Massel Concentrated Liquid Stock makes for vegan cooking bliss! »
When Massel, the company famous for its vegan bouillon cubes, offered to send me samples of their new liquid stock line I was really excited. I’ve used the cubes before, and I love that their products are clearly labeled “vegan” and free from questionable ingredients like MSG. So, I tried Massel’s new vegan concentrated stocks line and I LOVE it!
My new favorite things: adding a bit of bouillon stock into a pot of quinoa cooking on the stove, using it to flavor noodle soups, or my very favorite: use Massel liquid stock to make a broth for cooking broccoli! You just add 3 tablespoons chicken-free liquid stock to 4 cups of boiling water. Steam the broccoli in the water/stock mixture on the stove and it turns the broccoli into the most luscious, savory, rich goodness imaginable. It’s magic! I have never loved broccoli as much as I do now, thanks to Massel!
According to the company website, one tablespoon of the highly concentrated liquid stock makes 1 cup of soup stock. Once you’ve formed a stock base, you can just toss in your favorite soup fixings like veggies, noodles, leafy greens, veg protein or whatever pleases you!
My favorite flavor was definitely the vegan “chicken” flavor, and the one flavor I really didn’t love as much was the beef flavor. Here’s a great recipe reposted with permission from the Massel vegan recipe bank on their website.
Gluten Free Vegan Sesame Noodles
- 8 oz. spaghetti (gluten free, if desired)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 2/3 cup water
- ⅓ teaspoon Massel Vegetable or Chicken style Better Bouillon
- ½ cup peanut butter (sunflower seed butter, if you have nut allergies)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce (tamari sauce is gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoon Sriracha or favorite hot sauce
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
2. While the pasta is cooking, whisk the rest of ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle mixture over drained pasta and toss well.
3. Serve immediately, room temperature, or chilled.
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.
VIDEO! At Home with Susan Feniger: Vegan Avocado on Toast »
Time for another video in our Quarrygirl Presents: At Home with Susan Feniger series! This time we go to the famous chef’s Los Angeles pad for a simple breakfast of mashed avocado on toast. It’s so easy and the perfect way to use up avocados before they spoil! Watch as Susan shares her favorite and quickest recipe and also gives us tips on pronunciation, her favourite knife, and why buying fresh pepper is important.
Avocado toast is the king of toasts and quarrygirl is the queen of delicious food videos. Get into it!
The Teaches of Isa: perfectly browned tofu! »
Having trouble getting gorgeous, crispy tofu for your stir-fry? Let Isa help you with her simple guide. Turns out all you really need are a good pan and a good spatula. Then you practice till you get it right every time!
[photo by Brian via Flickr]
Look What We Made! Calzones! Raw Tiramisu! »
Self-esteem requires that one take a moment to brag when one does something awesome. Here are two delicious things that were recently born in my house. If someone could come teach me to take photos of food, that would be great, ok thanks.
Awesome Thing #1: Ginormous Calzones
My husband Danny made these beauties, on a weeknight no less. They’re filled with a tofu-cashew-olive ricotta (recipe from Veganomicon with kalamatas thrown in; leave out the salt), broccoli and homemade seitan saute, and a smidge of Daiya. OMG YUM can we get married again? I am the luckiest person.
Awesome Thing #2: Cafe Gratitude’s Raw Tiramisu
I taught you how to cope with the impending loss of CG, and now here’s me doing it! I made bomber, delicious, raw tiramisu. It took lots of planning (including steps begun 48 hours before I wanted to eat), weird ingredients (Irish moss, lecithin, raw cacao powder), and like 4 hours to make, but it was SO worth it.
Best new thing I learned: Making my own coconut milk! Just buy one of those Thai young coconuts, hack it open, put both the water and the flesh/meat (ick words) in the blender, and swoon.
Five ways to take your tofu scramble to the next level »
Is your tofu scramble missing something—flavor, pizazz, less slime? I’m no professional chef, but I did consult her for this article. And I’m sitting on the bench in my tofu scramble game: That means I DON’T PLAY. After complaining about tofu scrambles on restaurant menus, it’s only fair that I help others get on my level. Am I full of myself? You bet! Let’s start:
1. Tofu texture
You’ve got to go with firm or firmer, folks. Soft, medium, or silken tofu? Not gonna work here. I’ve made this mistake before, and it turns your meal all slimy. Go for firm or extra-firm. If your tofu is packed in water (usually accompanied by a hard plastic tray), you should also press it first to expel extra liquid.
2. Herbs ‘n’ spices
This is god-damned crucial. Because tofu is designed to soak up the flavors of what’s around it, you don’t want to end up with a dish that tastes like … tofu. Some important items, not just for cooking a tofu scramble but also for cooking most things in the world: garlic, cumin (gives it that eggy flavor), salt, black salt (makes it even eggier), pepper, paprika, turmeric (makes it yellow, if you’re into that) and thyme. Apply liberally, and thank me in the morning.
3. Cooking time
Cook your tofu in your skillet (ideally cast-iron, but who has time/money for such frivolities?!) till you think it might be burning. Then stir it, because it probably is not burnt. The point is you want your tofu to be done, not still mushy. Here’s my process: I sautee onions and any veggies with a longer cooking time first, then I add garlic and spices, and then the tofu. After adding the tofu, I cook on medium-high heat and stir occasionally for at least 15 to 20 minutes. You want that shit browned, ya heard?
You can’t just toss onions and peppers on top of cubed tofu and expect it to be any good. You want the tofu to soak up flavors, which is why I recommended in tip #3 to cook a lot of the relevant veggies first. Frozen spinach and potatoes are especially useful in this application. When something is frozen, I add it later, when I add the tofu to the pan.
This is the final step before serving, right? So don’t scrimp! Hook yourself up with some salsa, Frank’s hot sauce (GOD FRANK’S I WANT TO DRINK YOU), avocado, tortillas, ketchup, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and whatever else you godforsaken heathens like to throw on top of your food. Serve with toast, duh.
If your tofu scrambles are lackluster, try a few of these tips, and let me know how it goes. Or show it to a friend who could really use some help. Whatever, I’m here to serve!
[Photo by Cowomally via Flickr]
Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread: Put it on or in EVERYTHING »
Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread. Oh, hell yes. Use it as sexual lube (commonly known as, “lube”), massage oil, in cupcakes, on toast, on a spoon, for high-temperature frying, or for high-temperature sexual relations. This shit does it all! There’s a reason this won product of the year at Vegnews, and your holiday baking just got a whole bunch more delicious. Plus, it’s all organic, so it doesn’t have any of that bad, shady palm oil in it (warning: shitty PDF). Seriously, if you love orangutans (and who doesn’t! They’re basically the muppet version of Jay Z and Bruce Vilanch’s love child), then only buy the organic Earth Balance DO IT. And since the organic regular Earth Balance is hella whipped, it’s not as good for baking, but now that shit doesn’t matter because this coconut spread is perfect for all your baking needs! Also, use it to get gum out of hair and to shine your silver! DO IT.
To further convince you of its glorious truth: Here’s a PDF from Earth Balance with tons of recipes, and coupons! Whole Foods also has a coupon — I wonder if you can combine to actually make money on this deal?? Learn the art of the pon, people.
You all know there’s a vegan drag queen, right? Her name is Honey LaBronx and she’s sexy as all get-out and working it via an online cooking show. We live in a glorious age, indeed! I mean, there’s a VEGAN DRAG QUEEN with an ONLINE COOKING SHOW. Sometimes I really love living in the future!
In this first episode, Honey teaches us all how to make seitan! She clearly knows her stuff, so follow along and be entertained by her adorability and delicious recipe. Also, one day, I’ll murder her for that dress. SO DAMN CUTE.
Product review: Mark Bittman Vegetarian Cooking app! »
I got to test out a gratis copy of the new Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything Vegetarian iPhone application! Since my last mention of the app was less than informative, here is a thorough review, because I love you!
My official recommendation: it’s awesome! If you want to spend the $4.99, it’s worth your money and a lot cheaper than purchasing the actual cookbook. The recipe selection looks pretty amazing. I haven’t made anything yet but there are really a lot of things I already want to make! Or get someone else to make for me! You can make me food and I’ll give you fashion tips—fair trade!
I am told there are 950 vegan recipes and variations out of about 2,000 vegetarian recipes in total. The breakdown is 397 recipes and 553 variations to non-vegan recipes. There’s also a “top 100 vegan recipes” list under “Bittman’s picks” and several little “references” that like suggest vegan breakfasts for you, cheese substitutions, and one I’m really interested it: how to make any bread vegan. I love bread!
I don’t see any way to isolate the vegan options for the entire app but when you search for something, it’s super-easy to bring out the vegan options because of the vegan filter. You can search for key words if you want or you can use the filters they already have like “style.” So you can do a search by selecting “sweet” as the style and select just vegan options and it will pull up anything sweet and vegan (you saw where that was going). You could also search “cauliflower” or whatever word you want and select just vegan options. Oh and one of the style options is “raw” and there are 26 recipes and variations with that search. That’s for my raw friends! You know I’m always thinking of you.
When you are just browsing the recipes, the vegan ones are clearly marked but you can’t immediately see if a non-vegan recipe has a vegan variation. But when you use the search function, it lists all vegan recipes and all vegan variations for that search so that is prob the best way for us to look at variations. But just browsing for recipes is easy. There are no pictures so if you only like cookbooks with food pictures, this is not the app for you. I often like pictures but the names of these recipes are enticing enough that I don’t think I would miss them that much.
One thing to note: Reader Ryan K. says that some non-vegan recipes are marked vegan and vice versa. I haven’t run into this yet. I can send the creator a note about this and hopefully they can fix it in a future update.
Here are some screen grabs! First, a recipe; as you can see, it has the overview, ingredients, steps and variations:
Here’s a progression of how you can browse without the search. First you pick a general category and a more specific category:
Then you pick a recipe. You can easily see which recipes are vegan but if you select a non-vegan one, like the first veggie burger, it might have a vegan variation:
This is also cool: when you look at a recipe, you have all these options for what to do with it:
Another function is that you can generate shopping lists—kinda nice and useful. And as long as you have your phone, you will always have your grocery list.
Here’s my favorite part:
Under the style search option, you can search for hippie! It pulls up what you’d expect, tofu and whatnot.
Here’s my second favorite part! For some of the basic recipes and techniques, there are these illustrated guides:
Love it! You KNOW I like pictures over actually reading instructions. And as you can see, these aren’t crazy Ikea-style stick figure pictures that I can never understand.
All in all, I’d say it’s worth at least $4.99. Even though all the recipes aren’t vegan, I’m still very pleased with it. If you are vegetarian, it’s DEFINITELY worth the money. It has more recipes than the Vegan with a Vengeance app and that one costs $9.99 (say what?). The recipes are a little lacking for vegan dessert options but I actually think the first thing I want to make is the vegan banana chocolate-chunk bread pudding. Banana and chocolate are my favorite and I love bread pudding! I’m going to eat the hell out of that.
NYC: Free cooking class with Alexandra Jamieson! »
Alexandra Jamieson (of The Great American Detox Diet and Top Chef: Just Desserts fame!) is teaching a cooking class on Sunday, Mar. 13 and it’s FREE! We just heard that there are still spots left—spots that could be filled by your beautiful self! It’s part of the NYC 21-Day Vegan Challenge that I mentioned a little bit ago. Here’s the info:
Great American Detox Diet author and superstar vegan nutritionist, Alexandra Jamieson, who literally wrote the book on eating vegan (Vegan Cooking for Dummies) will teach an intimate class on how to make seitan chimichurri skewers and chickpea blondie brownies with almond cream—recipes that are super-easy, filled with protein, and 100 percent gluten free.
Chickpea blondie brownies with almond cream?! WANT. I may have to register myself! OMG and you could register too and then we’ll meet over chimichurris and fall in love! Or, you know, I could do my usual Sunday routine which consists of watching Matlock reruns on channel 55 and cursing the day I discovered red wine.