Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Korean(ish) Soy Curls

I should start this post by admitting that the closest thing I've ever had to food that could be deemed 'Korean' was any time our dear Korean friend Francis, the sushi chef, made me dinner. Even then though, there wasn't a lot of drawing from his culture, even if his knife skills are mad impressive!

That said, I've always wanted to try a Korean restaurant but have always been scared of the meat-centric cuisine. Enter Butler Foods Soy Curls. There's pretty much nothing this dehydrated meat stand-in can't replicate in the way of mouth feel or deliver in the way of flavor (I still can't believe I've never blogged about Vegan Diner's Smoky Soy Curls, oh man. Bacon. Yum.). 

So I did some Googling, took some notes, and scribbled down a bunch of ingredients that kept reappearing. I made a sauce, hydrated my Curls, and got to cooking. Easy, sweet, peppery, delicious! I have NO clue if these are anywhere near the flavors of what a Korean dish would deliver, but since the recipe is born of some serious Korean internet searching, I'm going with Korean(ish) Soy Curls. And I plan to make them again. And again!

Korean(ish) Soy Curls
makes approx. 4 meal-sized servings

1/3 bag rehydrated (in boiling water) Butler Soy Curls

3 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
6 T shoyu
2 1/2 T light agave syrup
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 tsp black pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T ginger paste

Squeeze water from rehydrated Soy Curls. Toss in marinade, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to overnight. Heat 1-2 T peanut or coconut oil over med heat. Squeeze excess marinade out of Curls and place in hot oil, tossing every few minutes to brown but not burn. Add veggie of choice (I used some fresh chopped broccoli) and saute, stirring often until crisp tender. Serve over rice noodles, bean thread noodles, or rice. There will not be much of a sauce. You could always add some water or some of the marinade if you want more of that. I like the flavor all in the Curls sans sauce. 

You could easily add any veggies you like to this. The fresh flavor of the vegetables will balance the sweet peppery taste of the Soy Curls. I just had a hankering for some broccoli. Then again, I find I always have a hankering for some broccoli. Also, I wanted to finish this off with a sprinkling of some toasted sesame seeds, but had none on hand. Next time! 

Peanut Lime Cilantro Dressed Salad

Whenever we have guests, I will spend the days leading up to their arrival dreaming up menus, planning to pull out all the stops, wanting to woo them with vegan goodness they'll be craving for meals to come after their departure. If they're lucky, I'll actually have a sauce or dressing in the 'fridge already and at least one perfect plate will make it to them amid all of the fun, non-eating things that tend to get packed into a visit instead of cooking and the cleaning up of my tiny kitchen. 

When one of those plates is like this one on a hot summer day and the diner is my ever appreciative mom I'm more than happy!

This recipe certainly isn't anything you haven't seen before, but what it is is a perfect way to balance sweet and salty tangy and savory and dress a ton of raw, crunchy veggies in the most delicious way!

Above you see whatever we happened to have on hand during mom and dad's visit; butter lettuce, green cabbage, some spiralized raw zucchini, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and carrots. I served this to mom with a side of Korean(ish) Soy Curls and Broccoli, but I've also done this similarly with a handful of chickpeas and some dry pan fried tofu or edamame for some added protein and topped with 1/3 cup of cold soba noodles and called it dinner. 

Also, as a side, I started enjoying this tossed with a cup of shredded green cabbage, small hand fulls of shredded bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber and topping with more fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. It's become a pretty stellar staple!

Whatever you're gracing with this light but flavorful dressing, you'll just call it tasty!

Peanut Lime Cilantro Salad Dressing
(I usually make mine and store in an old 32oz Veganaise jar. It doesn't fill the jar completely, but is enough to dress quite a few salads and/or veggies!) Can easily be halved if you're just making for a lesser number of servings. 

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1/4 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. lime juice
2 T shoyu (or soy sauce or tamari)
2 - 3 T agave (to taste. I start with 2 and taste and adjust from there)
1/4 c. peanut oil (or other light tasting oil of your choosing)
3 garlic cloves
1 - 2 T chopped ginger or ginger paste
1 - 2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. fresh cilantro

Put all ingredients but cilantro into food processor, high speed blender, or container to use with immersion blender. Blend until smooth and taste to adjust seasonings/sweeteners to your liking. Add cilantro and pulse to just blend in but not turn green. 

Drizzle in 2 or 3 tablespoon serving sizes over salads or veggies and store remaining dressing in air tight container in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Black Eyed Peas and Spinach

Happy New Year! I haven't been around the blogosphere of late, but I have been enjoying time in the kitchen over the holiday. Getting back to the simple dishes that pack a nutritional punch and deliver seriously good flavor. In honor of my New Year's Resolution to love myself more (the rest will follow), here's the first dinner of 2014 that I will DEFINITELY be adding to the rotation of go-to favorites. 

Black Eyed Peas & Spinach
Serves 3 as a meal or 6 as a side

½ T olive oil (I use a light tasting variety, not EVOO)
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 – 1 ½ bags fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4-5 cloves fresh garlic
1 small tomato, chopped (can also chop grape tomatoes, about 8-10)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
Red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Sea salt
Fresh avocado, sliced

Marinate tomatoes: Place chopped tomatoes in a non-metal bowl.  Add 2-3 splashes of vinegar, sea salt to taste, pinch of sugar, and parsley. Toss to combine and set aside.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and sea salt to taste, stirring until transluscent (about three to five minutes). If you want to carmelize them a bit, lower heat, cover and check on them every few minutes, stirring as needed. It will take 5-10 minutes for them to brown, careful not to burn. Add garlic and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn. Add spinach, salt to taste, and stir. Add 1 T of water and cover to wilt. When spinach is almost totally wilted (only takes a few minutes), add black eyed peas and stir to heat through. Stir in tomatoes and cover. Remove from heat. Allow to sit covered for maybe 5 minutes to heat tomatoes through. Serve with fresh avocado. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013

Around here lately there's been Fronch Toast, of the PB & Banana variety... 

and sometimes kale quiches with sweet potato crust,

and Thanksgiving I stumbled upon the most amazing Stuffed Seitan Roast.
 (For, in this house, seitan on Thanksgiving's a must!).

 A bounty of summer squash and zucchini became the best bread for gifting,
But if you wonder why I've not posted, it's because of a certain elf's holiday spirit lifting!

Click HERE to see the (mis)adventures of our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie!

Whew. I'm tired, and done with rhyming! but head on over to my blog about our elf on the shelf if you want to see what has kept me up at night and away from the computer blogging. Will the new year bring back posts of vegan deliciousness? Only time will tell! But until then Happy Holidays, I wish you all well!

Oh boy, it's a problem. :)

The French toast is just VWaV's Fronch Toast smothered in peanut butter and topped with banana and maple syrup.

The Quiche is Vegan Brunch's Broccoli Quiche but with 3 cups cooked Kale and onions in place of the broccoli. I then poured into a pan that was lined with thinly sliced sweet potatoes, prebaked for about 25 minutes before adding quiche filling.

The seitan roast was a mixture of a few different seitan roast recipes I put together on the fly Thanksgiving Day. Turned out to be the best seitan roast I'd ever made! The filling was also amazing. When I have time remember what I did with the roast I'll be sure to post it. Hell, I'll probably make it again and then post it. SO good! (the stuffing filling is Vedged Out's recipe and is 'Easily the BEST stuffing I have EVER had. EVER' said the Cap'n. I tend to agree).

The Zucchini Bread is my new go to for holiday gifting or for just using up zucchini so that I may stuff as much deliciousness in my mouth as possible. The recips is this one from Isa on theppk.com. The only changes I made were to replace the oil with some more applesauce and just a little bit of coconut oil, then nix nuts or raisins and add 1/3 cup cherry infused dried cranberries and 1/3 cup chocolate chips. I think next time I make it I'll go with dried cherries though. Mmmmmm, cherry and chocolate. yes, please! This stuff is perfection.

May the New Year bring you laughter, love, and the pursuit of seriously delicious vegan food!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vegan Fondue

First, I should say that this is not my creation.

I should also mention that I've even blogged about this before.

But since this is the Vegan Month of Food and because I told myself I really need to post thirty posts in thirty days, aaaaand because I will be out of town this weekend and will likely not post until Monday, I am going to repeat myself.

I can't believe this recipe is not 'a thing', plastered on veg blogs across the land. It's so easy to make, really really, really tasty, and impressive without any faux or processed foods.

Vegan Fondue! Need I really say more?
(from About.com)


  • 3 tbsp margarine + 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • vegetarian bouillon cube or 1 tbsp dry veggie broth mix
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp miso
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)


Sautee garlic, onions and mushrooms in 3 tbsp margarine until soft. In separate saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and simmer until mixture thickens. If your mixture does not thicken, add more flour and mix well. Allow to cool.
Add mushrooms, garlic and onion mix to the soy milk mix and process in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Reheat the blended mix, stirring occasionally, and allow to cool slightly before transferring to fondue pot, or just serve piping hot with a spoon from a bowl to drizzle over
Fresh French Bread,
A Plate of Seitanroni, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Veggie Bean Loaf
under Tofu Patties w/ Sauteed 'Shrooms and Fresh Clover Sprouts
mix with your favorite red sauce to top Gnocchi,
or, you know, eat that stuff with a spoon! It's that good!