DDD #32 – Vegan Carrot “Smoked Salmon” (Lox) & Carrot Hot Dogs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Ok – I have been seeing versions of these two recipes everywhere & decided I had to try them.  I have a video of my efforts on my Youtube channel.  Click the image below to watch.

 

Neither of these is difficult to pull off but for my money, neither was really worth the effort.  Despite looking as convincing as you could really hope – the flavors were not especially strong.  A fun & novel experiment.

Vegan Carrot “Smoked Salmon” (Lox)

INGREDIENTS
2-3 cups coarse salt

3 large unpeeled carrots

 

Kelp granules and/or Roasted sesame seeds & Seaweed and/or Nori sheets

for the marinade

1 TBS miso paste

2 TBS olive oil

Several dashes liquid smoke

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp kelp granules (or use only kelp granules)

1 tsp roasted sesame seeds & seaweed (or use only this)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Create a thick layer of salt in an oven-safe pan.  Place the carrots on top & sprinkle the carrots on both sides with kelp granules and the roasted sesame seeds & seaweed – or – wrap each carrot in a slice or nori.  Do not let carrots touch the pan.  Cover with salt & bake for 90 minutes.

Removes carrots from salt and, when cool enough to handle, slice as thinly as possible.  Even consider using a vegetable peeler or mandolin.  Mix the marinade & marinate the carrot slices for 2 or more days.  Be sure the carrots are always in contact with the moisture.

Serve as you would serve smoked salmon.  I used bagels, sliced tomato, red onion, capers, dill, lemon and S&P.

Carrot Hot Dogs

INGREDIENTS

Carrots – peeled down to a hot dog shape

Olive oil for frying

for the marinade

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)

1 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS sesame oil

1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar

A few dashes liquid smoke

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

Peel the carrots down to hot dog shapes.  Boil for about 8 minutes or until they have the tenderness of a hot dog.

Whisk the marinade together & submerge the carrots in it.  Add water or soy sauce to cover them.  Marinate overnight or longer.

Fry the carrots in a little olive oil & serve as you would eat a hot dog.

 

 

 

Easy Vegan Thai Minced Pork with Holy (& Sweet) Basil – Pad Ga Prao Muu – in Lettuce Cups

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

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I live very close to the area in LA called Thai Town (Hollywood Blvd – essentially – east of Western).  It is an incredible resource for Thai & other Asian ingredients – like canned jackfruit, every manner of noodle & rice & some exotic spices.  The other day, at my favorite Thai market, Bangluck, I spotted these guys here:

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Vegetarian pork, duck & generic meat – in cans – for just over a dollar each.  The photos are not so appetizing but I could not resist trying them.  For whatever reason – I got two cans of the pork & decided to try them out today in this Thai dish.  Apparently, authentic Pad Ga Prao Muu uses only the Thai Holy (or hot) basil but I dd not have enough of that so I added some sweet Thai basil.  Here is how they look (holy/hot basil on top & Thai/sweet basil below with the purple flowers:

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The holy basil has serrated edges & the sweet basil does not.  They really do smell & taste very different but, I think, only a true aficionado of Thai food would know or care about the difference.  I used both & I was very pleased with the result.

Even more exciting – the canned pork!  Seitan, really.  Here are the details:

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Drained, it did not smell or taste funky.  AT ALL.  And even kinda looks like pork.  Any seitan would work for this recipe – stuff from your health food store or Whole Foods or homemade.  I posted some recipes with a recipe for seitan HERE.  The advantage o this canned stuff is shelf-life and COST!  It is so cheap & easy!  If you don’t have Asian grocers near you, the canned stuff is available online HERE.  I will report on the other two cans of stuff when I think of what to do with them.

As to this dish – crazy easy & outrageously delicious.  I like my food genuinely spicy so – if you do not – be sure to adjust the hot elements to suit your taste.

The seitan pork, though?  Totally convincing!  I think you could serve this dish to a meat eater & they would not question it.  You might want to call it chicken, if you have a real skeptic on your hands, because pork tends to be chewier than chicken but – whatever you decide – this will look like meat & taste like meat.  This recipe is killer!  And once your ingredients are prepped – it takes about 10 minutes.  EASY!

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Easy Vegan Thai Minced Pork with Holy (& Sweet) Basil – Pad Ga Prao Muu – in Lettuce Cups

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

20 oz (or so) seitan (or enough for 2 portions)

2 TBS coconut or olive oil

2 packed cups fresh Holy/hot and/or Thai/sweet basil

1-10 cloves garlic – chopped

2 shallots (or one small onion) – diced

4 red scallions (OPTIONAL!  I only used these because I had them) – sliced (bottoms only)

1 red bell pepper – seeded & sliced

1 cup carrots – matchsticks or sliced

1-10 red/green Thai chilies – split (I used 10 & this was very spicy)

1 serrano chili – diced (very optional)

2-3 TBS vegetarian oyster or mushroom sauce

3 TBS liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp dark soy sauce (optional)

1 tsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) OR 2 tsp brown sugar

Lettuce leaves for cups (I used romaine but butter lettuce is nice, too)

GARNISH – lime wedges, cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Prep everything because this comes together fast.  Whisk the liquid ingredients (oyster sauce, soy sauces) together.

Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the shallots, chilies, scallions (if using), red bell, and carrots.  Saute until the peppers & carrots soften (maybe 5 minutes).

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Add the seitan & heat through.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the liquids & combine.  Stir in the basil & once it wilts – you are ready to serve.

Serve in lettuce cups or with rice & garnish with lime wedges.

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Vegan Hot & Sour Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce & Kale & Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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MY BOOK READING IS THIS SUNDAY, folks!  I hope you will come on out!  I need all the support I can get!

OK – so this dish is very easy to make & surprisingly tasty!  And damned good for you, too!  I bought some rhubarb at Super King recently & I found a few versions of this dish – one using pork & one using tofu.  I do not eat pork & I am not a huge fan of tofu but I AM a huge fan of Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken – so I used that instead.  Why not try it yourself – for FREE?

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Vegan Hot and Sour Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce & Kale & Rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz Beyond Meat chicken strips (or other vegan option)

for the marinade

2 Tbsp honey (agave nectar for vegans – though my friend Rose knows a bee keeper so I used honey she gave me)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 TBS fresh ginger – minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra for cooking)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar

for the rhubarb sauce

3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and roughly chopped
1-2 TBS fresh ginger – minced
1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp honey (or agave)
3 Tbsp soy sauce

for the rice & kale

1 cup uncooked rice
1 head kale – ribs removed & chopped
1-2 tsp sesame oil

garnish (optional)

Lime wedges

Cashews – chopped

Scallions – chopped

Cilantro – chopped

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DIRECTIONS

Serves 2

This will make more rhubarb sauce than you will need but it should keep for about a week & I bet you will love this dish enough to make it a second time.

Mix the marinade ingredients & toss with the chicken.  I did this right in the bag & left it in the fridge overnight but an hour or so should do.

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Cook the rice as per directions.

Meanwhile – put the rhubarb sauce ingredients into a food processor & puree them.  Add a little olive oil to a sauce pan & simmer the rhubarb sauce so that it warms through & the flavors meld.

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Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan & warm the chicken through.  Set aside.

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In the same pan, add the kale & saute until it wilts somewhat & turns vibrant green.  Add the rice & mix well.  Add a tsp or so of sesame oil & stir it in.

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When you are ready to eat, put some rice & kale on each plate, top with chicken & rhubarb sauce & garnish as you like & eat it up!

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Spicy & Sweet Black Pepper Sauce with Roasted Cauliflower & Brown Basmati Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

OK – this dish is a great example of how getting bold in the kitchen can yield unexpected rewards.  For twenty-plus years now – I have been dying to know WTF is in the spicy black pepper sauce at Cha Cha Cha (http://theoriginalchachacha.com/).  It is genuinely spicy with a hint of sweet & is so tar black – it is just brilliant.  I have never had any luck figuring out how to make it – or even a place to buy something like it.  Hold that thought.

Well – last night – inspired by images like this one from Playful Cooking

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and the two GIGANTIC heads of cauliflower I got at Super King – look how big:

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…I decided to try to make my own version of that Cheeto-orange dish – which is called Gobi Manchurian.  The dish calls for fried cauliflower which I wanted to avoid – so I roasted mine.  I also had a lot of other produce in my fridge that I wanted to use so I just sorta winged it.  I knew when I pulsed my produce to a paste in the food processor that I was going to have a very different animal in the end but it was the dark soy sauce that put it over the brink.  Look at what MY Gobi Manchurian sauce looked like cooked.

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Well, hey!  That’s not Kraft mac & cheese orange!  That’s not all buffalo cauliflower fiery red.

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I was really disappointed with the inky muck I saw in my pan.  Then I tasted it.  Holy fuck!  It was awesome!  Really spicy & with a sweet kick – it was delicious!  And it tasted VERY close the spicy black pepper sauce at Cha Cha Cha!!   So much so that, when I make it again (and I will!) – I will REALLY puree the bejesus out of the sauce to get it as creamy as possible rather than leave the coarse texture in that remained last night.  The texture wasn’t bad – I just think if it was more like a condiment it would be better.

Still – I wasn’t sure I could pull off appealing photos of such a substance & only took a few half-hearted shots of the sauce & the finished plate before I gave in & just shoveled it all into my face.  Imagine my delight when, this morning, I looked at the photos & found that a few actually came out rather satisfactorily.  So – let me present – my accidental invention of Spicy & Sweet Black Pepper Sauce with Roasted Cauliflower & Brown Basmati Rice!!

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Spicy & Sweet Black Pepper Sauce with Roasted Cauliflower & Brown Basmati Rice

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice of your choice

1 large head cauliflower – broken into florets

1/2 onion

2 bell peppers (I used a red & a yellow)

2-3 jalapenos – seeded

6 garlic cloves – minced

1/3 cup fresh ginger – minced

2 bunches scallions (plus extra for garnish) – sliced

olive oil

1 TBS sambal oelek chili paste

1 tsp sriracha (plus extra for garnish)

2 TBS sugar

3 TBS ketchup

3 TBS dark soy sauce (like the sort pictured below – thick & inky)

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

Cilantro – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your rice.

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Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Be sure it reaches that temp before roasting the cauliflower.

Drizzle a little olive oil on the cauliflower, toss with your hands and roast for about 30 minutes.

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In a food processor – puree the bejesus out of the onion, bell peppers, jalapenos & scallions.

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Heat about 2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the garlic & fresh ginger & saute about 2 minutes or so.  Add the rest of the pureed veggies.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat being careful not to burn the puree.

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Add the sambal oelek, sugar, ketchup, sriracha, dark soy sauce, white vinegar & sesame oil.  Bring to a boil & immediately lower the flame & simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.

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When the cauliflower is done, put a scoop or rice (filling a small bowl or ramekin with rice & inverting onto the plates creates a nice effect) on each plate, ladle some of the spicy black sauce around the rice & arrange cauliflower around the rice.  Drizzle some sriracha on the rice & garnish liberally with scallions and/or cilantro.  Eat it & be surprised how good it is!

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