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Frizzled Cabbage and Smashed Bean Club

29 Aug

I recently received a massage head of cabbage in my CSA and wanted to make something interesting with it. After requesting help from my facebook friends, I decided on the following recipe. Unfortunately, I got nervous with using 8 tablespoons of butter, so I tweaked it a bit. Still delicious, but not quite “frizzled.” If you would like to try the true frizzled version, click the link below. Otherwise, try out this sauteed “frizzled” cabbage alternative:

Frizzled Cabbage

(Adapted from Food.com)

1 head of cabbage

2 tablespoons of vegan butter

Salt

Pepper

1.Core and very thinly slice the cabbage.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet (I use non-stick) over medium heat.

3. When it is bubbling, add the cabbage.

4. Salt and pepper the cabbage.

5. Stir occasionally and cook until mostly wilted, about 10 minutes.

6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage is starting to caramelize (brown), about 10 minutes.

7. Do not let burn.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/frizzled-cabbage-83524?oc=linkback

For lunch today, I followed another one of the Happy Herbivore’s meal plan recipes: Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club. Definitely one of my favorites!

~Kate

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The Sweet Simple Pleasures of Late Summer

24 Aug

My neighbors started a small but amazing garden this year. They generously gave me some of their tomatoes the other day.

These tomatoes are the most flavorful tomatoes I can ever remember tasting. They are far and above, way better than the tomatoes in my CSA.

I ate these tomatoes by themselves and they were awesome, but what really hit the spot was my open faced tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich.

I have a sweet memory of my first tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. I was probably 11 when I went through a pretty severe Harriet the Spy phase. Harriet love tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches, so of corse I needed to try one.

My Nanna lived with us, and she saw me making the sandwich in the kitchen and got all excited. Seeing the tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich stirred up memories of her past and childhood when she used to make them all the time. She said that she had not seen one in years and years and decided to join me and have a sandwich of her own.

Now tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches are like comfort food. It always brings me back to that day with my Nanna in the kitchen and Harriet the Spy on my mind.

I made my tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich open faced this time because the tomatoes were so beautiful I thought it would be a shame to cover them with a piece of bread.

I toasted scali bread in the toaster oven (an italian style bread covered with sesame seeds), and topped the toast with vegan  mayonnaise and large slices of tomato.

I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life.

-Kerri

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

21 Aug

I’m always looking for things to make for lunch at work. This cold cucumber and rice salad is the perfect thing because I can make it ahead of time, and the flavors blend beautifully by the time my lunch break rolls around. I made a batch of this and ate it two days in a row, and it was even better the second day.

I thought of this dish because i wanted something with a light flavor, that would stick my your ribs. I had a lot of cucumbers but i didn’t think my Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad would fill my up enough, and I didn’t want anything with a slot of dressing. This salad has just the right balance of flavors and texture. I’m really happy with the way it tuned out.

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

1 cup plain rice (measured uncooked rice)

2 cucumbers

1 lime

1 teaspoon white vinegar

vegan mayo

I use extra long grain white rice. I make it like sushi rice because I love it slightly sticky. I make sticky rice by rinsing the uncooked rice with really cold water. I swish the water around and scrunch the damp rice in my fists so the grains rub against each other polishing the outside of the rice. Rinse several times until the water is pretty much clear. Drain rinsing water and add fresh water to the pot. Bring water and rice to a boil. Then turn the heat down and cover the pot to steam the rice. Simmer (watch out for boiling over) for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking cut cucumbers into bite sized pieces.

When rice is cooked remove from heat and place in mixing bowl, add white vinegar and fold into the rice.

Add Cucumbers to the bowl.

Add the juice from one lime.

Add a small amount of vegan mayo. Just enough to bring the mixture together. Taste test the salad until you get the right amount. People are very picky about how much mayo to use. Remember you can always add more if you want, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.

You want to fold the ingredients together while the rice is warm and then place the batch in the refrigerator. I suggest making this at least 20 minutes before serving, but you can do it a day in advance. The flavor is better when its had time to blend.

Enjoy!

I’d love a comment if you try this recipe.

-Kerri

Kate’s Cookout Goodies

19 Aug

I attended a super fun cookout yesterday and made sure there were plenty of vegan options for me that others could try out. I made this Lemon Cilantro Avocado Pasta Salad and received many compliments. The recipe can found here.

I also made a large bowl of Kale Chips. Believe it or not, those went faster than the pasta salad! Toward the end of the night, they weren’t as crisp, which was disappointing. I’m not sure if it was the humidity or if they were under-cooked.

I made sure to bring a couple of vegan veggie burgers for myself and made a vegan dip using Tastefully Simple’s Fiesta Party Dip Mix, Vegan Sour Cream, and Vegan Mayonnaise. Delicious!

~Kate

Red Rice, Corn Pudding, and Green Beans

13 Aug

Tonight, I browsed my Happy Herbivore cookbook and made two recipes for dinner: Charleston Red Rice and Corn Pudding. The results were great, especially with the rice!

Charleston Red Rice

2 cups of cooked rice

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1-2 teaspoons of hot sauce (I used Sriracha)

Garlic powder

Minced onion or onion powder

Cayenne pepper

Salt

Pepper

Simply mix everything together and warm. So easy, so delicious!

~Kate

Vegan Cooking Marathon

12 Aug

I went a little crazy in the kitchen today… here are a few pictures of some of the delicious vegan dishes I made.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Chickpeas

(A variation of this Happy Herbivore recipe can be found here)

 

These chickpeas were unbelievably good! This will definitely be one of my new favorite meals. I served them over rice and Pineapple Mango Salsa. Here’s the recipe:

Easy Pineapple Mango Salsa

Chop equal parts pineapple and mango.

Add freshly chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice.

My next attempt was a bit of a flop. The Happy Herbivore has a vegan brownie recipe in her cookbook that I have been wanting to try. The author notes that this recipe is by far her most popular. I don’t know if I did something wrong or if my taste buds disagree with the rest of the vegans out there. Oh well! If you are interested in trying the recipe, here it is.

After the brownie debacle, I tried making Quinoa Mac ‘N Cheese. Once again, I used the Happy Herbivore Cheese Sauce recipe, which can be found on her website. Replace the noodles with quinoa and your have a delicious, healthy meal!

Finally, with much thanks to my Grill Master Husband, Tim, I had an amazing grilled dinner of vegetable kebabs and Gardein’s BBQ Skewers. The veggies were fabulous. The skewers were ok. I had never had them before, not sure if I would get them again. I think Gardein’s chick’n products are better than the beef ones.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

~Kate

Vegan Pot Pie

10 Aug

I cooked this tofu pot pie for my family to celebrate my parents’ birthdays. It was the first time I cooked for anyone outside of my apartment since going vegan, and I got a lot of complements. In fact my (non-vegan) mother requested this recipe for the blog today.

A lot of chicken pot pies use cubed chicken, so the cubed tofu doesn’t look foreign to the omnivores, and the gravy is so good everyone will love it.  The crust is so buttery; this recipe is perfect comfort food.

Vegan Pot Pie

 

Crust

1 cup flour
plus some extra for dusting

1 stick vegan Butter (cut into very small pieces and frozen)

A small amount of ice water

Filling

I package super firm tofu

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion

1 celery stock

1 carrot

3 cloves garlic

1 medium sized potato

1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons soy sauce
(or tamari)

1 1/4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Crust

The key to this flakey crust is working with very cold ingredients. Put all crust ingredients in the freezer while you work on dicing the veggies and cook the filling. Yes, even the flour, put it in a bowl and stick it in the freezer. I even stick the fork I will be using to mix the dough in the freezer too.

 

Filling

Squeeze tofu to get rid of excess water. I press the tofu between my hands over the cutting board and then rinse the cutting board in the sink. If you press the tofu over the sink you run the risk of dropping bits into the sink and that sucks. Or you can wrap the block of tofu in a paper towel and press it between the cutting board and a plate.

Cut tofu into 1/3 inch pieces.

Dry fry tofu until pieces are brown on most sides. The key to dry fry (no oil) tofu is to leave it alone. Don’t flip the pieces every 5 seconds. Let one side sit and get brown, and then move the pieces carefully onto the other side, let sit until brown, repeat. If little pieces of tofu stick to the pan don’t have a heart attack, it will all get incorporated into the filling.

Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

Heat olive oil in the same pan and add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Heat until fragrant and onion is sweated.

Add potato to the mix and cook until. Stir often; do not over cook potato.

Add flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to the pan. Stir until incorporated. It should look kind of doughy or crumbly. If the oil is incorporated into the flour there wont be any clumps in the gravy.

Add vegetable stock and stir, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Add tofu, peas, sage, basil, and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Crust

Using fork, mix flour and butter until crumbly. Then mix again using your hands to fully incorporate butter. (It doesn’t have to be perfect; it will come together in the end)

Slowly sprinkle ice water and mix with the fork until dough forms.

Dust an area with flour and roll out crust to fit your pie pan.

 

Assemble

Pour filling into pie pan.

Cover with crust.

Cut slits in the crust with a knife.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

 

-Kerri

Super Market Vegan – mainstream items you didn’t know were vegan

8 Aug

When I go to the super market I buy a lot of items in the natural food section (what Mike lovingly refers to as, “The Hippie Section”).

I find a lot of fine items there, but it takes me a while to become familiar with a lot of the food marketed toward vegetarians and vegans.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is a lot easier when you keep some familiar food in your diet, to go along with the sometimes-alien vegan food.

The snack department is not a place were a lot of people want to think about what they’re eating, they just want it to be fast and taste good. So as you can imagine, I loved finding out that a lot of my favorite snacks are vegan. This means I can indulge in a guilty pleasure and only feel guilt about the calories and not about animal products.

Take a peek into my cupboards and see some of my favorite surprisingly vegan food.

Oreo: the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. “Milk’s favorite cook”, try everyone’s favorite cookie!

Mary Jane, my favorite candy. I was surprised when I didn’t find honey on the ingredients list.

When you want salty not sweet go for pretzels. When nothing less than super will do, a hot Super Pretzel will never let you down.

***

Here’s a list of surprisingly vegan items you can find in or around you super market. For a huge list go to PETA’s article on the subject.

Ritz Crackers

Nesquick Syrup

Most Energy Drinks

Nabisco Grahams – original

Gravy Master

Many Breakfast Cereals

Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate

Reduced Fat Bisquick

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – no butter – Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic, Jalapeno, Original, Raisin, & Sesame.

***

What are your favorite foods that could be added to the list?

Vegan Caesar Salad

7 Aug

Generally, when I want a salad, I want it to be filled with veggies. Every now and then, though, it’s nice to enjoy a simple Caesar salad… well, unless you are a vegan, right? WRONG! Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction cookbook. Check out her website to see some of her delicious recipes, at Post Punk Kitchen.

I will admit that when I first tasted this dressing, I found it a little too salty. Once I put it into the salad, though, the lettuce and croutons really balanced out the flavor. I also added a dash of Galaxy soy Parmesan. A perfect side for my leftover meatballs and pasta from last night.

A word of advice: When buying croutons, look for all-natural or organic. All the regular brands had milk in them. The ones in the picture are by Olivia’s Croutons. VERY delicious!

~Kate

What To Do About Cookouts

4 Aug

So far my family has tried to be accommodating about my new vegan lifestyle. Mike’s sister, Beth, has gone out of her way to cook me meat free sauce at a family pasta dinner, and at her barbeque she grilled veggies before the meat went on the gill (so thoughtful). However it is ultimately up to me to make sure there are vegan options.

Mike’s youngest sister, Sarah, graduated from high school this year, and the family celebrated with a pool party cookout. Most cookout food is just grilled meat, and if there is a veggie it’s mostly mayo potato salad, or bacon fat beans. I decided it would be best to bring something to ensure I didn’t spent the day eating empty hot dog buns just in case.

I had a few cucumbers from my CSA and not a lot of other ingredients, so I decided to make cucumber salad, and to bring enough for everyone. That way when everyone eats it and tells me how good it is I can see the looks on their faces when I say “and it’s vegan too”. So congratulations to Sarah for graduation high school, and congratulations to me for whipping up an awesome summertime side dish!

Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad:

notes:

  • I didn’t measure any of the ingredients, just keep tasting it til it’s awesome.
  • For milk I used Almond Breeze original unsweetened almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you have handy
  • A lemon could be used instead of the lime. I only had limes at the time and it ended up pairing quite well with the cucumbers believe it or not.
  • I used about 4 cucumbers, for variety I cut them all into small chunks but not uniform size, just smallish.
  • I also varied how much peel I left on each cucumber, this added dimension to the flavor, look, and texture of the dish.