Category Archives: Food Products & Recipes

Perfect Peanut Recipes

PeanutsAlso called groundnut, goober, or monkey nut, the peanut is the seed of a small leguminous plant, so it is strictly a legume and not a nut. Peanuts are rich in protein and monounsaturated fats, and provide reasonable amounts of dietary fiber. They also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and many other valuable nutrients.

While most common as a snack food in this country, they are used as major cooking ingredient in many Asian and African dishes, either whole or as a tasty peanut sauce.

Always try to find dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, either whole or as peanut butter, as many popular sources of peanuts are very high in salt and added fats.

The recipe below is from our own cookbook – The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Untitled-1Nigerian Groundnut Stew with Tempeh

In Africa, as well as other places, the peanut is known as the groundnut and is a popular ingredient in many appetizing dishes, like this high-protein casserole.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 pound tempeh, poached (see chef’s tip) and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peanut butter, or more as needed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white or brown rice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a casserole dish. In the same skillet, cook the onion, bell peppers and garlic until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add this to the casserole.

Place the peanut butter in a saucepan and add the broth slowly, stirring to make a thick creamy sauce. Place the saucepan over medium heat, add the tomato, salt and pepper, and simmer gently for 2 minutes; pour over the tempeh and vegetables in the casserole. If the sauce is too thin, add more peanut butter; if it’s too thick, add more stock. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. While the casserole is in the oven, cook the rice according to package directions. Spoon the tempeh casserole over the rice and serve.

Chef’s Tip

Poaching commercially prepared tempeh before using it in a recipe improves its flavor and digestibility. Slice or cube tempeh according to individual recipe, or leave in slabs, depending on use. Place the tempeh in a saucepan, add enough water to cover it and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the water and proceed with the recipe.

Tofu and Jicama Summer Rolls with Sweet and Sour Garlic Sauce

Summer rolls are a Southeast Asian favorite because they’re so refreshing and versatile. Throughout Southeast Asia, from China, Vietnam, Thailand to Malaysia, fresh noodle rolls are different in each country. My version uses jicama and fried garlic for maximum impact in both texture and flavor, and I pair the rolls with a seductively spicy dipping sauce. My summer rolls reflect the influence of my hometown in Thailand, and are prepared without the cooked rice vermicelli found in other versions; however, feel free to add them if you like. Sweet chili sauce is sold at natural food stores and Asian markets…Pranee Halvorsen

Serves 10

Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
  • ½ cup chopped garlic (about 2 heads)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup ground peanuts
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves plus
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, and fry until light golden brown. Whisk the chili sauce, vinegar, water, peanuts and ¼ cup chopped cilantro in a small bowl to blend. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic along with some of the cooking oil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Filling

  • 1 cup jicama, shredded
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, julienned (sliced very thin)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, shredded
  • 20 (6-inch diameter) rice paper spring roll wrappers

To make the rolls, place the remaining garlic and oil in a small bowl. Have the jicama, bell pepper, carrot, tofu and 1 cup cilantro leaves ready in separate bowls. Select a saucepan with a diameter slightly larger than the spring roll wrappers, add water to a depth of 1 inch, bring it to a boil, and then keep it simmering over medium-low heat. One at a time, place each spring roll wrapper in the water for 5 seconds then remove and set it on a plate.

Place some of the jicama, bell pepper, carrot, tofu and cilantro on the lower third of the spring roll, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle a little of the garlic over the vegetables. Bring the bottom edge of the spring roll up and over the filling, then tuck in the sides and continue rolling until completely wrapped.

Repeat with the remaining rolls. Cut the rolls in half and serve with the sauce.

Mori-Nu Tofu – a different kind of tofu

MjpegTOFU_Organic1Mori-Nu Tofu has been a favorite product at Vegfest for many years.  We caught up with the marketing manager to learn more about the product.

How is Mori-Nu Tofu different from other kinds of tofu?

The main difference between Mori-Nu ™Silken Tofu and other types of tofu is the style/type, texture, and the fact that it is shelf stable. Mori-Nu’s Tofu is velvety smooth, creamy, custard-like, and consistent in composition. The other types of tofu are often referred to as Momen Tofu or regular tofu.  They are more porous, firm, and rough in texture.

Mori-Nu Tofu is shelf stable (1 year from production) and packaged in a Tetra Pak box. The box is hermetically sealed, and the tofu is formed inside. This allows continuous protection from light, air, bacteria, and micro-organisms that cause spoilage.  There are no preservatives in Mori-Nu tofu.  It is Non-GMO Verified, certified Gluten-Free (by GFCO/GIG), KSA Kosher Parve certified, and is available in six varieties.

Is Silken tofu popular in Japan?

Silken tofu is most popular in Japan, but it is also popular in other countries especially in the US, India, Asia Pac and Canada. Tofu is popular in Asian style cooking.

While Mori-Nu™ is not sold in Japan, our parent company, Morinaga Milk Industry, Co., Ltd., sells tofu in limited quantities in Japan.  Although quite popular, Morinaga tofu sales are regulated to ensure that smaller tofu shops continue to remain in business in our home country of Japan.

Can it be used in other cuisines?

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu can be used in other types of foods and cuisines as the main component or as a substitute ingredient.  Several cuisines use tofu as part of the main dish or as an ingredient:

  • Mexican (tacos, chilaquiles, and flan)
  • Italian (meat-less meatballs, Carbonaro sauce, pizza, and cheesecake)
  • Mediterranean (hummus and tzatziki sauce)
  • Indian (curry, chutney, and paneer)
  • American (pancakes/waffles, smoothies, and ice cream)
  • Chinese (stir fry with veggies, egg rolls, and soup)

 

Can you use it to make a smoothie?

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu is versatile and can be used in several applications.  It blends well for a smoothie.  It can be used in sauces, dips, desserts, and so much more.  It is a substitute for meat protein and can be an alternative ingredient instead of using butter, cream, milk, sour cream, cheese, and other dairy foods.

 

Can you freeze it?

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu does not have to be refrigerated as it is shelf stable until it’s opened.  Freezing tofu changes its texture when thawed, giving it a “meat-like” texture suitable for a variety of hearty recipes.  To enjoy the best quality tofu, use immediately after opening for the best flavor, taste, and texture.  If not open, the shelf life is 1-year from the production date.

 

How long has Morinaga Nutritional Foods, Inc. been making it?

Morinaga Nutritional Foods, Inc. was established in 1985. We started making shelf stable tofu in 1997 in the U.S.  It has been 20 years and we continue to share our passion in providing the freshest tofu made from the highest quality soybeans.

Here’s a tasty recipe to enjoy:

Tofu Rice Stir Fry Recipe

Ingredients:

1/3 cup light soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 package Mori-Nu Silken Extra Firm Tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup scallions, sliced

1/4 cup fresh ginger, sliced

1 cup cooked rice

Preparation:

Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and tofu cubes.  Marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of an hour. Heat all the marinade ingredients in a wok. Add carrots, celery, scallions and ginger. Stir fry until all vegetables are just crisp-tender. Add cooked rice. Stir fry to heat through. Serve hot.

 

Ziva Mediterranean Foods – an interview with the owners

Ziva owners

ZIVA Mediterranean Foods has a mission to provide high-quality, authentic, healthy Mediterranean foods using local ingredients (whenever possible) to be sold through retail venues and to wholesale customers.

Tomer Shneor and Jody Haynes, a husband and wife team, launched the company in 2015. ZIVA is Tomer’s mother’s name, and is an inspiration for the company’s goal toward authentically Mediterranean, healthy, handmade food products.

We caught up with Tomer and Jody to ask them a few questions about their business: Read more

Vegan seafood recipes

You don’t have to give up on the flavors and textures of fish when you go vegan.  In addition to vegan seafood products available in the stores, you can make your own.  Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Vegan tuna salad

tuna-salad-sandwichIngredients

  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, low-sodium, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans)
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup low fat vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard of choice (optional)

Coarsely chop garbanzo beans in a food processor or mash beans with a potato masher. Do not over process the beans to a smooth consistency, you want it to have some texture.  Place beans in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill.

Note: Mashed tofu or cauliflower could also be used instead of garbanzo beans.

 

Artichoke Fish

artichoke-fish-5The flaky texture of artichokes is perfect to make vegan fish. It’s super easy to make. The artichokes are battered, fried, and served with potatoes and vegan tartar sauce.

  • 1 jar artichokes in brine/water (170g) about 15 pieces
  • frying oil

Flour mixture

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed nori

Batter

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon caper brine (or sub with more pickle juice)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain the artichokes.
  2. In separate bowls, combine the ingredients for the flour mixture and whisk together the ingredients for the batter.
  3. In a pot or wok, heat the frying oil. You’ll want enough so that the battered artichokes can swim in the oil but make sure you leave enough space in the pot/wok so that it doesn’t spill over.
  4. Coat the artichokes in the flour mixture. Then dip them in the batter. Carefully lower them in the oil. Let them fry for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown, flipping them once.
  5. Transfer the fried artichokes onto a kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Serve with tartar sauce and potato wedges, for example. Add fresh dill on top and a squeeze of lemon.

Author: Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan

 

Vegan Lox

Carrot loxThis smoked salmon substitute works great in a bagel, with vegan cream cheese, sliced tomato, red onion crescents, and capers.  It won’t fool your fish eating friends, but it’s a great alternative option!

  • 3 large carrots, washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 nori sheets, broken into bits

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush carrots with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until tender and fragrant. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining lox ingredients and transfer to a shallow dish.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, cut carrots in thin strips. Place in the marinade, making sure carrots are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then you can use slices with vegan cream cheese, in a bagel sandwich or on small crackers as an appetizer.

Author: Sarah McMinn, MyDarlingVegan.com

 

Vegan seafood catches on

Good catch tuna

Most of us have seen meatless burgers, sausages, ground beef, and even chicken in our local grocery store, but vegan seafood has been slowest to hit the shelves. That’s all starting to change, however, with companies like Trader Joe’s releasing crab-less cakes earlier this year, and companies starting to produce vegan products for the masses.

Tuna giant Bumble Bee Foods is partnering with the plant-based seafood brand Good Catch to help bring plant-based fish to consumers nationwide. According to a news release, Bumble Bee will leverage its sales, distribution and logistics expertise to get Good Catch to consumers at affordable prices.

Good Catch, a producer of plant-based meat alternatives, has just released a line of vegan tuna at Whole Foods and Thrive Market. Good Catch spent over two years trying to replicate canned tuna’s unique texture and flavor with legumes and algae. The fish-free tuna pouches come in three flavors—Naked in Water, Mediterranean, and Oil & Herbs.

Each pouch contains 14g of protein, which comes from the company’s signature “6-Plant Protein Blend” of soy, chickpeas, lentils, peas, fava, and navy beans. The product is also gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients.

Chris Kerr, co-founder and CEO of Good Catch, says “We see a big opportunity to offer a plant-based alternative that tastes great, without supporting the inherent problems of the seafood industry, including mercury, PCBs and microplastic health hazards, horrendous sea-life suffering and overfishing.”

Good Catch isn’t the only company selling plant-based tuna, either. Brands like Sophie’s Kitchen and Loma Linda also sell their own vegan versions of the canned fish. Sophie’s Kitchen sells a wide variety of vegan seafood alternatives. There’s no longer any reason to feel like you have to eat fish!

 

Interview with Better Bean company

Better-Beans-cooking

Better Bean is a product we love.  We asked them some questions to learn more about their products and how they got started.

How did your company get started?

Better Bean was born and raised in Oregon, starting with founder Keith Kullberg’s original recipe that he created as a young college student at Oregon State University. Seeking a way to enjoy refried beans made with only plant-based ingredients, Keith developed a recipe that quickly became a favorite within his family years later. The only issue – it took nearly an entire day to prepare his beans from scratch!

Noticing that freshly prepared beans were not made available in stores at the time, Keith and his daughters launched Better Bean in local stores and Portland farmers markets in 2010. Now sold nationwide, Better Bean strives to bring easy, tasty, healthy beans to all.

Tell us about the different products you have?

Better Bean offers a variety of freshly prepared, tasty bean products sold in the refrigerated section. Products range from a variety of 15oz beans, such as the Skillet Refried Red Beans, to flavorful 8oz organic bean dips and even 2.5oz single-serve bean dips for snacking. Currently, the 15oz beans are the only product sold in the PNW, but we do hope to launch our 2.5oz single-serves in stores soon.

Can you tell us about the ingredients you use?

We source our ingredients from organic or sustainable farms, as they grow better flavor. Our recipes are naturally delicious and nutrient-rich, not relying on sodium, fat, sugar (or worse, chemical additives) for their robust flavor.

How about certifications?

All of Better Bean products are certified Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and Vegan.

We know consumers value high-quality, organic products – that’s why Better Bean has recently added a line of 8oz flavorful bean dips and 2.5oz single serve bean dips that are both Certified Organic.

How do you make Better Bean so easy to digest?

To make our beans easy on the digestive system, we have three principles that we follow. First, we use freshly grown beans as they are easier to digest. Then, we soak our beans to activate enzymes that allow our bodies to digest the nutrients beans have to offer. And last but not least, we use our star ingredient – apple cider vinegar – to break down indigestible sugars and help digestion.

We’re all busy these days. How is Better Bean making their products convenient to enjoy?

With busy schedules, we know it can be hard to find a snack that is both quick and healthy. We have created a line of 2.5oz single serve bean dips that make for easy on-the-go snacking. We even have a convenient snack pack that comes with our Serrano and Onion Black Bean Dip and multigrain crackers.

How can people use Better Bean products in their everyday life?

Beans are a great source of plant-based protein and can be a part of any meal! Whether you enjoy them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, as the star of your main course in a burrito bowl or tacos, or as a side dish that pulls the meal together – beans have a way of being extremely versatile.

I understand Better Bean products are available in Safeway, PCC Community Markets and other local groceries. Thank you for your great products.

New vegan eggs

Brown eggs in the package

A new vegan egg is hatching, this one coming out of France. And, it will absolutely make us sit up and want to make some omelets. The advancement comes from two French entrepreneurs who are incubating a revolutionary vegan alternative to eggs that look and cook so real we won’t ever miss the real thing again. Their product is called Les Merveillœufs, which is a play on the French word, “merveilleux” meaning marvellous and “œufs,” French for eggs. It helps that these two founders are biologists at Paris’ Ecole de Biologie Industrielle. Read more

Legal actions doomed to fail

Miyokos butter & cheese

The doomed-to-fail actions against makers of plant based foods and animal advocacy organizations continue. Many people see the ridiculousness of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s bullying attack on Miyoko’s Creamery. The department has ordered the small Sonoma County company, which makes non-dairy, vegan cheese and butter, to stop labeling its products as such. Read more

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a special selection of Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes for the holidays:

Bryanna’s Squash with Wild Rice and Chanterelle Stuffing

almost-no-fat-holiday-cookbookfrom “The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook” by Bryanna Clark Grogan, reprinted with permission.  Serves 6

If you’d like to make a colorful stuffed winter squash the centerpiece and main dish of your vegetarian Thanksgiving, choose a large, meaty pumpkin; Boston marrow squash; turban squash; hubbard squash; banana squash; or the pale blue-grey New Zealand squash, which is my favorite. Read more

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