Thursday, January 17, 2008

Recipe: Pineapple Ginger Veggie Meatballs

I found the original recipe in a magazine back in the early '80s.  I liked the flavor so much that I modified the recipe (more juice, etc.) and made it vegan so I could continue to enjoy it. It is especially good when served over brown rice and with a salad.


1 pkg. Veggie Meatballs
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ginger, ground
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1- 6 oz. can pineapple juice
1-6 oz. can pineapple, tidbits or crushed
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped


1.  Cook veggie meatballs according to package directions. Some varieties call for them being added to sauce/gravy for a few minutes at the end of prep.

2.  Mix cornstarch, brown sugar, and ginger.  Stir in pineapple juice (plus juice from crushed pineapple), vinegar, and soy sauce. Mix until smooth and then pour into skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for one minute.

3.  Add Veggie Meatballs, pineapple, and green pepper; heat through.

Servings:  Approximately 6.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Recipe: Virginia's Vegan Soft Tacos

Larger tortillas, no beans.    (click to enlarge)              Taco size with beans.

I had such a difficult time finding my favorite natural taco seasoning mix that I developed my own blend. Through the years, I've updated this recipe numerous times. If someone didn’t tell you that these were vegan tacos, you’d never know…really! My favorite toppings are Daiya Cheddar Cutting Board Shreds, salsa, guacamole, green onions, and romaine. Other topping ideas: cilantro, chilies, vegan sour cream, etc. Our preference is for a larger (enchilada) size tortilla, which allows for more fillings and easier eating. Living on the road means you have to be flexible, though, and we still enjoy them with the more traditional taco size tortilla. 


Taco Seasoning Blend
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
pinch cumin
pinch turmeric

Veggie Meat Filling
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pkg. (12 oz.) ground meat substitute (such as Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef, Yves Veggie Ground Round, Light Life Smart Ground, or Boca Veggie Ground Crumbles)
about ¼ cup water

Bean Filling
2 cans refried black beans

1 pkg. (8 to 12) soft tortillas (our favorites for soft tacos: whole wheat original size)

1. Mix taco seasoning ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

2. In a large skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sauté onions and bell pepper until onions are translucent and bell peppers are tender. Add the veggie meat substitute, stir to disperse, and add a little water. When moistened slightly, sprinkle taco seasoning mixture over the top; and mix thoroughly. Cook according to label instructions. 

3. Spread a thin layer of the refried black beans over the tortillas, sprinkle some of the ground "meat" over the beans, dribble some salsa, and (if you desire) add shredded "cheese." Heat about one minute on high in the microwave; then finish adding "cold" toppings of your choosing. Serve immediately!

Servings: 8 to 12 tacos, depending on tortilla size and amount of ingredients.