Saturday, 16 April 2011

I ain't skerd!!

I know a lot of you are not on board with my vegetarian/veganism which is absolutely FINE in so many ways!  I want you all to be successful in your own journey in whatever way you find that works for you.  But I am truly enjoying learning how to cook in this new genre and I want to be able to share it with those of you who are interested in having even just one meal a week without meat.

I've been creating very simple vegetarian meals for most of the year.  Basically just omitting meat from classic recipes.  Vegetable lasagna instead of meat, that kinda thing.  But recently, I've been exploring some ingredients that were new to me (though have been around for many many years in the vegan world.)  Things like Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Nutritional Yeast, and even Tofu.  If you want to know what they are, follow the links and read about them. 

At first, these ingredients seemed daunting to me.  I wasn't sure what they were, where to find them, what to do with them, and of course- would they taste good?  Well, as I've told you all before, the only way to fail is if you never even try.  So I bit the bullet and have cooked with all these products and wanted to share with you two of the recipes that I created and have become my go-to meals during busy times and hopefully encourage you to try something new!

Most of the recipes I create are an effort to clear "left-over" ingredients from other recipes out of my fridge.  Tofu Slaw Salad is no exception.  I had tofu left-over from a stir fry, a bag of coleslaw mix, and half a can of black beans.  I knew I wanted to make something that I could put in a wrap (high fiber tortilla) for my lunches at work.  I went with the concept of coleslaw with a twist...

Tofu Slaw Salad

·  8oz extra firm tofu
Cube into 1/2 inch pieces, toss in a bowl with 1/4 cup corn starch, sauted in a pan with about a 1/2tbsp oil, stirring occasionally until browned on all sides, add a dash or two of soy sauce right as you remove it from the heat and stirring to coat.
·        2/3 cup black beans
I used half a can of Bush's reduced sodium black beans and rinsed them well
·        1/2 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice.
·        Lots of chopped up veggies. 
Use what you have, but what I generally have on hand is onion, broccoli, brussel sprouts, red pepper, bean and alphafa sprouts.  Remember that the veggies are the body of the slaw, so do not be light handed.  I probably use about 2-3 cups of veggies in this recipe.
  • 2 cups bagged coleslaw mix.

Tofu Slaw Salad “Sauce”
  • 3 tbsp Vegenaise (or your preferred mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp hummus (I use garlic flavored)
  • 3-4 tbsp sweet relish (I use no sugar added relish.)
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice or vinegar
Throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix ‘em up till you’re satisfied with the distribution.  Plop a cup of the mix onto your favorite wrap or tortilla, stick a pickle spear on the side, and enjoy a totally vegetarian meal!!  1 cup of this is approximately 7 pointsplus on Weight Watchers- this recipe makes 5 servings.

Fiesta Soup

Ingredients
2 tsp cooking oil (canola or vegetable)
1/2 a large onion, diced
1 clove of elephant garlic (or 3 cloves regular), chopped
15 oz can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can of diced tomatoes, I like to use Del Monte “Zesty Chili” seasoned tomatoes
8oz short can of yellow corn
2/3 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water

Seasoning
1 tbsp taco seasoning
Chili powder, cumin, basil, steak seasoning to taste.

Preperation
Sauté the onion and garlic with the oil in a large sauté pan or pot over medium-high heat until softened (about 4 minutes).  Add remaining ingredients to the onions and garlic and simmer about 30 minutes.

This recipe is vegan.  It contains no animal products what-so-ever, but the TVP is very meaty and takes the flavor of whatever you cook it in, and the nutritional yeast provides a cheesy undertone.  You will never miss the classic beef and cheddar cheese found in traditional taco-esque soup recipes in this soup.  I PROMISE.  If you do not like it, I welcome you to comment and call me a liar! J

1 and 1/2 cups serving size is 7 propoints, this recipe makes 5 servings.
***NOTE***
You can usually find tofu in the produce section of your local grocery store.  It is stored with the fruits and vegetables in refridgerated cold box.  TVP and nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk items section of your grocery store.  If you're lucky enough to have a health foods store near by, they are even easier to find!

Like I said, I promise you won't miss the meat in these recipes!!  Don't take my word for it though, GO OUT THERE AND MAKE IT!!  You can do it!!  These are super easy and quick go-to meals once you've made them once.  And, of course, come back here and tell me how much you loved it! :-)

6 comments:

  1. I think its great you found something you love! And they sound delicious!! Ive got some new recipes to try now :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. love you inventive nature C
    these look yummy!

    love and light

    ReplyDelete
  3. I went vegetarian for 1 1/2 years between 2006 and 2008. I loved it, but I did it for medical purposes. I had chronic constipation and when I went vegetarian I was fine. Of course, I was eating like a pig back then so my Digestive disorder I have couldn't keep up with all the food. Now I am back eating meat.

    Good for you trying your hand at this, its not as hard as I thought it would be when I did it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi C, I applaude your efforts at becoming a Veggie! Being a single mom, I learned to cook healthy, low cost, meatless meals years ago. It is just normal for our family now.

    If you liked the tofu, I have a suggestion. Take the tofu packed in water in the tub containers, extra firm, and freeze it. Thaw it out, drain, slice two or three times in the direction that is palm size. Then squeeze, squeeze, squeeze as much water out as you can. You can then crumble up the tofu for a completely different texture, kinda like dry scrambled eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Its always fun to branch out and try new things, so keep sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I took 4 teenage girls on holiday last year ( only 1 mine) and I was DREADING cooking for the one vegetarian imagining it was hard to do. Actually it wasn't and we all had more than one veggie meal. She cooked for us all on "Veggie Night" and we had a brilliant time and it really changed my preconceptions. I'm not that bothered about meat,i like it but I would find living without fish, eggs and cheese a torture.I do love to read all about how you eat..its amazing to me.
    I love having you follow my blog, you are so encouraging, enthusiastic and HAPPY it becomes infectious....they say the way to success in life is to surround yourself with positive people and I'm glad you're with me in this!
    Dawn

    ReplyDelete

Opinions are like elbows, we all have them! I'd love to see yours! :-)