Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tortilla and Tomato Black Bean Soup

For some reason I've been stockpiling cans of Muir Glen Organic's Fire Roasted Tomatoes as though the fate of the world depended upon it--as though I'd be able to survive in the glow of the nuclear holocaust as long as I have at least three cans around when the bomb drops. (I actually blame some of you readers for this because I keep seeing the damned things mentioned on people's blogs and subsequently end up having a Homer-esque "MMMMM. Arghlghlghlghlhgl" moment every time, which is why I finally just sucked it up and bought some to try finally. And then some more. And then even a bit more--they were on sale, for pete's sake, how could I not??)

So yeah, you're gonna notice that somehow several of my recipes this week incorporate these fire roasted tomatoes. I blame you.

The first recipe I used 'em for this weekend was a Corn Tortilla Tomato Soup recipe that I stole and then modified slightly from The Vegetarian Times. I realized after I'd made the recipe exactly according to the VT that one of my weird food aversions is that when it comes to soup, typically there needs to be a lot going on there. If it's just broth and, say, noodles, or just broth and that's it, I no likey. And for some reason, tomatoes, onions, and mushed up tortillas didn't meet my soup-requirements. Translation: I don't know that I could've joyously eaten the soup all week without at least a little bit of tweaking. So I did--by adding a can of drained, rinsed, and food-processed black beans to the recipe.

*Phew* Relief.

The addition of the black beans made the soup edible--though of course I will note that most of you other NORMAL people out there would've probably enjoyed the original recipe just fine.

Either which way, it's damn simple to whip up, and I recommend, despite the fact that my fella ate a bite at lunch the other day and exclaimed "It tastes like fruit salad!" To which I replied, "Um, yeah, we're breaking up."

  • 1 T. olive oil

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped (about 1.5 c.)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 32-oz can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 2 c. water

  • 3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into quarters

  • 3 T. chopped cilantro

  • 1 t. hot sauce (optional)

  • 1 can black beans, drained (optional)

  • Vegan sour cream (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute 7 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute one minute more.

Add tomatoes, 2 c. water, and tortillas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until tortillas have broken down into tiny pieces.

While simmering, reserve about 1/4 of your can of black beans. Take the rest and puree them (in a food processer or with one of them hand-held thingies--if you have trouble because of their denseness, add a scoop or two of your soup, and then puree).

After soup has been simmering for 15, add your reserved and pureed black beans. Stir in the cilantro and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with vegan sour cream. Enjoy.

Serves between 4-6

(Modified from the Vegetarian Times recipe on p. 85 of the February 2007 issue.)

Oh, and be forewarned--on the second day, it kinda looks like baby throw-up. Mmmmm, baby throw-up. Arhglghlghlghl.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Am Vegan--I Am Incorrigible

You know those annoying Burger King commercials that are poking fun at the feminist movement by shouting "I AM MAN, HEAR ME ROAR" and which basically imply that only pussy effeminate men eat tofu--that tofu is "chick food" and that any guy with bigger than a 4-inch dick should want a big fat juicy (Grade D) burger instead?

Well, yeah.


(If you have no clue what I'm talking about, you can watch one HERE.)

I mean, that lame-ass commercial is a case-in-point demonstration of what Carol J. Adams talks about in her book The Sexual Politics of Meat--that we've masculinized meat and feminized vegetables. That we've deemed meat more powerful and veggies more subservient. When she discusses it in her book, however, she focuses somewhat on cookbooks from the '50s and whatnot, so what's so disturbing to me about that damnable BK commercial is that it shows how little we've changed in these outdated views that "men bring home the bacon while women sit around nibbling on their leafy greens."

Even Bitch magazine (or was it Bust? or maybe it was both--I can't remember) had a nice little write-up about these commercials (along with those stupid Hummer ads where the guy's in line buying tofu and when he's scoffed at by a guy behind him in line who's buying heaping mounds of meat, finds solace in the fact that he can hop in his manly Hummer and drive home). Bitch also had a lovely article on feminism and vegetarianism called "Friend or Food--Raising the Flag for Feminist Vegetarianism" that some of you may be interested in checking out as well (it's in the most recent issue) which touches on this subject matter too.

Bullshit, I say.

Eating meat doesn't make you more of a man.

It doesn't make you more of ANYTHING, really, other than someone who doesn't give much thought to what goes into the things they put in their mouth on a daily basis.

In fact, what's more "manly" to me (and by "manly," I mean "ballsy"--or "eggy," for the B&A luvahs in the house!--aka. strong and independent-minded) is thinking about what you eat and where it comes from, not grabbing your package and chomping down on a filthy hamburger just because Burger King attacks your masculinity.

Fuck Burger King.

In honor of the new kind of "man" that we should be working towards, I offer you this recipe which demonstrates that tofu and vegan food can have "balls" too.


I got the ingredients for this dish at the asian market I've mentioned before: Sweet and Sour Soybean Nuggets and Fried Tofu Balls. I prefer to call them "Tofu Nuggets and Testes" when I speak of them, but we'll just stick with nuggets and balls because it's more accurate based on the packaging.

Anyways, the "meat" was a bit strange-tasting, kind of a beef-like consistency. Really not too bad, except for some strange spice in the marinade that gave it an unusual (though not necessarily BAD) after-taste.

The fried tofu balls (poor testicle-less tofu) were delightful--kind of the spongy squishy consistency of a donut. I actually have thoughts about trying to make something sweet and donut-esque out of these in the future, as they seem like they'd make for a good dessert.

I've included a couple ingredients not in my initial recipe (simply because I didn't have them on hand) but which I think would definitely liven up the recipe quite a bit.

  • 1 pack sweet and sour soybean nuggets (or you can use some other fake-chicken or beef)

  • 1/2 pack fried tofu balls

  • 1/2 jar sweet and sour sauce (perhaps a bit less or more, depending on how much sauce you like)

  • 1 medium-sized onion, chunked

  • 1/2 c. thinly-sliced carrots

  • 1/2 c. pineapple chunks

  • The florets from one head of broccoli, cut up into small pieces (optional)

  • White rice


Fry up the carrots, onions and broccoli for a couple minutes (in either oil or fat-free oil spray). Then toss in the sweet and sour soybean nuggets (preferable thawed, otherwise they're a bit difficult to work with). Once everything is close to done, toss in the fried tofu balls and pineapple. Cook until heated through. Remove from heat and add the sweet and sour sauce. Let sit for a minute or two so it warms up a bit, and then serve over white rice.

Think about how much more manly you feel eating the testicles and nuggets of a tofu instead of a cow or pig.

Feel that manliness--feel it.

(Serves 2-3.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Changing the World to Vegan, One Shit-Fetishizing Pervy Orange-Pooper at a Time!

It's been a while, but rejoice, my foxy readers, because today I bring you the 4th edition of "The Most Bizarre Google Searches By Which People Stumble Across This Blog" (you can check out Editions 1, 2, and 3 HERE)--and yes, I suspect this title is at best grammatically awkward, if not 100% grammatically incorrect, but that's ok, because I will distract you with my orange and oily feces, and you will forget all about that fact! Enjoy.

  • "size and shape of shit"
    (Um, every size and ever shape, my friend)

  • "deep throat kielbasa"; "kielbasa deep throat queen"; and "kielbasa queen"
    (All I can say is: "Weirdo pervs!")

  • "moldy truffles"

  • "shit and potato"

  • "eating uncooked dough with yeast"
    (Glad to hear it.)

  • "in what kind of mixture animals shit is serving"
    (Hmmm. In any mixture, I suppose! Just toss a wee bit in and stir.)

  • "gross bread"
    (I often wonder the best place to buy gross bread myself.)

  • "color baby shit orange"
    (Perhaps if your baby *ATE VEGAN* it wouldn't be shitting orange! You heard me!)

  • "orange and oily feces"
    (See "color baby shit orange.")

  • "no bake bear shit cookies"
    (My goal is to now create a cookie of some sort that I can call this.)

Yes, apparently my blog is the source for EVERY unappetizing thing you can think to google. And yet, the recipes are edible. And sometimes people even end up *LIKING* them. Go figure.

The only thing I hope is that all these weird pervy poop-fetishists are rethinking their food choices and embracing veganism once they stumble across my blog.

Um, yeah.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Red Wine-Drizzled Vegan "Salmon" on a Bed of Quinoa

Ok. The vegan "salmon" finally.

I whipped it up Saturday night as planned. I wasn't sure what to expect and probably am not the best of judges as to whether or not it tasted convincingly salmony since I've only had salmon once (and it was back in like sixth grade or something). But E said that it tasted fairly similar (and he was a salmon addict as recently as a few years ago, so I figure he's a pretty good judge). And I can at least attest to the fact that I was pleasantly surprised.

Consistency-wise, the vegan "salmon" is the spitting image of Tofurky, for those of you familiar with it. Taste-wise, it's like a mildly fishier version of Tofurky, wrapped in seaweed.

I enjoyed it (though I wasn't amazingly blown away by it), and it had already grown on me even more by the second day I had it, so I suspect it's something that I will probably get again (though next time, I think I may try THIS RECIPE but veganized).

And it's uber-easy to prepare--just thaw it out (and that's probably even optional as well) and fry it up in a frying pan with some oil or vegan butter and whatever spices make your pallet tingle.

Or if you want to take the slightly more complicated route with it, you can try out my recipe instead. (I've adjusted the quinoa recipe so that it makes less actual quinoa--that way the quinoa-mushroom ratio is much better--when I prepared it, I thought there was too much quinoa and not enough of the extras.)


The "Salmon"
  • 1 package vegan "salmon"

  • 1-2 T. vegan non-hydrogenated butter

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, roasted

The Quinoa
  • 1 to 1.5 c. uncooked quinoa

  • 2-3 T. chopped fresh parsely

  • 1/2 c. toasted pine nuts

  • One 12 oz. package of baby portabella mushrooms, halved or quartered

  • 3-6 cloves garlic, roasted

  • 1-2 T. vegan non-hydrogenated butter

The Red-Wine Reduction
  • 3/4 c. vegan red table wine (I used Yellow Tail Cabernet-Shiraz)

  • 3/4 c. balsamic vinegar

  • 2-3 T. vegan non-hydrogenated butter


The Quinoa
Cook quinoa in a rice cooker (or on the stove) using a 2:1 ratio of water to dry quinoa (i.e. if you're making 1 c. uncooked quinoa, include 2 c. water). Once it is nearly done, take 1-2 T. vegan butter and use it to fry up your mushroom in a pan until they are tender but not overcooked. Remove from heat. When quinoa is done, add it to the mushrooms and mix. Add in the parsley, pine nuts, and roasted garlic. Stir and set aside.

The Red-Wine Reduction
Pour your red wine and balsamic vinegar into a small pot. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half or so (about 20 minutes?). Before serving, add 2-3 T. vegan butter and mix until it's melted and blended in. (This makes quite a bit--we ended up with leftovers--so if you are a minimalist, you may want to cut these measurements in half.)

The "Salmon"
Melt 1-2 T. vegan butter in a pan on med-low heat. Add the roasted garlic. Once butter is melted, toss in the "salmon" (cut into medium-sized pieces on a slant--a small "salmon" should yield about 8-10 pieces or so). Cook until both sides are slightly browned.

the "salmon" over a bed of quinoa, with the wine reduction drizzled over both (just don't use *TOO* much as the balsamic vinegar is fairly potent). Finish with a side of roasted asparagus, cooked in olive oil with roasted garlic, and drizzled with a bit of fresh lemon juice.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me!

I was gonna post my vegan-salmon pics and recipes today, but then I remembered:


So the veg-salmon will just have to wait until tomorrow.

In honor of this day, I've decided to post my Top 10 Recipes I Just Can't Live Without from my first year of veganism.

So here goes...

Sweet Potato/Black Bean Corn Tortilla Wraps

(I only made this once, but it was good enough to haunt my memory with its sweet sweet taste--I look forward to the day I cook it again.)

Vegan Mushroom Paprikash

(This rings of some serious old-school home-cooking, so I am particualry proud of this one since I veganized it myself while keeping it seriously yummy and hearty. And it ended up damn good--enough so that E's already requested that I make it for him for his b-day this year.)

Autumn Harvest Stew

(This stuff was STARTLINGLY tasty--bursting with flavor, beautifully colorful, and hearty hearty hearty. I also look forward to making this again.)

Rosemary and Hazelnut Encrusted Seitan

(Well, hell. I had to include ONE of E's masterful dishes, and I can think of none better right now. I've raved about it to you all about 1500 times before, so I won't say much more than MMMMM. ROSEMARY AND HAZELNUT ENCRUSTED SEITAN. ARGHLGHLGHGLHGLGHL.)

Junior Gems

(I've made these multiple times over the holidays, and they are SO FRICKING GOOD. Just the right amount of squishiness, gingeriness, and oozy gooey frosting.)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

(So good. All I can say. Make them.)

Orange You Glad They're Double-Chocolate Cookies

(This is my own recipe as well, so I kinda felt obligated to include it. I heart orange and chocolate, and when I need a serious chocolate-fix, this is the chocolate I run to.)

Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Nut Cookies

(You've heard me rave about these like 1500 times as well, so I'll spare you. If you haven't made them by this point based on my vociferous recommendations, I may just have to hunt you down and force-feed you them.)

Chocolate Bread-Pudding with Rum Sauce

(Yeah, it's kind of a holiday-dish. But f- that, you can eat this baby ANY time of year, it's that good.)

Avocado Sorbet

(I only ever made this once, and not only was it delish, but it also satisfied my libidic love of avocados. You must try.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Crazy Fake-Meat Town!

It's like crazy fake-meat town in my apartment this week!


E went to the big Asian market downtown this past weekend, and I put him on the lookout for "vegetarian salmon" after stumbling across these fricking gorgeously-tasty looking pics. I've long been envious of the folks I see on livejournal and whatnot that have easy access to strange and delightful fake-meats from their local Asian market (mostly because I didn't think there was any place around that carried something as strange as, say, vegetarian salmon), but now I'm one of them. Woot woot!

Anyways, E picked me up a few vegan meat-analogs this weekend to try out (vegetarian salmon, canned vegetarian mock chicken, and vegetarian gong bao chicken) and after yesterday's experience with the gong bao, I definitely plan on returning to pick up some more.

I am also excited about cooking up the veg salmon this weekend, so expect a recipe. (I plan on making some sort of wine reduction for it and serving it over quinoa.) I am a little bit leery about trying out the CANNED fake-meat, because for some reason, the canned aspect of it creeps me out a bit. But after the gong bao, perhaps I'll just suck it up. (Either that or I'll wait until E tries it first and make sure it doesn't kill him.)

But I digress... The gong bao vegetarian chicken: I cooked it up with some broccoli, onion, and green peppers drizzled in teriyaki sauce and tossed with some peanuts over brown rice. It was fantastique.

The consistency of the vegetarian chicken is startlingly like that of real chicken--it is chewy and hearty. And it's marinated in some sort of red-peppery sauce which was also quite good. I was impressed, especially for something that comes vaccuum-sealed in a bag. If you can get your hands on it, I definitely recommend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chili n' Cornbread

Oh, man. I haven't posted in a while. Mostly because I suck.

Wait no--maybe it's because YOU suck!

No. Wait. It's because I suck. *sigh*

Last Thursday I had to stay home from work because I was sick and so was my cat Zooey (sort of). Turns out she was in heat which should strike you as kind of funny once you find out that SHE'D BEEN SPAYED ABOUT A YEAR AGO. Yeah. Turns out sometimes they don't manage to get everything out on the first try, which means (according to the vet) that technically, it's like she's not been spayed at all (she'll probably start going into heat again regularly and her chances of eventually developing mammary cancer or other bad things will continue to increase until all her lady parts are removed). Which means she has to get surgery. Again. So they can make sure to get everything out this time.


Anyways, that's part of the reason you haven't heard from me in a while.

But now I'm back. Though not with a recipe today--alas.

I DID do a bit of cooking last week, though not much. One of the things I made was the Tex-Mex Chili from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian Cookbook which I snagged from the library after having read a few people rave about it on their blogs.

Despite the fact that I was excited about finally making a chili with both lentils and beans (I'm addicted to Aladdin's Len-Chili) I was actually rather disappointed with it on the grand-scale of chilis, particularly after the rave review given to it by Jaffrey who called it her family's favorite fall-back chili.

I think I have high-standards when it comes to chili, though more often than not, I've absolutely adored the recipes I've tried. So perhaps it's not so much high-standards as it is very specific tastes as to what I like in a chili. And this was not it. It was not spicy enough for me. Nor was it flavorful enough. Nor was it tomatoey enough. In fact, it kinda moreso tasted like a bland curry.

The only thing that gave it a bit more oomph was the addition of some vegan sour cream (which I've kinda become addicted to since making the vegan paprikash for X-mas).

I DID accompany it with a nice big batch of cornbread though, so that kind of helped it out. Which makes me realize that I do indeed have a recipe to share with you today--hurrat hurrah!


Corny Cornbread

  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 c. corn meal

  • 2 T. baking powder

  • 2/3 c. applesauce (I used unsweetened, but I actually think sweetened might work just as well if not better)

  • 1/3 c. maple syrup

  • 1/3 c. agave nectar

  • 13 oz. soy milk (which I think I screwed up in c.-measurement land--I ended up using about 1 3/4 c. or so, but it still ended up being ok--in reality, this'd be a tiny smidge over 1.5 c.)

  • 2/3 c. canned corn, drained

  • pinch of salt


Mix flour and baking powder. Add corn meal and salt; mix thoroughly. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl and then add to dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be a course, almost pourable batter. If the mixture seems a little dry, add soymilk to moisten. Fold the corn into the mixture.

Bake in a greased 9 x 11 baking pan at 350° for 30-35 minutes.

Baking time will vary from oven to oven. Corn bread should be light brown. Use a toothpick or knife to insert into the middle of the corn bread to check if it's done. If the toothpick comes out clean, you're all good.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tofu Scramble and You Don't Know the Recipe but Mmmmmmm You Should Try to Figure it Out Because *Drool* It's Oh So Good

Sunday morning: tofu scramble. Why? Because the damnable Maura had to tell me that dorklepork made her one for her 30th birthday (she's so ancient) and it gave me one of those Homer-esque moments where I was like, Tofu Scramble, Mmmmmm, arghlghlghlghlghl.

So yeah, I tofu scrambled it, couldn't help myself. Basically, I used the general gist of the VwaV recipe (spice-wise at least--though I only used half the amount of nutritional yeast and none of the water they said to add), but I decked it out with different fillings. Main ingredients? Tofu, broccoli, one half of a yellow pepper, and two small onions.

On the side, my own creation, though nothing too gaudy: red potatoes swirled around in a bowl with about 1 T. olive oil, some paprika, rosemary, season salt, and thyme, baked in the oven until tender and browned (maybe about 30-40 minutes at 450 or so)...

I only wish I could eat this well for breakfast EVERY day. *Sigh*

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cherrybrook Kitchen and Goopey Brownie Sundaes

So it looks like this week's gonna be full of me taunting you about delightful things I ate whose recipes I can't really share with you. So nonny nonny poo poo.

Anyways, the first of the bunch was a dessert we gorged on this past Friday. One of my friends from work bought me Cherrybrook Kitchen's Fudge Brownie Mix for X-mas. Cherrybrook Kitchen specializes in sweets and mixes for folks with food allergies which, of course, offers up a variety of options for us nerdly vegans.

My lazy-assed self was pleased to see that there were pretty much only three ingredients (vegetable oil, water, margarine) other than the brownie-mix itself that I had to deal with. And easy it was--only about 5 minutes to mix, and 16 minutes or so to bake.

The end result was ooey, gooey, and delicious. And to top it all off, E and I doused our brownies in our favorite vegan ice cream--Tofutti's Vanilla Almond Bark... I see lots of conversation about folks' favorite vegan ice creams, but for me (at least so far), there's no contest--Tofutti pretty much takes the cake. Their ice creams are rich and delish and not watery-tasting and bland like some of the others I've tried. And my favorites of their ice cream are, of course, Vanilla Almond Bark, and Chocolate Cookie Crunch as well (a long-time fav).

And as if brownies and ice cream weren't goopey and caloric enough, we topped it all off with some glorious Hershey's syrup. Isn't it pretty pictured here?

Anyways, this is not a recipe, clearly. But I do definitely recommend the Cherrybrook Kitchen's Fudge Brownie Mix, for those of you who aren't fans of spending laborious amounts of time in the kitchen but who would like to convince others that vegan baking really can be done well.

*Prepping those nipple-pinching fingers again for those who haven't already hopped in their car or onto their bike to run out to the store and buy some*

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Tutu... Nekkidness... Perhaps Some Nipple Pinching... And You... Only You

Ok. So I normally don't eat potato chips. And I normally don't post about eating potato chips. (And I normally don't don't run up and down the streets wearing nothing but a tutu--'cept for that one time, but that's a whole 'nother story.) But I'll be damned if I don't have a big fat girly-boner for Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips.

One of my more brilliant friends (and I say that both because he actually IS brilliant and because despite that fact, it took him two days to figure out if he was the one who gave them to me) brought them to my X-mas party and they never got opened, so the other day when my boss (who is also another friend of mine--not so brilliant though, and kinda whorey--SHOUT OUT TO THE QBL!) brought me in some homemade black bean dip that kicked ass (and I say that not to kiss up, but because it really WAS damn good--recipe HERE, though she tripled the garlic and left out the olives) I decided to whip them out and try them. (*Dammit, I'm all outta breath now from all those parentheticals*)

And holy crap.

I almost never eat non-flavored chips as their lack of flavory-goodness seems to emphasize their greasiness, but these things are so flavorful that seriously, I almost ripped off all my clothes ('cept for my tutu, of course) and took off running through the office.

That takes some good chips to do that, no doubt.

Instead of potatoes, they use the following veggies: sweet potato, parsnip, batata, taro, yuca. I don't even know what most of those are, but all fried up, they are most definitely yumtastic.

So go out and try them. I rarely say this about processed food, but seriously. Do it. Or I'll hunt you down. And make you scream like a woman. Unless you are a woman. Then I'll just... I dunno. Pinch your nipple or something.

Oh, and they're free of trans fat. Woot woot.

*Ripping off my tutu and running around just plain ol' nekkid*

Invisible Peanut Butter Squares

(See--they're invisible!)

Last week, for the holidays, I made some peanut butter squares from scratch. Somehow, despite having taken pictures of them, and despite having uploaded them to the computer, I have managed to lose them. Which is actually somehow fitting seeing as I originally made the PB squares for a holiday party I had at my place at which I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO PUT THEM OUT. So yeah. They're like INVISIBLE peanut butter squares, so how could I possibly post a picture of them really? *Clearing throat and adjusting tie*

Anywho, here be the recipe, sans pictures. I wasn't sure I liked them all that much initially, but after wolfing down like 53 of them, I decided I did after all. And my mom did as well, apparently--she ate like three of them in record time on X-mas day.

The nice thing about them is that they aren't overly sweet. And they are very simple to make. So enjoy.

  • 1 2/3 c. vegan graham crackers, ground

  • 1/4 c. sugar

  • 1/4 c. plus 2 T. nonhydrogenated vegan margarine

  • 1 jar of natural peanut butter (18 oz. or so)

  • 1 c. powdered sugar

  • 1 1/4 cup Rice Krispies

  • 12 oz. bag of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix the first three ingredients together. Firmly press into the bottom of an 8x8 cake pan.

Place the jar's worth of peanut butter in a food processor. Gradually add the powdered sugar while pulsing until the mixture is thick and stiff. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Begin adding the Rice Krispies to the mix, mashing them in with your (clean) hands as you go until all of it is mixed in. Spread on top of the crust and press firmly into the pan.

Melt the 12 oz. bag of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips in whichever way you prefer (double-boiler, microwave, low-heat pot on the stove). Pour (or smooth--it will be kind of thick) the chocolate over the top of the peanut butter layer until covered.

Freeze for a handful of hours or so (or overnight) and serve frozen. (You can serve them unfrozen as well, but they retain the firmness better frozen and don't take long to come to room temperature.)

Serves about 16 small (but rich) pieces.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Down-Home Vegan Green Bean Casserole

So what can I say--like almost every other American on the face of this planet, I'm a sucker for the uber-simple, uber-traditional green bean casserole that someone in my family whips up every single Thanksgiving or Christmas. When I went vegan, however, I figured that would be the end of the matter. But then I stumbled across someone or another discussing the existence of Imagine brand Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup which is, if you haven't figured it out at this point, vegan! Not to mention the fact that I couldn't believe that French's French Fried Onions are actually vegan as well. I about pooped with excitement.

Now granted, it's not like there's not about 1500 really damn tasty-sounding vegan green bean casserole recipes floating around out theere on the internet. I mean, Fat-Free Vegan has one that sounds absolutely delish, and VegWeb does as well.

But there's just something about a recipe that comes on a can of fried onions, that only has four real ingredients, and that doesn't require much more than a can-opener and a casserole dish to whip up. So obviously, I was very nerded up when I stumbled across Imagine's cream of mushroom soup at Wild Oats. This wonderful vegan mushroom soup made veganizing this traditional dish work bee-oo-tifully.


1. Combine soup and pepper in a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish; stir until blended. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French's French Fried Onions.

2. Cover and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until hot. (Make sure you've thawed the frozen green beans out sufficiently if you're using them--otherwise expect a longer baking time.) Check the casserole and see if the soup's thickened up enough--if not, add a couple teaspoons of flour and mix in. Stir.

3. Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup French Fried Onions. Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fantastic Holiday Feasting

I must say, it was surprisingly refreshing to go a whole week without blogging at all, without being bored out of my mind so much that I find myself obsessively rifling through the same blogs over and over to see if they've updated, without neurotically checking my comments again and again and again due to the very same boredom. I must say, I look forward to the day that I no longer have the boredom and the internet connection driving me to update so regularly.

But despite all that, I must admit, it is good to be back.

The holidays were a fantastic lovefest of vegan foodery. I had Christmas celebrations at my place, and I am very pleased to say that the spread was one of the most fantastic, tasty, and vegan ones I've seen, thanks to the generosity of my mom, sisters, and brother. Food numblies ranged from vegan stuffed shells (stuffed with vegan cream "cheese," spinach, and walnuts) and vegan stuffed peppers (packed full of potatoes, tomato sauce, and vegan meat crumbles)--both pictured above--to veganized paprikash and veganized green bean casserole, and of course a very large and glorious salad and way too many desserts.

My belly had a damn good evening.

Of course this means what I'm sure you've all realized at this point anyways: you can expect some lovely holiday recipes this week.

And it wouldn't be a good first blog-entry of the year if I didn't mention New Year's Resolutions of some sort or another. So let it be said: this year, my resolutions are a) to figure out a way to gorge on twice as much home-cooked food without gaining 50 lbs. and b) to make me a man-sized robot love slave. Just you wait.

As for the first recipe of the year, I can think of no better one to start the year off with than this. I used to make a wicked vegetarian paprikash from one of my down-home vegetarian cookbooks I have lining my shelves. So this year, when the holidays rolled around, my Hungarian ass decided that it was about damn time I tried to tackle a veganized version of this recipe--I mean, I grew up on paprikash, and I adore the stuff. And given that more than half of my immediate family is now vegetarian, it seemed fitting to tackle this endeavor.

I was a bit nervous about the dumplings as I've always had problems with dumplings. But god bless ye, Vegan Chef, because your vegan dumpling recipe kicks ass. They came out infinitely fluffier than the original dumpling recipe I used to use for the non-vegan version of this paprikash, and (despite the trickiness of "cutting in" the "butter") they were actually a lot less of a pain in the butt to make.

The end result was truly kick-ass, I must say. I think my very Hungarian grandma would've been proud of this veganized version, it was that tasty. If I could remember something Hungarian to say here other than the Hail Mary (which I couldn't spell anyways), I'd insert it right now, but since I can't, I'll just move on to the recipe. Enjoy.

Mushroom Paprikash with Dumplings

  • 1/2 c. vegan sour cream

  • 2 t. all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 t. pepper

  • 1/8 t. salt, or to taste

  • 2 T. vegetable oil

  • 1.5 c. chopped onions

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 T. paprika

  • 7 c. quartered white mushrooms (two 10-oz containers)

  • 1 c. vegetable broth

  • 1 Quart water

  • 2 cups unbleached flour

  • 2 t. baking powder

  • 1 t. salt

  • 3 T. non-hydrogenated margarine

  • 1/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice

  • 1/4 batch of homemade seitan from Vegan with a Vengeance (minus the lemon zest listed in the recipe--it was a bit overpowering and disjointed in comparison to the rich flavors of the rest of the paprikash)

  • -or

  • A couple packages of lightly-marinated pre-made seitan


In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, flour, pepper, and salt. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat 2 T. oil over med-high heat. Add onions and garlic—cook until softened (2 mins). Add paprika and cook ‘til absorbed. Add mushrooms and stir until coated with paprika mixture. Add broth and bring to a boil—reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 20 mins. While mushrooms cook, prepare dumplings.

Dumplings: In a large pot, place the water, and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, place the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir well to combine. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the vegan margarine until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the soy milk, mixing to form a manageable dough (I had a bit of trouble with this--my tip is to gradually add soy milk in excess of the 1/4 c. quantity until the dough begins to stick together well enough).

Knead a bit. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and begin to pinch off chunks of dough about 1/2" in diameter. Make sure to get a little additional flour on the dumplings to prevent them from sticking together when you boil them. Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.

Remove the dumplings from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a large bowl.

The End: Add dumplings to the cooked mushrooms. Stir in the sour cream mixture. If you're going to add the optional seitan, add this as well. Cook until heated through.

The flavor tends to mature overnight--the end result is that you'll have a damn good paprikash meal but even better leftovers.

Serves about 6.