Kitchen Tricks

Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Powder

I have been wanting to make this for ages. I love the convenience of a bouillon cube or broth powder to add to soups, stocks, sauces or many other dishes. What I don’t like about the commercial powders are the ingredients. Too much sodium, to many preservatives, too many products with miles long lists of chemicals and artificial ingredients. The natural products are of course better ingredient wise but they are so expensive and I can’t justify paying the steep price for so little amount of powder.

In the past I have made stock that I have frozen in ice tray cubes and have used them from frozen but they are not the most convenient and they are not concentrated enough so they add water along with the flavour. I have also tried a variation of Annie’s recipe  but it wasn’t what I was looking for which was something dry and easy to store and use and with flavours that I enjoy more.

While looking through the Blendtec recipe book that I got with my blender I found the perfect recipe. I of course adapted it to my liking but it is exactly what I was looking for. It is made with dehydrated vegetables, nutritional yeast, herbs and aromatics. It adds a wonderful depth and the perfect amount of saltines without the salt overpowering the flavours.

You can start with fresh vegetables that you already have around the house and dehydrate them on your own or you can buy dehydrated vegetables from the store (often sold in bulk near the soup broths etc) . I have a dehydrator, so of course I used it, but instead of starting from fresh, I bought a bag of frozen vegetables. All you need to do is put them on the tray still frozen and dehydrate as usual. This mix had peppers, onions and asparagus and I added some leftover raw broccoli that I had in the fridge. I also dehydrated my own mushrooms but you can also buy them dried if you wish and use a bit less in the recipe.

I love how little space dehydrated veggies take and thought I would store the extra, but Willa decided to snack on them and I didn’t have an extras afterwards.

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  • 1 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup Kosher or Sea salt
  • 1/3 c dehydrated mushrooms
  • 1 c dehydrated mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried green onion
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried lemon zest
  • 2 tsp of poultry seasoning
Of course, these herbs and aromatics are what I like to use, but you can change it up to make different flavours. Have fun with it!
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Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend to a fine powder.
Store in a tight closed container (I use a mason jar)

Use a tsp of powder for each cup of water to use as broth, or add it directly to foods for a bit of seasoning. 

 

Stuffed Buns…

I have always enjoyed dumplings, wontons and well pretty much any type of dough with something hidden inside… they are like little packages with a surprise…

I remember when I was young a friend of mine and I would go to China town in Montreal and buy these amazing steamed bbq buns and I loved them… and I bet I would still love them if they didn’t have a ton of red food colouring in them…

Last winter, I had a bit of pork left over from a batch of pulled pork I had made and after having eating leftovers, I decided to change things up a bit and added some hoisin and garlic black bean sauce and chinese five spice… it was such a delicious mix! I made my dough for buns and was about to make a normal batch of hamburger buns when I go the idea to stuff them with the mix…

What I ended up with was such a treat!!

These are absolutely amazing! They are easy and pretty quick to make, they are fun to eat and the kids love them and they are great to bring with you the next day for a lunch and can even be eaten cold..

 Stuffed Buns

First make the insides of the buns… this can be anything…  bbq pork? shredded chicken? the meat mixture from my meat and sweet potato pie? curried potatoes?

My favourite?

  • 1 lb of either ground pork or ground beef
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup hoisin
  • 3 tbsp garlic black bean paste
  • 1 tsp chinese five spice mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Sauté the onions in a bit of oil and then add and brown the meat. Drain and then add the spices and the hoisin and bean paste. Adjust seasonings if needed. Set aside and let cool.

For the dough (I use the same dough for hamburgers and hotdog buns):

  • 1 1/4 cup of warm water + 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of flour
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
First, proof the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water.
In a large bowl (can be by hand, on food processor or stand mixer), add the water, the brown sugar, the oil and the proofed yeast and mix. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour mixing in the salt with the flour at the same time and then start mixing. add flour until the dough comes together and then either knead by hand for 10 min, mix in the mixer for 5min or process for 45 sec.
Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.
Flatten a piece of the dough and place it in the palm of your hand.
Place two spoonfuls of the mixture in the dough and then fold over and starting at one end start pinching the sides to close it.
Pinch it closed and turn over and place on a lined cookie sheet.
Making stuffed Buns
Start the oven and preheat to 350,  and let the buns rise for about 20 minutes.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds…
Ready for the oven
Bake for 15-17 minutes…
Out of the oven
I hope you love these as much as we do!

Adventures with Seitan…

Since last week I have really felt really put off by meat… So last week my meal plan involved more veggie meal than meat based ones and this week they are all veggie based…

Yesterday when making my meal plan I looked over a few YouTube videos on how to make Seitan… and having Vital Wheat Gluten already in my cupboard today I decided to try it out and make some Seitan Souvlaki…

So I put about 1 1/2 cups of gluten in a bowl with nutritional yeast, a bit of flour and a few spices

yeast and gluten

Added Broth (water, tamari and spices)

adding broth to the yeast and gluten...

Knead together and let rest…

Seitan resting

Boil in Broth and simmer for an hour…

Boiling Seitan

It doubles in size and looks… well… a little like a brain…

Seitan

Took it out of the broth and patted it dry…


Seitan

and then I cut it in bite size pieces and marinated it in a bit of oil, lemon juice, garlic, tamari and oregano for a few hours… and then took it out and placed it on a baking sheet…

Marinated Seitan

Then Broiled it for about 10 min…

Seitan Souvlaki

It turned out really good!!

I made some Tzatziki with some homemade yogourt that I drained a bit before mixing with drained shredded cucumber, garlic, salt and a bit of dill… and then served it on a pita…

I really liked the texture, especially after broiling, and the broiling added a bit of crunch like when you BBQ…. Simon and the kids liked it also…. So I think that I will be trying out different ways to eat it…

By |November 17th, 2008|Kitchen Tricks, Main Dishes-Vegetarian, NaBloPoMo, Recipes|Comments Off on Adventures with Seitan…|