A few months ago I had the pleasure of dining at a wonderful vegan restaurant called, Native Foods Cafe in Los Angeles. I enjoyed their mouth-watering grub such as the Rockin’ Moroccan Bowl, Bistro Steak Sandwich, Chimi Chop Salad, vegan nachos, and their Baja Blackened Tacos.
Today, I was craving their food…like crazy. But, I am thousands of miles away from this place and I needed to make something similar to satisfy my hunger. I looked in my fridge and thankfully, I had a lot of the ingredients required to make a my own vegan “fish” taco.
It was delicious, fresh, healthy, and most importantly approved by my 4-year old child.
*Note: It took me 20 minutes to make lunch!…so quick and easy!
So here is what you will need for the tacos:
2 packages of tempeh (today, I used 3 grain tempeh)
1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
1/2 fresh cabbage (chopped)
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger (grated)
3 lemons or 4 limes
5 sheets of nori (sea weed)
6 bulbs of garlic
1 hand full of cilantro
6 tablespoons of liquid aminos
1/2 cup of veganaise (vegan mayo)
1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup
1/2 tsp of salt
1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil
sprouted corn tortillas
Juice the lemons.
Pour 1/2 of the juice into your blender and set the remaining 1/2 aside.
Add garlic, liquid aminos, nori sheets (torn into strips), ginger, and cilantro into your blender with the lemon juice to make your marinade.
Blend into a thick sauce.
Slice your tempeh into strips.
In a large bowl, pour the remaining half of your lemon juice with the veganaise, maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir and then add 1/2 of the chopped onion (set the other half aside) with the chopped cabbage. Mix well and set aside.
Heat the skillet/pan in medium to high heat with coconut oil then add the remaining half of the chopped onion.
After a minute, add the tempeh and your seaweed marinade.
Cook this for about 5 to 10 minutes or until most of the moisture has evaporated.
Today, I was craving some kind of Indian dish. So, I looked through my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I can throw together. Then, I remembered a dish that I had a few months ago at an Indian restaurant called “aloo gobi”. It is a dish made of cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and spices. Fortunately, I had some cauliflower and potatoes sitting in my fridge, cayenne peppers in my backyard, and a pantry full of spices.
So, I looked at different recipe sites to see exactly what kind of spices was needed for this dish and apparently there are different ways of cooking it. So, I kinda just threw in different spices, measured how much I put in, and just taste-tested it to see what I thought tasted good. I also added some delicious tempeh for texture and extra protein. (Note: quinoa already has a ton of protein.)
The end result; a very flavorful and healthy meal for my family, aloo gobi served over quinoa.
*My husband and I love hot peppers, so we topped off our aloo gobi with freshly diced cayenne and jalapeno peppers.*
One of my facebook friends posted this link. http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/7-all-time-favorite-recipes-veganized.html, which showcased some of the traditional favorite meals but veganized, and it inspired me to make one of them….some Reuben Sandwiches! So, I went to the health food store to get the ingredients. But, apparently vidalia onions and vegan Swiss “cheese” were unavailable. So, I just improvised and altered the recipe a little.
And, I must say, it was filling and delicious!
8 oz tempeh (thinly sliced (1/2 of an inch)
1/2 of a yellow onion (sliced)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 slices of rye bread
2 to 3 tablespoons of thousand island dressing
Vegan pepper-jack cheese (I used DAIYA)
NOT BEEF bouillon (you can also use NOT CHIKN bouillon) to flavor the tempeh.
1 or 3 tablespoon of water (to help dissolve the bouillon cube)
Thousand Island Dressing
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup of relish
In your pan, heat olive oil, then add garlic and onions.
Cook for about a minute, then add tempeh and bouillon. Note: Start with half of a bouillon, then add more for desired saltiness. Note: you can also add a little bit of water to dissolve the bouillon.
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes in medium heat.
Stir and don’t burn the tempeh and onions!
Make your thousand island dressing.
Spray a little olive oil on your griddle, and place rye bread on it. Add cheese to bread and toast bread for a minute or so (in med to high heat).
Spread thousand island on the other bread.
Put cooked tempeh and sauerkraut on the cheesy bread.
This post is dedicate to Filipino-food-loving people!
A lot of Filipino dishes contain animals or animal products in them, which is why some may think that if you going vegan means going without Filipino cuisine.
But, that is not the case. You can basically take your favorite dish and “VEGANIZE” it by substituting meat with veggies or vegetable/soy protein, etc. If you miss the fishy taste, add kelp, if you want the meat texture, use soy “meat”/seitan, if you want cheese, vegan “cheese” is available….you get the point.
And that is exactly what I do with all of my dishes, I “veganize” them. My favorite dishes as a child were adobo and lumpia, which is why I threw them together and wrapped it into crunchy goodness. Adobo and lumpia are usually VERY unhealthy because of the fat contents, cholesterol, meat, etc. But, because I am a health nut and vegan, I changed it up a bit to fit our diet.
These lumpias are a bit more tangy than the regular lumpia. It has a vinegary tang to it which Filipinos usually love. These lumpias taste great with sweet and sour sauce, Asian hot sauce, and or the famous filipino vinegar dip (vinegar, diced fresh garlic, and salt/soy sauce).
And, don’t forget the rice!…brown rice preferably….or quinoa!
1 package of firm tofu (sliced into blocks)
1 package of sliced tempeh (note: you don’t have to use both tofu or tempeh, you can just use one or the other)
2 medium to large potatoes (diced in small pieces)
1/2 of a medium potato (diced)
5 to 6 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
1/4 cup of all natural vinegar
1/4 cup of all natural soy sauce/shoyu/tamari or liquid aminos
1/4 cup of water
Cold pressed coconut oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Black pepper
Saute onions and garlic together until onions are a bit transparent.
Add water, vinegar, shoyu/soy sauce/tamari/liquid aminos, and potatoes.
Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add tofu and tempeh.
Cook/simmer for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the liquid has evaporated.
Place into rice paper and fold it like a burrito.
You can either cook them right away or store in the freezer.
If lumpias are frozen, then thaw before baking.
Preheat oven at 450 degrees.
Place lumpia on baking sheet.
Coat lumpias in a little bit of cold pressed coconut oil.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Turn lumpia then bake for another 10 minutes. Note, make sure it is not burning…keep turning the lumpia if you need to.
Remove lumpia from the oven and serve with sauce and rice/quinoa.
This is my version of “shabu shabu”…kinda improvised but it turned out pretty good.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, “shabu shabu”, it is a Japanese dish of meat and vegetabless usually cooked in a broth, in a “hot pot”, and in the center of the table. The cooked meat and veggies are dipped in some sort of sauce and eaten with rice or noodles. I don’t have a “hot pot”, but my stove top worked just fine :) And, of course, this meal is VEGAN!
Serve with rice or noodles....or both!
14 cups of vegetable broth
4 cups of bok choy/Asian greens
4 potatoes (cubed)
3 carrots (sliced)
3 ears of corn
1/4 cup of celery (diced)
1 package of tempeh or medium/firm tofu (cubed)
4 to 8 medium-sized Shitake Mushrooms
1 medium-sized onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil
Salt and pepper
Saute onions, garlic, and celery until onions are transparent.
Add the rest of the veggies and tempeh or tofu.
Add vegetable broth (make sure it is enough to cover the veggies).
Boil for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are done.
Serve with rice or noodles and spicy peanut sauce.
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of all natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon of peanut oil (optional)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1.5 tablespoons of Asian garlic chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground ginger
2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seed oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid aminos to taste
Directions: Mix brown sugar with rice vinegar and let the sugar dissolve. Then, add the rest of the ingredients. Adjust to taste (add more chili sauce, peanut butter, liquid aminos, etc.)
Here are more ideas. Just remember, you can “veganize” almost anything!
It has been a while since my last post….sorry about that.
I have been enjoying my time in the beautiful islands of the Philippines. I had the chance to REALLY relax, spend time with family, and teach my daughter about the language and culture. But, now I am back in the United States…and I am getting back to my routine.
Today, I felt a little homesick for my island home, so I decided to make a Filipino dish…”bistek”…VEGAN of course.
1 package of tempeh (sliced)
1 medium to large onion (sliced)
4 to 5 cloves of garlic (diced)
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (you may use white vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup of tamari (all natural soy sauce)
2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil
2 fresh lemons
salt and pepper
*note: this may be a little too sour for some of you folks. If you don’t like sour, reduce the amount of vinegar to 1/3 cup and reduce the amount of lemon juice to just one lemon.
Saute garlic in olive oil.
Add vinegar and tamari.
Add sliced tempeh.
Add onions and lemon juice.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes in low to medium heat (but don’t let the sauce get dried up).