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Cover: The Gourmet Garden

Recipes with soy sauce

16Jul 12

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean CasseroleThis classic green bean casserole is a delightfully rich and creamy main course and a great way to get your kids to eat their green beans.  It uses rice and cornflour rather than wheat flour, so it can very easily be converted into a gluten-free dish if necessary, simply by using gluten-free soy and Worcestershire sauce.

What you’re going to need:

For the topping:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced  in ¼-cm rings
  • 125g cornflour
  • Canola oil (or other light oil) for frying
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the casserole:

  • 60g sweet rice flour
  • 315ml milk (or soy or other milk)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (about 400g) cut green beans
  • 1 can (about 200g) sliced mushrooms, drained

What you have to do:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Generously grease an ovenproof casserole dish.
  3. Make the onion topping: Dust the onions with cornflour or place both in paper bag and shake thoroughly.
  4. Heat 1-inch of canola oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Fry a few onion rings at a time until they turn golden brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper immediately.
  5. Stir the sweet rice flour into about 60ml of the milk until smooth. Place this mixture and the rest of the milk in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, celery salt, salt, garlic, and pepper.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  7. Add the green beans, mushrooms, and half of the onion topping and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the greased casserole dish.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes on the middle rack of the preheated oven, or until the casserole is bubbling.
  9. Top the casserole with the rest of the onion topping.
  10. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until onions are hot.
  11.  Serve immediately.

 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty: Medium

Note: If getting kids to eat their veggies is a problem, there are tons of ways to “disguise” the flavour – like in this carrot halwa recipe. Why not make the green bean casserole as the main course and the carrot halwa for dessert? You just couldn’t get any healthier!

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21Jun 12

Broccoli and Tofu in Coconut Milk

broccoli and tofu in coconut milkLike most stir-fries, this broccoli and tofu in coconut milk stir-fry is incredibly easy to throw together and makes for a tasty meal when you’re short on time and your family is clamouring for their supper.  Both the broccoli and the tofu soak up the sauce really well, so every bite is packed full of yummy coconut and spice flavours. (Also try this vegetable stir-fry delight!)

The best way to make a stir-fry is of course in a wok, but if you don’t have one at hand, you can use any good, large non-stick frying pan.  I do recommend you get yourself a wok as soon as possible though, because it really makes it easier to fry the veggies quickly, plus they tend to be bigger than most frying pans so you don’t have to worry about the ingredients spilling over the side when you stir energetically.

What you’re going to need:

  • 300g soft tofu, cut into pieces 1cm x 1cm x 3cm
  • 500g broccoli, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2tbsp Tamari soy sauce
  • 1tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp fresh chilli peppers, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp canola oil
  • 2tbsp water

What you have to do:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the garlic, ginger and chillies.
  3. Sauté for about 1 minute or until the spices turn brown and aromatic.
  4. Add the Tamari and stir well to mix in the spices.
  5. Increase the heat to high and add the chopped broccoli and tofu.  Stir well and make sure all the broccoli and tofu are coated with the Tamari and spice liquid.
  6. Continue stir-frying over high heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the water and keep stir-frying for another 3 minutes.
  8. Add the coconut milk and mix well.
  9. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 4 minutes.
  10. Serve over a bed of steamed rice or Chinese-style noodles.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves:  2-3

Difficulty: Easy

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08Jun 12

TVP Veggie Burgers

TVP Veggie BurgersBefore I became a vegetarian, one of my all-time favourite foods was hamburgers.  So when I finally converted to vegetarianism, I decided I had to learn how to make veggie burgers.  Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) seemed like the way to go for substituting the meat, and after a few slightly disastrous attempts, I eventually came up with this recipe for TVP Veggie Burgers.  The recipe was an instant success with both family and friends and has been a weekly staple of my diet ever since.

If you prefer not to use TVP, these spicy beanburgers are also rather tasty, and a good alternative for those who try to refrain from “meat substitutes” like TVP or tofu.

The hardest part of the recipe is getting the right ratio of wet and dry ingredients so that the burgers stick together when you mould them into shape.  This is achieved by varying the exact amount of breadcrumbs added to the mix. At first, try using a little bit less than the indicated amount and keep adding more until you get them to a consistency where they stick together well but not to your hands.  As always, practise makes perfect.

What you’re going to need:

  • 200 g TVP (Vegetable Protein Mince)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

What you have to do:

  1. Mix the TVP in a large mixing bowl with the soy sauce and boiling water and wait for it to puff up (about 2 minutes).
  2. In the meantime, fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until it’s translucent but not brown and add to the TVP mixture.
  3. Add the paprika, curry powder, salt and pepper, and stir well.
  4. Beat in the 2 eggs and add breadcrumbs. Mix well.
  5. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Take it out and form it into tightly packed balls, about the size of tennis balls.
  7. Squeeze the balls between your hands to make patties about 1.5 cm thick.
  8. Fry the patties in a little oil over medium heat until they are dark brown on the outside (about 4 minutes per side).
  9. Leave the finished burgers on a wire cookie rack to cool, allowing the oil to run off so as to avoid greasy burgers.
  10. Serve between 2 slices of toasted whole-grain bread with your favourite toppings.

Preparation time: 45 minutes (including 30 minutes setting in fridge)

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 8

Difficulty: Medium

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07May 12

Basic Seitan Recipe

Basic Seitan RecipeSometimes I like to vary from using tofu because a lot of my non-vegetarian friends claim that it can be quite bland and sometimes has a strange texture (although this really depends on whether you know how to cook it properly). They also say that it doesn’t resemble meat in taste or in texture.

 

On the other hand, I’ve never heard anyone make similar complaints about seitan, also known as “Wheat-Meat“, which is nice and chewy and really does resemble meat a bit.  The price, however, is a bit abusive if you buy it at the shop, so here’s a basic seitan recipe which will make about four times as much for the same price.

I personally like using seitan in hearty seitan stewstir-fries, or even fried and eaten in a bun like a hamburger.  It’s very filling and really not all that hard to make, and once you get the hang of it, you can try other spices to make your own personalised flavour.

What you’re going to need:

  • 250ml wheat gluten
  • 180ml vegetable broth for the seitan mix.
  • 30ml soy sauce
  • 5ml ginger powder
  • 5ml garlic powder
  • 1.5 litres vegetable broth for cooking
  • 4 onion slices
  • 3 slices fresh ginger

What you have to do:

  1. Mix together the wheat gluten, ginger powder and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the soy sauce and 180 ml of vegetable broth in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the soy sauce mixture to the gluten and spice mixture, stirring gently with a spoon and then with your hands until they are well blended.
  4. Kneed the dough gently10-15 times on a flat, clean surface.
  5. Let the dough set for 5 minutes, then kneed again 4 more times.
  6. Separate the dough into 4 chunks and stretch into 2 cm thick cutlets.
  7. Bring the cooking broth to a boil in a large stockpot with the onion and ginger slices.
  8. Add the cutlets to the broth and simmer slowly, covered, for 60 minutes.
  9. When the cutlets are expanded and firm, they’re ready.
  10. Place the cutlets in plastic containers and fill up with broth.
  11. The seitan can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 8

Difficulty: Medium

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