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.
The world is bleak: fighting little dogs for half a cracker with this week’s link-o-rama! »
Pamela Anderson loves animals! She paid all the expenses for the transport of 50 homeless dogs from New Orleans to a pet adoption program in Virginia, less the two she adopted herself. That is a good thing that a person with money can do. [photo credit: AP]
Get busy with these events!
Tonight eat snacks from Vegansaurus pals Fat Bottom Bakery at the Oakland Art Murmur! Also, there’s art, and wandering around Oakland, where it may be warmer than the city! Double-also, art shows very frequently serve free liquor. Go expand your cultural horizons, starting around 5 p.m. and continuing until it’s not entirely clear, but not very late (8ish?).
Tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 7, Oakland gets to be awesome again (!) and host this month’s SF Underground Market. Which is technically a “Bay Area” underground market, but, all right. It’s at 24th Street and Broadway, runs from 5 to 11 p.m., and has a $2 entry fee. There’ll be live music, drinks for purchase, and all kinds of food vendors. The location, incidentally, is three (big) blocks from the 19th Street BART station.
If you didn’t find what you wanted in Oakland, or were unable (TOO LAZY) to get there, probably you should get over to Hayes Valley Farm on Sunday, Aug. 8 for the Fresh Produce Free-For-All. It is exactly what it sounds like, apparently, and it sounds like AWESOME. Hayes Valley Farm is on Laguna Street between Oak and Fell Streets, and the Fresh Produce party is scheduled from 12:30 to 6 p.m.
Alternatively, you could participate in the protest honoring the 40th anniversary of Lolita the orca’s capture. It will be held at “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom” (formerly known as Marine World Africa USA, the saddest not-SeaWorld your Vegansaurus ever visited) in Vallejo from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
More protests next week! On Wednesday, Aug. 11 protest the opening night of the Ringling Bros. circus in Oakland (everything is happening in Oakland now! And HBIC Laura just moved there. This is not a coincidence). The protest will be at the Oracle Arena (7000 Coliseum Way) from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and our pals at Cinnaholic are offering 20 percent off to every protester who brings in a flyer from the event! More details about this and other circus protests here.
Educate yourself with these thrilling news items!
This week in Meat news, British people found themselves accidentally drinking milk and eating meat from cloned cows. Whoopsie daisy! Esquire wouldn’t mind cloned meat, but thinks in vitro a much better (and safer) idea. England is exporting miniature cows to the U.S., which SFoodie considered “might save the planet,” what with their being extra-small and needing so little food and water and space (the better to pack you on the feedlot, my tiny ones!) Good made a super-disgusting chart of the “average American” annual diet, which include 110 pounds of “red meat,” and 600.5 pounds of non-cheese, non-egg dairy products. So that’s all milk and yogurt and cream? Ew. Christina Pirello reminded the omnivores that their hamburgers are totally disgusting, though she didn’t “[go] all vegan on [them],” just suggested, like, the Dan Barber way, Dan Barber’s so great! (no he’s not.) Erik Marcus pointed out that it wasn’t so much the “meat” component in the “cooking meat led to human intellectual development” theory as the “cooking” part. Shut Up, Foodies! wondered how owners of an emu farm could slaughter and eat the birds who literally hug them.
What Fucked-up Things have people been doing to animals recently? Germany’s wild boar population has rapidly increased, and the number of whom are radioactive due to the lasting effects of the Chernobyl disaster has quadrupled. HA HA HA AWESOME. Scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine published research that may explain “the molecular biology of fear”; they studied this by giving “mild” electric shocks to mice. Kerry Ressler, the researcher interviewed for the LiveScience article, really loves his wife and three children. On the subject of fear, military veterinarians are diagnosing dogs with PTSD now. Specifically Gina, a bomb-sniffing German Shepherd, who has been in recovery for a year after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq. She’s well enough to work on domestic bases, and maybe she’ll get redeployed to on of our Middle East quagmires, just like our human troops! It’s nice that dogs get treated equally to (straight) people in the U.S. military, isn’t it.
Awwww, isn’t it cuuuuuuute? Anthropomorphic cows selling dairy products! It’s not at all reminiscent of Suicide Food! And Mouila, the oldest gorilla in England, turned 50 on Monday, and her keepers threw her a birthday party, complete with “presents wrapped with [sic] special gorilla-friendly paper.” I’m sure it was always her dream to live in freezing-ass, foggy fucking England and be a baby machine for Howletts Wild Animal Park.
One item of non-terribleness: the guidelines for the first complete replacement for the Draize skin test was adopted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in July, which will, according to PCRM, replace “the rabbit method for most chemicals and products.” Fewer bunnies being tortured really is wonderful.
In our Bay Area, people on the Supplemental Nutrition Program (a type of food stamps) can now use their funds at farmers markets in Healdsburg and Petaluma. That is a really great idea! But considering that the federal government made a big fat cut to funding for food stamps this week, who will have the funds to buy fresh, local produce? Our jerkface governor doesn’t care about who will pick any of the produce from anywhere, vetoing a bill this week that would have guaranteed farmworkers ONE DAY OFF in every seven worked, and overtime pay for over eight hours worked in a day or 40 in a week. You know, like you’d get in an office for making after-hours copies and drinking soda, or sitting around waiting for deadline DOING NOTHING. As opposed to, maybe, picking fucking strawberries in the hot sun all day, every single day. New York City won’t commit to preserving all of its existing community gardens, despite protests—why have a garden when you can have condos?
A pitbull saved a chihuahua from being devoured by a coyote! Stop hating pitbulls already, they are as good a dog as any other. Turns out that the earliest known domesticated animal was, indeed, a dog, and that the act of domestication and bonding with animals may have taught us humans to "learn about and care for fellow creatures." Speaking of which, Ethical Pizza rescued a baby pigeon at the Daly City BART station yesterday! A tiny baby pigeon only three weeks old! YOU GUYS.
The New York Daily News had a little spotlight on Latin American vegan food in NYC, which our crack team of Megan Rascal and sometimes Figaro will get right on reviewing for you! And Team VeganMania won the Sixth Annual Brown Cow Ice Cream Trough Eating Contest, with a separate trough of Chicago SoyDairy’s Temptation vegan ice cream! Obviously, vegans and our delicious dairy alternatives are the fucking best, HOORAY.