Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Home Made Inari topped with Spicy Sushi Sauce

Home made Inari Sushi with Spicy Sushi Sauce from 500 Vegan Recipes
An oldy but a goodie! I originally posted the recipe for the Spicy Sushi Sauce way back in January of 2009 as a teaser for 500 Vegan Recipes, and I'll be darned if I don't love that stuff even more today. My newest favorite way to use it is on Asian Fusion Tacos. There are a few food trucks and restaurants in Los Angeles serving up this wonderful Asian twist on Mexican food.  I say wonderful, because I think it is a wonderful idea to fuse those two cuisines, but the truth is, those places aren't vegan, so I haven't been able to try them out.  Enter my local Whole Foods Market, who started serving up vegan street style tacos in their traditional Mexican form as well as Fusion style.  YAY!

But I digress.  This post is about Inari, home made Inari to be exact.  So it's really 3 recipes in one post. One for the tofu pockets, one for the rice filling, and of course, one for the ridiculously good sauce.   You can take a huge shortcut when making these at home by buying canned, prepared Inarizushi No Moto tofu pockets, but I like to make my own pockets with regular extra firm tofu that you can get at any grocery store.

For the Tofu Pockets
12 ounces (or one block) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed*
1 cup (or more) vegetable oil
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup agave

*It really doesn't matter how much your block weighs.

In a pot, or a deep fryer, place enough oil to give you at least one inch. Heat on high heat.
Cut your tofu into 12-16 pieces, depending on the size of your block. You want to have rectangles that measure about 2 inches long, 1 1/2" wide and 1/4" thick.
Deep fry the blocks, 3 or 4 at a time, in oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Take care that they don't touch in the oil, or they will get stuck to eachother. Remove from oil and set on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
In a wide shallow dish, or a gallon size zip top bag, mix together soy sauce, vinegar, and agave. Place the fried tofu in the marinade and let soak for at least ten minutes, but no longer than twenty. Remove from marinade and, once again place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
Carefully cut a slit in the long end of the tofu to create a pocket.
Stuff with the prepared sushi rice.

Tofu Pockets

For the Rice
1 cup dry sushi rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon agave
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in your rice cooker. If you don't have a rice cooker, follow the instructions on your package of rice, adding the vinegar and agave to the water.

Sushi Rice

Spicy Sushi Sauce
1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 tbsp Sri Racha
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

Whisk together until smooth, put it in a squeeze bottle and then squirt it all over everything you can think of!

Sushi Sauce

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BBQ Seitan Ribs (and Giveaway RESULTS!)

BBQ Seitan Ribs (complete with Cedar Bones!) found on page 140 of
The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions.  Photo by Celine Steen.
I am a complete sucker for the small town, idyllic idea of a country hoe-down or county fair. Unfortunately, I live in Orange County, California, and if you've seen the ad for our county fair, you'd see that the romantic visions of a barn dance, red and white gingham tablecloths, hay rides, banjo plucking bands, under the big blue sky, in a big green meadow are just that...romantic visions.

So, I have my own hoe-downs.  Me and my husband in my backyard.  (And yes, I do own an old wooden wagon wheel!)  One of my favorite things to throw on the grill is a big ol' slab of Seitan Ribs, complete with cedar bones.

If you like to cook outdoors, leave a comment below telling me your favorite foods to eat or cook outside!  I will choose 3 comments at random to receive your choice of any of my 5 cookbooks!  Yes, I will ship internationally.  I will choose the winners on Saturday night. (After I get home from the fair.  Ha!)  I only ask one favor...if you enter this giveaway, please check back to see if you have won, otherwise, I have no idea how to get your book to you.

These look fantastic! I really like the unique addition of steak sauce! Yum!

I usually go for a simple tofu/veggie kabob. Once I did pizza on the grill and that was yummy!!!
Corn all the way! Dang it, I wish we had a grill.... those ribs looks INSANE.
Please send me an email with your mailing address and choice of cookbook to joni AT justthefood DOT com so I can send you your book ASAP!

Barbecue Seitan Ribs

3 cups (432 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons (16 g) onion powder
1 tablespoon (8 g) garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (470 ml) water
1/2 cup (125 ml) barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade
1/4 cup (60 ml) steak sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) liquid smoke
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
2 cups (470 ml) additional barbecue sauce for baking and grilling
6 bones (See note below)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Line a 9×13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and knead for 5 minutes.
Let mixture rest for 20 minutes.
Shape mixture into a large rectangle, to fit in the pan, with at least an inch of space around the edges.
Push the bones through the mixture, at equal distances from each other.
Pour additional 3/4 cup (180 ml) barbecue sauce into the bottom of the baking pan.
Place “rack of ribs” in the pan.
Spread another 3/4 cup (180 ml) barbecue sauce over the top.
Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for 90 minutes.
You can enjoy these as is, or refrigerate for later use.
To reheat, fire up the grill to give ribs extra smoky flavor and grill marks. Brush with 1/2 cup (125 ml) even more barbecue sauce while grilling!

Finger Lickin' Good: Disposable bamboo chopsticks or even Popsicle sticks work wonders here, but if
you want to kick it up a notch, try food-grade cedar cut into 1/2-inch x 6-inch (1.27 x 15-cm) “bones,” makingsure to sand down any rough edges. Whichever you choose, start by soaking them in a mixture of 2 cups (470 ml) warm water mixed with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) liquid smoke to add some smoky flavor to the ribs. For an edible set of bones, try taro root. Although this method will yield edible “bones,” they will be more flimsy after cooking, thus requiring a fork and knife for eating.

Yield: 6 large ribs

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nutrition Facts

I get tons of emails asking for the Nutrition Facts for my recipes.  So, I am slowly going to start adding the Nutrition Facts to all of the recipes on the blog.  This is a huge undertaking and will take me quite some time, so please be patient as I am working on this one recipe at a time.

I am using my favorite recipe calculator...the one over at SparkPeople.

The Nutrition Facts I am providing are for informational purposes only.  And, to be honest, I am putting them there for selfish reasons.  I need to know what I am eating too!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Salads and Sammies

Summery Salad with Apricot, Dill and Mustard Vinaigrette
I was just about as lazy as one could be on a Sunday.  It was pushing 100 degrees outside, and although beeeyoootiful out there, I was totally content on the couch, blinds closed, air conditioner blasting, watching ridiculous reality television.  The really ridiculous stuff, like Pregnant in Heels and Miss Advised.  10 am passed.  11 am passed.  12 noon it was, then 1 pm.  Oops, 2 pm had passed and it was already 3!

Enough already.  I barely get 2 days off in a week, and I am gonna waste it away watching Bravo?  Nope.  So, up I got and dragged myself into a sundress and off to the market I went.  The heat had my heart set on something light.  As I drove to the store I was menu planning in my mind.  Fantasizing about a big salad with frisse and a home made vinaigrette.

I called my sister and told her my menu plans:

Mixed green salad with candied walnuts and grapes and an Apricot Dill and Mustard Vinaigrette
Baby Potato Salad (using the same dressing)
and Grilled Vegetable Paninis with Fennel and Shallot Marmalade

As luck would have it, she was also looking for dinner plans so I invited her over.

Baby Potato Salad (left) and Grilled Vegetable Panini with Fennel and Shallot Marmalade (right)

And as I began to chop and slice, it donned on me I should be writing it all down.  My sister bemoaned,  "Can't you just prepare a meal for the pure enjoyment of cooking?"  Nope!  Because then I wouldn't be able to do it again!  And that would have been ashamed, because the dressing and marmalade came out fantastic.  Bursting with fresh summer flavors.

Apricot, Dill and Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients together and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Yield:  Just over 1 cup

To make the green salad, I tossed together frisse, radicchio, hearts of romaine, candied pecans, candied walnuts, and a big helping of mixed grapes.  Yep, I was so lazy I bought grapes that were already plucked!  I drizzled on the above vinaigrette and served.  I wish I would have added slices of fresh apricot.  Dang.  Why didn't I think of that yesterday?

To make the potato salad, I boiled about 3 pounds of a cubed baby potato mix (blue, red, fingerling, and buttery yukon golds) until they were fork tender.  I rinsed and cooled them, then tossed in a generous portion of fresh basil chiffonade.  I tossed it all with the above vinaigrette and put the whole shebang into the refrigerator to get nice and chilled before serving.

Fennel and Shallot Marmalade
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bulb of fennel, thinly julienned
4 shallots, thinly julienned
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a pot or pan with a lid.
Add fennel, shallot, and garlic.  Saute until fragrant and translucent.
Add in remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
Reduce heat to low.  Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, uncover and continue to cook, stirring constantly until reduced and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Yield: 1 cup

To make the Paninis, I used crusty ciabatta rolls, sliced open.  On each half of the bread, I schmeared about 1 tablespoon of Galaxy Foods Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese Alternative.  I topped that with a big ol' dollop of the above marmalade, then layered on grilled eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, and anaheim chiles, and then used my grill pan to give them a nice crust.  Since I don't have my own panini grill, I use an antique iron to weigh down my sandwiches on the grill pan.  I've also used a brick wrapped in foil.

And because my sister is such a peach, she brought us a lovely bottle of red and a coupla pints of So Delicious Coconut Almond Chip Ice Cream.  I'm not lying when I tell you that that stuff tastes almost identical to a Mahalo Bar.

2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni