Apple and Potato Oven Fries

Monday, June 29th, 2015

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From Cookin’ Up a Storm, natch.

I have to admit, at first I was a little skeptical of the pairing of apples and potatoes in a french fry medium. But it totally works! Sure, so maybe the apples get a little mushy when baked; but thanks to the sugar, the outsides caramelize a tiny bit. Not crunchy, exactly, but kind of french fry-ish.

The recipe calls for five potatoes and two apples, giving it an almost 2:1 potato:apple ratio. Since that serves way more than two people – plus generates more potato and apple wedges than will even fit in my dinky little oven – I halved it, kind of. Two large potatoes, one apple. So a true 2:1 here.

I wasn’t sure what to use for a dipping sauce – Dakin recommends lemon wedges to garnish, but I used concentrated lemon juice – so I put some ketchup on the side and only dunked the potato fries. The apples I ate semi-separately, kind of like a sweet kick in between the tomato-covered potatoes. It sounds weird but worked out really well!

Served with leftover pizza for minimum effort. (Hey, we’d just gotten back from walking the dogs, okay.)

Beer-Bathed Seitan Stew and Oven Pommes Frites

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

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Continuing with our “enough onions to cry a small army to sleep” theme is this Beer-Bathed Seitan Stew from Vegan Eats World. This one’s got 3 yellow onions – a full pound and a half! My eyes were aching for hours after dinner, no lie. Even though I cheated and just used two onions. I KNOW I AM THE WORST.

Also present: carrots, homemade seitan, dark beer (vegan, of course!), mushrooms, and various spices and seasonings including but not limited to thyme (a ten on the savory spectrum), brown sugar, and tomato paste.

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The broth is quite gravy-like, making this stew the perfect topping (or dip!) for oven-baked fries. I don’t know why I don’t make my own fries more often, y’all; do it right, and they are tastier than the frozen stuff by far.

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Shane was nice enough to make the Seitan Coriander Cutlets ahead of time, along with a batch of 5-Spice Seitan for his own snacking needs. (He likes to put them in burritos, along with some rice and beans.) The former are oven-baked while the latter recipe uses a steamer. He was happy with the results, but wasn’t so crazy about the amount of aluminum foil he burned through. Experiments with boiling the cutlets are forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Carbs & Rec: French Fry Pizza-That-Is-Harder-To-Eat With a Side of Ranch Dressing

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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Carbs & Rec - French Fry Calzones With Ranch (0017)

Ben Wyatt and calzones. If there’s one ship I ship harder than Leslie and waffles, this would be it. (I’m totes playing it cool here. BEN + CALZONES 5EVAH!)

Calzones first make a cameo in the episode “Ron & Tammy: Part Two.” In a last-ditch effort to make the Harvest Fest happen, the Parks & Rec crew resort to bribery a la a pizza party in order to convince the police department to provide free security for the event. Ben suggests calzones, thus leading to a running gag about calzones being disgusting and pointless (the worst food ever invented!), much to his chagrin. (Quoth the Police Chief: “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”)

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(More below the fold…)

Happy Vegan Pizza Day!

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

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BEST HOLIDAY EVER!

Our Favorite Veggie Burger with a side o’ Lightened-Up Crispy Baked Fries

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

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Two recipes, one oven! Actually that’s not totally true; while the bake times are the same on the Our Favorite Veggie Burger and Lightened-Up Crispy Baked Fries (both from – you guessed it! – The Oh She Glows Cookbook), the temps are slightly different, and so I ended up baking the burgers in the toaster oven. It totally worked though! Perfect if you’re only serving one or two. The veggie burger batter makes eight patties, so you can just store the leftovers in the fridge for another night. Half a week’s dinner in one fell swoop!

So these veggie burgers are seriously good, y’all. They’ve got black beans (but not enough to upset my uber-sensitive tummy – yay!), grated carrots, sunflower seeds, breadcrumbs, rolled oats, onions, garlic, and some other goodies that don’t come immediately to mind. I topped mine with some sliced tomatoes and pan-fried mushrooms and onions (insert hrng! gif here!).

The fries are rockin’ too. There’s this arrowroot/oil coating that gives the outsides an interesting texture. It’s similar to the Roasted Home Fries, only the Crispy Baked Fries get crispier on accounta they’re easier to spread out on a baking sheet. No overlapping mushiness, yo!

Anyway, if the burritos didn’t sell me on the OSG cookbook, this veggie burger sure did. Gonna go collapse into a food coma now, mkay.

The Great CriFSMas Food (and More) Roundup, 2013 edition!

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

It felt like I did a ridiculous amount of baking this Christmas – so, when I went and looked back at last year’s roundup, I nearly fainted in disbelief. (Full disclosure: there may have also been a food coma involved, due to the copious amounts of sugar I’ve been ingesting.) Did I seriously make a dozen plus batches of cookies last year? Little old me?

Fun story: after feeling super-smug and self-satisfied over my achievement of baking FIVE WHOLE BATCHES of cookies in one day, I headed on over to tumblr – where some lady posted about the 40 donuts and multiple trays of cookies she baked in one afternoon. Whoops! There goes my self-confidence!

So anyway, here’s the Great CriFSMas Food Roundup, 2013 edition! But with bonus x-mas presents and vegan pop culture observations.

First up: the noms. As per usual, let’s start with dessert, shall we? All the cookies are from Kelly Peloza’s The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, a review of which I’ll probably have for y’all soon. Unless. Maybe I need to try out a few more recipes? You know, for the love of science and books and all that is holy and sugar-dusted.

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Glazed Rum Raisin Cookies – With their copious amounts of liquor and strong rummy taste, these cookies aren’t for kids. Very tasty and easy to bake, though I opted to make my glaze into more of an icing, so as not to risk the cookies sticking to one another during storage. If you go this route, start out with less rum. I ended up with way more icing than I could use. Or drink! (Yes, I actually tried that.)

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Chewy Caramel Pecan Cookies – SO GOOD! Caramel and pecans, what’s not to love? Well, the cookies’ inherent stickiness, for starters: I had to refrigerate the sheet of cookies for about ten minutes before I was able to peel them from the parchment paper without tearing the cookies to shreds. I wonder if my batter was too wet; the caramel pecan mix didn’t get especially thick, which resulted in a very sticky cookie dough. Further experimentation may be required.

Also, pro tip: these cookies have mad spread, so space them far, far apart. As in four cookies to a medium-sized tray. No kidding!

(More below the fold…)

C is for Cheesy Fries

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

C is for Cheesy Fries (0002)

Vegan comfort food at its trashiest! This is a really simple, super-delicious dish that Shane I binged on entirely too often in May. (Not to be a killjoy, but this happened.) Basically it’s just frozen fries baked in the oven (deep frying would be too much, even for me!) and smothered in a mozzarella Daiya cheese sauce. I don’t know why, but I vastly prefer mozzarella to cheddar for french fry asphyxiation purposes. If you’d rather swap it out for cheddar (or pepperjack, or whatever floats your boat), that’s cool. I won’t judge.

The cheese sauce recipe makes enough cheese to cover two heaping plates of fries. If you have some extras, better still. It’s easily reheated in the microwave and takes great on nachos, pasta, hash browns – or more french fries. Assuming you’re not still hung over from the first batch.

 

Cheesy Fries

Ingredients

Frozen french fries (enough to fill a baking sheet measuring 10″x15″)
8 ounces (1 bag) mozzarella Daiya cheese shreds
13 oz soy milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
4 oz margarine

Directions

1. Cook the french fries according to the instructions on the package.

2. While the fries are baking, prepare the cheese sauce. In a saucepan, bring the soy milk up to a boil, stirring often and being careful not to scorch the soy milk on the bottom. Once at a boil mix in the margarine, 1 tablespoon at a time. When the margarine is mixed in well, stir in the nutritional yeast until totally blended. Then mix in the cheese shreds, keeping the heat on high. Once the cheese is blended enough for taste, bring the heat down to simmer, stirring occasionally to keep it smooth and creamy. Serve hot on fries (or nachos, pasta, sandwiches, hash browns, whatever).

 

C is for Cheesy Fries (0004)

 
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HAPPY VEGAN PIZZA DAY!

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Happy Vegan Pizza Day, y’all!

We celebrated with not one, but two vegan pies:

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#1 – A french fry pizza with cheddar Daiya cheese and thin-cut fries. It’s basically this recipe, but with thinner fries and slightly less cheese.

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#2 – A breakfast pizza with garlic sauce, scrambled tofu & veggies, and cheddar Daiya cheese. Recipe coming soon! here! The recipe is here!

Don’t forget to share photos of your Vegan Pizza Day eats @ fuck yeah vegan pizza for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the vegan store of your choice. The contest is open internationally and you have until Monday night. Vegan pizza for all the peoples!

Vegan Junk Food Cookbook Review: Riots, not diets!

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Vegan Junk Food by Lane Gold (2011)

 

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher.)

Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food is my new favorite cookbook. (The previous title holder? Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop – which should tell you a little sumthin’ sumthin’! Namely, that I like my vegan food filled with empty calories.) At my request, I was lucky enough to receive a review copy – along with two copies to give away – from the publisher, Adams Media. With a name like “Vegan Junk Food,” I figured it couldn’t disappoint.

Whether you like your junk food sweet or savory, chocolaty or cheesy, Lane (can I call you Lane?) has got you covered. The 225 recipes in this collection are divided into ten categories: breakfast foods; deli favorites (i.e., sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and sliders); comfort-meets-takeout foods (entrees); crusts and carbs (pizzas and breads); festive grub (party foods!); dips, hummus, and sauces (including sundae toppings!); savory treats; cakes; candies and cookies; and grab ‘n’ go sweets (brownies and bars). As you can see, the recipes are roughly divided between meal-type items (entrees, main courses) and snacks/desserts.

The husband and I tried out about twenty recipes before I sat down to write this review; and, while I don’t usually review cookbooks, this is easily the largest number of recipes I’ve sampled for a cookbook review, like, ever. (I just couldn’t stop myself; everything looks so good!) Possibly it’s the most recipes I’ve made from a single cookbook, period. Though I own a ridiculous number of them, I don’t use cookbooks with much frequency; more often I cook from memory or pull recipes off the internet. But Vegan Junk Food? Most definitely joining my repertoire!

The book’s obvious strength, of course, is the food: oodles and oodles of junk food! Pizza. Pasta. Tacos. Pot pies. Casseroles. Cupcakes, pies, and brownies. Empty calories as far as the eye can see! Wait, that’s not entirely fair: some of these foods aren’t all that bad for you. Ironically, many of the recipes in Vegan Junk Food are actually healthier than my own versions. The Mac and Cheese Bake, for example, uses a vegan Velveeta-like cheese sauce made of potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, nutritional yeast, and soy milk. Even factoring in the additional vegan cheese shreds in this dish, it’s still way better for you than my own mac & cheese recipe, which is basically just pasta and processed vegan cheeses (namely, Daiya and Follow Your Heart). Don’t let the book’s title fool you: while these foods may look and taste like junk food, they’re not all super-trashy.

With options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, Vegan Junk Food is versatile. Mix and match the recipes for something new – or experiment to make them your own. For example, I used leftovers from some of the recipes to create new banana ice cream dishes!

While some of the recipes call for pricey vegan meats and cheeses, Gold doesn’t rely on these products exclusively. (Unlike the PPP blog, Vegan Junk Food doesn’t read like a Lightlife ad!) In fact, she offers diy recipes for many of these vegan staples so you can make ’em your own bad self, oftentimes at a fraction of the price! See, e.g., gravy (page 61); ricotta (pg. 120); sour cream (pg. 120); cheese sauce (pg. 121) basil pesto (pg. 124); and ranch dressing (pg. 126), to name just a few!

My complaints are few and relatively minor. Some recipes reference other recipes – to return to the Mac and Cheese Bake, the Cheese Sauce is its own recipe, located in a different section of the book – but don’t include a page number alongside the recipe title, thus forcing the reader to consult the index in order to find it. A minor annoyance, compounded by the index’s lack of user friendliness. (I find it counter-intuitive and difficult to use.) An estimated cook time and rating for difficulty on each dish would have been nice too, but I suppose both are easy enough to gauge by reading through the instructions.

I also ran into issues with two of the recipes – the Almond Joy Bar Cake and the Red Pepper, Caramelized Onion, and Hash Brown Quiche – which I’ll explain below. Still, out of twenty recipes, two small glitches? Not so bad! Especially when you consider my lackluster track record with baked goods. Brownies, why you no like me?

What follows is a run-down of all the dishes I’ve tried thus far. I’ve only tackled about half the items on my to-do list, so I’m far from done with this cookbook! I’ll post additional pictures as I take them, so keep an eye out for those.

 

  • Pesto Chicken Pizza with Creamy Garlic Sauce (page 85)

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    This was the first recipe we tried out, and quite possibly it’s also my favorite! The pureed white beans, seasoned with vegetable broth, nooch, and garlic, makes for a savory and filling pizza sauce, and the Basil Pesto is simple yet delicious. Enjoy this pizza with a fork and bib, though – it’s a messy one!

    (More below the fold…)

  • French Fry Pizza!

    Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

    It HAD TO HAPPEN, people! I’m just amazed that it didn’t happen sooner.

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    2012-02-26 - Baked French Fry Pizza - 0005

    And yes, it’s every bit as tasty and cheesy and carbalicious as it looks!

    Anyway, you can check out the recipe here. It’s pretty simple, really: basically just red sauce, vegan cheddar cheese, and french fries on your favorite pizza crust. I experimented with some different prep methods on the french fries – frozen vs. half-baked vs. deep-fried – and am happy to report that they’re all winners.

    In other news, I’m giving away five coupons good for free Lightlife products over on fuck yeah vegan pizza. You have until Sunday morning to enter, and need not have a tumblr account, so get to it! Free stuff!