Monday, July 30, 2007

Recipes: More Peruvian Vegetarian By Bryanna Clark Grogan

My virtual vegan friend, Bryanna Clark Grogan, is a well-known chef and cookbook author in vegan and vegetarian circles.

I first wrote about Bryanna at this post, where I included her recipe for quinoa salad.

What many may not know about Bryanna is that her father was Peruvian and, as a result, she has adapted many traditional Peruvian recipes for vegans and vegetarians.

This is a good thing: I often get e-mails from vegans and vegetarians asking me how Peruvian food can be adapted to their needs. Well, all we have to do is ask Bryanna.

Back in April, Bryanna was a featured chef at the Vegetarian Awakening Conference held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. True to form, Bryanna demonstrated some of her best vegetarian and vegan recipes, which included those with a Peruvian twist.

She posted some of her photos of the event at her excellent vegan food blog, Notes from the Vegan Feast Kitchen.

Longtime readers of Peru Food will know I rarely post recipes on this blog, but Bryanna has kindly allowed me to post hers, which originally appeared here, at her Vegan Recipes, Resources and Cooking Know-How site.

So, without further ado, here are Bryanna's vegan Peruvian recipes and some great photos, courtesy of Linda Long.

Bryanna's Vegan Causa (Peruvian Tri-Color Potato Salad Terrine

This is very beautiful and very delicious. This dish is usually full of oil and stuffed with seafood, but this version is low in fat and vegan. If you prefer, you can make small round molds for individual servings.

Lemon Dressing:

1/2 tsp salt
2 small cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings (see recipe below)
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Potato Layers:

1 lb Russet potatoes
1 lb yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Golds (or pink-fleshed potatoes)
1 lb purple or blue potatoes
10 1/2 Tbs Lemon Dressing (save the rest for the Filling)
6 Tbs vegan mayonnaise (such as Vegannaise)
1/2 Tbs salt


1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium bell peppers (yellow, orange, and/or red), in thin strips
10 pieces sundried tomatoes in oil, squeezed to eliminate as much oil as possible, and thinly sliced
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced thinly
2 Tbs pickled jalapeños, minced
the remaining Lemon Dressing
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste.


2 large cobs of corn, cooked and cut into 1 1/2" rounds (these are used cold or at room temperature)
1 large steamed or baked orange sweet potato, peeled and sliced in 6-8 pieces (these are used cold or at room temperature)
18-24 Peruvian Alfonso olives (or Kalamata olives)

Optional Garnishes:

Avocado cubes, tossed in lemon juice
Roasted, pickled, or raw red bell peppers
Pickled hot peppers
Pretty lettuce leaves

To make the dressing:

With the back of a teaspoon in a small round-bottomed bowl (or use a medium-sized mortar and pestle), mash together the salt and garlic until it is like a paste. (The salt grains will help mash the garlic to a paste and the garlic juice will dissolve the salt.) Whisk in the Oil Substitute, olive oil and lemon juice, with a fork or small wire whisk.

This method of mixing is easy and convenient for small amounts made just before dressing the salad.

To make the potato layers:

Cook the three varieties of potatoes separately. You can peel and simmer the russet and the yellow potatoes (cut into even-sized chunks) in water to cover until just tender, but the purple or blue potatoes fall apart easily, so I steam or micro-steam them with the skins on. I cut them into about 2" pieces first. I micro-steam them for about 10 minutes.

To remove the skins of the blue or purple potatoes, hold them under gently-running cold water and the skins should slip off easily. Be careful not to saturate the potatoes with water.

Mash EACH separate batch of potatoes in its cooking pot or a bowl. When mashed, add to EACH batch of potatoes 3 1/2 Tbs. of the Lemon Dressing, 2 Tbs. of the mayonnaise, and 1/2 tsp. of salt, and mash again until smooth. Reserve the remaining lemon dressing for the Filling. Set the mashed potatoes aside, covered.

To make the filling:

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers and saute until they soften. Add the sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, jalapeños, remaining Lemon Dressing, mix well, and then taste for salt and pepper.

To assemble:

Line a 9x5" loaf pan, or a 10" round casserole with oiled plastic wrap, with an overlap. Press the one of the mashed potato mixtures onto the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 of the filling, then another one of the potato mixtures, then the remaining filling, then the remaining potato mixture. Smooth the top, fold the overlapping plastic wrap over, and refrigerate for several hours or days.

To serve:

Fold back the plastic wrap covering the top of the terrine. Unmold the terrine onto a platter and garnish as desired.

Serves 8.

Bryanna's Low Fat Oil Substitues For Salad Dressing

Makes 1 c.

Use this simple mixture in place of all or some of the oil in salad dressing.

1 c. cold water or light vegetable broth (broth adds the most flavor to a dressing)
2 tsp. cornstarch or potato starch

Mix together in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear. Cornstarch will have to boil; potato starch does not.

Bryanna's Trigo (Wheat, Lima-Style)

This unusual Peruvian dish, adapted from a recipe in my book "The Fiber for Life Cookbook", is made with whole wheat kernels, or wheat berries, and was given to me by my cousin Rosario Urbina Musso, known as Charo. She just gave me an idea of the ingredients, and I consulted an old, badly translated Peruvian cookbook of my mother’s for more help. This is what I came up with, and I like it very much!

Charo says that the wheat kernels we get here are not the same as the trigo they get in Peru. Trigo is a bit smaller than our wheat, and you may be able to find it in a Latin American grocery store, but I made it with cooked soft wheat berries, and it tasted fine to me!

1 T extra-virgin olive oil (you can add a few drops of roasted sesame oil too, if you like)
1/2 c. chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. dry red chili flakes (or more to taste)
1 and 1/4 c. trigo or wheat berries (soft, if possible), soaked in 4 c. water overnight, and then cooked in the soaking water until tender, 50 to 60 minutes, and save the cooking water
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cooked and cubed
1/2 c. grated vegan mozzarella-type 'cheese' (Tofutti, Vegan Gourmet, or Sheese)
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Saute the onions until softened. Add the garlic and tomatoes, along with the chile flakes. Saute for several minutes. This is what Peruvians call the sofrito.) Add the cooked wheat and potatoes and stir-cook for several minutes. Add some of the wheat cooking water if it’s too dry. Stir in the 'cheese' and parsley, and taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

If you like savory foods for breakfast, the leftovers are delicious in the morning!

Serves 6.

Bryanna's Northwest-Style Mazamorra Morada (Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding)

This pudding is traditionally made with purple corn and sweet potato starch. Since purple corn is hard to come by where I live in the Pacific Northwest, I have used native blueberries for the color and cornstarch for the thickener. It tastes very authentic! It’s a refreshing dessert.

Ingredients A

2 cups frozen small blueberries, defrosted
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick cinnamon
4 cloves
12 dried prunes, chopped
6 dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
Grated zest and chopped flesh of 1 large organic orange
Zest of 1 small organic lime and 1 small organic lemon

Ingredients B

1 cup cold water
6 Tbs cornstarch

Ingredients C

1 /19 oz. can unsweetened pineapple chunks, well-drained
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs lemon juice

Mix ingredients A in a large Pyrex bowl and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Or, simmer the mixture in a large non-aluminum pot for 15 minutes. (Wrap the cloves and cinnamon in a square of cheesecloth and tie with string.) Remove the cheesecloth bag after cooking.

Mix ingredients B together well and stir into hot A mixture. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir well, and cook 3 minutes more. It should be thick and clear. Or, stir B into A briskly and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and clear.

Stir in ingredients C and spoon into serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving time. It should be cold and pudding-like.

Serves 12

For the recipe for Bryanna's Vegan Alfajores, you can visit her recipes page.

Click here for the Peru Food main page.

TAGS: Peru, Peruvian, food, cooking, cuisine, cocina, comida, gastronomía, peruana


Anonymous said...

Just a comment, vegan is not the same as vegetarian. Vegan is the "extreme" version, where not only no meat is eaten, but also veggies are not cooked, at all. This of course has the nasty side effect that the human body doesn't digest a lot of them properly, for example beans.

Vegetarians on the other hand just don't eat meat. The smart ones may accept milk or eggs or even honey, so they won't be dying of B12 deficiency soon :)

Just pointing it out because your *vegetarian* friend seems to cook in her recipes, this will outrage most vegans :D

Lynn said...

These look great!
Correction to the last poster - vegans do not consume animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, usually honey). Many/most DO cook their food.

Raw foodists don't cook their food above a certain temperature.
They can be vegan or not!