Vegan Mofo 2014: Sandwich (and soup and salads) Saturday! California Club Sandwich with Bac’non Nori

photo 4

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

photo 1

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.
Advertisements

I’m back with a new recipe! Vegan Quinoa Jambalaya

Hello there,

There are lots of new things happening in my life lately. I have lots of new ideas for this blog. I am planning on changing the content I post a bit, to be more informative about food and nutrition, post more of my recipes, and also talk about other vegan, health, and wellness related topics.

Unfortunately my last semester at my community college where I will graduate with my associate’s degree and planning for the next step of working towards my bachelor’s degree has had me quite busy lately. I hope to be able to find more time to write here though soon. By Summer there should definitely be more time.

Today I made a recipe though, and am sitting down to type it up and share it in this post.

Before I was vegan, my mom used to make Jambalaya with a seasoning mix and rice, chicken, shrimp, and sausage. I liked it even though it came from a box. I had been thinking about it lately, and how to veganize it.

I wanted to make it with quinoa because I am not the biggest fan of having rice all the time. Plus quinoa has more protein in it, which I like.

This recipe used store-bought meat substitutes for the vegan chicken and sausages, but you could find recipes to make your own if you desire. For the vegan shrimp, I had a plain batch of leftover shrimp seitan  that I froze and defrosted from when I made the vegan shrimp bao recipe. It is not gluten free because of the shrimp seitan, but there may or may not be other vegan shrimp alternatives that are gluten free that you can find in stores if that is important to you.

I do not know for sure if this is very authentic jambalaya, but since it is inspired by it, that is what I am calling it. It is really yummy though, that is for sure!

Image Recipe for Vegan Quinoa Jambalaya

Makes about 10 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Vegan shrimp (either store bought or made from scratch via this recipe)
  • 2 Tofurky Italian Sausages, sliced into rounds
  • 3 pieces Gardein Chick’n Scallopini chopped into chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit more to cook the veggies
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 small-medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz canned tomato sauce (I used a no-salt added brand)
  • a splash to 1/4 cup of vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe’s Low Sodium broth)
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more if you like salt)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Before you really start to cook, combine the spices in a bowl or little ziplock bag and set aside. Also cook the quinoa in advance, if you wish. It takes about 10-15 minutes to cook, so either way is fine.
  2. Cook each vegan “meat” in a frying pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil separately, one at a time, until slightly brown or golden. You can use the same pan for each of them, but I think it works best to cook one at a time, and then set it aside on a plate while you cook the next one.
  3. After the “meats” are cooked, heat a little more olive oil into the pan. Add the onions and peppers, and cook until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for a bit longer, stirring a bit.
  5. Add a splash (or more) of vegetable broth, the spice mix, and tomato sauce. Make sure the spices and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, then fold in the quinoa and the vegan shrimp, sausage, and chick’n. Stir to incorporate everything together.
  7. Allow to heat thoroughly. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Eat! Enjoy!

Image

 

Cooking week in review-more from Betty Goes Vegan

This week I was somewhat lazy. With school in full swing I typically make two meals that will last me a while and fill in the rest with salads and other easy foods. I usually cook once on the weekend and another time during the week.

This week I made some scrumptious recipes from the cookbook Betty Goes Vegan!

Vegan Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

Image

I used the recipe for the whole wheat crust that was in the book, as well. This was so good! I was skeptical of putting tofurky onto the pizza, but it got crisp in some places, and remained chewy in others, and was the perfect texture addition for this recipe. The red peppers and tomato added another wonderful dimension. There is no sauce on the pizza, but it’s fine with just the tomatoes. The choices of herbs (especially the fresh oregano) were wonderful, and completed the experience, along with the daiya cheese I used. It was so good, and quite impressive for a pizza. I defrosted the Gardein chicken first before putting it on, but was not sure if that was required since it did not say that in the recipe.

Image

The next thing I made was the New England Chowder from the book as well.

It uses oyster mushrooms instead of clams. It came out really thick, more like a stew with very little broth. I’m not sure if I maybe did something wrong? I might have had really big potatoes that screwed it up? I’m not really sure but either way it was delicious, especially when served with oyster crackers mixed in!

Image

That is all for now. I am hoping to rework/veganize an amazing recipe I have been craving for awhile this weekend. We shall see how it goes. I will post about it whenever it is finished!

Foodie (Photo) Friday! I made a lot! Especially from the cookbook Isa Does It!

This week was a big week for my cooking. Not only did I create my own original recipe for a favorite, typically very non vegan appetizer, but I also tested tons of other people’s recipes.

I mostly tried a bunch of recipes from the Isa Does It cookbook though, which I have not found a single recipe that wasn’t amazing or really yummy yet. My only complaint is that the recipe names are not easy to remember because they are usually named after the ingredients and not that creative/specific so I feel like I sometimes write about them and name them different than what is in the cookbook. So apologies if I am not using the actual recipe names to a T, I am currently too tired and somewhat lazy to go get the book and double check! Woops. How unprofessional of me…

Image

Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Cashew Cream Sauce

The most impressive recipe  I have tried  so far was definitely the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Tarragon Cashew Cream and Brussels Sprouts. I have made my own gnocchi from recipes before, but it seemed so difficult and was such a long process. Maybe my cooking skills have drastically improved over time and I just do things faster and in a more organized time saving manner, but I still think this recipe is by far an easier and simple way of making you own vegan gnocchi from scratch than the previous recipe I tried. It only really takes awhile because you have to bake the sweet potato (or potatoes…but I found a 1 lb sweet potato that worked out very well). The sauce is also simplistic yet has a very fancy flavor/touch to it with the tarragon. And a cashew based sauce makes almost any pasta recipe rich and luxurious. The Brussels Sprouts were the perfect finishing touch, and add to the dish to make it a complete healthful meal.

I love the bowls so far in this cookbook. I think I forgot to post about the cucumber ranch tofu bowl I made New Year’s Eve? Well that was pretty good. Even better was the pizza bowl, though.

Image

Not the prettiest looking pizza bowls

I used tofurky italian sausages (Which, to my delight, do not contain soy protein isolate in them which I am really trying to avoid as much as possible now.  My nutritionist said she believes that it is that form of soy that causes the most problems for our hormone balance, and it is very highly processed (and typically g.m.o I think?) so it is good to avoid or eat irregularly. Tofu is fine unless you have digestive/other sensitivities to it, whIch I do not.

Anyways, this was absolutely delicious and comforting. The sauce is really, really good. It reminds me of pink (or vodka cream) sauce, which was one of my favorite sauces before I went vegan and I have found difficult to replicate as a vegan despite trying . Actually now this gives me an idea to try and make an even more authentic version of it! Yay!

Paired with the kale (which I actually seemed to cook right for the first time ever…I typically only eat it raw), rice, sausage, garlic, red onions, olives, etc it is just so wonderfully filling and tasty!

My pictures of it are not the prettiest, but believe me, it is so yummy!

Image

edamame hummus tofu wraps…before I wrapped them 🙂

I also made the tofu wraps with edamame hummus. It somehow tastes kind of like a Japanese-inspired egg salad wrap to me which I thought was pretty cool. I will definitely be making the edamame based (instead of chickpea) hummus on it’s own again multiple times. The tofu was really good too though! I love anything with sesame oil in it, and it crisps the tofu perfectly. Isa Chandra Moscowitz doesa really good job through writing her recipes teaching people the proper methods of cooking her dishes without having them fail horribly. Hopefully I can get there myself too!

I did not use sprouts because when I buy them they seem to go bad too fast, instead I used greens. When I use up the leftovers tomorrow though, I am probably going to use baby arugula. Yum!

Aside from cooking from Isa Does It, I found this recipe on a facebook group I belong to and was intrigued so I gave it a try. Behold, Green Pancakes!

Image

not the prettiest again but behold green pancakes!

They look kinda gross, but I felt really good about eating them for my breakfast and do not taste too different from unhealthy versions of pancakes…especially when you add some maple syrup, ha, ha. I kept thinking of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and thinking this would make a good vegan story like that, especially for kids while eating these. So it was fun, healthy, and fed my belly all at once.

Finally, I made a really delicious salad today.

Image

my delicious salad with chickpea “bacon”

The centerpiece of the salad was the Chickpea Bacon recipe from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! Gosh do I love that book!

I put 2 cups chopped romaine, 1/2 cup baby arugula, 1/3 cup sliced cucumber, 1/3 cup chopped hearts of palm, 1/4 of the chickpea recipe, a slice of red onion that I chopped into smaller bits, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 2 tbsp Organicville Non Dairy Ranch! I made a similar version for my dad and he really liked it too! He was trying to refuse eating it because of the non-dairy ranch, but now he says I have to make him a salad every day! (Though fat chance…but I will make an extra for him when I have one from now on!)

Ta da! And now you know what I cooked up this week!

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can follow me on these social media outlets where I post related (and unrelated) things to my blog.

Banana Curl, Vegan Girl’s Facebook Page

Follow me on Pinterest (the blog has it’s own board if you just want to follow that)

Twitter

And I think that’s everything for now! I will be adding these to the end of my blog every so often for new people to click on and explore. Also, I love comments and feedback and love it when people spread and share my work I am doing here, so do not be shy about that!

Foodie (Photo) Friday, Thanksgiving Edition!

I’m still kind of super tired, I guess my cold is not totally gone and it’s upsetting to me a bit.

So I apologize, but I’m going to try to get through posting this fairly quickly so I can go to bed early, haha.

Image

This was one of my better Vegan Thanksgivings though. I ended up making a Tofurky roast feast in the crockpot with this recipe. I also cooked up the gravy that came with it. My grandmother brought some jarred pearl onions and we cooked them with some pepper, paprika and earth balance. I don’t know why, but I always liked that, it’s simple and really good. Probably the most elaborate thing I made, besides the pumpkin pie I ended up making, was the green bean casserole. It was well worth it though, it was quite tasty. Actually, I had been worried about it because I thought it might taste too parsnip-y, but it balanced really well. I only put 1/2 tsp salt in it total, though, and it was fine. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp! No way. I’ll definitely be making it next year, though (well, if I decide to make a green bean casserole…and other factors…heh).

Image

Additionally, I made potato latkes for Thanksgivukkah. I also made Baba Ganoush for an appetizer. I don’t think I can link the recipe to it though, I found the recipe that I had printed out awhile ago and have no idea where I got it from now. But it’s quite tasty. You roast 2 eggplants with some garlic (you put the garlic on it halfway through cooking the eggplants). Then you use the roasted garlic, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, salt, etc and make a paste in a food processor, then add the eggplant and combine.

Image

I know I had said I was making pumpkin pie graham cracker squares for dessert, but I ended up getting the Eat To Live Cookbook I had ordered and they had a fantastic sounding pumpkin pie that I decided to make instead. So I did. It’s sugar and flour free, which is awesome. It’s sweetened with dates instead. Aside from the fact that the crust is made from almonds, I couldn’t tell any other aspect was done differently than the traditional recipe. It was soooo good and I liked the cashew cream to put on top but I should have made a little less since I ended up giving a lot of the pie away without it so that I wouldn’t end up eating the whole thing myself (my family is not big on pumpkin desserts for some reason, but I am…)

My meals leading up to Thanksgiving basically just consisted of two things:

Image

Pumpkin Echiladas from the Vegan Stoner Cookbook, and Green Bean Casserole Pizza from Bake and Destroy.

Image

Image

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving, or Thanksgivukkah (Hanukkah…although it’s still happening…) if that’s your thing too. I was very glad to have a cruelty free and vegan Thanksgiving for myself once again, so I’m going to leave you this picture of me in my majestic Compassion Company Thanskgiving t-shirt.

Image

My “Thanksgivukkah” Menu- a bit early but at least I’m prepared!

So this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving happen to occur at the same time. Hanukkah starts at sundown on Wednesday the 27th, and since it goes on for 8 nights, Thanksgiving will co-occur. My family doesn’t really celebrate Hanukkah as much as we used to (I think my dad, who is Jewish but not really religious married my mom so he could celebrate Christmas at times, hehe, although we don’t really celebrate Christmas that much either…)

Anyways, my family has some traditions around holiday time that are difficult to break, despite being a vegan and/or not really being into the actual holidays themselves. One is that we try to have Potato latkes the first night of Hanukkah. But since everyone ends up eating a lot on Thanksgiving, and we’ll be doing tons of cooking on the first night in preparation for Thanksgiving, it kind of makes more sense to have potato latkes with Thanksgiving food. Someone on my facebook called it Thanksgivukkah, and I thought that was funny, so I decided to call this post that.

I end up making a lot of separate foods that I make for myself and feast off of for the rest of the week, since my family is not vegan along with me sadly. So for the past three years I have been making my own Thanksigiving menu that people can eat from if they want to, or not.

This year I am making:

Baked Potato Latkes from the Happy Herbivore Blog

A healthy green bean casserole (I may need to put some vegan fried onions on top too, we’ll see…)

Tofurky  (I think I am getting a coupon from purchasing a limited edition thanksgiving shirt from Compassion Co., so I really want to do this this year!)

and for dessert:

*edit* I was going to make some pumpkin pie squares but ended up choosing to make the Eat To Live Cookbook’s pumpkin pie because it seemed like a healthier choice–Eat To Live Cookbook is my newest (and healthiest) cookbook I own.

Look out for my reviews of these recipes, hopefully on Thanksgiving day or the day after! Let me know if you decide to make any of these as well, and then let me know what you thought!

Salad of the week: Thanksgiving Salad!

Okay, so I have to admit I have been making so many pumpkin things lately I’m starting to get a bit pumpkin’d out.

Today for my Salad of the week I made a salad that reminds me of those thanksgiving sandwiches. The ones with like, leftover Tofurky, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and whatever. It doesn’t have stuffing in it unfortunately. But it still tastes super good with breaded vegan chickun patties (I used a cut up Boca patty).

Image

I made my own creamy poultry seasoning dressing as well. It sounds weird but it tastes pretty good all together!

Here’s what I did:

To make the dressing: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lite silken tofu (the kind that is refrigerated in a pack like regular tofu, not the small vacuumed pack Nori Nu kind
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp vegan poultry spice/seasoning blend (or make your own…there should be tons of them if you google it)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse until fully combined. You can adjust seasoning to your liking as you go or afterwards as needed.

To make the salad:

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp jelly cranberry sauce (the kind I found at my local grocery store IS vegan…but here is a recipe from a vegan blog if you cannot find that near you, or prefer to make it from scratch)
  • Vegan chicken or turkey cut into pieces (You can use whatever! Would be good with leftover Tofurky roast, or Tofurky slices, but I used Boca fake chicken breaded patties to give it a breaded kind of flavor reminiscent of stuffing)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup pecans
  • As much dressing (above) as desired.
  • Roasted butternut squash chunks (Optional)

Directions:

It’s kind of obvious! Make a salad with these ingredients! I found that this was one of those salads that taste extra good when you really mix up the ingredients well instead of leaving them separate. Sometimes I want to put my salad dressing on before I finish putting all the ingredients together, but I always refrain because then everything gets too soggy.

I haven’t tried it with the butternut squash yet but I think it will be amazing and am going to roast it now and put it in tomorrow! Yum!