Gluten Free and Vegan Elvis Panini Sandwich!

I have been trying to eat more healthfully lately. In fact, ever since I went gluten free I have found it hard to make up the ridiculously delicious recipes I was used to creating in the past. But today I dreamed up an idea for an amazing unhealthy sandwich that at first I was skeptical of being able to pull off to meet my needs. As I continued to think about it, I devised the methods that could make it healthier, and is the perfect combination of delicious, ridiculous, healthfulness, and satiety level!

This sandwich is a peanut butter and nanner sandwich, with baked vegan rice paper bacun, made with light tapioca gluten free bread, grilled in a panini maker. This definitely is not a very original idea, I’ve seen many a vegan version of this sandwich on blogs and in cookbooks, but this is my version!

It came out so well, that my panini maker has been given a new life outside of sitting in my basement!

Let me walk you through the steps, in picture form. It’s easy!

Bake the rice paper bacun. I did this recipe’s marinade, minus the ground coconut, soaked the rice paper strips in cold water, then in the marinade, and put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with coconut oil. Then I baked them in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, checking and flipping every 5 minutes (some got done sooner than others, when that happened I took the ones that were done out and put it on a plate while the rest continued to cook)IMG_9197

Set aside.

Take two pieces of Ener-g gluten free light tapioca loaf bread and spray coconut oil on one side of both slices of bread. Put the coconut oil side down on a plate.

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Take out the peanut butter. This is a locally made, all natural, salt and sugar free peanut butter. It’s so good!

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Place one tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread.

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Cut half a banana into slices. Place on one slice.

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Layer the rice paper bacun you made earlier on top of the bananas. Put the peanut butter slice down on top of the bacon to make the sandwich.

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Place the sandwich into a pre-heated panini grill on medium high for about 5 minutes, more or less depending on your device (check on it).

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Ready to go!

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Enjoy!

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Vegan MoFo Day 5: Post #5: Best Sandwich Ever: Pretzel Bun Po’Boy from The Grange in Providence, RI

Today I’m excited to bring back a feature of my blog that I haven’t done in a long time. That is, to bring back some of my drawings. Since my favorite vegan sandwich happens to be something I can no longer eat due to being gluten free (well, who am I kidding, I don’t really eat sandwiches anymore, which makes me sad!) I couldn’t just snap a fresh picture of it. Adding to problem, is that this sandwich is from a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant in my state. So, I wasn’t going to go there, and buy something I can’t even eat just to get a good picture of it. No, that’d be pure torture.

So instead, I drew a picture in homage of this sandwich. It’s from a restaurant called The Grange. If you’re ever visiting Providence, I recommend you go to it. And get in touch with me, I’ll happily meet up with you and we can talk about vegan (and also vegan gluten free, if you’re into that!?) food the whole time. They have really great brunches. Just sayin’.

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The picture I drew basically describes it perfectly, although it is hard to describe the oyster mushrooms to do them any justice. The salty and smooth pretzel baguette along with the veganaise (which I guess, according to the menu is actually “remoulade”, house made pickles (or at least I assume they are, they’re good, and taste almost homemade), and mushrooms makes the perfect combination for a sandwich. I seriously would do almost anything to make myself be able to eat gluten again so I could have one more of these. Alas… 😦 I will need to find a new favorite dish that is also gluten free at this awesome restaurant.

Thanks for reading!

Jackfruit Sloppy Joe Recipe, slop slop sloppy joes!

Before I get to the recipe I have a funny story to share.

First of all, I don’t think my mother would have ever made sloppy joe’s for my brother and I to eat if it weren’t for my dad’s apparent love for musical comedy CDs.

My dad is famous in our family for several things. For awhile, it was always needing the newest technology to play music or movies with. He had cd players in his cars pretty early on. The other thing he was famous, but still continues to this day, is the sick joy he gets out of torturing his family with the way he listens to music when we are in the car with him. He will make a point to have a bunch of music queued up, and will play the first 30 seconds of each song, until he finds the most annoying song he has, and then listens to that one in its entirety.

Anyways, some time during my childhood, there was the song that all I remember from it was the chorus of “Sloppy Joe, slop sloppy Joe, yeah.” Except, until now, I had somehow thought that this song was either a Meatloaf song or some other classic rock group’s song (as those are probably my Dad’s other favorite types of Musicians). I don’t even know why, it’s obvious that this song was not meant to be serious. After researching for more details of the “Sloppy Joe song slop sloppy joe” (yes that’s what I googled) it was on an Adam Sandler CD. Apparently I was only 9 at the time when this song came out, and I don’t remember any of the other songs on this album. Up until now I hadn’t even realized it was an Adam Sandler song, even though I know all of the lyrics to the Chanukkah songs by heart.

So, as I realized that there did not yet exist a vegan sloppy joe recipe that’s main ingredient was jackfruit, this song popped back into my head and I made it up. The jackfruit ends up complementing the other flavors very well, because jackfruit is a bit tangy, and with the seasonings and sauce almost makes it taste like there are pickles in the recipe. To me it tastes kind of like a fake cheeseburger with no burger or cheese.

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Jackfruit Sloppy Joe Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans jackfruit, drained and rinsed, chopped in a food processor
  • 1 1/2 cups Heinz Chili Sauce or ketchup
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp turmeric (I’ve been reading all these articles lately about the benefits of turmeric lately, so I try to put it into my recipes as much as I can)
  • 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce or vegan steak sauce
  • Vegenaise as needed
  • Vegan Kaiser rolls sliced in half

Directions:

  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a large frying pan with cover.
  2. Add in the onions, allow to cook until translucent.
  3. Add in the pepper and garlic and cook until the pepper turns bright green and then softens.
  4. Stir in the jackfruit and allow to cook for a few minutes. Stir for a bit, place the cover on top for a minute or two, and then take off the cover and stir a bit more.
  5. When the jackfruit has heated, reduce the heat to low and add the chili sauce, sugar, seasonings, and worcestershire sauce and stir until combined.
  6. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  7. Spread Vegenaise onto the bun and put a generous amount of the sloppy joe mixture onto the bun.
  8. Try not to make too much of a mess of yourself while eating it.

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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: Sandwich (and soup and salads) Saturday! California Club Sandwich with Bac’non Nori

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Initially I had planned to unveil my ingenious new nori vegan bacon invention today, but I actually ended up sharing it as a preview to my Vegan MoFo plans, in addition to it being International Bacon Day. This recipe builds upon the nori bac’non recipe, but adds it into a vegan club sandwich, which is the perfect addition of flavors, in my mind.

When I was a little girl we visited California almost every Summer. My favorite thing to get there was a California style Club Sandwich. They just don’t make them the same (and are hard to find) in New England. Of course, they aren’t always typically vegan, so I needed to veganize it, as well.

California Club sandwich with Bac’non Nori

Ingredients (for one sandwich):

  • 1/3 Avocado
  • 2 tomato slices
  • 1 piece/leaf iceberg lettuce
  • 1 tbsp vegenaise
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 5 slices hickory smoked tofurky
  • 4 slices Nori Bac’non-Recipe here
  • 2 slices toasted rye or sourdough

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Directions:

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Mix vegenaise and hot sauce and spread on one side of bread.
  3. Place avocados, tomato slices, and Nori Bac’non on the vegenaise side.
  4. On the other bread slice, place lettuce and tofurky cut in half.
  5. Place both sides together and place two toothpicks and cut the whole sandwich in half with a bread knife.
  6. Gobble it down.

Vegan New England Style “Lobstah” salad made from hearts of palm and 7 days of new smoothie recipes to share!

Hello everybody, 

I did this thing this past week that I was going to blog about. Unfortunately I got a new laptop and when I transferred all the pictures I had  from my phone to my laptop, (including the ones I needed to make the blog entry) some of them got lost in the shuffle. I tried a new smoothie recipe every day of the week, and wanted to talk about them. Instead, lacking pictures, I will post the links to the recipes I used at the end of this entry.

I do however have a picture for the recipe I am about to share!

Growing up in the New England area of the East Coast United States, lobster salads have always been a thing. They’re also usually kind of a big treat. Today I was inspired by that, and wanted to make a vegan version. This is truly “lobstah” as Bostonians and Rhode Islanders would say, but is free from any cruelty towards the real sea creatures.

I used hearts of palm as the main “meat,” and some sun-dried tomatoes as well to give color, flavor, and texture. There is a mix of seafood-y spices, lemon juice, and other seasonings, and the mix of vegenaise and vegan sour cream makes a delightfully creamy dressing for it.

New England Vegan Hearts of Palm “Lobstah” Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans salad chopped hearts of palm, drained, placed in a food processor and pulsed a few times to further chop them
  • 1/2 cup julienned cut sun dried tomatoes (the kind that comes in a bag, not packed in oil. I’d actually recommend soaking these in warm water for an hour or until a bit softer prior to including them in the salad because I didn’t and some were chewier and a bit tough when I ate them…soaking would solve that problem, but is probably optional)
  • 1 tsp kelp granules
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (use less if placing on top of greens instead of on bread)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (I used tofutti)

Directions:

  1. Place chopped, drained, and processed hearts of palm in a mixing bowl or other large container.
  2. Add sun-dried tomatoes and stir.
  3. Add spices and take a spoon to mix them into the chopped hearts of palm and sun-dried tomatoes. Make sure they are evenly coated.
  4. Add lemon juice, vegenaise, and sour cream and stir. 
  5. Serve in a bun with some crunchy lettuce, or on top of salad greens with whatever other toppings you desire.
  6. Enjoy!

 

So there is that! Now as promised, here is the list and links to the smoothies I made each day last week:

  1. Raspberry Lime Zinger from Oh She Glows *Second place in my favorites!
  2. Pumpkin Chai from The Sweet Life
  3. Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie from Healthful Pursuit
  4. Pina Colada Smoothie from Foodie with Family
  5. Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (also from The Sweet Life) *My favorite one I tried!
  6. Chocolate Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie from The Healthy Family and Home
  7. Chamomile Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie from Apron and Sneakers *Runner up for favorite 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Foodie (Photo) Friday #5: Eating out, Pumpkin/Chocolate muffins, Tofu Satay

Hello hello! It’s foodie (photo) Friday! Annnd… I did not make much food this week because I ended up going out to eat quite a bit.  I’ll talk about my dining experiences first before going on to the food pictures and recipe reviews:

I went to a burrito place that had seitan as a filling option (which I was very excited about) in Amherst, Massachusetts,  an Asian restaurant in Providence, RI  (the menu had mostly Thai and Chinese dishes but also some Cambodian I believe) where I got orange crispy tofu, garlic eggplant, and sticky white rice, and then tonight to The Grange in Providence where I got a pretzel bun po’ boy with fried oyster mushrooms, vegan remoulade, pickles, lettuce, and cole slaw.

It’s a big toss up between whether I liked The Grange or the Asian food better. I want to say I liked the Grange more. I was so excited when I was eating that sandwich. The flavors in it are amazing. And all the textures together worked really well. A mix of 3 crunchy elements (the pickles, lettuce, and mushrooms) and two soft/creamy (the bread and the remoulade). I was worried that the restaurant might not live up to the hype I’ve heard about it, but I was impressed by the food at least. The only complaint I may have but am undecided about is that I found the atmosphere kind of weird, it was noisy and too dark (I don’t really like dark restaurants, but maybe that is because my vision is not great in the dark? I honestly do not know!

The Asian restaurant (called Gourmet House) had a lot of options for tofu which is always a sign of a good Asian restaurant for me. Almost all the dishes you could choose tofu or tofu and vegetables with. The orange tofu was so good. I was not expecting it to come the way it was though. This tofu was more like what I remember the sauces being when I was an omnivore and had ordered lemon chicken. It was a thick, citrus-y orange flavored sauce, with no hint of soy sauce or anything that I was expecting. I liked it so much I may have gone a bit overboard by eating the whole plate of it. Oops. And the eggplant and rice were also very yummy. I liked the stickiness of the rice, I don’t think I’ve actually ever had sticky rice before. It’s kind of sweet. The eggplant was savory but also had a sweet flavor to it at the time. The eggplant itself melted in my mouth.

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of my food at the restaurants, I was embarrassed to do so, heh.

Anyways, on to what I made from some tasty recipes this week.

The first:

venus chocolate pumpkin muffinsVenus Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. These are half and half pumpkin/chocolate muffins with a streusal topping. They’re difficult to make half and half so they look good, but they do taste pretty good. Next time I might omit the walnuts in the pumpkin, because I’d like a stronger pumpkin flavor. I think the walnuts might overpower it.

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Also I had a hard time with my oven getting them cooked well enough. Even with the max time listed with the recipe they were still totally liquid in the middle when I put a toothpick in the center, I think I cooked them for 5-10 minutes more. I honestly cannot remember, sometimes my oven is a bit weird lately.

Overall, these tasted pretty good and the recipe was pretty straight forward and easy despite having to make 3 separate parts so I give it a 4 good banana, one bad banana. It lost one good banana because it just didn’t have that “wow” factor when I tasted it. But they’re good otherwise.

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Second, was Tofu Satay from The 30 Minute Vegan cookbook.

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I made it into a bowl with some quinoa and added extra peanut satay sauce on top. The satay sauce was perfect, it tasted exactly like the kind of peanut satay sauce I like, that I remember getting from the Thai restaurants I have been to. Sometimes people and companies make a type of peanut satay that doesn’t taste this good, maybe without coconut milk and less of a peanut buttery taste, but this was amazing. The tofu came out pretty good, but I wish I had baked it longer until it got a little more crispy, except I was hungry and impatient so oh well. The addition of raw scallions and red pepper made it a complete and tasty meal all together with the quinoa. So yay! I think this probably deserves a 5 good banana rating!

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That’s all, folks! I have some couple neat ideas for a few different kinds of posts this week, hopefully I’ll get some time to post them, but I do have some exams coming up as well, so I don’t know! But I hope so!

Until next time!

In deliciousness,

Laura

Italian Chickpea Salad, tomato, and Daiya Provolone panini

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I was craving a chickpea salad sandwich but most of the recipes out there are all very similar–usually to make it taste sort of like a tuna sandwich–and I wanted something slightly different. So I had some vegan daiya provolone slices and tomatoes, and thought making an Italian flavored chickpea salad would be good. I decided to put it all in my panini press with some bread (duh). It came out really good, my only regret is that I didn’t put a slice of the provolone on both inside pieces of bread, because it would have helped the sandwich stick together better.

I made the chickpea salad in the food processor, and pulsed it to the point where it was the texture of a paté or thick hummus. I think it might be good if you process the sun dried tomatoes with the olive oil and spices and then add the chickpeas and roughly combine, especially if you want to eat it in a cold sandwich instead of a panini. Otherwise, just put everything in at once until combined.

Recipe:

For the Italian Chickpea Salad:

(Makes about four 1/4 cup servings, or one cup total when fully processed in the food processor)

Ingredients:

1-15 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained of water

5 sun dried tomato halves (I used ones without oil)

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (my favorite is Red Star brand)

2 tsp salt free Italian seasoning herb mix

1/2 tbsp dried minced onion

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, ground

Instructions:

  1. If you want a smooth, thick, pasty salad, throw all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and/or desired texture is met.
  2. Otherwise, process sun dried tomatoes, oil and other dry ingredients except chickpeas until fully combined.
  3. Add in chickpeas and pulse until roughly chopped.

For the panini:

2 slices vegan bread of choice (Italian or ciabatta would be nice–I just used the only bread I had- Trader Joe’s Texas Toast)

2 Daiya Provolone slices (I found them at my local grocery-Stop and Shop, in the organic refrigerated section! I believe Whole Foods sells them, other grocery stores may be more difficult to find…I believe someone near me requested a lot of vegan stuff at my grocery store and they were a huge success so they are stocking a lot of awesome things now!)

2 tomato slices, fairly thin

Italian Chickpea Salad, recipe above

Instructions:

  1. It sort of depends on what kind of panini press/maker you have. (Mine does not require any additional spray or oil so that’s why I don’t mention it, but if yours does, please follow the directions and be safe.)  Heat whatever you have until ready.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the fixings.
  3. Place a slice of the cheese on each piece of bread.
  4. Spread the Chickpea Salad on one side.
  5. Place tomato slices on the same side as the Chickpea Salad.
  6. Place the other slice on top, cheese facing down, and press in the panini until golden brown.
  7. Mangia!

Here are links to the companies whose products I used in this recipe and a little review:

Daiya Vegan Cheese

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I’d give the daiya Provolone slices a 4 good banana, 1 bad rating.

It melts perfectly as do all their cheese slices, but the flavor isn’t exactly spot on.

Red Star Nutritional Yeast 

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I give their nutritional yeast a 5 good banana rating! It’s the best tasting Nutritional Yeast (also known as “Nooch”)  I’ve tried, and I can be quite picky with it.

See you later in the week for a cool new post about health with some awesome illustrations, and another cooking post! Until then…