Homemade Steam Buns!

About a month ago, I stumbled onto an old copy of Sunset Vegetarian Cooking, a thin paperback volume of retro-ish meat-free recipes. It's from 1981, and the photos have that awesome reddish-yellow old-school tint. Though it's not all vegan, most of the lacto-ovo recipes are veganizable. And it was only $1 at the Goodwill!

When I was in the thrift store, flipping through the pages, a mouth-watering photo of some Cashew-Mushroom Steam Buns caught my eye. I always buy the frozen cabbage, mushroom, or red bean-stuffed buns at the Asian market. But they're made with nasty white flour. This recipe called for whole wheat (I would have subbed it anyway!).

Though it took FOREVER to make these last night, I wound up with 12 cute little steamed buns:

Steaming gives the dough a light, airiness that really melts in your mouth. And the filling is better than any I've had in a storebought bun. It's made from raw cashews, mushrooms, ginger, bamboo shoots, soy sauce, onion, and white wine. Here's an inside shot, though I swear it tastes better than it looks:

I wanted to give out the recipe since it's such an old cookbook, but I did a quick search and found that Sunset Vegetarian Cooking is still available on Amazon. Basically though, you make a yeasted dough and let it rise for an hour. Then you divide it into 12 balls. Roll those balls into small rounds and stuff with cashew-mushroom filling. Fold up the sides, twist the tops, and let rise another 30 minutes. Then you just steam them in a steamer basket for 15 minutes. They re-steam from the fridge or freeze wonderfully!

On the side, I made the Savory Greens Stir-fry from the Whole Foods iPhone app:

I'm always looking for new ways to cook kale, and this didn't disappoint with water chesnuts, shitake mushrooms, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, and splashes of shoyu and mirin.

This was my first time cooking a recipe from an iPhone app, and it was very convenient. The ingredients were easy to pull up while grocery shopping, and I was able to read through the recipe at the gym, so I knew what to do as soon as I got home to work on dinner.