Gluten Free and Vegan Boneless Spare-no-ribs

I recently bought four bags of Butler soy curls from Veganessentials.com because they are my favorite gluten free vegan meat substitute. I use this recipe I love for Sweet and Sour Soy Curls, and while I was making it, I realized that soy curls are the perfect shape, size, and texture for trying to replicate Chinese boneless spare ribs. It’s mostly a coincidence that I happen to have perfected the recipe and am posting it on Chinese New Year, although once I realized the coincidence it pushed me to post this faster than I normally would.

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Today starts the year of the Red Monkey according to Chinese astrology. I was born under the year of the rat. When I looked up my Chinese horoscope for the new year for fun, it said I might have a good year, with some luck in career stuff, education, and romance. I hope so!

Gluten Free and Vegan Boneless Spare-no-ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Butler Soy Curls
  • Enough water to cover dry soy curls in a bowl
  • ¼ cup mirin wine

Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp gluten free hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp five spice powder
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp egg replacer powder without water added
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp cherry jam or preserves
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup gluten free soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the soy curls in the liquid for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Drain and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. You can use a clean dish towel to help with this process. Place in a ziplock type bag or bowl.
  3. Prepare the marinade in a food processor or whisk vigorously until smooth.
  4. Pour into the ziplock bag or bowl with the soy curls.
  5. Shake or stir the soy curls so that they are fully coated with the marinade. Allow to marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  6. Before frying the ribs, make the sauce. Stir all ingredients in a small saucepan together and heat over medium heat until warm.
  7. Add in the cornstarch and water and continuously whisk until it thickens and bubbles.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Toss 2 tbsp cornstarch, potato starch, and powdered egg replacer into the bag/bowl and again coat the marinated soy curls.
  10. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Allow it to get hot. Place the soy curls into the pan (they should sizzle if the oil is hot enough), and stir until coated and brown. The coconut oil should have fully absorbed. Don’t stir too long or they might start to stick together too much.
  11. Turn the heat to low and stir in the sauce.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

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What the sauce looks like when done.

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Dig in!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! 😀

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Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Swedish Ginger Cookie Crust or Speculoos crust (either works!)

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving. It seems like just the other day I was writing about last Thanksgivukkah. Too bad this year hanukkah is later.

I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it but I had this really great Vegan Thanksgiving Food Demo along with Rhode Island Vegan Awareness and Urban Greens Co-op in Providence, RI. I taught a large (being that only 13 people were supposed to be there based on sign ups) group of 23 people, mostly all vegan or vegetarian how to make my butternut squash and sage ravioli. It was a really fun time, and the first time I’ve ever done something like that. I’d say it went really well. I am looking forward to doing more events like that in the future.

I had pre-cooked the Gardein holiday roast and brought it to my family’s thanksgiving gathering. I had also made sage cashew cheese for an appetizer. My mom brought a vegan green bean casserole. My great aunt had made vegan mashed potatoes with oil, almond milk, and chives. I was most excited about this one recipe I created for us to eat for dessert, which I will now share here.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Cookie Crust (Speculoos or Ginger)

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Ingredients:

For the crusts:

  • 1 1/2 cup cookie crumbs made in a food processor (Speculoos or Swedish Ginger cookies–I used some cookies called Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins instead of the Speculoos)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted Earth Balance

For the pies:

  • 3 cups worth baked sweet potatoes without skin
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 12 Large sized vegan marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a cupcake tin with either a generous amount of cooking spray or melt some extra earth balance, put some on a paper towel, and spread around the cavities of the pan until well coated. This is very important because otherwise you will have a really hard time getting them out.
  3. In a food processor, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and Earth Balance.
  4. Scoop out an even amount (use spoons to measure, about 1 1/2 table spoonfuls) into each cupcake cavity. Press up the sides as much as you can while still keeping the bottom crust in tact. I did not have the crust going totally up the sides and it came out fine.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. It may be a little bubbly but it will crisp up a bit as it sits while you make the rest.
  6. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  7. When the crusts are baked, turn the heat of the oven up to 350 degrees.
  8. Whisk together the flaxmeal and water until goopy.
  9. Pour the flaxmeal and water into the pureed sweet potatoes in the processor, along with the Earth Balance, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Blend until fully combined and smooth. Taste for sweetness. You can add more sugar if desired.
  10. Place 2 full tablespoons of the mixture on top of the crusts.
  11. Stick a marshmallow in the center of each.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. When cooled, take a butter knife and loosen the edges by circling the pie and breaking up the crust’s edges if stuck to the tin.
  14. Take out with a metal spoon and place on a serving tray or whatever else. They can be refrigerated if they are not being served immediately.

Vegan “shrimp” Bao

So before I went vegan I was obsessed with the non-vegan version of these that I would buy at Trader Joe’s. Recently I was longing to eat something like it again, but wanted it to be vegan of course.

vegan bao

I did not want to attempt on my own to create a recipe for the Chinese Bao (steamed bun) dough myself, as I have never tried to make these before…so I referenced this recipe for that. I also had found the perfect vegan “shrimp” seitan recipe  online long ago, so I decided to make that instead of coming up with something entirely original. The part that was all my own was how I cooked the shrimp seitan to fill the bao with.

Also, I recommend a using a large steamer if you want to make this recipe. If you do not have one, I do not know what to recommend in order for them to come out right. I imagined trying to steam on the stove in a saucepan sized steamer, all 24 bao, and it just seemed impossible. Luckily, I remembered that I had found an electric steamer for free from the Providence Really, Really Free Market awhile ago (that I had never used since picking it up, of course, haha) and used that and it worked smashingly well.

Here is what I did:

I made the recipe for the “shrimp” seitan the night before. I had baked some sweet potatoes and just pureed them with a small amount of water in the food processor beforehand. Also, because it’s slightly unclear, the “gluten flour” they reference is actually vital wheat gluten flour. I used kelp granules instead of dulse.

The next day (you need quite a bit of inactive time to make these, so do not try to make these if you need to be out of the house or an hour before dinner! Read the directions carefully so you know how much time to allot) you make the dough from the recipe. Towards the end of the time that the dough is sitting for 2 hours, you will want to make the filling with the “shrimp” seitan according to my recipe:

vegan shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, mince
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 batch of “shrimp” seitan 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a saute pan.
  2. Add garlic and ginger stir in the oil until fragrant.
  3. Add the “shrimp” seitan
  4. Cook until the seitan starts to become shiny and turns a slight golden brown color
  5. Add soy sauce and sriracha, mix until thoroughly coated
  6. Add chives and stir to disperse throughout the seitan shrimp batch

Then get back to the bun recipe. I did not follow the recipe exactly as it said. I basically did not care about making them super pretty, so I did not roll out the dough I had sectioned into 24 pieces. I just smooshed them down with my hands, worked them into a circle with my fingers, placed a small amount of the shrimp filling inside, and then pinched the dough closed around the filling. Then resumed the rest of the recipe’s instructions.

I used two layers in my steamer, and the first layer that was closest to the steam was done probably in 15-20 minutes. I took that basket out, so it would stop cooking, and moved the top one down. That took another 15 minutes at least. You just want them to start looking less like dough, and more like a very soft bread.

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That’s it, enjoy them! I wish I could have figured out a way for them to have more sauce in them, but I think it would have been too difficult to pull off when steaming them, anyhow. Overall, quite yummy!

 

My own version of raw vegan pad thai!

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My friend Kian invited me over last night, and we made a really yummy recipe up together! Whenever I have tried to cook pre-created recipes with friends or other people, I have had a challenge doing so for some reason. But this time not following a specific recipe worked really well, and Kian and I made a really good team! Lucky for you all (my blog readers!) I did write what we did down so you can make it too!

Thank you Kian (if you are reading this!) for helping me figure out this delicious dish, and for making the (un)cooking extra fun with awesome conversation!

First of all, to make this recipe work well, you will either need a spiralizer, or some kind of a spiral cutter. I recently got this device from amazon, and that is what we used. It took a few tries to figure out exactly since it does not come with directions. Basically, you just push it into the middle and spin it around. It’s kind of like a veggie pencil sharpener!

Okay, so here is the recipe:

Laura and Kian’s Raw Vegan Pad Thai!

Serves 8-10, would be the perfect size for a picnic, potluck, or party too if you eat smaller portions

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • about 5 large zucchinis (we actually used ten mini ones) spiralized into a thick spaghetti type shape, but it’s okay if some pieces aren’t very long. We even used the parts that we could not get to spiral and just chopped them up into rounds to add some different textures in
  • 3 medium sized carrots
  • Mung bean sprouts (we used a large bag, probably about 4 cups, adjust to your liking/desired level of crunchy-ness!)
  • 1 bunch chopped scallions
  • 14 tbsp raw cashew butter (I made my own…I would say you could process 2 cups raw cashews  into a powder, then add 2 tbsp oil and some water as needed until it becomes pasty…or use store bought)
  • 8 tbsp coconut milk
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 to 5 (or to your liking) tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated into a pulp)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or less to your liking, it gets very strong when it’s raw)
  • about 1/3-1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (to place on top as garnish)1 bunch (or less)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional-I just put a tbsp of it on top after I served myself)

Directions:

  1. Chop the red peppers, spiralize the zucchini into noodle shapes, spiralize or peel the carrots in strips with a peeler, chop the scallions. Place in a large serving bowl, add the mung bean sprouts, and toss together.
  2. Now to make the sauce. In a medium bowl, place the cashew butter into it. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and water. Whisk or stir with a spoon until combined. Add more water, a tbsp at a time, if necessary to reach your desired consistency (it’s really good thick, though! plus the veggies have water in them!)
  3. Mix in the garlic, ginger, and curry powder into the sauce.
  4. Mix the sauce into the veggies, making sure every part of it is coated.
  5. Add the cilantro if desired.
  6. Place the chopped cashews on top!
  7. Eat!