Thursday, November 21, 2013


Best Blog Tips

A very easy and yummy low-fat vegan dinner: steamed broccoli, baked tofu with Huli Huli Sauce, Corn Pudding, brown basmati rice and roasted squash.
This post is going to be a bit of a mish-mosh!

The first thing I need to post is the Huli Huli sauce. I posted  the photo above on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago and promised to post the recipe for the Huli Huli Sauce "soon".  Well, I am finally getting around to it-- sorry to be so slow!  Huli Huli Sauce is of Hawaiian origin and the "Huli Huli" part derives from the meaning, "to turn".  The sauce was used on food turning on a spit-- hence, the name.  Judging by the ingredients (which vary a little from version to version), the sauce has been a bit Americanized over the years, and the sauce is used as a type of barbecue sauce. This is my own particular version, which we think is quite yummy.

Baked tofu with Huli Huli Sauce (recipe below)

Servings: 4             Yield: about 1 cup
Use as a grilling, baking or BBQ sauce

1/4 cup    water
1/4 cup    brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup    soy sauce (can be low-sodium)|
2 Tbs    dry or medium sherry
2 Tbs    ketchup (can be low-sodium)
2 tsp    dark sesame oil
1 Tbs    grated fresh ginger
a few shakes of hot sauce
a few shakes of liquid smoke
1 large clove garlic, crushed

Whisk together the ingredients. Marinate your tofu, seitan, Soy Curls, tempeh or whatever in the sauce for a while, if you have time. Then grill, bake (at about 450 °F), BBQ or broil your food until the sauce soaks in and your food has nicely browned.  I didn't have time to marinate it, so I just baked thick firm tofu slices until they soaked up most of the sauce and browned a bit.

 Nutrition Facts (sauce only):
Nutrition (per 1/4 recipe): 100.6 calories; 19% calories from fat; 2.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 539.1mg sodium; 128.1mg potassium; 17.9g carbohydrates; 0.3g fiber; 15.2g sugar; 17.6g net carbs; 1.0g protein; 2.2 points.

I've been experimenting lately with using bean flours for thickening sauces, gravies and soups (more recipes to come).  Using bean flours instead of white flour thickens mixtures such as this while adding fiber, protein and other nutrients to what might have been an almost empty calorie condiment.  It's also handy for converting your sauces and gravies and cream soups to gluten-free and soy-free, and great for diabetics and those on low-glycemic and low-fat diets.  The results have good depth of flavor and a lovely creaminess. So, far, I've only used chickpea flour and white bean flour, which are very versatile. You can substitute white bean flour measure-for-measure in place of white flour for thickening purposes. (Still checking chickpea flour sub amounts.)

Freshly-milled white bean flour from my new Wonder Mill-- you can also buy this flour in some natural food stores and online. Bob's Red Mill and Barry Farms are well known brands that carry it. I mill it from white navy beans, which are less expensive than the white kidney beans I usually use for cooking.
I do have some experience with a bean-based gravy already. The following recipe (from my book "World Vegan Feast") is my go-to brown gravy recipe (which can be varied with different types of wine, mushrooms, etc.).  It is fat-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.  Enjoy!

Broiled Soy Curls, onions and mushrooms on toast with bean-based GF Rich Brown Yeast Gravy (from my book "World Vegan Feast", but recipe below)
Printable Recipe

From my book “World Vegan Feast”
Makes 2 1/2 cups
This fat-free and delicious brown gravy will become a low-fat staple. It lends itself to many variations!

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons oat flour (can be GF) (grind rolled or quick oats in a dry blender or electric coffee/spice mill)
4 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
(OR use 1/3 cup white bean flour in place of the oat and chickpea flour)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: several shakes of gravy browner, such as Kitchen Bouquet

In a 1 1/2 to 2 quart microwave-safe batter bowl or measuring pitcher, mix the flours and yeast. Toast this in the microwave on full power for 2 to 3 minutes, uncovered. Whisk in the water, soy sauce, salt, and gravy browner, if using. Cover and cook on full power for 3 minutes. Whisk well. Cook again for 3 minutes on full power. Whisk one last time.

Alternatively, in a heavy saucepan over high heat, whisk the yeast and flours together until they smell toasty. Remove from the heat briefly to whisk in the water, soy sauce, salt, and gravy browner, if using. Stir constantly over high heat until it thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 5 minutes.

This gravy can be made ahead and reheated.

Nutrition (per 1/2-cup serving): 26.6 calories; 13% calories from fat; 0.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 218.0mg sodium; 113.5mg potassium; 3.5g carbohydrates; 1.4g fiber; 0.3g sugar; 2.1g net carbs; 3.0g protein; 0.3 points.

Freshly-milled chickpea flour from my new Wonder Mill with an adapter for milling bean flours. If you don't have a mill, you can buy chickpea or garbanzo bean flour (or besan) in health food stores and Indian grocery stores, as well as online.
My latest gravy recipe is a new bean-based version of my Southern-style biscuit gravy.  You can bulk it up with Soy Curls (read about Soy Curls here) or other chicken subs, or vegan sausage, if you like.  DH went crazy over it! (And, if you are counting calories, nix the biscuits and serve it on a steamed or baked potato, or whole grain toast or fat-free waffles.)

Creamy-smooth Vegan Southern-Style Bean-Based Biscuit Gravy (with Soy Curls) on a potato

Printable Recipe
Servings: 6
Yield: 3 cups (without additions)

1/3 cup    white bean flour  
1/4 cup    nutritional yeast flakes  
1/2 tsp    salt  
1 1/2 cups    water  
1 cup     plain nondairy milk  
1/2 Tbs     soy sauce  
1/2 Tbs    "chicken-style" vegetarian broth powder or paste (you can use a GF and/or SF version, if necessary), such as Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Soup Base  
2 tsp    dark sesame oil (Optional, but gives a smokey flavor)
freshly-ground black pepper  
OPTIONAL: (any or all)  
2 cups    reconstituted Soy Curls or other vegan chicken sub strips OR crumbled vegan breakfast sausage (about 2 large links or 4 small), browned a bit under a broiler  
1/2 tsp    dried rubbed sage (not powdered)  
1/2 tsp    dried thyme leaves (not powdered)  
2    green onions, thinly sliced  

Freshly-milled white bean flour
Blend together all of the gravy ingredients (EXCEPT optionals) until smooth.  Place in a heavy medium saucepan.  Whisk over high heat until it starts to boil, then reduce the heat to medium and whisk constantly for several minutes. Bean flour takes a little longer than grain flour to cook through.  Use taste and smell to discern whether or not the gravy is finished.  There should be no “beany” taste or smell if it’s done.

Making the gravy
If you are adding any of the optionals, do so at this point, heat through and taste for seasoning. Serve hot over hot split biscuits, toast, plain waffles, or potatoes.

The Gravy (with Soy Curls) on a potato; broiled leeks mixed with broth-sauteed broccoli with sundried tomatoes

I've been utilizing my oven's broiler ALOT these days, as we have been watching our calories.  I spread veggies, or sliced tofu in a marinade, or reconstituted Soy Curls, etc. on a cookie sheet sprayed with a little oil from a pump sprayer, add any seasoning I might want, spray with a little oil from the pump sprayer again and place about 4-5 inches under the hot broiler.  In just a few minutes they start to char a little and vegetables soften.  I stir them around and cook for a few more minutes.  In about 6 to 8 minutes, my food it cooked through and browned, with virtually no fat and not much effort.

Sometimes I use this method for a simple vegetable side dish an sometimes I use it as an alternate to stir-frying.  I love doing leeks this way-- they get so soft and sweet and juicy. Give it a try!

Broiled leeks and zucchini
Broiled Soy Curls, mushrooms and onions, ready to be topped with Rich Brown Gravy.
Broiled leeks



jacqui said...

Love all the recipes! I've been looking for more ways to use chickpea flour. It's easy to find, so I hope it is interchangeable with the white bean flour. I've never seen it.

Sheryl said...

Can bean flour be used in place of other flours for anything, such as baking? I've been using whole wheat spelt flour for awhile, but it sounds like bean flour might be healthier.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sheryl, bean flours would problematic for baking. You could add a little bit just for some extra nutrition, but there is no gluten in bean flour, and they have a stronger taste, so they can't be used measure-for-measure instead of white flour in anything except for thickening. Bean flours are not "healthier" than whole grain flours-- they are higher in protein, yes, but we need a varied diet and both legumes and whole grains can play a part.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sheryl, here are some ideas for using bean flours:

Lucille said...

Thank you so much for these beautiful recipes, Bryanna! When I first embraced veganism, I never imagined there were so many choices out there and so many fantastic recipes. Bryanna, could you please tell me if I'm supposed to use a special vegan sherry and what about wine? Is it vegan or if not, could you give me the names of vegan wines please. Thank you so much for your help!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lucille-- some wines are vegan and some are not, depending on how they are clarified (fined). See

Here is a page that shows some vegan sherries and other liquors;
More info (with links):

Sheryl said...

Thanks so much, Bryanna! This information looks awesome and very helpful. Really appreciated.

Lucille said...

Thanks for the information, Bryanna. I will look it up.

lindav said...

Do you grind your beans on the coarse grind? I just did and did not have the bean deliverer... hopefully I did not kill my grinder - I thought it would be ok with navy beans

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lindav, according to the Wondermill Users manual,
"For large grains and beans ALWAYS make sure
that your texture knob is set to the coarse setting in
the 3 o’clock position."
You can bookmark the manual if you don't have a copy, or print it.

You might like to watch this video, too:
They also have a page that has a list of what foods the Wondermill can and cannot grind.
I hope this helps!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

This is a photo of the bean and grain adapters:

Anonymous said...

Bryanna, I have read that if one grinds bean flour at home without some special heat treatment that it will be bitter. Have you found that to be a problem? I have a County Living Grain Mill with a bean auger and always wanted to try beans in it but was put off by what I had read.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Anonymous, if you cook your flour mixture thoroughly you should have no problem with a bitter or "bean-y" flavor. If you Google "using bean flour in cooking" or "cooking with bean flour' or "baking with bean flour', you'll find lots of advice from bean grower's associations, Bob's Red Mill, food preparedness sites, etc. Or Google"cooking with.... bean flour"-- a specific bean. Another way to use whole mild-tasting beans or dried peas, red lentils, etc. is to cook them really well and freeze in ice cube trays or muffin cups, then use the puree (frozen) in smoothies, or thaw and use instead of some of the fat called for in baking, etc. See:

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Another page about using bean flour;

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the bean flour tips! I'm going to try grinding some and see how it goes.