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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Bao's for You

Jackfruit Bao

The Chinese Lunar New Year begins Friday, January 31, honoring the Year of the Horse.  The 15-day holiday period includes parades, special meals, gifts to ensure future riches, and symbolic decor  based on both ancient Chinese culture and modern, regional traditions.  To honor my Jewish-Chinese-food-loving
ancestors and my vegan aspirations, I've produced these Jackfruit Bao to kick-off my plant-based CNY party.

Traditional, steamed, pillowy buns filled with bbq p--k are must-haves at dim sum lunches from San Gabriel to Singapore.  At 28+ years as a vegetarian (and going strong), I've discovered a fantastic vegan, even more delicious version.  This recipe is easier to make than I expected, extremely easy, and tast too,  not only suiting my personal eating style perfectly but for anyone else who wants to eat in a healthier way.

Canned Green Jackfruit in water (available at Asian and Indian markets) is the unbelievable replacement for the filling, not to mention that the jackfruit on its own is fat free and a whopping 120 calories for the entire can.   When cooked it produces a shredded meat-like texture and it's neutral flavor absorbs the sauces and seasonings in a beautiful, tasty way. The buns can be purchased already made at an Asian market, but they were really easy to make at home.

Whether you create a banquet, order take-out, see a parade, or exchange gifts for prosperity, I hope you'll find your own way to celebrate Chinese New Year.  Wishing you, your family, and friends a year filled with good fortune and great plant-based food!

I used this bao/steamed bun recipe:  Easy, great video, just cut the sugar in 1/2)

Jackfruit Filling
I used this filling recipe:, cutting it in half down the line, replacing brown sugar for the white sugar, and adapting the other ingredients based on what I had on hand.

Both recipes combine to make 16 Jackfruit Bao.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Game Day Nachos

Delicious dairy-free, meat-free, wheat-free nachos

The Super Bowl is coming up soon and while some of you really care about who's in it and who wins it, I'm on team Super Bowl Snacks, which win every time.  I'm a big fan of tortilla chips, and an even bigger fan of dousing said chips with tasty Mexican condiments.  Condiment doused tortilla chips a la nachos feature ooey gooey cheesy sauce, and since I'm trying to veganize recipes where I can, I've replaced the cheese with this healthier, tastier "Low-Fat Chipotle Nacho Sauce" from Miyoko Schinner, author of Artisan Vegan Cheese.

My go-to chips are the white corn, all natural ones that you can find at the supermarket for $1-$2/bag.   Place a handful or two of these on a  dinner plate or platter.
Spoon some beans* over the chips.
Spoon some fresh cooked corn (off the cob + grapeseed oil, s&p) over the beans.
Sprinkle some diced, roasted fresh chiles (charred on the stovetop) over the beans, along with some salt and pepper.

Pour the hot, creamy nacho sauce over the beans and chips, like they do at your favorite restaurant.
Spoon fresh salsa (Roma tomatoes, scallions, garlic, lime juice, hot sauce, s&p) and diced avocado over the top of the sauce.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, unless you hate cilantro.
Grab your favorite big game beverage, lots of napkins, and start scooping. Score!!

*I used a mixture of black beans and blackeyed peas, cooked in water and fresh garlic.


Low-Fat Chipotle Nacho Cheese Sauce by Miyoko Schinner
Low-Fat Chipotle Nacho Cheese Sauce
(created by Miyoko Schinner)

1 cup cooked/mashed butternut squash (I used delicata)
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened (this is key) coconut or soy yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown or white onion, quartered
5 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup raw cashews
3 Tbsp. tapioca flour
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, divided in 1/2
1 tsp. salt or 1 Tbsp. miso paste

Combine the squash, yogurt, water, onion, nutritional yeast flakes, cashews, tapioca flour, 1/2 the chipotle pepper, and salt in a blender, and process until smooth and creamy.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick and gooey.  Taste and add the remaining chipotle for more heat, and also additional salt if necessary.

Whisk until you get that great, thick but slightly runny, ooey, gooey nacho sauce consistency and then pour over the already assembled nacho ingredients.

(Note:  Leftover sauce made a delicious, quick mac 'n cheeze.)

Be sure to check out for lots of delicious, healthy, game day ideas!