My zine is finally done!

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You can buy it here on Etsy (but if you live in RI email me first at pleasinvegan@yahoo.com before doing so, because we may be able to arrange a pickup or something so you don’t have to pay/wait for shipping)!

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I was selling these for donations for Girls Rock RI at Ladies Rock Camp this weekend. Maybe you’ve seen my posts about it in the past, here, here, and here. You can also see this video of me during the camp, where I gave a speech about being food coordinator and some other fun stuff. I love this organization!

Here are some cool pics of it there!

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Also, this is so cool! It’s the shout out wall at camp…IMG_3616_2

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Vegan Mofo Day 29: Meaty Meatless Mondays: Seitan overview and recipe links

Seitan–what is it even? Simply put, it is a meat-like vegan substance typically made from vital wheat gluten. It can be used in place of almost any meat depending on how you flavor it.

Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, it is not gluten free which makes it difficult for vegans who are also gluten free to enjoy. However, upon making some mochi the other day, I think I may be able to figure out how to make some gluten free seitan eventually, so keep an eye out for when I do!

I think seitan dishes may be the theme of next year’s vegan mofo, but don’t quote me on that yet. I started a zine about it, but I am not sure if I plan on finishing it any time soon. We shall see; I’ll keep you posted.

Here are some of my recipes from the past that have used seitan in them:

French Toast, Seitan Ham and Homemade Cheese Sandwich

Ham Seitan itself

Quinoa Jambalaya with Shrimp Seitan

“Shrimp” Bao

Additionally, this past week I made some bacun seitan from this recipe and made BLTs with it as evidenced here:

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If you’re looking for a good cookbook that features a lot of good sandwich friendly seitan recipes, I suggest you check out Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! It has recipes for chick’n patties that several of the recipes do different, beef style seitan, deli meat style, etc that all have tons of uses for in their many delicious sandwich recipes. It is one of my favorite cookbooks. I love sandwiches.

Vegan Mofo 2014: Pizza day! (Day 26) Walnut Meat Cheeseburger Pizza!

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I think this is one of the prettiest pizzas I’ve ever made. So many colors and it was amazingly tangy, cheesy, crunchy and meaty all in one bite! The crust is the same pretzel crust that I made on this pizza too, because I realized it’s my favorite pizza crust now whether it’s pretzel dough or not.

Oh man, I made this awhile ago and now I want it again. My mouth is watering thinking of it, but I am also feeling a bit lazy today, so that’s not going to happen.

😦

Ingredients:

One batch pretzel pizza crust dough (recipe here)

1 batch of the walnut meat (recipe here)

Sauce:

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard

Other fixings:

  • 1 dill pickle, sliced into thin circles
  • 3/4 cup daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage

Directions:

  1. After making the batch of walnut meat, turn the oven up to 450 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the dough into a large circle and place on a pizza pan.
  3. Combine the sauce ingredients and spread across the crust.
  4. Sprinkle the walnut meat all over.
  5. Place pickle circles around the pizza.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup daiya cheddar on top, then sprinkle the lettuce and cabbage, and top with another 1/4 cup of daiya.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

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Vegan Mofo day 24: Worldly Wednesday: Walnut Meat, tofu ricotta, and pesto lasagna

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Hello everyone! I’m very excited today because I just got put up on my college program’s website about the work I’m doing. They interviewed me and I talked about my blog and my future plans of incorporating a vegan project into my education plan.

You can view that article here!

Anyways, on to the food!

This lasagna is quite rich with the walnut meat, and has tons of protein due to the tofu ricotta, and a healthy dose of greens due to the pesto (with basil and parsley!).

This walnut meat here is very similar to my earlier recipe but changed slightly to change the flavor from a hamburger style to a more italian style. The tofu ricotta is also quite similar to the one for the pizza recipe I posted earlier on Sept. 12, but I changed it again because there is a separate basil factor with the pesto, so extra basil in the ricotta was not necessary.

Here is the recipe:

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Ingredients:

For the walnut meat:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 portobello cap
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes in juice, no salt added, canned
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the pesto:

  • 2 cups basil, packed
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, not packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the ricotta:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tsp salt free italian seasoning blend
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp water

Other necessary ingredients:

  • 1 & 2/3 cup Tomato sauce, either homemade (your favorite recipe) or store bought (I love Victoria brand marinara)
  • no-boil vegan lasagna noodles
  • 1/3 cup Daiya brand vegan mozzarella style cheese, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the walnut meat. Place walnuts, onion, garlic and portobello into a food processor and blend until everything melds together but remains chunky.
  3. Place this mushy walnut meat into a bowl, and fold in the remaining ingredients.
  4. On a parchment lined baking sheet, pat down the “meat” into a thin layer with a spatula.
  5. Bake 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and with a spatula, scrape up the “meat” and flip it.
  6. Bake for 15 more minutes and set aside.
  7. Prepare the pesto. First place the basil, parsley, and garlic and chop in the food processor until finely ground.
  8. Add the pine nuts and olive oil into the mix, and blend. You will need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to ensure that everything gets properly mixed together and to get a good consistency. Set aside, in a bowl, but leave some of the remnants of the pesto in the food processor for the next step.
  9. Make the ricotta by adding all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides with the rubber spatular once or twice to get everything together.
  10. Grease a 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray.
  11. Lay out three dry lasagna noodles (or more if you could not find the no-boil type after boiling them, of course) on the bottom of the pan.
  12. Spread 2/3 cup of the sauce on top.
  13. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta and pesto on top.
  14. Crumble and sprinkle 1/2 the batch of the walnut meat on top with your hands.
  15. Place another layer of dry lasagna noodles on top and repeat steps 12-14.
  16. Place the final layer of noodles on top, and add just 1/3 cup of the sauce and the remainder of the pesto and ricotta (with the ricotta on the top layer!)
  17. Sprinkle 1/3 cup daiya mozzarella on top.
  18. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  19. Let sit 10 minutes after taking out of the oven, and enjoy.

photo 1 (4)The pesto

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The ricotta

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The first layer of the lasagna

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Buon Appetito!

Vegan MoFo 2014: Meaty Meatless Monday: Walnut Burger Meat Crumbles

This recipe is fairly basic and can be seasoned according to your needs. I will use it later on this Wednesday in a lasagna recipe, and on Friday in an amazing pizza recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 portobello cap, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes in juice, canned, no salt added
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place walnuts, onions, portobello, and garlic in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until ground and soft but not totally smooth—keeping it still gritty.
  4. Place into a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and combine well.
  5. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper in a single layer.
  6. Bake for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, take a spatula to flip as best as you can. It’ll be crumbly, just try to get the parts that were touching the pan to face up as much as possible. Continue to bake for the remaining 15 minutes.
  7. When done, use in place of recipes that call for hamburger meat, or mix with a marinara sauce and serve over pasta,

Enjoy!! I really like this recipe, it’s so versatile and delicious!

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Vegan Mofo 2014: Day 15: Meaty Meatless Monday: Jackfruit Tutorial

Hey all!

Today for Meaty Meatless Monday I want to do a bit of a tutorial/guide to cooking with Jackfruit rather than sharing a specific recipe (although I will definitely share some of my favorite recipes for it).

For those of you that don’t know, Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is popular in regions of Asia, that happens to be, when in the right form, a fantastic faux meat substitute for vegans in terms of it’s texture. It can be used in vegan pulled pork type recipes, bbq, as a crab or tuna substitute, even in a recipe for Philly Cheese Steak, to name a few! It is rich in iron as a half cup has 25% iron, but otherwise has fairly neutral nutritional value. It is similar to tofu in that it can take on whatever flavors you cook it with, with a bit more of tangy, even sweetly sour taste.

I jumped on the jackfruit wagon as soon as I could find a way to get some, and at first that meant purchasing it from Vegan Essentials’ online store. You can find a link to the actual jackfruit here. However, since every vegan I knew in my small state had said they couldn’t find it locally, I at first did not question them, and assumed the Asian Markets had been checked thoroughly since people had said they had looked there. Well, one day I decided to question that and see for myself. And low and behold, The Chinese American Mini Market in Cranston, RI had a big shelf of them, and they were less expensive than Vegan Essentials at $1.35 a can, as well as no shipping costs were needed. Hurray!

Another mistake I see people making is that there are two different types (maybe more, I don’t know) of Jackfruit. One is a sweeter, more fruit-like kind. It typically (if referring to Chaokoh brand which is the most commonly found canned brand) comes in a yellow container, like so:

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This can still be used for other types of recipes, but won’t work if you want to make a shredded meat-like recipe. Notice that the can also says it is in syrup.

Instead, you want to buy young green jackfruit in brine (or water if you find other brands).  I am assuming based on the differences between the two, that this form is not as developed as the other, maybe even not quite ripe yet. Here is a picture of what you are looking for:

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To make it easier to remember though, I made some handy graphics to keep in mind when looking for the meaty type of jackfruit:

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When preparing the jackfruit, you typically want to drain and rinse it before using. The easiest and best way I have found to shred it is to pulse it a few times in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, then it’s a good idea to simply follow the instructions the recipe usually includes that asks you to shred it with a fork, either before or after it is cooked.

Now, on to the recipes!

In books, my favorite recipes using jackfruit are from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. She has a recipe for yummy bbq’d jackfruit in the crockpot (which I believe is called Cannibal Corpse Crock Pot) that she also uses on top of a yummy kale salad. She also has a recipe for a sweet potato and walnut jackfruit hash (which she calls “You Don’t Know Jack Hash”) which I absolutely loved. Check her and her book out!

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The jackfruit salad from Bake and Destroy

The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life by Melisser Elliott also has a really great vegan carnitas taco recipe in it.

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The jackfruit carnitas tacos

As far as websites go, here are my favorite, tried and true jackfruit recipes:

The V-Word (a fellow Mofo-er) has a mind blowing recipe for Vegan Philly Cheesesteak.

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Vegan Philly Jackfruit Cheesesteak!

Finally, one of my absolute favorite non-tuna salad sandwich recipes can be found here. It is amazing, and unfortunately gets gobbled up so fast every time I make it that I don’t have any pictures. It was a big hit by itself (without the melt part) at Girls Rock this past Summer amongst the volunteers!

And how could I forget? My very own Jackfruit Chick’un Noodle Soup!

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So, in conclusion, do not be afraid to try jackfruit. It’s really fun to use and delicious, and there are many recipes you can find. I hope this settles some of the confusion you might have had if you are a jackfruit newbie looking to find it and don’t know much about it, as well.

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Vegan MoFo day 8: Meaty Meatless Monday-Rosemary Agave Ham Seitan Loaf

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For those who might be reading my blog and be new to the idea of veganism and vegan food, I’d like to offer a definition of what seitan is:

Seitan: a vegan mock meat (or meat substitute) made from wheat gluten. It has a firm and somewhat rubbery texture. It is typically made by making a dough (main ingredient: vital wheat gluten) with a variety of dry and wet ingredients and be made to substitute many different meats. Seitan needs to be cooked in a broth for a fairly long time in order to form properly, but the method in which you can do that varies. I have made seitan in a crockpot and been able to go about my own business most of the day, but I’ve also made it in the oven on low temperatures and had to stick around and be more careful. You can also boil it on the stove, and then saute or bake it, but that requires the most care and time. It is probably one of the most advanced types of foods you will consider making as a vegan concerning the cooking skills required to make it.

This recipe was adapted from here. It came about from the need for a vegan ham I could make myself. Next Sunday I plan on using it in a recipe for brunch. This would work really well if you make another sweet glaze for it and use it as a roast or something. I didn’t try that (yet!) but it can essentially be used in multiple ways and serve many purposes. As always with seitan, if you can’t use it all within a week, wrap the pieces up in plastic wrap (and maybe a plastic bag too) and freeze until needed.

Recipe

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed between fingers

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup hot water

  • 3 tbsp vegan bac’un bits
  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu crumbled into pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp agave

For the cooking broth:

1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp marmite (a yeast extract that can be found in your grocery’s British international section if it has one)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan poultry seasoning blend
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl or your electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
  2. In a blender, place the hot water, bac’un bits and whir the blender on a high setting until the bits have combined with the hot water as much as possible. Add the tofu, cold water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, tomato paste, and agave and blend.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and run the mixer with the dough hook for about ten minutes. Alternately, you can knead it by hand for about 15 minutes, I’ve done it before, it takes a lot of elbow grease, but is possible. It is more difficult to knead than bread, makes your hands smell a bit funny, and can make quite a sticky mess on the surface you are kneading it on.
  4. Let the dough sit covered for an hour.
  5. In the meantime, prepare the cooking broth. Place the broth, water, marmite, and agave together in a saucepan.
  6. Heat over medium heat until the agave and marmite melt into the other liquids.
  7. Take off the heat and stir in the seasoning blend, sesame oil, ketchup, and liquid smoke. Set aside.
  8. After the hour of letting the dough sit is over, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Knead the dough for another ten minutes. The dough should be smooth.
  10. Take the whole ball of dough and place into an oiled loaf pan. Press down with your hands. Pour the broth over the seitan. 
  11. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.
  12. Immediately after placing in the oven, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees F.
  13. Bake for three hours.
  14. With a good spatula, loosen the loaf and flip the seitan so that side that was the bottom is now the top and facing up. Re-cover with the foil.
  15. Turn the heat back up to 325 degrees again and bake for another 30 minutes.
  16. After the 30 minutes, flip again, re-cover, and bake for 15 minutes.
  17. After the 15 minutes, flip for the last time and re-cover and bake for a final ten more minutes or until the broth has been fully absorbed into the seitan.
  18. Take out of the oven, let it cool slightly. Slice as desired and use in other recipes, such as my french toast, rosemary “ham” and cashew cheese sandwich coming next Sunday! I love freezing seitan wrapped in plastic wrap and in ziplock bags to save for later when my recipes call for it, as mentioned in the beginning of my post.

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