#Vegan White Sauce Pasta w/ OysterMushrooms & YellowSquash 

This is much easier & tastier than the conventional white sauce that uses flour and butter. So I hope you try it!

What I’ve used (for 2 servings)

  • 1/4 onion (orange-sized) sliced
  • 1 cup of OysterMushrooms sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 yellow summerSquash (≒ 2cups) chopped to bitesize
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 
  • A dash of blackPepper 
  • 1~2 tablespoons of oliveOil 
  • 1 teaspoon of shiitake powder-stock*
  • A pinch of lemonZest**
  • A dash of white wine 
  • 1 teaspoon of DijonMustard 
  • 1/2 cup of almondCashewMilk 
  • 2 teaspoons of ground Flaxeed as thickening agent 
  • 4oz (1/4 package of most) dry pasta boiled al dente 
  • (Habanero)SeaSalt to taste
  • (Thai)Basil & kale for garnish & digestive aid
  1. Slice & prepare onion, garlic, OysterMushrooms, & squash.
  2. Heat the frypan (w/ a lid), add turmeric, blackPepper, & oliveOil.
  3. Add prepared onion, OysterMushrooms, & garlic in the pan & stir.
  4. Add squash & stir.
  5. Reduce heat to low, place the lid, & simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in another pot.
  7. Add white wine, DijonMustard, almondCashewMilk, shiitake powder stock, ground flaxseed, & lemon nZest, and stir.
  8. Add the boiled pasta to the creamy mix.
  9. SeaSalt to taste, and garnish with basil & kale.
  10. Enjoy eating!

* shiitake powder stock: you can find this at most Japanese (Asian) grocery stores. It has sodium, so I only add salt to taste at the end of cooking when I use this.


** lemonZest: I always keep some organic julienned lemonZest in the freezer. It gives a depth to the dish. Besides, I LOVE cooking with lemons.

Here’s a visual aid:

Happy cooking & eating! 😋

Btw, this recipe is similar to my Creamy Vegan Alfredo Pasta.

Kabocha squash soup

Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin. It looks almost identical to buttercup squash, but tastes sweeter and creamier. Traditionally people add sugar when cooking Kabocha, but I say that’s utterly unnecessary. 

 

My Kabocha soup is very simple. Just a little elbow grease for dicing the pumpkin, but since the skin is edible unlike ButternutSquash, it’s pretty easy.

Ingrediebts:

  • 1 Kabocha squash – diced into bite size
  • Filtered water – enough to submerge the Kabocha 
  • Konbu* (kelp) sheet
  • 2 tablespoons of Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons of white miso
  • Scallions – chopped
  1. Wash the Kabocha thoroughly, cut into half, spoon out the seeds, and dice into bite sizes. 
  2. Place Kabocha in a large (Dutch oven) pot, and add water, kelp sheets, and mirin; and start cooking.
  3. When the kelp sheets are soft enough (a few minutes after it starts boiling), take them out on the cutting board, and cut them into bite sizes, and return them to the pot.
  4. Add miso & stir.
  5. Add scallions right before serving. Enjoy eating!

Here’s the vine. https://vine.co/v/eZMMz07LbJP

Our backyard wildlife, squirrels and birds, love Kabocha seeds! So I toss them in the back of the flowerbed for them. Some of them come right to the kitchen door.

A couple of years ago, two seeds escaped being eaten, and grew two small Kabocha!
   

Dried kelp sheets are wonderful, but if you don’t have them at hand, you can use kelp powder stock or dried shiitake mushrooms for dashi (Japanese word for soup stock).

Cilantro goes well with the soup, too!img_7380

Yesterday, I used the leftover Kabocha soup to make a creamy vegan veggie pasta

You can also add cooked potato chunks & vegan sausages to make this soup into a stew. It’s very versatile.

Well, happy cooking & eating!

ButternutSquash Soup/Stew (#vegan)

It’s been a while since I last made this soup (stew), and boy it’s delicious.

Butternut squash stew

 Here’s what I used this time:

  • 1 tablespoon of oliveOil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 
  • A dash of blackPepper
  • A pinch of seaSalt
  • 1/2 large or 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium butternutSquash, skin removed & cut in bite size
  • 2 small (Yukon) potatoes, cut in bite size 
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms, diced (stems sliced thinly)
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin* (sweet cooking sake)
  • Filtered water (enough to cover the cut ingredints)
  • 2 teaspoons of Kelp powder stock*
  • A pinch of lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons of rice miso*
  • Scallions for the finishing touch
  1. Start with heated pan with oliveOil, turmeric & blackPepper, and add onions. Stir, & cover the pan to sweat the onions in low heat.
  2. Add butternutSquash, potatoes, shiitake, water, and mirin. Stir, and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat again to simmer until the squash & potatoes are soft (about 10-15 minutes).
  4. Add kelp powder stock & lemon zest, and miso. Stir.
  5. Add scallions for color and flavor.
  6. Enjoy eating!

Sometimes I also add fried tofu cubes on the second day to enjoy slightly different versions. Or if you prefer, you can add a couple of diced vegan sausages for a richer taste.

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* You can find these in the Asian grocery stores. 

Here is the vine video.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy cooking & eating!

Veggie+tofu pasta in creamy Kabocha sauce (#vegan)

I just made this up with stuff I found in the fridge. We often find ourselves pressed with time, and I’m forced to whip up something in 20 minutes. But this came out to be so delicious, I’m jotting it down here.  

What I used:

  • 1 tablespoon of oliveOil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 
  • A dash of blackPepper 
  • 1/4 of a large onion – sliced
  • 1/5 of pressed firm tofu – cut into small pieces, but not too small
  • 4~5 BrusselsSprouts – quartered
  • 1/2 of a large tomato – sliced
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms (incl stems*1) – sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine
  • 2 servings of cooked pasta (usually a box of dry pasta contains 8 servings)*2
  • 1/4 Leftover Kabocha squash soup*3
  • 1 teaspoon of tapioca powder*4
  • A few pinches of seaSalt (to taste)
  • A few sprigs of cilantro 
  1. Start the pan with oliveOil, turmeric & blackPepper, and add onions & tofu.
  2. Add the rest of the veggies, and stir lightly, add white wine, cover the pot to pan-steam for about 4~5 minutes.
  3. Add cooked pasta.
  4. Mix tapioca powder to the Kabocha soup, then pour it into the pan.
  5. Stir, adjust taste by adding salt & pepper, and cover the pot to simmer until ready to serve.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and enjoy eating!

As I was in a hurry to make food, I didn’t have time to make the vine video. But here’s the vine for Kabocha Soup.

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*1 Don’t throw away the shiitake stems! The much of the flavor is in the stems as well. I thinly slice them or minced, depending on the recipe.

*2 I usually cook 1/2 of one box of pasta (4 servings), and save half in the fridge for another recipe within a few days. I used the saved half in this recipe. I soak the cold pasta in boiled hot water for a minute before using.

*3 Kabocha soup is super easy to make! It just requires a little elbow grease dicing it. The skin is soft and edible upon cooking.

*4 Tapioca powder can be substituted with corn starch.

Happy cooking & eating!

#Vegan Rosemary+Raspberry Scones

This is so far the best thing I’ve ever baked in my entire life. It was well worth the effort. It wasn’t difficult, either.

Fresh-out-of-the-oven vegan rosemary raspberry scones

 
Although I’ve baked some pies and breads, I’ve been sort-of afraid of baking. Perhaps, the ingredients like eggs were too delicate for me to handle.

Vegan baking seems to be easier. Not to mention guilt-freeーat least for no cruelty part, & not for fat+sugar contentーwhich makes it so much more enjoyable!

I followed the MinimalistBaker’s Coconut Oil Blueberry Scones with Rosemary, except I substituted blueberries with raspberries, which are always in our freezer.

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 flaxseed+water egg substitute*
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond+cashew milk
  • 3/4 cup organic wholewheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/5 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary** (stems removed), roughly chopped
  • 6 Tbsp room temperature coconut oil (scoopable, not liquid or frozen***)
  • 1/3 cup frozen organic raspberries 
  • Some more all purpose flour for the surface to shape the scones

Please see the MinimalistBaker’s instructions as they’re easy to follow.

* Flaxeed egg substitute: 1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal + 2 ½ Tbsp (37 ml) water, mixed and wait for 5 minutes for it to thicken.

** Fresh Rosemary: I have a huge rosemary plant wintering in our kitchen!

*** Coconut oil solidify at about 70℉/21℃. Our home is kept below 68℉/20℃ during winter, the coconut oil is solid on the kitchen counter. 

Please see the MinimalistBaker’s notes for how to make the coconut oil solid in a short time.

Only tricky part was transferring the sticky scone dough to the baking sheet. The dough was gooey and hard to handle, hence the uneven placement of the scones on the baking sheet. (^^;

Well, here’s a vine and some more photos.
https://vine.co/v/iX6abXV7eQz

vegan Rosemary Raspberry Scones shaped & cut on the floured surface

vegan Rosemary Radpberry Scones in the oven

Fresh-out-of-the-oven vegan Rosemary Radpberry Scones

Vegan Rosemary Raspberry Scone with homemade lemonCurd (vegan) & coconut whippedCream

The vegan LemonCurd was the trigger to make the scones; one good thing led to another. When there is a will, things manifest so effortlessly. Oh, btw, for the added sugary topping reasons, I used slightly less cane sugar for the scones. I read somewhere that up to 30% reduction of sugar won’t be noticeable.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy cooking (baking!) and eating!

#Vegan Lemon Curd 🍋

Lemon is my favorite fruit/herb/plant. I LOVE lemon. I even have a 9-year-old seed-grown tree in the kitchen (currently wintering), which flowered in this past February (2016).

Vegan Lemon Curd

Funny how the inspiration comes from “doing” and not the other way around. As I started making the julienned lemon zest I always keep in the freezer for “かくし味 (secret flavor)” in many of my cooking, I had a sudden urge to make vegan lemon curd.

I wanted to use agave, cane sugar, coconut oil, tapioca flour, and almond+cashew milk, all of which were at hand. Browsing through recipes online, I decided to use the one by Sean Beveridge as a guide. 

Here’s what I used: (yields 2 cups)

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 lemon zest, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 Tablespoons almond+cashew milk
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Mix by constantly stirring fresh lemon juice and zest, agave, cane sugar, in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add tapioca flour one tablespoon at a time to mix.
  3. Add almond+cashew milk.
  4. Keep stirring for several minutes until it thickens.
  5. Add coconut oil. At first the oil float on top, but don’t worry, it will get blended into the mix in a few minutes to a consistency of a thick gravy.
  6. Pour it into clean jars, & cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  7. Enjoy!

Here’s a vine video.
https://vine.co/v/iXhmPvQTlJI  

Happy cooking and eating!

Tofu Scrambles (#vegan)

Time to stop making fun of tofu! 

Seriously, I mean it. It’s a good great food which has been around much much longer than any sausages or burgers. And unlike them, tofu is healthy!

For those who still don’t know what tofu is, tofu is made from soybeans. Have you had Edamame? Edamame is the young green soybeans. If you like Edamame, chances are, you’d like tofu, too.

Dr. Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says “Soy is healthy.” As I’ve been eating tofu, edamame, and other soybean foods all my life, I wholeheartedly agree.

Without further ado, here’s a version of tofu scramble.

Tofu Scrambles served with rice & hot potato+carrot salad

 
Ingredints:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 cumin
  • 1/2 chili powder (I used chipotle & thyme)
  • (a dash of ground sage, optional)
  • a dash of BlackPepper
  • 1~2 Tablespoons of OliveOil 
  • 1/2 cup Eggplant, diced
  • 3~4 Shiitake, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of Celery, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 Onion, finely diced
  • 3~4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2/3 package of Firm Tofu, crumbled
  • 5~6 BroccoliLuv, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of nutritionalYeast 
  • SeaSalt & whitePepper to taste
  • 2~3 teaspoons of ponzu 
  1. Put spices (turmeric, cumin, chili, thyme, & sage) & oliveOil  in the pan, at medium heat.
  2. Immediately after the spices, before the pan gets too hot (remove from heat if it starts to smoke), add all chopped vegetables (except the flowerbud tips of broccoliLuv), and stir fry.
  3. Cover the pot, and let it pan-steam for 5 minutes or so at low heat.
  4. Add hand crumbled tofu, and further break them with ladles as you mix with the vegetables.
  5. Add seaSalt, whitePepper, & ponzu to taste.
  6. Add broccoliLuv flowerbud tips on top, sprinkle the nutritionalYeast,  cover to pan-steam for 3 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice & warm potatoe+carrot salad* 
  8. Enjoy!

As always, here’s a vine loop.

Happy cooking & eating!

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* Warm potato+carrot salad is super easy! It makes a quick n fab side dish.