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Showing posts with label TVP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TVP. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


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These patties are a variation of an old recipe I hadn't made for a long time-- a vegan "chicken" spinach loaf.  They are unabashedly NOT soy or gluten-free!  But they have a homey feel, good flavor and texture, and they are so simple that the seasoning is open to interpretation.  The loaf was made with the usual "chickeny" herbs-- sage, thyme, rosemary marjoram-- but I used a bit of a Middle Eastern theme with cumin, mint and basil the last time I made them.  They could be made quite spicy, either by adding hot sauce, or using a spicy sauce on top of them.  Or they could be made with Asian flavors-- lemongrass and cilantro, maybe, or 5-spice powder.  

You could also, I think, use other vegetables-- kale, chard, zucchini shreds (make sure  these are well-squeezed), for instance.  you could use green onions instead of white onion.  I think you get the idea-- this recipe is a good one to play around with, so have fun!


10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed well (a tofu press is good for this) 
(OR 1 lb. fresh baby spinach, steamed, chopped and squeezed well)
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 T. “chicken-style” vegetarian broth powder or paste
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 cups plain textured soy protein granules (TVP) (these are organic) OR crumbs from Soy Curls
1 lb. medium-firm tofu, drained
1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten (gluten powder)
1/2 T. salt
1 tsp. garlic granules
1/2 tsp. EACH dried sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram
OR use 2 tsp. EACH ground cumin, dried mint and dried basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 T. soy sauce

Heat the first the oil in a nonstick, cast iron or hard-anodized skillet and sauté the onion over medium-high heat until softened. 

Mix the bouillon with the boiling water.  Add to the TVP and let sit 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mash the drained tofu and mix well with the squeezed spinach, cooked onions, soaked TVP and remaining ingredients, except the gluten flour. Mix thoroughly.  Add the gluten and mix well again. 

Scoop up some of the “dough” and roll into a ball, then press down into a patty on a piece of baking parchment.  You can make small patties, thin patties, thick patties— whatever you like.  This recipe makes quite a few, about 18 normal-sized patties, depending on how thick you like them.

Place the patties on parchment-lined baking sheets, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool thoroughly in the refrigerator, then layer in a rigid storage container with parchment in between the patties and refrigerate, or freeze for future use.

When ready to serve, brown them on both sides at medium heat in a lightly-oiled nonstick, cast iron or hard-anodized skillet.  Serve in buns with your favorite condiments, or by themselves with a favorite sauce or gravy.


Thursday, May 3, 2012


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The stew is pictured here with a vegan corn "spoonbread" because I was testing that recipe the same day and wanted to use it up!  It should be served with rice-- though it was delicious with the "spoonbread", which I will blog about in a few days. UPDATE: Spoonbread recipes here.

I've been meaning to "veganize" this type of stew for a long time, but finally having our own rhubarb plant and cutting the first stalks got me fired up to go for it.  In addition, I'm on the look-out for savory rhubarb recipes, to avoid all that sugar that's in most rhubarb recipes.  

Rhubarb, which can be traced back to 2700 BC in China (where it was used for medicinal purposes) is used in this type of stew in Persian (Iranian/Iraqi) cooking, and is also used in a few interesting Indian lentil and chickpea curries.  It was also a favorite medicinal with early Arab and Persian physicians. "As early as 114 B.C., caravans carried the dried rhizomes eastward over the high mountains to Bokhara in central Asia, whence they found their way to Europe by way of the Black Sea. Dioscorides and Pliny wrote of rhubarb in the first century A.D. In later centuries, Arabs conducted a busy trade in rhubarb by way of Persia and other parts of the Mideast." Source:

So far, I've only  found this type of Persian stew using rhubarb-- if you know of any other Persian recipes using rhubarb, please share!  I have found some Arabic sherbet recipes using rhubarb, and those shouldn't be too sweet, so stay tuned.

This recipe is a simple version of what can be a complicated dish. It sounds odd, but the rhubarb lends a fresh, almost lemony flavor and also thickens the stew, and the mint, though plentiful, does not overwhelm, but complements the other flavors. We were very taken with this dish!  I hope you'll give it a try while rhubarb is abundant.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 4
Because the soy protein or seitan is so low in calories and fat, you can get away with adding some olive oil and vegan buttery spread for richness and still have a very low-calorie meal. NOTE: To reconstitute textured soy/vegetable protein chunks, simmer them for about 15 minutes in a tasty (rather strong)  vegan broth, using about 2 cups broth per 1 cup chunks.  Drain well.

1 tablespoon    olive oil  
5 cups    (loosely packed) reconstituted textured soy protein chunks (5.5 oz./156 g dry) (also called textured vegetable protein, TVP or TSP)  
   (Or you can use seitan chunks instead)  
2 large    onions, halved and sliced  
4 cups    vegetarian broth (I prefer a rich broth, such as Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Base.)
2 teaspoons    ground coriander  
1/2 teaspoon    turmeric  
2 tablespoons    vegan buttery spread, divided (try my homemade palm-oil-free vegan buttery spread)
1 bunch    fresh mint, stripped from stalks and chopped  
1 bunch    green onions (green only), chopped  
5 medium stalks    rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/4" lengths  
2 tablespoons    light agave nectar  
   freshly-ground black pepper

Note: Make sure that your textured soy protein or seitan chunks are well drained.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstickcast iron or hard-anodized aluminum skillet, stir-fry pan or sauté pan over high heat.  As soon as the oil is hot, swirl the pan to coat the bottom and add the drained soy protein or seitan chunks.  Turn the heat to medium-high and stir-fry until the chunks have browned a bit. Remove them to a plate. 

Add the onions to the same pan and steam-fry until softened.  (To steam-fry, stir-cook over high to medium-high heat, adding a squirt of water as needed to keep the onions from sticking.)  An alternative method is to place the onions in a microwave-safe casserole or pie plate sprayed with oil from a pump-sprayer and sprinkle with salt.  Cover and microwave at full power for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the vegan buttery spread in a medium nonstickcast iron or hard-anodized aluminum skillet, stir-fry pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped mint and green onions and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until they have softened.  Clean out the pan.

Combine the broth, browned soy protein or seitan chunks, softened onions and sautéed mint and green onion in a stewpot.  Add the coriander and turmeric.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a high simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, checking often to make sure it doesn’t stick.

While the stew simmers, melt the 2nd tablespoon of buttery spread over medium-high heat in the same pan that you used for the mint. Add the rhubarb and sauté for a few minutes, just until it softens, but don’t let it get mushy.

After 30 minutes, the broth will have cooked down somewhat. Stir the rhubarb into the stew,   along with the agave nectar and freshly-ground pepper to taste.

Serve the stew with steamed basmati rice.

 Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 259.4 calories; 29% calories from fat; 9.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 744.8mg sodium; 1247.8mg potassium; 30.7g carbohydrates; 5.8g fiber; 8.7g sugar; 24.9g net carbs; 23.6g protein; 5.1 points. 


Sunday, October 30, 2011


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The contest is over "Vintageelena", you are the winner of a free copy of"Vegan Diner", but I haven't heard from you and have no way to contact you-- congratulations, but please contact me via this page or my FB page.  If I don't hear from you soon, we'll have to pick another winner!

  Tonight's stew in the pot!

Today's Cranberry Fact: "Helicobacter pylori is the major cause of gastric and duodenal ulcers. This bacterium penetrates the mucus lining of the gastrointestinal system and adheres to the underlying epithelial layer. Recently, it was found that a cranberry fraction disabled some strains of H. pylori so that they could not stick to the epithelial surface. Through this mechanism cranberries could help prevent ulcers. A cranberry fraction also reduces the stickiness of oral bacteria and may be useful for delaying the development of dental plaque and gum disease."

Yesterday we started my 3-day cranberry-fest, suitably, with dried cranberries in our breakfast pancakes.  Today, it's dinner (and we actually  did have it for dinner tonight, with our friend Brenda, who is not a vegetarian, but loves my vegan stews).  I like using fruit in savory dishes, especially tart fruits.  I'm not sure exactly when I invented this stew-- it was at least three years ago-- but it was on a cold day, I know that for sure.  I remember wanting to come up with a stew with complex flavors, rich with wine, mushrooms, onions, and subtle herbs and spices.  I think the dried cranberries were an inspired addition, if I may say so myself.  They add a little edge of tartness (along with a bit of balsamic vinegar) to complement all the rich, deep flavors.  It's become one of our favorite winter stews, and definitely a favorite for winter dinner parties.

  Reconstituted TVP chunks tossed with Seasoned Flour and ready to brown.

I need to add that I prefer textured soy protein chunks in stews-- I like their tender chewiness and their ability to absorb flavors. In the recipe, I have given you some possibilities for substitutes if you don't want to or can't use them, or have none available, but here's a little info.  Textured soy protein is sometimes called TSP, but is also known as the brand TVP®.  It's a low-fat, inexpensive dry product that’s useful as a meat substitute. It is not the same thing as “ hydrolyzed plant protein” or “soy isolate,” BTW. It is made from de-fatted soy flour, cooked under pressure, then extruded to make different sizes and shapes, then dried.  Organic varieties are available: Frontier Co-op has unflavored textured soy protein in 2 different sizes, both organic-- 1/4-inch pieces (similar to granules) and 1/2-inch pieces (small chunk). The Mail-Order Catalog also carries a granulated version and a chunk version, both organic.

One of the alternative suggestions in the recipe is commercial "meaty" vegan strips, "tips" or "tenders".  These products are generally made from a combination of soy and wheat proteins. Common brands are Gardein, Yves, Lightlife, Morningstar Farms, White Wave, and PC Blue Menu (Canada). They are available in natural food stores and large supermarkets, either refrigerated or frozen. Some online vegan vendors will ship them with cold packs.

Now, on to the recipe...

  Ready to eat on a nice mound of mashed potatoes.

Serves 6-8

Quick to put together; elegant enough for company.  All you need is mashed potatoes, maybe some crusty bread, and a salad.

3 cups textured soy protein (TVP) chunks, reconstituted (about 4 1/2 cups; see info in text above)
(Other options for the protein: seitan cubes; "meaty"commercial  vegan strips, "tips" or "tenders" [see notes above for brands]; or Butler Soy Curls reconstituted in a "beefy" vegetarian broth.)
Seasoned Flour (below)
2 T. olive oil
1/2 T. dark sesame oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (a regular yellow onion will work if you have no reds)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetarian broth
1/2 cup hot water + 1/2 T. Marmite (yeast extract)
4 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin “fingers”
8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into chunks or slices  (If you don't have shiitakes, you can use portobellos, criminis, or white mushrooms)
1 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup dry or medium sherry
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 large pinch allspice

Heat the oils together in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet. Coat the TVP chunks with the Seasoned Flour, shake off excess, and brown them in the hot oil. Remove the browned chunks to a bowl and then add the onion and garlic; sauté, adding a little water if necessary, until the onions are softened. Mix the onions and TVP chunks in a large, heavy pot along with the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.  Add freshly-ground black pepper to taste.  Serve hot with mashed potatoes.

Keep some of this in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator-- you'll find many uses for it.

Mix together 2 cups whole wheat, or other wholegrain, flour, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp. salt, and, optional, 1 tsp. onion powder and freshly-ground black pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts for 6 servings:
Nutrition (per serving):
567.4 calories; 11% calories from fat; 7.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 327.4mg sodium; 928.9mg potassium; 104.0g carbohydrates; 8.5g fiber; 2.9g sugar; 95.5g net carbs; 16.9g protein; 11.2 points.

Nutrition Facts for 8 servings:
Nutrition (per serving):
425.6 calories; 11% calories from fat; 5.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 245.5mg sodium; 696.7mg potassium; 78.0g carbohydrates; 6.4g fiber; 2.2g sugar; 71.6g net carbs; 12.6g protein; 8.2 points.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


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DH is always happy when I make meatless loaf.  Much as he loves any and all exotic food, spicy food, etc., I think he sometimes hankers for the simple foods of his youth, and meatloaf was a favorite.  Over the years (before working on the Field Roast cookbook-- which, before you ask, is in hiatus, but not abandoned!), I have devised 4 meatless loaves that we like, plus adapted a couple of other recipes.  (We don't like mushy meatless loaves; we like them to be at least reminiscent of the loaves of our childhood!)

Last night he wanted something like that for dinner, but I hadn't planned ahead (our company had just gone home and we were catching up on other things).  So I pulled out all of my older meatless loaf recipes.  I decided that I'm going to make one a week for the next month or so and see how we still feel about them!  I made the following one because it was the simplest and easiest and I didn't have much time.  It utilizes something I don't use often, but sometimes comes in handy for flavor-- vegan onion soup mix!  And it utilizes textured soy protein granules.  (Sorry, this is not soy or gluten-free!)

Textured Vegetable (Soy) Protein (TVP® or TSP) is a low-fat, inexpensive dry product, used as a meat substitute. It is NOT the same thing as "hydrolized plant protein" or "soy isolate", and contains no MSG or other additives. It is made from soy flour, is cooked under pressure, then extruded to make different sizes and shapes.  Organic and solvent-free textured soy protein is available from:

1.) Bob's Red Mill Organic TSP, carries a granulated version only. also carries it. So does, which ships to Canada for a very reasonable price.

2.) Frontier Co-op sells unflavored organic textured soy protein-- carries it.

3.) The Mail-Order Catalog carries a granulated version and a chunk version.
I can't remember when I devised this particular, but it's definitely a busy cook's recipe (or a lazy cook's, maybe!) . I made it in a round tart pan because I wanted it to cook faster and cool faster.  (Cooling firms it up and I did this in the refrigerator this time to speed it up.  It didn't actually have to cool all the way before it become nicely firm, and I reheated it in the microwave.)  I served it with steamed broccoli and baked potatoes with my no-fat vegan brown gravy.
Next week we'll see if we prefer a different recipe, but, for now, we were pretty satisfied, and it was certainly quick and easy!


Makes 16 slices (9x5” loaf pan); 6-8 servings
This is quick, cheap and easy to make.  Use low-sodium soy sauce because the soup mix is salty.  Play around with the herbs, add spices, if you wish, etc. This recipe can be GF if you use a wheat-free soy sauce or tamari and GF oats.
NOTE: You can eat it right away, but meatless loaves are always better, taste-wise and texture-wise, if you chill them after cooking Then you can slice it up and reheat in the microwave or in the oven (covered) or by steaming, or serve it cold (good in sandwiches).  It's good with gravy or tomato sauce, etc..

1/2 c. rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal-- can be GF)
1 7/8 c. very hot water
1 (40 g or 1. 405 oz.) packet vegan onion soup mix (Frontier and Simply Organic are two organic brands; Lipton's and some no-name brands are vegan)
1/2 c. minced celery
2T.- 1/2 c. minced parsley
herbs to taste-- I used about 1 tsp. EACH dried thyme and basil
1/2 c. ketchup(organic versions are available)
1/3 c. pure gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
(FOR GF VERSION: use a gluten-free plain baking flour mix containing vegetable gum such as xanthan or guar, homemade (here's one) or commercial, like Namaste Foods, Better Batter, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Rice BlendAuthentic Foods, or Glutino.)
freshly-ground pepper to taste

OPTIONAL TOPPING: ketchup or barbecue sauce to spread on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Mix A ingredients together in a bowl and cool in the refrigerator or freezer (reason: if you add gluten flour to a hot mixture it will get stringy).  Stir in B ingredients until well-mixed--  use your hands to get it really well-mixed.   

Pack the mixture into an oiled loaf pan (9x5"), or an 8” square baking pan or 9 or 10" tart pan. 

Spread optional ketchup or barbecue sauce on top of the loaf, if you wish.  

Bake 1 hour for a loaf pan, 45 minutes for square or round pan.  See NOTE above about serving.


Thursday, February 7, 2008


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KUNG HEY FAH CHOY!* (*means “I wish you a prosperous New Year”)

This is my year! yes, I have to confess that I am a Rat! But:

"Being born a Rat is nothing to be ashamed of. In China, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. It is deemed an honor to be born in the Year of the Rat and it is considered a privilege to be associated with a Rat. Rats know exactly where to find solutions and can take care of themselves and others without problems. They use their instinctive sense of observation to help others in times of need and are among the most fit of all the Animal signs to survive most any situation."

More about Rat personality and The Year of the Rat:

Anyway, it is a time to party BIG TIME!

(We usually call this holiday "Chinese New Year", but actually, it is probably more accurate to say “the Lunar New Year”, because many Asian communities besides the Chinese celebrate it—- the Vietnamese, Korean, Laotian, Cambodian, and Tibetan people, particularly. Read more about the Lunar calendar here.)

It is actually two big celebrations in one—- New Year’s Day and everyone’s birthday! According to Chinese tradition, everyone adds one year to their age on New Year’s Day. It is also an important family get-together event, because one must try to see every family member face-to-face! Since Chinese families used to be large, and perhaps spread far apart, the New Year’s festivities used to last for a month, in order to see everyone! Now they generally last for about a week.

On New Year’s Eve there is a huge family feast for as many members of the family as possible. The children get to stay awake all night, because the Chinese believe that the longer the children stay awake, the longer their parents will live! (Better not let that get around!) Red is a good luck color, so you will see red everywhere. The table for the feast is set with a red cloth and red candles. And, surprise! THE NEW YEAR'S EVE MEAL IS A VEGETARIAN FEAST! No meat is served because harm would have to be caused to obtain meat and this would be bad luck (too bad this doesn’t extend to the rest of the year!).

Some Chinese New Year food customs:

Oranges and apples are the usual fruit, since apples are symbols of good luck and apples and oranges are both round (another lucky symbol) and are red and orange— colors of joy! Kumquats are another round, orange fruit that symbolize “golden luck”.

Fresh bean curd or tofu is not included as it is white and unlucky for New Year as the color signifies death and misfortune. Candied lotus seeds symbolize more sons; watermelon seeds more children. These days, gold-wrapped chocolate coins symbolize wealth. Candied lotus root is for endless friendship, and coconut for good relations between fathers and sons. Sweet things are for the sweetness of life; dumplings represent wealth, and romaine lettuce is for prosperity.

In other Asian communities that celebrate at the same time, many customs, such as cleaning the house, visiting, exchanging gifts of food and red envelopes of money, games of chance, fireworks, new clothes, etc.. are the same. Tibetans eat a special nine dumpling soup with fortune-telling tokens in them.

In Vietnamese communities, there is a two-day holiday called Tet. Homes are decorated with peach blossoms, which represent peace and luck. During the two days of celebration no real cooking is done-- snack foods (such as steamed rice cakes) and sweets are eaten. But on the day after the official celebration there is usually a big family meal with traditional foods such as spring rolls.

If you have a party, to find a book or website on Chinese horoscopes so that your guests can find their signs and predict their luck in the year ahead!

Read more about this holiday here.


Below is a recipe that is one of DH's favorites, and very easy to make. I give you several options for the protein part of the dish, but our favorite is textured soy protein chunks. Now if you are under the impression that textured soy protein is not good for you, read on:

Actually, textured soy protein is simply de-fatted soy flour cooked with water, then extruded through machinery to make granules, chunks, cutlets, etc., then dehydrated.

Organic and/or solvent-free textured soy protein (TVP®, BTW, is the same thing, but it is a registered brand name, and is also the same thing as "textured vegetable protein" or TSP), is available!

(Updated Feb. 2014)
   Bob’s Red Mill: Organic and/or solvent-free
   textured soy protein (they call it “TSP), the
   granulated version only:

   Frontier Co-op: has unflavored organic
   textured soy protein in 2 different sizes:
   1/4-inch pieces (similar to granules) and
   1/2-inch pieces (small chunk):

   The Mail-Order Catalog: carries a granulated
   version (“small bits”) and a chunk version (“Medium bits”):

So-Soya Slices is another product I like. (Pictured in the dish below.) If you are Canadian, you may be able to buy them from a Bulk Barn. They are GMO-free and can be purchased online at

I also like a product called Soy Curls®, which is like stir-fry strips. It is made from the WHOLE soybean (non-GMO). It is very tender and great for stir-fries, etc. Since it contains the natural oil, I keep this dried product in the freezer. Soy Curls® are solvent-free, and I use the crumbs on the bottom of the box sort of like TVP granules.

As for commercial textured soy protein products, Nexsoy makes a commercial organic textured soy protein that manufacturers use for organic meat substitutes.

Here is what they say about their product:
"The unique Nexsoy® process is totally solvent-free, yielding a product line that is free of the "soy" taste that some consumers find unpalatable, leaving you free to work on developing your flavor, not masking agents. Traditionally, most soy ingredients are produced using a chemical solvent called hexane. This method is believed to be responsible for the "grassy" or "beany" flavor that has historically slowed the acceptance soyfoods. The Nexsoy® processing method is entirely mechanical and requires no chemicals such as hexane. This process is responsible for very neutral-tasting naturally-produced soy ingredients that can be used by food manufacturers without negatively impacting the flavor of their product."

Printable Recipe


This recipe, from my book "Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen", is more traditional than the usual pineapple version that North Americans are used to. It is one of the dishes I make once in a while with a fried ingredient because it is so good that way! I use a traditional wok for frying, because it is deep, but not wide, so you don't need to use cups and cups of oil. But there is another way as well!

NO-FRY OPTION: Dredge your chunks is the starch as usual.  Spread the chunks on a large cookie sheet sprayed with oil from an oil spray bottle/mister.  Spray the chunks with a little oil. Place about 6 inches under your oven's broiler.  Broil on high for several minutes (watching carefully so they don't scorch or burn) until they are crispy on top.  Turn them over and broil briefly until the 2nd side is crispy.  Remove from the broiler and proceed with the recipe.

2-3 cups reconstituted textured soy protein chunks (Cooking Tips below for how to reconstitute)
(See text above about organic textured soy protein chunks)
OR small chunks of seitan
OR reconstituted Soy Curls® (use 1 1/2 cups to 2 1/4 cups dry Soy Curls®, reconstituted for 5 minutes in an equal amount of boiling vegetarian broth; drain)

Cornstarch or water chestnut flour
1 Tbs oil
1 large onion, cut into 6ths, layers separated
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1" squares
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts (preferably fresh)
OR 1 large stalk celery, sliced 1/4" thick
1/4 cup frozen petit pois (baby peas) thawed in hot water and drained
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 Tbs tomato sauce (or 1 and 1/2 Tbs EACH water and tomato paste)
2 Tbs rice vinegar, plain (or substitute cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
2 Tbs light organic unbleached sugar
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
3/4 cup water
1 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbs cold water

Roll the reconstituted soy protein (or seitan) chunks or Soy Curls® in cornstarch or water chestnut flour, shaking off the excess starch. Heat about a cup of oil in a large skillet, wok to 375°F.

Fry the chunks in several batches in the hot oil until they are golden and crispy, then drain them on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Keep them warm in a 200°F oven.

Heat a large wok, stir-fry pan or heavy skillet over high heat. When it's very hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry until the onion starts to turn translucent, adding a few drops of water, if necessary to keep from sticking. Add the water chestnuts or celery, and the peas, along with the Cooking Sauce. Bring this to a boil, then stir in the thickener. Stir until it thickens and quickly add the warm fried gluten or soy protein. Stir well to heat through and serve immediately with rice.

Servings: 4

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
352.4 calories; 41% calories from fat; 17.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 172.7mg sodium; 857.5mg potassium; 39.7g carbohydrates; 2.5g fiber; 11.4g sugar; 37.1g net carbs; 15.9g protein; 8.0 points.

Cooking Tips
Reconstitute the textured soy protein chunks by simmering 1 and 1/2 cups dry chunks in 3 cups water with 3 Tbs soy sauce, 3 Tbs ketchup or tomato paste, and 1 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes for 15-30 minutes, depending upon how tender you like them. Cool and store in the cooking broth. (I usually make 4 or more times this amount and freeze it in 2 cup portions.) Drain the chunks before using them, and pat them dry before coating with flour, frying, or marinating. This amount will yield about 2 cups reconstituted chunks.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 7, 2007


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A vegan diner meal!

I'm testing some exotic recipes for the coming Vegan Feast Newsletter, but we were kind of craving simple, old-fashioned North American-style food the other day, so I made one of my vegan "meatloaf" recipes. I originally made this with ground seitan, but found that it can be made with a variety of "burger" substitutes. It can also be made gluten-free, just by accident, if you use the second version made with TVP (textured soy protein) or crumbs of Soy Curls (read about this product here), because it's the oatmeal and grated potato that keep it from falling apart, not gluten flour. It's also pretty high fiber and yummy in a low-key, familiar way. Give either of the following two versions a try!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Printable Recipe (both versions)

Servings: 8

This recipe makes a good all-around vegetarian “meatloaf”, and the leftovers can be used as vegetarian “crumbles”. You have the option of using veggie “hamburger crumbles", or ground seitan, or TVP, Or a mixture. The scrubbed potato, oatmeal, optional flaxseed and onions make it a fairly high-fiber protein dish. And, by the way, you can halve the recipe, if you like.

The "hamburger" part:
4 c. vegetarian “hamburger crumbles” (such as 2 pckgs. Yves “Ground Round” plain)
ground seitan (NOT ginger-flavored) mixed with 1/4 c. hot vegetarian broth in which you have dissolved 1 tsp. Marmite yeast extract or 2 tsp. dark miso

The rest of the ingredients:
1 c. raw oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick rolled oats)
8 oz. potato, scrubbed or peeled and grated (this is about 1 1/3 cups grated, or a potato about 4 x2 1/2")
2 medium onions, finely minced (a food processor does this best)
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
OPTIONAL: 1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic granules
1 tsp. EACH dried thyme and savory
1/2 tsp. EACH dry basil, oregano and sage
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
(you can use your own seasonings)
Topping: (optional)
1/2 cup low-sodium ketchup, barbecue sauce, or tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

NOTE: If you want a fine-textured loaf, grind the “crumbles”, the seitan, or the reconstituted soy protein in a food processor or a food mill until ground quite fine. If you want a rougher texture, leave it “as is”.

Mix all of the ingredients together well in a large bowl with your hands.

Press the mixture into an oiled or nonstick 9x5" loaf pan (you can line the bottom with cooking parchment, if you like). Cover with a thin layer of ketchup, barbecue sauce, or tomato sauce, if you like. Bake for 1 hour, covering the pan with foil for the first 1/2 hour. Let the loaf stand 15 minutes; turn out on a plate. This firms up as it cools and can be reheated. Great on sandwiches!

Nutrition Facts (calculated using Yves plain "Ground round" and the optional flaxseeds and tomato sauce topping)
Nutrition (per serving): 217.0 calories; 13% calories from fat; 3.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 910.0mg sodium; 786.2mg potassium; 28.6g carbohydrates; 9.3g fiber; 5.2g sugar; 19.3g net carbs; 21.5g protein; 3.8 points.

Nutrition Facts (calculated without the flaxseeds)
Nutrition (per serving): 196.2 calories; 7% calories from fat; 1.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 910.8mg sodium; 750.4mg potassium; 27.9g carbohydrates; 7.9g fiber; 6.0g sugar; 20.0g net carbs; 20.8g protein; 3.3 points.

Servings: 8

This recipe makes a good all-around vegetarian "meatloaf", and the leftovers can be used as vegetarian "crumbles". The unpeeled potato, oatmeal, and onions add fiber to a normally low-fiber protein dish. Note: All vegetarian loaves are firmer and more appetizing if you let them cool thoroughly, then slice and reheat them, so make this the day before, or early in the day. Good with Rich Brown Gravy, or just ketchup. Leftovers make good sandwiches.

The use of TVP or Soy Curl crumbs (read about Soy Curls here) instead of veggie "ground round" or ground seitan makes this loaf gluten-free.

3 cups dry textured soy protein (TVP or TSP) granules (there are organic options), OR Soy Curl crumbs (see this post about this option)
2 1/2 cups hot water
2 small or 1 large low-sodium GF vegetarian bouillon cube
4 teaspoons gravy browner, such as Kitchen Bouquet (GLUTEN-FREE NOTE: SEE BELOW) 
1 tablespoon Marmite yeast extract, OR 2 tablespoons dark miso
1 cup GF old-fashioned oatmeal (rolled or quick oats)
8 ounces new or red potatoes, scrubbed and grated
(this is about 1 1/3 cups grated, or a potato about 4 x2 1/2")
2 medium onions, finely chopped (a food processor does this best)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (USE WHEAT-FREE TAMARI FOR GLUTEN-FREE)
1/4 cup low-sodium ketchup
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
OPTIONAL: 1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon savory
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Topping: (optional)
1/2 cup low-sodium ketchup, barbecue sauce, or tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

NOTE: If you want a fine-textured loaf, grind the reconstituted soy protein or Soy Curl crumbs in a  food processor or a food mill  until ground quite fine. If you want a rougher texture, leave it "as is".

Mix the textured soy protein with the hot water in a large bowl, and let stand for about 10 minutes to rehydrate.

Mix all of the rest of ingredients into the textured soy protein or Soy Curl crumbs. Mix it well with your hands.

Press the mixture into a 9 x 5" loaf pan, sprayed lightly with oil from a pump sprayer, or with cooking spray, and lined on the bottom with cooking parchment. Cover the loaf with the ketchup, barbecue sauce, or tomato sauce, if you like.

Bake for 1 hour, covering the pan with foil for the first 30 minutes.

Let the loaf cool thoroughly in the refrigerator before slicing. Reheat if necessary, in the microwave, or by steaming or baking in a covered dish.

This is good cold or hot, and makes great sandwiches!

Nutrition Facts (calculated using the optional tomato sauce topping)
Nutrition (per serving): Nutrition (per serving): 210.4 calories; 5% calories from fat; 1.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 562.6mg sodium; 489.1mg potassium; 29.6g carbohydrates; 3.5g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 26.2g net carbs; 21.6g protein; 3.6 points.

Nutrition Facts (using the optional ground flaxseeds as well)
Nutrition (per serving): 236.2 calories; 11% calories from fat; 3.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 564.4mg sodium; 525.0mg potassium; 31.4g carbohydrates; 4.9g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 26.5g net carbs; 22.6g protein; 4.2 points.


There evidently are trace amounts of gluten in Kitchen Bouquet and other liquid gravy browners. You might like to try your hand at making it yourself:


Kitchen Bouquet is a browning and seasoning sauce. It is typically next to the Worchestershire sauce in most stores. Here's how to make it yourself:

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups vegetable broth

Put brown sugar in a heavy pan (like a cast iron frying pan) over medium-low heat and let it scorch, slowly stirring all the time. When it turns a dark brown, add the broth and stir well, and then bottle and keep refrigerated..

Yield: 2 cups (32 Tbs.)


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