Friday, December 10, 2010

Vegan Dumplings

As often happens when I browse the bulk section at Good Earth, I found a food I had to try but had no plan for.  My lovely guinea pigs - I mean children, put up with these experiments fairly well and they usually work out.  This time it was the TVP "chunklets" that caught my eye.  A winter favorite from seasons past is Chicken and Dumplings and I thought maybe these would work for a veggie version.


This is one of those 'accidental vegan' recipes because as I've mentioned I'm in love with the Better Than Bullion vegan chicken and beef flavors and I use them a lot, and all the veggie versions of homemade soups and stuff are just becoming vegan as my pantry changes over time.  

Get out:
chicken bullion
veggie bullion
1/2 Cup diced carrots
1/2 Cup diced onion
2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 pkg frozen peas
1 pkg frozen corn
two handfuls TVP chunklets

For the dumplings:
2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup unflavored plant milk (I've been using Better than Milk from powdered for cooking)

I toss the baby carrots and onion chunks in the food processor and pulse away till it's diced and set aside while the hot water dissolves the bullion.  I did equal parts veggie broth and chicken broth for a deeper flavor.  Get 2 Tbsp oil heating in a big pot (pick one you have a lid for you'll need it).  Sauté the carrots and onion with the spices until you have a nice aromatic smell and pour in the broths.  Add salt and pepper to taste as the broth gets hot.  Once the broth is bubbling dump in your frozen veg (we also sometimes drop in brocolli, lima beans etc depending on mood and freezer stock just stick to dense small pieces for even cooking).  

Let that come up to a boil and mix your dumpling dough.  Add the milk to the mix and stir until just mixed it will be dense.  Since I had no idea how to do the TVP chunklets I decided to drop them in just before the dumplings.  Pinch off small sections of the dough and drop into the boiling liquid.  After all your dough is in turn down the heat to keep it from boiling over.  Let it go for 10 minutes uncovered and then pop on the lid for another 10.
  before lid     
 after cooked

The TVP cooked up great and may have been a bit too like chicken actually, but it kept in the fridge great and reheated well the next day for lunch.  :)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Pantry Raid BBQ Sauce

So I woke up today craving BBQ (and out of money).  This was not a problem at first because I knew I had tofu and I was sure I had a bottle of BBQ sauce.  I did have tofu...

Then I went looking for an easy recipe for sauce that would consist of stuff I already had at home, a sweet vegan friend recommended Chipotle Barbecued Tofu and it looked great but, as often happens when I go to the pantry, I went off script.  This is what I came up with instead, I hope you like it.  :)

Find these staples in your pantry:
Two cans tomato sauce
1/3 Cup Sweet and Sour sauce (I use Sun Luck brand)
2 Tbsp each:  Sriracha, Soy Sauce, and Braggs
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp each: Dried Chives and Dried Onion flakes
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Honey (if you are vegan sub Agave or replace all the sugar with the same amount molasses) 
2 tsp each: Red Curry powder, Smoked Paprika, White pepper, Mustard powder and celery salt
a dash of Worcestershire sauce (there are several good vegan brands)

Get the whole thing boiling in a pot for about 5 or 10 minutes then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for about an hour.  The longer it simmers the more developed and rich the flavor will be.  I had the tofu draining and pressing while it simmered so by the time the sauce is ready to go, so is the tofu.

Pour out some to coat the bottom of a glass pan (let me save you the heart ache of tofu bonded to metal) and lay out your tofu slices on the sauce, then cover up with the remainder of the sauce.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the tofu soak up the sauce for a while.  [This could be done the night before in the fridge if you don't have the time during the day for this process.]

Bake your tofu at 425 degrees for 30 minutes and enjoy.

We served it with veggie baked beans, broccoli and corn muffins.