Three Recipes for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

January 12, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I received a bamboo steamer as a gift over the holidays from my in-house taste tester. It was partially a hint to make some of the awesome dumplings we had when we were in Sydney, Australia. I’ll some day try to re-create those dumplings, in the meantime, I adapted three recipes and created my own dim sum extravaganza.

If you get a brand new bamboo steamer, heat some water in a wok to boiling. Place the steamer over the water, and let it sit there empty for about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to use it for cooking, line the bottom with lettuce or cabbage leaves so all your hard work doesn’t end up just sticking to the bottom of the steamer. (Trust me, I experimented by not using them for the last batch and I really don’t want to go through that clean-up again.)

The stuffings are very easy and quick to make. Count on spending a little time in the assembly of the dumplings; although, they are a lot of fun to put together.

Three Recipes for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings
by Megabeth

Prior to starting these recipes, cut 14 oz block of tofu in half, press with paper towels for at least 20 minutes. Two of the recipes below require one half of the entire block.

1 package won-ton wrappers (40)
lettuce or cabbage leaves for bamboo steamer

Dumplings with Tofu and Vegetables
(inspired by Alton Brown)

7 oz firm tofu, diced
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (prepackaged shredded mix)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 T finely chopped scallions
1 T soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 egg lightly beaten

Finely chop shredded broccoli and carrots. Put ingredients in small bowl and mix to combine.

Shitake and Soy
6 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and chopped
1 T soy sauce

Combine in bowl.

Spicy Tofu with Chili Garlic
7 oz tofu, diced
1 T chili paste with garlic
1 scallion, finely chopped

Place ingredients in small bowl. Stir to combine.

Place lettuce or cabbage leaves in bottom of bamboo steamer. (Leaves prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bamboo…trust me.)

Place wonton wrapper on flat surface. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of filling in middle of wrapper. Wet finger with water and brush the edges so that they will stick together when folded. Fold into a triangle or into a bundle. Place dumpling in steamer. Cover dumplings with damp paper towel while working on assembling the rest.

Once you’ve filled the steamer trays, fill the bottom of wok with water (not enough to touch bottom of steamer) and bring to a boil. Place covered bamboo steamer in wok. (Be sure to remove the damp paper towels from inside of steamer used during preparation!) Allow to steam for 10-15 minutes.

While they are cooking, assemble more of the dumplings until you run out of filling (or run out of energy). Put finished dumplings in a preheated 200 degree oven until all are finished cooking. Otherwise, serve dumplings straight from the steamer.Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

 Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

 Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

34 Simple (Vegetarian) Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

October 05, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes


In 2007, the New York Times wrote an article called Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. I’ve held on to the article (yes, from the actual newspaper) and just came across it again in a massive desk clean-up. So, rather than hiding it back into a deep dark drawer, I figured I’d list some of the ideas here.

In the original, the majority of the dishes included meat (mostly fish), but there were many on there that are vegetarian or vegan. I’ve also included several that were easy to substitute with a faux meat. Many of these dishes can be prepared if you are good about keeping the basics in your pantry. (For a refresher check out my list of what every vegetarian should have in their kitchen.)

So, without further ado, here are 34 simple vegetarian meals ready in 10 minutes or less.

1. Make six-minute eggs: Simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.
2. Toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta, diluting the sauce if necessary with pasta cooking water.
3. Make pesto: put a couple of cups of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil as necessary in a blender (walnuts and Parmesan are optional). Serve over pasta (dilute with oil or water as necessary).

IMG_89184. Gazpacho: Combine one pound tomatoes cut into chunks, a cucumber peeled and cut into chunks, two or three slices stale bread torn into pieces, a quarter-cup olive oil, two tablespoons sherry vinegar and a clove of garlic in a blender with one cup water and couple of ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then serve or refrigerate, garnished with a little more olive oil.
5. Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and black pepper.
6. Chinese tomato and eggs: Cook minced garlic in peanut oil until blond; add chopped tomatoes then, a minute later, beaten eggs, along with salt and pepper. Scramble with a little soy sauce.
7. Cut eggplant into half-inch slices. Broil with lots of olive oil, turning once, until tender and browned. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.

IMG_35388. While pasta cooks, combine a couple cups chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon or more minced garlic, olive oil and 20 to 30 basil leaves. Toss with pasta, salt, pepper and Parmesan.


9. Egg in a hole, glorified: Tear a hole in a piece of bread and fry in butter. Crack an egg into the hole. Deglaze pan with a little sherry vinegar mixed with water, and more butter; pour over egg.
10. Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontina mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.
11. Fast chile rellenos: Drained canned whole green chilies. Make a slit in each and insert a piece of cheese. Dredge in flour and fry in skillet slit side up, until cheese melts.
12. Saute 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Meanwhile, grate pecorino, grind lots of black pepper, chop parsley and cook pasta. Toss all together, along with crushed dried chili flakes and salt.
13. Cold soba with dipping sauce: Cook soba noodles, then rinse in cold water until cool. Serve with a sauce of soy sauce and minced ginger diluted with mirin and/or dry sake.

IMG_099514. Fried rice: Soften vegetables with oil in a skillet. Add cold take-out rice, chopped onion, garlic, ginger, peas and two beaten eggs. Toss until hot and cooked through. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
15. Taco salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, a small can of black beans and kernels from a couple of ears of corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime and chopped cilantro leaves.


16. Migas, with egg: Saute chopped stale bread with olive oil, mushrooms, onions and spinach. Stir in a couple of eggs.
17. Saute shredded (or sliced) zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. Serve over pasta.


18. Not takeout: Stir-fry onions with cut-up broccoli. Add cubed tofu along with a tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger. When almost done, add half cup of water, two tablespoons soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. Heat through and serve over fresh Chinese noodles.


19. The Waldorf: Toast a handful of walnuts in a skillet. Chop an apple or pear; toss with greens, walnuts and a dressing made with olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and shallot. Top if you like, with crumbled goat or blue cheese.
20. Put a stick of butter and a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until both are brown. Toss with cooked pasted, grated Parmesan and black pepper.
21. Put a tablespoon of cream and a slice of tomato in each of several small ramekins. Top with an egg, then salt, pepper, ad grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees until the eggs set. Serve with toast.
22. Make a fast tomato sauce of olive oil, chopped tomatoes and garlic. Poach eggs in the sauce, then top with Parmesan.


23. Peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter or oil with garlic; do not overcook. Finish with parsley, lemon juice and coarse salt; serve over toast.
24. Rich vegetable soup: Cook asparagus tips and peeled stalks or most any other green vegetable in [vegetable] stock with a little tarragon until tender; reserve a few tips and puree the rest with a little butter (cream or yogurt, too, if you like) adding enough stock to thin the puree. Garnish with the reserved tips. Serve hot or cold.
25. Brush portobello caps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil until tender. Briefly sweat chopped onions, then scramble eggs with them. Put eggs in mushrooms.
26. Near instant mezze: Combine hummus on plate with yogurt laced with chopped cucumbers and a bit of garlic, plus tomato, feta, white beans with olive oil and pita bread.
27. Sear corn kernels in olive oil with minced jalapenos and chopped onions; toss with cilantro, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell pepper and lime.


28. Pit and chop a cup or more of mixed olives. Combine with olive oil, a little minced garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped basil or parsley. Serve over pasta.
29. Grated carrots topped with six-minute eggs (run under cold water until cool before peeling), olive oil and lemon juice.
30. Cut off the top of four big tomatoes; scoop out the interior and mix them with toasted stale baguette or pita, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs (basil, tarragon, and/or parsley). Stuff into tomatoes and serve with salad.
31. Pasta frittata: Turn cooked pasta and a little garlic into an oiled or buttered skillet. Brown, pressing to create a cake. Flip, then top with three or four beaten eggs and loads of Parmesan. Brown other side and serve.
32. Ketchup-braised tofu: Dredge large tofu cubes in flour. [Megabeth note: press and drain tofu to get excess liquid out before using.] Brown in oil; remove from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Add a little more oil, then a tablespoon minced garlic; 30 seconds later, add one and a half cups ketchup and the tofu. Cook until sauce bubbles and tofu is hot.
33. Veggie burger: Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup of rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.
34. So-called Fettuccine Alfredo: Heat several tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of cream in a large skillet just until the cream starts to simmer. Add slightly undercooked fresh pasta to the skillets, along with plentuy of grated Parmesan. Cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta is tender and hot.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

July 01, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Tofu puffs! Where have you been all my life?

About a week ago, I stumbled upon a huge case of tofu products at my local international store. Nestled in with all the different kinds of tofu, I found an intriguing package labeled “soy puffs”.

soy puffs

I quickly snatched up a package but realized as soon as I got home I had no idea what to do with them.  Apparently they work well in stews and soups because the puffs tend to suck up the flavor of liquid. With that knowledge in hand,  I came up with the recipe for Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas.  The crispy green beans, snap peas and green onions from our CSA delivery worked perfectly with the puffs.

The really great taste paired with the no-fuss preparation make tofu puffs something I could easily get addicted to. However, based on the nutritional value of these puffs, I’m going to have to classify them as a “sometimes food”. But, what a great discovery!

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas
by Megabeth

  • 1 5oz package refrigerated tofu/soy puffs
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 green onions, white parts diced – slice some of the green for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon, sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add soy puffs and blanch for 3-4 minutes. (Use a spoon to dunk the puffs as they have a tendency to float to the surface.) Once heated through, drain thoroughly and set aside.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

In a wok or a pan with high sides, add sesame oil and heat on medium high. Once oil is hot, add garlic and the chopped white parts of the green onion. Cook until they soften and begin to brown.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

In a small bowl, combine tamari and rice wine vinegar. Add green beans and snap peas to the wok then add the tamari mixture. Stir fry until the vegetables are mostly cooked through – about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the tofu to the pan, then add the vegetable broth. Stir to coat everything with the sauce in the pan. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook until tofu puffs soften.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

In a small bowl, add the corn starch plus one tablespoon water. Stir to make a thick paste. Push the vegetables to the side and add cornstarch to the vegetable broth at the bottom of the pan to thicken the sauce. Mix to coat the vegetables and tofu. Let cook another 1 or 2 minutes.

img_Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

Once plated, drizzle with some of the sauce and sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

General Tso’s Tofu and Chinese Noodles

May 05, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

General Tso's Tofu and Chinese Noodles

This recipe looks like it has a lot of steps. It really doesn’t. It’s basically marinate and cook tofu, boil then stir-fry noodles, cook broccoli and enjoy.  In the spirit of full disclosure, though, the tofu pan and the noodle stir-fry pan are a bit messy to clean up afterward. But, give them a good soak and they’ll clean right up.  It’s totally worth it.

General Tso’s Tofu and Chinese Noodles
1 bottle General Tso’s sauce
1 12oz package, extra firm tofu
1 10oz package Chinese noodles
1/2 16oz package frozen organic broccoli
liquid aminos or soy sauce

Drain tofu by placing on plate lined with paper towels. Place paper towels on top of tofu. Put another plate on top and weigh down with another plate or other item. Press tofu for one hour to remove as much liquid as possible. (Change paper towels as necceary.)

Cut tofu into 1 inch squares. And put into bowl or cylindrical container. Pour the General Tso’s sauce over tofu and stir (or cover the container and roll it around a bit) to coat. Marinate covered for at least 15 minutes in refrigerator. (You can marinate tofu while preparing noodles and broccoli.)

General Tso's Tofu and Chinese Noodles

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add Chinese noodles and cook until soft. Drain noodles and place in bowl. Drizzle a little canola oil over the noodles for a light coating.

General Tso's Tofu and Chinese Noodles

Add noodles to pre-heated skillet on medium-high and stir-fry until they turn slightly brown. Place in bowl and add a few sprays of liquid aminos or some soy sauce to taste.

Cook broccoli per package directions.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add marinated tofu to skillet. Cook on all sides until browned. Add cooked broccoli to the container the tofu was marinating in and stir to coat with leftover sauce.

Put noodles on plate, top with tofu and broccoli.
General Tso's Tofu and Chinese Noodles

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