Friday, November 28, 2008

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Man alive, it's freezing here in Ohio! So it's time for a nice winter soup... this time, I've chosen black bean soup. Spicy, hearty, and thoroughly yummy, this soup has become a staple of our winter fare.

It's also pretty easy to make - it easily falls into the coveted "under 30 minutes" category, which makes me a pretty happy guy.

So, without further nonsense, here's a happy (and I mean Bob Ross happy) little recipe to brighten these crappy winter days.

Vegan Black Bean Soup

4 cans vegetable broth
2 cans black beans
1 can chili hot beans
1 can golden corn
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 stalks celery
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/3 tbsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 cup long grain brown rice, uncooked
vegan shredded cheese (optional)

Pour 1 can black beans, 1 can vegetable broth, and 1 can tomatoes into a blender; blend until smooth.

Place remainder of ingredients (except for shredded cheese) into a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Add mixture from blender, return to boil. Lower heat to medium and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice and vegetables have cooked through.

Serve with vegan shredded cheese, if desired.

Now, I know you're expecting some pithy statement, silly sidebar, or nugget of nonsense... but I've got stuff to do, so I'm going to take it easy with the crapola tonight. So all you get is a recipe. Consider yourself duly shortchanged.

Oh, I noticed that my recipe for Vegan Seitan with Sesame Garlic Sauce was featured on several blogs over the past few days. Hell, Digg it, StumbleUpon it, whatever... I'm happy to spread the garlicky goodness.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

With the holidays looming near, I'm finding myself in the mood for chocolate chip cookies. Thing is, it's pretty tough to just stop by the local supermarket and buy a batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies. Sure, they've got them at Whole Foods, but I'm just not impressed with what they offer.

So I decided to make my own vegan chocolate chip cookies. After scouring the internet for ideas on how to make cookies that don't suck, I ran across this video. I more or less followed the recipe, the cookies were pure yumminess, and even my non-vegan friends liked them.

I didn't have the foresight to make a video of my endeavor, so I decided to just post the video I used. Enjoy!

Oh, by the way, the lovely lady in this video has, among other resources, a great vegan blog. Go check it out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vegan Seitan Stir Fry with Sesame Garlic Sauce

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I'm rather partial to Iron Chef sauces. Most of them are vegan, and they take a heck of a lot of work out of making stir frys.

I'm sure there are some purists that would shake their heads at my little shortcuts, but hey... I'm a working guy with a family. If I can make a tasty vegan meal without spending hours in the kitchen, then by Cthulhu, I'll do it!

Today's recipe is a stupidly simple one, with relatively few ingredients. Aside from steaming the rice, this dish took all of 15 minutes to put together. That gave me plenty of time to play Candy Land with the kidlet, floss my cat, and spend some time on some of my other hairbrained endeavors.

So here we go:

Vegan Seitan Stir Fry with Sesame Garlic Sauce

1 package chicken style seitan, drained
1 large crown (about 2 cups) fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 bunch scallioned, sliced
1 can Asian style baby corn
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bottle Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce
1/2 tbsp Korean Chili Sauce (It has a rooster on the label - I have no idea why)
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 cup uncooked brown long grain rice

Cook rice according to package directions. In my world, this actually means according to the little instruction booklet that came with my rice cooker - 1 cup of water in the rice, 1 1/2 cups water in the steamer, cook for about an hour. I tend to start the rice well before I get anything else ready... usually even before I go to the store to pick up whatever ingredients I've forgotten.

Pour olive oil in a wok or large skillet; heat on medium high for 1 minute. Add seitan; stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the remainder of the vegetables. Continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes. (Any longer, and the broccoli tends to get a bit icky.)

Turn heat to low; add chili sauce and tamari. Stir for about 30 seconds. Add Sesame Garlic sauce; stir for another 30 seconds.

Serve over brown rice.

One tip I should give: I listed the measurement of the Korean Chili Sauce as 1/2 tbsp. In case you're new here, I like things hot. Maybe not quite as hot as when I was young and thought I was cool... but hot nonetheless. 1/2 tbsp puts you comfortably in the "my forehead is sweating" range. Any more than that, and you're probably approaching "my head just blew clean off" territory. Just sayin'.

Incidentally, you may be wondering about the egg roll in the picture. Egg roll = "made with eggs" = not vegan, right?

Usually, yes. But Health is Wealth makes a pretty good vegan egg roll. We have a local store called Raisin Rack that carries them; I have no idea where else you can find them. Maybe Whole Foods? If you can find them, though, they're well worth the extra buck or two you'll pay (and if you shop for vegan foods, you should be used to this by now).

So there you go. Vegan Seitan Stir Fry with Sesame Garlic Sauce... just the kick to warm the cockles of your heart as the weather turns downright dismal.

(Irrelevant tangent: I grew up with the phrase "warm the cockles of your heart"... but never really considered what it meant. For an overly nerdy explanation, go visit World Wide Words, where you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about this weird little idiom.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Where the Heck Do I Find That Spice?!

With various other projects running amuck, I've had very little time to devote to new recipes. (Boo...)

But I did want to share a website I stumbled on, called It's become my go to site for those times (and there are many) when I see a great recipe and go, "Where the heck do I find that spice?!"

Garam masala for Indian dishes? Check.

Smoked Spanish paprika? Check. (Don't remember what I needed that for, but when I figure it out, I've got smoked Spanish paprika!)

Star anise? Check.

I think this could get rather dangerous... :-)
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