Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dueling Gyozas - Pork vs. Tofu #SundaySupper

With a good hit of fresh ginger, garlic and chili pepper, these gyozas will delight your whole family, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Bonus: They are fun and easy to make!

First off, let me say that dueling gyozas is a misnomer. There's really no competition between the two. Both are delicious. That said, I couldn't name this recipe pork and tofu gyozas because that would imply that each gyoza contained both of those ingredients. Which they do not. Half are pork, half are tofu. The other seasonings and ingredients are otherwise almost identical.

We had been living in Southeast Asia again for just a couple of years when I first learned about gyozas from Jamie Oliver on his show Oliver’s Twist, circa 2004. Kinda funny, when you think about it. Living in Kuala Lumpur, Japanese friends and restaurants all around me and I find out about gyozas from a English chef on television!  The gyoza episode was called East Meets West and, in typical Jamie style, he made them look so easy.

I scribbled down the ingredient list as I watched and have made it with my daughters ever since. Since we like things spicy, we add fresh red chili peppers to both the filling and the dipping sauce. Oh, and Jamie also puts sake - Japanese rice wine - in his filling. I never have sake in the house, so I just leave it out. The original calls for ground pork but when the girls left home for university and became vegetarians, we adapted the recipe to use firm tofu as an alternative.

Not only is this one of our favorite family recipes, it’s a great group activity. Gather everyone around the kitchen table, put your fillings and gyoza skins in the middle, and get filling and folding. As the saying goes, many hands make light work and we have a lot of fun chatting and joking while getting it done.

If you’d like to watch Jamie make gyozas, here’s a link to the show on YouTube. East Meets West is actually Season 2, episode 22, but this is the only link I could find.

For the dipping sauce:
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 red chili, minced
1 tablespoon chopped green onion

For the pork filling – for 40-45 gyozas
10 1/2 oz or 300g ground pork
1 cup or 100g finely sliced Chinese cabbage
5 green onions, chopped finely
2-in length of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili pepper, minced - optional
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil

For the tofu filling – for 40-45 gyozas
1/4 oz or 7g dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated, drained and chopped
10 1/2 oz or 300g firm tofu, cubed and drained
1 cup or 100g finely sliced Chinese cabbage
5 green onions, chopped finely
2-in length of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili pepper, minced – optional
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil

4 packages gyoza skins  - about 25 per packet - you'll have some left over.
2 tablespoons oil for pan

Start by making your dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients, so that the minced chili has time to infuse. Set aside.

In large bowl combine your green onions, sliced cabbage, ginger, garlic, chili pepper and pork.

For the tofu filling, in another large bowl, mash the tofu with a fork until it’s in big crumbles then add in your mushrooms, green onions, sliced cabbage, ginger, garlic and chili pepper.

Sprinkle the soy sauce and sesame oil into each filling bowl.

Mix well with a fork and pan fry a small amount of each to check seasoning. Add a little more soy sauce if the filling still needs salt.

Get yourself a small bowl of cool water and dip one finger in it. Run your wet finger around the outside of the gyoza skin.  Place a spoonful of the filling mixture on top of the skin.

 Close edges carefully, making sure there is no air inside.

Wet the semi-circular edge and then make pleats around it.

Set it pleat side up in a non-stick skillet coated with the oil. Press down gently to flatten out the bottom a little bit so the gyozas can stand up.

N.B. With this many gyozas, you are going to have to cook them in batches or use more than one pan. Also, you will want to keep the tofu ones separated from the pork ones if you are serving strict vegetarians. When they are cooked, they are pretty much identical from the outside.

Continue with remaining filling until all of your gyozas are made. These guys are listed under appetizers below but we often make a whole meal of them.

The tofu filling

Tip: You can freeze the gyozas now in a well-sealed container and cook them from frozen when you are ready to eat. They just take a bit longer to cook.

Heat your pan and fry the gyozas until the bottoms are brown and crispy.

Add 1/2 cup or 120ml water to the pan and cover the pan tightly.

Steam over low heat for 8 - 10 minutes, until the gyozas are cooked through and the water has evaporated.

Serve with the dipping sauce.


This week my Sunday Supper family are sharing their kids' favorite recipes. We hope you find some new family favorites among them. Many thanks to our host Ellen of Family Around the Table and our event manager, Renee of Renee's Kitchen Adventures for all of their hard work.



Main Dish


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pin Pork or Tofu Gyozas! 


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Perfect Lentil Burgers

The perfect lentil burgers have two secret ingredients, mozzarella cheese for fat and moisture and smoked paprika to mimic a little charbroiled flavor. Truly, you will not miss the meat. 

Food Lust People Love: The perfect lentil burgers have two secret ingredients, mozzarella cheese for fat and moisture and smoked paprika to mimic a little charbroiled flavor. Truly, you will not miss the meat.
Nobody likes a dry burger is one of my mottos. This goes for chicken and beef but it goes double for vegetarian patties. A little fat that won’t evaporate off when cooking is key. I first made these lentil burgers using bread I had baked with thick mozzarella slices in the dough.

The whole family declared them the perfect lentil burgers. The problem was, how to recreate them without having to bake that bread again each time, lovely though it was.

I took apart the bread recipe, figured out about how much mozzarella must have been in the number of slices I used for the first perfect lentil burgers and then added that into the new patty mix with plain whole grain sandwich bread. Much to our delight, it worked. I’ve made these lentil burgers many times since and they are always one of the first things my younger daughter asks for when she comes home. Hope you enjoy them!

Perfect Lentil Burgers

One note about the main ingredient, Puy lentils: You don't have to use green lentils actually grown in the Puy region of France because those can be pricey. I do recommend that you source the (almost) identical French lentils grown in other regions of France. They hold their shape much better than any other lentil I've tried, most of which go from not quite cooked to too mushy in a heartbeat. The French lentils will make a much better burger.

Ingredients – for four patties (about 7oz or 200g each – a substantial patty!)
4 slices whole grain sandwich bread
1/4 medium purple onion
2 eggs
3 1/2 oz or 100g mozzarella, grated
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne (I also use more. We like things spicy.)
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fine sea salt
1 cup or 210g uncooked (or about 2 1/2 cups or 485g cooked/rinsed) Puy lentils
(If you are cooking them, boil with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda till tender. Drain and rinse.)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and more for pan

To serve:
4 buns
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced onions
Your favorite condiments – mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc. We like mayo with a little garlic and lemon juice added too.

Toast the slices of bread and cut them into cubes. Chop the onion up.

Process the toast cubes and the onion until the bread is in crumbs. Add the eggs and process until well combined.

Tip the mixture out into a bowl. Add the grated mozzarella and mix well.  Add the smoked paprika, cayenne, a generous sprinkle sea salt and a few good grinds of black pepper. Mix well.

Add the rinsed, drained lentils and the extra virgin olive oil. Mix well.

Form into four patties.

Food Lust People Love: The perfect lentil burgers have two secret ingredients, mozzarella cheese for fat and moisture and smoked paprika to mimic a little charbroiled flavor. Truly, you will not miss the meat.

Pan fry in non-stick pan or griddle with an extra drizzle of olive oil until golden on both sides, about 6-7 minutes a side should do it.

Food Lust People Love: The perfect lentil burgers have two secret ingredients, mozzarella cheese for fat and moisture and smoked paprika to mimic a little charbroiled flavor. Truly, you will not miss the meat.

Serve with sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce on a hamburger bun. You wanna put more cheese, you surely can but it's not necessary. We never do.

Food Lust People Love: The perfect lentil burgers have two secret ingredients, mozzarella cheese for fat and moisture and smoked paprika to mimic a little charbroiled flavor. Truly, you will not miss the meat.


This week Sunday Supper is sharing a plethora of creative hamburger and hot dog recipes that you are going to love! Many thanks to our host Christie of  A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and our event manager Shelby of Grumpy's Honeybunch for all of their hard work.

All American Burgers & Dogs
Cluck Burgers
Worldly Burgers & Dogs
Where's the Beef Burgers
Where's the Bun Burger
Dessert Burger
How to

Pin the Perfect Lentil Burgers!

Food Lust People Love: The perfect lentil burgers have two secret ingredients, mozzarella cheese for fat and moisture and smoked paprika to mimic a little charbroiled flavor. Truly, you will not miss the meat.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Moroccan-style Lentil Chickpea Stew

This dish is traditionally made with ground or minced lamb and is a favorite in Moroccan cuisine and in our house too. But, if I’m honest, I prefer my version substituting lentils for the lamb. The onions, lime and all the spices make this a bright and deliciously warming stew to serve over rice or couscous.

This week my Sunday Supper family is sharing veggie main dishes, making vegetables the star attraction of our supper table. This is the perfect time to share my adaption of a favorite recipe, this lentil and chickpea stew. Just take a look at that list of ingredients! There's so much flavor that you will not miss the meat, I can assure you. Do give it a try! If you are looking to add more veggie-centric meals to your family menu, make sure to scroll down to the check out the link list of our 30 delicious dishes.

This is adapted from a recipe on My Recipes.

1 cup or 210g green (preferably French Puy) lentils
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra drizzle for serving
2 large onions, peeled (13 3/4 oz or 390g)
1 large carrot, peeled (5 oz or 140g by weight)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste (I added a whole teaspoon.)
2 cups vegetable stock from cubes or homemade if you are so inclined
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste (This is going to depend on the saltiness of your stock.)
1 (15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas
Small bunch cilantro plus extra for garnish, if desired
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Note: I’ve given the weights of my onions and carrot to give you an idea of size. Don’t get too hung up on this. A little more carrot or a little less onion and it’s all going to be just fine.

Cook 1 cup or 210g green lentils in a small pot with ample water to cover, until tender. This only takes about 20 minutes so keep an eye on the pot and add more water if necessary. Drain and set aside.

Make up vegetable broth, set aside. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Zest your lime and then juice it.

Cut your carrot up on the diagonal and slice your onions vertically into strips rather than rings. Measure out all your spices. Chop the cilantro.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then add the olive oil to the pan. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté for a few minutes.

Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add cooked lentils, tomato paste, grated lemon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt and chickpeas, then pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and give the pan a little drizzle of olive oil, then stir in cilantro and lime juice.

(If you aren’t serving right away, wait to reheat then add the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.)

Sprinkle on a little extra cilantro for color, if desired.

This dish is perfect served with couscous or rice.


Many thanks to our Sunday Supper hosts this week, D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts. I know this meant he had to work through the holiday weekend so let me just say, you rock, D.B.! Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous!

Veggie Mains

Veggie Snacks and Sweets


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Brussels Sprouts with Harissa, Honey and Lime #BloggerCLUE

Aromatic, spicy harissa, honey and tart lime juice perk up the flavor of pan-roasted Brussels sprouts for a great side dish or serve over rice for a vegetarian main course.

This month my Blogger C.L.U.E. assignment is Authentic Suburban Gourmet and our clue was Autumn flavors. I had such fun poking around in Lisa’s blog with its beautiful photographs that I was drooling a little before I even got to the descriptions! I went about my search a little differently this time. Rather than searching for “fall” or “Autumn” I used Lisa’s drop down archives list and browsed through all of her October recipes from the last few years. I was sorely tempted by the Fig & Honey Infused Goat Cheese Bites, Pear and Honey Crostini with Spicy Candied Pistachios, Fig Tarts with Honey Pistachio Brittle and her Roasted Pork with Port Infused Fig Chutney but finally, I was seduced by these divinely spicy sweet Brussels sprouts!

Lisa’s original recipe called for sriracha but after three Dubai supermarkets turned up no Vietnamese hot sauce, I decided that a regional substitution would work. Harissa, a paste made of chili peppers, garlic and other spices is common in this part of the world and I figured it was not far off from sriracha which is made from chili peppers and garlic as well, but thinned with vinegar. Like Lisa, we are fans of the much maligned Brussels sprout but this recipe might just win over some naysayers too.

1.1 lb or 500g Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon harissa or to taste. Or make Lisa’s original recipe with sriracha!
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice or to taste (I added just a bit more to make up for the vinegar in the sriracha.)
Olive oil for frying

Trim the stem end of the sprouts and cut each one in half. Keep any loose leaves.

In a large bowl, whisk together the harissa, honey and lime juice. Taste and add more harissa or honey if you like. Set aside.

Lisa said to add about a quarter cup of olive oil to a large skillet but since I was using a non-stick pan, I just gave it a good drizzle of oil.

Panfry the halved Brussels sprouts and the loose leaves until deep golden brown and season with a sprinkle of salt during the cooking process.

Transfer the sprouts to the bowl with the harissa, honey and lime sauce. Toss to coat. Taste and add a little more salt, if necessary.


Here's the list of our Blogger C.L.U.E. participants this month:


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Easy Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto

Loaded with flavor, this creamy pesto made from avocado, basil, thyme, oregano and lemon is meant to be served over pasta. I could just eat it with a spoon!

My friend Kathy Hester of Healthy Slow Cooking has another cookbook on the shelves and I’m delighted to say that I have a copy to give away! This one’s called The Easy Vegan Cookbook (<Amazon affiliate link) and it’s perfect for folks who are short on time but don’t want to skimp on flavor. Typical of Kathy’s books, there aren’t a bunch of weird substitutions for non-vegan ingredients, just great tasting vegetable-centric meals. And who couldn’t use more of those in their diets?

Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway!

As I mentioned in my Muffin Monday post earlier this week, my younger daughter has been with us all summer. She’s been a good sport about being flexible about what she’ll eat because she is mostly vegetarian, making the rare exception for a good hamburger once in a while. “All hamburgers are good hamburgers” is another of her axioms. But we have eaten more all veggie meals while she’s been here, especially on days when her father is traveling on business. One of her own specialties is pasta with pesto to which an avocado is added just before serving so I knew that Kathy’s Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto would be a hit.

And how! This stuff is good. So good that I just wanted to eat it with a spoon and forget the pasta. But that wouldn’t be much of a meal so I restrained myself and tossed the noodles in it. Still divine - creamy, luscious, bright and beautifully green. We will definitely be making this one again!

Kathy’s instructions say not to let the specialty basil intimidate you. “If you don’t have lemon basil, you can use regular basil and add lemon zest, extra lemon juice or another lemony herb like lemon verbena or lemon balm.”

I couldn’t find lemon basil. Instead I used lemon thyme, adding a few extra sprigs, but I also added the lemon zest along with a little more lemon juice, as suggested.

Recipe ©Kathy Hester from The Easy Vegan Cookbook, included here by permission from Page Street Publishing.

1 medium-sized ripe avocado
1/2 cup (12g) fresh lemon basil leaves (or substitute regular basil)
1 (2 to 4 in [5 to 10cm]) sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon (3g) fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (59 ml) water plus more if needed
1/2 lb (227 g) cooked whole-wheat angel-hair pasta (I used regular linguine pasta.)

My optional addition: dried red chili flakes

Scoop out the avocado.

Put the avocado flesh, basil, leaves from the thyme and oregano, lemon juice, salt and water in a blender and blend well until the herbs are puréed.

(I used my hand blender instead, pureeing the avocado with the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, thyme and oregano first.)

(Then I added in the basil and pulsed again until smooth.)

(I completely forgot the water but we liked the thickness of the pesto and it coated the pasta beautifully! Just look at that gorgeous color!)

The creamy avocado lemon basil pesto with just a couple of teaspoons missing! Sooooooo good!

If the purée is still too thick, add 2 more tablespoons (30 ml) of water and blend again. Toss with the cooked pasta.

One more tip: This pesto comes together in minutes, so put your pasta in the boiling water while you make it. The pesto will be ready to toss with your piping hot, perfectly cooked pasta. You’ll be out of the kitchen before the pesto has time to get too hot!

If you’d like a sneak peek at some of Kathy’s other recipes, check out the links in this line up from some other participants in the cookbook blog tour. Good stuff! Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway! I've been wanting to try the Creole Okra Corn Soup but I couldn't get any takers at my house for anything okra. So I'm just going to have to make that when I'm home alone. Not a problem because I am sure I can eat the whole pot.

Many thanks to Page Street Publishing for generously donating one copy of Kathy's wonderful book for this giveaway. Please be aware that they will only ship to US or Canadian addresses. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Please leave a comment and tell me why YOU should be the winner of this great cookbook full of delicious recipes - Are you cooking for yourself or for friends and family? - then click on the rafflecopter for other opportunities to enter. Not leaving a comment will disqualify your other entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received one copy of The Easy Vegan Cookbook for review purposes. No other compensation was received. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Zucchini-Wrapped Cheesy Pea Burgers #FoodieExtravaganza

Fresh peas, goat cheese and Parmesan seasoned with garlic, lemon zest and loads of fresh basil make a flavorful patty, even before wrapping in zucchini and grilling!

This month I am hosting the Foodie Extravaganza party and so I have the privilege of choosing the food holiday we are going to celebrate. I had a look at the calendar and couldn’t even consider any of the other options when I saw that May is National Hamburger Month! Perfect for writing about a great recipe that I made last summer and have just been itching to share. Finally, it’s getting to be grilling weather again in the rest of the northern hemisphere!

Now burgers don’t have to be beef! Or even meat. There are a lot of wonderful tasty vegetables and legumes that can be made into patties, grilled and popped on a bun. I make a mean lentil burger, for instance, with cooked Puy lentils, mozzarella and smoked paprika. But this recipe is pretty much straight out of the Waitrose supermarket magazine which they were giving out free at the checkout when we were in the Channel Islands. The original ingredient list called for specific store products, like Waitrose British Blacktail eggs. Well, I don’t know my laying hen varieties but I figure, when it comes to eggs, any fresh one, preferably free range, will do.

Make sure to scroll on down to the bottom of my recipe to see all the great hamburger recipes we have for you today! And happy National Hamburger Month!

Ingredients - makes four patties
5 1/3 oz or 150g fresh hulled peas, blanched
2 1/2 oz or 70g soft goat's cheese
1 egg
1 clove garlic
Good bunch fresh basil, leaves picked from the stems
3 1/2 oz or 100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 oz or 30g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Grated zest 1 lemon
8 oz or 2 medium zucchini or courgettes
Olive oil, for brushing on before grilling

To serve: four buns, tomato, mayonnaise, sliced purple onion or any of your other favorite burger toppings

Put your peas, goat cheese, egg and garlic and in a big bowl and blend it all together until smooth with a hand blender. Or use a food processor.

Add in the fresh breadcrumbs and blend (or process) again.

Next the basil leaves go in.

Then the Parmesan and lemon zest.

Thinly slice the zucchini with a potato peeler.

Arrange them into crosses on a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface. My zucchini must have been shorter than the ones they used in the magazine because I had to overlap them in the middle to wrap all the way around.

Form your cheesy pea mixture into four patties and lay one on each of zucchini crosses. Lay a final slice of zucchini on each one and fold the ends under the patty.

Fold the rest of the slices up and over the patty. They may not be pretty but they will be tasty.

Put these, covered in cling film, into the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

When you are ready to grill, light the charcoal and leave it until the coals are white and heat is uniform.

Brush one side of the patties with olive oil and lay each patty, oil side down, on a small square of aluminum foil. Brush the tops with oil.

Place these on the grill and cook for about four or five minutes.

Check that the underside of the patties are browning nicely.

Turn the patties over and carefully peel off the foil.

Cook on that side until the patties are nicely browned.

Turn the patties a couple of more times to make sure they are browned evenly and are cooked through.

Serve on toasted buns with mayonnaise, sliced tomato and onion.


And my husband is so good on the Weber that I asked him to grill baby gem lettuces and I made this salad to go along side the burger. Isn't it pretty?

Check out all the delicious burgers we have for you today!

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month we celebrate National Hamburger Month by serving up burgers of all kinds.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to our Facebook page to join. We would love to have you!

Follow our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest board for past events and more deliciousness!