Carbs & Rec: Moo Pies

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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If you don’t own a copy of The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, you are seriously missing out.

Exhibit A: this Bacon Cheeseburger from the Heartland.

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“But where’s the (vegan) bacon and (nondairy) cheese?” you’re probably asking yourself. IT’S BUILT RIGHT INTO THE BURGER.

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I just blew your mind, right.

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Carbs & Rec: Cold Puppies

Monday, September 1st, 2014

“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrées. I call sandwiches ‘sammies,’ ‘sandoozles,’ or ‘Adam Sandlers.’ Air conditioners are ‘cool blasterz.’ I call cakes ‘big ol’ cookies.’ I call noodles ‘long-ass rice.’ Fried chicken is ‘fry-fry chicky-chick.’ Chicken parm is ‘chicky-chicky-parm-parm.’ Chicken cacciatore? ‘Chicky-cach.’ I call eggs ‘pre-birds,’ or ‘future birds.’ Root beer is ‘super water.’ Tortillas are ‘bean blankets.’ And I call forks ‘food rakes.’” – Episode 3.10, “Soulmates”
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Old-ass grapes. Bear Drool. Brit Bagels.* If you can stuff it in your face, odds are that Tom Haverford has a Tom Haverfood-ism for it. In fact, Tom’s fly food wordplay is such a hit with fans that it’s spawned a website (tomhaverfoods.com), a tumblr (tomhaverfoods.tumblr.com), and a twitter account (@TomHaverfoods), all of which proved instrumental to me meeting my 30-post quota for the month. Chances are, if it’s not a breakfast food, then it’s probably a Tom Haverfood.

To kick of VeganMoFo 2014 – and the week! – I come bearing Chili Dogs. Or Cold Puppies, as Tom would say.

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The chili recipe is an old one from Vegan Dad, which I’ve been meaning to try for forever. You guys, I don’t think I’ve ever had a chili dog before! Sad but true, and as of today, rectified. So the chili is a pretty delicious mix of chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, and vegan Worcestershire sauce, for a smoky and savory flavor. I also like that it uses TVP instead of beans, because the latter upsets my tummy. (Stomach: Calorie Cannibalizer.)

(More below the fold…)

Pizza Pizza Pizza!

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

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Last Sunday was pizza night, and we took the opportunity to try out another recipe from Mayim’s Vegan Table – namely, the pizza crust. It’s almost identical to our go-to recipe, minus the sugar (there isn’t any). Consequently, the dough doesn’t rise quite as much, resulting in a thinner, denser crust. Shane was happy to report that it’s still plenty pliable.

Onto Miam’s pizza (top and bottom right) went mushrooms, red peppers, onions, and the pepperoni crumbles from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza. (The extras made some pretty kickass burritos. Just saute with zucchini, red peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and a touch of salt and pepper and serve warm. So good I could cry. BECAUSE I’M OUT.) The other pizza (bottom left) has zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Of course there’s mozzarella Daiya on each. (OF COURSE.)

Neither of the pizzas cooked to the center, though. Possibly this is because of all the juicy toppings, but who knows? Our crust cooked through when reheated in the oven, but Mayim’s remained a little chewy on the inside. Definitely gonna try it again to see if we get different results.

Tasty either way.

Spaghetti Pie with Arrabbiata Sauce from Tami Noyes’s American Vegan Kitchen

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

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Oh my dog you guys, this was too good for words. Seriously amazing! It’d better be, seeing as it took me nearly two hours to prepare. Granted, I had to stop in the middle to feed the dogs, BUT STILL.

What with its multiple layers and dizzying array of ingredients, I was more than a little grumpy by the time I popped it in the oven. But now that I’ve got the steps down, I think the whole process will go much faster the next time around. Spaghetti pie, I WILL eat you again!

Plus you can assemble it ahead of time and bake it up right quick come dinnertime. If I’d realized this earlier, I might have made spaghetti pie for Christmas dinner! Oh well. Next year, maybe? (Besides, the stuffed manicotti was awesome, so no complaints here.)

Personally, I wouldn’t call this a pie so much as a casserole (it’s not even round!) but I guess spaghetti pie is a real thing? A diner staple? idk, I’ve never seen one before, but then again my knowledge of cheesy dishes is mostly lacking. Whatever, it’s freaking delicious, and that’s all I need to know.

The bottom layer is spaghetti – or angel hair, in my case – followed by a blended tofu mixture that bakes into a cheesy, ricotta-like topping, and topped off with tomato sauce peppered with tasty little chunks of tvp that taste a helluvalot like ground beef. Whether you count this as a positive or negative is totally up to you, but I’m a fan. Sprinkle liberally with mozzarella Daiya and – voilà! – dinner is served!

As an added bonus, this recipe makes a ridiculous amount of leftovers, so you’ll be feasting on spaghetti pie all week. Yay!

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.
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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.

 

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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.
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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: 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

 

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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.

 

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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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