Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Dinner, when I most want to be creative in the kitchen, is a terrible time to take photos . . . at least until the summer. But on this wet, dark evening, there's nothing I would rather have eaten than this stupendous leek and mushroom risotto. This is a tester recipe for the Urban Vegan's second cookbook. After tasting this, I am even more excited to continue testing! You are going to like this cookbook.
ps. Bonus small blue elephant to be spotted in the above photo.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
- Kitteh: I need your address so I can send you your book!
- Sin Dawg winners, you'll be receiving your packages this week. The delay is my fault, not the fault of the fantastic people at DKB, so I do apologize!
- Amey, Islaborg, Haymarket8, and stealth package to Burnaby, your packages went out yesterday.
- Primal Strips winners and GoMaxGo winners, your packages finally went out earlier in the week.
- Overseas winners, it seems customs is taking their sweet time. I apologize for the delay. If anything is returned to me, I will be in touch with you individually, but I hope not to have this problem!
I'll be delving into new cookbooks soon, and will be posting. Many thanks to Vegan Cookies for hosting a giveaway that I won (for Tamasin Noyes's American Vegan Kitchen!). I've also got a new camera and a new slow cooker to play with. If anyone has recipe ideas for the slow cooker, I would love to hear!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The last winners of the month are VeggieAmanda and Mandi! Congratulations to you both, yay! Please send your full name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I'm a fairly new Portland transplant, and I'm not much of a sweets person. Save for a few exceptions that is. I thought that in case you're a Portland resident or perhaps visiting vegan Mecca, you might like to know what my few choices are if I do get a sweet craving.
Sweet Pea Baking (next to Food Fight!) has a great peanut butter brownie that I am never sorry to eat. Piece of Cake, while not entirely vegan, has absolutely killer vegan cupcakes. I prefer the German chocolate. Dave's Killer Bread makes a ridiculously good Sin Dawg; you may have seen me review this a few days ago. And finally, if I want a frozen treat, it's definitely going to be Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss ice cream--probably Cherry Amaretto. I have yet to head out to VooDoo Doughnut, but it's on the list!
Well, huh! The winner of the PPK Extravaganza giveaway is none other than Ameyfm. She wished to be named someone's favorite PPKer, and over at the PPK, she was so named. Also at the PPK, she wished to win this giveaway, and . . . she did so win. What super powers does she have that we don't know about?! Congratulations, Amey! Please send your full name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)
Monday, November 29, 2010
So now let me tell you what the winner will win today. I have for you:
- killer Soyfucker Zine volumes one and two from Erica Soyfucker and friends
- pandaful tofu pirate pin and and panda pin from the fantastic panda with cookie
- adorable hedgehog card from Tahinitoo
- fabulous Heartkite and Saints and Sinners cards plus two great stickers from ilikeapplejuice
supplemented with: one smiling Oregon cloud magnet (you know you love rain), one package Butlers Soy Curls, six Primal Strips in different flavors, two coupons for free Turtle Island/Tofurky products, one coupon for a free Earth Balance product, one cute Amy's blue tote bag, one Amy's pen, and cents off coupons for Tofutti, Follow Your Heart, and Bubbies products.
Interested? The giveaway is open to everyone everywhere, from Philadelphia to Graz to Manila and all points in between. To enter, tell me about a PPKer you like, or a PPKer's art/craft project/recipe/whathaveyou that stuck with you, or tell me anything at all. Note: This does not mean pick your favorite PPKer. Who wants to do that? Not me. There are lots of nice ones. Tell me about one of them. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and posted on tomorrow's blog post. If the giveaway is won by an overseas entrant, I'll choose a US winner for the coupons by random number generator and post the second winner tomorrow as well.
...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Chances are you've had tapas, right? If not, let me give you a little background. Tapas are Spanish appetizers or snacks. They can be hot or cold, and many are already vegan. You may be familiar with such tapas as patatas bravas, sherried garlic mushrooms, or chick peas with garlic and spinach. Pregan, my favorite tapas dish, and certainly one of my favorite dishes ever, was tortilla española, or Spanish omelet. I started obsessing about my memory of this simple, perfect recipe earlier today and I had to veganize it. It turned out really well, so I'm sharing the recipe. It's great hot, warm, room temperature, or cold. The secret to the eggy taste of the tortilla is the black salt, so try to get your hands on some if you don't already have it.
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced (think 1/8 inch slices)
12 oz. firm silken tofu
black salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Using a large frying pan, sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft, salting lightly to keep from sticking. This should take about five minutes. After the onion has softened, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. Stir every five minutes until the onions have caramelized, say another ten to fifteen minutes. Scrape the onions from the pan and set aside.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Lay a single layer of potato slices down in the pan. Cook them for two or three minutes on each side and then test with a knife to see if they are soft. They don't have to be browned, although it's fine if they are. You just want them soft enough to eat. No crunch left. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining slices, adding olive oil as desired. (I had five batches total.)
Empty the silken tofu into a large bowl, large enough to accommodate all of the potato slices. Whisk the tofu as smooth as you can, and add black salt and pepper to taste. Remember you're salting for the potato and onion here as well, so be a bit generous. Now mix the potatoes into the tofu. (You may also mix in the caramelized onion here if you like to save a step.)
Heat a bit of olive oil in a small (six to eight-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Layer 1/4 of the potato-tofu mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the caramelized onions. Layer additional layers, ending with potato-tofu mixture. You may add additional black salt to each layer if you like. Press the top down with a spatula, ensuring that the edges are touching the sides of the pan and that you have a pretty solid potato cake. Allow to cook for five minutes or so, until you see that there is quite a bit of potato browning along the sides of the pan.
Place a large plate over the frying pan and quickly flip the tortilla onto the plate. Shimmy the tortilla, uncooked side down, back into the pan. Cook for an additional five minutes, rinsing and drying that plate while you wait. Now do the same plate-pan flip. You should have a gorgeous tortilla steaming and waiting to be devoured.
Skyhorse Publishing have kindly provided me with a copy of Animal Camp, by Kathy Stevens. This lovely follow-up book to Where the Blind Horse Sings continues the story of rescued farm animals at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. As a person who initially went vegan after hearing about the horrors of slaughterhouse conditions, and later about the treatment of factory-farmed animals, my heart is warmed whenever I can hear about the wonderful animals that have been saved. I am sure you will agree, and I hope lots of you want this beautiful book. This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere, from the Catkills to Kathmandu to Catalina and all points in between. To enter, please leave a comment on this post. Tell me about an animal you love, a camp you went to, or anything at all. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and posted on the blog tomorrow.
The winner of yesterday's Daiya giveaway is Sarah! Congratulations! Please send your name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
This is a bowl of khichari, which I think of as the Indian equivalent of pure comfort food. And it's naturally vegan! In India, if you are ill or unwell, this is what you will eat. It's meant to be simple and soothing and easy to digest. It's basically a porridge made of rice simmered with some type of lentil, bean, or split pea in a fair amount of water, so the whole thing goes to mush. Sometimes vegetables are added. A spiced oil is stirred in, and the whole thing is finished off with cilantro. The version I made can be found in a book called Heaven's Banquet, but there are variations available everywhere. The bowl above is pretty simple, and you could make it without a recipe easily: basmati rice, red lentils, more water than you would for regular rice, cook it to mush and season it. My spiced oil contains a number of Indian spices, turmeric for color, lots of fresh ginger, and a pinch of asafoetida/hing (often used in place of onions and garlic in Indian cooking). I've fed this to omnis before and they have loved it. I hope you find a recipe and try it!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Somehow, at 8:00 in the morning, I got ambitious. I made a list of seven items:
- vegetable stock
- white seitan
- chickpea gravy
- mushroom and red wine gravy
- mashed cauliflower/potatoes
- celeriac and olive puree
- pumpkin pie
I had some missteps along the way for sure. I oversalted the stuffing and had to increase the bread by a third. I pretty much ran out of stock. I overthickened one of the gravies. Damage control and then damage control. And yet.
Everything was really good. Everyone tried all of it. One omni said that she would have happily eaten my food and nothing else for Thanksgiving. Excuse my language for this following sentence. I have heard that Terry's white seitan is unfuckupable. It's true. It's the best seitan I've ever made. Everyone at the table thought it was delicious, from the omni food afficianado who has never tasted seitan, down to the three year-old who won't eat brown food but ate this brown food. It looked gorgeous with the stuffing spiraling through it. It felt and looked like festive food, and it was easy to make. The caulipots and gravy were yummy, and smoked paprika made them special. The celeriac puree was unusual and a combination of flavors that rolled all over your tongue. Cranberry sauce, arugula salad, green beans, and my sister's homemade walnut whole wheat bread based on this recipe rounded out the meal.
And I never got around to dessert. I was too full. I am told they liked it.
The winners of the awesome DKB Sin Dawg giveaway are Noelle, radioactivevegan, and joyfulgirl415. Congratulations to you all! Please send your name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
And a review! Or four, actually. Today's giveaway comes from Dave's Killer Bread, and they asked me to do a review in conjunction with the giveaway. Their bread really is killer, so of course I was happy to oblige. They sent me a Sin Dawg, plus their three newest varieties of bread, and I trekked them back to the murky Midwest to share with my parents tonight. I am happy to say we love them all.
First up is DKB 21 Grain Light. This is a sweet, flavorful, chewy loaf. My mother commented that it had quite a lot of texture for a light bread, and I agree. This would make an awesome PBJ, or hold up well against a capery, veggie-filled tofu salad. Next we tried DKB Good Seed Light. I loved this, and so did my father. It's less sweet and more nutty than the 21 Grain. I'd love to use this for a vegan BLT or grilled cheeze. Our third bread was the Robust Raisin. Wow, we all agreed this one is just delicious raisin bread, dense and a bit nutty/seedy. It would be perfect breakfast toast, and I could see it as Fronch toast.
And then the Sin Dawg, which sent us all swooning. Here is the thing. They look healthy. They ARE healthy. And from the first bite, you will never believe it. Each time I buy one, I cut myself a slice of Sin Dawg take a bite, and am floored. Next bite the same thing. Each bite. They are so cinnamony and gooey and chewy and seedy. We were all in heaven. Believe it!
Would you like to try your own? Of course you would. That is the segway to today’s giveaway! Dave’s Killer Bread will happily ship out a Sin Dawg, plus a DKB t-shirt and fun coloring book, to three lucky winners anywhere in the US. To enter, simply comment on this post. DKB would be grateful if you’d consider joining their email list or fanning them on FaceBook, but it’s not mandatory. And if you don't win, have a look at the recipe demonstrated by Dave himself on Everyday Dish. They are that good.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
My grocery store has interesting citrus lately, trucked up from the next state down, California, where everything grows. Above you will see Kaffir limes. If you like Indian and South Asian food, this might ring a bell, because Kaffir lime leaves get used a lot. I didn't have access to those, so I brought these how to play with. They are very acid, and as such not generally used in cooking. In South-East Asia, the zest is used in cooking. They're normal lime-size, but you can see they have a bumpy rind rather than the smooth one I'm more used to. These are destined for lime-ade
These little orangies are calamondin, and they are related to the kumquat. You can eat them whole. The rind is sweet and the interior is tart, and they are really delicious. I read that you can freeze them whole and use them as ice cubes in your drink, so I froze them to try.
Some floated, some sank, and the green you're seeing is calamondin leaves. This was pretty cute to look at and would be fun in the summer. I'm not sure if they are in season in the summer, though. Hmm.
This great big guy is a citron. You may have seen them candied, for use in baked goods. There is almost no juice in a citron--it's all rind and pith. In South-East Asia, I believe they make a picke out of the rind. The fruit smells heavenly, like a sweet strong lemon, and the scent stays on your skin after handling.
Here's the interior of a citron, along with my beginning of the zesting process. I'll freeze it in tablespoons for later use in baked goods, Joanna nuggets, etc.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This afternoon I had the pleasure of lunching with the lovely Nummers and her sparkly shoes at Blossoming Lotus. BloLo is all vegan and organic all the time, with lots of raw and gluten-free options. It was my first visit there, and I was not disappointed. The atmosphere is lovely: high ceilings, lots of daylight, a chandelier mixed with more modern lighting. Our other photo of the space didn't really turn out, so imagine what you are seeing as three or four times as wide, and with a big chandelier in the center. It's really relaxed, open and inviting, a place you like to sit in, and not a place you feel rushed. You order at the counter and get your own flatware and water while you're waiting for your food. I like that casualness.
Here's the bowl ordered by Nummers: Soy Curls, avocado, kale, brown rice, beans, and I think a smoky barbecue sauce. I was very excited about my own food and I think I didn't inquire as closely as I could have. Behind the bowl, you can see a fluttering Nummers hand. She wanted to get to that fork! She said it was as delicious as it looked!
Although it is really cold here, for some reason I wanted a salad! This yummy thing had mixed greens, spiralized raw beets, and shredded carrots with some sweet/spicy nuts and a ginger dressing. I kicked up the ginger with a big class of fresh carrot and ginger juice. This was really, really good. Although: spiralized beets can be tricky to maneuver--some were as long as my hair! I'm not too good with long thin noodles like spaghetti, and I found myself slightly flummoxed. I had to be brought a knife. This helped.
So, anyway, to sum up, if you are in Portland: go here! And grab a knife!
The winners of yesterday's excellent Viva Vegan giveaway is Islaborg! Congratulations to you! Please send your name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)
Monday, November 22, 2010
Mushroom "Scallop" Piccata over Creamy Polenta
1 ½ c unsweetened non-dairy milk, water, broth, or a combination
½ c polenta
1 T vegan butter
1/4 t salt or truffle salt, or more to taste
Mushrooms and sauce
8 oz king trumpet mushrooms, cleaned, and stems sliced into scallops
juice of a lemon, about ¼ c
1-2 T white wine
1 t capers in brine, optional
1 T vegan butter
Salt or truffle salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Green herbs of your choice to garnish (chives and parsley are good)
Sauté the mushrooms in a non-stick pan with a little oil over medium heat until soft, flipping, about five minutes. Set aside.
Now, make the polenta. In a small saucepan, heat the liquid and butter over medium heat. When it starts to steam, add the polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until the sides start to pull away from the pan. If you are using non-dairy milk in combination with other liquids or on its own, this should take about five minutes.
Heat the remaining vegan butter in the nonstick skillet with the wine, lemon juice, and optional capers. Bring to simmer and allow to simmer until reduced by half. Add the mushroom scallops to the sauce and gently heat. Add pepper and salt to taste. Garnish with herbs.
Spoon the polenta into two medium-sized bowls. Divide the mushrooms and sauce over the bowls and enjoy!
* * *
Today I have for you a giveaway from Perseus Books. It's the VegNews Cookbook of the Year, Viva Vegan, by Terry Hope Romero! If somehow you have escaped the rave reviews this cookbook has been getting, head over to the PPK to read some Viva Vegan love.
To enter, please leave a comment below. Tell me what you want to make from Viva Vegan, or tell me who you'd love to give a copy to, or tell me about a vegan cookbook you'd write if you had the chance . . . or anything at all. This giveaway is open to everybody, everywhere, from Austin to Vienna to Tijuana and all points in between! The winner will be chosen by a random number generator and posted tomorrow below tomorrow's giveaway.
The winners of yesterday's Lightlife giveaway are vegga and Anne! Congratulations to you both! Please send your name and address to me at miso...@yahoo.com. (<---make sure to click on the . . . link for the rest of the email address. This is a spam avoidance thing.)