Fusion food day is here!
Last year, I made some risotto with a Mexican twist. It was quite magical. For some reason, I can't stay away from that theme so here I am again. I'm fusing the burrito and spicy chipotle flavor with the Philly staple: the cheesesteak.
Cheesesteak was always something I disliked, even when I ate meat. The ones they served in elementary school for lunch always put me off...something about the gross fake cheese. 😖
Now, I figured I should give cheesesteak another go, but with some conditions: no cheese, no steak. Sounds great! 👍 I replaced the steak with nutritious portabella mushrooms. You can also use a vegan meat substitute if you like. I tried to keep this recipe as clean and healthy as possible. I also love the meaty and earthy taste of mushrooms. I can't get enough of them.
The cheese sauce is made with sweet potato for extra flavor and nutrition. I think it makes a wonderful counterpart to the spices in the mushrooms. I wrapped the whole mess up in a gluten free tortilla. This would also be wonderful on bread...or on rice...or any old way, really.
Dig in and try to forget about the election. I know I haven't, but this food might help me get there a little. 😜🌶🌯🍄
Chipotle Portabella Cheesesteak Burritos
Free from: gluten*, refined sugar
Yield: About 3-4 servings
Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce Ingredients
I'm. Finally. Back!
I apologize for my absence these past few months, but I've been very preoccupied with moving! The process was not as extensive as I expected, although it still took me over a month to finally get everything from point A to point B. Luckily, I'm just about settled.
Not being able to cook in my own kitchen has been tough, but I am slowly adapting to my new one. I definitely like the layout (plus it has an island!). I do miss having a gas range, but I actually don't mind my new stove. The change in temp is pretty immediate, which is all I ever need!
Since tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I'm going to make my come back with a fusion taco recipe. I was going to feature another dessert, but I'm not really sure I can top last year's Tres Leches Cake! No, I wanted to go savory and simple this year. Tacos are indeed a Cinco de Mayo staple, but they rarely ever look like these.
I filled organic taco shells (which you can always use soft, if you prefer) with a curried tempeh filling. The tempeh is crumbled into a stew of veggies and spices and resembles "beef" when it is fully cooked. The vegetables are those that you may find in a basic curry, such as potatoes, carrots, peas...I added some corn in for sweetness as well.
Japanese curry, in my experience, has always been slightly sweeter and more earthy than Indian or Thai curry. I gave the filling this flavor by adding in a bit of cinnamon and mirin to offset the savory garlic and cumin-based curry spice. The resulting flavor is rich, but not hot. Feel free to add chilies or red pepper flakes to increase the hotness. I left this batch mild to accompany the slightly sweet and acidic cabbage slaw I made as a topping!
Enjoy these with any and all taco fixings, a festive drink, and maybe some guac and chips if you're extra hungry. ;)
It's good to be back! <3
Japanese Curry Tempeh Tacos
Free of: Gluten, Oil (dressing only)
Yield: about 6 servings
Curried Tempeh Filling
Apple Slaw Ingredients
If President Obama came over for a meal, I'd like to think I'd keep it real. (Sorry, didn't mean to rhyme!)
I voted for the guy twice, I think he's a rad dude, and he seems pretty down to Earth. I also think he has a cool family and some cute dogs. =P
Political opinions aside, you have to see what I'm talking about right? I don't think President Obama would be one to expect some fancy five-course meal from me. Well, if he did, he would have to say so. ;)
I came up with a dish that the adults and kids would enjoy. I also wanted to create a flavorful dish that was also healthy, since Michelle seems to promote healthy eating awareness. I thought a nice jackfruit dish would be nice...it's something not a whole lot of people have heard of/eaten in this country and it would be nice to introduce to such an influential family something different yet fairly accessible.
I had never heard of jackfruit being used in vegan cooking until I saw the Seabirds food truck on the Food Network a few years ago. They were serving jackfruit in tacos at the time and I was thinking, "Fruit?! WHAT?".
Then, I finally found out how jackfruit can be prepared to be used as a pulled meat substitute when I attended cooking school. The jackfruit itself is best used from a can, as it is already soft and easy to work with. I found some at my local Asian market, and I'm sure you would be able to purchase it online.
Right out of the can, jackfruit seems pretty bland. However, once you chop it up, season it with spices and cook it, it's pretty delicious! The result is a somewhat light but meaty texture that resembles pulled meat. I like that it isn't very heavy like tempeh or seitan. That way, you can garnish it with all the veggies, non-dairy cheese or beans you want and it isn't overwhelmingly filling! Well, unless you want it to be. ;)
Look out, Mr. President! I've got some jacked up tacos for you! ^_^'
Pulled Jackfruit Tacos
Yield: 2 large soft tacos
There aren't a whole lot of traditional Japanese dishes that call for cheese...or any dairy, actually. Dairy products were not a part of the Japanese diet until they came over from other countries. The consumption of cheese and milk is still less in the East than in the West these days. However, milk has made its way around the world and left a lasting impression on global cuisine. Most often I have seen dairy in Japanese baking, but not so much in savory cooking.
I have not missed dairy one bit since I went vegan. I often get strange looks from people when I tell them that I miss cheese, milk and cream the least. It's pretty easy to explain why when everywhere you look you can find a new trendy dairy-free product. Also, when you don't eat dairy, you don't want it. It's an interesting phenomenon.
Of course, that isn't to say that vegans don't enjoy a creamy, savory dish once in a while! Over time, I've learned how to make many mock dairy dishes including plant based alfredo sauce, ice cream, cashew milk, and queso dip among others. One of my favorite things to make from scratch is queso (or a creamy cheesy dip that kind of reminds you of the bagged neon orange stuff from movie theaters. YUM/YUCK!).
This dip is one of the best crowd pleasing recipes because it's just as delicious and addictive as actual queso dip and it's so easy to customize! The recipe I based this variation off of is a knock-off "nacho" style queso. (It's neon orange in color, but it's totally natural, I promise!) I may post that recipe at some point, but for now, I'm keeping things Asian. ^_^v
The base of this sauce consists of cashews and water. How easy and affordable is that? The not so affordable part of this recipe is the (almost) requirement of a Vitamix or other high-speed blender. You can achieve the same results with a food processor, but you will need to wait a little longer. I prefer using my food processor for thicker mixtures like hummus. Because the consistency of this recipe is more liquid than solid before cooking, I like to use a blender to make sure it comes out smoothly.
The best part about this "queso" is that it's totally customizable to your taste! If you like things more spicy, add some chillies to it. If you like it more nutty, add some more tahini. If you like it more sweet, add mirin or maple syrup. Oh, and if you don't like the taste of seaweed (I used dulse), you can omit it. But, I must say, it's pretty delish. ;P
* I didn't soak my cashews because I used pieces. If you are using whole ones, you may want to soak them before blending to speed up the process. I would recommend soaking for a minimum of 2 hours.
Cinco de Mayo was never much of a holiday for me. Once I became vegan, however, I began to eat a lot more Mexican influenced food. I've always loved tacos, but I never knew how versatile they could be. I love to stuff things in tacos that I normally would never think of before.
Vegetarian Times has a recipe that pretty much sums up what I'm talking about. PB&J a whole new way! ^_^'
Or, if you're feeling sassy: S'mores Burritos
(minus the bacon, obviously, and vegan marshmallows...or, you could use coconut bacon! =O...)
I smell a future post in the works. ;)
As for last night, I decided to embellish a recipe I found by Mark Bittman. If you haven't watched his cooking show, The Minimalist, you really should. I used to watch it in the early mornings on the Cooking Channel while I ran on the treadmill. He is so dry and witty. His approach to cooking is something magical yet so hard for some to appreciate: simple and to the point. He doesn't fuss with his ingredients too much. He prepares them as simply as possible so as to bring out of the best in their flavor and nothing more. He's also really entertaining to watch because he's very nonchalant about his cooking. He takes his time casually putting his dishes together while making jokes here and there. He seems like an awesome guy. Oh, and he advocates being vegan/vegetarian for those who aren't subscribed to the lifestyle, which really means a lot. Way to go, Mark!
For Cinco de Mayo, I had to make a taco recipe with a punch of flavor. I found one of Mark's recipes online and decided to amp it up a little. I beefed up the filling (no pun intended) with some chickpeas and cauliflower. I also threw in a few more spices and, oh yeah, tequila! I browned the filling and deglazed with some cuervo...twice. ^_^'
I used the remnants of tequila for some spiked green juice. It's the healthy way to get buzzed! I must say I enjoyed that drink a little more than my male companion. More for me!
Tempeh Chorizo Tacos
adapted from Mark Bittman's VB6 Cookbook recipe
Yield: 4 Servings
Cooked rice for serving (1/4 cup per person), opt.
1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stack the tortillas on a large square of foil and wrap them loosely.
2. Heat the coconut oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the spices into the pan and stir to combine with the vegetables. Add the cauliflower to the pan. Crumble the tempeh into the pan and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, and adjusting the heat as necessary (I kept mine at a steady medium-high). Brown the tempeh for a few minutes and then add in the chickpeas. Keep stirring the ingredients until everything is evenly browned. Once the mixture is dry, deglaze with a splash or two of tequila. Wait for the liquid to burn off before proceeding.
4. When the filling is almost ready, put the tortillas in the oven. Let them warm for about 5 minutes. Add in splashes of tamari to the filling mixture and fully incorporate.
5. Squeeze the citrus juice over the filling when it's finished cooking. Garnish with cilantro and/or spinach, and serve with the tortillas. and rice.
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.