Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

I’ve been a little obsessed with everything tiki/’50s faux Polynesian lately. So I decided to try my hand at make vegan rumaki.

Rumaki is a faux Polynesian dish that consists of chicken livers and a water chestnut on a toothpick wrapped in bacon and broiled. Sounds like a vegan’s delight, right? According to Wikipedia, rumaki was first concocted in the 1940s for Don the Beachcomber’s tiki restaurant.

So what did I use as a vegan substitute for chicken livers? I used firm tofu. I don’t know how genuinely similar it is, since I’ve never had chicken liver, but I figured it would work. For the bacon, I used Morningstar bacon. The taste was good, but the problem with pretty much all vegetarian bacon is low fat content—it burns really easily. I wish some company would make a fattier vegan bacon for dishes like this. I know that sounds horrible, but seriously, it would be a huge help.

Other than the easily burning bacon, I was happy with how my rumaki turned out. I think next time I’ll slice the bacon length-wise, leaving two long, thin strips—this way I could wrap it completely around the water chestnut and tofu. I might also experiment with other brands of meatless bacon.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Try it for your next tiki party or any time you get a craving for something bacon-wrapped.

Vegan Rumaki

1/2 cup tamari sauce
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 package firm water-packed tofu, drained and pressed
1 8 oz can slice water chestnuts
1 package vegan bacon

Whisk together the tamari, water, sugar and ginger. Set aside. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces—about 1-inch wide and just under 1/4 inch thick. Cut the bacon slices in half (width-wise, or length wise, depending on how you want to wrap it). Sandwich a water chestnut slice and tofu chunk together and wrap with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Continue until you’re out of bacon. Place the rumaki in a large bowl or pan and cover with the tamari mixture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 6–8 hours.

After the rumaki has marinated, drain and place your rumaki on a foil-covered pan. Broil under medium heat until the bacon is cooked, turning often. Be careful not to burn the bacon. Total cooking time will be around ten minutes.

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I haven’t been posting very regularly lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. I have a backlog of stuff to post, starting with this lovely recipe.

I love peanut sauce and I love broccoli slaw, so why not bring the two together? I’ve never been a big fan of mayo-drenched coleslaw, so this is a great alternative. Enjoy with veggie egg rolls or pot stickers!

Asian-Inspired Peanut Slaw

3-1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons agave nectar
Dash tabasco
12 oz bag broccoli slaw (or cole slaw)

Whisk together everything but the broccoli slaw until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Toss with broccoli slaw until evenly coated and serve.

Variation: For a fruity twist, toss in a drained 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple. You could also throw in a few tablespoon of chopped peanuts for some crunch.

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I tried two new recipes this weekend. The first was Karina’s Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas from the Gluten-Free Goddess blog. Take a look at the tastiness:

These really were very good. I love just about anything with black beans and sweet potatoes, and these were no exception. I was afraid it was going to be too spicy with all the chilies, but they really weren’t that spicy at all. This recipes definitely a keeper.

After I assembled the enchiladas, I still had a sizable amount of sweet potato mixture and beans left, so I assembled some sweet potato & black bean quesadillas—sweet potato mixture and beans sandwiched between two corn tortillas—wrapped them individually and thew them in the freezer. On a night I don’t feel like cooking I can thaw them a bit, throw them on a hot skillet, and have almost-instant dinner. Yay!

I also finally got around to making some of Katie’s famous Fudge Babies. These are amazing! If you’re a fan of Larabars or chocolate, you must make these. So fudgy and good (and healthy!). I think next time I make these I’ll throw in some peanut butter for Peanut Butter Cup Babies.

This morning I made Happy Herbivore’s Fat-Free Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. I’d never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, but these seemed much easier to make than I expected. They’re gooey and sweet and so tasty. I had two for breakfast, and Kevin had three. These will definitely make it into regular long-weekend breakfast rotation.

I’ll have a new recipe up tomorrow, so check back then! :-) In the meantime, have a lovely Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

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Today is Vegan Thursday! (If you don’t know what that is, check out Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog). Since I’m already 90% vegan (and 100% vegetarian), I decided on Vegan Thursdays, I’d come up with a new vegan recipe. Thus, we have these delicious, cheeseless quesadillas!

I made this using ingredients already in my pantry and fridge. It’s all really basic stuff. I’m trying to keep the food bill low this week, so look for more pantry concoctions soon! :-)

I have a feeling this spread would also be good between two slices of bread as a cheeseless grilled cheese!


1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon yellow miso
2 tablespoons vegan cream or milk (I used unsweetened MimicCream)
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teapsoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Tortillas of your choice

Place everything except the tortillas in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. This is your “cheeze.” Spread a generous layer of “cheeze” on a tortilla. Place another tortilla on top of the cheese (you know, like a sandwich). Grill over medium heat in a lightly oiled nonstick skillet or griddle until toasted (about 5 minutes). Flip over and grill other side. Cut into wedges. Repeat until you have a big pile of delicious quesadillas.

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These little guys are easy to make, tasty, and pretty healthy. I prefer date sugar for these, but since date sugar can be hard to find, turbinado or organic sugar will work as well.


3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oatmeal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1-1/3 cups date sugar (1-2/3 cups other dry sweetener)
1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
1/2 cup soy or almond milk

Combine the oatmeal, cinnamon and coconut in a large bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar, nut butter and soy milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly (it may not be easy) until mixture is smooth and sugar is melted. Don’t boil, and make sure it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until combined. Once combined, let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes to cool and set up. Form the mixture into balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Variations: After the mixture cools, stir in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or cacao nibs, if desired. For chocolate asteroids, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the peanut butter mixture.

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I made the sushi bowls again tonight, but this time they’re on a plate and I added sweet potato and steamed broccoli. The results? Deliciousness!

I’m working on a cookie recipe I hope to post sometime next week. I made a test batch last night, and while they were pretty tasty, they had issues. I have a few ideas to fix them, so I’ll make another batch next week (my waistline can’t afford to have cookies in the house every night, not even low-fat vegan ones).

I’ve been trying to decide what all I’m going to make for Christmas. I know I’ll be making a few cookie tins for gifts, and I know for sure I’m making Happy Herbivore’s Soy-Free Mac ‘n Cheese, vegan sausage balls, and biscuits and maybe a pumpkin pie, but beyond that, I’m clueless.

Speaking of biscuits, here’s a quick and easy recipe for vegan biscuits made with Heart Smart Bisquick, modified from the recipe on the back of the box. I made them for dinner last night, and I was shocked by how good they were. They’d make a tasty breakfast sandwich with some tofu scramble and soy cheese (or fake bacon and soy cheese). We had them with tomato soup.

Vegan Bisquick Biscuits

1-1/2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick
1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix Bisquick and milk together in a bowl. Transfer to a kneading surface sprinkled with Bisquick and knead 10 times. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter (or the open end of a glass). Bake on a lightly oiled (or parchment-lined) baking sheet for 7-9 minutes.

What meat-free wonders are you cooking up for the holidays?

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When I was little my mom made those Bisquick sausage balls all the time, and boy did I love them. They were the perfect tiny spicy snack. Having been vegetarian for the last 12 years, I’ve missed them, and a year ago I finally decided to take a whack at making vegetarian ones and they turned out remarkably well. I used mashed up Morningstar patties in place of the sausage and the “heart healthy” Bisquick.

Well, tonight my writer’s group is having its annual Christmas party and decided to give these little guys another go, but instead of Bisquick, I used Hodgson Mills whole-wheat Insta-Bake. I think they turned out just as well as my “heart healthy” Bisquick batches. Here they are:
Sausageless Balls!

I really, really want to make a vegan version, and after making today’s batch, I think it’s totally possible. The Morningstar patties are much, much drier than actual raw sausage, so I almost always end up having to add some soymilk so the dough will hold together. If I used Follow Your Heart soy cheese, I think it would add some much-needed moisture, since it’s wetter than diary cheese. I’m going to toy around with the recipe this week and see what happens.

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I’ve been refining this recipe for about a year or so. My goal was to duplicate the tasty Chikin Salad at Spiral Diner, but I think I actually like mine better (shhh, don’t tell!). I took it to a work Christmas party yesterday, and it was a hit. I recently started making it with Quorn chicken tenders because seitan often messes with my stomach. If you’re making this for omnivores, the Quorn will completely fool them. The only downside to the Quorn is that it contains egg whites. :-( Quorn people, formulate a version of your chicken chunks without egg whites! Doing so would totally rock my world!
Chicken-Free awesomeness!

Anyway, on to the recipe!

Chickenless Salad

1 12-oz package Quorn chicken tenders (or chicken-style seitan, cut into chunks)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 medium apple, cut into chunks
Juice of 1 small orange
1/2 – 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Follow Your Heart’s Veganaise)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the Quorn (or seitan) in a lightly oiled skillet until heated through. If you’re using Quorn, break it into smaller pieces as it thaws. Transfer to a plate to let it cool. Once the Quorn or seitan reaches room temperature, combine with the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is evenly coated with the mayo. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve on in a sandwich, with corn chips or crackers, or on a bed of lettuce. This is best made the day before.

Note that Quorn does contain egg whites, so for a truly vegan Chickenless Salad, go with the seitan.

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Tonight for dinner I made our long neglected Celebration Roast we forgot to consume at Thanksgiving. It was delicious—much better than I expected, really. I baked it according to the package directions, but it did not get heated through, so I sliced it and microwaved the slices for minute and a half, flipping half-way through, and it turned out perfect. I’ll definitely pick up another at Christmas (and maybe we can remember to eat it on the actual holiday this time :-P). Along with the roast, I also made some stir-fried broccoli (smothered in my favorite spice, fresh ground pepper) and these little guys:

Pinkies up, ladies!

I originally made these for my writing group’s NaNoWriMo kickoff party, and everyone really seemed to love them. These would make great tea party fodder, potluck brunch treat, side dish, snack . . . they’re just good and stupidly easy to make.

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches

Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
Strawberry Fruit Spread/Jam (I used Smuckers Simply Fruit)
Thin-sliced whole grain bread

Spread Tofutti on one slice of bread, and fruit spread on another. Sandwich together and cut into four triangles. Repeat until you have a mound of cute, delicious triangles.

The cream cheese-strawberry jam combo is also tasty on toast.

Tomorrow, I’ll have a recipe for my Chickenless Salad I’m making for a work party tomorrow!

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Yesterday, I had this for breakfast:

Actual produce, people!

A big, juicy apple (Fuji, I think) and almond butter. I love apples and nut butter, and I haven’t had this combo in so long. Perfect breakfast. I should definitely have it more often. Definitely got me out of the breakfast rut I’ve been in.

Tonight was either an Asian Food Orgy or Let’s-See-What’s-in-the-Freezer-and-Make-That-Because-It’s-Waaaay-Past-Grocery-Day Night. I made fried rice with extra brown rice I cooked on Sunday, carrots, onion and peas, then threw some egg rolls in the over and stir-fried some organic potstickers.

Tired of seeing this plate and this place mat?

Not the most ground-breaking meal ever, but it was tasty and cleared some needed room in the freezer. :-P

Making tonight’s simple fried rice, got me thinking about concocting a slightly more elaborate version of fried rice, maybe with some edamame thrown in and tofu “egg” like take-out fried rice. I may toy around with this this weekend. My husband is always more than happy to consume copious amounts of fried rice. I think I’d like to try substituing tamari for the soy sauce as well. I used to love soy sauce, but four or five years ago, I got to where the taste really grossed me out if it was too strong.

Tomorrow I’ll have a super simple tea party-esque froo-froo type sandwich worthy of any tea party or girly potluck brunch. In the meantime, enjoy this vat of fried rice.


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