Friday, January 30, 2009


Sometimes I invent recipes based on "things that have been in my pantry a while and I want to get rid of" and "ingredients in the supermarket that are cheap and healthy." Sometimes these recipes fail, but other times they're delicious. Fortunately, this one fit into the latter category.

Burritochiladas are a combination burrito-and-enchilada. They're tortillas filled with rice and beans, burrito style, then covered in tomato and cheeze sauce and baked, enchilada style. This did turn out being rather "step intensive" to prepare all the different stuff, and in the end I had WAAAY too much filling so I'm going to write this out using half as much rice as I used which should solve that problem.

Now these are a mild Mexican flavored food because you're probably aware of my onion and spicy things issue by now.. but one could definitely kick it up by sauteeing a diced onion and some jalapenos (or hot peppers of your liking) and adding them in with the other veggies.

8 whole wheat tortillas (NOT the huge burrito/wrap sized ones!)
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cup instant brown rice
1 bell pepper, color of your choosing, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn niblets
6 cups chopped kale
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground paprika
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 clove garlic, pressed or grated
[URL=""]1/2 recipe of Cheeze sauce from Veg News Mac & Cheeze recipe[/URL] (optional -- you could get away with some grated vegan cheddar, or nothing at all)

1. For the rice -- prepare according to liquid:rice ratio on the box, substituting 1/2 of the water with tomato sauce. Add 1/2 tsp each onion powder, cumin powder, paprika and oregano to the cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile... sautee the bell pepper and the kale in the olive oil until the kale is wilted. Add the frozen corn and cook until the corn is defrosted. If you find the veggies sticking to the pan, add a little water to sautee in. Stir the veggies into the rice when the rice is finished cooking.

3. Add the garlic and the rest of the spices to the tomato sauce.

4. Now start assembly. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 inch baking dish. Take a tortilla and spread it with refried beans. Add a few heaping scoops of the rice mixture, and roll it up. Place the tortilla seam side down in the bottom of the baking dish, and repeat with the other 7. You should end up with 2 rows of 4 burritochiladas.

5. Top the tortilla rolls with the rest of the tomato sauce. Top that with the cheeze sauce. Bake uncovered at 375 for about 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spaghetti and Lentil Ballz

I've loved the Chickpea Cutlets recipe from Veganomicon since I got the book. They're a great protein for nights when I feel like eating side dishes. I've since altered them to make chickpea-balls, like I used in the Italian Wedding Soup, which were ok, but the texture wasn't quite right.

Before we moved, I was trying to eat our way through the pantry so we'd move with as little as possible. One thing I had was 1/4 cup of lentils and really, what do you do with 1/4 cup of lentils!? I decided to try and make chickpea-cutlet-balls but with lentils instead of chickpeas. I cooked the chickpeas until they were tender, and pureed them and made lentil balls out of them and they were AWESOME! A little more fiddling with the recipe, and I think I've finally made the perfect veggie-meat-ball to eat with spaghetti! They taste great, and the best part is they HOLD TOGETHER when tossed with the sauce and put on the spaghetti! So dinner tonight (can you guess) was 7 grain Spaghetti and Lentil Balls with organic tomato sauce and a sprinkling of parma "cheez" from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. Since I figure most people can manage spaghetti from a box and sauce from a jar, here is the recipe for...

1 cup cooked lentils
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for spraying/brushing on lentil-balls
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs *
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a blender or food processor or using an immersion blender, puree the lentils with the olive oil, soy sauce, and vegetable broth.

3. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and the spices.

4. Add the lentil puree to the dry ingredients and stir until a ball is formed. Knead the ball for a few minutes until the gluten is stringy. The ball will also "pull together" a little at this point. If it seems really wet and isn't coming together, add extra gluten 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

5. Roll out about 2 tbsp of dough into balls and put them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone sheet, or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spray or brush the balls lightly with olive oil, then flip them over and get the bottom oiled too.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn them over, and bake for another 15 minutes. They will firm up more once they're out of the oven. Use as desired!

* Can't find vegan bread crumbs and don't feel like making your own? Check the Kosher section of your grocery store! In Kosher dining, one can't mix meat and dairy, so breadcrumbs for coating meat can't have milk in them!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Soba Noodles with Seitan and Veggies

WE MOVED!! I'm cooking in my new kitchen now and I hope that means I'll be food blogging a lot more. This meal is a combination of many things that the boy and I enjoy. Strips of seitan, julienned veggies, and soba noodles in a creamy tahini-miso sauce.

I made the seitan yesterday - cutlets this time, baked in some broth in the oven at 350 for 50 minutes. And so, I mostly made this up as I went along, though the sauce is based on esme's sauce.

Soba Noodles with Seitan and Veggies

1 - 8 oz package of Soba Noodles
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 red bell pepper
1/2 bunch kale
1/2 zucchini (I used half because I had it left over)
1/2 lbs snow peas
1 cup carrots
2 cups seitan

Sauce 2 cups veggie broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp miso (paste, not the instant powder)
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water

1. Prepare the veggies and seitan by cutting them all into thin strips of about the same size. Chop the garlic, or grate or press it.

2. Prepare the soba noodles according to package directions.

3. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add the seitan and cook until lightly brown, then remove it from the pan and set aside.

4. Add the second tbsp of oil to the pan, still over medium-high heat, and add the red peppers. Sautee for about 3 minutes, then add the kale a handful at a time until it's all wilted down. Add a few tbsp of water if the pan is getting dry. Add the garlic, zucchini, peas, and carrots and stir fry for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are bright and tender-crisp.

5. While the noodles are draining, add all the sauce ingredients to the noodle pan and heat, stirring until smooth. Add the noodles, and stir to coat, then add the veggies and seitan. If the sauce is thick enough for you now, you can stop now. If not, add the cornstarch dissolved in water and cook for another minute or two until the sauce thickens up.