Monday, November 29, 2010

Pad Thai

West Philly Pad Thai

Pad Thai sauce:
6 Tbsp soy sauce
6 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp tomato paste (you can use ketchup instead, just be sure to decrease sugar by 1 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp Sriracha or other hot sauce, preferably Asian
¼ c rice vinegar
3 Tbsp tamarind concentrate or lime juice (tamarind should be available in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store, or any Asian market)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (we used unsweetened but you can feel free to use the sugary kind, just cut down on the amount of sugar you add)

Now, on to the Pad Thai!
1 lb of rice noodles
1 lb of tofu (we used pre-fried tofu but if you can’t find it, don’t worry)
1-6 Tbsp peanut oil (depends on whether or not you're using pre-fried tofu)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1 ½ Tbsp lemongrass
1 bag mung bean sprouts
1 bunch scallions, chopped into 2-inch pieces
¼ c chopped peanuts for garnish
cilantro for garnish
lime wedges for serving

1. Pour boiling water over your noodles & let them soak while you assemble your sauce.
2. Cube and fry your tofu in the peanut oil over medium-high heat. If you’re using pre-fried tofu, skip this step. When the tofu is lightly browned, it’s done. Take it out and set it aside. Reserve the oil--you’re going to use it to stir-fry the rest of the ingredients.
3. Add the garlic and lemongrass to the peanut oil and saute until fragrant (less than a minute). Add the sprouts and allow to cook for a minute or two.
4. Add the scallions and turn the heat off. The residual heat will soften the scallions.
5. Add the noodles to the pan with the veggies & pour the sauce onto it.
6. Toss with tongs until the noodles are coated evenly. Portion into individual bowls and garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge or two. The citrus at the last second brightens up the flavor of this dish.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Walnut Maple Brussels Sprouts

These ain't your grandma's brussels sprouts. Tangy and sweet, you're going to love this updated classic.

2 lbs brussels sprouts
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c walnuts
1/2 c maple walnut vinaigrette

Preheat your oven to 400.

While the oven is preheating, cut the stem ends off your sprouts, and cut the sprouts in half.

In a large bowl or on a baking sheet lined with foil, toss your sprouts with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast them for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.

While the sprouts are in the oven, toast some walnuts. Place a skillet over medium heat and cook the walnuts until they're fragrant, about 30 seconds - 1 minute.

When the sprouts come out of the oven, throw 'em in a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the toasted walnuts.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jalapeno Cole Slaw

Cole slaw. Sends shivers up your spine, no? This is nothing like those creamy, sickeningly sweet, mayo-laden cole slaws of your youth. Crunchy and light with just a hint of spice, this slaw is the perfect taco topper or side to serve at your next fiesta.

2 bags mixed cabbage or 1 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
1 lime
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
1/2 small red onion OR 1/2 bunch scallions
1/2 c cilantro
2 Tbsp canola oil

Put the cabbage in a large bowl. Zest and juice the lime into the bowl. Mince the jalapeno and add to bowl. Finely dice the onion or thinly slice the scallions. Chop up the cilantro. Drizzle with oil. Add s&p to taste. Toss a few times to combine. Done! That was quick and painless, wasn't it?

Bean Tacos

Beans are one of the cheapest and most readily available sources of protein. This is a great recipe because not only does it make a lot of food, but it's really easy to change it up--add crumbled tofu, experiment with different types of beans, throw in some tempeh--you can even use 'meat' crumbles (Boca makes a good one).

Spice mixture:
1 Tbsp chile powder (I use 365 brand. You can use whatever you have on hand.)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne
1/4 tsp chipotle powder*
Dash of oregano

Other stuff!
1 onion (I like red onions because they're milder than white or yellow, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
2 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper (optional)
1 small jalapeno*
1 20 oz can of black or pinto beans (or 1 1/2 regular sized cans of beans. Or a block of tofu and a can of beans. Or a bag of veggie crumbles. Or whatever you want. This is where you can get creative!)
1/4 c water
2 Tbsp veg oil

*Use one of the other, not both. Unless you want nuclear heat levels. I use both when I make it for myself, but when I'm serving it to other people, I keep it fairly mild

The Recipe!

Chop the onion and peppers into a medium/small dice. Mince the garlic (or grate it. Or put it in a garlic press. Or use another 1 tsp or garlic powder.)

Heat the skillet with the oil over medium-high heat, then throw in your veggies. You're going to cook the veggies until the onion is just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.

While your aromatics are frying, rinse off your beans. Add them, along with your spice mixture and the water, to the skillet. Give it a stir and mash up the beans a little. You're not going for the texture of refried beans, but you want this stuff to stay on your tortilla when you serve it! You should still have mostly whole beans. Allow everything to cook until the water has evaporated.

Serve on tortillas with your favorite taco fixins! I like salsa fresca, guacamole and jalapeno cole slaw.

Protip: I like to make a huge batch of this with black beans. It works well as a burrito filling as well. And my all time favorite thing to do is throw it in the food processor the next day with the juice of one lime and a little bit of water, and make it into black bean dip. Your friends will never know they're eating your leftovers.

Salsa Fresca

AKA "fresh sauce," salsa fresca is a recipe I make almost daily when I can get my hands on good tomatoes.  Quick, easy and remarkably refreshing, this is a recipe you should keep in your arsenal.  Pass it on through the generations!  Seriously though, it's great--raw, fat free, healthy and cheap (when tomatoes are in season, anyway).

2 or 3 large tomatoes (or one of those little boxes of cherry tomatoes if that's how you roll)
EITHER 1/2 small red onion OR 1/2 bunch scallions
1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 jalapeno, membrane and seeds removed
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 c cilantro
S&P to taste

Chop the tomatoes into a medium dice.  You know the way you see pico de gallo at a Mexican restaurant? You're going for that size/texture.  If you're using the onion, chop it into a fine dice.  For the scallions, slice them thinly.  The onion will give you a slightly stronger flavor than the scallions.  If you plan on using this salsa for tofu rancheros, or you're serving it to adults, I recommend using the onion.  If you're serving it to kids or people who are babies about the level of spice in stuff, go with scallions.  They're much milder.  And they add pretty green bits to the salsa.

Finely mince the jalapeno and garlic (you can use less jalapeno if you'd like. I tend to like it hot).  Chop up the cilantro and throw everything into a bowl with the lime juice and some salt and pepper.  Let it sit for 20-30 minutes so the tomatoes have a chance to absorb all the spicy goodness.  Serve with chips, over tacos, on nachos, etc. 

Tofu Scramble

Ah, tofu scramble.  The backbone of any vegan breakfast or brunch. Ever.  There are approximately 23432523425245324322 recipes for tofu scramble.  This one is very plain and basic.  You can feel free to add or subtract whatever you'd like.

1 lb firm or extra firm tofu, cubed or broken into small bits (it's more punk rock that way... and you don't have to wash a cutting board or a knife)
1 Tbsp veg oil
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
(If you're too cheap to get mustard powder and turmeric, throw in 1 tsp of prepared yellow mustard. That's one of those little take-out packets, cheapskate.)
3/4 tsp salt (+ salt and pepper to taste)
3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast 

Heat a skillet with 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add crumbled tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  The tofu should get a little bit browned.  Add in your spices and cook for another minute or two.  If it gets too dry, add a little bit of water.  Remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast.  Ta-da! Now you have an awesome breakfast to impress that vegan who stayed over last night. ;)

Scrambled Tofu Italiano: Add a handful of frozen spinach, a few Tbsp of sliced roasted red peppers, maybe some sliced olives. And some extra salt and garlic.

Tofu Rancheros: During the last minute or two of your cooking, add some salsa (prepared or fresh would work for this.  If you're using prepared salsa, be sure to use less salt in your scramble).  To serve all fancy-like, lightly heat a corn tortilla (I do this over the flame on my stove but if you have an electric stove, you can heat a skillet on medium-high heat and cook the tortilla for 30 seconds-1 minute per side).  Put some vegan cheese on top of the tortilla if it strikes your fancy (Daiya works wonderfully for this), add 2 big spoonfuls of scramble, then top with more salsa.  You can also put on a dollop of guacamole, if that's how you roll.

Have any other stellar scramble suggestions? Leave comments!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

Nothing says fall like the combination of maple and walnut. This salad dressing combines those with other elements of fall to create the perfect fusion of fall flavors. It's super simple and comes together in seconds.

1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c maple syrup (use the real stuff, not pancake syrup)
1/2 c walnut oil (this is available at stores like Whole Foods, as well as specialty kitchen stores. It's a little pricey, but worth it. If you aren't a huge fan of walnuts, do half walnut oil and half canola or safflower oil.)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
Salt & pepper

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, syrup and mustard. While whisking (or stirring with a fork if that's your steez), slowly pour in the oil. Doing it this way helps the dressing emulsify, which means it'll be less likely to separate later. Once all of the oil is incorporated, stir in the shallot and add salt & pepper.

This dressing will keep in the fridge for a month or so, but you probably won't have it around that long.

I like this dressing served over a salad with: spring mix, dried cranberries, diced apples and toasted walnuts. Seriously. Your tastebuds are moshing.

Traditional Sage Stuffing

1 loaf of bread, cubed
2 ribs celery
1 large onion
1 carrot (or 1 c baby carrots)
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 c fresh parsley
1/4 c olive oil
3 c vegetable stock (I used store-bought because I'm lazy. You can make your own if you're feeling inspired. The recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance is great.)
Salt & pepper to taste

Chop the onion, celery and carrot into a small dice. Grate or press the garlic.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrot and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

While the aromatics are in the pan, put your cubed breadcrumbs on 2 cookie sheets and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is the same texture as croutons.

Once your veggies are cooked add the sage, rosemary and thyme to the skillet. Heat for another minute or so, just until the herbs are fragrant. Your house will smell like Thanksgiving at this point. Then, add the stock to the veggies and stir to get everything mixed together.

Spray a 13"x9" pan with nonstick cooking spray (or butter or margarine, if that's how you roll). Add your bread cubes to the pan, then pour the stock and give it a stir to make sure everything is evenly coated. If you're feeling really decadent, drizzle a little olive oil or dab a little margarine on top of the stuffing at this point to keep it moist. Otherwise, cover loosely with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

Throw some parsley on top to add a little freshness and serve!

Welcome to Dine My Darling!

Once upon a time, Chrystina and Diana met. They discovered they had a mutual love of vegan cooking and baking, and a desire to share this love with the masses. In a matter of weeks, they created and produced an all vegan cooking show on YouTube.

Dine My Darling is based in Philadelphia, PA. Our goal is to create delicious, but easy, vegan food to share with you. Most of our recipes serve 4 or more people, and cost less than $10 to make. In each episode, we try to plan a balanced meal that appeals to vegans and omnivores alike. Between us, we have 20 years' experience creating vegetarian and vegan food for our friends and families.

Our goal is to share our love of food and cooking with you, and hopefully inspire you to get into the kitchen and get creative. Never stop playing with your food!