I can’t believe it’s vegan! Nachos!

I quite enjoy nachos. It’s a hearty meal for one if you get everything on it. I used TVP for this recipe. If you don’t know what that is, it’s textured vegetable protein. It’s like soy chunks, but like dried ground meat. Normally, I’ve always disliked it. That is until I knew how to properly prepare it… Like the soy chunks, you have to soak it in warm to slightly hot water for at least two hours. Then drain it. Then, squeeze out the water by hand. All the bitter stuff is hopefully in the water, and you’ve squeezed it out. You’ll need about half a cup of dried TVP for this recipe. After two hrs, it should triple in quantity. Saute a chopped onion on the stove in some olive oil. Add a tablespoon of chopped garlic. When they both brown slightly, add 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 3 teaspoons of cumin powder. Add the “meat”, and about a cup of water. Mix throughout. Add salt to taste. Then add about 1/3 cup of chopped tomatoes. I only had salsa, so used that. Also, add, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Cook for 20 minutes. Add more water as necessary. Now assemble your nachos. Chips, the “meat”, and your favorite vegan cheese. I like daiya. Cook for ten minutes or until cheese melts.

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After the oven

Next, top with your favourite toppings. I had cherry tomatoes and salad mix. Enjoy!

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Enjoy

Vegan IndoAsian springrolls

So, I often go to the Asian supermarket. It’s something of a love of mine. They have so much stuff you’ve never seen before. For a mushroom lover such as myself, I can’t quite explain the feeling when you see five different kinds of mushrooms that you recognize, and another five that you don’t. Maybe I’ll leave a whole post to talking about mushrooms.

I also often see things I don’t recognize elsewhere. Nowhere else will you find that many varieties of tofu. One of the things I love are the extra crispy springrolls in downtown Chinatown dim sum restaurants. These aren’t made with springroll wrappers, but with tofu sheets. So, without knowing exactly how to make it, I bought a pack last time. I love the internet. They had many filling ideas, but most that took a whole lot of time. Here’s the Indian twist to this. There’s this snack called vada. It’s basically a spicy potato ball, dredged in chickpea flour and deep fried. I enjoy the potato (totally doing a post on my love for potatoes too), but not so much the covering. Anyway, that’s what I used for the filling.

First, I boiled two potatoes, skin and all. I had red potatoes, so they have a more delicate skin. With most others, peel them. A trick when making mashed potatoes is to never boil the potatoes whole and then anguish over peeling them while hot. Chop them into chunks before boiling them. This makes easier mashing too.

Once the potatoes are cooked and tender, drain and mash them. Add salt.to taste, a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a teaspoon of green chili paste. Even though I love Indian food, it being in my blood and all, I’m a wimp when it comes to things being too spicy. Add more spice if you like, but be careful.

Open up your sheet. My sheet was one big square. If you wanted, I’m sure you could use it to make one big Wellington or pastry. For the purposes of this recipe, use a sharp, clean scissors, and cut it into four equal pieces. Add a quarter of the potato mix to each sheet. Wrap snugly.

Heat a wok with about half an inch of oil. Fry two at a time, and brown on both sides. Serve it hot after draining on paper towels. I ate mine with ketchup… The sweetness cuts down the spice a bit. Enjoy!

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Vegan potato pie

I love potatoes. If there was only one food I could have in the world, it would be potatoes. And maybe corn. Potatoes are definitely a comfort food. Here’s a recipe that you can curl up with.

Ingredients
3-4 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 tbsp garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp mustard
3-4 tbsp non dairy milk
1/4 cup non dairy cheese

Mix everything together. Into the oven it goes at 400 for 20 minutes. Again, use whatever you have, add whatever you like. I had pineapple mustard I’d been given for the holidays, used almond milk, and daiya cheese. Enjoy!

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Soup Makeover

I love soup. It’s versatility is incredible. You can really add just about anything you like to it. It’s also really good at using up leftovers. So, I’m one person, but with school during the week, I often cook enough so that a meal can last me three or four times. I ended up doing that with the Palak paneer last week. I ended up eating it three times, but still had half left. I made soup out of it.

Ingredients

Half recipe of Palak paneer (found on this blog)
1 cup frozen veggies
1 cup cooked lentils
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp garlic
4 cups vegetable broth

Saute garlic. Add veggies and lentils. Add leftovers. Cook for three minutes. Add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for one hour. Add salt and pepper. Serve with crackers and a lemon wedge.

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Vegan Palak Paneer

It waits to be seen if this is the last of my Indian recipes. Palak paneer is basically a firm cheese in a spinach curry.

Ingredients – serves 4

1 bunch spinach – I used a block of the frozen, chopped variety, so very easy
1 cup frozen peas or whatever other vegetables you have
1 block extra firm tofu
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tsp each, chili powder and cumin 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup almond milk, or any other non dairy milk

First, squeeze all the water out of the tofu gently. Cut it into bite sized pieces. Marinate with half the spices. Remember, you can use more… Adjust the spice to your palate. Set aside for twenty minutes. Prepare the spinach, by chopping it finely in the meantime if you need to. If you’re using fresh spinach, remember to wash it well first.

Heat oil in the pan. Saute the tofu, again, taking care not to break it. Remove the tofu. Reserve the oil in the pan.

Add the onions and garlic. Once they soften, add the rest of the spices. Cook for two to three minutes. Add spinach, and frozen vegetables. Sprinkle salt to taste now, to release the water. Cook spinach and vegetables. In the “traditional” version of this dish, you may add peas or nothing. Real, add whatever you like and have at home. I added a mix of corn, carrots, and beans.

After about five minutes, add in the almond milk. Again, use the non dairy milk you like. The only rule is that it be unflavoured or vanilla. Also, avoid coconut milk as the flavours might be a bit strong and overpower the spinach. Simmer for five more minutes. Turn off heat, and add tofu. Stir gently. Let stand five minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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