Toad's Kitchen

(mostly) healthy recipes for the family

Archive for the category “Dairy Free”

Mock Peking Duck (using Seitan)

I love the taste of duck, but truthfully prefer that Donald and Daisy live on to quack another day. This is an adaptation of a recipe that I found online, that uses seitan (use commercially-made or make your own, using the recipe posted on this site under “Seitan Worship”). It is yummy and as I have said before, guilt-free.

The seitan recipe I provide makes three sausages of about 7-8 ounces each, each sausage making about two servings – this recipe will serve two people.

one seitan “sausage” (about 7-8 ounces) of homemade seitan (or use commercially-made), cut into small strips
4 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
4 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons soy sauce (low-sodium is fine)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
hot cooked rice, to serve two

Whisk together all ingredients except seitan and green onions, to make marinade. Mix seitan into marinade and coat completely. Let sit for at least one hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the broiler. Place seitan on foil-lined pan, reserving marinade. Pour remaining marinade into small saucepan and heat until warm.

Grill 4-6 inches from element until it is heated through and glazed, and just beginning to turn crispy. Be careful not to over-broil, you want the seitan to be crispy on the broiled side and chewy underneath. Plate rice and arrange broiled seitan strips on top of it. Drizzle warmed marinade over seitan, and sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

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Quick and Easy Curry with Seitan (or without, if you wish)

I made this curry after my first attempt at making seitan. Super quick and easy to throw together, and if you prefer not to use the seitan you can certainly leave it out, or sub in shrimp, chicken, etc.

1 seitan “sausage”, cut into small strips (see the recipe I posted, or use commercially available seitan)
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut on the diagonal
2-3 tbsp. of your favourite curry powder
1/3 cup seitan broth (or veggie broth)
a few grinds fresh ground pepper
sea salt to taste (you may not need salt if you have used the seitan broth, as it has the soy sauce in it)
1 can coconut milk
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Heat oil over medium-high heat in large frying pan and sautรฉ seitan until it browns up, this takes a couple of minutes. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, and carrot, and sautรฉ until onion starts to soften. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in the coconut milk and tomatoes. Add the unsweetened flaked coconut.

This mixture will thicken after simmering 10-15 minutes. If it gets too thick, add a bit of broth or water.

Serve over basmati rice. Makes 2-3 helpings.

Seitan Worship…not for the gluten-free

As we shift more and more back to being vegetarians, I have decided to experiment a bit. When we were in Montrรฉal in the summer, I had seitan for the first time in my life. To be honest, I was a bit sceptical and my expectations were not super high. We were in an amazing Thai food restaurant, ChuChai, and I should have known better by the quality of the food we had already been served – exceptional! Anyway, one of the dishes our group ordered was a spicy “duck” dish…I was enthralled. Very duck-like, without the loss of any quackers. Totally guilt-free!

Now back at home, I decided to try to make my own seitan. Seitan is also known as “mock meat”, as its texture is more meat-like than tofu and through different seasonings, it can be made to mimic most meats. Realistically, it is not exactly the same as meat, but it is a tasty, and guilt-free, alternative. It can be made using regular flour, but that process involves washing the flour repeatedly to remove the starch, leaving the gluten. The gluten, when the seitan is cooked, is what gives it the chewy, meat-like texture.

I found this excellent recipe at the Post Punk Kitchen vegan site: http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/homemade-seitan

IsaChandra’s recipe seemed to me to be the most straightforward and easy to follow. There are also many helpful suggestions in the comment section below.

I will repeat IsaChandra’s recipe below, with some suggestions following with what to do with your homemade seitan.

“1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater

For the simmering broth:
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce

Fill a stock pot with the water, broth and soy sauce, cover and bring to a boil.

In the mean time, in a large bowl mix together gluten and yeast. In a smaller bowl mix together broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and combine with a wooden spoon until most of the moisture has absorbed and partially clumped up with the dry ingredients. Use your hands and knead for about 3 minutes, until itโ€™s an elastic dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces with a knife and then knead those pieces in your hand just to stretch them out a bit. Let rest until the broth has come to a full boil.

Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the gluten pieces and partially cover pot so that steam can escape. Let simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn the heat off and take the lid off, let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove from broth and place in a strainer until it is cool enough to handle. Slice and use as desired.”

Okay, it’s me again…first of all: DON’T throw the broth away. Store your seitan in it, and use it as you would any stock/veggie broth in your recipes.

This recipe, making three seitan sausage-like pieces, will make 6 servings.

It does look a little unappetizing in its newly poached form, but for recipes you cut it into slices, cubes, etc.
Now you have made your seitan, you can use it right away or store it in your fridge – I would think storage for up to a week is a reasonable amount of time.

My first attempts at cooking it in recipes, both successes, will be posted separately.

Be brave! I am sorry I brushed it off for so long. I am not a super-huge fan of tofu (not that I dislike it, it is just never my first choice), but I do like seitan.

“Fried Rice”…made with quinoa!

One of my favourite sites, http://www.eatliverun.com, is a never-ending source of delicious and fun recipes. The blogger, Jenna, is a chef with a wonderful and carefree style that I love to read. Her recipes are awesome! This recipe was posted recently and I just HAD to make it…of course, I did make a couple of very minor changes to her original recipe due to what I had in my fridge and personal preferences…I know, I know, there wasn’t any garlic in the original recipe so I put some in. The original recipe also called for snow peas, which would be lovely but were not hanging around in my fridge, so I subbed celery which was tasty. I also added the mushrooms, but everything else is as the original recipe.

Other veggies could be substituted. If chicken or shrimp were added, I am sure they would taste great, but frankly this is so good as it is with just veg and eggs, it does not really need anything else. It is also a good, protein-y dinner.

This is so quick and easy and as Jenna said, “seriously a power meal!”

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal

2 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced small

4 large mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided

1 tablespoon fish sauce (don’t leave this out – it lends a beautiful flavour)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

 

Combine quinoa and water in medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all water. Once cooked, remove from heat, and fluff with fork.

Place half of the coconut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once oil is hot, pour eggs into pan and let cook until almost set (don’t scramble, just leave them). Remove onto plate while still surface of eggs is slightly runny. Put remaining coconut oil in pan, and add chopped veggies. Stir fry for about three minutes or until veggies are barely tender. Add quinoa to pan and mix together with veggies. Add eggs back in, breaking into pieces. Finally, stir in the sesame oil, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix well.

All done! Serves four (or fewer greedy) people ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Delicious Yam, Red Pepper and Spinach Salad

I recently discovered “Eat Clean” food and fitness author Tosca Reno. Her “Eat Clean” style of cooking is delicious and inspired. Although I can’t quite do egg-white omelettes yet – the yolk is my favourite part! – I have been incorporating her style of cooking into a lot of our meals. I recommend her cookbook, the recipes are easy to follow and her choices of ingredients unusual and yummy. I made this salad of hers, and as usual had to mess with it slightly. I found the seasonings just a little on the shy side, so I upped them a bit. The contrast of colours and tastes (sweet and sour) are wonderful. The results were both colourful and delicious, and I thought I would share ๐Ÿ™‚

1 large or 2 medium (orange!) yams, peeled and diced into 1/2′” cubes (about 4 cups’ worth)

1 large red pepper, cut in 1″ chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups fresh spinach

Dressing:

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 large clove garlic, minced finely

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon honey

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss yam cubes and pepper pieces in olive oil until coated. Sprinkle with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and toss again. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until yam cubes are fork-tender. Let cool.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in small bowl.

Place cooled yam and pepper in salad bowl. Toss with dressing. Incorporate spinach leaves, tossing gently.

Serves 4-6 as a side salad, or 2 as a generous and tasty main course ๐Ÿ™‚

Fish (of your choice, you choose the seasonings) with Lemony Quinoa

The fish I used in this dinner was a fillet of steelhead – a delicious and cheaper alternative to “regular” salmon, which we love also. The steelhead is mild enough to go with many different types of seasonings, and makes a regular appearance on our dinner table.

The quinoa I made used plain cooked quinoa I had in the fridge – I have taken to making a large batch of quinoa, cooked with water, and using it up over several nights, in different recipes. It is convenient, and seeing as quinoa is so versatile, it inspires me to be inventive because half the work is done ๐Ÿ™‚

The lemon in the quinoa complements pretty much any baked fish. I was pleased with this dinner because it was pretty as well as tasty – the black, red and green in the golden quinoa looked good with the pink fish. We had it with carrots! Very colourful ๐Ÿ™‚

For the Fish:

For four servings, you will need one fish fillet (by this I mean one side of the fish) or piece of fish weighing about a pound or so – of steelhead, salmon, halibut, your choice. You could always use fish steaks and adjust cooking time accordingly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line your baking pan with tinfoil to save on cleanup time and mess later. Drizzle a thin line of olive oil down the centre of the tinfoil centre and lay your rinsed and dried fillet of fish, skin side down, on this. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of it, and brush it all over the surface of the fish.

Sprinkle your seasoning of choice over the fish – it can be as simple or as exotic as you like. You could also just top it with chopped green onions and minced garlic which have been tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper for something simple and flavourful. Alternately, a Malaysian-style seasoning called Nonya (from Victorian Epicure), which has a fair amount of cayenne pepper in it, is tasty. Mediterranean type seasonings would also be good. Be creative!

Once oven is heated, place fish in oven and cook for about 15 minutes (slightly more than 10 minutes per inch) or until fish tests barely opaque at thickest part.

While fish is in oven, prepare the quinoa:

3 tbsp. pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups plain cooked quinoa

3 tbsp. black olives, chopped

juice and grated zest of one juicy lemon

2 tbsp. chopped chives or green onions

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1/3 cup dried cranberries

salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy frying pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat until fragrant. Once they smell yummy, add olive oil to the pan, wait until it heats up and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until translucent.

Add quinoa and stir gently until oil mixture coats quinoa thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, heat through over medium heat and serve with fish and a side veg or salad.

African-ish Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup

Recipes for this soup have always intrigued me because they are such eclectic combinations of ingredients, all of which I love. Today, finding I had ingredients I could work with, I came up with this version ๐Ÿ™‚

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbsp. medium curry powder (use less if your curry powder is “hot”, or to taste)

2 large orange yams, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

4 cups vegetable broth, or low-salt chicken

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut

1 teaspoon (or to taste) Asian “hot” chili-garlic condiment (or use cayenne pepper to taste)

3/4 cup *natural* peanut butter (do not use the homogenized, icky kind with icing sugar in it, use the “just peanuts” kind)

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

In large pot, heat oil and saute onions and garlic. Sprinkle curry powder over top and mix in, and fry for a couple of minutes. Add yams and fry for a couple more minutes. Add coconut, canned tomatoes (with their juice) and broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes has elapsed and the yams are soft, stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavours and melt peanut butter completely into soup, and serve. Yum ๐Ÿ™‚

Mixed Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

This salad is one that I put together today with our new beloved, quinoa. It is a different combination of tastes, and will be served with falafel (which I did not make), with minty-chivy yogourt on the side. You could try different veggies in this – feel free to experiment and let me know how it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, the seasoning I used was Victorian Epicure Moroccan seasoning – if you do not have that, a combination of equal parts of ground cumin and cinnamon would be good.

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 broccoli crown, chopped into small pieces

6 green onions, sliced (use both white and green part)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped into dice

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

1 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (“pepitas”) – sunflower seeds would also be tasty

1/2 cup Tamari almonds (or plain raw almonds)

1/2 cup dried blueberries (dried cranberries would be great, too)

about 10 mint leaves, cut into fine shreds

1-1/2 teaspoons Moroccan seasoning (or 1/2-1/2 ground cumin and cinnamon)

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 2 limes

salt and pepper

Bring quinoa and water to boil in saucepan, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leave lid on and let sit for 5 more minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.

In large bowl, combine vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. Add cooled quinoa and mix gently. Toss with the mint leaves, Moroccan seasoning, oil, lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put in fridge to let flavours mellow, and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

New Look, New Recipe… Mixed Vegetable Tortilla

The overall look of the blog has been changed to make it easier to read and access recipes – hope you like the changes ๐Ÿ™‚

 

To celebrate this new change of look, I have decided to post a recipe that is one that I “changed” myself and the results of which were very happily received. True to form, I read the original recipe but did not have half the ingredients it called for, so I started mixing and matching! I love the colourful look and interesting combination of tastes of this tortilla/frittata/crustless quiche.

10-12 pieces of asparagus

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch beet tops, stems removed and shredded (about 1 packed cup, total)

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato (or yam? ย I can never remember…the orange one, anyway), cooked and peeled, then chopped into 1″ cubes

1-14 0z can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into chunks

8 eggs

1 tsp. ground cumin

pinch salt and pepper

Snap lower stem off asparagus pieces and discard. Chop asparagus into 2″ pieces. Blanch asparagus in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, only until they just turn colour – remove from heat, drain and rinse in cold water to arrest cooking. Drain and set aside.

Mix eggs in bowl with salt, pepper and ground cumin.

Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, and saute garlic and onion in it until they just begin to soften. Add beet tops and cook for a few minutes until they wilt. Add sweet potato/yam, artichoke hearts and asparagus pieces. Stir gently to mix.

Preheat broiler in oven.

Pour eggs over vegetable mixture, and stir gently to combine all in pan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 8-10 minutes or until almost set – top will still look runny. Do not stir.

Once eggs are set-looking, slide pan under broiler to cook and brown top – this will just take a couple of minutes, so watch carefully.

When brown, remove from heat and let cool. This tastes best when eaten at room temperature.

 

 

 

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