vegan yakisoba (Japanese stir-fry with wheat noodles, carrot, and cabbage)

INGREDIENTS:

for the dish:

  • ~ 8 oz yakisoba or other Chinese-style yellow wheat noodles (despite the name, yakisoba is not typically made with soba, or buckwheat, noodles) 
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 4-5 green onions
  • 4 cabbage leaves
  • 4-5 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • ~ ¼ cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • aonori and benishoga, for garnish

for the sauce:

  • ½ cup prepared yakisoba sauce, such as Otajoy

or you can make your own by combining the following:

  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

OR (to make your own vegan Worcestershire sauce):

  • 1 tsp molasses or brown sugar
  • 4 tsp malt vinegar (or red wine or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp vegetarian granulated sugar
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of freshly grated garlic or garlic powder
  • pinch onion powder
  • pinch lemon zest

PLUS (in addition to the Worcestershire sauce):

  • 4 tsp total smooth unflavoured apple sauce, date honey, and/or raisin juice
  • 4 tsp ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tsp sugar

the sauce should be tangy, well-spiced, sweet, and a bit fruity. 

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the sauce:

1. mix all ingredients in a small bowl or jar. adjust to taste.

for the dish:

1. if using dried noodles, boil according to package directions. drain and place in a cold water bath to halt cooking. return noodles to the colander and lift and drop them repeatedly with your fingers in order to remove excess water. toss with a few teaspoons of a neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola) to avoid sticking and set aside.

2. prepare your vegetables. cut the onion into rings by first cutting off the stem end, then cutting the onion in half lengthwise (through the root): place it on your cutting surface cut-side down and make parallel cuts lengthwise through the onion down towards the surface (angle your cuts slightly inwards, towards the centre of the onion) about half a centimetre apart. cut off the root end to allow the rings to separate.

3. julienne the carrot by first peeling it, then cutting it widthwise into 2-inch chunks. cut each chunk into slices lengthwise, then turn the slices flat and cut each slice lengthwise again to achieve thin strips. this will be easier if you cut off a slice of each chunk lengthwise to give yourself a flat surface to lay the carrot on.

4. slice the mushrooms lengthwise and cut the green onion into 2-inch chunks. chop the cabbage leaves to produce bite-size pieces or small strips.

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5. heat 3tbsp neutral oil in a large pan on high. fry noodles in oil until a few shades darker and slightly crispy. set aside.

6. in the same pan, heat another 2tbsp neutral oil on high. fry the onions for about 30 seconds, or until transparent and beginning to brown. add carrot, cabbage, and mushroom and fry, stirring often, for a few minutes until beginning to soften. add green onion and stir.

7. add noodles and stir to combine. you may need to add more oil at this point if the noddles are sticking.

8. add yakisoba sauce and continue to fry, tossing often, until the sauce is well-incorporated and begins to thicken and caramelise.

9. garnish and serve warm.

kuri squash miso soup with ginger-glazed tofu

recipe under the cut!

INGREDIENTS:

for the soup:

  • 2-3 tbsp sesame or coconut oil
  • 2 yellow onions or shallots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2lb (900g) peeled and seeded kuri squash (about 3 ½ cups in 1-inch cubes)
  • 4 cups (1 litre) water or vegetable stock
  • 6 tbsp white/light miso
  • 8 oz soba noodles
  • 4-5 shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced

for the glaze:

  • 1-inch chunk ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tbsp cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the glaze / cornstarch slurry:

1. mix all ingredients in a bowl or small jar. set aside.

for the tofu:

1. slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu: place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weigh it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave for at least 30 minutes to remove moisture, replacing paper towels as necessary.

2. cut tofu into ~1/2″ x 1/2″ x 1″ rectangles (at this size, they should end up crispy outside and soft on the inside). lay sliced tofu on a large plate in a single layer and freeze until solid and several shades darker, then remove from freezer and allow to thaw. this is optional but will give your tofu a nice, chewy texture and help it absorb flavour.

3. use a paper towel to remove as much water from the tofu as possible. gently toss the tofu with about 2tsp cornstarch.

4. fill a small pot with about 1/4″ of a neutral oil and heat on medium high. the oil should be hot enough to form a few bubbles around a piece of tofu that’s lowered in–if it starts bubbling rapidly, it’s too hot. fry tofu in a single layer (you may need to do this in several batches) until golden brown on the bottom side, then turn and repeat. you can also use a deep fryer if you have one.

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5. drain the oil from the pan and return the tofu. add the cornstarch slurry and cook on medium high, stirring gently, until the slurry thickens and sticks to the tofu. toss the tofu in sesame seeds, if desired.

for the soup:

1. heat oil on medium-high in a large pot until spluttering. add onions and salt and fry, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent. add garlic and ginger and fry for another minute, until no longer raw-smelling.

2. add the cubed kuri squash and water or vegetable stock. cover and raise heat to high to bring to a boil. reduce to a low simmer and cook 15 minutes until squash is very tender.

3. remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. blend contents of the pot with a blender or food processor until liquid and even in texture. remove some of the puree into a bowl and stir in miso until well combined, then return the contents of the bowl to the blender or food processor and blend again.

4. cook soba noodles according to package directions. drain and place in a cold water bath to halt cooking. drain again and toss with a few teaspoons of a neutral oil to avoid sticking.

5. sauté mushrooms and salt in a few tsp of sesame or a neutral oil until browned and dry.

6. reheat purée and add soba noodles, tofu, mushrooms, and green onion. I’d recommend storing the toppings separately if you plan on saving leftovers–otherwise, they’ll become soggy.

vegan tarte aux poires (pear tart) with cloves

recipe under the cut!

makes one 12-inch tart

INGREDIENTS:

for the pâte brisée:

  • 1 ½ cup (200g) all-purpose or pastry flour
  • ½ cup (100g) cold vegan margarine
  • a few tbsp cold water

for the pear filling:

  • overripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (about 1 cup total)
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, more if pears aren’t too sweet
  • ¼ cup (30g) flour or almond meal
  • 5 whole cloves, or ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 5 green cardamom pods, or ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the

pâte brisée:

1. measure flour into a large mixing bowl (if measuring by volume, spoon flour into dry measuring cups until overflowing and then level with the flat of a knife–this will prevent you from adding too much flour and producing a dry dough).

2. add margarine and cut into the flour with a knife or a pastry blender until the bits of margarine are about the size of peas (these will melt to provide flakiness and texture to the dough).

3. add cold water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together–you’ll need less than you might think! avoid overworking the dough–you don’t want too much gluten to develop.

4. wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about half an hour–it will be easier to roll out if you allow it to rest.

5. roll out dough between two lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. form a rough circle by placing your rolling pin in the center of the dough and pushing outward, repeating the motion as you continue to turn the dough. the dough should be roughly 1/4″ thick.

6. remove the top layer of plastic wrap and flip the dough over into a 12″ tart pan. press the dough into the edges of the pan, making sure that it is pressed all the way down into the corners (rather than being stretched over them). don’t work the dough with your hands too much, or you risk melting the butter. prick holes into the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. optionally, refrigerate the crust for another half hour or so before baking (this should make the finished product more flaky).

7. cover the center of the dough with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, or something like dried beans, so that the dough doesn’t puff up during baking. parbake at 425F (220C) for 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.

for the filling:

1. toss pears with sugar and allow to sit for 10-15min, until they begin to release juice. strain the juice into a small sauce pot.

2. add cloves and cardamom to the sauce pot. heat juice and spices on medium high until just boiling, then reduce to a low simmer and cook until thickened into a syrup.

3. remove from heat. if you used whole spices, strain them out now. stir in the flour or almond meal, salt, and orange blossom water until well combined. pour the mixture back over the pears and mix until well combined. cooking the pear juice down before baking the tart in this way will prevent the tart from becoming soggy.

to assemble:

1. arrange the pear slices over the parbaked pastry, topping with whatever syrup mixture remains.

2. preheat your oven to 425F (220C) with a baking sheet inside. when the oven is preheated, place the tart pan on top of the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes (this helps to prevent the tart from having a soggy bottom).

3. reduce heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 40 minutes. if the crust seems to be browning more quickly than the filling is solidifying, place aluminum foil around the edges of the tart.

4. top with whole or ground cloves and cardamom, as desired. serve warm.

vegan apple turnovers

recipe under the cut!

makes 8 large pastries

INGREDIENTS:

for the pâte feuilletée:

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp (250g) all-purpose flour, measured by spooning flour into a measuring cup until heaping and levelling it off
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (200g) vegan margarine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • around ½ cup (125mL) water

for the filling:

  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 2/3 cup (130g) brown sugar, measured by packing into a dry cup measure
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp mace (optional, or substitute allspice and nutmeg)
  • 6 medium (180g) tart apples
  • 1 tbsp cool water

for the egg wash:

  • 1 ½ tbsp nondairy milk (preferably a thick one, such as soy)
  • 1 ½ tbsp light agave nectar

for the glaze:

  • ½ cup (63g) powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp nondairy milk, or as needed

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the pâte feuilletée:

pâte feuilletée (aka puff pastry) is made by interposing layers of butter in between layers of lean dough (made with flour, salt, and water) so that the dough flakes and puffs up as the butter boils in the oven. you’ll need to surround a layer of margarine with lean dough and fold it up, roll it out and re-fold it six times, refrigerating in between to keep the margarine cold. each time that you do this is called a “turn.”

1. cut margarine into large cubes. arrange the cubes into a square on top of a sheet of plastic wrap, then fold the plastic wrap back over the top. flatten the cubes into a solid square about 1/2″ thick by beating the wrapped margarine with a rolling pin. refrigerate.

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2. next you’ll be making the lean dough. measure the flour into a large bowl or directly onto a work surface. form a hole in the center of the flour, then add salt and 1 tbsp of water into the hole. mix the salt and water into the flour with fluffing motions of your hand. add water little by little, continuing to fluff the flour with your hand (this will prevent overworking–you don’t want too much gluten to form in the dough) until large chunks form and the dough sticks together when pressed. form the lean dough into a square (it’s alright if it’s a bit messy) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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3. roll out the lean dough into a square about 7″ (18cm) in diameter. place the square of margarine on top of the lean dough at a 45-degree angle. fold the corners of the lean dough over to meet over the top of the margarine and pinch to join.

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4. turn the square over seam-side-down onto a lightly floured working surface. roll it out into a rectangle about twice as long as it is wide, and fold into thirds lengthwise like a letter.

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5. rotate the folded rectangle 90 degrees, then roll it out and fold it up again just as you did before. at this point you’ve completed the first two turns. make two marks in your dough with your fingers to remind yourself of where you are in the process. refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

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6. roll out and fold the dough twice more as you did before, rotating it 90 degrees between each turn, and marking four turns with your fingers before returning the dough to the refrigerator. you can pat some flour into any spots where you see the margarine start to break through. if this is happening a lot, you may need to refrigerate the dough every turn instead of every two turns.

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7. complete the final two turns and chill the dough for at least an hour, or overnight.

for the filling:

1. peel, core, and thinly slice your apples. submerge slices as you finish cutting them in a few teaspoons of lemon juice mixed into a few cups of water to prevent browning.

2. melt margarine in a large pot over medium heat. add sugar and spices and stir to dissolve.

3. stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. add apples and water to the pot. lower heat until just boiling and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the liquid thickens.

for the wash:

1. mix nondairy milk and agave nectar in a small bowl.

for the glaze:

1. mix sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. add nondairy milk until desired consistency is achieved and stir thoroughly to combine.

to assemble and bake:

1. roll out dough into a large rectangle about 20″ x 10″ (50 x 25cm) and cut into 8 even, 5″ x 5″ square portions. cover and refrigerate the portions that you’re not currently using. if you’re having difficulty rolling the dough out, you may also form a smaller rectangle, cut it into squares, and roll each square out a bit more before filling it, but the edges may not be quite as clean.

2. place about 3 tbsp of filling on one side of the puff pastry square (remember you’ll be folding it diagonally!) and spoon 1 tsp of wash on the other, being sure to leave a dry edge.

3. fold the pastry in half diagonally and press firmly together to seal. crimp the edges of the pastry together with a fork, or do a Cornish pasty-style twist.

4. slice a few vents on the top of each pastry with quick motions using a small, sharp knife.

return each pastry to the refrigerator as you finish forming it. optionally, refrigerate all pastries for about half an hour before baking, to increase crispiness.

5. bake pastries on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper on 450F (230F) for 17-22 minutes until deeply golden brown.

6. glaze the pastries while still warm for a thinner coating, or wait until they cool for a thicker layer.

vegan Italian anise Christmas cookies

recipe under the cut!

INGREDIENTS:

for the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, measured by spooning flour into a measuring cup until heaping and then levelling off
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegan margarine, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp anise extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • about 3 tbsp water

for the frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ – ½ tsp anise extract
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • coloured nonpareils

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the cookies:

1. mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl until combined and set aside.

2. cream margarine and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth.

3. add oil to sugar mixture and continue to beat until mixed thoroughly. add milk, anise, and vanilla and stir until combined.

4. add the mixed wet ingredients into the flour slowly, stirring until just combined.

5. add water as necessary until the dough is very soft but not sticky.

6. form into small balls of dough about an inch in diameter and place onto parchment-paper-lined baking sheets at least an inch and a half apart. bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until almost firm and just beginning to brown on the bottom.

for the frosting:

1. mix anise extract into powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl. add water until frosting is thin enough to spread itself evenly but thick enough to form a solid shell on top of each cookie.

to assemble:

1. allow cookies to cool completely. dip the top of each cookie into the bowl of frosting and sprinkle with nonpareils. allow to harden before serving.

***decorate soon before serving if you don’t want the dye in the nonpareils to bleed!***

tofu scramble with potatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers

recipe under the cut!

ingredients:

  • 2 14oz packages extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, or 4 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 white onions, chopped or sliced in rings
  • 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic

  • 3 potatoes, preferably Russet or Yukon gold
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground chili pepper
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (e.g. cremini, button)
  • 2 chili peppers, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 ½ cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • vegan pepperjack cheese, to top (optional)

instructions:

1. slice open the package of tofu on one side and drain out as much water as you can. press the tofu: place a dish towel or folded paper towels on a hard surface, then place the block of tofu on top of those, then add another layer of towels, and then weigh it all down with something (about the weight of a can of soup). leave for at least 30 minutes to remove moisture, replacing paper towels as necessary.

2. cut tofu into small cubes and lay on a plate in a single layer. freeze until solid and several shades darker, then remove from freezer and allow to thaw. this is optional but will give your tofu a nice, chewy texture and help it absorb flavour.

3. heat margarine on medium-high in a large skillet until spluttering. add cumin (if using whole seeds) and fry until they begin popping into the air.

4. add onion, salt, and pepper and cook until soft and translucent, 5-8 minutes. add garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant.

5. wash potatoes, cut into small cubes, and (if using Russet potatoes) rinse or soak for a few minutes in cold water to dissolve excess starch. reduce heat to medium, clear a space in the centre of the pan and add potatoes, cayenne, and ground chili. stir to coat and cover. cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are browned on the outside and softening in the middle, about five minutes.

6. crumble tofu with a fork and add to the pan, along with turmeric and paprika. fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until well mixed.

7. add mushrooms and chili peppers cook until softening, 3-5 minutes. add spinach, bell peppers, tomato, and a few tablespoons of water. cook for a few minutes until dry. taste and adjust spices.

8. add avocado and cook until heated through. remove from heat and top with cheese, if desired.

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recipe under the cut!

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recipe under the cut!

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vegan “sausage”-and-apple stuffed acorn squash

recipe under the cut!

INGREDIENTS:

for the squash:

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • ½ tbsp vegan margarine
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

for the filling:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lb vegan sausage, chopped (I used three links of Field Roast smoked apple sausage, but a more savoury or salty variety would create a very nice contrast with the apple and maple flavours)
  • 2 sweet apples, cored and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped (optional)par
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary or sage
  • vegan Parmesan, grated, to top (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the squash:

1. cut off the very ends of acorn squash to create a flat base for each half to rest on. halve each squash horizontally to create a flower-like shape. scrape out seeds and pulp with a spoon or small serrated knife.

2. mix margarine, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. thoroughly coat the inside of each squash half with the mixture.

3. roast squash at 400F (200C) for 40-50 minutes, until fork tender.

for the filling:

1. meanwhile, prepare sausage, apples, celery (dice by first slicing into two to four long strips lengthwise, then chopping widthwise), onion, garlic, mushroom, and spinach.

2. heat olive oil on medium until shimmering. saute onion, celery, salt, pepper, and herbs, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and translucent, about five minutes. add garlic and saute for another minute or so until fragrant.

3. add sausage and mushroom. saute until sausage is browned and mushrooms are soft.

4. add apples and spinach and cook until warmed through and softened.

to serve:

1. stuff each acorn squash generously with filling. optionally top with maple syrup or grated Parmesan cheese.

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recipe under the cut!

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