Carbs & Rec: Peruvian Deja Food Pie

Monday, September 15th, 2014

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Carbs & Rec - Deja Food (0008)

The latest meal on our Parks & Rec menu is, as you’ve no doubt already surmised, another Tom Haverfood! I’m pretty sure this particular phrase is fan-made as opposed to NBC canon, but that’s okay! If we’ve learned anything this month, it’s that our favorite shows are 1000 times better when enjoyed interactively.

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There’s one recipe in particular that seems like it was made just for this Haverfood: namely, the Peruvian Leftovers Pie from The HappyCow Cookbook. Basically you take your favorite leftovers, sandwich them between two layers of mashed potatoes, top it all off with a tofu cheese garnish, and voilà! – dinner is served. Bonus points for cleaning out the fridge.

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Carbs & Rec: Sloppy Adam Sandlers

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

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Today’s featured meal may be a Tom Haverfood, but imma break with protocol and stick to non-Tom gifs for a change. Because HOLY HELL are there a ton of Haverfoods on the menu, and I want to give some of my other favorite characters a little face time. Like April and Jeremy Jamm! Just not in the same frame ’cause I adore April and would never play her like that.

So Adam Sandlers are what Tom calls sandwiches (along with sammies and sandoozles) – and what better sammie to represent Mr. Sandler than (*drumroll please*) SLOPPY JOES?!?

SLOPPY JOE, SLOP, SLOPPY JOE!”
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Yeah, that’s right. You knew the Lunchlady Land jams were coming. (AGAIN.) You know me so well, mofos.

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Cookbook Review: The HappyCow Cookbook, Eric Brent & Glen Merzer, eds. (2014)

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Fancy Vegan Eats from Around the World

four out of five stars

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

Every vegan’s favorite food and dining app* finally gets the cookbook treatment** in The HappyCow Cookbook: Recipes from Top-Rated Vegan Restaurants around the World. Founded in 1999, HappyCow.net allows users to search, rate, and add to its directory of vegan and vegan-friendly eateries (and stores!), making dining out as a vegan a wee bit easier.

The HappyCow Cookbook features profiles of and recipes from some of the many eateries found on the website. Just as HappyCow.net is international in scope, with listings across the globe, The HappyCow Cookbook doesn’t stay stateside. Among the international joints it highlights are Buddha Burgers in Israel; Germany’s Coox and Candy; and El Piano, in Spain. In the US, restaurants in thirteen states make the cut; this includes not only the usual suspects (New York and California), but also less obvious locales (Texas, North Carolina).

(I was a little bummed – but not exactly shocked – to find that Kansas City had been overlooked. For the so-called “Steak Capital of the World,” it’s surprisingly vegan-friendly. Plus I really wanted to get my hands on Eden Alley Cafe’s vegan buttercream cake recipe!)

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Key Lime Tarts from Rawlicious

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

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Raw tarts! Aka the easiest tarts you’ll ever make!

This is another recipe from Rawlicious in Toronto. The no-bake crust – perfect for this Missouri week, when the temps topped out at 90F – is really simple: just almonds, shredded coconut, and coconut oil.

(Though I recommend doubling it; I barely had enough for four 4″ tarts; 3 1/2″ if you measure at the base. At first I thought that maybe my tarts were bigger than the author’s but I seemed to have just the right amount of filling for four tarts. So.)

The filling is pretty easy, too: avocados, lime juice, and a few other goodies. Pro tip: it calls for psyllium as a thickener, but I swapped it out for xanthan gum without a problem.

Blend, fill, chill. Enjoy. The end.

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The filling is actually pretty great on its own, too; when chilled, it resembles pudding.

Enchilada Pie from Stuff I Eat

Friday, June 20th, 2014

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This oh-so-tasty contribution to The HappyCow Cookbook comes from Stuff I Eat in Inglewood, California. It’s kind of like a corny enchilada casserole, with layers of corn tortillas, polenta, corn, and corn chips. There’s also pasta sauce (though I cheated and used the canned variety!) and two kinds of cheese: vegan cheddar and a cheesy sauce made of silken tofu and nutritional yeast. After it’s backed, it kind of resembles an eggy vegan omelet.

The recipe calls for Follow Your Heart brand cheese, but I swapped it out for Daiya; in my experience, FYH just doesn’t melt at temps under 425F – and this one’s 350.

Also, I ended up with more than double the cheese sauce I needed. Weird, right? Normally I would have just dumped it all in there, but I just didn’t have the room – the dish calls for a four quart pan, and my biggest is only three! So I’m not really sure what to do with the leftovers – burritos, maybe? Or maybe I can oven bake a mini-omelet? We shall see.

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Tricolored Vegetable Pasta with Sun-Dried Marinara and Cashew Cheese

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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Another raw pasta dish from The HappyCow Cookbook – this one courtesy of G-Zen. I like the greater variety found here; in addition to zucchini noodles, there are also spiralized beets and carrots. Much more interesting than plain old zucchini! (But the beets? Hella messy! I cannot imagine trying to eat this pasta in public.)

The marinara sauce is pretty tasty too; I was a little unsure of the dates, but you can’t really taste them in the finished product. You’re supposed to serve the sauce at room temp, but mine was cold owing to several of the ingredients (I keep the dates and sundried tomatoes refrigerated), so I warmed it up on the stove top a bit.

The cashew cheese resembles Ricotta more than it does Parmesan; soaking the cashews prior to blending them introduced extra moisture that isn’t usually present in vegan Parm recipes. Weird, right? Still good, though, and Shane used the cheese to soak up all the extra beet juice.

Not bad, and since dinner was so low-cal, I was able to double down on the ice cream cones later that night. (Kidding! Thought about it though….)

The HappyCow Cookbook, page 186

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

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Today’s recipe is (deep breath!) Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Cauliflower, Garlic, and Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushroom Gravy from the Peacefood Café. Page 186 in The HappyCow Cookbook for short!

It sounds like more trouble than it is! Truth be told, the spaghetti squash and cauliflower all but cook themselves: just prep and bake for an hour and 15-20 minutes, respectively. That gave me exactly the right amount of time to make the gravy and mashed potatoes.

The gravy’s pretty simple, though I did have to add an extra 1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons arrowroot on top of the cornstarch to thicken it to my liking. Plus I couldn’t find porcini mushrooms, so methinks my version tasted a bit more like vegan chicken broth than the original, but no matter! It was pretty bangin’ anyway.

The mashed potatoes were made infinitely easier with the help of my brand spanking new potato ricer. (Magic!) There were no tears or curse words to be found, and my mashed potatoes were the fluffiest they’ve ever been. Best $25 I’ve ever spent.

I was a little skeptical about the combination of veggies, but they all went well together, and of course gravy makes everything taste better. And who doesn’t love spaghetti squash? Instant noodles, right off the rind!

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Crostini Italiano (Sandwiches!) from the Veggie Grill

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

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The Crostini Italiano from The HappyCow Cookbook is technically an appetizer – but this didn’t stop me from enjoying it for lunch! With just a few minor adjustments, I was able to turn it into a sandwich. Instead of slicing the baguette into rounds, cut it lengthwise, like a hot dog bun; and rather than dice the Field Roast Italian sausages into bits, cut the links lengthwise, leaving their meaty bits intact. Spread the olive tapenade on the bottom slice of bread and smear the cream cheese on top and – voilà! – sammies are served.

So this recipe is a little wonky in that it doesn’t tell you what to do with the garlic/chive mix. I added it to the cream cheese to make a pretty killer garlic chive flavor. I suppose you could just sprinkle it onto the sandwich (or crostini) too – it all goes down the same pie hole, after all.

All in all, a pretty delicious and filling lunch! Plus I finally got to try the Field Roast sausages Shane’s always hoarding from me! Double score.

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Nutloaf from the Wayward Café

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

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You guys, this is so good! Messy, but good. And easy to make, too!

This baby is loaded with nuts (almonds and walnuts), tofu, nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, TVP, flax seeds, nooch, and some other tasty goodies. Just mash, spread onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 425F for 45 minutes.

 

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Even though the recipe’s title hints at a meatloaf-style dealio, this is more of a sandwich filling. Enjoy it on toasted bread with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, vegan mayo, and mustard (like so!) or in an open-faced sammie smothered in gravy (not pictured).

I was a little skeptical whether the loaf would hold together, but it baked up pretty well. The meat got a little crumbly while I was devouring the sandwich, but I think you can mostly avoid this problem by cutting the loaf slices a little smaller than the bread. Mine had some overhang, and this is where most of the messiness happened.

Of course, if you’re enjoying this with gravy, the issue’s kind of moot. (Note to self: next time enjoy this with gravy.)

 

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Rawlicious Zuchetti Pesto

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

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One of the two (!) raw pasta recipes in The HappyCowCookbook comes to us, fittingly, from Rawlicious in Toronto. This my very first time experimenting with raw pasta, and I bought a shiny new spiralizer just for the occasion!

So this is a pretty tasty and filling recipe – though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the carbs. (The whole time I was devouring the Zuchetti, all I could think was how amazing the pesto would taste slathered on a giant plate of linguine!) But given that two cups of zucchini packs just 36 calories, I think I just might replace my angel hair pasta with veggie noodles now and again.

The pesto is a pretty rad blend of spinach, basil, lemon juice and sunflower seeds; for extra-lemony goodness, sprinkle a little lemon zest on the pasta before serving. It’s a little wetter than most pestos I’ve tried, which makes it easier to spread on the zucchini noodles. I used dry sundried tomatoes instead of oil-packed ones (the recipe doesn’t specify, fwiw); next time I think I’ll let the dish sit a bit so that the tomatoes can soak up the extra pesto juices.

Not bad, and all the better for super-hot, super-humid days like we had this weekend. So humid even the floors are sweating!

Tofu Omelet Sheets from the Cornbread Cafe

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

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Recipe #2 from The HappyCow Cookbook: Tofu Omelet Sheets from the Cornbread Cafe in Eugene, Oregon.

This one was definitely tougher than the Quinoa Patties. Unlike traditional tofu omelets, these are baked and then fried, the latter step being mostly to heat up the fillings and melt the cheese, which is added last.

Post-baking, the omelets were way too delicate to handle, let alone transfer into a frying pan. Huge mess! Instead I heaped my half of the six omelet squares onto a plate and layered them with the filling – mushrooms, onions, and red peppers – which I’d already sauteed separately. Very good, if not especially pretty.

I kind of wonder whether the recipe was written incorrectly; to bake the omelet, you line a greased jelly roll pan (or, in my case, a cookie sheet) with parchment paper, spread the tofu on top, and then top it off with another sheet of parchment paper, this one greased tofu-side down. It seems weird that only one piece of parchment would be greased on the side that comes into contact with the food, right? As it turned out, it was the bottom sheet to which the omelet clung. Further experimentation necessary.

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I had a little extra batter leftover, which I tried frying like a regular ole omelet. It was kind of messy, but I blame that on an inadequately sized spatula and my own impatience: I don’t think I waited long enough to flip it. Still tasty though, especially topped with all that gooey cheddar Daiya cheese!

Happy Cows and Quinoa Patties

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

THE HAPPYCOW COOKBOOK IS HERE Y’ALL!*

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Well, technically it doesn’t come out until June 3rd, but I was lucky enough to score a review copy. (Thanks again for that, BenBella books!) I have literally been waiting for this cookbook to drop for eight months now, no lie. Maybe more. (My memory ain’t what it used to be.) Now that it’s here, it does not disappoint. Although a real, live chef to recreate all these masterpieces would be icing.

I just got my grubby little paws on it on Friday, and already I’ve made two dishes AND ordered a spiralizer to try out some of the raw pasta recipes. The book features recipes from 46 vegan restaurants – in both the United States and around the globe – interspersed with profiles of each. Along with the expected junk food, there are also some healthy, wholesome recipes, as well as tons of fancy schmancy dishes. (The photos are provided by the restaurants, so good luck matching their presentation! Not even gonna try.)

Topping my to-do list: the Buddha Lentil Burger from Buddha Burgers; El Piano’s Peruvian Leftovers Pie (though I’ll need to generate some leftovers first!); the Canelones de Seitan via Mi Vida; Peacefood Cafe’s Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Cauliflower, Garlic, and Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Mushroom Gravy (say that five times fast!) and its Award-Winning Chickpea Fries; and the Enchilada Pie from the awesomely named Stuff I Eat. There are also some pretty bitchin’ zerts here – Chocolate Raspberry Hazelnut Cake, Gluten-Free Coconut Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes, and Key Lime Tarts, oh my! – but idk if my pants can stand any more sweets. Not with ice cream season upon us.

But wait! Before I get ahead of myself.

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I started with the Quinoa Patties (contributed by Green Cuisine in Victoria, BC), both because they sounded tasty and seemed pretty easy to whip together in a pinch. Plus I had all the ingredients on hand, so bonus.

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