Monday, May 1, 2017

Vegan 'Surf and Turf' Taco Plate

'Surf" Tacos made with seaweed infused rice, dilly tartar sauce, and radish relish.

This weekend I had the privilege and honor to do a cooking demo and prepare lunch for 300 dedicated community activists at the Crisis in the Oceans event which led up to the People's March on Climate Change in Irvine, California. Speakers included Jonathan Balcombe, Kate Mackey, and Gene Bauer! What an honor to be feeding these fine folks!

Over 2000 attendees showed up for the march. Many of the marchers holding vegan and plant-based messaging signs! This is huge. 2000 people may not seem like a lot for a march these days, but in previously ultra-conservative Irvine, this showing up in solidarity with Mother Earth was a real inspiration.

I couldn't have done this without the help of some incredible individuals. A huuuuge heartfelt thanks so much to all of the food prep and food service volunteers. Without you, I would never have been able to pull this off.

I promised all of the eco-aware attendees that I would post the recipes from the demo (so as not to waste paper on hand-outs) and lunch today, so here you go...'Surf and Turf' Taco Plates!

'Surf' Tacos
For the Flaky Fish-y Rice
1 cup (180 g) uncooked long grain rice (such as basmati or jasmine)
2 cups (470 ml) water
1 tablespoon (3 g) hijiki seaweed*
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes, or to taste
*Hijiki seaweed works best because it keeps its form when boiling and has a strong sea flavor. If you want to use another type of seaweed, double the amount, make sure to tie it up in a cheesecloth and place it in the water when boiling. Remove before serving. Do not use nori. It will dissolve into a slimy mess.

For the Radish Relish
1 cup (116 g) finely diced red radish
1 cup (160 g) finely diced red onion
1 green chile (jalapeno, anaheim, pasilla...depending on your heat preference) finely diced
1/4 cup (4 g) chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon (9 g) minced garlic
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

For the Dill-y Tartar Sauce
3/4 cup (168 g) AquaFaba mayo (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried dill, or 3/4 teaspoon fresh

For the Tacos
2 cups (140 g) finely shredded red or green cabbage (or a mix of both!)
6 to 12 corn tortillas (depending on the size you use), toasted in a dry pan
roasted pepitas, for garnish
chopped green onion, for garnish, optional

To make the flaky fish, stir together all ingedients in the bowl of your rice cooker and cook according to machine instructions. If you do not have a rice cooker, add water and seaweed to a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, stir in rice and spices to the boiling water, reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until fluffy and tender. Make the relish and tartar sauce while rice is cooking.

To make the Radish Relish, mix together all of the ingredients and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To make the Dill-y Tartar Sauce, mix together all ingredients and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To assemble your tacos, layer on cabbage, fish-y rice, drizzle with dill-y tartar, add a generous helping of radish relish and sprinkle with pepitas. Add garnish as desired.

'Turf' Tacos. I SWEAR there is a toasty grilled tortilla under all that goodness!
'Turf' Tacos
For the Spicy Taco Chickpeas
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained (reserving the liquid from the can for later use)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) mild flavored vegetable oil
1/2 cup (80 g) finely diced white onion
1 teaspoon evaporated cane juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ground chipotle powder)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Chipotle Crema
3/4 cup (168 g) AquaFaba mayo (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon chipotle powder (more or less, to taste)
1 tablespoon (8g) minced garlic, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked salt

For the Tacos
2 cups (140 g) finely shredded red or green cabbage (or a mix of both!)
6 to 12 corn tortillas (depending on the size you use), toasted in a dry pan
1 cup (160 g) finely diced white or yellow onion
1 cup (16 g) chopped cilantro
sliced jalapenos, for garnish, optional
chopped green onion, for garnish, optional

To make the spicy taco chickpeas, add oil to a frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Add in onions and saute until fragrant and translucent. Add in garlic and saute for about 2 more minutes. Add in beans and spices. Toss to coat and continue to cook until warmed through. About 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

To make the Chipotle Crema, mix together all ingredients and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To assemble the tacos, layer on cabbage, then chickpeas, top with onion and cilantro, drizzle with chipotle crema, and garnish with jalapenos and green onions, of desired.

Hey! That's me! With one of my heroes...Gene Bauer of Farm Sanctuary!
AquaFaba Mayo
This mayo makes a great base for many sauces and spreads! Be patient when blending and remember to SLOWLY drizzle in that oil.

1/4 cup liquid from a can of garbanzo beans (aka AquaFaba)
2 teaspoons lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar (your choice!)
1/2 teaspoon dried ground mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar*
3/4 cup mild flavored vegetable oil
*If you prefer to use a liquid sweetener such as agave or date syrup, do not add until after the mayo has emulsified and thickened. Simply stir it in afterwards

Add the AquaFaba, mustard seed, salt, and sugar* to the cup of your immersion blender. If your immersion blender did not come with a cup, a wide mouthed glass jar will work. Make sure to use a tall, slender container for this. A regular bowl will not work.

Blend until white and foamy, about 15 seconds. Slowly drizzle in oil in a very thin stream, a small amount at a time, while constantly blending. Allow the oil to completely incorporate before adding more. DO NOT STOP THE BLENDER DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS! Continue to add oil until it is all incorporated. This process should take up to 5 full minutes. Be patient. Be very, very patient. Upon adding the last of the oil, it should be thick and silky...just like mayo!

Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. Should last up to two weeks. Use as is as mayo or add additional seasonings to make a variety of aiolis, spreads, and sauces.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)

Cilantro Lime Sticky Rice
1 cup (180 g) Jasmine rice, unrinsed
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (16 g) chopped cilantro
1/4 cup (60 ml) mild flavored vegetable oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare rice according to package directions adding the salt to the water. Once rice is cooked, mix in cilantro, oil, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 8 servings

Black and Tan Beans
2 tablespoons (30 ml) mild flavored vegetable oil
1 medium white or yellow onion
2 tablespoons (16 g) minced garlic
1 jalapeno, diced (for spicier beans, leave in the seeds)
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Add oil to a pot with a lid and heat over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno and saute for two to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Stir regularly during cooking.

Yield: 8 servings

For more information and ways to get involved in future events, check out!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Carving Board Vegan Pastrami (I promise it's not meat!)

Oh, Pastrami! You are so salty and savory and fatty and just a tad sweet and taste magnificent with a big thick smear of deli mustard and provolone on toasty sourdough. My husband and I used to travel far and wide for a giant pastrami sandwich in our pre-vegan days, and the both of us really had a hankering for nostalgia.

We set out to recreate this old favorite at home using seitan and traditional pastrami spices. It had to juicy. It had to be tangy. It had to have that peppered crust. had to have that signature pink marbling. After all, we eat with our eyes first, and this had to look as authentic as possible. We wanted it to be like those artisan carving board sandwiches you see on all the food shows. You know, the ones they serve up at all the hipster gastro pubs.

Except ours, well, ours had to be vegan.

I can't remember who said it, but my dear friend Erin, from Olives for Dinner, shared a quote, "Treat your vegetables like meat!" and I really thought that was great advice. I mean, for the most part, animal products, especially meat, get seasoned with plants to give them flavor, right? So, why not simply cook plants using the same cooking methods used to prepare meat? Brilliant.

Vegan Carving Board Pastrami

For the Seitan Dough:
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon ground mustard seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup vegan beef-flavored vegetable broth (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Beef Base, or you can make your own using the broth recipe from my Vegan Ya Ka Mein.)
2 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil
Vegan red food coloring, optional

For the Dry Rub:
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried coriander

For the Simmering Broth:
2 cups vegan beef-flavored vegetable broth
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf

To make the seitan dough: In a mixing bowl, add vital wheat gluten, flour, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, mustard seed, and salt. Stir to combine.
Create a well in the center and slowly add in the broth and oil. Using your hands work the liquid into the flour mixture until a sticky wet dough is formed.
Knead the dough for 5 solid minutes. You can do this right in the bowl.
If you want that marbled effect (tastes the same either way!) add in a few drops of red food color and knead some more to marble the dough. Add as much or as little as you like to get the desired effect.
Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.
While resting pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet and a large piece of foil.

To make the spice rub, simply mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Lay the piece of foil flat on the counter. Tranfer the dough to the center of the foil and form into a rectangle-ish slab about 6-inches wide, 8-inches long, and 3-inches thick. This does not need to be exact.
Coat the entire surface with the spice rub, flip over and coat the bottom with the rub.
Roll the slab up in the foil as tightly as possible. If you need a second piece of foil, use it. (You need to wrap it as tight as possible so the seitan does not expand while baking. You want it to remain trapped in the foil so it remains dense, not bready.)
Place on the baking sheet and bake, wrapped, for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, carefully remove from the oven. Allow to cook for a few minutes before carefully unwrapping.
Place the partially baked slab in the center of the pan (you can line with parchment or anther piece of foil to help with clean-up, if you choose) and bake an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
It should be blackened and hard to the touch when ready.

While baking, prepare the simmering broth.
Add all broth ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes to make sure all the salt and sugar has dissolved, then reduce the heat to a medium low simmer.
Remove blackened Pastrami slab from the oven and allow to cool to the touch.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the pastrami into thin slices. As thin as you can! If you are lucky enough to have one of those deli-meat spinning slicers, now is an amazing time to bust it out!
Place the slices into the simmering broth.

Serve the pastrami straight from the broth.
If you are planning to serve it later, make sure to store the pastrami in the broth to keep it moist and juicy.

Yield: 2 pounds

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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, or 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