October 20, 2000Greetings friends,
I just recently returned from a wonderful trip to Seattle where I did a vegan cooking demo for EarthSave, an organization devoted to extolling the virtues of a plant-based diet, compassionate living, and preserving the planet and its resources. I had a great time, walked all around the city seeing the sights, met some really wonderful and dedicated people, and enjoyed lots of fabulous vegan food! I really look forward to visiting the city again. As I mentioned, the food was fabulous; I sampled so many foods from local restaurants, guest chefs, and natural foods businesses. I even dined at an all-vegan Chinese restaurant (the Bamboo Garden) that featured more than 100 dishes made from vegetables and mock meats. That meal inspired this installment of recipes inspired by the cuisine of the Pacific Rim. I look forward to returning to the Pacific coast soon to sample more of this delicious cuisine first hand. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
2 T. sesame seeds
In a non-stick skillet, place the sesame seeds and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Fill a large pot half full with water, and add the cloves of garlic and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Fill a large bowl with cold water and 2 cups ice cubes, and set aside. Blanch the spinach, in batches, in the flavored boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately transfer the spinach to the bowl of ice water and allow it to cool. Remove 1 clove of garlic and 1 slice of ginger from the boiling water, set them aside, and either discard the remaining water or use it for soups or to cook with vegetables or grains.
Drain the spinach well, divide it into 3 equal portions, and straighten out the leaves of spinach. Using a sushi mat or a large piece of waxed paper, form each portion into a long log, and pull back on the mat to tightly pack the leaves. Cut each log into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place the spinach bundles cut-side up on a platter and sprinkle them with the reserved toasted sesame seeds. In a blender or food processor, place the reserved garlic and ginger, the remaining ingredients, and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Serve the dipping sauce alongside the emerald bundles.
1 - 1/4 oz. pkg. active dry yeast
In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water, and set aside until frothy about 10 minutes. Add the flour, Sucanat, and 1 T. olive oil, and stir well to combine. If the dough seems a little dry, add an additional 1-2 T. water, and form into a dough with your hands. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease the bowl used to mix the dough with the remaining olive oil. Form the kneaded dough into a ball and roll the dough around in the greased bowl to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with a damp towel, place in a warm place, and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a wok or non-stick skillet, heat the safflower oil, and when hot add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the zucchini and red chiles and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the corn and green onions and saute an additional 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a small bowl, place the miso, rice wine vinegar, and tamari, and stir well to combine. Add the miso mixture to the vegetables, stir well to combine, remove pan from the heat, and set aside to allow the filling to cool.
When the dumpling dough is doubled in bulk, punch down the dough, reform it into a ball, cover with a damp towel, and leave to rest for 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch long log, cut the log in half, and cut each half of the log into 12 pieces, thus yielding 24 equal size pieces. To form each of the dumplings, roll out each piece of dough into a 3-inch circle. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough, gather up the edge of the dough to form a point, pinch the edges together, and give them a twist to seal. Repeat the shaping procedure for the remaining dumplings. Transfer the shaped dumplings to a cookie sheet, cover with a damp towel, place in a warm place, and leave them to rise for 15 minutes or until they are light and puffy. Line the bottom of a steamer basket with a few cabbage leaves. Place the dumplings on top of the cabbage leaves, leaving ample room between them. Steam the dumplings, in batches, for 10-12 minutes or until the tops appear smooth. Serve them warm.
Yield: 24 dumplings
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl, cover them with water, and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid, (reserve the liquid for later use), trim the stems from the mushrooms, and thinly slice them. In a wok or large pot, heat the oil, and when hot add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and shallots, and stir-fry for 3 additional minutes. Add the red pepper and bean sprouts and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, vegetable stock, tamari, mirin, and toasted sesame oil, and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to boil for 5 minutes, stir in the green onions, and serve immediately.
2 T. sesame seeds
In a dry non-stick skillet, place the sesame seeds and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from the pan and set aside. In a large bowl, place the Chinese cabbage, mung bean sprouts, snow peas, carrot, yellow pepper, zucchini, radishes, sprouted beans, and green onions, and toss well to combine. In a small bowl, combine the reserved toasted sesame seeds, orange juice, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, and vinegar, and whisk well to combine. Add the crispy brown rice noodles to the salad, pour the dressing over the top, and toss gently to evenly coat the salad with the dressing. Transfer to a large bowl for service.
2 large eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
In a colander, place the cubes of eggplant, sprinkle with salt, and leave to drain in the sink for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place the black beans, vegetable stock, vinegar, tamari, barley malt syrup, sherry, ginger, and sambal olek, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt, squeeze the cubes to remove excess water, and place the cubes on a towel to dry a bit. In a wok or large non-stick skillet, stir-fry the red pepper and serrano chiles in 1 T. of the safflower oil for 2-3 minutes or until crisp tender. Remove the red pepper and chiles and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir-fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the eggplant, saute for 5 minutes or until it is tender and well browned. Add the green onions and stir-fry an additional 2 minutes. Add the reserved red pepper and chiles, and the black bean sauce; stir well to combine, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until heated thorough. Transfer to a large bowl or platter for service.
2 lbs. broccoli, washed well
Begin by cutting the tops off the broccoli, then cut them into small florets, and set aside. Peel the stems of the broccoli, removing and discarding any tough parts; cut the stems in half lengthwise, and then thinly slice them. In a wok or large non-stick skillet, stir-fry the sliced broccoli stems in the oil for 3 minutes. Add the reserved broccoli florets, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry an additional 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the water chestnuts and stir-fry for an additional 1 minute. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, water, tamari, cornstarch, toasted sesame oil, and sugar, and whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch. Add the orange juice mixture to the wok, along with the orange zest, and cook stirring constantly until sauce has thickened. Transfer to a large bowl or platter for service.
2 T. safflower oil
In a wok or large non-stick skillet, heat the safflower oil, and when hot, stir-fry the ginger and garlic in the oil for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the green onions and celery, and stir-fry an additional 2 minutes. Add both types of mushrooms and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes to soften the mushrooms. Add the tamari, balsamic vinegar, and toasted sesame oil, and continue to stir-fry an additional 1 minute. In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch, then add the mixture to the wok and continue to stir-fry until the sauce has thickened slightly. Season the Twin Delight with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large platter or bowl for service.
1 lb. firm tofu
Cut the block of tofu in half lengthwise. Turn each half cut-side down on the board, and cut through the outer edge of the block of tofu 3 times to yield 4 tofu cutlets from each half. This means that the block of tofu will yield 8 tofu cutlets. On a large cookie sheet, place a clean, lint-free towel, or a layer of natural, unbleached paper towels, then all of the tofu cutlets in a single layer, followed by another layer of toweling, and finally place another large cookie sheet on top. Place several large cans or something very heavy on top of the cookie sheet and leave tofu to sit for 1 hour. This process is known as cutting tofu into cutlets and pressing. I use this technique a lot as it makes the texture of the tofu much firmer.
In a small bowl, place the cumin, coriander, Sucanat, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper; stir well to combine and then set aside. Cut the pressed tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and transfer them to a bowl. Sprinkle the tofu with the reserved spice blend, toss well to evenly coat the tofu cubes, and set aside. In a dry wok or large non-stick skillet, place the cashews and cook for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the cashews from the wok and set them aside to cool. In the same wok, heat the peanut oil, add the cubes of tofu, and stir-fry for 5-7 minute or until crispy and lightly browned on all sides. Remove the tofu cubes from the wok with a slotted spoon and set them aside. In the same wok, stir-fry the red, orange, and green peppers for 2 minutes. Add the green onion and jalapenos and stir-fry an additional 2 minutes. Roughly chop the toasted cashews, add them and the cooked tofu to the wok, and stir fry an additional 1 minute. Transfer to a large platter or bowl for service.
1/4 cup dried hijiki
Place the hijiki in a saucepan, cover with water, and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain the hijiki and return it to the saucepan along with 2 T. tamari, Sucanat, and enough water to cover. Place the saucepan over low heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain the hijiki, reserving the liquid, and set both of them aside. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the soba noodles until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. If the water in the pot foams up during the cooking process, adding a little cold water to the pot will help to control the problem. Drain the soba noodles, rinse them well with cold water, drain again, and set aside.
In a dry wok or large non-stick skillet, place the sesame seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove the toasted sesame seeds from the wok and set aside. In the same wok, heat the peanut oil; when it is very hot, add the white part only of the sliced green onions, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the carrots and shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry an additional 2 minutes. Add both types of cabbage and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add the remaining 2 T. tamari and seasoned rice wine vinegar, place a cover over the wok, and leave it to cook for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 of the hijiki (reserving some for garnish), reserved hijiki cooking liquid, and cooked soba noodles, and toss well to combine with vegetables. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Add the toasted sesame seeds, cilantro, toasted sesame oil, and chili oil, and toss well to combine. Transfer to a large platter or bowl for service, and garnish with the remaining hijiki and sliced green onions.
1 cup banana, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced
In a glass bowl, place the banana, mango, and pineapple; toss gently to combine, and set aside. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet, bake at 325 degrees for 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the almonds from the cookie sheet and set aside. On the same cookie sheet, place the shredded coconut and bake at the same temperature for 3-5 minutes, occasionally shaking it to evenly toast the coconut. Remove the coconut from the cookie sheet and set aside. Evenly divide the Almond-Amasake Cream between 6 dessert dishes. Layer the mixed fruit, coconut, and almonds on top of the Almond-Amasake Cream, evenly dividing them among the 6 dessert dishes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
3 cups amasake, plain or almond flavor
In a saucepan, place the amasake and a little salt, and warm over low heat. In a small bowl, place the apple juice and arrowroot, and stir well to completely dissolve. Add the arrowroot mixture to the amasake, stir well, and continue to cook over low heat until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 t. almond extract, taste, and add the remaining extract to taste (or if plain amazake was used). Transfer mixture to a glass bowl and cover the top with a piece of waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm or chilled and if desired, top with chopped fruits or nuts.
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside. In another bowl, place the water and egg replacer, and whisk vigorously for 1 minute or until very frothy. Add the Spectrum Spread, Sucanat, vanilla, almond extract, and coconut extract, and whisk well to cream the ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir well to combine. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, divide it into 36 equal size pieces, and roll them into balls. Count out 36 whole almonds and set them aside. Finely chop the remaining almonds. Place the chopped almonds and coconut on a plate and toss them together. Roll the balls into the almond-coconut mixture. Place them on non-stick cookie sheets, gently press 1 whole almond into the center of each ball, and bake them in batches at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. When the cookies are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.
Yield: 3 Dozen
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