Update and recipe (Vegan beef patties!)

Hello Everyone!

I apologize for not posting as regularly as I used to, but I’m working hard on revitalizing my blog and coming up with some really amazing vegan recipes to share with you all.

Lately I have been planning for the Vegan Mofo (Month of Food) 2014 in September. I have about 30 recipes planned and they are being tested and written up as I work on them, so that it’s not so difficult to do once September rolls around…I’ll still be quite busy posting and updating them all then! I’m also swearing myself mostly to secrecy about it, even though I have a calendar all mapped out…haha. If you follow me elsewhere like on the facebook page you may get a few sneak peeks once in awhile when I get too excited for my own good! Otherwise, no spoilers!

Although I won’t be posting a new recipe every day after September is over, I do plan to have some really amazing recipes shared as often as I can, and I am already thinking up those as well! I’ve been a recipe creating dreamer lately…

I decided I couldn’t wait to make and share this recipe I thought up recently though.

Here is the story behind it!

When I lived in Boston awhile back, I lived down the street from a Jamaican restaurant. While I currently was not vegan at the time (they did have vegan food there though!! Including cupcakes!) I really loved their beef patties. And recently when I accompany my mother to BJ’s, I’ve been seeing cases of them, and wishing that they were vegan. The tipping point in which I decided to veganize a recipe was when someone on one of my vegan facebook groups shared that they ate a vegan patty at a restaurant, and couldn’t get the recipe from them…

Vegan Beef Patty Recipe:
pattiesMakes 8 patties

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp non hydrogenated organic vegetable shortening
  • 8 tbsp (one stick) Earth Balance 
  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup water

For the filling:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 28oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 14 oz Lightlife Gimme Lean ground beef style faux meat

To assemble:

  • 1 tbsp egg replacer powder
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Extra flour for rolling out the dough 

Directions:

Dough:

  1. If you have a food processor, place flour, turmeric, and salt into it and pulse. If not, stir these ingredients in a large bowl with a spoon until thoroughly combined. If using a food processor you may want to break it up into two equal batches depending on its capacity.
  2. For the food processor method, add 2 tbsp of shortening and/or Earth Balance at a time until you have used it all, pulsing each time. Pulse until a crumbly texture is met.
  3. For the non processor method, do similarly as above, except by using your fingers, two knives, or a pastry blender. 
  4. Add enough water as needed (slowly add it) to either the food processor or in the bowl until you form a firm, smooth, dough.
  5. Form the dough into two separate disks and wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour and a half, or over night. (If you do overnight thaw about 10 minutes before using in the assembly.

 

Filling:

  1. In a large skillet/frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until softened. 
  3. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook about a minute.
  4. Add turmeric, cumin, allspice, jalapeno, salt and peppr, and stir so that the onions get coated well with the spices.
  5. Add the tomatoes, thyme, scallions, and parsley, stirring every so often. Turn to low heat when boiling.
  6. Break up the tomatoes a bit with a spoon.
  7. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add in the Gimme Lean beef in large chunks as pictured in the photograph below. Cook for five minutes.
  8. Allow to thoroughly cool and then place the mixture in a blender and pulse a few times until combined.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the egg replacer powder and water into a bowl.
  3. Lightly flour your surface area.
  4. If you kept the dough in the fridge overnight, let it sit to thaw for about ten minutes.
  5. I broke each disk into 4 equal size pieces and formed it into balls before I attempted to roll it out.
  6. Starting here is the tricky part, and it won’t be pretty unless you are a pastry chef…but roll out the dough into the best rectangle shape you can.
  7. Place about 1/4 cup of the filling into the middle.
  8. Using a brush, brush the egg replacer/water mixture around the edges of the dough around the filling.
  9. Fold over the pastry so that all edges meet. 
  10. Take a fork and pinch around the edges except for the part in the fold.
  11. Place the patties on a baking sheet with parchment paper for about 30 minutes in the oven (mine were done at around 28 minutes though, so keep your nose alert and check on them if they smell done)

You will probably have left over filling, I advise picking up a pre-made vegan pie crust from Whole
Foods or wherever and using that as a filling, since you’ll probably be a bit annoyed with doughs after dealing with the pastry on these…you can even easily freeze the pie and defrost and eat a a few weeks later!  Yum!

 

with vegan meat added

The filling before blending. 

fillingThe filling after blending.

finished pattyThe finished product!

I’m having someone over for dinner tonight, and I made these in advance because I was really worried they wouldn’t come out well, but they did! I’m excited!

I’m going to reheat them in a toaster oven so they don’t get soggy…

 

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Another post about food and Girls Rock! Rhode Island.

Hello hello!

This past week I finished off my time of being the food/hospitality coordinator for the Girls Rock camp.

As you’ve been reading on my blog in the past perhaps, I have done this before for the Ladies Rock camp, which is one of their many programs they offer to women and girls in my state.

The Ladies Rock camp is 3 days long. Many women go from not having any musical experience in what they are trying to having enough to pull off an awesome performance on the third day and wow the crowd that has assembled to support them and cheer them on.

The past two Ladies’ camps I had organized all the food (for campers and volunteers), by getting donations of products and food from restaurants, asking volunteers to cook for us, and cooking and baking a lot myself.

It is very similar to my role at this Girls’ camp, except it is 5 days long, and a team of 25-30 volunteers get a separate lunch from the campers who also get lunches provided from them.

Many volunteers and campers (at Ladies rock mostly) have special dietary needs, like gluten free, vegetarian, or vegan, so I fit in well. It is usually easiest to try to make the bulk of the cooked meals vegan and gluten free, because then they accommodate everyone.

This year’s girl camp took about a full month of planning, organizing, and well, hustling basically, to get it all set up. I was very nervous about pulling it off prior to the start of camp, but it turned out ridiculously amazing by the end of it.

Before you read a bit about what we ate (I might forget some of it as there was so much food and my memory is a bit foggy!) check out this blog that was written about day 4 of camp, there is a section about me and my food and role at the camp (read the whole thing though!)

Monday- Breakfast was mostly bagels and pastries from White Electric (local coffee shop extraordinaire), and fruit. We had vegan chili, tortillas, and vegan brownies I made from this recipe here. Campers had sandwich supplies and lots of yummy snacks! There was also a snack time for campers and plenty of snacks of all types for everyone throughout the day, donated so kindly from Chex Finer Foods.

Tuesday- We had a similar breakfast as Monday. We had this salad I made, this recipe for chana masala , rice, and other various snack and meal options.

Wednesday for lunch? PIZZA DAY! We had a ton of wonderful pizza donated by Providence Flatbread Company! They make gluten free pizza, vegan pizza, and vegetarian pizza, as well as put their own spin on other classic pizzas. It was a huge hit.

rock! gluten free pot pie

rock! gluten free pot pie

Thursday was also a special day. I had made some savory pot pies. One was gluten free and a bit difficult to describe, but it was a gravy based veggie selection with some daiya cheese on the bottom. The next was a broccoli, nutritional yeast cheese sauce, and tempeh bacon one. The final one was the vegan samosa pot pie from the cookbook Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. I used her crust recipe for all the pies except the gluten free one. For the Gluten free one I made it with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Crust Mix.
There was also a pea and Orzo salad with and without cheese made by a volunteer, and biscotti! The campers received lunch donated from Blaze restaurant, which was really great and generous. Check them out, they are actually where I went for my college graduation dinner and are awesome. They have a great vegan selection on the menu!

For snack Thursday we had an exceptionally special treat. Providence’s own, the world’s first vegan soft serve truck, Like No Udder, paid a visit and donated an ice cream or lemonade to all campers and volunteers. I was ridiculously excited about this, as you can see by the picture below.

vegan ice cream truck!

vegan ice cream truck!

On Friday everything was winding down, but the food didn’t stop coming. I had gotten up ridiculously early because I was so excited, and went to make this jackfruit untuna for the vegans because I was concerned they may need more selection. Since I was up so early, I also had time to make waffles for all the volunteers, which was a big hit. For lunch there was a cous cous salad, 2 different green salads, pasta salad, brownies, cookies, a large selection of fruits, and leftovers! Campers finished off the wide selection of sandwich supplies for their lunch.

I am so thankful to all of the volunteers, businesses (including New Harvest, who donated coffee) and parents or volunteers who helped with the cooking/procurement of food. It was a great success.

Now, last but not least in any sense, I leave you with the culmination of the camp, the grande finale, which is a link to the final showcase! I highly recommend you watch it, it shows why I am involved with this organization quite clearly and is totally amazing to watch.

To current and prospective vegans:

20140712-235534-86134656.jpg

Remember this next time you want to scold someone harshly for eating something like Oreos because it’s “processed food” or because you are not sure if the sugar can be verified as being vegan.

Remember your heart and what it wants. We will not be able to win over people’s hearts and minds to veganism if we do not treat people with kindness, respect, and understanding. (And if we keep that up, maybe one day arguing over Oreos will be a silly, moot point).

(This is in response to the constant fighting and bullying I see sometimes in vegan places online…which is often the home of many people’s first introduction to vegans and the idea of veganism).