Monday, June 26, 2006


Best Blog Tips

My mom came over for lunch yesterday and we had one of our favorite casual meals, big bowls of Japanese-style noodle soup with triangles of fried (or oven-fried) tofu. The original recipe is from my book "Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause", but I adapt it to what vegetables are at hand, which yesterday was mushrooms, savoy cabbage, and frozen shelled edamamé (green soybeans).

A funny story about that book: I was promoting it at a health food store in Calgary just after it came out, and I had some dips and spreads from the book for tasters. Men would approach to taste, but, 9 times out of 10, they would back away when they saw the title of the book! I had to tell them that it wasn't catching! Anyway, the first person to have a copy and use it was my stepson Sean, then in his early 20's. He threatened to put a brown paper cover on it, but he loved the quick and easy, tasty recipes!

Printable Recipe

 Serves 4-6
Aadapted from my book “Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause”.

This is an easy, inexpensive and delicious meal for days when you have little time or energy.

4 c. water
4 c. good vegetarian broth
1/4 c. dry sherry
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. grated ginger
12 oz. Oven-Fried Tofu (below), or homemade or commercial deep-fried tofu cubes or triangles (atsuage)
2 carrots, in julienne strips
8 oz. dry semolina spaghettini, cooked and drained (OR thin quinoa, buckwheat, red lentil or black bean pasta; or Japanese barley pasta--  see other healthful, low-glycemic options below)
1 cup frozen, shelled edamamé (green soybeans), thawed in hot water
about 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
about 3 cups sliced mushrooms
sliced green onions and roasted (Asian) sesame oil for garnish

Bring broth and water to a boil in a large pot. Add sherry, soy sauce, ginger, tofu, and carrots. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and vegetables. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve with green onions and sesame oil sprinkled over each serving.

NOTE: Other healthful, low-glycemic noodle options:
Asian "cellophane" or "glass" or "bean thread noodles, made from mung bean flour
Amaranth pasta
Millet pasta
Milo or sorghum pasta
cassava or malanga tuber pasta
Jerusalem artichoke pasta
sweet potato, yam or konjac pasta


Use firm tofu. Cut the block in half crosswise, then each half in half horizontally. Then cut each piece into triangles. Place these on dark oiled cookie sheets and oil the tops. Bake at 500 degrees F 5-7 minutes per side, or until golden and puffy. These may be frozen for future use.


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Thursday, June 22, 2006


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Vegan Omelet made with leftover Soy and Seitan Ham, mushrooms, and my Vegan "Gruyere" (UPDATE: recipes is in my new book coming out in Sept. 2011)

This has been the craziest week! It's almost over, thank goodness. Here are some pics and descriptions of recent quick meals, so quick, most of them, that I didn't even use a recipe:

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Pasta ala Primavera with wild oyster mushrooms

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Tofurkey Italian Veggie Sausages with sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers in red wine

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Chinese Pepper Steak made with leftover Seitan "Steaks" (UPDATE: the steak" "recipe will be in my new book coming out in Sept. 2011)

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Stir-fried Tofu and Snow Peas

Serves 2
A Cantonese favorite adapted from my book “Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen”.

6-7 oz. firm or extra-firm regular (NOT silken)tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 T. vegetarian "oyster sauce" (homemade vegetarian "oyster" sauce recipe)[commercially known as "vegetarian stir-fry sauce"])
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. dry sherry
2 tsp. cornstarch
dash white pepper
1 T. oil (Chinese cold-pressed peanut oil is a tasty choice-- Lion&Globe brand is a good one)
1/4 lb. fresh or frozen snow peas, trimmed and stringed
1/2 c. sliced celery
4 large mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Cooking Sauce:
1/2 c. water
1 T. dry sherry
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. vegetarian stir-fry sauce (see above)
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. roasted (Asian) sesame oil
1/4 tsp. sugar

Mix the tofu cubes with the first tablespoon of "oyster” sauce and the 2 tsp. each soy sauce, sherry, and cornstarch, and the pepper. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.

Heat a large, heavy (nonstick, if possible) wok, stir-fry pan, or heavy skillet over high heat. When it's hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and garlic and stir-fry until the tofu begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and celery, and the snow-peas. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, adding drops of water if the mixture begins to stick. Add the Cooking sauce and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Stir in the nuts, if you are using them. Serve immediately.

And last, but not least, an impromptu recipe:

Canned (Companion brand) Chinese Vegetarian Roast "Duck" with pineapple and peppers, in a sweet, hot sauce made with orange and red pepper jelly, orange juice, soy sauce, whiskey, (I think it was 1/2 cup of the jelly and 2 T. each of the soy sauce and whiskey and orange juice) ginger and garlic:

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The "duck" right out of the can

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Happy quick cooking!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Best Blog Tips
Sizzling Tofu and Mushroom Stew with Edamamé

Sorry I haven't blogged for days and days, and this is going to be short! I'm making a wedding cake for 250 people (make a couple of large layers every day that I'm home), and there is still this ongoing custody thing going on with my grandchildren that is very stressful and requires alot of time. The trip to Victoria to see Howard and Willow Jeane Lyman again and do some quick demos was a nice break. Victoria is a great little city, easy to walk in, and with some good vegetarian dining. We had a wonderful lunch at the Chinese Buddhist vegan restuarant, The Lotus Pond. We had a spicy TVP dish with peppers on a bed of greens, and an interestingly good chow mein with vegan "ham", corn, and a coconut sauce-- and some veggie potstickers, too!

The banquet at the VIVA 25th Anniversary event was catered by Green Cuisine, and was delicious! There was a delicious Moroccan stew, biryani with nuts, a very tasty pasta salad with tofu, green salad, couscous salad, and an apple and rhubarb crumble with Mario's Gelato vegan Tofulati (a Vancouver company).

When we got home, I made this quick Chinese stew out of my vegan Chinese cookbook, only I substituted a cup of frozen, thawed green soybeans (edamamé) for the peas. This is real comfort food for me!

Printable Recipe
© Bryanna Clark Grogan from my book Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen

This is a very quick and easy Chinese hotpot dish, containing ingredients most of us have around all the time.

10 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 T. oil

Tofu Marinade:
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. minced ginger
1 T. dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1/2 T. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. sugar
dash of white pepper

1 T. oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 large fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. frozen petit pois (baby peas) (I used 1 cup of green soybeans or edamamé this time)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. vegetarian broth

1 T. water
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1/2 T. cornstarch
Garnish: 1 green onion, chopped

Mix the tofu cubes with the Marinade ingredients and marinate at least 20 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients and put some rice on to cook.

Heat a large wok, stir-fry pan or heavy frying pan over high heat. When it's hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and marinade. Stir-fry until the marinade is absorbed and the cubes are glazed. Set aside.

In the same pan (or in a 1 qt. or more Chinese clay pot with wire), heat the second tablespoon of oil over high heat. (Use a heat diffuser under the clay pot.) When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion and stir-fry until the onion wilts. Add the mushrooms, peas, tofu cubes, and broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for about 3 minutes.

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Stir in the Thickener. Stir until the broth has thickened. Sprinkle with green onions and serve hot.


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Thursday, June 8, 2006


Best Blog Tips

Howard about to try my Soy and Seitan "Ham"
Photo by Fireweed

I met Howard Lyman (author of "The Mad Cowboy" and "No More Bull") and his wonderful wife Willow Jeane in Grand Rapids at the Vegetarian Awakening Chefs' Conference in April (well, I had met him before, but only for a minute). We had a few meals together and I invited them to dinner when they were in my area. Well, they are in the area now and Howard spoke in Courtenay, BC last night; then they are travelling down Vancouver Island to speak in the town of Duncan tonight, I think, and then in Victoria for the Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association (VIVA) 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday, an event at which I am going to be giving cooking demos.

So, I invited them to dinner Tuesday night, while they were having a little mini-vacation-breather at a B&B on Denman Island. I also invited my friends Fireweed and Mike, who are tireless vegan activists, run the Denman Island Vegan Potluck Series, do vegan catering, and are the moving forces behind DI MEOW, a highly successful "trap, neuter, and return" program for cats on Denman Island.

We had a great time with these wonderful people. Please see Howard if he's speaking in your area! Buy his books, and documentary DVD (show it to your group or friends!) He and Willow Jeane are a big-hearted, incredibly well-informed, courageous, and intelligent people. The vegan movement owes alot to them! I was honored to get to know them better.

What did I serve?
I decided on a "down-home" dinner: My Soy and Seitan "Ham" with a brown sugar glaze and pineapple (just like your mom or gramma used to make!); mashed potatoes and my special "ham" gravy; Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Moroccan Spices; organic baby greens and tomatoes with Vegan Black Pepper Ranch Dressing; ruby chard with braised with garlic; vegan "spoonbread"; my Vegan Key Lime Bars; and, since my husband Brian and I just had birthdays, Fireweed's beautiful and delicious vegan chocolate cake (with some Soy Delicious "ice cream").  It was a big success and we all had to retire to the living room for tea and to rest our tummies and talk alot!

Soy and Seitan "Ham"

                                             Vegan Key Lime Bars

Fireweed's vegan chocolate birthday cake

         B&B with birthday cake
Photo by Fireweed
Photo by Fireweed