Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dr. Pepper Tofurkey

Yeah, you fuckin' heard me.

Dr. Pepper Glaze / Marinade

     After hearing semi-mythological talk about fancy cooking with soda pop, I had to try this out - and it's incredible. You're basically boiling Dr. Pepper in a saucepan, making a reduction with it over medium heat for as long as it takes. And for the stickler, after chasing down the hotly debated question of whether the sugar in Dr. Pepper is or isn't vegan, we settled on THIS for a good answer from the horse's mouth.

     Start with 2 cups of Dr. Pepper. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and then balsamic vinegar, garlic (I used powder which worked great but you could dice and fry a garlic bulb instead), add some rosemary, cardamom (1 or 2 crushed if using pods) and crucially - some cinnamon.  Just stir this well and reduce it until it's syrupy, making sure it's not so hot as to burn. Baste or brush this liquid gold onto Tofurkey, a loved one, or whatever you're glazing. That's your business. You can do this with Coca Cola or get creative with other soft drinks too. I'd be curious to take this for a spin with Chinotto.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Squash N' Balls

Spaghetti Squash with Kasha "Meatballs" and Cheese Sauce
Sometimes you just get bored of pasta and tvp meatballs. So here's a riff on both that cuts out both the flour-based pasta and TVP. She's a three-parter:

1. Spaghetti Squash Pasta:
1 spaghetti squash
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

- Pre- heat oven to 450°
- Cut Squash in half length wise.
- Place rind side up on a baking sheet, brush squash with a bit vegan margarine or olive oil so it doesn't dry out and bake for 40 minutes or until you can pierce through with a fork.
- While squash is baking fry onions and garlic in olive oil until carmelized.
- When squash is cooked remove from oven and scoop out guts and throw in to frying pan, set to low heat, mix with garlic and onions, add a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper (don't go crazy here because there is salt and pepper in the cheese sauce). Turn off heat and put a lid on to keep everything warm while you make cheese sauce.

2. Cheese Sauce:
3/4 cup Daiya Mozzerella (or Cheddar, or both)
1 tablespoon vegan magarine
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened original) or unsweetened regular soy milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
Salt to taste

In a small sauce pan, add almond milk (you can use soy milk too) on medium heat. Heat  until boiling then reduce to low heat, add vegan margarine and let it melt. Add Daiya a little bit at a time while stirring continuously. You want the sauce to be smooth, not chunky. Add in nutmeg, garlic powder and salt. Stir and whisk. Once Daiya has melted and sauce looks smooth and creamy it should be ready to go.  Pour sauce over squash and balls, add more fresh pepper.

3. CC's Salty Balls:
Hi there. So, about the balls. The secret weapon here is kasha, which is buckwheat groats. Kasha has a nutty taste and texture-wise, it makes a good substitute for ground beef (great in tacos too), so it works like a charm for these poseur meatballs. You get the kasha and fry some of it in a dry frying pan, basically you're just toasting it till it's a bit (more) brown. If I may be so bold - this really makes my balls pop. 
Boil a soup bouillon cube in some water (2 cups or less) and olive oil while you mix the dry ingredients, which are: ground flax (which makes it stick together), Teff, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sage (liberal amounts of) rosemary garlic, salt and pepper. Mix this stuff up good. You don't have too much time, the flax makes everything stick to everything so mix it thoroughly and start balling them up in your hand so they look something like below, put them on a baking tray and you know, bake them shits. Because I have little sense of decorum or forethought, I've never really worked out the proper amounts, but basically you want these to be baked on the outside but not over dry on the inside. You're walking a thin tightrope between my Salty Balls and Vegan Dirt Cakes. So keep on your toes - here be demons.  

 Heap on the cheese sauce and serve with salad or greens.


It's been a while.......

...CC hit the road for tour in the US and I was volunteering for Hot Docs Film Festival, but now we are back at it! This year is the first year we've had a private back yard with an area to garden so we thought we would try growing our own veggies. We went to a seed exchange in our neighborhood back in March and bought seeds for collards, arugula, spinach, kale and swiss chard, as well as some herbs and garlic bulbs. The people at the seed exchange were awesome and super helpful and gave us a lot of great tips. We also got a good bunch of tips from You Grow Girl and just went for it. Seeds. Soil. Water. Plant food. Sunlight. Go. And so far so good. We probably should have sprouted the seeds inside first so they were already started by spring, but it looks like they are growing fine. Whether or not they grow into luscious, leafy green, edible veggies still remains to be seen. We will check back in later and see if this works. If not, we will definitely have herbs and at least some pitiful little sprouts for salad.

Collards and Swiss Chard (Dill and Rosemary up top)


 Three kinds of Basil

 Stevia (the small plant in the middle)

Free Hasta from friendly neighbours and Parsley

Lemon Thyme

Peppermint and Spearmint

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Epic Pizza Party

Who doesn't love a pizza party? (A: Jerks.) Pizza is one the greatest foods ever invented! So fun to make, especially with friends.

What you will need:  A few of your favorite pals or your favorite person, a plethora of pizza toppings (please see below for ideas), pre-made dough or ready made pizza shells or flour and few ingredients to make your own dough, and of course killer tunes and...go. Need some help?

Heavy Metal Pizza Party Playlist:
Entombed - Seeing Red (Uprising)
Darkthrone - Transylvanian Hunger (Transylvanian Hunger)
Witchery - Bone Mill (Symphony for the Devil)
Celtic Frost - Progeny-(Monotheist)
Bathory - Hades (Bathory)
Terrorizer - Dead Shall Rise (World Downfall)
Bolt Thrower - At First Light (Those Once Loyal)
Carpathian Forest - Bloodcleansing (Strange Old Brew)
Entombed -  Paranoid (To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth)
Deicide - The Lords Sedition (The Stench of Redemption)
Motorhead- Sex and Death (Sacrifice)
Repulsion - Radiation Sickness (Horrified)
Venom - Witching Hour (Welcome To Hell)
Craft - Fuck The Universe (FTU)
Satyricon- King (Now Diabolical)
Pentagram- Be Forewarned (First Daze Here Too)
Behemoth - Ov Fire And The Void (Evangelion)
Dismember - Beyond Good and Evil (Hate Campaign)
Grave - Extremely Rotten Flesh (Into The Grave)
Watain - Dead But Dreaming (Sworn to the Dark)
Obituary - Chopped in Half (Cause of Death)
Possessed - Pentagram (Seven Churches)

80's/90's Goth/Industrial Pizza Party Playlist:

Sisters Of Mercy- Temple of Love (Erotic Dreams)
Bauhaus- Telegram Sam (In Flat Fields)
The Birthday Party- Nick the Stripper (Prayers of Fire)
Flesh For Lulu- I Go Crazy (Long Lives the New Flesh)
Cure -Fascination Street (Disintegration)
Jesus and Mary Chain- Happy When It Rains (Darklands)
Bauhaus- Silent Hedges (The Skies Gone Out)
Swans-  Love will tear us Apart (12" Single)
Joy Division- Dead Souls (Permanent)
Sioxie Sioux- Spellbound (Juju)
Nick Cave and The Badseeds- Mercy Seat (Tender Prey)
Love and Rockets- It could be Sunshine (Express)
Jesus and Mary Chain -  Just Like Honey (Psysho Candy)
The Church- Under the Milky Way (HeyDay)
Sisters Of Mercy- This Corrosion-(Flood Land)
NIN- Head Like a Hole (Pretty Hate Machine)
Alien Sex Fiends- I Walk Line (I Walk The Line)
Foeutus Bedrock- (All-Nude Revue)
Ministry- Stigmata (Psalm 69; And the Way to Suceed and To Suck Eggs)
Einsturzenden Neubauten- Futter Mein Ego (1/2 Mensch)
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult- Sex On Wheels (Sexplotion!)
KMFDM- Godlike (Naive)
Front 242- Head Hunter (Front By Front)
Nitzer Ebb-Join In The Chant (That Total Age)
1000 Homo Dj's- Supernaut-( 12" Single)
Ministry- Jesus Built My Hot Rod (Land of Rape and Honey)
KMFDM- Light (Angst)
Frontline Assembly- Plasticity-(Plasticity)
Cabaret Voltaire- Sensoria (Micro-Phonies) 

70's/80's Punk Pizza Party Playlist:
999 - Crazy (999)
The Damned - Neat Neat Neat (Damned, Damned, Damned)
X - We're Desperate (Wild Gift
Buzzcocks - Orgasm Adddict (Buzzcocks)
Suicide - Ghost Rider (Suicide)
Ramones - I Don't Want You (Road To Ruin)
Crime - Frustration (Sanfrancisco's doomed)
Dead Boys' - Sonic Reducer (Young Loud and Snotty)
The Stooges - TV Eye (Funhouse)
Runaways - Cherry Bomb (Runaways)
Bad Brains - Attitude (Bad Brains)
999 - High Energy Plan (High Energy Plan)
MC5 - Kick Out The Jams (Kick Out the Jams)
Modern Lovers - Roadrunner (Imflammable Material)
Stiff Little Fingers - (Barbed Wire Lovers)
The Germs - Lexicon Devil (MIA)
Misfit - Angelfuck (Legacy of Brutality)
X - Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
The Jam - In The City (In The City)
The Demics - I wanna Go to NYC (Talk's Cheap)
999 - Emergency (999)
Avengers - Car Crash (Paint It Black)
Cocksparrer - Because You're Young (Shock Troops)
Vibrators - Maybe Baby (Pure Mania)
Plastic Bertrand - Ça Plane Pour Moi (Single)
The Saints - Rundown (Stranded)
The Stranglers - Peaches (Rattus Norvegicus)

Here are some of our favourite pizza recipes that will be sure to liven up any party:

1) Old Man Colohan's Pizza Pie A.K.A The Mofo (originally published in Death for No Reason Zine)

 You want to be rich, accomplished, and impress ladies, friends, yuppies and enemies alike? Alright. Here's what you need to do. Firstly, I don't measure anything and I use a magic bullet for everything. They seem like cheesy infomercial shit but they're seriously invaluable for anything you ever want to mix or purée, from dips to soups, whatever the fuck. You can get them for $30 nowadays  or even less through Craigslist. If you have the means and skills to make your own foccacia, go for it - it's flat Italian bread with olive oil and rosemary and sea salt or you can buy a good focatch' and you're gold. Alternately, you can do this on any bread or shell, but a good and oily flat bread of any kind beats prepared pizza shells.

Here's the shit you'll need:

Foccacia. Half an onion and some cloves of garlic (to taste). Sundried tomatoes (the glass jar kind in oil). Artichoke hearts (same). Cashews, a big ass bag of them (buy in bulk). Rosemary and coarse sea salt. (to taste) and whatever else you like on pizza. You should be able to do this for about $12.

1. To start you want to fry the shit out the onion and garlic. Smash up the garlic and with the side of a broad knife. Dice the onion, fry them both until it all carmelizes  (keep going on high heat till it's brown and somewhat burned) so it's nice and sweet, then purée it. If you use olive oil, watch the temperatures it'll smoke very easy- get a good lid on that sucker while frying it and turn on a fan so your neighbours don't call the fire department (screw you Bernice).
2. Dump one (metric) shitload of cashews, some olive oil, sundried tomato oil and burnt to a crisp onion and garlic (oil and all) into a blender. Mash that shit up, should be about two cups worth, That's the topping (instead if tomato sauce). If it's too thick add a bit more oil (as you can probably tell, this is not low-cal pizza).
3. The sauce should be thick but not too thick, beige looking and taste awesome. If this has been achieved, spread it on that Focatch'. If you have experienced an epic pizza fail, go back to steps 1&2. Otherwise, proceed to step 4.
4. Dress that pizza pie with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and some rosemary. It should be pretty salty already if you used salted cashews but if it needs it, add some sea salt. You can add whatever else is your jams here, sweet stuff like pineapple also goes well with it but it should be really rich with the above.
5. Bake it on medium heat and keep an eye on that fuckin' wheel, you're basically just toasting it if the bread is already made, but watch because the sundried tomatoes will dry out and burn faster than the rest of it. If the edges are browned enough, go for it.  Take that sucker out. Let it cool and harden.
6. Divide, conquer, impress and get mad trim.

2) B's -The Italiano, A.K.A. The Saltoholic's Revenge

Made with Amanda (Pentabike)'s awesome pizza dough. Topped with homemade pesto (click here for recipe), sundried tomato but not the dry kind in the bag because they are way too salty. Use the ones packed in oil. Black sliced olives and artichoke hearts and mushrooms. Dress and bake until golden brown.

Serve and Demolish. 

3) CC's Yuppie Bastard Wheel (Prius Not Included)

This one's a lot like the Old Man Colohan jam above, but with more of an upwardly mobile vibe. Focaccia base, so if not actual focaccia bread and you're making the dough yourself, just add some rosemary (lots), garlic, olive oil and sea salt to it. Figs - this is the crucial topping. Get the kind that are fresh, not dried (looks like a little plum) and you only need 2 or so of them. Slice them thinly. Add those, artichokes (jarred), and from there it's your call. Here's one with tomato and sweet yellow peppers:

4) B's Sweet Basil and Spinach Delight:

Served on spelt crust and topped with homemade tomato sauce (see below), fresh basil, spinach, zucchini, plum or roma tomato, white button mushroom and Daiya mozzerella. Sprinkle fresh black pepper and garlic powder on top. Serve and Destroy!

B's Tomato Sauce Recipe:
1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt)
1/2  cup passata (You can get this at Fiesta Farms. Most Grocery stores carry it)
3 cloves of garlic
1 Large sweet onion
Handful of fresh basil (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil for frying and 1 tablespoon for sauce
1 teaspoon of dried parsley

In a large sauce pan add oil and fry onions and garlic. Once translucent/brown add diced tomatoes, passata (adds a little thickness - I am  not a huge fan of tomato paste for sauce) salt and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, add fresh basil and dried oregano and cook for about 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally.

B's Spelt Crust Recipe:

Makes one 12" pizza crust.
2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 water  (or 1/3 water, 1/3 almond milk)
1/4 cups oil plus extra for basting
1 teaspoon of agave
1 teaspoon of rosemary

     Combine dry ingredients in bowl.  Make a well and add wet ingredients. Stir ingredients until dough forms and knead dough for 10 minutes or so until smooth. Dough shouldn't be too sticky. Move dough to pizza stone and roll out. Use a bit of spelt on stone prevent sticking. Once dough is rolled pierce with fork in several places, then lightly brush on olive oil so the dough wont absorb tomato sauce. Add favourite toppings. Pre-heat oven to 425° baking on a stone for approximately 20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes because some ovens cook at different speeds. If using a pan, roll dough out on counter then transfer to a lined or greased pan. Add sauce and toppings. Bake in preheated oven at 200° for about 10 minutes.

5) Pentabike of Satanic Secret Ingredient Vegan Dough Recipe:
(Adapted from The Vegan Table)

1 cup warm water (warm to the touch but not too hot)
1 envelope or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar/maple syrup/agave
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp olive/or other oil
2 tbsp cornmeal (reserve for sprinkling)

Pour warm (not hot and not cold) water in a small bowl or cup. Sprinkle in yeast and and stir (gently!) until a beige foam coats the top of the mix, 5-10 mins.

In a separate large bowl, combine dry ingredients except cornmeal. Add yeast mixture and oil then slowly stir and begin to knead for 5-10 mins. If it sticks to your hands, slowly add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time. If dry, slowly add more water, 1/4 cup at a time. Knead the dough out on a flat clean surface with clean hands for 5 mins. Roll into a smooth ball and place back into the large bowl.

Cover it with a dishtowel and place it in a warm spot for 45 minutes two hours, depending on how much time you have.

Roll it out with a rolling pin, improvise if you don't have one, I have used a wine bottle no problem. Rub some oil around on the bottom of your pan, then sprinkle the cornmeal evenly over its surface. Lay your dough out and top the pizza with delicious vegan toppings. Bake until golden brown.
Variations: include 1 tbsp of rosemary/walnuts/pecans/black pepper.

I think this pizza had a bit of everything on it including spicy Parma-Veg.

6.) Sticky Joe's pizza crust  recipe (curiously tastes exactly like my Italian grandma's homemade pizza dough so I am including this one.  She kept her recipes secret so no one has any):

 I'd say the bare bones is just under 4 cups of Tipo 00 flour, three tablespoons of olive oil, pinch of salt, 1 heaping tablespoon of yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Dissolve the sugar in a half cup warm water, add yeast, let bubble for 20 minutes. Combine flour salt and oil well. Add yeast and another 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix well. Then it gets sensitive to water. The mixture should be quite dry. Add warm water only about 1/4 cup at a time, and after about 2 of these 1/4 cups, you should get a slightly sticky mixture. Drier doughs don't tends to rise as well, and too sticky is tough to handle. Cover with a cloth for 1+ hours - it should double in size. If you roll it out, try not to use too much flour. Shouldn't be a need to grease or flour the pan. Cook as hot as your oven will go! Make sure to add toppings such as aged prosciutto, spicy sausage, and anchovies! But seriously, experimentation and personal preference are important.

 Yes! Experimentation is important! Try anything!

*Note: Sticky Joe's crust tastes good with veggie pepperoni, green and red peppers, white button mushrooms and Daiya Mozzrella. These were the toppings my Italian Grandma always put on her pizza, well.... except that the Mozzerella was homemade and so was the pepperoni and the peppers were from their garden but this version will do.

7.) B's Rich and Decadent Pizza- The Green Dream; Use Pentabikes dough recipe for this one. Start with pesto (lots of it). Carmelized onions. Roasted red peppers (you can roast in the oven, on the BBQ or buy the ones in the jar.) Crimini mushrooms. Pine Nuts and handfuls of arugula. Put the arugula on top of pizza after it's done cooking. Just let the leaves wilt then drizzle on oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Top with fresh cracked pepper. For an even more decadent pizza add Spicy Italian Tofurkey Sausage.

Nom it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easy Cheesy Vegan Baked Potatoes

     Whenever we're in Birmingham Alabama on tour, our boys in Coliseum always take the gang to this late night place everybody loves called AL'S, and taunt me with elaborate and huuuge baked potatoes I can't eat, like THIS, which is only fair since my bandmates are pretty good sports about all the vegan spots I drag them to. So, here's my best vegan approximation of the steakhouse baked potatoes of my youth, and just to get jiggy we did one on a yam. Yeah, you heard me. You could do this to make potato skins exactly the same by cutting these into wedges or scooping some out to make more room for the cheese & sour cream like it was Super Bowl 1987 at The Keg. Health food, this is not. 

Thou Needst:

Potatoes (baking or Russet, or yams)
Earth Balance
Daiya (cheddar style)
Onion (or chives)
Garlic, salt & pepper
Simulated Bacon Bits (easy to find vegan) or Yves Veg Bacon
Tofutti or other vegan Sour Cream

     Cut the potatoes in half (or wedges) and start baking them, dice the onion and fry it till brown with some garlic while that's going down. If using the Yves bacon, fry it too, and cut it into little squares. When potatoes finish take them out, scoop some out if you're wild, and build em up in this order: Earth Balance, bacon bits, Daiya, onion, more bacon bits, garlic, salt & pepper.  Throw it back in the oven, just enough to melt the Daiya, basically toasting it all. Add SC to top and eat em while they're hot and bad for you.

BRONCOS: 20 (as above)
GIANTS: 39 (w/tofurkey sausage, salsa & mushrooms)
Who says vegans can't have heart attacks? -CC
Soundtrack: Head Machine - Orgasm (1969)

MVP: Title Track - Orgasm

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dinner & A Movie Vol.1

     CC and I are both big movie nerds so movie nights are a-plenty in this household. Between studying film in school, attending many of our great local festivals (TIFF, Fantasia, Hot Docs...) and countless movie marathons (sometimes weeks at a time), I've had the opportunity to see many great films.  It doesn't hurt that CC works at Suspect Video & Culture and is surrounded by obscure, foreign and cult films, most of which pass through this home. And what better way to combine two of our  favourite pastimes than to put them together here?

Italian Horror Movie and Dinner Night 

First (of many- I am a sucker for Italian horror so this may be a recurring theme) recommended Italian Horror film: La Setta (1991) A.K.A. The Sect A.K.A. The Devil's Daughter. Beware, Italian horror films seem to go by many different names (by country of release), often winding up with two English titles. La Setta begins with a stylish opening sequence set in California during the Summer Of  Love. While a group of hippies are partying on a camping ground, a gnarly looking old man crashes the party and ritualistically murders everyone in a grisly montage. Cut to modern day Frankfurt Germany, where we see Miriam (played by Kelly Curtis, scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis' older sister) an unsuspecting and good-natured school teacher, become involved with a satanic cult whose leader Damon (Thomas Arana) has ungodly plans for her. Directed by Michele Soavi (Cemetery Man / Dellamorte Dallamore), produced and written by Dario Argento (Suspiria).

Pre-Movie Italian Feast:
Pesto Farfalle With Sundried Tomato, Spinach And Baby Bellas

What you will need:
Home made pesto (see below for recipe)
2 1/2 cups of Farfalle (bowtie pasta- also try whole wheat farfalle)
1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil
1 cup of chopped fresh spinach
1 cup of baby bella mushrooms
1/2 red pepper

Vegan Pesto:
2 cups of fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh baby arugala
3/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of salted roasted cashews (set aside an extra 1/4 cup - grind into a powder and use as a parmesan "cheese" topping)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything into a Magic Bullet, food processor or blender. Blend until all ingredients are mixed well and pesto looks smooth. Add to pasta. This makes a lot so freeze whatever you don't use for a later date. Tip: put pesto in a an ice cube tray and use to replace oil for frying.

Bring about 2 litres (or enough water to cover pasta) of salted water to a boil in large pot. Cook pasta for approximately 10 minutes - I like my pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking, drop a teaspoon of pesto and a couple drops of oil from the sundried tomatoes into a large heated pan. Once heated add baby bella mushrooms, fry until soft, add red pepper and sundried tomato, stir and fry until soft. Add spinach and let wilt. Turn down heat to low. Pasta should be done at this point so drain and and add to vegetables in frying pan. Give everything a stir and  add a 1/4 cup (or more if you like) of the pesto. You want the pesto to cover everything . Give it stir and when thoroughly mixed and warm it's ready to go.
Serve with salad and cheesy garlic bread. If you are feeling really fancy add Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes for dessert (Recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The  World). And if you are so inclined, pair with Yellow Tail Shiraz- Grenache (vegan).

 Buon Appetito!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Warm Shiitake "Beef" Collard Wraps with Creamy Vegan Ceaser Dressing

Okay. I am on roll here with salad or salad like recipes so here's one more fun one made again with a  Nelakee product.

What you will need for 4 wraps:
4 large collard leaves
250g Nelakee shiitake mushroom "beef" (or "chicken"). I cut chunks into smaller pieces.
1 plum or roma tomato
1 large carrot
1/2 yellow pepper

Super quick"Caesar"Dressing:
1 cup Veganaise or Nayonaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers
2 teaspoons brine from capers
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mutsard
1 teaspoon (or more) of fine ground cashews (for cheesy taste) or vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Note: Tahini dressing also tastes good with this.

Lightly fry "beef" in heated frying pan until slightly brown and warn all the way through, usually 5 -6 minutes. Set aside. Wash vegetables. Shred carrot. Seed tomato and chop into pieces. Cut pepper onto thin matchstick size pieces. Layer ingredients onto collard leaf.

Wrap. It is a bit difficult to wrap these leaves because there is a thick vein running through the leaf. There are four ways to tackle this. 1. Just go for it and see what happens. 2. Take the ends and fold them in first, then fold the sides in and pop two toothpicks on each end to hold it together. 3. Heat collard leaf in microwave for about 10 seconds to soften it up,  fold in ends and then fold in sides and flip over. 4. Leave it open like above and just fold the two long side in and eat like a soft taco.

Have fun with this and enjoy! -B

Egg McNothin'

     I've been wanting to try this forever. Admittedly, my frame of reference for Egg McMuffins is about 22 years outta date, but this was fast, easy and tasted damn good to me:

Tofu (medium)
English Muffins (lots of commercial ones are actually vegan)
Yves Veggie Bacon
Turmeric, garlic powder, salt & pepper
Daiya (cheddar style)
Olive oil or Earth Balance

TOFU: Medium firm tofu is pretty eggy already. Turn the whole brick on its side and cut it into 1/2" slices. Then cut those into english muffin sized circles. Fry them up, I would've used Earth Balance here but we haven't used margarine in months so I went with olive oil. Add turmeric (it'll turn them yellow) and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside or make room for the bacon.

BACON: Fry the Yves bacon, they're already in perfect sized circles.

MUFFINS: Lightly toast the English muffins, I put them in the oven while frying the bacon.

CHEESE: Those processed soy cheese slices would be perfect here, but the majority of them have casein in them so they're no good. If you know of a vegan one though, give it a shot. I used Daiya. It melts good, tastes good, and isn't just edible oils.

BUILD: Put Earth Balance on the EM's here if you're using it. Then (as above pic) take the bottom one, put the bacon on, then the tofu on top of that, and the Daiya or cheese on top of it all. You're gonna put this in the oven open faced for just as long as it takes the Daiya to melt.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Warm Shiitake Mushroom "Chicken" & Arugala Salad

I think the beautiful, sunny weather we are having is inspiring me to make some inventive salads. This is another recipe that's not only quick and easy to prepare but it's filling and dare I say..... DELICIOUS. I used the Nelakee soy pepper "chicken" that we bought on our "Gwei Lo's in Paradise Part Deux" excursion. 

Here's what you will need:
Serves 2 people.
1 1/2 cup soy pepper "chicken" from Nelakee
Half lemon (optional)
2 cups baby arugala
1 plum or roma tomato
1 cup sliced white button mushrooms

Lightly fry "chicken" in frying pan for a  few minutes until lightly browned or until they are warm all the way through, usually about 2-3 minutes. I didn't use oil because they are a bit greasy to begin with, I just squeezed a bit of lemon on the "chicken" while it cooked. Set aside when ready. Then wash and and seed tomato. Chop into bite size pieces. Wash and slice mushrooms (if you don't like raw mushrooms, toss them in while the "chicken" is frying and squeeze in some extra lemon juice). Wash Arugula and assemble salad. Dress with tahini dressing (click here for recipe) or your favorite creamy style dressing like vegan caesar or a creamy poppy seed would work too but I would add salt, pepper and garlic powder. The dressing should be creamy, a vinaigrette dressing would be a bit too bland for this.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Potato and "Bacon" Salad

 This is one of my favourite summer/spring recipes. It's quick, easy and tasty. German style potato salad with veggie "bacon".


6 Yukon gold potatoes
1 celery stalk
3 pieces of Yves "veggie" bacon
1 teaspoon of black mustard seed
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
 2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

- Fill a large pot with water and turn on heat to boil. While waiting for water to boil, clean potatoes well. Cut away any bad spots. Cut potatoes into small cubes and place in boiling water. Cook until soft but not mushy. When ready, drain and toss in large bowl and let cool. If you are in a hurry you can pop the potatoes into the fridge.
- While waiting for potatoes to cool. Fry Yves veggie "bacon" until slightly crisp. Once cooled cut into small piece.  Add mustard seed to already heated pan and toast until seeds pop. Set aside. Wash, and dice celery. Chop into small bite size pieces. Once potatoes have cooled toss everything into the bowl including oil, mustard, seeds, celery and bacon and give it a good toss.

Serve with veggie burgers, or barbecued corn rolled in earth balance, chili and lime or baked kale. Enjoy -B

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Warm Kohlrabi & Green Bean Salad With Dijon Mustard Dressing

      I tried Kohlrabi for the first time last year at the Wynchwood Barns farmer's market. CC  and  I showed up late and everyone was getting ready to close up for the day so we went to the first farmer we saw who still had vegetables on the table. He was so friendly and helpful and stayed around until we were done shopping. He asked us if we had tried a kohlrabi before. Tried? I don't even know what it is! It's a turnip - German,  just in case you wanted to know. He cut a piece for us to try and it was surprisingly delicious despite it's odd looking body. It tastes like a cross between a radish and a carrot. Not too sweet with a nice crunch. He gave us one to take home along with a basket of small cucumbers. Score! I wasn't entirely sure what to do with the Kohlrabi other than to eat it raw so I just threw a couple of things together and here's what I came up with.

What you will need:
1 Kohlrabi
2 cups of fresh green beans
1 teaspoon of brown or black mustard seed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard- your favourite kind
2 1/4 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1tablespon of fresh squeezed lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

- Cut stems and rough skin off Kohlrabi. Cut in to thin 1/4 inch slices.  Wash and remove ends of green beans. Set aside.
- Heat pan. On medium heat toast mustard seed in 1/4 tsp of oil for a minute or so or until they pop.
- Add the rest of oil to pan. Add kohlrabi and green beans. Give everything a quick stir. Add dijon mustard, garlic powder salt and pepper. Stir frequently. Warm beans and kohlrabi for about two minutes. Don't cook for too long you want to keep the crunch in the vegetables. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon. This can also be served cold.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kickin' Jicama and Carrot Salad

Jicama whaaaaat?  Grown in South America and is typically found in Mexican cuisine, Jicama is a root vegetable that looks a bit like a turnip. It has a slightly sweet, crisp taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. We had a burst of summer weather here for a week so I got inspired to make this summery salad. (On a side note, it ended up snowing today.)

1/2 Jicama
2 medium sized carrots
Arugula (optional)
1 tablespoon of black sesame seed
Lime wedges

1 teaspoon of chili flakes (more if you you like it hot and don't have an ulcer)
2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 teaspoon Braggs
Lime wedges

Peel Jicama and julienne (cut in to matchstick size pieces)
I used a spiralizer for the carrots but if you don't have one just grate carrots.

Lightly toast sesame seeds in a non stick pan (I didn't use oil- i just tossed them in and kept the pan moving)
Toss carrots, jicama and seeds in a large bowl. Add dressing. Toss a few more times. Serve on a bed of arugula with a slice of lime or as is. -B