September 24, 2012

Christina's Lima Lasagna

Ever since I was kid, I loved lasagna, but when I realized how unhealthy it was, I ate it less, and when I went vegan, I didn't eat it at all. Until I found this recipe! It's rich in marinara sauce (which is good for fighting cancer) has tons of vegetables, and even has the creamy texture of cheese, but instead beans, so you can get your protein on.  Perfect for guests, where prepping can be done overnight and just popped in the oven, or heavenly for leftovers, this recipe is about perfect.  Enjoy.

Lima Lasagna Recipe 


About 1 gallon of bottled marinara sauce, divided.
2 onions
4 cloves garlic (or more)
10 oz. mushrooms

4 cans of beans of your choice (think lima, garbanzo or canneli beans)

2 bunches kale
4 yukon potatoes

2 boxes of lasanga sheets (Do not cook)

2 tpsps dried chopped onion
2 tbsps oregano
3 tbps dried basil
Cayenne pepper to taste.
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1.  Chop up the onion, mushrooms and garlic.  Sautee the onion, mushrooms and garlic with olive oil over medium high heat in a pan for about five minutes.

2.  Chop up kale and slice potatoes. In another pot, allow these to simmer.  In another pot, warm the beans.  Add the marinara sauce to the onions, mushrooms and garlic.  All of these to simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add spices, salt and pepper.

3.  Turn the beans off first and transfer to a blender.  With a little water, blend until the beans become a smooth paste.  Then, return to plot.

4.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Turn off the marinara sauce and kale.  Then, layer with the marinara sauce, a sheet, kale, then another sheet, then the beans and place another sheet.  Repeat until all the sheets are gone.  (You will have plenty of marinara sauce left over)

5.  Sprinkle the nutrional yeast on all of it.  It should be red with a few golden specks.  Stick in the oven and bake, for about 35 to 40 minutes.  The lasanga may be a little under cooked, but that's okay.  You don't want to overcook it.

6.  Serve warm.  Top with some of the leftover marinara sauce. Serve with a side salad and breadsticks or steam brocoli.  Enjoy!

Christina's Chocolate Chip Cookies

 The proportions depend largely on the type of oven you're using along with other factors, but I've found that at least for chocolate chip cookies 1:1 is the best ratio.  Some people do vegan cookies with canola oil, which I don't like as much because they tend to fall apart.  But a more cost effective way to do might be with canola oil, and I don't know much about it.  I will say this recipe filled the house up with an awesome smell, and once I opened the container, everyone knew they were there.  But enough chit chat.  Let's get to the recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe 

2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of cinnamon (just a dash)
1 cup of vegan butter (if you're in Korea, try Nuttlex or Better than Butter)
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips


In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, white sugar and brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir together until mixed well.

Next, add the vegan butter and the vanilla.  With an electric mixer, mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.  The dough should be slightly moist and a little piecy (If it's really oily then add more flour).  Then, mix in your chocolate chips.  If you have the time, refrigerate for one hour and try to do some writing (or play with your cats). If you don't have time, freeze for 15 minutes.  This will make the dough more consistent.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or (175 C).  Then, cover your cookie sheets with a large piece of parchment paper and drop your dough into balls on the sheets.  

Place in oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes.  The cookies should have a light brown shade to them.  Let them rest for a few minutes.  They'll harden up a bit.  

Finally, scoop them out with a spatula and enjoy!  I like them with a glass of soy milk.  But do your thing.

Photo by Claire Harris 

September 23, 2012

Claire's Black Bean Burgers

I had been experimenting with different veggie burger recipes for a while but couldn't really find one that I liked.  They always turned out too dry, too mushy or would fall apart if you looked at them too hard.  For the August potluck, I tried using a METHOD rather than a recipe and had great results!  This method can be used with any combination of ingredients or spices and your burger will still turn out perfect (crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and it won't fall apart when you bite into it).

Vegan Burger Method   
  • 1  pound of cooked beans (black, pinto, chickpeas etc.)
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient (oats, barley, breadcrumbs, cornmeal etc.)
  • 1/2 cup texture ingredient (chopped nuts, quinoa, avocado, leftover rice or oats, etc.)
  • 2 cups diced veggies (whatever you like the most!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 3 tablespoons oil for frying
  • 3 tablespoons liquid flavor (BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, horseradish, etc)
  • 4 teaspoons dry spice (spice mixes, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, curry powder, etc.)
  •  salt to taste 
This go around I used black beans, barley, leftover stir fried rice (veggies and all), carrots, beets, squash and some Stubb's BBQ sauce I received as a gift from Texas.

In a pan with a little oil, sauté the onion, garlic and chopped veggies until they are softened but not mushy.  Pulse the cooked veggies, beans, liquid flavor and texture ingredients in a food processor until combined (I used a blender and it took a bit more work, but it did the job).  Add the dry base ingredients and the dry spice into the processor and pulse until combined.  It should be slightly chunky but able to stick together easily.  Form into golf ball sized balls and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  This helps the dry ingredients absorb all the moisture and will help your burgers stay together after they are cooked.  

15 minutes later, flatten the burger balls into patties and fry over meduim high heat until they are crisyp on the outside.  Top with your favorite greens, sliced veggies, vegan cheese and spreads and dig in!  This menthod can be modified to make a variety of different burgers so play around and see what you can come up with.  I think Indian Burgers made with chickpeas, curry and lentils will be my next batch!   I adapted this method from a recipe on the No Meat Athlete blog.  You should check it out for great tips on being a vegan athlete!  
Photo by Claire Harris

Mikey's Bruschetthai

For the September potluck, I wanted to make something that was light and refreshing, but I didn't want to phone it in with just some boring salad. Also, I was strapped for time, so I needed something quick and easy to assemble. Thus, the Thai Bruschetta was born.

Thai Bruschetta Recipe 

You'll need:
  • One baguette, thinly sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce (no substitutions!)
  • fresh-ground black or white pepper
  • salt
  • lime juice
First, combine the olive oil and Sriracha sauce in a bowl. It's rather difficult to get the two to combine, but enough rigorous stirring should do the job. With a spoon (or ideally a brush), liberally apply the sauce mixture to the tops of the baguette slices. The bread should absorb most of the sauce, which will give it a spicy kick. In a toaster oven, heat the slices (sauce-side up) until lightly golden brown and crispy. On to the toppings! After removing the seeds and extra juice from the core, finely chop the tomatoes. Next, discard all the stems from the cilantro, and chiffonade the leaves, making little green ribbons that look rather awesome. Combine the tomatoes and cilantro, and squeeze a small amount of lime juice onto them. A pinch of salt will bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. Apply the topping to the toast slices, and finish with a couple grinds from the pepper mill. You can serve at room temperature, or wait to toast the bread just before serving. Present the bruschet-thai on a neat-looking plate. Enjoy!
Photo by Claire Harris 

Jess's Fig and Walnut Salad

Fig and Walnut Salad with Plum Vinaigrette Recipe 

for the salad...

a variety of fresh greens (i used green leaf lettuce, celery leaf, and chicory, but Korea has lots of fun, tasty greens so try some new ones!)
two small plums
a few fresh, plump figs (found at traditional markets, but get them fast because the season is almost over!)
a generous handful of walnuts
a handful of pumpkin seeds
a handful of fresh basil

for the vinaigrette...
i make a big batch of dressing and save the what's leftover in the fridge for later in the week.

half cup of olive oil
half cup of brown rice vinegar
a teaspoon ground cinnamon
two teaspoons Korean plum (매실) syrup. there are many sweet syrups used in Korea to make traditional teas. or you can use sugar instead.
a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper

shake the dressing ingredients together in a bottle (i re-use mini soy milk bottles and they work perfectly). adjust the flavors to taste.

wash the greens well, roughly chop and arrange on a plate. wash the plums, cut into thin, bite-sized pieces and layer over the greens. wash the figs, chop off stems, quarter and add to the plate. toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds for just a few minutes, tossing them often so they brown evenly. sprinkle over the salad. finish with a sprinkling of fresh basil and a drizzle of plum vinaigrette.
Photo by Jessica Mitchell Perlaza

Andrew's Black Metal Pad Thai

Black Metal Pineapple Pad Thai Recipe 

** This is simply a modified version of the recipe that can be found on Episode 1 of "Vegan Black Metal Chef". He uses tamarind soup base instead of pineapple for sweetness and consistency, but as I couldn't find that in Korea and didn't want it to be overwhelmingly sweet anyway, I just chopped up some fresh pineapple and mashed it into the sauce. **

- flat rice stick noodles
- peanuts
- peanut butter
- bean sprouts
- tomato(es)
- chili powder
- garlic
- green onion
- cilantro
- vinegar
- pineapple
- fresh hot peppers such as thai chilis
- salt
- lime juice (fresh limes are best, but any available lime juice will do)
- optional: tofu (for deep-frying and having with noodles, crumbling into noodles while cooking, or however), Sriracha sauce (contains chili, garlic, and vinegar and will boost all of those flavors, but probably should not be used as a substitute for them)

1. Before doing anything, soak the noodles in water on the side. By the time you're done making the sauce and getting ready to cook, they will be nice and soft and will cook easily. Using warm water especially helps.

2. If you are deciding to go the fried tofu route, you should probably also begin the process of pressing the water out of it before prepping. Cut it into your preferred portions, press it between some towels and put some weight on top. It should be ready to go by the time you are done making the sauce. Obviously you'll need to have your frying method set up as well.

3. Crush the peanuts as fine as you wish. Too fine might mess with the consistency of the finished product, but really go as far as you want.


4. In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed peanuts, your sweet ingredient (I, again, used pineapple), salt, chopped/grated/minced garlic and/or garlic powder (using at least some fresh garlic will make the flavor better), chili powder, vinegar, and water. Stir.

5. After this first stir, throw in your cilantro and peanut butter. You want to be mindful of the peanut butter, as adding too much could lead to the mix becoming greasy during cooking. Stir/mash it all together until you have reached your desired flavor. You want it to be soupy, as you are going to cook it in a hot pan and the water is needed to help cook the noodles.


6. Heat some high-oleic oil (cottonseed, sunflower, peanut, vegetable, canola) in a medium-to-large saucepan or a deep frying pan with a decent lip. Throw in diced tomato, green onion, and bean sprouts to cook for about a minute. 

7. Add the noodles and sauce to the hot pan with the vegetables. Turn the heat to high and stir continuously for about 6 minutes. You will notice most of the liquid cooking off, the noodles turning translucent, and your mouth watering as it will start smelling really good. Feeling some steam coming off of it while you cook is a good sign. If your sauce wasn't soupy enough to provide enough water for the noodles to fully cook (which is hard since rice noodles cook pretty quickly), just add a little more as needed to finish the job.

8. Once the liquid is cooked off and the noodles are translucent, transfer everything quickly to a serving dish to cool. Sprinkle over top with peanuts, cilantro, lime, extra chili powder/Sriracha, few or as much garnish as you want. 

** 9. If you're doing the tofu slices, maybe go ahead and cook these while the noodles are cooling. They fry in a minute or less and cool just as quickly. 

Photo by Claire Harris 

Dawn's Vegan Mandu

Dawn whipped up some seriously delicious mandu for the first vegan potluck in August and she is sharing her recipe with us.  You will be addicted!

Vegan Mandu Recipe
(makes 60)

This dish is way simpler to prepare than you might expect. Give it a go and feed your craving for those delicious pockets of yum.


2 packages of mandu wraps (found in frozen mandu section)
1/2 medium white or red cabbage head
150g shiiitake (pyogo) mushrooms
100g oyster mushrooms (Emart has 고기느타리버섯, or meat oyster mushrooms)
1 bulb garlic (or 6 cloves)
1 inch chunk ginger
4 strands of small green onions
1 small bundle of 당면 (glass noodles)

3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp sugar/honey
1 tbsp rice wine (mirin)

1. set the mandu wraps out to defrost and soak the glass noodles in a bowl of water for 10 minutes or until they lose their backbone
2. take cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and garlic and chop finely or toss in food processor 
3. chop oyster mushrooms and green onions finely with a knife (food processor turns them into mush)
4. take glass noodles out of bowl, shake out water, and cut them into tiny pieces with a kitchen scissor right into your bowl of mandu filling

5. add the marinade and mix everything together. should be just wet enough to scoop up with a spoon and have the filling keep its shape
6. take a defrosted mandu wrap and spoon the filling into the middle. wet the edges with water and pinch shut. the fold and pinch technique works well here

7. steam, fry, or boil for ~5 minutes and serve with your favorite soy sauce dip

We dipped the mandu in some chile and onion infused soy sauce I had made a few weeks earlier.  You can make this by slicing up 5 small, spicy chilies (I used gochu) and 3 green onions and allowing them to sit in about 2 cups of soy sauce for at least a week.  You can leave the chilies and onions in the soy as long as you want and it will only get better with time!  This is my vegan version of the delicious Thai chile sauce that usually contains fish sauce.  

Photo by Claire Harris 

Ohudy's Muhammara

Muhammara recipe (Armenian hummus)

6 roasted red peppers
1/3 cup of walnuts (roasted if you like, but I don’t think it really does anything)
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of ground cumin 
2-4 teaspoons of reduced pomegranate juice (I usually have a pomegranate juiced and then reduce it in a pot and save the rest in a jar for later use)
Chili flakes
3/4 cup of olive oil
Salt to taste (I don’t really use it though)

1. once you’ve roasted your red peppers, you need to seed them if you haven’t already prior to roasting.
2. Place everything in a blender except the olive oil. It’s best to place the walnuts in first.
3. Blend with some olive oil at first and keep adding olive oil while blending until you reach a consistency that you’d like, preferably not runny. 

Probably my favorite hummus because it goes with ANYTHING. Hope you guys enjoy it!