I put this addicting condiment on everything…or nothing!
I first became hooked on it in Braised Tofu in Hot Chili Oil–with bell peppers, sliced garlic, and fried peanuts–at Judy’s Sichuan in Virginia Beach, VA.
My first attempt was an utter fail, but the next method I developed is never-fail. I stir this Hot Chili Oil into–or drizzle it over– roasted vegetables, beans and legumes, grains, salads, noodles, soups, vegan mayo and sauces, and even into popcorn. It makes everything better! And it makes a quick and easy gift.
1- 7.41 ounce jar Laoganma Spicy Chili Crisp (I purchase at Kroger)
1/4 cup olive, peanut, or vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange infused olive oil or another 1/4 cup olive, peanut or vegetable oil (the orange and chili combo will send you!)
5 cloves garlic minced, covered, and heated for about 30 seconds in microwave to soften
Optiomal: sea salt
Decant Spicy Chili Crisp into a 12 to 16-ounce jar. Stir in oils, garlic, and optional salt. Store, covered, in fridge. Feed mixture periodically with more Spicy Chili Crisp, oils, garlic, and salt, as desired.
These plant-based bars are irresistible autumn coziness personified. The four layers go together quickly if you make three of the layers in the same food processor bowl without even wiping it out. The tofu-based cheesecake layer is a dead ringer for its dairy cousin and a luscious complement to the spiced apples and crumbly topping. For those watching calories, these bars are even delicious made with Truvia brown sugar substitute.
Crust: 1 cup flour 1/4 cup brown sugar 8 tablespoons vegan butter
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 or 9-inch pan with a wide strip of parchment paper or foil to aid in removal. Pulse ingredients in food processor until mixture holds together in moist clumps. Press evenly into pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Cheesecake Filling: 8 ounces extra firm tofu 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch Juice of 1/2 large lemon 1 teaspoon vanilla Optional:1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Process for a couple of minutes or so in food processor, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Pour filling over warm crust.
Apple Pie Filling:
1/2 cup water, divided 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 apples, halved, cored, and thinly sliced or chopped (I don’t peel them, but you can) 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Poor 1/4 cup water into large skillet followed by spice, salt, and apples. Cook over medium heat until apples start to become tender, stirring occasionally. Whisk cornstarch into remaining water to dissolve, pour over apples, gently stir, and continue cooking until thick and apple slices are softened. Arrange apple slices in 3 rows over cheesecake layer.
1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup Brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or ground cinnamon 4 tablespoons vegan butter 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Pulse together first four ingredients in food processor until mixture holds together in moist clumps. Stir in oats and pecans. Sprinkle over apples in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes. Cool, cover, and refrigerate before slicing with a serrated knife and serving.
This dish is so quick and easy and tastes like authentic Chinese takeout! Add tofu, as pictured, or mushrooms for an even heartier take.
I think my garnish is so cute: a retro flower made just from what I had on hand: a water chestnut with a cashew and hot chili oil center.
1/2 cup catsup 1/2 cup rice vinegar 2 tablespoons dark molasses 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into chunks slightly larger than dice 1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into chunks slightly larger than dice 1 white or yellow onion, cut into chunks slightly larger than dice 1-20 ounce can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained and juice reserved (refrigerate half of pineapple for another use) 2 tablespoons cornstarch Optional add-ins: 1 pound cubed extra firm tofu or sauteed mushrooms Optional garnishes: sliced water chestnuts, lightly salted and roasted cashew halves, and hot chili oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together first 4 ingredients and set aside. In a tablespoon of oil or hot chili oil, or about 4 tablespoons water, sprinkle bell peppers and onion with salt and sauté until tender. Pour catsup mixture over, stir, and heat through. Whisk cornstarch into reserved pineapple juice and add to skillet with pineapple tidbits, cooking and stirring until mixture is thick and heated through. Stir in tofu or mushrooms if desired, and heat through. (Or you can saute mushrooms with other vegetables. ) Serve over rice, if you like, garnished as desired. I like to create retro flowers out of sliced water chestnuts with centers made out of 2 cashews each and a dab of hot chili oil.
I resigned my former art teaching position with our big public school district after 16 years to accept one at a private school chartered in 1728. The faculty and staff are so lovely and helpful that I am baking a cake to thank someone a couple times a week.
Not wanting to invent them from scratch and risk fails–or look up a recipe–every time. I decided I need an easy to remember formula that can be adapted. After some research and experimentation, I am excited to share my approach.
My “formula” for delicious, moist, never fail cakes is, essentially, a 1:2 ratio of oil to sugar and sugar to flour. For 3/4 cup oil, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and sea salt plus 1/4 to 1l2 cup nondairy milk is the perfect base for whatever else you want to stir in. If the latter is especially moist, like applesauce, you might use the smaller amount of non-dairy milk; if dry, like cocoa powder or maybe oatmeal, the greater amount.
1 1/2 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar) 3 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 cup oil 1/4 cup non-dairy milk 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3 pureed bananas 1 finely chopped/processed apple, stemmed and seeded
Optional: Brown Sugar Maple Glaze (recipe follows) + chopped pecans or halves for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Make a well in center and pour in wet ingredients plus banana and apple. Whisk well to combine. Spoon batter evenly into pan. Bake approximately 45-55 minutes (or 20-25 for mini Bundts) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely. Spoon Glaze over and allow to drip down sides. Garnish, if desired, with pecans.
Brown Sugar Maple Glaze
1cup powdered sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together until no lumps remain, adding more powdered sugar or maple syrup to reach desired consistency, if necessary.
Everyone thinks their chocolate chip cookie recipe is the “perfect” one, and that is because ideas about the ideal chocolate chip cookie vary so widely.
I like a couple of different kinds, including this one which is flatter and chewier. Recipes for non-vegan versions abound, but a vegan one proved to be elusive.
It took me several tries, but when my dear friend Kelly tasted this morning’s experiment and asked if we could just call it “the perfect cookie,” I knew I had achieved my goal, though the rapturous look on her face said it all.
Three of the secrets are melted better, no baking powder, and no egg substitute. Three more are a thorough beating of the butter with both granulated and brown sugars, a hint of molasses and water, and a higher ratio of butter to flour.
The final two are the seemingly odd techniques of 1) forming the cookie by placing one ball of dough on top of and pressed into another, and 2) lifting and dropping the sides of the baking sheet onto the cooling rack several times after baking which causes their slight puff to deflate in stages, creating concentric bakery-style ripples.
1/2 vegan butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat together butter and both sugars for 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla, molasses, water, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, mix in flour, 1/3 at a time. Avoid overbeating. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts by hand. Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, place six balls of dough, widely spaced, on each of the two baking sheets. Then place a second scoop on top of each one pressing down very firmly. You should have what roughly looks like a hat, i.e. a dome in the middle of a disk. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until fairly flat, with a slight puff, and golden brown. Pull out oven rack and, with a hot pot holder, lift up one side of the baking sheet about 4 inches and let it drop. Do this about 3 times, alternating sides. Remove to a cooling rack and repeat a few more times. This will cause the cookies to deflate in stages and create attractive bakery-style concentric ripples on the surface. Enjoy cookies warm, or cool completely and store covered.
My riff on a classic BLT sandwich, right down to the Mayo-based sauce, is quick, easy, and filling. Oh, and irresistible.
I make it with Shiritaki noodles–only 0 to 10 calories depending on the type for the whole 8 ounce package–and Walton Farms no-calorie mayo. (The mayo isn’t great on its own, but quite nice with other strong flavors.)
I use tempeh “bacon,” kale in place of lettuce, and griddled cherry tomatoes. A BLT isn’t a BLT without mayo, so the sauce is a Sizchuan Hot Chili Oil Aioli, hence the chopsticks.
2 tablespoons mayo (I use Walton Farms no-calorie mayo)
1 tablespoon Hot Chili Oil, divided (I buy Spicy Chili Crisp on the Asian food aisle at Kroger, decant into a larger jar, and add more oil–sometimes a blood orange-infused olive oil–sea salt, and sliced garlic softened 30 seconds in microwave)
6 slices tempeh bacon
6 tri-color cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces dry pasta, cooked (I use an 8 ounce package of 0 to 10-calorie Shiritaki spaghetti, drained)
1 lightly packed cup baby kale or spinach
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium microwave-proof bowl, whisk together mayo and 2 teaspoons chili oil; set aside. In a skillet or grill pan heated over medium to medium-high, griddle tempeh and tomatoes, cut side down, turning tempeh once, until heated through. You may need to remove tomatoes first, as they should still hold their shape. Drain pasta, add to bowl with aioli, and top with kale. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through and kale is slightly wilted. Stir well with a fork to distribute the sauce evenly. Cut tempeh into bite-size pieces and add along with tomatoes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to combine and serve drizzled with remaining teaspoon of hot chili oil.
These deliciously different–but not bizarre–nachos substitute plantains for corn chips and infuse the tasty black bean topping with a hint of coconut milk, orange, and spice from my new obsession: Sizchuan Hot Chili Oil. No one will judge if you drizzle more of the addicting oil over the top.
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1-15 ounce can seasoned vegan black beans, including juice
3 ears grilled corn, kernels cut from cob
1 cup lightly packed baby spinach or kale leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Sea salt to taste
1/4 to 1/3 coconut milk (I use lite, but regular is more flavorful)
1 generous tablespoon Sizchuan Hot Chili Oil, made with blood orange-infused olive oil (see my hack below)
2 servings packaged plantain chips
Toppings: white vegan cheese like mozarella, halved tri-color cherry tomatoes, vegan sour cream, minced cilantro
In large skillet over medium heat, dry saute onion, stirring frequently, until starting to soften and color. Add all remaining ingredients, except chips and toppings, and cook, continuing to stir frequently, until onion is softened, greens are wilted, mixture is heated through, and flavors are married. Divide chips between 2 plates, spoon half of bean mixture over each, top as desired, and serve immediately.
Note: After topping with cheese, you can run nachos under broiler or pop into mic for 30 seconds before adding remaining toppings.
Hot Chili Oil Hack
1-8 ounce jar Lao Gan Ma: Spicy Chili Crisp (I purchase at Kroger or online)
4 to 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced and softened by heating for 30 seconds in microwave
1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil
1/4 cup blood orange-infused olive oil (or another 1/4 cup oil + zest of 1/2 large orange
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
Decant Spicy Chili Crisp into a larger jar, stir in remaining ingredients, cover, and chill. Stir before using; heat if desired. Delicious on virtually everything savory.
Hot Chili Oil is my new obsession. I made this curry as light–and tasty–as possible so I can spoon more of the peanuts in hot chili oil on top.
The dish is a sweet-spicy-salty celebration, both creamy and crunchy.
16 ounces bagged cauliflower hash (Kroger) or riced cauliflower 1-20 ounce can pineapple tidbits in juice (not syrup; do not drain) 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks 1/4 cup sliced green onions 1-15.5 ounce can lite coconut milk (or regular for more flavor and fat) 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce or more to taste (sold as vegetarian in Asian markets) 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon Thai red chili paste (e.g. Taste of Thai brand) Sea salt to taste Garnish: lightly roasted and salted peanuts heated with a generous amount of Hot Chili Oil to taste + fresh cilantro Accompaniment: cucumber and onion salad (slice and combine vegetables with rice wine vinegar, sugar/granulated stevia blend/agave and sea salt to taste; I recommend red onion if available)
In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, combine all ingredients except garnishrs and accompaniment. Heat over medium-high until simmering. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until vegetables are cooked through. Serve garnished with cilantro and peanuts in hot chili oil accompanied by cucumber and onion salad alongside.
Yield:. 1 to 2 servings (depending on how hungry you are and whether you serve anything alongside)
1/4 cup vegan mayo (I used Walton Farms no-calorie)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Approximately 25 cauliflower florets
Hot Chili Oil (see back below)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place mayonnaise in a shallow carton or bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients except cauliflower in a small deeper carton or bowl. Add cauliflower florets about three at a time to mayo and coat well using fingers. Drop into flour mixture, shake to coat, and place a couple inches apart on lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining florets. Bake 15 minutes, turn, and bake 15 more minutes. Serve with sauce of choice or, do as I do and dip each floret quickly into hot chili, place on serving plate, sprinkle with sliced green onion and peanuts and serve immediately with chopsticks.
Hot Chili Oil Hack: purchase a prepared product, but decant into a larger jar, and add lots more oil, 5 large cloves sliced garlic softened for 30 seconds in microwave, and salt to taste. I love a neutral oil, but, when I discovered I was out, I learned that blood orange-infused oil is absolutely lovely with the chilies.
I still wonder how a cake this moist and delicious can only include 2 tablespoons oil. And if you choose Trivia Blend or Swerve brown sugar over regular, no one will ever know. But let’s talk about this frosting: after trying one bite of this version with no butter, shortening, or powdered sugar, I doubt I will ever go back. It is creamy, tangy, sweet, and can even be piped. What’s not to love?
1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (basically, cinnamon and ginger) 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Truvia Blend Brown Sugar; Swerve would also work well) 1/3 cup agave nectar 1/2 cup apple butter 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup shredded or fairly finely processed carrots 2/3 cup fairly finely chopped pecans Optional but recommended: 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Grease and flour a 6- or 8″ round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, stir together all ingredients just until completely combined. Transfer into prepared pan, and gently smooth tip. Bake approximately 25 minutes for 8″ cake and 35 for 6″ cake or just until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, run knife around edge of pan, and invert onto wire rack to cool completely. If making the 6″ two-layer cake, halve horizontally with a serrated knife. Frost between layers if making the layer cake, as well as top, and sides of cake. Decorate as desired with pecans. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator. Best served at room temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting: 8 ounces vegan cream cheese 1/3 cup agave nectar (or a little more to reach desired consistency) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Optional but recommended: 1 teaspoon Bourbon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Decoration: toasted or plain finely chopped pecans and pecan halves
With an electric mixer, cream together all ingredients, except pecans, until fluffy. (Too little agave nectar may allow frosting to crack.)