Archive for February, 2010

General Tso’s Tofu (sort of!)

So tonight I loosely followed a recipe that was supposed to be General Tso’s Tofu.  I knew from the get go that it wasn’t an accurate recipe as there was no heat in it. Of course that was an easy fix.  That with a few other adjustments made for a tasty dinner while not quite being a true General Tso’s recipe, it has some similarities.  I will hunt for a close recipe but decided to post this anyway.  This was also a recipe that was easy to make 2 versions 1 for my son and I and the other for my carnivore husband.  Obviously use separate pans to fry the tofu and meat.  When I cook both meat and veg dishes I make sure that the meat never touches anything veg.  It’s actually pretty easy to do.  If you’re making just the veg version use 24 ounces of tofu.  Last, I served this over a short grain brown rice.  Here is the link to the vegweb recipe I used to create this version.  http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=8769.0

Ingredients

1 to 2 boxes of firm tofu

1 Lb chicken cutlets diced (if preparing for meat eaters)

Egg substitute or 2 eggs

1 cup cornstarch (approximate)

1 12 oz bag of broccoli florets

1 red pepper julienned

Vegetable oil for frying

4 chopped green onions

2 Tablespoon minced ginger

2 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon chili sauce with garlic (Asian food aisle)

1 14 oz can vegetable stock

4 Tablespoons soy sauce

Red pepper flakes to taste

3 Tablespoon rice vinegar

Instructions

Drain, dry and cut tofu into 1 inch chunks.  I freeze tofu overnight to get a more meaty consistency, but it’s optional.  Wisk the eggs or egg substitute.  Dip tofu in egg to coat completely.  Do the same with chicken if needed.  Sprinkle enough cornstarch over tofu/meat coating completely.

Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until lightly browned.  Do the same with the chicken in a separate pan.  I turn the chicken off but leave it in the pan.  Remove the tofu from its pan and place on paper towels to absorb a little of the excess oil.

Using the tofu pan 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in pan on medium high heat.  Sauté the broccoli for several minutes add ¼ cup water to make a little steam.  Cook until your desired tenderness, and then remove from heat.  Add more oil to pan if needed then add in green onions, red pepper, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes being careful not to burn garlic.  Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and vinegar.  Mix 3 Tablespoons water with 2 Tablespoon cornstarch (make sure there’s no lumps) and pour into mixture stirring well.  Make sure this comes to a light boil so that it thickens properly!  If using chicken add ½ of the vegetable and sauce to the chicken pan and then add fried tofu and stir well so that it’s well blended.  Serve over rice.

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Vegan Banana Bread

Vegan Banana Bread

After playing around a bit I have finally found a vegan recipe that makes good use of the ugly browning bananas sitting on my counter.  This recipe actually comes from a favorite site of mine Post Punk Kitchen.  I had to modify the recipe a bit because baking soda and I don’t get along well.  That and I don’t like baking with too much white flour.  If you’re interested in the original recipe here’s the link: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=121

Personally, I like mine better but I’m grateful to them for providing me with a great base recipe to start with!

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup margarine, at room temp

3 very ripe bananas, mashed well

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Optional add in’s: chopped walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips (vegan chips!)

I go for a combination ¼ cup each nuts, cranberries and chips

Directions

Place sugars and margarine in the food processor and pulse until creamy

Add banana and soy milk blend well

Next add in the baking powder and spices and pulse quickly

Mix in flour one at a time, pulsing to incorporate then mix well for about 30 seconds

Add in extras and pulse until blended

Place in a bread pan and bake at 350 from 50 to 60 minutes until lightly browned on top

Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

I’ve been feeling pretty lousy the past week.  I seem to have a cough that just won’t quit and the only good thing about it is that my appetite seems to have disappeared.  While being sick is never good, I am enjoying the loss of 4 pounds.  Hopefully they’ll stay off and maybe encourage me towards a greater loss.  The one and only food I’ve actually wanted or craved this week is the traditional “feel better” soup of Jews everywhere.  Of course I’m skipping the chicken broth.  This creates a difficulty because most vegetarian broths have a tomato flavor which does not go well with matzo balls.  I’ve also been too lazy to make a broth from scratch but have found a spring vegetable mix that I think works great.  If you don’t like the reconstituted veggies then feel free to strain them out.  Also, if you’ve never had a matzo ball think of it like a ball shaped dumpling but much better.   The recipe for the mazo balls honestly comes right off the box of Streits Matzo Meal but it’s so good I’m posting it anyway!

Ingredients

1 cup of matzo meal

4 large eggs

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup cold water

Salt, pepper to taste

Italian seasoning to taste (my personal addition)

1 package (.9 oz) Knorr Spring Vegetable Soup, Dip and Recipe Mix

Directions

In a mixing bowl beat eggs until fluffy

Add the oil and water mix again

Mix in matzo meal and seasoning and mix

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes, mixing it 1x after 15 minutes

Meanwhile add water and a dash of oil to a large stock pot and bring to a boil

Take matzo mixture out of the fridge and dampen hands under cold water

Using damp hands enough of the mixture to make 1-2” balls, shape well and drop into the boiling water

Simmer at a low boil for approximately 30 minutes

Matzo balls with come close to double in size

Add 3 cups of boiling water to the Knorr soup mix and let sit for several minutes

Serve together