Simple Treats Cookbook Giveaway Winner

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The winner of the Simple Treats cookbook is number 19.

Congratulations to Tiffany! Please email me with your mailing address and I’ll get the cookbook out to you.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Vegan “Menudo”

Vegan "Menudo"

News flash! My make-believe food truck, Chow Vegan, has added a new item to its pretend Asian Mexican fusion menu – vegan menudo. Should go well with the veggie duck taco, don’t you think?

Menudo is a traditional Mexican stew whose main ingredients include tripe and hominy in a spicy broth. I subbed out the tripe for dried yuba (bean curd) sticks. The yuba doesn’t taste anything at all like tripe, instead it adds a chewy texture. Some Cantonese dishes are very big on texture, adding certain ingredients just to have the texture.

Having grown up on California’s Central Coast, where most cities have Spanish names, Asian Mexican fusion was inevitable. I can’t claim my version is authentic and I’m sure someone’s grandma somewhere is turning over in her grave.

But it’s so good. It’s flavorful and hardy. The flavor becomes more concentrated after a night in the fridge, perfect for a cold day standing outside of a food truck window.

Two bucks a cup; four bucks a bowl. Seating is curbside only. Thank you and please come again.

Vegan “Menudo”
Makes about 8 cups (4-6 servings)

3 ounces dried yuba (bean curd) sticks, soaked to rehydrate, cut into 1 1/2″ rectangular pieces
2 medium red potatoes, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
14.5 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes plus the juice
15 oz. can hominy, drained and rinsed
4 cups water
1 tablespoon vegan chicken base bouillon
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
A few sprigs of cilantro for garnish, chopped

Dissolve the bouillon in one cup of boiling water, set aside.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots and celery, sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes and its juices, hominy and spices. Stir to mix well.

Add the bouillon broth, the rest of the water and the yuba sticks. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. To serve, garnish with the cilantro.

Simple Treats Cookbook Giveaway
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, it ends mañana (Friday, October 29th).

Brown Rice Krispy Treats From Simple Treats

Brown Rice Krispy Treats From Simple Treats

Just in time for Halloween, rice krispy treats! I used the recipe from the cookbook, Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham, which I received from the publisher for review.

The brown rice krispy treats are a natural food version of the classic treat, using a concoction of various syrups to replace the usual marshmallows. I also added a topping of raisins and shredded coconut.

Brown Rice Krispy Treats From Simple Treats

It’s been many moons since I’ve last eaten a rice krispy treat, but I thought these were good. They tasted a bit on the healthy side and aren’t super sweet. I haven’t tried making any with vegan marshmallows so I can’t compare the two.

The rest of the cookbook covers everything from muffins and breads to cookies and cakes to cremes, frostings and glazes, all dairy-free and wheat-free (but not gluten-free, as some recipes call for barley flour).

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Share a square of rice krispy treats with a little friend today. To facilitate the sharing, I’m giving away a copy of Simple Treats. For a chance in a different giveaway, click on the above Luscious Vegan Desserts button to enter at the publisher’s website, Book Publishing Company.

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment in this post with your favorite Halloween treat, homemade or store-bought. Comment must be made by midnight PST on Friday, October 29th; one entry per person. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

One winner will be randomly selected (using random.org) from the comments received and announced in a new post on Saturday, October 30th. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be randomly chosen. Prize awarded is the cookbook that I received from the publisher (approximate retail value $14.95). I did not drool on it.

Official Rules:
Open only to U.S. residents age 18 and over. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Void where prohibited by law. Any tax is the sole responsibility of the winner. Winner releases Chow Vegan from any liability arising out of participation in this giveaway or the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon links, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on any of the links and make a purchase of anything.

Street-Style Veggie Duck Taco With Mango Salsa

Street-Style Veggie Duck Taco with Mango Salsa

Unless you’ve been living under a turnip, you’ve probably heard how food trucks are all trendy nowadays. And not the “roach coach” type that’s been around forever, but the long-lines, gotta-hunt-it-down, twittering, gourmet, fusion food type of truck.

I have yet to actually track one of these trucks down. Obviously, I live and work in the wrong neighborhood. So that got me to thinking, if Chow Vegan was a food truck, what would it serve?

Asian fusion, of course. Inspired by the duck taco at Kung Fu Tacos (a San Francisco based food truck), I made a vegan version of the street-style soft taco – veggie duck, hoisin sauce, and mango salsa on a whole grain corn tortilla, all locally sourced for the most part.

Street-Style Veggie Duck Taco with Mango Salsa

The veggie duck is very similar to Mock Chicken, made out of fresh yuba sheets only without the filling, folded and flattened into layers instead of rolled. Just like mock chicken doesn’t actually taste like chicken, veggie duck doesn’t really taste like duck. The small (5″ diameter), home-made style tortillas are manufactured in Sonoma County by La Tortilla Factory and the mango, a California Green Keitt.

Savory, sweet, and spicy all in one bite. A range of textures too, from soft to chewy. A little messy to eat though. But so good.

Street-Style Veggie Duck Taco with Mango Salsa
Making veggie duck tacos couldn’t be easier, especially if you can find a package of veggie duck in the refrigerated section of the Asian supermarket. Or something similar, the one that I used wasn’t even called veggie duck, it was labeled Mixed Bean Curd.

Just heat up the veggie duck and tortillas. Slice the veggie duck into bite-size pieces. Smear a bit of hoisin sauce on a tortilla, add the sliced pieces of veggie duck. Top generously with the mango salsa. Serve immediately.

Mango Salsa
1 ripe mango, diced
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1 medium jalapeño, minced
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the ingredients, season to taste, and gently mix together. Chill until ready to serve.

Related Posts
Potato and Chorizo Tacos
Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

Chocolate Candy Cups From Raw For Dessert

Chocolate Candy Cups From Raw For Dessert

With the holidays right around the corner, I’ve got candy on my brain. Having recently received from the publisher a review copy of Raw for Dessert by Jennifer Cornbleet, I just had to try the Chocolate Candy Cups.

The great thing about making raw candy is there’s no cooking involved, no melting, no fancy candy thermometer necessary. Just a little soaking, blending, then pour into a baking cup. Top with nuts, raisins or fruit. I also tried a couple of pretzels, obviously that’s not raw but it’s such a great combo.

Chocolate Candy Cups From Raw For Dessert

So chocolatey and decadent, I liked the nut ones the best. They remind me of family holidays with white gift boxes of See’s Candies. The chocolates with nuts were always the first ones to go, woe to you if you got to the box late in the game. Who knew they were so easy to just make yourself? Vegan, gluten-free and healthier too.

The cookbook begins with an overview of ingredients, equipment and basics. Recipes range from sorbets and ice cream to cakes, cookies and pies, all with no cooking or baking involved. Perfect for those deficient in dessert baking such as myself.

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For a chance to win your own copy, click on the Luscious Vegan Desserts button (it goes to the publisher’s website) to sign up for BookPubCo monthly drawings for free books and to receive their newsletter.

Disclosure: I received the cookbook free of charge directly from the publisher. I was not influenced in any way, my bumbling attempts at making desserts are my own. I was not required to mention the book giveaway signup, but thought some readers may be interested in it.

This post also contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.

Related Links
Mini Raw Mixed Berries Cheesecake
Dreamy Nut Bars

Crispy Rice Burger

Crispy Rice Burger

Guess what I did with the Tofu “Egg” Foo Yung leftovers. Since I had the extra patties, I made crispy rice buns for an Asian inspired burger. Basically it’s the same as the crispy rice cake with roasted vegetables that I’ve made before.

But this time I made them a little neater and rounder so they’re more like hamburger buns. I also made them on the thin side as I don’t need to be eating any extra carbs.

The sauce couldn’t be easier, it’s just a smear of vegetarian oyster sauce. Or skip the oyster sauce and go with spicy mayo (vegan mayonnaise and sriracha sauce), that was really good too. Topped with baby romaine lettuce. Om nom nom nom.

Crispy Rice Burger

Crispy Rice Burger
1. Cook up a pot of short-grain rice such as glutinous or sushi rice. It needs to be some sort of sticky rice so the rice bun would stick and stay together. Make the tofu foo yung patties or some other patty for use in the burger.

2. While the rice is still warm but cooled enough to handle, scoop out a bit of rice onto a piece of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will prevent the rice from sticking to everything. Gently squeeze the rice into a ball so it sticks together. Flatten and shape the rice with the rice paddle to fit the size of the patty you’re using for the burger. You can make it thick or thin.

3. Place the rounds of rice on a well oiled baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes on each side.

4. Assemble the burgers using whatever patties, fillings and condiments as desired. Serve immediately.

Devilrobots To-Fu Giveaway Winner

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The winner of the Devilrobots To-Fu mini print and dunny is number 5.

Congratulations to Sarah! Please email me with your mailing address. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Tofu “Egg” Foo Yung

Tofu "Egg" Foo Yung

“Black salt can make tofu taste like eggs.” First time I heard that, I thought “Really? How?” I must try this myself. I looked all over locally for black salt but sadly it was nowhere to be found.

Then one day, a spice vendor popped up at the farmers market of all places and they had it. Even though it’s called black salt, it’s actually purplish pink in color. I had no idea there’s more than one type of black salt, the one to get is called Kala Namak or Sanchal or Indian Black Salt. Originally used in authentic Indian cooking, the mineral salt has a strong, sulfuric flavor and aroma, kinda like hard-boiled eggs.

Tofu "Egg" Foo Yung

Now, that I have said salt in my possession, what to do with it? I decided on a blast from the past. Growing up, my parents ran a Chinese-American restaurant that served egg foo young. I remember it all too well.

Along with my siblings, one of our jobs was to finely chop up the celery and onions that went into the patties. And bean sprouts, which we chopped up with an empty can. And lots and lots of eggs and flour.

Mom or Dad would mix it all up together and used an ice cream scoop to portion out each patty onto a hot griddle. It was later deep-fried to order and topped with brown gravy and green onions.

Tofu "Egg" Foo Yung

For a vegan version, I swapped out the eggs for tofu and added some of my favorite ingredients – fresh shiitake mushrooms, leeks and water chestnuts. Baked instead of pan-fried, it’s so much better and flavorful than the eggy version. It’s good with or without the gravy.

Tofu “Egg” Foo Yung
Makes 8-10 patties

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium leek, white and some green part, chopped
3 ounces water chestnuts
1 teaspoon oil
14 ounce package of extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon or to taste kala namak
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stalk green onion, chopped, for garnish

Gravy
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Drain and rinse the tofu, wrap in paper towels and place a heavy weight on top. Press for about an hour. While the tofu is pressing, chop the vegetables.

Heat a wok to hot. When hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the celery and leeks, sauté for a few minutes, add the mushrooms and water chestnuts and cook for another minute or so. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Crumble the tofu, add the rest of the ingredients and blend well together. Scoop out a 1/4 cup of the mixture and shape into a patty on a oiled baking sheet. Brush the top of each patty with oil, flip over and brush the other side. Bake for 15 minutes, gently flip over and bake another 15 minutes.

To make the gravy, heat the broth with the soy sauce and sugar. Combine the cornstarch with a little bit of cold water and mix until smooth. When the broth comes to a boil, slowly add the cornstarch mixture and stir to desired thickness.

Top the foo yung with gravy and garnish with the green onions, serve immediately.

Where to find kala namak?
The vendor at the farmers market is a local company, Spice Hound, for their 2.5 oz jar, it was $7.00. I have since found the black salt labeled as Sanchal at an Indian market for cheaper. Also available online at Amazon from a number of vendors.

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