a couple of the long japanese eggplants to finish off, and was looking for something simple to do with them when I struck pay dirt in Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian Planet. Who has real Korean Hot Sauce from Korea just sitting around in their nearly-empty fridge? A girl lucky enough to have just had a visit from her friend living in Korea for the year of course!
The eggplant spent about ten minutes in my bamboo steamer, which was all it took to reach perfect melt-in-your-mouth status, and the korean hot sauce was mixed with a couple other ingredients and topped with gomasio. (sesame seeds and salt). This was soooo good, it's worth having the Korean hot sauce on hand alone.

I also had to share this picture:
I saw it out of the corner of my eye in the "english foods" section at Shaws, and simply HAD to take a picture...too bad I only had my camera phone on me. It probably speaks to my maturity level that this gave me the giggles for a solid hour...


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Spiced Hash Browns

Definitely not my first Vegan Dad recipe, but it was the first I made from my officially printed and bound copy of his book!
These were pretty classic hash browns, although the array of spices was a pretty nice addition, and I was a BIG fan of the cayenne...but aren't I always? I can't wait for continued fun with Vegan Dad's cookbook...lots of stuff looks good.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sesame Glazed Green Beans

Last night's meal was a quick mix-up of oven baked fries, leftover chickpea cutlets with gravy, and these sesame glazed green beans from Vegetarian Planet
There's a tree on the plate, which is covered up by the green beans, but I just wanted to clarify that those are branches sticking out from underneath them, not some strange part of the meal. The green beans are REALLY good too, very saucy and Asian tasting. Which matched perfectly with the plate.


Happy New Years

I made some black eyed peas for good luck today...
The recipe is simply called "Black Eyed Pea Salad" and came from The Olive and the Caper I always thought black eyed peas being eaten as good luck on New Years was a tradition that started in the south, but according to Wikipedia it's actually a Jewish tradition the the Sephardim brought to Georgia in the 1700s. Who knew?


Blog Directory - Blogged