Friday, December 17, 2010
1. VegNews magazine supscription. 2. A useful tool for soy lovers, the Tofu Xpress 3. Vegan-friendly books and literature, such as The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. 4. Screenprinted produce bags from Wonder Thunder. 5. Color Me Vegan cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Godreau. 6. Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz 7. Allison's Gourmet assorted vegan chocolates.
Monday, December 6, 2010
- 3 cloves roasted garlic
- ¼ cup tomato or pizza sauce
- ½ butternut squash, chopped
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ½ diced red onion, diced
- 2 tbsp. green onion, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- Vegan cheese, shredded
- Prepare your own pizza dough, or purchase a premade dough. While I didn’t in this photograph, I usually modify this recipe by using half whole wheat flour and half bread flour. I also pour dried herbs and spices into the dry ingredients for extra zip.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook and season your squash as desired. A little salt and parsley can go far. You could rub the squash in olive oil and bake in a 400 degree oven until soft. For a quick fix, place the chopped squash on a plate and cover lightly with water. Microwave for 5-7 minutes. Mash up the squash with a fork.
- Spread the garlic and tomato sauce over the dough. Top with the squash, onion and red pepper. Sprinkle as little or as much vegan mozzarella cheese to make it as gooey as you want it.
- Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
1 Cup bulgur wheat
3 Cups boiling water
(optional) 1 tomato
(optional) capers (if you use very small capers, add some salt as well)
(optional) non-dairy feta (Sunergia Soy Foods makes a wonderful soy feta that I like very much. I get it at Mother Earth.)
(optional) pine nuts
In a large bowl, combine the bulgur wheat and the boiling water. Cover, and let sit for about 40 minutes or until fluffy and well-rehydrated. Drain the excess water. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a few splashes of lemon juice. Add any other ingredient you want, maybe a tablespoon or two of each. Stir it up, and enjoy!
You can also experiment with other ingredients as they strike your fancy. Anything you'd like in couscous, for example, should work well with bulgur wheat. Good luck!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. non-dairy butter
1 tbsp. dark corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 bag popcorn
Pop your popcorn in the microwave per box directions. Let cool and pour into a large bowl. Separate out any kernels and discard.
In a small saucepan, melt sugar, water, butter and corn syrup. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and add your vanilla. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens slightly.
Pour your sugar mixture over the popcorn and mix well. Once your popcorn is evenly coated, let chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Baked Grits Stuffed Squash
1 large butternut squash
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup instant grits
1 tbsp. non-dairy butter
1 3/4 cup water
Handful of fresh spinach, chopped
Vegan sausages, homemade or store-bought
Spices such as salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne and garlic
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds (you can reserve these for toasting, pies, whatever your imagination allows). Place the squash cut side down on a plate. Pour 1/4 inch of water onto the plate and cook in a microwave for 5-10 minutes.
Prepare your instant grits according to instructions. Because some moisture will be absorbed as it bakes in the oven, you might need to add more water until it reaches a soupier texture. Mix in your chopped sausage, spinach, non-dairy butter and favorite seasonings.
Once your squash is fork tender and the rind turns slightly clear, your squash is ready. Place the squash cut side up in a greased cake pan or baking sheet. Spread the oil over the top of the squash and into the cavity. Sprinkle your desired seasonings over the top of your squash. Stuff your squash with the grits mixture and bake for 20 minutes. When your squash is ready, both the squash and grits will develop a slight toughness--think pudding skin. Let it cool before serving and dig in!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
It started with the realization that my herbs growing outside would soon be killed by frost. So I said "Carpe Herbum" and decided to use a bunch of my garden's fresh herbs!
Package of large white mushrooms There were about 6 or 7 I think)
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 table spoon flax seed
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic
- 2 table spoons of medium tofu (Well one package actually)
- 2 tables spoons of veganaise
- 1/4 tea spoon of raw sugar
- 1 table spoon of nutritional yeast
Combine all ingredients but mushrooms into a food processor or blender.... Play around with the flavor. I used what I had around the house and it was fantastic. Lemon juice, pine nuts, cashews etc would be awesome in there as well as jalapenos.
crumble tofu onto cutting board and sprinkle tofu with salt and cover with paper towels to dry out.
Saute tofu in earth balance or (veg. Oil) with a table spoon of nutritonal Yeast and flax seed on med-high until golden and crispy.
Lemon juice would be good. I did not have any.
Cut out the stems to hollow out the mushrooms and preheat the oven to 350.
mix your pesto and “feta” together. I only used about 3 table spoons because I then blended the stems with some almond milk and remaining pesto and made a pesto cream for pasta
Dollop your mixture into your caps, and bake for about 15 mins! ( my oven is tiny and old may be shorter if you have a spiffy new oven)
Egyptian Lentils and Rice
4 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 Cup brown lentils
1/2 Cup brown rice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
5 Cups water or vegetable broth
Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a Crock Pot or slow cooker and set it to high. Chop the onions small, then add them to the slow cooker and let cook for 15 minutes. Add the lentils, rice, spices, and broth or water. Cook on high for about 3 hours or until the rice and lentils are soft.
You'll notice that there is much more broth than necessary, and the dish seems more like a soup. Strain the dish to serve, and keep the extra broth. You can add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch to it to make a savory gravy! Or, if you'd rather not, just use about 3 cups instead of 5 to begin with - I've never experimented to find the right volume since I love having the extra broth to use gravified with soysauge and biscuits, or bread.
No pictures since I'm an awful photographer. The link to the original recipe though has some pix.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I get this question frequently. I am vegan and I keep two cats and one dog. Are they vegan too? The answer for me is no.
I honestly have always felt a little bit strange about it though. I mean I love snakes but I could never keep one because I personally would feel horrible feeding it mice, but when the dead animal comes prepackaged and cubed I am OK with it? This topic is complicated.
Feeding animals whether you are vegan or not is complicated! First off commercial pet food is bad.
I mean really really bad! What are our alternatives though?
The BARF diet (sounds delicious!) which consists of Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
I have thought about doing something like this. The problem is I really can't convince myself to buy meat. Not even for my pets. Also this diet is scary. We have always been taught that commercial pet food is the best thing for our pets. Shaking this feeling is hard!
There are people who actually do feed their dogs a vegetarian diet. This also scares me. I am not an animal nutritionist so I really have no idea whether this is a healthy diet or not, but it scares me even more than BARF does.
There are also people who feed their pets homemade but cooked food. Don't forget the kitties too!
Back to my dilemma. For now, I still feed commercial pet food. However, since my dog has the privilege with living with vegans I try and supplement her dog food with healthy vegetables. Why do that? Well same reason we should eat fresh veggies of course-- fiber and vitamins to name a few! Here are some basic guidelines for what to avoid feeding your dog. Stella enjoys carrots, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms ect. I sometime give her ground flax seed for her coat.
The cats remain skeptical.... But Stella is a real fan!
(Click the photo below to enlarge and check out that driblet of drool dangling down.... dang!)
So my jury is still out but what do YOU think? Vegan or omni what do you feed your pets and why? I would love to hear other perspectives!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Seitan is basically a dough made with vital wheat gluten, which is wheat flour minus the starch. It's a great source of protein, especially for vegans who are allergic to soy (but, uh, not so great for vegans who are allergic to gluten). It can be seasoned in ways to mimic 'meaty' flavors or seafood if you like those tastes, or if you're cooking for omnivore friends who are skeptical that anything vegan could taste 'good', or if you just want something savory or are tired of people asking you how you get enough protein.
This recipe was taken from The Voracious Vegan, with extra preparation notes by me. It looks complicated, but if I can do it, anybody can. She made sandwiches with hers; I like cutting mine into smaller pieces to make it "chicken nugget"-style. And one time I dipped them in hot sauce and made "buffalo wings". You don't even have to fry these - once the seitan is cooked you can add it straight up to any dish you think would benefit from it.
1 ½ Cups vital wheat gluten (one of those little Hodgson's Mill boxes you can find in most groceries these days is right about that volume)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (if you do not have, then just replace with three more tablespoons of vital wheat gluten)
¼ Tbsp cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp lemon pepper
½ tsp chili powder
½ Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Worcestershire sauce usually contains anchovies, check the label)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
¾ Cup cold water
5 Cups water
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
For the seitan, combine the dry ingredients first and mix well. Next add the wet ingredients quickly and knead the dough with your hands until everything is worked together. Separate the dough however you want for what you plan to do with it later. If you want it in 'cutlet' style, divide it into the number of pieces you want and shape it how you like. If you want smaller nuggets, you can either do the above and cut the pieces up later, or roll the dough out into a snake and cut it into little discs.
Unshaped ball of gluten dough.
Prepare the cooking broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer in the pieces of dough in the broth, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Stir every so often, as the seitan will float to the top of the broth and you want it to soak in all the flavor it can.
I forgot how much gluten was in just one of those boxes of it, and wound up making a double batch. Oops.
Once finished, drain the broth and allow the cooked seitan to cool. You can either stop here and use the seitan as is (stir-fry, roast it, make tacos with it), or go on to deliciously fry it.
Further ingredients and preparation:
Dredge the seitan in the wet mix first:
¼ Cup water
¼ Cup non-dairy milk
3 Tbsp stone-ground spicy mustard
½ tsp garlic powder
dash of lemon pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (you can replace with flour, but if you do make sure to up the spices a bit)
½ tsp cumin
And then dredge the cutlets in the dry mix:
1 and ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (omit if you must, replacing with flour, but up the spices)
1 tsp paprika
3 tsp baking powder
I triple-coated mine in the dry mix, and it seems to work well. Fry the dredged cutlets or nuggets in peanut oil (or vegetable oil if you are allergic) on medium heat until they're golden brown and crispy. That's it!
With everyone else here being such a great photographer, I sometimes feel anxious posting images taken with my puny cellphone. I promise these taste better than my pictures make them look!
These are soo good. One final trick that you can do with them is to make vegan hot wings out of them if you'd like. The only reason I didn't this time is that I'm out of veggie margarine. Enjoy!
Monday, August 30, 2010
It was so delicious I can't begin to describe it! It was quick and easy. Just some chopping and sauteing and mixing and it's done.
Taken directly from VeganDad's blog:
- 1 lb white potatoes, peeled and halved
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
- 2 tbsp oil
- 15 pearl onion, peeled and halved
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 green chile, seeded and minced (I used jalapeno, the only thing around)
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo (or use half yogurt)
- soy milk as needed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- salt pepper to taste
1. Get some salted water boiling and cook the potatoes. Since sweet potatoes cook faster than white, ad then in about 10 mins before the white potatoes are done cooking (they take 20-25 mins, usually).
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil over med-hi in a large frying pan. Add onions and saute for a few mins, letting the outsides get nice and brown. Keep stirring so they don't burn. Add garlic, ginger, and chile and mix well. Add mustard seeds and cook a few mins more (seeds should begin to pop). Add spices and mix well. Remove from heat.
3. Drain cooked potatoes and let cool until warm but not hot. Cut into cubes. Mix mayo into the onion mixture, then toss with the potatoes. Thin as needed with soy milk so potatoes are coated. Mix in cilantro, and season to taste.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
1 Cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
Put the chickpeas in a bowl, add the salt and nutritional yeast, and stir around until all the chickpeas are coated. That's it!
"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sorry for the delay between posts. My husband and I just moved from Florida to Winnipeg, Manitoba and it has taken a while for us to get settled in. In fact, we are still staying in the guest bedroom of our landlord's house, waiting for new floors to be installed in our place.
We haven't been able to cook--which is killing us--so we have been struggling to come up with ideas for a post. Then it hit me: The Vegan Road Trip. We spent three days in the car, and we knew ahead of time that good vegan choices would be few and far between as we trekked across America, so we decided to pack as many tasty vegan road trip food items as possible.
We set out with a few bags, a cooler, and a bag of ice. We just used hotel ice machines to refill the cooler each morning.
Clif bars - You choose the flavor, these things are like vegan rocket fuel, packing about 250 calories into a convenient little wrapper--great for driving!
Fruit - Enough said! We had peaches and bananas.
Sandwiches - My husband enjoyed his PB & J, with unsalted fresh ground peanut butter and jam without high fructose corn syrup. For a variety, and because I hate PB & J, we also packed tofurkey slices with lettuce, tomato, vegenaise, and mustard.
Spinach Pies - You could prepare these yourself. We bought them from a fantastic local restaurant. A word of warning, these can be addicting, don't buy them too long before your trip. You may finish them all before you even hit the road. We almost did. :)
Tamek brand canned stuffed cabbage leaves - These were actually a gift from a loving, Lebanese grandmother but having tried both types, I recommend the stuffed grape leaves rather than the cabbage.
Dried fruit - Our close friend Pete, who works at a health food store, decided to surprise us with an 11 lb. bag of dried mangoes, which we happily munched for about two weeks.
Mixed nuts - Great source of protein and fat, which vegans can always use.
Hummus with fresh veggies and pita chips - I can't overstate the importance of fresh veggies. This was one of our biggest concerns at the beggining of the trip. It is difficult to find good, fresh veggies on the road. Dip them in some hummus for a great snack with loads of protein and fiber. For the salty snack cravings, open up the bag of pita chips. We had Stacy's brand Garden Veggie Medley flavor which were great plain and even better with hummus.
Gatorade - It's got what plants crave: electrolytes. (If you haven't seen the movie Idiocracy, you should.) Seriously though, we read that sports drinks keep you hydrated and alert without as many bathroom stops as water and coffee. Maybe it only worked because we thought it would, but it certainly seemed to keep us going without having to stop.
And of course, don't forget the dog food. Not exactly vegan but I thought it would be an excellent excuse to post this adorable picture.
Our road trip was a complete success, in part because we planned ahead to make sure we had an abundance of healthy, tasty vegan food to keep us going through torrential downpours, the state of Georgia (no offense if you're from Georgia), and the general discomfort that comes with 30+ hours of driving.
As soon as we get into our new place we should be posting regularly again. Can't wait!
Monday, August 2, 2010
This is why I thank my lucky stars for Meatless Monday! At least once a week, our kitchen is reserved strictly for vegan fare. Why, I never thought I'd be so excited to use the same spoon for different serving dishes! However, this does mean the pressure's on to make original dishes that will impress.
Luckily, I struck gold with this dish. A little taste of German heaven just begging for a pretzel and a stein of good beer.
Vegan Sausages & German Potato Salad
The recipe for the sausages was modified from the blog Vegan Dad, which he modified from Isa. I had to put my own stamp on this treat. Since I stumbled upon this gem I have already made it several times, each time with more success. It looks overwhelming because of the ingredient list, but trust me--easiest thing of all time. Use whatever you have on hand.
1/2 cup blackeyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup eggplant, diced
1 cup cold vegetable broth
1 tbsp. nondairy butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup vegan parmesan
1 1/4 cup gluten
1 tbsp. crushed fennel seed
Any other spices you want! I used salt, black pepper, parika, red pepper flakes and River Road voodoo seasoning.
Bring water to a boil and place a steamer basket inside. Mash your beans with a fork. Add all of your other ingredients and combine well with a fork. Divide your dough into six equal parts. Roll each individual ball into a sausage-shaped log and wrap with a small square of tin foil. Place your little sausage logs into the steamer basket and cover your pot. Steam for 15 minutes and rotate your sausages. Steam for another 15 minutes and rotate. Steam 10 more minutes and you're good to go!
For this dish, I simply heated up some oil in a pan and tossed the sausages in. Add sauerkraut and heat thoroughly. Serve with a side of German potato salad. I used this recipe, substituting vegan bacon and bacon bits. I also splashed in a tablespoon of oil to mimic the bacon grease. What can I say? I'm being a little indulgent.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I've been told that you can make a curry out of just about anything, and I believe it now. Dried beans, a can of tomatoes, frozen spinach, and some spices, and you're ready to rock.
Chickpea and Spinach Curry
1 (12 oz.) can peeled whole tomatoes (or a can of diced tomatoes works too)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 onion, diced (about 2 Cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
3 teaspoons curry powder (or more, much more!)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (also called hing powder, optional)
3 cardamom pods (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped (or 2-3 packets frozen spinach, thawed and drained)
4 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
If using dried chickpeas, soak 2 dry cups overnight in enough water to cover them by several inches. The next day, rinse well, and boil in about 6 cups of water for 2 hours. Check for softness to ensure they're done.
Open the can of tomatoes, and making sure to save the juice, take each tomato and tear it into bite-size pieces. Set them aside in a bowl.
Heat a medium saucepan over moderate heat, add the vegetable oil and the mustard seeds, and let the seeds pop for about a minute, covered so they don't jump out. Add the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions turn brown. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the other spices and 1/4 cup of the tomato juice you saved. Cook for another minute, then add in the tomatoes. When the tomatoes are heated through, add the fresh spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted (or just add your thawed, drained, frozen spinach). The mixture should be a liquidy - add more tomato juice if not. Add the chickpeas. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every now and then, and adjust the spices as desired. Remove the cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and stewlike.
Wow, that's a horrible-looking stovetop. Color me ashamed.
I added several times the amount of curry powder called for, and frankly I could have handled hotter, so when you're making this, be certain to taste it often to adjust how you like your curry to taste. In actuality, I added extra of pretty much every spice, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I enjoyed this over warm rice, and it was extremely satisfying.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Pinto Bean Soup
1 can pinto beans (or any other variety, or 2 Cups beans soaked and cooked yourself)
3 and 1/2 Cups water
1 Tablespoon flour (bean flour, wheat flour, or any other grain flour)
2 cubes vegetable bullion
To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, sage, and thyme.
Pour the beans and water into a medium saucepan. Add all the other ingredients. You might have to work to make the flour dissolve completely. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. That's it!
The seasonings are key here. I admit it, beans can be pretty boring by themselves. So be sure to taste it as you go, and get it to your liking. Mine was missing something until I started playing with spices. Thyme heals everything....
If you want your soup to be thicker, add more flour. If you want a little more spice to it, use some red pepper. You can add a second can of beans, or take any other vegetables, cook (or microwave) them until they're soft, and add them in. Some crusty French bread would compliment this soup very well. There are countless ways you could experiment with this, so have fun!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Yes, there is a vegan version of all that good stuff, including sour cream, butter, bacon bits, and even cheddar cheese shreds!
My recommedations for brands:
- Sour cream: http://www.tofutti.com/ss.shtml
- Butter: http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/
- Bacon Bits: http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/bacos (there are others, too. Just read the ingredients; you'd be surprised how many "bacon" products actually use textured vegetable protein instead)
- Shredded cheese: http://www.daiyafoods.com/
I ate mine too quickly to snap a picture. Maybe next time, because there will be a next time!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
- 1 10oz bag vegan marshmallows (Dandies worked perfect!)
- 1/4 cup vegan margarine
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 cups rice crispy cereal
- Optional - chocolate chips
In large pan heat the margarine until melted on low heat. Add marshmallows and allow them to fully melt. This part takes a while, but they will eventually melt!
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Fold in the cereal. Pour into a 11x9 pan and squish down with a lightly oiled spatula. Let cool.
Voila! Yummy! And just so you know, you can eat a whole pan of these and not get a stomach ache...
Sunday, July 4, 2010
- 1 (12-13 oz.) box of pasta (I used whole wheat penne, but I also like using elbow macaroni noodles. Pick your favorite.)
- 1 jar of your favorite red pasta sauce (organic is always best)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes or 2-3 medium to large tomatoes chopped up
- 1 large zucchini chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- half bag of Boca brand crumbles
- 1/2 container of tofutti sour cream (or any other vegan sour cream)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for pan
- *optional: shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
- Brown the boca crumbles in a little bit of olive oil in a medium sized pot.
- Add chopped onion, zucchini, and carrot to pot.
- Continue to heat until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the jar of pasta sauce and the can of diced tomatoes. (or fresh tomatoes)
- Simmer for about 15 minutes or more with lid on, until its nice and tasty. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Boil the noodles for 5 minutes ONLY! They will continue to cook in the oven and you don't want them to become soft and mushy.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the pasta sauce mixture. Stir well and pour the entire mixture into a medium to large casserole dish or you can leave it in your pot if it is oven safe.
- Spoon the sour cream into your pasta mixture. Stir it only slightly, you want to leave it clumpy in some areas.
- Optional: Top with shredded vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and put into oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Sweet (microwave) Cornbread
2/3 Cup maple syrup
1/3 Cup canola oil
2/3 Cup non-dairy milk
1 Cup flour
1 Cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In separate bowls, mix the wet ingredients together and the dry ingredients together. Combine, and mix well. Pour into a round glass dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes. (Use a dish that has no handles - the batter will not cook evenly in a dish with handles. If you don't have a uniformly round dish, then add another 1/3 Cup of non-dairy milk to the batter and bake for 35 minutes at 350 F.)
Serve warm with your favorite vegan margarine and enjoy!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Being vegan isn't always easy. Sometimes we find ourselves craving some of the things we have given up because of our ethical eating. However, when this happens we don't simply give in to our cravings. No, we are simply forced to rethink our old favorites. Here is our ethical sushi.
1 package of Nori sheets
1 Large cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tomato, peeled and sliced
1 summer squash, grilled and sliced
1/2 head of romaine lettuce
1 package Publix brand Gourmet blend mushrooms
1 carrots thinly sliced
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
The Nori, or seaweed, is a sushi classic. I think it kind of has a fishy taste, which makes it great for replacing the raw fish. In an effort to replace the look and texture of our favorite fish, tuna, we decided to peel and slice a tomato. It occurred to me that preparing the tomato in this fashion would make it look a lot like sashimi.
The grilled squash and avocado add a rich, creamy consistency that helps to fill the void left by our old favorite, the cream cheese. Along with avocado, cucumbers and carrots are typical of most sushi rolls so we decided to include these staples along with our more creative elements.
We simmered the mushroom mix in the balsamic vinegar and Bragg's, added a pinch of garlic powder and sugar, and let it reduce. The mushrooms also add an interesting, meaty texture with a great flavor.
After watching an episode of Iron Chef America, in which the challenger used thinly sliced green papaya to wrap a sushi roll, we were inspired to try something similar with cucumbers. As you can see from the pictures, our slices were not quite thin enough, but I think this was due to a lack of technical proficiency and the absence of good, sharp knives. We were able to keep the rolls closed with toothpicks.
Served with soy sauce this light and crispy take on a summer favorite left us feeling pretty satisfied. What are your favorite vegan sushi ingredients?
*Hijacked by Chris (Golden's husband)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Creamy Vegetables and Beans
1 Cup cooked white beans
1 Cup cooked kidney beans
2 Cups potatoes, sliced thin or grated
1 Cup sliced cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli
1 Cup onion, diced or shredded
1 Cup corn
1 quart boiling water
1/3 Cup wheat flour or white bean flour
If using dry beans, wash them and place them in a bowl covered by two inches of water. (Note that beans will increase in size by a factor of two to three after soaking, so half a Cup of dried beans will become one Cup of soaked beans.) Let soak for 8 hours before using. When ready, microwave for 8-10 minutes or until boiling, then reduce power to 50% and microwave for 20-40 minutes or until tender.
While the beans cook, slice up your veggies. Bring the quart of water to a boil on the stovetop, add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. Mix in the flour or bean flour, it should make a watery paste. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.
Stir in the cooked beans and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Serve with bread, or over a bowl of brown rice.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
- Extra firm tofu
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1 slice of tomato and a few diced chunks
- 1 tbsp. garlic
- 1 piece of crusty eggless French bread
- Shredded vegan Monterey Jack cheese
- Tabasco sauce (optional)
Cut your piece of French bread open and toast in a 400 degree oven for several minutes. If you have a toaster oven, bully for you! That's even better. Slice a piece of tofu lengthwise about 1/2 thick. Lay the tofu flat and cut out a circular shape with the rim of a small cup. Marinate the tofu in soy sauce and black pepper for a few minutes. Meanwhile in a small saute pan, combine your garlic, green pepper and diced tomato. Cook over medium heat until the veggies turn tender. In a separate pan, saute your tofu in a well-oiled pan, flipping occasionally to fully cook either side. Remove your toast from the oven and plate. I sprinkled a little fake cheese over the toast and topped that with a slice of raw tomato. I placed the tofu on top and covered with the green peppers and diced tomato. Serve with your favorite hot sauce or vegan Hollandaise sauce.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Just like you make any other sandwich with slices of flesh between bread, but this version is healthier, ethical, and still dee-lish.
If you walk down the bread aisle in the grocery store and randomly select a loaf, chances are it will contain some by-product of the dairy industry. The dairy industry has some of the worst atrocities of all factory farming, the least of which is forcing their cows to overproduce (note "over" produce = painful, unnatural) milk for the likes of greedy humans. If you're interested in educating yourself on the modern dairy industry, pick up a good book like "Eating Animals", "Farm Sanctuary, Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food", or countless others. Both aforementioned books contain current statistics from reliable sources.
If you can find a loaf that does not contain milk, casein (milk protein), whey (milk), or eggs, then you're golden. Some may be concerned about ingredients they aren't certain of like "calcium bicarbonate" or anything with the word "calcium" in it. Most of these are synthetic preservatives that are cheaper to make than to pull from milk. If money isn't an issue then pick a bread with no preservatives and you won't have to question the mysterious additives. If you're like me, on a shoe-string budget, then you'll avoid all products that you are knowledgeable about and buy what you can afford - Publix whole wheat. (may contain honey)
"Sandwich Slices" as we like to call them at home, are found at almost all grocery stores now. Tofurkey brand is most common, but there are others as well (like "Yves"). Many flavors to choose from, just like hunks of muscle.
Mayo & mustard, anyone? I don't like mustard, but my DH does. Mustard generally does not contain any animal products, but you'd be surprised what they add in for the industry sake, so check the label.
Mayo comes in several forms. Traditional mayonnaise is made with eggs. There are several brands of mayo that are vegan including "Nayonnaise". I like canola oil mayo - usually found in the organic or foreign foods section.
"Cheese" if you please:
Sliced vegan cheese comes in many forms now. Some made from Rice milk, some from soy. I really enjoy a good slice of American "cheese" on my sandwich!
Lettuce, sliced tomato, spinach, pickle, onion, pepper...
And that's it! Slap it all together and you have a simple, traditional (apart from being healthy and animal-less) sandwich!
Friday, June 18, 2010
My solution for a refreshing and easy dinner-- Avocado cucumber wraps!
- spinach wraps
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 cucumber sliced long
- hummus ( I recently discovered Publix now makes it's own and it is cheap and tasty. The jalapeno cilantro hummus is the best.)
- several grape tomatoes sliced
Top it off with some lemon pepper, garlic powder or lettuce.
It is a great way too stay cool but satisfy your hunger on a hot summer day.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Here's what I made for a bonfire where friends gathered:
Hearty Vegan Chili
- Beans - any kind of canned beans. Kidney, Black, Garbanzo (chick peas), etc. I used 1 can each of red kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans. All drained (not rinsed).
- Diced Tomato - I used 1 big can of diced tomatoes
- Tomato Paste - 1 6oz can is fine
- Liquid - water works fine if you add lots of spices, or vegetable broth. 1-2 cups, add as needed.
- Veggies - cut up some carrots, celery, onions, scallions, garlic. All I had was carrots and celery! I used about 10 baby carrots and 3 stalks of celery.
- BBQ Sauce - this is optional, but because I am terrible at adding the right amount of spices, I used some really tasty BBQ sauce to add the right flavor.
- Tofu - optional, but really adds a heartiness! Get some extra firm tofu and dice into little tiny cubes.
- Mushrooms - I had some Porcinni mushrooms I had not tried yet so I threw in a few handfuls.
- Spices - onion powder (I didn't have onions so I sub'd with this powder), garlic powder, oregano, dried parsley, cumin, chili powder. Start with 1 tsp each and add to taste.
1) Oil a frying pan and cook the onions, celery, garlic until onions are translucent.
2) Add all ingredients into big pot and simmer for 30-60 minutes.
You could also throw everything into a slow cooker and check on it 8 hours later!
This is one of those meals that tastes just great 3 days later, so plan to make extra and store in a tupperware.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sausage wasn't something I ever really included in my breakfast - why work over a stove when I could just throw some cereal and almond milk into a bowl and go? - but I didn't want this to go to waste. I also didn't want to eat just hunks of 'meat' for breakfast by itself. So I decided on sausage and biscuits.
I have a coworker who's allergic to wheat gluten, and so whenever I want to bring in cookies or something to work I spend some time browsing the gluten-free blogs. Months ago while looking for gluten-free cookie recipes I stumbled upon this excellent recipe for scallion mushroom soup and biscuits. I saved the recipe, and tweaked it to be vegan, and today I figured her biscuit recipe, modified a tad, would be perfect for this breakfast plan. I re-glutened the recipe here to avoid confusion (in case you don't keep rice flour and xanthan gum on hand), but if you're interested in the allergen-free original version just follow the link.
Breakfast 'Sausage' and Biscuits
3-4 Tablespoons vegan margarine
1 Cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vegan margarine, cut into small pieces
(optional) 3 scallions, washed and sliced thin
(optional) 1/2 Cup shredded vegan cheese
1/2 Cup non-dairy milk
1 packet ground veggie sausage
Preheat oven to 400 F. Put 3-4 Tablespoons of margarine into a small bread loaf pan, and put it in the oven to melt. Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. Rub the margarine into the flour mixture with your fingers, and add in the scallions and vegan cheese, if using. Add the milk and mix it all together. You can add a little more flour if it seems too sticky. Pull out the loaf pan with the melted margarine, and drop spoonfuls of dough into it. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
While the biscuits are cooking, form your ground veggie sausage into patties as thick or as thin as you want, and brown them in a skillet for 3-5 minutes in olive oil.
Once the biscuits are done, sandwich a sausage patty between two of them, and enjoy.
Man, I really need to get a better camera than my cell phone...
Hearty and filling, and cruelty-free!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Summer Squash Mini-Skewers
- 1 large pattypan squash
- 1 large golden zucchini
- 1 yellow crookneck squash
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup vegan pesto
Slice your squash into bite-sized pieces. Your squash pieces should be about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and (VERY LIGHTLY) spray the pan with cooking spray. You don't want your squash to be too wet or mushy, dry blackening will help prevent this. Add your squash in one layer and heat for several minutes or until blackened. Flip as needed to cook all sides evenly.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. After your squash pieces are blackened, remove from heat and begin stacking. Place one piece of squash on your baking sheet. Top with a teaspoon of marinara. Layer a second piece of squash on top, add a teaspoon of pesto. Continue to stack squashes and alternate sauces until it's at your desired height. Hold in place with a toothpick or skewer. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, allowing your sauces to get bubbly. Garnish with dollops of marinara and pesto. Serve alone or with pasta and rice. This would also be ideal for colorful appetizers, served on crispy bread.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My family orders "extra ranch" with their water lettuce and bacon bits... and boy did I miss ranch dressing when I swore off eating animals!
If you're craving this generally boring, simple, not incredibly nutritious traditional side salad, I've got the answer for you! No cooking necessary!
Bag of salad (any kind! The darker the leaves, the healthier)
Ranch Dressing (Organicville makes a delicious non-dairy, no-egg ranch)
Bacon Bits (there are several brands sold at common grocery stores that contain no meat!)
Tofurky sandwich slices (cut/slice cold or hot) OR Morningstar Farms® Meal Starters™ Chik'n Strips
Pepper, of course
Combine ingredients and drench in ranch dressing. Mmm mmm, good!
MorningStar Vegan Products
A List of Vegan Condiments (Bacon bits, dressings)
Friday, June 4, 2010
For example, in Louisiana, there is a tradition generations deep of boiling crawfish outdoors with a group of friends and a few rounds of beer. Since the last frost I have been invited to no less than five such occasions. I find these events particularly hard to stomach because those in attendance delight in tossing the live crawfish into the boiling water only to joke about the brutal act of tearing them apart, leaving piles of shells nearly a foot high on each plate. Tonight I was invited to just such an event, but chose not to go. I couldn't bear to witness yet another waste of life for the sake of a meal. But alas, this left me home alone on a Friday night...working. Not so fun.
Because I have no close friends in town that are vegan, I often have to attend such events if I want to get out of the house at all. While there--not eating anything but the dish or dessert I brought to share--I have to suffer rounds of questions and insults heaved my way about abstaining from the meal. The usual "top of the food chain," "What's the big deal?" and "eating meat is the reason humans evolved to be smart blah blah blah" not only makes me feel unwelcome, but rather angry.
Okay, okay. I feel I should say that my friends are generally supportive. But it sometimes feels as if it's only in a backhanded "Oh, how fun for you" type of way.
I guess what I'm asking is how do you all deal with this? I grew up in a very meat-eating family, have a meat-eating boyfriend and almost exclusively meat-eating friends and I feel overwhelmed with having to defend myself/my diet/my philosophy on an almost daily basis. My initial response is to state my peace, insist that I eat well (and I do!) and just stay positive, but sometimes it can be a little too much to bear. Any suggestions for leading a happy, SOCIAL vegan life would be much appreciated.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
- 1 can Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust (find this in the refrigerated section of your favorite grocery store)
- 2 pieces of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 1 batch of cashew ricotta (recipe below)
- *optional: shredded vegan cheese for topping. (I used Daiya Mozzarella)
(this cashew ricotta recipe is enough to make 2-3 flatbreads, so buy two crusts and get creative or store the leftovers in a air tight container and refrigerate for later)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- the juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- combine above ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare Cashew Ricotta and set aside. (recipe above)
- Chop up onion and garlic and set aside.
- Slice Roma tomatoes into thin round slices and set aside.
- Brown the 2 pieces of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini in a small skillet on medium heat with olive oil until golden brown. Don't over cook.
- Sprinkle Italian seasoning and salt and pepper on Chick'n while its cooking. Cut the Chick'n into bite size pieces with a spatula while its in the skillet. Remove Chick'n from pan and set chick'n aside.
- Add chopped onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until onions are clear and lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Lightly greece rectangle pan.
- Roll out Pillsbury Thin Pizza crust onto pan and brush with olive oil. Poke holes in dough with fork so it wont bubble up while baking.
- Put the crust into the preheated oven and pre-bake until brown, about 5 minutes or longer if you like it crispy. (this step is to prevent your crust from getting soggy when you add the other ingredients.) Remove pre-baked crust from oven.
- Spread a thin layer of Cashew Ricotta onto the browned pizza crust.
- Add Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chick'n pieces. Spread out evenly.
- Top with your favorite shredded vegan cheese. (*optional)
- Put back into oven until browned to your liking or until the cheese is melted. Be sure not to over cook it if you are using vegan cheese on top.
- Remove from oven. Let cool. Enjoy!