vegansaurus!

03/03/2014

I just made Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s New England Glam Chowder from the PPK, and it is PHENOM! Have you made it yet?
It’s been a pretty chilly 67 degrees in SoCal, so I needed a little something to warm up! AHAHAHAHA, just kidding, I wear tank tops everywhere, only to be met with a concerned, “Aren’t you cold?” NO WAY! I JUST MOVED HERE FROM SAN FRANCISCO! (And before that Chicago! And before that, Humboldt County! This is the eternal summer phase of my life! But yeah, actually, I could’ve used a light sweater, I just didn’t bring one, me having so many assumptions about southern California and everything.)  The truth is, I’ve been eating out with my family at a bunch of restaurants that serve clam chowder and it’s left me with a hankering for a vegan version. So thank you, Isa! This Glam Chowder, as with all of your recipes, is awesome. Plus, I’m super into it being soy and gluten-free to boot! My pal Amanda texted me awhile back, letting me know this recipe was bomb; I just want to say “Thanks, girl! You were right! Hey, can you send me some of your future-award-winning jalapeño mac’n cheese? It would be so greatly appreciated! XoXo.”

I just made Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s New England Glam Chowder from the PPK, and it is PHENOM! Have you made it yet?

It’s been a pretty chilly 67 degrees in SoCal, so I needed a little something to warm up! AHAHAHAHA, just kidding, I wear tank tops everywhere, only to be met with a concerned, “Aren’t you cold?” NO WAY! I JUST MOVED HERE FROM SAN FRANCISCO! (And before that Chicago! And before that, Humboldt County! This is the eternal summer phase of my life! But yeah, actually, I could’ve used a light sweater, I just didn’t bring one, me having so many assumptions about southern California and everything.)  
The truth is, I’ve been eating out with my family at a bunch of restaurants that serve clam chowder and it’s left me with a hankering for a vegan version. So thank you, Isa! This Glam Chowder, as with all of your recipes, is awesome. Plus, I’m super into it being soy and gluten-free to boot! My pal Amanda texted me awhile back, letting me know this recipe was bomb; I just want to say “Thanks, girl! You were right! Hey, can you send me some of your future-award-winning jalapeño mac’n cheese? It would be so greatly appreciated! XoXo.”

02/24/2014

Well, hello there Crispy Coconut Cauliflower Bites! I would very much like to enjoy you this afternoon with a delicious cocktail. Nothing wrong with celebrating happy hour in the luxury of my parent’s own home, with gluten-free, vegan and fried (or baked option) snacks! I will see you come 5pm, cauliflower bites! Thank you Fork and Beans, for this delectable-looking recipe! 

Well, hello there Crispy Coconut Cauliflower Bites! I would very much like to enjoy you this afternoon with a delicious cocktail. Nothing wrong with celebrating happy hour in the luxury of my parent’s own home, with gluten-free, vegan and fried (or baked option) snacks! I will see you come 5pm, cauliflower bites! Thank you Fork and Beans, for this delectable-looking recipe

02/19/2014

Check it out: an easy-to-follow, three ingredient recipe for coconut whipped cream, by Laura Friendly! Not only is it vegan, it’s gluten-free too! And don’t you worry about using the the rest of the can of coconut milk, that’s easy! You could make ganache, or curry, or use it for the liquid in a cake (just add water if you don’t have enough, it’s fine). While not all of Laura’s recipes available on Hello Giggles and her website are vegan, a bunch of them are, and they’re all gluten-free! Check it: TRUFFLES! You could dip the truffles in the whipped cream! Or this chocolate pie! Or make a vegan whipped cream bikini, it’s all the rage! 
Photo via laurafriendly.com

Check it out: an easy-to-follow, three ingredient recipe for coconut whipped cream, by Laura Friendly! Not only is it vegan, it’s gluten-free too! And don’t you worry about using the the rest of the can of coconut milk, that’s easy! You could make ganache, or curry, or use it for the liquid in a cake (just add water if you don’t have enough, it’s fine). While not all of Laura’s recipes available on Hello Giggles and her website are vegan, a bunch of them are, and they’re all gluten-free! Check it: TRUFFLES! You could dip the truffles in the whipped cream! Or this chocolate pie! Or make a vegan whipped cream bikini, it’s all the rage! 

Photo via laurafriendly.com

02/07/2014

DEAR. LORD. IN. HEAVEN. ABOVE. I don’t believe in much, but I believe in these spring rolls. I want to eat them until that my DNA is made entirely of mint and bean sprouts.
vegan-yums:

tofu quinoa fresh rolls with easy peanut sauce / recipe

DEAR. LORD. IN. HEAVEN. ABOVE. I don’t believe in much, but I believe in these spring rolls. I want to eat them until that my DNA is made entirely of mint and bean sprouts.

vegan-yums:

tofu quinoa fresh rolls with easy peanut sauce / recipe

(Source: vegan-yums, via veganfeast)

01/30/2014

Check out these baked jalapeño poppers from The Vegan Pact! These look like the perfect addition to any Super Bowl spread. I’m getting so excited for Sunday because the Super Bowl means calories don’t count and Bruno Mars is playing the halftime show! I am his biggest fan! More things I am a fan of: vegan jalapeño poppers and baking my food at home instead of frying it, as my frying skills leave everything overly greasy. This leaves me with no qualms about ordering every fried item on the menu at restaurants because I eat so healthy at home! 
Photo of oooey gooey goodneess via theveganpact.com

Check out these baked jalapeño poppers from The Vegan Pact! These look like the perfect addition to any Super Bowl spread. I’m getting so excited for Sunday because the Super Bowl means calories don’t count and Bruno Mars is playing the halftime show! I am his biggest fan! More things I am a fan of: vegan jalapeño poppers and baking my food at home instead of frying it, as my frying skills leave everything overly greasy. This leaves me with no qualms about ordering every fried item on the menu at restaurants because I eat so healthy at home! 

Photo of oooey gooey goodneess via theveganpact.com

01/27/2014

From the Garden Greenhouse Brunches in Berkeley!  »

The first Sunday of January, I had the honor of being invited to and attending a Greenhouse Brunch in Berkeley, hosted by Kyle and Ashley Knies of From the Garden. It was incredible! The food was divine, the atmosphere was lovely, the company was fun, and the presentation of everything, from the table settings to the food to the greenhouse itself was just spectacular. Believe me when I say I could go on and on and on, so let’s just cut to the chase and get to the visual part of the presentation. Thank goodness for the phenomenal natural lighting (photography is not my forte); everything tasted even more delectable than it looks! 

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The brunches take place in Ashley and Kyle’s beautiful greenhouse in Berkeley. Every detail is catered to—just look at this gorgeous table setting! Coffee and tea are available before the courses are served, as well as throughout the meal. 

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Greenhouse Mary with sake and a breakfast biscuit sandwich! Non-alcoholic cocktails are available upon pre-arranged request. 

The very first course was a Greenhouse Mary, made with sake, fresh celery juice, parsley, black pepper and sage. Ashley explained that the intent (besides being super tasty) of serving it first was to wake up our palates! I DO NOT LIKE Bloody Mary’s, and before you tell me I just haven’t had the right one, please rest assured that I’ve had them all. I’m team Mimosa over here and I couldn’t be happier about it. However, there’s a new brunch drink in town, so thank you Ashely and Kyle, my Sunday breakfast beverage preference isn’t quite so cut and dry anymore. 

The next course was a biscuit breakfast sandwich, featuring a flaky roasted garlic biscuit (best I’ve ever had), yuba “bacon”, grilled onions and fuerte avocado. Brunch was off to a fantastic start! 

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Grilled jerk tofu over a variety of greens, baby carrots and  beets and a blood orange mimosa. 

Next up we had a bergamot-lavender soda, which I unfortunately did not take a get a picture of. It was nice to have refreshment course between meal courses, to talk and digest a little bit. Truth be told, I did scurry off to Santa Cruz on a whim the night before, and then walked about a trillion steps before 11:30 am, so I mostly just listened and digested. We were then served a flavorful second course salad with radicchio baby roots, carrots, beets and spicy grilled jerk tofu. The spiciness of the tofu paired excellently with the bitterness radicchio and sweetness of the baby carrots and beets. Kyle and Ashley brought out an additional habanero sauce, but I did not find myself needing to take part in that kind of additional spice. The third refreshment course consisted of a blood orange and tangerine mimosa! I’ve already told you how I feel about mimosas, and this one was no exception (PHENOMENAL) so without further ado, let’s move on to the main course and dessert! 

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This is everything.  

The final savory course consisted of mac’n cheez, steamed purple kale and smokey, black-eyed peas topped with celery root. I love to scarf down my food as quickly as possible (a very attractive trait), but I ate painstakingly slow as to savor every single bite. Somehow I still managed to finished before everyone else. I overheard Ashely telling a brunch companion that the mac’n cheese recipe could be found on their blog, so I pulled that baby up as soon as I got home. After the brunch, Kyle told me that he made black-eyed peas for this occasion to bring good luck to the new year, which was another detail of the meal I very much admired!  

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The final frontier.

By the time dessert came out, I was stuffed. However, there’s always room for dessert, isn’t there? We were served a peanut butter pie with banana ice cream, peanut butter brittle and chocolate ganache. Kyle and Ashley are flavor and texture geniuses. There are no words, my mind was blown. 

Now that we’ve gone over the January 5th brunch, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can get in on this action. Kyle and Ashley present their Greenhouse Brunch (I heard in summer they have dinners!) once a month, and you have to RSVP by email for a space and payment information (they ask for a $40 donation). You can follow their blog, Facebook, and Twitter for up-to-date information about these gatherings, and also know that they are available for catering and personal chef needs within the San Francisco Bay Area! Kyle and Ashley are so talented, and such incredible people, I just cannot wait to see where From the Garden takes them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: keep your eye on this powerhouse couple!

01/22/2014

How-to, yo: Roast peppers!   »

It’s been awhile since I posted to my how-to series and I’m back, baby! One of the things I’ve been intimidated to do over the years is roast my peppers. Now, I know some of you are like, “I started roasting my vegetables right after I turned on an oven for the first time”, but one of things I like about this blog is that there is a little something here for everyone, from beginners to the most advanced lifestyle vegans! So let’s get this show on the road, because the Super Bowl is coming up and that means SNACKS GALORE! You can add roasted bell peppers to hummus, or even to liven up a marinara sauce. With spicy peppers, you’ve got chile rellenos or a salsa—done and done! Yeah, I totally snack like it’s Super Bowl Sunday every day of the year. 

Ingredients: 
Pepper(s) to roast 
Cooking spray or vegetable oil

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425F*Wash and dry off whole peppers, leaving stems intact. Grease a baking dish, or cookie sheet (one preferably with edges that come up) add peppers, and lightly coat with spray or oil. Stick them in the oven, and wait for them to char! Seriously — this is the part that always makes me think I’m doing the whole roasting thing wrong because I am intentionally burning my food. And then because my fire alarm is ultra sensitive, I always need a pillow handy to wave the smoke away, so you may want to grab one as well. 

For me, the roasting process usually takes about 45 - 60 minutes. I check on my peppers a lot, and I turn the peppers in the dish (with tongs or a fork) about every 15 minutes, so that each side gets blackened. Be careful because as the peppers release water, it can spatter with the oil in the oven and onto your arm. 

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The first 15 minute turnover of my lone red bell pepper. 

Once all the sides of your pepper are nicely charred, pull your peppers out of the oven and let them cool. I like to remove them from the baking dish as soon as they come out of the oven and onto a plate, but it’s not completely necessary.

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Finished and cooling down! 

Wait for them to cool down enough to handle, remove skin and stem and seeds. Sometimes people will cover their peppers to allow them to steam, which makes the skins easier to remove. I don’t bother. My friend Andrea wears gloves when she deseeds spicy peppers—it is a great tip because if you touch your face or your eyes without scrubbing your hands down, it will be tear inducing. 

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Cooled, skinned and de-seeded. This bell pepper got minced and went into  hearts of palm crab cakes

Alright, let’s do this—I want a chile relleno casserole or enchiladas stuffed with fresh roasted jalapeños for dinner! Please, can you bring it over? THANKS! 

*I keep my oven temperature lowish for roasting because my oven gets very smokey and I feel like there is more leeway for me when it comes to the difference between gently charring my peppers and burning them to an unidentifiable crisp. You can definitely go up experiment here and go up to 450, even 475 degrees, just keep a closer eye on your peppers. There are a few different methods out there, including grilling, broiling and roasting peppers over the flame of a gas stove, but for me the baking method has proven tried and true, even if it takes a little bit longer. Plus, isn’t the broiler for storing pots and pans? I kid, I kid (nope, I’m not). 

01/07/2014

Thoughts on Making My New Vegan Cookbook, by Molly Patrick  »

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[This post is from Molly Patrick, co-author of the new cookbook, Bold Vegan - Food for the Body and Soul]

Did you know that New Mexico was part of the United States before you watched Breaking Bad?  (It’s okay. I grew up there and sometimes even I got confused. It’s not really new, it’s not really Mexico. What to think…)

Breaking Bad didn’t lie on two accounts: 1) New Mexico really is full of meth; and 2) there is nothing like the New Mexico sky.

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I grew up in a teepee on a bunch of land in asscrack nowhere New Mexico (you guys, I swear I’m not lying. A teepee!!). I had no running water, no electricity and no plumbing for the first part of my life. I was a teenager when we got our first TV and it was (I kid you not) a black and white 10 inch (dear god, why would I make this shit up).

We had an outhouse until I was ready to graduate high school and I grew up without ever eating meat (to this day I have not tried the stuff).

Actually, that’s not entirely true. When I was six, my Godfather bribed me to eat a bite of turkey on Thanksgiving for $5. At six years old, $5 is like $500 so I totally did it. I also tried Chicken McNuggets once in high school. I gagged a little, kept the sweet and sour sauce and trashed the nuggets.

My unusual and socially awkward upbringing was the root of some of my disgruntled teenage years but as soon as I decided that being mad wasn’t a cool trend anymore I got over it. When I got a little older and discovered how (some) people of privilege operate, I had a whole new appreciation for the way I was raised.

It may not have been fancy but it was full of love, honesty, humbleness, grace and compassion.

Last year, I wanted to share a piece of my upbringing with my girlfriend, Luanne so we quit our jobs and headed South from the Bay Area to asscrack nowhere land. We were on a mission to write a follow-up to our first cookbook, Bold Vegan - Food of South East Asia.

Luanne is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (kind of like New York but in South East Asia) so naturally, she was excited to go to New Mexico to see the aliens.  

We were in New Mexico for seven months.

We wrote a cookbook, saw no aliens, tried no meth, saw countless jaw dropping sunsets and sunrises (see pics), soaked our bodies in natural hot springs, played in the snow and drank beer in the sun. We also ate lots of green chili (another one of New Mexico’s little secrets).

I created the recipes, Luanne tasted them, Luanne styled the photographs and I took the pictures. We had an awesome fucking time. I highly recommend quitting your job and doing something bat-shit crazy that makes no sense at all at some point in your life (but don’t go to New Mexico in winter. That shiz is cold. We’re talking high desert @ 6,000 feet, people. Bur).

Here are two recipes from our new cookbook, Bold Vegan, Food for the Body and Soul. There is a discount for Vegansaurus readers! The promo code is:  vegansaurus and it will allow your guys to buy the instant download version of our new book for $10 (usually $14.99). [Ed.: YES!!!]

It is filled with 90 Western and Asian classic comfort food dishes. From Vietnamese Pho to Pot Pie and Creamy Alfredo Pasta to Green Onion Pancakes.

Brought to you from New Mexico, with love.

But first, some sample recipes:

Fiery Garlic Tofu

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(gluten free if using gluten free soy sauce / nut free)

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz. box (397g) firm tofu tofu, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 6 tablespoons organic cornstarch (45g)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil plus 3 tablespoons, divided (105ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided (3g)
  • 20 turns fresh black pepper
  • 10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 - 5 dried red chilies, cut in half (add more if you like more spice)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peeled and minced ginger (12g)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (15ml)
  • 6 tablespoons water (90ml)
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rounds (140g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (2.5ml)
  • Sugar Glaze (1 tablespoon (15g) brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon (15ml) water)
  • 1 green onion, cut into 2 inch strips for garnish

Directions

  1. Evenly spread out cornstarch on a plate.

  2. Cut tofu and dredge evenly in cornstarch. Set aside.

  3. Heat 1/4 cup (60ml) of the grapeseed oil in a nonstick pan.

  4. Place 1/2 of the tofu in oil. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 10 turns of black pepper.

  5. Cook for 9-10 minutes, turning so that all sides get brown.

  6. Take out of pan and place on a brown paper bag (placed on a plate) to soak up the oil.

  7. Place 3 more tablespoons (45ml) of oil in the pan and add the remaining tofu.

  8. Add another 1/4 teaspoon salt and 10 turns black pepper and cook for 9-10 minutes.

  9. Take out and place on paper bag.

  10. Use the same oil and pan and add the garlic, chili and ginger.

  11. Cook for 1 minute and then add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 6 tablespoons water.

  12. Add red onions and sesame oil and cook for 3 minutes.  

  13. Add the tofu back to the pan, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.

  14. Add the glaze and cook for an additional minute.

  15. Garnish with green onions.

Notes

  • Do not serve the red chilies, they are added for flavor, not to eat directly.

  • If you don’t like spicy then leave the red chilies whole.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

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(gluten free / nut free / soy free if using soy free Earth Balance buttery spread)

First, the Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (1 1/2 cups / 240g)
  • 1 cup carrot, cut into 1/2 inch rounds (130g)
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced  (1/2 cup / 65g)
  • 2  cups water (475 ml)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread (70g)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (40g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6g)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (45 ml)
  • 3 turns fresh black pepper

Directions

  1. Place potato, carrot and onion in a pan with 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.

  2. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and add Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, turmeric and salt. Stir to combine.

  3. Pour mixture into a blender and blend until creamy, about one minute on medium. You may need to scrape the sides down from the blender a couple of times for everything to get incorporated.

  4. Add coconut milk to the blender and continue to blend until mixture is creamy throughout.

  5. Place into a bowl and add fresh black pepper.

Now, assemble the whole dish:

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe cheese sauce (above)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes, 1/4 inch thick (4 potatoes / 625g)
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread (45g)
  • 1 onion diced (1 cup / 120g)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk creamer (120ml)
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped (8g)
  • 1 tablespoons rice flour (30g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6g)
  • 3 cups of chard, chopped (175g)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)

  2. Slice potatoes and set aside.

  3. Heat Earth Balance in a skillet and add the onions, garlic and parsley.

  4. Saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.

  5. Add the flour and salt and stir for 30 seconds.

  6. Slowly pour in the creamer and stir until mixture thickens, 1-2 minutes.

  7. Turn off heat and set aside.

  8. Evenly spread 1/4 cup (60g) of cheese sauce on the bottom of a 8x11 baking dish.

  9. Place a third of the potatoes over the sauce, covering the bottom of the pan.

  10. Place half of the chard over the potatoes.

  11. Place a third of cheese sauce over the chard (about 1 cup / 230g).

  12. Repeat (another third of potatoes, the rest of the chard, another third of the cheese sauce).

  13. Add the last layer of potatoes and then pour over the remaining cheese sauce.

  14. With a spoon, evenly dollop the onion/garlic mixture on top of the cheese sauce and sprinkle with paprika.

  15. Place in the oven and baked uncovered for 1 hour.

Notes

  • You can use any leafy green in place of the chard.

(I’m writing my bio in first person because I think writing about myself in third person is creepy)

If I’m not in my kitchen you will find me behind my camera, in front of my computer, on my meditation pillow, in a yoga class or watching Parks and Rec (I promise I’m not snobby – I’m not even good at yoga. It has been my lifelong dream to touch even my fingers to the mat in a forward bend. It still boggles me that I can’t do it given that my arms are disproportionately long).

I have helped open restaurants in New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona (including Nature’s Express in Berkeley, CA). Before I wrote cookbooks and opened restaurants I was a personal chef.

You can buy my cookbooks on my website, boldvegan.com. While you’re there you can drool over lots of free recipes, check out my guide to getting healthy, 21 Days to Awesome and, sign up for my emails where I share even more recipes and charming banter.

I am also a regular contributor to Mind Body Green, Happy Cow, One Green Planet and Vegan Housewives.

You can check me on Twitter, catch up with me on Facebook, look at my pretty pics on instagram or share my latest obsession that is Pinterest.

(oh, and I’m always accepting recipe development, food styling and photography work. Check my online portfolio here)

12/23/2013

Vegan Eggnog, ho! My former boss and current pal Phil asked me for a vegan nog recommendation. I suggested Isa’s recipe. He modified it and look how pretty it came out!!! He said it was very good and even garnered compliments from the omnivores. Here’s his version:
1.5  16-oz packages Nasoya Silken Tofu1.5  13-oz cans organic, unsweetened coconut milk3 cups hazelnut milk1/2 cup maple syrup1/4 cup agave nectar2 teaspoons cardamom3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice2 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg3 tablespoons ground cinnamon1 cup Kentucky bourbon
Pour it all into a blender and blend the fuck out of it. Then put it in the fridge for a while to settle. Then drink it.
Yay! Thanks, Phil! Good job. 

Vegan Eggnog, ho! My former boss and current pal Phil asked me for a vegan nog recommendation. I suggested Isa’s recipe. He modified it and look how pretty it came out!!! He said it was very good and even garnered compliments from the omnivores. Here’s his version:

1.5  16-oz packages Nasoya Silken Tofu
1.5  13-oz cans organic, unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups hazelnut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons cardamom
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup Kentucky bourbon

Pour it all into a blender and blend the fuck out of it. Then put it in the fridge for a while to settle. Then drink it.

Yay! Thanks, Phil! Good job. 

12/10/2013

Meet Kyle and Ashley Knies of From the Garden!   »

I am so excited to present you with the Bay Area’s newest vegan food venture: From The Garden, brought to you by newlyweds and all-around-awesome couple, Kyle and Ashley Knies! Their meal delivery boxes were mentioned in our SF Bay Area Thanksgiving write-up, now let’s get to know them a little bit better. Kyle is a professionally trained and incredibly talented chef while Ashley is a holistic health counselor — talk about a power couple right there! Their Berkeley-based company, From the Garden, is available to the Bay Area for a variety of services including: personal chef needs, cooking classes, catering events, food delivery and beautiful, monthly, greenhouse brunches. Curious? Just take a look at these sample menus

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Be sure to keep an eye out for this up-and-coming vegan powerhouse duo — I know I will be! Follow them on Instagram at @itsfromthegarden, Twitter at @chefkyleknies, and Facebook here, for upcoming events and fabulous food photos. Their blog offers a plethora of delectable looking recipes, while their website is a wealth of information about what they can do for you! You can also email them at chefkyleknies@gmail.com with any questions, or to reserve their services.

{Wedding photo via Kyle Knies} 

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