Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chickenish Fajitas

This is one of my favorite recipes to make on week-nights after a long day at work - it comes together very quickly and it is delicious and satifying.

1 10 ounce package frozen peppers (fresh peppers can be used if you have them, using the frozen peppers is a good time saver as they are already sliced)
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups TVP chickenish chunks
3 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
6 sprouted grain or whole wheat tortillas
Shredded vegan cheese (optional)
Salsa (optional)

Serves 2-3 (2 or 3 tortillas each)

Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in 250 degree F oven. (I use our toaster oven for this)

Add taco seasoning to TVP.  Add enough boiling water to just cover TVP - allow to rehydrate while other ingredients are prepared.

Drizzle olive oil into a frying pan.  Add garlic, onions and peppers, saute over high heat until softened.

Add TVP and taco seasoning mixture to frying pan.  Cook until thoroughly heated through and liquid has reduced.

Put filling in the middle of the tortilla, add cheese and salsa if desired, wrap up and enjoy!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cooking Demo - not quite what I expected

I recently attended a cooking demo at a kitchen store - the main purpose of the demo was, of course, to sell their products but I was hoping to pick up some new techniques or learn a new recipe.  The food processor did look nice as she demonstrated how it worked.

The title of the demo was "healthy cooking: vegetables."  Sounds good so far, right?

The first dish did look really good - and the only modification I would make would be to eliminate the Parmesan cheese from the breadcrumb toppings and it would be vegan - it was a layered casserole with zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes.  So, that was not bad.  I may try it this summer when those vegetables are available local and fresh. 

The second recipe, however, was a 10 layer salad.  They used iceberg lettuce which there really are so many more nutritious choices in lettuce out there but OK, iceberg lettuce is alright if that is what gets people eating more salad and more vegetables so, although it would not be my first choice, I can see it has a use with some recipes.

Now the fun begins, the dressing was made from Mayonnaise and Sour Cream.  And the top layers of the salad were hard boiled eggs, cheese and BACON!  I was a little disappointed, following a  plant based diet, attending a class that is supposed to be about vegetables only to find out they consider bacon a vegetable in this class......The woman doing the demo kept emphasizing this was a healthy salad.  Healthier than what, I wanted to know, I guess it was a little better than a fast food cheeseburger and french fries.  There are many people who follow a vegetarian diet and include eggs and cheese in their diet so, minus the bacon, this recipe would work for a lot of vegetarians.  I would not serve this to a vegetarian though and tell them it is really good for them.

This was an example of how people are constantly misinformed regarding what is good for them.  The message I walked away from this demo with was as long as you are eating some vegetables, it is fine to pile them up with mayo, sour cream, bacon and cheese.

I completely disagree and I was very disappointed.

I do want to turn this around into something I can use - I have some ideas brewing, maybe a vegan mayo based dressing, a layer of beans instead of the boiled eggs.  Instead of the bacon, some Tempeh flavored with BBQ sauce and crisped in a frying pan......More to come once I work on these ideas a little more.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

White Bean Dip

We have some dried canellini beans and I have been trying to decide what to do with them.  I put them in the crock pot so they would be cooked and figured, I would think about what to do with them once they were ready......
I put 2 cups of dried beans, 6 cups of water, 1 onion cut into quarters, 4 garlic cloves, and 2 small bay leaves into the crock pot.  I set it on high and let it go......A cookbook I was referring to said it should take 8-10 hours on high - ok, off to work, and they should be ready when I come home.  Fortunately, I don't work too far from home and decided to run home at lunch time to let the dogs out and have a quick lunch - only about 4 1/2 hours in the crock pot and the beans were definitely done.  Next time I will put them on low.

I have cooked beans....ok, now what?

With two cups of the cooked beans, I have made a bean dip.

White Bean Dip

2 cups of cooked White Beans (I used canollini, northern beans would probably work well too)
5 Garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Ground Black Pepper to taste
Kosher Salt to taste (I use very little salt)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until combined.

Serve with fresh veggies for dipping.  This would also be good spread on crostini or as a sandwich spread.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tim's Vegan Chili

This is a recipe which comes out a little different each time we make it depending on which of the ingredients we have on hand.  Tim could eat this chili every day and he would be happy.  It is great served with tortilla chips or fresh baked bread (I will post the bread recipe soon too.)  This can be made ahead of time and re-heated in the crock pot and it freezes very well also.
Tim’s Vegan Chili
4 Tablespoons Olive oil
4 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Package Extra Firm Tofu
4 Veggie Sausage Links
1 medium Onion
1 Bulb (yes, bulb not clove) Garlic
16 oz. Can Kidney or Cannellini beans
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) Beefish chunks
TVP Chickenish chunks
28 oz. can Tomato Puree
12 oz. can or bottle of Lager Beer
1 Hot Pepper such as a Habanero (optional)
Ground Black Pepper

Cut sausage into slices and put into oven at 375° F for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes
Cut Tofu into ½” cubes
Dice Onion and Garlic, set aside
Put 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan set to medium-low heat.  Add ½ onion and ½ of the garlic.  Add the tofu after 3 minutes.  Cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Put the tofu in the oven at 375° F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Put the tomato Puree into a slow cooker with the sausage and beans set to low.
Place the TVP in a sauce pan with enough water to cover; boil for 10 minutes until rehydrated.
Dissolve the Chili powder in the beer.
Put another tablespoon of olive oil in the same frying pan which was used for the tofu – you do not need to clean in between, keeping the flavor from the onions and garlic which were cooked earlier.  Add the rest of the onion, garlic and Tofu along with all of the TVP and the optional diced hot pepper.  Pour the dissolved Chili powder in and simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Add salt and ground pepper to taste.

Add all ingredients from the frying pan into the slow cooker and set to Low or Keep Warm.
The longer it cooks the thicker the chili will get and the more the flavors will intensify.

We order our TVP from Harmony House Foods -  They have several flavors available.  We started with the sampler pack to try out a variety and see what we liked.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chickenish Cigars

This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cooking shows which features meals in 30 minutes. She uses ground chicken and butter in the original recipe. I have adapted to fit a vegan diet using TVP and olive oil. The flavor from all of the seasonings makes it a very flavorful dish. Pair it with a nice green salad or some steamed veggies and this makes an impressive delicious meal.
4 servings

  • 1 ½ cups TVP (I use plain but chicken or beef flavor could be used)
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning, half a palm full
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, a handful
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough – whole wheat if available
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place TVP in a bowl and mix with spices and parsley. Add boiling water to cover the TVP and allow it to rehydrate.

Place a piece of phyllo on a large cutting board or work area, with a pastry brush, brush olive oil on it and top with a second sheet.

Divide the TVP mixture in half. Form a 1-inch thick log the length of the long side of the phyllo dough.

Roll the log in phyllo tightly. Cut the TVP filled phyllo into 4 "cigars" and brush with a dab more olive oil. Repeat to make a total of 8 TVP and phyllo roll-ups.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

About us......

Tim the Vegan blog was inspired by my husband, Tim.

He is a very reluctant vegan…...

Tim has been led to this dietary choice through a health issue. Eliminating meat and all animal products from his diet had a quick and effective result to resolving his health issue. This change to our diet has led to many health benefits for both of us, including losing weight easily and feeling healthier overall.

Since making this change, we have explored many recipes and many new ingredients. Some good, some we will never try again.