Sunday, May 8, 2011

What a (former raw) Vegan Gets for Her 21st

On my 21st birthday, I was awoken bright and early (meaning around 9:30 AM) by a delivery man. It turned out that not only did this delivery man's father live in my hometown, but he also had a huge arrangement of fruit for me!

Edible Arrangement.

Waking up to a batch of fresh fruit made even this cranky not-morning person very happy! Thanks for the thoughtful gift, Mom!

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My favorite part is probably the pineapple flower. Seriously adorable.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Shallots and Sesame Seeds

Occasionally, the two apartments in my duplex get together for a house dinner. I'm the only vegan, but I find ways to coerce people into accommodating me. This is the result.


The baby bok choy is pictured with penne al vodka, fresh bread, vegetable fried rice, and a chickpea "curry."


Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Shallots and Sesame Seeds
Serves: 4

1 pound baby bok choy
2 small shallots, peeled and slicked into very thin rings
1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Slice off the stubby base of the bok choy from the white, thick bottoms. If the bok choy is longer than 3 to 4 inches, slice the stems once or twice into large chunks. Place the bok choy in a large bowl or salad spinner, fill the bowl with water, and slosh the bok choy around to clean (it can be a little sandy, so do this a few times). Drain and shake off any excess water (if using a salad spinner, give it a spin). Set aside.

Heat the peanut oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots, separating them in the pan with a slotted spatula. Fry gently in oil for 5 to 6 minutes until they're deep golden brown and crisp (it will take a while to get past the soft fried stage, then all of a sudden the shallots will start to crisp, so watch carefully so as not to burn them). Remove the shallots form the pan with a spatula or spoon and set aside onto a plate (it's okay if a few bits remain in the pan). If no oil remains in the pan, drizzle in a little extra oil.

Quickly sauté the grated ginger for 15 seconds. Add the bok choy and stir to coat with oil and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes until the green leaves start to wilt. Add the mirin and soy sauce, stir briefly, and cover the pan. Steam for 2 minutes, then remove the lid. Stir for about 30 seconds more and remove from the heat. Transfer the bok choy to a serving plate, top with the fried shallots, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

PS: If you're using regular bok choy (I did half and half): slice the white stems away from the leavy tops. Chop the stems into 2- to 3- inch chunks. When ready to cook the bok choy, place the chunks in the pan first and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the green leafy parts as directed.

edit: Amy Groark pointed out that I forgot to credit Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero for this recipe. I promise this wasn't intentional! While I may edit a recipe or two on this blog to keep it vegan, I definitely don't have the skills to make my own recipes from scratch (at least not yet!).