Although they are technically breakfast links the taste is closer to that of the type of sausage you would find on a pizza so that’s exactly how I like to use it. After trying it once as a side to some tofu scramble and sweet potato waffles I decided to use a little left over teese and make sausage mini pizzas. It was 1000 times better as a pizza topping than as a breakfast sausage. It’s also pretty pliable so you can just pinch off pieces of it add it to pizzas, make a breakfast burrito with a little tofu scramble or just eat it as is.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Note: If anyone has a good way to doctor these things up and make them halfway edible I’d love to try it since I still have about 9 strips left and don’t want to waste them.
Friday, December 19, 2008
No need to add water, just heat and serve. Simple enough. This soup had so many things going right for it that I didn’t anticipate the one thing that could go wrong – way too much salt. So much salt that I could freeze it and turn it into a salt lick for my goats. I tried to dilute it with ¼ cup of water and add some freshly ground pepper. When that didn’t work I added a couple more tablespoons of water. Then I just gave up and began to eat it. I tried to keep happy thoughts in my head and remember all the things that drew me to this soup: wholesome ingredients, low in calories, great price and high in fiber. But eventually, after managing to eat half a bowl I just couldn’t go on any further and immediately went upstairs to rinse the salt out of my mouth before it crystallized and I had a deep sea adventure on my tongue.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
When December roles around I always get a craving for all things gingerbread. Gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cake and now gingerbread donut holes. The makers of these delectable treats, Nutrilicious Natural Bakery, have a line of donuts and donut holes that never disappoint. Although there standard flavors of yogurt glazed, cinnamon spelt and chocolate/carob are all amazing it’s their seasonal flavors that make me do a little happy dance.
For the thanksgiving holiday it was pumpkin, which tasted like little bites of sugary heaven. For the Christmas season they have unveiled their gingerbread flavor. After winning a box of these treats in the trivia round at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppes 2nd Annual Bake-Off I couldn’t wait to get home and try them. I warmed them in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften them up a bit and then took my first bite. Celestial! So sweet, so rich, so perfect. Most of the gingerbread taste is in the icing so, if you’re like me and like them a little warm, make sure you heat them until they are just soft but the icing doesn’t begin to melt (about 7-10 seconds).
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The taste, the texture, the sweetness, the creaminess it is all there. Oppenheimer’s vegan white chocolate chips taste even better than I remember white chocolate to be. At first I was afraid to try the chips alone so I whipped up some white chocolate macadamia nuts cookies (pictured below). Heaven! Pure bliss! I was on cloud nine. I decided to try a couple chips alone and well, by now you can guess my reaction. This is the best $3.99 I have spent this month thus far. I’m not a huge sweets person but I will be keeping a bag of these delicious vegan treats on hand as a permanent part of my vegan pantry.
To get your own bag head over to Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
After I tried Goodbelly’s Probitoic fruit drink I had to try their fruit drink shots with multivitamins. What an ingenious idea of adding multivitamin’s into your daily probiotics. I’ll never go back to yogurt again (well, maybe a little Ricera every now and then). Goodbelly’s shot come in their own little nutrient and probiotic packed shot cup. In only 2.7 ounces they manage to fit amazing flavors (Peach/Mango, Blueberry Acai and Strawberry/Rosehips), 20 billion active probiotics, 100% of the daily requriemente for Vitamins C, E, K, Riboflavin, B6, Folate, B12, Biotin, and Pantothenic Acid; 50% of the daily requirement for Thiamain, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Chromium and Molybdenum and is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A. All this for only 50 calories.
And did I mention that these little shots pack tons of flavor! The Peach/Mango is velty smooth, creamy and sweet. The Blueberry Acai taste likes like a rich blueberry smoothie. I did not get an opportunity to taste the strawberry rosehip as it was sold out at both my co-op and Whole Foods, if it’s demand is any indication it seems to be a consumer favorite. Like the Fruit Drink it is vegan, soy free and wheat free as well. The GoodbellyProbiotic website has a buy one get one free crequirementoupon for the 4-pack of Goodbelly Multi and the Fruit Drink in the quart size. At the Whole Foods here in Atlanta the multi-shots are about 50 cents cheaper than the fruit drink but with the coupon I stocked up on both.
Buy one get one free coupon good until 12/31/08 http://www.goodbelly.com/data/fe/file/GB%20Web%20Coupon%20Quart%20v2.pdf
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
After the disappointment of So Delicious Coconut Yogurt I was looking for another, more satisfying way, to get probiotics into my diet. I’ve been adding Acidophilus powder to my smoothies but it really hasn’t been smoothie weather lately (something about 41 degree highs doesn’t scream smoothie for me). My probiotic drink of choice has always been Kombucha but the strains of bacteria floating around it always weirded me out and I had to psych myself up to gulp it down – not to mention that I also had to cover the bottle so I couldn’t see what I was drinking.
But just as I found myself alone on the dance floor with the house lights dimmed, a disco-ball appeared from the ceiling and a spotlight followed me as I walked towards my probiotic destiny – Goodbelly Probiotic Fruit Drink. I was cautious, but I decided to take the plunge and dance (after all there was a disco ball). Thanks to a buy one get one free online coupon I was able to try all 3 flavors for half the regular price (knocking each quart down from nearly $5 to $2.50). For the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed every flavor I tried. Although, out of the Mango, Black Currant and Watermelon/Cranberry flavors Watermelon/Cranberry is my favorite. Not only is every flavor fantastic but each one is also low in calories averaging 100 calories a glass and packed with vitamins & minerals such as vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6. They are, of course, vegan but not only that they are perfect for those with allergies because it is wheat free and soy free as well (although it does not say gluten free and there is a distinction between wheat free and gluten free so make sure to double check if you have a gluten allergy)*.
The price of Goodbelly varies from store to store but ranges between $4-5. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see it at many major grocery stores such as Publix and Wegman’s on the East Coast and Safeway & select Albertsons on the West Coast. It is also available at most Whole Foods and local co-ops. For a location near you, check the company’s website.
*Note: The labeling online and in the retail stores of “Vegan” varied so I double checked with the company to make sure all of their products are vegan. I also asked for clarification of the “wheat-free” vs. “gluten-free” labeling. Both answers from the company are below:
All GoodBelly products are completely vegan and have no animal derivatives. The plant where we produce GoodBelly, is solely dedicated to production of GoodBelly. It may put you at ease to know that our company was started by Steve Demos, the man who started White Wave Tofu and Silk Soymilk.
There are no genetically modified ingredients in GoodBelly- GoodBelly is GMO-free! As well, we just received our Organic Certification from Quality Assurance International, a very reputable Organic Certifier.
We only claim that GoodBelly is wheat free – not gluten free.
GoodBelly uses oat flour as the basis for growing probiotic culture. We use a small amount of barley malt that assists the oats in the culturing process.
We have had the GoodBelly tested for gluten and have found consistently that gluten is not detectable…even at a detection limit of 20ppm (parts per million). However, we will still not make a claim that GoodBelly is gluten free, as it contains traces of gluten from barley malt.
For a list of frequently asked questions regarding GoodBelly products please go to http://www.goodbelly.com/faq. Please don't hesitate to contact us with additional questions or comments.
Buy one get one free coupon good until 12/31/08 http://www.goodbelly.com/data/fe/file/GB%20Web%20Coupon%20Quart%20v2.pdf
Friday, November 28, 2008
The blueberry and raspberry flavors were good but not great, certainly not worth the $1.99 spent on each of them. In general they were way too sweet and had a bit of an after taste that sticks with you until your brush your teeth. The vanilla was completely inedible. The slight aftertaste of the blueberry and raspberry flavors was the entire taste of the vanilla flavor. Everything was wrong with it. Too sweet and yet tart at the same time. I was starving so I tried to finish it but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, instead I just brushed my teeth to get the taste out of my mouth and left the house hungry.
If you feel like shelling out $1.99 for yogurt that is just ok then I would recommend the blueberry and raspberry flavors. Steer clear of vanilla. But honestly, that money can be better spent elsewhere.
Update: It's very rare that I reject a comment on this blog but I have to say for this particular review I've had to reject at least 4 from people with some really mean-spirited comments regarding my review. And trust me using the term "mean spirited" is an extremely watered down version of what has been written - all this over a little coconut yogurt review. I wanted to take this time to clarify my review, especially for those who just read the title but not the entire review. I really liked the blueberry and raspberry flavor (hated the vanilla). But overall I don't recommend this yogurt not based on the taste but on the cost. I had a little extra food income this month so I splurged and bought some blueberry, passionate mango and strawberry banana flavored coconut yogurt. At Whole Foods it was about $1.89 and at Publix/Krogers it was $2.59! And that's just for one little cup of yogurt! Frankly, that's absolutely ridiculous.
What makes the whole situation even worse is that I'm now head over heels in love with the strawberry banana flavor and in a semi-like with passionate mango. I wake up in the morning wanting a cup but who can afford $2.59 each morning for just yogurt? I've also heard rumors that there's a pina colada flavor out there that I would love to try. Really the only flavor that I don't like is vanilla. As you read above. It makes my tastebuds revolt against me.
So hopefully this has cleared up my position on coconut yogurt and the hate mail can stop now.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Village Pizza Co. ( 186 Carroll St., Atlanta, GA 30312) , nestled in the heart of the Cabbage Town district of Atlanta, has an excellent assortment of vegan ingredients including soy based vegan cheese, vegan sausage, vegan beef and vegan pepperoni in addition to just about any other type of veggie you like on your pizza. The prices are low and the slices are huge. For me one slice of the Village Vegan Supreme Pizza (pictured above with vegan cheese, vegan sausage, vegan pepperoni, vegan beef olives, bell peppers and onions) is more than a meals worth. Here’s a quick guide to all things vegan on the Village Pizza Co. Menu:
21 different types of vegetables (and fruit) including: mushrooms, onion, green peppers, red peppers, Roma tomatoes, black olives, green olives, broccoli, baked eggplants, artichoke hearts, garlic, jalapeño peppers, banana peppers, pepperocini, pineapple, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, basil, spinach & summer squash
Vegan Meats: beef, pepperoni, sausage
House Salad (minus the mozzarella) with balsamic vinaigrette – romaine lettuce, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives & Roma tomatoes
Green Salad (minus the feta cheese) – mixed field greens, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, Roma tomatoes, black olives, cucumbers and pepperocini
Spinach Salad (minus the feta cheese) – spinach, Roma tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette
Veggie – mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives, green olives, Roma tomatoes, garlic and cheese (make sure to ask for soy cheese)
Veggie Supreme – spinach, eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, Roma tomatoes, garlic and cheese (make sure to ask for soy cheese)
Village Vegan Deluxe - vegan cheese, vegan sausage, vegan pepperoni, vegan beef, mushrooms, black olives, green olives, green bell peppers and onions
The Village Calzone (minus the ricotta and Parmesan cheese) – garlic, Italian spices and your choice of filling from the toppings selection (ask for soy cheese instead of mozzarella)
Classic Marinara – Roma tomato sauce made with extra virgin olive oil, sautéed onions, garlic, red wine, basil herbs and spices
Veggie Delight – mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, green peppers, artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes (ask that they replace all cheese with soy cheese)
Friday, November 21, 2008
I used the thin crust pizza dough to make a gooey cheesy vegan calzone and the leftover dough to make garlic knots. Recipe follows:
Vegan Spinach Calzone
Yields 2 Calzones
1 package Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
½ cup vegan mozzarella
½ cup tofu ricotta
½ cup steamed spinach
Canola oil spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Roll out Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough on a lightly floured flat surface. Cut dough in half with pizza. Divide vegan mozzarella, tofu ricotta and steamed spinach evenly amongst two sides of pizza dough. Fold dough over to cover cheese/spinach mixture and use the pizza cutter to round out the edges dough. Crimp the ends of calzone closed with the tip of a fork all the way around dough.
Lightly spray a foil lined baking sheet with canola oil. Transfer calzone’s from working surface to baking sheet and spray tops lightly with canola oil. Bake for 10 minutes allow to cool slightly and serve.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My new favorite is Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Cake Mix. Despite the name there isn’t an ounce of butter or any other type of animal products in this cake mix. In fact, nearly the entire line of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix is vegan including:
- Banana Supreme
- Butter Recipe Golden
- Butter Recipe Fudge
- Classic Yellow Cake
- Dark Chocolate Fudge
- Devil’s Food Cake
- German Chocolate
- Lemon Supreme
- Orange Supreme
- Pineapple Supreme
- Red Velvet Cake
- Spice Cake
- Strawberry Supreme
Now here’s the trick. The back of the box calls for 2/3 cups water, ½ cup softened butter and 3 eggs. This can be easily veganized. Try the following substitutions:
- Replace the ½ cup softened butter with ½ cup softened Earth Balance
- Replace the 3 eggs with 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer whisk together with ¼ cup warm water, ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce and ½ teaspoon baking powder
Follow the directions on the back of the box and within 3 minutes you have yourself a full batch cupcakes or a mouth-watering cake.
I topped it off with Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge icing (many of Pillsbury’s frostings are also vegan, but always do a label check just to be sure).
All in all these cupcakes cost me less than $5. The cake mix was $1.07 (but I had a coupon for 50 cents off so it only cost me 57 cents!), frosting $1.50, cupcake liners $0.99. Everything else I already had around the house bringing my grand total to $3.56.
Cooking Notes:Be sure to only fill the cupcake liners somewhere between 1/2 - 3/4 full. If they are too full you'll end up with cupcakes that are delicious but look disastrous. If you accidentally fill up the liner too full then wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before you take them out the pan then let them sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight to stiffen up a bit. You can proceed to ice them from there although the center will still be a bit crumbly.
Also in place of 3 eggs you can also use ¾ cup pureed soft silken tofu or 4 ½ teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
After a good deal of trial and error, Google searches, triumphant tries and complete culinary flops I finally came up with a working list of egg substitutes for nearly every recipe.
Baking (1 egg equivalent):
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce + ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup pureed soft silken tofu (plain)
1 tablespoons ground flax seed simmer in 3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon canola oil + 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled – find your favorite tofu scramble recipe and you’re off!
Quiches, Omelettes and Frittatas:
Firm of Extra Firm Silken Tofu should be used in place of eggs. Popular Recipes are the Papa Chorizo Frittata, Susan V.’s Vegan Omelette for One and Susan V.’s crustless Quiche
Ener-G Egg Replacer is also an excellent choice for replacing eggs in baked goods. 1 ½ teaspoons + 2 tablespoons warm water whisked together equals 1 egg. 1 box has over 113 servings! So it’s a great low-cost way to replace eggs in baked goods.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
When I walked in I was immediately greeted by several members of their helpful staff and was elated to see that the food was served in a "hot bar" style where all the food was already prepared, piping hot and just waiting for me. Meals ranged from $2-$10 (choice of 1 item to 4 items respectively). And the serving sizes are very generous. For my first meal I went conservative with brown rice, barbeque tofu and plantains ($8 and enough for two meals). The brown rice is not your typical brown rice it was beautifully seasoned and mixed with a variety of different color bell peppers. The bbq tofu was the perfect texture and the sauce was amazing! Definitely homemade, I've never tasted sauce that good coming out of a bottle. Of course the plantains were perfect, it takes a lot of effort to mess up plantains.
For my second trip I moved away from my comfort zone and into unknown territory. There was something on the menu I thought I'd never hear of at a vegan restaurant - curry goat. I never had this dish in my omnivore days and two out of my 6 companion animals are goats (one of which is named Curry) so the thought of eating anything that might even closely resemble the taste of my beloved goat just grossed me out. But...with much hesitation I tried it. It wasn’t bad and if there wasn’t a goat named Curry in my backyard right now I probably would have liked it.
Other must try items on the menu are the Jerk UnChicken, Fried UnFish Cakes, Curried Vegetables and Collard Greens. The only thing that Healthful essence is missing is my all time favorite, the Jamaican Veggie Patty. But the rest of the food is so delicious that I will forgive them on this one point.
Update!!! After taking a brief hiatus I found myself back at Healthful Essence and the food is better than ever! With some delicious additions to the menu including...drum roll please...Veggy Patties! Not only that but you simply must try their raw foods bar as well. The Spicy Kale Salad and Nori Rolls are worth every penny and will literally make you want to lick your plate clean. And don't get me strated on the Chickpea Patties. I dreamt of them last night and woke up craving them this morning. If a dish is able to make it into my dreams then it truly holds a special place in my heart.
They also now take credit and debit cards for orders over $10 so no need to run to the ATM before venturing down to Healthful Essence.
Hours of Operation:
Monday 2pm - 7pm
Tuesday 11am - 7pm
Wednesday 11am - 7pm
Thursday 11am - 7pm
Friday 12pm - 8 pm
Saturday 12pm - 8pm
Sunday 12pm - 6pm
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Note: If these pictures seem a bit familiar it’s because I blogged about this recipe during Vegan Mofo (I just failed to provide the actual recipe that went with it)
24 ounces extra firm silken tofu
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons potato starch
½ teaspoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon onion powder
Combine all frittata filling in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 red potatoes cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 link vegan chorizo, crumbled (I pulse in a food processor for about 30 seconds)
¼ cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons flat lead parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large sauce pan heat warm oil over medium to medium high heat. Add potatoes and onion and cook until potatoes are tender (about 8 minutes). Add garlic and chorizo and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in roasted red peppers and parsley.
Stir filling into frittata mix.
Lightly oil a 9 inch spring form pan or a quiche pan. Pour frittata mix into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until filling is firm and you can run a clean toothpick through it.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove frittata from pan and serve. (Can be served warm, room temperature or cold)
Monday, November 3, 2008
Growing up I hated coconut with an unnatural fervor. However, when I became vegan my taste changed and all of a sudden me and coconut’s were BFF’s. I started experimenting with everything I could get my hands on from Thai curries and soups to raw coconut ice cream. Although I love the taste of raw homemade ice cream it does require that you crack open 2-3 Thai coconuts. After doing this about 4 or 5 times I realized that I had wasted at least an hour of my youth cracking open coconuts. Even though the rewards were great it ultimately wasn’t worth it.
Purely Decadent’s Coconut Ice Creams, although not raw, are a dream come true! When I saw them in my grocers freezer I immediately wanted to try every flavor but opted for trying their Vanilla Bean (because if you can’t make a good tasting vanilla then what’s the point?!) & Cookie Dough. The vanilla bean was perfect. I mean perfect. There was a light hint of coconut taste but otherwise it tasted like a traditional vanilla bean ice cream. This says a lot considering that I don’t like the soy based Purely Decadent Purely Vanilla. With a couple spoon full’s of vanilla bean settling down happily in my stomach I moved on to the Cookie Dough. After the first taste it was like finding your one true love. Fireworks went off, a gospel choir appeared in my living room and began singing “O Happy Day” and I swear the pups started doing the electric slide. Did I mention that I liked it?
Aside from the amazing flavor this new line of ice cream offers it also has a huge plus for those who suffer from allergies. The chocolate, coconut and vanilla bean flavors are all soy free and the cookie dough is gluten free. As an added plus, all flavors are made with agave nectar which has a low glycemic index.
In Atlanta, this frozen treat runs about $4.99 for a pint. If you’re on a budget, like most of us are, the Turtle Mountain website does offer coupons so check it out at http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/index.html.
Friday, October 31, 2008
For my last post of Vegan Mofo I wanted to help out my old and dear friend Leia (name has not been changed to protect the innocent). Although Leia has made it all the way through med school and is now a brilliant physician she has yet to master the art of a good twice baked potato. Earlier this week there was an unfortunate calamity that involved a potato, an oven, a microwave and hours of baking and labor which was not fruitful. So Leia, this one is for you.
Garlic-Herb Twice Baked Potatoes
2 medium-large russet potatoes
1 cup vegan garlic-herb cheddar cheese, divided*
¼ cup vegan sour cream
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
Dash of freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Scrub potatoes and stab with a fork several times. Rub potatoes with canola oil, just enough to coat, and lightly salt.
Bake potatoes in small baking pan or sheet for 45 minutes to an hour or until tender.
Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). With a serrated knife cut each potato in half and spoon out the majority of potato flesh making sure to leave the shell intact.
Add potato flesh, sour cream and salt to a food processor and process until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and add ½ cup of garlic-herb cheese and ground pepper. Stir to combine.
Spoon potato flesh back into potato shells and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place prepared potatoes back in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
*Note: I used Cheezly’s Garlic-Herb Cheddar which, to my knowledge,it is only available in the U.S. at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. You can order it online at http://www.cosmosveganshoppe.com/ or visit them here in Atlanta Tuesday – Sunday.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Today for lunch I had a Rustic Spinach Salad with Agave-Dijon Vinaigrette and Candied Pecans. Although it sounds fancy and complicated this salad was actually really easy to prepare and I made most of the components last night so I could just throw everything in a bowl this afternoon and toss with the vinaigrette. This is another recipe I’m experimenting with for one of my upcoming cookbooks so, unfortunately, a concrete recipe isn’t available for the entire salad yet. I’m still working on the exact cooking time for the pecans and a couple components to the salad itself.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
As promised in my review of Field Roast Mexican Chipolte Sausage I recently veganized the recipe of the Field Roast website for Chorizo Breakast Quesadilla's. The result was a scrumptious and spicy adaptation that brighetened up a very rainy day here in Atlanta.
Chorizo Breakfast Quesadilla
Makes 3 Servings
1 vegan chorizo sausage link
½ lb firm tofu (drained, pressed and crumbled)
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed chili pepper (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup vegan Monterey jack cheese, shredded and divided
3 large flour tortillas
In a large skillet or sauce pan (I prefer cast iron) heat canola oil over medium heat and add onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to become translucent. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add crumbled tofu, spices and stir constantly until tofu is completely covered with spices. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes.
Add chorizo to a food processor and process until broken down into small crumbles (about 30 seconds). Add crumbles to scrambled tofu and continue to cook for an additional minute.
In a separate large sauce pan or skillet over medium heat add 1 tortilla (if using a cast iron skillet lightly spray with oil so tortilla doesn’t stick). Add 1/3 cup of monetary jack cheese and 1/3 of the tofu/chorizo mixture to one side of the tortilla. Fold in half. Cook on both sides until the tortilla becomes slightly crispy and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining ingredients until all quesadilla’s are assembled. Cut in half and serve.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
- Plates & utensils for yourself and your guest
- Folding chair - just in case we run out of space at the tables
- To-Go containers to take home any leftovers
- A vegan dish that will feed about 8-10 people
I hope to see you there!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl combine whole wheat pasty flour, unbleached flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl cream together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable shortening and applesauce until combined (there might still be little specks of shortening but this will dissolve as you add flour).
½ cup at a time add flour mixture to pumpkin batter until all ingredients are incorporated.
Drop batter (about 2 tablespoons worth at a time) onto a prepared cookie sheet about 1 ½ inches apart and flatten slightly with the floured flat surface of a drinking glass – just enough to make an even surface on the top of the cakie. (This step will need to be completed 2 more times to bake entire batch)
Bake cakies for 12-14 minutes, remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on wax or parchment paper.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
If anything I've become more creative with my daily menus basing them 99 percent on whatever I happen to have lying around the kitchen. As you can see from my pantry this leaves me a lot of options. But a pantry overflowing with vegan goodness doesn't take $700 billion to stock. You can have a completely stocked pantry that will have enough food to last you months for less than $250 - so far I've made it 3 months with just the food in my pantry and freezer (and you can see how much food I have left!)
So what's in this pantry? Let's start from the top. First you have to have your cereal grains. There's steel cut oats, quick oats and Kashi cereal (Go Lean and Go Lean Crunch are my favorites!) I also stock up on grains that are versatile enough for every meal including quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat groats and kamut. Of course there's the old stand by grains as well: brown rice, jasmine rice and arborio rice for risotto. Next there's the canned goods section. For me this is mostly tomato products since I use dry beans (which are much cheaper than canned). There's tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce (even though I prefer making my own) and a little canned vegan dog food as a treat for the pups. Then there's the optional section which you really don't need but I have ended up accumulating over time. Its the protein powders. As a guinea pig I have a little of everything here (which I'll review and blog about a little later): hemp protein, Trader Joe's soy protein ( about $4) and brown rice protein.
On the next shelf down I keep all my miscellaneous items and extras from when I get stuff on sale and have a surplus ( i.e. Maple syrup, raisins, vinegar, cocoa powder, jams, nutritional yeast). Plus all my spices ( must haves are cumin, curry, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, chili powder, paprika and vanilla extract). I have two shelves full of every sort of bean imaginable. All dried, except for a couple cans of refried beans. The rest of the pantry is filled with an assortment of flours ( unbleached flour, 8 different type of gluten free flours, whole wheat pastry and masa), sugars, shortening, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, non dairy milks (oat, soy, hemp, etc.) and brown rice pastas.
Along with these key ingredients I've had to make a couple trips to the store to get fresh greens like spinach and kale as well as fresh fruit (in season is cheaper), carrots and avocado.
So how do you fill your pantry full of all these goodies for cheap? Easy! There 3 very simple rules I live by:
- Buy in bulk (grains, dried beans, spices, salt, sugar, flours, etc.)
- Buy on sale (and clip coupons!)
- Buy in season (when you have to buy fresh fruits and veggies)
My local co-op also gives me a 10 percent discount once a month so I take advantage of that as well. So there you go, the keys to my recession proof vegan pantry.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Here's some details about the Opening Reception:
Thursday, October 16 at 8pm
An evening of savory vegan appetizers, A Tea Experience: Learning & Tasting by Dr. Theresa Bey, Tea Educator with Green Tea Space.com, musical performance by Forgotten Foods Remembered with Baratunde the Herbalist a seriously Guitarist, The Golden Child, Spoken Word Artist and King Ma-at on Conga, give-aways and other surprises.... Our Featured Chefs are Jenny Jahfa and Chef Elitahl, Our Featured Exhibitors are Grammy's Kidz, Rah Eco Designs, and Djali's Healing Touch.
The Grounds Coffeehouse at Sky Lofts
898 Oak Street at the intersection of Ralph David Abernathy Blvd and Joseph Lowery Blvd; in the rear of CVS parking lot.
Our door prizes so far...
10 subscriptions to VegNews, $20 value Gift pack from VegNews, including their signature over-sized tote bag, 6 jumbo vegan cookies, a one-year subscription to the magazine, and a copy of the current edition
1 bottle of Immune Protection 10th Power http://www.theforgottenfoods.com/
2 bottles Blood Tonics, all are $40 value each http://www.theforgottenfoods.com/
5- 21st Century Vegetarian Cookbook by Martha Theus, $19.95 http://www.21stcenturyvegetarians.com/
1 Delicious Jamaica! by Yvonne McCalla Sobers $12.95
Enjoy three-course meals and special discounts at your favorite vegetarian restaurants for one week only.
Make sure you call and visit the restaurants and tell them you are participating in Vegetarian Restaurant Week.
Calabash Vegetarian Kitchen (an island inspired cafe)
10% off with at least a $6.00 purchase
404 957 7376
233 Mitchell Street
Atlanta GA 30303
404 957 7376
Monday - Saturday 10:30am - 7pm
Healthful Essence Caribbean Vegan (cooked and raw)
404. 806 0830
875 York Avenue
Atlanta GA 30310
Tuesday - Friday 11am -8pm
12pm - 9pm Saturday
12pm - 6pm - Sunday
(closed on Mondays)
Lovin' it Live (all live and raw cuisine)
404 765 9220
2796 East Point Street
East Point GA 30344
(closed on Mondays)
Sunday, October 26 3pm
Sid's Gourmet Vegetarian Cafe
770 389 9181
1445 Rock Quarry Road
Stockbridge GA 30281
Monday- Friday 11:30am - 7pm
Sunday 11:30am -
(closed on Saturdays)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Susan also has an amazing recipe for vegan omelette's but I did not use hers for this omelette. I've actually been working on my own for about 6 months now and I think I've finally come up with a wonderful recipe that fits my taste perfectly. The filling was very simple to make. Usually I would wilt fresh spinach but the budget is tight so I'm using whatever is available in the house right now, which happens to be frozen spinach. I steamed about a cup of frozen spinach and squeezed out all the water I could. Then I lightly sautéed 1/4 cup red onion, 1/2 small purple bell pepper and minced 1 large clove of garlic. Breakfast heaven!
The Spinach Omelette Recipe is available in Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food in stores now!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
When it comes to vegan mac and cheese everyone is a critic! As a new vegan you’ll probably see a vegan mac and cheese recipe in every cookbook and on almost every blog – and this blog will be no exception!
Because of the diversity of recipes I typically never make the same mac and cheese recipe twice (I am a guinea pig after all!) So far I have two favorites: The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook’s Mac & “Cheese” Casserole and Vegan Dad’s Mac and Cheeze. If you like baked mac and cheese I would recommend you try New Farm’s version first and if you like your mac and cheese on the stove top then I would go with Vegan Dad’s version first. No matter which recipe you try first you should definitely try both.
Out of the two recipes the “cheese” sauce I love the most is my adaptation of Vegan Dad’s. It goes perfectly on cheese fries, nachos (just add a little cayenne and chili powder), over veggies or you can take down the amount of dry pasta you use by 1 ½ cups and add broccoli, peas, chickpeas and other veggies to make a filling casserole.
Another important thing to note about vegan mac and cheese is it never tastes anything like mac and cheese made with cow’s milk (unless you are using store-bought vegan cheeses like sheese, cheezly or follow your heart). But the best part is that it tastes 1000 times better. I’ve made various versions of vegan mac and cheese for my omnivore friends and relatives and they all loved every version. But I do always serve it to my omnivore friends with the preface that it will not taste like cow’s cheese.
I never make the same recipe twice but I also never follow the recipe to the letter when making a mac and cheese recipe. So below are my versions of both of these recipes:
Mac & Cheese Casserole Adapted from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by L. Hagler & D. Bates
3 ½ cups dry macaroni, cook according to package directions
½ cup Earth Balance Margarine
½ cup flour
3 ½ cups hot water
2 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup canola oil (optional)
1 cup nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Whisk in flour and continue to stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Whisk in boiling water, Bragg's, garlic powder and turmeric.
Cook the sauce until it thicken and bubbles. Stir in oil (optional) and nutritional yeast until completely incorporated.
Add cooked pasta to sauce, transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika and bake for 15 minutes. Then put under broiler for a few minutes until the top is crisp (checking often).
Creamy Mac and Cheeze
Adapted from Vegan Dad (vegandad.blogspot.com)
½ cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons macadamia nuts (about 8 whole nuts)
2 ½ cup unsweetened soy milk, divided
2 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 cup firm silken tofu
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot
16 ounces brown rice macaroni or shells, cooked according to package directions
Place all ingredients (except 1/2 cup soymilk) in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup of soymilk and blend until incorporated. Add sauce to a large dutch oven, over medium heat and cook until sauce begins to thicken (about 5 minutes). Add pasta and stir until pasta is completely coated.
At first it will seem like there is way too much sauce for the amount of pasta used but as pasta sits the sauce with absorb and take on a perfect texture.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Tyler grabbing some pie
Thursday, October 2, 2008
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until creamy and mix into kale by hand.
Note: This taste amazing the day you make it but the flavors really sing once they have been allowed to blend overnight.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As a vegan you’ll be surprised to learn that you really don’t need to take any supplements to get the vitamins and minerals you need – eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains will provide you everything you need except Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is actually a bacteria that is found in soil and water which is where most animals get it from. But this doesn’t mean it’s wise to go out and start eating soil just yet. A very minute amount of B12 is needed and lucky for you many of the foods that you already eat are fortified with it. The RDA’s for Vitamin B12 are 2.4 micrograms for adults, 2.6 micrograms for pregnant women and 2.8 micrograms for lactating women. You might also be surprised to learn that over 95% of the cases of B12 deficiency do not occur in vegans, but in omnivores. This basically means that you need to be aware but not maniacal about your B12 consumption.
As mentioned before B12 is already in a lot of the foods that you eat, here is a short list:
- Vegan lunch meat
- Veggie Burgers
- Veggie Hot dogs
- Nutritional Yeast
- Soy Milk
- Rice Milk
- Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes (Kellogg’s) and many other breakfast cereals
- Road’s End Shells & Chreese (and other Road’s End Products)
- Vecon Vegetable Stock
Although many foods are fortified with B12 physicians and dietitians still recommend that vegans take a B12 supplement of some kind. Many debate on whether it should be daily, weekly or monthly supplementation. I take a weekly sublingual supplement and might convert to doing B12 shots on my next physical just so it’s one less thing to think about.
My supplement of choice is DEVA Vegan B12 (with folic acid and B6). It contains 1000mcg of B12 which is 16,666% of the RDA as well as 100% of your RDA for folic acid and Vitamin B6. I get mine locally at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe but you can also find it on Cosmo’s online store or if you scroll through Guinea Pig's Favorites on the left of the screen you'll see a link to DEVA Vitamin B12 as well. You’ll find that almost every health food store and vitamin shop has B12 on their shelves. Just make sure it’s vegan!
Oh and just a quick legal disclaimer. Always consults your physician before taking any dietary supplement.
Friday, September 19, 2008
TVP is made of dehydrated vegetables (usually soy) and is a protein powerhouse (15 grams of protein in 1 ounce). It has no real taste of it’s own so it is easily adapted to any recipe that you would have used ground flesh for in the past. My favorite places to use TVP are in Manwhich sloppy Joe's ( a favorite from my childhood), Spaghetti and tacos. But the uses for it are limitless. You can make homemade veggie burgers, mock-meat balls, chili, etc.
TVP is dehydrated so it has a very long shelf life (15-20 years !!!). To rehydrate it use a 1:1 ratio of water to TVP. When a recipe calls for a pound of ground flesh you can easily substitute 1 cup of dehydrated TVP in it’s place.
My personal recipe for re-hydrating TVP is:
1 cup TVP
1 cup vegetable stock (dark)
1 tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
Boil the vegetable stock, stir in liquid smoke and pour over TVP. Wait until all the liquid has absorbed (about 5 minutes), fluff with a fork and use in your favorite recipe.
TVP is found in the bulk section of most health food stores and I have begun to see it pop up in small bags in mainstream grocery stores as well, although it tends to be more expensive there.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Nutritional Yeast is an inactive dry yeast filled with a healthy dose of vitamins and protein. It is coveted for its “cheesy” taste and if you haven’t already noticed nearly all vegan mac and cheese recipes call for it in varying amounts. But it is more than just a cheese-tasting substitute it adds a rich flavor and a creamy texture to a range of dishes. It’s perfect on popcorn (and yes, I’ve snuck it into the movie theatre on more than one occasion). It’s great in soups, casseroles, gravies, salads, steamed veggies, etc. Damn near anything you eat goes great with nutritional yeast. As an added bonus it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and 8 grams of protein for every 1 ½ tablespoon serving.
Nutritional Yeast is available in the bulk section of most health food stores and co-ops and is fairly inexpensive. 1 pound will run you somewhere between $5.99-$7.99 in the bulk. Typically I get a couple cups at a time which runs me about $2 or less. One important thing to make sure of when getting your nutritional yeast in bulk is that it is the Red Star brand. Red Star brand has the highest vitamin and mineral content and, in my humble opinion, the best flavor. Here’s the macro and micro nutrient content of Red Star Nutritional Yeast:
1 ½ tablespoon servings contains:
1 gram of fat (1% daily value)
5 mg of sodium (0% daily value)
7g carbohydrates (2% daily value)
4 grams fiber (16% daily value)
8 grams protein (17% daily value)
9.6 mg Thiamine/B1 (640% daily value)
56 mg Niacin (280% daily value)
240 mcg Folic Acid (60% daily value)
22.4 mcg Selenium (32% daily value)
0.77mg Iron (4% daily value)
9.6 mg Riboflavin/B2 (565% daily value)
9.6 mg Vitamin B6 (480% daily value)
8 mcg Vitamin B12 (133% daily value)
3.2 mg Zinc (21% daily value)
Other vitamins and minerals less than 20% daily value: biotin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium
We’ve establish that nutritional yeast, despite it’s funny name, taste great and is really good for you now here are a couple recipes to get you acquainted with the taste of nutritional yeast.
1 to 2 tablespoon Olive or canola oil
¼ cup Red Star ® Vegetarian Support Formula™ nutritional yeast flakes
½ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon Dried oregano leaves
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ok, you’ve done it. You’ve made the commitment to put your health first, the planet first and most importantly animal and human rights first – you’ve gone Vegan. Now I know that is a lot of “first” to cram into one title but that’s the amazing thing about being vegan. If done right you can do all those things simultaneously with little to no effort. You’ve made the big plunge into Veganism so now what? Thus far this blog has been a good to guide for all the great things that veganism has to offer from amazing cruelty-free cheeses to restaurants in your area that cater to vegans. But what about the basics? When you walk into your local health food or grocery store for the first time what the hell are you supposed to buy? From big cities to small towns you can usually find the standard meat analogs: vegan burgers, smart pups, chick’n nuggets and patties, Boca grounds, etc. But a vegan cannot exist on meat analogs alone, and frankly shouldn’t. Those are there for your transition, and for those times when life is so crazy that grabbing an Amy’s Kitchen Enchilada out of the freezer and popping in the microwave is honestly the best option for the day, or the week (trust me, I’ve had weeks where I’ve lived off of Boca burgers, nuggets and Amy’s Kitchen Dinners out of a complete a total lack of time. It’s a wonder I knew my own name by the end of the week).
Throughout the month of September (and probably a bit of October) I’m going to highlight some vegan basics that every vegan should have in their arsenal. From food, books and magazines to helpful websites. And guess what? Tofu isn’t on the list! Yep, you read right. This is a tofu free zone. First lesson in veganism, all vegans don’t eat tofu. It took me years to learn to love tofu. It really all comes down to how you cook it and how you season it (which is true for most everything you cook). But if you’re a new vegan and you’ve got a tub of that white block of soy sitting in front of you right now with no clue what to do with it, have no fear you don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to and the Vegan gods will not frown on you for it. But since you already have it, you might as well use it.
If you have resolved that you’re going to at least try the tofu you bought and not let it be a complete was of money start off with the scramble. Tofu Scramble! Tofu has the amazing ability to mimic the texture of eggs perfectly but tofu scramble is millions of times better than scrambled eggs. The very first recipe I ever tried was from Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Post Punk Kitchen fame. The basic recipe is below, however, I strongly recommend heading to her website and checking out all the comments on this recipe for a plethora of ideas on how to change up the scramble to your liking. I have two tofu scramble recipes of my own in my upcoming book Tacos & Collard Greens but Isa’s scramble was my first (thanks Isa!). The first time I made this recipe I think I cut the amount of onion in half to ½ cup and omitted the carrot. I also tried one batch with lime and one without. But play around with it, at least you’ll have one bonafide tofu dish under your belt. But don’t worry, like I said before, you don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to. It’s not in the Vegan code of ethics that you have to and there is an overabundance of other high protein options out there that are absolutely delicious. So, if you’re scared of your tofu and just not ready for the scramble, donate it to one of your tofu loving friends or stick it in the freezer until you get up the nerve to try it – just an FYI freezing tofu completely changes the texture, but in a good way. Without further ado Tofu Scramble:
1 lb. extra firm or firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion (about a cup)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 carrot (this is optional, I grate it in at the end, mostly for color)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed with your fingers
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Sauté onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms, sauté 5 minutes more. Add garlic, sauté 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Add 1/4 cup water and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get all the garlic and spices. Crumble in tofu and mix well. Don't crush the tofu, just kind of lift it and mix it around. You want it to remain chunky. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from sticking too much. Lower the heat a bit if you find that it is sticking. Add lime juice. Add nutritional yeast and mix it up. If it seems too dry add splashes of water. The moistness really depends on how much water the tofu was retaining before you added it. Grate the carrot into it and fold.