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VeganMoFo III

I was bored of toast, and therefore needed some muffins to go with my breakfast smoothies.  Breakfast is likely my favourite meal, since most breakfast foods are awesome.  Who doesn’t love a meal that can consist of fruit and greens smoothies, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal (you haven’t seen oatmeal until you’ve seen the crazy oatmeal I cook up), muffins, fruit salads, hash browns, and so forth?  I also believe in eating big at the beginning of the day.  Some people would disagree with me, but I find my body likes this system best.  Then, you have the whole day ahead of you to use up the energy from that big meal, whereas if supper is you’re biggest meal, you’ll be going to sleep not that long after eating it.  I also like simultaneous breakfast lunch.  I know, there’s another word for that, but mine’s cooler.

This batch of muffins turned out amazing, and they’re healthy enough to actually be included in my normal everyday breakfast.  No sugar, no wheat flour (although I’ve added wheat germ), no oil, but lots of delicious flavours.  This is a severely altered version of a recipe I found in the Zen Monastery Cookbook; I’ve used the base recipe from their orange pecan muffins for a few different modifications, as its proportions just seem really nice.  I also think the citrus helps to make them rise all lovely-like, and therefore gives them a nice texture.

Oh, and these are made with stevia.  I know, some people aren’t fans.  However, I actually really, really like the taste of the stuff, as long as you add just enough.  Don’t go overboard.  Stevia is strong stuff, and a teaspoon can be as sweet as a cup of sugar.

Blogmuffin

Orange-Blueberry-Banana Breakfast Muffins

-2  1/4 cups light spelt flour

– 1/2 cup wheat germ

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 tsp white stevia powder

– flax seed for decoration, optional

– banana egg replacer for 2 eggs (mash a banana with 1/2 tsp baking soda.  Usually it’s 1 tsp, but there’s already another 1/2 tsp of baking soda in this recipe.)

– 1 cup orange juice, plus 2 tbsp of orange juice concentrate

– 1 cup blueberries, fresh, or thawed from frozen (or partially thawed, if you forgot to thaw them ahead of time, like me.)

Preheat oven to 375.  Coat muffin tins with non-stick spray or a light coating of oil.

Blend the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and stevia powder together.  In a separate bowl, mix the banana eggs, orange juice, and blueberries.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just blended.  If it seems a little too thick for muffins, add a little more orange juice.

Spoon into muffin tin, and if desired, sprinkle with flax seeds.  Cook for 25 min, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Avocado Cucumber Rolls
Oh, and since I missed blogging yesterday, here’s another quick mini- recipe. Sometimes, if I have leftover rice, I just mix a little rice vinegar, a sprinkle of salt, and a half spoonful of veg-friendly sugar with it to make a dressing for the rice, and use it as though it were sushi.  I know, this may be blasphemy, but to be fair, when I actually make sushi rice, it comes out beautifully.  For these rolls, I added lots of avocado and thinly sliced cucumber, and a little wasabi.  Actually, it was a lot of wasabi…mmmmm.

Holy lengthy title, Batman!  Bear with me, this post is going to be somewhat longer too, but for convenience’s sake, I’m not going to divide it up.  I’ll try not to go on long-winded rants, and just show off lots of pictures of food.

Oh, and just in case I’m showing this site off tonight to a class at the university, I thought I’d say hi, ECMP 355!!

First on the long list: sushi.  I went to the grocery store, and lo and behold, there were fresh shiitake mushrooms!!!  I have worked with dry before, and while they taste fine, the smell of them makes me nauseous.  However, the smell of the fresh ones was entirely different, and so beautiful!  I opened the bag, and this warm, earthy, rich smell floated up to meet me as I sniffed hesitantly.  The whole time I chopped these, I was drooling.

Shiitake

So, one of the rolls was a combination of crumbled extra firm tofu, sesame seeds, and diced-up fresh shiitake mushrooms, which I cooked together until the mushrooms shrunk, and then added a sauce made of tamari soy, freshly grated ginger, and sesame oil.  I cooked off the sauce, and then used this as a filling.  My other rolls were carrot, lettuce, and bean sprout; and avocado and cucumber.  Served with a side of edamame beans.

Sushi Rolls

Now for the cookies.  Actually no picture, here.  Just an alteration of another Kid’s Company’s Coming recipe into something friendlier/less sugar-laden.  I feel comfortable posting this recipe even though it started from a cookbook because I’ve changed it so much.  Seriously, I did this with half the sugar they called for, and a little bit of dates, and could have probably still have removed more of the sugar, as they were very sweet.  Actually, please go ahead and mess around with the sugar-to-dates ratio, and share how they turn out.  While you’re at it, why not experiment with taking out some of the oil in this recipe too (I left it in this time for a treat), especially if you’re using lots of dates.  I made these to brought these to class (and yes, we still bring cookies to class in university), because if you keep the cookies small, this batch makes lots.

Fiddle Diddles, or Haystacks, Minus the Sugar-Induced Coma

– 1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter Substitute

– 1 cup or less Natural cane sugar (check out this site, this brand is both affordable and vegan, except for the honey products!)

– approx. 1/3 cup chopped dates

– 1/2 cup soy milk or some sorta nut milk (use unsweetened, there’s already enough sugar here)

– 6 tbsp cocoa powder

– 3 cups quick cooking rolled oats (not the instant ones)

– 1 cup medium shredded, unsweetened coconut

– pinch o’ salt

– 1tsp vanilla extract

Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat to melt butter, and to soften the dates so that they can be stirred in.  Mash dates into mixture well.  The book says to bring it to a boil, but I don’t think it’s overly important, here, as long as everything’s melted and blended.

Add everything else, mix well, and drop small rounded spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.  Cool, possibly in the fridge or freezer.  Should make around 40 cookies (I think I had thrity-something, wich isn’t too far off).

Also working out an awesome bread recipe, but that’s gonna have to wait.  It needs a little work.

Finally, we’ve come to my lunch today.  I had no school, so I had time to raid the fridge.  This isn’t the fanciest recipe in the world (like most of my fridge-raid hashes), but it sure did turn out good.  I don’t know what to call it, though.  It’s got some Thai influences, but isn’t really, truly Thai, or even necessarily Asian for that matter.  And if I call it a quesadilla, I’m afraid every person in Mexico may spontaneously shudder (what with the lack of cheese, or cheese substitute).  Anyway, whatever it is, it was mighty tasty, and filled with more coconut!  If you’re feeling special, toast the coconut first, along with some sesame seeds.

Sesame-Coconut Quesadilla-like Thingy

Nikki’s Lunch Thing that’s Kinda Like a Coconut-Sesame Thai Quesadilla

Sorry, I’m going to make you use your best judgement for the quantities, here.

– a tortilla

– sauce ( large spoonful of tahini, some soy sauce, spritz of lime juice, a little rice wine vinegar, and freshly grated ginger, mixed together well.)

– about 1/5 block of extra firm tofu, crumbled

– soy sauce

– handful chopped fresh garlic chives

– grated carrot

– bean sprouts

– a little shredded, unsweetened coconut

(an epic view of the ingredients)

Epic Lunch

Spread sauce on tortilla (use extra for dipping later, if you like, but don’t overdo the sauce inside the tortilla, or you’ll have a mess).  Fry tofu crumbles in nonstick pan (or regular pan with a little oil) until they begin to turn golden, then add a little soy sauce to flavour and add colour.  Cook off soy sauce (should only take a few seconds), and add to one half of the tortilla shell.  Pile on top of that the rest of the ingredients.  Fold over other half of shell, and place on a tray in toaster oven, heating until just warmed and lightly crispy (about five min, I think).  Don’t over-cook, or the sprouts will be iffy, and you’ll burn the shell.  This can be done in a microwave, but results will be sub-par.  In fact, if you have no toaster oven, I recommend wrapping this up and cooking it in a frying pan briefly.  Otherwise, if you’ve folded it in half and toasted it, cut it into quarters before eating.