Tag Archives: vegetarian

Nachos and Southwestern “Chicken” Wrap

7 Jun

A lot has happened in the few months since our last post, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Cambridge got hot. And muggy. Gross.
  2. Bobby turned 27.
  3. I graduated college.

This post has nothing to do with any of them, but I just thought I’d let you know. There’s an ice cream cake post coming in the near future that has to do with #2, but more on that later.

Bobby and I were feeling southwestern the other day, so we made nachos…

…and southwestern “chicken” wraps. If there’s one thing those veggie meat manufacturers do well, it’s imitating chicken. I’ve been vegetarian for just long enough to barely remember what chicken tastes like, but Bobby confirmed my assessment. 

Yup, definitely chicken-y.

Anyway, we didn’t really have a recipe for either of these things, so we just winged it. And you know what? TASTINESS ENSUED.

(+one more wrap picture)

Veggie Chili Nachos

Ingredients:

Chips
Shredded cheese (we used “Mexican Blend” from Trader Joe’s)
Vegetarian ground meat

We piled the chips in a pan, put the cheese and veggie meat on top, and baked in a toaster oven for a bit, until the cheese looked bubbly.

Southwestern “Chicken” Wrap

Ingredients:

Sliced cucumbers
Alfalfa sprouts
Veggie chicken strips
Corn salsa
Flour tortilla

We lightly sautéed the chicken strips, then piled everything in the tortilla. Wrap it up and om nom nom nom.

(What do you mean the wrap’s not southwestern? It’s….it’s got salsa in it! That’s southwestern, right? Right?! Whatever. It’s my blog and I’ll call it whatever I want. :D)

Length of Procrastination: 20 minutes

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do you wok the wok

28 Jul

recently i watched a movie called “taste of happiness” that had a shanghai chef in japan who cooked all these dishes in this huge wok. my mom also cooks with a wok and every time i go home to eat, i marvel at how well scrambled eggs come out. other things seem to cook differently in a wok too – green veggies always come out more colorful and less wilted, and meat gets cooked thoroughly and tenderly without ever sticking to the side. so for a few weeks i was raving about how awesome a wok is. then, christine bought me a wok as a present, and last night i broke it in and made my first meal in the wok.

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i also used a new wok scoop that i bought in chinatown, and a butcher’s knife christine bought for me. the butcher’s knife is great – it is heavy and sharp and cuts vegetables completely differently than western chef’s knives. the wok scoop, surprisingly, is all you’d need to cook anything in the wok. you can stir the ingredients being cooked, spoon in broth or spoon out soup, you can use the edge to cut meat or veggies into smaller chunks in the wok, use it to serve single servings of rice, you can even scramble eggs using the scoop.

i made cucumber with scrambled eggs (i would have done the traditional tomato and eggs but my haymarket cucumbers were looking a bit overripe) and a large batch of garlic green beans. i made half of it with marinated tofu leftover from our barbeque last night, and another half with beef (from leftover hamburger). so christine, here’s to cooking together to procrastinating together.

Cucumber and Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients

two eggs
one asian cucumber

scramble two eggs in a bowl. sprinkle with salt. heat wok with a bit of oil. before oil gets hot and starts smoking, pour the egg into the wok. occasionally stir until egg starts to firm, then scoop the scrambled egg back into the bowl.

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peel and slice cucumber at an angle into elongated oval slices. heat oil in wok. put a bit more oil so that the cucumber doesnt become burned or dry, and will come out with more color. stir-fry cucumbers for two minutes. add the eggs back in, stir fry and add salt to taste.

Tossing the ingredients in the wok

Tossing the ingredients in the wok

Garlic Green Beans with Marinated Tofu or Beef

ingredients:
1 lb green beans
1/2 package (1 cube) extra firm tofu
1 clove garlic
1/2 lb ground beef
soy sauce and salt

marinated tofu:

slice extra firm tofu into 1/4 inch slices. prepare a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, and furikake, and soak the tofu in the marinade. be sure to flip the tofu once so both sides get covered by furikake. after marinating, cut the tofu into bite size squares.

beef:

take 80% lean hamburger (1/4 to 1/2 lbs, about the size of 1 burger patty). hand mix garlic powder, adobo powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.

greenbeans

wash and prepare the green beans by pinching off both ends, then breaking the beans into 1 to 2 inch long segments. peel and dice one clove of garlic into larger, rough slices. heat oil in wok, and toss in the tofu or the beef. if using beef, break the meat into small chunks as it cooks. remove the tofu when the sides barely start to brown, and the beef when it is almost thoroughly cooked.

heat some oil and toss in the garlic. stir for a few seconds for the garlic to start flavoring the oil, then toss in the green beans. stir fry the green beans, making sure that everythings gets a slight coat of oil and starts to get a bit tender. toss the tofu or beef back into the wok and stir fry together, adding salt and soy sauce to taste. remove when the green beans are tender but still slightly crunchy, and still have a bright green color to them.

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cooking time: 15 minutes to prepare green beans and cucumber while rice is cooking, 15 minutes to stir fry.
ways to prolong procrastination: cook a large batch of food. the wok is huge.

Veggie Dumplings

8 Jul

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Let me be honest–I’ve never made dumplings in my life. In my twenty-one years, never have I sat down next to my mommy and helped her wrap the scrumptious, intricate crescents. Last weekend, after the Fourth of July madness, some of my ATS lovelies came over to help me wrap my very first dumplings. If you’re going to  make dumplings, I highly encourage you to do it with friends. It involves a lot of washing and shredding and dicing, which may drive the average person insane. The logical solution is to get someone else to do it.

Also, it takes five people one-fifth of the time to wrap nearly a 89 dumplings as it takes one person.

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Veggie Dumplings
From Angela, Stephie, Tiffy, Zach, and me.

Ingredients
1 pack silken tofu (two blocks)
1 small head napa cabbage
2 large eggs
5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated
2 blocks of dried vermicelli, rehydrated
2 packs dumpling wrappers
salt
white pepper

Smash the tofu with the flat side of your Asian butcher knife until it looks like cottage cheese. Set aside.

Wash and shred the napa cabbage. Avoid the small bitter leaves in the middle of the head. Toss the shreds with salt to remove the excess water and set aside to drain.

Beat the eggs and fry over a large skillet to create thin pancakes of egg. Shred into pieces about 2 inches long and set aside.

Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and dice. Set aside.

Cut the vermicelli into short strands, at most 2 inches in length. Shorter strands will be easier to wrap, but if they’re too short, the strands will turn into mush. Not tasty.

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Take all of the shredded and diced ingredients that you set aside and dump them into the smushed tofu. Thoroughly combine. Don’t be a wuss–use your hands! At this point, you can add a little white pepper and salt to season the filling, but most people will be eating dumplings with soy sauce, which adds a significant amount of salty flavor.

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Now it’s time to wrap the dumplings. There are tons of different ways of wrapping them–you can just seal the edges together or pleat one edge. It takes some practice and a lot of patience to create a nice, pleated dumpling. When wrapping, keep in mind that any air in the middle of the wrapped dumplings will expand in the heat and give you a funny-looking bloated dumpling. No worries; you can just squeeze the air out with a spoon as you cook them, and the taste isn’t compromised. You may want to flour the plate or aluminum foil you’re placing the folded dumplings on so that they won’t stick to the surface.

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Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a drop of sesame oil so that the dumplings don’t stick to each other. Add the dumplings and wait for the water to boil again. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the skin becomes soft and not too chewy.

Any leftover dumplings can be frozen in a ziploc bag for about a week.

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Length of Procrastination: About 3 hours
Ways to Prolong Procrastination: Make a delicious frozen treat for dessert while waiting for dinnertime. (Foreshadowing! DUN DUN DUNNN.)

veggie lasagna

23 Apr

ok it’s been a while. all this time we’ve been eating nothing but salad so it’s time to catch up with a delicious lasagna. this is the same one i made for christine in order to return her apple pie container. an added bonus: this lasagna is also pretty low fat and high in nutrients. just don’t eat too much if you are lactose intolerant.

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Spinach Lasagna with Summer Vegetables

Ingredients
6-9 strips of lasagna pasta
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
5 white mushrooms or 1 portabello cap
1 red onion
1 bag of baby spinach leaves
2-4 cloves garlic
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 medium container (8 oz) fat free ricotta cheese
1 bag of shredded low fat mozarella
olive oil
oregano
thyme
salt
pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the lasagna strips. Place the strips in at different angles so they don’t stick together. When the lasagna is soft, drain and put the strips into a container of ice water.

Slice the zucchini, squash and mushroom into thin layers. Dice the onion and garlic. In a sautee pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add in garlic, and before the garlic browns, add the onion and mushroom. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until the onion is starting to caramelize, then remove from heat.

In a sautee pan, add a thin layer of olive oil, and spread the slices of zucchini and squash around the pan. When the slices start to cook through and turn transparent, flip them and cook the other side. Add some salt and pepper to taste, as well as a sprinkling of oregano and thyme if desired. Remove from heat when the vegetables are tender.

Preheat the oven for 375. I used a thin pan that is usually used to bake bread, because i find the lasagna more interesting as a loaf. Using your fingers or a paper towel, thinly coat the bottom of the pan with a little olive oil. Cover the bottom of the pan with 2 strips of lasagna. If you are using a regular cake/casserole tray, cover with three strips.

With a spoon, spread ricotta cheese over the pasta. For our fat free ricotta, it was more like dropping spoonfuls until the bottom was covered. Above that, spread the mushroom and onion, then layer squash and zucchini. Cover that with a layer of baby spinach. Finally, pour a layer of tomato sauce over all the ingredients.

Repeat with another set of pasta, ricotta, mushroom and onion, squash and zucchini, spinach, and tomato sauce.

For the top, put a third layer of pasta and a layer of ricotta cheese. On top of that, cover with tomato sauce, then sprinkle mozarella thickly over the very top. At this point, you may have to compress everything so it fits into the baking tray, so compress using a second baking tray when you put the final layer of pasta but before the ricotta cheese is put on.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

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Total procrastination: about 1.5 hrs

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