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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings in Soup

IMG_6873This is my vegetarian tofu version of Shui Jiao, the larger cousin of the more common Wanton (aka wan tan or won ton). These Chinese dumplings are traditionally served in a light clear broth and that’s what I did here. Other than swopping out minced pork and prawns for tofu, nothing’s changed. T and I had it both boiled in hot soup as well as deep fried – we love them equally much!

Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings in Soup

Serves 2-4 (makes about 15) Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 minutes.

1 block of extra firm tofu (pressed dry)

5 water chestnuts

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup cilantro

1 egg

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 cube of vegetable stock for broth

5 cups of water

15 – 20 Wanton wrappers (Pre-made in a packet)

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Method:

1. Chop up the water chestnuts and tofu into mince. Then add it to a medium mixing bowl.

2. Add garlic, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and only 1 tablespoon of corn starch.

3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly to make the filling.

4. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water to form the sealing agent for the dumpling skins.

5. Bring water and the vegetable stock to boil while you fill the Wanton wrappers (if you use a premix liquid stock, then there’s no need for water).

6. Take 1 generous teaspoon of the filling and put it in the centre of the dry Wanton wrappers.

6. To seal, dab a pinkie finger in the starch mixture and trace the border of the wrapper. Fold and press firmly.

7. Drop the completed dumplings into the boiling water. Put in a few at a time to prevent crowding. I use a medium sized pot so I put in about 3 to 5 each time.

8. When the dumplings start to float, they are about done. Let them cook for a little while longer before removing them. I usually dish them out into the serving bowls.

9. Once all the dumplings are cooked, you can pour the boiling broth over the dumplings in their serving bowl and garnish to serve. Some people use clear boiling water and keep the soup broth separate but I don’t think it is necessary.

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That’s it! Enjoy your hot Chinese Dumplings aka Shui Jiao.

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Meatless Monday: Easy Cheesy Pasta Bake

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I made this for Sunday brunch yesterday. The day before, T and I went for a 2-hr long hike at Mount Charleston after I did a 1-hr Hot Yoga class, so I thought I could reward myself and eat something indulgent. This is indulgent for me because of the cheese and pasta – I’m diabetic and I’ve been trying to cut down on the carbohydrates. I got up at 10am and made this in a jiffy!

This is so easy anyone can do it! I swear, even as a meat-eater, you won’t feel like a rabbit eating this! Also 1 cup of Silk Soy Milk has 8g of Protein and each of the LightLife Jumbo franks have 13g of Protein – something that I’m always asked as a vegetarian is “where do you get your protein from?” This is where and how!

As you can see from the picture below, I used Barilla’s Whole Grain Rotini because compared to white carbs (breads and pasta) it’s better in helping diabetics steady their blood sugar, and the switch has been welcomed in our home as it satisfies just the same. These are of course optional, but I just thought it’d be good to clarify why I chose to use these products. (Not endorsed…)

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Easy Cheesy Pasta Bake

Serves 2 – 4. Prep Time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 20-30 minutes.

1 tbsp Olive Oil

3 Jumbo Soy Franks (or 2-3 cups of sausages of your choice)

1 tbsp minced garlic

2-3 cups water (for boiling pasta)

2 cups of dry pasta

1 3/4 – 2 cups shredded Mozzarella

2 cups Soy milk (or any kind of milk of your choice)

1/2 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degF
  2. Boil pasta for 6-8 minutes until partially cooked (the cooking process continues in the oven)
  3. Chop up franks and fry them up in olive oil and minced garlic. Then set aside.
  4. Add 1 cup of cheese to the bottom of a greased baking pan. (I used a 5″x9″ that was perfect for the amount I cooked so experiment with your own cooking vessels if necessary)
  5. Add 1/2 of the partially cooked pasta on top of the cheese.
  6. Layer the franks & garlic over the pasta (save a few pieces for topping the bake at the end)
  7. Spread the rest of the pasta evenly over everything.
  8. Pour milk evenly over everything in the baking pan.
  9. Top off with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and “decorate” with some franks.
  10. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. (This depends on your oven.)
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before garnishing with chopped green onions.