The Fat-Free Vegan on Valentine’s Day
Go see for yourself. The Fat-Free Vegan is one of my first sources for vegan recipies and ideas. Susan’s pumpkin pie went down fabulously in my house over Thanksgiving. My father, one of the biggest meat eaters I know and a pumpkin pie lover dujour, loved it. Since I’m not huge on soy, I used rice milk instead and it worked beautifully. I topped it with vegan whipped “cream” that you can purchase from Little Lad’s Basket locations (they also have a cook book available that gives you the recipe, maybe I’ll blog that in the future).
Susan is running a Valentine’s Recipe Competition (well not really a competition) for ideas on romantic low fat meals.
Here is our entry; a quick easy to make stir-fry and desert pairing… so you can spend more time with each other instead of at the stove.
4 baby bok choi
hand full of oyster mushrooms, about 5 leaves
one large or two medium onions
three garlic cloves
chunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb
one large carrot, not going to attempt comparing this to anatomy, but use your judgement, use two if your’s is small…
Korean black bean paste, optional, use about a finger tip sized amount
Coconut Oil, optional, use about a finger nail sized amount (I used Nutiva since it’s organic and extra virgin, with the little fat you do use, might as well try to be as “healthy” as possible)
Rice (I use Basmati rice that I got in bulk, but feel free to use other varieties).
Start boiling the rice in a pot as per the directions on the particular rice you plan to use. By the time you are done chopping and washing all the veggies, your rice will be done. I add some coconut milk to it about part way through sometimes, but this is only optional and adds some nice aroma/flavour. Stir occasionally, I usually start stirring when I’m mid-way through crying over the onion. It’s a good break.
Slice your garlic cloves as small as you can get them. When I’m lazy, I leave them in chunks. I find in this recipe, that the garlic cooks to the point that the flavour does not cause any dreaded bad breath — yippee.
Cut the ends from the onion and then cut in half length-wise (opposite to how you might cut it to get rings). Peel the outer-layer off, place the flat side down and slice short-wise (you want half rings) into pieces that are about as wide as your pinky finger. Pull layers apart.
Now for the chunk of ginger. If you are lazy, just rinse and use a peeler to peel into small pieces. When it gets too small to handle, cut the rest into chunks with your knife. You may peel the ginger if you like, but I find that this is not always necessary.
Keep your peeler at hand and peel your carrot into long curly peels after washing/peeling off the outer layer. This is way easier than trying to cut into nice long strips.
In a non-stick wok, I use an anodized one from JCPenney that I got on sale for $12.00, place the above four ingredients with the coconut oil and turn your stove to simmer. While waiting for the onions to start getting soft add the optional Korean black bean paste (about a finger tip worth) and spritz the wok with your Braggs Liquid Aminos. Move the contents of your wok around every few minutes. If you find the wok getting smokey, add a few spritzes of water, some vegan low-sodium broth, more coconut oil, or a spritz of coconut milk, depending on how low-fat you want your meal.
Wash and clean your oyster mushrooms. Slice the oyster mushroom leaves into long strips (about a pinky finger wide) and add to the wok.
Wash and seperate the baby bok choi. Slice any large leaves in half length-wise. Turn up the heat just before adding these, although they cook fast, so add them to the pan when everything else is almost done (slightly clear onions is a good indicator). When the bok choi begins to wilt, you are done.
Place your rice onto plates and put your stir-fry over them.
Alterations to the ingredients that I like:
Different varieties of seaweed instead of bok choi or dried versions sprinkled on top.
Kale or Swiss chard (add sooner than the bok choi, they take longer to cook).
Peanut Butter (about the size of a lime) with Thai sweet chili sauce (about the size of a cherry tomato) mixed together makes a nice asian inspired sauce to add to stir-fry or even lentils.
Subsitute parsnip for the carrot.
2 or 3 Plantains, black on the outside so they are sweet
sugar, organic certified vegan varieties
Vegan whipped cream, optional
Peel and slice the Plantain lengthwise. Put onto a small non-stick oven cookie sheet (either with or without a small amount of coconut oil, depends how non-stick your pan is). Sprinkle with sugar and place into a 300 F oven (even a toaster oven works) until soft. Prick with a fork after about 15 minutes, then every few minutes after that to check if done. When done, arrange on plates with vegan whipped cream (like the one I got from Little Lads Basket) or eat straight. If you cannot find plaintain, a banana should work, although I’ve never tried this with a banana. Oh, if you don’t like using sugar, agave syrup and maple syrup are nice alternatives to drizzle on after baking.
Hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day; we know we’re going to! 🙂
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