I invested two many years of my existence residing deep in the heart of South Texas, 90 miles from the Mexican border. Residing on the outskirts of a tiny town of less than 2,000 individuals with 2 traffic lights and far more cows than people, I had close to constant culture shock and never fit in. I did, however, love the expansive, open vistas, the feeling of freedom and the delicious, down home, unpretentious ‘throw in what you got’ Tex-Mex cowboy cooking.
My really favorite cowboy dish was carne guisada, that is usually a chopped meat covered in a quick gravy served with a side of buttered bread. Sounds so much much less impressive than it actually is. I veganized the dish easily and it tastes precisely like what I utilized to eat all individuals years ago in the Lone Star State: peppery, buttery, filling and Great. Enjoy!
Cooked TVP chunks, chopped small, 2 cups worth
1 large onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, diced small
2 Tbsp vegan butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups hot water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper (lots of pepper!)
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (this is not a cheese sauce so go easy on the yeast!)
-In a drizzle of olive oil saute the onion and garlic on medium heat for about 10 minutes
-Add 1 tbsp of butter and allow to melt completely
-Add in the 2 tbsp of flour and stir continually until combined
-Slowly drizzle in the 2 cups of hot water, stirring continually till you reach a thick creamy consistency
-Add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar
-Add the spices and the nutritional yeast
-Add in the last tbsp of butter, stir completely
-This whole process should take about 5 minutes, still cooking on medium low heat
-Finally, add in the 2 cups of chopped TVP and add a bit more salt and pepper, allow to heat through and serve with 2 pieces of buttered bread. Enjoy!
What could be better than a creamy bowl of savory soup? Lentils are so delicious when their earthy sweetness is paired with the tart bright tang of lemon and cilantro. It is thick and creamy, but I added more liquid than I would if I was just making a dense dahl because I wanted this to be lighter and more soup like. Every bit of this soup is perfectly balanced in your mouth, which only leads to you eating more and more and more! But go ahead and enjoy because this dish is as healthy as it is tasty.
This soup was the first time I had tried cooking with Kalonji Black Onion Seeds and WOW – these are what has been missing every time I cook Indian food. Yes, your meal can be great without them, but they pack such a subtle, aromatic mouthful of flavor in each tiny bite you should really try to find them. They are what always made me go ‘hmmm…what is that?’ every time I ate Indian food. Just a few days ago we went and ate at my favorite Indian restaurant Anand Bhavan and I closely examined every dish and found these tiny black seeds studded throughout everything! Now I know and they will be an indispensable part of my kitchen from here on out!
1 yellow onion – diced fine
4 cloves garlic – diced fine
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kalonji black onion seed
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups lentils rinsed
6 and 1/2 cups of water
3 cups of unsweetened soy milk
1 Tbsp vegan butter
2 lemons zest and juice
3/4 cup cilantro chopped
-On medium heat in a large soup pot in a drizzle of olive oil gently saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes
-After 5 minutes add the lentils and all of the spices and cook and stir for another 3 minutes
-After 5 minutes add the water and the soy milk to the pot and simmer gently for 20 – 30 minutes until the lentils are soft but still have a bite to them. This part of the process is really subjective. I like my lentils still a bit firm, you might want them completely soft. I wanted my soup not too thick and broken down, you might. Just adjust the heat/water amount/cooking time and have fun with it.
-Once the consistency and lentils are to your liking, around 25 minutes, add the butter and stir though.
-Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest and the cilantro and serve with a side of naan, chapati, or paratha bread. Enjoy!
Tonkatsu, a fried pork cutlet, is really a really well-liked dish in Japan. Envision my shock when I opened up The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh and saw its fatty fried vegan twin staring back at me! You use freeze dried tofu (known as “koyadofu”) which provides it a great texture when rehydrated. It even passed omni-monkey’s taste check. It is a small function, but SO worth it!
This is the exact recipe from The Asian Vegan Kitchen and you NEED to go buy this AWESOME book RIGHT NOW!!
“8 cakes koyadofu, about 6 ounces (170g) in total
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 C (125g) all-purpose flour
1/2 C (120 ml) water
1 C (100g) breadcrumbs (panko)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Shredded white cabbage, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for garnish
2 C (480 ml) dashi stock
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon mirin
1/2 inch (1 cm) cube fresh giner, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
I used 5 large blocks that was about 6oz/170g
1. Soak the koyadofu cakes in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain.
2. In a saucepan use a large pan!!, combine the simmering sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Put in the drained koyadofu and simmer for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Dab the koyadofu in the dusting flour. Mix 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup of water to make a thick paste. Dip the floured koyadofu in the flour-and-water paste, then roll each cake int he bread crumbs. Set aside.
4. Heat the oil for deep-frying to 350F (180C). Slide the breaded tofu pieces into the oil in batches and deep-fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with shredded cabbage, lemon wedges, and tonkatsu sauce.”
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