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Posts Tagged ‘veganmofo’

Russian Cucumber and Tomato salad

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Russian cuisine tends to be pretty heavy. This heartiness is awesome on those cold Siberian winter days and nights, but less so when it’s 8 degrees hotter than average in the late Seattle summer.

Even their salads are pretty heavy.

Stereotyping here, but Russians love salads. Much like the salads of the American Midwest, these are often non-lettuce-based, starchy, and smothered in mayo and sour cream, because Russians are really into mayo and sour cream, which makes them pretty tasty (if not particularly figure friendly).

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One of my favorites is a combination of cucumber, tomato, and onions in a mayo and sour cream dressing. It’s a little lighter than some other salads, and a great way to use late summer produce.

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Also, if you’re in Seattle and want to speak out against Russia’s treatment of LGBT individuals, protest today at the consulate!

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Adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 small cucumber, skinned and sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 TBS vegan sour cream
  • 1 TBS vegan mayo (reduced fat vegennaise FTW!!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine vegetables in a medium bowl.
  2. combine all other ingredients in a small bowl and add to vegetables. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning to taste.

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Vegan MoFo 2013: Eastern EuroVegan

Putin is a jerk. I’m going to say that first and foremost. 19th century Russia saw itself as “backward” compared to the rest of Europe, and nothing seems to have changed — the country’s current policy on homosexuality and free speech is archaic. As much as I would like to go back to the country (I’m not Russian but spent a few months there in 2005/majored in Russian Studies), I can’t justify a visit. Nor would I even want to go there right now — their politics are somewhat terrifying.

However, I love Russian food (yes, really) and for a long time have been wanting to veganize a bunch of my favorite recipes. I’ve done it with a few already.

So, I am bringing St. Petersburg to Seattle for Vegan MoFo by cooking recipes from and inspired by those in Soviet Bloc countries.

The plan is to post every weekday. I’m in the middle of moving to a new place and my kitchen is in boxes/I have no Internet at home, so we’ll see how realistic this is, but I’m also really excited for the challenge.

Along these lines, no food today, but here’s a sneak peek of some things to come:

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VEGAN MOFO 2013 WILL BURY YOU!

Vegan Smith & Wesson

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on a frisbee team. I say that instead of “I play frisbee” because I’m not sure whether running around willy-nilly on a field actually counts as playing. But, my teammates are nice, and they put up with me. We spent the weekend at a tournament in the Tri-Cities.

One such nice, patient teammate, Andie, introduced me to the Smith & Wesson, a drink popular in Central Oregon, where she grew up: a white Russian poured over cola.

Sounds weird, Andie said, but tastes great.

Those are dangerous, cautioned Chris, a coworker, overhearing me mention the drink to another.

Indeed, they are deliciously dangerous — sweet and rich enough to mask the alcohol, yet the unlikely flavor combination blends so well that you can’t stop sipping.

And since today marks the last day of VeganMofo, I’m a-okay with a little overindulgence.

What’s in it?

Kahlua: Kahlua is like Kleenex — a brand name that’s become generalized. Any coffee liquor will do, and Kahlua is also relatively easy to make.

Vodka: A crusty old woman at a liquor store in North Carolina let me in on a great secret years ago: you don’t need good vodka for a white Russian, since the Kahlua will mask the flavor. Buy the cheapest stuff you can.

Cola: I like OOgave Cola. It’s sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. If you belong staunchly to the Coke or Pepsi camp, you may not be a fan, but for the casual soda drinker, it has a pronounced cola flavor and, though quite sweet, is only 98 calories per bottle. You know, if you care.

Coconut creamer: you need a non-soy creamer for this drink, as the acid in the cola will cause the soy to coagulate. Coconut creamer does the trick well, though you could sub almond milk or something — the result will just be less creamy. Or hey, as long as you don’t mind tofu forming in your glass, use soy creamer — the thick, very processed stuff will gunk up less than regular soy milk.

Vegan Smith & Wesson

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot Kahlua
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • 1 shot Coconut Creamer
  • 12 oz Cola

Instructions:

  1. Pour 10 oz. or so of cola into a pint glass.
  2. Shake together vodka, kahlua and soy creamer. Pour over cola. Add remaining cola, if room.

Enjoy. And congrats to all who participated in VeganMoFo — I’ve discovered some fantastic new blogs, and had a blast reading all your posts — looking forward to spending November catching up.

Cheers!

White chocolate coconut macadamia cookies

You know what’s sweet?

Finding out that someone has veganized something you thought was un-veganizeable.

Like white chocolate chips.

You know what else is sweet?

Cookies!

And what’s the sweetest of them all?

Vegan white chocolate chip coconut macadamia cookies!!

OMG OMG OMG!!!

I got my vegan white chocolate chips at Sidecar for Pigs Peace, but VeganEssentials, Cosmo’s Vegan Shop and Amazon sell them.

White chocolate coconut macadamia cookies

(veganized and adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)
makes 27-30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda.
  • 1 Tbs Ener-G mixed in 1/4 cup warm water (or egg replacer for 2 eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat shortening and Earth Balance in a large bowl until combined and creamy.
  3. Add sugars and baking soda, and beat until combined. Add in egg replacer mixture and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour — mixture will be quite stiff.
  5. Stir in white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and coconut.
  6. Form mixture into balls and place a few inches apart on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake for 7 minutes.
  7. After 7 minute, check on the cookies. If they are stiff, push them down with the bottom of a glass, and bake for an additional 7 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then remove to a wire rack.

Favorite vegans from TV and Movies

I got to thinking recently: how many people on TV and in movies are vegan? And how many of those are likable? (I’m talking to you, Katie Holmes’ character in The Extra Man.)

So, I made a list.

I’m (mostly) not counting bit characters here, though Jesse the treehugger has given me some of my favorite quotes of all time.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from The Simpsons

The Simpsons pretty much defined my childhood. Though they haven’t had a good episode in probably 10 years, the first few seasons are gold. And who’s one of the most memorable characters? Apu.

Apu may run the Qwikimart, home of hot dogs marinated in their own grease, but he himself subsists mainly on “chickpeas, lentils and rice.” When Lisa becomes vegetarian in season 7, he tells her, though he thinks she’s terrible for eating cheese, “the way to get people to change is through tolerance and understanding.”

Dr. Clark Edison from Bones

Okay, I admit it — I really like Bones, and not just because vegan star Emily Deschanel is on it. Something about the relationship between the leads and the whole whodunnit thing are pretty fun.

I also love that it has a proud vegan character. Instead of being pale and wimpy, Dr. Clark Edison is intelligent, professional, and repeatedly referred to by other characters as “sexy,” — and is dating a hot, smart vegan too.

Peggy from Year of the Dog

I think a lot of vegans credit their pet for turning them vegan — if I can feel this much love for fluffy or fido, could I feel the same way about a chicken? Aren’t pigs smarter than my dog? Why am I eating cow but not cat?

Peggy is a ordinary office worker who goes vegan after her beloved dog Pencil dies. She’s a bit crazy (but what characters played by Molly Shannon aren’t? Superstar!!), and a lot of people (both on screen and off) find her irritating, but I like her. She’s sweet and genuine, and not afraid to bring vegan cupcakes into work.

You go, girlfriend!

The Vegan Police from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


These guys are a relatively minor part, but rather hilarious and not at all pale or sickly. “It’s milk and eggs, bitch.”

And I totally want one of those shirts.

Do you have a favorite vegan on TV or in the movies?

Vegan reuben with seistrami

I’ve eaten nearly every vegan reuben in this fair Emerald City. Here’s my order of preference:

  1. Highline — OMFG, I want to marry the Reubender. The vegan reuben that serves as the model for all homemade vegan reubens.
  2. Chaco Canyon — Mighty Mofo is mighty tasty!
  3. Georgetown Liquor – The Darth Reuben is decent, not particularly memorable.
  4. Sage Cafe — too much sauerkraut, and tofu is not my deal, though props on the sauteed onions.
  5. Wayward — the tempeh is wayyy too thick.

Now, with vast amounts of tasting under my proverbial (and ever-expanding) belt, I have this vision in my head of what the perfect vegan Reuben should taste of, and it’s definitely not tofu or tempeh (though your preference may differ).

I’ve tried nearly every faux meat on the market, from Tofurky to Field Roast to Yves, and none of them replicate the experience I’m looking for.

So, I made my own seitan pastrami, or seistrami.

Seistrami

Adapted from About.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked salt
  • un-beef broth to boil it in

Instructions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Stir in liquid ingredients, then knead a few times. Let sit 5 minutes; knead a few times more.
  3. Divide seitan into 3 pieces and flatten slightly. Boil for an hour in un-beef broth.

My seitan turned out a little squishy — any suggestions for a firmer texture? Bake instead of boil? Less water?

Seistrami reuben

Ingredients:

  • Sauteed sweet onions
  • seistrami, thinly sliced
  • sauerkraut, brine squeezed out
  • Daiya
  • Thousand Island dressing (vegenaise + ketchup +relish, equal parts-ish)
  • Rye bread

Instructions

  1. Fry seitan in a pan.
  2. Meanwhile, generously sprinkle Daiya on a slice of bread and place it in the toaster with another slice of bread. You can butter the bread and grill it instead — that will be more delicious, but not as healthy.
  3. Top toasted bread with seitan, sauerkraut, sauteed onions and thousand island dressing.

Other great vegan reubens:

Karioka: deep-fried chewy Filipino dough balls

Prepare yourself for the most delicious dessert you’ve (maybe) never heard of: karioka (also spelled kareoka, not to be confused with karaoke, and just as fun). Or maybe karioka are old hat to you — I just assume that my thoughts and experiences reflect everyone else’s in this world.

Something about deep-fried dough balls on a stick, glistening with syrup, caught my fancy one day at Uwajimaya. Looking at the ingredients, I noted that they were vegan.

Madeline shared with me a recipe from Art of Dessert, which provides a thorough and foolproof walk-through of preparing karioka. Rianne’s version is crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, with a coconut-brown sugar glaze you will want to eat by the spoonful.

I don’t have a deep-fryer, but a emptying a bottle of canola oil into a deep frying pan did the trick — I’d never deep-fried before, and found it to be frighteningly easy. Hellooooo, chicken-fried chickpea cutlets!

Just be careful not to overknead the dough (this isn’t seitan, folks) — this will make the insides cakier. Still delicious though.

Blood Red Borscht

Dexter is (with some shame) one of my favorite shows, but I also refuse to pay for cable.

So, having just finished season 5 on DVD, I must fulfill my desire for tawdry graphic sensation elsewhere, while the Dexter Facebook page taunts me with status updates concerning events in season 6. I miss the days when you could just “like” something on Facebook without it talking to you.

The solution: beets — much cheaper than Showtime, twice as delicious, and just as gory.

I adore beets, though they’re not for the hemophobic.

I also dearly love funny vegetables, like carrots spooning:

I hacked these adulterous carrots — red as murder on the outside, a sunny orange on the inside — to bits, along with innocent potatoes, sweet turnips, onions that barely deserved it, and violent beets; boiled them; blended the pieces of their lifeless bodies into a chunky pulp; and threw in some beans and chopped beet greens for good measure.

Borscht — not for the faint of heart.

Blood Red Borscht

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • olive oil, for sauteing
  • dill (fresh or dried) to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch beets, peeled and diced, greens reserved and chopped
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch carrots, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can navy beans
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until brown. Add dill, to taste.
  2. Add beet, potato, turnip and carrot and saute for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Pour in broth and simmer until vegetables are cooked through.
  4. Puree 1/2 – 3/4 of the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender.
  5. Add beans and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Add beet greens and cook until greens are wilted, a minute or so.

Serve with cashew cream or vegan sour cream and chopped chives or dill.

Semi-homemade vegan mac and cheese

If Sandra Lee were vegan, this is what she would make for dinner: a casserole of Leahey Gardens’ mac & cheese, Daiya and broccoli.

It’s super easy and seriously tasty.

This is totally inspired by a post-Vida Vegan Con conversation with Brittany — she would probably say to add nooch, and I’d probably say that’s not a bad idea at all.

Semi-homemade vegan mac and cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Leahey Gardens’ mac and cheese + whatever other ingredients the package tells you that you need
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped and steamed or microwaved
  • 1/2 cup Daiya (your choice which flavor), or more to taste
  • nooch to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
  2. In the same pot, combine cheese powder, whatever water/soy milk the directions tell you, and additional nooch to your taste (if using) until combined. Stir in pasta, cooked broccoli and Daiya.
  3. Pour into a greased 9″ x 9″ pan and cover with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-10 minutes or until crumbs are browned and sauce is bubbly.

Green “shrimp” curry

Mom and Dad have never let me live down the time I took them to the vegan Chinese joint in my hometown. I genuinely enjoyed our meal, but them — not so much. We’ll leave it at that.

Thus, I’ve since been wary of serving omnivores faux meat, but took a risk making a curry for David and myself with Sophie’s vegan shrimp — Sophie’s products were all the rage at VegFest back in March, and Madison Market recently started carrying them.

I couldn’t eat these fake shrimp — the soft, squeaky texture slid past my teeth with little resistance and a kiss of slight fishiness, the type of flavor you’d find too strong in actual seafood.

Uh oh — I thought, biting into one — David’s going to hate this!

Pretty — yes. Palatable? Maybe.

David enjoyed Sophie’s shrimp, surprisingly, and happily added mine to his bowl.

Whew.

So, if you’re curious about Sophie and her mock crustacean flesh, give ‘em a try and decide for yourself.

When I make this dish again, I’ll use tofu instead — every other component was delightful: coconut milk, green curry paste, potato, Thai basil, bamboo shoots, and Japanese eggplant.

This particular Japanese eggplant and I really developed a connection. Its curves fit so naturally in my hand, like a handle, that I felt guilty about eating it. That’s how vegan I am — I bond with vegetables.

R.I.P., my sweet aubergine

VeganMoFo makes you do strange things.

Green curry

adapted from the back of the Thai Kitchen coconut milk can

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 tbs green curry paste
  • 1 large Japanese eggplant, chopped
  • 1 potato, skinned and chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots
  • 1 (0.75 oz) package basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 package Sophie’s vegan shrimp, thawed
  • Diced hot pepper, cayanne powder, or Sriracha sauce to taste, if you want a spicier curry

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until potatoes and eggplant are cooked through. Serve over rice.

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