The Spiritual Vegan

raw and non raw vegan recipes

Archive for December 2010

Romantic Sushi Dinner

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Me and Roser are wild about sushi. Luckily for our finances, we also happen to be the best makers of vegan sushi in the whole city. We can’t find anyone to pay to make them better than us. I do like to blow my own horn don’t I?

 

Sushi isn’t a difficult proposition, though it’s time consuming and does need a little practise. These sushi are technically sushi maki, which means rolled sushi. I made a post a while back with non rolled sushi, which I don’t know the name for. Possibly onigiri but I think those are meant to have the filling inside them.

In essence, you can think of sushi as a way of turning rice into a sort of sandwich you can eat with either your hands or chopsticks. By sandwich I mean that it is designed to solve the same problem, that is combining a starch with some interesting flavours and additionally making it convenient to eat.

Sushi maki are prepared with sheets of nori seaweed which can be found at a reasonable price in any asian food store. You can use a bamboo roller to help you make the sushi but it’s by no means essential. Just spread rice* out on the sheets (you need a pretty thin layer) leaving a space of a few centimetres at one end of the sheet. At the other end of your sheet place the filling and roll it all up.

*About rice: there is such thing as special sushi rice but I’ve found equal results with normal brown rice. Just cook it soft and let it cool.

When you’ve nearly finished the roll moisten the empty space you’ve left. Moisture will let the seaweed stick to the rest of the roll and in this way you can seal it.

Congratulations! Now all you need to do is to cut your sushi. The sharper knife you have for this, the better. Cut using long strokes with very little downwards pressure. If you do this wrong the sushi will split, so be careful.

Vegan Sushi Fillings

The filling for your sushi is the fun part. You can really go wild with this. Here’s a breakdown of what we used in these ones:

SECOND PIC:

Avocado with clover sprouts

Mung bean paste*

*This was my attempt to imitate the red bean paste you sometimes get in rice balls. I cooked mung beans and mashed them up with dates for sweetness and a bit of lemon. It came out okay but excited me a lot less than I expected. Funnily enough it was Roser’s favourite.

THIRD PIC:

Cucumber with tahini spread on top (would have been inside them but it was an afterthought)

Steamed carrot

Steamed carrot and cucumber with tahini inside

Note: with cucumber it makes for a nice texture if you cut them in fine sticks like as pictured.

FOURTH PIC:

Asparagus

Just avocado

More cucumber, carrot and tahini sushi.

That’s all we made this time, but there are many more possibilities to try. The next time I want to give real red bean paste and shitake mushrooms both a try.

Serving Your Vegan Sushi

To make your sushi even more incredible, serve with soy sauce to dip in and, as you eat, place on top of each piece a bit of pickled ginger (or, well chopped fresh ginger is pretty much as good) and some wasabi. All of these things can be found in an Asian supermarket, so buy them along with the seaweed.

If you don’t know how to use chopsticks, learn! It makes things about 300% more fun.

Check out Andrew’s main blog at www.andrewgubb.com for useful and stimulating thoughts on life, spirituality, and saving the world.

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Written by Princess

December 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sweet and Sour Tofu

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We had some fried tofu bits in the fridge that I felt like using.

The great thing about these is that they were ready battered and were crispy. Reminded me of a sweet and sour pork I used to have when I was still into eating animals. I really like that crispyness.

I fried up some spring onions, carrots and chopped ginger to soften them first.

Now, the sweet and sour effect depends on getting enough sweet, and enough sour into the recipe. Seems obvious, but really.

Pineapple is a great food that is already both sweet and sour. Yellow pepper is nice and sweet. These ingredients were chopped and added raw after the cooked ingredients were cooked.

Tomatoes give sourness, as does a generous squeeze of lemon. Finally for extra sweetness I added one smallish apple. All of these ingredients were blended together raw as the sauce for this dish.

Add the tofu and some noodles, and mix the sauce with the rest taking care that the raw ingredients don’t get cooked (this is for health most of all, but I also happen to like the taste more).

Check out Andrew’s main blog at www.andrewgubb.com for useful and stimulating thoughts on life, spirituality, and saving the world.

Written by Princess

December 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

Falafels

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We made falafels the other day. Falafels are a really tasty vegan food and they make a great substitute to scratch the itch which asks for something humburger-like with bread.

Cause me and Roser are both salt-free in our everyday cooking, this falafel didn’t even have salt. It was made of two ingredients: sprouted chickpeas and onion.

So the chickpeas were sprouted, which took about 1 1/2 days. I don’t sprout chickpeas much longer than this because they tend to go mouldy. Anyway doing this makes them way easier to cook and much healthier (especially because you need to cook less — less heat damage to the food!). The flavour becomes more gentle and slightly sweeter than that of normal chickpeas.

I cooked the two ingredients – chickpeas and about 1/4 of the volume of chickpeas again in terms of onion – by steaming, which I have to admit is almost to show off in health terms, but I thought what the heck. The great thing about steaming, see, is it’s a lower temperature cooking method, which means less damage to the food.

When they were soft I blended the result to a dough. This didn’t need any additions, but if it’s too watery you’ll need to add some breadcrumbs or flour to get a workable consistency.

I rolled the dough into long sausages and then sliced off nice round patties from them. The patties were fried to give them a crispyness and then served with homemade flat bread (pictured), salad, and mashed avocado.

Check out Andrew’s main blog at www.andrewgubb.com for useful and stimulating thoughts on life, spirituality, and saving the world.

Written by Princess

December 14, 2010 at 11:04 am