Posted in Breakfast on January 18, 2015|
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Greens (arugula) for the sandwich. Spinach is a more conservative choice.
Here is the dry batter mix.
This is how I soaked the cashews for the “cheese”.
If you’ve never heard of pudla, I recommend you take a look at my favorite pudla recipes here and here. It is a delicious, seasoned chickpea flour pancake. Benefits: high fiber, high iron, super high protein, it is reminiscent of an egg omelet, you can add veggies to it, and if you cook it properly, it is super delicious and filling.
My guinea pig said the spices reminded him of fried chicken.
Below is how to make these little breakfast sandwiches with tiny pudla, but I suggest you attempt a few larger pudlas on their own as a hearty dinner sometime.
NOTE: raw chickpea flour is nasty. Do not attempt to eat or taste the batter raw, and make sure your pancakes are cooked all the way through or you will taste the nastiness of rotten sprouts and indescribable grossness. I am not kidding. It won’t hurt you, but its disgusting when its not cooked all the way. Unless you are accustomed to eating many grassy, raw bean sprouts, you will find the raw chickpea flour unbearable.
I must give credit where it is due. This is the place I found this recipe.
For the Cholula Cashew Cheese:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unflavored soy milk or almond milk
- 2 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Chickpea Patties:
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
For the Sandwiches:
- 4 English muffins, split and toasted
- 1/2 cup jarred salsa
- 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
Make the Cholula Cashew Cheese:
- Drain and rinse the cashews, then put them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process into a thick paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the lemon juice, milk, Cholula sauce and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Make the Chickpea Patties:
- Stir together the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, coriander, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the water and soy sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, drop the chickpea batter in scant 1/4 cupfuls onto the skillet, forming 4 patties, each about 4 inches in diameter.
- Cook the patties until small bubbles begin to form in the center, 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook another minute on opposite sides. Each patty should be lightly browned on both sides. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
Assemble the Sandwiches:
- Spread 1 tablespoon of salsa on the top and bottom halves of each English muffin.
- Place a few baby spinach leaves over the salsa, then place a chickpea patty on top of the spinach layer. Spread with a layer of Cholula cashew cheese over the patty, and then top with 2-3 avocado slices. Top with a few more spinach leaves, and then the top half of the muffin. Repeat with the remaining muffins.
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This is one of my favorite dishes because it could be breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ve had it as all three, sometimes in one day. It’s a really great cheap Summer meal if you have an oven. Just heed the main rule of broiling: DON’T LEAVE THE KITCHEN WHILE BROILING THE BREAD!
There’s something really satisfying about bruschetta. It hits all the little places in your tastebuds that make you happy, and deeply satisfies you at the same time. It’s also incredibly healthy. Chow down on this Italian delicacy. Usually, this performs as an appetizer, so feel free to use it that way at your next occasion.
Let it be noted that this is the first dish that taught me to keep a HIGH quality olive oil around at all times. The greener the better. Don’t be fooled by green glass.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- Crusty white bread (I’ve used good quality whole wheat before, just make sure it has a nice crust and an inside that stands up well to toppings.) Slice it thick.
- 2-3 cups of the sweetest small tomatoes you can find. cherry tomatoes are great, “Earli Girls” are best, in a pinch you can use Romas. Chop them as small as you can. Remove seeds if you have picky eaters.
- 2 cloves of garlic – one for the garlic press, one cut in half.
- 1 cup of finely minced basil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (mozzarella flavor is best)
- 2 Tbs high-quality balsamic vinegar
- 3-4 Tbs high-quality olive oil
- finely ground salt/pepper to taste
- In a medium sized bowl, combine 1/2 cup “cheese”, diced tomato, diced onion, minced basil, one pressed garlic clove, balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbs olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Toss well, and set aside for about 30 minutes.
- Place your thickly sliced bread on a baking sheet and turn your oven to broil on high
- Cut one of your garlic cloves in half and rub the cut side it on each slice of bread to transfer the flavor
- sprinkle the “cheese” shreds on the bread slices evenly in one layer.
- Drizzle olive oil on the bread
- Then broil the bread slices until the “cheese” until melted. This happens quickly, so don’t leave the kitchen. Just keep checking. This makes the bread toasty, ingrains the garlic and melts the cheese in one go.
- Once the “cheese” is melted, pull the slices from the oven.
- Place bread slices on your serving plates and top with the tomato mixture. Try to drain out the tomato liquid if you have picky eaters. (I don’t mind if my bread gets slightly soggy with the tomato juices.)
- The final touch is to drizzle everything with one more pass of olive oil. Then munch. You’ll be in heaven.
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As far as I can tell, you’ve accomplished the dish known as “Chilie Relleno” as long as you stuff a peeled poblano with cheese and beans, bake it, and eat it whole,cutting it up with knife and fork. Feel free to wolf down this BIG pepper baked with vegan cheese and salsa/beans inside, or convert it into a breakfast dish by stuffing it with your favorite tofu scramble (plus quinoa maybe!) Keep some salsa and hot sauce handy! Poblanos will be your favorite pepper if it isn’t by now. I enjoy them for their deep flavor and medium spicy factor.
Bottom Line: Enjoy these in many formats, just be sure to blister and remove their outer skin first!
$ Money-Wise $ : They cost as much as green bell peppers. So buy em’ up!
Prepare your Poblano:
- Rinse, then cut off the stem, keeping the poblano as whole as possible, then hollow out the seeds and veins.
- Set oven to broil on high
- Rinse the peppers under the tap just prior to placing on a baking sheet – then put under the broiler.
- Keep under the broiler (don’t leave the kitchen!) for 10-15 minutes. Watch them. Make sure they don’t smolder. The skin needs to blister up. You can turn them if you like, to make sure they blister all the way around.
- Once the skin is blistered up and black, remove from the oven and place the peppers into a paper bag or enclosed Tupperware for 20 minutes. This will allow the skin to slough off.
- Peel the outer skin off by hand, then stuff with your preferred stuffing and bake for 10 minutes, or cut them in half and top with tofu scramble or your preferred topping.
- Serve with a knife and fork, especially when serving whole and stuffed.
BONUS: A great way to enjoy these is by removing the skin as instructed, then cutting them into strips, dotting with hot sauce, sprinkling with vegan cheese, and melting the cheese under the broiler. Then serve the strips with toothpicks as an appetizer. Yum!
The actual “Chili Relleno” is the poblano stuffed and deep-fried in some sort of batter – which pulverizes the skin. But there’s no need to deep-fry this pepper, adding calories and plaque to your arteries. It is so delicious as it is, simply broiled. If you want the real deal, go to a Mexican place and see how they do it. If you’re like me, the only time you eat anything deep-fried is on rare occasions, out.
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Posted in Breakfast on April 25, 2014|
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A little diversion from our standard weekend breakfast of tofu scramble – based on an ovo-lacto breakfast I read about which was comprised of: broth-cooked quinoa, avocado cubes, eggs and sriracha. This twist on our usual feels complete with the addition of the grains. It can also be wrapped into a tortilla or collard leaf. Enjoy.
The Pieces (serves 2):
- One batch of your favorite tofu scramble for two (tofu scrambles are very personal. But you can use ours. Or our other improved version.)
- 1 cup of quinoa cooked in veggie broth – add a little olive oil or earth balance at the end. (the 1 cup of quinoa is the measurement after its cooked, btw.)
- 12 oz baby bellas. sauteed with Earth Balance and a little salt until nice and soft – or go even further and brown them.
- One avocado, cubed
- One Finely diced Shallot
- One seeded, minced fresh jalepeno (remve veins/seeds before mincing)
- As many diced baby tomatos as you want
- Your favorite hot sauce
- Your favorite chopped herb (I used cilantro)
- Lemon slices, and a little fresh lemon juice on the side to add to bowl
- Combine sauteed mushrooms, jalepeno,tomato, chopped shallot, lemon juice to taste and cubed avocado to the HOT cooked quinoa. Mix well.
- Place quinoa mixture in bottom of two bowls
- Top with tofu scramble, herbs, and slather with hot sauce. (wrap this in collards or tortillas if thats how you’re doing it.)
- Stir it all up and Eat! (Or leave as it is in layers and eat.)
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After making scramble the same way forever, I finally had a breakthrough.
Tastes eggy and delicious. No actual salt used.
I had an abundance of shiro miso paste and wanted a new way to approach our standard tofu scramble. I thought of a recipe I sometimes use for vegan mac ‘n cheese that includes miso, which gave it a complex cheesy flavor. So I just went for it and it turned out to be my new favorite concoction. What I didn’t expect is that the miso made it taste “eggy”. It was a pleasant surprise after I’d abandoned using black salt to accomplish that many moons ago. It only made the kitchen smell like sulfur. And who liked eggs for the sulfur odor? Bleh. Down with black salt, hello miso.
Here’s how it’s done: break your drained block of super-firm tofu into LARGE chunks, add to oiled pan on medium. Dust the tofu with turmeric and paprika. Add one chopped shallot, then stir and cook until the shallot pieces are soft and the tofu has firmed up a little bit. Mix 1 Tbs of SHIRO MISO (not regular mellow miso) with 2 Tbs of very hot-almost boiling- water and a big dollop of mustard in a little container until it is all dissolved. Add this liquid to the tofu, then stir until the tofu fully absorbs it. Break tofu into smaller chunks as you stir, and cook a little more until the tofu is fairly dry. Then sprinkle some vegan cheese shreds on top (optional). It is ready when the shreds have melted. You can add a blop of earth balance at the end if you like, this makes it a little richer. This scramble is softer and creamier than my other recipe, which results in a more toasted, golden brown tofu. I think this makes it even more like well-done scrambled, custardy-eggs. The crowning glory to this could be finely chopped chives! I just thought of that. But darn, I already took that photo.
Mushroom Variation: Start with a big blob of earth balance in the pan on medium-low, add half the diced shallot, (reserve the other half) sliced crimini or white mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until slightly browned, then set aside. Without washing the pan, make the scramble as described above with the remaining half diced shallot, then before the dijon mustard and miso mixtuer, add the mushrooms back in and stir well until finished.
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Better than bagged and cheaper!
Another bonus: no palm oil involved!
Cost: $7.50 for 1.5 weeks worth of granola for two adults
I’m sure it’s not low-calorie, but it’s certainly less caloric than anything with oil and sweeteners. You can spread the mixture evenly to make it more loose and cereal-like or you can lump it into the pan to make it more “clumpy”.
There are lots of pricey, raw nuts involved, but here’s how to make this dish super cheap. Go to a store with a vast bulk section. Buy only the exact amounts of all ingredients listed, (Even the cinnamon!) and you will be amazed at the low cost. My store has maple syrup in bulk too, so I bring a little container and dispense precisely 1/2 a cup of maple syrup. Therefore, I only pay a fraction of what I would if I’d gotten a glass container off the shelf. I don’t make the mistake of buying a huge container of oatmeal when I really only need 3 cups. That way I don’t have a bunch of it sitting around. Same goes for the nuts. Bulk is always cheaper, and prevents build-up of ingredients in the pantry.
- Cooking Spray or something else to grease the cookie sheet
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (no substitutions, I’ve tried and regretted many.)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup juicy raisins (I think big flame raisins cook best)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
- Grease or spray your large cookie sheet.
- Roughly chop all the nuts
- In a big bowl combine the oats nuts, cinnamon and salt, then mix well.
- Pour in the maple syrup, combine well, then add the raisins last. (This prevents hard, gummy raisins.)
- Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Watch carefully to be sure you don’t overcook towards the end.
- Once cooled, put your fresh granola in an air tight container and enjoy for many days to come!
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Cost: $8.00 if you make your own crust!
I love how this browned on the edges and the top-level mushrooms crisped up! I used more spinach then any normal person would, so my recipe below calls for a lot less. (I added an entire bag because I wanted a powerhouse dinner.) This would definitely work, doubled, as a casserole in an oiled dish with a breadcrumb bottom or just no crust at all. A fantastic brunch with a side of fruit and soy yogurt or perhaps dinner with a green salad and crisp glass of white wine! Let it cool completely, or make a day ahead, chill in fridge and reheat next day.
Makes 1 Quiche
- One 9 inch pie crust, normal depth (not deep dish) Make your own! Cheap!
- one small box of sliced baby bellas
- half a small bag of baby spinach, chopped
- 1 handful of basil, stems removed and chopped finely
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 14 ounces of super-firm water-packed tofu, drained well
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce (I used sriracha)
- 1.5 tsp vegan broth powder
- dash or two of turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. DRIED parsley, chopped
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Lightly brown your pie crust about 10 minutes in the oven, then take out and set aside.
- Heat oil in large skillet over low-medium heat.
- Sauté mushrooms and spinach together in pan alone with a little olive oil for about 10 minutes. Mushrooms and spinach will shrink down tremendously and release lots of liquid.
- While waiting for this to happen, blend your tofu, hot sauce, broth powder, turmeric, pepper flakes, parsley and pepper in a food processor until well-mixed. Salt to taste.
- Drain mushrooms and spinach WELL in a strainer, press down and squeeze the spinach to get it as dry as possible. Remove all liquid from pan. Set mushroom/spinach aside.
- Starting again with the dry pan on medium, add more olive oil, then saute the onion and garlic with the chopped basil until the onion is softened.
- Combine mushroom/spinach mixture in pan with the onion mixture, stir and cook for about 5 minutes, then turn heat off.
- Spread half tofu mixture in pie crust.
- Arrange half veggie mixture evenly over the tofu layer
- Spread remaining tofu mixture on top, then add last layer of veggies, pressing down lightly so the veggies are partially tucked-into the tofu.
- Bake for 40 minutes, checking the crust often so it doesn’t burn. Let it cook longer if the quiche is still too wet after 40 minutes.
- Let cool and serve at room temperature so it will set.
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