Tag Archives: Veganmofo

Veganmofo 13: I’ll take one Vegan please (and goodbye ‘mofo)

Id add watercress to everything if you let me

I'd add watercress to everything if you let me

Secret vegan sandwich alert. Well not really secret or an alert, but if you’re lost in Manhattan amidst a sea of Burger King and Quiznos and feeling spendy then high-end NYC sandwich chain ‘Wichcraft hears your call.

‘Wichcraft saves the day with a forward-thinking, luscious sandwich that’s worth the occasional forgetting to pack lunch for. Known to the public as the Chopped Chickpea sandwich, the staff end of the receipt reveals it’s covertly known as the VEGAN. I had to beg my slightly confused sandwich server to let me have her receipt, the one she uses to locate which sandwich belongs to whom.

After almost overdosing on this lovely creation within the first few months of not one, but two of them open near my job I’m now back in the habit. Two slabs of peasant bread nestle tangy chopped chickpeas, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and paper-thin slices of preserved lemon. That’s right, preserved lemon makes this a work of art. I typically customize my order with the addition of watercress (no charge!), but I’d happily pay up another dollar for my favorite crunchy green thing.

I adore this brilliant move on the part of ‘Wichcraft. It excites me when I see mainstream companies, even this “niche” upscale chain, unexpectedly cater to vegan needs.

This sandwich is just an occasional treat, with its recession-unfriendly price tag and dripping with abundant oil. Then again an almost healthy, veggie-laced lunch in midtown Manhattan is usually designed to clean out your change purse. And after a week of eating from the same giant pot of homemade beans or soup for lunch a splurge is inevitable.

And so ends my experiment in Veganmofo today too. It’s been great in many ways and it’s given me the inspiration and motivation to join the vegan blogging masses, who are always good company. I jumped on late but it’s better than not doing anything at all, and that means you too, other late-joining Veganmofoer. Cheers and hurray to everyone that participated and blogged like hell along the way. Go bake a dozen pumpkin cupcakes to celebrate if your fingers haven’t fallen off from all that typing just yet!

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Veganmofo 12: Poll: Seitanic Confessions (set puns to stun, possibly ouch)

Like a brat out of hell...newly born seitan ain't pretty

Like a brat out of hell...newly born seitan ain't pretty

Seitan worshippers out there, by what method do you oversee the preparation of everyone’s favorite devilishly delicious wheat meat? With Halloween near let us gather in mass to sing the praises of our high protein, low-fat overlord!

Did you discovered the pleasures of steaming your homemade seitan and convert after one too many boiled “brainy” lumps? Is baking in broth the way you get your kicks, or does your hand-me-down slow cooker seethe with fiendish gluten delights? Or are you a devote member of the ancient cult of (almost) boiling atop the stove, always getting perfect results every time in an eerie way that confirms what your mother said about you being possessed by vegan cooking demons (she did say that, no?).

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Veganmofo 10: Freezerburn Friday

I know you don’t need me to remind you what day it is with frightful blog post titles. TGIFreezerburn Friday only once a ‘mofo, lucky you. Grow-Peace tagged me (and hence my freezer) and now it’s open season on the sad contents that lurk within.

Not so long ago this past spring I was singled out by Vegnews for a similar study, that time being the whole enchilada, both the ‘fridge and freezer. If you’ve been wondering since how a girl manages to operate in the kitchen with bushels of fresh kale brooming from from her fridge well I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was preparing to move and with less that two weeks to spare in the apartment the fridge was mostly emptied. So a last minute shopping trip of what I would typically have stocked was made, a little artful arrangement and fridge life was beautiful for a few hours before resuming it’s regularly scheduled chaos.

Since then it’s been five months, a new place to live and a mortgage later and still the freezer is looking empty. In the tradition of NYC food shopping I haul home myself only as much as I can carry, so takes a while to really look busy in there. We do have an aging car but out of laziness, gas prices and the dread of finding a parking space we almost never make one big shopping trip. And the sushi place across the street has peanut avocado rolls so that makes putting off making dinner all the easier.

That being said I now present my new freezer au natural. No airbrushing or makeup and just tumbled out of bed, here she is:

Two blue things that go straight in the freezer together

Two blue things that go straight in the freezer together


Frozen blueberries make my world go ’round in smoothies (see frozen bananas). Love Rice Dream but the Gingersnap flavor is less than lovable.

Slab o carob, suspended in time for when we need it most

Slab o' carob, suspended in time for when we need it most


The most extreme carob anything you’ll ever hope to try, even if it’s just me hoping for carob. Basically a slap of liquified Cypriot carob with some sesame seeds tossed in, trapped like bugs in amber for eternity. Sounds delish? I put it in the freezer with the idea it would end up something like a frozen Charleston Chew. I never even liked Charleston Chews.

Not your moms B&B

Not your mom's B&B

Health nut bagels full of definitely un-bagely things like hemp seeds and sprouted wheat. Frozen bananas and oh look, more ice cream, this time a lovely sangria sorbet.

Ancient ice creams lay dreaming...

Ancient ice creams lay dreaming...

A shelf of just ice cream? I can’t really justify this ice cream ghetto that invaded my turf over the summer. It’s just how things unfolded over last few months of my life. Note that the vanilla soy delicious is actually doctored up with fresh pistachios, almond extract and a little green food coloring and was absolutely brilliant when it was still fresh and tasty. The yogurt container actually is stuffed with a friend’s homemade mango sorbet. And the glowing plastic container underneath it all contains the remnants of homemade ice cream (vanilla chai and green tea)…left over from Labor Day, gah! Now I’m starting to feel silly about all this. One day you open the freezer and it’s like a wicked vegan ice cream elf took up residence in your home without you knowing. Maybe I should look around the apartment so I don’t end up like this guy.

Veggie scraps and ice cream tub, not necessarily in that order

Veggie scraps and ice cream tub, not necessarily in that order

There are also decided non-dessert things like veggie burgers and frozen vegetables, so take a moment to imagine those. The bin to our right harbors frozen veggie scraps awaiting the composter, above more veggies and in the foil a lone homemade pupusa filled with beans and something. Why yes that’s the ice cream freezer tub, trying to look inconspicuous. Mocking me daily when I reach for those virtuous smoothie ingredients.

Sounds like it’s high time to dump the freezer burned and bring in the new. Why fight the obvious choice, so how about some fall-themed ice cream?

Help me decide from the following three:

-Maple Pumpkin Something (something crunchy or caramel included for textural good times)
-Pomegranate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Crunch or Choc Chips
-Molasses Gingersnap (let’s show Rice Dream how it’s done right)

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Veganmofo 8: Weekend Review, better late than never

A long sleepy Monday and a forgotten camera cable has me putting my weekend write up on Tuesday. That’s how the ‘mofo unmofos sometimes I’m afraid.

This entire spring and summer passed me by without having a proper picnic with my nerdy friends, so this weekend after about a month of agononizing about the weather (which seems to almost always suck on the weekends of memory lately). Last Monday foretold of rain and gloom, but this Saturday proved otherwise. Gorgeous sun and cool crisp fall proved excellent picnicing weather in Brooklyn’s gorgeous Prospect Park in my book, or until about 4pm when everyone was freezing.

Veganomicon Muffuletta in the great outdoors

Veganomicon Muffuletta in the great outdoors

Just because it was a picnic it gave me the perfect excuse to throw together one of my most favorite sandwiches ever, the Veganomicon Spinach & Eggplant Muffaletta. Dubbed “Dagwood” worthy by Eppy, I was up before 8am Saturday running around the neighborhood to find that right crusty round boule of bread and get a tender young eggplant a-roastin’. Time was not on my side so I needed a shortcut: a jarred bruschetta mixture of chopped olives, sundried tomatoes and capers (the “Mediterranean” flavor of whatever brand it was), served up as a instant substitute for olive salad. I did doctor it up with more thyme, oregano and the all important celery seed. And some more Kalamata olives, garlic-stuffed olives and sun-dried tomatoes, which of course made me wonder why I didn’t just go ahead and make the olive salad.

I do recommend you bring a sandwich like this at least once in your life to a picnic. Literally traffic stops as everyone just ooooos and ahhhhs and looks down at their soggy PB & J or wrinkly hot dogs.

Cowboy cookies wrangle them in every time

Cowboy Cookies wrangle them in every time

But do make them feel a little more secure about their picnic food choices by sharing some homemade cookies. Like some Cowboy Cookies (from a recipe for you guessed it, the upcoming cookie). What tons of coconut, pecans and chocolate chunks have to do with cowboys is a question for the ages. I just know that these cookies can kick the ass of beef jerky (stereotypical cowboy food I know) every time.

Later on that night the Robot Uprising wrapped up it’s last performance to a full house, and even more deliciously the bake sale was a raging success. Humans and androids alike flip over peanut butter chocolate dipped binary balls, robotic red velvet cupcakes and chocolate dipped CPUcakes. I anticipate our vegan-nerdy baking crew will be ready to do it again the next time Figment Theater calls us to arms.

Chickpea cutlet and rejected then hoarded roasted Brussels

Chickpea cutlet and rejected then hoarded roasted Brussels

Last but not least on the menu for today’s lunch is the venerable chickpea cutlet, accompanied mustard sauce (not shown), all of Veganomicon fame. This is the special family night dinner that I try to make happen once a week, usually on a Monday night before our traditional viewing of RAW vs. Smackdown. Yes, that’s wrestling to you. Typically all that cooking makes me a little sleepy by 10:30, but that’s okay because usually the most entertaining matches are just a fond memory by that point. And all those Brussels sprouts? My partner attempted one, made horrid faces and refused to go near me till I brushed my teeth. He losses and I cruise with all the sprouts!

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Veganmofo v.6: When She-Hulk Becomes a Cookie

Greener than you biscotti
Right here: Green Tea & Walnut Biscotti. Below: Dough so green it could even save the dollar. Photos by esme!

If She-Hulk was a cookie she’d be this biscotti. Unlike her male counterpart she’s not given to Tarzan speak or wearing tattered purple pants. Instead she’s a criminal defense lawyer and wears a bathing suit year round and has great hair. So of course her hot sophisticated butt could only be done due justice in the form of this delicate yet sturdy green tea and walnut biscotti, throbbing with super evil-thwarting vegan power.

This particularly magnificent green biscotti was crafted by the unstoppable esme, who is lending her awesome baking-testing-fu for Isa Chandra’s and my upcoming vegan cookie book next year. It’s gamma ray green hue is a little mysterious because the matcha tea powder she used has an origin story shrouded in secrets. Until we google the hell out of it that is.

Esme tells us that it was a gift from a friend and that the closest thing to a brand name she can find on the can is “Polaris”, which is also the name of another Marvel superhero lady who just happens to have green hair. Sometimes life is so creepy and amazing it scares me.

In a world teeming with villains I feel you could benefit from a little extra superpower right now, so here’s the recipe below. Make some soon, brew some fresh (green!) tea and feel the superpower of all those green tea antioxidants and walnut omega-3’s run through your tired veins. But I think you should reconsider punching down that building when with all that energy and finish law school instead.

Green Tea Walnut Biscotti

Fans of all things green tea will love this crunchy, nut biscotti with a Hulk-like hue. The grassy-bitter matcha green tea and deeply toasted walnuts serve up a grown-up pairing of subtle and sophisticated flavors. Made with a little whole-grain pastry flour and chock full of Omega-3 rich walnuts and canola oil this can be a healthful treat served up along side with what else, more green tea!

1/4 cup non dairy milk

4 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (use pure powdered match tea, not green tea flavored beverage mixes)

2 tablespoon ground flax seed

1/2 cup canola oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup AP flour + 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 oz walnuts halves (about 1 1/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Light grease or line with parchment paper a medium sized baking sheet.

In a large bowl pour non-dairy milk, add green tea powder and with a wire whisk beat till smooth and no lumps remain. Beat in ground flax seeds till smooth. Add canola oil, sugar and vanilla and beat till smooth.

Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Stir to form a smooth dough, then knead in walnut halves, pushing any nuts that pop out back into the dough.

Form a log about 10 inches long by 4 inches, using a rubber spatula to even edges and flatten end sides of log. Bake for 30 minutes until log is puffed and firm. Some cracking is okay. Place baking sheet on a wire cooling rack, turn off oven and allow log to cool for at least 45 minutes. If any edges of the log are too browned gently trim off with a sharp heavy knife.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Very carefully slide log off of baking sheet onto a cutting board. With a sharp, heavy knife slice log into 1/2 inch thick slices, using one quick and firm motion, pressing down into log. Very gently move slices to baking sheet, standing slices on bottom edge if possible. Bake slices for 30 minutes. Slices should appear dry and nuts should be lightly toasted. Allow to cool 10 minutes on baking sheet then carefully move to wire cooling racks to complete cooling (warm cookies may be fragile). Store in loosely covered container.

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Veganmofo v.5: “Bring your chili relleno to work” day

Vegan Chili Relleno makes some office space

What a day. I’m such a noob to blogging and I hit my first bump wrangling hosted web images here. Yesterday’s photo-filled post came up blank for too many viewers. I hope I have it nailed now. Surely I’ll be hearing sooner or later if I do (or don’t).

If it weren’t enough I’ve also spent last night slaving over a hot stove, all in the name of vegan chili rellenos. And of course I forgot the camera at work, sigh. Hence the less than glamorous shot of my chili relleno (out of it’s native dinner environs) on my desktop for lunch. All cradled in pyrex and guacamole. Two of these tasty, comforting gutbombs and you’re set with eating for nearly the rest of the day.

Why chili rellenos, why now? It’s all for my upcoming Vegan Latina book in 2010 (expect more in the future). By the way I can’t believe I’m saying “twenty-ten” and not wearing a silver jumpsuit at the same time. Probably won’t fit into said silver jumpsuit if I keep these batter-coated hijinks up, so I’ll also be including a toothsome non-fried casserole variation of these as well.

I rarely shallow fry (if 2 inches of oil can be called that) so making these rellenos was a challenge to my comfort zone. After I got into a groove of battering and rolling around the chilies in hot oil it was no big thing. The farmer’s market last week was overrun with these huge blocky monster poblano chilies, which are exciting to dip in batter and sizzle really loud when they hit the oil. Apparently I don’t have enough to complain about, because these giant poblanos were magnificent and made some serious one-chili-a-person servings. In-person testers were delighted and satisfied with these crisp-but-puffy batter coated chilies stuffed with potato, corn and other good stuff.

The recipe is teetering on epic but when I get a chance later in the week I’ll post it for your frying pleasures.

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Veganmofo v.4: Weekend ‘mofoing

(Update: After some teeth-nashing this morning I think I finally got this photo thing working again)

How was your weekend? The weather gods smiled on NYC this weekend and blasted us with loads of sunshine, mild low 70’s days and cool and crisp fall-y nights. Now that my camera decided to finally make an appearance here’s a few pics from the past few days.

• Awesome vegan product to try: Penne Lane vegan ravioli.

If you live in the NY area (or as the website mentions the southwest too), your local gourmet store may be harboring some really great, restaurant-quality vegan ravioli in its fresh pasta section. I’ve been meaning to investigate why exactly this pasta company has three additional vegan varieties to its traditional line of raviolis, but I’m not exactly complaining here. These fresh ravioli are big, tasty, stuffed with a tofu-base and enriched with mushrooms or artichokes or veggies and other good things. Here I’ve sautéed cooked Portabella ravioli (my fave), in olive oil with garlic, thyme, basil and a splash of cooking sherry. Garlicky rainbow chard serves up great as a side.

• Fall into Middle Earth

Stay awhile, stay forever!

A handful of good friends and I set foot outside of the shire of Queens, deep into the hinterlands of Long Island, in search of Middle Earth. Which turns out to be a kickin’ pumpkin farm by the way. Family fun to be had including crawling around in a big fiberglass pumpkin, eating roasted corn on the cob, a pricey corn maze and pumpkin picking of course. Much market stand fruit and veggie fun was to be had on the journey home too. Not shown are my new family of gorgeous pumpkins, living large on the dining room table now. Just tell them the pie crust I’m making is for the new peck of Cortland apples on the counter instead, okay?

Middle Earth to-dos

Above: Ring toss Ent style, Corny, With market crash and housing costs…you’ll be happy to call a pumpkin home soon

• Robotic bake sale update
PB Lazer eyes

What did you miss? Deadly delicious cookies, that’s what. It’s not too late…two more performances and more bake sale this coming Friday and Saturday.

• Last of the kimchi

Kimchi pancake

Lastly but never least I found a fitting home for an old batch of homemade kimchi (developed for an upcoming Vegnews article in the winter). Well fermented after a few weeks in the fridge, it lost some of it’s crunch and gained some extra kimchi juice. But no need to toss since it’s still as explosively yum as ever. Perfect for one of the traditional Korean destinations for kimchi, the tasty and fun to eat savory pancake pajeon!

I’m still tweaking this vegan variation a bit, but the results made a great lunch today. I like my kimchi pancake a bit well done, served up with the a classic sweetened soy-vinegar-sesame oil dipping sauce.

A good weekend, and a great start to a week of veganmofo style.

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