vegansaurus!

08/06/2012

Guest recipe: Vegan Taiwanese tomato egg, featuring the Vegg!  »


This recipe involves the Vegg. For my review of the Vegg, please read here.

As a child, my mother used to make a stir-fried tomato egg dish that tastes sweet and juicy at the same time. It is a common Taiwanese home dish. I generally dislike tomatoes in stir-fried dishes, except this one. After getting my hands on the Vegg, I decided to veganized my mother’s Taiwanese tomato egg. Thanks, Mama, but I’m gonna eat that vegan from now on and save the BABY CHICKS!


Silly me, my mama and baba in Toronto, Canada.

Ingredients
2 tomatoes, chopped in medium-size pieces or wedges (I prefer pieces, but wedges are better)
3/4 cup warm water (only for Vegg mix)
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 tsp. organic ketchup
1 Tbsp. vegan sugar
8 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
4 tsp. Vegg
Sunflower oil
2 green onions, chopped for garnish

Instructions
1. Create your Vegg mix. Mix water, Vegg, and tofu in a high-speed blender for 30 seconds.

2. Heat up a lot of sunflower oil in a saucepan, at high heat. Crumble in the Vegg mix, as you would scrambled eggs.

3. As your Vegg mix starts to brown and dry a bit, add tomatoes. Make sure there’s no visible liquid in the pan. It took about 8 to 10 minutes to get that cooked and firm.

4. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, ketchup, and sugar. Pour the sauce over the vegan scrambled egg and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Garnish with fresh chopped green onions.

This comes with stir-fried oyster mushrooms (leftovers) from the Taiwanese oyster omelette I made earlier that day with some vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce, white pepper and salt.

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. Find her on Twitter and Pinterest. Check out all her posts for Vegansaurus!

07/12/2012

Guest post: Eating vegan in Mexico City: Yug Vegetariano in Zona Rosa!  »


Welcome to Vegansaurus’ weeklong guest series on eating vegan in Mexico City! All content by Rika of Vegan Miam!

I spent all of April in Mexico City (Distrito Federal), the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. Mexico City is divided into colonias (neighborhoods). In this series, I’ll guide you through a few of the colonias I explored, and some of the beautiful, delicious vegan food I ate.

All the neighborhoods are unique in their own ways; you just have to decide want you want to do, and eat. Tip: If you don’t speak Spanish, have some phrases prepared about to your dietary preferences. Many people speak some English, but there’s no guarantee.

Zona Rosa is a business district that includes a gay center. There was a strong Korean presence in Zona Rosa, including Asian supermarkets and restaurants, which are very useful for vegan cooking. Asian supermarkets were especially refreshing because while the grocery stores in Mexico City have a great deal of local products, they don’t have the best international selection. I ate Ramen noodles and fried rice few times a week.

Yug Vegetariano was the first local vegetarian restaurant I went to, and I ate there so often I tried almost everything on their menu. It is within a block from El Ángel de la Independencia, in the corner of Paseo de la Reforma.


A few of my favorites from Yug Vegetariano are the bread and the enchiladas de mole. The bread slices are vegan (but the rolls, sticks and butter aren’t) and served as complimentary appetizers, which was nice, but save them for soups. I had enchiladas de mole without cheese. I thought the flavor of the mole was very delicious, slightly bitter and savory, and the enchiladas were filled with textured soy protein and vegetables. The dish also comes with yummy refried black beans.


The carnitas vegetarianas con guacamole y frijoles refritos (vegan roasted pork with guacamole and refried beans) were fantastic. You can taste the creamy refried beans, guacamole (it contained too much onions for me, but sometimes they vary) and the soy carnitas. They aren’t that chewy, but they are a bit salty, greasy, and tasty with guacamole, beans and salsa. They are a must!


The pancita de setas (literally “tummy mushrooms”) soup was unique, with mushrooms and vegetables. The mushrooms were very tough and chewy. The broth was a bit watery, but the soup was overall light and interesting. Definitely eat it with complimentary vegan bread slices.

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products, and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and PinterestCheck out all her posts for Vegansaurus!

07/11/2012

Guest post: Eating vegan in Mexico City: Pulqueria Las Duelistas in Centro Histórico!  »


Welcome to Vegansaurus’ weeklong guest series on eating vegan in Mexico City! All content by Rika of Vegan Miam!

I spent all of April in Mexico City (Distrito Federal), the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. Mexico City is divided into colonias (neighborhoods). In this series, I’ll guide you through a few of the colonias I explored, and some of the beautiful, delicious vegan food I ate.

All the neighborhoods are unique in their own ways; you just have to decide want you want to do, and eat. Tip: If you don’t speak Spanish, have some phrases prepared about to your dietary preferences. Many people speak some English, but there’s no guarantee.


The Centro Historico district is largely known to tourists since it embraces Zócalo (aka Plaza de la Constitución), the largest square in Latin America. There are plenty of historic colonial landmarks to see in that area, but this is about the food! So let’s drink some pulques at Pulqueria Las Duelistas. (Drink along on Twitter!)

Pulque is a traditional alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant (known for fermented agave), and most of them are made vegan. They are a must-try! However, I wouldn’t recommend drinking them on the day of your departure, they move through your digestive system quickly.


Guayaba (guava) pulque; apio (celery) pulque in a glass rimmed with lime, salt, and chile, and in a pitcher. The glass of guayaba cost 20 pesos (approximately $1.50 US), and the pitcher of apio cost 40 pesos (approximately $3 US).

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products, and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and Pinterest. Check out all her posts for Vegansaurus!

07/10/2012

Guest post: Eating vegan in Mexico City: Nevería Roxy in Polanco!  »


Welcome to Vegansaurus’ weeklong guest series on eating vegan in Mexico City! All content by Rika of Vegan Miam!

I spent all of April in Mexico City (Distrito Federal), the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. Mexico City is divided into colonias (neighborhoods). In this series, I’ll guide you through a few of the colonias I explored, and some of the beautiful, delicious vegan food I ate.

All the neighborhoods are unique in their own ways; you just have to decide want you want to do, and eat. Tip: If you don’t speak Spanish, have some phrases prepared about to your dietary preferences. Many people speak some English, but there’s no guarantee.

If you are a luxury hotel or fashion fanatic, I would recommend staying in Polanco, which is a trendy, upscale neighborhood situated at the edge of Bosque de Chapultepec. You might expect to pay more in Polanco when it comes to dining or shopping.


Tamarindo (back) and mamey ice cream.

If you want to get some vegan ice cream, try Nevería Roxy in Polanco in front of Parque Lincoln (Lincoln Park). It’s a classic ice cream parlor that has been around for years. Get a bola grande scoop, but make sure you get it without a cone since it may not be vegan (most cones are not vegan). I got mine in a traditional glass cup.

Vegan flavors include chico zapote (similiar to kiwi), fresa (strawberry), guanábana (soursop), guayaba (guava), lima (lime), limón (lemon), mamey, mandarina (mandarin), maracuyá (passionfruit), melón, naranja (orange), piña (pineapple), tamarindo (tamarind), and zarzamora (blackberry).


The mamey was smooth and delicious. The mamey fruit made the sorbet creamier due to its thick, soft texture. Tamarind gave the ice cream a very sweet, nutty, and tangy flavor.

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products, and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and PinterestCheck out all her posts for Vegansaurus!

07/09/2012

Guest post: Eating vegan in Mexico City: Tacos Hola (El Güero), Azul Condesa, and Nirvana Vegetariano in Condesa-Roma!  »


Welcome to Vegansaurus’ weeklong guest series on eating vegan in Mexico City! All content by Rika of Vegan Miam!

I spent all of April in Mexico City (Distrito Federal), the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. Mexico City is divided into colonias (neighborhoods). In this series, I’ll guide you through a few of the colonias I explored, and some of the beautiful, delicious vegan food I ate.

All the neighborhoods are unique in their own ways; you just have to decide want you want to do, and eat. Tip: If you don’t speak Spanish, have some phrases prepared about to your dietary preferences. Many people speak some English, but there’s no guarantee.

Condesa-Roma was my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City; it reminded me of Berlin and Portland, Ore. If you are traveling on a budget, I would recommend staying in Condesa-Roma, where you can also enjoy food and architecture at the same time.

One taqueria in Condesa offers delicious, vegan-friendly, slow-cooked tacos: It is officially known as Tacos Hola, or El Güero, and has been open since 1968. It is located on the corner of Amsterdam and Michoacán. Vegan fillings offered include guacamole (so creamy and good!), acelgas (braised chard), nopales (cactus), and arroz (rice). Add condiments like pickled vegetables (onions, peppers, jalapeños), salsa verde (very spicy pureed raw habañero), salsa roja (medium-hot), and lime wedges.


My first time at Tacos Hola I had tacos with acelgas, nopales, and guacamole (15 pesos, approximately $1.12 US). The second time I added rice to make a perfect vegan taco. The addition of pickled vegetables turned out to be delectable, along with the heat from the jalapeños. I couldn’t taste the nopales very much, but I could taste the creamy guacamole and braised chard very well. 


My partner got nopales and arroz, and added the spicy pickled vegetables and medium-spicy salsa roja. If you really want a spicy salsa, go for the green one!


At Azul Condesa, I ordered a vegan-friendly dish from their seasonal mango menu: guacamole with chunks of fresh mango, served with tortilla chips.


My partner ordered organic hibiscus flower enchiladas, served with light tomato and smoky chipotle sauces. Make sure to ask for it without cheese (“sin queso”)! 

If you would like to try something different, such as a fusion of traditional Afro-Carribean and Mexican dishes incorporating a variety of tropical fruits, I would recommend the buffet at Nirvana Vegetariano. You can get lots of food for not much money (60 pesos, approximately $4.50 US).


The tamales are freshly made with grilled vegetables. They were really yummy! Best tamales ever! You’ll want to avoid the tamales a block of feta cheese on top, though.


Nirvana Vegetariano also offers fresh corn tortillas, rice, plantain and eggplants, vegan gyro-like meat with hint of pineapples, and much more to make your own tacos. I really like the plantain and eggplants; it tasted sweet and roasted, especially creamy. Everything was very delicious—I had no complaints!

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products, and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and Pinterest. Check out all her posts for Vegansaurus!

06/25/2012

Guest Review: Viana meat substitutes and more!  »

After living in Austria and Germany, I recognised a vegan German brand, Viana (also known as Tofutown.com GmbH) at Whole Foods in Portland, Oregon (as well as Boston) which came out this year. Viana products use “wheat, soybeans and fresh organic vegetables into delicious meat alternatives, tofu products, soy and rice drinks and fine soy creams” (Viana Biography). These products are also found “throughout Europe and even in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and now in North America.” Viana products include seasoned and delicious veggie gyros, veggie döner kebab, chickin fillets, chickin nuggets, veggie cevapcici, cowgirl veggie steaks and finally Soyatoo! vegan creams! I had tried nearly all of them whilst living in Germany and Austria for couple of months and it is finally so nice to have these products in the U.S.

This is the veggie cevapcici I had with fresh and homemade Israeli bread and seasoned tahini paste served with arugula-Persian cucumber-salad (dressed in lemon juice & olive oil & sea salt). This is probably my favourite meat alternative compared to veggie gyros (they tend to be saltier, but it vary on one’s taste). I found the seasoned tahini paste at a kosher Jewish shop, “The Butcherie" in Brookline, MA. You can find "seasoned ACHVA Tahini Paste" online as well, good luck!

You can thinly slice veggie cevapcici as “gyro” in any ways from burritos to wraps to pitas. Some prefer less meaty or some prefer bulky type. You can use Trader Joe’s Habanero Lime Flour Tortilla with tahini paste and your choice of red hot chili sauce.

To see other post on Viana gyro meat, read more here.

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika runs an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and Pinterest

06/21/2012

Guest Recipe: Sliced Potatoes from Vegan Miam!  »

Back in Rome, Italy, I instantly fell in love with potato pizza, where pizzas do not necessarily need cheese or meat. And I’m also a massive fan of potatoes and much more potatoes [Ed. note: Who isn’t?! Loonies!]. So instead, we’ve decided to make our own potato pizza from scratch.

Directions:

You will need a mandoline slicer to slice these potatoes paper thin (be careful not to slice your finger). These potato rounds have to be very thin. We used Yukon potatoes (a waxier and less starchy potato) or you can use red potatoes (they are kind of waxy).

In a large bowl, dress the potato slices with olive oil, rosemary and a handful of sea salt and pepper. You can also try to oil them, then sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary over the top once on the pan if you want more distribution. Place potato slices (separate from each other) on baking non-stick silicone mat such as SILPAT® [Ed. note: I have this mat, it’s freaking amazing—great for chocolate covered stuff!]. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Make sure they don’t burn quickly, keep an eye out.

These baked potato slices are great for anything from snacking to pizza topping. For instance, I used them on my pizza as a topping along with shredded red onions, peperoncini and shiitake mushrooms/button mushrooms as well as Daiya cheddar style shreds. Yum to all potatoes!

Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika runs an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and Pinterest

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