Monday, June 30, 2008

Seitan Roast with Agave Apples (Take Two!)

Made this again with a few alterations. Delicious! Oven roasted cauliflower on the side and apple slices (kind of hard to see) at the top right.

The original entry is located here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Macaroni Salad (and bonus pics)

Macaroni salad made with various beans, chickpeas and vegetables in a vegenaise/italian herb dressing with a touch of dill, dijon and agave nectar.

And bonus pics: Shadow and Smuckers!



Friday, June 27, 2008

No food but keep reading!

I don't talk much about animal rights issues on this blog (though I might start an AR blog as well if I have time) but I wanted to take the time to mention two things.

First, one of the gripes that a lot of vegan activists have had for quite some time is that we were lacking good leaflets/pamphlets that had a consistent message. Recently, two friends of mine have put together an excellent vegan abolitionist pamphlet in both English and French which can be downloaded as a PDF for free here. So print out tons of copies and start handing them out!

Secondly, Gary Francione just released his new book, Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation:

A prominent and respected philosopher of animal rights law and ethical theory, Gary L. Francione is known for his criticism of animal welfare laws and regulations, his abolitionist theory of animal rights, and his promotion of veganism and nonviolence as the baseline principles of the abolitionist movement. In this collection, Francione advances the most radical theory of animal rights to date. Unlike Peter Singer, Francione maintains that we cannot morally justify using animals under any circumstances, and unlike Tom Regan, Francione's theory applies to all sentient beings, not only to those who have more sophisticated cognitive abilities.

If you order from this page on Columbia University Press' website, it's 50% off until August 1st, so go buy it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


More kimchi fermenting.

3 jars of cabbage/radish kimchi and one small jar of radish kimchi. I need better jars because it's a pain in the ass to jam it into narrow mouthed jars!

Seitan Roast with Agave Apples

Tester recipe for Joy Tienzo. On the side are some simple roasted potatoes.

This dish was delicious!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Holy Trinity Mac & "Cheese"

As vegans, we're lacking good vegan cheeses but out of all of them, the "holy trinity" are Cheezly, Sheese and Teese. I like all three of them and thought, "hey, I should make macaroni with them all in it!" So I did and it is awesome. It is really the closest thing to the death* counterpart I've ever had.

This is not the healthiest recipe and it's not cheap (unless you found a great deal on the "cheese") but I think it's worth it to make once in a blue moon.

Oh, and I get all three of them online from Pangea.

Holy Trinity Mac & "Cheese"

Serves 4 to 6.

1 lb macaroni - uncooked
1 - 3 tbsp yellow mustard (enough to lightly coat pasta)
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
3.5 cups unsweetened plain soy milk
1 package Cheezly Mature White Cheddar - grated
1/2 package Cheezly Mozzarella - grated
1/2 package of Sheese Smoked Cheddar - grated
1/2 package of Teese - grated
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp soy sauce / tamari (optional)
breadcrumbs and/or nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil or "butter" a large casserole dish/pan.

2. Cook macaroni until al dente. Rinse under cold water, drain, coat lightly with yellow mustard and set aside.

3. Melt margarine over medium heat and whisk in flour, paprika, parsley and black pepper. Let it bubble for a minute or so and slowly whisk in the soy milk until well incorporated. Continue whisking constantly and heating until the sauce thickens a bit.

4. Add the grated "cheeses" and allow to melt while stirring (don't let it burn!). Taste and add in optional salt and tamari to taste.

5. When the sauce is smooth and everything is melted, turn off heat, mix in the macaroni and put it all in your prepared dish/pan.

6. Top with breadcrumbs or a light coating of nutritional yeast and bake for 30 mins.

* For any non-vegans reading, dairy cows are not only kept pregnant to produce milk, their male calves are taken away for "veal" and they are also slaughtered when their "production" levels fall. So yes, dairy = death. Propaganda, you say? The two sites linked are from the USDA.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Scrambled Tofu

Scrambled tofu with green onions, summer squash, carrots and bok choy leaves. Tester recipe for Joy Tienzo's upcoming vegan cookbook.

The vegetable additions were mine since I had some of that stuff kicking around but the base recipe is delicious.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

BBQ Seitan with Pasta Salad and Kale

Comfort food!

The seitan recipe is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I love this recipe and make this about once every 2 weeks. It's so easy and almost every vegan has these ingredients on hand. I always double the recipe and also add in a few extra tablespoons of peanut butter. I think it gives it a better texture and a little more body to the taste. Instead of grilling it, I usually just slather with sauce, wrap in foil and throw back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, just enough time for the sauce to start soaking into the seitan.

The pasta salad was made with tri-colour fusilli, mixed vegetables and beans and the dressing was made with vegenaise, italian dressing, dill, salt and pepper.

On the top left is some kale that was sauteed with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

The seitan baking in the oven made my entire house far too hot, but it was worth it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chajang Myun - Korean Black Bean Noodles

When I was a kid, we used to buy instant Korean black bean noodles from the convenience store. I loved this stuff because it was different than any other noodles we'd have either at Chinese restaurants or at home. It was only until I was older that I found out that the instant stuff tastes nothing like the homemade stuff, not to mention that almost all the brands out there are *not* vegan.

Since I have been on a Korean cooking kick, I thought I'd give it a go and make it from scratch. I scoured various recipes and they were all pretty much the same so I thought I would wing it because I almost always cook by taste.

The first two attempts were (in my mind) total failures. I was sorely disappointed because my palate was expecting it to taste like the instant stuff I ate so much of before. I kvetched to my sister many times about it not tasting the same. I'm sure she was getting very tired of hearing about my black bean noodle woes. I thought I would give it another shot tonight and I kept in mind that it was not going to taste like the instant stuff and that I should just enjoy it for what it is.

The sauce was made from scratch with fermented black bean paste, seasoned bean paste, water, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, onion powder and garlic powder along with with carrots, bok choy, green onions, zucchini, soy curls and then thickened with cornstarch. I adjusted the seasonings as it was simmering and boy did it smell good and it was tasty too!

Now it still doesn't taste like the instant stuff but I really liked it. And you know what? I will make this again! :)

Penne with Rapini

As you can see by the previous post, we have a lot of greens from our CSA that we need to use up over the next week or so. We already devoured the swiss chard and asian greens (no pics) and I used one of the bunches of bok choy for kimchi (ready in 3-4 days).

For the rapini, I used it in a simple pasta toss with penne, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, white beans and hot chili flakes. The "sauce" was seasoned with just italian herbs, salt, pepper, sugar and a splash of balsamic. This is my favourite way to eat rapini and was done this way the very first time I had it many many years ago.

On the right side of the bowl are chunks of smoked cheddar Sheese. I was also going to toast some ciabatta I have in the freezer, but got lazy and didn't bother. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CSA Week 5

What we picked up this week. Our CSA works on a debit system rather than a share system but this was quite a steal at $45. We would have paid way more than that at the local health food store!
  • swiss chard (2 bunches)
  • tuscan kale (2 bunches)
  • mixed asian greens (1 bag)
  • baby carrots (1 bunch)
  • zucchini (2)
  • summer squash (2)
  • green onions (1 huge bunch)
  • young garlic (1 head)
  • bok choy (2 huge bunches)
  • rapini (2 bunches)
  • conical cabbage (1)
  • baby cauliflower & leaves (1 bunch)
  • lettuce (1)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jap Chae - Korean Stirfried Noodles

I make no claims to the authenticity of this, but I think it's close to authentic. I cobbled it together from reading a bunch of different Jap Chae recipes in books and online. With almost everything I cook, I cook by taste so I don't have any measurements for any of the seasonings.

Also, I was lacking in a lot of vegetables so the picture above only has shiitake mushrooms, cloud ear fungus (aka black Chinese fungus or wood ear fungus), nappa cabbage green onions and garlic. The stuff on the right are homemade scallion pancakes.

The noodles are made with a specific type of Korean vermicelli made from sweet potatoes. I don't think it's advisable to try and substitute another type of vermicelli for it since the sweet potato vermicelli holds up a lot better than rice or mung bean vermicelli.

Jap Chae

- 1 pkg Korean vermicelli (sweet potato vermicelli)
- vegetable oil (for cooking)
- various vegetables (choose whatever you want): minced garlic, sliced yellow onions, diced green onions, sliced mushrooms (regular and/or shiitake), sliced cloud ear fungus, fresh spinach, chopped nappa cabbage, thinly sliced red pepper, thinly sliced carrots
- soy sauce (use Japanese soy, not dark Chinese soy)
- sugar
- salt & pepper
- toasted sesame oil
- mirin or rice vinegar
- gochujang (Korean red pepper paste, optional)
- toasted sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
  1. Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente (about 5-10 mins — check after 5 minutes). Rinse under cold water and drain well. Snip noodles into about 6" pieces (if you don't they will be too long and hard to handle). Toss with some soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside (it's easiest to use your hands to toss).

  2. In a large pan, heat up the oil and throw in your various vegetables, some soy sauce, sugar, salt & pepper, sesame oil, mirin and gochujang (if using). While the vegetables are cooking in the seasonings, taste and adjust. You basically want to add enough of each ingredient to make a bit of a stirfry sauce because you'll be coating the noodles with the mixture. Taste-wise you want a good balance of all the ingredients to your liking.

  3. When the vegetables are done to how you prefer, toss the noodles in and stir up everything well. Taste and adjust seasonings again during the stirring/tossing. It's pretty much done when the noodles are warmed up again, well coated and mixed and seasoned to your liking.

  4. Remove from heat, plate and top with toasted sesame seeds.
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