Green Falafel

Green-falafel

Ahhh, green falafel. These puppies are a bit more healthier than usual falafel, and pretty tasty. I couldn’t find a healthier (=less oily) way to fry them up yet, but I cooked them in a pan with oil half way up to the puppies and turned them around until they became golden. For now, this is the best way to cook falafel. I tried spraying oil onto them and baked in the oven, just baked in the oven without any oil, and they came out tasty alright, but not crispy outside texture that I wanted. They are green because collard greens were added. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup dry chickpeas or 2.5 cups soaked (soaked in plenty of water over night)
4-5 collard green leaves (stems removed, torn into bite size)
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 Table spoons tahini
3 Table spoons lemon juice
1 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon grind cumin
1/2 tea spoon grind black pepper
dash of cayenne
3-4 Table spoons GF flour (oat flour or rice flour will do)

Servings: 18 golf ball size falafel

To make falafel:

  1. Drain chickpeas. Grind them in Vitamix or food processor until smooth. Remove it from the food processor and set it aside.
  2. Put torn collard green leaves in the food processor. Process until they became finely minced.
  3. Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, and GF flour. Process until everything is incorporated.
  4. Place the falafel mixture in a stainless steel bowl or pan, and put it in freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. By using a 2-tablespoon, measure the mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat until the mixture is gone.
  6. Heat vegetable oil of your choice in a sauce pan about 1/2″ depth.
  7. Fry up the puppies until they become golden all around. You have to turn them a few times since they are not entirely submerged in oil.
  8. Line up a big plate with paper towels. Rest the puppies on them.

 

 

 

My First GF Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake!

gf-chocolateb-cake

Alright. The decoration is not up to per. But this was my first gluten free chocolate ganache cake and was made on and for my combined birthday party. I run out of space for “y” and had to squeeze that in. My name? Other birthday girls’ names? You are asking for too much. I had a lot of fun making this, but it took a couple of hours to decorate since the chocolate frosting was just made and had to be cooled before use it. Otherwise, it would not work. I baked the cake the day before and let it cool in a refrigerator over night which helps frosting to stick to the cake better. Thank you so much, my colleague for teaching me how to decorate this cake, although it was kinda her job. All the guests who ate this cake didn’t taste anything but a moist tasty chocolate cake. Another birthday girl ate the last piece for breakfast next morning.

Ingredients for 2 x 10″ round pan chocolate cakes (I used both to create layering)
Dry:
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour (or tapioca flour)
1 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 Tbsp salt

Wet:
1 box silken tofu
3/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups soy milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 cup oil (canola or sunflower)
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2  cups maple syrup

  1. Blend silken tofu with water in a blender until it becomes smooth. Put it in a big bowl.
  2. Add the rest of wet ingredients to the bowl. Mix well with a whisk. Set it on a side.
  3. In another big bowl, measure all the dry ingredients in. Mix it well.
  4. Add wet in dry in a few batches. Mix well each time.
  5. Cut a parchment paper to fit the baking pan. Oil the 2 pans. Place the parchment paper in the bottom.
  6. Pour the half batter in the prepared baking pan. Pour the rest into the another pan.
  7. Bake at 350 ºF for 35 minutes or until done. Do a bamboo stick test. Stick a bamboo stick in the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s done.
  8. Cool it over night before frosting.

Ingredients for chocolate ganache:
2 1/2 boxes silken tofu
1 1/2 Tbsp soy liquid lectin
2 cups dark chocolate chips

  1. Blend silken tofu in a blender until it becomes smooth. Add soy lectin. Let it run again.
  2. Melt dark chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. 2 minutes in microwave. Stir.
  3. Add melted chocolate in the tofu mixture and blend until it becomes uniformed in color as well as in texture.
  4. Keep it in a refrigerator until ready to use. I put it in a freezer for 30 minutes. I was in  hurry.
  5. Slice off a top of the cakes to flatten it, if they were not flat.
  6. Place one cake on a board or a flat plate cut side up. Put two big scoops of ganache cream on. Smooth it out.
  7. Place the other cake on top cut side down. Press it down with palm.
  8. Smother ganache cream on the side, filling the gap.
  9. Make a thin coat of cream on the top. Let the cake rest in a freezer or a refrigerator for a bit until it sets. Keep the rest of the cream cool, too.
  10. Pile up the rest of the cream on top.

Hey, what do I know about decorating a cake? This was absolutely my first trial. Next one will be better looking.

Tofu Dressing Salad

Tofu-shiraae

Sweet and cold. A nice summer side dish. A cake of tofu is in the salad dressing. I haven’t made this dish for such a long time. I was flipping my old scrap cooking recipe book and I saw something like this in it. I reduced amount of sugar. I love sweets, but too sweet is too sweet. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days.

Ingredients:
1 carrot
1/2 cake konnyaku
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 slice aburaage (fried tofu pounch)
1 cup snap peas, green beans, or shelled edamame (or steamed and roughly cut spinach)

Tofu Dressing:
1 cake tofu (300 g)
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari

Cooking broth:
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 cup mushroom soaking water

  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
  2. Drain tofu by pressing it between palm of your hands.
  3. Boil konnyaku for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour hot water from tap over aburaage. Squeeze water out.
  5. Cut carrot, aburaage, and konnyaku in thin strips.
  6. Cook carrot, aburaage, konnyaku and dried shiitake mushrooms in mushroom soaking water + other seasonings for 5 minutes until carrot becomes soft. When it is cool to touch, cut stems out of shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps in thin strips.
  7. Boil snap peas for a minute until they become bright green. If you are using frozen edamame, thaw them and shell them.
  8. Make tofu dressing. Pulse sesame seeds in a coffee grinder for a few seconds. Mix all other tofu dressing ingredients well with a hand blender.
  9. Drain vegetables. Lightly mix them with tofu dressing.
  10. Chill.

 

Soshoku (simple diet? Lean diet?)

Soshoku

Bean Salsa, Yuzu Sesame Tempeh, Hijiki (seaweed) Salad, Steamed Cauliflower with yuzu dressing, Brown Rice

This is my version of Shojin Ryori (simple vegan meal for monks). I was inspired by bean salsa that I had over the weekend. His version had a lot more ingredients than what I did here and more soupy. Mine became more like salad than salsa. Hijiki salad is not vegan because I used fish-kombu broth to cook with. I could have used shiitake mushroom-kombu broth to be true vegan. The Japanese broth is pretty much the only cheating that I do. Shiitake mushroom-kombu broth is good, but not the same. If you can’t find yuzu juice, substitute with lime juice or lemon juice. But use less if you are using lemon juice, because yuzu is more subtle than lemon.

Bean Salsa:

1 ear of fresh sweet corn (scrape kernels off with a knife)
1 cup cooked beans (azuki beans and pinto beans used here)
3 scallion stalks (chop small)
1/4 red onion (small dice)

One or All of followings:
1 avocado (1/2″ cubes)
2″ cucumber (1/2″ cubes)
1 tomato (1/2″ cubes)
1/2 bell pepper (1/2″ cubes)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Cut up vegetables all about 1/2″ cubes. Mix them with beans, corn, and spices. Let it sit at least for 10 minutes.

Yuzu Sesame Tempeh:

1 block tempeh (1/2″ thick slice)
2 Tbsp yuzu juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp hot sesame oil
2 tsp maple syrup

Soak temper slices in the marinade for at least 1 hour. You can leave them over night.

Bake, panfry, or broil them for 10 minutes or so until they become golden brown.

Cauliflower:

1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsp yuzu juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbs maple syrup

Break cauliflower into florets. Steam them just enough about 1 minute.

Mix the yuzu dressing. Drizzle over the steamed cauliflower.

 

GF Oatmeal Raisin Chocolatechip Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolatechip Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolatechip Cookies

I’m posting this recipe before I forget. I thought this recipe was already on my blog long time ago, but it was not. These oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies can be hearty snack or desert. Or a on-the-go breakfast. Enjoy.

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix or ground oats
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup earth balance or nut butter
1 cup vegan milk
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 small banana
1/2 cup raisin
1 oz dark chocolate chip (or chop dark chocolate bar, about 1/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Soak ground flax seeds and chia seeds in nut milk. Set it on a side.
  2. Heat oven at 350 ºF.
  3. In a big bowl, cream earth balance with a spatula. Mash a banana. Add mashed banana, maple syrup, vanilla, and soaked flax seeds + chia seeds. Mix well.
  4. Add flour or ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon. Mix well.
  5. Add raisin, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips.
  6. With a big spoon, scoop up dough and roll it into a golf ball size. Place the ball on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Flatten it with a palm of your hand. Repeat until all the dough is gone.
  7. Bake them at 350 ºF for 20 minutes until they become golden brown.
  8. Let them cool off for 10 minutes before remove from the baking sheet.

 

 

Carrot Soup & Avocado Toasts = A Perfect Light Lunch

This carrot soup is quick to make if you have vegetable broth already made. I used a vegetable broth in a bag this time to make this soup. The result was delicious. Sometimes you need to take a short cut.

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup

Ingredients (makes 4 cups):
3/4 lb carrots
1 small potato
1 small yellow onion
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste

  1. Chop carrots, onion, and potato into big chunks.
  2. Put everything in a big enough pot. Bring it to boil.
  3. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until everything becomes soft.
  4. Take the bay leaf out. Let it cool little bit. Blend it until it becomes smooth.

 

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

These lovely green toasts will make up the other half of your lunch.

Ingredients (makes 2 toasts):
1/2 ripe avocado
2 slices of your choice of bread
10 grape tomatoes
2-3 tsp lemon juice or lime juice
1 tsp cumin
sea salt and black pepper to taste
a dash of cayenne

  1. Mash avocado. Mix with all the spices and lemon juice.
  2. Halve grape tomatoes.
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Spread avocado on the toasts. Sprinkle halved grape tomatoes on top.

Green Peas with Romaine Lettuce and Mint

Greenpeas

I love sweetness of fresh green peas. They seem to be too good to be pureed to become a soup. This is a quick green side dish. I saw the recipe accompanying pork chop and mushed potato on the New York Times long long time ago.  For here, of course, the recipe is modified to be vegan. I also added mushrooms for more flavor, but they are optional. This is very good.

Ingredients (makes enough side dish for 4-5 people):
1 lb shelled green peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/4 cup packed thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup  thinly sliced mushrooms (any kind, optional)
1 Tbs  earth balance
1/2-1  tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup vegetable broth or water

Instruction:

  1. Thaw green peas if you are using frozen. This is not necessary, but helps to shorten the cooking time. Chop romaine lettuce in 1/2″ strip. Thinly slice mushrooms. Chop yellow onion. Thinly slice mint leaves.
  2. Heat a large skillet/frying pan medium hi. Melt earth balance.
  3. Sautée onion and mushroom for 5 minutes or until they become tender.
  4. Add green peas, mint, romaine, thyme, salt and pepper. Sautée until romaine welts for about 1 minute.
  5. Pour vegetable broth or water. Let it simmer for 2 minutes or until everything becomes soft.

BBQ Bean Plate

BBQbeans

OMG! This was so good and so easy. And can be quick, too, if you have a pressure cooker. The BBQbean recipe came from the Thug Kitchen. I didn’t bother to make Baked Spanish Rice. I had roasted kabocha pumpkin and steamed sweet potato that I incorporated here. An awesome recipe. A can of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce is used, which is kind of cheating, but hey, it’s a secret that everybody knows.

Ingredients for BBQ Bean:
1/2 yellow onion
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 head of garlic
4 chipotle peppers and 1 Tbsp sauce (or 5 Tbsp chipotle sauce)
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp tamari
3 cups cooked pinto beans

Ingredients to make a plate:
1 cup cooked brown rice/serving
1/2 avocado/serving
1/4 cup salsa (tomato salsa/grilled peach salsa/mango salsa)/serving
1 or more of following;
3 slices of roasted pumpkin or squash
1/2 roasted or steamed sweet potato (sliced)
a few leaves kale (stems removed, and steamed for 1 minute)

  1. Chop onion roughly. Peel and crash garlic cloves. Put all of BBQ beans ingredients except beans in a blender or a food processor, and run it until the sauce becomes smooth.
  2. Heat the sauce in a medium pan until it becomes bubbly. Add cooked pinto beans. Cook additional 5-10 minutes.
  3. Pile each ingredient on a plate. Enjoy!

 

 

Vegan Rice Bowl with Baked Tempeh

RiceBowl

I love rice bowls. All the goodies mingle with each other bind with citrous tamari sauce. A healthy satisfying meal. A dear friend of mine always complains about a dish like this saying “But you have to make so many different things to create one dish! I can never do that.” Am…it’s kinda true, but everything is so easy to make and if you already have left over roasted brussels sprouts like I do here in the picture, this is a 30-minute-cooking.

Ingredients (enough for 4 servings):
4 cup cooked brown rice (1 cup/serving)
8 oz tempeh
2 small broccoli heads
pickles (1 daikon radish, 1/2 small carrot, 1 lb kirby cucumbers)
tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp hot sesame oil
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice (yuzu or lime juice works as well)

Quick Pickles
Daikon + Carrot:
Peel and matchstick daikon radish and carrot in a similar size. Put them in a container with a lid. Mix 5 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp salt in a small pan. Heat it until everything is dissolved. Pour it over the vegetables. Put the lid on. Shake it. Let it sit at least 30 minutes before serve. Keep refrigerate the leftovers.

Kirby Cucumbers: Slice 1 lb kirby cucumbers in 1/4″ thickness. Put them in a container with a lid. Sprinkle 1 Tbs sugar and 1 tsp salt. Put the lid on. Shake it. Let it sit at least 20 minutes before serve. Keep refrigerate the leftovers.

Baked Tempeh
Slice tempeh 1/2″ thickness. In a small bowl, mix 3 Tbs tamari, 1 Tbs maple syruyp, 1/2 tsp hot sesame oil. Marinate tempeh slices in a shallow bowl for at least 10 minutes. Drain and toast them dark in an oven toaster on a foil or a baking sheet.

Steamed Broccoli
Divide broccoli into small florets. Peel tough skins and slice the stem. Steam them until they become bright green about 3 minutes.

Citrus Sauce: Mix 2 Tbsp tamari, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl.

Assemble Rice Bowl: Assemble the rice bowl in a big bowl in any way you want. Sprinkle the citrus sauce at last. You don’t need it much because all toppings are already seasoned.

 

Pear Blackberry Cake

Pear-Blackberry-Cake

Who would cut a cake like this? I ask. Someone in my kitchen did… This was what I woke up to this morning. Pears are in season now. Believe or not, pears have more nutritious value than apples and prices are comparable. Use them. Ripe timing of pears seem to be shorter than apples, but for this cake, the ripeness of pears don’t matter since they will be cooked in the oven. This batter seems rather dry before it bakes, but juice of fruits come out as they are baked and loosen up the batter. The result is a very moist cake, more like a pudding.

Ingredients (for 9×9 baking pan):
3 pears
1 lemon (juice and zest)
2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup raw almonds (grind them to meal)
1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup orange juice or any vegan milk
1/4 cup sunflower oil or earth balance
4 oz apple sauce

To Serve (optional):
1 Tbs blackberry jam per serving
1 Tbs lemon juice per serving
1 Tbsp water per serving
vegan ice cream or coconut whip cream

  1. In a small bowl, put 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds in. Add 1/4 cup orange juice or any vegan milk. Stir. Let it soak.
  2. Core pears. Dice them. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp brown sugar.
  3. Oil the baking pan. Dust with flour.
  4. In a big bowl, mix oil, soaked flaxseeds, almond extract, and applesauce.
  5. Add the rest of ingredients in the  big bowl. Mix.
  6. Fold pears in the batter.
  7. Pour the batter in the baking pan. Flatten the surface with a wet hand. It’s chunky, I know.
  8. Scatter blackberries on top.
  9. Bake at 350 ºF for 40-50 minutes or until done. The top looks golden and if you press it, it’s springy.
  10. Let it cool at least 10 minutes before you cut.
  11. If you want to dress it up, in a small sauce pan, heat up 1 Tbsp blackberry jam, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp water until it melts. Add a scoop of ice cream or whip cream on a side, if you like. Pour the sauce all over the cake.

*I like this cake to be warm.