Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Simple things

I think when you don't eat certain things for a long time you sort of forget about them. So here is a refresher for your mouth for those no-fuss lazy days.

Pizza Bites!

Sauce and a little Tofutti cheeze on mini bagels, top with bac'n bits (and they taste just like the frozen ones, heartburn and all!). Also good with mushrooms!
Bake 350F for 10min.
Note- I dropped these on the floor right after I took the photo. I still ate them.

Turn a simple bag of ramen into a lovely soup!
Here we have Wizard and Astronaut flavors from the Asian grocery store. They smelled like Pringles.

Before you add your instant noodles, throw in any left over veggies. Boil chunks of things like carrot, onion, cabbage, mushrooms, & faux-ham for about 5 minutes, then add your noodles & base. Stir in green onions and spinach or bok choy after you put it in a bowl. Turn cheap noodles into a warm hearty soup!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vegan Tofu Takoyaki

Takoyaki is a Japanese dish that translates to "fried octopus balls." And that's "balls" as in the shape of dish! It is a piece of octopus covered in batter and cooked in special takoyaki-iron that produces the ball shape. Osaka is very famous for its takoyaki.

I decided to translate & alter an authentic Japanese tofu takoyaki recipe so that the rubbery filling is a mushroom! I'm a genius, I know.

1 tub of 14 oz extra firm tofu, drained & pressed
14 small-medium sized white button mushrooms, extruding stem bottoms cut off
1/4 heaping cup of flour

Ingredients PART 2:
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp pickled ginger, chopped (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
1 Tbsp golden sesame seeds

frying oil
metal tongs

Toppings (opt)- Use all of these for an authentic eating experience (I did leave out the fish flakes though!):
-Okonomiyaki sauce (available at any Asian grocer- check ingredients) BBQ sauce is an acceptable substitute
-mayo, drizzled
-nori (seaweed) flakes

I say 14 mushrooms, but in reality, you may use more or less depending on the size of your mushrooms

1. Heat oil on medium in a deep dish pan to start to heat up.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of PART 2 from the ingredients.

3. Crumble tofu into same mixing bowl. Mix well with hands, fork, potato masher, etc. Make sure the tofu is finely mashed. No chunks.

4. Mix in flour well. It should thicken into a "dough" immediately.

5. Take a palm full of dough and place a mushroom on top of it.

6. Start to work the dough around the mushroom until "just covered." Squeeze around between your cupped palms to distribute the dough around more evenly. This also squishes out any excess air.

7. Place in hot oil. Fry a minute each side until golden. Turn using a pair of tongs. (If you didn't have a lot of oil/deep pan like me, you may have to turn the mushroom on its side to cook as well).

8. Place on paper towel to drain excess oil.

Enjoy with your toppings!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Chocolatey News!

FEB 5th (tomorrow) I will be launching my vegan chocolate online store!
I'm nervous and excited to see how it will do. Especially with Valentine's Day coming up, vegans and vegan sweeties will now have a nice quality chocolate to munch on!

Here is a sneak peak just for you Ronin readers! Items will be different types of pretzels, chocolate covered Oreos and a nice mixed box of chocolate.

Peanut Butter wrapped pretzels

Butterscotch Tuxedo pretzels

Dark chocolate Oreos

Sprinkle-tastic pretzels

Zoom in of the mixed box of chocos

So please tell your friends! =)

Homestyle Vegan Chicken Fingers

This is based practically entirely on my General Tso's Tofu.

This is for more of a spicier Cajun vegan finger, so replace any spices with what you see fit!

2 C dried bean curd skin/peel
2 C veg. chicken broth (1 bouillon cube = 2 C broth)
1 C cornstarch
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1. Boil 2 C of water and add bouillon cube. Stir until dissolved.

2. Put dried tofu in a bowl. Pour 1 C of broth over to cover tofu. Stir around.

3. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (whenever you don't feel any hard parts). You may need to add more broth as needed.

4. Place cornstarch and spices in a tall bowl. Stir with a fork.

5. Heat 1/4" of oil in frying pan on Med/Med-High heat. Drop a small piece of batter in (a little of the cornflour + a little broth). When it sizzles, it's ready. (BE CAREFUL OF NOT GETTING ANY LIQUID IN THE OIL!)

6. When tofu is ready, drain the excess broth (don't let it sit in it).

7. One at a time, place about 10 soaked tofu bits in the bowl of cornstarch. Gently swirl it around to cover completely. They should look dry. If moisture is coming through, give them another swirl.

8. Gently place in the oil. Fry each side about 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.

9. Repeat 7 & 8 in small batches until all gone (duh).

Serve with your favorite sauce! I used BBQ sauce and a homemade ranch.

*Dried tofu skin is ideal. I bought mine at an Asian grocery store.