Serves 4; Vegetarian; appetizer/light meal
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves washed & dried
- 1 medium jicama (yambean), peeled & julienned
- 2 medium carrots, peeled & shredded
- neutral cooking oil of choice
- 1 pack extra firm tofu, julienned
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbs honey/sweetener of choice
- 1 tbs sriracha or more to taste
- mint or sweet basil, leaves picked & washed
Lay out the lettuce leaves
In a large skillet or wok, heat oil on medium heat. Add jicama, carrot, pinch salt and pepper, and stir fry until translucent, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Add more oil to pan if needed on medium heat. Add julienned tofu, careful not to break the strips. Stir fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a bowl, add honey, then stir in soy sauce and sriracha. Adjust to taste.
Assemble lettuce wraps by layering: lettuce, tofu, jicama & carrot, basil or mint. Serve with dipping sauce.
Hi, I’m Gina, new blogger over at maradol.tumblr.com. This recipe is a pretty decent example of my style of cooking. I’m half Vietnamese, and heavily influenced by my mom’s style of cooking. While I don’t follow the protocol for traditional Vietnamese cuisine 100%, the country’s unique flavor profile is still very prevalent in my cooking. For example, fresh herbs (mint, basil, cilantro, etc.) are a signature garnish and finish for many southeast asian recipes.
These types of dishes are also the kind that take time to eat. Unlike a burrito or other fast food, where it’s already prepared and you just shove it into your mouth, this food is for sitting around the table with the people whom you love and enjoying a meal. As the late Judy Rodgers, owner of SF’s Zuni Café aptly described, “Recipes do not make food taste good; people do”.
This recipe is also endlessly customizable. Don’t like herbs? Leave ‘em out. Want a different dipping sauce? I would suggest the traditional nuoc mam, or even a peanut sauce.
Yes, this doesn’t meet the requirement for “paleo”, “gluten-free”, “vegan”, or “raw”, but you can easily adapt this to the diet of your choice.
Invite some people over, sit outside, have some drinks. It’s casual and a little messy, so have some fun.
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup bulgur, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (about 2 medium or 6 plum tomatoes)
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and jalapeño and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bulgur, chili powder, and cumin and stir until well combined.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro, if desired.
Yield: serves 4 as a main course (or fills about 6 mini ramekins)
for the polenta:
- 1 cup polenta
- 3 cups water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter (or vegan earth balance)
- 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese (optional), plus extra to go on top
- salt, pepper
- for the mushrooms:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 3 cups mixed mushrooms, (whatever kinds you like) coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked & drained
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- salt, pepper
- Make the polenta: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil with a few teaspoons of salt. Gradually add the polenta while whisking. Continue whisking for a few minutes until smooth & not lumpy.
- Continue cooking the polenta for 20-30 minutes, whisking often.
- Turn heat off, whisk in the garlic, olive oil, butter, salt, pepper & cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
- Cook the mushrooms: In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms and a few pinches of salt. Let the mushrooms cook for a few minutes, then add the chickpeas and the soy sauce.
- Cook until golden brown (8-10 minutes or so), stirring only occasionally.
- Add the sherry vinegar, stir, and let cook for 30 seconds or a minute longer.
- Remove from heat, stir in tarragon and chives. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- (A very optional step - make a quick pan sauce by pouring a glug of white wine into the still-warm pan the mushrooms cooked in. Let it bubble up and cook off for a few seconds and add a little pat of butter. Stir that into the finished mushrooms or pour over the final dish)
- Scoop the polenta into ramekins and top with the mushrooms & chickpeas.
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mellow white miso
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 cups chopped kale or other dark, leafy green
- Heat broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Add white onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add soy milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, miso, nutmeg and pepper flakes and purée until smooth.
- Transfer blended mixture back to skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in kale and continue simmering, tossing often until kale is just tender, about 5 minutes.
~ For the tofu variation:
Omit 1/2 of the kidney beans. Freeze and thaw a 14 oz block of extra firm tofu. Press tofu to remove excess water (wrap in a kitchen towel and place a heavy book and a few cans on top, for an hour or so.) Cut 1/2 inch dice and add to the pot when you add the beans.
- ~ This recipe calls for “leftover mashed potatoes” but you may not have any laying around! To make about the cup called for here, microwave a russet potato, and mash with 1/4 cup unsweetened vegan milk, 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Let cool, then measure and use!
- ~ Stout is often processed with animal products (namely, isinglass, from fish) so check out Barnivore to see if a brand is vegan-friendly or not.
- ~ If you don’t have a stovetop-to-oven pot, then simply make the stew, place it in a 9×13 casserole and form the biscuits into a rectangle instead of a circle. Slice and arrange them on top of the casserole and bake as directed.
- ~ If you’re feeling lazy, or just want a simpler weeknight meal, make the stew portion of the recipe, and leave off the biscuits. Serve with some nice crusty bread.
For the stew:
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced medium
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 lb carrots, peeled, sliced into thin half moons
- 1 1/4 cups stout beer
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Fresh black pepper (a lot!)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups cooked kidney beans – 2 15 oz cans rinsed & drained [see note for tofu version]
For the biscuits:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes [see note on leftover mashed potatoes]
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cold water
Make the stew:
- Place porcinis in a bowl that’s large enough to contain the 4 cups vegetable broth. If the porcinis look large, tear them into bite sized pieces. Boil the vegetable broth and pour it over the porcinis. Cover with a plate to keep hot, and prep everything you need for the recipes. This will soften them and make the recipe a bit faster.
- Preheat a stovetop-to-oven dutch oven over medium heat. (See notes for non-dutch oven directions.) Saute onions and a pinch of salt in oil until until translucent, 4 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, for about a minute, until fragrant.
- Add sliced cremini mushroom (not the porcinis yet), celery, thyme and rosemary (crush herbs in your fingers) and saute for 5 minutes, until mushrooms release moisture and brown slightly.
- Add carrots, stout, tomato paste, fresh black pepper and salt and bring to a boil. The liquid should reduce in about 3 minutes.
- Add porcinis and vegetable broth, cover and bring to a full boil for 5 minutes or so, to finish cooking the porcinis.
- Once porcinis are soft, in a measuring cup, mix the flour into one cup of cold water with a fork until no lumps are left.
- Slowly add the water/flour to the pot, mixing well as you go. Let thicken for 5 minutes or so. Add the kidney beans, turn heat off and cover to keep warm. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425F and make the biscuits.
Make the biscuits:
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix together mashed potatoes, olive oil and water. It should be very loose and mushy.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add the potato mixture. Mix with a fork until a stiff dough starts to form, then turn the dough on to a clean surface and knead a few times to smooth out. Flatten into a disc 2 inches smaller than the pot with the stew in it. Slice like a tic tac toe board into 9 pieces and arrange the pieces on top of the stew.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned on top, and bubbling up thickly around the biscuits.
- Let sit for 15 minutes or so, then serve!
- 350g / 13oz block firm or extra firm tofu
- ⅓ cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp wet mustard (any kind: dijon, wholegrain etc)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp all purpose seasoning (try cajun or lemon pepper for different flavors)
- ½ tsp pepper
- ⅓ - ½ cup water
- 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- Press tofu for about 10 minutes. Drain tofu, wrap in paper towels or clean tea towel, and place heavy items on top to press. I use a heavy chopping board with some weights on top.
- Meanwhile, prepare the coating.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Slowly add the water, whisking as you go. The coating should be the consistency of pancake batter.
- Add mustard and mix.
- Break the tofu into big crumbles into the coating. You can also chop into ‘sticks’ or into nugget sized pieces. I prefer to do crumbles as its less fussy to cook and comes out just as good.
- Combine tofu and coating.
- Heat oil in a non stick pan.
- Pour the tofu mix into the pan and spread so the tofu is on a single layer.
- Cook on both sides until golden brown, adding oil as needed.