Catch me daddy!

Monday, November 19th, 2012


 

Having tried somewhere in the neighborhood of 31 new-to-me recipes during the course of Vegan MoFo – and having had a gloriously delicious time of it – I promised myself that I’d keep experimenting with new recipes, to the tune of at least one a week. And, just to keep myself honest, I’ll be blogging the results! (Also because, as a vegan, I’m apparently incapable of devouring a meal without first taking and sharing at least several photos of it.*)

This week, it’s the “Mac Daddy” mac & cheese from Veganomicon. I know that Vegan MoFo is over, yet I can’t help but riff off this Janis Joplin song. Pair ALL the vegan foods with groovy music!

 

2012-11-14 - Veganom Mac Daddy - 0012

 

I still heart my overly processed, Daiya and Follow Your Heart blend best, but this is definitely my new favorite noochy version. (And believe me when I say that I’ve tried quite a few!) With crumbled tofu (reminiscent of ricotta) for extra sauciness, and just a hint of thyme (genius!), this is a surprisingly rich, creamy pasta dish.

And fairly healthy: the sauce only requires a tablespoon of olive oil (two here, since the recipe is doubled) – whereas, as Isa and Terry point out, many other vegan cheese sauces require a stick of margarine. (And my sauce? Don’t even get me started on my sauce. Sooooo bad for you!) Sadists!

It’s also worth noting that I’m often suspicious of tofu, but it totally works here. It’s almost like it’s part of the sauce!

 

2012-11-14 - Veganom Mac Daddy - 0018

 

All in all, this mac-n-cheese is so moist that I might actually try adding a top layer of breadcrumbs next time around. Usually I find that breadcrumbs dry out an already-parched mac & cheese dish, especially one that’s baked. Not so with the Mac Daddy! He’s smooth, smooth like the blues.

(More below the fold…)

Vegan MoFo B-Sides: Fried (or Baked!) "Fiona Apple" Apple Pies

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

 

The song: “Not About Love” by Fiona Apple

The foodstuff: Paula Deen’s Apple Fried Pies (with a variation for baking)

The connection: I just love her so much.

 

Fried (and Baked) 'Fiona Apple' Apple Pies (0042)

 

Paula Deen, veganized! (Surprisingly, this was not difficult to do. Probably ’cause it’s a rather simple recipe.)

I’ve been meaning to make these fried apple pies since last Vegan MoFo, but never quite found the time. Seriously, this post has been sitting in my drafts folder for at least a year, maybe more. Vegan MoFo may be over, but I’m still determined to finish this recipe, dammit!

And I’m so glad I did, y’all! These pies are delish. Just for shits and giggles (okay, my waistline), I decided to bake half the pies to see what would happen. The result? Well, I guess that depends on how you feel about fried foods. The fried pies are amazing – I mean, fried biscuit dough, hello! – though they do sit a little heavy in the stomach. The baked pies are still pretty tasty too, and a bit lighter. So be your own decider person, is what I’m saying.

Since I’m new to hand pies, I overestimated how much filling could go in each pie and overstuffed them a bit. Hence the ugly and misshapen pastries you see here. No matter, still just as yummy. Pro tip: if you have a pie that’s a little leaky – due to overfilling or inadequate seams – deep fry it. For whatever reason (probably all that hot oil!), you get less filling eruption in the deep fryer.

Paired with Fiona Apple for obvious reasons. Any song would work, but I liked the vid for this one. Zach Galifianakis!

 

Fried (and Baked) 'Fiona Apple' Apple Pies (0016)

 

Fried Apple Pies

Ingredients

2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 2-3 medium sized apples)
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a dash of allspice
1 (8-piece) container refrigerated or frozen flaky biscuit dough (or make your own!)
vegan powdered sugar to taste

Directions

1. In a large skillet, heat the margarine on medium-low. When melted, add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Sautee on medium heat for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. Roll the biscuits out on a lightly floured surface making an 8″ circle with each of the eight pieces. One at a time, place a few tablespoons of the apple filling on one half of the circle. Brush the edges of the circle with water and then fold it over to made a half-moon shape. Seal the pie by pressing down on the edges with the tines of a fork. Repeat until each pie is done.

3. To deep fry: Preheat a deep fryer, filled halfway with oil, to 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a pot halfway filled with oil and an appropriate thermometer.) Drop the pies in the deep fryer (carefully!), one at a time, and fry for five to eight minutes, or until they turn golden brown, flipping halfway through. Remove immediately and place on a plate or container lined with paper towels. Blot the excess oil with a paper towel. When cool, sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar.

4. To bake: Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 

Fried (and Baked) 'Fiona Apple' Apple Pies (0026)

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies & Ray Parker, Jr.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

 

The song: “Ghostbusters (Theme)” by Ray Parker, Jr. (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies from Little House on the Vegan Prairie

The connection: It’s Halloween and there’s a STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN in this movie!

 

Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies (0066)

 

Happy Halloween, y’all! Next to FSMas, this is my favorite day of the whole year. Sixteen-hour horror movie marathons with all the vegan junk food and frozen Tofurky pizzas you can eat? SIGN ME UP!

We’re talking movie theater popcorn, salt and vinegar chips, Twizzlers, Go Max Go candy bars, ice cream sundaes, Skittles, candy apples – and new this year, a freshly made batch of Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies! Little House on the Vegan Prairie dreamed these up last Vegan MoFo and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since!

 

Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies (0052)

The fruit of my loins!
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(Yeah, I usually have a stomach ache and/or sugar headache on November 1st. But you know what? SO WORTH IT.)

Sticky, ooey, gooey mess aside, these are pretty simple to make, with no unusual ingredients required. Just compassion and Dandies, yo! The result is a soft, cakey chocolate chip cookie with a hint of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (the Thanksgiving spices!), covered in sweet marshmallowy goodness.

First you mix your dry ingredients, then your wet stuff. Then you add the dry to wet and lastly, fold in the Dandies and chocolate chips. The cookies rise considerably, so give them enough space to expand on the cookie sheet. The marshmallows puff up too – sometimes well beyond the bounds of the cookies they’re attached to! As they cool and contract, the Dandies leave little cavities in the cookies. Swiss cheese cookies, oh noes!

Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies (b-0006

Pop the cold cookies in the microwave for ~15 seconds for maximum meltiness.
(Yes, I own a novelization of Ghostbusters II. DON’T JUDGE ME!)
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A neat little workaround I found: don’t add the marshmallows until after you drop the batter onto the cookie sheet. Position one or two marshallows smack dab in the middle of the cookie and press down gently. As it bakes, it’ll drip over and down the cookie, but mostly stays on top – no hallowed out spaces in the cookies or clinging to the neighbors!

As part of her Hurricane Sandy preparations, Vegan CineGrub also made Ghostbusters-themed cookies yesterday: Ectoplasm Stay-Puft Cookies. PJ describes them as “Coconut Marshmallow Snickerdoodle” things, but they look a lot like the Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies – only green! How cool is that? Now I know what I’m making next Halloween! Even if you don’t like cookies (MONSTER!), you should visit her place anyway, ’cause she’s got a real live pic of the Ghostbusters car. Are you jealous yet?

Enjoyed to the sweet ’80s sounds of Ray Parker, Jr. in honor of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a likeness of which I purchased special for the occasion. (But I shall enjoy him year-round! He makes for the most adorable of nicknacks, I tell you what!)

 

Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies (0022)

“I’m with cookies.” You and me both, Stay Puft. You and me both.
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Today we’ll be revisiting Ghostbusters, which I haven’t seen for years. Also on the roster – tentatively, since we usually play it by ear: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Cronos, The Tall Man, Inside, Red: Werewolf Hunter, Wrong Turn, Tales from the Hood, The House of the Devil, and The Shrine. I’m also thinking about The Cabin in the Woods, even though we already saw it in the theaters. THAT GOOD.

Do you like scary movies, vegan? Check out this list of animal-friendly horror movies I compiled last Halloween. We ticked a bunch off our list in 2011. Soylent Green? It’s delicious.

 

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P.S. This isn’t goodbye! I have a few extra “Vegan MoFo B-Side” posts lined up for the rest of the week (including a “best of” link roundup), AND I’m participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck tomorrow. (Which for me is 11PM tonight. Silly time zones, always messing things up.) Stick around for more beautiful food and delicious music, mkay?

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Creamy Tomato Soup with Beer Cheese Bread & Blind Melon

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

 

The song: “No Rain” by Blind Melon (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Creamy Tomato Soup served with Beer Cheese Bread – recipes from Veganomicon and Vegan Junk Food, respectively

The connection: Rubber boots and rainy day soups!

 

Tomato soup and grilled (Daiya) cheese sandwiches: does a more perfect rainy day meal combo exist? I think not! THIS ONE’S FOR THE BEE GIRL! Now a woman! But you get the idea!

 

Creamy Tomato Soup from Veganomicon (0004)

 

Isa brings the soup – namely, a Creamy Tomato Soup straight from Veganomicon. This is a rich, satisfying dish that’s so creamy you could almost mistake it for dairy. (The secret? Potatoes!) With canned crush tomatoes and sundried tomatoes for double to the tomato-y goodness. Seriously, this is a soup for lovers. Tomato lovers! (Oh snap!)

Overall, this is a ridiculously easy meal to make, as soups often are. But there’s a caveat! The whole process will go a whole lot smoother if you have an immersion blender – otherwise, you have to let the soup cool, transfer it to the blender in batches, and then reheat it again. Yuck, right?

I thought I was gonna hafta go the blender route, until Shane whipped out a Thunderstick thingie that he uses to make shakes. I’d totally forgotten that we owned such a device, initially confusing it with the ($2,000!) Hulk Hogan Thunder Mixer he used (and I supposedly broke, though I remember no such thing!) back in the mid-aughts. It may or may not be an immersion blender proper; we’re still investigating. It doesn’t even have a brand name stenciled on its handle! Either way, it did the trick.

Normally I’d pair this with a toasted Daiya cheese sammie, but I decided to go a slightly different route this time: cheese bread! This recipe is from Vegan Junk Food, and I’ve been eying it since I reviewed the book way back in April. (It also doesn’t help that the husband bought some Daiya cheese wedges, ostensibly for toasted cheese, and then ate them all without telling me. Boo!)

 

Creamy Tomato Soup from Veganomicon (0027)

 

As lip-smackingly good as the soup is, it’s the bread that’s the real star of the show. Seriously, it wins all the awards! The loaf proper is just flour mixed with beer and a little bit of brown sugar. Pour it into a loaf pan, top with melted margarine mixed with nutritional yeast, and bake for 45 minutes. By no stretch of the imagination am I a master bread-maker, yet even I was able to pull it off without a hitch.

And the payoff is inversely related to the effort required. This Beer Cheese Bread? Divine. The sugar and beer add just a hint of sweetness, and the cheesy nooch topping I could eat all by its lonesome. (And I did, in crumb form. There may or may not have been some plate-licking involved, and not of the canine variety.) Even if you’re not a beer person – and I’m not – you’ll love this bread.

Pro tip: The leftover slices – assuming there are any – are crazy good topped with a pat o’ margarine, toasted, and served with homemade bruschetta. Don’t say I never did anything for ya!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Vanilla Espresso Shake & The White Stripes

Monday, October 29th, 2012

 

The song: “One More Cup of Coffee” by Bob Dylan (and covered by The White Stripes; lyrics)

The foodstuff: A Vanilla Espresso Shake from American Vegan Kitchen

The connection: Espresso-flavored milkshakes – my kind of coffee!

 

Vanilla Espresso Shake from American Vegan Kitchen (0005)

 

This milkshake was inspired by the shakes served at Strong Hearts Cafe in Syracuse, NY, which American Vegan Kitchen author Tami Noyes visits frequently on her way to Vermont. While I don’t need an excuse to indulge in frozen desserts – be it soft serve, ice cream cookie sammies, sundaes, milkshakes, whatever – an espresso-flavored shake is the perfect partner for this Bob Dylan song. I gave up hot coffee ages ago – I took my coffee with so much sugar and soy creamer that I started to fear for the integrity of my teeth (“Want some coffee with your sugar?”) – and so coffee-flavored desserts are the closest I get to the stuff nowadays.

The Vanilla Espresso Shake is about as lip-smacking good as you’d expect. Coffee crystals, vanilla ice cream, vanilla soy creamer, and vanilla extract – that’s it! Bliss can be yours in 90 seconds or less.

For the ice cream, I used the Vanilla, I Scream! from The Tipsy Vegan, which I had left over from last week. I was right: the coffee and (extra) vanilla flavoring completely eradicated the “blah blahness” of the silken tofu I complained about previously. Score! I know what I’ll be doing with the rest of it, wink wink.

 

Vanilla Espresso Shake from American Vegan Kitchen (0023)

 

Supposedly this recipe serves two, which is kind of laughable: it doesn’t even fill up one medium-sized glass! (And I added a little extra creamer, too!) The milkshakes you find at, say, The Chicago Diner are easily double this. Not to imply that I could have eaten more; one recipe was enough for me. But split this with a friend? NEVER!

 

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re: today’s soundtrack, I chose the White Stripes cover of “One More Cup of Coffee,” cause it’s creepier and thus more appropriate for the season. Best described as charmingly awful, Bob Dylan’s singing voice – which I love! – just doesn’t suit this song the way Jack White’s does. IMHO! No haters!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Maple Pecan Waffles with Smothered, Covered Hashbrowns & Bloodhound Gang

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

 

The song: “The Bad Touch” by Bloodhound Gang (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Maple Pecan Waffles with Smothered, Covered Hash Browns

The connection: “I want you smothered want you covered like my Waffle House hashbrowns”

 

Maple Pecan Waffles with Smothered, Covered Hashbrowns (inspired by the Waffle House) (0055)

Sunday brunch, Waffle House styley!
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With a name like “Waffle House,” you’d expect the restaurant’s menu to include all sorts of weird and wacky waffle dishes, right? Kind of like IHOP and its ridic pancake selection. I can just picture it: Seasonal pumpkin waffles with a creamy cream cheese sauce. Chocolate chip waffles buried in a mountain of whipped cream. Blueberry waffles drowning in berry syrup. Stacks of waffles of all shapes and flavors and sizes. Sweet and savory and everything in between. A veritable cornucopia of crispy breakfast goodness!

(Is your stomach growling yet, or is it just me and mine?)

Except, not so much. If the online menu is any indication (and having never been, I wouldn’t know – so correct me if I’m wrong!), the Waffle House only serves two kinds of waffles: plain and pecan. BOO-RING!

But the hash browns? They’re a whole ‘nother story! Considering the infinite ways a Waffle Housian may enjoy her grilled shredded potatoes, the Waffle House should really be called “Captain Cholesterol’s Hash Brown & Heart Attack Emporium.” Get ’em in a regular, large, or triple (!) serving. Smother them with sauteed onions. Cover them with cheese. Enjoy them “chunked” (laced with ham – thanks but no!), “diced” (tomatoes), “peppered” (jalapenos), “capped” (mushrooms), “topped” (chili!), or “country” (gravy). Or any combination of the above. Country topped and peppered, you say? Surely someone’s been there, done that.

 

Maple Pecan Waffles with Smothered, Covered Hashbrowns (inspired by the Waffle House) (0016)

Exhibit A: Hash browns “smothered” with onions.
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I know all this because – and only because – of today’s soundtrack, the Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch,” which never fails to make me crave breakfast food like a mofo. Amid all the sexual innuendo, the band drops in a reference to the Waffle House menu: “I want you smothered want you covered like my Waffle House hash browns.” I always assumed that the toppings alluded to were of the usual suspects: ketchup and hot sauce, maybe some onions or peppers. Never did I imagine the oral delights dreamed up by mad geniuses on the Waffle House R&D team.

 

Maple Pecan Waffles with Smothered, Covered Hashbrowns (inspired by the Waffle House) (0041)

Example #2: Hash browns “covered” in cheese sauce.
(Technically these hash browns are smothered AND covered, but you get the idea!)
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And so for our menu today, a brunch inspired by the Bloodhound Gang and pulled straight from the pages of the Waffle House menu: Pecan Waffles (topped with maple syrup, bananas, and chopped pecans for that extra-special touch), served with Smothered, Covered Hash Browns.

And I have recipes for each! The hash browns are all my own (the cheese sauce? it’s what I normally use to make mac & cheese – so good I could drink it from a mug!), but I based the waffles on a recipe found in Vegan Junk Food. fwiw, Land Gold includes a epic-looking recipe for Creamy Maple Sauce to accompany her waffles, but I decided to skip it since I ran out of burners. It sounds amazing though. A sugar coma in liquid form.

By the way, the smothered and covered hash browns? WILL MAKE YOU MOAN. Eat them in understanding company, mkay.

 

Maple Pecan Waffles with Smothered, Covered Hashbrowns (inspired by the Waffle House) (0030)

The bananas really class this junk food up.
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(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Cheesy Kale Chips & Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

 

The song: “Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Cheesy Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food

The connection: Battlestar GalacticaSeason 3, Episode 10, “The Passage”

 

Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food (0015)

 

So this is one of those food-song pairings which is less obvious and thus requires a lengthier explanation. As much as I love Battlestar Galactica and could ramble on and on about it for days, I’ll try to keep it short and simple. This is a food festival, after all.

For those who aren’t fans (OH MY GODS WHY NOT? YOU ARE MISSING OUT EPICALLY!), the basic premise of BSG is this: after a decades-long truce with the Cylons – sentient robots built, enslaved, and oppressed by humans – the Twelve Colonies are attacked by their “children” (now evolved into android form). Humanity is destroyed. Decimated. Entire cities and planets are colonized by the Cylons – or wiped off the map altogether. The ~50,000 human survivors – most of whom were off-planet, traveling in spaceships, when the attack occurred – flee, with the Cylons in hot pursuit.

At turns, the Cylons aim for the extinction of the human race – or peaceful (yet dominant) coexistence with them. Meanwhile, the humans want nothing but to escape the Cylons; to find a new planet to settle and rebuild human civilization. The duration of the four-season show follows our “heroes” (not really; not always) as they search for the mythical planet of earth, supposedly settled by their ancestors so many centuries ago.

While BSG touches upon a number of heavy topics – democracy, warfare, slavery, civil liberties, abortion – the themes of home and family can be found throughout. Forced to live on cramped, uncomfortable ships for years, some of them subjected to horrific working conditions, the survivors are just that: surviving. Nothing more; for many, less, as war, disease, and hunger ravage the population. The hope of finding a new planet to settle – a new home – is all that sustains them.

In the meantime, they must learn how to make do with their actual homes: the warships, prisons, and luxury liners that carry them through space. (Even in wartime, inequities persist!) The survivors find friends, forge alliances, fall in love, start families. They struggle to find normalcy in the midst of a perpetual emergency.

 

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Though they do eventually find earth, it’s a shell of a planet, ravaged by nuclear warfare. Uninhabitable; in no better shape than the planets they fled. (Oh, humanity. Will you ever rise above your violent nature?) While their faith is shattered, they keep searching. What else is there to do but forge on? In time they find a new earth – earth as we know it – and at long last they stop running; they settle the planet, together, humans and Cylons alike. Among the refugees is young Hera, a human-Cylon hybrid – the first – who will one day come to be known as Eve.

In my own mental BSG soundtrack, “Home” is the very first track (followed at a close second by History Repeating), and for obvious reasons. Home is where you find the people you love. Home is where you are, where you want to be. Home is where you make it, but not always in the place you imagined it.

And how does the kale figure in, you ask? Season 3, Episode 10 (“The Passage”) saw the fleet facing starvation after their food stores were contaminated. In search of sustenance, they stumble upon the “Algae Planet,” which has “an abundance of primitive plant life in the form of waterborne algae which the refugee fleet stop to harvest for food.” While the mission doesn’t go altogether smoothly, the fleet successfully replenishes its food supply. Naturally, much grumbling about the lackluster menu ensues.

 

Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food (0022)

 

Even though it’s actually algae they harvest, I can’t help but think of kale every time that episode comes to mind. But not in a bad way! I’m convinced that there would have been much less complaining about the food if only they just knew how to prepare it properly. Too bad they didn’t have any nutritional yeast (or Lane Gold) on hand!

Which brings us to the Cheesy Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food! I tried to make these months ago – back when I was reviewing the book – but the husband accidentally brought home cabbage, and it was all downhill from there. Luckily, the second time’s the charm – once I had a bunch of honest-to-goodness kale to work with, it was smooth sailing. The kale is seasoned with olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper and baked until crispy. A pretty standard recipe, I think, and very tasty. Addictive, even.

They don’t quite taste like tortilla chips as Gold promises, but they’re still good! And healthy! (Seriously, where’s all that junk food I was promised? Wink, wink.)

Just remember to remove the stems – ALL OF THEM. Seriously, even the teenty tiny tertiary baby stems! I left a few little veins intact, and had to eat around them, so tough and gross were they.

 

Kale Chips from Vegan Junk Food (0028)

 

The leaves – dissected as they are at multiple points by the stems – will be much smaller, but also easier to work with.

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Pizza Margherita & Ghost Mice

Friday, October 26th, 2012

 

The song: “Free Pizza for Life” by Ghost Mice (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza

The connection: This “heart healthy pizza” might not be free, but it’s good for life!
 

Truth be told, I have no idea where or how a vegan might score free pizza. Befriend the owners of Peace O’ Pie? Offer up one’s dishwashing skills at Vinnie’s Pizzeria in exchange for all the odd slices you can eat? Dumpster dive at Whole Foods, hoping to find a past-date, discarded Tofurky pizza? Who knows! Not me, otherwise I’d be doing it right now instead of writing this post. Pizza is my everything.

 

Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza (0025)

 

Instead of concentrating on the “free” portion of this song, then, let’s enjoy pizza “for life.” The very first all-vegan pizza cookbook (that I know of!), Mark Sutton’s Hearth Healthy Pizza (subtitled “Volume 1” on Amazon – could there be a second book in the works? PLEASE SAY YES!) includes more than 100 recipes for delicious, nutritious vegan pizza and related foodstuffs. We’re talking dough, cheeses, and meats. Sauces, salsa, and pestos. Tempeh anchovies, y’all! Recipes for crusts and sauces are listed in their own chapters, and then Sutton pulls it altogether by putting together a variety of pizza combinations for you: The Official Mad Cowboy. Thymely Summer Squash. St. Patty’s Pizza Pie. And on and on.

Because the recipes rely primarily upon grains, beans, nuts, vegetables, and assorted other nutritious vegan goodies, the pizza pies in this book aren’t just good – they’re also good for you. Pizza “for life,” in other words.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that, though I won a copy of this book months ago, this is the first recipe I’ve tried! Mostly because I’ve been busy concocting my own (much less healthy) pizza masterpieces – but also, every time I crack Heart Healthy Pizza open, I get a wee bit intimated. Baking and blending your own meats and cheeses from scratch…it’s like every recipe is a recipe within a recipe. Inception, vegan pizza styley! With so many steps, I was afraid each pizza would take most of an afternoon to make. Cue: procrastination.

 

Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza (0004)

 

But it isn’t so! I chose the Pizza Margherita because it seemed simple enough – but even this pie required me to make all the components from scratch: Basic Pizza Dough (obvs!); Classic Tomato Sauce; Millet, Sunflower Seeds, and Oregano Sauce (hold the oregano!); and Parmiso. Though I cheated on the tomato sauce (hey, I had a jar of Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce already opened!), I made everything else and guess what? It wasn’t all that hard! Between the dough and the cheeses, the whole affair took less than 45 minutes. Plus, the Millet Sauce and Parmiso keep well in the fridge, so you can make them ahead of time!

The Pizza Margherita is like a traditional Old World pie, but vegan – with the Millet, Sunflower Seeds, and Oregano Sauce subbing in for raw slices of mozzarella. It’s a thick sauce, similar in consistency to pancake batter, which you “blob” onto the pizza. I wasn’t sure how much it would spread out during cooking – if at all – so I went a little easy on it. (The leftovers? Makes a delicious spread for sammies!) Turns out that it pretty much stays put, so don’t be afraid to cover your ‘za with blobs. Cheesy!

 

Parmiso from Heart Healthy Pizza (0002)

 

The Parmiso Sutton describes as a “combination of plant-based grated Parmesan Cheese and Gomiso. Gomiso is a ground roasted sesame seed and salt mixture, very popular in macrobiotic cooking as well as in Asia (particularly, Korea). Though I was tempted to use my own favorite vegan parm, I decided to give Sutton’s Parmiso a try – and I’m glad I did! Super-tasty, though I think it goes better on pizza than pasta. For that, I prefer my almond and nooch mix.

As for the dough, the mister (who’s forever on dough duty in our house) reports that it’s denser than he’s used to – which is a good thing, since it makes the dough easier to work with. It bakes into a nice, crispy, stable crust – especially perfect for heavy toppings.

Put it all together, and I quite enjoyed the Pizza Margherita! Nutritious, easy to make, yummy – and possibly even less expensive than vegan pies topped with pricey commercial meats and cheeses, to boot. (My usual MO.) I look forward to trying some of the other recipes in Heart Healthy Pizza. (Tofu Feta, I’m looking at you!)

Pro tip: since there aren’t many toppings protecting the sauce, the Pizza Margherita comes out a little dry when you reheat the leftovers. Go heavy on the sauce or go home! Or if you’re already there, come on over to my place and make me a pizza. I’m hungry again, yo!

 

Pizza Margherita from Heart Healthy Pizza (0038)

 

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Spinach Mushroom Quiche with Sweet Palmiers & Bow Wow Wow

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

 

The song: “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Vegan Quiche with Sweet Palmiers (recipes below)

The connection: France!

 

You might think that it’s absurd to pair a song like “I Want Candy” with anything but candy. And you know what? You just might be right! Even so, ever since it appeared in Marie Antoinette, I’ve come to associate this Bow Wow Wow tune with French aristocracy. Bah, it really does sound absurd when you say it out loud. No matter! I’ve got French food on the brain, so French food it is!

 

Spinach Mushroom Quiche (0039)

 

Unfortunately, I’m no culinary genius, so I went with the first two super-obvious French foods to come to mind: a vegan quiche with Sweet Palmiers for dessert. Puff pastries paired with a tofu-egg-casserole-pie-thingie: weird? Perhaps. But it totally works!

I’ve never made a quiche before, so I hit the net and came up with a spinach mushroom concoction based on what seems to be the basic vegan quiche recipe – namely, a brick of tofu + nutritional yeast and assorted seasonings + whatever veggies your heart desires. I consider spinach the quintessential egg (and by extension, tofu) filling, since the only time I ate the stuff as a kid was when my mom scrambled it with eggs. And mushrooms are just plain awesome, so there you go. I think it’s a delicious combo – but if you disagree, just swap ’em out for your own favorites. I won’t judge.

You can use a store-bought crust if you’d like, but making it by hand isn’t all that difficult if you have a food processor. Either way, still not judging.

As for the Sweet Palmiers, the recipe is pretty standard. And easy! Don’t let the puff pastry part fool you. Pepperidge Farm makes a frozen puff pastry that’s vegan, so go wild. These bad boys are too delectable for words – borderline addictive, I ate more than half the batch with my quiche dinner – so definitely give these a try if you’re partial to light, sweet, airy things.

And if you’re not? I don’t wanna know you. (Joking! You can just give me your half and we’ll call it even, mkay?)

(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Swedish Meetballs & AC/DC

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

 

The song: “Big Balls” by AC/DC (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Swedish Meetballs from Cozy Inside, served over fettuccine

The connection: I was going to make a joke about Chris Hemsworth’s balls – thinking that he must surely hail from a Nordic country, if not Sweden proper – but it turns out he’s Australian. BALLS.

 

Swedish Meetballs from Cozy Inside (0043)

All that’s missing is the Hammer of Thor.
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Just when this Italian thought that pasta couldn’t get any tastier. BAM! Along come these Swedish Meatballs to shatter my world view. (I almost replaced “world” with “food” in that previous sentence – until I realized that food IS my world. Mind blown a second time.)

Maybe it’s odd that it took me 34 years to try my first bite of Swedish Meatballs. (Spelled “Meetballs” in Cozy Inside, so this is how I’ll refer to them thusly.) The fact is, it just wasn’t on the menu when I was a kid and, as an adult, I never had the urge to try the stuff. Former fussy eater over here! I wasn’t even 100% sure what made meatballs “Swedish” until I spied a recipe in Cozy Inside whilst compiling my menu for Vegan MoFo. (Hint: it’s the gravy! The sauce is really gravy!)

It turns out that pasta slathered with gravy and served with giant fried tvp meetballs? IS PRETTY FUCKING DELICIOUS. No, wait, that’s an understatement. It’s epically delicious.

 

Swedish Meetballs from Cozy Inside (0002)

Gravy, the sexiest of the sauces.
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The hardest part of this recipe is the “meetballs,” which are made by mixing reconstituted tvp with sauted onions and garlic and vital wheat gluten, among other things. Then you form ’em into balls and fry ’em in a skillet because yum!

I had a little trouble getting my balls to stick together (insert testicle joke here). Normally when I fail in a recipe, I blame myself – I am the amateur, after all – but the directions in this recipe proved a little confusing. For instance, I wasn’t quite sure when I was supposed to add the tvp to the other ingredients, before or after mixing in the wheat gluten. Not that it would have made a huge difference, at least I don’t think. Either way, I ended up adding between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of flour (whole wheat) to soak up the extra moisture and get everything to bind together. Even so, you have to be very gentle when frying the balls, lest some stray bits escape.

 

Swedish Meetballs from Cozy Inside (0024)

cosmo tip #457: If a boy sends you a picture of his penis,
send him a picture of a bigger penis.
Unrelated to Swedish Meetballs, but handy advice nonetheless.
——————————

My suggestion: make the balls first and then keep ’em warm (warm balls, tee hee) in the oven. Put them in a glass baking pan and heat at 200F while you make the pasta and gravy.

Though they proved a semi-PITA, the meetballs are so worth it. Crispy and just the right amount of greasy on the outside, with a soft, melt-in-your mouth center. Amazing! They lose their crispiness when reheated in the microwave, but the leftovers are still pretty damn tasty. Enjoy them alongside any kind of pasta dish – or on a “meetball” sub, pita pizza, or just plain on their own. Go ahead, pop one in your mouth. Twirl it around a little. Give it a gentle nip. You know you wanna.

 

Swedish Meetballs from Cozy Inside (0037)

And my balls are always bouncing,
To the left and to the right.
It’s my belief that my big balls should be held every night.
——————————

Luckily, the rest of this recipe is super-simple. Pasta and gravy (in this case, a mushroomy blend), that’s it. Even a horny rock star could do it!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Cheater Baked Beans with Skillet Corn Bread & The Black Keys

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

 

The song: “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Cheater Baked Beans and Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon

The connection: Beans, beans, the magical fruit.

 

Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon (0018)

 

This might be the most juvenile food/song pairing of the month. Unless Adam Sandler wins just by virtue of being Adam Sandler, which is not just possible but also quite likely.

I usually stay away from beans – not because they’re not delicious (they are!), but because they make me bloat up like a mofo. (TMI Tuesday, a day early!) But these Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon? Totally worth it!

The recipe is ridiculously simple: onions, garlic, pasta sauce, molasses, spices. Cook ’em in a skillet, then add the beans and bake for an hour. So easy my 24-year-old brother could do it! (No offense to the 24-year-old dudes out there, but my brother is hella lazy and also propped up by my parents’ apron strings.

 

Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon (0008)

 

…I’m doing the TMI thing again aren’t I?)

Given how few ingredients go into this bad boy, I was surprised at how rich and flavorful the sauce turned out. SO GOOD!

I served it with the Skillet Corn Bread, also from Veganomicon. Don’t let the title fool you – you cook this bread in the oven (preferably in a cast-iron skillet, but I used a glass baking pan). And at the same temp as the baked beans – handy dandy!

 

Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon (0003)

 

The only thing I’d do differently is maybe make the baked beans a lil’ saucier the next time around. For instance, the recipe calls for a 15 ounce can of pasta sauce, but I always buy the larger 24 ounce size. I had half a mind to dump it all in, but I followed the recipe for a change. Now I have 9 ounces of pasta sauce languishing in the fridge and three leftover squares of corn bread that shall remain baked beans-less. Oh noes!

The beans are perfect on their own, but when you serve them over the corn bread, extra sauce is a must. The bread’s on the dry side, though the husband reports that it’s not nearly as dry as some of the corn bread he enjoyed growing up. Me, I don’t think I’ve ever had it before (deprived I know!), so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s super-tasty with a pat o’ margarine, too!

Oh, if only I had some No-tella left…

 

Skillet Corn Bread from Veganomicon (0002)

Jayne was trolling for a bite of my dinner – until I whipped out the camera for pictures.
The flash is like her Kryptonite. Ditto: wooden spoons and vacuum cleaners.
——————————

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos & Lucinda Williams

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

 

The song: “Lonely Girls” by Lucinda Williams (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside

The connection: Comfort food, yo.

 

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside (0037)

This burrito might not look like much, but it’ll fill your belly and then some.
——————————

Put your stretchy pants on, ladies, because you’re gonna need ’em! These Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside are the ultimate in comfort food. Or brunch food! Or breakfast food! Any of the vegan foods, really.

The title, while enticing, doesn’t quite do this burrito justice: there are not one, not two, but THREE layers of delicious breakfast items packed into this bad boy! Namely, tvp sausage, scrambled tofu “eggs” – and tater tots, too! I KNOW RIGHT! All that’s missing are the pancakes and maple syrup.

 

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside (0026)

My burrito, before I folded it up, thus hiding its savory insides.
——————————

As incredible as it sounds, this was one of the last of the Vegan MoFo dishes I dared make. I mean, it should’ve been at the front of the line, right? But the lengthy, three-dish recipe intimated me. More than a little. Which seems silly in retrospect, because it wasn’t difficult to make at all! The whole thing took less than an hour, and I even had to stop for a break in the middle so that I wouldn’t finish ahead of schedule.

 

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside (0032)

A platter of fixin’s. And this isn’t even all of it: there are still some leftovers on the stove!
——————————

The egg layer is just a simple tofu scramble, fairly similar to what I normally make, but minus nutritional yeast. Naturally I added the nooch back in because CHEESE, and then I upped the ante with a can of sliced mushrooms because I love love love ’em. Near the end, Newman tells you to mix in a little sour cream (I used homemade mayo, but it’s almost the same thing!), which makes for an interesting touch. Gonna have to try that in my next tofu scramble! I made this dish first (while the tvp was reconstituting, naturally! multitasker over here!) and set it aside on low heat while I cooked the other layers.

Up next: sausage made of tvp reconstituted in vegan chicken broth, seasoned, and fried. Very tasty, with a bit of a spicy kick. Hint: it’s the cayenne.

Last but not least is a layer of tater tots, fried and mashed until they reach a hash brown-like state (and they photograph like white rice!). Soooo good, and since it’s a no-brainer, it’s also easy to cook while you’ve got the tvp sausage going.

When done, pile it high in a burrito-sized tortilla, wrap, and consume. Wear a bib, though, it’s messy. Or a tattered sweatshirt! I mean, you’re eating this in bed while crying over Supernatural reruns on TNT, right? (See: song title.)

Shane enjoyed his topped with a bit of guacamole and Sriacha

 

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside (0050)

Shane likes it messy.
——————————

while I slathered a little extra mayo on the insides.

I’ve never photographed a burrito before – but when I saw the photos and got a feel for what worked and what didn’t, I decided to give it another try.

Hence, the leftovers.

 

Leftover Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos from Cozy Inside (0005)

Why so shy, tofu?
——————————

You’ve got to stuff the burrito extra-full with the filling spilling out one end so it’s visible. Duh, right?

Luckily, this recipe makes four to five large burritos, so there was plenty of extra to work with.

P.S. Lucinda Williams is all the awesome and if you’re not already a fan, you should totes give her a try. Ovaries before brovaries!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Vanilla, I Scream Ice Cream with Bing-Bang-Boom Cherry Sauce & The Runaways

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

 

The song: “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Vanilla, I Scream ice cream topped with Bing-Bang-Boom Cherry Sauce from The Tipsy Vegan

The connection: Boozy vegan ice cream, smothered in boozy vegan cherry sauce – ’nuff said!

 

Bing-Bang-Boom Cherry Sauce from Tipsy Vegan (0015)

 

Okay, so maybe it’s gotten a bit chilly for ice cream. Sweater season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is but a month away. But I’m a wild girl! I do what I want. Like eating ice cream. For breakfast! On Christmas morning! Not really, I usually have oatmeal. It’s good for the insides. But I could if I wanted to!

Besides, when I spotted the recipe for Bing-Bang-Boom Cherry Sauce in The Tipsy Vegan, I knew straight away that it’d be the perfect complement to “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways. It’s right there in the name, yo! Bing-Bang-Boom and Bomb! Served with the Vanilla, I Scream ice cream because why not?

This cherry sauce is da bomb; it’d better be, seeing as it took me the better part of the afternoon to make it! Most of that time was spent cooking down the sauce on the stove top – an easy enough task – but the pitting of the cherries? Ugh, so tedious! If ever I make this sauce again, it will only be because I found pitted bing cherries in the freezer section. My nails are stained red (though it looks like they’re filthy with dirt – yuck!) and the little creases of skin where my fingertips meet the nails are sore, brutalized as they were by stubborn cherry pits.

But hey, my mouth is happy – and that’s really what it’s all about, right?

The cherry sauce is really rather simple – just a pound of cherries, some sugar, a bit of lemon juice and peel, and some corn starch to thicken things up. Oh, and a third a cup of brandy for the booze! Delicious as a dessert topping (think: ice cream, angel food cake, sweet bread), it’d make one hell of a pie filling, too.

And you’ll have enough leftovers for a pie, be it a hand pie or a full on cherry pie pie. This recipe makes a ridiculous amount of sauce! (Unless I vastly overestimated the number of cherries in a pound; always a possibility.) I added a few cups to a quart of frozen bananas to make cherry banana ice cream (recipe below!), and still had so much extra sauce that I ended up freezing some for later use. Um, not that I’m complaining, mind you.

 

Vanilla, I Scream ice cream from Tipsy Vegan (0005)

 

Less impressive is the Vanilla, I Scream ice cream. Schlimm uses a combination of silken tofu and coconut cream as the base, with vanilla beans and vanilla-infused vodka providing the seasoning. Unfortunately, I could still taste the blah blandness of the tofu underneath it all. I’ve tried silken tofu ice cream before, with great results – so I’m not opposed to the idea. This recipe in particular just wasn’t the best I’ve tried. Probably a few tablespoons of cocoa powder could fix that right up.

On the plus side, it came out rich and creamy, despite whatever doubts I had. I’m used to making ice cream batter on the stove, with the help of a thickening agent such as arrowroot powder. This one uses the blender, and no thickening agent. Even though the batter looked a bit on the thin side, it thickened up nicely in the ice cream machine. Weirdly, it contracted during freezing – usually the batter expands; fill the ice cream machine up past a certain point, and you risk an ice cream eruption! – resulting in less ice cream than we expected.

Pro tip: if you have a quart-sized machine, you can easily increase the recipe by a quarter without running into any trouble, space-wise. (The original recipe calls for 8 ounces of silken tofu, which is silly since most bricks weigh in at ~ 12 ounces. What am I gonna do with an odd four ounces of silken tofu, hmmm?)

Or, if you’re still worried, process it in two batches!

 

Cherry Banana Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (0036)

 

(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread & The Monkees

Friday, October 19th, 2012

 

The song: “Hey Hey We’re the Monkees (Theme)” by The Monkees (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (recipe below)

The connection: Is obvious!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0026)

Want a pizza bite? You’ll have to punch the monkey first!
——————————

As a kid, I was a ridiculous fan of The Monkees (the sitcom! and the boy band! back before there was such a thing as boy bands!), cheesy as they were. Of course, this was the ’80s (oh how I date myself!), so I met Davy, Micky, Peter, and Mike in reruns. In the ’90s, I fancied myself a hippie, and often looked as though I could stand in as an extra on the show. When I wasn’t dressing all in black lingerie, anyway. Twenty years later, and I’m still nursing a secret crush on…well, I’ll never tell. That’s what makes it secret!

I even have a little plush monkey that plays the cymbals while singing the theme song to The Monkees. It was a x-mas gift from mom – when I was 28 or so. Don’t wanna grow up, you can’t make me.

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0014)

Fresh bread, in your face.
——————————

So I’ve been meaning to veganize the many Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread recipes I’ve seen circulating the interwebs, and Vegan MoFo seemed the perfect time. I mean, hello! Monkey Bread. The Monkees. Talk about your OTPs.

Though it’s a total pita to make (not difficult, just a little tedious), the final product is amazaballs – so worth it! Basically what you have are 48 or so individual pizza rolls, coated in margarine and spices, and baked together to form one ginormous pizza-cake-shaped-bread-thingie. If you have any leftovers (Doubtful! Shane and I polished off more than half the loaf – loaf? pie? cake? idk! – in one sitting), pop ’em in the oven on a pizza stone or similar at 425F for about ten minutes. That’s just enough time for the cheese to get all melty and gooey again. Good as new!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0043)

The underside of the loaf is a delicious neon, much like your brain on carbs.
——————————

I actually made this dish twice. I keep telling myself that the reason for the repeat is because I wasn’t happy with the first batch of photos – but, if I’m being honest, I really just wanted to have Pizza Monkey Bread again! (But still, the second photo shoot? Way cuter! With a treeloot monkey and everything!)

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0061)

Itty bitty baby bites! Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.
——————————

Pro tip: Use AT LEAST six ounces of cheese! I trusted my pizza bread to the Follow Your Heart brand and, while there are plenty of haters out there, it melted like a charm. Any block-form vegan cheese will work, though: Teese, Daiya wedges, whatever. The first time around, I underestimated how much cheese could fit in a bite, and ended up with pizza bread tragically lacking in cheesiness. The cheese liquifies as it melts, thus taking up less space – so keep this in mind when considering the optimal cube size.

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0064)

Hot oozy FYH action. (It really DOES melt!)
——————————

When in doubt: add more cheese! That’s my motto, anyway.

We’re just trying to be friendly,
Come watch us sing and play.
We’re the young generation,
And we got something to say.

You’re dancing, aren’t you? ME TOO!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0018)

Paint me like one of your french rolls.
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(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Garlicky Spaghetti with Zucchini and Fresh Herbs & Toadies

Thursday, October 18th, 2012


 

The song: “Possum Kingdom” by Toadies (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Garlicky Spaghetti with Zucchini and Fresh Herbs, served with Garlicky Greens from Pasta East to West: A Vegetarian World Tour (veganized, of course!)

The connection: Garlic, it keeps the vamps away!

 

Garlicky Spaghetti with Zucchini and Greens from Pasta East to West (0019)

 

While I could probably design an entire Vegan MoFo theme around pasta – I love carbs that much – I’m limiting myself to three pasta dishes this month. Last week saw Penne alla Vodka Martini from The Tipsy Vegan; this time around, we have Garlicky Spaghetti with Zucchini and Fresh Herbs from Pasta East to West, served with a side of Garlicky Greens (also from PE2W) for extra-special vampire repellent purposes.

Eat this for dinner, and not even Angel himself will be able to breach your defenses. (On second thought, don’t eat this for dinner because ANGEL! On third thought, he was kind of a creepy stalker dude on BtVS…)

Like the Penne alla Vodka Martini, the Garlicky Spaghetti is laced with alcohol – dry white wine, to be precise – the flavor of which is subtle yet noticeable (and very, very tasty). The main veggie in this dish is zucchini, but the author suggests variations for pasta with black olives or sundried tomatoes. I used both, since I love olives and tomatoes just about equally!

 

Garlicky Spaghetti with Zucchini and Greens from Pasta East to West (0020)

 

The greens – you can choose between kale, spinach, collard green, and Swiss chard (I cheated and used a prepackaged mix of spinach and other stuffs) – are steamed on the stove top with a bit of olive oil and water, and then drained. I had my doubts, but Atlas won me over. Mine were a little soggy – instead of draining them, I pressed them with a slatted spoon – but otherwise quite good.

In both the pasta and greens, the author uses cloves of garlic, which are then removed after cooking. I just went with minced garlic and left in it, which worked like a charm. Possibly it also resulted in a more garlicky dish, which is also a good thing. I am a garlic fiend!

If this is the price of surviving the vampire apocalypse, I’m happy to pay up.

And yes I like the Toadies – or at least this one song – so what of it? I never claimed to have impeccable taste, mkay.

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Not-tella & Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

 

The song: “Black Tongue” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Not-tella from Veganomicon

The connection: This vegan nutella is so addictive you’ll be sneaking it by the spoonful – and your black tongue will totally Cindy Brady you!

 

A few months ago – after downing a very expensive jar of Justin’s Hazelnut Butter in record time – I ordered a five pound bag of hazelnuts online and resolved to make my own damn vegan nutella! Using various recipes found on the interwebs, I spent a several consecutive Sunday afternoons experimenting, with little success. No matter what I did (or did not do), the nutella came out the same: thick and pasty and not at all creamy like the name brand stuff. (Not even the vegan name-brand stuff, which prides itself on not being reminiscent of cake frosting – like a certain other non-vegan brand which shall remain nameless. To which I say: what’s wrong with frosting for breakfast, hmmm?)

My spread? Un-spreadable!

And so I despaired, gave up. Decided to use my failed batches in banana ice cream – where they were slightly more edible – and call it a day. That is, until I found the recipe for Not-tella in Veganomicon. (Waaaay in the back. Further. Further. Right…there!) Though it requires some hard(er)-to-find ingredients that I had to order online – namely, hazelnut oil and liquor – I couldn’t resist. Didn’t even wanna. If anyone can perfect the art of homemade vegan nutella, I thought, Isa and Terry can.

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (1-0011)

Fresh Not-tella with Windmill cookies and Dandies. Fight you for it!
——————————

OH MY DOG, Y’ALL, THIS RECIPE IS GENIUS! Seriously, it worked like a charm. After my second failed attempt I worried that perhaps my food processor wasn’t strong enough; I came to Not-tella expecting a long day of pulsing and resting, pulsing and resting, with little hope of victory. (The authors recommend this, to help prevent overworking your machine’s motor.) Alas, I had a fresh batch of Not-tella within the hour! Rich, creamy, smooth. Oh so spreadable. Even when chilled!

I think the trick is the order in which you add all the ingredients: hazelnuts, followed by extract and the dry ingredients, and finally the soy milk powder and oil. Pulse, add, pulse, add. Crumble, crumble, milkshake.

Every other recipe I’ve seen – and tried – instruct you to process the hazelnuts until they form a thick, oily paste – at which point you toss in the rest of the ingredients all in one big jumble. (Or, worse yet, process everything all at once. The horrors!) When done in this order, I had trouble getting the oil to fully mix with the nuts (etc.) – I ended up with quite a bit of separation, and the oil that did “take” didn’t seem to add any creaminess to the final product. Even accounting for the fact that Isa and Terry’s version uses more oil (we’re talking three to six times more!), I still wasn’t able to go back and “fix” previous batches with the addition of extra oil (and not even when that oil was hazelnut instead of the less expensive vegetable).

Yup, it’s got to be the order. There’s no other explanation!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t temped to go back and retry the original recipes, to see if I can make them work based on the Not-tella – but what’s the point? This is perfection, my friends! Sweet, sugary, chocolatey, nutty perfection. It can’t get any better than this, so why try?

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (2-0083)

Caution: Your vegan nutella will get gooey in the sun! (So sunbathe away!)
——————————

Enjoy it on bread or on crackers; on graham crackers (maybe with some Dandies?) or sugar cookies. Serve with some fruit so that you can at least pretend it’s healthy. Get crazy and make a nutella and cookie butter sammie! (Just don’t drive or operate heavy machinery, mkay?) Mix in it with ice cream, or put it on top. Me, I can’t stop eating it straight outta the container. Once that spoonful leaves, there’s no chance it’ll make it further than my mouth. SO GOOD.

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (2-0027)

Gozer, making a brief cameo in order to steal my Not-tella.
(The joke’s on him, I made a quadruple batch! True story.)
Spoiler alert: We’ll see him again on Halloween!
——————————

Hmmm. I’m beginning to regret not ordering the extra value triple pack of hazelnut oil. How could I possibly use all three, I asked myself? Better just to buy one. Ugh so many regrets!

Paired with “Black Tongue” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs because that’s what you’re tongue will look like, when you’ve a batch of Not-tella in the fridge. Also, I just really really really wanted to make this for Vegan MoFo, and this was the first song to come to mind!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos with Avocado Sauce & Beck

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012


 

The song: “Satan Gave Me a Taco” by Beck (lyrics)

The foodstuff: South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos with Avocado Sauce from Vegan Junk Food

The connection: Feeling hot-hot-hot!

 

South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos with Avocado Sauce from Vegan Junk Food (0015)

 

YOU GUYS. I know I say this about all the Vegan Junk Foods, but these tacos are AMAZABALLS.

Stuffed with cheesy (Daiya AND nooch!), jalapeno-laced mashed potatoes and served with spicy avocado sauce (also with jalapenos!), these are the kind of tacos a vegan Mark Pellegrino might treat you to. (Sans aphids, of course, since bugs aren’t vegan!) When Gold says that these tacos are “South of the Border,” she means way south – think Purgatory or lower.

 

South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos with Avocado Sauce from Vegan Junk Food (0019)

 

And did I mention that they’re fried? THEY’RE FRIED, Y’ALL. Fried tacos, what evil genius is this!

I have a confession to make: because my taste buds are total wimps, I actually cheated a bit and swapped out the jalapenos for green bell peppers in the potato filling. I enjoyed my tacos plain while the mister got all the spicy avocado sauce to himself. And everyone was happy! The recipe is simple enough to adapt for households of mixed-spice tolerance.

 

South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos with Avocado Sauce from Vegan Junk Food (0012)

 

I also used a little more nutritional yeast than recommended, and added some water to the potato filling for more of a mashed potatoes feel. I keep calling them “mashed” potatoes but I’m not sure how much they’re supposed to resemble the whipped, creamy goodness of true mashed potatoes. As it stands, you boil the potatoes in small chunks and then transfer them to a skillet, where you mash and cook them with the other goodies: jalapenos, onions, Daiya, nutritional yeast, and I forget what else. Then you stuff it in the tortillas, fold, and fry.

 

South-of-the-Border Potato Tacos with Avocado Sauce from Vegan Junk Food (0008)

 

The whole process isn’t nearly as time-intensive as it sounds. The potatoes take a little while to cook – but you can always make the potato filling ahead of time and then reheat it before serving. Or just make the potatoes – they’re one delicious side dish! The frying goes really quick, with less than a minute of cook time per taco. At first I started out doing two at a time, until I discovered that I had more luck with one per batch: it’s easier to concentrate, with more room to move, and it all goes pretty durn fast anyway.

I meant to photograph my plate with my little devil dog (Peedee the rat terrier!) figurine looking on. But when the time came, I totally forgot – even though I set it right out on my desk (NEXT TO MY CAMERA EVEN!) and everything. So here he is; the devil will not be denied!

 

Devil Dog (0010)

 

Fallen Doggeh, tries to lead the mortal dogs into temptation. But with a pile of poo instead of an apple. (The poo represents inappropriate chewing. GO TEAM FREE WILL!)

On that note: HAPPY TACO TUESDAY, Y’ALL!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: A Nada Moo Giveaway & Van Halen

Monday, October 15th, 2012

 

The song: “Ice Cream Man” by Van Halen (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Chocolate Nada Moo Ice Cream

The connection: I’m like the ice cream, but better: I’m giving it away for free!

 

One of the perks of moderating pizza and ice cream blogs on tumblr is discovering all these awesome new vegan products and restaurants, including many overseas that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. (I’ve even landed on a few companies’ pr mailing lists!) Nada Moo is one of several newish vegan ice cream brands that people have been raving about – and they were nice enough to send me a packet full of free product coupons: some for me, and some for you!

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many stores in the Kansas City area that stock Nada Moo – and those that do are an hour’s drive from my house! (It’s my fault for moving to the middle of nowhere! The downside of misanthropy.) The husband drives past the general vicinity on his way to and fro work … but he only goes into the office once a week, if that. The window is small, my friends.

The point of my story? So far we’ve only been able to find “Gotta Do Chocolate” locally; we’re still on the lookout for one of the other flavors. If and when I find it, I’ll report back!

 

2012-08-17 - Chocolate NadaMoo - 0023

 

On the upside, the chocolate Nada Moo is delicious. (If I have to use the remainder of my coupons on chocolate Nada Moo, I’ll be only slightly disappointed. Two words: Java Crunch!) I’ve come to love coconut milk ice cream even more than the soy-based stuff (with the exception of Green Tea So Delicious with coconut milk – the two flavors don’t play nice together), and Nada Moo is no exception. The chocolate flavor is surprisingly subtle, but smooth; and the coconut milk is a nice complement. I downed the pint in just a few sittings. What can I say, I loves my ice creams!

Now for the giveaway portion of this post! Two lucky winners will receive a coupon for a free pint of Nada Moo ice cream, as well as coupon for $1.00 off a pint.

The coupons don’t have an expiration date – so if frozen desserts during the cold weather months isn’t your thing, you can always hold onto them until next June! (Though I posit that apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream can be enjoyed year-round.)

To enter to win, visit Nada Moo’s website and leave a comment on this post telling us which flavor of Nada Moo you’d like to try. Or just describe your most favorite Vegan MoFo 2012 moment to date. I’m not fussy. Just leave a comment to win!

For an extra entry, tweet a link to this contest and then leave a second comment with a link to said tweet. For example: “Enter to win a #free pint of @NadaMoo #vegan #icecream now thru 10/22! http://bit.ly/OZUeIT Happy #VeganMoFo!”

The fine print:

  • Due to product availability, this contest is only open to residents of the United States.
  • When commenting, please leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you’re the winner. (Don’t worry, your email addy won’t be displayed or shared – your info is safe with me!)
  • The contest closes next Monday, October 22 at 8PM US Central time. The winner will be chosen randomly and has 72 hours to respond, after which time another winner will be chosen.
  • Good luck!

     

    2012-08-17 - Ice Cream Cone - 0003

     

    Oh, and file under “things I learned while writing this post”: Nada Moo has some seriously ridiculous ice cream recipes on its website. S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches. NadaMoo Neapolitan. Chocolate Ice Cream Pretzel Squares with Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START.

     

    Update: …and the winners are:

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    Jennifer M. and Sara P., both mint people. Check your email, winners!

    Thanks to everyone for playing!

    FYI: I’m also giving away some free Tofutti ice cream over on tumblr. A second chance to win, yay! Now through 10/29.

     

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    Eat to the Beat

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    Eat to the Beat: Noodle Omelet & Fiona Apple

    Sunday, October 14th, 2012

     

    The song: “Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple (lyrics)

    The foodstuff: Noodle Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen

    The connection: Pleasantville.

     

    Fiona Apple’s cover of “Across the Universe” appeared on the soundtrack to Pleasantville – a movie in which a 1950’s “soda fountain” plays a prominent role. And so I thought, hey! Why not pair this one with a classic diner dish? (Because I absolutely adore Fiona Apple and wanted to feature one of her songs this month. And this one? I might actually like it more than the original by The Beatles. BLASPHEMY!

    Another aside: Katie at Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk also did a Pleasantville menu as part of her “Dinner and Movie” theme, for which she chose a No Tuna Melt as the entree. This is super similar to a dish I had on the shortlist for this song – maybe it was a chickpea melt? I forget! – so I’m glad I went with something else.)

    Enter: Tami Noyes and American Vegan Kitchen. This book is stuffed full of comfort food, the (nonvegan) likes of which one can find in greasy spoons and assorted family-owned restaurants across the country. With sections like “Rise and Shine,” “Starters,” “Soup of the Day,” and “Sandwich Board,” AVK’s TOC reflects its “down home” roots. (A northerner, I have no idea whether I’m using that phrase correctly – but it feels truthy, down in my gut. Or maybe that’s just the noodles, working their way through my small intestines. It’s anyone’s guess!)

     
    Tofu Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen (0015)
     

    Though it appears under the breakfast category, I decided to try the Tofu Omelet for dinner. My kitchen is open 24/7 and the only rule is that there are no rules, y’all!

    The rare veteran vegan who still finds tofu a little sketchy

    (probably this dates back to my childhood, when mom mostly prepared dad’s tofu my cubing and frying it – spongy tofu chunks, ew! – but I’ve made a ton of progress lately, yay!; exhibit a: this post)

    I wasn’t totally sure I’d like this dish. I was so, so wrong!

    The blended tofu base – seasoned with nutritional yeast, tumeric, garlic powder, and other various goodies – constitutes the “egg” portion of the omelet. I love blended tofu (especially when crafted into an egg-like dish); it was the tofu + pasta combo that gave me doubts. No worries – the two play so well together!

     

    Tofu Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen (0012)

     

    This is one seriously delicious (and filling!) dish. You bake it half on the stove and half in the oven (pro tip: you’ll need an oven-safe skillet!), similar to a frittata. In addition to the recommended onions and red bell peppers (I used green), I also tossed in some frozen corn for added volume, and served the omelet with a side of steamed veggies. YUM!

    My only complaint is that the “eggs” could use some extra garlic and onion, but I say that about all the foods!

    Now that I’ve licked my plate clean – I’ll be over there browsing the Dessert Case if you need me, mkay?

     

    Tofu Omelet from American Vegan Kitchen (0030)

     

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    Eat to the Beat: Peachy Keen Cobbler & Presidents of United States of America

    Saturday, October 13th, 2012

     

    The song: “Peaches” by Presidents of the United States of America (lyrics)

    The foodstuff: Peachy Keen Cobbler from American Vegan Kitchen

    The connection: Obvious connection is obvious.

     

    Peachy Keen Cobbler from American Vegan Kitchen (0018)

     

    My very first cobbler! (Is that weird? That’s weird, isn’t it?)

    Given that I’m currently drowning in apples – even after the two raccoon families living ’round here had their fill, the trees are dropping more apples than I could ever hope to use! – I was tempted to apple-ize a peach recipe to go with this song. But this Peachy Keen Cobbler by Tami Noyes (of Vegan Appetite fame!) looked soooo incredibly tasty that I just couldn’t bring myself to tinker with it.

    Truthfully, I think this cobbler would be mind-numbingly good no matter which fruit you use for the filling: peaches. Peaches and raspberries. Apples. Apples and blueberries. Pears. Pears and all the berries. Bring it on!

    The peaches in the base-slash-filling are combined with a tasty mix of flour, sugar, and lemon juice, which stays moist and gooey even after it’s baked. The cobbler portion of the dish is a doughy topping that rises and crisps, forming a kind of pie-like crust. Because this is a messy dessert, it’s fairly easy to make – no finicky pie crust required – with maximum impact. The hardest part is peeling all those darn peaches! (Although if you want to be super-lazy – or if peaches are out of season – I suppose you could always go with frozen or canned. Better than nothing but not the same!)

     

    Peachy Keen Cobbler from American Vegan Kitchen (0014)

     

    Also, I would gladly eat the filling on its own. Maybe…heaped atop a bowl of ice cream? Ugh, must go make more peach cobbler.

     

    veganmofo 2012
    Eat to the Beat

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