Monday, November 11, 2013

Fresh Green Clover Sprout Salsa

I think I invented something here...this salsa is not exactly made with shamrocks, but features tomatillos and clover sprouts.  I have no idea why I don't have a jar of salsa somewhere in the pantry, but if I did I wouldn't have had to make something awesome up to top my rice bowl.

Languishing in the back of the fridge was a vacuum sealed mason jar of summer tomatillos.  Newer, but no less ignored in the fridge were some fresh clover sprouts that I popped in there, uh, probably more than two weeks ago because they were grown and I ran out of avocado which is what I usually what prompts me to eat the sprouts.  They stay alive in the fridge for quite awhile, but don't grow much more.

Not really a recipe, but I started out with half an onion, about a cup of tomatillos in their juice, salt, a little ancho chile powder, a pinch of oregano, and some lemon juice and blended it up on low (you want it mixed, but don't want to crush the seeds.)  This was OK, but lacked freshness.  So that's when I stuck in the sprouts (about 2 cups) and gave it another whirl.  The sprouts added exactly what I wanted - a fresh clean taste.  Sure if I could keep cilantro alive, I probably would have used that instead, but I just got a whole dose of fresh sprouts in my dinner and I'm pretty psyched about it.  It's technically raw if I didn't plop on top of a rice and bean setian cutlet bowl...

The rest of the bowl is:

Freshly cooked rice - long grain rice with alcaparado which is just olives and capers with a bit of the juice, a pinch of saffron, and 1/4 cup of Rancho Gordo Frijol Chaac beans I cooked yesterday 

Baked Crispy Bean Patties from the Great Vegan Bean Book  (the recipe is in the "Look Inside" on Amazon)

Cashew Sour Cream from Artisan Vegan Cheese

Jalapeño Hot Sauce I made for MoFo

Easy fresh dinner ready in a flash.  Signing off to eat and watch Bones on it's last Monday night (moving to Friday?!?) with fabulous vegan Emily Deschanel.   

Sunday, September 29, 2013

2013 Mofo 15 - Vegan Scrapple

Scrapple.  The mid-atlantic region's contribution to breakfast food.   Even among aficionados, there is great contention over brands.  We always had RAPA in my house and my dad had a special technique including timing, and using the right pan and lid to get the perfect crunch on the outside, leaving the middle warm and soft.

What is scrapple you ask?  It's a savory cornmeal slab of breakfast protein most often made with pork parts.  Make no mistake; scrapple is delicious.

I've tried to make vegan scrapple in the past and it was good, but not something I'd really bother with on a day to day basis.

This time, fully inspired by not one, but TWO facebook friends dissin' a vegan scrapple article - (Now available in PA!) - I felt the need for a self-directed thrown down.  In case you're wondering, I won.  Quick and easy scrapple turned out freakin' fantastic.  A little chewier in the middle than the original, but nice flavor and holds up well on toast with ketchup.

Vegan Scrapple

1 cup beans
1/2 cup water
1 heaping tsp sage
1 heaping tsp savory
1 heaping tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
pinch nutmeg
pinch cloves
pinch allspice

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup vital wheat gluten

Blend together the beans, water, and spices.  In a separate bowl mix cornmeal and gluten.  Add the mix from the blender to the cornmeal and gluten and knead together.  Form a ball and press into a square shape.

Then slice into 1/2 inch slices.  Mine made seven slabs.

Fry until browned and flip.  Approx five minutes each side.

Serve straight up with a scramble or pancakes, whatever you might have sausage or bacon with.  I obviously like it on toast with ketchup.   

2013 Mofo 14 - Vegan Cubano Sandwich

Give into your cravings and still keep it vegan.  

I wanted to try the Daiya slices, so I was initially thinking Reuben, but swapped the sauerkraut for some cornichons and voila Cubano.

 Melty goodness.  Yum!

I like to keep some crusty country bread in the freezer, so toastiness is the way to go with this.

For less processed make your own sandwich options check out Celine & Tami's Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!  Lots of way cool ways to have vegan sammiches everyday!

Vegan Cubano

2 slices bread
2 slices vegan deli slices
2 slices vegan cheese
5 cornichons (or one pickle) sliced
Vegan mayo
Vegan mustard - (read ingredients - some varieties are made with eggs)

Spread mayo & mustard on bread, top with deli slices, pickles, and cheese.  Toast until melty.  I like to put it on foil so the bread gets warmed, but not too crusty.  The Daiya really does melt, so the foil also keeps the toaster oven clean.  You could eat this open faced fancy style with a knife and fork, or regular  'ole sammich style.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Mofo 13 - Potage with black garlic

Yes, potage is just a fancied up word for soup.  

Here's my secret soup that's not really a recipe.  For me, potage always starts with potatoes.  I've been making this for a long time and I think I first made it when I got the vita mix.  I do remember early on I made it with restaurant leftovers - something like french fries and green beans - but it lends itself well to any type of potatoes and vegetables.  I usually make this with already cooked potatoes and blend it first, but it's just as easily made from scratch.  You just need to let it simmer long enough to cook the potatoes.


Today's potage features black garlic that I got at the H Mart (love the H Mart.)  Black garlic is fermented and is like a sweeter, stickier roasted garlic.  I first had it in risotto at a local restaurant for their meatless monday menu, and was pretty psyched to find it in the store.   

Potage du jour

3 cups roasted potatoes (these were salted)
1 cup roasted brussel sprouts (also salted)
1 cup packed fresh spinach
5 cloves black garlic
leaves from a sprig of fresh thyme
3 large fresh sage leaves
5 fresh rosemary leaves
1 TBS vegetable paste (or vegetable bullion)
Salt to taste (optional)

For a smooth soup, blend all together on high until completely smooth and heat and serve.

For a thick soup with more texture - small bits to chew - blend together on medium and stop when it's still chunky.  Pour out half the soup into the soup pan, then continue to blend the rest until smooth.  Pour the smooth half into the chunky half and heat and serve.  

I like a dollop of crème fraîche on top, so this is topped with cashew sour cream.  I also serve with crusty french bread or soup crackers.  

Don't forget about my vida vegan con zine giveaway.  Work has been crazy, but I'll post the winner this week.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 Mofo 12 - Giveaway: The Vida Vegan Con 2013 Cookbooklette

It's the moment you've been waiting for...I have The Official-Unofficial Vida Vegan Con 2013 Cookbooklette complied and illustrated by Amey Matthews, SIGNED by all the contributing recipe authors, and ready to give away.  Just leave me a nice comment and a way to contact you if you win.

That's it!  Even better would be if you pimp my blog on your blog or facebook or whatever.  And even more super cool, add me to your reader.  Shameless self-promotion, I know, but I'll post more often, you get stuff.  It's a win-win.  

Thanks for to all the authors for sharing recipes and for being so awesome when I stalked each one to sign their page at Vida Vegan Con 2013.

Here's the amazingness you'll find in the zine:

Orange Blossom Granola - Kittee Berns
Fresh Orange Salad with Sweet Avocado Citrus Puree - Amey Mathews
Southern Fried Tofu Chicken - Bianca Phillips
Mediterranean Bean Burgers - Dreena Burton
Tofu Lettuce Wraps - Michele Truty
Cauliflower Queso - Cadry Nelson
Creamy Tofu Almond Sauce - Ginny Messina
Tofu Balls - Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Northwest Berry Salad with Glazed Tempeh - Michele Truty, Jess Scone, & Janessa Philemon-Kerp
Chili Mac - Susan Voisin
Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza Smothered in Frank's Red Hot - John McDevitt
Namprick Gaeng Som Curry Sauce - Jess Scone & Maeve Connor
F*uck Yeah, It's Fall - Jess Scone
Irish Cream - Joni Newman
Carrot Cake Deluxe - Chelsea Lincoln
Jam & Coconut Thumbprint Cookies - Lisa Pitman
Rum Raisin Frozen Yogurt - Hannah Kaminsky
Great-Grandma Oda's Persimmon Pudding - Erika Lawson

The fun isn't done because I plan to make a few of the Cookbooklette recipes for Mofo, so they'll be other giveaways in upcoming posts.  Keep coming back, ya'll!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Mofo 11 - Candle Cafe

Dinner at Candle Cafe.  Yes there were only two of us...

 Wine and beer

Seitan Chimichuri - Probably my favorite seitan dish anywhere

Fresh Spring Rolls

Green ginger bomb shot or some similar name.  Small package, but this little beauty was complex and savory.  

Seitan au poive - another fantastic seitan dish.  The garlic potatoes were delish.

Fried green tomato Napoleon - laters of tomatoey goodness

 Grain beverage late - a little off beat, but tasted kind of like barley tea

Soy Chai Latte

Chocolate Mousse Pie - rich and chocolatey

Banana Cake - who can say no to banana cake?

OK so we took some of the cake home, but this was a much needed feast to enjoy with a friend after work.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2013 Mofo 10 - The Green Radish food Truck

New Yorkers love food trucks.  I was so excited that The Green Radish was in my hood today.  

I got a no lobster roll, crabless cakes, and a banana chocolate chip cookie.

The no lobster roll is chickpeas tarragon and greens on a soft roll with chucks of celery that give a nice crunch of texture and flavor. The crabless cakes is hearts of palm and peppers with a lovely lemon sauce.  Banana chocolate chip cookie doesn't need further explanation, right?

Absolutely delicious!  The Green Radish isn't always in the city, but you can check out their schedule on Facebook.  Heard about them this past weekend from the vegan meet-up (thanks Carmella!) and I'm not always in the city either so I'm glad I checked their Facebook page today and got to try their food.  Gourmet vegan food truck is a very good thing!

2013 Mofo 9 - Juice

Carrot, apple, beet, and ginger.  Fresh from NYC juice cart on the way into the office this morning. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 Mofo 8 - Hot Sauce

Have lots of garden fresh jalapeños and like hot sauce?  This one is a modified Bobby Flay recipe.  

Some of the jalapeños were red already, so the sauce came out yellow rather than green.  I can't wait to enjoy this spicy tangy hot sauce on my next burrito.  

Jalapeño Hot Sauce

2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
10 Chopped fresh jalapeños 
3 garlic cloves
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
2 TBS agave
2 TBS dried cilantro

Saute onion, jalapenos, and garlic in oil.  When softened, add vinegars and water and simmer covered for 10 minutes.  Blend together with salt, agave, and cilantro.  Store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

2013 Mofo 7 - Meet-up

Want to meet other vegans in real life?  Go to a vegan meet-up.  If there isn't one where you live, then attend one when traveling to another city, or better yet, start your own!  I host The Westchester NY Veggie Eat-up which came together after the organizers of two area vegetarian groups stepped down and no one was taking them on.  Because I was taking over vegetarian groups, I kept them technically vegetarian, but the diners tend to be or lean towards being vegan.  We always make sure to choose events with a good variety of vegan options.

The site fees are fairly reasonable ($11 a month) and you can charge it back to the members if you want.  I decided to foot the cost, but I suggest that people leave extra for the servers or donate to their favorite animal group in lieu of forking up a buck or two back to me.  I also let other members host meet-ups so that it isn't just me having dinner down the street every month.

Today's meet-up hosted by Carmella of the Food Duo features browsing the Pleasantville, NY Farmer's market with lunch at Bhog Indian following.  Pleasantville has a big and crowded market located in the commuter train parking lot.  I felt a little guilty as I passed my little Tarrytown Farmer's market on the way to Pleasantville, but I've got to say this one is much bigger and really popular.  

I scored some potatoes, onion, and poblanos.  On Carmella's recommendation, I also got the next to last vegan lemon lime square from a local bakery that I'm about to have with my tea.

Lunch was right around the corner at Bhog.  The restaurant manager was really helpful in pointing out the menu items that were already vegan and others that could be made vegan.

I opted for my favorite Southern Indian specialty, Dosa.  These rice pancakes are filled with spiced potatoes and onions.  Despite looking like a heavy burrito it's actually quite light and crispy.  The sauce at the top seemed quite a lot like soup, but is an accompaniment to the dosa and I used the unfilled ends of the crepe-like wrapping to soak up the sauce.  

Here are some of the other eat-up diner's dishes.  Channa Masala (the picky vegan's entree), eggplant, vegetable dosa (served open faced) and cauliflower. 


Another fantastically fun meet-up organized by The Food Duo.  If you find yourself in the Westchester, NY area, come visit!

Friday, September 6, 2013

2013 Mofo 6 - Ethiopian

I'm no Queen of Sheba but I definitely enjoy my  Ethiopian food.  Tonight I took the husband out for Ethiopian in Mt. Kisco, NY at Lalibela.  He's never had Ethiopian food before, but he dug right in with gusto.  We started with an avocado salad and moved onto a sampler of vegan dishes then enjoyed strong Ethiopian coffee.

The sampler platter includes lentils, split peas, spicy lentils, collard greens, string beans, and cabbage served on injera.  This is a meal to eat with your hands and you tear off bits of bread to scoop up the deliciousness.   

The avocado salad was loaded with fresh jalapeño and was extra spicy!  The best parts are the bits of bread that have been sitting under the dishes soaking up the flavors.   

 On the table they included some information about teff, the grain used to make the spongy injera.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Mofo 5 - Spaghetti

Spaghetti is the ultimate vegan food for anyone.  Simple, elegant, and easy.  From plain 'ole marinara to fancy fake meaty cheesiness, there's something for everyone.  There are plenty of whole grain, gourmet, or gluten free pastas on the market for endless options.  If you're feeling really adventurous, you can make your own fresh pasta with flour, salt, and water.  

I had a few extra tomatoes that didn't get canned yesterday, so I added some beans, mushrooms, onions, and garlic for a rustic late summer sauce.  Nutritional yeast makes a nice parmesan like-topping and even comes in a very similar looking container to any green packaged stuff you grew up with.    

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Mofo 4 - Mason Jars

Canning summer produce such as tomatoes is the old fashioned use for mason jars.  I got a little too much air in some of them, but they're sealed.  It's a lot of work for something you can get in the store for about a buck and a half, but I'm sure in January when I have garden fresh tomatoes, I'll be glad I did this.    

Here's my 25 lb box of tomatoes from my CSA before being peeled and stuffed into jars.

Other cool accessories for your mason jars...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Mofo 3 - Rancho Gordo

You all know the song.  Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!
And the joke: Why did the Irishman only eat 239 beans?  Because one more would make him Too-Farty!  (argh, argh, argh - Irish brogue implied)

Still reading?  If you like beans anyway because they're a healthy source of protein and wicked delicious then check out Rancho Gordo.

This haul is just what I still have in the packages from a couple of different orders.  I store the opened ones in (duh) mason jars.  I know it seems like dried beans are dried beans, but these beans are DEFINITELY fresher than what you'll find in the grocery store.  They rehydrate quickly upon soaking and cook faster, too.  The company supports small harvests and small farmers mainly in Mexico.

In addition to beans Rancho Gordo offers some unusual products that of course I just had to try.

Xoxoc - Dehydrated prickly pear

Vinagre de Platano - Yup, it's banana vinegar

La Paloma hot sauce - the best lots-of-flavor not-much-heat chile sauce suitable for anyone who likes the spice without the heat.  It's less hot-spicy than green tabasco.

Hand crafted stone ground cacao - for hot chocolate and what not

Oregano - Mexican and Indio - yes, of course I needed them both

Sal Mixteca - Special Oaxacan salt that magically softens beans       

For lots of awesome recipes with fancy bean suggestions check out The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Heston.  

And for some lick-the-screen chocolate peanut butter brownie cookies made with beans, check out today's wing it vegan's mofo post.  Photo included for extra screen licking temptation, but go on over to her blog because River is awesome.   

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013 Mofo 2 - Dehydrator

Vegan cuisine wouldn't be the same without a little uncooking.

I finally got an Excalibur dehydrator.  I have a ridiculously small kitchen, but I got the 9 tray anyway.  I'm surprised at how often I end up using all the trays at one time.  The CSA peaches and plums from yesterday were already ripe, so to save them from the fruit flies (sorry fruit flies) I decided to preserve the fruit for another time. 

This dehydrator is proving to be a useful and fun gadget as I try to incorporate more raw foods into my diet.  Not super cheap, but they have a few options with and without timers and 4, 5, or 9 trays and lots of new colors.  I like that the trays are all square so you can rotate easily.  The best place to get the dehydrator is from the manufacturer.  They frequently have sales and free shipping if you time it right.         

I got Death Star cantaloupe also in the CSA haul, so I still have fresh fruit for the week.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

2013 Mofo 1 - Vegan Spice Rack

The Vegan Month of Food or MoFo is upon us and it's in September for the first time which means we've still got lots of summer veggies in season.  This is my sixth mofo!  The amazing organizers are still finalizing the blog roll, so I'm not on it just yet for some reason, but you can check out all the other cool vegan bloggers participating this year.

I'm starting off the Mofo with my spice rack arsenal.      

I spend all year thinking up themes and posts for the Mofo, but eventually I just end up posting whatever seems to be on my mind at the time.  Today I alphabetized my spice rack, so that explains this post in a nutshell.  Pretty much all spices and herbs are vegan and there are many "meat" blends that make vegetables extra meaty.

I do dig Penzeys, so here's some of my favorite blends and what to do with them:

Breakfast Sausage Seasoning - Mix into meat substitute or roasted potatoes for an easy breakfast sausage flavor

Chicago Steak Seasoning - sprinkle on and grill portabella mushrooms for an amazing not-a-steak

Italian Sausage Seasoning - Mix into meat substitute or eggplant and add to pasta sauce for a nice fennel sausage taste without the meat and fat

Pizza Seasoning - Similar to the italian sausage seasoning, but added to homemade pizzas or garlic bread adds a nice pizzeria touch

Poultry Seasoning - Instantly livens up vegetable broth into un-chickeny goodness.  Also nice added to mashed or baked potatoes

I just placed an order to restock and I'm trying the berebere and the Bratwurst Sausage Seasonings.  I'll let you know how they are in later posts.  Penzeys has some brick and mortar stores, but the one in Grand Central closed, and I usually spend enough for free shipping, so on line works great.

The actual spice rack is Elfa from the container store.  I find it flexible and it holds a lot for the space it's in.  I can move the shelves and half pint mason jars also fit into the small racks.  

Happy Mofo!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Energy Balls from simple ingredients you probably already have hiding in your pantry

Actually if you flatten the balls like the ones in the front you can pass them off as cookies.  So I was going through my "pantry" which is really a closet next to the kitchen stacked with bins that are packed with mason jars which are stuffed with vacuum sealed, non-perishable foodstuffs.  Don't worry, I am prepared to eat well in case of natural disaster, power-outage, or other armageddon scenarios that would keep me in my apartment.

In the pantry I found some prunes.  I guess I like prunes since I'm the one that bought them and I consider them a healthy snack, but it's not like I sit around thinking, "oh, I'm totally in the mood for some prunes."  So here they languish in the pantry discovered only when I dig in to reorganize.  This time I was determined to do something with them so a quick google search led to some options, the easiest being these raw nut balls.  I modified it a bit and ended up with a tasty treat that I think will make a good 11am work snack when I'm usually starving but convinced it's still too early for lunch.

These were wicked easy and tasty.  I'll probably try them again with some different combinations.

Coconut prune balls

1 cup prunes (soaked 1 hour and drained)
1 cup walnuts (soaked 1 hour and drained)
1/4 cup cranberries (soaked 1 hour and drained)
2 oz dark chocolate finely chopped
1 TBS maca powder (optional)

1/2 cup shredded coconut reserved for coating

In a high speed blender or food processor, blend together all balls ingredients except coconut and add a little water or soaking liquid if it's too stiff.  You want to be able to mold it like cookie dough.

Shape into 1 to 1 1/2 tsp bite sized balls, and roll around in the coconut to coat.  It's ok if some of the coconut gets mixed in and this makes them even better.  Place on a silpat lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.  Store in air-tight mason jars if you have them or a ziplock bag will do.  Even better make into serving sized portions and store in smaller mason jars or snack sized bags.


Monday, August 5, 2013

I made your favorite; spaghetti with lots of oregano...and a secret ingredient.

Ah.  I can't resist a Heather's quote blog post.  Veronica, dinner!

Cappellini pasta pairs perfectly with summer veggies.  Mostly CSA haul: Japanese eggplant, yellow and green pattypan squash, onions, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil, vegetable paste, and lots of oregano!  

Here's my latest secret ingredient.  Vegetable paste.  It's mostly like tomato paste, but also includes assorted vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, and parsley with a little olive oil, sugar, and salt.  I found it at Chef Central in the gourmet foods section, but you may be able to find it in the normal grocery store with the Italian stuff.

More umami than regular old tomato paste, this amped up paste is really tasty added to vinaigrette and soups.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vegan Ethiopian Food - Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food and NY Meet-up at Lalibela Mt. Kisco

My recent vegan Ethiopian craving came about when I got Kittee's zine Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food at Herbivore when I was in Portland.  I met Kittee in real life at the Vida Vegan Con and she is even cooler in person than in the blog-o-sphere!

I made the injera fake-outs which turned out pretty OK despite me having really no idea what I was doing.  Work has been pretty crazy so instead of making the other awesome recipes in the book, I made an ethiopian fake-out salad with Trader Joe's salsa, avocado, and some berbere seasoning I bought at a spice shop in Grand Central Market.

All this fake-out'in was good, but I needed the real thing.  A quick magical google search for Ethiopian found Lalibela in Mt. Kisco, so I figured why not set-up a meet up

We had our meet-up tonight which turned out to be really fun and delicious.

The communal dining experience can be a little weird among relative strangers, but everyone was game and even the initial non-sharers decided to join in the fun.  The dishes are lentils, spicy lentils, split peas, string beans, cabbage, and collard greens.  We also enjoyed some Ethiopian beer and coffee.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Duo of Cold Summer Soups - Avocado cream soup and Gazpacho

Cool off from the sticky summer heat with a duo of cold soups.  The Avocado Cream Soup came from the Practically Raw cookbook and the Gazpacho is the traditional Moosewood version I've been making for many years now.  You can start with cold ingredients and it's ready right away or let it chill in the fridge for a few hours.  

I tried some fancy food styling and that's supposed to look like a yin yang sign.  Whatever, it was delicious!  I don't think the V8 juice I used counts as raw, but everything else is raw and mostly came from the CSA this morning.

I'm digging the Practically Raw book by Amber Shea Crawley.  I had made a few things using the oven, but now that I finally broke down and got a n Excalibur Dehydrator, I'm sure I'll make even more.