Sunday, 3 April 2016

Kale & Mushroom Gyoza

Gyoza are one of my most favourite dishes to eat at a Japanese restaurant however, most of the time they are made with pork. Now that I am eating a plant-based diet, I thought I'd try my hand at a Vegan alternative! Holy shit you guys, these were so good. My husband said he wasn't even hungry and he helped me eat half the plate haha.

2 cups kale
2 cups mushrooms
1/2 brick smoked tofu (you could just use plain extra firm, but the smoked has such a nice flavor)
1 tbsp soy sauce
5-6 shakes of sesame oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 thumb length ginger root, grated
2-3 stalks of green onion
24 wonton wrappers (careful, some are made with egg and some are not, check the ingredients)
1/2 cup of water mixed with 1 tbsp flour (this will be your wonton glue)
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup ponzu sauce (I used store bought, but you could totally make your own)
1 tbsp sriracha
2-3 shakes of sesame oil

Roughly chop the kale, mushrooms and tofu. (I actually spent the time neatly dicing them all into tiny pieces only to discover it still wasn't small enough, so I ended up putting it in the food processor. Basically what I'm saying is DON'T BOTHER NICELY CUTTING THEM) Saute your veggies and tofu over medium heat until soft, adding the soy sauce to braise the kale. Near the end, add the sesame oil, garlic powder and grated ginger. Once the veggies are soft, transfer to your food processor. Add the green onions at this point. I just ripped them up with my let the food processor chop them up. Pulse the mixture until you have a texture kind of like ground meat. You don't want to over mix it and get a paste, just a fine ground.

Now comes the kind of lame part, filling the wonton wrappers. Its not hard, but it takes a little while. Make your mixture of water and a little flour. Lay out one wrapper, dip your finger in the water mix, and paint it around the edge of the wrapper, the entire way around. You don't need alot, but just enough to moisten the edge. Place a spoon of mixture, about 1 tbsp in the middle of the wrapper. Gently fold it in half and pinch the wrapper all the way around to seal it up. The dough is pretty sticky, and stays sealed easily. Set aside and make the rest! I made about 24 dumplings with this amount of filling.

Once you're all done building the gyozas, its time to cook them. I took a medium frying pan, on medium heat and put a 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pan. Then I laid about half the gyozas in the pan and covered them with a lid. The water steams up and cooks the dough, then once it evaporates, the oil makes the bottom side all crispy. You don't need to flip them, but I did because I wanted lots of crispy goodness.

The dipping sauce is easy, just combine all the ingredients and whisk together. Then serve it up with your gyoza and enjoy!

These were so freaking tasty. One of my favourite parts of cooking without meat is that I get to taste and season my food the whole way through and make sure everything is yummy! And also, not having to worry if something is cooked all the way through is pretty nice too.
If you try these, I'd love to know what you think! Also, don't be afraid to put other ingredients in your filling. I will be trying out some different combos too!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Raw Vegan Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake

So eating healthier has given me a sweet tooth. I used to only ever crave salty things, but now after dinner, I'm usually dying for something sweet.
I honestly have never ever been a dessert person.
Anyways, I need some healthy dessert options around, so I don't slip up, so here's my first attempt! It turned out pretty tasty imo. Its nice and tart, and so so creamy. You'd swear it was full of dairy, sugary goodness.
Raw Vegan Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake
1 cup walnuts (can sub pecans or almonds)
1 cup dates (soaked in hot water for 5-10 mins)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
6 tbsp melted coconut oil
2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 cup blackberries (I used frozen, but thawed them out first)
Start by making your crust. Grind up the nuts in your food processor. Then add the dates, coconut & salt. You want to be able to pinch the dough together with your fingers and have it hold its shape. Press the crust into the bottom of a springform pan. I lined the bottom of mine with a circle of parchment paper to just make sure I could pop it out easily, but I'm not sure I needed to. Stick the pan in the freezer to harden up while you make the filling.
For the filling... its super complicated. You're literally going to blend it alllll up until its smooth in your blender. Can you handle that? Hard right? I don't even have a fancy blender either. No vitamix needed. I have a $80 Oster from Sears and it worked perfectly. So blend it all until its creamy and smooth. Then pour it out into the springform pan, and put the whole thing back in the freezer for about 2 hrs, until its hard. If you want, you can add some decorations before you set it, or even some after. I dehydrated some lemon slices, and sprinkled on some lemon zest and coconut flakes.
I also had some blackberry jam in the fridge, so I melted it down and blended it out to make a dark purple drizzle for the top. The possibilities are endless. Get creative! 
To serve just let it thaw on the counter for about 20mins, and voila! Delicious dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free cheesecake!

Friday, 12 February 2016

Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwiches & Creamy Asian Slaw

Its actually insane how much the jackfruit mimics meat. I am planning on seeing if I can trick some of my non-vegan friends into thinking its actually pork or chicken. I made a trip to my local H-Mart (Asian supermarket) to find this, but I bet some regular grocery stores in larger areas would have it in their Asian food section. If you do have to make a special trip, its worth it to stock up since they only run about $1.50 per can. My husband knew it wasn't meat, because well, duh... but I really think it could pass. Jackfruit tastes like nothing, pulls like braised meat would, and it takes on flavour really well. My next experiment will be a Southwest pulled "chicken" type thing. Stay posted. For now, try out these sandwiches! They're delicious!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Italian Tofu Scramble

Looks like eggs, taste like eggs, even kind of smells like eggs, but its not! What sorcery is this...

Friday, 5 February 2016

Lazy Vegan Breakfast

Not everyday is going to be homemade. This is real life, not Instagram perfection. I think it's important to have some healthy-ish ready to eat foods on hand, so that you don't slip when you're really super hungry.