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Monday, November 1, 2010

Meatless Monday - A Special Guest

My good friend Laloofah, from the wonderful blog Mehitable Days, is being kind enough to share with us some of her vegan cooking expertise. I'm so glad she is here today, and even more glad that she has agreed to do two guest posts. So, be on the lookout because she will be visiting again soon, with another yummy creation.
I'm going to be doing a little extra veg stuff this month in honor of Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month Of Food). I'm very happy to take part, and I'm hoping to welcome some vegetarians to the old blog. So, if you are new, welcome, I'm so happy you stopped by. And, to my dear regulars, please enjoy this recipe that Laloofah is sharing with us today. Take it away Laloofah.

A few years after my husband and I became vegan, I got a wicked hankering for New England clam chowder. It wasn't a soup I ate a lot growing up despite having lived in various New England states (mostly Maine), but occasionally I would crave it and that craving had come upon me once again. So I found a couple of recipes for vegan versions, used ideas from both and added some of my own, and over the years I made changes every time I made the soup till I arrived at what, to me, is a perfect vegan version of New England clam chowder and now one of my husband's very favorite soups! It's a good way to eat nutritious sea veggies, too, which are available online or in Asian or natural food stores.

Happy-As-A-Clam Clamfree Chowder
A yummy and nutritious soup, especially on a nor'easter sort of day! Ayuh! :-)

1/4 cup tamari
1 tsp dulse flakes
1/4 tsp nori flakes
1/8 tsp kelp flakes

1 14-oz (more or less) organic extra firm tofu, marinated, baked and cubed (see directions below)

About 3-4 TBSP water (for sautéing)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups water
2 cups organic unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 TBSP dulse flakes or a combination of dulse and nori flakes
1/2 tsp celery seed
3 large potatoes, cubed (I use organic Yukon Golds)
3 celery stalks, chopped

Mix the dulse, nori and kelp flakes with the tamari. Set aside.
Drain the tofu well (press as much water out as possible) and slice it into strips about 1/4" thick and 1/2" wide, and marinate them in the tamari mix for 3-4 hours, turning the tofu strips now and then so it's well coated in the marinade. (I marinate them using one of those leak-proof containers with the locking latched lids, so I just turn the entire container over every hour or so).
After marinating, bake the "tofu sticks" on a dark, nonstick cookie sheet at 425ºF for 10-15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned but not crispy. Let cool. Cut into cubes for the chowder and set aside. (I like to use all but a handful - about 4 or 5 of the strips - in the soup, using the rest on tossed salads or just to nibble on.)
Heat 3-4 TBSP of water in a large non-stick soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until onion is soft. (If necessary, add a little more water to prevent sticking).
Add the 2 cups of water and the soy milk and stir.
Add the salt, pepper and celery seed and bring to a low boil. Add the potatoes and celery, immediately reduce heat to low-medium, and let the chowder simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 30-45 minutes), stirring occasionally. (I tend to simmer mine covered, and at my high altitude it takes about 45 minutes for the potatoes to be done. The longer you simmer the soup, the thicker it will be).
Add the tofu cubes during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking. (Adding them sooner makes them too soft).
Salt to taste, if desired -- but remember that the dulse flakes and the marinated tofu both taste salty!

Makes 6-8 servings

To learn more about nutritious, delicious sea vegetables and more ways to incorporate them into your diet, visit Maine Coast Sea Vegetables or Cooks Thesaurus: Sea Vegetables.

If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth,

then let it be, first of all, to carry a message of respect ~ respect for all life.

~ Jacques Cousteau

Thanks Laloofah for sharing with all of us.


Laloofah said...

Thank YOU, Jennifer! I'm delighted to be your first Vegan MoFo blogging guest! :-)

I usually make lots of soup during the cold weather, but so far I've made almost none because we haven't been having any cold weather! It's been ridiculously warm and sunny and that's supposed to continue for at least another week. But as soon as my local natural food store gets in a new batch of organic Yukon Golds, I'm making this soup again. It's soooooo good! And though the recipe looks long and involved, it's really quite easy. I'm a simple cook. :-)

I wish you great success and much fun during Vegan MoFo!

Happy World Vegan Day (and a belated happy Halloween to you, too!) :-) xoxo

Jamie said...

I'm excited for more fun recipes!

Gilding Lilies said...

Hooray Laloofah, I'm so glad to have you as my guest today!
Don't worry Jamie, the lentils are coming!

lisa said...

Sounds interesting, and looks delicious!! Thank you for sharing!

Johanna said...

Hi Jenny,
A big thank you from the Yukon!!!!
Thank you so so much for my beautiful gift (from La Porte Rouge mail swap). I adore my necklace and look forward to reading the book that you sent me. The card is just gorgeous as is the photo that you sent me. Thank you so much for the thoughtful and beautiful gift!
And on another note- this recipe looks super duper yummy...I may give it a go.

~ Johanna

Rose said...

Guest posts are such a fun idea for Vegan Mofo!

Thanks to Laloofah for the recipe: it sounds excellent and looks very authentic: truly thick, rich, and full of flavor...I feel I can almost taste it from the photo! I love the mermaid and other sea-faring props!

I haven't had clam chowder since I was a kid...and it is one of those things that you might get a certain craving for. I am definitely putting this on my list of things to try...I'd make it tonight, but I have to do my own mofo theme...and it's taken me to Bolivian cuisine...kind of wish it were New England now.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more great posts and recipes! Happy World Vegan Day, and Happy MoFoing!

Gilding Lilies said...

I'm so glad you all enjoyed Laloofahs recipe. She is a peach! More recipes coming soon, hooray!

Laloofah said...

I'm glad too, and appreciate everyone's nice comments! I hope you enjoy the soup!

And thank you, Jennifer! :-) xoxo!