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Category Archives: Vegan Recipes

Vegan Recipe – Sriracha Tofu Wraps

I recently found myself wanting to cook with tofu again, since I had done so little of it in the past.  I also wanted to try making something with Sriracha sauce.  I came up with Sriracha Tofu Wraps.

Sriracha Tofu Wrap | A Vegan in Progress

It was relatively easy to make.  First, I started with preparing the tofu much like I did in my Tofu Vindaloo with Cauliflower Rice post.  For the sake of ease, I will post it again here.

Directions

1.  Ahead of time, maybe in the morning (or at least an hour ahead) press the tofu.  You can use any technique you like, but I placed a towel on a plate, then paper towels on top of that, sandwiched the tofu between more paper towels, then another plate, and stacked cans of beans on top.

2.  Cut the tofu into the strips.

3.  Marinated the tofu using Liquid Smoke and a little bit of Tamari sauce (like a soy sauce, without the salty flavor).  I let it marinate for about 30 minutes, but I’m sure it would only improve if it sat longer.

4.  Next, I tried a great tip that I found at delish.com, I tossed the marinated tofu strips with about 1/2 a cup of cornstarch before pan frying it.  It helps create a crispy outer coating.  Pan fry the tofu until all the sides turn a golden brown.

Sriracha Tofu | A Vegan in Progress

Spread any kind of hummus on a tortilla, add the Sriracha, and roll up.  This is the lazy version, but I bet the recipe would be even better with some greens.

Sriracha Tofu Wrap | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Recipe – Tempeh Bacon

I never realized the delicious smokiness that is Tempeh Bacon until a visit to Venice Ale House in February.  This weekend, I found myself craving some kind of vegan meat, but without any Tofurkey sausages on hand.  After a quick search, I found this recipe on Chez Bettay.  It seems like something that would be tough to make yourself, but it was actually surprisingly easy.  Give it a try.  If I can do it, anyone can!

Tempeh bacon | A Vegan in Progress

Tempeh bacon

The following is the recipe from Chez Bettay, modified for my preferences (I often refer to my blog for ingredients when cooking and grocery shopping later).

INGREDIENTS:

Tempeh Bacon ingredients | A Vegan in Progress

  • 1 package tempeh of choice (sliced in long thin slices)
  • 1/8 cup organic maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke (I prefer it smokier rather than sweeter)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper (I would leave this out if cooking for Eric – too spicy)
  • 1/8 cup tamari
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

DIRECTIONS:

Tempeh Bacon strips | A Vegan in Progress

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a large non-stick skillet until coconut oil melts, then add tempeh strips.
  2. Bring contents of the pan to a simmer over low heat and cover with a lid.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes and then slip each tempeh bacon strip over and cover the pan for another 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook over medium-high heat and flip as necessary until both sides are a crispy carmelized brown and the marinade is completely evaporated.

Vegan Recipe – Meatless Marinara Pita

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This is a simple and satisfying lunch or dinner recipe.  It came from hunger and a random selection of groceries in the fridge.  It is very similar to the Soyaki Sliders.

Meatless Marinara Pita | A Vegan in Progress

Meatless Marinara Pita

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pitas
  • Bag of frozen Meatless Meatballs (from Trader Joe’s)
  • Jar of Marinara Sauce
  • Daiya Mozzarella Cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put the meatballs on a plate and microwave for one minute.
  • Put the, now mostly warm, meatballs in a small saucepan.  Add enough marinara sauce to coat the meatballs thoroughly.
  • Simmer the meatballs for 5-10 minutes until warm all the way through.
  • Place a few meatballs in each pita half and sprinkle a little Daiya on top.
  • Pop the pitas in the microwave for about 30 seconds to melt the cheese.

Vegan Recipe – Tofu Vindaloo with Cauliflower Rice

This recipe came together out of fate.  I happened to have most of the necessary ingredients on hand and stumbled upon Archer Farms Vindaloo sauce at Target that looked good.  I love Indian food and had been looking for a reason to try cauliflower rice that didn’t scare me.  Cauliflower just smells so – cauliflowery – that I’ve been reluctant to try it with anything other than a fragrant sauce that smothers it.  I also had some tofu on hand and have never tried to prepare if any way other than as a filling, like in my Stuffed Shells Recipe.

This was very simple to make, but very hot!  Eric couldn’t take a full serving.  It was my fault for buying Hot Vindaloo sauce, but I’m pretty sure the jar I originally picked up said Medium and, somehow, after looking at the ingredients in the Vindaloo as well as the ingredients in Tikka Masala sauce, I accidentally bought the jar of Hot.  I’m thinking that I will pick up a jar of Medium or Mild next time I’m at Target and I will look for a good slow cooker vindaloo recipe so that I can cook everything but the tofu all day and pan-fry and add the tofu before serving.

Tofu Vindaloo | A Vegan in Progress

HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER RICE (adapted slightly from this link):This is so freaking simple, it made me wonder why I never made it before.

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1.  Cut cauliflower head into florets… I used about a third of a head of cauliflower.

2.  Pulse fresh cauliflower in food processor until it is all about the size of bulgar (or rice).  You could also shred it with a cheese grater (but I’m not sure a lot of vegans would have that in their kitchens).

3.  Microwave in a covered dish (I cracked the lid on the dish slightly to let the steam out and microwaved it for about 2 minutes).  DO NOT ADD WATER.

HOW TO MAKE THE VINDALOO:

Tofu Vindaloo | A Vegan in Progress

     Ingredients
–  One can of chickpeas
–  One bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
–  One can of chopped tomatoes
–  One container of tofu
–  A few tablespoons of Liquid Smoke
–  A couple of tablespoons of Tamari sauce

Directions

1.  First, cut the tofu into the strips.

2.  Ahead of time, maybe in the morning (or at least an hour ahead) press the tofu.  You can use any technique you like, but I placed a towel on a plate, then paper towels on top of that, sandwiched the tofu between more paper towels, then another plate, and stacked cans of beans on top.

Pan-Fried Tofu | A Vegan in Progress 3.  After pressing the tofu, I marinated it.  I didn’t want a marinade that would compete with the Vindaloo, so I used Liquid Smoke and a little bit of Tamari sauce (like a soy sauce, without the salty flavor).  I let it marinate for about 30 minutes, but I’m sure it would only improve if it sat longer.

4.  Next, I tried a great tip that I found at delish.com, I tossed the marinated tofu strips with about 1/2 a cup of cornstarch before pan frying it.  It helps create a crispy outer coating.  Pan fry the tofu until all the sides turn a golden brown.

5.  Cook the tomatoes, chickpeas, and bell pepper for a little bit in a large skillet (maybe 5 minutes).

6.  Add the Vindaloo sauce and simmer for a few more minutes until the bell peppers soften a bit.

7.  Add tofu, mix all ingredients, and serve over cauliflower rice.

I originally made the mistake of adding the tofu too soon, so it looked and smelled amazing when it went into the skillet, but was a lot softer when served.  It still tasted amazing, but next time I will follow the directions I posted above.

I served it with green beans and Trader Joe’s Tandoori Garlic Naan Bread.

Go ahead and give it a try if you come across the Archer Farms Vindaloo sauce at Target or something like it.

Vegan Recipe – Chocolate Ice Cream

My mom has been experimenting with different vegan ice cream and cheese recipes lately and, man, are we lucky to be her taste testers.  On Labor Day, she served up some Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream, adapted from the cookbook, The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream that Tastes Better Than the “Real” Thing by Wheeler Del Toro.  It was the best vegan ice cream I have ever had.  I definitely recommend giving it a try.Mom's Chocolate Ice Cream | A Vegan in Progress

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup chocolate soy milk, like Silk chocolate soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 cups soy creamer
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder (the original recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but we found that it gave the ice cream a slightly gritty texture and figured that it was too much)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.
  2. Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soymilk, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips in a saucepan.  Stirring frequently over low heat, melt chocolate chips, then bring to a boil.  Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream.  This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

YIELD:  1 quart

Vegan Recipe – Southwestern Pepper Casserole

Eric is not a huge fan of beans, so I tried adapting the recipe from a previous post, Dual Dining – Southwestern Black Bean Casserole, to make it without the black beans.  All I did was substitute bell peppers and onion for black beans.  So basically, this is just a Southwestern Pepper Casserole now.  It tastes really great and isn’t as heavy as beans.

Southwestern Pepper Casserole | A Vegan in Progress

Here’s an update of what the bell pepper mixture looks like.

INGREDIENTS:
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 a white onion
2 bell peppers (I used one red and one green)
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 low-sodium whole-wheat tortillas (or 6 corn tortillas)
12 ounces salsa, no added sugar
1 cup shredded Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
1 (2.25oz) can sliced olives (optional)

STEPS:

1.  Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Chop bell peppers and onion.  In a medium skillet, add oil; heat over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add bell peppers and onion, and continue cooking approximately 5 minutes.  Add cumin, black pepper, salt, and cilantro; stir to combine.

4.  Spray the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used a 7×11 inch casserole dish and it worked just fine).  Add a tortilla (or tortillas if you are using a rectangular dish), a layer of bell pepper mixture,  a layer of salsa, and a layer of cheese; continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top casserole with remaining cheese.  I sprinkled sliced olives on top of mine.

5.  Cover casserole dish with foil, and bake approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil, and continue cooking 8–10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Vegan Recipe – Vegan Chocolate Shake

This is not a real recipe post.  I’m just sharing a delicious treat that I made recently.  It has been super hot in Southern California recently… it’s one of the things that I hate about living here.  Our summers are seemingly endless days of 90-112 degree weather.  So anyway, I bought some Almond Dream chocolate ice cream and by the time I got home, a chocolate shake sounded even better.  I got out the blender and plopped the whole tub of ice cream in at once.  I added about a cup of Almond Breeze original almond milk and blended it, taking care not to over mix it.

It was enough for two good-sized shakes or one giant one (which was my choice on this hot day).  I sprinkled some chopped nuts on top and added a cute reusable straw.

Vegan Chocolate Shake | A Vegan in Progress

Marinated Crock Pot Seitan

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I had some leftover crock pot seitan (from this post) that I thought might taste good in a rice bowl.  This particular seitan recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour is meant for use in slow cookers (it’s wetter), so the raw dough had to be cooked a bit before just tossing it into a rice bowl.  I decided to try a double boiler method.  First, I put the seitan slices into an oven-safe bowl, tossed them in Mrs. Dash Spicy Teriyaki Marinade.  Next, I added some water to the crock pot, thinking that, as the water heated up, the heat would transfer to the bowl more effectively and lightly cook the seitan.  I was careful not to add so much water that it would spill over into the bowl.

marinated crock pot seitan | A Vegan in Progress

The seitan came out perfect.  It was a great meat substitute that went very well with some rice and veggies.  It was a delicious and easy lunch (even easier if you have a programmable rice cooker with a steaming basket, like we do).  I will be using this technique again!

Marinated Crock Pot Seitan | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Recipe – Super Simple Mini Pizzas

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I was home for dinner on my own one night recently and wasn’t in the mood to cook much.  I looked through the pantry and finally settled on mini pizzas made on pita bread.  This is no ordinary pita bread.  It’s super thick and soft.  I buy it at the Sherman Oaks Farmers Market from the Brothers booth.  They sell also awesome hummus and garlic spreads as well as stuffed grape leaves.

Super Simple Mini Pizzas | A Vegan in Progress

INGREDIENTS:

  • Soft, thick pita bread
  • Daiya vegan mozzzarella cheese
  • Marinara sauce (or any vegan pasta sauce)
  • Toppings of your choice (I used sundried tomatoes and olives)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Spread sauce thinly over the pita (be careful not to get it too close to the edges)
  • Sprinkle Daiya cheese all over the top, but don’t cover every bit of the sauce like I did… this was too thick – let a little sauce peak through
  • Sprinkle toppings to your taste
  • Cook for about 20 minutes
  • Watch for the Daiya cheese to melt, that’s all you’re really waiting for since none of the raw ingredients will make you sick.  Just keep in mind that non-dairy cheese doesn’t melt exactly the same as traditional cheese, and you don’t want to overcook it.

These mini-pizzas came out great.  The pita bread, which started out incredibly fluffy and thick, became a little thinner and stiffer – much more crust-like.  I loved it and will make it again when I’m fending for myself for dinner or Eric and I are each making our own meals (he wouldn’t like this much).  The leftovers also held up surprisingly well.

Super Simple Mini Pizzas | A Vegan in Progress

Vegan Camping – Table Mountain Campground

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As I mentioned before, two of our closest friends are likely to move out of the state this year, so we have lately been making an effort to appreciate and explore LA and the surrounding areas.  Previously, we went on a day trip to Solvang, where I had a surprisingly nice vegan meal at Bit O’Denmark.  This time we planned a camping trip.  We all agreed on woodsy camping and eventually Eric found Table Mountain Campground in Wrightwood, about two hours from our home.  We estimated that the tent, sleeping bags, two coolers, four chairs, personal bags, and other supplies would not all fit in the trunk of a regular car, so we rented a Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab extended bed.  This turned out to be a great decision because the truck gave us plenty of room for all of our luggage, but was also super comfortable for the ride to and from the campground.

I put a lot of thought into food that would be easy, filling, and easily made vegan for me.  Before the trip, we bought a Coleman Matchlight 2-Burner Propane Stove.  I thought that this would be really useful because, although each campsite has a grill, the stove allowed us to cook two things at once and allowed us to cook something warm for lunch without setting up the charcoal grill again.

We chose campsite #103, in the Zuni loop.  It had lots of shade and a great view and was spaced pretty far away from the other campsites, giving us privacy.  The only downside was that the bathroom was literally a short hike away.  The hill we had to hike up to get to the bathroom, combined with the 7,500 foot elevation left us huffing and puffing every time we had to make the climb.  Something worth knowing about Table Mountain is that you can reserve a campsite, but once you are there, you can change to any other unreserved site, so if you find one with a better view, you are free to move.  Some sites are first come, first served, so this is a good way to get them.  Overnight camping on a single site is $20 per night.

We left early on Friday afternoon and made it to the site with enough time to set up before making dinner. I knew that we would want something quick and easy for dinner after the drive and all the setting up, so I planned on burgers for everyone and Don Lee Farms Veggie Patties for me.  We cut up tomatoes and onions at home and totally forgot to get them out of the cooler Friday night, so our burgers were pretty plain.  I also cubed up a package of Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu, Teriyaki Flavor, before we left.  I wrapped the cubes in tinfoil and cooked it on the grill.  It was actually a really tasty addition to my veggie burger, all on its own.

The next morning, I woke up really early (to use the restroom) and got a chance to see the sunrise.  I decided to set up the propane stove and make some tea.  I was so glad that we brought the tea kettle, because this was a nice treat.  I then set up breakfast for everyone… we had cereal with soy milk as well as bagels and fruit.  After a simple breakfast, we were ready for the day.

The great thing about camping in the forest is the hiking.  During our two off-trail hiking adventures, we came across beautiful views, steep hills, fallen trees, and fleeting glimpses of deer running deeper in the forest.

Vegan Camping | A Vegan in Progress

Hiking, day one

Vegan Camping | A Vegan in Progress

Hiking, day two

After our hike on day two, we were pretty hungry, so we headed back for hot dogs.  They had kosher dogs and I ate Lightlife Smart Dogs.

They taste exactly how I remember cheap hot dogs tasting.  It was nice to have something quick and easy to grill.  I put spicy mustard and chopped tomatoes on them.

Lightlife Hot Dogs - Vegan Camping | A Vegan in Progress

That night, while they had grilled pollo asada, I had an awesome foil pack meal, grilled corn, and grilled veggies.  Prior to the trip, I had done a lot of searching online for recipe ideas and really liked the idea of foil pack meals.  I adapted this BBQ Party Pack recipe from Vegan Yack Attack.

I just made a few changes, though.  Instead of chopped onion, I threw in some Pearl Onions from a frozen bag that I bought at Trader Joe’s.  I decided to double the spices in the recipe.  I also took Yack Attack’s suggestion and added chickpeas.  I also steamed some tempeh, to get the bitterness out, then cubed it and left it in a container of the following marinade, then spooned out the tempeh pieces and added them to the foil pack right before grilling it.

Tempeh Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves

I was really looking forward to this meal and for good reason, because it turned out delicious.  The bell peppers and the tempeh were the best part.  The only bad thing was that I should have chopped the carrots MUCH smaller because they took so long to cook.  They never softened much and I ended up eating around them, mostly.  The foil pack was simple and a very clever way to have a whole meal without a pot, also effectively keeping my food separate from the meat on the grill.

We all ended up with plenty of food.  Get a load of my full plate!

Vegan Camping | A Vegan in Progress

Dinner, night two

A while after dinner we made s’mores (I used vegan ingredients).

We all got ready for bed and a movie.  We brought a small camping table into the tent, set it up at our feet, and watched The Cabin in the Woods on my laptop.  I thought it would be cute and clever to watch a scary movie set in the woods while we were camping in the woods, but it just made it harder to hike up to the bathroom that night!

The next morning, we expected to have chocolate chip pancakes, but the propane stove heated up so hot that the outside of the pancakes were burning before the inside had cooked.  We abandoned that idea, just packed up early, and stopped for breakfast on our way home.

The lesson for me was that vegan camping is actually quite easy.  Foods that are commonly eaten while camping are easily veganized.

I hope this post helps others plan for a dual dining camping trip!

Vegan Camping | A Vegan in Progress

A few tips for future campers:

  • Definitely bring a tablecloth for your picnic table.  I bought tablecloth fabric from a Joann’s near me that is relocating and liquidating all of their material.
  • Go to a Dollar Tree or 99 cent store for the majority of your supplies.  We found big plastic clips there that held the tablecloth down and attached the trash bag to the side of the table.
  • Bring lots of water.  For the four of us, for essentially two full days, we drank 6 gallons of water.
  • Fill large tupperware bins 1/4 full and freeze in advance of the trip.  Run warm water over the outside of the tupperware containers to release the ice blocks.  They have less surface area than ice cubes and melt slower.  Ours lasted us the whole weekend.
  • Freeze all of your food that can handle it… it will work as ice packs as well.
  • Bring reusable water bottles to drink from since you can also use them on hikes.
  • Bring walkie-talkies for the hike to the bathroom at night – cell phones don’t always work in the forest!