One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Recipe! Unfish Sandwiches

This Unfish Sandwich  from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! by Celine Steen and Tami Noyes is crisp yet moist and topped with a delightfully tangy tartar sauce made with a miso dressing base. You get 3 for one with this recipe. The miso dressing is great on salads and the Unfish are great little fish sticks if you don't want to make the whole sandwich.


4 ounces (113 g) drained firm silken tofu
3 tablespoons (24 g) white miso
3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
3 tablespoons (45 ml) white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
Smoked sea salt, to taste
1 clove garlic

Blend all the ingredients in a blender.
Store in an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.

Yield: 1 cup (240 g) dressing

Yield: 3 sandwiches

For tartar sauce
1/2 cup (120 g) miso dressing
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced capers
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced shallot
Few drops hot sauce

For fish sticks
8 ounces (227 g) tempeh
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40 ml) fresh lemon juice, divided
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup (140 ml) unsweetened plain nondairy milk, divided
1 teaspoon kelp powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a pinch
1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/3 cup (42 g) arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon (2 g) Old Bay seasoning, divided
3/4 cup (60 g) bread crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray
3 tablespoons (42 g) nondairy butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

For sandwiches
3 sub sandwich rolls, 6 inches (15 cm) long
3/4 cup (78 g) thinly sliced cucumber
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced

TO MAKE THE TARTAR SAUCE : Combine all the ingredients in a
medium-size bowl. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until
ready to use.

TO MAKE THE FISH STICKS : Cut the tempeh widthwise into 9 sticks.
Combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice, 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk, kelp
powder, onion powder, garlic, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and dillweed
in a shallow dish. Add the tempeh sticks and let marinate for 1 hour
in the fridge.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
Combine the arrowroot powder with 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning in a
shallow plate; place the bread crumbs in another plate. Remove the
sticks from the marinade, and thin the marinade by adding the
remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk.
Dip the sticks into the arrowroot, shaking off any excess. Dip the
sticks into the marinade, shaking off any excess, and then coat with
the bread crumbs. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat all
sides with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the sticks over
and bake for another 10 minutes.
Combine the butter, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, cayenne pepper, 1
teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
Transfer the sticks to a shallow baking pan and drizzle the butter
sauce over them. Set the oven to broil. Broil the sticks for 2 to 3
minutes, until golden brown.

TO ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES : Cut the rolls in half lengthwise and
lightly toast them. Spread 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tartar sauce on each
side of the roll. Divide the sliced cucumber and tomatoes among the
sandwiches, add 3 sticks to each sandwich, and serve immediately.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cookbook Review: Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day!

 Making a sandwich isn't exactly rocket science. If you are reading this and you happen to be a rocket scientist then making a sandwich isn't exactly brain surgery. If you're reading this and you're a brain surgeon this get back to work! You have lives to save! But back to the matter at hand, sandwiches. I rarely hear anyone say "boy, I'm looking for a new way to liven up my sandwich. Most people know the bread they like, the toppings they love and just how they want their sandwich cut (if my sandwich isn't cut diagonally I feel funny about eating it). Celine Steen and Tami Noyes are two vegan cooks that I really respect and make solidly good food. Celine's vegan brioche continues to blow my mind daily and her Cheezy Quackers are my daughters favorite snack. So I had to go out on a limb and trust them when I saw they penned a new vegan sandwich book called Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!

After making recipe after recipe after recipe from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day! I realized that I have been eating incredibly boring sandwiches! Yes, making a phenomenal sandwich takes a bit more time than just slapping a couple slices of tofurky, avocado, lettuce and tomato and some bread and running out the door but the time investment is well worth it. The Croquinoette Wrap is a favorite of my daughter. The little croquinoette's taste like little hummus patties studded with quinoa and they freeze incredibly well. Celine and Tami's Berry Stuffed French Toast Pockets are  a decadent way to start off your morning and a great way to impress brunch guest. The open faced Onion Ring Ranchocado is an inventive mix of everything I love in one place - ranch dressing made with avocados and the all important onion ring! I was also over the moon with excitement when I saw that the Brioche recipe was in this book as well. Other stand out recipes are the Retro KFC-Style Sandwiches, Strawberry Spinach Tacowich, Unfishwich and Sesame Berry Ice Cream Sandwiches. Even if you think you know all there is to know about a good sandwich, and you love the same combo you've been eating for the last decade I URGE you to give this book a try. These vegan sandwiches truly do save the day.
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