Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vegetables in a Brown Sauce with Vegan "Chicken"

I have been living in this neighborhood in Brooklyn for over 3 1/2 years now and occasionally get take out from this place called Zen Vegetarian House.  It's a mostly vegan place and is pretty decent, although they do rely rather heavily on fake meat.  It's ok to have occasionally.  Sometimes I get into this kick where I am craving a certain dish but do not want to buy it out - hello spending too much money and eating too much oil and salt!  So, I figure out a way to make it at home, and have a great time doing it.  At Zen I usually get a vegan chicken dish with some kind of veggies - usually eggplant or green beans.  This time when I made it at my house, I wanted to add more veggies, so I did and it was awesome.  Hubby liked it too, once he got rolling his eyes at my calling it "chicken" out of the way.  He still gives me a funny look every time I call something chicken or meat or whatever, making me backtrack and call it chicken or meat with those awesome air quotes.  You know what I mean.  Keeps me on my toes I guess!  Anyway, take a look at the recipe and enjoy a takeout meal that you can make yourself. 

Vegetables in a Brown Sauce with Vegan "Chicken":

Rice, Sauteed Veggies in a Brown Sauce & "Chicken"

Serves 4

Sauteed Veggies:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, cut on the diagonal
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
3/4 cup snap peas, tough ends removed
1/2 cup orange or red bell pepper, julienned
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Brown Sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/4 cup tamari/shoyu
3 tablespoons vegetarian Oyster/Mushroom Sauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water

Cooked white or brown rice, to serve

Vegan Chicken or other meat replacement, cooked and ready to eat.

1.  Prepare the brown sauce first. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil.  Allow it to become hot and add the garlic.  Saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes or until golden and fragrant, but not browned.  Add the ginger and cook for an additional minute. 
2.  Add the filtered water, tamari or shoyu and the vegetarian oyster sauce.  Whisk well to combine all ingredients.  Bring the ingredients up to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. 
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the arrowroot powder and water until the arrowroot is dissolved.  Pour this mixture into the simmering liquid, whisking immediately.  Allow the sauce to continue to simmer, whisking periodically until thickened.  Turn off the heat, cover the pot and get started on the veggies. 
4.  For the veggies, place a large wok over medium-high heat and add the oil, allowing it to become hot.  Add the broccoli, carrots and onion and saute for several minutes.  Add the remaining veggies and continue sauteing until tender-crisp.  Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper - not a lot, just enough to give the veggies some flavor. 
5.  Place a couple ladle-fulls of the brown sauce on top of the cooked veggies, stirring to combine.  Season to taste.
6.  To serve, place a serving of rice on your plate, followed by a generous serving of the veggies in the brown sauce.  Top with the veggie chicken, or any other kind of protein source/meat replacer.  Drizzle with additional brown sauce if desired.  That's it!  Super easy and tasty!



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