Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Looking for Recipes?!?

Last Friday was the last day that Disney World seasonal passes were valid until after the summer rush.  Since we have passes, I was quite busy last week with the kiddo and so once again, my promises go broken as for posting new recipes.  Hopefully you won't be disappointed today.  In the recipe archive, I am posting several new recipes.  Hopefully, enough to make up for the fact that I only posted 1 last week.  The first 3 recipes listed I made last week and just could not find the time to post.  Then Saturday my pregnancy cravings for something sweet took over after a few not-so-successful batches of (still-delicious) cookies, I think I came up with a pretty good recipe for chewy chocolate cookies.  Sunday landed me at our local co-op where the Florida heat destroyed all of the crops except for an abundance of peppers. 

Using the peppers based on an meatball recipe, I whipped up some Caribbean rice with meatballs.  If you are incorporating meat into your diet (hopefully on a limited basis!), this dish is also good with grilled fish.  My husband grilled some shrimp to eat with his.  In addition, you can substitute fish for the tofu in the Blackened Tofu recipe.  Just use blackened seasoning for a rub and grill.

Blacked Tofu with Smokey Mango Salsa
Cheesy Chipotle Smashed 'Taters
Cilantro Lime Corn
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caribbean Luau Rice with Meatballs

Blackened Tofu with Smokey Mango Salsa
1 Block Super OR Extra Firm Tofu
1/3 C Vegan Mayo
1 1/2 C Flour (use Unbleached!)
5 Tbsp Blackened Seasoning (use your own or see seasoning recipe below.  Before using your own, check ingredients that it is free of MSG and other artificial flavorings, coloring and preservatives.)
2 Tbsp High Heat Cooking Oil (Coconut works well)
Smokey Mango Salsa (see recipe below)

If using Super Firm Tofu, you won't need to drain.  If using extra-firm tofu, drain, wrap in a clean dish towel and put a cast iron skillet of something else heavy on top to press out excess moisture.  You can make the smokey-mango salsa while you wait.

Slice the tofu into 4-6 even slabs.  Mix flour and blackened seasoning in a shallow dish.  Heat oil in skillet to medium/high heat.  Coat each slab of tofu in vegan mayo and then in the flour mixture.  Lightly pan fry until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side).  Alternatively, you can bake in a preheated 375º oven for 8-10 minutes per side depending on thickness of slabs.  This does create a chewier texture and after some taste tests, we definitely preferred the pan fried method.  Remove each slab to a paper-towel lined plate to 'drain' for a few minutes.  Top with smokey mango-salsa. 

Blackened Seasoning2 tsp Smoked Paprika
3 tsp Thyme
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Organic Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne (or more to taste)
1 tsp Oregano

Put all ingredients in small glass jar, seal and shake it up!

Smokey Mango Salsa Ingredients1 Mango, peeled and diced
1 Medium Tomato, diced
1 Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, minced
1/4 C Red Onion
1/3 C Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 C Red Bell Pepper, diced (optional)

Mix all salsa ingredients together.

Cheesy Chipotle Smashed 'Taters1 Large Sweet Potato, chopped into bite-size pieces
4-5 White Potatoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2oz Vegan Cream Cheese*
4oz Vegan Cheddar Cheese, cut into smaller pieces**
1/4 C Vegan Butter
3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1/4 C Non-Dairy Milk
S&P to taste
Ancho, Cayenne or Chipotle Chili Powder for garnish (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Throw in sweet potatoes.  Boil 5 minutes.  Throw in white potatoes.  Turn heat to low boil and boil until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. 

A NOTE on cutting sweet potatoes or anything else tough to cut through:  My neighbor and good friend taught me this trick and it works like a charm.  Instead of using your knife to 'saw' through tough veggies, use your knife to make the initial cut so that when you lift your knife, the potato sticks to it.  Then, lift your knife and slam it back down on the cutting board with the potato hanging on.  The force you get with the heavy potato weighing the knife down will surely split it in a few 'slams'.  Keep fingers and limbs away from oncoming knife!

While potatoes are boiling, make the cheese.

*Vegan Cream cheese generally comes in 8oz tubs.  You don't have to measure exactly.  Use a knife and score a line down the center, then do it again cross-wise so it's divided into 4 equal sections.  Scoop out one section.  Consider that 2oz.

**Same goes for cheese.  The cheese I used (Vegan Rella Cheddar) came in an 8oz block.  I cut in half.  That's about 4oz.  If you are new to vegan cheese - check ingredients!  Casein is a milk protein proven to cause promote cancer.  Avoid Casein like the plague.

Put your cream cheese, cut up cheddar, butter and chipotles into a food processor and process until smooth.

When potatoes are done, drain and put into a large bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash up potatoes with cheese sauce, non-dairy milk and S&P.  Garnish with a sprinkle of powdered chili pepper.  (I used Ancho)

Cilantro Lime Corn1 Bag (12-16oz) Frozen Corn
2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
1 tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 C Cilantro, chopped

Melt butter in saucepan and add frozen corn.  Add salt and pepper and saute until corn is about soft.  Add lime juice and when the corn is about ready, thrown in the cilantro and mix it up before removing from heat.

Chocolate Chip Cookies1 C Vegan Butter
1 C Organic Brown Sugar
1/2 C Organic White Sugar, or raw sugar
Egg Replacer for 1 Egg (I used Ener-G)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 C Unbleached Flour (White, Whole Wheat, etc)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
8oz Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350º.  Cream butter and sugars together.  Add the egg replacer and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Sift in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 min and allow to cool on tray.  Cookies will appear 'puffy' when removed from oven but should flatten out by about half while cooling. 

Caribbean Luau Rice with Meatballs2 C Water
1 (14oz) Can Lite Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Flax Oil (for added fiber...optional)
2 C Brown Jasmine Rice
1/2 C Organic Brown Sugar
1 (20oz) Can Pineapple Tidbits or Chunks,  drained and liquid reserved
1/3 C Vinegar
1 Tbsp Tamari, Shoyu or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp Corn Starch
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (or other high heat oil)
1 1/4 C Bell Peppers, assortment of colors (organic!) and diced
1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes (more or less to taste)
1 Package or recipe of your favorite vegan meatballs, cooked (optional.  This dish is good alone or make meatballs to go with.  I used Nate's brand and cooked in toaster over)

Bring water, coconut milk and flax oil to boil.  Add rice and return to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes (or as rice package dictates).  While rice is cooking, mix brown sugar, pineapple juice, vinegar, tamari, mustard and corn starch in bowl.  Set aside.  Heat oil in skillet to medium heat and add pineapple chunks or tidbits and peppers.  Cook for about 5 minutes and add the mixed liquid.  Whisk until combined and sauce begins to thicken.  Reduce heat, add red pepper flakes and simmer for about 5-8 minutes.  If using meatballs, you can add them now also to simmer.  Serve sauce (with meatballs) on top of rice.


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