Monday, September 15, 2014

Vegan Mofo Chopped part 2 sweet heat tacos

Seeing how I still had some ingredients left over, I stayed true to my chopped challenge past and went with a second submission. I had 1/3 of a cup of cashews soaking. And decided to make a spicy cashew radish crema for some tacos. I sliced up 4 average sized radishes, and boiled them for about 10 minutes to soften them up, and bring out their sweetness (I should mention that I am NOT a radish fan, but I am now addicted to the pickled radishes I put in the sushi).
After they cooled, I blended them with the cashews, 1/4 of a lemons worth of juice, and about 1/4 of a cup of the oolong tea, and a pinch of sea salt, and put in the fridge to chill. When chilled, I took the remains of the tofu from the sushi, and haphazardly broke it into cubes, threw it in the skillet with a little coconut oil, added some cumin,chili powder, garlic, diced baby Bella mushrooms, and kidney beans and heated it on medium low heat just enough to warm it up. While that was cooking, I made some plum, grape tomato, chocolate balsamic and jalapeño salsa.
The salsa in progress.

To top it off, I added about diced 1/4 of an avocado per taco.  The. I loaded it up and ate again. I think the capsaicin and turmeric are helping, or at least they did for about 2 hours, because I got a little bit of sleep anyway... Can't wait to see what everyone else made for chopped!

Vegan mofo chopped challenge 2014 part 1 sweet heat sushi

The final product

I have been battling a nasty cold for the past week (I actually think I may have bronchitis and am making a doctors appt first thing in the morning), and will take any help kicking it's ass that I can get. So when I was up having a crazy coughing fit, unable to sleep in the middle of the night, I decided to go for the chopped challenge after all. I julienned 4 radishes, and chopped up 2 plums. Threw about 1/8 of a cup of coconut vinegar in a pan, 1/4 cup of water and let it boil in a sauce pan for around 20 minutes. You'll know it's done when the radishes are sweet, tangy, still crisp, and a lovely red violet to fuchsia tone. They resemble pickled beets really. After they're done, strain them over a bread pan into cheese cloth, reserving the plums (in retrospect, I should have just put the plums in the cheesecloth to save a few steps while pickling). Put the radishes in the fridge for about a half hour to cool and slice 1/3 of a block of extra firm tofu. Put the tofu in the bread pan, sprinkle with 10-12 slices of pickled jalapeños (mine were grown by lil man last year, and pickled by me, and they are HOT! I think pickling them with a couple of ghost peppers definitely upped the heat a little bit)  and broil for 20 minutes, then flip and broil for another 15-20, or until most of the sauce is absorbed (the tofu should be mostly purple by that point.) meanwhile, make 2 cups worth of oolong tea at double strength (approx 4 bags for the 2 cups water), after the tea has steeped, take out 1.5 cups and add to 1 cup of jade pearl rice. See below pic for reference, I found it at whole foods. 
It only takes about 20 minutes for the rice to cook ( I followed pkg instructions substituting the tea for the water). Once cooked, transfer to non metallic bowl, and start fan cooling, add a few splashes rice vinegar, and about a tsp sugar, and stir/fan like crazy. When it was cooled, and the tofu was done, I julienned about 1/3 of an average carrot, and opened up the soy wrappers.
I found them in an Asian marketplace, but I've seen others post on Instagram that they have seen them at whole foods. I opted for the turmeric yellow wrapper, to add a little more color to my roll. I layer it out on a piece of parchment and covered about 2/3 of it with the sushi rice. I had enough rice left over to do a second roll. 
After the rice was in place, I put a row of the plum and coconut vinegar pickled radishes, followed by a row of the carrots, strips of the tofu, and strips of the jalapeños salvaged from the tofu broil., then I rolled it up.
Then I sliced it up, and ate it up :) The good thing about being sick, is that you don't have to share the food when you cook ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 8 of school/day 7 of veganMofo

Our new item for the day is actually a review of a new addition to the monkey butt's lunch box. About a month ago, as we were waltzing through the aisles of Whole Foods (and I do mean waltzing, because who isn't happy in Whole Foods? I love finding new vegan things, and trying new fruits and veggies) we saw the cute little end cap reminding us that it was almost time for the new school year, and featuring all the fancy schmancy new lunch accoutrements. We saw Packit freezable lunch bags ( got one of those too, and both of us live it! No more digging for ice packs in the freezer anymore!) and Juice In The Box reuseable  juice box. The juice in the box is pretty much just a plastic juice box that you fill with whatever you like, then wash it and use it again. The boy loves his! I love that it's easy to clean, and I don't have to feel bad for wasting resources with aseptic soy milk or juice boxes. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Croissanwiches and carrot bacon.

I remember reading about carrot bacon a few months back. I was on a dehydrator/raw foods kick at the moment, and always meant to make it, but never quite got around to it. Until yesterday. I was working on croissants throughout the day (there's a lot of roll, flip, refrigerate repeat with them), and had planned on making seitan bacon, when I remembered the carrot bacon. All the recipes I found fried it, which is nice, and delicious, and greasy, and messy, and not especially healthy,a dn we are in desperate need of a grocery haul, and are running low on oil after all the fried foods, and bread I made a few weeks back. So I decided to break out the dehydrator and use it on half of them. Soooo glad I did! I prefer the dehydrated version to the fried. It's quite easy to make them. Wash and peel the carrots, then using your peeler, peel them into thin slices.
Then marinate the stips in 1/4 cup of tamari, a few squirts of liquid smoke and 4 tbsp of maple syrup. Then put in your dehydrator for  about 2-3 hous (I have one of the cheap round ones from Amazon, no clue how long it would take in an Excalibur), keep an eye on them and check every 15 minutes or so until they reach the desired crispness. Or fry them instead (they will burn fast, so flip after about 40 seconds and pull them out of the pan in another 30 or so seconds. 
These were some of the dehydrated ones.

We made breakfast sandwiches like the croissanwiches at B.K. which I missed eatting. I don't think I've had a real one in about 9 or 10 years. They were tasty though. So we made half of our croissanwiches with bacon, and half with sausage, topped with a mini vegan fried egg from Betty Goes Vegan, and some cheddar daiya. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day 3 of school/day 2 of VeganMoFo continued...

So the sandwich at lunch was not quite a success. He said it still tasted kind of bitter. I need to pick up some sun nut butter next time we go to the store, as a nice back up for busy (or lazy) mornings. The boy had a good day at school though. It was a P.E. and music day, but he said they didn't do much in either. They did graph charts in math to help learn more about each other. He likes doing charts. Has since kindergarten when he gave himself extra credit math/science homework over winter break using a hot wheels trak that attached to the wall. He made a chart and took it back to school with him to tell his class/show his teacher that he was still learning even when he wasn't at school. I love him. He's such a smart boy, and a good kid. 

Back to new things... 

I had never eaten a turnip prior to this evening. I think that must lower me to like a level 6 vegan, but I admit it. In fact I was talking about our gardens to one of my employees a week or 2 ago, and she (being the sweet woman that she is) brought me 3 giant turnips and two huge acorn squash from her garden! I was enamored with the lavendar and white skin. And when I peeled it, there was a sharp, horseradish like smell that drew me further in. I read that it is supposed to be delicious boiled and then mashed with potatoes and carrots, milk, garlic and butter, so I used some unsweetened soymilk, and e.b. instead and gave it a whirl. The gorgeously colored mash looked lovely on it's own, like a snow covered volcano with a crater full of buttery lava, but I was leery of the taste and smell not matching up (and fairly certain that no one else would like them with out some outside help), I made what anyone who made a crap ton of garbanzo beans earlier in the day would make.... Punk rock chickpea gravy from Vegan With A Vengence. So we had chicky seitan from Isa Does It ( the boy is hooked on it and I can't say I blame him, or have run out of ways to prepare it yet), the mash, marbled banana bread, and some fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden. I loved everything but the mash sadly. Looking for different ways to try the turnips to see if I like them. It took  a dozen different recipes to find away I like beets. Found a chickpea and turnip curry that looks promising. Anyone have any turnip recipes to share? After dinner we headed to the park with the boy and the pug in tow. The boy and I enjoyed a nice round of hide and seek tag. It was a nice day off :) looking forward to trying something else new tomorrow, and checking out all the other blogs. Happy MoFo everyone!

Vegan mofo time!

A new school year brings with it a new vegan month of food! After a long conversation with the boy, we decided that all the "newness" should carry over into the blogging. We decided to go with new foods. To start the boy off gently, I made him lunch. His class is peanut free (the teacher is checking on any other possible allergens) and I'm really hoping cashews, sesame seeds, and almonds will be ok, or else I'm going to have to get very creative this year. He had chicky seitan sammies last week from "Isa Does It", and I may have accidentally finished off the seitan yesterday with my salad. So this morning I panicked, not sure what to make him. I remembered getting a vanilla almond tahini butter in one of my conscious boxes, and mixed up some tahini with bee free honee. Took a taste and it was delicious! It really thickened up the tahini nicely, and gave it a nice fresh nut butter texture. The boy has never had tahini on it's own, so it's definitely new to him! Topped that with some grape preserves on sourdough, some carrot fries (they're not just for cuteness, the grooves make dipping them in vinaigrette and ketchup, yes he likes ketchup on his carrot sticks, work better, as the sauce puddles up in the grooves.), a mixed baby greens salad with smoky tomato vinaigrette from Annie's Naturals, buffalo wheat thins, Silk chocolate soymilk, and 2 Biscoff for dessert.