Monday, April 28, 2008

A Delightful Crepe Recipe from a New Friend!

Hi everyone,

I'm glad so many of you liked the crepe recipe I posted a few days ago.

Teenage Vegan used the batter recipe to create a delicious-sounding breakfast dish... I can't wait for the weekend so I can try it out myself!

You can read her post here!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vegan Recipe: Portabella Caps with Mustard Crusted Tofu

There really isn't much of a story to go with tonight's entry. I had no idea what to make for dinner, so I simply drove to the market, planted myself firmly in the produce section, and waited for inpiration.

Fortunately, the produce gods came through, by casting my gaze at two plump, fresh portabella caps.

The rest just fell into place.

I think Carla was a little concerned when she asked what I was making, and I responded, "I really have no idea."

Then I threw her out of the kitchen.

Anyway, this is a relatively simple dish (meaning few ingredients), and I think that with a little practice, it could make the coveted "under 30 minutes" category.

So without further prefacing, I give you a recipe that came out of the blue, but turned out wonderfully:

Portabella Caps with Mustard Crusted Tofu

2 large portabella caps, stems removed
1 medium tomato, diced
4 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
White cooking wine
2 tbsp sweet and spicy mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Mix 1/4 cup white cooking wine, mustard, and sage in a large, shallow bowl. Add tofu and mix to coat.

Steam broccoli florets in a vegetabole steamer for 20 minutes, or place broccoli in a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water and microwave for 4 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup white cooking wine in a large skillet. Place portabella caps in skillet and cook on medium heat, stem side up, for 5 minutes. Turn portabella caps, sprinkle basil on top, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add more white cooking wine as needed.

Place tofu and mustard in a medium skillet and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Transfer portabella caps to plates, stem side up.

Place tofu, tomatoes, and steamed broccoli in a bowl (I use one of those food storage containers with a lid) and shake to mix. Don't worry, you didn't miss a step - I didn't cook the tomatoes.

Spoon tofu and vegetable mixture over portabella caps. Sprinkle dried parsley on top.

That's it! As you can see, I served this dish with vegetable rice and french bread, and it all turned out quite nicely. The picture's a little fuzzy, but what can I say... I need a new digital camera.

And Carla, who had been watching from the living room, said she was quite pleased with my creation. Especially since she saw me mix white cooking wine and mustard together, and was convinced that dinner was indeed doomed.

Admittedly, it's a bit of an odd combination, but sometimes you have to experiment to get out of a food rut.

And sometimes, it even turns out well. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Recipe: Vegan Savory Crepes

Tonight was a bit of a dinner stalemate. Carla and I took turns asking each other the ever-dangerous question, "So what do you want for dinner?"

Why is it dangerous? Because when neither of us can come up with anything, I end up heading to the store with absolutely no clue of what I'm going to get into. Then I get all creative, and end up spending half the evening making a huge mess in the kitchen.

We reached such a stalemate tonight, so off I went.

Actually, this time I had at least a vague plan. I remembered a recipe I saw this morning for crepes... so by the time I got to the grocery, I already had devious ideas swirling in my head.

Unlike most of my more creative...uh, creations, this one turned out phenomenal, if a bit messy. And the good thing is, even though I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand to make vegan crepes, now I have the stuff to make about a bazillion of them. So I guess it's a good thing they turned out well!

Anyway, here you go... Vegan Savory Crepes.

I unabashedly swiped the batter recipe from Recipezaar:

1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1 tsp vegan sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, set in refrigerator and let chill for 2 hours. (Really. That's what the recipe said - 2 hours. I think mine chilled for maybe 20 minutes and the crepes turned out just fine, thankyouverymuch.)


1 yellow squash, cut into thin rounds
1 zucchini squash, cut into thin rounds
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces (I only used the top 3 inches)
4 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tbsp dried sage
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/4 tbsp dried parsley
Olive oil cooking spray

Place yellow squash, zucchini squash, asparagus, and red bell pepper in vegatble steamer and steam for 30 minutes.

Remove red bell pepper and mushroom slices. Place in a blender with 1/4 cup soy milk, 1/2 of the basil and 1/2 of the sage. Blend until smooth.

Coat a 5-6" cooking pan with olive oil spray, turn on medium heat. Pour in enough crepe batter to cover bottom of pan. You may have to use a wooden spoon to smooth out the batter so it will cover the entire bottom of the pan. Cook batter 2-3 minutes or until the bottom begins to brown. Flip crepe can cook the other side an additional 2-3 minutes.

Transfer crepe to a plate. Cover half of the crepe with the mushroom mixture. Arrange zucchini squash, yellow squash, and asparagus spears over the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle sage and basil on top of the vegetables. Fold the uncovered half of the crepe over the vegetables, and sprinkle dried parsley over the crepe.

Repeat for the additional crepes. My recipe made 4 crepes (plus one that didn't quite make it).

I served these tasty crepes with a simple salad and french bread and Earth Balance vegan butter.

Now, I resolved to start taking pictures of my creations to post on my blog, but I forgot about it until about halfway through dinner. That's okay, though - Carla has informaed me that I will be making these quite often, so I'm sure I'll get another chance soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Low Fat Eggplant Parmagian

Eggplant parmagian is one of my favorite dishes, but it's typically loaded with fat. I've spent the last couple of months working on a low fat eggplant parmagian, and I've finally come up with a version that is both tasty and healthy.

Like most of my successful creations, this dish came not from careful planning. Instead, it came from a lack of the correct ingredients. I'm really bad about "winging it" when I'm missing an item or two, and sometimes it works out great. (Sometimes it's a complete freakin' disaster, too, but that's beside the point.)

This version has just 275 calories and 8.5 grams of fat per serving... compare this to Olive Garden's lunch portion of eggplant parmagian, which weighs in at 793 calories and 39 grams of fat.

Add to that the fact that the low fat version is just as tasty (actually a lot better, I think), and I'm a very happy Veggie Guy.

I leave the skin on the eggplant. It gives the slices a slightly smoky flavor when they are baked directly on the oven rack. Feel free to remove the skin if you find this weird.

Oh yeah.. and if you haven't noticed, I use cayenne pepper in pretty much everything. You can omit this, but I think it gives it a distinctive Veggie Guy flair. (Don't worry, my wife thinks I'm delusional too.)

So here we go:

Low Fat Eggplant Parmagian

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds (you don't have to take the skin off)
1/2 cup Veggie Shreds mozzarella style cheese
1 tsp vegan parmagian cheese, grated
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup marinara sauce or pizza sauce
1/4 tbsp dried sage
1/4 tbsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
3 oz lemon juice
A few sprays of olive oil cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place eggplant slices directly on the middle oven rack, bake for 6 minutes. Turn slices over, bake directly on rack for an additional 6 minutes.

Mix bread crumbs, parmagian cheese, sage, basil, and cayenne pepper in a flat bottomed dish (I use one of those entree-sized plastic storage containers).

Spray cooking spray on a 13 x 9 baking dish.

Coat eggplant slices with lemon juice. Dip in bread crumb mixture, covering both sides.

Place breaded eggplant slices in baking dish in a single layer. Pour marinara or pizza sauce over the slices and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 7 - 10 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble and brown.

I typically serve this with steamed asparagus and warm sourdough bread.

Note: This recipe fails my "30 minutes or less" test, but not by much. Most of it is baking time, though, so you can probably still get something else done while you're waiting.


Lee, The Veggie Guy

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Recipe: Teriyaki Tofu Vegetable Kebabs

I know, I know... I said the next several posts were going to be about sushi. But what can I say - I have the attention span of a three-year-old. I'll get back to it, I promise.

I've been distracted by the brief span of warm weather we've had here in Ohio (both days of it!), and when warm weather hits, my attention turns to... the grill!

My in-laws wonder why I still have a grill - they think it's just for burning up hamburgers and steaks. But vegetarians and vegans can do lots of great things on the grill. Here's one of 'em:

Teriyaki Tofu Vegetable Kebabs

1 package of extra firm tofu (the kind packed in water, not that icky "silken" stuff
1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell peopper, each cut into 1' x 1" (roughly) square pieces
1 package (8 oz) white button mushrooms, whole
1 zucchini squash, sliced into 1/2" thick rounds
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2" thick rounds
6 oz teriyaki marinade (no, I don't make my own)
4 bamboo skewers (you can get about a hundred of these for a dollar at any big-chain supermarket)

Step 1 (Optional, but recommended)

Toss the package of tofu in the freezer and leave it overight. Take it out in the morning and let the package set at room temperature until thawed. Freezing improves tofu's consistency, and gives it a (dare I say it!) meaty texture.

Step 2

Drain tofu. Press with paper towels or a clean dish towel to remove excess water. Cut tofu into 1" cubes.

Step 3

Load tofu, green/red bell pepper pieces, mushrooms, and zucchini/yello squash pieces onto each of the skewers in an alternating pattern. Leave 2" on each end of the skewer so you can turn it (and so stuff doesn't fall off). Place skewers in teriyaki marinade.

Step 4

Light grill and set to medium-high heat. Turn the kebabs in the marinade every few minutes to make sure they're covered.

Step 5

Place kebabs directly on the grill. You can use cooking spray, but I've found that if the kebabs are properly lubricated with marinade, they don't seem to stick anyway.

Turn kebabs about every 5 minutes or whenever you get bored with standing in front of the grill.

In about 20 minutes, you'll have piping hot, yummy tofu vegetable kebabs!
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