Sunday, May 4, 2014

Everyone Needs to Try This

Fresh chalupas w/ lentils, cilantro-lime rice and non-dairy stovetop "queso".

You know crispy tacos, right? Those gross, uber processed "shells" that you pick up from the mega-mart? Yeah, don't do that anymore. Want to give your tortillas some crunch? Pre-heat your oven to ~450F. Meanwhile, acquire a muffin tin and place it upside down on your countertop. Drape a few tortillas over the cups of your muffin tin, give it a quick non-stick spray and slap it in the oven for about 8 minutes. In no time at all, you'll have fresh, crispy tortillas cups for which to stuff full of vegan goodness in a manner not unlike a chalupa. 

Tofu Asada Tacos

3am tofu asada tacos; plated and ready to go.

"Tofu asada? Is that a thing?". Yes, friend. Tofu asada is a thing now. In my experience,"asada" seems to typically be grilled meat (generally beef) in an asada-style marinade which always seems to have lime, olive oil and a mish-mash of your typical Mexican ingredients (e.g. cumin, cilantro, chillies). I see no reason why this process cannot apply this same process to a block of extra firm tofu. Drained, pressed and marinated for an hour or so.

Carne or tofu Wok or grill. Hot metal cooky-thingy. Basically the same thing.

"UGH. That is NOT carne and that is NOT asad-dization. It is asadatage". Correct, Captain Stellar Observation Skills. It is NOT carne and it is a wok, not a grill.Still, I challenge you to pop into your nearest handful of authentic Mexican taquerias and tell me how many of them prepare carne asada on an open flame and not a simple flat-top griddle. I'm going to guess not many.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cheap Mid-East Feast

So often I hear "I can't go vegan, it's too expensive!". That is probably the silliest excuses ever. I can get dinner for the week at about $15 if I cook it at home. A big pot of chili can cost about $4. A pot of mujaddara for a couple dollars. And this yummy meal made enough to feed 3 people and leftovers for the entire weekend at about $9. The most expensive item was the pita at $2.99.

Here is homemade baked falafel pitas stuffed with cucumber salad and a drizzle of tahini sauce with a side of tabbouleh.

This was my first attempt at falafel, and it won't be my last. Those little crispy bean-balls are cheap and satisfying.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fat Vegan Breaky Sammich

I have really, really been eating unhealthy lately. A lot of it might be that I just don't want to be turning on my oven or stove since it's really hot, but it probably has a lot more to do with me being lazy. I've found myself eating veggie dogs when I should be eating more vegetables. Potato chips when I should be eating hummus.

Here's a perfect example for you! I had some leftover goodies from when I made breakfast for my wonderful girlfriend this past weekend. It was that big, hearty Sunday breakfast that everyone should experience every once in a while. I wanted to finish off the Light Life sausage tube I had so, what I did was fried up a sausage patty last night and in the morning I just toasted a bagel, heated up the patty and made a sammich with Tofutti cream cheese, onion and Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce and wrapped it in foil to keep it warm as I headed out the door for work.

It WAS good. Anyone who saw me eat it would never think it was vegan, but it was! This took me back to my days of working in a bagel shop.

Sorry the picture is blurry. I took it from my phone while I was sitting at the bus stop.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BBQ Lentil Sandwiches

I tried finding where I got this recipe from, but to no avail. It's (basically) brown lentils, 1/3 cup BBQ sauce, 1/3 cup ketchup, 1/3 mustard. All simmered until you have a nice, savory sammich filling.

It's served with some frozen, then steamed vegetables and garlic rosemary roasted potatoes. Super easy, super yum bachelor food.

Can you see my copy of Vegan With a Vengeance on the table?

File Under: Things I Should Have Done Long Ago

I doubt that I'm alone in the vegan world when I say I hate bacon. The stuff is vile, am I right? If you were to ask my how I could possibly hate bacon (veganism aside) my first three reasons would be:

1.) The smell. Cooking bacon has such a powerful odor. When bacon's around there is no way of escaping it because...
2.) Americans put it on everything. Burger? Let's add bacon! Salad? How about some bacon? Fiance cheated on you? It's okay, we brought bacon. Every "bar and grill" type place in the states smells like fried chicken because apparently...
3.) "I could never give up bacon," is what all the omnivores say. As if they are struggling with some sort of cholesterol and saturated fat addiction. If they can't have their bacon they would just die.

Now that that's over with, I recently stumbled across C'est la Vegan's video blog about tempeh BLTs and I had to try it. Quick, easy and most of all an excuse for me to buy a new jar of Vegenaise.

Let me tell you, for taking 5 minutes to make this was one of the most satisfying things I ate all week. I used low-fat Vegenaise, 365 organic yellow mustard, Life Light Fakin' Bacon, organic vine ripened tomatoes, organic romaine lettuce and Whole Foods' Organic Ezekiel bread. Yes, I like to brag when I eat organic because I'm fucking poor!

I made these for my newly vegetarian girlfriend Saturday morning and she was shocked at how much it tasted like real bacon. And yes, it does smell when you cook it, but it's not that vile smell that comes wafting out of the kitchen at Denny's every time your server comes stumbling out the door with a stack of pancakes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pizza (or "Overcoming My Fear of Baking")

If you know me, you know that I'm terrified of baking. Kneading, rising, proofing, temperature, control, cooking sounds more like science than cooking. But, over the weekend I decided it was time to face my fears and tackle something everybody loves: pizza.

My experience began with preparing a tofu-based ricotta from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Vegan With a Vengeance". Firm tofu, nutritional yeast, garlic, olive oil, fresh basil and lemon juice. After all the mixing and mashing, the ricotta itself certainly isn't something to rave about, but after baking this stuff tastes fantastic.

Some time last year my mom gave me a bread machine after hearing my frustrations with trying to find vegan bread. It's a great gadget to have, but it (like my baking skills) needed to be put to more use.

The ingredients for pizza dough are pretty simple: flour, water, yeast, olive oil, salt, sugar. With the bread machine you can just toss it all in there, set the machine to "Pizza Dough" and the machine will do all the kneading and rising for you. "Knead, monkey, knead" *cracks whip* The whole process takes close to an hour and by the end you should have a nice, sexy ball of dough.

After the dough is ready, it's party time. I floured my hands and board and got to work; beating the dough with my hands, rolling it out with my new rolling pin and finally letting gravity stretch it out by holding on an edge and working around the whole circumference of the dough. It certainly wasn't round, but whatever. I ended up cutting it into squares rather than slices and took Isa's advice by calling it "Rustic".

For toppings, I didn't want to make my own sauce so I used the jarred stuff. Then I added some sliced Greek olives (black and green) from the olive bar at Fry's, mushrooms, red onion, roma tomato, a little Daiya cheddar, Field Roast's Italian Sausage and the ricotta I prepared earlier.

I baked it for about 10 minutes at 425F. A little chewy in the middle, but I was pretty proud of the finished product. I will definitely be doing more pizza in the future.