Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Veggie Burger

Bocca soy protein burger, microwaved for 2 minutes
2 whole wheat pita breads, toasted
Vietnamese cole slaw
Sliced tomato
Hot pepper (optional)


Bocca soy protein burger, microwaved for 2 minutes, cut in half
Whole wheat pita bread, toasted, cut in half
Vietnamese cole slaw
Pickled carrots
Hot pepper (optional)

Put everything together, ready to be served

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Making soy milk

We use the soybean grinder that spits out about 90% of the pulp, but you can also use a regular blender.

1 gallon water
2 1/2 cups soy beans, soaked overnight
Barly malt or pure maple syrup to taste (optional)

1. Line a large colander with cheese cloth or loosely woven cotton fabric. Place the colander on top of an 8-quart pot.
3. Grind the soybeans with water, in batches, in the soybean grinder or blender.
4. Pour ground over the lined colander, adding one cup at a time. The soymilk will drip slowly into the pot.
5. When you finish straining the soybeans, hold the ends of the cheese cloth together (as if making a money bag). Lift the bag up with one hand and squeeze the bottom until there is no more soy milk left in the bag. Save the pulp and add to bread or cream soups.
10. Boil the milk, stirring constantly to keep from burning the bottom for about 45 minutes. Reduce heat as soon as the milk starts to boil, so it will not boil over. Boil for about 10 more minutes.

Before I perfected the process, I managed to make all kinds of soymilk: burned soymilk, uncooked soymilk and soymilk spilling all over the stove, the floor and me...have fun!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vietnamese cole slaw

Served with vegetarian congee (rice soup)

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cabbage, shredded
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
5 mint leaves, chopped
5 basil leaves, chopped

5 bean curd sheet sticks, cut in small pieces (optional)

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yoba on lemon grass sticks

1/2 pound frozen bean curd sheets

1/2 tablespoon salt
15 5-inch lemon grass sticks
30 5x5 banana leaves to wrap
30 10-inch cotton strings to tie (I just learned that aluminum foil is toxic to cook with, so I used the strings to hold the bean curd together instead of aluminum foil)

4 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce

1. Rinse frozen bean curd sheets with warm water 3 times. Marinate in salt for 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess water.
2. Combine ingredients for sauce and mix well.
3. Mix bean curd sheets with sauce and wrap around lemon grass sticks.
4. Wrap with 2 layers of banana leaves, tie with string.
5. Steam 30 minutes.

Tools in the kitchen

Pressure cooker

Why buy beans in a can that are loaded with salt when you can cook them yourself in less than 30 minutes (even faster when you soak the beans ahead of time)? I have mine (Presto brand as a gift) for about 20 years and still use it. I have to replace the rubber ring (through amazon.com for about less than $10) once in a while but it is totally worth it.

Hand Slicer/Shredder

It comes with 3 shredded blades (small, medium, large), and a thickness adjustment so you can shred at the width and thickness you want. It lasts for a long time, I bought mine more than 15 years ago (for about $15), use it almost everyday, and it is still in a good condition. Buy one (Japanese made, in most Asian grocery markets), and you can shred almost any vegetables in minutes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vietnamese vegetarian sub (banh mi chay)

Toasted French bread (Baguette)
Pickled carrots
Cucumber wedges
Cilantro (coriander)
Soy sauce
Sauteed tofu or roasted eggplant and bell pepper
Hot pepper, sliced (optional)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Exotic fruits, a gift from friends to Mom

Burro Bananas from Mexico
Asian Pear from Chile
Strawberry Papaya from Brazil
Baby Pineapple from Africa
Kiwano from New Zealand
Mango from Mexico

Eggless chocolate cupcakes

From Hersheys.com

. 3 cups all-purpose flour
. 2 cups sugar
. 2 tsps baking soda
. 1 tsp salt
. 2 cups water
. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
. 2 tbls white vinegar
. 2 tsps vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350F.

For cupcakes:
1. Line 24 muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper or foil baking cups.
2. Combine everything in large bowl, mix until thoroughly blended. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden stick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For 2 9-inch cakes:

1. Line two 9-inch baking pans with wax paper; grease and flour pans' sides.
2. Pour batter into 2 pans.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden picks inserted in centers come out clean.
4. Cool 10 minutes.
5. Remove wax paper; cool on rack completely.