What is Agar Agar?

Posted by Jennifer (The RD)

Agar agar is a non animal alternative to gelatin.  It is a combination of different sea vegetables and is used to stabilize/firm pies, puddings, jellies, etc.  Just like gelatin, it needs to be dissolved in hot liquid, but firms up and thickens at room temperature.  I bought a package at the Chinese supermarket and noticed that it was at least 50% cheaper than it was at Whole foods! 🙂

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Veggie Chile Relleno

Posted By Jennifer (the Student)

 

Chile Relleno is a popular Mexican dish, translated it means “stuffed chile.” Traditionally, chile relleno is a dish that is stuffed with cheese, battered and then deep-fried. I thought with a few changes, I could make this dish healthier and just as tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 poblano chilies (can substitute ancho or anaheim chilies)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 yellow crookneck squash (diced)
  • 2 ears of corn (cut corn of the cob)
  • 2 zucchini (diced)
  • ½ cup shredded monterey jack cheese (or any cheese you like)
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook chilies on a gas-stove top or on a grill pan. Turn peppers frequently, blacken evenly without burning thought or overcooking. Once peppers are blackened and blistered, place in a sealed glass bowl (use a lid or plastic wrap) and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil and diced onion. Cook for several minutes.
  4. Add squash, corn and zucchini to skillet and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently.
  5. Peel the blackened skin off the peppers. Then cut a slit down the side of the pepper starting close to the stem down to the tip. Carefully, remove the seeds and veins as to not tear the pepper.
  6. Carefully, stuff each pepper with ¼ of sautéed vegetables per pepper.
  7. Place stuffed peppers in a baking dish and top with cheese.
  8. Bake 10 to 15 minutes to melt the cheese.
  9. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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Okara Veggie Burgers (Vegan)

Posted by Jennifer (The RD)

This is an extermely inexpensive way to eat a veggie burger.   You can make these burgers for a fraction of the cost of regular veggie burgers.  I came up with this recipe because students in my vegetarian course were complaining about the cost of vegetarian convenience items.  I used okara, which is the pulpy fiber that remains after making soy milk.  I usually buy it at Marukai in Gardena, but I heard it is also at Meiji Tofu, also in Gardena.  Recently, I bought a small bag at Tozai foods in Rosemead. Sometimes I use 25% dried Okara (bought in the package) amd 75% fresh okara because the addition of dried okara  seems to help the burger bind a little better.

Ingerdients

  • 2 cups okara (soybean pulp  I buy it at Marukai in Gardena)
  • ½ cup steel cut oats
  • ½ cup diced veggies (I used mixed colored bell peppers)
  • 2 TB imitation bacon bits (optional)
  • ¼ Cup plus 2 TB Teriyaki sauce (I used Soy Vay)
  • ¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients and press firmly into patties;  place on a lightly greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees – approximately 15 minutes on each side.  Since these burgers contain no egg, they are somewhat fragile, so be careful when turning them.

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White Bean & Mushroom Soup

Posted by Jennifer (the student)

We so rarely have rain in southern California. Whenever it rains I start planning all the soups and stews I want to make. Yesterday was the perfect day for soup but unfortunately I did not have time. Of course, today is a sunny and warm day. Despite the warm weather, I still want my soup fix.

This soup is simple to make and is full of vegetables and fiber. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

* 2 Tbsp olive oil

* 1 sweet onion, diced

* 1 pound mushrooms, trimmed & sliced

* 1 pound new potatoes, chopped

* 4 celery stalks, diced

* 3-15 oz cans white beans (cannellini), drained & rinsed

* 1 garlic clove, diced

* 2 bay leaves

* 16oz low-sodium vegetable broth

* 1 lemon, juiced

* 1 ½ cup almond milk (any milk you like)

* salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add in onions. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Then add mushrooms, potatoes and celery. Mix to combine and cook for 7-10 minutes more with a lid.
  3. Add beans, garlic and bay leaves. Combine and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. Add milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and mix in lemon juice. Serve.

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Almond tofu pudding

Posted by Jennifer (the RD)

This recipe is a spin off of the chocolate tofu pudding I have been making for my friends and also in my vegetarian lifestyle course. I wanted to try something different. I had a craving for the almond jello (you may have tried it at a Chinese restaurant) that my mom usually makes since it was absent from our Christmas menu this year for some reason. So, I decided to try to do an almond tofu pudding!

1 block silken tofu, drained
3 TB regular, almond, or soy milk
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. almond extract
Chopped almonds as garnish, optional

Blend first 4 ingredients together until smooth. Garnish with almonds and enjoy.

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