vegansaurus!

12/13/2011

Product review: Rhythm Superfoods’ kale chips win; sweet potato chips do OK  »

I’m a broken record about my love for bears, but did you know that I also enjoy snacks? I’m talking chips, cookies, and crackers, not so much any sort of healthy food, like fruit (blech) repurposed as snack food. Given the choice, I’ll usually choose the trans fats, the high sugar content, the empty calories.

Rhythm Superfoods provides the best of both worlds: filling my crunchy snacky urge and giving me less gas than Frito-Lay products. Rhythm Superfoods produces raw, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO snacks. To me, a person who grew up on Twinkies and Cheeto dust, that’s not exactly promising.

They sent a nice box with a bag each of Zesty Nacho kale chips and Sea Salt sweet potato chips. I popped open the sweet potato chips first. Although the chips were perfectly seasoned, I think the oil-free quality of the chips made them less than crispy. I don’t enjoy a bendy, chewy chip. I need CRUNCH, motherfuckers!

Although the kale chips were rather crumbled from their trip in the box to me, they saved the day. Crunchy with a cheesy flavor from being smothered in nutritional yeast, I ate the entire bag in one sitting (which is only two servings, sadly). Rhythm rekindled my passion for the kale chip, to be honest. And now we are involved in the most sordid of love affairs: snaxploitation.

05/25/2010

NYC discovery: Finnish ryes!  »

Just call me Christopher Columbus because I’ve made an amazing discovery! Just kidding, really I “discovered” America even though a bunch of people already “lived there.” I’m just kidding go back to the first sentence because I made an amazing discovery!: Finnish ryes by Northern Rye!

On Sunday, I went to the Park Slope farmers market on Third Street and Fifth Avenue and my sister-in-law pointed out that this one stand had “some vegan dipping thing.” I went to check it out and I find these funny tart-looking things. The nice women working the table told me they are called “ryes” and gave me an informative card. To quote said card, “hand-made right here in New York City, our artisanal* Finnish ryes are based on a traditional rye pasty recipe from Karelia, a region in Eastern Finland and Western Russia.” On the internets, they are called Karelian pasties (I know, pasties!!! Haaaaaa! Pervs.) [Ed.: that’s a short “a” sound, as in “rat.” Perv.] To liven things up, they make the ryes with cool non-traditional fillings, including a vegan sweet potato edition! Of course I had to buy one because they looked kind of interesting and I always like to let the omnis know they have a vegan audience.

When I say they looked “interesting,” what I really mean is that they looked “weird,” but I wouldn’t let that deter me! And boy am I glad because I ate it and it was superfantastique! There were caramelized onions and rosemary mixed in with the sweet potato and oh my lord, what a happy marriage of flavors! It looked like the crust part would be crispy and like fiber-y or something but it was not at all; it was soft and yummy.

What I would love to see is vegan versions of their spinach ryes and beet (and feta, bleh) ryes. My only problem with them is that, as far as I can tell, they don’t have a website. Is that even possible? I mean, every biz should have a website—I have like eight websites and I do absolutely nothing. But at least I know when and where to get them so I guess that’s all I really need!

For those who can’t make it to the Park Slope farmers market, I found a vegan pasty recipe! Turns out there exists a lovely all-vegan Finnish cooking blog and they have a recipe for a turnip-filled version. Root vegetables—how exciting! If any of you wonderful people make this recipe, please give us a review!

*I hate this word because I have no idea how to pronounce it. I was hoping it wasn’t a real word but apparently it is.

05/20/2010

What’s this? Oh nothing, just some soup I invented, drowning a be-Earth-Balanced whole wheat sourdough biscuit.
Here’s the recipe. It’s insanely easy, you’ll love it.
Ingredients(note: all the measurements are approximations, as I was freestyle-souping)3 Tbs. Earth Balance2 small onions4 cloves garlic1 Yukon Gold potato2 sweet potatoes1 cup baby carrots, or equivalent in regular-size carrots2 tangerines1/2 inch fresh ginger5 cups vegetable stockZatarain’s! [Ed.: Ooh la la!]smoked paprikatoasted sesame oil
InstructionsPreheat your big soup pot to a low-ish setting, and throw in the Earth Balance. Dice the onion and throw it in the pot. Peel the potatoes and chop into small-ish cubes. Chop the carrots into roughly same-sized pieces. Dice the garlic and ginger, and zest the tangerines. Juice the tangerines (always zest before you juice!)—you can add the juice to the stock for the time being.
Once the onions are soft and clear, add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, tangerine zest, and spices. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Then add the tangerine juice and stock, cover, turn the heat up to high, bring to a boil, and let simmer for a while. Maybe 20 minutes or so, I guess.
Once everything looks nice and mushy, turn the heat off. If you have an immersion blender, I am envious of you. Also, this is the time to use it. Otherwise, you had better let the soup cool a bit before pouring into your regular blender/food processor and turning it into something approximating the above. Then put it back in the pot and reheat.
If the soup’s too thick, add a bit more stock. Finish with a dash of toasted sesame oil, for extra flavoring, and pepper if wanted (I didn’t). Something I recently learned: cooking black pepper for very long will turn it bitter! So, only add it toward the end. Eat it with fresh breadstuffs for A-plus number-one enjoyment.

What’s this? Oh nothing, just some soup I invented, drowning a be-Earth-Balanced whole wheat sourdough biscuit.

Here’s the recipe. It’s insanely easy, you’ll love it.

Ingredients
(note: all the measurements are approximations, as I was freestyle-souping)
3 Tbs. Earth Balance
2 small onions
4 cloves garlic
1 Yukon Gold potato
2 sweet potatoes
1 cup baby carrots, or equivalent in regular-size carrots
2 tangerines
1/2 inch fresh ginger
5 cups vegetable stock
Zatarain’s! [Ed.: Ooh la la!]
smoked paprika
toasted sesame oil

Instructions
Preheat your big soup pot to a low-ish setting, and throw in the Earth Balance. Dice the onion and throw it in the pot. Peel the potatoes and chop into small-ish cubes. Chop the carrots into roughly same-sized pieces. Dice the garlic and ginger, and zest the tangerines. Juice the tangerines (always zest before you juice!)—you can add the juice to the stock for the time being.

Once the onions are soft and clear, add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, tangerine zest, and spices. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Then add the tangerine juice and stock, cover, turn the heat up to high, bring to a boil, and let simmer for a while. Maybe 20 minutes or so, I guess.

Once everything looks nice and mushy, turn the heat off. If you have an immersion blender, I am envious of you. Also, this is the time to use it. Otherwise, you had better let the soup cool a bit before pouring into your regular blender/food processor and turning it into something approximating the above. Then put it back in the pot and reheat.

If the soup’s too thick, add a bit more stock. Finish with a dash of toasted sesame oil, for extra flavoring, and pepper if wanted (I didn’t). Something I recently learned: cooking black pepper for very long will turn it bitter! So, only add it toward the end. Eat it with fresh breadstuffs for A-plus number-one enjoyment.

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