Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.”

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

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Carbs & Rec - The Meat Tornado (0015)

“You had me at Meat Tornado.” If there’s a single quote that’s come to define Ron Swanson, food-wise (and what else is there really?), it would have to be this. Second maybe to “Give me ALL the bacon and eggs you have.” Let’s just say the message boards are going nuts.

Just look at all the Meat Tornado merch and fan art available online!

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Carbs & Rec: Epic Breakfast Bowl

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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When it comes to Ron Swanson, there’s only one way to do breakfast: epically. Preferably with ALL THE BACON AND EGGS you have. (Don’t worry, WE ARE SO DOING THIS! Just not today.)

Waffle Wednesdays may be dedicated to Leslie Knope and her BFF J.J. (don’t cry, Ann; waffles may own Leslie’s stomach, but you will always have her ovaries!), but Sundays are all about Ron and his undying love of meaty, cheesy, eggy breakfast foods. Just don’t call it brunch, else he might pop you one in your smart, fancy, foreign mouth.

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In this vein, this morning I present to you the Hearty Breakfast Bowl from Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food – with a few extras, that is. What’s in the ginormous cast iron skillet (Ron Swanson speak for “bowl), you ask?

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Bacon and Tot Tofu Scramble

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

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I was craving something unhealthy – but not too unhealthy- for dinner, and this is what I came up with. Tater tots practically scream “junk food” (ditto: pan-fried bacon, vegan or not), but the tofu save this dish from nutritional purgatory.

Normally I’d add some veggies into the mix – corn, carrots, maybe some peppers or tomatoes – but this was right before a shopping trip and my stores were running low. Feel free to add in a cup or two of your favorites between steps 3 and 4. Mushrooms and black olive would go great with this flavor combo, I think.

 

Bacon and Tot Tofu Scramble

Ingredients

3-4 cups frozen tater tots
6 to 8 strips of Lightlife Smart Bacon (or tempeh bacon, if you prefer)
1 pound firm tofu, lightly pressed
1-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon chives
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Cook the tater tots according to the instructions on the package. When they’re cooking, get going on the tofu scramble.

2. In a large frying pan or skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add the bacon strips and cook evenly on each side (or according to the skillet directions on the package). When done, place the strips on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside. Leave as much of the oil – “bacon grease” – in the pan as possible.

3. Lightly press the brick of tofu to drain the excess moisture. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat (add an extra tablespoon if necessary). Add the diced onion and cook for about five minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another five minutes.

4. As the veggies are cooking, place the tofu in a large bowl and mash it with a fork until it becomes crumbly.

5. Pour the tofu into the skillet and mix it in with the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, cumin, turmeric, parsley/chives, and the salt. Mix well. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until much of the moisture from the tofu has evaporated and the scrambled tofu is to your liking. Add the tater tots and mix well. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on top of the tofu/tot mixture. Serve warm with ketchup, sriracha, gravy, or cheesy sauce!

This isn’t your grandmother’s Shepherd’s Pie!

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

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And the hits just keep on coming! In what’s proven to be yet another winner from American Vegan Kitchen, Tami Noyes gives us her unique spin on a Shepherd’s Pie: the Brewpub Tater Tot Pie.

 

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The traditional bottom “meat” layer is made of tvp reconstituted in veggie broth and flavored with vegan beer (!), among other things. In place of the mashed potato layer that I find so annoying to make: tater tots! It doesn’t get any easier than this, people.

Noyes instructs you to cut the tots in half – probably so you’ll use less and end up with a healthier dish – but that’s just silly! And not nearly as tasty! We like our tots nice and curvy, thanks.

Anyway, superamazingexpialidelicious. Finnick agrees!

 

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Finnick’s fear of the camera seems to disappear when the food comes out. Strange, that.
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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.

 

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

 

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

 

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A platter of fixin’s. And this isn’t even all of it: there are still some leftovers on the stove!
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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.
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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?
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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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Vegan Junk Food (is surprisingly healthy!)

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

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(Last night’s) Dinner! Baked tofu scramble (based on the Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole in Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food ), topped with some diy parmesan cheese (also from VJF – put parmesan on ALL the things! ) and served with sweet potato tots and some teensy tiny salad tomatoes.

I love summer!

Vegan Junk Food Mashup: Tater Tot Casserole & Sausage Gravy

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

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How do you improve upon perfection? Slather it in (vegan) sausage gravy!

Last week I made a batch of Sausage Gravy to use as a dipping sauce for french fries; an extra dash of flour here and a little extra soy milk there and, next thing you know, I’d nearly doubled the recipe! And so I ended up with leftovers. A big old bowl of ’em!

Rather than enjoy them on even more fries, I decided to “recycle” the gravy into a Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole (both recipes via Vegan Junk Food): a layer of tofu-slash-“eggs,” followed by Sausage Gravy, frozen mixed veggies, and tater tots. (So much for no more fries!) Recall that the casserole calls for a layer of fried Lightlife Gimmie Lean Sausage, and the gravy seems a natural fit.

I was worried how the extra moist ingredients and added volume might affect the finished product – particularly the “egg” layer – but all in all, it was a delicious success! The tofu didn’t come out as firm as it did the first time around, but it was still yummy and edible, and also firmed up a bit as it cooled. More similar in consistency to lightly cooked scrambled eggs instead of a well-cooked omelet, if that makes any sense. (Does it? I haven’t had chicken’s eggs in what feels like forever!)

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Bedazzle your omni friends with this dish! They’ll never know it’s tofu!

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!

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  • vegan nomz roundup!: pizza ed.

    Saturday, May 14th, 2011

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    Make pizza, photograph pizza, eat pizza, blog pizza, repeat.
    THE ONLY TO DO LIST THAT MATTERS. LIVE BY IT!
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    Lately I’ve been all about food and furkids. More specifically, pizza & ice cream and cats & dogs. It’s my own form of escapism, yo. (Burnout, who me?) So, while it might seem like I haven’t been up to much lately – particularly to those of you who just follow me here – the truth is that I’m still blogging, just in other spaces, including a few new places.

    For instance: fuck yeah vegan pizza and fuck yeah vegan ice cream. I started these sister blogs on tumblr after realizing that my food self can basically be boiled down to these two foodstuffs. (And further realizing that posting mouth-watering photos of gooey, oozy, melty, cheesy pizza slices and delightfully decadent frozen desserts is worlds more fun than beating my head against the twin walls of speciesism and misogyny that encircle the feminist and animal advocacy communities. End: rant.) If you’re on tumblr, please follow and submit! (Photos, not yourself!) If not, sign up. I need you!

    Also, I’ve been cooking up a storm in my real-world kitchen too, experimenting with new pizza and ice cream recipes, some of them developed by my own bad self. (Which would explain why I’ve gained ten lbs. since x-mas, but I digress.) Possibly you might be wondering where in the worlds I’ve been hoarding these delicious new dishes? Though I’ll save the ice cream not-porn for another day – this post is called “vegan nomz roundup!: pizza ed.” for a reason, peoples! – today I’d like to talk about some of the many pizzas I’ve made so far this year. All of the recipes are available on the PPP blog. (ETA: I also post uber-adorable photos of adoptable animals every Friday! You’ve been warned!)

    (Certainly you remember the Perfect Pizza Press, yes? It’s a pizza cutter-esque kitchen utensil that Shane invented in ’09. He hired a welder to make a prototype based on his design and, when it proved a success, we decided to sell it online. While the website has been functional for months now, the presses are not yet available for purchase. Obtaining samples from local manufacturers has proven slow-going, and my recent health issues haven’t exactly sped things along. During the limbo we’ve been feasting on vegan pizza – for the blog/business, of course – so it’s a wash I guess!)

    Possibly you’ll find that some of these pies are a repeat; if so, this is only because they rocked so hard the first time that they could not be denied an encore!

    Listed in reverse chronological order; if you do nothing else, you simply must scroll through for the awesomness that is the Garbage Plate Pizza! Look for it in the middle.

    And yes, I realize that these are all terribly unhealthy, over-processed, fat-laden dishes; again, see: my recent unexpected weight gain. (Unexpected? What did I think would happen when I bought Daiya in bulk? Play with fire much?) The good news? Now that I’m overhauling my diet to include pizzas with less or no cheese; thinner crusts topped with more fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds; and dough involving a greater variety of flours, future dishes will (mostly) be on the healthy side. Consider this the junk food pizza roundup.

    Personal Pita Pizzas!

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    Decadent Delight Muffins for a One-eyed Wiener Dog (Also: A Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole for His Humans)

    Sunday, November 14th, 2010

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    A freshly baked (quarter-) batch of Molly’s Decadent Delight Muffins sits on a small plate, behind which lurks two identical, plush reddish-brown wiener dogs. Only, the dog on the right is missing one eye (his right one, even!), along with the tip of his nose. One of the first three adopted dog-kids – Ralphie, Peedee or O-Ren – chewed them off years ago. Do we have a psychic in the pack, perchance?
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    Friday night, I made a batch of Decadent Delight Muffins (recipe via Molly @ It’s a Vegan Dog’s Life – the meeter of at least 75% of my dog treat recipe needs!) for the dog-kids. I wanted to pamper them a little bit, since we had an especially rough week. But first treats, then kvetching!

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    Perched on the back of the couch, Rennie stares into the kitchen, entranced by the unbaked muffins sitting on the countertop.
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    Packed with flax seeds, shredded carrots, natural peanut butter and freshly made (somewhat fortuitously, as I just so happened to be brewing the final batch of the season) applesauce, these muffins are both healthy and delicious. (And vegan!) I much prefer baking my own dog treats over buying commercial brands because I know exactly what goes into each batch. Plus, they’re really very easy to make and store well in the freezer, if need be. (With five dogs, treats are eaten up pretty quickly round these parts!) Of course, the dogs also enjoy licking the spoons and bowls. And what better way to a dog’s heart than through her stomach? Five paws up!

    Okay, so enough of the muffins. Let’s move on to the one-eyed wiener dog, shall we?

    To Ralphie

    Ralphie mosaic!
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    Ralphie.

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    Tofurky -n- Tots

    Saturday, November 24th, 2007

    As promised, more veg*n food p0rn!

    Here’s our Thanksgivingliving day menu, along with the obligatory food p0rn pics. Obviously, it’s too late to try any of these dishes this t-day (unless you’re a hardcore procrastinator), but you’ve got plenty of time to prepare for Christmas x-mas FSMas, assuming that one or more of the following dishes strikesyer fancy, of course.

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    Recipes and photos after the flip.

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