Friday, November 21, 2008

Stirfy noodles with shitake mushrooms and fried tofu

My other potluck offering. I bought noodles from the Asian market and mixed them with a stirfry of eggplant, cabbage, onion, shitake mushrooms, and carrots. I flavored the veggies with sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, and fresh ginger. Then, I used a package of fried tofu. I cut each piece into thin slices and then sauteed it with peanut sauce, chili sauce, and soy sauce. I garnished it with fresh cilantro. It turned out very tasty!

Spring Rolls

It's potluck day tomorrow. I'll admit that usually I choose something that is rather simple and has a quick prep time, like a pasta dish and a salad or vegetable. This week, I felt inspired to take a couple Thai dishes. This first is fresh spring rolls. I bought all the ingredients at our local Asian market. I don't really have a recipe, but I'll share a rough idea of how they went together. It looks complicated, and it does take time. However, it's actually pretty simple. The end result is delicious and lovely to look at.

1 package of spring roll wrappers
2 cups canned mock abalone, or may use seitan or tofu. Cut into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
soy sauce
sweet chili sauce
1/4 inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated (may use more to taste)
1/4 cup Thai peanut sauce from a jar. Or, use the recipe I posted in one of my first posts for the peanut butter tofu.
1/4 onion, very thinly sliced and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
garlic powder to taste
1 small dried chili pepper
2 cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles
vegetable oil

Fry the onion in a little oil until soft, and then add the mock abalone (seitan or tofu)
Add the peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, fresh ginger. I used enough of the sauces that there was quite a bit of liquid on top of the mock abalone. Then, I let it cooked covered under medium heat until the liquid had caramelized.

Mix a little vegetable oil, the chili pepper (crushed) and 2-3 tbsp of soy sauce into the rice noodles and then set aside.

Have a large shallow pan with warm water nearby as you will dip each spring roll wrapper briefly in the warm water until it is all soft. Then, place it on a plate or cutting board. In the center, place 4-5 tbsp of rice noodles, about 2 tbsp of the mock abalone, and 1 tsp of chopped cilantro. Arrange it on the wrapper so it is right in the center and about three inches from one side to the other. Then, bring the wrapper up from the bottom to cover this mixture and tuck it in at the top. Bring each side in until they meet and then roll to the top. It sounds more complicated than it is! Place on a serving platter and garnish with more cilantro. Serve cold. Can be served with a dipping sauce such as more peanut sauce or soy sauce with finely minced garlic and ginger mixed in.

This dish can easily be adapted to be entirely gluten free if tofu is used rather than the mock abalone.

Hummus, falafel, and flat bread

I whipped up some falafel from a mix (Fantastic Foods) I purchased. Then, I made some hummus from the same recipe you can find posted earlier in my blog. I didn't have any pita bread on hand, and didn't feel like taking the time to make any. So, I made simple flat bread with flour, water, salt, and oil. The girls then wrapped the falafel and hummus in the bread. I usually also add finely diced cucumber and tomato but was out. So, we had a cooked vegetable for dinner as well. As you can see, dinner was a hit.

Lemon cupcakes

I used the fluffy white cupcakes recipe from vegan lunchbox and modified it. First, I grated lemon zest to add to the cupcake batter. Then, I also added a tsp of lemon extract and replaced some of the water with juice from the fresh lemon. For the frosting, I made a basic powdered sugar and margarine (vegan, trans fat free) frosting to which I again added lemon flavoring and juice. For a filling, I purchased a can of lemon pie filling. When the cupcakes were all in the pan ready to go in the oven, I dropped a heaping tablespoon of filling into the top center of each cupcake. It sunk down into the center while they baked and then I filled the slight indentation with the frosting. They were tasty, although less fluffy than non-vegan cupcakes I've made before. Also, I did take a picture of a cupcake cut open to show the filling. It wasn't very pretty, so I deleted it. The girls loved the surprise of finding the filling in the center of their cupcakes.