Middle East Tacos

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 16, 2015
Yield: 10 tacos
Time needed: 45 minutes including 30 minutes resting time

The filling here is essentially a homemade hummus and once that has sat long enough for the flavours to blend, the meal is a cinch to put together. In fact, it’s a perfect occasion for letting folks make their own at the table. I used taco shells, but you can also use pita breads cut in half to hold the filling, or simply spread on crackers and serve beside the salad fixings.

Middle East Tacos

Middle East Tacos

Middle Eastern Tacos
3 cups well-cooked garbanzo beans, aka chick peas (1 cup uncooked) with reserved bean cooking liquid
1/2 cup ground toasted sesame seeds or 1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
10 pitas or wheat tortillas
Garnishes: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped onion
1 1/2 cups yogurt or grated cheese

Purée together the beans, sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper, adding bean cooking liquid (or water) if necessary to make blending easy.
Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your garnishes.

If using pita, cut each in half, fill pockets half-full of bean mixture. If you like, heat them in the oven, then add garnishes.

If using tortillas, fry the tortillas until soft but not crisp.

Let everyone add garnishes as they please.
Top with a scoop of yogurt or grated cheese.

Seitan Paté

Source: Ecological Cooking
Date tried: February 6, 2014
Yield: 2 cups
Time needed: 5 minutes

I like this spread. The most difficult part was finding a source for seitan, as not even all Chinese grocery stores stock it. But I have found one that sells it regularly. Note that as seitan is almost pure gluten this is not a recipe for those who need gluten-free diets. If gluten is not a problem, seitan is quite a good substitute for meat and an alternative to soy or tofu based meat substitutes. For me, this comes next to hummus as a vegan sandwich filler or to put on crackers or toast.

Seitan paté

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Cashew Cheddar Cheeze Sauce or Spread

Source: Ecological Cooking
Date tried: June 9, 2012
Yield: 3 cups
Time needed:  About 5 minutes

Today I am making the Spread version of this recipe.

A word about this recipe.  I LOVE cheese.  Probably the single reason I have not adopted a 100% vegan diet myself is my love of cheese.  And I love good cheese.  I have tried substitutes and always found them wanting.

This is the one and only “cheeze” sauce I have ever tried that I really like!  It’s great! I love it! It really does have a cheesy flavour without the cheese.  The spread doesn’t quite come off as cheese spread.  The tahini taste is too distinctive.  Nevertheless, it is a really, really good spread.  So try either as needed, even if you too are a cheese lover who never thought any sort of substitute could satisfy.

Cheeze Spread

Cashew Cheddar Cheeze Sauce or Spread
½ cup raw cashews
1 cup water

2 whole pimientos, drained and cut into large pieces (about 1 cup)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Vegesal
2 ½ tsp. onion powder
4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 cup vegetable oil or 2 cups tahini
1/3 to ¾ cup lemon juice to taste

For sauce: Blend together all ingredients except oil and lemon juice.
When mix is very smooth, begin adding oil VERY SLOWLY while processing to thicken.
Add lemon juice and blend briefly.

For spread: Blend together the same ingredients as for sauce.
Then remove mix to a bowl and add tahini in by hand.
Add just enough to get the consistency you like.

Both sauce and spread keep well in fridge and may be frozen for long-term storage.