vegansaurus!

07/23/2014

The Best Tofu I Ever Ate!  »

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You guys! I’m writing about delicious tofu for Nasoya and I’m really enjoying it so far and I want to share the posts because TOFU YUM. Get into it:

I used to be ambivalent, at best, about tofu. I simply saw it as a white, square block of jiggly goo that tasted like nothing. Even after being vegetarian for quite some time, I pretty much avoided (what I thought was) the flavorless block like the plague. However, one dish changed that all.

My friend Hannah loves tofu. She loves it so much. Honestly, I was kinda freaked out by her love for something I considered so “meh”. Well, with one simple, easily remixable kinda-recipe, she showed me the tofu lovin’ light. Hang onto your hats, because you’re about to become a tofu convert.

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is an idea. Feel free to play with the spices, but the premise is oh so easy. You just press your extra firm tofu to get all the excess water out, cut it into cubes, and then cover it in a mixture of soy sauce, nutritional yeast, potato starch, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix it up and create a scrumptious sludge to coat your tofu with Then, you put some coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat and fry those suckers up. What’s next is totally up to you! You can toss the tasty cubes in pasta, throw ‘em on nachos, top a salad, or just snack until you’re full. Which, with all the delicious protein in tofu, won’t take long.

After becoming a convert to tofu and its delicious ways, I became insatiable. I mixed it into puddings, baked it with a cornmeal topping, and fried it up with sauces and spices. What I learned is that tofu is a gorgeous blank palette. It soaks up all the goodness and turns out dishes that are not only tasty, but oh so good for you. I’m now proudly Team Tofu all the way!

07/10/2014

You will never ever never ever guess what this vegan tuna sashimi is of. NEVER EVER. And if you do? GOOD ON YOU, SUPER GENIUS. As a reward for being so much smarter and better than the rest of us, please make me all of the amazing vegan sushi in this delicious Thursdays With Wanda recipe post KTHXBAI.
[h/t furika ke]

You will never ever never ever guess what this vegan tuna sashimi is of. NEVER EVER. And if you do? GOOD ON YOU, SUPER GENIUS. As a reward for being so much smarter and better than the rest of us, please make me all of the amazing vegan sushi in this delicious Thursdays With Wanda recipe post KTHXBAI.

[h/t furika ke]

05/14/2014

Need a side dish for tonight? I just made Isa’a caramelized beets, and they were delicious! Mine came out pretty close to what the picture on The PPK looks like, maybe a tad more charred. Oops! That is what happens when you ignore instructions like “cut 3/4-inch chunks” and dice them very small instead. Doesn’t matter, still delectable. I just have to do a quick shout-out to my internet friend Angie for guiding me to the recipe in the first place!
May I suggest buying beets with the greens still attached, as opposed to loose beets, to make this recipe? The greens and stems are absolute perfection sautéed! [Ed. note: this sounds like crazy talk] All you need is a little salt, pepper and olive oil. While Isa suggests serving with quinoa, I shudder at the notion. Not only does quinoa taste just awful to me, I’m uncomfortable for days after eating it. This affects about one in 15,000 vegans.* If you don’t do quinoa either, and you’re out there, reading this, know you don’t have to hide it anymore! We’re out there, I’ve found others, you’re not alone. 
*I made that up, it’s a number based on emotion. The emotion of isolation.  

Need a side dish for tonight? I just made Isa’a caramelized beets, and they were delicious! Mine came out pretty close to what the picture on The PPK looks like, maybe a tad more charred. Oops! That is what happens when you ignore instructions like “cut 3/4-inch chunks” and dice them very small instead. Doesn’t matter, still delectable. I just have to do a quick shout-out to my internet friend Angie for guiding me to the recipe in the first place!

May I suggest buying beets with the greens still attached, as opposed to loose beets, to make this recipe? The greens and stems are absolute perfection sautéed! [Ed. note: this sounds like crazy talk] All you need is a little salt, pepper and olive oil. While Isa suggests serving with quinoa, I shudder at the notion. Not only does quinoa taste just awful to me, I’m uncomfortable for days after eating it. This affects about one in 15,000 vegans.* If you don’t do quinoa either, and you’re out there, reading this, know you don’t have to hide it anymore! We’re out there, I’ve found others, you’re not alone. 

*I made that up, it’s a number based on emotion. The emotion of isolation.  

05/02/2014

I have a confession to make: I don’t like nutritional yeast very much. Over the years, I’ve acquired a taste for it in very small amounts, but it is not my favorite thing. That being said, I am totally obsessed with this Macaroni and Cheeze recipe via From the Garden! I make it at least twice a month, if not more! I don’t know what it is in here that makes the nooch so palatable for me, whether the richness of coconut milk or the combination of ketchup and mustard (my fave). I love baking the macaroni and cheeze with blanched broccoli, and recently I baked it in muffin tins (350F for 30 minutes). That was great because they come out crunchy around the edges and remind me of Cheese-Its, which I was quite fond of. I didn’t even try to grab a pic because the savory mac-muffins were not pretty, just incredibly tasty! Oh yeah, Sriracha lovers, you can sub that in place of Louisiana hot sauce. I know that because it’s what I do! 

I have a confession to make: I don’t like nutritional yeast very much. Over the years, I’ve acquired a taste for it in very small amounts, but it is not my favorite thing. That being said, I am totally obsessed with this Macaroni and Cheeze recipe via From the Garden! I make it at least twice a month, if not more! I don’t know what it is in here that makes the nooch so palatable for me, whether the richness of coconut milk or the combination of ketchup and mustard (my fave). I love baking the macaroni and cheeze with blanched broccoli, and recently I baked it in muffin tins (350F for 30 minutes). That was great because they come out crunchy around the edges and remind me of Cheese-Its, which I was quite fond of. I didn’t even try to grab a pic because the savory mac-muffins were not pretty, just incredibly tasty! Oh yeah, Sriracha lovers, you can sub that in place of Louisiana hot sauce. I know that because it’s what I do! 

04/30/2014

Recipe: Vegan Wild Leek Pesto!  »

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Preface: My friend Andy Bly is from a tiny town in western PA (Kane represent!) that is apparently obsessed with ramps. Ever since I met him, he’s been telling me about his leek pesto and how he would make me a vegan version! Finally, he did. So he gives me two jars and tells me, “careful, it’s early in the season so they have a lot of bite.” I’m like, whatever bro. I tried the pesto in some pasta when I got home…holy cannoli! My eyes were watering! BITE INDEED! A few days later, when I was brave enough to give it another try, I found the perfect bread-to-pesto ratio and topped it with some sautéed mushrooms. Perfecto!

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I thought all the vegans would enjoy this recipe and Andy was kind enough to write it up for us! He’s also a pro photographer, so I made him document the harvest. Pretty pictures, no? Take it away, Andy!:

You might know these pungent green friends as ramps, but to me—and everyone else who grew up in the Pennsylvania Wilds—they are simply leeks. Most everyone has their own secret spot outside of town where they go to dig the leeks (this is serious business). There’s even an entire Leek Festival held for the annual appearance of our smelly perennial. The wild leeks usually begin to appear shortly before Easter and more often than not in this area, they provide hope that another brutal winter is coming to an end.

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Because of the whacky Spring we have had this year these leeks were fairly potent and in the interest of my fellow passengers on the journey back to New York City, I decided to turn this year’s crop into jars of pesto. The wild leek pesto adds a really nice bite to pasta, crostini, pizza or any other favorite dish of yours. Here is the typical recipe for the pesto itself:

Ingredients:

1 bunch or 4 cups wild leeks (stem and leaves)
½ cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
zest of one lemon

Directions:

1. Cut off the roots and wash the leeks well, removing all dirt. Drain and dry.

2. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they are just starting to turn golden on one side. Remove from heat.

3. Put all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until a desired consistency is reached. If you like your pesto a little creamier, add more oil. Taste to adjust seasoning.

4. Serve or store in the fridge.

Just a warning that you may want to avoid close conversations or any physical displays of affection as these wild leeks pack quite the punch!

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Yay thanks for sharing with us, Andy! You can follow Andy on Instagram (82acb) and Tumblr. And if you are admiring that poster below the jars, it’s from another Kane gem, The Laughing Owl Press. If you like letterpress, they are your new favorite people!

So, who is going to try this out? Is anybody also from the sticks and totally has a secret ramp spot?? So cool! 

04/29/2014

How to, yo: VEGAN PIZZA! Tips and tools from start to finish!   »

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I wish I could explain this logically, but it’s not really a logic desire. Here’s the thing: for as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza. Something about that cartoon pizza, it just looked so good, and pizza in real life never quite measured up! I know I’m not alone in this.

Something changed once I started making vegan pizzas; they just had that ooey-gooey look to them, the very look I’d been striving for my entire life! Something about how the cheese melts and the vegan pepperonis bake in, it’s a visual and tasty delight! Of course, using vegetables on your pizza is much healthier, and I highly recommend it (I take mine with mushrooms, spinach, roasted garlic and sometimes pineapple). Or you can make your own vegan sausages with this recipe

That’s enough waxing poetic about my favorite 80s/early 90s cartoon, let’s get to the pizza dough part! I don’t like working with dough. THERE I SAID IT. I will always go for convenience when it comes to bread, pastries, pie dough and pizza dough! That is, until I stumbled across this pizza dough recipe by Bobby Flay! It’s really easy and you don’t even need a stand mixer to make it! 

If you do have a stand-mixer, you can follow the recipe as it says, but if you don’t, here’s my method:

In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, warm water and olive oil. Let sit for a couple of minutes.

In a large bowl, add 3 1/2 cups of the flour and salt. Mix, make a well in the center and then add yeast mixture. Knead until all the flour is incorporated, adding the last 1/2 cup of flour if too wet. I find I usually don’t need it. Now follow the rest of the directions in terms of letting it rise! (When I make my dough, I add just a pinch of extra salt and about a tablespoon of dried rosemary.)

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When it came time to bake my pizza, I did at 450F, on a baking sheet, for about 10 - 15 minutes, until the bottom was nicely browned. If your oven smokes at high temperatures, you can bake at 400F for a longer period of time—just check the bottom of the crust periodically. If you have a pizza stone or fire brick oven, what are you reading this for? You are probably a pizza wizard and could be giving me tips! 

Now, if you choose to use vegan cheese, Daiya is probably the easiest in terms of melt and go. If you are a FYH soy mozzarella fan, but are exasperated by it’s melting abilities, I’d like to help you! You gotta melt it in a double boiler first (I shred it, or cut it up real small, then melt it). Once it’s melted, spoon it onto your pizza. Yeah, it’s an extra step, but it’s worth it! I like Daiya alright, but I get tired of it. Every time I use melted FYH soy mozz, at least three people on Instagram tell me I’ve been duped, that there’s no way my pizza is vegan. That my friends, I call a success! I have been thinking this homemade tofu chèvre would make a tasty addition for a very sophisticated pizza! 

I have some tips on shaping pizza dough here! Basically, it’s easiest to work with when at room temperature and DON’T TOUCH THE OUTSIDE CRUST! 

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As far as pizza sauce goes, I usually use jarred marinara sauce. The other night I made my own, and it was really easy! I sautéed, in olive oil, half a diced onion, three cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste (1/2 tsp of each, maybe) and 1 TB of Italian herbs. I added a can of diced tomatoes, and about 1/2 cup of white wine (totally optional, and red is great too), then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a tsp of sugar if it’s too tart. I like my pizza sauce smooth so I blended it, but you could also just use canned tomato sauce! 

Sick of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol? Here’s my recipe for BBQ “chicken” pizza! 

As always, we love to hear from you! What are your favorite toppings? Do you have a recipe for a great gluten-free dough? Did you love the Ninja Turtles as much as me? Let us know! 

04/23/2014

I just made my first batch of vegan fudge, and I’m really into it! I used this recipe, and added a handful of semi-sweet vegan chips and some pomegranate liqueur. I guess I didn’t expect it to turn out, so I didn’t measure out my changes. I melted the liqueur (A shot? Half a shot? Who knows!) and chips down with all of the other ingredients. It’s super delicious and easy, so go on and give it a whirl. Next time I am going to try it with coconut milk, and maybe half a cup less of powdered sugar* because it was very sweet and just a little bit grainy. But otherwise very good! 
*I know sugar is a hot topic, so here are a couple resources on finding vegan sugar! 

I just made my first batch of vegan fudge, and I’m really into it! I used this recipe, and added a handful of semi-sweet vegan chips and some pomegranate liqueur. I guess I didn’t expect it to turn out, so I didn’t measure out my changes. I melted the liqueur (A shot? Half a shot? Who knows!) and chips down with all of the other ingredients. It’s super delicious and easy, so go on and give it a whirl. Next time I am going to try it with coconut milk, and maybe half a cup less of powdered sugar* because it was very sweet and just a little bit grainy. But otherwise very good! 

*I know sugar is a hot topic, so here are a couple resources on finding vegan sugar! 

04/22/2014

Have you made Vegan Yack Attack’s Roasted Cauliflower Tomato Soup yet? It is FANTASTIC. Even though Jackie and I are friends IRL, and she’s aware my enthusiasm knows no bounds, I think she may have gotten weirded out by how obsessed I became with this recipe. OH WELL! I love it, my mom loves it, my dad and grandma love it. I made it about twice a week for a while, no joke! My mom wistfully mentioned it recently and I haven’t been able to shake my hankering for it. Hey, Jackie, hey! I’m like, officially the president of this soup’s fan club, right? 

Have you made Vegan Yack Attack’s Roasted Cauliflower Tomato Soup yet? It is FANTASTIC. Even though Jackie and I are friends IRL, and she’s aware my enthusiasm knows no bounds, I think she may have gotten weirded out by how obsessed I became with this recipe. OH WELL! I love it, my mom loves it, my dad and grandma love it. I made it about twice a week for a while, no joke! My mom wistfully mentioned it recently and I haven’t been able to shake my hankering for it. Hey, Jackie, hey! I’m like, officially the president of this soup’s fan club, right? 

04/21/2014

More fun with homemade vegan cheese: testing Miyoko Schinner’s cream cheese recipe!   »

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I love being able to make fancy, artisanal vegan cheeses at home! I’ve been meaning to try this cream cheese recipe by Miyoko Schinner for about six months now. I finally did, and honestly, it couldn’t have been easier! I used unsweetened coconut yogurt to ferment it, and I let it sit out for the full 48 hours. That was kind of tough! I thought I was going to be super cool about leaving food out, letting the bacteria do it’s job, but it turns out I am an American through and through! 

imageI made toast with Larrupin mustard, pepper and avocado! Delicious. Has avocado on toast always been a thing, or am I just noticing it now? I like to say the British have beans on toast and American vegans have avocado and toast. It really is a great combination! 

I super enjoyed not only making this recipe, but eating it too! I am very into the long fridge life: two weeks! I can’t wait to make frosting or cheesecake with it. It is my dream to try to replicate the blueberry cheesecake from Timeless Coffee in Oakland! It is also crucial I get some more of Sophie’s Kitchen Smoked Lox, ASAP! 

04/08/2014

Has anybody here seen the series finale for How I Met Your Mother? Are you in an outrage over it like the rest of the internet? I haven’t watched that show in about six years, but I want to see what all this fuss is about! Once someone told me I look like Colbie Smulders and even though I don’t see it, that is a compliment I’m taking! 
Celebrity doppelgängers and disappointing endings aside, here’s a fun, vegan recipe based off a HIMYM story line. Peanuts in pesto: who would’ve thought? A sitcom writer, I guess! 
[Image via Hello Giggles]

Has anybody here seen the series finale for How I Met Your Mother? Are you in an outrage over it like the rest of the internet? I haven’t watched that show in about six years, but I want to see what all this fuss is about! Once someone told me I look like Colbie Smulders and even though I don’t see it, that is a compliment I’m taking! 

Celebrity doppelgängers and disappointing endings aside, here’s a fun, vegan recipe based off a HIMYM story line. Peanuts in pesto: who would’ve thought? A sitcom writer, I guess! 

[Image via Hello Giggles]

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