Making Vegan Fried Green Tomato Sandwich
This post goes out to the Anon who made a foodwish for something vegan and one sandwich is to be split between Logicianmagician & JenniferC , who answered the theme song trivia correctly (and thanks to those who guessed! It’s actually interesting to see how many knew the answer).
I know that substituting eggs with a mixture of flour, turmeric powder and water is nothing new, but truth be told I’m a bit stumped when this vegan post was requested. I had initially wanted to make a vegan version of the No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake, but I really can’t handle a whole cake in the house right after the last one has just been demolished. In regards to the choice of greens for this sandwich, there are only a few things that tomatoes love most and that’s more tomatoes, salt and basil. So pile on some sweet basil then dip the whole thing in ketchup. Pure bliss, I promise.
VEGAN FRIED GREEN TOMATOES:
[ 2 Medium sized green tomatoes + 1 cup flour + 3 tablespoon rice flour or regular flour + 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder + 2 tablespoon water + 3/4 bread crumbs + 3/4 cup corn meal + 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper + salt and pepper to taste + oil enough to shallow fry ]
Put the one cup of flour onto a plate.
Combine the 3 tablespoon flour, turmeric powder and water in a shallow bowl. Adjust water if the batter is too thick. You can substitute this mixture for 2 eggs (beaten) if you’re not a vegan.
Combine the breadcrumbs and corn meal in another plate.
Slice the tomatoes into 1-inch thick slices.
Place on a rack on top of some paper towel or a tea towel and sprinkle salt before turning them over. Leave them for 10 minutes so the salt can draw out the water from the tomatoes.
Cover the tomato slice with flour.
Then dip it in the turmeric powder batter (or the beaten eggs).
Then cover it with the breadcrumb-cornmeal mixture.
Return it back to the rack and chill in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes just to firm up.
Heat enough oil in a frying pan to shallow fry the tomatoes on medium-high heat. Fry the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes per side. This allows the tomato to soften a bit and the crust to become crunchy.
Drain on paper towels and serve on toasted bread with vegan mayonnaise, topped with a bunch of basil and ketchup on the side.
Estimated Nutritional Information:
Makes about 8 tomato slices, serves approx. 2-4
Total Calories: 289kcals
Fat: 19.3g (11g saturated)
Making Vegan Panna Cotta with Lime & Lychee Gelée
I’ve been up since 4:55 AM to do last minute touch ups to my thesis (which, after I make the appointed alterations here and there, will be done and ready for the seminar on the 21st of December. Fingers crossed!) and just be mentally prepared for the criticism and whatnots. The first thing I’m going to do after posting this up is taking a nice nap. But let’s talk about this dessert first. We’ll ignore the pretentious word for lime & lychee “jelly” and get straight down to the panna cotta. Now, as Joana of Veggies on the Counter described, there’s some calculations involved in getting the right consistency of panna cotta when you’re not using gelatin. This one was close to the original, even if it’s still a little on the hard side. Let’s take a moment to thank her for doing the maths - literally. As for the jelly on top, it can be flavoured with anything you like. I just happen to have a couple of kaffir limes (it’s not as exotic when you live in a tropical country) and a can of lychees chilling in the fridge.
COCONUT “PANNA COTTA”:
[ 1 1/2 cup coconut milk + 5 tablespoons agave nectar (substituted with 1/4 cup sugar in this post] + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder or flakes ]
In a pan over low-medium heat, add the coconut milk, agar agar flakes, agave nectar (or sugar) and vanilla extract.
Bring the mixture to a simmer (do not let the coconut milk boil or it will split) and stir constantly, for 15 minutes. When it’s done, remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Divide the coconut mixture equally among 3 cups.
Refrigerate the cups for at least 2 hours, or until the mixture has harden to the consistency of gelatin.
LIME & LYCHEE GELEE:
[ 1 1/3 cup water + juice of 1 lime (you didn’t really think I was going to put all those limes, did you?) + 1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar + 1 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder or flakes + canned lychees ]
Put all the ingredients except the lychee in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Take out the coconut panna cotta from the fridge and scatter a few lychees on top.
Spoon or pour the jelly mixture on top of the panna cotta until the lychees are submerged
Leave at room temperature for 10 minutes before returning it to the fridge for another hour.
Serve cold with or without the sauce of your choice.
Making Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant Gratin
Yet another post to be filed under Adrianaleigh’s foodwish - just make sure you squint and ignore the egg in the picture (which, when cooked the way you like and used to top this dish, makes it Godsend). I initially had trouble deciding whether I should “veganize” classic omnivore (nobody’s a true carnivore these days, I mean, really) food or just cook honest-to-god vegetable based dishes. There really aren’t that many [if any] options in terms of vegan substitute products here, but there are plenty of interesting vegetables and fruits around so I’ve decided to do a bit of both (a few more vegan posts to come, hopefully). You’d be amazed at the sheer amount of vegan recipes crawling around in the big, wide world of interweb, but I chanced upon this one for a healthier take on the creamy classic gratin by Jerry Traunfeld and found it interesting. There’s no dairy substitute whatsoever so there really is no pretense - it’s not like you’re going to miss it when you eat this, anyway.
TOMATO, ZUCCHINI & EGGPLANT GRATIN (recipe from Food & Wine):
[ 1/2 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick + 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick + Kosher salt + 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + 4 garlic cloves, minced or mashed + white bread, crusts removed and bread sliced 1/2 inch thick + 1/2 cup torn basil leaves (substituted with 1 2 teaspoon dried basil in this post) + 2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick + 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (omitted in this post) ] OPTIONAL: 1 small red pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a colander, toss the eggplant and zucchini with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and let stand for 20 minutes or so.
Drain well and gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Try to get most of the water out - you really don’t want soggy bread now, do you?
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the olive oil with the garlic.
Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic-infused oil. I’m using a pie tin here instead because I can. That and because I don’t have a baking dish - must remember to get one soon.
Tear the bread into 2-inch pieces and line the bottom of the baking dish with bread, fitting the pieces tightly together.
Drizzle the bread with 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread with half of the basil.
In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant and zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper.
Arrange the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes over the bread, overlapping them if necessary. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves, salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining garlic oil.
Bake the gratin for about 40 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown and the bottom of the bread is golden brown.
Remove the vegetable gratin from the oven and let stand until cooled slightly, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining basil, cut into pieces and serve.
Making Vegetarian Phở
I didn’t have basil leaves (crucial when it comes to Phở) so I had to substitute it with a bunch of coriander, which I find rather repulsive. I have this theory that coriander tastes like bug juice - you know when you squash a bug and the liquid comes out? Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’d taste like coriander. Anyways, a bowl of traditional Vietnamese Phở uses simmering beef bones, oxtails (I had to restrain myself from dropping one or two into this broth) and flank steak simmered with spices to make the broth, but this vegetarian/vegan version for Adrianaleigh’s foodwish uses dried shiitake mushrooms as an alternative and it didn’t disappoint.
Finally, on a more irrelevant note, I hope you guys will enjoy the new blog layout. This is the second time I’ve changed it (and again had to remove the globe-tracker, to my despair. I like looking at the little red dots) and hopefully will be sticking with this one for a while.
PHO BROTH (original recipe by Running With Tweezers):
[ 2 cups good quality low sodium vegetable broth + 2 cups water + 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms + 3-4 shallots, thinly sliced + 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced + 2cm piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced + 3 tablespoon light soy sauce + 2 star anise + 1 cinnamon stick ]
Place the ingredients in a large soup pot with a lid.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce temperature and simmer mostly covered for half an hour.
Strain through a fine mesh colander to get all the bits out.
***Cook’s Note (optional step): pick out the shiitake mushrooms and slice thinly. Set aside
Return the broth to the pot and bring back to temp over medium heat.
[ 4 ounces dried rice noodles + 1 cups fresh mung bean or soybean sprouts + 1/4 cup fresh chopped green onions + 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro + 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish ] OPTIONAL: red chilli flakes + fried tofu balls.
Cook the rice noodles according to the package (cook the noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until tender, drain and rinse with some cool water quickly to stop the cooking)
Drain these thoroughly.
** To assemble the soup:
Evenly distribute the noodles and mushroom between the serving bowls.
Ladle the hot broth over the noodles.
Top each bowl with some sprouts, basil or cilantro, a sprinkle of green onions and some lime. Serve immediately.
If you look closely, you can see yours truly juggling a ladle in one hand and the camera in the other.
Making Raw Coconut Cream
As far as convenience goes, the place I live in is probably one of the most inconvenient place to be in when it comes to speedy cooking. Pre-made ingredients just seem really difficult to come by, which is why I had to resort to making this coconut cream at 11:59PM last night. I was apprehensive at first because making it at that time will mean venturing to the horrors of night photography, but thankfully it photographed pretty well.
There are many variations as to how to make your own coconut cream, ranging from those involving cooking the grated coconut with cream or water, to this one - a raw version that only involves refrigerating. I know that I said I may not be posting much this month, but honestly, I think I’m having cooking withdrawal so bad that I can feel my hand physically itching to just make anything - which is why this post is a prelude to another food post. Meh.
Raw Coconut Cream
[ 4 (loose) cups of grated coconut flesh + 2 cups of warm water ]
Put the coconut into a bowl and pour in the water.
Using your hands, mush the mixture as if you’re kneading a dough.
Do this for about 10-15 minutes.
Put the mixture through a cheesecloth and strain it.
You’ll end up with about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of coconut milk and a whole lot of dry grated flesh. The flesh can be used to make other things such as Macaroons or others.
Refrigerate the coconut milk for at least 4 hours.
When the time has lapsed, the coconut milk would’ve separated into layers and the top would have hardened a bit.
Use a spoon to scrape the hard layer - this is the coconut butter. You can either put it aside in another bowl or just mix it with the coconut cream.
The layer under the coconut butter will be considerably runnier but still rather thick - this is the coconut cream.
Scoop out the mixture using a spoon and transfer to a bowl.
The third layer is the runniest one - this is the coconut milk.
Use the butter, cream and milk whenever required in a recipe.
Making Baked Banana Wontons
With this post, I officially declare an end to the vegan challenge. I know it hadn’t been that exciting (and that I still owe one more main course), but I really did try my best. This recipe is an adaptation of TastyKitchen’s - the original used the classic combination of Nutella and bananas, but I’m willing to bet this one would be selling like hotcakes all the same. I had to make some vegan wonton wrappers because the ones sold here have eggs in them. If vegan wrappers are available to you, then this recipe will be even quicker to make.
Banana Wontons = Wrappers + Chocolate Paste + Bananas
Vegan Wonton Wrappers (Makes 32 wrappers, recipe from Food.com):
[ 2 cups flour + 1/2 cup warm water + 1 teaspoon salt ]
In a bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center.
Add the water into the well. At the same time, incorporate the flour into the center using a fork. You can also use your hands to incorporate the loose flour. You’ll end up with a stiff dough.
Cover with a damp cloth for at least 10 minutes.
Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Divide into 2 balls of dough.
Take 1 ball and divide it again to 4 equal pieces.
Take one piece out (put the rest back into the bowl and under the damp cloth so they won’t dry out) and roll it on a floured surfaced, as thin as you can.
If the dough is rolled out thin enough, you should be able to cut the big square into 4 - 3.5 inch x 3.5 inch squares. Dust flour between each small squares before stacking them.
Repeat to other dough pieces. Set aside under a damp cloth.
[ 3/4 cup cocoa powder + 1/4 cup soy milk + 1/4 cup icing sugar ]
Combine the cocoa powder and icing sugar in a bowl.
Add in the soy milk 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing all the while until it reaches the consistency of a chocolate spread. Add more soy milk if the paste is still too thick. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
Have a small bowl of water nearby.
Line out the wrappers in a single or double file.
Spoon the chocolate spread into a ziplock bag and seal it.
Snip one of the bottom corner of the ziplock bag. Point the bag with the cut tip facing down and twist the top so most of the chocolate spread is pushed downwards.
Slice the banana into 1 inch-thick slices.
Pipe a dollop of chocolate paste onto each wrapper.
Place a slice of banana over the chocolate paste and press down slightly.
**Wrapping the wontons:
There are different ways to wrap a wonton, but most are shaped like a triangle or an envelope.
Dip your index finger into some water and trace the outer edges of the wrapper. After that it’s pretty straightforward, but I included some folding pictures just in case.
Repeat the process until all the wrappers are used up.
Transfer onto a greased baking tray and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 10-15 minutes.
When done, toss with some cinnamon sugar (1 tablespoon cinnamon powder + 3 tablespoon sugar) or dust off with some powdered sugar.
Making Ricotta and Strawberry Crostinis
Today I made and ate vegan ricotta…and I loved it. I’m in a state of incoherency right now because I’m spazzing out due to how well the ricotta turned out, and subsequently, the surprising pairing of tofu with strawberries. I don’t know if this would count as an entree or if it would have been better if posted under desserts, but either way this is a sure winner. I used the reliable Artisan Bread dough yet again to make myself a big loaf to toast. And as for the sweetener, I had previously asked Rizky about what is deemed OK;
and since she gave honey the thumbs up, I went and used it for this recipe. I had intentionally wanted to make the classic balsamic strawberries to top the ricotta off, but I’m not going to lie, I hate balsamic strawberries. So Yayoid (Rizky), I hope you’re not disappointed with the post for the vegan meal challenge so far. I’m still working on refining the main courses and they will soon follow suit.
Ricotta and Strawberry Crostinis = Toast + Honey Cashew Ricotta + Strawberries (hulled and halved) + Topping ( more honey + mint leaves).
[ Any bread you like ]
Cut into thick slices and place under the grill for a minute or two, just until lightly browned and toasted. Or just use a non-stick pan on a stove.
Honey - Cashew “Ricotta”:
[ 1/2 cup silken tofu, crumbled or blitzed with the food processor, depending on consistency preference + 1/2 cup raw or unroasted cashew nuts + 1/2 of a lime, juiced + 2 tablespoons honey ]
Ground the cashew nuts finely using a coffee grinder. Add crumbled tofu and ground cashew together in a bowl.
Add the lime juice and honey and mix until combined thoroughly. Set aside.
Take a slice of toasted bread and spread the ricotta mixture evenly (thickness according to preference). Spread the strawberry halves on top.
Drizzle with more honey and scatter mint leaves on top.
Making Tofu and Enoki Sliders
So this is my post for one of the two entrées for the vegan challenge from Rizky. After some brainstorming and an ask-session with Andy, I’ve decided to post a recipe for a sort-of Tofu Sloppy Joe, though with Asian condiments. Rizky had objected on the use of fake cheese, though she really needn’t worry, because I couldn’t find fake/vegan cheese here anyways. So yeah…if I made a slip and used something vegan-inappropriate, then I duly apologize beforehand. But I have to say, these did taste pretty good.
I made the slider buns using a new batch of Artisan Bread dough. Take a small handful of dough and form the gluten cloak while shaping them into balls.
Leave them to rise for 30-40 minutes
Brush the top part with a little water and sprinkle some sesame seeds
Bake at 450F for 15 minutes. Leave aside to cool.
[ 1 cup silken tofu, crumbled + 1 1/2 tablespoon dark, aged soy sauce + 1 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha sauce + 2 tablespoon sesame oil, divided + 1 clove of garlic, grated + 1 2cm piece of ginger, grated + 1/4 of an onion, chopped ]
Combine the tofu, aged soy sauce, hot sauce, grated ginger & garlic and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a bowl. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat the other 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a pan and sautee the onions until translucent. Add in the tofu mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until some of the liquids evaporate. Set aside.
To prepare the mushrooms,cut the stems/roots and give it a quick rinse.
Heat some salted water in a pan until it boils. Turn the heat off.
Drop the mushrooms into the water and leave for 30 seconds. You want it to still retain some bite. Drain the mushroom on paper towels.
Split the slider buns. Pile on any leafy salad greens you have on hand.
Spoon some of the Sloppy Tofu mixture and top with a few stalks of enoki mushroom.
Place the top of the bun and press down a bit just to get things together.
The Vegan Challenge
Pretty self explanatory. Rizky posted this on my wall and I had initially wanted to just pick a dish and re-create it. But that thought had somehow warped itself into one of doing a post for a 3-course vegan meal. I’ll do 2 dishes for each course and so far I only came up with ideas for the main course and dessert. I’ve made some tahini as prep for one of the dishes. I’m completely stumped for the entrée. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but really, trying to vegan-ize an omnivorous dish is like trying to walk through a landmine. I feel like a need a chart to constantly check whether an ingredient is vegan appropriate or not.